Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hungry Kitty

Betsey and Ross have done ALL of these things to me, except use a baseball bat. When I first watched this video, Ross was sitting on my desk watching me. I hope he did not get any ideas . . . Maybe I'll sleep with one eye open tonight, just in case.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Name Game

So tonight was kinda lame (as you’ll see in a sec) and I was reading a whole bunch of blogs when I came across a blog post called The Time-Waster Name Game! I laughed so hard that I had to copy the post onto my blog (and now maybe some of you - you know who you are - will stop complaining that I haven't written in 3 weeks! :) ). I’ve told you my (hideous) names below. What are yours?

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Betsey Honda

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
yo, I'm Peppermint Oatmeal...word

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Detective Blue Kitty at your service.

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Lynn Tampa (I’m thinking with that name, I’m not gonna have too many steamy sex scenes with my yummy co-star!)

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
Garje (I think that’s kinda cool!)

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Yellow Cosmo – saving the world one drink at a time

7. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Christian Jesse Gifford (I had a step-grandfather too and that is the perfect redneck name!)

8. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Bella Frango (Is that too upscale for a stripper?)

9.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Westbrook (mom didn't have a middle name)

10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Gerch Glasgow

11. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Fall Tulip

12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Strawberry Hoodie

13. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Oatmeal Palm

14. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Breezy Writing Tour (I’m thinking no one is gonna have a problem getting tickets and scalping won’t be an issue!)

UPDATED: My cousin Andrea just pointed out that the best name of all isn't on here . . .

15. YOUR PROSTITUTE NAME (First pet's name and first street you remember living on)
Betsey Dover

For the record, Andrea's prostitute name is Coco Wildway.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I Believed

Baseball, like love, is something that requires unwavering belief and hope. You have to open yourself up to being hurt and accept that most of the time you're not with "the one." You have to enjoy everyday of the journey, remembering that there are going to be highs and lows, but overall, you'll end things having been better for the experience, even if your heart is crushed into a million little pieces.

As I do every year, I opened my heart up to the Cubs early in the season, felt my love swell as the season progressed, and was so over the moon in September with three players joining the 20 homerun season club and finishing first in the Central Division, I could hardly keep my joy to myself. I felt like a giddy schoolgirl again. And I knew this time it was right. Pinella, Soriano, Rameriez, Lee, and Big Z all but promised it. This would be the year the Cubs didn't break my heart. I believed and I loved. And I didn't care who knew it.

This year my love affair went further than it had gone in years. The Cubs made it to October with me. But then it all came crashing down in three humiliating nights and days. The power hitting and pitching was gone.

And now I'm mourning. But only for a few weeks. Because like any other hopeful romantic, I believe in next year.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Some Things Simply Confuse Me

I love where I live. I really do. I live 45 minutes from Chicago, 5 minutes from the train to get there, 20 minutes from O'Hare, we have some of the best schools in Illinois in my town, great live theater and many other wonderful ammenities in my community, plus my closest friends.

There's just one thing I don't like: the ever increasing property tax bill.

Once every three years Cook County reasseses all properties within the county, sends out a property assessment and then property taxes are increased in accordance with the new assessment. My assessment arrived about 10 days ago. It increased 45% over last year. Yes. 45 PERCENT. And my assessment included many fallacies about my home including a 1 1/2 car garage, basement, 2 1/2 baths, an extra bedroom, a fireplace, and about 300 extra square feet.

The good news is that assessments can be appealed. The bad news is that we've appealed in the past, each time disputing all these extra rooms in the house, and are always denied. I swear these rooms don't exist, but no one seems to believe me.

Tonight I attended a meeting with a Cook County Assessor's Office official who was supposed to explain the process for appeals and answer questions from property owners.

To say that this man evaded all questions would be an understatement. He simply ignored questions and when he got tired of someone said it was time to move on. After he explained that property assessments are determined entirely by the square footage of the home, but that other characteristics (e.g., number of bathrooms, bedrooms, fireplaces, air conditioning, etc.) were important, and then again contradicting himself in "answering" other questions, I raised my hand and asked him to please clarify whether the assessment was based solely on the square footage of my home OR whether characteristics were taken into account, and if so, to what extent. I was holding the appeal form and said I did not understand why, if these characteristics did not matter and the only thing that mattered was square footage, it asked for all the information about bathrooms, bedrooms, AC, how many cars fit into the garage, etc.

I swear to God, his answer was "Well, ma'am, some people like to know the characteristics of their home." After picking my jaw up off the floor and the laughter in the audience died down, I replied, "With all due respect, sir, if I want to know how many bedrooms I have, I walk around my house. So now could you please answer my question?" And he repeated himself! So I again replied “You see I’m confused because for YEARS my assessment information has said that I have more bedrooms and bathrooms than I have and although I appeal it, I keep getting denied. Now if you can come out to my house and personally show me where my 4th & 5th bedrooms and 3rd bathroom are located, I’m happy to pay for them, but until then, I really don’t want to pay for them. And I'm thinking that if your office believes I have more rooms than I really have, that could affect my square footage. Can you at least tell me how to definitively prove that I do not have all these rooms and ammenities you think I have?” So he tells me to appeal. I again say I have and he says “Well, you seem to be irritated by all of this. Next question.” And some guy from the other side of the room says “The lady is irritated because you refuse to answer her question which is a question we all want to know the answer to.”

I had to leave a short time later because I absolutely cannot stand incompetence. And this guy was its poster child.

But if anyone can show me where my extra bathroom is and can point out the extra 1/2 garage, I'd truly appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Love Mail

It's not too often that anything but bills and junk arrives in my mailbox, but today I hit the jackpot. I had two honest-to-goodness pieces of love mail! Not love letters, but fun, happy mail that put a huge smile on my face. I received a heartfelt thank you note for a class I taught over the weekend and a package of CDs from a girlfriend of mine with an inspirational note!

Oh, and no bills!