Thoughts, out loud, that probably should of been left inside my head....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Odd Week

If the events of the Air France flight a few weeks ago didn't have my nerves on edge for the "They happen in 3's" phenomenon, this week has proved there is some sort of weird truth to the superstition.

First, Ed McMahon passes away. Sad, but the man led a long life and experienced a lot. Then, this morning, I got the breaking news alert that Farah Fawcett had died. This was a little more upsetting than Ed McMahon, although I can't say unexpected since we knew she had been suffering for quite some time now. However, I think the thing that got me the most was that she had stated somewhere along the line that she didn't want this disease to take her. And it's upsetting to know it did. Cancer is so evil. It's affected two of my grandparents to date and inevitably ended up taking the lives of one of them. Now another beloved family member, my Dad's cousin, is suffering with the disease and the outlook is dismal.

However, if the day wasn't sad enough with the passing of Farah Fawcett, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away by what is still being deteremined. Possible cardiac arrest? We're still waiting for results.

I will be the first to admit, I shed a tear or two over this one. But let me explain myself. I am not the hugest fan of the Michael Jackson of today. Did he molest children? My better judgement says yes. Did he have severe psychological issues? That's obvious. Did the man need help? Yes he did. Yes, yes, yes he did.

But Michael Jackson will ALWAYS hold a piece of my childhood with his music. The man had talent. You can't deny. Yes, I was 2 when Thriller came out. But I loved, loved, loved Billie Jean and Beat It with the passion that any child could who totally lived the '80's. His music holds some of the best memories for me and I will always love that style. As any of my friends can attest, I am a die hard '80's music lover and Jackson quite frequently shows up on my playlist.

I have a fuzzy memory of a summer spent in Florida at my grandparents. My cousin, Michele and I had just finished performing in one of our 'Talent Show' skits that was common place when we all got together and then my brother, and perhaps my other cousin, Travis took the stage (aka: the large wall in the living room). While I'm not certain of the routine, I'm pretty sure it involved my brother lipsyncing Michael Jackson's Thriller or another song while wearing, and this part I can testify too, a sleeveless white tshirt with the words "THRILLER" splashed across it. Classic.

And, if that doesn't prove our 80's love of MJ, then perhaps the fact that we had a cat named Billie Jean will. I remember that cat. Brown tabby. She had mange. And she lived in the old, dead oak tree that is STILL on my parents property.

Jeff and I discussed this tonight and we both think that Michael Jackson was the Elvis of our generation. I whole-heartedly agree with that. I hope his music will live on forever. But only time will tell. My kids will know who he was. And maybe Jeff can teach them how to moonwalk.

Rest in Peace, Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcetta and you Michael Jackson. I hope that God forgives you and you find your place in Heaven.

Visit here to view my favorite Michael Jackson song.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lost and Found

I bought a book this morning from Half Price Books. This was inside of it. Kind of dangerous as someone could get a hold of it, scan it and post it on their blog.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Destination Wedding: St. Augustine, Florida

I know I put this blog off for a week, but trust me, I didn't want to deliver a poor quality post and you didn't want to hear me ramble. So finally, I'm getting around to recapping our trip.

Jeff and I took a trip to St. Augustine, Florida from June 11 - June 14, 2009 to watch one of my closest friends, Meghan Hokom wed Mark Stapleton. Here's our trip in a nutshell - a very LARGE nutshell.

Jeff and I flew out early (early, early) morning last Thursday. I booked us on AirTran, because at the time, it was the cheapest way to get us from point A to C (via B of course). AirTran is based out of Atlanta. And if there is one airport I never want to see again, it's Atlanta. To start, the place is huge. But I think my distaste mostly comes from the 5 hour layover we spent there on our way to Jacksonville.
taken via iPhone en route

Let me just start by saying, I will never skimp again on tickets if it involves this long of a layover again. Never. I am not a patient person as most of you know, but I have a fondness for airports which I attribute to one of my favorite hobbies - people watching. However, after about an hour in that place and the chaos that ensued, I was done with people watching and ready to get on the frickin' plane. There are only so many iPhone apps I can mess with and only so many pages of a book I can read. And did I mention our plane was late? Of course it was. Only 30 minutes, but please, after what I had just sat through I was pulling my hair out - and Jeff's too.

Finally, after a thankfully brief 1 hour flight, we arrived in Jacksonville. This was the closest airport to fly into as St. Augustine was only about a 1 hour drive south. While Jeff battled the conveyor belts to get our baggage (which we ended up forking over about $130/total in baggage check fees) I went to go get our rental car. I reserved a mid-size car, which online said was similar to a Mazda 6 - fair enough, I thought. Four doors, not too big and economical in price. But do you think Jeff and I got a Mazda 6? Of course not. Instead, we pimped out the following:

A Chevy HHR. Otherwise known as ghetto fabulous. If any of my friends or family drive one of these, I wish I could apologize for my dislike. But I can't. Aside from it's overall look, it's pretty much plastic on wheels. After a good laugh on both Jeff and my part, we decided to make the most of it and try to look as cool as possible. We probably failed.

We took the scenic route out of Jacksonville and rode down AIA (Beach Front Avenue!!) all the way in to St. Augustine and ended up arriving around 5pm. Just in time to check into the hotel and refresh ourselves for dinner. We headed to AIA Alehouse in downtown St. Augustine to dine with Meghan, Mark and her family along with the Tye's. Jeff sampled the beer and, what has now become a Koenig tradition, we bought a pint glass to add to our collection at home.

Meghan & Desmond at AIA Alehouse

Afterwards, Meghan organized a 'Girls Night' in Jacksonville that included a lot of her friends from the school she used to teach at when she lived there. The night was pretty humid, but we made the most of it, bought Meghan plenty of rounds and ended up dancing at some small joint by the end of the night. A pretty fun night, but after a late night run to Krystal's (barf), I was running on 23 hours without sleep and pretty desparate to get back to the hotel.

Meghan and a Duff look-a-like

Jeff was sympathetic the next morning and let me sleep in a bit. Friday was our chill day. We decided to explore downtown St. Augustine which has a lot of historical landmarks. Including El Castillo de San Marcos, which we did not end up taking a tour of. After spending the morning exploring and taking plenty of pictures, we decided to go to the beach.

awesome building in downtown St. Augustine

If you know me, you're probably aware of the fact that I am NOT a beach person. It probably is due 60% to the fact that I have to stuff myself into spandex/lycra to enjoy it and the other 40% I attribute to sand (not a fan) and humidity (also, not a huge fan). But I was pretty cas (as in short for casual) about the whole thing this time and we went down there not caring if we scared anybody off the beach with our white skin and farmers tans. The water was FREEZING (not expected) but once we dunked ourselves in we got used to it. I have to say, the Atlantic ocean is so different from the Gulf. MUCH cleaner. While the water wasn't crystal clear, I still didn't have seaweed or manwar grasping at my legs like you do on the Texas coastline.

We returned to our rooms, beet red from lack of sunscreen (stupid, I know!!) and got ready for the rehersal dinner that night. The event was held at The Reef restaurant and had a great view of the ocean, awesome mojitos and a killer stuffed chicken breast.

Jeff & I at the rehearsal dinner

The next day was wedding day!! Jeff and I were crazy and woke up super early to catch some pics of sunrise. Watching it on a semi-deserted beach, when temperatures were cool and people were out walking their pups really made me appreciate the beach life. I could totally go for it if temperatures were like that all the time. Of course, by 10am, I had changed my mind. Jeff had left to go golfing with the men at the World Golf Village course, which is apparently some big deal, but Jeff appreciated it way more than me and was excited to go, which made me excited for him.

sunrise over the pier

Meanwhile, back at the hotel things were starting to get busy. At noon, the hair and makeup lady showed up and I was first on the schedule. Things were progressing relatively smoothly for a wedding day except for the fact that Desmond (Mark & Meghan's son) was so very sick. Poor baby was running a 102.7 degree fever and the bride was starting to freak out. Luckily they were able to get some antibiotics for him, but the poor guy just wanted to be held for most of the day.

Michelle (sister) & Meghan

By 7:15pm, we all caravaned down to Anastasia State Park where the ceremony was held. Thankfully(though, not at the time), 2 hours prior to the event there was a HUGE downpour, which ended up cooling temperatures by 15-20 degrees. And, the best part? It provided the perfect backdrop to any wedding - a rainbow! The bride was beautiful and walked down the aisle with her son, and was met halfway by her Dad. Too cute!

Meghan & Mark exchanging rings
(photo by Jeff Koenig)

Everything went beautifully during the ceremony and then afterwards we were probably half way through the photos when it started to RAIN! Not hard, but enough to scare away most of the wedding guests and concern the photographer because of his gear. They snapped a few more but then it was time to call it a wrap!

On to the reception! Originally the reception was to be held on the patio, but because of the showers, they had to move everything indoors. It was still beautiful, if not cozy! The cake was gorgeous, the meal superb and the guitarist was amazing (too bad he's not for hire in Texas). Meghan and Mark got to share a first dance and Mark's dad, Desmond (yes, the name is popular in his family) gave a nice toast. All-in-all a beautiful event!

Mr. & Mrs. Stapleton cutting the cake

We shared a drink with the newlyweds and some of their friends at a bar afterwards, but could only make it through one drink before we tired out. We had to get packed since we were headed out in the morning.

Sunday dawned and Jeff and I loaded up our hoopty-ride and headed out of St. Augustine around 7:30am. One last stop to take a pic of the lighthouse (which apparently is haunted, though we missed this tour as well). It was a smooth transaction returning our rental car and we actually ended up getting to our gate a little early, which meant, of course, more time to WAIT. *sigh*

We had another lenghty layover on the way back (4 hours) but made it back to good 'ole San Antone by 5:30. We were exhausted and sick of traveling (I think the layovers did us in).

But we had a great trip and were so excited to see Meghan married. Destination weddings are so much fun. And I encourage any friends or family members who plan a wedding in the future to go this route!

Picture Jeff and I holding a cardboard sign that reads:
We'll Travel For Weddings.

I organized each event into sets which can be viewed on the right side of my Flickr page.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Jeff and I were at the movies a few weeks ago and saw a preview for Where the Wild Things Are - if you read a lot as a child (or even if you didn't) chances are that this one made it to your bedside about as as frequently as The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Jeff doesn't remember reading this book, but I think he just doesn't remember.

I hope that mothers are still reading this book to their children. It's a classic.

Here's the trailer:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back From the Beach

Well, we made it back to Tejas this afternoon after a 4-day trip to St. Augustine, Florida to see Meghan and Mark get hitched! The bride was beautiful. The colors (teal and chocolate brown) looked fantastic and really fit the entire beach theme. I took a ton of pics and will be posting more soon. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Think I'm Finally Getting Over It

I love photography. I really do. But, ever since I took up that real estate gig back in February, I've not had much desire to pick up my camera for fun. That saddened me as I've already missed some great photo opps. But the blandness of shooting house after house after house drained me of any creative juices.

A month has passed since that gig ended and the urge to start taking some shots has started to come back. I hadn't posted on my Flickr site in over a month. That's when you know things were looking bad. This past weekend Jeff and I went up to Austin to watch Lauren compete in a triathalon. I decided this would be a great chance to dust off the lens and start getting back in the groove of things.

Tomorrow we leave for St. Augustine. Meghan is getting married and what better an opportunity to take photos! Plus, she's going to let me take some shots of the wedding party (although some of that will be tricky considering I'm IN the wedding. Merely details! I'll have my handy assistant Jeff with me :D ). I'm also excited to take some shots around St. Augustine itself. If your not familiar with the town, it's one of the oldest cities in our nation. There is a Spanish fort that dates back to the 1600's and I'm hoping we might get a chance to check it out. It also has some great cobblestone streets that vehicles are not allowed to drive on.

I can't wait! I'm itching to get behind the lens again.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Something I Never Expected to See in My Lifetime

My mother riding an ATV.

The proof:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Going Digital Garage Sale

Over the last few months, I've taken up the project of converting all our DVD's into digital format so that we can play them on our AppleTV. It's a tedious process and there's still a LOT to do. But when all is said and done, we're sitting on top of 200+ DVD's that I really have no desire to keep around. Of course there are a few (Harry Potter, Star Wars) but the other stuff, not so much.

With that being said, I'm going to have an online garage sale. I'll list out my titles and (on the honor code) if you'd like to purchase a DVD, then please, by all means, put your name next to it. I'll figure out a better system, but I'm hoping to have everything ripped within a month's time. What a chore!

Don't worry, Scrooges out there. These DVD's will be family/friend priced. CHEAP. So stay tuned.

I'll probably be making a Google doc with all the titles listed, so if you are interested in checking it out, let me know so I can share the document with you!