Sunday, June 26, 2005

So, what do I do?

This weekend, someone paid me a very nice compliment. The bar we were in was extremely loud, and I don't think I was able to thank him properly. So thank you. You are very kind.

I was also unable the answer his original question, "So, what do you do?"

Well, for eight or so hours every day, I assist my company's resellers, both domestic and international, in helping their clients hire the best employees by using our products. Strategic Accounts Manager is my official title. Oddly enough, I really enjoy my job. Well, the job is a job, but I really enjoy the people I work with, and I truly believe that my company provides a great service. Good stuff all around. I'm one of the lucky ones.

So, the other 16 hours of the day, what do I do? Well, I play and coach soccer. Dave and I are also photographers, though we're going back to more of the amateur route. I'm also a wife, and parent (dog, two cats, and a fish), a daughter, granddaughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, an aunt, a cousin, and a friend. I'm a homeowner, which also translates into an amateur repairwoman, painter, and maid. Luckily, I'm rarely a cook. Oh yeah, and I'm a groupie.

What I am, but I don't do, is a degreed writer - UGA, Grady College of Journalism, Class of 1997, in Magazines. I'm also an English minor.

What do I want to be that I'm not, yet? Well, I'd very much like to be debt-free. And a kayaker. And I'd like to be a mother in the more small-human-being sense. And, well, for a little fantasy, I'd like to be an absolute badass with a rockin' body, like Jessica Biel in Blade Trinity.

So what about you? What do you do? What are you? What did you study to be? And what would you like to be? Beuller, Beuller. Anyone?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Pet Peeves II

Biggest blogging pet peeve?

Comments trolls who make random (an usually anonymous) comments unrelated to the original post. Especially when they are negative and completely against the tone of the blog on which they are posting.

For example, the first comment on the "Big Oops" post at Jen's blog. Grr.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

RIP US Constitution

On its deathbed with the Ashcroft v. Raich decision, the Constitution has now passed on.

The latest Supreme Court decisions have been utterly devastating to liberty. These are not obscure decisions, and both will affect millions of people. The government can now stand in your way at nearly every turn.

I'm sad.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Pensive Whitney

I think I may be coming out of this finally. A few days is all I usually need during these little episodes. This one seemed particularly tough a week ago. But maybe it wasn’t.

How do I know I’m coming out of it? Well, I’m starting to tire of the Pensive playlist on my mp3 player. On the Pensive playlist are songs that in my life for years, and recently, I have been able to listen to over and over and over again during these times. I lose myself in these songs. Artists include those already mentioned – Guy Clark, Radney Foster, and Lyle Lovett – and others: Jimmy Buffett, Fleetwood Mac, Don Henley, Nickel Creek, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Annie Lennox, Melissa Etheridge, Angie Aparo, Otis Redding, and Everthing But the Girl. There more, but those are the ones this time around.

So this is a good sign.

I think I’ve figured out the source of the Pensive-ness (ivity?), though. And that’s the second step on the path. While Dave D. was brought to his own reflection during an event that pulled so much to the fore, my own epiphanies are the opposite. I need to be away from everything in order to sort it all out … stand back, and look again.

I think it’s that I don’t feel like I’m doing anything lately. Well, I’m doing plenty, as evidenced by my calendar. I guess a better word would be accomplishing. I’m not accomplishing anything.

This is something that is distinctly different about childhood vs. adulthood. From day one through college, there was always an accomplishment on the horizon – the end of the school year, the beginning of the school year, graduation, some sort of goal for whatever activities we were involved in. Constant end-points in front of us. As an adult, it’s not so much like that anymore. Yes, there are promotions and raises, marriage and children, but these are not as defined as goals before. And what do you do in between these defining moments in your life? How do you figure out who you are and what you’ve accomplished without these rites of passage?

I catch myself spinning my wheels, doing lots, but getting nothing done. So I have to remember to set some goals for myself. Maybe this is why people make New Year’s resolutions. I never really have. And I probably won’t. But what I will do is keep an active list of things I want to get done, and really focus on those. (I hear Dave groaning now, “Not ANOTHER list!”). Also, all of these have to require little cash, since something we have managed to accomplish is an uncomfortable amount of debt.

Finish painting the kitchen cabinets
Paint the living room
Paint the dining room
Pay off Dave’s car

I’m not saying that painting and paying off bills will define who I am. That’s what my relationships and daily life and the rites of passage are for – the way we treat other people and the larger accomplishments. I think I have a handle on these for now. What’s got me weird is whatever happens in between. Apparently, I need something to fill the in-between.

These can all be done relatively quickly – before the end of the summer, if I put my mind to it. So then what? Well, I’ll deal with that then. I’ve considered martial arts, but that means I’ll have to give up at least one soccer team and something financially. We’ll just have to see. But I will find something. I can’t go through this again in a matter of months.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Slightly better shot, but not by much. The story of the tag on the end of the guitar is kind of fun. The guitar was stolen at a music festival in Houston back in the 80's. Eventually, he got a call from the police. They had the guitar. The tag is the evidence tag from the police department. It hasn't come off since. Posted by Hello

Pictures from the show. Moved around a little to get better shots, but it was still pretty dark. And red lights stink, especially with a red curtain. Anywho... Posted by Hello

Chin deep in it

Going to see one of my favorite singer-songwriters tonight at Eddie's Attic couldn't have come at a better time. I'm chin deep in music right now. I sit at my desk at work with my headphones on listening to the three big guys in my book: Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett, and Radney Foster.

Tonight at Eddie's Attic was Radney Foster. The crowd was no more than 150. Radney and a couple guitars. I can't say much more than that.

There was a song that I'd not heard before. I can't explain what it's like to go to a show like this by yourself and hear a song like this one. I just hope you can understand. If you can't, well, I'm sad for you, because it truly is one of the greatest experiences in life - in its pain and its glory.

"Half Of My Mistakes"
(Radney Foster/Bobby Houck)

Half of my mistakes I made stone cold sober
Half of my mistakes I made at closing time
Half the time I never saw it coming 'til it was over
Half of my mistakes I made with love on the line

Half of my mistakes I swear I should have known better
Half of my mistakes were just amongst friends
You get a little distance on it the truth is clearer
Half of my mistakes, I'd probably make 'em again.

So if I had it all to do over I'm sure I'¹d win and lose just as much
Spend less time on right and wrong
And a lot more time on love.

Half of my mistakes I made 'cause I was moving too quickly
Half of 'em were made 'cause my heart was moving too slow
Nobody can tell you a damn thing if you ain't listening
Half of my mistakes I made 'cause I couldn't let go

(Repeat chorus)

Half of my mistakes I'd give anything to change how it ended
Half of my mistakes, God, I wouldn't change a thing
You can lean too hard on regrets, but I don't recommend it
Because half the good things in life came from half of my mistakes

Yeah, a lot of good things in my life come from half my mistakes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


May not hear from me for a while. By that I mean a few days or maybe a couple weeks. There's just too much going on, and I have to focus and re-evaluate some things. One of those times.

Will leave you with a song:

Boats to Build
Guy Clark

It's time for a change
I'm tired of that same ol' same
The same ol' words the same ol' lines
The same ol' tricks and the same ol' rhymes

Days precious days
Roll in and out like waves
I got boards to bend
I got planks to nail
I got charts to make
I got seas to sail

I'm gonna build me a boat
With these two hands
It'll be a fair curve
From a noble plan
Let the chips fall where they will
Cause I've got boats to build

Sails are just like wings
The wind can make 'em sing
Songs of life songs of hope
Songs to keep your dreams afloat

I'm gonna build me a boat
With these two hands
It'll be a fair curve
From a noble plan
Let the chips fall where they will
Cause I've got boats to build

Shores distant shores
There's where I'm headed for
Got the stars to guide my way
Sail into the light of day

I'm gonna build me a boat
With these two hands
It'll be a fair curve
From a noble plan
Let the chips fall where they will
Cause I've got boats to build

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Weekend Movies

Saw a couple of movies this weekend. Wanted to see one more, but oh well. And since Batman Begins starts this coming weekend, I don't know that we'll get aroung to seeing Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Went last night to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but the showing we were there for was sold out, and the next one wasn't for another hour. So we saw Cinderella Man. Wow, absolutely loved it. Don't know that I'll be buying that one, but I'm really glad that I saw it. Dave asked if I needed to be rehydrated afterwards. I cried a lot. But, well honestly, I cry a lot anyway. I'm sensitive, sentimental, empatheitic, sympathetic - whatever all of the words are that means someone who cries easily. The scene when Russel Crowe's character goes to ask for money just about tore me up. I now have an understanding as never before about what people went through during the depression.

But, while that one is rough, the movie I saw this evening takes the cake for weekend sadness. It's a movie called Sometimes in April, done by HBO about the Rwandan genocide in 1994. I'm ashamed to say that I had no idea this was going on at the time. But I do remember Kurt Cobain's death, which happened at the same time. I haven't seen Hotel Rwanda yet, but had planned to before seeing this one, and certainly will now. I would like to see another story of this horrible tragedy. September 11 galvanized our nation (briefly) when 3,000 people died. A much smaller nation - tiny by comparison - was torn about when its own people began targeting each other and 1 million people were killed - 800,000 of them Tutsi's who were killed solely for being another Tutsi's and not Hutu's. I thank God that I cannot comprehend hunting down the people in my neighborhood simply because they, their parents, or their spouses were originally from Sandy Springs, while I'm from Alpharetta. That's the only way I can think of the tribal differences. Or maybe because their great grandparents came over from Ireland and mine from Scotland? 800,000. Women, children, people in churches, homes, in the street, in schools.

Unfortunately, it seems the Rwandan situation followed a little too closely to Mogadishu, Somalia, for the US government's comfort, and we did nothing. Watching the clip of some silly bureaucrat dance around even naming it genocide is infuriating and heartbreaking.

The UN, that bastion of rescuing the world, only sent 400 troops. France had some there because the Belgians had originally wrestled Rwanda from them years earlier, and given favor to the minority Tutsi's. And so the Hutu resentment existed, even though they had ruled the country since 1959. That's the short story.

A great movie - sad, infuriating, and touching. The rebel army was able to gain control of the country after 100 days and 1 million deaths. And the man who took over as president is still president today. I do not know more than that.

Please, don't think that this movie is all about bashing America for not doing more. It's not. It's about two brothers and the world trying to deal with was happening. One Hutu Army member married to a Tutsi and his brother a Hutu political radio host fanning the flames of the hatred and bigotry. It leaves no one unaccounted for, but isn't about blame. It tells the story. Even after seeing this, you don't necessarily know what America should have or could have done. At least, I don't. There was really no leader to displace. It was anarchy. How do you deal with that? We learned in Somalia that it's no easy task. And we were gun-shy for having that experience.

Someone in the movie asked if it was because they were African, but we sat by and did the same thing with Yugoslavia.

I certainly have no answers. Does anyone? Maybe we'll be willing and able to help next time.

It's a movie worth watching.

Friday, June 10, 2005

More thoughts on the Rat Pack

Really translates to celebrity, but follow along with me...

If people are ok with the fact that they weren't necessarily great people to those who lived outside of the Rat Pack stage life, that's fine. I'm ok with that in listening to their music, but it's hard to convince me that they are worth all the obsessing outside of the music.

It's like the way I can rationalize hollywood liberals and my enjoyment of their movies, in spite of my disagreement with their politics. 1 - I enjoy their movies or whatever art they practice (movies, music, etc). 2 - I can enjoy that and not like them as people. 3 - I can't convince other people who can't enjoy their movies or music that they should. I do enjoy the art only if I can separate that from the person. If I can't separate the art from the person, then I can't enjoy it. I don't enjoy mafia stories generally, because I can't separate the intriguing story from the horrible characters in it. I can enjoy Sinatra's, Martin's, Springsteen's, and Mellencamp's music because I can separate who they are, their politics, and anything else from their music.

Look at the worldwide love for Michael Jackson. Most people can still separate who he has become from who he was during Thriller and earlier albums. Less so with Bad. And then it all went downhill when people could no longer separate his psychological problems from his musical persona. The people who are still his most loyal fans seem to only remain that way by continuing to separate their love of the music from the love of the man. The worse his problems show through, the more this ability to love him moves from separation to outright denial. In order to still love his music, many people have to deny that he is a creepy person at best and a pedophile at worst. The more the art and the artist become one, the more difficult it is.

I think that's why love of the Rat Pack's music and lifestyle so often translate into a love of the Rat Pack - by the end, they seemed to be one and the same. The Rack Pack worked very hard either become their stage personas or to convince people that they were their stage personas. People feel they were who they presented on stage, and therefore, indiscretions outside of that image are either not really who they were anyway or are ok, because the rest was great. Was Sinatra a great guy with a great voice who did stupid things or was he only a thug with a great voice?

We all make mistakes or do things that aren't great, and our friends love us anyway. We all believe that those bad things are not who we are; we are the good things we do. How you feel about the Rat Pack itself (and possibly, but not necessarily the music) seems to fall along the lines of whether you think they were truly more of the good parts of themselves or more of the bad parts of themselves.

Rat Pack Love

I know people on both sides of the Rat Pack spectrum, especially regarding Sinatra. Lileks has a great Bleat today after reading a book about Skinny D'Amato - his influence on Atlantic City's heyday, and his influence on 50's culture because of his friendships with members of the Rat Pack.

Lileks looks none too kindly on the Rat Pack, and nicely ties it to Mob Chic. Those two always seem to go hand-in-hand, which I guess is appropriate.

Sinatra plays a large role in the book, and reminds me again how much I
don’t like the man. And how that extends to his music. There’s something false
and seductive about being a modern-day Sinatra fan, and by “fan” I mean someone
who thinks they can get a few photons of reflected coolness by conspicuously
immersing himself in the Capitol oeuvre, with all its world-wearing romantic rue
and barroom charm.

The Rat Pack Myth works best from a distance, preferably 1500 miles and 30
years; you don’t see them feel up the hat check girl, kick the waiter (or have
him kicked), or stare with vacant eyes from the bottom of whatever well of
drunkenness they toppled into that night. We cut them slack because they wore
cool suits and had short hair and smoked a lot and one of the spoke
ever-so-cultured, and because they either slept with a Kennedy or pimped for
one. Mafia Chic requires the same removal from the scene.

I'm somewhere in the middle on this one, and seemingly opposite of Lileks. Lileks admits to being a Sopranos fan, but no fan of Sinatra.
I do like a lot of Sinatra's songs, and I adore Dean Martin. But I do not like the people they were. I'm rather ambivilant about the rest of the Rat Pack scene, as I'm typically not a fan of "scenes."

And I certainly have no love for Mafia movies - have seen most and don't need to see any of them again. I'll never understand what's so romantic about people who can compartmentalize their lives so much that they can "love" their wives while cheating regularly or can espouse honor while having people murdered and beaten.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Katie and Tom

Sittin' in a hollywood press agent's office, coming up with ideas to get people to go see their new movies .... k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

Anyway, one of my favorite sites has finally commented on the whole Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes promotional tour - in their own classic way.

I have to write about what?

I wonder if the 22 year-old recent journalism school graduate making minimum wage snickered even the slightest bit while interviewing for and writing this story.

Let's break it down, shall we?
Pregnant woman
Can't swim
Gets on jet ski
In a bay near Boston (Have you ever been in the water up there? Even in June?)
Falls off jet ski and can't get back on
Must be rescued

I will admit that it was a sandbar, so she couldn't get back to shore. But really? You're pregnant and can't swim, so you go get on a jet ski and hop into 55 degree water? At least they were wearing life jackets.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Scary ... and it will be here soon enough.

Within two years, all cars in the UK will be tracked via satellite and taxed according to mileage travelled. Don't really know what else to say. It absolutely terrifies me that so many people are OK with this.

Link via The Agitator.

Friday, June 03, 2005

George Will's Word of the Day

From his June 2 column...

Prorogue, according to Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition:
vt. - to terminate a session of (e.g. a parlaiment); to postpone.

Used in context of Will's column:
"So the Labour Party can sooner rather than later say to Blair what Cromwell said when proroguing the Rump Parliament: 'It is not fit that you should sit here any longer!'"

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Pet Peeve

Huge pet peeve of mine. Actually, really just a summary of people who piss me off.
1) People who want something for nothing, and feel they deserve everything.
2) People who care only about what they can get, regardless of how many people they hurt in the process – both directly and indirectly.
3) Conniving women who give the rest of us a bad name.
4) The people who play right into the trap.