Sans Motivation . . .

Seriously. I can't motivate myself to put on my running clothes and running shoes and shimmy my butt outside! The past two days, I've been so anti-exercise. I'm hoping it's just a funk. It will have to pass starting on Tuesday or I'll get yelled at by my instructors. Hopefully, I'll get some motivation soon! I officially signed up today for bootcamp, which is now associated with Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG organization.

My aunt has completely changed her mind about this weekend. She called today and said, "Let's go to the beach!" So, we made reservations and are going to Florida, checking in Friday night and coming home Monday. Nothing fancy, but right on the beach! We'll have fun. We always laugh when we're together. This will be the first time in a while that we've hung out just us. The last few times, either my Mom or her kids were with us.

Tonight was the season premier of "Justice." It was okay. Victor Garber had some great and funny lines. I would never have imagined Victor Garber saying "He didn't know someone was banging his wife? You know when someone is banging your wife! Trust me!" (or something along those lines -- I cracked up the moment I heard banging) I'm so used to him as Jack Bristow, it's hard for me to picture him as this character. He did a great job though. The courtroom scenes were very unrealistic. I was yelling, "Objection!" and "You can't do that!" several times. Law & Order and Boston Legal are the only shows that I've seen which have fairly realistic courtroom scenes. Granted, crazy things happen on Boston Legal.

Bootcamp 2: 6 days.

Nothing much . . .

Not too much to discuss today.

The big thing is my cell phone seems to be working again. I hadn't tried to turn it on since Saturday. I decided to check it this morning and it actually turned on. The screen looks fine, save for a few small areas of white which are only noticeable if you look really close with the screen angled a certain way. The camera and video work fine, all the buttons are working, the speaker seems fine and it will dial out (although I get a non-activation message). I let the battery run down and it just fully recharged. I plan on seeing if the charge holds. After some research, I discovered there's a water damage indicator on the battery which is supposed to turn bright red to indicate water damage. Mine is still white, it looks exactly like the battery in my new phone. So, I'm hopeful that there isn't actually any water damage. I have until next Friday to return the new phone, so I have time to test out my old phone. Think positive everyone!

I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon. I spent some time this morning printing off a couple of extra resume and reference list copies to have with me. The interview is near the airport, which is about a 30 minute drive. I need to write down my questions/concerns so I have them down for the interview.

I'm trying to talk my Aunt into coming to Atlanta this weekend or me driving to Nashville where she lives. She's trying to decide whether she's going to East Tennessee (where most of our family lives). My grandmother wants her to do that. So, it's kind of wait and see. She's one of my best friends and we have so much fun together. I saw her for a couple of hours last month, when they drove through and we met for lunch (my second bad lunch -- in case you remember the post).

I've not been sleeping well. Have absolutely no idea why. I'm hoping its just that I've gotten my schedule off. Once I finally get to sleep I'm fine. Who knows.

In other news, interesting developments in the JonBenet Ramsey case. That whole situation is just crazy. I'm still not sure why a judge would sign off on an arrest warrant with the little bit of evidence the Boulder district attorney had. But, I'm not the judge. The information they did have is really interesting. The statements made by Karr via emails and phone calls did indicate his involvement. It makes me wonder if he's just obsessed with her (which seems sort of obvious) and has had some sort of contact with the person(s) who actually committed the crime.

Also interesting that Warren Jeffs was arrested/captured last night. He was in Vegas! I would imagine this is the only religious leader (at least a U.S. citizen) who was placed on the FBI's Most Wanted List. (I tried looking it up, but couldn't fine any definitive answer -- I also didn't see info about any other religious leader who was listed). The CNN article is here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/29/polygamist.arrest.ap/index.html . I grew up in a non-denominational Christian Church surrounded by Southern Baptists and Methodists. Needless to say, I have never met any followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Evidently, he's the leader of a sect of this Church. (I say this because it's something I've never been exposed too, as it's not found in the South very often.)

I'm excited to see the season finale of Rescue Me tonight. Hopefully it's good.

Didn't get to run yesterday. The only time I had a chance was when we were having a super strong thunderstorm. Hopefully I can get out late this afternoon or early this evening.

Bootcamp 2: 7 days!

Fun with friends . . .

Last night I went to the movies and dinner with 3 of my friends. We saw "Pulse." Don't see "Pulse." It started out okay, but by the end, it was a bit ridiculous. At one point, we were all ready just to leave the theater. It wasn't at all scary, although there were a couple of jumpy parts. Dinner was okay, as far as the food, we all had a good time hanging out together.

This afternoon, my friend S. and I decided to see "The Descent" because we were told last night that it was scary. Holy cow! That was the most stressful movie I've seen in a while. It was really good! The premise is 6 women who are into adventure sports go spelunking (caving). Crazy stuff starts happening once they get into the cave system. When we were told last night that the movie was about caves I was immediately interested. My first job was as a tour guide in a cave and it was so much fun. We would wander around the noncommercial parts of the cave a lot of times after we closed for the day. I've also gone to a couple of other noncommercial caves, but that's been probably 8 years or so. The cool thing about this movie, I thought, was that it didn't characterize the women as they usually are in scary movies. These were athletic, brave, kick ass women! It was the best scary movie I've seen in a long time.

I was able to get in a run this morning before I met S. at the movies (we met an noon). I did 1.5 miles. My mile time was a little less than my bootcamp post-test, but I expected that. It wasn't too far off, which makes me feel better. I've got to find a 5K to do within the next month or so. Unfortunately, I was right that I won't be in town to do the Run for Justice. That was a fun run, so I'm a little sad about that.

Bootcamp 2: 9 days! I've got to start going to bed earlier!

Ramblings . . .

Having three friends currently in the news business, and one who used to be, I've seen my fair share of funny and creative headlines. This morning, when I logged on to CNN.com, I saw what's become one of my favorite headlines. Evidently, Elton John is interested in expanding his musical horizons to rap music. CNN's headline is this: "Elton John to try 'Candle in the Wiz-ind'?" Hee! I really am not sure why this has made me smile like it has, but it has. My friend, T, agreed with me, and she's in the news business.

We're seeing "Pulse" tonight, there are four of us -- what we like to call our "Scary Movie Group". I have no idea if it's good or not because I haven't read any reviews. I hope it's at least suspenseful. I love a good scary/suspenseful movie. I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed. I'm weird about scary movies. There aren't that many that I've actually found scary. I don't think "The Exorcist" is scary at all, but that could be because I'm not Catholic. Who knows, that's what my Catholic friends tell me. I did find "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" to be scary. Of the recent movies that have come out I enjoyed "Saw", it wasn't so much scary as intense. I still need to see the second one. "Wolf Creek" was alright -- I need to watch it again. "Hostel" was just gross.

I talked to my on-again/off-again crush today. We're just friends, and probably will always be just friends, but I have moments where I crush on him and others when I don't. He's a wonderfully sweet guy, lots of fun, and the boy can dance -- which I love. We always have fun when we hang out. I'm trying to talk him into going dancing next weekend -- I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tomorrow, I start running. I haven't ran since I was in Florida, which is right at 2 weeks. I didn't even pack running shoes for Barbados. Bootcamp starts back on September 5th, and I want my mile time to be at least the same as my post-test, if not better. This means it should be at least 10:15. They're actually having an 8:30 a.m. bootcamp which is so tempting. However, if I find work within the next month it would completely interfere. 6:00 a.m. it is!

Also on the schedule for tomorrow, cleaning my apartment.

Bootcamp Round 2: 10 days.

Frustrations . . .

I love my cellphone. It's my favorite of all the ones I've ever had. Last night, on my way to bed, I dropped it into my glass of water. Don't as me how, I'm not sure myself. Anyway, the screen was completely screwed, some buttons would work and others didn't, and no calls would go through at all. Needless to say, I had to go to Verizon this morning to get a new cell phone. They didn't have the exact razr that I originally had, so I had to settle for the silver one instead of the black. What sucks is, had I known insurance was only $6 a month, I would have gotten it. It would've completely replaced my phone instead of me having to shell out so much for a new one. Can you guess what $6 charge was added to my account today -- I have insurance now. Watch, nothing will happen to my phone at all for the next 2 years. Anyway, I've spent a little time now that I'm back home reprogramming all my phone numbers in because their machine was unable to do it because of the water damage. It's amazing how much damage 5 seconds of water can do.

On the job front, I have an interview next week with a company from Minneapolis, although the job is in the Atlanta area. I've still got to send some more resumes out. It sucks looking for a job.

I finally watched Rent yesterday afternoon. I've been so busy that there are so many movies I haven't seen. I saw it on Broadway several years ago and it was wonderful. I sang along to the movie (which is why I watched it alone) and sobbed during the last half hour or so. The stage version is definitely better. I love Jesse Martin, and he was in the stage version I saw. He's wonderful and such a pretty man!

I start bootcamp again in a couple of weeks. Even though their registration info isn't online, they've saved a place for me. I'm excited! I've missed working out with everybody, even though I haven't missed waking up at 5:00 a.m. for the workouts!

Sucked in . . .

Normally, I don't watch reality television, save one -- I adore Project Runway. However, my step-brother and sister-in-law have somehow sucked me into another one. In Florida, I watched Rockstar: Supernova. This is an American Idol type show where contestants are competing to be lead singer of Tommy Lee's new band Supernova. Normally, this wouldn't interest me at all, but I'm a music freak and the songs the contestants pick are ones that I love! It's really hard not to watch when I find myself singing along. So, needless to say, I'm tuning in for the rest.

In other tv news, I'm so excited for the new season of Nip/Tuck, which starts soon! I loved the first 2 seasons, but last season's finale was horrible. I really hope Ryan Murphy does a better job with this season.

I'm considering training and signing up for a half-marathon. There are two I'm considering, one in February and another in March. This is a big step in my running because I've never done a race longer than a 5K. I have had longer runs, just not races. I really want to do the "Run for Justice" which is a 5K benefiting the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. I ran it last year, it was my first race, and had a lot of fun. It's November 11, but I may be out of town. Anyhow, I was thinking that if I put the fact that I would like to train for a half-marathon and posted about it that I wouldn't have a choice. You all would keep me in check! Right? I've been looking at some training programs and it seems like I have plenty of time. I've been told you only need about 12 weeks, so if I started now I'd be in good shape for the run.

I'm also hoping to get back into bootcamp with the next session, if it isn't booked by the time their new website is up. The instructors who actually did my camp have broken from Operation Bootcamp, but they're still offering the same camp at the same prices, with the same instructors. I just can't sign up until their website is up and running, which should be soon.

The Red Sox are still losing. They've lost 6 in a row, but are currently leading the Angels 5-1. I really hope they win. Their chance at the playoffs is in serious danger -- I'll be so disappointed if they don't make the playoffs!

Barbados . . .

Here are details and pictures from my trip to Barbados. You can view larger pictures by clicking on them. Hope it's not too long and boring!

Mom and I had a lot of fun on our trip. This was my first time to the Caribbean so I was very excited. We stayed at the Amaryllis Beach Resort.

This was our beach:

We also rented a tiny car - a Daihatsu Charade. It was so much fun driving on the left side of the road. There were traffic circles everywhere, but Mom said I did a very good job as the driver. She didn't do that great as a navigator because she likes to look at the scenery instead of the map.

In the mornings we laid out on the beach. The afternoons and evenings were spent exploring the island. Monday afternoon we went into Bridgetown which is where most of the shopping is on the island. Tuesday we drove around the entire island which took us about 6 hours. We saw lots of beautiful coastline.

This is a beach area just before the city of Oistins. Mom and I stopped here for pictures because the water was so beautiful here. This is also the area where the picture of the tree, in the previous post, was taken.

This is Codrington College. It's the oldest Anglican theological college in the Western Hemisphere. It has a beautiful view overlooking the Atlantic coastline, which is the eastern coast of the island.

This is a black-bellied sheep. They are all over the island, sometimes in herds and sometimes just one or two. They're definitely not afraid of people or cars.

This was a pretty small beach just before we reached the Atlantic side of the island. All the local fishing boats were painted very bright colors, as were most of the houses.

On Wednesday, we drove to Earthworks Pottery and then down into Holetown. There are lots of resorts in this area which is on the West Coast of the island. We had a late lunch at Cocomos Beach Bistro, literally right on the water. Here's a picture from our table of a palm tree on the beach. I took the picture at a weird angle, but the tree is at a weird one too.

Barbados has several different pottery makers. All the pottery we saw was beautiful and very affordable. I bought three pieces: a rectangular tray, a fish, and a square mug. Earthworks pottery is the most well known from the island. These are the steps leading up to the pottery workshop. I thought they were really, really neat. Click the photo so you can see the phrases written on the pieces.

On Thursday, we went on a Jeep Safari around the island. It was a lot of fun. Along with us was a married couple from Ireland, 3 women from Detroit, Michigan, one woman from Stone Mountain, Georgia, one woman from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a young couple from Boston, Massachusetts. The first stop was the highest point on the island, 1100 feet, which was Mt. Hilloughby. The view was great, but it was a bit hazy the morning we were there.

After that, we went for a walk through the "jungle" according to our guide. It was actually Welchman Hall Gully which is a preserve area on the island. It was a pretty little walk. There were nutmeg trees, banana trees, mahogany trees, the plant from which St. John's wort is derived, and bay leaves.

From there, we went through some 4x4 trails (where we saw two african green monkey - don't worry you'll have plenty of monkey pics later!) and then down into Cattle Wash and Bathsheba. We stopped at a chattel house which was purchased by the safari company and is maintained as a traditional Barbadian home.

This is the trail we took down into Cattle Wash. By the way, from the picture you can't see the drop, it was so steep!

This is part of the Bathsheba coastline. It's absolutely stunning here. They hold the island surfing competitions in this village. The water is very rough though and there are signs everywhere warning swimmers of the current.

On Friday, we went to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Barbados has a lot of african green monkeys. The reserve uses the monkeys to make the polio vaccine. The entire area is fenced in, but the fences are purposefully low enough so the monkeys can "escape" and explore the island. Normally, the monkeys leave the reserve in the morning and return in the afternoon because the reserve feeds the animals. Along with the monkeys are deer, tortoises, hares, pelicans, flamingos, iguanas, parrots, guineas, and peacocks. The iguanas, pelicans and flamingos are in very large enclosures. The remainder of the birds are in an aviary. There are also a couple of snakes in enclosures (thankfully). Other than that, everything runs free. The crazy thing was it's mating season for the tortoises. Copulating tortoises aren't pretty; nor do they sound pretty! It was a lot of fun watching the monkeys run around and play. Once, Mom and I were sitting on some benches watching two of the monkeys play around and I felt a tug on my flip-flop. I looked down and there was a monkey at my legs. When I automatically moved my leg he looked up at me, reached up, patted me on the butt, and took off! Here a my favorites from the Reserve.

On Saturday, we shopped a little, went to St. Lawrence Gap, and then drove to the North end of the island to the Animal Flower Cave. We got there too late. They closed early because the water was really rough and the tide was coming in pretty fast inside the sea caves. We did however walk along the cliffs and check out the area.

This is at the beginning of the Gap, which is loaded with restaurants and bars.

Here are pictures from the area around the Animal Flower Cave.

Sunday was superlong since our flight left Barbados as 7:15 a.m. Unfortunately, it was made longer because our bags failed to make the plane from Miami to Atlanta. We had to wait a couple of hours for them to come in on the next flight from Miami. We were exhausted by the time we got back to my apartment.

I'm sure I've forgotten lots from the trip. I'll link my flickr site once more of the pics are up. If you have any questions, let me know.

Home at last . . .

I'm home! I'm exhausted and have spent the day catching up on email. Who knew a person could receive so many emails in one week? It's crazy! I'll be posting about the trip soon. I've got close to 200 pictures, not that I'll make any of you suffer through that many. I'll get a post together in the next day or so, with pictures if I can get it to work. I'll also probably post a link to all my pictures in case anyone is interested in sifting through all of them. We did get some beautiful shots.

Among the news that happened while I was away was this: http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060818/NEWS03/608180439/1017
Perry March was found guilty in the murder of his wife Janet March. I moved to Nashville the year she went missing, 10 years ago. They have never found her body. It was all over the news the entire 6 years I was living there. Dateline did a couple of reports on it and CourtTV covered the trial. Their two children have been through so much over the years, including a vicious custody battle between the Levines (Janet's parents) and Perry March. His father helped him dispose of the body and in hiring a hitman to have the Levines killed. It's very sad. I'm relieved the Levines have found some measure of justice for their daughter.

On another note, what is happening in the world of baseball? I leave for a week and my Red Sox get swept by the Yankees AT FENWAY! We're now 6.5 games back in the AL East and 4.5 games back in the AL Wild Card. This does not look good!

I read one of the best books ever while in Barbados, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It was wonderful. I honestly don't know how long it's been since I've cried reading a book, and I cried more than once reading this one. The characters in the book are wonderful and the issues brought up are emotional and timely. It's an amazing book. To me, it seems like one that you could read over and over and discover a little something different from it each time. If you haven't read it, do so. I put off reading it for a long time, but I'm glad I finally sat down with it.

I've started Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, but I can't seem to get into it. I'm only a few chapters in though. I've heard good things about it so hopefully I'll get into it soon. Any other book recommendations? I'm all ears!

Until I get the post regarding my trip set up, how about one beautiful picture. It might be my favorite of all the ones I took.

I love sun . . .

I'm back from Florida! I'm sad and happy at the same time. I had a lot of fun with my family at the beach this past week. My sister-in-law and I get along great and laugh constantly. My nephew is a blast, although a little loud. The weather was perfect, it couldn't have been better. No rain, a steady 90 degrees all week long. We spent the days on the beach, went to dinner, and then after my nephew was in bed asleep, we played cards. Usually just Phase 10, which is such a fun game with a group, but we also played poker -- which I won! I've decided I'm ready for Vegas -- ha ha.

We went to a water park in Jacksonville one day, which was a lot of fun. We didn't know if my nephew would ride any waterslides but he did. He had so much fun and never hesitated on the slides. He would go down them with a huge grin on his face -- and he's 3 1/2! We were very proud! I think he would've stayed until they closed if we would've let him and this morning he wanted to go there instead of the beach.

I read a really good book while at the beach. It was "The Ruins" by Scott Smith. I usually don't read horror books but for some reason this one caught my eye. It was very intense and freaky. I can totally picture it being a very scary movie, at least psychologically, if it were made well. If you like the genre, I definitely recommend it.

I'm relaxing tonight, and washing clothes. My Mom is driving down tomorrow and then we leave for Barbados early Sunday morning. I'm so excited! I'm so glad that I didn't get sunburned in Florida. It should help be from getting burned in Barbados. I'll take bunches of pictures in Barbados, so expect a post all about the trip when I return!

Exhaustion . . . again!

The last couple of days have been crazy busy. My Mom was running for judicial office in my hometown, so I went up on Tuesday to help with the last days of the campaign and election day. I never realized local politics was so crazy!

Tuesday was "National Night Out" which is put on by police departments for kids all over the country. We set up and handed out free water to everyone. The heat was miserable. They did have a bunch of games and inflatable slides and obstacle courses set up. My foster sister was there with her 2 daughters. I ended up taking them to all the games and we had so much fun. They're really a hoot! Wednesday was a visit to my dentist, who I love. Isn't that strange to hear? Then my Mom and I went around making sure all the voting precincts had tents, coolers, and signs.

Yesterday was election day. I was at the polling place from 9:00 a.m. (when the polls opened) until 8:00 p.m. (when the polls closed). It was over 100 degrees! Thankfully, we had stocked up on water and Gatorade. I was amazed at how some workers were so rude to other camps. I expected the Democrat and Republican camps to be separated, but there were threats, bullying and dirtiness all over! One person was caught bringing in people to vote, which isn't a big deal because people always bring others. However, this guy was seen by an election official giving money to several voters after they left the polling place. He was arrested. At another precinct, one pollworker was standing at the entrance, which isn't allowed -- you have to be 150 feet away. She put up a fight when officials asked her to back up and was arrested. Thankfully, both of those people were not for any of our party's candidates. The Sheriff's race was really contested and most of the arguments were between those workers. Our candidate won, ousting a 12 year incumbent. Unfortunately, my mom lost by less than 300 votes. It was very frustrating because we all worked very hard.

I drove back to Atlanta this afternoon after spending the morning with my Mom and Step-Dad picking up signs from all over the county. Evidently, the poles that are used for the larger signs are a hot commodity with the farmers in the area and they're fairly expensive. We wanted to get them up so the November candidates can use them for their signs.

Tomorrow I'm off to Amelia Island, Florida, with my Dad and others. It's about a 7 hour drive and my sister-in-law's going to ride with me once they get to Atlanta. We'll have fun! I look forward to sitting in my beach chair and reading a book. My nephew is threatening to bury me in the sand. I'm afraid that I'm going to get suckered into that.

I should be able to update some while I'm gone. Our condo has wireless!