Archive for May, 2008

My First 18

May 31, 2008

I need less expensive hobbies! If I think about what we spent on golf in the past month, I could have gotten a nice new lens for my camera! But I have to say getting a good shot is a lot more rewarding than it is in photography. The feeling of hitting the ball just right and the sound that it makes leaves me breathless for a moment. Then when I come to realize what just happened there is a rush of excitement. It feels a lot like being in love. I even kissed my golf ball today. I used this same ball all day. I used another one on most of my drives and used this one for the rest of my shots. I lost the other ball about 3/4 of the way through the game (which is why I used a ball I didn’t mind losing), but this sweetheart stayed with me for all 18:

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We played at Eagle Landing Golf Club with my coworkers. We had 12 players, so we had 3 teams. Our team played really well and we had a freaking blast!! At first I didn’t want to play best ball, but I didn’t realize that sometimes the best ball might just be the one I hit. I can’t drive the ball 300 yards or anything, but I can hit the ball pretty straight. Sometimes I used the ladies’ tee if the guys didn’t get a good shot. You can see below that it was a pretty tough course:

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It was a gorgeous day and Eagle Landing was beautiful. With all of the hills, it was a real challenge. Our cart had a GPS, which was AWESOME! It showed the layout and told us how many yards to the pin. I’m so spoiled now!

Near the 10th hole
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Our team captain, Glenn, had this awesome cooler that looked like a golf club! We are sooooooooooooooo getting one!!!!
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A Day At The Zoo

May 30, 2008

Animals are so wonderfully expressive! Well, except for my cat Socrates who insists on being a brat when he sees the camera. These photos are from a couple weeks ago when we went to the zoo.

Check out this bunch of monkeys!! :p
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The cuteness of reptiles is so underrated!!!
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I thought this little guy’s profile was adorable!
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The look on his face as he stares beyond his cage broke my heart.
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His hands are bigger than his head!
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Fore!

May 17, 2008

Matt and I went to my college campus to hit some golf balls today. Despite letting months go by without practicing at all I think I did pretty well. My first and second shots at the driving range were promising, though not all of them ended up being so perfect.

After going to the driving range a dozen or so times over the past two years, Matt decided it was finally time to get me to actually play golf! Fortunately, UNF has 4 holes, so it was a perfect start for me. I didn’t do too bad. We didn’t keep track or anything, but I had a good time. I pretty much knew this before, but my weakness is putting. I did fine with my drivers and irons, but I’m all over the place when it comes to putting. Hopefully we’ll start playing more so I can get more practice.

I’m glad my bebe doesn’t mind that I want to learn how to golf!
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I can see why men are better golfers. Boobs get in the way of a woman’s swing!!!
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Just before teeing off at Hole #4.
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After a couple beers, you just feel like taking a picture and making a kissy face!
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Cami Cakes and More

May 17, 2008

Today, Matt and I treated ourselves to Cami Cakes. We saw it the other day when we went to Mellow Mushroom, and this morning people were raving about it at the dog park. So after we played golf and ran some errands, we went to Cami Cakes to pick out cupcakes and brought them home. They were soooooo delicious and buttery!! I definitely recommend checking them out. You can visit their website at www.camicakes.com to see a list of their cupcake creations.

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I had the Chocolate Raspberry Almond Cream!
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Matt went with an orange flavored Cami Cake!
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Last weekend, we also tried out to new restaurants, Cantina Laredo at SJTC and the new Botan near our house. We had mixed feelings about both, so we are not very likely to go to either again.

Cantina Laredo made its first impression with their lack of service at the bar while we waited for our seats. In fact, we were seated before we even received our drinks. Also, our mojitos were NOT worth the wait! They were terrible!

We ordered the “top shelf guacamole” which is made right in front of you. It was good enough, but definitely good enough to justify a $9 price tag. If you know how to make guacamole at home, do yourself a favor and don’t order this. For this price, you can make guacamole for a month at home!

I only took one bite of the guacamole before this picture was taken, as you can see, the bowl looks pretty pathetic and empty.
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I would go back to Cantina Laredo for the drinks. Our raspberry margaritas were very potent and delicious! They use fresh lemon and lime juice instead of sour mix, from what I hear.
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I didn’t get a picture of our lunch, but I had the shrimp flautas and Matt has the shrimp chimi. Both were very good, but you can expect to find much better for half the price if you go anywhere from Texas to the west coast.

We were so heartbroken when our favorite Japanese restaurant, Botan, sold its restaurant after just a few months of operation to the people who own Sushi House. Botan has now reopened under new management, and we went the first night of their soft opening. The food was good and they are definitely creative. Our only complaint was the price. We ended up spending $90 on a few pieces of sushi, some rolls and appetizers. Ouch! That’s about what we spend when we get sushi, rolls, AND hibachi entrees elsewhere. So I don’t know if we will go back. While they kept the name Botan, they are lacking the most important element… garlic salmon and tuna!!

We were impressed with the presentation:
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$3-4 for a single piece of sushi… it’s pretty much double the cost of any other restaurant. Also, the average cost of a roll is probably around $15.
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Sushi case:
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They gave us a free dessert. I think it was called a fried dragon.
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We still enjoyed dinner.
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Matt and I laughed so hard at this video clip!!! I’m about to go punish my cats with some corporal cuddling!

An Engineer's Guide to Cats
An Engineer's Guide to Cats

N.Y. man sues airline over flight spent on toilet
N.Y. man traveling on ‘buddy pass,’ gives up seat for JetBlue crew member
The Associated Press

NEW YORK – A New York City man is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for more than $2 million because he says a pilot made him give up his seat to a flight attendant and sit on the toilet for more than three hours on a flight from California.

Gokhan Mutlu, of Manhattan’s Inwood section, says in court papers the pilot told him to “go ‘hang out’ in the bathroom” about 90 minutes into the San Diego to New York flight because the flight attendant complained that the “jump seat” she was assigned was uncomfortable, the lawsuit said.

Mutlu was traveling on a “buddy pass,” a standby travel voucher that JetBlue employees give to friends, from New York to San Diego on Feb. 16, and returned to New York on Feb. 23, the lawsuit said.

Initially, Mutlu was told a flight attendant had taken the last seat on the plane, but then he was advised she would sit in the employee “jump seat,” meaning he could have the last seat, the lawsuit said.

The pilot told him 1 1/2 hours into the five-hour flight that he would have to relinquish the seat to the flight attendant, court papers say. But the pilot said that Mutlu could not sit in the jump seat because only JetBlue employees were permitted to sit there, the lawsuit said.

When Mutlu expressed reluctance to go sit in the bathroom, the pilot, who was not named in the lawsuit, told him that “he was the pilot, that this was his plane, under his command that (Mutlu) should be grateful for being on board,” the lawsuit said.

The aircraft hit turbulence and passengers were directed to return to their seats, but “the plaintiff had no seat to return to, sitting on a toilet stool with no seat belts,” court papers say.

Some time later, a male flight attendant knocked on the restroom door and told Mutlu he could return to his original seat, court papers say.

Mutlu’s lawsuit, filed Friday in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court, says JetBlue negligently endangered him by not providing him with a seat with a safety belt or harness, in violation of federal law.

A JetBlue spokesman declined comment on the lawsuit Monday.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24585615/?GT1=43001

Wedding Photos

May 11, 2008

I love checking the mail. It makes every day feel like Christmas! Last weekend I ordered several items on Amazon. Two have arrived so far – my Audra McDonald CD and a very old hardcover copy of Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.”

However, there was an even bigger surprise waiting in our mailbox today. We received DVDs of our wedding photos in a beautiful black case (I mention the case because Matt and I thought it was way sweet)!! Yeah! We had already seen them, but I’ve been anxious to get an electronic copy so I can post the pics and show everyone!

We have a TON of pics. It’s a little overwhelming, but here are a few of our favorites:

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It’s 2am, so I am heading to bed. We took a long nap in the middle of the day, so now I’m all off track. I’ll never be able to get up in the morning!

Shine 2008

May 5, 2008

This past week, my church held its annual Shine Women’s Conference. It was my first time attending, and I had the privilege of joining other AOP members from our church in photographing part of the event. Unfortunately, I was sick and only able to attend the first night. Even that was a challenge because I was physically drained by the end of the night. When I got home, I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking about Shine and all of the beautiful colors and powerful performers and speakers.

Even though I missed Ayiesha Woods performing on Friday, I did get to see her at the Saturday night service and she was just incredible!

Next year, I hope to be able to get some other women I know to attend this wonderful event. Now I understand why everyone raves so much about it!

Here are some pics from the first day of Shine. If you can’t tell, I really liked the butterflies that were used in the decorations! :)

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Flyleaf

May 2, 2008

I’ve been pretty bored with the radio for a while now. Even if stations play anything worth listening to, they play it SOOOOO often that I get sick of it! So I have been finding new (and better) music on Myspace. The first band I found on Myspace was Flyleaf, probably about 2 years ago. Someone had posted one of their songs on their profile and I added Flyleaf as a “friend.” As they posted bulletins about concerts and their progress as musicians, I started listening to them more and more. They really have an incredible sound and Lacey’s vocals are so versatile. You’d have to just listen to understand. On one song (or even within the same song) her sound is so raw that it’s comparable to a wild animal unleashing a sound of agony and the next moment she sings with such a sweetness that it lifts the soul. Evoking a full range of human emotion in their lyrics and melodies, it’s no wonder that Flyleaf has developed such a passionate following of fans.

To my surprise, I was driving home the other day and heard Lacey’s unmistakable voice through my car speakers. Not a huge surprise, because I have several CDs of indie and acoustic chick music that I play in my car. But I realized that this wasn’t one of my CDs… this was on the radio!!! This realization left me with mixed emotions. While I’m extremely happy that they are getting recognition (and that radio is playing good music), I hope that Flyleaf won’t compromise its sound to become more mainstream (like so many bands tend to do).

Here’s “All Around Me”:

Another good source of music that I have found is TV commercials. It’s kinda suprising, but lately I have been finding myself saying “Ooh, what song is that?” and finding out that it’s another great performer or band. It has opened me up to Ingrid Michaelson, Yael Naim, and the newest discovery, the duo Bitter: Sweet (from the Victoria’s Secret commercial). Sara Bareilles has also been used in commercials, but I actually found her through recommendations on Amazon (another great source for good music).

The Other Roosevelt

May 1, 2008

I found this article today and thought it was a very interesting read. Eleanor Roosevelt is a fascinating person and a woman ahead of her time. The article goes on to compare Hillary Clinton to Roosevelt, so I’m not sure what their objective was in publishing it. I think provides a new perspective on Roosevelt with intriguing insights into her personal life. They suggest that “Eleanor, at 44, may also be the nation’s first high-profile cougar.” Cougar is not the way most people think of E.R!

Since the article does provide some comparison of Roosevelt and Clinton, I will put in my 2 cents on that. Perhaps down the road I will look back and appreciate what Hillary Clinton has done to help women progress in politics and in a man’s world, but I would not call her an Eleanor Roosevelt, just as I would not agree with comparisons of Anna Nicole to Marilyn Monroe. The article states that Clinton admires Roosevelt, so perhaps she strives to piggyback on the reputation of E.R. by suggesting the influence herself. Anna Nicole fancied herself a modern day Marilyn, mysterious death from a drug overdose and all. Just because a comparison can be made doesn’t make it so.

To be respected or admired, one should obtain such recognition on their own, not by drawing comparisons to people they are influenced by. I’m sorry, but Clinton has much to prove before making her own name in history to parallel that of Eleanor Roosevelt.

I hope you enjoy the article!

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The Savvy, Salty Political Saint
Eleanor Roosevelt was not just an idealistic First Lady. As a new collection of papers reveals, she was also a smart, disciplined and unabashed strategist.

Julia Baird
NEWSWEEK
Updated: 2:33 PM ET Dec 15, 2007
Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman known for her upright back and moral certitude, secretly enjoyed having her palms read. One particular analysis, in October 1939, tickled her so much that she kept it in the drawer of her desk, along with poems that inspired her. The palmist wrote that the finger which showed leadership “is much bolder in your left hand, which shows inherent potentialities, than it is in your right hand which shows what actually happens. This leads me to believe that many times you’ve had to cramp your style.”

The fact that Eleanor kept this document for years is more revealing than the words themselves—did she believe she had qualities of leadership that were repressed, or thwarted by her position as First Lady? Despite all she achieved, and the esteemed place she holds in American history and affection, there’s a central lingering question about her legacy: what would she have been capable of achieving on her own, without the constraints placed on her sex at the time, and without her marriage to Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

The recently published first volume of her papers, “The Human Rights Years, 1945–48,” with a foreword by Hillary Clinton, provides important clues. It begins when Franklin Roosevelt died, and ends with the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which Eleanor played a crucial part. In allowing us to study her own words, in letters, speeches, columns and diary entries, a different portrait of the much-lionized woman emerges—one of a pragmatic, savvy politician. While she is remembered as a saintly, long-suffering figure, we can forget she was an indefatigable, disciplined activist—as historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote, a “tough and salty old lady”—who resisted stereotyping when she was alive, and constantly protested she was not interested in power while vigorously pursuing it.

Read the full story at http://www.newsweek.com/id/78177?GT1=43002