Tuesday, November 20, 2007

feelings of gratitude

Picture from flikr

Today I took a walk around campus during lunch and delighted in how the foggy it was outside - white clouds covered the lake and wrapped itself among the trees creating an air of mystery all around. There was something simply magical about it all...almost as if I was taking a walk in the clouds or walking in a dream state. I wish I had a camera to capture the essence of it because it was a perfect walk in every way. This Flikr picture doesn't quite capture it, but maybe with a little imagination, you might just get the gist.

Peace n love to you all. Have a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. (woot! woot! to only one more day of work this week!)

Friday, November 09, 2007

obama slacking?

Now, I have been crazy about Barack Obama for years, but this recent article detailing how he has been slacking on his senator duties since he announced his presidential bid has me a bit peeved.

Apparently, during the last two and half months, Senator Obama has not voted on important issues bought to the Senate 80% of the time: missing voting more than any other presidential candidate currently in the senate. Now, I understand running a presidential campaign is both energy and time consuming beyond belief, however I feel there is no reason, short of a family emergency or physical impairment, adequate enough to miss out voting on Child Healthcare, the war in Iraq, and the escalating issues that have been coming up with Iran. He didn't vote on any of those important national issues, yet he made the time last week to appear on Saturday Night Live for some indulgent self-promotion.

Needless to say, I am sincerely disappointed in Barack. Here he is preaching about everything he would be doing to help the country as president of the United States, but yet currently isn't doing everything in his power as the Illinois Senator as it is. This is the man that is supposed to be representing me, a citizen of Chicago...and I feel cheated because he obviously feels he is too busy to participate in such proceedings. I sincerely don't know if these factors will deter me JUST YET for voting for him, but I will certainly keep this in mind when I hear him speaking about "should have, could have, would haves" in debates, interviews, and the like.

busy as a bee

Again, I can't believe how time has flown right on by since my last post. Life has been hectic and much to my surprise, weeks have gone by feeling like mere minutes. Can it already be November ? OH MY!

Some of the things that yours truly has been up to:

Since my school books seem to be the only thing I have time to open, I have found myself enjoying books audibly on my ipod at rapid rates on my daily commute to and from work. The last have been:

  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - I swear, people were staring at me like I was a crazy ass because I couldn't help but cry during the last chapter during my morning commute. Even though I knew what was coming, this story never fails to touch my heart and soul.
  • Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems - After watching the Dog Whisperer on Cable I felt compelled to read this book and see what the guru had to say about helping my crazy ass Taz. Needless to say this book was a very informative guide to understanding my hyperactive, headstrong mutt. I'm still struggling to be his pack leader, but am trying. I have to add: on a side note, that I think Mr. Milan's Latino accent is very sexy so listening to this book was especially captivating. Hee hee.
  • The Secret - This was the most disappointing selection of the bunch. So disappointing in fact, that I didn't even finish it. Usually, I'm not really into self-help books, and this was no exception. However, I have heard a lot of hype on the book so I figured I would see what all the excitement was about. The central premise of the book was that positive thinking makes all the difference in getting the things in life. If you think you have something, and truly believe you do, lo and behold: the universe gives it to you. While I wholeheartedly agree that positive thinking is a powerful and necessary component to happiness, I just think its absurd and STUPID to "think" your way thin or rich. It just can't be done. IT takes hard work for many people and this book just ignores that fact. Instead of focusing on the books negatives, I will say that it did remind me that a little positive thinking can go a long way and to NEVER say NEVER...

Also keeping me busy of course, is school. I am happy to report that next week is my statistics final. And after I finish that horrid test and final lab, I will be class free until January of next year. Needless to say, after the final I will commence a lovely celebration laced with tequila and dancing with a few classmates. Hee hee.

In other fronts, my slipped disk is somewhat improving though sometimes I fear my back will never be the same. I definitely need to start focusing on working out again on a regular basis to ensure that my back and stomach is strengthened and stays that way. Hopefully, my workouts, coupled with this wonderful contraption, and a little more TLC from physical therapy and I will be 100% again.

During the course of the year, I have also fell more in love with knitting. Through time, TLC and lots of patience, as each project evolves, it somehow retains a piece of me with it and I truly do fall in love with each project I take on. When I do give out something I made with my hands, I do it with pride. I'm so addicted that I even started a knitting diary where I attach a swatch of my work to the pattern instructions and make a photocopy of a portion of the actual work. This way, I can always reference back something I have done in the past. Currently, I have 3 knitting projects I am working on. Two of them are x-mas gifts and one is FOR ME! I am currently working a grey Chevron scarf for my brother, a tan-ish brown checkerboard scarf for my sister-in-law, and a pair of fun lavender socks for me. After working on the baby blanket for so long, the scarfs are simply a cakewalk for me. I could be doing them in my sleep and should be done with them in no time.

I am also patiently waiting for the next 5 weeks to be over so I can indulge in 2.5 weeks of vacation. I am so looking forward to de-programming, sleeping in, and just enjoying life as much as possible. What a way to ring in the new year!

Friday, October 26, 2007

the official I'm getting old post

It's official...I am getting old. After 2 months of back pain, I recently found out I have a herniated disk in my lumbar region (it was a hell of a birthday present to find this out, lemme tell you that!). For the past few weeks I have been going to physical therapy two times a week to try to mend my back issues but, alas, this dreaded pain doesn't cease. It doesn't help that my commute to and from work is a whopping 2 hours and that my job requires extensive amount of sitting behind a desk. I found that these are possibly the worst things I could be doing, as they exert even more pressure on my poor slipped disk. I sit here at work both mentally and physically exhausted...feeling something which seems to be a recurring theme in my life: I FEEL LIKE A VIEJITA.

Another reason I have been feeling old lately: a number of my little cousins - all which I helped diaper as babies- are starting to move out of their parent's houses, have their own children, get married, are starting careers, and going to college. They are no longer little people causing havoc and running around during family functions. Now they are just causing havoc in their own lives. It is clearly evident that everything's changed and my family - which was once was so tight - has fallen apart at the seams . Back in the days, our family get-togethers had well over 50 people in attendance...but, nowadays they run a measly 15 to 20 people deep. It seems everybody, especially all my "newly grown" cousins, are way too busy with their own problems to sort through, errands to run, or knee deep in "relationships" that are more important than hanging out with the fam. It wouldn't even be so bad if they were trying to do well in life. It's quite the opposite. A lot of them are starting to hang "out on the block", some are in destructive relationships with people who continually slam them through the sewer, and yet others are having babies when they themselves aren't grown. And it's so sad. I try to be supportive, and be there as much as I can for them. Yet, nothing I say or do seems to make any difference to them and while I know we each have to deal with the consequences to our own actions, I just wish I could somehow bring the feeling of family back. Somehow, I think that would make all the difference in the world. I can't help but think if our abuelitos were still around, things would be so different...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

mind in the gutter...

DID YOU KNOW?…SEX edition:

*** Sex is biochemically no different from eating large quantities of chocolate. *** For every 'normal' webpage, there are five porn pages. *** The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation. *** Each day, there are over 120 million sexual intercourses taking place all over the world. *** Sex burns 360 calories per hour!

Wow...you got to feel sorry for those indonesians!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

for those like me...

You may be approaching middle age and yet still have no idea what you want to be when you grow up. You may have even read books like "What Color is Your Parachute" yet..hmmm...can't seem to conceptualize it.

(Enter light bulb )

Career Cruising
Username: bloomfield Password: bombers

Here's a website where you can answer a few questions about your likes and dislikes...then it populates a list of 40 occupations that match to you. From the 4 people whom I know did it, the list seems to match up pretty well to interests. Though, there were some crazy one-offs here and there. Like Look at my #8. When looking at my list I noticed occupations in the top 10 were mostly on point, appealing to my raw desire to change the world.

For those who are interested, here's the top 15 careers it pulled for me.

1. Child and Youth Worker

2. Career Counselor

3. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

4. Management Consultant

5. Principal

6. Art / Music Therapist

7. Adoption Counselor

8. Funeral Director

9. Addictions Counselor

10. Association Manager

11. Health Care Administrator

12. Clergy

13. Psychologist

14. Economic Development Officer

15. Massage Therapist

A big thank you to Kerry for the link

fall's rollin on in...

It's officially fall ya'll...and the weather is perfect. Not to hot. Not too cold with a nice breeze that just just makes me yearn for all my windows to be open. Living in the midwest truly makes you appreciate the distinct changes that each seasons brings. And right not I am loving the beautiful colors starting to erupt in the trees. Just witnessing their beauty seems to make my one hour commute to/from work a little more tolerable.

Just a few of the things making me smile lately:

~ Me & the boyfriend tearing down and installing new vinyl siding on the back side of my house this past weekend. It was a lot of hard work and I have tons of bruises and scrapes to show for it, but the outcome is so beautiful I want to cry! Slowly but surely, my money pit is becoming less of..well...a pit!

~ My family from California coming to Chicago on a surprise visit for my father's birthday tomorrow. I have to ask my abuelita how she liked the hat I knitted her.

~ Getting a call from an old college friend that I haven't talked to in at least four years out of the blue!

~ Drinking cup upon cup of Octavia's Organic Wild Blueberry White Tea. Oh my...it's just too good to drink with a frown!

~ Watching the new HEROS episode yesterday in HD. Every Monday night with be the official Heros night at my house.

~ Doing my statistics homework and actually conceptualizing what the hell I am doing.

~ Doing said homework in less than 2 hours!

~ Getting a well deserved raise right before my 29th birthday!

What's making you smile ?!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

back to life...

Yet another huge chunk of of time has passed since my last post. Alas, I have been busy trying to find myself and enjoying the last bits of summer as much as possible. Well, that, and the fact that I have been suffering from a supreme case of writers block. However, after browsing the archives of my beloved blog, an old and familiar spark emerged from within. Suddenly, I wanted to write. Reading so many things I wrote about and thought aloud about in years' past suddenly reminded me of the comfort of just letting it all out.

Part of me stayed away so long because I felt my live has become trivial...methodic...boring. AND, I refuse to be yet another blogger which writes about what she ate, what she watched on tv, and how life sucks. Despite bouts of depression and poverty over the last few months, life has been good. I have travelled a few times, been working out regularly, and slowly getting out of debt. However, just like my ever-shrinking audience, my world has wilted to the size of a pea. Confession: I have turned into a hermit. I don't know if it has been work, my relationship, my friends (or shall I say lack of friends that actually are there in thick and thin), or even my own self esteem holding me back, but truth is: I have enclosed myself from the world lately and have been scared to step back in. I felt gray inside. This, I decided this morning as I looked into the mirror, has got to change. I am too young to feel like I am dead inside.

So, I decided to chop all my hair off. It's kinda a symbolic new beginning of sorts. Out with the old, in with the new...loosing all past baggage..ya know what I mean. Actually, if I had the balls to shave it completely, I would. HAH! My boyfriend's going to freak! It's so dramatic of a change, the mutt might not even recognize me when I walk in the front door!

Talking about the boyfriend and the mutt, I FURTHER promise myself not to stay in the confines of my house knitting the night away, awaiting a call from the boyfriend saying he's on his way home, asking if there's food to eat, or even declaring that he's staying out later than usual. Even more, I will venture out to invitations of delightful outings, food, and dancing - solo if I have to, despite the fact the mutt will be all by himself yet again. I refuse to let life pass by while I sit on my couch wondering what could have been. Some of you may be thinking that I am saying all this as a sort of rebellion against my relationship. But that is not the case at all: I am not made at Mike, yet instead am mad at myself for letting my spark, my life, my smile...just slip away...if that makes any sense at all.

Anyway, it feels good to promise myself these things. It feels good to chop off my hair and to see my smile, which was just this morning hidden by layers of hair and self doubt. It feels good to do things just because I CAN...It feels good to remember I am young and not old, that I am beautiful inside and out and despite everything, that life is worth living fully and to be savored like prime rib. And damn, I am hungry..I am eager to once again taste it's nectar....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Hemingway Challenge

Legend has it that Earnest Hemingway was once
challenged to write a story in only SIX WORDS.
The result was "For sale: baby shoes, never used."

Here's an interesting and challenging activity. Try to compose YOUR story (the story of YOU) in EXACTLY six words (no more, no less). For some, this may be painful. (It's very hard to tell your whole story in six words.)

Dylan: Facing my Fears, Living my Dreams
Carin: Lives planned perfectly will imperfectly unfold.
Kayla: Fate lay in dreams yet realized.
Dre: Life's easy with your eyes shut.
Keigh: Appreciate mistakes for what they are!
EJ: Many pages turned, very little read.
Colby: A moment of clarity never rendered.
Moot: They've swollen, the size of softballs!
Herb: What sucks now will always suck.
Larry: I came, I saw, I drank.
King Iggy: Born to raise hell, then died.
Nicole: Life is full of little dissapointments.
Mike J: I wonder what else I forgot.
Mandy: The future starts today, not tomorrow.
Arie: Water is actually, with persuasion, flammable.
Kris: Live, love, dream, and be happy.
Jessica: All this work for one screw.
james: SALE: parachute, used once - small stain
Bagheera: I'm still learning how to breathe.
Brandice: Even teachers must never stop learning
Jason(PMIYT8,OTPD!) : Boobies shown, I died happy, yay
So Very...Kerry: I have taken, now I give.
Beau How did I pull this off?
Katiebug: Oh I'll think about that tomorrow.
Sam: I'm going to be a Daddy
Dina Marie: It's the story of my life.....
Dawn~ Taking one day at a time.......
Kim - Mother, wife, complete happily ever after
ileana: expect the unexpected; it WILL happen
Vicki: I live my life for me.
Paloma: Living the life of my dreams.
Michelle: Happiness is easier than I thought.
Shannon: Living though words that are written
pirate J: That bitch, she broke my heart.
pirate j: dumb funny, mother metaphorical fucker.
pirate j: I love life beyond any reason.
Miles - Arrived, tried to be happy, disappeared
SA: Born to live, live to die.
Handsome Duke: She lived with a virgin father
jami - subcutaneous structure served no purpose here
jesica - fuck jami, you cut my face
miranda - nevermind the blood in your sink
Xtine - Weak minded die at my feet.
doug- walked with many, seen so few
prissy miss chrissy - lather, rinse, repeat. (lather, rinse, repeat.)
prophetic jerk so able - Wages of sin: Hungover, dreadfully ill.
autumn-love like lightning, break like thunder.
abe- searching, and finding it in me.
phil - i'm the captain of my soul
rockie- was lost, but now am found.
Candice-Heart of Lion,Soul of Cub
Janet~ STRONG MINDED, weak hearted..getting better
philly phil - going out with bang like Hemingway
xochitl - My happily ever after is now.
ms. purity - I am a symphony of contradictions

Monday, June 25, 2007

if you're happy and you know it, shake your ass!

It's one of those rare moments in life where I feel everything is exactly like it should be. I take a look inward and realize life has been good to me.

~ In addition to doing weights and the elliptical machine, I have started jogging during my lunch break. I am averaging between 2 to 3 miles a day and when I'm not incredibly sore, I feel like I am on top of the world.

~ I am over half way done with knitting the baby blanket. Pictures are sure to come. I hope the baby enjoys it and on those chilly autumn days, is happily warmed in it.

~ I am enjoying the summer as much as possible. Last week alone I went to see the White Sox play and got free tickets to Cirque Shanghai.

~ Since school ended I have been spending much more quality time with the parents, Mike, and Taz. I have been taking naps during a lazy Sunday afternoons, long walks with the mutt, and spending hours at end knitting and reading my Harry Potter book.

~ My last vacation of the summer is in a month! I can't wait for my Miami trip with Rachel and the girls. Being the chica I am, you can be sure I'm going to search for some good Cuban food while I am down there.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and that your life is equally content as as mine.

Peace n Love.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ode to our soldiers

Tears fall like rain for soldiers
Kept prisoner by a call to duty for lies
Holding the brunt of the war behind their eyes
Nightly fighting nightmares laced with sounds of baby cries
Nighmares that their friend has died...and died all over again

My heart cries out for these soldiers
Most are young, inexperienced, and
Have unwillingly became the martyr for their government
Who sacrificed their lives just to get ahead
And lead them astray amid gunfire
A government that will have forgotten them
Minutes after the blood and tears have been shed
Minutes after their Purple hearts of lead and muscles of fury used to bring forth
Democracy which has long set sail to prevail
to brainwash the meak
to break down their fleets and bring forth oil

These young soldiers did not enlist for this
Lives amiss
Even If they survive
will they ever truly mend?
Truth is many of their souls are lost
never to be found again
Sacrifice scars their blackened faces
Eyes fill with loss of life and destruction
Bullets and bombs torn through hearts leaves families in mourning
Sons and daughter taken without warning
Who would have known the consequences of swearing allegiance to the flag?
The consequences...of freedom?

Monday, June 11, 2007

destination: final paper

picture via flickr

Over the last 3 weeks I have spent over 70 hours researching for and writing my final paper, which I am happy to report that I am finishing the final touches on. At 23 pages long (not including references, title page, or appendixes), I have poured my heart and soul into it.

I always knew I had a passion for education. Always knew I wanted to make the world a better place...but this paper on public school funding released emotions I never knew I had. At times doing the research I was infuriated at the vast differences I found between the rich and poor, at times I wanted to cry because I saw myself, my family, and friends in so many of the stories and studies I read. I feel like a wool has been lifted off my eyes allowing me to conceptualize the inequalities in education...but in it's place...a weight has been placed on my chest. I feel helpless to change it...

If anyone is interested in reading my paper, just let me know. I will be happy to spread the knowledge to the masses.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

the beauty of rain

Today when I was walking Taz it started to rain...and not just any rain. But a kind of rain reminiscent of Puerto Rico on a lazy afternoon. The sun was still shining, it was still relatively warm outside, yet a soft rain fell...then stopped for a few minutes...then rained again.

I was so refreshing, so cleansing. I could feel it replenishing everything around me and for a second...everything I had to do and all my worries just evaporated. I just let it soak it in and wash me of everything I didn't need.

I love the rain...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

back to reality

From Left Top to Right Botton: Quang, Rachel, Mike, Me

We just got back from santa monica late last night. I had such a kick-ass & relaxing weekend that I am dreading having to go back to work tomorrow. Rachel & Quang were wonderful hosts and I am thankful for such crazy, loving, KICK-ASS friends. Much love to them for taking us into their casa...I LOVE YOU GUYS!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

got gas?

Ideally, I would say ride a bike instead of fill 'er up...but most people are going to be driving around this weekend like crazy... SOOOO, I hope you remembered to fill up the old gas tank already because gas prices are just going to go through the roof the closer it gets to the weekend. As of now, I saw gas prices by my house for $3.92/gallon for regular unleaded (yes, that's the cheap shit).

But I truly lucked out this week. There are no words to explain how happy I was to actually SCORE some gas at $3.52/gallon in the suburbs two days ago. It's so sad to even say that $3.52/gallon is a steal. I SHOULD NOT BE GETTING HAPPY FOR PAYING THAT MUCH FOR GAS..PERIOD...I remember just a few yeas ago when $2 a gallon was the norm (not even that long ago actually).

The way things are going nowadays, it makes you question if there will there be a day when people just CAN'T afford gas anymore (and whether those days are coming faster than we care to admit)....Mad Max type days where gas is a luxury for the elite and not just an everyday commodity to be taken for granted by the masses...A day when a majority of American's just WON'T BE ABLE to afford the gas costs of Hummers and SUV's? Well...Only the rich folks I guess.

Ok, I digress yet again...if you haven't gotten your gas, go now...RUNNNN before it's too late and you are applying for that bank loan to fill 'er up!!! By the way, you can check out the best gas prices in your area at gas buddy.

i'm leaving on a jet plane...

chillin like a villain

Because I leave for vacation tomorrow, I should be tying up all the loose ends here at the office..but I can't. I'm already on vacation mode and truthfully, my brain's swirling with all the last minute errands and packing I have to do tonight in preparation for the trip. Charge the camera (check), pack the flip flops (check), do last minute loads of laundry (to do later), run to the bank (to do later)...the list just goes on and on.

Manana me & the bf are heading to Santa Monica to hang out with our friends Rachel & Guang. They have a sweet pad about 6 blocks from the Santa Monica beach, which unfortunately looks like we won't be enjoying too much off. Temperatures are only going to be in the 60's!! How can Chicago weather actually be hotter than that of southern California? Dammit.

Anyway, in any case, I am off from work until next Wednesday and I couldn't be more thankful. Since I haven't really had a day off since Christmas time, I am sooo looking forward to some heavy duty R&R. I plan to stay away from all forms of technology during the trip, so you won't be getting an update from me in a while. But in the meanwhile, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. Peace n love!!

peace n love.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

the immaculate conception..

Has anyone else read about the female shark in Omaha Nebraska which immaculately concepted an offspring? Evidently, she hadn't had contact with a male shark in over three years but SOMEHOW was able to fertilize her own eggs. Even after DNA tests were done, there was no evidence of paternal DNA found.

Asexual reporduction...parthenogenesis...immaculate conception...Whatever you wanna call it, that's fucken evolution, man! Female sharks everywhere are saying "who needs that hammerhead anyway, I will do it myself!!!"

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

my blog has a new face...

Just as the seasons change, so must the face of my blog. This time, I decided to update it with vibrant colors. And what a pain in the ass it was! The new blogger has done everything in it's power to mess up any templates I tried to use. Even this one looks kinda scrunched in Mozilla, which is my browser of choice...but I digress...for the most part, I'm loving the template.

So, any feedback on how it looks? Let me know if it looks jacked up when you visit. I will troubleshoot it as best as I can. Peace n love to all...

Monday, May 07, 2007

the baby blanket

There is truly something to be said about creating something with your bare hands. A certain pride that you just can't get from buying that same article from the store. Within the last year, I have gone from learning to knit, to making scarves, to knitting hats. Now I'm starting to challenge myself into more complex projects such as blankets and purses. Who knew I could be so crafty??!!

And, while school has been keeping me busy like no body's business, I still try to find time to knit. My current project is for Mike's sister, who is expecting her first child. Since she decided not to find out the gender of the babe, I opted for a gender neutral light green organic cotton fabric from blue sky alpaca. It's pure ecstasy to work with and so soft I just want to wrap myself up in it from head to toe. I found the basic checker box pattern for the blanket on this lovely blog, though I changed it up just a tad. As of now, I'm about 1/4 through and am damn proud of my work...but I have along way to go.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

scattered thoughts

Viva la Craigslist! God I love this site. Over the course of the weekend, I got a 80 gig Video ipod (still factory sealed) for a whopping $75 cheaper than in the stores. I know it was a splurge, but it was high time I treated myself to something nice, dammit. Next on the agenda: the $70 Belkin FM tuner for the ipod...found on none other than craigslist for $30.

Another positive: I was able to rent one of my units on the first day of showing it. My new tenants will move in Mid-May and I am happy as a lark to not have to be without rental income for too much longer...To top it off, I didn't have to pay for the apartment listing because it was (you guessed it) listed on Craigslist for FREE. Damn, I'm like a walking billboard for them today, aren't I?

In other news, it's been over 2 months since I started working out 4 to 5 days a week on the elliptical and weight machines. In fact, my new found regimen inspired my bf to join the gym 3 weeks ago. To date, he has lost 5 pounds...as for me...a MEASLY 3. What the hell? I am so hating on him right now.

Oh, and school is going extremely well. I'm getting an "A" in my Stratification class thus far, and it's midway through. But, I'm still struggling to find a topic for my 18 page research paper. It has to examine one of the primary barriers children face in education. I'm thinking it will either be on School Funding or Bilingual Education. Wish me luck.

Friday, April 13, 2007

the most kick-ass sign EVER

Did anyone in the Chicago area see this sign near an expressway?!! Drats, I wish I had caught it in person!!! It only was up for 15 minutes before it was yanked.

By the way, I found the picture at: this blog via the chicagoist. It's actually a very creative & interesting blog so go check it out!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

do ya feel like swimming?

I found this post on the consumerist just simply hilarious. Try mapping out a course from a city in the states to London, UK. Just try it. Try it. I will wait....you done yet? FUNNY HUH??!!

Here's the scoop:
It was found that when you map a route from Chicago to London, Google Maps suggests you SWIM 3,500 miles ACROSS the Atlantic Ocean to get there. The trip will take a whopping 29 days, 22 hours just to arrive in the UK...damn, there goes ALL of your vacation time. I heard of traveling on a budget, but c'mon!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

food for thought

"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime."

When did helping the homeless find a meal become a crime? Cities across the nation from Orlando to Las Vegas have begun penalizing local charities which are feeding the homeless on City property...simply because they think it will help lower crime rates and indirectly, increase tourism to their glorious cities. In Dallas, for instance, you have to get certified to handle food and apply for permits just to serve the homeless in city parks. Failure to follow this procedure can lead to a hefty $2,000 fine.

Wait a minute...isn't it obvious that further making poverty worse in your communities by denying people of the basic right to eat - won't lower crime rates, but increase them? And, obviously, if crime rates are up, people sure aren't going to be running over each other to visit your city.

This government falls victim to never seeing the big picture in deep seeded issues. They opt for the cosmetic fix, instead of trying to heal them at their source. Or maybe they just don't give a fuck?!

This country is disturbing on so many levels.

For those curious, the article can be found here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

i gotta spring in my step

It seems to me like this is the perfect start to the spring season. The sun has just come out and the scent of rain fills my nose thorugh the open window here in my office. And, for the first time this year this chica has actually worn a skirt to work. ahhhh, life is good.

Monday, March 19, 2007

wwjd ?

4 years after the war officially begun there have been:
~ 3,200 American troops killed
~ over 59,000 Iraqi civilians which have lost their lives
~ 23,000 American troops wounded
~ about 250 American allied troops killed
~ over $409,000,000,000 American tax dollars spent
~ Increased Iraqi pessimism about U.S. involvement in their country - with 82% expressing a lack of confidence in the U.S. coalition and 69% thinking the U.S. had even made the security situation even worse

and what for? what have we accomplished? I sit here on the anniversary of this cursed war and my heart aches. In these days and times it's hard to not become immune to what we see on the news day after day, but we have to come together and say "NOT ONE MORE DOLLAR SPENT...NOT ONE MORE LIVE TAKEN" and actually mean it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

book sluttin around town...

Within the past week and half I have read two wonderful books.

The sociologist in me thought Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing was a fascinating look into how couples deal with the complex task of sharing a bed (which by default is such a personal space). While sleeping is not usually considered something social in nature, the sheer act of sharing a bed/sleeping with someone else is a social interaction, albeit an extremely personal one. In any case, I think a lot of people can relate to the range of topics discussed: hogging the bed (or sheets), snoring, the overabundance of annoyances such as leaving the TV on, being a night person while your mate is a morning person...the list goes on and on. While the book doesn't offer any insights on how to solve these annoyances, it does report on how other couples do try to cope with their partners habits. The topic is so unique that I think I might actually write a paper on this for class.

The other book I had the joy of indulging in was The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream. This was such a feel good book that I read it in one night. Though the story line is a bit unbelievable (keep in mind - it is a fable), after reading it I felt compelled to do all the things I have been procrastinating on: re-writing my resume, cleaning out my closet, and selling my house. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a quick read that just emanates positive energy and re-affirms your belief in "destiny".

The next book on my list is Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy, which I just took out from the library. The premise is that politics has become "theatre" and that progressives need to get creative in order to grab the attention of American citizens, who hunger for and are attracted to a sort of fantasy life. He dubs this mentality "dreampolitik". Hopefully, I can get this book finished by the start of next semester, which starts next Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

spring is here

It's a whopping 72 degrees here in Chicago and for those who don't know - that's over 20 degrees above normal for this time of year. While most people are out enjoying the care-free summer like weather out there, I can't help but cringe just a little. This is Global Warming at it's finest.

Don't mean to sound cynical, but I'm just saying. Open your eyes and see what we are actually doing to this planet. While we are basking in the sunshine of warmer weather, ice caps are melting...

that is all...you can go back to sipping your mocha lattes now.

Monday, March 12, 2007

dog-napped !!

What type of world do we live in when you can't even let your dog out in the backyard for a few minutes without some crazy ass neighbor stealing him???!!!!

TRUE STORY: Taz was let out for not even 10 minutes before we noticed someone had opened up the back gate and let him out. Curiously enough: there was a half-eaten piece of polish sausage near the open gate. We KNEW both the gate was closed and that polish sausage was not there when we let him out just minutes before. After frantically searching for him in the alley, calling out his name, etc, some kids playing basketball at a garage a few houses down told us that a polish man who lives nearby came by and TOOK Taz. THE BALLS OF THAT MAN! Luring my dog with food to his house!!! Sure enough, when we knocked on the back door of the house in question, we saw Taz happy as a lark soaking up the attention of a polish family who couldn't even look us in the eyes. When confronted, the man who STOLE my dog pretended not to know English, only saying how friendly Taz was. We should have called the cops on him, but instead left him with a warning that if he comes near our yard or near our dog again, we would have him arrested. I mean, c'mon, if this was a kid in question he would be kidnapping! The man was lucky he was old, because my boyfriend was so upset he could have killed him.

All this happened and Taz had no idea how close he came to being stolen and never seeing me or Mike ever again. He was just happy to get attention and human food. I'm pist and just plain terrified that this could have even happened right in my own backyard! I still have no idea why the guy took him, cuz after a while I'm sure we would have noticed our dog in someone else's backyard. One theory was he was planning on selling him, or worse yet cooking him up in some kind of polish delicacy (do polish people even eat dog?). Either way, it was a close call and I am so thankful my pooch is safely at home. Needless to say, we are installing a locking feature on our gate to ensure this type of thing doesn't happen again.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

i'm a survivor

So much time has passed since my last entry on my compleximplicity that part of me was actually scared to come back to the world of blogging. I had started writing catch-up posts countless times only to delete them. Nothing seemed adequate enough; the words were meaningless and could not reflect...me. Many fluff posts had been started too, but they just seemed fake- not true representations of what I was thinking 95% of each day. No words can encapsulate everything that's happened in life the last few months so it's futile to even attempt it. All I can say is that I'm still here: surviving and trying my best to smile. Life is funny that way, when it seems you are on a downward spiral for too long and can't take it anymore, suddenly things stabilize, and suddenly, you can breathe again.

For those who have emailed me the last few months expressing concern and sending me & my family positive energy, I am thankful for your support. Even though we may never have met physically, it's nice to know I was missed and thought of. Mickie: I have been keeping up with you almost every day too (lurking in the background of course). Mexrician: I will be emailing you soon to catch up. Know my prayers are with you & your family as well. Keep your head up, chica. Yoli: thanks for your positive vibes and the email updates of politics/cultural activities in the city. One day soon we should meet up, since you live in the CHI. Somehow, I feel there's much to say. Everyone else who's dropped a note here and there, I'M BAAACKKKK!!!!

Now for the updates: I am happy to report my father is recovering from his stroke quicker than the doctors anticipated. After 3 months of suffering cabin fever, he has recently started work again, though he is still going to speech therapy twice a week. Though he may never be 100% again, he is strong in body & spirit and really seems to be happy to finally get out of the house. I must say, seeing him struggle and overcome all the hurdles he has over the last 3.5 months has shown me what a survivor he truly is and he has truly inspired me to overcome my own hurdles. And I have a lot of hurdles. In fact, it got to a point where I felt like I collected them for a while.

I started off the year saying I had no resolutions; however, almost 3 months into 2007, I seem to have made a list of them. Well, perhaps they aren't resolutions per se, but goals. This year is about me, dammit.

~ To start meditating again (this is a challenge since Mike actually sleeps with me now and he's not into "NEW AGE SHIT")
~ To sell my shit HOLE of a house (fuck this being a landlord thing, I'm going to end up killing somebody not wanting to pay me rent)
~ To finally move in with Mike (we keep putting it off and what for?)
~ To work out at least thrice a week (I'm actually going with a few co-workers during lunch starting tomorrow)
~ To visit my parents at least twice a week and spend at least 3 hours each visit (for obvious reasons)
~ To vacation as much as possible (already I have gone on 2 long weekends and have 3 more planned before the year is out)
~ To start my paper journal again (some thoughts are better left on paper...in private)
~ To actually have a social life...go to art galleries, lounges, and have dinner dates with people I love and miss (I've been much better at this the last few months)
~ Continue going to graduate school (despite the despair & panic attacks I get when people inquire what I can possibly do with a masters in sociology)
~ To stop being so nice to people who just don't deserve it

With a little determination and a smile, I know that these goals can be done. After all, I'm a survivor, just like my papi.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I refuse to think of the stresses bearing down on me...
I won't tend to wounds that continue to bleed
I pour my soul on paper and let things subside as they may
Tears fall apart at the seams of my eyes...like the reality that is falling around me
My loss of faith and patience has left me standing here alone
Head pounding
Wrist slashing thoughts
Though morbid thoughts wander in my mind...I know
Life is precious...
I could never come to that
Somehow, I am stronger than I appear
Yet I find myself screaming in dreams
My tears falling to the depths of earth...
My boyfriend's arms, once home to me
unable to chase demons that have me in choke holds
I stand alone
My emotions mixed through the blender of life
I stand afraid
I am tired
And angry and sad
Yet somehow...deep down I have hope
Hope for the future
Hope for happiness
Hope for anything but this...