A MinD in MoTown

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 3

…The time has come! (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up.)

It turns out I was wrong and all of us lovely contestants trying to become Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat‘s AM Mayhem Superstar are now thrown into the world, waiting for votes. That’s where you fine folks come in.


I’m entry #51 – one of 112 vying for a single, solitary on-air radio gig. And now that it’s come time to vote, I’m putting my all into this and hoping that maybe, just maybe, you readers can help me out.

Whether it’s sharing this in your Reader or posting something on your own blog (PLEASE!?) that I could use a little help, words cannot express how much I’d appreciate it. Spread it like wildfire, if you can!!

Thanks for all you guys are able to do and don’t forget to vote!!!


Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 2

And so, it’s done. (Before reading this post, check out Part 1.)

I arrived home just before 7 p.m. last night and with the exception of eating my dinner and a one-hour break for Vampire Diaries – do not judge me! – I worked ’til 11 p.m. to make sure I had this video in the bag.

Six full takes later, and a handful of ridiculous bloopers, here’s the final product*. I look like a damn fool, but I promised my readers the video – it’s public on 96.1 The Beat‘s Web site anyway – so check it out:

We’ll find out on Monday – I think? – who the ten finalists are. Those ten will seek votes from the public ’til five people each receive one day on air for the real test. I suppose stay tuned for Part 3.

* What a ridiculously horrible freeze-frame. Thanks a ton, YouTube. Sheesh.

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 1

“Become a radio DJ” was never in my set of goals. To be honest, it was never even something I remotely considered … until Monday.

After repeatedly hearing radio advertisements for a new AM Mayhem DJ with Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat, I finally caved that morning and checked out the details of the contest. A few pictures? No problem. Some information about yours truly? Piece of cake. A three-minute video resume? Uh oh.

Sophie and my supplies.

But I brainstormed anyway, trying to think of an idea that might get my video noticed above the rest. Then I remembered Belle Renee‘s amazing 20-something bloggers vlog and I knew exactly what to do. After a quick email to her making sure it was okay that I stole her idea – thanks lady!! – I spent $15 on ten sheets of posterboard, three glue sticks and a ten-pack of Crayola markers, realizing that I just signed up for an unexpected weeklong project.

I chose a song that afternoon to accompany my on-tape silliness – big thanks to Pham his guidance and for steering me away from the four music-media moguls – and waited for the end-of-work bell to toll.

With a rough script in hand, I started later that evening, cutting the posterboard into fourths and writing out the first few cue cards (which I ended up redoing Wednesday night). Sophie tried to help, but kept mistaking the markers for chew toys so her services were no longer needed. I worked on the cards a bit more Wednesday night – a 13-hour work day on Tuesday hindered my progress – and I have a few more to fill out tonight before my digital camera and I make our finished product (which I’ll be sure to post).

Of course I didn't buy the "washable" markers.

A few glitches, such as my inability to edit said video and my camera’s issues with voice matching up with mouth movements, led my three-minute segment in this direction and I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t look like a complete fool once it’s done. A beer or two prior to hitting record just might be necessary to shake these jitters.

But onward and upward I go. Am I finding myself to be serious competition for this on-air gig? Not really. Aside from that I entirely lack radio experience, a lot of these candidates – because yes, everyone’s video is posted on 96.1’s Web site – have a charisma that I’m not too sure I can call my own. But this journey certainly makes for a good story and it’s a bit fun to do something on a whim and hope for the best.

Now to head home and wrap this thing up. Stay tuned for Part 2 and wish me luck!

Snip snip here. Snip snip there.

Embarrassment. That’s the best word to describe how I felt as a child when my mother would whip out a coupon as we dined out or went through the grocery line. I’d feel nearly humiliated that we were forced into needing those money-saving sheets of paper each week, almost as if my mom was claiming defeat and acknowledging that we were, indeed, “poor.” This attitude of mine carried into my teen years as well, feeling nearly mortified that we couldn’t affordably enjoy an Olive Garden supper without saving $4 on our meals.

But now, at 24 years old, living free from my parents with my own set of bills and household concerns, clipping coupons simply makes sense. Today I’m the one stuffing dozens of coupons into my wallet, ready for the next shopping excursion, eager to save a dollar here and there (especially at Kohl’s). After all, who doesn’t prefer a few extra bucks in the billfold sometimes? And with the economy barely improving over the last several months, everyone could benefit from saving some cash, including myself.

Yet that wasn’t something I could see in my youth when it was my mom with the coupons in hand. Now I look back on that slight resentment I once experienced with regret, wishing I better understood the reasoning behind my mother’s Sunday mornings with the scissors and newspaper ads.

It’s far from shocking that things change as we age — everything from our perspective on the world to political affiliations and more sometimes sway a different direction as we progress into adulthood. However, it’s somewhat mind-boggling to realize how much variation can occur.

As I sit here now, contemplating this evening’s shopping trip to Harris Teeter – where I plan to take major advantage of triple-coupon week – I’m almost embarrassed to have once been that snotty, snobby, bratty girl who couldn’t grasp the importance of savings a few dollars at times. I get it all now, for sure, but I certainly wish I did quite a bit sooner.

413 Harris Street, MoTown.

I sorted through the clothes that no longer fit or were too tattered to save. I packed the boxes of belongings I’ve had for years and those I recently purchased. I tossed food that lingered in my cabinets past expiration dates. I dusted, swept, polished and mopped an entire house just to bid it farewell.

But none of it felt the same as the other dozen times I moved in my life. Hell, it didn’t even feel the same as the last instance where I decided to share my residence with a boyfriend. This moment was much different, and I could pinpoint exactly why.

I was closing a chapter of my life — a two-year period based on independence — that held more importance than any other chapter before it. Sure, I have two diplomas to signify my college experience and albums filled with photos of those nearest and dearest to my heart. But that house and those walls, they were my security blanket, one that sheltered me as I changed and matured and developed from a confused post-grad with an uncertain path to a confident, organized, career-oriented person whose future had finally found clarity among the shades of grey.

Four hours into the move, with only a few boxes remaining but much cleaning to do, I stood in the center of my newly-bare living room talking to my mom and I completely broke down. I hadn’t wanted to move, but it wasn’t because of the situation at hand; it was because the house meant more to me than a place to live and leaving it behind carried more weight than the thousands of pounds of luggage I carried to my new home.

I moved into that humble abode on Harris Street in March 2008 following a breakup with my boyfriend of three years. He returned to Pennsylvania and I was suddenly left in MoTown, 600 miles away from everyone I knew only one year beforehand. I was living on my own, with the exception of a small and furry black roommate who only became a member of my tiny family days beforehand. I owned little more than a TV, futon, desk and kitchenware at the time, and had dealt with nothing but my credit card bills up to that point. At the age of 22, I was forced to learn how to budget my finances to ensure survival from day to day without seeing gas, electric or water services cease. I juggled being a new “mom” to my Sophie, teaching her not to pee in the house and not to eat my shoes, with two jobs. I cooked for one, cleaned for one, grocery-shopped for one… I learned who I was simply by taking care of myself, my household, my dog. The independence came easily, though the transformation within was masked.

And as I stood there in the empty room, my belongings en route to another town and a new residence, the swift realization of how much growth those walls saw in me and my life was overwhelming. The tears were inevitable so I let them flow for a few minutes before wiping them away and picking up the mop to clean another floor.

I’d lived in apartments before, lived with a boyfriend before, lived in a new town before, but this move was different because I was different. I wasn’t that same girl who was nearly homeless in a barely-known state two years ago, or the carefree new post-grad who moved to NC, or even the frightened yet eager college junior moving into her first apartment with friends in State College, PA; I was a real adult with life under her belt, ready to take on the next experience knowing that if it failed, I could make it on my own because I had done it before.

To everyone else, I was moving onto better things, leaving a small house in a mediocre part of town for a lakeside apartment in an upscale neighborhood. To me, I was turning the page onto a new adventure, looking back on the last one and seeing how those years and those four walls of my former home shaped every day henceforth.

It was more than a two-year residence. That house, humble little 413 Harris Street, was where I became me and although I’m not leaving that girl behind, it’s still a bit tough to bid adieu to the place that allowed her to emerge.

Three year itch.
December 1, 2009, 4:19 pm
Filed under: I could use some help here, Just whatever, Perhaps I am a bit strange

As I slowly approach the two-year mark with my current boyfriend, it’s tough not to think about this same point in previous relationships.

I don’t remember being unhappy or restless, and I’m not right now either. But at this exact moment with my two previous long-term boyfriends, the relationships were already on the downward slide.

I have what I like to call “the three year curse.” Near that particular anniversary, something triggers and my need to escape becomes dire. The +/- six months surrounding year number three cause immense anxiety on my part and fleeing remains the only option.

My high school boyfriend? I’d say it was at the 2.5 year mark where I called it quits, yet we stayed fairly attached for the few months that followed. However, approximately two months before that poignant anniversary, I bid him adieu and that relationship was officially over.

My college boyfriend? We met during my fall semester sophomore year and stayed together one month longer than the three-year point. He and I even moved 500 miles together to the great state of North Carolina where, less than a year later, I broke it off – though I suppose it was somewhat mutual, but that’s another story for another time or never. He swiftly returned to Pennsylvania following “the divorce” and splitting of our belongings*.

Now here I sit, exceptionally happy with this man in my life, yet completely fearful that only a few months down the road I’ll start cultivating problems in my head and trying to make my departure. And damn it, I don’t want this to end! So I’m attempting to recognize the problem – if it is one – now and ensure that he’s fully aware of “the curse” in the hopes that we can tackle and overcome it together. Because seriously, if this boy makes it to the four-year mark, I’m counting it as a miracle and forcing him to marry me**.

Am I the only one who has this issue when it comes to relationships? I mean, clearly I’ve heard of men who can’t commit for more than a few months, but three years seems like an odd point to leave it all behind. My mother once said that I “chase butterflies,” and once a relationship hits the comfortable point and the guy no longer makes me feel like I’m consistently floating on Cloud 9, I feel the need to find someone new who can. I’m not entirely sure I believe that theory, despite it’s plausibility***.

What do you think? What exactly, if anything, can break the curse I seem to have? Am I just turning a coincidence into something bigger than it truly is? Or is it actually possible my mom’s right in her speculations?

* I still wish I got the red steak knives that would perfectly match my kitchen. But meh, I got the Wii, the washer and the dryer. You win some, you lose some.
** Well, not “forcing.” I guess you can say I’m somewhat apprehensive about becoming engaged before hitting four years for fear that “the curse” will prevail. =/
*** That’s a word, right?

Oink. Oink.
November 2, 2009, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Just whatever, News Girl, Perhaps I am a bit strange, The swine

The sore throat started Oct. 11. A really dry cough started developing last weekend. And by Friday, the day before Halloween, I’d been regularly hacking up a lung for nearly six days. It was time to see the doctor.

And what was my diagnosis? I HAD THE SWINE!

Not once in those three weeks had it even remotely dawned on me that I had the flu, let alone H1N1. Sure, I spent quite a few days feeling not-so-awesome, but I seemingly attributed every single symptom to something else, causing me to completely ignore the virus stewing in my system. And in that time, the bug that is receiving far too much hype in the media* did its business then went along on its merry way.

That’s right, I ignored the swine flu and it disappeared all on its own, which makes me wonder why exactly people are freaking out about this virus as if it’s going to wipe out half of all humanity. People die every year from the regular flu, yet few people stop to even consider that before talking about the new pandemic facing society. Perhaps we all just need to calm down a bit … and ignore its existence as I did!

When I had body aches, I figured it was my persistence at the gym finally paying off. The migraines? Something typical for me. And the nausea? A result of the headache, of course. The cough and horribly sore throat was just a minor cold I picked up during my Penn State visit. But the fever? Well, I was having some blood-sugar level issues lately, so I just assumed that was to blame considering I felt a bit better after eating.

Not one of the symptoms stuck out to me as something unusual for my daily life mostly because they weren’t all affecting me at the same time. The fever seemed to come and go occasionally in the three weeks. The sore throat slowly became the cough, both never occurring together. The nausea and migraine arrived hand in hand, but my headaches sometimes progress to the point of physical sickness due to the pain. I seriously never even considered something bigger was to blame for how wretched I felt, on and off, since leaving Pennsylvania in mid-October.

Although the doctor cannot definitively confirm that I had H1N1 – whatever virus I did have, that or otherwise, is seemingly gone – she was fairly certain of my diagnosis after we sifted through all the symptoms. Apparently the wretched cough that’s been plaguing me for more than a week now is a lingering side effect of the flu. (Boo hiss, for sure.) After some over-the-counter medicinal suggestions and a prescription for some heavy-dosage cough syrup – to help me sleep because the cough has been preventing me from getting more than two hours of ZzZzs at a time – the doctor told me I wasn’t contagious and could go about my daily business without worry. Sure, I most likely did have H1N1 at some point, but it dissipated over the three weeks and I wasn’t a threat to anyone else, though I can’t help but wonder ever so slightly even anyone caught my mild case of the swine**… Hm…

The news industry has been inundated with H1N1 Influenza A reports for months now. And it seems that regardless of what media outlets say, or don’t say, the public is consistently fearful of this flu, even refusing its vaccine because of supposed potential side effects. And I, for one, find this entirely ridiculous. After all, I didn’t even know I had the swine flu and my immune system bounced back, fighting it off without antibiotics. I bet I could’ve avoided it all – including this annoying cough – if I simply had the vaccine.

A school district employee said it best at last month’s school board meeting, “This is just another type of flu we’re going to have to get used to.” Such an on-point statement. Although this particular strain is new and has caused death and severe sickness among some, the seasonal flu we’ve all become accustomed to at this point has done the same year after year and yet the panic surrounding it seems little. I think it’s about damn time we all take a big step back and look at the situation and realize that many people can have mild versions of H1N1 and be perfectly fine following a few crappy days. Sure, some people are prone to having something like the seasonal flu or H1N1 wreak havoc and cause more damage to their system. Maybe it’s time we all cease the fear and go about our daily lives, just listing this particular flu as another potential demon of winter. Because really, it’s not much more than that if you ask me.

* For me to technically be part of the media and say this is quite a big deal folks.
** I know, for certain, that the boyfriend doesn’t have any version of the flu and he is, by far, the most likely candidate. Actually, he started feeling terribly ill last Wednesday and by Thursday night, he thought he had the flu. He went to the doctor Friday morning to find out what he could do about it, but they said he didn’t have the flu. He had strep throat. Upon hearing that, I assumed that was what had been bothering me for the three weeks so I made a doctor’s appointment. But I didn’t have strep – I even asked for a throat culture to ensure I did not. So we were both sick, with different things, and didn’t pass it on to the other. Bizarre, right?