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Showing posts from October, 2003
ON-RAMP POLICE? Yesterday while driving home on the 405, we were zooming along at around 75MPH. I was enjoying smooth traffic patterns that can get me home in a ½ hour (love it!) when at Rosecrans a regular sized pick up truck merges onto the freeway up ahead of me with 8 I kid you not, EIGHT box springs & mattresses stacked in his truck bed. It looked insane! He merges left, left left until he's in the carpool lane where traffic is moving at around 85 MPH! The stack of mattresses is about 4 feet above the top of his truck cab and the only thing securing them (ha, I used the word secure! Silly me!) was a couple of bungee cords. So Mr. Posture Pedic is rocketing way ahead of me and I can actually see the mattresses lofting off of one another as air started to lift them away from one another. Was there some sort of bedding emergency that he was racing towards? Some sleep crisis he was desperately trying to avert? Or was he a maniac who was about to kill a bunch of drivers o
BICYCLISTS IN MORNING TRAFFIC? I’m the first to admit that in the morning I’m on autopilot. For example, today I left the apartment and got on my elevator. I pressed the “Lobby” button and stood studying my shoes. When the door opened I stepped out automatically, not even looking. Oops, I was on 1 and a confused looking little school kid was staring at me. We both got back on. My point being, early morning isn’t the safest time for a bicyclist to be jamming down major thoroughfares. Most of us aren’t fully in charge of our faculties yet. So this morning I’m flying down Fairfax when everyone in front of me starts swerving to the left. They were swerving to avoid a cyclist with humungous thighs who was in our lane. I swerved too. We leave Mr. Thighs behind and all stop at a red light. Mr. Thighs wheels up and actually leans against the first car in line, a big Ford Bronco. I guess he doesn’t like to let his feet touch the ground. So he’s hangin on to another person’s property and te
JOE'S NEW CAR! & I'M BURNING UP! WaHOOOO Joe got rid of the death trap he was driving! For some reason he's been referencing this strange future date when he'd be ready to finally get rid of that old truck. For over a year now he'd acknowledge that any day could be the last day for that old piece of shit, but he couldn't get into the mind set of actually making the purchase. So recently I've been really working on him. Finally with his admiration for a Toyota Camry & my connections at Toyota I started saying last week, "Let's go look at Camrys this weekend." Around Wednesday he started saying "So, Saturday we'll go look at Camrys?" I'd reply very casually, "Yeah, you know, just to take a look. You've got to lose the truck. It has no air conditioning, the clutch sticks dangerously and you don't even have a trunk to hold your files when you go to work in your beautiful suits." So Saturday morning I
HOLY SHIT COUSIN BRIAN PULLS OFF THE IRAQI WEDDING! Unbelievable! Sweet adorable cousin Brian figured out a way to marry his fiance! Just got an e-mail forwarded from Uncle Stu: Dear All, Raghad and I were married at 4 pm on the 21st of October. It was a traditional Syriani wedding. The service was in Arabic and Aramaic, so I didn't understand too much. I badly embarrased Raghad by smiling and kissing her during the ceromony. Everything is supposed to be very, very serious. No smiling please. The whole service was videod and photographed so I will have lots to show when I return. The women started doing the lalalalalalalalalalalala... thing a couple of times. I still find it frightening. Afterwards we had a reception and danced till it was dark. About 10 people from my company came along and we really had a nice time. I even danced, as I had to, and much to my surprise, I was pretty good and really had a fun time. I was very nervous for most of the
SMOG CHECK? NOT! & A VERY GOOD FRIDAY I'll start with the driving rant. This morning I was sitting for a few minutes in stopped traffic, and had the unfortunate luck of being stuck behind someone whose car was belching out clouds of raw exhaust. I had to turn off my vents because I could barely breathe with my own fans sucking outside air into my face. I studied his 2004 registration and started to get mad. Think he got the smog check certificate legally? My ass he did! Unless he'd just blown his rings this morning, he'd been driving a worsening vehicle for some time now. There must be some underground that suckers like me who sit in line on a Saturday and pay a pretty price for a real certificate aren't privy to. Selfish noxious son of a bitch. I was so glad to finally be able to maneuver away from the black clouds... ... onto my good Friday. I had no meetings scheduled! Most cool! Then I got called by my fellow contractors who'd grabbed a conference ro
GAWKERS! WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SEE??? This morning started out with everything going my way. I opened by eyes 5 minutes before the alarm and in my A.M. schedule, 5 extra minutes is major. I was out of the house at exactly 6:30 and to my delight, had Fairfax & La Cienega to myself (I actually double-checked my watch to be sure I hadn’t made a mistake and it was like 4 A.M. which would make the total lack of traffic understandable). I zoomed onto the 405 South and in light traffic was making great time! Then we all came to a screeching halt about 1 mile before Rosecrans. I sat still for about 5 minutes as police cars flew by on the shoulder. I listened to 2 traffic reports, both of which mentioned nothing about what was happening in front of me. Then the ambulances flew by one after another. I’d get off the freeway, but would be completely lost in towns I’ve never heard of like Gardena. When I got up to the wreck 20 minutes later, the little Honda in front of me actually sla
RADIO RANT & JOE'S VACATION OK, I'm a bit fried from a crazy day at the office (once I arrived alive) so I'll make this brief. There is a song by someone (Avril Levine?) I don't know, but it's been getting tons of airplay and it makes me cringe. She's happily singing about dating a guy who is in another relationship, but hey, she's in a relationship too, but they know they're going to fuck (that part gets bleeped out on the airwaves, but I'm sure that little teeny boppers giggle when they hear the fword on their cds) and she keeps singing "it's inevitable that we're gunna get down to it, so tell me, why can't I speak whenever I think about you..." I sing along "cuz you're a deceitful slut that's why". Anyhoo, on to Joe's ongoing vacation. He's taking some of his accrued days and I'm green with envy. He really deserves it, he never ever takes time off work and sooo needs a break. He&#
PEA SOUP COMMUTE! Holy Cow! I didn’t think I’d find my office this morning! The further down the coast I got, the thicker the “marine layer” I encountered. They’re always talking about the “marine layer” on the So. Cal. weather reports, but what they really mean is fog. The sitch is that I’m still not totally comfortable with my new commute, and rely totally on reading signs… which this morning I could not see. Interesting quality of these new drivers I’m commuting along side, while they’re a big pain in the ass when it’s clear and they’re driving really slow… they’re a much bigger pain in the ass when there is zero visibility and they are all compelled to jam on the accelerators and do 80 MPH! I’d tried to keep pace with everyone, but was terrified by how unsafe it was. I slowed to about 75 MPH and headlights of big SUVs would come zooming up behind me. Maniacs! Despite the chill at 6:30 A.M. I was sweating, gripping the steering wheel and rocketing along at suicidal speeds
Ohh! Danielle's blog is good tonight. And my concert pianist is back upstairs (mercifully not giving the little Mafioso lessons!) and playing some intricate and lively piece with lots of spritely energy. Makes a girl wish she could do those fast little mincing ballerina steps on your toes and move your arms all open and grand while your feet do all kinds of cool things. Did I mention that I'm feelin great? Ivy All Red Ivy compositions, posts and blog content Copyright protected.
DO WE PAY FOR THESE ROAD REPAIRS? & MY HAPPY SHOT Let's start with the happy shot. For the past 10 years or so I've been on the Depo Provera shot as birth control. I get a shot every 3 months like clock work. The first time I got the shot, the stupid nurse shot me in the arm. Holy Shit! It is a thick compound like Elmer's glue so it took a while to depress the entire plunger worth of medicine into my shoulder. Then although I felt euphorically happy walking home, (for reasons I didn't understand) I was aware of a massive ache in my arm. By the time I got home I had to change to go out to dinner at The Blue Bonnet in Denver. I was unable to raise my arm to change my blouse. At dinner I ordered the cheese enchiladas, and was unable to cut them as my arm was totally incapacitated. However I didn't care cuz I was so dammed happy! From them on, I take the shot in my hip and have no problems. I never need to use my hip to cut enchiladas or raise my hip to tak
LOST IN TRANSLATION & THE HEAT OF OCTOBER This morning Joe & I headed out for our usual breakfast at The Farmer’s Market and had no idea how freakin hot it was going to be. We walked in the shade as much as possible and found a quiet table with an umbrella. Whew! After munching and reading for an hour or so, we headed over to the theater for a matinee of Lost In Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson (sp?). Really really enjoyable! It is the kind of movie where you sit with the human condition, no big pyrotechnics. A perfect way to escape the heat. We talked about it all the way home while sweating profusely and trying to walk in the shade - of which there was none. Sizzle sizzle sizzle… Once back home Joe turned on football and his computer. He watches football only because he and his law school buddies do that Fantasy Football thing every year. So he wanders back and forth between the computer in his study and the TV in the living room. Since I torture h
CROSSING THE PICKET LINE AT RALPH'S This morning I had to go to Ralph's to pick up my prescription. I walked up to the picketers I recognized as cashiers etc. and told them I wasn't shopping, just getting medicine. They all thanked me. I went inside and was totally bummed! There were 4 check stands open with no waiting, everything was neatly stocked and there were no little kids ramming into me with those little miniature shopping carts with the flag stating "Future Shopper". I wish the store was like this all the time! I'd take more time shopping and exploring new items instead of my usual kamikaze strikes. Joe doesn't shop with me cuz he isn't fast enough and I lose him. I hate the usual crowds and wierdos at Ralph's. But this? I could live with the peaceful perfection of the Striking Ralph's! I got my prescription and waved to the picketers as I left. Ivy All Red Ivy compositions, posts and blog content Copyright protected.
FALL VS SUMMER CLOTHES IN LA & MY PILLOW FIXATION This weekend I was planning on swapping my summer dresses and shorts out of my closet, and unpacking my Fall/Winter clothes. But silly Chicago-gal me, I assume that there will be a change in weather here in LA just because the calendar says mid-October instead of say, July. Ha! Each year I attempt to swap my wardrobe and find myself broiling miserably in a sweater just because the calendar tells me I should be putting sweaters on. Joe has no compunction to have two wardrobes as he is a So. Cal. baby born & bred. Each year during my swap he wanders over to my closet and watches my efforts and shakes his head. This morning I've taken a closer look at his closet while he is out and upon examination, here is what I've found: besides his suits, he has some lighter weight & normal weight pants, short and long sleeve shirts, some light & heavier sweaters and a couple of jackets of varying weight. Hmmmm, very versat
I'm so happy it's Friday. I'll run through all the TiVo goodies with Joe & spoon on the couch. Ivy
MIA WITH THE ANSWERS! MIA WITH THE PLANNAGE! MIA WITH MY FUTURE POLICY! So I come home from a crazy and exhilarating day in Torrance and find this new Linda-neutralizing gem in my mailbox from Mia, who puts up with crap at a very minimal level. Example: We were hangin out in her old apartment with her faboo roomie Lana when Mia gets this annoying call from her bank wanting her to open some weird account or sign up for something. She puffs her cig while lounging on the couch and listening coolly. Then she says, "You need me to come down right now to take advantage of this limited offer? OK, I would, but I'm sorry, I can't find my leg." To which the annoying bank telemarketer had no response in their roll-o-dex and got off the phone. Mia blew a triumphant plume of smoke and that was that. So here's her e-mail and I know she won't mind my sharing it cuz for those in CHIP IN HELL, it is the holy grail! ----------------------------------------------------
JUST DON'T HIT ME FOR DONATIONS AT THE OFFICE I go to the office to work and get paid. I don't look at it as a place to evaluate which charities I want to support, whose kids cookies I need to buy and which lunches, flowers, good-bye dinners, gifts, boxes of chocolates I should be chipping in for. I know this makes me a selfish bitch, but honestly, it gets pushy and irritating to open at least 2 e-mails a week telling me where I need to drop off some cash for some shit I didn't sign up to buy in the first place. This of course in no way includes a gift that I am personally moved to purchase (and Hell would freeze over before I asked someone to "give the gift with me and chip in"!) as a token of thanks or whatever. I have such a short fuse on this issue because I've had 2 jobs where this was a huge problem. Those companies both had a couple of little ladies who appeared to do nothing but buy things and collect money from everyone. None of us really coul
STRANGE SAVAGE GARDEN SONG & I'D LIKE TO MOONLIGHT AS A FORKLIFT DRIVER Quickly I'll address this sappy song I heard on the ride home by Savage Garden (whoever they are, for all I know all their songs are like this). It's called Crash & Burn and it trips along with soaring high notes and euphoric delivery and keeps saying "if you're going to crash & burn I'll catch you" kind of lyrics. They should have come up with some sweet or wistful lyrics for that tune cuz my idea of crashing and burning is physical embarrassment, injury, humiliation or heartache and that is certainly not in anyway conveyed by that tune. Completely incongruous. Onto the real blog post: I want to drive a forklift and master the use of some large tools. Today I sat at my desk looking out my enormous window trying to compose a thought to drop onto a PowerPoint slide (imagine me actually composing thoughts instead of stream-of-consciousness blogging?! huh what a concept b
JOE'S MEDIA RANT & HEY MARIO ANDRETTI, IT'S LA TRAFFIC So last night Joe & I are puttering around the apartment doin the usual (doing the needful) and the TV was on a news channel filling us in on current events when Joe stops what he's doing and has a rant about the media. Waving his hands around he challenges the TV. "Why has the media plummeted to the level where everything is hipster in-the-know chiding? Why is it always, 'That was so funny Frank! And now to Alice with the weather, Alice? What did you think of Frank's humor?' Why is there nothing of substance in the media anymore? Why is it that if they do put out something approaching substance that it has to be a NEWSBREAK of urgent importance to life and limb so as to cause us to trivialize the quasi-substance when we hear it because it isn't of urgent importance to life and limb? This kind of existence is turning us into yoghurt like substances!" At which point he started m
All Red Ivy compositions, posts and blog content Copyright protected.
THE "GO AHEAD" OBLIGATION & WORKPLACE ENTICEMENTS! Today I got a chance to possibly help out my new employer with a project I dearly loved back at IEC which died when the company did. The enticement campaign. This afternoon, after a series of meetings I was in one in the boss' office and the topic came up about communicating meaningfully with "the field". What was my opinion of the best and least expensive way to do this? I chimed in with e-mailing announcements & updates in a fun, interactive way with an enticement campaign. I shared the fun ideas we'd barely been able to deploy at IEC as our doors were closing and I think the boss liked it. He was certainly intrigued. Now our artist/writer happily went back to her desk to whip up some ideas. I love project managing. On to the "go ahead" rant. If you're sitting in your car, say trying to exit a gas station, trying to get into the flow of traffic and I slow down and give you the
SONIA TRANSFORMS MY HAIR & QUEER EYE MARATHON So the good people at the Italian apothecary couldn't fit me in no matter how long I was willing to wait so I rushed over to the Amadeus Spa at The Grove. Apparently there was a very talented stylist who was good with color names Sonia and she could see me at 3:15. So I swung into Nordstrom on my way home and grabbed a pair of Taryn Rose shoes with the gift certificate my old bosses in the tower gave me and found that Joe had gone back to bed. Good for him. He'd had such a hard week at work that I hoped he sleep until I came back with my new hair. But no, in about an hour I saw him coming out into the living room carrying The Davinci Code which his mom & I'd had such fun reading. He stretched out on the couch to read it and I massaged his feet while I sat quietly watching Rachel Ray on the Food network. I always try to do something nice for Joe if I'm watching back to back food shows cuz it's pretty damned s
LAURA HAS LEFT THE FISHBOWL & WHY DOES MY HAIR LOOK LIKE CRAP? I got the news yesterday that Laura has left my fishbowl in the tower. I must admit that I thought she'd be perfect and stay forever. What kind of judgment do I have in that kind of forecast? Precious little obviously. Wasn't for her, but I do acknowledge that it takes a certain personality to inhabit that little glass space. Onto the sight of me in the bathroom mirror this morning. GadZooks! My hair hanging heavily around my face, but yet somehow still has little wavy, wiry bits that poke everywhere. No smooth Jennifer Anniston shimmering curtains of hair for me. Nope, wavy, but not pretty waves, halfhearted curl and masses of hair. It was not so noticeable when it was down to my butt since that kind of weight smoothed the personality my hair naturally has. Joe calls my hair "spirited". I'd chopped it all off and it was about an inch 1/2 long when I met him. He went through my "Kramer
THE MORNING AFTER WE JAMMED & IVY BUILDS A DATABASE So today I was in early, met with my boss and started another zippy series of meetings. I was across campus to another building meeting new and interesting people on projects that will start up after the new year. Love to plan. I chatted with everyone I left behind last night (I came home early to be with Joe & watch Survivor thanks to TiVo) and they all got completely drunk and sang keroke like crazy until quite late. Wow! Good thing I left before I got shit faced in front of my new colleagues and started singing Queen's 'Find Me Somebody To Love'. That would totally negate how hard I've been working to make a good impression and reflect well on my contracting company. I mean, they're in a different boat and have job security. Best I left holding my head high rather than having someone holding my head while I puked in their cool 8th floor bathrooms. So today I finally got word from our tech person
Wow! Drum Circle! That wasn’t something that I was expecting. At the end of the day I went up to the 8th floor and there was a room that was all decked out in tribal regalia and there were beautiful drums in a circle and then various drums around the room up in balcony type areas and strange instruments everywhere. We were asked to sit down and we were so close that we had to move our legs to allow someone to sit next to us. It helped if you tipped your drum head away from you a bit. There was this cool tribal music playing and the teacher was standing jamming lightly on his own, but had made my old buddy Simmy play along cuz he was the only one in there. I sat next to Simmy but then I felt I shouldn’t have cuz he can actually groove with a beat. I might look geeky. Simmy looked over and told me that he was going to vote someone out of the tribe tonight and I felt like I was at tribal council… minus the torches. So it was Simmy, me and the teacher literally pounding out a beat whi
WORK FOLLOW UP & TiVo ECCENTRICITIES Today at work I had two people compliment me on my follow through. I was gently nudging a printer to cough up the revisions of 4 postcard designs I was waiting on and gently tapping a tech person to give me information about database software for my department. Ha! I thought, this isn't even me flexing my particular brand of Project Management skills. Wait till a project is teetering on the verge of going over budget... then I really rock & roll. Now let's talk about the eccentricities of TiVo. You select shows that you want to record. It goes and finds them as well as other suggestions based on those choices. I've had such strange selections saved as The Real Saddam Hussein and several age 3-5 bad animated cartoons saved. Hmmmm, TiVo had better pay attention. Can't imagine where it came up with those suggestions. However, I did get the Crossing Over show I'd requested. Not sure that the phenomenon is though. &qu
BONGOS ANYONE? & GLAD TO BE HOME Tired. I arrived at work at 7AM, had a 7:30 meeting and then spent the bulk of the rest of the day working on a series of reports outlining the deliverables of numerous projects and mapping those to departmental objectives. Fascinating the way I can move large milestones around, but after several hours of concentration I needed a break & enticed several co-workers to join me in a pointless rehashing of the latest Survivor show. I'll be missing this weeks because I've been invited to take part in a company sponsored team building exercise which as a contractor shocked my fellow contractors that I was singled out to be invited to something company sponsored (for their employees only). It was an honor and couldn't be turned down in a politically correct way. So after ascertaining that I'd not received the invitation in error and in fact they wanted me, I accepted. The coordinator popped by this afternoon to verify that I wa
I love my blog. Got news from baby brother Matthew that he a) has changed his diet & gotten a report from his doctor that his blood us improving b) he contacted our mom. Wow! They haven't spoken since 1995. I'm sure I'll get a probing call from her tonight on my contact with him over the years. Strange family situation? Nah, our family is very loosely tied. Mom & I had a falling out that kept us apart for more than 10 years. I didn't know when dad had a stroke till mom called with the news and how bad he looked (she's subtle) and once when I went to visit my gandparents in Florida my dad hadn't prepped me that grandma had had a stroke and was a shocking sight. I was totally unprepared. I gather that dad has a problem talking about strokes, but that isn't typically something you think of to ask. Hey, uncle Bruce is coming to town? Has he had a stroke? Uncle Stu is making his amazing Lila Ule feast this year. Can't wait, has he had a stroke? I m
ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND & DOUBLE PARKING The two are in no way related. We had a great weekend. We got my fabulous gift up and running. Joe is staying away from it as he isn't a techy, but he's enjoying the wonders of my skipping commercials, replaying bits I've missed while popping into the kitchen to check on the rice, etc. I'm very pleased to find all kinds of cool shows that I'll have at my fingertips that I didn't even know I was paying for on cable. These cool shows that air in the middle of the night for the insomniac crowd. Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dark Shadows, etc.! We went up the coast for a nice drive and sat on the beach eating fresh seafood from a shack. When we got back we walked to the butcher's at the Farmer's Market and Joe picked out the biggest Fred Flintstone steak I've ever seen. It was gorgeous. I flash cooked it and we shared. It was delicious. That butcher is a GOD! Onto my day. The Torrance crowd loves their meetin
THE JOYS AND PAINS OF LIVING BELOW A CONCERT PIANIST For the past 2+ years Joe & I have been living 1 floor below a concert pianist. The first time we noticed it was during our first dinner in the new apartment when we heard the most beautiful tune floating from above us. We opened our windows to hear more of the composition they were playing. Our very own concert pianist is obviously staggeringly talented because they were able to evoke the most complex emotions and it seemed that the composer (Prokofiev or Schubert?) was directly communicating their art, triumphs, pain, hubris to us while we ate. Much better than my old apartment where I lived underneath a fellow Joe & I called The Rumbler who got up at 4 AM each morning and constantly produced rumbling sounds up on the old hard wood floor. This pianist leaves town for weeks at a time, obviously performing at La Scala and Vienna’s Opera House. When they’re back it is wonderful to hear what they’re working on. I can’t
MY GIFT WAS TiVo! & FAST PACED MORNING Yes, Joe came through for me and he got me TiVo! No longer must I struggle with the crap on cable during the few hours each week when I sit down to be entertained. Now I can have it record everything I want so it is waiting for me. The freedom. The power. Thanks Joe! So, this morning I came totally awake in an instant and looked at the clock to see it was only 6:15. I snuggled down into the covers and spooned a deeply comatose Joe, but discovered to my alarm that even sleepiness had abandoned me. So as I do each weekend when I start my errands, I grabbed whatever was on my closet floor, put in on and headed out. I must say, I was on fire. By 6:30 I'd figured out who the pot smokers on my floor are. Not any Agatha Christie sleuthing needed, the door next to our apartment was open and the pot was wafting out. Seems our 20 something Asian couple neighbors have moved suddenly (nice, but their response to any hall chat was always "
RADIO DRIVING RANT OK, driving home on this fine Friday afternoon I was tortured not by the idiots I was commuting with (outside the car, inside my buds were cool) but by the radio. 1) Whose idea is it to put in constant rotation the incredibly lame re-makes of 'Is She Really Going Out With Him' and 'Boys Of Summer'? The originals were lame, so re-making them poorly is lame-osity squared or something. "Is she really going out with him? (just kill me now) Is he really gunna take her home tonight? Is she really going out with him? (cuz if my EARS don't decieve me there's something going wrong around here). Help! 2) I finally got them to change the station only to hear an incredibly lame Foo Fighter's version of Prince's 'Little Nicky" Yikes! They switched again only to have our ears assaulted by Lame-ard Skinard. I suggested we perform a singalong but we were pulling up to my drop-off point so I hopped out and wished the co-worker
OUR ANNIVERSARY Today I have no driving rants or workplace evacuations to blog about, but tomorrow is Joe's & my anniversary and I've been thinking about him all day. Today is the 5th anniversary of Joe & I being together. Lord how time flies. The essence of Joe: He is beautifully handsome with amazing green eyes. He is a sharp dresser at work and a totally laid back dresser nights & weekends. He is the most warm-hearted man I've ever known. He has tremendous difficulty lying. He has a true talent for decorating and could be the gayest straight man alive. He frequently re-arranges our apartment and cannot help himself. He often proudly asks when I come home, "Well? What do you think?" and I have to scan the room for what has been moved to a new and improved location. Then I must respond with equal fervor or he'll keep explaining his decorating reasoning until I fall on the floor in a coma. He makes the best char-dogs & broile
NEW JOB & COWORKERS IN TORRANCE & THE CROSSWALK SHUFFLE So, being the poolball that I have I careened across the green felt tabletop of life and into Torrance. I was greeted with the announcement that my office was ready, I had a phone, computer and several meetings set up. I plunked down my laptop which I wouldn't be needing (but I'm always prepared) and settled into learning as much as I could, hanging out with my IEC homies and looking smashing in my new suit. I liked everyone I met without exception and they even brought me a bag of cool company goodies: Very Heavy ergonomic pen that glows at the gel grip when clicked 3 times. My very own beautiful desktop calculator which is very space age, light as air soft buttery silk company shirt in cream, Nissan mug thermos for my coffee (think any of my buddies told them about my coffee fixation?) breath mints in a pink spacey dispenser and oh, I forget what else. They also let me know that all e-mails disappear out