Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life Unplugged

My office computer has always been a source of frustration. The term “dinosaur” comes to mind as best describing it. Whether it’s the glacial startups, or the possessed printer, there’s always something irksome. Yesterday, it took over an HOUR to turn on. That did it. I called IT. Matt couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it, but offered to run some diagnostics and at least defrag it.

Of course, none of those basic procedures could be implemented on my user profile, but only by an administrator. Since the defragmentation process would probably take several hours, that meant that it had to be done overnight. Obviously, they couldn’t leave an admin login unattended in my office overnight. So. They. Took. My. Computer.

The original assumption was that the programs would run overnight and my tower would be back in its place first thing in the morning. Around nine o’ clock, I finally called up to check on my poor hard drive. Turns out, one of the cleaners had gotten stuck at some point in the night and since nobody had been around to click “OK,” nothing had really gotten done—but they promised I’d have it back in an hour or so.

When I got back from lunch, my monitor still sat there all alone, wires dangling in disarray. 95% of my job involves my computer: all my files are on it, as are several specialized programs which are unique to my position. I spent most of the day wandering aimlessly, roaming from menial task to insignificant chore in an attempt to at least appear busy.

At last, my computer was returned! It now runs much faster… let’s see how it is tomorrow morning. I’m excited to get back to work for real and make some progress on that horrid list of faulty account numbers. I also learned the valuable lesson that while my computer may be a piece of junk, I do actually need it and therefore, should probably stop calling it nasty names.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nonconformity ≠ Rebellion

Several people have recently labeled me a “rebel,” which in their eyes is an unacceptable character flaw, particularly in a young woman. Coming from certain people, I take it as a compliment. Their disapproval of my personal decisions only incites my so-called rebelliousness. I would like to, however, point out that there is a difference between rebellion and nonconformity.

My life has never been (and I hope it never will be) normal. My childhood was such that I had to grow up much faster than most of my peers. “Why?” has always been my favorite question. I like to think for myself and tend to challenge the status quo. If I find that a certain tradition has legitimate basis, I won’t rock the boat—but I will not abide by tradition simply for tradition’s sake alone.

Certainly perfection is still far off for me, but ya’ll don’t seem to be getting much closer either. I am tired of being criticized for my preferences merely because they differ from somebody else’s. Some in fundamental circles have gone so far as to criticize me as a liberal or a feminist. While I would never even consider radical feminism, I would have made a great suffragette back in the day.

Just because someone is different doesn’t make them any better or worse than anyone else. Sometimes a difference is good or bad, but sometimes it’s just plain different. I may not be normal, but please remember that unusual circumstances foster atypical results. I am what I am. If that offends you, I’m sorry, but get over it. Instead, how about joining me and my questioning nonconformity?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can't Buy Me Love

Am I the only person who ever feels the need to justify their shopping to the cashier? Because this happens to me regularly, and it gets worse when it’s someone I know. Last night, I was at Wal-Mart and bought an inordinate amount of candy. When I realized that my friend Mea was working that particular register, I immediately had to explain to her that it wasn’t for me.

It was the truth: I’m putting together a care package to send to my little brother at college. I had to tell Mea the whole story, because I don’t want her thinking I’m a pig who eats that much junk food. Of course, this wasn’t nearly as awkward as the time I was purchasing unmentionables at Old Navy and the only line open was run by a male friend of mine.

Spending money is not something that comes easily to me, particularly when I don’t have a lot of it (which is most of the time). Even when I am more solvent, I'm reluctant to indulge. Tracking my expenses, I’ve noticed that I am much more likely to splurge on something for someone else. I'll buy you a diamond ring, my friend, if it makes you feel alright. My true motivation behind buying even DVDs is so that I can spend time enjoying them with other people.

My primary love language is quality time. I have no trouble picking up the tab at Friendly’s, because that means I just spent time with Amanda—even though I know that money could have bought four or five times as much food at the supermarket. Money doesn't mean a lot to me, but the stuff it buys does to some people. When I get a ridiculous amount of candy for my little brother, I hope he remembers me when he eats it and then it’s almost like we’re hanging out.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Secret Secrets

I have a secret. Actually, it’s not mine. It’s someone else’s, so that makes it a secret secret. It’s a really good one, too. Not being able to share it is killing me! I usually don’t have so much trouble keeping secrets, but this is such good news! The world has way too much bad news in it. Everyone could really use something good happening.

You secret instigators know who you are. I say, if you have good news, please, shout it from the rooftops—or at least facebook! Why keep it a secret? I’m so tired of reading about everyone’s bad days and how they can’t sleep. I propose a moratorium on depressing statuses, even if that means I won’t have anything to say.

Having been entrusted with a secret, I take my responsibility very seriously. Wild horses couldn’t drag someone else’s secret from me. Therefore, I shall remain silent concerning this particular secret until the restriction is lifted. At that point, I fully expect there to be dancing. I was literally jumping up and down and screaming when I heard the news the first time.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Busy Nothings

Summer is officially over. I used to dread the end of summer, but now I embrace the arrival of autumn. It’s starting to get cooler during the day, and especially at night. New seasons always remind me of life’s constant cycle of change. Any day now, the leaves will all start turning vibrant colors and all the bugs will die off. That means that it’s almost hockey season!

My little brother, James, just started college this weekend. That makes me feel strangely old. My other brother, Andrew will be arriving here tomorrow for the new semester. I’m very excited to have family nearby; it’s been five years since they’ve been around. The addition of a second job, plus a brother on campus, plus ramping up my workouts, means that I will have less and less time.

With the end of summer comes the official end of my blog project. My goal was to devote myself to an exercise in creativity and writing every day, but only for a couple of months. I considered ditching this blog entirely, since I won’t have much time for it from now on. However, due to the amount of traffic this site has been getting, I have decided to continue on—just not every day.

I’ll probably only post two or three times a week from here on out. I expect that increased activity will provide me with more material, so that will definitely be good, as I was starting to run out. My life at times seems to be a quick succession of busy nothings, with which I do not need to bore you. So, don’t worry, things may change, but they’ll always stay the same.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Battle of the Burger

Few things are more typically American than the hamburger. Like any other true, red-blooded American, I love a good burger! Tonight, I just had to have one—with fries and a shake, of course. Everyone knows there’s only one place in town to get good cheeseburgers, French fries, and milkshakes: Red Robin. Even Shawn Spencer loves that place.

There are so many good things about Red Robin that I don’t know what I love best. Maybe it’s the TV in the floor, or maybe it’s the awesome wall art, or possibly the fact that I’ve never had bad service there. I do not like the nights when the Robin is there. I’m sorry, but I find grown people walking around in giant stuffed animal costumes to be rather disturbing.

As I perused the colorful menu, I knew that I had a difficult decision ahead of me. There were so many mouthwatering options! I did decide to try the new mint chocolate chip milkshake… it had brownie chunks in it, and who can resist that? The burger options seemed endless, but I finally settled on one with the word “guacamole” in the name, because it sounded slightly healthier.

The moment the burger arrived, I knew that we were going to have a problem. Red Robin’s burgers tend to be quite large, but this was one of the biggest I had yet to encounter. I was slightly concerned that fitting the mammoth sandwich into my mouth might require unhinging my jaw. When I was certain that my feet were securely planted on the floor, I made my move.

To say that the ensuing altercation was epic would be a cliché understatement. This particular source of nutrition refused to go quietly. Each of my moans of delight at the succulent flavor was countered by a drip of grease on my chin. For every bite I took, a chunk managed to escape through the back, as my hands were too small to fortify the perimeter of the bun.

Reinforced by my trusty milkshake and an unending supply of steak fries, I continued to absorb each wave of delicious attack. In those brief moments, I could nearly hear the patriotic fife and drums as I did battle with this mighty burger. 30,000 calories later, I gazed upon the remnants of a once mighty meal, as they lay scattered upon the table.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All Hands on Deck

“The students are coming! The students are coming!” echoes the call throughout the halls. The tile floors shine with anticipation. The arches smile even wider. There’s nothing a school loves more than students. The sleepy hard drives whir and rouse themselves in preparation for the coming onslaught of education.

There are few days which require all hands on deck with such desperation as these. A 91-year-old building, a dozen dormitories, a massive construction site, and a sludgy pond all require a great deal of attention to make them presentable. Presentable they must be, for the influx of freshmen and their very concerned parents is only three days away.

It’s not very often that you see a GED giving orders to a PhD, but on days like today it happens. Dean or fry cook, it makes no difference—grab a rake or a rag and get going! Personally, I enjoy a break from my computer and the chance to do some manual labor. A screen becomes quite tiresome after eight hours.

Dealing with the literal nuts and bolts of academia proved to be quite refreshing. The exercise relieved a lot of the stress and tension that tends to build this time of year. Everything you’ve been putting off all summer can induce a heart attack when you realize summer’s over. The school now sparkles like the staff’s eyes… thanks to the double-shot lattés we’ve downed since being up all night last night.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Too Wise To Woo Peaceably

My love for Shakespeare has recently been reawakened, thanks in part to my friend Brittany. One summer, I transcribed both Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet in their entireties for the pure enjoyment of it. I have a shameful tendency of becoming easily engulfed in the language and allowing it to creep into my everyday conversation.

The bard’s combination of wit and situation is irresistible to me, so I purposefully avoided it for quite some time. If you’re looking for a good romantic comedy, put away that tired copy of The Wedding Planner and reach for Much Ado about Nothing instead. Certainly, a story in which a character can begin saying “I would my horse had the speed of your tongue” and conclude by admitting “thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably” is better entertainment.

What I want to know is who decided that Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet were Shakespeare’s best and therefore they are the ones to be studied. Hamlet never stops whining; Romeo and Juliet were both idiots and all subsequent productions of the play have been even more irresponsible. Give me The Taming of the Shrew or Henry V any day!

Recent audiences seem more enthralled with the mystery surrounding Shakespeare’s personal life than his actual works. Finding a professor who affords the sonnets more than a cursory reference is quite the challenge. I thoroughly intend to continually revisit these great works of language and diversion. Please, feel free to join Kenneth Branagh and me.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two To Tango

Stopping to smell the roses is an essential part of life. At least, I think so. Most mornings, I’m too rushed on my way to work to notice the quirky squirrels that I pass on the sidewalk. I’m already mentally in my office, planning my day and organizing my to-do list. I tend to miss their little antics as they scurry up a nearby tree.

Sometimes, you have to ignore the guy in the van who’s pestering you about national security and tango with your hot spy. Life’s too short to pass up such an opportunity. So what if it starts raining? It’s just another precipitous chance to dance!

Each day should be celebrated. I try to do something fun every day—no matter how little. I don’t know about you, but I work better after a good laugh. You know what they say about all work and no play. All play and no work isn’t good either, so finding a balance is definitely important. Now that I’m working upwards of 60 hours a week, I can’t afford to miss a chance to have fun.

Don’t be surprised if the next time I hear those opening strains of a good song, I grab the nearest guy and start dancing. You’ve officially been warned. Life won’t get better on its own. You can’t sit idly by and just wait for something to happen. It takes two to tango, so you have to be ready to dance your part, regardless of the day's weather.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Concept of Reality

Inception is being hailed as the greatest film of the year, decade, century… possibly of all time! Having now seen it, I wouldn’t go so far as to say all that—maybe best of the year. I give it an A- rating. I greatly appreciated the originality of the plot, the quality of the cast, and the profound lack of profanity and sexuality.

Watching movies in the theater is always an experience in and of itself. Even getting there was a bit of an adventure this time, thanks to a Rascall Flatts concert. Listening to the other members of the audience trying to keep up with the action is sometimes frustrating to me. This particular movie was quite complex and it was painfully obvious that some people in the room were unused to thinking.

Especially the end of the movie drew a reaction from the crowd. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say, the movie does not have a definite conclusion. One woman sitting nearby yelled “that’s not fair!” as the screen turned black. The ending, however, was designed to cause one to question reality. The entire point of the movie was the concept of reality’s fragility.

Absolute truth exists, however I do not believe that we humans can ever fully know it. We can only ever see part of the whole of reality. Therefore, reality can seem relative. As we continue to learn more, our prior assumptions are challenged and paradigms can shift. This is understandably frustrating and confusing!

Throughout history, people have attempted to manipulate the world around them, both physical and metaphysical. Inception addressed the immense power of even a single thought. It questions the extent to which reality should be tampered. Sometimes, life isn’t fair, as that woman so loudly protested. I for one am thankful that life is unfair. Otherwise, I should already be dead and in Hell.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Soundtrack For A Thursday

If you’re a complete nerd like me, you may sometimes watch the bonus features on DVDs. One thing that I have always noticed is the difference in emotional impact between the raw footage of a scene and the final version included in the film. The difference can be so marked that they almost seem like entirely different scenes.

Usually, the single element which emphasizes the acting the most is the music. A tense beat intensifies the viewer’s interaction with an adrenaline-charged chase scene. A simple, minor melody conveys the tragedy of character’s heartbreak to the audience. Music interacts with the human soul on a cultural and subconscious level. Certain themes evoke certain common reactions and emotions in listeners.

One of the biggest differences between the movies and real life (besides everyone always having perfect hair) is the music. I don’t know about your life, but mine doesn’t come with a soundtrack. This used to bug me, but now, I add music. Whether I’m humming to myself or listening to the Movie Scores station at work, it’s much more exciting—John Williams makes even expense reports dramatic!

The best part of providing my own background music is that I’m not locked into any certain format or genre. Some days, I play Mozart; others, I listen to tobyMac. My taste in music ranges so far the it’s been called schizophrenic, so the soundtrack for the movie of my life mostly depends on the individual day’s mood. So, here is today’s soundtrack…

Boston - Augustana
I Never Told You - Colbie Caillat
Violet Hill - Coldplay
Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
Because of You - Kelly Clarkson
Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
Leave out All the Rest - Linkin Park
Kandi - One Eskimo
Secrets - OneRepublic
Glitter in the Air - P!nk *
Eet - Regina Spektor
Hey, Soul Sister - Train

*I rate this video as PG13. I love the song itself, but the artist chose to illustrate her point with this video in ways which may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is Chivalry Dead?

There’s lots of discussion recently about chivalry’s survival of post-modernity and feminism. Personally, I am very concerned. Maybe chivalry isn’t quite dead yet, but it is certainly on the endangered list. There are multiple examples of success and failure all around us. At the moment, it would be very easy to argue either side of the issue.

My own personal experiences with chivalry have ranged the entire spectrum. Just today, a little boy held a door open for me (kudos to his parents!). Of course, a couple of my guy friends once slammed me into a wall in what should have been a boarding call—in order to get ahead of me to open the door. I’ve even had doors slammed in my face while I had my arms full.

At least I haven’t been as unfortunate as the girl who got nailed by a foul ball when her boyfriend lost it in the lights. I’ve had a man catch me when I slipped on the ice; I’ve also had a man not catch me when I slipped on ice. Perhaps I should simply move to a warmer climate, even though there’s no guarantee of gallant gentlemen anywhere.

You can quote contributing factors of the decline all day: feminism would be at the top of the list. I would like to set the record straight here. Yes, I am fully capable of taking care of myself, but that does not mean men can be jerks to me. I admit that in general, my sex is weaker, both physically and emotionally. While I may question your intentions, I will seldom refuse an offer of help.

Please, gentlemen, get proactive and prove yourselves! Be the men you were made to be. I would love to see a study on the correlation between the success of feminism and the rise of homosexuality. Most men seem unable to find a spot between being gay and being jerks. Macho doesn’t have to mean rude. We women tend to dig your trucks anyway, so be nice and help us in.

UPDATE: someone sent me this story of UFC's Roger Huerta beating up a guy who had hit a girl.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Centipede II: Revenge of the Twins

Everyone knows that every successful horror film is bound to spawn a franchise of sequels, each promising to be more gruesome and terrifying than the last. I should have expected the Centipede of Death to not go quietly into the abyss. Somehow I had assumed that its unpleasant death would serve as a warning to other monsters.

Revenge is a dish best served cold on a hot summer’s day in a dark stairwell. One would think that having seen the founder of their colony executed by drowning, the centipedes would flee in terror. Instead, they continued to lurk in the shadows, biding their time before implementing their demonic plot.

Just as we had begun to think that it was safe to use the back stairs again, they struck. The violent assault on my coworkers confirmed our worst fear: there were two of them! One beast had been dangerous enough, but battling two seemed a suicide mission. Nevertheless, Karen attacked with nothing more than a newspaper.

The screams could be heard in the halls the monastery, carried on the still air through the Romanesque arches by fear itself. When the newsprint settled, the brutes were pronounced dead. Life has gone back to normal in the library, except for the wary glances cast toward the staircase. After all, if there were two survivors, who’s to say that there aren’t any more?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Playing Ketchup

It seems as though I’m always playing catch-up with life lately. It just keeps getting away from me! I’ll spend hours cleaning my apartment on a Saturday; then I’ll hardly be home all week and have to repeat the process. Whereas, if I were home a few evenings during the week, the task wouldn't be so daunting by the weekend.

Unfortunately, when life gets crazy, this blog is usually the first thing that suffers. Other things have to be done NOW and this gets pushed off till I have time “later.” I generally remember that I neglected to post in that moment just before I actually fall asleep late at night. Then I get that awful feeling deep in my stomach that comes with the realization of epic failure.

You know the feeling to which I refer. It’s the same reaction I had a couple years ago when I threw ketchup at one of my friends. (If you’re reading this, I’m still sorry.) For the record, I didn’t entirely realize that the napkin was dirty when I chucked it, but that nauseous feeling hit as immediately as the ketchup splattered.

What I am trying to convey—rather scatteredly—is the sense of guilt when I am forced to catch-up with life in general and this blog in particular. However, I determined to write everyday this summer so, I shall continue to strive towards that end. If there isn’t a new post that day, it’s probably because I’m busy metaphorically trying to remove ketchup stains.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Prepositional Misdemeanor

The English language is a peculiar creature. I say creature, because it is most definitely alive and evolving. For well over a thousand years, it has demonstrated its resilience and ability to adapt to the needs of its users. Formed largely through a union of German and French dialects, it has also absorbed elements of Scot, Spanish, Italian, Frisian, and of course, classical Greek and Latin.

People who learn English as their second language often complain of its irregularity, particularly in its verb forms. Having studied French, Spanish and Latin, I definitely agree—compared to most languages, ours is incredibly unstructured. Considering how few standards there are, I wouldn’t expect them to be so difficult to follow. I am referring specifically to the prepositional phrase.

Prepositions are essential elements of language since they provide a relationship of action between verbs and nouns. An easy way to identify a preposition is to insert it into the phrase “the cow jumped ____ the moon.” Over, under, by, through, towards, and at are all prime examples of English participles. Unfortunately, these important terms are often casually disregarded and tossed anywhere in a sentence.

Proper placement of a preposition is where it provides the most impact, i.e. immediately in between the verb and its object. Prepositions should never be left hanging at the end of a phrase as a mere afterthought. Forgetting to attach the rest of the thought to a preposition is also inexcusable. The disintegration of everyday language is yet another example of modern indolence.

Perosnally, I blame a large portion of our linguistic deterioration on social networking. Facebook statuses and Tweets routinely make me cringe in horror. One would assume that official legal documents would be safe, but even permanent records have fallen victim to grammatical slaughter. Apparently, over 20 years of education is still insufficient for some people grasp that English is flexible only to a certain point.

While reading some legal correspondence yesterday, I discovered a single, little “to” left all by itself at the end of a sentence. To whit, not only was it at the end of a sentence, but it was how this particular lawyer chose to finish an entire paragraph! Even allowing for the severe content of the paragraph, it was impossible to take anything he said seriously. I couldn’t help but laugh at all his bluster.

The strength of a concept lies largely in its communication. You can have a plan to end world hunger, but nobody’s going to care if your presentation is criminally sloppy. So please, take your own thoughts seriously enough to put some effort into properly conveying them. It’s difficult to respect your dangling participles and I might not always be able to resist splitting your infinitive… if you know what I mean.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Awesome Illumination

Helping people learn is one of my greatest joys in life. When someone first grasps a concept through my explanation or example, I can’t help but smile. Illumination of the human mind should be at the top of the world’s priorities. However, modern culture has lapsed into a celebration of ignorance which is nothing short of shameful.

Today, I got to help someone improve her basic computer skills. It was an awesome experience. I could almost hear the clicking in her mind as she grasped the intricacies of the operating system. I love watching people as they begin to understand a new concept—and each discovery has the possibility to lead to another!

If you’ve never helped a small child sound their way through a book, you’ve missed out. You should grab a Berenstain Bears book and go find a child immediately. Watching the world expand before a simple mind for the first time is priceless to me… almost as good as when I learn something new myself.

This is something I hope to continue doing for the rest of my life: reading, listening, watching, experimenting. As I learn new truths, I automatically want to share it with other. The impartation of knowledge is not only a privilege but a responsibility which I feel most keenly. Obviously, I hope that you agree.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Writer's Block

Today has not been terribly conducive to writing. I spent most of my day staring at my computer, trying to fix a software glitch and enable printing from catalog records. Yes, riveting. Most of my creativity for the day was spent designing new informational material for the upcoming semester.

Even though it’s still relatively early (especially for a Friday night), I hope to get to bed within the next hour or so. Working two jobs has really started to catch up with me the past couple weeks. Not that I’m complaining about the supplemental income—I just need to get going on my 8 hours of sleep so I can work all day tomorrow.

All of the above mentioned factors have contributed to a rather severe mental blockage for which I sincerely apologize. I wanted so much to come up with an entertaining, upbeat topic to write about today. However, today is almost over for me and I’ve got nothing.

That being said, I anticipate this occurring more regularly in the future. Therefore, I am opening up this blog to your suggestions. If there is ever anything you want me to write about, please just tell me. My inspirations often result from my interactions with others anyway. So, feel free to comment, facebook, whatever… and have a good night!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bright Copper Kettles

In my search for beauty in life, I’ve begun to compile a list of my favorite things. These are just the little, everyday things that make me smile. Of course, my compunction in writing this down may have something to do with the song being stuck in my head for 24 hours straight. So, here they are, in no particular order: My Favorite Things.

Black and white movies
Burn Notice
Calvin and Hobbes
Dark chocolate
Facebook notifications
Garlic in food
Hockey fights
Manning’s ice cream
Michael Bublé
Mountain Dew
People saying thank you
Russian accents
Snowball fights
Sunset pink

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

When Dreams Come True

Several years ago, a well-intentioned couple wrote the book When Dreams Come True, as part of the early 2000's I Kissed Dating Goodbye fad. When I read this book as a starry-eyed 16-year-old, I was overjoyed. It practically guaranteed that if I was a good girl and followed the rules, all my dreams would come true. I am now considering writing a book called When Dreams Don’t Come True.

Another one of my dreams died today. It wasn’t a big one, but it was still special to me, and the loss hurts. I remember that when Glinda sings happy is what happens when all your dreams come true, you can almost hear her add “right?” to the end. She doesn’t seem to believe it, but I wouldn’t know either way.

This may sound rather melodramatic, but sometimes it’s hard for me to remember how it feels to be happy. When I was younger, just being outside with a good book made me perfectly happy. I may very well be painting pictures of Egypt and leaving out what it lacked, but I could swear that there was a time when I was a more blissful dreamer.

Not that my life has ever been perfect, but where I am now is definitely not what I’d imagined for myself. After reading Ivanhoe, it’s hard to be content while eating my canned soup alone every night. One by one, my dreams have died over the years. Some I murdered myself; others were just the collateral damage of life.

Everyday I thank God for comedy writers and my friends who make me laugh. They all get me through each day. At the end of the day, however, those moments of lightheartedness can’t replace all my decomposed dreams. Maybe someday, some of them could still come true—but I’m not going to hold my breath for that. Life can’t be lived in the “someday,” because it’s right now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Little Yogurt in Life

Ever notice that you tend to promote that which you enjoy? We’re always telling each other about the pizza at that new place that just opened up or the great sale going on at our favorite store. They say that a satisfied customer is the best advertisement. Well, I love yogurt. I’ve been trying to live more healthily lately and yogurt has certainly helped.

I have practically become addicted to Yoplait Yogurt recently. Every time I go to the store, I pick up a few more so that I always have a good supply on hand. Their light/fat free yogurt only has 100 calories, but I seriously can’t taste the difference. What I can taste is the dozens of delightful flavors, such as Orange Créme and Strawberry Shortcake.

Good luck convincing me to get over this addiction for three very important reasons: 1) it’s healthy, 2) it’s pretty cheap, and 3) Michael Westen loves it. You would have to disprove at least two of those facts for me to even consider giving up my yogurt habit. That’s, of course, besides it being so illegally delicious!

They say “it’s the little things in life,” and I’m inclined to agree. When I get home from a long day at work, I do two things: kick off my shoes and grab a yogurt. I know it’ll be sitting there in my refrigerator, just waiting to make my day a little bit better. I love my yogurt and hope that you have such a rewarding relationship in your life too.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Never Hurts to Try

In true American spirit, I’ve always been a big proponent of adventure and endeavor. I’ll pretty much try anything once. “Sky diving next weekend? Okay, let’s go!” Although if something does look particularly dangerous, maybe I’ll let someone else do it and see how that goes before I try it myself.

One of my mottoes is: it never hurts to try. This is technically true, since trying only becomes painful if you fail. Failure hurts. Too often, my fear of failure keeps me from making an attempt in the first place. My cautious nature does not like taking unnecessarily high risks on uncertain outcomes.

Recently, however, I’ve concluded that a refusal to even initially try constitutes a failure. Choosing to forego an opportunity based on a questionable likelihood of success could easily be termed cowardice. I am no coward. At least, I sure hope not.

Maybe I’ll keep losing, being humiliated again and again, but I know that I’ll accomplish more than the nay-sayer who never gave it a shot. We all know that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Life's worth at least a try. So, go ahead and laugh—when the trying and failing stops hurting, I might just join you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Imprecatory Psalms

Fire and brimstone have always been some of my favorite parts of history. I love seeing the bad guy get what was coming to him. Nowadays, judgment can even be delivered via the USAF, which is also awesome. I used to feel slightly unspiritual for these sentiments, but not anymore.

If you want justice, the Bible is the right place to find it. Yes, it tells us to love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you. It also, however, contains thousands of words describing horrific judgments upon humanity. There is no greater advocate of righteousness than the LORD himself.

Forget the Justice League—they’ve got nothing on the Trinity. Defense of the helpless is constantly reiterated in Scripture. We are told that true religion is to look after orphans and widows and if we don’t, God will. I know that when I get mad over the things people do to each other, He gets even madder.

Christ himself used to get so mad that he’d start tossing furniture and chasing people out with a whip. I am not saying that we should seek revenge, especially for offenses against ourselves… but I don’t have a problem asking God to handle the situation. King David wrote some fantastic imprecatory psalms for just such an occassion.