Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Royal Wedding Post or Why I'm Watching

I never put a pillowcase on my head and acted out my dream wedding when I was a little girl.
I did wear my mother's nursing cap with dreams of being a nurse one day, and I also dreamt of being a princess. So far one of these two has come true, and I am left with my childhood fantasies of becoming royalty.
My sister managed to marry a Prince, and I did marry my Prince Charming (after kissing my share of frogs) but somehow missed out on that tiara.
So this brings me to my blog topic, (que the trumpets), The ROYAL WEDDING!!
Okay, so some of you are immediately clicking out and moving on to something that applies to our country and doesn't include an out dated, essentially powerless monarchy.
If you are still reading at this point it's because you're either a hopeless romantic like myself, or you are a family member who feels compelled to read my blog out of loyalty. And maybe both.
I was 4 years old when my mom woke me up in the middle of the night and sat with my sisters and me on the folded out hide-a-bed to watch Prince Charles marry Diana. I remember fighting to stay awake, and I remember that everyone exclaimed about her dress and it's 25 foot long train.

I remember that the newlyweds kissed on balcony.

I was in awe of this beautiful woman who found love and with it became a Princess.

And I remember wishing, as a 4 year old girl, that I could be a Princess too.

Unfortunately, royalty didn't go so well for Princess Diana, but she left her legacy of two handsome young men who carry her good looks and are the future of Britain's royal family.

And now, 30 years later, I am still enthralled with this family, these young men who are trying to have some level of normalcy by attending college and joining the military, yet carry the title of Prince, the burden of one day being King, and live in the world's spotlight.

Enter Kate Middleton. Beautiful, sophisticated, stylish, daughter to millionaires, and (gasp) a commoner!

There is a list of things I love about this couple. It was romantic that William gave her time to understand what she was getting into. She seems similiar to Diana in her simple yet sophisticated style. The couple looks adorable together. She is keeping her dress a secret until the last minute. And lets not forget that I feel more a part of it because I watched Charles and Diana's wedding 30 years ago.

But I think what I love the most is the idea that this woman was once a little girl, who like me, probably dreamed of one day becoming a princess. And for her, the dream came true. This is the magic that makes this wedding appealing to me.

Adlai Stephenson once said "In America, any boy can grow up to be President. And that's just the risk he takes". This is one of the things that makes America great.

But the happenstance, the coincidences, the glass slippers and fairy god mother that can turn any girl into a Princess, that is what makes a royal wedding, and especially this royal wedding magical. At least for me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Oops, I Did It Again, or Sorry- Gotta Run

As busy as I have been with nursing school, I had not planned on running in the Rock and Roll Half Marathon this year. I have had almost no time to exercise, much less train for a marathon, so even though the idea of missing it made me very sad, I tried to put it out of my mind and try to study.
I have had several friends, and even a few nursing instructors who were training for it. I wished them luck and told myself I would make it next year.
One of my friends, Matt, had signed up several months ago, but tore his meniscus at Army National Guard training. He still picked up his race packet to get the t-shirt even though he knew he couldn't do the marathon.
On Saturday afternoon I asked if I could take his number and do it for him. So Saturday evening around 8:00 I picked up his race number and pinned it to my marathon shirt.
Chris told me I was crazy. I figured he was right, but 7:00 Sunday morning found me at the start line of the race with all my runner gear on and ready to go.
I knew I couldn't run it, I would have to walk. But the guy that finishes in one hour and the guy that finishes in 4 hours are both half marathon finishers and both get the same medal.
This picture is when we are going over the bridge around mile 3. There are lots of people going up. The few that are coming toward us going down the bridge are on mile 10 and probably finished in the 1 hour 15 minute range. (They started before us).
At mile 4 I was feeling great. The timer says 1:32. I started at 0:33, so I was maintaining a 15 minute mile at that point. Not bad for walking.
We ran under this rock and roller on Camp Pendleton around mile 8+
When we made the turn onto the boardwalk at mile 12+ we got a full view of the ocean.
The boardwalk seems like it's forever long, and even though I could see the finish line, it just didn't seem to get closer.
Mile 13 is a wonderful sight. But that last 0.1 mile seems to be the longest of the whole thing.
Even though I was just walking, I was still pretty tired by that point.
About this point I started to run, so I could at least cross the finish line running.
Even though this was my 4th half marathon, I still started crying when I crossed the finish line. And like the 3 other times, I made myself stop because I couldn't breathe when I was crying.
I always consider walking to the water and getting my feet wet, but everytime so far I have opted to just head back to the shuttle.
If my mouth looks a little blue here, it's from the popsicle they handed me after I crossed the finish line.
I have worn the same white shirt and the same Hill Cumorah visor for all 4 of my half marathons.
I think my final time was about 3:36, which I actually feel pretty awesome about considering my complete lack of training.
The only downside of doing this is that my muscles are getting even with me today. I am in PAIN. But I still think it was worth it. The pain will wear off, but I will remember completing my 4th half marathon -with NO training- forever.
So who is going to join me next year? I promise we'll train better.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Past Tense of Text or The Word of the Day

Among conversations I often hear different pronunciations of the past tense of the word "text".
Some people say "I tex'd you." While others will say "I texted you." with the word having 2 separate syllables; "text-ed".
In order to resolve this matter of grammar, (as I am a bit of a grammar fiend), I have spent some thought and google time studying it out.
Apparently, the word "text" is still not recognized by many as a verb. Most dictionaries still list it as a noun and it is only considered a verb when used as slang. Under which rule it would be most appropriate to say "I sent you a text."
So while we are waiting for the officials who define the English language to catch up with the people who actually use it, I have come up with the answer.
Most Americans text (v.) everyday, so it must have a past tense.
Most English verbs follow one of three rules:
1) Many English verbs become a different version of the word when used in past tense:
sit, sat
run, ran
lend, lent
drink, drank, etc.
2) Many verbs end in -ed which is simply combined with the last syllable:
walk, walked
pour, poured
look, looked, etc.
3) Many English verbs that ends with 2 consonants, the second of which is a hard D or T (when not following rule #1), add an -ed as an additional syllable:
lift, lifted
act, acted
halt, halted
mend, mended etc.
One can assume, that when the word "text" is finally accepted as a verb, and in the mean time while it is being used at length by the American public as a verb, that it will not follow the first example and become a different version of the word ("taxt? tixt? I don't think so).
"Text" should instead follow other verbs such as handed, landed, gifted and sifted such as referred to in the third rule and should be pronounced "texted" (text-ed) with 2 syllables.
Please realize that I am not a linguist (however cunning I may be), and I am certain there are further exceptions to the rules I mentioned. If you choose to disagree with me? Fine, just go disagree with me to someone else. You might even sound smart.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tiger Mom Loves Baby Piggies or False Advertising

According to an email I received the other day, there was a poor Mama Tiger in a California zoo who gave birth to tiger cub triplets. The poor cubbies died and the mother got depressed. She was failing to thrive.
The Zoo personel felt that if she could foster some other cubs it might reinvigor her desire to live. They contacted other zoos but were unable to find any orphaned tiger cubs.
What they found instead were a litter of piglets whose mother had died.
The zoo personel wrapped the piglets in tiger skins and put them in the habitat with the tiger. They then waited to see if the piglets would be a treatment tool, or if they would become lunch.
I thought this story was incredibly sweet and good blog fodder if it was true, so I checked it out on snopes.com.
Unfortunately the whole story was not true.
The pictures were actually taken in a zoo in Thailand at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo. This zoo has more than 400 tigers and occasionally gets bored with the normal tiger habitat exhibit so they cross exhibits by putting the tiger cubs in with a mother pig or vice versa.
This was the case with these pictures. All the same, these pics are adorable and serve to be a sort of Lion-laying-down-with-the-lamb example.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Square Root of a Duck

Random wanderings on the internet bring up interesting findings. For example, someone on Yahoo Answers asked "What is the square root of a duck?"


. .

Even more interesting than the question were some of the answers.

See for yourself:


Answer #1, given by Questor

D=500 (roman numeral)

u=(.000001) (prefix of of millionth)

C=100 (roman numeral)

K=1000 (metric system)


DuCK = (500)(.000001)(100)(1000)




sqrt*50= +/- 7.07

And you may add the inverse of Duck is roasted duck lying on its back in spices and sauce. (kind of makes me hungry, what's for dinner?)


Answer #2, given byDylan:
Well, I'm sure you've heard 2+2=fish, so a fish=4, so the square root of fish is 2.
Ducks and fish are closely related, they both live in/on lakes, both have 4 letters and are both part of the canine family. So the square root of a fish must be very close to 2.
Therefore the square root of a duck is 2.2
Dylan cites his source as: Personal experience in being a duck.
Answer #3, given by 3k1yp2:
I disagree with Dylan. I have been a duck and a fish, and ducks and fish are very different. I can make blow kisses to everyone when I'm a fish, but not when I'm a duck.
When I'm a duck I have an indescribable desire to wiggle by butt. So butt wiggling considered, and also considering that a duck has only 2 wings (unless it is a dragon duck) so... the square root of a duck must be 7.
Yes, 7. But not seven. Just 7.
There were a few other answers given, but I felt those 3 were the most worth posting.
Do you have a better answer? (Mike, you should take this as a direct challenge.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


In a few minutes of blog surfing during a class break today I found a great video by a music group I had previously never heard of.
Apparently this group, Ok Go, is better known for their videos than their music. This video is a good reason why. The song, "This Too Shall Pass" is cool, but way better for being in this video.
Call the kids in to watch. You're going to want to see it more than once.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alice in Wonderland, a Review

I was able to see the new Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3-D this weekend with my family.
My personal experience was that it was a delightful, visually delicious, modern remake of a very old story, written by Lewis Carroll in 1864.
This creative story has been through it's own rabbit hole of evolution since it was first told as a bedtime story. From verbal tale to book, to cartoon movie, to 3 dimensional film, this one time children's story has taken on life and adventure of it's own.
As with any book made into a movie, those who have been fans of Alice and her experiences in the rabbit hole for years may be disappointed by the changes in the story line and the calignosity (it means darkness, look it up) of parts of the movie. Not to say that it was gothic or had a dark mood, it just wasn't luminous and bright in every scene. If you are familiar with any Tim Burton movies you should expect that darker element.
Part of what made the movie so visually captivating was the changes between the bright and colorful scenes and the grayer, starker scenes. I found myself waiting anxiously for the brightness again. I have always felt that the books had a slightly dark side. I remember being terrified of the Queen of Hearts when I read the book at the age of 8.
The characters were bold and entrancing throughout the film. Alice actually seemed a little boring to me, although she had some really great outfits. My personal favorite was the dress made out of curtains while at the Red Queen's court.
(Not the one pictured below.)
Let me clarify that I have never been a die hard Johnny Depp fan, like so many females, but in this movie, any time that he was not on screen was just not as engaging. From his first appearance as the Mad Hatter when he walks the length of the table at the tea party, to the very end when Alice bids him goodbye before returning to her world, I enjoyed the movie more when he was in the scene.
My favorite scene in the movie was a relatively short bit where the Mad Hatter is walking through a tulgey wood with Alice on his hat and he quotes a bit from the poem, the Jabberwocky:
"'Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimber in the wabe: all mimsy were the borogroves, and the mome raths outgrabe."
One critical addition to the plot of this movie was the integration of Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky.

(Thanks to aeromental.net for the picture.)

(You can learn more about Jabberwocky by clicking here.)
I particularly enjoyed this addition as I have always loved "Jabberwocky". I recognized that this would be an element from the first time a character referred to the "Frabjous Day".
With the release of Avatar a few months ago, we have entered a new generation of film making and viewing. Use of computer animation, special effects and 3-D has taken movies into not a new chapter, but a new book in film making history.
Movies will never be the same.
Many of us tell our children about the days before cell phones, not so long ago. I believe our children will be telling their children about the days when we watched everything in 2-D.
Alice in Wonderland will be to our children what The Wizard of Oz was to children a few generations ago and moving pictures were to their grandparents.
This movie was not just a retelling of a classic tale, it was a recreation of a story in a form never seen before.
Even if you are not interested in Alice's plight I recommend seeing this movie, and the film Avatar if you haven't already, for no other reason than that it is unlike any movie experience you have ever had and you will be witnessing movie making history.
Enjoy! And pour some m&ms in your popcorn just for me.