Category Archives: Life In General

Currently….

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Currently: Discussing why I owe out my ass to the IRS on Twitter and getting some guidance.

Watching: This Excel spreadsheet on my computer screen that I’m supposed to be working on. I have been on this particular project for some months now and I am OVER. IT.

Listening To: “Feels Good” from the album The Revival – Tony! Toni! Tone!

Planning: How to revitalize my job search. I need to take a new approach to targeting companies I want to work for so I’ve been doing some reading and some research.

Thinking About: How I need to make doctor’s appointments for a mammogram and with a dentist.

Looking forward to: My bestie’s happy hour  for her birthday TONIGHT at this place.

Reading: Payback In Panama by Noel Hyde. I’ve read all the books in this series. The first 3 are the Russian Trilogy. Last 3 are the Cuban Trilogy.

Making Me Happy: emailing with my husband and his silly jokes that make smile. Helps to get through the work day.

Why I Bought A Chromebook, Part 2

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Now on to part 2 of my Chromebook review and how it works best for me.

When I first opened the box my Chromebook came in (via Amazon), I was pleased. Visually it’s not a Macbook Air in terms of style but it’s a nice gray color and it is light! It weighs less than 2 pounds. It’s well made, it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy and it opens and closes snugly.  It’s a lot smaller than your average laptop at 11.6 inches corner to corner. But for sitting on the couch or in the bed chilling, it’s a nice size that sits in your lap. And if you gave it to a kid to use, it would be more than adequate. The screen is average and has brightness controls which help. There are decent sounding speakers that get loud enough for you to watch a YouTube video or a movie but obviously you aren’t dealing with something high-end so don’t think you are going to get Beats by Dre type bass.

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My Acer on top on my old Compaq laptop.

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How the Chromebook screen looks.

My Chromebook is made by Acer and comes in 3 variants: 2GB RAM, 4GB RAM, and a 4GB RAM with a touchscreen. The base model (which is what I have) starts at $199. Are you starting to see why these little computers are popular? The price is definitely right.

I’ve had my Chromebook since Christmas and I use it daily. It charges in a little over an hour and I’m able to get 6-7 hours off of a charge. Because Chrome OS is so light, it’s almost an instant on. I open the top and get to doing what I want to do. I’ve gone to the Chrome App Store and downloaded various web apps such as Pocket, Any.DO, Dropbox, TweetDeck, Pandora and Netflix. They have been optimized to run on Chrome, and often they will sync with your phone. The Chrome App Store has various apps and extensions for business, education, games, social media and more.

A Chromebook is not a Windows laptop and as such has a very small hard drive, about 16GB, which is the same storage space as my phone. And of course, you cannot load full fledged programs. So what do you do if you need to be productive? You can use Google Docs, which allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations and save them in Microsoft formats. Or you can set up a SkyDrive cloud account and use their Microsoft web apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint for FREE. They are more than adequate for light work or for a student. If push comes to shove, you can actually remote into your Windows PC using Chrome Remote Desktop. Pretty cool huh?

In fact the only major limitations I see with my Chromebook is the ability to upload music (and Google is currently working on a way to sync Chrome OS to Google Play Music) and the ability to upload pictures. I will still need to use my old laptop for that. But even then, there are several photo editors that can be used in Chrome to edit, correct or add filters to the photos you have stored online. And because Chrome is constantly evolving, Google typically puts out updates every 6-8 weeks with new features and functionality.

So those are my impressions of the Chromebook in a nutshell. I think that I made a good choice for my needs and I will be able to use this device for several years. There are several manufacturers to choose from and a few different screen sizes. In fact I typed this whole blog post on my Chromebook.

Here a few links to give you a bit more info:

If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Why I Bought A Chromebook, Part 1

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I am admittedly a bit of a techie, in particular when it comes to phones, tablets and laptops. I follow several personal technology blogs and Twitter accounts. I keep our devices updated. Between the two of us we have 2 cells, 2 tablets, a laptop, a desktop, an Xbox 360 and the brand spanking new Xbox One. We have a lot of gadgets to play with right? So why add another one?

Well my Windows laptop is 4+ years old and between all the updates/virus protections, it has gotten slow as molasses. I’d read several reviews about Windows 8 and it seemed that folks weren’t that thrilled with it as well as being confusing to use since it has been so radically redesigned from Windows 7. And then I thought about what I really use my laptop for. So I made a list.

  • I tweet. And I like to live tweet TV shows so I prefer a keyboard to typing on my phone or tablet.
  • I go on Facebook.
  • I stream/upload/download music.
  • I read books.
  • I surf the net in general.
  • I check my email.
  • I upload photos.
  • I might chat online a bit.
  • I watch Netflix or other TV shows that can be streamed.

And guess what….I do ALL of that online for the most part. All of that is done within a browser and in my case normally it’s Google Chrome. And because I am a person who is heavily tied into Google services such as Gmail and Calendar and use Android devices it made sense to take a closer look at the Chromebook.

First off what is Chrome OS:

With Chrome, the browser actually is the OS — in this case, the Chrome OS builds on the Google browser of the same name. It’s pre-installed by PC manufacturers who adhere to Google’s hardware specifications.  The OS uses Web-based applications, so you don’t need local storage for software, either.  Chrome OS is based around the cloud computing model. That means that all of your data and applications are stored online, in the “cloud,” so that you can access them from any computer, anywhere. Chrome is a seriously stripped-down, fast OS. Because Chrome supports only Web capabilities, it can do away with much of the bulk and unnecessary system checks that slow a traditional OS.

A fairly fast Windows machine might finish booting in around 45 seconds. In contrast, Google wants Chrome laptops to be up and running in 7 seconds or less. The Chrome OS user interface looks much like the Chrome browser. Beyond this browser-like OS, these laptops have no pre-installed software. There’s an integrated media player that lets you watch movies, play music and view photos when you’re offline. Adobe Flash is already integrated into the Chrome browser, so you can view all Flash Web sites, too. When you want to write a report, for example, you just access a Web-based word processing application.

For more basic computing tasks, though, you should be able to find applications that suit your needs, using Google’s Chrome Web Store. Similar to Apple’s App Store and the Android Market, the Chrome Web Store will offer applications for a huge variety of tasks.

So then I thought long and hard about what the Chromebook could do that my tablet couldn’t do and it came down to the fact that sometimes you really just need a keyboard to do certain things. And I was getting frustrated by my old slow laptop, when I needed to do it. So I didn’t look at the Chromebook as a total laptop replacement, it became more of a companion to the old laptop I have as well as my other tech toys.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will talk about my initial impressions of the Acer Chromebook that I got for Christmas and how I’ve been using it.

Would You, Could You?

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What are your thoughts about marrying or dating men with significantly less education than you? Have you ever done so? Why or why not? If so, what were the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? What advice would you give educated women who are not comfortable dating men with no college degree and/or men who work blue-collar jobs?

One Hundred One

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DSTFoundersDay

Today is the 101st anniversary of my sorority’s founding. It’s quite an accomplishment to see an organization founded and run by black woman still be in existence after over an century. So to all of my lovely Sorors, a big old Ooo-oop! Let’s keep on striving and serving our communities!

Sometimes I get private messages from women I know, asking me are they too old to join a sorority or thinking that it’s only something you do in college. And to them I say this: as long as you have breath in you, are willing to work hard to serve others, and desire the camaraderie of like-minded women, you aren’t too old or too “grown” to apply for membership in Delta Sigma Theta or for that matter in any other sorority you may have an interest in. If it’s been a personal goal of yours, then by all means follow through. Sorority life isn’t for every woman and it can be challenging, simply because it’s a group of humans working together who have different personalities, but I don’t regret not one single bit. The women I pledged with truly are my SISTERS. And for a person who doesn’t have any biological sisters, I’m lucky to have them.

Zero To Hero: Introduce Yourself

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In an effort to flex my blog muscles and get in the groove of writing again, I’m doing the Zero To Hero daily blog challenge. I’m a few days behind but I’m going to attempt to catch myself up with a few posts.

Today’s prompt: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I actually think my About page covers things pretty well but I’ll recap. I’m 40 years old, I’ve been married for a little over 3 years, no kids, and I started this blog to capture my wedding planning. Since I’m lazy, when the party was over I didn’t feel like starting over and my people who follow me were already here so I just kept on rolling.

I talk mainly about whatever strikes my fancy: married life, technology, food (my husband is a great cook), books and relationships.

I am a member of a historically black sorority (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.) and I work in the accounting/finance field. You will probably read some posts about me lamenting the job search I’ve been on for the past year.

I don’t have a blog brand and I’m not making any money on this thing. I blog because I think I have something to say, and a few people actually read it. I appreciate all who stop by, read and comment.

The View From Here – 2013

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I think I stopped blogging in August. I turned 40 this year and though I was not depressed or despondent about doing so..I think I ran out of words. I felt like I didn’t have anything to talk about and the blogging mojo was gone. So I took a break…for about 5 months..LOL!

But the thing about writing is that it’s just like riding a bike, you never forget how, you just get back on and start pedaling.

2013, in retrospect, was better than 2012 (which totally sucked ass BTW). But it was just average, no razzle dazzle or pizazz, just kind of lackluster. I felt somewhat meh about this year, like I was just in a holding pattern so to speak. I don’t feel like I made the progress towards some of the goals I wanted to accomplish, so I plan to do a reset and attack them again in the new year.

I entered my third year of marriage in 2013 with my husband being in the hospital which was a scary reminder of our mortality. He’s a LOT better now thank God. Lifestyle changes are in process, slowly but surely. And my husband is still truly a blessing in my life. I am lucky to have married such a great guy.

I ended 2013 still working on a contract basis at my current gig but immensely grateful to have gainful steady employment and work at a company that treats me decently and doesn’t work me too hard. I’m still looking for the right opportunity on a full time basis, but I have a measure of comfort knowing that I have somewhere to go each weekday morning to earn a living.

My family is healthy, my niece and nephew are growing like weeds, and my brother found some gainful employment that suits him. They are happy which makes me happy. Many of my friends had personal triumphs this year such as new jobs, new homes, new marriages and new babies, which is always a good thing.

So more than anything, I’m grateful for being able to have a 2013. Some folks will not see this upcoming new year. And I look forward to 2014, where I have another chance to get it right. Another chance to go get my blessings and what God has for me.

With that being said, let’s do this. Allow me to re-introduce myself…

Sandwiched

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I was reading the blog of one of my Twitter friends and I noticed that she lives with her mom and helps provide care for her. Then I happened to be on FB and saw the status of one of my college roommates giving an update on the progress of her mother, who had suffered a stroke in late 2012 and who had come to stay with her on a full time basis. That got me to thinking, as we age, our parents do too. And as part of the sandwich generation, many folks are raising kids while assisting with elderly parents. And while if you are married, you may have some help shouldering the load, it’s much more difficult if you are a single person (with or without kids). My folks are in relatively good health for their ages (early 60s) however Myron’s mom left us way too soon at the age of 57 so it’s probably time for me to have that (morbid) chat with the parental units. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

Have you talked with your parents about their long term health care or retirement plans? If you are married, how are you handling it?

If you are single, what are you doing? And if you are single, how do you balance managing all of that and trying to date? Are you dating at all?

Bowlarama!

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Above are a few pictures from Myron and I’s 40th birthday bowling party on this past Saturday.  (And yes, I semi-bowled in a dress..LOL!)

We had a really good time, despite the fact I stressed myself out unnecessarily about the guest list. We paid for 20 folks to bowl, eat and drink which as you can imagine wasn’t all that cheap.  I had to chase folks down for responses and some people that I thought we going to come declined to show. And I was upset about that I must admit. It’s not that I don’t think folks don’t have their own lives and social calendars, but my husband and I really try hard to support folks when they have an event so I was a bit salty about some of the folks who declined. And of course I was all in my feelings about it, because I consider myself a loyal friend. But much like my peeps on Twitter and my husband pointed out, I have to give people the opportunity to explain themselves and they did. After a lecture from my husband (he secretly enjoys that, I think) about getting my mind right, I was OK and got my grown and sexy on to go kick it!

But at any rate, we had a good turn out! I had all that anxiety and drama for nothing.  We ate, drank and were very merry and got some nice gifts. I wasn’t expecting anything so that was such a nice blessing. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness. And I collected some rain checks for birthday lunches from some of my friends who couldn’t make it! #WINNING

Forty is starting out on a high note thus far!! I’m ready to keep it rolling!

Read the rest of this entry

Baby??? Maybe. Maybe Not.

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I haven’t talked much about children much on my blog, partially because it’s me and my husband’s private business and partially because there isn’t much to report.

I just turned 40 and we looked into IVF but we can’t afford it. It’s ridiculously expensive, even if you make a decent living like we do.  In June, we went to a training session and got some information about adoption. We are not interested in foster care at all, as I do not want my home to become a revolving door for children that we get attached to and then they go back to their family of origin.  Yet, the application to begin the process sits on the kitchen table, uncompleted.

The upside to having kids is of course being able to carry on your family name, and being able to shape and mold the next generation as well as having a little person around to bring you the remote when you don’t feel like getting up to look for it (lol). Let’s not forget how entertaining and fun kids can be as well. I have 2 little people in my life right now (my niece and nephew) that I absolutely love to pieces.

I remain conflicted about having kids, whether naturally or via adoption to be honest. I like my married, childfree life more than I thought I would. I observe with amusement my friends children and love how cute they are, but note how they can be demanding and time consuming. My parent friends entire weekends are consumed with sports and other kid activities. Some of my parent friends complain about having little time for themselves, and if they are married, for their marriages once kids come along. But perhaps parents also felt like I do, prior to having their children. But the default is to have children, especially if you are married and if you don’t, people either eye you with suspicion or treat you with pity.

My husband is, blessedly, open to whatever I decide. I am very grateful for that. But I realize time isn’t on my side at this point and I need to make up my mind. Will I regret it if we don’t have children? Will I regret it if we do?

I just don’t know right now.