Monday, January 31, 2005


Earthquakes, yen, sake, typhoons, etc.

While this list might not be common things in America, they are no stranger to my friend MM.

MM is an international graduate student at UTA from Japan. MM and I met last year in our direct practice class. It was my first semester of graduate school, but graduate school was nothing new to MM. She already had a master in counseling from Dallas Baptist University and was basically a licensed professional counselor [LPC] (I say basically because she had all her hours for requirement, but had chosen to avoid the licensing exam, so she was currently still practicing under a supervisor). As to why MM is seeking yet another masters degree, now in social work, I’m not exactly sure…HA! But I respect her for her education endeavors!

So this semester MM and I have yet another course together—Human Behavior and Diverse Populations, which meets on Monday evenings from 6-9 PM. Following first class meeting, MM and I went out to a Chinese food restaurant near school that she wanted me to try. We had a blast just chilling and eating for about an hour and half. During our talking I told her she should hangout with Holly and that Friday, so that’s what we did!

On Friday Holly and MM came to my house and we went and rented “The Forgotten” from blockbuster. After the movie we began playing “the globe game” (sorry, if you don’t know what I’m referring too, you need to come over to my house and try to beat me…Opps…I mean play it with me! HA!). This was fun because Holly and I were curious if MM knew her world geography. I don’t know why, but I suppose we thought with her being an International student she would have some amazing gift of knowledge about the world. Whelp, it turned out she was like most people who I’ve played the game with, no amazing gift of knowledge that is. HA! We all had a blast, but I did find it really cool how when countries like in Central or South America came up, she would be like, “What?!?!” and Holly and I would have to help her with those ones, but then when it was us, and some of the smaller Asian countries would come up, she’d have to help us. I mean it makes sense since we are from the America’s side of the globe and she is from the Asian side, but it was just so different to see people who don’t know the Central American countries, I suppose.

So following the globe game my cultural enrichment session began!

I LOVED just talking with MM! I love learning and Japan is for sure somewhere I don’t know anything so the fun began. I was asking question after question, and MM didn’t seem to mind! Some of the things I’ve learned include: --the Japanese and the Chinese share the same symbol system. You know, those symbols that mean words, yeah those ones that Americans think are so cool to get tattooed on them or wear on shirts (and yes, the Japanese and Chinese too probably, as MM told us, think it is funny to see the Americans get those tattooed on them…HA!). Originally, the symbol system came from the Chinese and the Japanese took it. Tee hee hee! But as for the alphabet, the Chinese and Japanese have their own letter systems.

--the computers keyboards in Japan have the Japanese letters on them and you hit the letters that make a word and then the computer automatically translates it to the symbol for the word. That’s SOOO cool to me! HA! MM is going to bring her laptop to school some day for me to see it too!

--All the best brands that I love come from Japan….AKA Toyota, Honda, Sony…

--Earthquakes and typhoons are like tornados here in America. The people are just used to them happening.

--When the eye of a typhoon is directly over you, it is all clear and peaceful outside, sunny and calm, but this only last for approximately 5 minutes (so run back for cover QUICK!)

--The Japanese are not strict with alcohol consumption. MM started drinking when she was seven. And while she claims that the Japanese don’t really get drunk, I believe she meant they just have a higher tolerance (which makes sense if the folks have been drinking since age 7 or so…HA!).

So of course I wasn’t just like “MM, tell me all these random things about your country,” instead we just were talking and telling stories and stuff and these all came up, but let me share with you some of my FAVORITE stories! MM had Holly and me in tears at one point we were laughing so hard. HA!

First, I asked if she had ever been in an earthquake and she was like oh yeah. She proceeded to tell Holly and I about the time it woke her up at 5 AM because it knocked her bookcase over (which luckily was stopped by her bed, but that of course didn’t stop the books from falling out on top of her!) So even after having an earthquake, that morning her mom made her go to school, even though there was NO ONE out on the streets she said. Her mom is real dedicated when it comes to school, she was apparently a teacher and principal. So MM said without the city bus system running because of the earthquake, she walked the 40 minute walk to school only to find no one there (imagine that…HA!), so then she had to walk another hour to get to her mom’s work.

Story number two…

Yes, her mom was totally dedicated to MM going to school. She said that whenever she would wake up feeling sick or with a fever her mom would give her sake, which is a really strong wine and then send her on her way. HA! She said she wouldn’t remember the first half of the day, but by the second half she was feeling all better of course! HA!

Third story…

Okay, if you can’t tell that MM’s mom was a stickler about school, this one should convince you. HA! Well, if it ain’t an earthquake in Japan, it is another natural disaster. In this case, a typhoon (which is a Hurricane in the Pacific Ocean for those not aware). So yes, as you might have guess by now, MM had to walk to school in a typhoon once. HA! And once again, once she got there, there was no one there but the security guard who ended up giving her a ride back home. HA! This is the story that had Holly and I cracking up! Not AT her, as she did ask when she saw us laughing so hard that we were crying, “Are y’all laughing at me?” “NO! We are just picturing little you walking in a freakin’ typhoon! Being blown everywhere! HA!” Don’t worry, she was laughing too, as I’m pretty sure she cried as well!

So, if those aren't some of the coolest stories, I don’t know what is! HA! And yes, let me clarify, as I had MM do. I kept referring to her walking to school because apparently not until you were in high school could you take a bus, and that was a city bus at that, no school buses.

Japan—a place I’d love to visit now!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

AIM Conversation 1-27-05 I'm in the UTA library right now and I am chatting with Holly online and I just HAD to share this fun part of our conversation with y'all! Enjoy...

Me: oh gosh...
Me: a group of like 4 white young lookin' chicks just came to the pod of computers over from me...
Me: and they are annoyingly loud
Me: probably freshman
Me: lol
Holly: jerks
Me: i should walk over....
Me: look at one of them in the eyes...
Me: and throw up on her
Me: that should shut her up ;-)
Holly: That would definately shut me up
Me: lol......
Me: i'm trying not to "laugh out loud"...
Me: so my eyes are watering
Holly: LOL
Me: how embaressing
Holly: Go over to them, moon them, and fart
Me: just rip a big long loud one right ;-)
Holly: lol...i got a good mental image of the barf on her
Holly: lol
Me: lol

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A "Godmother"

Have you been hit with the “grown-up stick” yet?

I suppose I’ve probably been swatted on the wrist a few times over the past few years, but today I think it really hit me hard, right in the buttock!

No, it isn’t that the IRS caught me for stealing money (though I did get my W-2 forms today…WOO HOO), nor have I been kicked out of my uncle and aunt’s house and am having to find a new home immediately. Actually, it is basically that in its extreme opposite form.

Today my aunt called me to her office at work because she needed to talk to me about something serious she said. So here I am thinking…OH CRAP…did she find out I am going to have to do my field placement for school this summer so I can’t be a nanny? Or…did I do something at the house I wasn’t suppose to? So of course, my trek to her office included many things running through my head.

So I get in there and she closed the door and I was like, “Am I in trouble,” and she was like “Oh god no!” HA! Go me…you know I’m not a trouble kinda gal…HA! ;)

So she tells me to take a seat…so I do…and she is like, “Okay…God forbid I was to kick the bucket…”

[Isn’t this sounding interesting already….HA!]

“…well let me back up here. Your uncle and I are fixing up our wills and if I were to die, since Ashley [that’s her almost 18 year old daughter] isn’t 21 yet, she can’t take custody of the boys, so I was wondering if you would accept legal guardian ship at least till Ashley turns 21, God forbid if I were to die in the next few years. Basically you would be the boys’ godmother. Ashley is already of age (well as soon as she turns 18 in a couple weeks).”

So, I thought about it…you know, for like 30 seconds…HA! And said sure. HA!

Now I know at this point y’all are thinking…are you kidding me?!?! But let me explain a little more.

Apparently, from what Linda tells me, it would mean that assuming that her ex-husband isn’t knocked off as well…the boys would most likely go live with him and my responsibility would be to be over their money that went to the boys from her life insurance. They would have to go through me to get that money, as well as Ashley too apparently, at least till she is 21 I think she said.

And let’s face it. The boys are 11 and 13. As Linda said, it isn’t like they are in diapers. Plus, it is like we are only talking about 3 years here, because as soon as Ashley hits 21 I think it all goes over to her being the boys legal guardian if my aunt was to die.

So, let evaluate this a little deeper. Back to the “grown-up stick.”

You can’t say this isn’t a boost to the confidence level (yes, I know, at this point Cheryl is sighing). This is obviously my opinion, but I find it hard for you to argue, but doesn’t that say a lot about a person if you are willing to name them as the person you want to be in charge of your kids if you were to “kick it” as she said? I mean gosh, I still sometimes think about myself as a kid…HA! I’m 23 years old?!?! Are you kiddin’ me!?!? HA!

Yes, I might joke about things like this and say, “Right, Kimberly Smith as a mom?!?! HA!” But I was thinking about it today after I told her yes, and I honestly think I would do just fine raising those boys if I had too. You should see me with them right now as it is. HA!

Brandon practically LIVES in my room and Preston doesn’t miss a night of coming down to my room after he takes his nightly shower, wearing just his little boxer briefs, with water drops still all over his neck and back (I give him a hard time about never drying off completely…HA!) to give me a hug goodnight.

They are fun, good-looking, young boys. What can I say? They love me! HA! ;)

At one point I even go, “Well I thought _______ (one of my aunt’s best friends) was their godmother?” And she goes, “well she was Ashley’s, but now she is of age. But I really don’t want her raising my boys if I was to die.” Now that right there seems to say she thinks a lot of me. Honestly.

So, I don’t know what the official term of what I just accepted is called. My aunt claims it as I am their “godmother,” but I looked that up on and that is something dealing with sponsoring a person after baptism or something like that…HA!

So anyways…I suppose what I did today is accepted a big responsibility, but if you know me, you know how laid-back I am. I’m just like, no worries, it’s all cool! It really hasn’t phased me much.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Monday Classes Day #1

Today was what will be one of my “long Mondays” that will occur every other Monday this semester. It isn’t that ALL my Monday’s won’t be long, but these “every other” ones will be even LONGER. Let me explain…

Today started off at 6 AM (well actually 6:11 AM when I finally rolled outta bed). I had to get up, get myself dressed, then go wake my little cousins up (they are two little girls that are 8 and 5). I get them dressed, feed them breakfast (which is normally a waffle with peanut butter and syrup and a glass of milk). Then we grab their bags from the weekend and get them each a pillow and a cover for the trip in the car and then go load up. Then they sleep for the next hour and fifteen minutes while I have to keep myself awake driving them back to where their mom lives to get them to school by 8 AM.

This morning I enjoyed my Switchfoot cd the whole trip (yes, over and over again since it is a 3 hour trip for both ways). I LOVE this cd! But this morning I had a little extra fun and called my buddy Becca to leave her a LOVELY message for her to retrieve either at lunch or after school since she is a big-time student teacher this semester! I was actually hoping to catch her on her trip TO school to give her a morning greeting, but she didn’t have her phone on at 7:15 AM. Oh well… I’m so proud of all my student teaching friends! I have many buddies doing that this semester and teachers are treasured individuals in my view (so anyone who wants lovely morning greetings or just random fun voice mails left on their phones while they are at school student teaching just let me know…I love to leave them!). That is a tougher job than people think. I got a small taste of it with subbing. Wow!

So…I got back home around 9:15 AM and then changed clothes and headed to work for a few hours. After work and eating lunch up there with my buddy Dawn at work, I headed back home for a change of clothes again and to pack the book bag and then off to school for my first day of my Monday classes.

So my 2 PM class is Research I. It is apparently suppose to be one of the toughest courses in our Masters program, but I’m not real worried. I’ve always had confidence in my research abilities and working on SPSS and interpreting stats and stuff. I’m all about numbers! But then there is the professor. Bless his heart, this fellas accent is ROUGH to say the least! HA! He is Korean but claims he has been in the states for ten years, but it is still rough and he knows it. He commented several times on how he knows he has “poor pronunciation”. HA! MANY times through his lectures he says “Do you know what I’m talking about?” And I’m sitting there thinking, “Uhh…if I didn’t and I said I didn’t I’m sure I wouldn’t understand you when you tried to explain it another way,” so I just sit there. HA! But then again, I just sit there in all my classes. HA! I gave it some thought today (yes, during my class) and I was like, “you know, I don’t really pay that close of attention in my classes. This can’t be good. But then again my grades are sufficient enough, so who cares…HA!” Let me give you a short taste of Dr. Moon’s accent. This one I LOVE….he says “woman” like “Oh-man.” Bless his heart, he is a sweet little man, but hard to understand, but he tries SOOO hard. Oh well…

Okay…so after that class Holly and I went and met Suzie MacKenzie for dinner at Jack ‘N the Box. That was fun! I love seeing old ACU folks! Especially after they have graduated and it’s like, “yeah, I know what it’s like being ACU alumni.” We can share in differences about not being at ACU anymore and stories like that and all. Suzie is a fun and really sweet chick! Holly and I had a blast just shooting the breeze with her. And yes, Suzie reads these, but I’m honestly not just saying that, Suzie! I told Holly when we were standing in Jack ‘N the Box and I saw you walking up, “Awww…it’s like old S.A. times!!” Tee hee hee! What can I say? I’ve always had a thing for Siggie gals (even if they aren’t real active Siggies. Right, Suzie?!!? HA!).

So then it was on to my 6 PM class. This lady is Chinese and her name is Dr. Yu. Okay, so this lady is this short older woman that I look at her and just expect to see her with an apron on pulling homemade cookies out of the oven with some big ol’ over mitts on. HA! No joke! She is just one interestin’ lady. I haven’t completely figured her out yet. HA! In the class we have to do an individual oral presentation that is 10-15 minutes in front of the class (not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it won’t kill me). Anyways…in the class there is the girl that was sitting diagonally behind me and she apparently grew up in Abilene and went to Hardin Simmons. So that was cool to me, but I’m still trying to see what I think of this chick. HA! Okay, I know this is going to sound mean, but face it, people do this, as I don’t doubt you do too, but you know how some chicks just come off first impression as looking “snotty,” well this girl came off this way, so I’m still gonna give her some time to see if she will continue to talk to me, or if she was just humoring me because I was talking to her friend that was sitting behind me who also looks like the “snotty” type but actually seems pretty nice. HA!

But, besides the “snotty” looking folks…HA…I know I sound SOO mean, but I just get mad when there are girls that think they are too cool to talk to people like me who comes off looking like a dork, but is half-way social-able once you get to know me! HA! So anyways, my friend that I made from first semester, Makiyo Murata is in there! She is a Japanese international student. I think she likes me even more now that she knows I drive a Toyota! HA! Just kidding, but she did say she loves that I drive one and support her country…HA! So when we got out of class early tonight at about 7:40 PM she was like, “hey, do you want to go to that Chinese food place that I wanted to take you too last semester but we didn’t get to go?” And I was like…sure! So we went to this place called “Bethanys” (and then it had some Chinese letterings after that which probably meant Bethanys in Chinese, but my superb Chinese skills failed me tonight! HA!) So we went inside and I was like, heck…I’ll eat again! I LOVE trying new things! So I got their Shrimp fried rice (not so different of course, I know) and then I sampled this one drink the dude had me try (which was good, but I don’t know what it was called), and then Makiyo ordered me a drink called “Taro” to try. The Taro you can get with Boba in the bottom of it or not. She gets the Boba in the bottom, but didn’t get it in mine because she said most her American friends don’t like it. But I did sorta try one of the Boba’s in the bottom of the drink I sampled. It was different for sure. They look like little blueberrys, but they are SUPER squishy and chewy. I can’t even describe what they were like. The Taro drink was way cool! It was a lavender/purple color and it was frozen. I can’t even really describe what it tasted like either. I suppose in a sense it tasted like iced sugar cookies…HA HA! Anyways, I had a BLAST with Makiyo! She showed me how to hold and use chopsticks and that was cool! We just chatted for about an hour and a half and had some good laughs! She makes me laugh (as I do her too apparently!) I love her story about how when she goes to church she pretends she can’t speak English so she doesn’t have to talk to people! HA HA HA HA!! I love it! HILAROUS!

Then on my 25 minute trip home I got to talk to my buddy Laura Singleton on the phone! I haven’t talked to her in a while and she brightens my day! Yet again, another of my student teaching buddies! It was great to get to talk to her again!

Anyways, that has been my day! LONG, but a fun day! I love hanging out with old friends (Suzie) and working on my new friendships (Makiyo), having “good ol’ times with good ol’ buds” (Holly), and getting to talk to buddies that I haven’t gotten to talk with in a while (Laura).

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Zig Ziglar "Get Motivated" Seminar

Here is a really cool sounding seminar that Holly and myself are really serious about going too. It is a seminar with eight big-name speakers and the key-note speaker being Zig Ziglar. It is on March 8, which is a Tuesday, and it is from 8 AM till 4:30 PM. It is here in Dallas at the American Airline Center. We are going to sign-up through my office, because they have an office deal that you can send your office for a total price of $49 (not per person), instead of paying the $225 per person at the door price.

I read Zig Ziglar’s autobiography about two years ago and he is a good man, and I’m way pumped about some of the other speakers that will be with him: Rudy Giuliani, Jerry Lewis, Joe Montana, and others. Read the email below that Holly got. I got the flyer from our office about it at my house. If you wanna go with Holly and I let me know!


Get Motivated Seminars want to give YOU the best seats in thehouse on Tuesday, March 8, 2005, at The GET MOTIVATED Seminarwith Rudolph Giuliani and Zig Ziglar at the American AirlinesCenter! At age 78, Zig is not retired, but "refired!" Join Zigand the Dream Team of Expert Trainers for a day that you willnever forget. Inspiration, motivation, celebration and businesstraining combine to make this a powerful day that will changeyour life! Zig will be making only one stop in Dallas on his50-city USA Tour. Don't miss it!

We have lined up the hottest speakers and trainers in the worldfor a one-day, power packed, motivational business trainingextravaganza! What do YOU want? To make more money... Sharpenyour business skills... Sell more... Achieve your goals... Learncutting-edge marketing, communication, time management, and moneymanagement strategies? GREAT NEWS! You'll get all of that andmuch, much more at the GET MOTIVATED Seminar!

This show is so HOT it SIZZLES!

#1 Motivator Zig Ziglar will be joined by this dynamic team of experts:

- Mayor Rudy Giuliani will show you how to lead in difficult times!

- Success Strategist(R), Peter Lowe will show you how to accelerate your business and personal success!

- #1 Sales Trainer, Tom Hopkins, will demonstrate how to strengthen your sales and negotiation skills!

- Superbowl Superstar, Joe Montana will show you how to lead your team to victory!

- King of Comedy, Jerry Lewis, will teach you how humor at work is the secret success factor!

- Rick Belluzzo, legendary President and Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft, will give you his top business strategies!

- General Tommy Franks will enhance your leadership and decision-making skills!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Some Websites Worth Visiting

Here is blog you’ll want to refer to when you’re bored outta your mind. ;)

Here I’ve listed some of my favorite internet sites. Believe it or not, while I practically LIVE at my computer, I don’t surf the internet much, actually. If I’m on my computer I’d say 95% of the time I’m either instant messaging, checking email, blogging, or reading friends blogs (I have a lot of those to keep up with…HA!). I’m not one to just randomly go search around on the internet.

I got all the websites you’ll see below out of my “favorites” folder. Some of them I haven’t been to in MONTHS if not YEARS, but I went through those sites to see what I wanted to share with y’all! My favorites are the online tests. I LOVE learning about myself and I find the best way to do it is through tests/scales such as personality tests and IQ tests and stuff like that.

(These are probably my four favorite of the self-assessment tests) (obviously this is an IQ test. It takes 13 minutes to take. I’m not sure exactly how accurate this is for an IQ test, but I was satisfied with my results! HA!) (this is one of those temperament tests. You get those 4-letter results like ESFJ or something like that) (this is the Big Five Personality assessment. This one is very accurate if you ask me. The Big Five are five key characteristics that describe a persons personality. This one was recommended by one of my college professors.) (this is my absolute FAVORITE of ALL the tests. The only thing is it takes like 45 minutes to take if I remember correctly, but it is WELL worth the take. VERY accurate results. It will tell you the top 5 strength areas of your personality. This one was recommended by one of my college professors. When you go to the site, it is called the “Signature Strengths Survey”)

[Be sure to let me know, via comment/AIM/email what you get if take some of these tests. I’ll share my results with you as well, ESPECIALLY if you take the Authentic Happiness Assessment. I just LOVE that one!]

(Some other self-assessment tests)


Others: (this is a fun site if you are an Abilene person. You can look up people’s houses in Taylor county and it will tell you how much they are worth. HA! Holly and myself liked looking up our professors houses and seeing which professors seem to be loaded! HA! It seems like the Bible professors make the most…imagine that at ACU! HA!) (These are WAY fun for prank phone calling!) (this is a website I heard about from my cousin who heard about it on the news. You have to be a Yahoo email account holder I believe, but other than that it is free. You sign-up to join your community’s list and then you can post things to give away for free or get things for free from people in your area. Just stuff people are trying to get rid of. Everything from little things to big things like furniture. It’s pretty cool. All you have to do is email the person who posted it and tell them you want it and be willing to go pick it up.) (this if the site to find sex offenders in your area if you live in Texas. You just type in your zip code and it brings up the names of the sex offenders there. You can see pictures of them, get their addresses and even find out what their crime was. It’s sad how young some of the offenders are on there. FYI…if you didn’t know, sex Offenders have to register with the state and are posted for public listing. So check up on your neighborhood!) (I just learned about this site this week from the site being written on the back of a dollar bill I had. You can go here and enter the serial number off your money and it traces where it’s been if that serial number has been listed on the site before.) (these are some fun and funny away message for big AIMers like myself) (here is for all you beer drinkers out there. HA! You can take this test to see if you know your beers by their bottles…HA!) (you can go on here and rate your high school teachers. Pretty cool!) (you can go on here and rate your college professors. Pretty cool!)

Why Didn’t I Do One of These Sooner!??!

Road Trip Houston!

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t what I think of when I think of a “true” road trip—going somewhere without any purpose other than just to go, because we went in order to attend a fellow GATA sister’s wedding, but other than that part, this was straight up a classic road trip!

We had the car packed—with both luggage and people—and we hit the open roads last Sat. morning!

I suppose it all began Friday evening. As far as I knew, Janaye and Stacia were going to arrive at my house around 7:30-8 PM and then Anna would come over later and we would all crash at my house and then leave the next morning for H-Town. Little did I know we would have another road-tripper!

So it was the Wed. before our planned trip that I get word from one of my best buddies that she isn’t going to be able to come after all. Granted, originally I had just asked Becca to come along for the fun of it, because I knew she didn’t have any plans on attending the wedding, but I wanted to see her and knew she knew the Houston, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask if she’d wanna come. So for most of the week I had gotten really excited thinking it was going to be Becca, Janaye, Stacia and I going to Houston. So it’s needless to say that I was a little disappointed Wed. night when she told me she wasn’t going to be able to come because it had been a really long week that week, with it being her first week of student teaching and school, and that she would need to rest that weekend and stuff like that (honestly I don’t even remember what all her other reasons were because I was so focused on the fact that she wasn’t coming that I didn’t care what the reasons were…HA!) So we won’t get into the whole thing about me getting sassy with her and having to call later that night once she had gone to bed and leaving a voicemail apology to her for being a jerk! HA! What can I say? Becca is a great friend and puts up with me being a jerk!

So I end up calling her on Friday around 6 PM because I’m bored driving around town running some errands. We chat for a little bit on the phone, but I could tell she was being really weird on the phone, not her normal talkative self, so I decided she didn’t really want to talk at that time, so I ended up letting her go.

Around 8:50 PM on Friday night I get a knock on my door and Janaye and Stacia arrive. They come in. Go to the bathroom. I show them my room. And then Stacia is like, “Can we bring in our things.” And I’m of course like “sure.” Well…I go out to help them bring in their stuff only to be asked to get the stuff out of the trunk, to which I open it and find Becca in the trunk! It was then that I slammed the trunk lid closed again! HA! What a great surprise (and not to mention a good explanation for why she was acting weird on the phone earlier—she was in the car with them when I was on the phone with her).

So that night was spent doing everything from Dance Dance Revolution, playing on the internet, them making fun of my swimsuit pictures, singing and dancing to Michael Jackson, and other fun random things. Luckily Becca and I hit the hay around 1ish AM, but the others…let’s try around 3-4 AM. HA! I would think it would go without saying that our plans to leave by 9 AM didn’t occur, but getting out of Irving by 10 AM wasn’t too bad!

The trip there was a blast! I drove my car which we successfully got all five people’s stuff in the trunk including a queen sized air mattress for a third bed in our hotel room. HA! Becca rode shot-gun and Anna, Naye, and Stacia entertained from the back seat! And when I say entertained I mean we got our fair share of laughs in! I think my favorite parts were the video taping of the cars we would pass! HA! It’s soo funny to see the random reactions you get from strangers when they think you’re video-taping them (we actually did hit record on some of the folks!).

Our stops along the way included a lunch break at Jack ‘N the Box, a stop in Willis, TX, to see Naye’s best friend, Ryan, and then we stopped in Conroe at the cemetery where Becca’s dad is buried, then the last stop was the Holiday Inn in Houston—HOME (for a night at least)!

Once we got all unloaded it wasn’t long before time to get ready for the wedding which was at 5 PM and about 15-20 minutes from our hotel. It was when we were getting ready that we made the interesting discovery that Stacia and Anna had packed similar outfits to wear to the wedding and then Janaye and I had packed almost IDENTICAL outfits. HA! Fun times though!

The wedding was GREAT! I loved how it was rather simple, but so cute! I’ve never really been one much for weddings, but this one had me smiling the whole time! You couldn’t help but be happy because Gina and Leland looked so happy! The whole time they had those huge grins that are practically laughs but not quite, smiles grinning toward one another. It was so cute! They seemed so in love!

After the wedding the reception was back at our hotel, so that was cool! The reception was pretty and fun. Good food and my favorite—DANCING! HA! Don’t worry, we busted our moves to several songs during the night, including our request for Michael Jackson! HA!

That night around 10ish, Becca took us out on the town! She drove us by AstroWorld, Reliant Stadium, the medical center area, Minute Maid Park, and Stacia and I’s first stop at a Taco Cabana…HA! Anna didn’t go for the night drive, so once we got “home” she had already crashed on the floor on the air mattress. Becca and I were beat as well, so we called it a night and hit one of the beds leaving Stacia and Naye the other bed, but they viewed the night as “still young”…HA! Time for prank calls (which included to many of our cell phones that were in the room with us) and then going to the lobby and hanging out with Naye’s friend Ryan till like 2 AM.

The next morning Church didn’t work out as originally planned, so we’ll have to work on that for next time, but it was time to evacuated the premises (AKA check-out time approached rather quickly). Once we were “on the road again” it was time to find food…we were STARVING! Picking food for 5 hungry girls isn’t always easy, but it came down to KFC and John Coney Island (Naye and myself needed out chicken...HA!). After lunch we hit Becca’s house (since I made her since she hadn’t told her mom she was coming to Houston…HA!) Then it was time to get back to Dallas.

We did stop in Huntsville at the HUGE statue of Sam Houston (since I’m related and all…I had to go give my condolences…HA!). It was there that was sang the GATA Fountain songs around a little statue of his head (since it was GATAs 85th birthday that day!). And we also did a pretend Pass the Candle for me there! Don’t worry, we got both of these on video…HA!

Now we were officially on the road back to Dallas! And what better way to pass the time than to call our fellow GATA sisters and greet them with a wonderful rendition of Happy 85th Birthday, GATA! HA! Yes sir, we sure did sing that song approximately 20 or 25 times!

So, that’s our story and we are all sticking to it!

And what is my overall opinion? A BLAST, of course! I wouldn’t trade that weekend for anything! Nothing beats memories with friends like that!

So, as the title might have suggested, I am all about these “road trips” with friends now! And actually I’m very serious about doing one that I’ve talked about doing for quite sometime now. San Antonio, baby! I’ve wanted to go to S.A. for a few years now, and I figure, why not just take off and do it some weekend! Honestly, the Houston thing was great even though we only stayed one night. It still gave us two full days basically to chill. And actually, the room in the Holiday Inn has beds for at least 4 (five if someone doesn’t mind the floor like in our case—air mattress, baby!) and it was only about $75.

So, I’m thinking the River Walk around late February or early March sounds nice! Any takers! ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Day #1 Of Back to School

An overview of my first day back to school for my second semester of graduate school work.

The Pessimistic View:
--There is never any parking for 2 PM classes unless you want to get there 35 minutes early.

--My 2 PM professor kept us the whole time on the first day of classes!

--The classroom was SOOO hot!

--The professor turned the fan down because it was too loud for him to talk over.

--I have homework already.

--I ate dinner between my classes at 5:15ish and I ate the entire Jumbo Jack combo meal from Jack ‘N the Box and still was really hungry again by 6:30 in my class.

--I get on a computer in my Technology class (my 6 PM class) that doesn’t have AIM downloaded on it, so I have to use AIM express, which sucks.

--I try to use AIM Express but there is a stupid “pop-up blocker” blocking it from coming up, so I have to spend 20 minutes trying to figure out where the “pop-up blocker” on this computer is so I can turn it off. Granted I’m having to do all this while trying to not look at the screen since we weren’t using the computers today in class and I wanted to make it appear as if I was paying attention to my professor.

--The internet is booty-slow on the computers in our lab.

--Once again, homework after the first class.

The Optimistic View:
--I ended up getting to school really early since it was my first day, so I didn’t have much trouble finding a parking spot at all.

--I got to my first class and was in the right room.

--I got into class and knew people!

--A friend from last semester came into class and sat by me and was like, “I’m supposed to tell you hi from a girl at my dentist office who went to ACU and said she knows you. Her name is Sarah and she just got married, but I can’t remember her last name.” That’s a cool feeling, even though I have no idea who it could be, at least people know me. HA!

--I was lucky I had ended up wearing a t-shirt with a jacket incase it got cold, instead of going with a long-sleeved shirt or a sweatshirt as I had originally planned to wear, since it was warm in the classroom.

--I got a call from my buddy Janaye, or should I say my “superior” (as she reprogrammed her name into my address book on my cell phone as “your superior” so it shows up like that when she calls!), when I was in class and she left me a fun voicemail.

--Our final in my 2 PM class is just the big final paper in the class. Other than that, no final examination.

--The only other grades in the class are just two simple 2-page papers and a mid-term examination.

--I’ve had this professor before so I know what to expect.

--I got to go get Jack ‘N the Box and sit out in the lovely weather at a picnic table with Holly as we ate dinner together and our buddy from first semester, LaQuita, showed up and sat with us.

--My 6 PM class is Technology and we all know I feel right at home behind a computer screen!

--I was able to successfully surf the net, bring up AIM Express, check some blogs, etc all during class without the professor noting it. I love sitting in the back!

--I have several friends in this class as well!

--My 6 PM class is a "pass/fail" class!

--I got a phone call and voicemail from my buddy Dawn from at work during this class because she wanted to thank me for coming up to work last night and chillin’ with her since she was having a really rough night.

--We got out of Tech. class at 7:30 PM instead of going the whole time till 8:50.

Have you ever realized how any particular situation can be viewed in a pessimistic or an optimistic light? It just depends on which view you choose to take. So, let it be as you’d want it to be: pessimistic or optimistic. It really is up to you!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Summary of the Houston Trip!

[A more detailed overview of the WONDERFUL weekend I had going to Houston for Gina Horvath’s wedding with my GATA girls, Anna Smith, Becca Osborn, Janaye Batiste, and Stacia Barton will be coming soon. Until then, these lists will have to suffice by giving you an idea of the BLAST we had! HA!]

Not so Great Things from the Weekend!:
--The fact that we had my Camry PACKED with 5 people and all their stuff for the weekend that it was now a low-rider Camry. So we had some fun “bottoming out” experiences! HA! But don’t worry, Camry’s may take a lickin’, but they keep on tickin’!

--When I got that speeding ticket in Centerville, right Misty and Jenni!?!?! [HA! What a fun prank!]

--When Janaye starting going through my picture files on my laptop when we were in the car. It ain’t like I have porn pictures on there or anything like that nature, but I do like to do some editing to folks pictures and send them to them as jokes and stuff, and well, she got into some pictures that I had to do a little explaining about. HA!

--The fact that we found Leland’s (Gina’s husband) tuxedo tie on the ground outside of the hotel after the reception! Wait, maybe that didn’t suck for them! Tee hee hee!

--When I woke up in the middle of the night dying of heat stroke because Stacia, Naye, and Anna are all cold-blooded and Becca and I are warm-blooded, so they had the heat on all night and it about suffocated Becca and me! HA!

--All the phone alarms and whatever else it was that kept going off during SaturdayNight/SundayMorning.
Stacia’s onion breath burps in the car!

--When we were singing the GATA fountain songs for GATAs 85th birthday on my video camera at the Sam Houston statue and I screwed up on the Flaming GATAs song and leaned over instead of starting to kick my feet at that one part! Looks like I’ve been away from GATA for too long! HA!

Great and Funny Things from the Weekend!:
--When I went outside my house to help Stacia and Janaye unload their luggage and I went to get their stuff out of their trunk only to open it and find Becca in the trunk! Yeah, she had told me she wasn’t going to get to come.

--When we were all singing Michael Jackson’s song “You are Not Alone” REALLY loud in my bedroom! Janaye can even do the noises PERFECT!

--When we would pass cars real slowly on the interstate and have the video camera video taping them to see what their reactions would be! Especially the time when the old hillbilly guy waved and smiled real big to reveal that he only had like two teeth! And we can’t forget the marriage that we saved by videoing that one family! HA!

--The time when we drove by the semi-truck and got him to honk his horn, so I started honking my horn too because I was thanking him for honking and then Janaye goes, “Wow! All the people behind him are honking too!!!” Yeah, she thought me honking was the other cars…HA!

--When we called Jenni and Misty’s cell phones and left singing telegrams to songs such as “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston and “Hey Ya” by Outkast during our drive to Houston.

--When we were all getting ready for the wedding in our hotel room and end up coming to find out that Janaye and I have like the EXACT same outfit to wear and then Stacia and Anna have similar outfits as well!

--When we were busting out our dance moves on the dance floor at the wedding reception. Especially at the time when Blake made Jenni go out and dance with him and you could tell she so didn’t want to go dance!

--When we did my pretend Pass the Candle on my video camera at the Sam Houston Statue stop! HA!

--When we called about 15 or 20 GATAs to sing “Happy 85th Birthday” to GATA to them during our car ride back to Dallas!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Survey Fun...

This is a fun survery I stole off someone else's blog! Hee Hee!....

The Thirteen Survey

Thirteen Random Things I Like or Like to Do
1. listening to music
2. singing
3. dancing
4. chapstick
5. anything computer related!
6. playing sports
7. running through the house to find a place where my cell phone gets signal when my phone rings!
8. eating while I work on homework
9. taking random trips to Abilene to see my friends
10. reading blogs
11. blogging
12. to learn new things
13. writing—emails, notes, blogs, etc

Twelve Movies I Like
1. The Green Mile
2. Patch Adams
3. Life as a House
4. Backdraft
5. The Client
6. Silence of the Lambs
7. A Beautiful Mind
8. Finding Nemo
9. Steel Magnolias
10. The Shawshank Redemption
11. Remember the Titans
12. Shrek 2

Eleven Good Bands/Artists
1. Michael Jackson
2. The Dixie Chicks
3. Kelly Clarkson
4. Mariah Carey
5. Tim McGraw
6. Rascal Flatts
7. Eminem
8. Lonestar
9. Garth Brooks
10. Nelly
11. U2

Ten Things I Want to Do in Life
1. Become a successful therapist
2. Write a book
3. Make a difference in someone’s life
4. Get a Ph.D
5. Get married
6. Have kids
7. See Mount Rushmore
8. Move back to Abilene and teach at ACU
9. Become involved with sports again somehow. Either playing on some leagues somewhere or get into coaching.
10. Figure religion out! ;)

Nine Good/Great Feelings
1. Hanging out with your friends
2. Knowing you’re loved
3. Succeeding at something you worked really hard at
4. Getting a compliment
5. Not having homework
6. Getting to see people you haven’t seen in a LONG time
7. People laughing at one of your jokes
8. Pulling off a prank successfully
9. Chatting online with a friend (especially if I haven’t talked to them in a while)

Eight Favorite Foods and Drinks
1. Lemonade
2. Lasagna
3. Chinese Food
4. Brownies
5. Apple Pie
6. McDonald’s Fries
7. Skittles in the purple bag (wildberry)
8. Chicken

Seven Things I Wear Daily
1. Deodorant
2. my watch
3. a hat (except at work)
4. glasses
5. shoes (almost ALWAYS tennis shoes)
6. socks (I’m not much of a flip flop/sandal kinda girl)
7. bra (Brandon reminded me of that one! HA!)

Six Things that Annoy Me
1. When the kids take a crap in my bathroom! Especially when they don’t flush!
2. Hitting snooze on the alarm clock and then not waking back up for like an hour to find out you are late
3. When I jack up something on my computer and can’t fix it.
4. When I have to go do something but I’m in a good IM chat with someone online.
5. When my glasses get smudged up. My new glasses get smudged a LOT…I think it might be the material these lens are made out of.
6. Having to ask for help or for a favor.

Five Things I Touch Everyday
1. My computer!
2. my wallet
3. my chapstick
4. paper
5. my glasses

Four Television Shows I Watch
1. Fear Factor
2. American Idol
3. Oprah
4. sports shows

Three of My Favorite Books
1. The Outsiders
2. Zig Ziglars Autobiography (I don’t remember its exact title)
3. The book about Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing

Two Boys I’ve Kissed
1. Isaac
2. that dude in Cabo San Lucas that I can’t remember his name….HA!

One Person I Want to See Right Now
1. YOU!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

My Movie Recommendations

While this list might seem long, believe it or not, I'm not much of a movie watcher. Think about it though, if you thought about all the movies you love, I guarantee your list would be this long, and most likely longer. You'll see as you read through my movie critics what types of movies seem to interest me. I LOVE true story movies, which goes right along with the type of books I like to read (non-fiction) and about the only television I like to watch (reality shows and sports--true/non-fiction stuff!). You should also be aware of the fact that when I rate things, whether it is movies, or professors for teacher evaluations, I seldomly give "extreme" scores, such as "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree" or in this case a "10" for a rating. So if a movie gets a ten, you know I LOVE that movie! Even if I give one a "7" or a "6", I probably still really like that movie, because that is still above half ("5") and since I seldom give top numbers, those are good scores too.

So, on with the recommendations in alphabetical order...

A Beautiful Mind (PG-13; Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris) Based on a true story. This movie is very inspirational and a good “make you think” film. I love films that focus on intelligence and love. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 8

A Home of Our Own (PG; Kathy Bates, Edward Furlong) You most likely have never seen or heard of this movie. It is one of those movies that I THINK might have been a “made for television” type movie, but I think you can still get it at Blockbuster. If you grew up poor, you need to see this one. It will pull at your heart strings. It is about Kathy Bates and her “Lacey Tribe” (her family with six kids) and how they survive life as a single-parent family with basically NO money. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6

Backdraft (R; Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro) This has been one of my favorite movies since like high school. Definitely focuses on a sense of brotherhood and friendship. And for the “action packed” type of movie-goers, it has that rush in it too, as well as a sense of suspense in trying to figure out who is the bad guy. And it can be a tear-jerker. I normally don’t cry at it anymore since I’ve seen it SOOO many times, but sometimes it still gets me! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 8.5

Bruce Almighty (PG-13; Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman) Many people unfortunately automatically judge this movie without seeing it and think it will be sac-religious, but actually, it really makes a person think about God and his powers, especially in the end. While Jim Carrey can normally get on my nerves, I find this film a good romantic comedy at the same time as a thinker. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6.5

Cool Runnings (PG; John Candy) Inspired by real life events. A great funny family movie. About all I can say is those bobsledders are funny fellas! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 7.5

Dead Poet's Society (PG; Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke) This is one inspirational movie. Really makes you want to go out and live life to its fullest! Of course, I love Robin Williams too! And it even has the sad part as a lot of good movies have. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6.5

Finding Forrester (PG-13; Sean Connery) Inspirational. It combines some great topics such as basketball, education, intelligence, the black community, racism, and friendship. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6.5

Finding Nemo (G; voices—Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres) HILAROUS! Dory MAKES this movie! I laugh out loud everytime I see this movie! It has great underlying psychology related issues too! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 9

Glory (R; Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes) Inspired by real life events. The first time I watched this movie was in my 8th grade social studies class. It was obviously an edited for school use copy though. Anyways, this movie puts the issues of discrimination in your face. It focuses on friendships as well. This movie will make ya cry too. There wasn’t a dry eye in my 8th grade class. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6.5

Good Will Hunting (R; Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams) The first time I saw this movie I did not really care for it. I TOTALLY wish it didn’t use the F-word as much as it does, because it isn’t needed. But the second time I watched it I really did realize it is a good movie. I love the psychology mix with focus on intellect. And how can you not love the friendship focus as well. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6.5

Hook (PG; Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts) This movie has two of my most favorite actors and one of my most favorite actresses. It puts a great new twist on the Peter Pan storyline. What a great family film with humor as well! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 7.5

I Am Sam (PG-13; Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning) The first time I saw this movie it made me cry. It is an inspirational movie that shows the power of love and determination. It even has some humorous parts. You can’t watch this movie and not be pulling for Sean Penn’s character. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6

John Q (PG-13; Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall) Here is a movie that is based on the power of love and determination! In this movie Denzel’s character behaves in a way that you would consider him to be a TERRIBLE person in just about any situation EXCEPT this one. In his situation in this film you can’t help put cheer him on! This movie makes me cry everytime I watch it. Talk about unconditional love. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 9

Life as a House (R; Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Hayden Christensen, Mary Steenburgen) This is one of my favorite movies ever, and I just saw it for the first time like 1.5 years ago. While this movie isn’t based on a true story, it is definitely about as close to real life as it gets. This movie makes you really fall in love with its characters, it is because of this that in the end you will find yourself crying (almost guaranteed). My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 10

Mr. Holland’s Opus (PG; Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Olympia Dukakis) Just a fun family movie to watch. It leaves you at the end in a great mood and just happy! A great movie for music lovers! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 7

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (PG; Nia Vardalos, John Corbett) My 825 Alive! roommates would kill me if I didn’t include this movie. It has a love story that isn’t the best, but the main thing that makes this movie is its humor. HA! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6

Patch Adams (PG-13; Robin Williams) Based on a true story. This is one of my most favorite movies of all times! This movie inspires some of my current goals in life. A very inspirational and motivational movie. And it focuses on four of my favorite things in life, humor, love, friendship, and helping others. This movie has a sad part, but it is overshadowed by the inspirational focus of the movie. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 10

Phenomenon (PG; John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall) Such a good wholesome movie that focuses on love and intelligence! You can’t help but love Travolta, Sedgwick and Duvall’s characters in this movie. It will make ya tear up too. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 7.5

Ransom (R; Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise) Just a good action and suspense film. Makes you really think about what kind of bad people are out in the world. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6

Remember the Titans (PG; Denzel Washington, Will Patton) Based on a true story. This is one of those movies that when it is over you just want to go be a better person. Very inspirational. I love the determination by Denzel’s character. It is sad to think discrimination exists, but as Denzel’s character shows, we can fight it! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 9

Rudy (PG; Sean Astin) Based on a true story. A very inspirational movie! Makes you want to give your all in all you do in life. My basketball coach my senior year in high school compared me to Rudy. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 7

Searching for Bobby Fischer (PG; Ben Kingsley) Inspired by real life events. A fun-loving movie that is good for any ages. I love child geniuses. A feel good type movie. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 7

Shrek 2 (PG; voices—Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas) HA! I LOVE the new humor that is coming out in cartoon movies nowadays. This movie is great for ALL ages because it has the humor that appeals to the kids as well as humor that only the adults fully understand. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 9

Silence of the Lambs (R; Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn) Inspired by real life events. Definitely not a movie “for the kids,” but a good suspenseful movie for adults. It leaves you pondering how people can be so sick out there in the world. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 7

Steel Magnolias (PG; Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis) This one is pretty much a “chick flick,” but still a great movie! It’s a tear-jerker that centers around small-town friendships. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 8

Stepmom (PG-13; Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, Ed Harris) A movie that has my two favorite actresses as the lead roles…GREAT! This storyline is about as real-life as it gets…divorce and stepfamilies. But it will bring tears to your eyes as well! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 8

The Bone Collector (R; Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah) A good mystery and suspenseful movie. Some parts can be hard to watch if you can’t handle “gross” things, but still a good film. It reminds me a lot of the Silence of the Lambs movie series. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6.5

The Client (PG-13; Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker, Brad Renfro) This has been one of my favorite movies for years. I love Sarandon and Jones, so it is a great movie because of that alone. This is one of those movies that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. You’re pulling for Renfro’s character! And the end will make you tear up just because you’re so happy! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 9

The Green Mile (R; Tom Hanks, Bonnie Hunt, Michael Clarke Duncan, Gary Sinise) Definitely one of my favorite movies of all time. This movie makes you want to go out and be a peace-maker and just good person. This movie is long, but well worth every minute of it! You become part of the story, which makes it a tear-jerker as well as fills you with the joy of life and power of freedom. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 10

The Mothman Prophecies (PG-13; Richard Gere, Will Patton) (only rated PG-13, but SCARY!) Based on true events. All I can say about this film is that I don’t get scared at movies, but this one actually had me really frightened after I watched it. HA! I think it didn’t help that I watched it all alone in a dark little bedroom one night, but still, to think that it is only PG-13 and it scared me. You’re in for a good scare if you see this one. My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 6

The Shawshank Redemption (R; Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton) This movie is very inspirational and focuses on the power of friendship and believing in one another in life. It is a powerful movie that leaves you with a feeling of happiness! My rating on a scale of 10 being the best: 10

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Couldn't Pick Which Title to Use....

So I’ve spent the last could days brainstorming for this blog. And I’ve even spent some time trying to decide which title to go with for it. Well as you can see, I couldn’t pick which title to use. Here are the choices: “Guys I think are hot/cute” or “Guys I would make out with.” I personally like the second one more, but I fear folks would think I was rather strange for saying I’d make out with George W. HA! HA! I honestly don’t think I would make out with him, but he is one daw-gone cute old guy! He just has the cutest little smile and I love his little laugh too. HA!

Anyways…anyone who knows me knows I have a HUGE obsession with goatees! Oh my gosh do I love them! I honestly think they make ANY guy look better. You can’t go wrong with growing a goatee! What’s even funnier is how a lot of the times I don’t even realize a guy has a goatee at first, I will say just say, “Oh…he is HOT!” Then I’m like, oh my gosh…he has a goatee! It is like my brain automatically picks out goatee guys and associates “hot” with them without bring the fact that they have a goatee to a conscious level at first. HA!

Get this…when I look at the guys on the two lists below, I automatically associate the word “cute” with the guys on the withOUT goatee list and use the word “hot” in association with the guys on the with goatee list. I can’t help it….a goatee just makes a guy HOT! ;)

Soo…..on with the blog idea. I have been brainstorming for two lists of guys I am attracted to based on looks who both HAVE and do NOT have goatees. Even though I’m not one to fall in love with famous guys (except for guy #1 on the WITH goatee list…HA!) because I realize the unrealistic side of that, I limited these lists too only famous people so everyone would hopefully know the guys I’m referring too. And if you don’t, you can at least look them up on the internet! ;)

Guys WITH goatees:
1. Tim McGraw (I this he is SOOO hot! I would definitely make out with this man if given an opportunity! HA! And I’ve never really cared for cowboy hats, but oh my gosh! HA!)

2. Sean Connery (he is one HOT old man! Seriously…I would make out with him too! No joke! HA! I honestly think his accent helps his hotness too though, so that gives him an advantage! HA!)

3. Troy Gentry (ONLY hot with his goatee. I THINK he recently hasn’t had one, so not cute, but when he has it, like in the “Hell Yeah” video….VERY hot! Oh, and not much for him in his earlier days when he had longer hair. Not real attractive.)

4. Kurt Warner (he was the old quarterback for the St. Louis Rams football team—plays for the NY Giants now. Anyways…he is a little older…has grey in his goatee, but still VERY hot!)

5. Will Smith (I have always had an attraction to black guys…I think it is because they have more testosterone I believe which means they can grow facial hair a lot easier and they normally have pretty ripped bodies, especially arms…and I LOVE toned arms…WOO!)

Guys withOUT goatees:
1. George Bush (as I said earlier…he is just SOOO cute for an older guy!)

2. Joe Rogan (he is the host of Fear Factor. He has BUFF arms…HA! But he really is cute though, besides his arms!)

3. Matt Damon (it is his smile, ladies! He honestly has the CUTEST smile I’ve ever seen! He kinda has little boyish looks to him, but that smile will melt a woman…HA!)

4. John Travolta (once again, another great smile, but more importantly, that cute cleft chin! HA! And I know this shouldn’t apply in this blog, but I can’t help but mention he has one of the most caring and best personalities!)

5. Robert Downey Jr. (have you seen him on the front of the CD slip for his new CD he has out?!?! SOOO cute! And I have the CD….he has a SEXY singing voice…HA! GREAT for listening to to go to bed by…HA! I have it on right now!)

So…we’ll leave it at this for right now—five and five. But I’ll honestly admit, I have a TERRIBLE memory when I’m “put on the spot,” so when I’ve been making myself sit and think, “who do I think is hot that is famous” I have TOTAL brain freezes, so I’m sure there are more for both lists. So, feel free to comment with others you think are cute/hot and maybe if I agree I’ll add them!

[Oh...and I feel like I should go ahead and mention those famous guys that a lot of girls find to be hot that I don't care too much for, so you wonder if i just didn't think of them: Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Topher Grace, Leonardo DeCaprio, Keith Urban, Ben Afflack, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Dierks Bentley, Ashton Kutcher, Usher, Jude Law]

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

This Is Me -- Part 2

This volume of “This is Me” is all genuine statements about myself (unlike the first volume). There is just so much to know about me that I don’t have room for “made-up” stuff! ;)

11. I was involved with stealing something from the mall with my cousin when I was probably about…uhhh….maybe 10 or 11 years old. We didn’t have enough money to buy both the cassette singles we wanted from the store, so we paid for my “Black and White” by Michael Jackson and then stuck her Color Me Bad cassette in the bag we already had with us. HA!

12. The career paths I have wanted to be since I was little include: a McDonalds worker, a police woman, a vet, a pediatrician, a psychologist, a teacher, a therapist (LMSW-ACP)

13. I have been in the gifted program in school since the 1st grade. And when we moved to St. Louis my 3rd grade year, I was the only kid in the whole 3rd grade. Or course, in junior high and high school it was the honors program.

14. I used to think Catholics weren’t Christians! Misty straightened me out on that one on our trip to Dallas for Thanksgiving 2003. I think I was confused with the whole Protestant thingy. Catholics aren’t Protestant, right? I don’t know…all so confusing! I suppose they don’t teach us Christianity and about Protestants in the gifted programs at public schools! HA!

15. I used to not eat the ends of my French fries at lunch in high school. It was a WEIRD habit and I don’t even know why I did it. It was just always the joke at the lunch table. I would have a little corner on my tray full of fry ends…HA!

16. At my end of the season basketball banquet in high school my senior year my coach called me Rudy because he said I might have been the smallest one on the team, but I made EVERY practice and always gave 110% no matter how much bigger the other players were than me.

17. I don’t really drink soda/pop/cokes. I drink maybe one a month, usually only because a fast food joint won’t have lemonade or punch or tea or something like that…I can’t stand places like that.

18. I LOVE bananas! I could eat a million a day (maybe I’m half monkey)! But I don’t get them as often as I wished I did!

19. I used to collect pencil lead in elementary school. That’s right! Like when your pencil would break and you’d have that little-bitty piece that you would normally knock on the floor…I collected those. Kept them in a baby food jar in my desk. All my classmates knew I did it, even the teachers, so everyone would give me their broken lead…I would come in from recess and folks would have left pieces on my desk….HA!

20. I’m allergic to “Teen Spirit” deodorant. I hear a lot of folks are. HA!

Some of My Motivation

Do you ever find yourself in need of a booster for your self-esteem or maybe just needing a little motivation? I think we all have these times, even those of us who have high, healthy levels of self-esteem and confidence in ourselves.

One of the most universal forms of encouragement comes from compliments or simple words of encouragement from loved ones. Family and friends can boost a person up more than just about anything. Unfortunately, they can tear a person down as quickly too of course, but let’s focus on the positive here folks…HA!

For me, I treasure the words from my friends so highly! This past summer I put together a book I call “What Did You Say About Me?! …the #1 Motivational Book” which includes over 130 pages of quotes I have from friends during my four years of undergraduate work at ACU. This includes quotes I got from notes, cards, emails, or AIM conversations I have saved from folks. I treasure this book and look to it whenever I need a boost or a reminder of who I am. The “Encouraging the Growth of my Head” section on my AIM profile is actually quotes I take from the book!

I challenge anyone out there to do the same thing. You won’t believe how cool and helpful it can be to have a book of words about yourself that people who you love so dearly have said about you that you can look at when you need a boost. After I told Hollie Inwood about it she said she wanted to do the same thing (now whether she ever did it or not I’m not sure…HA!) For recent ACU graduates like myself, if you find yourself cleaning out old emails out of your ACU email account in order to save them before the account gets shut-off, that’s a perfect time to gather up quotes.

So some people like to scrapbook, I write books about myself by collaborating quotes! ;)

I can’t even begin to tell you how many different people have told me things that have honestly encouraged me for weeks at a time! The power of a few words is UNBELIEVABLE! An idea of just one source of encouragement I have which has sections quoted in my book is two of my letters of recommendation a professor and friend of mine wrote for me for acceptance into graduate schools. I have these letters framed now and I look to them when I need to smile or to remember who I am perceived to be from the outside looking in.

Here is one of the letters that was written for me. As I thanked my professor for the generous words he told me, “The letter of recommendation can’t get you into a school; it can only keep you out.” I totally agree with that, but I’ll argue that a letter can also keep an individual IN school because of the confidence and motivation it can give a person.

Here is one of the letters I treasure so deeply…

Re: Recommendation of Kimberly Rae Smith

This is a fine young woman who is a breath of fresh air in a university setting. She is a free spirit under control. In my opinion Kim is thoroughly capable of doing exemplary graduate work. It is also my opinion that she has singular gifts for your academic discipline and profession.

Kim has done fine work in my classes, at times excellent, but I do not believe that her GPA, whatever it is, likely reflects her academic potential. She’s had too much else going on as an undergraduate. She likes people and they’re comfortable with her. She is not at all enamored with herself but she is decidedly enamored with a fascinating world which she sees around her and it’s apparent that she likes to figure out what makes things, people and herself tick…often with an appropriate air of bemusement. Kim has a wonderful sense of wry and ironic humor. I also believe that she is what she probably does not yet perceive herself to be – an intellectual.

Recently several of our campus leaders, including the current student body president, without any prodding from me, discussed with me some pockets of apathy in the Student Association’s work, and they congratulated themselves on how much things had changed for the better since they talked Kim Smith into accepting an appointed position with the Student Senate. I just didn’t see her in that light. She’s reserved, quiet really, and I was at first a little surprised at the great popularity she enjoys among students both men and women. And respect! Very impressive!

By my opening comment I do not intend to disparage our great university. Maybe it’s just a generational, cultural thing…but a very humble-down-home-look-you-in-the-eye-straight-talking-keenly listening-non-materialistic-studious-compassionate student with an intense interest in what’s going on of real importance in the world stands out – at least in my environs. I’m a retired private practicing lawyer (after 25 years) from Louisville, Kentucky, coming hoping to teach where I did not attend and after many administrative assignments and some graduate work I finally made it to the faculty as a lowly instructor in sociology/social work (400+ students a year) and I am also associate general counsel. Kim is the kind of student I most like to teach. Of course, I happily affirm Kim’s integrity…and I give her my highest recommendation…


Charles L. Trevathan

Sunday, January 02, 2005



You know, I think people who just love to ponder thoughts and think about things, they are bound to fall victim to being filled with many of their own theories on life. I have so many theories on things it isn’t funny. Yes, I have some theories that many consider outrageous, but I still think they could have some sense of merit. Let me give you one that I too laugh at when I tell it, but the more I think about it, the more I’d love to do a study on it, seriously!

Okay…I like to refer to this one as the “Jenni Kripner takes out her frustrations on her vegetables” theory. HA! Nice, huh? ;) And yes, Jenni is fully aware of this theory. She enjoys a good laugh from it too. Let me explain it….

Okay, Jenni Kripner is one of those people I would have to describe as someone who never seems to get mad. I can’t recall seeing her upset with someone or yelling or taking out frustrations on anyone or about anything. She is just one of those laid back, cool-calm-and-collected type of gals. You can’t help but love her!

Well, something that I ALWAYS tease Jenni about is her dislike for most vegetables. She is a rather picky eater, but especially doesn’t like most (no, Jenni, I didn’t say “all,” just “most”) vegetables.

Well, as a person that studies human behaviors and loves that kind of stuff, I was determined to explain how Jenni relieves built up frustrations, because all humans become frustrated from time to time, and it must be released somehow.

This was when my idea of linking the two—frustrations and vegetables—came along. My theory is that Jenni takes out her frustrations in life on vegetables! Being a person who couldn’t hurt a fly, she has to take it out on something non-human, so the vegetables won out. She takes it out on her vegetables and refuses to eat them!

I would LOVE to do a study to see if there is any sort of link between people who are picky eaters and people who are “laidback” and don’t seem to take out anger/aggression/frustrations on people. Wouldn’t that be cool?!!? HA!

So, besides my “outrageous” theories, believe it or not, I have some theories that I think are more “believable” I suppose you might say.

Here is one I came up with while taking a shower tonight.

So, it’s obvious that I’m not involved in a relationship with a guy right now. Nor have I been for a while. HA! So besides the obvious, it is time to address the not so obvious. Why is this?

Many of you might be thinking what I’m about to address first, and yes, don’t think I’m not aware of it. HA!

American society looks for romantic relationships in the beginning on a physical attraction level first off. Admit it. Seriously. As much as we all might want to say, “No, physical features aren’t important to me,” we all seem to be societal-ly programmed to notice “good looks” in a person. For example, you can’t say you don’t notice a hot guy (or girl) when around and about. How many times do you catch yourself saying to a friend, “So and so is HOT!” or “Look over there, he’s HOT!” We all fall victim to it. And don’t think that if the situation arose that that “HOT” person suddenly came up to you and wanted to be in a romantic relationship with you right then and there that you would say “no”…..riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight! (assuming you are single at the time, of course).

So if physical attraction seems to have this dominance in our society, I must take this into consideration. So…I have don’t worry. ;)

Personally, I’ve never considered myself “attractive,” and quite honestly, I think it is pretty evident that I don’t try too hard to come off “attractive.” HA! I have no problem differing from the norms. I love my baggy jeans and big t-shirts. I am a girl who wears a baseball cap 24/7. I don’t seem to take interest in make-up, hair care products, or fashion tips. I am too stubborn to suck it up and take a pill to cure acne. I wear glasses because I don’t have the patience to stick with contacts since the one time I tried them and it took me an hour to get them in and an hour to get them out. And so on and so on…

[You know, if you have never seen me before, and you just read that, you’re probably thinking, “Gosh, she must be Quasimodo.” HA! HA!]


So I thought, you know, maybe it is just because I’m not “attractive” physically. But then I thought, you know, romantic relationships aren’t only based on physical attractiveness. And you know, their basis can’t be TOTALLY different from the basis of other relationships, such as friendships. So I thought, “Well, how is it that I have so many friendships?”

Let’s face it; I’ve been blessed with many great friendships. I’ve been blessed with more friends than a person could ask for, and I’m so thankful for each and everyone! Of course, most all these friendships are with females (which brings up a whole different theory I have for that, but I relate it to the idea that I think guys base a lot on physical appearance, not just romantic relationships, but friendships as well). Anyways…

Why is it that I think I have so many friendships, but lack romantic relationships? I think the theory that explains this is the theory that explains my earlier question “why is this?”

My theory is based on the fact of the kind of person I am. I am the type of person that it takes a while to get to know, and actually to even get to like. I think most all my closest friendships were developed over a lot of time. Now I’m sure you’re all thinking, “well duh,” but even my not so close, but still friendships none the less, these friends did not immediately “fall in love with Kim Smith.”

While this might sound arrogant (but I don’t mean it that way, I’m just trying to find words to explain myself), I think I am the kind of person that "grows on people." I have always considered one of my most likeable characteristics to be my sense of humor (feel free to correct me if you think differently). But with my sense of humor, it usually has to grow on people. But even more importantly, for this theory especially, I don’t normally bring out my sense of humor immediately when I meet people, especially when I am not totally comfortable around someone yet. This is very evident when I’m with people that are older than I or even when I’m with a lot of guys. It takes me a lot longer to become comfortable in these situations and open up enough to let my humor out.

I’ll never forget when I started being comfortable enough around my aunt and uncle that I currently live with that I started saying my jokes out-loud when they were both around instead of just saying them under my breath where just the kiddos could hear me. Nowadays we can all be in the car, or sitting around eating in the kitchen together and I’ll crack a joke and my and aunt and uncle (along with all the kiddos of course) will crack up. What can I say, it’s a gift! ;) My aunt and her kids think I’m one of the funniest people in the world. She is always like, “you are just sooo funny!” HA!

Sooo…my theory is this…

I think since guys tend to fall victim to the “attractiveness” problem that our society has, they don’t give a person like myself enough time to "shine through and win them over." HA! Yeah, I know putting it that way sounds funny, but honestly, I think it is true. If I looked like a model and was able to draw a guy in like that first, THEN let them get to know my personality, I’d be fine with the fellas, but, since this isn’t the case, it’s a little harder for folks like myself.

So, overall, does this bother me? Not really. I mean, it can become frustrating sometimes. Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Dude, you’re 23! You need to get a man.” But obviously it doesn’t bother me enough that I am changing myself to become more societal-ly “attractive.” HA! Let's just say the day you see me give up the ball cap for any reason other than professional, you’ll know I care! ;)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Beautiful Mind

Warning: Do not read this post if you haven’t seen the movie “A Beautiful Mind” and you don’t want parts of it ruined for you.

The power of the human mind—unbelievable! In a sense, it is almost impossible to fathom the power of the mind, if you think about it. It’s capabilities…wow! It’s beautiful alright!

John Nash from the movie A Beautiful Mind illustrates the power of the mind in so many ways.

Oh how easy it is for any of us to view our self as a “genius.” Many of us at one point or another have had these thoughts. Nash was no exception. And in the true sense of the meaning of genius—“Extraordinary intellectual and creative power”—there is no denying that Nash was a genius. Even after Ron Howard and the others made their attempts to stupefy Dr. Nash’s theory for the producing of the film, it still was unattainable for the likening of myself, as well as most others who saw the film I’m sure. But as the film wonderfully illustrates, even a “genius” can’t have grips completely on the power of the human mind.

In a sense, the mind is so powerful it is scary. Put yourself in Nash’s shoes…

Nash’s psychiatrist put it perfectly when he was explaining the intensity of John’s situation to Alicia, John’s wife. He told her to imagine waking up one day to find out that some of the people that mean the most to you, the ones that offer you so much support, the ones that are there for you when no one else seems to be, imagine being told that they are not real. They don’t exist. A figment of your imagination.

Think about it….

I can’t imagine it.

And did you know this is all true. This is not made up. THIS happened to John Nash. This is not just another “made-up” Hollywood story; it’s a true story. For John Nash it was the mental illness known as schizophrenia and it all centers around the power of the human mind. Paranoia haunted Dr. Nash. Many schizophrenics experience it, as it is a symptom for some other forms of mental illness as well.

We all can become paranoid in one fashion or another. Take the movie “The Truman Show” for example (gosh, Ed Harris sure has a thing for appearing in these paranoia-related movies…HA!). Have you ever wondered about that whole scenario? What if we really are the only “non-actor” in our life and the rest of everything and everyone else around us is aware of the “bigger picture” and we are just living along in our life totally unaware, not necessarily that we are part of a big television show, but that everyone else is just aware of something about life that we are totally ignorant too.

That one I can almost guarantee paranoia if you think about it long and hard enough. ;)

Here’s one more…back to “A Beautiful Mind.”

Can you ever think of a time when you were described as “weird?” Maybe even by one of your closest friends. Well, I have. HA! So, back to the movie…that was exactly how John’s close friends described him to his wife when she came and questioned them about his behaviors at work. Rather upset, she demanded of them answers as to “why” they didn’t say or do anything to anyone about the behaviors they saw John demonstrating while at work (i.e. pasting newspaper and magazine clippings ALL over his office). Their only response to her was “well, John has always been a little...weird.” So, if that is how a schizophrenic man is thought of or described by his close friends, could our “weird” behaviors that are referred to by our friends be symptoms of schizophrenia? Maybe we’re schizophrenic and have never even been aware of it till now….

It’s this power of the mind that seems so unstoppable that is so interesting. And the more I think about it, the more the story of Dr. Nash explains it so well. The only thing I can think of that seems more powerful than the human mind itself would be the power of love, as was so nicely illustrated in this movie. As the director himself put it in the “Inside ‘A Beautiful Mind’” segment at the end of the movie, he stated, it was love that saved this man, and if you’ve seen the movie, I don’t think you could agree more!

The love that Alicia Nash showed John was so powerful. It was her love that helped John be able to overcome the powers of his mind. It was her love and support that gave him something real to refer to when he was being overcome with the unreal.

And you know what else is so amusing? The fact that it takes the power of the mind to overcome itself. Let me explain. For Nash, it wasn’t until he was able to turn his mind on itself and question what was real and what wasn’t that he was finally able to see the problem.

She never gets old.

That has always been one of my favorite parts of that whole movie!

It is then, when Nash has run outside the house and stops his wife from driving off in the rain, and he says, “Marcie can’t be real. She never gets old.” [And you know what? To be completely honest, I think it would have taken a “genius” like Nash himself to figure that out; to pick up on that, the whole idea that Marcie wasn’t getting older. I’m sure the first time you saw the movie, you were just like me and didn’t pick up on the fact that as the years passed she wasn’t getting older. Wow!] It was at this point of the movie that you as the audience know that Nash has hope! He is finally able to see it! His mind has been able to overcome its own powers and see through the unreal.

Wow…two of the most powerful forces in this world if you ask me—intelligence and love. They just leave me in thought…and oh how I love it! ;)