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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Friday, June 27, 2008

It has begun. Computer trouble.

Whilst I LOVE playing on them and with them, I HATE them. I.Am.Not.a.Programmer.

But I have some brains. Sometimes they're a bit mushy, but I do have some. And when the cable-guys came in and installed my online modem doodad, I asked them: "What about my current dial-up ISP?" And.They.Said.They.Fixed.It.


They did supposedly click where they were supposed to click to tell the computer to ignore the three-lettered ISP that begins with M and ends with N.

And it did. For an evening.

Then last night I went online to show DH how to get online and look stuff up and sell stuff on Craig's list (his newest obsession and get-rich-quick-idea). I clicked on a link in a message, in order to reply to that poster, and I got an error.

So after talking to a friend, I uninstalled M-N Dial Up, apparently successfully, until the very end where it said it would reboot and it didn't. So I tried to shut down and start up again, so that the uninstall would take effect, and my computer wouldn't shut down.

So I called the cable-guys. And their tech support suggested he take control of my computer and designate Microsoft Outlook as my email manager since I didn't want a cable email address. (Oh, I almost forgot - I didn't get any manuals or instructions with the new computer/phone/TV thingee like my friend did who had the same thing installed two days ago. Cable-guys suggested I go to Paterson to pick them up at the store. Paterson??? NJ??? Are you kidding me???)

And it didn't work. I still have a rundll32.exe error. I know it's serious. And I know it has something to do with "panes of glass" and the operating system, but I don't know how to fix it. So cable-guy told me to call the computer manufacturer.

I did. And I HATE them, too! This is the 5th piece of equipment from a company that starts with H and ends with P and I don't like them any more than I did the first time I had trouble. Do not ask me why we keep buying them. I'm not paying for these items so I just say thank you and open the box and keep my fingers crossed.

Here were my two options:
1) Pay $99.95 for an extended warranty that includes virus protection for a year. (My response: No thanks. I just paid for Norton Anti-Virus for two years last night so I don't need that.)
2) Pay $49.95 for the "event."

Fifty freakin' dollars for them to read off a piece of paper how to fix my problem????? No way. No how. Not a chance.

I slammed the phone down on them.

DH gets REALLY stressed when I go ballistic over computer problems 'cause he can't help me fix it. He's clueless when it comes to computers, and actually, so am I. I just use them. And drop the f-bomb a few hundred times while I'm doing it.

I emailed my friend to see if her brother had an idea about fixing it. She's very computer savvy, too, and suggested reinstalling Windows. She said she'd come over next week and help me.

Thank the dear Lord for friends who understand computers.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Welcome to the 21st century!

I've heard that several times in the past 24 hours.

As of 6pm yesterday, we are the proud owners of an Optimum Triple-Play account. This means that we're on line via our cable, we have 200+ channels on our TV and just for sh-ts and giggles, Optimum will handle all of our land-line phone calls for the reasonable rate of $29.95 per month.

This means, my friends, that I can actually open emails at home.

This means that there is no longer any reason for me to do my personal email reading and writing at work when I arrive there at 7:30 in the godawful morning! (I'm not really, deep down, a morning person!) This means that I can actually spend my hours at work - well - working. Wow. What a concept.

It also means I can read my daily favorite blogs at home 'cause my computer will actually access them in less than 10 minutes. Whatever will I do without dial-up access??? Ah, modern technology!

In a few minutes, I'm actually going to be giving DH his first computer lesson on the new system.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vote Wiley!

To those of you who want to support my employer, in a rather indirect way... Go to http://www.gawker.com/, scroll down and vote for one of our Wiley guys as "Hottest Man in Book Publishing 2008."

Go ahead, support our guys!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

You must know how much I miss you.

I know you're there, somewhere, still a part of my life. Still watching over me. Still keeping an eye on me and guiding me when I need a helping hand.

When I hear the dishes settle on the drainboard, I think, "Hi, Dad!"
When I see a gardening book, I think of you.
When I see an Oldsmobile, I think of you.
When I visit the Harley Davidson factory and I smell the odor of machinery and grease, I think of you.
When Jack starts a project at the house, I think of you. (And I hope you keep an eye on him,
When I see a cemetery, I think of you.
Whenever it's March 16, or June 14, or July 25, or August 12, or December 18, I think of you.

Whenever I have a moment, I think of you. It doesn't really require a specific thing to make me think of you - you're still so much a part of my every day life that even though you've been gone since March 16, 1987, I talk to you every day. I think of you every day. I miss you every day.

When I got married, I stood up on that altar, wishing not for a happy marriage, but that you were there. I prayed for a sign from you: a breeze in that hotter-than-hot church, a window slamming, a car backfiring - I wanted you there so badly that anything would have been a sign from you!!! I wanted you to walk me down the aisle. I wanted to dance that father-daughter dance the worst way. To this day, nine years after I got married, twenty-one years after you died, I can't watch a bride dance with her dad without crying. And it doesn't matter who the bride is: Vanessa, Carrie, or a complete stranger on television. I cry. I miss you. And I am angry that I didn't get to dance with you on my wedding day.

But you know what? When it's time, when I move toward the light, when I die, you'd better be there to dance the first dance with me.

Happy Father's Day, Mr. S.

I wish you were here. I wish I got to have a father-in-law. I know I met you. I know you know who I am, and I truly believe that you know Jack and I are married and happy and I know you're happy for us.

And I'm happy to hear Patty talk about you and say that she knows you liked me, that you were happy when Jack and I were together, and that you were annoyed with him when we split up.

But I wanted to know all that in the first-person! I wanted to visit you during the week, have a cup of coffee or tea with you, and eat some sugar-free Jello with you. I wanted to see you with your grandchildren. (I truly believe if you and Mom were still here that all that nonsense with Johnny would never have happened. And if you're bored wherever you are, we could use a little help with your grandson!) I wanted to get to know you as your daughter-in-law, not just that nice girl that Jack was dating.

I'm going to have to settle for making you a part of my day, a part of our day, in all those small ways you would have been were you still here. I mention you to Jack, I ask him about you as a dad, as a grandfather. He misses you. So very much that he can't really talk about you without tearing up, and that's the way it should be. You know what he says? He says all those times you asked him to hang around and do some work with you and he didn't 'cause he was on his way out to play or to hang with his friends - he says he should have spent that time with you. He misses learning from you, learning to do things like create the Christmas wreaths and grave blankets. He does that for you. In your memory. In your honor. Not 'cause he really likes to do it. It makes him sad. But it's a way to keep you alive with us in a really small way.

I never got to tell you I love you in real life. I hope you know now, though, that I love you and I miss you. And I'm going to be the best daughter-in-law you ever had (not a tough task, I know, considering the competition!) and a great wife to your son. I promise.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BORING! I know, this blog is boring. My life is boring. I don't know why the two of you read this, but thanks!

If Shannon at EightCrazy Designs (www.eightcrazydesign.blogspot.com) were to pick me and give me a bee-you-tea-full website or create a custom banner for me, wouldn't you tell a friend, who might tell a friend, who might tell a friend... that there's this really boring website but you've GOT to see the website's design... It's awesome! And then I might actually have a little web-traffic...

Shannon, pick me, pick me! I want a custom banner! Something with irises or books or both... Yea, I know, Shannon, you haven't picked me yet, and here I am, annoying you with creative ideas... Pick me anyway!!! Please?!?

Monday, June 09, 2008

49th Annual N---- Family Reunion Picnic!

Saturday was the picnic. It was our family's turn to host the event. Never before have I been personally involved in any drama on my husband's side of the family, but there's a first time for everything!

It was the 49th annual summer picnic. 49 years they've been doing this. And for the past 14 or 15 years, I've been lucky enough to be a part of them (I can't remember exactly when we started going - DH had been boycotting them before 'cause of his divorce, and other reasons).

My family is not very big. I have my mom, my 2 sisters, and my niece and nephew. My one cousin R is like a brother to me; we were raised together - we saw each other almost every day, at least that's what it seems like to me. My mom has another sister who doesn't speak to us so her entire family is separated from us and she had four children who are all married with children. My dad's family all lives out west, in AZ and in CO, for the most part. Or they're dead, the ones left here in NJ...

So I was THRILLED to become part of a big, huge, Italian family. A family that gets together without fail twice a year, and more often in smaller groups. You may already know that DH and I go to his sister's house every Monday night for dessert. The dessert is bonus - I get to see my SIL and BIL and an assorted niece or nephew every week. I love this. I love family. And they were so welcoming to me and to the rest of my family that there are no "in-law" feelings - they're my family.

Well, when part of the N---- family decided we were all going to take a turn hosting either the Summer Picnic or the Christmas Party, I was okay with it, even though it meant I'd probably be doing the bulk of the work 'cause I'm the most tech-oriented one between my DH and my SIL. And I loved it - designing the email invite, getting it out, sending out reminders, hard copies to the aunts and uncles who had no computers, and collecting RSVPs. I, however, would not have changed the picnic to the first Saturday in June. Every one of the cousins had multiple children, which means graduations and communions and all sorts of other obligations. And shore houses, there are a lot of those, too.

I have a lake house. And we LOVE it. But we didn't go 'cause it was the weekend of the Family Picnic. Others obviously don't feel that way. The turn-out was okay, but not great; the ones that showed up are the ones who always show up and that's okay - they're not the troublemakers. But afterwards, there were phone calls and comments about how so few people showed up and we should just cancel it 'cause the cousins have been going to these things for years and their kids were going only cause the grandparents demanded the families go but now some of the kids are getting older and have other obligations of their own and besides, it was the hottest day of the year and the seniors were hot.

Well, heck, I was hot, too! Now of course I don't want any aunts or uncles dropping like proverbial flies, but we were in the shade and sitting, not making them play volleyball or do calisthenics. And if it was too hot, they could have stayed home!

Why start making noise about cancelling something so wonderful??? I know I'm speaking selfishly, because I love these get-togethers so much, but come on. One hot day and a relatively low turnout (32 people instead of 50 as usual - and over 100 at the Christmas Party!) and they want to quit the picnics?!??

I VOTE NO TO DROPPING THE SUMMER PICNIC!!! (Not that I have a vote since I'm only an in-law!)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Bills, bills, bills. Checks, checks, checks.
Where it stops, nobody knows.

Just for the record, I hate to pay bills. And I don't really buy that much. Okay, yes, I do waste a few dollars here and there on scrapping stuff, and sometimes I even buy a pocketbook or a blouse I really don't need, but when you consider my store of choice is usually a Wal-Mart, you gotta figure I'm not really breaking the bank, here!

Today I had to pay: American Express (work-related, they'll eventually reimburse me), Jersey Central Power & Light, Dr. C., Verizon Wireless, Discover and Costco. And let's not forget the estimated tax I had to send to Uncle Sam!

That's the one that did it.

Do you realize that you can pay Uncle Sam some estimated tax and he doesn't send you a receipt for it for you to put in your tax folder for next year? We paid 2 quarters' worth of estimated tax in 2007 and our accountant forgot to include it on our tax form because I didn't tell him because the IRS didn't send me a statement or anything at the end of the year. You know how when you earn interest, the bank sends you a statement. Or when you receive some dividends in the VERY teeny tiny amount of stock you owe, you get a statement. Well, not our favorite Uncle! When he got my money last year, he didn't send me a thing! He just cashed those checks, quick as can be!

Our accountant sent our tax return to us to sign and we owed thousands! HOW COULD THAT BE? We paid some estimated....

AHHH, said the blind man... So I called him, reminded him and he adjusted our return.

WHY should I have to remember this? WHY can't the government send me a statement of my estimated taxes paid?

I'm on this rampage today 'cause today I had to write out the check for the second estimated tax payment of 2008. Jack does one in April, and I do one in June. And it has left me penniless until my next paycheck, when I'll get a little bit of money for doing a great deal of work, and then our very nice mailman will bring me a bunch of bills, and this vicious cycle will start all over again...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thought for the day: When I first started this blog, I had hoped to be able to post all the wonderfully creative layouts I was going to create now that I had begun to scrap.

Well, s-crap, I've posted (I believe) one slideshow of layouts - that's it! One!

Needless to say, my thought for the day is: Try to finish what you start.
You're kidding, right? This blog? Genius level? Not a chance.

And you're right. When I entered yesterday's entry into the check your blog's reading level thingee, I got "elementary" level. Then I cheated and entered a specific entry where I quoted Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson, and voila!

I'm a genius!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Secret Is in the Sauce...

Check out the link to the left of this entry - an opportunity to find lots of new blogs to read, a contest to start things out in a really exciting way!

Just to spark your interest, and I quote from the website: "We are Heather and Tiffany. Two comment junkies who love to blog about life, motherhood, Crackliture and Naked Barbie."

'Nough said. Who wouldn't click on this link now?!?!? http://thesecretisinthesauce.blogspot.com/