Saturday, February 28, 2004

UJ: packing

Right now, I am packing my suitcase and carry on bag for my trip. I am looking forward to the next week...the sun, the friends and the family. I am also looking forward to spending a week AWAY from the office.

I spent most of today running around to different stores and picking things up that I might need. I went to Vicky's and bought a new bra. I went to Old Navy and bought some cute St. Patty's Day pajama pants. I went to Goodwill and bought two pairs of shorts for under 5 bucks! I went to Target to buy some toiletries and a pair of comfy track pants. I went to Sears and bought a blender/food processor...because I had a gift card and knew I needed to use it. And then I went to the winery and bought a bottle of a gift for my brother and his roommates, for housing me once my work part of the week is over.

So, I am off to finish packing...and then y'all probably won't hear from me for about a week. Don't miss me too much while I am gone....



Thursday, February 26, 2004

UJ: i am tempted to say Kerry is a douchebag!



UJ: work trip plus a cup of fun!

This week, I am feeling pretty lucky. It is kinda nice and warm the high 40s and 50s. It's starting to feel like Spring. I love it when the seasons change. I think my two favorite times of the year are fall and spring...when things are transitioning. The air changes how it feels, smells, moves. I know that winter is far from over, but these last few days...have felt a lot like spring.

And week, I am getting sent on a work trip. I am heading to Florida for a week. A pretty great work trip, eh? I am being sent to a three day conference (that sounds fabulous)...and the weather doesn't hurt either. My brother just moved to Florida in the last year, I am staying out there the rest of the week and spending some time with him as well. Did I mention the sunny, warm Florida air? You know...I am not someone who enjoys being hot, but I love being in places like Florida during the colder seasons. It isn't too hot there's 70s and 80s...perfect for me! I don't like Florida in the summer...the hot and humid weather just drains me, but Florida in February and March, now I love the idea of that. And, I also love that work pays for it!

And as if it couldn't get better....well, my very best friend from college is also coming out to Florida to stay with me for a couple of days. We haven't been able to spend as much time together since I moved away, so I am really looking forward to getting to see her. She just got many congrats to her!!!! I can't wait to see her...and hang out and laugh at nothing, just like we used to when we were in college. If I could have stayed in college forever...I would have.

All in all...I am looking forward to a fabulous week coming up. Wish me luck, lots of sun...and a nice breeze!


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

UJ: interesting conversations...

Shelley's thought of the day:

So, as most people know...I worked at a family center and on most days, we offer play groups or arts and crafts activities...which are a lot of fun...and it also gives me an opportunity to chit chat with the parents.

Today...we had a play group and we ended up having a really interesting conversation with one of the moms. She is African American...probably in her early 30s and has two adorable children!

Anyways...we started talking about race and how racism can be everywhere. We talked about stores who without even knowing it...act racist. She mentioned that she is followed in stores...and that at a local store here, a friend of her's was not allowed to try on lingerie, while white shoppers were.

We had a really nice discussion....and when the mom in tow, she mentioned she liked coming because she doesn't get to have adult conversations many places other than here. It is amazing that once you have kids...all your conversations are about them or in baby talk.

I thought about it for a moment or two...and I really enjoyed the conversation as well. I remember when I was running racial studies circles in grad school...and then when I was in college, it was not easy talking about race with mixed races. I had that white girl disorder of being too afraid of saying something wrong...and being seen as racist. I didn't feel that way today...and probably haven't for years. I know who I am...and what I believe. I also am really interesting in talking with people who are different than I am....and I no longer fear it.

Anyways...I imagine I got more out of the conversation that the mom even realizes.


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

UJ: Howard Dean and Ralph Nader

I think it took me almost a week before I could write down that Howard Dean dropped out of the race. I feel like it was the right thing for him to do since I felt it would start to become irresponsible for him to continue to spend the American people's a campaign that didn't seem to be going anywhere.

But, I am so saddened...I don't think I have ever been as hopeful and optimistic about this I was when I invisioned Howard Dean as the leader of this nation. I saw the amazing things he did in Vermont...and how he treated the people of his state. I saw the issues of education, health care and women's rights...and how Dean not only campaigned on those issues, but made changes in his state to reflect the values he felt was important to his state. He doesn't just talk the talk...he walks the walk.

But even beyond his record and my incredible respect for what he has done, I was inspired by the way he handled his campaign. His campaign was not really about was about the american people. He made the point...that he is not the man to change the country, but it is the AMERICAN PEOPLE who will change the country. He talked about how politics today works to take the power away from the american people...and how he wants to restore the nation to being run BY the people and FOR the people. He spoke of how millionaires and lobbyist control our government, how money and prestige buy our policies and laws....and how he adamently disagreed with that. He chanted "You have the power" to the supporters at his events....proclaiming how they will change this election and this country, if they only use their voice and power.

I was so inspired by Howard Dean...and now, I am quite disillusioned. I will most likely support whichever Democratic candidate comes out on top, but in all honesty...I won't be passionate about it. My passion still lies with Howard Dean, so for the race is about selecting the better of two evils...and of course John Kerry or John Edwards...both of them are a far better choice than Dubya. But, none of them are even in Howard Dean's league. And no matter what...I am proud of Howard. He came in a huge underdog...and left without winning a single state, BUT...he changed this election. He got candidates talking about issues and challenging the current administration and policies....something that never would have happened without his daring presence.

And now...onto the new revelation from Ralph Nader. Grrr....Ralph is now choosing to run for President AGAIN! Nader was on Meet the Press this Sunday...talking about how the candidates were so alike and that he wanted the American people to select a different kind of candidate. So, now...he is throwing his hat in the ring again.

Now...democrats are scared...well, some of them are. They have encouraged Raplh to not run, so that he won't be a "spoiler" in the election again. And...they have some valid points. In states like Florida for example, those who voted for Nader...would have most likely voted for Gore over Bush...and if that happened, Dubya would be back on the oil fields in Texas and Gore would have been our next President.

But, I don't critique Nader for running...or for trying to change party politics...I just wish he did it in a better way. I will go back to my lovefest for Howard Dean a little bit. Many of the things that Nader feels are lacking in party politics...were things that Dean embodied. Why didn't Raplh...instead of running, why didn't he come forward in support of Dean months ago??? I agree with many...that Nader seems like an angry man with an inflated ego. I think his decision to join the race isn't about the American's about him.

All in all though...I don't care too much that Nader is running. I don't think he will have the success he had in 2000...and I think that his presence won't make much of a difference.

Here are a few articles on my above ramblings...if you would like:

Howard Dean quitting presidential race:

Ralph Nader running for President:

Happy Reading,


Thursday, February 19, 2004

UJ: ho hum...

So, I was thinking of starting my own site...just to ramble and play real purpose. LOL That's what my mom said when I said I was thinking of starting a site....she said, "And what would this site be for?" No reason really...just to play and a place to put together all the random things that make up my life.

Anyways...I have been thinking about it for years, but I might be close to actually registering a domain...EXCEPT...I have no clue what to call it.

Does anyone have any divine inspiration for me? All the things I could think of...were all the known addresses.... I want it to be quaint and cute, but also something that really speaks to who I am....

Who knows...but if you come across something that you think would be perfect to be Shelley's website...let me know!


Tuesday, February 17, 2004

UJ: good day all around....

I had a pretty good day today...and I have no real reason why. I spent some time with a friend today...she came in and brought me a homemade lunch (isn't she the sweetest thing!) and then I had a meeting that I usually loathe...but, it wasn't bad at all.

Then I came home...watched some crap TV and then worked out. It went really well...and I felt really good.

Back to my friend I mentioned aboved...she really is an amazing woman. As I have mentioned before, the closest friend I had in grad school, well...she isn't really a friend anymore. From time to time..I get overwhelmed with sadness about it. It makes me question what I bring to a friendship or any relationship....and this has been going on for 6 or 7 months. On good days...I know that I am a good friend and that if this former friend didn't realize it...or if being my friend was too hard, then that is something that is her issue and not mine. I worked hard on trying to keep that friendship going...and I just can't work on it anymore.

But...then on bad days...I wonder...I wonder why I wasn't worth making the effort when things got hard. I wonder how she could not be my friend when I worked so hard being her friend when she was going through a hard time. I think that maybe I am just too difficult...and if you give people time, the same will happen with them too.

Now...I know most of that self pity isn't true, but it doesn't mean I don't feel it. It doesn't mean that my self esteem doesn't take a temporary nose dive when this former friend doesn't call or email back for weeks or months.

I don't know why I just shared that...I think maybe since today is a good day...and the reason why is because I spent some time with a really good friend...who I appreciate her friendship...and she appreciates mine too. She called me this evening just to chit chat and check in about how her day at school was a nice feeling. It reminded me...since it is a good day...that I have friendships in my life that make me feel good...that validate me as a friend.

I am tempted to delete all of that, but away.

Happy Tuesday all!


Monday, February 16, 2004

UJ: check out this link

I think this link and this interesting and also hilarious.

I found this on someone else's blog...and just thought it was so interesting. I love that the guy calls himself the Michael Moore of fast food...and he is in one main way, like Michael Moore...he isn't able to get McDonald's on the phone (Michael was never able to get an interview from the head of GM when he was making Roger and Me).

I would really like to see this documentary if I am ever able to get the chance.


Sunday, February 15, 2004

UJ: grumbles...

So, this afternoon I went out to my car to check and see if something was in my backseat. And so I open my front seat and notice that my car is messier than usual.

Well, it wasn't just car had been broken into. I don't how they got in..since I *swear* that I locked the doors to my car...and they didn't seem to be any damage to either door.

The only I can tell that has been taken is a stack of CD-Rs that were on the floor of my car. But you know what is bizarre??? Nothing else was taken...and I had a good number of stuff in my car which has value. One, the person looked through my middle console and took out my expensive 35mm camera and just let it on the front seat. I had a bunch of CDs in the console right before my stereo...which were worth much more than the CD-Rs which were taken. And, I had some cell phone adapter and stuff in my glove compartment which was not taken either... Plus, I had a set of keys to my apartment and such in my car as well...and none of that was taken. I find that kind of strange...that the things which could have easier been pawned weren't taken.

And of mind goes right to the worst case scenario...that the sticky fingered bastard might have found some papers when going through my middle console and that identify theft might be an issue. I hope that isn't true...and I don't think I had anything with my social security # or anything, but I am going to have to watch my account statements and I am going to have to check my credit report at least once or twice a year...just to be sure.

I called the police...and made a report. It isn't the end of the world, but it sucks that someone thinks that they can go into another person's car, shuffle through my papers and take anything that they would like. Sometimes I am reminded that the world is full of shmucks!


P.S. People often assume that those who are poor or homeless are more likely to steal from you. Things like this...remind me that it isn't exactly true. I park my car at work everyday...and nothing has ever been taken from my car there. I have from time to time...left my bag or a coat or a scarf at work...and it is always returned to me. I think people want to think that the homeless are more likely to do something like this...than their next door neighbor, but it just isn't true. I know that the dirt bag who broke into my most likely some shmoe who lives right near me, walked by my car...saw something they wanted and helped themselves. Ho hum....


Thursday, February 12, 2004

UJ: Wal-Mart is the devil!!!

One of my former co-workers will love this title...because she is the President of the "I Hate Wal-Mart" Club. Wal-Mart has been known for many hateful policies...including not filling prescriptions that they believe to be *immoral*. Hmm, I thought that was for my doctor to decide...and Wal-Mart's job was just to sell the little pills to me.

Let's see...they also were involved in the industry sweeping our nation...sweat shops. Hey, how else do you think they sell you 2 t-shirts for under 5 bucks.

And...then there were the migrant workers who were found working inside Wal-Mart for pennies an hour.

And...let's not forget when Wal-Mart decided to stop carrying a Barbie-like doll which was a Pregnant Mommy with detachable belly (creepy, eh?). Why did they discontinue it? Because the mommie did not have a wedding ring on her left hand....and so they felt the doll would send the wrong messaage to little girls and would offend their shoppers. BUT...they will sell you a gun ANYTIME!

But, I digress...for those reasons, Wal-Mart is the devil, but for another reason...they treat their employees horrifically.

I have been re-reading Nickel and Dimed...which is a good book, but not as great as I remembered. Maybe I am just more engrossed and know more working poor than I did when I first flipped through it. I think it's a nice little window, but it misses so much about the program of a devasting minimum wage. But of the places that Barbara works is the dreaded Wal-Mart and she tells many of the terrifying details of what it is like to be an employee in her book.

I sadly...know some of those stories as well. I worked at Wal-Mart after my freshman year in college. I returned to my little ol' hometown and needed to have a job for the summer break. I made the mistake of taking the opportunity to work at Wal-Mart.

First of all...they make you take this test...I remember this test well. It is supposed to show what kind of personality you have. They have questions like, "Is it ever okay to steal?" The answer is of course no. And.."Is there ever an instance when not following your supervisor's orders is acceptable?" The answer they are looking for...of course not. Then there are a bajillion questions about alcohol and marijuana...and if you have ever been within a mile of a joint, then it will indicate you are not right to be a Wal-Mart employee. The most offensive and telling question for me, "There is room in every corporation for a nonconformist." And the answer is clearly and loudly...from Sam of the Wal-Mart dictatorship, OF COURSE NOT. The idea of working to tow the company line and if at all people, please do NOT think for yourself. There was a great point in the book...that the test, in actually...doesn't test your honesty, it tests you ability to lie over and over again on the indicator. And once you are done taking it...the lady takes it back and scores it and any wrong answers (even though it is printed on the top of the quiz that there are NO right or wrong answers...if you believe that, I have a bridge I want to sell you)...but anyways...this woman comes back and asks for clarification on your answers which were not moral enough for almighty Wal-Mart.

Talking to another employee at Wal-Mart while on the officially TIME STEALING from the corporation. So, talking to Sally next to stealing from the company. *grumbles*

And Wal-Mart knows that most of their employees are not working there...because they want to be, but instead because they HAVE to. I was just working there for the, I wasn't a "lifer" as the others are obnoxiously called. Those middle aged men and women...their lives depend on the pay check that they get from the tyranny of Wal-Mart....and because of that, they will accept how they are treated. They will not take their breaks or lunches, even though they are required by law...because they don't want to be seen as trouble...because if your CSM (Customer Service Manager) doesn't like are done. They will either fire you...or harass you until you can do nothing else but quit.

And here is another humiliating story....when I worked for Wal-Mart. We would have a store meeting each morning at all employees would have to meet in the middle of the store (except that one lucky employee who got to stay on the register and not partake in the humiliation). So, we would get together...and they would give the morning notes and our goals for the day...fine. And then we would have to sing this Wal-Mart song and say this Wal-Mart chant. Customers are shopping around us while we have to while we have to sit there and sing, "I love Wal-Mart!!" order to keep our jobs. If we aren't excited or enthused enough...guess what, management pulls us aside and mentions that without a positive attitude, we won't be needed at Wal-Mart. Now...I haven't heard of this happening at other Wal-Marts, but it happened at mine. Horrific...

So...I think my tirade is over. And the saddest part, after all that...I still shop at Wal-Mart. I don't make all that much, I appreciate that my shampoo is two bucks cheaper... I know that if I was financially secure, I would not give them my money...but, as I was writing this...I don't think it is good enough.

I am not giving up Wal-Mart just yet...but I think I am going to beging phasing out Sam Walton and his fascist companies.

In conclusion...Wal-Mart is the devil. I guess their hypnosis during their orientation didn't work on me, eh?

Saturday, February 07, 2004

UJ: shlubs who prey on the poor!

I got this piece of mail yesterday....and it angers me how many people may fall for this scam or take them up on the offer out of sheer desperation.

So, the ad says...

There's a check for $4010.39 waiting for you. Just call 1-800-###-#### to apply today.

The extra cash is yours for a monthly payment of just $144.00 a month.

What it doesn't least not on the that it is a high interest loan which you will be paying back with 25% interest. To get this elusive 4 will be paying back over 6 grand. Of course, it says this in tiny print on the reverse side of the document.

Places like this really, REALLY piss me off! They are preying on those who don't understand the document...and those who are in poverty and in a desperate situation. They might need that money enough to take the consequences of the high interest...grrr...

It's like those damn rent a center places...where you can take home a new couch and TV today and only pay 15 buck a week...but when you do the math, you realize that you will be paying over $2000 for a 17" TV...and a small couch. Once is preying on the poor and those who can't get credit of their own.

And the car dealerships...who promise they can get ANYONE financing...well, of course they can. If you have crappy credit...they will finance you, but at a horrible interest rate. They will give you a rate that is about twice what the going rate is.... And of course, these are the people that have the least amount of money...and pay the most amount for a crappy car.

I really hate these people...we have a rent a center place here in town called, "Raper's Rent To Own." I think the name is very fitting...



I was pretty tired for most of this week....on Thursday, I actually felt like I wanted to fall asleep in the middle of the day. That is so unusual for me. I think I have been going to bed too late and then still waking up at the crack of dawn.

Today, I had the intention of sleeping in...but instead, I woke up at 6:50am...grrr...oh well, I will try to get to sleep early tonight and get fully rested.

My mom is doing really well...she should be back home by the end of the weekend. We hope this surgery will do the trick...and stop her recurring infections. I always wish that I could be home and visiting with her in the hospital. My dad loves my mom more than anyone else in the world...but, he isn't always comfortable in the hospital room. I actually enjoy mom and I would just sit there and talk or watch TV. It was one of the few things I could do for her. So, I miss not being able to do that when I am here....

Now, I am watching Some Kind of Wonderful on TV...such a great 80s, but I love it!


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

My mom is going in for surgery again today...we knew it was coming and it is actually a pretty good thing. We think many of the infections and problems she has been having will be taken care of with this surgery...that is our hope.

As always...I wish I could be with her. But, I will do what I can...I will call her daily and chit chat with her. I will do my best to support my dad...who never knows what to do with himself when he my mom isn't home. It is actually quite cute...since it just shows how much my parents are in love...and how much they adore one another's company.

So, I am thinking about her...and wishing her well.