Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On God and Playgrounds

Maybe it's the fact that I didn't wake up until 11am this morning. Maybe it has something to do with the continual tossing of thoughts in my mind. Whatever the reason may be, I can't sleep. I have decided to use my alertness productively to write this post about something that I was reminded of recently.

About a week ago, I was babysitting for a little boy who doesn't have much to say. Why? Most likely because he's not even one and half yet. Regardless of his conversational skills, this little boy reminded me of something that I want to write about here. Something that God has reminded me of time and time again in subtle ways, like the actions of a one and half year old.

I decided to take this little boy to the playground. When we got there we did the usual playground circuit: slide - ducky spring - slide - zebra spring - swing - slide. That was until a ball came into the picture. A couple of kids showed up with a basketball and the little boy I was watching seemed adamant about getting his hands on it. I explained that it wasn't his in the way that adults often do to small children who they imagine to be old enough to understand and do things like vote or buy lotto tickets. All that he did was look at me perplexed and continued on his ball quest. Then it dawned on me. His mother had packed a small ball in his stroller that sat right outside the fence of the confines of the playground. This was when things got tricky.

I told the boy that there was a ball in his stroller and that all we had to do was leave the playground for a moment to go get it before returning to play. He didn't understand so I picked him up and started to walk towards the fence gate that would take us out of the playground. He really didn't understand. He started to yell and pull away from me. He thought that I was taking him away from the playground forever! It wasn't until we reached the stroller and I showed him the ball that was in it that he started to relax a little. I handed him the ball and we walked back inside the playground where he happily played until lunch time.

Why do I tell you all this? Partially to make you reminiscent of the joys of the playground (I have been feeling nostalgic lately after all...), but more so to reveal a truth that God has been showing me - that what I may see as best for me may only pale in comparison to what God has in store. '"For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). How often I forget this! I make my plans and do my best to keep my plans. I strategize the best possible way to get what I want, all the while paying little attention to what God wants.

Seeing that little boy react so negatively to being taken away from the playground to get a ball - the thing that he really wanted all along - was eye opening for me. He didn't understand. I tried to explain it to him, but my foresight was just bigger than his. I could imagine him happily playing with the ball the way that he eventually did, even as we walked away from it's gates and he began to yell. I could things that he couldn't. I had a plan that would bring him what he wanted, but he only saw it as me taking everything that was fun away from him. I have to wonder how often this same struggle takes place between God and myself. More often than not, I am certain.

This reminder is especially significant to me at this moment in my life. I am laying in the lap of uncertainty. Uncertainty about work. Uncertainty about relationships. But God has reminded me through this little boy that I can be certain about one thing - really the only thing that matters. I can be certain about God. When everything else is hectic and foggy, God remains clear. His love and willingness to listen and help are endless in capacity. No matter the circumstance, God is ready for action!

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." -Psalm 32:8

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." -Proverbs 16:9

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Thing About Unemployment...

Today marks the beginning of my third official week of unemployment. I say "official" because I am not including the nine-day road trip that the What Now Wanderers went on. At first, unemployment seemed heaven sent. Prior to finishing my internship, sleeping past 8am seemed like a luxury. Now I find myself groggily waking later and later every day and I can't help but wonder if I am wasting my life away.

I have been filling in my free time in a variety of ways that usually require me to fork out money or clap a lot. Allow me to give an example. In the past two weeks I have attended two show tapings: The Rachael Ray Show and The MTVU Woodie Awards. Both tapings were free (sans train ticket) and a lot of fun! I have found that the best way to get a biceps/triceps workout in a short period of time is being a member of a studio audience. Failing to clap could cause for immediate ejection from the set via mechanical launching seat or, more likely, the warm up guy to calling you out for it. I have been going to show tapings for over a year now. I guess that you could call it "my thing" and although it's fun, I don't want it to be "my thing" forever. I would much rather have "my thing" be something noble or selfless than getting free tickets to shows in hopes of getting free stuff and being overcome by a case of star struck-itis.

When I am not sitting in on live television tapings, I can be found glaze-eyed in front of my computer searching for jobs on Craig's List, Indeed.com, and anywhere else that looks promising. I have to say that I really dislike online job searching. I like it even less when I do it every day. In an effort to spend more time online, I have been babysitting whenever I can, visiting with friends, and doing odd jobs. My last odd job was working at the polls. My next? Handing out cupcakes for a new local bakery at a nearby Thanksgiving parade. The odd jobs are fun and interesting, but I am ready for something more concrete that I can plan to do on a regular basis. Here are some of the ideas that keep me up at night:

1.) Service Trip
I have been wanting to go on a service trip for a while now. It seems like the perfect time to go - no work, some money from my internship just sitting in my bank account (I know... I know... I should save it up for something pretty like an apartment or use it to pay my college loans, but I have a serious case of wanderlust!), and nothing really holding me back.

2.) (Another) Road Trip
Maybe to visit my cousin in Texas? Maybe somewhere else?

3.) Seasonal Work
I have applied to a number of seasonal jobs over the past two weeks or so and am waiting to hear back from them. If I don't hear back by the end of the week I am going to apply for a job as a UPS Driver Helper. I would help deliver packages and get a snazzy brown suit to wear...

4.) Volunteer
What better way to use your time than to use it selflessly? I have been looking into volunteering locally and have a volunteer opportunity coming up this weekend that I'm really excited for. It should be a lot of fun!

5.) Retreat Into a State of Despair
This is depressing, but I can feel myself doing this on days when I have nothing else to do. I try to stay positive and usually have a sunshiny disposition, but having friends at work and no job to go to during the day can make me feel sad. I so want to be doing something that I love and something that I feel is meaningful, but not knowing what that something is or how to go about doing it is hard. The RTN road trip really opened my eyes to the fact that it is possible to do what you love for a living and that there are ways to get to the point of doing so, but I don't know what I love to do, so I feel sort of stuck. I have found that my best coping mechanisms are talking to friends about their situation and realizing that I am no alone in how I feel, praying about what it is that I should be doing and trusting that God knows what He's doing, and exploring my options. That's really what my Year of Yes. blog is about. Trying things that interest me in hopes of finding what I am truly passionate about.

*NOTE: If you happen to see that I seem a bit gloomy on any given day, would you mind just reminding me that something much bigger than me is in the works? Thanks.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Can't Just Keep This To Myself!

I have been feeling a bit nostalgic these past days... I guess talking about my favorite childhood movies sparked something in me. Last night I saw a few friends that I went to elementary school with and I (of course) had to bring up memories of childhood, which got us talking about the toys, games, and fads that we children of the 90's embraced and loved so dearly. My friends from elementary school and I got to talking about the games that we would play during our "Media Center" visits. I can remember sitting down as a class to clunky old Mac computers to play education and fun (I remember them being mostly fun...) games like Oregon Trail. I decided to try to find the online versions of a few of my favorite games from Media Center time and I was happily successful! Do you remember Number Munchers? Not everyone does, but those who are familiar with the game will definitely want to spend time playing online here:

Number Munchers

Got a hankering for 7 lbs. of bacon? Miss risking life and limb by crossing a treacherous and partially frozen lake? Wish that you could spend countless virtual months with celebrities like J.T.T. and Devon Sawa only to lose one or both of them to Small Pox? Play Oregon Trail here:

Oregon Trail

Thursday, November 6, 2008

VHS Nostalgia

Last night I spent some time with Lauren and Sarah. We decided that since a whole week had passed since getting home from our trip, it was about time for a What Now Wanderers reunion of sorts. While we were reuniting, Sarah taught Lauren to knit while I browsed Craig's List for jobs (the search is officially on). Lauren took a break from knitting to answer a phone call from her boyfriend Brent. He called to tell her that he saw an opossum (for those who have seen "Teen Girl Squad" on Homestar Runner, this is especially funny). When Lauren got off the phone she told us a great story about how growing up, she always related opossums to bayous and bayous to opossums. The relation is strange enough as is, but what made it even more bizarre was that the opossum Lauren related to bayous was adorned with a straw hat and played the banjo. She could never remember why she had this connection until she met Brent and asked him what he thought of when he pictured bayous (strange I know) so she could explain this odd relationship that she had lived with for so long without explanation. To Lauren and Brent's surprise, Brent said that he also pictured an opossum wearing a straw hat playing a banjo! They are definitely soul mates! It turned out that the opossum with the straw hat and banjo was Banjo the Wood Pile Opossum from Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation! Why am I so excited? Allow me to explain..

Everyone has their favorite childhood movie or movies. Many will reference Mary Poppins or Cinderella, but though these are movies that I cherish and grew up enjoying, they were not the films that I begged my parents to allow me to watch over and over again.

When I came to college, there were so many new people to meet and so many topics of conversation to cover that conversation rarely dwindled. Every new person that I met had so many interesting insights to share and stories to tell that I can't help but laugh when I recall the topic of conversation that always came up - ALWAYS. The topic? Childhood movies and television shows. The topic came up so often that I eventually had the answers to, "What was your favorite Nicktoon?" and, "What Disney villain scared you the most growing up?" ready to deliver in a heartbeat.

Maybe it was the return to napping or the cookie breaks in college that made the topic of childhood entertainment so intriguing. Maybe it was the realization that college marked the entry into adulthood and, consequently, the final days of childhood that made revisiting the past so common. Whatever the reason, conversations revolving around things that were popular in childhood were inevitable. Even more so, they were a common ground for any group of people to discuss and the foundation for (I have to admit) a handful of the friendships I made during my time at college.

So, what are the movies that landmark my childhood? The movies that I could watch over and over again and never tire of? The films that I own on VHS and still occasionally pop into the VCR to watch when I am feeling nostalgic or too grown up for my own good? Here's the list with clips from my favorite part of each film. I'm only going to give the animated ones for now because the list would be much too long for one blog post if I included live-action too!

1.) Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

2.) The Chipmunk Adventure

3.) A Goofy Movie

4.) Tiny Toons: Music Television

because I couldn't pick just one favorite music video...

5.) Anastasia

6.) Aladdin

7.) The Little Mermaid

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Everyone's Doing It... Even Mary Tyler Moore

Today I fulfilled my civic duty of voting. Since I have been letting unemployment get the best of me (I have been unemployed for going on three weeks now and have watched more television in that time than I think I ever did over the course of my college education), I decided to pick myself up by the bootstraps and get as many "one shot" jobs as possible. So far I have been a pumpkin carver, a babysit and, after today, an election poll worker.

With my dad's encouragement, I signed up to work as an aisle attendant at my high school alma mater. I worked alongside my father and my friend Hayley. Hayley and I got to show off the latest election fashion - bright green vests that designated us as aisle attendants from all of the poll workers. I must admit, that vest made me feel powerful.

It was exciting to see masses of local citizens come out to give their say on who they think should be running this country. Hayley and I ran into a few former teachers of ours and made a slew of new friends (most of them cute elderly ladies) who were also working at the polls. Though everyone I got to meet was interesting, there was one person who came to vote that stood out from the rest - none other than Ms. Mary Tyler Moore. When I first saw her walk in I thought that I recognized her, but brushed it off as a resemblance. Then she turned and I got a good look at her face. It WAS her! Thought after thought raced through my mind as I watched her tell one of the workers her address. Things like, "I grew up watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show!", "Is this really happening?!", "I just saw her on Oprah!", and "Who can turn the world on with her smile...?" I had no idea that she lived in my town and there she was, someone I had only seen through the glowing picture of my T.V. there breathing the same air as me!

I feel like my last paragraph deserves a disclaimer or note or something of the like. I definitely believe that people are just people, but I will admit that I have a somewhat serious issue with getting starstruck. Today was no exception. I looked at her. Looked away. Looked at her again. Stared at her. Looked away. Stared again. Looked at Hayley who was looking at something other than Mary. Looked at Mary again. Looked at Hayley who was now looking at me looking at Mary. Mouthed "IT'S MARY TYLER MOOOOOORE" in a very exaggerated way. Did my best to play it cool as Hayley asked me what it was that I had just mouthed in a very exaggerated way. Mouthed "IT'S MAAAARRRRRYY TTTYYYLLLLEERRR MOOORREE" again in an even more very exaggerated way while pointing in Mary's direction behind a folder. Got frustrated that Hayley could no understand my over exaggerated mouthing skills (probably because it looked more like a lion roaring than what I was trying to say). Finally gave up on mouthing what I wanted to say and shuffled over to Hayley to whisper it only to have her say, "I don't know what she looks like".

All in all, it was a very memorable and historic day for obvious political reasons as well as personal Mary Tyler Moore reasons. I am so happy that I got to play a part in the history of today by working through my unemployment as an aisle assistant.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Home Again, Home Again... Jiggity Jig...

I know, it's been a while. I do have a good excuse though. I just got back from a half cross-country road trip to the mid-west and back. I traveled on a grant from PBS' Roadtrip Nation with two of my good friends, Lauren and Sarah. Along the way we interviewed people who are passionate about what they do and who have fulfilled the Roadtrip Nation slogan by "defining their own road in life". The entire experience was incredible. The place we got to see, the people we got to meet, and the discussions we had on the road are priceless. Having done the gross part of my road tripping experience in the past four years, I can say assuredly that the road has a unique way of opening my mind and spirit to new possibilities.

Along the way, Sarah, Lauren and I met so many interesting people. It amazes me how willing people can be to give their advice. I would have never thought a few months ago that I would be able to say that I stepped foot in to the office of the Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic or that I got spend time in Hallmark Card's humor department. I loved being in the places that I have dreamt about and meeting the people who have made similar dreams their reality.

When I returned home the night before last I was still in the road trip mentality. I was happy to be home where I could relax and process my trip away from highways and pit stops. I was also sad that all of the work put into planning and executing the trip had come to an end. I absolutely loved everything about the road trip. Every aspect of it thrilled me and brought me to that level of consciousness that comes with new and exciting experiences. Today is my second day home after the trip. Yesterday I was adjusting to not waking up in a hotel room and enjoying being able to bask in the thrill of my recent venture. I still feel that way today, but to a lesser degree. I can already feel myself slipping back to my habitual lifestyle. Today it has finally hit me that the road trip had served as a book mark of sorts. I imagined my return marking the beginning of a new chapter. I hadn't really considered the difficulty of a job search before and during the trip, but now I am faced again with the crushing weight of college loans and bills.

I started a new blog called "Year of Yes" on which I am documenting my journey (almost) day-by-day towards discovering my life's passion. I know that I have it in me. I know that God has put it there. There is something that we can all do in a way that no one else can. This trip has served as a reminder that we are not only denying ourselves, but the world as well, when we deny what we are passionate about. I have been trying new things and challenging myself to step out in different situations that may scare me. I'm hoping that doing so will help to melt away all the "junk" (the lies, the criticism, the shut downs) that I have listened to and believed for far too long and leave me as a refined piece of passionate gold.

I can't deny how passionate I felt about this trip. Like I said earlier, every aspect of it thrilled me in a way that I want to feel again. I have to, no..., I need to feel that way again. I want to learn and see and feel. I want to explore and teach and express. I want to have passion and be passionate. I hope to get there soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Music To My Ears...

Sarah was kind enough to give me a CD of a new artist named JJ Heller this past weekend. I have been listening to her music non-stop since getting the CD... in the car, at work, in my head... She's got a great style and wonderful lyrics. Check out her website where you can download her free CD until November 1st!

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Blog!

I'm embarking on a new adventure and may not be writing on Pass the Mustard Seed as often as I normally would (normally being with Lauren's encouragement...otherwise I tend to blog quite infrequently). It's called Year of Yes and I will be saying "yes" for a year to all of the things that I have been wanting to do, but have put off up until now.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gmail Makes Me Feel Powerful

I recently got a Gmail in anticipation of my college e-mail account retiring into oblivion.  I must say, I am more than satisfied with my new e-mail account.  Not only can I easily send and receive mail, but I can also talk on Gchat from the confines of my e-mail account.  I also really appreciate the recipe card-like storing of e-mails between two people.  All of these things are wonderful and make my experience in the e-mail realm all the more enjoyable, but the one less obvious thing that I adore about Gmail is the way that it sort of makes me feel like a super hero.  Laugh if you must, but check out these features that Gmail has.  I believe that they can bring out the super hero in anyone who chooses to use them.

I have invisibility powers on Gmail.  Amazing!

Where else, other than Gmail, would I be able to delete something forever?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This video is simply wonderful.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Twentysomething Angst

Free Association:

I have been having feelings that lately that I can best be described as "angst". This "agnst" I feel is different than the kind that heavy metal-listening, "hate the world" teenagers have... I'm done with that stage (actually, I'm not sure that I even had it... maybe that's why I'm experiencing angst as a twentysomething). This "angst" is a deep, unsettling feeling. It's a hovering presence that keeps reminding me that time is precious and not to be wasted. For whatever reason I didn't feel like I do now while I was in college, though I did have my fair share of feelings during that time of my life (I threatened to transfer colleges about once every other week during the first three years of school). I think it has to do with feeling purposeful. While I was in school I knew that I had to go to class and do my homework in order to get a grade at the end of the semester. That grade compiled with other grades to make up my GPA (I definitely almost wrote GPS) and my GPA for the sememester combined with my other semesters' GPAs to determine if I could graduate.

Once college was over, the sense of purpose that I had had for four years, and even prior as I worked my way towards the goal of college, was complete. At first I felt relieved to be done with school and homework and lugging boxes upon boxes back and forth from college to home, but I soon started to feel nostalgic for my college days of yore. I got especially saddened when I saw everyone else going back to school for another year of purposeful school work. Now I again feel relieved that homework is no longer a part of my day-to-day activities, but I have found that I still do miss that feeling of purpose that I had during college and throughout my entire academic career. I feel as if I'm in some sort of limbo, waiting for the next cycle to begin because, quite frankly, that's all I have really known for twenty-two years. School has been my main existence and now that I am done with it, I feel a little disenchanted. What were all those years for really? To prepare me for my life now, as a graduate?! I don't exactly feel prepared. This great shift in purpose (though I still have my higher purpose in life) has been difficult to deal with.

College graduates generally have so much ambition and gusto, but lack the means to make dreams a reality. This is especially true as we are bogged down with college loans that need repaying only months after getting our feet wet in "the real world". If this is the real world, what world was I living in for all the years leading up to this? I still have the passion that I did when graduation was fresher in my mind (it was only four months ago), but I am already feeling expectations bogging down on me. I have to have a job because I have to pay back loans. I know that, but I just think that it's sad that so many people in my situation are working simply for the sake of working. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the place that I am working very much. The people are wonderful and the work is usually fun, but I can't help but feel trapped by these things that I "have" to do.

Who ever said that the way that our society lives is the way that we all have to live? I think that many of the things that are expected of us in this society have been passed by and, often times, unexamined. I just want to grab America by the shoulders, shake it, look it in the eyes and say, "Wake up! There is more to life!" I hate that so much of what I am currently doing is motivated by money and the "need" for it. Yes, I need to pay off loans and meet my basic needs (though my parents are kind enough to still be feeding me... delicious food, might I add... and giving me shelter), but other than that, what is it that I need money for? Why not pay off my loans, move to a farm, and live out my life there inviting people over who need a place to stay for the night?

I watched Before Sunrise tonight. The movie is the story of two twentysomethings who meet on a train in Europe and end up staying up all night enjoying one another's company and talking about things that really matter. The movie reminded me of Iron and Wine's song "Such Great Heights" (I like the cover by the Postal Service). The chorus goes as follows:

They will see us waving from such great heights
"Come down now", they'll say.
But everything looks perfect from far away
"Come down now", but we'll stay.

I often find that a good conversation can give me a natural high. I was fortunate enough to have a number of really great conversations during my life and they always leave me feeling this way. Why not stay on this level always? Weren't we created to communicate? To love and be loved? To learn? Anyway, I'm ranting on and on in free association-style. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope that you can relate to some or all of what I'm saying.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cookie Starts With C!

"C" is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
"C" is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
"C" is for cookie, that's good enough for me!
Oh! Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "C"!

The other night Sarah, Lou, and Hayley came over to make cookies. I found an awesome recipe a few months ago through the blog kill.the.gluten, but never wrote it down. There were many times that I dreamed of the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that I had made from the recipe and dreamed of making them, but my google searches always left me dissatisfied. Fortunately, I was able to come across the recipe again tonight. I was so excited! Chocolate chips were no where to be found, so we made plain peanut butter cookies instead. They turned out to be delectable. I will definitely be making another batch soon!

Visiting My College As a Visitor.

This past weekend I headed back to my alma mater. I got to visit with some of my friends who are still there and met up with my other friend, Jocelyn, who graduated with me. The experience overall was a lot of fun, but being back on campus when I didn't have to be there was somewhat bizarre. It's funny how ingrained certain reactions can become. I felt like one of Pavlov's dogs when I found myself feeling anxious and distressed when I entered the school's library to check my e-mail. I seriously stayed in the library for three minutes before running back to the sanctuary of my car. I think that I'm just getting used to the fact that I am no longer "trapped" within the confines of my undergraduate career and that going back to campus only weeks after I school has started up for everyone else made me subconsciously feel like I was going back. I'm sure that in time going back to campus will be a more enjoyable experience. Here are some pictures from the day:

View from the top of Sleeping Giant.

Christa (second from the left) had the great idea to take a falling picture on top of the mountain. I think that the result is quite dangerous looking.

A chariot painted on the back of someone's truck outside of the ice cream store we went to after the hike. I didn't realize until after I had taken the shot that the "someone" was sitting in his car while I took it.

Yale has 'Yale' bricks in it's walls. Who'd've thunk it?!

Jocelyn looking seriously trendy.

Photo shoot in Christine's chic studio apartment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sometimes It's Hard To Be a Woman... Sometimes It's Not.

Tammy Wynette does make a valid point, sometimes it is hard to be a woman, but I have recently noticed that it sometimes can also be very easy... even often times enjoyable.  I work in a lovely office building filled with powerful and influential business men and women.  It is in this very office building that I have seen more gentlemanly behavior than ever before.  I have been called 'gentlemanly' on a number of occasions by those close to me, which could be insulting seeing as I am a woman, but I prefer to take it as a compliment because I know that I appreciate when gentlemanly behavior is displayed on my behalf.  Here at work I have noticed an incredible number of door holders, "Ladies first"ers, and "Pardon me"ers.  I grew up with a gentleman of a father, so I tend to notice when someone goes out of his or her way in the manners department.  Now, I can't tell you when door holding or "Ladies first"ing began, but  I can tell you that I appreciate it.  I know some women hate the whole chivalry act that is believed to coincide with acting in a gentlemanly manner, but I think that if it's taken at face value and not read into, that these expressions can be received as common courtesies and even acts of kindness.  

So, yes... it's not always easy to coif one's hair or shave one's legs, but it is easy to say thank you and to pass on the courtesy that is expressed through gentlemanly behavior.  The whole point of this entry isn't to put down people who refuse to open the door for others or to say, "Change your ways!", to those people who hate "acts of chivalry", but rather to say thank you.  Although it may sometimes be easy to be a woman, I never want to take it for granted.  So, thank you door holders!  Thank you "Ladies First"ers!  Thank you "Pardon me"ers!  Your manners (may you be a gentleman or a gentlewoman) are appreciated on my part!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

22 Scadoo!

I always seem to take mental notes on things that I want to remember, but then seem to forget that my memory is not always the most reliable place to store things. In hopes of placing my observations in a more reliable (? Is the internet really that reliable? Where exactly is all the information that's on it and what if it fails us one day or worse yet, uses all of our personal information to blackmail us...) place, I am putting them here on Pass the Mustard Seed.

The observations that are freshest in my mind are, of course, those that have most currently happened to me or have had the largest impact. I really would like to remember things that I have observed and experienced in my 22nd year, and in hopes of doing so, will be memorializing them here in this September 9th post.

Here goes nothing...

Driving with little or no gas for as long as I possibly can:

As far back as I can remember, I have always procrastinated the getting of gas. I have gotten especially bad at thsi since graduating from college. Maybe it's laziness. Maybe it's a reluctance to spend what the recent graduate considers a great deal of money. Whatever the case, I have been doing this a lot lately and I'm hoping that I won't forever, so why not memorialize this habit here?

Going to concerts:

Why did it take me 22 years to do this? I really don't know, but for whatever reason there was an influx in my concert attendance in the past year. I was fortunately enough to see some artist that I really enjoy, including Matisyahu (featured in the photo), Ingrid Michaelson, and They Might Be Giants (a free concert...I left feeling musically and financially satisfied).

New Cell Phone:

I had the cell phone in this picture for a long time. I didn't mind it really...it worked well enough and it always got comments (mostly exclamations like, "The screen doesn't even have color?!"). Eventually it did stop working and it was necessary for me to upgrade. My old phone (I called her 'The Bullet' because of her bullet-like shape when closed) will remain a fond part of my technological history and I will never forget her!

You Learn Something Every Day:

I learned on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that a pair of sneakers hanging from telephone wires signifies that drugs are sold in the area. I took this picture on the street that I lived on during my senior year. Little did I know when this photo was taken that these shoes weren't just hanging out there for looks.

Chasing After Truth:

I have been seeking after God for going on five years. He was always right there, but I never really took the time to consider him on a deeper, more relational level. I saw the graffiti in this photo on the side of the Salvation Army earlier this year. My faith is now the foundation of my life, so it's always a big part of each year that I live. I always find that God is teaching me something. This past winter I went to a Christian conference in Boston and was there on my birthday. I learned a lot during the conference, but the point that hit home the most with me was that God is good and that He can be trusted. It sounds simple enough, but I think that I really started to believe this fact in the past year. It was one of those things that you hear about and agree with, but have to make personal before you'd go out and advocate for it.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28

I Am, Therefore I Blog:

I started a doodling blog called DoOdLe-A-dAy on which I challenge myself to draw and post, well, a doodle a day. I have to admit that I haven't been doodling and posting every day, but I have been adding to it regularly. I find it helpful to challenge myself to do things that interest me and that I may have an inkling that I can't do. I have been trying to do this a lot lately. I have always been a bit of a procrastinator and tend to start things but not finish them, so this blog is a sort of therapy for me. A procrastinator's rehabilitation, if you will.

Life List:

There is a site out there that I quit enjoy called 43 Things. The site allows you to make a list of 43 things that you'd like to do. I created my list on the site and I recommend everyone who reads this to do the same! One of my goals was to learn to play guitar. I'm not proficient yet, but I can play a pretty mean rendition of "Smelly Cat" and I had the chance to perform it during my 22nd year at an elderly home. What are some of your goals?

The TwentySomething's Conundrum

I recently started wearing high heels. I have worn heels on a few occasions in the past (a strappy heeled sandal to prom or a brown pump to my high school internship at the YMCA), but I find myself wearing this species of shoe more and more since my time as a college graduate increases. During the course of the work day, I sometimes find myself taking in my heeled feet and mulling over things that I feel are important enough to write about here. I wonder when it was that I could wear high heels and get away with it without looking like a kid trying on her mother's shoes. When did I suddenly become an adult? Was it when I turned twenty-one? When I learned to take care of myself? When I graduated from college? In the past I could say defiantly that I was still a kid. I can remember being around fifteen or sixteen years old and going out to dinner alone with a group of my friends. Dinner alone! No parents, no one guiding my dining decision, no one there to pay the bill for me and figure out the tip. Even though my friends and I were doing something that seemed very adult by going out to dinner, I still felt like I was a kid playing grown up. I think I may have even said something along the lines of, "Guys, I feel so grown up!" to my friends - a clearly childlike thing to say.

It's funny, I can say with quite a bit of confidence that I still feel a lot like I did back at fifteen or sixteen today. As I get up to go to work each day it all seems temporary, like a game I am playing with my friends that will end as soon as dinner is ready. I see people around me graduating, getting jobs and some of them even getting married and I sometimes have to remind myself that this is not a game. I am an adult. What frightens me the most is that as a twentysomething, I have a "je ne sais quoi" that people value tremendously. It's youth. It's full of potential and discovery and flexibility (mentally, emotionally, AND physically). Ponce de León searched for it, women try to find it in little tubs of white cream, and I have no freaking idea what I am supposed to do with it. This is the twentysomething's conundrum, is it not? Twentysomethings have this dwindling resource in their hands and yet so many of us ask, "What should I be doing?!" Then, before we know it, youth begins to disappear in life's review mirror.

In an effort to discover just that - what it is that I should be doing as a twentysomething - I am going to be embarking on a road trip in a few weeks with my friends Lauren and Sarah. We'll be interviewing people along the way; people that we admire, people that have a story to tell, and people who have been where we are and lived to talk about it. We want to know what advice these more experienced individuals have. What can we do to tap into the power of youth? And we are powerful beyond measure. I always feel empowered when I read this quote by Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is no that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, no our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"I Miss School..."

My goodness, am I really feeling the way that I am?! Flash back to a year ago at the this time and my mind was wrapping around the glorious notion of being just months away from being done with college. Now that I'm on the other side of things as a college graduate, I am missing school more than I could have ever imagined. I enjoyed the classes and being away from home, but I think what I miss the most is the companionship that college provided. I definitely have some great friends back at home, but living at home with my parents and only seeing my friends a few times a week is taking a toll on me. I love my parents so much and we have a lot of fun together, but living with them is DEFINITELY different than living with people my age. I think that the fact that college is truly over is just sinking in now that the new school year is up and running. The transition into the "real world" was initially frightening. I kept my mind busy with my summer internship and seeing friends that I hadn't seen in a while, but now that the summer is winding down it feels almost wrong to not being going back to the world of academia. I'm not sure how so many recent grads before me managed this transition. I guess the important thing is that they did. I just get so scared sometimes that I will never have as much fun again in my life as I did in the past four years. Then I reason with myself that of course this isn't true and then find myself rebutting to my former argument, and this vicious cycle takes place within my mind. I just want to be goofy again and stay up until 3am making forts or videos or going on random adventures just for the sake of going on random adventures. I think that I'm simply not ready to make the commitment to "adulthood" in the way that I perceive it. Maybe I can be like Peter Pan or Robin Williams: both stars in Hook and both children at heart...minus the starring in Hook part (though it would have been awesome to play Tinker Bell).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"My Muffin Tastes Like Bacon" & Other Random Observations From The Week

This week was a good week! This week was grand!
This week I searched for adventure across this great big land.

It's only Friday and I am already having a difficult time remembering what I did... I went to work (I know that because I filled in hours for the day on my time sheet) but what followed work is a blur to me. Ah! I watched Definitely, Maybe with my mom and ate a delicious chicken wrap.

Observation(s) from the day: I am in the (looooong) process of painting my room and I still can't decide on the final color scheme. I have noticed that I no longer just watch movies for their plot. I now watch movies in hopes to getting inspired by the wall colors in each scene. Definitely, Maybe had a few walls that greatly appealed to me. I am definitely going to be painting my walls yellow...maybe (homage to the movie title. I hope someone got that.)

Tuesday was a lot of fun! I went to work again (as I did every day this week) and got to "do lunch" with the wonderful people in my department. I also got offered a job after my internship ends! (I'm interning for the summer in the creative department of a company and I get to use a Mac all day which could be dangerous because there are so many fun things to do on it...) After work went to a FREE comedy show in a park. I was accompanied by some great friends and some really outstanding food made by them. Here's an example of one of the very distracting and amusing tools that the Mac offers:

Observation(s) from the day: I like Australian accents. One of the comedians had one and hearing him speak was a great pleasure to my ears.

In keeping with the hopes of saving money by attending free events in the area, I spent Wednesday evening taking in the sounds of the local pops concert. I saw someone dressed liked Princess Leia at the beginning of the show and spent the rest of the show trying to understand why she was there. I also uploaded pictures at work today for an Olympics event that we had. I found one picture particularly humorous and I actually laughed out loud when I saw it. It's of my team playing Nintendo Wii. Everyone is smiling and watching the game in a normal manner and then there is me...I have my head tilted back and look like someone has just told me the most hilarious story that I have ever heard. It was bizarre to me. I wish that I could go back to that moment and understand what I was doing. See if you can pick me out:

Observation(s) from the day: It's wonderful to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. I went to the concert with a girl named Lily whom I went to high school with. We were never very close during high school, but hanging out with her now was so much fun. I have noticed that it is so much easier to talk to people from high school now than it was when we were actually still in high school. Maybe the lines between clicks have blurred or don't exist at all anymore. Whatever it is, I like it.

Free event! Free event! I got to see Eve6 (Ah!) in concert for free on Thursday night! Such a great time! I also ran into a few people from high school, which is always equal parts exciting and awkward. Afterwards, my friend Hayley and I headed over to this awesome restaurant/jazz lounge in town and listened to some more FREE music. We also saw a free example of Brazilian dance-fighting called Capoeira. There is just nothing like free stuff.

Observation(s) from the day: I love free events! I also noticed that the city that these free events were in is beginning to flourish culturally and artistically. I am extremely excited by this because it makes being home from college (where there were free events pretty much all of the time) that much easier on my wallet. The dance-fighting that we saw was also pretty hardcore/amazing.

Well, today is Friday and the evening's events are yet to be written. I accepted the job offer :-)

Observation(s) from the day (thus far): Everyone at work is really great!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Radio In My Head...

A few songs that have caught my ear in the past few weeks:

"The Underdog" by
by Five Iron Frenzy

...okay, those are all of the single word song titles or band names that can be translated into picture that I can think of at the moment...

"New Soul" by Yael Naim

"Rock Upon a Porch With You" by The Boy Least Likely To

"July, July!" by The Decemberists

"Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Roots

"All I Want Is You" by Barry Louis Polisar

"Hotel Song" by Regina Spektor (please note...the kid in this video is NOT Regina Spektor...as much as he might want us to call him that-check out 2:20)

"Birdhouse In Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants

"See You Again" by Miley Cyrus (...a guilty pleasure...)

"She Moves In Her Own Way" by The Kooks

I'm aware that not all of these songs can be considered "new", but on the radio in my head, they are always funky fresh. That's all for now, but rest assured that there are many more....playlists full of music that I am currently enjoying. If you have time, check out these songs!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Interpretive Dance-A New Life Goal

Yesterday I listened to a sermon on life goals and it got me thinking about what goals I have for my own life.  I have a list on 43 Things, a place where you can create a list of 43 goals and talk to other people with similar goals and  get encouragement and advice from people who have completed their goals.  I am always looking for things to add to my list of life goals and today I found something:  I would like to perform the interpretive dance performed in the music video for Fatboy Slim's song "Praise You".  Check it out...

If you'd like to be a part of making this goal a reality please let me know.  I'm waiting.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Unspoken Rules of the Women's Bathroom

I know it seems strange, but I have compiled a list of unspoken rules that exist within the walls of womens' bathrooms. This list is based on my own personal experience as a user and visitor of womens' bathrooms as well as a general consensus I have come to on the matter through various conversations with other women like myself. For all the women who may read this list, please feel free to comment with additional rules you may think should be on the list or let me know if you think one or all of the rules are total bologna. For those men who may be reading this, I hope that you find this list somewhat informative and interesting. Here's how the whole idea for the list came to be...

The other day while minding my own business in the women's bathroom a women...we'll call her Betsy...loudly entered the bathroom on her cell phone. She proceeded to enter a stall while STILL ON THE PHONE and take a seat. While washing my hands I overheard her say something along the lines of, "I was holding that forever". I had to quickly leave the bathroom for fear of breaking the otherwise silent bathroom's serenity with my laughter.

After leaving I was fortunate enough to have plans to play ping pong with my good friend Carl. I say "fortunate" because Carl is usually one of the people that I am the most excited to tell a story like this to so the fact that I would get to tell him it while it was still very, very, very fresh in my mind was exciting. Anyway, my telling him lead to an entire conversation on the unspoken rules of the women's bathroom. I was sad and a bit relieved to hear that the rules for the men's bathroom were much shorter than the rules for the women's bathroom seeing as none really even existed according to Carl. So, without further ado, here is the list of women's bathroom rules that I complied...Enjoy!


1.) If a bathroom is empty you may enter any stall at your own discretion.

2.) If you enter a bathroom and one stall is full do not, if bathroom size and stall count allows, enter the stall directly next to the stall in use on either side.

3.) If you enter a bathroom and two stalls are occupied you may choose to enter a stall next to either occupied stall, but if bathroom size and stall count allows it is still best to pick a stall that is not directly next to either stall in use.

4.) It is okay to remain completely silent while washing your hands and/or standing in line for the bathroom, but small talk is also acceptable in both situations.

5.) If you enter a stall around the same time as another person and you are the only two women in the bathroom it is acceptable to cough lightly or make some sound with the toilet paper roll holder. I do not recommend humming...I know this from personal experience.

6.) If there are no paper towels or hand dryers available for drying your hands it is acceptable to shake your hands over the trash or sink or general floor area and let out a small sigh.

7.) If the only means of drying your hands is a hand dryer it is best to limit your hand drying time to under thirty seconds if someone else is waiting to use the hand dryer. If no one else is waiting this is probably as long as you will want to wait too since those things never really seem to work. Pants are usually your best means of drying in this circumstance.
NOTE: By all means DO NOT use toilet paper. The results are less than enjoyable.

8.) If you in a busy bathroom and need to use the mirror for personal grooming it is best to stand between two sinks. This will help prevent glares from other women in your direction which you will most likely catch in the mirror and the occasional mumbled expletive.

9.) If you have traveled to the women's bathroom with a group of friends (a frequent occurrence) you should wait for all of your friends before heading back to whichever location you may have come from. It is acceptable to either wait in the bathroom for all of your friends or outside the bathroom.

10.) Finally, do not make small talk with people in the stalls next to or close to you unless they are someone you know who is comfortable with doing so or your small talk is in regards to toilet paper.

A final thing to remember: If you are at a sink washing your hands and have recently left a stall in the women's bathroom open and ready to be used and there is a line of women waiting for the bathroom, do not be offended if the next women in line goes to another stall than the one you have recently left open. This woman may just be following rules 2 or 3 of the list.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that it has been informative and amusing...and hopefully truthful. Let me know what you think. I love comments eventhough I don't usually get them. Want to change that? Leave me one!!