Lilia Write Now

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Brain Flash October 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — llipps @ 3:11 am

So I am at work.  (Not right this second as I write this, but as I thought about this.)

Everyone is quiet and tense and whispering.  A (BIG) potential client is being led around, through the departments, with various people doing demos and presentations.  This has been going on since 8 a.m. and as I think about this it is 3 p.m.

I have been moved from my desk to that of someone on maternity leave (ha, the irony!) so that a girl who works for us in Barcelona can sit at my desk.  They want to make it appear as though she actually sits there and works there every day.  So the picture of my husband and I had to go in the drawer. 

This gem had to be put away as well.

There is a woman who sits in the cubicle across from where I am “hoteling” today.  She has a personal space heater on and I am convinced it is cranked up to about 115.  I asked her if she had any marshmallows we could roast over her fire.

Additionally, this is still a somewhat new job, and there are tasks that come up every day about which I have questions.  The problem with that today is that the girl I have been working with, who has been showing me the ropes, her desk is next to my regular one. The one where Barcelona Imposter is sitting.

So I am sitting here, dropping serious poundage due to the sweating, and trying really hard to focus on my work.  And what happens when we try to focus on something?  Well for me, the result is that I usually end up focusing on anything but. 

So as my brain is prone to random thoughts anyway, I started thinking about the fact that I have SO many thoughts. 

I noticed I was jotting a few down on post-its, and had some in an app on my smart phone.  And then I started thinking about how I have to gather up all these post-its and look at the app on my phone just to refresh these thoughts in my mind.

These notes consist of grocery lists, to-do lists, websites to check out, etc.  But mostly they are “story ideas”.  What if I lost a post-it?  That might be the next pullitzer prize-winning essay.  Probably not, but humor me, eh?

Next, my mind wandered to my last job, and how on Fridays, one of the IT guys always got the tapes ready in the server room, because every weekend there was a backup created of all the computer activity that had occurred on the network that week.

Naturally, this made me think of how cool it would be if we could do the same thing with our brains.

Stop laughing, check this out. You have a flash drive that you plug into, I don’t know, your ear. (Painless, I promise)  So, all week, this flash drive records all your thoughts, ideas, whatever.  Then once a week,  you take it out, plug it into the USB port in your computer, and all the data is downloaded into a program.  The program is smart enough to categorize your thoughts and even tags them.  Then, you can scroll through your database of thoughts or ideas, and easily find the one you were searching for.

Maybe the flash drive is even programmed in such a way that it can read excitement levels in your brain.  That way when you have a really good idea, or when you think of something really important, it registers it as such, and when you download this into your database it flags those thoughts in some way.

Listen, back in the day, some people thought that by the year 2010 we’d all be cruising around in flying cars.  That hasn’t happened yet, (not on a global scale, but I did see the article on yahoo about the college kid who invented a flying car), but is my idea so farfetched?

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Smells Like Teen Spirit October 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — llipps @ 3:34 am

I recently asked my husband to give me his top 10 favorite songs of all time. I won’t mention his proclivity for overcomplicating requests even as simple as this. However, I will note that he asked for reciprocity. If he was going to divulge his top ten, he wanted to know mine. This made me start thinking, and a familiar thought occurred to me. It really is amazing how certain scents and songs can take you back to a specific time and place.

A lot of references in this post probably won’t make much sense or be significant to many of you. For those that do get them, enjoy.

Every couple has “their” song. Todd and I do not. That we have vastly differing musical tastes could be a direct contributing factor to that. However, as we prepared for our wedding, we realized we needed a song for our first dance. Not yet having a particular song that held special meaning for us, we chose an old standard, At Last by Etta James.

Now, whenever I hear that song, it is not our wedding that pops up from the memory bank. Instead it is the countless hours we spent practicing our first dance with our choreographer.

We were still living in our Strongsville house, had just moved in actually. After our initial 3 sessions at the dance school, we had convinced her to give us lessons at home for a reduced cost rather than purchasing more through the school. We pushed all the furniture in the living room aside to make room. We were learning how to do the International Rumba. We had burned a CD that had the song on it like 13 times, so that when we practiced it would just keep playing over and over.

Being the geniuses we are, we had the CD player in the family room, which was a short flight of stairs away, yet we were practicing in the living room.  And every time our intructor had us stop, Todd had to run downtair to pause the CD, then run back down again when we were ready to restart.  As I write this now, I wonder why it  never ocurred to us to use the remote that came with the little CD stereo system.

Other songs are deeply rooted in my memory as a part of high school.  And really, there seem to be both songs and smells that take me back to that particular time.

The summer before eighth grade, my best friend Robyn and I went down to King’s Island with my mom and her friend.  For some reason we were obcessed with the song “Humpty Dance,” particularly the line that goes “I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom.”

I think it was right around that same time that all the boys were wearing Drakkar Noir.  These days you don’t really encounter anyone wearing that particular scent, but every once in a while I catch a whiff of it and I remember being at the Metroparks with Jamie Nieberding as he carved “Jamie loves Lilia” into a tree.

B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) was a big part of my life, age 14-18. The Ohio Northern Region (ONR), had a regional convention every year.  Kids from the 7 cities that comprised the ONR would gather at a hotel for 4 days and basically engage in a lot of tomfoolery. (Yes, I said tomfoolery).  The real purpose of the weekend was to elect a new regional board and bid farewell to graduating seniors.  Once you were out of high school they didn’t want you anymore.  I mean it was a YOUTH organization, so I guess being 25 and still hanging out would have been creepy.

Anyway, at my first regional convention, the outgoing Aleph Godol (I think that’s right) or president, was a particularly well-liked guy named Brian, I wanna say, Bloomfield.  During his goodbye speech, there was not a dry eye in the room.  Looking back now, we were all crying as if we were mourning a death.  The kid was just going off to college!  Anyway, during and after his speech, Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” was playing. 

I cannot hear that song without thinking of that exact moment in time, and even getting a little emotional. We were in a hotel ballroom in Richfield, OH. The lights were dimmed, the seats were full, and the tears were flowing.

One little plug I will give BBYO is that you form incredible bonds, share amazing experiences, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

While some songs bring about happy memories, others do quite the opposite.  Maybe I am rewriting history, but a particular song seems to stand out from senior year.  We were only about a week or two into our senior year, the year we would rule the school, when we heard news of a horrible accident. Three students from our school had been involved in a crash that killed two and temporarily paralyzed one.  The two seniors that passed away were two of the nicest kids you could ever hope to meet. 

For many of us, that was our first time dealing with the death of someone our own age.  Again, maybe I am imagining it, but every time I hear Candle Box’s “Far Behind,” I think of Shawn Butler and Jason Galatis and two lives that were cut way too short.

After senior year came college.  My mother and I had battled back and forth and had finally come to a compromise; I was allowed to go away to school, but I had to stay in state.  So being the good Jewish girl I am (see BBYO above), I chose Xavier, a Jesuit school.

(Sidebar: when I told my dad I was going to a Jesuit college, the first thing he asked me was how I was going to meet a nice Jewish boy there.  Because that is why we all go to college, right?)

Anyway, prior to my leaving for college, one of our favorite pastimes was to watch Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place together.  We had a rule that we were only allowed to talk during the commercial breaks.  This was, of course, pre-Tivo.

Well when I went away to school, that was one thing that didn’t change.  We still watched 90210 and Melrose.  Only now, instead of turning to each other and talking about it, we would call each other during the commercial breaks and dissect what had just happened.  As soon as the commercial was over and the show came on, we both knew to hang up.

Itunes recently had a $.69 sale of 1-hit wonders and one of the songs was “How Do You Talk to An Angel?” by Jamie Walters, AKA Ray Pruitt of 90210 fame and then later, the short-lived “The Heights.”  Ray Pruitt and Donna Martin, thanks for the mammaries!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_nBjOCP4Ng

And one final shout-out to my fellow ONR alumns:
“From north to south, (from north to south), BBG has got the mouth!”

What are your memories associated with songs or smells?  Share so that perhaps we can all reminisce a bit.

 

Let them eat cake! October 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — llipps @ 4:27 pm

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This Week in Sports

Filed under: Uncategorized — llipps @ 2:24 am

I am not one of those girls that likes, or pretends to like, football.  I am not a huge sports fan to begin with, but of the big three, football is my least favorite.  I definitely don’t ever choose to watch sports on t.v.  But sometimes, I do go to a baseball game or basketball game, because those can pass as mild entertainment when left with no other choices.

But football is another story. And as I write this, I recognize that my opinion of the sport might be somewhat tainted by my husband’s obcession with, and ultimate devotion to, all things football.

We were offered free tickets to yesterday’s Browns game.  They were pretty nice seats too.

Anyway, the only reason I said I would go was because we were experiencing unseasonably warm fall weather in Cleveland.  I wanted an opportunity to soak that in before it is all gone.  And, I figured, the event would provide me with plenty of fodder for my blog.

So if I wanted to, I could have focused solely on some of the creatures that I saw, and describe them, and that would be funny enough.  However, part of the way into the second quarter, this blog took on a whole new direction.

Finding actually watching football to be fairly loathsome, I was playing with my phone.  I looked up to make sure I wasn’t on the receiving end of some scathing looks from die-hard fans.  What I saw both intrigued me and infuriated me.

I saw a guy with a handheld device that looked similar to a tv.  Then I saw someone else with the same thing hanging around their neck.  I poked Todd and asked him what these devices were.  He craned his neck around and saw that the guy in front of us had one and that it said Fanvision on it.

Curious by nature, I went back to my phone and googled Fanvision.  As I skimmed through the description, I found myself surprised that people would actually spend money on this thing.  But, I guess superfans needs to be able to see plays from different angles, instant replays and fantasy football updates and stats.  And don’t forget the cheerleader cam. 

Yeah, I said cheerleader cam.

Then I kept reading, and I saw that you can also use this device to watch other NFL games going on that day.

And this is where I have to pause and say a big

REALLY???

I mean just the economics of it make me angry.

Here is the math (for two people):

     Tickets – $126.00 (x2) = $252.00
     Parking – $20.00
     Beer – $8.00 (x4) = $32.00
     Hot Dogs – $5.50 (x4) = $22.00

     Grand Total:  $326.00

Now on top of that, people are paying $199 for these Fanvision devices.

So, $525 later, you have paid for the right to go to a live game (for an arguably crappy team), sit in uncomfortable seats, be surrounded by loud, drunk people you don’t know, and look at a tiny screen to check your fantasy stats.

And men say they don’t understand women’s obcession with shoes?  I’ll tell you what, $525 would buy  me a lot of shoes, or one pair of FABULOUS ones.

And I can enjoy them long after yet another disappointing Browns season.

 

Sugar and Spice October 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — llipps @ 1:58 am

A lot of things change as we get older. 

One of the things I wish we could keep from our childhood is sleepovers. I loved a good sleepover back in the day.

I remember one time my friend Vicky slept over.  We were probably about 8 or 9.  It was lights out time, and we lay there, on the floor of my bedroom surrounded by the dark.  We lived in a nice brick ranch house, in a nice safe neighborhood.  But lying there, listening to the sounds that now, as adults, we know was nothing more than the house settling, we were convinced that a serial killer lurked just outside my bedroom door. He was thirsty, for little russian girl blood.  We lay there, our bodies taut with tension, afraid to breathe, because if we did, he would know. We held each other’s hand, turning our knuckles white.  If he was going to take one of us down he was going to take us both down.  We took turns alternately whispering our fears to each other, and shsh’ing each other.

We were on such an adrenaline high and with no killer to actually try and snatch us up, we had no release.

Then we got restless. 

So we did what any normal 9 year old girls terrified of being chopped into pieces by a serial killer would do.

We snuck out, to the backyard, and went night swimming in my pool.  My parents never knew, and we were left feeling like we had gotten away with murder.

 

Ummmm… October 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — llipps @ 3:15 am

Ok, so I have no real plan for this post, so just be patient with me.

DISCLAIMER: Also, I realize many people will probably feel I owe them an apology for the contents of this blog.  Last night it was my sister.  Tonight, it may be my husband. However, I don’t intend to apologize.  I am not out to hurt anyone’s feelings, but you have to give me a bit of artistic license. I happen to slant toward the sarcastic. To the ones I love, take yourself out of the equation and then see if you can find the humor.  I heart you all.

The night I published my first post on this blog and went “live” I asked my husband to read it.  We were in bed, so he pulled it up on the Android and took his time reading through the About page and the first post about IT girls.  When he was done, I asked him what he thought.

My husband isn’t prone to being particularly verbose and this was no exception.  After being quiet for a while, he threw out this gem: “You go girl.  Way to be Carrie Bradshaw.”

So, first of all….you go girl.  Really?  When was the last time it was ok to say that? And who started that whole girl power thing anyway?  The Spice Girls? Susan Powter?  No, “Stop the Insanity!” was her schtick.

(ok, quick aside: I just entered exactly this into a google search: “you go girl” quotes and all.  I will let you find out for yourself, but the first search result is priceless.)

So I revised my search a bit and stumbled upon two interesting sites.  The first didn’t really provide an answer but was amusing nonetheless.  Check it out when you have a minute or three and want a laugh. http://www.inthe90s.com/generated/terms.shtml

The second one offered this up: you go girl – much used on daytime debate and confrontation shows, what’s the there earliest source of ‘you go girl‘? – the 1992-97 ‘Martin’ TV Show starring Martin Lawrence? Shakespeare? A 1957 Katherine Hepburn movie? Confirmation/suggestions/examples of early usage wanted please.

Now that I have veered completely off subject, let’s get back to the original train of thought.  Second thing that occurs to me is that my husband knows who Carrie Bradshaw is.

While I found the comment to be quite complimentary, there are a few things I am missing that keep me from being Carrie.

First of all, I don’t have a gold nameplate necklace. I don’t have a NYC apartment that I can afford on a columnist’s salary. I don’t have Aidan and I don’t have Big.  Although, as a young prima ballerina, I used to covet his choreography and danceability, I would never date Mikhail Baryshnikov. I don’t have a year’s salary worth of Manolos and Louboutins in my closet. And  I don’t have three best girlfriends that I regularly brunch with. (another quick editorial aside: it both irks me and tickles me when people turn nouns into verbs such as I just did with brunch.)

That part of the series was always what appealed to me most.  Don’t get me wrong, the clothes were amazing, albeit a bit far-fetched at times, the shoes were beyond, and the men were…well, let’s just say I wouldn’t throw Smith Jerrod out of bed.  But it was that friendship between the women that really drew me in and kept me coming back for more.

How many of us have that? 

It all starts when we graduate high school and go off to college.  We spread out to different cities, different states.  We think we will never find friends as good as the ones we had in high school.  But then we do. And if we are diligent, our new friendships co-exist with the older ones.

Then there is life after college, when we go out and try to make our own way in the world.  We get married and aquire a whole new set of friends.  And if we are lucky, we get our spouse as a best friend, and still get to maintain those close girlfriend friendships.

…it is 11:07 p.m. and I am reading this post and realizing it is crap.  LOL  I have no direction and no purpose with this one, and I apologize.  But I warned you in the beginning.  It was a foreshadowing.  Anyway, I am going to end this now.

To save us all from further agony of this variety, I pose this question to you.  What would you like to see me write about?  What do you find funny and odd in the world?

 

For the record… October 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — llipps @ 2:13 am

So it seems some clarification is necessary regarding my last post.

When I said “IT” girl(s), I meant it in the Hollywood sense.  As in, “she’s so hot right now, she is definitely this season’s IT girl.”

I did not mean it in the business sense.  As in, “she’s got mad C++ skills; the new IT girl is really going to make our website tight!”

Are we all on the same page now?

Moving on…

One topic I have been fascinated by for the past few years is “kids today.”  I have a sister that is 15 years younger than me.  For those of you counting, that makes her 18, a freshman in college.  Thanks in part to her, I have managed to stay somewhat connected to what’s cool.  (is it still cool to say cool?)

She taught my husband and I that aside from the high school cliques that we grew up with, there was also a new classification. Emo. We thought maybe it was similar to the Goth kids from our day.  But no, goth still exists and apparently co-exists with the emo, the jock, the popular kids and the nerds. (p.s. a word of advice to my sister: date the nerd, they’re grateful and that always works in your favor.) She introduced us to a website that had animated cartoons of a dirty dog named Precious. And she showed me that everything old is new again when I saw that her and her friends had made a slam book when she was 12. (although we would have never dreamed of using the words she did.)

And that is the thing about kids today.  They have such an irreverence (25 cent word) for…well for everything.  They take for granted that the latest gadget will be theirs before they can say “daddy please.” (No dear sister, this is not aimed specifically at you)

They swear and cuss in front of their parents as if dropping F-bombs at the dinner table is standard operating procedure. They have no curfew. There is no sense of propriety when it comes to the amount of skin that is shown. They drink while in high school.  Sure, some of us did that back in the day too.  But here’s the kicker: these days, the parents know about it.  We at least had the decency to keep it hush-hush and try to sneak it.  Any why?  Because we knew we were doing something WE WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO DO!!! These kids, they flaunt it, posting pictures of their escapades on facebook, and bragging about it in status updates.  Oy.

But what really kills me about kids today is how they communicate.  We live in a world of instant gratification.  Even I am guilty of using my phone more to text than to actually speak.  But I actually spell words out! (with the exception of LOL of course) If I never see l8r again, I will live.  Or how about nd?  Is it really that hard to throw that “a” at the beginning of the word?  And I hate Idono. Add to this list all the new abbreviations for words such as delish (delicious), obvi (obviously) and totes (totally)

What are these kids so busy with that they don’t have time to type (or say) a full word? 

Well, Idono, it’s totes obvi that they have to post a delish status update on Twitter and Facebook. L8r!

(P.S. I love you my gorgeous, funny, loving sister!)

 

 
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