Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I watched the Wolverine movie this weekend. I liked it, it was fast paced and exciting, but I just don't get the big deal about it. I understand that some people are very interested in comic books, but that gene passed me by. However, I do appreciate the cinematic spectacular that this movie was. Watching this movie, I did not know much of Wolverines history. All I really knew was that he was a cranky X-Man that rescued that young girl that couldn't touch people. And honestly, I think the movie was a bit generic. I think this movie was supposed to give insight into his origin and why he got so cranky. He had family problems, love lost, and was just angry to begin with. 

I tried, I really did to get as excited about this movie as other people are, but it just wasn't there for me. I have family issues, I have loved and lost, and I get in a bad mood, and yes, I will admit that it would be nice to grow out knives from my hands and go to town on the people who pissed me off, but I don't get to do that. How do people relate to this guy? He is hailed as a hero, but is he? He doesn't solve anything by killing or maiming people, that's an easy way out. In reality a hero would solve his inner demons instead of acting out violently to people who are unlucky enough to cross paths with him on the wrong day. 

I can appreciate that he has the desire to be a good guy, but just because you kill bad guys doesn't make you good. I just don't think that the Wolverine is all that interesting. He struggles with the classic man vs. self internally and man vs. foe externally. With all the possibilities that a comic book character has, could he not become something a little bit more exciting than that?

I will admit that Wolverine the character is pretty awesome. he has ripped abs, mutton chops and the ability to make everything behind him explode. Since this assignment is to respond to the movie in some way, my response is boooo. His story is diluted and he is cranky without a cause. A friend who went with me to the movie was a very dedicated X-Man fan, and he said that he was disappointed with Wolverine and the movie as well. I do relate to the part where Wolverine is in Canada and his former war buddy comes and takes his brother. One time my sister went out with a guy that I broke up with the previous week. If I had knife fingers, I would have used them. 

I think was a total guy movie, and I just couldn't pull a piece of the movie to really relate too. 

Although- my favorite part of the movie is the naked scene. Hugh Jackman nude with mutton chops was worth the 10 bucks.

Revised Diagnostic essay

In April of 2002 I went on a trip from Orange County, Ca to New Orleans with my college roommate. I had to go to a funeral and she was nice enough to accompany me on the drive. We packed up my dodge neon and left town early in the morning. In order to fully appreciate this trip, you have to understand the two personalities in the car. I was 20 years old at the time, and anxiously awaiting my 21st birthday the following week. I was a budding competitive surfer, a fitness model, a Top 40 music addict, and all around party girl from South Florida. My roommate, Jen, was 22 and from a small town called Walla Walla, Wa. She grew up riding horses, listening to country music, fixing trucks (cars were not able to handle the roads in Walla Walla), and chewing tobacco. I had never met a girl who constantly had a dip in her mouth, so I was slightly intrigued by Jen, as I think she was by me. We were total opposites but some how became very good friends. I think it was our shared love of Perfect Strangers reruns to brought us together.

It was somewhere around the Arizona border that the air conditioning gave out. The temperature was 98 degrees by noon, which also happens to be the name of my favorite boy band at the time. Jen was nice enough to let me have control of the CD player most of the time, and now that we had to drive with all the windows rolled down (and I mean literally rolled down, no power locks, windows, or steering in this car), I got to blast all my favorite mixed CD's I had. I knew Jen wasn't thrilled when my Destiny's Child / En Vogue mix came out of the CD case, but she was a good sport. 

We stayed over night at a motel called The Daniel Boone Inn somewhere in Arizona and had a dinner at a nearby diner. At dinner, we met some local Mexican Indians who taught us about there culture and some of the beliefs that involve the powers that the earth has over our situations. For example, they believe that trees hold the secrets of the past and people with a special gift are able to listen to what the trees are trying to say. Also, they believed that the lavender plant brings good luck to people who carry it with them. It all sounded good to us, and it was very interesting to learn how their culture lived. They also prayed a special prayer for the funeral we were going to that would help my deceased grandfather find his way to Heaven. I appreciated their generosity. 

We left Arizona and were driving through New Mexico when Jen screamed at me to stop the car. I was very startled by her outburst and slammed the brakes and puled off to the side of the highway. I have never seen Jen run as fast as she did into a field. I yelled at her and tried to find out what she was doing but she didn't reply, she just kept running. Soon, I saw her grabbing at some leaves and trying to pull them out of the ground, but she kept falling on her ass in the process. The loss of balance was most likely due to the deal we made that 1 person would drive for 8 hours a day, and the other person would drink for 8 hours a day. But eventually she regained her balance, pulled the plant up and came back to the car with a large stalk of fresh lavender. I still have a piece of that plant in a frame, just as a reminder of what a great friend she still is. The picture above is one of me and Jen, the blonde girl, and our other roommate Sandra. 

Eclectic Community College Classes

English 111 was very interesting. It's very heavy handed on papers, and since I took an 8 week course, the papers overlapped and can become overwhelming if your class load is to heavy. When I enrolled, I assumed the class would be diagramming sentences and maybe writing a book report. We didn't do any of those things. We wrote restuarant reviews, personal reflections, and movie reviews, among other things. I appreciated the freedom to write in any tone that we chose, and the ability to choose topics and subjects that interested us. We also reviewed class mates papers before they were due, which helped us fine tune papers that were due. The class meetings are relaxed and there is a lot of open discussion. 

For me, the down side was that the class was so heavy handed on computer skills, which I lack. Paul was helpful and understood my school and work schedule that would inhibit my availibility to the computer lab. There is also a lot of print outs you have to read and bring to class, which means you need to be very organized and prepared in order to discuss the readings.  You also have to spend a lot of time in the library printing out the course work. For papers due, the instructions are online which needs to be printed out and brought to class as well. 

What I liked most was the class mates I had. I am technically a UVA student, but am catching up on some courses that didn't transfer from my previous University. I love Community College. It is so eclectic and a wide range of life styles were represented. Since I took this as a night course, we had a few students who were recent high school graduates, but mostly working adults with jobs, families, and working on furthering their careers. It was inspiring to see so many determined people making the most of the 24 hours they have in a day in order to better their lives. 

There is a lot of creative freedom in the class, and we were able to choose a topic and write a paper and do a class presentation explaining our ideas and opinions on the chosen topics. However, there are some topics that are off limits. There are a few guidelines, but mostly the student has total freedom to display their topics in a way that interest them. This was also a way to show your personality and learn more about your classmates. 

Another down side is the word requirements for all the assignments. I have taken courses with this type of guidelines, but I prefer when professors give the students directions that explain the writing can be any length, as long as the information is complete, meaning that there is a beginning, middle, end, and the research is thorough.  I think this allows the student to do research and write a paper without pressure of adding fillers. 

I think that some of these papers or projects could be assigned as group assignments in order to lighten to course load in  this 8 week courses. This also would give students the chance to interact more with each other and I think the presentation would be more lively and interesting if there were more than one person working on it. Also, I think the teacher should be responsible for providing snacks, since the class is 3 hours long. Another suggestion would be that there is a little less comic book talk. I just don't get it, I appreciate it, but don't get it. 

And if you get bored, here are some cool websites and up top thats a picture I took this weekend. (it's required)






Saturday, May 2, 2009

People are Bastard Covered Bastards with Bastard Fillings

I’ve had a bad day. I woke up to my cell phone ringing. Since it was 5 am, I ignored it. But it kept ringing and ringing, and then I saw the alarm clock on the night stand. It wasn’t 5 am, it was 9 am and I was 2 hours late for my shift at the hospital. I answer the phone and was screamed at by my supervisor for a good 10 minutes. Luckily, I live 3 miles away from the hospital I was assigned to that day, unluckily, I wasn’t at home. So I scooped up my things, found a semi- clean but very wrinkled pair of scrubs in my car, and with no cup of coffee and no shower, I headed into work. I was doing pretty well at selling a lame excuse about car trouble until my attending doctor pointed out that I was wearing two different shoes. So now it was pretty obvious that I was going to be on a 15 hour walk of shame. Awesome.

Throughout the shift, I was puked on, spit on, bled on, kicked, and cussed out. But that’s a pretty normal day for a med student. Around midnight I start driving home absolutely exhausted. That yellow light turned red way faster than normal, and I knew that jeep the moment it hit me. Out stepped my ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend. I don’t mind that he found someone new at all. In fact, I’m happy for him. She seems like a nice person, however, she has cankles. I guess that’s something he can overlook, but I just don’t get it. This isn’t the first time we have all run into each other though. Why can’t you run into an ex when you’re looking good, and not covered in bodily fluids? It never fails, the last time I ran into this ex it was 3 am at a Rite Aid. I was buying a jumbo box of tampons and a gallon of ice cream. He was buying condoms. Awesome.

After sorting out the incident, I finally get home. I love living at the ocean front, but I hate that I can’t afford to buy my own place yet. I rent a duplex, and my neighbors decided this would be the perfect night to have a “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but it seems to require loud country music, a dozen ‘good ol’ boys’, 3 Confederate flags, and a case of Miller High Life, the champagne of beers. I saw the beer pong table, the tubs of tobacco, and at least 5 dogs in the front lawn. Awesome.

It was pretty obvious that I wouldn’t get any sleep, so I headed over to the 7/11, grabbed a brown bag special and headed to the beach. It was beautiful night, I took the picture above to try and catch the lights reflecting off the water. I’ve always found the beach relaxing and soothing. I grew up in Florida, I’ve always lived by the water and there is some cheesy analogy I should insert here about the changing tides and the changes happening in my life, but I will refrain. There is an upside tot his douche of a day. I discovered something about myself that I’m sure will be with me for the rest of my life. It’s one of those discoveries that transcend the entire BS and bring you back down to earth, and I never in a million years would have found this out if it weren’t for the events of today. I had no idea how good a $4.25 bottle strawberry – banana
Mad Dog is. Awesome.

Monday, April 27, 2009

O.G. Diagnostic Essay

The best road trip of my life was in May of 2002, the year I turned 21. This road trip consisted of 5 states and 3 countries and includes a funeral, a wedding, midgets, gambling, international customs, romance, disguises, and surfing. It simultaneously was the best and worst trip of my life.

It began on a very sad note. I was in San Diego going to school and working as a professional surfer. While at a competition I got the news that my Grandfather had passed away. I knew he was sick and I would be getting that phone call at some point, but I was hoping he would be around a little bit longer. That day, me and my roommate, Jen, loaded up my Dodge Neon and started our drive from California to New Orleans, LA. As we were driving through the desert of Eastern California, close to the Arizona border, the air conditioning gave out. We got a hotel room in Phoenix and by noon the same day, the temperature was 108 degrees. We stayed the night there and had dinner with some Mexican Indians who told us stories of the Chupacabra and performed an ancient ritual that was believed provide company to the deceased as they journeyed to Heaven.

The next day, which was just as hot, we drove from Phoenix to El Paso. We stopped for the night at the request of the Texas State Trooper, who informed us that the tires on my car did not match, and driving 95 MPH was not safe. The next morning, after a quick stop at an auto body shop, we left for New Orleans. My Grandfather fought in 3 wars as an Air Force Pilot and won several medals, so the funeral was very honorable and ritualistic. It was hard watching my Grandmother, mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins cry, but we all knew he had been in pain and moved on to a better place. Afterwards, at dinner, my Grandmother gave me a birthday card Grandpa had got me before he died. In it was a check for $100 and a note that read 'You only have this birthday once- give me an Irish Homecoming and then go live your life.' So that's what I did.

The next day, May 1st, Jen and I left for the start of the celebration.
The first stop was Austin, Texas for a music festival known as South by Southwest. Here, me and Jen met up with some locals and bounced around from stage to stage and bar to bar. The night was going great, there was food, music, drinks, friends and a whole lot of debauchery. While walking outdoors between stages we saw a large crowd gathered around and chanting "Fight! Fight!" As we got closer, we saw two midgets, dressed as clowns, in a fist fight. I asked a bystander what was going on and the story was that the midgets were hired by a bar to be entertainment but one midget hit on another midgets girlfriend, who was also a midget. So they two guys started throwing punches, the bar that hired them threw them out, the fight continued outside and resulted in over two dozen midgets fighting, all dressed as clowns. It was a very odd sight, at since the sun was almost up; we decided to call it a night.

The next morning we drove from Austin to Phoenix. Here, I left Jen to drive the rest of the way home and boarded a plane with some guys on my surf team and took off for Bali, Indonesia. I have been to Bali several times, but this time was very unique. During the 22 hour flight there, I met another surfer named Chad. We shared pretzels and watched Seinfeld reruns together during the flight. After the plane landed, I regrouped with my original crew got in line for customs. While in line I heard someone call my name in the airport. I turned around and saw Chad at the front of the line, I asked him what he was doing and he dropped down on one knee and proposed to me. The whole airport burst in applause and started taking pictures. When the applause died down I felt like a thousand eyes were on me, waiting for my response. I just shouted 'NO!' And did my best to avoid him for the rest of the trip. Even while avoiding Chad, I still had two great days of relaxing and surfing.

On May 4th, my actual birthday, I got back on a plane and headed to Las Vegas, NV. By this time, the time changes and crossing the date line twice had completely disoriented me, so I decided that the best strategy was to drink as much alcohol as possible, since I was 21 now. When I landed in Vegas, I was met by a group of friends from San Diego who were there to help me celebrate. I don't remember much of this night. There was one picture taken, and it's of me wearing a huge afro wig drinking a hurricane. I do, however, remember the next morning. I woke up in a hotel room, fully clothed, but very confused. I stumbled around trying to find someone I knew, there was about a dozen people in the suite, but I wasn't having any luck. It wasn't until I was gathering my purse and shoes that I noticed the ring on my left hand. And in my purse was a scribbled on marriage certificate. I couldn't read the signatures on but did recognize my own name on it. I panicked and tried my best to remember what happened but I could not recall anything. But I did remember Chad proposing in Bali. I called my friends who were still in Bali and asked them if I got married. They laughed and assured me that I was not married to Chad and that he was still in Bali. This was somewhat of a relief, but I still didn't know who I married. I was making phone calls, trying to find my friends when a guy walked in and kissed me on the cheek. I asked who he was and he just stared at me blankly and pointed to the ring on his hand. I assumed this was my husband. And after a few more questions I discovered that my hubby was visiting from Greece, and didn't speak English. I grabbed the marriage certificate and my husband and went to the concierge in the hotel lobby. I explained as much as I could and showed him the certificate. The concierge told me that the certificate was bought in a tourist shop and had no legal bearing. To be safe, I took my husband and the marriage certificate to a law office that was conveniently located in the same hotel and the lawyers there had a good laugh but assured me it was invalid. I had only been in Vegas for nine hours and was ready to go. My friends eventually all stumbled into the lobby and we got a cab to the airport and got on the next flight to San Diego. On the plane ride home I realized that I came to Vegas with a thousand dollars and left with twelve bucks and a hangover.

Now it was May 5th, technically my birthday was over, but I usually celebrate on the fifth, especially in San Diego. Who can pass up a birthday celebration on one of the greatest holidays on the calendar, Cinco de Mayo. Admittedly, I was running out of steam. But I rallied and after we got to San Diego, we hopped in a car and drove straight down to Tijuana. Tijuana on Cinco de Mayo is full of parades, tequila, food, and parties. And we took advantage of each one of these things. Five of us jumped on a float that looked like a giant bullfrog and threw candy out into the crowd; we had a never ending supply of tequila, and partied at a rented house my surf team bought for the weekend. I tried and tried to hang on for the night, but I was asleep by 9:00 pm. The next morning I woke up with a few drawings on my face and cheetos stuck up my nose, but well rested. A few of us went to the Mexican coast for a quick surf session and then headed back up to San Diego. On the ride home we made a promise to each other to tell the story as many times as we wanted, but never name names and if any pictures ever surface, we would never pass them around. I'm not sure why some were more adamant about that than I was, but we locked pinkies and gave our word.

I don't think I could handle a birthday celebration like this one again. In fact, my last birthday was spent around a dinner table with a few close friends and simply eating together and playing board games, and I enjoyed that just as much as the wild times I've had. My Grandpa used to tell me that life is a runaway train and you only get one shot to enjoy it. From one end of the spectrum to another, I love my life.