Friday, December 31, 2010

Should old acquaintance be forgot,and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang
syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne.


Dear Blogsphere:

Here we are at the last day of 2010, and for the first time ever, I am not sorry to see it go. Usually I get sentimental at the end of a year and face January 1 with a mixture of happiness and a wistful sense of what I leave behind. Not this time. This year has been full of obstacles, both small and great, that challenged me more than I ever though possible. And despite all of the good things that happened I am ready for the new. 2011, you had better not disappoint.

Thanks for sharing in the journey. Here's to an amazing new year.
-Little Dreamer

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Suggestions gratefully accepted

Recently, I decided that I ought to carry an emergency kit in my car. (trash bag full of goodwill donations does not count) It seems to be one of those simple suggestions I fully intend to implement...and never do anything about. So, I decided to make 2011 the year this changes. I've done some research about basic necessities to have on hand, but I thought I'd reach out to the blog world. Do you have a car kit? If so, what did you include? Anything you don't have you wish you did? I don't plan on spending a lot of money to get started but I can certainly add to it over the next few months. (and that fleece sweatshirt I planned to get rid of just might come in handy in my little endeavor!)

Update: Day Two

I'll say this for a major cleaning project, it does clean out the sinuses! I don't think I've sneezed this much in ages! Today I tackled the Bermuda Triangle of my closet. Unfortunately, I still haven't found my limited edition World Championship Angels hat, and things were more organized that I expected. Nevertheless, I managed to toss a few things, add some more to the donation pile, and flip-flopped half of my clothing. That will be particularly fun the morning I'm late for work and can't find my pants. :-/ I just hope the American Cancer Society does a donation drive soon. Otherwise I'm toting a trunk full to goodwill.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's that time of year again

Yup, it's time. The job I both look forward to and dread. It's time for "spring cleaning" or, in my case, winter break cleaning. The CSUF campus is closed for the week, and while I'm working from home I am not putting in a full week...leaving time to accomplish those little tasks that comprise my lengthy to-do list. You know, the one that keeps growing and growing and growing? (think Energizer battery) At the top of the line: clean out my closet! (no comments from the peanut gallery, Christina!) Suffice it to say, the thing is a gigantic mess and is in desperate need of a little TLC. I spent a couple hours tackling this monumental task and made it through 1/5 of the job. Before you say that's not much, bear in mind this included taking out and reorganizing (by color) each article of clothing, moving loose shoes and those housed in boxes aside to vacuum carpet, and agonizing which pair I really don't need anymore. Unfortunately, my donation pile was rather pathetic. Here's hoping the rest of the job yields more results. (Unlike my super organized cousin, I will not be posting before and after pictures, but I will keep you appraised of my progress. :-) ) In addition to the slightly overwhelming monster of a closet, I also have to:

*catch up on laundry
*wash my curtains
*pick up clothes at the dry cleaners
*write Christmas thank yous
*prep for NYE party (still have to purchase decorations, plan appetizers, and plan wardrobe)*organize digital pictures*and, since I'm not tied to an office, make time for lunch/coffee dates with friends!

I have four days to accomplish all this and play my little game of El Toro catch up. Totally doable...right?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Letter from Jesus

A friend forwarded this to me the other day, and I thought the message was worth sharing. (Since it's making the e-mail rounds it might as well join the blogsphere, however beware the spacing. It seems to be a little off!)
~Merry Christmas~
_____________________________
A letter from Jesus about Christmas that I thought you would appreciate.
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own.I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town. Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1-8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing to the president complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary--especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine. Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest.
Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love; and remember that I LOVE YOU. JESUS

Friday, September 10, 2010

Reflections

It was my first semester of college. I was an overwhelmed, stressed out newbie carrying 12 units, working part-time and fast realizing there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. So, I came up with a plan: get up earlier. By week three I was waking up between 5:45-6:00 to put in extra reading time before my day “officially” began.

Tuesday morning. September 11, 2001 dawned and I awoke before 5:45. I remember lying in bed waiting for my alarm to go off. I had slept with the windows open and noted the crisp feeling of fall in the air. I had no idea the world as I knew it was about to change. At 5:45 I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed my How to Succeed in College textbook, and snuggled back under the covers to learn more about how to manage my time. I was consumed by my own little world. How was I do know the events unfolding on the other side of the country. It was close to 6:20 when I heard the garage door open. I knew my parents were home from the gym. I expected the usual routine: my mom would hop in the shower, Dad would prep his lunch, and at 6:30 I would join the duo beginning my beautification process. However, this morning was different.

“Kids, there’s been an attack!” World Trade Center? What was that? And moreover, where? I flew out of bed (highly unusual for species such as myself) and within seconds stood in front of the television. What I saw I would never forget. Two towers, tall, formidable, on fire. News reports were still coming in, and I wasn’t sure exactly what happened. But, like thousands of Americans, I knew we had been attacked. 8:46. 9:03. 9:37. Timestamps that became all too familiar in the days that followed. 9:59 - glued to the TV I watch with millions of others as World Trade Center 2, the South Tower, collapses. Looking back, I think that was the moment I realized this was serious. The towers weren’t supposed to fall. 10:03 – reports of a plane in Pennsylvania come in soon after. 10:28 – Tower 1 collapses.




We all know what happened next. In our own way we picked up the pieces and marched on. Nine years later, the events of that fateful Tuesday have grown more and more polarized. Everyone has an opinion on what went wrong and how we should fix it. However, I believe we should set aside our differences, rise above partisanship and sensationalism, and recognize this day as we have in the past: as a tribute to the men, women, and children who are no longer with us. This is a time for remembering, for honoring those who lost and gave their lives on September 11. And to pay homage to the thousands of volunteers who, to this day, pay the price for their heroic efforts in the months that followed.

Now I have my own “where were you when…” moment. My own Pearl Harbor, presidential assassination, V-E day. Did I want it? Did any of us want it? No, but we didn’t realize that until it happened. One day my children will ask me, “Mom, where were you on 9/11?” just as I asked my parents about JFK. To this day I sometimes tear up when I think about that day. The emotions come flooding back, and suddenly I’m a frightened 18 year old again. I remember seeing United 93 with my brother and within ten minutes tears were flowing down my cheeks. The passengers depicted in the film hadn’t even boarded the plane yet, and I was an emotional basket case. Adam and I shared something very special that day. We bonded, and I will never forget that moment.

Just as we will never forget.

"Once again we meet to commemorate the day we have come to call 9/11. We have returned to this sacred site to join our hearts together, the names of those we loved and lost. No other public tragedy has cut our city so deeply. No other place is as filled with our compassion, our love and our solidarity." -Mayor Bloomberg

"Let today never, ever be a national holiday. Let it not be a celebration," said Karen Carroll, who lost her brother, firefighter Thomas Kuveikis. "It's a day to be somber; it's a day to reflect on all those thousands of people that died for us in the United States."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10 Things I've Learned about New Orleans

1) There is such a thing as humidity so thick you can cut it with a knife.
2) Beignets are good but overrated. Cafe au lait on the other hand...
3) Rue Bourbon doesn't have much of a nightlife during the week.
4) A/C is an absolute must during the summer.
5) People really do talk like Cajuns.
6) I am as much in love with all things Parisan as ever.
7) Venetian masks are best purchased in Venice. They lose their charm in the States.
8) The Mississippi is prettier in Iowa.
9) Staying in the French Quarter is an absolute must.
10) I plan to come back one day! (hopefully, with Adam!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Velodrome d'hiver

I'm sure most of you know I love to read, however it seems the only time I have to truly lose myself in a book is while traveling. So, on my latest airline adventure I grabbed one of my newest acquisitions, Sarah's Key. Its World War II storyline proved to be a natural attention grabber, and I eagerly settled into what I hoped would be a riveting tale. I was not disappointed. While technically a work of fiction, the book is based on the mass arrest of Parisian Jews known as the Vélodrome d’hiver. In short, over 13,000 Jews were arrested over a two day period (July 16-17, 1942) and sent to the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp. This was not the only time the Vichy regime conducted a mass round-up of Jews, however, "this event is particular for a number of reasons, foremost being its scale. Because they had not developed the reflex of hiding, women and children were this time involved. The action was part of the vast deportation plan of European Jews...The Vél’ d’hiv’ Round-up was a concrete case of execution of the Final Solution."


I don't want to give too much away, but let me just say that as often happens with historical works of fiction, Sarah's Key introduced me to an event I knew little about prompting further research on the part of this historian. And in a Sophie's Choicesque ending that is both heart wrenching and unforgettable, the horror of a past genocide and its present day impact bring the story -and the reader- full circle.

Friday, August 6, 2010

TravelLog: Manhattan, NY


Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, you read that right. For third time since November 2009 I am flying to New York City. However, this time instead of visiting my best friend (who, I'm happy to say, is back in my neck of the woods!!) and automatically having a place to stay, I became intimately acquainted with the majority of hotels located in Manhattan. And let me tell you, there are hundreds to choose from. You can imagine the fun I had. Anyway, I'm going with two friends, one of whom has never been to New York City. Should be oodles of fun introducing her to one of my favorite places.

What's on our agenda?

Sunday: Lady Liberty & Ellis Island

Monday: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday: Broadway musical!

Misc: I also want to finally visit Strawberry Fields, tour more of Central Park, and as an extra added treat, I must go back to the City Bakery to taste the world's best hot chocolate. Plus, there's the usual tourist hot spots: Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Flatiron building, Times Square (and Starbucks!), Chrystler Building, UN.....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Small Things, Big Results

Small Things, Big Results
by Leigh Anne & Sean Tuohy


The Oscar-winning film The Blind Side tells the story of the Tuohy family and their adopted son, professional football player Michael Oher. Now, the Tuohys tell their story in the new book In a Heartbeat. This week’s Words of LIFE comes from their book.

If the message you take from our experience is that a rich white family tried to save a black kid, then you will totally miss our story’s meaning. It has nothing to do with where we were from, ow we lived, or how much money we had. It’s not important what color we were, whether we had glasses or didn’t have glasses, what kind of shoes we wore. All of that is irrelevant. Some people have tried to make it relevant – but they emphasize the wrong thing.

It so happened that when we first met him, Michael was a black, sixteen-year-old male. But those words are just adjectives that describe the person we tried to help and ultimately came to love. Making him a part of the family was an unconscious act, and it happened in a heartbeat.
It’s equally true, however, that the outlook on life that allowed us to open our hearts and home to Michael was developed over the course of our lifetimes. If the impulse was sudden, the two of us had been thinking for several years about our philosophy of giving.

One of our deepest beliefs is beautifully captured in the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, or 2 Corinthians. The seventh verse of the ninth chapter of 2 Corinthians reads: “Each must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” After many years of attending church together, and helping to found one of the fastest-growing congregations in Memphis, Grace Evangelical, we came to believe that a cheerful, spontaneous offering, no matter how small, could be increased and made powerful by God. Our faith helped us understand that it was up to us to be generous and make ourselves available to be used by others.

We also became convinced that in order to really give, we had to get our hearts right. We had to learn that it was important to let go of any particular agenda. What were we hoping to achieve when we gave? We knew that it couldn’t be “We’re looking to go out and help a fourteen-year-old Hispanic boy today.”

So many people we knew wanted to make a difference and yet they waited for a really important cause to come along. Or they waited for their big bonus check to come in. they said to themselves: “I want to save Africa.” Or: “I want to save the American Indian.” They had an agenda. But why is it necessary to have an agenda? Because it relieves our conscience? Or makes us look good to our bosses? Or makes us feel good about ourselves? Because it makes us more appealing to the congregation? Or gives us more points on our Visa card? Or means the United Way is going to give us a plaque?

The more we thought about the nature of true charity, the more we realized there’s a paradox in Americans’ general attitude toward giving: as a citizenry we are at once charitable and stingy. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, 89 percent of American households give to charity. Sounds impressive, but think about this: on average, we donate just 1.9 percent of our household income. To be frank, that’s miserly. Especially considering how enriched some of us are, that percentage is well below what it should be. And by biblical standards – as most Christians would undoubtedly agree – it’s downright shameful.

As we reflected on our ways of giving, we came to see that we often approached charity too formally. Giving shouldn’t always be a prescribed ritual or ceremony: it doesn’t need to be accompanied by properly stamped paperwork. If we worried less about the procedures and methods of giving and concentrated more on a giving state of mind, we might have more to offer than we know.

It pained us to realize that we too often failed at the simplest kind of giving. While we were waiting for a great cause, or focused on an agenda, we chose not to notice someone standing right in front of us. We looked right past the woman in the grocery store taking things out of her basket because she was short on cash or the elderly disabled man in line at CVS.

Ultimately, we agreed that by embracing a smaller and more cheerful kind of giving, we might ease a lot of everyday problems. It took several years but slowly, informally, we found ourselves arriving at a simple conclusion: it wasn’t important to do something great.
Instead, we decided to take this approach: do small things with great love. If we could do that, little opportunities to give might grow beyond our wildest dreams.


Excerpted from the book IN A HEARTBEAT: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, published this month by Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Copyright (c) 2010 Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

One Moment in Time


I realized something about myself today. Something I've grappled with for a while, but this morning it hit home in a big way. I realized I haven't been living. Truly living. Enjoying each day for what it brings and treating the s0-called mundane as an adventure.

For example, my friends know I hate coming back from a trip not knowing when my next one will be. Why? Because I love the very idea of travel. Of seeing new places, experiencing new adventures, trying new food (well, maybe not so much this one), and knowing I have just expanded my view of the world. Everything does not revolve around Southern California, and as much as I love living here, there is so much more to see and do. Here is where the realization comes in. I'm always looking to the future. It's always, what's happening tomorrow or next month or in six months. I plan ahead by nature, but what happened to today? Where did right now go? I missed it because I'm looking ahead.

I believe in the perfect moment. When every sense is heightened and you experience that moment to its fullest potential. When time seems to stop, and you could almost live in that moment. Yet somewhere in the past few years I lost this. I forgot to appreciate the beauty of a rainy day or of giant white clouds in the sky or a gentle breeze skipping leaves along the ground.
So, this is my mid-year resolution. To appreciate each day, each moment for what it brings. For...
Each day I live
I want to be
A day to give
The best of me
I'm only one
But not alone
My finest day
Is yet unknown
Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vegas 2010

Last week a friend and I spent four days in Las Vegas. Ever since I first laid eyes on the Bellagio I knew I wanted to stay there one day. Happily, 2010 was the magic year, and it was every bit as wonderful as I hoped.

Lakeside Deluxe Room - talk about a view
Is this really Vegas?
A little pool time - lovin this place

Fountain in the middle of pool number 6. Beautiful view but the water was freezing.

Fountain show at dusk.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Washington D.C. Photoblog





This one is for my grandpa. Anchor's Away!

The big house itself.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How to get lost on the way to the Smithsonian

No trip for the El Toro project would be complete without it's adventures...here's one:

I must begin by saying that I am not typically directionally challenged. Now I admit I can't tell you the points on the compass with the snap of a finger but I am fairly map savvy and can find my way around a new location in fairly short order. I don't what happened on American Airlines but somehow my sense of direction all but left.
The day before my interview with the general Janet and I did a dry run so I'd know what Metro to take, where the museum was in relation Metro station, and how to enter the building. Everything seemed simple enough, however day of I accidentally got on what I thought was the wrong Metro and spent twenty to thirty minutes righting my little mistake. Two transfers and one helpful patron later I was back on track only to discover that night the blue line also went to the Smithsonian. Clearly, I was not using my head and panicked just a little. Anyway, back to the story. By the time I got off at L’Effant Plaza I only had thirty minutes to spare and was a little lost. Because my map wasn’t entirely to scale and National Mall landmarks were not visible from my position (how in the world can a building hide the Washingtom Monument!!) I asked six different people how to get to the Air and Space Museum. Not one of them knew where it was! Fortunately, I found a family who looked like tourists, and they were headed in what I thought was the general direction of the Mall. I decided to follow them and after about two blocks was back in familiar territory. Of course, it was ninety something degrees with very high humidity, and I felt like one giant sweat ball! Thank God for air conditioning.
Conclusion #1: Parisans know their city better than District of Columbinans and are much friendlier.
Conclusion #2: It pays to know the city map also as a diagram of the Metro system. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was on the other side...semi inside out, but on the back nonetheless.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two Days

Airplane time! On Tuesday I depart for our nations capital for a work related trip. Although much of our time will be spent indoors, my co-worker and I definitely plan on putting in some touristy time, including a nighttime monument tour. Can't wait!


Misc information about the trip:

1) Attending the Marine Corps Aviation Reconnaissance Association Reunion for the purprose of conducting oral history interviews with marines stationed at MCAS El Toro and put in face time for the project.
2) Interviewing a 4-star retired general (my first!) and current director of the National Air And Space Museum.
3) Interviewing aforementioned general at the National Air and Space Museum. Am I nervous? Nah! (don't believe a word of that)
4) Returning 10:30 Friday night so I'm back in SoCal for Seth's graduation. I will be awake on Saturday.
5) I made a point to watch Breach, All the President's Men, and the National Memorial Day Concert to ensure I'm in the D.C. mood by the time we land at Regean International.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lemony Sniket: A Series of Unfortunate Events

I’ve been trying to come up with a witty subject for this post, but since this title keeps coming to mind I decided to use it. Fortunately, it is perfectly appropriate. Let me begin by saying all worked out but the past two days have definitely been full of little unfortunate events. Shall we begin?

Thursday night: As I mentioned in my previous post us public history chicks were L.A. bound to see South Pacific. The initial plan was to meet on campus for a 4:30 departure. That would give us plenty of time to battle rush hour traffic, enjoy a leisurely dinner at CPK, and arrive well before the 8:00 show. Perfect plan, right? Wrong! As fate would have it Amanda had a job interview…in Santa Barbara…and at 4:30 was still in Long Beach. That’s a long way from Fullerton when one is moving at a snail’s pace. Nothing to panic about…yet. Five o’clock comes. Bethany arrives. Since Amanda hasn’t even crossed the Orange County border we quickly realize we will seriously be cutting it close if we plan on eating in L.A. A solution quickly presents itself. Instead of CPK, we’ll have ourselves a little picnic in the car. Bethany and head to Subway to buy a car friendly dinner and time ticks slowly by. Five forty-five. Six. Six fifteen. By now I am seriously thinking there is no way we will make it by 8:00 and the planner in me strongly dislikes the idea of arriving late. However, as Bethany kept reminding me, it was all about being together, and we should enjoy the adventure. Well, I’m happy to report Amanda arrived at 6:30, and miracle of miracles we arrived at the Ahmanson in ONE HOUR! I’ve been driving to L.A. for years and could probably count on one hand the number of times I made such good time. And that includes me taking us on a slight detour, aka, we might have gotten a little lost. But thanks to good ole Miss GPS we were back on track and arrived with time to spare.

Three and a half hours and one terrific show later we are now leaving the parking garage. Mind you, we made took this same route in February and had no trouble finding the freeway. Not so this time. All I wanted was the 101. The only signs around were for the 110. After heading the wrong direction and battling one way streets we finally found a freeway. A freeway going north not south. However, I didn’t have much choice in the matter because the street dead ended on the freeway. To top it off construction crews are out in force, and three lanes are closed. Will this never end! It took a while but after going through three tunnels and missing a couple of awkwardly coned off exits that turned out to indicate a path off the freeway we managed to exit and get on the 110 south. I was never so happy to see Exposition in my life.

Oh, South Pacific was totally worth it. Good thing!

Up next: My latest adventure in dog sitting…

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Girlz Nite!

Tomorrow night Bethany, Amanda, and I take L.A. by storm! We're celebrating Amanda's graduation (masters!!) and bidding Bethany farewell as she leaves for her prestigious internship at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Fun times await...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lynn Redgrave 1943-2010


I so wish I had seen her in Nightingale. She fought a good fight. Rest in peace.
I haven't blogged in a while. I've been extremely busy yet feel like I have nothing of consequence to report. Tonight I'm doing something I haven't done in ages...watching a television show as it airs! Shocking I know. Hulu is my usual television buddy but tonight tonight. 24 ends in 3 weeks. Here's hoping my favorite TV president decides to come to her senses before it's over.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

One way streets are so over-rated

Picture it. Riverside. 2010.* A trio of ladies made their way to Riverside, California, to see my best friend in Pirates of Penzance. The exact details of the drive are irrelevant except to say google's directions were completely misguided, and we might have gotten a little lost...the performance itself was extremely enjoyable, and afterwards we made our way down the hill, to the car, and began what I thought was going to be a relatively easy task of getting to the freeway. Not! Might I remind the reader, there were three of us in the car, and we could not for the life of us figure out how in the world to exit the premises of Riverside City College. Not only was the signage nonexistent, but various parts of the campus were under construction making our departure even more challenging. Suffice it to say I made one or two wrong turns, and the only way to get out...wait for it...was to drive the wrong way on a one way street! I've never done that in my life! Considering it was a single lane road, it's a good thing no one was coming toward me because I had no where to go. So I kind of, sort of broke the law on a college campus, with witnesses, but at least I can say we found the freeway...in fairly short order.

*Reference to The Golden Girls. Sophia anyone?!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For all the tea in China

My dear friend Antoinette gave me a tea party in honor of my 27 years of life. It was a lovely afternoon of delicious food, delightful company, and memories to last a lifetime. Here are some photos from this lovely afternoon.

My best friend & I in our classic pose
These gorgeous flowers served as the perfect centerpiece

My place setting

Delectible favors: homemade marmalade and lemon curd
(courtesy of B.J.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Amazing but true

One year ago today I saw my first glimpse of Venice. My how time flies.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Lady Liberty Video

video

I'm not sure why the ending remarks were cut off. :-/

Columbia Part 3

video

Columbia part 2

video

Columbia University!

video

Quote for a rainy day

Families are where you find them and how you make them, and home, it's said, is the place where, if you have to go there, they have to take you in.
-Roger Ebert

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Ball in Times Square

Here's a video I took of the ball in Times Square. I had no idea it would be so beautiful.

video

Monday, January 4, 2010

"The Colossus"

This has long been a favorite poem of mine, and it was such a thrill to finally see the original plaque that used to be on the Statue of Liberty. To me, Lazarus' words speak of such hope and possibility for the future, and I thought it would be interesting to juxtapose the dynamic words with a picture taken by Stephen Wilkes of the abandoned hospital wing at Ellis Island where that promise of a new future began for millions of hopeful of people.













Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Lady Liberty

Here are some photos taken of our one and only Lady Liberty. These are the first pictures taken with the beautiful blue sky as a backdrop, however it was so cold I think I would have preferred good ole gray!











Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Little Night Music (or how I saw my first "celebrity")

Last night I saw my first Broadway show, Sondheim's A Little Night Music. Considering it stars Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-Jones I'd say I started my new Broadway habit off with a bang. It was also a real treat to hear Send in the Clowns in its proper context. I've loved Barbra Streisand's version for years, but now I really get it!

After the show we waited by the stage door so Christina could see a friend who was in the show. providing the catalyst for me to see my very first celebrity: Catherine Zeta-Jones! She spent a few minutes signing autographs, and let me say, she is as beautiful in person as she is on screen. Naturally, I decided this would be an excellent time to take photographs, however my perfect shot (and I mean perfect. I was approx 4 feet from her!) was foiled when an over excited fan stuck her head in my frame the second the shutter clicked. Disaster! To prove we really did see her, I offer a recognizable, albeit blurry, picture of Catherine exiting the theater. As for it's blurriness, it was snowing, my hands were almost numb, and apparently, I didn't focus before taking the picture. :-/ Angela had already left the theatre so I missed seeing the legend up close and personal. She must not have gotten the memo we were waiting for her!




Happy New Year Everyone!

To ring in the New Year Christina, Peter, and I decided to venture onto the Brooklyn Bridge to watch the "supposed" impressive firework displays. Per my research we should have seen up to three sets in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey, however at midnight only one went off thanks to weather conditions. Regardless of the impromtu change of plans, the display we did see lasted for ten minutes, and the finale was amazing. And now we can say we walked the bridge not once but twice, toured DUMBO on New Years Eve, and saw the impressive Manhattan skyline as the clock struck 12:00.

Yours truly posing on the bridge. (cars are below) After our little tour
I have a hankering to watch Kate & Leopold again.

This photo was taken seconds after midnight. We called family back home to
wish them a Happy New Year from the future!