Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

January 3, 2017

A Pitiful 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 11:10 am

There’s been a lot said about 2016 and the “horrible” things that happened during the year and the many artists and celebrities and loved Americans that passed away. I can add to the horribleness by pointing out my measly 2 posts on my own blog over 365 days (oh, wait 366… this was a leap year). I make a New Year’s Resolution to do better in 2017. So this is one. I only have to produce two more posts to meet that goal.  It sounds easy enough, but we’ll see what I come up with.

I have gone back this week and re-read some of my entries from the Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches Cruise in 2009. I am going to leave this Friday on that same cruise, but under different circumstances. No husband playing in a band this time, I’m going with a girlfriend who is graciously taking me along as her companion since her husband couldn’t go.

As I was looking up those old posts I discovered how difficult it is to FIND old posts. I can’t seem to find a way to look up a certain date or see the titles of a lot of posts at once. Have you figured that out? That makes me think that maybe 2017 is the time for a new WordPress theme to make them all appear in a more orderly fashion. If that is possible…   I’m not sure how easily I can move from one format to another. I know there are still many old posts that don’t have the photos they started with or have lots of odd punctuation because I switched hosts some years ago. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to fixing those glitches, so let’s not go so far as making crazy promises like that, but I’m looking into a new theme. Be forewarned. I’ve gotten used to this soft peaceful green. I won’t get crazy, trust me.

Happy 2017!

March 14, 2011

Upon the occasion…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 10:54 pm

Of my 52nd birthday, I suppose I should look back and come up with something wise to say.

Nope, nada. I got nothing.

Tomorrow is the big day and I’m already receiving lots of nice greetings by phone, email, Facebook, UPS, and face-to-face. I’m sure there will be plenty more. I already had a lovely surprise chocolate cake from Marsha, Denise, and Jenni last week. That was certainly all the cake I need.

I am sure I have “babier” pictures, but we’ll go with one year old. That’s over a half a century ago, you know. The picture is an antique and so am I. I’m trying to think when was the last time I had a picture made when I was wearing a dress. Quite likely a funeral a few years back.

I could go into  my own personal “Janice Williams THIS IS YOUR LIFE!” and recount many of my favorite birthdays, but they’ve all been wonderful and I wouldn’t give back a one. I’ve earned every wrinkle and gray hair and I know full well that 52 is the new black (or something?).

December 28, 2009

Christmas Parties

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 12:53 pm

One of my New Year’s Resolutions, I just decided, is to get my website and blog off of this server and on to another one. I do not like the whole interface that Yahoo provides and it is ALWAYS hard to get to the page to write this blog on. I feel like Maxwell Smart going through all the doors with codes and keys and passwords to get here. I don’t have a lot of worry about anyone breaching my security and hacking my blog and writing terrible things. I think the two or three people that read this blog would understand.

I have been waiting for the past half hour for a Texas country artist to call me for an interview. I had forgotten the interview and scheduled a lunch and then remembered and cancelled the lunch and here I sit and no call. I wish I were at lunch instead.

But that’s not what I came to write about…

—– *** —–

I went to some lovely Christmas parties this year and I think three of them are worth reporting on.

The first was a Christmas party I did NOT go to.

My biggest job, the one I spend up to 30 hours a week doing, is for a pretty big corporation here in town. They do things in a corporate way. I am not an employee, I am a contractor, a consultant for them. I set my own hours and they pay me for my musical knowledge. It is a pretty good deal.

In late November, an email went out to everyone in the Austin office saying, “Save the date, December 9, for a company party!” I work among several employees that are full-time employees and a few that are like me. We all share a workspace. I heard the full-time employees discussing their party plans in early December and they were saying, “We have to RSVP by today, are you going?” I had not had an invitation to the party, only the Save the Date notice. Knowing how corporations are, I realized then and there that part-time employees or consultants were not invited to the party.

I truly was okay with that. If I were invited, I would feel an obligation to go and might need to buy something to wear. I’d have to try to get around to the decision-makers of the company so that they would know who I was and see that I was a team player and would love to have a full-time job with them. I would have to be memorable. And, geez, I don’t have time for that nonsense. Hire me or not, but don’t make me play games, has become my motto.

The next day I got an email from my immediate boss. She is very cool and easy to work with. I’ve known her 10 years now and she used to be Mark’s boss at one time. We both like/liked working for her. She was forwarding along her eVite to me and the other part-time contract consultants and also to the interns that now work for us. She passed it along with the note, “You’re welcome to come to this party.” By this time I figured it was a corporate policy to not invite the part-timers, so I declined.

Then the next day my poor boss had to send a “dis-invitation” to us and tell us that we were NOT invited to the company party. Full-time employees only, no part-timers, no contractors, no clients, no interns, no spouses even. By this time, even the full-timers were pretty much saying, “Why would I want to go stand around at a Christmas party with people I see five days a week?” I don’t know if the party was a success or not or if anyone went to it. In these days of belt-tightening, I think the employees would have been just as happy if the company had foregone the party this year.

So I was NOT invited to the party where I work. Funny, then, that I WAS invited to a party where I don’t work and really never have.

In 2008, I was working for Marsha Milam Music, booking bands and setting up shows. We decided to rent some space with a law firm downtown where a dear friend of ours worked. We moved in and I quickly became friends with the others that worked there. They were always completely inclusive and invited us to their office Happy Hours (where the company even paid!) and had a birthday cake and celebration for me, just like they did for all of their own employees. Last year, while I was still officing there, I was included in their office Christmas party and we had a lovely time eating and then going to see Raul Malo together. These are fun people.

We moved out of that office in April and I stopped working for Marsha soon after that. Of course I am still friends with the people there, but didn’t expect to get invited to their Christmas party. So when I was, I declined. I said, “I don’t work there, you shouldn’t include me.” But they were insistent. They were sweet, so I went to that party.

Now that was a nice Christmas party. We ate a fabulous sit-down meal at the Belmont downtown and there were door prizes and great conversation. Some of the people brought their kids with them. Everyone was convivial and welcoming. We had a gift exchange and there were lots of laughs as everyone tried to “steal” gifts and get the best thing. I stole a great big travel mug that can plug into the car power or even into a computer USB port to keep the coffee warm. I scored. Lovely people and a great party.

Between the two extremes, I had another lovely party. The good doctor that I work for had a Christmas party. In year’s past, we have mingled our Christmas party with a larger pain management clinic. We used to share offices with them and we work closely with them on some things. But the parties have been a bust because they have about 100 people there and we have about 10. We don’t know any of them and they don’t want to know us, so we hang out in our little corner.

This year, we told Dr. Stern that we didn’t want to join up with the pain management clinic. We don’t share offices anymore so it didn’t seem like we needed to. We told him just a get-together at his house would be enough, or we could just go out after work together and that would be fun.

But he and his wife planned a lovely night for us. On a Friday two weeks before Christmas, they had us all come to their country club for dinner. Everyone was there and all brought their spouses except for me (Mark was out of town working) and a doctor who isn’t married. So there were 10 of us and we had a great dinner with appetizers and desserts and drinks and lots of good conversation. The setting was lovely, right by the fireplace in a beautifully decorated room, and it was a very nice sharing of a Christmas experience.

These parties reminded me of the horrible Christmas parties Mark and I endured at ABC Radio Networks in Dallas. I think I’ve written about them before. The worst experience was when we milled and visited and suggested to a couple that we sit down at the big 10-top tables that were set up. No, they said, they already had a seat over here with their department. We mill and visit some more and suggest it to another co-worker. No, he was going over here with these guys. After more rejection, I said to Mark, let’s just go sit at a big table by ourselves and let others come to us. “The tables will fill up and someone will sit with us,” I said. We sat, alone, waiting. The raucous table next to us was filled with people from the accounting department and they had all 10 seats filled. A couple walked toward us. We got our hopes up. Without a word, they pulled 2 chairs from our table and squeezed into the packed table with the accountants. We finished our meal, ate our dessert and split. Miserable.

December 7, 2009

Quick Dallas Trip

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 1:18 am

Every Saturday of the football season, my mother and I watch the college games together. Maybe not in the same room, but we usually have a phone call back and forth to discuss the wins and losses and what we are watching. With the excitement of the Big 12 Championship Game and the SEC with Florida #1 and Alabama #2 game facing each other, I decided it would be more fun to watch those games in the same room with Mom so I made a quick trip to Dallas yesterday morning. The SEC game turned out to be an effortless win for Alabama, which was a big surprise, and the UT victory was a lot tougher than anyone anticipated and just about made my heart stop (or explode) in the process. I kept telling myself that I’m not a UT alum, I’m not a diehard fan, why do I care? But I do! And I like the excitement in this city anticipating a National Championship!

I had a fun experience on the way to Dallas at the Starbucks in Temple. Last year (this very week, as a matter of fact), I stopped at that Starbucks when I was on my way to Dallas when Mother was in the hospital about to have her gallbladder removed. I ran into Steve Laukhof, a local advertising mogul, and caught up on our lives since our last remote together. Soon after, I got to do some voice work (for money!) so it was a very nice chance encounter. I was thinking about that as I stopped yesterday. Then I was talking to the girl behind the counter and a woman was behind me in the line, though it turned out she was a store manager. When I gave my name to the counter girl for my eggnog latte, the manager said, “Janice. Austin. KVET!” I said yes, and she said she missed me so much and loved listening to my show. I thought that was very nice to be remembered after 2 years. I told her I had a blog now and she said, “Yes, I read it!” So a big thank you and hello to Jessie for making me feel like a celebrity for a brief moment again.

June 24, 2009

Computers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 11:53 am

I have lots of thoughts about topics, but they are all long and involved, so let me just rant a moment about computer designers. I am tired of the words “user friendly” or “intuitive.” I don’t believe there is such a thing. It is just something computer people make up because they “get it” and don’t know why the rest of us don’t.

For instance, just now on my Yahoo website page, where I go to change my main website or to access this blog for updates. It had a link that said “Why not make your Easy Upload more accessible? Just click here” or something like that. The Easy Upload is a function I need to change the main website and add pictures anywhere and I do need it to be more accessible, so I thought I would click that link. Does it take me to what it SAYS it will have? No, it takes me to the general help page with a million topics and a search box, etc. From there I have no idea what to click or search for.

My Mac computer has been the same way. I got it last year because everyone told me that I would be able to do my website easier and more quickly from a Mac than from my PC. Everyone raved about how intuitive the Mac is. That is a bold faced lie! If someone has never used a computer, maybe it would be easier to learn with a Mac and things might come easier. I don’t know. I have been using computers for 20+ years (both PC and Mac). I never did find the Mac to be intuitive or easy to use when I “knew” what I was doing. I still don’t quite know how to save things or find things and my biggest gripe is how it “yells” at me when I unplug something. On my PC if I plug in a camera or a hard drive or a flash drive and unplug them, they are just unplugged and I’m done, but the Mac warns against corrupted data and insists I need to disconnect them digitally before I do it physically or something.

Anyway, that is all just spewing and ranting and fomenting. My ankle/foot/knee/body is getting better while it gets bluer. I’m limping but I’ll live. Thanks for asking.

May 13, 2009

Worst Funeral Ever?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 11:56 pm


(This typeface is different because I wrote this and then pasted it in, rather than writing it here where it MAKES me use their typeface. Better? Worse?)

I went to a funeral last weekend. The brother of our best man died. I didn’t know him well, but he sounds like a wonderful man and a good friend. He had been in a car accident at the age of 19 and had been a quadriplegic for 34 years, but he beat the odds and was able to drive a car, take care of himself, and live a full life until cancer took him at 52.

 

I have been to a lot of funerals in my life. I believe I go to more funerals than the average person. I’ve been to some bad funerals. But this, sadly, will go down in my mind as the worst funeral I’ve ever been to.

Not the first part of it, though. An Irish priest from the hospital was the “master of ceremonies” and had been Russ’s chaplain at the hospital and I realized that this was the same chaplain that had been there for my dad two years ago. I had never met him, but Mackie and mother had talked about the cute Irish priest. After the service, I thought, I will go introduce myself and thank him for ministering to my dad.

 

Mark’s best friend and best man, Les, eulogized his brother Russ and did a beautiful job. Many other friends and loved ones and a nurse from the hospital all got up to say great things about Russ. The four other “boys” that had been with Russ the night of his accident and had all also been injured were there and one spoke about their lifelong friendship. I got a good feel for the kind of man Russ was.

 

When all the stories had been told in 45 minutes or so, the priest asked Les in an aside if he could have about five minutes to wrap things up. Certainly, said Les. The little Irish priest then proceeded to preach for 45 minutes. And it was the most disjointed, unrelatable, all-over-the-map, sermon I have ever heard in my life. He quoted songs, he quoted scripture, he told anecdotes, he warned us not to have regrets and then quickly backed up and said, “I’m not saying Russ had regrets, I’m just saying that you shouldn’t have regrets…” He told stories of his life, stories of his ministry, stories that made him look important, or that’s what it seemed to be trying to convey. He told us to send cards to Russ’s parents. He told us to bring food by and visit Russ’s parents. He told us to be kind to dogs (maybe I hallucinated that part, I was drifting in and out by now). I was not just bored with this sermon, I was angry. Angry that he would take this platform and preach to a captive audience. When he started talking about the rapture and Jesus coming again, I wanted to jump to my feet and shout, “Jesus, come take me now!!” And when he started to talk about the end of time and how the establishment of a state of Israel is a sign of end times, I was close to walking out the door.

 

He said, “Finally…” and “In closing…” a couple of times before he ever got near a conclusion, because something else would pop in his head and it had to come out. Finally, well, still not finally, he said a long prayer. Surely, it was almost over. No, he went on from there. And then, THEN, he said thank you for coming and ended… and stepped around from the microphone and talked some more. Meanwhile, thunder and lightning were crackling all around and I was praying for an electricity failure to put a stop to this or even for a tornado to take the roof off the place. Anything to make it stop.

 

When he did stop, I jumped up and got to the lobby in record time. Mark and his mother were close behind, but I believe they got caught a little in the stampede of everyone else that was breaking free and trying to escape. I certainly did not, at this point, want to go introduce myself to the priest; I might have been there all evening, too.

 

I know the priest had the best of intentions. I expect he doesn’t get to preach very often and didn’t quite know what to do with the opportunity. But now I am worrying about all the sick people that he may be subjecting to long captive sermons each and every day at that hospital. At least they have a “nurse call” button they can use, hopefully, to end it.

November 5, 2008

Mr. President

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 3:21 am

Vote

President Barack Obama.

I am overwhelmed that this historic election has taken place in my lifetime and that it was a candidate that I could wholeheartedly support.

I am excited that a smart man, a man of character and dignity, a loving father and husband, and an American that can calmly lead us for the next four (eight?) years, is our President elect.

October 25, 2008

Weird

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 10:52 pm

I wrote a post. I really did. It has disappeared and, of course, I didn’t do anything to save it before it disappeared. Maybe it will show up later. In the meantime, I’ve updated the website and everything there probably belongs here. Enjoy!

August 29, 2008

Nice Surprise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janice @ 1:49 am

It may be a nice surprise to you that I’m even writing. I have become sporadic lately. The “workday” is getting longer and longer and making the fun time to write shorter and shorter.

I had a nice surprise myself tonight at Shady Grove, though. I introduced the opening band with Matt the Electrician (which I enjoyed very much and would recommend you go see at the Saxon on Monday nights). I don’t give my name when I do those introductions, I know I’m just a body to that audience and my name wouldn’t mean much. But I came back to my seat and had a tall man come over and say, “Are you Janice Williams?” Yes, I said. I expected this to be an old listener that was surprised to see me. But then he said, “I’m Scott Nelson.” I knew immediately who he was. We went to high school together 31 years ago. I may have seen him at a reunion in the meantime, he said he went to one or two, but I don’t remember. It was quite a surprise to see an old classmate from Canyon High School (Class of 77!).

I thought a lot about high school while I enjoyed a great show from Radney Foster. I was lucky enough to go to a school that was small enough that we knew everyone in our class, but not necessarily well. I kept trying to pin down how I knew Scott. Well, mainly I just new Scott because we went to school together for six years. Was his father a professor at WT? I can’t remember. He had an older sister that was in my sister’s class, I think, I’ll have to compare notes with her. Scott and I were in choir together for four years, I do remember that, so I’m sure we shared many experiences and great choir trips with Mr. Jennings and with Mr. McCause Galveston. But, when I try to remember a moment or a story, I am stumped. But, like I said, I knew him well!

I went over on the break and met his wife Martha and heard more about their three kids and his career in engineering and how his dentist is another of our classmates. I brought up some of our classmates that I keep in touch with, but he didn’t remember some of them. What surprised me was that he said he recognized my voice from the stage, not from having heard me on the radio (though he did know that I had been in Austin radio), but from high school. No, I wasn’t an orator or a person who played a speaking role at school and I wasn’t an actress. I suppose I was just loud and a talker. I suppose most of the senior class would agree on that.

August 19, 2008

Greetings!

Filed under: Music,Uncategorized — Janice @ 3:16 am

Hi, how are you?

What’s shakin’, bacon?

How’s things in your world?

Hidy!

Howdy!

Howdy do!

Hey!

Hey hey!

Hey there!

Look at chu!

I’m sorry— I’m late, I have nothing to say, and I am sleep deprived, but I thought I should at least say hi today.

***

and sure, now I think of something to write about . . .

Tuesday night, August 19, 9 p.m. central time, on ABC TV there is a Primetime: Medical Mysteries on spasmodic dysphonia, the disorder I have. Watch it! Learn about it! Help people you know that struggle to talk.

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