Leelou Blogs

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Craig's List Scammers - I Am on To You!

A while back I decided I wanted to sell my wedding dress. GASP! I know...While most people I know are very sentimental when it comes to wedding dresses, I decided that I want to remember mine as it was on the day of my wedding rather than see it 20 years from now yellow from time and in a box that cost me $200. And I am pretty sure that my future daughter or daughter-in-law will NOT want to wear this dress, no matter how classic I think it is. Styles change in 20 years and brides will probably be wearing catwoman white suits or wings by then...Who knows??

Also, I would get more joy out of knowing that someone who might not be able to afford this dress at the full price can wear it on her wedding day because she bought it cheaply from me. That seems to me like it makes for a better dress memory than a boxed yellow dress.

Anyhow...the first method I tried was Craigs List. This was clearly a mistake. I have received numerous "inquiries" from people trying to sell the same story: I am not local, I want to get the dress from my daughter/sister who is out of town but the size and cut seem to be a perfect fit; I want to pay through Certified Check and cover the shipping; please give me your address and phone number.

OH PLEASE!! I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to know that this has SCAM written all over it. Who in their right mind would buy a wedding dress from a stranger without seeing it in person? And pay by Certified Check? Who writes those anymore - not to mention that it takes 2 weeks for them to clear so I presume the idea is that once I get the check, they want the dress shipped. By the time I would realize the check won't clear, it would be too late.

So of course, I reply politely that I only deal with locals (which, btw is part of my ad) and that I can only do cash or PayPal transactions. Sure enough, I never hear back from them.

So imagine this - a group of people sitting around in a stinky basement sending such messages to people trying to sell stuff on Craigs List and trying to make an easy buck. PEOPLE, GET A REAL JOB, go to school or do something productive...and maybe LEGAL!

Following this experience, I decided my wedding dress will be sold on a website that might cost me $25 but at least I have a guarantee that I won't have to waste my time and energy with these losers....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Welcome to August, Virginia! What am I saying? Really, this whole summer has felt like August - hot and humid. And of course, we have the mandatory afternoon summer thunderstorms. Last week, the Thursday night thunderstorm broke a huge tree in our neighborhood, which took down an electric pole - with wires and all. The result? No power for half of the neighborhood from Thursday to Saturday night. Which half, you ask? Our half, of course.
What I missed the most was not the TV, Internet, or AC - but the fridge. When it is 82 degrees in your home, you really want a cold glass of water. But of course, tap had to do. We endured the heat for one night after which we migrated to our sister-in-law's house who was gracious enough to host us (her baby girl Leela kept us well entertained). These days without power really made me appreciate all the things that I normally take for granted: walking into my cool home, turning on the lights, TV/laptop, using our landline phone, and eating ice cream out of our freezer. It is hard to live without these things when you are simply addicted to them.
Other, more positive highlights of our summer include: the arrival of our first niece and Goddaughter, beautiful baby Leela, hosting guests from Austria/Romania, remodeling our master bathroom, attending a great wedding in the Duck, NC, hanging out with friends, enjoying produce from our garden and - of course - next weekend is our fourth annual Asssateague Island camping trip.
Happy Dog Days of summer everyone - and stay cool!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Baaaack!

Happy summer! Only a few days till the "official" summer starts, but Jason and I have already enjoyed our summer vacation. We just returned from a long-awaited visit to Sibiu, Romania (with a detour through Hungary). It's been 3 years since I went home to Romania and this trip was everything we had wished for - and more.

We started our stay with a traditional Romanian wedding of a friend. 12 hours later we had eaten 5 courses, danced traditional Romanian dances and drank our fare share in celebration of the newly-weds.

We spent lots of quality time with my family - had grilling parties and a 3-day-stay at a cabin in the mountains. We ate everything under the sun, which in all honesty is usual for us:). We savored a lot of home-made dishes like sour soups, grilled meats and fresh salads, roasted potatoes with lots of mujdei, a garlic paste that is a specialty of my cousin Cristina; home made cakes and pastries; and in town we ate (almost daily) ice cream and crepes. All this was washed down with home-made wine from my grandma. A nice, semi-dry red with a wonderful aroma. Jason drank his weight in Tuica - he is a man's man. Hey, when in Romania, do like the Romanians, right?

We also took a 3 day trip to Budapest, Hungary with my mom and had a wonderful time. Jason treated us to a nice stay at a gorgeous Marriott on the Danube and we toured the city and ate our way through it (Gulash is a must, as well as kurtos kalacs, a delish pastry). I highly recommend visiting Budapest, I was very impressed. I also highly recommend visiting my home town, Sibiu, which has become a wonderful, beautiful place that has a lot of festivals going on during the summer.

Now that we are back in town, we return to work and our daily life. We have a few short trips planned for the summer including a 4th of July at our favorite location: Nancy and Bob's in the Northern Neck; a wedding which is expected to be fabulous in the Outer Banks and our fourth annual Assateague Island camping trip.

I also will be travelling a bit for work - next stop: Austin, Texas. Should be fun and I will def. have some BBQ and TexMex.

Here's to a fabulous summer for all!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food Revolution

My new obsession is Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution. I didn't know him very well before the show started, just bits and pieces. But after reading up on what he was able to accomplish in the UK, I was thrilled to hear that he was taking an interest in making a positive change in the US. God knows this country needs it - and not to mention how shameful it is that we need a Brit to come get things stirred up.

One of the most shocking things to me about the show was what kids eat at school. Having grown up in Romania, I was only in the US public school system for one year as a senior in high school and I knew how to make good choices for myself. Even so, I gained 13 pounds in one year. I know this was not ONLY due to the school lunches, but I am sure they played a part. When I see middle-schoolers who are obese and eat pizza for breakfast, it breaks my heart. What future are we setting them up for?

This is the first generation that is predicted to have a shorter life span than their parents. This is the 21st century, can't we do better than that in a developed country like the United States? No, dear USDA, french fries do not count as a serving of VEGETABLES!

I strongly support Jamie Oliver and all those who are FOR this Food Revolution, including First Lady Michelle Obama. We need to do better for our kids and ourselves - and in the process other benefits will follow, such as treating our planet better.

Today I found out that Jamie Oliver MIGHT be opening a Food Revolution kitchen in Washington DC in Penn Quarter. Right now it is just a rumour, but here you go: http://pqliving.com/?p=8343.
Here's to Jamie and to all those who want to make a difference in children's lives! Sign Jamie's petition here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution/petition.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Today we celebrate Earth Day and the goodness of what is Mother Nature. It is in fact the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a celebration that is designed to inspire awareness and appreciation of the Earth's environment. Today it is important to remember that what we have and enjoy today is what we want to pass on to our children.
I will not get preachy but I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you to educate yourself, your kids, your family and friends about the importance of being conscious of your every day actions. It's easy! Recycle, unplug things in your house that you are not using, reuse things as much as possible, buy local products, drive less. All these things make a huge difference.

Also, take the time to send this educational Earth Day ecard from Make an Impact. Make an Impact is my new project at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change where I work, focused on educating individuals about the actions they can take to make a positive difference for our Planet.

Happy Earth Day everyone and thanks for making your impact today and every day!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Week Away

And by that, I don't mean vacation only. Last weekend Jason and I were in Florida for Todd and Megan's wedding. It was a lot of fun, because the Burkett cousins are awesome. We love visiting with them and hanging out.

The fun weekend was followed by the Pew Center conference that I have been working on for the past 6 months. It was great to see all that work come to fruition. It went really well, without a flaw really. It was incredible.

While in Chicago I also visited two friends: Kate from 'Cuse and Anca, a former high school classmate from Romania. It was so much fun to see both and catch up.

Now, I am home and it is time to plant our garden, so I think that is what we are doing this weekend.

I also want to send a shout out to Lynn and Eric on their anniversary - congratulations and to many many more years ahead.

Friday, March 26, 2010

OMG, the Government's Invading Our Lives. Damned Socialists!

This is so brillian and funny, I had to post. Thanks to a friend on Facebook.

"This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV ...to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory. I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to send via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on http://www.facebook.com/l/d9770;freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right."

Get a grip people!