Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rest in Peace, Raymond Lutgert

Raymond Lutgert, a business leader and philanthropist, died yesterday (May 28, 2010) at the age of 90.  In 2005, Raymond and his wife Beverly donated $5 million to FGCU, money that was matched by the state. As a result, the Lutgert College of Business was born and a new academic building bearing the family name opened in 2008.

The FGCU flag in front of Lutgert is raised at half mast in his honor (see above).

Lutgert Hall:

Raymond Lutgert's Sculpture, "Human Race":

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sorry for not posting!!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile.  Things have been ridiculously crazy for me lately.  But no worries - I will be updating very soon!  I started NutriSystem on Wednesday so I'll be posting my thoughts & feelings on that within the next few days.  I would do it now, but I'm so tired!!

Hope everyone's been having a good week!  :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pacman on Google?!?!

Every time I go to Google, I play Pacman and then forget what I was going to look up on Google. Best day ever.

(Google making their logo the Pacman game today was the best thing that has happened to me all summer. I can play Pacman...on Google!!!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thought of the Day

My twitter feed has been blowing up lately with criticisms about tons of different things - musical artists, TV shows, roommates, friends, etc.  I understand that things get overwhelming at times and there are things that you just can't stand.  And hey, if you can't say what you're thinking then what's the point of Twitter?  Trust me, I get it.  But when all you do is criticize other people, there's a problem.  And if you can't handle the criticism when it's about you or something then you find important, then you have an even bigger problem.

The great thing about human beings is that no two people are exactly alike.  We all have different tastes in TV shows and music.  We value different things in people.  But at the same time, each of us has something in common with another person.  Yes, differences can drive people apart.  But common interests bring us together and help us form relationships with others.

Why do you think certain musical artists climb the charts?  Because hundreds of thousands of individuals are attracted to that artist.  At the same time, there are probably the same amount of people that hate that artist.  Take Justin Bieber.  He's sold hundreds of thousands (possibly even millions) of albums.  He's one of the biggest artists on the music scene today.  Yet, there are so many people who can't stand him.  But guess what?  It doesn't change the fact that he's successful or that people love him.

I understand that there are things that just get under your skin.  It happens to me too.  There are things that people RAVE about that I simply cannot stand.  But I know that if I'm going to dish it out, I better be ready to take it.  So if I'm going to sit here and say that the Red Sox are the worst baseball team in history, then I better be able to handle it when people say that the Yankees have paid there way to 27 World Series wins (a real conversation, by the way).

Just because you think that something is stupid or worthless doesn't mean it's not important or awesome to someone else.  If you're going to talk trash about things you hate, you better be able to handle criticism about the things that are most important to you.  Because if you can't, then shut the hell up.  I'm sick of people criticizing others when they can't handle the criticism themselves.  Grow up.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

NutriSystem // One Month

I've pretty much made the decision to go on NutriSystem for a month.  I'm going to use it as a way to kick start my lifestyle change and give me the confidence that I need to move forward.  I keep hitting blocks, and most of what I do doesn't work.  It will work for a week (maybe two) and then I get off track.  I need something that will get me back on track and give me confidence that I can lose the weight I want to lose (25-30 pounds).

Twenty-five to thirty pounds may seem like a lot, but I promise you it's not.  It's brining me back to the same weight range I was before college (okay, so it's a 5 pounds less than what I was pre-college).  It's a weight that I wasn't comfortable with at the time, but now that I look back I see that I was healthy.  I wasn't stick thin, but I was healthy and I looked good.  I just want to get back to that.

Believe me, I'm completely against diet plans because I don't think they work.  But I truly don't believe that NutriSystem is a diet plan.  It provides you with pre-portioned foods that you pair with common grocery items (such as salads, eggs, peanut butter, milk, cheese, etc.)  As an added bonus, you get a free membership to their program so you can access all of the health articles.  You also have access to the exercise program which gives you exercise tips and allows you to track your exercise online (I already use for this, but it's still a good feature).

On a completely different note, it's been exactly one month since my grandmother passed away.  I cannot believe it's been a month already; it feels like just yesterday that my sister and I were eating Chinese food with her and she was telling us what she wanted to drink (first ginger ale then orangeade.  never cold and just a little).  I miss her more than I ever thought I would, and it gets harder and harder each day.  They say it gets better in time, but right now quite the opposite is true.  Eventually I'll come to terms with it all, but right now it's just hard.  

I love you, Grandma.  You're in my heart, forever and always.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Six Word Memoirs

I was on the To Write Love on Her Arms street team website, and I stumbled across something amazing.  It's called the "Six Word Memoir."  You can learn more about them at

I decided to challenge myself to write a few (partly for my own benefit and partly to complete one of the orders on the street team website).  But honestly, it was mostly for myself.  I've only written three so far, and they're all about hope and pain (since that was the topic for TWHOHA).  They're not that great, but I'm happy with them, and I truly do feel that they are a memoir (in six words, of course).

Here they are:

1) My pain has made me stronger.

2) My suffering won't determine my future.

3) I have hope I will survive.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Always and Forever.

Today my mom, Alyssa, and I went to the cemetery to visit my grandma.  The place was full of people all visiting their loved ones.  It was the first time I went to visit her grave since the funeral, and to be honest, it felt unreal.  When I stared at the mausoleum where she was laid to rest, I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she's really gone.  It's a struggle I face every day.  I know things like this take time, but I wonder when it will get any easier.  Lucky for me, I have so many incredible memories with my grandma. Those memories keep me going through the hard times.  I know my grandma loved me, and I hope she knew how much she means to me.  When she passed away, I felt like a piece of me was ripped away.  What's funny is that the night she passed away, I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach.  A feeling that made me wonder if she was going to make it through the night.  My grandma was such an incredible person, and we all miss her so much.  I love you, Grandma.  Always and Forever.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lenses and Flashes and Nikons...oh my!

You're probably wondering why I'm up at 2:48am when I have to be up at 8am for a doctor's appointment. I have a perfectly good explanation for this: I am geeking out over new lenses and flashes for my Nikon.  

My grandparents (on my dad's side) bought me a Nikon D40 as my high school graduation present in 2008.  Photography is one of my biggest passions.  I take pictures of everything: food, people standing in line, random signs, streets, scenery, events...literally everything.  Getting a digital SLR was a dream come true for me.  After two years of enjoying the basics that come with the camera, I feel that I'm ready to move on to more advanced things.  I'm ready for a more advanced lens and flash.  I've been researching lenses and flashes for awhile now just trying to find the perfect fit.  It has been hard since I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go with my photography.  But now that I have more of a clear vision with how I'd like to evolve as a photographer, I've been looking up different types of lenses and flashes and comparing them to my goals as a photographer.  I have pages and pages of handwritten and typed up notes on what different lenses are used for and which flashes will enhance what parts of a picture. 

I can't say I've found the "perfect" lens or flash, but I've found a few that are what I'm looking for and are in my price range (for what I'm willing to pay in the future).  Lenses and flashes aren't cheap, but I knew that when I started looking.  I told myself that I was willing to pay between $200-400 per item as long as I was getting what I wanted.  I don't need anything professional; I'm not trying to go pro here.  I just want something that will take my photography to the next level and allow me to explore more creative outlets with photography.

I found an awesome Nikon Nikkor Telephoto 50-200mm lens for around $250.  It comes with vibration reduction and has a pretty great zoom range.  Another one I liked is the Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D telephoto lens.  This one costs about $500.  It's about twice the price and while it's a little better than the cheaper one, the $250 has everything I really need.  There are also two flashes that I have my eye on.  One is a pretty standard flash and is perfect for beginners.  It's a Nikon SB-400 Speedlight Unit and costs about $120.  The one I really liked is a Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight Unit for about $220.  It has tons of advanced features and settings.  It's seriously amazing.

Sorry for all of the confusing photography jargon.  I'm just completely and utterly in love with all of this stuff.  I'm a photography geek; I know.

Here's a few pictures:

Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Telephoto Lens

Nikon Nikkor 50-200mm Telephoto Lens

Nikon SB-400 Speedlight Unit

Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight Unit

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rest in Peace Waterproof Camera

My waterproof digital camera has met its match.  My waterproof camera got water damaged.  I got one of the first models of waterproof cameras Olympus made.  When I bought it, many of the reviews said they weren't made that well.  The battery didn't last long, the card door didn't remain closed, and it took semi-decent pictures.  Up until yesterday, the reviews were right about everything except for the card door not staying closed.  Every time I used the camera in water, I opened the card door then closed it again to make sure it was sealed.  Once I heard the click, I knew it was okay to take it in water.  I did this yesterday and heard the click, so I thought I was good to go.  Apparently not.

I am now without a digital camera, and I feel so lost.  Sure, I still have my Nikon D40 (which I love to death), but it's not portable and compact.  I take pictures of EVERYTHING (my friends make fun of me for this), and I won't be able to do this unless I lug around my Nikon.

Now Olympus has made even better waterproof digital cameras for the same price that I bought mine.  Unfortunately, I don't have the money to buy one.  I've been looking and applying for jobs non-stop since I got out of school, but I haven't had a single interview yet.  I want a job mostly because it will give me something to do, but also because it will give me some extra cash that I desperately need.  My grandparents always say I can come to them for money, but $250 is way too much money to ask for.

I know this is really lame, but my camera breaking has seriously ruined my week.  I love photography and not having one of my cameras makes me feel like I've lost part of myself.  It makes me sound so materialistic, but my cameras are so important to me.  This really, really sucks.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Favorite Saturdays

I've really been missing New Jersey lately.  So as a tribute to the best state in the US, I decided to do a "favorites" on Six Flags Great Adventure in the wonderful New Jersey.  **NOTE: This list is based on the rides they had while I lived there.  They've added more rides since I left, but since I haven't had the opportunity to experience the amazingness, they will not be on my list**

Top 5 Favorite Rides at Great Adventure:
5. Houdini's Great Escape
4. Skull Mountain
3. Batman the Ride
2. Medusa
1. Nitro