Just Press the Easy Button

Just when I thought I was going to blow my brains out from just DAY 1 of home study, I receive a box from my girlfriend Terri and it had just the right thing in it to save me from redecorating my office with brain matter...I got an Easy Button. What a difference it makes! The commercial is right on with this one. One minute I'm sitting there at my desk reading another package insert, contemplating the best angle to guarantee immediate, yet final carnage when I decide to check the mail as a temporary diversion. Low and behold - an Easy Button! Well, that should take care of all my problems.

Back at my desk, I place my Easy Button in front of the computer monitor, log in to the exam website, and press the button - "That's Easy" it says. Okay. I start taking the exam. Why am I fussing over this thing. I was just told it was easy and the damn test is open book. I get through an exam that says will take 1 hour and 30 minutes in under 40 minutes. WHAM! I got a 97. WOO HOO. I press the button again - "That's Easy!"

If you don't have one - you gotta get one. Look Ma - no hands. "That's Easy"

Thank You Terri for the wonderful and fun gift. You made my day.


4 Days Old

So, I'm now a 4 day old baby at Schering-Plough and my brain is looking like that commercial - "This is your brain...This is your brain on drugs." Here it is for your review...

Hell, I feel like the information came straight through a fire hose. But it is all good. I haven't had this much fun and enjoyed myself at work (as well as the people around me) IN FOREVER! I have met and will be working with some of the brightest, interesting, and fun people. Just in my group we have
  • A physician who still holds an academic position in TX
  • An RN who lived in Saudia Arabia with her husband who was a pilot for a Saudi prince and she also taught Business English in Thailand
  • A woman who was in hospital sales for 21 years with the same company before they gave her the "bend over and take it dry treatment"
  • MBA's, PhD's, Black Belts, 45 year old snowboarders and a woman who rescues Boxers (Terri - I thought you would love this woman)
  • And then there is just ordinary ME!

I know these things have nothing to do with work but they are some of the most interesting people that I've met in a long time. Most of the people I was working with at Pfizer were brain dead and/or useless, self-serving, backstabbing, CYA-ers. It was so refreshing. Even more interesting were the Regional & National Directors that were SOOOOO young. I looked at one of the National Directors for Hospital Systems and thought he looked right out of college. It was nice to see young people in leadership positions. One drawback is that Schering is pretty Lilly white - at least at the Managers Meeting. I was sitting in the room with our group and was wondering if anybody else noticed that I was the only "Colored Girl" in the room. I don't think so. We went to a Hospital Division Meeting and out of approximately 85 in the room - only two. Not much different from Pfizer in that respect.

I have a week of home training (while they finish getting us on payroll and "on-boarded") and then off to formal training the 1st two weeks in February. Gotta mail my Separation Information in and call HR to tell them I'll be official next week with another company and SEND ME MY DAMN CHECK. I don't want to hear that bullsh*$ that the check is in the mail. FEDEX it damn it. They use FedEx for everything else. Oops. I digress.

Let me share with everyone so more travel drama that only can happen to The DIVA....I'm on the plane from LAX to Denver minding my own business when this homely lady sits down next to me and VIOLATED A TRAVEL RULE!!!! - DON'T BRING SMELLY FOOD ON THE PLANE. For cryin' out loud woman - did you have to get the sandwich that was mostly made of onions and some spicy smelling dressing. JESUS, please. She proceed to consume the thing before takeoff and I wanted to say so bad "If you don't shut the lid on that thing, I'm gonna hurl all over it and in your lap." This time I just turned to the windowand practically press my face up against it in hopes that some fresh air is coming thru the cracks. She didn't get the hint when I turned on all the air vents above us - just looked at me puzzled with her mouth full. STOP the MADNESS. So, I managed to doze off and we arrive in Denver (the plan is not delayed - YEAH) and I hustle to the bathroom. I pick the large stall since I have my industrial size Franklin Planner Purse/Luggage and a carry-on. I get everything situated in the stall and proceed with the hover maneuver -

  • engage thigh muscles, assume the squat position
  • look down and make sure you got the right angle (don't want to miss and hit your shoes)
  • hold your undies out of the way (you can't pull 'em all the way down, I don't know where the floor has been- and you don't want to miss on those either)
  • proceed with the extraction of fluids

Just as I was about to let the fluid go, this lady practically kicks in the door to my stall and stands there. She had to go BAD and was now in a quandary. I look up, startled yet calm, and say "can you give me a minute?" She backs out of the stall (leaving the door open - it's really tough when your in hover position to also close the door without starting again) and goes her merry way to another stall. No apology. No nothing. What is a Diva to do? I manage to recover and we board the plane to BWI. Once again, I am in the middle seat of the last row of the plane. I've got my NON-OFFENSIVE plain garden salad and water in my lap, trying to mediate and calm my nerves since I'm not in 1st Class and I don't have $5 dollars to buy a drink. I look up and there is this young girl with a 8 month old baby who is going to sit right next to me. OH LORD, PLEASE JUST KILL ME NOW! We start the take-off and what does this baby do? SCREAM at the top of her cute little lungs for the next hour. At this point, I'm practically hyperventilating - trying to drum up some empathy again - and its not working. I snatch my iPod headset out of my purse and turn the volume up so high that I was sure my eardrums were gonna explode. At least I could not hear the screaming. I would have KILLED someone for a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. Travel Tip: Don't leave home without them.

I'm back home safe and sound and trudging through 100 emails and snail mail. Whew!



BWI airport on a Sunday evening for a flight to LAX to gein my new journey at Schering. At least to attend the National Managers Meeting even though I'm not officially in the system (rather - on payroll) yet. They are still waiting for my DD 214 to clear the military and for me to hand over my passport for inspection. For crying out loud people, really, I am who I said I was and did what I said I've done. I really AM beautiful but could KILL you. PROMISE. Anyway, Ron drops me off at the airpot at 5 pm for my 6:30 flight, I get in the check in line and what is flashing on the screen: DELAYED until 9:30 pm. That mean waiting 3 hours in the airport for my flight to leave. This is a great beginning to my new job. Gonna miss that dinner in LA. I get down to my gate and there are no seats - the Chicago flight is delayed and everyone is watching the Chicago and whoever game on TV in the bar. I sucked it up and spent 7000 United frequent flyer miles for a day pass in the United Airline Club (forgot what they call it)

So I hang out, play on the computer, watch the game (kinda), eat the free snacks, drink the free soda and wait for the plane. It arrives at 9:20 (so much for the 9:30 take off) and we hustle onto the plane. IT IS PACKED. Not an empty seat and I get the window seat in the last row of the plane. HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY. I hunker down for some shut eye, wake up for the food I had to buy, try and watch the movie (All The Kings Men) which was just WAY to heavy of material for a plane flight, fell asleep again and woke up just in time for the last hour of intense turbulance as we make our approach to LA.

In the row across from us, I notice that the middle girl pulls out the airsick back and I immediatly have flash backs to my recent airsick incident (AKA - my exocist moment). She managed to warn everyone in the last row that if the plane does not immediately land or stop shaking - she's gonna blow. Just at the pilot makes a nose dive for the deck, she BLOWS. Oh Man! You just never get used to that sound. I mustered all the empathy I could, put back on my iPod despite the NO TECHNOLOGY WARNING (and the plane did not crash) and looked out the window.

We landed at LAX at 12:30 am West Coast Time (3:30 am EC), it took an hour for the luggage to get the belt, 30 min to get the the hotel. I finally put my head down at 2:30 am with a wake up call for 6:00am. Thank God for a Heavenly Bed.

I've gotta run for a group dinner, but I'll be back with some observations of Day 1 & 2 on the newly re-employed diva.


Random Musings

Possession is 9/10th of the Law -
Well we went to court this week to finalize the guardianship of Cara and of course the judge awarded full guardianship. Who wouldn't? Lap of Luxury vs. Cedar Lane Motel. Private School Education vs. Tough Streets Academy. What that means; however, is that I've got 16 MORE YEARS with another rug rat. Just when I thought I was done. Erin is up an out. Jordan has 3 more years and then Ron and I were on the fast track of empty nesting. WOO HOO! Not so fast, says the spider to the fly. So, here we are at 41 years old having to repurchase car seats, diaper bags, sippy cups and the like. NO JUSTICE - NO PEACE...and my criminal, sociopathic sister just thinks that having babies for someone else to care for is just the way it is.

I can bitch and moan about it or I can just get on with it and make that diaper bag a Gucci one. I shall continue to be relentless and let no obstacle or setback get in the way of a noteworth goal - nails, shopping, hair, spa.
Nervous Breakdown-The Diva Way
On Wednesday, right after court, I get a call from my soon to be new boss saying that they are going to provisionally okay my "onboarding" with Schering since the Army need 6-8 weeks to verify my DD214. I suppose that is reasonable, since they are a little tied up with selecting 20K more troops to go to Iraq. Since I managed to pass all other checks: credit, medical, background - they figured I will probably check out okay. The Army probably needs the time to see if they need a fat 40 year old to do a stint over in Iraq and if there is anyway they can reinstate me. HA! If that happens, you best get on your knees and start praying. They day they need a plump diva to defend the country is a definite sign we are in BIG TROUBLE.
Once the "onboarding" decision is made, it was a whirlwind of phone calls, forms and faxes in order to get me ready to go to a National Managers Meeting as my first day of work. Enterprise Rental until my company car is delivered, arranging delivery of my 2007 Ford 500, New computer, voice mail, direct deposit, employee number, corporate travel arrangements AND BY GOD - what in the world am I gonna wear to this meeting since I'm still plump. To top it off, we had a 8am Teleconference to go over some minute details and to discuss our 15 minute presentation on "Who You Are." I do not have time to censor myself. I start getting really agitated, breathing all hard and what not and in the middle of the kitchen start screaming about how I think this going back to work thing is a BIG mistake. WORK is a four letter word. Do I really want to do this? NO. Could we use the money? SORTA. DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN.
Ron, once again, tries to solve my latest emotional crisis with words of wisdom from some book and if laser beams really came out of my eyes, he would have been a bloody mess. Why can't he just be quite at these moments and let me rant and rave for about 5 minutes, get it out of my system and after its all over, just say "I understand." NOOOOOOO. I gotta get a message from the Tony Robbins wanna be. You gotta love him for trying.
This video below (stole the idea from my girlfriend's blog) pretty much sums up what I feel: Despite all the drama...
I'm Gonna Make it After All


There are Vagrants Everywhere...

...and other Lisaness Travel Incidents:

There are Vagrants Everywhere...
Sometimes when I out on my adventures, I tend to get oblivious to my safety surroundings and just wander with this attitude of awe and wonder and a bit of "What? I don't belong here? Why?" That bit of I can go anywhere I want, touch anything I want, do anything I want where ever I go, tends to get me in a bit of trouble (on occasion). Luckily, I rarely travel alone which is usually how I get saved from myself. One evening after dinner in Dominica, I decided I wanted to go for a walk in the opposite direction of town (since I've been there done that) and perhaps get a close look of the shore line under the mountains. We are walking along and are beginning to get in this residential district when we are stopped by one of the locals. He asks in a very kind, gentle manner - "Where are you trying to go to?" The conversation goes like this:
Lisa: "Oh, we are just walking and looking around."
Local: "Well, miss, you really would have a better time in town, see the shops, the bay."
Lisa: "I've already see all that, I want to go this way" Pointing down the road
Local: "Pretty Lady, you really want to go in town."
Ron: "Yeah, Lisa, lets go back in town."
Lisa, pouting: "I've already been there."
Local: Sir, there are vagrants everywhere."
Ron, guiding me back up the hill: "Thanks for the time man."
Lisa, pouting again: "Okay, but I'm really disappointed."

We relate this story to our host later that evening and he tells me that I just have a sign on my back saying "Rob me, please." What do I know.

Shock & Awe..(or maybe just downright disgust)
Monday afternoon, after getting back from my hike, Ron and I go back into town to pick up a few souvenirs. We are standing at this craft booth (AKA: tourist trap) looking at this cute little dress made in China but "from Dominica" when a homeless man with no legs in a wheel chair, wheels up behind me and starts saying something in Franglish. When he doesn't capture my attention, he rears up on his stumps, whip out his wee-wee and proceeds to piss in my general direction. Ron has to snatch me out of the back splash area. It was unbelievable. After he waters down an entire block of the street (I didn't know that such a small instrument could produce so much pee), he says to me "Lady, give me" GIVE YOU WHAT? You piss in my general direction, almost splash my bare skin (the very thought make me want to hurl) with local pee AND you want me to give you something. WOW!

Travel Dont's That Everyone Should Adopt:
1. Body Odor. You should always travel with your armpits enclosed in a shirt, no matter how hot it is. Especially me. NOBODY wants a birds eye view of a man's hairy armpits when putting your luggage in the overhead bin - EVER. It's disgusting and no matter how much deodorant you put on, that hair abomination is going to smell after a few hours of air travel.
2. Personal space - don't violate it. DON'T lean over into my seat. DON'T try to look out my window from the aisle seat. DON'T fall asleep on me - my shoulder is not your pillow unless you are married to me and then I'll have to think about it. Short, small bursts of conversation - me and my book, iPod, video machine are going to become one - I don't want to chit chat the entire trip. There's more personal space violations but this could go on forever.
3. Eating - Don't smack your gum on the plane, don't suck your teeth (Ron does it and it drives me insane). Don't bring smelly food (tuna fish sandwich, Chinese food, the local delicacy - spices and all) on the plane - unless of course you would like for me to use the airsick back and pass it your way. DO bring gum - YES your breath stinks after eating a bag of Doritos and falling asleep.

These are just a few violations I've experienced on my recent trip. I keep you posted on other Travel Violations as the year progresses. We are hanging out in the Puerto Rico airport waiting for our connection. Check ya later.


Middleham Falls Hike-Dominica

Today I took a hike up to Middleham Falls. It was beautiful. I'm just tuckered out so enjoy the pictures.


Lazy Sunday in Dominica

It was a beautiful Sunday. We went to a Methodist Church for Sunday Service. It was very nice; however, I did not know how rigid and ritualistic a Methodist Church could be compare to how I'm used to worshiping. Just as an example, here is an excerpt from the preface of The Prayer Book of the Methodist Church...

..."for use in the Methodist Church in the Caribbean & the Americas will hopefully help to arrest current tendencies toward disorder in Methodist worship. It will please God, restore the proper balance between joyful spontaneity and holy decorum which was once the hallmark on piety among people called Methodists."

So there you have it. Whatever...it was a nice service, but it wouldn't become my Church home. Also, there was a bug problem. The church had cockroaches SOOOOO big that I was sure the antenna's on the damn thing could tune into XM satellite radio. I swore I heard XM Comedy Central tuning in.

I then went to lunch with Ron and his business partners and after lunch we changed clothes and embarked on a tour of the island. If you think driving in a NYC taxi cab is a harrowing experience, then try driving with someone from the island on one of these mountain roads. It was the longest and scariest roller coaster ride I have ever been on. My life flashed before my eyes on numerous occasions and I thought for sure that we were going to take out any number of indigenous life forms. You could here me yelling at Ellerton - "Chicken!" "Oh, my God - Goat"!, "Watch out, Person!", "Damn, you almost hit that dog". He just laughed, dodged and weaved, honked his horn and kept on going.

We were slowed down on our journey when we caught up to the local jungle Ice Cream Man. Go figure. Guess ya gotta have some Good Humor Ice Cream where ever you are in the world.

We went to visit the Carib Indian Reservation. Descendants of the original Island Cribs live on 3,700 acres in the Carib Territory. Dominica is one of the few places where these Indigenous people have survived. Apparently, Dominica was the last island to be colonized because the Carib "kicked butt" and beat invaders back on a regular basis. Did you know that the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest" was filmed here? Well now you do.

We stopped along the way to look at some of the local art work and crafts. They make wonderful baskets and I picked up two.

Unbeknownst to me, we were also on our way to pick up the site planners from the airport and I got a tad bit bummed. I did not want to wait at the airport for more of Ron business. I realized that I should have made plans for myself, because now the day was getting away from me and I was going to have to spend the rest of it waiting in the airport. Not my idea of a relaxing getaway. Ron picked up on my frustration and arranged for a cab back to the hotel - which would take 45 min. We arrived back at the hotel just in time to watch the sunset and a cruise ship pull out of the berth right outside our hotel.

Tomorrow, I'm off on my own while Ron and his partner make presentations to various government officials. I'm going on a hike to Middleham Falls and perhaps throw in massage.
Ovwa (Antillean Creole for - Goodbye). At least until tomorrow or so.


Cooties in the Carribean

The Steptoe's just can't go anywhere without drama tagging along for the ride.

We leave for a trip (business for Ron, relaxation for me) to the island of Dominica on Friday morning and it seems like this is going to an uneventful trip. However, about an hour into the flight to Puerto Rico, I started experiencing a little GI disturbance. Of course, the woman sitting next to me was like a bag lady for San Juan. She didn't put any of her gear in the overhead compartment, so she was in her seat with a heavy coat on her lap, a backpack under her feet, a purse under MY chair, a soda and cup in her hands. GET UP NOW! I thought I was going to die waiting for her to get situated again so I could be ill in the privacy of an airplane bathroom. Just when I thought Ron would send the flight attendant to rescue me, I emerged feeling queasy and looking like Casper. Although I'm not Catholic, I spent the rest of the time rocking back and forth saying a few rosaries and Hail Mary's - it worked for my girlfriend Terri when I tortured her at a Spin Class.

We landed in Puerto Rico and I felt like death warmed over. Having some foresight, I took a couple of airsick bags with me off the plane - just in case. I just didn't feel right. I stumbled off the plan and trailed behind Ron who was making haste for the Admirals Club in hopes of getting some help for me. Just outside the Admirals club, I started breaking out in a perfuse sweat - the know precursor to hurling - and loose my cookies. It was DEFINITELY NOT a Diva Moment. I did the best I could to maintain Diva Dignity with not a drop missing the airsick bag or getting on anything else. I did all of this wearing 3" heels and a dress. Ron was kind enough - or understood that this was not a proud Diva Moment - to shield e from the eyes of other travelers as I lean against the wall and hurl into a white bag. Spare me, Oh Lord. Once the main event had passed, he hustled me into the Admirals Club, where everyone was very kind and helpful. The bar tender assured me that the "tummy tody" he would make me would make me right as rain. What the hell did he know. It was kinda gross tasting but I did feel a little better. It was not to last. They even brought me a wheel chair to take me to our connecting gate. Turns out that chair was a blessing in disguise as it was a damn long way to gate 1. Whew!

We boarded the plan to Dominica and I resumed my praying. Hail Mary, Mother of God...I don't know the rest so I just reverted back to...Lord Jesus hear my prayers. I was hoping the direct line to God would work. God was busy at the time with more pressing matters - world hunger, war, Darfur - stuff like that - He'd get back to me real soon, so two hours and two more airsick bags later, we finally landed. KILL ME NOW! Well, it's over, RIGHT? What more could happen to us/me. Why haven't I learned NOT to ask that question.
We get the rental car an due to my barely settled stomach, decide to take the scenic (long) route to the hotel vs. going overland thru/over mountains on unpaved roads. Thus we make our way around the entire island, driving like a bat out of hell when all of sudden we gt a flat tire. You've got to be kidding. Lisa, your not in Kansas anymore.
We get our flat tire out in the middle of nowhere, with just 2 cynderblock shacks up on the hill, blasting explicit rap music. It was surreal. Some guy come out of the jungle (you can't really call it woods) and offer to help. Ron jumps at the chance for help cause he didn't want to get dirty and asks our host, Ellerton how much we should give him. $50? Ellerton tells Ron he's crazy and for $10, Ellerton would do it himself. The rasta guy gets the donut on and Ron gives him $20. Anything was worth it to Ron as long as he didn't have to do any manual labor. While I am waiting for the tire to be changed and our replacement care to arrive, I watch a couple of the locals come out of the cynderblock houses.
One guy scooped up a dead cat and threw it into the jungle. Okay. Then two others went out to mess with a dog they had chained up in the yard. The dog was just trying to eat and they were antagonizing it. I was like "HEY, STOP IT." They ignored me and continue hitting at the dog. Finally, I said to the dog "BITE EM." Ron looks at me like I'm crazy and tells me to leave the natives alone before I end up like the cat - thrown in the jungle. Wow. We get the tire changed and just hang on the side of the road waiting for another car, when a taxi van pulls up. Out jumps this guy that had to be 3 sheet to the wind drunk and carrying a beer in his hands. He taunted us about needing a ride and that "it don't look like you got much choice" Hell no! I'd rather sit here with the dog and cat torturers then get in the cab with a drunk guy on these roads. Ten minutes later, the car arrives and we are back on our way. It was allegedly a very beautiful ride and awesome sunset. I missed it all - I passed out in a sick stupor and woke up only when we pulled up to the hotel.
We arrive at the hotel at 7pm. A total agonizing travel time of 14 hours. We got settled in the hotel which is very nice, ordered some soup from room service and passed out, praying that tomorrow would be a better day.
Woke up feeling like myself again and now we are off and running to a breakfast business meeting and a tour of the island and land site where the resort will be built. Stay tuned for more adventures - DRAMA IN DOMINICA.


Repo'd - The Pfizer Way

The past two days have been a whirlwind of repossessions. Computer, SecurID, Corporate Amex, Corporate ID badge, Infocus machine, CAR, etc. etc. I suppose this means that I am officially a Pfizer has-been if I have had all of my official equipment repossessed - uh, I mean collected. Pfizer, in their infinite wisdom, decided that it would be too stressful and would distract from the mission of acheiving 23.9 Billion again in 2007 (23.9, 24/7) if they had the retained managers check out the kicked to the curb managers. Whatever. Pfizer hired a couple of differend companies and subcontracted the dirty work out...so, this rather nice lady comes over yesterday to collect all of my permanent equipment (computer, printer, IPAQ, ID cards, Amex). She was very quiet and polite and touched everything as if it was made of gold OR as if I would smack her silly if she messed up anything. She did her deed, made me sign a million copies of stuff, and carried it all out to her car herself...as if I was going to help her. I did open the door.

Tonight, a really gregarious guy with a tow truck pulls up to the house, stands in the middle of the driveway and says "Wow, this place is like a castle. My apartment would fit in one of your garages. Doesn't look like this layoff is hurting you much." and then proceed to jack my Chrysler Concord Company Car onto the tow truck. "No need to sign anything, ma'am. Have a great night."

And there you have it. I have so much space in my office now I'm thinking of redecorating - well, at least putting some paint on the walls. We will see. We have our "Official Notification" conference call on the 17th. Stay tuned.

The Lost Dr. Seuss Poem

I always get a kick out of reading this poem - especially lately in light of Pharmageddon at Pfizer...

I Love My Job!
I love my job. I love the pay!
I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss, he is the best!
I love his boss and all the rest.
I love my office and its location. I hate to have to go on vacation.
I love my furniture, drab and grey, and piles of paper that grow each day!
I think my job is really swell, there's nothing else I love so well.
I love to work among my peers, I love their leers and jeers and sneers.
I love my computer and its software; I hug it often though it won't care.
I love each program and every file, I'd love them more if they worked a while.
I'm happy to be here. I am. I am.
I'm the happiest slave of the Firm, I am.
I love this work. I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.
I love my job- I'll say it again - I even love those friendly men.
Those friendly men who've come today, in clean white coats to take me away!!!!


The Death of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain
  • Why the early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn't always fair and;
  • Maybe it was my fault

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6 year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Calpol, sun lotion or a band-aid to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility, and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm a Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Just some food for thought.



   Black Knights,

        I just walked in the door, coming home from an evening of interviewing candidates for a nomination to one of the service academies for Congressman Elijah Cummings. I just don't think I can do justice to expressing my sheer disgust and disappointment in the fact that out of 12 candidates from District 7 that we interviewed tonight (..and the 10 more I have to go thru on Saturday), than NOT ONE from Baltimore, District 7 was a diverse candidate.  I sat there tonight, interviewing kids who were mostly ambivalent about going to an academy, had no idea what they wanted to do after they graduated....

  • "I want to focus on business/economics." What kind of freakin' answer is that?
  • "My first choice and only choice is the Naval Academy and I want to go special forces." Did you know that the Navy doesn't have a Special Forces?

 had no plan B, where not interested in anything else but one Academy or even thought of ROTC.  All of these kids were bright, good grades, above avg SAT scores, but only 1 or 2 made you go WOW. WHERE ARE THE DIVERSE CANDIDATES?!!!! There have got to be some diverse kids (I don't care if they are Native American, Black, Asian, WHATEVER!) Where are they? Why are we not attracting these kids?

You know who's fault it is? It's partly our collective fault - EACH ONE GET ONE!!!! It's partly WP fault - obviously we are doing a DISMAL job of advertising and getting the word out in the communities where the MAJORITY of our soldiers come from. It's partly the Dept of Admissions fault - why did Congressman Cummings staffer tell me that they could only get someone from NAVY to do their school visits. NO ONE from WooPoo came to any of the schools in his district last year.  We have got to beat the bushes; we must start grassroots; and we need MORE PEOPLE doing it. 

I will continue to do my part - whatever it takes and I've committed to Congressman Cummings to help him with his school visits if Ron and I have to go ourselves. I ask everyone else to reach out to Admissions and Project Outreach and put these guys to work. Force the Academy to increase the budget so they can go more places or if you have money that you are giving to the Academy, don't let it go into the general fund - DESIGNATE it for Project Outreach. I don't know if that is even possible, but its worth a try. The Academy won't change unless we scream loud enough with some dollars to back it up.

Okay, I had my hissy fit. You can blast me if you'd like, I've ranted on with my .02, so bring it on.
Thank You for letting me get off a little steam.

Go Army,

Lisa Steptoe, '87

Chair, Communications Committee

AOG Diversity Leadership Council


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A Tribute to My Friend

My best friend in the whole world lost her husband to cancer on New Years Day. My heart just breaks for her loss. I know how much Floyd loved Pattey - it is so wonderful to be married to your best friend. I just can't even imagine losing Ron - who else in the world would love me the way that he does. I am unable to be with my friend at this moment, so I put together this video slide show as my tribute to Floyd and out of love my my best friend Pattey.
The eyes are on the sparrow...