Monday, February 27, 2006

Life and Death

Tough day at work today. My co-worker's father has been given a couple of hours or days left to live. The good part of the story is, the doctors only gave him 3-6 months to survive his cancer a year and a half ago; the bad part of the story is the family has to sit and wait for him to die. What do you say to a co-worker/friend? Would you want to pass away unexpectedly or would you want to know exactly when things will end?

While all this was going on, I went to have my living will and durable power of attorney notarized. It's kind of scary to think I was preparing for my eventual death, but I also feel good that the people closest to me (family and friends) will know what to do, or what my wishes are. I've heard so many stories of people suddenly dying and no one knowing what to do. Hearing these stories, got me thinking about having my will written up.

While I was doing this, I heard the story of a US serviceman who passed away in Iraq. He had been writing his family via e-mail. Due to privacy laws, the family is unable to get into his e-mail account to collect the saved e-mails he mailed to them. After 6 months of non usage, the e-mail account will be deleted. It made me think, "Do the people closest to me know where I keep important information?" "Do they I know what my wishes are if I were to pass away unexpectedly?"

Thinking these thoughts, I began to put together a "ICE" file on my computer. ICE - In Case of Emergency. I started collecting all of my passwords for everything, all of my account information, phone #s and contact information of my friends and family and a lists of where to find things in my apartment. It made me realize how much the people close to me don't know about me. It's scary. I also thought about how tough things would really be if I passed away right now. Death isn't an easy thing, but I'd like it to be somewhat easier for the people closest to me. After I completed this list, I made copies. So far, my mom and my best friend have this list/file. I plan on giving it to a few other people I really trust. The file is in an envelope and says to only open in an emergency. I'm more at ease now, because I know my family and friends won't be one of those groups fighting on the news because no one knew what to do.

My will and power of attorney are all official now. I just have to get copies to a few important people in my life. I hope I didn't scare anyone, but when you get a chance, find out what the people closest to you want you to do in case there is an unexpected emergency!

Thoughts and Prayers to the Dube Family in Ohio!

More Australia Information

A lot of people have been asking me about my upcoming trip. "Are you excited yet?" "Are you ready?" "Can you bring me back a kangaroo?" They've also given me some input and advice. "Watch out for sharks." "Watch out for Snakes!" "You better write or call!" The other comment I hear a lot is, who are you going with? So, here is a link to a Rotary newsletter. If you scroll down the right side, you'll see photos and bios for all the trip team members.

I've also added a new link to my blog. Australian Journal. I set up a blog for our team, so you can check on what people are doing when you click on the link. 31 days until I leave!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

15 Year High School Reunion

I had a conference call with my High School Reunion committee last night. I volunteered to help out. The story of the reunion is pretty intersting!

The Henderson High School Class of 1991 was so on top of things, we missed our 10 year High School Reunion. I guess a lot of people thought someone else would work on it, so by the time a group of classmates got together is was too late. So talks of have a 11 year reunion began. That idea died a quick death.

The group then started talking about collecting names and prepping for a 20 year reunion. As the talks and planning started, a few people thought it would be good to have a 15 year reunion. A lot of people talked about wanting to look good at their reunion vs. looking old or bad at a 20 year reunion.

I have a busy schedule and missed out on a few meetings, so when I joined in on the conference call last night I discovered the group had decided to hold the reunion this year during the Thanksgiving weekend. Leave it to me to the barrier of bad news and bring up the fact of that being a difficult time of the year to travel and it being a family holiday. The committee is planning on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I'm going to help all I can, but I probably won't make it, because #1 I'll probably be seeing family in Florida and #2 It's expensive to travel to Philly during the holiday for a one day trip.

On top of all of this, the hall the committee wants to reserve will charge about $35 a head for rental and catering if we get 250 people. Our class only graduated 254. So far 60+ graduates have been tracked down.

At this point I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm going to do what I can to help the group out. It's almost too late now to have a summer reunion (the time I voted for) and time is running out for the Thanksgiving reunion..We still haven't raised any money! We're still trying to track down people, and our High School isn't being helpful. So, cross your fingers for the class of 1991 in it's dreams to hold a 15 year reunion, or maybe a 16 year reunion, because our class loved to be different!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Australia is getting closer

I had two more meetings for Australia last week (Monday and Sunday). It's finally hitting me how close my departure date is. I will be gone March 29th to May 6th. I got my itinerary and discovered I will be in an airplane for over 20 hours for the trip down under. I'll spend another 6+ hours in airports. Thus my reason for buying the IPod. It will be tough being away from all of my family and friends for almost 6 weeks, but I'm really getting excited!

I'll end up visiting the following cities: Melbourne, Meldura, Broken Hill, Adelaide, Sydney, Cairns and Brisbane. The means, I'll be visiting the yellow, teal, pink and orange areas on the map. I'll end up traveling almost 30,000 miles on this trip. The nice part is, I get to add all of it on my frequent flyer card!

More news and updates coming soon. Remember to check this blog once I leave. I'll try to leave daily updates and pictures.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Welcome to the IPod Generation

Another quick weekend! It's amazing how fast things can go when you keep busy. I used this weekend to join the "IPod Nation." My best friend Scott got one a few weeks ago, and after spending time around him and his new toy, I was hooked! My students taught me a few things too.

I didn't get the regular IPod because I don't have a reason to have 50,000 songs on me at all times. I just needed something small to use on my trip to Australia and something that doesn't eat batteries like my current MP3 player. Apple decided to cut the prices on the smaller version of the IPod called the Nano. What great timing for me!I also found out I get a discount for working in education, so "welcome to the Nation" Frank Kitchen!

I'm very happy with my purchase and I have a lot of things to still learn, but at least I have something to help me make it through 20+ hours on a airplane!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Still Busy

Most people call me one of the busiest people the know. I've definitely been living up to that statement over the last couple of weeks. My being busy has effected my postings. I plan to keep the updates more frequent.

So, what has been going on with Frank?

Winter returned back to Ohio! When my family returned to Florida, the snow came. It's been white for the last week and a half. It snowed so much on Super Bowl Sunday, I ended up staying home. It was way to crappy to go out!

Australia is approaching fast. I just had my flight itinerary e-mailed to me today. I think I'll end up logging in about 25,000 air miles by the time the trip is over. The nice thing is, I can add the mileage onto my frequent flyer plan with Continental Airlines! Yeah! If I read things right, I'll be in the air over 20+ hours by the time the group/team arrives in Australia. With Apple lowering the prices of their IPods this week, I'll be buying one! I'm going to need something to listen too on the plane and sitting in airports! If any of you work in education or you're going to school, Apple will give you a 10% discount on their products. Check out their website when you get a chance.

On top of getting ready for Australia, work has been keeping me busy. We've had a ton of programs and events going on at the college, so I've been spending some long hours there. Recently played in a Faculty/Staff basketball game. Our team won 53-50. I had a triple double....12 points, 15 rebounds and about 15 turnovers! The game was fun and I found out I'm not in basketball shape.

After work and Australia, there's the personal life. I've been hanging out with friends, and I've been working on pursuing the public speaking thing. I went to see Dave Coleman "The Dating Doctor" speak recently. The movie "Hitch" was based on a lot of Dave's speaches. He's also the owner of the company I'm working for. He's also a 9-Time speaker of the year, so anytime I can watch him, I learn a lot. If you get a chance, go to his website He introduced me to the crowd and I ended up staying after the show talking to students for over an hour. I got asked to teach a workshop on leadership at Case Western Reserve University today, so that was fun and gave me an opportunity to practice my speaking. I had a tough time slot to speak (the end of the day), so I didn't think things were going that well. Then the group I spoke too, gave me an applause and a couple of the students asked me to come to their school! Wow! So, I'm even more motivated to look for more speaking jobs. I like being infront of people and teaching.

To get more work though, I've had to put a lot of time into typing up power points and preparing marketing information. I also started taking my acting classes again.

I'm trying to think what else I've been doing, but it's all been a blur. I started taking a yoga class, and i've been in the gym 5 days a week to keep up my energy, and I some how managed to get my taxes done and get Valentines Day cards in the mail for mom and grandma!

Wow I'm tired just reading what I typed.

Before I run, the pictures above are from one of my students. I went to a entertainment conference back in October and my students dared me to ride an mechanical bull. I thought the pictures were funny. I haven't posted any pictures for awhile, so there's a gift to all my readers. I hope you get a good laugh. I did!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Men and Coffee

My friend Christina sent me a funny e-mail about coffee and men this morning. She told me I could put it on my blog, so I am. Here is the intro to her comment. I suggested meeting her at a coffee shop to hang out. She asked me if I was a coffee person, then went on to tell me how men are like coffee. This is what she typed:

Coffee is way too much like men…….Let me explain……Smells amazing, can choose dark or light, many different flavors & blends, usually you can have it sweetened, but you can really get burned if you’re not careful.
And that is why I drink cappuccino!!!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Message from my cousin.

Many of you know my cousin is stationed in Iraq. Sam (Bernie) will be back in the states in June. I've thanked many of you for writing him and sending care packages, but recently I received a e-mail from Bernie and I wanted to pass it along to everyone.

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks so much for the letters and care packages over the past few months, and that is not only from me but the 20 other soldiers stationed on this Iraqi Post here. Its great Americans like you the make us proud to service. Tell the whole crew that we appreciate the support very much and for us, you're not just friends but family. The team is currently still teaching basic soldier task outside of the wire preparing their Army to one day take on the reins of glory and freedom. I went home on mid tour back to Baltimore and South Carolina but of course the time with the family went by to fast. Denise is still working and finishing her PhD in Marriage and Family Counseling, while Sabian is an amazing handful of excitement enjoying life. I'’m still looking forward to coming home soon in June with only four months to go. Believe me I look forward to the day I can see my family again and touch American soil. I have to go but I do ask that you stay in touch and may God bless you and your family!

CPT Sam Glover