Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sex in the City the Movie or is it Snore in the City

Last night all over America, women gathered to celebrate the return of the four well known best girlfriends from NYC. See it here.

The SouthPark CineMark even had door prizes to reward the audience of cheering and happy women. There were not many men but this movie is not about them. It's about making a lot of money for people who already have plenty by squeezing every remnants of fun from the HBO original serie which was fabulous.

The NYC scenes were not eye catching and the story was predictable. The original serie had a lot of quick, funny and sharp lines. This movie is just a pale version of one of their more mediocre episode except that it is blown up on the big screen and last for over two hours.

I would have liked to see more plot, less Sarah Jessica Parker's attempt at being in spite of her small, petite frame a high fashion model and more of Kim Cattrall's spunk.

My girlfriends loved the movie, "a good bit of fluff." Is what Rebecca called it. I can't argue with that assessment so if you want to waste two hours and $8.75 run to see it otherwise go to your neighborhood vedeo store and rent the original.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Did I tell you I got a new job?

I know that NE Ohio's economy is in the toilet but I came here because of a job offer and since I have been here, I have had many calls from headhunters trying to lure me to talk to their clients. It is flattering as can be but I'm confuse, why are they calling me?

I'm a fifty something woman with no connection to anyone and a pretty healthy ego and yet I get these tempting offers. So I thought about it and I think it has to do with my resume. It sounds so good that I'd hire me!

I once wrote a resume for one of those Basement Boys, well you know the type, good looking and so sexy and charming but totally without marketable skills and got him a job at GE. His previous experience had been pushing a broom at a defunct battery shop. He actually lived in my basement and when he lost his job at the battery shop and his car was repo, I stepped in to get him another job. I eventually had to ask him to leave but he did live in my basement for 18 months. We were never lovers but I must admit that he was a tempting morsel and I thank my stars that it never happened.

On Tuesday , one of these headhunters asked me to apply for a job in Willoughby and I answered back that I have my own corporate credit card, lap top and office and make a pretty good salary and have full benefits and 3 weeks vacation so what does this company have to offer?

It really felt good to say that because I came here and for five years worked in Hell. Finally, last February, I applied for a new job and got it. My new boss is an extraordinary guy. He has no bedside manner, just imagine a physician that tells you straight out that you only have 6 months to live and tells you to make your arrangements and then walks out of the room.

Well, that's my boss. No cuddling and no mix messages, he and I do not always agree but I am impressed by his knowledge so I listen and am learning. I finally have gotten away from customer service which I miss in some way because I genuinely enjoyed helping people however it is like being Marines and after a while, you become numb from people hitting on you because you can't deliver the goods.

But now I am some kind of investigator, almost like a private eye. I have become a Root Cause Analyst and that is a hot job. My work is to analyze why errors happen, it is somehow related to quality but it is more hands on, I track processes and finds what is the cause of errors. Since I am someone who has graduated in making big mistakes, I have a natural advantage. Unfortunately finding mistakes does not make you the most popular person around even if you are very nice in delivering the bad news.

I just hope that by year end they notice that their fat bonus check is partially do to my efforts in improvement.

The key to get a job is also to get into an area where your skills are valuable. I have written many resume for friends and family members and they always get an interview and many got the job. But you can't lie, you have to work with your strengths and keep it interesting. No one is going to call you if it is boring to read. So if you can't get to the last word without your eyes wondering, scrap it and try again.

I'm sure you can do it! If you feel you need help, let me know maybe I can help.

False Friends-Les Faux Amis

My first language is French and my second language is English. You may have to be reminded that two people living across each other if you think of the English Channel as a cultural divide for centuries can not be more different in social, political and personal habits.

There are very good reasons why they fought with each others for hundred of years but I always think that one of the biggest obstacle may have been language.

There is a strange and interesting dynamic between these two languages which I have not seen in German or Italian the other two languages which I have study with moderate success.

It is that so many words sound the same in both French or English but mean something completely different that it leads to confusion for anyone who is not aware of this pitfall. Now we all can go on the web and Google "false friends- faux amis" but since I learned English way before Google, les faux amis gave me a lot of grief in my pursuit of communication.

Sensible the French word means sensitive or even nervous, as in pas recommandé aux sensibles - not recommended for people of a nervous disposition.
Sensible the English word means to show good sense, e.g., in making decisions: sensé, raisonnable, sage.

If you like languages take a peek and check out the alphabetical list and try to imagine various scenario. I like affair, habit, magazine, manger, match and of course mentor.

If we all learned the faux amis French would be a breeze to learn.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our Enfant Terrible- Tim Russo

The Free Times 's writer James Renner did a detailed article about Tim Russo, a pretty well-known blogger with a past. Tim's new blog, "Blogger Interrupted" disclosed much of what Renner's described here.

Tim has been outed so many times that one would think that by now everyone would have had enough details to let it all settled but solicitation for sex with a minor is such a politically and socially damnable charge that hope for forgiveness seems to be unattainable. I do not think of Tim as some kind of pervert because I know him. I also know that people under stress and unhappy will find escape in whatever is convenient. Some will use drugs, porn and sex to fill the emptiness, I too went in chat rooms and experienced the thrill of being whoever someone wanted me to be. It was a fantasy time, a way to forget about an unhappy marriage.

When I expressed guilt about it, my girlfriend said: "it is not real, think of it as reading a book except that you are writing your own script."

Of course I was chatting with grown ups but how do you really know? You can be any age , sex, or race. Tim may have been snared as he said and he did show poor judgment. I am convinced that he has paid a very big price for his mistake.

If he would go away, it would so much easier for people to forgive him or if he was less belligerent or less intelligent. But Tim is sharp. I actually was there when he asked a Republican candidate the abortion question. As it said in the Free Press:

"When he interviews Republicans he'll ask up front, "Is abortion murder?' And he'll get them to say, "Yes.' Later, he'll come back to this and ask them what sort of penalties they would recommend for women who have abortions. Would the sentence be like a traffic ticket or could they be executed, like other murderers? Then, he'll sit there and watch the guy squirm."

Pure Russo! We all sat there speechless, it was brilliant.

Weight Watchers

My clothes noticed that I gained a lot of weight since arriving in Ohio and after taking my own good time to do something about it, I am finally committed to do something.

So about three weeks ago, I convinced my sweet neighbor Pauline to come with me to Weight Watchers. This was a very painful decision because I'm such a snob and let's not forget that French women don't get fat...

Well it really is not as bad as I thought, actually it is pretty easy if you switch off your prejudices and agree to think of food as delicious, healthy and lean. I still drink red wine and have cheese but everything is balance. I love eating fresh fruits and vegetables but I miss chocolate so I bought these Vita Brownies and they are pretty good and only worth 1 point.

It is interesting to make a commitment to check and balance, it makes me feel responsible and all grown up...maybe it is time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Great Time to Buy a Home

I had this great idea of moving to Lakewood. I love the Great Lakes and a view on the lake would be intoxicating. I even took a tour of a friend's home in one of these very tall building which looked like a giant standing on shore. I also spent hours on oggling the best condos with my calculator to see what I could realistically afford. It looked pretty good so I called my Realtor to get a Market done.

Then I noticed that on my streets "For Sale" signs were appearing faster than dandelions even my next door neighbor entered the contest. I was shocked by her asking price, she bought her home 15 years ago and still has a small mortgage. It is freshly painted with a nw kitchen, three bedrooms and a family room in the back, she has a attached garage and the street is quiet and did I mentioned that the neighbors are wonderful?

She listed her home at $115,000 and it just sat there gathering more cobwebs than visitors. She finally had an offer at $105,000. I am pretty sure that she would have accepted except that the buyer started to make more and more demands and finally withdrew the offer and presented a new one of $95,000.

I was a Realtor in a previous life but I never encoutered this kind of greedy behavior. Buyers know that the market is saturated with inventory and that great deals are available but it is not enough to get a great deal, they want to steal the home. It is as if the Southern Carpetbaggers are back here in NE Ohio.

I called my Realtor and expressed my reservations. " You know that I made a lot of renovations and I don't have to move, I just want to live in Lakewood."

"Listen Honey, if you don't have to move and you are not willing to loose money, just wait. The buyers are locusts, they want to get great deals and this new crop are bottom feeders. They just want to low ball their offers in hope that someone will accept it because they are desperate. It is not a good time to sell."

I was a bit disappointed but even more disconcerting is the possibility of trading in my very nice next door neighbor for people who are eager to take advantage of her situation. I know that it has nothing to do with me but I am resentful of this economy which did so much for so few. I know that I have finally managed to make enough money to have the same income that I had 7 years ago. My food and gas budget has however more than doubled.

I know many people are facing foreclosure and loosing a home is a true hardship. But for people like me who continue to meet their financial obligations by swimming in place there is no assistance available, no relief. Our big American dream is falling down the drain like itsy bitsy spider and may not come around again unless we can get tax code reforms. I would like to see a payback for all the money that corporations have made by keeping their tax dollars while outsourcing good jobs oversea. You hear so much about company going "global." But it is starting to sound like a dirty word to me, a euphemism for destroying our middle-class quality of life.

It might be time for Americans to require a new amendment to the Constitution that would allow the removal of a political administration who blatantly steals from the people to favor their own friends, investments and family members. Maybe the silver lining behind the legacy of GWB, is that it made many people re-evaluate what they want for themselves, their families, and their country. Maybe next time there will be a welcome change.


American Pink Collar is back and in a much more mellow mood. This blog is going to focus on positive issues but I have not lost my edge. I just want to think of what is possible and attainable rather than on solution less problems.

I am wearing pink colored glasses but it makes me feel better than to be looking for bugs under each post that are out there.

I think vampires and goblins do exist they zap your energy and good will and they are banned from this blog.

Enjoy Carla Bruni's song "Quelqu'un m'a dit que tu m'aimais encore" She is the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. I bet Bill wished he could have been President of France...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Islam is not for everybody only for the few

I just finished reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's autobiography Infidel. You can judge for yourself what you think about her metamorphose from devout Muslim to political activist intent on denouncing the abuse of women and children under the guise of religion. It is an extraordinary story, but Islam is not the only religion which views women as evil and willful who must be controlled even if they must be beaten, mutilated and kept in compounds where their male relatives can trade them in as breathing mares taking away their pride and minds.

I agree with Salman Rushdie that change must come from within and that Islam will never be modernized by outsiders it will have to come from within the ranks of its followers. When Muslim women find their voices and start educating their daughters and sons to think outside the box, we might see some progress towards a modern society.

We can and should give assistance to any Muslim woman who wants to escape the tyranny of living under such an oppressive regime and come to America as a political refugee.

"Charity starts at home" and because of this very good adage, I suggest that we insist on zero tolerance for fundamentalist groups and religious education which is sponsor in anyway by the tax payers money. Education is a deterrent to emancipation. I think it is important to have a religious education but it should be given to adults within a historical context and never to children as anything but fairy tales.