Just Ranting and Rolling Along . . .

I’m probably going to rant a bit right here, but you all know me well enough by now to know – I love me a good rant!

So the reason I haven’t had a chance to update this blog in over a month is because well the holidays happened (which was totally  . . . weird, but more on that some other time) and then school started back.  No big deal, this is now my fourth semester with a full load, so not only do I know what to expect, but I felt going into this semester (my last by the way) that I had this covered and would be good to go.

Will the depths of my naivety ever cease to surprise me?

Four classes.  Four Senior level classes; two of which are required to graduate and have to be taken concurrently in the LAST semester before graduating.  (WTF?!) Right? Ok, still in and of itself – no big deal, right?


All four of my classes require a lengthy research paper.  Ok, still nothing for me to panic about, but one class in particular flat out said we could NOT use a recycled paper – ok, again no big deal, just have to buckle down and start working, [But FOUR different subject materials, FOUR Thesis Statements, FOUR Bibliographies and FOUR Abstracts; all in APA 6th Edition Format. (WTF?!)]

And as if that weren’t enough work two of the classes also have tons and tons of regular work to be done with deadlines etc . . .  I mean I knew we wouldn’t have much of a life this semester but gosh – really?!   The sad part is that I’m so overwhelmed by the thought of all these papers and the fact that one of them has to be over 70 pages long that I’m having difficulty focusing and diving in.


So to relax these days I’ve been cross – stitching.  I’m so goofy; I love to just sit and breathe and keep my hands busy and my mind still; monotonously stitching.  I guess I’ve grown tired of gaming.

27Jan16 Cross-Stitch

Who am I kidding?! I will never grow tired of gaming. LOL.

I can just only handle so much Hay Day, Candy Crush, Marvel’s Champions, Bubble Witch Saga, Soduku, and Puzzles.  I briefly got back into playing on the Xbox over the holiday’s but I know myself well enough that if I get hooked into a game there I will never get my homework done.  At least with the phone or iPad Mini I can take breaks and not get sucked in.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Only three more months and I’m done with school.  I don’t even want to think about graduate school as yet, but I suppose I should.  At least a little.

Work has been interesting.  I was given the role of ISO internal auditor last week.  I am already the document control for all things ISO, so I guess it makes good sense.  In addition I still have to ensure that all the office IT works, that the website is up and running and that all employee documents are accessible through the employee portal, and take care of all things security related.  It feels good to be busy. LOL.  I love my job!

That’s all I’ve got on this dreary January Thursday.

Well there is this one thing . . . thanks to the beautiful wedding and engagement pictures that Southern Cotton Photography took, we were featured in a local magazine!  How super exciting and weird is THAT?!  Sharon Palmer can seriously rock a camera!




Best of luck to those of you literally snowed in up north and out west.

Kat of Team Devine outta here . . .

Hubby’s “Perspective”

**My husband is a beautiful writer – probably much better than I, because he can “succinctly” paint a picture, whereas I get wrapped up in painting pictures with lots of details.  I shared my first exposure to my favorite movie of all time yesterday on here and unbeknownst to me he did the same on Facebook.  Here is his story.**


Perspective_Dec 2015

Perspective Slide


May The Force Be With Us . .

3Oct15_FunnyPicfrom Kerry2 (Sharon Palmer of Southern Cotton Photography took this magnificent picture, but the photoshop credit of Vader goes to Kerry Jordan – friend and fellow geek.)

My husband managed to get a set of tickets to ‘Force Awakens’ a couple of months ago. We are huge Star Wars fans – not on the ‘I’ll be dressing like Leia and he like Han’ level but more on the low key, slow vibrating excitement, we will buy tickets 2 months in advance level.  You know just a couple of crazy closet nerds. 😉

My first memory of Star Wars was via HBO in 1983 while we were stationed at Fort Leavenworth Kansas while my father attended the Command & General Staff College. It was both an interesting and grueling 9 month tour for all of us, but that’s a whole other post. I remember lying on the floor watching the TV and hearing John William’s opening sequence score.  Very impactful, very attention grabbing.  Then as the credits rolled and I voraciously read them as they scrolled upwards. “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . .”

I was hooked right then and there.

What was this genre? Science Fiction? Sign me up!

Back then when a movie finally made it to HBO they played it almost back to back for a month, because of that I saw Star Wars a minimum of 97 times. (When I say I was hooked, I’m not playing!)

I knew (still know – LOL) almost every line by every character in ‘A New Hope’. (I know, I know my level of geekdom just skyrocketed for you, but hey remember – I’m NOT dressing up – that HAS to count for SOMETHING right?!) LOL.

I recorded the movie on my cassette tape player and on our VHS. I listened to it.  I watched it.  I bought the paperbacks. I read, listened, watched and dreamed of the day when we would be able to travel in outer space and meet these types of folks – well I wanted to meet everyone except Vader!

I crushed hard on both Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. Truth be told I had pictures of Harrison Ford hung all over my room.

My parents didn’t ‘get it’. My sister didn’t ‘get it’. None of my friends even ‘got it’. This was before the Internet so I really didn’t know just how many others out there were just like me.

Until H.S. in South Korea where I met a randy gang of cute boys that shared my love of all things Star Wars and whom allowed me, a lowly girl to hang out with them while they rode their BMX bikes and talked shit. (You know who you are, Arnat Vale, Ian Perkins, Chris Thome, Hill Mackay and Todd Patterson.)

Because we moved to Japan at the end of summer 1983, I didn’t get to see ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ until I got it on VHS.  When you are stationed overseas especially back in the 80’s we were lucky and happy to get AFJN (Armed Forces Japan Network) which consisted mainly of The Today Show about 12 hours old, lots of Soap Operas and episodes of the most popular shows back in the states a couple of years back.  So when it was time for ‘Jedi’ to come out, I wasn’t waiting for it to come to Camp Zama, I was headed out onto the Japanese economy and I was going to see THAT movie in a theater!  It turned out I didn’t have to afterall as we took a summer vacation in the states the year it came out I got to see it in a theater not long after it came out and boy did I LOVE It! The action, the love triangle, the angst, the dysfunctional family – etc . . . It was ALL there.

By this time, I was a diehard fan of George Lucas and his genius – (this is much argued, but suffice it to say my teenaged brain was convinced he WAS a GENIUS.) So take your arguments elsewhere.

I collected Star Wars baseball cards, I had a painting of Yoda (still do, but I will sell it if anyone is interested) and I had every book ever written related to the series. (Again, still do – in hardback.) I had posters and CD’s, then DVD’s, games etc . . .

So having painted my super fan picture above, I can honestly tell you that I am vibrating with excitement for tonight. I did NOT have this excitement for any of the three previous episodes because they were crap from start to finish – only the action and basic storyline were worth anything.

But my anticipation for this new reboot is wicked HIGH because JJ Abrams is living the ultimate super fan dream – he, as a super fan himself is in control and since he did a kick ass job with Star Trek, I just know he will do the same with ‘Force Awakens’.

We are T-Minus 9.5 hours away from the opening credits. I can’t wait.

Here’s hoping you all have a fantastic weekend and manage to fit a small bit of suspended disbelief into your down time.

Lots of hugs,

Kat of Team Devine

This was our wedding cake – see we really are super fans!

3OCT2015_The Cake

And yes I entered our ceremony with the Imperial March.




No lie, hands down, our honeymoon was the absolute BEST!  Now don’t get me wrong it cost a small fortune and thanks to the wonderful generosity of some of our friends who chose to contribute to our honeymoon as our wedding gift – made it all the more special that we could manage it.

Neither of us had EVER been on a cruise nor to the Caribbean and it did NOT disappoint!

From the first moment the shuttle from the parking lot we hired dropped us at the Miami port of call and we identified as having paid extra for ‘Faster To The fun’ we were pleasantly, professionally escorted past every line and right through security and baggage drop off like we were special.  Once through security we took a quick escalator upstairs and were quickly ushered to a counter past people snaked around guide-lines to other counters.  No one was in line at ours.

There they took our pictures, reviewed our passports, checked our tickets and printed and gave us our “Sail and Sign” cards.  These we were told would be our onboard credit cards, passports and ID’s.  We took seats as directed and watched as several thousand people slowly made their way upstairs and into which ever line they needed to be in to do what we had already done.

Now the wait here was about an hour long and judging from the time line that we had previously been given they must have been running a bit late, but we were so excited we didn’t care.  They began calling the Platinum, Gold and FTF folks and soon we were on our way to board Carnival’s ‘Glory’.


Pictures were taken before embarkation.  Pleasant friendly staff directed our group onto the 3rd floor lobby of the ship.  We were told that our staterooms were ready, so we all dispersed.  The husband and I took the glass elevators up to the 7th deck and quickly found our stateroom.  And to our surprised our good friend had sent us several bottles of wine, and roses as a wedding gift to wish us a happy honeymoon, so we popped one open.  Our cabin was located aft of the mid ship on the starboard side.  We had a nice balcony and the room was actually much larger than I expected.

After looking out of our balcony and down onto Miami’s port of call we decided to take a tour of the ship and check out all the places that my husband had found online that were little tips and tricks.  One of which was the 7th level forward bow, so we watched the ship pull out of port and said goodbye to our short visit in Miami from the bow of the 7th floor of the ship.  It was beyond beautiful and VERY romantic.

The ONLY complaints we had during the ENTIRE trip was that the cabin is not very sound proof and we unfortunately had a family next to us on the side where our headboard was that seemed to have A LOT of children who felt compelled to scream bloody murder off and on with ZERO discipline from the adults.  So it happened over and over and over again.  That and people walking up and down the halls talking very loudly late evening and early morning was about it as far as the cabin went.

With the exception of the bar personnel at the adult pool on the 9th deck, every employee we encountered on the Glory was genuinely friendly and professional.  I absolutely adored the cabin steward and would have brought him home with me if we were allowed.

devine-002 - Copy

Our 7 day cruise consisted of the following stops; Grand Cayman Island, Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico.  We enjoyed every one of the ports but enjoyed Cozumel the best.  Belize was a little scary at times, but only because we were told repeatedly how poor the country was and we found our interaction with them to be very aggressive.

All in all, from the warm weather, beautiful sandy beaches, the snorkeling to the shopping we enjoyed every minute of each of our stops.  In some cases would have preferred that the stops had been longer, like in Honduras and Cozumel.

The only thing about the cruise that kind of shocked me was the food.  It wasn’t very good.  The one night we went to their 4 star restaurant was phenomenal, but the everyday food served at the buffets and at dinner was just lack luster.  I’m shocked only because I had always heard that the food was really great.  I guess you can’t win them all.


It’s been exactly 1 month almost to the day since we set sail and I miss that vacation so bad I can’t stand it.  I am eagerly awaiting the next time we can possibly afford to go again.  It might not be for ten years, but who knows.

The moral of this post is if you get the chance – do at least one cruise in your life.

Kat Devine