Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Voting by Candlelight

Last night, after the hard rain had ceased, our power began to flicker. It would go off for a minute or so, and then come back on. Around 10:30 p.m., however, the power went off for good. I made a quick call to Alabama Power and was told via an automated voice that it wouldn't be back on 'til the wee hours of the morning. So, with my candles lit, I finished up a couple of things before heading to bed. One of them was my VOTE! I'm voting by absentee ballot since I won't be in the county where I'm registered on the day of the primary election, next Tuesday the 5th - SUPER TUESDAY. It felt like something from the very distant past as I marked my ballot by candlelight, and sealed everything really good. I mean really good. Three envelopes, as mandated by the accompanying instructions. A secrecy envelope to put my ballot in. An affadavit envelope to put my secrecy envelope in. And a large brown envelope to put my affadavit envelope and a form of identification in. Whew. Don't want to just scan over those directions!

So, my vote has been cast. And I'm quite anxious to see how my candidate does. I hope each of you are planning your trip to the polls, if you haven't already done so. Florida, you had quite an impact, causing two candidates to drop!

Now, you may be wondering why our power went off if the rain had already ceased. Can you believe it was the wind?? We actually had peak gusts of 65 mph in Birmingham. All across the state this morning there were damage reports of trees uprooted, damages to homes, and power outages. Probably some of the most widespread damage without accompanying severe weather. It was crazy, I tell ya. I didn't go to sleep for a while, because I could hear the wind just howling outside. (Not to mention, it's really odd with absolutely no light, not even your alarm clock light.) Thankfully, though, the power was restored by the time Table and I awoke, and we were able to get ready for school and work. God bless the line crews.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SNOW!! (and other tidbits)


You can see that it isn't much, but we did get our first "good" snow this past Saturday. The evening news was really hyping everything up on Friday night, and almost the whole 30 minutes of news was devoted to Alabama's preparation for the "big freeze". It started snowing somewhere between 7:00 and 9:00 Saturday morning, and it stopped around 11:15 a.m. Birmingham received 1/2 to 1 inch. Table and I were REALLY hungry by Saturday morning because we didn't eat any supper the night before (a whole other funny story). So, we called Brett and Brian to see who was awake at their apartment and if they wanted any Krispy Kreme donuts. The answer was, of course, yes. If you look at the first picture, looking out across our apartment porch, and look through the tree to the opposite apartment's porch, well, Brett and Adam live in the apartment left of it (if you're facing it, right of it from their direction). So, you can't see their porch - it's just barely cut out of the picture. After we got off the phone with Brett, we ventured outside where we began throwing snowballs from porch to porch at each other. It was an all out snowball fight between me and Table, and Brett and Brian. Then, when we headed outside to go get donuts, they came around the corner with snowballs. We had another snowball fight, screaming and laughing so hard. It was a lot of fun.
We returned with two dozen donuts and spent the rest of the afternoon watching the snow melt very quickly, and watching movies.
It was so much fun and so pretty while it lasted...



I have now seen the movie twice. The second time we were going to see 27 Dresses, but it was sold out. I was the only one who had seen Atonement, and I didn't mind watching it again. The directing was brilliant. I loved how you saw the same scene twice, usually, but from very different vantage points. The story revolves around a young 13 year old (Briony) witnessing various events between her older sister (Cecilia) and boyfriend (Robbie). The choices she makes after witnessing these events affects the lives of of Cecilia and Robbie forever. I don't want to explain too much and give it away, because I was kind of surprised by the ending. But the brilliance is that you see the same scene from both Briony's perspective and Cecilia and Robbie's.

I would give this movie 4 stars out of 5.


Heath Ledger

Another tragedy has befallen Hollywood this week. We mourn the loss of this talented, rising actor, and wish comfort and peace for his family. If you would like to sample his work, rent Ten Things I Hate About You (a modern remake of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew), The Patriot (where he stars alongside Mel Gibson), and A Knight's Tale. I'm also looking forward very much to his portrayal of the Joker in this coming summer's release of The Dark Knight.

(One small tirade - I heard on the news today that the same Baptist church who pickets at soldiers funerals is planning to protest at the memorial service for Heath, due to his role in Brokeback Mountain. Not only do I highly disagree with their prior pickets, but I also truly hope they change their minds regarding this protest. It can serve no good purpose whatsoever.)

Hope each of you are having a lovely week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just a couple of news bits...

It seems that day after day I can't think of something to blog about, and then all of a sudden, several things hit me at once!

First, a news article I saw on MSNBC today. "FDA Says Food From Cloned Animals Safe". Already? A decision made already? Are you kidding me? And a 100+ page report to back it up. Not only have they approved meat and other products from cloned animals (although it will be several years before it is on grocery store shelves in large quantities), but they have also said it doesn't have to be labeled. WHAT? Thankfully, the FDA did say they would allow non-cloned meat and products to be labeled as such. (Pay careful attention to how they worded it...soon, non-cloned meat will be more expensive, just as "organic" food is now more expensive. Think about the similarity...This is "organic". This is "non-cloned".) Not only will this affect our grocery store purchases, but think about the food that is consumed daily at fast-food restaurants and other restaurants. I'm sure the FDA did lots of research to prove that the meat and other products, such as milk, are just as healthy as other animals, but personally, I would rather NOT eat or drink anything that has been cloned. It just gives me the heebie jeebies. So, if you hear I've become a you know. That, or I've started my own farm and am slaughtering my own meat.

Second, I'm in love with my new deodorant. I have been trying for a while now to find a deodorant without aluminum chlorohydrate and that is paraben free. I have tried JASON natural tea-oil deodorant and an Adidas brand deodorant, but I didn't like either one. My sister and I went shopping at the only 100% organic store here in B'ham a couple of Saturdays ago, and I found The Crystal, which I had read about earlier. It is recommended by Cancer Treatment Centers nationwide, and bears the pink breast cancer ribbon. It is AMAZING, and works! Please check it out on the website. (On a side note, I'm also still checking out a face wash I bought, too. BWC, or Beauty Without Cruelty. It contains no parabens, and is made from oils and herbal extracts. So far, I like it.)

And, lastly, Hollywood lost another actor today. Brad Renfro died at the age of 25. He won acclaim starring opposite Susan Sarandan and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client, but I remember watching him play the tough Huck Finn in Tom and Huck. I didn't watch the movie for J.T.T. (if you're close to my age, you know who I'm talking about :-) ),but I did enjoy watching Brad Renfro. Farewell, and R.I.P.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


2007 was an amazing year. As it drew to a close, I began to reflect on it and what my resolutions were at the beginning of 2007. One of them, I am happy to say, I actually feel like I made some progress on. The others, well, I feel like I may have failed miserably. But, with a new year, we have new resolutions, or new takes on old ones. So, without further ado, my resolutions for 2008:

1. Read the Bible everyday, or at least read the entire Bible in one year. (I bought the One Year Bible last year, but unfortunately failed to do anything with it. I am determined this year. And, I highly recommend it, based on my readings for the last 9 days. I really love that it mixes the Old and New Testament and includes a little Psalms and Proverbs each day. The only thing I would like a little more of is Proverbs - 3 or 4 verses a day just isn't enough!)

2. Eat healthier and exercise more. (This one is most certainly a repeat. I have trouble with this one every year. So, I've tried to set what I think may be some manageable goals.)

3. Write in my journal everyday. (My grandfather and great-grandfather were great journal/diary writers. It's amazing to read about their day-to-day activities. I've always "kinda" kept a journal, but not been good to write every day. This year I resolve to write every day.)

4. Communicate better. (This one is kinda hard to explain...).

These are just a couple, a good start perhaps. Somehow, writing them down makes me more confident. Here's hoping to a great 2008.