Read about our adventures! Because someday we might be famous, and you'll wish you could bank off our life story!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Engagement Story Part I: How We Met

Sorry for our recent lack of posts everyone, its been an exciting week. We got engaged!
To tell you our engagement story, first we are going to explain the story of how we met. By doing so we are using a feature Bob and I have discussed that might be the best way to explain some of our flashback stories. The He Said/She Said Method!

He Said: It all began over 3 years ago (May 3rd 2007 to be exact)  in Iowa City...home of the Iowa Hawkeyes (we like the Hawkeyes if you couldn't tell from the last post). In a relatively crappy frat bar called Sports Column.

She Said: My friend Mandey was wanting to go to a bar called Bo James because the previous week she had been entered in a contest to potentially win a trip to Vegas. She conned me into going out that night by saying if she won she would take me with her! So even though finals were approaching and I needed to be home studying, I went out.

 Some pre-going out pictures, who wouldn't want to talk to me tonight?!

Me at Bo James
Mandey and me

He Said: A friend of mine had the unfortunate experience of finding out his girlfriend was a little less than faithful. So it turned into a night to help him forget. My friends loved to go to Sports Column, which they referred to as 'the north bar' (never totally understood that). I very often met up with them later in the evenings after they had had their fill at SpoCo. I hadn't been there for months before 'that night' or months after. I think most of the guys loved SpoCo because it was primarily a bar for the 'underclassmen', so obviously where else would a bunch of rowdy guys take their friend who was sure to be on the rebound? Drinks were had.

Where everybody pukes on your shoes!

She Said: After sadly not picking the right key out of a lock contest and not winning the trip to Vegas, Mandey and I decided to pull a senior (or in my case super-senior) prank and tell everyone we knew we had won a trip to Vegas! We called, we texted. And honestly to this day I'm not sure if we really ever fessed up that it was all a hoax. Now after the best senior prank ever, we decided to go to Sports Column. This is bar that we frequented for the sole reason that Mandey's boyfriend (now husband) Chikezie was a bouncer there. (And of course Thursday night dollar you call it!) We knew all the bartenders still, even though he was living in Des Moines, so we always felt pretty safe and protected from the creepers there.

We were sitting on the opposite side of the main bar, and were chatting away about who knows what. And I notice a guy at the back bar keeps looking over at me. I decide to mention it to Mandey to see if she agrees or if I'm just seeing things. She scouts out the situation and decides, yes this dude is definitely checking me out. I notice he is wearing a TOOL shirt, which I point out that I am wearing a ROB ZOMBIE shirt. She suggests I go talk to this dude, we clearly have something in common, music. I immediately say no, I've hardly had a drink and have no courage to go up to someone at a bar. She INSISTS I go talk to him and throws me a dollar. She says to go buy her a drink, a highly intelligent ploy to go up to the bar where he was standing.

I walk up to the bar and squeezed in between TOOL dude and some other random dude. The conversation follows:

Me: "Hi."
TOOL Dude: "Hi."

At this point I'm staring at TOOL dude through the mirror behind the bar. He was in NO way further acknowledging my presence! This called for some woman in distress action. The bar was pretty crowded that night, I saw he wasn't looking at me, and the bartender wasn't close to helping me yet, so I did it. I faked getting pushed into him!

Me: "Opps I'm sorry!"
TOOL Dude: "That's ok"
**TOOL Dude proceeds to turn and talk to friends, further confirming that he was not interested in talking to me.**

Finally with drink in hand and completely mortified  I walked back to Mandey, defeated. I explained the story to her and how I was so embarrassed that the guy in the TOOL t-shirt shot me down. I mean really? Did that just happen?! Who did he think he was?

Mandey: "Whatever, HE'S a Tool!"

The rest of the night TOOL Dude kept looking over at me, which only infuriated me more. What a jerk! He looks at me all night, then refuses my come-ons, and then continues to look at me! What a tool indeed!

And then I found twenty dollars..... No really, I found a twenty dollar bill on the floor when we left!

He Said: ..............................
                 (Crickets chirping)

She Said: In the following weeks a friend kept insisting I meet her boyfriend's roommate Bob. He was supposedly a really nice guy and we had a lot in common, particularly music. One night I went with my friend to the boyfriend's apartment, a bunch of us girls/guys were going bowling. When I walked in to the apartment I looked around and see this guy sitting in a hat, white shirt and khakis, he looked familar.... Everyone was talking, and the guy on the couch, who someone called Bob, didn't want to go. Suddenly it dawned me, the guy on the couch was TOOL DUDE! Aka Bob, aka the roommate my friend wanted to set me up with!!!
So I'm standing there freaking out in my mind. Clearly TOOL Dude recognized me and didn't want to go because he remembered my pathetic attempts at talking to him at Sports Column. I told my friend I needed to talk to her as soon as we got outside. Once inside the car I asked my friend if THIS was the Bob she wanted to hook me up with. She said yes and realized she didn't even introduce us! I answered with, "Well I've already met him..."

He Said: I honestly thought Christy looked familiar, and I found her very attractive. I had no recollection that I had ever met her in the past...or blown her off at a crappy frat bar. I didn't want to go bowling for the simple fact that I had gotten off work 15 minutes previously...had not showered that day, and had no laundry done. In other words I looked like a complete slob.

She Said: I told the story to all the girls in the car, and then again to all the guys at the bowling alley. The guys were in hysterics! Bob was apparently not so smooth with the ladies, but they assured me if he kept looking at me all night- he must have thought I was good-looking. The guys were ready to head back and fully make fun of Bob for this. Even though I kept insisting it was probably because he just wasn't into me.

He Said: A few weeks went by and I had heard from my friends the story that Christy had told them, of me completely dropping the ball at the bar. (didn't make me remember it any more) My friends, as most guys, are very bad at the simple act of description, I did not know who Christy was for some time.

She Said: We saw each other again at a Birthday party, all the guys were trying to convince me to talk to Bob when he got there. And I kept telling them, 'I don't think he liked me.' They insisted he was drunk and claimed to have no memory of meeting me that night. I must talk to him. So when Bob finally arrived late in the night I tried to talk to him, again didn't seem that interested. Perhaps because he still didn't know that I was the infamous Christy, until....

 Christy at Brothers, another fine Iowa City Establishment.

He Said: A few weeks later I was invited to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 the movie and drink rum root-beer floats....

She Said: ...this was probably mid-July, when finally we were formally introduced. We hung out at a bar called The Deadwood after the movie and floats...

The Deadwood Tavern, exactly like the HBO show, except for totally different.

He Said: ...and I sorta, maybe, instantly fell in love :)

She Said: The summer went by with many more great stories, and after some unwanted group drama we only stayed friends, but kept running into each other throughout the next year. I'm sure you could have cut the sexual tension with a knife when we were near each other. We would go through spells of spending nights texting and talking online till the wee hours of the night. We bonded over movies, philosophy, life, music, and thunderstorms.

 July 26, 2008
This was our last night in Iowa City together before Bob moved back to Des Moines. 
This was the night we just 'knew' we couldn't live without each other anymore.

He Said: And after a year of borderline pathetic longing...We finally got together.

Bob after Christy agreed to go out on a date with him.

Stay tuned Average People fans, for the second part of The Engagement Story...the actual engagement story!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photo Challenge #2: Words

For Mandey's photo challenge this week, I decided to go with an event that everyone is getting pumped for....Hawkeye Football! These pictures are from way back. Homecoming 2006 to be exact. Mandey and I had become quick friends when we both had student season tickets and we ended up being the die-hards that went to every home game together. This game was vs. Purdue. Kinnick Stadium had recently been renovated and we were excited to get some pics of the new entrance and the awesome Nile Kinnick statue. So at last I present to you my photo for the photo challenge. It's a quote on the bottom of Nile's statue.

Me and Mandey's reflection as we get a picture of this infamous quote, 
from the last line of the University of Iowa school song. 

You wish you could rock pink sweatpants 
with a Hawkeye shirt this much!
I cannot fully describe my love for Hawkeye Football. I think to truly understand why Iowan's and for that matter people all over the country, are Hawkeye fans for life. You have to be there and experience Melrose Ave on a Saturday morning for yourself. Sweating your face off in the August/September Iowa heat, while eating street vendor food and drinking beer, all at an ungodly hour of the morning. Waking up at the crack of dawn with your best friend and pouring Bailey's into your coffee as you bundle up because its freezing in November and shuffle your way down the stadium. Screaming at the top of your lungs when the swarm of black and gold comes running out of the tunnel hand in hand, because that's the way Hayden Fry said it should be done. Losing your mind as Herky the Hawk stabs the earth with the IOWA flag in the middle of the field. 
There are bars all over America that are soley dedicated "Hawkeye" bars for a reason! It's because Iowa Hawkeye football tradition becomes your tradition no matter who you are or where you live.  We're fans till the end no matter how bad or how good the team is playing. We love our Hawks no matter what! I'm sure there will be many more Hawkeye posts in the future from both Bob and I, it's a season we both anticipate more than any other time of year.  The University of Iowa is a special place, its where I met my best friend (Mama) and the love of my life (Bob). It's where I adopted my furry loves Stella and Jack, and ultimately where I found myself.  So I leave you with some more pictures from that 2006 game and an inspiring quote from Nile himself about Iowa City.

Nile Kinnick in front of Kinnick Stadium. 

Quote from Nile on the base of his statue.

In 2006, the new entrance to Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA.

"Here come the Hawkeyes!"

'Say Cheese!' 

Me after storming the field after a win over Purdue. If you look closely you can see the scoreboard says Iowa 47 - Purdue 17.

"I am so glad you could speak enthusiastically of your visit to Iowa City. That little town means so much to me...It is almost like home. I love the people, the campus, the trees, everything about it. And it is beautiful in the spring...And I hope you strolled off across the golf course just at twilight and felt the peace and quiet of an Iowa evening, just as I used to do."

-Nile Kinnick, in the last letter ever received by him after his death in 1943.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Stella Hates Mondays

 You were expecting Jack maybe?

Hey Everyone, It's me Stella! So its Monday... again. What's a girl to do?!

I've been pretty busy sleeping away the hot days of summertime. Not that you would understand how much energy and devotion that requires, especially when its 100+ degrees outside. "Thank goodness for A/C!" I'm not quite sure what this means, but my parents always say it when they walk in the door from the outside world. The temperature has dropped in the past couple of days and now the night time is a bit cooler around here. Occasionally a bug (they have names but I just refer to them mostly as 'soon to be dead things') likes to come in from the outside world and spark up my hunting skills! There is nothing I like more then to show off my keen sense of hunting when the family is around. They 'ooo' and 'ahhh' over my jumps, leaps and sneak attacks. The thing that I DO NOT like is when my brother Jack gets involved in the hunt. Which brings me to what I hate about Mondays this Monday:

* Jack joining the hunt. Let's face it he's a Corgi, which Mom says means he's a herding dog. NOT a hunting dog. He just doesn't get it, he's sloppy and loud and chases away all the soon to be dead things.

Told ya I had amazing hunting skills.
"Dey see me rollin', Dey hatin'"

* I hate when my parents come home smelling like other animals. Apparently they went to something called the Iowa State Fair, smells more like a zoo to me. But yet they do smell like delicious food - but I can't quite put my paw on what kind it is. Something better than cat food I think.

* I hate when my Mom spends her time working so hard on her schoolwork stuff. It leaves me feeling bored and restless because I just want to sit in front of the computer and play with the cursor but she demands, 'this is important' and 'you can sit over here.' But I want to sit right there, where that strange arrow in the computer moves all about!

 My usual position when Mom is doing schoolwork. 
This picture dates back all the way to our very first semester together, Fall 2005. 
Why can't feathers and catnip be part of the curriculum?

What drives you nuts about Mondays?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Inception Movie Review

 So I decided to dust off my cinema degree and put it to use by writing the first of hopefully many movie reviews. I work in the mortgage industry...which last time I checked, didn't require a whole lot of input from a former film I need an outlet, and you "The Adventures of the Average People" readers, will reap the benefits.  So without further adieu...

Inception Movie Review

Yes, Inception came out July 16th...and I'm writing this August 11th...back off me, this blog just started, and it's the last movie I've seen in the theater.

Inception is without a doubt the best movie of an exceptionally lack-luster 2010. Ive seen this movie 3 times now in the theater (the last time I saw a movie more than once was The Dark Knight (also directed by Christopher Nolan) 3 that says he's doing something right).

The movie takes place in what is assumed to be the present day, where unspecified technology (a suitcase that makes a swishing sound) allows us to enter each others dreams. With this 'dangerous' and exciting black-market technology comes 'extractors', or individuals that enter into the dreams of wealthy, creative, or influential people and 'steal their secrets' or ideas. The plot focus on Leonardo DiCaprio's character 'Cobb' the self proclaimed best extractor in the world. After failing on a mission for a powerful architectural firm, Cobb is given the opportunity to get back to his family, by preforming 'inception', or the planting of an idea into the mind of a target (Cillian Murphy). The rest of the film focuses on Cobb, and his 'team' preparing for, and executing their plan to enter the dreams of the heir to a powerful empire, with the intent of guiding him (subconsciously) to disband the corporation which he will soon head (to the delight and benefit of his biggest rival).   

Cobb has some personal issues with guilt regarding the death of his wife, who show up constantly in the dreams he attempts to work in. He attempts to achieve the goals of the mission, and protect himself and his team from the subconscious invasion of his wife's memory.

 Inception gets everything right about the 'shared dreaming' technology, by not even attempting to explain it; "the military invented it" and  the characters use this suitcase thing, with a button, cords, and a fancy looking timer....accept it, and move on, its not important. The technology is irrelevant to what the film wanted to do, and would have been weakened by creating some lame exposition about how everything works.

Christopher Nolan is simply one of the best directors around right now. Memento (his first mainstream film) is one of, if not the movie, that made me start studying film. Nolan is a master of laying down ground rules for a film, and then allowing you to be thrown into them. Inception in the hands of many other directors may have been a freakin mess, but is executed so well by his direction. 

A good portion of the build up/exposition of the film is essentially a well made montage, that expertly throws at you what you need to know, and then moves on. The scenes consists of scattered lines of dialogue between the 'team' members explaining 'the rules' of the dream world. The explanation, and buildup of the film is very well executed, but does exemplify in many ways the films biggest weakness. 

Many parts of the dialogue essentially act as a 'dream-world encyclopedia'. Although I can almost guarantee that in earlier versions of the script these aspects were handled much more elegantly, it still feels at time's that there were lines thrown in essentially as 'plot band-aids' to try to cover up a few holes. I'm sure Nolan himself had to take to the script with a hatchet, and give us essentially the bare-bones on what we needed, and I think it is successful. Even the way these, albeit weak bits of dialogue are presented is superb.

Some of the supporting cast was not as developed as much as they could have, however all the characters worked for me. I think Tom Hardy, the guy who plays 'the forger' stole just about every scene he was in, and while Ellen page's character too may have been a little under-developed, she worked for me as the films moral and thematic guide. Her name, I believe, is a throw back to Greek mythology, the woman who helped guide the dude through the labyrinth in the minotaur story. (I'm pretty sure he's called 'the dude' in the myth too.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also excellent (I smell villain in the next Batman movie).

Inception is rich in ties to film theory...something which nerds may find interesting. 
An old dead guy name Hugo Munsterberg, wrote some pretty cool things about film. He believed that film is 'a medium of the mind, not of the world/reality', in other words that films speak the same language as our thoughts, and all aspects of internal psychology (memories/dreams/hallucinations) Inception viewed through the lens of film theory gives plenty of food for thought. Films themselves can be viewed in a sense as shared dreams, where we for a period of time we allow ourselves to become invested into an alternate reality.

Hugo Munsterberg also wrote about the power of film to work with the dilation of time, when compared to other mediums. In other words, you have power with film that you don't with other art-forms. In a play, for example, if a character drops a falls to the ground in real-time. With film, a vase can fall to the ground in slow-motion. The editing, can allow us to see everybody's reaction....or in the case of Inception a van can fall off a bridge for 45 minutes, while hours pass in other 'dream-realms'...if you have not seen the movie, this is very hard to describe, but is incredibly brilliant.

The visual aspect of Inception is where it shines the brightest. The movie implements ideas of film theory literally into the plot. The characters enter different levels of their targets dream, by entering dreams within dreams. At each level, time runs at a different speed, and the actions physics in one dream effect the corresponding level.

In one of the more brilliant action scenes in recent memory, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character fights the targets 'projections' (human inhabitants in the dream, that work as a self defense mechanism) in a dream, within a dream where the laws of physics have been thrown on their head, due to the actions in the higher level dream.... A testament to how well Nolan directs this movie, is that, this actually makes sense and is easier to follow, than it is to explain.

People criticized the movie for having an emotional plot very familiar to Shutter Island a Martin Scorcese film starring DiCaprio. I have not seen that movie, but did predict the end from the trailer...which is really weak. I don't think it's fair to judge a movie based on an actor being in another movie, with a similar role. That being said, I know we all do it. I know I won't be able to see James Gandolfini in a role, and at least for a little bit think of Tony Soprano. Martin Scorcese, as a facebook comment read; "can't make a good movie that doesn't involve white gangsters" which I have to more or less agree with. 

Ultimately the genius of the film is it's execution. It takes a truly imaginative concept and fleshes it out superbly. There are a few holes, covered up with some one liner dialogue, but was not anywhere near enough to distract me from the shear fun and brilliance of the movie. When you realize that Nolan had been working on this script and it was a personal dream project (no pun intended) it should really make you enjoy it further. To be able to gain the respect and power to pull of creating an idea you've held dear for so long, in today's Hollywood, is almost unheard of, and should be commended...which is why I fully admit to having a 'man-crush' on Christopher Nolan.

If you have not seen Inception go see it!

-Robert Dopf

(For Christy)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Stella Hates Mondays

I look good even when I blog!

Hello Everyone, It's me Stella Mae, the cat a.k.a. the ruler of this household that I allow 2 humans (Mom and Dad) and my dog brother Jack live in. I'm here to show off my amazing photos and also give you a low down on what is REALLY going on or just some insight into the world of cat.

If you want to know more about me and how I came to live here you can check out my Bio Page.

Last night there were some crazy thunderstorms so I spent most of the night under the bed, not because I'm scared but because I just like it under there ok? Unfortunately for me, for some reason, my parents let Jack sleep in the bedroom too. So he was under the bed as well, because HE WAS scared. So I had to smell dog breath all night. Yuck.
 This is my brother Jack, I told ya he was special.

A little background info, the bedroom is my domain. Only I'm allowed to sleep on the bed, that's always how it has been and it's always how it will be- GOT IT?! I have free roam of the room and can sleep there or not, whatever my choosing. Most of the time I like to snuggle with Mom and poke her face in the mornings when I get hungry or just decide I'm bored and she should wake up. Occasionally I'll lay in between Mom and Dad and smack them both with my tail.  But anyway, the bedroom is a dog- free zone at night, because it's MINE! So you can see why I was slightly annoyed that Jack had been allowed to sleep there last night.

The reasons I hate Mondays for this Monday are:

* Jack getting to sleep in MY room last night.

* Mondays's mean that my parents go wherever it is they go (still working on where that is) and so I have to watch Jack while they are gone. I don't so much watch him as I tell him to stay away from me. I have things to do like sleep on the top of the couch in front of the window and peek out at the sky. Those birds aren't going to watch themselves!

* It's Monday ok? Enough said, lay off!

If you will excuse me, its time to get back to my napping now.

So do you have any questions that you have always wanted to ask a cat? Topics you would like to hear a cat talk about?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We're Taking the Plunge!

It's official! Bob and I are starting a new adventure together, one that we have never encountered before. We all knew this day would come, some doubted, others waited in anticipation. Yes ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, Bob and Christy are officially STARTING A BLOG! Who's excited?!

Whoa! You guys are seriously amped for this blog! 

WOW! We are honored by your excitement, perhaps a little freaked out. The USA chant seemed a bit unnecessary but we'll take it! Right Ricky Stanzi?

This all started a few years back, way back to the year of 2007. A time before iPads, 'Bieber Fever', Jersey Shore, and the only Droids you knew were robots named C3PO and R2D2, not phones. In a magical land where Herky is King and the beer runneth over. Yes that's right, I'm talking about a land called Iowa City.  This is the setting for where boy meets a bar so eloquently named The Sports Column. But I'm getting ahead of myself....We'll save the story of 'How Bob met Christy and Still Doesn't Remember' for our 'Flashback Friday' post.

Our plan is for this blog is to be our creative outlet and to document all the amazingly cool things we do. But we will re-tell some of the stories of how we met and the adventures of our first years of dating on 'Flashback Friday'. So stay tuned for exciting posts such as 'Jack and Bob's Video Game Review', 'Stella Hates Mondays', and an assortment of rants, links and of course ADVENTURES!

- The Average People

Photo Challenge #1: Feet!

Welcome to the first unofficial posting of The Adventures of the Average People! Christy here, and to break the ice I thought I would use a cue from Mama and the Dudes!  I'm an avid reader of the blog and Mama is my best friend, so I'm sure you'll see them pop up every now and again. So, after seeing her blog on photo challenges and the theme being 'Feet', I knew some great pictures to submit for this one.

Mama and the Dudes Photo Challenge Week #1: Feet!

This picture was taken last June 2009 at Ledges State Park in Iowa. The creeks there flow over the road and stone blocks. A very welcoming treat to soak our feet in after we spent the day searching for our first apartment.

Here is another favorite from the same day. Nothing better than feeling the water rush over your toes.

 Rock climbing feet! I loved the texture of the rock we were sitting on (platy for all your geo-buffs out there). This is definitely my pre-foot surgery. I now have a nice long scar on my right big toe. Check out someone's hairy hobbit feet too :).

To join Mama's Photo Challenge Click Here:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Coming...

Be the first to follow!

Be there for the unveiling of ....

The Adventures of the Average People!

Coming soon to the interwebs near you!