(parenthetically speaking)

a random gal’s random thoughts about nothing and everything in general

Snow Day March 2, 2009

It snowed in Atlanta today. Lots. We’re talking accumulation here, people. snowy-atlanta

Snow reminds me of my childhood. Well, part of my childhood. When we lived in Pennsylvania. I was probably around 7 or 8. We lived in a small house at the top of a hill out away from the city (our address was Route 1). It was an idyllic little spot next door to a hay field (where we’d fly kites) and not far from a friend’s farm (they gave us a baby pig as a pet). In winter, we’d slide down our driveway on cookie sheets and use the shell of an old VW Bug as our fort during snowball fights. We’d eat cupfuls of fresh snow with chocolate syrup poured on top.

snowy-day-wmanman2

Man-Man checks out the snowy scene from the safety of the screened porch.

Snow’s fun when you’re a kid. As an adult, not so much. Sure, there are times when as a grownup snow is great. Like when you’re going skiing. Or it’s Sunday and you just want to snuggle up by the fire and eat chili and read a good book. It’s when you have to get out and drive in it that it becomes a problem. Or maybe that’s just because, since I was old enough to drive, I’ve never lived in a place where the drivers had any idea how to content with ice and snow. Like today, I heard siren after siren, the emergency vehicles whizzing to and fro to rescue Atlantans who don’t realize that when it comes to weather like this, the motto is, “With snow, go slow.”

Lucky for me, I don’t have to commute to work braving treacherous roadways packed with people who don’t have the slightest clue about how to drive in wintery conditions. I don’t have to bundle up in a coat, hat, gloves, and a scarf. I don’t have to scrap the ice and snow off my car and wait for the windows to defrost. I simply walk from one side of the house to the other, turn on my computer, and, voila, I’m ready to go.

Yup, snow’s great for kids. And the self-employed.

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To Shred Or Not To Shred, That is the Question February 21, 2009

Off the top of my head, I know I have at least four of them: bins scattered around my house that are full of papers that need to be shredded. They’re not all just my papers, but a combination of mine and my mother’s (all her mail comes to me). Which doubles the amount of credit card offers, old bills, and other crap that needs to be shredded to avoid any chance of identity theft. paper-shredder

Truth be told, I’m probably overly cautious about what does and doesn’t need to be shredded. But I figure if there’s any question whatsoever, then it’s probably safer to err on the side of caution. Because while the thought of someone stealing my possessions—like my TV, my digital camera, my jewelry (not that I have any), or even my car—is frightening, the thought of someone stealing my identity is absolutely horrifying. Talk about feeling violated! I can’t even imagine what it would be like to know someone is out there pretending to be me—even if it’s just in name in order to charge up my credit cards. Then there’s the monster hassle of having to cancel and replace everything, and repair any damage they may have done to the good credit score it took so long to build up.

So at least twice a week, as I go through the latest stack of mail, I sit there and contemplate, “Should I shred this one or not?” And the to-be-shredded pile just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

It wouldn’t be so bad if shredding wasn’t such a pain. But the cheapest shredders only take one or two pieces of paper at a time, plus the bin fills up so fast that you have to stop every so often to empty it, inevitably getting a handful of errant shreddings all over the place (especially if you have a cat who thinks they’re fun to play in). Shredding might not be so bad if you could sit there and watch TV while you were doing it, but the darn things are so loud that you have to crank up the volume on your TV so high that, at least for me, it takes the enjoyment out of it (I’m not keen on loud noises).

The other thing that gets me about shredding is that it’s just another reminder of how wasteful our society is. As I’m doing it, I always feel a little angry about all the trees that died in vein for something I didn’t even want in the first place and which I then have to take time out of my day to dispose of.

At this point, my to-be-shredded pile is so huge that I might have to call in the pros, with their high-speed, high-capacity manglers, to do it for me. The ironic thing is that once they’re done, they’ll no doubt send me an invoice—which I’ll just have to add to the shredding pile a month or two down the road.