Friday, June 29, 2007

Too Much of a Good Thing is Never Enough

Today is a good day. It is the first truly good day of year 23. Why, you politely ask? I got a job today. Ahhhhhhhh. I can feel a pretty large amount of that stress (which has been eating away at my peace and contented state of being for some time now, despite lots yoga and running and healthy doses of temporary denial) dissipating, evaporating and getting gone so-to-speak. And you, my friends, you are looking at the newest Big South Intern! Well, you are reading her words at least (If you are looking at me without my knowledge, please stop. It's creepy). Now if I can just get a part-time gig working with some sort of writing entity--newspapers, online newspapers, magazines holla at your girl--I will probably be one of the happier people you know in your life circles. I'm already coasting at "elated" for the time-being. Hopefully nothing else wonderful happens today, or else I will be in danger of bursting into a million little pieces of joy that just couldn't contain itself inside of me...

OK, that's a lie. I'll take all the good I can get. Mae West was mostly right when she said, "Too much of a good thing is never enough." Right now it's definitely enough. We'll see about tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Zeus is letting loose!

We've been having some mad crazy thunder n' lightening storms down here, so you know I've been ecstatic. Like a kid in a candy store, but I can't touch anything. I keep doing the "it's not fair" dance in my mind. And I know you're not really supposed to be outside during these things, but I couldn't help myself the other night when we got a rager. Freaked my roommate and her boyfriend out when I came tearing through the living room at midnight with my Olympus and the look of a mad scientist whose seen Frankenstein outside the window on my face. That baby lasted TWO HOURS!!! Granted, I only got a few minutes to shoot before the blankets of warm southern rain came pelting down and my instincts told me that my SLR wasn't going to fare well--but I did manage to get one lonely shot with a lightening bolt in it. I was pretty damn proud of myself...believe me, it's harder than it looks. I'm just hoping the next week brings more storms, so I can get in some practice.

This was just something cool I did with the streetlight, while waiting for the next flash of lightening to hit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

God Bless Starbucks

Ethanol? Yuck. Who wants to run off of nasty tasting alcohol compounds? Nope. It's espresso for me! My fuel of choice: A venti non-fat no-whip mocha. It's $4.00 and counting...but seriously worth every penny!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Static Electricity

Almost everyday I drive by this work site at the top of a hill that overlooks the Catawba River. Almost everyday I promise myself that I am going to take photos at sunset of the electricity towers that are only visible while they work on this project. I finally did it the other day. Comments and Critique welcome...

Is 23 All It's Cracked Up To Be? The Verdict Is Still Out On This One...

I'm 23 now. For the first time in my short life I can answer affirmatively to the question: Do you feel any different in your new ripe-old age? I'm not yet sure why 23 seems so much older, holds so much more emotional impact and sends my heart rate into overdrive. I think it might have something to do with having no clue where my life is going beyond July 31 and knowing that every choice I make now could mean the difference between writing alongside Maureen Dowd and getting stuck somewhere along the way. Yet, as soon as I work myself up over the seriousness of each new, pressing decision, my inner rebel kicks in its two-cents: Why the hell do you want to follow a safe, conventional path? BORING!!! UNFULFILLING!!!

So I'm in limbo. Looking for summer work and a new roommate. Looking for direction and inspiration. Trying to gain real and valuable journalistic experience, but also savoring every moment at my pool before I become too entrenched in real-world shackles.

It's been 11 days into my love/hate relationship with 23 and though I feel like it's too early to call this might be a tougher year than I've expected. That being said, it will probably be more profound. It will probably yield remarkable identity discoveries. It will probably be worth it. Wait...rewind. It will definitely be worth it.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Round One of The NH Presidential Debates Doesn't Disappoint

Whew. I’m worn out from the two hours I just spent trying to watch to the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Debate AND pay attention to the media and blogger commentary online. For once in my life I was begging for a commercial break.

The wait was worth it. The only critique I can offer concerns inequity of time each candidate received to use his or her voice. Still, it was overall the best presidential debate I’ve seen in my young life (the first I can remember being the 1992 debates that I watched with my dad). Elizabeth Edwards said quite eloquently to Larry King that the American people finally got the give and take interaction and honest answers about policy that they are deserving of. Also noted was that the audience questions were a great touch of democracy to the whole process. I couldn’t agree more and that’s what brings me to the topic I’d like to throw out to the wolves. We, of course, heard about Iraq and Iran, immigration, oil prices, the deficit and health care. But something that peaked my own interest—as a college-age voter—was a question posed by a young man about mandatory service in the armed forces.

The candidate response was interesting to say the least. None of the candidates seemed keen on reinstating the draft or on requiring mandatory service, but both Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel commented that using service in the armed forces and community service organizations could be a catalyst for a two-way relationship between college students and the U.S. Government in terms of financing higher education.

Mike Gravel proposed that every year of service in organizations like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or in a branch of the armed services could bring fours years of paid education. This started a conversation that touched on the struggle middle-class families are facing in financing college educations deemed so necessary for success these days, on the scandals involving student loan providers and the rising price vs. the quality of state education.

I really liked the values that Chris Dodd put forth about the fleecing of American families in the education racket and some creative ways to finance higher education while at the same time getting the so-called “Generation Entitlement” to earn the privilege of an American college degree through service to others.

Though it could be called minor, this issue really hit home for me. The preparation of future generations directly contributes to the quality of this nation. We can’t expect to get something out of nothing in terms of a skilled and educated labor force. Education has been at the core of American values since the days of the American Revolution and if we want to re-build upon the strengths of American values then we must re-invest in our youth.

But what do the other bloggers think? What issue hit home for you and who answered to it best? Readers: Don’t hold those comments back! If we want to have a real discussion about the future of this nation, we need debate and dissent!