Sunday, August 2, 2009

Still Alive

Were you wondering?

I haven't felt a real need to write on this blog for a long time. That's what it was before: I needed to write, and this was my outlet.

I write, all day now, for a living. If I believed in "blessings," this would definitely be one. (Blessings are not how I characterize good things in my life, because who am I to be "blessed" more than someone whose life circumstances are awful?) I feel lucky lucky lucky. I have clients who pay me to write for them. Wow.

And we've been gardening, D. and I.

Life is good and I've been wondering about all of you. Hope you are well and happy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Flirty Pretty Things

Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrounging around in your lingerie drawer, reaching behind the most used items (Spanx, control top tights, and warm socks, am I right?) for something action-appropriate to wear; you’re tossing them on the bed as you go, when suddenly, you’re feeling wooden drawers instead of silk and lace. Hard wooden drawers. And you realize there weren’t that many in here.

If you’re like me, you stare sort of blindly at the meager pickings with a "Whaaat?" sort of expression on your face. Then you concentrate and decide to look through more drawers. I must have reorganized, you might tell yourself. Don’t I have lots of little lacy and silky and spaghetti-strappy pieces to choose from? Hello, I used to wear them all the time! Where the ffff did they go?! You might think.

Then you realize you can’t even remember what that one little black lace overlay one-piece doodad was called. [Hint: it’s a teddy.] Oh, yeah.

Again, and only if you’re like me, you begin to wonder when all the lacy pretty underthings were replaced with full-coverage, uplifting, high-tech bras and solid color, 100% cotton, high-leg briefs and bikinis. Perhaps you, too, have slid into the same-five-basic-colors-(pink, ivory, white, black, buff)-different-day routine.

So I ask you: Why aren’t we wearing our lacy undies? Is it work, stress, family, boredom? Or laziness, time flying by, out of practice? Is it possible to not do something so often that it becomes an unhabit? And does a little piece of our brains then close off, never to open again?

How sad would that be?

If you're like me, you managed to find something to tide yourself over for the night, all the while resolving to buy some new pretties real soon. Because didn't we love wearing them? I wish I knew why I stopped.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hear that "Splat?"

That’s the sound of my head exploding. Let me bring you, dear reader, up to speed on the goings on around here.

In the past couple of weeks, D. and I have:
1. Hosted a big Obama Inauguration Dance Party (it was awesome!);
2. Starred occupied space in a TV spot that filmed over two nights (like midnight to 8 am), which screwed royally with my sleep/wake/work schedule;
3. Babysat a four year old for an evening (nearly three entire hours);
4. Continued on our balance-the-budget, no-wine-for-you, never-eat-in-a-restaurant-again lives.

The good news is I have been working a bunch:
1. Writing copy for a website;
2. Writing copy for a media kit;
3. Writing copy for a direct mailer;
4. Writing four blog posts a week (for a client, not me!);
5. Had a crash course in writing for SEO, Marketing for Social Media, Marketing for Social Networking;
6. And stayed on top of all the keywords and metatags, twittering, posting, templating, widgets, application development, viral video, Facebook, LinkedIn, Hulu, YouTube and MySpace activity that one person could possibly handle.

The bad news is, apparently copywriting has been outsourced overseas while I wasn't looking and nobody wants to pay anything. Blech. Such is the life of the American worker with a big mortgage.

I had a really great Super Bowl post in my head. Then it exploded and the moment has passed.

Maybe I’ll be more interesting next time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

He Knew We Could

I’ve never heard so many people express the same sentiment before: that they never thought they would see the day come. Not in their lifetimes would it come. The day when a black person would be President of the United States. The day blacks and whites, Natives and Asians would unite behind him, as one, in joy and hope.

But I didn’t share that sentiment. I didn’t think the day would never come. This is not to say that I thought they were wrong when they said it would never happen. I hoped they were wrong. I knew in my heart that the goodness in all of us would one day see beyond the color of a man’s skin. I believed Dr. King’s dream would be a reality. I hoped I was right.

I hear and respect their sentiment, their disbelief. I honor the men and women who pilgrimaged to Washington DC to see it happen with their own eyes. The elders who truly believed it would never happen in their lifetimes. Their faces washed of the pain of past inequalities, and reflecting the highest level of joy. The young, exuberant faces, free of the fatigue their parents and grandparents know so well. All watching, together, as President Obama and his family stepped into their rightful places in our country’s history.

I know that I sound more than just a little bit naïve when I say I knew we could.

He said “Yes, We Can.” He knew all along.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tiny Dogs, Big Cruelty

Don't you love tiny dogs? Seems everywhere we look, there's a delicate, not-bigger-than-a-minute Tinkerbelle of a pup on the end of leash. Sporting adorable coats against the winter cold or bows and jeweled collars, these pets are their keepers' darlings. I've never seen so many Chihuahuas, Poodles, and Yorkies as I have of late. And then there's the Puggles (like in this photo), the Peek-a-Poos, Chugs and other so-called designer mixtures. So precious. So cute. So overbred. So abused.

This just in:
Nearly 250 dogs were confiscated from two separate kennels south of Mount Vernon for animal cruelty, said Chief Criminal Deputy Will Reichardt of the Skagit County Sheriff's Office.

More than 400 dogs were being held in a Mountain View Road puppy mill where they had been kept in small kennels, not bathed and many were left in their own feces, Reichardt said.
Well, gee. I bet they cleaned those babies up before their new parents arrived to take their little bundles home. I bet the people who kept this hellhole in business never asked to see where the darlings were being bred, born by the hundreds, and raised in unspeakably cruel conditions.

Well, gee. This is what happens every day in puppy mills everywhere. They're in small towns. In neighborhoods. In the upstairs bedroom of the house down the street from you. They're not all operated by kind-looking, cruel-hearted farmers in Pennsylvania—you know, the bad guys Oprah exposed on her show. Puppy mills are operated by soccer moms and ballet dads. In trailers and minimansions. By scumbags of all description.

They can be stopped, though. It's not even difficult. The cruelty and heartlessness that enables some people to let dogs die in their own waste (there were SEVEN dead dogs found in the above raid) can be forced into dormancy. How? Just stop buying these dogs. It is the easy—and only—way to totally stop the puppy mills and the cruelty that these dogs live in every single day. It's a simple supply and demand equation—we all learned it in economics class.

So just don't buy a purebred or designer dog. Nobody must have a brand spanking new puppy that's somehow “better” than the puppies that people have been abandoned. Anyone can take the time to carefully choose a dog from a rescue organization or shelter. They have dozens and dozens ready to go. Every person who adopts or rescues a dog helps decrease the overbreeding, the cruelty, and the 9.6 million animals that are put to death every single year in this country.

It's a travesty. I've yet to hear a good reason for breeding dogs. Or for buying a purebred or designer dog. And every time I hear about someone buying one, I think about the cruelty that puppy mills keep pumping out. There are just no excuses.

UPDATE: We're up to SIX HUNDRED dogs rescued--80% of them are pregnant. Oh my heart.

WTF were these idiots thinking??@!???!?!??!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Unwrapping My New Look

Whoop! Whoop! I finally revamped my plain-Rainne (as in Wilson—why should Janes always have to take that rap?) blog header! The standard blue text/white background number the template gave me reflected my personal laziness more than my personal style.

While I don’t dare even dream of possessing the amazingly mad Photoshop skilz that my girl Melanie over at Beanpaste has coming out her adorable ears, I can sort of maneuver my way around the Adobe Creative Suite. (As long as the GPS window is up.)

Unleashing my design abilities is a little dangerous, sure, but I could be wreaking much more havoc on the world than Adobe CS will allow. I mean, bad graphic design, improper kerning, and whacked out alignment never hurt anyone TOO badly, right? It’s not like I’m in charge of dropping bombs on the Gaza Strip or anything.

Sigh. We, the world, are facing bigger issues than my little blog design.

So I’ll try this header out for a while. I love my little bird. Love the colors. Not crazy about the font, but hey, it was late and I had one cup of plain popcorn waiting for me—so I stopped right here.

Tell me—is it gorge? Take my little survey and you might win a PRIZE!*

*Not true. I have nothing to give that anyone wants. But be a pal, huh? One can always use survey practice.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Not the New Year’s I Had in Mind

This year, I did not spend New Year’s as I planned: just D. and me, enjoying a nice dinner out at one of our favorite tapas restaurants, then returning home for a quiet evening in front of the fire, or in front of a movie, topped off with our traditional champagne toast at midnight. And then. . . onto something that’s best not described here.

Sigh. A girl can dream, can’t she?

I got the dinner. I got the champagne. I got the fire. I didn’t get the rest.

The problem? A third wheel. And herein lies the conundrum. Should we have just told him our plans, knowing he’d find something else to do—or tell him our plans, taking the chance he’d be alone NYE? Should we have come right out and said, “We’re going to dinner and then spending the evening at home, just the two of us.” Ouch! Can you imagine being on the receiving end of that message? Stay away, we want to get frisky.

The man I married could never do that to a friend. I could. And wanted to. Friends should understand, right?

As it turns out, we had a nice dinner, wonderful wine, and my favorite champagne (apart from Dom, which wasn’t even a consideration). Plus, we brought Actual Meaning into the night by writing down all the things we wanted to let go of ( I don’t deserve this or that, I release my negative feelings about a certain ex, etc. etc.) and burning the little bits of paper in the fire. Heady stuff. Great revelations were shared. Growth was achieved.

I can’t remember any of it because we consumed two bottles of champagne. Three of us. Do the math. But no matter. It felt good to share and the evening was quite enjoyable.

Still, I lament the loss of the night that could have been. A romantic end to 2008. And truly bringing in 2009 with a bang. Dang.