Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I really should be working on finishing up projects or packing for the Utah trip (we're leaving in 32 hours! Ah!) but instead I'm surfing my way through google reading. Bad me. I found this neat list and thought I'd share.
I promise I'll get more of my crafty projects up soon, I just need to get on loading the photos on to the computer.
I'll be gone hopefully enjoying the snow out west and will be returning, hopefully with all limbs intact on the 7th.
Have a Happy New Year!

Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to disneyland/world
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo- I was about 7 and it went horribly wrong.
11. bungee jumped
12. visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch- if sewing, with a little help, counts
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of Liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train

21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden a gondola in venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing- only indoors. I'd like to go for real sometime soon.
40. seen michelangelo's david in person
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. visited africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the sistene chapel in person
50. been to the top of the eiffel tower in paris
51. gone snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud-I miss the mud!
54. gone to a drive-in theatre
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies.
62. gone whale watching- we tried to once when I was a kid, but the weather was too rough. Then the door fell off our van...
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood- but I can't anymore because I keep passing out!
65. Gone skydiving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a cheque
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in Times Square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guard in london
77. broken a bone- I'm pretty surprised about this one. Knock on wood. (doh... big ski trip coming up!)
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. read the entire bible- I tried to once for a class. I got bored.
86. visited the white house
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating- if a fish counts
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the alamo in person.
96. swum in the great salt lake.
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The engagement.... :)

I have already had to tell this story a million times, but here it is once more so I can say to future questions, "please refer to my blog". :)

And to answer it before anyone else asks, nope, we don't have a date yet! Except for maybe February 29th. Hah. (I am totally loving all the questions though :) As my grandma said, I can be heard smiling over the phone line. )

It all started Christmas eve day. It began a little rough with a 6 am wake-up to ambulances and police at my house. My grandfather and grandmother from Florida were up visiting and my grandfather had fallen when he got up that morning. He was taken to the nearest hospital where he, my mom and grandmother spent the rest of the day. It turns out he had a small bleed in the brain/stroke called a ...(Corey, insert correct terminology here). Many of the Christmas day activities then passed to me, not to mention my last minute gift making and wrapping. I was a little stressed.

Mike and I had planned to spend a little time at my house that night then go to his mom's to have snacks, sit by the fire and open presents. When I talked to him that afternoon and told him the story, he was concerned about exchanging gifts. I told him it would cheer me up and be better to keep things the way they were.

Mike came over that evening and had a few snacks so I be there when we did the traditional Christmas eve open one gift time. We always get Pjs. Ali was getting some that would match the American girl doll that she would be getting the next morning. Then we made our way to the door to go to Mike's mom's house. I slipped on a pair of clogs, but Mike grabbed my boots and brought the along. (Hmmm..)

We got in the car and Mike told me that my gift required a scavenger hunt. This wasn't completely out of the ordinary, I had made him do such things in the past for a gift. (but still... hmmmm..) I guessed in two guesses that we'd be heading to the local park, a place that we had spent alot of time together.

We arrived and I booted up. We had a lot of snow from a storm earlier in the week, but it had been raining all day so it was a little flat and soggy, but still pretty. It was dark and the houses around the park were prettily lit. There was no one else around. We started tromping through the snow, Mike giving me seemingly random "hot" and "cold" directions. I kept looking at the ground for a gift of some sort, but there wasn't much to see except snow. Then he told me to stop and "Look over there" towards a house with a christmas tree lit up in front of it. I looked, and didn't see anything gift-like. He told me to look again. I looked, but only saw that christmas tree. Then I sensed movement behind me felt a tug on my jacket and turned around to Mike on his knee with ring box in hand!

He asked and I dropped to my knees too, kissed him and said yes! The ring is beautiful and I was never happier to have wet socks and wet knees.

Here it is :)

Now this gets to be a wedding planning blog too! Yay!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tis the season to unleash my craftiness

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate myself and my classmates for surviving our last semester of classes, ever! Only student teaching left and I'm work bound (hopefully)!

That said, it is now time to focus on the holiday season and for me that means lots of fun, crafty projects! I've never had a lot of money for gifts, and I really want to give gifts that will be meaningful to the recipient. So often my solution is so make things! This winter I already completed gifts for my classmates and teachers, lovely little bags of homemade truffles! I even made the gift tags (getting good at paper crafts is another goal of mine). Here are some pictures of the progress.

Each person was to receive three homemade truffles. Ali was a big help with some of them, so there were a couple that I *had* to eat because they were a bit misshapen. The three kinds were chocolate truffle dunked in coconut, mocha truffle covered in white chocolate and dusted with hot chocolate powder and chocolate truffle dunked in hot chocolate powder.

I found these fun paper supplies, stamps and twine as well as some cute little gift bags at Michaels... definitely things that I can use again for crafting or classroom use!

I created some hang tags for the little gift bags :) I wanted a bit og a rustic/homemade look and I think they came out nicely! You can't really see in the picture, but in the bottom corner of each one is a punched out hand print. I thought that was a great little symbol for all of us aspiring signers! I ended up handwriting a little note on the back of each one.

The finished project! 17 gift bags of truffles :)

I have a few other crafty projects in mind, including simple fabric dolls for my cousin's daughters, and a dress for another cousin. There are a couple more, but I don't want to mention them just in case the recipient is reading...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and was able to take some time away from the craziness of work or school to relax and enjoy life.
As is tradition in my family we spent thanksgiving in Syracuse with my Dad's side of the family. This is one of the few times a year when most of that family can be all together. It also was bitter sweet, the first holiday season without my grandpa. I also got to see my new baby cousin Molly. What a little cutie!

Then it was back home to have dinner with my brother, my sister in law, my family and Mike. That was really nice too. My brother and sister in law live down in NC, at least for now while he finishes training for the Marines. I definitely wish they were closer because I'd like to see their little family developing (Them, Toque the big goofy boxer, and two Chamelions, Chomper and Ducky... I can wait a few more years for nieces and/or nephews!).

Thanksgiving is about being thankful, so I wanted to briefly post a few things that I'm thankful for right now (not an all inclusive list or in any particular order)

1. It being almost the end of the last semester of college classes ever- Whee!
2. Having a family in which there is never a dull moment.
3. Getting the creative juices flowing- especially on designing stuff for Holly's wedding!
4. Having an amazing boyfriend out there in Syracuse who is working in a great real person job, taking care of a rented house that was damaged by years of old lady trying to fix things and working on his thesis at the same time! (if you're reading this- Get back to work!)
5. Having an amazing boyfriend who doesn't get too mad at me about bugging him to work on his thesis....
6. Google reader- informative and wonderful procrastination tool all at the same time! Plus great for helping me out with #3! (did i mention that I'm a teensy bit of a hypocrite when it comes to procrastination?)
7. One of the little kiddos I'm working with remembering the order of the alphabet all the way to N for two days in a row! Woo! Simple pleasures of being a teacher!
8. The count down to my Utah trip is down to less than a month! (more about this later!)

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm nostalgic for the 30s and 40s..... a romanticized version of course. Recently, I watched Kit Kitterage, an American girl movie with my mom and sister. I wasn't sure I would be interested at first, but it ended up being a really good movie. It takes place during the depression. There were many heart wrenching moments showing the struggles people had during the depression and I was moved by those, but I have to say I was most interested in the life style. Firstly, I love the clothing that was worn. Women's clothes were very femine and flowy, yet practical. Then men were tailored and classic. The young girls clothes were pretty, but could stand playing outside. There were even some very stylish clothes made from chicken feed bags! I could totaly see myself wearing alot of the clothing that was worn, and I see my wardrobe moving in that direction. Not to mention my new love of vintage jewelery!
Here are some examples:

From the movie, aren't these girls outfits adorable! I would even wear them.

This is Kit and her Mom. I love the dresses!

Aside from the clothing, there were lots of other great things from this time period that I would love to incorporate into my life in the future: having a kitchen garden, doing lots of cooking, and sewing and crafty things inexpensively, and having genuine connections with neighbors, community and family that can be drawn upon in times of need.
Now I understand that there were a lot of awful things that happened during this time period, and this Thanksgiving I intend to ask my grandmother, who lived during the depression, to tell me about what it was really like. At this time though, I think I can say that this is my favorite American time period. What's yours?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things....

There are a lot a great websites out there for me to stare at when I don't want to do work and don't want to go to bed yet. One favorite is Etsy. I don't remember how I first found it, probably another blog about pretty things, but there certainly is a lot there for me to drool over and be distracted by.
Etsy is a website that is all about things that are handmade. Sure, there are the expected things like art, knitted things, knick nacks, but there are some other amazing things that you wouldn't expect! For now, i've just been favortiting all the things I love, and some day, when I have the money maybe I can get some of these pretty things:)
Here are a few examples of the great stuff I've found!
Beautiful Vintage Jewelery from Sweet Vintage

Cool Vinyl decals for putting everywhere from Tasty Suite

Beautiful, PLANTABLE cards from Grace Graphics (I actually bought some of these :) )

Fun and funky pins from Button Empire (though I can't quite buy these ones yet...)

There is tons more great stuff on the website, and everything is continually changing. They also have this great feature called Alchemy where you can request something be custom made for you. You include the details and a suggested price and sellers can bid on making it for you. With such a huge community of creative and truely skilled people you can end up with something really great for a cheaper price than you might find else where. I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard of it being used for all sorts of things, from wedding dresses to toys.
Now that I've gotten the idea of putting images into my blog (yay!) I'll try to occasionally post some of the cool stuff I'm finding in my internet wanderings. Maybe I can get someone hooked on these things like others have done to me!

Friday, October 31, 2008


I have a new baby cousin! Welcome Molly Erin Stedman, October 23 2008 :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There's something breathing in my bathroom....

It sounds like a funny children's book or comic, like the Calvin and Hobbes book my parent's have "Something Under the Bed is Drooling...", but I kept hearing this noise every time I went into the bathroom. At first I thought it was my bathroom-mate Kelly, sleeping. It was a soft sighing/hissing noise every 3 -5 seconds sounding like the relaxed exhalations of a dreamer. Sure, I heard it at weird times, but I thought Kelly was just getting in her beauty rest. Then, I heard it when she was at class- after I watched her walk out the door. Now, the walls in this bulding are pretty thin. Given the right circumstances I can hear that conversation is taking place 2 doors down, but a sleeper's breathing isn't something that exactly carries well. Seeing as it is Halloween time and I live in an ancient hogwarts like bulding, the thought of long dead nuns or deaf kids slumbering away in my bathroom closet did cross my mind. Tonight, though, mostly because I didn't want to do homework and Eli Stone wasn't on yet, I decided to investigate. I put my ear up to many surfaces in that room, until at last I found the culprate. After one nearly scaled ear later, I found out that it was our lovely old radiator, releasing steam in its pipes every few seconds. And.. Ah ha! A dial! Can I walk away without experimenting? No! Even though its almost red hot? No! So I turned it all the way one way and it made some noise, and I turned it all the way the other way and back and forth a few times- now my curiosity is satisfied, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to fiind out if my feet will freeze off or burn off when I go to take my shower.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Light the Night

I went to Jacquie's wake and funeral. They were both very moving. Both times I had to wait in quite a long line to get in. A testament to how many people were touched by her life and her struggle with Leukemia. In my last post, I talked about how I had wanted to go give platelets. Well, I haven't yet because of time and I've been a bit sick. Now I'm not sure if I'm even going to go at all. I never used to be bothered by giving blood, but since I keep passing out (4 out of the 5 times I've given) I'm starting to develop a fear. Actually, right now even thinking about going to do it is starting to make me feel light headed. So, I've decided that if I can't bring myself to go give blood, I've got to do something else. I'm heading a team for the Light the Night for Leukemia and Lymphoma walk coming up in October. This means I'll be raising money and walking with a group of people in memory of Jacquie. If you'd like to join me in the walk or would like to donate some money, let me know and I'll send you the link. I know I won't be able to raise thousands of dollars like some big teams can, but I hope that my little contribution will help.
There are so many organizations I'd like to support, but being a poor college student (and soon, a poor teacher) there isn't much money for me to give. So I'm going to do my best with donating my time. One such organization is NPR. I listen to NPR almost every time I'm in my car. I subscribe to several of their podcasts as well, because I just can't get enough of their great shows like Cartalk, Wait, Wait.. Don't tell me!, Science Friday, Prairie Home Companion, This American Life and others. As a public radio station they depend on donations to keep their programming going. Everytime they have a funraising campagin I debate about giving to them. But in the end my money goes to my gas tank instead. So, this year I've started thinking about volunteering to be a phone operator for them. I contacted the person about this today, so we'll see if its a viable option. If I could go and answer phones for them for an hour or two, I'd feel better about not being able to contibute.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Goodbye Tink.

I was planning to update my blog this weekend about the small goings on of a new semester and my new home #3 at St. Mary's, but after the news I got tonight none of that seems important enough. Tonight, one of my Geneseo classmates, sorority and pledge sister, and friend has passed away. For more than a year now Jacquie, whose friends and family knew her as Tink (far right in the picture), has been battling a form of juvenile Leukemia called A.L.L. She had so much support, from family, friends, sisters and even strangers as far away as England. Her blog, which her parents kept running for her (www.jacquieforall.com) was constantly being filled with words of enouragement. Still she had to go through chemo and a transplant, not once, but twice. I just can't believe that such a beautiful young woman, with so much left to do is gone now. She was going to be a teacher, but got sick in the middle of her student teaching. Its comforting that she is no longer in pain, but still difficult to bear. I had been planning on going up to Roswell to donate platelets to her and was still working up the courage. I tend to pass out after giving blood, and the last time I was on the couch for a whole day afterwards. I'm bothered that I wasn't brave enough to go through that, when upstairs in Roswell she was fighting for her life. Now, I'm determined to go, if not for Jacquie, then in her memory, so that maybe someone else will have a chance to live. If you're in the area, I urge you to look into it too. There is also going to be a bone marrow drive on the 16th of this month at Roswell. Its a quick and painless cheek swab to get into the donor list, and then you will be contacted if you're a match. A little more in the future is the Ride for Roswell in June. I'll be there. Jacquie will be missed by many people, but her stuggle has taught us all a lot. She will not be forgotten.

Monday, August 25, 2008

End of the summer

So clearly, I'm still bad at this posting frequently thing. I can't guarantee it will improve either, because summer is over and my last year of schooling is about to begin. This summer was an interesting one, but it did not go out with a bang. Camp just sort of faded away and summer with it. My summer in Syracuse ended with me whimpering in the driveway saying good bye to seeing my best friend every day. Hello to twice a month and adding lots of miles to my odometer.
Now I'm back at home, trying to reorganize myself. It was so much easier in Syracuse when I didn't have much stuff. Sleeping in my own bed again is nice, possibly it has stopped my talking/ searching for kids and crab spiders in my sleep, but then again no one is in the room to witness it now.
At the very end of camp one of my 10 year old campers commented on how fast the summer had gone by for her. "It only gets faster, each year you get older. Faster and faster," I told her. If anyone has read "My Pretty Pony Time" by Steven King, you'll know what I mean when I say I really miss my pretty pony times. Sometimes I want time to slow way down so I can enjoy my youth and the fun times, like our table camping trip or going to the State Fair for the first time. It won't though.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Okay, so I haven't been so responsible about posting very frequently. Sorry about that, esp. since I've recently found out that I do have more than one reader. I'll try, really.
I've been thinking a lot about responsibility lately because there are a lot of things changing in my life that are requiring more of it from me and others close to me. One major thing that has happened recently was the marriage of my brother and his now wife Courtney. The nice, informal wedding took place on a very sunny 5th of July. Its still not sunk in yet, partly because my brother is so far away, training for the Marines in Pensacola, FL. and partly because I don't feel old enough to have a married brother yet. Weird.
Living in a house has been more responsibility for me as well. Living in an apartment in college for two years was a big help preparing me for all the cleaning, dishes, laundry, furnature arranging, etc, but having a yard and many more rooms that needed some help has added on. Mike and I have managed to clean up quite a bit, ripping up rugs, doily and other old lady paraphernalia removal and even painting in one room. This past weekend we spent some time working on the outside of the house, "the jungle" as the neighbors call it. There's still a lot to do, but we're making progress. In a way, its good practice having to do this stuff. It will prepare us for when we actually own a house, but without having to worry too much about the major issues. (IE- if the roof needs work here, thats the landlord's responsibility).
My job this summer has also been a big step up in the level of responsibility I have. I'm working at a summer camp (which shall remain unnamed- I signed a contract saying I woundn't) as the director in charge of the 10-12 yrd old program. This has been way different than any camp job that I've worked in the past. Instead of being in charge of 30 or so campers and spending the day with them, I'm spending snippets of a day amongst 8 groups of about 11 campers, with a mixture of meetings, paperwork, feilding phone calls from parents, and other miscillanious errands mixed in. For the first two weeks at least, I felt like I was student teaching again. I get to work about 20 min early, work 7 hours, then 2 hours extra for kids who need to stay later at camp, and then I would come home to do 2 more hours of paper work! This session has proved to be a little less intensive, mostly because I'm just reusing alot of what I did last time and just changing the names and numbers. Don't get me wrong, I do really enjoy being there and I know its going to help me grow professionally and look great on my resume. I think it has pretty much secured in my mind that I don't want to be an administrator later in life, I'd miss the interaction with the kids too much. Not to mention that kids are much easier to discipline than staff. I think that I'll be able to increase the time I spend with the kids as the summer goes on and I get better at oraganizing and deligating paper work and errands. Just as long as I don't have any more nights like last night- I woke Mike up at least once or twice "looking for the kids".

Monday, May 26, 2008

Things that I should be doing presently...

But am not..

Watching video blogs in ASL to improve my receptive language skills
Meditating daily
Exercising daily
Making phone calls to friends to meet up (it would be so much easier on me if you called)
Writing in my blog weekly (I'm getting there on this one)
Posting the pictures I take
Saving money
Making real plans for a big trip
Making real plans for a small trip (namely a camping trip with the table crew in August. Sorry guys, I'm a little slow on the uptake)

Maybe this week will be different.... or not.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Whats your word?

Lately I've been enjoying reading " Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I've been reading it for about a week and I'm nearly done. This is one of those books where I keep thinking of people that I want to share it with. The list has gotten very long!
In the first section of the book, in Italy, the author and another character are talking about how every city, and every person, has a word to describe it. The author thinks about what word could possibly describe herself and her life at that time and struggles to do it. I was thinking myself of what my word could be. Its difficult, because I feel like this part of my life is all about transitions. I'm looking forward to a lot of changes in the near future, but I'm still close to the past. I haven't crossed the threshold yet. I'm not really sure what my word would be. Maybe "foundations" because where I am right now is trying to get every thing set so I can build my dreams once school is done. The other word I was thinking was "hungry". Besides being physically hungry for food.. which I always am... I am hungry for learning and experience. I want to travel all over the world, meet people I would never meet here, try new challenges and enjoy all of it. I hope that my future holds all of this.
Another thing that brought out this sentiment is the arrival of the EMS catalog. Some women drool over purses and shoes, but this is my weakness. Looking through the summer gear guide I see on every page something that I wish I was doing this summer. Rock climbing, yoga, slack-lining, cliff-diving, kayaking, camping... okay, maybe not the page with the guy skateboarding... but he does have a cool t-shirt on! I don't have the gear or the money to do most of those things now, but I hope that when I do, I will have the time and ability to do so. I have a great life, I know, and lots of time left to do these things I want to do. ( I am going sky diving in June... one thing to cross off the list!) But every so once and while I feel like emulating the author of "Eat, Pray, Love", leaving everything behind and traveling around the world.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Condesending? Once

I have a big fear of being thought of as condescending. I think someone told me once that I was, and though I don't remember who it was, or when or what it was regarding, it is something that has been bothering me for quite sometime. Its something that I have been trying to consciously change, and there are times when I feel that I have been condescending that I just feel awful about. One of the ways this appears in my daily life, especially at school, is regarding knowledge. I really get excited about things I know and I want to share that knowledge with other people. I'm sure thats why I am going to be a teacher, and probably (hopefully) will make me be a good one. Here's the scenario that I really struggle with. In classes a professor will be lecturing and will either pause, waiting for someone to finish the sentence with information we're supposed to know, or asks a direct question. Sometimes the information is right there in my head and I want to fill in the blank or answer the question right away. And sometimes I do. After this happens several times in a class, I realize, guiltily that I have been answering most of the questions. So I have to make a conscious effort NOT to answer, even if I know it, and even if no one else is saying anything for a minute or so. This is a big effort for me. I know that other people in my class know the answer and its not fair for me to just jump in all the time. Wait time, its called. Its a skill that teachers have to practice when questioning students, so maybe its good that I'm having to practice it now. Other times, I want to offer constructive criticism, like on the structure of powerpoints presentations, my pet peeve thanks to a great professor at SUNY Geneseo. Today told one of the girls in my class that her power point was excellent, and had a lot of great information, but that many of the pages had too much text and it was a little overwhelming to a viewer. I worry now that I hurt her feelings, when I just meant to help. Also, I want to add my 2 cents to topics that I know about, because I want other people to know the cool things I've found out. Today, a professor was giving a presentation on something that I had just done extensive research on for a paper. I had to practically bite my lips in order not to add something. I wasn't always this way actually. I remember teachers in late middle school and early high school telling me that I couldn't get an A unless I raised my hand more in class. I had to make a big effort to do that then. I remember keeping a tally of how many times I raised my hand in French class to make sure I was participating enough. Then, I think, as I became more confident with myself, I was able to raise my hand more. Its funny now that the same thing is having the opposite effect on how I feel about myself. I guess I'll just keep trying though.
So I left school feeling pretty rotten, with all the stuff mentioned above, as well as the stress of the end of the semester work load and exhaustion from a long day. I turned on NPR as I pulled out of the parking lot, as usual. Fresh Air, which is a arts show was on. They were talking about an indie film called "Once" that had won some Grammies, but that I had never heard of. But when they played a song from the movie in the introduction, called "Falling Slowly", my attention was immediately caught! I had heard this song before, as well as several others they played later in the show. It turns out that film is directed by a former member of the Irish band, The Frames, and the main male character is a singer for the band as well. This is a band that I was introduced to during my time in Ireland, and who I really enjoy, but don't hear about much here at home. I'm really excited now about seeing this movie, and watching the clips from the movie make me want to watch it more. That picked my spirits up a bit, and I will listen to The Frames for the rest of the night whilst I try to wade my way through the last remaining projects of the semester.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fat and weathy or healthy and broke?

Recently I bought some crystal light to-go, fiber and probiotic drink mixes. I thought that they would be cheaper than buying the delicious Naked juice I like so much, but offer some health benefits and encourage me to drink more water and its low in calories. So I tried the things and they were pretty good. But then I started to get headaches. I finally figured out that they came after I drank the mix stuff. So i checked the label and it contains aspartame, which causes headaches in many people. Needless to say, I won't be drinking those things anymore. Back to drinking just water so I can save money for school, a moped, and a trip to colorado (more about those in another post).
If I wanted to save money, but still drink things besides water, I could probably get a case of soda for the same amount as a couple bottles of the Naked juice. Clearly that would not be the healthier choice, but it would be healthier for my bank account. I'm miffed that it seems to be that way for healthy foods in general. I remember being a poor undergraduate student buying my own food and often would resort to the wegman's boxes of mac and cheese, 3 for $1, instead of making something with lean meat and veggies that would have served me better, but been much more expensive. I hope that as consumers in the US continue to demand healthier (for both people and the environment) alternatives, prices on these types of items will become more reasonable.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sorry, not an artist.

Sometimes I wish i was more artistically talented. There have been so many times in my life when I get what I think is a great artistic idea in my head. I can picture it, down to the smallest details. Sometimes these artistic ideas are photographs I want to take, or paintings, and sometimes they are sculptures. I had one of those moments today. I was listening to NPR's "All Things Considered" about a guy who does sculptures made of nails. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87808787). I was listening to the descriptions of his art and all the different ways he used nails and my brain started going off on its own tangent. (which probably isn't good because I was driving, but I'll save that for another post.) I imagined a nail about half way hammered into a piece of hardwood (oak?) with a nice grain. The view would be from the side, so the nail could be seen penetrating the wood. Underneath the wood, where the tip of the nail would usually be seen, would be "roots". I'm not sure exactly what these would be made of, either small nails welded together, or wire, or more solid and realistic looking roots, but made of the same material as the nail. I visualized the sculpture pretty large, with the "nail" with a head about the size of a bar stool and the piece of wood similar to a small table. When I pictured it, it was in a art gallery with spot lighting, similar to the exhibits I have seen at Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery.
I would love to attempt a sculpture like this. Besides not having the time to spend on it or the money for materials, my general lack of artistic ability holds me back. In the past, I usually attempted my sculpture/photo/painting ideas, but so infrequently have they even approximated what I imagined, I've pretty much given up. I don't even have the drawing talent to sketch it out and have someone else make it for me! All I have now is my new digital camera, which will make attempts at any artistic photographs a little less painful, if I can figure out all the buttons.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

That's not white paint... its me!

I got a sunburn today. Not a bad one, just enough to make it look like I'm wearing blush when I'm not. It actually looks somewhat nice, but I know it's not good for my skin. Still, I typically don't expect to get any color in February!
I realize that I have fair skin. When I was in high school someone with all seriousness asked me if I had spilled some white paint on my blue track leggings. It turned out to be a few holes in the leggings revealing my skin... Okay, maybe I'm also on a medication that makes me a little more sensitive to light and maybe I didn't put my sunscreen on after I washed my face this morning, but considering the circumstances I didn't think I had to. Its February, its cold and has been mostly blah outside. I'm also cold all the time (which my 6 year old sister constantly reminds me of) and therefore, try to cover as much skin and possible to conserve precious heat. The sunburn occurred after a 30 minute drive to school, and although there was a nice bit of sun, the windows were all shut and I even had the little sun flap thing (what is that called anyway?) down!
So, today's unraveling of me? My face is daydreaming of summer time.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Lately I've been trying to be a responsible consumer, or at least thinking about what a responsible consumer is. I've been trying thinking about who I buy from, what materials the product is made from and if I should buy things at all. I'm trying.
One way of being a responsible consumer is really thinking about the personal worth of what you're buying. There's this book I've heard of and would like to read about someone who went a little more to the extreme than I think I ever could. Its called "Not buying it: My year without shopping." by: Judith Levine. I doubt I'll ever be brave enough to try an experiment like that, but there are plenty of ways
I've also been looking for companies/products that are socially/environmentally beneficial... or at least better for the environment than their alternatives. I really like the Bert's Bees products, for example. Besides just being nice products, they are not tested on animals, use recycled/recyclable packaging and part of the proceeds goes towards buying land for conservation. I've also started using Preserve razors lately too. I've read about them in the past and finally found them at Wegman's so I decided to give them a try. These are razors that the handle is made from recycled plastic (something like 60% comes from Stony Field Farm yogurt containers). On top of that, once you use them (they're disposable) you can get free packaging to send the handles back to Preserve where they make them into plastic lumber that picnic tables are made of! I don't know where these picnic tables go or are sold. Maybe I'd be helping them make double profits by giving them their materials back, but I guess thats okay because its keeping them out of the landfills.
Speaking of giving back materials, there are some neat recycling things I have found out about lately too. There are these paper recycling dumpsters at several locations around town, usually schools and churches. Depending on how much paper that place collects, the recycling company donates money to them! What a neat fund raiser :) I've found that I go through a lot of paper and typically take a paper bag over twice a month. Another great recycling thing I've found lately is a website called Book Mooch. Basically its a trading site for people to get rid of books they're finished with and "mooch" books that they want to read from other people... free! The more books that are shared, the less that are printed... which is bad for publishers, but good for the environment. And for my wallet... which most eco-friendly/organic things are not....
Maybe I'm just jumping on the environmentalism bandwagon that is so popular now. But is that really a bad thing?