Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

08
Feb
09

for those who didn’t see this on facebook

allaboutme

If you have Facebook, click on that little thingy to the right and add me. If you don’t have Facebook, that’s OK. I don’t judge you.

Here’s my “25 Random Things About Me” thing that I got all caught up in when it was spreading like an unfortunate sexually transmitted disease.

*****

1. I have the worst short term memory in the world. I’m not even kidding. I can lose keys as soon as I put them down, ask a question twice in a row and … wait … what am I doing again?

2. I’m almost never NOT cold. At my old job at West Virginia Media, I ran a space heater under my desk all day (even in the summer), much to the chagrin of both I.T. and the engineering staff. We’re not allowed to have them in my new office building, but I wear on my lap a blanket that a former employee left behind. When she comes back for the blanket, I’ll be sad.

3. I am legitimately, actually afraid of old people. Seriously. Not people in their 60s and 70s, but very, very elderly people. I think it came from the time I visited my great-grandmother in the nursing home in St. Clairsville, Ohio, and wandered off. I got latched on to by a woman with dementia who thought I was her child. I was 8 or 9 and it scared the living hell out of me. I’ve not recovered.

4. I always knew I’d end up in the field I’m in, in some fashion. Although I sort of flirted with the idea of being a lawyer, I wanted to be a lawyer that worked for newspapers defending them against lawsuits.

5. When I was a child, the greatest gift I ever remember getting was the typewriter I got for Christmas. This blue typewriter. I would interview my stuffed animals and write about what they had to say and type enough copies to hand out to my mother and father. I was a weird kid.

6. In terms of my life, I’m positive that something got mixed up in “cosmic shipping and receiving” and I should have been born in 1969. I can’t tell you anything at all about what people would find “cool” today (I read a lot for entertainment stuff for my job, so I can tell you what “they” find cool) but if you want to know how people rocked it in 1987, I’m your girl.

7. I’m generous to a fault. This is my one of my best qualities and worst flaws.

8. The best lesson I can say I’ve learned from my parents is to treat everybody — no matter who they are — well. My mother and father treated everybody they ever came across with kindness and respect, and except for the random tourist, I’d say I live up to that pretty well. πŸ˜‰

9. I let my sister labor under the delusion for 23 years that she was an accident. It started out like a funny prank, but apparently, she took it seriously.

10. I’ve already named my autobiography. I’m not important enough to have one, but when I do write it, it’s going to be called “A Good Idea at The Time” because that sums up my entire life in six words.

11. I’m a really bad procrastinator. I’ll actually rationalize some of it with “Well, I’ll do that in case I want something easy to do later.” I seem to procrastinate more on tasks that bore me, like laundry.

12. I quit my high school basketball team to clear the way for my sister. The coach didn’t want us playing together and in a thinly veiled way said he’d hold her back from the varsity team. I realized I didn’t care about basketball that much. My sister ended up going to college on a full scholarship for it. These things tend to work out as they should.

13. I have two cats — Inky and Walter. Inky was an abandoned black cat living outside the offices of the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram when she jumped in my car in October 2008 (Hence the name “Inky”). Walter came from the Kanawha-Charleston Animal Shelter and he was days away from being put down. Walter is named after Walter Sobchak, John Goodman’s character in “The Big Lebowski.”

14. Even when I send a text message or an IM, I use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. It’s a habit of my trade, I guess. If I’ve stopped using capital letters, my day’s really gone bad.

15. I love the TV show “Cheaters.” I know. I know. There’s something really funny to me about a giant white van rolling up and Joey Greco telling you that people who can’t sleep and watch UPN will see that you’re … a cheater.

16. I can’t get out of bed in the morning unless I hit the snooze button at least three or four times. I realize that has to be terribly annoying.

17. I can’t believe that it took me until 17 to get to this, but I’ve been to Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pa., five times. I’m really bummed out that I won’t make it this year. It’s nothing like the movie. Seriously.

18. Though I complain, I secretly love every minute of riding the Metro. In just about eight months of riding it, I’ve seen such a slice of life that a lot of people never get to see. It’s also provided me with countless stories and photos.

19. I’m the most patient and least patient person in the world. It’s a hellish paradox.

20. I’ve done, in some fashion, for a few years, an Internet radio show. It’s gone through several, several incarnations but managed to hang together. It’ll be back after the Super Bowl. If I could have three hours a day on the air somewhere doing something I love as much as radio, I’d be over the moon.

21. Some of the most interesting people in my life today are people I never knew before this year or I knew them, but thought differently of them and finally got past that barrier to actually get to know them. I’m thankful.

22. I’m a fan of the New York Islanders. This happened because of a friend of mine in college who got me started on hockey and he was an Islanders fan. It stuck. I’m glad it did. Nobody’s an Islanders fan. It’s unique.

23. The scariest day of my life, though I never showed it on the outside, was the day I found out my father had a massive brain hemorrhage and nobody knew what was going to happen. Watching his recovery during the past seven months has been so awesome.

24. I layer clothing every day and it’s almost always some form of gray, black or red. I try to branch out, but I can’t. It’s painful. I love gray, black and red.

25. I really want to be a contestant on Jeopardy. I’d probably get killed in categories like “18th Century French Poetry,” but to have Alex Trebek say to me, “Ooooh. Sooorry, sorrry,” would make it worth it.

08
Feb
09

hangin’ around this town

Here’s a video that has nothing to do with anything other than this song came up on my iPod the other day while I was on the Metro headed into work and it occurred to me I probably hadn’t seen the video since, well, the last time they showed videos consistently on MTV.

My friend Dan told me the other day that he still checks my blog out every day and every day lately, he’s been disappointed. And then my sister mentioned that I never update it anymore. I couldn’t tell you how many people still even bother checking in regularly. That’s the thing I’ve noticed about blogs … they ebb and flow. They’re like a comfortable sweater that you can leave in a drawer and pull it out when you need one. It doesn’t care if it’s been an hour, or six weeks, since the last time you put it on. I just wants to be taken around the block every so often.

I haven’t been to West Virginia since Christmas. I haven’t done a radio show since the week before Christmas. I don’t know the next time either will happen. I miss both.

My problem with the show is I just haven’t felt it in a while. I start thinking about wanting to do it, I get myself ready and then I think, “Well, I could do some laundry, or reading, or catch up with some people on the phone, etc.”

It’s 8 to 10 p.m. on a Sunday night because that’s the time I got myself into in its earlier incarnations. Then once we owned the stream, though we could have made it any time we wanted to, it stayed from 8 to 10. And then the NFL came.

It needs tweaking, to borrow one of my favorite phrases from a friend of mine. It needs some definite tweaking. I would rather work on my writing and develop ideas than put on a show that’s half-baked and forced, and I’m afraid I’d be doing that now. At least I’m honest enough with myself to say it out loud.

I’m thankful that I’ve had some time to actually spend here in DC without anything hanging over my head lately. For the Super Bowl, I spent it with a friend of mine and his wife and son. Yesterday, I had a GREAT time at the Auto Show with the gang from Richmond (area). I’ve been to a Georgetown-WVU game. I’m having lunch with two different people in two weeks and meeting an old friend for a Happy Hour hopefully next Friday.

It isn’t that I don’t want to go home. I miss my family terribly. But I felt the entire summer that I didn’t live in Washington. I stayed here five days a week and then got in the car to visit my sick father. I’m not complaining. Every single week I saw him and he got better was the highlight of my week. But that came at the expense of not knowing anything about where I live.

There’s a super Target three miles from my house. I didn’t know that until I went to the doctor last week and had an occasion to actually go down that road. I’ve never been to a Five Guys, but there’s one about 10 minutes away. I actually went to IKEA.

Maybe I’m introspective because I’m about 33 hours and 51 minutes away from turning 30, but who’s counting. My mother told me this morning it was a great milestone, and I told her it didn’t feel like one. Not so much because I’m dreading getting older — I’m already an octogenarian in a much younger body — but because I really feel like I’ve accomplished, at least professionally, what I’d hoped by the time I hit this age.

I’m in a major city. I’m working for a major newspaper. I’m actually an editor.

I’m still employed. I don’t feel like I’m at risk of not being employed. That’s more than a lot of people can say in these times.

So as I see the sun pour in here through the open windows, I’m starting to feel a little bit settled down. Months and months have passed without me feeling like I could actually breathe, and I’m finally there. Like it (most of the time) or not (only in heavy traffic), I live here. I still smile when I get off the train in the morning and look around at the buildings. I’m not disenchanted. Or hardened. I still find something new to appreciate every day.

Uh oh. Pollyanna’s arrived. I must be closing in on 30.

And speaking of that, if someone wants to get me a Snuggie, it won’t replace the electric blanket that Paige got me, but I’d love to wear it around my office.

05
Nov
08

site pimping: the cannon blog

Readers, I present to you The Cannon Blog, a subsidiary of The Cannon Newsletter. With its crack team of writers covering the world, it has The Onion wishing it was this cool. Enjoy!

30
Oct
08

lugging luggage

I’ve noticed this disturbing trend lately of what seems to be people taking more and more luggage to work. I have a backpack and a purse and that’s too much for me some days, but as I rode into town this morning, the guy who got on the train at College Park sat down beside me (in a business suit) with what looked very similar to what you see above. I can’t imagine having to carry that much stuff around. I really don’t get it. And it’s not just him. I’m seeing it everywhere now. It’s almost as if I’m vastly uncool that I’m NOT carrying around 15 pounds of luggage to go to work.

Maybe if I worked harder, I’d have luggage.

29
Sep
08

a game: 8 about me

My friend Shannon (the Rev. Texas, to you!) tagged me in his blog for this more than week ago and I’m just now getting around to doing it. I guess it’s taking my mind off the yellow helmets the Steelers chose to go with tonight.

Here are zee rules:
1. Tell us eight things about yourself on your blog.
2. When you are done writing these eight things about yourself on your blog, you tag eight people and list their names to do the same thing.
3. Leave them a comment informing them they have been tagged, and to read your blog so they will know they have been tagged and are now β€œit.”

And away we go …

1. When I was born, I was so early that I didn’t have my left ear. It was this little flap of skin that hadn’t formed yet. It grew into a real ear eventually and you can’t even tell. You wouldn’t even know if it I didn’t tell you.

2. I have a profound weakness for Hello Kitty merchandise. Yes, I realize I’m almost 30 years old. Yes, I know it’s creepy. However, I can’t help it. My favorite item is a watch my Dad and Mom bought me.

3. Even though I know how it ends, I still get emotional at the end of “Major League.” You just feel so happy for the Indians. Especially when Bob Uecker says, “THE INDIANS WIN IT! THE INDIANS WIN IT! OH MY GODDDD THE INDIANS WIN IT!!” I realize this makes me … lame.

4. Despite my job, I know so painfully little about music and television people these days would consider cool. I saw about 15 minutes of “Sex and the City” before I decided it sucked and about six minutes of “Desperate Housewives” before I vomited. I’ve seen one complete episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” but thought it was obtuse an whiny. Don’t even get me started about music.

5. The only celebrity death that ever devastated me was David Brudnoy, the host of The David Brudnoy Show on WBZ Boston. When I found out that night in December (accidentally, as I was driving home from the Y) that he had 24 hours to live, I sat in my car, listened to his final interview and cried. His book, “Life Is Not a Rehearsal” is one of my favorite books. He is still an inspiration to me to this day.

6. I love to drive. I seriously don’t care about traffic. I found myself sitting on the Beltway one morning in wall to wall traffic and was smiling ear to ear.

7. I freak out when I’m in public at grammatically incorrect signs — especially apostrophe or quotation mark abuse. It causes me rage.

8. Though I’ve never been accused of having a “sunny” disposition, I tend to be one of the most optimistic people I know. Perhaps that’s stubbornness at refusing to admit something can’t or won’t work, but I tend to never dwell on the negatives. The example? The afternoon my father got sick, I sat in the lounge of the Intensive Care Unit and said, “He’s going to be fine. Less than six months. Less than six. He’ll be home.”

(Editor’s note: Dad will be home Thursday!!)

So, here’s where I’m supposed to leave comments on other people’s blogs and tag them … but I’m going to do it differently.

If you’re a reader and you feel inclined to do this, let me know. I’d love to see it. It’s fun. If you don’t want to do it, that’s OK, too. πŸ™‚ I won’t judge you.

26
Sep
08

i’m alive, and hey! thank you!! :)

Sorry it’s been quiet around here … I’ve been fighting the NyQuil hangover with a DayQuil stupor and nobody’s winning. Add a couple of projects at home (ask me about how long it took me to re-install Photoshop!) and I’m a useless heap for the most part.

However, I did want to take a minute to thank The Center for Consumer Freedom for featuring a link to my post on the hippo ad under their breaking news section on their front page. πŸ™‚ Thank you for linking that, Mr. (or Ms.) Web Master. I’m just one kid out here fighting the good fight … the fight for my right to stuff myself full of tasty, tasty McDonald’s french fries and not sue a single damn person for it. Thanks for letting other people see your work in action in Metro DC.

In other breaking news: Dad goes home (for good) in seven to 10 days!!!! I can’t even believe it. I never would have thought it would be this soon, but I’m thankful. He went to New Martinsville for a home visit today and Mom took him around to all of his favorite places and it seemed to be just what he needed.

More later in a live report … I’m hoping to scam myself a visit to Ragtime in Arlington tomorrow to watch the WVU-Marshall game (which I absolutely, positively REFUSE … you hear me? REFUSE … to call the Friends of Coal Bowl). They’re the only people in the area showing it, I think. And I want to be around like-mindeds. I need to watch this game with fans.

16
Sep
08

urban experimentation: driving

The setup: I wasn’t going to get a ride to the Metro today. I couldn’t sleep because I was freaking out about things that needed done at work today. I was up at 6:30. I was ready to go to work around 7:15. At that point, my options lay before me like the opening minutes of the Country Kitchen Buffet, pre-soiling from the elderly and morbidly obese.

The process: I got to the car and it hit me … Jacque, you could TOTALLY drive to work today.

(Time out: Jacque? Are you insane? Don’t you understand the reason people use the Metro is to AVOID the headache of driving to work every day? I mean, really, Jacque. What the hell?”

The process, continued: After realizing I needed to put gas in the car anyway, my fate was all but sealed. I sat in the Shell parking lot next to my apartment building and turned my eyes to Jill, the name of my Garmin navigation device. I’ll admit, at this point, I’d almost talked myself out of it. I weighed the fact that the train was easy, passive, I could be at the station in five minutes, downtown 35 minutes after that …

(To quote Crow, from “Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie” — “Well, Mike, I calculated the odds of this succeeding against the odds that I was doing something incredibly stupid and, well, I went ahead anyway.)

7:52 a.m.: I’m still driving toward the Metro at this point. I’ve still got, easily, three chances to completely bail out on this experiment.

7:54 a.m.: Metro turnoff missed. On Kenilworth. Exit to Beltway in 0.6 miles, according to Jill. At this point, turning around with be far too big of a headache. I’ve ripped off the Band-Aid. I’m committed to bleeding.

7:56 a.m.: On Capital Beltway South, headed toward exit 22B, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. (Well, a scenic drive will be nice, at least. It’s quite scenic.)

8:01 a.m.: Off exit smoothly, but oh … that’s where the traffic is. Hrm. Yep. That’s … where the traffic was hiding. No big deal. Jill says it’s only 5.6 miles on this road, and then to New York Avenue for another 5 miles. I’m only 10 miles away. This is awesome.

8:06 a.m.: I’ve gone 15 feet.

8:07 a.m.: I’ve not moved, but far ahead of me I can see cars moving. I’m also noticing that people in the DC-area … can’t drive.

8:13 a.m.: I’ve gone 15 feet. At this point in the game, we start what I like to call, “Choice Remorse.” That’s the key moment in any process where you think to yourself, “OK, this MAY have been a bad idea,” but because you’re the most stubborn person you know, you refuse to admit you might have made a bad choice.

8:14 a.m.: “From Richmond to Baltimore … from the Chesapeake to the Shenandoah … “

8:16 a.m.: I’ve gone 15 feet.

8:21 a.m.: I’m amazed at the dexterity of this little blue Honda Civic that artfully darts between lanes to go absolutely nowhere. I’m even more amazed when I see the “Baby On Board” danglie and the sun screens. Great parenting, Mom. Cutting off box trucks with your infant in the back and laying on the horn is setting some fantastic framework for “Future Douchebag Commuters of America.”

8:27 a.m.: I’ve gone 15 feet.

8:36 a.m.: I’m at the exit for New York Avenue. Which would really be great if I was moving.

8:39 a.m.: WOO! How about that. Once you actually get IN the District of Columbia, it only marginally sucks to drive. I notice that I’m in “northeast” and I pass by the XM building. Ah, XM building. I’ll be back. You just wait. Someday, I’ll be coming to work at your place with an open mic.

8:44 a.m.: Alright, Jill. Thanks. Thanks for those faulty directions. Thanks for that. Now that traffic circle I need is that overpass ABOVE me and I’m heading somewhere you’re not prepared for. FAN-tastic.

8:46 a.m.: JILL! I CAN’T TURN LEFT ON L STREET FROM HERE! GAHHH!! WHY MUST YOU LIE TO ME?!

8:48 a.m.: I’m somewhere near Q Street. I have no idea how this happened. I’m not on speaking terms with Jill. I’m also amazed that more people on bicycles don’t die in this down. I’ve been grazed by two. I will give them props for their fearlessness.

8:49 a.m.: OK, finally. Vermont Avenue. ROCK. I can get to work from here.

8:50 a.m.: Hey, Jill, thanks for telling me I have to turn right on the little street and not the main road. Now I can’t turn right, even though I’M SITTING NEXT DOOR TO MY OFFICE. I HATE YOU JILL. I HATE YOU SO MUCH.

8:54 a.m.: I’m on Connecticut. I’d be moving quicker, but I can see why people have a hard time driving near Metro stations with herds of people walking off at once. Note to self: Stop crossing the street like an asshole. It’s not fair to the people in cars.

8:58 a.m.: It dawns on me at this point, I’m no longer going to get the early bird special at the parking garage. I give Jill the middle finger.

9:01 a.m.: Corner of 15th and K. In the right lane. Ready to turn right. If only the f-ing light would change.

9:04 a.m.: Parking garage. Four minutes late. $6 dollars more. Story of my life.

The conclusion: While I’m not ready to label this “epic fail” I do see the benefits of the Metro. Had I just not embarked on this little journey, I would have been downtown before 8:30. However, had I not just taken the blind jump, I never would have had this experience, and to me, experience is far more valuable than the time I would have saved just sitting there with my iPod. The only bonus I’m seeing is that when I leave here tonight around 7:30 p.m., I’ll have next to no traffic outbound and I should get home in about half the time it would take me to ride the Metro. I’ll have to update with the results of that leg of the journey later.




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