Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Black Friday! You know what that means...

Time to rip down those leafy, orangy, autumnal decorations and pull out Santa, the reindeer, your mini-nativity and wrestle with the itchy garland and the miles of lights you were too lazy to put away properly last year.

Every year without fail, we put up our Christmas decorations the weekend (okay, maybe the week) following Turkey Day. As I've grown older, I've looked upon this occasion with both delight and dread -- I'm suddenly fighting dual personalities. Who wants to spend the whole day decorating the house, inside and out? Well, me...but then again, why can't just put up the tree, hang up the wreaths in the windows and be done with it?

What is it about getting older that makes me want to simplify Christmas? Is it the fact that I'm no longer a child, and now I'm the one who's responsible for braving the mall to buy gifts, preparing the holiday meals? Or is it that I now understand how disgustingly commercial we've made Christmas?

As the years pass at my house, we put out less decorations, freak out less over the perfect holiday get together, and making our lives easier by not requesting as many specific gifts (I can pick out my own sweater, I would just appreciate a little money towards it's purchase).

And I don't feel bad about it. I'm happier making my friends a gift box of cookies and yummy desserts than buying them a present I hope they'll like. I'm happier spending my free time at home, with my friends and family, than at the mall.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Collection of Thoughts

Time flies: Wow, so, in case you hadn't heard, Thanksgiving is here (here, meaning close enough that I can talk about it in the present tense) and you know what that means -- one more year has gone by. This one has been especially memorable for me since I graduated from college in May and have been struggling to find a place in my industry since then.

PETA shoots themselves in the foot again: Today, PETA suggested to Damon Evans (I really wish I could have heard his reaction) that instead of replacing Uga VII with another dog, UGA should build an animatronic Bulldog for our mascot. What? Clearly, none of the people working at PETA graduated from UGA, or this never would have been brought up.

They are glossing over a nearly 54-year tradition at UGA. These dogs are an institution -- they are lovable, friendly, and pettable -- and yes, they have health issues. We knew that. Did anyone really expect the current Uga to pass away? No. His predecessors all lived an average of 8 years (only one died under 9 years of age). The Seilers are certainly going through a rough time now, and with absolute confidence I can say that they love their dogs and if there's something they can do to help them, they will.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I arrived home today and my dad had horrible news he'd heard on Fox 5: Uga VII "Loran's Best" died suddenly today. My eyes nearly bugged out -- Uga was only a couple games away from finishing his second season, and only four years old. Bulldogs have serious health issues, I know, but by my estimation, all the Ugas have lived at least seven years.

This is sad news, especially for the Seiler family. I had the opportunity to interview three family members this past year for an article, and they truly care about their dogs. These dogs are beloved family pets, and for anyone who's grown up with dogs, you know what that feels like. It must be particularly difficult to lose two dogs so close together.

It's also a bit disheartening as a Dawg fan, because Uga is such an integral part of Gameday events, and in many ways, a representative of UGA as much as Michael Adams is. I don't know how many people know, but the Seilers and Uga are at every football game, individual college events, other miscellaneous sporting events, and other University festivities. And mind you, they come from Savannah, which is four-five hours from Athens.

My thoughts turn to the Seilers, and if you have a beloved pet of your own, give him or her and extra pat tonight.

Red & Black article
Athens Banner-Herald
AJC article

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I have a job! At least until June...

I was sitting on the couch, watching the news Tuesday night when I got a phone call from a 205 number. I knew immediately that this was a Birmingham area code based on my experience with Southern Progress. To say my heart started racing would be exaggerating, but I was definitely nervous.

Somehow I managed to calmly answer the phone. Katie B., one of two ladies I interviewed with for the copy editing department, was calling me to offer me an internship! Yay!

I am so excited to know that I've earned this opportunity, and that I know I'll have something of a purpose and job for the next six months. And to my relief, Katie also sounded very happy that I would be working with them.

The quick turnaround surprised me, since I only interviewed last week, and I turned my ranking sheet in on Monday. But I am surely not complaining! As my aunt Shirley said, and it's true, waiting for a call back can be more stressful than the interview. I'm glad that I know now, and I can start thinking about all the little things I need to get ready.

My family is also very happy for me, and I'm grateful to know that they probably think about these things as much as I do, and that I have their full support.

The intern coordinator will send out information on housing and policies soon, and I am itching to take a look at the e-mail. I'm especially anxious to solve my residence issues, since I only know one other person who interviewed.

During college, I found that as long as I could come home to a quiet, for the most part peaceful apartment, all the other stresses in my life could be easily dealt with. But a crappy living situation can make it hard to get through life.

After visiting last week, it turns out that I know two of the current interns from UGA. Georgia was in my magazine production class, and she has already, very kindly, offered to give me any advice I might need. I know the other girl, Katie, vaguely from Grady, and she offered the same help.

Working for Southern Progress is an amazing opportunity, and will hopefully crack open some more doors for my career. More updates to come as I learn more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Southern Progress Interviews

Two months ago -- I can't believe it was that long -- I reapplied for a fellowship with Southern Progress. This is a six month, paid internship with one department at their Birmingham campus. SP publishes Southern Living, Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Health, Sunset, and the now defunct Southern Accents.

I had three interviews with the company: one with the copy editing department of Southern Living, another with, and the last one with the Travel/Living department of Southern Living.

Just like last spring, I thought that all the interviews went really well, but I won't know until I hear something back from the intern coordinators! I've found that it's easier to interview with SP than other jobs I've interviewed for because our time is spent having a conversation as opposed to going line for line over my resume and talking all about my experiences.

I left Atlanta mid-morning so I could get to Bham in time to eat lunch just before my first interview at one. I didn't get finished until after three, and I regret not being able to take a tour of the grounds. The buildings were really designed to blend in with the hills and surrounding woods, so you really don't feel like you're in an office park at all.

I waited to meet a handful of current interns for dinner; they offer their time to interviewees to ask questions and talk over dinner. I was very tired by the end of the day, but I knew my time would be well spent by staying. And, I didn't want to get back to Atlanta during rush hour!

There weren't any interns from the editorial or digital parts of the company, for which I interviewed, but I did get to meet one who graduated in my class from Grady.

I'm hoping to hear some good news back from SP in about a week and a half, so wish me luck!

Southern Progress

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Last weekend I treated myself with a ticket to the Cavalia show at Atlantic Station. It's a new Cirque-like show, but with horses. So, of course I had to go see it! I wasn't feeling too great that day, so it was nice to have something fun to do for a couple of hours.

My seats were in the middle section, which actually afforded a very good view of all parts of the stage. It was two and a half hours of different acts that combined general riding, dressage, trick riding, lunging and acrobatics.

My favorite acts were the trick riding and the "communication" act. In the latter, one woman commanded the full attention of eight geldings (I'm guessing they were all geldings) for quite a length of time. The horses worked in groups of four, moving in a circle around the woman or the stage, and sometimes one group would do a turn while the other continued on around.

It was amazing to see how well the horses and riders worked together, so I knew that they all had very close relationships. It was also difficult at times to follow everything that was going on because I was trying to catch everything the horses were doing, but also pay attention to the human performers and their acrobatics.

The show I attended was a full house, so I'm going to say it's safe to assume that the rest of the shows will also be sold out. People in Atlanta really love this type of show, and it was definitely worth my money and time.