Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter Song

This is a really pretty song. It fits my mood right now. Life is just so . . . well . . . unpredictable. And just like the snow that has fallen, things feel pretty clear right now, if only momentarily. And I'm ok with that, ironically.

"Winter Song" by Sara Bareilles (ft Ingrid Michaelson)

Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum bum bum

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon,
It rolls in from the sea

My voice; a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light,
To carry you to me.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love

They say that things just cannot grow
Beneath the winter snow,
Or so I have been told.

They say were buried far,
Just like a distant star
I simply cannot hold.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong,
Cause you're not where you belong;
Inside my arms.

Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum bum bum bum

I still believe in summer days.
The seasons always change
And life will find a way.

I'll be your harvester of light
And send it out tonight
So we can start again.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong,
Cause you're not where you belong;
Inside my arms.

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon
It rolls in from the sea.

My love a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light
To carry you to me.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Life These Days

I can not believe it is already November 2008. It seems like we were just celebrating the new year. Well, life for me, has been nothing short of exciting. It's a constant rollercoaster of events, feelings, situations. I have learned a lot thus far and I wanted to take a minute to share.

1. Don't Settle for settling: This may sound funny, but I think we sometimes become accostomed to not always getting what we want, so we settle for the "next best," although it may not always be what we want. I learned this helpful little lesson while purchasing a bookshelf. Sometimes you need to hold off for what you really want rather than taking what's there. And if it's a really important decision see if you can sleep on it. When you aren't in the heat of the moment, you are more likely to make a rationale decision.

2. Have a game plan: I have heard too many times people telling me that you never know what you are going to do when the actual situation comes up. I agree, but I don't think it hurts to have a plan. I'm not saying that you can, or should, try to plan out every aspect of your life, but you can consider what you would want to do in important situations. It won't always work, mind you, but at least you would have had a plan. For instance - no one wants to get into a car accident, but if you have all of your numbers handy and a list of things to do you don't have to worry later about forgetting to get the other person's driver license number or something along those lines.

3. Be vocal: Sometimes we are all afraid of committment, so when we do commit to something we only tell ourselves. Well, we need to be held accountable. If you are staying away from sweets for a week let someone know. That way if you are about to slip, they can encourage you, or you can feel compelled to stick to your agreement because there are people around you who would witness your breaking your committment. If you tend to drink or smoke and you want to go the night without, telling someone will alleviate your stress because they know you don't want anything and they may refrain from offering. Relying on willpower will get you into trouble at times.

4. Love life: Life is too short. Enjoy the smallest joys that life has to offer, whether it even be the little kid waving to you when no one all day muttered a hello.

5. Patience: be patient. This is probably my biggest downfall. Time does not like to be rushed. It can't, in fact, and we must remember this. Everything happens in its own time and worrying about the future or trying to progress things will not help. I like things NOW. I like answers to my questions NOW, so I'm learning to wait. Sometimes the answer naturally arises or becomes apparent.

That's it for now. I just had to get some things out my head.

La dee da guys

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Hungry - Blog Action Day

Quite often I have heard people say “I am Hungry,” and then proceed to find some type of substance to fulfill their request. But what if your words fell onto deaf ears, or ears that could hear but could not do anything to help you? If you’ve ever fasted or gone without food for an extended period of time, than maybe you can relate. But if you haven’t – just imagine if there was no food in the fridge and you didn’t have the money to buy anything and all of your friends were in the same situation. How would you feel then?

How would you feel if you were starving? Dehydrated? Perhaps I’m being a bit dramatic, but if you lived like that then you wouldn’t think this was such a moot point. The purpose in this imaginative thinking is to get you to think. Perhaps you have never dealt with poverty on a personal level. I know that I haven’t. Ans so it becomes this surreal “world problem” that can be flipped off with the late night shows showing kids from various third-world countries. It’s as easy as that to forget about the 850 million people in the US that go hungry each night. And it shouldn’t be. We should not turn away and forget about it because it doesn’t affect us, or isn’t important.

The topic of this years blog action day as you may have guessed is poverty. And so I was challenged. I was challenged to write my thoughts on poverty for the world to read. This is a daunting task, but I take it with the utmost respect. Because it is those without a voice that deserve to be most heard.

First, let’s get the facts straight. Poverty as defined in the United States is determined by the Department of Health & Human services. The thresholds and guidelines are provided with help from the US census. Basically, for a family of 4 an income less than $21, 200 per year would qualify you as being in the poverty level. For a single person it is about $10,000. The World Bank publishes that 1.4 billion people in the world live in poverty, defined as living on less than $1.25/day.

The United Nations Development Programme attributes poverty to at least 3 sources other than lack of income: “ill-health, illiteracy, [and] lack of access to basic social services.”

I’m not here to convince you that poverty exists, because it does. I am reminding you to reconsider it, because it has gone to the back of some of our brains. Perhaps we have gotten caught up in fighting other first that we just don’t have the energy. And that is a shame. It is a shame that in a world so plentiful people must die from hunger.One person in the Micah Challenge video (see link below) said that the only difference between a kid in an impoverished country and one in a wealthy country is their circumstance. If you were born into an unfortunate situation – wouldn’t you want help?

I’m not going to even try to encompass all that is poverty into this blog post. But doing this research has challenged me, and I hope you, to do something. I think we get so overwhelmed with other problems. And since we can’t possibly tackle everything, we lose energy and decided not to focus on any one particular problem.

So, you can close this window and never think of poverty again. However, hopefully I have at least momentarily convinced you to think of what you would like someone else to do if you were in an impoverished country.

There are a couple of things that individuals can do to help:
1) Find out more information and share with people – you can check out the references, use a search engine, learn more and get the facts
2) Write letters to your political representatives. It takes energy to bring about change and maybe there are some issues that your local area could change that would impact those in other places
3) Consider what you are buying. Where did it come from? Do we have free trade with them? Are we ripping those people off - We all want to save money, but at what expense? I was watching a podcast about Ethiopia’s coffee trade and how little money they were making when the middle men were making so much profit. Maybe we should stop to think about the trickle down effect and buy from people that give a fair share to the farmers.
4) Check out the Micah Challenge: encouraging people to help others and stop turning their heads to this problem which is affection millions.
5) Donate money to causes to help others get the food they need

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope that I can at least make 1 person reconsider the case for poverty.

God Bless!

US Dept of Health & Human Services Poverty Measure:

United Nations Development Programme

Saturday, August 02, 2008


So it has been a while since I last wrote. A lot of things have happened - I went to a wedding in April. I travelled to France and Germany in May. I saw John Legend (above) on the 4th of July. I've been doing some volunteer work, and I am finally able to commit to things seeing as I renewed my lease. I'm here to stay. For now, which is more than I could say a little over a year ago. I've had some jaw dropping moments (the text message, the misguided crush, the 'buddy' album) so it has been an interesting 8 months thus far. So I will be updating soon with more details. Some of this stuff will never make it online though for apparent reasons, but I can always write about the lessons I learn from someone else's situation. So, to all my avid readers out there (I realize there's probably only1 or 2) - more is on the way :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

If the book is anything like the movie then Jane Austen knew her stuff. I watched the 2005 version with Keira Knightly (favorite actress right now), Matthey MacFayden,and others. The screenplay was written by Deborah Moggach and the film was directed by Joe Wright. Ok, so let me give you the 2008 interpretation of this movie - it's great that it even applies. I borrowed it on a whim, thinking I probably wouldn't like it and would find it hard to relate, but it was funny, happy, sad, etc...

Alright, here it is - if you plan on reading the book or seeing the movie, you probably shouldn't read this (it'll spoil it):

So this is a story of the Bennet family - Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters - in order of age - Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. The live in Georgian England. Basically it was the custom of that era to marry your daughters off in order of age. It was also the custom that some guy checks out your daughter and if they want their hand they will ask you for a certain amount of money - if the father and the girl say yes, so be it, they get married, and she leaves her parents' home to start a home of her own.

So you have Jane, the oldest girl, who is a bit shy. Lizzie, as they call her, is the second oldest and does not hesitate to speak her mind. Mary plays the piano all the time, but isn't very good so gets laughed at, and Kitty and Lydia are very giggly girls. I believe Lydia is 16 years old.

So this wealthy guy, Mr. Bingley, comes strolling into town and the Bennet family wants him to meet their daughter, Jane, at the ball. He brings his friend Mr. Darcy along who does not dance. In modern terms, Mr. Darcy is Mr. Bingley's wingman. So Mr. Darcy and Lizzie strike up a conversation while Jane is busy dancing with Mr. Bingley. Or rather she begins talking to him. He's rather short with her and when asks if he dances replies "Not if I can help it." Basically he's pretty rude so Lizzie shrugs him off. Lizzie goes off to dance and talks to one of your friends underneath an alcove. Someone asks Mr. Darcy what he things of her and he basically said "very intolerable." Ouch. Yes, that kinda hurt Lizzie's feelings who was standing about 30 feet away in the shadows. So that pretty much set her dislike for him.

There's more details but you really should see it for yourself . . .

Ok, so here we have Jane happily enjoying the company of Mr. Bingley, which is great because she's the eldest and its about that time. Things are going well and they look like they are on the way to getting married. Jane goes to visit his house and gets very sick. She stays there for a while and boom! next thing you know the guys got cold feet and has to "run." Jane is upset and everyone is confused.

In the meantime when Jane was "spoken for" this guy Mr. Collins came around the house asking about the Bennet girls. He was pretty put off when he found that Lizzie was the next in line but he did what they did back then and started getting to know her. Then he asked her to marry him. She of course said no, which I feel was a very good answer (he was weird), and her mother was very angry with her - who's going to take care of things when her father is gone, blah, blah, blah. Her father gave her permission not to marry this guy, who everyone thinks is a jerk.

So make the plot thicken, everywhere Lizzie goes she keeps running into Mr. Darcy, who she disdains. Soon they get to talking and she learns that he broke up Mr. Bingley and Jane because he didn't want his friend to get hurt. She says that is silly, Jane loved Mr. Bingley. Mr Darcy said well, she didn't show it. Lizzie tells him she does, she is just shy. Yada yada yada fade scene Mr. Darcy tells Lizze he loves her and asks her to marry him - because that made chronological sense. She calls him all sorts of names (for the 18th century, although I think they added some 21st century terms) and pretty much told him to go away. It was one of those moments:

girl: I'm so mad at you i don't want to hear another word
guy: But I've got more to say. It will make you understand
girl: I hate you. I never want to see you again
guy: <stands in rain, getting wetter>
girl: <stomps away, probably crying or something hysterical for theatrical affect>

I think in those key moments we could have learned more, but c'mon that would have made a shorter movie.

That weird guy, Mr. Collins, asks Lizzie's friend to marry him (boy is he on a roll), and at least she says yes. There's a little argument between Lizzie and the girl. She basically says - look, I'm getting older and I want to be married, and he asked me, so don't judge me, just be happy for me. So in being happy for her Lizzie went to go visit with them. While there some big shot, Lady Catherine, asks to see them and they all go over to her castle-like house. Of course, Mr. Darcy is there. People pretty much do what Lady Catherine asks for and she requested Lizzie to play the piano, although she told her she wasn't very good. Well she plays a song and at dinner Lady Catherin starts getting really nosey - do you have any other talents? No. Do your sisters draw? No. Hmmm, basically she was proving that the Bennet's were a lower class. Real polite at dinner. Well Lizzie had her words - it was pretty funny (see I'm not giving it all away).

So back home they learn that Lydia has run away. Shes the youngest and some guy had his eye on her. Eventually they find her and she is married. The mother is happy (does a little dance) and the Bennet's celebrate. It is interesting that her uncle had to only pay 100 units (I don't think it was pounds) for their marriage. Ehh, they shrug it off.

Lizzie receives a letter from Mr. Darcy explaining all the things he couldn't say in the rain when she ran off hysterically. Basically, he apologized for breaking up Jane and Mr. Bingley - he thought that she didn't like him as much as he liked her and he was looking out for his main man. He had helped Lydia get married by paying some of the money. Basically, he was turning to be a prety good guy and she had him all wrong. Pause. Wow. So now she kinda liked this dude whom she had loathed.

Knock, knock, knock, Lady Catherine appears at the Bennet household in the middle of the night requesting to speak with Lizzie. They go in a room and Lady Catherine boldy asks if she is engaged to Mr. Darcy. The conversation goes like this:

LC = Lady Catherine

LC : Little girl, I know you are not engaged to Mr. Darcy, is that correct?
Lizzie: Why are you asking?
LC: Don't play coy with me - you know very well that he is meant to be engaged to my daughter
Lizzie: Well if you knew that whey did you travel all the way here to ask me suck a silly question?
LC: Answer the question. Are you engaged to Mr. Darcy?
Lizzie: I am not
LC: Well promise me you will never be engaged to him
Lizzie: You have some nerve comin' up in my house and insulting me like this. I owe you no promises and I really have to ask you to leave. <opens door> Get the steppin'
LC: <Mumbling> I have never been treated so rudely . . . .

I love that scene haha.

To make a long story short Mr. Bingley comes back and apologizes to Jane - I personally think the scene could have been a bit longer because I would have wanted a better apology for kicking me to the curb, but that's just me. He asks her to marry him, she says yes, they do a little dance, and all is well.

Eventually Jane sees Mr. Darcy again and there is this romantic moment. He says to her "If your feelings have not changed since last April then you tell me and with one word I am out of your life. But if they have changed and you feel the way I do then let me know and we can be together." And as for all the stuff that happened - Bingley coming back and Lydia having enough money to get married - he said "I did it all for you" big awww moment. Happy ending, so you can imagine what happens. She says yes, then they go to her father and ask him. Meanwhile all of her siblings (and her mother) are confused, saying "I thought she didn't like him." The father agrees and gives him their consent.

Fade to a view of the hills . . . .English songs in the background . . .All is well. Funny how are pride can produce so many ill-founded prejudices, ay?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Praise God!

February had been a very trying month, but I have to tell you - today was a testimony in itself of how things eventually get better. Hmm . . .where shall we start?

WARNiNG: the "bad" part may be a bit graphic for some so you can skip to the good part, but it's important to see how I got there - so be brave . . .

Alright, sometime in early February I caught a little cold - this has to be around the 4th. It got worse and I began taking medicine hoping it would get better. The following week - of the 11th - I was feeling better, and it felt like the cold or flu or whatever bug I had was going away. I even played dodgeball that day. I had the day off from dodgeball for President's day on the 18th so I went home and cooked and watched a movie and just relaxed. Sometime between 1 and 2 am something didn't agree with me and food just wouldn't stay down (I am sparing you the visual here). It was horrible. Here it was 3 in the morning and I'm tired and I can't sleep because of this. I didn't know what it was or if I needed to call the hospital. Long story short - I called the doctor and left a message to make an appointment in the morning. I called my boss telling him the situation and how I didn't think I would make it in the next (same really) day. Eventually I got to sleep, but I didn't sleep very well. I was missing a meeting at work but I was in no shape to turn on my laptop and I didn't have their phone numbers, so I was worried about that. And the fact that I didn't know what was wrong with me. And then the little tidbit about being hungry since I lost all of what I had ate the day before. I called the doctor's office to make an appointment - apparently they don't call you back - and it wasn't until 2:45pm. So I asked if I could eat and they told me clear liquids only. By this time my family was worried because I told them what happened and I was worried and hungry. And then I had to drive myself 12 miles to the doctor because no one near my house was accepting new patients when I had my cold. ANYWAY, the doctor told me I had a stomach virus or something and I was restricted to eating Bananas, Rice/Cereal, Applesauce, Toast, and Tea. The ride home was interesting because I had to stop and get my prescription and wait 30 minutes for it, plus go up and down the isles purchasing this stuff that I could eat - all the while I was weak from not eating and looking a hot mess. To conclude this bad part of the story, the virus went away and I was feeling ok 2 days later - at least ok enough to go to work. I was still scared to eat the foods I wanted, which is a horrible feeling. Have you ever been scared to eat? Like an orange? Because you don't know if it will agree with you or not? To have an array of delicious food in front of you that you can not eat. HORRIBLE!! So the virus went away and the cold came back, strong force, I guess because I had stopped taking the medicine. Anyway, I think the cold is finally going away and I can thank God that I can now eat normal foods.

So then, the good part, you inquire. Well they are having this retirement party for a guy at work AND the gospel choir is having it's anniversary concert on the same day. The events start an hour and a half away from eachother, and are probably 60 miles or so apart from eachother. The guy who is having the retirement party is such a nice guy - he's got to be in his early 60s. I had only known him for a couple of months but he would always give me advice and help me out with things at work. Anyone working at a plant - the operators are the key to knowledge! So I had planned to go to this before I knew the date. I had also planned to go to this anniversary concert for the choir because I was in the gospel choir in college and they were inviting the alumni to sing. I was in a great predicament. It got even more complicated because I wasn't sure if I should go to the rehearsals; if I was singing, it made sense, but if I wasn't going to sing then it would have been a waste of time and highly inconvenient. Anyway - I decided to go to the rehearsals that I could make and I talked with the choir director and I can do both!! I can attend a bit of the party and sing in the concert. You probably don't understand how happy that makes me, but it's a big deal.

To top it off I had this really interesting conversation with a new choir member who I hardly know. AND on the way home I decided to swing by the video store to purchase Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? so that we could watch it. I had been waiting a couple of months for this to come out on DVD - great movie. Anyway, the guy at the video store told me they didn't have any for sale but that I could rent it. Saddened, I went to the New Release section and picked up a copy to rent. I went back to the guy to pay and he was talking to his coworker who was in front of me doing something. When he took it out of the secuity case I just happened to glance to my right where there were sitting two copies of the movie for sale that the other coworker must have just put up. Whopee!!

That's all I got for now. But 2008 is sure looking a lot better than it was a couple of weeks ago. :)