Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

Resolutions: Pointless yet expected

Last year I posted my resolutions. I even went as far as making a page on here about them. I can pretty much say if sticking to resolutions were a class I probably made a C- or maybe a D? You can read them all here. But I’m going to recap.

1. Never watch Beaches again. Reminds me too much of a friend I miss dearly. (Check. And that friend and I are in the same zip code now.)

2. Stop yelling every time something doesn’t go my way. (I did pretty well with this one…)

3. Here’s the most common of all: Lose a total of 30 pounds by next year. (Well this didn’t happen. But you can read why here. All I have to say is I have an Oprah excuse.)

4. Keep up calorie-counting. (Um yeah…that got old.)

5. Get over the things I can’t change. That’s a big one. (Bombed.)

6. Make myself more available when it comes to sparking new relationships. It’s time I’ve found grown up events and places (i.e. not bars) to frequent to nab me a man…(First part. Yes. Second part…um yea.)

7. MAKE MORE MONEY. (This did happen. And my photography helped a little as well.)

8. Travel. No excuses of money, time or if I can get people to join me.  (My three-month stint at “love” took me to Vegas.)

9. Get my dream lens…at all costs. A new camera won’t hurt either.  (Check and check. But now I have another dream lens I want.)

10. Complain less. That’s a hard one so I have one caveat: Complain less to people in person and get it all out on my blog.  (I did pretty damn good with this one, considering where I had to start. Only I wish that I blogged more.)

So I’m ready to get going on this year’s set of resolutions that I am going to work like hell to actually complete. This is a new year that I have been waiting for all last year. Last year was a real challenge.

Read my 2009 list after the jump…
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Confession…

I have an increasing crush on John Popper! Maybe because he was so sweet and considerate and he didn’t know me from Adam. He didn’t have to get me in that show. And he didn’t try anything funny…more than I can say for people who aren’t traveling musicians weary from the road…

Don’t worry. I’m not going to go crazy fanatical or anything. But I may consider flying to Washington for the end of their tour! Or maybe I’ll just dream I did. 🙂

photo by jenice johnson

By the way, I shot the above photo at House of Blues Dallas on Nov. 5.

Day 90: I still have a month to go…

December 27, 2007OK. Yes I know this is not a complete full photo…again. I don’t have a full-length mirror in my home if you can believe that. And I always forget to tell people to take a full photo of me when I’m out or at work. But I will make sure to get “the” final shot done by someone. A full one. I do have one though, in pajamas. And let’s just say I would never share it here! I think that once I’m done with this on the last day of the countdown which is my birthday — January 27 — I will recruit a work friend to do it. The office already knows what I’m up to. And they know how to properly use my camera.

But one thing you should know about his photo. I’m notorious for turning my head to make my face look smaller. In this photo I am shooting dead one — no super-cool camera angles, shooting above or photo-shopping. This is me. And my new glasses. Well, and funky hair. On average I hate taking a photo dead on.

So far I’ve lost five pounds. My arms have a little more definition. My mother said my bum looked smaller. Trust me. She doesn’t give those observations lightly! And I can’t be sure but I think I’ve lost at least two inches. All I know is that all my jeans fit a tad more loose which I’m guesstimating it’s about two inches more room. I feel so dumb but I didn’t take my measurements prior to starting this. But over the holiday my mother did and notated where I’m at now so by the end of January we’ll have some kind of accurate gage.

Another thing that doesn’t quite set right with me yet is that it’s been nearly 100 days and this isn’t 10 pounds lost! But I guess that’s not bad considering I started this in the triple threat holiday season and I didn’t gain a pound during all the temptation. Got to pat my back for something I guess…

Time bandits and promises

time_bandits.jpgFor a while now my parents and I stopped doing the big old gift exchange during the holidays. My father has always said, “Christmas is for kids.” It also doesn’t hurt that they bought me a washer and dryer this year. At that rate my father usually says, “You have Christmas all year anyway.”
So instead we usually do the large dinner and I decorate my own apartment — filling it to the brim with Christmas lights and garland. This year I took my Christmas tree over to their house. And I bought them both two presents. My mother seemed pleased but looked at me disapprovingly — begging to know how much I spent. To that I just said,
“You guys have done so much for me. Just let me do this for you.”
I made dad open his early. I was too eager. So on Christmas Eve I saw his eyes light up to the DVD of Time Bandits I bought him. We watched that movie so much, I grew up saying, “The little one?” If you have seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. There are these six little people and well, nevermind. Just know we quote this movie on a semi-regular.
My parents have the movie on one of those huge laser disk things. Not the sleek ones you see today. But the ones that looked like enormous 8-tracks. You had to inject the disks into this contraption and pull down a little lever. My parents still have a bunch of classics in those crazy things (The Muppet Movie, Star Wars, Richard Pryer’s Raw) but the old player doesn’t work anymore, of course. I spent years in my late teens, early 20s looking for Time Bandits on video cassette and could never find it. And then there it was, among all the other DVDs at Borders. Duh.
On to mom. One of the things I got her was a new cookbook. I bought her Nigella Lawson because I was sure she already had all the others — The Barefoot Contessa, Paula Deen, Tyler Florence …But I was wrong. She didn’t have any of them! Just Rachael Ray who I HATE! Anyway, I offered to exchange it but she wouldn’t have it. She was happy to see a different Food Network star in her hands. Which if you know my mother, you would know that she will just read the book but not use it. She likes to sit and read cookbooks. Her arthritis and feet are so bad now and combined with her extra weight, it is hard for her to stand at long periods of time. In fact this was one year that Christmas dinner was a complete chore and she elected my father and me to help. We didn’t start eating until nearly 3 p.m.! But every year she insists on cooking. And every year she complains more and more.

So I said that I was going to cook next year — at my apartment. I hate cooking in someone else’s kitchen. I told her she has a whole year to train in order to be able to go up my stairs. In return I promised a wonderful meal in a lovely Christmas setting. Dad of course will bring his famous cabbage and greens. As for the turkey, that’s going to be cooked at a local restaurant that does that kind of thing. No need in me taking on EVERYTHING quite yet. A turkey? By myself? Hell no.

Why is follow through so hard to do?

I run a very tiny business. Minuscule in fact. But it’s mine and I enjoy what I do.

My efforts have brought me some successes… And I hope to keep growing, learning and hopefully, earning. But here’s something I don’t get. I have at least five people who have been emailing me back and forth about booking a session. And so far no one has planted down a solid date or commitment. It’s not like I’m outrageously priced. I’m not. I realize I’m no David LaChapelle  (love him by the way) but I do my best. Besides, if you clicked on that link, you will know that’s a COMPLETELY different genre than most photographers out there anyway. He’s a legend.  Anyway, I do the job quite nicely for portraits, a wedding or two, and my photographic art. So what’s up with the lack of follow through?

Why, as humans, are we so bad at following through what we set out to do? As it stands I was supposed to be blogging on my fledgling other blog. I have someone I interviewed for a post there and I’ve yet to write it. Why? Because it will be actual work putting it all together so I can do some justice and I’m on vacation. So what am I doing instead? I’m writing about how people don’t follow through. The difference is, however, I WILL do it. And soon enough. But how many times have we all said we WILL do something and don’t do it. In this case no money is involved. In the case of my potential clients, I’ve got no money coming in from them yet since they haven’t officially booked. Frustrating.

I don’t like to be dangled along like a kitty cat looking to get her head petted. Shit or get off the pot has got to be the best saying known to man.

Uh oh. I’m shaping young minds!

Yesterday was very serial. So much so that I forwent writing about the city council here or Ellen’s stupid crying about a dog (topics I planned to write about today.) I woke up this morning still thinking about it so I decided to write.

I was asked to speak to a high school in the community I cover. I always get nervous when I’m asked to do these things. Because today’s teens are definitely not yesterday’s teens — they know so much more and don’t tolerate the same things we used to. I also get a little nervous because being that I’m still fumbling along in this industry, even though in a much better role now, so I just can’t help wondering how in the world am I supposed to shape young minds about journalism when I’m still trucking along myself. I’m not a shy person as I’m sure you have guessed but knowing these two things when I’m in front of a classroom gives me the shakes.

Also they had to take notes. So the moment I started talking — I stopped. Then laughed that they had to take notes. Good start so far. Everyone laughed right along. I told of my triumphs and many tribulations — as I believe the teacher had wanted me to. I even revealed that I was a cocktail waitress for a time while freelancing. I gave them the goods. And man the questions they asked! Even the teacher. I tap-danced through some of them because they were along the lines of “what will happen to journalism’s integrity.” Hum…I wanted to have our official bigwig next to me for some of those questions, but I managed and heads nodded and notes were written. As I gave many of my answers I kept thinking, “Is that me saying this?” because they weren’t exactly bad or ridiculously misguided. I think I did alright and a lot of the girls said they liked my outfit, which was the most important thing for me to get right before walking in the room. You know how teen girls can be about fashion!

It just didn’t seem that long ago that I was in their place, sitting there listening to a guest speaker. Very serial and it struck a cord in my heart because I envied them so much. Just to be in that school desk, knowing what I know now would be a gift. I even told them so. I warned them of everything in this industry and the plus of the whole “high” of it. I warned them to take all the classes I didn’t — video editing, page building. I pushed them on internships and the importance of knowing what you have a passion for over the money it can bring. And they seemed entertained and hopefully left with their heads no longer in clouds about how quickly they will be in a significant role in their future careers.

Once upon a very long time ago, I wanted to be a teacher. But as things pushed along (a broken engagement and some hard-knock lessons learned) I wandered down to the basement of my college and filled out the application to be a reporter for the school paper. Addicted ever since except the small moments in which I’m in a classroom. This will sound very sappy so I warn you, but somehow being in that room with bright, eager faces ready to learn, I wonder what I may have missed not being teacher and what kind of one I would have been.

Technology and the loss of innocence

Someone should figure out how to bottle innocence. Once in a tightly sealed and hopefully decorative container, it should reside behind a glass shelf that reads in all red cap letters: IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, BREAK GLASS. Driving to my parents’ house usually brings my mind to way too many thoughts. It’s not a very long drive, but long enough and passes through enough traffic to make the mind wander.

Usually when I reach the town they live in, I’ve already relived high school. This usually means I’ve made the mistake of listening to the older pop/rock stations and heard something that reminded me of that time or this time with so and so and what’s-their-face. It becomes even a more sad affair when I decide to make a detour to one of the millions of local Sonics for a quick slush. Why? Because I usually pass my old high school. Or go down a street I had driven years ago to get back home, only it had a few less churches and strip malls then. I just start thinking…

Today I started thinking about innocence. And what, like I mentioned, would happen if I could drink such sweet nectar as our lost innocence in case of an emergency. My emergency would be to erase how technology has made communication so damn impersonal. Even though as you would figure it, technology should make things easier — more communicative. Easier, yes. More communicative, no. I’ve lost relationships via email. Lost them over the Web. Destroyed them in text messages. What happened to communication? The good old fashioned kind? I would settle for two soup cans and string if that would get me to it better. What happens when we get so advanced we forget humanity? Break out the label-makers because yes, you can label this as very idealist and sappy. But can you answer this question? Have you even thought about it?

Not only that, things get misinterpreted all the time when they aren’t said. For example a recent text I got from a guy who is trying to get back in my life (not sure if I’m really into that idea anymore) said something about “no strings attached.” Upon closer reading I realized he meant that comment on his end not mine. He meant, “Just let me take you to dinner, no strings attached.” I had to re-read this because there was a misplaced comma but it might as well be passivity in language, lack of spell check…things just get lost. The same can be said when you are angry. Once you have sent that message it’s gone and more than likely you will not get a chance to explain yourself verbally, in person or with those soup cans.

We rely so much on things that aren’t breathing. Somewhere we lost our bottle of innocence. The essence of what is pure. Our youth. We have grown so old and above ourselves. We put the gospel on the words we read on little LCD screens, monitors — the underside of your flip phone. There is no second story or forgiveness once it’s all out there. There is no discussion. Well, there is this forum of communication — blogging. We use our blogs as an open dialog stream of consciousness where everyone can come in and have their say. We use our blog as a reciprocal place to meet wits. But even this wonderful vein of technology can only mimic the real thing. In the end there is just no comparison to the spoken word. It came first. It is the skeleton of it all. The point of it all. I only hope it doesn’t get buried in pixels, bytes and coding!

He’s back in your life…now what?

I have been recently contacted by a guy I was seeing. We didn’t end on bad terms, exactly. He just had a lot going on and dropped out of view while I just figured he was a jerk or something (even though he was always a nice guy.) However he has since asked for another shot. Now I’m one to can forgive. But after you have burned me twice, I’ve moved on. Well. I’m giving things another shot. Shot number 2. However I’m very gun-shy about it. How do you let yourself get involved again without all the fear? Do you trust it?

In this case, he said all the right things. Said he made a mistake. Said he wanted another chance and promised no strings attached while he tries to gain my trust I guess. The way my life is right now, I’ve really been focusing on me. But maybe I shouldn’t let that get in the way? I’m such a skeptic. And I don’t expect romance anymore. I just want something stable but at the same time I have finally accepted single life so if it doesn’t work out, going back to the usual won’t be a shock. Many of you, in a round about way, have stated that whole “life is too short” thing in some of my other posts. It is. While it is short, I don’t want a roller-coaster–but I guess that bumpy ride can be fun. Hum. As I twiddle my thumbs, he’s calling shortly. As I twiddle my thumbs I wonder when will I be comfortable with dating again…If I ever really was.

A New America

Stumbling around old junk and filing things away tonight, I made a very ironic discovery. An old editorial I had written while in college about THE day. September 11. How eerie being that the very Tuesday is upon us.

Another irony: The editorial was attached with a rejection letter from the company I work for today. I don’t blame them for the rejection. However as I was retyping the letter for this blog, I felt all that terrifying emotion of 9/11 all over again. I will admit the tears from remembering that day came upon me. And in the end I had written what was/is still raw to me. Look pass the green around the gills nature of it and think back to what you were doing that day…

A New America

I should have known by the way it stayed wet and gray for a week before it happened.

The air seemed different somehow but it wasn’t just the constant rain that made breathing hard or the constant humidity. Humidity so thick the atmosphere hung like a noose over every passerby. The depression sunk in and I suddenly wondering why the rain bothered me so much. Texas is notorious for strange weather but it seemed to be something more — something felt wrong.

So that morning I peeled myself from the warmth of the covers. The sleep I attempted the night before was unsettled and sporadic. As I tried to shake off the exhaustion, my forehead crinkled a bit and I whimpered at the idea of starting my day. My thoughts were still wrestling in the waves of melancholy. First instinct: Turn on the radio. Second instinct: Make sure it’s loud. I had forgotten that I had left the stereo on an alternative station but my anxious dial turning fingers froze at the news my very non-favorite DJ delivered. He was speaking about something no American plans to hear at 9 a.m. For some reason the only words I understood followed this order: Pentagon. New York. Terrorists. All the other words blurred as I ran to the television.

To my rapidly gained realization, the pieces of my confusion were suddenly being glued together with images too shocking to compute. I called my father who I was extremely surprised did not call me first considering he is the master of current events. He did not know. It happened so quickly. School seemed unimportant somehow but I still needed to get to class. How could I not being that my father encouraged me to go? I got showered and got dressed to the news blaring in the den. I rushed to the car and every radio station I programmed was covering the tragedy, our tragedy.

Two planes ripped into the World Trade Center towers in New York; another destroyed a part of the Pentagon. More than thousands lost or dead. I called my mother as soon as I was on my way. She had just finished crying — one of the towers had collapsed due to the extreme impact of the plane. Mom cried. I can count on my hand how many times I have actually seen her weep.

There is no need to go into detail. We all know what happened. Every business has a lowered flag in front of their building as cars pass by with red, white and blue ribbons flying high on antennas. Every store is sold out of our nation’s flag as billboards of churches and restaurants proclaim God Bless America and United We Stand.

How will this affect the way people perceive life? In my generation, being a young person means our sense of direction is ornamented with responsibilities, the quest for complete education and the hopes of achieving every goal we set. I may not speak for the nation’s youth, but for me the path is now marred. The edges are rough with uncertainty, jagged with sorrow and covered in the debris of disbelief. What now? Business as usual is difficult. Everyday new coverage and constant red, white and blue reminders populate the city. We shouldn’t forget. We dare not. But where do you go from here when an already undetermined future becomes even more uncertain and laden with catastrophe?