Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sorry I've been absent

We've been busy playing with Christmas gifts - this one, mainly.

I never thought that the game that would get me back into video games after a 20 year absence would be something where you play along to music on fake instruments. But it's a complete blast.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

picture promised in earlier post



















A while back in a post about being antsy, I mentioned buying a hat. Well, I did that, too.

I'm soooo hooked

Last night, I discovered the second hour of this countdown. I went ahead and recorded it, and then found and recorded the first hour, and now have a series recording set for the rest. I just started the first hour tonight, and two minutes in (not even into the countdown, yet), I'm hooked.

Oh, and I just realized that both my high school and college experiences fell fully within the 90s. So this countdown is wild because it's just unbelievably full of memories. Yeah, I know it's a decade, so that means 10 years of memories. But it just seems like there are so many more memories crammed into that decade than the only other full decade of my life so far - the 80s. I know, I know, it's logical - a LOT happens to a person between 15 and 25 - but sometimes it's still kind of wild when the simple things hit you like that.

Oh, and is it wrong that I really want to watch Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew?

Monday, December 17, 2007

A great post

I've been meaning to link to this post by my new blog roll buddy for some time. Actually, this one is the post that made me want to add the link to the roll.

You gotta dance.

Will someone please go dance with me soon!?

More Drew Carey

I'm a bit behind, so you'll get two today.

This one on eminent domain.


This one on poker raids by police.

New TV-Based Drinking Game

Drink every time the narrator says "extruder" on the The Science Channel's "How It's Made".

Am I too old to be coming up pathetic drinking games? Yeah, well, I'm probably too old to get my nose pierced, but I did that this weekend, too. Pictures as soon as I get a decent one.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Such High Hopes

I had such high hopes for the Movies Rock special that's on TV tonight. I should have known better. So far, Beyonce has sung "Over the Rainbow," John Legend and Mary J. Blige have teamed up for "As Time Goes By," and some guy I don't recognize by name or face just did "Jailhouse Rock." None of these performances has been the least bit impressive.
I guess I should give them points for reaching so high right of the bat, but so far the only emotion this show has evoked in me is a sadness that I don't have any of these songs in my collection. I would prefer to just go ahead listen to the original versions. I could drop Casablanca in the DVD player, but then I'd have to watch the whole thing, and it's late.

Update:
Jennifer Hudson almost knocked "Somewhere" from West Side Story out of the park, but they she started squealing.
I kind of like the funky take on "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend."
I'm eh on Carrie Underwood's "Sound of Music."
Usher's version of "Singin' in the Rain" is the first one I've really enjoyed. His voice is incredibly smooth, something that never quite came out in "Yeah!".
Again, I like the funky arrangement on "Mrs. Robinson," but am not a big fan of Marc Anthony's style - too sing-songy, if that makes sense.
Oh, Fergie. Really?
The part that made me happier than any other was the Disney montage. I always forget how much I truly love Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King.
There was another half hour or so, which was better than the beginning, but nothing that really knocked me out. I do love it that they closed with "White Christmas," though. That's a nice touch.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mid-Week TV Watching

The last movie to come in from Blockbuster Online is Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt. Most, if not all, of my favorite songwriters count Townes among their favorite songwriters, so I've wanted for some time to learn about this guy and hear his work.

He's a classic folk singer-songwriter who lived through the 60s and 70s among people like Kris Kristofferson and Guy Clark - no real home even though he had a wife back in Texas, lots of alcohol, and lots of drugs.

Guy Clark, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, and Norah Jones have recorded his songs, among many others.

One of the most moving scenes in the documentary is a shot where he's singing Waiting Around to Die in his trailer, and he brings an old black man to tears with the simple song. Waiting Around to Die was the first song he ever wrote. That's one hell of a first song to write.

For better or worse, Townes Van Zandt seems to have been completely unaffected by anything around him - wives, children, friends, success, even - and he, in turn, deeply affected everyone else around him.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Working on Saturday

is no fun at all, especially when things don't go as planned.

I wanted to go to a shindig at our friends' house, but when I finally finished up, I was just wiped out. I'm totally sandbagging at home tonight.

So far, I've watched Sweet Home Alabama, which I love, and now I'm watching The Last Sin Eater.

I'm sleepy, but will probably finish the movie.

Sorry, this is kind of a crap post. Oh well.

Saturday afternoon TV watching

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Reefer Madness was coming on IFC. I went ahead and recorded it on the DVR, and finally got to watch it today. Wow.

From the Forward:
Marihuana is that drug – a violent narcotic – un unspeakable scourge – The Real Public Enemy Number One!
Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations – space expands – time slows down, almost stands still …. fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances – followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions … leading finally to acts of shocking violence … ending often in incurable insanity.
In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction.
If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose ….
Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter …. or yours …. or YOURS!
[emphasis in original]

It is described later as a narcotic “more vicious, more deadly, than even [the] soul-destroying drugs” opium, morphine, and heroin.

Oh, and then there’s the modern irony of a movie made solely to scare people about smoking marijuana while almost everyone is the movie is smoking cigarettes; there’s even a Philip Morris ad in the background of one scene.

It is pretty neat, though, to see that the federal government actually stuck with its constitutional limitations at one time. A high school principal concerned about the “marihuana” addiction among his students goes to see someone at the FBI in the Department of Narcotics. “You people in the government have got to find a way to put an end to it.”
To which the FBI man replies, “Of course I agree with you, Dr. Carroll, but do you realize that marihuana is not like other forms of dope? You see, it grows wild in almost every state in the union. Therefore, there is practically no interstate commerce in the drug. As a result, the government’s hands are tied.” [emphasis mine]

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching this propaganda. Even outside of the ridiculous message, it’s a really horrible movie, but it is an enlightening view into the early years of our “War on Drugs”.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Friend on the Blog Roll to the Right

Just want to point out the new link on the blog roll. This is someone who wishes to remain anonymous, but did give me permission to add the link under an alias. Not very creatively, I came up with "Fun Travel Buddy". The reading is always entertaining and creative, unlike what you're used to finding here. Enjoy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I know a bourbon lover or two

That sounds funny, but wasn't meant in a funny way - really. There's no double entendre, but I think it sounds like there could be if you try hard enough.

Anyway, as usual, I'm stealing a link from The Agitator. The post has some fun tidbits on American bourbon, which deserves more props than it usually gets.

Bourbon is my preferred liquor, though I still can't drink it straight, or even on the rocks. Because of that, I don't yet drink "the good stuff." I just can't bring myself to mix Bookers with Coke. So, Jack is the one for me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ahhh

The back door is open, and I hear a lovely sound.



Yeah, I know it's not the 16 inches we need, and, yes, my brain is saying I should know better. For me, though, it's worth a wink and a thank you, and in my heart, there is a smile.

Monday, November 12, 2007

please pass on the word

I think that a particular resident of Athens, formerly of Nashville, may be interested in this show, of the southwest Texas/Nashville variety, on Thursday night. I am indescribably sad that I cannot attend due to a huge commitment on Friday for which I absolutely must be prepared (how formal of me). Of all the people I know, though, there is really only one that may like to see the show. Someone, please pass the word onto him in case he doesn't read this very often, which I suspect is the case.

Those of us who enjoy country music must look out for each other.

Thanks.

Oh, and this band is playing at Smith's Olde Bar tomorrow night. Another one I can't go see.

It ain't for the freedom we have here, that's for sure

Yep, if you know me, you probably aren't surprised by the fact that I still support the war in Iraq, and certainly the troops who are over there.

But make no mistake, I do not believe that the war is about fighting for the freedom we have here in the US. And things like this are exactly why I don't harbor that delusion. Because the other great delusion is that we have freedom here.

When will there be another revolution?

hat tip: The Agitator, as usual.

Sorry, having a bit of a pessimistic day.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Antsy

Wow, sometimes I get so antsy. Tonight is one of those times. I've been so deep in some stuff for the last year +, and I'm finally getting burned out. The timing works, though, because it'll all be over one way or the other in a couple weeks. Well, at least for a month or so.

But the burnout has made me antsy. I've been in the same place with work for seven years now, and Dave and I are finally close to having the house the way we want it - or as close to that as we can get it. And I've been focused on such mundane things for the last little while - things like studying, the house, debt, and work - with little or no exercise in the last six months, that I'm really feeling the need for something else. I don't know what. Just something.

New
Different
Interesting
Meaningful

Ah, and, noticing the debt mention earlier, said new, different, interesting and meaningful thing has to be cheap/free.

Hmmmm.

Oh, and I miss wearing hats. I used to wear hats. I should wear hats more often.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ah, libertarians

I'm so excited about this series on Reason.com.

I found out a few years ago that Drew Carey counts himself among "us", and I thought that was pretty cool. (Oh, and last summer, I also found out that he's a huge soccer fan.) Now, he's hosting a series of videos on Reason.tv. The first one is out, and it's about traffic congestion and some possible free-market solutions.



Be sure to read the comments, too. There are plenty of people in there with legitimate concerns, expressing them in a thoughtful manner. It's an interesting conversation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

can anyone let me into my house?

i'm sitting on my front porch. house keys, car keys, and cell phone locked in car. but i have my work bag with the laptop, and the keychain full of extra keys that will let me into my garage sitting right here with me.

luckily the nice next door neighbor that i haven't met before today was home and let me use her phone to call my mom.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Credit where it's due

This came from Vanity Fair, and I love it. A partial questionnaire that will help you know your Asshole Footprint.

Ages 14-25
2. Do you leave vitriolic comments in the "Comments" sections of blogs and Web site, even if you're commenting on something innocuous, such as an old Linkin Park video?
2a. When leaving such comments, do you use such rote Internet pejoratives as "asshat," "douchebag," and "'tard"?
7. Is your name Skylar, Tyler, Taylor, Cat, Bryce, Morgan, Brandon, Braden, Hayden Jaden, Brianna, or Keegan?

Ages 26-39
1. Do you work in an office with a Foosball or Ping Pong table?
3. Does it take more than three words to describe what you do for a living?
5. Do you refer to ordinary male pastimes and accessories with such terms as "man-caution," "man-date," "man-purse," "man-orexic," and "man-olos"?
6. Before you go out bicycling, do you first change into iridescent spandex shorts and a skintight spandex shirt with a gaudy pattern recalling a 1990s screen saver?
7a. If you do indeed have young children, have you launched a blog, or, worse, a video blog, about raising them?

Ages 40-55
7. When your companion gets up to use the facilities at a restaurant, are you incapable of passing even the smallest blip of solitary time without theatrically scrolling or tapping on your BlackBerry, Treo, or iPhone?

How to reduce your asshole footpring: Some Tips
1. Read a book to a small child, and not in a "Cool! I read that when I was a kid!" way.
3. Refrain from using the construction, "Mmmm, I want me some..."
5. Do not leave any comments in any "Comments" section, on any ocasion, ever.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I will drown in paper

That will be how I die. I will drown in paper.

Can anyone offer advice on managing the ridiculous amount of paper that comes with living life in the 21st century? Weren't we supposed to be paperless about 20 years ago?

This is unrealistic, but there has to be a way to reduce this. I just have to get better about throwing things away as they come in, instead of saying to myself that I need to keep it, even for just a little while - just in case.

ugh.

Insights

My whole life I've struggled with commitment - not commmitment to people, commitment to choices that I've made. I realized late in high school that I wasn't committed enough to soccer (as much as I loved it, and still love it today) to do only that. I didn't want to play Division I soccer (not that I had a bunch of options there) because it would have meant giving so much else up. I've always wanted to do much more than that one thing I love.

I realized later on that this feeling was about more than just soccer. I realized when I graduated that, though I loved writing and photography enough to work hard and get a degree with pretty good grades in both, I didn't love it enough to sacrifice everything (money and a way of life I was comfortable with outside of finances) to work 16 hour days for very little financial reward.

For years I've been jealous of people who know what they want, have always known what they want, and work however hard and sacrifice however much in financial stability and lifestyle, to get there and do what they love. I've never known something that engenders that kind of passion in me.

Interestingly, while trying to get some things done around the house today, I have Keeping the Faith on in the background. I love this movie, and have seen it probably 15 times. But there's a line I don't remember, and never really hit me until today. The line makes me feel a little bit better about choices I've made.

In a conversation about being a priest, Edward Norton's character is talking about giving up the priesthood if the girl he's in love with had kissed him back. He says to his mentor that he remembers being told in seminary that, "The life of a priest is hard, and if you can see yourself being happy doing anything else, you should do that."

The other priest laughs, and says that this is a great recruitment speech he gives to new priests because it inspires them, but that "The truth is that you can never tell yourself that there is one thing that you could be. If you become a priest, or if you marry a woman, it's the same challenge. You cannot make a real commitment unless you accept that it's a choice that you keep making again and again and again."

Monday, September 24, 2007

My most recent addiction

Is the new Lyle Lovett CD, and this is the video of the first single.

This isn't even my favorite song on the album. It's probably my second or third favorite. Number one is "Don't Cry a Tear." Apparently the first time this song was played live was at Hunter S. Thompson's funeral, immediately after his ashes were shot out of a cannon. That story belies the song's melancholy, though.

Shout if you can speak
Sing if you mention my name
Don't cry a tear for me

For a fun, jazzy number that, honestly, sounds a bit like a gameshow theme, there is "Tickle Toe".

Dave's favorite, is "I Will Rise Up/Ain't No More Cane", where he took a traditional work song and added new lyrics.

Lyle is not only one of the best songwriters alive today, but truly one of the greatest. Ever.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If you like pina coladas

and getting caught in the rain.

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2512486.html

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another travelling post

I think this was the last major trip for me this year, just in time for the hubby to gear up. Anyway, after England, we ewnt to Tarpon Springs for a long weekend, then to Charleston for another long weekend. And then it was off to San Francisco for a few days of work. Here's what I "blogged" while sitting in the user conference during breakout sessions (so, no visitors to the booth) and no internet connection ...

So, more traveling to be done, but I think this may be it for me and work travel for the year. I can only hope. Though, I have to admit that I’m not complaining about the travel itself. I’m complaining about the 18 hour days that come with attending a trade show. You’re always on, so it’s just exhausting. And when you get back to the room at 10pm after you’ve had countless client, prospect, and partner conversations, then you get to sit down and catch up on the work you’ve missed at home. I’m typing this (though not posting it) at about 3pm on Monday, and I just hit a wall. I was sitting in a break-out session listening to a partner/competitor talk about their products, and just had to fight the sleep. I was trying to take notes, but nothing was really going into my brain. I’m exhausted, and will be going to the event tonight. Should be a good event (an 80s cover band), but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay.

All that bitching and moaning aside, I have had a good time, and yesterday was fantastic. My hotel, the Westin St. Francis, is beautiful – a landmark, apparently, open since 1904.


From the pictures on the walls (some taken by Ansel Adams), it seems that an incredible number of stars, writers, and diplomats have stayed here over the years. I can see why, too. Oppulent is the only word I can think of to describe it.

Please tell me, though, how, with all the pictures I’ve ever seen of San Francisco, and movies I’ve seen filmed here, I managed to woefully underestimate the size of the “hills” here. Yesterday, I walked A LOT. I walked from the Union Square area along Powell to Lombard Street (up and then back down).


And then down to the North Shore where I rented a bike, and rode as close to the Golden Gate Bridge as I had time for. Then I headed back, returned the bike, walked along the wharf area and turned up Mason to go back to my hotel. I found out today that taking Mason up Nob Hill (I think that's Nob Hill) is the longest or highest or steepest (whatever) way to get back to Union Square. I have no idea the incline or elevation change, but it’s pretty rough. This is a very cool city, though, and I can understand why people like to visit. I’d like to have some more time, and Dave with me to really venture out. It would have been fun to have time to ride the bike across the bridge and then take a ferry back, eat at the wharf, and do some more touring – even if it meant more hills and walking. I guess I always thought the hills were a certain part of the city, but it’s pretty much the entire city. The outskirts are also much more developed than I expected. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with real estate as expensive as it is, that they would build wherever possible.

It's steeper, longer, and more difficult than it looks.




I’ve posted some more pictures up on flickr, if you want to see more than what’s posted here.

Headed home tomorrow, and I absolutely can’t wait.

After I wrote that part on Monday afternoon, there was a customer appreciation party at Ruby Skye, around the corner from our hotel. What a cool club – an old theater that’s been kept up very well. The company had booked Tainted Love, an 80s cover band that was fantastic (the audio on their site, doesn't do them justice). I was finally able to do the dancing that I haven’t been able to since Funkle Ester stopped playing so much, and apparently made an impression on some people in the balcony, judging from comments after the show, and on Tuesday morning. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.


OH, and this one's for Stacy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So, you didn't really ask for it, but here it is

I have finally put my UK trip down on paper. And for those of you who don't want to read the eight pages of details, I've put a little bulleted list at the top.

I don't know who would want to read the whole thing, but since this is pretty much my only journal these days, it's going here.

UK short post – quick observations
- For the best review of the city our office is in, check out this site. really really funny stuff.
- In my hotel where I stayed the first three nights, I only had one towel
- There was only one sheet on the bed in both the hotel and the apartment. A bottom sheet, then the blanket.
- No phone in the hotel room
- Five channels on the hotel tv
- Alarm clock in the tv
- In many places, I noticed that the public restrooms have floor to ceiling walls and doors (which I kind of liked).
- Visible tattoos on men seem more common.
- 20p (40 cents) for the privilege of using the subway bathroom
- £1 coins stink
- Skinny leg jeans have come back
- Constant breeze and dry air = chapped lips for two weeks
- Black leggings are very popular
- So is the Double Windsor tie knot with fat ties

The trip really was a wonderful time, even though I got pretty homesick while I was there. Luckily, I wasn’t alone the whole time, which helped enormously. A colleague was there for my first four and a half days, and he helped me figure out the area and the trains. Best of all, though, he was kind an patient enough to let me risk our lives, so that I could drive for a couple days under his watchful eye, before setting me loose on the people of Bracknell, Reading, and Windsor.

During our overlap, Bill and I went into Reading, London, and Windsor. The first trip was into Reading on a Friday night. It’s a neat town with a shopping district that straddles a canal/river. We went into Reading for a couple reasons. It’s the closest town to Bracknell with anything going on after 5pm, and, mainly, it has a Nandos. I wish I could describe the Nandos experience, but I really can’t. It’s delicious grilled chicken (whole, half, or quarter), seasoned with the Nandos peri peri sauce. Peri peri is a hot west African spice, and it’s delicious. I bought some of the sauce to bring home, and have since discovered that though there are no Nandos in the US, their sauces can be found at Cost Plus World Market. We have already bought more.

Bill also kindly walked through the shopping mall in Reading with me while I got baby clothes for my god daughter, and a few other trinkets.

Bill had gotten us tickets for the Arsenal/Paris St. Germain game at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, so we got up bright and early to head into London and get some sight-seeing done before kick-off. We went all over the place. We rode into Waterloo Station, and learned that this gargantuan building that you can see from the train (a better view can be had on the way into Victoria Station, actually) is the Battersea Power Station, and the same building with a giant pig balloon tied to it on Pink Flloyd's Animals album cover. It’s an art deco style plant built in the late 30s to provide power to London. It hasn’t been operational for decades, and has been the subject of several projects for art centers, and various other developments that haven’t happened. So, it sits empty, heaven for photographers.

This picture is the only one that illustrates the enormity of the building.



See those tiny little dots in the bottom right? Those are people.

We had a conversation with a young couple on the train who told us about that being the building on the Animals cover, and then they let us know about an art exhibit that was ending in August, and right around the corner from train station. It was at the Hayward Gallery, where Antony Gormley had an exhibition taking up several floors. There were two main parts of this exhibit. One was a collection of iron casts of himself that he spread all over the gallery, but also, on roofs all over London within 1.5 kilometers of the gallery. You can see them in some of my pictures on Flickr. The second and most eerie - Blind Light - was this glass room full of fog. Visitors, after the requisite warnings about claustrophobia, asthma, and disorientation, were encouraged to enter. Within three feet of walking in, you lose complete sense of where you or anyone else is. You can hear voices, but you can’t hear a thing. It’s very freaky, and I made my way straight back (with arms outstretched) to the far wall, and followed the walls around back to the front. I wasn’t completely freaked out because I knew I was safe, but it was disconcerting enough that I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in that room.

He had several other installations, a couple really cool ones, too. The exhibit was all about the space our bodies take up in the world, and how we recognize our space. Usually, I roll my eyes at the descriptions of installation art, but this wasn’t a bunch of tin cans stacked up. These were mostly sculptures and other objects that I really did feel reflected exactly what the artist was going for.

Bill and I decided it was time to move on, so we headed out of the gallery towards the Thames, right at the London Eye. We didn’t ride it because we had a lot of places we wanted to go, but that’s where the Millennium Bridge is. We crossed the bridge into the Westminster area, with Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. This is where, much to Bill’s chagrin, Monkey came out. Monkey was photographed in front of Parliament, Big Ben, and a statue of Winston Churchill, and was unceremoniously deflated because, though London has its share of strange people, Bill and I are not strange enough to carry an inflated monkey around the London Underground.



From Westminster, we headed to Camden. The home of Doc Martens, The Clash (or so I hear), and just about the biggest market of international goods, alternative clothes, chotchkies, and food I have ever seen was a wonderful place. There was even a rave store called Cyberdog, where I got a little something for the Galarza, and a fantastic CD of techno/house music. The store had a dj spinning and a dancer (not a stripper) on a platform behind the counter.

I bought some goodies, including a cool jacket for myself, and we headed on to the game.

Bill had managed to get incredible seats on the 16th row, just a few yards towards the center line from the corner flag. Though it wasn’t an English Premier League game (the season hadn’t started), Arsenal is an EPL team, and it was by far the highest level of soccer I have ever watched. Monkey also came out for a few pictures in the stadium, too. We had met one of Bill’s friends and girlfriend for the game, and it was the friend's birthday. After the game, we went to dinner and then to a pub where we met a few other people and had a couple rounds of cider. Bill and I, both sunburned from the game and exhausted, with an hour’s train ride ahead of us, decided to head back to Bracknell. Surprise, I fell asleep on the train, and we were back “home” before I knew it.

On Sunday, Bill was going to the airport for a two-day trip into Amsterdam before heading home after more than a month in the UK, mostly alone, and always in the rain. He was more than ready. But we did have time to drive into Windsor for a quick look around. Ascot is between Bracknell and Windsor, so we drove by the track, which was kind of neat. I imagined British women in their racing best with their fancy hats and feathers.

We walked around Windsor, amazed an the way the town goes right up to the castle walls, with the river just below. It really did feel like a few simple changes to the dress of the people around, and removing the asphalt to expose the cobblestone undoubtedly beneath would take us right back into the way the castle and town were 200 years ago, or more. We headed out pretty quickly, so I could take Bill to the train (I wasn’t yet ready for a drive to the airport), but I turned around and went back into Windsor for some more wandering, and perhaps a tour of the castle. I did make it back in time. I managed to buy several gifts, eat lunch (an incredible sandwich of goat cheese and grilled vegetables), and then slide into a late tour. Windsor is said to be one of the Queen’s favorite castles where she spends a good bit of her personal time. I toured the official areas of the castle, where they have state dinners, receive visitors, and such. On the grounds of the castle is St. George’s Chapel. It was getting late in the afternoon, so I missed the last tour of the chapel, but I was able to attend the Sunday evensong service. Something I noticed the first time I was in England, and that held for this trip, too, is that it really does feel different sitting in these churches that have been around for hundreds of years. It is a weight that fills me when I walk into places like this and Westminster (probably the most reverent I have ever felt in my life). I believe in the notion that when people enter somewhere, they leave something of themselves in that place after they’ve gone – not just churches, even. But maybe because of the extreme emotions (joy, grief, and peace) that usually fill those in a church, there is more left in them than in other places (like hotels or even homes). I don’t know how else to describe or explain the feeling.

After leaving Windsor, I found out that not only is the Queen Mother buried in St. George’s, but so is Kind Henry VIII, and so are Edward IV, Henry VIII's favourite wife Jane Seymour, Charles I, George V and Queen Mary, George VI, and Princess Margaret. I would have loved to have seen their tombs.

From there, I headed back to my car, and drove to the apartment to settle in, and get something to eat. Oops, everything closes so early in England! They have late night shopping on Thursdays, though, until 8pm(!), but not on Sunday. Even the grocery stores close at 4:30 (or something like that), so I thought I was out of luck. But I was able to find Pizza Hut and get a small pizza to go, ordering about 10 minutes before they ran out of “bases” (dough). I headed back and settled in to get ready for the week ahead. I was there to work, after all.

Though I can’t remember exactly which day, my boss arrived shortly after Bill went home. He was there for a few days to meet with prospects and clients, and to help me interview some candidates. Other than the interviews, he spent the majority of his time in London. The coolest part, though, was when he spent Wednesday in the office, and asked me to get us a couple tickets to see Wicked that night. Buying these tickets so late for a weeknight show netted us seats on Row E, far right (facing the stage) section, right on the internal aisle. Similar to seeing a show on Broadway (rather than a touring who at home), the talent in the West End absolutely blew me away. And the show was fantastically clever and original. Russ can tell it better than I can, though, if you’d like to learn more.

On Thursday night, my boss and I had quite the adventure with me driving us the wrong way into Reading. We finally made it alright, and got our dinner at Nandos (only after sitting down, did he tell me he’s not really much of a chicken eater), and then wandered around the town a bit. After another adventure trying to get back to Bracknell (it’s really embarrassing getting lost and driving like a lunatic with your boss sitting in the car next to you), we finally made it, and I dropped him off at the hotel.

I took him to Heathrow on Friday morning, and was now on my own for a few days. All this time, though, there was at least a cool temp in the office to keep my company during the day. I was there at night, able to just go back to the apartment, cook dinner, watch tv, and do my own thing. I didn’t really fancy going out into Bracknell on my own at night, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as my colleagues and this hilariously cheeky website made it out to be. It’s just that there’s nothing going on there after 5pm. It’s just deserted. So, I was finally able to settle in a bit.

That weekend, though, I had already decided wouldn’t be another venture into London, but a trip northwest, instead, to Liverpool. And no, not because of The Beatles. I wanted to go see Anfield. I wanted to go see the locker room where Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina, and so many legends have prepared for matches; the corridor to the pitch were the This is Anfield sign hangs as an inspiration to the home side and warning to the visitors; the pitch itself (partially artificial to reduce divots); and of course, the Kop. And I was able to see it all, and even sit in Rafa’s seat on the sidelines.

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself because the tour was Sunday, and my trip began on Saturday. The trip to Liverpool from Bracknell isn’t a short one, and if you try to book a train from Bracknell, you’re in for a couple transfers. So I decided that I would take the train into London, change there, and then go straight to Liverpool. This gave me two-and-a-half hours to sit, look at scenery, and catch up on some reading. I also have myself a little extra time in London, so that I could wander around some more. I walked from Euston station to King’s Cross/St. Pancras station and back. There’s not much to see on that route, but sometimes it’s just fun to wander. And then I boarded the Virgin train to Liverpool.

I very much enjoyed riding the train, instead of driving. And I must admit that I do wish we could somehow make train service really work in the US. I would love to be able to ride a train to the Georgia football games, for instance. When I arrived in England a week before, they were at the tail end of record-setting rain (a month straight) and floods, The rain had tailed off by my third day, and it hadn’t rained since. The trip to Liverpool was by far the best weather I had in all my two weeks. It was sunny and warm, but never got hotter than about 77 degrees. After all that rain, the countryside was just a sea of varying greens, cut here and there by canals.

I arrived in Liverpool mid-afternoon, took a cab to the hotel to check in, then just started wandering around. I made my way to the center of town. People were everywhere, and the town center is a pedestrian zone with tons of shopping, restaurants, and clubs. I walked up the street to the club district to at least stroll by The Cavern. Though it’s closed and re-opened since, this is the club where The Beatles played when they were just getting started. I didn’t go in, but from the pictures, and for those of you familiar with Athens, it looks about the size of DT’s Downunder. Theme clubs are popular in England, with disco and 80s clubs dominating, but in Liverpool, I saw two 90s clubs. Can someone explain to me what the uniting club-inspiring theme of the 90s would be? Because, I honestly, can’t figure it out myself.

I headed back to the hotel to relax a bit, then asked about how to get to the restaurant that I had chosen, based on a customer’s recommendation – Alma de Cuba. It was a bit of a walk, but it took me right by the Mersey River, Albert Docks, and several very cool government and shipping buildings.

It took me a while to find the restaurant because I couldn’t find the street, but I found it, and realized immediately that I was underdressed. They also asked if I had a reservation. Though they told me I wasn’t underdressed, I asked about eating at the bar (the downstairs part of the restaurant), and they showed me in, but I quickly realized that I had just missed the tapas menu, and I really needed to eat real food. So I went back out, and asked if there was any way that I could have a table for one without a reservation. They did indeed have a spot (right outside the kitchen), but I didn’t mind because it gave me a great view of the place. Alma de Cuba is in a 200-year old converted church that they’ve left very much intact. The beams are still there, the stained glass windows, and the altar. It was pretty dark with low lighting, dark wood tables, and black leather chairs.

One look at the menu told me that this wasn’t just any restaurant, and I settled in for my meal. I have to say that it’s interesting eating alone in a restaurant like that because you get lots of care. I was taking notes on my wines and food, so I think they may have thought I was a restaurant critic or something. The manager came by and offered me copies of the menu, since I was trying to remember everything.

So, for what I ate. I started with a glass of white wine and the most amazing appetizer I’ve ever had – a goat cheese and cayenne soufflĂ©. It was warm with a thin crust, and delicious. Then I ordered my entrĂ©e of lamb medallions, and not noticing that it came with mashed potatoes and carrots, I ordered additional sides of mashed potatoes and spinach. Needless to say, when my food came, I felt like a complete pig. And I was. I finished everything, except the second order of potatoes. Apparently taking leftovers is unusual in the UK, they had to search the kitchen for something to put my potatoes in, and asked me to sign a form saying that I would heat the food appropriately when I decided to finish it. The to-go box was a very hefty and too large bit of plastic ware. I also had a glass of red wine with the lamb. For dessert, I ordered apple and blackberry crumble. Both the meal and service were fantastic, and with the exchange rate, this was the most expensive meal I’ve eaten on my own. At £51 (roughly $102.00), I think it may also have been the most expensive meal I’ve had as even my half of a fancy anniversary meal. Luckily, I had a pretty solid per diem on this trip, and had done well by buying groceries for my meals while I was in Bracknell. I waddled out of the restaurant and walked by to the hotel at twilight (late in the UK during the summer – about 9-9:30), and got ready for my tour of Anfield the next morning.

I got my jersey out, and was ready to catch a cab to the stadium at 9:30am. I’ve pretty much already described the tour, but I will add that our tour guide was a former ref, and a really funny guy all around. He picked on everyone – gave me a lot of grief over Monkey, whom he put on a trainer’s table for the tour of the locker room – and led a great tour.

I headed back to the hotel a bit late for check-out, ran up to get my bags, and headed towards the train station for my ride back. It was about the same as the day before, but I caught glimpses of a few things on the way back that I had missed on the first trip – including a huge white lion somehow either carved or planted into a hillside, and a nuclear (I think) power plant.

Then it was time to start work again the next day, so I headed back to the apartment. Something I loved about the cable there was the unbelievable number of music video channels – 30. There was all kinds of music, though, scarcely a guitar to be found in any of it. I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear guitar-based music on the radio when I got back home.

My last week was pretty uneventful, but I was excited because my reliever was coming in on Thursday. She was a colleague that I had never met in person, so when I went to pick her up at Heathrow, I was one of the people standing there with a sign. She found me, and we headed back to the office. Something I discovered that day about the signs in England, is that it seems great at first that they tell you what cities are in the direction of the exit or entrance you’re about to take from the highway. That’s all well and good until you’re heading to a town that’s not listed, and you have no idea where it is in relation to those towns that are listed. I can’t tell you why I could get back from Heathrow when I dropped my boss off, but couldn’t with my colleague in the car, but well, there it is. I knew we didn’t want to go towards London to get back to Bracknell, but none of the other signs mentioned Bracknell, or Slough, or Reading, or Windsor, or any of the towns I knew to be close to Bracknell. There were no signes for the highway I knew we needed to be on (except the sign to London), and while the mention of town names is great, there is no mention of cardinal direction on any of the signs. It’s like telling a stranger to Atlanta who wants to go to Alpharetta, that one entrance to I-85 goes to Peachtree City and the next one goes to Lilburn. So we drove until we finally had a chance to pull out the map, and found signs to Slough. It took us an extra 45 minutes, but we finally made it back to the office.

I had dinner plans with a friend who used to work at our distributor on Thursday night, and then Friday, I was going to show my colleague around. We decided that since we only had the two days overlap, that she should start driving pretty quickly. Friday night we went into Windsor, and so began the night that includes just about the most embarrassing five minutes of my life. We wandered around Windsor taking pictures and seeing the river, then decided to go to dinner at a burger place. It’s a place where you order your food at the counter and they bring it to your table. It’s all very close, with anyone along the same wall, sharing a long booth, two person tables that can be pushed together if your party is larger, and not much space. We quickly noticed a couple in their 40s or 50s that sat down a few minutes before us because the woman seemed to be asleep. Her head was forward, with her chin on her chest and then lolled back with her chin in the air and her mouth wide open. She wasn’t asleep. She was passed out. There was a bottle of wine on the table, half empty with two full glasses in front of them so they hadn’t had much to drink at the burger place. She had been drunk (or whatever) when they arrived. My colleague and I both noticed at about the same time, and proceeded to stare at this couple (very rudely, I admit; we were laughing at this point, too) and see if we could figure out what was going on.

When the woman’s head lolled back, she kind of ended up on her husband’s shoulder, and he shrugged her off, then went to pick up their food. She was clearly in no condition to eat, but he brought back two giant burgers, and woke her up. She started trying to eat, but couldn’t even keep her head or arms up. She was just kind of shoveling food into her face. I looked over again, and noticed that she had blue cheese dressing all over her face – from nose to chin and cheek to cheek. She was a mess. At this point, I start to wonder if something else is wrong with her – maybe she had taken some medication that didn’t react well with the wine or whatever she’d had to drink before – because it seemed different than drunkenness. But her husband seemed ambivalent.

Well, he was only ambivalent until my colleague accidentally made eye contact with him. She looked at me, terrified, and said, “Oh no, I just made eye contact.” Out of the corner of my eye, I see the man get up, and head over to our table about five feet away. He leans over us, putting his hands down to lean on the table, and proceeds to berate us for what seemed like forever, but was probably 3 minutes. He yells at us about how, yes, his wife is drunk, but that she’s drunk because she just found out that her father has cancer and only three months to live. He asks if we still have our fathers, do we know how it feels, etc. On and on. At first, we were completely mortified, looking down, and then up at him, and only saying, “yes, sir,” “no, sir,” and “we’re sorry, sir.” It was like we turned into two eight year-old girls who’d been busted doing something they shouldn’t have. After he went on and on, though, I started to get a bit frustrated at his repetition, and looked at him and simply said, “Honestly, I was starting to wonder if there’s not something wrong with her, if she’s ill or something,” He kept on for another minute or so, then just said that he would appreciate it if we would stop staring, to which we said, “yes, sir.” And he left.

By the time our food came, we had no appetite, and were struggling to suppress the nervous giggles, lest he think we were laughing at he and his wife again. Once we finally ate what we could, we left, and then came up with everything we should have said to him, because at this point, we no longer believed that his wife’s father was sick. Or, if he was, why in the world would this man bring his drunk wife to a very open and crowded burger joint to grieve? The theories became that his wife is an alcoholic and he was just mad that we were staring, so he came up with a story to make us feel bad. Or that his father-in-law really is dying, and this guy is just an insensitive prat who wanted a burger for dinner, in spite of his wife’s condition. Whatever the real story is, we were totally thrown for a loop the rest of the night, and it’s pretty much all we could talk about.

We then went to a club that someone in our office building had recommended, listened to 15 minutes of crappy dj-ing, tried to dance a bit, then went back to the apartment, so I could pack and be ready to go in the morning.

She took me to the train station the next day, and I was on my way home at last.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I really have been meaning to blog

but there's been so much going on. I'm leaving for San Francisco in a few hours. Not super excited about the trip, but I'll at least get some reading done.

So waht's been going on to keep me from blogging since the UK (and there are still UK observatsions to blog), you may ask? Well, I finished and passed the last final in my class. Now there's a capstone class, then a cram course which includes 120 hours of prework (FUN!).

But, mainly, since July whatever when the last Harry Potter movie came out, I've read the first six books. I started Deathly Hollows last night, and hope to finish it on this trip.

We've also been on two more trips - Tarpon Springs and Charleston. A couple weeks after I get back from San Francisco, Dave starts his whirlwind travel through the rest of the year. It's going to be crazy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

So many things to write about

But I just don't have the time this morning. I've got to get to my cousin's shower in a little bit, but I can post some quick observations. Maybe I'll be able to post some more tonight. We'll see. This is going to be one heck of a week, with something after work every night, and then driving down to Florida Wednesday night. Ugh, welcome back home!

Anyway, so this morning's observations are about what things are so wonderful about getting home.

my husband
the dog and cats
the smell of home
sleeping in my own bed
country music
showering and getting ready in my own bathroom.

This last one surprises me more than the others, actually.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

procrastination

I'm meant to be studying, so what am I doing? Surfing IMDB and AllMusic for fun stuff. And look what I've found?

Can't wait to see this one: Daniel Craig and Ewan McGregor in a movie about an offer God makes to the Devil for a last chance at redemption. It's only in pre-production, so I hope that both actors stay attached to the project. Based on a novel.

Monday, August 06, 2007

A few more pictures

With captions on many, this time around. I even updated some of the older pics with captions, so you know what you're looking at.

We probably just need to rid the planet of humans, then

Here's an interesting article on climate change myths. I was surprised by almost all of these. They're similar to the argued theory that recycling is actually worse for the environment because of the amount of energy it requires.

And it's not from some right-wing "nutter," as they say over here, it's someone who completely buys into this whole thing.

Here's the one I found most interesting:
"Trees, regarded as shields against global warming because they absorb carbon, were found by German scientists to be major producers of methane, a much more harmful greenhouse gas."

Hat Tip: Boortz, of all places. I think he probably posted it because it's contrarian, but it doesn't seem to go along with his usual climate change vitriol.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Pictures

Someone mentioned that I'm not in any of the pictures I posted. Well, here are some more, and I think there may be two of me in this bunch. Just for proof that I really am here.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

England

I'd love to be able to post more than I will here, but it would take hours. I already have 325 pictures! Of course, since I'm working during the week, it's not likely I'll get many pictures for the next few days.

It's been fun so far, but there's no question I already miss home. I got a very strange feeling today when my colleague headed out, and I was all-of-a-sudden on my own. We had gone to Windsor this morning and I loved it, so I dropped him at the train station, and went back for more than four hours. I was very anxious, though, and I think it was because I was now here alone. There are pictures, but I'll start in order.

Oh, and my boss comes into town tomorrow for the rest of the week, so that will be good. Strange, but good. I'm not used to working with him in the same office.

Pictures ...

Our office building

Abandoned 3M building in lovely Bracknell

Clever pub name (out of focus; taken from car)

London Eye

"Look kids! Parlaiment. Big Ben."

Monkey says hi from Big Ben

Leaving Canary Wharf station

Camden (the place Little Five Points fantasizes about)

Locks on the Thames in Camden; check out all the people on the bridge ahead and the overlook to the left. The place is unbelievable.

First time watching an English Premier League team play. Arsenal vs. Paris St. Germaine.

Check out these seats! Unbelievable.

Windsor town

Windsor Castle

More of the town.

There are so many American things, here, but I think seeing this on someone's truck has been my favorite, so far.

More castle



For Beer Pong

The apartment. There's another bedroom and bathroom, too.



Sorry about the crappy placement on the captions, but I still haven't figured out how to make it work.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Killing the earth?

OK, I'm not quite sure how much this blog of I can get behind - yet. Where the environmental movement is way too extreme for me, I can certainly get behind the idea of "don't waste so much." Things like print on the front and back of paper, don't leave all the lights on in the house all day long, and eat local produce when you can.

Planet Gore is entirely in the other direction. But, it sure makes for some interesting reading - reading you're not likely to see in Newsweek, Time, or your local newspaper. Maybe that's because the PG contributors are all crackpots, but maybe, just maybe, it's because the greens have gone a bit over the edge and are taking traditional journalists who are paid to be skeptics, or at least objective, with them.

Hat tip: dad

goals and stuff

In the last couple of days, I have made it my new goal to get to bed by 10 every night during the week. Mainly, this means that I have to be very diligent about not starting movies at 10pm anymore. 5-6 hours of sleep every night is really catching up with me.

Along those lines, for the next two+ weeks, starting Wednesday, I'll be going to bed at 10pm GMT. And on Tuesday, I'll be going to "bed" at about 7pm in the hopes of getting a few hours sleep in time to wake up at Gatwick Airport at 7:30am, ready to go to work.

Things I plan/hope to do while I'm there:
Arsenal match (Liverpool's not playing at home while I'm there)
revisit Oxford
tour Anfield, since there aren't any games
still to decide [maybe Windsor Castle, Stonehenge - "one of the biggest henges in the world!," or Warwick Castle (um, they have a trebuchet, seriously). The Warwick Castle thing looks a bit ren-festy, but I guess you can get away with being ren-festy if you were actually around during the ren-time. It also may be a bit far. Bath is another option, pretty close by.]

So we'll see how this trip goes. I'll be on my own most of it, and Dave won't be able to visit, so I'm pretty nervous about that. We haven't spent this much time apart since we got married (or engaged, for that matter). So, while I'm pretty excited to be going back to a place I absolutely love, I do wish I could be there with the one I love. It would be so much better that way.

I will most definitely try to blog and post pictures while I'm there.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Can't sleep can't sleep can't sleep can't sleep

I'm soooo tired. There's so much going on, and I desperately need to be sleeping. But my mind just won't stop. And now it's too late to take anything cause I have to wake up. Ah, the insomnia delimma.

I haven't had this problem since college, but this is the second night in a row. There's just too much going on.

And I thought I'd be done with one thing and moving onto another this week, but I'm not. I have another week, and potentially more, if I don't do well on my make-up test next week.

We did see Harry Potter tonight. My favorite so far. Very dark. And much more of a character study than any of the others. This is the first movie that's made me care to read the books. Apparently I'll have plenty of extra time on my hands when I go to England in a couple weeks, so maybe I'll take the first one or two.

Watching Pretty in Pink right now. Andrew McCarthy really was cute. Actually, he still is.

Let's see. What else can I ramble on about? Nothing that I can think of that anyone would really be interested in.

Latest kitchen update, maybe?

Countertops before (a mess, I know!)


No countertops

Countertops after




They will look so much better when we finish painting the cabinets, but you get the gist. Also, I can't say how much I LOVE the new deep sink. It's wonderful for cleaning dishes. Even our largest pots/pans (the turkey roasting pan) fit in there! And while we were at it, we replaced the disposal. I truly thank God for my wonderfully handy husband, who over the course of two days (and several trips to Ace Hardware and Home Depot) completely replumbed our kitchen sink.

I think that's about it for now. I'm really tired. Maybe I can get to sleep.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This almost had no title

That's becasue Blogger wouldn't let me enter a title at first. Mayhaps something to do with the IE 7 someone downloaded onto this machine? Mayhaps not, but mayhaps so. Who knows?

So, it started around the weekend of May 20. That was Boston.
Then the next weekend was Birmingham.
Then the next was Dave in Chicago.
Then two weekends home, but one spent working after a couple weeks of 10-12 hour days.
Then four days in Hilton Head
Then five in Minneapolis
And finally back home this past weekend in time for my best friend's wedding festivities, which were amazing. I couldn't be happier for her.
Whew. I'm tired. And am still trying to get over a cold that's been hanging on for a while now.

Oh, and we got new granite countertops this morning. They look great, but will look better when we've finally painted our cabinets.

This weekend is all about studying for a final on Tuesday night, and cleaning the house during study breaks.

And there's more still ...

At the end of July, I'll be going to the UK for a little more than two weeks. While I'm very excited about the trip because I LOVE the UK, I'm also very stressed about it. My wonderful and loving husband will not be able to come and visit, and that will be the longest we've been apart since getting married. Right now the record is only five days, and at three I was more than ready for him to come home.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

ahhhh

Lyle.

KD was amazing, too. A voice like Annie Lennox - no microphone needed. Insane.

But Lyle.

Well, Lyle is the man. I mean, really, that's all there is to it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Way We Were

This movie was referenced in Sex and the City, and it was on the other night. I'm watching it now, and it's really great. You have to like movies with tons of dialogue and the sort of overbearing score that movies tended to have in the 70s. But there are some amazing scenes. Barbara Streisand isn't my favorite, though I can't imagine anyone else in the role. Robert Redford is definitely the star. The scene of the two of them after he breaks up with her in New York is just incredible - amazing writing. I think we've all had that conversation after the fact of a break-up has really hit us, and we try to convince ourselves and the other person that we can make it work.

And Robert Redford wearing various Navy uniforms during the entire first half doesn't hurt either.

Yeah, I know it's late, but the big work project comes to an end (hopefully) this weekend. I'm trying to wrap up loose ends, and that means working early, working late, and working this weekend.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Two For One


So, after months of keeping this on the DVR, then finally getting a computer with a DVR, finding the right tv listings, finding the episode, recording it on the computer, then burning it to DVD to give to The Galarza ... the lovely ladies at Go Fug Yourself have posted the YouTube link to Donald Faison's fantastic Bel Biv Devoe Air Band tryout dance on Scrubs.

For those of you who haven't yet enjoyed this gem, here it is.

For President

Back to Ron Paul.

I haven't watched the debate, and probably won't. They're just so depressing. But I'll vote, and watch a candidate on The Daily Show. Yep, I'm one of those people. Anyway, Ron Paul made a great appearance on the show recently.

As usual, from The Agitator

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wierd Allergies

So, I have the strangest allergy. I thought I wouldn't have a problem again because I got rid of all of my canvas shoes - or so I thought. Yesterday, when I went to the company picnic and put my flip flops on, I didn't think about the fact that the straps are canvas.

Yes, that's right, I have a contact allergy to CANVAS. It takes a little while to cause problems, so my feet are really the only place it causes issues. I won't have an issue carrying a canvas bag, for instance. But put canvas shoes on my feet for more than an 30 minutes or so, and watch them freak out.

this is that second wind I was talking about

Anyway, here's the quote I think about on Sunday nights.

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.”
--Drew Carey

Really, I don't hate my job. It's just so stressful right now that it's really tough to get up every morning and go in, knowing everything that's waiting for me there - all the things I need to get done in not nearly enough time.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Having so much fun, staying up too late

I am a complete goober. After going to see Waitress (great movie; not the goober part), I am now at home watching 40 Most Softsational Softrock Songs on VH-1, and LOVING every minute of it.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Something to take your breath away

At least, it did mine when I read it.

In the May issue of the Delta Sky magazine, there was an article called "All the News That's Fit to Byte" by Timothy Harper. The article is about the nature of the NY Times in print format, and where it may be in a few years. This is a debate that's been going on since I was in journalism school at the very beginning of the internet craziness in the mid/late 90's. But, what, you may ask, actually took the breath out of me? This:

"'I believe that as we add new media, we don't abandon the traditional ones,' [Mario Garcia, the consultant who oversaw the redesign of The Wall Street Journal] says. However, Garcia admits, 'In five years we will have the first group of adults who won't remember life witout the Internet.'" (Emphasis mine)

Second Wind

So, I've discovered something about myself. If I don't go to bed by 10:30, I get a second wind, and end up staying awake until midnight or later. Fun.

Anyway, in my online meanderings, I've read about that boy who shot the 1000 lb pig. The family says the pictures are legit, and if they are, that's just wild. I'm not an anti-hunting nut, but I don't think I could personally shoot and kill something. It's just not in me. But if other people want to, and abide by laws regarding size and quantity, then go for it.

Seriously, though, (not that it's surprising) PETA seriously has its priorities out of whack here. They have named this boy's dad the worst dad in the country. I know it's hyberbole, but when there is a guy out there who put his child in a microwave, I can't even begin to imagine how a group - however biased - can call a man who teaches his son to hunt the worst dad in the country.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So maybe it will be a link of the week

Here's one for today. Helicopter parents are something I've been reading a lot about in the HR world. There's a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about them today.

This is really scary. Seeking parents' input is one thing, but bringing them to a job interview is an entirely different request.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Exhaustion

Yesterday, Dave, two friends, and I participated in the Y-Tri in Birmingham, AL. It's a triathlon for beginners (very short distances), and we all had a great time. It was the first triathlon I've ever done, and it was tough, but it was a lot of fun, too. I'll do it again next year for sure, but I don't know if I'll do triathlons much longer than this one. We'll just have to see how training goes.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

new theme?

I'd like to have a new theme, but who am I kidding. I never keep the themes going, but I'll try. So here's my idea. I want to try every day (or as close to it as I can) to post at least one link to something I read that I enjoyed, found interesting, funny, stupid, or infuriating.

Today's favorite read is this one from the Galarza.

As for my introduction, I don't think I'm quite as self-aware as her, so mine won't be nearly as good. But here goes:
Hi, I'm Whitney. I'm a Christian married only child who has too many animals and a life full of chaos. I'm a control freak who can't seem to say no to much, so I end up working too much, buying too much, and doing too much in general. The only things I don't do too much of are sleeping, exercising, and seeing friends and family. As a matter of fact, those are the things I don't do enough of.
As far as superficial things go, I love soccer and Lyle Lovett.
In the realm of the non-superficial, I love my husband, my family, my friends, and my pets.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Little One

Here are some pictures of the munchkin from this weekend. She's almost three months old.

Look at those eyelashes!




Monday, May 21, 2007

Airport Blogging

So, check on the time on this post. I'm posting this from Logan Airport in Boston on the first beautful day since we've been here. And we've spent in in the airport since 8:30am.

This is what can happen when we try to save a couple hundred (well, about $400 when you take both of us into account) by flying buddy passes. I've never had to wait past the third flight after arriving at the airport, but today, we're about to miss our fifth flight on the stand-by list. Every single flight since the 9:45 flight has been overbooked. And so are the rest. If we don't get on this one, we'll put our names on the list for the 6AM flight tomorrow morning, and miss a little bit of work.

But, hey, what are you going to do, right?

In spite of the horrible weather, Boston was amazing. We were here to attend and stand up for my God-daughter's baptism. WOW, if you ever have the chance to attend a Catholic baptism service, let me recommend that you not do it. Or at least that you find out what you're in for before you do. I wasn't ready for a 90 minute service, that's for sure. I didn't mind it, though, since it was for the lovely munchkin. It was just really really long.

We have had a nice time, though, and will get to watch 24 tonight with fellow 24 fans, so that will be awesome. We just have to get up super early in the morning. My friend is a wonderful person for hosting us, bringing us to the airport and then picking us up again (in a little while), then bringing us back tomorrow - all with a sick baby girl. I'll post some pictures of the little one as soon as I can.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Survey

Hey, I know there are only a few of you who check this blog out on a regular basis. There's a pretty cool survey out there that allows bloggers to learn about who's reading their stuff. I've signed up, but because there aren't many of you, I'm not sure how relevant it is to my blog, really.

I think though, that a few of you have many more regular readers than I do, so you may be interested in checking this out, and putting it up on your site.

But if you do feel like filling out the survey, then go right ahead.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

This is HORRIBLE

I might have nightmares about this story: spiders in a place they shouldn't be.

Anything else

besides Liverpool soccer?
Not really.
We've been trying to get ready for the triathlon on May 26. Dave's ready. He's trained more this year than either previous year he's done this race. But me? I'm far from ready. I can't swim 200 yards (at least not freestyle), and I can't run two miles. I'm set for the bike, though. Oh well. It's not like I'll be disqualified if I swim breast-stroke or walk during the run, so I'll make it through. I was just hoping to be able to do it all, however slowly.
The fun part is that friends will be racing this with us, so it'll be a good time.

We'll be in Boston again in two weeks, too. My Goddaughter is being baptised on the 20th, and I'm so excited to see her again.

Reds

Premier League play
Fulham 1-Liverpool 0

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Reds

Liverpool will be playing AC Milan in the final match for the Champions League title.

On the way to Athens

Greece, that is.

Liverpool 1-Chelsea 0

Overtime and penalty kicks to break the aggregate tie:
Liverpool 4-Chelsea 1

The Kop (Liverpool home side seating) was in fine form.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Latest on the Reds

By popular demand, a Liverpool update... More to come as the season wraps up in continental Europe and the UK.

April 21
Liverpool 2 - Wigan 0
(Something interesting. Unlike the US, in European/English football the team listed first is the home team.)
This game against Wigan was an English Premier League game, and Liverpool is in the hunt for third place in the League this season. The season's almost over, so they won't get much higher than third this year. With the win, they didn't lose any ground. It also happened to be a game that they needed to win to qualify for next year's UEFA Champion's League tournament. Interestl, their next game was a semi-final in this year's tournament against Chelsea. You'd think that making it to the final four in the Champion's League tournament would qualify a team for next year, but apparently it doesn't.

Onto Chelsea vs. Liverpool. Chelsea are like the NY Yankees of UK football. They have in the last few years started buying loads of talent. Liverpool has history on their side here leading Chelsea in Champion's League play over the last two years. Chelsea hasn't even been able to score against Liverpool in these games. You know where this is going, don't you?

April 25
Chelsea 1-Liverpool 0

European and UK play is interesting in the way it's scored for tournaments, cups and such. In Champions League, once they get out of group play, they don't play "best of" series like we do here in the US in other sports. They actually only play two games. Obviously, the score itself has a lot to do with it, but teams also get points based on whether they are playing at home or away, and how many goals they score. For instance, an away goal is worth more than a home goal (not in the game itself, but in the amount of "points" a team gets in the tournament standings).

So, with Liverpool down a game by one goal, and then playing at home in this Tuesday's game, Liverpool need to win by at least two points. At least, I think this is the way it needs to happen. I believe that if the game ends with the standings tied, then it would go to overtime, then penalty kicks. I'm not positive about this, though. I'm trying to find the info online, but can't seem to find out exactly what Liverpool need to do on Tuesday. I can tell you that eveyone seems to think Chelsea's going to do it. It's pretty much Manchester United and Chelsea winning everything else right now, anyway.

April 28
Portsmouth 2-Liverpool 1
This was a Premier League game.

I don't understand everything about English and European football yet, but I'm learning.

English Premier League is called the "League". As I'm sure you can tell by its name, only teams in the EPL play to win this League. There's even a pretty interesting system for how teams come in and out of the EPL.

UEFA Champions League is called "Europe". These are the European club teams that qualify for the Champions League in the season prior.

The FA Cup is called "The Cup". I haven't quite figured out how this one works, yet.

There is at least one other championship that EPL teams play for. Like I said, still learning. OK, I'm done, now. This went on a lot longer than I planned, and I'm sure much longer than any of you care. But there it is. In the future, I'll just include scores and a little game summary.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stuff and M*Space

Well, what's been going on. I'm still decompressing after passing my tax final on Monday night. I barely made it, but in a pass-fail class, barely is still good.

Work this week has been crazy. "What's new?" you may ask. Well, the big migration project is three weeks away, and finally all of our partners have started testing the new system. That means lots of work for Whitney that's outside of her normal job description. Luckily my boss gets it, and is giving me a bit of a pass on the regular work that is part of my job description. Not all of it, but some. Again, I will say that if it wasn't for my incredible understanding boss, I don't know how'd I'd be hanging on.

Tonight I'm making a Lyle Favorites CD for my mom and coworker who need to have some Lyle prep before the show on June 15. Did I mention we have a TABLE at Chastain for the show? I'm not even sure what to do with that information right now. I'm so so so excited. And K.D. Lang is opening. She's one of those singers (like Annie Lennox and the lead singer of Keane) whose voice is done no justice by current recording media. My parents and I went to see K.D. Lang in the late 80s at Center Stage (now Earthlink Live), and I still remember how amazing her voice was. I can't wait to hear her again.

Let's see, what else? Oh, thinking about adding a bit more to the M* Space profile. Right now, there's nothing - only an account so that I can look for other people. Can anyone give me a good reason why I should add to it?

So next week the retirement planning class begins. And work gets crazier. And the Lyle show gets one week closer.
And with that, I'll leave you a Lyle lyric (Alone at Sea's favorite) from the Favorites mix and a random picture ...

I walked on through the door and she just smiled
In a long pony tail and a pretty white dress
She said ,"Hi, bull riders do it best"
I said "Oh my God, what's your name
My name's Lyle"



Apalachicola, FL - 2004

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I can only hope that I would be this brave

But, honestly, I don't think I am.

This man is a hero in the VA Tech tragedy, and I'm sure we'll find out he wasn't the only one.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More of the same, sort of

What can I say? Not much changes around here. Busy as usual seemingly doing something every night after work. The last three weeks have been crazy with stuff. Next week will be different. There will be no after work plans, barring any emergency of course, because I absolutely cannot procrastinate until the weekend to study for my Tax final. I failed the midterm, badly, and I have to do much better on the final. So, every night next week will be spent creating note cards to remember the most asinine, convoluted, incomprehensible garbage that is the US tax code.


Work is stressful as ever. We have this huge project going on and about half the company are doing five people's jobs. I'm probably doing the jobs of three. Luckily, I have an amazing boss, and he's in town this week. I was able to sit down with him today and vent a little, and he never ceases to impress me with his ability to make me feel so much better. He doesn't change things or prove to me that it can all get done, but when I'm down on myself and my ability to do my job, he lets me know that it really will get better, that I can hang in there, and that he and plenty of other people think I'm doing a good job.


I guess it's time for another picture. Here's one of a moth that got into our house a while back. I've never seen one like this. It was beautiful, and probably about five inches wide at the wingtips.