ABOUT NAYI figure that if I'm going to put all the details of Josh's life here on a website for all the world to see, it's only fair that I tell you some things about myself... Fair is fair, after all. Hopefully, it will also help you to better know me, and why I built this site.
The boring bio stuff
My name is Rene', but my friends and family have called me Nay for most of my life. I was born and raised in Mississippi. I graduated college with a degree in psychology, but quickly decided I hated being a therapist. I'm about halfway through my master's program in elementary education, but have been on an extended break from school for a few years. I may go back, or I may not. . . we'll see. I've used my education mostly doing social work with abused children and their families, and working with adults with disabilities in inclusion programs. I now run a federal grant program to help improve the quality of life in an economically disadvantaged area here on the Coast.
Web design, which started out as a hobby, has become my second career and a great joy. I maintain many sites besides this one, mostly for recording artists, and I'm the webmaster for Roots Music Group in the UK. I'm also technical advisor to the United Nations' semolina anti-malnutrition program(IIMSAM). My skills are self-taught, and I'm constantly working on learning new ones. Web technology changes so quickly, it's a constant learning process, but one I enjoy.
Now you know the basics, but I don't think any of that really tells you anything about who I am, or why someone like me would build a website like this. Here's the stuff you really need to know, if you want to know me:
My mind is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.
I think a lot. A. LOT. I can analyze anything to death, given the time. Sometimes that's a positive thing, like when I'm discussing philosophy or politics. . . sometimes it's not such a good thing, like when I should just take things at face value and move on. I love to talk, debate, discuss, argue, or basically communicate in any form. My friends nicknamed me "Yoda" because I seem to be the person they come to for explanations of things, and there's generally nothing that shocks me or that I won't talk about. I'm very opinionated but usually not obnoxious about it ( I hope!) , which is something that has come with age. Despite my own opinions, I am very open-minded in general. . . I'm very much a "live and let live" kind of person. I can be brutally honest, but I'm always fair. I'm very emotional and have a temper, but it is very, very difficult to offend me. I don't get caught up in semantics. . . I think ideas are great things, whether they are expressed through poetry or the foulest language. Intolerance is one of the few things that truly, truly pisses me off. That, and ticket scalpers... They suck.
I can be such a dork.
I love to laugh and have fun, and that generally means that I'm not beyond saying or doing just about anything within reason. I can be very serious when I need to be, but I'm usually pretty easygoing and can get really silly at random moments. I'm completely addicted to caffeine, so I can get really hyper and don't get nearly enough sleep. I spend WAY too much time on my computer, which you had probably already guessed. I rarely watch TV but I love movies. I have too many favorites to really pick one, but I love Tarantino films, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Kevin Smith movies, old musicals, and GOOD (i.e., intelligent and creepy, not just bloody) horror movies. I read a lot. . . everything from Al Franken to Shel Silverstein to Terri McMillan. I totally love the "Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love, " which was written by a fellow Mississippi girl, Jill Connor Browne. The Queens have an attitude about life and relationships that is very close to my own. . . they believe in living life to the fullest, laughing as often as possible, and not taking anything (especially yourself) too seriously!
I'm a sucker for beautiful things
I have a great love of all different kinds of art and music. I love all genres of music except for really twangy country stuff, which makes me want to shove an icepick through my eardums just to MAKE. IT. STOP. My CD player has Aretha Franklin, Melissa Etheridge, The Violent Femmes, Peter Gabriel, Afro Celts, Aerosmith, Pachelbel, and the Blackeyed Peas in it, right next to my Josh CDs. I love to travel but don't get to do it often enough. Fortunately, I'm close to New Orleans, where art and music are as much a part of the city as are the streets and buildings. It's definitely my kind of town.
Josh Groban rocks my world
Now, here's what you REALLY wanted to know. What's my deal with that Josh Groban guy?? Well, in short--I adore the man. Notice, though, that I didn't say I was IN LOVE with Josh. . . which would be another thing entirely. It's not some weird romantic thing. . . I'm not obsessive or delusional, I don't want to be his girlfriend, I won't be driving past his house, peeking in his windows, trying to buy a lock of his hair on Ebay, or sending him my underwear in the mail.
I love Josh the way you love anyone that enriches your life in some way, be it a friend or a family member, or in this case, a perfect stranger who offered me a gift that I appreciate every day. My feelings are based on respect and admiration for his incredible talent, his honesty, his sense of humor, and his passion for his music--not his physical appearance or his image. Yes, he's gorgeous. . . but so are a lot of men, and I'm not waxing poetic about them on the Internet. I've never been the gushing "fan" type of person; I'm generally unimpressed by celebrity, but great character is another thing entirely. Josh has a great deal of character, and that is what sets him apart, in my book. He is truly the Real Deal.
The very first time I heard Josh sing, I was completely blown away by his voice and the level of feeling he brings to his performance, and something just *clicked*. Every diehard Josh fan has a similar story. . . for whatever reason, his music just seems to connect with some people on a very profound level, bordering on the spiritual. Once I was hooked, I began to learn more about the person that he is, and found that if there's anything more appealing than his music, it's his spirit. He has a huge heart to match his huge voice, he's wickedly funny, and he has worked his butt off to get where he is. Through Josh and his music, I have met some of my closest and dearest friends, laughed hard, cried even harder, and more fully experienced all the emotions that make life meaningful. For that, he deserves all my respect and support. I don't know Josh Groban, but I know enough about him and the type of person he is that I want to give my support any way I can, which is where this website comes in. It's my way of giving something back, and giving other people the opportunity to experience the music for themselves.
If you're just beginning to learn about Josh, I think you'll find that that Josh Groban guy is really someone pretty special.