Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bucket List

Well, here's some sad news that has left me pondering:

Dave Freeman, author of the book 100 Things to Do Before You Die died last week at the age of 47 after hitting his head in a fall at his home. The article I referenced above has lots of neat details about the book, but it also mentions that he accomplished about half of what was on his list before his death.

So it's not surprising that this has me thinking about my own Bucket List. I've already accomplished a few things, which I'll mention, and I guess it comes as no surprise since I've apparently tried to "live like I'm dying" since the age of 16... according to my parents. I always tell them that I'd rather have spent that $100 white water rafting than it be sitting in my bank... if I die tomorrow. I realize that this kind of thinking has you financial-thinking folks in a sweat... but not me!

So without further ado.... 20 things on My Bucket List:
  1. Get a Master's Degree. (CHECK). Now onto PhD or at least second Masters.

  2. Go to Europe (all over it) to see firsthand all the art and architecture I studied in my art history courses.

  3. Read the Bible. As in, the whole thing.

  4. Read several other substantial (ie freaking huge) works: Lord of the Rings, War and Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo... the list goes on.

  5. See the Pyramids in Egypt.

  6. Spend a day in the Smithsonian and the Museum of Natural History... all by myself.

  7. See U2 and Damien Rice in concert (already checked off Ryan Adams, Elton John, The Killers, and soon Coldplay from that list).

  8. Go sky-diving. And bungee jumping.

  9. Get a tattoo. Not sure yet of what or where it will go...

  10. White Water Raft the Gauley River in West Virginia.

  11. See all the domestic sites... we're talking the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Vermont during the fall...

  12. Live in a thriving metropolis like NYC or Chicago, sans vehicle, for at least a year. Preferably before there is any mention of babies or the like.

  13. Do some Mission Work somewhere like Venezuela.

  14. Become more proficient in Spanish (perhaps through some mission work?) and also another language.

  15. Learn to be less awkward with children. Preferably before I have any of my own.

  16. Become informed enough about political issues to hold my own in a debate with Rebecca or Liz.

  17. Write and publish something. Anything. I'm thinking a memoir, but only if things get a little more interesting. But possibly a YA novel. Or maybe I'll be inspired by this research class and write some non-fiction. That could be neat. Or maybe I'll get in cahoots with one of my musician buddies and write a song. Even better.

  18. Make some babies and show them the world and all the awesome people in it. Preferably with someone hopelessly beautiful. And who I am married to and am in love with. Is that too much to ask?

  19. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. Ok, so I want to be RIDING because, well, trust me - no one will want to ride in that car. Ryan isn't allowed to drive either.

  20. Master Rock Band and Guitar Hero so I can impress my sister. Ok, so that's not really one, but I'm tired and I wanted to round out my 20. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

I know what Natalie is getting for Christmas...

Yep, another book. Hahahahahahaha.

Probably not, but I do think it's pretty interesting that Michael Phelps is writing a memoir about his 8 Golds... just in time for the holidays! Read the news bit about it here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On my day of birth...

Apparently, the #1 song on the Billboard Charts was "Who Can It Be Now?" by Men At Work. And now I have it stuck mercilessly in my head. Oh, how I love being an 80s baby. (Also, how pathetic is it that I never once knew that the guys who brought us "Land Down Under" also penned this one? Pitiful, I tell ya.)

And you wonder how I'm so smart to know this? From a website, of course (seriously - what CAN'T you find these days?)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

No Anal Thermometers for College Freshmen (#55)

The majority of this year's entering college freshman (Class of 2012) were born in 1990. Wow, I feel old. Check this out: (Found on http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2012.php)

Beloit College Mindset List:
A snapshot of the world view of the Class of 2012

1. Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
2. Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
3. They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
4. GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
5. Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
6. Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
7. Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
8. Their parents may have dropped them in shock when they heard George Bush announce "tax revenue increases."
9. Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
10. Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
11. All have had a relative — or known about a friend's relative - who died comfortably at home with hospice.
12. As a precursor to "whatever," they have recognized that some people "just don't get it."
13. Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
14. Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.
15. Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.
16. Haagen-Dazs ice cream has always come in quarts.
17. Club Med resorts have always been places to take the whole family.
18. WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
19. Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
20. The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
21. Students have always been "Rocking the Vote."
22. Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
23. Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
24. We have always known that "All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."
25. There have always been gay rabbis.
26. Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.
27. College grads have always been able to Teach for America.
28. IBM has never made typewriters.
29. Roseanne Barr has never been invited to sing the National Anthem again.
30. McDonald's and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
31. They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
32. There has always been Pearl Jam.
33. The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
34. Pee-Wee has never been in his playhouse during the day.
35. They never tasted Benefit Cereal with psyllium.
36. They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
37. Authorities have always been building a wall across the Mexican border.
38. Lenin's name has never been on a major city in Russia.
39. Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
40. Balsamic vinegar has always been available in the U.S.
41. Macaulay Culkin has always been "Home Alone."
42. Their parents may have watched "The American Gladiators" on TV the day they were born.
43. Personal privacy has always been threatened.
44. Caller ID has always been available on phones.
45. Living wills have always been asked for at hospital check-ins.
46. The Green Bay Packers (almost) always had the same starting quarterback.
47. They never heard an attendant ask "Want me to check under the hood?"
48. Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
49. Soft drink refills have always been free.
50. They have never known life without Seinfeld references from a show about "nothing."
51. The Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
52. Moscow residents have always been able to buy Big Macs.
53. The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.
54. The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
55. 98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.
56. Michael Milken has always been a philanthropist promoting prostate cancer research.
57. Offshore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.
58. Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.
59. There have always been charter schools.
60. Students always had Goosebumps.

Auburn at the Olympics


There are 27 former, future, or current Auburn athletes competing in this year's Olympics.

Yeah, we're badasses.

Here is the text from a recent Birmingham News article by Charles Goldberg:

Auburn's large Olympic contingent on world map
Aug. 8, 2008

Auburn fans may have to pull themselves away from football practice long enough to note the Olympics are beginning. Fans should watch because the Tigers have a vested interest in the international event.

Did you know that if Auburn was a nation, it would have the 65th largest contingent at the Games? It's true. Auburn has more athletes in Beijing than Georgia, the university, and almost as many as Georgia, the country. Auburn is in the upper percentile as the 65th largest "country" of the 205 nations participating.

Here's a story that I wrote in Friday's Birmingham News about all of that and the Tigers to watch, starring Huntsville's Margaret Hoelzer:

Swimmer Margaret Hoelzer doesn't know if she'll win Olympic gold in Beijing, but she knows what to expect.

An impromptu Auburn University alumni meeting is sure to break out.

Twenty-seven current, former or future Tigers will compete - a contingent so large that Auburn could be a nation unto itself, considering it would have the 65th-largest delegation among 205 countries.
Throw in a current coach, a former coach and two television commentators, and Auburn's influence is even greater.

Auburn athletes have won 14 gold medals since 1984. Hoelzer knows all about the tradition. She swam for the United States - and Auburn - in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and she gives Auburn one of its best chances to bring home gold this time after setting a world record in the 200-meter backstroke in June. She graduated from Auburn in 2005, but she's still a member of the club.

"It's really exciting to see so many friends," said Hoelzer, who comes from Huntsville. "One thing I think that is unique to Auburn is that we're such a family. It doesn't matter where we come from or what country or what state or wherever. That proves true in an international setting. We're all representing different countries and different teams, but, at the same time, we can all sit down and laugh and joke."

The 27 Auburn athletes represent 10 countries. Fifteen are swimmers. Twelve compete in track and field.

Besides Hoelzer, Auburn's best medal chances may come from Mark Gangloff, who won a gold medal in 2004 in the 400 swimming medley. He's in that event and the 100 breaststroke this time.

In track, look for Maurice Smith, who was the silver medalist in the decathlon in the 2007 World Championships for Jamaica; Kerron Stewart, who is ranked second in the world in the 100 and 200 meters while running for Jamaica; and Donald Thomas, who won the high jump at the 2007 World Championships for the Bahamas.

Auburn's Cesar Cielo will compete in four swimming events. He'll swim for Brazil and is a world-class sprinter.

Fred Bousquet will swim in three events for France, and Jeremy Knowles will swim in three events for the Bahamas.

Kirsty Coventry won a swimming silver and bronze for Zimbabwe in 2004. She is a former teammate of Hoelzer's at Auburn. Coventry will swim in four events, including against Hoelzer in a 100 backstroke prelim.

Hoelzer's specialty was supposed to be the 100. But she surprised herself in the 200 in a world-record time of 2:06.09.

"Maybe some people can predict things like that, but for me, I certainly wouldn't say I was anticipating a world record.

"I knew the capability was there, and the possibility, but it's definitely something you can't take for granted."

Hoelzer arrived early in Beijing and will stay throughout the event.

"This is something I've looked forward to," she said. "I'm staying."

Olympic Side-Eyes and New Sleep Schedule

I'm at work, and I've been up since 5:30. Yes, in the AM. Couldn't sleep for thinking about all the things I have to do this week! So forgive me for sounding a bit out of it.

I woke up and played on the Internets this morning instead of laying in bed and making mental to-do lists. I have a blog reader, which I luuurve, and I constantly add random (mostly funny) blogs to it. My ever-expounding list includes everything from Ryan Adams's blog (such wickedly beautiful yet disturbing musings by my favorite senile mind) to book reviews to puppy pics. But my new favorite, has got to be Side-Eye-Fever, whose subheading says "Fresh commentary about Black Hollywood served daily." Yeah. It's actually just a bunch of folks, who seem to be of the ghetto and the un-ghetto persuasion, who send in pics they find or take of people giving other people the oh-so-hilarious "side-eye." For instance... Nasty Nastia and the underage Asian Invasion. HILARIOUS.
And so. School starts tomorrow. I am taking my final two classes, plus an independent study (which basically means I have molded some of my actual work I'm being paid to do at the library into an outside research project to get credit for... go me.) I'm a Teaching Assistant this time around, and I have to work 10 hours at the school's computer lab... at 8am in the morning on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Which means that, yes people, I will be up at 6am or so on those days. Looks like I'm turning over a new leaf. Lights out at 10:00, folks. (We'll see how long that lasts.)

On that note, back to work. Here's to Michael Phelps for helping Ah-murrr-ica look good!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Better late than never, right?

So I realize my first attempts at blogging were rather sad. It reminds me of my childhood diary(ies - yes it happened several times). They would always read:

January 1
HELLO DIARY! I am so excited and will write in you every single day. That is my New Year's Resolution! blah blah balh I love boys blah blah blah.....

January 2 - December 31

It's like something off of a FRIENDS episode (which is fitting, if you know me and my obsession with the long-lost world of Rachel and Monica and Phoebe and the boys...)

But anyway, I thought that with this blog, I'll keep it short and sweet. Since I last updated in January, I've started working part-time as a librarian in the Reference and Adult Services Dept at the Emmet O'Neal Library in Mountain Brook. (Yeah...I'm such a Brookie.... right.) I go to work, loving my job, every single day. Great folks there. And I lurve my co-workers. It's great to feel like I'm finally taking the right path.

Everything has been crazy, per the usual, with traveling and weddings and just general tom-foolery (I've always loved that word) with my BFFs at the hiz. I'm looking forward to the fall, but a part of me is scared because:

1 - The moneys are running low, and the threat of paying off student loans, buying a new car, and being a big girl are looming ever-so near.

2 - I might have to move if I can't get a job in Bham. Which is part exciting (we all know I've had some wanderlust in me and wild oats to sow, and it just ain't happenin' in Bham)... but part heart-breaking because I have so many people here who I love more than anything. You know who you are. So there's that.

Ok back to work. Peace out. My homies.

The Cozy Library

Want to curl up at Grandma's and read something "cozy" later? Boooooorrrrinnng.

I came across this site while perusing other blogs today, and it has made me laugh to no end. The "Cozy Library," which recommends books described as: one chocked-full of kind-hearted characters, with a terrific story masterfully told, and a satisfying – and generally happy -- ending. No explicit sex or violence, no wall-to-wall profanity.

Hmmmm. Not exactly my kind of book. I especially love the lady on the "Departments" page.

So if you fancy something "comfy," don't ask me for recommendations and just go to this site. With the reading moods I've been in lately, I'll be of no help at all! (But if you want something angsty, or vampirey, or chock-full of dirty words... I'm your gal.)

Happy reading til next time.