Mark Richards


Wednesday, January 28, 2004



Tuesday, January 27, 2004

First Days On the Job

My first days on the job here at have been relatively uneventful due to delays in the setup of internet access and server logins. Here are a few observations I have made thus far:

  • I am going to like the working at the CNN Center. Working at a "tourist attraction" allows for a more laid-back atmosphere, which fits me well. What will not fit me well is all the fast food on the main floor...very bad for a diet.

  • All the and people appear to be fun and rather intelligent...not that my former co-workers were not, but you never know exactly what hand you are going to get dealt when starting a new job.

  • The work is going to be quite a challenge. I will get to use a wide variety skills and knowledge that I already possess, not to mention that I will have to expand my skill set and learn technologies that I have never used.

  • I still believe that this is going to be a good career move and I am excited to be here.

    Friday, January 23, 2004

    Last Day at UPS

    Today is my last day at UPS. I have mixed emotions because I really like everyone here, but I cannot wait to get to my new job.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2004

    Pottery Painting

    This past weekend I painted pottery with few people at a place called Wired and Fired. I was slightly skeptical going into this whole thing, but I thought I would at least give it a chance. The process is fairly simple: choose a piece of pottery from the huge wall, wipe it down with a sponge and water, paint it however you choose using the provided stencils and stamps, or by freehand, and then leave it there for a couple of days until they put your piece in the kiln to make it permanent. While this entire process seems simple, I found it to be a lot more challenging than it should be.

    First off, there were so many pieces of pottery to choose from, everything from picture frames to coffee cups to dog bowls. An entire 30 foot wall in the place was devoted to the selection. A nice, wide selection...possibly too nice. I had no idea which piece to choose. All I knew was that I wanted something I could get practical use out of and to not pay over $20. After twenty minutes of obsessing, I chose to paint the sushi/cheese plate. Why? Because I like sushi and can use it if I ever eat sushi at home and I like hosting parties where I can use it as a serving tray...that is if it does not end up as ugly as sin. Once I decided on the plate, I had to select four different color paints to use from the collection of fifty. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! I am not a designer. I do not know what colors will look good together. I had to ask the lady that worked there for some design tips. In the end, she really just ended up choosing the colors for me. That whole ordeal took another twenty minutes. Finally, on to the painting...kinda. What the heck was I going to draw on my sushi plate with the four colors I had?! To make a long story short, after mulling over the situation for a while and painting for even more time, I was finally done. I do not even know if it is any good because I just could not handle looking at the damn plate anymore.

    I did not realize that this experience was going to be so stressful. We sat there choosing, washing, and painting for over two hours! By the time we were done, my body was tight and I was tired...too much concentration. All that being said, I had a really good time and would recommend pottery painting to anyone looking for a change of pace.

    Friday, January 16, 2004

    The Fitness Kick

    I think I have done it, but I will not know for sure until next week. I think I have gotten myself into a regular workout routine. I have now worked out six days in a row doing both cardio and weight training during my sessions. It is not my goal to workout that often, but I feel five days a week is a good way to jumpstart my new fitness kick.

    The goal: lose thirteen pounds before I go to Las Vegas on April 1. Is that even possible? I am not sure because right now I have a basement weight that is about ten pounds above my goal. I have worked my behind off and have yet to crack that mark. Here is my logic though. Since I stopped working out and dieting hard core about at year and a half ago, I have only gained three pounds back. My body appears to have settled in and is very comfortable at my current weight. Now, if I return to working out and watching my diet more closely, I should start losing weight again, right? Makes sense, but we will just have to see if my body is going to agree with my logic.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2004

    Vegas Is On

    Last night, I purchased a plane ticket for my trip to Las Vegas in April. I am so pumped up about it. It is a good thing it is "Vegas Week" on The Travel Channel. That should be enough to tide me over for a couple more weeks.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2004

    It's Official!

    Well, it's official. I have given my two weeks notice here at UPS and will begin working for a week from Monday! I have really been itching to work for a company like Turner Sports Interactive and work on a site with the exposure of a, so when the opportunity came along I could not pass it up. It will be a little sad to leave UPS after such a short time because I enjoy the people and the work, but I am very excited about my new position and I cannot wait to get started.

    Monday, January 12, 2004

    Six Months

    I cannot believe that it has been six months since Sarah and I moved in together. We have gone through a lot during these months, both good and bad, and we have yet to kill each other surprisingly enough. When I say both good and bad I mean mostly good and an occasional bad. You cannot have a healthy relationship with some conflict though.

    Prior to our move-in, I did not foresee things working out as well as they have. To be honest, I thought that I would wish for my own space at times. I was slightly afraid of always having my girlfriend around....THE HOOOOOOORN! (Sorry...joke from one of my favorite TV shows) But to my surprise, I have never felt smothered or bothered by her presence (I know that sounds bad, but hear me out). Actually, the more time we spend together the better our relationship gets. We are always laughing and talking and having a good time. I really like having her around despite what I tell my guy friends when I try to play it off. When Sarah and I had a long distance relationship, we used to go through stints of three to four months at a time without seeing each other. Now, I see her every day and when I do not, it truly sucks and I wonder how we ever made it through such long periods of being away from each other. It is all rather sappy, but it is very true, which says something about our relationship if you ask me.

    Hopefully, the next six months will be as excellent as the first six.

    Monday, January 05, 2004

    The Holidays Are Over

    Now that the holiday season is over, this is a good time to reflect upon all that has happened since I have been back from New Jersey:

  • A small group of us went to Twist, a sushi restaurant, for New Year's Eve dinner. For dessert, we split the chocolate fondue as we usually do. Let me tell you, this stuff is awesome. The chocolate is so rich and tastes just heavenly. I am happy that we got a fondue pot for the holidays (if you ignore how fattening the various types of fondue are), so that we can now make chocolate and cheese fondue. Mmm mmm good.

  • On New Year's Eve, I had the pleasure of watching two chicks kiss at the bar we were at, Halo. They obviously had too much to drink, but it was extremely funny to watch. My observation: while I would definitely not do that with another guy, two females doing the exact same thing seems quite different.

  • New Year's would not be complete without people puking all over the city of Atlanta. That is exactly what a couple of Sarah's friends did shortly after midnight. It was rather gross, but I guess that means everyone had a good time.

  • My Clemson football team smoked the Tennessee Vols in the Peach Bowl here in Atlanta 27-14. It was a blast not having to travel anywhere to go to my team's bowl game, especially when it was to see a great win where we did not trail once in the game.

  • The temperature here in Atlanta a couple of days before New Year's and a few days after has been about 70 degrees. That is crazy warm yo yo (I probably should not use slang like that because I sound ridiculous) for this time of year even in this part of the country. I love the South.

  • I visited Stone Mountain for the first time while Sarah's friends from Chicago were in town. It was gorgeous standing on top of the mountain overlooking the Georgia woods and city of Atlanta. It really made me miss all the times I have been camping and hiking. I should try and get back to nature at some point during this year.

  • On a sadder note, Sarah's grandfather passed away a few days ago. She traveled home to New Jersey to be with her family and attend the funeral on Monday and will be returning later today. I wish her and her family my best.