Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bloggers Who Are Rad

There are times when the internet gets me so excited I can hardly think straight. Today I have been the lucky recipient of this emotion not once, but twice, in one day. This on top of many other revelations today; shoowee!

The first internet revelation was earlier in the day when I got a message from LinkedIn. For those of you who don't know about this amazing resource, check it out -- it's like Friendster but for business networking.


Weird that I should reference Friendster, right? At this point I should probably be saying, "it's like MySpace but for business networking." The point is, it's less functional like Friendster, but more effective for your ultimate goal, like MySpace. Then again, maybe it's more effective like an online dating site? Well, I could get caught up in this one all night.

So back to the first time today when I was reminded of why I love the interweb. Right before we moved to SC, I was connected via email to a woman who was looking for places to stay before she officially moved back to California. EJ and I were going to a wedding and needed someone to stay in our apt. and take care of Monkey for a long weekend. Enter this wonderful woman who is nice, open and honest. We briefly shared our stories and wished each other well in our big moves. Since then, we have respectively moved and might I say she is flourishing in her new environs. The connection with LinkedIn is that she recently found me on LinkedIn, we linked in to each other, and I was introduced to her wonderful blog.

People, check this out. First of all, it's called Love Yourself. Secondly, the writing is real and the photography is even more real. I have yet to mention that she's a photographer. Isn't the surfer woman idea excellent?

Tonight I log into and see that I have numerous comments from a Viginia Belle. How exciting to find a compadre. I am currently reading a collection of short stories called "Read This and Tell Me What It Says." I was so intrigued by the title, I bought the book. To you, my kind reader, I say, "read this blog and tell me what it says."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Two Car Family

We are now officially a two car, one dog family. We shopped for both of these babies online. Used, my friends, used, but thus far they are treating us fairly well.

Here's my Subarau, Mackenzie (aka Ruby). She likes to shake, rattle and roll.

And here's EJ's truck - it's a stick shift! That's him and JA doing some after-purchase kicking of the tires.

We're very quickly realizing the vehicle, much like the house (yes, we are starting the house hunting process), is a statement you choose to make about who you are. What am I saying to the public? Subaruby Vermont type? Pick-up truck hardcore? It's all too much really.

Meanwhile, here's Monkey in the back of the Subie wondering what other dogs are thinking about her.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Jiffy Lube

Today the air conditioning buggered out in our office at around 3 pm, but I stuck around until 5 pm (me = new kid).

It's 102 degrees F today.

On my way home I decided to get my car's oil changed because Jiffy Lube has a special - $8.00 off for Ladies on Wednesday. Yes, I capitalized the word "ladies."

Did I mention it's 102 degrees F today?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Culture Shock

Culture shock - now here's a term that has made its way into the regular rotation of words, not clothes, that I am using these days. I thought it might be a good time to explain exactly what the shock has been, and how it might be different from what most of you New Yawkuhs expected.

The pace of life is different in SC. It's slower than in NY, yes, but it doesn't mean it's dumber. There are plenty of Republicans but I see just as many W crossed out bumper stickers as I see "Bush 04" and Mitt Romney stickers. And speaking of bumper stickers, they are extremely popular here in Cola. A good Columbian will have the standard Palmetto tree and crescent moon image, the USC/Clemson window sticker, and if you're a woman, a monogram sticker as well.

The lifestyle is different. As I've told many of you already, I've gone running more in the past three months than in the past three years. I've also been doing some swimming and it looks like I might be joining a couple of book clubs soon. Still, we've hung on to a few traditions like Sunday brunch (actually, we usually do Saturday brunch too), and eating out at different restaurants and last night I was out until about 2 am so actually I guess I haven't given up my old lifestyle too much.

What's interesting about culture shock (and I use the term "interesting" in an all-encompassing way, like the way it's used in the workplace as a reaction to an idea/problem/solution) is that it's not a slap in the face. It happens very gradually and is peppered throughout the days and weeks. I glance at a license plate assuming it's New York, but in fact it's Georgia. The blue and red plate isn't Massachusetts, it's Alabama. The man who owns the deli by my office calls all the women who are regulars "Miss Jean" and "Miss Shirley." People look at you rather than past you.

The experience is not as aggressive as the word "shock" implies, but that doesn't make it any less intense.