Thursday, December 31, 2009

It was 20 years ago today...

..Kate & Bri had their first date! We went to see The Little Mermaid, then to a New Year's Eve party at the home of a certain Michael Bocci.

We were just a couple o'crazy kids back then!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

#hashtaggery #ohnomyspleen

So, as some of you may know, I like to hang out on Twitter. There, I have met alot of awesome peeps, many of whom are non-stop laugh-riots. They enjoy engaging in what has come to be known as #hashtaggery. This is when a label is created, either specifically for fun or organically, and everyone jumps on the bandwagon trying to come up with a word or phrase that fits the hashtag. A good article on this phenom can be found here.

So anyhoo, yesterday my young'un was with me at the office, and he was drawing pictures. One of them was quite hysterical (see below), so I posted it as a Twitpic. Everyone was just tickled by it, but my peep @introvertedwife was downright INSPIRED. She immediately started engaging in #ohnomyspleen #hashtaggery! Much zaniness ensued. Many people found themselves weeping and ::falling off chair laughing::.

The Boy was absolutely THRILLED to be involved in the inception of a Social Media phenom! I like to think it's the librarian in him, since hashtagging is really just cataloging for New Media. ;-) I was thrilled to have him so entertained, and to have him really get a sense of what Twitter is all about (i.e., community and instantaneous information sharing).

The original drawing can be viewed below, along with a sampling of the ensuing #hashtaggery.

Good times!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some kids wanna be Kanye, Kobe, or A-Rod. Mine wants to be Nick Park.

The Boy is heavy into another stop-motion animation project. The storyline of this one involves barracuda bullies tormenting unsuspecting coral-reef dwellers!

I get such a kick outta this kid. ::sigh::

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lake Hollywood Dog Park

This morning, we decided to take advantage of this ridiculously beautiful California day and buzz over to the Lake Hollywood Dog Park. This is a lovely little park, off the beaten path up in the hills where the iconic Hollywood sign sits. It's also just above a remarkably picturesque reservoir, thus the name, "Lake Hollywood".

Anyhoo, here are the pix. Some were taken with my fone cam, and some with Bri's Canon. I like the centerfold-quality shot he got of the dog with the sign in the background!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Siegels are Ready for Christmas!

This is the best time of the year at the Siegel house. The living room gets cleaned and readied for the arrival of the tree; the fireplace garland goes up to await the arrival of the holiday cards; and many yummy foods are consumed!

Oh, yeah -- and time is spent with the family, prezzies are exchanged, Hanukkah is in there somewhere, yada yada yada. ;-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's a Twitter Milestone!

I reached a Twitter milestone today with my 10,000th tweet.

WTF?! How can that BE?! What on EARTH am I talking about on there, anyway?! I have no freakin' idea! But AH LOVES IT. And AH LOVES MAH TWIT PEEPS!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

15 Years Ago Today...

... I started working at CSUN's Oviatt Library.

Soooo many years...

Soooo many changes.

Thanks for givin' me the heads-up about the job, Marg! Thanks for hiring me, Donita!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tour of Cool Valley Haunts, Episode 2

Whoa -- this is sad -- last year, I decided I wanted to start blogging about "Cool Valley Haunts." Then I proceeded to not visit any from July '08 until now! WTF?!

Nonetheless, we DID manage to visit another one last night. This time it was The Bear Pit Bar-B-Q, a Mission Hills landmark since the 1950s. It's an awesome old place with a neon sign, sawdust on the floor, lots of dark wood, and bizarre murals of bears on the walls. Oh -- and GREAT BBQ!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

@kennyloggins !!!

People who've known me for a long time know that I AM A KENNY LOGGINS NUT. Do not be mocking the Ken-man in my presence. (This means YOU, Cole Stratton, Footloose riffer! HA!) I dragged my poor Kenny-indifferent husband to only one concert before I started just going to them by myself! I went to 4, before having my young'un and gaining... time constraints. ;-) But I had much fun at those shows. I would get a glass of wine, sit in my aisle seat near the stage, and let the waves of Ken waft over me. (Then I would leave and go to the loo during his bizarrely long rendition of Celebrate Me Home. Srsly! He just sings "celebrate, celebrate, celebrate me home" over and over like eleventy-million times! LOL)

ANYhoo, I was completely delighted when Kenny's tweet helper Michael decided I was worth a follow. (Kenny does tweet, but I'm pretty sure it was Michael who made the call to follow me.) Altho I do continue to be mystified as to why anyone follows me at all! ::shrugs::

Monday, November 9, 2009


So, y'all know how tickled I get when people in unusual and/or exotic parts of the world hit on my blog. Well, I recently had a hit from Iqaluit! So awesome! Someone there was looking at one of my tattoo posts, which remain among my most popular (people looking for designs, no doubt).

Welcome, Nunavutians! Come back again real soon, eh?

(Thanks to @frozengrapes on Twitter for letting me know that Nunavummiut is the correct term for the folks who live in this chilly part of the world, and not Nunavutians. HA! Who knew?!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

St. Paul's Orphan Asylum

So, as many of you know, my mom was unceremoniously "orphaned" upon the death of her mom in 1938. Grandpa dropped her and her 4 siblings off at an orphanage.

Anyhoo, I have a number of photos of the orphanage, and I occasionally get requests from former... orphanage dwellers (?!) and other interested parties who want to see them. (There are a ton available thru the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh -- you can request info from specific time frames, locations, etc. -- but it's not free.) It occurred to me, what the heck?! I should totally do a blog post and make these photos searchable for people. (For the record, I do not know the identities of any of the people in these photos.)

The internet has allowed me to connect with others who had family at this institution, and also to connect with relatives I didn't know I had. Now it allows me to share what I've learned with others.

Pretty awesome.

Why does ANYONE follow me on Twitter?

I wonder when I will stop being, like AMAZED, and HONORED, when people follow me or list me on Twitter. I want to cry when people give me a #FollowFriday.

Silly, I know.

::sigh:: I quite adore my Twitter peeps.


Ladies & Gentlemen: I give you... THE MOTHER LODE. The Big Kahuna. Bliss in a Paper Cup.

I give you: the Starbucks Quad-venti Peppermint Mocha. With whip. Full fat.

Oh yes, my friends.

This is how I will make it through to January.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

@ATTSusan, FTW!!!

Well, this is a first for me... A blog post about a customer service experience. Perhaps even MORE shocking? It was a POSITIVE customer service experience! Here's how it all went down...

We've had DSL at our house for many years from AT&T. It's really been great during that time -- hardly went down at all. But during the recent uncharacteristic rains in SoCal, our DSL went on the fritz, as did our landline. The DSL was completely down for about a day and a half, then it was working only intermittently in the days after the rain stopped. The same was true for our landline.

This was EXTREMELY distressing to us, a family that relies greatly on the internet for most things -- communication, bill paying, photo storage, Christmas-card creation and ordering, Christmas shopping, etc. Complicating things was the fact that we were scheduled to get AT&T U-verse the following week. An AT&T guy came to look at our phone lines on the Sunday before the U-verse install, found nothing wrong, and left. (Thanks, Pal.) After he left, my husband checked our connection and found that it was STILL messed up. So, it was no surprise when the U-verse installer came and said we had too poor a connection, and he would have to have the phone line guys come out and see what they could do before U-verse could be installed. (Meanwhile, my husband had taken time off work for this; he went back to work to await word about the phone lines.)

I happened to be in and out that day, as it was one of my furlough days from work. I saw the 2 AT&T trucks out front working on the telephone lines. Around 3 pm (the install was scheduled for 11), the U-verse guy returned and said he could now do the install. (Why the guy on Sunday thought our connection was fine, we dunno.) I called my husband at work and had him return to the house.

The U-verse install was complete shortly after 6 pm. Everything seemed great. Then, around 10 pm, EVERYTHING WENT DOWN AGAIN. Only this time, not only did the computer and the land line go down, the TV went down too. AAAACK! We were about ready to PLOTZ. We went to bed very unhappy people that night. We got up in the morning, checked the connection, found it was still absent, and the husband put in a call with AT&T to send a guy out to look at it. Only since the husband could not miss any more work over this, the service call would have to wait until 4 pm, THE NEXT DAY. A very upsetting situation, indeed.

So off to work I go. I hop on my social networking sites, Facebook & Twitter, and start KVETCHING. I'm telling everyone my story (as I had been during our entire stretch of up & down time, only now there's the added wrinkle of U-verse).

Almost immediately on Twitter, I get tweeted at by a gal called @ATTSusan. She tweets that she's sorry we're having trouble, and asks if there's anything she can do. HUH?! You mean to tell me this gal's job is to scan Twitter for people complaining about AT&T, and contact them?! Wow! Pretty impressive. But dealing with the problem was not really MY bailywick, it was my husband's. So I told her this, and said thanks, but the husband was handling it. She said, "Okay, just let me know if I can help." Wow! I was really impressed.

Then, I remembered that I WAS having an ongoing problem with my CELLphone, which is thru AT&T Wireless. So, I asked @ATTSusan, do you happen to know anyone who can help me with my cellphone? Sure, she says. I can do that, too. Again, WOW! So now I'm REALLY beside myself, cuz this cellphone thing for me has been worse than the DSL/U-verse problem. For MONTHS, I KNOW I've been overpaying for our cellphones. Often over $150/month for my phone and Bri's phone. But Bri doesn't use his and I barely use mine, except for sending text messages and e-mailing pictures to myself. I had contacted AT&T customer service over this several months ago, but the person I got that time said that he saw nothing wrong with our billing. (Thanks, Pal.) I knew then that I would have to find time to CALL THEM -- and MAN, do I HATE calling people/places. As evidenced by how long I put it off...

So, @ATTSusan looks into my problem, finds that I have indeed been overcharged for many months, and promptly CREDITS OUR ACCOUNT FOR $650 FREAKING DOLLARS. WHAT?!?! Are you freaking KIDDING ME?!

Just like that, bada-bing bada-boom, @ATTSusan solves one of the biggest problems hanging over my head. Plus, she frees up enough money for this furloughed state-of-CA employee to get a new iPhone. w00t!!!

Oh yeah -- and the computer/TV connection fixed itself, so all is well there, too.

Thanks again, Susan! YOU RULE!!! People in customer service should aspire to be HALF as good as you are. I can't thank you enough.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Westwood Memorial Park

This weekend, we loaded up the Land Yacht with The Boy and his Auntie to head over to Westwood Memorial. We hadn't been there since Ev was about 4 years old! Many awesome luminaries have left This Mortal Coil since then. It was long past time we paid them a visit.

Thanks for the memories, Farrah, Merv, Barney Fife, Sam the Butcher, Colonel Hogan, et. al.