Do you have a hobby?

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At dinner tonight, Ron was playing 20 questions with Ashlee. We enjoy throwing out different questions about all types of topics, whether it is about school, her friends, what she thinks about different issues, etc., all so we can try to get inside her head and see how she thinks. So one of the questions Ron asked, is if she could have any hobby, what would it be?

That got me thinking about how I would answer. I don’t have a hobby. Why don’t I have a hobby? Am I too busy? Is there nothing out there that interests me? What are my choices? I have friends that scrapbook, make jewelry, knit, so what is it that interests me and why haven’t I ever acted on it?

I have always been drawn to photography, specifically nature photography. I can actually remember conversations over the past few years where I have mentioned this in passing and have even said that I should take a class. So why haven’t I ever acted on this?

I do believe having a hobby can actually be healthy for people. It becomes a distraction from the normal every day stresses. It lets you have an escape, lets you blow off steam, lets you reach a different side of you that maybe you don’t normally expose. In my job, I am so focused on details and technical aspects that I don’t get to reach in and use my creative side. It’s like a muscle that isn’t being stretched.

I think it is time that instead of lightly talking about wanting to explore the possibility of photography, I am going to take some action. It is important to be well-rounded, have something that is yours, that you had a hand in creating. By posting this out here to the world, it is going to force some accountability on my end. Feel free to ping me to see where I am in this journey.

Here is my task list to start:

  1. First things first, find a class. Our neighbors told me about some classes at Crealdé School of Art in Winter Park that offers classes for all levels. I will start there and see what they offer.
  2. Second, determine whether I want to go down the digital or film route. I am leaning towards digital.
  3. Third, going to need an camera.

Well, wish me luck! I will keep you posted on my journey into photography!

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Gender Gap in Video Games?

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Here is my thought provoking question of the week. Is there a gender gap in the video games market?

This past week, young Christopher Sparks spent his hard earned money on the new Nintendo DSi. I have to say, it is pretty darn cool. Christopher already had the DS Lite, so he was kind enough to take pity on Ron and I, and therefore “let” us have it since he has the new one.

Ron and I, the geeks we are, were quite excited! Now we have our own portable game system! We realized quite quickly that we did not have any games for it of our own. Christopher and Ashlee grudgingly said we could borrow a game, but there was no giving us a game. So much for the fact we bought half those games!

So Ron and I took a trip over to our favorite Target store to see what we could find. Ron was bouncing all over the place. He was finding all sorts of games that were piquing his interest. There was Call of Duty 4, Lego Star Wars, Pokemon, Speed Racer, Transformers, Zombie Teenagers, Iron Man, must I go on? I was not so lucky. I don’t like the fighting games, so what does that leave me with? Cooking Mama? Nintendogs? High School Musical? Petz? They were all more interactive/role-playing games, which are not so intense. Not that there is anything wrong with these games, I just found it amusing how there is truly two different markets.

Fighting and violence for the boys and arts and crafts and pets for girls. What does this say about us? It reminds me of the old nursery rhyme:

“What are little boys made of?

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails,
And puppy dog tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.”

So the question is, is there a problem? Is there a missing vertical of video games? I am on the fence. I am sure there are girls who like the fighting games and I am sure there are boys who like the interactive-type games. I don’t even know what the missing game type would be, so is there really an issue? I feel like something is missing, but maybe not.

I guess I will go play Animal Crossing and think about it some more……. (wink wink)

Caterers, menus, tastings and more….

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So last week Ron and I met with two potential caterers for the wedding reception. We had no idea what we were getting into. Who would have thought there was so much that went into a simple, sit-down dinner for 75 people?

  • Do you want buffet or plated?
  • If you want plated, do you want to give your guests choices? If so, then that adds a whole new layer to the RSVP’s and seating arrangements.
  • Will there be small children who will need a kids meal?
  • What if we choose a kids meal and the child preferred the main dish or vice versa?
  • Are there any dietary conditions to be addressed for any of the guests? Food allergies, vegetarians, diabetics, etc.
  • What type of water do you want? I’m sorry? Water is water, or so we thought. Apparently there is a new fad going around about Cucumber water.
  • What flavor of iced tea do you want? Mango, Green, Black, Sweet…I could go on.
  • Do you want a bar? Beer and Wine or Full Liquor?
  • Do you need a dance floor? Since when does food coincide with a dance floor? Is there a clean up crew that comes along to clean up from kids who just ate and then start spinning on the dance floor to the Cha-Cha Slide?
  • What color linens?
  • What plate style?

So you are catching my drift here, right? Ron and I were in way over our heads! We must have looked like deer caught in headlights. They were seeing dollars signs in their eyes, thinking “Boy, we got them now!”

We listened, took notes, asked lots of questions and politely told them we needed to soak it all in and weigh our options and we’d be in touch soon.

Now, the best thing about the process of choosing a caterer is the tasting parties! You can’t make an informed decision on something as important as food without sampling some of their goods. Apparently, what these companies do, is periodically throw a tasting party. They bring in tons of food for all their potential clients to sample and they also bring in other vendors to also get your business (like a mini wedding show).

So on Sunday afternoon, Ron and I attended our first tasting party. It was held at a local art museum. We walked in and it was like we entered a cocktail party. There was a DJ, buffets set up around the room and high top tables placed throughout the room. We didn’t waste any time! We jumped right in and grabbed a plate. (Did I mention that I didn’t have lunch so I would be able to eat plenty?). There were some high points and some low points. We tasted our first (and possibly last) glass of cucumber water. It was ok. We ate and ate. I mean, it’s only fair that you try everything. We didn’t want to miss out on something that could possibly make it on our menu. It was so fun, even just to look at other couples in the same predicament we are in. We met one bride in which this was her 5th tasting for the same caterer. She is getting married in May and wants to make sure she tries as many dishes in order to make the right decision. Now that is my type of girl! We left eventually, pleasantly full and happy.

There was another tasting party on Tuesday, but unfortunately work issues got in the way and we did not make it. Hopefully there will be another soon.

As you can see, these wedding plans are much more involved than we expected, but we are having a blast doing them together. I am so lucky and excited that Ron is insistent on having an active role in the planning. I hear of so many men that just prefer to let it all get done and they just show up. Maybe that works for those couples, but Ron is my partner in every way and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Anyhow, I will keep you all posted on the latest adventures as they come. In the meantime, we are contemplating going to other caterers just to see if they have tasting parties. There are always potential events we may need food for…..

Carey’s first blog

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Well, after almost a year and a half of reading Ron’s blog and seeing the response from others and seeing how he “slightly exaggerates” some things, I have decided I better start my own blog to make sure my side of his stories is heard.

As most of you know it has been an unbelievable last 6 months, with Ron being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his tonsils and having to undergo surgery, radiation and chemo. Plus, during this time, we continued to fall even more deeply in love, we moved in together and merged our two families and he proposed to me on New Year’s Day. Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind of a year! I couldn’t have asked for anything better (well, minus the cancer of course!)

My plan for this blog is to not only post my rebuttles to Ron’s posts, but I will also post my own entries here and there.

I hope you enjoy and get a giggle here and there at the craziness of our lives.
Carey