Archive for October, 2003

Trick Or Treat!

My LiveJournal Trick-or-Treat Haul
faeriekissed goes trick-or-treating, dressed up as gypsy fortune teller.
bluealto gives you 15 light blue spearmint-flavoured miniature candy bars.
downthedip tricks you! You lose 2 pieces of candy!
g00fy_blonde gives you 6 light yellow cola-flavoured hard candies.
lizzbeth1 gives you 14 green peach-flavoured pieces of taffy.
purple_roses gives you 16 dark green peach-flavoured pieces of bubblegum.
sabbysteg gives you 4 blue grape-flavoured gummies.
startingtomorro tricks you! You lose 31 pieces of candy!
sueg gives you 1 white coconut-flavoured miniature candy bars.
sweet_pickles gives you 9 red-orange lime-flavoured gummy fruits.
therangonagin gives you 7 green grapefruit-flavoured gummy bats.
faeriekissed ends up with 39 pieces of candy.
Go trick-or-treating! Username:
Another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern.

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Stupid Insurance People

Over the weekend, I picked up my mail and found a renewal notice from my car insurance. It has jumped from $136 per month to $156 per month! That is more than what I paid for both cars when I was married and my ex had a speeding ticket. I have a completely clean record too!

I called to find out what was up with the increase and I was told that the only thing on my account was a rate revision for the State of Minnesota. I highly doubt that every customer of this company, living in Minnesota is getting a 14.7% increase!

I very politely told the customer service rep that I would be shopping around.

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A very happy but belated birthday wish for sabbysteg. I am so sorry I didn’t get to this yesterday. I’m glad you had a good time last night.

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I haven’t written in awhile because I’ve been very drained after work. Tuesday was our first fundraiser/awards ceremony and the days leading up to it were somewhat nightmarish. I work for a bi-partisan non-profit environmental organization. Our board selected 4 legislators who demonstrated leadership this past year on environmental issues. 2 are Republican and 2 are DFLers.

In August, I was tasked with scouting locations for this event. We thought we might be able to get 75 people at the most and looked for rooms that worked for groups of 50 to 100. We found a great location. The room capacity was 120 and we got a break on the price because Tuesday nights in October are not generally busy. We sent out 500 invitations to “members”, 48 invitations to legislators within the environmental community, and 200 invitations to the board members so that they could invite their friends.

Final headcount was due last Friday. I told everyone that the cut off for RSVPs was Thursday. On Friday, I had 118 RSVPs but not everyone had sent their money in. I called the club and guaranteed 105 dinners and wanted it set for 112. On Monday, I had 126 RSVPs. So I upped the count by one table and guaranteed 112.

By Tuesday morning, my counts were about 130. We had started a waiting list. I was basically a walking ball of stress. My boss wanted assigned tables but the floor plans we kept getting from the club only listed 14 tables. I needed 15. At 3 pm (the event was to begin at 5:30 and we needed to be there by 4:30), I finally received the floor plan and could assign the tables. We knew who was sitting with who, just not the number. I was just about to start numbering the nametags with the table numbers when my boss informed me that she hadn’t realized that my layout was identical to the floor plan and she had to move the arrangement around. I just about lost it right then and there.

We got everything done just in time to head over. Surprisingly, the event went off without a hitch. Well, at least to most people. That 15th table? It was only set for 6 instead of 8. The couple on the Atkins diet didn’t get their special meal (we had decided on all vegetarian). But if you don’t count the staff time involved, we may have come out in the black. Oh! and the picketers who were protesting one of our honorees didn’t show up.

I was exhausted by the time I got home. Fortunately, g00fy_blonde had drawn a bubble bath in the jacuzzi, lit some candles and had a glass of wine waiting for me when I walked in the door.

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The 21 Greatest Books

I got the list from downthedip who got it from some of his friends. These books were the top books in a poll of the Grate [sic] British Public. Like downthedip, I have divided them between those I have read and those I have not. Those I have read are listed in the order of most influential to the least (in my humble opinion).

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
2. Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
3. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
4. 1984, George Orwell
5. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
6. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
9. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
10. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

not read:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

Of the ones I have not read: Catch-22, Rebecca, and the Catcher in the Rye have long been on my list of books to read.

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Car Update

I got my car back finally. The dealership had to replace the transmission. Fortunately, it was still under warranty and didn’t cost me a dime (beyond the initial replacing the transmission fluid two weeks ago). Since it was in the shop so long, they also had time to change my seatbelt thingy (technical aren’t I?), which had been recalled over 2 years ago.

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We had a record turnout on Tuesday night–8 people! In the past year, the most they’ve had on any given night is 4–and it is often only 2. I find this sad because this book club meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm at the library. It is completely open to the public. I live in a town of over 16,000 people,it’s the county seat, and only 8 people are active members of this book club. The club announces the book and the meeting in the newspaper. There are flyers around the library, but no one comes.

During the winter, one Saturday a month, the book club sponsors a Hot Reads program and brings local authors in to discuss their work and answer questions. Book club members take the author to lunch after the sessions. This is actually how I was drawn in to the club–by attending a session where the speaker was a mystery writer from Cannon Falls. Again, all of this is free to the public!

Anyway, Tuesday night we discussed Lorna Landvik’s “Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons”. I recommend it as a light read. The host (aka person who selected the book) brought chocolates from Red Wing Confectionary (my favorite!) to get us in the mood. The discussion was very lively, but apparently that was a given as Lorna had spoken at a Hot Reads a couple of years back and everyone in the club adores her. I had only read “Tall Pines Polka” before and had hated it with a passion. As a matter of fact, I gave it to my (ex)mother-in-law in exchange for some bad books she gave me. Ironic.

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My friend, sweet_pickles, posted a prediction a couple of weeks back that Pomegranates would be the new trend in fruit. Click here for the actual post.

This afternoon I saw them while shopping at my local grocery store. So of course, I had to buy one.

I think sweet_pickles has found her calling as a predictor of future market trends.

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From http://www.fridayfive.org.

1. Do you watch sports? If so, which ones?
This year, I’ve been watching some football, but I usually don’t watch many sports except gymnastics and figure skating during the Olympics.

2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes?

I’ve always been loyal to the Vikings and the Twins–even though some seasons it gets a bit rough. I also enjoy the St. Paul Saints (baseball).

3. Are there any sports you hate?

I don’t think I hate any. I don’t follow and don’t understand quite a few like basketball and hockey (shhh….don’t tell anyone I’m from Minnesota!).

4. Have you ever been to a sports event?

Besides the high school sports, I’ve seen the Astros at the Astrodome, the Twins at the Metrodome, and the Saints at Energy Park (very entertaining–lots of fun!)

5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play?

I was a swimmer for 3 years and attempted to play softball for two years. I stopped playing softball when I realized that all of my practicing was not going to get me off the bench.

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Last night I needed to go out and have some fun per my mother’s advice. Luckily, it was the first night of the new dance class that g00fy_blonde and I are taking.

It was important to go last night because this class is for the East Coast Swing and we were going to learn the basic steps. We did pretty well. Pretty much got the basic steps and learned 3 turns, the girl turn, the guy turn, and the dishrag. Hopefully, we can practice a bit before the next lesson. I tend to take too large of steps and g00fy_blonde and I need to work on the cues. I need a strong lead.

But hey, it’s only $10 a session for us as a couple. Yet another example of the cheap entertainment I’ve been finding lately.

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