Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Did I get so Old so Fast?

Comment upon realizing my current crush is 11 years younger than me:
"It would seem that while I was living it up at Lollapalooza he was attending sleep away camp for the first time."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Photo to Cling to

Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.

Karen Ravn

Streaks and Stats

As we come to the end of another year I’ve been thinking a lot about figures.  In a year of almost constant change, frankly, in a year where change was the only constant, I’ve recognized that I had to let go of some things in order to continue to grow and survive.

That said here are the streaks that ended and the stats that jumped out at me during my year end review:

33 years – first time since 1977 I haven’t been in or attended a wedding;

32 years – first time since 1978 that I haven’t attended at least one college football game;

11 years – first time I haven’t had to get on a plane to participate in my family’s Christmas festivities;

8 years and almost 2 months – The end of getting up and heading to work at Wally World (actually, this is the code name for my former employer, but you get my drift);

121 jobs applied to; 2 offers; 1 new job;

1 date that restored my hope in the dating scene.  He wasn’t into me but at least I was excited by the prospect of getting involved with someone.  And that hasn’t happened since the end of the last century.  I didn’t fall in love this year (and I didn’t fall out of love either) but I think I now know that I can again.  Eventually.  This is a big victory in my book.

I continued my streak of annually traveling somewhere I’ve never been before.  This year the location was Nashville, where I even sang with a band.  Can’t wait to go back…and no, I won’t be singing this time.  Trust me; leaving the singing out is a good thing.

I also managed to mark off one of my “must see” musical performers this year.  Van Morrison has been on my shortlist of artists I’ve wanted to see for about 20 years and in May I finally attended one of his concerts.  While it might not have lived up to 20 years of expectation I’m glad I got to hear him live.  Even if I won’t go see him again.

3 months – the longest streak in 2010 in which I didn’t drive a single vehicle

1 childhood friend who I hadn’t seen since the age of 9 that I reconnected with.  Within days of reestablishing contact, he and I were face to face at a cookout.  We picked up right where we left off in 1982.  I don’t think I realized how much I missed him. 

In short, in a year of continual flux, I managed to not spin out of control.  I attribute this to my support system rather than my own efforts.  At a time when I could have felt like a failure, when I could have holed up in my home and disengaged, my fabulous friends and family made sure that I didn’t do either of those things.  And that is what I am most thankful for in 2010.

So I say, bring on 2011.  After this year, it’s got to be an improvement.

And now, onward to adventure.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

MARTA loses riders after cutbacks  |

This story makes me sad on so many levels.

Roda Osman works at an airport shop and is still taking the train -- but at a cost. The train now doesn't start until 6 a.m. on weekends, but Osman has to open her store at 5:30 a.m.

She can’t give up the $10 per hour she makes at her job. So on weekends, the single mother does the only thing she can: She takes the train to the airport the night before, she said, and sleeps in a chair in the lobby.

“What are you going to do,” Osman said. “I have to be here in the morning.”

Read more here -
MARTA loses riders after cutbacks |

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why I Left Georgia - Part II

Georgia’s unemployment rate jumped to 10.1 percent in November from a revised 9.8 percent in October, the state labor department said Thursday.

There has been virtually no progress from a year ago, when the jobless rate stood at 10.2 percent in November 2009. This November was the 38th consecutive month that Georgia’s jobless rate has exceeded the national rate, which is 9.8 percent.

for more on this story, visit - Georgia’s unemployment rate jumps to 10.1 percent

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Have Lots to Write About...

I know I've been a bit radio silent since I made the move to Maryland.  For that I do apologize.

It's not that I don't have things to say or stories to share.  Rather, I have a tons of things at the ready to post about.

Problem is, I can't seem to get motivated to actually write things up.

I am hoping that as I get used to working again (and commuting in a vehicle where I can't flush out my posts like I did on the train) I'll find a way to get back into the groove.

Until then, I ask you for your patience.

Guess I am not the Only one Who Thinks Population Patterns will Shift Thanks to this Economy

After last week's post I thought it was interesting to stumble across this article:

Top 10 States People Are Fleeing

New York, Illinois and Louisiana are expected to lose more residents than they gain this year.

By Jenna Goudreau,
Dec 8, 2010

Police identify man run over by MARTA train  |

Such a sad story.

Police identify man run over by MARTA train |

Friday, December 3, 2010


First road trip since my return to Maryland: NYC...just in time to see it all decorated for Christmas!!  While I do prefer the City in the Spring, there is something magical about visiting during Christmastime.  Maybe it's because the Yankees aren't playing?

Anyway, this is just another perk of my new locale - Manhattan is only four hours away!  Solid.

The Great Job Migration of 2010

I think that when future economists look back at this down cycle they will see patterns crop up that surprise them...but certainly not the people who remember living through it.

A job based migration.  Probably not as pronounced as the Industrial Revolution migration but I think as people face long term unemployment I predict a noticeable pattern shift in where people live.  After all, one must go where the jobs are.  

From the NYTimes:

The longer people stay out of work, the more trouble they have finding new work.
That is a fact of life that much of Europe, with its underclass of permanently idle workers, knows all too well. But it is a lesson that the United States seems to be just learning.
This country has some of the highest levels of long-term unemployment — or joblessness lasting more than six months — ever recorded. Meanwhile, job growth has been, and looks to remain, disappointingly slow, indicating that those out of work a while are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Even if the government report on Friday shows the expected improvement in hiring by business, it will not be enough to make a real dent in those totals.
So the legions of long-term unemployed will probably be idle for significantly longer than their counterparts in past recessions, reducing their chances of eventually finding a job even when the economy becomes more robust.
“I am so worried somebody will look at me and say, ‘Oh, he’s probably lost his edge,’ ” said Tim Smyth, 51, a New York television producer who has been unable to find work since 2008, despite having two decades of experience at places like Nickelodeon and the Food Network. “I mean, I know it’s not true, but I’m afraid I might say the same thing if I were interviewing someone I didn’t know very well who’s been out of work this long.”
Mr. Smyth’s anxieties are not unfounded. New data from the Labor Department, provided to The New York Times, shows that people out of work fewer than five weeks are more than three times as likely to find a job in the coming month than people who have been out of work for over a year, with a re-employment rate of 30.7 percent versus 8.7 percent, respectively.

Read More here:

Jobless rate rises to 9.8 pct. as job growth slows

WASHINGTON -- The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent in November, a seven-month high, as hiring slowed.

Employers added only 39,000 jobs last month, a sharp decline from the 172,000 created in October, the Labor Department reported Friday. The weakness was widespread. Retailers, factories, construction companies, financial firms and the government all cut jobs last month.

Read more here -

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Out of the Mouth of a Bear

Just because an animal is large, it doesn't mean he doesn't want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo. - Winnie the Pooh

If we humans could just remember this and put the sentiment into action every day in our dealings imagine how different the world would be.

Or rather, just imagine how different you'd be.

Ironic that this was the Final Song on My Arduous Journey to Maryland

Heading to NYC on Saturday...9 states in four days....not too shabby for not even really trying...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And the Plan has Changed Already

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” - Woody Allen

So, my plan to get to Baltimore with one solid day of driving has gone  astray.

Given the horrible weather that was in Atlanta all day yesterday and most of last night I've modified my plan and will only be going to Charlotte today.  Thank goodness for Mountaineer hospitality!

Will be good to see my friends there....and given the last minute staging stuff I need to do for my condo, this probably is a better plan anyway.

Will post again when I get to Charm City.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A New Chapter Starts Tomorrow....

After 12 years, I am pulling up stakes and heading back to Maryland tomorrow morning.

While I didn't ever think I'd be moving back there, I think I've come to terms with it.

I carry too many wonderful memories to list.  And while a part of me is sad to be leaving, there is a piece of me that is excited to see what this new phase of my life holds for me.

If it's one thing I've learned from my time in Atlanta, it's that life goes where it wants, regardless of our wish to control its path, pace and those who journey with us.

Until we meet again....

From the newly created "Are You Effing Kidding Me" file...

Firms asked to fund MARTA workers party |

MARTA picked 40 to 50 companies from among those who had received more than $50,000 from MARTA in the last fiscal year, asking each for $5,000 to $10,000 to fund the Dec. 11 event, Tyler said.

Therefore, if 45 companies toss in an average of $7500, the party budget will be $337,500...and with that kind of cash there could be a serious throw down...or perhaps they could restore the Route 105 bus.

I'm just sayin....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RIP Leslie Nielsen

I first encountered Mr. Nielsen's brand of genius at Heather Farquhar's 9th birthday slumber party. Her parents rented Airplane! for us to watch...and just like that, I was hooked on both him and his type of humor.

Reports are Mr. Nielsen passed away this evening surrounded by his wife and family members. Glad he was with his loved ones at the end.

Thanks for the made the world a brighter place for all of us.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reality is Setting In

Packing has started.

Change of address request has been sent in to Post Office.

Had a final hair cut (for now, anyway) from my fabulous hair guy, John.

Comcast service set to be cut off Wednesday.

Several going away fiestas on the books.

A few farewell lunches are slated for the early part of the week.

Clothes I am taking in the car have been identified.  Ditto for my blanket and pillows.  And my office stuff.

Trip to the UPS Store Monday to ship what I don't think I can get in the car.

Bathroom stuff to be packed up Tuesday night.  (And I am sure I'll be shocked to discover just how many potions and lotions I have tucked away...)

..and just like that, I'll be gone.

But I promise I won't go all Keyser Soze on you all...for, I will be back on occasion. 

I promise.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Less Than a Month 'til Christmas....

So, I am reposting last year's Christmas Movie Spectacular!

 My Top 10 Christmas Movies

As has been previously stated, I am not so much a Christmas fan. I am more of a Groundhog Day/Halloween kinda girl. I guess I just prefer holidays that don’t illicit mass gatherings of family. Christmas is oftentimes too pressure filled for me to enjoy it. You rush, rush, rush to get everything done, to see everyone, to get to all the parties…and then, when all is said and done, you are left feeling exhausted rather than enriched. So, I’ll take a Groundhog Day brunch with a game of croquet any day over packed malls and traipsing around in the snow. And don’t even get me started on decorating. Yawn.

I do, however, enjoy my movies. So this morning on my way in, I decided to draft:
Cari’s Top 10 Christmas Flicks
Please note this will be far from the traditional list. I’ve not seen most of the Christmas Classics…and I am most proud to claim the title of, “The Only Person on Earth Who Has Never Seen ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’”. Fact – My freshman roommate in college was from Indiana, PA - hometown of one Jimmy Stewart - and her grandma actually knew him..and I still won’t watch it. (And also, I saw Ferris at 31 Flavors last night…)

Without further ado, here’s my list of personal favorites in the Christmas genre: 
(Warning – there may be some spoilers below.  Read at your own risk.)

10 – Elf
When this first came out, I wasn’t a huge fan. Upon subsequent viewings (courtesy to the almost constant showing of it on USA/FX/TBS) it’s grown on me. Amazes me how Will Farrell can project such wonder on his face. The scene where Buddy confronts fake Santa is classic (You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don't smell like Santa). As is Buddy’s attempt to ride an escalator for the first time. A new Christmas Classic indeed.

9 – The Holiday
A chick-flicky Christmakka treat. Two strangers trade houses over the holidays to get away from their lives and the associated drama therein…only to create new and different dramas on the other side of the globe. Great cast, strong writing and lovely locales. And Iris’ speech about getting over someone and on with your life is just so heartbreaking…and true..that it burns. This is a two week life swap I’d love to emulate in my own life….except I don’t think anyone is clamoring for a visit to Sandy Springs. Or the whopping 711 SF that is the Chez Cari.

8 – Trading Places
Philly at Christmas. How that town got the nickname The City of Brotherly Love is beyond me. People there aren’t always the jolliest souls. Plus it’s usually grey there all winter long…which makes it cringe-worthy, if you ask me. However, the tale of a Richie and a Con Artist swapping places…and then taking down the bastages responsible for their reversal of fortune.. is wickedly funny. If I even think, “Looking good, Billy Ray!; Feeling good, Louis!" I go into a fit of hysterics. (sidebar – how odd is it that kids today think of Eddie Murphy solely as the voice of Donkey from Shrek? From RAW to Shrek? Am I the only one saying WTF?)

7 - Home Alone
While wildly far-fetched, this story of a forgotten boy and his acceptance of his situation always makes me smile. Kevin and I have a lot in common. We are both the youngest of large families. We were both scared of the basement at one point. And I’ll be the first to admit I, too, often wished everyone would go away and leave me alone when I was little. I know I felt, “This house is so full of people it makes me sick!” on more than one occasion. (Point in case – I actually lobbied to go to boarding school…unsuccessfully, I might add). Even as an adult, I (every year) consider not traveling home for the pandemonium that is my family Christmas. But in end, I’ve yet to miss one. And I guess because like Kevin, I realize that someday I might really be all alone..and it might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

6 – While You Were Sleeping
This movie came out in the Spring of 1995..and I saw it in July at the theater.  Talking about staying power at the multiplex. Perfect timing as I needed an escape from both the brutal summer heat and the brutal breakup that was on the cusp with my then soon-to-be ex-college boyfriend. Another very well written, superbly cast movie. From Grandma down to fellow Mass Transit worker, the cast hits this one out of the ballpark. Even the guy in the coma pulls his weight. My favorite line in the movie? “If you can fit in my jeans, I will kill myself!” The case for head trauma has never been more appealing.

5 – Die Hard
It’s beginning to look like chaos at Nakatomi Plaza! NYC cop comes to LA for an estranged family Christmas… and instead has to battle some cash crazy terrorists who’ve crashed the Nakatomi holiday party. And he does this while barefoot. Witty banter, Reginald Veljohnson and the effective use of "CHRISTMAS IN HOLLIS" by Run-DMC make this a seasonal must see! Favorite line (and it’s not the one you think…) –“Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.” Pennsville is proud Bruce Willis!

Now this is where it’s going to get hard kids….any of these four could actually be number one on any given day….all depends on my mood. Needless to say, this is the most fluid part of the list.

4 – Christmas Vacation
Oh the good, old fashioned family Christmas! With booze. And tears. And insensitive guests. And lest we forget, the Squirrel. Riotously funny. And the details, my God! The use of the Wally World punch bowl set for Egg Nog? Genius! Whenever I am channel surfing and come upon this gem, I have to stop and ride the Griswold Christmas wave. Thank God they didn’t listen to Rusty and head to Hawaii for the holiday.

3 – Better Off Dead
For the better part of my existence I’ve been utterly draw to John Cusack..or more correctly, his characters..and this movie is the reason why. Sure, I saw and liked Say Anything but for me it all really started with Better Off Dead (or quite possibly, Sixteen Candles where he played Brice). The story of a freshly dumped semi- outsider and how he copes a) with his heartbreak, b) his crazy and out-of-it family, c) a devilish paperboy and d) all the other trials and tribulations of his high school existence. He likes frozen dinners…so naturally, his mother buys him a CASE for Christmas. He gets in a drag race with Howard Cosell obsessed Japanese brothers. And he “skis on one ski.” Lane Meyer, you are the man. And I think Beth still rues the day she let you go.

2 – The Ref
This movie puts the FUN in dysfunctional. Denis Leary in his most frayed rope role yet. Forced to take a couple hostage to get himself out of a jam, he soon discovers they bicker all the time (Great, I hijacked my f(*&^ing parents.) And then he finds out the the rest of the family is to join them later that evening. And let me tell you, when the rest of the gang (in-laws, kid, siblings) arrives, these folks make the Manson Family look like the Waltons. As my dad would say, there is a lot of “rough language” in this one, but if you can get past that I promise you will howl with laughter, “I know loan sharks who are more forgiving than you. Your husband ain't dead, lady. He's hiding.”

1 – A Christmas Story
The quest for the bb gun. The flagpole scene. The Easter bunny outfit. The Bumpus hounds. A few glimpses into why I and so many others love this movie. But for me, there is another reason. I saw this movie with my Dad in 1983 over Christmas break. My father was about the same age as Ralphie Parker during the era in which the movie is set. I remember hearing my father’s laughter in that theater like it was yesterday. I remember thinking for the first time that my dad wasn’t always my dad. That he too had, in fact, been a child once. I got to see what my father at 10 might have looked like and he got to relive some memories from his youth. And we both walked out of the theater with sore stomachs from laughing so much. Dad’s not the movie buff I am so it would be 15 years before we went to see another movie together. And that one was Titanic….a story that his father (my grandfather) remembered hearing about as a five year old who just happened to be the one who brought in the newspaper the day the story ran.   

PS - You used up all the glue on purpose!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why am I Leaving? This Sums it Up....

Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price: "It's not even close to being a garden variety cyclical recovery."

Have tambourine, will travel

I have no idea where this guy was going...or why he might need a tambourine when he got to his destination.  But my imagination has run wild with various scenarios since I encountered him on the Marta platform.

When I see something like this, I have to say, my life seems quite boring by comparison.  I mean, I've traveled with a kazoo but that's not nearly as exciting.

All this instrument talk reminds me of the time I saw a guy driving a car AND practicing the trumpet at the same time....but that is another story of another day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Two-fer

Now with German subtitles.....which you know I love since I took German last year just for fun.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Charm City bound as of next week

One of the few songs out there about the great state of Maryland.

Maryland, I'm coming home....

I get by with a little help from my Friends - John Lennon

So I had a conversation with an almost life long friend today about Facebook.

I made the comment that I only had one "friend" who I didn't know in real life when I friended him.  He was a friend of a friend.  Since that time, I have, in fact, had the opportunity to meet him, so now I do "know" all 355 people on my friend list.  

Many of the folks on my list I've known my whole life, or dated in the past, or worked with, are old family friends, are kids I used to baby-sit and some are even my former teachers.  

The point is, that by and large, these folks are in ways big and small a part of my past.  And they rank high enough to make me want to take them along to my future too.  Even if that future is not the rock star quality future I imagined when I was young and naive.

My friend knows all of her friends on Facebook too.  All 14 of them.  (I'd say her husband is lucky to have made her cut list..and so am I, for that matter.)

As we continued to discuss this, we decided there might be generational divide in the nature of how one "friends" others.  

My litmus test is this:  If I wouldn't stop and say hello to you in real life I won't "friend" you.   Granted, I am a friendly soul (my senior superlative was Sunniest {code for friendliest}) but even I require a certain level of interaction to allow access to my mundane rantings on the 'book.  

My theory is simple:  If you can't engage in my real life, why do you need to be involved in my Facebook world?  

As a result, more than a few folks have been relegated to the bin when they've “friended” me.

For my much younger cousins, apparently anyone who sends a request is in. Their "friends" numbers are in the thousands range.  The sheer number is too exhausting for me to even contemplate.

And then my friend reminded me that I've never been about quantity....I have always been about quality.  

And that she was confident that if she quizzed on my Facebook friends I would actually have something heartfelt to say about each and every one of them off the top of my head, or immediately be able to share a memory involving them, or share something unique about each and every soul listed.

I thought about what she said.  And really, it’s not only true, it was also a very powerful revelation to yours truly.

So as we enter Thanksgiving week, I can’t think of anything better to be thankful than you - my wonderful friends.  

We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve fought, we’ve broken up, we’ve danced in fountains, some of us have fallen in an out of love with each other, we’ve made a variety of bad choices together, we’ve experienced great losses in terms of both life and love, and for 12 of you I’ve even been in your weddings.  We’ve gone on to new jobs, new towns; some have had new babies or gotten new homes.  We’ve shared a mutual love for Duran Duran, or snarkiness, or crab cakes or baseball or any number of things that make up the timeless moments of our lives.  

In every face I see is a memory.  It may not be a perfectly perfect memory…but it’s mine to treasure.  And I assure you, treasure those memories, I do.

So, dear friends, I wish each of you the most magical of Thanksgivings. And when I count my blessings, know that you are included on that list on Thanksgiving Day…and always.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am feeling The Fray-ish this morning...

Sorry for the radio silence lately....promise to get back to posting soon. Just lots of flux right now and thus lots of decisions being made. Once I have something to report, I'll post.

In the meantime, I woke up this AM and started doing some work...and lots of thinking. And then The Fray came, here's something from them on this gray Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jobless benefits to expire as Congress debates tax  |

It's looking iffy at best whether Congress will renew jobless benefits averaging $310 per week nationwide that are presently claimed by almost 5 million people who have been out of work for more than six months.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is Anyone Surprised by this Article?

While the Atlanta streetcar is expected to consume $72 million in precious transportation funds, the project will have no impact on the region’s No. 1 transportation problem: traffic.

Pricey streetcar won’t ease traffic |

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Two more rejections.....

Well, I got two more rejections on the job front today.  One from Habitat for Humanity and one from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  While not the answers I was hoping for it's at least nice to know the outcome.  

In other news, I have an interview tomorrow morning.  So today I am trying to remain calm, get my questions together and just do all I can to be prepared.  

I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I'll try to remember to Just Breathe.

Friday, October 29, 2010

700 miles

in two days and I've arrived in Maryland. Where it is very chilly!

Got to see some WVU friends on the way up...and even did a drive through of Wild and Wonderful West By God on the way to the homestead.

All in all, a great two days.

And now, to the Million Moderate March...which is more like the Million Moderates Milling About.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

News from DC Mass Transit

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pakistani-born man was arrested Wednesday and charged with trying to help people he believed were al-Qaeda operatives in planning to bomb subway stations around the U.S. capital, the FBI said.

The FBI said the public was never in danger because its agents were aware of the man's activities before the alleged planning took place and monitored him throughout.

Scary stuff!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When Does the Law of Averages Kick In?

Here are some personal job related statistics for you folks out there that like numbers.  As of today:
  • Positions applied for:  103
  • Number of responses:  26 (or 25%).  I’ve interviewed for 5 wildly different positions (19%) and gotten “thanks but no thanks” letters from the other 21 (or 81%)
  • Number pending:  77 (or 75%).  For all intents and purposes, I am figuring the majority of these outstanding applications are now dead.  I'd say at best, there may be 10 remaining that ever have hope of coming to fruition.  And I may be overly optimistic with this guesstimate.

With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why my spirits are a bit lower than normal of late.

The good news is that through my network, specifically Fred B, my resume made it into the hands of the hiring manager of a full-service provider of specialty products and engineering services company.  They are looking for a Marketing Manager.  And they are located across the street from my house. And I think this one I might actually have a good shot at landing.

This is the best news I’ve gotten in some time.

So, I’ll keep charging along and hoping for the best.  Or in the words of REO Speedwagon, I’ll keep pushing on.  

Because really?  There is no other choice.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chicago isn't happening

I got word through the grapevine today that the job in Chicago was given to someone else.  This didn't come as a huge surprise as I never felt terribly warm and fuzzy about it in the first place.  

That said, I do think it's odd that I haven't received a rejection letter or even a rejection email from the company.  They flew me out for an interview so it seems odd to me they wouldn't at least drop a Dear Jane letter in the mail to me.

So, back to square one on the job hunt.

In other news, I went to Unemployment on Friday and found out that it appears my Unemployment coverage is going to max out on Friday, December 3.  I remain hopeful that I'll find something permanent before than, but with more layoffs here in Atlanta just last week I think I need to mentally prepare for the worst.

Next week I have an interview in Baltimore.  If this position doesn't pan out I am coming back to Georgia and will attempt to get a seasonal position somewhere...and also work the night shift at UPS.  I'll do this until the first of the year or so, at which time I will then re-engage in the full blown job search.  

After months and months of searching I think I need a break from the job hunt merry-go-round.  And if I can make my bills doing seasonal and night shift work, I think it's in my best interest to do so for awhile.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Have to be in Baltimore next week for an interview.  So, I've decided to head up early. Going to visit friends on the way up in NC and will arrive in Maryland just in time to attend this on Saturday:

If you have suggestions for something I can paint on my car window to let others know where I am headed, please post them in the comments section.  I know tt's not Woodstock but it's something.  

And as a bonus, I am taking the "Fall foliage" route I should get some good photos along the way too.  Will be sure to post any decent color shots I capture on the way.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Early Voting Locations for Georgia Voters

If you are going to be out of town on election day...or if you just want to avoid the crowds, hit the link to find an early voting location close to you!

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing - William H. Judd

Deadly Handsome Men

This compilation always cracks me up!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Twitter Gadget on the Blog is Broken....

And it doesn't appear Blogger has any intention of fixing it any time soon.

If you are on Twitter and care to follow me, I can be found under @MassTransitChik.  

Here's hoping you and yours have a great weekend! 

Read about the Issues, Think about them for a while, and Vote as you See Fit

Georgia has just HALF of the trauma centers needed to serve its citizens.

On November 2, you can help remedy this situation.

The Yes 2 Save Lives Campaign represents concerned citizens, safety and community advocates, health care providers, local governments, and the business community. Our goal is to get Georgia voters to say “Yes on Ballot Amendment 2” in the Nov. 2 election – to approve a constitutional amendment for an annual $10 car registration fee. Funds would be directly used to provide a dedicated funding source to improve and expand the trauma care system across the state.

Vernacular is Spectular

Since I have so much free time these days I've focused my efforts on getting a word into the Urban Dictionary.

I got word (no pun intended) this week I finally made it!  If you're curious to know what said word is, hit the link

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thanks World!

So today I looked at blog stats.  A first for me.  Anyway, I discovered that people from all over the World have either A) been reading on purpose or B) are accidentally accessing my page and that is why so many other countries show up in the reader stats.

If you fall in Group A, thanks for taking the time to read my rants.  If you fall into Group B, thanks for popping by..and I hope you'll return from time to time to see how things are going in my corner of the world.

When I first started this blog I was fearful that I wouldn't be able to be witty enough or talented enough or committed enough to keep it up.  I was afraid that I might not have anything to write about.  And I'll admit, I am still not sure I am doing my best.

But I will say that in doing this blog I've discovered three things about myself:
  1. I really missed writing.  Granted, this is pure and simple fluff blog but I truly didn't comprehend how much I used writing as a release mechanism;
  2. Now that I am without a job, I find I miss my mass transit adventures.  Maybe it's just that I miss having a job to go to.  But my time on my Marta bus route was an interesting journey out of my comfort zone.  It was nice to get to know folks on the bus. Folks that in the normal course of my life I probably never would have met.  I don't miss standing in the rain and late buses but I do miss the camaraderie;
  3. I think that as I continue to search for a new job, possibly in a new town which might lead to a new life, I need to get back in the habit of venting here.  It's ugly out there for us job seekers.  I'm starting to feel dejected and worse, worried about what the future holds.  A lot of times I don't share these feeling with the people in my life because I don't want to sound like Debbie Downer.  I don't want them to worry...and also because I can't bear the thought that anyone might pity me. Certainly I know that there are many people in worse positions than myself...and I am very lucky in too many ways to list.  But after so many months of concentrated effort trying to find the path that leads to my future even the sunniest of souls can start to feel a bit grey.
So now  I wish to say thank you to all the readers, where ever they may be, for taking the time to read the words I write.  I send you all wishes for continued health and happiness.  As best as I can manage, here's a big THANK YOU in your respective languages:
  • Toa chie
  • Dankeschoen
  • Obrigada
  • Без перевода
  • Tak for lån
  • Dziękuję
  • Merci
  • Cám ơn quý vị rât nhiều  
  • and finally, plain old THANK YOU!

In closing, here's a little something from Sly and The Family Stone....enjoy!

More pain for long-term jobless  |

More than 236,000 laid-off workers – 50.7 percent of all the men and women in Georgia searching for a job – haven’t found work in at least 27 weeks, according to September statistics released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor.

More pain for long-term jobless |

I must say, I am starting to feel a bit hopeless these days....

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's Football Day in the South.....

but today I am going to see this instead.

I am sure it will be horrifying, inspiring and at times, very tough to watch.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

MARTA cuts roll out Saturday  |

It is a dayum shame a city of this size (and with stifling traffic issues) can't maintain a robust mass transit system that serves its citizenry effectively.

MARTA cuts roll out Saturday  |

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Final Countdown

The title of today's post isn't just an awesome 80s song by Europe. It's also what this week is for my MARTA bus route.

Come Friday, there will be no more route 105. Further, no other routes are being redirected to serve the 105 riders.

Which mean in addition to not having a job, I also will have no way to get around. Yes, I can walk to the train and then take a train to the grocery store but it will take a lot longer.

Actually, given the slowness of the bus, I may actually come out ahead occasionally.

Anyway, since this is the last hurrah for the bus, I am heading to Midtown this evening to meet my friend Beth for dinner. Figure I should do this sort of thing will I still have a way to do so.

As for the job hunt, well, I got another rejection today. On a positive note, I do have a phone interview scheduled for next week. That job is in Chicago. A town I love but getting there (assuming I even GET the job) will present a bit of a challenge in terms of figuring out what to do with my condo. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

In the meantime, enjoy some classic hair band:

Monday, September 13, 2010

They Waste this kind of Cash and yet my Route gets cut!!?!?

Fifty-seven MARTA laptops valued at more than $55,000 have vanished.

Paperwork for some items of evidence in the MARTA police property room was missing or incomplete. MARTA vehicles drove the Ga. 400 Cruise Card lane without paying so often that cash-strapped MARTA paid $79,000 in fines to the state this summer. The tolls themselves rang up at just $2,600, according to the State Road and Tollway Authority.

MARTA audit shows wasted money  |

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Is the end of my unemployment coverage.

Means I miss the extension by one week.

Just my luck.

In other news, I've now applied to 72 jobs.

Eventually the law of averages has to kick in. Right???

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It was a Helluva day on Marta

So, I had to go to Buckhead for a meeting this afternoon. And Buckhead is all of six miles from my house.

I figured I could catch the bus at Noon and get there in plenty of time.

I was wrong.

Question: Which is worse?

A - That it took me 1 hour and 29 minutes to travel six miles or so on the bus?


B - That fact that the Iphone battery so sucks that by the time I arrived at my meeting more than half of the juice was gone?

Both options are unfortunate..and frankly, unacceptable. That said, I am going to go with A since I had people waiting for me.

(Sidebar – I also managed to fall OFF the bus once I did disembark thanks to all the thoughts swimming around in my head – but that is another story all together.)

As for getting home after the meeting, well, there was considerable drama there too.

I was able to utilize the free BucRide shuttle ( to get to the train station.

This was immensely helpful as a) the BucShuttle sticks to its schedule; b) it took me to the closest train station, thereby saving me time in the form of not having to sit in traffic on Piedmont to get to the station the Marta bus serves and C) this also allowed me to catch the 4:35 bus at Dunwoody so I wouldn’t have to walk home from the Sandy Springs station.

Win. Win. Win!

I got to my stop, exited the train, and as I made my way to the bus bay I was almost run over by a dude in a red shirt who was racing up to the platform.

Not a big deal, I figured he was just running to catch his train.

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt.

I continued on my merry way and exited the station and then sat on the bench waiting for the bus.

So, you can imagine my surprise when about 5 minutes later I hear this woman from inside the turnstiles yelling something – I couldn’t make out WHAT she was yelling – loudly.

I got up from my seat outside of the station to see what the fuss was about and at that moment the same dude in the red shirt races by me toward the exit turnstiles.

I started to make my way over to the exit area to trip him or something when all of the sudden a Marta cop LEAPS from the third step and tackles the guy.

I’m talking old school Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat take down.

Whoever said Marta cops aren’t badass hasn’t seen this particular cop in action.

So the cop lands on the guy in the red shirt, and also manages to knock down a sign that was posted by the exit, and holds him as his partner brings up the rear. Cop #2 shows up within seconds …with the lady who was yelling for help not far behind him.

To the guy in the red shirts credit, he didn’t struggle at all. They zipped tied his hands behind his back and off he went to wherever they take alleged perpetrators.

All of this transpired in no more than one minute.

Forget about Action Jackson. Forget about Chuck Norris. I want this Marta cop on my side when the shit hits the fan!

And while I am the first person in line to complain about what Marta is doing wrong, I’m also the first person to admit when they do something right… and hiring this leaping Robocop was definitely right in my book.

In closing, I’d like to thank all our public safety personnel for their efforts to keep the general public safe. It’s a thankless and dangerous job. And you ARE appreciated!