Freedom, Pure and Simple

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
George Orwell

“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”
Oscar Wilde

I’m sure everyone is talking about the James Franco and Seth Rogen movie, “The Interview” and its

Pictures by Pixaby.com

Pictures by Pixaby.com

cancellation. In my life, I haven’t ever seen a movie pulled due to fear of repercussions. Movie makers LIKE to make people squirm and stretch their brains. That is the point of making movies, to represent people, things, places, times etc that don’t have the chance to represent themselves. Here in the USA, we have been blessed with freedom of speech and expression, our government knows (for the most part) that humans NEED self-expression, we need that stimulation. Or we will leave. Leave by either checking out mentally and going through life sleepwalking or…. simply leave the country. I am very thankful for this freedom. I am NOT thankful for cyber terrorism or any kind of terrorism for that matter. I am only thankful for it, in a way, because, it shows us how far our society has fallen. If we are able to so easily bow down to an unknown entity whose action has been to leak documents, what does that symbolize? Important documents to Sony have been leaked, sure, but just documents all the same. These hackers could be anyone. If it IS North Korea, our backing down is an even bigger problem. Sony has the right to release or not release any movie it wants to, but backing down like this would be a clear sign to any current terrorist groups that the USA is weak. I would take it as a sign to move. I won’t be surprised if we see more incidents such as this. Perhaps even worse.

I shall not be silenced

I shall not be silenced

This seems to me like bad parenting. When a kid throws a temper tantrum in the store because you said no to a candy bar. Instead of holding your ground, you are so embarrassed by your screaming child that you hurry through the line and give in to his demand. Sure, here is your candy bar, just stop making a scene….. That is what we are saying to the cyber hackers/North Korea. Sure… you can control what we put in our theaters.  Have we, as a nation, forgotten what freedom of speech means? I certainly hope not.

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

[Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950]”
Harry S. Truman

Everything Will Change

Must Be This Tall To Ride

life-long-quotes

I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV or Beverly Hills, 90210 or go to boy-girl parties like the rest of my friends. One of my presents for my 10th birthday was Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure which was rated PG and I’d seen it a bunch of times, but after my mom heard some of the jokes, she took it away from me.

I didn’t think it was cool to have a conservative mom who cared enough about me to worry about things like that so sometimes I’d lie to my friends about why I couldn’t go to a party that everyone else was going to.

I was an only child. I didn’t have any older siblings to help me prepare for what was to come.

Every day growing up was a new experience.

Being friendly and nice to almost everyone got me through. But those school-aged years is when…

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Loveliness and Laughter Among the Living

I haven’t written an “advice” post for quite some time and I think the reason being, I’ve just been too focused on all the positive things happening in my life that I feel unqualified to say much.

However, the reason I’ve been able to focus on the good things more might be a good tidbit to share!

I’ve always “known” that the focus of the mind is what really matters. It’s what gets things done and life moving. Sadly, I don’t think it completely registered until I read one of the best inspirational “self-help” books I’ve found so far. I have “self-help” in quotes because it isn’t so much self-help as much as, this should be common knowledge because it’s so basic and such a simple mindset that everyone should know it. But, like me, a lot of people “know” things but either it hasn’t been said in a way that it really gets stuck in the brain or they honestly haven’t been privy to the kind of experiences and knowledge that I have had access to. At the same time, the information is there for everyone, if you choose to search for it.

The book I’m talking about is

Movement on Dreams, Stand Under None

Movement on Dreams, Stand Under None

called “Did I Ever Wake Up” by Mod Sun. AMAZING BOOK. It’s only 70 pages and $25, I think everyone should invest in this book. He is a drummer turned rapper and has a great perspective on life. His name he changed to Mod Sun to portray his life change. It is an acronym for Movement on Dreams, Stand Under None. Beautifully summed up in a name, his character is so very admirable.

One of the points he makes has really stuck out to me and I want to focus on it, and I’m pretty sure I’ve quoted it to at least 10 people, half of them were strangers I met on my trip home this past weekend. He says, in a thought such as “I want to stop being so negative all the time,” the universe doesn’t hear words like “want” or “hope” or “need.” All that the universe hears is “negative.” It doesn’t matter what you say you want or need or hope happens, all that matters is WHAT you are thinking about. THINK positive, DO what you want, GO get what you need. We are what we eat, and I think we are what we think. That really struck me as so true. I have been constantly surrounded by thoughts about hope, want, need and breaking the habit of this kind of thinking is going to be hard.

Since reading that book this last Friday on my plane ride to Minneapolis, and implementing many of its simple methods (positiveness and constant friendliness) I have had a hard time NOT smiling. I just want to smile all the time! My face hurt all weekend and even at my weird job I consciously make myself smile and the endorphin’s hit me. Everything bad that happens, will be turned into a good. Bad things happen all the time

Flowers in the Winter

Flowers in the Winter

and most of the time we can’t do anything about it, like me missing my flight home for Thanksgiving. The only thing we have control of is how we react to those bad things. That reaction could very realistically turn it into a wonderful happenstance. Lets learn how to do this together, as a society and as kindred spirits.

Like a flower in the dead of winter. Beauty can be found in any situation.

You don’t need empathy to support a depressed person

Best sum up of this article. I love the way she talks about this without accusing anyone of being a bad friend. That’s not what its about. It’s about communication. – “depressed people don’t need you to empathize; they just need you. “

karenwriteshere

When a friend was hospitalized for appendicitis, people flocked to visit him at the hospital. When I was clinically depressed, some who knew it avoided me like the plague. But I completely understand — it’s natural for us to be afraid of the unfamiliar, including unfamiliar illnesses. And when it comes to depression, people are wary not because they are afraid it might be contagious (hey, many don’t even recognize it as an illness!), but because they are afraid of saying the “wrong” thing.

A friend once apologized to me, “I’m sorry I haven’t been reaching out to you or being there for you. I’m not like J — I wish I were, but I’m not. But know that I’ve been praying for you, okay?”

At the time, I smiled and told him not to worry about it. I read between the lines and I read his facial expressions — I…

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Making Plans: We do it all the time

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Allen Saunders

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”

I have always reflected on plans because, it is my nature to plan. I love it! I like to have all my ducks in a row and every angle thought out. I don’t like missing things, or forgetting one aspect of the plan. It gives me joy when a plan goes just like I wanted it to go.

There  is a flipside to this: Raging and crippling disappointment.

What happens when all of your plans go haywire? Part of your carefully thought out (or in my case sometimes, not so carefully thought out)plans, if not all, has suddenly been destroyed in some way, what do you do?

I had a plan to go visit my dear family up in the lake filled and beautiful Minnesota for my favorite holiday of all time: Thanksgiving! I had it planned for months. When I say months, I mean back to July I was making sure it was okay that I took off from work to go see my family that week. I tried hard not to think about it all the time and plan everything 5 months in advance, because we all know that circumstances can change. However, I wasn’t very great at it… I still managed to have everything taken care of a month in advance. Not to mention, we decided to get a Siberian Husky pup from my brother! I was beyond excited for this trip.

The night before came and everything was packed and by the door. I set my alarm for 4:30 AM (ass crack of dawn… flight left at 6:20) just to make sure I had everything ready. I live two minutes from the airport so it wasn’t going to be an issue getting there.

Little did I know the actual issue.

My calendar on my phone sent me a reminder in the middle of the night about the trip. However, when this happens with Galaxy phones, it means my actual Pandora alarm couldn’t go off.

I woke up at 7:20 wondering why it was so light in my bedroom. It hit me that it couldn’t be before 7. (I get up at 6am every day, I know what the morning looks like) I knew I had missed my flight. Then the hysterics came. I couldn’t function, I was balled up on the bathroom floor sobbing as my dear boyfriend tried talking to the airline to see if we could make a later flight. Apparently for Spirit airline, if you miss your first flight, everything becomes void. Even the return flight…..

I had spent near $500 on this trip already (baggage, hotel, puppy, potential gas money, not to mention taking time off from work)which is a lot of money for my present situation and there it was…. GONE. Just gone…. all with one sentence on repeat from the customer service representative. I think it might have waved at me as it flew over. I was devastated. I could barely talk to my family from the disappointment of it all.

After a little while…. aka 2 days of adjusting my head to the fact that I wasn’t actually going to get to go home for my favorite holiday, I was able to come to terms with it and enjoy the week free of work. I figured at the very least I could read  and play up the video games and knit and drink wine. That is what I proceeded to do and had a lovely time with my dearest man. We were also able to go horse trail riding which was awesome (I’ll have another rant about how poorly those horses are trained and cared for).

Moral of my story… its okay to be disappointed when plans fall through. Just promise yourself that you won’t let it ruin a single moment of your days. I regret how long it took me to get over it emotionally and I do feel it tainted parts of that week. I struggled with being around my boyfriends family for Thanksgiving, simply because they weren’t MINE. They are wonderful people and I was able to re-evaluate and enjoy them. It was just harder than usual.

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”

thanks

How my Thanksgiving turned out 🙂

Song of the Day – Turn On Me by The Shins

This was the perfect song for this past month or so for me. It is called Turn On Me by The Shins, a great band with great messages in many of their songs.The whole song meaning revolves around falling out with a former band member, they had issues like most relationships do. This was huge because recently in my own relationships (mostly my man) I had the revelation that in any relationship that has potential, whether its platonic or romantic, if there is that missing aspect of communication then it will be doomed. It amazes me that if we tweaked only a few of the ways we communicate with that significant other, it can completely change everything and it will grow. If we refuse to change or back down and remain in our stubborn societal mindset of “I’m the center of the universe and I’m more important than everyone else,” inevitably we will be setting our relationships up for failure.

So affections fade away,
And do adults just learn to play
The most ridiculous, repulsive games?
On the faith of ruddy sons,
And the double-barreled guns,
You better hurry,
Rabbit, run, run, run.
‘Cause meeting you was fun,
And there’s a lot of hungry howlers in this one cell.
We’re taking it over,
Their brittle, thorny stems,
They break before they bend,
And neither one of us is one of them.

All it takes is a little humility, respect for the human person, and forgiveness. I’m sure easier said than done, but these are simple concepts that our own stubborn pride can make complicated. All the same, it does take two to tango. If it doesn’t work out, get back on that horse and ride!! Never forget hope and forgiveness.

So I took your licks at the time,
And to change like that is just so hard to do,
Hard to do.
Don’t let it whip-crack your life,
And bow out from the fight,
Those old pious sisters were right
The worst part is over,
Now, get back on that horse and ride.

Here’s What We Missed…..

I can’t believe I missed the whole month of October… my favorite month out of the year for all its beer cheer and fall colors! The one month of the year I get to gush about everything in fall tones. The one month I get to complain about stores putting Christmas decor up before Halloween is even over and horrific costumes as well as a few clever and awesome ones. The one month I get to drink fall beers till I costumecan’t taste the pumpkin anymore and take shameless selfies with my favorite brands. Good food, great weather, and the best holidays in the land; that is what I missed. I’m sorry.

BUT here is what y’all missed!

I dressed up as a green and pink monster… I even wore it to my office costume/chili contest! I didn’t win either, but I only participated in one so it serves me right. One of my coworkers had the brilliant idea to come as Count Von Count from Sesame Street. He won of course!

I coffeediscovered two new coffee shops that make fantastic cappuccinos and macchiatos! Serj Books and Ascension Coffee are fantastic places to go and eat and have just straight up great, authentic coffee.

I made it to ONLY one Oktoberfest. This was very disappointing to me since my plan had been to hit up at least 3 different fests.

My shameless beer selfie!

My shameless beer selfie!

However, life can take you by surprise and I found myself with little time to go and oct beerdo much for almost the whole month. There is always next October to look forward to though! I always find myself taking selfies with food and beer in the fall. It’s just that time of year, I think….

We had a lovely birthday party for a dear family friend of Casey’s on a rooftop bar. I LOVE rooftop bars! The last one I went to was New York, New York and it was freezing yet wonderful. It was my best memory in NYC southsidedespite the chilling wind. I tripped over a couch trying to climb over it because I was catching up with Casey’s mom. I got to watch her trip right before I did and we both looked absolutely ridiculous, but it was hilarious! I digress. I loved this rooftop bar here in Dallas simply because it was different from your average uptown club or bar. It was cleaner and less noisy than most. Not nearly enough seating but…. I think when people “go out” they expect to stand most of the time. If they don’t (aka, Me), then1425578_10152834518359253_5975674370663165663_n they should probably change their approach to going out.

I got a new HAT!!!!!!!!! I have been dying to get a fedora just like this for

Its fedora time!

Its fedora time!

quite some time…. mostly just this last year. Still in terms of fashion, it has been forever. It’s just slightly too big, but I will probably wear it 5 out of the 7 days in the week. Just too perfect.

Last but not least…. my final beer pictures. I went to the grocery store the other night all excited about refilling my stock of beer with more blue moon pumpkin ale, because it is the best, only to find that they had already switched their fall beers to their Christmas ales!! I was devastated to say the least……

https://www.facebook.com/3015Dallas a place called LUCK. They had so many different beers on tap it was so cool!

https://www.facebook.com/3015Dallas a place called LUCK. They had so many different beers on tap it was so cool!

I look forward to them all year round and now, they are just gone… I do enjoy St. Arnold’s Christmas Ale, but it’s not the same as that good ol’ pumpkin seasonal fall beer.

beer

I don’t have pictures as of yet but the future is bright! We are getting a husky puppy and potentially moving to Colorado in April. When I say potentially, there is not a doubt in my mind that it will happen. The dream will finally happen!

That is what you missed! Thanks for listening to my life update. Ciao bella gente!

A Promise is a Promise

Alright, so I promised I would give an update on what all happened with that weird ER visit I alluded to in my last post. Since that happened two weeks or so ago, the world feels topsy-turvy. We have since found out what was wrong after visiting four different doctors not including the ER doctor who was, in fact, useless. That whole trip just provided us with first hand knowledge about how terrible our healthcare really is. It needs some help…

Unfortunately, none of the doctors except the chiropractor even had a remote clue as to what was wrong. We ended up doing our own research, along with the chiropractor helping and taking into account some things his physical therapist mentioned (thoracic extension, or lack thereof), and we have found this: When he was in high school he had a basketball injury where he stuck out his arm in front of the guy with the ball, but the guy with the ball was running full speed, so it spun Casey (the boyfriend) around and tweaked his back to the point where he had to limp off the court. That was the day, 8ish years ago, that he started going to the chiropractor. She helped some, but he also tried acupuncture as well and after going several times and feeling moderately better, he thinks he just learned to live with it and started thinking it was the normal way to feel. Turns out, that hit had messed up his whole body.

His rib cage was shifted, affecting everything.  His thoracic extension was all messed up and he didn’t know why, we know now that his injury shifted his body and over extended his body so that any extra stretch he did would result in a muscle spasm. This lead to bad posture and developing the wrong muscles in his core. I don’t know what order this all happened, but it all happened at some point these in these 8 years. Come to find out, one of his ab muscles had been compensating for the other and became attached to his sternum some how and the night that I took him to the ER, he had been stretching, and it caused a severe muscle spasm that pulled his sternum farther down and to the left. This resulted in nerve issues and a huge difference in breathing capabilities. Because he was so upset that he suddenly lost all the good feelings that he had been slowly getting back by doing proper exercises, it had aggravated it so much more that it made everything worse.

Thus the ER visit. The best resource he found is this article The Scapula and Thoracic Spine: A Classic Love Story To Improve Your Overhead. It explains how he went wrong to being with, in general terms, and then breaks down exactly how to fix that weird place in your body that the average person just doesn’t think about. Go figure, breathing correctly is the key to a healthy life!

In the conclusion, he is improving more every day but it is a journey all the same. Please, dear readers, keep him in your thoughts even if it’s just a second and send good vibes and JuJu his way!

body_sm_ratios

Song of the Day – It’s A Good Life

I heard this song while I was getting ready for my day and after the past few days I needed that uplifting song. I had to take my boyfriend to the ER the other night (he is fine now!) but it has been a rough couple of days taking care of him, we are both ready for his pain to go away, and this song about freedom helps keep us focused on what we are fighting for. I’ll write about it later but, for now listen to this lovely song by the Kongos! I present to you “It’s a Good Life.”

Yeah we all have had those dreams
O-o-of the sun, and the sea and an island
Where you switch off
It’s a good life
It’s a good life
For me

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

O-o-of the sun, and the sea and an island

O-o-of the sun, and the sea and an island…..

 

Little Known Ways To Make The Most Out Of Craziness

“You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.” ~Jimi Hendrix

“‘Crazy’ is a term of art; ‘Insane’ is a term of law. Remember that, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble.” ~Hunter S. Thompson

To start out with… if you have a bored friend you are out with on the weekend, make sure they don’t steal a bottle of vodka from the table next door just for kicks. It’s a fast way to end a nice weekend evening and someone will inevitably have to pay for the bottle service that was stolen. It is never worth it.

Second, try to avoid clubs where the average patron is near 45 years old and where rather large older men are being “escorted” by pretty and shapely young ladies.  I felt like I would see their pimp walk around the corner any moment. Now that I think about it… the club manager kind of looked like a pimp. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not!

Third, if you find yourself in a cool environment but then you sit down on the couch and are suddenly overwhelmed by the smell of body odor, have no fear of the repercussions of leaving. It is a better alternative to having to smell years of sweat that has soaked into pleather material of a “vintage” couch. There may have also been the faint smell of an e-cigarette filled with marijuana (efficient to a fault).

Fourth and final, watch out for cougars! That is all.

Now we get to making the most of it! We had fun regardless of all the craziness of the above. We had a few drinks, we danced a bit (especially since the seat smelled dank, we didn’t really feel like sitting) and we made some fun memories. Luckily no one wound up in jail and $300 is money that can be made back although still a lot to just lose. It’s also worth it to see what your friends are like in crisis, it’s always good to see who has your back in situations like these. Makes me very thankful for the best friends I have.

Otherwise, I’m not gonna lie, it was a weird experience and I’m not exactly sure what else there could have been as a bright side to the situation. It was crappy for everyone in the end really. The club got stolen from (paid back of course), they had grumpy customers because of the missing bottle, and we were unaware of the situation until it was already happening and could really only help with damage control. I’ve talked about good karma on here, now its time for me to talk about bad karma. This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened (I’ve never been there for it, thank goodness) and they had gotten away with it. But, if you steal… it definitely WILL come back to bite you in the ass. Maybe not right away, but eventually the universe will settle things. In the end, it’s better to have karma come sooner rather than later, just saying.

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? ~ Albert Einstein

A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? ~ Albert Einstein

 

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