Friday, July 22, 2005

New Food Network Show

The videos you will find here are a really funny way to advertise a new show on The Food Network called Iron Chef America. You should really check them out, if only to see how cute they are! I'm especially fond of the pizza dough one. So check it out, and if you love food (like I do) you should really give this one a try.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The 4400 and Scientology...

So is there a connection? Are the writers making them so alike on purpose? They really have to be, I can't see any other way they could be so similar. And by the way, I think it's hilarious. The only problem I have with it is, I absolutely love Shawn and if "The 4400" is some metaphor for Scientology, that means Shawn is about to become the leader of the "big bad." Because, no doubt about it, Scientology is a "big bad." So what is the ultimate destination of this story? I have been wondering this for the last hour, since tonight's episode ended. It completely ruined my viewing of "The Dead Zone" and now I have to watch the repeat later tonight. It's funny, "The 4400" has bad writing and acting at times, but the premise is so interesting and the characters are so much fun that I'm completely hooked. I was lurking on the Television Without Pity site earlier tonight and they were talking about the ups and downs of "The 4400" and I pretty much agreed with all their points. Especially the Scientology connection, which I saw during this season's first episode and has only gotten stronger from there. It'll be interesting to get the entire second season on DVD and really watch/analyze the series in one (or maybe two, depending on how many episodes there are) sitting(s). So back to tonight's episode, the big tension was about whether or not Jordan would be killed by a mysterious person. Despite all the security measures, he was indeed shot, and for some reason, Shawn couldn't heal him. But that's only part of the story. Jordan finds out about his death before it happens from Maia, and then he goes to see Isabel (the evil baby from the future?) and she shows him a future including honors, happy admirers, and a distinguished portrait of Jordan hanging on a wall somewhere. And I think he was older, because he had some gray in his hair. Anyway, his last words were "she lies," which the viewer would have to assume meant that he figured out that Isabel lied by showing him his rosey future. But the story continues... why couldn't Shawn heal Jordan? Is it his fate to die at this time? Is Isabel really evil or is she simply carrying out a higher agenda? Does this mean Shawn is next? NOOOO!

And another mystery, of course, concerns the fact that Jordan Collier's body has now disappeared. I swear, if they are setting him up to be some kind of "messiah" figure, I'm going to stop watching. Or maybe he's supposed to be the antiChrist. I can see Shawn being like the "false prophet" but that's absolutely not the direction I want to see this show going. Either way, it should be interesting to see how it all pans out. I wonder if the writers even know what's going to happen in the end... ;)

Survived Dennis

Actually, it wasn't much of a storm here in my area. It took a last minute turn toward Gulf Breeze/Ft. Walton Beach. I hate to be glad it didn't hit us, because that means it hit them, but I'm glad my house is still here. It usually all comes down to self-preservation, doesn't it?

Hopefully, there will be flights out of Baton Rouge on Thursday, and hopefully no roads or bridges will be closed on the way there.

Just wanted to report.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The long wait for Hurricane Dennis

Well, that's an impressive looking hurricane, isn't it? This photo, as well as the others I've posted of this storm, have been on the Weather Underground site, the best site for hurricane information!

Every channel on TV and every radio station is now talking about Dennis. This morning, the storm was 100 mph, which is basically a pushover when it comes to my area. My town is on Mobile Bay, but I'm pretty far inland in that town, so we never get storm surge or other types of water damage. But the wind from what may be a Category 4 storm before it hits land... it's a bit scary.

My dad keeps pacing the house, looking at the celing. There isn't any wind yet, but he keeps mentioning the roof possibly coming off. We are probably going to go to my church before the worst of the storm. It's about a block from my house, so we are going to wait until morning to see what we want to do. I don't want to leave my house. During Ivan, I spent the entire night worrying about my things and whether we would have a home when we got back. We did, and everything was okay, but it was very scary not knowing. And we didn't get the worst of Ivan.

It's strange having such a storm so early in the year. I've never experienced this before. Usually the big storms are in August or September. Fox News is reporting 32 people dead in the Caribbean, and there are "hundreds" of people missing in Cuba, according to our local news. There's nothing like looking at the colorful radar images of this massive storm out in the Gulf and seeing its projected path pointing right at you. And Pensacola... I feel horrible for the people in Pensacola.

Right now, there's no wind, no rain, no indication that there is a storm. I've just heard there is an outer band of thunderstorms heading toward me right now, so I guess we'll see some rain soon. I hope Fish River doesn't flood. It always floods during rain. There are so many people on that river who lose everything whenever it rains. It's horrible.

I used to think hurricanes were cool. But not anymore. I have sort of a sick feeling in my stomach right now. I don't fear for my safety, because I'm certain we will be okay at my church. I fear for my things. I don't want to lose anything I own, and I don't want anything to happen to my house. It's such a great house, and I have many things that mean a lot to me in it. I guess all you can do is pray that nothing happens to your home and make sure you are safe.

I probably won't be able to blog from my church, so if we do go, I won't be updating. I hate that, because it would be interesting to do updates every once in awhile during the storm. But I'll record my observations and write them later, with the pictures I plan to take. A day storm will at least offer a good opportunity to take some cool pictures. So I guess there is at least one bright side!

Boarding up

Well, we just finished boarding up my house. We are staying during the hurricane, so I'll hopefully be able to do updates during it... until the power goes out, that is.

I'll take pictures so I can post them later if I can't post them right away. Mobile county has been ordered to evacuate and so has Baldwin county south of I-10. My house is in a very high area and isn't near any water, so I'm not concerned. It's strange to go outside and see a beautiful, sunny day, but then to try to look out the windows and see nothing but plywood. I'm blogging from my bedroom right now and only a few slivers of sunlight are coming in between the pieces of plywood. Otherwise, my room is pretty dark. It's beginning to cloud up a little, with white, puffy clouds dotting the bright blue sky. These clouds are not threatening at all. As I said, it's an absolutely beautiful day in my neighborhood. I imagine tomorrow won't be quite so pretty. I just hope our pine trees don't fall on the power lines again. That was miserable.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Hurricane Dennis Saga Continues...

Until the power goes out, I plan to blog the storm. So if you're far away and you want to know what's happening, you can find out here. And the millions of news channels and Internet sites that will be reporting on it. Oh well. But anyway, here are my observations of the Friday before a Sunday landfall. This afternoon I went to Wal-Mart for a completely non-hurricane purpose. I had to buy some things for work. It was a complete mad house. First off, I had to park in the parking lot of the restaurant across from the Wal-Mart store and walk across the vast expanse that is the Wal-Mart parking lot. There were that many cars there. I wonder if all these people got the afternoon off from work? So I went into Wal-Mart and could barely walk around. It was just a bad time to be there. I wandered around aimlessly for a few minutes, trying to figure out where I was supposed to be going. When I finally saw the aisle I was looking for and got my items, I got into a check out line and waited for 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes, to get checked out. I was 6th in line, and it was the shortest one. The lady in front of me bought 4 cases of frozen hamburgers. Each case was 8 pounds. When her power goes out, she's going to have to cook hamburgers for her whole neighborhood to avoid having spoiled meat lying around. Gross. People just don't use common sense before a storm. (says the girl whose family never evacuates, lol)

So anyway, after the ill-conceived trip to Wal-Mart, I went back to work and got phone numbers for local media so I can do my job on Monday when the storm is over. I'll have to help give info about relief efforts, so I brought those phone numbers with me when I came home this weekend.

When I started the drive home, from Mobile to the Eastern Shore, the traffic was the strangest thing I've ever seen. The east bound lane was almost completely clear, but the west bound lane was literally bumper to bumper. They were not even moving on the Bayway. All those cars, trucks, tankers, and RVs just sitting there on the Bayway, trying to get out of town. And that was before the manditory evacuation order for Mobile County, and the one that will be announced tomorrow for Baldwin County. We're not going, but most people probably will.

I'll have more info tomorrow, probably. If not more info, I will at least have more observations of Dennis mania here on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Ugh. Here comes Dennis

Well, here it is. The forecast map that puts the landfall of Hurricane Dennis right through Baldwin County. Which, incidentally, is where I live. I was hoping it wouldn't hit Pensacola, since I was down there a few days ago and saw that they still haven't recovered from Hurricane Ivan, which hit last September. I guess I was hoping it wouldn't hit anyone, actually. Of course, when one is out there, you can't really expect it not to make landfall. Maybe it'll just fall apart in the Gulf. Can't someone make a giant machine that cools off the water enough to destroy hurricanes? I'm going to get right on that. I'd make millions. The government would buy the thing and use it every time a hurricane threatened the US coast. I'd make them use it when it looked like any of the islands out there would be threatened too, since those poor people get hit every time. I can see it now...

Okay, so maybe it wouldn't be possible, but it's not a bad idea, is it? You know, before Ivan, I was very nonchalant about hurricanes. In fact, I loved them. They were exciting and fun, and I love bad weather anyway. But after almost 2 weeks without power, a massive leak in my roof, and fearing that a tree would be in my living room when I got back to my house after the storm, I don't think they are fun anymore. Before Ivan, we hadn't had a storm for 25 years. Hurricane Fredrick was on everyone's lips for a long time, as they relived the storm every time someone else got hit by a hurricane. But Ivan has completely replaced Fredrick in most people's minds. Ivan the Terrible, they call it. Now we have Dennis the Menace (I just knew they would go there!) and it looks to be an ugly storm. Not to induce panic or anything, but I think everyone should be prepared.

The good news is, the storm will be out of the area before my trip to LA, and my boss said that even if we get a direct hit from the hurricane, I can still go on my vacation. So I'm pretty happy about that. All I have to do is survive until then. I'll post updates on the hurricane if I can. I'm sure we will lose power pretty early on. We always do.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Mini fireworks show

I thought I'd try something. It's just another way to avoid writing tonight, since I can't seem to summon the muse, but I've been wanting to experiment with animations, so at least it's kind of productive. So now it's like you were at the Fairhope fireworks show too. I hope you enjoy it!

Cindy just a bunch of (hot) air

So Tropical Storm Cindy has come and gone. I woke up at about 4 in the morning this morning to thunder and howling wind. I rushed around to unplug everything, because my TV blew up during a storm several months ago and I had to start using the little TV I had in front of my treadmill. Now I don't have a TV in front of my treadmill, which means I get really bored when I work out! So anyway, I unplugged everything and tried to go back to sleep, but wasn't really able to. I was tired all day. And the weather didn't really get better until later in the morning. So it's all over now.

The thing is, Dennis was just upgraded to a hurricane. I think it's supposed to make landfall early next week. At least that means it should be out of the way by Thursday, when my flight leaves. I hate hurricanes.

Nothing else to report. I'll probably add a word count later, after I actually... um... write some words.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

King Kong trailer is huge!

You can see the trailer here and if you really want the info, you'll want to go here. I've never really cared that much for King Kong in general. I mean, it's a giant ape. But with Peter Jackson at the helm, I'm sure it'll be great. If nothing else, it'll be visually stunning, and that's a fine reason to go see a movie.

In other news, I'll be seeing Fantastic 4 this coming weekend with my nephew. I hope it's better than the trailer makes it look. At least I know I'll enjoy it more than I would Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Fantastic 4 has a little eye candy, at least!

Tropical Storm Cindy.. and beyond

My mother keeps making jokes about how this is going to be a bad tropical storm, simply because it shares her name. Luckily, it looks like it will be no more than a thunderstorm with above-average wind speed. The one I'm concerned about is Tropical Storm Dennis. It has lots of time to form into a monster hurricane, and it looks like it might arrive on our doorstep just as Rhea and I are getting ready to fly out of Baton Rouge for our trip to California. If this stupid storm ruins my vacation, I'm going to be very upset. I'm not sure if work will require me to be available or if they will let me go ahead and take my vacation. I might have to be here to help implement our disaster relief plans. If I miss out on LA, you will hear the biggest rant ever!

If you're keeping up with the storm or just want to know what's going on, you can go here. They have a great tropical weather page and their forcast is almost always accurate. Except for that eastern jog that Ivan took last year. No one predicted that. So anyway, everyone on the Gulf Coast, buckle your seat belts. It looks like it's going to be a "bumpy" couple of weeks, weather-wise.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July!

Well, I just left my aunt's house, where we go every 4th of July. The kids swim, the adults chat, and we eat... a lot! Well this year, like every year, the food and conversation were both great! I always love seeing my family, and wish it happened more often than a few times a year for only a few hours. Later today, I'll be taking my nephew, Noah, to the fireworks down at the Fairhope Pier. I'm so excited about the fireworks, because I get to test my new camera on them. I'm sure the pictures will be awesome! This camera has never failed to get a great shot. Of course, I'll betray this camera as soon as I can afford to buy a digital SLR. Hopefully by the time I'm in the market for one, they will be a bit cheaper than they are now. Anyway, happy 4th of July to anyone who happens to be reading this, and be safe with the fireworks. I'll post some pics from the Fairhope display when I get home tonight.

Edited to add a picture of the Fairhope fireworks celebration. It was really pretty and a lot of fun!

Quick Word Count Update...

Not much to report on anything significant, but I did want to do an updated word count on my Summer WriMo novel.

Summer WriMo Goal: 75,000
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Current Word Count: 10,672, make that 11,088 now!
Days Left: 58
Current Mood: Hopeful

Oh, and I wrote my query letter and synopsis today. I'll be sending them off on September 1. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Live 8

Okay, talk about coming late to the party! I totally missed the Live 8 concert. But my support is hopefully better late than never, because I have to tell you, I totally stand behind this cause. Working in a hunger relief organization has taught me a lot about hunger and the needs of hungry people. It has also taught me to be thankful that I have never lived in poverty. So everyone within the sound of my voice, go here and support this very important cause. And I'm going to search the TV listings for a rebroadcast, because I don't want to miss this again. Think of it, Christian artists, rock stars, musicians of all genres coming together to raise awareness about poverty around the world. How awesome is that?? Everyone should support this.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I invented Post-Its: Anita's High School Reunion

So I got an email the other day about my 10 year high school reunion. Fairhope High School class of 1995 will be having its reunion this month. Our class motto was: "Trying to Survive, the Class of '95." I wonder how many of us actually did. I have recently wondered what everyone from my class has been doing for the past 10 years. I have maintained contact with a few people, but not many of them. I had quite a few friends and I knew everyone casually, but only a few of them are still my friends. I wonder what my best friend from middle school is doing right now. Her name is Melanie, and I'm sure she has an awesome life. Old boyfriends are another group I wonder about. What are they doing? Old crushes? I have absolutely been wondering about them! The sad thing is, I'm actually not going to be able to go to the reunion. It just happens to fall during the week and weekend that I am going on vacation to LA. I've never been to LA before, and my best friend and I are going for five days. We have tickets to see the first national tour of "Wicked" at the Pantages Theater in LA, and have plans to do all kinds of fun things while we are there. It's funny, she was invited to the reunion too and obviously isn't going.

I'm sort of afraid of what's going to happen at this reunion, actually. My evil ex husband graduated in the same class, and he is local so I'm sure he'll go. I can just hear the awful things he will say about me. But you know what? I can't care about that. He will get his eventually, if he hasn't already.

I need to watch Romey and Michelle's High School Reunion again. It always makes me laugh. I love their "three important things" that they have to have by the time they go to the reunion. They have to have a good boyfriend, a great body, and an awesome job. Even though I'm not going, I find myself thinking about that list.

So here's the rundown. I was married for a couple of years, but he cheated and we split. I haven't really dated much since then because I wanted to focus on other parts of my life for awhile. So I don't have a good boyfriend, but since that's not a priority for me, I'm not worried about that.

Okay, so I don't have a great body. I'm working on it, though. I've lost over 30 pounds since the beginning of this year, and am continuing to lose. I've been working out almost daily. So at least I'm on my way to having a good body! :)

As for the awesome job, I have to admit, I think I've actually got that one covered. As Development and Communication Coordinator of the Bay Area Food Bank, I get to do public relations, fundraising, event planning, and other PR related activities to help further our programs, which feed hungry people in the communities we serve. I've been able to do some traveling for my job, including Washington D.C. and Chicago this year. I'm going back to Chicago in August and will most likely return to DC sometime this year. I got to lobby in DC, which was such an awesome experience! I feel really blessed to have such a great opportunity to help people. I'm also working on a novel, which should be finished by the end of the summer. I'm hoping to have it published before the end of next year.

So one out of three isn't too bad, I guess. I wish the reunion could be a different weekend. I would like to see my old classmates, and I do feel the need to counter anything the ex might say. But alas, I'll be enjoying the California sunshine! I've been looking forward to this trip for about a year now, so ther'es no way I'm not going!

But if anyone reading this happens to be from Fairhope High School, class of 1995, and if you happen to go to the reunion on July 16, please remember not to believe anything Wayne might say about me, if he says anything at all. And I hope you have a great time! And please email me and tell me what you're up to these days! Or comment on my blog.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Loneliness and hope

There's something sort of lonely about this picture that I never really noticed before. But I was having a conversation with a friend about loneliness this morning and then saw this picture (it's my desktop wallpaper right now) after the conversation was over. There are two solitary figures in the picture. One is the rose in the foreground. When I took the picture, this was the only rose that was still healthy in an entire rose garden that had started to wilt. I can imagine, if flowers feel emotion, that it might have felt lonely. The other solitary figure is the fisherman that you can barely see. He's pulling in a fishing net, probably full of fish. While the fish are not lonely, because there are many of them in the net, they have little hope at this point in their lives. The fisherman is alone, but probably not lonely, since he's out there doing an activity he enjoys. The fisherman is most likely hopeful though, because he's just caught something good for dinner. So that made me start thinking about life, loneliness, and hope. The rose can't have much hope. It has seen its kin wilt and die, and if it has any sense of what's going on (I don't know how much flowers are actually aware of) it knows it will do the same. So the rose is both lonely and has no hope. The fish are not lonely, but they still have no hope. The fisherman is alone, but probably not lonely, and he is hopeful. See where I'm going with this? I think it is entirely possible to be alone and not lonely. But it is also possible to be lonely but hopeful.

Right now, I don't feel lonely at all. I'm actually quite happy with the way my life is going right now. Would I like to have a relationship? Of course, but it's not something I NEED right now. In fact, I will never NEED a relationship. But I do want one at some point. So I guess I'm not lonely and hopeful. I'm just hopeful. I'm hopeful that I will find a special someone one day. A guy who will laugh at my jokes and who will make me laugh. A man who is intelligent and enjoys conversation. A guy with similar tastes, who enjoys entertainment and good company. A man who shares my faith and wants to grow together in that faith. So I'm not looking for much, huh?!

I hope that my friends (the one I talked to today about this and the few others I have had similar conversations with in the last few months) are hopeful, even though they are lonely. I hope they are like the fisherman, who knows he will go home to something good, even if it's just dinner and the TV (or a good book.) I don't want anyone I love to become like the rose, who is both lonely and hopeless, because we all have a future ahead that is full of promise, and none of us will wilt and die anytime soon.