September 29, 2009

Sad...and a little Angry

As I was driving to work today, I listened to the radio. They were doing their usual schtick and then did the traffic report and all that.

The traffic report did mention an accident between Chapel Hill and Durham, but that's kind of a daily occurrence, so I didn't pay attention.

Until traffic stopped.

And I saw flares.

And about 8 police cars with lights flashing.

As I sat waiting to go, because really they were running thing pretty efficiently and traffic wasn't too bad, I looked around...and I saw what was holding up traffic.

A body was lying in the road.


I have mentioned my tendency to be slightly, overly sensitive before, but this really shook me up.

When I got to work, I did a little more research and then I got a bit...angry.

This is why:
1. The accident happened at 5:40am (according to every news report I read), why was there a body still in the road?

2. Why wasn't the body covered? A small white sheet barely covered the torso of this person and it was very bloody. They couldn't find a second item to cover the person with? Respect, people.

3. Many reports and comments speculate that it was "only a homeless person" or "just a homeless person". I'm sorry. We are still talking about a living, breathing person who was killed, right? Why does the social status of the person affect their dignity? We don't know who this person is, please stop making assumptions.

4. Unsafe drivers. As soon as we passed the accident people sped away, rushing to get to work in time. Did you see that? I'm sorry, my priorities right now are to drive myself safely so that I and anyone else on the road whom my driving may affect can arrive safely. Must you zip in and out of traffic to pass ONE CAR? Are you really ahead in that situation? Will those 30 seconds make a difference in your day? In your week? Month? Year? Life? Obviously 30 seconds would have made a difference to that person back a ways.

So, I feel sad. I pray for the family of the victim. I pray for the person who was driving and hit this person. I pray for everyone who had to see this. I hope that we can learn something.

September 27, 2009

Fall-ish

Part of what I love about autumn is the crispness in the air. The chill that begins to take over the heat of summer; cool evenings.

It's not quite fall here yet. We're still having some 80 degree days and the weather is gorgeous (especially today!), but it's definitely not fall. I get all sweaty half the time if I decide to wear long sleeves.

Eventually the leaves will change: green will shift to shades of red, yellow, orange and brown.

I still have to wait for the leaves to change. But they will, soon.

Patience isn't always my strong suit.

For now, I will live my autumnal dreams through this bouquet of flowers Megan brought home from a dinner.

Did you know they call that second flower "Cock's Comb"? It's all velvety and very sturdy.



Doesn't that peach rose look like butter? Like BUTT-AH, I'm telling you.


I'm loooving the green hydrangea with the pink edges.

Hi fall, I missed you.

September 26, 2009

Hot Chocolate

It makes me feel warm from the inside out. I seriously crave hot cocoa as soon as it gets cold out. Do you know the sheer joy sweet and spicy can bring to your mouth?

And this is how I make it:

A pinch of this, a scoop of that, stir and TA-DA!

Ok, the real steps for my FAVORITE hot chocolate:

1. Warm up your water in your tea kettle. I love my tea kettle. Merry Christmas to me from Matt and Abby!
2. Ingredients: cinnamon, cayenne and hot cocoa mix
3. Grab your favorite mug. This m&m World mug is from Vegas and my sweet friend Victoria picked it up for me.

3. A sprinkle of cayenne. The heat is delicious.
4. A shake of cinnamon. Yummy.
5. A scoop of hot cocoa mix. I use the generic just add water kind.

6. Add the water...
7. Stir and enjoy!


Seriously. Enjoy it. Mexican Hot Chocolate. Fantastic.

If you're feeling lazy grab Abuelita which Nestle makes and follow the directions. It's yummy too!




But making your own is easy-peasy. Do it. NOW.

xo

September 25, 2009

Smells

Aroma. Scent. Odor.

Sometimes I catch a whiff of something and it takes me back. I love that.

Sometimes I don't know what the smell is, and I don't know what it reminds me of but I still get that warm, fuzzy feeling. You know?

Things I know:

Cinnamon: This reminds me of Michelle's apartment. While we lived together there was always a plug-in with some kind of cinnamony smell. The other day the stairwell smelled like this and instantly *bam* I was in Chicago.

New car + plain tea + stale coffee: This is my Grandma and Grandpa Hoffman's smell. Their car smells like it, their house smells like it when you add in a bit of the scent of cream of mushroom soup.

Freshly mowed grass: I know it's not the same, but it's similar enough to remind me of the first cutting of hay in late spring/early summer.

Things I don't know:
Dotzour (it's a dorm): It's a mixture of cleaning supplies, individual products, and stink all thrown together. (It's inevitable that a dorm will have several people with poor hygiene which means: STINKY.) I'm not sure what makes it smell the way it does, but East Hall never smelled like it. It's a smell I can remember back to my childhood when we trick-or-treated in the dorm.

Water in Fort Wayne, IN: There's this special smell to the water when I shower at my Grandparent's house in the Fort. Maybe it's the softener they use.

Winger Recital Hall: I can't put my finger on it, but I can remember what it smelled like. And the subtle changes with different art work, like the art was carrying its own scent against the building's natural smell.

Smells I just like:

Coffee
Cumin
Peppermint (soft, not like clear the sinuses strong)
Caramel
Dirt
Pot Roast in the crockpot
Softening aromatic veggies in butter
Turkey
Fabric Softener
Softsoap
Dove soap
Garlic
Sweat. Not body odor, just sweat.
Sawdust
Peaches
Strawberries
Babies
Steak
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
the Ghirardelli Store in Chicago
Espresso--not in Starbucks, but in a REAL coffee shop where they grind and press the beans for a perfect shot of espresso
Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
Pumpkin, anything pumpkin
Panera-I worked there for awhile and whenever I put on my old apron I think I can smell the store.
Cedar
Nutella

September 24, 2009

Saint Francis

In college I went on a tour of Italy with the Manchester College Choir. It was all about peace and a member of the music department wrote a piece based on the Prayer of St. Francis. I wasn't familiar with this prayer before.

Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

It's beautiful.

I LOVE the first words..."make me an instrument of your peace."

How can I be an instrument of peace? What does that mean? What does that mean to the way I've been living my life? Interacting with others?

How can I turn what's difficult and negative and dark to create light? Is it about the change or more about the power of seeing hope and light in the future?

I want to live this. Whatever that means. I want to be the person who has faith when doubt is there. Who brings joy in sadness. Who sows love in the midst of hatred. Who seeks to love more than to seek love.

I want to be an instrument of peace
.

This is the setting Dr. DeWitt wrote performed by my friend James' choir in Missouri.

Prayer for Peace

September 22, 2009

Foot Manipulation

Megan and I went to see Cirque Dreams Illumination this past weekend. What? You've never heard of such a show? Well, it's the red-headed step child of Cirque du Soleil. That's why. (I say that, but you all know how I feel about the ginger-babies. Love.)

They had fantastic acts like cube aerialists, fashion illusionists, popper (this is a dancer), a percussion juggler (that's right, he juggled 9 balls while playing the DRUMS!!), strap flyer, paint can stacker, and perch balancers.

Be jealous.

A quick peek at some of those things:


Even with all those acts my personal favorite was the FOOT MANIPULATORS. That's right, foot manipulation. What do you think this is?

Did you guess this?


Yup. Foot Manipulation. Also known as Foot Juggling.

So our performance had these two brothers (tiny Argentinean men) and it wasn't nearly this elaborate.

During the performance Megan leans over to me and says, "We're doing that when we get home."

In response--uncontrollable giggles.

Megan and I are not exactly tiny women. We're more...ummm....pleasantly plump. I can't wait to practice my foot manipulation.

Attempt #1. (My face is insanely red from uncontrollable laughter.)



Is it better to face forward or backwards? Well, in this position, BACKWARDS. When facing forward, the only place to place one's feet is directly in the crotch. Classy.


So close...and yet...still lacking something.


GREAT SUCCESS.

Next week I will begin tossing Megan in the air.

September 18, 2009

Commitment

I'm a bit of a commitment-phobe. It's scary.

Things I have a problem committing to:
1. Location (Midwest? East coast? Indiana? Kansas? Iowa? Minnesota? Illinois? City? Country? Independence? Dependence?)
2. Profession (Huh. Bet you couldn't have guessed that.)
3. Education (I changed my major a couple of times, added and dropped a minor in undergrad. I decided on a whim to go to massage school. I can't decide if I want to go to grad school.)
4. Housing (I'm sorry, a 12 month lease?)
5. Job (Yes, this is different from profession.)
6. Budget (It says I should have $157 left over at the end of the month, but where did it go??)
7. Cell phone (I'm sorry, a TWO YEAR contract??)

Right now, I'm really struggling with #7. Especially since my phone is broken and can only be used on speaker phone or bluetooth. I sound a little tinny right now. And I feel like I yell a lot into the phone which is not a good thing.

So, I'm asking your advice.

This is my research.

1. Boost Mobile
This appeases my lack of interest in a contract. The phone I would get is the Motorola i465 and I could get the monthly unlimited for $50 a month, all calls all texts all internet. $50.00 no taxes, no additional charges. Exactly, too good to be true? I don't know anyone who uses Boost Mobile, so I don't know the quality of the reception or anything...





2. Verizon
I would estimate that about 50% of my friends use this. Maybe more now that they've taken over Alltel. I'd probably go with the cheapest/free phone they were offering whenever I sign up. And the plan would be $39.99 (450 anytime minutes)+$5.00 (250 texts--do I need more??)+taxes and such= ~$52.00 per month.







3. AT&T
Confession time: I lost my iPod. It's sad. My life is over. Just kidding. I'm a survivor, I'm not gonna give up, I'm gonna work harder, I'm a survivor. (Sorry.) Anyways, it occurred to me today that it could possibly be convenient to combine the iPod/phone together by getting an iPhone. Silly? So, I can get a refurbished iphone for $49 (8 GB) or $99 (16 GB) and the plan is $30.00 (iphone internet/usage)+ $39.99 (450 anytime minutes) + $5.00 (200 texts--would I need texting if I had internet?)+taxes and such= ~$85.00 per month.







What should I do? HELP ME!

Let's have a poll! (You can also comment if you have other tidbits of information which I REALLY REALLY appreciate.)


This is why I love you.

Because you're so wise. And you read my blog.

xo

September 17, 2009

In this moment

I have a strong urge to be that person who owns a house and has a "real" job and is settled down.

I also want to walk around Chicago, but it needs to be snowy and COLD with the hawk sweeping down upon me. Ka-kaw! (The hawk is the wind.)

I would like some Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Fall is nice, but I'm dying for winter. A real winter, with snow.

And I'm feeling a little sad for the midwest. Not sad for the midwest I guess, sad that I'm not in the midwest. Yes, that's it.

September 16, 2009

Serious

So, I've been thinking about writing a serious blog entry.

You know, about being authentic and transparent and all that.

But, then I'm not sure what to say about it. It's like I can't wrap my mind around all that authenticity and transparency. You know?

So then I'm think "Serious....serious....serious...." and my mind starts wandering....

WH: I need someone who's serious.
EW: But, Warner, I'm seriously in love with you.

to Legally Blonde, the Musical.



See? This is how well I can concentrate. Maybe I have undiagnosed ADD. Or perhaps (more realistically) I need something more interesting going on in my life so I am using my brain every once in a while. That's all I'm asking, just once a day or so to use my mind. To think. To ponder. To use deductive reasoning. To find a secret thrill in using SAT/ACT vocabulary.

Ah, maybe someday soon.

For now, I'll just keep singing along with the musicals.

September 15, 2009

Ha ha ha

Things that make me giggle from YouTube.


(Just so you know, I don't believe this is a weight issue, more of an installation issue.)







The end.

September 14, 2009

Prejudice #6

Dear Men,

Put a shirt on.

Granted, I love you without a shirt. Generally speaking, of course. However, when you're driving around town in your Jeep or SUV or Toyota. PUT A SHIRT ON. This is Durham. It's not the country! Wherever you're going you're going to need a shirt, so why the need to drive around topless?

And I frequently see you going to either Whole Foods or Kroger, so you know you're gonna need a shirt to go in.

The no shirt while driving thing makes me think of rednecks and hillbillies and frat boys. I judge those people. (Granted life circumstances sometimes create a redneck or hillbilly, but I try, TRY to be understanding in those situations.) The frat boy thing is just against you.

In conclusion: Put a shirt on. Don't be a frat boy. Try to prevent being a hillbilly or redneck.

Please.

Thank you.

Love,
amy

Thoughts on the VMAs

I have a small, tiny, minuscule, minor obsession with pop culture right now.

Please forgive me.

And help me.

Reality is a much better place to live in, but you know...

So my thoughts on the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs)

1. Kanye West is a douche bag. Yup a douche bag. How many times can you be a prick and people/fans forgive you and keep buying your music? The man has talent, but his talent is overshadowed by his egocentricism.


2. Perhaps running from the subway up to Radio City Music Hall was not such a great idea Taylor...you were a bit flat.

(cringing...cringing...cringing...Although I think Taylor is adorable and talented, her songs have this tendency to have verses that are in this lilty-speak-sing thing which I don't really get. You do know that there are a lot more than 4 notes out there for verses, right?)

3. Two words: Lady Gaga



(Yes, this is "fashion"...anyone care to disagree?)

4. Beyonce is a diva. And classy. And gorgeous.



5. Does anyone else find themselves completely smitten over funny men? They don't have to be attractive. Just funny. Cute doesn't hurt, but the cute factor goes up with a bit of humor.


6. Someone must be making money off of all this Michael Jackson stuff. The tribute was cool, but then the one song to DJ AM (Does anyone else know who DJ AM was? Just me? I told you I was obsessed with pop culture...and E! and Perez Hilton.) was cut off during the commercial break, is that fair? Is that unfair? They showed a preview for a Michael Jackson documentary/film thing...just to make money? Why? I guess I'm just kind of over it.

And if you want more head over to MTV for all the scoop.

September 13, 2009

This message brought to you by Hank.

The only cat to have stayed by my side though-out my entire illness.

Of course he didn't really have any choice.

He gets a little shy in front of the camera. I think it's because the flash gives him red eyes which look a bit demonic and that's embarrassing. So I have to goad him into being in front of the camera.
video

And just for laughs...
Bumblebee...or cat?
"I'm a prince among cats and you're a moron." 
--Hank

September 12, 2009

Photoshoot

I'm baaaaack!

And feeling better. Almost perfect. Give me another semi-cough free night of sleep.

Do you enjoy a good photoshoot?

Any fans of America's Next Top Model?

Tyra fans?

Personally, I could live without Tyra...and probably ANTM, but ANTM is one of my guilty pleasures. Tyra on the other hand, KNOWS everything, has EXPERIENCED everything. You grew up poor-so did Tyra! You grew up with a single parent--so did Tyra! You were in an abusive relationship--so was Tyra! You grew up ostracized from your peers--so did Tyra! You know what it's like to be fat--so does Tyra! You have an eating disorder--Tyra used to too! You were homeschooled--so was Tyra! You grew up in the ghetto--so did Tyra! You had alcohol/drug problems--Trya has something she can relate to about that!

Anyways...as you can see from my love of Tyra, I don't watch ANTM for her. I watch it for the models. And the drama. And Nigel.

Ahhh...Nigel.

You don't know Nigel?

Dreamy, right?

Back to modeling.

Megan has a passion for modeling.

I have a passion for making faces.

We both have a passion for being funny.


So we were at a bar listening to a band, when we were walking up this FANTASTIC staircase which would be a fabulous place to pose.

So we struck.

A pose.



or two.



Why are we still single?

Dear Universe,
Please send us two (normal, kind) men who want to date us.
Love,
Amy & Megan