Friday, May 30, 2008

New News and Random Ramblings

New News:
  • I was elected (and when I say elected, I mean volunteered because no one else wanted to do it) to be on the HOA board in my neighborhood.
  • My principal asked me if I wanted to be the reading department chair at my school next year. It has no real perks (besides a $500 stipend), but I decided I'd do it.
  • My principal also asked me to go to Vancouver, BC this summer for a conference regarding the International Baccalureate Middle Years Programme (which we are beginning at our school next year). I said yes and I'm even going to stay a few extra days for some fun. Any suggestions on what to do when you're in Vancouver?
Random Ramblings:
  • I only have 2.5 days of work left before summer break. That's 20 hours, and 8 of those hours will be spent at Lagoon with the 9th graders. Yea!!
  • LOST's season finale was last night and it was fantastic. It is by far my favorite TV show of all time. To read my post on last year's season finale, click HERE.
  • When I filled up my gas tank this week, I paid $52. I had come close to reaching $50 in the past, but never quite reached it. Did you ever think that it would cost $50 to fill up one tank? Crazy!! All through high school and college I could fill up for $20 and now . . . CRAZY. Anyway, here's an interesting chart on past gas prices.
  • I saw Iron Man tonight. Very entertaining. It confirmed to my mind that I'm not a girl who likes girly movies. In fact, I went to dinner with friends last weekend and they were talking about movies and someone mentioned a chick flick. When I said that I had seen it, Shawn responded that he was surprised - that he didn't think I'd like chick flicks. I don't.
  • I finally bought a new bike, but it's not either of the bikes I thought I'd buy (these ones). I bought this beauty:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mobile Mitch Update

video

Mitch isn't quite crawling, but he sure is moving. He does this weird leap frog thing. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer Movie Extravaganza

As I've mentioned, I LOVE summer movies. I define summer movies as, "ridiculously over-budgeted movies with even more ridiculous plots." The summer movie season began a couple of weeks ago with the release of Iron Man on May 1st, but until this past weekend I had yet to see any summer movies (although I still want to see Iron Man and Speed Racer). However, over Memorial Weekend I went to see Indiana Jones with my family. I was very nervous about seeing this movie. I wanted it to be spectacular, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. George Lucas even warned me. He told Entertainment Weekly:
"We're only going to get aggravation. The fans think it's gonna be the Second Coming. And it's not the Second Coming. They've already written the story [in their heads], and lemme tell ya, it's not that story. So they're going to be very disappointed. I went through this with Phantom Menace. Believe me, I've been there, I've done it, I know exactly the way they react. And they're very vocal about these things. We're not gonna have adoring fans sending us e-mails saying how much they loved the movie. We're gonna have a bunch of angry people saying, 'You're a bunch of assholes, you should never have done this. You've ruined my life forever. I loved Indiana Jones so much and now it's ruined.' And all that kind of stuff."
Yikes!! But then I also heard that during the premier at Cannes it was greeted with a 3 1/2 minute standing ovation. Needless to say, I didn't know what to expect, but I hoped I'd be pleased. Well, I was. Don't get me wrong, it's not going to be chosen Best Picture of the Year, nor was it as good as the ones of the past, but it was an entertaining movie with a ridiculous budget and a ridiculous plot. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it. Anyway, here are the other upcoming summer movies that I'm most excited for:
  • May 23: War, Inc. (It's a limited release and it's rated R, but I'm planning on seeing it)
    • Why am I excited to see it? It's been compared to Grosse Point Blank (one of my all time favorite comedies) and has a lot of the same actors in it - John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Dan Aykroyd. It also has Hillary Duff (which usually would be a turn off), but the critics say she's fantastic in it so I'm definitely intrigued. Besides it's a dark political satire - Yes!!

  • June 13: The Happening
    • Why am I excited to see it? Two words: Markie Mark. Okay, for all my young readers, Mark Wahlberg. Besides that, it's a M. Night Shyamalan Sci-Fi movie. Enough said.

  • June 20: Get Smart
    • Why am I excited to see it? Although I'm not a huge fan of TV shows that have been turned into movies, I think this one has a lot of potential and will be fairly amusing. If all else fails, at least it has Steve Carell.
  • July 18: The Dark Knight
    • Why am I excited to see it? I loved Batman Begins (I thought it was the best Batman movie to date) so I think I will love The Dark Knight. With the same writer, director, and Batman star, I'm hoping it's a sure thing.

  • July 18: Mamma Mia
    • Why am I excited to see it? Uh, let's see: It's a musical . . . with ABBA songs . . . featuring Colin Firth. Yea, that's why I'm excited.
  • July 25: The X-Files: I Want to Believe
    • Why am I excited to see it? Honestly, it would be easier to list reasons why I'm not excited to see it. This is the movie I'm most excited to see. Most of the reasons are sentimental so I can understand why others may not be so excited, but The X-Files was my favorite TV show throughout my high school and college days. The thing I'm most excited about - I will be seeing this movie opening weekend in Pennsylvania with one of my nearest and dearest friends (and fellow X-File fan) Ruthie.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Wedding Festivities - May 17th & 18th

Mike and Jesanna's wedding festivities took place in Gadsden & Birmingham, AL. They were married at their home in Gadsden and had a small reception following the exchanging of vows. The next day they had a large and lovely reception in Birmingham. Congratulations and Best Wishes to the both of them!!

The happy couple

Me and my mom at the reception

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Macon & Andersonville, GA - May 15 & 16

On May 15th we went to Macon, GA to see some Antebellum homes. One of these homes was the Hay House. On May 16th we went to Andersonville. The Andersonville Prison was located here during the Civil War. It was a 26 acre prison that housed over 45,000 Union Soldiers. Of these 45,000 soldiers, 13,000 died from poor sanitation, disease, and malnutrition. It is now a national historic site and cemetery. It is also the location of the National Prisoner of War Museum. Here are a few pics:

Hay House

Hay House. It's huge - 7 stories!!

Speaking of huge . . .
Check out this gigantic magnolia next to Ronnie's meaty hand.

Cemetery at Andersonville Prison.

The bodies of the dead were thrown into trenches. The headstones were added after the war. It's an amazing story. To read it, click HERE.

Memorial at the National Prisoner of War Museum.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Savannah, GA - May 14th

We spent one day in Savannah. While we were there, we took a trolley tour with Old Town Trolley Tours. It was great because you were allowed to jump on-and-off the trolley whenever you wanted so we were able to get off and see a lot of things. We went on a tour of the Owens-Thomas House, walked and shopped along River Street, ate at the Pirate's House, and walked through several town squares (gardens). Here are some pictures:

Savannah: looking onto River Street.

Me at the Owens-Thomas House.

My mom and dad in one of the squares.

Me in one of the squares.

Shopping on River Street.

Savannah's Old Cotton Exchange Building.
The back faces River Street - to load and unload cotton.

My dad at the Pirate's House.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Charleston, SC - May 13th

On our second day in Charleston we took a boat to Fort Sumter and visited Boone Plantation. If you thought Magnolia Plantation was impressive, wait until you see Boone Plantation. I'm glad we had two days to spend in Charleston, but if you only have one day, take an early historic town tour and then go to Boone Plantation.

Fort Sumter

Me and my mom at Fort Sumter.

Boone Plantation

The driveway to Boone Plantation.
It is lined by Live Oak Trees.
The picture doesn't do it justice - So Beautiful!!

The Gardens at Boone Plantation.

1840ish Slave Homes at Boone Plantation

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Charleston, SC - May 12th

I loved Charleston, SC. I thought my favorite place in the South would be Savannah, but it wasn't - It was Charleston. It was fabulous!! We did a lot in Charleston. During our first day, we went on a town tour with Charleston's Finest Historic Tours and we visited the Magnolia Plantation. Here are some pictures:

Me at the Charleston Visitors Center.
It's super cool because it's in an old train depot.

The Old Slave Mart - Now it's a museum.

My mom and dad down by the battery.
Check out the gorgeous, old homes behind them.

Magnolia Plantation

Me at Magnolia Plantation.

The Gardens at the Magnolia Plantation.

Me at Magnolia Plantation - Beautiful!!

1820s Slave Cabin -
All items in it are original to the cabin.

Swamp surrounding Magnolia Plantation.

Alligator!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Mother's Day Poem

I'm back on the internet - after 10 days. Wow!! Anyways, I didn't make a Mother's Day post so I thought I'd do one now so here's a poem dedicated to my wonderful mother:

Mom
Quiet, Kind, and Insightful
Mother of Four, Mother to Many
Consumer of Diet Coke & Brown Licorice
Baker of Sugar Cookies and Hot Fudge
Who Falls Asleep by 9:00 pm,
Keeps a Dutiful Eye on the Stock Market,
And is Loved by All.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Break from Blogging

I will be taking a brief break from blogging because tomorrow I leave on my 10-day adventure down South. Now, I've traveled all over the United States, but I've never made it to the South. I've been to New England, the Mid-West, the NorthWest, the SouthWest, the Great Lakes region, the East Coast, but never to the Good Ol' South. I've heard it's like traveling to a foreign country - I'm taking my passport just in case.

Anyway, when I get back I'll only have 10 and one-half days of school left. Yea!!! This makes me ecstatic. So much, in fact, that I've decided to re-publish my top ten reasons why I love summer break:

Summer Break - How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
  1. No trabajo, obvio. (Translation: Obviously, I don't work.)

  2. BBQs - What's not to love? Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, dips, veggie trays, and to top it off, popsicles.

  3. Swimming. Okay, let's be honest - more laying out than swimming. Imagine, laying on an over-sized towel until beads of sweat appear all over you body. Then jumping into the pool just to get out and do it all over again.

  4. Summer Fashion - I'm not a big fan of shorts (in fact, I only own one pair and I actually stole them from my brother) but, I do love short skirts, summer dresses, sandals, and pedicures.

  5. Two words - Road Trip.

  6. Summer Blockbusters - You know what I'm talking about; ridiculously over-budgeted movies with even more ridiculous plots. I love them!!

  7. Quintessential Americana - baseball games, parades, fireworks, camping (and when I say camping, I mean going up the canyon, roasting marshmallows, and returning home that evening).

  8. A return to my nocturnal ways. Seriously, is it normal to go to bed at 10:30 pm? NO! 3:00 am? Yes, that's more like it.

  9. It almost goes without saying, but the weather. For those who know me, you know I'm almost always cold. However, for three glorious months - June, July, & August - my teeth rarely chatter.

  10. Summer Reading. Yes, I actually get to read books that weren't written for teenagers. I know, it's almost unheard of.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mobile Mitch

On Sunday I took these pictures of Mitch. He's starting to roll around like crazy, but he still can't crawl. I think he's going to be a swimmer because he lays on his stomach and starts kicking if he's trying to reach something. I'll have to try to capture it on video.




Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I'm Broken, Again

So, last August I hurt my back (to read about it, click HERE). Well, today it happened again. I was walking around my classroom, checking on students when all of a sudden my back tightened, I got dizzy, and almost passed out. Why would this happen to me? WHY!?! Again, it is a horrible time for me to be having back problems - I leave on Saturday for a 10 day vacation down South (more info, click HERE). Last time I was miraculously healed. Lesli said it was because of my great faith. Well, hopefully we have a repeat performance.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Picture from Girls' Night


The novelty of my camera has obviously worn out. I haven't posted any pictures from a long time because I hadn't taken any. Yesterday I remembered to take my camera out on the town with me. Here's a picture of me, Alina, and Betty. We had a dinner and a movie girls' night.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Snow

It's May 1st and it's snowing!! Are you kidding me!?! This Spring has sucked. I don't think the temperature has reached into the 70s more than half a dozen times. I hate it.