Saturday, January 29, 2011

I did the Charleston in Charleston

And it thrilled me to no end. The little things. Totally.

I got a little decked out (I wore the super-high waisted pants with lots o buttons). The other scapers took a lot of pictures I felt like I was off to the prom.

Also, at some point during the birthday-scape weekend I popped into the Atlantic Ocean. It was cold. But thrilling as well. When I see a body of water, I generally want to get in it.

Swiss Miss Miss

I don't drink coffee.

But I love hot chocolate. Whipped cream with that? Um, yeah.

So, when I saw the Swiss Miss blue box on the kitchen counter I was delighted.

Only to discover it was a box of tampons.

The box was on the kitchen counter. Mixed in with foodstuffs.
This was a very reasonable mistake.

I hope the picture (and why it's funny and why I'm clever for setting it up) speaks for itself.

It takes one narcissist to know one. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Birthdayscape 2011: Wiccans

By Friday night, 13 'Scapers have arrived and we're out to dinner.  At one point, someone (the waiter, another patron?) asks us if we're Wiccans.  Not sure what to make of this and as soon as we arrive back at the mansion I'm online trying to figure it out.  We conclude the comment stemmed from the number of folks in our party, 13 and if we're witches than we're no longer a "party of 13" - we're a Coven.

With that, the jacuzzi is our cauldron and the mansion is our haunted house.   

Birthdayscape 2011: Drive Down & The Mansion

Pal Ellen knows how to celebrate her birthday.
Invite female friends from "past and present lives" to a warm location in late Jan/Early February.
Rinse, wash, repeat and you've got "Birth-day-scape."

This year we 'scaped in Charleston, South Carolina.

Highlights

The Drive Down

Of course I get hungry when I stop seeing places to eat right off the highway. I got off at an exit with a sign that said "FOOD" with no indication of how far away or what direction. Three miles later I find a pizza place. That is out of pizza. Fortunately I find this more entertaining than annoying. I didn't get a slice of pizza but I got a slice of life.

Another sign I saw en route back to the highway.


Our Digs: The Cocaine Mansion

This is the vacation to the Hamptons I never took. View of house from beach





View of beach (and pool, and hot-tub) from house



As for the interior, let's just say the place had an elevator. Because it did.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

That's just not a very good tag line.

I've made good on one of my New Year's Resolutions and enrolled in a class at UNC.  Philosophy of Religion.

It's me and a bunch of undergraduates.  When I arrived at the first class I think they thought I was the Professor and I was so tempted to see if I could run with it.  At times, I'm blown away by the sophistication of the students.  At other times I find their mindset maddening.  I wonder what a thirty-something would have made of my college classes.

Anyway, we've been talking about arguments for the existence of God.  Cosmological arguments specifically.  My favorite argument belongs to Bertrand Russell - "The universe is just there and that's all."

We were discussing problems or shortcomings of other arguments.  I started thinking about missionaries, spreading the word and showing/sharing God's love, passing it onto your children/next generation  -- you know, those who want to bring others (skeptics, non-believers, whomever) into the fold.

Then I thought about my own reaction to the arguments and my reaction was "I just don't buy it."  The minute the word "buy" entered my mind I started thinking about advertising.

So when the question of issues with the arguments came up I raised my hand and said something alone the lines of  "That's just not a very good tag-line."

I wonder if the students found me maddening.

He-He!  Stupid comments from me in class aside, I'm loving it.  I love just walking on the college campus.  For one thing, drivers are so respectful of pedestrians.  The real highlight so far is really the enrichment & stimulation.  And challenge.  I've never taken a Philo or Religion class and the readings are not anything like my usual literature.  Lastly, I'm getting a Philosophy tool-kit  (learning more about logic, constructing arguments) that will make me more convincing (or annoying) in day to day discussions.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream sauce.

I've visited Balboa Island.

Today, it was time to learn Balboa during a "Cram Session" at Triangle Dance Studio.  Site of my very first Lindy 101 class in the Triangle.  Yes, I took Lindy 101 a few times.  I'm a little remedial.

After two hours of quick, quick, slow (with a pulse) I was hungry.  Fortunately, Cheerz Deli was right around the corner.
I was craving a roast beef sandwich that Adam (now a vegetarian) used to order but I couldn't remember the ingredients.

So, I opted for the "workout chicken" sandwich which I took to be a healthier option but healthy or not the sandwich was so large that a 1/2 order (what I ordered) looked just like a full order.  Perhaps the sandwich was like a starfish that just grows to two full size starfish should you cut it in half.

I was also a little underwhelmed by mustard so I asked the Deli Guy for something with a little more zing.  To this request, he offered me "Dream Sauce."  I was so entertained by the name I said "Sure!" not really knowing what was in it.  Turned out there was some garlic (sorry leads).  And, Saturday night didn't offer much opportunity for sleep (or, perchance, to dream).

Lunch was followed by one more session.  I participated but after that my brain was full (not bleeding, just full) so I left.

I went to a craft store to buy suede for my dance shoes.  I felt as uncomfortable as some men get in Victoria's Secret among all the ingredients for dust collecting knick-knacks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

If you're looking for the entry about the awesomeness of Todd Seavey click here.
If you're wondering why anyone would visit this blog to read about Seavey click here or see below.  

Todd is doing a round up of C-SPAN2 links.  He refers to me as a hot chick (one of many, though).  I'm certainly more attractive than Helen.

Jamie Foehl -- another one of the many hot chicks some of my detractors think I couldn't possibly date yet did -- was nice enough to praise me on her blog after the craziness began.  Ironically, she now dwells in the same yuppie and Northeastern-feeling area of North Carolina whence hails my co-panelist, despite my co-panelist's frequent attempts to blame her own eccentricities on an alien, rural, old-fashioned, backwoods way of life we city folk don't appreciate, at least while sober. 

If you want to learn more about alien, rural, old-fashioned and backwoods way of life in the yuppie and Northeastern-feeling area of North Carolina just scroll down and keep reading. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It was so much fun.

Colin asks "Who'd have thought that running around in the middle of the night on the snow and ice with laser tag guns would be so much fun?"  
Colin replies "Oh wait, I would have.  And so would Kristy Milliken and Jamie Foehl."
I need to work on being more stealth.  And not breaking out into hysterical laughter when someone shoots and hits me.

Ice Scraper in North Carolina


Sorry David. I think it's one of your mixes.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A very funny gift

video
From Diane to Bengt (who is from Alaska).

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Quadrantids

On January 3rd, sometime late afternoon, Colin posted a link on FB about the Quadrantids with the comment "Might just have to stay up." The thread that followed made it apparent that a few of us actually really did want to stay up and watch this.

We decided to meet at midnight at the Scott King Trailhead of the American Tobacco Trail. I had JUST gotten back into some sort of normal post Lindy Focus sleep cycle but happily threw it off the sleep cycle and threw on as many warm clothes as I could find.

Note the triple hoodies


Joe, Bengt & I arrived on time. Kristy moments later (with Snicker-doodles!). Colin, my sort of co-ring leader had yet to arrive. We decided to just plop a blanket down in between cars and begin star-gazing. I joked that Colin might think the space in between the cars was a parking space and in the process of parallel parking run us over. I thought it was funny but Joe (closest to the road) was less amused.

Colin arrived with hot chocolate and the entertaining saga of how they were obtained. He went to two places that didn't serve hot chocolate. The third venue (Waffle House?) had hot chocolate. Colin made the mistake of paying one of the staff with a cool (already folded) origami dollar. Another staff member wanted one too and Colin had no option but to oblige and fold one even though he was running late.

We ventured down the trail a teeny tiny bit and set up blankets on the ground and covering us. We were a little short on the blanket cover. I recommended spooning but the idea didn't catch on. So there were are, five of us, snuggled up together in some random spot in the "woods" of Durham. We had some chill Pandora station playing and Colin(?) mentioned we probably looked like we could be in the opening scene is garden state. None of the guys were thrilled about being Zach Braff but I was totally OK playing the role of Natalie Portman.

It got really cold (outside temps were somewhere around 25 degrees and falling) and body heat and blankets and hot chocolate wasn't going to cut it (especially for those of us on the endcaps of the people sandwich).

So, we danced. Lindy, Tranky-Doo and then I made up my own moves for Heat Miser. Here's the sound of Colin & Joe doing the Tranky-Doo.
video

Oh yeah, and we saw some cool stuff in the sky too. Colin and Kristy (who share a "I'll sleep when I'm dead philosophy") made it to 3am and got an extra spectacular show. For me, getting enough sleep to function on Tuesday was spectacular enough.

When I got home, I deemed our little group "The Freezing Cold Club of Durham" (based on many of us being participants in "Hot Club of Durham" weekly dance.

It was fun. To me, it felt a bit like camp. Though NH never got this cold in the summer.

Here are some "morning after" comments from pals confirming the awesomeness of the experience.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hair-do-do-do

I got my hair cut over the holidays. A lot of it. Little more than I expected actually. My hair was at that "wear it in a ponytail everyday phase" and I was thinking something shorter I could tuck behind my ears. There are certain words the stylist and I discussed avoiding such as bob, bangs and pixie cut. After the consultation I closed my eyes and let her do her thing.

I was a little shocked at how much was gone when it was over. I felt a little bit like some of my femininity was being swept off the salon floor.

Here's a shot of me fresh off the chopping block.There's also the concern that it's never going to look as good as it does on the day the stylist cuts, dries and styles it.

Here's the other thing. It's the week before Christmas. I'm on PTO and most of my friends are either working or away. So, I have no reactions to help me assess the new-do. In fact, I got a little caught off guard each time I passed a mirror. Like "Ack! That's me." Not the "Er, who is that?" look on in the following shot.
I realize that I'm not going myself any favors by wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants. Some earrings, makeup and a shirt with a nice neckline might enhance the look but I'm in lazy, home, reading, decompressing mode.

The first shower was disorienting. As my fingers worked their way down my locks and the hair ran out I was shocked to feel my neck. I felt a bit like an amputee and kept touching my neck in case I was just dreaming.

I meet up with a pal briefly and wore my ski hat the whole time. My next stop was Barb's.

Now, here's the great thing about Barb. She always wears hats inside. It's like her look. So, I felt perfectly normal with my hat on over dinner. But then I get hot and decided it was time. Barb's reaction was comforting. She thought it looked OK, but understood that it wasn't exactly what I wanted.

Incidentally, I left my scarf at Barb's. I never realized that the hair on my head and down my neck actually did keep me warm.

I had a haircut similar to this one growing up (pre-boobs, makeup, etc) and was frequently mistaken for a boy. My name being Jamie didn't help. I think those memories played into my reaction. Then I remembered that I was signed up as a lead for Lindy Focus (dance camp in Asheville). I briefly considered embracing the new look, getting a flat cap, suspenders and just rolling with it.

Instead, I ended up buying the following vintage-like ladies hat at Target.

My plan was to wear it all week though on some level I knew that was going to make me look stupider than I thought my hair might.

I was joking about using some guy pomade and doing crazy things with my hair but actually discovered that a little bit of product helped the "Do" keep shape. And blow-drying was essential. Way more maintenance than I wanted. Sigh.

The hat eventually came off. Shortly thereafter I found flower hair clips which are very popular on the swing dance floor. These might not work in the real world but fit right in for Lindy Focus.

By New Year's Even I was embracing it and opted to get my hair "done." Finger curls with sparkly clips. I almost felt authentic.


Lindy Focus came to a close so I've been using earrings & mascara as "accents" to my hair. People are work (the ones who know who I am) seem to like it. I'm getting used to it.

I mean, it is what it is and it will grow back. It's just hair.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Okay, 2011, here's what I'm thinking

Some New Year's Resolutions
This is a blog after all, not a journal.

Listen/Follow

I promise no "life is like swing dancing" ramble but I do believe my weaknesses in these areas stem from the same place, so they share a line item. I actually listen intently but I need to listen longer to make sure I really hear what someone is saying (wait for the lead) process it (feel the lead) and then react (follow).

Instead, I interrupt (back-lead). What's going on in my head is "I totally understand what this person is saying let me acknowledge that, anticipate their thought and attempt to complete it" or "I don't want to lose my thought" or "This person is talking, but the premise is all wrong, let me reset" or "I have a question!"

Before some swing dance lessons I've taken a vow of silence. This makes it easy to listen and impossible to interrupt. I experience the benefits of listening, following the lead and I usually get my questions answered without even asking.


Enter a Novice Jack & Jill


Why not?

Re-channel Mindfulness

Re-channel mindfulness about how I am perceived to mindfulness about how I communicate. Recognize that mindfulness about the latter will mitigate concerns about the former.

Impact/Innovation/Extraordinary Creative (at work and elsewhere)/Geek Out

The work. The creative. This is why I'm in advertising. I pay close attention to what's happening in the advertising world. I pay even more attention to what's possible. There's a lot of cool shit out there. Ideas that are truly extraordinary transcend & redefine media. Having said that, digital technology social media provide remarkable opportunity to creative extraordinary work. I have no idea my assignment for 2011 but I will aim for extraordinary & mine the opportunity for extraordinary regardless the assignment. I will realize that contribution I can make as the person who owns the relationship with the Client.

Enrichment

Work has the potential to be enriching and stimulating in many areas. But, it hasn't been enough and even at it's best, it can only be so much. I'm dying to grow. To learn. To exercise my intellect and fight the feeling that my mind has atrophied. When I was home healing my brain I made a promise to myself to take a class at UNC. In the fall of 2010 I made good on that promise and registered for a class. Days later, my work assignment led to a deferral. I'm in the midst of determining if I can take a class for the 2011 Spring Term. If I'm not able to take a class there are other ways I can enrich myself (reading, conversations, etc)but I would very much like a taste of the academic environment again. I miss it. And I was good in it.

I don't want to lose any weight

Once upon a time, my trainer called me the "Push Up Queen." Not so much anymore.
I want to gain muscle, tone, strength and definition. Part of this is pure vanity but strength also improves my enjoyment and accomplishment of activities like triathlons, dancing (aerials!) etc.

Wake Forest Miles for Smiles 2011 Triathlon

This was my first triathlon in 2009. I'm going to do it again this year and improve on my performance in some way

Ski

Maybe it's the snow. Maybe it's my sister's profile picture.

I love to ski. And, I was (am?) good at it. Growing up I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ski a lot. I was on the ski team in High School (Shit, I look young).

It's been more difficult to find the time, opportunity & company to ski but I will get myself on the slopes this year.

Whimsy, Purposelessness

I like getting things done, being productive and purposeful. All good things, but I need to enjoy experiences, moments, the process and remember the things on my "lists" (this one included) aren't really the most important things in life.