Monday, January 24, 2011

Book 2: Courage and Consequence

One of the perks of my job is that I get to meet Republicans as they swing through Georgia. In 2010, Karl Rove visited the Georgia Republican Party as part of our Republican Round-Up, which included training sessions for grassroots volunteers as we geared up for the election cycle.

Mr. Rove was nice enough to hold press availability before the event and I sat in on the session. Marietta Daily Journal reporter Jon Gillooly was kind enough to record most of it. I was so struck in the interview by Mr. Rove's depth of knowledge (heck, he threw in some Georgia knowledge) and his likability. A speech to our attendees only underscored those observations.

I enjoyed reading his book immediately after President Bush's because they discuss similar events with the different perspectives.

I also enjoyed it because the political insight it provides into both the Bush campaign plans and their agenda in office.

Above all, I was touched by the dedication and admiration Rove had for Bush, even after a tumultuous professional relationship. I hope to be blessed with that type of trust in my career.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." 
-Dolly Parton

Monday, January 17, 2011

Puppy Blues

My husband, Steve, and I have been married for nine months. We don't want kids but desperately want puppies. However, our jobs don't allow a lot of flexibility, especially when it comes to housebreaking a small one.

We're trying to strike the right balance between what we want and what will be best for a dog. Surely, we can't be the only individuals fighting this battle. So, if you're a dog owner in Atlanta, fighting traffic and work to give your pooch the right amount of attention, how do you find balance? What have you sacrificed or what would you have done differently?

Any wisdom would be appreciated. If you know Steve and I, you know we need all the help we can get!

P.S. Some of you notified me that the "Comments" weren't working properly. I have made it less complicated. If you still have problems, feel free to tweet me @BravesFanWhit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Book 1: Decision Points

Another goal on my 30 Before 30 list is to read more. I still need to define "more" but I'm already on my second book of the new year. I'm pleased with my progress.

I've been toying with the idea of buying a Kindle. While in Louisiana, I downloaded the Kindle application to my Blackberry, which turned out to be a much wiser decision. The application is free and my Blackberry is almost like an additional appendage anyway. Now, I can read on the go without carrying an extra device.

The first book I read was President Bush's Decision Points. Let me preface a couple of things here. I work in political communications. I was drawn to my profession during the 2000 Presidential elections, when I was 16. I watched the debates and the stories. I was drawn to Bush's convictions, his plans and his style. The first thing I did on UGA's campus was join the College Republicans.

I understand that some people do not like Bush. I am not one of those people.

With that out of the way, let me give a resounding recommendation for Decision Points. He writes it to explain many of the difficult decisions he made throughout his presidency, including those surrounding 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also includes biographical information that is really touching, especially his relationship with his parents.

The book showed me how enveloped he became in an issue before making a decision, how well-read he is (both for research and for personal benefit), and how deeply each decision weighs on him, especially decisions involving our military. Several of the stories moved me to tears.

I believe he will come to be regarded throughout history as a better president than he is currently given credit for. After reading the book, I don't think it really matters to him either. He made decisions based on the information he had and personal convictions. That is all you can ask for from an elected official.

The 24-hour news cycle bothers me for many reason, including it makes caricatures of our elected officials and demonizes them for ratings. I do not think Bush or Obama are the people the news makes them out to be. Above all, I enjoyed reading the book because it was his first-person account of his presidency, which we never got while he was in office.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Orleans

I was born in New Orleans and lived there until I was about 7 years old. Since then, I've lived in four other cities and multiple other houses. Really, Atlanta feels like home.

But New Orleans still seems magical. My dad lives about an hour outside the city now and we make the trip to see him once a year, usually right after Christmas.

When I go to heaven, I really hope it looks like Jackson Square. I can't explain the peace I feel sitting in the grassy square, staring at St. Louis Cathedral.

The nativity at St. Louis. The churchyard is actually behind the church and backs up to Royal St.

Statue honoring Andrew Jackson.

St. Louis Cathedral

 I have several NOLA traditions. I get my palm read in the shadow of the Cathedral. We visit the Abita Brewery. I also collect local artwork of Jackson Square and St. Louis.

If you've never been, Jackson Square is surrounded by an iron wrought fence. Local artists hang their art during daylight hours for tourists. I have two paintings and a line drawing. I also have an AP photograph from 2008 when it snowed in New Orleans.

I wasn't really planning on buying a new painting this time, but when I saw this, how could I resist?


The blue the artist used is so striking and whimsical. After some bartering at the artist's insistence, Steve and I purchased this gorgeous painting of St. Louis at dusk. We're going to hang it on our third floor landing so I can see it as I climb the stair at night. 


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Kicking Things Off

New years can be very promising, but, when you're carrying the same ol' baggage, it can be a bit discouraging, too. In an effort to change my karma, I'm making a promise to myself to start something new.

In February 15, 2014, I will turn 30 years old. Remember when 30 seemed old?

There are things I want to do before I turn 30, and I have so much time to do them. So I think I'll start now!

Another blogger had a 30 before 30 list and I thought it was a great idea. I'll catalogue my journeys here along with some other in-the-life tidbits.

Plus, one of the items on my list is to blog. Well, I've got a blog. Now I just have to keep it going.

So, thanks for tuning in. Feel free to leave a note. I'm looking forward to this!