6.24.00

A long week. How can so much be stuffed, crammed and otherwise crumpled into five days?

After spending last Monday phoning and faxing to confirm all the machinations that would eventually propel the giant ferris wheel of the week, I set about the ministrations of organizing my "just in case" briefcase:

- Files of clients in case they call
- Files of clients I hope will call
- A blank notepad
- My fav Mont Blanc pen
- Lip gloss
- A screwdriver ... (the tool not the beverage)
- 4" Swiss Army knife
- Lotsa business cards
- Electronic appointment book
- Daytimer appointment book
- Cell phone, pager, calculator
- ChocoMint breath mints

Everything the business woman on the go needs, right?

No, not even close.

This business woman on the go cannot fit into her briefcase the truly important things that make her extremely successful even when that giant ferris wheel leaves her stuck and struggling to get down:

(1) A mother who will get up four days in a row at 4:AM to accompany said business woman to share in a 14-hour workday. The mother does this why? The mother says it is because she "enjoys it". I know differently. I see it in her eyes. She is there because she loves me.

(2) A brother that stops what he is doing in his very busy, very stressful work week to assist said business woman with bulky, heavy tasks. He does not get frustrated with her perfectionism. Why? I see it in his eyes. He helps because he loves me.

(3) A group of business associates whom I have the distinct honor of calling "friends" who come to my aid, guide me, lift the burdens I cannot carry, and offer words of strength and support when they see me struggle. They never cease to be there. Why? Because, yes ... they too, love me.

The ferris wheel went round and round without a hitch because it was guided on a course of planning and direction ... but driven through the energy of love.

I am business woman on the go, alright. I am the business woman on the go who has dropped to her knees to thank her God because she truly knows the love that sustains her. She is humbled by this love. She is honored by its presence.

Thank you Mom, Bob, John, Jim, Mike, Rita and George. It was a long week, eh?


6.19.00

Yesterday was difficult for me. I hid that fact very well or so I was told.

But inside ... deep inside ... my heart cried, my soul wept, and my spirit longed for the simple touch of his hand.

I still seek his voice on the summer wind.

My memories of him never seem to fade.

He respected me. He challenged me. He made me laugh. He made me cry. He lifted me on the wings of doves and oh-so-carefully brought me back to Earth.

He loved me for myself and in spite of myself.

Yes, yesterday was difficult for me.

I love you ... and Dad, I miss you.


6.16.00

I have a blister on my heel. Pleasant eh?

The method from which I garnered this wee gem derived from a rather poorly planned onsite visit with a client whose office is about of a city block from the hospital for which I was writing technical specifications.

"Poorly planned" you say Jann? Yes. Indeedy. Ugh.

Thinking that the blueprints & specs would be reviewed inside the facility, I dressed accordingly: lightweight business suit, sleeveless silk blouse, pantyhose and classic conservative but still "calf sexy" pumps.

Upon my arrival, I soon learned that the Office of Planning is now in the "old building" and hence, my first trek across the parking lot. Asphalt radiating under my feet, a bead of dew breaking on my cosmetically enhanced brow. Outside temperature: 98.

After a lengthy discussion in the "old building" with the Chief Planner and the Medical Information Officer, we decide to visit the facility to check record flow. After all, who better to advise how emergent records are maintained than the nursing staff themselves?

Uh oh. Another trek across the asphalt demon that is now generating 150+ heat. Outside temperature: 107

Standing in the very crowded trauma unit of a federal hospital who limits their air conditioning to the bare minimum, I am forced to casually wipe the perspiration from my temples in an effort not to appear to be melting in front of the Medical Director, CEO, and Chief Planner.

"What's that you say?" Oh no. They want to go back and review the site plans and the architectural renderings before committing to a plan.

I get to the door and see my nemesis: that fire breathing dragon aka the asphalt parking lot now spewing forth temperatures of 180+. Together we begin the expedition. I am the only one with a slight limp. Outside temperature: 111

We three enter the "old building" and I am praying an earthquake would hit, that a tornado would swoop down ... any minor miracle to distract my companions whilst I now set forth to the mopping of that which has gone from the sweet sprinkle of dew to a raging river of sweat coursing down my face, jawline, between the canyon of cleavage, and down my spine.

I am no longer concerned about the appearance of femininity in my professionalism; I am concerned that I might pass out from dehydration!

We peruse the site drawings, take notes on wall measurements and wiring. 45 minutes later: Ooops, what?? You now want to go back to the hospital to watch ambient traffic flow? Arrrrrrgh.

The asphalt is laying in wait for me now, ready to pounce on me upon exiting the building. I step into its mighty lava flow of black heat and my heel tips sink into the sun softened petroleum by-product. We trudge onward. I am the only one with a discernible limp. Outside temperature: 113

Once again we retrace the halls of the emergency department, the pharmacy, and trauma unit ... watching the simplicity of where citizens walk. In all honesty, all I could think about as I watched the faces of my companions while totally tuning out their words is, "I need water. I need a shower. I need to get outta this bra!"

We shake hands. Deal done. Meeting over.

I walk to the door knowing that this is the last time that asphalt bastard gets to take me to Hell. The limp is pronounced; I make my way through the glare of windshields to finally exit this mighty monster.

I reach for the door handle.

After cussing at the second degree burns I just sustained opening the car door, I whip off my suit jacket only to discover that I now resemble the winner of a wet t-shirt contest! Lovely Jann, just lovely.

I sit down, turn on the engine, reach to adjust the rear view mirror and once again cuss at the second set of second degree burns. My hand, still throbbing from the searing burns, carefully reaches to switch on the air conditioner. [Ahhhh, hurry up dammit! Get cool.]

I slip off my shoe and peer through the sweat laden pantyhose to my foot.

Yep. I have a blister on my heel.


6.13.00

I am a reader, perhaps a fan, of the writings of Billy and Jessica [links long gone]. If you have a moment, take a sweet trip back to the memories of mud in the rain.

And Jessica, thank you.

Billy wrote on Sunday, June 11th, a wonderfully intuitive selection entitled, "Life's Defining Moments."

It brought back a moment in time for me that was so similar but so different ...

I do not recall how old I was but I was too young to ride as a Citizen Observer with the Phoenix Police Department without a parent present. I am guessing I may have been in the 6th or 7th grade. I wanted to do a "ride along" with a cop so badly, and begged Mom to (1) approve it and (2) accompany me.

After an appropriate period of whining, pouting and making so many promises that I am STILL paying them back, Mom agreed to approve the ride along and go with me.

I knew I did not want to do a daytime shift because after all, most of the really exciting things happen at night, right?

After waiting four weeks that felt like forty years, we finally got our schedule: a 3:00pm to 11:00pm shift on a Friday night! I had scored the best shift! Yeah baby!

After filling out all the paperwork and receiving our "if this happens you will do this" instructions, we three head out to fight crime in Phoenix.

I had memorized the list of radio call codes so I could know what kind of calls we were heading to ... and also, I figured I would impress the cop who was showing me the ropes. Was he impressed? Not hardly. So much for my "Jann, Police Woman" fantasies.

After a rather slow couple of hours on the steamy summer streets of Phoenix, we get a "921P" call ... unknown trespasser/peeping tom.

My cop starts to drive very fast while reiterating the "if this happens then you do this" instructions. Basically, if there are guns drawn, do NOT leave the vehicle.

We roll up to the site [remembering my best cop lingo] and there in a front yard is a giant of a man holding a pistol to the head of a kid that was down on all fours like a dog. The kid was audibly weeping.

We are the first car there and my cop simultaneously radios for backup, gets out of the car, yells to Mom and me to stay in the car, and orders the giant with the gun to "drop the weapon".

Needless to say, the adrenaline was simply saturating my system. I wanted to jump out of that car and jump into the action. No wonder a parent is required. Truthfully, without Mom there, I would have busted my arse getting out of the car. With her there, she warned me that she would bust my arse if I even touched the door handle! I sat anxiously watching and waiting.

Finally other cops started showing up, guns were all put away and my cop motions that we can get out of the car.

Mom said, "I'm staying here," and remained in the back seat. Me? I flew out of that car like the proverbial bat outta Hell.

My cop tells me to be very quiet and listen to what was going on. I did. Here's the Cliff's Notes version:

The kid was in the alley behind the home. The giant's wife was in the bathroom showering; upon exiting the shower, she looks in the mirror and sees the stranger's face reflected in the mirror, as he is looking in behind her. She screams. Giant grabs his gun and chases down the kid. Grabs the kid and makes him get down on all fours in the front yard until the cops arrive.

The cops read the kid his rights and put him in another squad car. It is very hot, so they open the front passenger door knowing the kid cannot escape the cuffs and cage of the backseat; perhaps they think that the hot air will ventilate the kid who is already sweating profusely from fear, adrenaline, and who knows what else may be coursing through his veins.

The cops are interviewing everybody. Soon I hear this plaintive voice, "Excuse me... um... you Miss? Um, you... girl with the blonde hair?" Yes, of course it is me he is calling.

I try to get my cop's attention but he basically is too preoccupied for me, so I carefully edge my way over to the open passenger door.

I lean in. "Yes? Are you speaking to me?" I asked. "Yes. Could you get me something to drink? And a cool cloth? That man hit me and I have blood in my eyes," was the kid's response.

It was night and the dome light was dim, but I saw no blood. I did, however, see the sad face of a young man who was scared. I kept thinking how innocent and young he looked.

And then, as if he read my thoughts he simply said, "I didn't do nothing. I swear. I swear. I am a good boy."

My tough wanna-be-crime-fighter persona melted. I wanted to let him out. I wanted to scream to the cops, "Wait! You gotta listen to his side of the story!"

I felt simply awful. Sick at my stomach awful.

Later that evening, my cop told Mom and me that the kid was a man name Joseph Bingham and he was actually 28 years old. And that he had escaped from the country mental health hospital earlier that afternoon. He said that the officers returned him to the mental hospital instead of taking him to jail.

I was so relieved. This sweet faced kid had problems beyond looking in the window, beyond the giant with the gun.

I cried in my Mom's arms that night out of sadness because I could not give the kid some water and a cool cloth.

But did it end there?

No.

Two days later, Mom called me into the kitchen and told me to look at the newspaper. There on the front page was a photo of the kid. This time he was surrounded by cops. I read the story:

The young man had indeed escaped from the mental hospital that day we found him. Two blocks from where we found him on all fours, earlier that same evening, he had slain and mutilated a family of four using a butcher knife. The day after the giant had held the kid at gunpoint in his front yard, the police found the knife behind the giant's house below the window of the woman who screamed.

"I didn't do nothing. I swear. I swear. I am a good boy."

I grew up that weekend.


6.10.00
midday

Today, whilst perusing yesterday's newspaper, I discovered a small article hidden carefully between the advertisements claiming "Close Out" and "Best Price In Town".

I read in stunned silence. Dear God, what was this world coming to? What were these people doing?

Apparently the officials running the Minneapolis Institute of Arts had become human. Yes, human.

Before I proceed, let me tangent herein to look at the word. According to my well worn Webster's New World College Dictionary, at some point being "human" is truly an aspiration: "3. having or showing qualities; as rationality or fallibility, viewed as distinctive of people".

My goodness, being human is not always something you simply are but in addition, it is something you can become.

Back to the Minneapolis Museum ...

The museum was exhibiting a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) chair valued at nearly one-half million dollars. A gentleman, whom Museum officials later said was suffering from tired feet, plopped down on the chair. But alas, that is not all that plopped.

The chair broke in three pieces as the gentleman tumbled to the floor.

The response from the Minneapolis Museum? Lawsuit? Arrest that man! Blame, shame... he made a mistake!! Point him out to the media and the public for his erroneous ways?

No, they responded beautifully, exquisitely and most aspiredly human:

"Museum officials aren't holding him liable, and they've even expressed relief that he wasn't hurt when the chair collapsed beneath him. They steadfastly refuse to identify him". "It was a weird mistake, a momentary lapse in judgment," said Ann Marie Wagener, a museum spokeswoman."
- Knight Ridder Newspapers

Amazing eh? A human was fallible to error. The responding human was rational in judgment. And the result? Simply human.


6.9.00

Feeling better.

Yesterday I wrote about the scents of my childhood. The aroma of life as a young person. The perfume of youth.

The way children experience scent could change. A grim reality.

Digiscents, of Oakland, California, has actually developed computer generated scent(s) for gamers.

Upon visiting their website six months ago, I truly thought it a well orchestrated joke. It appears, however, that the joke is on me.

These folks in Oakland have developed a gadget that appears to be a hybrid of a computer stereo speaker and your oh-so-familiar inkjet printer. Plug that puppy into your computer, boot your game, and if your game is programmed appropriately ... the heated oil in the cartridge would be fanned into your face allowing you to smell what is transpiring on the monitor.

Whoa Nellie! Whilst I am a huge proponent of computer advancement to improve the quality of our lives, is this truly necessary?

I cannot help but think of the ramifications.

Children need to experience the scent of oranges run over by bicycle tires on hot asphalt. They need to smell the freshly mown grass and leaves waiting to be raked. Our sons and daughters must know the aroma of newly sawed wood to build forts, the pungent odor of a freshly oiled ball glove, or the perfume generated by new laces in an old pair of athletic shoes.

Children need the aroma of youth precipitated from the actual experience. Not virtual. Actual. Experience that cannot, and should not, be gleaned from mixed oils blown into the face of a child.

I know that Digiscents is not trying to replace actual life experience. I know that they are simply trying to enhance the gaming experience.

I fear generations of children who cannot socialize, who can only relate within the digital realm, who are agoraphobic and non-communicative. Children who only feel accepted by their computer peers. Children whose lives revolve in and around the box simply because the box is the easy way to make friends. Children who grow into adults sans social skills and the ability to relate to humans on a broad basis.

All this because of scents within a game? No, of course not.

By the way, DigiScents calls the invention iSmell. Appropriate?

And Digitscents does not limit the cyberscents to gaming: they plan to make scents available online (imagine it, streaming scent with your streaming video).

Yes, I see the merit of computer advancements. I also fear the potential consequences.


6.8.00

Not feeling well and hence, no desire whatsoever to do marketing. Need bread. So, out comes the bread machine and a nod to self for the forethought awhile back in buying bread mixes while they were on sale.

Ahhhh, the aroma wafting through the house of baking bread. It is one of those few scents that you instantly recognize as it can simultaneously enchant the olfactory and wrap you in its comforting arms of memories.

Memories of childhood scents. We all have them and they all will differ according to the demographics of our upbringing. For me, in the hot deserts of Arizona ...

I remember:

The magical scent the desert excuded after a summer storm; the damp creosote opening its moisture starved pores to bring the air alive with an aroma so exclusive, so intricate ... only the initials "G.O.D." could encapsulate it. The wet sand and mesquite dance with the creosote in a ballet representing cleansing, growth and renewal on the desert floor.

The sweet smell of cotton candy being spun and woven on paper wands interlaced with the scent of popcorn exploding and corn dogs steaming that somehow still overpowered the stench of the fuel used to run the rides at the State Fair.

Upon entering the newly waxed, often freshly painted rooms that sat empty during summer break ... there was the frightening yet exciting perfume of bright new paper, fresh glue and yellow No. 2 pencils on the first day of school.

The scents I associated to Mom: hairspray out of a can before we knew what it would do to the ozone. Face powder, the loose kind with the cloying scent that Max Factor perfected. And cooking. Spaghetti sauce that boiled and bubbled, toiled and troubled, in Mom's magic caldron ... each minute as dinner time grew closer became exquisitely excruciating.

And Dad ... the scent of turpentine unwittingly combined with "Old Spice" that he wore like a halo. The aroma of oil paint and mineral spirits permeated our house in the same way as the artist genius he was permeated our creativity. It was natural. It was simply there.

... and my brothers ... the aroma of "Hai Karate", acne preparations, and clean sweat that followed these young athletes in a cloud of victory stirred by the squeals of teenage girls.

Oh yes, the scents of childhood.

Bread is done baking. All that is left is the memories.


6.7.00

In memory of Ms. Patti Tate, who joined the angels 6.3.00:

"We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds." - Anton Chekhov

May your skies always be filled with diamonds. Eternal rest Patti.

And thank you Robin, for the introduction so long ago.

. . . . .

In gleaning through my email, I came across an example of true class. A business professional of style:

Mr. Douglas McCaffrey of MediaHouse Software Inc. wrote me a brief, yet pleasant email to request inclusion to one of my [now former] projects, "In Search of Resources".

I receive numerous requests to be added within the linkage, but this gentleman took his request a step further:

He sent me URLs to download MediaHouse Software's "ipMonitor V6" and "Statistics Server LiveStats 5.0" with serial codes to enable the software permanently "for evaluation". Whoa Nellie!

I truly do not need such high-tech software for my web presence, but if his email and "evaluation" offer are indicative of MediaHouse Software's quality and method for doing business, I thoroughly recommend that you more techy intranet, extranet and e-commerce infrastructure types and/or people looking for advanced stats for their web site or hosting business look into this company and their products!

Mr. McCaffrey exhibited class epitomized! Thank you for the offer. And thank you for the professional, businesslike attitude.


6.6.00

Ugh. Hot. 113. Real hot. Again. Sick of me writing about it? Yeah, me too. Send me a plane ticket.

. . . . .


My sleep schedule is so out of wack. I am up all freakin' nite until 4:30am, then sleep for three hours but by midday I want to crash. Then a wee afternoon nap, and the cycle starts all over again. Arrrgh! Tell me it is not old age.

. . . . .


My, my, my ... redesigns! Beauty and creativity abounding:

Billy, Elise, and Lance.

Others?

Kitty makes me laugh out loud: "ewww... I haven't eaten nachos for a long time. so I made up for it... and ate some twice. barf."

. . . . .


I sit here looking at the e-in box. Did not YET answer the hoard of mail. Ugh. I suck. Will try to clear it in tonight's sleepless adventure. Lo siento, mi amigos.


6.4.00

I sit here in that odd sort of time in space when it still feels like Saturday night, but the clock tells me it is Sunday morning.

My mind is scattered; the gray matter feels like a field of daisies growing en wilde ... each with their own story to share.

Tossing you the daisies:

The humidity here in oh-so-sunny Phoenix was 8%. The temp was 105. My lips feel like a kitty's tongue. My eyes blink against the dryness begging for moisture. My throat chokes to counter the inhaled heat. We need rain. Badly.

Mom and I did the warehouse shopping dance today. Standing in line, I found myself staring intently at the guy's cart ahead of me and wondering what he was going to do with a couple gallons of baby oil, a 60 lbs. bag of manure, and a smoked ham. My very quirky mind went into overdrive. But then again ...

I am sure people stared at MY cart and wondered what I was going to do with 2400 Ding Dongs.

Last night I watched "Interview with the Vampire" on HBO. My, my, my ... watching Brad, Antonio and Tom all bedecked in long tresses and romantic costuming, I began to wonder if I am a bit perverse in even considering whether I would allow them to make me eternal. Hmmmm?

I am always so surprised when I am out n' about on the net and come across a link to this journal. Thank you.

I am so far behind on my electronic correspondence. Be patient. And check your inbox ... today is the day!

And finally ...

Mr. Hope ... sending you GET WELL wishes as we continue to say, "Thanks for the memories."


6.2.00

I have so much to say. But, alas ... I have no clue where to start.

Because I am commited to the ideal of positive karma and positive energy, I will not go into the details of the last couple of days other than to say that I am truly and completely overwhelmed by the support, assistance, kindness, honesty, expressions of ethics ... and loving attitudes that so many people have shown me. I sit here with tears literally flowing down my cheeks. They are shed from my heart ... because you see, although my eyes may generate the fluid, my heart generates the gratitude:

T H A N K   Y O U   A L L   S O   V E R Y   M U C H

And speaking of gratitude ...

On May 30th, in the midst of what felt like the dismal recesses of cyber Hell, a bright and shining light arrived. It came in the form of an email. It came as a shock, then disbelief, and then ... humility.

I was notified by Jeff Clark, of the extraordinary Internet Brothers, that my beloved sweetaspirations.com has been honored with the "Internet Brothers Presents Elite Site Award" for the month of June.

While I made my 'thank you' to Jeff and the IB Review Board privately, I want to publicly thank IB for this for wonderful honor.

Thank you. For so very much. You know what this means to me.

Here is the lovely image presented with the recognition:

my thanks



And if you have a moment in your daily journey, please try to stop by Internet Brothers ... you will not be sorry that you did!


6.1.00

Just a short note as the last 48 hours have been ... um, merciless.

Hi.



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