Category Archives: very random thoughts

A few of my favorite quotes I found reading

My brainSometimes I have more time than I know what to do with. Now isn’t one of those times, which means that I’m finding everything in the world to do that isn’t my ToDo list. Including Facebook.

I was wandering through my friends’ quotes, as posted on their profiles, and I decided that was a game I could play, too.

So I culled some of my favorite quotes (and 1 paraphrase) and put them in a list. I left off the authors on purpose to see who could ID the quotes without my assistance. I figured bonus points for getting the paraphrase, too.

And I decided to post them here, because why not? Also, see 1st paragraph. For those of you who share my loathing of the Facebook (or can’t figure out how to see them in the new iteration), I’ve pasted them below. Have fun!

“In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”

“Remember your name.”

“Trust dreams.
Trust your hear, and trust your story.”

“‘We all love you. No matter how different you are, no matter if you leave us one day.’ She kissed his cheek. ‘And if and when you die your bones will lie undisturbed, we’ll see to that, you’ll lie at ease forever, and I’ll come see you every All Hallows’ Eve and tuck you in more secure.'”

“I dwell in Possibility –”

“Mother says she prays for me… to learn, away from home and friends, what the heart is and what it means to love.”

“‘You’ve a good heart,’ she told him. ‘Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go.’ Then she shook her head. ‘But mostly, it’s not.'”

“‘Kiss a lover
Dance a measure,
Find your name
And buried treasure…
Face your life
Its pain, its pleasure,
Leave no path untaken”

“These fragments I have shored against my ruins”

 

Vote

Vote by 3nglishN3rdThe students at work today asked if I voted. Some of them had taken the “I voted” stickers from other adults in their lives, so I think they wanted to make sure that my sticker was legit.

My Dad gave me my sticker. But only after he watched me, as one of my polling place workers, slide my completed ballot into the box.

I told the students that I voted in this election because I vote in every election. So the students asked how many that is, and I really had to think.

It’s around 22.

California, where I’ve always been registered, usually has 2 elections in a year, and I started voting when I turned 18. I know my math could be off…

I didn’t vote in this election because I believe in everything President Obama has done (Spoiler: I absolutely don’t). I didn’t vote in this election because there were Propositions on the ballot I believe strongly in (Spoiler: There were).

I voted because it was the time set aside for everyone to speak out in the larger conversation of the country, county, city, community where I live. I voted with my passions/concerns/loves/dreams/hopes in mind. I voted with those same thoughts in mind for my friends who are not allowed to speak yet must suffer the decisions made. I voted because there was a time when I couldn’t and there are places in the world where I would still be banned.

I voted because that’s what we do in the U.S.

Tonight, I was relived with the Presidential outcome (and no, this post isn’t where I’ll discuss that). But the races I am most concerned with are the new U.S. Congressional Rep, State Senate and Assembly seats that came from the last census. The results will not make national news, and I don’t expect it to. But it matters to me, because it means for the first time in my history of voting, I will have a more direct voice in the laws that will directly impact my life.

And that’s really to point of voting.

So I’ll see you at the polls in the next election. If you live and are eligible and registered to vote in California, the next election could be this spring! And I can’t wait to see what it holds…

Vote, a photo by 3nglishN3rd on Flickr.

Student writing

I have been reading and responding to so many personal statements, I’ve lost count. Mercifully, many have been through email, so I can always do a search and count them up. Which I have to do so I can track them all for work, but that is future me’s problem…

The thing about personal statements is that they are draining. Well, actually, everything with high school students is draining, but that’s just because everything in high school is the very first ever in the history of life, because 13-18 is the age range where you start to experience others in a more concrete way, but you’re still too young to really pay attention to what you’re learning in class to realize that everyone on the planet has gone through something similar, so it’s not really the first time in the history of humanity; it’s the first time in the history of your life.

And then, just as everything is on the very edge of beginning to come together, you have to write a personal statement (or 5) to get into college and fund your next round of education. And so all of the life experience ends up on the page for other people to read. Continue reading Student writing

The moving winds of life

image

At times, life is calm. Everything falls into place with very little effort and it appears as though all the small pieces are in place and the world is as it should be.

Other times, all hell has broken loose and the tempest swirls around, enveloping all light and hope, and the world will never be right again.

And, in both extremes, the constant, understated fact is that they have a terminating point where they will give way to the everyday life.

Another time exists that sits off to the side watching the evanescent tempests and golden days. Its presentable calmness hides its true identity as the opunsettled moments within everyday life where things should just be normal (whatever your definition of normal happens to be) and yet they feel unsettled – as though there is some vital piece missing from your existence.

These are the times that try my soul. To be so divided between feeling content, which is the reasonable response when life just is, and the feeling that your life lacks some vital component when nothing presents itself as easily identifiable. Much like the picture above that I took at Queen’s Bath in Kauai, I feel the unsettling wind blowing across my life that has worked itself out beautifully. But, much like the wind, I can only see the effects without the cause; only my edgy feeling and twitchy responses reveal the extent to which I am unsettled, but refuse to illuminate the cause.

So through all of the possible responses to this realization, I will attempt to remain content in all things. I will embrace the beauty the inhabits all times in all things, and I will wait for the revelation that will set this time aright and look forward to what the next step holds.

On having an audience

Queen's BathI haven’t written in awhile, and I was wondering to myself why I stopped obsessively writing here.

I still love writing. I still think and process information best with either a keyboard or pen and paper handy. I still think of myself as a writer more than anything else.

But it’s been a long time since I posted.

Sure, I got promoted to full-time just in time for the craziest part of our work year, and I went on vacation, and I’m moving. But still, no thoughts to process and post on my blog? Just when people started commenting more and being involved in the conversation here? How lame of me.

And why would I let the other things get in the way of my writing? I’ve published through more stressful times than my job is currently or has been in the near past. To say I’m too busy simply functions as an excuse everyone will accept without question.

But I finally figured out one major underlying, and rather bizarre, reason for my neglect: I have an audience. Continue reading On having an audience

The Middle

Revisits don't always go as plannedI realized today that I’m in a new story. I’m lost and confused and feel like I’ve missed some important piece of information. This means that I’m in the middle of it, which is a place to start from if you can’t keep it together enough to recognize the beginning when it happens.

But the middle is actually my favorite place to start, because you don’t have to worry as much about the annoying set-up and character building. I just want to keep going and pick up the essentials on the fly. Not that the world-building isn’t important, The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones would be significantly less awesome if the time to create the world was skipped. But when it comes to my life and stories, I get bored with the set-up as I look for the next action scene. Continue reading The Middle

Sharing Experiences

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYLq_dmzHXs&feature=related]I was getting ready to head for bed the other night, when I happened to catch Amanda Palmer‘s discovery of her cover of Tori Amos‘ “Me and a Gun“.

I’d never heard the song before (I only have so much time), but what struck me, besides the strikingly different style for Amanda Palmer, was the discussion she pointed out about artists covering the songs based on supremely personal experiences.

Because apparently “Me and a Gun” is about Tori Amos’ experience being raped.

And the discussion (see Amanda Palmer’s twitter feed below by following the links) got me thinking about what we expect when we share our experiences through art, both as creators and audience.

I don’t know if you’re a content creator, but if you are, perhaps you can relate to the tension of knowing how much to label of your life in your work. The decision often happens simply, by answering a direct questions posed by an interested party. Or sometimes, the map remains hidden until only scholars would deign to investigate.

And if you’re predominately a consumer of created content, perhaps you feel the tension of gaining a privileged look into the normally distant and obscure life of another. There is the joy of feeling more connected to another through their openness, but it is tempered by the intrusion into the personal life of another. The disclosure of an intimate, traumatic event carries an air of awkwardness, regardless of the reason or forum for the sharing.

Because sharing experiences is not a unidirectional connection. To share an experience makes people who may have no other common link forge one. Because when we share our experiences, the person or people we share with will look for the aspect they have an understanding with. Because that’s what we do as people. It’s part of communicating with each other – finding the places where we can stand together and view the world in the most similar way.

Amanda Palmer’s cover song seems to be an expression of this very human search for connection. It is this same desire to connect with other people and sharing experiences that prompted me to learn Amanda Palmer’s “In My Mind” and perform it for the kids at work. And write blogs and stories and work to encourage high schoolers to find their voices. How do you share experiences?

What follows is the twitter links for the conversation on Twitter that started this post.
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Mastering the art of walking in high heels

Seriously. High heels are the more precarious of footwear selection if your intended persona should exude confidence. Doubly so if you’re a taller, fuller physique.

Because you’re attempting to navigate an uneven, spinning (if constant) terrain on what boils down to sticks attached to a narrowing funnel at an angle that cannot help but create a medieval torture device better described as “Toe Vices”.

And today I managed to wander around my work, all day, without tripping or generally looking more of an idiot than normal in the eyes of high schoolers. Which I would’ve chalked up on the success side, even if I hadn’t had to run 2 errands on the way home. It is the first that decisively placed me back into “Master of the Toe Vices” list. Continue reading Mastering the art of walking in high heels