Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brain's shot

So I was under the impression (based on conversations with the CFO in the past 2 weeks) that there was a Board of Directors meeting this week. Here. In Atlanta.

I also thought that the big 3 (CEO, CFO and President) would be having a pre-meeting here today.

Well, I have no idea what's going on.

Other than the big 3 are meeting today but it Philly not Atlanta.

And no, Jersey dears, there is not actually an office in Philly so there is no option to move back to the area. The CFO lives in Philly. CEO (dad) lives in Jersey. President lives in Houston. The meetings are in a different location every month. It's like the friggin' CIA up in here. Except less cool. By far.

Honestly, if my job was located in CA or NY or Boston I would love my job. It's being stuck in Atlanta that sucks.

I know, I should probably try a little harder to like Atlanta. Knowing people my own age would probably help...

Anyway, so back to my confusion.

Because I thought everyone was going to be here, I made brownies.

I like to make brownies, eat the residue batter in the bowl, and then let everyone else eat the baked brownies.

And I mean just baked...not that they are 'special' brownies that are 'baked'. I don't have a medical marijuana license here.

But no one came.

There's only two people in the office that will eat the brownies.

The brownies are sad.

I can hear them crying in sad dejection all the way down the hallway.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A picture and a (bad) haiku



Bro found this picture/
He thought of me and sent it/
I have to agree.

Favorite Cousin Strikes Again

FC (Favorite Cousin) announced her admittance into the Florida Film Festival yesterday. I'm not sure how it works, but at this rate, she'll be admitted to Sundance.

Since it's Florida, I thought, 'hey I may actually get to go!' And then I saw the date and its the day I'm supposed to be driving back to Atlanta from NY. There's no way I would make it down to Winter Haven by 7pm.

But I really want to. Mostly because of FC, but also because all the directors will be there. Including the director of the film shown right before FC's.



Rachel Weisz. The actress. The girlfriend of James Bond. Will James Bond be there (Daniel Craig)? Cuz then I would drive at the speed of light.

How awesome would it be for FC to beat out Rachel Weisz?

I just hope that RW doesn't win just because she's RW.

Because FC's film is really awesome. I have only seen stills, but I read the screenplay before she filmed it.

Here's a link to the festival if you are in Florida:

2011 Florida Film Festival

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Monday

Oh Monday. You came way too soon.

Saturday I went to get heels that are comfortable to walk around nyc in since I'm going to have to schlep around in professional business attire and I don't think my sequin ballet flats are gonna cut it with a suit.

I specifically wanted the Ivanka Trump black heels because I'd heard they were amazingly comfortable--much like their louboutin counterparts (simple 100).

Neither Macy's nor Nordstrom had them, so I ended up getting Gianni Bini's. They're cute, half the price of the trumps, and comfortable enough. I mean, I will be taking the subway...I'm not walking 80 blocks.

I also got my haircut on Saturday. I went to a nice place because I got a living social coupon for a $30 haircut and scalp/neck massage (instead of $70). I also got to lock in the $30 price for the next 2 trips if I booked while there. I went ahead and did it. $30 for a haircut is amazing. Except I have 2 problems:

1. I SAID NO BANGS. And yet, there are insanely annoying bangs draping across my forehead. They look good, but so freaking annoying.

2. I presented a picture because last time I told someone 'long layers' I swear there were close to NO layers. I thought a picture of EXACTLY what I wanted would help. Not so much. There are layers but they are too long. I can't curl them all pretty-like (like I did senior year of college). There's no movement because the layers are too long. No texturing to be done. AND THERE ARE BANGS ON MY FOREHEAD. There were NO bangs in the picture. None. It was a shorter layer, not bangs. At least the bangs aren't too short and it won't take too long for them to grow out more. I'm still going to the bookings I made...just make sure I say "no bangs" louder and more forcefully. And say "more layers" -- I say long layers because once I didn't and ended up with a shag that was not pretty. Gilbert knew exactly what I meant by long layers. He knew exactly how to cut my hair...I miss Gilbert. But I can't fly to LA just to get my hair cut...As much as I want to.

Nerd Alert: yesterday I did laundry and then watched a BBC documentary about the British Monarchy. It started with the fall of the roman empire and ended with Charles II. I hope there's another disc being made, because there's good stuff to be seen after Charles II. I'm a bit obsessed with monarchy. And this wedding coming up? I'm all over it. I seriously contemplated going to London during the wedding festivities. But the lack of money to get there put a stop to that idea.

It stormed ALL weekend. Saturday, Sunday, and now today. It really picked up at night. I've never heard thunder so loud in my entire life. The dog is absolutely petrified of thunder. He took to laying as close as possible to me and crying. Then about 4am today the loudest thunder boom happened and he decided that as close as possible wasn't close enough. Dude hijacked my pillow...he came in from above my head and plopped down taking over 3/4 of the pillow. By the way, dog needs an altoid. Or 10. Needless to say, I barely got any sleep this weekend. And it's going to be an insane week. It wouldn't be if I could just do this crap myself. I hate having to work with people (on projects). Just give me the stuff and let me do it. Especially when I'm the one who's being asked for the stuff but don't have it because it was actually tasked to the other person...who hasn't sent me anything.


Oh, and the photo challenge thing? Totally bored with it. It's hereby cancelled.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dance Dance Revolution?



Dude's awesome.

Not Springy in NYC

So, next Friday I'll be driving home (the Northeast, tri-state area, NYC).

I am SO FREAKING EXCITED.

I can't wait to be back in the city with New Yorkers who don't smile or talk to you unless you're in their way.

I miss the rude NY state of mind.

This whole Southern charm shtick gets pretty old, pretty quickly.

I grew up there. You could probably describe me as Jake in Sweet Home Alabama says, as a "hoity-toity yankee bitch"

... except I'm not hoity-toity.

Hoity-toity.

hehe I like that.

Sorry.

Back to the purpose of this rant.

I'm going to be in the great and wonderful NYC for the whole week.


See the big lake farther back? The Jackie O Reservoir in the Upper East Side? Well go to the right (and towards the front of the picture) a couple blocks and that's where I'll be staying. At the brother's place.

My brother's wedding is April 3 at a bookstore in Soho, and then I'm apartment/dog sitting for the week.

It's not all fun and games though.

I have to work. In fact, I have to physically go into an office and work a couple of the days.

There's no getting away with not working these days. Not possible. So annoying.

But I can't wait to hang out and do my work in my favorite coffeeshop in the village and then go browsing around at Strand (my favorite bookstore).

And of course, most importantly, being able to see my friends in a longer span of time than usual.

Usually I am up for 2 days max and have to squish everyone into that time frame and end up not seeing everyone.

Not this time. This time everyone gets QTWJ (Quality Time With Jaxie).

The only problem?

It's FREEZING up there now.

Like, it SNOWED a LOT just in the past couple days.

What is with that?

I wanted springtime in NY. Not extended winter in NY.

It should be completely snow-less the week I'm there though.

Thank Goodness. I don't do snow anymore...unless it's in the mountains and I'm skiing on it.

Swooshing side to side pretending I'm in the Olympics.

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, cold.

And I can't wait to see how big of a pain Quincy is going to be on the sidewalks of NY...he freaks out when one person is walking nearby him (other than me). And I have to walk him and Amelia at the same time.

2 bigger opposites you will never find.

But I'm still excited!

Coldness and crazy dogs included.

Well, not the coldness, the cold can go away.

ASAP.

My sleeveless dress for the wedding would really appreciate it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photo Challenge Day 16: Photo of a place you want to travel to

I love traveling. I dream of traveling all over the world. There are SO many places I want to go...so this is a doozy of a post.

Place Numero Uno...or I guess Place Numero Un (pronounce as a nasaly euh):

FRANCE.



For pictures, go back to a September post of Travel Thursday: CLICK HERE

Other places:

AUSTRALIA


GREECE


IRELAND.


TALL SHIP CRUISE IN WESTERN CARIBBEAN.


THAILAND.

AND MANY MORE...but that's it for pictures...
You can pretty much just assume that I want to travel everywhere...except the Middle East...

Bangs or No Bangs?



I'm getting my hair cut on Saturday.

It's long overdue.

I'm just going with my usual layered look, but am trying to decide whether to do bangs or not.

What do you think?

And, you can go ahead and throw your 2 cents in about the blonde or brown as well...

I love my hair blonde, but it's an expensive option.

If I go brown, I can grow out the color a lot easier. Lighter roots are much less noticable than dark roots.

Right now my hair is a dark blonde...and brassy.

So brassy.

It ain't pretty.

But Saturday I'm JUST getting the haircut, not color so I can see what happens to the color it is now when a lot of the ends are cut off.

I'm leaning towards brown though.

Or blonde.

Cannot decide.

So here's your job:

Bangs or No Bangs?

Brown or Blonde?

They all look good on me.

It's a curse.

;)

Photo Challenge Day 15: Photo of you and someone you love

Just look over to the right.

Me and my baby boy Quincy.

What? It's me, and someone I love.

Well, somedog I love.

I'm well aware I need a life.

That blog post is coming up sometime today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RIP Elizabeth Taylor



I'm sure all are aware by now, but Elizabeth Taylor has passed away.

She was one of the greatest actresses of all time.

Her talent and work was an inspiration to me.

You can't watch Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and not think she's amazing.

The Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast may have jump-started the acting bug in me, but it was a few years later that I saw Elizabeth Taylor onscreen and it was then that the passion for acting grew. Her work made me want to work harder and be better.

Wanting to be an actress was never, and will never (as the dream will never fade), be about the fame or money to me. It's about the work. Getting to transform into a character, bringing words on a page to life, touching the lives of people--it's about passion. The love of the art. To me Elizabeth Taylor embodied that. And when she had the fame, she used it to make a difference in the world. She brought the world's attention to AIDS and founded amFAR and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. These foundations have in turn changed and helped the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.

She was and always will be an inspiration to many. Let's just hope that people finally get past the number of husbands she had or the personal problems, and just focus on her work as an actress and as a humanitarian.

And if you've never seen one of her films, I suggest you head over to Netflix and get to watching. And donate to her foundations.

Photo Challenge Day 14: Photo of Your Favorite Family Member

One of my favorites, of course.

Don't want to ruffle any feathers here.

This is kind of a running theme...

My favorite cousin being Michelle.

She's my LA cousin.

And she's not just my favorite because she let me walk through a couple frames of one of her movies, or because she sends me Coffee Bean in a box with a gazillion stamps on it, or because I'm free to come stay with her in LA anytime (when she's there)...

Michelle is inspiring.

At least she is to me.

She's fearless.

She may disagree, but the mere fact that she goes surfing in the shark-infested ocean makes her fearless in my eyes.

She's gone after what she wants from Day 1.

Never giving up.

A short film she produced won at Sundance.

In the past couple weeks, she just won Best Short at San Luis Obispo International Film Festival for a short film she directed.

Her talent for directing just keeps getting better and better and one day she'll be holding an Oscar. I have no doubt about that.

And then she will let me hold it.

And I will run away with it.

But anyway, here's Michelle in action directing The Interview (film she just won for):

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 13 : Photo of your Best Friends

I personally don't like the phrase/term "Best Friend."

I certainly don't want to, and really, I can't, pick one or two as "best."

So here are just some pics of a few of the good friends I've had in the last few years.









Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh, hey Alabama...

Do you ever wake up and think, "That's it! I need coffee. Good coffee. I need coffee bean! I can't take it anymore!"

And then get dressed and jump in the car to go get said Coffee Bean coffee?

...a 2 1/2 hour drive away?

In Alabama.

Alabama is scary.

People talk funny.

Worse than the Georgians outside the city areas.

But they have Coffee Bean.

One lonely Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf sits in the middle of nowhere in Alabama.

It's a southern California coffee place with just a couple shops randomly in a couple places outside socal.

One being Alabama, another the Detroit airport McNamara baggage claim.

I'm addicted to Coffee Bean.

CLEARLY.

And no inflated gas prices are going to stop me.

I made the most out of it though.

The CBTL is in a brand new outdoor outlet mall.

I visited Banana Republic and Carters. (me and baby stores are a bad combo btw...)

And, gas in Bama was a good 10 cents cheaper than where I get gas in Georgia.

By the way, I feel for you Cali people...I freak out if I have to pay 3.50/gallon and y'all think that's cheap!

Anyway, so when I first got to the mall (in Leeds, AL), I headed straight for the Coffee Bean.

I technically didn't have a clue where it was but my heart led the way.

And 30 seconds later, I was standing in front of the pearly gates.

A couple minutes later, I was holding a large cup of Vanilla Latte.

The best Vanilla latte in the history of mankind is what Coffee Bean should call it.

I drank it while shopping around.

Then when I decided it was time to leave to drive back to Atlanta to the dog, I went back to Coffee Bean.

And got a to-go order.



One hot vanilla latte, and one iced vanilla latte...and also the vanilla powder canister and a bag of Creme Brulee flavored coffee (I wasn't quite willing to pay the $50 price for the 1 pound bag of Kona as amazing as it is).

When I explained my crazy behavior, the manager gave me the iced one for free.

Crazy pays off people.

Crazy. Pays. Off.

Photo Challenge Day 12: Photo of person you'd like to switch places with for a day.

Or for a lifetime...


(Vanessa Paradis)

Aside from the fact that she's that skinny after 2 kids, she's beautiful, and a successful actress and singer (in France), she's (common law) married to Johnny Depp.

Girl hit the freakin' jackpot.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Photo Challenge Day 10: Photo of you as a baby

I hope you are prepared for the overload of serious adorableness.



I know, right?

I'm insanely cute.

It should be illegal to be as cute as me.

hahaha

I'm super humble too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh Baby Baby Baby OHhhhh

My friend Simon is now the proud papa of an 8lb baby boy.

Named Tristan.

8 pounds sounds like a normal size baby...

Not if you knew Sara.

She's tiny.

It would be like me having a 12 pounder.

But I'm sure he's adorable.

And will look even more adorable in the West Ham onesie.

Congrats Simon and Sara!

Photo Challenge day 9: Photo of person you do the most screwed up things with

Oh boy...

For the record, I do not do screwed up things anymore.

Haven't for a good long while.

I'm a good girl, I am.

But when I wasn't always a good girl (mumsies & grandmumsies, please stop reading), I did some super crazy shiznit.

In my defense, I had good reason.

It was good reason in my mind anyway.

Anyway, I suppose I USED to get into trouble with the following (including, not limited to):


The LA Trouble Crew -- Trust 'em with me life.

They save me and I in turn buy them amazing Dodgers seats...it was an expensive weekend...that I don't even remember...trouble. lol

But, ya know, it was college. The time in everyone's life where trouble is meant to be had...and done...and regretted the next morning.

And, one cannot forget:


The old Jersey Trouble Crew (God help me, my friends are Arsenal fans...I've ordered a West Ham onesie for Simon's baby though, so maybe I can help the next generation)

There's an overlapping of high school, college, and beyond with these guys. But Raven didn't join up till the 'beyond' part. But those fun times have ended. At least with the old men to the left as they've chosen a life with wives and kiddies. And I moved. Sorry Raven. She's so Raven. hahahahha sorry.

The End.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Photo Challenge Day 8: Photo of your favorite band

This is crazy. I have no idea how you pick a favorite band. Unless your a screaming teenager who loves Bieber.

Granted, if I was still in my teens, I'd be shouting nsync from the rooftops. I probably did back then...

I love music.

All kinds of music.

Except rap.

Rap is the one thing I've never been able to get onboard with.

I've been playing Adele in my car for the past 3 weeks.

I now have a new music obsession that I just discovered: gypsy swing.

I will learn it on my guitar.

It will probably sound horrible.

Don't care.

Anyway, I've got a collage of 4 musicians I love.

I love many more as well.

But I'm too lazy at the moment to make more collages.

Deal with it.



Adele, Katy Perry (she's fun), Siren's Eye (band in LA--this pic is at viper room -- I love them), and August Burns Red (and not just cuz of Matt).

But I love Nothing More and Marianne Keith and Cher Lloyd too. I'm very eclectic in my music tastes. And, as you may notice (with a few exceptions), I tend to prefer indie bands (aka underground bands, non-mainstream bands).

While on the subject of music...check out Brick By Brick. A new ministry created by Matt (of August Burns Red) and Tim (of Station 153--the guys I used to sing with). It's great. If you are part of a church, and a church that loves music...check it out. NOW. Go Here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Favorite Blog.

This blog is my new obsession.

Style Me Pretty.

It's a dangerous obsession.

Slightly painful.

It's got to be some kind of bad juju for a single woman to read wedding blogs...

...and even more bad juju to then plan weddings in my head.

At least I've not written anything down.

Or hit "Save As" to "Wedding" folder

I swear that is not actually a folder anywhere in my computer.

Or a zip file.

That would be MAJOR bad juju.

And I can't take any chances.

I'll be 26 in less than 2 months.

Oh dear me, I'm old.

...

Please don't judge me.

Photo Challenge Day 7: Photo of You and Person you've known the longest (not family)



Mikey. And Me. (I tagged Justin, but he's not actually included in this, no offense)
New Jersey Luncheon, 4th grade. Mike was "Boy" and I was "Girl"--we had to turn in circles to signify the passing of time or place.

It was dizzafying.

And dangerous.

I clipped the whiteboard.

Or it clipped me.

We fought.

Anyway...

Mike and I go WAYYYY back. Like nursery. Clinton Baptist Church (Now South Ridge Community Church).

There's video footage too...of one sweet, young probably 4 year old Mikey stealing the microphone from me during the Christmas pageant at church. Rude.

There's also a picture of me and his sister Karen fighting in the nursery over a bucket big enough to sit in. Then we were good friends in elementary and middle school, and high school too somewhat. I can't believe Karen is married and preggers now...

And Mike is a world traveler (that's an understatement).

And I...dream of being a world traveler, and a wife, and a mother, and a writer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love this song.



I love this song. Natalie Maines does a good job with it too.

(Yeah it's totally the Beach Boys song from the end of Love Actually)

Photo Challenge Day 6: Photo that makes you laugh

There are a LOT of pictures that make me laugh. It was hard to choose. This particular picture won for the day.


L-R: Chris, Brian, Adam. April 2004.

Freshman year, these guys always somehow ended up wearing red, white, and blue. Chris would have white, Brian blue, and Adam red...or in a different set-up. Same as Christy and I always somehow managed to match.

See?

None of that was ever planned...but ALWAYS happened.
Freshman year was a good year.

Case in point, here's another picture that always makes me burst out laughing:

I should probably mention that Chris is the ex-boyfriend. From freshman year.

Oh youth and stupidity. Not that he's not a great guy, but we were oh SO wrong for each other. And not just cuz at first I was just trying to make someone else jealous...and then in the middle started really liking a different guy (for those that know, this 'different guy' is "the one that got away" that I talk about--despite the fact that Brian still calls him a douche...he's totally not by the way). And then we ended. And I was heartbroken...moreso that I no longer had that glorious social status of having a boyfriend. Again, youth and stupidity. Here's some advice: If you are desperate to just have a boyfriend/husband, you shouldn't have one. It's when you think you don't need one that you are ready.

I haven't seen or talked to Chris is years, but I see Adam and Brian every time I go to Cali...so about once a year. I so wish it was more than that. I also wish I still lived in Cali...but you'd have to be a complete stranger to not already know that.

But I love that I can just look at these pictures, and many others, and laugh at (or with) the memories.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Photo Challenge Day 4 & 5

So today is technically day 5, so I've got to make up for that.

DAY 4: Photo of last place you went on holiday.

Smokey Mountains, August 2010.

My last "holiday" (or vacation in Americanese) was a week in the Smokey Mountains. It was nice to avoid work for a week, but the vacation was mostly exhausting, frustrating, anxiety-inducing. But the hike to the top of one of the peaks was incredible--the view even moreso.


DAY 5: Photo of person that has gotten you through the most.

Jesus.

Sure, this may seem corny, and you may say He's not technically a person, but I never would've gotten through recent years without Him. My life got completely turned upside down about 7 years ago and I started on a very not good journey for the next 4 years. It took a very long time, but a couple years ago I finally realized that nothing is going to make me feel good and be happy but God--and that God loves me despite what I've done, thought, etc. and NOTHING can change that. That's huge. That's gotten me through everything. And still does.

Photo Challenge Day 3: Photo that makes you happy


May 2010. Malibu, CA

Few things are as beautiful as the CA coastline between Santa Monica and San Francisco. I stopped along a stretch of the PCH in Malibu last May to take some pictures.

I believe I'll be doing this again this May. Except driving the PCH from LA all the way to SF. Or at least to San Simeon-ish...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo Challenge Day 2: Photo of yourself one year ago



Almost exactly one year ago.

Claire's baby shower. She gives birth to some of the cutest babies ever. 3 of them.

During the couple months I spent traveling back and forth between Atlanta and NJ every week.

Wait, I don't mean she gave birth to all 3 in 2 months...they're like 3, 2, and 1. I think. Charys may be 4...

I remember it was also POURING down rain. Like, 2 seconds and you were completely drenched.

I'm wearing red.

And my hair is pulled back.

Because rain murders my hair.

PS. Jeri is totes reminding me of Stevie Nicks or someone like that.

Heartbreaking

Turned on the news early this morning and watched until I had to leave for work. Heartbreaking destruction and lives lost in Japan. Tsunami warnings for 20 different countries. Hawaii is supposed to be hit any minute...CA coastline at 7:15am (PST). Prayers going up in double time for all in Japan, Hawaii, CA, and everyone else who may be affected by the tsunami.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leah @ Stone Pony



One of my girls from the youth group in Jersey. She's made it to the final round of the Break Contest to play at Bamboozle.

Her album is on itunes - Leah Le Grace.

30 Day Picture Challenge

I guess this is technically a facebook thing, but I'm not going to annoy all those people everyday with photos of myself. So I'll annoy all y'all instead. :)

Here's the list:
1. Photo of you with 10 facts (scroll down for Day 1)
2. Photo from 1 year ago.
3. Photo that makes you happy.
4. Photo of last place you went on holiday (or vacation for us Americans)
5. Photo of person who's gotten you through the most.
6. Photo that makes you laugh.
7. Photo of you and person you've known the longest. (not family, I guess)
8. Photo of your favorite band/musician. (I have to pick one???)
9. Photo of person you do the most screwed up things with. (can't wait for this one)
10. Photo of you as a baby. (prepare for the adorable overload)
11. Photo of your favorite film(s).
12. Photo of person you would love to trade places with for a day (or forever).
13. Photo of your best friends.
14. Photo of one of your favorite family members.
15. Photo of you and someone you love. (get ready for a classic photoshopped picture)
16. Photo of somewhere you'd love to travel (gonna be a few)
17. Drunk photo. (oy)
18. Photo of one of your classes (not sure how this is gonna go).
19. Photo of someone you couldn't imagine your life without. (awwww)
20. Photo of something you enjoy doing. (hehe)
21. Photo of something you want to do before you die. (maybe I'll do a bucket list next month)
22. Photo of your hometown. (oh Clinton...)
23. Photo of your favorite book.
24. Photo of a good hair day (everyday of senior year of college, I was a hair fiend)
25. Photo of a night you loved.
26. Photo of your biggest insecurity (oh yay)
27. Photo of someone you miss (this is gonna be a doozy)
28. Photo of what you ate today (I'll lie)
29. Photo of someone you find attractive (Hi Johnny)
30. Photo of you when you were happy (I like their use of past tense lol)

Ok, so DAY 1:



1. I love coffee. That mug got filled up 2-3 times by noon.
2. This was taken during the best summer I ever had.
3. I'm a total history nerd.
4. I have a Political Science degree, but cannot stand discussing politics.
5. When I say I want to study international law, I mean human rights, not business.
6. I have half a masters degree in Christian counseling.
7. I've moved 12 times in my life. 5 times in the last almost 4 years.
8. I'm obsessed with the sea. The smell, the sounds, the breezes.
9. I can't make Easy Mac. Not even if my life depended on it.
10. I love music. And singing. And acting. Being creative and freedom.


Thank you and Please Come Again.

"Sounds from Jersey"



Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Sinatra, Jonas Brothers (ok, please don't hold that one against us), Lesley Gore, and sooooo many more.

Music is Jersey's best kept secret. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

305th post

Oh. My. Goodness.

I just typed "I'll be 26."

Which was followed by a panic attack.

How did I get that old?!

Still. Panicking.

GPOYW: The good ole gap year...and a half.

Lately I've been seriously missing the year or so when I'd graduated from college but had no job and basically traveled around, doing whatever I pleased.

It was glorious.

Money was a problem, but honestly, I felt free so I didn't really care about the money.

Freedom is everything.

Probably part of the reason relationships scare me.

I feel like they would take away some of whatever freedom I have left.

Anyway, it was during that time that I attempted to move to Spain.

I say 'attempted' because I didn't make it for very long.

There are reasons. Many of them.

Not being able to speak spanish very well was only a tiny part of it.

But the traveling. The freedom.

I loved that.

I still do.

I crave it.

I'm not the least bit fond of being tied down to a desk in one place, 8-5, 5 days a week.

But everyone has to grow up sometime I guess...

So, I relive through pictures. And vicariously through google images. And vacation options with Jetsetter and the like.

Here's a picture of me and two friends who came to Seville, Spain to visit me:



Rachel I met sophomore year of high school when I transfered to Plumstead. Allison, who was living and still lives, in Madrid, I've known since we were 7. You might say we were frenemies up until high school. haha but now were good friends.

If only I was a lucky person who won things...then I'd play the lottery, win and be able to travel the world, doing whatever I want. Pursuing things I can only dream about because I have to sit at work 90% of the week in order to pay rent to live in a state I don't want to live in. Well, it's true, I don't. I'm pretty sure anyone who knows me has figured that little tidbit out by now.

But I won't give up hope. One day I'll have my wildest dreams come true. ...probably minus the Johnny Depp part of the dreams.

And in the meantime, I relearn French. And Italian. And Portuguese. And Spanish. And German. But I'll just start with the relearning of French...and spanish too I guess, but French is actually more necessary (and desired).

I apologize if I came across emo-y at all during this post. I just really miss 'feeling the wind in my sails' so-to-speak.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And they say Charlie Sheen is crazy??

Ok, so he definitely does seem crazy (brought on by drug and alcohol abuse--let's please stop labeling everything bipolar). But I'd venture to say that there's a GA state representative who is more crazy.

There's a new bill on the block that Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin—who last year proposed making rape and domestic violence "victims" into "accusers"—has introduced that would criminalize miscarriages and make abortion in Georgia completely illegal. Both miscarriages and abortions would be potentially punishable by death: any "prenatal murder" in the words of the bill, including "human involvement" in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death.Under Rep. Franklin's bill, HB 1, women who miscarry could become felons if they cannot prove that there was "no human involvement whatsoever in the causation" of their miscarriage. There is no clarification of what "human involvement" means.

I'm not going to address the abortion part of the bill because I'd rather not start some massive political debate that causes me way too much anxiety. However, I am most certainly going to address the outrageousness of the miscarriage portion.

Knowing the way some super far far far right republicans behave, human involvement in a miscarriage could mean the woman's shoe came untied and she tripped and fell on her stomach. There is NO known cause of miscarriages (outside of accidents), and it is a horribly traumatic experience for a woman to go through. Many already think they're to blame for losing their baby, but now this guy wants to make her prove it wasn't her fault and if she can't, she'll be put to death? SERIOUSLY??

I'm not a conservative republican or a liberal democrat. I'm pretty much smack dab in the middle. Maybe a conservative democrat & a liberal republican. I refuse to vote party lines--and this guy is a prime example of why.

Luckily, there is no way this bill would ever pass, but still...the thought that there are people who actually would consider ANY penalty at all for a VICTIM of a miscarriage is sickening to me.

And I'm stepping off my soapbox now.

MARDIS GRAS!

Mardi Gras is always a fun time of the year.

There's an energy in the atmosphere that is contagious.

Today is also known as Fat Tuesday.

A glorious day of debauchery.

A day when one participates whole-heartedly in his or her vices.

The day before lent begins.

I remember in high school finding out what lent was.

I grew up baptist.

Lent wasn't even mentioned in my church.

It was something the Catholics and Anglicans did. Although, maybe that was just my family...my maternal side through my grandmother were somewhat anti-Catholic--a sentiment passed down from previous generations that were forced to escape Catholic France in the 1700s. So maybe it was just passed down to not participate in Lent. Who knows...

All I know for sure is that I've never participated in Lent.

I've done fasts before, at times other than lent time, and as far as I'm concerned, lent is basically just another fast but a wide-spread one that is mandatory to some people.

I'm going to participate this year though. But voluntarily. I know I need this time to seriously focus on my spiritual life.

No coffee, no soda, and no chocolate.

Tonight I will dine on chocolate croissants, drink a tinto de verrano (or 2), and watch Chocolat (the plot, coincidentally, is set around Lent). I may even watch it in French.

And tomorrow I will start the fast/lent. But lent isn't just about giving things up just because that's what you are supposed to do. There's a purpose behind it: To grow closer to God through sacrifice and prayer.

I recently read this:

"Fasting's great value in the Christian life is experienced as a need of the spirit to relate better to God. Fasting from food on the superficial level as important as it is, is meaningless if it doesn't lead to a deeper reality, fasting from sin. For fasting to make an impression on us needs to be connected with a sincere desire for interior purification, willingness to obey the divine will and a thoughtful solidarity toward brothers and sisters.

What is the link between fasting and prayer? Part one to pray means to communicate with God and part two it is to listen to God through the work of lectio divina which forms an opened heart.

Of the many venerable things we can do during Lent the most important aspects of Lent Mother Church proposes to us is an urgent invitation to a deeper conversion, penance and solidarity. The logic here is the awareness of what needs converting in ourselves first before we go and reconstruct the world. It is easier to think that Jesus came to save all humanity from sin and death (He did) and it is often difficult to deeply know that Christ saved me. The common good can only be reconciled to God's designs when we first have the affection for ourselves that God has for us. It's less about what the Lord did for everybody else, than it is to know in the depths our being that God wants me to be with in Him. Here is the need to be aware of the fact of the Incarnation of the Word for my personal encounter with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Hence, the evening news will tell you just where peacemaking needs to be: in our own hearts and then in the hearts of so many in the world around us. Many of the problems we face are the result of our own divided heart and lack of peace. Hopefully our Lenten observance will pave the way to a true conversion of heart assisted by penance and solidarity contributing to the work of true peacemaking in the context in which we find ourselves. As John Paul II often reminded us, we are co-responsible for the construction of peace and conversion is the first step in that regard."

Lent may originally be a Catholic sentiment, but that doesn't make it wrong.

Are you participating in lent, or, if you prefer, fasting?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Book Review: Reshaping It All

I actually finished reading this awhile back. It's the first book I read with the Kindle (app--on my iphone). It's actually a memoir/inspirational book.

I'm sure you all remember DJ Tanner on Full House. Well, she's written a book--but the basis of the book is actually about getting healthy. She touches briefly on her childhood, but moreso on her family now.

It's about getting away from being consumed by thoughts of food, and getting away from diets.

Candace Cameron Bure spoke at my aunt's church a little while back and since I couldn't be there, my aunt gave me an autographed copy of Candace's testimony. Her testimony meant a lot to me and when I found out she was writing a book, I couldn't wait. The book is great and I re-read parts of it for encouragement every now and again. It's truly about being good to your body...no "you can't eat that" or "stay away from carbs" or "count your calories"--it's just healthy living. A lot of what she says is basic common sense but I didn't start to actually 'get it' until reading this book. I very highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with weight or food issues, man or woman, child or adult.

Rather than a synopsis, here's a video of Candace talking about what her book, Reshaping It All, is about:

Sunday at the trail

Yesterday I started the canine edition of The Biggest Loser.

There is one contestant.

His name is Quincy.

He's a fatty. And hates to exercise. And loves to eat.

The vet said no more.

Took Quincy for a 1.2 mile walk yesterday at the trails. I think he really enjoyed it. He might be petrified of strangers, but he loves other dogs. And there were a few on the trail.

The first one I saw was in the nasty pond water. I couldn't believe the owner was actually throwing the ball in there for the dog. The dog was loving it. Luckily there were no alligators. (They have found alligators in that area)

It was like this:


The dog was so happy. Quincy kept pulling back to watch and I just told him, "no way jose" and pulled him along.

The next thing I see is strange.

The strangest thing I've ever witnessed in my life.

A bike whizzed by on the other side of the pond-like thing. But not just any bike.

Dude was wearing a small airplane apparatus strapped to himself.

It was kinda like this:



Only home-made looking and used with a regular bicycle.

I'm devastated I couldn't get my phone out fast enough to take a picture.

At about the half mile mark, I got yanked back a bit and when I looked back and down, there was Quincy plopped down on the pathway, panting and just lookin around without a care in the world.

I put on my best jillian michaels impression and told him in no uncertain terms to get his fat patootie up and keep walking.

He did.

When we got home, he hightailed it to his water bowl, then the couch where he slept for the remainder of the day. And night.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The King's Speech

I went to see The King's Speech today.

BEST movie I've seen in YEARS.

And I'd say definite top 5 of all-time.

Colin Firth was amazing. Obviously since he won the Oscar last Sunday. It was well-deserved.

Geoffrey Rush was just as amazing and I firmly believe he was robbed at the Oscars.

I also noticed all the ties to the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries-- The actors that played Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and Mr. Collins were all in Kings Speech. Though, Jennifer Ehle looks SO different. And fun trivia: Helena Bonham Carter (Queen Elizabeth) is the real life cousin of the guy that played Mr. Bingley.

It was dramatic and funny. I wasn't expecting it to be so funny. It was a perfect movie.

Now I just need to see Rango. And then Arthur and Pirates 4 when they come out. :)

Miracle Worker

That's what I call my hairstylist.

She fixed my hair.

It had taken on a horribly yucky yellow brassy color, and felt all straw-y.

It was bad.

I had a nightmare that I was going to have to shave my head.

Luckily I did not.

Kristal fixed it.

She managed to get my hair to as close to my natural color as possible. Which is a miracle. See, I've been "blessed" with ash blonde. Which once dyed, is pretty much impossible to get back without just growing out all the color.

Or shaving your head.

Which would look horrendous on me.

I was told it'd be easier to lowlight the ash blonde back in rather than all-over-color. But, I'm not a millionaire with $200 to spend on my hair once a month for 3-5 months. So she did all-over.

It was really really dark and fast and I thought, well, uh-oh this is going to be dark brown...

Then she washed out the dye, dried, bing bang boom I had dark ash blonde hair. No red and no green. And it was super soft. Still is.

Miracle Worker.

She made me promise to never ever highlight or color my hair light blonde by myself ever again. If I want highlights, I must go to her.

I shall obey.

For she is a miracle worker.

And I don't want to have to shave my head.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Jabooooo!!



Meet Jaboo.

Not her real name.

She was one of my college roommates.

R4L (Roomie 4 Life, duh!)

And great wonderful friend.

She is also CuppaKim's sister.

Today is her birthday.

26. And married. When are you gonna have a baby already?! hahahah JK!!! Please no babies until you find me a husband.

Anyways, HAPPY BIRFDAYY SKANKY!! ;o)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blossoms!

So I noticed this morning that the Cherry Blossom trees are blossoming! I love Cherry Blossom trees. They are so pretty in the Spring. Well, I guess down south, they are pretty in early March.

I never took notice of them before I lived in DC.

Oh, if you don't really know me, I lived in DC in Spring 2006 for an internship at the Department of Justice and a couple classes. I guess you could say it was a Study Abroad thing, even though it was still in the US.

Anyway, in DC there is a Cherry Blossom Festival every Spring...because the trees are EVERYWHERE down there. They have parades, festivities, etc. My friend Nina, who was interning at the Swedish Embassy at the time, was asked to be the Princess for the Swedish embassy. She had to go to all these meetings and places, and meet the First Lady. We were all jealous of her I think. But not mean jealous. Excited for her, but still a tad envious. I mean, it was an awesome special opportunity. Granted, I had a lot of those myself thanks to my amazing boss at DOJ.

It makes me miss DC. And my DC friends. It's interesting...I have a lot of friends in different places around the US, and the world, but you know where none of them live? Atlanta. It sucks.

Anyway, back to pretty trees. Here's a couple pics from my semester in DC:





Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Disney's Princess Half-Marathon

The weekend started on Friday afternoon with my drive down to Disney World to run the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I'm glad I only live 7 hours away. Also discovered that it takes exactly 1 tank of gas minus 18 miles to drive from ATL to Disney World. At 3.54/gallon, that is a good thing.

Actually, it's a little less than 7 hours...it did take me 15 minutes driving around the Westgate property trying to find my grandparent's place. There was no rhyme or reason to the layout. And it was dark. And I can't see very well in the dark.

Saturday morning my mom and I went to the expo to pick up my packet and look around at all the booths. It was insanely crowded (after all, over 17,000 people were running the half-marathon). I almost bought this:




Sticker. Perfect for me and my love for all things Pirate-y (such as rum).









I did get a car magnet that says, "Running is my therapy." Which is very true.









Since we had to be at the park at 4am, an early bedtime was necessary.

Except I can't go to sleep if I'm not tired.

I fell asleep and woke up at 2:45am to get into costume.

We left for Epcot at 3:30am.

I was in my corral at about 5am.

To avoid mass hysteria at the start, there were 6 waves of starts. I was in the 3rd wave. Corral C. Corral B's starting music was Firework. We got Single Ladies. Not sure I like that implication. I pretended it was Firework. That's a lot more inspirational. It was enjoyable to watch Fairy Godmother try to do the Single Ladies dance though. That's an odd sight. I also enjoyed her saying, "I'm seeing lots of the bling-bling."

Also, they discourage ipods and claimed to have music throughout the whole race so I left my headphones at home. WORST MISTAKE EVER (after buying Saucony's). There was not music throughout. And when there was...well, there's only so much heart-pumping to be had by a remix of "A dream is a wish your heart makes." I had to listen to women talking while running and walking. I will be using my own music for Disneyland. Guaranteed.

If I get the ability to put shoes other than flipflops on before then.

So anywho, at the start, each wave gets fireworks. Just a couple. Here's wave 2's:


So then my wave started. And despite not having to when the fireworks went off, by the first portapotties, I had to stop. Same thing happened at the LA marathon. I think it's nerves. Sorry if that's TMI.

Then, along the way they have photo opportunities with characters. First up, Cap'n Jack:


He was growling sweet-nothings in my ear. I'm not even kidding. I was blushing. And I'm sad to say, I giggled like a bieber-loving school girl. And it wasn't even the real Jack Sparrow (aka Johnny Depp) -- I would've fainted if it had been I think. Also, this has to be the worst picture of me ever taken.

Between Cap'n Jack and the next photo op, my left foot went completely numb. I kept going, hoping the feeling would come back. It did come back, while in line for these sexy beasts:


Actually, Aladdin, John Smith, and Rapunzel guy were the only good ones. Prince Eric creeped me out with his mask-like (but not actually a mask) face and Tarzan had clearly had gone far too dark and orange with the spray tan. And he poked at me like he was a gorilla. It was uncomfortable. But then Aladdin used his sexy voice to tell me he liked my crown.

And yes, I bloody giggled again.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

My left foot went completely numb again until I crossed into the Magic Kingdom. Evidently, it really is a magical place. So magical, in fact, that it gave me back the feeling in my foot.

But then the pain started. Horrible awful pain in my feet that I've NEVER experienced before.

But I kept going.

Because, doggoneit, I wanted that darn tiara medal.

But I was going super slowly.

Then I got a picture with Princess Tiana. I don't like it though, so I'm not posting it. But I did put it on facebook for Little Miss to see (my princess-in-training/cousin's daughter).

Then I got a picture with Chip and Dale.

They wouldn't let me go. I thought they were going to kidnap me and get revenge on behalf of all their squirrel cousins that I have killed since getting my Driver's License.

My mom and Tim, and my grandparents were waiting at Cinderella's castle as I came running by. I stopped so they could take a picture of me running. First person to make sense of that gets a cookie.

An imaginary cookie.

They're really the best kind. No calories.

They got there early--GMA took this pic:


Then I came upon Beauty and the Beast and Gaston. I got in line. See, my favorite princess is a constant battle between Belle and Aurora. But the line was long and going insanely slow. After 10 minutes, and still a lot people in front of me, I heard some people going "oh no, look" and I looked. And there was the pick-up van. See, waiting in all those lines for photo-ops seriously inhibits your time. And there is a time limit for Disney races that is strictly enforced. If the van gets to you, you get picked up and don't finish the race. I quickly got out of line and started booking it...and found it increasingly annoying to have to dart in and out of people lolly-gagging along, some 4-5 people across (There's runner's etiquette for a reason, people!). Although, it turns out that the van appeared closer than it actually was. But I didn't find that out until I had given up Belle and passed Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip.

So I, yet again, do not have a picture with either of my favorite Disney characters. Maybe at Disneyland. At Disneyland, I'll skip everything except for those two. And I will be wearing shoes that aren't trying to murder me so I can move faster.

At Mile 11, I started cussing out (via mumbling) all the cars that were honking. I was tired, in serious pain, and it was annoying the heck outta me.

At Mile 12, I didn't think I was going to make it. Every step I took felt like a million giant needles were piercing my feet. But Stranger Lady started running beside me and talking. That kept my mind off the pain long enough to cross the finish line. So thank you Stranger Lady, whoever and wherever you are. You remind me of my college French professor.

Within seconds of crossing the finish, I demanded my medal from the first volunteer I came across. She said, "Congratulations" and I answered with "Where's my medal?" in a very Jersey kind of way (meaning it came out waaaay harsher than I meant). She pointed me in the right direction. When I bent over so the little man could put it around my neck, I nearly fell over forward into him. Luckily I managed to avoid that.

Then I met my family at the red carpet where my grandpa was ousted from the wheelchair so I could sit in it. That sounds bad, I know, but it was only 50 yards to the car and I couldn't make another step. And he doesn't NEED it. And he wasn't the one that pushed me to the car. This isn't sounding any better, is it? ...Moving on...

Got back to the grandparents' and gma took off my shoes and then everyone gasped while I exclaimed, "no wonder they hurt so bad." Seriously, I've NEVER seen bigger blisters (half popped/half intact). I'm blaming a combination of the shoes and the seriously slanted roads. I had run 12 miles just 7 days before and only got a tiny blister and the run wasn't the least bit painful. Which was why I was really confused as to why my feet hurt so bad for most of the race. To spare you the nastiness of what it actually looks like, here is one foot, bandaged:


The circled area is how big the blister is. Actually it's like 3 blisters in one. The first popped, and then another came directly underneath that and then there was one right next to that. There were two right next to each other on the other foot. It's painful. Even now. Actually, right now it's pretty angry on the left foot. The color red is involved. I'm sorry if that's TMI. At least it's just the bandage.

But, it's all worth it because I have this:



My tiara medal. And my free tech shirt too.

And I raised $1,001 for To Write Love On Her Arms.

Which is the best part of all of it.

You may think I'm crazy for already planning on the Disneyland Half-Marathon, but you get a special medal if you run both in the same year. But I will be reverting back to my trusty Asics from now on. No more Saucony. Bad Bad Saucony. They turned out to be worse than Nike. Asics have never ever hurt me in any way, shape or form.

The only thing I'm worried about is that Labor Day Weekend in LA is HOT.

Like, really hot.

HILARIOUS PARODY!



I'm Dying. LOL!

2011 Oscars

I've watched the Oscars every year for as long as I can remember. Think back to the Billy Crystal days (you'll want to after Sunday night's awfulness).

I'm not a fan of James Franco. He's a bit too off-beat for my liking. But I like Anne Hathaway. She's usually fun and funny. Not so much last night. But that could be the writers' faults.

Hugh Jackman was the best host ever in my opinion.

That may have something to do with my inability to not swoon at an Australian accent.

And his muscles. And ability to sing and dance and be funny.

He's like the perfect man.

Anyway, for me the biggest highlight of the night was Russell Brand. He makes everything better. He should host next year. He's just so cute and funny. I'm aware that this is a controversial opinion. When my friend Heather figured out who I was talking about a couple months ago, I got this, "Ewwwwwww!!!" I don't know what it is. I think there's something sexy about him. Probably the reformed bad boy thing coupled with the humor...and the accent. And his love for my favorite footie team (West Ham).

Mr. Darcy was also lovely. Can't not love him. Oh, I'm sorry, I mean Colin Firth.

Did your mind just go to the 'coming out of the lake drenched' scene?

Mine did.

Mm'mm Good.

Sorry.


And I'll post about the marathon later today. Preview: Jack Sparrow growled sweet-nothings in my ear. I died.