Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I have been pulling for the Daredevil Divas for some time, and I really hope they win! We will see!
2nd Runner up: Dream Gals
(as expected, they seemed a bit "off" tonight. Not sure who is going to win from here... I suspect that it might be Gifted Dolls because the sister of the Gifted Dolls encouraged us to "watch the show tonight... it will be great!")
Winner: daredevil divas
JENILEIGH YOU KEPT A GREAT SECRET! You are so incredibly deserving and I can't wait to hear all about it! Email me IMMEDIATELY!
The Gifted Dolls did wonderful as well, and I think both teams in the top were neck and neck!
Tonight is the finale for the tv show Crowned, which my mother and I have been watching. I encouraged my mother to compete in the Ms. American Coed competition in Orlando in November of 2006 thinking it would be lighthearted fun, but felt bad when serious competitors complete with tans and thousand dollar gowns competed. At that time, Miss Texas, Ashley Smith, had encouraged her mom to do the same thing. Our mothers were in the handful of "real moms" that competed. My mother wore the same gown she wore for the Clinton inauguration and wore real clothes for casual wear; the winner wore a brand new Jovani and came out with a whip in her "sportswear". Needless to say, Ashley and I felt awful as our mothers were themselves and lost the title to someone who clearly took it a lot more seriously than either of them would have. In any case, I've been teasing my mom that we should go on "Crowned" as a mother-daughter team.
At this point, as long as Patty and Laura don't win, I support the winners. The team from Arizona was also in Orlando for the Miss American Coed pageant in November of 2006, so I support them, Jenileigh is a wonderful girl, and I love Gina and Hollis. Laura and Patty, however, have the most dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship I have ever seen. Patty has had so much plastic surgery that at times she looks skeletal, and they are both cruel to other contestants frequently. I have my fingers crossed that they won't win!
Tune in tonight at 8 on the CW.
Which seems to be inversely proportional with who would actually do the best job as President.
House announced a huge stimulus plan yesterday to lift the country out of its economic slump.
I hope these last-ditch efforts to change things make a difference, although I really doubt a few hundred dollars will help your average tax payer. The last time this happened, most people saved the money or paid off bills, so the idea of spending that money to boost the economy could just get stalled.
In other news, Hillary took the Florida primaries but got no delegates, and McCain took the Republican vote. McCain is my pick for the overall nomination, but what do I know? I supported Joe Biden for the Democratic bid!
On that note, I need to mail off my absentee ballot request!
Don't forget to vote!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Ohio holds Miss Maple City this weekend, the home local of Miss Ohio Roberta Camp. No official list has appeared yet, but I know the incredibly sweet Amy Allen will be competing and I hope this is her weekend!
Also competing this weekend here in Virginia for the title of Miss Greater Richmond (home local of first runner up to Miss Virginia) is Natalie Smith and fellow Lynchburgian Sarah Fitzpatrick. Good luck, girls! I think LaWanda Weatherspoon, a very sweet girl, is also competing and it's been rumored that Jordan Forbes, who gave up her Miss Capital Region crown recently, will also be competing. Best of luck to all!
Remaining Miss VA "open" locals:
Miss Chesterfield/Hanover: Next weekend
Miss Mountain Empire and Miss Greater Springfield: February 23
Miss Southeastern Virginia: March 1
Miss Lynchburg: March 2
You can see her today at 5:
5:00pm - Happy Hour, FOX Business Channel
Sunday, January 27, 2008
We always say in Miss
This last week, I mailed in my resume to an off campus job with a lawyer. One day after I mailed the application, she had contacted my references and asked me to come in the very next day for an interview. She told me coming in there were several other resumes in the pile –and there were-, but I was a offered a job within ten minutes of speaking to her.
The job is perfect for me, since it builds on my previous experience working in the legal arena. My schedule perfectly suits the hours, and I really connected with the lawyer. I stayed at her office for nearly an hour just chatting after we had figured out what day I should start working.
I truly have to credit the skills I have learned through Miss
So, I start a new job tomorrow and I’m very excited. This will be a very busy week, since we are throwing a Super Bowl Party for my first job (event planning) and just catching up on everything. The week will fly by like these last two; while school is in session I find myself incredibly busy.
I hope that my “paperwork” skills have carried over to my graduate school applications. They are all out and complete except for one school I just decided to apply to this last week. I checked the status for the schools I already applied to and they have all my papers. I feel like it is out of my hands at this point and I just have to trust that I will end up in the right place. Obviously I’ll be checking the mailroom every day hoping for news from the various universities, so wish me luck in this time of anxiety!
Good luck next weekend to everyone competing in Miss Greater Richmond!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
And Indiana and Virginia had a little bit of edge in their appearance, but for the most part, NC had a very traditional wardrobe and hair, and Wisconsin had the typical hair, and Michigan's hair was curly. I'm sure I will grow to love this result, and she does look good, but for all TLC's work, we saw a lot of "traditional". MI sang a traditional song, and her gown was really the only step off the beaten path.
I had wondered if this "modern" approach would trickle to states and locals, but for the most part, we saw "traditional". You can tell I was really rooting for Indiana and Washington. I guess only time will tell whether Kirsten will really be an IT girl for this year.
That said, I am really really proud of Miss Virginia, Hannah Kiefer. You rocked it!
I have to admit, I didn't see that coming.
I had Indiana, Washington, or Wisconsin.
I definitely thought it was Wisconsin after they called the 1st runner up.
I guess you never know with pageants! I heard that Miss MI won her first local and state, but wow!
I'm loving Washington, she has such a fun personality.
Miss North Carolina
Miss South Carolina
I missed some
but after VA was called
I nearly jumped out of my seat!
Laura’s “Consistency Counts” favorites for Miss
Well, I want to talk about my favorites for the crown and my impression of the pictures and news from the week. I have not been there to physically see anything, and especially since talent is such a huge percentage, that could have a big effect. I also haven’t seen the private interviews, so this is just my opinion and I don’t proclaim to be an expert. I have loved seeing all the pictures this week. I can’t even guess who about five of the top 12 would be: it depends on interview and there are a dozen girls who have done a great job and might make it in there. There’s no way I could predict a top 12 accurately ( I have no idea what these judges are really looking for this year…) so here are just the girls that have stood out to me.
My favorites, keeping in mind that consistency counts:
Who else might just make it?
Who has surprised me?
PA: I did not like the gown, at all.
So in other words, I really can’t make up my mind. I’m obviously pulling for
Friday, January 25, 2008
Don't miss Miss America Reality Check, the final episode, tonight at 10 on TLC.
And don't forget to visit www.tlc.com/missamerica to cast those last minute votes for your favorite contestant!
(sneak peak of my later posts... I don't think Virginia needs our votes!)
Thursday, January 24, 2008
My last of posting also comes from the fact that a great opportunity knocked on my door a few days ago and I've been following it through. Luckily that paid off today; more details later!
Best of luck to Virginia's Hannah Kiefer, who I'm sure will shine tonight in talent!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Swimsuit: Miss Rhode Island
Talent: Miss Iowa
Wow, what a great result! Two non-typical pageant states dominated the preliminaries tonight, and good for them! I believe Miss Iowa is a twirler. Pictures tomorrow!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I wish I was there!
You can check the schedule in the link below.
Stockbrokers are an interesting people. Charged with knowing a lot more about financial markets than I could ever hope to understand, they are generally optimistic because they want your business. Even as a college student, my "guys" over at Charles Schwab generally tell me it's a good thing to just leave them untouched. Talking to my economics advisor yesterday, he received a phone call from his "stock guy" who was a lot more optimistic than a few I've talked to lately (who encouraged me to sell, since the stock market would be rough in the first half of the year and since I may need to money in the next few months for an apartment, new car, or any number of post-graduation expenses).
I don't remain optimistic.
All it took for me was a visit home to Ohio, where it seems to me that people are stalled. Without naming names, I know of families who work constantly and don't blow money but who are now facing foreclosure. People working in the manufacturing arenas of the Midwest in danger of losing their job, forced to move into small apartments with family members. Members of my graduating class returning to our small town with a bachelors degree to work in... the grocery market.
The Detroit area had one new foreclosure filing for every 248 households in November, while the national foreclosure rate was one filing for every 961 households.
Of course, this small section of the country is but a piece of what I believe is a bigger problem in our country: in the transition to a service oriented economy, places like Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan and even Pennsylvania have a few remnants of factories used for making automobiles or steel. As these industries fail or move out of the country, we have an influx of people trained in these hands-on manufacturing jobs, many halfway or near retirement, with nowhere to go. They say "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". I don't believe that's entirely true, but I do believe it's a difficult transition from steel to working in a service industry. Even those in the general service industry manage to just squeak by at the end of the month.
Maybe politicians don't realize this because they live elsewhere, shadowed from the plethora of small towns where single mothers struggle or the bigger towns where teens turn to drug dealing to make a living. But- it happens.
And today, a few days after I originally started this post, the Fed cut the interest rate by 3/4 of a point, in response to dismal economic conditions. Over the weekend I heard from just about every candidate what their short-term fix would be: many involved a tax cut or sudden influx of money. A sudden influx of $800 to a middle class family wouldn't do much: those who don't need it desperately will save it. Those who need it will spend it on doctor's visits, overdue bills, and groceries.
Lack of decent housing is frequently blamed on poor decision making by the people involved. Having met many men and women through every age category that lacked one or both, I believe that when you're in dire straits, one poor choice can push you into poverty or homelessness. No matter how many people do make one or a few mistakes that limit your ability to ever pull yourself out, the problem is growing far too quickly. I think the Democrats made a big mistake not paying attention to Michigan at all. Of course, I understand their electoral reasoning: no delegates, no point.
But Michigan may as well represent the problems that cut across the country through every age, sex, and race: the housing market is weak. Subprime lenders have preyed on the Midwest especially for some time. Relief is nowhere to be seen. How can you convince a voter that your stance on homeland security is the strongest when that voter is likely to lose his home in foreclosure?
While a temporary stimulus package is great, the key word is temporary. This will not provide the dramatic long term push that our economy and housing market so desperately need. We need affordable, quality housing. We need tougher standards for "subprime" lenders. We need a lot of things. The Fed made their recent decision after an emergency video meeting. Let's trust the nations leading economic leaders: things are not good. If you're still not convinced, please look to Wall Street.
Domestically is where this presidential race needs to focus. I know that the end of terrorism is an important, if not nearly impossible, goal. But when you have average Americans one paycheck away from poverty and families losing their homes at an alarming rate, it's time to look back home.
I hope to see this years slew of presidential candidates present plausible, goal-oriented plans. America is the land of the free- if you can afford it, anyways. Let's offer access to safe affordable housing- there's a start. Isn't a roof over your head a basic necessity? Maybe government housing doesn't always have to be "the projects". Every American family has a right to shelter, and I think it's an easy change we need to make.
Remember, this is just my opinion, but it is a fine tuned opinion from three and a half years of grueling economics courses and an eye always turned to national and world news. I've got more opinion on many issues which I feel could easily dominate this upcoming election, and I'll cover them in time.
There is something about women's colleges- they reach out to current students and alums in amazing ways. That's definitely how I would describe the generosity bestowed on myself by several RMWC alums, and it's great to see this new ad from Hollins supporting Hannah. You can click on the image to make it better to read the article.
Monday, January 21, 2008
I'm a huge fan of Miss Virginia and I think her shot towards this crown is a good one, but after seeing her pre-interview shot, I'm even more convinced! This whole week I'll be anxiously awaiting pictures and updates from Vegas, and this is the first photo we have! This shot is of Hannah before entering her interview. I love love love this outfit. It is modern, stylish, and a great choice! She's also wearing my favorite color and she looks in great shape!
On my trip to
So, while a lot of people don’t travel during this time, many people get the travel itch and start planning their own trips out of the area. Many college students I know have begun planning their graduation cruises (I myself plan to go on one!) and many others are anxious to have a vacation planned.
If I can keep up with it, I’ll include some pictures from my travels during the last two years and profile difference places that I have been, for those that didn’t read my former blog during my time in
First up is
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Julius showed us this right after he took it, and I had to share it. It completely captures the three goofy and determined ladies who placed in the top 3 last night. We were all celebrating Melissa's win, and even though this is a candid "non-pageant" shot, it makes me laugh to think about how much fun we had this weekend!
This year, while the best lesson I have learned is that patience and determination is necessary, I have also learned that some of the best women I have ever met have come to me through pageants.
This last weekend, I competed in my eighth pageant this year, Miss Capital Region. I had a number of problems, some my own fault and some just bad luck. I really did my best, and even though I didn’t win, the result was great. One contestant I had the pleasure of meeting this past winter was Melissa Albright, the new Miss Capital Region. I competed with her at Miss Arlington and Miss Williamsburg, and I got to know her better over this weekend. She was contestant number one and I contestant number two. Melissa and I were frequently laughing so hard backstage we had to walk out on stage to rehearse with tears in our eyes. She is undoubtedly someone whose personality matches and complements mine, and we had so much fun.
The minute that the first runner up was called I looked to Melissa and mouthed “it’s you!” and she stood there, the only one on the right side of the stage remaining, shaking her head no while her whole body started trembling.
This pageant was wonderful, well-organized, and resulted in an extremely well-deserving winner. Melissa is a natural speaker and has a wonderful personality. Spending any time with her instantly ups the fun backstage, and she is one of those competitors who is the same onstage and off.
There are so many great girls I have met over the past five months of competing, and many of these girls have gone on to win titles. Those of us who haven’t are determined to persevere through our own determination and our belief that as we see these amazing young women we are happy to call friends win their crowns, our turn will come someday.
No pageants for me until February 23rd, unfortunately. My schedule is very busy so I’ll be preparing for the next pageant, enjoying Miss
I’ll post pictures of the pageant once the talented Julius Tolentino (who I believe is preparing to attend Miss
Congratulations to Melissa, a great contestant and a wonderful woman!
Also congratulations to the rest of the top five and especially Natalie Smith, the third part of our Charlie’s Angels trio.
Miss Capital Region 2008: Melissa Albright
1st Runner up: Natalie Smith (Talent)
2nd Runner up: Me
3rd Runner up: Bobbi Mitchell (swimsuit)
4th Runner up: Emily Hall
Thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I’ve been so busy that I just haven’t had time to post on here. It’s always hard after coming back from a vacation to ease back into the internet and my blog.
A few updates:
I’m competing in Miss Capital Region this weekend. I’m very excited about it, although this will be the 2nd to last pageant I can compete in this semester Unfortunately, due to my schedule, I just can’t be around for many of the pageants this semester. Only recently I found out about a work event that all my co-workers cannot attend, which means I will not be able to compete at Miss Greater Richmond. All that’s left for me is this pageant and one on February 23rd. That said, thanks for everyone who has been supportive and encouraged me not to give up. Miss Capital Region will be my 8th pageant this year, including the two I did over the summer in
Also, I will be opening a second blog on my profile for my experience in the American Culture Program, since we are required to keep a journal over the semester. More details soon!
to vote for your favorite state. You could help vote her into the top 16, as this is the first year the public plays a role in choosing a contestant!
Well, I’ve got meetings all afternoon and need to get back to work, so more updates whenever I have time!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Just being five hours behind in Hawaii was even worse than being 5 hours ahead in England- it was hard to reach me and I had to plan any contact with people back home in advance so I didn't call them at midnight. I had a great trip and will update soon, once I sort through all this mail, work business, and school!
Sunday, January 6, 2008
1st Runner Up, Evening Gown Winner, Talent Winner, Community service Winner: Ashley Smith
2nd Runner up: Me
3rd Runner Up: Natalie Smith
4th Runner Up: Bobbi Mitchell (also won swimsuit)
I am amazed that I made it through the last few days.
On Thursday, I drove all the way from northern
I definitely feel like so many of us girls had random problems competing. It was no one’s fault, but I heard about people whose dresses didn’t come in, Bobbi’s tutu didn’t arrive and her strap was nearly broken on her pointe shoes so we were praying backstage while she danced that the shoes would hold. I left one tap shoe in
Despite all the little issues, it was a great weekend. I’m excited to have placed where I did because it was truly a competitive pageant.
Now, however, I am off on a much-deserved vacation to
Thanks to all the people who have supported and helped me and never let me give up!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I haven’t had the chance to write much on here simply because I have been way too busy, so I apologize for the lack of candidate profiles for the upcoming election. Even though the
Be patient with me since I am facing an incredibly busy few days- tomorrow I am driving to
It will be a great vacation, although this has meant that my packing has to be incredibly precise. Everything is divided into three piles “pageant” “
I hope everyone had a great New Year, and wish me luck on this long journey back to
That I’ve been wanting to post about this for some time.
Long before Miss
In any case, since I’m an avid watcher, I’ve noticed that TLC has gone above and beyond in promoting the pageant. Although some of the commercials make the girls look dumb (such as one which features Miss LA holding up a placard with a smiley face answering that she doesn’t know what she was thinking) I am really excited about how far the channel has gone in promoting Miss America. I think I’ve seen at least fifty commercials advertising the upcoming pageant and show, and I hope it’s attracting some of TLC’s viewers who might not otherwise watch Miss
I really hope this is a huge success. I am definitely thrilled about tuning in to watch the reality show and Miss