Friday, July 31, 2009

Panama, Here I Come!

After the passport/birth certificate incident, I am finally the proud owner of my very first passport!!

The Time Machine

the time machine by h.g. wells Pictures, Images and Photos

I think I read this when I was younger; I have Swiss-Cheese memory.

If you are basing your knowledge of this book on this movie:

The Time Machine Pictures, Images and Photos
(Samantha Mumba, remember her? David had a huge crush on her.)

then you are sadly sadly mistaken. I don't even know where all the movie plot points came from. No attempts to save a lost fiance, no human-sized future people who miraculously speak English, no creepy Gary Oldman character.

The Time Traveler is a man who has invented a time machine in the 1800's. He's telling the story of what he did and saw to a group of people who have come to dinner in his home. He has traveled over 800 thousand years into the future. The human race split into two species; a kind, minuscule child-like group of above-ground dwellers, and the pale-skinned, large-eyed ape-like subterraneans.

After a harrowing experience with these two groups, he moves further into the future, where the devolution is scarier. Single-celled organism scary. The Traveler returns home, replenishes his supplies, and is never heard from again.

The book deals with the evolution/devolution of man. The more technology we have, the worse off we will be until some cataclysmic event lead to the downfall of man kind as we know it. Humans devolve. What do we know how to do anyway? Can you kill, clean and cook a chicken or deer? Can you make bread from scratch in a coal oven? Can you make your own clothing? Can you live without electricity? Grow your own fruits and vegetables? Can you defend yourself?

Doom and Gloom, the future is.

Yoda Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Literal Videos

Literal videos are something I found through a post on Facebook. People take a music video and write lyrics to what is actually going on in the video. Remember the 80's and how whack-a-doo those videos were? Where the videos had nothing whatsoever to do with what was going on in the lyrics? Those.

They write new lyrics and replace the singing with their own. Most are mediocre, but some, like our favorite, are hysterical.

I give you the literal version video for "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Jane Austen's Persuasion Pictures, Images and Photos

I love Jane. I do. I own 4 of her 6 completed novels and think she is amazing. But so far, this book is my least favorite.

The book deals with a 27 year old woman, Anne Elliot. Twenty Seven?? Egads, almost a spinster, she was! No really. Back then, 27 was cutting it close in the "get married have kids" part of life. She refused the hand of a man she loved 7 years ago because she was persuaded to do so by her rather dismissive father and eldest sister, as well as her godmother, Lady Russell. The man Anne chose was not rich enough, not highly ranked in society for her family's taste. Seven years, and no prospects later, she meets back up with the man she refused, who is still angry and hurt at her refusal. There are other back stories; conniving house guests, young male relatives trying to insinuate themselves on the family fortune, etc.

Written while ill, right before her death, "Persuasion" feels rushed. There's not enough witty dialogue. There's no back & forth between the characters. Instead of this:

Anne said "blah blah blah, and blah blah." Mr. So-and-So smiled and replied "Oh really, that's marvelous, etc"

it was more

Anne told him how she felt and he said he felt the same.

Less conversations between the characters, and more Ms. Austen dictating from the side what happened. I LOVE how Ms. Austen wrote her characters' speeches and interactions, and this book threw me for a loop. It was a novel with less dialogue than usual.

I did still enjoy the "witty, sweet, kind woman gets her happy ending," while all the evil people get their comeuppance. Ah, if only life were that way.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Boxing

Sixteen. That's right, 16 boxes found yesterday. We headed out with The Gamecock (Mo) on a downtown Orlando letterboxing adventure.

We started off with lunch at a fun place,

where Isabel splashed in puddles.

We went by a park to find another box, and stopped by the place David and I got married, where Isabel played in the fountain. We were married on the steps behind her.

Several boxes on several streets later, we stopped for Starbucks, where Mo proceeded to have my daughter sing the "Baum Chicka Bau Wow" music to everyone. Mo, Mo, Mo. :)

We headed to an art museum where we found 3 boxes by one person and one by another on the beautiful grounds. Here I am, inky-fingers and all (and got my butt wet in the process.)

Mo and Isabel in front of some lawn art.

Creepy Harry-Potter thestral looking thing!

Huge-mungous tree.

Two tired travelers.

We got rained on a few times, but had a fun time!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harshing My Mellow

I've been wondering. Are negative people more tired than positive ones? It must be tiring to be a pessimist.

I cannot abide the negative. It's life-energy sucking! It harshes my mellow. I can't help their situation. What I can do, is help MINE. I am positive, most of the time. I am helpful, I am happy (except for 4-5 days a month). *snort*

Trust me, there was a time when it was not all happiness and joy. There was the "before," where everything was drama, and no money to pay bills, and craziness not of my own doing. But I chose to get away from that. I chose to take my kid and take a hike.

The only person I could blame was myself. Yup, I let it happen. Now, I let "Happy" happen.

Hey, new Motto:

Happy Happens.

It happens if you choose it. Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up. DO what you say you'll do. Be polite. Be nice. Follow the rules; remember the world owes you NOTHING! I am a realist and crappy stuff happens to everyone. Just don't let those moments cloud you and shape your personality into something no one wants to be around. If you don't like it, change it.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

World Without End

world without end Pictures, Images and Photos

Wow. This was SOME book. At over 1000 pages, this book is daunting. It is scary to behold. And it was superbly written.

Ken Follett's "World Without End" deals with the lifetime of one generation of citizens in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England from the 1320's, though the black plague, and into about the 1360's. It's too much for me to go into. There are a wide cast of characters that start out as children. We see them grow, evolve, become serfs, knights, carpenters, nuns, and everything in between. The book goes into great details on the lives of 4 main characters and all those around them. The scheming, the lying, the loving. I cringed, I yelled, I cried and laughed. So many things happened to these people, and when you think they are finally getting a break, something else happens that kicks them in the arse. Like life, the characters take a ride on their own wheel of fortune, bringing them up to glory and success one second and down to despair, up again and down again. Over and over, but not in a manner to bore you. I was enthralled the entire time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

AND WE'RE BACK! SPOILER ALERT! Don't read this if you don't like being spoiled!! I do give movie details here.

Harry Potter 5 Pictures, Images and Photos

I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night with my friend Mo (The Gamecock on AQ). She picked up the tickets on her way home from work and we met up at the theatre. It was very busy but they were very organized. You could feel the hum of excitement as it vibrated in the air. I am a Harry Potter geek and freely admit it. We got great seats and sat back to enjoy the ride.

There have been some negative comments about the movie (co-workers, on the radio, etc.) being too disjointed and a bit over the place. There were some crucial things left out, I agree. I would have LOVED to see the real way Harry and Ginny finally kissed (in front of everyone, after the Quidditch win), Fleur and her reaction to Mrs. Weasley after Bill's being attacked, Lupin and Tonk's hidden relationship, Snape yelling "DON'T CALL ME A COWARD!" and especially Dumbledore's funeral. Yes, there was a lot missing. At 652 pages, book # 6 was one of my least favorite of the series. Did you read how bad it was? When it was released, I called it "filler" or just set-up for book # 7. Six Hundred fifty two pages, and a 2 & 1/2 hour movie was not long enough; they still just ran out of time. (side note: I am glad they cut out most of the kids-making-out scenes. That bored me to tears in the book. I struggled to finish book 6).

That being said, this book being my least favorite, I really enjoyed the movie. There were so many funny moments which Daniel played so well (the comment to Dumbledore, when Dumbledore says something to the effect of "I know you're wondering why we're here," and Harry replied "Sir, after six years, I pretty much just go with it" (paraphrased) had me howling). Malfoy was still evil but oh-so torn. Good acting on his and Emma's parts. I love that they're "growing up." The special effects, especially in the cave with the horcrux and the basin of water, were great.

It won't win awards. It jumped all over the place, I agree. I was mentally dizzy and thankful I knew the plot before I went in, but I actually can't wait to see it again, at a more decent hour for someone my age. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Visitors

My older sister's son, Jon, called me on Friday. "Hey Kaaren, whatcha doin?" I told him we were driving to meet some friends at a Mickey D's for a hand-off of baked goods (more on that later. tee hee) and would be home soon. "So.......can we come up?" "We" being he and his mom (my big sis, Brenda). "Of course!" Their drive was about a 3 hours one.

After the hand-off (tee hee), we came back home so I could quickly clean the bathrooms and get the house looking ready for guests.

Jake and Jon on Jake's laptop in the "piano room."

Isabel and her Aunt Brenda starting an art project while I cooked lasagna in the kitchen.

Work in progress.
Isabel displays her art.

After Isabel went to bed, I showed my sister several of the techniques I have been learning in cake decorating class, including making roses.

Brenda and I then got to work on some gum paste pieces for a future project. Sorry, but more on that later.
Saturday morning, Brenda, Isabel and I went for a 40 minute walk around the neighborhood. We took the stroller and were booking it! After showering, Brenda and I headed out to Kohl's for some serious shopping. Three hours and less then $90 later, I walked out with 2 T-shirts, 3 nicer casual tops, 1 pair of jeans, 1 necklace, a pair of earrings and two pairs of shoes. I did pretty darned good!

We picked up Chinese on the way home for an early dinner and then headed to Uptown Altamonte for ice cream at Coldstone, and a walk around Uptown Altamonte and Crane's Roost park at night. It was beautiful.

They left this morning (Sunday). It was a fun family weekend.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pancakes and Boxing

Tuesday morning, the kids and I (David worked Monday night and was home after 2 a.m.) drove over to DeLeon Springs State Park to meet up with fellow letterboxers from Georgia, drgdlg, also known as Desi and Darren, with their little girl Raileigh.

The park has this FUN restaurant, The Old Spanish Sugar Mill, where you get to make your own pancakes on the table/griddle. We met there, had a fun breakfast and then decided to find three boxes out in the park.

BIG mistake, as the entire mosquito population was attacking us! We tried to find two of the three box clues I printed, but were 0 for 2, and gave up on # 3 because of the bugs.

Not many pictures were taken, as I thought I had lost my camera. After spending a day & a half searching everywhere, and I mean everywhere (In the fridge, the dryer and two pantries. I have a 5 year old, ya know.), I found the camera inside one of those folding lawn chairs that comes with its own carrying case. The chair had been folded up and put away, with the camera still hanging off the arm rest. But the camera was found after this trip to the park. The only pictures I have are the following, taken with Jake's cell phone (so he's not in either shot).

Roy G. Biv

I think it says a lot about me (*coughocdcough*) that I just realized.....I Roy G. Biv'd my casual shirt rack in my closet.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Last Lecture

Last Lecture Pictures, Images and Photos

"The Last Lecture" was written by Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch. It's a memoir about his life and achieving your childhood dreams. At Carnegie Mellon, professors were asked to give "last lectures." If you were dying, what would be the last lecture you would want to give.

This "Last lecture" series was very apropos for Prof. Pausch, who had pancreatic cancer and lost his battle on July 25th, 2008. This book is a memoir, and a final love letter to his children.

I spent an hour one Saturday afternoon watching this video. My son popped in and out to listen every so often. Yes, it's long. But if you want to know what the book is about, this is pretty much it. Live your life to the fullest. Achieve your childhood dreams. Let the people you love KNOW you love them.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sleepy Fairy Princess

Here are some old pictures of Isabel's room. These are over 1 & 1/2 years old, when we had *just* converted her crib into this toddler bed and she was still in diapers (changing table there).

She's been in the toddler bed for over a year. We took off the toddler side rail and she's been fine with it. A couple of weekend ago, we happened to walk into a mattress store that was having its grand opening and walked out with a new mattress/box spring set, to be delivered the following day.

Here are the kids on the newly put-together bed. This is the same furniture that was her crib and then her toddler bed.

That following weekend, Isabel and I went out on our own to buy her some bedding. I was not really interested in any character bedding, like Dora, Tinkerbell or Disney anything. I didn't want something that in 2 years, she'd grow out of. We went to a plaza that has a Kohl's, a Ross and a Bed, Bath & Beyond (my budget). After going to all 3 stores, we decided on a set at Kohl's.

Fairies, who are also Princesses.

Here's the rest of her room, just because.

Dora painting by my big sister, Brenda.

She LOVES her new room. So do I!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


by Johann Friedrich Franz Burgmüller (December 4, 1806 - February 13, 1874).

I finally got my son to play something for me on video. He is forever playing but won't let me film him. He has taken piano keyboarding in 7th, 8th and 9th. No private lessons, yet. He has an uncanny talent for music and it boggles my mind that he can look at a composition and start playing it. Precariously, of course, but he can still do it.