Sunday, May 11, 2008

I have so much stuff

Comedian George Carlin once said, "A house is just a place for your stuff. You get a bigger house, you get more stuff...." (Okay, I am editing this post because I just found this classic bit on YouTube of George Carlin's A Place for My Stuff.)

So true. I am moving from a house to a smaller, one-bedroom apartment that doesn't have a lot of built-in storage. What to do? I save everything. I'd hate to part with stuff since sometime in the future I'll surely have a bigger place again. I have filing cabinets of nearly all the notes I took and papers I wrote from college, and even back to high school. I have boxes upon boxes of memorabilia from the days I worked in radio. That's all cool shit I don't want to part with. I have every birthday card I've received. I have bins of stuffed animals I was given over the years. I have jeans I probably won't fit into again, but want to save them just incase.

And the books!! That's one set of stuff I won't part with, but I've tried reducde clutter over the years, so I bought lots of books on clutter.... never read 'em and now they are part of the clutter.

I am thinking that either Dave can let me keep a small area in that attic -- but I will still sort through all the shit-- until I get a bigger place or I will just rent small storage unit. The most important thing to me is since I am starting over, I don't want the clutter there. I move in by Tuesday-- when the new shower is getting installled- it was special order because of the tiny space- but that is not enough time to sort through everything. Some of the stuff has never been unpacked from when Dave and I moved in together three years ago!! Like I really use it, right? But I think it is comforting to me knowing that I still have all these memories, somewhere.

So-- I better stop blogging and get to packing and loading the truck. Then, I get to go to Target or Big Lots or Office Depot a little later to find me a new desk. I am excited about that!

Back to that George Carlin clip, A Place for My Stuff-- this has a special place in my family. We've moved so many times that back in the 80s or whenever it came out, it became a family favorite and a family joke.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Solid Cactus Featured on NBCs The Office

Solid Cactus has gone Prime Time! NBC's hit show's The Office featured its Job Fair episode on Thursday, May 8. And, one of the vendors at the ficticious job fair at Pam's alma mater, Valley View High School was NEPA's own Solid Cactus. From our company blog, it appears that NBC actually contacted us for some props.

I am posting two pictures from the episode, which you can clearly see the Solid Cactus banner sharing some stage time with Steve Carrell and Jenna Fischer. If you look really close, you can see the one of the extras is wearing a Solid Cactus shirt.

Let's see what kind of resumes we get now!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tonight, Grilled Cheese. Tomorrow, Hickory Burger. Sonic is PA-Bound!

Tonight, Grilled Cheese. Tomorrow, Hickory Burger.

Well maybe not exactly tomorrow, but soon Sonic will make a home in Northeast PA according to today's Times Leader. I am stoked to hear that a few business folks are looking to bring this fast-food chain to our area. I used to live off Sonic when I lived in Oklahoma, the state where Sonic is from! So, tonight I made myself a delicious grilled cheese, but soon I can savor the yummy Sonic menu. And, get service from my door window. (Oh- and that pic- I lifted it from someone's flicker- those aren't my 70-year-old hands....)

Thanks to network and cable TV, people of Northeast PA have been teased by Sonic for year and years. I heard many people I've watched TV with over the years ask, "What's a Sonic?" And because I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma I can say that I've eaten there many, many times. I think there is one is Western PA. I remember stopping at one on a drive to Nashville.

I just can't wait for Sonic to get here- seriously! There have kick-ass tater-tots and Cherry Lime-Aid-- oh an over the years they seem to have added so much to their menu. I used to always get the Hickory Burger meal with a side of tater tots. Hopefully they still have that! Oh, and the chili cheese dogs. Awesome.

So, just wanted to throw up a quick blog post to make my excitment known about Sonic coming to PA!

Here's a link to the Times Leader Story, Sonic Expanding into NEPA.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What I learned from Augusten Burroughs

When you were a teenager, do you remember having heart palpatations when you were at a New Kids on the Block concert and you were close to, say, maybe Donnie Wahlberg? Yeah. I felt that way yesterday at the Free Library of Philadelphia when Augusten Burroughs walked on stage. 12 or so hours later, I still kinda have those butterflies.

My fellow Wilkes University MA in Creative Writing friend and classmate, Angie and I, along with her avid-reader friend, Shannon trekked into the city of brotherly love to see Augusten Burroughs read from his new memoir, A Wolf at the Table, which by the way is getting rave reviews from places like The Washington Post.

I cannot put to words how I felt when I read Running With Scissors. That book really gave me the courage to write my own memoir-- but at the same time, it also entertained the hell out of me. I don't think there is anyone else on this Earth like Augusten. In Running with Scissors, we learn that as a kid he loved shiny things and dreamed of fame. Now that he has it, guess what? He's just like you and me. He's honest, sincere and just so super-freaking inspiring to people like me. And he is funny as shit, too.

I did the unthinkable. I wrote him a fan/thank-you letter this morning. It's so strange-- when I worked in country radio, I had the really cool opportunity to meet some big names in the music biz-- and not so much with the big stars, but I also got to hang out and do some really cool things on a personal level with lots of singers (many who turned out to be one-hit wonders) that have had a lot of mainstream radio success. They were all cool, but it was so usual for me. I didn't get excited about meeting someone famous anymore. I don't get star-struck easy is what I am trying to say. Meeting Augusten was very different. He's truly someone I have related to for years. And I met him. And when he signed my book, he gave me writing advice and recommended a book to read (Elizabeth Berg- The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted.) There were hundreds in line ahead of us- but he didn't rush us. He wasn't tired. He wanted to talk to us. He's so humble.

I am not ready to share my story with the world just yet through this blog- but there are some things I never had the courage to put on paper yet-- some painful things I want to include in the memoir. Through reading Augusten, as well as the support from my Wilkes mentors, things are really coming together for me on the writing front. Finally. I am drafting it now, and will hopefully one day get to see it printed.

In his reading- which was FANTASTIC- he was just so animated. A Wolf at the Table is a little different than his past memoirs- this one is a told a little more seriously because as Augusten explained, he didn't have the humor defense mechanism developed yet- he was a lot younger. So as an aspiring memoirist, it was very cool to hear about this being in a totally different voice because it was a different time in his life. But Augusten Burroughs does not hide behind the podium. He walks around the stage with a wireless mic and tells us a story- he doesn't read to us. He shared it like he was talking to a few friends- not an auditorium filled with fans. He also reads his own audio books. I also listened to Running With Scissors and my god, did he do a stellar job. Makes me wonder why he never got into film or theater.

During the Q&A, he was just so open. He gave some great writing advice as well, describing the memoir process like I never heard before. Someone in the audience had asked if Augusten felt Scissors helped create the memoir craze-- which of course led to some "lying memoirs" so Augusten commented on that with an answer so amazing that I took notes on my checkbook (I didn't have my moleskine). The answer itself was one that I have been sort-of taught- that a memoir is the way we remember something. But the analogy he used was awesome. Maybe I'll post it later, but Angie and I were both blown away by his advice. He also quoted Einstein, that there is no one point of relation in the universe. We all see things from a different perspective. It was powerful. The whole freakin' night was just powerful.

And- if you have not read Augusten Burroughs. Do it. Read Running With Scissors first-- if you read that, I know you will fall in love with him too. Then, Dry. Then read the others- Possible Side Effects was great and so was Magical Thinking. I actually was with Augusten from the beginning because I bought Sellevision when it first came out- that's his only novel. I was a communications major, so I was always fascinated by TV stations..... Buy them from your favorite bookstore because I want his sales to soar. However, if you want you can also use the library or if you are local, borrow them from me.

But by golly, read Augusten Burroughs. Turn off the freakin' TV and read a reality book-- a memoir.

P.S. Speaking of courage, I have more. To really focus on my career, education and writing, I have decided to move into my own apartment in Shavertown- less than a mile from where I work. Out of respect for Dave, I won't publicly write a blog about the whole thing or share those kinds of feelings right now, but wanted to at least mention it because it goes along with this whole theme here-- but please know that everything is fine- it's on good terms and just something that I need to do. This week has really been a week of change! So, here is to new beginnings.

P.P.S- I didn't realize that I've blogged and written so much about him:

Solid Cactus Proud

Did I ever mention that I love my job?? This article explains some of the reasons why.

Check out this great story in today's Times Leader on Solid Cactus- this story was from a report on our Ribbon Cutting last Monday.