Friday, October 31, 2008

Early start for the Christmas list...

I saw this pretty, pretty light in the design*sponge guest blog at and I had to post it because I love it so much. Please note that in addition to being delightful to look at, it would also cast fun shadows all over your room, and it's real ART (there's one in the permanent collection at MoMA in New York, and Victoria and Albert in London.) Classy, pretty, and legitimate. My favorite things :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wall heaters are sketchy.

Dear wall heaters,

Please don't catch on fire in the night. I hope no one has told you that I don't have a fire extinguisher and so you are now plotting against me before I go to bed. I was going to try and make it through the winter without you, but turns out it is already at the freezing point outside and it is pretty darn cold in here. Sarah Palin and her Russian neighbors might be cozy, but my digits are already starting to get frosty.

I said brrr it's cold in here...



Tomato, tomahto...

"The Enlightenment, with its emphasis on reason, would finally provide democracy with its philosophical underpinnings. The 17th and 18th centuries produced a wave of prominent thinkers espousing political systems based on what they called "the social contract." Government, they theorized, was a sort of legal agreement between the rulers and the ruled, the terms of which were binding on both parties. It was a groundbreaking theory. All they needed now was some country dumb enough to try it before the King found out and had them all drawn and quartered." - Jon Stewart's America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
The social contract that Mr. Stewart's book speaks of is one of the fundamentals of our government. The differences in ideas between today's political parties are a result of varied interpretations of that "legal agreement" between the rulers and the ruled. In some elections, these ideological differences are quite clear, while in others (like the one to be held in a week's time) - not as much. As I am not John Adams, I cannot profess to be an authority on political discourse, but I try to base my opinions on fact (a basic concept, by the way, that many bankers and politicians should consider in their decision making processes.)

That said, there was a time when "conservative," believe it or not, did not mean 'God-fearing gun-toters'. Rather, it meant people who were basically interested in a limited federal government (this means no creepy big-brotherness), personal responsibility, and an attention to (and scholarship of) the ideas our Founding Fathers hammered out in documents like, say, the Constitution, or the Federalist Papers. I once read a statement from Garrison Keillor regarding the Republican party, specifically, that expresses the point more eloquently:

"Something has gone wrong with the Republican Party. Once it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities, and supported the kind of prosperity that raises all ships. Now it's the number one reason why the rest of the world thinks we're deaf, dumb, and dangerous."

Senator McCain has found himself at the end of a campaign of almost Marx-brothers-esque heights in terms of ridiculousness. He garbles his ideas and speeches, he makes "erratic" shifts in attitude and policy, and he attempts "bold" moves to convince the public that he's a "maverick" (maybe he should have chosen Mel Gibson as his running mate), while trying to feign "conservatism" enough to convince the GOP that they didn't make a mistake in picking him as their candidate. Remember the old adage about "if you try to please all the people all the time you're likely not to please any of them any of the time?"

I feel like (again this is just my opinion, I don't claim to know everything) in his struggle to be the candidate for the conservatives, but at the same time be his "bi-partisan", maverick-y self, McCain's policy pronouncements have lost all tenor. The only way to attempt to gauge decisions he might make as president is not to listen to his campaign rhetoric, but to look at his record as a statesman. There, the only things we have to go on are the fact that he sided with George Bush the infamous 90 % of the time (which is part of how the party got where it is in the first place), and the reputation he has for being bi-partisan.

Monday, October 27, 2008


It's true, this is my second post of the day. However, I feel that the experience warrants notice.

As noted in my first post of the day, I am usually in a bit of a hurry in the morning. Therefore, I rarely actually pack myself a lunch in the morning anymore (also I never go to the grocery store so there isn't really a lot to pack even if I had time.) Depending on how late I am in the morning (dictating how much time I give myself for lunch), I either go somewhere charming (-ish, Panera or super-charming, Mercatino) or somewhere fast (Wendy's; the faux-Chickfila sandwich is not bad.) Another time I will write about how desperately I wish we had a deli of some sort in our building like every other large business downtown.

Anyhow, given my lateness this a.m. I darted over to the Wendy's on Broad to get my chicken sandwich and coca cola classic. Upon arrival I found that joining me in my dart were every other person in town with a lunch break. As we are creeping forward in the line, these three girls who turned out to be employees come jogging through the back of the parking lot, towards the drive-up line. the line is moving, and two of them went around, but one was coming the other way, as though she was considering walking through the moving line of traffic, which was backing up almost into the street. She looked as though she was contemplating cutting in front of my [moving] car, but reconsidered. After she passed me, she turned and made a very angry face, and pointed at my car and discussed it with her friends. I then became concerned that they were plotting against me because I did not stop and allow her to cut in front of me.

I got up to the drive-up window and to my dismay, found that one of her friends was the girl who takes the orders over the crackly microphone and accepts payment. Then I got my order, fearing sabotage.

They gave me diet coke. Maybe it was an accident, but I ALWAYS drink regular coke, and that is what I ordered. How cruel, to give a regular coke drinker diet icky cancer-bubbles with their lunch. Fountain coke can make or break a meal, and EW.

This is just one more piece of evidence regarding the unusual breed of pedestrians in the Scenic City. Ken and I have discussed this before, and he compared our fair city to rural Montana strictly because of the lack of regard citizens here have for basic traffic laws. These people look at roads as one giant sidewalk. They cross when the hand is clearly red at an intersection, they cross in the middle of the road where there is clearly no cross-walk, they cross traffic. All the while, expecting motorists to stop for them and allow them to pass. If you don't stop, they glare angrily. I am fine with stopping for people on a crosswalk, or if it is their turn to cross a street. But jaywalking is against the rules of traffic, and you can get a ticket for it, not to mention get run over, so don't get mad at me for not aiding you in your crime!

And certainly don't take out your crime-driven rage on me by giving me diet coke when I ask for regular. That's just mean.

I don't wake up well.

It is a fact, and there are no two ways about it. If there was some kind of competition in being bad at this very thing, I would totally win (especially now that Claire has a baby and has to get up when it is time because there are lives at stake.)

I set my alarm for 6:20. I do this not because I need to be up by 6:20, but because I like to be able to go back to bed after my alarm goes off. I like it so much that I allow myself FORTY extra minutes to lounge underneath my fluffy comforter. Before any of you lodge protests on this point, I acknowledge that it takes me forever to get ready, but I don't have to be at work til 8:30. It doesn't take me two hours. Regardless of this fact, and regardless of the fact that I never go back to sleep, I just lay there and listen to NPR, I still manage to get up later than I should. Every day. Today, I didn't make it to work until 9.

This, I'm afraid, says something awful about my willpower. Something has to change. Perhaps I should give in and turn on the creepy wall heaters in my apartment so I won't dread venturing out from under the covers so much. (If anyone knows someone who services these creepy wall heaters, please send them to 417 Tremont. I fear that if I turn them on my apartment will burn down.)

Part of the problem lies in the fact that my being late to work here doesn't really cause any big issues. I mean, it would if I was really late, but 15-30 minutes doesn't really disrupt anyone's flow that much. I always set my own alarm and rose accordingly in middle and high school, with the exception of a couple of days where I slept through the blasted thing. Maybe if they gave demerits for tardiness at the Chattanooga Times Free Press I would feel more compelled to peel back the covers.

Last year if I was late, there would be (in addition to the apoplectic fits the assistant principal would have gone into knowing the schedule of anyone in the school was off by more than 30 seconds) eight third graders sitting unattended in a classroom, half of them stroking out because things wouldn't be going they way they normally did and no one had given them their morningwork sheet, and if the schedule wasn't written on the board yet, they probably would have lost their minds. The other half would have been yelling and screaming and beating each other up.

The girls of course would have tried to take control of the situation, because in my experience there's nothing third grade girls like more than bossing someone around (it's the crux of each main game they play - "teacher", in which one child tells the others what to do; "house", in which two children tell the others what to do; and "fort", in which whoever is there first tells the other children in school what to do.) The boys would have resisted this, and the yelling and screaming would have ramped up until another teacher came in to see what on earth was going on. Clearly, my non-presence in the classroom would have been noticed, and a large problem. It only happened a couple times. (Atlanta traffic is a disaster...)

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the last time I was truly late here (I usually allow like 15 minutes leeway) I went in to apologize to Ken. His reaction? "Oh, are you late? I didn't notice. No problem."

While this laid-back attitude makes for a very pleasant work place, it incidentally does not serve as the true incentive I apparently need to get me out of bed before 7:45. I would love to be one of those people who gets up in time to like, actually fix my hair, not dress in a rush, and stop at Panera on the way to work for a muffin and a chai tea (conversely, I would also like to be one of those people who gets paid enough so that they don't feel bad about stopping every morning for a muffin and chai tea, but that's a different story.) I did that once and it was such a pleasant way to start the day.

I would say this should be my new years resolution, but I should really try and address it before will be my late-October resolution.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Friday, so that of course means supermodels and Krispy Kream in the office.

As I type, I can hear her in the photo studio down the hall commenting on photos as they are being taken [of herself]: "Oh that's really cute! I love that one!" Sigh. I should not be irritated by this girl, she is very pleasant and certainly quite pretty, but she is the third pleasant and quite pretty girl in here this morning, as we are doing shots for covers. And actually, she is not a supermodel as much as she is a regular model, but I am regardless pleased that there is not a mirror in front of my desk (although I cannot imagine why there would be, the corner here at the end of the hall would be a strange place for a mirror, it's not like I work at Versailles, or Conde' Nast.)

*Conde' Nast, by the way, is so fabulous I should talk just briefly about how besotted with their products I am. It began, of course, with my subscription to Vogue, back in the sixth grade. It has since proceeded to my additional, unwavering love for Domino, Vanity Fair, and Portfolio. I love magazines in general, and working for one only intensifies this love. If Conde' Nast, J. Crew, Apple, Ron Paul, and NPR ruled the world, this would be a beautiful thing.

Anyhow, the presence of models for the photo shoot resulted in our Creative Director bringing in pumpkin spice doughnuts (go to Krispy Kream right now and get one, you won't be sorry.) As they are models, they obvi did not eat the doughnuts, so I (not being a model) had a free and delightful breakfast. Thank you, modern standards of beauty.

My vanishing boss has vanished yet again, today for a longer period of time than normal. He mentioned something the other day about the CEO and the department heads doing something, so I suppose that is where he is. Sometimes I'm pretty sure he is in possession of an invisible suit or cloaking device of some kind that he puts on whenever he's about to walk out of his office. And by walk, I mean hover, because he is somehow able to proceed across the hardwood floors with no report (as in gunshot - oh how I also love "You've Got Mail," now that it's fall it's time to watch...) Inevitably, every time this happens, someone important is like "Do you know where Ken is?" and I, like a dope, am forced to respond "No, last I checked he was in his office. I don't know how he does this..." It would be fab if I kept his calendar, which I should probably look into.

After such a productive morning, I think I will go to lunch.

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's a hard knock life

As I sat here at my desk, only moments ago, working on the City Events Calendar for the November/December issue of the magazine, I came across the fact that "Annie!" will be playing at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium here in town on November 25. In reminiscing over my childhood memories ("We LOVE YOU Miss Hannigan...") of the classic musical (and by so doing, developing a clever lead,) I thought hey, isn't it convenient that this particular musical is coming to town right as we're circling this looming global recession (or LGR as it has affectionately become known around the office)...then I realized who it is that must be behind the LGR - TAPA 2008-09 Broadway series. They have clearly planned this entire economic crisis in order to cleverly draw the masses to see "Annie!" at Memorial Auditorium.

I mean, it's a classic tale of silver-lining optimism in the face of dark situations (orphanages! the great depression! people named "rooster"!) and it's always enjoyable, but in these days of shaky (read: historically repetitive?) economic and political landscapes, we could all use a reminder that "The Sun will come out tomorrow." But people these days, in this world of movies with huge exploding special effects and cynicism, people don't watch musicals how to draw people out to the theater? And there you have it. An LGR so big it reminds people of the Great Depression, and homeless people are getting out their fedoras again, and the government is acting like a vast, supporting Daddy Warbucks, lending us $700 billion to pick ourselves up again. Thanks a lot, Tennessee broadway musical fans. Perhaps next year you'll make your intentions to go see the musicals clear sooner, and we won't run into these kinds of problems again. If Americans will just renew their interest in musical theater, the Ghosts of Gilbert and Sullivan would stop sneaking into the Wall Street investment banks and haunting around, whispering bad ideas about risk and derivitives into greedy bankers' ears. Problem solved, Mr. Bernanke.

In other news, Claire, once a prominent figure in blogs gone by (she was practically the co-author and co-star of the legendary livejournal) has vanished into the abyss that is Houston. Our once beautiful friendship is now reduced to voicemails, poignently reminiscent of Jim and Pam on The Office now that Pam is in graphic design school. I'm not sure who should be held responsible for this (of course I am looking into the Broadway musical people first), but something must clearly be done. My life is less colorful, and certainly less entertaining, without her constant presence. Perhaps if I kidnapped the child, I could entice the Elliotts to move closer to me. I'll have to write Lucy a letter and see what she thinks.

Although I thoroughly enjoy coming home to my own apartment, I certainly miss my roomates, who now have roomates of their own (of the friend or husband variety.) I was thinking the other day about our pet raccoon, Ray (if you have ever watched a raccoon feel around rapidly with its paws for food on the ground while looking up with its face and eyes at other things, you know why his name was Ray.) And about how our apartment was fully decked out for Halloween, then the day after, Claire had wrapped our front door in Christmas paper, and we started stringing lights. We even (unsuccessfully) attempted to toss one of those nets of lights over the bradford pear kind of by Claire's turret. Unfortunately, the logistics made that effort impossible. The leg lamp in the window was perhaps the crowning achievement of our holiday decor, in addition to the amazing swag of various light strands on the balcony that inspired the entire apartment complex to haul out the holly, so to speak.

Another thing I have been thinking is that I really love scarves. They are so functional, I mean, it's amazing how much warmer you are when your neck is warm. But they are also such a nice look, and their current in-ness means they're even better right now. Go, scarves!

I was just handed a proposal for a book store who will potentially sponsor book reviews in the magazine. As I would love nothing more than to write book reviews, I must now go see if I can sign myself up for this job.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Well, it's Friday. Two of my four bosses are already gone, and they are the two whose offices are directly beside me. So, I suppose it is time to post.

The GPS/McCallie Five year High School Reunion is this weekend. As Blaes and I are the co-chairs (meaning I wrote a letter and helped stuff envelopes and Blaes made all the Facebook things and put the r.s.v.p.s in an excell spreadsheet...I should be called sub-co-captain), it is a weekend in which all of our hard work and careful planning will finally come to fruition. As B. and I are also extremely competitive (and were very disappointed in what we thought was a champion showing at the Young Alums phone-a-thon on Tuesday, only to learn that Vivian and Katie both dominated our pledges by - in one case- literal hundreds of dollars) we are aiming for record turn outs at all weekend events, even the ones not really organized by us, like the Baylor/McCallie football game. This would prove once and for all that our class was better than the class of 2002.

A third of my four bosses just left. It is 4:10. I am currently on my cell phone, which I never do at work. I like how sometimes a day just feels like a throw-away day, like, "you don't have to do anything, it's Friday." A couple of weeks ago we went to lunch at the Bluegrass Grille on the Southside, and it's next door to some lofts. The sign outside said "first floor lofts" which to me is kind of an anomoly because I always thought lofts were like, by definition, on top of stuff, but I am not an architect so what do I know? Anyway, outside, on the sidewalk and in the street, literally, the street, in front of the building, these people were just having a little party. They had drug a couch and two chairs outside, in addition to some green astroturf, some tiki torches, a boom box, and a cooler. Keep in mind that this is at approximately 12:45 on a Friday afternoon.

I had an instant college flashback to leaving campus on a Friday afternoon and seeing the Fijis with their couches and chairs out on the lawn on College Street, already drunk at 1:00, playing bocce ball and listening to Phish or something really loud. All around campus, the tailgaters would be sitting in their folding chairs all day, drinking and hanging out, waiting til four so they could mark their tailgating spots. I always wondered what those people did for a living that they had time to sit in a folding chair for 6-8 hours on a workday, but it was always cheering to see them there. Friday, when the weather is nice, is always a throw-away day.

So it's fall, officially, I needed a jacket yesterday, and the weather is nice, and it's Friday. High School football tonight, and high school friends collecting at various air ports. What a charming way to start the weekend.

And now it's five. This blog post is my productivity for almost an hour, interrupted periodically by various work-related things. I deserve a raise.