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 | ajc.com

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 laughs...you 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 on....so, here's something from them on this gray Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jobless benefits to expire as Congress debates tax  | ajc.com

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 | ajc.com

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.