When the Moon Hits Your Eye …

As the solstice moon rises, I’m counting down the days until our big vacation. Now that it’s getting closer I’m starting to think of all the things that still need to be done to prepare. Stop the newspaper, make arrangements for the dog, ask neighbors to keep an eye on the house – that sort of stuff.

But, there are a couple of other things that I could use your help with. One, is finding good books to read while traveling or relaxing after we arrive. This will be the longest I’ve ever spent on a plane at one time – and that’s before you even factor in the potential hours spent on some tarmac with the way air travel goes these days. (ick) So, I’m seeking recommendations of what titles I should purchase. Preferably something that’s not too deep or too business-oriented. Entertain me, please. Take my mind away from my every day, as I take my body away to Italy.

Map of Italy
Map of Italy by Tourizm Maps © 2006

Yes, that’s right. I’m about to make my first ever trip to Europe. I’m one of those Americans who can’t speak more than one language and for most of their life have had no need for a passport. But, I’m finally getting to fix that – well, at least the need for a passport part. (The 13 hours of university credit in Spanish classes attempted to fix the first part, but I’m only marginal in my grasp of the language).

So, the next thing I could use some help with is a list of “can’t miss” sights I have to see while in Italy. We’re flying into Rome for a couple of days, then heading to Florence, and finally a couple of days in Venice.  I know I need to mark the Colosseum off my list. That will give me check marks by two of the New 7 Wonders of the World. (the other one I’ve visited is Chichen Itza, Mexico) But, what other sites in Rome, Florence or Venice should I see? Several Twitter friends have already recommended Cinque Terre, but we’ll probably be sticking closer to the three cities where we’ve already got hotels booked. What should we do there?

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Social Media Events, Women and Travel

Just a quick cross-post to note that I’ve got a new post over on ThisMommyGig.com.

It was sparked by a look at the list of “leaders” in social media being interviewed for a webinar and my noticing the considerable lack of women. Since it’s been noted that women produce and consume things like blogs at a much higher rate than men, why are the men the ones we keep hearing talk about it? A tweet from Laura Fitten gave me one idea why.

Read more over on ThisMommyGig.com.

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Remembering My Father

Today, on Father’s Day, while my husband charges his new electric razor and watches golf from a prone position on the couch, I want to take just a moment to remember my own father, John Thomas Pevehouse.

Army Football

Born of a generation that often worked for just one employer until retirement, he held down many different jobs: solider, welder, farmer, race car driver (more for fun, than for work), deacon, deputy sheriff, truck driver, pipe fitter, town supervisor, husband, father and grandfather.

Stock Car Racer

Cancer took him from us too soon. He was just about to actually retire and he had many plans to travel with my mother to places yet to be seen.

The Family

I’m often sad about that, and my daughter misses him terribly; but, looking back at some of these pictures, I take heart in knowing he lived quite a life in just 65 years.

Showing Anna the Farm

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Tonight I sit here enjoying the ability to watch videos online without hiccups on my laptop while my husband watches the NBA Finals in high-definition on our new big screen TV. Yes, Christmas came early for us this year even though we’ve not gotten a stimulus check.

My spouse had been yearning for a bigger TV, so when the old one finally died I gave in to him. This started a domino effect of additional expenses. I’m talking everything from a new entertainment center to a new cable package and several things in between.

That cable upgrade came today. Now, for $2 less than we were previously paying for cable and internet, we’re now getting HD cable, a DVR, higher-speed internet and a phone. While I’m loving the faster downloads, I’m not so certain about the other new toys.

Can you believe it? Me, an “early adopter” of so many things just now getting a DVR and not being excited by it? I just don’t see how having the ability to record more TV is going to give me the time to watch more TV. And, do I really want to watch more TV? And, for some reason it bothers me that we will now have a landline in the house. It’s been six years now since we went all-cell-phone and I’ve had no regrets.

Some say we’re digital life trendsetters. Some say I’m damaging my daughter with cellphone radiation. Some would call it being frugal; and, the expense was a major deciding factor for us. But, another nice side effect has been the reduction in annoying sales calls or canned recordings from politicans wanting our vote.

So, while we now have a phone number that is tied to the house, I won’t be giving it out to anyone any time soon. And, if my husband feels the urge to go out and actually buy a phone to hook up to it, that will be his choice alone. Me, I’ll put my effort toward getting my mother onto Skype.

But, I’ll be counting down until the college football season starts when I’ll be loving watching my LSU Tigers in HD!

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Social Media Explained as Ice Cream

Just a quick post to share another fantastic video from the folks at Common Craft (their video explaining Twitter is on my very first post here).



Now if only more of my friends and family who don’t understand my fascination for social media would actually read my blog and see this!

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Summertime Thoughts of Student Jobs

It’s summertime and many high school and college students are keeping busy with summer jobs. Some may be mundane and have nothing to do with ultimate career goals, while others may be fun and others are calculated steps toward entry-level jobs post-graduation.

This got me to thinking about the wide variety of jobs I held as a student. They were definitely varied. Some were fun, some were boring; but, each one shaped me and helped to make me the person I am today. So, I’m taking a quick trip down memory lane. It may not be a straight trip (was that my freshman year or my sophmore year?), but I think I’ve remembered them all.

High School

  • Flower Shop Assistant – my mother had worked as a florist before going to college and becoming a teacher. She’d taught me all the basics, and came in to personally vouch for me after driving me to the shop to ask for a job. I only worked on holidays like Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, when they needed extra help. It was my very first paying job outside of the house and gave me the inside glimpse to running a small business.
  • High School Sports Reporter – my first paying writing job was covering my high school basketball, baseball and softball games for the parish (county, if you live anywhere but Louisiana) newspaper. It didn’t pay much, but I got my first byline and it certainly impacted my decision to get a college degree in news/editorial journalism.
  • Assistant Dance Teacher – this job allowed me to defray the costs my love of dance cost my parents. By helping to teach the youngest children, I got a discount rate on my own ballet, tap and jazz lessons. It required patience and I learned how to explain things in understandable terms.

College

  • Reporter at LSU Cable Magazine – this was a short job, but great experience. With just a handful of students, we launched a new newspaper/magazine that would carry the campus cable schedule, but also local entertainment news. We did it all: advertising sales, reporting, photography, graphic design, and old-style paste-up (something already on the way out in the newspaper business).
  • Student Worker Weekend News at Channel 8 – while many aspiring anchor women were struggling to find internships at television stations, this newspaper student got a summer job working weekend news handed to her because the general manager lived next door to her grandmother. My apologies. I enjoyed going out with camera men to grab sound bites, but never made it on camera – which really suited me just fine. I learned how choices were made about what stories to cover, I learned how to create B-roll and even got to write a few pieces that the anchor edited and read. They couldn’t convince me to change degrees, however. I didn’t want to compete with all the beauty queens vying for the jobs.
  • Flower Shop assistant – that same summer, I worked weekdays after summer school classes at the silk flower shop of my mother’s best friend. This was the real cush job. Hardly any traffic. Lots of time to study for classes. But, I was entrusted with closing the register each night and took that responsibility seriously.
  • Student worker in aquatic research – this one was so boring I can’t even remember the actual name of the department, but it was an easy campus job working for a professor doing research on soft-shell crawfish. My main duty was editing research papers, so all that AP Stylebook training got a good workout.
  • Tour Guide at the U.S.S. Kidd – not only a living history lesson, but also great public speaking experience, this job took me from the boiler room to the crow’s nest. It also got me backstage at a Poison concert, but that’s a whole post in itself.
  • Tour Guide at Poverty Point archaeological site – a lesson in pre-history came with this job and an appreciation for what was right there in my backyard growing up. It’s a relatively unknown archaeological site that deserves more attention than it gets. I continued my public speaking skills, and also drove a tractor for the first time (that’s what my older brothers were for when I was growing up on the farm).
  • Sergeant at Arms in State House of Representatives – back in Baton Rouge, I called on my local state representative to help me find a job while at LSU. As a Sergeant at Arms, it was my job to relay messages from the lobbyists in the “bull pen” behind the House floor to the representatives they sought. I had to stand behind the infamous David Duke, and constantly hoped no one decided to take him out and hurt me in the process. An inside look at politics and power was gained.
  • Student Worker at State Treasury – when session was drawing to a close, I got to know my state senator and he was able to place me in the Fiscal Department of the Treasury. The work itself – transcribing written records into the new-fangled Lotus Notes system – but, Mary Landrieu was the state treasurer at the time, and I had to opportunity to see a woman in a position of power and leadership.
  • Student Worker at State Bond Commission – I must have done something right in that job because I was able to move from the 3rd floor up to the 23rd floor to assist at the State Bond Commission (also a part of the Treasurery).

So, if you stayed with me this long, you can see that I’ve done a little bit of everything. I think my favorite out of them all is … well, I can’t pick a favorite. Do you have a favorite student job?

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I’ve Got a New Gig

No, I haven’t left Dell or moved to a new job there; but, I have expanded my blogging platforms. Now, in addition to posting here, and on Direct2Dell.com, I’ll be contributing to This Mommy Gig!

I’d not set out to become a “mommy blogger“. Heaven knows there are already enough of those out there. And, I intended this blog to explore the many different facets of who I am and what interests me – including, but not limited to being a parent.

But, when several of my Twitter friends began This Mommy Gig and then asked if I’d like to contribute, I decided to join them. I had enjoyed those first posts I read from them, and saw through their writing that we shared some similar takes on the job of being a mom.

So, my first post is now live there for you to check out. It’s titled “My Affair with Captain Crunch” and I hope that you’ll like it. Be sure to read some of the other great things from this blog’s compilation of superwomen while you’re there!

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