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Monday, October 31, 2011

My Paranormal Activity


I'm not generally one to believe in ghosts or spirits of the third kind.  When I was a high school cheerleader, our coach, Mrs. Sturdevant, told the BEST ghost stories.  She lived on a supposed Indian burial ground so that set the tone and then she would tell us the all about lights coming on for no reason, doors opening and closing on their own-even a full box of laundry detergent she found dumped in her washing machine.  I loved her stories-we all did.  While I loved her stories, I never experienced anything like that in my own life...until now.  And in honor of Halloween I thought I'd share.

Last Saturday, I got up around 5:00 a.m. for a drink of water.  My glasses were laying at the top of the bed.  As I went to get up, the mattress shifted and the glasses clattered to the ground.  Thinking I'd just get them a little later, I left them.  As I stumbled back to my bed by the light of my phone (seriously, what did we do before the iPhone?).  I stopped dead in my tracks and my jaw dropped.  The glasses were back on my bed.  In a flash, my real lights were on-as in every light in my apartment.  (I turned them all on--not a ghost.)  And I was on my hands and knees convinced something else must have fallen.  Only to find nothing.  There was absolutely nothing under the bed.  Was I dreaming, sleep walking, hearing things?  Or did the unthinkable happen and something put them back on the bed for me.  Crazy, right?

RIGHT??

I realize as far as "ghost stories" go, this is one of the weakest.  But I can't explain what happened and it's been bugging me since!

Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Highlights

WOW!  October has flown by.  I can now say I'm getting the hang of my new-and very busy-job and still loving every minute of it.  Here are a few October highlights:

October 8: OU vs TX Weekend

My first Cotton Bowl!  Had a pre-game corn dog and have never seen so many people.

The best part of any football game: the band!  Love The Pride!

Almost time for kick off.  Notice both sides are full.

Texas takes a beating and their "fans" clear out.

October 20-22:  OU Homecoming

Flowers, flowers, flowers.
OU Bouquets from FTD Floral.  We put these together for Reunion Banquet and Boomer Bash.  Order yours here.
The night of OU Homecoming brought storms.  I took these photos all within five minutes of each other at the top of one of the parking garages on campus just as the game was about to begin.  


October 23:  Mom and Dad came for a visit!

Pumpkin Patch!

October 25:  Walking to work

Happy Morning Bird

October 28-29:  OSU Homecoming

Welcome OSU Alumni!  One of the greatest collegiate homecoming traditions in the nation. 
Cortney and Jeremy in front of the AGR house.
The cheerleaders performing at the exhibition game.  Toss to handstands.  It was amazing.
One of my favorites.
Another favorite.
The Duke.

So that's been a brief recap but I definitely hit the highlights.  I'm truly fortunate to have the opportunity to see both sides of Bedlam.  Having graduated from OSU and now working at OU has given me a much greater appreciation for Oklahoma and everything it has to offer.  Just finished watching both games and am thrilled they both had sizable wins.  Though I did feel a little sad for the purple team's coach.  He was just so cute.

All for now.  And whether you're a Sooner or a Cowboy, I hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hunger Games Character Posters

They're lovely.  Simple and somewhat telling.  Katniss faces a different direction and Rue has a bowed head.  Foreshadowing?  It also seems various sources were given exclusive rights to each poster (the list is at the bottom).  I find that interesting.  So here they are:

Katniss
Gale
Peeta
Cato
Cinna
Effie
Haymitch
Rue

Katniss(courtesy of Yahoo! Movies)
Gale (courtesy of Moviefone)
Peeta (courtesy of MTV)
Rue (courtesy of Teen.com)
Cato (courtesy of MSN Movies)
Cinna (courtesy of Fandango)
Haymitch (courtesy of IGN)
Effie (courtesy of EW)

Hunger Games Pop Culture

Momentum for the Hunger Games is building!  Celebrities, mega news outlets, social media, online retailers and even prime time TV shows are tapping into the Hunger Games market.  From CNN to MSN to sellers on Etsy, Entertainment Weekly, Twitter and Facebook, Psych and a plethora of other sources are unknowingly joining forces to make the Hunger Games the latest phenomenon.  And with the cast of REAL characters--not glittering 100-year-old vampires who are falling for mopy teenage girls or underage witches and wizards--Hunger Games is sure to please.  (Don't get me wrong, I loved the Harry Potter series but who among us can murmur "accio" to summon something or  "wingardium leviosa" to levitate something?  And if you try to tell me that you can, I won't believe you.)  My point is, the characters in Hunger Games are real people-they don't have superhuman powers, they aren't mythical creatures and they go to battle without magical wands.  And finally, FINALLY, a more realistic female role model-not a sap who goes almost comatose when things don't go her way.  Have I mentioned I reeeeeeeeeally can't stand the character Bella Swan???

So, here are some web highlights of things I've come across:


News Sources:
  • Forbes touches on the strategy aspect of HG in an article titled: "What, If Anything, Does the Hunger Games Teach Us About Strategy?"  The article concludes that many of the strategies outlined in the Hunger Games are "morally ambiguous."  See what you think of the write up here.
  • An op ed on how Panem parallels American government here.
  • (Insert high-pitched squeal)  The Hunger Games character posters were released yesterday!  They will get a post all their own-coming soon!

Twitter:
  • A "twitition" (twitter petition) has been started to get Jackie Emerson (aka Foxface) on Glee.  The page is run by @HannahGamble143.  Apparently when Jackie was announced to play Foxface, someone unearthed a YouTube video of her audition for a singing competition.  She sings "Holding Out for a Hero."  Yes, that song from Hercules.  Personally, I think she seems a little lackluster in the performance and her voice a slightly nasally, but I'm no Simon, Paula, Ellen, Randy, Kara or JLo.  I do think she would be good on Glee, but I may be partial since I like that show and would love to bring a little Hunger Games flair to it.  However, even if the twitition garners the number of votes that would be needed to make an impact, it's doubtful she would appear any time soon.  Producers are currently working to incorporate winners and runner-ups from "The Glee Project."
  • Perhaps one of the reasons there is a twitition floating around out there is because Jackie is so great with the fans.  She's been one of the few cast in the Hunger Games movie to regularly interact with fans.  She tweets frequently to her 5000+ followers and over the weekend, she and Dayo conducted a live chat via Twitter to answer fan questions.

Celebrity News:
  • Kristin Bell:  You know from previous blogs that Kristin Bell is a huge HG fan, even saying she'd like to play Johanna in the next installment.  Fingers crossed for her!
  • Stanley Tucci:  When speaking with MTV News, he said "We had wigs made there.  I had some noses made, which we ended up not using and teeth and a whole bunch of different things...When I got to North Carolina [to shoot Hunger Games], we played around for about seven hours and we started shooting the next day.  I was only there for about a week, but it was fantastic."

Press:
  • Los Angeles Times: 'Hunger Games' Could be Game Changer for Lions Gate and Lionsgate Brings Big Names into Film Group as 'Hunger Games' Looms.  One thing is for certain, the LA Times is not sure if it's "Lions Gate" or "Lionsgate."
  • Entertainment Weekly:  EW has had not one, but TWO cover stories featuring the Hunger Games.  Granted, it's a weekly publication, but still.  I like most of their work (beautiful photography!) except for the "The Chosen One" headline on the Katniss story.  That seems so Matrix.  And the "Brave Heart" reference seems a little far reaching.  Can they really not come up with anything original?    A few images are below.  You be the judge.



Television:
  • Let me start by saying, I do not watch Psych.  No idea what it is about or why they are holding water guns in the photo below.  Incidentally, my good friend Amy does watch the show and even she doesn't know why they are holding water guns.  Amy sent me this link and we both love the caption under "Tommy Nix."  If you can't read it, it says, "Street racer Tommy Nix went to jail for the murder of fellow criminal Max Contreras, and it was there he discovered there was more to life than muscle cars.  He discovered The Hunger Games books, and has since been reading them over and over again, anxiously awaiting the release of the film adaptations."  Now like I said, no idea who Tommy or Max are, or why one is dead and the other in jail.  Sure I have a great imagination and could think up my own plot, but the real point of the story is the Hunger Games.  You know you've made it when you make a countdown calendar for a USA Network original series.


Etsy:
  •   When doing a Hunger Games search on Etsy, hundreds of items pop up.  Here are several of my favorites:
The parachute is much like the one the sponsors would use to send "gifts" to tributes.  And at the base is a pearl.  Much like the one Peeta found in an oyster and gave to Katniss.
What better way to celebrate aging than having a Hunger Games themed party?!  This is an invitation for a Hunger Games printable party set. 
Olive Green Hunger Games messenger bag.

Halloween:
  • As you might have guessed, Hunger Games has been even more popular this Halloween season than last.
  • For pointers on Hunger Games costumes, click here.
  • For recipes, decor ideas and ways to throw a great Hunger Games themed party, click here.
Credit: NovelNovice.com

Filming of the first installment of the trilogy has wrapped and is set for release on March 23, 2012.  As my friend Amy says, "I hope they didn't ruin it."  Happy Halloween and "may the odds be ever in your favor."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Master Plans, New Friends, Birthdays and Plane Cakes

So naturally, a new job means new co-workers.  My parents are probably the only people who know exactly how apprehensive I was about a new work atmosphere.  To be frank, I was terrified.  I was such a natural fit at my first job.  I became great friends with so many there-specifically Amy and Jeannie who became my very best friends.  Needless to say, moving to a city where I really didn't know anyone and starting a job where there weren't any familiar faces was completely daunting.

******
Side story:  One of my cousins was the person who told me about the job opening.  I applied and you know how it ended...I got the job!  But before all that, my cousin was looking for within the company, or university in this case.  She finally gave up and turned it over to God, knowing he had a great, master plan.  She was an incredible support and help to me throughout my lengthy (and stressful) application and interview process.  She helped me find things around campus, told me about the department and was a big source of constant encouragement.  I know it sounds cliche, but I truly don't know what I would have done without her.  One week after I got the job, she got a promotion!  Such great news, but it meant we were only on the same campus for ONE week.  I can't help but wonder if He kept her there for me.  And, given the way everything fell into place with me getting the job, moving up here so quickly, finding an apartment that was practically made for me so close to campus and her promotion coming right after I'd secured everything.....it's amazing when you can look back and piece together how one of those intricately amazing master plans came together.   Just thought I'd share.

******

So back to my new co-workers.  It's safe to say I had nothing to worry about!  They have all been great. I told Amy we could do a line-up like on Sean of the Dead when the two groups walk by each other and each member of one group is a mirror image of someone in the other group.  Not that they're exactly the same but at times, I can definitely see resemblances.  They have been welcoming and warm and fun!  Most of all, they have made me feel like I'm a part of them-that I belong-and for that, I will always be thankful.  AND, they celebrate birthdays and love food!  Those of you who know me know I can find a way to celebrate (and blog about) ANYTHING so I have really enjoyed joining this team.  As of late, we have been celebrating a lot of office birthdays!  Today was Shane's birthday.  Shane is one of those people who is always smiling.  He's also in the process of getting his pilot's license.

Now, those of you who know me also know I LOVE to put people's faces on things.  My brother has probably gotten the worst of this hobby, though I think he enjoys it.  I once did an entire "Barney's Book of Hugs" with him as the lead kid.  Then there was Martha Stewart, Siegfried and Roy, Buddy the Elf and I could go on and on.  Maybe I'll post a blog consisting of only things I've put his face on.  Ha! Yeah, that's a must.

But today was Shane's turn:

Once I photoshopped his face on the plane, the only thing left was the cupcakes.  I went with dark chocolate fudge and my mom's famous cream cheese icing, which usually goes on carrot cake but was a nice pairing with dark chocolate also.   A few drops of blue food coloring transformed the icing into the "sky" and marshmallows made the perfect "clouds."  I cut the Shane planes out, taped them to coffee stick stirrers and poked them in the center of the cupcakes.  These were fun and simple, yet very well received.  So should you have a pilot or someone who enjoys planes in your life, this is a sure-to-please idea.  And forgive the mussed icing....they took a tumble in my car on the way to work...I almost cried.  Almost.

That's all for now.  Happy Birthday to Shane and have a good night!!