"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Monday, April 30, 2007

artist confidential

I love "new" music, even when it's only new to me. In my last post, I forgot to talk about an artist whose music I was introduced to while in Cali last week. One of my goals in life (I should add this to my 43 things) is to have an extensive, eclectic iTunes songlist, so when I come across music that's unique, I immediately download it.

Some of you may be familiar with Toby Lightman, and if you are, give yourself some cool points. She's a super-talented singer and songwriter with a great, soulful voice and awesome hair. The information I gathered on her says she's a little bit Macy Gray and a little bit Bonnie Raitt. Not sure if I agree with either of those, but she's worth a listen anyway (you can listen on her website). My favorite of her songs are "Devils and Angels" (on my playlist), "My Sweet Song," "Don't Wake Me" and "Better" (written for Toby's sister after she had her baby boy - perfect for mamas!).

Friday, April 27, 2007

k.c. and m-e in the o.c.

If anyone has noticed (or cared) that I haven’t been posting or checking email the last few days, it’s because I have been in California for almost a week for work.

OK, so I have a pretty cool job. Sandwiched between long days as a state employee, I get to travel to cool places and do some pretty fun stuff. For about the past week or so, I attended an international travel conference in Anaheim, California. Sure, I worked during the day promoting Mississippi to Japanese and European travelers, but at night was a different story.

The first night of the conference, Disneyland closed the park just for us. Here’s where I give props to Walt Disney: the man was clearly beyond genius. Something about little fake towns, larger-than-life mice and a big castle makes adults go wild and act like children. Yes, Walt figured out years ago that people will buy ANYTHING with Mickey’s likeness on it and pay top dollar without question. I know this because I bought three pairs of Mickey ears and left 40 of my hard-earned dollars at the World of Disney store.

We were treated like royalty – free food, open bar, blinking Mickey ears (didn’t have to pay for those) and virtually no lines at any of the rides. It actually rained the night of the event, and we were given MICKEY PONCHOS. I of course made someone take a picture of my back to share this with you all. Needless to say we had a blast.

On Wednesday night, my boss Kristen and I were getting fired up for the final night party when our arms were twisted to eat at In-N-Out Burger. Now, many of you may have never heard of this place, but anyone with a penchant for celebrity gossip knows what I’m talking about. Weight Watchers be damned, I had a cheeseburger and some French fries served up “animal style” – with sautéed onions and cheese. Our cab driver really thought we were mentally ill, but when in Rome…From the famous burger joint, we headed back into downtown Anaheim to hear K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Pretty fun even though I was shocked (and a little disappointed) to learn that K.C. was a white guy. Monday – back to the real world.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

recent thoughts

First and foremost, my most sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Virginia Tech community. I was immediately struck by startling similarities of this campus and our Mississippi State. Talks of the Drill Field and engineering students could just as easily have been mentioned with State as the backdrop. Interviews with college students on the news could just as easily have been our friends and neighbors. It is truly heartbreaking that a place of learning, fellowship and enlightenment could transform into a horrific crime scene in a manner of mere hours. Sam, I am praying for you, your friends and classmates and the families of the innocent victims.

In light of yesterday's shootings, my trivial musings seem even less important. But perhaps a little distraction is necessary.

Just call me the eternal philosopher. I'm certainly not claiming to have all the answers, but I have learned a few general rules during my short time here on Earth. I've been guilty of doing or not doing each, and I'm sure I'll end up committing them all again. These of course do not run the gamut on how one should act, but I've found them to be pretty reliable.

1. A cubicle wall does not a soundproof barrier make. If you talk on your phone at your desk at work, everyone around you WILL KNOW your business. It's physics, people. See also number 10.
2. Even though something (online or otherwise) says you will remain anonymous, that isn't always the case. You're just going to have to trust me on this one. Also see number 5.
3. You never know everything about someone. No matter how close you are (or think you are). Everyone has secrets.
4. Always be nice to: teachers, security guards, bus drivers, receptionists and IT people. You never know when you may need them to help you out. Flirt if you must.
5. Never put anything in writing that you wouldn't want in the paper or on CNN.com. Emails get forwarded - it's part of living in this technological age.
6. Know that sometimes you will be "the cutest one there," and sometimes you won't. It's impossible to know for sure ahead of time, so always strive for the former.
7. Good grammar is infinitely important. Just ask Mrs. Warren. Not everyone notices, but double negatives and subject-verb disagreement can make an educated person sound ridiculous. On a related point, the pronoun "I" is incorrect when used as the object of a prepositional phrase. Everyone makes mistakes; just learn from them and move on.
8. Write thank-you notes - even when you think the giver "wouldn't care" or notice if you didn't. They do.
9. In a retail store, always put away unwanted items and return grocery carts to their designated areas. Those who do this for a living work harder and make less money than most of us. Give them a hand here and there.
10. Choose cell phone ringtones wisely. You are bound to forget to silence it at some point, and "Amarillo by Mornin'" is not something you want ringing during a meeting or at church.

Friday, April 6, 2007

now for MY 43 things...

Ok, so I copied Lacey, Claire and Yaya. I still think this is a good exercise. Someone's 43 Things he/she wants to do before he/she dies say a lot about a person. It prompts you to examine what's really important - even the trivial things. I asked Kell about his, and they were both sports-related. I assume no one is surprised.

1. Spend a significant amount of time in Greece. Just a few days doesn’t count. My family is from there, so I want to really live it.
2. Become an “expert” in something. I read somewhere that if you read 3 books on one certain subject, you are considered an “expert” on that topic because most Americans don’t read.
3. Write a book with Haley. We have the idea; we just need an agent and a publisher.
4. Be in a play. I’d really like to be active in a community theatre group at some point in my life.
5. Learn to play guitar and sing. Maybe I can perform at Happy Hour at The Alluvian one day.
6. Sell some art. Good art, real art – like in a gallery.
7. Find a job that I really love. What a luxury it must be to wake up excited in the morning about going to work.
8. Become friends with someone famous. Really friends. The kind of friends that talk all the time, and it’s no big deal. For example, I’d have Jessica Simpson in my cell phone as “Jess.”.
9. Get an Hermes Birkin Bag. Yes, I know they cost upwards from like $13,000. But, they’re a classic, and I could carry it until I die. I think I’d like a red croc one. I saw one on a lady’s arm one time, and it was really lovely.
10. Be able to pass jewelry down to my daughters. I still don’t have any from my mom, and I feel shafted to be honest with you.
11. Have regular dinner parties. You know, the kind that people look forward to and dress up for (see also #12).
12. Become a good cook. I’m really trying, and I think I’m getting better. I don’t want to be the girl who brings paper products to parties anymore.
13. Learn a second language. And be fluent. And not Spanish. Preferably Greek – the homeland.
14. Be an attractive older lady. I see older women all the time that are so pretty and well-dressed and still have pretty hair and skin. I’d like for people to say the same about me when I get older. Kind of like the “Stacy’s mom has got it going on” song.
15. Be a strong role model for my children. Especially if I have girls. And, if I have boys, I’ll be sure they know how to treat their wives.
16. Think fast and be well-spoken, even when caught off guard. Well-spoken like a White House Press Secretary.

Stay tuned for the next batch.
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