Day 8 of the Siege & Assorted Otherworldly Matters

There’s no end in sight. We’re going to be two single cat households for some time to come, it looks like. Murphy has finally gotten friendly and lovable again, and clearly misses his sister, but Isabel hisses and growls the minute she even hears him meow from the other room. Just in time for Mardi Gras and house guests – gotta love it.

I’m sorry I’ve been an absentee blogger here and on Twenty by Thirty, but between a HUGE project going on at work, a HUGE project going on in school, the cat problem and Mardi Gras, I’m spread a little thin right now. But oh well – bacon and kittens will make everything better!

Click through if you'd like to have this amazing picture in wallpaper size!

In other news, I have joined the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. As you might have guessed by the name, it’s a sci-fi themed parade krewe, manned entirely by uber geeks like myself. Not the silly hipster wannabe geeks, mind you, but people like me who can’t help but quote Douglas Adams at random times, and only ever liked Mick Jagger because he looked a bit like Luke Skywalker in his youth. I had no clue I was going to join a krewe at all, but a friend invited me to Chewbacchus’ annual fashion show, “Set Your Phasers to Stunning,” and I was overcome with longing to be part of this amazing group. I think my heart began to melt when I realized that the lady in the blue trenchcoat with a flashing blue light on her head was actually dressed as the TARDIS. Or when the crowd shouted “Let the wookie win!” spontaneously in response to a wookie costume getting to the semi-finals. Of course, the fact that membership cost exactly $42 didn’t hurt, either.

If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I’ll be marching in the parade, dressed as Cat From Outer Space! (TM, and in no way related to THE Cat From Outer Space, which I’ve just been pleased to discover). I’ve decided to be a Tusken Raider next year, since I love bellowing and shaking sticks so very much.

OK, time to get off of here. Hopping on over to Twenty by Thirty for a moment to share some momentous news, then on Skype for yet another phone call with my classmates to talk about our HUGE project. Then back to my day job (even though it’s very much night) to work on some last minute stuff before calling it a four day weekend – whoot! Expect some kick-ass photos when I get back.

XO,

A

The Gras Begins!

My band Drive West played last Saturday, which also happened to be the day of New Orleans’ first Mardi Gras parade of the 2012 season, Krewe du Vieux. The Man and I dressed up in honor of the parade, and Crista Rock, a photographer friend of the band, took these fantastic shots.

Anna Singing, by Crista Rock

Anna & The Man, by Crista Rock

The Man is crazy about costumes (even more than I am). I love the shrimp and crawfish with LED lights underneath.

Anna & The Man Kiss, by Crista Rock

Dreaming is Also Apparently Lucrative

In my last post, I talked about really wanting to prove myself in my field, and needing to move on with my career if I were to ever accomplish that goal. For most of this week, I was concentrating heavily on a lot of upcoming media events my company is taking part in, as well as keeping an eye on what was happening on Craigslist and CareerBuilder. Nothing really big was popping up, nor did I really expect anything to present itself. However, one must remain vigilant, right? Well, yesterday it paid off.

I found an ad on Craigslist in search of freelance copy writers who could put together a lot of short articles in quick succession. I knew I could do it, but I don’t have formal experience other than my last six years of sales and marketing writing for two separate companies. Luckily, this ad only asked for educational background (which I have in spades) and contact info, so I took a chance and wrote in. Within an hour I received a call from the business owner, and as we chatted it turned out that he had his MSc from Full Sail University, as well, and was willing to take a chance on me. I got the job!

It’s not a huge amount of money, but if I work hard, I can make a nice little bit of extra change each month. Best of all, after we got off of the phone, I did some more research on my new employer, and found his photograph online. Right away, I realized that I KNEW this guy in the past. After wracking my brain for a minute or two, I remembered where we had met before. In 2004, we both worked as servers at the a well-known New Orleans restaurant. At the time, he was getting ready to move to California, and I was just starting to move up at the restaurant. We were friends with the same group of people, and even went out drinking together a couple of times before he moved. I remember having great conversations with him, and thinking that he was going to end up doing well at whatever it was he chose to do with his career. After realizing that we had known each other before, I wrote him back and he remembered me, too. The restaurant that we worked at had a very professional vibe, no drugs and not a lot of partying going on, and the members of our service team were very hard workers. With both of us knowing that each other have this quality, it only makes it easier to work together, and for him to trust me to be up to par with his expectations.

I’m so excited about this opportunity, because not only am I going to be a little more financially secure, I know that I have the chance to learn even more about SEO and see what’s happening in the New Orleans SEO market. Perhaps one day there might even be a chance to help expand this company’s service menu – who knows?

At the moment, though, I need to get off of the computer for just a bit. Mardi Gras is in a month and I’m only now starting to build my costume. The Man is busy installing LED lighting in a purple suit, and he’s already more than 50% done with putting together his crazy-awesome costume. Meanwhile, I have an idea and a few pieces, but nothing constructed. I’m going to be the Tabsinthe Fairy, a mash-up of the Absinthe Fairy and a tabby cat. In my mind, I’m a green tabby cat also dressed as a fairy, and I’d like to sew up a bunch of sparkly green catnip mice to hand out to cat-lovers. We’ll see if that part happens, but I know I’ll be able to get the costume done if I just get off of the couch. I’ll be posting pictures of my progress, unlike when I promised to post Halloween photos and failed miserably.

The Ferris Wheel

The Original Ferris Wheel

On my dresser is a photograph. It is the only photograph in my bedroom, and it is one of my most treasured possessions. The photo is an original, taken in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, of the Ferris Wheel. In case you’re not completely obsessed with this fair, as I have been in the past, you’ll want to know that the ferris wheel as we know it was built for the very first time for this event. Constructed by an engineer named George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., this first version was a monstrous affair at 264 feet tall, with 36 cars each fitted to hold 60 people.

Ferris had faith in his design, and the fair desperately wanted to include modern marvels that would outshine previous World’s Fairs and put Chicago at the top of the map. However, as you might imagine, people were scared. It was new technology, and potentially dangerous technology, at that. There were rumors that the wheel might slip its housing and roll away, crushing its passengers and fair goers below. However, the dreamer and his invention prevailed and now geeks like me get to travel the world in search of new ferris wheels to ride. I’ve only been on a handful so far, but look forward to going to as many as possible in my life. I love them, especially this first wonder.

Along the Plaisance

"Along the Plaisance", a cabinet card image of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL.

For me, though, the story is not about Ferris, but about his wife, who stuck with him through his seeming folly. It was she who fearlessly volunteered to be one of the first to ride the wheel before it’s grand opening, trusting her husband’s brilliance and putting faith in their love instead of others’ doubts. The story is that George, Margaret Ann and a local journalist went up in the wheel to give the journalist a good story. It was a very windy day, and the journalist was absolutely terrified throughout the 9 minute trip. Margaret Ann remained entirely composed beside her husband (I like to imagine that her eyes shone with mischief at the journalist’s discomfort).

In the end, their story was a sad one. George spent the rest of his life in litigation after the fair refused to pay him his share of the profits, then other people began using his design without permission at fairs across the country. Margaret Ann eventually left him, and he died of typhoid, lonely, bankrupt and defeated. But time is flat, and moments continue happening. Somewhere out there, Margaret Ann and George are riding the Ferris Wheel for the first time, frightened, triumphant, trusting in each other and providence, in love. That moment, for me, is what life should be about.

Holding Hands