Friday, July 29, 2011

The Rant I Related to The Hunger Games

Disclaimer: This post is a rant, as forementioned in the title (See up there?). If you don't want to hear me complain (which is going to happen in this post), turn around now. Don't say you haven't been warned! =]

Today I woke up in a complete panic. Actually it took a minute or two for the panic to set it, but once I realized what the day was and starting doubting that I had read the paper wrong, I started to panic.

Why was I panicking you ask? What is this paper I speak of?

Oh nothing but my summons or jury service or the worst two words known to Americans: JURY DUTY.

I got the survey a couple of months ago, you know the survey that lets them know if you're qualified to be a juror. Well when I pulled the envelope out of the mailbox, I knew exactly what it was.

Also side rant: You know how most people get called to jury duty in their county? I would be the one who gets called to serve in Richmond, you know an hour from my house. What the heck, U.S. Government, what the heck?!

Back to pulling my jury duty questionnaire out of the mailbox. When I did, I am sad to say a couple of uneducated-American questions came to mind.

First I thought, wait, I'm only 23 years old, how can I have jury duty? Secondly I thought, well if I get this over with now, I won't have to do it again (Then I recalled conversations from the teachers' lounge that reminded me how wrong this statement is).

Now I understand the importance of jury duty and a fair trial, but I thought of a better way to do it. Actually Suzanne Collins did.

Jury duty would be so much better if it was done like the reaping in the book, The Hunger Games.

If you haven't read the book, the basic idea (for jury duty that is; in the book only 12-18 year olds are eligible for the reaping) is that once you turn 18, your name goes in once, when you turn 19 it goes in twice. So by the time you're 20, your name is in there 6 times. And by the time you're 23 (like me), my name would be in there twenty one times, which seems like a lot until you compare it to the number of times a 50-year-old's name would be in there (feel free to do that math on your own.)

Therefore, I'd be less likely to be the girl calling the number on her paper every day after 6 p.m. to see if I have to report 40 miles to Richmond, to pay up to $17 dollars to park in a parking deck, to serve on a jury for $40 dollars (hey, I can't complain about this because I do need money).

Also if you have read The Hunger Games, go buy it from Amazon and read it immediately! And then read Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) and Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)!  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fiction into Film

Second semester of my senior year in college I had the opportunity to take a class that was about a topic that it turned out I was very interested in. The class was Film and Literature. And though the class was in Spanish, I found that comparing movies with the literature from which they were derived is something that I enjoy doing. I loved discussing the methods the director used to compensate for the narrator or other things that were hard to translate from book to film.

Every book's made into a movie. You should go see the movie; you don't have to read a book. But book people are getting smart, they're called authors, they'll re-release the book when a movie comes out. Put a picture of the actor on the cover: trick people who like movies into buying the books. Like, 'Fight Club' is a movie made out of a book; they re-released it, people are like, 'Oh, Brad Pitt's in this book. So far just words. 'Fight Club' the first rule of you should have been: don't be a book. I will fight you, book.' Then that guy fights that book and it turns out in the end that guy is that book.--Myq Kaplan

Now, while I spent 18 weeks analyzing film and literature, it only just recently occurred to me that maybe I should blog about my opinions on the book vs. the movie. I've always been one of those people who hates when people don't read the book before they watch the movies on stuff like Harry Potter. But what really started my interest in blogging about this topic was when I went to visit Harrisonburg in April and I was sitting at Beau's baseball game and his sister, Chelsea and I got to talk about books and movies. Needless to say, we missed a couple innings of the game, discussing some of Nicholas Sparks' books vs the movies they were made into.

So here goes the start on this journey. I don't know how long this will last but if you have any suggestions, I'm willing to hear them. Also feel free to leave your opinions in the comment section. And if you haven't read the book or seen the movie, by all means, please go read and watch so we can discuss and analyze!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Portland and Lighthouses

Twice during our stay at Great Diamond Island, not counting the day we arrived and the day we left, we took the ferry back into Portland for some sightseeing and some souvenir shopping.

The first day we went in Tuesday was just to souvenir shop and relieve our cabin fever a bit! I was excited about getting to see the city of Portland. And I can't even begin to describe it to you. It's like no other city I've visited. With its cobblestone sidewalks and funky little shops, it's definitely a city you should explore.

Actually taken on Thursday, I think
Above is a photo of the outside of one of the Mexicali Blues, where Stephanie and I bought cute headbands. And on Thursday, Patti went back and bought a cute skirt from there. It's a cute little hippie store, which surprisingly they had a bunch of shops similar to this in Portland.

On Tuesday, we had lunch at Dry Dock, which was delicious minus the fact that my BLT burger was a little bit burnt! Anyway, Stephanie was a good sport and let me take an absurd amount of photos of her clam chowder, which smelled delicious!

After lunch we continued to souvenir shop and then took the 3:15 back to Great Diamond Island.

On Thursday, we planned to go see the lighthouses. But we had to wait for Daniel and his dad to get back from lobster hauling! So Stephanie, Patti, and I had some time to kill in Portland. This is when we went back to the popcorn store and hit up Starbucks (the new coconut creme frapp is awesome!)

Then we headed over to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights State Park, where we ate lunch.

Here is one of the two lights.
After we learned that you can't actually get up to either of the two lights because they are private property, we headed to Fort Williams where we saw some old mansions and forts and eventually, Portland Head Lighthouse.

Goddard Mansion

Portland Head Lighthouse
Have you ever been to Portland, ME? If so, what are some of your favorite places and sights?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Maine Obsession: It's Poppin', it's poppin'...

On Tuesday, we all went into Portland (more about the city of Portland later) and I found my new obsession.
We were walking up Exchange St. when we walked by this store that had the word POPCORN written on the window. But what was more interesting was the popcorn in the window; it didn't look like normal popcorn. Some of it was blue and some of it was multicolored.
Needless to say, our curosity was piqued. We decided to go in. And boy am I glad we did.

So you know how you walk into an ice cream shop and there are all these flavors to choose from? Imagine that with popcorn! That's what Coastal Maine Popcorn Company did.
They have two types of flavors: sweets and savories. The first day we went in there (yes, we visited more than once), we were a bit overwhelmed! Stephanie ended up getting Key Lime Pie and it was delicious!
As Patti and I were mooching off of her popcorn later that night, we started doing our research on the computer. We started out of Facebook because we told the lady at the store that we'd "like" them. Facebook led us to their website and it was then we knew we had to make a second trip. I mean, my mouth was watering for popcorn and that only happens when I think about Buffalo Wild Wings.
On Thursday before we went to see the lighthouses (again, more about that later; patience young grasshoppers), Stephanie, Patti, and I walked around Portland until the popcorn store was finally open at 11 a.m.
When it finally opened, we went in and sampled I don't even know how many flavors. The good thing is that between the 3 of us I think we walked out with 7 bags!

One of our samples
I bought Toasted Coconut for myself and Marshmallow and Cotton Candy for my sisters. I know Patti also got Cotton Candy and Hot Wings&Bleu Cheese for Ben. Stephanie also got Hot Wings&Bleu Cheese and Salt&Vinegar.
Stephanie and Patti in front of Coastal Maine Popcorn Company.
Anyways  Coastal Maine Popcorn Company has two stores, one in Portland and one in Boothbay Harbor. Also you can order online and have it shipped to your house! Please check out their website here and if you're ever in Maine, go by and sample some popcorn! You won't be sorry!


The day we got to Maine (Thursday) we checked the newspapers and the fliers down at the dock to see what was going on that week. There was gonna be Tai Chi on Saturday morning that we eventually decided to pass on, since A) We had to be at the dock at 9:00 a.m. and B) I don't know if any of us were really serious about doing Tai Chi anyway!
But what did catch our eye (or eyes), you ask?  The Adult Bingo, that was taking place on Saturday night. The sign said $1 dollar per game, bring small bills. And that we did.
And we brought our game faces!
We showed up at the hall right before the event was supposed to start (I think it was 7 or 8, I can't remember now). Anyway, right as we showed up so did another group of about 7 or 8 ladies showed up to face Patti, her parents, Daniel, Stephanie, and I in Bingo.

Or I should say speed bingo. First of all, it was a dollar per 3 square sheet (above; notice my card had to have a 23 on it!) per game. So if you paid $1 you had 3 different bingo squares to get bingo on. And the lady called out the numbers so fast! So imagine if you played 3 3-square sheets. You had 9 bingo squares to look at!
The winnings was all the money from that round! And I was determined to win. Which I finally did. Got me a good $18 dollars or so. Patti's dad won like 3 or 4 times but I think he spent most of his winnings paying for us to play (Thanks!). Also a couple of the ladies in the other group won several times too.
All in all, we had so much fun and I've never played bingo so competively before. I might need to start!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Come sail away!

On Saturday (after waving goodbye to Aunt Patti and Uncle Glenn), Jason invited Stephanie, Patti, and I to go sailing with him. Stephanie had gone sailing with Jason on Thursday as soon as Patti and I got to the island and she'd been singing his praises since then (after all, he did go to Cornell).

We headed down to the dock ready for our sailing adventure. Patti and I watched (and laughed) as Stephanie attempted to row the boat to pick us up from the dock. We finally got on the sailboat and that's when we learned that Jason was just learning to sail, haha! And that we had picked one of the windiest days to go sailing!

The sail!
Everything started out lovely! Jason taught us some sailing vocabulary; ropes on a sailboat are called lines, etc. We were making our way through the bay. Patti was learning how to do something with the lines; I forget what it was called.

All I know is that at some point the wind picked up and we were keeling over. Yes, that's really what it's called when the boat starts tipping; which unlike the term, is not funny at all! All I know is that Patti and Stephanie were sitting across from me and at one point, I was looking up at them!

Steph, before we keeled over or else she wouldn't look that happy!
Anyway, Jason got everything under control (he's awesome under pressure btw) and we put the motor on (thank God for that motor) and we kinda rode the waves for a bit (the waves were scary too). Patti and I both got to try our hand at steering. I was awful at it. I have trouble with left and right anyways and you have to go opposite of the way you wanna go when you steer. It was wicked confusing (like I threw that wicked in there, huh?).

Patti, looking like she knows exactly what she's doing!
Me, not so much

After all, we went back and boy were we glad to be on solid ground! It was definitely an enjoyable, adventurous time! It wasn't that scary, looking back! Thanks Jason for taking us out! =]

Monday, July 11, 2011

When in Maine, do as the Maine-iacs do...

Not only did I want to experience the whole being in a new state thing, I also wanted to experience some new things!

My first chance came on the night of our first full day here, Friday. We were graciously invited to the Weber's for lobster, or in Maine, lobstah!

Now I don't know if you've figured it out, but we don't have much lobster in Dinwiddie. I mean, you can probably buy it at Wal-mart (that's not in Dinwiddie) but it's most definitely not the same I am sure.

Here is one of the several trays of LOBSTAH shared between the 3 families invited to this shindig!


Lawrence, my lobstah of choice!

I did manage to poke myself while trying to crack open my lobstah. Lucky me got a hard shelled one. =[ But for those of you who haven't tried lobstah, it was pretty good! The tail tasted like shrimp! I must say I wasn't much for dipping my lobstah in the buttah!

Me, trying to figure this lobstah thing out. Look at Patti, she 's a  pro!

Me and all the leftover lobstah! 
Are you a fan of the lobstah? What's the newest food you've tried lately? Did you like it?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Charting New Territory

Until I went to college in August 2006, I had never lived more than 25 miles from the hospital where I was born in Petersburg, Virginia. As a child, I had been on various vacations and field trips that had taken me to Maryland (Baltimore), Washington, D.C., North Carolina (The Outer Banks) and in high school, finally, South Carolina (Myrtle Beach).

Luckily JMU made me world a little bigger. Not only was I living 3 hours away from my hometown, I was presented with opportunity to add more states to my list of states visited and driven through, as you see here.

July 2010 put Georgia and Florida on the list of states I visited!

And now I am proud to say, my map has gotten a little more colorful! A little more than a week ago, my roomie/JMU partner in crime, Patti asked if I would like to go on vacation with her family -- to Maine.

I graciously accepted. So on Wednesday afternoon, I headed to Lake Caroline to spend the day/night with Patti since we'd be leaving at 4 AM. (It takes 12 hours to drive to Maine.)

And so began this SoVa girl's journey towards the North. We went through Maryland, Delaware, and then New Jersey. We stopped at a rest stop in New Jersey so now I know for sure I've stepped in NJ. Also I got to experience for the first time, the whole it's-illegal-to-pump-your-own-gas-in-NJ thing. Below is a photo I snapped on my BlackBerry of Joe. the gas station attendant, pumping our gas for us!

Thanks, Joe!
After NJ, we drove through New York. At one point when we crossed a bridge, you could see the NYC skyline through the fog (oh how I can't wait to be there again!). Then after New York, I got my first opportunity to drive through and stop in Connecticut! We drove through Hartford, which made me think of Gilmore Girls, of course. 

Then came Massachusetts, New Hampshire (which I almost slept completely through) and finally, Maine! 

Here is the photo of the ferry boat we got on to get to Great Diamond Island!

Well that's the story of my journey to Great Diamond Island! More about my adventures here later!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fried Rice, Pool and Potluck

I'm behind a week because the Internet at my house has been on the outs. Anyways, I've been uber busy!

On Monday, I went out to eat with Tori, also known as "Little Duke." After she graduated from DHS, she followed in my footsteps to James Madison University.

We went to eat in Hopewell at Elephant Thai and I had the best fried rice ever! It was so good I practically proposed to Tori (inside joke - you had to be there)!

Best Fried Rice Ever!

We went back to Tori's house afterwards and I showed her stuff on the Internet about JMU Alumni groups. She said that she'd attend events with me! Finally someone to go with me!

On Tuesday, Aspen and I headed out to Sutherland Manor to hang out with Tricia (JMU c/o 2015) and Cannithy! And I got sunburnt! Epic fail! I now understand that it is of utmost importance to put sunscreen on my face, though I usually don't burn. I put sunscreen on my shoulders and my chest and I still got burnt! It hurt so badly!

Then on Thursday, I finally got to meet Matt, my friend, Jessica's boyfriend from England. Tori and I met them over at her house for a potluck dinner! We had a great time, lots of good food, and did nerdy things on our computers! Brooke joined us after she got off work and read stuff to us off of Tumblr! It was hilarious!

Anyway, I'm off on my next big adventure! Don't worry, you'll hear all about it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of my absolute favorite holidays! I mean, what's better than cookouts and fireworks?

However, the reason I love it so much is because I love dressing up for it! Every year, I go all out in red, white, and blue! The only other colors I wear better than red, white, and blue are purple and gold (but how much I go out in JMU spirit is another story)!

Here is a photo collection that I put together of myself dressed up for Fourth of July since 2007 (so not only do you get to see my outfits, you get to see how much I've changed in looks - not much btw). Enjoy!

My sisters and I (far right) 2007

2007 - My sisters and I celebrated in DeWitt!

2008 - I was babysitting this summer so Miranda and I celebrated on July 3rd with cupcakes, signs, decorations, and 4th of July temporary tattoos.


2009 - I was in Harrisonburg for the summer. Michelle, Kevin, and I went to the parade downtown for some fun, food, and fireworks!

2010 in Florida
2010 - I was in Florida! My first 4th of July outside of Virginia!

2011 - In DeWitt. Fireworks were postponed due to rain.