Friday, March 31, 2006

Sighting - For Jeri

I just had to quickly post this. Today at the Starbucks I discovered that the girl in line in front of me was Joni D*! I almost burst out laughing right there waiting patiently for my coffee. I spotted her overprocessed hair and too tight denim ensemble stretched over her over 40 year old body while realization spread over me like the pre-coffee wave it can be. She didn't look bad (I don't think you wanted to hear that, did you, Jeri?), just not 24, so quit trying to dress like it. Her skin didn't look all messed up like it used to either. You see, folks, being 40+ means that the odds are good you have acquired some money in your life, and you can afford things like a standing cut and color every 5 weeks, gym membership, and microdermabrasion. So growing older gets a bad rap; myself, I think you need to focus on the positive of every situation.

Anyway, I saved my burst of laughter until I left the store and was walking across the parking lot. I visualized myself whispering "BitchSlutWhore" in her ear while I reached around her to grab my venti peppermint mocha (it's Friday), and I could barely contain myself. This town... you gotta love it sometimes.


More later, I just thought I would share.
* Obviously I cannot post her whole name here. What if she is the type of person who regularly googles herself?!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Missions slowly being accomplished

Got the temp. Need to go get the car. Miles to go before I sleep. Fingers crossed for the DEQ. So many of you do not know what any of that means.

Congratulations to Becky for starting a new job! As one of my most loyal readers, I think it bears announcing. Good luck with it! You'll be great!

Not really much going on (big surprise) - I can totally take the cast on and off my wrist. Something tells me I am not supposed to be able to do that. But when they cut the original gi-normous one off me last Thursday the sound of it was enough to wake the dead; I don't like pain and especially the potential of pain, even though they swear nothing can happen to you in the cast-removal process. So I could go back and say, Hey, the cast isn't tight enough, and have them re-do it, but the odds are good they won't let me just slide it right off (well, maybe they will but it's a chance I am not willing to take). And I don't want to hear that saw again until it's time to say sayonara to the cast for good. That will be in one month. I guess when the wrist starts feeling better I will just slip the cast off for showering purposes. That's a plus, right? Unless it just doesn't help with the healing.

My Place is coming right along and though that makes me happy for Joe and Janet, it kills me that I am not there watching it progress. I decided today I need to start planning my trips south for the year. I need to do a lot of things, including call Eder and get the skinny on his boda and book that one.

Also something... can't remember... oh yeah, I bought a package last night because I am tired of looking dead. I looked in the mirror at work in the bathroom yesterday and saw just how dead I looked, and immediately raced off to my desk and called Emerald Tanning. Nip that in the bud right now. This is insane. I may live in the tundra but I sure don't have to look like I do!

Okay, that's enough I guess. I am at work and not busy (clearly) and so I am going to sign off for now and make it look like I am working for the next like 45 minutes or so.

Have a nice night.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The result of being bored.

At least I don't find these in my apartment here.

My friend Kelly found this in her kid's bedroom last week. I can thankfully say that I never found a scorpion in my apartment in Cancun.

Remember, I said "found".

Just thought I would share.

Sunday morning 77 miles from the nearest ocean

It's sunny this morning. It's been sunny a lot more here than I expected since I've been back so that's been a plus. Still, one rainy afternoon can be enough to push me over the edge. I think the difference between a rainy day HERE and a rainy day THERE is that at least THERE you know it's going to end soon. Here, hm, could end in July, you never know.

So. Work is getting better. Starting to pick up a little bit anyway, and that one realtor that picked me from the Friday class? Well, she picked me as a result of asking her spirit guides to "show" her her new escrow closer... apparently I was bathed in light. Interesting. I wonder what kind of light I am bathed in when I am actually happy? I guess if you are gonna ask your spirit guides for a closer, right now I am probably your gal.

Not much more going on on the home front, this month has felt like six just waiting for my STUPID APARTMENT to get built. It's not like it's been raining THAT much, get out there and pave that flipping roadway. Don't make me go over there and supervise - I have the time.

Shelia is introducing me to a business opportunity that could turn into something... what I am not sure yet, but I guess I will see. I am in a trial phase of it right now. There are some things that I have questions on, that she will have answers for me soon, and if I can start something with that, and it turns out to be what it is supposed to be, this could be a positive step in the right direction. We'll see. Vague, huh? Good.

I thought I had more to say, really I did. Maybe more will come to me. Oh, the cast is now shortened, done under my elbow. And though I have to have it on for another month, at least I am a bit more able. That was Thursday - I got it done early due to my powers of persuasion. I know the guy at Kaiser was doing what he felt was best, but the people at the fracture clinic in Beaverton were surprised that the cast was over my elbow for a wrist. Let's put it this way, it was karma that got me into it to begin with, so I'll live with it.

Tom convinced me to read Wayne Dyer so I am going to do that starting today. I will let you know how that works out. Since I already recommended it to Kimberley, I should probably read it myself so I know what the heck it is I am endorsing! See how that works?

Okay, that's it for now. No content, not exciting, no pictures, blah blah blah. Welcome to Oregon Joyce...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How easy it is to act rich again.

Well, I arranged to have the Honda towed from Tom's to Clarke's Wednesday morning, and it wasn't as expensive as I expected. Still expensive, but not as bad as it could have been. Now all I have to do is get to the DMW and get a temp on that thing and get it to DEQ. It will be nice to listen to CDs again. The Clarke's guy said some really nice things to me too, but I won't get into it here, I don't want to gloat.

Work is picking up some. Tomorrow morning I go to the doctor and get my cast looked at (not sure exactly why) and hopefully he will tell me he'll take it off next week. Please think good thoughts. I mean, not the whole thing, but glory I would love to have my elbow back. I bought some bumble and bumble shampoo and conditioner to the tune of $39 the other day and I still can't really tell how I like it. With one hand/arm, here's what I do: hold the hair dryer in my right hand and point it at my head while doing absolutely nothing with my left arm, then pray that it looks somewhat decent when it's done. My hair looks different every day anyway, even with two good limbs, so you can imagine what it looks like lately. Consequently, I have to lacquer it down with hairspray and then sort of shape into some sort of acceptable style. Which means that I have no idea how my bumble and bumble is actually working on my hair. Why does it seem like I have had a cast for months and months when it has only been a week? Will I be able to last the 5 more weeks required of me? Will you??

I hate the escrow system at work too because it is getting the better of me right now and that bums me out. Plus we have shared printers (at First American we all had our own) and if you blow off going to get your stuff off the printer right away, you can pretty much kiss it goodbye because it will get mixed up with someone else's stuff and they will usually not realize it til way later and then just end up throwing it away (let's face it - if you're too lazy to go get your stuff off the printer right away you are going to be way too lazy to bring whatever stuff wasn't yours back to the printer). Oh it's the little things that make me dislike being new at a company...

All right then, America's Next Top Model is going to be on soon and I want to be ready for it. Yep, some things don't change. Network TV here in the States is disappointment #1, for definite sure, because it is all reality TV and besides ANTM, it all is garbage. I strongly dislike greedy, materialistic, pretentious people and since reality TV is crawling with them, it must be what Americans want. What - EVER.

Ciao ~

Monday, March 20, 2006

At work and bored. That can’t be a good sign.

Remember “be careful what you wish for”? Well I wish I had some work to keep me busy. I have like 6 files. I did get an order though today, it isn’t here yet, but it will be soon, from a complete stranger. The realtor phoned the office and asked the receptionist what my name was, she had seen me in the Friday class and was impressed, and thought she would like to send me an order. Which is all well and good, but I wasn’t IN the Friday class. I went up and popped my head in, they introduced us (all the officers), and then I left. Pretty impressive. Maybe she reads auras or something.

Counting the days until I make my next move. Today I dropped a load of cash on a bunch of different things involving insurance and home furnishings, etc. I also bought a book (like I need one) and a purse (like I need one of THOSE). And some edamame because I never eat lunch (not sure what that’s about).

So I need to buy a car, something used, something inexpensive, looks like I might have to go see a dealer and I so don’t want to do that, but I need reliable and I don’t have any savings. So I am trapped. I think I will do that this weekend. You must all be so jealous. Having worked at dealerships and then auto finance in my past lives, I HATE going to car dealerships as a customer. The lies. The deceit. I can’t take it. And I tell them so. And that doesn’t make anyone happy. So add that on to yet another adventure and something else I don’t want to do. It’s not a question really of not WANTING to do it, though, it’s a question of having to, and I know I will feel better when I can stop saying “I’m 40 and I’m driving my mom’s car.” I suppose too I could just have the stupid 92 Honda fixed though, too, for way cheaper, but can I drive a stick with my arm like this? Hm. Maybe I should revisit this. Then I could just save a bunch of money and not worry about going to a dealer for now and then buy something for cash later. Hey yeah! That is EXACTLY what I am going to do! Thanks, Blogger, for helping me out of this mini crisis! Everyone should get one of these!

Okay, so that’s done, I guess I have something to do now. I have to phone the repair place and get an appointment for my coche.

Sweet. No new(er) car = faster to the goal. Yay.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

One month... >sigh<

I can't believe it, one month already. I feel in some ways like time has flown by, and in other ways it feels like I have been here forever. And not in a good way.

Anyway, haven't done much of anything, for those of you keeping track (or score, whatever the case may be). Just going to work and not being able to touch my head. I signed my first file Friday, but it was for a friend/client, and so I went out and signed them at their home in Milwaukie (across the river. Note to self, avoid crossing the river at all times). On the way back to the office was something like the biggest wreck in months or something on the 205 freeway and they closed it and of course I was trapped on the stupid freeway for 2 hours and then I tried to detour through West Linn to get myself back to Washington Square and since I haven't been in West Linn in the daytime in something like 12 years I got lost for ANOTHER hour... well you can imagine the rest. So Tom called and wanted to know if I wanted to see Benny that night, and I had to bow out - not because I don't want to see Benny, but because I didn't want to see him at the venue they were meeting. Oh what the hell, it's all up to interpretation, reader. Some of you will use this for gossip fodder anyway, I guess I am glad I am giving you something to do in your obviously pathetically boring lives. And NO Becky, I am not talking about you. :)

So re-entry has been an education in all the things a person should aspire NOT to be: selfish, self-centered, materialistic, yuppie, Beavers, phony "environmentalist" types who drive their recyclables to the neighborhood center in their SUV and complain that there aren't enough Starbucks in the neighborhood (no lie - I was in line at the Garden Home Starbucks one morning on my way into work, and there were maybe 4 people ahead of me and 4 behind me. One of the women behind me actually said, "I think they should put in another Starbucks in this neighborhood so we don't have to wait so long." I just looked at her and said "You're kidding me, right?" She wasn't. I love Starbucks and the whole experience of it and all that, but you can't swing a dead cat on any sidewalk in greater Portland without hitting 6 or 7 of them. Seriously.). Plus I could live without bread being $4 a loaf.

Hey next time anyone from a) Mexico comes to the US or b) here goes to Mexico and returns to the US, could you pick up some Nexium for me? I'll pay up front. I am dying right now and Prilosec OTC is just a joke when it comes to a stomach like mind. I understand my Nexium may no longer be covered by insurance, and if it isn't, then what is the point in going to the doctor? Thanks.

Well, loyal readers, sorry that you tuned in to the new post to hear nothing new, but doing nothing allows me to save money to get back to what I want to be doing. Now, since I haven't said exactly what that is, we'll see how that gets back to me.

Next up: Joyce breaks down and buys a stupid car! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I can't touch my head.

The cast is over my elbow so all mobility and use of the left arm is nil. I know now why it happened - my karma is instantaneous. I insulted someone and this is what happened. Big lesson to learn.

I also didn't get paid today.

I am not enjoying re-entry. At all.
"I've made a horrible mistake..."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bridie said I'm supposed to be nice on Mondays.

I spent 5 hours today doing something that should have taken 5 minutes. Though it wasn’t something that could have taken less time if I didn’t have a broken wrist (well, if I didn’t have a broken wrist I wouldn’t have had to do it at all…), it had nothing to do with the limitations I am only now realizing as a result of my malady. I was given written instruction by St. Vincent’s Hospital Emergency room for follow up care on my wrist. Call this number and schedule an appointment to get your permanent cast. Sounds easy, right?

Wrong. The service levels provided by ANY SERVICE PROVIDER IN THE STATE OF OREGON, so far, maybe even the country, so far I haven’t had to find out, are HORRENDOUS.

At 7am I phoned the number on the written instructions. The girl who took my call told me I was calling the wrong place (she barely asked me anything except why was I calling, and I mentioned “city call” as it says on the instructions) and gave me another number. I called it and got a recording to call back at 8am. I hung up and called St. Vincent’s, and told them the information on their sheet needs updating. She put me on hold for 10 minutes, then came back on to tell me “Thank you” in a sing-song voice. I drove to work.

At 8:05am I phoned the new number again, and instead of the recording giving me the hours of operation, I got one telling me this was an answering service, please leave your ID number, your case number, and your patient’s name at the tone and someone would get back to me. Like hell. I had none of these things and I knew that if I tried leaving anything other than these things, no one would have ever phoned me back. Next I called the original number given by the ER in writing and waited on hold for no less than 25 minutes. I told my story to the “appointment taker” and she asked if I had insurance – I told her yes. She told me that the place I was calling only dealt with the uninsured and indigent, and that I needed to call my own insurance and ask them what to do. By now I am getting more and more angry (oh, and because BEFORE she took the time to ask me what my issue was, she just threw another number at me to call).

So I call Blue Cross/Blue Shield and get to a rep and she is pretty helpful and says well, why don’t we just find you an in-plan orthopedic specialist and he can do your cast. So she finds one, and I phone them, and explain yet AGAIN my story, and she says, well, this office doesn’t do casts at all. The ER should have done it. She said she would set me up as a new patient but the doctor was planning to leave the country soon and I still needed a cast. I thanked her (not her fault, at this point I am just making random calls) and then phoned the ER again.

I told the ER gal what was happening (have I mentioned it’s now 10am?) and she said, well, Kaiser shouldn’t have told you that. I said, you know, I know that and YOU know that, but apparently KAISER doesn’t know that. She heard how near I was to sobbing and told me that either she or Kaiser would call me back. Success??

Not quite yet. Someone phoned me back, about an hour later. So now it's 11:30am this person calls and says, Oh I can't believe the runaround! Neither can I! She gives me yet ANOTHER number and says, give me 5 minutes to call them and tell them you are calling. I do this, and don't you know that when I phoned 7 minutes later, NO ONE KNEW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT? I asked the girl to please stand up and just yell my name and see if it sounded familiar to anyone. No dice. Finally, back off another 10 minutes of hold, someone knows what to do and sets me an appointment for tomorrow morning. I hung up the phone at 12 noon.

It was easier to blame it on a language barrier. But this is MY country, MY language. These people, seriously, DO NOT WANT TO HELP. I can't believe it. I am just sick about it.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I REALLY fell.

This will be short since I am typing with one hand and just popped a Vicadin. I fell last night in the parking lot of the Tillicum. Backward, on my ass. And apparently I tried to break my fall with my left arm. Didn't work - the fall instead broke my wrist.

I didn't do anything about it last night, besides ice it. This morning I went to the ER (after all the "ER" I watched on Warner Channel you would have thought I was right at home), and sure enough, broken. I am in a temporary cast, and have to go see an osteopath early this week to get the real deal on, for at least 6 weeks.

I can drive (automatic), but simple things like buttoning my jeans and putting on a bra take four times as long. Forget about socks, which makes me sad, since I am freezing`all the time.

Maybe I'll take a picture of it with my camera phone and try to post it here.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

From work - I could be in BIG trouble

This is really testing the waters. Today I downloaded MSN Messenger on my work computer. What the heck is that all about? I have some clients on it so I figure it might be easier to communicate that way (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!). I really just like chatting with Liz and Kim and the others during the day. And now BLOGGING from work? What kind of crazy risk-taker have I turned into? Talk about walking on the wild side!

So yeah, snow. Okay, a) it's March and b) it's Portland. You can all personally thank me for this because this is the kind of shit that happens when I return to the land of my birth. The last time I came back we had the great floods of '95. This time, the blizzard of '06 (well, just watch, that's what they will be calling it on the news tonight. Literally nothing happens in this pathetic city so our newsrooms have to sensationalize everything). Barbie had like 2 to 2 1/2 inches at her house and the drive to work was fine if not a bit slushy. Then it just started raining like a bastard and that washed it all away, but I swear I thought I couldn't get colder and yet, here I am, freezing my ass off.

As for yesterday's entry, people irritate the crap out of me (so what's new?) and as Liz so eloquently put it, and if you will allow my paraphrasing, who am I to take away your joy? To extinguish what little light you have in your day? I won't let a few jerks ruin the fun. Because this is oh so much fun...

I really don't have much else except for the fact that so far there have been 2 spiders in Barbie's house and she gets a bug guy in there pretty regularly. I don't know if I can handle that. One in the bathroom, one in the kitchen. Both decent sized. The next will be in my bedroom or in my hair, one of the two. She asked me if I would prefer cockroaches - I said Yes - because then I call the bug guy, he comes, they die, I don't worry for another 4 months. As it stands right now, I will be looking over my shoulder for the next few weeks. Eek.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Okay. I live here.

Today I had to drive over to another branch in NW Portland to sit through a class, and was it raining. Driving rain. Sideways, driving, frigidly cold rain. I can't believe I didn't get in a wreck. Since I didn't, I guess I live here. Shit.

You know what, I don't feel like blogging right now. I feel like some people are reading it for the wrong reasons. Sorta ruins it, dontcha think?


Monday, March 06, 2006

Good morning. Really.

I just turned on CNN a minute ago (please note date and time of this post) and you will be happy to know that government officials are using cadaver dogs to search out bodies in New Orleans in Katrina's aftermath. Only 6 months later! Woo hoo! Way to be!

I am sickened.

Edited 1 minute later: On a lighter note, Mardi Gras did go on as scheduled, with Britanny Spears performing (or whatever the hell she does). No word yet on whether or not she she showed up for free or just discounted her fee. Since nobody has said anything about it I am sure it was neither.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sunny Saturday snippets

Observations of a Saturday in Beaverton Oregon:

I left at 10:30 this morning and hit the Target over by Hwy 217 in Beaverton. Got some cleaning supplies to clean my mom's bathroom for her. Also got some body wash. Had a moment in the cleaning supply section after spotting Fabuloso, complete with Spanish label. Paid for my goods after a surprisingly short wait for Target on a Saturday. From there, I went to the Latino Market and got a phone card to call Mexico. Then I went to Starbucks for a Peppermint Mocha .

I would say that probably 85% of the people I had to deal with during this 45 minute period were jerks. People cut you off, run to get in line in front of you, talk loudly on the phone, have horrible manners at all times, and let their kids run amok in public. I stepped over a napping dog while exiting the Starbucks and said hello to the pup. The three people in charge of him looked at me like I was crazy. I decided then that I like animals WAY more than I like people.

From there I went to Nail Express and got a pedicure. As you all know, Ha is no longer there, so I got Mary. She was very nice. She didn't have much English (well, she just wasn't that clear, that's all) but she also didn't understand me very well, which was fine. She gave a mean massage and even double-lotioned my legs. They needed it.

I detoured through what used to be the 'hood because frankly I HAVEN'T SEEN A MEXICAN IN 2 WEEKS. Seriously. We are overrun with Russians and Asians, but all this bitterness everyone has against Mexicans in Oregon, good Lord, where the hell ARE they all? I go LOOKING for them and I can't find them!

I went and got Tom and we went to my mom's and I cleaned and he ran to the 7-11 for some cigarettes for her. When I was done I ran to the Rite Aid to get her some drug stuff - vitamins and stuff that cost a flipping fortune. I can't get over how expensive it is to live. Or continue to live, I should say. It was frustrating in the Rite Aid because of course they never have what you need and you have to ask, but even though they speak the same language, they don't help you. New Rule: Don't expect anyone who makes less than $10 per hour to bother helping you. They just don't give a shit. People suck.

Later I am going over to the Winco to see if I can find some good ingredients because thanks to Beaverton and its apparent disdain for Mexicans, so much so that the Mexicans are flipping HIDING, you can't find anything in the way of ingredients here - sure you can find Valentina and Tapatio, and enchilada sauce in a can, but that's about it. And they aren't WRAPS, you yuppie pansy motherfuckers, they are tortillas.

Here's another one of those empty posts

So you know how the weather reports for Cancun always say rain and the tourists always flip out and think that their vacations are going to be completely rained out and then it rarely does? Well for the last 2 weeks (is that all it's been? Good Lord.) the weather report has said "rain" here and though it has a few times, it really hasn't much. In mid winter (December, January etc) it rained like a son of a bitch here, but apparently that trend is over? I don't know. Yesterday it was pretty clear (sunny?) most of the day but when I looked at the news last night (since I have no life I just come home and watch the 6 o'clock news) it said rain rain and more rain for the rest of my life (or at least like the next week). Well, sure as shit, its like 7:30am Saturday and it hasn't rained a drop. Clouds and stuff, but not full on overcast, and there is a sort of lightness in the sky. I'm not bitching, I just don't get it.

So yeah, nothing much going on. Just going to "work" (in quotes because frankly I am not doing anything. I mean, I go there, I get a coffee, I log on to the computer, I make some phone calls to clients, but I am not really working. I mean, there isn't anything to do. I feel bad about that, but I guess I shouldn't complain, right? It's just that it's a long day when you are doing much of nothing.) and then coming home. Which for now is temporary. As is everything. What I really need is a pedicure. I think I will call whatever the hell the name of the nail place is that I go to and get one today. Hm, good thinking. Real pedicure chairs! Not just a sling back beach chair and a little foot bath. Though now that I am back to "reality" of course I miss the bush league-ness of it all...

What else? Looking at airfare for June. I need to phone that Eder and get some details regarding this wedding. But his English is pretty much job English, let's face it, and I am not sure I can pull it off. I just talked to Joe this morning, he and Janet have a wedding themselves to DJ today, the club is coming along nicely it sounds like. Wish I was there to see it but all this "wishing" gets me no where. I think that when I have a goal in mind I work better, so I am going to have to sit down and see what I want to do. I'll let you know how it turns out.

For now, gotta take a shower and get the day going, call Xiang (sounds like "Jan") for the pedicure and then go swing by the mom's house to see if she needs something since I am driving her car around and all that. Just another day 3500 miles away from paradise.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

BWB - Blogging While Bitter

Probably not such a great idea, BWB, but it's happening so get used to it.

I just set up a "wireless" DSL modem over here at Barbie's. Now, if I recall correctly, and I know I am right about this, but back when I lived in a third world country, there was wireless internet that Joe had through Telmex that was very simple, and he didn't need to do any major installation with horrendous multi-colored wires and phone filters and blah blah blah. Because EVERYONE IN THE US DOES SHIT TO MAKE THEM THINK THEY ARE IMPORTANT, apparently QWest decided to jump on that bandwagon and make this wireless modem situation a gigantic pain in my ass. I had DSL back in the house of cards, and gave it up for cable internet after a few months because it sucked ass, and so now, the jackasses at QWest appear to have given Barbie something that she didn't want, probably because they knew she didn't know exactly what it was she was looking for, and because they had a million of these fucking things laying around the QWest warehouse. BECAUSE IT'S JUST STUPID.

Okay anyway, as of right now I am not pirating internet from anyone but Barbie, so we'll see how this goes. I am afraid that when I sign off and then sign back in tomorrow I will have to go into the office and jam the yellow ethernet cord into the back of my laptop to juice up - but I don't know so I will report on that at a later date.

Yeah so I started work at Transnation on Tuesday the 28th so that my benefits were effective March 1 (which I am not sure how that works since my "new hire packet" is still in my desk drawer. Do they backdate? Not sure, not in the mood to ask right now). Tuesday I pretty much did nothing but shoot the shit with Michelle, who came from First American as well, but like a year ago. Yesterday more of the same but at least I was able to get on the internet and the phone and make some phone calls. Got an order from Keith, that was good. Today was a bit better in that I was able to get even further into the system and get on the escrow system and make MORE phone calls and actually even got a voicemail box and made a couple of appointments and set up a client on Transnation's customer service dealio.

I also stopped wearing hosiery because that just sucks. That was too much too soon if you ask me. I don't know what I was thinking. Though I was forced to finally shave my legs, believe me, it was worth it not to have to strap myself into those horrid things.

I am just really really cranky right now due to the DSL situation. So here you go, the long awaited update to what is going on here in the tundra. Thanks to Kim for sending me pics of the bougainvilla, I needed that. I have no tan left, network TV is WORSE than it ever was (I find myself MISSING Sony!), and everyone here is either on meth (seriously) or so severely fake and materialistic that it makes me sick. I am constantly frowning, when you can see past the chattering teeth. It's great. I'm signing off now because this can't be fun for you - it certainly isn't for me. Now all I have to do figure out whether to watch American Idol, Skating with Celebrities or E TV's special on celebrities reproducing, because isn't that what is most important to us Americans? Watching celebrities? Don't we all care? SHOULDN'T we all care? I am so disenchanted.