Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day at the Races

So for those of you that don’t know, I’m joining the San Diego Junior League this year. It’s a philanthropic group for women which allows members to get involved in the community through volunteer work, raising money for non-profit organizations, and training in various areas of self-development such as leadership, public relations, event planning, advocacy, finance, community research, and more. I’m looking forward to getting started soon, but meanwhile, I just attended my first league function yesterday – the annual JL Day at the Races (at the Del Mar racetrack, open during summertime every year).

I had a fabulous time – I met a lot of great like-minded women, had some lovely food and lots of champagne, donned my snazziest race day outfit, (complete with the fabulous hat and matching shoes), and actually did quite well betting on horses. My highly scientific method of choosing horses based upon their names, and whether or not it had a personal relation to me (Redneck Girl won the first race and I chose her to win!), seemed to work. I think, in the end, I just about broke even with the betting, but I did have a lovely day with the ladies at the racetrack. I was actually pretty lucky the whole day – I even won a prize in the raffle (stationery – my favorite)! The party was held at a restaurant on the club level of the Turf Club, so it was fun to see the races from a higher vantage point than the grandstand.

Anyway, stay tuned for more updates on new endeavours with the Junior League. It should be fun!

Love, Mer

Star Jones Reynolds: "I had gastric bypass"

Star Jones has gone through very obvious weight loss the last few years, and has been claiming it's the product of diet and pilates. She's now come clean and is admitting to have had gastric bypass, or having her stomach stapled. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I'm just so incredibly surprised! She went from this:

to this (160 pounds loss):

and must have thought people believed her. Hahahahahaha, that's funny! I was beginning to think she was going to take that one to the grave, but apparently she realized she was being a big, fat hypocrite (no pun intended) and decided to come clean. Good for her! I think...

That's actually an interesting concept to consider - when one tells a lie, is it best to come clean after misleading for years, or is it best to let sleeping dogs lie? Have you ever done something that you denied and later changed your mind about admitting it? Or do you take mistakes to the grave? I've done the former, and always wish I had just told the truth in the beginning, before having made it worse by denying it for an extended period. I think I've learned my lesson there.

Hopefully Star has too!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who on Earth is Norman Borlaug? A Hero!

How Superficial Has Our Culture Become?
By Jonathan Alter

July 30, 2007 issue - It's a trifecta much bigger and rarer than an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony. Only five people in history have ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal: Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel ... and Norman Borlaug.

Norman who? Few news organizations covered last week's Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for Borlaug, which was presided over by President Bush and the leadership of the House and Senate. An elderly agronomist doesn't make news, even when he is widely credited with saving the lives of 1 billion human beings worldwide, more than one in seven people on the planet.

Borlaug's success in feeding the world testifies to the difference a single person can make. But the obscurity of a man of such surpassing accomplishment is a reminder of our culture's surpassing superficiality. Reading Walter Isaacson's terrific biography of Albert Einstein, I was struck by how famous Einstein was, long before his role in the atom bomb. Great scientists and humanitarians were once heroes and cover boys. No more. For Borlaug, still vital at 93, to win more notice, he would have to make his next trip to Africa in the company of Angelina Jolie.

The consequences of obscuring complex issues like agriculture are serious. Take the huge farm bill now nearing passage, a subject Borlaug knows a thing or two about. Because it seems boring and technical and unrelated to our busy urban lives, we aren't focused on how it relates directly to the environment, immigration, global poverty and the budget deficit, not to mention the highly subsidized high-fructose corn syrup we ingest every day. We can blame the mindless media for failing to keep us better informed about how $95 billion a year is hijacked by a few powerful corporate interests. But we can also blame ourselves. It's all there on the Internet (or in books like Daniel Imhoff's breezy "Food Fight"), if we decide to get interested. But will we? Sometimes it seems the more we've got at our fingertips, the less that sticks in our minds.

Born poor in Iowa and turned down at first by the University of Minnesota, Borlaug brought his fingertips and mind together in rural Mexico in the 1940s and 1950s to develop a hybrid called "dwarf wheat" that tripled grain production there. Then, with the help of the Rockefeller Foundation, he brought agronomists from around the world to northwest Mexico to learn his planting and soil conservation techniques. "They [academic and U.S. government critics] said I was nutty to think that it would work in different soil," Borlaug told me last week. The resulting "nuttiness" led to what was arguably the greatest humanitarian accomplishment of the 20th century, the so-called Green Revolution. By 1965 he was dodging artillery shells in the Indo-Pakistan War but still managed to increase Indian output sevenfold.

The experts who said peasants would never change their centuries-old ways were wrong. In the mid-1970s, Nobel in hand, Borlaug brought his approach to Communist China, where he arguably had his greatest success. In only a few years, his ideas—which go far beyond seed varieties—had spread around the world and disproved Malthusian doomsday scenarios like Paul Ehrlich's 1968 best seller "The Population Bomb." Now the Gates Foundation is helping extend his innovations to the one continent where famine remains a serious threat—Africa.

Borlaug, who launched the prestigious World Food Prize, has little patience for current agricultural policy in the developed world. "The claims for these subsidies today by the affluent nations are pretty silly," he says. So far, Congress isn't listening. The octopus-like farm bill does little to curb the ridiculous corporate welfare payments to a tiny number of wealthy (and often absentee) "farmers" who get more than $1 million a year each for subsidized commodities that make our children obese. (Did you ever wonder why junk food is cheaper than nutritious food? Because it's taxpayer-funded).

Borlaug scoffs at the mania for organic food, which he proves with calm logic is unsuited to fight global hunger. (Dung, for instance, is an inefficient source of nitrogen.) And while he encourages energy-conscious people to "use all the organic you can, especially on high-end crops like vegetables," he's convinced that paying more for organic is "a lot of nonsense." There's "no evidence the food is any different than that produced by chemical fertilizer."

In 1960 about 60 percent of the world's people experienced some hunger every year. By 2000 that number was 14 percent, a remarkable achievement. But as Borlaug cautioned at the ceremony in his honor, that still leaves 850 million hungry men, women and children. They are waiting for the Norman Borlaugs of the future to make their mark, even if they aren't likely to get famous for it.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19886675/site/newsweek/page/0/

Weekend Update

Well folks, since Thursday afternoon, I’ve been pretty much holed up in my bed, quarantined from the world. I thought I’d have a lot of time and energy for writing on my blog, but I just checked off the planet for a few days. I did catch up on some serious cuddle time with Baci, watched about 20 movies, and got a ton of sleep, but writing just wasn’t in the cards for me. Meanwhile, there have been some interesting things going on in the world, and you know I’m gonna comment on them!

Lindsey Lohan – are you kidding me? She got arrested again last night for drinking and driving, and another cocaine possession. When are these girls going to figure it out and pull themselves together? Hellooooooooooooo - the world is watching you 24/7! And isn’t one instance of getting in trouble enough to make them behave? And so much for rehab – what a joke! Well, I guess I should be glad that at least one person's life is more dramatic than mine...

Speaking of drama, that reminds me... Thursday night, I watched that train wreck of special on Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, moving to America. I have to confess, I thought it was pretty funny and enjoyed it - I've always been a fan of the culture-based "fish out of water" humor, like Borat. Watching her learn to drive on the righthand side of the road and getting pulled over, cavort with Beverly Hills socialites (who have tons of money, but are surprisingly (well, maybe not) classless), and figure out where to toss the ball when throwing out the first ball at a Dodgers' game - very amusing! I halfway wish it were a regular series, so I could see more, but I'm pretty sure it was a one time gig. I found it very endearing that she was able to laugh at herself so easily...

And I hope that Michael Vick gets the book thrown at him for his involvement in this whole dog fighting business... Either he is a total coward by throwing his family members under the bus, stating that it was their operation and he didn't know anything about it (liar!), or he's a savage animal himself by allowing it to occur on his property. Either way, I hope he gets what's coming to him! Why do celebrities that think they can get away with whatever they want? Don't they know the world is watching them, more so than the rest of us? DUH!

Sunday, I volunteered at the Planned Parenthood booth at Pride Fest in Balboa Park, which is a 2 day festival of musicians, bands, exhibits, and shows to help promote pride and awareness within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Our goal at the PP booth was obviously to promote safe sex habits within the high risk community; we passed out condoms, dental dams, and all kinds of great information about HIV testing as well as women’s health information to lesbian participants. For those of you that know me, this is a cause near and dear to my heart, so it felt good to get out and volunteer my time for a great cause. And talk about people watching – it was better than any airport in the world!

Did any of you watch the CNN YouTube Democratic debate last night? I didn’t see it, but I did watch the videos today on CNN. I think CNN did a great job with presenting the debates and organizing the YouTube format, which shook things up a bit. Question from American citizens ranged from issues regarding race, education, taxes, the environment, war in Iraq, public service, and more – I was impressed. I’m not sure that I heard anything new from the candidates, but with time, I’m definitely formulating my opinions of each candidate and am very excited with what I see. With all the front runners, I will most definitely be supporting the Democratic ticket 100%. Too bad we didn’t have this many stellar options back in 2004! How different would the world be today?!

Well peeps, have a great week!

Love, Mer

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Tonsils Hate Me

Well folks, my throat is currently bright pink with little white polka dots. If it were a sundress, it would be adorable. But alas, given that the design is being donned by my tonsils, it's not so cute. I woke up this morning and the mildly sore throat I've been nursing for a couple of weeks has now turned into a full fledged bout of strep throat. Darnit!

So the doctor has ordered me to bed tomorrow and I'm pretty much quarantined for 72 hours. Yep, it's gonna be a long weekend of watching movies on the couch with the pup. You guys might be in for it... Meredith plus boredom plus pain pills might make for some interesting blog postings! Stay tuned. :)

Anyway, wish my tonsils luck! Mer

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


... we have a problem (not really) - The Mer Show is coming to town! I'm excited to have just scheduled my much overdue trip to see everyone for August 16th - 20th. OK, here are my advance requests:

Can everyone in the city start turning on their AC NOW to cool down the air so this spoiled Southern California girl won't have to deal with the heat and humidity? That would be grrrreeeaaat. And please warn Pappasitos now that I'm coming, so they better get the chips, salsa, and garmaritas ready! Lime and raspberry swirl, please and thank you. And Master Darby, get ready for some serious kisses from Auntie Mer! If you do a better job of sleeping at night, I'll bring you some goodies from San Diego. :) And Mummy, since your schedule is the craziest, please let me know when I can see you during those days!

I'm so thrilled that I get to see my NC and Houston people this summer. What a treat!! Anyway, if there's anything anyone wants from out here, start sending requests now. And no, I don't think I can get In and Out burgers through the stupid TSA folks, so for that, you just have to come visit!

Can't wait to see you guys! Love, Mer

Monday, July 16, 2007

Breakfast at Shaynie's

So yesterday, Shayne hosted a lovely pajama party at her house, complete with amazing food, champagne punch, and great company. I brought Diane J’s famous potato recipe (I’ll post the recipe for you guys…) that I got YEARS ago in NC and they were, like always, a huge hit. Those North Carolina recipes really are the best in the world!!! My *world famous* (I'm so not kidding!) artichoke dip recipe hails from there, too.

Di’s Breakfast Potatoes

1 large bag frozen hash browns
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2.5 cups cheddar cheese
½ cup half and half
8 oz sour cream
1 chopped onion

Mix soups, half and half, 2 cups cheese and sour cream in a large bowl or the baking dish you plan to use for the casserole. Add chopped onion and hash browns and mix together well. Use remaining cheese to top casserole. Bake uncovered for 1.5 hours at 350. I wouldn’t recommend making these often, given their nutritional value… but they’re a wonderful treat for a brunch or perhaps the holidays!

Anyway, I digress… the pajama party was actually supposed to be movie day, but get a bunch of girls in one room, and you know what happened… we talked most of the day about ???. However, we did manage to squeeze in one movie – Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Believe it or not, I had never seen this movie. And for those of you that haven’t… YOU MUST! I was so incredibly amused, I can’t even tell you. I haven’t really seen many movies before the year 1994, so I have a lot of catching up to do, particularly when it comes to classic flicks.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a comedic love story about Holly Golightly, a woman with a colorful history who defies society and marches to the beat of her own drum, who lives life to the fullest every single day. Holly goes to Tiffany's when she has "the mean reds" and needs to be surrounded by something comforting. She’s an elegant Manhattan sophisticate who throws extravagantly fun parties at her tiny, sparsely decorated apartment, dresses to the nines, and lives life to the fullest. A woman with no furniture and a life without strings (she doesn't even name her cat!), finally finds love with someone just as unique as herself when she’s least expecting it! I just loved the story, enjoyed the adventurous twists and turns, and the movie itself just resonated with me. Plus, who doesn't love happy endings?!

Saturday was a beautiful Mexican-themed summer party poolside at my condo complex, complete with carne asada tacos, gorditas, margaritas, great music, sunshine, and my awesome neighbors. I LOVE where I live - Prasad's never allowed to get married or move! After brunch yesterday, I attended the first birthday party for my friend Chris’s little boy, Winslow. Is there anything better than watching a little boy eat his first bites of cake? This little guy just made my heart sing and I can’t wait to watch him grow up! At 12 months old and 30 pounds, my guess is that he’s going to grow up and be just like his dad – a big, strong football player. My forecast – starting linebacker for the Chargers. :)

Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend and have a great week. Love, Mer

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson

I feel I'd be remiss without saying something about the passing of Lady Bird Johnson this week. This noble woman was a genteel and supportive first lady to LBJ, a humanitarian, and a dedicated environmentalist whose passion was promoting beautification of public landscapes. She promoted the Highway Beautification Act, which sought to limit billboards; in other humanitarianism, she advocated of the Head Start program to promote early education for kids.

Lady Bird founded the Lady Bird Wildflower Center in Austin, whose mission is the research and preservation of native plants throughout the United States. This wonderful organization had a great deal to do with the lovely bluebonnets that Texans get to enjoy every spring in Texas. I think just about every Texan kids' parents pulled to the side of the road to get a photo of them and their siblings sitting in a sea of bluebonnets. It's such a Texas thing...

Lady Bird was also a graduate, like her husband and I, of The University of Texas at Austin, so I feel a sense of kinship with her. I was very lucky to have met Mrs. Johnson and her lovely daughter, Lynda Johnson Robb, at an event in 1996 - Hilary was campaigning for Bill in Austin, and I attended with Sarah, who brought me into the green room. I was also very fortunate to have met Hilary, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, and several other amazing and influential Texan women, as well. But Mrs. Johnson's spirit was lovely, and her heart filled the room - I'll never forget it.

Rest in peace, Lady Bird Johnson.


He Says Football, I Say Soccer, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off!

Posh and Becks have arrived. I'm not sure if I find this topic totally annoying, or absolutely riveting. I guess on a positive note, we have a new couple to follow here in the states, as opposed to the same old ones - Tom and Katie, Brad and Angelina, Eva and Tony, Nick and Vanessa, Demi and Ashton... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! I'm SO over them! So bring on the new gossip!

Posh is such a train wreck, with her skinny little pout, new hairstyles every ten minutes, super tiny couture outfits, and this new Spice Girls reunion business... I bet the paparazzi's going to eat her up. I can't wait! And David Beckham? The man is positively gorgeous - I won't mind seeing his face grace on every magazine cover that exists over the next few months. I read an article today where he stumbled over calling American soccer 'football' and he apologetically blushed and promised to get the lingo right, now that he's in America. How cute is that?

I wish I weren't such a celebrity gossip queen, but I can't help it. I just am!

Anyway, have a great weekend! Love, Mer

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mmmmmmmm, Pizza

OK, so Domino's Pizza just did some sort of survey regarding the predictability of relationship success based upon pizza preferences. This is, no doubt, a marketing ploy, but I'll bite (hehe). Yes, apparently, “Pizza-eaters’ favorite toppings show a correlation to their behavior,” says Alan Hirsch, M.D., lead researcher and director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. So read below to see what certain toppings say about you, your potential love interest, and your future together.

The last pizza I ordered (earlier this week) was a thin crust, mushroom pizza (one veggie topping), which says that I'm a mellow relationship person; we all know that isn't true! HA! Honestly, I was just trying to be somewhat healthy, and had a coupon for a one topping pizza. If I had my way, I'd always order a pepperoni and pineapple, which describes me and my relationship style a little closer - passionate!

If your date orders one meat topping…

People who order just pepperoni or sausage on their pie are generally irritable, prone to procrastination, and they often “forget” obligations (like that weekend getaway he or she promised to take with you in the spring).

Compatible with: others who prefer one meat topping

If your date orders multiple meat toppings…

Real meat lovers who pile on the pepperoni, sausage, and ham tend to be dramatic, seductive, sweep-you-off-your-feet extroverts who thrive as the center of attention.

Compatible with: people who prefer one meat topping

If your date orders one veggie topping…

Those who prefer one vegetable topping are empathetic, easygoing romantics.

Compatible with: everybody!

If your date orders multiple veggies…

These dates are trustworthy, loyal, humble, and avoid the spotlight. In fact, they’re so quiet and conflict-averse they tend to be taken for granted in relationships.

Compatible with: people who prefer non-traditional toppings

If your date orders non-traditional toppings…

People who prefer offbeat options like pineapple or extra onions tend to be aggressive, ambitious, and competitive. In other words: Don’t expect a mellow relationship.

Compatible with: others who prefer non-traditional toppings

Very interesting, no? Perhaps that should be a standard question that everyone should ask while dating - "what kind of pizza do you typically order". Perhaps the divorce rate could be lowered with this earthshaking research! Or not...

Carry on! Mer

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Recipe!

So I found this recipe recently and held on to it, because it sounded like it tastes wonderful! Meanwhile, I had no idea where on earth I was going to find the cute little, round squashes that it took to create it. However, I came across the 8 ball squashes at the local farmer's market last weekend and was thrilled! The recipe was everything I expected - visually stimulating and delicious! I served it with broiled fish, topped with a tomato sauce, and it was a very healthy, lovely meal.

Eight-Ball Zucchini Stuffed with Rice, Basil, and Sun-dried Tomatoes

4 8-ball zucchinis
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1 1/4 cup cooked brown rice (I used leftovers from another night)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 cup basil leaves, chopped

Cut zucchini tops off about 3/4 inch from the top. Scoop out the insides, being careful to leave a wall about 1/4 inch thick on all sides. Steam zucchini and tops for about 8 minutes, until slightly softened.

Rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes by soaking them in hot water until softened. Remove from water and chop. Reserve soaking water.

Chop the zucchini pulp. Spray a non-stick skillet lightly with olive oil. Over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the zucchini pulp and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, brown rice and almonds, and if the mixture seems dry, add a splash of the tomato liquid. Add the basil leaves and black pepper to taste. Cook until warm, about 3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Using a spoon, carefully stuff the rice mixture into the zucchini, mounding slightly on top. Place in an uncovered baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot, covered with tops if desired.

(Shhhhhhhhhh, this is a vegan recipe and it's super healthy!)

Broiled Fish with Tomato Basil Sauce

2-4 fish filets, boneless, skinless (salmon would be good; I used tilapia)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup white wine
3 T butter
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

Set oven to broil. Put can of tomatoes in a food processor or mini chopper and blend. Add to hot pan, add wine and butter. Stir frequently until fish is done.

Since the oven was already 400 degrees from the squash, the fish cooked very quickly on broil (I pulled the squash out of the oven and put it in a covered pot to keep it warm while the fish cooked.) Salt and pepper both sides of fish, as well as brush with olive oil. Broil 9 minutes for every inch of thickness, flipping once halfway. While fish is cooking, add the chopped basil to pan sauce. My tilapia only took about 7 minutes, so the squash was still hot and the sauce was done when the fish was ready to serve (a little timing tip for ya).

Serve fish and add sauce over the top. Serve with the squash and it's a beautiful, balanced meal.

Enjoy! Chef Meri

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Live Earth - Answer the Call!

So did any of you guys watch this? I did – I was pretty impressed, actually. Al Gore created and facilitated this project with all the passion I wish he had exhibited during the 2000 elections!! Watching him organize this event in the wake of his wildly popular environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth has been really inspiring for me – he didn’t let the loss of that farce of an election get him down, and he used his energy and passion for something really productive. To me, I think that shows he would have run our country with a great deal of love, energy, and compassion, but since he couldn’t, I’m glad that he shared those qualities to make our country and planet better in another sense. And the music? Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Police, John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz, Foo Fighters, and Linkin Park? Loved it! But did anyone else think Cameron Diaz seemed wasted, or is she really just that vapid? Anyway, on the whole, I thought it was an awesome event!

There’s been a lot of criticism about an event costing so much and using so many resources to produce, but honestly, I think it was absolutely worth it to increase global awareness of conserving resources. Have you ever thought about how you can reduce the environmental impact you have on earth? There are so many SMALL CHANGES that every single one of us can make to reduce our carbon footprint. Obviously, if every individual on earth made some small changes, the payoff would be huge. So friends and family (and the occasional stranger that reads my blog), I’m asking you to consider making some of these changes, so that our kids and their kids can live on a healthier planet! Will you consider it? Here’s some of the small changes you can make in your house, office, and habits to make a huge collective difference:
  • Turn off your monitor when you’re not using it; power down your machine
  • Bring your own bags to the supermarket or recycle your grocery bags
  • Buy local products that don’t require shipping and cut out middle men to get products to our stores’ shelves
  • Changing a couple light fixtures in your house to fluorescent bulbs
  • Turning off lights when you leave a room
  • Shop for energy efficient appliances and use energy efficient cycles
  • Ride public transit or carpool to work if you have the opportunity (I LOVE the Coaster here in SD!)
  • Recycle at home AND work; if you can create a paperless office, do it!
  • GO here to find out how to eliminate paper junk mail: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm
  • Buy your CDs on iTunes or Napster instead of buying CDs
  • Read your news online instead of newspapers
  • Inflate your car tires to 32 lbs each to maximize fuel usage
  • Eat and drink from reusable glassware; individual bottled waters are really bad offenders. Using a water filter and filling up reusable containers is a great alternative!
  • Walk, bike, carpool as much as you can. At least try to be efficient with your errand-running - do them all at the same time and think about your route!
  • Unplug your appliances, cell phone chargers, and electronics when you’re not using them
  • Use cold water to wash clothes instead of warm or hot
  • Turn off water while shaving and brushing your teeth
There’s millions of changes we can make to do our part, but if you can commit to making a couple, you’ll feel good about doing your part. I hope you’ll consider answering the call!!

Thanks guys! Love, Mer

Monday, July 09, 2007

Today's Horoscope, Etc.

I love my horoscope today! Check it out - it definitely fits with the new path and journey I've been traveling the last few weeks!

If you have been thinking about making a major change in your life, Meredith, all signs indicate that this is the time to take the plunge! Radical change is scary, to be sure, but you are ready for the challenge. In truth, whether you realize it or not you have been preparing for this moment for a long time now. Trust us, you are ready. The time is ripe to begin.

Oh yeah, and I bought a lottery ticket today. Let's think positively about this ticket, which is taped to my monitor as I type, and maybe the power of positive thinking will make me the winner for 27 million dollars! Ohmmmmmmmmmm...

Hope you all have a great week, as well. Love, Mer

Friday, July 06, 2007

Resume Help

As a recruiter, I see some pretty tragic resumes. At one job, our recruiting team had a resume wall of shame - those with photos on them, that listed silly personal habits, suggestive email addresses, and more. I mean seriously, I've seen it ALL!

It is a personal interest of mine to rid the world of crappy resumes, one job seeker at a time!!! I personally think that the simplest format is always the best - it's able to get scanned through applicant tracking systems easily, and flows fluidly for recruiters that fly through resumes (like me). Trust me, a good resume will take you much further, even with the same experience, skills, personality, or *whatever*, than one that reads or flows poorly!!

In the quest to enlighten my good readers and for future friends/ colleagues/ acquaintances that need assistance with creating a resume, I have developed a simple template that might get you started. This easy format allows one to just add the content of your professional experience, and VOILA!

For those non-technical types, just negate the TOOLS, HARDWARE, and OS sections, but for you technies - laying out your experience in these sections is very helpful for recruiters. However, don't forget to list which tools you used in each position - that's very important!

And a few don'ts for building the perfect resume:
  • Never use the first person, e.g. I, me, myself, in your resume.
  • No photos!
  • Be sparing and choosy if you choose your personal interests, and if you do, list it LAST on the resume (I actually got my first job out of college because of something personal I listed on my resume, so I'm careful to coach against it, but honestly, I always look at personal interests and think "who cares?")
  • No personal information like age, marital status, parental status, etc.
  • Don't leave huge gaps in your resume; if there are gaps in your employment, perhaps adding in a line regarding your purpose for the gap would be helpful (such as personal sabbatical, medical leave, went back to school, etc.)
  • DO NOT list an unprofessional email address - misskitty1981@yahoo is totally unacceptable. Create a new one for your job search if your primary address is similar to the aforementioned.
  • Don't lie about your professional and educational achievements!
I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any input/ questions/ feedback regarding my template, I welcome it.

Good luck and happy job hunting! Love, Mer

City, State Zip
Mobile Number
Email Address
Website/ Blog address


What kind of position are you seeking, what industry do you want to target, which professional skills do you want to utilize in your next job?


(Example) Perl, MySQL, Linux, Apache, Mason, XML, XSL, HTML, JavaScript, Java, MS C++, ASP, 8086 Assembly, Fortran, COBOL, network firewall and hack-proof server installation and configuration, and automatic mass website building.

Specialty: Web applications development for e-commerce businesses.


Company – City, State TAB Month, Year – Month, Year

•Responsibilities, experience, and skills/ tools used; repeat as necessary

Company – City, State TAB Month, Year – Month, Year

•Responsibilities, experience, and skills/ tools used; repeat as necessary

*Repeat employers as necessary


•College Name, Year - Degree

•Feel free to expand on classes taken which contribute to your repertoire of skills
•You might want to add organizations in which you participating
•Only add your GPA if it's about about a 3.2 (that's my personal opinion)

*Repeat schools as necessary, including study abroad experiences

•School, Education institution, Vendor, Year
• Certification or other info on education/training

•Adapt as needed for security clearances, etc


•List of applications and software tools experience if applicable – usually most appropriate for developers, DBAs, QA candidates. Project managers might list MS project, etc. Management positions may or may not find this applicable

•Put logically associated software on a separate bullet – like all QA tools on one, Project management tools on another, etc.


•List of hardware experience if applicable – usually appropriate for systems engineers, systems administrators, network/security administrator candidates

•Put logically associated hardware on a separate bullet – like all network type systems on one, servers on another – or maybe firewalls utilized on one, Network scanners on another, etc.


•List of OS’s used if applicable for technical candidates – usually not needed for managers, etc.


•If applicable.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Fourth

Hey peeps. Hope you had a great 4th – mine was really nice. Did some shopping at the outlets in Carlsbad in the morning and hosted a barbecue/ pool party yesterday afternoon. It was interesting… I made homemade salsa, guac, chicken fajitas, and had tons of Coronas and limes; my guests brought sushi and Kirin, Hawaiian decorations, and Spanish tapas. We had a little traditional food, too - grilled steaks, fish, and grilled potatoes. Eclectic mix of foods, much like the American population itself, right? We had great food, drinks, sunshine, swimming, great company, and watched the fireworks show in the Bay from the patio. Oh yes, and I grilled for the first time!! Growing up in Texas, I've always felt that was the "man's job"... guess that's one more reason I don't NEED a man, because I apparently I'm a grillmaster! :)

It was the first year in several that I didn’t spend the day on Mission Bay with all the troublemakers, and I have to say… it was awesome! No drama, crowds, having to figure out where to park, fear of getting in trouble with the cops for littering, drinking on the wrong side of the boardwalk or before/ after the drinking curfew, and dealing with wasted idiots. Yep people, The Mer Show has grown up – preferring a barbecue with good people to partying hearty with the "cool kids" on Mission Bay. I dig it!

To make up for all the meat, beer, and crap I ate all day yesterday, I’m on the raw foods diet for a few days to clean out my plumbing. Tonight I think I’m going to try making this recipe. Whatcha think?

Love, Mer

Spaghetti and Tomato sauce


1 medium to large zucchini
5 small vine ripened tomatoes
1-2 cloves of garlic
10 leaves of fresh basil
two table spoons of olive oil
sea salt

Cut zucchini lengthwise, and use potato peeler to create long strands of zucchini for “spaghetti”; or you can use a cheese grater to make a smaller pieces. Set the spaghetti aside into the serving dish.

Quarter the tomatoes and place them along with the garlic, and basil in food processor. Pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl and add one to two table spoons of olive oil and sea salt to taste. Mix gently to distribute all the ingredients. Pour the sauce over your spaghetti and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!

Hope everyone has a great July 4th!!! Be safe and don't forget to recycle your cans and glass at the parties you attend Wednesday!

Love, Mer

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Sentence

What a bunch of crap. This whole debacle was like a bad movie - an action-packed, star-studded blockbuster starring a pretty female spy used as a pawn to further the agenda of the White House. People were exposed, reputations were attacked, journalists were imprisoned, and hateful politics drove the script. And to top it off, a very unpopular president made a not-very-shocking decision to commute the sentence of someone that carried out part of his larger plan... A wicked ending!

It really makes me sick, but this is becoming a broken record, so I'll try to focus on more positive topics. Like the fact that I'm going to a fabulous new restaurant tonight with one of my favorite pals (I'll write an update tomorrow) and that my roomie's out of town this week, so I can hang out in my jammies on the couch all I want! :)

Love, Mer