Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Number 19

Stay up for 24 hours...

Doesn't this one just sound like so much fun...yeah, it's not. I remember when it used to be so cool to pull all-nighters. You would go to sleepovers and whoever made it through the night wins some unspoken prize. Well, I haven't done that in about five years. I love sleep.

I figured I'd put it on the list because it would be something fun that would kind of make me feel like a little kid again. Also, in all honesty, I didn't think it would be that hard.

I have been putting this off for awhile, but I finally set a date and decided I would do it then. Since I have already marked off see a movie at midnight, I figured I would do my "stay up for 24 hours" on the night of the Eclipse premiere.

My friend Marie and I bought tickets about 2 weeks before the movie and were set to go. Here, I ran into a few complications. I work Monday-Friday 8-4. This means that I would be up at 7 on Tuesday morning then my 24 hours would be completed by 7 Wednesday morning...BUT there is a problem because I still would have to go to work Wednesday. Sooo in all honesty, this stay up for 24 hours really became more of a "stay up for 32 hours."

I woke up Tuesday morning already tired and was wondering how I would get through it. Work was sooo long and my kids could tell I was tired. Work ended and I went home for dinner and then had my first event of the evening.

My second play of the summer, Harvey, had its read-through. I went to play practice and was there for about two and a half hours working on the details for the show.

After, I went to my friend's house where we chilled until about 10:30 when we headed to the theater. When we got there the place was already packed! We walked through about 7 different theaters trying to find a seat (all the theaters were sold out) and after fifteen minutes of looking (please, keep in mind that we were already there over an hour early) we found two seats in the top row.

Marie and I settled down and talked until we were visited by a few of my friends from high school (this is my shoutout Kayla and Camber).

Finally, the movie started and I began getting tired really quickly. Eclipse was a little over 2 hours so it was about 2:15 when we got out. I asked Marie (she drove) if we could stop by Sheetz on the way home. She agreed because she's awesome like that and I got two Red Bulls and one Five hour energy shot thingy. I knew I would need some ammunition because I was already almost asleep.

We got back to my car, and Marie went inside to sleep and I went home...

and time slowed down...

a lot....

I got on facebook. My blog. My online banking. Facebook. Anything to keep me awake.

I then knew it would be best to go ahead and drink my first Red Bull. It actually helped considerably. I decided I would do something constructive with my new found energy and hit the script hard.

I have quite a few lines in Harvey and need to get them down, not to mention that the director borderline trashed me at the read through so I need to prove something now. I worked on that for about an hour and learned around 50 lines (let's remember it is really late/early).

After that, I went downstairs to feast on some doughnuts my parentals had gotten for me then came back upstairs for more facebook, blog, whatever.

I decided to open the second Red Bull because I felt like I was about to fall asleep, however, my stomach was not wanting more sweet sugary drink. With two Red Bulls and two doughnuts in my stomach, I felt quite sick...I guess it was better than tired?

At this point, it was only about an hour until 7 so I turned on the tv and watched MTV (it was just showing music videos)and chilled.

FINALLY, it turned 7, I took a picture with the clock haha...and DID NOT go to sleep but instead got in the shower to head to work.

Work was interesting seeing how I was completely delirious not to mention my three runs to the bathroom gagging from my energy drinks. I dried heaved many times that day. Those things messed me up and my stomach hurt so bad all day.

I made it through and am back on a semi-normal sleep schedule.

Another marked off...goodbye number 19!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Number 24

Start writing a book...

In the beginning, I thought this task would be pretty easy. I have always enjoyed writing and have many different half-finished books on my computer. Throughout high school, I would be able to sit down and just simply write. Back then, I felt like I was halfway decent too.

Soo I first try to come up with a story or something I want to write about. I toyed with an idea sort of resembling my blog. I thought about a kid whose best friends becomes involved with a drug dealer. A lot of different stories went through my head, some I even sat down and tried to start writing, however, the result was always little to no success.

One night last week, I found that I had a few hours one evening and so I sat down, locked my door, turned on my itunes (The Beatles...of course)...and started writing.

Right now, I am about 6000 words into it which is about 25 pages in an actual published book. I do have an outline planned, and plan on continuing with the story. I know where i want it to go and feel like i'll be able to get it there if i work at it.

Synopsis: A boy, Trent (I am not sold on the name), is from a very rich family up north. He has always been the highest on the socioeconomic scale, but he is the black sheep within his family. One day, he decides to leave and go on a mission to "find himself." He catches a train to New York (I mean really where else would I have him go?) and on it he meets Chuck. They talk blah blah blah they become friends(ish) and Chuck takes him to this place where he lives. The place is the back parking lot at an old gym. It is a society that is hippy/con-artist-esque place with 7 other people living there. They form a kind of dysfunctional family...and the story goes from there.

I'll put a small section of it in here for everyone. I know that I don't have any pictures but I didn't know what they'd be of...I mean who really wants a picture of me sitting typing on my laptop.

As the train continued to slow, I began telling Chuck about everything in my life and how I was leaving with no destination. I didn’t have a place but more a feeling I was searching for. I was not sure what that feeling was or where I would find it. The whole time he merely smiled and nodded at the appropriate times.

I was rambling on when Chuck stopped me. “We should probably get off before the train leaves the station.”

I looked up to see that we were sitting in Penn Station and new passengers were boarding. “Oh crap.” I jumped up, threw on my book bag and began getting off the train.

“Umm hello? Slow down please.”

I turned to see Chuck struggling to keep up with me as I jumped off the train onto the platform.

“Oh, my bad. It was great meeting you and I appreciate you listening. I really do.” I smiled, turned, and walked way.

Penn Station was packed and I had to zig and zag out of people’s way. Finally, I found the stairs and managed to climb them into the city. The noise hit me before the scenery did. The sound of people talking, taxi’s honking, street venders screaming. It was then I looked up and realized I was in the heart of New York City. I had never been there before and I felt so overwhelmed. People kept bumping into me as I just stood at the top of the stairs smiling. Suddenly, I couldn’t hold it in any longer and just began laughing. I wasn’t sure what came over me but I was in hysterics in the middle of the city, doubled over in laugher. I managed to get out of people’s way as I stumbled over towards a nearby vender. He gave me a look like I was insane, but hey, maybe I was. The euphoric feeling didn’t pass I just stood there taking in the scene.

After a few seconds, I took my first steps into my new life. Sadly, my first steps were directly into the path of an oncoming taxi. I felt a strong pull and was ripped out of the path of the vehicle at the last second. I stumbled to the concrete and landed hard unable to catch my fall.

“Crap” I said as I tried to connect what had just happened. Confused, I slowly sat up when a familiar hand reached out to me.

“You are never going to survive in the big city without my help” Chuck’s sarcastic smile was welcomed and I appreciated a small sense of familiarity in the foreign city. I grabbed his hand and he helped me up. I opened my mouth to say thanks but he just shook his head and started walking off.

“Where are you going?” I screamed after him.

He turned and began walking backwards, “Well, you can stand there in the city and become a taxi’s hood ornament, or you can follow me and find out.” My options seemed limited so I decided to follow him. It was my first big decision and I stuck with it as we began weaving our way throughout the people. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I was ok with it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Number 22

Read five books...

I love reading. It is possibly my favorite thing in the world! Sadly, during this past school year I had basically no chance to read at all. Since I was deprived during the year, I decided to put this task on the list. I knew it would be fun and enjoyable!

I started off by going to the library and getting four books. I read two of them. I am VERYYYY picky about what I read. It has to be either really famous, have a cool cover, or be about something really weird.

My first book I read was The Crazy School...I almost put an exclamation point there but let's be real, this book did NOT deserve an exclamation point. This book gets a pretty solid thumbs down. When I first picked it up, I was sold on it....and then I started reading it. The book is about a women who is a teacher at a school for mentally crazy teens. Sounds good right? WRONG! I just kept reading hoping at some point it would stop being didn't. Hate my life. Waste of time.

The next book I read was The Dark House.
Thank God this book was a million times better than the last one. I actually found this book really entertaining. It is about a man who is stuck in the monotony of life so he decides to start following cars. One car leads him to a house where a mystery begins unfolding involving the disappearance of his cousin. The book kept my attention so that is always a plus. It wasn't my favorite book in the whole world especially towards the end but I would still recommend it.

That was my first two books. I then returned my books to the library and decided I had no idea what I was going to read.Soo...HELLO AMAZON. I was sitting at Building Hope one day (let's be real that is like everyday) and my mind wondered to online thing you know BAM three books show up on my doorstep.

My third book I read was The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
I had heard a lot about this book but really had no idea what the plot involved. The title makes it sound like it is a chick flick teenage blah blah blah...but in fact it is the most beautiful book in the world. I am slightly addicted to this book. The story is told by a young boy named Charlie. The entire book is written as though you are reading letters that he wrote to an anonymous person. In short, it is a very coming of age book. This book is literally a laugh and cry type book. It is perfect and tragic. Basically, it brings out my artsy adjectives. Although it is pretty graphic sexually and verbally, it is perfect. I love it. Two thumbs up fo sho!

Book number fourrrr... Island

I love any book that has the world island in it (no lie three books just popped into my head). Soo when I was cruising around on Amazon I decided to go for it and i'm glad I did. The story is told as though a boy wrote his story about being stranded on an island with a family in his journal. The family is eventually hunted and people start dying one by one. It is kind of a trashy horror/romance/sci-fi/guilty pleasure. The book is long but it doesn't take much brain power to read and so i finished it pretty quickly. You know how some books are like emotionally draining? Yeah, this one wasn't like that. I still enjoyed the book though and give it a thumbs up!

The third book I got from Amazon is called House of Leaves...I honestly can't even explain it. Literally when it arrived, I thought it was a text book. It is HUGEEE and written so weird. Some pages the writing is vertical, some horizontal, some one word a page, and others diagonally. If that isn't confusing enough, every page had either a footnote or endnote. Sooo I took the easy way out and the book is still unread.

So what is book number 5 you ask? I'd really, honestly, rather not tell because it is quite embarrassing but what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't air my dirty laundry. Here it goes. I'm a Twilight fan. Yeah, I know, they are girl books whatever, BUT I was reading them years ago...2007 to be exact. Soo about a month ago (maybe?) Stephanie Meyer (the author of the series) released a short book called The Short Secret Life of Bree Tanner.
The book is kind of a "look behind the curtain" at one of the characters from the third Twilight book, Eclipse. In my defense, I did not go to the library or buy this book. Stephanie Meyer put the book online free for all her fans (ehh, I guess that's me). I honestly had no intention of reading it at all but...things change. I pulled up the website just to look at it and next thing you know I'd been reading for a few hours and finished the book. Yep, embarrassing! It was cute (that is what you say when you like a "little kid" book) and an easy read.

There you have it folks, five books DONEEEE.

Glad to have it marked off.

Number 22 is done. Hecka yeah!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Number 2 and 21 "Officially" completed

Eat a whole box of oreos in a day...

I can not begin to tell you how excited I was about this one. Oreos are my favorite thing in the entire world. I got the idea for this one day when we had oreos at the house and I ate like 8 or 9 and hated that I had to quit. Soooo in order to give myself a reason to be a glutton, I added it to the list.

I bought the box probably about 3 weeks ago but decided I wouldn't do it until there was a slow week and I needed an easy task to complete. I always would get an urge for the oreos at like eleven at night but I knew that I couldn't do it because i'd need a little more time.

Wednesday morning I woke up and I decided that it would be the day for me to do it. I was so excited and couldn't wait to start! I poured myself a glass of milk and sat down at the table ready to start. The first five, even ten, went down amazingly and I was enjoying every second of it. Things changed very quickly!

I had to stop after finishing the first row. I thought I was gonna be sick, my stomach hurt and I was so full. I decided to have a third done was pretty good and I could finish the rest later.

About five hours later, right when I was finished with dinner, I finished another half a row. It was bad, I couldn't finish anything else. I headed off to play practice and just told myself that I would finish the other row and a half when I got home that night.

Play practice ends. I pour another glass of milk and sit down in the family room and watch tv. I decided that if I didn't think about it maybe it wouldn't be so bad. It was bad, no, it was awful.

I felt like I was on some sort of sick Man vs. Food challenge. Finally, I finished off the last one and literally thought I was going to throw up.

My stomach was killing me and I just was hoping that it would pass, it didn't. All that night and all the next day I was in pain. My stomach and body hated me.

That box of oreos had 45 cookies and 2400 calories.

For a few days, my body was whack!

Today, Saturday, is the first day I've felt completely back to normal.

Sadly, I am not a huge fan of oreos anymore :( I am hoping that i'll be able to come around at some point but right now just thinking about them makes me want to die.

Number 2 is D.O.N.E. lovely play, 12 Angry Men, opened last night and it was a raging success!
You can look here at the article in the paper!

I am going to officially mark that task off my list since it is no longer "In process"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Number 25 and Updates

Go on the best date ever...

I knew that this would be a fun task!

I'll begin at the beginning.

Over 2 years ago, I auditioned for Christmas Carol. I was cast as Fred (Scrooge's nephew) and the young Ebenezer. When I arrived at the read through, I met for the first time Belle (Ebenezer's fiance) and realized it was a beautiful girl named Madison. We hit it off! It ended up not being too difficult to play "love interests" in the play.

Fast forward some and we begin dating...and break up.

Fast forward a few more months and we begin dating...and break up...again!

Fast forward to present.

Madison and I have been able to stay very close. She is a brilliant actress and a few months ago she and I went on a date pretending to be married (it was for character work for one of her school's productions). I knew that she was in debt to me and so I used this to my advantage.

I asked Madison out on a date because I knew it wouldn't be overly awkward and we'd be able to have a great time. I decided to buy two tickets to a Tony's party at Chef 505.

Sooo June 13 I picked her up and we took some pictures together. She looked beautiful!

We drove to Chef 505 and went inside to start the fun. There were many people there that we both knew so we were instantly pulled apart by two different groups. Throughout the night, we did our best to mingle and enjoy ourselves. There was a great live band playing and amazing hor d'oeuvres . The Tony's started and we found some seats to watch. Madison and I are both into acting so we were very entertained. At every commercial break, some local people would perform different songs from popular musicals.

At one point, I saw a sign advertising my first play for this summer.

12 Angry Men open THIS FRIDAY!!! I would love for any and everyone to come. We have been working so hard on it and it has really come together. The dates for the play are June 18-20 and 24-26. Here is the website where you can go and buy tickets online!

After a few hours, Madison and I decided to go ahead and leave. We were enjoying ourselves but just agreed that we were ready to have a chill night. We headed to Cookout and then went to Blockbuster.

Since when does Blockbuster close at 10?

Redbox came through for us though and we picked up Shutter Island (I had seen it and loved it, she hadn't).

We pigged out on greasy fast food, watched the movie, and then I took her home.

Was this the best date ever?

Most definitely!

Madison and I are amazing friends and get along great. I could relax and have a fun time. I feel like I've learned a lot from this night though. Sometimes it is great to dress all up and go out for the night, but at the end of the day, fast food and a good movie can make a night even more memorable. Also, if you go to The Daily Reflector website you can see more pictures from the event. I am in some!



I got a letter from one of my penpals in the mail today!

I was chilling at the house today when my dad walked in with the mail. He did a "Guess what you got James?" I walked over to him and he was smiling and then he handed me my letter.

I jumped...and screamed...and did a little happy dance. I'm not proud of it.

The letter was from Alexandra in St. Petersburg, Russia.

It was in a beautiful envelope and she sent it with a letter and a picture of her city.

She wrote me a quite long really sweet letter. It meant a lot to me. She asked lots of questions and told me about herself. She is a student studying sociology. She loves dancing, traveling, and reading. I am still so excited about all of this and can't wait to write her back!
Life is soooo good right now! I'd appreciate comments if you are still one of the few readers haha

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Number 12

Capture a picture worth a thousand words...

When I first thought up this idea, I imagined that I would go on some nature walk and take some overly artsy picture of a flower or landscape and say it was worth a thousand words. My thought process slowly evolved, however, as I considered it more and more.

My first change I decided was that the word "capture" did not necessarily mean that I myself had to take the picture. I would rather set up a scenario and be able to be a part of it.

I was sitting at work one day...

Ok, let me back up. I work at Building Hope Community Life Center. I am a Project HEART member which means I am required to work 900 hours over the course of a year. I got placed at Building Hope because my church works with the program. Back in August, I started my year. I was placed in a classroom as the 4th grade teacher.

Latifah!!! She is HILARIOUS!

Demarcus and Jalen swinging

Jalen showing his love for me...can't you tell?

Now that you have some background information and a few visuals, I will continue.

I was sitting at work one day and I was talking to my kids about my blog. They were eating up every little detail I told them and made me describe a few of my tasks (I had just finished ghost hunting so of course they wanted to hear all about it...they were basically terrified by the end). As I was telling them about it, they were so quiet and fascinated by everything I was saying.

That night I went home and just couldn't stop thinking about my kids. I knew that I wanted to be able to include them in my blog somehow because they all have been such a huge part of my life this year. It then hit me that I would use them as my "picture worth a thousand words." It wouldn't be artsy or nature-y but somehow it meant so much more.

I sent home permission slips with my kids. I decided I shouldn't just put up random pictures of kids on the internet without parental consent. Low and behold, three kids brought them back signed. I have eight kids in my classroom so having three fourth graders remember was pretty good...I guess?

I was kind of upset that I wouldn't be able to do a shot featuring all the class but it would be fine.

Finally, we set the day and I had a fellow staff member snap some pictures.

I know it is not a perfect picture and many people may not think it is worth a thousand words, but to me it is worth so much more than that. These are the greatest kids in the world. I love them so much and would literally do anything for them.

To me the thousand words represent a thousand laughs, a thousand math problems, a thousand snack times, a thousand races, a thousand hugs, a thousand conversations, a thousand play times, and almost a thousand hours spent together.

Last Tuesday I had to say goodbye to my kids. It was possibly one of the hardest days of my life. They have accomplished so much and proud doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. I know that they will accomplish incredible things in their lives and I hope to be able to experience it.

I am not doing Project HEART (even though my kids begged) next year. I plan to stop in frequently though to see my kids.

As I was leaving Building Hope that Tuesday I kind of laughed to myself about the year.

I was sooo sad and I had a very Sandra Bullock-esque feeling come over me from The Blind Side. People always tell me that I am changing kid's lives but it kind of hit me that day as I left that they really did change mine.

Here is my picture worth a thousand words. I hope it can mean as much to you as it does me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Number 18

See a movie at midnight...

Gotta love going to see a movie at midnight the night it opens. Originally, I had thought that I would see Eclipse since that is the big movie of the summer, however, plans do change.

I was at work with my beautiful friend Delilah and we had been talking about the movie Splice for a couple weeks. We decided that we wanted to see it together so just jokingly we mentioned how we should see it at midnight (note: this was mentioned the day of the midnight premiere). Being the crazy, reckless, spontaneous people we are, we decided to do it!

Eleven-thirty rolls around and we show up at the theater and I make Delilah pose for a picture with me!

For those of you that don't know, Splice is a "horror" movie about cloning. I put horror in quotes because sadly it wasn't very scary. I'm jumping ahead of myself though.

Go to watch the trailer if you don't know anything about it

After a stop at the snack stand, we head into the movie!

The theater was kind of empty when we first got there but by the time the movie started there was a good number of people. We joked around and took a few pictures annoying the people with the bright flash.

I decided right before the movie started that I wanted to take a picture of the opening screen. This was a problem mainly because I was terrified that someone would see me and think I was trying to film the movie. The last thing I wanted was to end up being arrested for trying to film illegal copies of the movie. Going to jail is not one of my tasks.

The movie started and I hid the camera down really low and snapped a picture. It didn't turn out great but the heck if I was gonna take another. I wasn't wanting to press my luck.

Don't hate on my picture...
The movie was a six out of ten. It wasn't very scary but I'm a sci-fi fan so I enjoyed the whole clone concept. There were definitely some disturbing elements to the movie that I could have lived without seeing.

All in all the night was fun! I'm glad I got to see it with Delilah and have a great night.

Number 18 is doneeee

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Number 1

Go to an amusement park...

It's about time for a fun one!

I knew this task would require some planning with my hectic work/play practice schedule. Eventually, I picked a day that I figured would work well and bounced it off Marie, John, and Whitney. Everyone said it would be a good day for them so after asking off work, everything was ready to go!

I knew that I wanted to go to Kings Dominion because I had never been but had heard that it was the best for the intense rides. I wanted the intense rides!

Once I had picked the day, the next order of business was to figure out the weather because I didn't want to buy the tickets if it was going to rain all day. When I first looked 9 days before we were going to go, there was a 60% chance but as the days passed it slowly lowered until it was only a 20%. It was then that I decided to go ahead and buy the tickets.

Wednesday, June 2 finally arrives and we all wake up at the crack of dawn and pile into my mother's van which she so generously filled with gas for our road trip. We left at 8 and after a quick pit stop at my sister Anne Michelle's house to take care of her dogs, (the rest of my family had decided to take off a few days to hit the beach) we hit the road!

We drive...

...and drive...

...and make stupid videos...

...and drive...

...and sing-a-long to glee songs...

....and drive...

...and stop at Wendy's for lunch...

...and drive...


We park the van and hop out at our destination!

My beloved friend, Whitney, made me a gnarly sign (I paid a few thousand for it) to hold up in front of the park for my nifty blog. It was at this point that I figured I would leave my camera in the car...sad, I know.

We go in the park and look around some and head straight for our first coaster....The Dominator! Since Jesus loves me (this I know), the entire park was basically empty. Dang this economy! HOWEVER, this worked to our advantage so well. The whole day the longest we waited in line for any ride was maybe 5 minutes. It was amazing!

I obviously can't describe every second I was there and every ride I went on because that would take a long time and as soon as I finish this i'm heading to cross off another task on the list. Don't you wish you knew what it was!

Anyways, I will tell two different stories that stand out in our journey.

The first one was ironically annoying.

You know how when you ride a roller coaster you get off and see the pictures they took while you were riding? You know, the ones where you are making those crazy, stupid, terrified faces? Basically, that is like 50% of the fun of riding the coasters. So we get off the first roller coaster and head to look at the TV's displaying the pictures and you can see everyone but for some reason it gets too dark and you can't see my face. We make a small joke and move on to another ride. We got off that ride and run to look at the pictures, and John's hand was covering my face (he was sitting in front of me and had his arms in the air). The next ride we get off and make jokes about "I bet James's face will be covered again"...IT WAS! The number of the picture was covering my face.

Hate. My. Life.

The second story was intense. Ok, let me give a little background. Kings Dominion has this new roller coaster called The Intimidator 305. Being the tallest coaster at the park, I was obviously way stoked. The night before we left, I was watching Youtube videos of it and this coaster "expert" said that he had ridden it 4 times and blacked out every time. I was more than skeptical. I have ridden a bazillion roller coasters and never blacked out. So, on the ride up I told everyone about what the "expert" had said and everyone was also skeptical. We saved that ride for last. We get on it, go up the hill and then hit the drop. At the very bottom of the drop, you hit this turn so hard.....and I blacked out. It was the weirdest feeling in the world. Everything just started going really grey, almost like your eyes were closing, and then it was just like BAM nothing was there and then BAM I was on the ride again. I knew there was no way I had faked it because as soon as I came to there were some guys sitting behind me and they started screaming "Oh my God, I just blacked out!" When we got off the ride, I went to tell everyone but John and Whitney told me that they had blacked out before I even got the chance to tell them I had. Marie was the only one who didn't, but then again she had her eyes closed the whole time so she had no way to tell.

We rode almost every ride and some more than once. I think it ended up being eight or nine roller coasters and about four other rides. It was incredible! I loved the drop tower. It is basically just a 275 foot vertical drop. It was crazyyyy. Also, it was pretty fun smashing four people into the log flume. It was sooo hot but we got soaked a few times so that helped.

All in all this trip was epic and amazing and I'm so freaking sore from it still.

I had a blast!

Number 1...DONE!

PS: I had the number 1 written on my hand in honor of my blog. I wanted Marie to take a picture with it but she either was not wanting to be in a picture, or thought I was going to hit her...both are likely!