Monday, November 30, 2009

My Addiction

Oh, y'all, I'm in deep doo-doo. I found a Coach outlet store about 20 miles from my house.

Let me rewind a bit. This past spring, I bought my first Coach purse, which I stumbled upon by accident in Marshall's Department Store. It was from the Hampton collection and it had a green, silk scarf daintily tied around one handle. After removing that, it was near perfect. If the handles had been a little longer, it would have earned "perfect" status. The organization was top notch, and the quality - both interior and exterior - are beyond compare. It was the purse of my dreams.

The Hampton WAS my dream purse until yesterday when I purchased my second Coach, the Signature Zoe, pictured above. Circling the newly found outlet store like a vulture, I made three trips around, salivating. I thought the store clerks were going to ask me to leave. Once I narrowed my selection to the gorgeous Zoe, it took 30 minutes to decide if I should get the red trim or chocolate trim. My sensibilities prevailed and chocolate won! However, for a serious moment, I almost bought one of each because they were an unbelievable 61% off ! A $348 bag for $135! Who cares if it's last year's model? Coach bags are timeless, anyway.

I'm very picky. I don't carry a ton of crap in my purse, so it has to be highly efficient and able to keep my things neat, or it makes me a little crazy. In the past, I have returned purses for being too big and too small. They have also gone back to the store if, after I get my things inside, it flops over, which the hobo bags are famous for if you don't fill them up. I really hate having to unfold my purse to get inside, and once inside, I dread seeing a dark, cavernous hole. Coach bags, at least the ones I've seen, do not have this annoying feature.

Purses have always been like a drug for me. I buy one and experience what I can only describe as euphoria - at least for an afternoon, or if I'm lucky, a week. Pre-Coach, I looked for bags that had a little organization but not too much, boasting the latest color and style. This was a once-a-month habit, sometimes bi-monthly. See, I'm saying WAS, because now I know that I can carry a Coach bag for at least 6 months, if not longer. It might even be cheaper for me in the long-run. At least that's the argument I gave Double D. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Just the other day I wrote how fiercely I would protect our precious Izzy from any holiday hazards. Somehow she went and hurt herself over the weekend. That's what I get for being so bold in my pronouncement.

When I first noticed that her back legs seemed a little lame, I initially blamed it on the rain. She was having trouble getting up the stairs and I assumed that because her feet were wet she was scared of slipping on the steps.

Wrong! The next day she was worse so I tried to recall my years working at the vet emergency clinic. There are questions you learn to ask depending on the situation when people call in, and I tried desperately to remember what they were. Getting into vet tech mode, I did the following:

1) Checked gum color. Nice and pink. Good.
2) Is she vomiting or having diarrhea? No. Good.
3) Is she eating and drinking? Not eating her own food, but will eat human food when offered. Drinks very little water.
4) Is she dehydrated? Lifted skin up between shoulder blades like a tent and the skin flattened back out instantly. Gums are not tacky. Good.
5) Is she eliminating normally? Yes. Good.

Exhausting my minimal knowledge, I knew it was time to call P-bird. Over the years I have come to rely on my dear vet tech friend. She has been such a calming presence during my many dog crises. She understands how quickly a mama can lose all perspective when it's one of her own.

P-bird had me press on Izzy's abdomen and run two fingers down her spine which resulted in no adverse reactions. I was instructed to keep her comfortable and as still as possible and get her to our vet first thing in the morning.

Dr. Fred diagnosed her with Prolapsed Invertebral Disc Disease. Basically, a disc ruptured which pushed the liquid from the disc onto her spine. This created pressure and caused her pain. She received a shot of Dexamethasone (steroid) and some oral Dex. Today she looks MUCH better. Now our problem will be keeping her still for one week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Under Pressure

Thanksgiving is almost here and already I've been forced to start thinking about Christmas. I just want to get past Thanksgiving; then and only then, can I concentrate on Christmas. One thing at a time. Please.

Our house is small and our family is large. This creates problems. There are 6 adult children, two with spouses, and three grandchildren. Last year, for the first time in years, we had all of them at our little matchbox home to celebrate. Add Rockband instruments to the space and it gets a little hairy.

Last year, I knew something in the "unpleasant vein" would transpire during the festivities, and that is exactly what happened. Our baby Chihuahua, Izzy, got violently ill. At the time, we thought she had swallowed a child's toy; however, x-rays, IV fluids, an overnight hospital stay, and $1000 later, we learned it was from eating too much human food. Tiny morsels were dropped on floors and chairs and couch cushions. No biggie, you expect stuff like that with so many people, except for a 6 lb. dog, it becomes a huge problem.

The unexpected $1000 was pretty unpleasant, but the thought of losing Izzy was too horrendous to consider. I would have prostituted myself to get her well. Not really. I couldn't earn much at this age and with my current body shape anyway. I jest. :)

This year Izzy will be crated. There will be absolutely no access. I will hire bodyguards if necessary. I will whisk her away to an undisclosed destination. She will enter the Witness Protection program. Whatever it takes. She will not be carted around like a rag doll, drooling over human food. Not one speck of chocolate or a microscopic cookie crumb will enter her field of vision this holiday season. Nope, not gonna happen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You

Remember "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" by Led Zeppelin? Well, before Jimmy Page got his hot little hands on the song, it was sung by Joan Baez. Listen to her version and explain to me how Jimmy and the boys created their masterpiece as we know it today:

This sounds like opera to me. Her voice is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but how did Jimmy create Zep's version after hearing that? I'm gobsmacked.

The song was actually written by Anne Bredon, a student at UC-Berkley. She appeared on a live folk-music radio show The Midnight Special on radio station KPFA around 1960, on which she sang "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You". A fellow folk singer developed the song further, which came to the attention of Joan Baez.

In my opinion, the song was always meant to be heard like this:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Phone from Hell

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you all know that I love technology. I embrace it even. I think my gadget-buying spree back in the spring proves that. The Polycom SoundPoint IP 650, however, is my first technological nemesis. From what I can gather online, this is supposed to be the latest, greatest thing to hit small businesses since computers, probably. After giving it my all the last 2 weeks, I've come to the conclusion that it's a complicated piece of crap. Either that, or Apple's intuitive interface for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iMac has spoiled me rotten.

When a call came in on the old phone for my boss, all I had to do was press the HOLD button, intercom him and say something like, "It's Bob Vance from Vance Refrigeration on line 1." If he wanted to take the call, he'd thank me and press the blinking button. If he didn't want it, I would take a message. Yeah, the message taking part was a pain, so I was really looking forward to the promise of the PSPIP 650 because it was sold as the ability of transferring those pesky calls straight to voice mail.

Sounds simple enough, right? So NOT simple. When a call comes in and I hit the TRANSFER key a recording comes on and tells me I am unauthorized to do so. If I put the caller on hold, it will not show as a blinking line on my boss' phone. Some of the phones in our office can intercom hands-free, others cannot. Mine is in the no intercom category, naturally. There is also no way to tell if my boss is busy on another line. Just basic stuff you need to know or be able to do for simple phone routing. This system is anything but simple.

Today I had the solicitor from Let Me Pester the Hell Out of You Corp. who would not give up trying to get through to my boss. Because I couldn't transfer her, I had to physically walk into his office and tell him who was on the phone. His response? "Not interested." So I told her he was busy. She asked for voice mail. I gave the TRANSFER key a try. It didn't work so I decided to just hang up on her. With most solicitors this is a very effective tactic. She called back.

The phone does have one awesome thing that our other phone didn't have: caller ID. So when she called back the screen gave me the following options: ANSWER • REJECT • IGNORE. I chose REJECT. In theory, a rejected call is supposed to go straight to voice mail. Not my phone, oh no. It rang to another phone outside my office. I ran to that phone and hit IGNORE. I returned to my desk and she rang again. This went on two more times. I thought, 'well, at least I'm getting a little aerobics in'. There was quiet for about 5 minutes and I thought I had finally gotten the best of her.

Well, Bertha from Let Me Pester the Hell Out of You Corp. was having none of this runaround, so she called back, only my screen displayed "Anonymous". I answered the phone all cheerful, suspecting it might be her, and Bertha informs me, rather nicely, that she has been hung up on three times and she needs to talk to Mr. W. I explained that we had a new phone system and I'm very sorry but it appears our voice mail transfer is not working so I will have to take a message. This woman wasted all my time (and hers) to let my boss know about an upcoming Builders and Contractors Expo going on in our area. I felt like shoving my handset down her throat. And I am not a violent person.