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Aug. 7th, 2004

plaid on the road

(no subject)

I'm too easily amused.

Top 45 Oxymoron

45. Act naturally
44. Found missing
43. Resident alien
42. Advanced BASIC
41. Genuine imitation
40. Airline food
39. Good grief
38. Same difference
37. Almost exactly
36. Government organization
35. Sanitary landfill
34. Alone together
33. Legally drunk
32. Silent scream
31. Living dead
30. Small crowd
29. Business ethics
28. Soft rock
27. Butt Head
26. Military Intelligence
25. Software documentation
24. New classic
23. Sweet sorrow
22. Childproof
21. "Now, then..."
20. Synthetic natural gas
19. Passive aggression
18. Taped live
17. Clearly misunderstood
16. Peace force
15. Extinct Life
14. Temporary tax increase
13. Computer jock
12. Plastic glasses
11. Terribly pleased
10. Computer security
9. Political science
8. Tight slacks
7. Definite maybe
6. Pretty ugly
5. Twelve-ounce pound cake
4. Diet ice cream
3. Working vacation
2. Exact estimate
1. Microsoft Works

Jul. 19th, 2004

plaid on the road

How to complain and win

Wrangling with customer service representatives is an art form, but you can do it successfully with a little knowledge and a stubborn streak.

It’s time to get mad.

Almost every day, I get another e-mail or letter from someone who has suffered some outrage at the hands of a company, usually one that purports to care about customer service. But instead of being livid, most of these folks are resigned to bad treatment and just want to know how to minimize the damage.

Here’s an example. Willi Sommer is a Navy submariner stationed in Italy. AT&T took a $425 payment Sommer made to her direct-bill calling card account and applied it, in error, to her mother’s wireless account.

Any company can make a mistake, of course. What counts is how the company fixes it.

AT&T fixed Sommer by turning her account over to a collections agency. This is after Sommer sent the company copies of the cashed check and spent hours on overseas phone calls with AT&T customer-service reps.

When AT&T finally realized its mistake, it gave Sommer a credit -- but only for the amount of the payment that her mother hadn’t already “spent.”

You don’t have to take it anymore
I’d love to tell you AT&T’s version of these events. I tried for days to get one of their public-relations people to speak to me about this. Instead, I got transferred from one PR type to another, but nobody was willing to admit that this problem fell within his or her purview.

Sommer had been dealing with this nonsense for six months. It’s no wonder she became numb. All she was hoping for when she contacted me was suggestions for fixing her credit report. She’d long since given up hope that AT&T would actually give her back the money it took or that it would apologize for treating her so shabbily.

It’s time to fight back.

You really can win
I’m here to tell her, and you, that we just don’t have to take it anymore. So what if customer service keeps getting worse -- you can complain effectively, and get results. You just have to know how.

Know your rights. Sometimes companies get away with egregious behavior simply because its victims don’t know the law. It’s illegal, for example, for a company to knowingly report false credit information, or for collection agencies to keep calling you after you’ve told them in writing to stop. Knowing the law -- and letting the companies know you know -- is sometimes effective in getting bad behavior to stop.

If your complaint involves a contract, warranty or guaranty, read all the fine print that came with it. You don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to the remedies prescribed in these documents, but you should at least know what the company promised.

Know what you want. Be clear in your mind and in all your communications with the company about what you want to happen. That way you won’t get sidetracked.

After all, the customer-service rep’s job, typically, is not to make you happy. It’s to get you off the phone.

If the rep suggests ways to fix your problem at all, it will usually be ways that don’t cost her or the company much. When my new laptop’s hard drive failed for the second time last month, Dell wanted to send me yet another replacement part. But I knew from the start of my call that I wasn’t getting off the phone until a replacement computer was on its way.

I’m assuming, by the way, that what you want is both reasonable and doable. Your definition of those two terms may vary from the company’s, but you can’t be ridiculous about it. The dry cleaner that ruined your jacket, for example, should be expected to buy you a new one. You shouldn’t expect free dry cleaning for life.

Be concise. Boil your story down to its essential elements; you might even practice first with a friend before you pick up the phone. Nattering on about irrelevant details will just make it easier for the rep to tune out or miss the point. Besides, you’re going to have to repeat your story over and over and over to get results. Might as well save yourself some time by editing in advance.

Don’t be a jerk. My husband, the most effective complainer I know, puts it this way: You don’t have to be nice, necessarily. You do have to be polite.

Hubby has used this not-nice-but-polite approach to get us a 50% discount on a garage door that was incorrectly installed, a free upgrade on our Tivo service (again, botched installation) and a number of other concessions from companies that initially insisted there was no way to accommodate us.

He isn’t sweet, understanding or particularly patient when he deals with people who resist giving him what he wants. But he is unfailingly civil. Rude behavior just gives the rep an opportunity to hang up on you, or feel justified in not helping you.

I’ve found being nice sometimes greases the wheels. Some reps are so used to being berated by customers that they melt pretty quickly when dealing with someone who’s pleasant. My favorite ploy is to chat them up, then ask them how they would handle my problem if it were theirs, instead of mine. Many times, they’ll respond to this treatment by connecting me with someone who can actually solve my dilemma.

Know that the company’s problems are not your problems. Customer-service reps love to tell you exactly why the company’s procedures don’t allow them to do what you need them to do. Guess what: You don’t have to care. How the company chooses to conduct its business is not your concern. What is your concern is getting your problem fixed, however the company ultimately decides to do it.

Carve out some time. I’m convinced some companies try to wear you out with excessively long hold times. You can’t force them to pick up the phone, but you can fight back by out-waiting them.

Get yourself a portable phone or, better yet, a portable with a headset. That way you can do other things to keep your sanity while waiting for the company to see reason.

It took me three hours on a Saturday morning to persuade Dell to see things my way. I survived innumerable transfers, two disconnects and endless stretches on hold largely because I wasn’t tethered to a desk the whole time. Thanks to my portable head set, I was able to nurse and play with my daughter, sort mail and even do a little light housekeeping while I talked to Sandy, Matt, Phyllis, Jason, Raina and the rest of the Dell crew about how they were going to get me a replacement computer.

Get names and call back numbers. Sometimes, you don’t have three hours in a row to spend on the phone. Rather than start over from the beginning each time you dial, make sure you know how to get back in touch with the people who handled your last call. Having a name and number also comes in handy when you get transferred into voice-mail hell or the phone simply goes dead -- not that a customer-service rep would ever, ever deliberately hang up on you.

Take notes. I don’t know why, but reps are inordinately impressed when you can tell them exactly when you were told what by whom. These details can also help when you’re enlisting others to come to your aid (see below).

When in doubt, get it in writing. Consumer advocates usually recommend putting disputes in writing. The reality is that most problems get handled over the phone, and you don’t necessarily have to conduct business by snail mail.

If the issue involves a lot of money, taxes, legal issues or your credit report, however, put everything in writing and send the letters certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a log of all your communications with the company and copies of every relevant piece of paper.

Keep moving up the ladder. You probably know that if you can’t get what you want from a phone rep, you should ask to speak to a supervisor. But the folks with the real power may be several rungs up the ladder. If you strike out, try the company’s marketing or public-relations division. A letter sent to the company’s president or CEO can often break through a logjam like nothing else.

If the company is violating the law, you may need to contact the appropriate regulator. You’ll need to do some research to find the right office, and you can’t necessarily count on results. The Federal Trade Commission, for example, collects complaints about credit bureaus, but typically only acts if it sees a pattern of problems emerging.

Desperate measures
If you’re having a problem with the government itself, the ultimate resource may be your local, state or federal representative. Many lawmakers pride themselves on taking care of their constituents on this grassroots level.

Then there’s always the option of alerting the media. (Caveat: Don’t alert me -- I’ve got enough to do.) But if the company’s behavior has been particularly terrible or you think you might be part of a trend, you can try calling your local newspaper or television station to see if you can interest them in your plight.

That’s the way one of my former colleagues at the Los Angeles Times discovered that a local phone utility was charging many of its customers for DSL service that didn’t work. The utility kept insisting that there was no problem, or that customer complaints were “isolated incidents.” After the reporter heard from a bunch of “isolated incidents” and wrote a front-page story about them, the company was forced to stop billing people for something they never got.

Finally, you can always hire a lawyer. It’s not the easiest or most cost-effective way to get what you want, but sometimes it pays off.

Real-estate agent Judy Thomas tried for six years to get TransUnion to remove another woman’s bad credit history from her credit report. Thomas finally won a $5.3 million lawsuit against the credit bureau. The judge later reduced the award to $1.3 million, but hey, Thomas made her point.



Casual interview conversations can be critical

By Anita Bruzzese, Gannett News Service

You've done it. You've just completed the formal interview for a job, and by all indications, things look like they went well.

Of course, you did all your homework and worked on your body language. You sat up straight, looked the interviewer in the eye, gave professional answers and remembered not to say "you know," or "uh" too much. All in all, you're feeling like this job is in the bag.

Then the interviewer asks you, ever so casually, about whether you saw the big game last night.
Hold on. While this may seem like a perfectly harmless way to pass a few minutes before you leave, just another friendly indication that they like you, it may be much more than that. It may be the toughest part of the interview yet.

"Do you like to travel?" or "Do you have pets?" all sound harmless, but what these kinds of questions do is to lull you into a kind of complacency. And that is where you can get into trouble.

"Sure, I saw the game last night," you say. "But the refs were obviously on the take. They were terrible. The crowd should have jumped them in the parking lot."

OK. Now you've just shown yourself to be a) a bad sport, b) overly critical and c) possibly violent. You may scoff and say you were only shooting the breeze, and meant no harm, but to an interviewer who has only known you for less than an hour, the impression left by your remark may not be seen as favorable.

A better answer? "Yes, I saw the game. It was very exciting. Lots of good teamwork out there." Ah-hah! Now the interviewer is left with an impression of someone who appreciates hard work and the ability to work with others.

It's not that interviewers are deliberately trying to trip you up, but it is their job to try and see the job candidate from all angles. That means they try to get a feel for how you would fit into the company culture, how you would work with other employees, or the impression you might make on clients. That's when they usually offer to take you out for a meal.

And this is where some job candidates truly bomb. Ordering a hamburger, french fries and a chocolate milkshake may portray you as having the sensibilities of a 9-year-old. Ordering pasta that you drip on your shirt, or making the waiter jump through hoops to bring you a special order only attracts negative attention. And, of course, the lack of table manners has been a deal-breaker for many candidates since employers feel the lack of etiquette may reflect badly on them with a client.

Conversations turning casual can often be full of pitfalls. Gushing about the "freedom" of going to nude beaches in Europe may not be appropriate, but you can (briefly) talk about the beautiful architecture in Rome or the friendly people you met when traveling to different states. Remember to rehearse your answers about your hobbies and your interests, as well as your job skills. You want to be seen as having a well-rounded life, but one that does not indicate that your interest in "Star Trek" memorabilia borders on the obsessive.

And, you can always use this casual conversation gambit to learn more about the employer. The interviewer who admits that she has no time for hobbies because she is required to work so many hours and hasn't taken a vacation in five years may be telling you that the company plans to work you to death.

Or, the interviewer who drinks too much wine with lunch and then proceeds to bad-mouth her boss may be giving you the clearest indication yet that you might be better off interviewing elsewhere.
plaid on the road

(no subject)

A job interview is your chance to show an employer what he or she will get if you're hired. That is why it is essential to be well prepared for the job interview. Preparing means knowing about the industry, the employer, and yourself. It means paying attention to details like personal appearance, punctuality, and demeanor.

I always feel that knowledge is your best weapon. That starts with the very basic bit of knowledge regarding job interviews. Before you research the industry and the company and even before you practice answering the questions you might be asked, you should have some general information about job interviews. Let's start by going over the different types of interviews you might face.

Types of Interviews
The Screening Interview
Your first interview with a particular employer will often be the screening interview. This is usually an interview with someone in human resources. It may take place in person or on the telephone. He or she will have a copy of your resume in hand and will try to verify the information on it. The human resources representative will want to find out if you meet the minimum qualifications for the job and, if you do, you will be passed on to the next step.
The Selection Interview
The selection interview is the step in the process which makes people the most anxious. The employer knows you are qualified to do the job. While you may have the skills to perform the tasks that are required by the job in question, the employer needs to know if you have the personality necessary to “fit in.” Someone who can't interact well with management and co-workers may disrupt the functioning of an entire department. This ultimately can effect the company's bottom line. Many experts feel that this can be determined within the first several minutes of the interview. However, more than one person being interviewed for a single opening may appear to fit in. Often, job candidates are invited back for several interviews with different people before a final decision is made.
The Group Interview
In the group interview, several job candidates are interviewed at once. The interviewer or interviewers are trying to separate the leaders from the followers. In any group there is a natural process that takes place where the group stratifies into leaders and followers. The interviewer may also be trying to find out if you are a "team player." The type of personality the employer is looking for determines the outcome of this interview. There is nothing more to do than act naturally. Acting like a leader if you are not one may put you into a job for which you are not appropriate.
The Panel Interview
In a panel interview, the candidate is interviewed by several people at once. It can be quite intimidating as questions are fired at you. You should try to remain calm and establish rapport with each member of the panel. Make eye contact with each member of the panel as you answer his or her question.
The Stress Interview
The stress interview is not a very nice way to be introduced to the company that may end up being your future employer. It is, however, a technique sometimes used to weed out those that cannot handle adversity. The interviewer may try to artificially introduce stress into the interview by asking questions so quickly that the candidate doesn't have time to answer each one. Another interviewer trying to introduce stress may respond to a candidates answers with silence. The interviewer may also ask weird questions, not to determine what the job candidate answers, but how he or she answers. According to Interviewing by The National Business Employment Weekly (John Wiley and Sons, 1994), the job candidate should first "recognize that you're in the situation. Once you realize what's happening, it's much easier to stay calm because you can mentally reframe the situation. Then you have two choices: Play along or refuse to be treated so poorly." If you do play along, the book recommends later finding out if the reason for conducting a stress interview is legitimate. That will determine if this is a company for which you want to work.
Preparing for the Interview
Researching Companies
Before you begin to think about how you will dress for the interview, or answer questions, you should do your homework. By that I mean gather as much information about the employer as you can. Not only will you appear informed and intelligent, it will also help you make a decision if a job offer is eventually made. Gathering employer information is not always an easy task, especially if the employer is a small private company.
Researching Yourself
In the next section of this article, I will talk about answering questions. You might want to prepare for answering questions by listing some of your attributes. Talk to former co-workers with whom you worked closely. Ask them to list some traits about you that they most admired -- work related, of course. Try to find some faults as well. You won't, obviously, spontaneously tell a prospective employer about these faults, but you may be asked to. One question that sometimes comes up in an interview is “What is something that has been a problem for you at work?” By studying your faults, you will be able to choose one that is somewhat innocuous or could be turned around into a positive.
Practice, Practice, And Then Practice Some More
You want to seem somewhat spontaneous, but you also want to appear self-confident. The way to do that is to rehearse, not exactly what you will say, but how you will say it. A great method is to rehearse in front of a video camera. Study your posture, the way you make eye contact, and your body language. If you don't have a video camera, a mirror will do. Have a friend do mock interviews with you. The more you repeat a scenario, the more comfortable you will begin to feel with it.
Succeeding on the Interview
Dressing For The Interview
Appearance is very important and whether we like it or not, it is the first thing people notice about us. You should match your dress to employees in the workplace in which you are interviewing and probably take it up a notch. For example, employees wearing suits means prospective employees in suits; employees in dress pants and dress shirts or skirts and blouses means prospective employees should still wear suits. If dress is very casual, those being interviewed should wear dress pants and dress shirts or skirts and blouses. To get a good feel for how people in a particular environment dress, visit the parking lot or loiter in front of the building at the start or end of the workday. Don't choose a Friday, since many offices have “casual Fridays.”
Good grooming is essential. Your hair should be neat and stylish. Your nails should be well manicured and clean. Men's nails should be short. Women's nails should be of a reasonable length and polished in a neutral color. Also for women, makeup shouldn't be heavy. Perfume or cologne should be avoided as some people find certain scents offensive.

Establishing Rapport
Since the interviewer's job is to make sure that not only your skill, but your personality as well, is a good match, you must establish rapport with the person or persons interviewing you. That begins the instant you walk in the door. Let the interviewer set the tone. Nothing is as awkward as offering your hand and having the gesture not returned by the other person. Therefore you should wait for the interviewer to offer his or her hand first, but be ready to offer your hand immediately. Some experts suggest talking at the same rate and tone as the interviewer. For example, if the interviewer is speaking softly, so should you.
Body Language
They say that body language gives more away about us than speech. Eye contact is very important but make sure it looks natural. A smiling, relaxed face is very inviting. Hands resting casually in your lap rather than arms folded across your chest also is more inviting. If you normally move your hands around a lot when you speak, tone it down some. You don't want to look too stiff, but you don't want to look like you're a bundle of nervous energy.
Answering Questions
When it comes down to it, isn't this the main point of the interview? Speak slowly and clearly. I tend to speak very quickly, so this is something I must pay careful attention to when I am on an interview. Pause before you answer a question. Your answers will seem less rehearsed and it will give you a chance to collect your thoughts. Keep in mind that a very brief pause may seem like an eternity to you. It's not.
Prepare answers to some basic questions. There are several books that list questions and sample answers. There are also some online resources that do the same. You can find those listed in the Job Interviewing section. Don't memorize the actual answers but become familiar with how you will answer the questions.

Asking Questions
Usually toward the end of the interviewer, the person conducting it will ask you if you have any questions. You should have some. You should ask about what a typical day would entail. You could also ask what special projects you would be working on. As in every other aspect of the job search, you are trying to show the employer how you can fill their needs. By asking about a typical day on the job or special projects, you are putting yourself in the job and showing the employer how you will satisfy the employer's needs. Don't ask about salary, benefits, or vacations, as those all imply “what will you, the employer, do for me?”
Illegal Questions
We have all heard horror stories of interviewers asking job candidates inappropriate questions, such as those about marital status, age, and family status. These questions should not be asked, but it is up to you whether to answer them. Often, interviewers are not aware of the legal issues involved. If you feel uncomfortable answering them, you can change the subject. If you feel these questions are being asked with intent to discriminate, you can let the employer know you cannot answer. Remember that the employer will probably find some reason not to hire you. Whether you pursue the matter legally is a personal choice. Keep in mind, though, that an unethical employer is not one with whom you want to be affiliated.
Money Questions
Money is a very sensitive topic. As discussed earlier, the candidate shouldn't bring it up. However, the interviewer may bring it up first. He or she may ask what salary you hope to earn. You must prepare for this question before the interview. Find out what others in the same position are earning. Always give a range, not an exact number. This will help keep you from pricing yourself out of a job. You don't want the employer to think they can't afford you, but you also don't want them to think you are a cheap commodity.
After the Interview
Following Up
This is something that is too often neglected. It's the thank you note or follow-up letter. It is your chance to reiterate something you mentioned on the interview or bring up something you forgot to mention. It is also a nice gesture and a simple matter of politeness.
You should try to send a note to each person who took part in your interview. If you don't remember the name of each person, call the receptionist for some help. Keep your note brief. Make sure it is typed. Someone at a workshop once asked me if the thank you note would make you look like you were “kissing up” to the employer. I don't believe so. I do believe that it sets you apart from everyone else who forgot to or chose not to do this.



Ten Myths About Choosing a Career
#4 I should choose a career from a "Best Careers" list

Every year, especially during milestone years, i.e. the beginning of a new decade, there are numerous articles and books that list what "the experts" predict will be "hot jobs." It can't hurt to look at those lists to see if any of the careers on it appeal to you, but you shouldn't use the list to dictate your choice. While the predictions are often based on valid data, sometimes things change. Way too often what is hot this year won't be hot a few years from now. In addition, you need to take into account your interests, values, and skills when choosing an occupation. Just because the outlook for an occupation is good, it doesn't mean that occupation is right for you.

#5 Making a lot of money will make me happy

While salary is important, it isn't the only factor you should look at when choosing a career. Countless surveys have shown that money doesn't necessarily lead to job satisfaction. For many people enjoying what they do at work is much more important. However, you should consider earnings, among other things, when evaluating an occupation.


#6 Once I choose a career I'll be stuck in it forever

Not true. If you are unsatisfied in your career for any reason, you can always change it. You'll be in good company. Many people change careers several times over the course of their lifetimes.

#7 If I change careers my skills will go to waste

Your skills are yours to keep. You can take them from one job to another. You may not use them in the exact same way, but they won't go to waste

#8 If my best friend (or sister, uncle, or neighbor) is happy in a particular field, I will be too

Everyone is different and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another, even if that other person is someone with whom you have a lot in common. If someone you know has a career that interests you, look into it, but be aware of the fact that it may not necessarily be a good fit for you.

#9 All I have to do is pick an occupation... Things will fall into place after that

Choosing an occupation is a great start, but there's a lot more to do after that. A Career Action Plan is a road map that takes you from choosing an occupation to becoming employed in that occupation to reaching your long-term career goals.


#10 There's very little I can do to learn about an occupation without actually working in it

While first hand experience is great, there are other ways to explore an occupation. You can read about it either in print resources or online. You can also interview those working in that field.


http://careerplanning.about.com/od/exploringoccupations/

http://careerplanning.about.com/od/careeractionplan/

http://careerplanning.about.com/library/weekly/aa121202a.htm

http://careerplanning.about.com/od/salarybenefits/

http://careerplanning.about.com/od/selfassessment/

http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/choosingacareer/a/hobby.htm

http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/choosingacareer/a/cp_process.htm
plaid on the road

(no subject)

Today I took my written test and passed. I know have a learner's permit...I underestimated myself. DMVs really should be bigger. 2 floors high, I daresay.

Wow...this is a big deal cuz I didn't think I would pass-I didn't finish the whole damn manual and just skimmed. I was terrified. My dad just springed it on me. Not bad at all. It's reasoning and guessing really.

Jul. 14th, 2004

plaid on the road

(no subject)

I had one of those strange/fun dreams where I'm with a girlfriend and I'm running through my neighbors' houses (and I've never seen these people before) and I am asking everyone if I can take a cigarette. One lady gives me a chocolate one. What the hell? Later my buddy and I race to their attic and jump out onto a HUGE pile of greenish blackish leaves because these golden moth-like things starting swarmning around our faces. I really don't get my dreams.

Jul. 13th, 2004

plaid on the road

(no subject)

I'm going to get a laptop next week. Oh boy...the work that's gonna go into searching for the "right" one.

If there ARE folks who come by this-cause I'm so damn popular...help me out. What's good? Reliable? Easy to handle? Weight really isn't an issue. Apparently, IBM and Toshiba are good.

I've got the last 5 issues of PC World next to me. Don't make me read them.

Jul. 2nd, 2004

plaid on the road

(no subject)

For my own notes-I have to read this something. Boy I don't want to grow up. *Insert whine.

http://www.writersofthefuture.com/

http://www.newsweekeducation.com/myturn2003/myturn.php

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/281.ptml
ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/37.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/4001.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/842.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/2624.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/2721.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/2644.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/1822.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/4282.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/841.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/4062.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/34.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/141.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/701.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/4022.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/focus/story/3770.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

http://fastweb.monster.com/fastweb/content/career_db/index.ptml?ID=3G8091HTRX4N&IDT=1088717817&IDH=FD9A4C7F4A0D4732076ADCB4FEEB96E0

Jul. 1st, 2004

plaid on the road

(no subject)

Jessica Alba is in YM November 2002 issue, on "CopyCat YM" at page 67. And it has a close up picture of her at the Austin Power's premiere.

Here's what it's about:

One Step Beyond Natural
A little makeup goes a long way. BY BETH SHAPOURI

A HINT OF COLOR

Jessica Alba has mastered the soft glow of the I'm-barely-wearing-any-makeup look. Here's how to steal it: Sweep taupe eyeshadow on your lids to the crease, says makeup artist Christien Tinsley. Brush on black mascara and immediately separate your lashes with an eyelash comb so they won't dry into clumps. Then dot black liquid liner right into your upper line--only using a tiny bit so it stays subtle. With your fingers, dab pink cream blush on your cheeks and smooth it around until it's completely blended in . Finish off with soft brown lip gloss.

1. SONIA KASHUK LASH COMB, $5, www.target.com
A little comb that folds so the teeth won't snag on your makeup bag.
2. BOBBI BROWN ESSENTIALS EYE SHADOW IN TAUPE, $18 www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com You can't go wrong with this universal shade.
3. MAYBELLINE WATERPROOF LIQUID EYELINER IN BLACK, $6
Liner that's really hard to sudge once it's dry.
4. COVER GIRL TRIPLE AQUASTAY MASCARA IN BLACK, $5
The thick formula curls and lengthens.
5. NEUTROGENA MOISTURE SHINE GLOSS IN FIRST BLUSH, $6
Makes your lips super shiny without adding a ton of color.

From beach babe to ice queen

Get a baked-in-the-Bahamas glow with warm, neutral tones like bronze, gold and brown. Mimic a sun-kissed look with a bronze luminizer on the apples of your cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin-areas where the sun usually hits. Voila! An instant tan and a fun, game-for-anything vibe! Finish off with shimmery, golden eyes and nude lips.

For an unexpected turnaround, play up Snow White skin with deep plum tones, icy shimmer and dramatic lined eyes. Cool colors from tranquil, snowflake-filled nights will project a vampy, sophisticated aura-perfect for festive nights out when you want an air of mystery setting you apart from the rest of the crowd.

From pompom princess to glam goddess

Bring out the perky cheerleader in you with bubble-gum pinks and fuchsias. Cotton candy shades flatter any skin tone and will work for any age (as long as you pick the right shade). Ultra-feminine pink hues brighten a face and lend young, girlish charm. Use light baby pink for eyes and bright gloss for a flirty pucker. In order not to overdo the pink look, blend some bronzing powder with your blush to tone it down.

Nothing spells w-o-m-a-n more than scarlet lips. A strong lip color shows confidence and brings an opulent quality to any face. Deep red lips are best worn with very light, clean makeup on eyes and cheeks. A light blush, neutral shadow and few coats of mascara are all you need.

From celestial cherub to dark angel

Look heavenly with a natural, no-makeup look using light, pastel colors. Barely-there hues always make you look fresh and carefree. Start off with an eye shadow with subtle silver flecks to open up eyes. Also, never be afraid to use a purple-toned blush-this shade will surprise you with a healthy glow! A brownish-pink lippie completes your angelic transformation.

Even big bike-riding, leather-jacket donning angels (think Jessica Alba and the Lucy-Cameron-Drew trio) have their appeal. For that wicked allure, try smoky eyes and nude, pale lips. The key to dark eyes is the contrast between black and white. Start off with a white base on the entire lid before working with grays and blacks. Use a highlighting pencil on the inner corners of the eyes. Keep focus on your peepers with a neutral blush and pale lips.
plaid on the road

(no subject)

I'm just too damn lazy to write down my thoughts but it is summer time so I don't have many anyway.

Enjoy:

Zen Sarcasm

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me,
for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much
leave me the heck alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a
leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your
neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Sex is like air. It's not important unless you aren't getting any.

5. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be
promoted.

6. No one is listening until you fart.

7. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

8. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

9. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of
car payments.

10. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their
shoes. That way, when you criticize them you're a mile away and you
have their shoes.

11. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to
fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

13. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was
probably worth it.

14. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

15. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

16. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.

17. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes
from bad judgment.

18. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and
put it back in your pocket.

19. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

20. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side,
and it holds the universe together.

21. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

22. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are
moving.

23. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need
it.

24. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

25. We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our
butt...Then things get worse.

26. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a
laxative on the same night.

27. There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

28. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too
seriously.

29. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to
make a big deal about your birthday...around age 11.

30. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

May. 17th, 2004

plaid on the road

I rock.

http://www.potterpuppetpals.com/sexy.swf

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