Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Door number 1 or door number 2?

Did anyone else out there read the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid (aka CYOA for the truly devoted)? I don't recall reading many of them but what I remember most was my typical approach to how I chose my adventure. I read a couple chapters, made my choice when prompted, turned a few pages into the book and read my next stage, made another choice, turned about 15 more pages, read my next stage and then I swear mine always ended with something really lame. Boo! So what is the only thing to be done?!? Start over again and pick a different sequence of choices to get a cooler adventure. Am I right? Is there any other way to read a CYOA book??

What if we could live life like one big CYOA? Or rather the CYOA where you cheat like I did. On one hand, it could be pretty rad. I could get to the conclusion after my series of page turning and if it wasn't what I wanted it to be, go back and pick option B instead of option A and have a whole different set of adventures. Would you take more risks knowing that no matter how it turned out you could always go back and change things or would you play it extra safe? It was quite disappointing to feel like you were on a roll with the adventure only to have it abruptly halted by the page with the big stop sign at the bottom of the last paragraph. It'd be nice to have the option of turning back from the big ugly stop sign and starting back at the beginning. Man, I sure do hate that big stop sign.

On the other hand, part of what makes an adventure an adventure is the risk. The unknown holds a certain thrill that makes life interesting. I have tried to live my life with no regrets. That doesn't mean I haven't done some pretty ridiculous stuff. It just means that I recognize that life is too short to regret the "adventures". I don't have the luxury of turning back the pages and picking a different route so why waste time pretending like I can. Our choices in life are the source of much of our life lessons. Good or bad, they contribute to that wonderful gem called opposition. We can't appreciate the sweet without the bitter, joy without the sorrow.

I have a few of these cutesy conversation books with hundreds of questions for the game of life. One of the questions asks something like, "if you could find out everything that was going to happen in your life in the next five years, would you want to know?" This question gets more interesting the more you think about it. So go ahead, think about it. I have my answer...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How to celebrate the month of August

I don't know about yall but I am getting tired of looking at the same old post on my blog. I've had no blogging inspiration lately. Hence the lull. I thought about posting something every day for the month of August in honor of it being my birthday month. There are no national holidays in the month of August. It's the only month without one (for those of you that doubt, go here and see for yourself). Therefore I encourage all those in need of a holiday to celebrate in August, feel free to celebrate my birthday. I don't care about you sending me presents or anything. You can just take a moment on the 16th, eat a bowl of ice cream and that should be fine.

Birthdays are pretty fab. It's like your own taylor-made holiday. Anything goes cuz hey! It's your birffday! Over the years
I haven't had too many big celebrations for my birthday. A couple of years ago, some friends threw a suprise party for a few of us that have birthdays on the same day or close to. I was excited to have my very first surprise party. Last year we had a big party at my house (again for the same group of August bday people). For my 16th birthday my brother bought 16 yellow roses and had all my friends deliver them to my one by one at a dance. That one was pretty memorable as well. Then there were those ones as a child that my parents spent in Hawaii and left us with a sitter for a week. I actually don't remember those. They have only been brought back to my recollection after recent visits to the therapist. (jk. love you!) You can read more about that in my memoirs.

In case yall need further reason to celebrate the month of August or August 16th, here are a few factoids about my date of birth:

Share birthday with: Madonna, Steve Carell, Frank Gifford AND Kathy-Lee (lucky!), T.E. Lawrence, James Cameron

Famous deaths: Elvis, Babe Ruth, Margaret Mitchell, Shamu

Unofficial Holidays:
August 2 - Friendship Day
August 15 - Assumption Day

Days in History:
1777- American forces win Battle of Bennington (Revolutionary War)
1858- President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria
1954 - First Publication of Sports Illustrated
1982- (Time Magazine) Ongoing Lebanese Civil War

Magazine covers from August 16, 1982 and the first issue of SI from 1954

Monday, August 4, 2008

New York - part 2

I returned from my trip to New York City about a week ago. It was an educational experience. I learned the following in my 2+ days there:

1) The hot dog vendors in NYC sell Sabrett hot dogs - so do the Raleigh vendors
2) Don't talk to Chinese ladies selling things on the sidewalk. Just one word will do it. It's like feeding sea gulls at the beach.
3) Cars in New York have the turn signal replaced with an additional horn
4) People in New York are running from some kind of fire
5) Wall Street is tiny!
6) I have no desire to live in a big city. Country road, take me home.
7) Junior's is THE place to get New York cheesecake (found out after the fact).

Of the goals I had listed for my trip to New York, I managed to succeed at most
of them.
  • Statue of Liberty - check
  • Buy a hot dog from a street vendor - check
  • See a show - negative (the line was too long and the shows I wanted to see are coming to Raleigh anyway. no worries)
  • See the big fountain in Central Park - check
  • Not get anything stolen - check
  • Make out on the top of the Empire State Building - negative (Mainly because we didn't even go to the top of the Empire State Building, just Rockefeller. Not to mention my make-outer of choice was not on my trip with me. No offense Lacey.)
  • Visit Ground Zero - check (cool experience)
  • Take some kick-a pictures - I think so.... Growing up I always said I'd take a B&W photography trip to a major city like NYC. Thanks to digital cameras, I managed to get a few that look pretty good in B&W.
Overall it was a fun trip and I was glad that I went. New York is a very cool place to see. I enjoyed the historical feel about it. I also noticed that there seemed to be an American flag on almost every building in Manhattan. It's a very American city, even though I heard English spoken around me only about half the time. It feels American because of its diversity.

I hope to be able to go back again, especially since now that I've already been once I feel like the planning and execution will be different. I've gotten the standard tourist stuff out of the way so now I can focus on more important things like the M&M World in Time Square.

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