One Amazing Year

So I have this really great friend named Doc Klein who has this company called Uncharted Territories.  Doc is one of the main reasons I moved to Asheville, we met when we were both hired to do contract work with Phillip Morris and met on the road somewhere in the SouthWest.  We kept in touch and he invited me down to Asheville to visit in the summer of ’99.  I came down in July for a week to visit and Doc took me out to Linville Gorge for my first time and I was sold.  I moved down to Asheville two months later with $35 in my pocket.  That’s roughly the same amount of money I have in my checking account 13 years later.

I worked with Doc for a couple of  years, not right when I moved down here but a couple of years in.  I have learned so much from him about how to really focusing on the things I’ve wanted to create in life.  I am a nerd for business and Doc is as well, or rather what makes them tick.  You see, he’s a consultant.  Not they type you see in Office Space who come in and fire people, he’s the type who comes in and helps people look at the driving forces behind why people make the decisions they do.  What’s the cause and effect of the decisions they make.  For instance, he worked with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta on a Type II diabetes campaign.  Instead of just trying to get people to work out and eat right, they look at what are the social and economic impacts that cause people to get type II diabetes. And look at what can we do as a community to have an impact on those who have it.

Doc created this program called One Amazing Year and he’s been putting businesses through it for some time now. The goal of it is to really focus on what kind of impact an organization can have in this short amount of time. It really forces a company to set clear intentions and guidelines to hold all of their decisions up to.   He decided to put himself through it as an individual and now, he’s offered the experience to me.  I’ve decided to blog about it as writing more is one of the intentions I’ve set for myself.  And it’s one of the things that is going to help keep me accountable for what I set out to do.  I meet with Doc once a month and he gives me homework to do.  So here’s the start of it:

Step One – Pick 3 or 4 key themes that you want to focus on for the next year.  These are the things you will hold your actions up to to make sure you are staying on track. Here are my themes”

Community Service – I love Asheville, and I believe we are only as strong as our weakest link.  I have volunteered here as long as I lived here.  When I first moved here I volunteered with the Writer’s Workshop, a local non-profit literary agency that offers all sorts of events and has an advisory board with such greats as Kurt Vonnegut, John Le Carre, and E. L. Doctorow.  Through them I taught writing classes through the local ABCCM shelter.  I have also been reading to preschoolers for 10 years through the Preschool Outreach Program.  I wanted to do more, and since have started doing other things in the community but I’ll save that for another post.

Adventure – I love to travel and am one of those folks who is generally up for anything.  I definitely wanted to make this a focus for the next year and making sure this was part of where my focus was.  As of today, I have some serious adventure planned.  I am going to Nashville at the end of January to be a part of the Cowboy Jack Clement Tribute.  I’m going to SXSW (which is always an adventure) and I’ve already booked my trip for the first weekend of Jazzfest in New Orleans.

Creativity – I am trying to find that balance of the right brain and left brain.  I have been a writer all of my life, but I only do it when everything else is taken care of.  I like to make furniture.  I make noise, not music because I don’t devote enough time to practicing. I love crafting but again, that only happens after I cleaned the house, taken care of the 3 jobs I do, trimmed the dogs toenails, etc.  We make the time for the things we want and I want to make time for this.

Best Overall Health of My Life – This is an extremely difficult yet important theme for me and this is why I chose it.  I tend to put myself last before all else like so many of us do.  I am not yet 35 and I have tendonitis in both shoulders and biceps.  I have an “old lady hip” which actually means I have torn the cartilage in my hip socket. My job requires me to be on call 24/7 and I will go weeks on end without a day off.  I book my schedule so full that when I get a day off I get sick from exhaustion. This is all about to change.  I will be pain free, well rested, and lookin’ good this year.

So that’s the start of it.  My one amazing year.  I’ll keep posting as I get more homework and do exciting things that fall in line with my goals.

 

 

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I Thought I Had An Original Idea But…..

So last night I was stripping some beds after a band from Nola had been renting my house.  Randomly, the idea of a bluegrass Bon Jovi cover band, called Banjovi krept into my brain. I started thinking how you could not only play the songs with traditional bluegrass instruments and time signatures but also change the words of the songs.  Fiddle On A Prayer or Blades of Glory.

Naturally I took the most obvious course of action and I googled that shit. And wouldn’t you know it two guys beat me to it.  Tim Turd and Long Schlong DeLong recorded this little ditty.  I would like to say that I was completely sober when I came up with this idea.  Something tells me this guys were not.  Enjoy!

My Mother and Her Language

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I was once again reminded this evening about how amazing my mother is.  She did so much with so little and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices she made for my brother and I and what she taught me.  She sounds like June Cleaver right?  Well, not even in the slightest.  I say this as a precursor for the examples I am about to give to sick sense of humor and no bull parenting approach.

With my mother, what you see is what you get.  She doesn’t mince words and you never have to worry about what she’s thinking because she’ll tell you.  Often while growing up our conversations would start like this: “You know what your problem is?”  Sometimes I wouldn’t even get a chance to respond with something snarky before she launched into a full on psychological evaluation.  One of the funniest things, however, are my mother’s sayings and she also seems to have her own language.  Here is your warning now, there will be some explicit language in the post.  My mother likes to use the word Fuck as a noun, pronoun, advective, verb… you get the point.  So here are a few of the sayings that I heard frequently  growing up in our household.

“Want in one hand, shit in the other. See which one fills up faster.”  – Now, I’m pretty sure this saying is “spit in the other” because it’s supposed to mean that even though you can spit in your hand pretty quickly but you still can want a whole lot more. Alas, she took it and made it her own.

“Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” – By far one of my brother’s and I favorite sayings of hers.  This saying wasn’t normally used if say, we were trying to pull a prank on someone.  It was more used if someone got bent out of shape about anything.

“Birth control is not a license to bend over.” – There is a whole other story to go along with this quote but you get the point.  The subtitle of this would be, “Don’t be a slut.”

“You’re so full of shit the birds won’t eat you.” – Needless to say, it was hard to pull one over on my mom. She always knew when we were lying.

“Your taste in all in your mouth.” – Whether she was talking about a pair of shoes my brother picked out or one of my boyfriends I brought home, it was obvious how she felt about our choice.

“Armadillons” – Yep, she calls armadillos, armadillons.  And she likes to hit them with her car.

“Pomeranian Juice” – Pomegranate juice.  She likes to drink Pomeranian Margaritas.

“Colin Farwell and Justin Timberland” – Pronounced Coe-lin.  I think she thinks they are in a boy band together. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure they are too.

I hope I haven’t given you the wrong impression.  My mother while she is very matter of fact and calls us out, she is very loving and supportive.  She’s my biggest fan.  At least she was until she reads this.  I can hear her now….

Mom: “I read your blog.”

Me: “Oh yea, what did you think?”

Mom: “Don’t quit your day job.”

Me: “Trust me, I won’t.”

 

 

 

I attract only the finest of creatures

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My friends and I have an ongoing joke that in a roomful of guys, the craziest one is going to hit on me.  It’s funny because it’s true.  Now I don’t get hit on very often, but when I do it’s usually highly entertaining and lucky for both you and I, I’ve created this blog so we both laugh about it.  Today was one of those days.

I had driving to work at 9 AM this morning.  We had two sessions starting at the studio at 10 AM which is unusual because that’s considered early in rock and roll time.  Nonetheless, I was on my way to get there before them and make sure there was fresh coffee going.

The day was overcast and I could see that I was just missing the light at the corner of Patton and Louisiana, the longest light in Asheville. Just as I pull up to the light a Sears delivery truck pulls up next to me and is honking at me and motioning for me to roll my window down.  I oblige since it’s 9 in the morning and I am guessing they are going to tell me I have a low tire or something like that.  I know that my car is currently leaking oil so I think maybe that’s it. Here’s what happens next:

Delivery Guy: “Hey Girl. How you doin’?”

Me: “Seriously? It’s like that?” As I realize this guy is trying to holler at me, I decide what could it hurt to see where this will go. “I’m good, how are you?”

Delivery Guy: “I’m good. I like your dog. What is it?”

Me: “She’s a Rhodesian Ridgeback.”

Delivery Guy: “For real? Where’s she from, Italy?”

Me: “No man, Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe. In Africa.”

Delivery Guy: “Oh yea. Take your sunglasses off.  I bet you have pretty eyes. Let me see.”

Me: “No, my eyes are sensitive to light.  Sorry.”

Delivery Guy: “It ain’t even bright out! Ooooh, you are hung over or high.  Which one is it?”

Me: “A little of both.”  (Yes this is the longest light ever.)

Delivery Guy: “Yeeeeeaaaahh.  What do you smoke?”

Me: “Not crack if that’s what you mean.”

Delivery Guy: “Me neither, just that good weed.  I got me some of that and a little courvoisier up in here right now.”

Me: “Right now? Isn’t it hard to get a dryer up a flight of stairs when you’re drunk and high?”

Delivery Guy: “Nah man.  It helps me keep my balance.”

FINALLY, the light changes.  I take off as he’s yelling at me to get my number.  I roll my window up and he’s still frantically waving at me and the driver is honking the horn as we drive next to each other on Patton.

What a way to start my day.