Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Photo of the Week: One Way? or Another?

Photo above, from a street corner in Montreal, where I visited last fall. You cannot tell me there is only "one way" to love cheese.

I have a friend who is contemplating taking a full-time job right now, after two years or so of freelancing. She's done the pros and cons list, contemplated the positives (weekly paycheck! whooo) and the negatives (telling HR your grandmother died, again, to get a day off), done the pros and cons. It probably seems crazy, in these unstable economic times, to not leap on a permanent, full-time position like a lion on a wildebeest, pinning it to the ground and refusing to let go, but we come from a freelance tribe, and it's hard to give it up - the flexibility, the challenge, and the allure of possibility, that the next client or job will be the coolest, most lucrative project ever. I can see her on the balance beam now, trying to decide which way to tip, and I desperately want her to make the right decision - the one that makes everything come out right, in the end, like a perfectly wrapped up movie.

I thought of that, and of this picture, and how frustrating it is when it seems there is only "one way" to get to where you want to be. What do you keep, and what do you shed along the way? Time? Safety? Security? Control?  I have the same issues she does - the constant concerns about money, the worry that you won't get paid for work you've already done, the thought that the boring but lucrative project will eliminate the awesome cheapie someone wants you to do. Or, worse, the dread that there will be nothing but boring cheapies.

I don't have a neat wrap up for this one, no finishing point that ties up the loose ends and rolls into the credits with cool music. I just wait and cross my fingers for her, and try not to wish in one direction or the other. She'll find her way.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Photo of the Week: The Snowbound Edition

So if you have been hiding under a rock in an undisclosed tropical location, A) I hate you, and B) you may have missed the news that it's winter. You cannot miss it in Atlanta, which is currently paralyzed by 4 inches of snow and ice. It looks wonderful, pristine and fluffy, until you realize you are out of beer and the football game is on, and it takes an hour to go to the corner store a mile away.

Cars are skiing across the highway and people are sledding down the hills with broken down cardboard boxes as we take in the strangeness; not of snow (it usually snows here once or twice a year) but of snow that stays. Usually in Atlanta it snows about a quarter of an inch and then melts within 8 hours, but the friendly weatherman assures us that this may stick for a WEEK. He's enjoying his moment in the sun, I think - no pun intended - and is determined to stretch it out.

We went out for a walk yesterday and took some pictures just in case Friendly Weatherman is wrong, and I got this photo of a neighbor's yard. There's something very romantic about the magnolia tree covered in snow - it's my favorite tree, so very emblematic of the south, all iced tea and linen dresses and fanning yourself on the porch - so to see it dressed up in winter wear is always something of a surprise. The tire swing seems to long for winter to pass and these silly sleds and snowballs go away, so the children will come play on it again. Until then it whispers to the magnolia, and they wait patiently for spring.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Year in Travel

If you're on Facebook (ah the demon facebook, how I love yet hate you) you have probably seen that game "The Year in Status". It takes two status updates from each month of the previous year and makes them into a huge collage, and gives you a great snapshot of what was on your mind as the year went by. I'm proud to see that my Antione Dodson obsession popped up in multiple months.

I thought I'd do a similar snapshot of all my travel from 2010, to see how many of my travel goals I met and think about my fantasy trips going forward. In chronological order, then, I give you:

2010: On The Road.

January - Columbia and Hartsfield, South Carolina - February - West Palm Beach, Florida, and Jobos, Puerto Rico - March - nowhere, sadly - April - Franklin, Indiana, and Anderson, South Carolina - May - Flowery Branch, Georgia - June - stayed home - July - was supposed to go to Brazil, but wussed out - August - Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Montreal - September - still in Canada, plus somewhere in South Carolina AGAIN - October - London - November - Paris, Brussels, Oslo, and Stockholm (18 hours each) - December - Tampa, Florida (wanted to go to the Bahamas, but nooooo)

Not as much as I expected, actually, and not a patch on 2008, when I actually forgot where I lived at one point, but not to bad. It helps to bear in mind that I travel a lot for work, and so at least half the places listed were work trips - hence the London-Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam-Oslo-Stockholm throwdown that wound up the year, seven - no, six - cities in nine days. I now know what bands on tour feel like. And some of the Georgia travel was not very far, such as Flowery Branch, which is all of an hour from Atlanta, but was for work, and helped me go to a place called "Out of my Mind" for two weeks.

Pressing forward to 2011, here's the travel dream list:

February: Puerto Rico, for our annual couple's week away
March: Morrocco, a trip I've been trying to take for three years
Sometime in the late spring: St. Lucia, just because I can
September: India
December: Bahamas or the AVI for christmas

In the same 12 months I have to: work, so as to PAY for all this; move, as my boyfriend is buying a house and I will be relocating there; go to NYC to see the Met for the first time in 10 years; go to Canton, Ohio, to see the football hall of fame (low priority) and go down to Tampa, Florida at least three times to see my folks, who live there, because I promised I would, and so that when I go to the Carribean for Christmas no one can complain. They'll complain anyway, but their arguments will be invalid. And ineffective.

Where are YOU planning to go in 2001?

By the way, the photo at top is of Greenland, taken as I flew home from the rock n roll Euro Tour in November. You can actually see the mountains poking thru the snow. So I guess I can claim to have been there, too?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Photo of the Week, "Happy New Year!" edition

Sending you off into your first workaday Monday of 2011 with some floral fireworks, courtesy of the Farmer's Market stalls in Montreal. Bright, colorful, and non-noisy, unlike real fireworks, which might upset some of the still-hung-over among us. Not that I'm judging, or looking at you, Pickles.

Happy 2011! In the words of Kito, from the epic - epic! Step up 3 in 3D, I say to you, don't just make it work - "Kick some ASS!"