Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On This Day and Feelings of Gratitude

On this day a young woman sat at her desk, between sips of her earl gray tea and editing background materials, she received an email announcing her acceptance into graduate school. Her mouth fell open, she tried to push it closed, but before she could she uttered "I got in" and suddenly there was music everywhere and a song in her heart of thanks to God for enabling her with the gifts to get to this point. (and the fact she had a nice bottle of wine at home to celebrate with).

With a mad dash to the parking lot, and her hair dancing in the wind she phoned the most important people in her lives. And at the end of the phone calls, instead of feeling like her head had been inflated, her heart was inflated...with feelings of gratitude.

On THis Day

On Jan. 31, 1865, the House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Because you will. How could you not.

There was a smell of clean sheets and fresh powder in the air, and of course an extra commotion about the office. Ducking my head out into the hall, I spotted the baby carriage outside of Big Brothers office. Closing my eyes, for a moment, I imagined a world where rich, older aged bachelors did away with being "set in their ways" and gained the courage to marry that graceful woman and raise a son who would know why it was good to go to church, wear cufflinks, and eat italian food.

A quick mind check brought me back. A new mother from our office brought in her baby, and like any other estrogen enduced woman, I took the baby in with wide eyes.

Minutes passed, and another reality check, I had work to do. Work in more then the sense of the papers sitting on my desk, but the learning to be done, the fun to be had, the foundation to be laid, and don't forget to mention the graceful aging I'd like to do before I'm in that place.

I fumbled back through my to do list, but before I even gained slight focus, someone knocked at my office door and came running up to give me a hug from behind.

"You'll be a wonderful mom someday," LC said.

"How do you know," I asked, half serious.

"Because you will. I just know it. How could you not," she said very surely.

That was enough for me to carry on with any vigor and nice to think I could someday be that to someone. And not just a mom, but a wonderful mom. *In the distant future.
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire. ~ François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Stranger in a Strange Land - Abraham

Abraham referred to himself as a "stranger" and a "sojourner," even though he was a man of much wealth. He owned several wells, and that alone made him wealthy. In addition, he had many cattle.
But even with all of this, Abraham had not allowed himself to become attached to worldly possessions. He unashamedly confessed by his words and actions where he stood with God. These people recognized Abraham's greatness because of the way he lived before them.
Although they were not concerned about Abraham's God, he had made such an impact on them by the way he lived that they were willing to give him any land he wanted for a burying place for Sarah.
Abraham refused to be chargeable to his ungodly neighbors. He let it be known that he was a separated man and was going to stay in this separated position. May the same be true of us.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Strength. It comes in many forms.

"You are not the source of each other's Love. You are helping each other to access the LOVE that is God."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My insides are wooing! (January in review)

Assessing Priorities.

1. Only 1 setback since the new year has begun, and was able to process in less then a few hours. 2. Reading new genre and greatly enjoying (stimulating mind)
3. Funny bone is back in full swing'
4. Productivity level = above average, taking greater initiative
5. Stress Management = low anxiety, if any, keeping things in check = above average
6. Making time everyday for God, experiencing deeper fellowship in relationships
7. Exercising at least 4 times a week
8. Enjoying relationships, cultivating new ones, and strengthening existing
(developing greater relationship w/female mentor, spending time w/sister, enjoying/growing w/significant other)
9. Spending continued amount of time and energy investing in future goals i.e. grad. school pursuit, independent study, ETM time, writing, refining strengths & managing weaknesses.

It's good to stop and reflect now and again, especially as the first month of 2007 almost comes to a close.

- Restablishing involvement w/ Alumni Sharing Knowledge network
- Continue to identify likes/dislikes in terms of relocating to new city: job prospects, costs, culture, education, and family/friends

Patagonia and Clutter

I was watching Sunday Morning before church, and caught a special on Yvon Chouinard. He's the founder and CEO of outdoor activity elite company - Patagonia. I came to find out that he started making gear for himself, since he couldn't locate any good rock climbing pitons out on the market. (Lightbulb moment!) This is usually how it starts out via a need.

Anyways, he became very successful in marketing to extreme outdoorsmen. Similiarly, he runs his company in a free spirited fashion. He's even published a book about his management style called Let My People Go Surfing. [When the surf's up, you won't find Chouinard behind a desk. And he doesn't hog all the fun for himself. Patagonia has a company policy that if the surf is good during work hours and an employee is a serious surfer, he can go. "It's like, there's no waves today," he said. "You go surfing when there's surf. I don't care when you get your work done, as long as it gets done." ]

Interesting philosophy.

On a final note, I was struck by a quote that spoke to those who keep messy desks and say it's a sign of being a genius. As for me, disorganization inhibits my ability to focus, instead I want to declutter and file before I can really get to work.

"If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, then an empty desk is a sign of what?"

Friday, January 26, 2007

TGIF. And that's with a capital G.

Think about it, and have a good night.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chapter Titles

Tonight I watched a french film I'd been dying to see for quite some time now, Amelie. It's a lovely little film about a girl and love, and the wonders and lessons in life. (And yes it's in French, and yes I do read subtitles)

Today I devised a few new chapter titles for the book I'm going to author about my life. Thought I would share a some - some may make sense others not, unless you were there in that chapter.

The T in ETM
Mice Holes
Napkins, Grandmothers, and Omas
Catholic Girl on a Jewish Block
The Pickle Ornament
5'4 is Not a Ballerina, but Better and Boobs
Man Overboard
Moving On and Moving Out
Dear God
My Full Value Life
The Year I Didn't Do Dishes
Johnny Cash meets Junebug
Being For Real Style

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Raison d’être

"That's just it: our vocation and calling to marriage and motherhood is for the goal of attaining salvation with the help of our spouse (i.e. your husband should strengthen your faith, not weaken it), and being open to the gift of life (aka, having children). In this way, the family partakes in the Trinity, the Church as the Bride of Christ, and the Holy Family."

raison d’être. Tis true.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My precious life.

Kindness and all things good. (Jacob and I)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Men go forth to wonder at the heights of mountains, the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vast compass of the ocean, the courses of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.

St. Augustine

The Holiday and Meetcute

Since I saw The Holiday last night - and one of the characters used and defined the word meetcute-

Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in and both go to the same men's pajama department. The man says to the salesman, "I just need bottoms," and the woman says, "I just need a top." They look at eachother and that's the 'meet cute.'

During a "meet-cute", scriptwriters often create a humorous sense of awkwardness between the two potential partners by depicting an initial clash of personalities or beliefs, an embarrassing situation, or by introducing a comical misunderstanding or mistaken identity situation. Sometimes the term is used without a hyphen (a "meet cute"), or as a verb, as in "to meet cute." (Wikipedia)

And yes, The Holiday is clearly one of my new favorite movies...ever. Let's see it has a journalist, a screenwriter, a producer, and a composer. It quotes Shakespeare, and there are a few characters with English accents. Old friends meet new friends, and the soundtrack is beautiful. As well they even have a scene with cutout stars and little girls playing in a tent, alas I have met my match. (and oh they drink good wine and enjoy the snow)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Why an English major?

Why an English major? Is that really worth your while?

So I majored in English - hence the past three posts. I believe that an education in the humanities equips us to deal with a world that - outside academia - is becoming increasingly globalized. Thomas Freidman writes:

Today more than ever, the traditional boundaries between politics, culture, technology, finance, national security and ecology are disappearing. You often cannot explain one without referring to the others, and you cannot explain the whole without reference to them all...If you don't see the connections, you don't see the world.

Humanities education is fundamentally different from an education in engineering or science. You learn to expect questions that don't have just one correct solution. Our tests do not lend easily to multiple choice questions, nor a clear check or ex. Approaching problems from different perspectives, considering different schools of thought, and recognizing the biases and beliefs that accompany them is encouraged. This is why an education in English is one of the most valuable.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The World is Your Oyster

Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
Pist. Why, then the world’s mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.
Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor

To create a pearl, an oyster needs an aggravating parasite inside its shell. It builds layers of calcium carbonate around the invader, gradually fabricating the treasure. How long does it take from the initial construction to the finished product? Five years for a pearl of average size, and as many as ten years for a big one. This puts into perspective the tenacious work of what may be your long-term goals; grad. school, career, family, and life. Sometimes you may begin to wonder if you've been striving to transform your irritant for an eternity, but you're actually right on schedule.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Smart Humor

A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter. ‘Why?’ groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a badly punctuated wildlife manual and walked out. And sure enough, when the waiter consulted the book, he found an explanation. ‘Panda,’ ran the entry for his assailant. ‘Large black and white mammal native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.’

Grammatical Query - What's Up

I haven't done this for awhile, but I'm raising a grammatical question. Caution, for those not interested in tearing apart a sentence, and getting some guilty pleasure joy - stop reading now.
First: what exactly does the up in phrasal verbs like look up mean? Some examples:
work up [a solution]
rustle up [some chow]
and also:
toughen up [those raw recruits]
bulk up
eat it up[, yum]
... and plenty more that I can't think of in this moment. It seems clear that there's a difference in what up means in the above examples.
Anyway, I found a couple of words recently that suggest that the up particle is still going strong in producing new phrase verbs.The first case is the ever greeting - what's up,

Good, eh? To what's as a transitive verb, and a new phrasal verb on top of that. How flexible is, the English! The up particle in the cases -work up, rustle up -add a connotation (or even denotation) in the new word Interestingly, sometimes the up particle is arbitrary (new, dim), other times not (work, rustle).

Ok, so that's one. Onward. I've also stumbled across another one. This was the line:

Many men have become female appeasers who need to, well, man up.
To man up = to become more masculine. This use of up is related to the second examples (toughen up, eat up, bulk up). These verbs are intransitive (can be). I'm not seeing that eat up belongs in the same category, unless the commonality is one of, what, completeness? To eat up means to finish eating something. Up is optional in toughen up; is it in to bulk up? Do they both suggest a kind of completeness, or a degree?

I confuse myself easily when I get deep into my grammatical brain. I could, of course, go look it up; I'm sure these are well-understood usages. My point, really, was just that I've seen a lot of usages of up , which I've now ... wait for it ... written up.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mayonaise represents poor conditment choice and other Bug lessons.

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, and sooner or later we all must face the question, what does life mean. For some this can be very painful, for others it is their ever driving light.

Many have tried to answer this question through theories, formulas, and the ever loved 10 step guides. Maslow said it was about fufilling human goals and need through a hierachial process. The top rung of the ladder being "self actualization" of course this can never be reached, he said. But it is this very thing that keeps us going.

Carl Jung said that "Wherever there is a reaching down into the innermost experience, into the nucleus of personality, most people are overcome by fright, and many run away....The risk of inner experience, the adventure of the spirit, is in any case alien to most human beings".
And it's been through the past few months that I had my breakthrough lessons. And yeah, when they first occured it felt like I was crashing through a windshield of a car. But I picked the glass shards out and am back behind the wheel. Woo.

1. Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself for he shall never cease to be entertained. It always makes a difference in reducing the amount of judgement on self and others.

2. The only real mistake is the one in which we learn nothing.

3. Mayonaise represents poor condiment choice

4. Hope is invaluable because it portends the best possibilities of the world.
5. For real style is catching on.

6. The only love worthy of a name is unconditional.

7. Everytime I fall down, is one more time I'll get back up. (and i can come back even stronger,improving not only my heart muscle, but my guns too)
8. Oatmeal IS a meal.

9. Love is what wakes me up in the morning, love is what keeps me up at night.
I kick butt.

MLKs Rhetorical Phonetics.

In the early 1960s, millions of Americans were ready to listen to Martin Luther King's message, and the way that he delivered that message helped us to hear it. Think about these two phrases from the famous "I have a dream" speech, delivered on August 20, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial. The first phrase, "I am happy to join with you today", is his opening. The second, "when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet", is from his peroration, just before the immortal ending "free at last".

Saturday, January 13, 2007

CIA, Georgetown, and J. Edgar Hoover

Having recently seen The Good Shepard with Matt Damon, my book has turned into an ideal sequal to provide more elaborate details on the partakings of Washington, DC during the 1930s - 1950s era.

By the eary 1950s Georgetown had become a major CIA listening post. It made good sense, Georgetown, by virtue of those who lived and socilized in the tiny kingdom, had become as much a seat of power as the White House, only far more accessible.

J. Edgar Hoover, spurred on by his determination "to keep tabs" on everyone, including the Georgetown crowd, set in motion a private project he called "Operation G-town," where he registered a number of FBI agents with an exclusive domestic employment agency to serve as per diem waiters and bartenders at Georgetown get-togethers. "Their main objective," said John White, "was to amass data on both the CIA and the Georgetown social set. The CIA, of course, knew that Hoover was spying on them." In return, they were spying on him.

In a later comment to the CIA Director William Casey, he received word from a socialite host that the best pastry chef ever employed turned out to be an FBI agent. That's irony. Must have been able to make one heck of a strudel.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club

In true English dame fashion I headed to the closest bookstore after work today and perused for a new true love. Having had no luck in my recent dating adventures with books, I decided to venture into somewhat unfamiliar territory and scouted the US History section followed shortly by the biographies. With Washington, DC on my mind and and as always passion I couldn't help but see love at first site with The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club by C. David Heyman. Befriending a plush leather chair for a 30 minute break, I quickly made friends with the Washington Post women this book writes of and was enthralled with all the new things I was learning about Washington and of course, the power of an intelligent and passionate woman.

"Every student of Washington's political process ought to know that the business of government is often transacted during evening hours, sometimes over a drink and sometimes over a meal-but almost always in Georgetown. What President Johnson did not say is that these evening transactions are largely conceived, created, produced, and directed by women."

Come to find out that "The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club" was actually a term coined by none other than Ronald Reagan to identify an elite corps of prominent and powerful Washington women whose connections, courage, wealth, vision, intelligence, and ambition afforded them an abundance of social and political clout in a town traditionally and historically run by men. In reality, it was the great woman behind the man...but of course we already all know that.

Signing off from the South Florida Post-


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Charlie Brown: Do you ever think much about the future, Linus?

Linus: Oh, yes...all the time.

Charlie Brown: What do you think you'd like to be when you grow up?

Linus: Outrageously happy!

When I don't think too hard, I realize it's that simple.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Journeys and Destinations

A co-worker approached me today, mind you she's in a different department, but she said that she was bored out of her mind and did not feel like she doing or thinking about anything. She said, do you know? And then she asked, do the rest of them care? (referring to her fellow employees in her department) After that we made a few comments that perhaps some are fine with that and may even prefer a job that takes reflexive thinking.

What would you do if you weren't in a job that was intellectually stimulating?

At this point I can only minorly reflect upon one job I had during high school, working at a restaurant, and what a good motivator it served for me to continue my education. In fact many of my jobs up to this point have simply served as motivators for me to continue to advance in my own personal education.

I take this as a blessing. For real style.

Minor newsflash: One more month till I should start hearing from graduate closing, I recently wrote to an admissions director who had commented on a part of my application. I ended my email saying "I've realized it's more about the journey then the destination."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Library Hotel - A Dream Come True

So when I was still finishing my English major at DePaul, I had read once about the Library Hotel located in New York City, but had never officially checked it out - until today. It feels like Christmas morning all over again.

The Library Hotel in New York City is the first hotel ever to offer its guest over 6,000 volumes organized throughout the hotel by the Dewey Decimal System.* Each of the 10 guestrooms floors honors one of the 10 categories of the DDC and each of the 60 rooms is uniquely adorned with a collection of books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category or floor it belongs to.
Social Sciences
Math and Science
The Arts
General Knowledge

Personal service goes one step further as guests may request their room based on their personal interests (subject to availability) such as the Literature floor featuring subjects from Poetry or The Classics to Erotic Literature. Such intriguing room themes offered on the Math and Science floor are Astronomy and Botany. Law, Eastern Religion, Money, and New Media are also among the 60 eclectic themes available on the room menu at The Library Hotel. Other distinctive features Library guests have at their disposal include the Writers Den a beautiful mahogany paneled room with working fireplace and The Poetry Garden, our sparkling greenhouse.

Books and beds, and breakfast!

Which floor would you choose?

Check it out for yourself at

This is definately on the "To Do" list once I make my first million... ah`