Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Joy of Soma

Bra shopping is always annoying. It takes time, the right frame of mind and energy to find the right fit and in the seconds that you try them on you really have no idea if it will work out, so that is even a bigger pain. Today I found the joy of Soma.

This little shop if a subsidiary of Chicos, a Florida based store. I arrived there upon recommendation from Wagner. She spoke so highly of it that I had to go check it out myself. First off the material that these products are made from is just divine. It makes you feel like your boobs are being held up by fairies. So light and soft. But the best part is that a professional Bra Master assists you with you sizing, trial and choosing process.

This is certainly not for the weak at heart. You must leave all shyness at the door when Eleanor approaches you with her tape measure and quickly escorts you to the dressing room. In this moment there was, at least for me, a moment of hesitation. I wasn't even encouraged to browse. Eleanor simply turned me around, look at me and returned minutes later with handfuls of perfect options.

Eleanor, roughly around 50 years old or so, would give me the privacy of trying them on alone but then her kind knock would quickly lead to her coming in and making all the necessary adjustments. She would give me her opinion and then tell me to put on my shirt again so she could make sure there wouldn't me any funny bumps showing through the shirt. After a pleasant hour or so, I couldn't ween my choices down further than 4 new bras! Luckily, there was great sale and buying one gave me one free. It was great and I can't wait to shower and slip into one of my new ones.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Day at the Farm!

Quantum Leap isn't just a great television show with the hottie Scott Bakula. It is also a horse farm that works with physically and mentally handicapped individuals. Today I spent the day with a group of high school seniors giving back to their community before graduating and going out into the world. Well, at least that is the idea.

The farm was beautiful and it was nice to get my hands dirty and work. I groomed a horse, cleaned a couple of stables, and filled holes in a field. I even broke out into song a few times. The donkey's name is Eugene. He really wasn't too camera friendly and he sorta of wanted to eat it. I had to bob and weeve a bit to get away. Paparazzi is no ones favorite I suppose.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New York Summer Retreat!

New York, New York! The world wind trip to the big Apple was filled with many kinks in the travel but the work was good, tiring but good.

It all began with a two hour delay in the Tampa runway, a traffic stopped bus ride to Port Authority and a ten block jaunt in the rain to the hotel. Luckily, there were warm hugs and smiles when I arrived to Novotel on Friday. The summer program senior staff retreat in a two day intensive information session filled with mindless paperwork and stories of chaotic situations of yesteryear. The best part is getting the chance to sit down with folks to exchange ideas about programming and ultimately creating the feeling that you are not alone.

After hours of meetings in large groups, in coordinator versus director groups and then country groups, the program treats us to great dinners with multiple courses, fine wine and interesting conversation. It is always fun to meet and listen to the potpourri of characters that come together. Above is a picture of this summer's Spain team.

The planning is always the best part of the trip. I really do enjoy thinking up activities for the students to do and finding the cool places for them to visit like tea bar with belly dancing or pedal boat trip down the Guadalquivir River in Sevilla. Hours are spent planning the first couple of days of the program.

The trip home was just as frustrating as the trip there. A taxi drive to LaGuardia, a long wait through security and finally a boarding call that intially seems will provide the comfort of smooth ride home. Of course that is the ruese, the gate opened and we were cattled down two flights of stairs onto a mysterious bus that then drove us to the other side of the airport where an itty bitty plane was waiting for us.

I hate planes as it is so there was no comfort at the site. 13 rows total! The panic set in. Anxiety was taking over my entire body. There is no real good end to this story except I had to get over it and sit there. So I did. The moment I arrived to Raleigh I bought a pack of cigarettes and a gin and tonic. I chained two, chugged and was off to another little plane.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sicky Icky!

My nose is on official protest. Filled to the brim with boogers and the lack of oxygen is making me all fuzzy. The designated red areas on the image must be holding rocks in them for a secret mission that I have not been informed of. Hopefully the secret agent midgets will come and get them soon but just in case they don't the prescription antibiotics that my primary care physician is sure to give me tomorrow will help. I blame the damn fires on this.

Friday, May 11, 2007

FIRE!!! Only a few 100 Miles Away!

Smoke has taken over Tampa Bay. The fires in Georgia and the Northern part of the state have created an unbelievable yellowish smoke that is hovering all over the city. The old glow is like being trapped in a bad movie. The smell is ubiquitous. It feels like any moment you can turn and see the blaze, even though it in several hundred miles away. The tickle in my throat won't quit and it is causing me to have a dry cough. These are from my drive home, mind you it was about noon in Florida in May, so the haze has successfully blocked out the sun.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Crazy Christians

The audacity to think that somehow God is intentionally causing hurricanes is already mind-blowing, but then you add a whole other level of absurdity when you realize that there are groups praying for God to send a hurricane to just destroy abortion clinics and nothing else. For the love all that is, where do these ideologies develop? It is certainly not Biblical because in my many courses of study not one time did I read that God heard prayer for the flood first and only then gave Noah a heads up. If God always knows the plan in detail don't you think he could have warned Jesus about the crucifixion thing? JC was theoretically following the plan but it is pretty clear that when he was hanging on the cross that his was dumbfounded since he bellows "Father, Father why have you forsaken me?" He had no clue. Sigh.

It appears that resolution has either been passed or proposed that the first day of Hurricane season will be a recognized as a day of prayer in Florida. http://www.sptimes.com/2007/05/03/State/Prayer_resolution.shtml

That in itself is not appalling, though it pushes my liberal buttons every time religious beliefs find their way into government practices. It’s like everyone just skips the part about separation of church and state and figure as long as no one gets lynched, we are in the clear.

Putting all that on the side for a moment, there are a plethora of radical Christian groups that are calling for mass prayer demonstrations that will plea for natural disasters to come, attack and destroy just some of the population. Of course it’s the women’s clinics that are providing a safe place for women to make choices based on their bodies and their lives…land of the free, my ass. No one is telling these people they have to get an abortion and I am sure that they are holy and blameless; surely the first ones in through the pearly gates when Jesus returns, but have they conveniently skipped over the throwing stones story. Ludicrous.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Myers and Briggs Genuises

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.
What's Your Personality Type?

The first day I was a senior in college the Career Counseling gurus had already made an appoint for me. It was placed in my mail box and it gave the illusion that you would walk out the door with a solid idea of what the future would entail. I eagerly arrived to my session with a little time to spare because my roommate worked there trying to search for her destiny for the entire four years at the institution. I was greeted and then placed in a small room with a packet that could easily crush a giant grasshopper if the need were to arise. The packet was an extensive Myers Briggs test that diagnosed the worldwide professional opportunities that were best suited for my personality type. After hours of yes/no/somewhat bubbling on a scantron I was labeled: ENFP. That translates into an Extroverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving individual. I was thankful. I am still not sure why, but I was.

It has only been 10 years and I am remain steady as an ENFP rock. Lately this Myers Briggs test keeps coming up in conversation. Matter of fact, after 4 years of trying to convince a friend to take it he finally did. He now understands his role in the universe with a clear sense of future. Hazaah!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Let the roller coaster begin...NYC in 2 weeks before the exciting Summer European vacation.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Follow the Signs

The signs are everywhere if you chose to follow them. I have a friend that believes that the world is filled with signs and you can read them if you take the time to look for them. He also believes people all have animal identities and within minutes he can discern which animal you are. I am apparently a White Gorilla. The wild thing about being a white gorilla is that the most famous white gorilla was in Spain. Those of you that still read this may know my heart is there and for the last three years I have returned to the beautiful country hoping much of the time to stay, maybe forever. Today I spoke to him and he said that he was expecting my call because when he looked a Far Side calendar for May 1, it had gorillas eating bananas pretending they were joints. It really only makes sense to him.

Regardless of that, my friend, apparently the elephant, is in many ways wise, gentle, loving and forgiving, but he lives a life that is so unconventional. He doesn't have a job and really doesn't want one. His new life plan is to play poker. He claims that his worldview was developed by years of video games where little people are encouraged to eat wild mushrooms (Super Mario) and donkeys are bouncing around (I have no idea). He connects dots where traditionally no one would see even shadows of dots. The elephant is chasing a flossing rabbit these days. All I know is that this whole thing has taken an IB salutatorian promising future engineer so far down the rabbit whole that I worry that he will never find his way out, signs, road maps, mapquest and all.

All the best dear elephant friend, never forget that you can chose your own destiny, even if it's not in the stars.
White Gorilla