Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Captain's Blog #2.5

This is the secret blog where I'm throwing out a secret message slightly encrypted for certain people to read. If you are one of them you know. The "list" is going well. It has been whittled from 4 to 2, but with serious complications. I am wondering if the day will ever come when the list will be easy and complication free. But until then 2 is a good even number. ESB and JHC this is just for you.

Lots of our house members at Dirty Dicks- a must see on the Outer Banks!

Here's just a few of the cars in our driveway on Saturday. By nightfall we had a few more!

Beautiful beach girls!

Captain's Blog #2

Today was absolutely beautiful. It was sunny and warm with a gentle ocean breeze blowing past. I spent the day in my perfect world. I got up at a reasonable hour (are you all shocked to hear I was up at 8?), went shopping for a while, and then came back to sit on my top deck and write for a while. Eventually I decided to add in the MP3 player and moved to the pool area for some variety. I couldn't ask for more. Sitting in the sunshine just writing whatever comes into my head. It was absolutely perfect.
My mother, 2 sisters, and 3 nephews arrived later this afternoon. We've already been to the beach, played in the sand, and enjoyed the hot tub. The nephews think the hot tub is just a really big bath and made themselves at home in it. Right now they are being wrestled into bed, while I hide in the rec room typing the blog.
All in all it was a beautiful day. I can't wait for tomorrow when we go up to Corolla Light to see the wild horses and spend some more time on the beach.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Picture pages

All pictures posted today are courtesy of Valerie. More pics by lots of friends to come.

Gwen and Karl at the beach

Valerie and Suzanne by sunset on the our top deck

Trevor and Jeff

Most (but not even close to all) of the house members at Monday's BBQ

Just a little fun at the BBQ on Monday

Captain's Blog #1

Captain’s Blog #1-
Three days at the beach, and this is the first post from the command room, on the top floor of the Island Pearl. To the best of my knowledge, we had 34 people sleeping in the Pearl each night. Not necessarily the same 34 people, and not necessarily asleep all at the same time.
Activities thus far have included
1) World’s Best BBQ (NC Style)
2) Boogie boarding
3) Hot tub
4) Movies
5) Huge group dinners and BBQ’s
6) Meeting tons of new friends
7) Hot tub
8) More beach time
9) Skinny dipping at midnight with Valerie
10) Midnight grocery store runs (3 nights running)

More stories, details, fun to come. The internet and cell phone connections here are spotty at best. So blogs will be brief and simple. But the best is yet to come.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Another picture from the book signing. The bookstore really did a nice job of making our table look nice for us. (is that a funky picture of me or what?)

Its a little delayed in getting posted, but here's a pic of Juli, me, and two of our favorite fans (Christa and Caleigh), at the book signing at This is the Place Bookstore. (Thankfully I have lost 8 more lbs since this picture was taken.)

Sith Happens and Tips for Watching a Midnight Movie

Note to self: in the future when attending midnight movie premieres do not drink a full 2 liters of Diet Coke before the movie starts. The general, mis-guided, idea would be to drink the caffeine prior to the movie in order to stay awake. However, that much liquid and caffeine that late at night will only create a bladder dilemma unlike any other. It is unacceptable, and not possible, during any portion of "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" to get up and use the ladies'. So in the future, do not drink Diet Coke, or any other beverage in a deperate attempt to stay awake. Instead, just get some sleep, and try and avoid midnight premieres.
Was it worth it though? Was the sleep deprivation and bladder agony worth the movie? Heck Yeah! Where else can you see a Darth Vader on crutches, R2D2 passing out M&Ms, and cheer loudly as Yoda kicks the Chancellor's butt? It was a great movie. And it totally made up for the previous 2 questionable digital disasters.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Can College Be a Boondoggle?

Ever since I have learned the word "boondoggle" I have wanted to use it in the appropriate context. (For those looking for the definition, click here http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=boondoggle). Tonight while watching the "Empire Strikes Back" I realize I have the perfect story in which to use "boondoggle."

As the entire free world knows, "Stars Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" premieres tomorrow. I, like so many other children of the 80's, will be standing in line for the midnight showing. (And possibly even in costume.) To prepare for this monumentous occasion that I have been waiting for ever since the day I got my R2D2 punching bag for Christmas 26 years ago, (which I properly used to knock my sister over the head several times), I have been re-watching all of the Star Wars movies. Tonight while multi-tasking watching the movie, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, working out, and painting my nails, I found myself listening intensely to the soundtrack. Back in my college days I took a boondoggle, I mean class, called "Music in American Movies." It was a class the university kept around for students that had to fill credits in their electives, but needed to do so without hurting their GPA. In my case, I had to fill my "music and fine arts" elective, since the course I had taken at BYU did not transfer to GMU. As the counselor told me who suggested I take the class, "we also use this class to help jocks who need to up their GPAs to stay on a team." I figured it couldn't hurt and signed up.

This boondoggle turned out to be one of the few classes I have applied multiple times since graduation. If given the chance, I'd even go back and take it again. Back then, I only attended the class 4 times total and still managed to get an A. The class watched certain movies and then learned to pick out imagery, themes, etc all from the music in the movie. John Williams' movies were only watched in the first week, since they are so obvious. For instance, in the Star Wars films each character has his/her own tune, but each tune is a derivative of the others. Everyone can pick out the Darth Vader tune, "Dum dum dum, DUM, de dum dum dum". (admit it you are doing the march in your head now) But did you ever realize that Luke's theme music is the same run of notes, but played on a solo oboe? Ooh, the symbolism! Or that Leia's theme music is the same as Luke's? Or that the "love song theme" for Leia and Han Solo is played with Han's instruments but is Leia's tune? There is even a theme song for the droids, Yoda, and Obi-Wan. Poor Chewy was left out in the theme song pickings. All of these things you would know if you had taken "Music in American Movies."

Of course the class was a total boondoggle (how many more times can I say that?). But it has served great purpose in guessing the ending to many movies. Have you ever had that nightmare where you dream you forgot a final or exam? Well, it actually happened to me. As the semester was ending one year, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was forgetting something. For three days I tried to figure out what on earth I was missing. And then it hit me. I had completely forgotten I was even taking this class. I couldn't even remember which day of the week it was taught. I finally gave in and went to the professor, convinced I had probably failed the class. Much to my surprise he had a note on the door for all the students who had forgotten they were in this class (attendance was clearly not required). It gave the instructions on how to complete the final exam (watch 3 movies and compare the music) and turn it in within 10 days. Phew! Big relief. I compared the "Empire Strikes Back," a Kevin Kline movie, and a cartoon. I think I made everything up, including some of the characters. But I got an A, and that is all that matters, right?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Here I come to save the day! MIGHTY MOUSE!

Here I Come to Save the Day! MIGHTY MOUSE!

In the last few days I have had so many things on my mind, but when I sit down to blog upon them, I find it too hard to condense all thoughts into something so simple. One thing I am trying to understand better is what compels some personality types to buck the system, rebel against direction, or just 'always have to be different.' Its one thing to be independent, free spirited, etc. Those are people who know who they are regardless of their situation, station, or location. But then there are some people who's entire personality is nothing but a reaction to those around them and in a negative way. I can't understand why it is so important to some to have to be different. To have to argue with everything. Regardless of why the rule is in place, they have to fight it, argue with it, poke at it, etc. I've never been that type of person. I do like to understand the rule, and will research and study something out. But I don't automatically rebel. Granted I have a little bit of a rebellious streak in me. But it exhibits itself only when I see the rule, appreciate the rule, and realize that I can break the rule without getting hurt. But then there are some people who say, "hey, look! its a rule, and I broke it and nobody died. its a stupid rule!" Its like all they want to do is tear down establishment, as if its their God-given duty to do so. I will never understand these people and why their determination to be angry is what makes them happy.
One of the other major issues I am contemplating this week (slightly related I suppose) is how to please the most people at the same time. My new church calling (mormon way of saying my job at church) as the single adults group leader is not the easiest calling I have ever had. I can't seem to please anyone right now. Everyone seems to think every activity should be the one the suggested or picked. No one seems to be happy if the activity isn't what they wanted to do. Whatever happened to "the greater good?" I have this urge to scream out loud, "take one for the team! why can't we all just get a long?! its not all about you!" But then it would be me doing the complaining, and not getting along. And since its not all about me, I keep it to myself (and the blog).
In other developments, this is a very busy weekend, and upcoming week. Last night there was a big party, lots of fun. The theme of the party was "Three Amigos" (the movie). I wore a name tag that said, "Little Buttercup." I was surprised at how many people did not get the joke. Today I attended a "Danish Brunch" with several friends. It was excellent food and conversation. My favorite part of the brunch was the reminiscing of childhood trampolines. I can't even count how many hours my sister and I must have logged jumping on the big blue tramp, sleeping out on the tramp, etc. My favorite thing to do was put the water sprinkler under the trampoline while jumping. Who needs a water park? We have a backyard!
I bought a new shirt yesterday. It is my new favorite and most prized possession. Its a yellow tee shirt with Mighty Mouse on the front. Mighty Mouse has been my favorite super-mouse ever since I was a very little girl. When I was about five years old there was a TV show called, "Wow" on Channel 20. Kids could send in pictures they had drawn, and if it was shown on "Wow" the child was then invited to come be on the show. The show was something of a reality show for children. The show started off with the children sliding down a slide, running up to a microphone and saying their name. (With amateur four year olds speaking into a microphone for the first time you can only imagine the "reality" of the show.) So where does Mighty Mouse figure into all of this? It was my extremely life-like rendition (created with crayola fine crayons) of the Mouse, that landed me a coveted spot on "Wow." So now I put my full faith back into the luckiness of Mighty Mouse, as I wear my new tee shirt. Who knows what the Mouse will do for me now! I wore it today when I went to get my license renewed [finally]. I passed the test! See?! Mighty Mouse never lets me down!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Have you ever heard the theory that everyone in this world has a twin? Today I had a reason to google the Versace mansion in Miami. The search pulled up tons of tourist and amateur sites with photos on it. Just by accident I saw this photo on a page. The kid in green is what caught my eye. He looks EXACTLY like my brother Scott. Big hair, sideburns, snarly face, green shirt, etc. I called my dad to show him, and then my mother and my sister. Every last one of us had to do a double take. Even Scott was freaked out by the picture. He swears he's never been to Miami, but we're all wondering!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Back by popular demand it is Blake Beidleman and Kelli Blinn!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Careful What You Blog!

In the past week I have had three different old friends surface out of the deep blue. It was interesting to find out that two of the three already read my blog! So be careful what you blog, you never know who might be reading you!
The last few weeks have been mentally busy. There is a lot going on, but its all a good thing. At church I have been asked to head up a new program for the "mid-singles." The "mid-singles" are the ones too old to be called "young singles" (ages 18-30), and too young to be called "singles" (which generally has a connotation of being the 50-dead age group). So the mid-singles will be the 27-40ish crowd that just doesn't have a place to quite fit in. And this group is scattered all over Northern Virginia, making cohesion a little tricky. I'm up for the challenge, but I have to admit, too much of my life is revolving around my marital status. I'm writing a column about singles, and now my church job is to "serve" the singles and create activities for them. Its a little too much time spent "being single" and not enough time to spend getting to "not being single." This Saturday we are having our first "Officially Unofficial" activity for the mid-singles. I thought I'd go a little crazy and plan the easiest activity ever. We're doing the ever popular dinner and a movie. Hopefully we will have 20-30 people show up (i'm hoping for low numbers so that i am pleasantly surprised), so it will be a little more exciting than just dinner and a movie. Dinner will be at Chili's, and the movie will be "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." (I've already seen Hitchhiker and absolutely loved it. I also saw "House of D" and loved it. I would not recommend "D" to anyone that does not have a truly dark sense of humor.)
This past week a very poignant photo story ran on washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/custom/2005/05/06/CU2005050601042.html?startat=1&referrer=emaillink) regarding some children amputees from Sierra Leone. These children (and their parents) have had limbs amputated in the rebel wars over the diamond mines. The photo story is about how these children were brought to the States and given prosthetic limbs. Just a few slides into this story and you will be crying and wondering where you can make a donation to their cause. One of the things that truly stood out to me were the families in the US that adopted the children. In two cases the children were adopted by single women who had very large families. One of my long term goals is to become a foster parent. Right now I am not in a situation where I could take in a foster child. But hopefully within the next two years I will be able to buy my own place, (you can't be a foster parent in a rental), and take in a teenager. Reading this article has me very interested in taking in a refugee foster child. If anyone has any feedback on this issue, I'd love to hear it.
I've been taking part in several discussions lately about the war, government, etc. I have come to realize that some people will truly never be happy unless they are complaining about leadership. These same people have no interest in taking a leadership role, or even constructive criticism. They just want to complain. I will never understand this personality type. How can people be content to sit around and whine all day? Do they think just sitting around and whining all day will somehow be heard by the powers that be and make something happen? Or do they care if anything ever changes? I suppose I am just not that type of person. I'm more of a "see it and fix it" type. If you don't like the leadership, do something about it. Vote, campaign, demonstrate. But don't just sit around and whine! It gets you nowhere and annoys the rest of us!
I think that is enough blogging for one day. I promise to blog a little more often in the future!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

May the Fourth Be With You

it is my self proclaimed duty to wish all people a happy MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU day. you have now been wished. please pass on the good wishes. (and check out my new links on the sidebar. especially the new Jiu Valley portal. this was the group I worked with in RO. its a new updated website, with great info about Romania.)

May the Fourth Be With You

it is my self proclaimed duty to wish all people a happy MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU day. you have now been wished. please pass on the good wishes. (and check out my new links on the sidebar. especially the new Jiu Valley portal. this was the group I worked with in RO. its a new updated website, with great info about Romania.)

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

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