I love the Foo Fighters. I mean really really love the Foo Fighters.

Blend dazzling melodies, riveting lyrics and a highly-energized front man and you have yourself the makings of a stellar show, one I get to experience in person tomorrow night in O town. Tickets on the floor – so close I might even get a little of Dave’s sweat on me. Goodie.

As a mini tribute, here are lyrics from one of my favorite songs, Everlong:

I’ve waited here for you

And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I’ll ever ask of you
You’ve got to promise not to stop when I say when
She said

Breathe out
So I can breathe you in
Hold you in

Gives me goose pimples. See you tomorrow Dave.

P.S. We saw 311 at the Fillmore last night and that show kicked ass. I had never seen them live before and I was blown away. They are playing tonight and tomorrow night. If you can – go see them – it will be worth your while.

Thank goodness. Feeling a sense of relief that this Bush crony is no longer a contender.

What a scary society we live in if what you know is not as important as who you know. The Miers nod coupled with the recent fiasco surrounding FEMA’s Michael Brown are two recent examples of someone completely ill fitted for a position being given the job because of who s/he knew. I have seen this happen time and time again within the ‘bubble’ of the tech world, but little old naive me was hoping it was not as wide spread as it seems to be.

My confidence in this administration steadily declines. (I know, hard to believe I still have confidence with all that has happened over the last four years). I crave a sense of stability and sign of intelligence within our Federal government. Is this too much to ask?

Please stay Judge O’Conner. I know you are 75 years old – simply ignore my politicians post as I think you are the exception to the age rule. I understand your husband is not well and it is critical you spend as much time with him as possible. But please, please look at the fragile state our country is in and give those of us who still believe there is such a thing as keeping your mind open and voting cases based on merit a glimmer of hope here. Stay at least until I can go to law school, pass the bar, sit on a local bench for year and then relieve you. I promise to start studying now.

P.S. If you want a funny read, there is a great Harriet Miers blog.

I was on the phone with my dad last night moaning over the inability of my car to just roll over and die as I want a new ride something fierce. With the 2006 models coming out this month, my car is now 12 years old and last week the odometer clicked 203,000. I had no idea motors could last this long…

You see, I come from a long line of car lovers who believe you should buy a new vehicle every 2-3 years, and the proverbial domino effect runs wild in our clan. My mom or dad would start it by going out and buying a car. Then we’d be chatting and I’d get the itch. I’d drive my new ride over to my sister’s house and whalaa – she was off to the dealership. Fast forward 2-3 years and we’d start the cycle again. If only we had timed it better, we might have been able to capitalize on dealership discounts for multi-car purchases.

It was always a great feeling as you never quite lose that new car scent, the leather is always soft on your tush, you don’t have to deal with this thing called ‘maintenance’ and if something does go wrong – you exercise your warranty option. That is surely worth a car payment or two isn’t it?

So why have I kept this one for so long? I have never really been in love with this car. It was simply a vehicle to get me to and from work at the time. It doesn’t have any get up and go - in fact, I am always amazed that I don’t get creamed when trying to merge onto the freeway. It is a 4-dr sedan, so it is far from sexy. The sunroof is broken and I refuse to pay $2,500 to fix it. I need a new antenna and the dealership thinks $500 is a reasonable price – no thank you. There is a weird smell coming out of it that has eluded three different mechanics. What gives? I had every intention of replacing it after a year or two, so it boggles my mind how I can still be driving this clunker today.

Could it simply be there has not been a car to make me go ‘oooooohhh’ in 12 years? Hard to believe, but I think so. Lord knows the Marketing departments of the car manufacturers work overtime in trying to sell us a new lifestyle, but nothing has made me stop and drool. Then enter the BMW 650i convertible. Oh my God. I think I am in love. In fact, Chris, sorry baby, but I want to cuddle up to this tonight. Wow. What a work of art.

So there. My choice has been made for me. I knew if I waited long enough – it would come. And so it has. I went online and checked Kelly blue book today and much to my astonishment, the piece of metal I spent $40,000 on in 1994 is now only worth $4,000. How can that be? I understand the logic of depreciation…but that bucket of tin has lost $3,000 per year over the last 12 years. I might as well throw that bugger away now. Well, ok maybe that is going a little far, but unbelievable how little value that car now holds. Especially, if I factor in taking off $2,500 for the sunroof and $500 for the antenna. I am now driving a car that is worth less than a Yugo.

So I picked myself up off the floor and brushed the carpet lint off my sweater. Ok, the worst part is over. I know I cannot count on my car being a ‘down payment’, but hopefully the dealership will look favorably on me (I am sure I can find a tight top) and will honor the $4,000 Kelly Blue book value.

So on to cars.com I go…

2006 BMW 650i Convertible
Vehicle Price: $81,195.00
Down Payment: $0
Trade-In Value:* $4,000.00
Sales Tax: 0%
Interest Rate: 6.83%
Term (Months): 60
Monthly Payment: $1,522.36
Total Cost: $95,342.00

* This of course takes for granted they would actually give me $4,000 for my heap.

$1,522.36 per month to just get into the drivers seat. This doesn’t factor in gas, insurance (which is horrendous with a San Francisco address), maintenance, etc. Where is that multi-million dollar winning lotto ticket when I need it most? ‘To the pain’. (For all you Princess Bride lovers) To come so close to greatness and have it so far out of my reach. It just isn’t fair.

So I called my dad to commiserate some more. I was hoping he would feel sorry enough for his little girl that he would share some lucky bucks for a down payment so it would bring my car payment down to a reasonable figure per month. But no…instead I hear ‘you know honey, you should have been making fake car payments into a savings account all these years when you didn’t really have one so when the jewel of your eye actually arrived - you would have the moolah to buy it without a second thought.’ Ummmm…thanks dad.

He laughs and in the same breath says….’so I sold my truck and your mom and I are now looking for a replacement vehicle. What does this BMW look like?’ The cycle begins again…

So reality sets in and I look down at my key ring realizing I don’t have it so bad. Yes, I would love a zippy new ride. Do I want to give up the things I do just to drive my dream car. No. I shall drive my tried and true vehicle into the ground and hopefully follow my dad’s advice so when my bucket of tin finally retires to the car graveyard – I will be ready and able to buy perfection.

Chris and I belong to the San Francisco Film Society and enjoy lots of perks with our paid membership. Not only do we get first choice for tickets to films in the annual San Francisco Film Festival, but also throughout the year we receive invitations to special movie screenings and parties hosted by the Society. This benefit, if actually used, completely exhausts the cost of the membership – and actually puts us in the green – which is a huge bonus as we are movie aficionados and spend a bit of cash in theatres. Note to self: Need to buy stock in Sony as they own the Metreon.

So tonight I was all set for a special screening of ‘The Weather Man’ starring Nick Cage. Was I dying to see this one – no – but a free movie is a free movie and well, it would give me something to blog about. :)  So with my pass in hand – I head off to the AMC 1000 on Van Ness with thoughts of buttered popcorn and Reese’s pieces floating through my mind only to arrive to a line of what seemed to be 500 people trying to get into a theatre that sits 300. Hmmmm…this could be a problem.

This screening was a shared venture between people who actually paid for tickets and those of us who received free passes from the Film Society. Those who paid are golden as they get in no matter what. Those of us on a free pass are trained by the Society to arrive early as seating is limited and it is a first come-first served environment. No worries I thought. I am here 45 minutes early –- they are surely going to let me in. I am invested. I bought my water and my popcorn, so they wouldn’t turn me away. Wrong. After waiting in line for 15 minutes, I catch sight of our Film Society master party planner, Alex, and pose the question….’so Alex, how is it looking tonight?’ to which she grimaces and says….’well, if you are at the back of the line, you might make other plans’. So, seeing there was only one person behind me and 499 people ahead of me – I hung my head and headed home.

The 10-minute ride found me stewing about the lack of desirable outcome. Not so much for missing the movie – but for all the effort and ‘expense’ I went through to get there. First a shower. Then the time it took to do my make-up (beauty does not come naturally to me). Don’t even get me started how long it took me to do my hair. Parking in the garage, which even though I was only there for 20 minutes – cost me $2 (of course this is relatively cheap by SF standards). The popcorn and water for $7. Standing in line, the gas it took, etc. Bummer. If I factor in my hourly rate, I realize this free movie just cost me $109 and I didn’t even get to see the show.

In a nutshell, nothing is free regardless of the many claims to the contrary. Every choice has an opportunity cost and that cost is not always monetary.

Sometimes ‘free’ just isn’t good enough.

So I will try again when the next invitation comes around and hope for better luck. Am I willing to show up two hours before the show to ensure I get a seat? No. Even bringing a book would make that a painfully long and uncomfortable wait, as I don’t know any theatre that has splurged on Berber carpeting or comfy cabin chairs. Maybe I can hire some college kid to hold my spot in line for me. Yeah, that’s it. Give them $20 and a bag of popcorn – then my ‘free’ movie only costs me $32 (if I splurged and bought myself some too) in lieu of $109. I am a genius.

I was this close. That is….had I actually bought a ticket. Wow. What would I have done with $340 million dollars? I think I would buy more than a vacation and a sports car, but to each their own.

Back to work I go.

I am a newbie to the blogosphere and find myself with a fascinating dilemma. I started this online ‘journal’ to keep my friends and family up to date with what was on my mind as it seems there is never enough time in the day to make those 20 phone calls or send those emails. This is way more efficient. So far, so good. I could rant, share my ‘insytes’, expose my inner being…warts and all. I would simply hit ‘Publish Post’ and whoosh – away went my thoughts into the black hole I thought was the blogosphere – sitting dormat while the next little nugget of Kristie’s ‘insytes’ was being developed. Never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone unknown to me would be interested in what I had to say and to be quite honest, I wasn’t even sure if some of those people who love me would take the time to sort through my madness. This is where it all went wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. Well, kind of.

A friend of mine has a great Marketing blog and was kind enough to mention me on her site. Cool. Sweet of her to let the world know I have been unleashed onto them. 🙂 Tara even went so far as to call me a ‘brilliant’ woman, but I think she might have had a few cocktails during lunch that day as that might have been a slight exaggeration of the word. But I digress…fortunately for her, and unfortunately for me, her blog has been well received and read by many. It seems a fellow Marketer’s interest was peaked and she decided to check out my blog hoping for some sign of intelligence. It took her the most recent post, which at that time was about my sinus infection. Lovely. Not exactly how I wish to introduce myself to strangers. Funny to me (or embarassing depending on how many beers I have consumed when I start thinking about it) – she blogged about the first impression this left her with and it ended up Squidoo’s blog. Geez, nothing like putting a spotlight on the darn thing.

Note to self: Check out that Squidoo software once released and then write something intelligent so there is at least one sane point of reference for people to click too. Ha!

So this is the risk you take when you put your stuff out there.

It is interesting to me as I now understand just how far my words can reach and that what I say does affect people (good or bad). What a crazy feeling I have now as I write. I feel empowered. Frightened. Enlightened. Wary. Open. All at once. Wacky stuff I tell you.

Will it make me more cautious of what I put out there? No. It will however, help me hone my writing skills to ensure my message actually gets across to the reader – known or not. I am a Marketing girl at heart and thought my communications skills were dead on, but it seems there is quite a bit of improvement needed on my end. Lots and lots of improvement. As I reread that post, I realize I didn’t get the message across I had started out to share – doesn’t matter now, but I had gone in wishing to express my dissatisfaction with Western medicine, the crappy little HMO plan I signed up for at work and the horrible scheduling process at UCSF (my group of ‘specialists’ only work on Friday mornings from 8am – 11am and there is always 50 of us trying to get in at once). But instead, I focused on my fear of nasal spray and my longing for a witch doctor to move in next door. Whatever. It worked at the time.

This 1.2 seconds of attention did make me evaluate the whole sharing with the world experience. This step back was surprising to me as I am pretty outspoken and don’t usually worry what other people think. What it boils down to is while I realize what I say can be/is a reflection on not only my other half, but friends, co-workers, my employer, etc. – you just can’t think about this too much or you stifle your creativity. What was that? You didn’t realize I had any? Funny guy you are. Hardy harhar.

I know it is not necessary, but I want to add a disclaimer here as it doesn’t fit at the top of the site: This blog was never intended to represent me as a Marketing professional or to share ‘insytes’ into the company I work for (which will never be mentioned by name here as this is a personal blog and I am sure my CEO is issuing a huge sigh of relief now. If you absolutely must know – simply Google my name…and whalaa). And no, for the record on the Google search, I have not had metabolic surgery. That is some other KW, who I am sure is as fabulous in her right, but she has a different story to tell. Ok, where was I? Oh yeah. Personal blog. One day I might share my thoughts on a cake recipe or the need for re-organization in the Federal Government. I will most certainly write about the snot in my head again as it has yet to clear and the drugs are done – I know you all are staring at your screens waiting for that text to roll in. I think the beauty of the blogosphere is that I can write what I want. People can think me ‘brilliant’ or they can think otherwise. If you are looking for some profound nugget of marketing genius…might I suggest a little Seth Godin? Me, I just want to share my thoughts. I tried painting and failed – so this is the next best thing.

So whether you know me personally or not – stay a while. Give me a chance. Or not. That is the beauty of this beast. You can sift through all the chatter and find those people or things that move you. There will be plenty of those that don’t – you just simply hit ‘next’.

Rock on fellow Marketers. Hello to the other women bloggers out there. And a big shout out to my snotty brethren. I raise my handkerchief to you all.

October 24th. My grandma’s birthday. She passed away 11 years ago, but this day cannot come and go without me thinking about her. What a lovely woman. I wonder if she knew how much how her love and spirit moved me then. And…still moves me today.

I keep a photo of her on my fridge and her sweet giggly laugh sounds in my ears anytime I think of her. Wow. So cool people can affect you that way. May I be as lucky to move someone as my grammy moved me.

I miss you.

We have a calendar at work which provides a dumb quote for every day in the year and it is interesting (or should I say frightening) to me how many of them come from our illustrious politicians.

For example:

“There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are alson unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know that we don’t know.”
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, trying to clarify the war on terrorism, during a pentagon briefing.

“You know, Tim, that’s one of the things that will be debated.”
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, after being asked by NBC’s Tim Russert why he didn’t use buses to evacuate residents in accordance with the city’s evacuation plan

“I AM the federal government.”
Tom DeLay, to the owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, after being told to put out his cigar because of federal government regulations banning smoking in the building

“You know the one thing that’s wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say.”
Former President Bill Clinton addressing the people of Philadelphia in the Courtyard, City Hall, Philadelphia, PA.

“I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.”
David Dinkins, Former New York City Mayor

“God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.’ And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …’ And I did. And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me, ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.’ And by God I’m gonna do it.”
President George Bush, as quoted by former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath, during a top-level meeting with Bush in June 2003

I know there are 1000’s more where these came from – this is just what I gleamed over the last week. Think of all the goodies I have been missing since January 1st!

There is so much I want to say on this subject – just how much, how often and to whom are all up in the air. It is easy for me to say ‘we really need to band together to ensure dimwits like this do not get into office – just how exactly do we do this?

Is there a known candidate out there that is worthy of our vote? I am not so sure there is. Maybe we need a viable candidate on a third party ticket who will not vote one way just because his/her party says too. Why do we need to be Republician or Democrat? Let’s start blending together and making this a better country for ALL. Stop the bickering in the Congress and the Senate. What a waste of time, energy and money. Let’s strike a happy medium and be socially liberal, financially conservative. Doesn’t that have a great ring to it? Let’s take care of our own FIRST. I agree we should help others outside the U.S. – but when we choose to raise millions of dollars for Tsunami victims and then just step over the homeless person on our own doorstep – it has to make you wonder where our heads are at.

So many people think getting Bush out of office would make all the difference. Do you seriously think we would have been any better off right now if Kerry was in there? Others are putting their hopes on Hillary for 2008. Please. Can you really get behind a woman who would put her dignity aside and stand by the man who continually cheated on her as she knew it bettered her chances to advance in the political ring? What about McCain? Dean?

Here is my wish list for the perfect candidate: I want someone young[er] in office – let’s say 45/50. Putting a 70 year old in office just seems wacky to me. Someone who worked HARD for a living. Let them have started in the mail room and worked their way – honestly and without malice – to the CEO’s chair to truly appreciate *everyone’s* position. Someone passoniate about turning this country around. Intelligent. Let’s not forget well spoken. And if I can be so bold as to add a request for them to have a sense of humor as well – to me, that would make a well rounded candidate. A woman would be cool – but make sure her platform is solid. This is not a gender race – it is all about the issues.

So, where are you? Maybe I am looking at you in the mirror. Maybe I am looking at you standing across from me in the checkout line. Maybe that is you that I wake up to every morning. Maybe you there in the red shirt. I don’t know – let’s just find that person and give them the tools they need to help us all make a difference. Our lives depend upon it.

Chris and I were invited to a screening of ‘The Californians’ Wednesday night at the Metreon starring Noah Wyle, Illeana Douglas and Kate Mara. I didn’t intend to write about it today, but as I rolled the characters and the story line around my head some more over coffee, I realized I had actually lived parts of this movie – so why not add my $0.02.

The plot: A slick, smug developer Gavin Ransom (Noah Wyle) has a dream: make millions by blanketing the coastal hills of Northern California with flamboyant mini-mansions. His sister Olive (Illeana Douglas), a raving environmentalist, thinks otherwise, and aims to stop her brother’s land-gobbling plans. When Zoe Tripp (Kate Mara), a beautiful folk singer, joins Olive’s cause, Gavin gets thrown for a loop, falling hard for the striking young woman with the golden voice. Caught between Olive’s righteousness and Gavin’s affection, the idealistic and innocent Zoe, coached by her parents (Keith Carradine and Valerie Perrine) and a maternal environmentalist (Cloris Leachman), must choose between a cause she’s grown up supporting, or the affections of a man who stands for everything she believes is wrong.

The Californians pokes fun at any individual or group that clings so close to its cause that it loses sight of its goal. I think it is worthy and recommend everyone see it. The only negative comment (if I could call it that) was I thought it had more singing in it than necessary. But it provided interesting characters, good story line embroiled with personal conflict and a couple of good one liners to boot.

This story really opened my eyes and several times throughout I found myself questionning what character I wanted to support – do you try to make as much money as you can and develop that beautiful untouched patch of earth or do you leave it to the salamanders and the field mice? I think I leaned slightly more towards Olive, the saver of mother earth – but she was so extreme, I felt sorry for Gavin the developer and was rooting for him at times. Strange.

In 1975, my family bought an acre in Clayton which housed a small gathering of people at the base of Mt. Diablo. Clayton was considered a ‘horse’ town with a single lane road to get you in and out. There was a small grocery store, saloon, beauty salon and a pizzeria. That was it. Our family lot was in a cul-de-sac at the top of the hill shared by one other family, the Seeno’s, and both our families broke ground at the same time putting up 2500+ custom homes which was a pretty big deal back then.

The Seeno’s owned a development company that had been turning the beautiful hillsides of the East Bay into mini housing developments for several generations and were a big part of turning Clayton from a small ranching community into the new Blackhawk development – think Atherton, Hillsborough, Tiburon, etc. I didn’t really care when I was younger as it meant I had more friends in the neighborhood, but as the years past, I started to resent the increased traffic, the longer lines at the store and the never ending flow of excavators, cement trucks, roofers, etc. I saw Clayton lose the essence of what made it great. It once was a community where deer came into your backyard, kids played in the streets and families left their houses unlocked. Today it is nothing but a sea of smog and snooty people – and everyone is trying to keep up with the Jones’ – which California is famous for. We have so much…but we aways want more. Of course, I can’t imagine living anywhere else (well, except for NYC) and I am the first to admit (good or bad) I fall right into the California mold…

I don’t fault the Seeno’s for taking the opportunity to build back then because I know if they didn’t – someone else would. I can’t blame my dad for wanting to build a nice house for his kids to live in – even though it meant we developed a plot of pristine land and probably forced a field mouse out of his home. Do I feel strong enough to stand on a soap box or lay down on a train track to inhibit progress? No. It will happen with our without me. It does, however, make me wonder how our communities can continue to grow at this fast pace, and what effect it has on the environment, and if there ever can be a happy medium – but this post is already getting way too long, so I will continue that discusson on another day.

Go see the movie.

I am a lucky girl. I made plans to meet a couple of buddies this weekend for a combo birthday / bachelorette party in Chi town and the city just happens to be the host of game 1 of the World Series that starts on Saturday featuring the Chicago White Sox – who with their win over the Los Angeles Angels – advanced to their first World Series since 1959, the the second longest drought between appearances. (Chicago Cubs hold the number one spot there).

This is cool as I love baseball. This makes me lucky as all the girls coming on this trip love baseball too.

This surely turns our girlie weekend of debauchery into the girlie weekend of debauchery with a baseball chaser – BONUS!! I am sooo excited. I doubt we will be able to scalp tickets at any reasonable price, and not being a White Sox fan makes spending $1k per ticket for nose bleed seats a little ‘crazy’, so we will probably settle on barstool in a local sports bar close to the park full of die hard wishful thinkers mulling over all the reasons the SF Giants didn’t make it to the show this year. And no, I don’t think it is solely because Barry was out for most of the season…

So Chi town here we come. Do I care who wins? Not really – just happy to be near it all. However, I will preface this by saying…if the Cards happen to beat out Houston this week, I will be rooting for Ozzie’s alma mater….ever so quietly though…as I don’t want to get my ass kicked.