Thursday, December 10, 2009
I still have well over half of my shopping to do, and that's something that I'm just not looking forward to one bit. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving we put our tree and decorations up, and after a week and change the house still doesn't feel like it usually does around the holidays. We, like every family, have our "Grinch", but usually that doesn't stop anyone from having fun and enjoying themselves. This year, however, even the most festive of people just can't get in to that holiday spirit.
All we can hope for is that something great will happen and that our luck will turn around and that next year will bring nothing but the best of everything. High hopes are what I've found can get a person through the toughest of times. All I know that I'm looking forward to next year is my baby brother getting here! February 12 is the day that my dad, Audra (my step-mom), and I are all waiting for!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My family on my grandfathers side, came from Italia-Sicily, to be exact-and that's been part of the reason I've always wanted to go. I want to be back in the home country and experience Italy like so many family members must have done in the past. The country itself is home to some of the most beautiful landmarks the world has and will ever see, and I can't imagine myself never getting over there to see them.
I'm hoping that, at least one of my friends-she knows who she is-will be able to go over with me when I'm finally able to. I'm sure that Italy would be a great place to escape to, but it's one those places, to me anyway, that you shouldn't experience on your own. (Besides, who's going to take my picture in front of the Colosseo and the other places that I know I'm going to visit???)
I'm sure that millions and millions of people will be able to have those "stories" that will be told for years and years to come about the fantastic time they had in Roma, and I just want to be able to join the ranks of Americans who have been to Italy and can just say "been there, done that".
I know this post wasn't much of anything and was kind of just put together in a hurry, but it was something that I wanted to get out there. Someday, you'll be getting a post while I'm sitting at a cafe in some piazza in Italy sipping some espresso, prosecco or limoncello just having the time of my life.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I know you're not suppposed to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it's just hard not to. Many times throughout the day I was trying to figure out why some people are attracted to and/or marry the people they do. Some people are just so standoff-ish at times that it just seems impossible that they're not like that all the time. What could have possibly happened in a person's life that they can't even say hello or bring their nose down, stop being a little snob, and join the real world for two seconds when I'm trying to talk to you.
I really do try and be nice to everyone I come across, after all, first impressions make a lasting impression. At least that's how I still see it. Sometimes there are circumstances that you just can't help, but about nine times out of ten, there is no reason you can't be polite to the people around you for the brief moment you have to have contact with them.
After 9/11 this country turned it's attitude around. It seems like we're back on the "piss off, I'm too important to be dealing with you" bandwagon. What's pathetic is that it took an event like that to make people realize that life is too short, yet almost 8 years later, we're back to the way we used to be!
I just there are just some things we're not meant to understand.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
World War III w/ the North? @HuffingtonPost "North Korea May Fire A Missile Toward Hawaii" http://twurl.nl/5gmib3
The Princes and Combat Time? @HuffingtonPost "Prince William Hints At Ambitions for Combat" http://twurl.nl/7gfx6m
A Sign of the Times @NYTimes "Army Challenges Older Recruits, and Vice Versa" http://twurl.nl/5unax7
What Next? @MikeAlvear (www.mikealvear.com) "Perez Hilton throws Dustin Lance Black under the bus" http://twurl.nl/m65btu
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
How can the U.S. State Department even consider granting same-sex benefits to partners of
Normally I don’t get all huffy and puffy about the gay rights situation in this country, after all, my being gay is just a part of who I am, I don’t let it consume me, but this is outrageous. According to an article on CNN.com, “Until now, the State Department had withheld these benefits citing the Defense of Marriage Law, which restricts the recognition of same-sex marriages on the federal level. … ‘Providing training, medical care and other benefits to domestic partners promote the cohesiveness, safety and effectiveness of our posts abroad’, the note says. It will also help attract and retain personnel and, the note adds, ‘it is the right thing to do.’” It’s obviously the right thing to do, but why would we show good faith to our Foreign Service members, but not to the citizens of this country? This is what people have been fighting for for decades and with an interagency review and the stroke of a pen, we’re going to allow it for people who aren’t even citizens of this country. It blows my mind.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
There have been people who have come and gone, and regardless of how it happened, I suppose there's a reason for it. Perhaps we're to learn life lessons from failed attempts. One of the things I don't understand is why some people let their relationships get in the way of their friendships. Nine times out of ten, the person you're letting slip away has been there longer than the person you're dating. As harsh as this may sound, there are people in my life I could take or leave right now. Then again, there are some people who I know I couldn't get through life without and I won't let anything come between those relationships.
I'm sure we've all received those e-mails that say what "true" friends are and that you should pass it along to half of the people you've ever known if you life or you'll get horrible news in the next 5 seconds. To me, there are a few simple things that define a friendship: knowing that you and that other person are there for each other any time, any place; wanting nothing in return for befriending someone; and, even if after not talking on the phone or seeing each other in person for a while, you pick up right where you left off and it's never awkward.
Today, it's no secret that we live in a world where technology basically consumes our lives. I have to say, however, it's the little things from my friends that make my day. Like this morning, for example, a friend and I were going back and forth on Facebook, another friend commented on my status and I'm sure when I'm at work, my IM will be going off at least a few times throughout the day. Just a quick "hello" or asking how some one's day is going can mean the world. I'm sure this is starting to sound like another post I did a while back, but I think it's worth repeating.
Make sure you're in your current friendships for the right reason. Few things hurt more than realizing that you're being or have been used by someone you thought you had a connection with.
Some may come, some may go, but those you can't live without will always be right here...
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Kris - Let me say first off that I think he's freaking adorable! Behind his guitar, we were able to see a different side of him and I think he really shined bright. His "Man in the Mirror" performance and his performance from last night were two that I'll remember. I think we're going to see a lot more of Kris in the future!
Megan - I think Simon was off when he said that it was a stupid song choice. That is one of the songs that I grew up listening to and it's always nice to hear a new rendition of it, provided it's not horrible. I don't think it was her best performance by any means, but I think she did alright. She should, in my opinion, try and stay with the type of songs that she's already performed so that she can show off her unique talent. I think that, with stars like Duffy and Adele in the forefront today, Megan will have a chance if she can make it for a few more weeks. The kind of rough tone that she has is what is going to be the new "in" thing with music.
Anoop - When the judges were announcing the Wild Card picks, I was so upset that Anoop didn't make it in to the Top 12, but when Simon announced that it was going to be a Top 13, I couldn't have been any more excited. I think that, given the right song, Anoop can make it quite a ways in the competition. I have to agree with Paula, however, I think "Beat It" should be left to Michael Jackson. I would really hope that he doesn't leave the show, but given some of the other performers from last night, it might be a little tough for him.
Matt - I think Matt's version of the song that he performed last night was a good one. The song choice fitted the piano and his voice. I know that a lot of people say this, but he does kind of remind me of Timberlake. It would be kind of interesting to hear him sing one of his songs. I think that we'll see Matt on the show for at least another week.
Danny - Danny, Danny, Danny... What can I say about him other than his performance was AMAZING!!! I've loved Danny since his audition! He's probably in my Top 3 right now, and I definitely wouldn't mind seeing him win the show, but he has some tough competition in Adam and Lil. Danny, setting his voice aside, has a great stage presence that I think is going to take him a long way. We'll have to work on the dancing a bit though ;~).
Alexis - Alexis did a great job w/ Dirty Diana last night. I have to agree with Paula when she said that she needs to work on not over singing the song, but all things considered, she did a great job and I think we'll see her again.
Allison - Allison is one of the people that I've liked since the beginning of the competition, but she didn't shine bright enough for me last night. For me, her past performances are the ones that I'm going to remember and not the one from last night. It's going to be interesting to see how she adapts to the other genres that are inevitable on Idol.
Adam - Two words... SIMPLY AMAZING!!! The BEST performance of the night for me! I think that he's going to be around in the competition for a while, and may even win it! Being an actor has treated him well. He knows how to work the stage and he obviously knows how to put on a good show. I could probably go on and on about his performance last night! AMAZING!!!
Scott - Scott did a great job last night, but his Mandolin Rain performance still sticks with me and I think that's what I'm going to be comparing all of his other performances to from here on out. When you have a great moment such as the one he had last week, it's hard to beat it. Seeing Scott on the piano, you just know that's where he belongs. He looks so much more comfortable behind the piano and I think it gives him much more to go off of. Even if Scott doesn't make it in the competition, I think he'll have a record deal after the show is done.
Jasmine - For being 17, Jasmine has a voice that you don't hear every day. For Randy, after pointing out that he recorded that song with Mariah, to say that she did a good job of mixing different versions of that song to make it her own definitely says something about the potential she has.
Jorge - For some reason, I really can't stand Jorge. I don't know what it is about him, but he just doesn't do it for me. I'm all for the diversity on the show, but not with him. Personally, and as much as I'm going to hate myself for admitting this, I think that Tatiana is a better performer than he is. Having said that, I'm not sure I'd like to see her on the AI stage again, but regardless, I think she would have done a much better job than he did.
Lil - AMAZING!!! What a way to start the show! She is a power house and everyone else in the competition needs to watch out for her! She's going to make it a long way on this show! Between her, Danny and Adam, I believe you're looking at the final 3 on American Idol! What a great job!!!
Michael - Michael did what he does best last night. Singing songs like that are what made me like him in the first place. These contestants need to learn that, while taking risks can work out and other times you can make a fool of yourself doing it, you need to stick with what you know. Granted, Michael can't always pick slow songs, but he can pick songs that are from the heart and that will portray who he is as a person and as an artist. I think that if there's a country week, which I'm sure there will be, he'll really come through during that time. There are TONS of country songs that are from the heart and that I'm sure he'd do a great job at making his own.
Over all, I'm quite pleased with the show from last night. There are a lot of people that I can see making it through and there are the obvious people who, even if they don't win the show, will have record deals and we'll be hearing a lot from in the future. If I had to pick the two to leave tomorrow night, I would have to say they would be Jorge and Anoop. As much as I like Anoop, there were too many other performances that cast him back in to the shadows. And what is this twist that Ryan mentioned at the end of the show? Something that will change the face of the competition, but it has to do with the Judges? Personally, I can't wait to find out, and I'm not quite sure what I'm more excited for, the results or the twist!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Over the past week or so, I've also been thinking about what a waste of money apartments are, considering the fact that I want to be able to buy my own house within the next 5-ish years, so I've also decided that I'm going to start saving where I can for a down payment on a house; when my car is paid off, that's going to be my next endeavor. I'm sure the market will rebound again by the time I'm ready to buy a car and housing prices are going to be through the roof, but if I find a decent house with reasonable payments, I don't see why there should be anything holding me back, barring any unexpected things that may arise. I think that I'll be able to do it and, sure, it's going to be a challenge, but I think I'm up for it!
I suppose I'll come to learn that there are things that I can live without, no matter how much I think I can't live without them right now. There are just some things that a person has to sacrifice in life to get what they want. By the way, for those of you thinking "I wonder if he realizes that buying a car and a house are two totally different things", yes, I'm fully aware of that. I just wanted to spare us from having that conversation down the road ;~).
Saturday, January 31, 2009
With the current state of the economy, zoos may be the next thing added to the Endangered Species list. New York Governor David Paterson has proposed a budget that will undoubtedly cut the state funding for zoos across New York. According to an article from CNN.com, "New York's 76 zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens will lose $9.1 million in state funds next year". (CNN.com article, Budget Cuts...)
When I was reading this article, I had hoped that there would be some good news on the horizon, but I was sadly mistaken. The new $819 billion stimulus package that is currently making the rounds in Congress doesn't allow for any wiggle room for many of the staples of the American family. "Section 1109 of the stimulus bill ... forbids the use of federal taxpayer money to plug the budget gaps. Taxpayer watchdog groups lobbied to keep zoos, aquariums, swimming pools, golf courses and casinos out of the stimulus,arguing that there are higher priorities for Americans' money during a recession". (CNN.com article, Budget cuts...)
Luckily not all of the money for the zoo and aquarium budgets come from the state; there are still private backers that could come out and help the zoos and aquariums, but I can't see it happening. There is plenty of what people call "old money" in New York and other cities that will see their local zoos and aquariums affected by this. I think that the people with the type of money that could possibly make a difference have grown accustomed to having not been relied on by these organizations. With any luck, we won't see the fall of our local zoos, much like we've been forced to watch the fall of the banks and our financial future as we know it. This is something that we could actually work to prevent.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
As everyone knows, this year I vowed that I was going to start to exercise and diet because I need to get in shape. This year, as we all know, my Dad is getting married in June and I'm his best man. I told myself that I'm not going to look like I do now when it comes time for the pictures. Most people would have given up by now and completely fallen off the wagon; I, however, have only fallen off part way. While I've only had fast food (I don't count Subway as fast food) only one time since the first of the year, I haven't really had the exercise routine down that I should have. Out of the 4 weeks in January, I've worked out 2 of them. I need to get back on the wagon. After watching last night's Biggest Loser, Daniel (Orange Team) was voted out by his fellow teammates. On his exit interview he said that he had tried to lose weight before because others wanted him to and felt that it was important for him to do so. He's ready to finally do it for himself and it shows! From the starting weight on the show to what we saw him look like last night, he has it in his heart to do it and stick to it! That's what I feel like this year. I still have just over four months to actually make it happen.
I'm only going to be 21 this year and have a long life ahead of me. I want to able to live it to the fullest and experience all that life has to offer. Although it may be hard given the current level of discrimination in this country, I want to be able to have a family and watch kids grow up and have a family of their own. There are too many things in this world to see and I'm not ready to give up on that.
In other news, I'm working my way towards getting a Mac. I've priced one online and it's going to run me about $2400, which, all things considered, isn't that bad of a price. I've had many, many people tell me that getting another PC isn't worth it and they've fallen in love with their Macs. Of course, I'll be getting a laptop because I like to be able to stay connected wherever I decide to go. When I get my taxes back this year, I've decided that I'm going to be getting an HDTV for my room and I'll probably get a Bu-ray player to go with it. I also have to get my window fixed in my car, a tire checked out and a new brakes on the thing too! I hope after I get all that fixed that I'll be good to go for a while!
Any person who knows me knows that I talk a lot about going on vacations and that, because of work, money or some other excuse, I rarely end up going. This year, I'm going to try and change that as well. Even if I only get one vacation a year, it will be a vast improvement over what I'm taking now. I don't think that I need a two-week vacation or anything either, four or five days would be nice. Seattle is always a city that has intrigued me and just the other day I was checking out a little vacation there and it was running just under $1k! That's for round-trip airfare and a hotel downtown… it would be AMAZING!!! I also want to move just about everywhere that I've ever been in my life, so I'm sure that when I take a trip to Seattle, I'll want to move there too. To be honest, I've already looked at apartments in and around the city and they're really not unreasonably priced! There was one complex, as a matter of fact, that was just about 30 minutes away from the city, was going for $775/month and if I read it right, all utilities were paid, but I could be mistaken. I've looked in to quite a few places over the past few years that I've toyed around with going to, but in reality it's mostly just a dream that won't go away. I certainly can't see myself living here for the rest of my life, but I'm not quite sure where I'll end up. Then again, with the rest of my life ahead of me I could end up in several different cities yet. Only time will tell.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've really been paying attention to the different types of photographs that I've seen, both in person and on the Internet and they've given me good ideas for new shots. I'm trying to expand my horizons and go beyond the comfort zone of animals, although I fully enjoy that. When the weather starts to warm up, I'm hoping to be able to get out and go different places around town that I either haven't been before or to places that I haven't been to in a while and see what they have to offer. I think I'm going to start looking for new ideas to do black and whites in. B&W is very "in" right now and depending on the shot, I think it looks quite elegant.
For now, I'm going to continue the rest of my shift here at work and see where the world takes me after that, aside from the fitness center after I get off. I hope that you all have a fantastic night and an even better tomorrow!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Best of luck, Madame Secretary!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Now that I have the pictures saved on something other than my computer, I feel much better. While I don't get the opportunity to go out and shoot pictures often anymore, I cherish the (good) few that I do. As I stated in another blog, this is a year of new beginnings for me. I'm going to try and focus more on my photography and see where it takes me. People aren't given skills for no reason, there is obviously some meaning behind why they have the skills they do. I believe that we each have our own skills, it just takes some time for each of us to find them. Luckily, I found mine early. This may be a year (after Dad's wedding, of course) where I start to take a little more time off from my full-time job to get out and explore the world in a different way. After all, there is so much to see just in the United States; I've got to tackle that before I can move on to bigger and better things abroad. World... Here I come!