GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Tuesday, July 31

Going through the files.....

So I was downloading the latest pictures from my camera and decided to clean up a little. I came across various pictures that I have taken with specific blogs in mind.
Those blogs have never been written and therefore the pictures have never been used. Today you get the shortened version of all of those blogs in one…… Enjoy!


As you can see I am obsessed with the rain…I love it. I love better then to sit inside and listen to the rain pelt the window. I love to stand outside with my umbrella and feel the humidity and listen to the water hit the pavement. I love the way it smells, that smell of wet cement. I just love it.


My Boss didn’t like the idea that I walked home alone in the dark. So she bought me a friend. I now carry my own Guardian Angel. Lol!

When I went home this month I was struck by the things that I have missed. Here is the house of my teenage years.

I grew up in a beautiful area. As I have mentioned before, there are a few changes. The driveway is wider. The fence that used to run along the front of the yard has been replaced by flower beds. There was a very large fur tree that used to take up the left side of pictures like these. But even with the changes there will always be a small pang of nostalgia when I pull into the drive for the first time.

And this is the view I used to wake up to…Man I miss this…Sigh…

Monday, July 30

The Sista's

I have quite the family. There is quite a crush of people when you add up all of the Hinkson and Gifford kids. What with half, step, and whole (or is it natural?) I am one of 15 children. But regardless of technical title they are all my brothers and sisters. Growing up was an interesting experience that left me with stories that can leave my roommates rolling on the floor in laughter.

Among those masses are my sisters.

I miss them. We grew up together from the time I was 11 yrs old and quite a few of my memories include at least one of these women. Tallie and Gretch watching from the windows as I got my first kiss; hearing 'Rachel My Sister' through the halls of my high school; girls camp (ugh) and many others. Now we are scattered across the continental US and we rarely get the chance to see each other. Once there was a time when we would spend our days chatting online but as our lives change so has our opportunity to do that. We only talk occasionally and I really do miss them. They really are great ladies. I am so happy for them in all that they are doing!

Friday, July 27

My Brother.....The Pragmatic One?

I have started to blog every day this week.....and yet not one has made it here. Work is crazy and my thoughts are all over the place. But this quote was too priceless not to share.
Rae: lol.....well some people think differently then you

Brilliant Brother: I really can't fathom people thinking differently than me.

Brilliant Brother: I mean we are all given the same facts.
And People wonder why there is conflict in the world. Lol!
Actually, this particular brother has a rather dry sense of humor and this was more tongue in cheek then not. Lol! I love my family.

Hope everyone is enjoying Friday!

Tuesday, July 24

Is It Me?

It took forever and a day but finally I am Yellow! Come Sat afternoon Kate and I will be sitting in the theater fulfilling her life long dream of Simpsons on the big screen.

You can Simpsonize your self. go have a ball baby!

Monday, July 23

More Random Thoughts

It seems as if all I have time for these days are Random Thoughts. I know it has been a whole week but who has time to write anything longer any more. So here are my random thoughts for last week.

Thoughts on Computers:
My power adapter for my computer has been “damaged beyond repair.” Not quite sure what happened to it, but we don’t have a replacement for it. Lol! I work for a company that uses Dell, yet they bought me a Compaq. Who knows how MIS makes its decisions. In case you were wondering, the power adapter for dell and Compaq computers are not interchangeable. Lol! This means I have to wait for a new cord to be delivered to the office. So I am working on a “temporary laptop”. I know I should be grateful that my hard drive didn’t crash or something, but it is killing me not to have access. ARGH!

Thoughts on Movies:
I finally saw the third Pirates movie this last week. Perry kindly offered to go with me so I didn’t have to go all by myself. I got lost in the plot shifts; there were just to many of them and the crew of Davy Jones still creeps me out. Oh and Orlando Bloom is a very attractive young man. The end.
I saw I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry on Sat with Kate and my big brother Ralph. I let Ralph pick the movie due to his ‘visitor’ status and he didn’t disappoint. I must admit that, as with all Adam Sandler movies, there is that are just a few scenes that cross the line. I laughed hard at quite a few parts, but I am not sure this movie will ever make it onto my personal movie shelf.

Thoughts on Buffy…..
Tara and I got tickets to Buffy forever ago. Friday finally arrived and we were able to attend the Buffy the Vampire Sing A Long. The theater was packed; all sorts of people had come out to play. Poor Ralph got stuck coming along with out the company of Perry who missed his train. I won’t say he hated it, but I am pretty sure it is not something he will ever do again. The rest of us had a ball. It was fun to see how into it people can get. People were singing and quoting lines right and left. I got some decent pictures which I will post later. I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a long time.

Thoughts on Harry Potter…….
No, I didn’t go to any of the midnight parties; I was at the Buffy Sing-A-Long. Yes, I still got my book on Saturday. No, I didn’t read at all on Sat. I have to start the series over from book 1 and read them in order. I am kind of anal about how I read books that are part of a series. I will admit that I didn’t anyone to spoil it for me so I read the last chapter on Sunday (not the Epilogue, the last actual chapter). So I know the ending and now can read all the books in order with out anyone spoiling it for me. Lol! I know; I am shocked I did it too.

Thoughts on Work…..
My boss is out of the office, you would think that it would be a bit slower. Nope, not really; still crazy busy.

Thoughts on Driving……
I got Perry lost last week trying to get me home from the movie theater. Thank heavens for maps.
I loved having the rental car; it was nice to drive for a bit. I am glad I got to turn it in today. The traffic here is horrible and I don’t want the stress. Lol!

And that is all for today. Once I have my computer up and running again I will post some of the pics from the weekend.

Monday, July 16

Random Thoughts from the Weekend….

  • A weekend with out internet stinks…Especially when one needs the distraction.
  • Sleep is a good thing
  • Tears can be painful
  • Hiding between the pages of a novel is easy
  • I am grateful for the gym (measurement day was interesting….I’ll blog about it later)
  • Starting to trust someone only to be let down makes you me not want to trust anyone
  • I have some great friends
  • This week should be, well if not better, at least it will be busier.
  • After watching the original Hairspray movie I have come to the decision that the new movie is not a remake of the old one. If the soundtrack is correct then it is the Broadway musical made for film. The old movie is a dance movie, not a musical.

Friday, July 13

The Potter…

Last night a group of us were to get together to see the latest Harry Potter Movie. It ended up being just me and Tina, it is a good thing we get a long. Lol! I am not going to review the movie other then to say I enjoyed it. I did not re read the book so I can’t tell you how well they compare. I learned way back after the first movie that you need to take the movies without comparing them to the books or you can’t enjoy them. They will never be as good as your imagination made the books. When book 7 comes out I will re read all of the books again and then I will make my comparisons. For now, I will just enjoy the movie. One more note: I was extremely impressed with the soundtrack this time. Not that the other soundtracks were not good, but I do not remember consciously thinking about the soundtrack. This time Tina and I actually discussed the music as the credits rolled.

I also learned that Tina is one of my favorite movie-type of people. She doesn’t mind when I talk through a movie. As a matter of fact there was more then once where we were chuckling over a comment one of us had made. It seems to be a family thing. I talk through movies. It has been a constant source of annoyance to many of my friends. I try to keep my mouth shut and for the most part I have learned to control my tongue. It was fabulous last night to be able to lean over and make a joke about a scene or ask a question for clarification and not worry that I was pissing someone off. Lol! Tina and I have decided that we will probably take in a mid week movie every week. That way we can catch up. What’s next you ask? Ratatouille…Gina really wants to see it so it is on the agenda for sometime next week or maybe this weekend…

Thursday, July 12

So it is official, I am a geek

Kate and I were talking about playing when she returns and we realized that Hairspray will have just been released in theaters. We are both so excited to see it. I mean really, how can you hate a movie with Christopher Walken, John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden (sigh), Allison Janney and Jerry Stiller? If nothing else it will make me laugh.

So in preparation, I bought the sound track. And I am not kidding when I say there is a song called Welcome to the 6o’s. I love it. I am truly a geek.

As if the Buffy Sing-A-Long was not enough to prove that.

Tuesday, July 10

The Nixed Family Shoot

While this past weekend was my big sisters wedding, it was also the date for The Annual Hinkson Family Shoot. And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Once a year my family gathers together on a weekend in July to go into the wilderness and blow things up. My eldest brother, a former Marine (though I am told there is no such thing), plans all year long for this event. He collects things that would be fun to explode. In past years there have been old printers, a refrigerator, bottles of colored water and much more. He uses the family wiki to advertise the dates and times months in advance so that we can all attend. This year he even bought some sort of grenade launcher for us to try. I, for various reasons, have never been able to attend. Since this years' Family Shoot coincided with the weekend of my big sisters wedding so I was able to attend. Unfortunately, there currently happens to be some sort of shooting ban in Utah. Because it is so dry we could not go outdoor range shooting and so the Family Shoot was postponed; possibly indefinitely. My brother, offered to take a bunch of pictures of me with some of the guns just in case I never make it back to another one. He took over 50 pictures. Lol! I think he had more fun then I did. But I learned a lot about the different weapons. I am sure I will never remember all the information, but it was still a lot of fun. I did learn that most of them are heavy and laser sights are really cool. Lol!

I think my favorite quote of the evening was when my brother handed me the .22 and said… “This is the weapon of choice for assassins and my daughters” Said daughters are 9 and 11. Lol!

When I told Steph that I had taken pictures with the various guns she wanted me to post pictures. SO to honor her request I am posting two:

Now I don't know much about guns at all but this is what I understand the names to be. Just so you know I could be entirely wrong. Feel free to correct me Cyn (or any one else)...please. :)

They called this one an: AR-15 with LMT M203 Grenade Launcher and Silencer. (Does any one know if LMT refers to the laser sight or is that a part of the name of the grenade launcher? I forgot to ask that question.)

This one is a .300 Weatherby Mangum.....

If I understood correctly it is a sniper rifle with stand and a kick ass laser sight. could you miss with that brother says you don't. It would be an awesome toy to have when sitting in those nose bleed seats at the theater. (Yes that was a joke. Don't get your panties in a twist. Lol!)

Monday, July 9

Random thoughts from my trip.....


Today I travel to Utah for Tiana’s Wedding. I arrived early as I am prone to do when traveling and spent a good amount of the wait at a sushi place. What can I say…Lol! I was hungry. Steph would be proud, I was even able to order and enjoy with out any guidance at all. It only took 2 years to learn to order tasty sushi.

As I sit waiting for my flight I realized that even though I have graduated to direct flights (ahh the joys of being single with a disposable income) I still pack as if I have long layovers. I have various DVDs to watch, my iPod, a few cd’s to download in case I get bored with what is already on the iPod, 2 books in my purse, 3 books in my backpack, a hand held sudoku game, (thanks Kate I love it!) my laptop, and my camera. When will I have all the time needed to use these items? In planning for the wait at the airport I have to account for the fact that I have no idea what mood I will be in at the airport. So I have to plan for all eventualities….okay maybe not every single one, but lots and lots. For now I am going to enjoy my current book while listening to my iPod


There is something about sleeping in my old bed; it seems to bring out my old habits. Or maybe it is the fact that I use to sleep in a California king size bed so sleeping sideways was an option that cannot even be imagined in the current twin size bed back home.

I landed late yesterday and first went to see Sarah and Meg. We visited for a couple of hours; lots of laughter and stories to be shared. We have been friends for so many years that not even the miles can change that. It has been two years since I lived here and I miss having them around. Yet at the same time, I now miss Kate and Gina and Jen and Kim and all of the rest of the gang back home.

The house is the same, but different. The kitchen is rearranged and the upstairs bathroom has been remodeled. The boys each have their own room and it is hard to recognize them as rooms that I grew up in. The big tree out front is gone, so there will be no more massive Christmas light projects in December. The pavilion in the back where I had my first kiss with Drew at 16 is gone too. Other then that it is still the same place where I spent my teenage years. The memories are strong here, the good and the bad.


I was told that on the drive to the airport tonight I would run into traffic. So I prepared myself for what I understand traffic to be. I fully expected to sit somewhere on I-15 or I-215 not moving at all. Instead, while surrounded by other cars, I cruised to the airport doing somewhere between 70 and 90 mph. I realized that I might just be a lead foot like the rest of my family. Lol! With the road stretching out in front of me and the radio on I was happy to just drive.


We spent the day prepping for the wedding tomorrow. With the family shoot canceled, we had all afternoon to take care of the required chores. My sister-in-law Sarah and my sister Gretchen spent over 3 hours weeding the flowerbeds. The boys and I took care of the sidewalks and driveways and wedding furniture. It was a long hot day in the sun but I must say things look pretty nice. I am tired, it is bed time.


It was a nice ceremony full of people I haven’t seen in years. The bride and groom were happy. I had no responsibilities other than having my picture taken and mingling. I find that I prefer responsibilities. It gives me something to do. I am not required to talk to everyone. I was happy to see my sister so happy. I think this is a good thing for her and wish her all the best. Once everyone was gone, we broke the set. It usually takes less time to take things apart, but not this time. It took about just as long and we were all hot and tired by the time we were done. Lol! After naps there was a trip to the pool. It was nice to just sit and chat with everyone. I have some very cute nieces and nephews. It was a long day.


It is interesting to me how different families function. When watching a family together you see a certain pecking order, which of course our family has. Yet, as we get older you can see the lines blur. Everyone has a place or position in our family. It is odd to watch the younger ones try to out grow their titles. I am not sure if it is possible. They will always be the three little boys. Whether they are 3 or 33. Sorry guys!

I have pictures and things to post, but don't have the time today. Maybe i can get them up tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 4

Happy Fourth of July

Wow…it has been a busy couple of days. With my trip to Utah rapidly approaching, I was determined to hit the gym both Monday and Tuesday (it is closed today for the holiday). This way I could justify missing the rest of the week as I will be out of town. Last night after the gym, a group of us decided to see the movie Transformers and had ourselves a good ol’ time. I really had fun and it made me laugh a lot but I didn’t get home till after 1 am. Knowing I had to be at the parade grounds @ 9:45 am at the latest, I was in bed by 2 am. Lol! Yeah not all that early, I know, I am working on it. I'll get to bed early one of these days....Lol!

This morning, I was up and on the metro by 9 am allowing me to get to the parade grounds on time. There was a small snafu when I realized I had left my cell phone on the train. Thanks to the wonderful workers of the DC Metro, I was only delayed by about 20 minutes for my own stupidity. I think they are my favorite people right now!

As you can see there was a lot of waiting around as we blew up the 5 balloons. Once out Pink Cheer Bear was up and floating we just sat holding our ropes until it was time to leave. I had time to meet those handling the ropes around me.There were a few other members of the LDS church, they had volunteered through the Church as I had. But the rest of the group was made up of volunteers from various organizations.On my left today was Cha Cha and Kara, they are friends who live in Alexandria and work with a volunteer group in DC. On my left was Randy. Randy was in town for a Model Teachers conference. In and ironic twist, he teaches middle school just a few miles from my parents house in Utah. He was kind enough to help me figure out how to work the ropes, so I didn’t get them all tangled while I was walking. The parade was fun, in front of us was a fire engine full of fire fighters from DC. Behind us was a marching band from Missouri. They played jazz music the whole time and they weren’t half bad. All in all it was a fun time.

When I reached the end of the route and Cheer Bear was deflated, I decided that if I was in the district I should see the Folklife Festival. This year they were showcasing Northern Ireland, The Roots of Virginia (including Kent England), and the Mekong River area in South East Asia. I had the time to walk around and just see the sights. Learn of the different cultures, smell the different foods, and listen to the various types of music. I also got the chance to eat a huge piece of watermelon "Pollyanna Style". For some reason it made me think of my little sister Gretchen. So I had some tourists take a picture of it for her. Lol! On the whole the festival was fascinating to me. I love learning new things and I picked up 2 new books and a new bag to commemorate my learning. I am excited to read more about the areas I saw.

After wandering around and realizing there were too many tourists for my liking, I decided I was tired and needed to head home to freshen up before the fireworks tonight. I am lucky to have friends that work a few blocks from the White House so we have tickets to stand on the roof top of their office building and watch this years fireworks. It looks to be a good show. If I could get off of my rear to get there. Lol! Unfortunately I am exhausted. Lol! And I have yet to pack for my trip tomorrow. Wish me luck and lots of caffeine so I can get it all done tonight.

I hope every one is having a wonderful holiday and realizing how lucky we are to live in this country with the freedoms we enjoy.

Happy Independence Day!

***UPDATE**** Due to a tornado warning and the thunder I listened to most of the evening I decided to skip the fireworks this year. So Sad. Oh well I will have to survive. Lol! At least it gives me time to pack for my trip to Utah. ;)

Sunday, July 1

Shhh....don't tell.

It's a secret that is probably not really a secret...Hidden underneath my cynics heart, is a romantic that loves this kind of thing....we'll just keep that between the two of!