September 8, 2011

The B.A.R.N. - Be Able and Ready Now!










The B.A.R.N. 
Be Able and Ready Now


Come get "Back to the Basics" and learn the skills needed to help your family become more self-reliant during these difficult economic times.

THURSDAY, September 29, 2011

7:00 PM @ the Vail Ranch History Center (The Red Barn)
32075 Redhawk Parkway, Temecula, CA 92592
(off intersection Temecula Pkwy/Hwy 79 So. and Redhawk/Margarita Rd.)

Participate in FREE courses and counseling on the following topics:
  • Cooking with Grains
  • Food Storage
  • Gardening tips
  • Basic First Aid
  • 72 hour kits
  • The Basics of Budgeting
  • Document Preparation
  • Bread Making
  • Sewing
  • Emergency Communication
  • and so much more! 
The B.A.R.N. will be hosting an introductory class on Thursday, September 29th that will allow leaders and members of the community to learn and participate in the B.A.R.N.s mission of helping the community Be Able and Ready Now for any emergency that could come their way.

R.S.V.P. on our website  www.theBARNonline.org to reserve a spot.  
You're welcome to sign up for a newsletter that includes helpful tips and information about upcoming monthly classes.

September 3, 2011

Tropicana Havana Nights Gala and Fundraiser


I am the Vice President for the Ralph's Riders Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to enabling people living with spinal cord injury and paralysis to achieve their highest level of independence, health and personal fulfillment by providing peer guidance, resource information and a supporting network within the community.  

We are having this exciting gala to raise money in order to provide grants to those in the disabled community needing financial assistance in certain areas of their life.  Even if you are unable to attend, but would still like to donate toward our cause and mission please click on the link below and make a donation.  We appreciate the support and we hope to see you at the gala.  Thanks!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Tropicana Dancers, Blackjack/Roulette, Silent Auction, Boutique, and No-host bar

8:00 pm – Midnight
Dinner, Awards Presentation, 50/50 Raffle, Live Music and Dancing

Sony Pictures Plaza
10000 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232

$150 Per Person 
(ticket and dinner included, cash bar)


To purchase tickets, go to
www.RalphsRiders.org/Donate

If you are interested in Sponsorship Opportunities for the Gala, e-mail us at gala@ralphsriders.org!

December 11, 2010

Gorgeous Temple Art



A good friend of mine, Kris Sundberg, is an amazing photographer, and he has gorgeous photos of some of the Latter-Day Saint Temples that are breathtaking.   They make great Christmas gifts that will for sure be passed down in the family for generations to come.  Click on the link above and check out his work and perhaps place an order. 

August 11, 2010

Eat your heart out Annie Oakley!

In keeping up with my 2010 theme of "Things I Would Never Do...or so I thought!" I couldn't pass up the opportunity to cross another thing off my list. I went trap shooting. This shot gun was so heavy and powerful that when I first pulled the trigger my chair started to tip over backwards. Thank goodness for quick reflexes that I threw my body forward and came back down on all four wheels. Needless to say, I didn't come close to the clay disk. However, after a few shots and getting my grip just right I was able to hit four disks. Two in a row was a great accomplishment for me. I was pretty impressed with myself considering it was my first time.

P.S. I am wearing 4 inch high heels and shooting a shotgun. I am just following my gender rule of "I can act like a man but I better look good while I am doing it."

May 26, 2010

Drawing 101

As part of my General Education classes at school I had to take an art class. The class is called "Basic Drawing" so in all honesty I thought "How hard could it really be?" I thought drawing would be a fun skill to learn and quite frankly I thought it would be an easy A. I have no drawing experience but I have some, and by some I mean very little, art experience. For example, I took a ceramics class in high school and oil painting classes from my next door neighbor when I was very young.

The first day of my basic drawing class my teacher told the class straight up "If you try really hard and your work is good you will most likely get a B." Just a B!!! This is basic drawing!!! I have had a 4.0 up until now and I was nervous that this art class, of all the classes I will take, was going to threaten that. Our first day of drawing didn't do much to change that feeling of mine. I had no idea what I was doing and I felt so phony having all these professional drawing tools that I got at the fancy art store. I thought that if I at least looked the part I would magically create a masterpiece. I am not going to sugar coat it but I was horrible. These art tools did nothing but clean out my wallet. I would see these amazing drawings by my classmates and I was embarrassed by the way my drawing compared to theirs. I was determined to get an A in this class. I began sitting next to those in class that knew what they were doing. I observed their technique, asked questions, took the constructive criticism and most importantly practiced, practiced, practiced. I can't get carried away and say that my practice made perfect because after all this was only basic drawing. However, I can say that I got an A in the class. As my teacher would say, let the art speak for itself. Below is my semester of basic drawing. As you will see, the first half of the semester was pretty rough. After taking these photos I see that I need to take a photography class too.

WEEK 1


WEEK 2

We had to draw the profile of the person sitting to our right and I felt so bad showing him my drawing of him. Thank goodness he ran out of time before he could begin on my facial features. I thought after he saw my drawing of him he was going to butcher mine.

WEEK 3


WEEK 6


WEEK 7


WEEK 8


The first half of the semester is over and I am sweating it reaching for that A. We then learned how to shade and things started to turn around for me.

WEEK 9


WEEK 10


WEEK 11


WEEK 12


WEEK 13


WEEK 14

This drawing was selected to be featured in the school art show. I felt so honored to be amongst so many incredibly talented artists that attend my school. I knew I was small potatoes being in the show with them but it was still an honor.

WEEK 15

We had to bring a photo from home to draw. My niece, Kira, told me to draw the unicorn picture my mom had hanging in her bathroom. She loves horses so I wanted to draw something she would be proud to hang up in her room. This is my favorite piece of all that I have done so far. I had it professionally matted and framed and she hung it up herself above her bed.

WEEK 16 & FINAL PROJECT

We had to draw 3 objects that represented us in a symbolic way. I was done with drawing random objects together so I went with 3 wooden angels that I have received as a gifts over the years. The angel on the left represents family, the middle angel represents faith and spirituality and the angel on the right represents courage. My teacher thought those three angels summed me up quite nicely.

May 19, 2010

Utah Valley!!! We are!!! We are!!!

The Utah Valley University Ballroom Dance Company has waltzed its way into the hearts of thousands over the years, and now it has the opportunity to claim millions of followers.

My good friend Alayne Wadsworth www.alaynewadsworth.com is on the team and invited me to be in attendance to watch her and the team perform live on Dancing with the Stars last night. She has long blond hair and gorgeous, long legs. She begins in the back right and then moves up to front and center where she belongs. Her husband Enoch and I sat in the third row on the floor and were among the many, if not all, in the audience cheering them on. As you can tell the cheering never let up. That's the kind of school spirit I like to see and be a part of.



Thank you to all those that voted for Utah Valley University last night. If the viewers voted them back they will perform again next Tuesday on the finale. This team deserves it for all the hard work they put into their training just about every day of the week.

Congratulations UVU!!! You should consider rephrasing your cheer to "Utah Valley! You know! You know!" because after last night's performance, trust me, everyone knows.


P.S. It's Friday, May 21st and I just got word from Alayne that they're going to the finals!!! Tune in to ABC next Tuesday, May 25th to see them take the National spotlight. Check your local listing for the time. DON'T FORGET TO VOTE FOR UVU!!! GOOOOOO WOLVERINES!!!

May 15, 2010

Things I Would Never Do...Or so I thought!

Since being in school for the last year and a half my life has been very routine and in all honesty not very exciting. I dread being asked the question "What's new with you?". Nothing, absolutely nothing. Every minute of every day is accounted for. Studying for school is like a full time job when you carry a full load of classes. I started to think back to what my life was like before I went back to school and I missed the exciting life I used to live. This brings me to my life now, well, my life for the past 5 months since this year began. I have officially declared 2010 to be the year of "Things I Would Never Do...Or so I thought!" A friend of mine told me that since 2010 is the Year of the Tiger it makes perfect sense that I would get out side of the boring box I have been living in and attack some new experiences. The moment the words "Oh, I would never do that" escape my mouth I am pretty much locked in to doing it. Naturally I wouldn't do something that goes against my standards so there is a limit to what I experience this year.

Here are a few of the things that I have done that I never thought I would do.

1. I dropped in on a skateboard ramp using my wheelchair not to mention a lot of body pads. Life Rolls On had an event called "They Will Skate Again" in Venice Beach. In my head I recalled my friend Aaron Fotheringham taking many falls doing this activity so I wasn't thrilled about giving it a try. I have had many shoulder and neck problems in the past few years and it reminds me that I am not invincible as I once was. I hugged the side of the ramp and let others go ahead of me. Finally, it was now of never. I dropped in and came out of it unscathed. I had done it. So why not do it again? And I did. At the end of the day received the "going balls out" award. With some encouragement from Aaron I did my best version of a back hand plant with some assistance of course. I mean, C'mon! Let's not get carried away.


2. I starred in and sang a solo in my Stake's musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". When an announcement was made in my ward that the Stake was putting on a musical my mom jokingly said with a laugh in her voice "Briana, you should go audition!" I started to respond with "Oh, I would nev..." and then as you know I was locked in. What the heck! I'll do it! I can carry a tune. Let's be honest, I'm not cutting any records and no one is offering me a record deal so trust me, I know my place. Singing is not something I am known for. My sister Kristen was given that talent in the family and she carries that torch high. I am more of a back up singer. Well, I auditioned and the director thought I had a strong voice and a charming personality. Some may say that she was at least half right. She offered me a starring role as the narrator for the musical that is on stage the entire time reading from a journal. After I accepted the part she then proceeded to say "Oh, by the way, you will be singing a solo." My jaw dropped. That wasn't part of the original deal. But once again it's 2010; how could I say no? The event was great and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I think I would consider doing it again one day.


3. I was called to teach Sunday School in my family ward. When I first moved back into the family ward that I grew up in the executive secretary asked me what type of calling I would like or not like. He mentioned that he had an "in" with the Bishopric and could put a good word in for me. I laughed and said "Yeah right! I am not telling you anything. From my lips to God's ears." He laughed and said "O.K. then, what type of calling would you be uncomfortable with having?" I still wouldn't give it up. I may not have told him but the calling "Sunday School Teacher" flashed over and over in my mind like a Las Vegas billboard. Wouldn't you know a few weeks later I was called into the Bishop's office and was offered a calling to teach Gospel Essentials a Sunday School class for investigators, new converts and missionaries. A word to the wise, if you don't want something don't even think it. I do have to say, I love my calling and every week (yes, I teach every week) it is as if the teacher becomes the student. I have learned so much more about the Gospel Principles and I feel so blessed to have this calling.

4. I asked a guy out on a date. I am an old fashion kind of girl. I feel it is the man's job to court a girl and request her company to escort him somewhere. Well, I am not getting any younger and I can see the crows feet getting deeper everyday. I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands if I ever want to call myself a "Mrs." one day. I met a guy while shopping in a store I had never been in before. He approached me, flirted with me, spent a good amount of time talking to me and seemed generally interested. He gave me his card and asked me to contact him. A couple days later I did just that. I invited him to come with me and some friends to dinner and watch the Newport Beach boat parade. To my surprise, his response was pretty much thanks but no thanks. I guess I have short circuit somewhere because I must have received his signals all wrong. Have I just been out of the game too long?

5. I submitted my drawing into my school's art show and it was chosen to be featured in the show. This semester I enrolled in a Basic Drawing class. I really have no artistic talent. The first day of class my teacher said "If you try really hard chances are you will get a B." I immediately got nervous. This is supposed to be Basic Drawing. I don't know what I am doing and for years I was told "an A for Effort." Clearly it was going to take a lot more than effort to impress this teacher. The drawings started off weak but gradually improved. When I learned to draw and shade with charcoal I found my niche. I did a drawing of "Nefertiti". I had no intention of entering it in the art show but when the teacher said she will give extra credit to each student that does I submitted it regardless if it was chosen to be in the show or not. There were over 500 entries and only about 100 were chosen. I was floored when I saw my name on the list of those selected for the show. I soon found out that I was the only one in my class that made it. I knew I couldn't celebrate in their presence but I couldn't help but smile a lot during class. My drawing didn't win any awards but I was very proud to be amongst some amazing artists.


6. I ate a cricket, held a tarantula and let a hissing beetle crawl on my body. One of my classes this semester is Biology of Insects and Spiders. I have been afraid of spiders my entire life thus far. I decided that I didn't want to be fearful of anything especially something as small as a spider. I figured I would take this class to hopefully turn my fear into a fascination. My hat is off to my professor because he did just that. I have become so intrigued by spiders. They truly are amazing creatures and serve so much purpose on this earth. In class we would get extra credit for every mature adult we collected and brought into class still alive. After about 5 weeks of classes and seeing so many spiders brought in by my classmates I thought I better get over this fear and get myself some extra credit. I recruited some help. I told my nieces and nephews that I would pay them a dollar for every spider they found. They found this job very exciting and it kept them occupied for a couple hours every time I would visit. They didn't break the bank with their findings but we sure did have a lot of fun. In class one day someone brought in crickets as a snack for us the students. My professor focused right on me and said "Briana, why don't you start the class off." After getting in the habit of doing things I normally wouldn't do I said "Sure!" With a surprised look on his face I grabbed one and popped it in my mouth and chewed it up. Today I went to the insect fair at the Natural History Museum in LA. After taking a deep breath and with my heart racing I did the following...

This tarantula is an Arizona Blond. We blonds need to stick together.

The flash must have startled the beetle because right after this photo was taken the beetle sprinted up my arm and into my hair. I screamed, panicked and then broke out into a sweat. I realized then that I still have some work to do in overcoming this fear of mine. I screamed with the beetle but had it been the tarantula running up my arm and into my hair you would have had to grab the smelling salt and picked me up off the floor.

Stay tuned for more posts of "Things I Would Never Do...Or so I thought!" Take a lesson from me...never say never!

March 7, 2010

Break-A-Leg!

Oh wait....maybe I shouldn't say that since if I did break a leg I wouldn't know about it for awhile. Being paralyzed is a blessing and a curse at times.


This year I have made the goal of doing things that I normally wouldn't do. Being in a musical is one of them. I may be a dance performer but acting and singing is not my forte. So staying true to my goal I am so excited to tell you that for the past 5 weeks I have been rehearsing for the Anaheim Stake's production of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers".

I am playing the part of "Briana", the narrator, who is the grand-daughter of Milly, the leading lady. I will be on stage through out the performance reading from Milly's "journal" to her other very young grandchildren. These little kids playing the other grandchildren are so adorable. This little boy Alexander has the most adorable voice. Every time he says a line I almost break character because he just makes me smile.

Believe it or not I actually have a singing solo as well. Something I was not aware of until after I was given this part. That alone is worth the price of admission. Some of you may be aware that I am not one that sings in public especially by myself. You can't even pay me to do Karaoke. However, since this is a year of doing things outside my personal realm perhaps you will find me at a Karaoke Bar not too long from now singing Def Leppard songs (one of my guilty pleasures in the car) at the top of my lungs.

We are getting close to performance time and I wanted to personally invite you to come to the show. The show will be for two nights only.

March 19th and 20th
7:00 PM
Anaheim Stake Center
440 N. Loara Street
Anaheim, CA

No admittance fee will be charged. However, we are asking for a donation of canned goods to go to the Halcyon House food drive. So bring the whole family out for a night of laughs, foot tappin' music, and a good cause!

I really hope to see you there!

December 7, 2009

Team Shaka featuring...ME!!!


I was invited to take part in Chapman University's Disability Alliance Day last Thursday. To kick off the festivities Team Shaka, Chapman's hip hop dance team, was invited to perform at the opening ceremony. Team Shaka wanted to incorporate a new perspective to their performance so they invited me to dance with them in honor of Disability Day. I was so excited. Recently I stepped down as a dancer from the wheelchair dance team I have been with the last few years so I could concentrate more on my school studies. Dancing with Team Shaka made me realize how much I miss dancing. It was great to get out there and dance again.

SIDE NOTE: one of my favorite T.V. shows is "So You Think You Can Dance" and this season I have had many favorite contestants. One of them being Nathan. So you can imagine my excitement to find out that the dance I was doing with Team Shaka was choreographed by Nathan himself. He is a former member of Team Shaka. It was a little sad for all of us the day of the performance because the night before the event he was voted off the show. I hope we made him proud. Below is video footage of the performance.



Each semester Team Shaka puts on a big dance show and since we had so much fun collaborating on this performance they invited me to dance with them in their dance show this spring. I will keep you posted when to expect show time.

Below is a photo of me with the Chapman Disability Alliance team. It was a great honor to be a part of this event.

November 8, 2009

Taylor Swift hosts SNL...HILARIOUS!!!

I am still a die hard fan of Taylor Swift. It shouldn't come as a shock that I rushed home from a party to catch her hosting Saturday Night Live last night. Totally worth it. She was the host and the musical guest. Double threat. She was HILARIOUS!!! I was very impressed by her comedic timing and talent. She's a natural. I am not surprised one bit...she's amazing! Below is her opening monologue.

October 28, 2009

The Courage of Integrity

My new favorite quote...


"The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity. Choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience, and truth over popularity...these are the choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing." - Successories

October 21, 2009

BYE BYE MT. KILIMANJARO...for now at least.

Thank you so much for those that supported me to help cover my cost for the Mt. Kilimanjaro project that I have been preparing for this year. Your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated. I have the best supporters that a person could ask for. I do wish the project was everything that I was initially lead to believe it was. However, recently it has come to my attention that there was some wrong doing going on behind the scenes where the money is concerned. I do not trust this organizer because of the sneaky deception and hidden motives. I feel they were using me to further their ends and leaving me to take a public relations beating. With that said, I cannot in good faith be a part of this project. My reputation and good name is more important to me than having this experience. I want to do right by myself and especially to those that have supported me.

When I let the organizer know that I was no longer going to be a part of this project because of X, Y and Z I requested that all those that donated money on my behalf to cover my cost of the trip be refunded. The organizer is willing to do that. Therefore, if you donated on my behalf your full donation will be refunded.

I really wanted to do this climb to represent the wheelchair community in a positive way and raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I wish their motives were the same that mine have been from the beginning. I feel very embarrassed, deceived and used by this whole situation. Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. As stressful as this situation has been the last few days I have to do what is right regardless of the consequences. I do sincerely apologize for getting some of you involved in this situation. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I know that the climb organizer will be contacting those that donated through PayPal. Those that donated by a check I will make sure that a check will be issued back to you. Thank you for your understanding, support and again I am so sorry.
--
Briana Walker

October 17, 2009

TEAM WALKER - ALS Walk 2009

video

Today we honored my mother and many others by walking to defeat ALS. A few months ago my mother was diagnosed with ALS aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. There is no cure at this time and it is fatal. Hearing this news definitely shook all of us up. Our family seems to have a lot of challenges come our way but we pull together, get through it and in the end come out a lot stronger.

The walk was 3 miles and most of the time up hill. With the hot weather we were all breaking a sweat. It was a great way to spend the morning with my family walking side by side to support my mom.

TEAM WALKER

Richard and Mako

Robert and Katie

Me, my Mom and Mako

Mom and Kira


Mom and Kira stretching

AND WE'RE OFF...
video













THE FINISH LINE

October 14, 2009

Check out the view...

October 9, 2009

My Chinese Birthday

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Last Sunday kicked off my birthday week. Sunday is the day I celebrate my birthday with my family. My mom asked me what I wanted for dinner on my birthday this year. I thought I would get creative and do something different other than my usual favorite meal. I said Chinese food and not just any Chinese food; homemade Chinese food. My mom was a little hesitant but I loved her willingness to research some recipes and come up with some great menu ideas to feed 15 people.

Our homemade Chinese food menu consisted of:

Orange Chicken - My favorite part of the meal and it better be because it was the most involved preparation. It took so long to clean the stove after we were finished.

Broccoli Beef - My sister Kristen's recipe and definitely a keeper.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs - With all the other dishes to prepare we thought it more convenient to just make the sauce and throw it into a crock pot along with some meatballs.

Chow Mein - We doubled the recipe so we had a HUGE bowl of it. There was so many noodles that we threw some away because there just wasn't enough room to cook it.

Fried Rice - A-mazing!!! Thanks Doug for taking the reins on this one.

Egg Rolls - When my mom and I went shopping for the ingredients for the other dishes I saw the ingredients to make homemade egg rolls. I looked over at her and without missing a beat she said "Don't even ask!" I just laughed. We compromised and got the store bought kind.

After it took a great deal of effort by everyone to make all of this food we definitely have a new found respect for the Chinese. It was in fact the best Chinese food I have ever had.

I decorated the dinner table in a Chinese theme that included fortune cookies and chop sticks. I was really impressed by my nieces and nephews using the chop sticks. Josh (a 1 year old) loved playing air drums with them and poking his mom in the arm. Reading the fortunes was a crack up. My sister Kristen had a fortune that said something about enhanced intelligence and the grammer and spelling was incorrect on her fortune. Who is writing these fortunes? What made the Chinese theme come more to life was everyone taking home leftovers. If only we had those little Chinese cardboard boxes.

I am not a fan of cake so my birthday dessert is different every year. In previous years we have had jello and ice cream, "dirt", cookies, etc. This year my brother-in-law Scott made a very yummy apple crisp. There is a tradition that has developed over the years when it comes to how many candles I blow out. I was injured when I was 23 and got out of the hospital right before my 24th birthday. I told my mom how my 23rd year really didn't turn out how I wanted it to. She wanting to make me happy decided to have my birthday cake say "Happy 23 Again" and yes there were only 23 candles on my cake. Every year since there has only been 23 candles to blow out. This year we added a "?" because I feel I have reached the age where we need to keep my age in question.

September 26, 2009

Britney Spears - "I'm not that innocent!"...

...uh...that's an understatement. On Wednesday I got a call from some friends Jen and Nate that are currently on tour with Britney Spears. They had a few free VIP tickets for that night's show and invited me to come along and bring some guests. I have never been to a Britney concert so I thought it might be fun dancing and singing along with her teeny bopper songs. I must have been living under a rock for the last few years because Ms. Spears is "not a girl and [definitely] not yet a woman". For a 27 year old, mother of two, that is considered a role model for young girls all I can say is lock up your daughters.



The tour is called "The Circus Starring Britney Spears". Oh what a circus it truly was. The circus-themed extravaganza, played out across a three-ring set stage, opened with an extended introduction featuring clowns, acrobats and jugglers, for some I am sure making it way too long before Britney finally hit the stage. But since my friends were part of this performance I didn't mind.

My friends Jen and Nate (www.jenandnatesite.com) are acrobats and they were part of the opening number before Britney finally hits the stage. See video below. Jen borrowed one of my blingy wheelchairs for her performance which made me very excited. Watching them and the other performers open up the show was awesome. I thought to myself what a great theme for a concert not to mention a great way to feature incredible talent.



The first song Britney performed was "Circus". I say "performed" instead of "sang" because it's no secret that Ms. Spears lip-syncs. This performance was a great way to start off the show and get the crowd excited. Then it turned into Cirque du Skanky. Britney's outfits went from revealing to VERY revealing. I am not a prude but there were times I stopped watching because I was so disgusted by the display on stage. I even covered my eyes or looked away many times. At one point 10 of her male back up dancers pulled down their pants to their ankles and humped her. My horrified scream was lost in the audiences screams of excitement. This was the tip of the ice berg. During one of her wardrobe changes a video played of Britney "singing" Marilyn Manson's version of "Sweet Dreams" while she participated in a display of S&M activity with other dancers all barely dressed, kissing, whipping, spanking and humping each other. Once again, I was horrified and the crowd loved it. Most, if not all, of the concert was centered around a provacative and sexual tone. There were so many young girls there with their parents watching this display of well, to be quite honest, soft porn. I hope that was enough for them to monitor more of what their children are listening to and the type of person their children are looking up to. Bottom line is...this concert is not suitable for young viewers. There should have been a disclaimer when purchasing the tickets. But then again I am sure some parents would have taken their children anyway.

After I left the concert I said to myself "I can't wait to read the review on this concert." To my surprise within the next couple days every review I read applauded Britney for a great come back and successful tour. The only criticism was in regards to Britney lip-syncing through her 90 minute concert. I was floored. What about the dirty and extremely naughty spectacle she made on stage? Where are the standards? Are there any female pop singers that don't go over to the dark side?

Most of the songs performed were from her "Blackout" and "Circus" albums. I knew a song here and there but the performances were too shocking to even get hyped up to sing along or dance to.

Here is her set list:
1. Circus
2. Piece of Me
3. Radar
4. Ooh Ooh Baby/Hot as Ice
5. Boys
6. If U Seek Amy
7. Me Against the Music
8. Freakshow
9. Get Naked
10. Breathe on Me/Touch of My Hand
11. Do Something
12. Slave
13. Toxic
14. Baby One More Time

ENCORE
15. Womanizer

August 22, 2009

Back to School...Again!


"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty." ~ Henry Ford

This last spring I went back to school full time so I can finally cross off "earn my bachelor's degree" on my goals list. I have worked very hard for years to allow me the flexibility and luxury of going to school full time during the day. In the beginning I was nervous about how I would do in school since I haven't taken classes in many many years. Those nerves were quickly put at ease after my first semester. I love school! (THUNK! I think I just heard my mom faint to the floor from shock) I never thought I would ever say those words. I think part of why I like it so much is because I am studying topics I am passionate about and going back as a (shhh!) "seasoned" or "mature" student if you will I am getting so much more out of it. Mainly because I am putting so much more into it this time around. I enjoy what I am learning about.

My major is criminal justice. Most that know me know that since I was a child I have always wanted to get into law enforcement. Sadly, becoming a paraplegic seemed to put a damper on my plans. When I decided a year ago to go back to school I did some research and spoke to some professionals in law enforcement that lead me in the right direction. I want to get into detective work and I have been properly counseled on what I need to do in order to get into that line of work with a city agency. This fall semester I have 17 units. In the spring I will be carrying just as many and plan to continue that pace so that I can transfer to Cal State Fullerton and graduate in 2013. That year seems so far away. Well at least I thought it was so far away but yet I have nearly finished a whole year of school, that's right I went in the summer too (no summer vacation for me), and 2013 will be here before I know it.

Being back in school I feel young again and not to mention I look younger too. I am in jeans, t-shirt and flip flops almost daily. Classmates and teachers are floored when they find out that I graduated high school in (shhh!) 1996. When I took my placement test to find out what level math and english I would be in I felt like a dummy because I couldn't remember how to do algebra for the life of me. I asked myself, I said "self, when was the last time you did algebra?" response "the last time you did algebra you were a sophomore in high school. That was only (finger counting) 1, 2, 3....16 years ago. 16 YEARS AGO???? HOLY SMOKES!!!! That was nearly half my life ago." After that realization I had to breath into the paper bag to prevent me from hyperventilating. Where has the time gone? Thank goodness for second chances. However, it is never too late to get an education.

I see that it has been a long time since my last blog post and to be honest with my school work load it just may be another couple months before I post something again. So in the mean time I will leave you with these words of wisdom...

"Be smart. You are all in school. Do not waste your time. This is a time of great opportunity that you will never have again as long as you live. Make the most of it right now. It is wonderfully challenging. It is hard, it is tough, isn’t it? But what a wonderful thing to go and learn of all the accumulated knowledge of all the centuries of time. Go on to college or whatever school, vocational school, whatever your choice is, but take advantage of every opportunity that you have because the Lord has laid upon you a mandate through revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning not only spiritual learning but secular learning. Yours is the responsibility, and you can’t afford to waste your time. There is so much to learn. Be smart. Give it the very best that you have." - Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet and 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

June 10, 2009

Ain't No Mountain High Enough...

Some photos of my mountain hike last weekend. This mountain definitely wasn't high enough. It was a lot easier than I was expecting. I could have pushed a lot longer and harder.

Attaching my off-road wheels...

Choosing a hike route...

All packed up and ready to go...

Let's do this...

"Hey guys, wait up!"

It's getting steeper...

"I think I can, I think I can..."

I knew I could do it...

Heading down the mountain...

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