Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Great Day

I had such a great day today!

I have to be honest, though, it didn't start out great. I have an e-mail problem. I cannot send mail from Outlook through my business e-mail account. I can receive but not send. My host is GoDaddy. They are telling me it's not them but the more things I try, the more it points back to them. So we'll see.

I have a friend who owns a title company here in Houston. Once a month, she invites various people she knows, i.e. realtors, mortgage people, etc. over to her office for a game or two of Pictionary. I kick ass at this game. I had so much fun. We played two games and had so much fun.

Then my girlfriends called and we went out, as we usually do, to Trulucks for drinks. Then we headed to Sambucca's for more drinks. Initially, I had their Wedding Cake martini but for some reason, it just didn't deliver. So, I followed it up with a Tiramasu Martini. Perfecto!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


As everyone knows, I am just crazy in love with my little Seamus. Whatever I'm doing he has to somehow be involved.

Initially, I placed the litter box in the bathroom. I had to put it someplace where I would see it all the time so that I would remember to empty it. I'm the "out of sight out of mind" sort of person. So anyway, every time I would use the restroom, Seamus would jump in the litter box and potty. And if he didn't need to, he would still get into position.

A friend gave me her automatic scoop litter box and it's very big, so it doesn't fit in the bathroom. It's in my project room. I love it, it's wonderful. Now all I have to remember to do is empty the waste receptacle part of it.

I cleaned out the old pan and it's sitting in my bathroom until I decide what do to with it. So, Seamus being Seamus, still thinks he should jump in it every time I use the restroom. He doesn't do anything but he definitely thinks he's doing what he thinks I'm doing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spinning Wheels

This month has been busy and I feel like all I've been doing is spinning my wheels. I've had a couple of lease deals fall through and I'm trying to get a short sale to close. The mortgage company is not very good at returning calls. I feel like I'm calling into the Borg every time I call. When they do return a call, if it goes into my voice mail, all they do is identify who they are and tell me they are returning my call. They don't address any of the questions I pose in the voice message I leave with them. All the while I'm working against a time clock. Tic Toc Tic Toc

My agents require quite a bit of hand holding right now. They are a priority so, it's ok. I was anticipating this. They are both already bringing business to the table so it is in my interest to help them as much as possible. But it's messing with my focus as I try to assess what is important.

Some days I wish it wasn't my company. But that soon passes and I know that in the end it will be worth it. I have to be patient and develop a plan.

I was thinking that maybe I would have an office in the middle of the year. That might be too ambitious and I may have to rethink that possibility. It all depends on how we do this year. I'm not willing to do too much on credit and that's where the pressure is. I have positive cash flow and I don't want to mess that up.

It's hard to know where to be frugal and where to spend. Baby steps, I suppose.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Odette - South African Diamond

This is one of three needlework pieces I did at my sisters this Christmas. The designer of the art is named Odette. Not sure of the last name, it may be Wright or something like that. This was a fun piece to do. My sister is going to teach it at the Needlework Guild in Virginia.

I need to photograph the other pieces I've done. I'm trying to decide if I want to wait 'till I've framed them first.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I have a project room

Whenever I visit my sister in D.C. we do things like make necklaces, needlework, paint, make beads from polymer clay, create origami ornaments, etc. And she has converted the second bedroom of her house into a project room.

Well, now I have a project room. So, whenever the mood hits me, I can go into my room and find what I'm looking for. AND, though it's hard to see from this photo, I have my drawers labeled so I can find whatever it is I'm looking for.

In the right side of this photo (not showing) is my sewing corner where I have a dress form, a sewing machine and cabinet with patterns and fabric. I'm so excited to have this room finally organized. I still have a few boxes I need to go through and I also need to buy a bookshelf and perhaps either on cabinet or another set of storage bins.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I love Clutch

My friend with the season tickets to the Rockets wasn't available to go to the game today so she asked me if I wanted her tickets to take my brother. Hell Yes, I said. So, I took my brother to see the Rockets play the New Orleans Hornets. A slightly better team than us and Yao Ming just wasn't himself today. We lost by 3 points.

But this little guy, Clutch, is so damned cute. I just love watching him. What a great job to have. I'm sure that the guy in the costume complains that it's hot but he does it so well. How cool it would be to actually collect a paycheck doing his job!

Rise and Shine!

I wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of Van Morrisson's "Brown Eyed Girl" blaring out of someone's car. I roll over to look at the clock and it's 5:30 a.m. WTF? Who parties at 5:30 a.m. Along with the sound of the music is hootin' and hollerin' like someone is being cheered on. Is it a drinking binge, I wonder. At 5:30 a.m.?

So, then they turn the music down and it gets quiet. Thank God. But then, just a few minutes later, they turn the volume back up, same song, same hootin and hollerin. Then they turn it down. I'm thinking, cops are going to come around and cool this off, surely. It continues like this for about 30 minutes. I notice flashes of light through my window, like a photo flash or maybe it was police flash I wasn't sure but the music and shouting continues.

Finally, I roll out of bed to look out the window. I have an 8 ft fence around my duplex but because the building itself it raised on top of crawl space, I can actually see over my fence and onto the street. I live on a very busy street.

I see people, a lot of people, walking on the street. And then I remember, today is the Houston Marathon. I just didn't realize it was going down my street. Apparently the Marathon directors allowed walkers to start early, and that is what was passing my house. Each time new people walked by, the van of enthusiasts would turn up the volume and cheer.

Finally about 30 minutes later, I heard the helicopter approach and then fade away. They were following the lead runners. After that someone thought it would be cool to play a snare drum in beat to help the runners as they went by. I think it got quiet again at about 8:30.

I am not a morning person and this is why I don't have a gun.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Trust and Politics

From responses to my previous post, I see that perhaps we see all Presidential candidates as narcissistic individuals that want to be President. Truly, there has to be some personal reward in the position. I think that a selfish agenda probably is very important in order to create the drive one would need to make it to the finish line as the winner.

Now the questions is "what are we afraid of?" When someone is selling us something we instinctively don't trust the person doing the selling. We know they want our money. They want us to part with it and in exchange we are supposed to receive something of equal value. Our fear is that we aren't actually receiving what we paid for.

So, what are we afraid of when it comes to our President? Each one of us has our own set of fears, I suppose. With Bush for example, he seems to be on a single track and he's hellbent on seeing it through, right or wrong. Parents across the nation are losing their sons and daughters. That's worth being afraid of. What about the loss of individual rights and freedoms? How do we lose those rights?

We lose those rights when we are afraid. When we are faced with a scary situation, we decide to give up our freedoms in exchange for "safety". The more afraid we become the less we want to risk.

So, do we vote for someone who will protect our rights or do we vote for someone who will protect us from terrorists? Or from evil corporations that want to destroy our environment? Or from our health costs? Are we voting for someone to take care of us?

If we are buying into an argument from any candidate that equates to "I'll take care of you and protect you from (insert whatever here)" then perhaps we should be afraid. When you give anyone the power to protect you then you also give them the power to enslave you.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Thoughts on Hillary

Ok, so I've been giving further thought to Hillary and her campaign. Oftentimes I come across little bites of conversation where her name comes up and I hear a similar theme. It isn't expressed, it's implied. "Can we trust her?".

I was getting ready for a breakfast meeting the other day and I was listening to Dean and Rog (FM 93.7 The Arr0w) and they were discussing Hillary Clinton's emotional moment that's been reported all over the news from New Hampshire. They were discussing whether or not it was sincere. Everyone guesses at her sincerity and I believe I can put my thumb on it.

It goes back to the famous 60 Minutes interview back in '92 after Clinton had won the primaries. (the complete dialog of that interview is here) His affair with Jennifer Flowers was the big question. He denied the affair and Hillary stood by him and was rather defiant about it.

It was implied during that interview, that the affair-like behavior was behind him. It was also implied in that interview that he and Hillary loved each other. And I think that Clinton made a mistake when asked if he successfully put the issue behind him he said "That's up to the American people and to some extent up to the press. This will test the character of the press. It is not only my character that has been tested."

In that interview, he and Hillary were trying very hard to come across as not only a loving couple but also as a devoted team. America always wants sincerity from her candidates. We want to know that if trust someone with our vote that they aren't going to sell us down the river. We need and want to believe that they understand our daily lives and struggles and that once they are in that isolated culture on the hill that the won't forget the values of those who helped them get there. We want to believe they say these things to us not just because the want to be President. Whether our wants in this manner are realistic is not the point, it's what we want.

I think America watched this man's affairs unfold and then we watched Hillary. We watched her very closely and when she continued to stand by her man, we questioned why. Hillary wasn't a waif. She is a strong woman and had she not been the President's wife, she would have walked. But she didn't walk. She stayed and Americans believe she stayed not because she loved him but because she had an agenda. She looked at Bill and said I scratched your back, now you scratch mine. And so here she is running for President.

But she is Hillary, with an agenda running for President.

I like her and I've considered voting for her as I have said in previous posts but I can't help but refer back to the gut feeling inside that she wants power. Is she the male version of Bush? I don't know but I wonder. I can't help but think that if she had been a more a personal intimate partner or confidant to her husband he might not have had such a lack of reverence for his position as President. I think that since she was as ambitious as he that he didn't have an outlet, so he turned to women who could keep things fun and light. Notice that these women he pursued were not power mongers but were indeed the opposite of Hillary. He needed a release from the pressure of politics and he couldn't turn to her for that.

I'm very curious about her and would like to believe but I'm not sure and I don't know if we can ever know unless we just give her a chance.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Did he or Didn't he?

For many this particular subject is going to have little meaning. But for me, Roger Clemens has been a source of interest for a couple of years, specifically when he played for the Astros and we had real shots at the World Series. I have jokingly hated the guy for going back to the pinstripes but truth be known, I think he's awesome.

My younger brother and I spent over thirty minutes on the phone this afternoon discussing this very issue.

I'm torn. My perception about the Rocket is that he truly loves the game and that he challenges himself to do well every time. He's disciplined and has been an inspiration to many players and wannabe players. I find it so very hard to believe that he would have participated in performance enhancing drugs. My brother brings up a point that he probably used them when he was coming out of retirement to help speed up his "recovery" so he could get back into the game. I would buy into that and don't see that as an issue. I don't think for a second that he used them to actually enhance his performance during the season. And I don't believe he used them in key months of play (July - August) as McNamee suggests. His skills as a player are just too consistent for me to think he was relying on these drugs.

I think he made a mistake having the recorded call with the trainer that ratted him out and then making it public. I was listening to Dean and Rog this morning, they're local morning talk on FM 93.7 The Arrow; and I think it was Rog that made the comment that it didnt seem as though the two men were speaking to each other. I was waiting for Clemens to ask the question: "Why'd you do it?, Why'd you say that about me?" But he didn't. The call seemed like a dance of sorts and really wasn't conclusive enough for me. Here is an article about McNamee, the trainer, and even here it is unclear that McNamee's stance is so solid.

If Clemens has to back down from his claim that he didn't do it, it's going to look really really bad for him.

And, if that isn't enough, from my conversation with little brother, I find out that Pujols is named as well. And, oddly, I do believe he does steroids.

Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to hearing his testimony before congress whenever that is supposed to take place.

Monday, January 07, 2008

And then there were Three

I hired another agent. Now I have two agents on my team. My goal is five by June. Now, I feel like I have a real estate company. When it was just me, it felt funny calling it a "company".

Next step: A new professionally designed website...... I can't wait to get that done.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Basketball been bery bery good to me.

I went to the basketball game this evening and watched the Rockets clean up the court with the Knicks. 103 - 91 was the final score.

Baseball has been my favorite. It's a pass-time for me. An opportunity to kick back and spend quality time with my brother.

But I have to admit, basketball is pretty fun. My friend bought season tickets and she has invited me to two games so far. We have so much fun. I love our little mascot, Clutch. I love the high energy and watching the girls dance on the court during timeouts and between halves. I envy all that energy.

Having seats just 8 rows from the court doesn't hurt either. We're right behind the net.

It would be just so awesome if we made it to the Finals this awesome.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Who's a sweet boy?

Seamus is here resting on my arm while I do work on my computer. You can't see it in this photo but his other paw is underneath my arm like he's hugging me.

I really missed him when I went on vacation.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Home from the Holidays

I arrived back from my visit to D.C. today. This is the first time that I have stayed with my sister through both Christmas and New Years. I had a good time and hope that it wasn't too long for my sister. I would like to do it again this year.

We don't really venture out when I visit. I've already done the Smithsonian, Alexandria, Fredericksburg thing. Though we did come close to going to Monticello but it was cold and rainy the day we selected and my sister and I decided to stay inside and continue on our projects.

During my visit I managed to do three needlepoint projects (photos are forthcoming, I'll post them later). We watched all 8 episodes of Horatio Hornblower, which I absolutely loved. We watched 3 of the Sharpe's series; my brother-in-law got 5 episodes but we only had time for 3. Interestingly, I had some difficulty following everything that was going on in the series. We also watched the entire 4 hours of A&E's Pride & Prejudice in addition to the movie version that starred Keira Knightly.

My favorite was Horatio Hornblower. I simply loved that character and think that the actor that played the role was perfect. Last year when I visited my sister, we watched the entire season of Firefly. I felt the same way about that series; I can't beleive it didn't continue beyond.

Last year before I left we started to watch the Hamish MacBeth series. I think we got throught 2 but for some reason we didn't pick it back up. I think we were really hooked on the late 18th early 19th century Brittish stories. We even through Dances with Wolves in the mix this year.

I really can't believe how much we squeezed in. In addition to this we did manage to celebrate Christmas and New Years and even visit with some friends.

I had a realtor that I could forward my calls to so I was able to pretty much disconnect myself from Houston. Besides the fact that the surroundings of Arlington are so different from Houston but so are the sounds. Sirens there do not sound like the sirens we have here in Houston. For some reason they sound more ominous. My sister's house is very close to Lee Hwy and I hear them often while visiting.

I'm glad to be home and back with my pets, especially Seamus who I really missed.

It's hard for me to leave my sister; both of us become very anxious when parting. Sometimes I wish I had moved to Washington D. C. back in '90 instead of to New York. I think I might have stayed and perhaps gone to Georgetown to get my MBA. Who knows. But my relationship with my sister was so much more strained then than it is today. I am not the same person, so she and I get along much better now than we did then.

I am going to have a kick ass year ahead of me. I hired an agent before the end of the year and I possibly will be hiring another before the end of this month. I've been contacted by two people who want to buy a house this month. I even think I found a place to open my office and if things continue as I hope, will be in that office by Summer.

Ok, bed time.