Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007: A Year in Review

January 2007: I celebrated New Year's with my family and was asleep by 12:30. I made New Year's resolutions that I ultimately broke within two weeks.

February: I turned 21 and celebrated with my mom, Bill, and the sister. Then, I went to an LST meeting. One good thing: it snowed. I went home and watched movies by myself. It was at that time that I realized that I will be single the rest of my life.

March: I was doing what all good students do and was procrastinating. While procrastinating I turned on the TV and found a little show called The Office and was forever hooked.

For Spring Break I went to Houston to spend time with my grandparents and cousin Lemondrop. It was an amazing time. We went to an art museum, watched 300 and ate Sour Patch kids and Popcorn, ate Mexican food, and sang at the top of our lungs while not getting lost in downtown Houston. You know, the usual. It was a great time. Towards the end of March, the last day of Spring Break, I got into a wreck and totaled my car. It was completely my fault and was carless for months.

Next, I passed out in Dr. Kraft's Art class (in the discussion of Warhol and Pop Art) and spent three days there. I had test after test run on me where I was first diagnosed with pancreatitis. Next, it was something with a long name ending in -itis. Finally, it was found that I had a cyst on my ovary that caused me to pass out. I passed out again while at the hospital and was diagnosed with Neurocardipathic Syncope. So basically if I get too hot, don't get enough to eat or other things I can just pass right out. Now I am supposed to eat breakfast every morning and wear these old grandmother socks that keep the circulation flowing in my legs every night. I now do not eat breakfast and have lost the socks.

April: March was a bad month, but April was even worse for my dad. Dad found out Kim was having an affair and filed for divorce. Dad and Hannah moved into a trailer and stayed there until she graduated. As soon as she graduated Dad moved to Lamesa and hated his new job. I took Bree and Mike with me to Anton to celebrate Easter and had a pretty great time. I was procrastinating again and found a little show called Friday Night Lights and it too was phenomenal.

May: Hannah turned 18 on the 3rd and graduated on the 25th. Three days later I left for Japan. I wished my brother a happy 20th un-birthday and Caitlin called and we laughed for a bit. It was great, yet terribly sad.

June: I spent the entire month in Japan and it was an amazing experience. Going back the second time was like coming home. I saw people I knew, recognized buildings, and just re-fell in love with the culture. I had the best time in my life there and dream of one day returning. The Lord's work is hard work, but it is truly rewarding and memorable. To the people in Japan: I enjoyed every single day there and miss you all desperately. Just know that one day I will return and see you all again. While in Japan I mourned my brother's, and un-celebrated the two year anniversary of his death.

July: I left Japan on the 9th and that was probably the saddest day of my life. I remember standing there at the bus stop, blinking back tears as I hugged every person who came to see us off. The cool morning air swept over me in a heap of emotion and as soon as I took my seat on that bus, the tears fell. I read all the notes and sweet letters and they fell harder. Who knew that I could fall in love with those wonderful people and that amazing country after only six weeks. I left a piece of my heart in Japan and I will return one day to retrieve it.

Lived with Libby and Dennis for a while while Bree and I looked for an apartment. Found a great one and moved in.

August: Got completely moved in and found that I could not really afford my own place. Started back to school and saw all my old friends, and made new ones. Complained about professors and spoke of new crushes. Started life planning and began to worry about the future.

September: Dropped Anatomy and Physiology because I realized I did not need it. Skipped a lot of classes. Oops.

October: Got a second job to cover the expense of the apartment. I now come home with baby formula and dog hair all over me. I work forty hours a week and go to school full-time. I also made the decision not to go back to Japan this summer, and that was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Dressed as a nerd for Halloween and passed out candy with Melanie at the mall and went to Lindsey's party. Met some cool new people!

November: Found out I can definitely graduate in December of 2008 and was amazingly relieved. That puts me at a little over four years. Since I changed my major six times, I am pleasantly surprised. Hannah and I made the ten hour trek to Houston for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time. We ate Nanna's newest creation: a Pumpkin Cream Cheese pie. Amazing! Hung out with Lemondrop for a bit until we left a day early due to the weather.

December: What a great month so far! We had a wonderful graduation party for Carla at my apartment and then I went to a Christmas party at Lindsey's. Had a work party at job number one, and was blessed by gifts at the church. What amazing people the Lord has blessed me with. As a result of late night studying (playing around on the computer) I am now addicted to coffee, thanks in whole to the lovely roommate. There was a huge confrontation in chapel and an incident in which an idiot radio announcer took something out of context and there was a huge controversy on campus. Also, Dr. Byars's office is so messy that he lost our tests, but finally found them. What's the deal with a grade of "B?"

So, this year has been one of growth. I have learned to treasure friendships and become more bold in asking for things that matter to me. I have learned to stand up for myself and say the right things, when they needed to be said, and I learned to be silent when needed. I was able to mourn over loss and rejoice in Him again. I learned to always be postive, no matter the situation. I learned to expect a package from grandmother filled with homemade cookies and also full of tea bags, marshmallows, and socks. I love my grandmother, obviously. I have learned that gossip hurts people, and the truth is always the right way to go, no matter what. I have learned to keep an open mind and resist temptation. I am now stronger than I ever thought I would be!
Currently watching : The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Widescreen Edition)Release date: By 13 September, 2005

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What I'm Watching: Pushing Daisies

I wrote this article for the paper the other day. Check it out:

It is a simple fact that I love television. My television viewing as of late, however, has been at an all time low. I have two part-time jobs, which equals one full-time job (of course) and I am also a full-time student. Granted, I do not focus on my studies as much as I should, but that is neither here nor there. Basically, every night of the week I am working, so that leaves my six-inch television in a lonely place. I'm sure it hates me, now. Anyway, I digress. When I get home the first thing I look forward to doing is watching television. Thanks to a wonderful little invention known as the internet (thanks again, Al Gore!) I am able to watch practically any episode of any show. Ever.

Now, I'm not sure if any of you have been following the WGA writers strike, but I now feel guilty for all the internet TV I've been watching. In short, the writers who wrote that episode get zero dollars when you watch it. Oops! Not the time for that, though.

When it was time to do this article, only one show popped into my head. That was "The Office." Now, anybody who knows me knows at all knows that is my favorite show on television. Hands down. However, there are more shows that I watch: "30 Rock," "Friday Night Lights," "Bones," "House," "My Name is Earl," "Chuck," sometimes "Heroes," the new miniseries "Tin Man" and whatever else is on. There is one show that surpasses all but "The Office" and that is "Pushing Daisies."

"Pushing Daisies" is a series that is unique in itself. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. This seasons pilot (the series premiere) has been one of the best television premiers I have ever seen. It is one of those defining pilots that will go down in television history. Please, go watch it online, but wait until the strike is over.

"Pushing Daisies" is a series about love, death, and the power of human contact. The series is narrated by the voice of Jim Dale (narrator of the "Harry Potter" audio books, for you nerds out there) and he keeps the series up to date for us viewers. The synopsis of "Pushing Daisies" is, well, strange and very unique. Meet Ned (the adorable Lee Pace), a pie maker with a special gift. He has the gift of bringing people back to life with a simple touch. However, there is a catch. If he touches them again they will be dead, for good this time. Also, if he keeps the undead person alive for more than 60 seconds then whoever is within close proximity will kick it instead of the undead person. Together with Private Investigator Emerson Cod (huggable Chi McBride) Ned and Emerson go into the morgue and find out how the dead person died and collect the reward money for the unsolved murders.

Next, we meet Charlotte (brilliantly played by Anna Friel). "Chuck" (Ned's pet name for Charlotte) and Ned were childhood sweethearts. All of a sudden, Chuck shows up dead one day, and Ned is there to ask her what happened. When Chuck shares her story with Ned he refuses to touch her again, thus keeping her alive. For more than 60 seconds! DUN DUN DUN! As a result, the mortician in the next room dies in Chuck's place.

Chuck and Ned are mesmerized with each other, yet they cannot touch. If Ned ever touches Chuck, she will be dead forever. The two find meaningful ways to touch and connect, and this invests the viewer in this relationship. For example, in Ned's car there is now a sheet of plexiglass dividing the two in the front seat, with a rubber glove sticking out so the two can hold hands. Awww! I still, however, shudder every time the two sit next to each other or when they are in the room together. Too close for comfort. I want Chuck to stay around as long as possible.
This is not the only thing between them, though. As a child, Ned inadvertently killed Chuck's dad when he touched his dead mother to revive her back to life. Later that night, Ned's mother kisses him goodnight and upon contact, she falls over dead. Yes, confusing, but very believable. Somewhat. Trust me on that.

This show is different visually as well. It looks like something from Tim Burton, yet for adults. The Pie Hole (as in shut yours) is the central location and where most of the action happens. The restaurant is colorful and just whimsical. Beautiful perfection. The waitress at The Pie Hole, Olive (tiny Kristen Chenoweth), loves Ned but Ned only has eyes for Chuck. Olive has no idea about Ned's secret, though. This love triangle sometimes causes Olive to bust out in song when she is alone in the Pie Hole, or driving a car, or … By the way, anyone who busts out singing a They Might Be Giants song is alright in my book.

This show really catches at my heart strings and I get emotionally attached. I was completely hooked after the pilot (or Pie-lette and it is better known to us "Pushing Daisies" fans) was a fantastic episode, yet all the episodes have been stellar. Each undead person has a unique and funny story to tell, and we get to see Emerson, Chuck, Ned, and sometimes Olive work together and solve the mystery.

Since I work at church every Wednesday night, I always miss it, and since I am old school and still use a VCR (which I've stolen from my roommate), I record this series and watch with eager anticipation. It is a sad Wednesday when there are no new episodes. I could easily go into much more detail, but I will digress. Please, just check out the show (Wednesday's at 7:00 pm on ABC) and get hooked in. When I watch it, all I want to do is eat a pie and make sure the two stars never, ever touch.

Sure, "The Office" is the best show on TV, but "Pushing Daisies" is most definitely my new favorite, and a unique one at that.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My Favorite Rivalries

So, as the title suggests, these are some of my all-time favorite rivalries. These are in no particular order.

Mario v. Bowser
David Lee Roth v. Van Halen
Rocky and Bullwinkle v. Boris and Natasha
Fred Flinstone v. Barney Rubble's Fruity Pebbles
Ned Flanders v. Homer Simpson
Persia v. Sparta
Peter Pan v. Captain Hook
Ron Burgundy v. Wes Mantooth (Anchorman)
The Brain v. The World (Pinky and The Brain)
Janiter v. J.D. (Scrubs)
The Breakfast Club Kids v. Principal Vernon
Ahab v. Whale
The Smurfs v. Gargamel
Deborah v. Marie (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Freddy v. Kids on Elm Street
Alex Trabeck v. Sean Connery
Michael Scott v. Toby Flenderson (The Office)
Harry Potter v. Voldemort
Autobots v. Decepticons
Peter v. Giant Chicken (Family Guy)
Garfield v. Odie
Yogi Bear v. The Ranger
Stephen Colbert v. Bear
Star Wars v. Star Trek
The Boomtown Rats v. Monday
Maximus v. Commodus
Inspector Gadget v. The Claw
Leeroy Jenkins v. WoW Community
Ninja v. Samurai
Republicans v. Democrats
Mr. Whipple (RIP) v. The Charmin Squeezers
Marty McFly v. Biff Tannen (Back to the Future)
Elizabeth Bennett v. Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
Alexander Hamilton v. Aaron Burr
Coke v. Pepsi
Spy v. Spy (from Mad Magazine)
Archie Bunker v. Meathead
Roe v. Wade
G.I. Joe v. Cobra
Sylvester v. Tweety
Dennis the Menace v. George Wilson
Me v. Those Lame Head-On Commercials
Kimmy Gibler v. Uncle Jessie (Full House)
Jack Bauer v. Time (24)
William Wallace v. England
Red Sox v. Yankees

Ok, so that is my list. Pretty short. I'm sure I could expand quite a bit, but this is all you get.