Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Table Topics - TV Crushes

Growing up as an only child, I watched a lot of TV. Thankfully, in my younger days, television was much more suitable for family viewing than it is now. One of the things that I remember as a young girl was those silly crushes I'd get on the latest TV heartthrob. You know what I'm talking about (if you are willing to admit it). You'd watch a show and find some guy so dreamy (long before the days of "McDreamy") and then when you accompanied your Mom to the grocery store, you'd slip the latest Tiger Beat in the basket so you could cut out all the pictures of your "man" and plaster them on your bedroom walls. Ladies, I know you are nodding and giggling right now. And, men, don't tell me Farah Fawcett didn't find her way on your bedroom wall.

I had multiple crushes. But, I'd have to say my main one, the man that garnered the most wall space in my bedroom was Scott Baio. Now, my crush occurred during his Happy Days era, not his offbeat "Scott Baio is 45 and still single" VH1 era. The moment he walked on that show as Chachi Arcola, I was smitten. And his "Wa-Wa-Wa" flirtatious proclamation made me swoon. Sigh. I grew up with Scott Baio and sadly pined after him into his Charles in Charge years. Next in line was Donny Osmond. I believe my love of purple began during my Donny crush. And, of all my crushes, Donny still looks the same.

The list goes on.....Gary Sandy, who played Andy Travis on WKRP in Cincinnati. Wesley Eure who played Will Marshall on the Saturday morning series, Land of the Lost. Christopher Knight who played Peter Brady on The Brady Bunch. (Why did all my crushes seem to end up on crazy VH1 reality shows?)

So, that brings us to today's question.....

Did you have a "TV Crush"...if so, who was it? Or who were they?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I work in the downtown area of Louisville, Kentucky. If you don't live here, you may think of that as the hip, urban place to be, but we're not quite your New York, Atlanta, or Chicago. The town is definitely trying to become more "metro" but we still have some miles to go before that happens. To rejuvenate the downtown area, the University of Louisville is planning a new home for their basketball team, set to open Fall 2010. This swanky new arena has been the talk of the town for a while, but those within blocks of the construction are ready for its completion.

My office building is located about a block from the arena site which sounds glorious, but the area surrounding the new location is, how shall I say, somewhat depressed. Across the street from my building is a huge hole in the ground next to a row of buildings that have been standing since the early 1900s but empty long enough that we're convinced unknown mold is growing inside and various wildlife call it home. Thankfully that will all be demolished and rebuilt as a luxurious retail facility to complement the arena up the street.

We've encountered extended road closings and other peripheral obstacles as the area becomes prepared for the new arena. This morning at 7am, one of the current buildings that has to get out of the way was imploded. I love that word...implosion. It sounds exactly like what it means. To prepare for the impending implosion, my company had to take special precautions....first step, shut down our air conditioning system to avoid soot invasion. Since our building would have no air during the hottest part of the summer, all of our computers had to be shut down to protect them from overheating and having their own implosion party.

Even though the imploded building isn't very tall, the idea of watching a building intentionally collapse was intriguing to me. Not intriguing enough for me to be downtown at 7am, but I was up to watch it live on the local stations. I could have watched it all from the roof of my parking garage, where the media was headquartered, about two blocks away, but the television coverage was probably better. Although it lasted only a few seconds, it was cool.

At the end of this post is one of a ka-zillion videos on YouTube. This one was my favorite as a Daddy took his child to the new Humana building to watch it happen. As the video ends, you won't see my building, but it's just below the bottom right hand corner, if you'd like to visualize where I spend my Mondays-Fridays. If you want to see more videos (or if you are just that bored), go to YouTube and search "louisville implosion." There is one that shows the Mayor's SUV parked illegally. Good times. In other local Louisville news, while half our city was glued to watching a building disappear in a puff of smoke, the rest of our city was standing in line for the American Idol auditions. Man, I love my hometown!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Musings for the Week - Staycations, Dean Denny, and Sax Players

1. Last week I had what is now called a "Staycation," defined as vacation time where you "stay" at home. I'd highly recommend them. Even though I may not have whisked away for an out-of-town venture, I was able to spend some time with friends I'd not seen in a while and very good friends I don't get enough quality time with regularly. I caught up on my DVR watching, caught some movies and enjoyed a low key week. Although I have an actual vacation planned for August, this July staycation was simply glorious. Yep, I'd do it again.

2. During my Staycation, I saw Get Smart. I went in with low expectations but truly enjoyed the movie. I've concluded that any movie with Steve Carell, I'm going to love. Some movie snobs may find many things to gripe about with this movie, but it made me laugh out loud and if a movie can do that, it gets five popcorn boxes in my movie rating scale. To continue the Carell love fest, I just read this week that he's signed on for three more seasons of The Office. By far my favorite comedy, I know I'll go into mourning the day it ends. For those keeping score, the movies out I'd like to see....WALL-E and the upcoming epic, The Dark Knight.

3. This week brought news that made me happier than I can describe. I think I need medicine. Denny Burk was named Dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I'm not a seminary student, nor have I ever attended Boyce, but I know Denny and his wife, Susan. They were active members of our church while Denny pursued his PhD and then left as he accepted a teaching position at the prestigious Criswell College in Dallas. What a sad day. I remember my friend, Christie, and I having dinner and coffee with Denny and Susan shortly before they left. Bittersweet. Denny is a guy who can talk about theology and politics so far above my head that I can't reach it on my tippy toes, but can boil it down to something I can understand in the next breath. And, all this while being hip to the newest pop culture-ism out there. He taught the college class at our church while they were here and the students loved him. Even more than Denny, the love for Susan seemed larger. Every girl wanted a piece of her. I still apply wisdom I learned from Susan to my life today and share it with other women. So often we say good-bye to seminary students we love and never cross paths with them again, aside from our virtual connections, this side of Heaven. A rare treat of having such a great couple back in town is like Heaven on earth.

4. I love the Hallmark channel. I think this may add years to my biological age or decrease my cool factor, but in either case, I'm proclaiming it. Each night at 9pm, Hallmark Channel shows a movie. I can always count on this movie to be clean and maybe even have a sweet romantical story that doesn't scream R rating. Sure, I may shed a few tears, but I've been able to enjoy two hours of no profanity and family-friendly entertainment. I am my Mother's daughter. Man, I feel old.

5. Periodically at the corner outside our office buiding a guy plays his saxaphone. Sometimes it's at lunchtime, and other times it's all day. There is no rhyme or reason to his schedule. My cubical home is positioned by a window above this musical corner, so the minute he starts, we all can hear him. Here in the Infield (what we affectionately call our cube pod) we get serenaded by the smooth jazz tunes of Mr. Sax. At first it was a bit annoying, but now it's like Muzak to our ears.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Car Buying Tips

I am not fond of shopping for a vehicle. Although I worked in the car business for seven years and manage a sales team today, I'm still not overjoyed to go haggle for a car. Maybe it's because I know what goes on behind the scenes on the other side of the table since, well, I'm there daily manuevering deals with my sales team. But, knowledge is power, and it's equipped me with some skills when it comes time to purchase a car.

My car, which I previously reported was having issues, died again a month or so ago. After putting as much money into this car for repairs that would have made a nice down payment, and my Dad's wise words, "I think it may be time for a new car" I decided to bite the bullet. My plan was to begin looking about six months from now. I first had to buy a new laptop (why does it seem everything big konks out at once?) because I use my home laptop for work and needed to save to pay that first, then save for the car down payment. A marvelous blessing came out of nowhere - my Stepmom graciously and unexpectedly wanted to pay for my computer. I cannot put into words what a huge blessing that was for me. Beyond taking care of that cost, the money I'd saved could now be used towards a new vehicle. As much as I wanted to wait six more months anyway, I knew if I didn't take the plunge now, when the next $800 repair popped up in three months, I'd be mad at myself. So, off I went.

Thanks to a tip from a co-worker, I visited a Honda dealership he recommended, and was determined to get a dependable, reliable car that would last. I now am driving a new blue Honda CRV LX that I lovingly call the "Rapturemobile" or "I'm driving it until Jesus comes." Hopefully I'll come up with a clever name, but that one seems to fit right now.

As a single female, car shopping stinks...unless you are armed with intelligence. For those of you in the car market, or who may be in the market again someday, here are a few tips that helped me secure a deal my budget could live with.....

Do your research. I spent a lot of time online figuring out my options. But even before that, I polled my blogging audience and asked a lot of people their thoughts on reliable, dependable car options. Even during my last episode with my dead car, my AAA Rescue Ranger gave me insights from his experience. There are lots of places to research online....edmunds.com...cars.com ....carmax.com are just three of the sites I used. Beyond just looking up various model choices, I also did research on bank rates and used various calculators to determine the scenarios I could face and what I could afford. It's good to get an idea of what various cars, new and used, are selling for to be educated in the market for your area.

Be firm in what you can pay before you go. Whether you have a certain dollar figure, a maximum monthly payment, or the most you can put as a down payment on a car, know those figures before you start your actual shopping. This keeps you from waffling when a salesman puts the heat on you. Also, start by revealing the low end of what you can pay. This gives you negotiating power so when they balk and you have to "give" something to "get" what you want, you are still within your budget. At the last stage of my recent negotiation, I was clear that if they couldn't reach a deal within my budget, I have a car, I can drive away.

Pick the right time to go. I went to the dealer on June 28. Go towards the end of the month. Salesmen have quotas and are more willing to bend when you go at the end of the month. When you start to look at cars, ask how long they've had the car in their inventory that you are interested in purchasing. For used cars, the longer they sit unsold, the more likely they may have to sell it at auction or to a wholesaler. For new cars, the older inventory has to move for the dealer to get more inventory from the factory - a "turn and earn" method most all dealers encounter with the manufacturer.

I'm no expert, nor do I have all the answers when dealing with car salesmen, but I know that at least these areas have helped alleviate the stresses of car shopping. And, now, more importantly, the stress of coming out to my car after work, or church, or at the gym and fearing it won't start is gone. Hallelujah for the Rapturemobile!