Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Deep Thoughts by Pamela Quigley

Being an over-the-top excited about dip kind of person I was thinking today and I came to a realization. Some of my favorite dips involve cream cheese: warm spinach dip, crab dip- with the cocktail sauce, that chili cheese layer dip and Ali's candied jalapeno dip. I'd make one of them or all of them and eat them almost every day if I could.

It makes me sad that my husband hates cream cheese. He'll never understand...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Still Kickin'

I just wanted to check in. I'm still around- just super busy. And that's a good thing! I've got something fun in the works but it's too early to share. Soon, though, I PROMISE.

Here's to hoping it all works out... I think it will.... but I'm still nervous.

(And no. I'm not so don't even ask.)

Monday, May 18, 2009


It's "Voilà!"
It is pronounced vwä-ˈ with a V sound.

Not "Wallah" or "Whalla" or "Wa- La" or anything else that silly.

Quick french lesson: Voilà is not a sound effect. It is a word with a meaning. En Englais, it means "there it is!" or "see there!" because voir (or the conjugated form, vois) means "to see" and la literally means "there."

You might think I'm getting nit-picky but hopefully you'll thank me later.

PS While I'm pretending to be the Word Police, if you're a Punctuation Cop, let me know if I'm making errors. I know there are a lot of quotation marks in this post....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More "Words"

You drink ESpresso not EXpresso.
Odvious is not a word.
Neither is supposably.
Or undoubtably.

Thank you for your other non-words in my previous post's comments. I agree!

Deep Thoughts by Pamela Quigley

Heigth is not a word. It's HEIGHT.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tag! You're it!

I've been tagged by two cool ladies (Trisha and Lauren) to play this game, here's how it works:
- Mention the person that tagged you.
- Complete the lists of 8s.
- Tag 8 of your wonderful bloggy friends.
- Go tell them you tagged them!

8 things I am looking forward to:
1.) all new grey's anatomy and office tonight
2.) going to omaha next weekend
3.) starting a family
4.) a couple of cute photo shoots
5.) kissing my kitties when I get home
6.) my weekend full of fun plans
7.) getting a job where i'll be done with busy-work, filing and payroll
8.) being thinner....

8 things I did yesterday:
1.) thought about calling in sick
2.) went to work
3.) ate at norton's in soulard
4.) found out Norton's was closing after 23 years
5.) came home and snuggled my hubby and kitties
6.) caught up on American Idol
7.) went grocery shopping
8.) took pictures

8 things I wish I could do:
1.) be a photographer for a living
2.) go home and take a nap
3.) then clean my house
4.) and cook a really awesome meal for my hubby
5.) take a vacation to somewhere warm
6.) lose weight by snapping my fingers
7.) win the lottery- a big one
8.) have perfect vision

8 shows I enjoy:
1.) the office
2.) grey's anatomy
3.) lie to me
4.) american idol
5.) so you think you can dance
6.) dancing with the stars
7.) the soup
8.) saturday night live

8 people I'm tagging:
1) you
2) you
3) you
4) you
5) you
6) you
7) you
8) and YOU!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Britian's Got Talent

Wow! If you haven't seen THIS, you've probably been living under a rock for the last few days. After being uploaded to youtube it gained 2.5 million views in 72 hours!

It's one on my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals and watching this totally made me tear up! I was so shocked and moved and it brought back an ocean of memories of belting it out with my mom in the car.

I particularly like 4:02 in the video.

Talk about not judging a book by it's cover...!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A day late but...


One year ago yesterday, we were running around like crazy people in 45 degree rain. I hear it's good luck for rain on your wedding day and maybe it was. I hear the first year is the hardest... this year was a piece of cake. Speaking of cake....

I love you, MXQ!

Your Wife

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's show has been brought to you by the letter B!

I recently read a list on Jen's blog, where she shared 10 of her favorite things all starting with the letter J.

Thanks for my letter. The letter B. So, after much deliberation and in no particular order, ten of my favorite things starting with

#1- Bloody Mary's! Although I use some less common ingredients and garnishes, I've been told they're pretty good.

#2- Baby Brendan! There's just something about that little guy (and all babies in general) that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

(My nephew)

#3- Brothers- I love mine to death and now that I'm married, I've got three brothers-in-law. They're all awesome.

(My Brother and I)

#4- Birthdays- I love birthdays! Even though I think I'm probably the worst gift-giver ever, I love birthdays.

#5- Brunch. Who doesn't love brunch?

#6- Baseball- especially Cardinals Baseball.

(Michael and I at the World Series win in 2006)

#7- Beaches- We honeymooned in Nevis. It was the first time I ever saw a beach (and ocean) in my life. That's a true story.

(from our honeymoon)

#8- Burberry Boots- Michael gave me a pair on our wonderful, rainy wedding day.

(*courtesy of Starry-Eyed Studios)

#9- Bread & Butter- homemade, of course.

#10- Boys- well... not all boys. Just this one.

(*courtesy of Starry-Eyed Studios)

Monday, April 6, 2009

US of Tara

I totally LOVE this show and I'm so sad this season is over. It's about a married woman with two kids and multiple personalities. Four to be exact.

Just a few months ago, I was talking with my husband about how nothing "cool" happens in the midwest- aside from Chicago- that would be fitting for a t.v. show. Well guess what. US of Tara takes place in Overland Park, Kansas. (It's sort of like the West County town of Kansas City.) Since I went to college in Kansas, I am so excited that I know what they're talking about when going to places like Oak Park Mall and in one episode, they talked about talking a roadtrip to the St. Louis Galleria.

It's the little things that give me a thrill.

Anyway- check it out. If you haven't seen it, check out Showtime On Demand and catch up!

Never a dull moment...

Here's just a glimpse into our life and home:

Me, shocked and curious looking at a very visible scratch on Michael's face, "Michael, what happened?!"

"Pete did it," he responds. Pete is our (usually friendly, non-scratchy) cat.


"I bit his tail."

"You what? What for?"

Clearly upset, angry and annoyed he justifies his actions. "He was being a jerk."

I guess sometimes, you need to show your pet who's boss...

Then they will scratch your face and show you that you're not.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

a little bit of a rant

I read a lot about photography. I read a ton of books, magazines and blogs and I even take classes from time to time to brush up and keep myself up to date. I know I'm not a seasoned pro but there are some things from Photo 101 that everyone should know like how to hold a camera. I've even seen a few professionals hold a camera this way and I just cringe every time. Yes, at first it is a little uncomfortable (and even still, I sometimes have trouble remembering to keep my arms at my sides.) In the beginning, I found myself wanting to rebel and "do what I want" but as time goes on, you get a little more skilled and you'd like to start increasing your credibility you'll learn. Holding the camera the correct way makes a huge difference- especially when you're using a larger, heavier lens and your arms are getting tired.

Monday, March 30, 2009


My sister and I took our three-year-old cousin to Target on Saturday. Annie was very excited about Target- probably even more so that her two Target loving cousins. We perused the purses and shoes and then headed over to the toy department and made a beeline to the Barbie aisle. That's where I found this... Wow...

For more found accidental porn click HERE.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Deep Thoughts by Pamela Quigley

Spell check is a funny thing. I always proofread emails, letters and the like multiple times and thank goodness I do. Otherwise, I might not have caught the mistake of calling myself a strangler instead of a stranger. Stranglers are creepy.

Watch this

This is probably one of the best commercials I have ever seen.... but I'm touchy feely like that. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some people are just awesome

Aww- doesn't that just warm your heart? No really, though....

Some people are just awesome. (I'm not going to name names because I don't want to embarrass anyone or leave anyone out.) This is just a little shout out to people who get "big sister protective" of me and my feelings, who believe in me when I sometimes have trouble believing in myself and the people who don't get upset when I ask them to unload the dishwasher and make me a milkshake (ok, maybe that one is easy to guess.) You are the people who really keep me going. You know who you are.

Thanks. It really means a lot to me. Here's one for you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Loving Aperture

I understand that this post might not make a lot of sense to some people and for that I apologize but I am too pumped not to post.

I think I have a new favorite program. I love photography and I edit my own pictures in Photoshop CS2. My husband (always encouraging me) has asked me a few times about Aperture. I've played with it a few times at the Apple store but never really saw a point to own and use it myself. Until now. Apple recently released Aperture 2 and I am already in love with it!

It works with Photoshop- not as a replacement and the newest version has over 100 upgrades and new features. You can make basic edits in Aperture and then export the image to PS for finishing touches with filters, masks, etc. In Aperture, not only can you lift your edits from one image and then stamp it on another but also stores all of your camera settings and tags it to your image. (Apparently Adobe Bridge does that for RAW images but I've never used it.) I just think this is a huge asset for me. I've always had to write them down or get get over losing that information. No longer. Of course this is still a very new program for me and I'm still searching my way through all of its capabilities but I am so excited about what this means for my work. It will help manage my workflow, allow me to create books (instead of using blurb or a similar program) and save me a ton of time! I am seriously so excited- I feel like a 4 year-old at Christmas. Has anyone else used this program?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Almost Friday!

Don't forget to click on the picture to make it bigger!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I feel cheated!

I work with a lot of those "really cool" parents that bring in the order forms for their kids' fundraisers. (My parents never did that for me.) Anyway, I managed to avoid most of them but I was suckered into buying some Girl Scout cookies. This really is a terrible thing.... especially for my waistline.

Well today the cool mom drops off my two boxes (hey, they're just lucky I bought them in the first place and I was not about to buy more that that!) Trying to contain myself, I put them aside so I won't eat the entire box. This lasted for about an hour and then I dove right in. With excitement, I tear open the Tagalongs and much to my chagrin... they're smaller! They are much flatter and the diameter is not as large as the Tagalongs from my day. Of course I ate them anyway but it makes me sad to know that I just wasted 140 calories on two cookies the size of quarters.


NEW TAGALONGS: they look more like thin mints...

ACTUAL PICTURE- from my iphone
ignore unpainted nails, crappy lighting, blur and multiple beverages in the background...

Monday, February 23, 2009

I want to thank the academy

oh... wait...

Angie over at Klenke Konfessions tagged me for an award! Thank you so much- it really does mean a lot to me and this is now one of my most valued awards.

Sometime it can be a little rough in the blogsphere- I feels like it can be a bit of a popularity contest every once in a while and it's nice to know that someone is reading when I didn't think anyone would. I really do want to thank those that not only read this blog, but my other one as well. The comments you leave are truly encouraging and have gotten me out of a few lags. Angie said, "I like to share and I love the sense of solidarity I feel when people can relate to my posts," and I completely agree. Thanks again, all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

Now, for the fun part...Here are the rules:
“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

It is eally tough to only choose eight- especially because I just tagged a few people last week or they've already been tagged and I know for a fact that a few of my nominees will be touched but aren't always in love with tagging others but I'm going to tag them anyway! (A heartfelt thanks will suffice. No need to tag if you don't feel like it.)

1.) Jen at Eggs Over Medium
2.) Sarah at Sarah Gone Wild
3.) Stephanie at Kitschicagoan again :)
4.) Katie at The life of Juan & Katie
5.) Trisha at A Day In the Life of a Seelen
6.) Amy at The Adventures and Mishaps of Mrs. Amy B!
7.) Kristal at Good Food, Good Friends, Good Life because she almost always leaves a comment and comments make me smile.
8.) and of course, my last one is always open for you. If you do read my blog(s) and have never commented, I encourage you to do so now. I love making new friends.

"There are many more blogs that I read but I could only nominate 8 so don't feel sad if I didn't mention you.
I particularly love to read these 8 blogs, because these ladies are all witty, funny, and excellent writers." -Angie. And I completely agree.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sarah Interviews Me

So when Sarah posted this fun little game, I had to play along. First, the good part - the questions from Sarah and my answers!

1. Where in the world IS Carmen SanDiego?
That, my Friend, is an excellent question... I bet she's looking for Bin Laden.

2. If you had to guess (which you do because I'm asking), what would you say "The Thinker" is thinking about?
All the birds that probably crap on him and what he really did to be stuck outside and not safe and warm dans Le Lourve.

3. Tell me all about your worst college experience. And no, not the class related ones.
Oh geez... we're gonna go there? Hmm... I'm not sure- college was actually a pretty good experience but the worst ever was probably the last day of my junior year (2004) when I drank a HUGE Long Island Iced Tea and fell flat on my face outside the bar. It looked like I was dragged (drug ?) behind a car. I have never been and will never be that irresponsible again and haven't had a LIIT since. What did I tell my parents? The truth. There is no lying to save your ass in a situation like that. It was the day before my dad had to pick me up and move me home for the summer, a week before my little brother's confirmation and two weeks before I was in my cousin's wedding. Thankfully, I healed in time for the wedding... only to faint on the altar... but that's another story.

4. I think it's weird that a food is named "hot dog". Rename it and explain why you chose that name.
Scrap meat. Sounds delicious. That is what it is, after all. Why do they call it a dog?

5. Would you rather be mute or infertile? (Haha - I know you like talking AND babies!)
Thanks! I say mute. I can still see and while I'd be sad not to hear music or sing terribly at the top of my lungs, I'd still be able to photograph my babies.

If you would like to play along, here are the instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. You know, to pay-it-forward and keep this little interview game going.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and so on and so forth. The first five ‘askers’ get the interview!

I swear I'm not a hypochondriac and I am fairly certain I have this: Delayed sleep-phase syndrome.

I have complained about these symptoms a kazillion times and in retrospect, I'm seeing them impact my everyday life as seen here, here in #17 and 23, possibly here in #7, here and blatantly obvious here.

Wiki states, "Often, people with the disorder report that they cannot sleep until early morning, but they fall asleep at about the same time every "night", no matter what time they go to bed. Unless they have another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea in addition to DSPS, patients can sleep well and have a normal need for sleep. Therefore, they find it very difficult to wake up in time for a typical school or work day. If, however, they are allowed to follow their own schedule, e.g. sleeping from 4 a.m. to noon, they sleep soundly, awaken spontaneously, and do not feel sleepy again until their next "night"."

That fits me perfectly. It's the unwinding and actually falling asleep and then the waking that's the worst part. Once I'm asleep, I'm fine. Even if I do wake up in the middle of the night for some reason, I rarely have trouble falling asleep again.

"They often have asked family members to help wake them in the morning..." I seriously ask my husband every night to help me wake up in the morning. It's terrible. In turn, I'm frequently a few minutes late in the morning.

"By the time DSPS sufferers receive an accurate diagnosis, they often have been misdiagnosed or labelled as lazy and incompetent workers or students for years." I can't tell you how many times I have felt this way, heard it or said it about myself. Some days seriously feel like an out of body experience. I feel bad. I am totally useless on those days. It continues to read, "DSPS is often confused with ADHD or ADD or other sleep disorders..." Who knows me in real life? (I'm still not entirely convinced that I don't have ADHD...)

I found this because I couldn't sleep. I googled insomnia and that led me to this discovery. I know this can be related to stress, depression and anxiety but honestly (aside from the stress of everyday life) I can tell you that I've never had a problem with any of those things... I've tried all of the suggestions to help me relax, unwind, etc. Nothing makes a difference. I about 4 nights ago I decided to self medicate with NyQuil. It worked for two nights in a row. The third night was useless. I decided to forgo the meds tonight and see what happens and here I am- exhausted and unable to fall asleep.

It's currently 2:31 and I am wide awake- and this is common! What do I do? Call a sleep center? Shut up and get over it? Does anyone else have this? Or a problem similar?

*Why does my time stamp say 1:53? Weird...

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Prowler

I've got one in my office. It's terrible. I can't even think straight anymore. I'm exhausted.

I'm in a cubicle with my back facing a wall of offices. The Prowler's office is just a few feet away. He has to pass my cubicle to get to the copier, the break area, the bathroom... there is another route but he rarely takes it. This drives me insane. Some days are particularly bad. Like today. He will seriously read a page of godknowswhat, make a copy, return to his desk and repeat that cycle for HOURS. I wish I was exaggerating. What is he doing?! What could he possibly be doing in the minute and twenty-seven seconds that he sits down before he needs to get up again?

The worst days are when he wears his loafers... I can always hear him shuffling behind me but those days are particularly distracting. I don't understand it. What is so hard about reading an entire article, making notes or flagging them with post-its and then making one trip to the copier? (Oh, and another to the shredder, just for good measure.)

I've tried complaing to HR... actually, I am HR... my boss just tells me to relax. I can't. His prowling seriously stresses me out. I can tell you that I'm -----oh! There he goes again!----- I'm eerily calm as I type this. I'm taking very deep breaths and counting up to 10 and down again. If he walks by one more time I just don't know what I'm going to do... ok.... now if he walks by one more time.... you know what? Just forget it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Kristal asked for more details on my 25th random fact about me. It's kind of long so I just thought I'd create a new post instead of a huge comment.

At least two or three times in my life my sister has told me about some weird dream and then it (or something eerily similar) happens. Weird, huh?

My little brother's story is probably my favorite. He has almost died about a million times. He was born purple because the umbilical chord was in knots and wrapped around his neck, he has survived a 104.6 fever when he was about 6 weeks old and swallowed glass shards from a broken baby food jar that we didn't know was broken because the label was wrapped over it. When he was three, they told my parents he had a benign tumor on his adenoid so doctors removed both of them along with his tonsils. Once when playing catch with my dad, the ball hit my brother's glove a certain way, bouncing out just perfectly to hit him in the chest and send him into cardiac arrest. My mom is certified for her job in CPR, shock and all things emergency. She saved him before the ambulance got there. At twelve he was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. No, that will not kill you as long as you educate yourself and eat certain things at certain times, yada yada but year later he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Lymphoma. The diets and medication almost completely clash. A couple of months after that, the doctors told my parents that all forms of cancer and celiac were completely gone. Vanished. They said it was a miracle and couldn't explain it any other way. He still gets tested to make sure it's really gone and they still haven't seen any traces of either disease. He still has diabetes but is otherwise in perfect health. Either way, it makes you realize that everyday with someone you love is truly a gift.

My parents aren't all supernatural or anything but my dad can run really, really fast. It's crazy. When we were younger, he'd give us half a soccer field head start and still beat us. He's 50 now and can still out run my also fast, 18 year-old brother.

My mom is in the STL Cathedral choir and they sang for the Pope when they all went to the Vatican and when he came to STL.

My grandmother is an extraordinary woman. She had an amazing voice- that's probably where my mom got it- and used to sing opera. She was also a professional tennis player. I'm not exactly sure how long she did either but she was paid for it and people came to see her. She's also one of the founders of Our Lady's Inn.

My aunt, Ann Wagner is the Ambassador in Luxembourg. (She's my mom's brother's wife.) She lives there with the two younger kids and my uncle lives here in St. Louis. Their oldest son goes to West Point and would like to be a Senator some day. The distance can be challenging but they are a very happy family. I think this is her last year and she comes home. They have racked up zillions of frequent flyer miles and meet in Washington D.C. sometimes.

Oh- I forgot to add this: A few of you commented on my husband's knowledge in the post he helped me create about the Recession. Now, I might be a little biased but I really think that my husband is probably a genius. He is super smart. You know how lawyers need to pass the Bar Exam to practice? Well people who want to work with the stock market need to pass the Series 7. He did that when he was finishing his sophomore and going into his junior year in college. He began pursuing his CFA after that. There are three tests to pass before becoming a CFA Charterholder. He passed all three the first time. The odds of that are less than 8%. I think that's impressive and I'm extremely proud of him. I'm not saying that I'm not smart but I hope to all that is holy that some of his brains are passed on to our children. (We always joke that he's the I.Q. and I'm the E.Q.) He, of course, would never tell you this and would probably make a joke instead about paying people to take the tests and how his current job involves laundering money. Obviously, neither of those jokes are true!

I'm sure I've got other crazy family members with crazy stories but that's all I can think of for now. I'm pretty ordinary, relatively (pun intended) speaking.

25 Things About Me

For those who haven't seen this... I know you're just dying to know these random facts about me.

1. I hate ketchup- like in an intense, almost fear-like way. I hate looking at it and the smell. I think it's the tomato/vinegar tanginess. BLECH!

2. I love Bloody Marys and tomatoes. I also like salt and vinegar chips.

3. I'm almost 26 and I still can't watch a scary movie without getting nightmares.

4. One of my biggest fears is letting people down. I hate to disappoint.

5. Another fear is identity theft. I probably fear it more than death.

6. I don't really have any regrets now. I might have at the time but now I think that all of my mistakes really made me who I am and for the most part, I like who I am today....

7. ....although I've been trying to lose the same 15 lbs for about 2 years. That part about me can change. :)

8. I had a not-so-healthy obsession with the Twilight series. I'm finally returning to my "normal" state... if I ever had one to begin with...

9. I once went to Schnucks and only bought cat food and alcohol. After leaving, I realized why the cashier looked at me like a pathetic, lonely cat lady.

10. I am really, really hard on myself. Because of this I frequently get hives, eye infections, random viruses and so on. When I ask my doctor why these things happen they almost always tell me that it's a physical reaction to stress.

11. For every bad thing I do or say, I try to do one or more nice.

12. Before meeting my husband, I never knew I was capable of loving someone so much. I can't even imagine what having a child will be like!

13. Oh yeah, I can be annoyingly gushy.

14. I have a really good sense of smell. It's honestly creepy. I'm like a bloodhound. Unfortunately some of my best skills aren't able to go on a resume.

15. I also have pretty good intuition. I can usually sense a funky mood, a lie, when people have a secret or are upset, etc. I'm also pretty good at calling the ending to a movie.

16. I talk fast but I think even faster. I frequently have about 3 thoughts, a song stuck in my head and god knows what else going on simultaneously in my brain. It's like a circus in there!

17. For the life of me I cannot get my ass out of bed on time. I hit snooze about 3 times. I wish I was one of those people that get up 2 hours before the need to leave. I would workout, shower, make coffee and do my make up at home instead of getting out of bed with barely enough time for a shower, forgoing coffee and applying make up in the car on the way to work.

18. I've been told that I'm a "fixer" and a "saver" meaning I like saving friendships that don't need to be saved and trying to fix damaged people that would rather stay damaged.

19. Because I consciously try to be positive, negativity annoys me.

20. I must sleep with a fan on. It’s a hereditary disease my mother passed on to all of her children. No fan = no sleep = tired, crabby, worthless Pamela.

21. I can rub my belly and pat my head at the same time. I can't draw a circle (in the air) counterclockwise with my hand and move my right foot in a circle clockwise at the same time. Try it- it's impossible.

22. I will be friends with just about anyone. You don't have to earn my friendship to get it but you do have to earn it to keep it.

23. I don't like feeling stupid. We all have our days when we aren't as sharp as others but I hate it when people make me feel like an idiot. It seriously pisses me off.

24. I like making lists. For anything. (It's actually the main reason why I decided to do this.) I have tons of different lists and nothing gives me greater satisfaction than checking everything off and throwing it away.

25. My family has done some crazy/extraordinary things: my sister has psychic tendencies, my little brother has about 100 lives, my dad is probably the fastest man on the planet, my mom has sung (sang?) for the pope twice with the STL cathedral choir, my grandma was a pro tennis player and opera singer and my aunt is the US ambassador for Luxembourg. I swear to you, all of this stuff is true even though it sounds incredibly outlandish.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Will our current situation end up worse than the Depression?

I know that I'm usually silly or light-hearted on this blog but Jen's post got me thinking seriously and I turned to my Husband, CFA and asked him the same questions for the millionth time. Here's the response I got. Hopefully it will ease some concerns.


The US and global economic response to this crisis will most likely cause the US to avoid a catastrophe similar to what we saw in the 1930's (the Great Depression or "GD"). But first, we must point out what made the 1930's GD a GD.

1.) countries around the world were tied to the gold standard (meaning currencies could be exchanged for a certain amount of gold held in reserves...aka the amount of money floating around could not be more than the amount of gold that was in existence)
2.) policy mistakes (Smoot-Hawley, fiscal stimulus that came too late, fed increased interest rates)
3.) between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 people were unemployed

To add a little background, during the 1900's the US was an agricultrually and industrially driven economy (think of farming and assembly lines). We also happened to export quite a bit of those products (meaning we sold our stuff to other countries). As a result, these huge sectors, to a certain extent, relied on our foreign trade partners. This is where #1 comes into play. Our trading partners got into trouble with the gold standard for a variety of reasons (several banks failed)...their ability to buy US ag/industry goods, was severely diminished. With a lot less people buying, this caused the US' supply of goods to build up, and prices for those goods to tank. So eventually, the US ended up importing more than it exported...and the people at the time did not like that. So In response, (this is where #2 applies), congress enacted smoot-hawley tariff act, which was done with the intention of making it cheaper for Americans to buy American goods. Our trade partners freaked out (justifiably so) and put up their own trade barriers, making things even worse as they decided to buy even less american goods. That's when the deflationary spiral really took hold. Farmers don't want to buy their own goods...they want to sell them...so we had a bunch of farmers with nobody to sell to. Lots of farmers defaulted on loans because of this. In fact, enough farmers defaulted that banks started going under and people started losing savings (which caused the infamous "bank runs"). With the financial sector in ruin, companies couldn't invest in productive capacity because they couldn't secure loans. The Federal reserve made matters worse by actually raising interest rates, in the attempt to stem the massive outflow of investments made in the US. With interest rates in the stratosphere, there was certainly no way anyone could get much less afford loans. With virtually no economic activity, a country can't produce jobs for its people. That's where #3 came from.

This time around, our policy-makers have the advantage of history. But whats the same this time around and whats different?


1.) bank failures (lehman brothers bankruptcy really f'd everything up)
2.) deflation (housing prices are going down)
3.) trade protectionism (China actively manipulates its currency so their goods are always cheaper than everybody else's)


1.) the federal reserve cut interest rates to 0 (making it cheap for banks to lend to each other and thus to consumers, also to keep mortgage rates low)
2.) the FDIC insures deposits, so if there is a bank failure, nobody loses their savings
3.) no gold standard (abandoned during the 70's) means we can print as many dollar bills as we want...so if lots of $ is destroyed b/c of bad loans or b/c banks are too chicken to lend, the treasury can always just print more money to replace what's been lost.

This time around, though, China is more like the US was during the 1930's...the US has been spending like crazy for over a decade now, and all we have to do now is save. The money we save will be regurgitated by the US Government in the form of tax cuts or rebates on buying a new home (basically, the $800bn fiscal stimulus plan that's been in the headlines). So unemployment today will probably not go higher than 1 in 10 (its currently ~1 in 12).

China and a lot of asian countries are more susceptable to a GD, imo. They have invested so much money over the past decade, catering to their exporting sectors that they forgot to invest in themselves. Now that the US and Europe are no longer spending money, asian countries face a tough road of developing an actual consumer-led economy, similar to the US'.

This is certainly a Great Recession, but by no means is it a Great Depression. The policy response of our government (no matter how bad the press makes their ideas sound), the ability to print money and the focus on re-engendering confidence in the system are what will keep us out of another GD.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A few tips for job seekers

I see a LOT of resumes. I mean an insane amount for all different kinds of positions. I always get asked, "Pamela, I'm sending my resume out. Any good tips?"

Here's what I say:

If you are going to use a resume paper with a watermark on it, please for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE make sure your watermark doesn't come out upside-down and backwards. Pay attention. This is one of my all time pet peeves. If you have to print it 2 or 3 times, do it. It's the little signs that show attention to detail. Seriously. It is so distracting to see a backwards watermark and you really have no idea how often this happens to me. I'm proud of the few that get it right. If this is something you don't really care to "waste your time on" make sure you get resume paper without a watermark.

It actually serves a purpose too. It's to let you know how the grain is supposed to go through the printer. (Paper has grain- you can sometimes feel it.) In ink printers, going against the grain will sometimes cause ink to bleed. This is also visually distracting. This is all especially important to consider when applying for a creative/graphic design type of position. Our creative director has even told me that he doesn't want to see those resumes. HELLO! Would you send something to your client if it was bleeding, smeared, wrong colors or upside down? Of course not! (If they are qualified, I will send those candidates to other departments where it doesn't matter as much to their position, obviously.)

Do not use a Microsoft Word template. They really do all look the same.

If you must use a word template, change the fonts. There's nothing unique about Times New Roman font. While we're talking about font, Comic Sans is never ok. Ever. Your fonts should be clear and easy to read. If you use more than one, do not use more than two. More fonts than two are usually distracting and messy looking.

One more thing. This is going to sound ridiculously obvious but it needs to be addressed. I know that this is not the only job you applied for and that is perfectly fine. Just remember to change the name of the company in your cover letter and objective, if you decide to incorporate those elements. For example, if you're applying for an Account Director position at XYZ Inc. make sure your materials don't say Account Executive at ABC Agency.

Oh, and use spell check. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Husband is Hilarious

"Hey, Babe, why do I have She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain stuck in my head?"

Seriously? I am laughing my ass off. How in the hell did he get THAT song stuck in his head?! He doesn't find it quite as funny as I do...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tarnish? It's nothing a little toothpaste can't fix.

My husband's mother brought over some more of his childhood things a few days after Christmas. Two small boxes contained ornaments from his godfather. They were beautiful sterling sliver bells- one for the year he was born and one for his first year, I guess. Anyway, they were incredibly tarnished. I recalled a memory of my mom cleaning my grandmother's silverware after a huge family dinner once. She scrubbed it with toothpaste and washed them by hand with dish soap so I thought I'd give that a try and it totally worked! I'm sure real silver polish would probably look better but who am I kidding? That bottle of polish would last years and years and I'd still probably never use it again.

Take a look at the before and afters:
I obviously cleaned the 1981 Bell first but they were both as tarnished and the 1982 Bell.

Here are a couple more detailed shots:

Of course I was so excited, I immediately cleaned the 1982, forgot to take another picture and now I'm too lazy to do it but the change was impressive and now they both shine like the 1981.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Deep Thoughts by... Michael... Quigley...?

He came home from work today and immediately took a nap. (I think he's fighting a cold.) I later came home and made a pizza for dinner. Not realizing he woke up and ate a piece he came up and gave me a hug and said, "I hope you don't mind but I ate a piece. It was good pizza. It tasted like love."

He's cute.

While watching American Idol:
"I think I like Randy Jackson more now- knowing he's not Michael Jackson's brother."

He's funny too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Deep Thoughts by Pamela Quigley

I have a really good sense of smell. It's really good. Like a bloodhound. If I was a superhero, my power would be that I can identify almost any fragrance in a flash IF I've smelled it before. You will not hear me say, "Are you wearing (___I'm actually having a trouble coming up with a fragrance I'm not familiar with...___)?" because I haven't smelled it yet.

Also, (maybe this is what freaks them out the most) often I can still smell it at like 3 in the afternoon even though you put it on at like 7am. This also goes for some shampoos, men's cologne, hand lotions and times when someone says, "It smells like... I don't know.... it smells like something in here." I can usually give a pretty good description like, "burnt popcorn and pledge," and at that moment they look at me and say, "YES- it totally does!"

Try me.... I freak people out.