Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Flock You Tend

Before I go on to explain my latest spiritual revelation, I should probably give an update report on my friend.

I tried contacting a therapist we both have seen and I know she trusts. I emailed her to give me advice on how to approach my friend about attending therapy. Have yet to hear back. I'm going to call her later today. That's where things are at.

Spiritual Revelation for Today:

Everyone is given someone to look after.

When you're young that "someone" is yourself. It's why kids tend to be so self-absorbed. They need the most looking after and I think they instinctively know it.

Then you get older and you're usually endowed with a younger sibling to look after. Maybe a pet or two.

Then when you're a young adult you have your siblings, some pets, and a romantic partner.

Then when you're in your 30s or 40s you really start looking after your family, your friends, your pets, and maybe even some people who you don't know so well and maybe don't even like but look after none the less.

Then when you're in your "Golden Years" and it seems like you're in a unique position to look after not just friends and family, but a whole community. The more involved you are with a cause or making a difference for a large group of people the more of a leader you can become to even complete strangers.

But let's be honest physical age doesn't amount to much. It's a nice indication of tendencies people have, but ultimately it comes down to the age of your soul.

Young souls tend to be more "self" interested. They look after themselves and few others.

Older souls tend to look after and act responsibly towards family and friends, with a loyalty that perseveres inconvenience.

The oldest souls -who prove themselves to be responsible for others starting with family and friends- are at some point entrusted with a "flock". This group of people may not be one they know personally -often times it may actually be a completely foreign group that they see struggling and decide to compassionately lead. The more responsible you are to others -even when you don't know them- the large the group of people you are looked to to lead, guide, and serve becomes.

Take Abraham Lincoln for example:

Born in a cabin in the middle of the woods to a drunkard who beat his wife and his kids. Abraham was closest to his mother until she passed away and his father left Abraham and his little sister alone and deserted to fend for themselves.

Abraham turned to God and often asked for protection as he carried his hunting riffle out into the woods to find food for he and his younger sister.

Abraham was a man led by God who looked after those he cared about -his family, his wife, and his friends- with fierce loyalty. He maybe wasn't the cuddliest of people, but then again look at where he came from.

Abraham was led to lead a group of people he could not personally relate to except with the grace he had been shown himself by God. People who grow their souls and take on more and more responsibility given to them come to experience the one of the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a man: serving and leading people towards a better life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Today is my Birthday.

I first awoke at 3AM this morning. I felt a strange spiritual sensation I hadn't had since last year on my birthday. I usually associate this feeling with my mom's house and the ghost since I only had it when I would go and visit her and I would wake up at night to it.

I wish I could describe it. Like your body being enveloped by a not-so-subtle sense of numbing vibration. Not like your leg falling asleep, but like you're body is being taken over -without a sense of being possessed. Like you're being enveloped. Buried almost by the sensation. In the past it frightened me, but today I just brushed it off. I told myself, this soul belongs to God and God alone. No one else has any right to take it or effect it. It's God's property. I had no fear.

But after years of weird spiritual experiences I'm no longer fazed and I honestly don't really care anymore. 

Then I officially got up at 6AM because I have Toastmasters.

Heather, mi amiga at Toastmasters, asked everyone to stand and sing me happy birthday. I wasn't sure whether people knew or not, but they did. Last year they did this really embarrassing chair thing where I sat in a chair and 5 guys lifted me up in the chair once for every year I was born. I thought I was going to fall off. But the little unexpected birthday song really reminded me for the first time -Hey, it's your birthday.

Then I came into work, knowing that I have a very tasty and delicious cake awaiting me at the end of the day, and saw that my desk had been decorated -or deskorated as I call it. They always decorate people's desks when it's their birthday with streamers and balloons. But i had forgotten that tradition and was genuinely surprised when I came in.

Then people at the office started saying happy birthday as I walked by. And Laura, who also decorated my desk, mentioned that she had gotten me dark chocolate and milk chocolate hot chocolate. I had asked her the other day if we had any and she said no and I was dismayed. Laura is so thoughtful.

Then I got a text from my mom saying "Happy birthday sweetie!!!"

Then I checked my Facebook page and my timeline was full of birthday wishes.

And all the little things just kind of added up and really made me realize today is my birthday.

Before that I had only acknowledged the concept that "Today is February 27th and therefore I am now 25 years of age..."

But thanks to my friends and these collection of small gestures I now really feel like it's my birthday. Like I do have something to celebrate. And after everything that's happened earlier this week I could really use a pick-me-up.

Life will blind-side you to remind you of what really matters. And just when life starts getting too soberly depressing to handle, it will blind-side you again and remind you of what you have to be grateful for and happy about.

I love my friends and my family. The other day it occurred to me –My Facebook Feed isn’t like other peoples. I’m so used to seeing positive messages and funny stories and shared life moments from my friends that I just assumed that’s what everyone else sees on their feed. But it isn’t. Some people post negative things and only complain about life. I was blessed enough to find friends who encourage and support rather than tear down. I am thankful for everyone in my life and all the people who choose to share their lives with me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stupid Society...

UNC Sexual Assault Survivor Faces Honor Code Violation After Speaking Publicly About Abuse

Posted:   |  Updated: 02/25/2013 9:49 pm EST
Posted by Tyler Kingkade

"UNC has the potential at this point to stand up for sexual assault survivors. It has the potential to be a beacon of change for our nation -- to be the example that justice can prevail and that survivors will not be met with even further victimization. By telling Landen Gambill that she could face expulsion for saying that she was raped, by denying the allegations that administrators ignored the best interests of sexual assault survivors, and by implying that it is not acceptable to challenge the school system on its inability to help survivors of sexual assault, UNC fails to be a beacon. The great "light on the hill" remains dark."

This Morning

My thoughts have been a lot more calm and rational this morning. With the exception of course of my meme idea. I want to take a picture of my friend's rapist off his profile page since I know his name and have met him.

On the top of his picture I will put the words: "This man raped my friend 3 times. She was 17. She was a virgin. She miss-carried after the first rape. She told no one.

At the bottom of the picture it will read: My whatever demons come to collect his soul f*ck it as hard as he did my friend.

For obvious reasons I can't post the meme... for now...

In the meantime I had another chat with my friend, who text me about all this, over the phone last night. She informed me that our friend still doesn't want me to know she was raped. So just for the record -I know nothing. I don't know why she doesn't want me to know, but i do know that I don't know what she doesn't want me to know. Life sucks.

She is afraid to go to the gynecologist because she thinks the woman will know she was raped and then she'll have to confess everything. My friend and I agree this is kind of a stupid assumption based on the fact that it happened 4 years ago and she has been intimate with her current boyfriend.

Either way, the primary concern right now is the fact that she has actively been considering suicide. She's talked about different ways she might end her life and in my mind she is officially on suicide watch. She also doesn't want or think she needs therapy.

My friend and I have decided that we will highly encourage her to go to therapy until she agrees. If she doesn't -she will be forced to go. Suicide is something that kind of makes everything else seem irrelevant. "I can't go to therapy I have work, and obligations, and money constraints..." All of that amounts nothing if your dead, so therapy takes priority.

I will remain off to the side minding my own for the most part. I will exclude her from activities she was formerly apart of in connection through me. She doesn't need anymore responsibility on her plate at this point. She needs to focus on her self and her well-being.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I just got off the phone with my friend who told me about the rape. She had initially just text me what our mutual friend had told her about 2 weeks ago. I am now aware of even more disheartening details.

When my friend was 17 she started dating a guy. Nobody liked him. He clearly took her for granted and was a jerk to everyone she was friends with. He would always make fun of her and put her down.

My friend wanted to wait until she was married to have sex. She told this to her boyfriend. He disagreed. He would cheat and make out with other girls at school -sometimes in front of her. Then one day they were alone at his house while his parents were gone.

He forced himself on her. She said she wanted to scream but she didn't want the neighbors to hear. She broke up with him at that point. Then a couple weeks later -after missing her period -she had the miscarriage.

Then a couple more weeks later she decided to go back to his house to pick up some stuff she had left there -like a jacket and some CDs. Why she decided to go there when his parents were gone again I don't know. He raped her again.

I don't know when the 3rd rape happened, but it did.

Initially she had just tried to sweep everything under the rug and pretend it didn't happen.

She soon found herself in a long-distance relationship with someone new. Then her ex started sending her threats via Facebook -saying that he would find her and get her again. He also sent threats to her new boyfriend -though he just assumed he was just a jealous, controlling ex.

Then shortly after she broke up with her long-distance boyfriend she found herself in a new relationship. She said she felt safe having a guy around to protect her. But he soon got threats on Facebook from her ex -and she started receiving them from him as well.

I want to kill him. I understand where that instinct comes from now. I want to kill him. And who knows how many other girls he did this to.

No one deserves to have anything like that happen to them.

It was only recently my friend finally realized what had happened and finally started to tell other friends about it. It's all finally hitting her. That it wasn't her fault and she can't keep it buried. She needs help.

The friend who text me about all this told her father after I suggested it. She promised not to tell anyone, but I told her someone needs to know so they can help her. Now he wants to kill him. But he also said that she needs to be taken to someone -a therapist- that she trusts so she can sort everything out and start opening up about what happened. Since her mom would react far more volatile to the news she's going to be kept in the dark about it for a while.

I'm going to try bringing this up with my friend at the right time. It just sucks that so many years have passed and nothing can be done about it now.

Who to Call On?

I'm trying to figure out which of my responsible, adult, female friends with kids I should talk to about this.

There are 3 women at work I can turn to:

Laura (Capricorn) with an 18 year old daughter who's off at college and a 18 year old son.

Andrea (Scorpio) with a 17 year old son and an 13? year old daughter.

Alex (Leo) with 2 young daughters 8 and 10 years old?

Then there's people on Facebook I'm friends with:

Leslie (Gemini) who just found out (a couple months ago) her 25? year old son has a 1 year old daughter.

Kim (Taurus/Capricorn?) who has an 21? year old son.

Elly (Cancer turned Pisces) who has no kids but is my cousin and is pretty calm/wise/practical.

And that's about it. These are the only people I feel comfortable bringing this up to and do not know/are impartial to my friend.

I kind of want to message them all see what each has to say. I feel so out of my depth on this one...

Maybe I can talk to my grandma. She's the one who told me my aunt had been raped. Never would have known otherwise. You never think something like that is going to happen to someone you care about and know so closely. 

All I know is it is f*cked up that this remained buried for so long. Like finding out your uncle died 4 years ago and no one bothered to tell you. And keeping it buried is just going to make it worse. Darkness can only be overcome when it is brought to light.

Holy Sh*t

4 years ago a friend was dating this guy that everyone else knew was kind of a jerk. She finally ended up breaking up with him after a year. He became that crappy-first-boyfriend-that-I-dated-a-long-time-ago. 4 years later: He's married with a baby on the way and today I just found out that when he was together with my friend he got tired of waiting and ended up raping her. He raped her 3 times. She was only 17. She ended up having a miscarriage.

How did I not know about this for 4 years!!! The friend who told me today found out 2 weeks ago. WHY did it take 2 weeks to tell anyone???!!!

First thought: Stay calm. I know you're shaking and you can't breathe and you've been completely side-blinded, but just breathe.

Thought 2: Arrest that asshole now. Today. Behind bars. In prison.

Thought 3: Oh God, now I know why she says gloomy things and has been so depressed and has contemplated suicide so many times.

Thought 4: Why the hell didn't she tell me???! Why doesn't she feel she can trust me?

Thought 5: I need to inform her family of this. Her mom has a right to know.

Thought 6: Her mom will freak out so bad... who wouldn't -knowing that happened to your daughter 4 years ago and you didn't find out til today.

Thought 7: I need to tell someone I know. Someone older, wiser. Someone with kids. A friend who can be calm/impartial enough to give me advice on what to do.

Thought 8: Oh God.

Thought 9: Should I even be working right now? A friend of mine was raped. I know it was a couple years ago, but the news is still fresh to me. May as well have happened yesterday.

Thought 9: How could he have done that to her. She doesn't speak up and defend herself enough so it makes since how it could have happened -but how could he have done it?

Thought 10: Maybe my friend was over-reacting. Maybe she says she was raped but it was really just a consensual mistake.

Thought 11: I need to talk to my friend to confirm this story before I shout at the world about it.

Thought 12: Get advice. Confirm what happened. Can't breathe...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Quote from Today

"Don't sell a product -they might not buy it. Don't sell yourself -they may not want you. Give help and advice -they will not only take it, they will appreciate it." ~Me

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sample Posts from Emily's Facebook

This has been an issue for a while. My sister will post cryptic messages of troubled times aluding to nothing in particular. It's frustrating. And then relatives and friends get concerned and send messages to me asking what is going on. Then I look over at my sister and she rolls her eyes that people actually pay attention to that stuff. She is a lot like me when she posts in that some of it is actually pretty philosophical and then the other half is random/amusing.

Here are some of her recent posts:

2/21/13 Why this month? I think everything just waits around til February to die. It's the shortest month, it will pass before you know it then the pain will be gone and tension relieved. This month is like a graveyard of memories...

2/20/13 For my birthday I want a pet velociraptor. Not the Jurassic Park ones cause they are cranky, but the cute fuzzy ones on dinosaur planet.

2/19/13 So went from stage anger to depression. Skipped bargaining cause really, who does that anymore? We do the credit system now.

2/14/13 Logic: If pain makes us stronger, and a strong woman needs a strong man, then I need Hercules, where is my Kevin Sorbo?

2/12/13 *Sigh* I really wish I had a mustache...

2/10/13 Sometimes the sweet memories are worse to remember than the bad ones...

2/04/13 Nooo! I have no save file I can go back to to make this right. I have no choice, I must invent the time machine. I would grab myself by the shoulders and say, "it's not worth it. Just stay with him. Leaving makes things worse, not better. If you love him, stay with him " There is no point in moving forward if he is not standing by me. I get nightmares ya know, he quells the pain no one else can quell...

1/18/13 I am rage learning... Rage On!

1/17/13 The passion that lies in your heart will always lead you to the right answer, but it takes courage to go through with what must be done. Otherwise, you sit there at square one for the rest of your life.

1/15/13 What would you do in an airport with 3 hours to wait? No video games or internet access.

1/13/13 I'm on a tiny ship kept in a bottle, sailing on an endless sea going nowhere.

10/27/12 Go to a bar, see half-naked chicks. Go to Dave & Buster's, see half-naked chicks. Go to a club see 2/3-naked chicks. Go to a Halloween Party, see 3/4-naked chicks and 95%-naked guys. Just curious, but when did the world become clothing optional?

God's Song

God is the orchestrator and we are His symphony. Each person has their part to play, but does not know when until it is instructed. And so in silence we wait, listening for our cue.

We see others play their tunes beside us -admiring how well they play to a song so many others can't hear.

Then at last we are called upon and we play. Our notes rise and fall in unison with those around us.

And then at times we are asked for a solo -to play alone while others stay silent to listen to the song we have to play in the symphony.

Each turn reminding us of the great gifts we have been individually endowed with. Each unique to its own person and yet just as beautiful as the next.

And yet we wonder why chaos and disharmony come into our ears from time to time. And we see that some choose not to listen. They play for themselves to a song that is out of tune.

They play to step away from others -to get attention for themselves.

They don't care about the symphony or God's lead or the song they were intended to play.

They only care about themselves. And their song is always shallow and gives nothing but a monotone. 

With Regard to Politics...

"The wrong remains today for fear of losing the right tomorrow." ~ Me 6am this morning

(Just for the record one of these days I'm going to copy/paste all my sister's Facebook updates. They are both gloomy and cryptic. Someone sent her prayers this morning out of concern. Stop posting vague texts about things you are being overly dramatic about. You're 22 -not 16...)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Bachelor

This show has bothered me for a while. Some corrections need to be made on it. It lacks some basic fundamental constructs that leave it little more than an obtrusive spectacle.

First off, the bachelor himself is always a douche-bag. Why can't they find a nice, decent guy? Someone you would actually root for. Like someone who has been considerate of others, just wants a simple life, and has been doing his own thing but just hasn't managed to find the right person. Instead we get "good-looking" decently wealthy punks who could find a nice girl on their own if they didn't have commitment issues and a busy schedule.

Secondly, the first 10 chicks they have on their don't count. They should be weeded out as quickly as possible. They are the "crazies" of the show meant to get some initial shock-and-awe. You now the ones. "Hi I'm Amber and even though we've only known each other 5 minutes I'm 150% certain you are the one and i want to bear your children. so where are you from?" The might as well just take the female rejects of the American Idol auditions and send they right over. "Sorry you didn't quite make the cut here with your rendition of that one song from the musical Cats... in full costume... but there's another show we think you'd be perfect for!"

Thirdly, there are really only 3 women who are even remotely compatible with the bachelor. Why can't they find some real women. All we've got is Miss America contestants -perfectly poised and perfectly annoying. What about some real down-to-earth women you would actually root for???

Lastly, the premiss of the show has a fatal flaw that prevents its primary objective -a man finding his soul mate- from ever being realized. Love is not meant to be a buffet tray you choose from by having a taste of each item. If this were the real world and you were caught kissing 3 different women, none of them would choose to stay with you. Love is 2 people finding each other, not 1 person choosing from 12 women to see which one best suits him. It is unevenly balanced and the women spend more time focused on competing with each other then really establishing whether there is a genuine bond with the man. and the man spends more time debating and comparing women back and forth than focusing on really connecting to just one.

If the bachelor was wise he would find one woman he had a decent connection with and forget about the others. Focus on just one. Unfortunately the show is designed to contradict that intent and the imbalanced chaos inevitably ensues. Good for ratings -bad for anyone on the show who thinks anything real could possibly manifest out of all the bullsh*t.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Eating Healthy at 7-Eleven

Every day at work I had a friend go out and get me a snack from 7-Eleven.

For a while there it was Teddy Grahams, Cheez-Its, and Animal Crackers on a random rotating schedule. Lately it's just been Cheez-Its. But today I was especially hungry and wanted to see if there was anything healthy to eat.

My Findings:

Hard Boiled Eggs
Cheddar Broccoli Rice-A-Roni in a bowl (which I got today)
Gummy Sharks (not healthy -just awesome)

Technically they had fruit there as well -but i don't trust it. Same goes for their salads.

Why don't they advertise these options on their website??? I could have been having good-tasting healthy food this whole time. Instead it's been good-tasting unhealthy Cheez-Its.

P.S. The Rice-A-Roni is amazing :)

Zodiac Flow Chart

I simplified this to make it easier for people to figure out which sign they are within their element now...

Zodiac Evaluation: Football Players

I went on an NFL site because I had a theory about the Zodiac signs and football players. It turned out I was wrong, but it revealed something that I deemed important to know none the less.

First off -I've seen football games on TV -but aside from Friday Night Lights which I've come to love -no me gusta futbol americano. It was my assumption that the majority of football players would be Fire Signs -after all fire signs have athletic determination and dominant tendencies making them particularly endowed for such sports. To check, I found a list of various NFL teams and their top 4 or 5 noted players listed with their dates of birth. Some of the teams didn't have players listed so I only found a total of 12 teams.

The Teams: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, SF 49ers, Seattle Seahawks.

In total 54 players were listed -with their birth dates. Unfortunately I don't know the players so I cannot assess which sign in their birth element they currently are. However a distinct pattern was shown for the majority of birth dates given.

The Elements:

32% of the players were Water Signs
24% Fire Signs
22% Air
22% Earth

The Signs:

16% Scorpio
16% Aquarius

11% Leo
11% Taurus

9% Virgo
9% Cancer

7% Sagittarius

5% Pisces
5% Aries

4% Libra

2% Gemini
2% Capricorn

Yin and Yang were shown to be equal with neither being favored over the other.

Repeated Dates:

March 15th (came up 2 times)
July 16th (2 times)
September 14th (2 times)
November 9th (2 times)
November 14th (2 times)

Assessment of Results:

Well it's not exactly a shocker that Gemini and Libra were at the bottom of the totem pole. Both are far more mentally-oriented and not exactly known for being physical -they're known for harmony, beauty, and love above all else.

Capricorn was a little confusing I suppose -they they too are usually pretty practical and more philosophical-minded.

Aries was a surprise -given my presumed theory. Pisces not so much -they're pretty spiritual and ethereal. Leo and Taurus made sense -being both physically and emotionally oriented. Perfect for sports.

Along the same lines Scorpio would makes sense. Aquarius threw me for a loop. I'd have put them in the same bucket as Libra and Gemini.

My theory: I'm still not entirely certain why Scorpio would lead the pack above Taurus and Leo, but given the fact that they are smart and physical -it is a winning combination.

My sister actually shed light on why the Fire Sign count was so low and the Aquarius signs were so frequent: Fire signs are dominant -not exactly team players. Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, and Scorpio would make an awesome team of people. Smart, physical, and in the case of the Aquarius, a spiritual leader. Michael Jordan for example is a well known Aquarius.

Aquarius are also very competitive from what I've seen. So given this I now have a new theory:

For team sports that involve more than one player: Aquarius will always be high on the count. The leader sign of the Air signs which also gets along well with others.

For individual sports that involve only one person -probably Fire Sign driven. Like tennis, swimming,
baseball and so on...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Denied" Love

I'm the kind of person who avoids rather than proclaims. So when I want to be someone's friend or I want to date someone -nothing ends up happening because that person inevitably finds focus on someone else and moves on. And it hurts because it feels like being denied love when someone turns away towards another, but really it's just a love you deny yourself by not proclaiming it in the first place.

And then your heart twists and writhes in itself with regret, envy, and loathing. You can hardly stand to breathe. But I've found the cure.

Looking at pictures of nature. Specifically the woods and mountains and waterfalls of great size and grandeur. I admire the work of ages of time past before mine and the immensity it has over every person. And as I look at these images and feel myself in these places I think, "This is mine. This is just for me. Technically it's for everyone -but some may choose not to notice- so really it may as well be just mine to enjoy. And God gave this to me -if no one else wants it I'll take it. And God is mine as well. And some people choose to live without Him and therefore they have less of themselves because He is a part of them and they will never be fully realized in their own lives because of that. And if all I have is God's living art around me, God Himself within me, and this life -I have more than an abundance to suffice."

And then I feel love. Love for God. And then I feel more love. Love for myself. And then I feel even more love. Love for my life. And I'm left wondering what it was I ever felt I was living without.

Pear Logo

My friend is an associate in a company that sells health products -especially weight loss shakes and things. I looked at her website because she wanted me to format their logo into an SVG file... and the website itself looked good but the logo...

I was horrofied! I told my friend what my professional opinion was and that I'd be happy to upgrade her logo for free, but she said she didn't want to have to update the website -which would involve contacting the web developer and update all the recently ordered business cards.

But I explained to her that:

1. The shading on the pear was wrong -dark green should be where the yellow is and the yellow should be where the green is. Dark color towards bottom, light color towards top. 

2. It is a painfully two-dimensional image with a shadow that makes it appear to be a 3D two-dimensional image.

I said the concept was great -the colors white and green evoke "health" as does the pear itself and the ribbon around the pear's "waist" would be associated with a woman's hour glass figure.

My friend said they needed a logo in a short period of time -a couple years ago before she even knew me- and this was the best logo they could find.

I understood.

But friends don't let friends use crappy logos, so I designed her a new one anyway.

2D Logo 1:

Initially I went with a yellow ribbon to relate back to the typical yellow ruler ribbons used for measuring -but without the stupid, black tick marks that take forever to draw. Then I went with purple which complements the color green much better:

Having thusly achieved Part 1 of my goal to explain to my friend what two-dimensional images should look like (without shading) I then upgraded to a more 3D looking logo:

This is how you shade a f*cking pear. And then because my friend was so fond of drop shadows, I gave the now 3D-looking pear one of its own...

All 5 of these iterations only took about an hour to make.

In conclusion: Find a good graphic designer who knows what they're doing, not just how to draw something that resembles a pear, but also respects nature and the laws it's governed by -like lighting and shadows.

V Day

Today a friend of mine that I work with came in and announced that her mother-in-law, who has been in the hospital the past couple of weeks, passed away today. This after losing her uncle to cancer a week after his diagnosis last year and her own grandmother last Christmas.

Her relatives live in Mexico while she, her husband, and their two girls live here in California. It seems like every time they go to reunite with relatives they end up attending a funeral.

February 28th is my sister's birthday. It is also the anniversary of my grandmother Jean's death. I miss her. She was a dynamic woman -always polite and very accepting of others. I was told that one day when she was watching 6 year-old me, a woman came up to her int he park and told her not to let me play in the puddle my toy dinosaur was trouncing through in the imaginary land I was envisioning. My grandmother looked at the woman and said, "She's happy, let her be." The woman scoffed and walked away. Grandma said she just didn't have the heart to stop me -she enjoyed seeing me perfectly content in my own little world.

When someone I love dies I have a tendency to freeze up and remain fairly composed and unemotional. It takes a while for things to sink in. I become stoic and feel almost like a robot. But then at some point the flood gates open and I lose it -usually a couple of weeks later. I'm like a guy that way -or at least I'm told that's how they process things.

When my grandma was in the hospital and it was clear she wouldn't recover, it wasn't her death that upset. It wasn't her dying that got to me. It was the fact that all my relatives were gathered around discussing funeral arrangements. She wasn't even dead yet and instead of sharing stories about her life they were discussing financial matters and mortuary logistics.

I suppose focusing on concrete things is easier than contending with the emotional side of life. That's why my friend says she's here at work today -to keep her mind off things. But it just seems an insult that during someone's final days or recent passing the people they love cry, mourn, and stay busy. There is no reminiscing or sharing or coming together for support. Maybe this is why people struggle with the death of a loved one so much -they are left alone without the person they love and without a clear bond of love and strength from others to draw from.

I'm cool with death -I've made my peace with it. And when someone dies my instincts go towards concern for the person's soul. Are they going to heaven for sure? Have they been prayed over if there is any doubt of that? I want people to pray over me when I die -as I will for those I "lose" while I'm here. I'm so certain of heaven though I never think of death as a permanent finality -just a transitional process to arriving at a new destination. We all have to cross those waters someday, it's like seeing a friend go on a roller coaster before it's your turn. You know you'll see them again after your ride returns to its station.

Death is only a temporary department from those we care about. And the fact is, if we love them unconditionally and they are bonded with us the same, they never really leave because that bond will always remain.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dracula and Valentine's Day

Last night I watched the movie Dracula (1992) on DVD. Mostly because I've finished the 5 season series of amazing that was Friday Night Lights.

I'd never really payed attention to the movie Dracula before. I had noticed that Gary Oldman was awesome and Keanu Reeves was boring. I was initially surprised to see Winona Ryder -until I remembered that she was actually a popular actress back then. And i remembered the basic plot of the movie -but somehow I had entirely missed its main point.

I'll summarize for those who haven't seen it (or those who have only seen crappy remakes of it):

Hopper (Keanu) is an Englishman engaged to Mina (Winona). Keanu is also an accountant who gets called away to handle the financial affairs of Count Dracula in Romania. In the meantime, Mina (who early on established to be very "prude" and spiritually devout) decides to stay at her rich friends house. Her friend (we'll call her Jane because I don't remember her real name) is a slut. Jane flirts with all the guys waiting for a marriage proposal from one.

Meanwhile, Hopper reaches Dracula and finds that he is 1. very old and 2. very weird. Then Dracula asks him to stay for another 2 months -just to "hangout". Shortly thereafter Hopper realizes he has basically been taken hostage. He unwittingly decides to explore the castle and gets taken captive by Dracula's 3 vampire brides. Then when Dracula brings the 3 brides a baby to feast on, Hopper realizes that these are "creatures" not people and plans his escape.

Then Dracula hops aboard a ship and heads to London to be reacquainted with Mina -who he believes is his reincarnated wife from centuries before. Upon arriving, Dracula sleeps with and drinks blood from Jane -turning her into a vampire. As Jane begins to change, one of her suitors -a doctor- calls Van Helsing to come to cure her of what he assumes is a rare illness.

Van Helsing drives a steak through her heart and chops off her head after she's seen attempting to drink the blood from a 4 year old girl. This pisses Dracula off and he starts coverting (as his younger self) with Mina and trying to win her affection. Hopper finally manages to escape and writes to Mina asking her to come to him so they can be married at once. She goes and writes Dracula -who she has strong feelings for- goodbye. They marry.

Then Van Helsing talks with Hopper and realizes Dracula is in town and they devise a plan to kill him. As they destroy Dracula's lair, he confesses his true identity to Mina, she says she loves him, he drinks her blood, she drinks his, and she begins the process of transforming into a vampire herself -which takes a couple days. Dracula then runs off and tries to make it back to his home before Hopper can reach him.

Hopper reaches him, cuts his throat and drives a steak through his chest. Fallen and wounded, Dracula is then protected by Mina who leads him into a nearby chapel. Why Dracula has a chapel -a sacred place for worshiping God- when he is repelled by the sight of the cross itself remains unknown and confusing.

Mina at last says her words of true love and Dracula begins to heal back into his young, vampire self. But then she looks at the cross and realizes her love for God is too strong to turn away from. With the will of God beside her, she picks up a steak and drives it into the heart of the man she loves. She then cuts of his head. Her love of God triumphed over her love for a man who became a creature of evil.

I somehow managed to miss that last part -aka the main point of the story. Mina had struggled with her allegiance to faith and purity when Dracula entered the seen and she became overpowered by a sense of physical longing and romantic love. Her marriage to Hopper seemed more to her like something she "must do" rather than an act of love itself. But in the end she knew that if she stayed with Dracula she would be taken down with him and have to forsake God who she had always strove to be loyal to.

It's a complex story. And it isn't often you see a movie glorify the choice of an individual to side with God over love. Most movies glorify romantic love into oblivion. Few glorify loyalty to faith and an uncompromising willingness to stay the course.

Then today at Toastmasters I heard the story of the origin of Valentine's Day:

Valentinus was a follower of Christ who was denounced for his beliefs by the Romans in the 3rd Century A.D. Valentinus refused to worship the twelve gods the Romans followed and was therefore thrown in a dungeon and planned to be put to death.

The blind daughter of the man who jailed him then started visiting with Valentinus and was told many stories of Rome and of God. The daughter told Valentinus that she wished God would return sight to her, and Valentinus said that God could only heal her if she believed in Him. She said that she did, whole heartedly. It is said that a light then filled the dungeon area and her sight was then restored.

Valentinus was executed on February 14th. Since then people have associated February 14th with St. Valentine and "Courtly Love". 

I think that love of God can lead men and women to fulfilling a life of true love and devotion they would not have otherwise been able to reach -even if it doesn't seem to have a "happy ending". And after all, if death is to be every man's ending then maybe the fact that the story lives on is the reward so that the life of the man never really "ends" but is instead and shared and remembered far beyond his own time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Google +

People -especially Google + -keep saying that Google + is a happenin place and it's gaining momentum.

In a top new story the Huffington Post shared online, below the news clip video were buttons linked to Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Email, and Commenting to share and comment on the clip. Here's the numbers shown:

948 Facebook Posts

138 Twitter Posts

19 Google + Posts

78 Emails Sent

 360 Comments Posted

In conclusion...

Re: Promoting My Friend's Business

Last night I met with my friend Jos and other women in the planning crew to create a video for Jos' mentoring program.

I've decided to stick it out and continue my involvement with my friend's plan. I'm probably going to be spending less time than I am now, but I'll stay and continue my support.

I work 7am-3pm at my company. Then when Jos needs me to come over I do (usually from 3:30pm-6pm 2 or 3 days out of the week). Then I'll usually come over either on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4pm. I've been doing this for the past 4 months or so consistently.

And now the first Mixer is coming up -the first step in physically launching the business and getting people to come and join. But it wasn't until last night that I really saw the vision of this undertaking being implemented.

As we sat around a table concluding the meeting -we reached a point where we went around saying who we were, what are business is, and what kind of support or opportunities we're looking for. Jos looked at me and said, "So you can start us off -how can we help promote your business?"

I said something like, "Well I've been pretty busy helping the Jos with the business cards, flyers, and planning the mixers. I don't really know what I could want in terms of help. (I paused for a good minute looking around the room uncertain of what to say) I'm good. I don't really need anything i guess".

Then another woman at the table asked what it is I do. I said I was a graphic designer/artist and that when I helped people outside of my work it was usually with logos, branding, and helping them make their companies identity more concrete. So then the woman wrote down the name of a contact for me and said, "This woman has been looking for someone good to help redesign her logo, you should give her a call." Then another woman said that her company had based its logo off of some of the products they sell, but really wants to develop their own logo -so she said she'd email me.

Then everyone another woman introduced herself and said she helped people organize spaces -usually home offices and places that are getting rid of a lot of items. I thought, "My step-mom's been meaning to organize her office but hasn't had the time. Maybe she'd be interested in having this woman help..."

Then another woman mentioned that she was a professional dog sitter and house watcher. She said she was looking for more part-time people to assist since they had been getting a consistent amount of request to watch various homes and animals. My sister has been house-sitting on and off for people since earlier this year. She gladly volunteered her services and was excited to hear about the house-sitting opportunities.

Another woman said that she was looking for a professional assistant to help her around the office -and she looked directly at me and said, "I want someone like Jessica who is responsible and smart. I need someone who can learn quickly and take care of things."

Then Jos laughed and said to me, "Why aren't you popular!" Then she turned to the woman and joked, "You can't have her, she's mine."

I've never felt that before. Like people w\actually wanted my services -or that I was unique and sought after on some level. Normally I just keep my head down and do the work that's in front of me. I don't think anyone cares or notices -except when they like the work itself that is made. It kind of opened my eyes to the idea that maybe there is work outside of my office. Maybe I can do more than just what is expected. Maybe I can branch off and design art for other people as my own business.

I looked around the room and thought -this is the purpose. This is why Jos wanted this business in the first place. Honest networking in its natural form. A trust and friendship-based exchange of support and community. Not out of obligation or awkward lies about following through on false promises -but a real connection to others in business that you want to help and vice versa.

One last woman spoke as she looked towards my sister and I saying, "I want to get some younger girls like those two to help me organize and unload the last of these boxes of books I have still packed since moving to this new office. I just need 5 girls or so that can help get these books on shelves -then I can take them over to get manicures and pedicures when it's all done. It should only take 2 hours or so. Can you invite some friends you know and we can set up a time to just get it out of the way so i can actually have space to work in my office?"

My sister said, "Sure! I'll tell my friends and see who can come." I of course agreed as well.

People don't have to be neighbors to "help their neighbors" and be "good neighbors" to others.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Recent Tweets by Me

 I may add this to the "Quotes" section of my new website if there are enough good quotes I made to post there...

- Art knows no bounds because art is the experience of breaking through them.

- I just want to state the irony that Topanga from Boy Meets World is on Maxim Magazine on International Women's Day...

- Just when you think it's falling apart, life falls back into place.

-You know it's going to be a personal, sentimental, and touching email message when it starts off: "Dear Email-User,"...

- Like attracts like. Or in my case, weird attracts weird.

-"Love is an emotion. totally silent and inexpressible with words." -Rumi. I disagree. Love is a state of being. Emotions can change, but unconditional love can become something that is constant.

- God loves "fixer-uppers".

-Internet Explorer is the new "fetch". Stop trying to make it happen, it is never going to happen.

- Chelsie: How much cheese do you like on your eggs? Me: When you can no longer see the eggs you have succeeded.

- I just "liked" a Facebook page for Avocados from Mexico. I don't really care where they come from, I just love avos...

-You can't be awe-inspired if the only sound your heart ever makes is "eh..." (That's called being eh-inspired)

-A replica of the Titanic is being made and will set sail by 2016. With all the recent news with cruise ships, what could possibly go wrong?

- Oh Syfy...You make the crappiest of movies about radioactive crocodiles, but you make the greatest of TV shows...

- Being an employee is kind of like being a fire fighter. "Let's see, I put out that fire, and that fire, and that other one is pending..."

- JCP: "Dear America,You deserve to look better." Me: "Dear JCP, You should find a less subtly insulting slogan..."

- "The most dangerous kids' toy has to be the glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. Think about it." -Tim Hawkins

- It's a good thing Nikki Minaj says her own name at the beginning of her song so I know to switch the station quickly.

- A moviegoers nightmare... A whole group of little kids.

- I'm going to see the Rocky Mountains today...via IMAX.

- I forgot how cynically honest the views of society are on the old Disney tv show "Dinosaurs". We need more kids shows like that.

- Every time I start to feel bad about sleeping in late on the weekends I remind myself there are people somewhere watching football all day.

- I learned a new word today. "Prosumer" = (noun) A high paying professional consumer of expensive product. A very committed shopper.

- I wonder if Fight Club has a group on . No one would know where it is because they're not allowed to talk about it.

- "Russia's like a live-action Grand Theft Auto." ~Jon Stewart

- There will never come a day when I envy another man's life over my own. My life is my own.

- And with that I have finished the last of the Girl Scout cookies. I regret nothing.

-I had a nightmare they remade the movie Labyrinth in computer animation and David Bowie was a voiceover.

- Watched the video of the meteors heading towards earth... Maybe the Mayans meant 2013...

-Dad: "When's the last time you cleaned your room?" My sister: "The Mid-1800s."

- Today is the 2 year anniversary for my apartment and I. It was love at first assessment.

- Truth is something everyone searches for subconsciously because deep down we know it's where our understanding and acceptance comes from.

-Why do all the radio stations worth listening to conspire to play commercials at the same time?

-Those who celebrate Chinese New Years get February 8th-12th off. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!! :)

- I think my cat was a Gremlin in a past life...

- Memes are the new emoticons. Yah I said it...

- "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." -Mark Twain

- I like sleeping because its like being dead without the commitment.

 - I need to set my homepage to Bing. Getting into work this early and seeing new reports of people burned alive and kids in comas is too much.

- Being an artist means admiring tables at a coffee shop for their sheen and color and not feeling "weird" about it.

- Valentines Day is upon us. If you need any pink, purple, or red decorations -now's the time to buy. Those colors are officially in season.

- Your bed may be your cocoon, but lying in it all day won't make you a butterfly.

- It's so foggy out this morning. It's like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland with the ships and the canons going off. YARRR!

- The devolution of the word "alright": Okay...O.K...ok...k

- "I'm going to make my suitcase distinguishable from everyone else's by attaching a string to it!" ~Everyone Who Travels Anywhere Ever

- I like how they call commercials "Ad Experiences". You can experience bungee jumping, traveling, love, and now Ads!

- That awkward moment when someone posts a grainy photo on Instagram and they say and you think, "Obviously..."

- Jos: "I need 10 people to voice-over on this video I'm recording and I only have 9 people..." Me: "Have someone speak in an accent."

- "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." - Gloria Steinem (This quote was so unexpected and hilarious)

- Tea is already on the verge of not tasting good. Why would you throw in lemon, ginger, and mint? Why not add peppercorn and horseradish?

- "I know filthy hands can wash one another's, and not one speck will remain" -'Soul Meets Body' by Death Cab for Cutie

- "Glen Beck lives on the internet now where laws have no meaning and cats Can Haz Cheeseburgerz" -Jon Stewart

- You know it's winter when you want soup for breakfast instead of cereal.

- If the back of a book begins describing itself by saying it's 'interesting' - I'm not interested.

- "Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into 4 pieces with your bare hands -and then eat just one of those pieces" -Judith Viorst

- "There's always room for improvement, it's the biggest room in the house." ~Louise Heath Leber

-In today's news: We went from Harry Potter and Twilight to "Aristotle and Dante" for popular reading for kids...

- Expand your soul to relate to everyone. Know your soul to understand yourself.

- What?! Today was supposed to be "Opposite Day"! Way to drop the ball internet...

- The goal is not to out live people by age -it's to live out great experiences.

- "Lego accused of racism with Star Wars set" It's not "racism" if it has to do with Differing Culture and Religion and Architecture.

- If you do any endeavor long enough, consistently enough, and passionately enough -you will succeed.

- "I don't have time", I just have life.

 This world just got genius: a USB wristband. It snaps together like a USB stick -only on a band/bracelet. (I'm a nerd from Silicon Valley)

- Random Texter: "Hi Jessica! Saw you on Facebook you should add me to your IM list, lol!" Me: "It's 4am, lol. I want to kill you..."

- If I have kids I'm never going on their Facebook page. "You know how many 50 year olds??? Through Happy Pets???..."

- “Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.” ~Janet Lane

- "Two thoughts cannot occupy the mind at the same time, so the choice is ours as to whether our thoughts will be constructive or destructive"

- It's easy to make peace with life when you stop treating it like your enemy.

- "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. " - Carl Jung

- Difficult challenges and great outcomes go hand in hand.

- Gunther's Restaurant quote from their website "Suggested Condiments: horse radish & au, au, au jus…bless you."

- Why can't "all the time" be the "most wonderful time of the year"?

- "This is more exciting for you than New Years right now isn't it?" Jos to me after giving me a Dark Chocolate Mint Brownie Truffle Bar. :)

- They should have a traffic report for the parking lots of Starbucks, Noah's Bagels, and other morning eateries.

- 'Cockapoo'. Someone must have really hated this breed of dog when they were first naming it.

- "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." -Khalil Gibran

- I'm wearing my no-way-in-hell-I'm-freezing-over coat... and I'm still cold.

- "If you only do what you know you can do ~ you never do very much." ~Tom Krause

- Why call them "Chandelier Earrings"? This is the 21st Century. Hello "Chandeliearrings". Saves time.

- "Say not, 'I have found the truth', but rather, 'I have found a truth.'" ~Kalil Gibran

- What do you mean it's suppose to be colder tomorrow???! Where's an apocalypse when you need one...

- "If you are pointed in the right direction, all you have to do is walk" ~Zen proverb

- Alex Jones was born on February 11th -same day as Sarah Palin. Coincidence???...

- Success isn't reached in one extravagant moment of grandeur -it's won or lost in small moments during our daily lives.

- Flavored water. Because normal water is not cherry-raspberry-strawberry enough. It's like it's normally not a fruit juice at all...

- "nicolas cage has won an oscar but leonardo dicaprio hasn’t". What?! Is this true? These are dark times...

- If UPS and FED-Ex gave the postal service a run for its money, why can't someone create a new business that replaces the DMV?

- Jay Leno-Tim Allen-Blake Shelton -video on youtube. You're welcome.

- The only people you should envy are the ones that envy no one.

- No hot cocoa powder to be found so I had to be creative with this mornings coffee. Chocolate Sprinkles. No one will deny me my cafe mocha...

- Got an email from "Public Records" subject titled: "Get current information on anyone." I'm concerned about our society.

- What?! Females don't lie.

- If today were the game Oregon Trail, the wagon wheels would be stuck in snow and we wouldn't need to shoot buffalo because they'd be frozen.

- First day back at work... No one else has shown up yet. Momentary thought of panic. We ARE suppose to come in today RIGHT?...

- Guns being fired, bombs going off... The war with the aliens has begun!!! . . . No wait those are just fireworks. False alarm.

- Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, and Chris Brown are trending. The end is nearing...

- Who knew handshakes were so important.

- Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

- I need to check IMDB to verify but I think Bret from Flight of the Conchords was an elf in the Hobbit.

- Apparently my dad's neighbors have nothing better to spend their money on so they're re-re-remodeling their driveway.

- Whenever someone gifts me art supplies my first thought is what art piece I can make them out of the materials.

- I've been off the computer for the past... 3 days? Dare I check my emails...

- "I've seen so many Christmas shows I started going out of my way to watch murder mysteries." -My Grandma

-Jack Reacher = Tom Cruise trying to do Mission Impossible without it being Mission Impossible and it's not possible.

- Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, and Uma Thurman were in the original Les Miserables movie? Why did we need to remake this???

- 'Do I listen to pop music because I'm miserable or am I miserable because I listen to pop music?' -High Fidelity