Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sky Scrapers and Glass Hearts

I finally had the chance to watch The Devil Wears Prada last night. Good movie. Early in the film there is a scene where Andy (played very well by Anne Hathaway) is on her way to a job interview. She stops short and stares in awe up at the imposing view of the sky scraper she's about to enter and the look on her face made me well up with tears.

Crying? After watching the movie for only 10 minutes? What's up with that??? I didn't have time to think what about that scene hit a nerve in me until after the film was over. There was an extended version of that scene, as luck would have it, in the DVD extras.

I finally realized what it was. It's the same reason I cry at the scene in the movie Working Girl (with Melanie Griffith) where she finally realizes the nice office with the big window view is HERS and she calls her friend to say "Guess where I am?" Both films bring back the emotional memories I have associated with my own working days and the moments when I finally realized; "I have really made it. I'm a success."

There was the time I was promoted out of the dead-end world of unionized clerical workers and into my first managerial position (with my own office.) On my first day in that job I really wanted to call my best friend and recite the line from the movie we'd both seen together all those years earlier. But she had died before ever getting the chance to see me turn my life around.

That first promotion was amazing, but I had at least two more instances where that feeling of having "arrived" happened again. Another time was in my second assignment since hitting the managerial ranks. That next job required more technical skill and a lot of travel. When I was sent on a trip to Boston to work in one of the sky scraper office towers down-town, I had my wow moment. I exited the taxi I'd taken over from my hotel and just stood on the sidewalk looking up with my jaw on my chest. You'd think I'd never been in a city before! But was just my first time WORKING in a fancy office tower like that. The emotions were overwhelming.

The last time was in my last job before I retired to be a full time Mommy. That last job was a huge promotion that put me square in the middle of middle-management. Getting that job title and pay grade was very gratifying. Seeing my name and title on the newly published organizational little branch down from our organization's Vice President...what a feeling! My VP knew we were trying to adopt, but she (and I) never expected that Tyler's birth-mother would appear and select us so rapidly. The paint was barely dry on my office walls (there's another moment - being important enough to rate a fresh coat of rose colored paint on my walls and new carpet too) when I had to put in my notice for maternity leave.

I miss working. Those milestones were such an obvious marker of success. Raising children is a little different. Your measures of success aren't quite so cut and dried.

But I wouldn't trade my current job title for any cushy executive job on the planet. Well... unless it came with a HUGE pay raise and enough free time to spend with my boys! LOL!

Murano Heart Earrings from Red EnvelopeTotally off topic: I had to rave about my new earrings. I had a gift certificate from Christmas time and finally found something I had to have.

Aren't they pretty? They look even nicer in person. It's been a long time since I bought any jewelry. It was totally worth it just to get the box they came in. The box is red, hinged, and closes with a ribbon tie. It was so elegant that I made a squeeeee noise when I saw the little box inside the blah big brown shipping box.

I don't make excited girlie noises very often any more. It's a shame, really. Happy Valentine's Day to me! A little early! LOL!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Overheard in the Car

What a five year old remembers from a conversation about Jesus' death and Pontius Pilate.

Tyler: Hey Daddy? You know Jesus didn't die on his own...

Daddy: Oh no?

Tyler: No. Someone killed him.

Daddy: Who killed him??

Tyler: A pirate! Mommy told me.

Um...yeah. I think we need to read that Bible story over a couple more times. Although I rather like the pirate twist. Who knew??

This has been a plague house for the last week or so. From Tyler to Max...and now Max has had his first major illness; a nasty upper-respiratory virus. It's so scary when someone this small gets so ill. It's been a long time since I rocked a miserable baby in a bathroom full of hot shower generated steam. He's doing much better today, finally. Just in time for another home visit from our friendly neighborhood social worker.

I'll be glad when Max's adoption is finalized. I like the social workers we deal with a lot, but it's weird to be "under surveillance" so to speak.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Unusual Hobby

My husband and I are both licensed ham radio operators. That is odd enough...but he also has this hobby that most people have never heard of. He does "airchecking". What's that? Technically, an aircheck is a recording of an on-air talent (radio personality) that they use to audition for jobs. But people actually collect these recordings and share them with other radio hobbyists. Some of these are professionally recorded, but most recordings (airchecks) of contemporary broadcasts are made by amateurs, like my husband.

He loves making random recordings of radio stations, particularly when we travel. (It IS fun listening to his old recordings from radio stations in Hawaii.) It's amazing how much radio varies from one region to another. He especially likes old time station ID jingles. He also loves to collect and record unusual events as they occur, live on the radio. A great example is the captured audio we have from Howard Stern's broadcast during the events of 9/11 (I've featured those in a past entry). John has other interesting tidbits of audio history in his collection like the announcement made when John Lennon was shot.

There is something compelling about hearing a broadcaster's unscripted, live and unedited reaction to a major news event; but there are other radio events that are much less dramatic but no less interesting (or amusing) to listen to. Like when a broadcaster knows he or she is on the brink of being fired. They sometimes go a little nuts on-air. Or when a radio station is about to change their format (like going from a pop station to all talk-radio). The radio personality on duty when the change-over happens often plays really bizarre musical selections or will pull some funny gag as a last hurrah before their show is radio history.

The other day, John just happened to catch and record one of those station format changes. WNEW suddenly flipped from "dance music" to "modern adult contemporary" with the old tag "Mix 102.7" changing to "Fresh 102.7". They've also applied for new call letters to replace WNEW with WWFS (but that's not official yet). John was amused to find the DJ playing Fresh by Kool and the Gang...over and over and over. John also happened to be the first one to submit his aircheck of the change over to (one of the most popular spots for sharing these recordings with other hobbyists).

So who picks up on this and talks about the change (as well as the odd airchecking hobby) and makes rather rude comments about the guy who recorded the change-over? Howard Stern. Of course, he had no idea he was talking about my husband, specifically. But someone else naturally airchecked Howard talking about aircheckers.

[Edit 1/5 11:52am: Link to Howard's comments changed. Go HERE instead. It won't play automatically, you'll have to click.]

John and I were both very amused. :-)