Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I end the aerial like a gymnast - hands up in the air.

It's gotta be the short hair.
I think I'm Mary Lou Retton.
Does that make Adam a balance beam?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Durham could use some street art

Ouchy Eye

My right eye has been hurting on and off for the last four months. I passed it off as a symptom of too much time in sealed up places like airplanes, airports, hotels, buildings with windows that don't open. So, when it was still hurting a week after I had been free of such places I made an appointment with my eye doctor.

One of his first questions was "Do you have any double vision?" Ummmm, if I were ever to get double vision again I would be walking into the nearest ER and order up an MRI.

He didn't find anything specific to explain the pain. I might have just pulled a muscle in my eye. Or stress. Or airplanes (pressure). He told me to give it two weeks (vacation time for my eye?) and if it still hurts, he'll refer me.

He took a thorough look - including dilating my eyes.

I can't really *do* much with my eyes dilated but I found myself trying to remember the tune and lyrics of an Ani DiFranco song called "Dilate."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I wonder if they use weather reports to determine when to push this type of e-mail.

Because I could really use some sun. Sun, Sun, Here, Here, Sun, Sun.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lollipops from Barclay's Bank

I found myself actually *in* a bank on Monday. I had to make a cash deposit and I just didn't feel comfortable putting money into the ATM (though I'm perfectly comfortable taking it from the ATM?).

I noticed a dish of skinny cheap lollipops on the counter and remembered being a kid and waiting in the car while one of the parents went into Barclays bank and always returned with a lollipop. That's what going to the bank was about - never mind the transaction taking place.

So, in a world where I decide the ways things are, ATM's will dispense lollipops.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I had this bright idea years ago

J. Crew is finally catching up to J. Foehl.
It's all about light.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Netflix pics have been a bit intense

This flick alone balanced it out.

C-Bus C-ollections

Taking stock. Or, just unpacking.

Please applaud my restraint for not indicating how close I am to the next "level" in these programs. Just give me some time and I'll realize how unimportant this really is - in the meantime - this is what I've got.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spotted at BNA (Nashville Airport)

(my family and a few others call me "Babies" - not sure the origin but I will respond to it).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesdays in Ohio

In the last few months I’ve spent more nights at the Hyatt than in my own bed.  A work assignment brought me to Columbus, and a little too much time staring at the ceiling in said Hyatt brought me to the Shrunken Head in Victorian Village to swing dance on Tuesday nights.

I want to thank the fine folks of Swing Columbus for live music every Tuesday night, a venue that serves food and alcohol (a bit of both prior to dancing are helpful), for the lessons, playing “Bizet Has His Day,” energetic jam circles with aerials, thanks to the leads for the dances (and steering me clear of the poles when I was back-leading myself right into them)and when I wasn’t on the floor I enjoyed watching y’all (I’m not from the South, but I do live there now).  

Thanks for giving my weeks some much needed structure and my dancing a much needed kick-start.  Most of all, thank you for your friendliness.  You’ve got a great scene going & should my job lead me back to C-bus you can count on me and my suitcase showing up for more.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We'll be right there.

Monday the 13th.  Last trip to Columbus.  The Client/Agency holiday party is tonight and about 30 co-workers are flying out for it.  There's only one direct flight from RDU to CMH and about half of the McK crowd (including me) will be on that flight - the McK-Bus to C-Bus.
Flight from RDU to CMH delayed.

Canceled!?  This really puts a kink in my plan to get Gold Medallion status on Delta.

Go through security anyway to get coffee for the team (Delta wasn't printing boarding passes for a canceled flight - but I printed mine the day prior).and walk back out (I'm not a coffee drinker, but I understand the need.  Plus, I'm going to be traveling with these people - maybe - I want them in a good mood).
Shortest trip ever. 

I learn I *am* going to be traveling with these people.
On a private plane.

The planes (Citation I and Citation II) are flying in from Greensboro.  I'm kinda wondering why these planes will make the trip but not Delta. 

We have some time so a group of us grab lunch at An.  I order a beet salad.  It's pretty.
I am on Citation I.  The little five seat-er.  I wonder how plane assignments were made.  Role in company, for sure, but perhaps weight?  I grab some Maggie Moo's in case they over-estimated my weight.  I love ice cream in the cold an An doesn't have a ton of options for me. 
After lunch we drive to the airport and literally just get on the plane.  The lack of hassle is remarkable.

Four of the seats face each other.  Then there's a single sideways facing seat close to the pilots - that's where I sit.  It's at the front of the plane and there is a lot of leg room (though you don't want to stretch my legs too far because I'm opposite the door).  Is this First Class or an Emergency Exit Row?  The pilots point out all the features.  Notably, the liquor stashes.  One of which is near me.  Maybe I'm the Flight Attendant.

And we're off.  Goodbye RDU and your green landscape
Hello Clouds

And sun

A co-worker (who very much needs a restroom, but not the one on the plane) asks me to ask the pilot for an ETA.  He's wearing headphones and he's flying the plane.  I'm extremely hesistant to tap him on the shoulder.
I take a look out the window and determine we must be close.

We are close.  Can't you see that runway?  I couldn't actually.

And then we just hop off the plane (onto a red carpet) and walk 50 yards to a cab. 
 Pretty cool, no?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The season snuck up on me but tis the season nonetheless

My mom visited me in NC a few Thanksgivings ago and was underwhelmed by my holiday decorations.  So, she sent me some lights to decorate with a tree.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I would rather wake up on fire than not sleep."

My trip to CMH this week involved a red-eye, sleeping on the floor of a very cold CLT and arriving to a hotel with no heat or hot water. And snow. I did a really mediocre job of packing so outfit-fit-wise, both outerwear and inner-wear, well, it wasn't a banner week.

These trips make arriving home all the sweeter. Unless or course, arrival home includes a chirping smoke alarm. After midnight. No biggie, methinks. I'll just remove the battery.

Turns out to be a bit of a biggie.

First challenge is reaching the smoke alarm. This involves balancing a footstool on a chair. Precarious, indeed. I cam touch the smoke alarm but having enough stability and grip to get it open, not so easy. I twist, push, pull and turn and finally get the damn cover off the smoke alarm.

Mind you, as I'm doing this, the thing is still chirping. The intervals are just long enough where you think it might have stopped and just as I settle into the silence it chirps again which is extremely irritating (and I'm irritable to begin with, in the best of circumstances, mind you).

I break a nail getting the battery cover off and chip another getting the battery out. With battery in hand I think I've won the battle. Take that device. As soon as I have both feet on the ground and footstool off of chair the f'ing think chirps again. This is unbelievable.

I'm so tired. I just want to sleep. The alarm is hanging from some wires. I consider just chopping them off but this device has such a strong desire to chirp I imagine the smoke alarm on the counter still chirping, growing arms and legs and going into the fridge to grab some of my Ginger Ale. And then there's always fear of electrocution.

Smoke Alarm: 1. Jamie: 0.

I send an e-mail to the apartment people requesting this gets fixed, look up "noise canceling headphones" on Amazon, take an Ambien and sleep. Sorta.

The next day (technically later that day)

I arrive home kinda grumpy. Tired.

The smoke alarm chirps.

I lose it.

Seriously. There are tears. And then there is a phone call to the leasing office. I indicate this is an emergency and I'm going to check into a hotel and deduct it from the rent. I can't not sleep tonight.

Fortunately, the maintenance guy is still there. He arrives at my door with a ladder and battery. I'm still kinda cranky and teary - I'm not a happy tired person. The poor guy was standing right in front of the Jamie train and I tell him way more than he wanted to know about not getting enough sleep, more nights in the Hyatt than my own bed, the red-eye, etc.

He very reluctantly shows me the breaker for the smoke alarm but says "You really shouldn't do that" to which I respond "I would rather wake up on fire than not sleep."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

"Looking in the mirror staring back at me isn't so much a face as the expression of a predicament."

George: I’m exactly what I seem to be, if you look closely. You know the only thing that has made the whole thing worthwhile has been those few times that I was able to truly connect with another person.

Kenny: I had a hunch about you, sir.

George: You did?

Kenny: Yes, sir. I had a hunch you might be a real romantic.

George smiles.

Kenny: You know, everyone keeps telling you that when you’re older, that you’ll have all this experience - like it’s some great thing.

George: That’s a load of shit. I think I’ve actually just gotten sillier and sillier.

Kenny: Really?

George: Absolutely.

Kenny: So all your experience is useless?

George: No, I wouldn’t say that. As our friend Mr. Huxley says: “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

"A few times in my life I've had moments of absolute clarity, when for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be."

Lazy Day, writing about some not so lazy days

Slept late.

Got a pedicure.

Refuse to turn on heat until Dec 1st so most time in apartment was underneath down comforter.

Productive in that I finished blogging about the trip I took to Western NC in August.
Day One
Day Two
Day Three Part One
Day Three Part Two
Day Three Part Three
Day Four

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm thankful that the majority of my friends are not inanimate objects

But my totem candy corn and turkey candle pals were at the Thanksgiving table.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm thankful I'm not travelling today.

I'm less thankful that I' m probably an RDU/CMH porn star given how many times I've posed in the body scanner.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She's a moving target

She prefers it that way
She's leaving town tomorrow
She got in yesterday

She prefers it that way
She's leaving town this evening
She got in earlier today

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pop's Pizza + Five Episodes of Entourage

Rocking it out on a Monday night with my totem.
The priority sticker is from Delta. They put it on my luggage now that I'm an increasingly important frequent flier (I am about 3,000 miles away from GOLD).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Heard on NPR today

Golden Girls was like "Sex In The City" for old people.
Except you would just call it "The City."

A little Lisbeth

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No Utility

I haven't used A/C or heat in three months.
Frost this morning.
I won't break me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"It's like that there's a music, playing in your ear. And I'm listening, and I'm listening, and then I disappear."

Sometime in April, I bought tickets for a November 11th performance of "Billy Elliot" at DPAC.

And then forgot about it.

Until November 10th, when I was en route from CHM to RDU. I was actually going to be in town that night but going to the show was competing with completing employee evals (due on the 12th), unpacking, and ironically, actually going out to Hot Club for swing dancing. Fortunately, a co-worker talked some sense to me and I went.

I had seen the movie, but I really only knew this was a show about a dancing boy (compare that to "Wicked" when I was doing everything I could not to sing along or jump on stage and join in during "Popular").

I thought I was following the story fairly well until a man came out wearing all black and a headset and just stood there. I just couldn't reconcile that moment with anything that preceded it. Then, an announcement was made that there was a technical difficulty and there would be a temporary intermission. Very surreal. If it was a ploy to sell more concessions, I fell for it. I fell for it twice because I got a double shot of vodka with cranberry juice. I was very entertained that the drink was served in a grown up sippy cup.

I also fell for the show. In the past few months, swing dancing has taken on more meaning for me. I've needed it. It's become a delightful alternative to the Hyatt on Tuesday nights in Columbus but more importantly it's reinforced the value of advice I've been given all my life but have never really embraced or realized. The less I think and worry about dancing, the better I do. When I feel my lead, "just follow", give up some control and stop anticipating my body listens, I feel connection.

As if that's not cheesy enough, I was particularly taken by Billy Elliot's response to the question asked as he was on his way out from the Royal Ballet school audition.

"Can I just ask Billy, what does it feel like when you're dancing?" Billy answers in song called Electricity.

The song that ended up on my i-Phone within minutes of leaving the show (listen to it too many times, and yeah, it's cheesy but it's too late in this post to back off from cheesiness).

And, within minutes or arriving home, I was having my own little "Hot Club of Durham" rocking it out to "Bizet Has His Day" in my living room.

It's a bit like being angry; it's a bit like being scared
Confused and all mixed up and mad as hell
It's like when you've been crying
And you're empty and you're full
I don't know what it is, it's hard to tell

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

And the pictures match the memories.

I remember my mom taking us to a place with copper water. Cockaponsett. For a while I wondered if the color of the water (and even the name of the place) was an invented childhood memory.

It's not.

My mom and her brother (Uncle Ronnie - ever the historian) and Aunt Roberta took a trip to Lake Cockaponsett in CT this fall and sent pics that matched exactly those in my memory.

A place where siblings can be goofy.
(Uncle Ronnie doesn't smile in pictures. He's clearly holding one in here. He's slipping).

No he's not

A place where the grownups can relax

A place that reminds me of my mom. Butterfly kisses Momsy!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Overheard in Minnesota

“Have you made tater tot hot dish lately? How do you make yours?"
-Conversation between two convenience store attendants

North Carolina Carleton Club Voted "Biggest Little Club"

Quick trip to Northfield for Club Chairs Weekend.

This event used to take place in May.
Now November.

I no longer have a wardrobe for November in MN so time outside was minimized. I did tolerate the elements long enough to get the obligatory shot by the sign that proclaims Northfield as the town of "Cows, Colleges & Contentment."NC is technically a "small club" - purely based on number of alums in the state. By attitude, events, attendance, we're big big big, so we got the "Biggest Little Club Award." I might have given us the "Jack Russell Club Award."

Carleton had some comforting familiarities that weekend - Turkey Farm smell, for example. Less familiar: new dorms. They were nice (as in "I might rent an apartment here"). Flat screen monitors in the foyers? Like in an airport, or ad agency. Then I realized the monitors were showing energy consumption in the dorms. Ah, that's much more "Carleton."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Girls Night with Diane & Mary

We didn't do our nails or hair or whatever girls do at girl's night.

We did arts & crafts, sewing and I spent some time online updating my address on mail that was still being delivered to Diane's. It was kind-of like what one might do on a night in. Just with pals. Made me miss having Diane as a roommate and Mary down the road.

It was during this night I made my candy corn totem.

And Mary did some tailoring for me (she put darts in a blouse that needed a little more shape in order to show off my girly curves). I helped and learned a little about sewing.
Coloring was also available, but no takers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Girlymanhood of the Traveling White House Crasher Wig

Halloween a la McKinney style. A co-worker chooses my name out of a hat, and assigns me to dress as Michaele Salahi. I don't know who this is, but Google reminds me I actually do (White House Crasher).

Organizer of McKinney Halloween Party doesn't give me my assignment until Monday (party is on Friday) and I'm in Columbus for most of the week so I have no idea how this is going to come together. Diane (who dresses up as something different every day during Halloween week) sends me a you tube video about how to wrap a saari and offers me a blond wig. But I've no idea when I can acquire either.

I land in Columbus on Thursday night. I am so not in the mood to go to a craft store at 8:30pm at night (nor am I sure one is open) or Target and tonight is also Hot Club of Durham. Seeing PEOPLE and dancing are important for my sanity so I chose that instead. The plan is to venture to Wal*Mart (one of the few 24 hour places in the area) after the dance and take my chances. I am hating on party organizer a little when I pull into Wal*Mart at 11:45pm.

I end up acquiring the best part of my costume at the dance. Tareq (i.e. Colin). It's a closed McKinney party and I figure what better way to bring the costume to life than to bring a real uninvited guest playing the role of an uninvited guest? And Colin was an easy sell. The conversation went something like this:

Jamie: I have an idea for you and I think you'll like it. Do you have a tux and 20 minutes tomorrow night?
Colin: OK.

After the dance I head to Wal*Mart and find a sheet that will do the trick.

At work, I prepare a prop. McKinney president (pictured below) will be present at the party, so I decide to add that detail to ticket.
David delivers the wig (thanks Diane). I've also learned that Girlyman (a band) is in town so after I "crash" the Halloween party I will be meeting up with David & Bengt for the show in Carborro.So, here's me in costume before I leave my apartment. The wig is unbelievably itchy and errant strands of hair are itching my face. It's like the thing has a life if it's own.

My neighbors are Indian so I'm very stealth about leaving the apartment I can't move too quickly all wrapped like this and of course I run into my neighbors as I'm getting into the car. David is driving and I'm antsy for him to drive us out of there.

So, here's a funny part (I say that only because many parts of this saga are funny). McKinney president dressed up as Lady Gaga for the Halloween Party. So, here were are, meeting our very dignified McK President.
I made a co-worker dress up as a cupcake. She's all about her baked goods. Now she is a baked good. Heh.
And that was the party.

Now, onto the concert. During the first act, Girlyman lamented they had no costumes. During intermission, I gave them my wig. During Act Two, every member of the band wore the wig. It was hit. They did all find it itchy and uncomfortable however.

A little song about the hot and uncomfortable wig

More commentary on the wig
And here you have each and every band member with wig. Doris, Nate, JJ & Ty
JJ Drummer with wig especially funny.