Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coming Soon…Cinco de Mayo at The Vine!

Come one, come all. It’s almost time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) at Your Vine or Mine? in downtown Painesville! If you have never been to The Vine, or if you have been avoiding downtown Painesville simply because it’s “Painesville,” then you are missing a real treat! Your Vine or Mine? is the best-kept secret in the county! Put those preconceived notions aside and take a chance.

Your Vine or Mine? is a lovely little micro-winery. Housed in an old bank building on Main St., you will find the d├ęcor and the general atmosphere to be charming. On a normal day, you can settle in at the bar or at a table and enjoy a wonderful glass of wine, a fabulous appetizer, and superb company. Or better still, you can make an appointment to make your own wine (which I have done four times since they opened in September of 2008).

The tasty selections include reds, whites, and a blush…sweet, less sweet, and dry. Appetizers range from tasty hot French bread and oil, to cheese and crackers, yummy Brie, Tuscan dip, and French bread pizzas. You won’t leave hungry.

But back to Cinco de Mayo, or Singo de Mayo, or Singo de Wino (my variation). The Vine will be offering for this auspicious occasion an All-You-Can-Eat Taco Bar for $7.50, $3.00 Sangria, and you can take your shot at Karaoke from 4 to 10 p.m (hosted by Alex Anthony of WKKY…who, with his lovely wife Penny, owns and operates The Vine). A good time will be had by all the attendees!

The Cinco de Mayo celebration is only one of a myriad of fabulous events hosted at The Vine throughout the year. Come on out! You won’t regret it!

Holmes on Homes

Speaking of Holmes on Homes…are you a fan? I love this guy! He and his crew go into peoples’ homes and fix what incompetent or nefarious contractors have screwed up or left unfinished. I am amazed at the shoddy workmanship that goes on, not to mention the fact that these shyster companies want to be paid even though the job is not finished or is so poorly done as to be disgraceful. Even more unbelievable are the ones that take the money, make a mess and leave…with no forwarding address.

Mike Holmes reminds me of my father. “If you’re going to do the job, if you’re going to charge for the job, do it right.” My father was the most forthright, honest, hardworking man I’ve ever met. He didn’t suffer fools and he didn’t tolerate not doing your very best.

Mike Holmes is a craftsman, just like my father. Measure twice, cut once. Making it right the first time out is so much easier that fixing someone else’s mistakes. If you haven’t watched Holmes on Homes on HGTV, make the effort to do so. You won’t be sorry.

I think this should be required viewing for any high school kid, if for no other reason than to demonstrate the value of doing it right the first time and showing how devastating it can be to end up on the receiving end of shoddy work and criminal intent. It’s a visual lesson in ethics…something our kids could definitely use!

Getting it all done!

When I was a bit younger, I remembered everything I needed to do with no issues, no hints, and never wrote anything down. Now I find myself writing list after list, hoping to get through one day where I cross off all the tasks and don’t move any of them to the next day’s list. The ironic thing about multitasking is that the more you multitask, the more things you find to do. There is some truth to the adage, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

This was demonstrated to me while talking to a friend in Connecticut. She had been tasked with writing a paper/speech about her deceased mother, a famous novelist, and how her mother had turned her feelings of isolation and poor self esteem into a brilliant writing career. I knew my friend had been struggling over this particular paper for a while, so when she asked if I could give it a read and edit a couple weeks back, I agreed.

I received the paper in e-mail and read it through. Then I gave my friend a call, and we discussed the paper and my immediate impressions. The next day, I started at the beginning and did a thorough line edit. When I was satisfied, I returned the paper to her in e-mail. The process took about 2 days. I would have done it quicker, but I do have to go to work every day.

The next time I talked to her, she told me that she had sent the same paper to another friend a week or two earlier for a read and edit. The friend is retired, and should have had no difficulty finding the time to comply with the request, but as of a week after I sent back my marked-up copy, the other friend had not yet completed the task. This was a 10-page paper, not a novel-length work, and my friend seemed genuinely surprised that she had yet to get any response from her retired cohort.

As I sit here, pounding on the keys, I am running a second load of laundry, folding my jeans, running the dishwasher, and watching Holmes on Homes. This is typical of my weeknight evenings, and if I gave exclusive time to each of the above, as in one task at a time, I would never have time to sleep.

My goal for this week is to cross everything off my list before I start worrying about next week. Feel free to send me your hints for efficient multitasking…I can use all I can get!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Weather, The Bike, The Good Intentions...

I am more than just a little miffed at the weather. I know we need the rain, but when I actually make the effort to get more exercise and I really want to ride my bike, an evening of rain and cold, followed by an evening of more cold, simply spoil my multitasking plans.

Monday is choir night, and I have discovered I can trek the 6 to 8 miles between home and the church (depending on the route I take) in less than 40 minutes. This is ideal for a number of reasons.

1) I get in a quick burst of exercise, then I sing my lungs out.

2) I don’t waste too much time riding the bike because it only takes marginally longer to get there on two wheels.

3) Psychologically speaking, I have a destination…it’s not simply heading out to take a joy ride.

I’ve never been an exercise buff, so riding for the sake of riding isn’t something that comes naturally. Riding with a destination is your basic two birds, one stone scenario…a no-brainer for an inveterate multitasker.

By the time practice is over, it’s too dark to ride home, so I schedule a pick-up in the old mini-van. This arrangement is even more convenient because heading home is mostly up hill, and it has been many, many months since I’ve been in the saddle. Last Monday was my first trek out this season and resulted in two numb hands and various other parts not accustomed to the “abuse” of a long ride. But I will get used to it soon enough.

Here’s hoping next Monday’s weather is better!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

14th Annual One-Act Festival

Last night, some friends and I got together at the School of Fine Arts in Willoughby to attend the 14th Annual One-Act Festival, Hot from the Oven - Original Recipes. Twelve, original, one-act plays were presented. The actors and actresses were awesome, and I thought the plays were well written and artfully directed. I would be remiss if I didn't give particular kudos to Matt Mortensen. I admit I have a bit of bias where Matt is concerned, but this is the third production in which I have seen him perform, and he just keeps getting better! There are only 3 opportunities left to see this terrific show, April 29 and 30 and May 1. Where else can you get twelve, original plays for the price of one? Check out Hot from the Oven - Original Recipes at the Corning Auditorium at the School of Fine Arts while you still have a chance.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Chance to Stray from the Beaten Path

The Fractured Anecdote will soon be a member of the News Herald's blogging community, connected to the news organization via RSS feed. Of course this means no more slacking, even if it's late at night, like now. So stay tuned, because this could be a wild ride!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Another Manic Sunday

After a very late night, unable to sleep, I finally nodded off around 3:30 a.m. I slept until 9:30 or so, and then my daughter arrived for her weekly weigh-in and measuring. (I am training her three evenings a week, and although she has only lost a few pounds, her fat loss and lean muscle gain have resulted in over 19 inches gone so far.) After a quick breakfast, I cleaned up and headed to church to join the choir singing for the annual confirmation service.

From there I headed to the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for young Matt Vendeville. Matt is one of four scouts in Troop 71 who have made the rank of Eagle Scout this year. It was a really nice ceremony, with a plethora of speakers, officials and political dignitaries. Matt's Eagle Project was to build an osprey platform in the Mentor Marsh preserve. The complexity of this project was very high.

The boyscout is required to submit a project proposal to the Scout hierarchy. Once the project is approved, that scout is responsible for arranging all the financing of the project, obtaining all required materials, and finding enough volunteer labor to take that project from plan to completion. The scout is in charge of the project, working with the volunteers and dealing with all the problems that arise during the actual work on the project. Matt did all of these things to achieve the construction of the osprey platform, including solving issues such as how to get the footer to sufficient depth as the marsh water kept filling the footer while they were digging.

Congratulations, Matt, on a job well done!

I know there are those parties out in the world that would condemn all of scouting because of a minority of pedophile adults who seem to manage to get themselves entrenched in any activity involving children, but on the whole and for the vast majority, scouting is a worthwhile activity, with moral, ethical leaders who are concerned with the education and welfare of their charges.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

1/3 Procrastination, 2/3 Consternation

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! I have been more than lax in keeping up with the Fractured Anecdote for the last few months. I suppose that thinking all would settle out after the holidays and things would slow to a turtle's pace was totally unrealistic. I feel like the unofficial queen of multitasking. The workload in my office is steadily increasing, which is a good thing in the present financial climate. The rest of life is pretty much like running from forest fire to forest fire and attempting to quell the flames by repeatedly spitting mouthfuls of water through a straw.

We've had everything from emergency room visits with mom to urgent care visits with Jim, five houseguests for a week, choir practices for Easter...and did I mention I really did make that Pomegranate Zinfandel? (It turned out fabulous, really fabulous!) I'm also constructing an e-commerce website for my daughter, will be working on a website for my class reunion, and my agent says it's time to get something on line for Postcard I am giving the design a little thought before I charge ahead with that. I also spent 5 hours this weekend adding an additional 600 names and phone numbers to my employer's company intranet phone list...after considerable word and excel manipulation of the three files I was given. Now my fellow employees have only to click a link to get a list of their new coworkers in Washington state, Taiwan, and France.

My agent is still shopping the book, but all appears quiet on the West Coast to date. I have received a lovely endorsement from Dr. Harold Bowersox, author of The Bowersox Protocol for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Believe it or not, I also got a pat on the back and an Apostolic Blessing from the Pope! I have it in writing, folks! Not something that happens everyday, from what I gather. I must admit I was amazed at the quick Vatican turn around. After all, it went across the Atlantic, was read, a letter was constructed and sent back in less than 6 weeks.

Well it's 3 a.m., do you know where you are?