Saturday, December 01, 2007
The circumstances were these:
1. I was at work.
2. I was at the customer service desk
3. My immediate manager and some guests were around
4. I was laughing
5. Then I wasn't
Thanks to my manager being at the service desk with me, I lived through today. He had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on me to dislodge a rather large peppermint. You know the feeling when something gets stuck in your throat, but you can get it out? Well, that's what I thought had happened until I stopped breathing. All I was able to do was wave my arms to get him to help me out. Because we normally joke around he didn't think I was serious at first. He just kind of patted my back until he realized I really needed his help. Apparently, my face started turning blue. I kept thinking, as he was giving me the Heimlich, "I hope that he knows how to do this. What if he doesn't? He'll have to call someone else over and I can't scream for help! I might die!"
When the mint finally popped out I just buried my face in my hands and started crying. I left the floor and made my way back to my office where my friend and coworker was. She was a little stunned until I explained what happened. Not that she wasn't open arms when she saw that I was crying.
You know that part in the movie Ground Hog Day where Billy Murray gives the mayor the Heimlich maneuver? You know how the food just pops out of his mouth onto the table? Well, that's exactly what the mint did. I mean, that thought kind of popped into my head right after I saw the mint land on the floor. I was kind of weird, but it was a relief. So, if you are ever in doubt of what happens, it just kind of shoots out of your mouth if the person has done it correctly. I also forgot to take advantage of the 3-second-rule. Yeah, can you believe that?
What I've learned from this is that I will never take mints from someone I don't like in the first place. I will not laugh while sucking on some kind of hard candy or eating any kind of food ever again. Drinking water does not help my throat. I get a bit hysterical when looking death in the face. I lived and I'm grateful to be here.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thanks to ABC's full prime time episodes, I am able to watch shows that I never thought I'd like. I am a die hard fan of Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, and now, Pushing Daisies. Among those shows are some good reality shows that I just can't help watching. I have a guilty pleasure, here: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I cannot stop watching that show and every single episode I have watched has made me cry.
I do not cry while watching movies or television. However, in the past year or two I seem to become weepy while watching the tube and I can't help myself. This show touches peoples' lives in a way that others cannot. It gives hope and a sense of security and comfort to people in unfortunate situations. These people have gone through turmoil, pain, and suffering, but still find a way to give back to others who are even less fortunate than they are. This last episode was heart wrenching and if you are in a fragile state, I do not recommend watching it.
My point is that seeing people with this kind of strength is an inspiration in my life. While I would never wish for a tragedy to set my life on course, it helps to draw from people who understand how to overcome the strife. I'm just saying that life isn't so bad when you see what other people have to go through. It makes me grateful for what I have and what I go through each day. This holiday season is a time when people should be celebrating and thanking and being kind, so let's draw that out of each other. Thanks for your time. :)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am stubborn. Maybe it's a form of determination (at least, I like to think it is) that keeps me going on a daily basis. Though I can get discouraged easily, when I have time to reflect and relax, I bounce back rather easily.
I've also determined that I am a sensitive and emotional person. Why have I never realized that? WHY? I know why. It's because if you tell me I'm sensitive then I start to become sensitive and defensive about me not being either one of those things. Uh...I guess I can take that as a confirmation of truth. Some of you out there are thinking "What a ding dong! I knew that about you Beth!"
Maybe these are some of my character flaws, but with these flaws come strength. Recently (within the last two months), I started working for a new company. I've had to deal with people and situations that I haven't had to deal with before. My boss has been extremely encouraging and pushy in trying to get me to break out of my shell and realize my potential. You guys know that I'm not entirely shy, but standing up to people hasn't always been easy for me. Generally, when faced with a bully I let myself be pushed around. In my current work situation that isn't an option and I've been forced to push back. As some of my fellow workers have pointed out to me before, I look rather young and so that tends to work against me in my management position. I have to overcome two obstacles: the bully and my age. Believe me it's been a challenge, and I still have a ways to go, but I'm making headway. I hate that confronting people makes my heart race and my voice quaver a bit. Maybe you guys have experienced the same thing, but it always takes me a minute to bounce back.
I love making people laugh. Seriously, that is one of my greatest pleasures. I make faces, do silly dances, make jokes, sing normal sentences to make life a musical, and laugh whenever possible. I am an entertainer once you get to know me or maybe even before. Here's a little band story for you. No, it doesn't start with "this one time at band camp". My senior year in high school I had the pleasure of being a drum major. I absolutely loved standing on the podium with 160 band members on the front yard line looking up at me feeling the pressure of competition on their shoulders. Once they started to move into their first set I would make faces at them. I could see some smiles while they began to play and relax a bit. I know it's a silly story, but it was always kind of a rush.
I am so glad to be sharing this with all of you. I know I've been M.I.A recently and but I'm anxious to get back here. Most of what this blog has been for me is a way to release and vent about things. It's been about sharing and discovering and I'm happy to be a part of this world, no matter how infrequent I may join it.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I can't believe I've been MIA for almost two months. I have neglected everyone and I am trying to make this my outlet when I need a destresser. I have completed my third week at my new job and my boss wasn't lying when he told me we would "hit the ground running." Seriously, he hasn't stopped saying that. That and the fact that he's going to buy me a Barbie Power Wheels to get me to work. >:(
I'm going to make this a short post, but I'll post some fun stuff to keep you interested. I'm completely addicted to Pushing Daisies! It reminds me of the kinds of movies I used to watch as a kid and I love that everything is so bright and the plot is kind of twisted. Plus, I am so captivated by the silly love triangle between Chuck, Ned, and Olive. Not that it's really a triangle as Chuck and Ned have mutual feelings for one another.
I started reading The Golden Compass and I've been meanin to read that since July. Thanks to Kristine and Kirstin both telling me that it was way more amazing than Harry Potter, I'm very excited to get further than chapter 3. I already find it more intelligently written and detailed. It's not that I'm bashing Harry Potter because all of you know I'm H.P. crazy!!! Hopefully, the movie will live up to my expectations. I just don't think all books have translated well on screen and some times, it's best to leave them alone. On the other hand, if I think of the book and the movie as two separate entities, then I have absolutely no problems watching visualized version.
I have no good pictures to post, but maybe I'll take a few minutes for myself and get to it. Otherwise, come on down to my place of work (well, if you live in the area that is) and play with some toys with me (not the Aqua Dots!)
Hang in with me peeps!!!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I have decided not to pursue a career with Whole Foods. While their company is always in the Forbes 100 top companies list, this particular stores' dealings with my co-workers and I does not impress me. I am embarrassed for Whole Foods for treating some of my co-workers in the manner that they have and not too surprised. All the people who have stayed at Wild Oats stayed because they did not see themselves working for Whole Foods. People did not see a future there or want to work in a store as large as the one down the street. For many of the reasons customers claim they do not enjoy shopping there, many of the employees have had the same concerns. Of course, their feelings extend a little further than, "Are you going to carry Wild Oats peanut butter over there?"
After most of the job offers have been handed out and seeing how displeased many people are it did not leave me enthused to go over there. I know I was in a bit of turmoil for a minute, but it lasted briefly and I have not changed my mind since. My fear with that company is that there would be no room for me to go anywhere without me leaving the state and I find that frustrating and irritating. I chose to move to Maine so I have no plans for leaving it at all. Plus, I have no car to leave it with.
Anyway, my decision is set in stone and I am happy with my choice. I will be working for my old boss at a store which I will not name. I will only tell you that a giraffe some times resides in the logo.
In other news, I'm a crafting QUEEN! I promise I will post pictures very soon. I'll tell you Saturday that way I will set myself a deadline. I've been using up yarn and refashioning some clothes. Woohoo! I might even post a video blog for you guys!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Recently, I have been in the throws of life. For the past seven months of my life, I have been worrying and thinking about whether or not I would have a job. Granted, I've been working in retail so it shouldn't bother me that much, but I have enjoyed the opportunities I've had while working at my current job. Whole Foods and Wild Oats have officially merged. My store is officially closing. There is no closing date as of yet, but it frustrates me to no end to think about it.
Each day since the news broke, I've dreaded going to work to answer customer questions and respond to stupid comments. "I'm so sad to hear you're closing. When do the sales start?", "So is it official?", "I don't like it over there [at Whole Foods]. It's too big." I just don't care to talk about it alllllllllllllllllll the time. How do you even respond to some of these comments? I'm quite sick of it and I wish people would just shut up.
Thankfully, Whole Foods is absorbing all of our staff members if they want to work there. I have a meeting/interview with them tomorrow to discuss where I would like to work over there. I'm just not sure I want to work there. I can't help but think about it all the time either. I don't like being consumed with thoughts of, "What next? Will I like it? Is it worth it? Is it time for a change? Will I like the people?". I know that if I go there I will succeed. I try really hard at what I do now, but I don't know if I'll like the environment. I know most of it is my perception of things and my attitude towards them. I am trying to think positively, but I'm also trying to be honest with myself. That's so hard to do.
The past four mornings I have even been dreaming about it. I can't help but think that something bad will happen. My biggest fear is that I want to be counted. How silly is that thought? I want to be noticed. I mean, could I be sillier than that? I just want to make sure that all the work I've put into Wild Oats for the past year will be noticed and understood if I go to Whole Foods. I have a college degree and I'm a energy-driven individual. Please, allow me the chance to do what it is you want me to do with the attention to detail that I give things and you will not be let down.
I'm nervous about talking to someone from over there as I tend to get a bit tongue tied when I want to express myself verbally. Also, I only have a half an hour and what if I don't mention the important stuff? How do you explain to someone who you are? You just can't explain that.
I am clearly stressed about all this and I'm not the only one. I hate feeling selfish over this when I haven't worked for the company as long as some people. I feel so conflicted as I think that I should be selfish since it affects my life and where I might be in the future. I expected to stay at Wild Oats and move up, but without there being any other locations nearby there wasn't a lot of opportunity to go anywhere. There might be more of a future for me to be promoted with Whole Foods.
As a side note, these thoughts go through my head about a thousand times a day. They never stop. They never slow down. I think this way on a consistent basis and it can get rather tiring. Even when I'm not stressed, excitement takes over and I can't stop. Ah, well. That is me, or rather, a part of me. Maybe you guys can make sense of my thoughts for me. If you can, please just write a one paged typed essay or a nice paragrpah, double spaced, Comic Sans font, size 14. I like the words big for better reading enjoyment.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
About a year and a half ago I became very intrigued by "being green." I had never heard the phrase and I knew little about being environmentally friendly. With the help of It's Easy Being Green I became instantly obsessed with absorbing as much information as I could. I feel that I have grown so much since I started learning more about the environment, and living in Portland has only helped me out.
There are a few things that I do regularly now and so much more that I plan on doing that I get giddy thinking about it. Maybe you'll catch my enthusiasm and try some of the things I've tried and still practice.
1. I donated my car to Volunteers of America. We became a one car family.
2. My husband and I both recycle. We've become really good at recycling almost everything. Glass jars, plastic bottles, milk jugs, junk mail, and randomn plastic. We're pretty lazy about taking it to recycling, but because there are bottle redemption centers all over, it's fun to let the redeemable ones pile up and then get your money back for it.
3. We unplug every appliance that we can. The only things that are left plugged in are the refrigerator, washer, dryer, and maybe one lamp. Everything else gets unplugged so as not to waste energy. Surpringly, our electricity bill is significantly less thanks to doing that.
4. We bring our own grocery bags to the store.
We've (as in me) have begun to bring them to non-grocery stores. It's interesting to see people's reactions to reusable bags when the store is all about the paper or plastic. Try it, it's fun!
5. I bike or walk to work when I can. I walked to work pretty much all winter in below freezing temperatures and have recently purchased a bike. Maybe now I won't freeze my butt off for so long!
6. I started working for a company that boasted ideals like mine. Sadly, that company no longer exists as of today, but it was an honor to work for them. It makes me want to search for more companies like that, or strive to help other businesses become environmentally friendly. I've been making changes at my current job, but there is so much to be done.
7. My husband and I have changed the kind of food we buy. I pushed him into some of it and we still do buy some conventional items. On the whole, we buy natural or organic when we can. While buying local is still difficult, we try to do that as well. I can't even begin to name all the cool local products around here, but there are tons!
8. We no longer use any paper towels. We stopped usining them after a month or so of moving here. We fell into that one as we didn't want to buy another roll of paper towels. Thankfully, we have tons of dishrags and cloth towels to more than make up for it. It's much nicer to pop the dirty towels in the washing machine anyway.
9. We switched to natural laundry detergent and I would never let us go back to anything else. While there are probably even greener alternatives, this happens to suit us just fine.
10. Switching over to natural cleaning products has proved a bit more difficult than I would have thought. I do realize now that I did not properly dispose of our convention cleaning products when we switched over. However, we enjoy our lavender countertop spray. I'm not the only one to use it either. :)
*I must interject at this point. Most of these decisions were decisions instigated by me. I got resistance when getting rid of my car, explaining about environmental issues, unplugging everything (until he saw the difference from our first electricity bill to our second), and buying natural food alternatives. Thankfully, he has a willing mind and heart and he did not put up too much resistance once we gained momentum.
11. I have made a decision to not buy any new clothes. I can only buy used, alter, or refashion the clothes I currently own. It's not too difficult for me as I have always had an aversion to shopping (too many people), but there are times when I have an itching to try something new on. If that's the case then I'm trying to buy sustainable cool products.
12. We both donate tons of stuff to local charities. Granted, most of it is mine to give away, it still makes me feel good when we do it. I'm still trying to cut down my crafting collection so it won't be such a huge deal when we move again. I also find people I know to see if they're interested in some of the things I have. I've become a part of Portland Freecycle to unload some of my stuff. It's a lot of fun to browse and see what other people are offering, too.
13. We even converted our dogs to some degree. When they do get baths we use Shea Pet shampoo and conditioner. It's really concentrated, so we use next to none of it when they get all squeaky clean and it smells GREAT! We tried changing their food to a more natural alternative , but it didnt' agree with their systems and so they're still eating Iams.
I'm so proud of the changes we've made so far. I have many more ideas for the future, but I won't post them so you can anticipate what's to come. Most of the ideas I have are related to remodeling a home in some form or fashion. Of course, we won't have a house of our own until next year.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Jenny and one of our other roommates, Angie, made this fabulous sign for my birhtday. It cracked me up because I know it probably took about twenty minutes of thought and it gives me a lifetime of laughs. Tee hee!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I took this photo when I was in high school. I will not tell you where it was taken or what it means, but you decide. I love it because it speaks to me. I will not tell you how it speaks to me, but it does. What do you think of "Silent Thunder"?
Friday, August 03, 2007
Alright, we're in 7th grade here. It's one of the school dances where it was always cool to get group photos taken with your friends. I can't remember pretty much anybody's name in that picture, but Tristan is the guy in the middle. :)
Embarrassing picture #1: My best friend and I were at my house and decided to tease our hair and do wonderful things with our make up. I love it!
Here is Hannah looking pretty scary, too. Seriously, scary.
Embarassing picture #2: This was one of those spirit week days. I was a freshman in high school and it was "Wacky Wednesday".
I do feel that I have posted enough of the embarrassing pictures...for the day. So, for those of you who know me, you'll know that these pictures are nothing unusual. Enjoy your Friday.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
In lieu of my scanner I have become a little nostalgic and, only slightly, sad and worrisome. Okay, maybe more than slightly. I love to see pictures of my family and especially my brother. For some reason he and I have this weird brotherly/sisterly bond and we actually like each other. I know, it's not so weird to like your siblings when you get older, but I swear he liked me from birth. Actually, it was really because he thought Mom was having puppies and not another baby. Anyway. I've been thinking about him being in the Army and how he will be going to Iraq. Albeit, it's not until Februrary, but that's 6 months away and that seems really close to me. While he is ready to go and defend the country, he's my brother and I would prefer him to be in the United States doing paperwork. Honestly, it's kind of hard for me to type this right now because my chest is tightening up a bit, but I will surge foward. Besides, if I don't continue, then you can't see how much fun my brother is. I came across some pictures of the two of us from not so long ago.
I am trained in all forms of martial arts (not really) and he knows kickboxing, tae kwon do, karate, and tai chi (actually, none of that's true).
What is true is that that fight really took place. I actually beat him and lived to tell about it. Yes, it's true.
Friday, July 27, 2007
If you're lurking out there in blog land and you happen to be reading this now, please make yourself known. I like writing for myself, but writing for myself and knowing that other people are reading it is pretty satisfying. Regardless, I'm proud of my journey thus far and I will surge onward by continuing to build a strong base audience (you guys know who you are).
So, thanks for reading and I'll leave you with a little bit of nostalgia...at least for me. Guess who it is!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I want Harry to live. I want Lord Voldemort to die. I want Severus Snape to have been acting under Dumbledore's orders. I want Draco Malfoy to dissassociate with the Dark Arts. I want Harry to have the chance to really pursue Ginny Weasley and for Ron to pursue Hermione. I want to see them all learn more about magic than they ever thought they would and use it wisely. I want them to find the remaining horcruxes and destroy them. I want them to gain the help of whoever R.A.B. is.
Doesn't it feel horrible when you come to the end of something so good? You want to know that what makes you feel so comfortable and safe is always going to be there. You want to know that things will always continue in that same manner without diviation. Dumbledore was warm, smart, powerful, and respected by most people. While many disagreed with him and his views he was wise, probably more than even he realized. Why should Harry have to suffer the loss of every single person that cares about him? Why can't he actually be "The Boy That Lived"? Will he fight Voldemort and live? I know they will come face to face, but who is going to help him this time? The last time he met up with Voldemort, Dumbledore saved him from death. Everything Harry has done to survive has been out of sheer luck or from heavily leaning on another, smarter wizard or witch. Will Harry's love save him?
One of the weirdest things about reading book 6 is that there are some
This is the end or the beginning for Harry Potter. I don't know which and I will surely be devastated either way. Neither direction is the direction I want for Harry, Ron, Hermion, and even Ginny. I have become attached to them and their ways and woes. Until next time, it is only 8 more days of anticipation until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is in my hands.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The following is something that he completely made up for me and three of my friends. The last time I went to the beach with some high school friends and our moms, my dad came too. He felt the need to give us some guidelines on how to spend that vacation. Read the following carefully. It may crop up in your memory at random times and bring upon uncontrollable laughter.
Post In Prominent Place
1. There shall be no smoking in Bed!
2. Curfew is 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. That means back to condo LIGHTS OUT and ASLEEP by 10:30 p.m.
3. Use of Bathroom in morning is in alphabetical order – Alice, Meghan, Andrea, and Beth – (for those of you who are mathematically challenged.)
4. Wake up is at 6:30 a.m. for the morning run with the parents. This is entirely voluntary and optional. If you don’t want to go on the run that’s okay. (The automatic 220-Volt electrical shocks to the bedsprings won’t occur until 6:35 a.m. in any event.)
5. No snoring.
6. No making remarks or ogling the male lifeguards.
7. No drinking of more than three alcoholic beverages before noon. (one beverage counts for EACH of the following – 48 ounce pitcher of beer, a box of wine, a fifth of Wild Turkey)
8. Only one-piece bathing suits permitted on the beach. One piece is defined as totally opaque, heavy wool material that totally covers body from ankles to top of head. (For picture – look in June 1999 issue of National Geographic, page 149.) Gloves optional.
9. Sun Tan Rules – Must use SPF of 250 or higher and not be exposed to sun more than 20 minutes total in any one day.
10. Toothbrushes shall NOT be shared.
11. Evening bathroom privileges are height order – tallest to shortest – Meghan, Alice, Beth, Andrea.
*Side note: Andrea is 5' 7" and the rest of us are around 5' 2".
12. If you behave properly – scoring system secret and totally subject to the discretion of judges – you MAY be permitted to wax Bob’s car. But only if each of you are really, really good.
13. No eating in bed. – Exceptions – Garlic Flake Potato Chips, Toasted Marshmallows and S’mores, Peanut Butter and Sardine sandwiches.
14. No yelling out car windows or over balcony such things as, “Woo, woo,” “Hey, look at these,” or “I’ll show you these for those Mardi Gras beads.”
15. No visits to tattoo parlors (unless they also sell stained glass.)
16. No new body piercings – you each have more than enuff holes.
17. Driving privileges – ONLY ADULTS will be allowed to operate vehicles. Adult is defined as follows:
a. Has had no alcohol in the last 371 hours
b. Is over the age of 21
c. Has at least three forms of picture id
d. Passes the daily written exam on driving safety
18. Swimming safety rules.
a. No entering the water (including showers and bathtubs) if food (including brushing teeth) has occurred within the last hour.
b. Coast Guard approved safety devices must be worn at all times when within 30 feet of water (yes, this includes the shower) These must be able to support at least two people each of which weigh more than 212 pounds AND be International Fluorescent Orange (not UT Orange) in color.
19. It is understood that each of you are individuals and that at times you individually want to do something by yourself, but due to the fact that the US has raised the Alert Level to Greenish Blue please adhere to the following rules:
a. Individuals are defined as a group of four or more. Groups LESS than four is NOT permitted outside of the sight of one or more approved parents.
b. Contact information
i. Each of you shall carry and have in the “on” position at least two cell phones
ii. Each of you shall carry and have in the “on” position at least one pager.
iii. Global Positioning Devices shall be worn at all times (written exceptions are permitted but must be signed by at least two parents.) These shall be registered with the US Office of Global Devices and Stuff.
iv. If you do not answer cell phone by second ring, pager within 14 seconds of message being sent, or if GPS device is out of service for more than 1.2 milliseconds you should expect a parent calling 911 and don’t be surprised if a SWAT team surrounds you. (Just be sure to drop all weapons.)
20 No unauthorized visitors to your rooms.
A. Unauthorized means ANYONE
B. See “A” above.
21 Each of you should memorize these rules. It may be easier to study as a group. Written exam will be given in morning.
a. Sample questions:
i. How many of the Rules start with a Vowel versus a Consonant?
ii. Is it more important to turn on your pager or to have world peace (essay question – answers must be hand written and no longer than 2,000 words and no less than 1,200 words.)
iii. If you see one of the others in our group breaking a rule which is the best answer?
A. Yell their name out loud and scream, “Fatty, fatty, two by four.”
B. Take a picture with camera to prove they were breaking a rule.
C. All of the above
D. Tell Parent immediately
E. All of the above NOW
F. Throw some cold water on them
G. Throw some cold water on yourself
H. NOW all of the above
I. Pretend you didn’t see them breaking the rule and use it as blackmail in case you ever break a rule.
I couldn't stop laughing after I found this yesterday. If you feel the need to share, go right ahead.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Please watch this video before you finish reading the rest of this particular post. I am actually pleading with you to open your mind and enjoy his performance.
That puts a huge smile on my face. A HUGE SMILE! I cannot imagine how Bobby McFerrin discovered he was a musical genius, but I'm glad he did. I grew up listening to "Don't Worry Be Happy" on a cassette tape from the movie soundtrack Cocktail. I played that song over and over on My First Sony Cassette Player when we traveled. I think my brother got annoyed with me for singing out loud. Listening to Bobby always makes me think of my childhood and I love that he gives me that sense of nostalgia and security.
Now, he gives me a sense of openness. I love that he commands an audiences' attention and is completely confident in what he does. It makes me feel as if I can do anything. Maybe that's going a bit too far for some people, but don't you ever feel that way about music? Aren't there songs that you can just feel inside your mind that makes you want to express yourself? Isn't there ever a time when the music iss so compelling that you want to burst with zeal? I mean, why wouldn't you want to do that normally? It's so difficult to capture that kind of existence in yourself, but music can help you in that endeavor. Don't you think? There are so many chances to be happy in life and Bobby tells it like it is. He says, "Don't worry, be happy." Hakuna matata. Forget about it. There are so many ways to say what can be conveyed in one song.
I'm on my soap box right now and I'm staying here...until you join me. I want you to be right here with me sharing my joy. We can't all be happy one hundred percent of the time, but we can help each other to try to be happy most of the time. We are our own joys and sorrows in life. Share, my friends. Share.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I'm reminded that I thought of something that Jake and I can concentrate on every week. Once a week we pick from a deck called 52 Ways to Simplify Your Life. We have been taking turns choosing a card and we both seem to enjoy it. Week one's card was "Make Something". We chose to make a loaf of bread. It was kind of fun to actually get back in the kitchen and do that. We've been making changes in our lives to have a better quality of life and I truly feel this is a "simple" way to achieve it. Try it out some time and you might be surprised with the results.
What is the better choice? Who can truly answer this?
By pushing our careers aside and choosing a life of domesticity, are we compromising our rights as women? I personally, don’t feel that we are compromising our “place” so to speak, in this world. Women have fought for their rights and their opinions and I don’t think it’s taking a step back by wanting to put us back in the kitchen. I have many friends with masters degrees whose ultimate goals are to become mothers and housewives. That is their choice. Does choosing a life over a career mean we can’t ever go back to having a career? I don’t feel that if you choose to be a housewife or a stay-at-home mom that you can’t return to a career life. Many women now days do both. Women are working out of their homes and becoming involved in business while still being able to maintain a happy home life. Women have built businesses from the ground up while taking care of child. Should we resent women who choose not to work? NO! Resentment only encourages weakness. Personally, by resenting another woman’s choice, you’re dooming all women to fail. It sounds cliché to say this, but banding together and making sure that women are supported NO MATTER their choices is the only way to ensure that we can keep our freedom. Women are corporate lawyers, shareholders, stockbrokers, waitresses, business owners, doctors, computer geniuses, professors, mechanics, and every other imaginable job you can imagine. To think that, at one time, only men did these professions, you have to give credit where credit is due. Women are able to make the choice to move in and out of the kitchen at will. If I want to be a housewife then I hope I won’t be hated or resented for my choice. In my opinion, who wouldn’t love to be able to do that? Why wouldn’t you want to be able to spend your days maintaining a wonderful home and not having to work a “real” job? The thought that I could stay home and bake and clean and do sewing would be awesome. Is it a natural right as a woman, in this age, to be able to have a choice between domesticity and the working world? I think it is our natural right. I don’t think anyone can tell us we can’t. Even if you’re a die-hard feminist, I don’t think you can say no to that. I don’t think being feminist means you have to hate or begrudge others for their choices. I feel that a woman has a choice to do what makes her happy. I want to be happy and I want that same happiness for everyone.
So, maybe I had more to say on this book, than I actually thought. I guess most of the feelings I have about this book is wonderment and jealousy. I mean, a life where you can decide what you want to do and live how you want to live, sounds great. No corporate person telling you what to do. No reason to make people happy because they feel they’re entitled. No need to be so concerned with money that you couldn’t enjoy life. It’s all good. It is all good.
(As a side note: I have many posts that are saved, so I will post them one day at a time. Hopefully, you'll find them enjoyable, even without the pictures. I've just been really into writing recently and I'm ready to share that with you)
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I, Beth, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed, Beth.
Here's my first post if you're interested. Every now and again I'll post a little link to that blog so you can see what my current projects are. I probably wont' blog about it on here so I can draw your attention away from here to another fabulous site. I'll be adding a button in my side bar on this blog, too.
I must also say that I have about four posts in my head today. For some reason my brain is working well. I attribute it to the fact that I have internet access 24/7 now. Yeah, I'm addicted again. I think I'm going to have to save some of these posts for others day. Don't you worry though, they'll be fun.
Jake and I rearranged our living rooms or rather large living room a few weekends ago. It was a lot of fun doing it and it really made us feel like we accomplished something. I just wanted to share a few pictures of it to see what you think.
This was where our tv was. The reason the pictures are so sporadic is because those nails were left by our landlord and we never took them down. I plan on hanging more of my dad's framed crosstitch works up, so this won't be the last of this wall you'll see.
We moved my knitting cabinet to this little alcove here. I finally found a home for a special sign that someone made me. :)
This is our cozy tv corner now. Abby has no objection to the location of the sofa. I like where this is all placed because it just tucks it all away.
This is the entire gigantic room all together. BIG! I have no idea what to put on the bookshelf side. If there is something specific you'd like to see that I didn't post, just let me know. I'll post some extra stuff later if you need it. For now, I must be off to work and I must stop blogging. It's just so addicting today.
Lt. Jay and myself. We're related.
The interaction that families have with one another is a huge interest of mine. It falls under that people watching category. Generally, how people interact is just intriguing, but seeing a family function is just plan entertaining. I've been thinking of how it looks to an "outsider" when they step into another family's atmosphere. It's a rather foreign feeling to see differences in your own life and another person's.
I've been thinking about this because my family is unusual. Well, I can't claim that my family is that unusual as I do believe that all families are unique. My family is full of loud and talkative people. There is definitely not a lack of conversation or laughter when we're all together. My immediate family (Mom, Dad, and my brother, Adam) are like peas in a pod. We're very comfortable around each other and we don't hold back our thoughts. I like that way of expressing myself as I feel it's a pretty honest way to converse with others. It holds me accountable as I know someone is going to say something to me immediately if they don't like something. Of course, it can get out of hand, but that's another story for another day.
I remember the first time my husband came to my home, he sat in one of our living room chairs with his feet up to his chest, watching us. My family must have thought he never talked as he just didn't say much. It was a bit of sensory overload I'm sure. Generally, we move from topic to topic with no particular flow to conversation, interrupting one another on a whim. We have to think quickly and talk fast or we may not get to say what we are thinking until we remember it again later. For me and most women I am friends, this is normal way of communicating.
I never realized there was a different way to hold a conversation until I met my husband's family for the first time. Maybe the shock to my husband was that he had never experienced this kind of interaction on such a concentrated level before. I went to his home and everyone waits until it's their turn to speak. Usually the catchphrase is, "Going back to what I was saying before..." There's not interrupting and you must hold your thoughts until you can speak properly. Of course, playing games is an exception to that rule. It's not so much a rule as a polite way for everyone to get a turn in the conversation.
There are two families that I find really enjoyable, similar, and even really different than my own family. My friend J.T. (I will use abbreviations as it's not my place to use their names publically) and my friend K.K. I love being with their families. J.T.'s family is very welcoming. They obviously really enjoy one another and expressing themselves is not a problem. I had never hung out with a family where they would all swear in front of one another and the parents didn't care. Now that is what I call freedom. I had also never experienced such a structured and relaxed family before. They had their routines and schedules, but it didn't feel pressured in anyway. It's a great example of how to be organized without feeling fenced in. I also love that it's easy for J.T. and her brother to say anything they like to their parents. She has a strong bond with them and can tell them absolutely anything. There is complete trust and she and her brother give their parents no reason not to trust them. I love that! Plus, even though I'm like a foot shorter than all of them, they treat me like one of their own. I love that immediately there is love. It's wonderful and no imposing in anyway.
K.K.'s family is another family that I absolutely enjoy. For the longest time I worked with K.K. not knowing that I also worked with her mother. I guess no one told me and I also never remembered people's last names so I did not make the connection. Now, there is a bond with a mother that I wish I had. It's not to say that I don't love my mom or wouldn't hang out with each other, we just tend to take each other in doses and it's probably for the better. At this stage in our lives we're still learning how to talk to one another and there are certain things that are just taboo. Truly,until I met K.K. and her brother I never knew you could say really dirty things in front of parents. I thought it was a law some where. I'm positive I've seen that written in the "Parent Manual". It's not that that's all they say to one another. Do not get that impression it's just that it's not completely illicit. I also love that she and her brother have a strong friend connection. I am really close to my brother and would tell him just about anything (minus some intimate things), but that doesn't seem to phase K.K. and her brother K.K. (I never thought about how their initials are the same). I think it's great! If they were to get into a heated debate about their opinion on something it would just spark the conversation up to a higher level. I love that they have really strong opinions and a really diverse family to support those views on life. I don't know her father as well, but from what I do know of him, he's a handy guy. I admire that they are all extremely intelligent people with extremely intelligent thoughts, but it's never expressed in a way that would make you feel stupid. Plus, who doesn't love a crafty family? Seriously, they're completely creative and I can tell where they get it from.
So, this may conclude my synopsis of other families for now. I just love stepping into other peoples' shoes at times. Every place I go has a new feel and I like trying to find that niche. I like knowing what is and isn't acceptable to some people and seeing how far they go with one another. It's refreshing and beautiful. Don't you think?
Friday, June 01, 2007
That leads me to my motto: Always be prepared. I, personally, try to always be prepared. I bring Band-Aids with me when I travel, an umbrella, extra hair things, and occasionally, safety pins (The last time I had those on me was my senior prom. I actually used them for my own dress since the straps broke while I was swing dancing.) I generally bring snacks with me when I shop since I know I need to eat every few hours. I'm like a little fussy child when I'm not fed regularly. I also like to bring some form of entertainment with me because I dont' want to be bored wherever I am. I did that when I had to wait in line at the post office on tax day this year. All those other fools didn't bring a thing and I got to listen to my iPod and jam to some cool tunes. Enough of this already, you say?
In a few days I will have "real" internet in my apartment and I hope to feel inspired to blog more because of it. Of course, I say this with good intentions knowing that will not really be the case. You just never know though.
One of my goals for the summer is to create usable and comfortable living spaces. My husband and I just rearranged the furniture in our living room and it feels so much better than where we originally had it. Seriously, it made a huge difference in how comfortable I am when I want to relax. Hopefully, I can creat that same feel in our other rooms. "The Other Room" is the hardest space to create, though. We have a tv with stand, a desk, a table with my sewing machine, a coffee table, a wheely desk chair, and a miniaturized easy chair. There's a lot of furniture in one tiny room and absolutely no comfortable place to sit. Odd, huh? It just makes me want to really purge more of my stuff to help out the situation. I'm trying to figure out what I find valuable and what is just an object. I really think I"ve paired down a lot of the stuff in my life. I'm finding that I actually enjoy not buying things and have joined Wardrobe Refashion 2007 to help me with that.
If you have questions, comments, or any points of reference, keep them to yourself. I don't care. JUST KIDDING! :) You're always free to comment.....if you pay me 5 bucks first. HA!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
It is finally finished! Isn't it beautiful?
Okay, I took this hooded picture rather strategically so you can't tell that I sewed it up to where I look like an elf when I put it on my head. It's kind of curved at the top with a little pointed tip, ya know?
Maven loves my cardigan, too. You can tell by the look in her eyes.
The lovely back! Don't you just love those cables? You can stop staring at my butt now, too. It's just embarrassing the way you're gaping like that.
I love these sleeves. They are so toasty!
I know this took me FOREVER to finish, but I am so happy with the end result. It wasn't an overly complicated cardigan and I learned alot from the pattern and how sweater construction works. I tend to stop paying attention when there's a pattern repeat and therein lies my problem. I would make a few changes to it if I ever knit it again. I would like to make it longer and make the wrists a little bigger because they're a tad tight. I sort of winged it and chose not to check my guage. Shame on me! Seriously, it was really fun to knit (after starting it over about 6 times) and the yarn is to die for. I have two balls left over and I have absolutely no idea what to do with them. Any ideas? Okay, so this is Maine and spring is like winter in other places of the United States, so I do have some idea what to knit. I just want something really special out of it. Happy knitting everybody!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I was in Florida last week and for part of this week to celebrate my brother's graduation from E.O.D. school (that's Explosive Oridnance Disposal for you non-military understanding type people). He graduated #1 in his class and I couldn't be more proud of him. He's the second on in from the left. That's my brother! The guy on his left is Captain Baker. That's about all I know. We got to see the Eglin Airforce Base which was pretty cool, and it was amazingly hot. It was kind of a shock to experience that coming from Maine. And this is a guy who protects our country. Feeling safe, yet?
This is Brad and he, too was sporting the mullet wig on the beach. He was trying to achieve the classic redneck look and I think he got it. Isn't he a catch? He's single. Any takers?
Seriously, there will be more blogging later today or tomorrow as I took very few pictures with my camera. Actually, all the cool pictures I took were with my dad's camera and he's not releasing those photos yet. What a scumbag! Just kidding!
Monday, April 30, 2007
Please excuse the look on my face as I am clearly trying to imitate my father. If you've ever met my dad then you'll know where I get my sense of humor from. I'm sure I'm making that weird scrunchy, cringy face because I don't want to drop the eggs on myself while juggling. Obviously, I didn't do a very good job because I"m already stepping forward to grab the eggs. :) Good try though! :)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
One day you wake up and it's a pretty normalish day. You have a pop quiz in your Sociology 102 class, but you're comfortable with the material so it's no biggie. You're sitting next to the cute guy who also happens to be a Sociology major. It's still pretty early in the morning by college student standards so your'e not really focusing on what the teacher's saying. You heard something about picking partners for groups projects just as the cute guy next to you catches you staring at him. Luckily, he takes that as a sign that you want to be partners, so everything is okay. Just as you are told to break into groups to discuss your assignment the door bursts open and a gun starts firing. Every muscle and fiber of your entire being seizes up and you react by throwing yourself onto the floor of the class room. You knocked over a desk, but at this point, it doesn't matter. The teacher was hit and you think a student two seats away was hit as well. You can't scream or think at this point. All you want is get out of this room alive. You keep thinking how you want to apologize to your mom for being mad at her the last time you talked to her on the phone. The gun continues to thunder and echo off the walls reverberating the sound in your eardrums. You hope that you'll survive this shooting so you can ask that guy out on a date. The noise of the gun fires of several more rounds for what you're sure is hours. It's a an unending noise and panic which you can't react to. The whole time you're down on the floor and hidden behind the desk, you're praying that the next shot won't be you. You're praying that the man behind the metal, isn't looking to make the whole room red. From where you lie now, there are puddles of blood and splashes of burgundy all over the walls and floor. Tears well up in your eyes, but they're trapped as if they know that the sound will disturb the chaos.
Everything stops. Every single thing just stands still in that room for an eternity. There is no movement for minutes. When you lift your head up everything is indeed over. That final crash you heard was that man. That young, heartless man is there on the floor. You're positive it's him, even if you only got a few seconds to process his figure. You recognize the gun. Slowly, and with the effort of someone carrying an anvil, you stand. You scan the room and realize that you are the only survivor. By the grace of the powers above, you are alive. You stand there with the blood rushing to your head and the feeling in your legs giving way and realize that you are living.
The S.W.A.T. team rushes in towards you. At first they point the gun towards you until they realize the gunman lies beneath them. All you can do is stare and focus on the blood and the confusion. It all happened so quickly and so slowly that there is nothing left to process. You can't speak or breath anymore. You will never be able to erase this day and this tragedy from your mind.
So, when people say, "My heart goes out to those who were affected." I was affected. I was not there, but I was affected. 32 people died yesterday because of a madman. I don't know his story and I'm not sure that I want to. Massacres and tragedies like this are publicized for the entertainment of the Nation and the entire world. It's disgusting to think that at the time this was happening, before the second round of shootings was over, there was live footage. LIVE footage for a campus killing so big that the president of the United States of America visited to offer condolences and wisdom. Every incident prior to this is just as grotesque and tragic. Those incidents have been catalysts for people who have not learned or would not try to learn, how to express themselves. Those people can see these inwardly depressed people on television and think to themselves, "Hey, I'm having a bad time at life and I should definitely let people know it in a way that leaves a mark." These people are worthless in the sense that they think they are the only people to ever experience life in such a way. How presumptuous are you to think that you're the only person to have feelings of depression, anxiety, or isolation in a world with millions and millions of people.
I am hurting for these students, faculty, family, and friends that have to feel this situation first-hand. It saddens me to think we live in a world where schools are no longer miniature sanctuaries. You can't look over your shoulder ever time you heard a loud noise, but who knows what's going to happen next. Nobody knows. Bottom line here...give all you've got to every person you meet. There is absolutely not sense in trying to hold a piece of you back or trying to act superior because you feel you should. Who knows what would have happened if this guy had made some genuine friends and found out that people care about people? Who knows? Do you know?
Sunday, April 08, 2007
5 Weird Things About Me
1. I look for connections in everything. For instance, if I see a row of numbers and I try to find a way to connect them so they make sense. If I'm cashiering, I try to make one transaction "fit" with the next one some how. If two different people buy bananas and apples right after one another, I try to ring them up the same way so they match. I do that a lot so I can keep myself busy. It's the same way with colors. I see material or clothes or beads, or leaves and start matching it to other things in my mind. Maybe that leaf matches a tablecloth I have, or that weed goes really well with that DVD player. I don't know, it's habit forming, I suppose.
2. I am very specific about salsa. By specific, I mean that I will only eat Tostitos Restaurant Style Medium Salsa or my own homemade versions. I have tried many salsas and they all taste gross. Seriously, don't try to get me to eat a salsa that has not been pre-approved by me. It's gross and I won't eat it. If you want to keep your hands, don't dip into my salsa without asking, first. Someone did that to me once and I don't think I've ever really liked her the same since...........
3. I have a very intense fear of seeing my own blood. Actually, just today, I cut my thumb with a Cutco knife and I almost passed out. This cut didn't require stitches or anything, but seeing the blood made me panic. I think this stems from the time I hit my head on the coffee table when I was 3. The only thing I remember about that whole incident is blood, two random people in my house, and the doctor stitching up my eyebrow at the hospital. Looking at other people's blood is just icky, so don't ask me if I want to see your cuts.
4. I have a very unique laugh. Maybe it's not that unique, but I have heard people compare it to Woody the Woodpecker. While it's not unknown that I laugh like a chipmunk, what is unknown, is that it highly offends me when someone tries to imitate my laugh. This, to me, is a very personal part of a human and making fun of or imitating is just seems like you're mocking who I am. It's a part of me so deal with it or laugh louder. :)
Drum rolll for the last and weirdest thing about me.....
5. I like to smell my dogs' ears. I think it started because I have always like rubbing my face on Maven's ears because they're so soft. She has a very distinctive smelly dog ear smell as does Abby. Now, I smell them just because. Besides, they sniff my ears. Don't let them get too close to yours because they definitely like ears.
*As a prize for making is to the bottom of the post, and assuming you clicked my links, who is it that's laughing in #4? *
Friday, April 06, 2007
Two nights ago I went out for a Friend's going away party. These photos are evidence that I had a good time. Kristen and I were being goofy and I just couldn't handle the pressure. It was nice to be inside while the snow was coming down hard outside.
After we left Sebago, we needed to take a picture in the park across the street. It was late and snowing and BEAUTIFUL. And I had trouble operating the camera. That's Arlie, sandwiched between Kristen and I. He was very appreciative of that sandwhich, I'm positive.
I hope everyone has as good a Friday as I"m going to. :)
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
5 Things in/on my Nightstand-
Clock that plays cds
Sneakers (my bear)
A seatbelt cozie that the dog ate to cover the glare of the clock
A hair thingy
5 things in my closet -
4 or 5 backpacks
5 things in my fridge -
Old pumpkin puree
Fake colby jack cheese
5 things in my car –
Empty Girl Scout cookie box (NOT MINE!)
Mapquest direction printouts
5things in my purse/wallet/bag -
Mate chai tea bag
Pen with squishy gel tip
I swear I would have done this sooner had I been able to log into my blog. I promise! I couldn't log into anything important and this meme was taunting me for days! I'm tagging anybody who wants to do this. It'll be fun, I promise!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
If you haven't read, haven't finished, or plan on reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, I suggest you read no further. This is my synopsis of the book for my Long-Distance Book Club. I want to participate in some way and this is the best way I could think of since I'm in Portland and I always work on Sundays.
Firstly, the theme of relationships is very interesting. Kathy and the rest of the Hailsham students have very confining and defining relationships. They are forced, by their surroundings, to make friends with people who they would not normally be friends with. If they had grown up outside of Hailsham Boarding School maybe they would have chosen differently. In this case, Kathy H. is friends with Ruth and, to me, they don't have many similarities.
They don't seem natural in their actions because they have no one to learn from but themselves. Because they have been brought up in this boarding school, it is ingrained in them that they "can and cannot do" things. They can learn about sex and have sex, but they can't have children. They can follow the rules. They have no other references besides their Guardians to teach them how to act, but they do not provide and unbiased form of behavioral guide for them.
I was a bit surprised by the plot twist half way through the book. All I can think about is how these children are born just so they can donate their internal organs. They don't think it's odd. They don't see it as daunting or bad. They just see that it "is". They basically live for the now. When they do discuss their futures, it's almost half-heartedly. The future is there, but it's completely unforseeable or unattainable. At least, that's the impression I got when I read it. It seems like they can say they will become anything they want to, but ultimately they will become carers and then donars.
People outside of Hailshams have different reactions to the students. For instance, Madame the gallery owner, is afraid of them. Or rather disgusted by them. It's a strange reaction when they were all expecting her to be intimidated instead of repulsed. They think she'll be intimidated because they are so much smarter than she is. Another instance is when they go to live in the Cottage, the other veterans kind of see them as having a higher standing because of their status as Hailsham students. These students from other schools are in awe of them and we can only assume because of the school's reputation as being the best.
Living in The Cottage and outside of Hailshams is another interesting experience. Though Kathy H. and the rest of the students do actually leave Hailshams they never actually take it out of their thoughts. They are all still living in this fantasy world with tons of freedom to go and do whatever they want, but with no way to achieve it. They learn their mannerisms and behaviors by how the other students act. At times it seems like they're grasping at straws when they start acting like television characters. They adopt mannerisms and behaviorisms from some piddly television show. Even after they go visit a town many hours away, they all just little kids in a candy store.
When their teachers speak about their futures, it doesn't make any kind of an impression on the student.. They make their futures seem bright and wonderful without them even knowing otherwise. I think that Kathy and the rest of the students don't really know what they're up against until Miss Emily let's them down. They aren't able to make these kinds of connections until later in life because they've never been taught that they have to. While she and the rest of the Hailsham students are all very smart, they just have no idea what lies ahead. Kathy H., I believe has a little more sense than most of the students. If she would only reach up a little farther she'd see the brass ring is right there for the taking.
There are two movies that really made me think of this form of genetic alteration. Gattaca, though not a recent movie, is a great example of how genetic alteration can have negative effects on people. There is ahigher standard help for people because their bodies are "grown" perfectly, so anything less than that is unacceptable. You're confined by your differences and only allowed to do one thing.
The second movie that I think relates to this book is The Island. Just ignore the German and focus on the images. Unless you can understad German, that is.
I know that you're all thinking it's just fabulous eye-candy for the ladies being able to see Ewan McGregor and all, but there's more to it than that. Humans are basically just "grown" into adults. They are adults, but they don't understand their feelings and thoughts because some greater power has made them supress it. These people have the mental capacity of young teenagers becuase they grow up in an environment that encourages that kind of behavior. While they live in captivity, they do live happy lives and it's not until they go outside of it that they realize they are going to die. Granted, this is the ultimate uprising of "perfect humans" it's also a great example of what happens when you think you can control natural elements. Nature always finds a way to break free and be what it's supposed to be.
These movies really make me think about the meat of the whole book. If we could cloen and (or) genetically alter people for the soul purpose of helping sick people, would we? Would it be morally right? Why don't these students ever questions their surroundings? Why don't they ever think they can actually do something other than being carers and donating? How is that possible for them to never step outside of that world? If they knew they could fight back, would they? Is this cruel to treat other humans like this if they grow up in an environment where there is love and support? If they are taught nothing else, then can it really be wrong?