Tuesday, December 01, 2009


If a blog has been post-free for almost a year, does that mean the site becomes new again? Like if you don't have sex for a long time, do you become a virgin retroactive?

Let's find out if anyone gives a damn and begin the posts anew. Stay tuned, if there is anyone out there that is tuning at all....


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shameless Promotion

I figured if anyone still reads this page (highly doubtful since my last post was a looooonnnnnnnngggggggg time ago), you might be interested in a site I created to house my photographs.

If you have time on your hands, please visit http://mysilverlake.smugmug.com and check out my little hobby. Thank you, and good night!


Monday, February 09, 2009

Thank tha Lawd for DVR

I was able, through the magic of DVR, to watch the entire Grammy telecast in about an hour. The show itself was 3 hours and 33 minutes (so my DVR told me), so without the miracle of technology there was no way I would have sat through that commercial ridden, self-congratulatory awards fest. Although this year seemed different. It was more a show of concert performances with a few awards scattered in, which made it seem more relevant than it has been in many years.

Like most Grammy shows, it's all about the performances. Even though the voters seem hopelessly out of touch (Hey, I'm hip! I voted for Robert Plant! He's the lead singer from that hair band!), they usually do a bang up job on booking exciting musical guests. This year was no exception, although the sound seemed off for most of the show (this could be ATT&T's fault since I've been having issues with the sound on my recorded shows).

My favorite performance of the evening? Had to be the "Rap Pack" of T.I., Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne and Kanye West with M.I.A. Girl had the most balls of all of them, getting up on that stage ready to burst with child and still KILLING IT. I know she got a lot of flack for what she wore, but f**k that. She had the stones to give an awesome performance with her kid crowning, for christ's sake. Swagga like us, indeed.

I also have to appreciate the pairing of the young-ens, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. I can't believe I'm paying a compliment, let alone a musical one, to Cyrus. But wonders never cease. She sounded decent (if trying a bit too hard) and the duet sounded generally lovely. Maybe there's hope for the future yet.

Kanye West and Estelle killed it with American Boy. That was one of my favorite songs of 2008, and I'm glad Estelle is getting some mainstream love in the U.S. I had to search the internet high and low to download her album about a year ago, so it's nice to see her all over. Give that single a listen. I dare you not to shake your butt and get your groove on. Impossible to sit still.

I have to admit, I'm just not hip enough for Radiohead. I know, I know. They are such critical darlings, but I haven't purchased their music since Pablo Honey. No wait, I did get that album with Fake Plastic Trees on it. So there, I'm a bit hip. But if a band's music is too dense for me, it's damn dense. Don't get me wrong, I don't consider myself a Mensa music member, but I do have a couple of I.Q. points to my name. And I like to unwrap lyrics like a present, and I like when they aren't easy to get (hello Indigo Girls, holla out to you!), but In Rainbows gets a pass from me.

Even though I don't want to admit it, I did enjoy Justin Timberlake with T.I. as well. It doesn't hurt that the song they performed is one of my favorites off of the album Paper Trail, "Dead and Gone". This album was close to my favorite of 2008, pretty much in a tie with Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak. Sorry, Kanye, I know you like to win but I'm pretty sure you could give a crap about COG's opinion anyway. Though you should...you should my friend...

That counts my Grammy highlights...what were yours?


Friday, January 30, 2009

I told you it was me...

A new year is supposed to be a time for new resolutions. Apparently keeping up with my blog posts did NOT make the list this year, as this is my first one of 2009 and it's almost February. Don't hate the player, hate the game!

I've had some posting inspiration from my friend Lil' J for 10 random thoughts. The original idea was 25 random thoughts, but I'm not a deep thinker so I'm sticking with 10. I might have done something similar a while back, but none of you have that kind of memory so I think I'm safe. Here goes:

1) The Pistons need to dump some dead weight. And by dead weight I mean Allen Iverson. Joe D, I hope you kept your receipt for that one.

2) I'm not a cold weather girl. It's been in the basement of the deep freeze here since Thanksgiving, with no end in sight. Look up Seasonal Depression on WebMD and my picture appears in the Related Links.

3) My photography has hit a plateau. I need to find some inspiration for a new set of pix! Post some ideas in the comments, faithful COG reader. And keep it clean.

4) We need to find a place to vacation this year within the U.S. We need to go around the July 4th holiday, so again post some ideas in the comments.

5) I am thankful for my friends. Most people would be lucky to have just one friend of the caliber that I have. I can count over half a dozen that have my back and I have theirs. I don't take this for granted.

6) The older I become, the sexier I feel.

7) My job is something I do to earn cash for our vacations and fun stuff. I would quit tomorrow if we had the income.

8) Still can't run regularly because of my back and hips. This depresses me, but I'm trying hard to find fun, alternative exercise in lieu of it.

9) I'm a nerd that does crossword puzzles; cross-stitch; and I'm trying to learn to knit.

10) And for Lil'J....if you're not first, you're last! (fist bump)

Hope the new year is treating you well...


Sunday, December 07, 2008

By popular demand....

I know, I know. I haven't posted for a LONG TIME. A REALLY LONG TIME. Well, due to popular demand of all the COG fans out there (all one of them), I thought I'd drop a line.

It's not that I haven't been thinking about you. I have, I swear! It's just....me. Not you, it's me. I haven't been inspired to write a thing. What's that you say? COG has no words of wisdom about the presidential election? No pearl of truth to share with the masses? Well, if John McCain had one, I would have had post fodder for at least the next six months. But I got my way, so I got nothing on that one.

What about the "Bail Out" of the Big Three, you say? I can sum it up in two sentences. Necessary, but give the money with strings attached. And it's not a bail out if you have to pay it back (I'm looking at you, AIG).

So I guess the point of this post is just to wish everyone out there a wonderful holiday season. May your celebrations be full of good food, good friends and family, and good cheer. Count all of your blessings, as we know that 2009 might hold more hardships for us all. Be thankful for the love in your life, and count how rich you are without taking stock of your bank accounts. The good stuff in life means so much more than that....happy holidays, guys.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let me 'splain. No wait, let me sum up

So I can't keep my hole shut any longer on this $700 billion dollar bail-out. By popular demand (ok, just my mom), I'll let my two cents (a lot less expensive than the bail-out) out there on the internets for all to see.

The big question everyone is asking: Whose fault is it? Why are we in this mess in the first place? Is it the banks? Is it the government? Is it the mortgage companies? Is it me? Is it you? Is it my dog? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES.

Let's start at the top. The government. Or as I like to call it, "Don't ask don't tell as long as we're fat and happy". How is the government to blame? Well, as usual, they started this mess. About 10 years or so, the government started this big push to "promote" homeownership among the American people. To achieve this goal, they (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) loosened their credit lending guidelines so that more of the population fit into said guides. Now granted, not all banks and lenders out there sell their loans to Fannie, Freddie or FHA. But most DO underwrite their loans by their guidelines so that those loans are easily transferable on the markets. How loose did these guides get? Let's take an example.

Say it is 1992 and you want to buy a home. You apply for a mortgage. The bank asks for one months'worth of paystubs from your job, W2s for the last 2 years, and 3 months bank statements to prove you have enough money in the bank to cover two mortgage payments (on top of the 5% you are putting down). They also require that your total housing payment can't be more than 28% of your gross income, and that your total debt doesn't exceed 36% of your gross income. Fast forward to one year ago, 2007. The bank asks for maybe one paystub (to prove you still have the job you say you do), no W2, maybe a bank statement (if you are actually having to prove any assets). You might be lending money on a program that doesn't require any of these things. Heck, the program might not even require an appraisal on the house to prove it's worth! So, step number 1 in a financial free-for-all: Loosen credit guidelines.

The next group to blame? The banks, mortgage companies and mortgage brokers. Because the government allows such loose credit guidelines, the home lending folks take advantage of them! Imagine that! And, in the name of customer service, they put their borrowers into loans that don't require any documentation of assets or income! Just because, you know, borrowers don't want to dig around for their last paycheck or God forbid, their last W2. It also doesn't hurt that, because the borrower is now putting ZERO MONEY DOWN OUT OF THEIR POCKETS, they can afford to pay more in closing costs and a higher rate. So the loan originator makes more money. Does the lender have a moral obligation to place the borrower into a loan that makes sense for that person, to "Do no harm" to their credit? Absolutely. Did they do that? Hell no. Step 2: Allow greed to overcome common sense.

Lastly, I'd like to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the American people. The average American has been spending money like it gives them a rash, and taking every bullshit financing opportunity that is offered to them. You're going to increase my credit line by $20,000? Ok, I'll take it! And I'll use it to buy a new snowmobile! The bank allows me to have a mortgage loan payment that is over 50% of my gross income? Sure! It's not MY fault, the bank said it was ok! News flash, people: no one is going to take care of you financially (or any other way) but YOU. Except for a few small exceptions (the elderly, or mentally challenged folks), most of us understand that we are over-burdened with debt. That we really can't afford the things we have. That we should be saving our money for an emergency or for the future. We know this, yet we don't do it. Step 3: Bury your head in the sand.

In conclusion: Everyone, from the government down, is to blame for the current poop sandwich we all have to eat. Learn to save your pennies, spend wisely, and quit pointing fingers at the other guy. I hear ketchup helps to swallow the sandwich...


Thursday, September 04, 2008

The space between....

Is apparently not enough. Just found out I have a herniated disc between my L5 and S1 vertebrae. From what I understand so far, those two vertebrae (for me) have a smaller space than normal (and also smaller than the rest of my spine).

So, right now I have to put on my Patience Pants and let the physical therapy do its work. For those of you that personally know me, you realize what a challenge that is going to be. After asking the therapist how long this will take to heal, I believe the phrase "weeks or months" came out of his cake hole. If he wasn't such a nice young kid I would've kicked him with my good leg. Plus, I can't run right now so he probably could have gotten away. :(

I realize that I'm a bad patient. Or rather, emotionally I'm a bad patient. Mostly those that come in contact with me would say I'm handling this with a sense of humor and resignation. But that isn't how I feel inside. Right now I would say I'm a functional depressed person. That is, I fulfill my work and social obligations, but I'm not very happy right now. The thought of doing something that requires effort is just too much to bear, let alone do. So right now I'm a lazy SOB, and I reserve the right to be one until I recover from this bullshit.

The End.