Friday, June 29, 2007

My friend Ashley

If you haven't heard of her....check out Ashley Chambliss and spread the word. It's so of her songs popped up on One Life to Live AND was used on So You Think You Can Dance. Very Cool!

The song in the video is A Little More of You

This makes me so sad

So Hope and I have had the "would you wax your daughter's eyebrow" conversation, but this is extreme.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Need help with airline tickets?

Farecast is the coolest site to check on tickets for now or in the future. They look at past history and some other mumbo jumbo and predict if you should buy now or wait until prices fall. According to the site

We predict where fares are going and show where they've been—now for more than 75 home airports (indicated in green within the search form). Our free airfare predictions are 74.5% accurate. Read more about the third party audit of our accuracy in our recent press release.

Fare Prediction

A Fare Prediction shows if the lowest fare is rising or dropping over the next seven days for the specific dates and cities searched. Each prediction includes the following elements:
  1. Arrow: An indication of whether the lowest fare is rising, dropping, or staying the same.
  2. Confidence: A percentage based on our track record for similar predictions for the market searched.
  3. Average Fare Change: An amount reflecting the average fare change recorded when similar predictions were correct for the market.
  4. Buying Tip: Our recommendation based on the prediction information.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's official...She's a preschooler

Scarlett was registered for preschool today. Ouch!!

That's all I can say.

Father's Day with the CowBulls or Sox

Father's Day at the ballpark...what fun! A group of friends joined us in celebrating at the Durham Bulls game for Father's Day. The team won and Scarlett got to run the bases! She was so excited "Me Runnnn-ed," she said.


Scarlett: "Oh, Mommy...SHOES! PINK!"
Mommy: "You want to wear them?"
Scarlett: "Yes. Take the tag."

I suppose that means she'll take them. Scarlett got a pair of hot pink crocs and they are cute! She wore them to bed the first night and came out of her room wearing them the next morning. Today before we left the house, she went up to her shoes and said, "I missed you shoes."

Saturday, June 9, 2007


No, I'm not having a baby, but I found this baby naming tool and it is so neato!

Check it out...Nymbler

Friday, June 8, 2007

Reasons I might be on crack

Since my last day of work and I have kept myself busy with nothing. I am continually finding things that I MUST do. What a crazy bird....

1. Trip to Will's grandmother's
2. Learned to make panoramic photos...had to do one of the farm
3. Trip to Dalton
4. Broke all time record on Bejeweled, 2.5 million
5. Decorated Master Bath - painted walls (yet again), bought new towels, added artwork
6. Created art pieces from pictures of Scarlett at the beach
7. Convinced myself that Scarlett MUST have a haircut and that I am a bad mother for not keeping her coif couture (as if that's possible for a toddler)...still have not done it
8. Determined that I'm not that bad after seeing pictures of the sons of Kate Hudson and Celine Dion
9. Researched the phenomena of crocs...stock prices...chemical make up...sizing options...convinced I MUST by some for Scarlett before she ends up with Flintstone's feet
10. Contacted multiple people about renting a house in the Keys, St. Augustine, and anywhere order to celebrate Tom's last days in the US as a non-war veteran...alas, still has not come to fruition and he's headed for the sandbox June 30...Guilt, bad friend, bad Anna
11. Researched baby names for the child I don't have...felt guilty about liking the names that the kid would hate
12. Searched for a flower girl dress for Scarlett...spent $100 on a dress for a 2 year old only to later discover that Target has a new bridal line
13. Contemplated the University of Phoenix online in response to the RTSP situation
14. Visit to Florida
15. Painted my parent's one day...regretted not spending more time with Tina and Hope
16. Planted 17 new plants in the back landscape...mulched around the garden steps...put out new pine straw...killed some lavender
18. Painted an old tree is now a psychedelic mushroom seat for Scarlett
19. Planned out a paver patio...that I don't need seeing that I already have a patio, but apparently I want two
20. Cleaned out the truck
21. Tile the backsplash in the a couple of hours
22. Added undercabinet lighting and lighting on the crown a couple of hours (OK, Will helped with this one)
23. Searched Craigslist for an inexpensive dining room table...toddler resistant (did you know they have hookers on craigslist?)
23. Planned out decor for living room and dining room...material, artwork, etc
24. In process of making curtains for both rooms
25. Discovered that toddlers could grow breast buds from the hormones in milk and chicken...researched organic alternatives...determined that I must go all organic for Scarlett
26. Stopped taking therapeutic medication, yet again...Tom Cruise said that vitamins and exercise work...I really wish he would return my phone calls
27. Decided I MUST -- touch up paint the interior of the house...
28. ...redesign the front landscape beds...
29. ...spend more time with Amy...
30. ...update my CV...
31. more rubber mulch for the play area...
32. ...get Scarlett into a summer camp program...
32. ...teach Scarlett multiple languages...
33. a piano...
34. ...pressure wash the fence...
35. ...stain the deck...
36. ...convince my parents to come for a visit...
37. ...stay in touch with cousins...
38. on the Galaxie...
39. ...find a new hair stylist...
40. ...get tickets to see Laurie Berkner in the Poconos on the way back from Rhode Island...
41. on my pathetic guitar skills so I can play Laurie Berkner for Scarlett instead of listening to the F*cking CD all day...
43. books for my writing...
44. on my deadlines for social mobility and critical race...
45. ...lose the wisdom teeth...
46. ...keep up with the laundry, it's the least I can do considering someone else cleans the house...
47. all of which are possible in the next few weeks...if I'm talented enough
48. Spent hours searching the internet for my camera that disappeared in Chicago...please let me know if you see pictures of the twin nurses floating around the internet
49. Organized a father's day outing
50. Redesigned the blog.

Now I have to stop listing things because I'm feeling pressure to get working on something.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fun news site from Jen

I found this site on Jen's blog. It's a great way to get all the news you don't really need to know.

Check it out...Fark

Monday, June 4, 2007

Britney and the mom butt

I have to admit that I get some satisfaction out of this. Thank you Perez!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A little advice

The New York Times

June 2, 2007
Your Money

More Advice Graduates Don’t Want to Hear

Last year at this time, as college graduates walked out into the world, I wrote a column giving advice on how they could save money.

In droves, parents sent the column to their children. And some of those children wrote to me to vent. What I suggested was impractical, many said. How would you like to try to live on $40,000 a year in Washington or San Francisco, several asked.

What I was proposing was not radical. It was mostly the simple things my mother had drummed into me. It was advice like diverting 10 percent of your income to savings before anything else and ignoring raises and putting them into savings, too. Learn to cook, I said, and never borrow money to pay for a depreciating asset.

I also suggested cutting out the latte habit, which was my symbol for those little things in life that when turned into a habit, add up to money that could have been spent on something worthwhile and memorable.

Other people, my wife among them, pointed out that I may have been too draconian on that point. Consistent savings is a lot easier if there are small rewards along the way; otherwise, life seems as if it is just one bowl of cold grass porridge after another.

Fine feedback, indeed, and my wife’s counsel reminds me that I should have added one other bit of advice: find a partner and stay together. Study after study show that two can live more cheaply together than each alone and that divorce is the great destroyer of wealth.

But, dear graduates, the crux of the advice is still compelling. While there may be a debate among economists about how much 50- and 60-year-olds should be saving for retirement, there is little dispute about how much the young should save: more.

Saving while young is critical. It isn’t just because of the power of compounding. By that I mean that if you start saving now it will build to a larger nest egg by the time you are 65 than if you wait to start at 45. Or to put it another way, you can save a smaller amount now rather than a larger amount later.

Bank $250 a month for 40 years in a I.R.A. or a 401(k) and you will receive about $500,000, assuming a 6 percent return. Start at age 45 and you would have to put in $1,078 a month to generate the same amount by age 65.

But there is another compelling reason to get into the habit of saving. (Here is where this column also turns into advice for the older folks who are giving you this to read.) People who save a lot get used to a lower rate of consumption while working, so less money is needed in retirement.

Stretching to save a little more yields a double dividend. You accumulate more assets and you lower the amount you will need in retirement because you will not have the habit of spending extravagantly to feel fulfilled.

Inevitably though, we return to the question: How can you possibly afford to put away that much? If you are only making $40,000, a not-untypical starting salary for a college-educated professional in a big city, the weekly gross of $769 works down to $561 in take-home pay after income taxes and payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicaid.

Were you to divert 10 percent of your salary to a 401(k) plan, the bottom line becomes $509.

In other words, a regular habit of savings costs you $52 a week. You easily frittered that away last week on things that you cannot even recall this week. A useful exercise that proves the point: For a week, try to list everywhere you spend cash or use your credit card.

Could you save another 10 percent a week, or $50? If you do, you are nearly set for life.

Can you live on $1,950 a month? Rents being what they are in certain cities like New York, San Francisco or Washington, sure, it will be tight. People do it by finding a roommate and watching their expenses (or asking for an occasional handout from Mom and Dad).

There may be another compelling reason to save and that is that while many aspects of retirement savings are predictable, the big unknowable is health care costs. “If you believe in the logic of the life cycle model, then once you get used to peanut butter, all else follows,” said Jonathan Skinner, a economics professor at Dartmouth College who has studied retirement issues and recently wrote a paper titled “Are You Sure You’re Saving Enough for Retirement?” for the National Bureau of Economic Research. “That’s the assumption that I am questioning: Do people want to be stuck in peanut butter in retirement?”

He said he came to the conclusion that a strategy to reduce retirement expenses “will be dwarfed by rapidly growing out-of-pocket medical expenses.” He noted projections based on the Health and Retirement Study, a survey of 22,000 Americans over the age of 50 sponsored by the National Institute on Aging found that by 2019, nearly a tenth of elderly retirees would be devoting more than half of their total income to out-of-pocket health expenses. He said, “These health care cost projections are perhaps the scariest beast under the bed.”

As Victor Fuchs, the professor emeritus of economics and health research and policy at Stanford University, told me, money is most useful when you are old because it makes all the difference whether you wait for a bus in the rain to get to the doctor’s appointment or you ride in a cab.

“Saving for retirement may ultimately be less about the golf condo at Hilton Head and more about being able to afford wheelchair lifts, private nurses and a high-quality nursing home,” Professor Skinner said.

His best advice for people in their 20s and 30s: maximize workplace matching contributions, seek automatic savings mechanisms like home mortgages and hope “that their generation can still look forward to solvent Social Security and Medicare programs.”

Over the last two years I’ve been dispensing advice in this space about how to spend and save more wisely. This will be my last column for a spell as I am taking on editing duties that give me little time for reporting. But before I go, I want to remind the young graduates, their parents who scrimped and saved to get them there, and anyone else who stuck with me this far that are a few other rules of life worth considering.

Among them are the following. Links are available at

¶Never pay a real estate agent a 6 percent commission.

¶Buy used things, except maybe used tires.

¶Get on the do-not-call list and other do-not-solicit lists so you can’t be tempted.

¶Watch infomercials for their entertainment value only.

¶Know what your credit reports say, but don’t pay for that knowledge: go to to get them.

¶Consolidate your cable, phone and Internet service to get the best deal.

¶Resist the lunacy of buying premium products like $2,000-a-pound chocolates.

Lose weight. Carrying extra pounds costs tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.

¶Do not use your home as a piggy bank if home prices are flat or going down or if interest rates are rising.

¶Enroll in a 401(k) at work immediately.

¶Postpone buying high-tech products like PCs, digital cameras and high-definition TVs for as long as possible. And then buy after the selling season or buy older technology just as a new technology comes along.

¶And, I’m sorry, I’m really serious about this last one: make your own coffee.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Cleaning Euphoria

I just started using Mrs. Meyers cleaning products and my word...heavenly. I bought the lavender scent and I LOVE it. It keeps the kitchen smelling great and it's earth friendly. I bought my products at Whole Foods, but you can find them at Mrs. Meyers.