Friday, April 28, 2006

A Summery Friday Random Ten

1) “Buttons” Pussycat Dolls
2) “Heaven” Los Lonely Boys
3) “Summer Breeze” Seals & Crofts
4) “Beautiful Day” U2
5) “The Tide Is High” Blondie
6) “Boys of Summer” Don Henley
7) “Walking Barefoot” Ash
8) “First of Our Gang to Die” Morrissey
9) “Sunrise” Norah Jones
10) "Streets of Your Town" The Go-Betweens

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gettin' My Grill On

It's barbecue season! I'm cleaning the gas grill on my back porch today -- and researching new recipes. I'm off to the grocery store. I plan to bring back lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. Dinners will be delish!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hot Stuff

There’s always room for baseball and junk food.

1) I go to the games because I love baseball.
2) I love watching men in baseball uniforms. Ever see Pat Burrell's butt -- and the rest of him?
3) I like eating big, thick and juicy hotdogs.
4) The Phillie Phanatic is the nation's most adorable mascot, although I'm not really familiar with many others, I'm still making that claim for Philly.

The Phil's are doing okay. They are currently 4.5 games back, third in the NL East. I'd like to see them pick up their bats and start slamming more balls outta the park.

Check Major League Baseball Standings here.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My First Friday Random Ten

I decided to join Howard and other Philly Future bloggers in the Friday Random Ten...

1) Angels & Airwaves “The Adventure”
2) Mariah Carey “Say Somethin”
3) Prince “Incense and Candles”
4) Madonna “Erotica”
5) Madonna “Bad Girl”
6) Sheryl Crow “Always on Your Side”
7) Jewel “Break Me”
8) Pink “I Have Seen The Rain”
9) Fiona Apple “Tymps”
10) Joss Stone “Super Duper Love”

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Why We’ll Never Shop at GameStop (again)

We have purchased a GameCube, a PlayStation 1 & 2, two Xboxs and a new Xbox 360--plus 100’s of games and accessories at GameStop over the course of the past few years. My children and husband are video game lovers—game geeks.

We recently purchased a subscription card for Xbox 360 at GameStop (AKA EB Games) in order to renew one of the five gamer tags in our household. After scratching off the scratch-off-patch to reveal the code, which was needed to reactivate an account, my husband realized that part of the 25-digit code was missing. He called Microsoft’s Xbox Live Support Center. After explaining what happened to the technician, she told him that the numbers are illegible sometimes. She told him to return the card to GameStop for an exchange or refund.

My husband returned to GameStop with the receipt in hand (from the day before), as well as the damaged card. After patiently explaining his phone conversation with the Microsoft technician to the manager, the manager told my husband that it wasn’t his problem and he stared blankly into our faces. My husband said, “I already spoke to Microsoft and they explained that the store has a return policy regarding this issue.” The manager said, “We can’t take the card back. It’s a Microsoft issue. We don’t manufacture those cards. I’m sorry.” My husband said, “But I paid fifty dollars for a card that does not work.”

My husband stood in the store and called Microsoft from his cellphone. He explained that the GameStop store manager refused to return our money or give us a new card. The technician repeated that GameStop has a return policy on the subscription cards for Xbox Live and asked to speak to the store manager. The manager refused the phone.

My husband accused GameStop of stealing fifty dollars out of his pocket. He asked the manager if the policy was the same for other merchandise. The manager said, “No.” My husband asked if GameStop “manufactured” the games and controllers. The manager said, “No.” My husband asked, “If I took a game home and it didn’t work or if there was nothing inside the case, would I be able to exchange it or return it?” The manager said, “Yes.” My husband inquired as to why they could sell a card with the codes partly missing and then refuse to refund money or exchange the item. The manager crossed his arms over his chest and asked us to leave the store. He threatened to call the police and accused him of disrupting his store. (There were no customers inside the store and my husband did not threaten him.)

My husband called GameStop Customer Service, while I drove home. He explained what had occurred. They apologized, but still refused to make an exchange or refund for the product until the district manager made a decision.

A few hours later, the district manager called and refused the exchange, since my husband “disrupted” the store. I witnessed the entire event. The manager was both unhelpful and rude. There were no other customers inside of the store during our time there and my husband was not threatening. He was appropriately asking for his money back or replacement of the unusable item, which was sold to him by GameStop one day prior.

My husband called Microsoft and explained the entire story to another Xbox Live technician who was unable to help him. She explained that GameStop does indeed have a return policy on subscription cards with Microsoft and she did not understand why they were refusing to correct the issue.

My husband wondered how many other people have lost fifty dollars to the GameStop Corporation after purchasing a defective card. It seems that they gamble on the idea that most people won’t contact an attorney over fifty bucks or report GameStop to the Better Business Bureau.

My husband was polite when he approached the manager and explained his problem. He had his receipt, proof of purchase, and the faulty card. Microsoft backed up his claim, and still he was turned away empty handed.

After discovering that GameStop does not have a return policy regarding this item and also seems to lack good customer service policies, we have decided to purchase all of our future game systems, games and accessories from a different company.

Americans shouldn’t have to shrug their shoulders over fifty dollars, even though most of us can afford to do so. We are already dealing with absurdly high gas prices, which are continuing to climb. Someone needs to expose these gigantic corporations as thieves.

Most of us cannot afford to stop buying gas, but we can afford to stop disposing of our income at places like GameStop.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday Brunch Sixteen

1) Te Amo Corazon – Prince
2) High – James Blunt
3) The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song – The Flaming Lips
4) El Manana – Gorillaz
5) Steady, As She Goes - Raconteurs
6) Dani California – The Red Hot Chili Peppers
7) Call Me When You Get This/Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
8) Red Dress – Sugababes
9) Over and Over – Hot Chip
10) All Over This Town – Upper Room
11) We’re Here – Guillemots
12) Gold Lion – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
13) She Moves In Her Own Way – The Kooks
14) You Only Live Once – The Strokes
15) Crazy – Gnarles Barkley
16) Sun In My Morning – Saint Etienne

Friday, April 14, 2006

Blustery Sunshine

Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I took our daughter to fly her new kite in an open field. As we walked toward the field, my daughter was happily skipping along with her pink Care Bears kite flapping in her small hand. I walked beside my husband. We held hands. He kept glancing at my face and then followed the curves under my tight pink t-shirt and khaki shorts. He smiled and said, “You’re so beautiful. I’m so lucky. Why did you ever marry a guy like me?”

We watched the warm breeze caress our little girl's hair. She smiled as she released all of the kite string. The pink tail tickled an almost cloudless blue sky.

He approached me and we embraced. We kissed. I inhaled his familiar scent, as he told me that he loved me. I replied, “I love you, too.” He said, “We both made some mistakes. We forgave each other.” It’s us against the world, not us against each other” I’m sorry that I hurt you” My voice cracked as I whispered “I’m sorry, too.”

So Much for my Happy Ending

He wrote me an apologetic card --and begged me to give him another chance after he found my blog. A few of my posts recalled episodes in which he did something hurtful. He cried as he promised to be a kinder, more caring man--and to cook dinners and do other things with me.

He kept asking if I wrote about his improvement in my blog. I am guessing that his reputation with a few strangers was more important to him than the opinion of his wife and children. I posted his warm words. He forgot to be nice a few days later.

In fact, he began hiding his cellphone bill. He snatched it from my hand and screamed and cursed at me and shoved it into the back pocket of his jeans. Next, he had the phone detail removed from his account. There were times when he would answer the phone and hang up on the person calling. Then he would run from the room to delete the incoming number from his phone list before I could see it.

He also mentioned that he considered buying an extra prepaid mobile phone. (I asked him if he would appreciate it if I bought one.)

A few weeks later his bill came. The numbers were listed because I called the company to have call detail turned back on three days after he had it cancelled. (I realized that when I saw the customer care calls on the bill.)

He didn't know that I would see his call list when the bill arrived at the house during the day, while he was at work.

When it arrived last Friday, I opened the bill with trembling hands. I looked for March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, which is the night she called while we were in bed together. We had full bellies from a meal that I cooked for our extended family and had just had intensely satisfying sex for dessert.

My daughter was having her cousin sleepover. I’m sure they overheard me asking him why he ran into the living room with his phone and the argument which followed.

I found the phone number on his extensive call list. She called at 8:10 PM. My breath quickened as I dialed. I heard a female voice on the answering machine. Her name is Tracy and she has a giggling son called Tyler.

I felt nauseous. I called my husband at work. I asked him who Tracy was, I explained that his story better match hers or I would email his business partner and tell him that he hooked their corporate account to his Neteller/ account and had lost a good deal of money on the company dime.

He thought that I was bluffing, so he lied, “I don’t know.” I hung up on him.

He called back one minute later. I repeated, “Your stories better match or I’m telling your hardworking business partner that you’re taking advantage of him in more ways than one.”

He blurted, “Tracy is a bartender at the Old Hotel.” It took me a minute to realize that the “hotel” was a strip club on his route home from work--the same seedy joint where he lived in a filthy, rat and roach infested room with a dancer/drug addict when I was pregnant with our first child.

She was a redhead named Donna. Her face wasn’t pretty and her figure wasn’t exotic. She was extremely thin, flat chested and her face had acne scars which made the landscape of her face look like the surface of the moon.

He told me that Donna would dance all night in the little suburban club, (which has been nicknamed shitty titty by the locals) and then she would go downtown and dance at after hour’s clubs. I would guess that she was probably selling her pastied flesh to earn more money to feed her coke habit.

At the time my husband was also a serious speed addict. (I wasn’t aware of it nor was he my husband.) I was 17 and he was 23. I made the mistake of meeting him at the first place where I made the mistake of finding employment with my girlfriends as a teenager.

My husband returned to the rainbow striped building 18 years later to finesse a phone number from a 40-something bartender/single mother with a crooked face, while he tipped dollars to passing dancers. He explained that he didn’t think she got much attention from men, since she was in a car accident and her face was sideways. He said that she was a brunette with dark eyes and an unremarkable shape. He said that she didn’t dress well or speak well or have good taste. He said she is typical white trash.

He told me that she had been under house arrest--and he realized that she was “a loser”, so he backed off. He told me that she kept calling him anyway, and that she was kind of a stalker. He guessed out loud that she didn’t usually get much attention from men, since she’s not attractive. I said, “If that is the case, why did give her your phone number?”

My husband has told me repeatedly that he considers me to be the ultimate in attractive. He says that I’m the most beautiful woman in the world to him. He says, “Jessica, you’re one sexy bitch.” He says, “I always wanted a woman who was a lady in the street and a freak in the bed. You're both.” “I can take you anywhere and be proud of you.” He said that all he has ever wanted was me--and he was just mad at me. He said that he would never do it again. He just wanted to hurt me. He said that he would cut his dick off himself if he was ever unfaithful again. In the next breath he told me that he never had sex of any kind with her. He said that he only saw her twice, both times while she was working.

There were several phone calls over several months. He told me that he only spoke to her about five or six times. They talked about “nothing.” He didn’t even tell her that he was married.

I questioned why he would choose a strip club to pick up a woman, considering that he is a germaphobe with a serious fear of STDs—and he is extremely possessive and jealous. If he were to date a dancer or a bartender, men would be trying to pick her up every day.

My therapist told me that bartenders are notorious for being liberal with their phone numbers and sleeping around—and I should be tested by my gynecologist. (I have heard/read rumors that her place of employment is a whore house.)

He won’t even let me get a regular job because it would be around men, let alone the job as a personal trainer that I really wanted at the gym. He was afraid that my male clients might try and steal me from him. I gave up an opportunity to work for a really cool, sweet man (my own personal trainer) since my husband told me that our marriage would be over if I took the job.

His excuse for crawling back into his old hole was that he didn’t think he could pick up women anywhere else. He said, “I’m skinny, old and ugly and I don’t even have a high school diploma.” Do you think it’s easier for me to pick up a woman in a business suit with a nice handbag or to pick up a woman in jeans and a t-shirt?” I replied, “You pleaded with me to work things out and promised me your love and fidelity. Why would you be picking anyone up at all?”

He explained that he was mad at me for having relationships with other men. He wanted to hurt me the same way that I hurt him--after he explained that he understood why I reached out to other men in the first place. I was falling apart due to his disappearances and lies to cover his addictions. I needed something/someone to hold on to. I wanted to find warmth and safety—love.

I love my husband even though he has put me through more than any young woman should ever have to cope with. I have stuck by him through his abuse of himself and consequential abuse of our entire family. His temper is volatile and dangerous. He’ll strike like a snake and return to his pastime as if his venom isn’t poisoning someone in the next room.

He chronically doesn’t pay his business bills on time. He charges up credit card debt that he cannot afford to pay off. He gambles with money that he owes to supply houses, insurance companies, etc. from an account that belongs to a partnership that is supposed to take equal shares for equal labor.

He’s addicted to the highs and lows of the poker game—to the power that he holds over other players when he’s got a good hand. He’s a strong poker player. He’s skillful at deceit and bluffing. His conscience is hard to find.

I am addicted to him. He is sexy--and he is the father of my two beautiful children.

I’m not sure I can handle anymore mistakes. It hurts in such a powerful way that I don’t even want to give the feelings words.

I promised my fidelity and meant it wholeheartedly if he just could be an honest, kind and caring man. We have a hot sex life. I need a best friend.

My therapist told me that nothing short of a miracle would ever change him and that after my latest discoveries, I should really think about leaving. He also recommended that my husband return to therapy for abusers and gambler’s anonymous.

I asked my husband if he would go back to therapy. He screamed, “NO!”

He didn’t go to NA to quit drugs or to AA to quit drinking. He did it on his own, as he intends to do with gambling.

I cannot seem to quit my marriage no matter how many times--and how many ways I discover his betrayal.

I’d like to think that I’m intelligent and attractive and lovable, but my choices really make me wonder.

Last Monday, I wondered allowed to my therapist about why my husband would choose to have an affair with a women whom he considered “a loser”, someone who was under house arrest for I don’t know what. He replied, “Because she doesn’t make him feel guilty and he identifies with her.”

He explained that my husband has addictive personality disorder-- and finished with the sentence, “He is not a total psychopath.”

He asked me why I haven’t shared any of this information with friends or family. I explained that the one year anniversary of my mom’s death was last week, the day after that was my daughter’s birthday and this weekend is Easter Sunday. 1) I didn’t/don’t want to spoil these special days. 2) Shame. 3) The concern about stressing my loved ones during already difficult emotional times. 4) I want my kids to be loved and protected by both of their parents and I don’t want them to suffer financially because we cannot work it out. 6) I love my husband and I cannot stand the thought of his being with someone else, especially sexually, even though I know that he would abuse and/or take advantage of her, too. 7) I’ve never had a normal adult relationship with a man and I don’t even know if decent men exist.

I have gone from a sweet, naïve, happy-go-lucky 16 to a still-trying-to-hang-onto-hope, believe-in-something-better and refuse-to-be-defeated 33.

I didn’t even want to put any of this into words. I am afraid of the consequences. However, I finally felt the need to tell my keyboard. Lately, it's my closest friend.

*I changed "Tracy, Tyler and Donna's" names.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Unselfish or Pushover?

You Are 19% Selfish

In other words, you're a warm, caring considerate person.
Just make sure to get your way sometimes. There's a fine line between unselfish and pushover.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

More 80's Mix

1) A-Ha – Take On Me
2) Bryan Adams – Heaven
3) After The Fire – Der Kommissar
4) Air Supply – Lost In Love
5) Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes
6) Dead Milkmen – Bitchin’ Camaro
7) Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
8) Eurythemics – Here Comes The Rain Again/Sweet Dreams
9) Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue
10) Corey Hart – Sunglasses At Night
11) Hooters – And We Danced
12) Kinks – Come Dancing
13) Kool & The Gang – Celebration
14) Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra
15) Naked Eyes – Always Something There To Remind Me
16) Nena – 99 Luftballoons
17) Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me
18) Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
19) Soft Cell – Tainted Love
20) Spin Doctors – Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong
21) Stray Cats – Stray Cat Strut
22) Taco – Puttin’ On The Ritz
23) Talking Heads – And She Was
24) Thomson Twins – Hold Me Now
25) Timbuk 3 – The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades
26) Violent Femmes – Blister In The Sun

Friday, April 07, 2006

America’s New Male Archetype?

No, thank you!

If you're a guy who shaves his legs, arms (or pits), or if you have close-shaved, well-groomed pubic hair -- or none at all, you won't enjoy this humorous article by Leftbanker.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Request for Moving Melodies

Dear Readers,

I'd like some inspiration for making a favorite song library from 1990-2006-- and I need fresh tunes for my MP3 player. I get bored with songs pretty fast. Please comment on your favorite songs and don't forget to include the artist, title and the year. I like every genre, so don't be shy.

Thanks for your help!


*I find a lot of fantastic new songs on MTV's 30 featured music videos. I'm not a big fan of Shakira's voice, but I dare you not to be mesmerized by her dancing.

Numeric Life Links

It is a numeric life: Blogging as good therapy

It is a numeric life: Is marriage only for white people ?

It is a numeric life: Distant prayer doesn't help

Maybe If I Moved To Amsterdam...

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

A Few Swedish Tunes (In English)

1) The Cardigans – Love Fool//My Favourite Game
2) Sahara Hotnights – Hot Night Crash
3) The Hives – Hate To Say I Told You So/Walk Idiot Walk
4) The Concretes – Cabaret/Warm Night
5) The Caesars – Jerk It Out
6) Mando Diao – She’s So/You Can’t Steal My Love
7) Soundtrack of Our Lives – Sister Surround
8) The Hellacopters – Toys and Flavors
9) Erik Prydz – Call On Me
10) Bodies Without Organs – Sunshine In The Rain
11) Shout Out Louds – Please Please Please
12) The Arc – It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane
13) Leana – Dance With A Stranger
14) Abba – Take A Chance On Me

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Furry Friend

As if you need a reason to adopt a fur face...

Pretty Pansies

My plan is to plant pretty pink pansies in a peach pot on my pleasant porch.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I Don't Drink Wine From a Box

I am 11% White Trash.
Not at all White Trashy!
I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. . I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.
*One of the silliest quizzes I have ever seen.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

20 Cool Songs from 2005

1) I’ve Been Thinking – Handsome Boy Modeling School
2) Ooh La La – Goldfrapp
3) Mr. Brightside (Thin White Duke Remix) – The Killers
4) Breathe – Anna Nalick
5) I Turn My Camera On – Spoon
6) Fix You – Coldplay
7) Breathe Me – Sia
8) Throw Down Your Arms – Sinead O'Connor
9) Sleeping With Butterflies – Tori Amos
10) Walking With A Ghost – Tegan and Sara
11) Hide And Seek – Imogen Heap
12) I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys
13) Precious – Depeche Mode
14) Banquet – Bloc Party
15) Biology – Girls Aloud
16) Your Ex-Lover Is Dead – Stars
17) When The Night Feels My Song – Bedouin Soundclash
18) Publish My Love – Rogue Wave
19) Where Cedar Nouns And Adverbs Walk – The Most Serene Republic
20) Everyday I Love You Less And Less – Kaiser Chiefs

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Isn't this the most supremely sweet, creamy little purrball?
I saw this photo @ a philadelphia story this morning. It fueled my desire to pet my own little kitty as she makes a soft, vibrant sound.

Sunny Flowers

The lemon glow of these sunny flowers makes me happy.

"Daffodils" (1804)
I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Spring Foward

Woohoo! It’s my favorite time of year as of tomorrow! It’s Daylight Saving time. I love having more bright hours in the evening for doing lots of fun stuff.

It's almost time to begin visiting Philadelphia's Gardens and Arboretums or go on a Delaware River cruise.