Friday, December 28, 2007

Best of 2007: TV Moments

My year-end posts start with the best TV moments of the year. I have used memory aids for this list, mainly b/c I didn't want to forget about the spring of 2007 with the new fall season fresh on my mind.

Here goes, in no particular order, after the first one.

  • The "flash forward" on LOST. ABC made a mistake deciding to air the first six exposition episodes followed by a lull of reruns, but when LOST came back, it came back great. And the season finale was some of the best television I watched all year. HEROES has all the pop culture good will right now, but it can't come close to LOST in terms of quality. (By the way, if you want an 8 minute, 15 second recap of LOST, check out this video. Informative and entertaining. The link is to the ABC website. The video you want is "Catch up on LOST." Female narrator.)

  • Friday Night Lights, anytime Connie Britton is on screen.

  • Banter between Marc and Amanda on Ugly Betty.

  • Craig T. Nelson on My Name is Earl. Glad Earl is out of prison, but I will miss Nelson's incompetent warden.

  • Jack shoots Curtis on 24. Poor Jack. I didn't actually finish last season of 24, but the beginning was great, especially Jack having to shoot a friend and fellow government agent.

  • "Oceanic flight 815 was shot down by..." as part of the Intersect info on Chuck. I enjoy when current shows reference other current shows. Chuck started to gel near the end of the first segment of episodes. Here's hoping the strike ends soon enough for us to watch more new episodes this season.

  • Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock. Watch one of his funniest scenes.




  • "Slapsgiving" and any slaps that took place during 2007. The "Slap Bet" on How I Met Your Mother is hilarious. These guys swing away when they get an opportunity to slap each other. And this episode managed to make the slap funny even though we knew it was coming. Even better was the closing song Marshal wrote for the occasion. Check it out!


  • Lorelai sings "I Will Always Love You" to Luke on Gilmore Girls. Lauren Graham is fabulous!


  • Booth and Bones kiss!



  • Pam confesses her feelings to Jim; Jim asks Pam out on a date! Watch Pam's speech and follow the link for Jim's response. I've noticed that links to specific videos on the NBC website aren't always accurate, so I apologize in advance if it's the wrong clip.



I think that about does it for TV moments. Did I miss something from your favorite TV show?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

End of the Year Posts

As the year comes to a close, I will be compiling several lists. I expect to include my favorite books, movies and TV moments. The majority of "Oscar-caliber" movies haven't opened here or are opening this weekend, so I don't know when I'll get around to that list.

Friday is my last day of work until January 2, 2008. I can't believe it's almost 2008!

Happy holidays, and have a safe trip!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Once

If you missed seeing the movie Once, you can rent it or buy it today. The "art house musical" won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. It stars two musicians who get to know each other through music. It's a very heartfelt movie.

Also, check out this video! It's Indiana University's a cappella group Straight No Chaser.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Update

I really am trying to write more frequently. I'm just not that interesting. Here's a few things I've been up to recently.
  • Saw the Blue Man Group. That's a fun, unique way to spend an evening. I liked the interactive elements and the variety. I was expecting to see more paint though.

  • Spent the weekend in DFW to attend Melanie's wedding. It was great to see friends from college I don't see regularly.

  • Saw the documentary What Would Jesus Buy? while in Dallas. Basic synopsis: Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping choir tour the country encouraging people to shop responsibly and refocus Christmas so it's about Jesus and being with family and not about what gifts you give and receive. Good message, but Billy is a bit too fanatical to be effective.

  • Watched the movie Waitress, with Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion, last night. The writer/director and co-star Adrienne Shelly was murdered before the movie premiered at Sundance to rave reviews. That information influences how you view the movie. Watching her character as a happy bride was a little bittersweet. I recommend the movie. It's tone is a little unique, so you might have to adjust to the style of acting.

  • I've given up caffeine. On Fridays, I will treat myself to a breakfast burrito from Josie's (yummy) and a Diet Dr. Pepper.

  • I read Under the Banner of Heaven, an intriguing study of Mormon Fundamentalism. The author dissects the case of the two Lafferty brothers who murdered one of their other brother's wife and child because God told them to do it and places it in the context of Mormon Fundamentalism. To understand Mormon Fundamentalism, you have to understand the history of Mormonism and why the Fundamentalists have broken off from the official Mormon church. It all seems to boil down to polygamy. The book was fascinating. The author, Jon Krakauer, also wrote Into the Wild, which has been made into a movie directed by Sean Penn.

  • I've been keeping up with the writer's strike. Did you know the WGA was striking? Right now most people probably don't. We've entered the usual rerun holiday slumber. Come January and February, when shows run out of new episodes, anyone that watches TV will notice. The Office has been in reruns since November. Fox has already decided to postpone Day 7 of 24 indefinitely so it can air uninterrupted. There is a chance the writers will not cross picket lines to write for awards shows like the Golden Globes and Oscars. Crazy times. I support the writers, but I wish both sides would come to a solution.

  • I've started wearing heels again! My foot is reacting great! Next week: heels and exercise! Whoo-hoo!

  • I'm trying really hard to think of something fun or cool I've done lately. Last night I had a dance party with a three-year old. Does that count?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Five: Thanksgiving

I could just list things I'm thankful for until I run out or have to leave, but in keeping my my inconsistent Friday Five tradition, I'm limiting my list to five things I'm thankful for right now.

  1. Family. My family wasn't perfect, but I knew growing up that my parents loved me. That gave me and my sister a self confidence that comes from being loved for who you are and not who you will become or what you look like. And that is a great gift.

  2. Friends. Everyone has different levels of friends, and I'm thankful for all of them. But I'm most thankful for the friendships I know will last forever, and those people that bring out the true me when I'm with them.

  3. iPods, TiVos, HDTV. I've had an iPod for three-four years, but it's something I can't live without. It's changed the way I listen to music, just like the TiVo has changed the way I watch TV. HDTV is something I've just experienced this year, but there is nothing better than watching Tony Romy and the Dallas Cowboys win football games (which I'm also thankful for) on a large, flat-screen HDTV. If only I had enough money to own that technology myself.

  4. Weather. I love this cold front! I was not looking forward to an 80-degree Thanksgiving. It's so much harder to listen to Christmas music when you are wearing short sleeves and driving with your windows rolled down. But Mother Nature to the rescue! Other than when it's snowing, cold and sunny is my favorite weather. It was snowing at Texas Stadium yesterday, but 15 miles SW at my parents' house, it was just sleeting. But it was cold everywhere, and that is what I'm thankful for.

  5. Things that make me laugh out loud. It doesn't matter if it's what I see on TV or the movies, what I read in books, listen to on the radio, or hear my friends say. Sometimes it's just the craziness that is life. But if it makes me laugh out loud, I'm thankful for it. What would like be like without laughter.
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Silence

Those of you that only watch mainstream American movies, have you noticed how there is almost never any silence? It's almost like the studios are afraid that if there isn't dialogue or an intense action sequence (think Jason Bourne) the audience will lose interest.

I thought of this over the weekend while watching the movie "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring." This Korean film has two main characters. Occasionally a third person enters the story to progress it, but mainly it's a two-person movie. And the characters are Buddhist monks living on a floating monastery in the middle of nowhere. Guess what? Minimal dialogue. I remember hearing one of the characters speak, and I suddenly realized I was watching a 90 minute film that had 30 minutes of dialogue at most, probably considerably less. And dialogue wasn't necessary. The movie was able to communicate everything it needed to through other elements. It seemed the the silence gave me the opportunity to question what was happening and how it was effecting the characters. The director let the movie unfold instead of telling me what was happening.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone, but if you want to see a perfect example of silence being the right choice in a movie, watch the Best of Youth. The closing scene in that movie is perfect, and it would have been ruined with words. (Don't forget that movie is six hours long. Jaime started watching it around 10 p.m. one evening, which I thought was an odd choice. Turns out she forgot it was so long. Originally it was an Italian miniseries.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

General Supreme

Sorry I haven't been consistent with my writing lately. I promise I'm trying!

Anyway, in the last two weeks I've had the opportunity to see General Colin Powell and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I helped plan the event with Powell because my employer brought him here to conclude our 50th anniversary celebration. Boy am I glad that event is over. My work load dropped considerably after the event, and now I'm back to finding ways to fill my time. The local law school brought O'Connor, and it was free for everyone. She didn't charge for her appearance, and all other costs were paid for by a law school alum.

Colin Powell was great. He was quite funny. He was scheduled to talk for 45 minutes and he went about 65 minutes. Then he answered a few prepared questions. He talked about world events, the military, what it was like being in public service, what it was like suddenly being out of public service, characteristics and leadership/management styles of each President he had the opportunity to work with, pretty much everything you expect and hope someone who has served in all the areas he has served will talk about. Plus, plus, plus. And he did a great job of incorporating my employer's mission statement into his talk. Perfect!

Justice O'Connor wasn't quite as great. She talked about the importance of democracy at home and abroad and how important an independent judiciary is to that democracy. It makes perfect sense she would talk about that, but that is all she talked about. She didn't talk about what it felt like to be the first female justice on the US Supreme Court, she didn't talk about being on the Court at all. She's become a spokesman for an independent judiciary since her retirement, but I was disappointed her talk was so short (maybe 10 minutes) and that was the only topic. It was a great opportunity to hear her, but I was disappointed. If I'd paid to hear her, I'd be upset. But for free, I'm just glad I had the opportunity to hear her.

__________________

I finished reading The Namesake last night. I thought it was great! I've never read the author's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories because I don't like short stories - by the time I'm interested in the story and involved with the characters, the story is over - but the book was well written.

__________________

I got a great hair cut today! I've been going to the same hairdresser for a while now. She can't give me the perfect hair cut I want - no one can - but she does a great job. And today she gave me the best haircut so far! I hope I still like it next week.

_________________

I had to GP on Tuesday for Thanksgiving. I'll spend Wednesday afternoon and evening making pies an deviled eggs. I always see movies with my Mom and Aunt, and we'll probably see August Rush and Enchanted. I've heard great things about Amy Adams' performance in Enchanted, so I'm excited to see it. I love the scene in the trailer when James Marden's character starts to burst into song and he's run over my cyclists in Central Park! (By the way, that guy needs a new agent; he's always the guy that never gets the girl. Think about it: Superman Returns, the Notebook, X-Men.) My boss told me to take a day off as thanks for all my work with the United Way, so I'm taking the Monday after Thanksgiving off.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rosemary's Baby


If you missed Thursday's episode of 30 Rock, follow this link to watch it. If you don't laugh out loud during Tracy's therapy session when Jack (Alec Baldwin) starts impersonating Tracy's family, I don't think we can be friends. I mean, how can you not find that funny?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Homecoming 2007

I had a great weekend in Abilene. Check out Rachel's blog if you want to see pictures from the weekend. Brent's fiance Jenny is adorable

We saw the Homecoming musical AIDA, and it was fantastic, like usual.

We ate at Sharon's BBQ, which serves the exact same food as Joe Allen's without the two-hour wait. That potato salad sure is yummy.

Rachel already mentioned this on her blog, but we want all the GATA pledges from 1998 to return to homecoming next year for our 10-year pledging anniversary. If you are a Preying Mantis, check out this new blog and get connected.

Jaime A. has finished nursing school and is blogging again. Catch up with her today!

Fall has officially arrived! We had our first freeze on Sunday night and it was so cold on the way to work in the morning. Refreshing! The leaves are even starting to change colors slightly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Homecoming

Who is going to ACU Homecoming this weekend? I'll be there, along with Joe and Rachel V., Jeremy H. and Brent W. Rachel and I will also be at GATA Breakfast. Rachel and I want to get 100 percent attendance at GATA Breakfast in 2008, the 10-year anniversary of our pledge class. Start spreading the word, and make plans to attend!

Holler in the comments and let me know if you'll be around. You can find us at the Parade on the east side of Campus Court near the Ad. Building.

I have any extra ticket to see AIDA on Saturday night if anyone is interested in it. I can't remember the exact price, but it's between $10-15.

See you this weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Five

Against all evidence to the contrary, I will continue updating my blog at least once a week, believing a few people out there actually care about me. :-)
  1. Prayer is powerful and effective. A student where I work was diagnosed with a brain tumor, apparently the most severe case you can have. It's been amazing to see the community where I work and the entire Christian community petition God to heal him. He went to Plano for treatment, and more than 100 people from here have traveled there to support him and his family. His tumor-removal surgery was successful and he should be on his path to healing now. I don't know how people without a Christian community survive tragedy.

  2. My friends bought me an iPod Nano! Technically I'm paying for most by providing free babysitting four times, but I think that trade is in my favor. It's so pretty and small. I'm almost afraid to touch it. It has a color screen and plays video, things my outdated current iPod don't do. And I bet the battery will allow me to listen to music all day long at work, something my current iPod, even with a new battery, doesn't do.

  3. Tony Romo and Co. narrowly escaped defeat Monday night to set up a contest of unbeaten football teams Sunday against the New England Patriots. I always have faith in the Cowboys, but they will have to play perfect to win this game. Never doubt.

  4. I've been giving Pushing Daises, Private Practice and Dirty, Sexy Money a chance on Wednesday nights, but so far I don't love any of them. It's not like when I watched Ugly Betty for the first time last year, and laughed and cried in the pilot, and probably the next four episodes and was addicted. It's not like Friday Night Lights, where I started watching episodes online and couldn't stop, even with a laptop screen. It's not like the incredible 24, ALIAS and LOST pilots where I couldn't wait for next week and asked everyone I knew if they watched the same shows. I think I like Chuck best so far, but even though I enjoy it and think the character/actor Chuck is adorable, the show doesn't make me laugh out loud. Any thoughts?

  5. Don't forget to set your TiVo to record Friday Night Lights tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC. No excuses! I recommend the show even though I don't like the plot twist introduced in the season premier. But the show is so good, that storyline is no excuse not to watch the show.
Have a good weekend!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Five

I don't think anyone reads my blog anymore because I post so sporadically, but I'm committed to bringing back the Friday Five, so there will be at least one post a week.
  1. Diet Dr. Pepper is evil. With the exception of a few phases, I've never been much of a soda drinker. I officially decided to switch to diet a few years ago, and since that time, my consumption has drastically increased. Why? Drinking Diet Dr. Pepper feels like a free pass because it doesn't have any calories.

  2. I really want to see the movie Lars and the Real Girl staring Ryan Gosling. For those of you that didn't see his Oscar-nominated performance in Half Nelson last year, you probably know him as Noah Calhoun from The Notebook. In Lars, Ryan's character thinks that a blow-up doll is his girlfriend and his family and community go along with the charade to help him deal with his issues. Sounds like it could be horrible, but the trailer looks cute and sweet. And I've read good things about it.

  3. The Cowboys and 4-0! It's so much more enjoyable when your team is winning! And when your quarterback is an exciting and cute as Tony Romo. Oh, and watching the games on HD TV is my new favorite thing. Strangely, Fox does not offer HD in this market - even though all the other local channels do and the national broadcasts allude to Fox being in HD - so I can't watch every game in HD. Man can you tell the difference!

  4. Why do professional athletes keep disgracing their sports and our country? It's not just professional athletes, like Marion Jones, Michael Vick and Floyd Landis. Seven UT football players have been arrested since June. And I'm sure there are stories about high school athletes to add to this. It's sad.

  5. Are you watching Friday Night Lights tonight? If not, you need to TiVo it. Also, check out 30 Rock on Thursdays. Both shows are great and need bigger audiences.
Have a good weekend!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday Seven

I apologize for not blogging with any consistency lately. I'm sure all of my readers - the whole handful of you - are upset about this. Which reminds me, if you didn't watch the Emmy-award-winning season of 30 Rock last year, you should check it out this season when it premiers on Oct. 4.

Next week is TV premier week! Woo-hoo! I'm most excited about the hour-long premier of the Office on Thursday, and the next three weeks of hour-long episodes of the Office. I'm actually babysitting Thursday, so I will have to time-shift and watch all four hours of TV I TiVo on Thursday on Friday afternoon (or late Thursday). The show that is generating the most buzz - Pushing Daises on ABC - doesn't even premier for another week. Annoying!

Anyway, my topic today is not TV, but movies. Read below to find out what seven movies I am anticipating the most.
  1. Atonement staring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy. Keira reunited with her Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright for an adaptation of Ian McEwan's popular novel. Buzz on this is super positive, with many saying it is a lock for best picture and best actor and maybe best actress. And adapted screenplay of course.

  2. No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers return with this faithful adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's brutal novel. I started reading this book and couldn't put it down, read it in one night. And it's a bloodbath. It's generating very positive word-of-mouth as well.

  3. The Golden Compass. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig star in this adaption of the first of three books in Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy. I just finished the final book in this series, and each book was better than the one that proceeded it. If you can overlook the anti-religion theme in the book, you'll enjoy the series. Haven't heard much about the movie, but I can't wait to see it.

  4. Juno. Who saw Thank You for Smoking? Director Jason Reitman returns to direct this story of a pregnant teenager who decides to give her baby up for adoption to a couple played by Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) and Jennifer Garner (ALIAS). Critics have been writing glowing reviews about this film. It's supposed to be a feel-good comedy.

  5. Eastern Promises. I've only seen one David Cronenberg film that I'm aware of (The History of Violence - not recommended for general moviegoers) and it also stared Viggo Mortensen. They team up for another violent film surrounding the mysterious death of a women connected to the Russian mafia. Naomi Watts also stars.

  6. Sweeney Todd. Tim Burton directs Johnny Depp in this musical about a murderous barber. Perfect for a Christmas release. :-) I have no idea if this will be good or not, but I want to find out.

  7. The Kite Runner. If you haven't read this book, it needs to be the next book you read. You won't be disappointed. Hopefully that is what people will be saying about this movie. The posters look a bit cheesy, so I'm almost concerned.
Those are the movies I'm most looking forward to, in no particular order. I'm sure at least one of them will disappoint me, but such is the nature of the beast. Has anyone heard of any of these movies, at at least the books most of them are based on? What movies are you looking forward to the most?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Procrastination

I'm procrastinating. I need to make five development calls for the United Way, but I don't want to do it. So instead, I'm blogging.

We had a staff conference in May where we played get-to-know-you games. I have a stack of questions from one of those games, so I pulled five of them out to answer on this blog. Once you read them, you are tagged to answer the same questions. Don't worry; they aren't complicated.
  1. What does your favorite t-shirt say? "The People's Republic of Cork" - Cork, Ireland, is where I lived for four months. I love this shirt because you can only buy it in one city, in one country, in all the world. I get a lot of strange looks when I wear it. However, when I wore it to an Irish bar on St. Patrick's Day, I got a lot of compliments.

  2. What is your favorite sport to watch? Football, specifically the DALLAS COWBOYS! I went to my second Big 12 football game last weekend, which was a blast, especially because I didn't have to pay for the ticket.

  3. What is your favorite season of the year? The Fall! I love the weather - cool, but not cold. Perfect for sleeping with the windows open and driving with the windows down. It's also football season and State Fair time. I could go on and on.

  4. What was your favorite event as a child? I'm going to be vague here and say camping with my family. Growing up we only visited places we could drive to, including Calif. and Fla., and camped once we got there. Beaver's Bend is probably the campground I have the most memories from, but I enjoyed all of it. We started out in a tent, upgraded to a pop-up trailer and finally graduated to a RV. I wish I went camping more now.

  5. Name three things you would like to accomplish in your lifetime. 1 - Run a marathon. If my tendinitis is going to flare up every time I hit a certain training level, that might be difficult. 2 - Visit six continents. I don't really care if I make it to Antarctica. I've been to North American and Europe, so I have South American, Asia, Africa and Australia to go. 3- Learn a second language. Spanish would make the most sense, but I would love to learn French.
Your turn!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Shoes and Tennis

I had a new experience today. I spent $85 on a pair of black dress shoes. I don't think I've ever spent more than $30. The tendinitis in my foot bothered me all week, even though I didn't exercise. I would switch to flip-flops about an hour into the work day because my shoes were hurting my foot. So I decided to buy comfortable, supportive shoes and accept the cost shock. I love the pair I bought - Nurture from Dillards - but the heel is designed for support and comfort, not style, so I might splurge and buy another pair of $80 shoes from the Naturalizer with a more traditional heel, to wear when I want to look a little more professional. And the shoes I bought have a lower heel, so all my dress pants would have to be hemmed to wear with my new shoes. I did buy a pair of brown shoes for $30, so I didn't go crazy. But I had a hard time telling the sales lady at Dillards I would take the $85 shoes. I can talk myself OUT of buying anything, but I didn't give myself time to do that. All I have to say is that these shoes better last me a long time (and not hurt my feet.)

Does anyone else have a problem buying expensive shoes? Has anyone found a better priced comfy shoe they want to tell me about? It's never too late to return my expensive purchase.

Be sure and catch some US Open tennis on CBS and USA this weekend. Sharapova has already lost (she was the defending Champion) and things are about to get very interesting on the women's side. What most would consider championship match-ups start happening in the fourth round. OH MY. Federer just lost the first set against John Isner, the tall, hard-serving 22 year-old American.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday Night Lights

It's plug time. Season 1 of Friday Night Lights comes out on DVD Tuesday and I encourage you all to buy it. Why not rent it? Well, it's five discs, so at $4 a disc, it's $20 to rent the season. You can buy it at Best Buy, Target and Circuit City for $19.99. NBC is so sure you'll love it, they are offering a money-back guarantee. So if you buy it, and don't like it, take it back and get your $20 back. And the camera work is less shaky and chaotic after the pilot, so don't let that discourage you.

Friday Night Lights is one of the most realistic shows on television and the acting is incredible. Any time Connie Britton is on screen, I'm blown away. It's ridiculous that she wasn't nominated for an Emmy. NBC made the decision to bring this quality show back for a second season even though the ratings argued against that decision. So support NBC's decision to support quality TV programming by supporting Friday Night Lights. :-) I watched the entire first season online on my laptop in one weekend, that's how good it was. Once I started watching it, I couldn't stop. And the show is about the people that play football and their community, not about football. It's relationship drama and probably the best depiction on television right now.

So go out and buy Friday Night Lights on Tuesday!

In case you aren't aware, the US Open tennis tournament started today on USA. Both Williams sisters play this evening after a tribute to Althea Gibson, the first African American to win a Gland Slam title. Both Serena and Venus were the first African American women to win the US Open and Wimbledon since Althea, respectively. Go Williams sisters! I'm hoping Venus wins it all. If that happened, it would be the third time she won Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year. The draw is stacked against her though. I know most of you don't care about tennis, but I'm excited. My TiVo will be working overtime the next two weeks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Random Thoughts

Sorry I haven't been blogging lately. Even my Friday Five recurring post has ceased to exist. It's not like I haven't tried to write a blog entry, I just haven't had anything interesting to say. I'm forcing myself to blog now, mainly because I'm bored at work. Also to give the few of you that still check my blog something to read.

I found out by reading the Sunday paper my age group (25-34) is the largest age group in the city. We make up 30 percent of the population. Where are all these people? I've decided they all work in banks. We have 22 or 23 different banks in town. It's insane. Other than that, I don't run into people my age very often. Why isn't the college population the largest percentage? The age brackets split freshmen and sophomores from juniors and seniors.

School starts Monday. The freshmen from half the colleges in town moved into the dorm over the weekend and there was a noticeable rise in traffic.

I'm growing jalapenos and green bell peppers and they have suddenly started sprouting. Unfortunately, the peppers are rotting before they are fully grown. I'm trying to feed them more water. This is my first time to grow produce and I don't know how big or small to expect the veggies, so I am probably letting them grow too long, thus rotting. I made jalapeno soup with my last batch of jalapenos, but I don't know what I'll make this time.

54,000 adults in my community of 200,000 people are illiterate.

Has anyone read the His Dark Materials trilogy. The first book, The Golden Compass is a movie staring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (aka James Bond.) The book is anti-religion, but I read an interview with Nicole saying that aspect has been played down in the movie. II actually wondered how they would handle that aspect in the movie because the religious right is so vocal about representation like that. I'm reading the second book right now. It's a enjoyable read. I bought the second book by the author of the Kite Runner. That book is also being made into a movie. If you haven't read it, I recommend you do so. It was one of the best books I read a few years ago. Can't wait to start A Thousand Splendid Suns. Not a fan of the title. Can't ever remember it. (I just had to look it up on amazon.com to include it here.)

That's all I got folks. Not much going on.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

100 Things

I am going to do this 100 Things tag that is going around. If you read it, I hope it's interesting.
  1. I was born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas.

  2. I've lived in L for almost five years now. (I'm stuck here.)

  3. I lived and worked in London for six months.

  4. I lived and worked in Cork, Ireland, for four months.

  5. I spent five weeks backpacking in Europe alone.

  6. I've been to 14 countries in Europe, most during those five weeks.

  7. I love going to the movies.

  8. I love reading books.

  9. I love theatre.

  10. I love watching TV.

  11. Thursday night is my favorite night of TV. I watch My Name is Earl, The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock on NBC and Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy on ABC.

  12. I couldn't live without TiVo.

  13. Or my iPod.

  14. I mow my own yard.

  15. I have a younger sister.

  16. I do not have any living grandparents.

  17. I've watched 38 movies and one TV series season on Netflix so far this year.

  18. I love the Dallas Cowboys.

  19. Emmitt Smith is my favorite Dallas Cowboy ever.

  20. I like Tony Romo right now.

  21. I played tennis in high school.

  22. I've been to Wimbledon.

  23. I saw the Williams sisters play doubles at Wimbledon.

  24. Pete Sampras is my all-time favorite tennis player.

  25. Rafael Nadal is my favorite male tennis player right now and Venus Williams is my favorite female player.

  26. My tennis injuries include a bloody nose and black eye.

  27. I was in drama in high school.

  28. I competed in two One Act plays.

  29. I took advanced art in middle school.

  30. I took roller skating lessons in elementary school.

  31. I sprained my left arm skating.

  32. I broke my right arm in second grade.

  33. I went to a private elementary school.

  34. I've never had surgery.

  35. I collect key chains.

  36. I've kept a happy list instead of a journal since my junior year in high school.

  37. I'm growing jalapenos and green bell peppers, the first things I've ever grown.

  38. I love the Dixie Chicks.

  39. I have no idea what I want to do with my life.

  40. I don't watch reality TV.

  41. I love to go camping.

  42. Beaver's Bend State Park is where my family always went camping.

  43. I remember very little from my childhood.

  44. I am an incredible Taboo player.

  45. I saw my first opera in Verona, Italy.

  46. The last book I read that I couldn't put down was No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.

  47. I voted Democrat in the last presidential election.

  48. I've never had a traffic ticket.

  49. My favorite color is green.

  50. Then red.

  51. I hate to dust.

  52. Mint Chocolate Chip is my favorite flavor of ice cream.

  53. I can't eat hamburgers at Wendy's because the patties are square.

  54. As a volunteer I raise money for the United Way and the Children's Miracle Network.

  55. I lived with a boy for two years (we were not dating.)

  56. I will look at a billboard and count the colors or say every color represented in my head.

  57. I will count the "sections" of things like entertainment centers in my head.

  58. I used to count steps.

  59. I must be getting less crazy because I do those things less often now.

  60. I dye my hair to cover up the gray, which there is a lot of.

  61. FRIENDS is one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

  62. I threw a book away in Italy because I couldn't stand the thought of leaving it around for someone else to read, I thought it was so bad.

  63. If I think about it too long, I still feel bad about throwing away that book.

  64. I love cookie cake!

  65. I have one every year on my birthday.

  66. I refuse to wear clothes with the brand name or logo on them.

  67. I can't whistle.

  68. A co-worker made my cry.

  69. I love taking exercise classes at the gym.

  70. I don't like to talk on the phone.

  71. In high school, I had long hair that went down to my elbows.

  72. The first car I drove was a baby blue VW Beetle.

  73. I believe everyone should know how to drive a standard.

  74. I think President Bush is an idiot.

  75. I love cheesecake.

  76. I stopped wearing makeup in middle school and just wore it for special occasions until last Saturday when I became a full-time makeup wearer.

  77. Almost nobody noticed, which I take as a compliment.

  78. I haven't run since Thanksgiving 2006 due to a foot problem.

  79. My knees pop every time I bend them.

  80. I was a counselor for ACU Leadership Camps.

  81. My favorite season is Fall.

  82. I love the snow!

  83. I walk to work, or at least try to. I've had so many off-campus meetings lately I haven't been able to.

  84. If I had an opportunity to move back to Europe and work, I would do it in a heartbeat.

  85. I don't have a land line, just a cell phone.

  86. My birthday is during spring break, so I only remember going to school or working on my birthday once.

  87. I had a solo in a musical in elementary school.

  88. I'm addicted to Chapstick. I always buy Chapstick Medicated and take the wrapper off so it's a brand-less white tube. If the clothes I'm wearing have pockets, I keep my Chapstick there, otherwise I keep it in my purse. I have a to-go Chapstick attached to the outside of my purse. When I travel, I have those two Chapsticks, plus at least two backups. I also keep a Chapstick in a drawer at work.

  89. I love to sing along to music when I'm in the car or washing dishes.

  90. Diet Dr. Pepper is my soda of choice.

  91. I wish I could dance.

  92. A 31-year-old divorced bus driver asked me out. I said yes before I said no. I'm cruel, but not intentionally.

  93. I love scary movies, but rarely watch them.

  94. My bedroom is red, white and black with the walls painted red.

  95. I like High School Musical.

  96. The last movie I saw in theaters was Hairspray.

  97. The next movie I plan on seeing is Bourne Ultimatum.

  98. My dad always gives me candy for Valentine's Day, even if he has to mail it.

  99. I wish my drive to work was longer than one minute so I could list to Kidd Kraddick more.

  100. This was fun, but harder than I thought.
If you read this, I tag you to do it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New York, New York

Where have I been lately? "Working" in New York. Jaime A. went with me. If you watched the Today show on Tuesday, you saw me and my group, even if you didn't realize it. Here are a few pictures of the trip.

The group ready for television.


In front of the Today studio.


Me and Meredith. BFF.


Me and Jaime in the Target room at the Top of the Rock. Electronic lights follow you around and occasionally the whole room lights it. So fun!


Frozen hot chocolate is yummy. We had an hour wait, so we took a cab to the Apple store and called people from the iPhones. Forgot to take a picture of the cool Apple store.


Tiramisu at Alfredo's of Rome our last night in the city.

My friend D just moved to New York. I met her and her mom for a walk Monday morning.


Matching shirts for the Today show. If you can't tell, the shirts aren't printed with ink, they are covered with beads.


"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" encore of Mary Poppins. Didn't feel bad taking pictures during the bows and encore. This number was the show stopper. Show was great!


Prometheus at Rockefeller Center. I ate dinner at a table next toe the fountain.


I ran around the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park Sunday morning. This is my re-enactment from the Top of the Rock.

This is a view across the reservoir. Unlike the above picture, the run was casual run with frequent picture stops.

Empire State Building.

Good thing we were there to keep this huge piece of art balanced.

Our group ate lunch at Tavern on the Green our first day.


Inside the Tavern.



We took a two-hour semi-circle cruise at sunset. Nice time for pictures.

I loved that I get paid to travel, but I'm anxious the whole time. It's a relief to get home where I'm not responsible for the safety and enjoyment of 30 people.

Friday, June 22, 2007

AmeriCone Dream

Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's the Colbert Report has his own brand of Ben & Jerry's ice cream: AmeriCone Dream. I originally bought it because it was Stephen Colbert's, but I'll probably by it again because it's delicious. It's vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel swirl. Yummo!

Wimbledon starts Sunday! I've actually been to Wimbledon, so it's my favorite. Maybe it's always been my favorite because Pete Sampras was always my favorite tennis player and Wimbledon is the tournament where he excelled.

Nothing much going on. One camp down, one to go. Then it's off to Dallas for a few days, then off to New York!

Sorry I haven't been commenting on your blogs lately. I've been reading them, but I haven't had time to comment.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rafa's Reign

After a week break, I return to you with tennis on my mind. Rafael Nadal, my favorite tennis player, won his third straight French Open title today beating Federer, the top-ranked player in the final. Yay!

Camp is over as well. Only two kids were sent to the hospital and neither with serious problems. According to my pedometer, I walked a total of 55.41 miles during the week. Had to make up for all the food I was eating.

In other news, I've been "promoted" from a Loaned Executive to an Account Executive (that supervises a team of LEs) for the United Way campaign this year. The AE that I'm replacing is moving to Dallas for a job. I'm interested in the job she is leaving. She works at a company that promotes from within, but who knows. I'll keep you posted.

We've been getting crazy amounts of rain and the grass in my yard is at an embarrassing height, so I need to mow. I'm going to wait a few hours for the temperature to drop.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Long Time No Blog

Sorry it's been so long since I've written. I started a few blogs but never got around the finishing them. This is the busiest time of the year for me. Most people that work in a university find the summer to be the slow time of the year, time for planning and strategy and vacations. I work with summer camps, so I go non-stop from tomorrow until July 1. I even temporarily move offices to be closer to the camp action. I take a short vacation, and then it's off to New York to guide 30 alumni around the city. Tough job, I know.

Enjoy your June!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend Recap

Normally when I go home for the weekend I have some down time. Not this trip. Here are the highlights.
  1. Taste Addison: Saw Blues Travelers and the Los Lonely Boys in concert. It seems wrong that my entry fee does not cover food for an event named Taste Addison. It was fun.

  2. Tennis. The only time I play tennis these days (sigh) is when I'm in DFW, so this is always a plus. However, playing tennis at noon on a hot, humid day is not ideal. Summer is here.

  3. Georgia Rule. Jamie's decree: SKIP IT. One, it's not a good movie. Two, if you haven't read anything about it, you will go see a different movie than the one advertised in the previews. It's one of those. Just like all the children that had no way of knowing the sadness awaiting them at the end of the "fun, fantasy film" Bridge to Terabithia.

  4. Trinity Hall. It was fun to drink Strongbow, eat bread pudding and listen to an Irish band on a Saturday night.

  5. Mother's Day. The card I got my mom was "retro." It was a child's Strawberry Shortcake card. It was a hit. My mom laughed and informed me that she still had my Strawberry Shortcake sheets in a closet if I wanted them. I wonder if this closet stores my Rainbow Bright sleeping bag.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Five

  1. Those of you that know me well know I have been trying unsuccessfully since freshman year in college to get my hair cut a certain way. The style has changed through the years, but the inability to get the right cut hasn't. I got my hair cut last week for Cuts for the Cure, and I'm more than 50 percent satisfied. Usually the back of my hair isn't cut right, and the front is fine. This time, the back is right and the front is wrong. Go figure. But after almost five years in this town, it looks like I finally found a hair dresser.

  2. LOST was awesome Wednesday! (SPOILERS AHEAD) Every commercial break I found myself muttering "Awesome." I wasn't on board with the whole invisible-Jacob twist until he went all telekinetic. After reading that Jacob briefly appeared after he pushed Ben against the wall, I went back and watched it; it's totally creepy. And who knew Ben was pure evil? He killed his own people! LOST has had back-to-back disturbing episodes. I still can't get Sawyer strangling Locke's dad out of my head. And the mass killing and mass grave this week. I like the darkness though.

  3. Speaking of TV shows, Friday Night Lights has been renewed for next season! Whoo-hoo! If you haven't watched this show, I encourage you to check it out. All episodes are available online, and NBC will air repeats beginning May 27. And the DVD is schedule to come out before the second season, so you have no excuse!

  4. What do I have to say that is not TV related? I've been experimenting with keeping my happy list in my purse. The result? I never write in my happy list. Out of sight, out of mind. I miss happy list writing. Several things have happened in the last month I wanted to write down, but forgot about them. Operation: Resume Happy List Writing is in full swing!

  5. I'm teaching the toning class at work again on Monday. I haven't changed the routine I originally created, and this will be my fourth of fifth time to teach. It's too time consuming. I have much more respect for instructors at gyms that vary what they do every class. Granted, they've had training, but it's still time consuming.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Battle of the Surfaces

Another victory over Roger Federer for Rafael Nadal. Yes, that is a half-grass, half-clay court in the picture. Federer is the King of Grass, winning Wimbledon the previous four years (Nadal made it to the final last year) and Nadal is the King of Clay, winning the French Open the past two years, the only two years he's played the French. (Nadal knocked Fed out in the semifinal two years ago and defeated him in the final last year.) Nadal has also set the record for consecutive match wins on clay at 72 and is 7-3 against Mighty Fed, the world's number one player. Despite his appearance in the Wimbledon final last year, Nadal has never made it past the quarter finals of the US Open, and his record on every surface but clay is mediocre. His level of play on clay is off the charts, so I think exhaustion plays a part is his descent the second half of the year. Especially last year when he made it to the Wimbledon final just two weeks after he defended the French Open title.

So you got two posts in one day and both about sports.

Live to Die Another Day

I'm elated the Mavs won last night, but did they have to stress me out so much? And they will do it again Thursday night I'm sure. Good thing this team knows how create winning streaks because they need two more back-to-back wins to advance to the next round.

In other news, Veronica Mars is back to the TV schedule. Yay!

I'm getting my hair cut on Sunday. You might be thinking: Sunday? The Susan G. Komen For the Cure is sponsoring a Cuts for the Cure day on Sunday when 100 percent of proceeds from select salons go to the Komen foundation. I need a haircut, so I might as well help fight breast cancer with my vanity. :-)

I ran a 5K race on Saturday for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). It was my first race since October and my first time to run 3 miles since November. My foot's been OK lately. I didn't set a PR, but I didn't embarrass myself. And I got a medal! And they called my name as I crossed the finish line. It was the least organized race I've ever been to, but CASA fights for children, not organize road races, so I can cut them some slack.

Graduation is Saturday. I'm feeling a little sentimental about this graduating class because it's the first class I've watched from move-in day to graduation. (I've been here too long.) It's interesting to watch the transformation of the students. I interviewed a student for a job in my office four years ago, and I didn't hire him because he couldn't communicate effectively. He went on to be a leader on campus. I hired a guy that became Student Senate President, Homecoming King and Mr. University.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Friday Five: Independent Film

I love movies. I love all genre of movies. I'm more and more attracted to movies most people have never heard of. Technically I don't know if foreign films are considered independent, but for the purposes of this post I will place them in that category. They probably qualify anyway as they are not created in Hollywood, have much smaller budgets than Hollywood films and generally have a limited release. So for today, here are five reasons I love and support independent film.

  1. The Spitfire Grill. My senior year in high school, my aunt dragged me and my sister to see this movie. All she told us about it was that it was an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival (an Audience Award winner to be more exact). I loved the film and credit it for my passion for indies. Ironically, my aunt ignores most of my opinions about movies because my "superior taste" (her words not mine) and resists all attempts on my part to introduce her to new movies. She couldn't believe I made her sit through Stranger than Fiction.
  2. Film Festivals. After watching the Spitfire Grill, I started seeking out movies that were Official Selections of the Sundance Film Festival. Rachel V. is a movie buff as well, and in college we would stroll through Hastings looking for independent films to rent. Back then I didn't research films or read reviews online, so we made our decisions on the spot. We watched some bad movies, (Photographing Fairies), and odd movies (Being John Malkovich) but mostly we were rewarded with movies like Memento, Billy Elliott and Run Lola Run.
  3. Originality. Writers and directors hired to make blockbusters usually cater to the lowest common denominator or are encouraged to stick to what works, so these movies usually lack creativity and originality. Obviously, this is not always the case. And independent films suffer from the same problems too. Charlie Kaufman is completely original, and his films are good because of his originality. See Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation and Being John Malkovich if you want to see a unique vision. And you don't have to love these movies to appreciate what they bring to the film world.
  4. Documentaries. I've already dedicated an entire post to documentaries, but they are an aspect of independent film that shouldn't go unnoticed. These filmmakers work with limited budgets and are often self financed. These movies don't make much money at the box office, so to get their movies seen and create revenue, documentary filmmakers sell their movies to TV stations. What's the problem with this? For a documentary to be eligible for an Oscar nomination, it has to screen in theatres and the additional screening rules in place prevent filmmakers from working with TV. Grizzly Man was one of the highest rated movies last year, but wasn't eligible for the Oscar because it aired on cable. I have almost never been disappointed in a documentary, whereas feature films let me down consistently. So if a documentary comes to a theatre near you, pay to see it.
  5. Foreign Films. If you can't get past the subtitles you are missing out on great films. Amelie just makes me feel happy. The Best of Youth is one of the best movies I've seen in years. It's six hours long, but I want to watch it again. The martial arts films like Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are beautiful works of art. And City of God is one of my all-time favorite movies. It's not very often that a foreign film has it's director nominated for Best Director at the Oscar, but that happened with this film. I like foreign films for their originality but also for the different outlook and voice they bring to cinema.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday Topics

I've been asked to update my blog so people can have something to read at work. At least I know someone reads this boring blog. Anyway, here are some random thoughts.

I'm running the CASA 5K on Saturday. Normally this is not news, but I had to stop running on Thanksgiving due to inflammation in my left foot. I've recently resumed running, but I'm not up to 3 miles yet. And I run at 6 a.m., in the cool morning darkness. Running at 9 a.m. with full sunlight is always more draining. But CASA is a United Way agency, and I support them.

The Lives of Others is playing here! I got so excited when I found out, and I'm seeing it this week. Because I know you are all curious, I will let you know if the movie is deserving of the Best Foreign Film Oscar it received in February. On a related note, I've read the horrible news that the brothers Weinstein have bought the rights to remake this film. A film that just won an Oscar, that topped just about every Best of 2006 list. Apparently they want this film to reach more people, so instead a huge marketing push and a wider release, they think the solution is to remake it in English. have yet to see a remake that is better than it's foreign original. This particular story is about the Nazi Stasi and spying in East Germany! That doesn't really translate to our culture. And don't even get me started on subtitles. Americans will watch movies with subtitles, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, Amalie, etc. The main problem with foreign language films is the way the subtitles appear. Subtitles should never, ever be white. Too often the words get washed out in the background. And on widescreen DVDS, the subtitles should be placed below the picture. I could continue my rant, but I'll stop there.

I'm busy at work finally. I'm writing multiple articles for an upcoming alumni magazine, planning a staff conference and preparing for camps and my trip to New York. It's to the point where I almost have so many things to do this week, I don't know where to start. I need to finish this post and read a chapter in a book on fundraising so I am prepared for a book study tomorrow morning.

LOST is getting good. Juliet's character is fascinating. I'm curious how the season is going to end. I heard the producers wanted to bring back Michael for the season finale, but he said no. I would think he would still be under contract because his character's story line is not finished. I'm loving the string of new episodes. If ABC chooses to delay the start of LOST until January, ala 24, I totally back that decision.

Veronica Mars returns next week! I doubt any of you watch it, but it's great!

I'm usually consistent with my cardio, but fickle with my toning. I'm finally doing both again, and every time I do, I always think that it's an interesting way to live. I'm constantly living with sore of fatigued muscles. It's not always the I-can't-take-another-step soreness, but something is usually tight, sensitive, sore or tired. Maybe if I didn't go through phases where I dropped the toning for periods of time, my body would settle down. Or maybe I should consider this normal and not being sore or aware of my muscles as the odd state.

So those are my random thoughts for Tuesday.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Five: West Texas

West Texas is an interesting place. Here are five signs you live in West Texas.
  1. When you leave for work in the morning, the sky is blue. When you come home, the sky is brown, dirt brown.

  2. You can run past tumbleweeds in the middle of a residential street before sunrise, and probably any other time of the day. Quite often you have to dodge them while driving around town.

  3. Your interior window and door frames are always, always, covered in dirt.

  4. There are as many 24-hour local weather channels as there are local network channels.

  5. You couldn't direct someone to a hill if your life depended on it. The flat land and never-ending horizon makes for beautiful sunrises and sunsets though.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saturday Shocker

SNOW!!

It's Easter Saturday at noon, and it's 28 degrees with two inches of snow on the ground. (I'm making that figure up. I have yet to find a news website that tells me how many inches or rain or snow we get after a storm. You'd think the citizens would want that information, especially since we have channels dedicated to nothing but local weather.) Crazy! More snow is in the forecast for this evening, so I'm sure the roads will be fun Sunday morning. Here are a few pictures.

The front yard.


The back yard.

This has nothing to do with snow, but a few weeks ago after a heavy rain storm, a large double rainbow filled the sky. Rainbows can disappear so quickly, I took this picture from my back door so I wouldn't miss it. You can't see the reflection, but it was gorgeous!


Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Five: Gael Garcia Bernal

I watched the Science of Sleep last night, Gael Garcia Bernal's first English-language film. I like him. I thought he would be the subject of my Friday Five, but first I had to make sure I'd actually seen five movies Bernal acted in. I have seen eight. You may have seen him in Babel. He played the son/nephew of the nanny that caused the problem at immigration. Without further ado, my five favorite movies with Gael Garcia Bernal.
  1. The Crime of Father Amaro. This is where I discovered Bernal. He was so cute in this movie, but the crime was not the crime in all the headlines. He was a young, attractive priest in love with a girl. Should he break his vow of celibacy?
  2. The Motorcycle Diaries. He played Che on the motorcycle ride that led him to become a revolutionary.
  3. The Science of Sleep. Bernal's first English language film. The movie was wacky, written and directed by the guy that helped write the story for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Charlie Kaufman. His scenes with the neighbor that shared his interests were great.
  4. Bad Education. A film by Pedro Almodovar, so you know it's strange. Bernal plays three "characters" in this film. And this being a Pedro film, he is a transvestite.
  5. Y tu mama tambien, aka And Your Mama Too. This is an Alfonso Cuaron (HP and the Prisoner Azkaban, Children of Men) film, so it gets bonus points for a director I like. This is probably the hardest of the five movies to watch because it's a coming of age road trip, foreign language film style. Foreign films almost always have more language, nudity, sex, alcohol and drugs than American movies.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Joys of Technology

When I moved into my new old house, my TV became the living room TV. Jaime kept her TV in her room, and her father brought a TV down from Fort Worth that I took by default. The TV was manufactured in 1989. I tried to hook a DVD player up to it, and the port the cable went into was the only port. I don't know if port is the right word, but I can't think of anything else, so I'm going with it.

This wasn't a big deal until recently. I'm a Netflix subscriber. I've realized in the last few weeks that I'm not moving through my movies at a fast enough pace to make the monthly rate worth it. When you have a roommate, you can't just come home and ask her to turn off what she's watching so you can watch an obscure French film. At least I don't think you can. When I lived there before, with different roommates, the person watching TV first was in control of the roommate. I still live with that mentality.

I did a little research yesterday and purchased a RF modulator. Everything plugs into this little box - cable, DVD, S-Video, and then you run one cable to the back of your TV, and presto! Cable or DVD, take your pick.

That's all the exciting news in my world. Oh, and because I'm incompetent and can't stick cables in the right portals, I thought my first RF modulator was broken. I bought a different brand from Wal-Mart, cheaper as well, and then realized the error of my ways. So this weekend I get to return the more expensive product. Yay! Isn't my life exciting?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Saturday Seven

  1. I know all my faithful readers were disappointed that I didn't write a Friday Five post last week or yesterday. I wrote this yesterday, I just forgot to publish it. Last week, I was busy all morning at work and then I headed to Austin and did not access the Internet until I returned on Sunday. What was I doing in Austin? Planting a garden! I'll post pictures soon to prove I actually gardened. I returned with three green pepper plants and one jalapeno plant. We'll see if I can grow produce. I also hung out with two of my high school friends, the true purpose of the visit.

  2. Rain, rain and more rain! It looks like the sky might open any moment and flood us. Wednesday night it hailed. Sunday we had tornadoes and heavy rain. Parts of the city are still flooded. Hopefully it lets up enough for me to mow this weekend. The height of our grass is embarrassing, especially the weeds.

  3. I haven't read since I wrote all those posts about reading. I guess I've moved past the all-I-want-do-do-is-read wave. Non-fiction will do that to you. And this weekend I've got three Netflix movies to watch and ship back, so I won't be doing a lot of reading.

  4. I have to fill out a self evaluation for work today. I recently offended my boss, so I'm not excited about the timing of this eval. He's accepted my apology, told me it's not a problem, but I still feel guilty. I doubt it will affect my eval, but I still don't want something negative looming over our recent interactions.

  5. I have conflicted feelings about Wednesday's episode of LOST. I thought it was a good overall episode, if you factor out all the issues relating to Nikki and Paulo. I trust the writers and producers of this show, but I don't know why they introduced these characters earlier this season, tried to pretend they'd been on the island the whole time, and then "killed" them. Fans were upset at their presence and Wednesday's episode didn't do anything to change that. I'd heard that this episode would be a "game changer" and these characters would become legends in the LOST-verse. Not sure this episode achieved either of those goals. Yes, two people were buried alive, but there weren't characters we cared about or were emotionally invested in. I hear rumors that next season LOST will follow 24's path, and start the season in January and run all-new episodes through May. I'm behind that idea 100 percent. It's worked for 24. And did you notice how the premier of 24 was such an event? You couldn't read any TV-related blogs or news sources without reading about 24 and Keifer Sutherland.

  6. I mowed my front yard this morning. I don't think I have mowed since high school. And due to all the rain and lack of a personal lawn mower, the grass and weeds were high. The mower stalled out too many times to count and didn't restart easily at all. I'm not sure I'll be able to move my right arm tomorrow. I didn't even get to the back yard. However, I'm borrowing a more powerful mower tomorrow, so hopefully I won't pull my shoulder out of socket.

  7. It's Final Four weekend! I'm babysitting tonight, but I'll have the games on in the background. I should get going. I don't want to be late.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Library

You might notice a new feature on the sidebar of my blog. I discovered the website LibraryThing today. It hasn't been a busy day at work, my boss is out of town, it's rainy and I'm just not motivated to work. I was reading the Arts & Entertainment section of The Guardian when I came upon an article about this website.

LibraryThing is essentially an online book catalog, complete with recommendations and a social networking capabilities. It's free and there is no registration, so I thought I would try it out. I started adding books I've read this year. I have to keep a list anyway or I'll forget what I've read, so why not do it online and share it with others. You can connect with people that have similar interests and even leave comments. I don't expect to leave comments with strangers, but my friend and I are about to read a book together, and if she sets up a LibraryThing account, we can comment back and forth. The ability to express a response to a book as it comes to me instead of hoping I remember it for when we talk about the book might come in handy for forgetful ol' me. You can also export your data to Excel or even your cell phone for access anywhere. You can review books as well. I haven't done that yet. You can even see how many LibraryThing users have your books in their libraries. I'm sure there are more features I haven't discovered yet.

That might not sound interesting to you, but if it does, check out my library from the link on the sidebar and set up your own account. Then send me the link!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Books

Like most of you readers out there, I'm always reading something or about to start a new book. I've always loved to read, ever since I was a kid, as mentioned in a previous post. My reading habits come in waves. I'll go a few months where I read instead of eating or sneak in a read during lunch or anytime I have a spare five minutes and stay up late reading. I finish a book and immediately start another one. Immediately. At other times, I read once or twice a week, and then when I finish a book, it takes me a few weeks to start a new one.

Right now all I want to do is read. I read three books in four days over spring break, and when I came back home I finished a library book I accidentally left behind. I chose to finish reading that book instead of watching Grey's Anatomy with my roommate. (By now you should know I'm a TV junkie as well.) As soon as I finished that book I jumped into another one and read it in two days. Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble and bought two books with my birthday gift card. I came home, started to read, and finished the book three-ish hours later. And then I picked up the second book I bought. All I want to do right now is read. I always ride this wave as long as it lasts because the day will inevitably come when I won't want to pick up a book for a week or more.

So are the rest of you readers manic like me or do you read more consistently throughout the year?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Five: Spring Break

It does not feel like a Friday. Here are five things I did on my spring break.

  1. Visited friends in Mt. Pleasant. Highlights: delicious southwest chicken quiche and cheesecake at local places, fruit pizza and playing games.

  2. Read three books in four days. It was so nice to relax and not worry about time for a week. The books: These Three Remain, the third book in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series; Bridge to Terabithia, one of my favorite books as a child, as indicated in a previous post; and Under the Tuscan Sun, an impromptu read because it was the only book on my mom's bookshelf I was interested in. She is an avid reader as well, but we have completely different tastes.

  3. Stuffed myself at Simply Fondue. I ate with a few of my DFW friends for my birthday last night. We spent three hours at the restaurant and it was delicious! My favorite part of the evening was when the waitress asked everyone to put a marshmallows on their skier, and then light the chocolate fondue on fire so we could roast marshmallows. One of our chocolate flavors was S'mores, so it was perfect.

  4. Played tennis! Janie and I always play tennis when I'm in the area. We played for an hour and played pretty well. The cute guys playing next to us were checking us out for sure.

  5. Went shopping. I didn't actually get the essentials I set out for, but I did pick up a pair of flip-flops with green straps and a $45 pair of pants for $15. I found a lamp that met all my criteria at Kirkland's but I decided to shop around before I bought it. When I got around to going back, the lamp was gone. But I found the lamp at the Kirkland's at the Parks mall, so I bought that. And I picked up another spice "rack" at the Container Store. I also brought home a bubble bath ball and shampoo bar at Lush. Love that store!
Tonight I'm going to see Cirque Dreams. I don't know that much about it, but I am excited.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Music and Lyrics

Does it drive anyone else crazy when you hear a popular song on the radio with bad grammar? The new Nelly Furtado song came on - "Say it Right" - and when it got to the chorus, I just rolled my eyes. This is why:
Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me
No you don't mean nothing at all to me
Do you got what it takes to set me free

It's much harder to notice bad grammar in music because we don't give the lyrics our full attention.
But it's out there and people sing along and then repeat the grammar mistake in their own
conversations. I don't want to hear any more double negatives in conversation than I have to.

On a different subject, I read the book Bridge to
Terabithia last night. This was one of my favorite
books in elementary school. I think I read it in fifth grade, but I'm not really sure. We read it
out loud as a class. I generally borrow books from the library, but
occasionally I'll decide a book is
worth a purchase. Books you loved as a child belong in that category. Outside of school, I think my
favorite book was The Girl with the Silver Eyes. Anyone else read that as a child. I need to own
that book. I read it again in high school when my senior English teacher suggested I discover why
I loved it so much. The main character was different from her peers and never fully belonged. She
had silver eyes and paranormal abilities. In the end she finds out there are people like her and she
finally feels like she belongs. I was always a shy kid and could relate to not fitting in with the masses.

What books did you love as a kid and why?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday Five: Saturday Edition

I was actually busy at work on Friday and then I headed out of town, so no time to blog. But here is the list of five things I am looking forward to this week.

  1. Spring Break! It's great to get this paid vacation as a working adult. After 28 years, I can only remember one instance of having to go to school or work on my birthday due to the timing of SB, and that was in seventh grade, when I took the TAAS test instead. My birthday must have fallen on a Monday or Friday.

  2. Road trip to Mt. Pleasant to visit friends I made in my current city of residence.

  3. Using my own computer to access the Internet at my parents' house. They finally have a home network. Their old computer ran Windows 98, so you can just guess how slow it was.

  4. Shopping! I have a list of essential spring clothing items that I haven't been able to find, and I figure if I can't find them in DFW, I must be the only one that considers them essential. Well, essential at an affordable price.

  5. Fondue. I've never eating at a fondue place before, but I'm going there for my birthday. Yay!
That's all. Time to hit the road. Enjoy your spring breaks or work weeks!