Thursday, August 30, 2012

Manistee River Floating.

So the past few days, I was up north in Mesick. My boss Sara used to live up there, and all the RAs went to spend a couple nights at her parent's house.

It has been awhile since I've been north of the bridge (and I don't mean Mackinaw, I mean Zilwaukee) and the air is always fresher.
Here's a map for those who need it to show the drive and where I was in reference to home. It was about a 3 hour drive. We stopped in Clare for lunch.

Tuesday we all went rafting/tubing down the Manistee River. I have never been down this river in Michigan since all my tubing experience has been in the AuSable and some of the surrounding creeks that empty into the AuSable. The first half of the trip we had to raft (it was the company we were renting the tubes from who mandated that) and I can understand as there were lots of logs in the middle of the river that could pop a tube. So it was an experience rafting with 6 other people in one raft, and steering.

For the second half I was in my element as those of us who wanted a tube dove in the cold water and floated. Other than a life jacket that got a tad annoying (my boss Sara actually had a staff member pass away on her at her other job on this she made us wear one, no matter how good of a swimmer we were), it was a good trip. I steered clear of major sunburn (my cheeks got a bit though) and enjoyed the fresh air.

All-in-all, I will say the Manistee River is rather nice. Rather chilly, but nice, deep and sandy! I had no need to wear shoes on it like the AuSable (but the rocks give the AuSable that trout fishing edge). I would totally tube down it again!

We all came home from some relaxing time up there yesterday and today begins the decorating and preparations for all the residents to move in this weekend. T minus 2 days til people come back and the peace of the summer is over.

I'm off for some RA breakfast in a bit. Love you all!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Button Swap Anyone?

So my friend Luna has this on  her blog, and well I love it. So, I made a button this morning (first time and it took a bit but I figured it out!) and so I'm offering to put your button on my blog if you'll put mine on yours! I'm all for advertising and all, and I'm offering this for yeah.

I'm just gonna leave that there. You can find the HTML code here or in the "A Swap of Buttons?" tab.

If you don't know how to make one and want to, this helped A TON! I made my photo on picmonkey. Make sure to change the size down. Uploaded it to Tumblr (but you can also you flickr and such).

Good luck and let me know :)

CLE and Training!

Here I am working the desk again at 5 am on a training day, but that's okay. I can't lose ALL my hours for this 2 weeks of training. So, I thought I'd bring you another early morning rant as it's been awhile since I've done one of those.

I last left off after going rock climbing and on the high ropes course. The next morning we woke up nice and early to head to First Street (the residence hall on UM-Flint campus) to load the bus with those RAs and head to Ann Arbor. UM Ann Arbor sent one of their awesome M-busses to take us to and from the training camp so that was pretty sweet.

The M-Bus!!!
By the way, the bus driver was a maniac on the highway, we got to Ann Arbor in record time!

CLE is the acronym for Community Learning Experience. It is a 2 day training camp held on the Ann Arbor campus for all the Ann Arbor RAs. 3 years ago, First Street and Riverfront started going to the camp to get the same kind of training as we are also Michigan RAs. UM Ann Arbor campus is HUGE so it is expected that there are about 400 RAs and they were all in the building with us during that time. We stayed at Bursley Hall, one of the biggest residence halls in the country (that's what one of the campus safety people told us) and it was HUGE! I will say that. 

After settling in and practicing our skit we made up, we had the opening ceremony. During the opening ceremony of CLE, there is a roll call portion where each residence hall gets in front of the group and performs their skit to show off a little about their hall. Some jabs are thrown between competing halls, they are usually pretty hilarious and say something about the job experience (drinking residents, loud people, etc were shown in some of them). Riverfront rewrote the words to "Ghostbusters" to fit some of the things that shave happened around our hall and went over pretty well. We got lots of compliments and were called the Ghostbusters for the duration of the camp. 

That night after dinner and other meetings with our halls, they held a Karaoke night. And it was a lot of fun. Everyone really got into it, and we aren't afraid to embarrass ourselves in front of the others because no one is perfect. The 5 guys on our staff went up to sing "Bye Bye Bye" by N*Sync which was pretty hilarious. A few of us, I included, went up to "fan-girl" and scream over the boys. It was great fun. After we retired to some Euchre before getting some sleep for the next day.
The Boys singing Karaoke. (Yes, I have finally gotten into instagramming)
The next morning we were up nice and early for a packed day. On the 2nd day of camp, they put you together with different halls for different team building activities while your directors are away. Basically you have to figure it out on your own with your team. We were put with Martha Cook and Northwood dorms for the duration of the day. In the morning, there were a set of stations we all moved between including a balloon toss, survivor game (order things by importance), alphabet game (kind of like catch phrase), grid (where you have to find your way across the grid in an unknown route), and empty spaces (where you have people blindfolded and you have to put them into certain shapes in a time period).

After lunch was the crazy task. It was kind of like the Amazing Race. Each large group was split into groups of 5 with people from each dorm in each group. These smaller groups are given tasks to complete. There are some tasks that are required while others are not but give your group as a whole points. Some tasks stayed in the building while others too people all over North Campus. My group had 2 photo tasks. One was to visit the Arthur Miller Theater and get a picture of the group by it. There was a bonus if you got a picture of what was playing. The other photo was to get a picture by "the gift from the class of 1961." That one took a little Googling since there was no info other than the line "the gift from the class of 1961." It ended up being a statue that we had to find. It ended up being in a construction zone. I was happy to see a bit of campus while I was there. That night was BINGO night where we all won prizes. I came home with 3 t-shirts!

My group at the Arthur Miller Theater (the other member was taking the picture)
It's not ALL fun and games though. We had individual hall meetings to go over expectations of the job, expectations of each other, and getting to know each other on a deeper level. I have to say that the group of RAs here at Riverfront are awesome, we are all fighters in our own way. Learning some of their back stories that I didn't know before gave me a whole new understanding of the people around me. And we are all able to laugh at ourselves and make everything as fun as we can, which just helps for enjoyable times. I'm happy for my "Riverfront family" and know that though we will all have hard times this year, that we will also have each other's backs.

During one of our individual meetings, Jessica was writing with her toes to all our laughter.
Tuesday morning we all packed up and headed home. As we were getting on our M-bus, people were moving in! How crazy. All the way home we sang Disney songs, popular songs and even sang a rousing chorus of The Star Spangled Banner. Getting home, we met some of our own campus safety, then took the afternoon off to recuperate from the long days we have been having for those first few days.

Yesterday was a lot of general "job training," the kind you would expect. We went over the rules, the guidelines for putting on our programs and started to plan those and worked on the duty calendar for the fall semester...something that took longer than expected...before eating some dinner made by some of my coworkers and heading off for the night.

Yes, training has long days, I go right back to it right after I'm off work at 9. But there are lots of laughter and fun to go with it. Here's what my schedule looks like for the coming days:
  • Training all day today
  • Tomorrow I head to Lapeer to see some friends as I get the day off for having my CPR and emergency response certifications.
  • Saturday I am hanging with Kevin as I haven't seen him much. 
  • Sunday is my friend Natasha's baby shower. I haven't seen her in forever, and she's having a girl. I'm excited :)
  • Monday, all us RAs head up to Sara's (my boss') parents house in Mesick.
  • Tuesday we are tubing the Manistee River!!!
  • We come home Wednesday and spend Thursday and Friday preparing for move in.
  • The 1st/2nd (Saturday and Sunday) everyone moves in!
  • The 3rd is "Le Epic Day of Shopping" with Molly and whoever else joins us to get everything I need for school and my apartment.
  • And the 4th, school starts (except I don't have class until the 5th)
I'm one busy girl! I'm sure there are more of these rants to come. I'll leave this here, have a GREAT Thursday!


I just got the newest David Cook CD off Amazon for like $3 so I've been listening to it all morning because I can!

P.S. I had to buy this book because it cracked me up. Basically it is a list of people who get on our nerves. I probably WOULDN'T punch someone in the face, BUT sometimes its nice to agree with other people when it comes to people who deserve a punch sometimes. A good book for a nice chuckle.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Just a quick note

Just wanted to say that I am alive! I am one tired Amelia but I am kicking in Flint. Some updates since the last post:

  • Hoffa and Jessica came over for a night. We played some Rockband and Apples to Apples and shared some good laughs.
  • We went to see The Dark Knight Rises again (for Jess it was her first time!)
  • Kevin, his sister and I went to the Eastern Michigan fair! That was a fun day. Hoffa joined us then too!
  • I met up with my friend Cody when he was stuck in Flint for a morning and caught up. Come to find out, we have a class together this semester!
  • More duty.

Today was the first day of RA training. We are preparing to head to Ann Arbor in the morning to CLE which is a RA training camp held on Ann Arbor campus every summer. I'm pretty excited! We went to Base Camp today and we did team building activities, rock climbing and the high ropes course. Though I didn't do it all, I DID at least try and I'm glad I did.

But boy am I tired!

Me on the course!
It's also Back to the Bricks this weekend in Flint. This Mustang was right outside our front door!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Updates and...COLDPLAY!

So last time I left you, I was off to a bonfire at my friend Brittany's house. Well that was an interesting night. The rain didn't hold off, so we had an inside party. It wasn't too bad really. Katrina, Jess, Hoffa and I set off some fireworks (we called ourselves the "Secret Fireworks Club"). We started a movie before Kevin and I left and headed to Luna's house for a few minutes...when...I got pulled over. 

An hour later, after being tested to drinking, doing drugs and accused of stealing my car, I watched as a wrecker towed my car and Luna, Dave, Colonel and Hoffa came to rescue Kevin and I off the side of the road. We went to Tim Horton's where guess what...the cop that had been rather rude (I decided to not go into detail here...but expect those details to be written in a letter to the Lapeer Police Department and sheriff.) was sitting in the restaurant enjoying a donut and coffee. OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! They promptly left when we walked in.

That night I ended up at Kevin's house and was there basically the whole weekend. Having no car, I was kinda dependent on others to get me around if I was going to leave the building. That Saturday was the bonfire that Kevin (and kinda me) was planning for awhile. It went well in my opinion. People showed up and we had a lot of fun, ate some good food and just enjoyed ourselves.

The next morning I was back to the apartment to deal with what was going on with my car. After several different calls, I learned that the whole licensing issue was due to a computer mistake in Lansing at the Secretary of State's office. This being said, Wednesday after crazy storms (and a transformer fire) almost set me back, Aunt Linney drove me around Lapeer to all my different stops so I could get a new license/registration, insurance, paperwork from the police station and to the impound to finally get my car back.

For right now, this is the best I have. I have sent several emails to the Lieutenant Governor and will continue my calls until I hear something once I get my phone back at the end of the week. I also need to go to court to deal with the tickets. But for now, the car is legally drive-able and is officially titled.

He has such a wonderful smile!

This past Saturday was the 1st birthday party for baby Ben! I can't believe it's been a year yet! Sarah and Boesler had the party at a park in Lapeer and it was a rather enjoyable time. Afterwards, we headed back to Sarah and Boesler's to hang for awhile. Around dinner time, Kevin, Patrick, Jessica, Hoffa and I grabbed some food at Brian's in Lapeer (they no longer have the butter burger, it made me sad. I have a new favorite though, the Club Burger!)

Ben loved his sand toys :)
Sunday I was on duty again and had a couple days of just chilling at home, watching some Netflix and just hanging out. The Betas from Kettering invited Nick and I to join them for some Mafia Tuesday night. That was a good time (and we laughed when they said quiet down as the only 2 people that could really get them in trouble were in the room with them.

Then Wednesday came. I had been waiting for August 1st to get here for MONTHS! In February, Zac bought tickets to go see Coldplay. They are one of my top 5 bands and I saw them in 2009...but this concert was so much better! Before I get ahead of myself, I'll explain everything else.

So I met Zac at noon and we grabbed Katrina from her aunt's house. Then we stopped for some lunch at Qdoba before heading to "The Village" (an outdoor mall in Rochester). After that, we headed to Oakland campus where we walked to Meadowbrook Manor. Wow is that place beautiful and HUGE! We walked around the gardens since the inside of the house was closed.

She was having fun balancing :)
And by the way, have you ever heard of a Rosarian? I never did until today. They specialize in Roses of all kinds. There was a plaque for a beloved rosarian in the English Rose Garden that was HUGE!!!!!

This was the rose garden, me standing in the middle. I TOLD you is was huge!!! And beautiful of course.
After the manor, we grabbed some dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. They have really good salads btw (after the hot walk, I didn't want anything hot so wings were out for me lol)

Then it was the big concert. We headed to the Palace of Auburn Hills and walked around for a but before chilling in our seats. As you walked in, everyone got a free bracelet, fabric with a twitter hashtag. I had heard from others who had seen Coldplay last month that they lit up along with some of the songs, I was excited to find out.
Here were our bracelets. Mine was naturally the green/pink one!

 The first warm-up was Emeli Sande. In Katrina's words, "she reminds me of Christina Aguleria." I agreed. She is a singer from the UK with an amazing voice. After Emeli was Marina and the Diamonds. Her songs were more poppy (I really do like the sound of Britpop!) and the lyrics were catchy and clever!

They had beachballs out during the show. Here is Chris (the singer in Coldplay) trying to hold onto one, they were huge beachballs lol.

Then came the band we were waiting for. They came out to their stage that was literally glowing and started off with Hurts Like Heaven from their new album with the bracelets going off. It was magical. Here's the link to the video of it (with the bracelets in action)

This is the crowd all lit up. It was an amazing sight!
They are performers and love their crowd. That was apparent as they went through a playlist of songs old and new. I will admit that I did shed some tears (okay, I am a total fangirl when it comes to Coldplay) during "Fix You" and "Paradise." I love those songs.

At one point they did a fake out and said they were leaving (I wasn't believing it) and came out and played a couple songs in the middle of the crowd. July 31st was Will's (the drummer's) birthday, and as they were on the road, we celebrated it last night. They brought out a cake and all 20,000 of us serenaded him. Then they ran through the crowd to the stage and sang 3-4 more songs (can't quite remember how many lol)
Kinda blurry (hey I took these on my phone as my camera died before the concert!) but this is from when they performed in the crowd.

Some of my favorite moments? The bracelets. Every time they were used it was just amazing. Us Against the World is a beautiful acoustic. Obviously Paradise and Fix You were amazing...I mean I cried with the beauty. Viva la Vida....the crowd singing the background ooohs! There is nothing like the sound of 20,000 people singing just can't beat that.

(this is The Scientist...another one of my favorites!)

Afterwards, we were caught in the traffic, I mean, when aren't you at an event like that? I was dropped off back at my car and headed home. A concert I won't forget for a long time to come.

1. Lies- Marina and the Diamonds
2. River- Emeli Sande
3. Viva La Vida- Coldplay
4. Jerusalem/Flower of Scotland/DannyBoy/Bread of Heaven- Four Nation's Choir (From the Olympic opening ceremony)
5. Starring Role- Marina and the Diamonds
6. Fix You- Coldplay
7. Heaven- Emeli Sande