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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: December 2006

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Running

What a whirlwind of a ride! I'm still in New Hampshire - having the time of my life - Adoring my brother and his family. Getting caught up with cousins, aunts and uncles. (okay, one aunt and one uncle)

My youngest first cousin is now a full-fledged adult, married, world-traveller, special-ed teacher. She kicks some serious cool-ass. Her sister, who I could not, for the life of me, recognize in pictures at her recent baby shower, was easily recognizable as a 30-something mother of a three-month-old. Their oldest sister, my best-bud growing up, was as wise-cracking as I remember. Lots of laughs. Good times! Their mother follows my blog (hi Auntie!) and is a reality show junkie. Reminds me, I have to put The Amazing Race in my Netflix queue.

PBX and I have been running ragged, trying to get all the visiting in we possibly can. As a matter of fact, I'm running out the door with my sister-in-law and niece right now. Time to shop in tax-free New Hampshire! Woohoo!

More later. Happy Holidays!

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Elf Yourself


click on the image and watch Hunny do the Elf Dance.


some images resized, reformatted and used without permission from www.elfyourself.com.


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ppp - Pet Cancer Support - ppp

the following is a paid review.

Hunny's health has been compromised for almost a year. We've been dealing with her hind quarters either being sore or stiff. Along with that comes a severe bladder infection. It seems to come in cycles - every few months. When she shows signs of stiffness or bloody urine, we give her a round of antibiotics plus her immune boosting tincture and she bounces back like she's a puppy again.

I've told my vet the only thing I can afford to do is keep her comfortable. Even if she has a terminal illness - something like cancer - there's really nothing I can do in terms of high-end, expensive tests and treatment. She's lived a great life so far. She's in great health otherwise. I feed her well. She gets regular physical exercise and mental stimulation. And we smother her with love and affection. People still think she looks like a puppy - aside from the white hair now growing between her eyes, the sweet little girl.

But I'll tell you right now - I'd be willing to spend thirty-eight bucks on a month's supply of a natural remedy to see if it helps in any way. Especially if it claims to have a 99% effective rate. Chemidol pet cancer support meets this criteria.

Taken directly from the Q&A section of their website:
Because Chemidol™ is made with all natural ingredients and no harmful steroids, fillers, or chemicals; it is absolutely safe to take on a regular basis.
I'm looking forward to talking with my vet about this. He'll know more. He's the Chairman of the Research Committee for the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

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Family

Whoa. It's Monday. In exactly 48 hours I'll be on a plane back to my hometown-ish (the town next to my hometown). I'm giddy. I haven't been home for the holidays in 14 years. I can hardly wait to see my brother and his family. I've only seen his kids twice in their/our lifetime. I know, not nearly enough. Not even close. This picture is two years old. That was the last time I saw them. Before that, my niece was an infant. I've missed so much!

We'll be staying with them all week. It may not make up for lost time but it will certainly start a new tradition. It's my intention to be in their lives way more regularly. It's difficult when we're 3000 miles apart. I would love to go to baseball games and gymnastics events, birthday parties and school functions. I'm so looking forward to just hanging out with them in their environment. No pressure. Just hanging, talking, laughing, loving.

You know what's gonna happen don't you? I'm gonna wanna live there to be near them. I feel it already. I hope I get my fix enough to fill my spirit and bring their energy back here with me.

Nancy asked where I'm going. My brother lives in New Hampshire - right on the MA border, where we grew up. PBX's family is in New Hampshire too. This works out brilliantly!

Still finalizing pet sitting plans. We have a few possibilities brewing after all the calls and emails we put out yesterday. I'll know better after 5pm today. fingers crossed.

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ppp - Almighty Cleanse - ppp

The following is a sponsored review.

I was just saying to PBX over the weekend that I am ready for a cleanse - mentally, physically, emotionally. You know when you know it's time? Usually I get Dr. Schulze's Colon Cleanse. His Botanical Pharmacy is here in town. But I didn't go - because I thought they might be closed. Plus I'm going on vacation, so I know I won't start a cleansing program till after I return. It's the perfect time to make that commitment - The New Year!
So I was looking for open opportunities on payperpost this morning and this Almighty Cleanse jumped out at me. It's basically the same 2-part program that I've used. It's about the same price. And I just may try it.
How does it work? Follow the 7-day program and notice significant difference (or not) in your physical being. For me, I notice a world of difference. I feel physically lighter and more mentally alert. My skin is smoother, even my eyes are clearer.
It's the most significant first step to any kind of healthy cleanse. Some may refer to this as a "diet" - others refer to it as a "lifestyle" - I refer to it however I feel in the moment (blessing/burden). But I do know every time I commit to the program, even after the first day, I feel incredibly good and tell myself I should be doing it on a regular basis.
Now I'm looking forward to the new year. This is exciting. If you try this stuff, let me know how it goes.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pre-Holiday Frustration

It's been a heluva weekend. I'm trying to stay in the love but it's difficult when people let me down. I know, people will always let me down. It's human nature. So, in truth, I let myself down.
Usually I spend the holidays in town, working (pet sitting, dog walking, etc). It's a busy time of year. People book their pet sitters months in advance. I had to turn down three offers this year because I won't be in town.

My vacation plans have been set for three months. It's been 14 years since I spent Christmas with my family in the northeast. This is a big deal. We've had our pet sitter scheduled for two months - and she just backed out.

As infuriating as this is, I'm really trying to understand and let it go.

I've been on craigslist, on the phone and sending emails all day looking for help. We leave Wednesday. It's crunch-time.

Our flight already has the maximum number of in-flight pets scheduled to travel. We could check them in as baggage but I'm desperately trying to avoid that.

A.n.y.w.a.y.

Back to phone calls. It'll all work out. Just wanted to express my frustration with this challenge. Looking forward to a funfilled holiday season. And a safe, loving environment for our pets.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Newness

Obviously I'm making some changes around here. Messing with the layout and getting frustrated because I have nary a clue about coding/html/css or whatever it's called. Hours pass and still I can't figure out how to change the margins of the entire blog. I can't figure out how to create less space between the sidebar headers and the lists.

Any helpers? Let me rephrase that: Any gentle, patient helpers available?

There are a couple of new items in my sidebars. Look around and tell me what you think.

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True Confessions of a Lovestruck Postie

the following is a paid review - even though I'm being compensated, this is, as always, my honest opinion.

So friends have been asking about payperpost: Do you really get paid? Is it worth it? (and most importantly) should I get involved?

My answer: a definitive yes! to all questions.

Seriously, I got paid to make this spazoid video. My idea. My footage. My editing. (i know it's obvious. that's my point. cash in pocket for my silly, fun creativity)





What are you waiting for? Get paid to make videos .

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Hippy Dippy

Posting the second video from my performance at The Cat Club on 11/28/06. For those who were there, you may notice I'm posting songs out of order. This one is posted with both Carol and Mary in mind. It's also for those who've been asking for (begging, demanding) this song on cd, mp3, etc. This is the only recorded version of Hippy Dippy (so far).

eeeeyuk! how do these video hosting sites decide on the images they use? i think when they get bored, they watch videos frame-by-frame to find the most laughable poses.







Lyrics can be found on my website here.

I got a few requests for lyrics on my previous music video post. I thought they were posted on my site as well - but I was mistaken. There's a lot missing from the site. Updates are being made.

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Intern Town - paid review

the following is a paid review

There's a new intern website available for companies, universities and students across the globe. At first I wasn't sure I would accept this assignment - but after an hour of reading through the site I'm eager to get the word out. Basically Intern Town - a UK based company - allows companies to post available internships in Europe. So far I've found most are available in the UK and Spain. Some are right on Brighton Beach. Nice.

Okay, my first thought when I hear the word "intern" is "no pay" -- however, I easily found a handful of paid internships. Hey, some pay is better than no pay - especially when you're getting college credit and invaluable life experience. Others offered some kind of stipend - like mileage reimbursement.

There are two ways to use this site. As an intern, you can search for available internships AND you can post your resume and availability. Companies can post available internships AND search for available interns. Easy-peasy.

One thing the site seems geared toward is the idea of having multilingual interns. This shows in their search options. The idea is to have students/interns to translate web content or deal with customers in different languages, thus expanding the company's customer base.

If you're a student, check it out and let me know what you think. This is a great opportunity to find work and build contacts abroad. If you have a company in the UK, check it out. Interns are hard workers. They have the passion to get started in their industry of study. They're eager to work and learn. I know. I've worked with many. And why not expand your business by hiring a multilingual intern?

I'd say Intern Town is off to a great start as a place for easy, hassle-free networking. For more info, you can read their mission in their own words here. Of course, they explain it way better than I could.

Thumbs up guys and gals of Intern Town. Here's to a bright future for you and all your members.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Another Film Shoot

I lost a day somewhere.

It never fails - especially as I get older. I worked on the set of another grad student film. When the clock passes midnight, I tend to lose track of calendar days. This time it was only a 2-day shoot.

Every year Coke holds a contest for grad film students throughout the nation. Ten directors are chosen to make a 50-second spot. Out of the ten commercials submitted, only one will win the prize of being featured in movie theaters across the country for a year. I don't know the exact details. This is how it was explained to me.

Either way, it's good experience, looks great on a resume and has the potential to open doors to other opportunities. And the best part - it's over. You know me, I'm a wimp when it comes to long hours on a film set.

It helped that the crew started at noon but because it was on Monday and Tuesday - and I had to work (dog walking). So I got to stroll in later. Still, I had to pick up dinner and coffee the first day. Thanks to traffic, it took me 1.5 hours to barely arrive on time for their 6pm dinner break with five minutes to spare. We wrapped at midnight that first night.

Not quite the same game on Tuesday. I arrived earlier (4:30pm) and wrapped later. Not sure of the exact time. All I know is my head hit the pillow somewhere around 3am.

Wednesday is a blur.

Thursday I played catch up. I'm hoping I'll feel more like myself by the weekend. Gotta get ready for the holidays. Pics of the shoot to follow. Time to run out the door - again!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ppp - Coupon Chief - ppp

this opinon is sponsored by payperpost.

Ack. I can hardly believe the first week of December is gone! I'm going back east for the holidays this year. It's been fourteen years. I can't really keep up with the Joneses as far as holiday shopping goes. One thing I love to do (year-round) is look for online bargains. If I find something I like, I will scour the internet for the best price. Sometimes I spend too much time looking.

After finding the best price, I take it even a step further to find coupon codes or rebates. There's always a bargain to be had. It's more about the challenge than the actual price.

The thing about online coupons - up till now, I would search for each item or shopping site individually. But with Coupon Chief everything is all in one place. I've found online coupons for Best Buy, Old Navy, Buy.com, Petco - even Overstock.com, which already has low prices. The list seems endless. Oooh, and ebags. I love that site.

I can search for a specific item or my favorite online shopping mecca. There's a convenient sidebar with links. The top part is broken down by shopping site with the number of coupon codes in parentheses. The lower part lists links to specific items with available coupons.

Aside from the money-saving aspect, Coupon Chief saves me a lot of valuable search-time. Shopping is effortless now - even more so than before.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Opening Song - video

No fancy footwork here. The audio gets tweaked about a minute into the song. I think they were making adjustments in the sound booth. That's the way it goes. The first song is like a sound check. More to come. For now, enjoy the opening song, Can't Go Back, from last Tuesday's performance at The Cat Club.

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Hidden Cameras

One thing I really like about the world wide web is the ability to keep informed. Reading and watching opinions, news, ideas, creations of people - you, me, us - the general public. I recently watched this short documentary on Revver. (more about revver.com in a future post - lots of good info.)

It's not new information that we are governed by the big corporations. It just reminds me that it is important to pay attention. The more we know, the more we can make a change (if we so choose).

This leads me to my point of discussion today:

Hidden cameras
. (Spy cams. Nanny cams.)

There's a woman in the UK who posted this video on YouTube where she documents her short walk home, encountering fifteen different closed-circuit cameras. One of which is located right outside her bedroom window.

I'm getting hot under the collar just thinking about it. Apparently I have strong opinions about this.

Placing hidden cameras in public (or private) property is a blatant violation of our rights to privacy. That is not to say a security camera should not be used. I just believe if a surveillance camera is in place, it should be clearly marked. We have a right to know when, where and by whom we are being watched, filmed or recorded.

It gets worse: I came across this hidden camera built in recorder. Ack! The "clock radio" looks bedroom-specific. It's difficult to detect because of the wireless feature (no wires leading to the VCR) and apparently it's easy enough for our non-techie grandparents to set up.

This isn't what I would define as a reasonable "security camera." This is a spy cam - with no intention of being 'discovered'.

Who would want one of these? There is no reason - no good explanation - for this kind of device. Convince me otherwise - that's a challenge.

It reminds me of a news story I saw a while back, about parents placing hidden cameras in the house - and some in their kids' bedrooms. The parents would spy on their kids from their computer at work or from another room in the house. This kind of behavior from fearful/controlling parents steams me to no end.

What positive thing can something like this possibly accomplish? Trust? I think not! It's a violation. A new kind of child abuse. Yes, I feel that strongly about it.

Peeping Tom's get arrested (if caught). What makes a spy cam any different? It's worse. It can be recording 24/7. And the watcher(s) can be anywhere in the world...or in the next room.

Ironically, the same company that makes these StealthCams also makes the only device that can detect it: the Spy Finder Hidden Camera Detector. Let's call it the new stocking stuffer! Gone are the good ole days of speed radar detectors. Every person should carry a camera detector on their keychain - or backpack!

I'm very curious - and completely serious - what's your opinion? What are your thoughts and feelings about hidden cameras? Reply with a comment, blog, vlog or email.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Jonathan Coulton

Wow. I'm having fun online lately. As you know, I've ventured into YouTube. But it's still a little overwhelming. I stick to just a few "directors" videos. One is a woman on a weight-loss journey. I came in way late (day 101). She's posts an update every day, even when she'd rather not. Very committed. She's built quite a following, just by being herself (well, her-youtube-self. you know what i'm talking about, right bloggers?)

One of her trademarks is signing off by saying, "So far so good." That's relevant if you watch today's update - a music video. Just music and text.

That's not really the point of this entry. However, the music in her video leads us to an incredible performer and his website: JONATHAN COULTON

His site has a bunch of free downloads and some for just a buck (with no lock). He encourages us to use and share his music for non-commercial purposes. He, like most of us, abides by the Creative Commons rights.

Already I'm hooked on his music. He's got a soulful sound. Deep. Beautiful. Plus, anyone who can cover a Rick Springfield song and make it sound current, is a hero in my book. I was a huuuuuge RS fan in the 80s. For those who remember the song Don't Talk To Strangers, let me know what you think of Jonathan Coulton's version. (click link then scroll to Thing A Week II).

Great stuff. Thanks for the link Rachael.

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