If you don't know my big sister Allison - then you are seriously missing out on life! She is one of the most fun, inspiring, intelligent, and beautiful people I have the pleasure of knowing in this life and I will always be proud to call her my sister. Earlier this month Allison graduated from the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City with a Master's Degree in Education. She now has two degrees from two very well respected schools and did it all with a smile on her face (but only when she was not giving me the stink eye for doing something foolish...) She is the first one in our family to graduate from an Ivy League school and we could not be more happy for her and her future. She has already come a long way from her first degree from ELON University in North Carolina. After that milestone in 2008 she moved to New York and started working as a ParaPro at the Rebecca School in Manhattan, which specializes in education for students with learning disabilities. It was there that she discovered a passion for education through working with an AWESOME young student named Nick. She soon realized that she wanted to teach for a living and work with autistic children. She sought out higher education right in her backyard at Columbia University and is now a certified Master of Education! Go Allison! You Rock! We Love You! And remember to Keep it REAL! (Also, check out this link and try not to smile - I dare you...)
Friday, May 24, 2013
Last night I attended a special event at the MOSH (Museum of Science and History) in downtown Jacksonville. It was called Jacksonville by Design and was a panel discussion led by architects and urban planners about the future of Jacksonville as a city. Lots of topics were discussed that I researched during my thesis project last year such as creating more pedestrian friendly areas, installing better street lighting, making better public transportation, creating more events at night and on the weekends, and basically giving people a reason to come downtown. One really good part of the discussion begged the question that instead of looking to the bad examples of design in order to learn what not to do, we should in fact look to the good examples of design and start to celebrate those pieces of planning. If we look too much at the bad examples they will become road blocks and designers, as well as the general public, will get too hung up on them and start to resist change. But if we get excited about the good examples then we can start to advance and make better choices. Jacksonville has a lot of potential and I hope that the future will help make it into a leading example of city design and planning. The main problem at this juncture though is that there are so many ideas on the table but none are being used. One thing that was said at the discussion last night was that there are no "wrong" answers to any of Jacksonville's design questions. That may be true to an extent, but the problem with that is that no one wants to pick the "right" answer. Not every choice is going to be perfect or well received by everyone, but remaining static as Jacksonville has for the most part is certainly the wrong answer. The table of ideas has become the road block and we need to start clearing it. Take notice Jacksonville, keep looking to the future, and start taking action - and, as always, Keep it REAL!
Friday, May 17, 2013
Hello readers! Today I will be seeing the new Star Trek movie in IMAX 3D and I wanted to give a Flashback Friday Special shout-out to The Wrath of Khan (1982). I just recently watched Khan for the first time and now I finally understand why Trek fans praise it as the best movie in the franchise. It has a good revenge story, some clever tactics from both sides, and one of the best villains of any movie. Khan, played by Ricardo Montalban, has some of the most quotable lines of any movie character and he is merciless in his chase of captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. I have already heard lots of good about the new movie Into Darkness and after reading a short review in the newspaper I have learned that it takes inspiration from The Wrath of Khan. Here is hoping that the villain (this time played by Benedict Cumberbatch) will be just as good because, as we all know, a hero is only as good as his villain. "He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's flames before I give him up!" "To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!" - Khan. - Keep it REAL readers and go see Star Trek Into Darkness!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Keeping with the current theme I decided to make my Ideal Musicshelf as well. This is my current list of music that I would not want to live without. Take a look and see if you know any of my picks and let me know what you would pick yourself in the comments. Keep it REAL!
Monday, May 13, 2013
After making my Ideal Bookshelf (see previous post) I wanted to extend the idea to my love of movies as well. Here is my Ideal Movieshelf. Each of these lists are subject to change over time but for now they are without a doubt the top choices I would make if I was forced to decide. What movies would you pick? Let me know in the comments. Keep it REAL!
I was just recently informed by a friend of a super cool book called My Ideal Bookshelf that contains illustrations of people's book collections they could not live without. I thought it was a super great idea and decided to make my own shelf! Take a look and see if you would include some of the same ones I picked out or if you would make a totally different shelf. Keep it REAL!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
So, besides seeing golfers and taking in the amazing landscape that is the Stadium Course, I got to witness some dreams come true! Such was the case for this lucky little guy right here. This young fan was entirely decked out in all Rickie Fowler gear including the now near iconic Puma ball-cap. He positioned himself on his Dad's shoulders and went about grabbing an autograph. I noticed the Fowler-ite before Rickie started signing autographs and was silently routing him on. I was really excited when Rickie got to him and signed his hat. Thankfully I had the foresight to capture the reaction too - how great is that! You can watch the full story un-fold in this short animation! Keep it REAL!
If you read my previous post about my favorite spot at the TPC then you have an idea of what some of the more secluded and hidden viewing spots on the course look like. But lets get serious, you can't talk about the TPC without talking about the par 3 #17 Island Green. It is quite possibly the most famous hole in all of golf. Think about that! No really, think about it. If you follow golf at all you probably know about The Masters, which is played at Augusta National in Georgia and is one of the most prestigious courses in the sport. You probably even know about the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, which is one of the oldest golf courses in the world. But can you distinctly describe a single hole from either of those famous courses? No, you can't - but you can describe #17 at the Stadium Course in Sawgrass. "It's an island!" Just take a look at the photo above. This photo shows why this course is called the "Stadium Course." Every year this area of the course that includes the green of par 5 #16 off to the far left and the #17 Island Green transforms into a regular Colosseum of Golf! The amazing thing about the photo above is that there is barely anyone there in the stands or on the grass slopes. This will not be the case from Thursday to Sunday as the only green you will be able to see is the grass of the actual green as everything else will be covered by fans and marshals. It is easily the most populated area on the whole course and offers some of the most dynamic views of golf action as well as unpredictable events. This hole has bested some of the greatest golfers ever with most going in the water, but even if you land on the green with your first shot you still might not be safe. Balls have been known to roll off the green after landing safely as well as being picked up by curious wildlife only to be dropped in the drink upon inspection. Lots of memories and dreams have been made at this hole with just as many being swallowed up. It will be interesting to see how the players handle it this year. Be sure to watch on the Golf Channel and continue to Keep it REAL!
Today is the first round of play at the TPC at Sawgrass. It is one of the biggest golf championships in the sport and it is quite literally in my own backyard! It is held at the Stadium Course at Sawgrass Players Club (where I live) and is in it's 40th year. I have lived here since 1998 and have gone to the tournament almost every year since 1999, when local boy David Duval won. I have greatly enjoyed this golfing event and with any famous location you will always have your favorite spot. My favorite spot is on the sloping bank overlooking the green of the #11 par 5. This hole is wonderfully dramatic in it's design with a mean looking wrap-around sand trap and a small slice of water guarding the green from player's second approach shot. More daring competitors will go for it in two, giving them a chance for eagle (2 under par). But more conservative players will layup short and land on the green after 3 shots. This spot is great because you can see the players coming from far away on the fairway after their tee shot, and you get a front row seat for the action on and around the green. It is also one of the few places on the course that is almost never over crowded during play, and it does not make use of hospitality tents or ugly bleachers. It lets the landscape become the grandstands and is quite beautiful for it. I was able to take the above photo during one of the practice rounds on Tuesday, but later this week that bank in the foreground will be filled with golf fans of all nations and if I am lucky enough to score another ticket I will be one of them! Thanks for reading and Keep it REAL!
Friday, May 3, 2013
Hello readers! Happy Friday. Today my folks and I will be playing host to some important guests for the weekend. My Grandmother and my two Aunts will be staying with us, which means that the three sisters will be together again! My mother is the middle of two sisters and she is pictured on the far right in the photo above. Her younger sister Sally who lives all the way out in Portland, OR is on the far left, and Betsy, the oldest, is in the middle and lives in Atlanta - where my Grandmother also lives. This photo was taken around 1976 and is one of many "three sisters" photos I have collected over the years. Thanks for reading, have a great weekend, and Keep it REAL!