Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shiny new things

When my sister and I were little, we would cut pictures of people and things from our mom's old catalogs and magazines.
Women and men sporting the latest trends became the moms an dads of the little 2D lives we created - on roadtrips, at our grandparents, whenever we were feeling creative. The moms and dads had 2 or 3 or 7 children (I think we wanted more siblings when we were young). A dog or two, maybe a cat. Fancy beds with fancier bedding. Perfectly coordinated furniture for our grand rooms where our families lived. All cut out, shiny and arranged neatly.  So easy to believe, at the age of 10, that life simply fell into place with the snip of the scissors. Maybe because we wished our family had more. And maybe because we thought are parents just weren't choosing correctly.
But really, you can plan your life out as much as you'd like and still never get the shiny, perfectly life you've created in your head.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Famous Iowans

"I miss the certain smell in Iowa when it’s about to rain. I miss how quiet it is. I miss having neighbors that I know and that I like. The thing I probably miss most of all is that people in Iowa have a different, genuine quality and a self-sufficient humility, a desire to do things for themselves and not complain." {Ashton Kutcher}

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Would you want to Flash Forward?

New episodes of Flash Forward have returned and although it is a little tedious watching, there is something extremely compelling to this show.  Everyone in the world (with the exception of a few shady characters) blacks out for about 7 minutes. During this time, each person experiences what they will be doing at a certain time, months in the future. Those with no vision, discover they'll be dead (or sleeping, in my mind?!) One character sees a return to alcoholism. Another has a life with a man who is not her husband in the present. Some visions are not always negative. Someone discovers she will be pregnant in the future, another is getting married.

While the overall story is trying to figure out who cause the blackout, each and every individual must figure out how to act because of what they see in the future. Some people want what they see in their future, some people are doing everything they can to avoid it.

The interesting thing is, despite people being shown what they're future is, some are still fighting against what they're seeing. But is what they're seeing they're fate? What they can't change? Maybe by seeing their "future" it is actually putting into motion a series of events that WILL cause what they see to happen.

Fate versus free will is such a complex discussion because you can never really prove anything, one way or another, can you? We can't say, okay, let's go back 10 years and change one decision and see if something else happens? Or does what happens stay the same? Can one flap of a butterfly's wings really have an impact across the world?

I'm not one to believe that where I am now, was pre-destined when I was born. Decisions were made- by my parents, my family, my teachers, my friends- that shaped me to be the person I am right now and how I in turn treat people and shape people just be interacting with them.

I know how I came to be in Lawrence, KS. In 8th grade, I decided I wanted to write for a newspaper. So, I joined my high school newspaper, did extracurricular activities to make sure I had good application for college, researched J-Schools, listened to my mom's friends input about KU's J-School, requested information about KU, fell in love with the viewbook they sent me, visited, listened to my mom about how KU seemed like a better fit for me than MU after I visited both (it helped that tuition was lower, too). I switched from News and Info, when I got to KU, to Strategic Communications because I wanted to be an advocate (for something worthwhile) rather than being an objective reporter. Oh, and in all likely hood, it would pay better...

So, I believe the decisions I made, the values I hold in my life, led me to where I am today. But right now, there's something I have to count on fate for. Once your life intertwines with others, things become even more complicated. When dating someone, and you throw in a few life changes and a few hours distance, you sometimes simply have to wait and see what happens in the next four months. Unfortunately, I get antsy when I have to be patient (if only I could catch a glimpse of this part of my life - would be helpful in current decisions on how to proceed).

So fate, please be kind to me with this. I haven't always believed in you, but I sure could use your help on this.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Sadness

Being a college basketball fan almost guarantees sadness at the end of the season. Because you always want your team to win the big dance. And MOST years, that doesn't happen. But THIS year, KU fans had high expectations. And a team from my home state crushed those expectations. Hard. UNI simply played better.

My only consolation is that 47% of the brackets filled out on espn.com had KU winning the whole thing. That's something like 2 million brackets. Trust me when I say most of those are NOT KU fans. That's a whole lot of busted brackets.

Rock Chalk and yours in true March Sadness,

Friday, March 19, 2010

I don't mean to sound morbid...

...but as a single woman, I've decided I'm glad I have people knowing what I'm doing. Facebook, Twitter, and the dreaded check-in services (personally, I'm a fan of Whrrl).

I've heard arguments that (especially as a single woman) these sites are dangerous. People know EXACTLY where you are if you check in constantly. They know your habits, know where you like to shop and what bar you like to visit on Mondays after work for margaritas with friends.

But for me, I've realized, that's a GOOD thing. I'm not broadcasting my home address (my friends already know where I live). Any number of weird things could happen in public - no matter where I'm at and no matter if I twitter about it or not- and the odds of it happening because of someone who I'm friends with on Facebook are low.

Thinking about it, I'm more worried about the other people in the world than the people who know me "online". And because of that, I think having a Facebook and twittering about my life are actually good things. Helpful, even.

A few months ago, when my friend Ashlee was actually using her Twitter account, she jokingly said for me to call her mom if she hadn't tweeted by noon every day. I asked her to do the same thing. We laughed but thinking about it now (and here's the morbid part) if something WERE to happen to me (KNOCK ON WOOD, please) I'm pretty sure what I was sharing online would be a helpful part of figure out where the heck I was all day and who I was spending time with.

Last weekend, when my roommate was gone, I decided to go for a walk. It was the middle of the day, but WHAT IF? My roommate would have come home a few days later to discover the cats hadn't been fed in days and if it was a work week (and I hadn't taken taken those days off for vacation) I'm pretty sure my coworkers would be concerned and call, etc.

But if the last thing I had done online was post a Facebook status about "taking a walk" I'm pretty dang sure that would be helpful to the police searching for me.

So, don't feel weird if you know where I am or what I'm doing a lot of the time. I am totally okay with that.

/morbid post over

Monday, March 15, 2010

Being Social

I still live in the college town where I went to school. I happen to love this. I get to enjoy people, places and things very unlike how I did when I was a student (I have more time now, strictly working 40 hours a week when, as an undergrad, I had a full-time schedule, p/t job and double full-time activities load).

A few months after I started my full-time job, my closest friend Megan, moved to Japan with her boyfriend, now husband. Other than friends who were still in school, I didn't know many people other than my coworkers and my friend Ryan (late 2008 we spent most of our time watching episodes of LOST and Six Feet Under - we were exciting). And friends who moved to Kansas City might as well fallen off the end of the earth as often as I get to see them... (they clearly forgot how awesome Lawrence is).

Last winter (Feb 2008) my friend Briana dragged me to, what she was calling, a "tweetup". Yes, I was using twitter and conversing with local people, but did I actually want to meet these people?!

Short answer: yes, of course I did!

Now the people I've met via Twitter I see almost weekly. We have Lawrence Margarita Mondays at The Sandbar, lunch a few times a month, dinner sporadically and, every so often, shenanigans down on Mass Street (I even found someone to crash with while I was in between leases). This is in addition to the official monthly tweetups hosted by the Lawrence Tweetup organization.

Tonight, I'm heading to the Re:fresh! Art Show at the Barrel House downtown after Lawrence Margarita Mondays and the local tweeters get a VIP box!

Cheers to being social!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

selection sunday

Yesterday, I was home for about 2 seconds.
Today, I've barely left the couch. I like to mix it up! I'll blame it on my anticipation for Selection Sunday. Which is ironic, since 7 years ago I had no idea what Selection Sunday was. But then I went to KU for school. A couple months later, I went to my first basketball game. I've been hooked ever since.

KU is the #1 #1 seed. Considered the best college men's basketball team in the country.

Here's to 6 more wins this season! Rock Chalk!

Deep breath

Last Friday, I made plans to go see a movie with friends over in KC. I rushed home after work, changed clothes, attempted to redo my makeup and stuffed a snack in my purse (and by purse, I mean giant bag that will fit snacks enough for 10 people attending a movie - that's how I roll...) and hit the road. The minute my tires exited the Lawrence city limits and my spedometer cruised to 70 (okay, probably 78) I felt like a different person. I reflected on the previous 2 weeks. My shoulders felt 20 pounds lighter, I turned up the radio and sang to every obnoxious pop song that came on the radio. I made myself laugh at a joke about Train, Collective Soul and being confused about being in the 90s again. I would have tweeted it if I hadn't been going 75, ok 80 miles per hour. Holy cow, I've been stressed and was not even dealing with it. I've been focused on some changes at work and getting into a workout routine. I've been freaking out about my limited cash flow -well, more about the paycheck I can't keep because of all my student loans.

I realized I had not been out of Lawrence since I returned home after Christmas with my family. I love this town, but two months without leaving this Lawrence is too long. Sometimes, you just need a change of pace or change of scenery. I was definitely getting a change this evening. I got some good KC BBQ and saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D. I vented to friends about other friends' stupidity and the changes at work. We talked wedding plans (not MINE of course) and job searches.

But I still had things to do last weekend. But got none of them done Saturday because of what I would call a depression like state. I am not actually depressed but last Saturday was awful. All my stress had built up and was now falling down and crushing me. And I was sitting on the couch letting it. So, I made a decision last Sunday to get up and do the things I needed and wanted to do. I went to the gym. I hate some fruits and veggies, I went on a walk with some friends at a park, I went to the grocery store and bought some good-for-me and yummy food. I came home and cooked. I was in a better mood because I had decided to be. Despite the stress.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Walk Kansas

There's nothing like being forced into an exercise challenge. Totally kidding. Kind of.

Actually, I don't know if I would have signed up for Walk Kansas on my own, but I'm glad I'm being guilted into it by my friend at Phera's Focus.

From what I can gather, it's a team of 6 (and anyone else you choose to force into the challenge by including them on an email list) that sets exercise and healthy eating goals for a few weeks beginning March 7. Hey! That's today!

Goals include 150 minutes of exercise for the week and eating a certain number of fruit/veggie servings every week.

I'm off to a good start today:
20 minutes on the elliptical and 15 minutes of weight machines
1 serving of fresh mixed fruit
1 serving of edamame (with a dash of salt!)

And I'm heading over soon to a park in town with a 2-3 mile walking/hiking trail with a couple twitter friends. The nice thing about knowing lots of people in town on twitter is being able to find someone to do SOMETHING with at almost any time night or day. This will PROBABLY be helpful in being motivated to get exercise. Also, motivating is the gorgeous spring weather we've been graced with here in NW Kansas. Fifty degrees?! YES, PLEASE!

I like the idea of this because it's not about losing X amount of weight or inches. It's about improving your lifestyle by becoming more active and eating healthier foods. It's also nice to have other people with the same goals to complete against/with. I certainly don't want to miss any goals that anyone else on my team are meeting!

Monday, March 01, 2010

apparently, compassion and the internet don't mix

While I'm not a practicing journalist, per se, it is one of my undergrad degrees. So, I'm all about free speech and expressing one's opinion. The best thing is, anyone can do it via the magic of the internet (see this blog).

But why, when we cross the line into the "world wide web" must we leave common decency at the door? I am all for dialogue and challenging people's ideas but what happens to people's compassion when they log in to comment on, well, anything. Blogs, youtube, twitter, anything. It's hard to communicate what you're actually trying to get across without facial expression or tone and the other person is JUST reading the words. So, I try and be extra nice. Add an extra :) Unless I'm trying to be sassy/feisty but even then I don't mean anything by it and those who I choose to communicate with know that (for the most part).

But that is certainly NOT the case with most people. The newspaper here in Lawrence, the Lawrence Journal-World, is notorious for its nasty comments/commentors. Maybe it is not any worse than other newspaper's site, but for a rather open and friendly community, it certainly does not reflect appropriately.

Recently (in the past 3 months, I'd guestimate), a woman who is a stripper at a local club started (anonymously) blogging on the website. She has written about how she began stripping, interesting occurrences on any given night and the politics of those who work in a strip club. It is certainly an interesting point of few for a profession that clearly isn't you typical every day job. Yet, the number of awful comments she has received is appalling. People who are (also anonymously) commenting waste no time passing out judgment and being just plain rude and mean because they can behind the cloak of the internet. Honestly, shouldn't you only express online what you would actually say to someone's face?

In my mind, if you don't agree with a subject or what someone chooses to do with their life, that's fine. But move along, there's plenty of other content on the web to keep you occupied.