Monday, August 29, 2011

We're Big Pants People


I thought that bad drivers were the one things that really got me going but today I discovered that there is another act of unkindness that makes my head spin.  In my line of work every project is a collaborative effort.  This can make or break the project depending on the chain of command, communication, timeline, budget  and egos involved.  Of this list, communication is by far the most important element.  If team members are not telling each other what they want, need and expect of one another then how, I ask, can anything get done? Currently I am in the middle of a big renovation project that has a very tight schedule.  Needless to say, everything that can go wrong has gone wrong.  Some days it is so overwhelming that I don't even want to get out of bed to put any pants on.  But I persevere and do what I promised I would do.  After all, I am a firm believer that the person who pays you to do the work makes the rules.  I rarely forget that there is always someone else who can do my job.  For repeat business, relationships are key.  In order to develop a good relationship based on trust, you have to be a person of your word and learn how to communicate.  Say what you are going to do and then do it.  In other words put your big pants on, we're big pants people!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clap, Clap, Point: Famous First (and Last) Words

Lisa and I started this blog almost 2 weeks ago and so far, I haven't said anything. Shocking, I know. At least is it for anyone who knows me. Why? Because I am a glorious talker. I talk to everyone ... friends, family, neighbors, strangers. I talk at the dinner table. I talk on the phone (a lot). I talked all through school.  Used to get in trouble for it. Every report card I ever got said "good student ... talks too much".  Hell, I like to talk so much I learned to talk in French. And Italian. And Russian. A few years ago, I even learned American Sign Language so I could talk to my neighbor's sweet elderly aunt. She used to come outside and try to sign with me when I was in my garden, and it drove me crazy not to be able to talk to her. If talking were an Olympic sport (which it clearly should be), I would be the world champion. Then again, Olympic sports are for amateurs. So maybe not. After all, I am a professional. I talk for a living. In fact, I've often dreamed of going back to every grade school teacher I ever had and telling them "Ha! ... I get paid to talk now!"

Of course, even if it wasn't my job, I'd still be a talker. I love it. And I am good at it. No, make that GREAT at it. One might even say I was born to talk. But, believe it or not, I wasn't born talking. In fact, according to my mother (and she should know), I didn't talk until I was almost 3 years old. Yes, you heard right.  Me ... silent ... for nearly 3 years. Shocking, I know. So what was I doing all those quiet years? Apparently, I was clapping and pointing. If I wanted a toy, I'd clap & point, and someone would give it to me. If I wanted food ... clap, clap, point. If I wanted to get down from my high chair ... clap, clap, point. If I wanted up ... clap, clap, point. Neat trick, huh? Well, at least for a while. Mom says one day she finally thought "hell with that ... if the kid wants something, she can learn how to say it".

Famous last words on her part. And definitely famous first (and never ending) words on mine.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The biggest Greenbean of them all


The number one thing that really gets me going has got to be inconsiderate drivers.  Living in a metropolitan city with a population of 5 million plus you are bound to encounter drivers that act as if they are the only one on the road.  Personally I think I am a pretty good driver.  In the 28 years that I have been driving I have had only one speeding ticket to my credit.  It occured one mile from my home on the actual road that I lived on.  The sad thing or rather funny thing was I didn't have proof of registration or insurance in the car at the time.  A week before this happened my boyfriend at the time and I went to his parents house for dinner.  His mother insisted we take the leftovers home and since he didn't want to smell the steak in the car he tossed it into the glove compartment.  A few days later something smelled like it had crawled inside my car and died but neither one of us remembered the steak.  We looked under the car, under the hood, even under the seats.  We looked everywhere but in the glove compartment.  At that time I was driving a 1974 Plymouth Duster which didn't have air-conditioning.  I left the windows open hoping that maybe I drove over some roadkill and the stench would eventually dissipate.  It didn't.  It was early summer in Georgia.  The next day I knew I had to investigate a little further and when I finally opened the glove compartment OH MY GOD!  Something really did crawl in there and die!  It also leaked all over my proof of insurance and my registration card.  I needed to replace them but I also needed toget back to work so it wasn't going to get done that day.  Yes, the same day I got my speeding ticket.  When I told the cop what had happened he acted like he didn't believe me so I offered to let him smell the glove box.  Wouldn't you?  Needless to say he declined my offer, wrote me a speeding ticket, gave me a warning about the other stuff and sent me on my way.

Today I was driving on the perimeter trying to get to doctor's appointment when a dump truck, situated two lanes to my right, suddenly cut over into my lane and stopped in front me.  Just stoppped!  I went from 60 to 0 in .5 seconds.  He didn't wave me on or even use his signal.  Now, I am not an outwardly agressive driver.  I don't tailgate or cut people off.  I use my signal and I even let people cut into a line of traffic because I believe in good Karma but I do thoroughly enjoy cussing every idiot that comes within a quarter mile radius of my car.  I do it in the privacy of my own car, for my own satisfaction.  Today I threw my hands up with the best Italian gesture I know and layed on the horn while a few expletives flew out of my mouth.  I won't even go into the daggers that shot from my eyes shrouded in flames.  I felt justified and vindicated.  I could write a similar story to this one every single day.  I don't even have to get on the highway, I can just pull out of my driveway and there they are.  Fortunately (and I know that this is most fortunate for me) you'll never know if I am ticked off unless your in the car with me.  And just so you know,  Karen does the exact same thing.  When we are riding together it some how doubles our pleasure.  We egg eachother on and then laugh at ourselves.  My husband and my mother think it is ridiculous.  I personally find it liberating in a passive/agressive sort of way.  So I ask you to try and be more considerate of others and if you do something stupid while you are out there driving about town, believe me when I tell you, someone is thinking some really bad thoughts about you.  I know I am.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You have the right.....


Miranda Rights, Bill of Rights, Civil Rights, do you really know what your rights are?  Do you take it for granted that you are automatically protected by law?  I wish this were true but the folks enforcing the laws aren't educated enough on them to be representing them.  This is my own personal opinion.

Karen is a lawyer as I meantioned previously but she is not just any old lawyer, she is a Criminal Defense Attorney and is currently employed as a Public Defender.  You know, she defends those folks that don't have the money to hire their own attorney. The saying that "crime doesn't pay" is true for all parties involved.  The majority of her clients have been in trouble before.  Like I said, most of Karen and my clients create messes that we are then hired to clean up but they are not all that way.  I am here to say that Karen is phenomenal at what she does.  She doesn't care who you are or where you came from.  If your case is assigned to her you will get the best representation a lawyer can provide.  If she were actually rewarded monetarily for what she does I know that she would be a billionaire.  Think of all the shoes she could buy!  Obviously money is not the reason she does what she does.  She believes in YOUR rights.

I was summoned for jury duty this week.  The young man charged with the crime was represented by a Public Defender.  He was already in the county jail when he was accused of the crimes that we, the jury, deliberated on.  I don't know what he was doing in there in the first place and it wasn't relevant to his trial.  I can only assume that if the information had been made public knowledge it would have swayed some of the jurors opinions.  It is, for me, an overwhelming amount of responsibility to know that someone's future depends on how well he or she was represented and in my, and 11 other jurors opinion, how well the information was presented to us.  I can't even begin to understand how Karen feels representing someone in court.  The information she presents (and of course, in her cases, the State's arguments have to be equally considered) is critical in assisting the jurors in making a fair, impartial and unanimous decision.  Really, compared to that, my messes look like spilled milk.  A little Brawny paper towel and we're done.

I really wanted to call my friend Karen and ask her the questions that were weighing heavy on my mind but I took my direction from the court very seriously.   It took 4 hours of animated discussion, debate and  review of the evidence to reach a verdict.  In the end we found the defendant not guilty on the most weighty charge, a felony carrying 20 years in prison.  We were not privy to the knowledge that the charge was so serious.  Karen shared that info with me after the trial was over and I audibly gasped when she said it.  We did find him guilty of two other misdemeanors and while I hate the word guilty, the evidence was there.  I love the fact that this system is in place.  I hope that I won't ever have to utilize it myself but it is good to know that it is possible to exercise your right to a fair trial and representation.  Know your rights people or at the very least know a good lawyer.  You may just need her one day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cry, cry, Baby!


I heard on the news last week that crying has no effect on your body, what so ever.  Huh? What?  If that is true then what is the real purpose of shedding tears? Why do you feel certain sensations in your head, chest, back, stomach when you are sad, scared, depressed, happy or any other emotion that may cause you to cry? I know that tear ducts are meant to keep your eyes moist and for people that don't produce enough tears it can be very uncomfortable.  I have never been a big cryer, that was, until I got married.  Marriage has made me a very emotional person.  Okay, so I don't really think that it was marriage in itself but the events that have taken place since then and the fact that I am loved wholeheartedly by someone who is not related to me.  I have wasted many in tears in the past on relationships that had an impact on me but honestly I think that was my ego crying.  Whether it was me who broke it off or it was them, I still let it get to me.  Like a project that has been completed, why couldn't I just move forward and say "well, that was that"?  I remember sitting in a movie theater with a date watching a tear jerker only to look over and see my date wiping tears from his eyes.  Me?  My eyes were dry as the Sahara.  I had never cried at a funeral until my father passed away last year.  I attribute my emotional unleashing to when our dogs died. Some may think this is silly but for those who have lost a beloved pet they know what I am talking about.  Now I have become one of those people that tear up at a sappy commercial or a sentimental card.  I cried when I came home from vaction recently and my husband had done the grocery shopping and straightend up the house.  I am still not comfortable with all of this emotion spewing forth in the form of tears but I will get over it.  Maybe I am making up for lost time.  After all, I have no problem with laughing until the tears run down my face.  I think those researchers need to move on and find something else to study like why idiots are allowed to get a drivers license, reproduce or run for public office.  It's your party! Cry if you want to.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chew on this...


So first I want to recognize that the true spelling of "greenbean" is actually two words green and bean. Our spelling, again, is a take on the meaning that we have given the sad, tasteless legume. While we still pick green beans out of our vegetable soup and put them on someone else's plate when they are served to us at a restaurant, we don't necessarily mean to give them a bad rap.  My friend Heather, who loves green beans, told me once that they actually have some nutritional value.  Well, I think that Snickers bars also have some nutirional value and I get way more pleasure eating them, so I do, although not as often as I would like.  I admit that I deprive myself of certain things now that I wouldn't have thought twice about eating 10 years ago.  Karen and I sat down this past weekend and went through a stack of photos that she had from what I'll call our "outrageously fun years".  I never thought I would hear the words come out of my mouth (and they definitley won't when referring to myself in the future) but I said to Karen "Oh my god, I was so skinny!  Too skinny!" Right?  Insane!  But so was she.  No, not insane, skinny!  I then realized I didn't become obsessed with my weight until I actually had some weight to be obsessed about.  Karen and I used to talk about how we would never let our bodies look like our mother's.  No cellulite for us, no sir, no way.  We never sat down in those days.  We could work all day, dance all night and not remember to eat until 4 a.m.  and then get up and do it all over again the next day.  Now I have a true appreciation for being shapely.  I can actually throw my weight around with a little meaning behind it.  One of my nieces loves to nuzzle in what she calls "squishy bits" or the more fleshy parts of your body.  I'm not even offended.  Being childless I feel included in some secret love club awarding membership only to those that have a little something to hold on to.  There is nothing like unconditional love.  It really doesn't matter where it comes from.  If I am loved because there is more of me to love then I say bring on the hamburger but please hold the "Greenbeans"!

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Greenbean" explained, sort of........


In simple terms a "greenbean" is symbolic of something you don't like. The expanded take on this is that it could be anything really, any like or dislike that you share with others, creating a common bond or as with me and Karen, a life long friendship.  Our dislikes do not stop at greenbeans although it has remained our most consistent dislike. We first and foremost hate stupid people.  Nothing get us more animated than the stupid actions and words of the idiots of the world.  The original name of this blog was "Knives and Foos".  Knives because of all of the stupid people who makes us want to stab them (figuratively not literally) and Foos for our love of shoes (a convenient word for foot and shoe).  Karen is a Lawyer and I am an Interior Designer.  She and I constantly encounter people who make really bad decisions.  It is our job to clean up the mess.  If it only paid better!  For us freedom reigns supreme in all aspects.  We should be able to do what we want to do, when we want to do it and not have anyone tell us we can't!  AND we should be able to choose from at least 5 pairs of shoes that would be appropriate for the situation.  Anything less and we would be cheating ourselves.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Everyone has a "Greenbean"


My parents decided to move to Georgia in the middle of year when I was in the 10th grade (talk about cruel and unusual punishment but more about that later).  I became the new girl with this very nasal upstate New York accent in a high school in a small town where everyone had known each other since kindergarten.  Karen's best friend from childhood was going to a private all girls school in the fall. We were both in limbo. Fortunately for us our sad and lonely worlds collided in Madame Mull's French class.  Karen was kind enough to speak to me. I am sure that I looked like a deer caught in the headlights.  I had never heard French spoken with a Southern accent and I was afraid that everything I had learned up to that point was going to be useless.  I clearly did not speak ANY words with a Southern accent. But then again, as I listened closely, neither did Karen.  I thought Karen was so cosmopolitan. She was tall, beautiful, popular, well spoken and smart.  I wanted to be just like her or at least be her friend, who wouldn't?  We hit it off immediately and that was 29 fun filled years ago. We have yet to be at a loss for something to talk about.  But the best thing about becoming friends with Karen was learning that we both hated the same thing - Greenbeans!