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Showing posts from 2014

My Process

For the last five or six years, I spent time between New Year's Day and my birthday, essentially the whole month of January, thinking through what I want for the coming year. I call it my 'process'. I also pick a 'keyword', one word or phrase that I use to remind myself of what I expect for the year.
I probably didn't pick one last January, but in retrospect the word 'fun' symbolized the year. Of course you were at the heart of that.
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Past keywords include focus, renew and balance. I have since made balance my ongoing keyword. My process is already underway and on the ride to work this morning, some things fell into place in my head. One is my 2015 keyword: discipline.

During the next few weeks I will get more specific about what that means and how I can define it and measure my progress. But I know today that I need discipline to make the coming year what I want it to be.

Aging, Health, Friends and the Holidays

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” is playing in the background as I write this.The Burl Ives version.I used to get the holiday blues during this season; sometimes it was pretty severe and debilitating.Holiday depression dominated the season.Fortunately it has been several years since that happened.I still feel a little more like “Blue Christmas” at times, but that condition usually lasts hours instead of weeks.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, ‘tis the season to be jolly.Sometimes acting happy leads to actually being happy.I adopted that attitude a few years ago and it continues to serve me well.I urge you to consider it for yourself.Part of why I am playing Christmas music right now is because it puts me in a joyful mood.Some of the older songs help me reminisce, even at the risk of leading me back to the sad mood; generally the songs make me smile. I have also begun some new holiday traditions.The best one is to see “A Christmas Carol” at Ford’s Theatre in DC.For two years in a row n…

Bartenders

I didn’t really think much about bartenders till I became friends with a former bartender.I didn’t know her when slinging drinks was her occupation, but she and I have been to many bars together and I learned a lot about the profession by absorbing her observations as I absorbed wine with her.

A bartender is often a blend of mixologist and psychologist.Bar flies will tell their bartender deeply personal things they wouldn’t even tell their spouse or best friend.A good bartender is also a sales person, suggesting food or maybe premium versions of the patron’s initial order. My favorite local hangout provides the perfect model for the right way to be a bartender.Each staffer introduces themselves to new customers, they pay attention, engage in conversation, make suggestions.  They know their products.  These bartenders make newcomers feel as at home as regulars.As newcomers become regulars, the staff remembers their preferences.Another local establishment I frequent presents an entirely d…

Random Catching Up

I am a little behind in my blogging, as a certain dear friend has reminded me.My crazy busy life sometimes refocuses my schedule and gets in the way of some of my interests, including writing.I’m on vacation this week, so I am attempting to spend some time on things I don’t have a lot of time for, like cleaning my apartment.And writing.

So here are a few things on my mind this week, in no particular order.
Ferguson.I do understand the frustration of many residents of that St. Louis suburb on hearing the news that a grand jury did not indict the police officer who shot an unarmed man.I do NOT understand how that justifies burning cars and local business to express their anger.
Vacations.I think time off from work is very important.It helps us recharge.The down side: I get so wrapped up in the chaos of work that it takes days to unwind.I have a whole day today, for example, with no time-specific agenda, which simultaneously energizes and bores me.While I’m figuring what to do, I am writing…

Yeehaw Randomness

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This is the second year in a row that my job sent me to Nashville to help a DJ record interviews with country music singers during CMA week.I love my job.

During two days, he interviewed 80 different singers or groups.I recorded every interview and took pictures of every performer.The interviews are ultimately heard on nearly one hundred radio stations across the country.
I’ve met countless celebrities during my career, so I am not usually that impressed, but standing five feet from the biggest (and smallest) names in country music IS impressive.These people are so real, so genuine.In these interviews, they are mostly ego-free and this particular DJ is good at getting the singers to reveal personal feelings and thoughts.
Nashville is the heart of country music.It’s business, pleasure, struggle and success.Every bar on Broadway Avenue has a wannabe superstar singing their heart out.The next Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan or Miranda Lambert could be on that stage, belting out cover songs …

Random October Musings

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OK, I know it’s now November, but I had a busy October and got a little behind in my blogging.

The highlight of my October was a long weekend in Asheville NC, one of my favorite towns.I spent this time with two of my favorite people, two women who mean the world to me.One is an incredible friend who lives there and the other is an incredible friend (and more) who lives here.There is so much more to say about the latter, but it’ll have to wait till next year.Think about that a minute and you’ll understand.
My Nikon got a nice workout during a visit to the Biltmore Mansion.This was my second time there and the first time for my travel companion.The house and grounds are a living shrine to the rich and famous of a bygone era.Even today’s wealthiest people don’t live like this.The house has more than 200 rooms, 43 bathrooms, and is surrounded by 8000 acres of beautiful grounds.Here are a few of the 165 pictures I took.







I’m feeling old this month, mostly because of some unexplained medical is…

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