Thursday, January 13, 2011

When is enough enough?

So I've decided that perhaps I'm a bit too connected. I've always been pretty accessible, but as I was just filling out my Yelp profile and then tweeting it (while opting not to FB it), things began looking a little absurd. I remember last month a friend was helping me get in contact with someone about a potential job. In the course of an hour, we communicated in no less than four different ways. He texted me to tell me to get on gchat. So I did and he told me what the details were. Then I called him with a question because I was driving and shouldn't gchat whilst operating a vehicle. Then I emailed him the resume. All of this within an hour. A bit ridiculous, no?

In the wake of this (and other similar incidences) I have since began tweeting regularly, joined and use four-square and just signed up for Yelp. All of this in addition and connection with my usual facebooking.

Since the beginning of the year I have used all of my new-found social media-ness twice in a productive way. Once to meet up with some friends (which the meeting was mostly to say I used social media to get with them) and once to read reviews of a restaurant I was about to go to.

So the question is, how much more connected could I possibly be? And furthermore, do people actually care about what I think or where I am at any given moment? As a media professional I feel like it's literally my job to keep up with all of these things, but I'm interested to see how long all of this lasts, and what the next new thing will be. Not to mention, as a culture, how will the need for constant approval/attention affect the kids growing up in this environment? Are we creating more diva's or are we really contributing to a more global society (instead of the look out for #1 mentality we've seemed to develop here in the States)?

Just something to ponder (and perhaps something to study when I eventually get started on my master's/PhD). How much is too much?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Random thoughts for the day

Wow.... So much for writing more often... it's been 22 days!!!!! That's like, three weeks and 1 day!!! (Which, incidentally, is exactly one week and one less day then the time I have left before activating SF!!!!!!!!)

Yes, I'm visiting San Fran. You probably know this b/c I won't shut up about it. I'm so excited!!! Have only been to Cali once, and fell in love and am hoping to fall in love all over again! My bestie is coming with me and we're staying with another really good friend that I haven't seen in waaaaaaaaay too long. I even bought a new jacket (and a new dress, but we'll see about the dress....)I would show you a pic of the jacket, but alas I got it from the most glorious website and now can't find a pic :( Perhaps I'll model it once it arrives. But here's the questionable dress!! It's by none other than my most favorite Michael Kors!

Slash now I'm not posting pics b/c I don't think either of my purchases will be here in time for the trip. Oh well!

Also, my store's closing, so you won't be privy to anymore creeper or men in heel stories. Not sure if you should be glad or sad about this.

Luckily, I do have another small freelance gig lined up (that I said I'd do for free, so we'll see what happens) doing something that I actually really love! HOORAY!

But now I have time to do The Stewpot again, and I signed up for a volleyball team. Oh- And I am "training" to run in the Colon Cancer 5k at the end of next month! And by run I mean walk. Maybe some jog. But I'm working on it. GO ME!

Finally, I just learned that in the life of my blog, it's been read in the following countries: US, Canada, Russia, China, the UK, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, Norway and France! I'm quite the global author.

So that's that.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Out of Chaos, Hope

The tree strewn across the roof of the building was at least three feet in diameter and was balanced so carefully across the roof beams it was almost believable that a giant had placed the tree there. As if he were balancing a matchstick on a house of cards as a mere reminder of his strength. The town beyond the road looked as if no one had lived there for years. Driving along the raised overpass of HWY 10 I could see the hard yellow plastic of McDonald's golden arches flapping in the breeze, serving as an ominous foreground for the scenes of destruction that were just beyond the service road. As a single red truck drove by that Saturday morning, it became apparent how lacking in life the town was. No green trees, only patches of mossy grass, no restaurant signs, no people, no cars, nothing. The scene was hopeless.

Four and a half years later, I can still see Slidell, LA as clearly as I could see the Dallas skyline as I approached my office this morning.

Earlier this week while I enjoyed the comforts of clean sheets and a cozy bed, I watched a special called Witness: Katrina on Nat Geo, and was quickly brought back to my time spent around New Orleans in February following August 2005's hurricane. Just watching the footage shot during and after the hurricane I felt my chest tighten with compassion and sorrow. I knew the people in the videos. I had seen first hand their pain and my heart again wept for them.

As a person who has always been obsessed by hurricanes (and any sort of natural disaster, really), the decision to skip school and camp out in haz-mat tents to do hard manual labor was not really a question for me of if, but rather of when.

(Our camp for the first leg of our stay in Houma, LA. Later we moved to and built our next camp that was used for more volunteers after we left.)

As soon as I heard that my church was one of several putting a group together to go help the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance organization with the demolition or rebuilding of homes destroyed by the hurricane, I signed up and told my professors I would be out for a week. What I didn't sign up for, however, was the rekindling of a lost friendship. Nor did I expect that six months after the hurricane the once thriving suburbs would still be desolate and empty. Literally, void of all life. The thing I did not expect most, though, was to leave as changed as I was.

While in Louisiana, we helped several families to rebuild their lives. They helped me to rebuild my soul. While Katrina represents many things to many people, to me it represents hope. That was, after all, the PDA's motto for their rebuilding efforts: Out of Chaos, Hope. On that trip I learned how to spray for mold. I demolished an entire set of kitchen cabinets with nothing but gloves, a mask, and a sledge hammer. I talked to people who had survived losing all of their possessions in a terrifying flood.

I learned compassion...

...Out of chaos, hope.

I learned that life is not about the possessions you may or may not have, but it is, rather, about the relationships you build...

...Out of chaos, love.

I learned that when opportunities are presented to you, you should take them, because you don't know how incomplete your life might be without the insight they offer...

...Out of chaos, peace.

As with all mission trips I have been on, I am the person who is healed. And so, out of chaos I found hope in humanity. I found love in deepening my relationships. And I found peace with myself.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 3-0 Deadline. Or: It's not just me.

It's been awhile, but it's time for a smarticle! Ran across a topic this evening on my favorite blog, The Frisky, and though it hit pretty close to home. People in their 20s are just not ready to be the type of adult that our parents were 30 years ago.

After a bit of research, I found that my feelings of still needing to grow-up are not just arbitrary feelings, but more of an epidemic. Glad to know that despite constantly stressing about living with a family member after earning a college degree and scoring a full-time job, I'm not the only one. And when I obsess at age 26 that there's something wrong with me because I don't feel remotely close to getting married or having children, I find comfort that there's more out there just like me. And not just a handful, it seems.

After reading the New York Times article "What is it about 20?", I feel a bit enlightened (the title of this post links to the original article). Sociologists have studied radical trends emerging in people in their 20s that are immensely different from generations past. We're more likely to move back home while searching for a job. We're also getting married later (26 for women and 28 for men), and having children later than any other generation.

It's nice to know what I deem as self-inadequacies are actually the new societal norm!

But the question is, why this shift to a 30-year childhood that would make Peter Pan jealous? It's not just the economy. This trend of prolonging adolescence has been measured prior to this most recent economic decline. Now granted, we do have the ability to reproduce longer with different things to aid us, so the biological clock can tick a little slower. Or is it that we're living longer, so the natural progression of life stretches to fill the extra years that we're able to tack on?

One of the answers the NYT suggests is that we've been taught not to settle, so why should we? I think this is the answer most relevant to me. My generation is the one where everyone is a winner. Instant gratification is demanded. Perhaps the idea that we want what we want, when we want it, is the culprit of our slowed development. Not to mention we've all been told we're the best, regardless of actual effort or performance. I know that I have been taught that if I dream it, I can achieve it. Hello, own personal heaven. Is that not the mantra we still teach our children? It makes perfect sense, then, that we've been trained to accept nothing but the best. Well, our individualized idea of whatever the best is. And we have developed the tenacity to keep on mucking through mediocrity, awaiting perfection. After all, we expect that just around the corner all our dreams will come true, as long as we show up and take advantage.

I guess it all boils down to this. When will we ever grow up? I vote when we all turn 30... or 35 which apparently is the new 25. That seems to be the magic number. I guess only time will tell! Until then, I'll keep educating myself on the ways of the world to forge ahead and lay my path perfectly so when I do finally become an adult in 4 years, it will be everything I imagined and more. After all, age is nothing but a number!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I live in Legally Blonde, the movie

Well, at least I did today for a few minutes. So I was in the store this evening and we had scheduled a pick-up from UPS. Usually we have the same old UPS guy. He's perfectly nice and we've chatted for a bit, but he's not my cup of tea. He's no Mr. Yes-please, to put it bluntly. (But then again, not many people are. Also, yesterday I failed to mention that Mr. Yes-please was awkwardly buying pants with a pair he owned on his arm, then he bought a second pair, and refused a bag or to hang it up. Perhaps picking up pants on the way to work? wonder what happened to the originals... Irrelevant either way.)

So yes. UPS. We had a pick-up today since some of our spring products are going back to the warehouse to make room for the new fall line. It's always nice to have a pick-up because there's guaranteed interaction on slow nights (which tonight was). But tonight I was in for a treat!! The OTHER UPS guy came to pick up our boxes. The OTHER guy is the hot guy. Similar to Mr. Yes-please, he too could be a movie star! Even my boss admitted that when she passed him in the mall she had to do the see-you-then-promptly-look-down-because-your-beauty-overwhelms-me-a-bit-head-on move.

Yes, I had to look away too, but not after cooly chatting with him as he made small talk and carried the boxes easily on his shoulder. The boxes were filled with old product. Heavy when in numbers product. And Mr. M (as in mmmmmmm!) just picked those boxes up like he was lifting a feather.

But the whole point of this is not to prove that I'm blasted boy-crazy this week, but that I had to seriously contain myself from knocking a pen on the floor, seductively walking over to it in my 4" wedges and saying "WHOOPS" while peering through my abnormally awesome lashes up at Mr. M. Ladies, you all know where my head's at. The Bend-N-Snap. It almost made an appearance. I am wearing my skinniest jean/leggings today. PRIME bend-n-snap attire. I can see it now. He would reach for the pen. I would say, "Ooh.... I've got it" Again, peering through the Dior coated amazingness that fringes my eyes. After a little wink I would extend my right leg in front of me (quite like a prancing horse, come to think of it) until my knee was flattened out, and I would slowly, laboriously bend at the waist to pick up the pen. Arm slowly reaching down the length of my leg, drawing attention to my heels and muscular calf.

He would be riveted as I slowly clasped the pen between my fairly well-maintained manicured fingers. Just when I had his attention, I would quickly upright myself, flashing my Cali-beach waved 'do that I chose today, in an irresistible way where the blonde tendrils would land a bit mussed, as if I've just had a romp in the sheets.

And then I'd fall over from standing up too fast and the moment would be over.

But I feel like this might be the way to start a story of how we met. The Bend-n-snap... works every time! If you want to look a fool! If he comes back, I might give it a go, just to see how someone would react to this... EEPS! Wish me luck and courage, because I feel like this could be the start of a beautiful friendship... based on us laughing at me being a total dork weirdo!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Comic Absurdity or, The Story of My Life

I want to start this post off by clearly stating that I really love my grandmother, who is my current roomie. She is one of those people who inspires everyone she meets to become a better person. She is kind, caring, non-judgmental, devout in her faith, accepting, giving, the list goes on and on, as those of you who know her can attest to. She really is my role model.

And I say all of the above in a non-sucking-up for what I'm about to say sorta way. She really is awesome and I know how blessed I am to have her in my life. We all are.

So with all those accolades, I do have to say she has some faults, like any human being. And I'm not going to list them online, as that would be rude. But this morning (and both summers that I have been privileged to live with her) she presents me with some questionable logic. This is, of course, regarding the air conditioner.

Now one of my grandmother's greatest strengths is that she is by no means materialistic in the slightest. She knows what really makes people happy, and knows that it is not things. Because of her non-materialism and frugality, she is great at saving. She saves money; recycles all cardboard, glass, metal, etc.; recycles used cooking oil; even saves the broth from cooking veggies to make soups. But the one thing that I cannot understand are her saving tactics when it comes to the blasted air conditioner!

First, she keeps the thermostat set on 78-80 in the summer. Might I remind everyone that I live in Dallas. That's in Texas. Where it's hot. HOT! Like, 105 degrees for days on end hot. I'll give her that she's old and has thin blood, but not all of us are! But that's the price I pay for having such an amazing, generous roomie. I'm hot ALL OF THE TIME when I'm at home. I can get past this, really. (Well, get past it with some complaining to friends and occasional trips to the thermostat before I go to bed... SHH!)

Now here's what I don't get. So please, if someone could explain this to me, it'd be great. She sometimes turns the air off of auto (again, at 78-80 degrees) to run. This means the fan constantly runs to move the air around the vents. Now, she does this to keep it cool while not turning the thermostat down so as to save money on the electric bill. This is faulty logic to me. In Jana-land, it would be more cost effective to run the actual air conditioner a bit more frequently. So here's my equation of electricity used:

24 hours of fan > less than 24 hours of air conditioner being on

I feel like that's a pretty solid equation. But what do I know about air conditioners...

Additionally, this morning she mentioned that the next time we have company, we need to close the air vents to both her room and my room so all the air goes into the part of the house that we're using. Now, this logic makes more sense to me. BUT, will it really make a difference?

Let's say that we have company for 4 hours. Will diverting the air from both of our rooms to the living areas save enough cool air so that we will not have to turn the air down from 78? No... The air will still only be cooled to 78, regardless of amount of air siphoned to other rooms. Thus, we're saving money for 4 hours b/c the air won't have to be on as long? I don't know. I can't think of an equation to help with this one.

FINALLY, as posted on FB, I have a blasted eye infection. Thus, I'm already 10% more irritable than usual. I was able to be squeezed in to the eye doc last week, and was given a joint steroid/antibiotic drop for my good 'ole eye. This directly relates to the air dilemma, just go with me. My drops need to be stored between 59-77 degrees. I CAN'T DO IT! With the thermo set at 78-80, there's no way in Hell that my house will ever reach a frigid 77 degrees. This frustrates me. There is no equation or no solution, just me whining. When storing your eye drops in your own house becomes a problem, there is ample reason for annoyment. At least now, if I go blind, we'll know why.

So that's my rant about the air conditioning. Again, if you can help clear up some of the faulty logic that I just can't wrap my head around, please help! Until then, I'll just be sweating in my room, suffering from dry eye thanks to the fan on high blowing right at my face.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Some cocky reflections

I have been called many things in my life. Beast, rude, negative, control-freak, Vajana, the list goes on and on and on. Some things of course stand out, but then there are names I'm sure I have been called that I can't remember at all. With all the name calling that goes on in one's lifetime (or quarter of it), there is one thing that I can say I'm honestly pretty glad I'm called.


I've been told I'm cocky, confident, aggressive, full of myself, and every derivative thereof. But I have to say, I'm proud of myself for that! Of course I have my weaknesses, and there's countless things I wish to improve upon, but for the most part, I'm very content with myself. Overly content is more like it!

But here's why... (And I've said this since High School, so bear with me if you've heard it before)

I am my own biggest fan because, let's face it, most people in the world will tear you down at some point. There are enough people in everyone's life to say bad things about you. To tell you you're not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not confident enough, not enough... You name it, I guarantee there is someone who will be all to happy to insult you.

But my philosophy is this... There's enough people in this world to make me feel bad about myself. By George, I refuse to be another of them! There are things I excel at and things that I don't, so you better believe I'm going to toot my own horn when applicable!

So that's that. Yes, I'm cocky. Yes, I'm proud of it. No, I don't think I'll ever change. At least I hope I don't!