Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cruising The Caribbean

Norwegian Cruise-line's newest ship, The Epic, truly exemplified its name.
Dining whenever and wherever was a breeze, and not worrying about dressing fancy was quite perfect. The views from the very top of the tallest cruise ship in the world were simply incredible, and the lovely animal shaped towels placed neatly on our beds were just so welcoming. A tight squeeze it was, but a cozy one, indeed.
Late night strobe lights lit up the sky, making any passing ship envious. The oceans largest T.V. attracted the guests' attention, especially during the
FIFA World Cup Finals. Can't forget the worlds largest LED chandelier ever created!
Heads turned as the Bahamian pilot guided the massive ship into the island's port, careful not to hit the much smaller cruise ships only feet away. The parade welcomed The Epic, for it was its first time in the Caribbean (This was actually only its second voyage after being constructed in The Netherlands). The entertainment was just spectacular and the crew members were top notch. Not one day at sea was at all uneventful; the entire week was a blast on The Epic!

The Epic's size (on the far right) compared to the size of the other three ships.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Day In The Life Of A Dog

Have you ever wondered what your dog does on a daily basis but were too busy to observe every second of his or her life? Well, luckily for you, I took time out of my busy schedule to do exactly that.

My dog, Biscuit, (pictured above) usually wakes up around the same time as my mom does. You should be informed that my dog and my mother are attached at the hip, so it would make sense that since they sleep together, they would wake up together as well. After my mom musters up enough of her strength to get out of bed in the morning, she takes Biscuit for a long walk around the neighborhood, where Biscuit eventually meets up with a couple of her furry friends, namely Millie (an adorable mutt) and Jazzy (a gorgeous dachshund that lives right around the bend). After roughhousing with her canine companions, it's time to head back home.

Biscuit grudgingly and reluctantly goes back into the house and immediately forages for her manila toy bone and her favorite tennis ball. After about a half an hour of playtime later, Biscuit's ears start to perk up as she turns her tiny head in the direction of the kitchen. She knows it's time for breakfast and, judging by the symphonies of cans being unscrewed and paper bags being pried open, it looks like Biscuit will be having the usual: liver-flavored wet food and just a handful of dry kibble. She rushes over to the kitchen counter and can barely stifle her yelps of excitement as she watches my mom back away from the metlic food bowl that has now been placed on the floor within Biscuit's reach.

After Biscuit gobbles up her first meal of the day, she knows it that time of the day again: relaxation time. Now this is the part where everything gets a little boring. She cuddles up in her favorite spot on the couch and begins to take a nap. Hey, whoever said it's a dog's life wasn't lying. Not long after Biscuit wakes up from her catnap (oh, the irony) does she have to go to the bathroom yet again. After a quick walk, it's time for my sister, Sage, to come home from camp. As soon as Sage walks through the door, Biscuit excitedly runs up to her, tail wagging, and starts to lick every inch of Sage's face clean. After the initial shock of Sage coming home from camp starts to wear down, Biscuit cheerfully frolicks nack to her couch and continues sleeping until dinnertime.

For dinner, Biscuit enjoys a nice chicken-flavored kibble while a much more appetizing dinner is being seved for the rest of the family. We all gather around the television after dinner has been eaten, Biscuit inluded. Before we know it, almost three hours has passed us by and it is almost time for bed. Sage and I get ready for bed and soon fall asleep, all the while Biscuit lies down with my mom and dad until they fall asleep as well, Biscuit anticipating what tomorrow will bring for her and her family.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Mesh Washing Machine On Wheels

Oh. My. God. Do you know those things that hook to the back of bicycles? They’re, like, made of mesh and they zip up and you usually see cute, sleeping, little children inside of it? Well, have you ever seen a 90-pound golden retriever inside one? You haven’t? Well, if you were near Santa Barbara, California yesterday, you just might have
So yesterday morning, we walk past a bike rental place with our dog (her name’s Rosey: she’s such a sweetheart) and my 13-year old sister decides that it would be a fabulous idea if the dog rode in one of those while we go bike riding. Not so fabulous. Somehow, the rest of the family agrees, and we rent some bikes and proceed to cram the 90 POUND GOLDEN RETRIEVER into this little mesh box- thing (I don’t even know what shape it is- almost like an oblong circle) which is about as big as the inside of a washing machine, on wheels.
So we set off and my sister is laughing at some joke my dad said, we’re all riding single file like some cute little family (not even kidding, it almost feels like the catchy Seinfeld theme song is playing over our heads that’s how happy we are) but below the happy theme music, the laughter, the sound of sunshine; the poor dog is whining like a banshee and she look like a sausage wrapped in fishing net, she’s so squished in that little mesh washing machine. And then she starts to paw at the mesh. And she continues to paw at it until (yup, you guessed it) she’s got a good enough hole to squeeze half her body out of the washing machine. As we’re crossing the street. So half her body is out of the box, but the other half is still stuck, and as she’s trying to get out her nose keeps getting smacked by the tire of the bike in front of her. In the middle of the road. Cars are whizzing by and half of her body is trying to climb out; now little kids on the sidewalk are laughing and pointing at the funny doggy and my dad is trying to stop the bike, but cars are still whizzing by and no one knows what to do and it was just utter chaos.
But no, no, it just gets better and better. So now we reach the other side of the road the dog manages to finally wiggle the rest of her body out and we put her leash on. There’s a little bit of silence for a few moments, and then my brilliant sister (the same one who suggested to bring the dog in the first place, pipes up and says, “Let’s put her in again!” And do you know what my dad does? He AGREES with her brilliant plan! He AGREES and we still have three more streets ahead of us! So we cram the poor thing back in her little washing machine and ignore the gaping hole and start to cross the next street. Well, now there’s not even any whining she just climbs out of the box in the middle of the street. My sister starts screaming even though no cars are coming, my dad’s got this look on face as his brain probably struggles with the decision to either keep pedaling and leave us all behind, or get off the bike and try to catch the dog who is now galloping in freedom across the tiny highway.
Needless to say, our adventure (and happy-family time) ended with a 50 dollar repair fee for the torn washing-machine-made-of- mesh-thing, Rosey returned to the hotel with a nose scuffed up with bicycle wheel tracks and a trip to the convenience store-omigod! This is almost like those mastercard commercials! Here we go everybody:
Cost of repair fee for the torn washing-machine-made-of- mesh-thing: Fifty dollars.
Cost of gas to return the slightly injured retriever back to the hotel: Two dollars and fifty cents (I just made that up: I don’t know how much it was)
Cough drops for the sister with the sore throat because she screamed too much: 3 dollars and 23 cents.
Happy family time with catchy theme music and laughter: priceless.

Microwaving Gone WRONG!

So, I was wondering…is it bad that my microwave is smoking? We have all had our moments when technology is not on our side but do microwaves come with an instruction manual? Seriously, I think it's crucial, people could like.. Die.

Nah, that sounds a little too dramatic, more like: The glass from the microwaves could explode and shatter sending pieces of jagged flying glass towards your unprotected face :D unless you wear protective gear, which is a little weird...

but seriously.. I think microwaves now a days are a little too.. I-robot. They have a mind of their own. I wanted to make popcorn one time and I thought the sensible thing to do is to press the popcorn button :D so I did.. next thing I know it's smoking and my dad starts running out of the house screaming "FIRE!!!" and he being oh so the great father he is, he ran out without looking for his daughter :)

Now I'm forbidden to make popcorn without supervision. -_-

See, I could take the blame for this second incident, but how was I to know that you're not supposed to put aluminum foil in the microwave. It had some cinnamon rolls in it from Cici's Pizza ( I recommend it, It's the food of the GODS!! >:DD) and I wanted to have that same warm goodness so I popped it in with the foil and it started sparking. But I thought it was supposed to happen so I was like "Oooooo Pretty *o*" and my sister came and was like "OMG!! D:" but I thought she was talking about the fireworks ;)

No more cinnamon rolls for me ):

So warning to everyone out there..

When heating up something in the microwave...proceed with Caution.

Microwaves are secretly planning to take over the world. Don't believe me?...Watch Transformers 2 starring Shia LaBeouf, haha he's hot. <33>:D

Join in next time for..

TV's: secretly rotting your minds until the aliens come and eat them.

And FYI, I'm not paranoid or anything o.-

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I just came back from China and it was the most AMAZING experience of my life! I hiked the Great Wall, traveled through the Forbidden City, and interned at Ogilvy! I have family in Beijing which made my experience ten times better. On top of all of that, I went with my best friend! It was just an incredible trip!

I was in China for 20 days and the majority of those days were spent interning for Ogilvy. Ogilvy is a worldwide Public Relations firm. They have clients such as, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Gucci, Prada, Swatch Watch, and Motorola, just to name a few. I helped some of the other summer inters produce a video about Ogilvy. It was an informational video aimed at college students interested in interning for Ogilvy. I helped plan out the video and film interviews. Working for a PR firm was a great experience!

On my free time, I explored Beijing. I went to the Beijing Zoo where I saw pandas, monkeys, and zebras. I also went to Tiananmen Square, which is where one of the largest protests in history took place! Then, I went to the Forbidden City and contrary to what many believe, it really is a city. It's huge! I never thought I was going to get out. I also explored the Hutongs which gave me a real sense of what ancient chinese life was like. But the best part of my trip was seeing one of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China! I took a chairlift up to the wall, then walked about two miles of it, and then I slid down the mountain which was so cool!

Going to China was such an amazing trip! I will never forget the summer I went to China!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Debate Camp

Ever since I can remember, talking was something I've always done a lot of. At the beginning of freshman year, I ventured into a new kind of talking. Debate team not only made me a better public speaker, but made me more confident and more willing to put myself "out there."

After having a successful first year on my school's debate team, I wanted to take things to the next level and really improve my debate skills. Debate camp seemed like the next step.

I do an event called Public Forum which is an event in which two people compete against another two people convincing the judge to vote for or against a certain resolution. My partner, Brendan, and I (along with others from my school) attended National Debate Forum where we hoped that with the help of experienced instructors, we could become more competitive on the national circuit. NDF was held at Nova Southeastern University within one of the dorms.

For the past two weeks, from 8:45 in the morning until 9:00 at night, Brendan and I took part in note-taking drilling, cross-examination drills and case-writing drills. Although 12 hours seems like a long time to spend at camp for a full two weeks, I wanted the weeks to elongate into months with the fun I had while learning. Not only was I taught by some of the best debaters in the country, but I was surrounded by other extremely talented debaters who also taught me a lot.

I also met a lot of friends that I am anxious to see when tournaments begin in the fall. (The picture above is my friend, Sahil, and I while we wait for our lecture about "Frameworks" during camp. Us "serious" debaters also have a silly side, which Sahil and I clearly display while playing with the effects on a Mac computer.)

Debate camp not only increased my skill level, but enabled me to learn more, become for confident and of course meet a ton of new friends from across the country.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two weeks ago, I was privileged with the magical experience of traveling to Amherst, Massachusetts for an intensive week-long writing course.

As a rising junior who has never once attended anything resembling “sleepaway camp,” the idea of a summer program seemed slightly foreign and frightening to me. Nevertheless, my time away proved to me, firstly, that I can definitely handle being away from home (except less so when I get sick), and secondly - I am so terribly excited for college.

When I was in preschool, I cried and protested and generally displayed symptoms of anxiety whenever my mother prepared to drop me off. However, moments after she left, these symptoms disappeared completely.

This naive adaptability seemed to translate into my experience this summer, because although the car ride to the dorms was one of my most anxiety-ridden moments ever, I felt at home by the time I slid my room key into the door.

Because our courses were so specialized, the program's population (48-ish) was divided into four workshop groups – two for poetry and two for fiction. My poetry workshop consisted of twelve students and two teachers, which made for a super close, comfortable atmosphere.

Much to my disappointment, I became quite run-down and sick halfway through the week. Though this was probably because I slept between the hours of 1:30 and 7, I blamed it on my bad luck and uncanny ability to catch colds at terrible times. Although I am a lame advice-giver, if I were to give any advice to someone on their way to a summer program, that advice would be: SLEEP. My time at the program was scheduled practically to the bone from 8 am to 10 pm, but the 3+ hours I devoted each night to my assignments could’ve been spread out more evenly through the day.

Despite my sleep debt and scratchy throat, the week I spent devoted entirely to the ideas and art that I love was one of the best I've ever experienced. I do hate to end with such an enthusiastic message, but I want to assure those who are unsure about a potential summer program: If you pick something you truly want to study, you will inevitably love even the most sickly of moments.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Travel Phlog! intro

Hi my name is Sharon, and this is my first phlog. This is a new term that I (thought I) created; it stands for photo blog… and it actually exists! The reason I am phlogging, is because I have a lot to share. I love traveling and taking photos as well, so why not combine both hobbies to create an interesting phlog.

I am Floridian, but if you ask me where I’ve lived, you’ll find out that I am not just a typical Floridian teen. I’ve moved a few times… born in Venezuela (moved before I was 1) then moved to Chicago, then to Florida for elementary school and half of 6th grade.

Why just half the year of 6th grade? Well I was informed of some tragic news from my father when I turned 12. My dad told me, while we were visiting Disney (the happiest place on earth), that we were moving to Japan. When he told me this I immediately began to think of family members or friends that I could stay with, while the rest of my family moved. I pleaded to stay and live with my grandparents; I would do anything just to avoid moving away from my home. But staying was not an option.

Parents always say they know best, and they really did in this case. They made the decision to move, and dragged my siblings and me along with them. My mom and dad knew what was best for us, because later I would realize that missing this experience would have been a mistake. My mom and dad felt terrible that they were putting me through this, but I am glad they did. Moving to Japan has made me the person I am, and it was an opportunity that I would have regretted missing out on, for the rest of my life.

Moving to Japan was weird; my friends and family had never heard of such a thing. Most of them did not believe me when I shared the terrible news with them; some just laughed and others just silently gaped at me in awe. Barely anyone believed me the first time I told them. Japan was an alien land to us, on the other side of the world, and I knew nothing about it. I knew how to say hi, Konichiwa, and I knew a few words like karaoke and sushi but I did not know enough. All I knew was that I adored eating sushi.

As planned, we moved to Japan. I was frightened and nervous about our relocation, because the first time that I visited Japan was the day that we moved. Once we were there, we were staying there.

While living in Japan, I traveled around Asia. My family has always loved traveling and we have family in many different places so we were and are quite used to it. We took advantage of Japan’s location, and visited many countries in the area. I took hundreds of pictures while touring and this will be my way of showing you what it was like.
I plan to use this photo blog as a way of talking about and presenting the many places I traveled to, and the experiences I had, in these far-away lands.

Questions? Comment, and I'll answer them in my next phlog.

See ya next phlog, Travel Phlogirl, Sharon G.

p.s. Be ready for more pictures next phlog, this was just an intro. I am just getting started!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pets, Gotta Love 'Em!

Oh my gosh! FINALLY!! It took me forever to figure out how to make a new post!

Hm, okay well this is my first blog ever, not sure if I'm doing this right. I'm pretty sure I screwed up already with making the account and 'Following' thing but whatever, LET'S DO THIS!

So yesterday I was up until about 5AM talking to friends and playing video games. School's out, so I could sleep in the next day. Right? WRONG.

Not even two hours later I wake up to the howling and crying of my dog, Buddie. Usually, I consider him to be the cutest and most cuddly dog on the face of the earth.

Not so much at that moment.

After tripping over a couple stairs on my way down, I finally put his leash on and take him out.
You know what he does? Lays down on the drive way and stares at me, like there's nothing better to SLEEP.
He didn't even make an attempt to pee!

So now I'm outside in my pajamas, blind as a bat because I don't have my contacts on and couldn't find my glasses, and my hair is a hot mess.
This is when I begin to question how I got myself into this situation.

I blame it on the pet phase.

Remember the pet phase?
For those of you who aren't familiar, it's this phase that usually happens in your childhood, where you think getting a pet will utterly complete your least until the next video game system came out.

My pet phase started with the movie Air Bud, I mean who wouldn't want a puppy after watching a movie about a Golden Retriever that could play basketball? That's so BEAST!

Anyway, I beg my mom for a dog and by the time Christmas comes around we reach a compromise.

Now before I release this information, I want you all to remember that at the time I was a 7 year old little girl that really wanted a doggy. I realize now that my mother's idea was just for pure entertainment on her part.

The compromise was, if I could take care of a Tekno Dog (Remember those? They had just came out at the time. If you don't, here's a video), then I would get a real dog.
Taking care of Tekno involved feeding, training, and walking. At the time I lived in the NJ/NY area, so imagine a 7 year old walking a robotic dog outside in the snow as if it were the real thing.
Oh, and Tekno could not go outside without a scarf on, oh no, he'd be freezing! so my mother said.


I never did get the dog.

Well I did, 5 years and a whole state later, but I'm pretty sure walking Tekno (which I still have by the way) had nothing to do with it.

As these thoughts were going through my mind, I felt something soft on my leg and heard a squeaking sound.
Apparently Buddie had gone to pee while I was in thought and brought me his favorite toy he likes to sleep with.
He wanted to go 'night night'

Awww! I love my puppy! <3
I can't stay mad at that cuteness, besides he's talking my language...Sleep!

So the lesson there even a lesson?

I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I speak for many pet owners when I say no matter how much of a pain in the butt a pet could be at times and no matter how many times people may complain about the responsibility, there's no way they could even imagine giving their pet up or not getting it in the first place.
Pets become apart of the family, and I'm sure many of you feel the same exact way about your pets, whether you have a cat, dog, hamster, snake, a goldfish, or even a pet rock.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Key Club Conventions


This is my first time really blogging. I've always been a bit against it. I've always thought that blogging was like posting your journal online...but I realize blogging can be a good thing, and at the same time, fun ! So here goes with my first blog ever ! Feel free to leave feedback ! :D

I'm excited that my very first blog gets to be about Key Club, a school club, the only school club I am sincerely passionate about ! And from being a Key Clubber for four years now, it is now to my understanding that only a certain number of people have at least "heard of" Key Club, yet alone know what it's all about. Now, I could go on and on about Key Club, but just to give you the basics and keep it simple and on task (hint: the blog is about the Conventions):

Key Club is apart of the Kiwanis Family ! Key Club is the largest and oldest service club for high school students ! It was founded in 1925 in a high school in California. To this day it is in over 5,000 high schools internationally. Think of a country outside the U.S. that you've always wanted to visit, I can guarantee you there is a Key Club there ! :D

Another great aspect of Key Club is that it is entirely student run ! Excluding the dedicated support and guidance of our Kiwanis and Faculty Advisors. We create, plan and organize any community service projects we want to do ! Not to mention any events we want to plan just for the fun of it or whatever the reason may be ! :)

There are the typical board of officers: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. And then there is an editor and Class Directors for each club. But in addition to there being board of officers for each club, there is also district officers, students our age who are officers of all the Key Clubs of Florida. And on top of that, there are Key Club International Board of Directors, Key Clubbers presiding over all of Key Club, yes ALL of Key Club, Even INTERNATIONALLY ! Not to mention, there are Lieutenant Governors, high school students, who work with Key Clubs in their Key Club Division. From my knowledge, these are all very rewarding leadership experiences ! :)

Since Key Club is entirely student led, it's one of the reasons why, specifically, Florida Key Club's District (State) Conventions are so AMAZING ! Even though I've been a Key Clubber for four years now, last year was my very first time attending and I can sincerely say it was an unforgettable, memorable experience ! The 72nd Annual District Convention was inspirational, tons of fun, and plenty more ! It was great to see over 1,000 other Key Clubbers together in one hotel ! It was great to be around the family members I never knew I had ! It was inspirational to see all the caring leaders our own age being awarded for their dedication to service and to their clubs. A majority of us got very little sleep because our four day schedules are jam packed with educational and interesting workshops led by Key Clubbers, and award ceremonies, and not to mention delicious hotel food ! And for a majority of us, instead of sleeping during the very little free time we had, a majority of us decided to go to the pool with our Key Clubber friends, or attend the dances the convention had, or just do some updating with any Key Clubber friends we haven't seen in a while ! It was a truly GREAT experience. And again, because the club is student run, the convention was planned by high school students ! And even though most people who have attended conventions, especially SGA conventions, think the automatic first impression that it's going to be boring, but you're wrong about the Key Club Conventions ! THERE IS NO CONVENTION LIKE THE KEY CLUB CONVENTION !!!! :D

Feel Free to look at the International and Florida Key Club website !

Join Key Club and See for yourself just how great of a club it really is ! :D

P.S. The colors used in my blog are Key Club Colors ! Blue represents Unwavering Character and Gold represents Service ! :D