Friday, October 9, 2009

c'mon kermit...

It's not easy "being green"?
Really? Because I don't actually think it's that hard. I'm not one to shove recycling, composting, water conservation or other "tree hugging" tendencies down others throats. However, I was recently frusterated when I witnessed someone tossing a plastic bottle into a trash can sitting right next to a recycling bin. And yes, I took the bottle out of the garbage can and threw it into the appropriate bin sitting inches away (and then whipped out the hand sanitizer). So, I saved one bottle. That can't make that big of a difference, can it? I think so.
Let me share a random collection of challenging statistics to get the mind reeling before I rant about the difference one bottle and one person can make:
Recycling ONE aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
One ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water.

Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and consisting of large concentrations of recyclable plastics, this mass of garbage is found in the north Pacific ocean and occupies an area more than twice the size of Texas.
If each person were to reuse a paper shopping bag for just one trip to the store, we would save 60 000 trees.
In America, the average daily water use per person is 150 gallons. In Japan, the average person uses approximately 100 gallons per day and in France a person uses 75 gallons. In the UK they use approximately 40 gallons per day and in Nigeria they only use 10 gallons per person per day.
A modern glass bottle takes 4000 years or more to decompose, but glass is 100% recyclable and can go from the recycling bin to a store shelf in as little as 30 days!
Need a visual? This is the number of beverage cans and bottles
that have been landfilled, littered and incinerated in the U.S. so far this year:

The list of impactful statistics is miles long.
Thinking that one bottle, one newspaper, one leaky faucet or one individual does not have an impact is naive. If every one person thinking that way opened their eyes and changed their minds, the entire world would change DRAMATICALLY. Also, being green is not just a fad leftover from the 90's or a political commentary. It benefits our communities by providing jobs and supporting local businesses. It simply (I can provide some wine with this cheese if you would like) makes our local and global world a better place.
So, what do I do to back up my words?
1. I recycle commonly used materials such as plastic, glass, and paper
2. I use reusable shopping bags (and recycle the plastic bags when I forget)
3. I buy recycled materials (sketchbooks, clothing, water bottles)
4. I try to bike, walk and use public transportation
5. I turn off the faucet while I brush my teeth and wash only full loads of laundry.
6. I wrote this blog to remotivate myself and hopefully at least one other person.
I also would like to share a resource. This is probably the most useful recycling website I have ever found, full of great current information and a search tool for local recycing. Please check it out:
Though I do take many steps to reduce my footprint, reuse what I can and recycle many things, I know I can still do more. I use more water than I need to, I want to garden and compost and I am constantly feeling a pull to pursue recyclable art. I will work toward these things because I do believe that I can make a difference.
So can you.
So, please don't feel guilty or annoyed or judged by what I have just shared. Everyone lives in different circumstances with different resources and opportunities, but there is always at least one thing we can do to leave a smaller footprint. Be inspired. If nothing else, please just throw your plastic bottle into the recycling bin, especially when it is sitting right next to the trash.
And go easy on Kermie. He's had a tough time being green.

Monday, September 21, 2009

30/30 vision

A little over ten years ago, I created a list of thirty things I wanted to do by the time I turned thirty. A few weeks ago, I turned thirty, so it was time to break out the list and see how I did. Now I am choosing to share it and encourage anyone reading to make a list of their own...
The things italicized in red are the six things I simply have not done yet.
The things highlighted in blue I consider that I have kind of done, but not to the extent that I would like to...

1. Travel abroad
2. Learn how to knit
3. Visit all 50 U.S. states
4. See a major sporting event
5. Climb a "14er"
6. Write a song
7. Go snorkeling
8. Be a coach
9. Live on the ocean
10. Live in the mountains
11. Live in a big city
12. Watch the northern lights
14. Go on a month long road trip
15. Learn a second language proficiently
17. Go skinny-dipping
18. Stop biting my nails
19. Volunteer/Service trip
20. Go piranha fishing
21. Sing karaoke
22. Spend new years eve in times square
23. Learn how to snowboard
24. Go on one of the top train rides in the world
25. Take a hot-air balloon ride
26. Learn how to develop film
27. Go on a backpacking trip
28. Sponsor a child
29. Go bungee jumping or parasailing.
30. Make a longer list of things to do once I turn thirty

The first thing on your list could be to make a list...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the third climb's a charm

When the alarm went off at 3:30, I couldn’t remember why I wanted to do this. But when we reached the trailhead, I stepped out into a crisp clear “morning”, was met with a rush of adrenaline and had no doubt I wanted to stand on top of the mountain. Our steps began to follow a trail that would eventually lead to the summit of Mount Elbert. At 14,433 feet, it stands as the highest mountain in Colorado and the second highest in the lower 48.
It was my third attempt at hiking a 14er. The first was Longs Peak, but I turned around only a mile or so up to help someone else down. The second was La Plata Peak, but a heart-wrenching decision to turn around because of a storm had to be made as we neared the summit. I had a strong desire to go back and conquer La Plata, but the thought of staring across (and slightly down) at it from Elbert was satisfying enough.
Before I knew it, our steps met a sunrise and we rose above treeline. Those feats were diminished by some annoying looking clouds and someone on their way DOWN who was nice enough to tell us we had “a LONG way to go”. At least he was honest, but that’s not really what you want to hear as you gaze up at fast moving clouds. I kept staring at the clouds and hiked through the pit in my stomach that feared this would be La Plata all over again. Then it started to spit snow. I was SO happy. Seriously. If it was snowing, that meant it wasn’t raining and if it wasn’t raining, the chance of slippery rocks and lightning was greatly decreased. There is always the chance for lightning and snow, but it’s not too common, as affirmed by mister “long way down” raincloud himself, who was apparently a self-proclaimed thundersnow expert.
The ascent from the first snow on was long. People were hiking through pain. The adrenaline wore off. False summits taunted us. There were some points where I really had to focus on my breathing thanks to the frustrating condition I like to pretend I don’t have called asthma. Snow and sun came and went. Hours passed. Through all of it, we just took step after step.
Finally, the actual summit came into view. A huge rush of adrenaline came over me and I took off hiking faster than I had all day towards it. I’ll never forget stepping onto the top. It was an amazing victorious feeling. From the top of Elbert, it feels like you can see the whole state. It was absolutely incredible.
The weather slowly deteriorated on our long trek down, but I hardly even noticed. The goal had been accomplished and on my first full day of being thirty, I felt a flood of possibility. I am so thankful to Amy, Dave and Cindy for being there with me every step of the way to share a mountaintop experience that will be forever engrained in my heart.
Now who’s ready to enter the Whitney lottery with me?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

feeling jazzy

I love music. And there's just something about jazz music that I really love.
I think my swing (no pun intended...ok maybe it was intended) toward really listening to and loving the musical style took place in the heart of New Orleans. A few years ago, I spent some time in the city assisting with cleanup after hurricane Katrina. It was an emotionally challenging time and before leaving I found myself sitting with friends at a cafe in the french quarter. The sun was shining down, I was eating something delicious and there was a man playing the saxophone. I could hear other music coming from the surrounding streets, but I was mesmerized by the sound coming from this one instrument. In the midst of so much pain and desruction that had fallen upon that place, that moment made everything seem just fine and I wanted it to last forever.
Since that glorious morning, I have entertained my jazzy groove. I love that the music lacks a defined structure, yet has so much heart. Beats are backwards, diverse sounds are aplenty and you never know what is coming next, yet somehow, it all comes together. It's simply fantastic.

I was fortunate enough to attend some jazzy shows while living in Chicago last year and I remember walking back to my apartment one night in the cold air singing. Tonight, I just wanted to dance. And it hit me as I drove down the valley that jazz (as much music does) lures me to respond. I allow myself to jump in to the unknown only knowing that if I don't want to miss a beat, I have to do something.
There's just no way I could conclude this post without of my favorite quotes by Donald Miller, from his book Blue Like Jazz...

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music."

Are you feeling jazzy today?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

listening to the day

my eyes open
my heart alive
the sun rises as warmth grabs
an echo of love I still cannot fully grasp
a worn path
green grass
glistening water draws me
melody fills my ears, my mind
inspiration floods
tears are choked inside a calm and restless heart
wind swirls as dark clouds roll
looking up the storm will pass
drowning in conviction
and hope
the Sun returns
the road is noisy and carries on
but I am never the same

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

when moving becomes mundane

If I am not forgetting anything (which is possible considering the amount of memory moves are using), this is the 17th time in the last 11 years that I have packed up my "stuff" and moved it somewhere else. And to me, the crazy part is not that I have moved that many times, but rather that it has become a normal part of my life. I can tell you the best stores to dumpster dive for boxes and which days to go. I can teach you which types of clothes to roll and which to fold. I can even price quote ups shipping rates by sight. What I can't seem to do is stop moving! It's not that I don't enjoy the places I have lived. The dorm, the fun college houses, the mountains, the big city...I loved it all. Not only have I loved the places, I have loved the people. I have lived with 28 different people (you know who you are) in the last ten years and that experience has been wonderful and is irreplaceable.
Still, this has to stop sometime, doesn't it? I don't know.
I am starting to feel the desire to ground myself a little more, but I think the problem is that my heart will always be restless. I am constantly overwhelmed by the distant voices of new adventures, new causes and of the people I know and love and those I don't yet know calling me to be a part of something. Unfortunately, I didn't read the fine print....
Side effects of a restless heart may include:
packing tape growing out of your ears, dizziness, second guessing, disappearing money, the accumulation of more pieces of luggage than needed, a broken heart over and over, a worn-down vehicle, amazing memories, ticket-stub papercuts, tears, spontaneous laughter, 37 gazillion photographs, love, a "more ideas than the mind can hold" headache and passion.
The good news is that I think I am discovering a new way to direct my heart. I can't cure the restlessness. I just have to treat it. However, as I start medicating myself, I am moving three more times in the next year. Miraculously, in a few weeks, I will have all of my belongings in one place for the first time since high school at which point I will work a drastic reorganization of my life's belongings. Then, after my third move, I will stay in one place for at least a year. Maybe I will stay there for three years. Maybe five (gulp). Maybe ten. (is that even possible?)
Regardless of the years, mundane is getting kicked out.
I am going to take my medicine and move in new ways.

Friday, July 31, 2009

i just paid fees to not pay fees...and other reasons usbank sucks

A Poem

It all started in the city
no Wells Fargo, what a pity

A new account, a check returned
the wrong address, first time I was burned

Time goes by after the cry,
but then off to Peru I did fly

For overseas it is the best rate,
so again I buy, what a mistake

Now a balance I start to pay,
I did forget they have their own way

To lower the credit, I thought it wise,
but their sudden new rates I do despise

Moving, new jobs, taxes and snow,
and to them most all my money does go

A stolen wallet and a phone call
with their service, I've hit a wall

The first fee hits which is unreal,
so I make a huge payment to not have to deal

I'm in the clear until my worst fear,
a last minute switch,
fees they said they'd ditch

The online payment does go through,
it's supposed to be one, but they took two

The money they give back, but it comes at a cost,
What am I supposed to do, I'm at a loss

I call and I hold and I call and I hold
as fees pile up, this is getting old

They do not respond, they do not care,
they just want my money, at least a good share

I finally make contact, to a person I speak,
and that's where we come to the fees for no fees

Once this is over, once I am poor,
for me usbank will exist no more.

The End

Saturday, July 4, 2009

happy fireworks day

It seems, from my vantage point, that it is easy to wake up on the fourth of July and think, "Yay! Today I am going to go to a parade, a barbecue and a fireworks show." Those things are all fun and fantastic and I have great memories of them. However, over the last several years, my desire to honor the true history of our holidays has grown. A couple years ago, I decided to read the Declaration of Independence every year on the fourth, consider the time when it was written and try to learn something new. It is amazing to ponder upon the possible trouble the men who signed the document were placing themselves in for their declaration and acussations thrust upon the King.
Last year, I read through one of the responses Britain had to the declaration, in which the statement of equality and seemingly hypocritical existence of slavery was questioned. It was truly interesting. This year, I read a letter that John Adams had written to his wife on July 3, 1776:
"This Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson died...lets move on

So, obviously the whole world is in a frenzy right now because Michael Jackson died. However, I have felt torn and troubled while wading through the thoughts in my mind about this, continually coming across people shaking their heads and proclaiming what a tragedy it is.
I cannot help but ask...what is the tragedy? What do people mean when they say that? What truly makes this such a huge event? I ask those questions not void of emotion, but with an honest heart. Don't think I'm a hater. I am not. I understand that Michael Jackson was an undeniable talent. I remember watching his videos on MTV and trying to learn the dances. (for those of you who may not know, MTV used to actually show music videos...what a concept, eh?) I get that he had a huge impact on music and racial boundaries in entertainment. I also mean no disrespect to his family and friends, who I am sure are going through a hard time now.

But seriously people...enough! I am annoyed. Actually, I felt annoyed from the beginning as I watched people crowd around the hospital where he had been taken. All I could think was, "Oh God, some person is going to die because they wont be able to get into the hospital through the crowds to get treatment." Thankfully I don't think that happened. Michael Jackson was called the "king of pop", and it appears we are treating him as royalty. He possibly and assuredly did some questionable and horrible things. Why are people so willing to turn a blind eye to that and lift him up? It is actually quite a powerful picture of forgiveness, but disturbing as well. I don't know why he did the things he did because he was not my friend, but I do know he died a talented but very troubled middle-aged man who lived a life in the spotlight, constantly tried to appease his perfectionism, probably wanted to change the world and was most likely hooked on drugs. The amazing thing about Michael Jackson is that we still have his music and the change he made.

I don't think that it is actually Michael Jackson that is annoying me the most about this frenzy. It is the fact that I believe we (as humans, as Americans..I dont know) are putting too much emotion into the wrong things. I am tired of the news highlighting celebrities. I feel as though I am drowning in media waste. Gross. I don't want to know anymore about the details of movie star A and movie star B's breakup. I want to know about the 9 year old girl who spent months of allowance to save a puppy from the pound. I want to hear about the 84 year old man who got his high school diploma. I want to read about advocates. I want to be moved and challenged. I want to change and be inspired to have an influence. I never ever want to even come close to being the person who spends hundreds of dollars to go stare at a celebrities corpse in a box instead of handing over a dime to help end hunger, disease and poverty. I honestly kind of feel like throwing up a little bit right now.
"We are the ones who make a brighter day"
from We are the World by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie
Let's move on.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

quoted on purpose (part1)

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
-Robert Byrne
Simple enough, right? And something I've read or heard in about a zillion different places and translations. Yet, somehow, I still don't know what it means. I have ideas and even examples from my life of what it means. I know that the words resonate in my heart, but I can't focus enough in that experience to grab hold of what action I next take to continue with that life. It drives my mind crazy.
What does a life of purpose mean to you?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ok, so I'm a sock snob

For the most part, I am a bargain shopper. I could really care less what brand my shirt is or whether I have the new hip style for the season. Don't get me wrong, I love fashion and I enjoy shopping, but I honestly think it is the creativity factor that draws me the most. There are a few brands that I tend to enjoy more than others (tevas) and there are certain items (hats) that I have more than I need of, but overall it's just "stuff" in my closet to me.
Then there are socks. I don't know what has happened to me, but it seems that my feet have become very picky over time. I used to buy $.99 socks at K-Mart and not think twice about it. Now, my heart rate elevates if I walk into an outdoor store and see a well-stocked row of good socks. This happened recently when I entered REI with a healthy dividend to spend. I could have easily purchased a new seat for my bike (which I desperately need). Or I could have picked out some hiking shoes (which I also kinda need). Instead, I came home with four pairs of socks and a cool recycled "coffee" mug thermos thing. Three pairs were Smartwool, which are definitely one of my favorites. I don't know if these socks are really $10 better than others or not. My wallet and simple mind say "no". My feet say "yes".

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I have loved this song since I first heard it and was just listening to it as I was blogging, so I decided to post it
by Martina McBride

You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach
and you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway
Chorus: God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway, I do it anyway
This world's gone crazy and it's hard to believe
that tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart, for all the right reasons,
and in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love 'em anyway
You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in
that tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway,
sing it anyway
I sing,
I dream,
I love,

Thursday, April 30, 2009

the rich yellow wall

Last night, I was aimlessly wandering around when I saw this yellow wall . Perhaps "aimlessly" is the wrong word since I was wandering with the purpose of finding something captivating to photograph. I just didn't have a specific plan. Back to the yellow wall. So, I see this restaurant, which has a beautiful yellow exterior with cool little green trees and plants with pretty red leaves right by the wall. On top of that, the sun was setting so the yellow was soaking up this warmth and vibrance that was simply incredible and the combination of all the shapes and colors was beautiful. So, I take some photos. Then I look at the photos. What I am creating with the camera is not what my eye is seeing. It's cool, but not what I want it to be. Then this person pulls up by where I am and looks at me funny, which was strange because the restaurant was actually closed and no one was around. So, I leave my "uncapturable" yellow wall and take the long way around the building away from the weird person sitting in their car in an empty parking lot. I was a little sad and about to leave, but I looked back and saw these birds fly out of a roofed area right by these cool lanterns and the sun slowly dropping behind the mountains. It looked picture perfect. It would have been so cool to take that shot, but the problem was that the birds flew away. I tried some bird calls to get them back, but it didn't work. Just kidding. I walked back anyway and began to notice that I was surrounded by pictures. There were the lanterns, tons of windows, lots of reflections, cool plants, a setting sun and lots of random interesting objects. And there was the yellow wall, of course. I took lots of pictures and I plan to go back. The most interesting thing about this little story is how much it reflects my life. As I wandered away, it struck me that this was the case. There have been lots of yellow walls along my journey. But it seems I somehow always manage to stumble upon the shot that I didn't see coming. Things never seem to work out the way I plan. Actually, part of the problem is probably that I dont really plan. But there are always opportunities around the corner. I don't know how the weird person ties in. Perhaps literally.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a little mosaic about me

I actually saw this on Facebook and thought it was pretty fun. The first step in creating the mosaic is to answer 16 questions about yourself (most of them relating to some of your favorite things). Then, search the answers in google images and choose a favorite image for each answer. Finally, the images are placed in the mosaic. Try it....but first you have to figure out what the questions are! :)
Oh...and the mosaic can be made at:

Friday, April 10, 2009

100 days of discipline...and what i've learned

So, I've posted a photo every day for the last 100 days on my photo blog. It's certainly not earth-shattering news, but it feels like a fairly big deal. I knew when I decided to do the daily blog that it would be a challenge, but I also imagined there would be a fulfillment within the challenge. What I didn't imagine was how hard or how good this would be for me. These are the things that I have realized, learned, relearned and/or pondered along this journey...

Discipline is hard, but not an enemy. I think that anyone who has ever tried to be disciplined about anything knows it is not easy. For me, I have always thought of discipline as this annoying thing that can produce good results, but drowns fun and spontaneity. Now I am seeing that the need for discipline simply reveals my true enemies, such as laziness and perfectionism. I am relieved and excited to be discovering that I can live my life with commitment, but without a rulebook and itinerary in my back pocket.
If I don't take a photo, I wont have a photo. Seems obvious, right? I look back over the hundreds of photos I have taken this year and realize that if I were not doing this blog, I probably wouldn't have at least 90% of the photos I have now. And I really really like some of those photos. It is strange and sad to imagine not having them. Not only do I have actual photos, but I also have hundreds of new ideas and I feel excited to use them. This realization is motivating to me to continue to pursue...well, life. If I don't take on life, I won't live.
Having support makes commitment possible. There is no way this would be the same without all of the people following, looking, commenting, voting, enjoying and supporting this little venture. That, along with knowing others are doing the same thing has kept me going when I wanted to give up. There is a reason we have community and we truly can accomplish so much more with each other. Thank you. :)
I am terrified of letting myself down. This is something that I already knew about myself and I think it is both good and bad. I live in this world where I either pour way too much of myself into something or I cling to apathy as a crutch. This way I never let myself down because I am either assured great success or I don't reach my potential, but it doesn't matter since I didn't really give my all. It's pretty messed up, actually. I am still pondering this, but I know that I need to dismiss my constant wandering towards half-heartedness and channel my passion, awareness and talent with intention on a daily basis. I am a work in progress. :)
There are walls in the way of every journey. I remember running the 400m in track and it was the most horrible event of all. For anyone who has never run the 400m in competition, it is so hellish because it is an entire lap around the track, but it is not a jog or even a fast is a sprint. Sprinting for 400 meters is hard. My point in all this is that there is a wall in that race right around that last curve or at about the 300m mark. It's been years since I ran a 400, but that feeling is still so vivid in my mind. You hit the wall and the body practically gives up. The legs become dead weights and the arms can't move. The head and heart pound. The feeling of others around becomes overwhelming and the emotional drive starts to give way. The end looks so far away. The desire to give in is almost all that can be felt. All there is left to do is give nothing less than 100% mentally, emotionally and physically. It sucks, but once that finish line is crossed, there is a feeling that cannot be recreated without the fight and you know it was worth it. You may have NO desire to ever do it again, but it was worth it. This may seem a little dramatic, but I am constantly relating this experience to things in my life and it applies to the blog. For me, the first wall was after only a week. It was fun and exciting and refreshing at first, but after only six days, I found myself in my room one night staring at my camera and feeling grouchy. It was late and I hadn't taken any pictures. I was tired and wanted to go to bed. Cursing the blog, I picked up the camera and lazily looked around my room. By the time I made my post that night, I was still tired and my head hurt, but I felt great and I love the photo. There have been walls and there will be more, but the journey that continues beyond them is worth breaking through to.
I am not a film snob anymore. When digital cameras really started to catch on, I was annoyed. I felt like everyone was suddenly able to take a decent picture, but it was because they were cheating. I guess I kind of felt like art was getting sucked out of photography. I had also felt that way about digital "alteration" before the cameras were everywhere. Over the past year, my closed mind has opened. I finally broke down and bought a digital camera, though I still don't have a DSLR, just a fantastic compact. I have realized that it is wonderful for people to be able to explore art and photography in a way that is not too expensive or intimidating. I have also realized that the artistic possibilities offered by the digital world are amazing and can be more of a creative "enhancement" than an "alteration". The blog would be a much larger challenge and investment with film only and I have truly enjoyed opening up to the creative possibilities that come with each photo. I still do believe, though, that bringing an artistic knowledge, passion and idea to a photo will make it better. I still shoot film and I LOVE it, but I have grown rather fond of my computer programs and little digi Nikon.
With perspective, it is possible. If I open my eyes, it is possible to see something new every single day. If I open my mind, I am able to learn and grow. If I open my heart, I am able to love. If I listen and learn and work and allow my perspective to be continually molded, I will do what I desire to do. Art is amazing. It seems that the possibilities are endless and I am so thrilled to continue pursuing them. There may be walls and I will have to fight even myself, but possibility will be waiting. All I did was start a blog and open my camera lens every day and it has changed my perspective forever.
Who knew a simple little blog would hold so many life lessons?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

i want candy

Sometime last week, I found myself zoning out in front of the TV and working my way through a pile of tootsie rolls like they were the most addictive of drugs. Have you ever eaten tootsie roll midgees? I don't know if it there is a calm released in the repeated untwisting of the wrapper or if the tasty tootsie roll itself holds the power, but give me some midgees and I am a happy camper. However, after my most recent tootsie tea time, I found myself staring at the pile of wrappers wondering what I had just ingested. I decided to find out...
sugar, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil,condensed milk, cocoa, whey, soy lecithin, orange extract, and artificial and condensed flavors.
The interesting thing that I soon discovered is that tootsie rolls are actually not as bad for you as most candy, which is great and made me feel a little better, but also brought me to my next thought: I like most candy. I don't really care if it is sweet or sour, chocolatey or fruity or containing peanut butter, nuts or caramel...if it is around, I'll probably eat it. In fact, a couple days ago, I opened a package of candy I was planning on sending to a friend because I wanted to eat it. That's pretty sad. Even as I was opening the box, I felt the nudge of discipline yet again. I began to ponder my candy eating habits more seriously, but the candy itself distracted me and my thoughts soon moved on to other things.
That night, I went on and noticed that the film "Super Size Me" had popped up. I pressed play hoping that the documentary would be somewhat interesting and also help me to fall asleep. There is much I could share about this film, but for now let me just say that I was greatly disturbed. When they showed how much sugar had been eaten during the experiment, I actually gasped and am pretty sure my teeth rotted a little bit. I realize that it is not normal to eat McDonalds every meal of every day and that it is a far cry from my normal diet, but it caused me to rethink my eating habits.
I actually think I eat pretty well. I try to get my fruits and veggies every day and like to make food instead of eat out. In fact, I hardly ever eat fast food. Pretty much the only things I drink are water, juice and milk. (well...and the occasional glass of wine or whiskey) I know I dont eat too much salt and I don't even like many condiments. Overall, I feel fairly healthy, but I know that it's the sweets of all sorts that are my downfall.
As a result of all of this, I am going to make some changes because I feel that I can treat my body a little better. I am not going to go as extreme as I have with other things. I am not going to give up dessert or candy, however, I am going to limit myself. I am also going to continue to attempt to redirect my snacky tendencies toward more healthy options. So, the next time I seem to be paying more attention to a candy bowl than a conversation, help me out and wave some bags of sugar in front of my face or something.
But leave me and my midgess alone.

Friday, March 20, 2009

jumping ahead?!

Last time I checked it was 2009. It is 2009, isn't it? Last time I checked, Obama was inagurated only two months ago, yes? And last tiime I checked, there are a lot of things going on all over the globe and enough in this country that we should be aware of and educated on. Yet the last time I checked the news, the highlighted story was about who would be ahead in 2012 if Palin runs against Obama. What!? I have several problems with this. For one, it makes me crazy! How impatient are we? The last election JUST happened. We dont need to talk about this now. Also, what if Obama doesn't decide to go up for re-election or what if Palin chooses a different path over the next couple years? The biggest problem I have, though, is that this is not news now. We should be reading and learning about issues facing us and how we can be a part of solutions. Or how about some positive stories that inspire us to action or simply make us feel hopeful for humanity? I must admit that it is fairly easy to get sucked into all the drama, but I desire to be an informed and involved person and all the highlighted speculation and sensationalism is making that feel like more and more of an uphill battle. !?!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

avoiding sleep

I am pretty talented at finding random projects to do at 11:00 pm, especially when I have to get up early for work the next morning. Tonight, I have decided to finally create another blog. Ever since I started my photo blog, I have wanted to start another one where I can write to share thoughts, stories, questions, ponderments, rants, adventures and/or anything else that may be wanting to escape my mind. So here it is... :)