Archive | August, 2008

Stuffed Animals: Friends at any Age

31 Aug

I love that while I’m well on my way to being an independent adult, I can still be truly ridiculous with my friends. Yesterday we went to the Greenville zoo to look at the animals. It wasn’t a very big zoo, but it was so cute. I haven’t been to a zoo in forever, and I really enjoyed it.

After that, we went to Build-a-Bear, where I made my very own stuffed rabbit. Her name is Lila. It’s the cutest thing ever. I’ve always wanted to make one, and finally I got my chance! Mari made a bear named Henry a few weeks ago, and that inspired me to finally go and make one myself. I won’t lie: it was really silly, and really fun. My rabbit is so soft and very cuddly.

We shopped around Greenville for a while after that, then met Mari’s cousin Amanda for dinner. We went to TGI Friday’s, where everything on the menu looks good. We ended up staying in Greenville for the night at Amanda’s house. We had another Mary Kay party, which is always fun because Amanda lets us be ridiculous and play with her makeup. We didn’t go as crazy this time, but I tried some daring colors that were really fun and interesting.

Today has been a very lazy, very unproductive day. I haven’t really accomplished anything on my to-do list, even though I did three loads of laundry. Overall, the weekend was very relaxing and fun. Nothing too intense. Which, after the rush of Orientation and classes starting, I really needed.



29 Aug

By The Verve Pipe

If you want beautiful, pitiful, have me in a picture.
And if you want make me dance, throw me around spin upon your finger.
Blind labors the blind, and I am unwilling to uncover my eyes.
And if you want take your time rifle through, find a very nice one.
If there is a crease in my face over time, there’s plenty more where that came from.
Words, frozen, will thaw when I am wasted, I am better shut up.
And a frame is quite confining, hang me up, hang me up
I’m in the photograph.
When I’m alone and the world is a fist, I am weightless
A universe, gravitate, orchestrate, I am fearless.
And spin, the sky surrounding free from all the picture perfect
And spin, the sky surrounding, larger than life, meanwhile………….

Art Therapy Senior Paper

28 Aug

I’ve decided to do my senior seminar paper on art therapy methods used in Africa with involuntarily displaced people. I don’t know how much useful information I’ll be able to find, but hopefully I will be able to turn this into a really great paper. I’m so excited about it. My inspiration came from Project Have Hope, actually. I was thinking about the creative outlet of making beaded jewelry, and how that could probably have great therapeutic value, whether the women know it or not.

I would really like to research the challenges faced by these refugees, such as HIV/AIDS and orphaned children. I’d also like to tie in some sort of cultural relativism, comparing their art to that of children in the US who are in similar programs. I know there are art therapists working with children and families in Africa, and I would really love to find out more about them. At the same time, there are also impoverished children in this country that are receiving some of the same treatments. I’d like to see if there is some sort of difference in the art of African children and American children.

I really hope this paper works out. It combines several of my great interests: beading and jewelry-making, art history, culture, art therapy, and my newfound interest in Africa. I would love for this to somehow benefit Project Have Hope, I just don’t know how to do that yet.

I’ve been thinking that I would really love to do an internship with Project Have Hope next year. It would probably have to be paid, though. I don’t have money to move to Boston to work for free. Although it would be a great experience, I think. I would love to do this, and then go to grad school after that, just defer enrollment for a year.

So many big plans! I don’t feel old enough or mature enough or intelligent enough to be a senior!

My South

27 Aug

My mom forwarded this to me from my cousin, who lives in Arkansas. I think it’s pretty accurate:

Thirty years ago I visited my first cousin in Virginia. While hanging out with his friend, the discussion turned to popular movies of the day. When I offered my two-cents on the authenticity and social relevance of the movie Billy Jack, one of the boys asked, in all seriousness, “Do you guys have movie theaters down there?”

To which I replied, “Yep. We wear hoes, too.”

Just three years ago, my wife and I were attending a food and wine seminar in Aspen, Colorado. We were seated with two couples from Las Vegas. One of the Glitter Gulch gals was amused and downright rude when I described my restaurant as a fine-dining restaurant. “Mississippi doesn’t have fine-dining restaurants!” she insisted while she nudged her companion. I fought back the strong desire to mention that she lived in the land that invented the 99-cent breakfast buffet.

I wanted badly to defend my state, my region, and my restaurant with a 15-minute soliloquy and public relations rant that would surely change her mind. It was at that precise moment that I was hit with a blinding jolt of enlightenment, and in a moment of complete and absolute clarity it dawned on me: my South is the best-kept secret in the country. Why would I try to win this woman over? She might move down here.

I am always amused by Hollywood’s interpretation of the South. We are still, on occasion, depicted as a collective group of sweaty, stupid, tooth-less, backwards-minded, racist rednecks. The South of movies and TV, the Hollywood South, is not my South.

This is my South:

My South is full of honest, hardworking people.

My South is the birthplace of blues and jazz and rock ‘n roll. It has banjo pickers and fiddle players, but it also has BB King, Muddy Waters, the Allman Brothers, Emmylou Harris and Elvis.

My South is hot.

My South smells of newly mowed grass.

My South was kick the can, creek swimming, cane-pole fishing and bird hunting.

In my South, football is king, and the Southeastern Conference is the kingdom.

My South is home to the most beautiful women on the planet.

In my South, soul food and country cooking are the same thing.

My South is full of fig preserves, cornbread, butter beans, fried chicken, grits, catfish, and real butter.

In my South, we eat foie gras, caviar and truffles.

In my South, our transistor radios introduced us to The Beatles and the Rolling Stones at the same time they were introduced to the rest of the country.

In my South, grandmothers cook a big lunch every Sunday, so big that we call it dinner (supper comes later.)

In my South, family matters. Deeply.

My South is boiled shrimp, blackberry cobbler, peach ice cream, banana pudding and oatmeal cream pies.

In my South people put peanuts in (glass) bottles of Coca-Cola and hot sauce on almost everything.

In my South, the tea is iced and almost as sweet as the women. Same goes for the lemonade.

My South has air-conditioning.

My South is camellias, azaleas, wisteria and hydrangeas.

In my South, the only person that has to sit on the back of the bus is the last person that got on the bus.

In my South, people still say “Yes, ma’am.” “No, ma’am.” “Please.” and “Thank you.”

In my South, we all wear shoes…most of the time.
My South is the best-kept secret in the country. Please continue to keep the secret!

James’ Christmas List from 2004

26 Aug

In purging my old xanga, I came across this list, which is my brother’s Christmas list from 2004. He was 14.

bull dozer

I kid you not.

Beijing Closing

24 Aug

I just watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. I’m pretty much at a loss for words to describe how amazing it was. Everything was so great…the performance, the highlights of the athletes, everything. I was really over Bob Costas and his commentary, but he won back a few points with his speech at the very end, before the final credits. It was really heartfelt, and he had nothing but good, appreciative things to say about being in Beijing. I especially loved the closing montage they just showed. I’m weeping right now. It was just so wonderful. I hope someone puts that on YouTube, because I definitely want to watch that again. I love the Olympics. I’m so sad they’re over, because there’s truly nothing else like them in the world.

100 More Random Facts

23 Aug

100 more things about me:

1. I don’t understand the point of promise rings.
2. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket….
3. and I speed a lot.
4. I always wear my seatbelt.
5. I love Billy Joel.
6. I love Starbucks peppermint frappucinos.
7. I want to visit every continent.
8. I love studying different religions.
9. My favorite doughnuts are the plain, un-iced cake doughnuts. Nothing fancy.
10. I like scarves a lot.
11. I like collecting perfumes.
12. My favorite candy is dark chocolate truffles.
13. I am 21 years old.
14. I only like peanut butter on ice cream or on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
15. I love Converse chocolate chip cookies.
16. I hate flossing my teeth.
17. I’m sort of autistic at remembering people’s birthdays, random numbers and minute details.
18. I would die without my ipod.
19. I love earrings.
20. I have a huge crush on John Krasinski from The Office.
21. I love Cajun food.
22. Tabasco sauce is a food group to me.
23. I love Broadway musicals.
24. Mari, Laurann and I have matching elephants like in The Secret Garden.
25. I’m usually very patient, but sometimes I’m quite impatient.
26. I have really high expectations for myself and other people.
27. I love Josh Groban.
28. I have really, really weird dreams that I usually remember.
29. I love the music of the 60’s and 70’s.
30. I hate when people try to be something they’re not.
31. I don’t think you should ever wear black to a wedding, unless you’re wearing a tux.
32. I like making people laugh.
33. I hate when people drive really slow.
34. I think it would be really cool to be a costume designer for the movies.
35. I buy things on the internet a lot.
36. I love old school Nickelodeon shows.
37. I used to have a bat that lived in my window at home.
38. I have gotten much closer to my brother as we’ve gotten older.
39. I love chocolate covered coffee beans.
40. Until last summer, I had never been to Charleston.
41. I like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
42. This question is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.
43. I was a bridesmaid for the first time this summer.
44. One of my funniest memories is the cracked-out bathroom trip from hell.
45. Something like that always happens every time we go to Wild Wings.
46. When I’m sad, I like to turn on Next on MTV, and I instantly feel better about myself.
47. South Park is one of the funniest shows ever.
48. I completely clean my room every summer.
49. The summer after freshman year at Converse was the worst summer of my life.
50. I like making lists.
51. I love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
52. I love quotes….good ones. Not bad ones.
53. I once almost ran over a man with a lawn mower on the interstate….
54. I keep a list of potential names for my children.
55. My mother won’t like any of them.
56. This summer is the first time I’ve really lived away from home, outside of school.
57. I hate politics.
58. I check people’s away messages a lot.
59. The only time I ever got grounded was one time when my dad came into my room and woke me up in the middle of the night, and I don’t know what I did but he got mad and grounded me. 
60. I was only hooked on Grey’s Anatomy for one season.
61. I’ve never smoked anything.
62. I love Vh1.
63. I remember the time 3 Six Mafia won an Oscar….
64. I have had the same AIM screenname since 5th grade.
65. My dog had puppies. Twice.
66. I love road trips.
67. I was born and raised in Johnson City, TN.
68. I have an undying love for Jane Austen.
69. The thing I miss most about living at home is soft, rippled toilet paper.
70. I love shimp.
71. One day I want to have a fish tank like the one in Finding Nemo, with exacty the same fish.
72. When I sleep, I have to have one foot out of the covers to regulate my temperature.
73. I read the last page of a book before I start reading it from the beginning.
74. I hate change.
75. I almost always unwrap all my Christmas presents a few days beforehand, and then rewrap them, so I’m not surprised on Christmas morning.
76. I have put purple streaks in my hair before.
77. I didn’t update my driver’s license to unrestricted 18 one because I didn’t want one with an ugly brown background.
78. I went to a show at the real Moulin Rouge….
79. and had real French champagne, which is divine.
80. The first movie Mari and I watched as roommates was The Breakfast Club.
81. Sometimes I have phases where I feel like a really horrible person….
82. and I try to be good.
83. I have really, really bad vision without my contacts or glasses.
84. I think it’s sad when people (especially adults) are immature and can’t move on.
85. I am very defensive of my friends.
86. Once you have lost my trust, it’s very hard to gain it back.
87. My favorite wine is Albariño.
88. I don’t like people who think they are better than everyone else.
90. I passed my driver’s test on the first try.
91. I love Cheez-Its.
92. I love Greek mythology.
93. The only time I eat carrots is when I get sesame chicken and fried rice at Moto’s and put shrimp sauce on it.
94. I shook Al Roker’s hand at The Today Show in New York.
95. I saw The Producers on Broadway.
96. I hate when people talk during movies.
97. My roommates and I keep a list of things that are tacky….
98. and there is a lot of stuff on it.
99. I love 80’s music.
100. I am three degrees of separation away from R. Kelly.