Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ode to My iPod

Oh, my lovely shiny pink box of music and wonderment.
It is a joy to carry you in my pocket
or to wear you around my neck
while my favorite songs resonate from small buds in my ears.

You are small, yet contain the world.
You store all that is sacred and beautiful to me...
music, music, music.

There is never enough time in the day to
download CD's and clips from the Net
or to listen to every song
I have hence downloaded onto your minute hard drive.

You are compact
you are a tiny musical
that fits into my pocket.

I cherish you...
my iPod.

Friday, December 24, 2004

The True Spirit of the Season

I am lucky enough to work at a local nonprofit. I work someplace where all of my colleagues feel like family and I feel good about the hard work I put the end it helps someone in need.

Today, I had the honor of experiencing the true spirit of the season. We had a donor give us 300 Christmas trees. This morning we distributed these trees to the people we serve. There were families with huge smiles on their faces, thanking the volunteers profusely. There were individuals explaining what this tree meant after a year of cancer or a lost job. There were tears of unexplained happiness and surprise. And, for a small moment, I was part of their life. I had helped make it happen.

I truly feel blessed in my life for all that I do. And, I feel like these people, every single day, have given me a gift. This gift reminds me to be humble, compassionate, helpful and...all in be a good neighbor. In the state of Arizona, there are 686,000 people who aren't sure whether they will eat today. This blows me away. It inspires me to do all I can to help those who find themselves in need. I never know whether I will find myself in a situation when I will need help, but it may be these individuals that will provide me it.

There is so much emotion running through me right now and so many thoughts. Contemplating all that has occurred today, reminds me that this is not unusual for millions of Americans. This is what they know every day--whether they are giving or receiving. After today, I have a hard time believing that people are intrinsically bad...there is too much good in the world.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

No More Paper

I love Christmas, but if I see anymore wrapping paper or tape, I think I will go insane. All I have done the last few days is wrap gifts. I guess this is a good indication that I have gone a little overboard. So, what can I do to meet a compromise? I enjoy buying gifts for those I love, but I get tired of wrapping them. Maybe I should begin to invest in having the department store wrap my gifts. This may be incentive in not going too crazy with the purchases.

The other paper that has driven me crazy is the paper that makes up my Christmas cards. I full-heartedly believe in old-fashioned mail. I e-mail all the time, but there is nothing like receiving a true letter in the mail. It is the joy that I have in writing and the recipient has in receiving it. However, at Christmas...sending out 50 or so Christmas cards is a little cumbersome. I think if I had more time, I would probably hand make each one and include a note, but this year, my spirit and heart just wasn't there. I wanted to simply just get the cards in the mail. Does this mean I am beginning to lack in those values I am endeared to? I hope not. Perhaps my only solution is to stop making friends. Just kidding. I think my solution is to remember that sending out these cards will bring a smile to someone's face and let them know they are special to me.

I think that is truly what the holidays are about...not paper, cards, wrapping, gifts, shopping...the season is about friends and family. Letting them know how much I care for them and love them. Letting them know that they are the ones who have helped me become the person I am. Friends and family are the personification of my heart and soul. They understand my imperfections, passions and strengths. Christmas is about sharing all of this...and then remembering it throughout the year.

Christmas is about the birth of the Messiah, but also about what He stood for. Love, compassion, understanding, promise and hope.

"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'" Luke 2:9-11

Saturday, December 18, 2004

New Boots

Today couldn't be better...I got new boots! These are not just any ol' boots, but Western boots--Ropers, to be exact. I have wanted a pair for a while now and it was my lucky day because one of the local mainstay western wear places in town is going out of business. I not only got a screaming deal on a pair of boots, but they are beautiful! I have never seen a pair like them. I fell in love with them as soon as I put them and never took them off until I finally got home.

These lovely ladies are black leather with a tooled swirl across the toe. The upper part of the boot is a beige color with a black leather applique of a cowboy on a bronco. The very top of the boot is edged in black. They are sassy, sexy and adorable all at the same time.

So, now, I have an insane itch to go out dancing. I want to swagger, kick, churn and spin around a wooden floor. I can already hear the fiddle beckoning to my hips, begging them to sway. And, the steel guitar is telling my thumbs to take their rightful place through the two front belt loops on my jeans.

Ah. Two-stepping around the floor to one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, Neon Moon, listening to the, click, scuff, scuff, click, click, scuff, scuff, of my ebony wooden heels against the floor. The lights are dimmed and the din around me drowns in the music. The melody swims through my head and I go into a soothing, warming trance. My partner is smiling, but I only notice his hand upon the small of my back and the faint scent of a masculine cologne that promises to bring the essence of the woods. Every other sense is taken up by the music.

This is what it is all about...good music, blue jeans and new boots.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Spiritual Being

"We are not human beings trying to be spiritual. We are spiritual beings trying to be human." - Jacquelyn Small

I read this quote today and it spoke to me. It is a wonderful way to look at life. As human creatures, we are unlike anything else alive on the planet because we have this ability to get in touch with the spiritual. Perhaps some people would say that animals have spirits and I don't doubt that. However, we, as humans, have an awareness of spirituality. We have this innate ability to have faith. Infalliable, amazing faith.

This quote explains to me the grappling that occurs between my soul and my brain. It is the soul that houses the spiritual me...the me that sees beauty in a sunset, art and people. My brain contains the part of me that embraces reality, truth and science. For me, both sides are close to my heart because both let me know that I exist and feel.

My spiritual self allows me to appreciate a piece of art that speaks to me. It allows me to have the power to cry and have an emotional reaction to shapes and colors on a canvas and make sense of it.

My human self allows me to appreciate the physics and order of my world, the stars and numbers. I like the concrete. I like the exercise I am able to give my grey matter.

In the end, I think the core of this quote is that our spiritual self knows we exist. The human side, needing evidence, is not so certain. I think I will try to refer more often to my spiritual has a better connection to my needs and passions.

I'm not so sure I want to strive to be human anymore. I think I would rather work on being a better spiritual being--the place where I started life.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Someday is Today

Move over Scarlet O'Hara...there is no more "fiddle-dee-dee. there's always tomorrow." I learned today that there is a lot to carpe diem. Why wait until someday to do those things that you really yearn for? Do those things for which you have passion and those things that drive

The person who told me this was inspiring. She had a whimsy and spirit that made me look at myself and decide I need more happiness. I need more positive. I am always busy; always on-the-go. Slow down. Think. Imbibe the world around me.

The negative should be thrown to the wind and turned into a positive outlet to get those things done that need to be done and then make time for those things that I want to do.

Active. Changing. Metamorphosis. When will I turn into a butterfly that can fly away whenever I feel like it?

I suspect it is when I allow myself to.

I know that won't happen tomorrow...I need to take small steps and let myself learn what it means to live and act on my whims; truly enjoy life without stress and strain.

Already, I put my plan into place. I turned some of my reactions that may have normally been negative into something positive. I moved on. It has been a "floating" experience for me. Why floating? Because I feel as if I am floating above my problems and viewing them from an outside perspective. It is more constructive.

One last tip. An important part of my new plan...sing as loud and as long as you want while driving in your car. Belt it out! Ignore the drivers next to you. They are missing out on something that makes you feel alive! I may have had a hoarse voice after singing to an entire CD, but I was smiling inside.

Monday, December 13, 2004


Brown thick hair that begs for my fingers
to rake each shining strand
Lips that call to mine, making me ache
for a taste
Eyes that look straight through to my soul,
and my heart
A mouth that speaks truth and love, telling
me that you believe in me
Arms that wrap themselves around,
keeping me safe from harm and hurt

The other part of me
My shared soul
My lifetime love
One and only

Kodachrome of light shining through a window
Rain drenching a parched desert
Music composed in perfect tune and time




Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride--what a wonderfully fun movie. I never tire of watching this film. It brings back some great memories from high school. In drama class, each of us knew the words of the entire movie. We would re-enact the entire thing, with the accents and lisps of every character. It is a story that is ridiculous, funny and romantic all at the same time.

Sometimes I find myself thinking about the simpler time of high school. It makes me laugh that I think of high school as simple...when I was a teenager, my life seemed anything but simple. I was trying to find who I was, I was also trying to appease all those around me. They had put so much hope into me. They believed in me. It isn't easy when you are the smart one in the family, the first one to go to university and the one expected to make something excellent of your life. There was no time for fun or acting on hormones. My life consisted of studying, sports and other extracurricular activities that would make me look like a "well-rounded" student on paper.

After the hard work, I still never got to attend the university of my choice. And, I missed out on so much. I didn't get to experience true life until college and, even then, school always came first. I never really experienced the wonder of being on my own and what the world had to offer me until I traveled abroad alone.

So, now, I am once again the princess, but also soon-to-be a bride. Everyone is focussing their attention on me because I will be graduating with my master's degree. And, in a little more than a year from now, I will be gettign married. The attention and hope on me has brought back some very familiar feelings and memories. As I was after college, I am fearing the unknown. I am afraid that I will lose a bit of my identity and who I have grown to be. I also am afraid of the future family my fiance and I would like to have. Will I be a good enough mother? Will I be a good wife? I am sure these are fears that everyone has, but for me...this is a foreshadowing of failure. I need to have faith. I need the knowledge to make this successful. But, how do you study to be a good wife? A wonderful mother?

These are dilemmas for the princess bride. She will have to look deep inside herself and find the answers. Will she succeed?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Something So Sad

It is the first Saturday after the end of the Semester--my first weekend during my winter break--and what am I doing? I am sitting at my desk at work. Already I have been here an hour and a half. I am thinking this is pathetic. No one should be at work on Saturday, but on the first free Saturday a person homework or papers.

However, there is something so nice about working on a Saturday. It is quiet. No phone calls; the only sound is the music coming from the CD player. Music I can play as loud as I want without disturbing anyone. There is something peaceful about the office on a Saturday. I actually enjoy my work much more. Yes, this is something even sadder.

After working, I have shopping to look forward to--Christmas Shopping. Or, is that holiday shopping? Which one is more politically correct? Or, does it matter since this is my own personal blog? Should I worry about offending any of my readers?

Yesterday, a friend and I were discussing political correctness. Is it going too far when people expect you to change who you are and where you come from in order to appease them? Whatever happened to Tolerance? What happened to people tolerating the views and differences of others? Why are we forcing everyone to be the same?

The reason I love living in the States is because we are all so different. We all have different backgrounds, skin colors, religions, beliefs and beautiful wonderful lore. We are a diverse culture.If people can't understand that, then I think I am sad for our country. I am sad for those who don't understand that all of these differences are what make us an amazing citizenry. Before political correctness...we need understanding, appreciation and, again, tolerance. If we can't grasp that then I am sad for all of us.

My suggestion for the day: Learn from those around you. Learn from their differences. Not only do you have a better appreciation for them, but you will also have a better understanding of who you are.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My Lesson Today

I learned something very important today. Save your blog as a draft when unsure of the Blogger system. I had written a lovely piece yesterday and now it is lost and gone forever; never to return to this place.

It's no wonder so many technies are paranoid individuals as well. Everything they create can possibly be lost in cyberspace. The Control + S control is one that many of us know well. To not know it can mean losing a thesis, a list of procedures for work or, worse yet, your grocery list! GASP!

How have we become slaves? How have we become "souls sacrificed on the altar of technology" as Steven Shaviro states? We are dependent on the technology around us and we will never be able to turn back. We are lost without ATM cards, we now journal online (my blog--point and case), we communicate with one another via e-mail. Our connections have become webbed and multi-faceted and they are all through technology.

The lesson...take one day to get away from the technology in your life and appreciate nature. Then, the next day, return to a calendar on your PDA, your cell phone, your e-mail, your laptop, your ATM/Debit card and everything else that defines us an advanced technological culture. And, save your writing!

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Did you ever notice that there is something so compelling about Abba's music? The strange high pitch voices that barely mouth the English words. The funky rythmn that makes your body want to dance. The lyrics that inspire a hairbrush under your chin, posing as a microphone.

What is the power that Abba holds over us? For me, it is memories of my childhood. Riding in our brown metallic van with an Abba 8-track in the radio, singing to Super Trooper or Fernando. It is a band that has defined two generations...our parents and us (their children). When I think about it there are so many bands like that...bands whose music plays in the back of my mind when memories unfold and web. Queen. Chicago. Alabama. Blondie. Rolling Stones.

Queen's music cuts through to my heart and to me, there has never been a better band in existence...well, except The Beatles. But, Abba. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe I should watch Muriel's Wedding again and try to synthesize my attraction to the Swedish band?
In the end, perhaps, it is just because I am a Dancing Queen at heart.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Things Unnoticed: Los Angeles

Below is a short piece I wrote about one of my favorite places for a writing class...I like it so I figure why not share it. Especially, since tonight I have had the realization that this "diary" of sorts is on the World Wide Web and people actually may read this.

Los Angeles is a city of things unnoticed. It is a city where on the East side a fuschia truck drives slowly up and down winding roads, selling fruits and vegetables. Locals step out of their brightly colored homes and flag down the driver. They do their shopping for the week, as well as purchase a few indulgences—dried sweetened papaya. Mango-flavored ice cream. Neighbors speak to one another from their front porches and swap stories of relatives still across the border.

Los Angeles is filled with places of quiet contemplation. A fountain garden nestled between two mirrored, glazed buildings in the heart of the financial district. The rushing water drowns out the hectic world bellowing below its third-story perch. An adobe Spanish mission sits at an intersection of busy streets and train tracks. Inside the scent of incense and wax permeates the air. One speaks in a hush when the large gold altar comes into view. The Griffith Observatory commands the valley below. A crux at the front of the building provides a pocket where one can sit and watch the sunset’s orange glow bounce off moving cars, glassy towers and the curling surface of the ocean. There is only the wind. City lights blink back.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Inner City Toilet Stall

Have you ever noticed things so strange that you have to write about it....but you're not sure why it compells you? The other night, I was in class and needed to take a break. I head to the ladies' restroom. I go into one of the stalls and have to laugh out loud. I am certain the person next to me was wondering what psychopath was occupying the adjoining toilet. Why was it funny? The stall had two locks!
This was what I would call an inner city toilet stall. You are so paranoid of the baddies outside that you want to be sure no one can get in. It was so ironic to what most of us may encounter in a public bathroom. Usually, I'm lucky if the bloody door closes, let alone locks.
Let's move on to a more appropriate subject...the end of the semester. There is never more joy than the moment after leaving your last class before break. It is a freeing feeling. You want to dance and jump. It is like the Toyota commercial, outside of Building 2. "Oh, What a Feeling!" I will be encountering this euphoria Tuesday night! Then, it is back to reality and the work and grind must begin on my thesis.
No one said nirvana lasts forever!