Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mimosa, anyone?

How fitting that the Pantone color for 2009 is mimosa, a bright, yellow-y color reminiscent of a favored brunch refreshment?

Yellow signifies hope (sunshine, rays of light) and change (the changing of seasons - daffodils in the spring; fiery leaves in autumn). According to the Pantone Color Institute's official Color of the Year release, "Mimosa embodies hopefulness and reassurance in a climate of change."

Pantone Color Institute, I appreciate what you're trying to do for us with the pick-me-up color, I really do. It's a noble effort to do your part to ensure sunny skies in 09. And I like the color.

But this is particularly painful for me at the moment because without the home décor Bible, I have no inspiration for decorating with this vibrant yellow! And, with the economy in the state that it is, I'm afraid to spend to much dough on buying new mimosa-themed ensembles for work because I might not have a job by year's end!

So, Pantone, thank you for the effort - really. But I'm just not emotionally ready to embrace the 2009 Color of the Year. Quite frankly, I'm in more of a thundercloud gray mood, myself. Or at most, pea soup green.

I will perk up soon. I just need to finish mourning for my favorite monthly and recover from my exhorbitant speeding fines that I paid for last week.

Another pay period, another day. I will find another magazine or store to inspire me... (Helloooo, CB2! At least I still have you.) And I will carry on as my usually sunny (although really more preferential to Process Blue) self. And I think I could thoroughly enjoy a mimosa accessory or two (love that pillow).

For now, however, I just need a drink. Mimosas, anyone?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Domino Downfall

Dear Friends,

This year, I thought I was being clever. For Christmas, I shared with many of you one of the happiest things to reach my mailbox each month.

I thought, "How wonderful! I might be the person responsible for my friends receiving something inspirational, engaging and entertaining every month... something - possibly the only thing - that's not a bill!
So many of you live so far away, this would be the easiest thing to order and have delivered! I'll get them Domino Magazine - the best darn home décor/lifestyle mag out there!"

Little did I know that the whole operation would be defunct one issue after the beginning of their gift subscriptions. And my renewed subscription!

I am remaining optimistic about this rumor being just that until someone official confirms. (See my P.S.) But this particular trending topic in my Tweet Deck could very easily be true - this story details the hits shelter magazines are taking with the slumping economy. First we lost Blueprint (tear), then Oprah at Home (didn't even know about that one, honestly...). Then there are the job cuts at Southern Progress - with their publications and also the news that they are looking to sell their At Home houseware party brand. Some of us know about this one all too well, too.

This is all sad, but the loss of Domino saddens me the most. I mean, they had some style pages in their magazine, too! And a great website! Everything I saw in its pages inspired me! And they always had the best subscription gifts.

So, the point of this letter is to apologize if your Christmas present from me fails, like the rest of the global economy, this year. This was never my intention, and I am as sad as you that (if?) we won't be receiving Domino this year, or ever again.

This is more embarrassing than the time I offered to buy all of my friends gas station cappuccinos on that road trip only to realize at checkout that I'd left my wallet at home.

Friends, please forgive me the ill-fated gift of Christmas/Hanukkah 08.

I can only hope that I will be able to redeem myself next year.

Deepest Apologies,

P.S. - After posting... It's confirmed. Women's Wear Daily confirms Condé Nast closed the mag this morning.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

25 things

A friend tagged me on Facebook on Monday. I was insanely busy Monday until today, and still have lots more to do, but decided to use this to loosen up the ol' writing brain cells.

Usually this list would have been pretty comical, but this is a bit heavier than normal. Lots of stuff on my mind, I guess. This should help get me in writing mode for that scintillating piece about genomic research for cardiovascular disease that I'm about to have to write. Let's just say the subject matter of the list below is a tad more familiar.

25 things:

1. I. Forget. Everything. I would forget limbs if they weren't attached. But Michelle thinks this is because I have more important things on my mind to worry about trivial matters like wallets and keys and sunglasses.

2. I read blogs and travel alert emails during the day and become fixated on things. Currently - round-the-world airline tickets with upwards of 10 stops in exotic locales. Before that, 21c Art Hotel in Louisville, KY. look it up. (these things will happen, eventually).

3. My brother always gets the most answers right in those retarded "how well do you know your ____ (friend, sibling, significant other)" surveys. even more than my best friends and significant others.

4. I believe that people are inherently good. Resolutely. If something bad happens I still won't let that shake my faith in humanity as a whole. I think people respond favorably to me because of this.

5. I picked black baby dolls at the toy store when I was little because I thought their hair/skin was prettier than the white ones. And they always had the better color dress, even though it was usually the same outfit.

6. I typically have a pretty wicked sense of humor.

7. I worry sometimes that my spaciness makes people think that I'm not invested in them as a friend. I try to make up for this by being there in the serious crunch situations.

8. On a related note to the above, I feel sad about having lost touch with some of my oldest friends, and it makes me sad.

9. Babies and small children stare at me.

10. I smile genuinely, often. Sometimes because something's funny to me, sometimes because I know something you don't, sometimes because I'm just really happy, and sometimes because I feel like the act of smiling will make me happier. People always think I'm up to no good as a result.

11. I never used to cry at movies, but I've started within the past few years.

12. I think I am allergic to the world, because I swear there's not a time of year that I'm not sniffling and sneezing.

13. I deal with stress and sadness by going to bed. I think that this makes me less likely to take my frustrations out on innocent bystanders.

14. Losing my dad has made me that much more close to and fiercely protective of my family. One of the few things to come out of something so sad was that we have become even more tightly knit. Had to close ranks, I guess.

15. I love art, but I think a lot of it is that I love the open, spare atmosphere of the places in which art is housed.

16. I ignore everyone when I read and finish books (when I have uninterrupted time) in a matter of hours.

17. I love using all kinds of different words, from huge, SAT ones to sound-effect ones that I make up.

18. I am a recovering spaz. Just ask those who knew me in high school.

19. I can't swim under water because if I get water in my ear it goes straight to my BRAIN. Kidding... but it still sucks. What a buzzkill, not being able to swim under water.

20. I am a public relations/communications person who has an awfully hard time schmoozing people I've never met... I'm awesome at parties, but in some other social situations I am a total tard because important people intimidate me. Working on it.

21. I slid off the side of a sand dune on a four wheeler and almost died in Oregon. But I got a t-shirt for it. We didn't tell my mom until years later.

22. I love decorating my house and farting around in it with Jonathan. He is officially the best roommate I've ever had. :)

23. I've been to Norway and sailed in a fjord. My cousins even went waterskiing at 11 pm when it was still light.

24. Dancing is my favorite.

25. When I get bored, I translate everything people around me are saying into french. Keep in mind I only got to second level French in college and that was five years ago. It's hilarious in my head.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tweeting a plane crash... mobile phone photographing a terror attack

...Or, how citizen journalism combined with social media continues to out report mainstream media.

The first time I remember regular people witnessing and recording newsworthy events with camera phones and pushing those images out through social media was during the terror attacks in London in 2005. Oddly enough, I was there. Two days after I arrived to Middlesex University outside of London for summer marketing classes, it was announced that London would host the 2012 summer Olympics.

The following morning, London erupted. Metro stations and city buses exploded with homemade explosives accompanied by homegrown terrorists. Young men from UK soil, brainwashed into demolishing their countrymen and women, systematically blew up local London transportation hubs.

After calling my mom and J to let them know that I was, in fact, alive and well (at 6 a.m. their time, before they even knew anything was amiss... "Uh, don't worry. Everything blew up here. I'm fine. Sorry to spring this on you first thing in the morning....") we all parked in front of the news, looking for answers about what happened, how many were killed... and why. The photo at the left is one that sticks in my mind from the days following those attacks... Passengers trapped in the tube after a tunnel caved in.

The news was thoroughly disappointing. They knew nothing. All they covered were statements from public officials and interviews with stunned victims and witnesses from the attack. The most compelling new information was consistently provided by those on the scene, snapping images with their phones and emailing them to friends and contacts from all over the world. These images, when they finally reached the news media, were far more informative than anything that London journalists were able to gather with their cutting edge video and camera equipment.

What's happened recently is one step beyond London.

Not only are witnesses and victims alike taking photos, but they are going further than emailing their captures to one friend at a time... They are posting images to social media outlets like Twitter in real time.

From an Information Week blog:
Within minutes there were hundreds of Tweets about the crash, complete with pictures from eyewitnesses and even one person who was on a NYC ferry headed to the crash site to pick up passengers.
Crash photos linked from Twitter were circulating all over the world before the story was even picked up by any of the major news outlets - and I'm talking websites, not just televised news!,, NOTHING.

Hell, back in December when another Continental flight skidded off of a Denver runway, crashing, a passenger live Tweeted the incident (this is actually kind of funny.... from The Guardian)
14 December, 4.06pm Whew! Christmas shopping pretty much done. 100% online except for a couple of gift certs.

20 December, 5.25pm Holy fucking shit, I was just in a plane crash!

5.58pm This was crash No 2 for me. Maybe I should start taking the bus.

8.22pm You have your wits scared out of you, drag your butt out of a flaming ball of wreckage and you can't even get a vodka-tonic. Boo.

11.22pm [From computer at home] Sorry for the radio silence, but my battery died in the middle of all this and I just made it home.

11.57pm Pretty exhausted at this point, so I'm heading off to bed. Good night!

21 December, 8.29am Waiting in the continental club for the "replacement" flight. Noticing I'm a little sore.

5.25pm I'm sitting as close to the exit as possible this time.

7.57pm Touchdown! Crowd goes wild!
All I can say is that if something this traumatic ever happens to me, I hope I have this guy's sense of humor about the scenario. And Tweeting it?! I barely have enough going on in my life to keep tweeting on a regular basis anyway. I guess a crisis might spice things up a bit...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bakula's baaaack!

Holy crap! Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap fame, is back to primetime next season as Chuck's dad in, uh, Chuck!

I watched that show last season but lost interest after the writers' strike. This, however, might be the gimmick that brings me back to the show...

I LOVED Quantum Leap! My brother and I were all about that show! That, ChiPs and Charlie's Angels (sorry for implementing you in that one, Greg, but you know it's true...) Granted, all of my memories of the show are the supersweet pool game in the intro where he had this hologram guide to sink all the balls... and his hologram friend who was always smoking a cigar. And that he often was either in a woman's body and then, hilariously in drag. He was always stopping people from committing suicide or abandoning a child or shooting someone... Funny what you remember about shows you watched when you were young.

Anyway, he was the best! (Well, after MacGyver)

Can't wait to see him back on T.V.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seriously... meh.

As it happens, the official Merriam-Webster word of the year is bailout.

The rest of the top 10 are as follows:
2. vet
3. socialism
4. maverick
5. bipartisan
6. trepidation
7. precipice
8. rogue
9. mysogyny
10. turmoil
Well, isn't that just the sunniest word wrap up you've ever heard?! Gah, new year, new buzzwords, better economy, I say!

None of my words made the list, but the gist is most certainly the same.

I am going to find something happier to post about soon. Until then, you should read Katie's musings - she's been leading quite the entertaining life lately. I honestly can't say anyone has fallen through the ceiling of my brand new house. Though, I can't say I've ever bought a house, either. I have some catching up to do!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Greetings from the future Texas Republic!

From the WSJ and CitizenSugar:

According to Igor Panarin, the US is going to disintegrate by June 2010, breaking into six portions under the control of various other world powers.

A polite and cheerful man with a buzz cut, Mr. Panarin insists he does not dislike Americans. But he warns that the outlook for them is dire.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

This is hilarious of course, for lots of reasons. Numbers one and two being that Canada would gain control over the Midwest and Mexico the Southeast. I love Canadians, really. And I know that out of all of the US regions, Midwesterners are probably the most mild mannered. However, I have a hard time envisioning Canada taking part of any takeover, hostile or otherwise. Unless it was a takeover of a Tim Horton's. Or perhaps a hockey riot. But even that one I'd be surprised to see....

How we'll be divvied up:

  • California Republic: Formed by the Western states, this area would be controlled by China or be under Chinese influence
  • Texas Republic: A cluster of states in the Southwest would go to Mexico.
  • Atlantic America: Eastern states, from South Carolina to Maine, will join the European Union.
  • Central North American Republic: Northern Midwest and Great Plain states will go to Canada.
  • Hawaii: The state will become a territory of China or Japan.
  • Alaska: Putin will rear his head into Alaskan air space, making Russia the proud new owner of the great state of Alaska.

This is mainly a comical post. However, this last piece of info. is a bit of a buzzkill...

The professor says he's convinced that people are taking his theory more seriously. People like him have forecast similar cataclysms before, he says, and been right. He cites French political scientist Emmanuel Todd. Mr. Todd is famous for having rightly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union -- 15 years beforehand. "When he forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1976, people laughed at him," says Prof. Panarin.

Finishing out 2008 in photos

Typically, when I want to mark memorable occasions, I take lots of photos on my snazzy digital camera (thanks, J!). I take tons of carefully posed photos and calculatedly candid ones to recreate as exactingly as I can the mood of the day or event.

Ever since I got my iPhone (again... thanks J. That man keeps me in the technology, that's for sure) I've discovered that my phone's camera roll depicts a much more realistic and organic perspective on my daily life.

So, with that, I present you my fall and winter 2008 in photos. Looking back, it was really quite lovely. And looking forward, I can't wait to take more meaningful snaps in 09.

September 2008 at the Auburn/Mississippi State game. Amazingly fun? Yes. Depressing loss? Also, yes. And, I know the photo is trippy looking. I like it specifically because of this.

A visit to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. on the way to Nashville for a tourist trip with the family and visiting Canadians. Of course, this stop inspired to drink only Jack at the honky tonks in Nashvegas. Led to an interesting weekend...

Enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and lots of friends. Even got a "brothers" reunion in - this happens less and less often as the years progress.

The Revival Tour at WorkPlay in Birmingham. The lead singers of a of my favorite bands played solo, acoustic, folk-y sets. Amazing. Moving.

Spent time with my mom and brother (and the other set of siblings in the house, Nisse and Loki - above. They. chew. on. everyting. And use each other as furniture) over the holiday season. Lots of nice meals and Food Network/HGTV watching and great company.

Received lovely, just-to-be-nice, flowers at work from J. Made my week, and they lasted such a long time!

Decorated my very first Christmas tree. I know I blogged about turquoise and lime green decor. It looks way more green and blue, now. I'll take a new photo and repost soon.

Since DC was an "event", and a reunion and lots of other things, I actually took real camera photos. This will warrant it's own post soon, I'm sure.

Happy New Year, everyone!