My name is Jackie and I'm a lighting snob.

Look, I don't know when it began or even how it began. It just began.
All I know is that every house we move to I have to remove and add my own lighting.
If not sooner.
(And, by saying I have to remove them, I of course mean Cabana Boy).

Sometimes it involves small lights. It can even be nightlights. Sometimes it involves lamps - both interesting and quirky like this artsy bug lamp that we found at a trendy art deco store outside of DC.

I also seem to have some weird affinity for dangling things.
And fringe.
(Hey, I didn't say I was a TASTEFUL lighting snob, I just said lighting snob).

Sometimes the lights are weird.
I will never ever give up my aptly named (by me) OO-OO-MONKEY LAMP no matter what. NEVER. Don't even ask (and better yet? Don't even ask why especially since I make everyone that refers to it say OO-OO-MONKEY LAMP!).

(Images in picture are smaller than they appear)

But mostly they're the lights that you have to remove from your ceiling.
And involve some level of the possibility of electrocution.

Take my beloved Moravian Star lights for example. I have four of them lining my hall. Whenever we move, I make my husband take them down and put up some gaudy $7.99 flush lighting (yep, that's me) before we put the house on the market. (So if you're the next person to someday buy this house, consider yourself warned).

They look beautiful right?
Yeah, they were when we first put them up (the first time).

You get the outside all nice and sparkly, but the dust and grime inside? You're outta luck. The star points are impossible to get your hand inside. A feather duster doesn't get it clean enough.

Why do you care you ask?
You don't OF COURSE (unless, of course, you are coming to my house and you have to stare at them).
But I'm writing because I'm hoping (BEGGING) that someone else either has these lights or has an idea how to clean them.



Look, it's not just about a 12-step program for my lighting addiction. I seriously need to know how to clean these...

(Where the hell is Moravia anyway?!?)

(Are there any Moravian people out there that can assist?)

(*sigh* I give up...)


I've been poking around on Twitter a great deal lately and I noticed something:

My self-confidence is decreasing in direct proportion to my increase in Twitter contacts (known as "Follows"). I joined up a while ago ('cos you know how much I hate to be a joiner), but I've only recently started using it regularly. I post updates to my blogs, website/biz info, and sometimes just random thoughts or rantings/ventings. You can follow me at http://twitter.com/WritRams.

Anyway, for those of you who don't know what Twitter is (and I can't imagine, but OK...), it is a free social networking site - kind of a micro-blogger site of sorts. It allows you to post a very limited character posting (usually amounting to a couple of sentences). You can "follow" postings of friends, co-workers, even people you don't know (if they allow it), just to see what people are up to everyday.

Sounds fun, right?
I bet you're wondering right about now why it makes me feel like sh*t about myself on a regular basis (several times per day)?

Because I'm simply amazed by the people on there.
And? The depth of their knowledge that they are willing to share overwhelms me.

I follow a diverse group of people, many of whom who are entrepreneurs/owners of their own companies. And these people have it together, let me tell you (thus making me feel about this big every time I read their postings).

Let's take Chris Brogan for example. He has amazing business posts related to online business/social networking and other great stuff. I find useful information from almost all of his postings. Other great business posters include Jim Connolly, Susan Reid, Warren Whitlock and Mark David Gerson. (Seriously? There are SO MANY good ones that those are just skimming the surface). These are the people who reduce my self-confidence a little more each day. I won't hold it against them, however, because I gain a ton of knowledge and useful info from them.

I follow others simply because they make me laugh/smile. The quirky Danko Ramone - without fail - gets a smile out of me and most often a real live chuckle (just like Scuba Kitty). Smash Transistor is also good for some interesting everyday stuff, as is Kelly Drill.

If you don't know author JA Konrath and his Rusty Nail (Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels mysteries)(first shame on you), but sign up for his Twitter feed. You'll yuk it up in that scratch-your-head, no-he-DIDNT kinda way.

Anyway, go to Twitter (RUN I SAY!) and sign up for some, if not all, of the above mentioned parties. It will make you feel bad about yourself, but in an oh-so-good way.

And while you're at it? Let them know that @WritRams sent you.


A Tweet by D.R. (and subsequent exchange) made me realize something: men and women still don't get each other. (Shock of all shocks, I know...)

Example you say?
Men will never, ever understand why women use so much toilet paper.

It's as simple as that in a nutshell. And, THAT is what a Mars/Venus book should've been about.

Ok, men? I'm going to let you in on the secret.
It will be like touching the Shroud of Turin.
Only not as old.
And way less important.
With no religion attached.

Anyway, you get the idea.

So the reason we women use so much toilet paper? (You do realize I'm divulging a HUGE sisterhood secret, don't you? Putting myself on the line. There better be some props of appreciation here.)

We use so much toilet paper because:

We never ever ever want anything to touch our hands.
Not even one drop of urine.
Not even a SPECK of anything else.
And if something happens to get under our fingernails?
If we have to use half a roll of toilet paper to insure that none of the above happens? Then so be it.
It's well worth it.
Get over it.
And don't EVER mention how much toilet paper we use.

Hope that sums it up for the Y chromosome side.

Look, it doesn't shock us double X's that you don't understand. We watch you blow your nose at the table and then continue on with dinner. We watch you bait hooks and then grab a sandwich out of the cooler. We watch you scratch all areas (in public, nonetheless) and then use the same buffet utensils we're using. Little shocks us about you now.

So seriously? We're not surprised that you don't get it.
Let's just hope that I'm not kicked out of the sisterhood of secrets now...


It's amazing how righteous you can be BP (Before Parenting). My list of "I WOULD NEVER LET MY CHILD..." was so LOOOONG. For example, one of the top list sitters for me BP was "I don't get letting your child watch TV at a young age."


Of course, that judgement was BEFORE I had work-at-home contracts, 3 businesses, no sleep, AND a baby to juggle. Sadly, TV does play a part at our house now. And, that's OK. I think there's some pretty educational television on and that's what we watch (or at least that's what I tell myself to avoid feeling like I'm failing miserably at yet one more thing in my life right now). However, I began to wonder about my TV judgement when Ella rolled her walker over to the television, turned it on and started watching The Starter Wife. Maybe it's gone a little too far...

Anyway, I uh she loves Jack's Big Music Show. AND, I STILL love Sesame Street (even more a few years ago when REM was their musical guest). I was recently introduced to an, um, interesting show called Yo Gabba Gabba. It was all fun and games until somebody put a Biz Markie out. If you're a fan of the late 80s/early 90s, you'll probably remember Biz Markie for the Just a Friend song/video.

Now? Biz Markie is beatin' it up on Yo Gabba Gabba. I wasn't sure if I should be sad or excited for him.

Speaking of where the 90s go to die, I'm pretty sure I know what happened to Arsenio Hall. I think I also saw him on Yo Gabba Gabba as the host: