Quick Recap

Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Pack all crap into a truck. 
Movers head out with almost everything I own. 
Slept on the floor one night. 
Spent 5 hours cleaning my apartment. 
Caught shuttle to Portland airport with a meowing, angry cat. 
Get through security with angry cat. 
Boarded plane with angry cat. 
Flight to Atlanta.  Cat did not meow once.  Really?
Change planes. 
Arrive in Knoxville. 
Check into random, not very nice hotel because they'll accept pets and an early check-in. 
Look at cars at 5 dealerships. 
Buy a car from Peter at Rick McGill's Toyota.
Pick up my good friend Ace. 
Meet Realtor - 30 minutes later than he expected us (sorry, Aaron). 
Look at 10 houses.  (The rush is because of the expiration of the 1st time home buyer's tax credit.)
Put a bid in on a house.
Happy hour with Adrian and Larsen and their lovely friends. 
Take rental car to airport.
Pick up car at dealership.
Go to sign counter offer.
Drive 5 hours to Columbus, Ohio to see family.

How's your weekend/week?  Miss you!

On the way to PDX

Sunday, 28 March 2010
I slept on the floor last night at my place so Violet wouldn't be alone (since when do I let a cat rule my life?).  This morning I gingerly got out of "bed" and surveyed the place.  Open suitcases, clothes and toiletries covered the floor.  There's no furniture or boxes mind you because those were picked up yesterday by J and J trucking.  We loaded the truck in an hour and a half so that went pretty well.

Last night my friends came out for a lovely going away party at the Beer Stein.  The pictures are classic.  I'll be sure to post those later.

Right now I'm on a shuttle from Eugene to Portland.  We're traveling in pouring rain and that's one thing I won't miss from the PNW: grey skies and rain.

Violet is beside me in her carrier and I don't think she's very happy.  She is doing okay but meowing pretty frequently.  My fingers are crossed for the plane ride.

The Madness Begins

Friday, 26 March 2010
I had a sinking feeling today that something wasn't right with my movers and called.  I didn't hear from the driver by 2pm (5pm EST) and called Movex to confirm. 

Me:  I haven't heard from my driver to confirm the time of pickup tomorrow. 
Them:  Okay, let me put you through to operations.
Cindy in Operations:  Sorry, we have a problem with your truck.  How flexible are you on the moving date?
Me:  ??  What??
Cindy:  We're trying to track down another truck but I don't know...
Me:  No, I need the truck tomorrow because I'm flying out Sunday.
Cindy:  What time?
Me:  In the evening.
Cindy:  Let me put you on hold.
Me:  (Holding)
Cindy:  Yeah, we can't get a truck there.  Sorry, but don't worry we might have one by Monday.
Me:  ...?...  Monday!?
Cindy:  Yeah, our dispatch is closed on the weekends.  There's nothing else we can do.
Me:  I need to speak to a manager, please.

Molly:  I'm so sorry Ms. D'Arcy.  We can refund you $100 a day for every day the movers are late...  Do you have a relative that could "release" the shipment sometime next week?
Me:  (Breathing to stay calm) No, I don't have any family members here.  How many trucks do you have?
Molly:  Oh THOUSANDS! 
Me:  Okay, so I'm sure this isn't the first time one has broken down.  What is the protocol to fill an order when this happens?  Do you have any other customer service options?
Molly:  Well, we can pay for laborers to load everything next week..
Me:  No, I'm sorry that won't work.  I need you to try everything you can to get a driver this weekend.  I'm moving cross country and I have to load by tomorrow.
Molly:  Okay, well let me put you on hold.
Me:  (Surprised that I'm able to stay calm...deathly calm...)
Molly:  We're still calling around to find another truck.
Me:  Thank you.   ... ... ...
Molly:  .... .... .... I'm sorry, Ms. D'Arcy.
Me: ... ... ...
Molly:  Oh, wait!  Here's the dispatcher paging me!
Me: (Holding, meditative breathing for an eternity)
Molly:  Well, we found you a driver and its my favorite.  I'll have her call you this afternoon.

She called.  We're set up for tomorrow.  WHEW!  Now back to work...my last day at KVAL (sad).

Hardest Things to Clean

Thursday, 25 March 2010
Since I'm moving out, I have a lot of cleaning to do.  When you rent, the landlord expects you to make the place look nicer than when you moved in so - what can you do?  I want to save the extra money I'd have to pay a cleaning service so I'm cleaning the place myself.  To add a little pizzaz to the mundane task, I've created a Top 5 Hardest Things to Clean List. 

Here we go:

5.  Trash cans - they smell gross and have unidentified goopy things in the very bottom.  Why am I cleaning my trash can anyway you might ask...  I have one of those super-duper stainless steel numbers that have a hydrolic opening (it was a gift).  I gag while cleaning it.  Bleh!

4.  Microwave - what IS that crusty stuff that cakes on the ceilling?  I only use it to heat my coffee and pop microwave popcorn. 

3.  Refridgerator - time consuming and annoying.  You have to clean out the drawers, the trays and the freezer.  Not fun but I did feel like Super Woman when the job was done.

2.  Violet's litter box -  I have yet to do this and I might just throw the dumb thing away (the box, not the cat) and replace it when I get to TN.  If I gag while cleaning out the trash can... imagine the drama while scraping out dried cat urine.  Double bleh!

1.  Shower - I hate cleaning the shower.  It is just awkward trying to lean over and get the far wall.  I'm not one who can jump in the shower naked and get busy with a sponge and bleach.  True, this is not hard work but I dread doing it.

Your top 5??

Sunday at Pike Place Market

Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Seattle is famous for Pike Place Market which first opened in 1907.  It's a covered market on 1st Avenue just one block from the water.  Here, you can find fresh seafood from Washington's coast, fresh cut flowers, just $5 for a large bouquet and produce that makes supermarket choices look pretty paltry.

Before browsing the stalls and buying a small piece of Native American art, I brunched at Cafe Campagne.  The food is French and I ordered the poached eggs on garlic croutons with bacon and foie gras gravy.  The food was a bit too salty for me but the atmosphere and Mimosa made it worth it.

How's Things?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Violet and I are living amongst towers of boxes.  We're moving this weekend and I'm excited.  I will truly be sad to leave this beautiful city, KVAL News and the impressive Pacific Northwest but WATE is a great station to work for and I'm lucky they're welcoming me back. 

My mom and daddio are excited to see me and meet Violet and I already have plans to have dinner with a friend on my first night in town.  House shopping is moving forward and I also have to buy a car.  Whew!  This is a "wild ride" time of life and while it's exciting - it can be tiring. 

Tonight I'll probably forego packing and kick back to read the last chapter of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.  His story telling is so fabulous, you really hate to get to the end.

Gum Wall in Seattle

Monday, 22 March 2010
I read about the Gum Wall in Seattle on-line and had to check it out while I was there this weekend. It's in the Post Alley of Pike Place Market.

Of course Wikipedia has an entry for the wall and this is what it says:  The wall is by the waiting line for the Market Theater, and the tradition began around 1993 when patrons of Unexpected Productions' Seattle Theatresports stuck gum to the wall. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up[1] after market officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction in around 1999.[2] People initially stuck coins to the wall using the gum,[2][3] and some people create small works of art out of gum.[3]

Oysters, a Stroll and Art

Saturday, 20 March 2010
I'm staying in a great part of Seattle because it is within walking distance of many of the highlights of downtown.  First, I walked to Pioneer Square to see the Saloon that was restored from the 1800s.  It got crowded around 7pm and for only $3 a pint, it was an excellent deal.  If you are lucky enough to get a seat outside, you can overlook the piers and water.

We got into town late in the afternoon (5 hours drive from Eugene) so I started my tour by foot in early evening.  By the time I walked the two miles to Pike Place Market, the stands had closed up for business.  It was actually quite peaceful walking along the brick sidewalks watching the vendors clean out their stalls.  I plan to go back tomorrow to see the fresh food and flowers.

At Pike Place Market, I walked past the original Starbucks, which opened in 1971.  It is small and unassuming and has a different look than the franchises we're used to seeing all over the world.  

I am also really enjoying the Native American art featured in many galleries in downtown Seattle.  The work is original and creative.  This type of art is prevalent in the Pacific Northwest because there are many tribes native to Seattle such as the Duwamish, Suquamish, Tulalip and Snoqualmie Nations.  The next time I speak with my grandmother I'm going to ask her about her Native American artifacts, art and rugs.  I remember her displaying some lovely pieces around her home when we were children.

Seattle Bound

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Since I'm leaving the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I decided I MUST spend some time in Seattle before heading East.  So this weekend I'm riding north with a co-worker and meeting up with a friend for dinner. 

I plan to visit Pike's Place Market, Pioneer Square where I will likely take the Underground Tour and the Space Needle.  Trinity and I will probably dine at Etta's by Tom Douglas which is Seattle seafood at it's best.

The weather is forecasted at 63F and sunny.   Bliss!  Any other must-sees?

The Trials of Buying a House

This is how I felt around 11:00am PAC today:  ARGGGGGGGG!

My fabulous real estate agent called me to say, "Um, the seller didn't really say much about the offer."  He was trying to let me down easy.  We put an offer on a nice little 3 bedroom $15k under the asking price and the seller didn't even counter.  Ouch.  He looked at all of the paperwork we prepared, faxed back and forth, spent time examining and flipped us the bird.  Big time.

What do you do?  I feel like just moving on to the next property.  There seem to be so many nice houses on the market.  Does a buyer want to work with a seller who won't even play the negotiation game?  Was my offer just too low?  We found out the purchase price in 2009 was about 45k less than he's asking for it now.  Yes, he's trying to earn a profit but come on!  How much rehab can a person do on a small house?  Greed might force players to the back of the line.  On the other hand, Kingsley and I like the house and my agent also thinks it's a good property.

Any advice for the newbies?  Go back with my best offer or move on?

The Things People Do

Wednesday, 17 March 2010
I've seen a lot of crazy things in my day.  But this is bizarre ... a guy is teaching his alpaca how to surf in Peru. Hang 10!

Push by Sapphire

Monday, 15 March 2010
I picked up Push by Sapphire at the library yesterday and read it in one evening.  It's just that compelling!  However, the book covers difficult material and contains harsh language and explicit sexual scenes.  I'm not a fan of those elements but they are necessary to show just how hard a life the main character has.  Do you like to read?  Can you stand a book that has hardly any silver linings but makes you think, shudder and vow to treat others better?  Then this is an excellent book.


The main character, Precious is sexually and physically abused by both her mother and her father.  She is poor, obese and uneducated.  She lacks confidence because of her illiteracy and she has two children which are products of rape by her father.

Her story (albeit fiction) teaches the reader about the welfare system and how it fails the nation's youths.  Her high school in Harlem is one that is run by the students.  Teachers cower in fear and pass students through with an A even though they cannot read a word.  Even though Precious is raped by her father, her teachers pass judgement and made comments about her being pregnant again.  They kick her out of school and she has no where to go but back home with an abusive mother.  Luckily one teacher gives extra effort to try to get her into an alternative school.  That sparks a tiny flame that finally gets Precious out of the house and into a safe place of her own with her tiny son.

It is also clear during the course of the book that Precious has no idea what a proper diet should consist of.  She buys potato chips because they are cheap and fill the hunger void.  She gets a bucket of chicken and eats all the pieces because she is pregnant, hungry and can afford it.  Her mother sends her to the store with food stamps which buy more pre-packaged junk food than produce and meat.

Push is a book with a serious message.  We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.  Rather than passing judgement when we see someone who is uneducated, poor, obese or talks with an accent, what if we offer kindness instead?  Why form an opinion because of someone's gender, race, religion, politics or sexual preference before you get to know them? The main character, Precious is shocked when a nurse touches her forehead and says in a quiet voice, "Things are going to be okay," during her first delivery.  No one has touched her in a compassionate way before.  She replays that kindness in her mind again and again even as her mother tries to kill her by kicking her in the head.

I'm going to strive to be more compassionate and look for ways to show kindness.  Maybe it's just me, but it seems we all rush through our days with our heads down and shoulders forward, charging ahead without noticing others.  Those of us with a family and an education got lucky.  Why not share the love?  I'll take off the rose colored glasses and say it again.  We can be kind to others.

The book is better than the movie but the movie is INCREDIBLE and much more tame than the book.

Here's an excerpt of the poem Sapphire includes at the beginning of the book:

He who feels contempt
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy.  The man, whose eye 
is ever on himself, doth look on one, 
The least of nature's works, one who might move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds
Unlawful, ever.  O, be wiser thou!
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love...

-William Wordsworth

What are you reading?

Head Coach? No Thanks.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The drama in Eugene, Oregon has been at an all-time high this week.  As a news reporter, this is probably the most play I've ever seen a college football team get on the news for criminal activity.  All teams have their problems and guys get into trouble all the time but this just seemed to hit all at once.

Oregon's starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was charged with felony burglary for stealing laptops from a frat house.  Why?  We don't know the motive.  He was in court yesterday and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge so at least now he won't have a felony on his record.

Earlier in the week, we got word that the star running back LaMichael James was charged with five crimes related to domestic violence.  Everyone was buzzing about that and yesterday he was also in court to plea down to a lesser harassment charge.  Finally the back story came out on what happened which included the story of a (seemingly) jealous ex-girlfriend who came to his place to stir up trouble.  While the incident should NEVER have gotten physical...it all seems a bit more in context now.

Rob Beard, who is the U of O's kicker, got in a fight a couple of weeks ago.  He was intoxicated, pushed a woman, someone kicked and hit him and he ended up in the hospital.   He's okay now, thankfully but he also pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment.

The list doesn't end there.  Another player was kicked off the team this month for a DUI and player Garrett Embry who was charged along with Masoli for the frat house burglary was kicked off the team for "breaking team rules."  We may never know what he did to get kicked off even before the charges came out.

I would NOT want to be Coach Chip Kelly right now.  He's taking a lot of heat for how his players are acting off the field.  But really, how does he control them?  Did he set a poor precedence earlier this year when LaGarret Blount clocked another player after a game and was still allowed to play?  Perhaps.

Obviously I've never played college ball and I've never coached a big-hitter team but how do you keep your guys legal when that's not your job in the first place?  Kelly is there to get wins for the Ducks.  That's what it comes down to.  People will say, no he's there to lead young men and bring success into their lives.  I think that's a bunch of BS.  Wins mean more money for the University because sponsors are happy to open their wallets when they see a bunch of Ws on the score board.  Universities operate like businesses and superior sports teams lead to dollars.

Does success come from the top?  Does it take a good leader to keep "followers" on the straight and narrow?    What should Kelly do to get a handle on his team now before he loses more star players for the season?  Somehow these guys need to take pride in their own lives and think past the 100 yards of green to their education and future.  Maybe Kelly needs to sit them down and have a talk about life beyond football.  These four glory years can end up as the cap to a life living in Loserville if they don't hang up the bad a$$ attitude in a football uniform.

Suffice it to say, I would never want to be a head coach and I also think it must be difficult to be a big-time player celebrated for your time running the 40.  Let's be honest, no one really cares how these guys fare intellectually and that must not be a good feeling.  Come on Ducks!  Let's see what you're made of.

Horribly Boring Cat Video #2

Friday, 12 March 2010
Violet has been acting craaaaaazy lately.  I think it's because she can sense there's a big change in the works AND I've sold some of my furniture.  So, she has lots of energy and she meows until I chase her around. 

Last night she was doing this really strange arched-up, side-step move and I caught a bit of it on camera. 

Please, if you can think of ANYTHING better to do, do not push the play button because this is not half as funny as I think it is.  You were warned.

Horribly Boring Cat Video #1

Home is Where the Heart Is

Thursday, 11 March 2010

If home is where the heart is... hopefully my heart will have a brick rancher with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to settle down in soon.  Kingsley and I are shopping for houses online with a great Realtor (Aaron Newman, Elite Realty) in Knoxville, Tennessee.  I'm also working with a smart and quick-to-respond mortgage broker Josh Heffington (American Dreams Mortgage).

The housing market is certainly catering to buyers right now and as you may know, there's an $8,000 tax credit available to first time home buyers IF you can get into a contract by April 30th.  Why waste that opportunity!?  I don't plan to.

Even when I was just a young lass, I would sit in the back seat of the car while on road trips, imagining that every house we zipped by was my house.  I loved playing house...thinking about having a set of keys with my own space to decorate, paint and arrange.

I've been imagining becoming a homeowner since my mother-in-law, Nan suggested I do so two years ago.  She told me not to worry about the future but instead envision myself in my home, putting up curtains and standing in the kitchen...then it would happen.  It feels like we are getting closer.  :)

Headed East

Wednesday, 10 March 2010
I cannot believe I've lived in Eugene for two years.  I've made such wonderful friends here and I cherish my memories from the Pacific Northwest.  Time absolutely flies so please, take your sweet time. 

My "outs" kicked in on my personal services employment contract this month so that means I'm free to look for a job that fits certain criteria.  I found one.  The new news director at WATE, my former TV station in Knoxville, Tennessee (DMA #59) has offered me an anchor/reporter position.  I start in April.

This means I have a lot to get done by the end of March.  Packing, selling items, training my cat how to be comfortable in a soft-sided carrier so she doesn't go crazy on the airplane...you name it.  I'm very thankful for the support and advice from my sweetie, Kingsley.  We have been looking at houses online together in our new city and feel excited about the future.

Moving back to the Great Smoky Mountains means I'll be just a five hour drive from my parents and brother.  I only see them once or twice a year so having them closer will be nice.  Here's to new adventures!

Verizon vs. AT&T

Tuesday, 9 March 2010
My long-running contract with Sprint is finally up at the end of this month.  For the last six months, I've resisted the urge to resign and upgrade to a new phone.  My communication channel to the outside world by phone is currently an old flip model on which I can text, make calls, take pictures and retrieve voice mail.  Even my 59 year old father has a smart phone.  I must get with the program.

So, should I:

1.  Get a Verizon Droid  (better network) ?


2.  Get an AT&T iPhone (better phone) ?

My Twitter friends and I debated this one night ad naseum and I have a few other friends who have given me advice on this topic so why not collect yours as well?  Verizon people swear by their Droids (they open more than one application at once and the screen is huge) and AT&T people swear by their iPhones (there's nothing better on the market for touch screen and the camera quality is almost professional.)

What type of phone and network do you use and what are the pros and cons?


Wait!  Hold the phone!  (See what I did there?)  After doing more research on my own, I'm very interested in the Nexus One by Google.  It is available from T-Mobile and will soon be coming to Verizon.  Hmmm...

Signs of Spring

Sunday, 7 March 2010
I sold my car.  Tell ya why later.  Meantime, that means I have a lot of biking and walking to do.  The good thing about that?  You get to see flowers, trees, bushes and even weeds blooming.  Birds sing and squirrels race across your path.  Even though it isn't officially Spring in Oregon, it sure feels like it.  Here are a few blooms I snapped yesterday while walking in Downtown Eugene.

Beware of the Hot Mic

One of our viewers posted a comment on my ND's work blog saying that my blog makes me seem Holier Than Thou.  Well, to take myself down a notch or two, I thought I'd post a recent Most Embarrassing Moment.

Warning:  this post contains material that may seem crude to some.

I got married during May which is a sweeps month in television news.  Translation:  I took time off during a ratings period in news where anchors need to be on their shows 'cause we're judged on how many people watch.  Why did I get married during May?  We wanted to beat hurricane season and our London and South African guests could get cheaper tickets/lodging on the island.  So, I had only 3 days off from work to fly across the county, say my vows, kiss my husband and get back to work.  Therefore, I had to work a full day before RUSHING to the airport with my wedding dress in tow to catch my flight East.

I was STRESSED to the max.  There are times in which stress can affect the digestive system.

I ate breakfast on this particular Thursday and went 1,000 miles an hour with my wonderful photog (who shall remain nameless) to crank out 2 special reports.  We had 6 hours to shoot the pieces, log them, write them, voice them and get the heck outta dodge.  My heart rate was sky high because during the interviews, standups and small talk, I was thinking of the 2 million other things I needed to do to host a perfect wedding weekend for 50 people.

This tedious background is leading up to a very embarrassing personal moment.

Photog and I were at our final destination of the day and we were shooting takes of our second standup.  (A standup is a taped report where the talent appears on camera to say something that acts as a bridge within the story.)  We were outside in the parking lot and the 10 second report was basically me saying something to the camera and then getting inside our car and shutting the door.  I was wearing a small microphone and we were on our third take.

My stomach was feeling queasy.  I said my line perfectly, opened the car door, said the last two words and shut the car door.  About that time, I released air.  It was not subtle but hey, I was inside an empty car, alone. I didn't think much of it and felt better.  Photog and I rushed into the building for our fourth interview of the day.

Fast forward to two hours later...we're back at the station and I'm logging tape at my desk.  We have technological capabilities to access the drives at our desk computers and watch the material we'd recorded during the day.  I was watching my standups and when we got to take 3, I view myself cheerfully deliver the line to the camera, smile, open the car door, say two more words, get in, shut the door and make a very un-lady like noise.  OMG.  Photog heard the whole thing from outside the car through the microphone I was wearing.

My face turned pink, red, purple and the white.  I got up from my desk, went to the edit bay and pulled up our work on the drive.  I deleted the clip immediately but was too embarrassed to apologize to Photog.  I thought I was in the privacy of a closed car, but no.  My moment was shared by a co-worker in a professional environment.  Extremely embarrassing.

Beware of hot microphones.

Here are some other moments in which the wearer did not heed the hot mic:

New and Improved Doesn't Mean Less Painful

Friday, 5 March 2010
I rode my bike 14 blocks to the dentist today.  The sun was shining and Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest.  Trees are not only budding, they are flowering.  Daffodils are up and pointing their shiny yellow faces to the sun.  My mood on the way to the dentist was upbeat and optomistic.  I've never been afraid to sit in a dentist's chair and I do not think cleanings and checkups are painful at all.  (Notice the foreshadowing.)  

After chaining up my sweet second-hand ride, I walked into the building.  My eyes adjusted to the atmospheric lighting and I looked around thinking for a moment that I had stepped into someone's cozy but well-decorated living room.  Nope, this is my new dentist's office! 

Nadia welcomed me from behind the appointment desk in the back corner of the living room.  She handed me intake forms to fill out and suggested I make myself comfortable.  Well.  Don't mind if I do. 

I made myself a cup of Jasmine Green Tea and settled into a leather club chair next to a window overlooking a huge Magnolia bush.  Birds were singing. 

After a very long wait in which I sipped my cuppa, the hygenist called me back.  As I sat down she asked, is the pressure okay?  The chair was a MASSAGING chair!  I naively thought, "Wow! Look how technology has advanced our lives!"  I settled back into false comfort and closed my eyes as she took x-rays.  The dentist came in, looked my mouth over and commented on a spot to watch while flossing.  Easy.

Then as if the theme music from Psyco started to fade up, hell on earth began.  The dental hygenist while nice and knowledgable, had a vendetta with my mouth.  She used the tiny metal pick to rake into my gums with the ferocity of a poor miner with six kids digging for gold.  My hands still have little half moons from my own fingernails digging into my flesh to stop from flinching.  What was she thinking? 

"Ahh, Denae... maybe if you took better care of your mouth..." you might say but I do not have manky teeth or gums. 

This torture went on for 25 minutes.  While she was polishing my teeth with mint-flavored goo, I noticed the stupid massage chair again.  It wasn't massaging me.  It was just laughing at me.  My mouth still hurts.

You're Alive!

Thursday, 4 March 2010
Did you grow up watching Sesame Street?  I'm of the age bracket to enjoy a little bit of puppet fun.  My brother and I would watch it as wee ones and dance around the basement to the music. 

I still remember some of the little ditties such as:  "You're Alive."  For some reason, this tune has always stuck with me.  At times, when I'm STRESSED and I question whether I can smile and nod politely anymore...this song comes to mind: 

"Snnnnnnnn breathe in..! Huhhhhhhhhh breathe out!"
"Snnnnnnnn breathe in..! Huhhhhhhhhh breathe out!"

Sing it if you know it...

Interpretive Dance

Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Denae, CC and Mel 2009
When I was a student at the lovely Carson-Newman College, I roomed with CC and Mel.  We were like three peas in a pod.  We stayed up late laughing, crying and mostly trying on CC's clothes or watching her get ready for a date.  Mel and CC would also support me as I got ready to go to basketball and football games as a cheerleader.  (Yep,  I just admitted it.  But before you laugh, we were a co-ed squad, did two-a-day practices to get ready for national competition on ESPN in Orlando and weren't allowed to eat fried foods or drink carbonated beverages while training.)

Another activity we enjoyed in the privacy of our dorm suite:  interpretive dance.  To be fair, CC never danced with us but she would shake her head in disdain and try not to laugh.  That just encouraged us to continue with the show!  For fun (I've been home sick and have no energy to go out), I Googled interpretive dance last night and found a group of mega-talented guys who show off their mad skills for a large YouTube audience.  They are: Andrew Izzo, Jordan Cooper, Anthony Izzo and Andrew Donaldson. Our dances were never this organized but we had so much fun being silly.  Check this out:

Oscars List

Monday, 1 March 2010
For fun, we may as well put our Oscars selections into writing. Here's my picks. Please post yours!

Disclaimer: I haven't seen all of the films listed so I'm selecting on my own viewing experiences.


Quentin Tarantino

Morgan Freeman

Meryl Streep

*Christoph Waltz


District 9

Sherlock Holmes

Food Inc.

*Coco Before Chanel


*I feel strongly about these.