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 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).