Saturday, January 30, 2010


My big camera is in the car, so tomorrow I'll post some pretty photos of the snow and probably some examples of terrible driving from my NC neigbors!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Did you know that this ship existed before the earthquake in Haiti?

This is the USNS Comfort, which is a Navy Hospital ship with 1000 beds and 12 operating rooms.  This ship is going to save thousands of lives in Haiti because it provides a clean, fully staffed hospital where patients can receive better care than in the field hospitals.  It just amazes me that we, the US just HAD this thing, and were able to deploy it so quickly to the area (some people complained that it took a while to get there, but they were able to staff and stock it in 3 days and then it sailed down there in less than a week, and its a converted oil tanker - she's not really known for her speed people!!).  Of course, the reason the US has this ship, and its sister ship the USNS Mercy, is for treatment of soldiers during battles, but it seems to get a lot more use as a relief vessel (its been to Haiti and surrounding countries before, helped out in Hurricane Katrina etc).  Did you also know that its a war crime to fire on this ship, and that it carries no weapons? 

The devistation in Haiti has really blown my mind.  I can not imagine, or even begin to imagine what it must be like there for the people of Haiti, those who were already there helping before the earthquake, and for those who have recently arrived to help.  There are those in the international community complaining that the US isn't doing enough.  But really, what is enough?  Sure, there were and still are some kinks in communication to work out, and people's egos to keep in check and unforeseen problems arising, but what is this measure that everyone is talking about?  There is always more to be done, and more ways of helping are being implemented every day!  Also, I have seen soo many people, on Facebook, on TV, on the internet COMPLAINING that the US is doing too much for Haiti.  HELLO! These are our neighbors!  These are our friends!  These are the families of so many people here in the US!  Haiti was a terrible place before the earthquake, and although there was aid going into Haiti, it was almost too little too late.  Now we have the real opportunity to turn the country around!  Yes, the US has its own problems, but how can people turn their back on a country that has had the raw end of the deal for so many years?  How do you justify saying, "we have our own troubles"?  If your neighbor's house burned down, would you say "let some one else take care of them, I just lost my job"? No, you wouldn't.  You would say, "I don't have a lot, but here is a little something".  You would try to help out in anyway you could. 

Alright, enough of my rant.  My heart goes out to everyone, everywhere affected by this earthquake.  Thank you to the men and women serving on the USNS Comfort, the troops on the ground in Haiti and all of the volunteers who are helping with the relief effort!

Oh and something cool I found out.  Farmville, that annoying yet addicting game on Facebook, sold virtual white corn seeds for real money and raised over $1 million for World Food Program in Haiti...and everyone says how Farmville is annoying!  I will just let you know that I proudly grew some white corn for Haiti :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I don't have a lot to do right now, so I am trying to catch up on some reading... by catch up I mean get back to my old habits of finishing a book a week and reading some good literature, bad writing and everything in between :)

so I "stumbled upon" this cool website: The Book Seer and am going to go off some of its recommendations. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.  But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

-Conan O'Brien

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I had a really low key birthday with my parents here in jersey...  I wasn't feeling great, my dad has a nasty cold, and no one felt like heading anywhere fancy for dinner.  So we went to my favorite sushi place, then watched SNL (I LOVE WEEKEND UPDATE!!)

I got an awesome bag from my mom, the FUR COVERED EDITION of The Wild Things by Dave Eggers from my brother, and something HUGE and UNEXPECTED from my dad... more on that in a few days!

Headed back to NC on Monday - no one likes to drive when they are feeling icky, so I am going to pack and veg tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who texted, tweeted or left a nice happy birthday on my wall :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

100 Photos

So I am challenging myself to take 100 photos of the sky this year.  Good, edited, clean photos.  I love the sky, I love the clouds, the colors, I love it when its bright and clear, when its stormy, even when its gray.  The challenge is through this awesome photography blog:

(ps, This starts tomorrow as its really really cold out and its dark out and I could do an open exposure up in the powerlines, and I bet it would look really cool, but did i mention its really really cold out?? )

(pps, Saturday is my birthday, and I really would love to climb Mount Tammany and take pictures of the sunset and enjoy the bitter beautiful cold we've been having.  Speedy, you up for a walk in the woods?)

Can't We All Just Get Along? - yet another long rant

I love to read.  I love to read EVERYTHING, so blogs are a great way to read something when I don't have a book handy, or am just looking for something different.  I read all kinds of blogs - my friends' blogs, blogs about art, blogs about video games, blogs about families.  I dont discriminate - I love to learn about how other people live their lives, what they find important and the strange/silly/sad/happy things they get themselves into.
For those of you who know me, I am a very liberal person.  I grew up in an UU household, I belong to a UU church.  I don't believe in God, and I don't pray (more on that later).  But there is one blog that I love to read - it's My Charming Kids (the MckMama one).  Seriously, I could not be more opposite in beliefs than its author.  She is pro-life, Christ centered, adam and eve not adam and steve; and blogs about it all the time.  I got into her blog through her photography (she has her own buisness) but stayed reading it because of her son, Stellan.  He was born with a heart defect, they thought he had out grown it, it came back but they did a successful surgery and he's perfectly healthy now... anyway, even though she is the complete opposite of me, I find her to be a very tolerant and open person.  I like the way she writes, and I like to hear what she has to say on issues.  It's still an interesting read for me, even if it's not something I agree with or believe.
Her blog is not without controversy. She has been criticized for deleting hurtful comments, but what blogger out there hasn't deleted hurtful comments?  What blows me away is the negativity that people have towards her blog and towards her. Some of the stuff people say to her (or, write that is) is unbeliveable.  I don't know if its because its not face to face, but even thinking some of this stuff just baffles me.  For instance, she is pregnant with her 5th child (Stellan was #4).  She has gotten comments about being selfish for having another child (I really don't get that...) , and one person even went online and researched public records and found out about her financial woes - excuse me, THAT'S NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX!  The excuse was that its "public record"... but seriously, why would you go and look that up?
There are entire BLOGS set up that are anti-mckmama.  She's not a national figure, you have to get on the internet and seek out her blog in order to read it, so I really don't understand why people spend the time reading the blog, and then get all bent out of shape because of what it did or didn't say.  I guess it's all about tollerence.  Just because you don't agree with someone, it doesn't mean you hate them, or that they don't deserve to have an opinion or a blog.  There are lots of people in this world that I don't see eye to eye with, but there are very very few that I outright hate. 
She also tends to attract these people who lurk on her blog and scare away people from commenting by replying to their comments with nasty and hurtful things.  The way that her blog is set up is that the comments section becomes more of a forum - you can post a comment directly about the blog entry, or you can reply to someone else's comment (and you can register and receive notice if someone responds to your comment).  A while back I commented on an entry she wrote about being a Christian and how some Christians give the whole institution a bad rap, but it was unfair to lump them all together.  I responded to her post about how I have first hand experienced some of those "Christians" using their faith as a weapon and that it has made me a little more careful around people, especially if the topic ever gets on faith.  I also talked about how I found it really interesting that people interpret the Bible in so many different ways.  And then I quoted (had to look it up) Grey's Anatomy - where the lesbian doctor Cali gets in a fight with her very religious father and they quote the Bible at eachother.  (sorry, that was a long explanation of a comment).  So a few hours later, I see that I got a reply to my comment.  And oh man, was this woman PISSED.  But, it wasn't MckMama - it was someone who was lurking on the forum, waiting for someone who was a non-believer to post.  She attempted to rip me a new one about how I obviously didn't understand Christianity and it was pathetic that I could only knew the Bible from a TV show, and how I lied about praying for Stellan. 
Now, wait just a minute.
First, who is this woman, and why is she lurking around a blog that she doesn't write?  Second, why is she calling me a liar?  She's right that I didn't pray.  I don't pray.  But when did I ever claim that I was praying for Stellan? I did think about Stellan a lot when he was going through all his stuff, and I did hope that the doctors were going to be able to fix his heart.  But, it's not praying.  And Third - I know a lot about the Bible, and I didn't learn it from Grey's, thankyouverymuch.  I learned it from READING IT (GASP! She's read the Bible!?)  and from SUNDAY SCHOOL (GASP!  They talk about the Bible at UU Churches?!)  I am no Theologian, I don't claim to be,  my dad didn't sit us down and read the Bible to us every night, I didn't go to vacation Bible school, but yes I have picked it up (no, it didn't burn my hands) and read it. (I actually own this little book of sermons and prayers for people who volunteer, serve their country etc - I really enjoy reading it...)  The whole point of that quote was an example of how people interpret the Bible differently... (also, I thought it was pretty cool that Cali still has her faith even though many in her faith call her a sinner.) 
Well, I wrote a very polite response back to her, and then read another reply that she left on a comment very similar to mine about how it was OBVIOUS that men weren't supposed to sleep with men because anal sex was painful... (I laughed out loud for reals here).  I was very tempted to leave her a comment about how I was sorry that she had a bad experience, but that argument was the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

MckMama's blog post the next day - about how she likes to hear different opinions and to agree to disagree with people, and liked when people of different opinions, lifestyles, beliefs commented.  (Weirdo lurker didnt leave any more comments - win). 

So yeah, I read a lot of blogs, and I read this blog even though I don't love everything that is posted.  I am tolerant of the differences between us, and I think it makes me a better person to hear her out. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The new kitchen (long and rambling)

Sorry, this entry is kinda long and almost pointless, unless you are interested in remodeling kitchens....

Today my mom and I went down to finalize the soapstone counter top we are getting for the kitchen.  I say we because apparently I represent dad's interests in the kitchen design, so I get to have input (and he doesn't).  Its actually kind of stressful, in a weird way.  I don't live here, and this isn't my money that we are spending on the kitchen, but I still have a big say in what its going to look like.  But its more than that.  This is our last ditch effort to raise the value of the house so that it wont be knocked down.  Its a beautiful 1950 Ranch, 4 bed (yeah, that cold attic is actually a bedroom... thats on the list of repairs haha) 2.5 bath house.  It has a study, a split level finished basement, a family room, "formal" living room with gas fireplace, hardwood floors and a big lot.  But, its on the cusp of being a tare down.  It kinda hurts my heart.  I guess I dont get the need to have the GIGANTIC homes that people seem to want around here.  Why on earth (unless you have a lot of kids) would you have a 7 bedroom home!?  And the thing is, the master bedrooms in these homes are HUGE, but the other bedrooms are really small.  Which makes no sense to me.  Sure, adults in the home share (traditionally) the master, so it should be bigger.  But kids are in their rooms a lot more.  (Well, I was) And no, I am not talking about punishment... but quite play time,  studying, reading, day-dreaming.  I want my kids to have more than a small closet like room to do all this in.

In all seriousness, the fact that we are increasing the value of the house isnt the only reason we are putting in a new kitchen.  The old one was falling apart- water damage, broken cabinets, and in desperate need of a new counter top.  But, as far as homes go, a new kitchen is a good investment. 

In my next life, I will be a home flipper and a real estate agent I think... haha

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fail Whale

I dont know why, but I always get excited when I get the Fail Whale from Twitter.  I know, it means that something is up with their servers and thats a bad thing... but its so darn cute!!  :D

So, I have a little issue.  My birthday is Saturday, and I am not sure when I want to drive down to NC.  If I stay up here for my birthday, I can go out to dinner with the family and go down to NC on Sunday.  Or I can drive to NC on Friday and maybe go out with the 4 people I know who are in town on Saturday... hmmm

Friday, January 8, 2010


the update begins....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Decorating and such

OOOO art!

While I was in NC, my mom had the house painted (interior - the exterior is that vinyl stuff).  I picked the color, a lilac, because it went better with our new rugs, which are a yellowy/beige-y color).  Its awesome (my room used to be this awesome blue color so I had to pick an equally awesome new color) ANYWAY, they took down all my pictures/shit that was on the walls, so now I have to hang it.  New house rules is that because my room is the "guest room" everything on the walls has to be in a frame (I dont know if we are going to have any "guests" but better safe then sorry).  So, no crazy bulitin board (sad face) and no silly random pictures (those are all down in NC anyway).  But now I have to figure out where to hang all these things... and should I hang all of them?

ok  so I have 6 awesome, professionally framed crate labels - (the top 6 on the bed).  Those are definitely going up cause they are cool.  I have my NAU diploma (the UNCG one comes later this month) and my Sigma Tau Delta certificate (uber nerdy I know) and those are also really nicely framed... should I hang them up by the little desk in here? (Linds- its the small this-end-up desk)  I also have a non-professionally framed, but still cool 4 year varsity swimming award from HS.  It was my proudest moment in HS, but its a little dorky, so should that go up?  I also have a HUGE crest that I made for my Letter Signs and Symbols class, and my brother has a matching one (you can see it leaning on the wall).  The frame matches the rest, but the only wall it would fit on is DIRECTLY over my headboard... is that too much?  The last thing on the bed is a poorly framed vintage reproduction of that french black cat poster that everyone has.  Its a cool print, but the guy did a shit job framing it (no mat, and some white shows from the edge of the border.... I dont think I will hang that, but I also dont know what to do with it.... maybe it will come to NC with me and add to my random walls.

In other decorating news, I am getting two new lamps for this room (YAY LIGHTING) which is a big deal considering my mom HATES HATES HATES lamps... I have no idea why, but its like pulling teeth to buy one and put it in a room. 

OMG how cute are these - I have a thing for branches and birds... I think I am going to get either the green or lilac (not shown) shade.  Yeah, these are totally from PB kids - we get ALL the pottery barn magazines, and these were in them.  We also saw it in person at the mall (I could not get my mom out of that store - I think I know where I will be registering for my furniture when I have kids - she loves the stuff).  (hey mine and my brothers bedroom sets are from PB kids as well - the kids furniture is a more normal scale than the rest of the furniture, which is designed for those new huge houses).

Ok, off to decide where and how to hang this stuff... and feed Symon, who is going NUTS.  Damn cute kitten...


We are having the kitchen remodeled - its going to be almost the same size (everyone keeps asking if we are making it bigger... no, our kitchen is plenty big), its going to have soapstone counter tops, light maple cabinets, a built in wine rack, stainless appliances and even a spot for a little flat screen tv.  I wish I had taken pictures of our old kitchen - it was pretty cool. We had it done about a year into moving to C-town - the old old kitchen was original to the house so it was all 1950's awesomeness.  My mom had a TOTALLY white kitchen installed.  White cabinets, white countertops, white appliances and white sink.  It was pretty cool, but the counter was completely wrecked from bleaching it (it was white Formica so if you spilled anything on it it would stain...hence bleach) the cabinets were starting to fall apart and it needed a new stove and oven.  So, we tore it out.

I will post some pictures of the remodel so far.  They had to do a lot of prep work because all of the electric had to be updated to make code, we needed new insulation in some spots and we moved the stove/oven so they had to move the gas line and the big power line.  Currently there is a wall of cabinets done on the fridge side of the kitchen (wine rack, 2 large pantries and space for the fridge) and right now they are hanging some other cabinets up.

Our biggest challenge now is the back splash.  Having a soapstone one installed will cost about $4,000, so we are going with subway tile.  Any suggestions on the color?  It needs to be light, but work with the dark ass soapstone (google image search it - its dark!) and the light maple cabinets.  Soapstone tends to have a slight greenish cast to it, so we were thinking a green glass tile, but I dunno.

Let me know your thoughts!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Watching Football/Thinking about Rugby

So tonight in NJ (which is where the NY Jets and the NY Giants play for those of you who dont realize that) it was about 20 deg Ferineheight, and with the wind, it felt around 5 deg.  And, as we watched the Jets destroy the Bengals, we could not believe that anyone would be out there in that weather, especially by the end of the game.  But, there they were, braving the cold for the last game ever to be played at Giants Stadium (the new one is almost done right next door) and watching one of the UGLIEST football games I have ever seen.  The Jets were playing very well, and the Bengals were hardly even playing.  My high school football team, which was (when I was in HS anyway) one of the WORST in the state looked more organized than this football team.  And I hate to see when that happens to a team, because I have definitly been there.

When I played rugby out in AZ we went to a tournament in Albuquerque, NM called the High Dirt Rugby Classic.  We played the Lobos and were DESTROYED by them.  It wasn't even fair.  I had been playing lock, but the girl playing flanker (we'll call her M) on the weak side wasn't making any tackles, and their eight definitely had her number.  My coach switched us out, hoping that I would have better luck (I did get a few good tackles in, including one which rammed her into a fan's chair).  Well, that switch frustrated M and she got even more frustrated when our team began to knock on the ball almost every time someone touched it.  When the ball is knocked on (it hits the body above the knee and goes forward) play is restarted with a scrum.  I am not sure how many scrums we did before she went off the deep end, but man was it ugly.  She was so frustrated that she swung at her fellow lock, and it took the other captain and I pulling them apart to get them to stop fighting.  It was so embarrassing for our team, and M was seething mad.  Not only were we beaten, but our own teammates were fighting DURING the game.  But what do you even do in that situation.  It's so hard not to get frustrated when your team looses, and when we lost that badly to them, we were all nearly in tears.  Luckily the Lobos did not hit up the party later that night, because I think that eightman might have repaid me for the chair incident (not my fault!  her fans' chairs were sitting about a foot off the touch line).

I have lost badly in rugby before, and I have won by so much its pitiful, but never has a game been so horrible as that one was. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

If It Were Summer Sunday

If it were summer, it would be ok to walk around outside in flip flops, and I would not have to avoid large icy puddles and slippery steps.  My freshly painted toenails would not be covered up with socks and boots, and I would probably be sporting an awesome Teva tan.

What would you be doing, if it were summer?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Lakehouse

This past October, my parents purchased a lake house in the NE part of PA because they are transitioning into retirement (my dad wants this to be his last year working).  Here are two photographs that I took while visiting it, both are edited (one really edited!) HDR images w/o a tripod (which is a dumb idea).  They were taken from our dock.

The house is funny, on the outside it looks like a barn, and is painted an yellowish color with green trim... its a little ugly, and I think my parents are going to repaint it this summer.  Inside, there are beautiful dark beams and a massive stone wall and a double sided stone fireplace.  Upstairs there are three small bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  In the basement is another bedroom and bathroom and a large room that could be a media room/game room, but right now, is completely empty.  We are on the lake, but the property is steep and there is a boardwalk with 77 steps down to the dock and lake.  Its a bit of a hike, but the property is wooded and full of GIANT rocks, which is pretty cool.  Once it is all fixed up, I will post some pretty pictures, but I think the best part of the house is the lake, which is beautiful all year round.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Starting Over

I am starting over.  There are very few times in your life that you are given the opportunity to start fresh, and right now, I have been given that opportunity.  In January of 2006, I was fresh with the possibility of a career and the future, and I completely squandered it.  But, I regained my footing, moved to NC and continued my education.  So now, I have done it.  I have a BA in English and a BFA in Art and I have the whole world at my fingertips.  So I am starting over.

2010 goals:

  • Finish my reel and send it to PIXAR and other animation studios
  • Update my Website and keep it updated 
  • Get into better shape so that I can do the things I love to do without hurting
  • Get a job and save some money
  • Become closer to my friends, and be a better friend to them
  • Keep up with this blog, and WRITE, because I love to write and there is no reason that I am not writing!!
  • Take more pictures

For last year's words belong to last year's language. 
And next year's words await another voice. 
And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot

New Year, New Blog.

Coming to the internet near you!