19 July 2016

My Daughter in Thailand - Part I

My daughter made some serious progress in her life this Summer. She is living in Thailand  for two weeks. 
She registered for a program with Loop Abroad to learn about big animal care on an elephant sanctuary. The trip serves two goals: learning to care for big animals and building memories. Part of learning is the experience you gain. The best part will be the cultural one of being in a country far unlike what she's accustomed. 
I like the Loop Abroad outlook on life and the reason they formed this organization. It is especially important for young adults.
How would our lives have been different if we'd traveled more, experienced more, known what was out there, and spent more time around people who truly love what they do before we'd tried to answer the question, "What do I want to be when I grow up?"
This is her picture story.  Don't forget to read the captions.
Chelsey is about to leave Tallahassee and head to JFK International Airport. She will then leave the United States with her Loop Abroad classmates and guide masters. Talk about a nervous mommy!


Smiles on the outside.
Nervous bundle of mess on the inside!



No longer traveling alone! *EXHALE* I'm going to be fine.



We'd just received the same text message
from Verizon.
"You've used up 90% of your 12 gigs."
The next cycle is 2 weeks! W...T...F??!





Learning about spirituality and Buddhism.





Yes, culture!



I can make the same thing out of red bell peppers.



Most beautiful smile!! =)



Learning art and culture.



Taking in the landscapes.




The food.



The food, part II.



Wildlife? That looks like a pretty pampered
and domesticated animal to me!

This is not the last of the photos. She's still in Thailand and I have enough for part II and part III, so stay tuned if you'd like to see more of Thailand and Chelsey's adventures abroad!




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24 June 2016

The Mudslide and the Hemingway App

I used the Hemingway App to proof this piece for passive voice and clarity. Great tool now that Microsoft removed their passive voice feature from Word 2016.

The Mudslide

I was sick last year with the flu. I ran a fever which I can’t tell you how high because I’d given up on looking for a thermometer. I slept on the sofa the evening my fever broke, and I dreamed something frightening. I experienced a mudslide.

This was no ordinary mudslide like the countless ones you might see on the evening news. It did not contain debris like collapsed houses, uprooted trees and power lines. It was smooth and dark, like a giant Tootsie roll. Don’t laugh, because that’s not what I would call frightening.

It all started while I was at some resort, by myself. It was a couples resort and I was there alone and something did not feel right. The ambiance was off. The aftermath of a disaster appeared before me and it was calm, like the eye of a storm. Everybody stood around and looked relieved as if they’d just escaped death!

People smiled at me, their eyes lit up as if giving thanks for my presence. And then this man motioned for me to climb out of this pit. He lifted the net which covered the opening of the pit. I reached for his hand and tried to climb out, but my shoe lace got tangled up in the net. At this point, the net came alive and climbed up my leg to snatch me away.

Terrifying screams sprang from all directions as the man pulled me from the pit. He grabbed a knife from a sleeve on his hip and sliced the net away from my laces. With a violent hiss, the pit sucked the net in like a vacuum cleaner consuming a hair ball.


Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this piece and if you believe the Hemingway App would be useful to you. Try it here.




I won't show you the original, it was horrendous. :) I changed my mind. Look at the photo just above.


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11 June 2016

My New Orleans Experience 2016

I'm breaking away from my studies to give a quick update on the NOLA vacation. I finally chose the pictures I want to share. They are the most memorable.

Well, a few weren't, but I'm sharing them anyway because they're just fun moments. It's not my first rodeo in New Orleans.


New Orleans: sexy man, art, fountain.
Who wouldn't enjoy this?

I'm not going in chronological order, not unless I discover that my storytelling isn't making sense. I never said I was a good storyteller. So here we go!


From left to right: Kathy Henderson Tradewell (my sister), me (duh), and
Terri Lanham Claunch (close childhood friend)

That picture above was taken at this place called "I forget." No, literally, I forget where we were. If my sister or Terri reads this post and reminds me, I will update the text and tell you where this was taken.

What man would get duped into being in this photo?
Let me introduce from left to right: Charles Harding (my boyfriend),
Mike Tradewell (my brother-in-law), and Stan Claunch (friend's husband). 

They didn't realize we were going to insist on going inside later in the evening. Don't worry, I got video. I will share it at the end of this post. DO NOT scroll down to see it! You must finish reading this post.

I insist!


Yes, we realize we aren't supposed to take pictures.

Why do it? Because we can!



Realize this, though. If taunted with signs, we will disobey. I'm saving up for The Art of Sign Disobedience, Part II.



Somebody's dessert at Emiril's Nola Restaurant

My dessert was beer, but just look at that! The folks at Emiril's NOLA Restaurant know how to present food, there's no question about it.



Charles and I at NOLA Restaurant in New Orleans

And later that evening...


There were no honeys hustling during the day.

There we were. Hanging in the streets. The night life hadn't started yet. You know, the drinking, the naked women, the con artists wanting your money.

One naked lady, breasts painted red, white, and blue, approached and asked us if we wanted to take a picture with  her. I thought her motive was money so I simply stated, "No thanks." She looked heart-broken. But, damn. We'd already gotten conned into paying $40.00 for two hats we'll never wear, and a book I'll never read.


Waiting on the show to start!

Remember "the real drag queen sign" at the beginning of this post? Yeah, that's where this photo was taken later that evening. I told you we would insist. Doesn't Charles look excited to be there? 


Another touristy photo
under the Bourbon Street sign.

The people in the street started early the next day. We got our beads but didn't have to expose ourselves for them. How nice of you, sir. Here, I have $3.00 left. Spend it wisely!


Two people being silly in New Orleans!

I'm not sure why it was so much fun sneaking photos of ourselves holding up masks. I think it was because the store owners weren't really aware of the things going on or they've just become immune to folks disregarding their signs. It felt like stealing. Recall Breakfast at Tiffany's with George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn when they steal masks?




Okay, so enough of that.



Yes, I ate shrimp and grits!

I never have been a fan of grits, even cheese grits. But, for some reason, I don't know if it's because we were in New Orleans or what, but this tiny bowl of shrimp and grits was amazing! If you have a chance to visit Cafe Fleur De Lis, this is what you need to order.

We are Anonymous. We will find you and expose the truth.
But first, I need another beer.


I'm with Anonymous. Hilary Clinton, your lies will be exposed. Seriously though, that was one freaky mask, but I liked it.


He's like some fallen angel or something. Maybe a premonition
of what was to come that evening? Who knows...

There are so many props to find while hanging out on Bourbon Street. You never know what's right around the corner. 


Like maybe a demon or two?

It was so much fun just hanging out in New Orleans over the weekend. Every night seemed to be another party and everyone wants to hang out and take photos with everyone else. It's a very hospitable place out on the streets.



This dude let me pose on his bicycle. It is not motorized,
so I'm not really incriminating myself here.
See the pedal?

That was my weekend trip a few weeks ago. I'm much rested and ready to get back to work and hit the books. What have you been up to Blogosphere?

Okay, drag queen video...as promised.








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04 June 2016

Uber Experience in NOLA

I'm not going to blog about school or work. Today, I'm blogging about a different kind of progress.

This blog post is about my new best friend, Uber.

This is progress because Uber replaces a service (the commercial taxi), which has monopolized travel and, in essence, has impacted entertainment and tourism for so many years. I'm going to eventually share my NOLA vacation, but first I need to share an experience with the Uber phenomenon.

I understand that Uber isn't everywhere, so when we arrived in New Orleans and settled down, being that I'd experienced NOLA four short years prior, I made an executive decision. Uber would be our mode of transportation the duration of our stay. There existed the perfect scenario: the meeting of three couples arriving in three different cars, each wanting to spend time together in the great city of New Orleans, and possibly engaging in the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

I gave consideration to the current state of the economy and called on a local taxi service. They were booked and it would take 45 minutes to get a ride, but then, they'd have to send two cars to pick up six people. The cost estimate? A whopping $50.00.

Screw that! Ridiculous, right? 

So, I contacted Uber, requesting an extra large vehicle to fit all six in my party. My driver arrived in less than eight minutes.  That's not the amazing part. I was able to track his progress toward my destination, including every turn he made and every mile he reached. What, what?! The cost at peak time? Check it out in the photo.





I'm not saying you should use Uber as a means of putting the finger to the current state of affairs in transportation services, but rather, consider it if you really want to get moving and don't want to put up with the bullshit of being shafted by commercial tourism. Trust me, if taxi cab drivers had their own vehicles, they'd be jumping on the Uber bandwagon.

Trust that my group and I witnessed a few middle fingers expressing the International language of love by taxi cab drivers as we entered Uber vehicles. Was this their way of telling us that they disliked our choice of service? Will Uber be the end of commercial services? Is this a formula of people taking care of people?




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01 June 2016

Staff Training Survey - Help Improve Your Organization



I need respondents for my anonymous survey. It is short, it is fun, and it will help my Survey Design grade if I can get 200 respondents or more.

Training Survey: Please help with my Masters in Communication course - take this short survey and SHARE the link to this post via the share buttons below. THANK YOU!!





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