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December 17th, 2009

12:17 am - thanks internet.
maybe reading this will help me remember who i am.
or at least where i came from.

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October 26th, 2008

11:11 pm - maintanance
Note: I wrote this on June 21, 2008
It is titled "The Importance of Discomfort"
I am posting it here because I am retiring this journal and taking over another one I had previously created. This is just a way of helping me be organized, although this is worth reading, I think. In fact, I recently saw Ishmael Beah speak and he was awesome. Something I have noticed about African people is that they have a good sense of humor.

I just completed Ishmael Beah's memoir, A Long Way Gone, and it has been controlling and generating a great deal of my thought for the past couple of days. Sometimes I read books like this one and wonder how I can spend so much time thinking about things that are extremely insignificant, in retrospect.

The book was about Ishmael, who was born in Sierra Leon. His childhood was abruptly interrupted when his village was attacked by rebels and he was forced to flee. He was separated from his family and spent many months walking from village to village among the company of other young boys in the same scenario. He saw death and escaped it many times. Eventually he had no other choice but to join the army. Under the influence of drugs and, eventually, psychological damage, many boys like Ishmael, as young as seven years old, carried AK-47s and killed. Ishmael was lucky enough to escape the war, but was robbed of his childhood and felt weight I cannot relate to. It took him months to rehabilitate and even after he did, he was still in the midst of war. It was only when he came to America that he found peace.

Although Sierra Leon is now in somewhat of a peaceful state and fighting like Ishmael experienced does not exist there, it does in many other places in Africa. There have been child soldiers in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Central African Republic, Rwanda, and other African countries. Apart from Africa, military use of children exists on other continents, though not to this extent. In America, this is unheard of. Although internally, the United States is not experiencing civil war, we would never fear the use of children for this type of fighting. It simply does not exist in this country.

There was one part of the book where it mentioned rebels walking through a coffee farm. I drink a fair share of coffee, some of which probably comes from Africa, and I couldn't help but wonder if any coffee I have ever had came from a farm where there had been fighting. Perhaps that is the closest I will ever be connected to these types of wars.

I feel helpless when it comes to things like this. I cannot be comfortable knowing that somewhere in the world right now, a young boy is gripping an AK-47, killing another young boy and thinking nothing of it because he has been brainwashed. But what can I do? I guess simply by reading the account of Ishmael's experience, I am doing something, and by sharing the book with other people, I will be doing something. Maybe even by writing this, I am doing something small. Also, I will pray about this.

As I get older, it becomes harder and harder to feel comfort and rest. Being informed of things like child soldiers is heavy, but I cannot forget about it. I don't want to go away from this book and an oh-well-I-am-too-far-away-to-do-anything-about-this-problem mentality. Forgetting about things like this causes them to stop being a problem for me, and it needs to be a problem for me. I need to feel uncomfortable about the fact that children are not experiencing childhood.

My fear is that continually saying 'oh well' to situations such as this will write off the severity of the issue. And if not severe, the problem is susceptible to growth. So I won't write it off.

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October 16th, 2008

04:23 pm - thoughts.
1. I forgot how to write.

2. I also forgot how to have interesting thoughts. Although I have been thinking about God a lot. And God is interesting. So I suppose I did not really forget how to have interesting thoughts. Especially in recent times now that I am used to this season.

3. Being still and waiting is something that I feel is difficult for me to do and difficult for our culture to handle in general, but it is something God tells me to do quite often.

4. If someone had an octopus arm for a tentacle it would be very cool. Also, this idea of animal parts for limbs would make the world quite a bit more diverse. Although, we are already having enough trouble dealing with the diversity that is present. I wonder if at some time people will be so diverse, that it will start having the opposite effect. Maybe one day, since different cultures are starting to mix and different-looking people are starting to come together, the world will evolve into one look that would be a blend of everyone. This will not happen for a very very long time. But red-heads are expected to be extinct in approximately 50 years. (Not the living ones, of course, because they won't just die as a result of their red-headed-ness. I am referring to the fact that red-heads will not longer be born because that recessive gene will have worked its way out of this world.) I think this change will bring us one step closer to that sameness.

5. avocation: something a person does in addition to a principal occupation
vocation: a divine call to God's service or to the Christian life.

6. I am feeling very good about having lived without my macbook for 5 weeks. At lease I know that in this generation, I can live without things I am expected to cling to and be okay. I can't say that I don't care to have a computer anymore or that I am not looking forward to repairing my computer. I am simply thankful for this test.

7. Sleep is a necessary element in life. Without a proper amount of sleep, I dream less. And I have come to miss my dreams, although I have had two interesting dreams lately that I have been able to ponder over, laugh about, and share. But after Tuesday-Wednesday, during which time I got zero hours of sleep and than Wednesday-Thursday, during which time I got 13 hours of sleep, I have learned schedules are important to maintain. But I am not sad to have learned that way, although my body was quite confused.

8. Is there really something wrong with being a cat lady?

9. http://www.thedailynice.com/site.html
This is a neat website that shows a different photograph each day. Kind of like http://www.foundmagazine.com/. Today's find of the day (10/16) says "hello tacos" and has a picture of a cat and a smiling sun with sharp teeth. It is pretty awesome.

10. I may begin writing in a blog, which I will try to update regularly. However, I am making no promises, as my latest blog was a miserable failure. In any case, should I create a blog that lasts more than 2 entries, I will put the web address on this livejournal. However, I am wondering if perhaps I should just keep up with this as it has been in existence for many years now and has recorded a beautiful growth in my life. But blogs such as blogger, blogspot, or wordpress just seem more fitting for this time.

11. I just lost the game. I have been losing a lot lately.
Current Mood: joyful

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July 18th, 2008

01:15 pm
it is always great to wake up to the sound of my cat puking

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June 4th, 2008

10:44 pm - the color brown
This morning I was drinking coffee and when I reached the bottom of my cup, I got a mouth full of grinds. It was disgusting.

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April 16th, 2008

07:43 pm - go green.

It seems to me that some people are confused about going green.  I understand everyone is really getting into it, which is great because I love how so much attention is being drawn to this concept in hopes that people will become less wasteful and the earth will become more beautiful.  Perhaps some of our problems dealing with excessive garbage will lessen.  But the other day when I was walking through Barnes and Noble and there was an ENTIRE table set up with books on how to be green.  

Now, before I continue, I must admit that I own a few books about being green and I also own a lot of books in general.  In my defense, most of these were purchased prior to my awareness about different ways to conserve.  

Anyways, I will now continue with my observations and thoughts.  I understand it is important for people to be informed of real-life issues dealing with the environment because if they are uninformed they cannot be held accountable for anything they do that may be harmful.  In that sense, I think these books are really great.  But did it ever occur to them how un-green the mass-production of these books and the selling of them in bookstores nation-wide and world-wide really is?  The books I have that relate to being green are An Inconvenient Truth and It's Easy Being Green.  Granted both are made of 35% post consumer waste, it still seems a little unnecessary.  Wouldn't someone promoting the concept of going green want to enforce the idea of borrowing books from the library?  By having their books in Barnes and Noble they are encouraging people to continue shopping at bookstores instead of going to the library.  

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy bookstores and occassionally enjoy buying a book or two.  Also, I have plenty of books on my bookshelf.  I do try to lend these books to people as often as possible, however.  But all in all, I would say most aspects of consumerism are ungreen.  If you think about all the books about greenness being printed constantly, it is quite wasteful.  Also, it is likely that every book bought goes into a shopping bag.   While some people recycle shopping bags, plenty don't (especially the ones from Barnes and Noble which are two small and awkward to use over and over and people rarely take these bags to recycling drop-off zones).  Also, a receipt is printed for every book bought.  

How about these green people set up booths outside bookstores encouraging people to utilize the library. Especially with all this linkage between libraries now. You can get any book you want at the library. Movies, too. But renting is better than buying in this area as well.  

Here is another really big idea: don't buy bottled water! How about saving your money and reduce the risk of bottles not being recycled (and also the health risk of drinking out of cheap plastic all the time with water that is actually less monitored and filtered than tap water) and reuse a Nalgene bottle or the like.  

"Green" light bulbs seem to be all the rage, but their light is abnormally bright and harsh (not really appropriate for the intimate setting of a living room). These lights seem to be more expensive as well. Also, when they break, there are hazardous materials inside the light bulbs which require specific cleaning procedures. I feel like it is a good rule of thumb to say that if something is hazardous to us in something that is produced (i.e. not natural poisons like poisonous mushrooms or something), it is probably harmful toward the environment. I think it would be more practical to simply turn off the lights when not being used and use your lights as sparingly as possible. I feel like this could apply to water, also. But producing toilets that use less water seems like a good idea to me. I even have heard about this grass that requires less water, but how about this one: don't water your grass. I am pretty sure that rain can suffice. But people actually do water their grass. We don't and it looks good to me.   

So I guess reusing things and conserving other things should be the main focus of this green movement. And I am trying my hardest to be as green as possible.

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April 13th, 2008

03:40 pm - 6 longings of the human heart
Every human being has a longing for beauty.
Every human being has a longing for intimacy.
Every human being has a longing for healing.
Every human being has a longing for something new.
Every human being has a longing for freedom.
Every human being has a longing for justice.

(Rob Turner)

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April 9th, 2008

07:10 pm - personal matters.
Lately, something strange keeps happening to me. I keep getting water up my nose when I shower. I do not know why this is. I do not think I breathe while I am standing underneath the water, which is not even as much as most people do, I don't think, since I have started taking extremely efficient showers as to not waste so much water. Example: get in shower, get hair wet, turn off water, wash hair, turn on water and rinse hair quickly, etc. I feel very guilty about wasting water while taking a shower or washing my hands or face, so I try to turn it off as much as possible. (I would encourage you to do so as well.) It is going quite well. But this water up my nose business is happening consistently. Perhaps I have a hole in the top of my head that drains into my nose.

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April 5th, 2008

11:34 pm - sincere cerebration
Thinking about aliens makes me feel so funny. I am confused about why the universe is such a large thing and why earth is such a small part of it even though it seems like earth is all there is sometimes. You know how people always say we should spend more time and money trying to solve problems on earth instead of investigating other planets? Well, those people always sort of annoy me, but I think I am one of them. And is it such an outrageous statement anyways? It makes sense. Plus, if we never did space exploration, I think I would feel better just looking at the stars and appreciating them instead of getting reminded about how we are one solar system in one galaxy. Galaxies are crazy, you know. Are there really other ones? Well, I guess maybe there are. But wow, that is crazy. Thinking about how there are other galaxies makes me feel even more uncomfortable about the idea of aliens. But I definitely don't believe in time travel, which makes me feel funny, so maybe I can not believe in aliens, but at this point in time, I remain unsure. This makes me uncomfortable.

Another thing that makes me uncomfortable are parasites. Parasites make me extremely anxious and also they make me not look forward to traveling the world (especially traveling about in third world countries). Specifically, parasites that are worms kind of freak me out. Side note: I think recently I was somewhere and saw something and said, 'that kind of looks like a platyhelminthes.' This statement made me feel like a nerd. One time I said if I ever had a parasite, I would probably want to die. This sounds very extreme. But it would not be normal for there to be something living in me and also living off me. There are three reasons why I am brining this up. 1. I was thinking about different kinds of aliens (not that any exist) and different possibilities of how aliens would act and what they would look like. And for all I know, they could be parasites. 2. I had a stomachache for a week and I got nervous I had parasites. In fact, I am still nervous about this. 3. Today I was thinking about how ridiculous tabloids are and access hollywood and celebrity-type things. And someone said we feed off other peoples lives, which disturbed me. This means I am a parasite. But I do not follow celebrity gossip. In fact, we should take all the money spent on celebrity exploration and do something positive with it.

If I had all the money ever spent on space exploration and celebrity exploration I would do something really major about the clean water crisis. Fortunately, that would help with the issue of parasites (among many issues). I bet all of that money could solve the problem and put things into place in a solid way so the problem would never exist again. I would also do other cool things with that money. Like translating the Bible! And also, putting a stop to the AIDS epidemic. And I would stop sex trafficking and help child soldiers and give opportunities to homeless people and help girls in Afghanistan and other places become more educated. And help animals who are nearing extinction (such as giraffes). I would support struggling musicians and buy everything fair trade. Goodness, does this mean money=peace? So what can I do to help the world without money? Because I think money does the opposite of equalling peace. Money, though, does help get things going. But it is such a hindrance, too. But I guess world peace is an impossible thing to strive for. But still, I should be optimistic. And I will continue to think it is important to save lives, in all ways. And the environment is important.

Sometimes people say 'save the whales' as some super-hippie kind of statement or something. I am against whaling. I deducted that I really like whales because they are so large. It is unreal to me that there are animals so large still living on this planet (they seem so prehistoric!). Really, whales are huge. There are whales in the ocean that would not fit in my dorm room. Also, some whales are blue. I think blue is kind of a mainstream favourite colour. It is not my favourite colour, but I think it is a common favourite colour because once my friend had a color-themed sleep-over and two people wanted the color blue. (My favourite is green, for the records even though I don't think there are any records.) The reason why it is cool that they are blue is because there are not that many things that are naturally blue in the world. But I think natural blue foods are more rare because I can only think of blueberries, blue corn, and those blue potato chips, made naturally from blue potatoes, or something. But the sky is blue, and it is huge (but we don't eat the sky). Also, water is blue. But not really. It is clear. I am not sure why it appears to be blue. Why do people say 'I am feeling blue' when they mean 'I am feeling sad'?

Speaking of large animals, do elephants really eat peanuts?

Speaking of elephants, there used to be war elephants, which seem really powerful. If people were in a war against me and they came with some elephants, I would probably run. But I think I am a pacifist.

I am having some difficulty wrapping my mind around modern art. But I also have trouble wrapping my mind around not modern art and the term art in general. Is everything art? Is nothing art? I feel like it has to be one of those. I think everything is art. But I said that in math class once and my teacher said a tree was not art because it formed naturally. To that, I say, 'so what.' But lately I do not really understand anything. For instance, who decided what was beautiful and what was not beautiful (referring to the way people look physically or referring to art). I just do not get that. And who decides things like what we learn in school?

You know, I think in public schools there is such a big hype about learning evolution, but I don't really know why. I understand that some people really believe in evolution or the big bang theory or whatever (personally, I think adaptation is the only part of this that makes sense, but adaptation is different than evolution). I think, though, that in a public school setting, we should learn all the possibilities of things. For instance, I had NO IDEA the world is not 2.2 billion years old until this year, but shouldn't educators know that is one thing that they should have at least made me aware of? I don't really think learning all sides or beliefs in an unbiased way from a teacher would be a bad thing. Plus, then we would all be able to relate to one another or at least not be ignorant. But I guess it is hard for teachers to be unbiased or something. And I feel someone controls what I am learning, I just have not figured out who it is yet. It is hard to think about how I should questions the things teachers teach me since I am supposed to think they are teaching me the truth. But truth is so obscure sometimes.

Here is something else that is obscure: the Soviet Union/Russia/the U.S.S.R. It really confuses me because I have trouble associating it with both Asia and Europe. It seems like something of its own. I think I should have learned more about this in school because I hardly even know anything about the Cold War. Except for that it reminds me of the color gray and something about an iron curtain. If I thought a nuclear missile would hit at any time, I would be a nervous wreck. (Once we were camping and I thought bears were going to attack at any time and I could not sleep for the life of me.) But I suppose that could happen now, which is something that is frightening to think about, so I will steer my thoughts in another direction. I hope that does not happen. Why are people so..impulsive or angry or violent. I just do not get it.

I think I like the idea of a collectivist society, but I am so skeptical about there ever being a genuinely successful society.

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March 13th, 2008

12:47 pm
i hate it when i get syrup in my hair.

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March 10th, 2008

06:06 pm - progress report
psychology: A+
friends: D-
math: A
phonics: A
wind ensemble: D
liking school: F
appearance: D
homework: C
work: D
weather: D
knitting: B
writing: D

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