:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

dinsdag 20 maart 2007

I forgot to mention that I signed up for a half Ironman triathlon in September. I wasn't exactly planning to do one this year, but I couldn't resist - it's in Raleigh (only 25 minutes away) and it's six months off, so I've got time to prepare. For those who don't know, a half Ironman is a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike, and a 13.1-mile run (which is a half marathon). One of my biggest goals in life is to do a full Ironman (and get the souvenir tattoo, haha), but I'm working my way up in stages - an Olympic-distance triathlon (last October), a half marathon (two months ago), a half Ironman (swim, bike, and then run a half marathon), a full marathon, and then a full Ironman (swim, bike, and then run a marathon). The Olympic-distance triathlon last October went great, so I'm kicking it up a notch. Liz and I are moving to a new apartment in two months which has a fitness center on-site, so I'll be able to work out a lot more easily than I currently can, and I got my bike tire fixed (along with a couple of other things) over break, so I can start biking to class again too.
Call me crazy, but now that I'm over the 'oh-my-god-what-did-I-get-myself-into' phase, I think it's going to be really, really fun.

zaterdag 17 maart 2007

So I saw Josh Groban in concert last night -- which merits a post, even though I haven't written in forever. He was amazing! I was sitting 8th-row center, and -- except for the end-show antics of the embarrassingly starstruck woman in front of me -- had a great view. I didn't know whether cameras were going to be allowed in, so I hid mine in the side pocket of my purse, and I guess no ushers saw me with it the entire time, because I took over 100 pictures, plus four mini-videos. I'm still sorting through them to see which ones are the best, but email me if you're interested in seeing any of them and I'll try to hook you up. :)

Anyway, he started out with You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) -- which started with the curtain down; then the curtain went up and he rose up out from beneath the stage -- then went straight into Mai. Awake was included in the set list -- hurray! -- whereas apparently it's been an encore at other venues, and our encores were Canto Alla Vita and You Raise Me Up (exactly what I was hoping for!). The only song I really missed was my favorite, Oceano... but oh well, maybe next time. The stage had raised platforms at either end to get him closer to the audience in the risers, and there was an orchestra behind him, at the back of the stage. The band was incredible, especially Tariqh (big muscular black guitar player with a big diamond earring) and the violinist, Lucia. She really captivated the whole audience in a way I can't explain -- she was barefoot, wearing a plain black dress with a slit up the side, with her hair hanging loose -- but was so 'into' her music it was visible on her face that she was somewhere else the entire time she was playing. I've never seen a musician look like that. Her whole body moved with the bow, totally focused on producing the sound, and when she did her solo -- Kashmir by Def Leppard -- she was so into it that she broke what seemed like half the strings on her bow. She was incredible.

Anyway, while Lucia did her solo, Josh disappeared, then appeared again, singing, up in the risers behind me on my left. He walked down the stairs, shaking people's hands and such, then came down through the floor seats, on my side of the aisle! I had two empty seats next to me, and just two people beyond that, so I was able to stand up and shove down there and get my hand out into the aisle. The security guards were hurrying him along, forming a cordon in front of and behind him, but he kept stopping, making the guards wait for him and giving everyone a little more time with him up close. I was able to brush my hand along his, which made me happy. He went back up on stage from there and continued with the rest of the concert, stopping between songs for commentary, jokes, and the like. He's a really funny guy... took a drink of water and stage-whispered, "This isn't water!", stepped onto the piano bench and rode it up like an elevator as the piano rose out of the floor, hugged a lady in the audience who had a sign with 'My Husband Says It's OK For You To Hug Me' (he said, "That's the first time I've ever had permission!") and even brought some young girls up to stand around him as he sat on the edge of the stage (one even got to sit next to him!) while he sang "Not While I'm Around" (a song from Sweeney Todd). He finished by coming out in a Carolina Hurricanes jersey and singing "You Raise Me Up", inserting 'Raleigh' into the end of the song.

Afterwards, I met up with Liz (who'd been sitting in the cheap seats with some friends) and we found the bathroom, bought her a T-shirt, and walked around the stadium until we found the area where the buses were parked. There were about 70 people waiting for Josh to come out, even though one of the bodyguards had already said "He's not coming out anymore" -- we all knew that was just to clear out the gullible ones. Another bodyguard walked around a few minutes later, stopped in front of us, and said in a low voice, "If he comes out -- IF he comes out --" and held up one finger, "ONE thing to sign. No posing for pictures, none of that. You can take pictures of him, but ONE thing to sign, and no posing." Well, we all knew that meant he was definitely coming out, and sure enough, his bus pulled up past us like it was going to leave, but then it stopped and -- even though we were on the wrong side of the bus, we could tell by the screaming -- he got off!

He started with the people on the far side, but he worked around to us pretty quickly. Some girls next to me started singing, "When You Say You Love Me", and we all joined in. He went along the line, and when he got to me, he signed my Awake album cover (with the traditional curly-haired smiley face), and looked right at me and smiled. What a great smile! Liz and I asked if we could have a hug, and he said, "Oh, double hug, double hug," and hugged us both together. Liz whispered, "You're beautiful," and he said, "You are too, thank you!" I said, "Thank you so much for everything, Josh!" and he said, "You're welcome!"

The two of us walked away, repeating, "Did that just happen?" "Are you kidding me?" "We just ******* hugged Josh Groban!" Both of us got on the phone to call everyone we knew, and ended up walking in a full circle around the arena before we found the car, because we were so dazed. I was so impressed that after putting on such a great show, he would just come out and put himself down on our level, in the middle of us all like that, hugging and smiling and making conversation like we were his 70 best friends in the world. He's got a 'genuineness' about him, a humility that few celebrities possess... hope he can hang onto that as his star rises.

Yeah... it was a good night! :)

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