10 03 2010

Guess whose back? So, I knew when I started this blog that I wasn’t going to post every day. And I haven’t posted in well over a year. The blog just kind of sat out here in Cyberland waiting for me to return and revive it. Well, I’ve decided to revive it for my own personal state of mind. I don’t care if people read it or don’t, cause mostly right now it’s going to be for me. I can pretend I am telling people things, even if no one reads it.
I’ve recently discovered the beauty of the podcast. I don’t know why I haven’t even listened to podcasts before. Probably because I don’t really listen to the radio either, because I don’t like people talking interrupting my music. But as some of you know, many of you don’t, I am a member of a message board for my biggest obsession: Disney. The message boards (which are part of the
Dis family) are known as the Disboards. There are tons of Disney fans, and also Disney newbies who are just looking for info about planning their trip to anywhere within the Disneysphere. Everyone is superfriendly, and very helpful. Anyway, as I was wandering around the boards, I noticed the Dis Unplugged board. The Dis Unplugged is the Dis podcast. More out of curiousity than anything, I went into itunes and subscribed, and began downloading some of the past shows. Well, I’ve been listening to it for a few days now, and I am addicted. The folks that do it (podcasters? cast? crew? employees?) are great fun to listen to. I’ve also subscribed to some other podcasts (not Disney related) cause I have decided that podcasts are the coolest thing ever. My ipod (16gig) is literally 100% full (for the first time ever) because of all the podcasts. I know I sound really old, that I have just discovered them. It’s not that I didn’t know the existed, its just that I didn’t get the appeal of them. Now, I do. I talk back to them in the car. Which is probably the most amusing thing about it. Anyway, if you don’t listen to podcasts, I would suggest that you go into your little itunes account, go to the store, and search a topic that interests you. (In addition to my Disney podcast, I listen to a travel podcast, a design podcast (like, interior design), and a book review podcast). Subscribe to the podcasts, which are usually free, and you’ll have an hour of entertainment.


It’s a free country…

21 03 2008

…so why wouldn’t someone want to sell their life? Ok, there have been some pretty interesting things sold on ebay, but this has got to be one of the strangest things I have seen. There is a man who is going to sell his life on ebay. Ian Usher, from Australia is offering his furnished home, car, motorbike, friends, and job in an auction on ebay that opens for bidding on June 22th. The man rides motorbikes, snowboards, and sky-dives in his free time. Seems to be a pretty full life to anyone. And, as Usher told ABC News, it is. For someone other than him. He’s tired of his life, and wants a new one. He says the desire for a new life was triggered by the break-up of his marriage. He’s even put up a website that lists the reasons that he’s decided to sell his life, as well as a list of it’s contents. His current plan is to do to the airport and take the next flight that has an empty seat. Geez, I wonder where he is going to end up. I think it would be funny if the next flight took him somewhere random, like Casper, Wyoming. Not that he probably wouldn’t enjoy Wyoming. Mountains and stuff. (And, I mention Casper, WY, because one of my very good friends from college was actually from there. It’s not even a small city or anything.) He could still get into extreme sports. I wonder if he is going to give up his name. I mean, if I won this auction, would I suddenly be Ian Usher? I guess that would be pretty weird. It’s not that uncommon though for people to sell most of their belongings when they are moving? So what is unique about this guy? Besides the fact that he doesn’t really have a destination plan. Well, and he says that he is selling his friends, and his job. And his boss agreed to give whoever wins a try at the rug store where he works. That’s interesting.
So, what if I decided to sell my life? Well, ok, my apartment is very nice. It comes with a roommate, who is awesome. You’d have to be the maid-of-honor at her wedding, because if you are getting my life, that comes with it. My family, whom I adore. But they are not for the weak or weary, I’ll warn you. This includes 1) My dad-totally brilliant 2) My mom-biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met, and waaaaaaay creative 3)My brother-the life of the party 4)My sister-such a sweetheart, and always a surprise 5)My Gran-hard-working and always inspiring 6)My Nana-beautiful, uplifting, and an awesome cook 6)My Nanny-caring, independent, adventureous, and so energetic. Not to mention an entire slew of Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. My job-which comes with it’s own set of interesting people, and is only for a true-blue geek-at-heart. My car-a yellow nissan xterra. My friends-spread all across the country, but have all made a mark on my life. Hopefully they can do the same for you! This blog, I suppose you can have. You are also welcome to my college loans. Those, I’ll throw in for free! So, whatdya think? What would you pay for all of that?
You know, on second thought……I have a damn good life! I ain’t sellin’!! Ian, I’m sorry, but I think you’re crazy!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

17 03 2008

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, in which we celebrate the Saint Patrick, patron Saint of Ireland. In the Roman-Catholic church, the holiday is celebrated by a feast (unless it falls on Palm Sunday, which won’t happen again until 2160). In Ireland, there is a five-day festival that includes a parade, Irish food, and thousands dressed in green. Green was not the original color of the holiday, however. Blue was the color long associated with St. Patrick. However in more modern times, green because the color closely associated with the holiday as a part of the “wearing of the green,” an Irish tradition that meant wearing a shamrock pinned on one’s clothes, symbolizing Irish nationality, or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. The official day of the holiday is March 17th, the date of St. Patrick’s death, and is a bank holiday in Ireland. Here in the United States, many celebrate the holiday, although it is not an observed holiday. In Chicago, the Chicago River is dyed green for the holiday.
In New York, there is a parade that goes right past St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Photobucket
St. Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated in the US as a day of revelry, wearing green, and drinking. The restaurant Bennigan’s is an Irish pub style restaurant, and they really get into celebrating St. Patty’s Day. They serve green beer, and their website even has a place where you can send your friends “lepregrams”. As children, we are told to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, or else we will get pinched. Because of the general merriment (and the fact that the bank is open) of the holiday, it is generally viewed as a day to wear green, tell lore of creatures called Leprechauns who hide a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, and drink Guiness. But in Ireland, this is a widely recognized holiday, celebrating their Patron Saint. It is easy to forget that there is a serious aspect to the holiday. So, wear your green, lest you fall victim to pinching, and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Slaintè!

This week in NEWS

20 02 2008

Fidel Castro stated he would not accept the nomination for President of Cuba. He has been bedridden for almost two years now, and his brother Raúl has been ruling in his place. Does this signal changes for Cuba? Or is it going to remain in Castro’s inner circle of communist rule? I don’t honestly know if I can say one way or the other. I think, probably, there isn’t going to be much change in Cuba. I wish I could say that I thought there was going to be. But I just don’t think so. Raúl Castro has had power, maybe not in title, but in every other sense while FC has been bed-ridden. And FC has been in power for almost 100 years now. (I exaggerate). My question is…is the United States going to get involved? *Unofficially, off the record, and all that jazz.* We seem to get involved in all sorts of places where we aren’t wanted, so it only seems natural that we put our two cents in in Cuba too. Speaking of getting involved where we aren’t wanted…
Have you seen the MadTV Apple video? If not, here it is.

I’m sorry, but that is just too funny. Props to whomever thought that one up.
Has anyone heard this week that Harry and Hermione are dating?! Ok, not the characters from JK Rowling‘s books, but the people that play them in the movies. Perez Hilton, or a “source” is reporting that the two (Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson) were spotted together on Valentine’s Day and were looking very cozy. Aw…..I always think of them as being, I don’t know, 11 years old or something. So, that’s just weird for me. But, good for them.
Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Washington held pimaries last night. Was anyone surprised by Wisconsin going to Senator Obama? I was. It seems as though the Clinton campaign is losing momentum, which I think worries…a lot of people. March 4th is going to be a very interesting day. Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont are all holding their primaries that day, and Texas and Ohio have suddenly become very big players. Well, ok, they were already big players, but even more so now. I’m under the impression that the Republican nomination is owned by Mr. McCain, so I choose not to focus on those primaries.
The space shuttle Atlantis landed today, because we are going to try and shoot down the faulty spy satellite that is orbiting the earth. Seems like our missions need to be a little more stealth, if ya know what I’m saying. We’ve clearly not done a very good job keeping our spy satellites under wraps. Next thing you know, someone is going to leave the missile launch code book on the metro…

Let’s Get Outta This Town

19 02 2008

I am finishing my graduate degree at the end of July. It has been quite a journey, not just graduate school, but the entire universe of my educational career. Granted, it is only February, and July 26th is still 157 days away. Yes, 157 days. But for the first time in my entire life, I can see the end of my schooling. 18 years I’ve been in school without a break any longer than the two and a half month summer vacation we are so gratiously alloted. And as of July 26th, it will be done. Officially. Whoa. The magnitude of that is something that has occurred to me recently. It’s kind of a big deal! One that most of my friends have already realized, having finished their college educations already. I’m not sure how I am handling this yet, the realization that after this there is no more school. Well, there could be, but so far that isn’t a part of the plan. Anyway, like I said, this is a big occasion in my life. And to mark the occasion, a friend and I have been tossing back and forth the idea of taking a trip in August. We’re talking about it now, because we are both graduate students with loans that we have to think about. So saving for this trip will take a lot of planning. Who has tried to plan a trip online? I travel pretty frequently, and usually venture between Expedia, Travelocity, and Kayak when I am looking to book a flight. The difference right now is that I am also looking at hotels (and for one of the destinations that we are looking at, attraction tickets). So, I have logged quite a bit of time on these websites plus many, many other travel sites in the past few days. And I haven’t found that they are going to save me any money. Seriously. For the places that I want to go, the time is going to be off-season, so the website prices are the same as these special price-saver sites. I am not saying don’t use the sites, because I still always use them when I am booking a flight to Dallas. But I thought I would save a lot if I booked a package with one of these sites, but it is turning out to be less expensive if I book everthing seperately. Maybe if you have a family, or a lot of people (more than two?), then the packages are less expensive. But so far, what I’ve found is that for just my friend and I, it will be more expensive to book a package. I love planning trips. I really do. Take a trip to DisneyWorld, for instance. If I were planning a trip to DisneyWorld, not only would I research the best prices for flights, hotels, park tickets, etc., but I would be looking for the best times of the year to go, average rainfall for the time I wanted to go, average temperature for the time I wanted to go. Then once I had my dates set, I would see what special events were happening during the days I was going to be there. (If you are a Disney traveler, then I am talking about things like their extra magic hours and stuff.) A few years ago, I did this for my family. Once we had the dates we were going, I spent days researching every minute detail that I could for us to make the most of our trip. We were going during July, which is one of the busiest, hottest, and rainiest times to go to DW. And I did not want us to miss anything because of long lines or rain. I researched what days each park was the busiest, which rides were busier in the morning versus the afternoon, which rides had fastpasses. I researched the best places to view the fireworks shows at each park. I researched the best restaurants for which times and which budgets. Then I cross-referenced all this information with maps of the parks so to optimize our time even further (not running from one end of the park to another ride at the other end of the park, and then back). I was able to put together a detailed itinerary that outlined what park(s) we would be visiting each day, what rides we should stop at, what rides we should get fastpasses for, and what our options were for eating at the respective parks. The totally neurotic side of me thinks this was the most productive way to do this, the normal side of me realizes what a freak show the neurotic side is. Well, my family (who asked me to do this, by the way, because they know of my neuroticisms) largely ignored my itinerary, except for the days that we would visit each park. But I learned a lot in my experience. Particularly where to go to find good travel tips and the like. All this to say, my recent research has yielded some interesting results.
And now I want to go to Disney World. 🙂

Life in the Big City

17 02 2008

And when I say the Big City, I mean The Big Apple. New York City. I know a few people who live there, and I myself travel to NYC on occasion, both for work and pleasure. Last time I traveled to NYC, I had a business meeting on Friday, and my best friend (who got engaged on Thursday, congrats!) came along for the ride. She and I decided that since I had to go for work, we’d stay the weekend, see some shows, do some shopping, the whole shebang. Little did we know that this was the weekend that the stagehands were going on strike. Oh well, we had a good time anyway. In our travels through the city, we walked past the Plaza, and thought we would stop in for a drink. We were both unaware that the well-known New York hotel was closed, and had been since 2005. Well, when we came back to DC, it quickly left my mind, until I came across an article in the NYT style section. The article, which you can find here, is about the changes being made at The Plaza. Since 2005, The Plaza Hotel has been being renovated. They’ve added residences, upscale condos and apartments that are now available for purchase. Not only do these luxurious apartments have all the hotel amenities available to them, but they also have a private lobby, and a flat panel screened direct line to the concierge and security services. Now, hold off on your plan to run off and purchase one of these beautifully-decorated apartments with the spectacular views. Most of the people who have bought these apartments are high-powered executive jet setters such as the top executives from Viacom, Esprit, Jet Blue, and Staples, past and present. That’s right, a one-bedroom apartment at The Plaza Hotel costs a whopping $5.4 million dollars (and that’s only on the 15th floor, not even the penthouse floor, number 19). According to the Times article, only a handful of people use this residence as their full time home. The others split their time between here and at their second (third, fourth, fifth, tenth?) homes. This once-lively 181-unti building can become a ghost town when only six apartments are being lived in. You know what they need? A healthy dose of celebrity. One or two celebs, a good sex scandal, and a few drunken parties hosted by an underage celeb, and the place is going to be crawling with paparazzi. Until then…Eloise is going to be one lonely little girl.