CANNONBALL! into the water

because sometimes you just have to jump and hope you won't get hurt.

Friday, July 14, 2006

throwing themed birthday parties for college boys

Dean celebrated his birthday yesterday. Knowing that the special day was approaching, Rachel decided it would be nice to have some sort of festivity for him; I was recruited to help.

We came up with as many ideas as we possibly could. Bowling or mini golf or going to a drive-in theatre or the Rivertaxi's in Bricktown. The problem was that we needed to schedule the festivities around the Bible Study Dean, Rachel, and Brandy attend Thursday nights, which ends around 8:30pm.

Bowling turned out to be too expensive. The mini golf place we liked closed at 9pm. The drive-in theatre was a 30 minute drive and the movie started at 9:10pm. Plus there was the issue of which vehicle to take as we wanted something we could all sit in the back of, like a pick-up. Neither Rachel nor I drive a pick-up. Dean does, but we wanted to drive so he wouldn't know where we were going. Dinner was a must, so the Rivertaxi's were out as they stop running at 10:30pm and are 20 minutes away.

So dinner and playing the game Imaginiff... it was. Plus a cherry pie and a peach crisp all baked by Rachel. The next issue, of course, was whether to cook dinner at our apartment or go out. We decided to go out as there were to be about 11 people, and our apartment seems tiny when four people are in it (and it's a four bedroom).

Rachel chose Cracker Barrel, knowing that Dean loves it.

We rounded up the troops. Rachel called Dean's sister to get his brother's number and invite him out. I called Dean to get Kristen's number so I could call her husband, Micah, and invite them. Rachel facebooked Neil and Brad; we both assumed Brandy and AJ would attend.

For being so last minute, it turned out quite well as everyone showed.

Then we had a mini-theme. "Cars" as in the movie "Cars".

Rachel purchased paper plates and napkins from the movie. I wandered over to Target and bought Dean a "Cars" toy - the mooing tractor.

While shopping for the tractor, I passed a little boy sitting in a shopping cart with his grandfather pushing the cart.

"Papa!" The little boy reached his hands out. He made grabbing motions with his hands and leaned so far forward he almost tumbled out of the shopping cart. "Papa I want Mater! Mater!"

The grandfather turned to look at me. He shook his head. "How do they remember this stuff?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "Beats me. But I'm buying this for a 23-year-old guy's birthday. So I'm not one to ask."

The grandfather laughed. "Don't worry. I'm 63, and I have all the toys."

I knew it would be a good party after that.

Plus the day was pretty perfect for an episode of the reality TV show Rachel and I are creating. It's going to rival MTV's "The Hills".

Sunday, July 09, 2006

teaching them the right way when they're young

After working five hours on Saturday, I jumped into my car and drove to Frisco, TX to meet up with my aunt and two cousins. It was a weekend of falling in-love with the Frisco Mall, seeing Priates of the Carribean 2, eating at The Cheesecake Factory, sleeping in the most comfortable bed ever (AKA a nice queen-size at the Westin/Stonebriar Resort), looking at beautiful 6-bedroom houses, and laying out by the pool.

She's smart, my aunt. Her kids are 10 and 15. Already they know th wonders of the Westin.

I was raised in nice hotels. But not the Westin. So I am only partially programmed to become a shopaholic, compulsive money spender and etc.

My dad takes care of me enough. But I still live in an apartment complex considered to be the ghetto of Norman, OK - not that there is a real true ghetto here of course. Luckily, Morgan and I are staying in a nice little 5-star hotel in NYC for 4 days and 3 nights. Right in the heart of the theatre district.

I told my dad he was incredible. Guess I have not been programmed to only want the finest things in life.. at least not yet.

At 21, I will become a study to see if "old dogs can learn new tricks", meaning I will learn if the rich aspects of life really are that much better and if I can be programmed to want only the finest things.

Monday, June 26, 2006

speed reading and how it only works for fun books

It seems that every single time a new Harry Potter book comes out I am vacationing in Michigan. And my aunt is there, along with her two kids.

One summer, I arrived, and my aunt was about halfway through the Harry Potter book. We would sit on the beach together, when the kids weren't pulling me away from reading and begging me to swim in the water so cold it can stop your breathing. And we would read.

I tend to be a speed reader when it comes to enjoyable works. As far as reading things like a Chemistry textbook, it takes me a lot longer - like an eternity. This is because in order to read a textbook (much like writing a paper for a college class) one must procrastinate in every way, shape, and form possible. There must be lots of going out with friends, drinking venti latte's from Starbucks, and eating pounds of cheese fries.

When it comes to things like reading Harry Potter, however, I can skip over passages and not lose any information. I can also listen to my iPod, sing along with any of the embarassing music I have on it (like Hit Me Baby One More Time) or any of the cool music I listen to (like bands you've never heard of because that makes me awesome).

I had just begun reading Harry Potter, on the plane ride from Houston to Detroit and then Traverse City for this particular vacation. My aunt had been working on the book for longer and had a lot more read.

Her kids, and my adorable cousins, decided that my aunt and I needed to race through the book, see who was the better reader.

They figured they would help me along as they were betting on me to win.

It ended up that my cousins stopped asking me to play with them until I was done reading. Instead they would tell me to go read while simultaneously stretching my aunt's arms out until she could no longer hold onto the book due to how rubbery her arms were. Then she would head into the water and wait for the coldness to return her arms to their former glory.

I finished first in about two, maybe three, days.

It's so beautiful to see young children learn how to pick a winner and cheat the system.

The next time a Harry Potter book came out, I read it in under 48 hours while playing with my cousins and sleeping a lot.

What can I say? I have talent.