Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

September 2, 2008

A Rest Stop on the Information Superhighway

Sorry, I've been busy Facebooking and have neglected my blog. For one thing, I haven't had much to say. For another, not much has been happening since I got back from San Francisco. We spent the long weekend just kicking back, watching TV. I got all 150+ trip pictures put into my photoalbum, with captions and other doo-dads. I'm also studying all my Oregon maps and tour guides in preparation for the Second Annual Jo & Julie Take Portland By Storm Weekend, in a couple of weeks.

I did a bad thing over the weekend though. I'm so pissed at myself. I went on eBay. I saw. I bid. I won. Marbles. 2. Just 2. Shouldn't have done it but I got sucked in. Again. I really wasn't mad about the sulphide b/c any time you can get a sulphide for under $30, you gotta get it. It's the modern art marble that I should NOT have bid on, esp. not when it went over $100. But this sucker is gorgeous. I couldn't stop myself. And the name, "Madame Butterfly Deadhead Shuffle".... how am I supposed to resist a marble called "Deadhead"? I'm not quite sure why, but there is a part of it that does like the Stealie lightning bolt gone mad. Maybe he didn't mean "Deadhead" as in Grateful Dead fan-Deadheads, but I don't care. And Brian's no help either. Most guys would be all, "I'M OUT OF WORK AND YOU SPENT HOW MUCH ON A FUCKING MARBLE?" Nooooooo. Not my hubby. The second I won I was kicking myself, wailing, "what did I just do?!!!!". Brian's all, "oh well, don't worry about it". "We only live once and we can't take it with us. Who cares." That's his mantra when it comes to spending money; I'm the uber tight wad of the two of us. And this is AFTER I've already ordered an Oregon road atlas from, and needing another product to qualify for free shipping, I ordered not one, not two, but THREE DVD sets of Bugs Bunny cartoons. But all our fave cartoons were spread across Volumes 1, 2 and 3. It was a spendy Sunday to say the least. But I digress.

Brian's still looking for work and his demo from the studio sessions in Sausalito came out great. If you want to hear his commercial for Winchell's, click here The audio link is the first blog post, dated today. Hopefully he will get some fill-in voice over work till he lands the boring 9-5'er. In the meantime, I'm absolutely SICK over the health insurance issue. The cheapest I can find is $377 a month, with a $500 deductible. Steve can cover some of it, but said he thinks I'll need to pick up some too, b/c he's going to have to compensate Debby the same amount. I don't think that's fair at all. For one thing, she voluntarily dropped off the firm plan to go on her husband's plan, years ago. I don't know if she was given extra money because Robyn and I were still on the firm's plan, but I don't think she was.

When Robyn left, I voluntarily went on Brian's plan to save the firm a ton of money, b/c I was the only one left on the policy. Now I have more of a need than she does for the insurance and he's going to just outright give her the equivalent of my insurance? I have to use the $ to pay for the damn health insurance bill, she just gets $300 a month richer. That's not fair at all. I told Steve that I need every penny of my paycheck now to pay the bills and can't afford to pick up the cost, so I'll have to go to the $170 dollar plan with the $1,000 deductible and no prescription medication benefits at all. In other words, unless I get into an accident, I'll never use up $1,000 in one whole year of doctor visits, while paying full price for all the meds. Steve doesn't want me to pick that crappy plan. So I'm very stressed out and upset about it right now. And this is just to cover ME. Brian won't HAVE any insurance AT ALL once his severance package runs out. Steve and I are going to have to discuss this more in depth.

So as I was on the MSN homepage today, I scrolled down and discovered that there's a Sagittarius daily horoscope on the page. It creeps me out that MSN knows I'm a Sagittarius. But I had to smile a little bit, because this is what it read for today: "As you take another step upwards today, dear Sagittarius, you may suddenly realize that there is a large portion of the mountain that you had previously unaccounted for. Perhaps this steep portion of the climb was not visible from below, where you started the trip. Do not panic. By overreacting to the unknown, you may lose your balance and go sliding down the face of the mountain. Instead, collect yourself, rest, and plan your strategy one step at a time." Well, the large portion of the mountain is of course the health insurance issue, and I had previously accounted for it, but the rest of the advice about not panicking and planning a strategy couldn't be more spot on.

Meanwhile, I drown my sorrows in Facebook for hours every day and enjoy swapping applications with my many new friends. That got me thinking about how these social networking sites have really made us into that "small world." It occurred to me that being on Facebook with all these people is a little bit like being on Dead tour. You are all coming from different directions, but all headed in the same direction. Now the blogging that I do, which once seemed so instantaneous, is more like a rest stop on the information superhighway. I pull off to the side of the road, check in with the blogs, then get back on Facebook and zoom between Newcastle and Australia for the virtual pillow fights I've been in with Alison and Julie, run up to Canada or the east coast to swap eggs with my many egg hunting friends, send virtual birthday items to my friend Louise in Manitoba, and take care of everyone's virtual pets on Pet Pupz, Pokey Puppy and The Hatchery. Louise in Canada, Jason in Seattle and I sent a round of Canadian beer back & forth on Friday to celebrate the long weekend. And Susan and I have exchanged a ton of great gifts too. My faves are growing gifts, hatching eggs and waterglobes. You have to wait a couple of days for the gifts to grow, hatch or be visible in the globes. It's so cool to see what your friends pick out for you.

The games are addictive as hell. My rock band, Kay Mart & the Blue Light Specials, is a level 49 "Rock Legend" band but struggling financially; but what great rock legend hasn't seen their share of lien times and poor business decisions? The private jet was a really bad idea. lol
My Pet Pupz Alsation, Sirius, is kicking butt with his training and competitions. My dragon, AbraxasToo is 23-32. I have over 3,000 eggs since July 1, and 21 out of the 22 limited edition/special eggs. I get a huge kick out of Facebook, I really do. I know that the virtual gifts aren't real and all, but it still makes me feel good to give them. I have always loved giving gifts and this is the perfect way to do it. You don't even have to spend any real money. Most of the applications just award you "hatchy points","treats", "green bucks", "puppy points", "vampire money", etc. and that's what you use to "buy" everything. It's awesome. And I LOVE the scratch tickets too.

In fact, thanks to FB, I hear from a lot of my friends more often, sometimes daily, and have gotten back in touch w/ people I haven't seen since high school and/or college graduation. I'm very much enjoying catching up with so many old friends, and meeting new ones too. That's because we are all playing on FB at the same time. The other day, I commented on one of the application message boards and mentioned I was from Bonney Lake. One of my FB friends, in Iowa, messages me within minutes that her niece and niece's family live in Bonney Lake!!!!!! And it totally tripped me out the other night when I was having the virtual pillow fight with Julie in was 6 pm my time, but well into her workday the next day, yet we were playing in real time.

There's also an application on there that calculates where all your friends are, the average miles for me to travel to get there and how far away my farthest friends are. Care to venture a guess on who lives the farthest away, at 10,540 miles? Axe, Nush and Sir Ivan Bruce!!! I would have thought it was the people in Australia, but apparently S. Africa is farther away. I have about 124 or so friends, nearly half of them only play the egg hunter application called Hatchlings (although as time has gone on I've discovered I have common ground with several of them, like my friend in Manitoba). BTW, Tess, me and Susan miss you on FB!!! I know some of you guys have FB but don't keep up w/ it. But FYI, there are a lot of Vincent/Bobby things out there in FB as well. I'm happy to report that Kris and DH are on there as well!

Yeah I know, some people find it a colossal waste of time and all, but I wouldn't be doing anything at night anyway, except watching TV, so I might as well make some new friends while I'm watching the tube.

Welp, I'm just about done with my rest area break, and I received notification that I have to head back out on the information superhighway, to nail Alison in the UK and Julie in Aussie with virtual pillows and collect a hatching World Egg from my friend in Iowa. See you down the road at the next rest stop!


  1. Low Cost Health Insurance Florida—Way Of Insure the Life

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  2. *snickers*

    Jo, when did you apparently move to Florida?


  3. All we did was load up the dvd player all weekend as well.we finished of a season of Smallville and went through a disc and a half of Supernatural.

    I will show up on Facebook at some point,will far less apps.

  4. (((gasp))) OMG! An eBay relapse??? My thoughts and prayers are with you!!!!! The first step is admitting you have a problem!!!!

    Are you going to meetings and everything? :P

    I try not to click over to it, don't even CLICK!!!!!!~!!


  5. Daisy - I know! A total relapse. I've been so good too. I just get so caught up in the thrill of the bid war!

    Bryde - I can't stand the new format of FB tho'. I've tried to get rid of apps but every time I do, someone else sends me something cool.

    Kathleen - No kidding.

    Michael - erm.......

  6. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Please,no Ebay mentions!There is a Jellyfish box set driving me mad on there!Every time I think I have a chance,the price goes out the roof!Very depressing.

    New format for FB?Hhhmm,I may have to go check that out.

  7. Hi Lilith! Welcome to my blog!

    Oh yeah, I hear ya on the eBay thing. I've already fallen off the wagon today. I got a reminder from eBay that another marble I'm watching ends in 4 hours....but it's only around $7. Bad me!!!! I swear I won't increase my opening bid past $15.

  8. Oh wait, I know who you are now, Lilith G. ;)

  9. ebay hasn't hooked me yet, although i've bought a couple of items on their site. i hope to get rid of some things through them at some point.

    i have a fb account, but don't do much with it. i guess i like the idea of being able to write, which the blog is handy for. f.b. is mostly about staying connected to some old friends and a few family members. wanna friend me? ;)

  10. We still miss you on Molly.

    I can't imagine the extra stress of losing your health care with your job. We are so lucky over here.

  11. Hey Annie, I will send you a friend request, but I don't think I know your last name.....

    Val - I know, I keep meaning to go over to Molly but last time the page was so slow. Is there a new page up? You guys ARE lucky to have health ins., as are the Canadians. But I don't think the USA will realistically see it happen. Americans are NOT going to be on board w/ the higher taxes to pay for it. If it was going to happen, it should have been done generations ago, by FDR, when he did Social Security.

  12. Anonymous3:21 PM

    We don't have any choice in our health insurance in the UK Jojo, it's taken from salary, at source, and before it reaches you. But at least it means you can get help, regardless of the size of your wallet.

    Fingers crossed things get better for you and Brian soon.

  13. Thanks, Diane. Losing one's job is extra traumatic for Americans b/c of the health insurance problem.

  14. Joanne....Your wise cousin from White Plains says get away from the virtual world and go geocaching. Use your problem solving skills, get some fresh air and clear your head of this virtual nonsense! Anyway, your friends should be "real" and doing "real" things with you. By the way, I found 96 caches in a year, mostly by myself. I was trying to crack 100 by the summer but I was working and it was too hot. Waiting for fall and then I am in my glory. Hid 7 caches too!
    Get out there and don't get discouraged! The first few are the hardest and then you get wise and very observant.

  15. Hey Cookie, no thanks, I'm content in my virtual world. I'm glad you are kicking butt in geocaching though. I got too discouraged last summer and to be honest, I am just not an outdoorsy person at all.

    That cache in Chemainus was found a few times during the time I was there, yet I missed it and it was rated "very easy". I'll take FB ANYDAY. Geocaching just wasn't as fun as I'd hoped it would be. I ended up w/ twisted ankles, rashes, a runny nose and a painful low back and zero to show for the effort.

  16. Holy shit!Sorry Jojo!I can't believe I did that.usually I switch identities;)!

    Sorry 'bout that.


  17. About the Bugs Bunny DVD box sets (which I know is the least important thing about that post, but Bugs Bunny makes me weak in the knees). Any chance it has the episode with the Abominable Snowman that wants to "love him and hug him and stroke his hair backward and name him George"? Apparently you can not find that anywhere and I am dying to get my hands on it! Let me know, when you get the chance. Thanks!