Posted on: March 4, 2010 2:52 pm

Terms of Service

If you ever actually read the fine print of a contract or warranty, there’s always some disclaimer that winds up coming back to haunt you.  For example, at my job, we purchased a piece of equipment for $20,000 that did of course come with a warranty.  It broke down a few months later, and we had to call our usual service company to repair it.  The lengthy amount of time it took them to figure out the problem cost us $120 per hour during which they even tried to call the manufacturer who could offer zero help…..shocker.  In the end, they traced the issue to a pressure switch that we wound up having to replace.  We’ve had to replace this part twice since over the course of a little more than a year.  You know what’s coming……the part isn’t covered under the warranty.  You know that has to be on purpose.  The fine print on paperwork should really be defined as red flags. 

Which brings me to relationships, my favorite topic next to the Yankees and baseball.   The disclaimers or red flags here are much more subtle and difficult to interpret, but they are there. They come in all shapes and sizes through statements and actions. 

You start with the honeymoon period where everything is rosy, and you talk for hours and enjoy every minute with each other.  That’s all well and good, but your first red flag is if one or the other takes it TOO fast.  For instance, you’ve met someone online which is the norm nowadays.  You talk for awhile until you’re comfortable enough to meet.  You meet, and you get along extremely well, so you agree to meet again.  During the second meeting, one or the other gushes about how you’re the one, or some similar statement.  I know someone who traveled long distance, and during the second meeting, he told her he was miserable without her and wanted her to move there.  Of course, that made her feel really good, but she was realistic and knew it was too soon.  How well can you really know someone after months of online chats and 2 meetings?  Not well enough to uproot yourself.  That of course is an extreme case, but I’m sure you’ve all had similar situations where you were overwhelmed by someone’s enthusiasm.  I’m not saying to show the person the door if they move too fast, but it is a red flag, and you should wonder why.  The first assumption is usually desperation which isn’t necessarily fair.  The truth is usually that the person has recently ended a relationship which has made them vulnerable and lonely.  Remember the question you always ask yourself after a breakup?  It’s do I miss the person or the relationship.   The answer is almost always the relationship itself.  You miss just being with someone, so when someone else comes along, you’re anxious to get the security of a relationship back.  So, now not only have you uncovered the red flag of underlying meaning, you’re also alerted to the fact this person is probably not very independent.  In addition, they’re not very mature if they can’t recognize their own state of mind, and how it does take time to get to know someone.  I will say that I do believe in instant connections.  Even though I believe they should be tempered, if it feels right, you should go for it, but  proceed with caution because there are beliefs and personality traits that do not surface for months.  No person is an open book immediately or after a short time. 

Let me sidestep here to the online thing.  The person you talk to online is not exactly the person you’re going to meet.  People’s inhibitions online are much less existent.  It’s much easier to talk to someone on a computer than face to face.  The person you talk to online is generally in there somewhere, but it’s going to take longer for them to come out in person, so even more reason to take the time to get to know each other. 

Ok, so, you’ve decided to move forward even after being overwhelmed.  You continue to get along well, and you buy into them being really into you.  You allow yourself to open up more and believe there may be a future with this person.  Suddenly, they’re not so available.  They become really busy with work and can’t talk to you or see you as much.  You ask if maybe this isn’t a good time, but they insist that things will get better soon and ask you to be patient.  Danger!  The person is likely reassessing  their  feelings for you, and maybe even seeing someone else.  They don’t want to lose you, so they’ve only backed off until they’re ready to make a decision on you.  In addition, I see this as game playing which to me is unacceptable.  I mean, aren’t we adults?  Also, a person who can’t be honest with you is a coward in my book. 

Let’s say their schedule frees up, and they have time for you again.  That’s great since it means they want to move forward with you and have stopped having doubts.  It also means they may have legitimately been busy.  If it keeps happening though, I don’t believe the person is on the up and up.  If every few months, they’re taking a month off from you, that’s a problem.  The bigger problem is if you allow it.  A person is going to do whatever you allow them to do.  If you’re on and off with someone for a year, and you’re seeing them in your future, you’re likely wrong because they’re not on the same page.  There comes a point when you have to draw the line and say, hey, what gives if you think the person is worth it, or have some self respect and say goodbye before you waste any more of your time. 

Let’s say their schedule doesn’t free up yet they still continue to dangle a thread.  They feed you a line about how special you are, and they want you in their life, but it’s just not the right time.  Remember, this is after you’ve already asked them if it’s not the right time.   Well, they probably didn’t want you to be the one to end it out of guilt, or they likely have control issues.  Thing is, you don’t deserve someone who continues to put you off.  You’re obviously not important enough to them, and you should’ve seen the end coming.  A friend of mine allowed a man to put her off for months believing he was that busy with work.  He kept telling her he still wanted to continue seeing her.  Whenever she questioned his commitment to that statement, he blew up at her….another red flag.  He would yell about how he had all this pressure on him, and she was adding to it which of course made her feel like crap.  She would always wind up apologizing and then explain how she merely wanted him in her life more.  Was that so terrible?  No, you’d think someone would be flattered.  If they’re not, they don’t feel the same way, and they should say so instead of leading you on. 

Continuing on with the above scenario that happened to my friend, things did end because she drew the line and said hey, what gives.  She got the answer I mentioned previously.  She said, sorry, but no go because she didn’t want someone in her life who hadn’t treated her properly.  As we all tend to do, she started to think back about the time they spent together.  At first, she blamed herself because he must’ve not liked her faults.  Then, she became more objective and realized he gave her plenty of warning signs.  He was very critical of her.  He would say one thing, but do another.  He was weird with money.  He was hypocritical. 

I call this blog item “terms of service” because not only do you not want an inanimate object that doesn’t meet your standards, you don’t want a person either.  If their terms of service don’t match yours, and they’re not willing to compromise, it’s never going to work.  For your own good, it’s better to recognize that sooner rather than later.  My friend’s relationship I talked about was with a man who only wanted her in his life on his terms, refused to meet her halfway, and didn’t even try to understand where she was coming from.   It’s a selfish person who acts this way, and there are always signs along the way that’ll point you in that direction.  Recognize them, realize there’s generally a reason for them and don’t ignore them.  Believe in your own worth. 

Category: General
Posted on: January 4, 2009 1:22 am

A Woman in a Man's World

I’ve come out of hibernation to write a blog item that presents 2 dilemmas that I’m sure are common in the world today. One is a woman working in a man’s world, and the other is coping with interest in a man you can’t have who you also happen to see everyday on the job. My friend, who I’ll call Jill, is presented with both these dilemmas, and as it turns out, the man she can’t have is part of the problem in the man’s world too.

Jill works for a large company at a relatively high level position. She got hired about 2 years ago based on an impressive resume with years of experience and also favorable recommendations. After a short period of time, Jill’s talent was evident to her new employers, and when a higher level position became available, it was almost immediately offered to her.

I need to mention that Jill is an extremely determined person. I mention this because when she started with this particular company, she was somewhat overweight, but due to that determination of hers’, she gradually lost it all. With her new found figure, she had to buy a new wardrobe, and while she is conservative and tasteful when it comes to choosing clothes for work, she also prefers to be feminine. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. I personally don’t think a woman should have to sacrifice being a woman in a male dominated workplace. Anyway, she’s turning a few heads in the skirts she chooses to wear, plus, she’s an attractive woman. I’m comfortable enough with my feminity to say that, lol. She’s not complaining, mind you, because she takes the looks as compliments.

One of the heads she’s turning is a man who’s in a higher position than her. She had some dealings with him at her former position, but now their offices are not only in the same building, but on the same floor. Because he pays her this extra attention, he’s handsome, and he’s just an all-around nice guy, Jill has developed a bit of a crush on him. She’ll never do anything about it because he’s married, but she feels very awkward around him which effects their interactions. So, how does a woman or a man for that matter, handle feelings for a person they can’t have when they have dealings with them almost everyday? I’m sure it happens all the time. On a side note, he doesn’t wear his wedding ring, and I’m curious as to why some men do that. Is it because they don’t want other women to know they’re married? Is it because they don’t like being married? I just don’t get it, but I’m sure there are men on this site who can answer the question.

Now, here’s the other part of the problem with this particular man. If Jill didn’t have this crush on him, she might conclude his looks were a bit lecherous. He purposely walks a little bit behind her to see the view from back there. He’s removed himself from behind someone to watch her walk up stairs. She’s felt a presence directly behind her, and when she turned around, it was him giving her the once over. She basically ignores it because she feels uncomfortable acknowledging it in any way.

As a professional woman myself, I’m always flattered by the looks I get from men I work with or whoever. I’ve also always been of the mind that flirting is fun, and what’s the harm in stroking a man’s ego a little. In fact, because I know my talent speaks for itself, I’m not afraid to help my cause with a little bit of that harmless flirting. There are women, and men too, whose talent is limited and use their charm and looks to get ahead though, so it’s a slippery slope. Should a woman like Jill not wear becoming clothes at work, so everyone will only focus on her talent? Should she be afraid to acknowledge the attention due to the appearance of impropriety? Hopefully, I haven’t lost my readership, and this blog item will evoke some thoughtful discussion.

Category: General
Tags: Job, Men, Women
Posted on: May 27, 2008 3:38 pm

Smoke Signals

Since my relationship blog items seem to draw the most interest, here's another one for you.  This one is regarding the games people play in relationships and the signals the opposite sex send out.  Both genders are confusing to the point of utter frustration.  Don't you just want to shake the person you're interested in and/or involved with and say, what do you want??????????

Let's start from the beginning.  You see someone you find attractive across the room of a bar or wherever.  You can't tell whether or not you'll be shot down if you approach them, so you don't because rejection is a bitch especially when other people are watching.  The deal is if you want to be approached, you have to act like it.  Now, there are times when a person just doesn't feel like meeting someone because they've had a bad day or something, so don't take it personally.  I myself am very cut and dry.  If you're checking me out and I like what I see, I'm going to smile at you.  If I don't, I'm going to act like you don't exist.  Too cruel?  Maybe, but I'm of the mind you don't lead anyone on and waste their time. 

So, you've made initial contact with the person of interest.  You're making small talk and getting a feel for each other.  All of a sudden, oops, would you look at the time, I gotta go.  Why?  Something unappealing has been said or done.  Everyone's different, so again, don't take it personally.  What you said or did could be your future spouse's favorite thing about you, this person just hated it.  Thing is, if the flirting is abruptly stopped at 10 PM,  there's usually a reason for it, and you shouldn't bother asking for a phone number.  You're just leading yourself down a road of more rejection. 

Let's say you do get a number.  Yeah, if you don't want to appear too eager, you should wait a couple of days before you use it.  Eager = desperate in some people's minds, and desperate = unattractive.  Women and men alike look for confidence in a mate, someone strong and assertive that they don't have to worry about.  Nobody wants someone constantly bringing them down with clinginess.  Ok, back to using the number.  Personally, I can't stand the wait 3 days rule.  If you took my number, you want to call me, so do it, and I'm not going to perceive it as desperation.  I'm going to take it as a compliment.  That's just me though.  Now, if you get voicemail, and your intended doesn't call you back within a week, give it up.  There is a slight possibility the person's phone is messed up, so trying one more time isn't terrible, but no more than that.  Save your dignity.  Again, it's nothing personal.  Your crush just probably realized you weren't for them. 

The first date sucks.  You can't really judge someone on it alone, so if they're not a total loon, give them a second date.  The best thing to do is have a drink before you meet the person to relax yourself.  You obviously don't want to be drunk, but you want to be yourself and alcohol helps that cause, it really does.  You want your date to like you for you.  A first date is best approached like an interview, a gathering of information about each other.  It's also best approached on a friendship level which takes the pressure off.  The more laid back you are, the more comfortable your date's going to be which will bring out their true self.  That's the person you want to see, so you can determine whether or not they're right for you romantically.  Too many times I've seen people pretend to be someone they're not to please a member of the opposite sex.  I've also seen people be dishonest because they thought the person wouldn't like the truthful answer.  Then, you constantly have to remember the lie(s) you told, and it's bound to bite you in the butt.  Why people don't want to be with someone who appreciates them for them is beyond me.  Why put that much stress on yourself? 

So, the first date comes to an end.  You think a goodnight kiss is in order, but it doesn't happen.  Don't think it's because the other person didn't have a good time too.  Everyone expects the guy to make the first move, but maybe the guy isn't sure you want him to.  Nothing wrong with the girl giving the guy a kiss, even if it's on the cheek.  Again, if you're interested, you have to let each other know. 

Where letting each other know is concerned though, there is sharing TOO much information.  After you survive the first date and get into a full blown relationship, it's best for both parties to just go with the flow.  This is especially hard for women because they generally need things defined.  I'm guilty of it too.  Talking about EVERYTHING just complicates things which makes your relationship less enjoyable.  It'll drive someone away because who wants to do something they don't enjoy if they don't have to.  Thing is, if you enjoy being together, that's all you really need to know.  You also should be sensitive to the fact that everyone needs positive reinforcement, I don't care who you are.  You just can't take each other for granted, and you have to throw compliments around from time to time to let the person know you definitely find them attractive, you enjoy being with them, you like the way things are going.  Now, obviously, if you stay together long enough to think about a future, there are certain things you're just going to have to talk about, and guys have to realize this and suck it up. 


Category: General
Posted on: May 2, 2008 5:09 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2008 6:19 pm

'He's Just Not That Into You'

I remember hearing that said for the very first time on an episode of Sex and the City.  Carrie was introducing her new boyfriend, Jack Berger, to Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte for the first time.  The girls are discussing their love lives at some bar while Jack listens.  Miranda tells about a recent date where she invited the guy upstairs, but he declined saying he had to be up really early.  He kissed her twice and said he'd call her.  Jack bluntly utters his opinion, "he's just not that into you."  The girls argue with him about push/pull, guys are afraid of rejection too, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Jack reveals the secret to men is that there is no secret.  If they're interested, they say so by going upstairs and booking the next date. 

I'm all for Jack's assessment of a guy's behavior on a date, but what about 10 or however many dates down the road when the guy loses interest?  How about when they end a full blown relationship that's lasted months or maybe even years?  Why is it that one day "he's into you" and the next day, "he's not that into you?"  Now, I've been through my share of breakups, and I'll admit that after the initial shock wore off, I could objectively look back on most of them and see that there were warning signs.  I just didn't want to see them.  I'm sure there are many other women who've been through the same thing.  All of a sudden, he's really busy and preoccupied.  He's moody.  He cancels dates you have planned.  You just think your relationship is on such solid ground it's impossible it could be anything more than what he's saying.  But it is.  So, why, if it's so simple with guys, don't they just come out and say it?  Yes, it's going to hurt the girl, and yes, she may cry, but you're a man aren't you?  So be one. 

I have also been through breakups where after that initial shock wore off, I could objectively say there was no forewarning.  These are the really perplexing guys and situations.  You're going along, talking all the time, getting closer and closer which leads you to believe he really likes you and then boom, nothing.   I've always thought it was because the guy got scared.  He's not ready for anything more serious with her or anyone, and he wakes up one day with the realization he's been getting close to a girl.  Well, that just can't happen.  So, what would be so terrible about telling the girl you like her, but you feel things are getting too serious, and it's not the right time for you?  My, honesty, what a novel thought.  It beats playing the games both genders play. many days should I wait to call?  How about as many as you want instead of as many as is necessary to throw her or him off.  Why can't everyone just say and do what they want?

It is true that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  The most notable difference to me is how women like to talk things out, and men can't be bothered.  I'm not criticizing men for that because I envy their ability to let things go.  A lot of the time, women just can't.  We need some sort of explanation for why things happened, some sort of that annoying word, closure.  As we mature, we realize it's just not worth the agita to chase down a reason, but doesn't mean we don't wonder from time to time.  Men letting things go makes them adverse to facing the girl of the moment when they want to end things.  Hey, both sexes know each other to a certain extent, and all a guy can think of is how he doesn't want to deal with a crying chick.   Isn't that why they ease their way out hoping she'll either figure it out herself or break up with him?  I think so.  Why can't we all be reasonable and accept our differences by meeting each other halfway.  Hey, I promise not to freak out if you promise not to be a chicken. 

Category: General
Posted on: March 29, 2008 3:54 am

How to Get the Job

First, let me express that my last item was directed at employees who just don't seem to get it.  They wonder why they can't get anywhere or aren't given more hours, etc.  Well, it's because they don't seem to have good work ethic as defined in my list.  If you want to move up at your job or be recognized, those are things employers look for. 

When it comes to hiring, there are also things employers look for.  The first step is the resume.  It should be on 1 page and easy to read.  When I say easy to read, I mean your potential employer should be able to pick out each job, and everything should be aligned.  Different fonts and bullet points will accomplish this.  For instance, I have each of my jobs in italics with my responbilities individualized with bullet points.  This way, anyone looking at it will be able to tell where one job ends and another begins.  Your responsibilites should also be concise.  Assume your interviewer is very busy, and you need to get your point across before they say to hell with it.  Nobody wants to read too much.  Whatever you do, do not put anything on your resume you haven't actually done.  It's ok to exaggerate a little, but you have to be prepared for someone to ask you questions about everything on your resume.  On that note, leave room for questions.  Put in things that will peak someone's interest.  For instance, instead of saying you increased sales by such and such percent by doing such and such, only say you increased the sales without telling how you did it.  This will probably prompt the interviewer to ask you how you did it giving you the opportunity to sell yourself.  Along with the resume comes the cover letter.  This actually isn't necessary unless asked for in an ad.  If it is, make sure you only include things that aren't in your resume.  No point in being redundant, and even better, you get to mention all the other stuff you've accomplished.  You also want to state why you want to work for them, and why you'd be an asset. 

Interviews are tough, no doubt.  The most important thing is to be yourself.  Try to look at it as a conversation between 2 people rather than an interrogation.  Start off with a firm handshake, a smile and eye contact.  Smiling and eye contact is important throughout the interview.  Be honest about everything.  You'll wind up tripping yourself up if you aren't, believe me.  Be prepared to answer why you left every job on your resume.  Also, be prepared to answer why you're looking for work at that point.  If you got terminated, tell them that.  They're going to find out somehow anyway.  It's true, it's illegal for your ex employer to say anything more than you worked there from when to when, but people have ways of finding out.  Besides, the right employer will appreciate your honesty, and that's someone you'd prefer to work for anyway.  The best answer you can give if you were terminated is you made a mistake.  The best answer you can give if you want to leave your current job is that there's no room to grow.  Do not tell anyone you're having a problem with management unless it's really legitimate.  Saying you don't get along doesn't inspire confidence that you have a respect for authority. 

You will inspire confidence if you've researched the company you're applying to.  How better to show how much you want the job than by being able to talk about it.  It shows genuine interest, and it also shows you went out of your way to prepare yourself.  Asking questions also shows your interest.  Now, one thing you don't want to do is take over the interview.  Yes, the idea is for an employer to find out about you, but they don't need your life story, and like I said, it's supposed to be a conversation between 2 people, not yourself.  The whole idea of an interview is to sell yourself as someone who is more competent than anyone else they've interviewed, more motivated and more likely to fit in.  Exude confidence.

As a finishing touch, make sure you get your interviewer's card.  Use it to send a thank you note or email saying you appreciated the time they gave you and how much you enjoyed meeting them.  Bring up specific points you spoke of in the interview to show you listened, and remind them specifically of you since they probably spoke with many others.  Let them know how sincerely interested you are in the job and look forward to hearing from them.  If it's a job you especially want, it's really ok to follow up with a call.  Sometimes, employers get sidetracked, so when you call, you're reminding them of you, a person they might really want, but haven't had a chance to call.  If they tell you they haven't made a decision, take the hint and move on.  They might tell you they hired someone else, so at least you'll know.  Whatever the case, one call doesn't hurt, and might in fact help.  Assertiveness and aggressiveness, to a certain degree, are qualities an employer will appreciate. 

Lastly, understand that the hiring process can usually take up to 2 months in companies.   A lot of places put you through online personality tests as well.  Do not let those stress you out.  Just answer the questions honestly.  Don't second guess yourself wondering what answers they want.  There aren't any.  Those tests are really just to determine that you're not antisocial and/or a sociopath.  If there's a job you especially want that's taking too long, call them up with a fib.  Tell them you've gotten another offer, but you're really interested in them, and you want to make sure you have all your options before you make a decision.  It works, trust me. 

Good luck!


Category: General
Posted on: March 27, 2008 9:28 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2008 10:26 pm

The Gospel According to Yankeechick

As a manager of people, I have developed a definition of work ethic. Honestly, I use me as a baseline because I've always believed in putting my maximum effort forward to earn my money. That's the way of my generation. The generation younger than me has no clue, not all, but most. You know who you are.

  1. Don't call out unless you have a death in the family, a legit emergency, or you're so sick you can't move. Don't use the death in the family and legit emergency excuses once a month.
  2. Accept the fact that you work for someone else and have to do what they say. If you don't want to follow someone else's rules, go work for yourself.
  3. Work. You're not getting paid to be lazy and screw around.
  4. Arrive at work on time. Be ready to work at that minute.
  5. Respect your co-workers and management. If you have nothing to do, offer them your help.
  6. If you hate your job, you're not forced to be there. Don't bitch and moan. Nobody wants to hear your negativity all the time. It brings everyone else down.
  7. Do your job to the best of your ability, and strive to be better. Status quo won't get you anywhere and going through the motions sucks.
  8. Revenge is not sweet. If your boss pisses you off, have the guts to approach them like an adult. Don't bitch about them behind their back, and threaten to do things like keying their car.
  9. Don't mouth off to your boss and co-workers. You can't expect them to speak to you with respect if you don't do likewise.
10. Gossip is bullshit in the workplace. Wtf is wrong with everyone making an effort to get along?! You're not going to like everyone, let alone be friends, but at least be professional for God's sake.
11. Admit you made a mistake. Don't point the finger at other people. Don't make excuses.
12. Go in at the last minute to help out if you're able.
13. Don't blow smoke up your bosses' ass. They can spot a phony a mile away, believe me. Just makes you come off as a liar, and it'll be difficult for them to trust you.

In order to accomplish the above you need maturity.

  1. Don't be a coward. Have the guts to approach your problems and the people who may be involved with them.
  2. Choose your battles. Don't be petty. Yes, you should stand up for yourself and what you believe in, but know when enough's enough.
  3. Have some respect for someone other than yourself.
  4. Be willing to admit you were wrong. Don't deflect blame onto others. Don't make excuses.
  5. Learn from your mistakes. Don't repeat them.
  6. Align yourself with other mature people. Don't succumb to peer pressure.
  7. Know when you're too angry to have a productive conversation with someone. Nothing ever gets solved based on emotion. You can't get your point across. Know when you need to cool off first.
  8. Be logical and rational. Don't expect what just isn't possible.
  9. Accept people as they are. They're not going to behave like you, deal with it. See them for their good qualities.Accept that good qualities don't only apply to you. Change your outlook, not them.
10. Accept yourself as you are, faults and all. Be proud of all of you.
11. Go with the flow. Be flexible.
12. Move on. Don't hold a grudge forever. Forgive.
13. Be generous. Be good to others. Have empathy.
14. See the good in people and situations.
15. Be able to laugh at yourself.
16. Allow yourself to be yourself. Don't pretend to be something you're not to please others.
17. Be true to yourself and your beliefs. Nobody can ever take that away from you.
18. Follow your heart and you'll have no regrets.
19. Be able to see the big picture.

Category: General
Posted on: March 19, 2008 3:29 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2008 11:37 am

Music of Your Life

This is inspired by Mom's blog item about scents that remind you of people, places and situations.  Honestly, scents have never really done it for me.  I'm not saying I want anyone to smell bad and I certainly remember certain ones, but my memories are triggered more by specific songs.  I also equate certain times in my life with certain songs.  For instance, when I was younger and didn't know what the hell I wanted to do with my life it was Joe Jackson's, "You Can't Get What You Want 'Til You Know What You Want."  Then, when I did finally start following a path which seemed right, I still wasn't satisfied, so it was The Rolling Stones', "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "but if you try sometimes, you get what you need" all know the rest.  When I did finally get settled in my place in life, it was Desiree's, "You Gotta Be."

As for certain situations that occurred, well, I of course broke up with someone when Sinead O'Connor's, "Nothing Compares 2 U" came out.  I'll never forget sitting at my job before we opened watching the video on TV, goddamn her.  I think every woman will admit to feeling as though they could beat any breakup by listening to Gloria Gaynor's, "I Will Survive."  Then, there are the love songs I link to specific men who've been in my life like Bryan Adams', "Still Feels Like the First Time," and I designated Matchbox 20's, "When You're Gone" to a crush I once had.  Mostly, it was what was playing on the radio while I thought about whoever as I drove.  As for the perfect sex song, to me it's, "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover."  I have no idea who sings it, but does it really matter?  No.  The perfect wedding song?  None other than Etta James', "At Last."  Runner up goes to Gladys Knight's, "You're the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me." 

So, I put it out there to all of you.  What might you call your theme song presently and in the past?  What songs remind you of your first time, your first date, your first love, etc?  Do they inspire happiness or enough pain to make you want to hurl something at the radio?  I've never done that and never will because every memory and experience makes you who you are and need to be held onto. 

Category: General
Tags: Music
Posted on: February 22, 2008 4:15 pm

Sportscars in the Snow

No, this is not the title of a poem.  There's no poetry in driving a sportscar in the snow and ice. 

A couple of years ago I was in the market to buy a car.  I found several cars I was interested in, and then did my due diligence and researched their pros and cons.  After narrowing it down, I wrestled with myself over practicality vs. want.  Most of my life, well, at least my adult life, I've done the responsible and practical thing which translated into conservative.  With my annual bonus burning a hole in my pocket, I said I'll be damned if I go the sensible route now!  Enough of that, and I freed myself! 

I bought a Nissan 350Z.  You're probably thinking that was the end of my venture into the other side, and I got it in black or silver, a traditional color.  Nope.  Ever hear of the color, lemans sunset?  Yeah, it's a copperish orange, and I got it with burnt orange seats.  I have never been a fan of orange, but this color was hot.  Did I realize I was going to call the police's attention to me?  Yeah, and I didn't care. 

I admit I've done impulse buying before, but never a purchase as big as this.   I've been in clothing stores deciding between several outfits, one being substantially more money than the others, and I've bought it.    Or, I've gone into the store with a set goal of buying 2 outfits, and that's it, and walked out with 5.  I would stand there in the dressing room looking at all the clothes I wanted while calculating how much they were going to cost me in total, and comparing that amount to what I could afford.  Yeah, I still bought what I wanted.  I've purchased bigger tvs than I needed and electronic equipment I didn't need at all.  These are the extents of my walks on the wildside of impulse buying. 

You might say the car wasn't an impulse buy because I did my research beforehand.  Nah.  I did that research for a good month, and I was tired of it.  I got on the phone with a Nissan dealership specifically looking for the 350Z touring model.  As I spent about an hour on the phone with the salesman as he looked for what nearby dealers had in stock, it became increasingly clear to me that I wanted the car right then and there.  Maybe it was because I knew it was then or never, and I'd chicken out.  I had the salesman look for the conventional color, but he couldn't find one that met my needs that he could get quickly.  He did find the lemans sunset one which he could have for me in a week.  I tortured the poor guy while I looked at the color on the internet and kept asking if he could find anything else.  He did wind up finding one in silver, but again, I tortured the poor guy while I clicked back and forth on both colors on the internet.  You know what happened.  We made the deal over the phone.  I faxed him my info, and he got a loan approved.  A week later I drove out of the dealership with my brand new car.  I was beaming. 

Two weeks ago, we had a pretty bad snowstorm in the Northeast.  I checked the weather forecast before I went to work in Manhattan, and they said no more than an inch accummulation, so I drove in.  They lied.  As I watched the snow come down while I was at work, I started to panic.  I couldn't leave because I had a meeting to attend.  At around 5 PM when it was over, it had stopped snowing, and the roads didn't look too bad.  I made a run for it.  Almost as soon as I started driving, the snow started coming down again, and these were no flurries.  We're talking flakes that impaired visibility.  The roads still weren't that bad because Manhattan is a heavily traveled area.  Even when I got out of the Lincoln Tunnel, the traffic was so slow, I still didn't have a problem.  It wasn't until I got off the highway when I hit unplowed, unmelted territory.  My car was sliding all over the place even at the speed of 10 mph.  I got about a half a mile and pulled into a parking lot.  I called a cab, yeah, I laugh at myself for that now.  How could I think anyone was coming to get me?  I looked for the bus, but we're talking NJ Transit here.  If you don't know it, feel lucky.  I started walking home.  Hey, it was only 2 miles, how bad could it be?  At a subfreezing temp, trudging through about 6 inches of snow in shoes that were never made for that, bad. 

Not that I'm complaining though because to do so would mean admitting I might've made the wrong choice in cars, and how could I do that when I loved my car so much.  So, I reminisced about making it to Rochester, NY in 4 hours at 100 mph and not getting pulled over.  Ah, the memories.  Then, I'm going to have the memory of today.  On days like this when I have to work late, it's necessary for me to drive in.  Not happening today when it hasn't stopped snowing since last night.  Since it's nearly impossible to get a cab home late at night in weather like this, I'm staying in the city.  As I looked around my hotel room when I checked in before work, I said, damn car. 

Thing is, nothing is ever going to be perfect in life.  There are times when you just have to do what makes you happy despite all the negatives.  Having always had a practical car before, it didn't occur to me that this one couldn't survive snowy roads.  I just didn't think about it because I wanted that car.  If I could go back knowing what I know now, I'd still have made this impulse buy.  Sometimes, you just gotta do, what you gotta do. 

Category: General
Tags: Cars, Jersey, NYC, Snow
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or