Tag Archives: postaweek2011

Aside

You know what one of my favorite things in the whole, wide world is?  Lighthearted religious figures.  Yep, a priest, mullah, rabbi, guru, etc, w/ a sense of humor is where it’s at.  They somehow maintain the respect for humanity and the divine, while painting both an awesome shade of neon pink.

Continuing on my (okay, just about everybody’s) theme of New Years Resolutions, I read an old article by Rev. James Martin, S.J.  It wasn’t meant to be hilarious, exactly, but the dude definitely put the myrrh in myrrhth (Christmas pun, sorry!).  The article is titled, “12 Really Stupid Things I Never Want To Do Again.”  Some of the highlights:

 

  •  St. Francis de Sales, a lighthearted 17th-century saint, once said: “Be who you are and be that perfectly well.”
  • “Everyone gets sick, for Pete’s sake. In the words of the great prophets, suck it up.”
  • If you ever get discouraged about your rate of change, just think about trees — yes, trees. In the summer they’re green. In the fall they’re red. And no one sees them change.

 

For me, the last line, especially, holds significance at the New Year.  Okay, admittedly, the trees now (at least in the midwest) have NO leaves, and I DID see a lot of them flying off the branches.  Still, it’s meaningful to think about the trees’ changes and my own New Years resolutions.  I don’t need to announce my impending change (though it might help to tell a few choice friends).  I don’t need to worry–and conversely, I need to keep myself from anticipating too highly–that people will see me or judge me (or compliment me) in the process of change.  I just have to change, naturally.

You know what o…

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Aside

For once (yep, one of the first times), the featured page of WordPress.com had a blog post I found awesomely helpful: 5 Goals to Making and Keeping Your New Years Resolutions.  The blog is The Hill House, written by a pastor who, a week after posting his tips on keeping resolutions, posted his own (and they’re pretty honest goals, too!).

To recap, here are the 5 Tips:

  1. Define the Win.
  2. Make smaller goals along the way.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  4. Make the goal with a friend or group of friends.
  5. Evaluate your results.
And, ever the practical (yes, I fancy myself a practical person) tipper, here are a few of mine:
  1. Use Google Calendar (or something like it) to send you a weekly text message or email.  Set up a recurring “event” to nag yourself — in a friendly way — about your goal(s), and schedule the SMS/email/pigeon to show up at a time of week and day you’re usually feeling responsive, positive, etc.
  2. Write your goals and your triumphs on your mirror and/or fridge in dry-erase marker.  It will come off easily, and let’s face it – those are two places most people look, A LOT.
  3. Find a Flatter Friend.  Alright, so, I just used that term for its alliterative qualities.  Still, finding a buddy who will commit to giving you insightful praise (even when you’re failing miserable to live up to your December 31st, 11:59PM standards).
Now, on to my goals for the year…

I expect this year to bring a lot of changes.  My fiance is beginning a post-doc out of country, which will leave me and the dog to our own devices (which usually means lots of take-out and procrastination).  My best friend is getting married (YAY!!!!).  My cousin is moving in with me (it will be her first time living in a big city, and so I’m a little apprehensive, but still YAY!).

With all those changes, new years resolutions will just bring even more change.  That’s not a bad thing.  Changing a lot of things at the same time does sometimes work for me.  Still, I think some of my goals should be oriented toward what’s already working, toward what I should keep doing, instead of only what I need to change.  So first, my “keep it up” goals:

Keep It Up Goals:

  1. Keep admitting I’m wrong, promptly and sincerely (I’ve been doing really well at this!).
  2. Keep writing my in-laws.
  3. Keep walking to school/work (part of this is that I’m too scatter-brained to learn the bus schedule, but part of it is loving the high I get from physical activity!).
  4. Keep calling my sisters.
  5. Keep focusing on DIY projects to fix up my apartment (so far I’ve scavenged and built everything in my apartment (except for my one big purchase, a nearly useless — but gorgeous! — couch/daybed from World Market).  I look around, marvel at my own resourcefulness, and then snuggle up to a rug I’m making from old t-shirts and plastic bags!)
    *Generally, #5 could be a tip: find something you’re already doing, that you’re good at (or getting better at), and REVEL IN YOUR OWN AWESOMENESS! I mean this, of course, in the most neutral way possible. 😛

Now, my goals for change…

Wait.  All I can think of is to blog my thoughts more often.  We all know that even when it’s not getting blogged, it’s still getting thought.  Buuut, blogging the “it” that’s currently in my head is an excellent way of doing just what the author of this post recommends.  In aggregate, I want to post 52 times this year.  That comes out to (duh) a post a week!

But um, I can’t think of anything else I could elaborate on at the moment.  So, I guess I’ll think about it some more and return to it….

In the year 2012, I resolve to STAY AWESOME. 😉

Things My Greyhound Has Taught Me So Far

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a) Dogs seem to like to chew on cords, in general.
b) Our greyt doesn’t go for synthetic chew toys, EVEN when flavored.
c) She’ll chew for a LONG time on real bones and meat products.
d) We read that we should budget for the month. But our darling greyhound has taught that that, nope, we should budget for the hour! (so far, she costs ~$1/hr)

And, at this very moment, whilst eating a frozen beef bone, my grey baby is teaching me that, to suck the very marrow out of life, you really do have to drag it around and keep chewing.

Late Post…But New Greyhound Fur-baby!

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Darn, two weeks almost without a post?  There goes my Post a WEEK thing, right?! Booo….  My fantastic excuse, of course, is that classes have started and we moved and best of all…
…we adopted a retired racing greyhound!
(remember the post about obsessing over the pictures? Yep, we got one of our own to obsess over now!)
Our “Gotcha!” day wasSeptember 22, 2011.  After meeting our new fur-baby the Saturday before that at a GreyhoundsOnly Meet&Greet at PAWS animal shelter in Chicago, we knew she was the one!  Our awesome adoption rep helped us through the hours-long process (lots of info and encouragement!).  Then, we had a good dinner, a late night walk, and lots of treats!  Then…we slept really well!!!  The next morning, I finally got around to taking some pictures…
New Greyhound, Same Old Fiance

Now I've got two late sleepers in my life...a new greyhound and the same old fiance!

I guess our adoption rep was right on…our greyt knew *exactly* what she was doing with her racing career!  She ran four races…and trailed in all of them!  At just over two years old with an average, healthy lifespan of 12-14 years!), she is a “retired” greyhound!
Now all this pup has to master are two flights of stairs and the urge to eat mama’s tuna-salad!  Oh wait…she also spends 16-18 hours a day (NO exaggeration – greyhounds are a wonderfully lazy breed of dog) perfecting her “roach” position, where she sleeps with her feet up in the air.
Yep, *this* sure is the life (for all of us)!

Funny Blondes

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It just dawned on me that, as messed up as it may be, I don’t usually find stereotypically-gorgeous blonde chicks funny.  Not usually, anyway.  Do you ever get that?  Like whatever comedic expression her skinny, smooth peach-skinned face trying to make just looks like…a skinny, smooth peach-skinned face trying to make a comedic expression.  Nothing against them – they can look sweet, and happy, and lots of other positive adjectives.  Just not…funny.  Not usually, anyway.

I promised myself tonight that I WOULD finish my paper (to be fair, it’s not yet technically “tomorrow,” so I still have time, though barely any).  It’s two weeks late (yes, WEEKS – and yes, I WILL blame it on my AD/HD).  Argh.  But, I digress.

So, paper time…trying to find some suitable YouTube music vids to inspire me in cranking out the academic genius…thinking maybe Dinah Washington or Marian Anderson or just some twangy guitar in the background.  But I didn’t.  However, I DID find a super funny blonde chick! (Again, I blame that on the AD/HD – the finding the cool thing on accident, not the not finding, though they’re probably intricately related, lol).

Which made me think of…

My List of Funny Blondes:

(let’s just start with the obvious ones):

  • Chelsea Handler
  • Heather Graham
  • Lucille Ball(she was a redhead!)
  • This Chick (Jenna Marbles)

….And so, with much ado, here she is:

If that doesn’t work, there’s always the actual URL:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWVfG2mA8Rc&feature=fvhl

Now I’m really, really, really going to finish my paper.  So I can read a stupid FUN book and not have my Tuesday Teaser of Cohen’s The Criminal Process in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1963: An Introduction pale in comparison to everything Ms. Sonia Lal over at Story Treasury reads! (and yes, she definitely deserves the accolades as a Seriously Cute Blogger, though precious few things could ever be cuter than a dog!)  Hey, maybe I’m going to make up my OWN award, a la Jenna Marble’s formula (all mathey and sciencey and stuff!)  Since it should have to do w/ blogging maybe I’ll call it the . . .

Huggable Enchilada Sloth?     Useful Posole Sloth?      Meticulous Custard Mouse?

What would those avatars even look like?!  😉  <–(That’s my lil smiley skittle fox)

 

 

 

 

9/11 + Ten

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This is a post in relation to that by Shoshana, which can be found here. It was originally written as a post on a Yahoo! Group I belong to, but since it got too long for that, I decided to place it here on my blog.

This post was also trending among my friends on Facebook, too. I’d held off reading it until now. My DF (Dear Fiance! Yay! He proposed a few weeks ago, now I just have to get the nerve (and the unique idea) with which to propose to him, as was our deal) was determined to go sightseeing in NYC on Sept. 11, and, thankfully, things went very smoothly. He is from India, and usually very, very aware of being “the brown person.” That said, he was born and raised in India, and came to the USA as an adult for graduate school. Often, he doesn’t have the awareness of potentially racially charged situations, because some behavioral cues, buzzwords, and associations, he has few or no connotations for. Many of those ideas, such as the post author’s allusions to “beer bellies,” “country music,” and “flat tops” are *not* universal. (As a funny sidenote, my DF had always *wanted* a beer belly, just like some of his wealthier uncles had! In his early 20s, he finally achieved his long-suffering (or just large-eating) goal. Shortly after, though, he came to the USA, where his beer-belly was, sadly, not in vogue. Now he’s trying to lose it, and he hopes that it doesn’t take as long to lose the beer belly as it did to get it!).

DF is (rightfully) aware of race, color, and (mis)perception, and all things being equal, he avoids tense and/or uncomfortable situations where race is a factor. Also, he does sometimes appreciate it when he doesn’t have to think about and rehash racism – sometimes he, like all human beings, just isn’t in a place where he wants to engage such negative energies. Since the visit thus far had been pretty stressful for him (we were visiting my best friend, who has breast cancer at 27 – not exactly a happy go lucky vacay-type trip), I didn’t discuss the issue of 9/11’s upcoming 10-year date with him. At first, without telling him, I just asked our host if she would consider just chilling w/ us at her home, instead of trying to take the ferry and see the Statue of Liberty, etc.I don’t know that this was the right thing to do, but I knew I didn’t want to stress him more than he was already stressed, and usually he appreciates the gesture. As the date drew closer, though, he was getting more and more excited about sightseeing around NYC.

The days had been blurring together, so, I asked him if he was sure if the possibility of racism on 9/11/11 was something he was willing to face (actually, I think the conversation went something more like, “Uh babe, isn’t Sunday 9/11? I know it’s a cosmopolitan city and everything, but ya know there might be some a$$hole out then). In fact, he had forgotten the date, and it took him a while to think about it. He was quiet at first, but later, he casually mentioned that he really did want to go sightseeing. That was it, just, “You know, I really want to go around NYC this weekend.” So we went. We took the subway all the way down from Bronx, visited Battery Park and the waterfront, took the ferry across to Governor’s Island, walked all around lower Manhattan, had dinner with friends in a little cobble-stoned restaurant district (Adrianne’s, pizza, too expensive but tasty).

In all, I know he had weighed his company and the social “safety” it would bring to be holding hands with me — one light-skinned Italiatina, one black West Indian doctor, and one Indian, with half a dozen fluent languages between the three of us — and sized up what he knew of the possibilities. I am pretty sure he wouldn’t have anticipated over 50 incidents such as the author described, and it hurts that he (and me, and our host, and my family, who, being from a rural White area, was very worried for all of us being in an urban area ON 9/11 AND being brown – especially because a family friend, though not in a racially-charged situation, was jumped and badly beaten for no apparent reason a few weeks ago) had to weigh any of these things. He felt the events of 2001 very deeply, even being from another country, and he did want and need the opportunity to commemorate, and to mourn the loss of human life, and the loss of humanity, that took place ten years ago.

I’m very thankful that he is so strong, and that he maintained his determination to brave the possibilities (and in light of incidents such as the author’s post, the word “brave” can certainly be used), and that he remained so understanding, sweet, and focused on my (his DF’s) enjoyment and safety during that time. I am also thankful that the people WE happened to encounter on 9/11 were, if anything, nonplussed and while not quite polite (they’re New Yorkers, remember?! How’s that for a stereotype?! I’m just joking, though, many people were quite polite), unflustered.
Endnote: As it turned out, the President had even flown in a few hours prior to our being out and about downtown. That may have been a good thing, because downtown and the sightseeing spots were quite sparsely populated at the time we went.