Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can I get a do-over?

Times they are a-changing. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, and all I want is my dark cold nights.

Don't ask me why, I don't know.

I feel blue. I feel tired - not to mention, my days have been a living hell this week. Every muscle in my body is screaming for some Helga wench to reach right in there, twist them around, and then place them back gently.

I need a good massage.

Then there is the whole seasonal allergies thing. I started the Nasanex back up this week, and I am grateful for the lack of watery eyes and nose - but I feel like instead of it all leaving my head, the mucas is like in those Mucinex commericals, just taking up space in my head.

I am in a fog.

I am still feeling super needy. I am still looking for a happy tree. (Which, btw, I am going to the Birmingham Botanical Garden on Friday with the egyptian for an afternoon of beautiful flowers. Followed by Yogurt at Yogurt Mountain.)

The only downside to this little trip, my freakin' camera is not working. No beautiful pics of the trees and whatnot. The egyptian did buy a new camera, but I seriously doubt he will let me use his. Booo.

To add insult to injury - I got a ticket yesterday for running a stop sign. Yep. $159 due in May. *sigh*

Again - I ask, can I get a do-over?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Where can I buy a Happy Tree??


I am in search of a little positive reaction today. Actually, every day. As I was trying to come up with some ideas of what would change my mood - then I realized - a happy tree.

I am not talking about a tree that bears fruit that magically transforms your mood once you take a bite.  

I am talking about the kind of tree that transforms your day. When I look back on all of the times I felt glorious peace, it involved a tree. 

When I was a small child, and we lived on Pineworth Rd in Macon, I remember going out into our big front yard and hiding under the magnolia trees. There were two, I believe. It was my secret garden of sorts. 

Later, we moved to an aparment on Mercer University that had these large trees with big puffy pink flowers. I would hide under this tree, grab one of the pink puffy things and blow them. The little petals reminded me of the fairy petals from Disney's Fantasia.

Once we moved to Crystal Lake, I loved sitting on a bench off to the left of the dock. Next to this bench was a tree which had roots on the bottom that jutted out to look like a running pig. Seriously. I call that my pig tree and it made me smile.

Then we moved to a house on Spring Meadow Drive and there was this glorious burning tree. (My nick name for it.) The colors in the fall were magnificent. Then spring brought amazing flowers.

In college, I saw dozens of dogwood trees. I would sit on my front porch swing at my duplex and just gaze at the beautiful white petals.

When I moved back to Macon, and had a house of my own on Dogwood Circle, I was blessed to have an adorable Cherry Blossom tree (this is not rare in Macon..) and a beautiful dogwood. I would sit outside with a glass of wine, and admire all of the colors that were my front yard. Azaleas, Jasmine, Freesia.. I had an amazing garden. It was my place to come home to. To decompress.

What is missing since I moved to Birmingham? A tree for me.

I found myself feeling a bit home sick during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Not so much for the cheesy festival itself, more so for the celebration of spring and the beautiful flowers that are blooming.

I am so grateful some friends posted a few beautiful pictures. I got to see a few happy trees that way.

But what to do about Birmingham?

I did move to an office with a view. I specifically moved my desk so that I can look out of the window. There seems to be a Dogwood tree right outside.

I suppose this will have to suffice for now.

Perhaps, I need to go spend some time at the Botanical Gardens.. and there, maybe I can find my happy tree.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ricky Martin y nunca voy a caer en el amor ..

Mi corazón está roto .. well.. not really.  My Ricky Martin.. *sniff sniff* has come out of the closet.
Well - that is according to Joanna Palmer and TMZ. ;-)

Here is the article on TMZ.com:

Ricky Martin -- 'I Am a Fortunate Homosexual'


Posted Mar 29th 2010 4:05PM by TMZ Staff
Ricky Martin has revealed that he is a gay man.
Martin -- who has dodged questions of his sexuality for years -- just posted the following message on his official website: "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."
Martin says the birth of his twin sons led to his decision to come out -- and according to the singer, "To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where [sic] born with."
Ricky's kids were born in August 2008.

Soo.. then I rushed to his website -
Here is what he wrote:

A few months ago I decided to write my memoirs, a project I knew was going to bring me closer to an amazing turning point in my life. From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside. Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And thisis something worth celebrating.


For many years, there has been only one place where I am in touch with my emotions fearlessly and that's the stage. Being on stage fills my soul in many ways, almost completely. It's my vice. The music, the lights and the roar of the audience are elements that make me feel capable of anything. This rush of adrenaline is incredibly addictive. I don't ever want to stop feeling these emotions. But it is serenity that brings me to where I'm at right now. An amazing emotional place of comprehension, reflection and enlightenment. At this moment I'm feeling the same freedom I usually feel only on stage, without a doubt, I need to share.

Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.

If someone asked me today, "Ricky, what are you afraid of?" I would answer "the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war...child slavery, terrorism...the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith." But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, It fills me with strength and courage. This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment.

These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed.

What will happen from now on? It doesn't matter. I can only focus on what's happening to me in this moment. The word "happiness" takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.

I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.

RM

##

There you have it.

My boyfriend (in my fantasy world. ;-) ) prefers boys.

No I am not shocked. We all saw this coming.

I feel like we have officially broken up - and it would not be right to think we had a future.

I have decided to post some of my favorite cheese-er-riffic music.

Enjoy this hot little slice of Puerto Rican love!















Así es la vida. Tal es el amor.
(Such is life, such is love.)


“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”



Derek Bok said it best, "If you think education is expensive, try igorance."

But according to the latest story on NPR, getting a higher education (while trying to "hide out" during this economy) could create up to a decade of lower salaries.

I can only speak from personal experience, but I have found that an education can surely help in getting a better paying job. However, during a transition period, it almost hurt.

I was one of those kids who never questioned whether or not I would go to college. I am not sure where the idea came from. I did not have parents who would point a finger and say, "You WILL go to college." Though, they were never discouraging. My father went to college  to study sociology and was in the Air Force. He took both routes. My mom studied interior design. I think it was never a matter of "you have to do this or that" to be successful. It was more of - "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I was left to my dreams. Any dream.

The first "conscious" years of my life I wanted to be a professional dancer. I had caught the dance bug and wanted to moved off to NYC, study dance at the New York School of Performing Arts, then on to the American Ballet Company. Fifth grade comes along and I was bitten by the theater bug. By the age of 12, I had another epiphany - I like to act, but I also love to write. I really want to travel. Hmmm... then while watching the 6 o'clock news - I saw Tina Hicks on 13 WMAZ. I thought to myself, hey - I can do that!

And so it began. My quest to enter the world of broadcast journalism. Unfortunately, the options in high school were a joke. Theater department? ha! But luckily there was the Community Children's Theater of Macon and Youth Actors Company. I figured this would give me tons of "speaking" opportunities. Journalism?? ha! Our school had maybe 3 choices - a Montage Staff (literary piece), I like to read fiction, but it is not my thing to actually write; a newspaper - which again, I am not into print; then a year book. How is that journalism???

So I had to wait - I went off to college to major in Broadcast Journalism. Did it, and did it well. By the time I got through all of the crap classes (the lovely core classes we all had to suffer through) I made it to my first course in Broadcast Journalism. I was hooked. I soaked up every morsel of anything my professors could (and would) throw at me. I wrote for a paper, I worked as a radio dj, I was a reporter/anchor on our college station, then by my senior year in college I got the opportunity to be the Executive Producer for our television station. THEN the producing bug bit me.

Later I did an internship with the very television station that inspired it all as a child. Lord have mercy, if you can survive an internship with moody reporters, then you can handle anything. My internship ended on a Friday, I was hired as the Midday and 5pm News Producer on Monday. Crazy luck. Rare. It is always hard to tell that story to my interns today. Because they are so eager to get jobs immediatly. I am not sure how my situation worked out. .. well, who am I kidding. It was a bit of luck mixed with good old fashioned hard work. For one, I did not ask for money as an intern. Second - I worked 40 hours a week for three months for nothing.. zip.. zero bucks. Two weeks...just two weeks before my internship was to end, one of the producers turned in their notice. Now looking back, I think our News Director took a chance on a kid fresh out of college, but she did, and I am forever grateful.

I worked in news for a couple of years. LOVED the fast pace. Loved how every day was different. But unfortunately (and this is where I think the station completely messed up) I was locked into a contract that I hated. I was also missing the opportunity for more creativity and really wanted an easier schedule. I think after years of college, then killing myself to make it work in news - I just needed a break. I moved into our Marketing/Promotions department and became the producer for the actual station.

I found that I enjoyed doing that, but it was a bit too slow. I was still so used to the rough and messiness of news and the new fluffy (and yes, super cheesy) stuff was not making my heart skip a beat. Plus, there was a minor complication - marriage. I needed more money, because now I felt like nesting. ;-)

I happened to notice in the newspaper an ad for a job with the Girl Scouts of Middle Georgia, Inc. I had crazy connections there and could not believe I saw an actual job ad in the paper. (How odd is that these days.. more on that later.) So - I wrote the most passionate cover letter and attached my resume and took a chance. I got a massive panel interview, and no sooner did I get back to the station - I was hired. ;-)

The position was for a Field Executive - which is basically marketing and recuiting for the Girl Scouts. Now I could possibly transition into Public Relations. I was transfered to cover 6 rural counties and so - my one and half year experience in Marketing began. I liked it, but found it challenging due to my age. I was telling people (old enough to be my mother) how to manage their association and that became one of my biggest challenges. I was missing the opportunity to work with the media and was praying to find a jub as the actual Communications Director somewhere. Luck would have it - the Communications Director up and quits. I hesitated - should I apply? Did not have to, the CEO called me and offered it to me. I did have to turn in a resume, etc and wait for the "x" amount of days to pass before they could hire internally. But it was done. I was the new Communications/Program Specialist for 22 counties in Middle Georgia.

Moving right along.. I was 29 at this point. My salary was good, I had excellent flexibility, and it felt right. Once I got through some of the personality quirks of working with all women, I was able to make my place at home.

Then one of the biggest snags in my adult life (career wise) took place. It was a blessing, a small prayer from long ago answered, and a curse. My husband got a job out of state - and I could finally leave my hometown. Sooo - I took the chance, and left. (after working with the GS for 6 years.)

I moved to Birmingham thinking - ah - bigger city, I have lots of experience now, a wide range of experience and excellent references. HA. The joke is on me. I could not find a decent job to save my life. I thought my luck was with the Girl Scouts. They had a position open for the Communications Director. Hey - this is what I have been doing - and soo.. I got an interview. Turns out they paid $15k less than what I was making in Georgia - that was a no go. I applied with the Zoo (again a Marketing Director position) - not even an interview. I applied with AIDS Alabama - had an interview, they never called me back. I thought I was finished. I did get a few calls, but as soon as we were discussing salary - which I absolutely hate - I was out of the running. The sad thing is, I was not asking for much, yes it was less than I was making - but it was not that much.

This is where I get to what NPR was talking about - I had to do something. I asked myself what three things do I like (outside of my career). I answered:  makeup, coffee, books, photography. So - I began applying to all of the above.

I saw a crap job with Olan Mills - and I applied. My interview took place in a shady KMart. I went, I got hired, but then the next day I ended up in the hospital with meningitus. No dice. Once I left the hospital and felt as if I had fully recovered, I began to apply to the books, coffee, and makeup places. I had essentially given up hope for anything real for me. Parisian called me, and I began the interview process with Clinique. Got it - and worked there for 9 months. Ironically, after I got that job a barista position came open at Joe Muggs, but I had to say no I was not interested.

Working for Clinique after trying to work in my field of choice (since I was 12) was a hard pill to swallow. I was in the service and sales world now. With a dash of creativity. I enjoyed my co-workers. It was delightful to finally make some friends in a new city. I also let go of some of the stigma I had for retail sales. All but maybe three of the women I worked with were college educated, and working there by choice. I let it all go. I had to humble myself. I still remember doing makeovers on women as they treated me as if I were a high school drop out. I kept my mouth shut, I smiled, I did the best I could. And more importantly, I kept sending those resumes out. I did not give up. But I began planning. I thought about going back to school. I thought about traveling. I thought about the Peace Corps. I thought about so many things.

Then one random Saturday I was browsing Monster.com. I saw a position for a Communications Director position with the American Heart Association. I thought, well - I probably won't get it, so what does it hurt to send it? I sent it in July. By September I got a call from an HR director asking me questions about the position. I had totally forgotten I had applied. LOL. I went through a looooong lengthy interview process and was finally selected. Almost one year after moving to Birmingham, I FINALLY got a job back in my field.

I am telling this story - mainly to let my old interns know, my friends struggling, and my family members that may be struggling know - you have to practice patience.

Yes, I do think the degree opened doors that never would have even cracked for me otherwise. Yes, and only if you think you can truly afford it, would I recommend hiding out in graduate school right now. Get a job - any job, and don't leave too many holes in your resume.

Is this my final stop on the quest for career enlightment?  Probably not. What do I want to do in the future? That remains to be seen. But for now, I have enough items on my plate to keep me busy. I work with some amazing people. I get to travel from time to time to random places. I am writing, I am taking photos, and I still get to rub elbows with my tv and radio folks. It's all good, and the ride - oh the ride, even at the mere age of 37, makes more and more sense everyday.

I may not be a ballerina, a famous actress, or the your news anchor - but the path I chose fit me. I am happy with that. I am proud of that - and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

PS - To this day, one of my favorite "coming of age" opportunities was when I was working side by side with Tina at 13WMAZ and I smiled once and said, "Tina - your life and your career is why I am here now." ;-) What an angel - I sure do miss her.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's all just too much!



Can we just make it all go away???

Seriously.

Today has turned out to be one of those days.

One minute the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the fun, brainless HGTV "finding a home" series is on. The next I am rushing around trying to clean. Then the very next it is good - I am at church, trying to enjoy what is a major religious holiday (Palm Sunday) - to having it out with the egyptian.

*sigh*

It just doesn't get any better.

I am feeling SUPER needy tonight.

Clingy.

I need lots of positive reinforcement, and the egyptian is not biting.

Boo.

I am also trying to deal with the shock (sort of.. well.. not really) of some news I recieved.

And the fact that my parents are now not coming for Easter. (I haven't seen my family since Christmas.)

I just need a break. SERIOUS break - from everything and everyone.

Do you think I could hire someone to come and just boost my ego a bit? I am need of that fo shizzle.

Okay... I will now go sulk, and hope to find some really bad reality tv. Maybe that will do the trick.

Sorry - no good post tonight. ;-)

Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord

The title of this blog has always been one of my favorite quotes from the Christian Bible - "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." Then it goes on to say - "Hosanna in the highest." (A form of exhaultation.)

I really look forward to Holy Week every year. As many of you know, I am catholic and I really do try my best to observe the season of Lent. However, I fell a little short in some of the items I chose to give up. That's okay, I realize that my effort to turn away from my distractions were not left in vain.

You may be wondering why in the world am I writing about Palm Sunday. I will tell you why - I am married to a muslim. Yep. And his friends (our friends) and his family (my family) are all muslim. I also know that almost all of them follow my blog. They may not leave comments here, but they definitely send me comments by email.

I am writing this to explain the signifigance of Palm Sunday. Soo.. boys and girls, strap in - because I have a little lesson for you! :-)

Palm Sunday is a Christian Holiday that always takes place the Sunday before Easter. It commemorates the events that are mentioned in all four canonical Gospels in the Christian Bible. To be more specific:
Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19.

It basically describes Jesus's entry into Jerusalem. What is important about this is it all happens just a few days before he was crucified. We call that - his Passion.

In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers.

 According to the Gospels, before entering Jerusalem, Jesus was staying at Bethany and Bethphage, and the Gospel of John adds that he had dinner with Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha. While there, Jesus sent two disciples to the village over against them, in order to retrieve a donkey that had been tied up but never been ridden, and to say, if questioned, that the donkey was needed by the Lord but would be returned. Jesus then rode the donkey into Jerusalem, with the Synoptics adding that the disciples had first put their cloaks on it, so as to make it more comfortable. The Gospels go on to recount how Jesus rode into Jerusalem, and how the people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalm 118 - ...Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David. ... (Psalms 118:25-26).

Jesus arriving in Jerusalem the way he did is a fulfillment of prophesy for Christians.

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!


Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,

righteous and having salvation,

gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

I will take away the chariots from Ephraim

and the war-horses from Jerusalem,

and the battle bow will be broken.

He will proclaim peace to the nations.

His rule will extend from sea to sea

and from the River to the ends of the earth.



—Zechariah 9:9-10

On Palm Sunday, in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as many Anglican and Lutheran churches, palm fronds (or in colder climates some kind of substitutes) are blessed with an aspergilium outside the church building (or in cold climates in the narthex when Easter falls early in the year). A procession also takes place. It may include the normal liturgical procession of clergy and acolytes, the parish choir, the children of the parish or indeed the entire congregation as in the churches of the East. In many Protestant churches, children are given palms, and then walk in procession around the inside of the church while the adults remain seated.



The palms are saved in many churches to be burned the following year as the source of ashes used in Ash Wednesday services. The Roman Catholic Church considers the palms to be sacramentals. The vestments for the day are deep scarlet red, the color of blood, indicating the supreme redemptive sacrifice Christ was entering the city who welcomed him to fulfill- his Passion and Resurrection in Jerusalem.

So it begins the beautiful Holy Week - the last seven days of Lent.

I would like to think I could use that message - "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." I hope to live it, and I hope to meet others who are soo blessed, because they, too, believe!

PS- This post is a far cry from what I normally write - or have posted. But I thought it might work for my few egyptian readers!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ewwww!


** Yucky Face of Torito - a random baby I found on google images (just in case his mommy drops by!)

I was reading something, and now for the life of me I cannot remember what it was - but it inspired me to immediately write a piece about things I completely dislike.


Yucky things.
Things that make me make a face like little baby Torito. Ewww.

Here is a basic list of YUCKY Stuff. Stuff that sooo grosses me out or annoys me that if there were Facebook group pages for each one, I would be the President of the Boycott!

1. Mayo - please God, make it all go away. Hell would be me swimming in a vat of Mayo. Yuck Yuck Yuck

2. Defecating. No more. Let it all evaporate instead.

3. Feet. I am not sure what I would replace them with. Just make them look different. 

4. Bad Breathe. I wish for a perma-minty fresh breathe.

5. Body Hair. That includes arm pits, groin, arms, legs, and anywhere else it clearly should not grow - on anyone. (Yes, I just made the Torito face.)

6. Farts. 

7. Vomit.  I cry when vomiting. Most hateful, horrible act of bodily function known to mankind.

8.  Runny nose. (add to that snotty tissue.) GROSSSSSSSSS

9. Body odor. That's why I hate gyms. If it is steamy and smelly- count me out.

10. Sweating. Again - evaporation works for me.

11. Grits.

12. Mice/Rats/any animal in the rodent family.

13.... which leads me to roaches. Someone please explain to me their purpose in the circle of life food chain??

14. Pimples

15. Unibrows. God - please create people with two separate ones. That's going to be in my prayer tonight.

16. Guns. I don't want them. Add bombs to that also. They are NOT good. That goes in the annoying/awful category

17. Warts

18. Mean looks. Anytime someone makes a mean look at me - I want to smack them. Yes, I feel hostile. So - let's just make it physically impossible to do.

19. Wash dishes. It grosses me out.

20. Food to go bad or get moldy. Make it stop.

Okay - I'm done.

19.

I-Pad or Kindle, that is the question.

I need one or the other. Yes, a bit self-indulgent - but I really believe it will improve my quality of life.

I realize there are lots of opinions on both. I welcome those opinons and recommendations in the comment section. I really, really,  REALLY want one of the other. But which one??? It all boils down to my current lifestyle.

Let's break it down and see if we can figure this out together.

I-Pad

Apple advertises the IPad as a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price of $499.

(Not looking to unbelievable yet.)

Okay.. so you got me sucked in. Magical?? Unbelievable? Revolutionary? Heck yeah! But wait.. I have an Ipod and I wonder... is it only going to be compatible with the computer I upload it to? Or does it work that way?

The main thing Apple is touting (once you click on the picture on their website) are the apps.

"All of the built-in apps on iPad were designed from the ground up to take advantage of the large Multi-Touch screen and advanced capabilities of iPad. And they work in any orientation. So you can do things with these apps that you can’t do on any other device."

Okay - I DON'T have an iphone, and could honestly care less about apps. Not impressed. So far, no dice.

Let's see what is next..

Safari

"iPad is the best way to experience the web. View whole pages in portrait or landscape on the large Multi-Touch screen. And let your fingers do the surfing."


Okay.. soo a little computer. Alright.. alright.. but I have a laptop already.

What's next?
Mail

"There’s nothing like the Mail app on iPad. With a split-screen view and expansive onscreen keyboard, it lets you see and touch your email in ways you never could before."
I have a blackberry... I already have my work email synced, and everything else is there. Tell me why I need ANOTHER device that can do that.
**again - I clearly looking for an electronic device to read books on.. that's all. But I am open to more.. let's continue..

Photos
"A vivid LED-backlit IPS display makes viewing photos on iPad extraordinary. Open albums with a tap. Flip through your pictures one by one. Or play a slideshow and share your photos."

I have these stored on my Ipod now. They are only uploaded to Facebook. Again - duplicating what I can already do - and have already paid for.

Videos
"The 9.7-inch high-resolution screen makes iPad perfect for watching HD movies, TV shows, podcasts, music videos, and more. "

I  realize the screen is bigger.. and this might be a bit more a selling point for me. I can already do this on my laptop, phone and ipod. But okay.. I can take this as a plus.

YouTube
"With the YouTube app designed specifically for iPad, videos are even easier to find. And on the amazing iPad display, they’re more fun to watch. Especially in HD."

Who cares? I have a Youtube account and have all of my faves marked. Don't need an easier way to find videos.

iPod
"Reach out and touch your songs. View your album art full-size. iPad makes music look as good as it sounds."

Okay - my heart did skip a little beat. BUT- I am all about keeping what you have until it dies. I have a 30 gig Ipod with video and everything. I can't transfer my little investment... what to do? What to do?

iTunes
"Millions of songs, thousands of movies and TV shows, and so much more. Browsing and buying are just a tap away."

Cooool. At my finger tips??? Hmmm..
Getting warmer.

App Store
"You’ll find more than 150,000 apps on the App Store, and iPad can run almost all of them. Including everything from games to productivity apps."

I-DON'T-CARE.

iBooks
"Reading is a joy on iPad. Text looks crisp and bright. Pages turn with a flick. And you can buy new books from the iBookstore. Just download the free iBooks app to get started."
*DING DING DING

Maps
"See more of the world with iPad. Find locations easier than ever with street view, satellite view, or new terrain view — all using Google services"
Useful.

Notes
"With its large display and onscreen keyboard, iPad makes it easy to jot down quick notes and keep important information on hand. You can even email yourself reminders."

Might be useful.

Calendar

"Work, home, and everything in between. Your schedules are easy to read and easy to manage on iPad — even all at once."
Hmmm...

Contacts
"With Contacts on iPad, you can see much more than just names and numbers. And you can do more with them, too."

Hmm.. if only it were a phone or video conferencing tool. Then I would never leave home without it. ;-)

Home Screen
"With just one press of the Home button, you have access to every app on your iPad."

Okay...
Spotlight Search
"No matter what you’re looking for, Spotlight Search can help you find it"
Could be useful if you have an extensive library of music or songs.

iWork
"The iWork productivity applications that you know and love on the Mac — Keynote, Pages, and Numbers — have been completely redesigned for iPad. So you can create great-looking presentations, documents, and spreadsheets. All using just your fingers. And while they’re easy to use, they’re also the most powerful productivity apps ever built for a mobile device."
THIS -if it is not extra and super expensive - would put my laptop out of business.


Okay Okay.. I get it. I see. But really, I am looking for a simple reading piece. The rest is good.

Let's compare price with the Amazon Kindle.










Amazon Kindle








Advanced Design


"Sleek & Light"
"At 10.2 ounces, Kindle is lighter than a typical paperback and as thin as most magazines. Barely a third of an inch in profile, you'll find Kindle fits perfectly in your hands."  I like that!!

"Simple to Use, No Computer Required" ding ding ding

"Unlike most electronic devices, we wanted to keep Kindle simple. Kindle is wireless and ready to use right out of the box–no setup, no cables, no software to install, no computer required."  is it possible to be in love?

Ergonomic Design

"Kindle is easy to hold and read. We designed it with long-form reading in mind. When reading for long periods of time, people naturally shift positions and often like to read with one hand. Kindle's page-turning buttons are located on both sides, allowing you to read and turn pages comfortably with one hand from any position." Yesssss

Precise 5-Way Controller

"Kindle has an easy-to-use 5-way controller, enabling precise on-screen navigation for selecting text to highlight or looking up words." - okay... sooo...

Long Battery Life

"Long Battery Life—Read for Days Without Recharging" Bingo!!

"With Kindle's long battery life, you can read on a single charge for up to 1 week with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to 2 weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low-coverage areas or in EDGE/GPRS-only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly." yeah.. my ipod could not do that - i bet that ipad could not either!!

Charge Via USB

"Kindle ships with a U.S. power adapter and a micro-USB cable for charging your Kindle from a computer USB port. The U.S. power adapter supports voltages 100V-240V."


Wireless Access With Whispernet

"Get Books in as Little as 60 Seconds" - That's what I am talking about!!

"Whispernet utilizes Amazon's optimized technology plus a high-speed data network to enable you to wirelessly search, discover, and download content on the go. Your books and periodicals are delivered via Whispernet in less than 60 seconds. And unlike Wi-Fi, you never have to hunt for a hotspot. Wireless download times can vary based on 3G or EDGE/GPRS coverage, signal strength, and file size. See wireless coverage map for availability."

No Monthly Wireless Bills

"No monthly wireless bills or commitments. Amazon pays for Kindle's wireless connectivity so you won't see a monthly wireless bill. There is no wireless setup–you are ready to shop, purchase, and read right out of the box. "

Global Coverage

"Uses GSM technology—the most popular mobile wireless standard—with wireless coverage in over 100 countries. See wireless coverage map for availability."

Travel the Globe with Kindle

"Travel the globe and still get books in under 60 seconds. Download books wirelessly in over 100 countries around the world, such as Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, Japan, Norway, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom (UK), and many others. Stay in touch with news from home by having your newspaper and magazine subscriptions delivered wirelessly while you travel. See wireless coverage map for availability. " COOOL

"For U.S. customers traveling abroad, a $1.99 fee currently applies when downloading books or single issues of periodicals wirelessly from your Archived Items or the Kindle store while traveling internationally. For details on periodicals and personal documents, click here. To avoid any fees, you can always download books, periodicals, and personal documents via your computer and transfer to your Kindle using USB. "

Carry Your Library in 10.2 Ounces

Holds Over 1,500 Books - This is the answer to all of my problems.. seriously

"The ultimate travel companion, Kindle weighs 10.2 ounces and holds up to 1,500 books. No longer pick and choose which books fit in your carry-on. You can always have your entire Kindle library with you."

Automatic Library Backup: Re-Download Your Books Wirelessly - yeah.. apple's not gonna do that!

"Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are backed up online in your Kindle book library at Amazon.com. You can wirelessly re-download books available in your library. This allows you to make room for new titles on your Kindle. We even back up your last page read and annotations. Please see more information about your library content."



Enhanced Reading

"The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notice a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective was to make Kindle disappear—just like a physical book—so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology."

Paper-Like Screen

"Utilizing the latest in electronic-ink display technology, Kindle provides a crisp black-and-white 6" screen with the same appearance and readability of printed paper. Sharp and natural with no glare or backlight, reading on Kindle is nothing like reading from a computer screen. Those who see it for the first time always do a double-take. The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. And unlike a laptop or smart phone, Kindle never gets warm so you can comfortably read as long as you like. " - That's all I need!

Here are some more highlights:
Read in Sunlight with No Glare
Adjustable Text Size
Manual Screen Rotation
Built-In PDF Reader

Read-To-Me Feature
Newspaper Reading
Bookmarks and Annotations
Personal Document Service Via Whispernet
Wireless Access to Wikipedia
Built-In Dictionary with Instant Lookup
Search

Audiobooks

Read Kindle Books on your iPhone or PC

Basic Web Browser

All for $259


I think I know which one I want... what are your thoughts??

I Choose To Live Out Loud

Dear friends,

I have a few things I want to share with you. Some of the items may be jarring, while others may be inspiring.

I think I need to simply start at the beginning.

I live out loud.

I choose to express, not repress.

That's it.

Seriously.

I have no ulterior motives. I am not trying to accomplish anything. I choose to leave my mark on the world, and I do that by living out loud.

I realize that makes some people very uncomfortable. By living out loud, I lay it all out there on the line, and in turn - I bet you find yourself judging me. Perhaps THAT makes you uncomfortable. I am sure it goes against everything you claim to believe in. Judge not lest you be judged.. and so on.

This is me. Far from perfect, a bit of an instigator, a tad bit of an agitator, a slight piece of a passionate fool, and sometimes.. oh there are times.. I am one amazing chick.

It saddens me when a friend or even a stranger feels the need to live their life in private. What do you have to be ashamed of? I always cringe when people start off a sentence with, "Now - don't say anything." When you know damn good and well they are sharing their little story with many people, and saying the same thing to each. Essentially what is happening - they want to tell everyone. But they are so insecure, they simply do not want you judging "Out Loud." By not saying anything to anyone, they are essentially asking you to not talk about them.

Honey.. if what you did left you feeling that insecure, then don't do it.

Sharing information in this technical age is tricky. We have so many outlets to express ourselves. I say - about damn time!

I can take the conservative route and just do a little "professional" linkedIn or linkIn account (I have one - but rarely use it. I can never remember the name of the page. ;-)) I think this is perfect for people who want to be judged by their career only. Then you have your Myspace options. I think this is excellent for kids who want to create a fun layout and express themselves through music and pictures.

Facebook is a nice little "getting in touch" outlet. You get a minor one sentence or so update, a few items on your profile page and you can upload some pictures. Basic. What I like about it, is I have learned so many new things about old and new friends - and get this - I actually like them better! LOL YES! I might have thought the shy girl in high school was just plain jane boring. Turns out they have very deep thoughts, read the same books I do, and may have an amazing knack from bonsai trees. Fascinating. hahahaa

Now we go to BLOGS. I find that the majority of avid blog writers are actually writers. You get a few who attempt to do it that are far from professional writers. Or they are selling something. But as far as original thought - almost all of the ones I follow are of people, very similar to me. I have a Broadcast Journalism degree. Clearly, I write conversationally. It is what I was trained to do. Makes me a decent speech writer, etc. I have noticed - many of the authors are journalism and english majors. I do have one MAJOR writing flaw. I have many many typos I rarely notice, and I cannot spell. ;-)

Oh you know the old quote, and lord knows I can't remember who said it - "All journalist have a novel inside of them.. and that's where it needs to stay." Or something to that effect. Yes, I have many thoughts and to make sure my brain does not explode and I do not talk people's heads off - I express myself here.

Sometimes I may make you mad!!!! Sometimes you may roll your eyes because it seems I am bragging. Sometimes you might find inspiration. It doesn't matter what you take away from this. It is my place to LIVE AND LOVE OUTLOUD.

I have a twisted view of what I see as someone who has it all together. Many people I have met believe the calm, straight laced, strategic, organized planner with slower speech and patient demeanor is the most professional and what we should all hope to be.

I disagree. I would much rather work with someone who is passionate (shows emotion), says exactly what they are thinking - challenges me verbally and with actions - walks the walk and is not afraid to color outside of the lines. Will challenge authority, is willing to give someone else the credit and will- without fail- stand up for what is right, regardless if it benefits them personally.

That person I just descibed - would live out loud.

STOP CENSORING YOUR LIVES PEOPLE. Try to create new, honest norms. Be who you were meant to be and be proud of that. Who cares if people disagree? GOOD! That means we are not all molded the same way. That's awesome.

A truly awesome person can sit in a room with someone polar opposite and still be able to listen and understand and learn.

For me?

I choose to live out loud.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My To-Do List



I thought I might just bore my sweet readers to tears with my To-Do List.



It's my blog, I can whine if I want to.







So.. here it goes:










1. Hang and fold all of my clean clothes. They have been clean since Monday. They move from my bed to the desk over and over.







2. Wash those really big pots and skillet in the sink. I had so many things in the dishwasher, the big stuff did not make it in. I hate hand washing.







3. Confirm the radio interview with WZZK for next week.







4. Send the name of the spokesperson to ABC 33/40 for our Midday interview next week.







5. Proof the National Start! Walking Day PSA to air - today.







6. Confirm the time and exact location of the National Start! Walking Day celebration at Southern Nuclear. Inform media sponsors.







7. Finish and send B-Metro Magazine the media sponsorship for Start!







8. Confirm with WEAR in Pensacola as to whether they will air our Start! PSAs.







9. Send out the press release for the Art For Heart event in Baldwin County (outside of Mobile.)







10. Create the Heart Ball release for Mobile







11. Work with the Chattanooga team to get snag Clear Channel as the Start! Heart Walk Sponsor.







12. Email AHA snapshot to Cox RAdio - WAGG & WERC for the 1 hour interview we have next Thursday







13. Send Media Alert to Birmingham media for National Start! Walking Day.







14. Drink Coffee







15. Find a flippin' intern.







16. Send information for WTTO to start on production of our Go Red For Women Luncheon PSA in Bham







17. Find a radio media sponsor for Go REd in Birmingham







18. Circle back with Birmingham Magazine about May opportunities







19. Answer interview questions for Birmingham Parent Magazine's Teen issue that will deal with dieting and eating disorders







20. Pay the gas bill.







21. Take out the trash







22. Check in with Power to End Stroke media sponsors for Power Day push







23. Send LTE for Advocacy and send Julie the list of publications it was sent to







24. Follow up on DASH diet press release







25. Set Media Spokesperson Training for April 9th and contact casting call participants.







26. Pray. (really this should be number 1.)







27. Make my bed







28. Cook lunch and dinner







29. Set agenda for 6 conference calls I have tomorrow with Johnson City, Knoxville and Chattanooga; Huntsville & Tuscaloosa.







30. Come up with an entertainment schedule for my parents visit next weekend.







31. Decide what to get Yass for his birthday.







32. Try not to jump off a cliff...







That's it. And it has to be done before I go to sleep tonight.







Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

50 REALLY cool things (in my opinion)



Today's blog post was inspired by the Sassy Curmudgeon's 30 things she is glad she did NOT do before 30. I thought to myself... "Self, you are feeling kind of down in the dumps.. why don't you try to cheer yourself up?" Sooo boys and girls.. that's what I am going to attempt to do.

With that - I am going to come up with 50 things that I think were super cool that I have accomplished!


50 things I think are REALLY cool that I have accomplished (and why!)
1. Learned to tie my shoes. I am serious. Don't roll your eyes. Do you friggin' remember how hard it was to learn to tie your shoes? I do. It took me years before I learned the double knot system.
2. Learn to ride a bike. I remember it like it was yesterday, trying over and over attempting to ride around this playground. I started around 8am and did not accomplish my goal until the sun was setting. It was my first time discovering that by trial and error - you WILL figure things out eventually. I was 8.
3. Standing up to a bully. My sister and I were fishing with cane poles (yes, a sign of a southern girl) at Crystal Lake. These two girls kept following us for days, every time we chose to take a walk around this lake. Finally - the stand off happened. I looked at my sister and said, " I see those girls are coming back. Just ignore them, I will handle this." One of them - names Carla - approached me and threatend me. Her sidekick, Wendy, was standing behind her threatening us. I was 10, my sister was 6. I turned around, all 4 '11 of me and told those girls to leave us alone. Guess what - it worked. It was all talk. Lesson learned.
4. Moving up to an advance class in Ballet and getting my pointe shoes (or toe shoes.) Since I was a little girl and I saw the Sugar Plum fairy flutter across the Grand Opera House - those pretty pink satin shoes were all I wanted. I still remember the day!
5. Learning to roller skate backwards. Man.. it's the little things, okay? Seriously important - what if a cute boy wanted to couple skate? PS - it never happened. :-(
6. Not fainting during my first kiss! Yes, I thought I would NEVER have the nerve to kiss a boy. It took one young man (who I never saw again.. oh my word.. does it make it a one night stand - middle school style?? lol) My friends and I were at a teen dance club called Guidos - and yes, this little boy just layed one on me. I think I lost my breathe. hahahahaha.
7. Perfecting a Tour Jete. I knew as soon as I circled the dance floor and felt myself take air, then landed gracefully - I was hooked for life. (PS - still a favorite dance move I like to perform when I am home alone. ;-) )
8. Surviving and getting over my first heart break. And maaaannnnn.. did I pick a bad boy to break my heart. I was 14, he was 16 or 17 - (His name was Jason) and man oh man...
Looking back, I am sooo glad he broke up with me. I would not do things with him other girls would... so he left me. I always thought (when I was young) he was the boy I wanted to marry. LOL Soooo glad I did not. He is quite the "loser" now. ;-)
9. Passing for 18 with a fake id at Flaming Sally's. (Does that bring back memories??) I used my friend, Dedra's driver licence to get into this bar. PS - she is waay taller and had blonde hair. LOL To me.. at 17, that was pretty cool.
10. Winning a little Georgia Theater Conference competition with my theater peeps. John Jones was our director and we had one hell of a good one act play - "The Second Best Bed."
11. Learning to drive a 5 speed manual car. I wanted a car so bad at 16, and my parents refused to buy one for me. I had a part time job at JC Penny and made a total of $100 a week. I found an old man who sold me his 1978 Toyota Corolla (it was 1990) for $100 a month for 12 months. It was a 4 speed (not even 5.) I had to get it home.. so I put the petal to the metal and taught myself to drive the thing. I went from Pio Nono Ave to Spring Meadow Drive. By the time I got home, I had it all figured out.
12. Winning "Best Witness" at our Mock Trial Competition in High School. I can't remember who we were competing against - but apparently it was a really tough high school. I played a Clinical Psychologist - and won!!
12. Representing Israel in the "Special Political Committee" for the state's Model United Nations. Talk about walking into a cess pool of debate! Learned some pretty cool skills at that competition and our team walked away with honorable mention.
13. Getting confirmed at church.
14. Having the coolest flower in the world for prom. I wore a black dress and I told my boyfriend of the time, Allen, that I wanted a black orchid. That boy found one. Seriously - coolest flower to the day!
15. Surviving the never ending stair case at Mammoth Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I was NEVER afraid of heights until my trip to the cave - which happens to be the largest in the world. The cave was so large, at one point we had to climb stairs that were sort of like spiral.. these stairs went really, really high. At one point - I stopped, looked down, and could not see the floor. I stood frozen in place. Yes my friends.. every since, I have issues with climbing stairs that you can see through.
16. My introduction to a completely different "alternative" world. My friend, Heather (in high school), took me to her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida for spring break. Heather was a bit "alternative" (at the time that's what we called it.. basically followed alternative music... pre-goth, etc.) Anyway - she introduced me to new music, new clothes, a whole new world! LOL
17. Surviving a trek by Greyhound from Macon, Georgia to Dallas, Texas to visit my friend Wendy. 30 hours on a bus, alone, at 19. (First time going that far away from home, alone.)
18. My first flight on a 173 Cessna. Dave Burn got me, Brad and I think Janice to fly in this tiny little plane. It was like riding in an old Volkswagen bug that is not pressurized. Lord have mercy.
19. Sleeping under the stars on top of War Woman mountain next to a camp fire, surrounded by really good friends from college. Merri invited a big group of us up to go camping in the North Georgia mountains. Once we got there, I realized we did not have tents. I was a little freaked, but settled into it. Slept under the stars next to a warm fire. (Note- if you have never slept to a fire, please realize you will wake up with a yellow face. lol)
20. Hiking Pine Mountain - (the entire mountain trail) in one weekend. Yes, the most "strenuous" thing I have ever done is go backpacking with my boyfriend, Brad, and a few other "adventure therapy" major. We hiked in 7 miles, camped.. then hiked 18 miles.. camped.. then hiked out 12 miles. I thought I would die. The pack was soooooo heavy .. at one point.. I dropped to my knees and said - I CANNOT do this any more. But somehow I pulled myself up and did it. LOTS of hills, small amount of throwing a pack up on some rocks and pulling yourself up. But man - the views were spectacular in October.
21. The first time I ever got really really drunk. I don't know if I would call it the "coolest" thing I have done.. but it is something I will never forget. My friends and I were at a Phi Delt party, and one of my new friends (I was a freshman) Mike Rachels (he was a senior) insisted that I learn to drink beer. I said it grossed me out. He taught me to throw the suds to the back of my throat. I did. I drank a total of two beers.. and tried to walk to the bathroom. LOL. I remember thinking I would fall over, I was sooooo dizzy. hahahahaa. Funny... two beers, out of a plastic cup was all it tool. Cheap drunk.
22. Going across the monkey bridge (rope bridge) over sweet water creek - walking backwards and blind folded. Oh yeah.. I did it. hahahaha. Quite the dare devil at one time.
23. Okay - some of my friends from Crystal Lake might remember this... Remember the Case of tracking down the devil worshippers??? That's all I have to say. hahahaha.
24. Ending one wild and crazy night in Milledgeville at a local bar - by suggesting all of our friends go and watch the sunset on the beach. A big group of us ended up on Tybee Island drinking champagne and watching the sun rise. (We drove almost 3.5 hours.) After it rose.. we drove back. ahhhaa.
25. One crazy Sunday night in college, a big group of us were at our friend Elizabeth's house hanging out.. and we ran out of beer. Matt Ostrander had a military base pass - so we drove almost 2 hours to Robins Air Force Base to purchase a case of beer, then drive back to college. (If you did not know.. alcohol is not sold in Georgia in Sundays, but apparently on a military base it is.)
26. I remember another crazy night my friend Wendy and my friend Brad decided we would drive from our college (we decide this at 3am at a bar) to Jekyll Island to see our friend Trent. Wendy loads us into her car, we drive the 4 hours or so down and as soon as we get on the island, her car breaks down. We end up talking the one mechanic on the island to fix it for free, and we also talk one of the hotels into letting us stay there. 3 days later - we were rescued from the island. lol
27. Graduating from college on Saturday. Starting my internship at a tv station on a Monday. three month later my internship ends on a Friday and I get hired to work as the Midday and 5pm News Producer on Monday. BLESSING and rare.
28. Earning my first Georgia Association of Broadcaster's award.
29. Earning my first Associated Press Award.
30. Having truly one of the most beautiful catholic weddings with hundreds of people. (Unfortunately the marriage was not as beautiful.)
31. Snorkeling with the manatee in Crystal River Florida. (They are going extinct.)
32. Flying in a helicopter. YIKES!
33. Taking a super intense Vampire Tour in New Orleans. Pretty Cool.
34. Dancing and Flirting with Army Rangers in Savannah.
35. Going through an Ice Hockey phase - attending all of the games, sitting on the ice, consuming large quantities and beer and.. well.. dating a few players. Telisa and I had excellent times!
36. Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in November and seeing the Biltmore Estate.
37. Taking a sleeping car on the train to Washington DC to celebrate Veteran's Day.
38. Peering out over the Empire State Building.
39. Leaving the Battery in NYC and randomly browsing the buildings in the financial district. I began to smell smoke.. walked a little further, passed Trinity Church, saw Century 21 and noticed smoke rising from the surrounding areas - it was March (after 9/11) and the buildings were still smoking. Very moving moment that I "happened" upon.
40. Speaking of my first trip to NYC - getting of the train at Penn Station - walking up the walkway to finally set foot in the city, and seeing the walls lined with "Missing" posters, etc of the victims of 9/11.
41. Waking up my first morning in Egypt, peering out the window and actually seeing the pyramids of Giza outside.
42. Taking a romantic walk by the Mediterranean Sea with the man who would become my husband.
43. Participating in a muslim wedding ceremony.
44. Opening my home to 14 exchange students from 2000 - 2007. Thailand, Spain, Belgium, Italy, France, Moldova, Germany, Iraq, Australia, Columbia, Brazil, Cambodia.. all of these cultures were a part of my home for a long period of time. I brought the world to me.
45. Being a "Big Sister" to a bi-racial child that was the daughter of a crack-whore and her father was a drug dealer. She lived in Pleasant Hill. I did my best to spend time with her, and show her a different world.
46. Driving past Mohammad Ali's castle on the way to the Cairo Airport.
47. Walking through Alexander the Great's Castle.
48. Sitting and have a two hour conversation with a woman who only spoke arabic, and I - only english.
49. Having that adorable niece of mine look up at me with her big blue eyes and say, "I luv you Ant Cole."
50. Sitting her as I write this - and glancing across the room, and realizing I love that man.. even when he makes me mad. LOL ;-)
PS - Of course, there is so much more - like meeting the President, getting a private tour of the capital (behind the scenes when in DC), meeting someone who I think "may" have been an angel, surviving meningitus, surviving a cancer scare... soooo many things. But these things... the 50 above - are things I remember fondly. Maybe one day I will make a list of things that really changed my life. But today, was just the "coooool" things.. in my opinion. Sure.. there are tons more.. but that would be slightly "self involved' don't cha think? ;-)

I have a hole...


I think I am a little "home sick." I don't mean - for the home my parents live in. I mean - my home I lived in, when I left Georgia.

I miss my old life sometimes. Not necessarily some of the characters that played major roles in my life.. or to be specific - one major role. But I miss a lot of the other pieces.

I miss being able to pop over and see my family whenever I wanted.
I hate that I cannot be there to watch my niece grow up.
I hate that my parents are aging... and I am missing some of their "younger of the older years."

I miss my little basketball stand in my driveway.

I miss my "secret garden" where twinkle lights were hung from trees and friends would come over and drink wine with me and talk into the late hours.

I miss my "dance parties" complete with strobe lights, black lights, and colored lights, surround sound and karaoke in my HUGE family room.

I miss my huge paned window that stretched the entire length of the living room. The view was simply magnificent.

I miss my big kitchen.

I miss the chandelier in my dining room.

I miss sitting on the large front porch on a summer night, smelling the jasmine growing and watching lightening bugs.

I miss trotting over to my next door neighbor Cathy's house for coffee and conversation.

I miss arranging for Telisa to meet me at B&N for coffee and conversation. Heck, I miss driving less than 2 miles to get to her house.

I miss hosting exchange students every year. I miss getting their room ready, taking them through the Hay House (again) and hiking around Dauset Trails (again) and driving down that one road near Lake Tobo and admiring (what I thought) was an awesome view of the lake. lol

I miss being able to arrange a quick trip to Savannah - heck, I could leave at 2am and have plenty of time to relax and watch the sunrise on Tybee while consuming a bottle or two of champagne with really great friends.

I miss meeting my favorite people from St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Wednesday and Sunday nights for bible study/mass.

I miss the friday night fish fry parties at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

I miss going to tiny little bars in our small entertainment district. (Which is a total of one or two blocks.)

I miss going to the "First Friday" nights.. which were about as exciting and urban as you could get in a smaller town - and actually running into people I knew.

I miss working in a job that I really, really knew what I was doing. Goals were there - but they were easy. (Lord.. if I knew then, what I know now...)

I miss having my 3 cats and two dogs. Especially my Nanook & Maximus - who have both gone on to heaven.

I miss attending shows at the Grand Opera House and reminiscing fondly on my ballet days and how, yes, I too performed there.

I miss my azalea bushes.

I miss shopping at the tiny metaphyscial shop on Ingleside.

I miss going to Camp Martha Johnston and visiting all of the sites I knew as a child.

I miss the beer battered fries at Rivalrys.

I miss driving by my old high school and seeing that blue wall (that once seemed sooo big.)

I miss getting my orange cheese dip and cheeeeesy enchilda at Polly's La Mesa (what a hole in the wall!!)

I miss driving down Ingleside and trying to remember which building held my dance studio.

I miss randomly heading over to that biker bar on Broadway (what is the name of that place??) and always, with out fail - hear some of the best southern rock bands in town.

Heck - I never hear southern rock here.... (where I live now.)

I miss NuWay hotdogs.

I miss popping into Synergy late at night with friends and catching a really good Drag show.

I miss getting my feta dip with curly fries at Papoulis.

I miss driving around Crystal Lake.. actually parking the car.. and taking a walk around that lake - remembering the "glory days" of a much simpler and fun teenage life.

I miss dancing at Liz Reeds (that takes me back even further.)

I miss making fun of all of the "wired jaw" Georgia accents.

I miss seeing that bulldog mascot. (I am SICK of the elephant.)

I miss seeing a big G on the back of cars. All I see now are As.

I miss seeing some random.. "My child goes to ___ (fill in the blank private school.) Because no one gets my joke here.. "Hey, I went to public school."

I miss driving down Gray Highway and remembering all of the awesome people I met and the crazy life we once all led when working at 13WMAZ. (And yes, you can survive on beer, ramen noodles and good conversation.)

I miss Cherry Blossoms.

I miss randomly attending some "theater cast" party. Heck, I miss the days I used to actually perform in theater. Hard to believe I was ever a theater kid. No one would believe it now. lol

I miss worrying whether or not you would run into an old boyfriend.

I miss not having a single decent place to shop - so it was always exciting to shop online or go to Atlanta. hahahaha.

I miss thinking that our little downtown was actually a real downtown.

There is something that bursts the bubble of what was once home - when you move away. You look back and see things more clearly.

For one - everything looks sooo much smaller now. Life was actually less stressful, moved at a slower pace and was actually manageable. Of course I could not see it then.

All the way down to less lanes on the highway - there is a bit of ease that I miss.

Traffic jams that are more like a Sunday afternoon drive here.
Even the homeless people generally stay in one place.

Speaking of which - I miss taking my bike down to the riverwalk.

I knew every twist and turn and road in that town.

I knew the name of every major player in town, and which bands were the best, and where to get the best deal on a drink. (Heck, there weren't many options in any of those categories - but I KNEW them.)

I just miss that something familiar.

I find myself now surrounded by many things I always wanted. I created another life for myself. And yes, it's not my last stop - I know. My life will have many twists and turns and new characters and street names to learn. I think the cities will get bigger and bigger.. even the languages may change.

I know that I have hardly even scratched the surface on my life. I am 37 - but more than likely I have a looooong way to go.

Where will I end up? Who will be around me? What will it be like to return home in 20 years?

For now.. I can rest assure... I left home on an upswing, and that, my friends, is the only way to leave.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fantasy Shopping



I have decided to go fantasy shopping. That's right - that means I have unlimited money and a perfect body -of course.



Sooo. in tonight's installment of "Shopping with Nicole" - I stopped by Tiffany & Company and picked up this beautiful ring. Perfect for me, yeah?















Next was a little stop at Saks 5th Avenue.

Here is a little Phoebe Couture. I LOVE this dress. Too much fun. Would be perfect for the nighttime parties at the Botanical Garden.






















Check out this fun dress. LOVE LOVE LOVE. About 14 years ago.. absolutely! ;-)











God please grant me these shoes.















Understated - too cute dress.






















DO I even need to tell you what designer this is? Come on.. the red stem should be a dead giveaway!

















BEAUTIFUL

















What is funny is.. if given unlimited money - seriously - I am still drawn mostly to the shoes. LOL




Pretty Pretty.

I just love black heels. (I own sooo many..) But as you can see - there are soooooo many different styles.















Perfect for the Go Red For Women Luncheon























Fendi always brings tears to my eyes. Tears of joy.


















White House Black Market - Too romantic.






















Another romantic shirt!!


















These are really cute and actually afforable.




That concludes my little fantasy shopping spree for March. I am spent! LOL









































Squawwwwk!

SQUAWWWK!


That's what I heard this morning in my head.


That is, after I opened my computer and typed the letters and symbols to get facebook.com.


I got a kick out of watching people get their red, white and blue feathers ruffled. Oh, how I love a good feather ruffling!


If you have been asleep the past 14 hours or so, or have been living under a rock, or maybe you have just awoken from a coma (hey, it happens) - I am talking about the super-controversial healthcare reform bill.


Yes, it passed. Now - let's move on.


It is important for you to know that I was in favor of health care reform. I am. I am completely for the following items:

1. Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all new plans.

2. Prohibit rescissions of health insurance policies in all individual plans.

3. Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans.

4. Establish an internet portal to assist Americans in identifying coverage options.

5. Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool.

6. Require new plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26.

7. Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing.

8. Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage.


That is all super cool to me. Yeah - I am willing for my tax dollars to go to this. Sure thing.

I am NOT willing to let my tax dollars go to other things - like a war I do not support. Nor do I like paying taxes to a government that sets restrictions on immigrants. (But that is for another blog and another time.)


With that being said. That's it. It's done, it's over - the politicians that voted YES in favor were put in power by us. If you don't like it, that's okay - just vote another way. I did not like what was going on when Bush was in office, and I was a life long republican. I could not find a good republican candidate that I wanted to support - so I voted for the person I thought could make some changes. He won - and changes are being made. That's awesome and feels like a great victory for America.


If you don't agree - that's fine with me. It's your American right... but it is also FUN for me.

Muhahahahahhaa.. (that is equivalent to an evil laugh.)


There is one thing I can count on - always - for pompous, fat-cat conservatives to freak out when someone steals their lollipops. (Or at least that is the visual I get. Sorry..)


Let me rephrase


I apologize - I just found myself stooping to their level..

what I meant was - the opposing side. I knew without a doubt there would be massive anger and uproar. Sooo.. what do I do? I am a chronic instigator. I love to watch people lose their cool. I don't know why - there is some sick, twisted thing inside of me that totally gets a kick out of people going a little crazy. Perhaps it goes back to the days in the newsroom - where we would all cheer when something crazy happened - because we knew we could milk it for days and possibly increase ratings!!


It reminds me of that line in psycho....

"We all go a little mad sometimes.."


Well apparently trying to help others get ahead in life is not an option for some, and they go a "little mad sometimes."




I am totally over the whole health care item. I got what I wanted. So there.
But for fun, I can instigate and watch how people totally lose their cool and squawk about how they are being robbed, and that they are good, loving christian "folks", and that they do their part. I find it interesting how in ONE SENTENCE - a person will say they are for helping their fellow man, and in the same sentence say - but don't touch my things!
For years many people on "the other side" have thrown punches at the other group - saying, "If you don't like it - leave."
Finally - is it our time to repeat the same offensive request??!
Absolutely not.
I understand the concern. But let's see if it works. Let's give it a try. I would not be surprised if the very same people screaming about this reform, are people who in their everyday life are super uncomfortable with change.
Sure - change is scary. And yes, problems can occur. But isn't one of the best definitions of insanity this - "Insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
Perhaps I am a bit of a risk taker. I am willing to put our country out there on the line and hope for the best. I think a lot of good will come out it. And yes, I am sure that as soon as something even remotely off kilter happens, I am sure we will all be aware of it and Obama and his crew will have to wear the scarlett letter for a bit. Yeah.. yeah. No big surprise.
But for once, have faith. If you must worry - fine. I will let you do all the worrying for me.
Because I, too, have faith in an awesome God. Nothing happens without his will. As my beautiful Egyptian says.. "Insha Allah.." Which means - If God Wills it... and yes, I think he has.

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