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Thursday, January 31, 2008

iTunes, I Heart You...

One of the sad casualties of Lys' Laptop Crash of 2008 was the fact that my iTunes library was gone - finito - kaput. A pretty cool perk is that I get songs and DJ mixes sent to me pretty regularly. Plus, I had songs that I transferred from mix cds that DJs would send me, ancient 80s tracks that my friends would forward or I would locate in one of my many boxes of CDS, various videos that I adored, etc. (Hello - George Lamond for one!) That, outside of my emails and my PR portfolio, was a major heartbreak for me this week.

I was talking with my Divas on email about my situation and one of them remarked that when her laptop caught a virus, she lost everything. Her son, good egg that he is (her son is seriously going to be an IT genius one day) sent an email to Apple explaining the situation and when Mari turned on her iTunes the next day her library just downloaded.

***Lightbulb Moment***

"Hello iTunes people - please help the distressed blond". (No, I'm not above poking fun at the blond stereotype when it comes to something stupid that I have personally done ala leaving the gas cover open, the gas cover off, forgetting to turn off the AC in the winter, etc. etc. etc.) I emailed iTunes last night with word of my plight and my dingbatty-ness and they responded in a flash. Help was on the way - some vital info and *boom*, I open the iTunes on the new 'puter tonight and oh.my.holy.hell there's 2033 files for me to download. 2033 ?!?!?!?!?!? That's a lot of books, music, videos, etc. Hot damn.

And, not only that, but the fabulous people at iTunes also apologized for not having EVERYTHING that was in my library as some stuff was no longer on iTunes. I appreciate them wanting to replace everything but some of that stuff in my library was from my CDs (a good 40%). Still - they apologized - and it was my blond brain that got me into this mess in the first place. (Never run clean computer and Norton at the same time (or overlap the programs). One caveat - I can only pull this shenanigan once. I need to learn to backup like a good little do-bee. You don't have to tell me twice. Trust me, lesson learned.

Now this is part of the reason I patronize iTunes over other music download services. Every time I need to talk to customer service, they are impeccable. The music is top notch and I even get cash back for it.

iTunes, I *heart* you. You not only saved my musical world, but my wallet too!

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Posted by Lys :: 9:11 PM :: 4 comments

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Contest Winners...

Just Because...'s first contest went swimmingly and I've decided that four, instead of one, will be sent the Larry Winget "You're Broke Because You Want To Be" book. I think everyone should have a prosperous 2008 and why not end January on a fabulous note, right?

Now to the next part: the following people need to shoot me an email with your address to justanothagal [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll zip a copy off in the mail to you.

Happy Reading...

Stay Tuned for February's giveaway!

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Posted by Lys :: 7:19 AM :: 2 comments

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Strike's Over...

Mr. Laptop has given me the Black Screen of Death. With that being said, in the words of Beyonce, I'm going to have Upgrade. I called the repair place and I know that the tech got off the phone laughing. I mean, after I told them what happened, it was a basic "well we can TRY to retrieve your documents, but it's going to be a $50 diagnostic fee before we even try to do anything and then it's $75.00 a hour for about 5GB of data for backup." With all my iTunes - I'm WELL beyond the 5GB - more like 80GB. ME THINKS NOT!

Wish me luck - I'm off to face the sales people of Best Buy and Circuit City. From my past experiences, they tend to see blond and think "WOW - Easy sell - let's just show her to the pink ones and sell her a bunch of stuff she won't need or know about." Won't they be in for a surprise.


My plan is this: fondle the ones I like, decide what I'm looking for - price shop tonight at both stores, buy a small memory stick for some other stuff and *bam* tomorrow it's online purchase (if the price is right), cash back and coupons if they have 'em. If not, I'll think long and hard and then buy my computer that way. I was going to do payments through QVC or HSN, but then I saw the sales prices and it's just better if I buy it now and then pay my ING account back.

Just don't tell the Salesgeeks my plan, okay. We'll keep it our little secret.

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Posted by Lys :: 6:51 PM :: 1 comments

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adventures in Voting...

So today is the big day in Florida - V-Day. Well, for the primary at least.

Let me state for the record, my family affiliation is Republican - I, however, vote any way I like (and this election looks like I'll be heading down the "D" path). However, I do get to vote against dear ol' Mitt in the primary. MB joked with me saying it was a Mormon issue - I responded saying it was a Massachusetts issue. Finish what you started and Mitt certainly did NOT do that. Prime example - Big Dig catastrophe. 'Nuff said - but this isn't a POLITICAL blog - well, only when it's Buddy Dyer related, but you know what I mean.

Anyways - I'm all excited to go vote in the Primary and cast my vote for anyone that is NOT Huckabee or Romney. Huckabee wants to change the constitution - not havin' that, in my book. Romney - see above. So, with that being said, off I went to the polls.

Let me preface this story with a note that when I first moved to Altamonte, during the registration of my car, license, and all that blah blah b.s., I was told I would be registered to vote in Seminole County. And I, like a dummy, thought Florida was so efficient to really do what they say. I should know better - this state always has voting drama. ALWAYS. I thought it was funny that I didn't hear anything about voting etc. in the mail but eeh - I shrugged it off. So when I tell y'all to listen to your instincts, please listen to your instincts! My gut told me to double-check as I was dealing with a state office and we know how often things fell through the cracks. I chose to not listen.

Back to the voting journey - I originally went to go to the precinct my gal M. told me about but I couldn't find it. I called the Seminole County Board of Election's office - no answer. Thankfully, by way of the Blackberry I see there's a precinct 3 - 4 streets from my apartment in the Altamonte City Hall. SCORE!

I get to the Altamonte City hall, chat with this wonderful woman who sends me in to cast my ballet. Surprise, surprise, when I give them my name and ID - *insert Dum Dum Dum music here* There IS NO LYS on the roster.

What do you mean I'M NOT ON THE LIST????

I think I scared the elderly lady when I mentioned that I wanted to rip the throat out of the state office worker who told me I was taken care of. Don't worry, I apologized for my outburst. She took pity on lil' ol' me and sent me to a cohort of hers, Richard with a card and told me he'd take care of me. (She probably thought he could take me down too if I got too feisty but I digress)

Richard looked through books and books and, yes, I'm STILL not on the list. God I hate being told that. Well, I told him about my move from the land of the Rat aka Disney to Altamonte and he asked "Did you verify everything with the Seminole County Board of Elections".

Don't Orange County & Seminole County chat?

Well, the answer to his question was NO or I would have done so. Now, out comes the affidavits which have to be filled out and signed, he has to call Orange County and get me authorization to vote and verify my voting status. You know, in case I was committing a felony or something. Turns out I almost did - see, I was in Precinct 4 and if you don't vote in your precinct and vote in another precinct, it's a felony. I know, I know - stupid law. So I was sent on my way with affidavits to be filled out and off to Precinct 34 - IN LONGWOOD, over 15 min. away and the next town over from Altamonte.

Tell me the logic in going from Altamonte City Hall to Longwood to vote - again, Florida & Voting = Convoluted!

I toodled down to Longwood to vote and I finally find my way there, go into the church, sign my affidavit in front of an election official, they put me ON THE LIST and I get my little slip to vote. All this for 2 fuggin' questions. UGH! But it's done, signed, sealed and delivered. And I almost ran over the Huckabee campaign worker on my way out - but in my defense - it was a campaign free zone and he was in front of my car. No jury would have convicted me, right?

And, no, I'm not telling you who I voted for - but I can tell you it definitely WASN'T Romney!

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Posted by Lys :: 6:54 PM :: 1 comments

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And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Sorry about the Template going all wonky on everyone. As the Laptop was still striking last night (again), I had to wait until I had access to a computer to upload pics/backgrounds to a new server, kick imageshack to the curb (CURSES) and resurrect a template that was very ummm.. pastelly for spring. Thank you for your patience.

So yes, there's lots to share - just need to write down my lovely "Adventures in Voting"...

Stay Tuned...

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Posted by Lys :: 10:30 AM :: 0 comments

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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Laptop's Still Striking...

Yeah, Strike Day 2 at the Lys household as the Laptop is on protest. Somehow, I think it is refusing to cooperate because, per Kimmy's suggestion - it was put on a time out and has been so since I started blogging via Blackberry last night. I'm giving it a 2 day cooling off period and then either it powers up and behaves like the good lil' laptop it once was or I'm bringing it to the Laptop Doctor who will make it more painful than it should be (both on my wallet and the 'puter).

In other news, the Contest ended on Friday and *boom* not much of a participation level - but it's all good because ALL four entrants/commenters are getting a copy of Larry Winget's book, "You're Broke Because You Want to Be : How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead". I think its one of those books that must be read. He offends, sure, but he tells you the truth straight up, no chaser, which is more than I can say for many of the PF authors I've read. It's kinda like a doctor - I tell my doctor - "JUST TELL ME STRAIGHT" I can handle things much better that way. Regarding my finances, he's a finance doctor of sorts and really has made me think "Do I REALLY need that pair of shoes I don't adore" or "Do I REALLY need yet another pot?" (Well, I think I do but don't tell him that.) It's just one of those books that makes you take a good long look at yourself and think about what's going on in your financial world and what YOU can do to make it better - because, seriously, the only one responsible for you and your debt is really you. I can't blame H. solely for the cell phone drama - I should have NEVER put him on my plan to begin with (and should have paid attention when he ran up a $2,000 + cell phone bill in ONE MONTH!). I can't solely blame my student loans on Uncle Sam - I can only handle my bizness and be accountable. This book makes it clear - you are accountable for YOU. So, why not take the advice he doles out and do what you will with it? To those that are getting copies of the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it when you are finished.

SO - yeah, uninspired post tonight, but 'sall good. I'll be back blogging with a force by Friday - regardless of laptop strike or not.

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Posted by Lys :: 7:56 PM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Arg! Or, In The Alternative - My Laptop Is Posessed...

Be kind. I'm blogging via the blackberry as the laptop decided to shut down, reboot, freeze over and over and over again. Its like it knew I was ready to replace it (next year) but now its on strike. And all during NahBlahBlah.

So, tomorrow I will be visiting The Geek Squad and, under the threat of imminent throat tearing, they will tell me how to back up. And then I will find its replacement

And, oh yeah, the computer has been warned. Not that its listening, but still.

Note to self: learn how to backup one's system. :::sigh:::

Posted by Lys :: 8:32 PM :: 2 comments

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Daggone It - Where's My Nyquil...

One of my co-workers has been wandering around the office sick as a dog. And, now, I can feel sniffly, achy, and just downright blah. Wonderful - just how I want to spend my weekend - sniffling with chapped lips (which is the first sign of an impending cold/flu for me). To add to the ugh-ness of it all, due to deadlines this week, I can't be out of the 9to5 to recoup.

Wonderful. Well, at least I'll be homebound today and working on the apartment. First item on the agenda - the Christmas Tree. Yeah, I know - but at least it's not Feb. 1st, right?? Here's where the procrastination monster struck. See, I have to make room in the laundry room for the new tree carton, throw out the old boxes from the move (I save the boxes from my mixer, blender, etc. - I know I know - toss those puppies) and just package it all up for next year. Plus I bought MORE ornaments and was gifted with more ornaments so I think there might have to be yet another plastic bin for the overages. I've been dreading it.

Ugh! Well, at least I had nothing pressing on the agenda today, well except to go see the new police chief speak - obviously I woke up and realized it was not an option. I also have to do some pr for a former client so I'll be writing press kit materials this weekend as well.

I hate being sick - but at least there is always Nyquil! Much like the role Windex played in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, that's what Nyquil is for me. Early detection, early cure.

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Posted by Lys :: 1:31 PM :: 2 comments

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Friday, January 25, 2008

My Heart Is Breaking...

Sadly, I just got wind that the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas was engulfed in flames this morning.

The Monte and I go way back - I would be there, on the average, about every three months for quite a few years as my friends (and clients) performed at the hotel regularly.

Many many evenings were spent here while H.'s group was performing in the lounge. Many quarters were played in the slot machines. Quite a few hands of blackjack were played in H.'s futile attempt to teach me how to win. Many cocktails were imbibed at the Brewery bar (quickly - you know, in case I got busted drinking too much). Much shopping was done around it's vicinity. Many talks were had out by the pool and in the lounge areas. Hell a friend of mine even had sex in the cave by the pool here (well - it was WAY before she got married and hell - she was tipsy and he was cute and oh let me shut up.)


It is/was a beautiful hotel and sadly, after this fire, I don't think it will be the same.

I'll miss my Monte Carlo...



(Photo courtesy of CNN.com)

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Posted by Lys :: 3:51 PM :: 1 comments

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Deadline's Getting Close...

Time is tickin' my friends. Don't forget to leave your best tip, goal, or random financial story in the comments of Larry Winget post to win a copy of his new book!

Contest ends Friday night, 1/25/08 - 11:59 p.m. ;) That's tomorrow folks. I have two copies to go 'round.

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Posted by Lys :: 7:46 PM :: 1 comments

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Got The Answers...

As y'all know, with all the "It's On/It's Off/It's On" again drama with the Grammys, it's pretty much a given that Reese and I will not be able to go to the show with our friends (and clients). I was sad and disappointed at being left grounded for the prom AGAIN, up until Reese said the other night "So and so is going to be performing in Philly at the end of February."

*insert light bulb moment* AHA!

PHILLY? My second home? The place where a good portion of my oldest (in terms of KNOWING them - not age, per se *LOL*) reside? One of my favorite shopping meccas? The one place my accent doesn't sound foreign. Hell, it even is home to a Sur La Table (well in NJ but still).

Of course, Reese is hella cool with the group performing so the show is in the bag. Plus, our boy Jas had just sent us his new track* which warrants an intro with the group performing. So, your gal "got the answers." What more can I do?

Easy - Book a trip to Philly for the end of February - some rest, relaxation, networking with clients and potential new contacts, some great performances, shopping and hanging out with some of my favorite people. And y'all know our crew in Philly is crazy (in a good way).

Now this, I'm game for.

*The new track is aptly titled "Got The Answers"

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Posted by Lys :: 7:12 PM :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stamps.com: I'll Get You And Your Little Dog Too...

One thing that gets my goat is Outsourcing. I seriously get incensed by it to where I think it is far from funny.

One of my discussions on as to why there is a recession - hmmm.. maybe because companies are outsourcing and there are no jobs here at home. Want to know why there is a homeless problem here - because corporate businesses want to increase their profits (and CEO's wallets/bonuses/pay increases/etc.). Want to know why there is drama here in the States and crime is risen - because many people can't get a decent job. Where are the jobs - not in the United States, that's for sure and definitely not here in Orlando/Central Florida.

I've decided that as I encounter companies that I have done business with that outsource, I'm going to add them to the "GUILTY OF IDIOCY" list. Most of the time, I throw a fit and ask for a manager in the states and I will either cancel my account or refuse to do business with them. I had that problem once with Verizon. I'm a Cingular AT&T Wireless wench now and one of my reasons was dealing with the Outsourcing.

Time to expose Culprit No. 1 - STAMPS.com. Today I had a lovely conversation with "MIKE JOHNSON" of STAMPS.com. I had to cancel my account which necessitated a call to a call center, because, of course, they don't let you do that online. Even their message is pretty much lackluster while you are holding. Also, don't let the implication that their corporate office in Los Angeles is the call center, even if they tell you "our office is in California". The Call Centers are, most assuredly, located in India. Of course, it took forever for him to admit it and, of course, he screwed up everything and it got disconnected prompting me to be on hold again. Should you need to call, that's where you go - not to the States - but to a call center where they are given names like "Mike Johnson" and read from scripts. Then I got ahold of "HURI" (which I think was the real name) and guess what - there is no supervisor, wait - there is one "MARK JONES" but there is no number and there is no guarantee I would get them. She finally did admit that they are a office of Stamps.com and the corporate office was in LA, but they don't handle customer inquiries, etc. And, even better - after much argument, a refund will be processed in 7-10 business days.

Now - one thing I'm confused about - aren't they supposed to be endorsed or affiliated with the United States Post Office. Wouldn't one think that they might actually have a call center in the STATES? I mean it is US Stamps and all.

Bottom line, people - bottom line. Oh - and to the CEO of Stamps.com, you might want to get to know your people over in India - they had no clue who the heck you were. Then again, if I don't get my refund, you will, most assuredly, know who I am.

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Posted by Lys :: 8:01 PM :: 1 comments

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Monday, January 21, 2008

The Lines Are Drawn...

Let me preface other than XBox at all hours of the night neighbor, pretty much everyone in my building is okay. I'm cool with my neighbor across the hall and as I encounter people, I'm pretty friendly. There's a college kid whose friends always take up the parking spots around here, but he's always seemed really sweet when we chat in the morning and I had no issues with him - until tonight.

I don't care HOW drunk one is - but calling out to me to **** a part of your anatomy warrants a Come to Jesus talk - as a matter of fact, I think it will be the NEXT time I see him. What started it was his dumb friend couldn't get into a parking spot and got all manly racing down the way and backing up. As it was my spot before I left for Dunkin' & Albertsons, it was only fair that I slip back into it. Not my fault that his friend couldn't drive or park. Putting the idiot into fits of road/parking lot rage was laughable at best.

Wait - it gets better. His friend got even MORE manly and raced back and forth in a fit of road rage rather than take one of the 10 empty spots AROUND THE CORNER. WTF. I'm sure they thought I wouldn't know who was who - but the kid who called out from the passenger side was my neighbor and clearly he was plastered out of his mind and the idiot who couldn't get into the parking spot - was driving my neighbor's truck. One can reasonably conclude that driving should not be done by either party - even as they peeled out of the complex only to turn around and drive back after I already got into the elevator.

So yeah, this kid has NO idea who he's messin' with - I can get pretty evil when incensed. When I see him heading out for work, you can rest assured I'm going to remind him of his little "comment", have a "frank discussion" and then tell him hopefully noone ever says a comment like that to his mother / sister / grandmother, etc. If I feel really evil,I also hope I don't slip and ask which girl of the night he has over if they've called ahead because she doesn't look like the one from earlier on due to how many girls that go in and out of the apartment. And if he pulls that crap with me again, I will not hesitate to kick his butt all over the parking lot. Because comments like that in addition to the *C* and *B* word that his road rage-y friend used like spoiled little boys is not tolerable. And don't let the sweet exterior fool you - these stilettos can cause some pain to idiots.

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Posted by Lys :: 9:26 PM :: 2 comments

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Culinary School Need Not Await My Application...

I have a super sensitive stomach. At the first hint of "funk" for lack of a better term, I know it's not even going to be a pleasant evening and I better have a Plan A, Plan B or Plan C.

With the power outtage the other day, I have no clue how long the fridge was off. I had done the major grocery shopping the evening before with the onset of the holiday weekend because I had NO intention of emerging from my hermit status due to the impending hell that awaits me come tomorrow. I had plans for attempting the Pancheros' version of Corn Salsa because, my god, I could just order that and nothing else and be a happy wench. Oh. My. God that stuff is nirvana. Of course there is no recipe online and every version of "Corn Salsa" seems different.

SO, this evening, realizing that I better make the daggone salsa because I was going to make baja chicken quesadillas for dinner, I got to my Jeckyll and Hyde lab aka the kitchen. I had bought fresh corn at Costco in anticipation of my experiment. I bought Cilantro, hunted high and low for a not gross red onion (side note - am I wrong or are the red onions of late pretty daggone gross. Next time you are going grocery shopping, stop by produce and take a look), picked up some celery and limes (and lime juice in a green squeeze bottle - if it's good for Nigella, dammit, then it's good for me). After the power went back on Saturday, I went out and bought more supplies, i.e. Milk, flat leaf parsley, a jalapeno pepper (my first) and a few other things (like that cannolli but I couldn't say no. Damn shopping on an empty stomach).

You still here? Good - OK - I'll get on with the story and less of the backgrounder. I flipped through my arsenal of cookbooks - all of which tell me different things - frozen corn v. fresh corn. I figure - it's corn - c'mon - it's not rocket science. So I boil some water and toss in the corn. 4/5 min. later, I pull them out and shock them in cold water. Out comes my knives and off I go cutting the kernels away from the cob. Then, I taste one - there was no fakin' the funk. That corn was far from good - they were going bad and fast.

:::sigh:::

Into my fully stocked pantry I went and I couldn't find a can of corn ANYWHERE. I don't keep frozen corn on hand, pretty much because there's no room in the inn. (I know I know - I need to see a therapist about having a fully stocked fridge, freezer & pantry at all times). I moved a few more cans around and *boom* ONE can of summer corn. Plan B is in force.

I rinsed the corn off, popped it in the micro for 2 min. and I was back in experiment mode (all while fighting Shadow the sous chef because she heard can opener and clearly, if I'm opening a can it should be for her, right?) I again referred to a few recipes and figured, "Let's just make it the logical way" and tried to remember the ingredients in the salsa I loved so much.

I chopped 3 tbs. of cilantro (too much), 1 tbs. of parsley, 1/2 a red onion, 2 tbs. of lime juice, and 1/2 a jalapeno pepper - hell I'm a wimp, 'k? and into the bowl all the ingredients went. Then I tossed in a tbs. of olive oil and it's pretty daggone close to the Panchero version. Another squirt of lime juice and I deemed it complete.

But now that it's in the fridge chillin' - I remembered, I forgot the salt. :::sigh:::

And this is why I'm a cook and NOT a chef.

UPDATE: And while I was flippin' the onions and chicken in the saute pan ala Bobby Flay, the fates hit me upside the head and next thing I know, burnt quesadilla. Batting 1000 here *LOL*, but combine it with the sour cream and corn salsa - so what if it's crunchy *LOL*


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Posted by Lys :: 6:37 PM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Just Because’s First Contest...

Well, in light of people’s (read mine) resolution about getting one’s finance’s in order, I’m giving away 2, count ‘em 2 copies of Larry Winget’s “You’re Broke Because You Want To Be: How To Stop Getting By And Start Getting Ahead”. I read this book and, let me tell you – the review is coming but hot damn. LOVE this guy. He really spells it out for everyone with some sage advice. And I can see why the book hit the top of the charts since its release last week.

SO – with that, leave your best financial tidbit, story and/or goal for 2008 in the comments on THIS THREAD and, come Friday evening, I’ll draw the winning entry via the Randomizer and 2 lucky readers will get a copy of this book along with a lovely additional surprise from yours truly.

So – what’s YOUR best financial tidbit/story or goal?

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Posted by Lys :: 7:13 PM :: 3 comments

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I Had To Do It...

My complex is pretty well soundproof - well, except for the azzhat that plays their videogames at 4 a.m. in the MORNING on SURROUND SOUND! I thought it was the cranky neighbors who moved next door to me - but tonight I got the answer to my question...

It's from the apartment below mine and to the right. Now I love me some house music by the Jungle Brothers and good salsa - but not at the decibel levels that is playin' right now - and has been for the past 2 hours. These are the same guys who go nuts on poker night.

I'd like to sleep - without having to take 3 sleeping pills (which leads to really wonky dreams, btw!) and I had to do what I never have done before - called the Altamonte PD. I just hope it wasn't one of their officers causing the ruckus (we have 3 cops who live in our building, 2 from Altamonte and 1 from Orlando's PD). As I told the dispatcher, I just wasn't comfortable leaving my name in case it was one of their officers and I didn't want them to get in trouble, just turn the sound level down - WAY down. She asked me the apartment number of the offender - I told her to follow their ears - it's just on the second floor.

I've also resigned myself to the fact that due to this call, I'm officially old.

Update: The Officer just stopped by - he told me that the cops that live in my building are on the other side of the wall. He just needed some direction as to where the offending suspects might be. I really do like this town - now just need to muzzle those kids. And NO I didn't flirt (that much)

Update Part Deux: I was ready to call that officer back because at 1:38 a.m., all you heard was a HUGE ARGUMENT from, what I presume, the tenants of the apartment - basically a woman screamin' every 2 min. "Shut the F*** up. I gave you a baby first". I guess it's supposed to be "cool" to be the first babymomma. From what I gathered from the airing their business to the entire city of Altamonte because they were THAT loud, the guilty boytoy who was playin' the music loud and whoopin' it up on the balcony all night pre-cop visit was caught redhanded with the other babymomma during their soiree. And the first babymomma wasn't having that crap at all. He's screaming at her, she's screaming at him (and, neighbor idjiots - I do understand some spanish - especially the swearing. Calling her a whore doesn't help your cause - just caused her to scream even louder!) Drama at the apartment complex to the umpth degree. Thankfully someone else got as annoyed as moi and next thing you know all is silent. One can safely presume that the Altamonte PD came back or one of our cop residents decided enough was enough. This morning - the neighbor idjiots are back to playing video games on the surround sound. I will be talking to the complex office this week cuz that mess has to stop. Again, just to keep up with the whole mystique of being "That Neighbor". At this rate I better get a cardigan, rockin' chair and sit on my balcony 24/7.

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Posted by Lys :: 12:03 AM :: 4 comments

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tales Of.. A Pillow?

Indulge me will you, please?

For the past few months, my shoulder has been acting up. I haven't really been lifting alot but the pain has gotten so bad where my hand can, at times, go numb. Drives me batty. I'd go to the doctor but in lieu of getting hit with a huge bill AND a bill for $376 for the skelaxin that he will tell me I HAVE to have and my insurance will tell me I have to pay full price for it because it's "not approved", I've decided to doctor it my damn self. Tylenol, Aleve or Nyquil can help me rest a bit through the night.

This week, it got so bad where I couldn't hold up a phone. I had to talk to everyone in the car on speaker because holding something up for so long hurt my shoulder. I'd use my bluetooth, but people had trouble hearing me on that. So, enough was enough. I examined how I was sleeping - I can't sleep on my back or stomach - HAS to be on the side. I looked at the bed - no that was fine. The mattress is still a year old. I looked at the pillows - they've seen better days and I sleep with 2 or three depending on what I'm watching on TV. At the suggestion of my father, I decided new pillows was in order.

Off to Costco I went - for replacement pillows. 2 for $9.99 and I should be good. Then I saw it - the Choices Memory Foam on one side/fluffy pillow on the other. It was on sale and for $20.00. I figured it was for 2, until I got home and saw that it was only ONE pillow. But that one pillow replaced 2 - 3 of my pillows. I hadn't slept that good in ages.

The next night, I went to sleep and was woken up at 2:00 a.m. by a big THUMP on my bed. The cat had decided that the pillow was to be hers, not mine. She didn't anticipate on waking me - so she sulked to the end of the bed, waiting for me to roll off the pillow and she could rest her furry butt on it. However, I was wise to her - and she did not get that pillow. The next morning I got out of the shower and went into my room only to find Shadow lounged out on the new pillow like she was the Queen of Sheba.

Last night, I'm sleeping and, yet again, a softer THUMP. She was trying to be stealth. Again she was regulated to the end of the bed and I went back to sleep. Sadly, when I woke up we were at partial power - apparently someone hit a transformer overnight and I had to run around the house and get stuff done. How much of a pain is housecleaning WITHOUT power, ugh! I get back to the bedroom and there is the fuzzball again sleeping on the pillow. I had errands to do after the power went on at 12:30 and I left Shadow snoring on the pillow.

First on the list - pick up Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill cookbook at Costco. I leave and I'm talking to my dad on the phone and he's making an argument as to why I should get a second pillow. I tell him it's a $20 pillow. I can, however, use it on the other side of the bed. I remind him that Shadow will commander the pillow - and he tells me to give her the older one and take the new one but GET THE PILLOW. 1 UTurn and I was back at Costco getting the pillow. I figure I can use it for guests, etc.

I get home and drop the big box on the floor. For the past 2 hours, Shadow has guarded that box RELIGIOUSLY all while trying to get into the box because it's HER pillow. It's hilarious watching her try to get into the box and pushing on the tiny part of the pillow that's showing.

Spoiled cat.

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Posted by Lys :: 9:13 PM :: 2 comments

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Reservations Needed...

Y'all ever watch that Anthony Bourdain show "No Reservations"? Well, I find him HILARIOUS when I watched him on Top Chef, his books make one think and his blog is witty and spot on.

So, the other day, I was reading the paper (yeah - I'm JUST as shocked as y'all) and I see Anthony Bourdain's photo with a note about him coming to the Orlando Film Festival. Wait - hold up. He's going to be in MY neck of the woods - I don't have to go to Bora Bora or Thailand to talk to him? Sign me up!

I would love 5 min. to chat with him about his point of view on a few things. He's one of those chefs* I would love to have a conversation with especially on what I'm noticing about the Food Network. Here's the catch - it's $100 per person to attend the soiree. I'm game, but which one of my friends can I drag along? In thinking, most aren't as passionate about the whole cooking thing and they totally indulge my incessent chatter, but who can I cajole with promises of good wine, gourmet goodies and an indie film?

Now that's the one that's gonna have me rackin' my brain for a bit.

*My other wishlist is pretty much what you can gather from the sidebar, Nigella Lawson, Giada de Laurentiis, Robert Irvine and Bobby Flay. I think I'd probably meet Dinner Impossible boy first - he's opening a restaurant in Tampa.

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Posted by Lys :: 3:41 PM :: 1 comments

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Posts 'Round The Web: Week of Jan. 18th.

Yeah, I know - I missed a week. :::sigh::: you can't say I didn't warn you that might happen.

Here are some fabulous posts that I stumbled upon during this week's blog browsing that might make you giggle, get incensed, get inspired or just get to shoppin'....

Sarah (of
Pink Shoe Diaries fame) started her "Gadget of the Week" spotlight over at Pink Shoe Cookbook. First spotlight - something every gal's kitchen should have.

And if you want to see the Sassier side of Sarah - you can see what happens when Sarah, scissors and "tipsy" blogging meet..

KristaBella made a guest appearance on Le Petit Chic this week. For some amusing back in the day stories, you might want to read her account of "When I Got My Fake ID"

Is 2008 a year for you to take control of your finances? Well, bookmark this spot Single Ma has you covered. She's moving her fabulous blog to a new server so you might want to sign up for the feed. Her daily posts prompt me to get on the financial straight and narrow.

Got a thing for Gossip Girl (or the fashion showcased on the show)? I know I do. Now mind you my butt can't afford (or fit into) the fashions that S. & B. wear, but it's fabu to get ideas from (and the same with Cashmere Mafia - the red suit that Miranda Otto was wearing - TO. Die. FOR!) Well, G.G. over at The Glam Guide has got your back. Check out this feature on a fabulous blue coat worn by Serena. And for other TV Fashion breakdowns by G.G. check out this link.

Words to live by - Chic & Charming points out 10 Ways To Be Fabulous. This is a list to refer to, often.

Valley Girl found an excellent article re: "What Happened to All the Nice Guys?"...

And finally, Dana over at the Daily Fashionista talks about "Lipstick v. Cashmere". What show would you watch?

Have a FABULOUS holiday weekend!

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Posted by Lys :: 3:00 PM :: 2 comments

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Paranoia Hits: Copper Cookware Could Be Linked To Cancer?

Apparently so. According to the site on Jacobs Kitchen (fabulous e-store btw - got my ladle from them and they ship QUICK! Love Love Love them), there was a disclaimer that sent me into panic mode.

From their website:


California Prop 65 Warning: "Products sold on this site including the brass used on the handles of Ruffoni Cookware may contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm."
Well, you know I love my copper pots and currently I'm in lust with a small little copper butter warmer ala the one Nigella uses. That's not so hard to ask for, right? Then I see this. Then paranoia sets in because I have enough health issues - don't need to add any more, ya know. So, Detective Lys is on the case.

Into Williams-Sonoma I go the other night and I encountered dingbat manager "J" who I have had "issues" with before. In a nutshell, every time I deal with the guy, he appears to be missing a marble (or three). I asked him about the whole disclaimer and I get a "HUH WHAT?" type response. I should have known better than to ask that kid *LOL*. (Don't worry - I left him standing.)

After meeting with the above response, I reconciled myself to the fact that I must go to the Internet to find out the answer to my question. Plus, I have a note on my ever growing to-do list to email Ruffoni and Mauviel to find out their stance because I feel that if I'm investing in these pots, dammit they better work. I wonder - does Tyler Florence or Nigella know about this -because they have copper in their kitchen.

A friend of mine adores the copper pot and told me that they have to be re-tinned if they are scratched. If the copper is showing, that's when it gets toxic. SO - no more Ruffoni with the lovely acorns - tis going to be Mauviel with the Stainless lining for moi. And thank god for Le Creuset because every article I read recommended the cast iron/cast iron w/ enamel. (I adore my LC as well - so I'm not cheating on them by looking at Ruffoni or Mauviel, right?)

:::sigh:::

For your reading pleasure (if you are paranoid curious like me), here are some articles I found:

That last article sealed the deal for me. Everything and it's momma causes cancer, from what I guess. So, the final consensus is nope - not returning the pot. But I'm also not getting a copper fry pan either. I'll stick with the Le Creuset on that deal.

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Posted by Lys :: 12:40 PM :: 2 comments

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

IKEA + Lys = Anxiety Attack

I went to the new IKEA Tuesday night hoping that after the holiday, it wouldn't be as crowded.

That was NOT the case. I guess one should get an instruction manual on what to expect because if I HAD known, I most certainly would have either (a) ordered from the catalog, or (b) went somewhere else.


I'm going to disclose something but, before I do, please make sure that you are sitting down and not drinking something (because I don't want you to, god forbid, choke or spit out whatever you are sippin' on at the monitor).

I can't shop in huge stores.

I know, I know. I'm letting down shopinsitas everywhere. I'm ashamed to say it - but I just can't do big azz Home Depot-esque stores. Nor can I do crowded stores. I'm fond of stores with set aisle patterns, some sense of order and things that make sense.

IKEA does not do any of the above. See - I went in and they gave me a "map". The map did NOTHING to help me - not. at. all. I go up to the showroom and wander and, I have to say, I felt like a rat in a maze trying to find the way out. Round and round and round I went only to find myself back by the futons. And, often when I turned there were college kids hanging out, making out, just in the damn way (who the HELL wants to hang out at IKEA with their friends?? Isn't there a bar that they might want to drink, shoot darts or a game of pool and yap their evening away or was that just what my friends and I did in college?) I got frustrated, flustered and annoyed - which I can easily achieve when I'm uncomfortable.

So I finally find my way out of many of the little rooms and head downstairs and we're back in more mazes. More rats wandering - no sense of direction - people walking the wrong way down aisles, cutting off my little wheelie cart that really doesn't wheelie correctly, confronted with aisles and aisles of stuff - which confused me more. Was it a good buy or a p.o.s? Would it stand up for what I wanted or should I just put it back? Again with the confusion. Again with the frustration. Anger is starting to simmer.

So, I attempt to find a sales clerk because really what I want are these shoe boxes - that's what I came in for. But no matter HOW many times I go through the home organization part, they can't be found. Anywhere. There are things that hang up on curtain rods but no front opening Komplement Shoe Boxes. To top it off, there are no sales clerks to be found on the floor. At. All. None. Nada. Nil. Finally, out of the corner of my eye I spot a yellow shirt - wait - help is coming. Then I hear the annoyed tone from yellow shirt boy as he tells a customer next to me also feeling confused and befuddled "Listen - I don't know where anything in the store is. I don't work at this store normally. You'll have to check". More confusion. More bewilderment. Anger is now reaching a slow boil.

My father tells me "Use the computer". Fine - sure. See my dad is well versed in all things IKEA. He gets it. I don't. He's up north - I'm in Florida - I'm on my own - out of the nest and heading in a downward spiral. I look around confused, bewildered and befuddled. Wait - up there - it's a computer. And as I get there, I'm derailed again as there are more teenagers goofin' off and not leaving the computer. Still no shoeboxes. I'm well past confusion. I'm far from bewildered. The anger is rising to a rapid boil.

I think "Forget this crap!" and get ready to check out - figuring that either they (a) didn't have the shoe boxes or (b) I'm blind, dumb and stupid, but pretty much am counting on (a). I head to the checkout counter which is ablaze with lights thinking "Well I'll ask the checkout person and THEY can point out the boxes or perhaps they can be so kind and bring 'em over - cuz I'm lost" I pretty much was hopeful that they would be nice as the people in Home Depot who are trained to spot the Lil' Blond Girl Lost aka moi. Then I notice something. There are 2 girl on register. 2. That's it. With a store full of people and you got two gals checkin' customers out? Then I see all these register lights that are also lit and notice the sign for "SELF CHECKOUT". Well I obviously can't ask my damn self where the hell the shoe boxes are. I tried that. I didn't know the answer. I don't work at that store and I can't tell myself where anything is. All I need is a yellow shirt and a paycheck and I'm as good as all the other store employees - and I have the matching attitude.

I check out and I should have guessed I went to the wrong girl. Anyone who greets my cart with a labored sigh due to my minimal amount of stuff (teal curtains, 2 stainless bowls, a mortar & pestle and some organizers for my casually strewn about Bon Appetit and Cooking Light Magazines) is an indicator that we're gonna have issues. I'm sorry - was I supposed to self checkout. Whatever. Now the anger is at the boiling point and dammit I want my *#*@*@*#* shoe boxes. Because this is the LAST time I'm coming in this store at all.

When I ask the girl about the shoe boxes and even give her the ITEM NUMBER to see if they have it in the computer, she sighs again. She asks me if I asked a floor person. I tell her the only guy I saw and how his stressed demeanor and rantings that he didn't work at this store and he doesn't know where anything was pretty much discounted him from the helpful category. Another sigh and she picks up the phone - all while scanning my items. Surprise surprise - noone in home organization picks up - he's probably running around like a rat in a cage - like us all. She tries another extension and after talking with someone on the other line with "I have a customer here and she wants Item No. !!!!.!!.!!!! - where is it?", she gets off the phone. She completes the sale and then tells me "You have to go upstairs - it's in one of the displays in the showroom". What. The. @#*@. Are you flippin' serious - you are going to throw me BACK in that hell? Oh hell to the naw. You know my response: "You aren't seriously going to make me go BACK up there and try to find this needle in a haystack?" and she said that was what I had to do. I smiled nicely and said "Well then - let's just get this taken care of because I think I'm done with IKEA. We're breaking up". She shrugged her shoulders and I rang out.

Oh - and the stuff I bought - still in my trunk because after I have a couple aspirin in me from the headache that crap brought on - I'm bringing it all back and telling the manager what is wrong with the IKEA in Orlando - let me count 'em for ya:
  • Crappy customer service;
  • No sales help on the sales floor;
  • Those that are on the sales floor don't know where stuff is - don't want to help customers and couldn't be bothered;
  • Items that are "On display in the showroom" are NOT downstairs in the general marketplace - makes no sense;
  • The showroom is too cramped and gives off a claustrophobic feel with the different rooms. Seriously I don't need to see back to back 500 sq. ft. apartment layouts. Perhaps that's good in New York - NOT Orlando;
  • No management staff on hand or available;
  • Item quality of some items leaves some considerable room for improvement;
  • Really horrible customer service - I can't stress that enough.
Listen - I know it was a big deal that Orlando got an IKEA. I'm sure Buddy Dyer is hoping that rings in a few more votes on January 29th because he's such a good mayor, he brought in IKEA. I just don't get IKEA. If they are like this in Orlando - what does that say for IKEA in, I dunno - Anchorage. I know Reese and Michelle understand IKEA and it baffles me that someone as seasoned in shopping as me has a near anxiety attack while lost in that store with no semblance of direction - not even a kid in a candy shop - more like a kid lost, left alone at the arena with no parent to be found. And I'm still upset about it - and I'm still disappointed. They talked it up like IKEA was like the second coming - this fabu store that would just do wonders for Orlando. What I saw was a store with some nice stuff, some crappy stuff, some junky stuff - and signs for meatballs everywhere. Oh and a Swedish grocery. But what does that really do for me - nothing. And all I wanted were shoe boxes.

I've failed you - my shopping buddies - and for that I'm sorry. I thought I could handle IKEA and clearly I couldn't. But I did redeem myself. As I had exactly 22 minutes left - I shot over to Millenia because dammit, I needed good shopping mojo. A quick fondle of the Louboutin and Chanel shoes at Neimans and a quick run through Williams Sonoma and all was right with the world.

Well, until I have to brave IKEA tomorrow to return everything. Lesson learned. Lys + IKEA = NON-MIXY THINGS!

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Posted by Lys :: 12:01 AM :: 2 comments

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yay or Nay: Chef Robert Irvine Seasoning Blends..

It's all about the celebrity chef branding my friends and here's my question: Would you buy spices from Dinner Impossible's Chef Robert Irvine? Ladies - forget the guns and let's focus on the issue at hand please.

Let's see - Bobby Flay has spices at his site, Giada's got her stuff through Crate & Barrel - hell I'm in Dillards the other day and not only do they carry Barefoot Contessa and Rachael Ray but they also carry Paula Dean's food products - it's all about the branding and the Food Network seems to have that one on lock.



SO - Yay or Nay! Who wants to be the Guinea Pig?? Well, besides me *LOL*

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Posted by Lys :: 7:37 PM :: 1 comments

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No Waiver = No Show...

I just got this tweet from Reese: "DAMN! No WGA waiver for Grammys = no Grammys :( "

I'm sad now... but on the bright side -this gives me a year to work out like mad and get an uber fabu dress, right?

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Posted by Lys :: 10:24 AM :: 6 comments

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Can One Custom Order A Bubble Suit...

This weekend, I'm watching Joel Osteen (because that's as close as I get to a church, y'all - still have issues) and he makes mention of something that I've been thinking about: "Stress can be a factor in about 90% of illnesses" (or something along those lines but you get the gist of it) I sat there nodding my head and almost saying out loud "AMEN!"

Now it's no secret that I'm a stress monster - I'm forever on the go, go, go with little time to relax and recharge. I seriously think that some of my aches and pains are increased by stress. I've had this problem since I was younger and I really am starting to feel it as I grow older (like in my shoulder - my handbag is NOT that heavy and one bra strap is NOT heavier than the other). However, there's stress not only at work but at home - bills, chasing the cat from puking on my carpet, chores, noisy azz neighbors playing videogames at 4 a.m. everyfreakinnightandtheysleepduringtheday-fuggin' vampires, etc., with friends (wtf is xyz doing AGAIN - ugh) and with family ('nuff said). I seriously don't have time for drama - no. time. Not. One. Second. Then I hear that the copper pots I covet could cause cancer. OH hell no. Stress can cause cancer - don't tell me that copper pots that cost me more than my choos cause cancer. I'm not having that mess.

So when Joel said that and then went onto talking about phasing out the toxic in one's life, I pretty much was in agreement. For the last couple of years, I've been weeding out the toxic and I just don't want to deal. I've been finding myself getting stressed out at the 9to5 from this and that and he and she and it and really, I can't be dealin' with that anymore. I need to just start cutting people off at the knees - just with a little tact. I'm also finding that I'm taking my workload home with me as I'm starting to wake up in the middle of the night again with "OMG DID I PUT A COMMA IN THAT SENTENCE" crap and enough!

I just wish I had a mute button - because really, if I could mute some things around me I'd be less stressed. Think John Travolta would mind if I borrowed his bubble suit idea? I'd have to make it soundproof though. And with a martini bar.

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Posted by Lys :: 6:34 PM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away...

It's been torrential downpours since last night off and on. We're talking one minute it's coming down harder than hell and the next - clear as day. And over, and over, and over. I shouldn't whine because, seriously, we need the rain but I had a whole list of stuff to do today and getting soaked was NOT on the agenda. See - with this sassy new haircut, your gal must straighten the strands - at the inkling of rain - it gets curly/wavy/straight all at once - wonky! You'll laugh at this - I woke up this morning and almost screamed when I saw myself in the mirror - I had forgotten that I had sliced off my hair. Well, I can tell you bedhead is NOT a good look for me with sassy short hair. Not. At. All.

So back to the rain - I don't care what they say about umbrellas - while they may work for a little while, anything I have to hold up with deliberate precision to make sure I DON'T get wet will ensure my shoulder to ache (or was that because of the onslaught of rain... hmmmmm). And umbrellas also don't create a 360 bubble - you will get wet somewhere. I must maintain my fabulousity!

So - I'm hoping it dies down a bit because I got those Mary Jane Spectator pumps in and, while they are gorgeous and all, they are a size and a half too small (10 my butt - more like an 8.5/9) and I strongly believe that feet should not look like snausages in shoes. They make my Michael Kors torture pumps feel like slippers. I need to go to Urban Outfitters at the Millenia Mall and return them because that's money that can be better served in something like, oh, I don't know - my savings account?

I also was going to attempt to go to IKEA today to get some shoeboxes so I can start my closet organizing project tomorrow. I want to do all front loading shoe boxes that way it looks uniform in my closet. Right now it's a mishmash and I'd take a picture but I'm ashamed. I'm a fashionista who needs a fabulous closet. Rummaging around looking for this and that and having shoe boxes break on me or be oddsized and throw off my shoe towers is NOT an option.

I'm also hoping to take down the tree tonight as Jan. 6th (Little Christmas) has passed. Due to the rain, I have to leave the outside lights up for one more day to dry out so I can remove those tomorrow. The cat will be annoyed because she loves the tree - she's been taking down the bottom ornaments and it's been her hockey playground for the past month or so.

So yeah - if the rain slows down/stops I'll be wandering outside. If not, then I'll be working on the tree and postponing any outside excursions until after work during the week. Good thing is with the rain coming down so hard, the TiVo & DirectTV isn't doing so well which means I have to clean off the TiVo.

Or, perhaps I'll just attempt to NOT melt and brave the outdoors. Crap - my umbrella is in the car. Yeah, I'm housebound today people...

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Posted by Lys :: 1:52 PM :: 0 comments

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Goal For 2008...

I'm watching Giada de Laurentiis tour Italy and Rachael Ray tour Provence and it got m thinking. I think I'm going to get to work on a goal of mine... Learn Italian. I've wanted to visit Italy for a few years and, for an Irish gal, I can cook some mean Italian dishes (and Spanish too but that's for another day). I'm debating checking out an online course in Italian at RosettaStone.com and I can get cash back for it as well. My brain is workin' overtime.

Question to you - have you ever tried to learn a language and/or tried RosettaStone?

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Posted by Lys :: 9:32 PM :: 2 comments

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Want To Lose 5 Lbs?

I found a good way to get rid of 5 pounds easy - and I'm not talking water weight. Noooo. If you want an easy way to get rid of a pesky 5lbs, just get a haircut.

I was sitting in my hairdresser's chair today lamenting about the drama that was Grammy 2008 (grrrr) and when my hairdresser asked me what I want to do I commented, "I dunno - surprise me". I wanted something shorter and she went nuts. 30 minutes later, a floorful of hair and *boom* the hair is short. I haven't had hair this short since well, when I was 18. While it's not as drastic as it was back then, it's still hella short considering that my hair was WELL past my shoulders and long enough for a ponytail on top of my hair. I now look *gasp* professional. My friends will be shocked. Normally when I cut my hair shorter it has to do with shocking or pissing off a guy. (I know I know - I'm silly). This is the first non-guy short haircut and I actually like it. It will be super easy to dry, no need for any headbands, and no popping my shoulder in a futile attempt to straighten it. My hair has a mind of it's own and I finally have a haircut that works with my hair's stubbornness.

I know one thing - I'll look fabulous in a turtleneck!

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Posted by Lys :: 9:08 PM :: 3 comments

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Friday, January 11, 2008

There's A Reason For Everything...

I'm a bit miffed and I pray that the Clooney can get everyone into a room and make some sense of this whole Writers Strike thing..

Read this.


Yeah - Not pretty. Not to mention I called the NARAS office today and, without going into detail, it was enough for me to contact those who were planning on attending to hold off until we hear more. This is why I get the tix first, then book travel, hotel, and then dress.

Am I pissed, yes. But moreso at the idiots who are not listening to the writers. I'm also disappointed because I was really looking forward to show, catching up with Reese, Rom & Jas, meeting potential clients, drinks with a couple fabulous publicists, stalking Clooney visiting the WB, getting out of the office, etc.

I'm sooooo tempted to use that moolah earmarked for the trip for something fabulous (and NO I'm not getting Loubous, but now that I think about it... ). Nah - into the savings it will go.

Countdown to the 51st??? :::Sigh:::

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Posted by Lys :: 1:04 PM :: 1 comments

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

That Time Of Year Again...

Did y'all know it was DeLurker Day?

Are you a "Lurker"? If so, this is your day to come out and say "HI". I mean I know y'all lurk. Hell, I lurk. But, when it comes to DeLurker Day - it's time to just click on that little comment button and say hello to the ones whos thoughts you read.

I know I am out of it (but we'll just attribute that to the blonde side of me) but oy vey! I thought DeLurker Day was not too long ago. I could be wrong. However, today, January 10, 2008, is the time for y'all to flash my blog and let me know you're here.


So, with that being said, I'd absolutely adore it if you leave a little comment and say "HI." I know there are more readers just from my stats and my curiosity is killin' me. For first time visitors, "HI" and "Welcome". To quote a friend of mine, this blog is like having a conversation - scattered with a bunch of different things - shopping, cooking, decorating, various rants by yours truly, some videos, musings and interaction. I can even put people to sleep with some of my entries (and I've got 355 to go - wheeeeeeeeeeee!). I've noticed that many of the crew that reads Just Because... also read other blogs located on the side blogroll. It's a really great community of people. C'mon - would I steer you wrong? Also, if I don't have your blog on my blogroll, let me know and I'll mosey on by and visit. So please leave a little comment luv - ok - I'm done with the begging :)

Thanks to
Kalisa for the heads up. You also might want to visit her blog as well!

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Posted by Lys :: 12:09 PM :: 4 comments

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Emerging From The Bowels of Hell, I Mean Florida Mall...

Last night, I emerged from the bowels of the Florida Mall a bit disappointed but comforted in the fact that my shopping could be done online. Why - because then I could coupon and cash back everything.

I went to Saks and found NOTHING. First of all - Saks, realize that you need to carry more plus size fashions than ONE CORNER (and a small corner at that). With all the retail space in your store, 2 small aisles that was smaller than a CLOSET does not suffice. Shame shame.

I went to Nordys and, while I saw many lovely dresses, the one that I was looking for (Contender No. 1) was NOT there. :::sigh::: I did see a gorgeous blue dress and a few others, but again - plus size formal fashion - more elusive than the Holy Grail my friends. I'm still looking - I got time. Lesson learned - a gal should always have a fabulous black cocktail dress that will go for any occasion. I'm also on the hunt for that. What can I say - I'm picky.

So, I did what any other disappointed wench would do - went shopping for shoes. And the ones I loved - not there. The gorgeous Justino sandals that I wanted to wear at the show - the girl at Nine West actually asked me "Are you sure they are ours?". Thank god for the Blackberry and a link on my blog because [BOOM] there it was on the 9West site. She even took my phone into the stockroom to see if she could find them back there. (She better not have called Zimbabwe or the Ukraine or some other foreign land.) Sadly - they didn't have but she did try to talk me into some pump that had a lucite heel. (Are you friggin' kiddin' me?? DOH!)

Those gorgeous spectator mary janes - Nordstrom had NO idea about anything even though it was on their site. I was told "I don't think they are here yet". Really? You don't say. The shoe manager wasn't even familiar with the brand and he even tried to point me in the way of the Juicy. Juicy and I are NOT friends, especially when it comes to the shoes.

So, home I went, and click I did. One of the highlights of my fervent clicking, searching and browsing - I found the Spectator Mary Janes at Urban Outfitters which is a cash back store and I also found a coupon for 20% off. Let's just say it was MUCH cheaper than at the Nordstroms site. Now I'll wear these with my well loved Chestnut Kiyonna dress currently in my closet and that will be dinner at the Ivy.

And, rather than investing in some pricey Louboutins (like I can - surely I'm suffering from delusions), I found the Steve Madden version on the cheap at SMART BARGAINS of all places. I knew there was a reason I'm a member of their Shoppers Club. It should be live on the site tomorrow (hopefully) but I'm wearing these to the awards. I'll be comfortable. I'll be taller (because the guys we're going with are taller than I. Hell - the way I feel today - Mickey Mouse is taller than me.) and I can boogie the night away while having a few cocktails courtesy of Mr. Open Bar. And then I can stumble across the street to the hotel, rest for a couple hours and then fly my happy behind home.

And, re: the Grammys - Kimmy, no, not famous - not. even. close. I had to giggle when I saw that comment last night. MB has it better - he's got the AMA's ON lock - I can't even get IN that joint. Basically, in a nutshell, my NARAS membership is a remnant of my entertainment publicist days. With our yearly dues, I get benefits such as a snazzy Christmas card, ability to attend workshops and panels for free (or minimal cost) (my NARAS regional office is in Miami and yeah - 4 hours to go to a producer panel - not. I do try to go to the Winter Music Conference soiree tho in Miami), fabulous discounts, ability to get insurance, etc. The main thing is the ability to purchase tix to the Grammys.

Listen - unless you are a nominee or a REALLY high up bigwig at NARAS, you are paying out the pocket to go to the show. One of my friends, a great producer and client, has been a member for years, votes every year, that boy even won a Grammy and, guess what, come award time - that boy is coming out the pocket for his tickets if he wants to go. We're allowed to buy 6 tix total - 4 cheap seats, 2 big pimpin', you might have to mortgage your child seats. And the member HAS to be in attendance or noone is getting in. The security is ridiculous. The other thing is we're not seated on the floor (bigwigs and nominees, presenters and entourage only), go backstage or any of that mess.

The afterparty is where the magic happens. Where else can you almost run (literally) into Kathy Griffin [she's short btw], have dinner prepared by Dinner Impossible's Robert Irvine, Top Shelf ANYTHING you can think of Open Bar, goodie bags, private performances by artists like Black Eyed Peas, Musiq Soulchild, John Legend, etc. and boogie your little heart out on the dance floor next to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. I mean I saw people that evening that didn't phase me but when I had those two legends right next to me and I'm sans voice. When I told Producer Boy about it, he laughed at me. Now if he was AT the awards, I know he would have teased me unmercifully and then intro'd me to those two. Hell I could have intro'd myself - but I'm shy. I'm quiet. [Well, just then]. Reese is the confident one. I tend to shrink into my cosmo. But I will say this - when you are with some great people, it's a blast. Hell - if I knew THEN what I know now, I would have met Giada de Laurentiis because the Grammy Behind the Bash that they filmed was the one that Reese, MB and I were at. Fun times, fun times. Let me get off the memory lane ride now.

The 50th is the one I'm jazzed about because the buzz is they are going to go ALLLLL out. And this year - this year will be a good time. I'm looking at it this way - I get to attend the prom after being on punishment imposed by my wallet and other things for 2 friggin' long years. Also, I'm hoping that we can get into some of the other afterparties. I just need to get into gear contacting some old publicist buddies who I know will be either the door biatche or in control of that velvet rope.

We'll see. Now I have to figue out how to sneak the BB past the watchful eye of those damn security @*#*#*#.

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Posted by Lys :: 6:22 PM :: 1 comments

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Glutton for Punishment, I Am.

Here's something fun. Y'all want to see my head spin like the Exorcist?? Cuz I can ya know. I'm just a glutton for punishment (or other's amusement - you be the judge).

Well - let's see. In the last 48 hours I've:

  • Taken on a new project at the 9to5 which means even MORE chaos (and not fun chaos, advancement chaos - just chaos).
  • Decided to sign up for Blog 365 (ok - I'm 8 days late but still - I posted daily (I think). Clearly, NaBloPoMo wasn't enough for moi and some of my fave bloggers stepped up to the challenge and I decided to join in the misery fun. 365 days of content/fluff/pictures. Hmmm.. now that sounds like a challenge. Be prepared for blogging via blackberry too! Hell if I can sneak the BB into the Grammys I'll be live blogging the ridiculousness (or I'll recap drunkenly back at the hotel room).
  • Made a conscious effort to put down that Lindt truffle and try to fit into a dress for the Grammys. Heeellllooooo Cooking Light!
  • I'm going to attempt to go to the Florida Mall (Hell I tell you - HELL! At least it's a weeknight and not the weekend). I need to go to Nordys to look at Contender No. 1 and those shoes at Nine West and the Dolce Vita shoes at Nordys. Tonight is the goal. If I don't post tomorrow, you know I am still stuck in the bowels of hell.
  • Made an appointment to cut my hair. (It's Grammy prep. I can't dye it for fear of skunk stripe like last time, but still). I haven't decided how short I'm going but when Shaggy from Scooby Doo needs to watch out cuz my hair looks worse than his, oh lordy.
  • Finally got my banking and financial paperwork/computer files in order and started my 2008 filing system.
  • Signed the lease for 2008/2009 AND got the copy of the fully executed copy. BEFORE the lease starts. Unheard of for me.
  • Took action on another goal that I can't really put out on here JUST yet and got a response. The patience is killing me but it means changes are afoot. Keep your [virtual] fingers crossed.
  • Made plans to attend the Grammys with not only Reese and MB, but also two of our favorite people (and clients). Someone better tell Grey Goose it will be abused. Multiple times.
  • Actually started making my travel arrangements for LA (and more on that tomorrow - let's just say I'm absolutely enamoured with USAA. I *heart* them to the UMPTH degree now - even more than yesterday).
  • Decided to save my political rant (Orlando only - no Presidential politics right now on Just Because... ) for y'all later in the week because I actually want to RESEARCH and get my cards in order before I launch my verbal onslaught against a particular individual.
  • Have a couple special surprises for y'all in the next couple weeks - why - because I not only *heart* USAA, but y'all too.

There's more but I'm clearly needing a straight jacket at the moment in just thinking about the Chaos Project and BlogPoMo whatever. 357 days left to go.

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Posted by Lys :: 6:24 PM :: 3 comments

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