Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Amazing Things You Can Do With Pictures

So after being toooooo relaxed at hubs family home, and quite enjoying it I might add, I have stumbled upon some great photo editing apps for my iPhone. Yes, I'm a dork.  But, I couldn't help myself. I quite literally almost peed myself putting these together from laughing so hard.  I hope you enjoy!





























Until I get bored again...

The iPhone apps used were, 'Framed!' & 'FX Photo Studio' & a BIG thanks to my family for being my guinea pigs!

Can you say, "Addicting?"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Avatar - Simply Breathtaking!

 

I saw Avatar both times in IMAX 3D, once on Sunday during opening weekend, and the 2nd time on Christmas day. My husband and I both were absolutely blown away. There has NEVER been another movie that has wowed us the way this movie did. Avatar was beautifully brilliant. The story was majestic. The overall message was worthy of a kick-in-the-ass to most. The acting was spot on. The effects were out of this world. I know this was a vision of James Cameron's for quite some time, even before his mark on Titanic, and I am very pleased he waited; that we all waited. The best things in life are worth waiting for. James Cameron made a winner with Avatar, and I hope others will truly grasp and fully appreciate what the message and story is all about. Yes, the movie is long. However, I honestly believe that there wasn't a single part in the movie worth trimming out. It was art, and you don't trim art. I cannot wait to see it again (ONLY IN IMAX 3D!). Avatar, to me, was fantastically captivating.

Wow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Do You Remember?

Do you remember when life used to be a little simpler?
When it used to give, and not just take
When freedom really stood for something
When people paused to think
When respect was something you gave, and earned
When you respected your elders, no matter who they were
When life was something you lived, and not something you took

Remember when the true greats were idolized, instead of actors, actresses, and singers in the entertainment industry? The greats being: Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Princess Diana. I remember.

I realize sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same.  However, I’m not so sure of this at times. I think we have let our lives pass us by without alot of truth and consequence, and without thoughts and visions of tomorrow.

Remember,

Think before you speak
Look before you jump
Crawl before you walk

What ever came of this?

Try to remember

     Try to change

          Try to better your world

Friday, December 18, 2009

'Bad Romance' Music Video by Lady Gaga

It was only recently that I saw the 'Bad Romance' music video from Lady Gaga. I was simply BLOWN AWAY. I don't typically watch music videos that much anymore because let's face it, they're not really on TV too much anymore. Sad really. I've always admired Lady Gaga. I think she is 100% original and totally entertaining. Not too mention, she can SING. I have a feeling she'll be around for a LONG time to come.

What an experience it would be to meet her...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Such is life...

Yesterday I had a date with the county courthouse to take care of flush money away  a speeding ticket that I received a couple of months ago. This was my first speeding ticket in several years, so don't go getting all medieval on me. I left work around 10:30ish thinking this would be a good time to get in and get out. My office is only about 10 minutes away from downtown Raleigh so I took this as my "lunch." Joy.

I get to the downtown area and circle around the courthouse probably about 10 times. I FINALLY find a parking space. I gingerly walk into the courthouse having optimistic thoughts that I won't get slammed by the judge and worse, have my insurance rates increase. Up until this point my driving record was perfect and my insurance premiums reflected that!

I make my way through the metal detectors, after about a 5 minute delay due to a clueless man having to empty the  pocketfulls of change he didn't know he had.  Wow. I finally find the first floor deposition courtroom. I wait to check-in. I get told to wait in another line for the DA. I wait. I wait some more. Finally, it's my turn. I probably was only waiting for 10 minutes or so to talk with the DA for what then seemed to be mere seconds. He said "You got a speeding ticket?" "Yes", I replied. "But, it's my first; I have a perfect driving record."  He asks, "Will you be taking care of this today?" I said, "Yes."  He said, "I'll reduce it so it doesn't affect your record. You'll just have to pay court fees." I happily said, "Thank you VERY much!" He walks me over to the cashier counter. I didn't even have to see the judge. Awesome. I went to the nearby ATM machine after realizing that the cashier counter doesn't take any sort of current payment methods (debit/ATM card, credit card, check, etc.). CASH ONLY. I came back with my $140 to pay my "dues". Yes, I know. It's STEEP! More like highway robbery. Wait.... this money is supposed to go towards the highways. So why do our roads look like a meteor shower hit them years ago and still look like they're in a space fight? Oh well. All in government work.

I left the courthouse poorer than when I went in, yet thankful I didn't have to pay a fine or worse, have my driving record tainted. I walked out with my head held half-high.

I get to my car and for some reason I get a funny feeling. Not sure what kind of feeling, but a funny feeling nonetheless. I open my driver side door and get in. Still had a funny feeling. I notice out of the corner of my right eye.... a damn ticket stashed under my right windshield wiper! I'll be damned. THAT was my funny feeling. The first thing I did was laugh. Second was yelling out loud, "What the f**k?!"

I get out of the car to retrieve the damned ticket. It says "Parking Violation" and my citation was for parking in a NO PARKING ZONE. Again, "What the f**K?!" I looked around the space I was (still) in and noticed (to me) that it was a valid parking spot, BUT I wasn't parking IN enough. Meaning... my rear tires were over the borders for that particular space. The "ass" to my car was too close to the intersection. Again, "What the f**k?!" Oh well...

I get in my car and leave with my head held DOWN. Well, high enough to drive, but you get the idea.

How does someone go to the courthouse to take care of one ticket manage to accumulate a NEW ticket?! I mean, seriously! Only me I guess. This reminds me of something that happened to me shortly after I turned 16...

During a random day out joy riding, I was pulled over TWICE on the SAME day by the SAME cop on the SAME road. Truth. Once was for failure to properly use signals. The other was for, well... speeding. I never thought something similar would EVER happen to me again. Trouble follows me I guess.

Here's the happy reminder of my experience in downtown Raleigh this week. I think I'll take public transportation next time. Just saying.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

And let there be LIGHT!

Honestly I was not planning to decorate my house this year as my husband and I are planning to drive to Georgia to visit family. So, we didn't see the point. However,  after seeing other homes on our street with lights and decorations going up, I just couldn't be the "odd house" out.  So what do I do? Decorate, of course!

This past Sunday after doing routine chores I abruptly decided to head outside to start catching up with my neighbors. I didn't but anything new. That may come later. I organized what I had and untangled the lights (that was a task!). I was ready to go.

I had wrapped the mailbox and the tree near the sidewalk before my husband even realized what I was doing. I had somehow convinced him to string lights over the awning to the garage. That was a HUGE plus as he hates decorating. Yes, he's a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to this sort of thing. No worries. I LOVE it enough for the both of us. After about 3 hours everything was done.

I waited a couple more hours until nightfall to flip the switch, and voila!

For something that came together as quickly as it did, I'm quite pleased! Hey, it's not the 23,000 lights my brother has, but  it's something!Maybe I'll try to show him up when I too have a home on almost an acre, but until then my measly 2,000 lights on my .17 acres will do me just fine!

Happy Holidays!








Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thankgiving & Black Friday Shopping (Dangerous!)

I remember back in September thinking, "Oh, my...Thanksgiving is just right around the corner!" And, sure enough it came up QUICK! The hubs and I were preparing for our trip when it donned on us that we had forgotten about asking hubs Dad to stay over our house to pet sit/house sit while we were gone (he's graciously done this for us fairy often). Well, after talking it over with my husband it was realized that we've asked his Dad too much this past year in helping us with the dogs, and better yet... my husband hadn't spent a Thanksgiving with his Dad in a few years. So, we both decided that it would be best to have him stay here and enjoy Thanksgiving with him. I was still planning on going to VA, as I already had plans with my sister in law (more on THAT later!).  This was a good thing. I'd of course miss him, but I knew this was the right thing to do, and his Dad was pretty excited to have a "Guys Day."

I didn't want to totally drive alone, so I brought my lab, Murphy. He's a great riding companion.However, this is what he did for most of the drive. Party pooper!



After work on Wednesday, November 25th I set out for VA. It was a pleasant drive. Got there in NO time flat. 2.5 hours I think. I walked in to my brothers house and the first thing my sister in law said was, "You're here already?" Funny.

The usual course of action the night before Thanksgiving is to make preparations for the next day. We did. There really wasn't that much to do. So I relaxed. It had been a long day.

I woke up pretty early on Thanksgiving morning excited about getting to work! Leslie (my SIL) and I got everything together and we were all ready to eat by around 3p.m. Right on schedule! My Dad, Grandma, Sister, her boyfriend, Niece Madison, Brother, my SIL, Nephew Gage, Aunt Robin, and Cousin Jeremy were all there. I love family. And you don't get more of a "Family" holiday than Thanksgiving. We had a spread!

    The Turkey chef was proud. As he should be! It was awesome!



    Our spread!

The rest of the day was spent having a blast...

    Guess she liked the food! Yes! (My sis, Brit)

Niece & Nephew

Never too old to play on the swings!
My brother and his wife, Leslie

    My little buddy!

   Gage & Murphy wrestling

Now onto getting close to the "bodily harm" part...

Leslie and I have a tradition of going out at the butt crack of NIGHT to shop the "Black Friday" deals. No, we don't camp out in front of stores like some crazies, but we're there at the opening hour of whatever store has the most of what we may want to RUSH to buy. This is how we plan...

My brother scouring the deals for us



We had a mission of trying to score a Nintendo DS Lite from Walmart where it was selling for only $99. They're normally over $150, so this was a deal. We knew we had to get this FIRST. It was for my niece so we wanted to ensure she had it under the tree. We were at Walmart right at 5 a.m. (when the deals started) We swiftly walked back to the electronics department to look for it. We made our way through the maze of people who were already in the line that was wrapped all the way through the entire store! We looked around trying to find it but there were carts everywhere so it was pretty hard. We asked an employee where they were, she said behind the counter. We asked the lady behind the counter, she said they were in a special case. We went to the special case. There was an employee "manning" the case. We asked for a Nintendo DS Lite. He said he had one left. SCORE! Not so fast... The employee asked, "Who was next, who wants it?" There was NO ONE else around who spoke up, so Leslie said, "I'd like it." As SOON as the employee handed it to Leslie, the lady standing to the left of her put her hands out motioning to grab it right from her! It was proceeded by the lady saying, "It's mine, let go". Well mind you, NO ONE had spoke up and this lady had been mute as a mouse, so we acted. It started to get, well... ugly. Leslie hadn't let go yet. It was hers. The lady kept trying to snatch it from her. Meanwhile the employee is standing there in silence, doing nothing. It went back and forth for a couple more seconds, and I tried to intervene by telling her to back the hell off, it wasn't hers... nothing. She still had a death grip on the damn thing. She started to get all bug eyed on Leslie, so Leslie let go. I proceeded with a little bit of calculated name calling in the heat of the moment. But, it didn't help. We lost. Well, for the moment.

We walked away feeling slightly defeated. I started walking around the maze of carts thinking I might be able to find one sitting around that someone had buyers remorse over... but found nothing. We walked over near the counter and noticed that there was not one, not two, but THREE Nintendo DS Lites behind the counter! WHAT!? We asked the lady for one and she said that they were on HOLD for someone?! YOU CAN'T HOLD THINGS ON A DAY LIKE THIS! Right? Well, we walked away feeling defeated yet again. After speaking with two different managers we were FINALLY able to get our hands on one for my niece. After it was placed in MY hands. I was NOT about to lose it. I was wearing an oversized hoodie so I placed it in the front pocket to "hide it". I dared someone to tell me I was trying to steal it. We continued to shop the rest of Walmart, with Nintendo in tow. As Borat would say, "Much Success!"

After Walmart, Leslie and I spent the next 6 hours shopping our little asses off. We had a blast.

We got home almost 7 hours after we had left, and now the boys (my brother and nephew) wanted to go shopping. So, we went out AGAIN! My feet were on fire. But I was in the zone. I proceeded with a smile.

  "You looking at me looking at you?"

He loves him some Aunt April!

Gage being Gage - in Sears

   

Like Father like Son!

What a Thanksgiving! And what an incredibly eventful "Black Friday!" But... Friday night was NOT over! I still had something else to do! Something I had waited for, for longer than anyone else on the planet! Something that almost drove me completely insanely mad. Mad as in crazified! More on THIS in the next post...

My Promise: 'Twilight Saga: New Moon '


Some of you know about the little (HUGE) promise I made to my sister in law several months back.  For those that don't, I had promised her I would wait to see 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon" with her on Black Friday. OK, big deal right? YES, HUGE deal!

Yes, Leslie had been the one to bring Twilight to my attention when she was reading the first book, Twilight around Halloween 2008. She raved and raved about how great the book was and reccomened that I too read it. I didn't bite, yet. To remind everyone, the original Twilight came out in theater in November 2008. She went to see it opening weekend with my brother, all the while I had honestly not really known that much about this movie, the book, or really any of its actors.  I vaguely remember her saying that it was in fact a great movie.

Fast forward to March of 2009. THIS was when I saw Twilight for the first time. On DVD. I watched it by myself at home. I was instantly 100% in love. I LOVED this movie and could NOW see what Leslie had been talking about this whole time. I watched the movie over and over and over again. I lost count really. I HAD to read the books now. I went out and bought Twilight immediately. I read it in under 3 days, and I'm NOT a big reader. I hate reading. Hate. However, I LOVED reading this. I was told there was more, in addition to reading about it in the sneak peak at the end of Twilight. I went out once again and bought New Moon, and this time decided to get Eclipse while I was at it. I knew I'd want that too. I had read New Moon and Eclipse in under a week and these are NOT small books. They're both over 600 pages! (OK, so it's kinda big print, but still!) I was at this point a fixated, tunnel visioned Twilight FAN! And mind you, I NOW knew about the actors in Twilight, mainly a very gorgeous Robert Thomas Pattinson. SWOON!

During the frequent visits to VA or the visits by Leslie (and brother and nephew) here to NC, It was obvious to her how much I was now "in the club." I now knew what she was talking about from the previous year, and it showed. It was sometime over the summer that plans were made to once again travel to VA for our annual Thanksgiving at Leslie's home. Knowing this, and the fact that the second Twilight movie, New Moon was set to come out in theater around this time, she asked if I would wait to see it with her. I obliged. I promised. I don' t think at the time I completely knew what this would mean to my psyche and overall well-being!

For a little bit of a calendar refresher, New Moon debuted at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 20th. My visit to VA wouldn't be until Wednesday, November 25th. Oh. My. Gah. I was going to have to wait an entire 6 WHOLE DAYS to see it?! I started realizing my dilemma back in October. I contemplated cheating. I thought about seeing it and "just not saying anything to anyone". But I couldn't. I couldn't do this to Leslie. Or myself. I had made a promise. I kept telling myself this over and over and over again. For those who knew my situation on Twitter, you knew my concern was to be spoiled with others' reviews. I didn't want this. So, I took a tech hiatus. THAT alone was hard. I'm addicted to TWITTER! How was I going to just not tweet? I had to manage. I had made a promise.

So I waited the 6 days. I drove to VA on Wednesday night the 25th knowing that in just 2 days I'd be seeing it for myself. I wouldn't have to hear from others how great it was. (and yes, I heard SOOOO much about it prior to MY viewing; I tried to block most of it) I started my countdown just as you all did, only mine was several days later!

I made it though Thanksgiving DAY knowing that it would be that NIGHT that I'd be seeing it. After we ate we sat and waited for the clock to turn 6 p.m. so we could head to the theater. The movie didn't start until 7:30 p.m., but dammit I didn't want to take even the slightest chance of being late, not getting a good seat directly in the center of the theater and in the middle of the middle row. (yes, I'm a little OCD) I wanted to make sure I had time for refreshments and HAD to ensure I had time to visit the little girls room first. I didn't want to miss ANY of the movie because of my bladder!

With my brother, Leslie, my sister Brittany, and her boyfriend in tow, we got there with plenty of time to spare. (Yes, I was the 3rd wheel, but I could have cared less) There was a huge line, but we got through it. We bought our drinks and popcorn. I peed. We entered the theater to find the perfect seats. Goosebumps came upon me when I entered as the credits were rolling from the previous showing, playing the song 'Meet me on the Equinox' by Death Cab For Cutie. We found the middle row of the middle of the theater. There was even a bar in front so we could prop our legs up. The night was coming together!

It seemed like it took FOREVER for 7:30 p.m. to roll around, but it did. The lights dimmed. The previews started. I had heard that some theaters were showing the trailer for 'Remember Me'. I was REALLY hoping to see this, as to be quite honest, I am absolutely enchanted by the storyline to this movie and for one can't wait to see my favorite actor branch out from the Twilight Saga and show everyone how truly talented he really is. After 5 previews and no Remember Me, I was starting to get a little miffed. And then it came. Oh My! It looked SO MUCH BETTER on the big screen. (March 12, 2010 people! March 12th!)

The previews were done. The movie was starting. I hadn't taken a breath since the Remember Me trailer. I took one.  The next two hours and one minute of my life were the most fascinated I'd been in a long time. I LOVED the movie wholeheartedly. It was done beautifully. It was true to the book. It was spell-bounding. The wolves were fantastic. The acting was so much better. Oh my gosh, Taylor as 'Jacob' was breathtaking. He blew me away. (for his acting and portrayal as Jacob, not for his abs... that's jail-bait!) And, for the love of my heart, Rob as 'Edward'. Let's just say, I'm a fangirl. Can this man be any more beautiful? I think not. Everything about this movie was worth waiting for. Yes, there were some cheesy moments in the movie, but you know what? Who cares. Chris Weitz, as the director, did an amazing job in my opinion. He stayed true to the story that women everywhere fell in love with. He truly encapsulated what Kristen's 'Bella' went through after 'Edward' left her. And I gotta say, Kristen's acting of Bella was so much better than that of Twilight. So much. And she looked prettier! Her pain could be felt. I admired that Chris Weitz was really, truly able to get that across. The cinematography was gorgeous. The 'Volturi' was brilliant. Dakota Fanning's 'Jane' was mesmerizing. I can't wait to see more of her. I didn't get my fill in New Moon. Need more of her. There really wasn't much of New Moon that I didn't like, well maybe that it was over after the 2 hours and 1 minute. The ending was perfectly set up as a prelude into the next chapter, Eclipse.

Leslie, I am so happy that I waited to see it with you. I am happy with myself that I didn't cheat. I am thankful that I was able to enjoy it alongside the person who truly did turn me on to this world of Twilight. I am just sad that now we both have to wait until June 30th, 2010 to see Eclipse. That seems like forever from now! But wait we shall.

We'll both wait.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm still here...

Hey! Remember Me?

I know I haven't updated my blog in a LONG time. Sorry! In addtion to being busy, tired, busy, tired, and up until this past Sunday night only having one computer that my husband pretty much hogged ALL THE TIME, I haven't been able to get my thoughts together to blog about anything of any value and had no where to sit and think of something.

However...

We have welcomed a new computer into our household, which means...

NO MORE FIGHTING OVER COMPUTER RIGHTS!

Yes. My prayers have been answered. I can't do anything about the busy & tired part, but I can now promise I'll atleast have the ability to sit in front of the (new) computer until I think of something to say! LOL

Anywho, I will update my blog with something AWESOME very soon... maybe tomorrow?

Stay tuned...