Saturday, February 23, 2008

Goodbye to the Pathfinder

Last weekend while I was in California for work, Daniel ended up selling our Pathfinder. This is somewhat sad for us as this is the vehicle we drove to NYC to buy four years ago - in the end this vehicle only cost us $400 per year to own and it never broke down on us.

It was a good vehicle for us, but when Daniel couldn't get it to pass the Mecklenburg County car inspection, we decided it was time to say goodbye. Now we are officially a one-car family.

This first week wasn't too difficult - Daniel bike commuted on the days I had to teach in Rock Hill and we were able to carpool together the other days. We are now debating whether to continue to tough it out as a one-car family or to go ahead and get another vehicle... we also have the motorcycle, so we are in ok shape for now...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Everyday Edisons Weekend

The past 3 days have been a bit of a blur - was I really just in San Jose, California??? I actually had a really good time at the Everyday Edisons casting call and feel very well bonded with all of my co-workers.

As you might have read in my last note, this past Friday, 40 of us headed out of Charlotte, NC for San Jose, CA for the second of 5 casting calls for Season Three of Everyday Edisons.

This was my first one, so I really wasn't sure what to expect. I ended up doing a little of everything. I spent the morning taking pictures - my favorite was an inventor who was dressed like Elvis. I also spent time being a runner - this means taking paperwork from people who made it through round 1 down to our attorneys to make sure that patents were in order and that there was no legal issues. Following this I spent time with the attorneys helping them catch up on paperwork. I spent time being a gopher. And in the afternoon until early evening, I helped in the studio where approved contestants were filmed on a set with the final judges.

I really enjoyed the whole process. I was able to help in a lot of different ways as well as talking with all of the inventors. I would love to share some of the ideas (both good and bad) but I am not sure if I can or I will hold off for now.

I had an excellent time. Yesterday was a 12+hour work day so I was pretty tired. Today was another travel day and I am wiped out, but happy to be home. Just wish I had a little more time to explore San Jose.

Next month we are off to Dallas, TX...

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Exhausting Day

I am in San Jose, California and feeling very out of it. This morning started with a 4:30 a.m. wake up followed by a quick shower and hurrying to the airport.

Leaving Charlotte was uneventful. Connection flight in Dallas proved more exciting. Our flight had problems. We waited an extra hour. The plane was fixed. We boarded. Then were told the problem was not fixed and to deboard. More waiting followed. Finally we got a new plane and were on our way to San Jose - a couple of hours behind schedule.

Once in San Jose, we made our way to our hotel. Which is incredibly nice and in the heart of SJ. We had a little while to check-in before reconvening to go to the convention center to set up for tomorrow.

After setting up for the casting call for
Everyday Edisons, we had more free time before a 7:00 (PST) dinner. Dinner was at a little Italian place that we rented for all 40 of us. Lets just say it was a little small and I am sure we were breaking plenty of fire codes.

It is now 8:20 p.m. Pacific time and I am about to drop dead because it is 11:20 p.m. Charlotte time and I have now officially been awake for 19.5 hours.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Everyday Edisons

This weekend is the San Jose, California casting call for Everyday Edisons. EE is the PBS television show that the company I work for produces. Most of the staff is going for the weekend.

Today I found out that there was an extra ticket available and was asked (late this afternoon) if I would be interested in going to the casting call. After making sure that all of my work was caught up and that Daniel didn't mind me running away for the weekend, I decided that I would go.

So tomorrow at 5 a.m., Daniel will take me to the airport and I will be heading for California. It should be interesting and I am looking forward to learning more about the show.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


In the past three weeks I have come to realize something about myself and it is not pretty. The reason I left my job over one year ago to pursue freelancing had a lot to do with how poorly my direct manager treated me.

Now, one year later, I am working for an amazing company and I am just starting to realize the impact of working for a crappy boss. There have been so many times over the last couple of weeks, where my new manager has said,
"Hey, Cheree, when you get a chance, I need to speak with you."

My first response to this statement is to panic and try to wrack my brain to see what I did wrong. Then I am in shock when my manager has a simple request or wants to praise me for something. Or is just understanding of the fact that I have never done something before and wants to point me in the right direction.

I hate the fact that I allowed another person dictate how I respond to people or things.

I generally consider myself to be a confident person, but this is new territory for me. I had no idea that I had been conditioned to respond in such a negative manner.

I am so thankful that I am no longer with my previous company and even more thankful to be with a company that cares about its employees and wants to work to make everyone stretch and grow as much as possible.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Number Three and Being Local

Over the years, it seems that as I have moved and adapted to living or being in new places with new people, it has generally taken me about three years (on average) to feel like I really belong somewhere.

I was in my junior year in high school before I really felt like I was a part of things. It was my junior year of college when my friendships and experiences really began to cement themselves. We had been in Cookeville, TN for close to three years when it finally began to feel like home. And now we are coming up on three years in Charlotte, NC and everything is really beginning to feel right in the world.

In Charlotte, very few people are truly local. It is rare to meet someone who grew up here. Due to the transience of the city, if you have lived here for more than three years you are pretty much considered a local. I finally feel like a local because of our experience eating out last night.

We have now lived here long enough to have favorite restaurants that we frequent. Most of these places have staff that recognize us and talk with us. Last night, we ate at Wolfman's Pizza in Cotswald (our favorite pizza place in Charlotte). There is one guy who is ALWAYS working there. He is super friendly and he always recognizes us.

Last night when he came by our table to chat, our conversation was no longer about the weather or how good the food was. It was no longer the conversation of mere acquaintances that happen to see each other once or twice a month, but more like conversation one would have with an old friend. We felt like locals and that is a wonderful feeling.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Still Adjusting

I am still adjusting to the craziness of my new work schedule, but I am loving everything that I am doing. I really love teaching - but the prep work has proven to be very time consuming. I think if I teach another semester, if will definitely be more enjoyable and less time consuming outside of school.

Working at Enventys has been great. I am learning new things and being able to contribute to such a creative group is a blast. I feel very blessed to have both of these opportunities.

Being able to play wii at work or use IM as a form of communication with my co-workers is also nice.

Next weekend almost everybody from work is headed to San Jose, CA for a casting call for
Everyday Edisons... maybe in the future I will get to go on the casting calls as well.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

No More Racoons In Our Chimney

So last weekend we (meaning my sister, Angela, and I) rearranged our basement so that we were able to use our fireplace for the first time in 2 years! When Daniel went to open the flume to the chimney so that he could start a fire, he saw a gray and black tail and two beady eyes.

Unsure of how to remove the raccoon from the chimney, we decided that if Daniel beat on the metal flume door with the iron poker that the raccoon would get scared or annoyed at the noise and leave. This worked beautifully and we were able to have our first fire last weekend while Angela was visiting.

This week Daniel decided that we should cap our chimney to prevent future inhabitants. So we went through the drill with me banging on the metal door with the poker while Daniel went up on the roof to put the cap on. So now we can have fires and not worry about strange little animals being in the chimney.
Current view of the basement. Whenever we get around to the renovation, 
we will make this area into our game/media room. It is 600 sf shaped like an L.

Friday, February 01, 2008

First Full Week

This week has flown by. Some parts are a little overwhelming and having a cold has not helped, but overall I am very excited about the future.

I have a lot of stretching to do. The most overwhelming task that I feel the least equipped for is our product-naming sessions. We have had two so far and we are all expected to show up with lists of possible names for new products that are in the lineup. This is an area that I definitely need to work on and hopefully will get better at this with time.

My cold is easing, but it has been no fun to have a head cold all week. Hopefully I will get over it this weekend.

I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend... after I clean the house and go buy groceries.

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...