Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January Wrap-Up

I have a problem here, blog.
I'll have a fit of creative spirit and write, write,write and then...I'll get over it. I'll work and I'll read other blogs and I'll read books and obessively watch Frasier (the whole thing is on Netflix which makes Ben so unhappy) and not feel like writing anything at all.
Then, I feel bad because I'll be silent for weeks at a time but at the same time I haven't put in effort into planning anything either. Sigh, so you'll have to settle for this ramshakle of a post to assuage my guilt.

This book is the main reason why I've not been able to do anything. It's six hundred pages long and I really thought that it would be a slow start since it started with Helen's childhood but the writing has honestly swept me away. I haven't been captivated by a writing style in a while so it's nice just getting to enjoy the process.

I also, after much thought, picked up this book which deserves it's own blog post once I'm done. It's eye-opening and encouraging and a feel like I'm no longer alone in my questioning of traditional patriarchal actions that have been explain away as Biblical.

A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to work in the morning and I turned down this residential road that leads to the highway and found this poor little girl wandering toward my car. I see dogs on this road all the time for some reason but they all look healthy and not lost. This one, however was clearly scared and she was running at my car. When I got out to call to her she ran away from me, and started heading toward another car coming in the opposite direction. I must of looked like a crazy person also running at the car but it was an SUV that sat high and I was afraid it wouldn't see her. The guy stopped and asked if everything was okay and the dog tried to get in his car. That's when I got a look at her up close and as you can see from the picture she did not look remotely okay. He told me he was going to pull off and call animal control and I told him I was going to get a towel to wrap her in. I jogged back to my car and found one of those big black garage blankets in my trunk. I got it out and started to look for the SUV...and the guy was gone. There were two driveways right behind my car and I had assumed he would pull in one of those. I don't know if he just pulled into one further down, but that wouldn't have made sense to me. When I turned to look for the dog she was also gone.
Well, as it turns out I had left my driver's side door open and my car was low enough that she could get in. She was sitting in my passenger's seat eating the crumbs out of the folds of the seat. Clearly freezing (earlier that week was when we had our -2 temperatures) I wrapped her up in the blanket and turned on the heat. Now, I had to open the store that day but I couldn't very well kick her out after all I didn't know whether or not that fellow had called animal control and she was clearly in bad shape. So, I called the other manager who was supposed to work that night and told her she just had to go open the store for me while I dropped this poor dog by the humane society. Thank God, she answered her phone and I was able to take this dog (now asleep in my passenger's seat) to the Humane Society.
That weren't going to take her at first since they were full, but once the lady saw her she changed her mind. They were so sweet there and that poor dog was just so happy to not be freezing. I felt so much better knowing she was going to be okay because I know animal control would have taken one look at her and put her down. She had clearly been around people before and I knew if she had any chance it would be there.
Ben called the next day and they told him she had been fostered and was eating fine, had mange of course and unfortunately a leg that had been broken and healed wrong so they might have to amputate.
Ben and I have been on the look out for a dog recently and I told him if she checked out okay I would like to adopt her. I just called the shelter to ask about her, but I guess I got the wrong person or didn't say the right phrase because I was told since I didn't pay $75 they didn't release information about animals even though I was told I could call and ask about her. I'm going to call back tomorrow and try again and hopefully a different person will be answering the phone!
I've also been baking up a storm lately with all this cold weather I've craved nothing but gallons of hot coffee and homemade sweets. I've been thinking of doing a recipe post since I do cook so much I just need to actually plan ahead... the bane of my life, planning, haha!
I'm also really excited for Valentine's Day this year since Ben is taking me to the Philharmonic! Normally we don't do anything but I heard the Maestro talking on the radio about the new upcoming season in August and told Ben that this is what I wanted to do this year. So excited! I haven't had an occasion to really dress up in a long time and it's nice to pick out an outfit and plan ahead it sort of reminds me of prom except I only planned ahead for that like 2 weeks in advance.
That pretty much sums up my January except I'm been listening to a lot of Ella Fitzgerald Pandora Radio. With it still being so cold and the music being reminiscent of Christmas music it's the perfect comfort music.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Poetry for your Sunday vol. 10


Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who make room.

Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.

Let us be women who carry each other.

Let us be women who give from what we have.

Let us be women who leap to do the difficult things, the unexpected things and the necessary things.

Let us be women who live for Peace.

Let us be women who breathe Hope.

Let us be women who create beauty.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell.

Let us be a garden for tender souls.

Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God.

Let us be a womb for Life to grow.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us rise to the questions of our time.

Let us speak to the injustices in our world.

Let us move the mountains of fear and intimidation.

Let us shout down the walls that separate and divide.

Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of Love.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us listen for those who have been silenced.

Let us honour those who have been devalued.

Let us say, Enough! with abuse, abandonment, diminishing and hiding.

Let us not rest until every person is free and equal.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who are savvy, smart and wise.

Let us be women who shine with the light of God in us.

Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.

Let us be women who say, Yes to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.

Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.

Let us be women who teach our children to do the same.

Let us be women who Love.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of fear.

Let us be women who Love, in spite of our stories.

Let us be women who Love loudly, beautifully, Divinely.

Let us be women who Love.


I started reading Jesus Feminist last night. This poem opens the book and I thought it was really poignant and stayed with me. Let us be women who live for Peace. Every line just had me nodding my head and saying "yes, I want to be this woman." I haven't made it very far in this book yet, but it's definitely off to a good start.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

What's been going on, literally.

With all the stress that came with a job promotion/the holidays I started looking for an audiobook that was "easy listening." I saw a preview for Veronica Roth's Divergent at the theater and remembered one of my friends reading it when I was in high school. I decided to listen to it to see what I thought. 
I was immediately immersed  in the story and decided listening to it was too slow so I picked up an e-copy and finished it in less than a day. 
Then, I saw Catching Fire in theaters and remembered how much I loved Suzanne Collins' trilogy, so just for fun I read all three in four days time. 
Then I switched to Insurgent and finished it in record time. A part of me was wincing at the fact that I was reveling in the overly-emoting, quick-paced drama, but the other part of me told the first to shut up because she was reading. 
Then it all came to a grinding halt with Allegiant. I think my problem is with the switch in perspective. The narrator, Tris is a diverse character that is so unlike other heroines in teen fiction. She actually has talent and intelligence, isn't so shy it's paralyzing and isn't so humble it's obnoxious. I liked her problem-solving and coming into her own in the first two books, but in this third one she's sharing the narrative spotlight with her boyfriend. It's just gone a little two far away from the original concept/ structure and it's lost some appeal for me.
It makes me think of Scott Westerfeld's Extras which was so far away from the first in the series it felt like a half-formed after thought. (I will pretty much say that for anything that throws aliens in last minute) or Melissa de la Cruz's Gates of Paradise which I just managed to skim and hardly remember over the loud yelling of "Wtf???" in my head.
Now, I'm sort of stuck. A part of me really wants to know what happens in this story, and the other part of me is now really bored and ready for some kind of a challenge.
For some reason I've been curious about modern French literature, but I need a better way to find lists or descriptions. I've not been specific enough in my searches and it takes me to French websites and since  I don't read French remotely I have no idea what's happening.
Maybe, I'll just ease out of my teen fiction mode with something from Terry Prachet it'll be easy but not overly emotional and I'm four days into another seven day work week, so humor would be welcome.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Finding some new tunes

I love listening to music in the car on the way to work. It's a good way to get pumped up about a shift or on the way home it's a good way to unwind.
I've always liked listening to music, but I never considered myself super into music. I have friends who budget concerts into their lives and know the bio of every band member in a least a dozen bands. I don't do that. The last concert I went to was to see Jonsi in St. Louis at The Pageant (which was magic). A friend took me and to be honest I really didn't know who Jonsi was before that night. I loved it anyway. Before I met Ben I was constantly looking for new music and I went through a phase where I was a litttlee snobby about it. I despised the radio seeing as we have two top 40 stations, one hard rock station and the rest are oldies or country in this area.
But after I got married my tastes in music relaxed a little (Ben listens to one of the Top 40 stations so I had to stuff that opinion away) and I branched out a little into the pop world.
Working at the clothing store however killed my desire for pop music because that's all we play. (If I hear "Wrecking Ball" or "Blurred Lines" or that weird song with the line "tigers on diamonds chains" anymore I might scream.) And I've found myself in a rut as far as music goes. For the last six months I more or less have only listened to this playlist for the past seven months.

ohhh folk yeahh from mhiggins33 on 8tracks Radio.

I love love love this playlist. It was a perfect blend of familiar and new for me at first. Now, I almost 
know all 43 songs by heart.
 So, I finally took it upon myself to look up a couple of my favorite artist 
from this playlist and invest in them. I found Daughter's EP, The Wild Youth last night and it was 
perfect and dreamy. Then I found on iTunes Palomino by Trampled by Turtles which I absolutely love. I definitely got my fiddle fix.
 It feels good to hear new music again. As comfortable as listening to the same 43 songs was I'm excited to hear new music again as well. Maybe branch out to a little bit of Country? 
....Nah :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Comic Review: From Hell

Well, this was a horrible story. I honestly don't know what I thought it would be. I guess I had hoped it would have a happier ending than it did, but it's a story about Jack the Ripper, so I made the wrong assumption. The story woven by Alan Moore was a brilliant one that I would believe. A little Wikipedia research showed that there were many Ripper suspects, but me being partial to Free Mason conspiracy theories sees truth in this one if nothing else.
That being said this book was not an enjoyable read and not just because of the subject matter either. Anytime Sir William Gull was on the page the text was going to be mind numbing. He was insane and he had insane out of body experiences that lasted 10 pages at least. The last victim he killed in her home and having the time and privacy to do more to her he would have flashes of teaching in a surgical theater or of strange men calling him a different name. His ramblings were very existential and so so boring. I tried so hard to appreciate what Moore was telling through this character, but it was a little too much to hold my interest. That certainly doesn't make it bad writing it just doesn't make it entertaining writing.
I was surprised though that I found a character that I liked. Inspector Abberline was a very human character to juxtapose with William Gull's transcendent ambitions. He hated Whitechaple, felt out of place with his middle-class wife and wanted to catch this killer. His psuedo-romance with one of the victims was sad and touching at the same time. The parts of the story that focus around him were the parts that actually entertained me because they happened in real time, unlike Gull's out of body experiences.
Though Abberline wasn't the hero of the story-because no one was- you understood and accepted the decisions he made and sympathized with him all the same.
I'm happy to be able to check this book off my list it's made me feel accomplished if nothing else.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Poetry for your Sunday vol. 9


The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.   
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
There they are, the moon's young, trying
Their wings.
Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow
Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone
Wholly, into the air.
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.
-James Wright

Friday, January 3, 2014

Another Resolution

On the 29th Ben and I went out drinking with my brother and some friends of ours to say goodbye because it was his last day in town. The bar we wanted to go to had a $7 cover charge for a local band that none of us knew and we didn't feel like paying it just to stand and and yell at each other, so we ended up at a pizza and microbrewery which was much quieter and cheaper. They only served their own beer so we had a couple of pitchers. I don't drink a whole lot of beer and that night I had four pints over the course of the evenings and didn't even get tipsy. However, I laid awake that night until 2a.m. unable the sleep for the beer and stressing about working all day at the store the next day. It was then my mind wandered to New Year's Resolutions.
The first that came to mind was "No more drinking!" which is something I always tell myself whenever I can't sleep because of drinking or have a wicked hangover. 
However, alcohol is part of my culture and I know if I tell myself to cut it out entirely I will fail, so I decided to amend that to a two drink limit. However, that makes a pretty lame New Year's resolution compared to last year's so after more sleepless thought I decided on cleansing.
This year I'm going to turn 25 and it's time that I start making a conscious effort to monitor how I spend my time, relationships and what I put into my body.
In 2014 I want to focus on cleansing my lifestyle. Body, mind, spirit.
The first and I think the easiest one to start with is my body. Being aware of what goes in it and cutting back on the processed things and the junk food and alcohol. I know December would have gone smoother over all if I had respected my body more by not eating out so much or loading up on sugar (aka all of the fudge). I also want to focus on my skin routine. I've been lucky in my life and have had good skin that requires little care, but I know that if I don't take steps now I won't age well and I'd rather be smart about it than look 50 when I'm 40.
After getting the body part under control I'm not quite sure how I'll go about cleansing my mind and spirit, but I'll be sure to post about it when I figure it out.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Reflection

Ben and I being dorks next to Mom's Christmas tree, yesterday.

I just re read my first blog post of 2013 and am feeling pretty pleased. The past couple of days I've spent, like almost everyone else, thinking about this past year and weather or not I kept my resolution to be happy.
I'm rather surprised and happy to say that I have. The first part of last year was hard, probably the hardest year I've had yet. I was laid-off, then unemployed and miserable. Then when I did get a job at a clothing store circumstances there were not exactly ideal and it was a whole new stressful unhappy that I had to deal with. But after awhile and some few major changes I adjusted to my circumstances. Then Ben got a new job which finally suited him perfectly and for what felt like the first time since we had been married we were both happy.
This is not the path I would have chosen to take, nor is it the path I want to take, but it's the path I'm on and I am happy with that for now.
Yesterday was perfect. It was first of three days off in a row (YES!) and it was Ben's day off too which never happens. We slept in, ate a late breakfast and took off to see the Hobbit which was extremely well done. We then made our was back home for a mid afternoon nap (something else that never happens) and spent the evening at my parents catching up.
The fact that yesterday was good was important too me. I haven't had a good January first since I stopped living at my parent's house. Normally, I would have worked or been hung over. 2011 I remember waking up freezing and feeling miserable because I couldn't keep my heater on at night. 
This is the first time that I believe this year will be a considerably better one. I don't know what I'm doing with massage. I don't know what I'm doing with writing. I don't know what I'm doing with this blog, but I do plan on doing all three things regardless of circumstances which is the only way to succeed or fail at anything which is better than just standing still and waiting for life to happen to me.
Happy New Year!