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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year - 2013 Year in Review




I hope you all have had a good 2013 and a Happy New Year!  I was just reflecting back on the year and thought I would invite you all into my crazy new world.

Around last March I started a new blog at http://oceanadvocatefl.wordpress.com/.  At the same time, I got heavily involved in marine mammal conservation and ending captivity.  For a recap please visit my last post.

I would love to have you join me this year at the new blog, on Facebook or Twitter (links are in the post)
Let's make 2014 the end of cetacean captivity and the beginning of true conservation for our oceans!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG - It's On!




Last month I said I was going to be disappearing for a while to work on a new project.  Today I am here today to tell you it's in full swing.  I have spent the past month compiling background information from various sources and organizing it in a way that works for my crazy brain.  I have taken this week off from work and spent all my time so far diving in.  It's amazing how much I can do with such a big block of time alone.  I'm in the deep end and loving it!

To summarize the experience, 2 statements come to mind...

Starting is the hardest part
My biggest challenge has always been getting initial ideas to stop floating around on my brain and getting them down on a page.  It sounds easy enough but when I sit down to write, I always feel as if everything comes to be at once.  That leads to a massive overwhelming feeling and it ends there.  It has taken a while but enough of the initial work is on paper, and now it is so much easier to move forward.

Don't look back...always forward
Although this is a popular mantra, for me at this moment it's an important one.  The nature of this project is working into the future.  If I spend too much time making comparisons or referring to the past, I will lose focus on what and why it's important.  Focus is key!

Has anyone else struggled with getting started and moving forward?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG - New Project



I have really struggled with writing for the past few months.  I haven't been blogging, I haven't been writing, and I was starting to question even pursuing either any longer.

Then recently I had an epiphany...an idea that I hope is going to be a great new project.  It is in the planning stages and I hope to get started full force by the end of the month.  I'm excited and I feel like this is a project that I can be passionate about and totally immerse myself in.

The problem:  I can't tell you what it is!  It is going to be a long term investigation project and I just feel like in order to maintain the long term impact I am hoping it will have, I don't want to talk about it too much.

Hint:  The project will be more centered on issues that I post about on my Ocean Advocate blog, so you might want to follow there.  In general, I am posting more often there anyway.

The downfall:  I want to be completely immersed in this project so I probably still won't be blogging very often but I will still try to check in from time to time.  I have missed visiting you all but I haven't forgotten you.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Catching up or Starting over?

WOW!  It's been a while.  I was overcome at work in the month of December and trying to keep up with holiday festivities, so I dropped off the face of the earth for a while.  I am still struggling to keep up, but the other night my boyfriend said "When are you going to start blogging again?  I miss reading your posts."  Well I can't let him down, right?  So here I am, trying again.

I missed my first annual blogger-versary on December 19th and I also missed 2 months of IWSG.  Sorry Alex!  But the worst part of it all was that I missed you all.  How was your Christmas?  Did you get everything you wanted?  How was New Years?  Are you sticking to your resolutions?  Yes, I realize this is old news but I'd love to hear anyway.

I don't make resolutions because I always end up breaking them anyway, but this year I am committed to try every day not to stress out and to take time to notice and enjoy life around me more.  This sounds like a no-brainer, but it is difficult for me and takes a conscious effort every day.  

Another commitment this year I have made for myself is my 2nd Annual A-Z Blogging challenge.  Will you be participating?  Last year I completed the challenge only a few months after I started blogging.  It was an awesome experience!  This year, I am going to participate on my Ocean Advocate blog.  If you haven't checked it out yet, why not get a head start and check it out today? 

Ocean Advocate is very important to me and it is my main priority as we start 2013.  I will continue to use this blog for what it was intended for...Random Interruptions.

To find out more about the A-Z Challenge, click the badge on my sidebar.

A to Z Challenge [2013]




Monday, November 26, 2012

Death at SeaWorld - A Review



A few weeks ago I posted about meeting David Kirby, author of Death at Sea World and Naomi Rose, the book's "main character".  If you missed it, you can find that post HERE

Due to the craziness of the holiday season and the start of the Ocean Advocates blog, it has taken me a while to finish reading it.  

Death at SeaWorld chronicles Naomi's life, from her childhood up through her current work.  Naomi is responsible for much of the research known about orcas in captivity.  David explains much of her research in the book, including her dissertation on the social dynamics of male killer whales.  Her first job working with Humane Society International started with the push of bringing captivity issues into the public eye following the release of the popular Free Willy movie.  Naomi has also been pivotal in other work including the eventual release of Keiko (AKA "Willy"), advocating for the SeaWorld whales and the recent OSHA hearing.

Death at SeaWorld then alternates to take an amazing look inside the horrific world of captivity and the history of many of the orcas kept there and other parks.  The book delves into the behind the scenes "off behavior" episodes that not only never made it into the public eye, but were often kept hidden from the very trainers that risk their lives every day working with the whales. 

Former trainers including Jeff Ventre, Samantha Berg and Carol Ray give an inside look at some of these incidents behind the scenes.  Missing information in incident reports and animal profiles, SeaWorld's pressure and pursuations, etc.  As a former season ticket holder who dreamed of becoming a whale trainer at one time, these stories were appalling! 

Of course, the main story in Death at SeaWorld is the horrific death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 by Tillikum, AKA Tilly.  The book details Tillikum's capture from Iceland, as well as his aggressive past.  Tilly was first held in Sea Land of the Pacific where he killed his first trainer, Keltie Byrne, in 1991.  He was brought to SeaWorld Orlando via an emergency importation permit in January 1992.  Trainers were not made aware of how dangerous he was.  They were taught or programmed to think that it was their fault any time any whale went "off behavior".  Details of Daniel Dukes, the second fatality caused by Tilly in 1999, were also included.  

Death at SeaWorld exposes some awful truths and the research behind them.  It will definitely change your mind about ever going to see another whale (or dolphin) show again, at least I hope it will.

For more information, check out David's site HERE

Monday, November 19, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2



I don't go to the movies at the theater very often.  I average about one movie per year, usually something in 3D that can't be watched at home without the fancy TV.  Ticket prices are too high, crowds are too loud, and it's much more comfortable to watch a movie in my living room.  

I can't remember the last time I went to see a movie on opening night either, but I broke down and did it Friday night.  My best friend and I went to see Breaking Dawn Part 2.  

When the Twilight series came out, I refused to read it or watch the movies.  I didn't understand what the big deal was and I refused to give in.  I'm not sure what changed my mind but as soon as I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.  

As soon as I finished the first book, I made a late night run for the second, then the third, etc.  There was just something unexplainable that I couldn't let go.

I had read the entire series before I saw any of the movies and I was highly disappointed in the Twilight movie.  The interpretation of the director was entirely different from what I pictured.

New Moon was a little better, although the story of New Moon was depressing to me.  Eclipse finally brought it together and by the time Breaking Dawn came out, I found myself a fan of the movies too.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 starts where Part 1 left off.  Bella is a new vampire trying to realize her new strength and gifts.  Kristen Stewart made a much better vampire than human in my opinion.  There was a new intensity in her red eyes that wasn't there in her human form.  There is also a mature, motherly way about her as she cares for Renesmee, her half human/half vampire daughter.

It has been a while since I read Breaking Dawn but the movies did seem to follow the book closely.  There is an awesome battle scene toward the end between the Cullens (with extended family) and the Volturi - Alice's vision.  

Without giving any spoiler alerts, I just have to say this was my favorite of the series by far.  
It was also a lot of fun to be in the theater with so many Twihards, most of whom were Team Jacob.  

Have you seen Breaking Dawn Part 2 yet?  What did you think?

I will be taking the rest of the week off from blogger as I spend time with friends and family.  Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Miss You



Today is the Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest hosted by none other than Alex CavanaughMatthew MacNish, and Andrew Leon.  Thanks Guys!

So, here's the deal:
Do you have a couple blogger buddies who aren’t posting as often? Those who’ve pulled back and seem absent from the blogging world? Do you have blogger buddies you are grateful they are still around and would miss if they vanished? Now is your chance to show your appreciation and spotlight them!

Click the link in my sidebar to join in the fun.

Now for a few of my favorite bloggers that haven't been around as much lately:

One blogger that I miss hearing from, although he continues to post 3 times per week in recent months, is DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0.  DL has taken on the hugely successful task of creating and hosting WRiTE CLUB.  If you haven't already checked it out, you MUST!  WRiTE CLUB is now in the final rounds and the competition is intense.  
In the meantime, though, DL you are missed.

Another one of my favorite co-hosts from the A-Z challenge last year was Tina at Life is Good.  Tina was incredibly helpful to a new blogger who didn't have a clue (Me) before the challenge and was a constant support during the challenge.  Life is Good, but also hectic, so I have missed having Tina around as often.

With that being said, there are many bloggers whom I look forward to reading their posts regularly.  

I don't think any of us would no what to do without our fearless Ninja Captain (and blogfest co-host), Alex Cavahaugh.  I'm still trying to figure out how he has time to do everything he does.  Thank you Alex, for everything you do.

Another blogger that has been a constant supporter to me since the beginning of my blog is Gossip Grl at Whatever.  Her hilarious way of looking at life is always entertaining.

There are way too many more to list, but each one of you who have read my ramblings, commented, and followed mean the world to me.  Without you, I would be writing to myself, which is a very lonely existence.  

As for DL and Tina, I hope to see you again soon.  You are missed.