Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sandestin, discovered by the Germans in 1904.

Normally, I try to blog about things "in the moment" or at least shortly thereafter, but recently I've kind of dropped the ball. Of course this is because I'm not taking summer classes so for 10 blissful weeks I do not have to resort to blogging as a means of procrastination. However since I'm still sporting the sunburn from last weekend's trip to Sandestin, I don't think it's too late to blog about the fun in the sun that was had. I've been to Sandestin twice now. The first time was about 5 years ago for Maggie's bachelorette weekend. And just for fun I'm pulling a photo from that trip out of the archives...

I think we looked pretty good considering we were dodging Hurricane Francis and all. Apparently the Baytowne Wharf area is still all the rage for bachelorette events, however they seem to have taken a different tone than our nice dinner out at the beach had back in the day. The number of girls running around in veils and tiaras kind of reminded me of a Saturday night in Buckhead when Jellyrolls was still there. Except at the beach, there was bungee jumping, tired children being strolled around, and Don Johnson types decked out in linen. It really did make for a night of great people watching. In fact, it was kind of like a dinner theater of sorts and we had a front row seat thanks to the beauty of outdoor dining. Here we are taking it all in...
Speaking of hurricanes, there was some sort of "tropical disturbance" going down in the Gulf last weekend. Sunday morning started off with a thunderstorm. And wind. And clouds. And cooler temps.
But the day wasn't a total wash at all. In the afternoon, the sun broke through the clouds and what resulted was a perfect beach day. After lunch we headed down to claim our spot in the sand. And we only had to push down 15 small children in the process. Just kidding! It was more like 20. The good weather only got better for Monday. What a difference a day makes, right?
Even the sharks were so excited about the great weather that a couple of them came out to play. I'm pretty sure they were Great Whites. Because of course sharks most commonly found in South Africa and Australia head to the Florida panhandle for the Memorial Day holiday just like everyone else residing south of the Mason-Dixon. Oh never mind, Great Whites actually prefer Amity Island so I suppose the ones we saw were just distant cousins or something. Speaking of Memorial Day, I was glad to see that the beach was sprinkled with some patriotism...
Because the reality is that without the service of the heroes that we honor and remember on this day, we might not have liberties like putting our email out-of-office assistant to work so we can head to the beach to laze around all day with our only worry being when to reapply sunscreen. Which I should have worried about a little more than I did.

Who am I kidding? I actually like having a little bit of a sunburn because no one enjoys having the same pigmentation as a bottle of Elmer's school glue during the summer months. You know, the beach is hard to beat. Very seldom does our culture provide opportunities for us to take the time to do absolutely nothing according to a schedule, but the beach is one of those places where we can go and not freak out if we happen to forget our watches. Well, if you wear a watch in the first place, that is. There's no right or wrong order for reading, napping, swimming [read: getting slammed to the bottom of the ocean floor while sucking in copious amounts of salt water], beach paddle ball playing [I'm pretty sure we were spotted by scouts and will be approached about touring on the semi-pro circuit], eating [even though this should always be a priority especially if chocolate souffle is available], sandcastle building, or whatever else it is you like to do at the beach. When in Rome...

You stay classy, Sandestin.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So much for deeply thoughtful material.

Remember how at the end of my last post, I indicated that I was going to post something rich with meaning and thought? Well - that was my original intent. However, I am notorious for starting a post and then just never finishing it. Either I get distracted [as was the case in the most recent draft because obviously I had not taken into consideration that the American Idol finale would be on TV] or else once I sit down and start writing, the words just aren't there. Call me non-effusive.

Currently I have 30 drafts of unfinished and unpublished blog postings in the queue. I'll never finish them, but tonight I thought that it would be fun to post a little sampling of some of these drafts. Remember: "Fun" is entirely subjective so what's fun for me might not be fun for you. All that to say before reading further, you've been duly warned.

June 29, 2008: Well Done My Child, Well Done - This is a song that is sung in the church that I grew up in and the basic point is that as Christians when we stand before God in judgment, he will welcome us home and tell us well done. Lately though I've been thinking about just how well I'm doing and how much room [Obviously not very well considering I couldn't even finish that sentence. Sheesh.]

July 26, 2008: Apartment Living - I've decided that living in an apartment complex is a great study in the behaviors and patterns of people. Wait...isn't there a fancy name for this? Sociology? Yes, that's it! (says the girl with a degree in Psychology) In my year of apartment living I have had the opportunity to make a few observations and come to the following conclusions:
There are some people in this world who must get paid for doing nothing. I swear, there are some people who never leave. Maybe they are independently wealthy and this is where they have chosen to reside. Afterall, it is a gated community with a pool.
[Note: should I ever attain independent wealth, I will choose not to reside here...maybe it's the close proximity to Logan's and Rugged Warehouse that is the draw for these characters.]
The most innocent looking people are often the biggest trouble makers. My next door neighbor has been arrested no less than three times since I've lived here. It was an especially exciting night when the Athens-Clarke County version of Dog the Bounty Hunter came to me asking if I knew him or where he was. Um...probably at Publix bagging groceries since that's where I usually see him. I was oh so curious as to why he kept getting arrested. Not that I really feared for my safety because I'm pretty sure that I could take him. Seriously. But nonetheless, if there's going to be a meth lab that explodes next door to me one night, I would like to have a little advanced warning. Turns out he just bounces a bunch of checks and steals gas from gas stations. Which totally solves the mystery as to how he can work at Publix and afford to live here. [Note: nearly a year later, said neighbor has since been evicted...kind of makes for dull Friday nights now.]

August 22, 2008 - Naps. I love them. I need them. They make me happy. [And apparently I opted to take one instead of continuing to write about them.]

November 10, 2008 - If I had a million dollars. The series that my church is going through right now is about how to be rich. Not how to get rich, but how to be rich. Last week when I got to church and found out the topic I thought to myself "um, I guess this means I can skip the next 3 weeks of church because this obviously does not apply to me". According to Andy Stanley though I am rich so it was in my best interest to pay attention. Just a ploy to keep me in church if you ask me. Yesterday when I got to church the song "If I Had a Million Dollars"...yes, the secular Bare Naked Ladies song, was playing as people were coming in prior to the beginning of the service. I'm not so sure that it's kosher to play a song in church by a group with the phrase "bare naked" in their name either by the way, but I won't worry about that until I become a music minister. Ok, the thought of me as a music minister makes me laugh. Out loud. So I started thinking about what I would do if I had a million dollars. Of course I'm going to share it with you all, but please do not be disappointed when you read it because you will not find anywhere on the list that I will be purchasing anyone faux fur coats, monkeys or crazy elephant bones. If I had a million dollars...
1. I would immediately put more than half into savings. Or given the economy, put it in a coffee can and bury it in my future back yard.
2. I would continue to work because what else am I going to do with my time?
3. I would buy a house with some acreage. ...I'm a millionaire, I can afford to hire a lawn boy or at least a sweet riding mower so I can do the grunt work myself.
4. I would build a fence (read: I would hire someone to build a fence) so my dog would have a nice yard to run around in.
5. Speaking of dogs, I would get another one so Cash would have a friend. Probably another Lab or perhaps a
Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
6. I would buy a
red Volvo xc90 (otherwise known as my dream car) without a second thought. The price of gas is falling so bring on the premium unleaded.

[Hmmm...I suppose I realized that if I did in fact have a million dollars I could afford to buy a life and spare everyone, including myself, the boredom of reading this little blog o'mine.]

May 21, 2009 - It's a living. - Each spring, I get the opportunity to go to spend at least 4 or 5 of my week nights attending honors programs at local area high schools in order to present scholarships to deserving students who will be attending the college where I work at the following fall. I'll be honest - I much prefer to watch Two and a Half Men in syndication. Heck, I much prefer to watch reruns of the season of American Idol when Fantasia won.
On Tuesday I attended my last program for this school year, and about saving the best for last. I was especially excited about this program prior to Tuesday because the last time I attended, I presented 2.5 hours after it began. I was told that the program began at 6:00 so I got there around 5:45 which was plenty of time to get checked in and wait for the show to start. I was walking through the parking lot minding my own business when I heard someone whistle. You know the kind of whistle I'm talking about. Like the kind you hear when a guy sees a scantily clad girl with long blonde hair and golden tan legs walking a puppy on a leash through the park. So it makes perfect sense that I of all people was whistled at as I walked through a high school parking lot wearing my professional best. I'm pretty sure that said whistler was the recipient of the "Coon Hunter's Association Scholarship" that evening.
[And to think, I didn't even mention the gun rack in the back of his truck nor did I get to the meaningful part about interviewing a student for a scholarship the next day at work who left his home country of Guatemala when he was 13 and traveled by himself through Mexico to get to the United States. I typically prefer not to be moved to tears at work, but this kid's story was absolutely incredible and humbling so of course I cried.]

So after spending 20 minutes composing this, I have reaffirmed for myself that it's best to leave all unfinished posts just as they were in order to spare you all the boredom of reading them. Sometimes I don't finish them because they pertain to a topic that I just need to work on personally without sharing it with the entire free world. Other times I don't finish them because they are lame. And other times I do just get distracted and come up with better things to observe the interesting behaviors of my neighbors, or nap, or hang out in high school parking lots.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hold on to your tankini!

Question: Is anyone else out there slightly disturbed/annoyed/horrified by the Old Navy SuperModelquins?

If you are unsure of who I'm referring to then might I recommend you either 1. stop by your local Old Navy for a little look see as they will be there to greet you at the door, 2. turn on your TV for about 45 minutes and you will inevitably see their commercial, or 3. see below.
Is anyone out there curious about what secret the SuperModelquin Heather is hiding under her tankini? I don't think it's a secret at all. I found the answer on YouTube.

She's kind of trashy. Ok, the only person more ridiculous than I am for posting this nonsense is the person who created that video clip.

Stay tuned, a post full of deeply thoughtful material coming up tonight. Hopefully. If I think about it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

History Takes Forever.

Could Will Ferrell be any funnier? Yes, he could be. In Anchorman as Ron Burgundy. But he does a great George W. too.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's Good Practice.

A few weeks ago my friend, Michele, called me and asked me what I had going on this weekend because she was going to be in a wedding near Athens and needed a place to stay for the night since she lives in a land far, far away. Needless to say, I immediately cleared my schedule [read: cancelled my date with the SNL season finale, maybe next time Will Ferrell] and prepared for the fun that was sure to ensue. And what a great time we had catching up. Honestly, I can't remember if I have actually seen her since her wedding nearly 4 years ago, but we have stayed in touch over the years. She is such a fun person with an incredible heart. I still haven't figured out how I'm so lucky to have people like that in my life.
Today after church, we had a terrific lunch downtown at 5-Star Day [hello, soul food, you are my friend], stopped by the pet store to get some food for her small-breed dogs [Great Dane and Lab/Pit mix], and headed over to the infamous Athens mall for great shopping. Well, I don't know about great shopping, but we at least had great cold treats from Dairy Queen, and I did get a new bag for the beach [the place I will be this time next week] so over all it was a successful trip. Especially since Michele found an adorable pink shirt for her soon-to-be-born baby boy at GapKids.
After we got back to my apartment, I had the brilliant idea of getting a picture of Michele with Cash the wonder Lab before she left. Obviously the dog had other ideas.

[Look, I know what you're wondering, but no, Cash was not baptized today.]

At least now when she's chasing a two-year old little boy around a photography studio all for the sake of the perfect Christmas picture, she'll be a seasoned professional. Come back soon, Michele. We miss you already!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Welcome Back, Kotter

I just snatched the above picture from Suz's blog in the event that some of you who know her have forgotten what she looks like. It was taken in celebration of her birthday back in April. However the reason why I feel the need to highlight Suz's blog is because she has finally returned to the blogosphere after a 4 month blogging hiatus and oh, how I've missed her. I mean, what has she been doing all this time other than raising a child and maintaining a family? Personally I'm ecstatic because I can see for myself that Mike and Suz have promptly put Miss C to work mowing the lawn and tending sheep. It is about time she start earning her keep around the place I suppose. She is certainly growing up and is as cute as a little button. Hop on over and check the blog out if you haven't done so since Christmas! Thanks friend for humoring all of us [read: me] who encourage you nicely [read: nag] to update your blog by coming back to the world wide web.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chocolate Milk. It Does a Body Good.

Fact: I probably drink more chocolate milk than any other person on the planet over the age of 10. Remember those cartons of chocolate milk in elementary school? I loved those little cartons of chocolate milk. Now that I've entered the whole "working-girl-with-income" stage of life, I choose to buy it by the gallons. Along with a gallon of skim and a half-gallon of 2%, but my milk drinking habits are another post for another day. At least my bones will be strong when I'm 83.

Please allow me to explain that chocolate milk is not something that I must have every single day. In fact, my fridge is currently free of all things chocolate. However yesterday I discovered that perhaps chocolate milk is something that I should have everyday. Or at least on those days when I decide to throw the Saucony's on to boost the heart rate a bit.

As weird as it sounds, I do crave chocolate milk during and after a pretty intense workout. Picture it: a warm summer day, I'm cruising along [at a tortoise's pace] and the only thing I can think about is a tall glass of chocolate milk. Who here immediately thought of the following movie scene when you read that?

Oh, Ron are a funny, funny character.

Yesterday at work, I was talking about the fact that I crave chocolate milk after exercising and Emily O-W, ABD wealth of knowledge that she is, informed me that there are benefits to drinking chocolate milk post-exercise. What? Could it be? I was doing something right all along without even knowing it? I wonder if chocolate milkshakes offer up the same benefits. Kidding. Kind of.

Suddenly I had my Google Research Project for the day. Apparently there is something to it because there are many results when you search this topic. This one in particular kind of summarizes everything up for those of us without degrees in exercise physiology. Can one even earn a degree in exercise physiology? Probably those who had a much higher level of discipline than I had between the ages of 18 and 22 can earn such a degree. Essentially, drinking chocolate milk post-exercise is good for the taste buds, helps your muscles recover, keeps you hydrated, tastes great, packs a great carb/protein combo punch, and lastly I should mention that it just tastes delicious. But don't take my word for it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Otherwise, I would think the whole thing was just a dream.

Since I last blogged, I successfully completed another semester of grad school, and as of last Thursday I am officially on summer vacation. And let me tell you, the three readers out there, my vacation got off to a great start! I got a manicure and pedicure...took a trip to Wal-Mart...went to church...watched Marley and Me [shed copious amounts of tears]...drank some chocolate milk...learned about the greatness that is the iPhone...caught up on some missed television shows. And all of this fun that I just listed isn't even the half of it!

I took this picture of Jason Mraz...
He was getting us all warmed up for these guys...Now I know that all of the true DMB fans out there are well aware of the fact that they were in Atlanta at the end of April...not this past weekend. This weekend they played in Vegas. And it just so happens that I was there, too!
Please note the freshly manicured nails holding the fabulous sign. Vegas manis and pedis are fantastic. Not once was I asked if I wanted a flower painted on my big toe, nor was my hair the topic of a conversation that took place in a language other than English.

But wait...there's more. We haven't even discussed the food. Friday before the concert, we had dinner at craftsteak las vegas which was absolutely amazing. Saturday brought homemade omelets and a dinner picnic with great wine, shrimp, and burritos. Now when I write the word "picnic", how many of you conjure up images of red checked tablecloths on the banks of a river or something? Well, that's nice and all, but that's not a Vegas picnic. Not. At. All. a Vegas picnic. Just look at this view...Absolutely surreal. The picnic grounds in Vegas convert nicely into dance floors all the while never losing this view, too. I just can't get over how great it was.

Of course what made all of these things that I have been writing about so much fun was the company that I kept during the trip. Ryan is the mastermind behind all of this [plus some of the photos you see here]. Well, "all of this" means everything but the whole trip to Wal-Mart for my hair products, that was my idea. However, he was kind enough to drive me there. It's very humbling when I think about how much thought and time he put into making me feel so special. It was just an awesome trip. When I left Vegas in January with 20 $100 bills in my [$7 dollar clearance special] purse, I thought that there was no way that trip could ever be topped. Boy was I wrong. So wrong. The memories from this trip are worth more than a bankroll of big headed Benjamin Franklin's any day of the week.

Now for you skeptics out there who are thinking that what I have just shared is too good to be true and it was probably all just a dream, I've got further evidence for you that it was certainly no dream. [Even though I felt the need to pinch myself once or twice during the weekend just to make sure it wasn't.] Had it been a dream, I'm pretty confident that this guy would've never made a cameo.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Tee Time with Tiger...It's what I do.

This picture was taken in February, 2007 when he was the King of the Green [or something like that]. Coincidence? I think not. Instead, I like to think it was my words of encouragement and advice about wearing flip flops while out on the course that inspired him to have such a good year that year. Had he heeded my advice about the flip flops he probably wouldn't have gotten that knee injury last year. Or not. But I'm not really here to write a post about golf because it would come to a crashing halt when I say something to the effect of "if only Tiger had maintained that early lead from the first round throughout the remainder of the tournament he would've won instead of ending up 2 strokes behind the leader and finishing 4th overall" and it would become blatantly obvious that I don't really know what I'm talking about. Instead I'll just think about where this picture was taken. Which makes me think about the trip I'm taking to that very city at the end of this week! I can't hardly wait to get back to the bright lights and big city of...Augusta, GA. No, not really, Augusta!

Everybody Loves an Underdog Story.

I can't believe that I missed the Kentucky Derby. Who am I kidding? Of course I missed the Kentucky Derby because I have been stuck in a little place that I like to call "Paper Writing Purgatory" for the past week with no signs of getting out before this coming Thursday. I've probably missed a retirement announcement from a Supreme Court Justice or something else of utmost importance too.

I've actually watched the Derby pretty consistently for several years now. One time I watched it in Florida and was so inspired that I ended up at the dog tracks. Well, maybe not inspired, per say, but I did end up at the dog tracks. It's not something that I like to talk about though as I've been able to repress most of those memories so let's not bring them to the surface. A couple of years ago I watched it with Dad from his hospital room. Instead of sipping on Mint Juleps though, we both had a Frosted Orange. [Yum...The Varsity.] Last year I watched intently all the while hoping that the little boy who was going blind would be able to see his dad win the Kentucky Derby while he could still see. Remember that story? And how his dad didn't win. This year it completely escaped my mind between editing the paper for my group's big consulting project [Let's all just take a moment to consider the irony here that I am the one editing a paper worth 45% of my entire group's final grade. Obviously they don't read my blog.] and putting together just the right outfit to go with a certain pair of shoes. So when I heard the news headlines tonight I was really bummed that I missed it considering the winner had a 50-1 odds of doing so. Whatever that means. It means that some lucky duck probably got really rich today, I think.

Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I was able to see the entire race via YouTube. In case you happen to be the other person in the entire free world who doesn't have DVR and missed it earlier today, you can tune it and see it for yourself right here:

Upon watching this clip, I thought to myself "what kind of person [who desperately needs a tripod to set that camera on] thinks to take out his or her personal camcorder with the sole intent of using it to record the Kentucky Derby that is happening on the TV just to upload the footage to YouTube moments later?" Probably the same kind of person who never leaves home without her camera just in case the "perfect" photo op presents itself.