Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weekend in Gearhart

Happy Hump Day all! Rick and I (and Rocco too) were able to spend last weekend in Gearhart with my parents. My Mom's friend growing up has a house there that I have been going to since I was really little. I have always loved it there, and have always loved the little town of Gearhart. I was glad we took Rocco. He likes to travel in the car, he just curls up in my lap, or watches out the window. He had a good time at the beach house running around in more space than he's used to and even got his first run up a stair case and the first time seeing a dog!
Rocco at the beach house

Rocco's first encounter with a dog. Rocco didn't seem to perturbed until the dog barked then all his hair stood on end! It gave him a big mohawk all down his back and his tail puffed up huge! I couldn't get a good shot of him all puffy.

His tail is still a little puffed out here with Rick holding him

We didn't have great weather while we were there, but at least it wasn't pouring. We had dinner at McMenamin's new Sand Trap Inn on the golf course and my Mom made spaghetti the other night. Yum, thanks again Mom!
Beach and dunes at Gearhart

There were all sorts of interesting things washed up on the shore from a recent storm.
A crab shell

Moody seas and skies

A very chilly walk on the beach

Grass and debris washed up

And once we got home: our Penny.

It was just nice to be able to get away for a weekend and do something different. It worked out well since the next several weekends are busy busy!
In other news...well, there isn't much. My theatre class hasn't been very exciting. Last night we watched a bunch of clips, which was lame. How am I supposed to learn about film/acting/actors if I'm watching a 5 minute clip? Last week we watched "The Graduate". I don't think I had ever seen the whole thing. It is such a great movie! Dustin Hoffman is so awkward and funny in it, I really enjoyed it a lot. The point of it was to look at casting and think about what other actors would have done to the role instead of the actor chosen. Apparently Robert Redford was the main contender for that role. I can't imagine him in it at all!
Rick and I are getting closer to start remodeling our bathroom. We've been talking to some friends that might be able to help us, figuring out our finances and looking at options at IKEA etc. I also have been talking to a realtor that I know really well. She is going to come over and give me ideas on finishes etc to keep everything true to the era of our house and make it the most sellable when we get to that point. She's going to walk around the yard with me too and give me some ideas there as well. Dave, Erin and Royal are going to be staying with us in April when Dave's sister gets married and I am REALLY hoping we'll have the bathroom done before they come. Here's to hoping!
Well next week is mid-terms already. Thank goodness. This semester is rough! I just want it to be over. It snowed this last week and I am just ready for the January-February weather to be GONE for good this year.
Anyway, hope all is well with everyone. Until next time...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Why I am proud

I have said before that I don't like to use my blog as a political platform because I don't think anybody cares about what I have to say politically. I believe in what I believe, and you believe in what you believe and that may or may not be the same thing. I will say, however, that yesterday was a beautiful day. I truly think even if you didn't vote for Obama, that the excitement, optimism and hope in the air was tangible. I haven't felt this way about America since post 9/11. I feel so connected to everyone, which is so how I felt after September 11th. I felt like one small part of such a huge tapestry of people, and today I feel no differently. Instead of focusing on the political, I want to tell you why I love living in America.
-I learned from a fairly early age, traveling outside the country that I was special and lucky to be an American. After traveling throughout Costa Rica at age 14 I realized that we have it SO much better than so much of the world and that has constantly been reaffirmed to me as I have traveled. I learned at that age that the simplest things are blessings: electricty, running water, HOT water are things that not everyone gets to have at the touch of their fingers.
-From spending my formative years in the Mormon church I was taught that I was chosen for this time for a reason. I still believe that. This is the choicest time to be alive and to witness the most beautiful (and conversely the ugliest) happenings in this world.
-I feel closest to God when I am in nature. There is so much spectacular beauty in this country. From the Oregon Coast, to the red rocks and arches in Southern Utah, to the snow covered mountains, to the lakes and rivers all over this country and the highest in my heart: Portland. Yesterday, driving over the Marquam bridge, on a sunny winter day, I was reminded that I love living here more than anywhere else. I truly think there is no greater place to live.
-I love that we live in a young country but we have so much tradition. I love to go to Washington DC and see so much history in one place.
-I love that we live in a place where we get to choose our leaders. I love that we have freedom and liberty and democracy. I can't imagine living in a place and not having those basic rights. I get to choose what I do for a living, who I marry, how many kids I can have, where I can go to school. And I can do it all while feeling sure that I won't be hurt over any of those decisions.
-I love the diversity we share here. I love to meet new people and hear their stories, and share my own, knowing that we all are better off by learning about each other. I did love in Obama's speech yesterday when he said that the patchwork of diversity that makes up this country is a strength, not a weakness. I couldn't agree more.
-I love living in a country where being a woman isn't scary or "wrong". I love that I can live up to my full potential and do anything that a man can do.
-Lastly, I love that we have so many faults as a young country, but that we can right those wrongs. We can go from a country that owns slaves to choosing a black man to hold the highest office a person can have, in only 150 years.
Somehow we lucked out. I don't know why I am so blessed to live here, but I am so glad I do. I wouldn't trade my citizenship for the world, and I love events that make me reflect on the blessing of being an American. I am so excited for what the future brings. I hope that we can continue to be strong and unified and roll up our sleeves and get to work. God bless the USA!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quick update

Hi all!
We don't have too much to report. I think I have more homework from one class this term than I've ever had from a all my classes in one term. It's quite ridiculous and my teacher doesn't teach anything. He just has us do all this dumb busy work and tests us over it. Luckily it's not difficult, but I usually spend a couple hours on each assignment and there are several due each week. Needless to say it is keeping me beyond busy. Is it March yet? :)
Last week in my theatre class we watched a few clips of Bette Davis movies, and all of "Now, Voyager". I don't think I'd ever seen an entire Bette Davis movie. I doubt my Mom would agree but she reminds me so much of my Grandma Grogan, in the pictures of when she was young. "Now, Voyager" was interesting-about a dowdy Aunt who's life is ruled by her elderly Mother. She finally goes away to take care of herself and ends up going on a cruise and falling in love with an unhappily married man. Now, I certainly don't know much about the 40's, but that seems awfully risque for that time. There were parts of the movie that was 40's cheesy, but I actually enjoyed it. Our point in watching it was that before Bette Davis, stars were made, they didn't make themselves. We discussed how she was typecast as being so strong willed and independent. If a film didn't do well that she was in, they gave her a very different role in the next movie to make sure people would keep coming to see her. I can't imagine some studio company trying to "make" a star now. We tend to like stars more on their acting ability and their own merits.
I also decided to go with Denzel Washington as the star to write my essay on. I watched "American Gangster", "Deja Vu" and "The Great Debaters" for this. I liked all 3, but Great Debaters was my favorite. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it. It's a true story, as is American Gangster. I think Denzel is always in good movies. Deja vu was interesting and I liked it, it just wasn't as good as the other two. Next week we're watching clips from "The Graduate" and "The Princess Diaries", and watching all of "Brokeback Mountain". I have never seen Brokeback, so I am interested to finally see it, after all the hype a few years ago! The theme for next week is 'casting'.
Well that's really all I have to say for now. Work is still slow, but not as painfully slow as December. Rick's store is going crazy right now! They're trending to almost double their quota. This morning when he went in he found their front store window busted in. The cops came and boarded it up over night. You could tell it looked like someone threw someone else into the window. Those are thick windows, that would be really painful! Luckily it didn't smash the window all the way through, so no one could steal anything.
Well I'm gonna get back to my mountains of homework!
Hope all is well!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This semester I am taking a theatre arts class on "Stardom". I had my first class yesterday and I am already excited for a semester of movie watching to balance out my uber boring business classes. I think it is going to be really fascinating to talk about different movies and the stars in them and why they are famous. We have a great lineup of movies that we're going to be watching and I have seen some of them, but many of them I haven't seen. I thought maybe for fun I would post "reviews" on some of the movies and let you know my thoughts on them and sort of what we discuss in class about them. If you have a NetFlix account maybe you'll get some good ideas :)
The movie we watched last night was S1m0ne or Simone...whatever you want to call it. It has Al Pacino, Evan Rachel Wood and Winona Ryder among a few other actors. It wasn't a good movie, at all. But that wasn't really the point of it. The plot of the movie is Al Pacino, a movie director, creates a virtual actress, because he is tired of dealing with the demands and complaints of real actresses. I don't suggest you go rent this, because it will be a waste of 2 hours of your life, but I like the questions that it brings up. It's sort of this vicious cycle...we become so obessed with famous people that it gives them the reign and power to do whatever they want. They can request ridiculous things in their dressing room, and demand insane amounts of money per film, because we'll go see the movie because we're obsessed! The interesting thing that my teacher brought up is when the production costs become so inflated for these movies and the actors get paid such insane amounts, it in turn raises the cost of movie tickets. What is it about these people that makes us so obsessed when they are regular people that possess a talent to act? We are willing to adopt their fashions (and pay ridiculous amounts for them), buy magazines to read about them, watch anything they produce. It's just a bizarre phenomenon when you think about it. I really enjoy movies and there are a lot of actors and actresses I really admire but when they start getting paid tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars for a movie, are they really worth it? Is it worth paying $10 to see their movie in the theater? Why is it that we care so much about these stranger's lives? Just some food for thought for you all. Our only real assignment this semester is to pick a star and write a term paper on them. Any ideas on who I should choose? It can be a deceased star or a current one. I am thinking maybe a man, since picking a woman would be easier. Maybe Will Smith, Denzel Washington or Heath Ledger? Brianne was thinking maybe Kate Winslet. I'm up for good suggestions!
Anyway, I'll try and keep up on my movie posts during this semester! Hasta luego!

**Side friend Shannon read this blog and looked up this article. It's an interesting article that talks about specific actors and how much money that actually bring in per dollar that they are paid. Read it if you're interested...and I'm interested in what you have to say!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Well it is officially 2009! Happy New Year to you all! We had a nice New year's over at Jen & Dylan's house. It didn't get overly crazy, and was the perfect thing for us to do since I was still recovering from a cold.
Today is my last day of break, school starts tomorrow! Even though I always look forward to, and love time off from school, by the end I am always ready to go back. I am definitely a person who loves routine and time off from school and work leaves me all discombobulated :) I always eat poorly, and sleep odd hours and usually don't accomplish the things I want to accomplish. I do much better when I have too much to do. Weird how that works. This semester I am taking 12 credits. I wish I could do 16, but I can't afford it. I am taking Competing with Information Technology (boring!), Supply Chain Management (even more boring!) and a theater class on "stardom". The last one should be interesting, but I like to fight against it, since PSU makes us take 3 classes in a cluster that have nothing to do with our major. I am doing a pop culture cluster, which means mostly theater arts classes. Hopefully this one will be interesting.
I am happy that it is a new year. A new year always means a time for reflecting on the previous year and the hope for the coming year. Even though there was a lot of turmoil in the world in 2008, for me, it was a good year, with no inner turmoil-after having so many years of so much confusion, hardships and uncertainty. But I am happy to say goodbye, because after all, that means another year of school done and one step closer to graduation. Only one year and three months to go. Definitely the light at the end of the tunnel. I am hoping for big things for 2009. Hopefully work will pick up, school will cruise by, and turning 30 in November won't be too painful :) Last year I worked really hard and lost 21 lbs. Sadly, I have gained 16 back! So as of today I am back on Weight Watchers, working towards that goal again. Rick and I just booked tickets to go to Chicago in March to see Dave, Erin & Royal, as well as Rick's grandparents who live in Indiana, only a few hours away from Chicago. We're hoping to travel more this year, pay off more debt, do more improvements on our house and continue to enjoy being married to each other.
Cheers to a blessed new year to each of you!
Love, Lauren