Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Greece Dreams

Remember those 5 Goals I sent to Novelista Barista back in January?  Well, here's my number one goal.

1. Go to Greece in the summer to celebrate my friend's and my 28th birthdays!

I can't express how difficult it's been to keep this dream alive.
Oahu, Hawaii, July 2007

Way back in 2007, one of my best friends and I made a pact.  Our goals for our late 20's would be focused on expanding our personal life experiences.  Plus, we both love to travel.  In fact, we were still feeling the glow from our trip to Hawaii.
We both have a continually growing list of places to visit.  But for some reason, at that moment, Greece was where we decided on.

So, 2 years later, we were getting really excited.  One year away from Greece!  We were constantly saying that 2010 was going to be our year.  We both turn 28, and we both go to Greece.

There's that idea that if you put something out there into the universe, then you're just helping it come true.  I know that's truly some magical thinking, and it feels so simple.

The part that they don't tell you is that you should continue to put that idea out there, and if you want it bad enough you have to put in some actions that go towards it.  Those actions can be as simple as talking about it all the time with others, and suddenly someone is there and willing to help you make it happen. 

I bought a book.
Greece Travel Guide
I sent this picture out to my friend as soon as I took it.  I was keeping the dream alive.

I started making lists, downloading Greek music, looking up movies based in Greece (which includes "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" even though it's not based in Greece, and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" because really, what an appropriate movie for this trip!).  I feel like it would be so appropriate to have a marathon of movies in based/filmed in Greece!

But that year of planning was also 2009, a year of so many difficulties.  We were both unemployed for quite a lot of time.  It seemed like it just wasn't going to happen.

But I didn't give up, even if it felt like time was running out.

I put the Greece Travel Guide aside for a couple of months.  But not too far away.
My messy dresser.
I literally placed the book where I would see it before I went to bed and when I woke up in the morning.  I would occasionally look at it, but I felt that it was so unattainable.

At one point, my friend and I talked about postponing the trip to 2011.  It was just one more year.  I felt so defeated.  Like I completely failed, though I know it wasn't that I could necessarily help being unemployed.

Then in March, a friend came to visit.  This is the friend, like one I'm sure many of you have, who has the connections.  They're the person who can find you exactly what you need, though it might come about in a very unexpected way.  They're also the type of person who you would cal to bail you out of trouble, even if they might have to fashion some MacGyver move before you're actually rescued.

I told him about wanting to go to Greece but being broke, and he proceeded to email me a massive list of travel websites that I'd never heard of.  Being that he travels a lot, it makes sense that he would know.

After looking at one of the websites and realizing how much cheaper it was than I anticipated, I felt hope again.  I talked about it with my friend, and she agreed that we should try to get through with it.  We discussed our financial situations, and agreed on a solution.

I looked up optimal times and dates for the both of us, since we'd be doing a multi-destination trip (Boston to Athens, and Athens to Los Angeles).  Then I received an email.
YAY!!!!!!  We're going to Greece!!!!!!!!!!  July 5th to July 15th, we're going to live it up and let some Greek men treat us like Goddesses!!!

Ya, I know the country is doing poorly financially speaking.  But isn't it good that we're supporting their economy by spending our money there?  The beaches are still going to be gorgeous, and the Acropolis will still be there (Goddess Athena willing).  And we're going to Greece!!

Goal officially accomplished!
Santorini, Greece

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Feeling Hopeful About 28

It is officially 10 years since I became a legal adult.

That's Birthday Cake on my face!
Get your mind out of the gutter... :P
On my 18th Birthday, I was so excited to have the right to vote...and to get my very first tattoo.  My friend and my boyfriend at the time went with me.  As I straddled the chair and the needle hit my skin, I couldn't believe the pain!

I tried my best to breath through it, and I kept thinking, "It's okay.  It's okay.  Pain is part of it.  It'll be AWESOME when it's over."

But, dude.  I couldn't stop the tears!  While the tears were partially from the pain, I was also extremely excited to be 18.  I thought about growing up, growing older, independence, and crossing this incredible American milestone.  I also thought about the fact that I was to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen in the next week.

I was excited to grow up.

Now looking back at the past 10 years, 18 was nothing.  And I'm sure that I'll be saying the same thing about 28 when I turn 38.  Everyone talks about how awesome it is to become an adult.  But no one tells you about all the trials and tribulations that are part of it.  Some things get really difficult.  You have to make a lot of choices on your own, and then live with it.

I've been saying, though, that I've been really excited about turning 28.  Perhaps because it is that 10 year mark from the beginning of "adulthood."  Perhaps it's because of 27 being such a difficult year.  But I'm definitely not scared of getting older.  I can't wait to see what this next year of life will bring my way!

For this post, I wanted to share with you all the things I've learned in the past 10 years while also sharing pictures from the past 2 days of birthday celebrations.  Let me preface this by saying that these are clearly just my own observations, and they are mainly lessons I've learned about myself.  You're more than welcome to disagree. :)
Drinks and Cupcake Wrappers
1.  We all carry some prejudices.  The problem occurs when people aren't willing to be open-minded about other opinions or at least learning about the other side a little bit.  I've always tried to learn as much as I can before forming an opinion, and even then I still leave more room for arguments.
Drag queens in mermaid outfits!!! LOVED it!
2.  If you take yourself too seriously, you deserve to be made fun of.  Period.
Sorry for the blurry picture...but you get the jist...I have an awesome hair-stache...
3.  Love is important.  But one shouldn't have to sacrifice themselves to get it.  Compromise is important.  But that's a personal judgment as well.
But I will never compromise on chocolate.
4.  I like rum.  I like tequila.  I like wine.  I like fruity beverages.  I don't often get hung over because I don't usually drink a ridiculous amount.  For a Pacific Islander/Asian, I can handle my alcohol fairly well.  That being said, splitting a bottle of tequila between 2 people is never a good idea.  Throwing up at a party just isn't fun. I cheated for this picture.  This was from October 2006. 
I was crying on the way home because I felt really bad for yacking at our friends house.
5.  Setting goals is a great idea.  But the world won't stop just because you need to accomplish something.  Be prepared for changes.
Singing "Heart of Glass" by Blondie.  I acquired 2 background dancers in the process.
6.  Just dance.  Even if you're a white guy.  You're having fun, and you're entertaining others.
Dancing at the Red Fez.  Belly dancers know how to have a good time.
7.  You get to decide how situations will play out.  If you go somewhere expecting a lame time, you will have a lame time.  If you go and make the situation fun, you will have fun.  Though, it doesn't hurt to have amazing people by your side.
I'm a little bummed I didn't get a whole group picture, but I was so happy to see all these folks and more!
8.  Being alone is a great experience.  We are all individuals in this ginormous universe.  While we get lucky and find people to share our time with, as humans are social animals, there's nothing like being secure in your oneness.
Enjoying the fruits of my cupcake labor.
9.  Life is too short to worry about your age!  It means diddly squat if you haven't learned from your mistakes, and regret just means you haven't learned a thing.  Everyone's experience is so different.  But what matters is what you take away from them.
10.  The Beatles said it best:  "In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
Proof that 28 will be awesome.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ube Cupcakes! Happy Birthday to Me!

In honor of my birthday, I'm baking one of my favorite Filipino deserts in cupcake form and sharing the recipe with you all!
nom nom nom

Ube is a purple yam that is used in many desert items in the Philippines.  But my favorite form is ube cake.

I loved bringing this cake to large gatherings of non-Filipinos.  It was enough to weird people out, but not weird enough that they wouldn't enjoy every bite of it.

Though it looks like it should be saccharine sweet, it's not as bad as one might think.  The one drawback to the cakes we buy in Filipino bakeries like Goldilocks or Red Ribbon is that they are usually BRIGHT purple due to the addition of food coloring.  Granted, ube is purple enough on its own, but you can tell that there's extra tint added.

I'd also like to add that another drawback is the fact that there isn't a Filipino bakery in Boston.  Nonetheless, I wasn't going to let it stop me from enjoying this treat.

I had to do a bit of looking around on the interwebs for a perfect recipe.  I've made this in cupcake form before, but I'd have to say that I'm pretty proud of it this time around.

I took advice from Burnt Lumpia's blog, which features a lot of great Filipino recipes.  But the main cupcake recipe I used was from Mark Bittman's Golden Layer Cake recipe in How to Cook Everything.

Ube Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 cup Purple Yam, Ube
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
  • 18 tbsp Butter (10 tbsp for cake, 8 tbsp for frosting)
  • 1 1/4 cups Sugar - Raw Turbinado
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder Aluminum Free
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Confectioners Sugar Powdered
Defrost frozen Ube.  Frozen ube can be found in Filipino markets and some Asian groceries.
Take butter and cream cheese out to make them room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place cupcake papers in muffin tins.
Mix ube (once defrosted, you can scrape ube into measuring cup with a fork), milk, and vanilla extract.  Set aside.
Cream 10 tbsp of butter until smooth, then gradually add the sugar.  Beat until light for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Mixtures ready to be mixed!
Add to butter/sugar/egg mixture by hand, a little at a time, alternating with the milk/ube mixture.  Stir until smooth.  The mixture should be light purple, but not overwhelmingly so.
Scoop matter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers, using an ice cream scoop for help.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Mmmm....ube cake batter...
Frosting:  Mix cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time.  Feel free to add some sprinklings of shredded ube to make the frosting purple.
Frosting and sprinkles!
Frost cupcakes after 30 minutes of cooling.
Ta da!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 cupcakes

Amount per Serving
Calories 253
Calories from Fat 109.1
(According to and my input of the recipe)

What's interesting is that I feel like I should put them in the fridge, but most resources and my trusty sister-baker says not to.  So, I just keep them in my handy cupcake transporter until consumption. :)
Cupcake transportation at it's best!
So, I'm glad that I can share this with you all!  I'm excited to be out of my 27th year, as you readers can see it's been a difficult one.  But I'm also excited to be a little bit older and, I hope, a little bit wiser.

Here's to making 28 an awesome year!
Hooray for 28!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

8 Things - If (Then)

This is a perfect topic for this week.  As tomorrow is my birthday, I feel like a lot of What If questions have been coming through my mind.  Well, this is my chance to answer them.

1.  If I was getting paid for doing what I love to do I would feel less stressed about other aspects of my life. (Then I need to sign up for workshops, look for specific types of jobs, and not give up.  Even if the job you want doesn't exist, you can work towards it!)

2.  If I was just a little less overweight I would feel more comfortable in my own body.  (Then I not only need to realize that I'm already doing so much to work towards my goal, but that it takes small changes like recognizing when I'm emotionally eating.  I also need to realize that there are already small changes happening!)

3.  If we had a bigger apartment we could fit all of our collective crap.  (Then clean out/throw away/donate all the crap you don't used/haven't used in the past season/doesn't fit right/isn't useful.  Perhaps this will lead to more space in the space we're already in.)

4.  If we were eating healthier we would have a lot more variety in our diets.  (Then we need to consider joining a Meat CSA and try new recipes.  Our Veggie CSA is starting in June, so it's a great time to start experimenting.)

5.  If I moved back home I don't know if I could really learn how to truly take care of myself.  (Then I know that if worse comes to worse, I can always move home.  But I'm not yet ready, and I will do what I need to do to keep myself employed and taken care of in Boston.)
Westmoreland Ave.
6.  If I had more in my savings I would feel more secure.  (Then I should try to budget out how much I should put aside every week.  Someone once said to me, "You're on unemployment.  You can't save right now."  But, why not?  That's a challenge if I ever heard one!)

7.  If I had a teleportaion device travel between the coasts would be a lot simpler.  (Then I need to learn how to travel better.  Pack lighter, look for better deals, bring entertainment on a flight.  While I can't mess with the science of teleportation, I can at least make my travel experience more pleasant.)

8.  If I stopped being afraid of the unknown or didn't let my imagination get the best of me a lot more things would be out in the open.  (Then I need to realize that I've taken a lot of leaps in my life, and I'm still here.  I also need to realize that some things will get worse before they get better, and that's okay as well.)

Man, that was difficult.  But here's to a new year and a new beginning!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dream Escapes - Packing Late

I had this dream a couple of weeks ago, but now I feel like I've had time to really think about it.

I was running around, being generally busy.  I felt like I was running around the same location a lot.

My boyfriend suddenly stopped me, saying, "What are you doing?  We need to leave in 20 minutes!"

I suddenly remembered that we were heading to Maine, and we needed to leave as quickly as we could.  But, I was having so much trouble packing.  I didn't know what to pack, and I was hesitant about packing.

I could feel him getting so angry at me, but I just didn't want to rush.


Goodness, is it really obvious what this is about, or what?  I know he doesn't really read my blog, and if he does read this it's not a surprise because I'm very honest with him.  But I am so not ready to be married to him.

He's so ready to go.  And I've been straight up with him, saying that if he asks me now, I would have to say no.

We argue about really stupid sh*t.  Including money.  The way I look at it, I feel like I should be able to handle my own finances before getting into a financial contract like marriage.  And being, wait..the BOTH of us being unemployed isn't exactly a good time to be financially stable.

In the end, I'm sure it's supposed to be all about how much we love each other.  But it's deeper, folks.  Why I'm about to admit this to the blogophere, I don't know...but here it is.

I don't know if I can handle all the issues that he's already got.  I don't know if I can be strong enough to handle my own problems along with his.  He still needs to figure out what his passions are in life outside of our relationship, while I feel like I've been passionate about something for most of my life.  What if we have children?  Would he be able to handle all the stress?

I know that most of my hesitance really comes from my own preferences, my own belief systems, and my own guidelines for the way I live my life.

He seems to be ready to move on to another part of his life, regardless of what he's got packed in his suitcase.  I, on the other hand, am still trying to find the right things to bring along with me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gripping the Grass Roots - Finalities and Question Marks

In being unemployed, I've had a lot of time to think about next steps.  The problem is this:  It's hard for me to imagine not working with kids.

The bigger problem:  Funding is virtually non-existent for social services and non-profits programs.

I've been thinking a lot about combining my day job and my night job into something that makes sense.  I'm still working on it, believe me.

In the last week, my staff and I have produced a fabulous show for our middle school students.  Originally, we were calling it a showcase, which separates it from a "talent show," since it's more about the many strengths that our students exhibit.  The show, entitled "Leaders Rising," focused on positive creative outlets as tactics for stress management.

Yes, on the surface, it seems like a regular talent show.  But we've gone through hoops to document all the things they've done to make the show happen.  We'd also interviewed them about how they deal with stress.  Throughout the year, we tackled difficult issues like drugs and alcohol abuse, teen prostitution, and dating violence.  Though we had a limited amount of time to discuss these topics, we're hopeful that they'll walk away with something.

But, back to the show.

Oh my goodness.  I was exhausted for the 2 weeks leading up to the event.  There were practices, sign-in sheets, letting teachers know, letting administrators know, practices, letting city officials know, letting parents know, getting music, editing footage, getting supplies, organizing a timeline, and practices.

We managed to run into a whole slew of obstacles, from an administrator pretending that she didn't know anything about it to kids being in detention to kids fighting with each other because they're stressed about perfection.  But, I love the moment right when the show begins.

The lights go off, and our 8th grade MC takes the lead.  The roar of the audience at the first act, and the amazing things that the kids are able to do on stage (singing though they're SO freaked out, krumping, stepping, and signing the chorus to "Heal the World" after only learning the signs a week earlier), and even the slight technical difficulties we had.  It is so inspiring - and I can only hope the kids in the audience would feel just as inspired.

I will admit that I will push the students to do their best.  Even when they're giving up and pissed off at their groups members, I'm trying to encourage them to keep going and that it's going to be awesome at the end.

Then, there are the times when I put my foot down.  When they're all acting a fool, because that's what adolescents do, I have to redirect them to the task at hand.

And then, there's this:
Background information -Though the show was originally just for the 8th grade, we incorporated a couple of 7th grade acts because they were prominent in our program and have been involved in past Talent Shows we've produced.  The first act were two boys who were singing, "All I Do" by B5 (seriously, I've never heard this song before they sang this for practice).  Right up to the start of the show, they kept changing their minds about what they were singing.  Perhaps one of them felt less secure about the original song choice, perhaps they wanted to impress a certain group of girls more with the second song - whatever!  They finally settled after figuring out that we don't have the resources to just suddenly change the song that's on cue (i.e., there wasn't wireless internet access for us to download the instrumental of the song they changed their mind to).  Then this happened.

7th grade boy:  "Man, I don't open for no one!"
Me (turning my head so fast I could have given myself whiplash):  "...excuse me?  What did you just say??  You BETTER CHECK YOUR EGO!!!  If you think that this is some special show for you, you better get over it!  No one is opening for anyone in this show!  That's not even what this is about!  You are so lucky that we even thought to INVITE you to be part of this (referring to all the trouble he's been in)!  But if you want to go there, then FINE!  The 7th graders are OPENING for the 8th graders!  And when YOU'RE and 8th grader, then you can have people open for you!  But you better check your ego before this show begins!!!"
7th grade boy:  "mumble mumble something under his breath to his friends"
Me (to his singing partner, who was actually the LEAD singer):  "Is he always such a DIVA???"
7th grade boy singing partner:  *shrug*

Clearly, not one of my finest moments as a social worker.  But no one can ever say that I would make a good clinician, and in fact, I've stated that I'd make a horrible clinician.  The way I see it, if the kids want to dish it out, they better be ready to take it from an adult who knows better.  Of course, I'm all about empowerment - I have the MSW, don't I?  But seriously, there are times when you can be straight up with the kids.

My intern, who overheard my going off on him, said she would have shat her pants if I went off on her like that.  I also warned my boss that I had that conversation with him, as she's his counselor, and she laughed as well. 

The real funny bit about all this is that when that 7th grader was a 4th grader, and we held our first Talent Show, he virtually disappeared right before he went on stage!  He was so nervous, he didn't know what to do with himself.  My boss and his 4th grade teacher were the ones to help get him back on that stage, and stayed at the edge of the stage to keep encouraging him.

Now look where he is.  Though, really, I'm sure it was fine even after I went off on him.  When they started off the show, you could barely hear them over the screaming girls.

But now, here I am enjoying the week of April Vacation.  Our final event of the year is behind us, and it was a major success after so many obstacles.  It could also possibly be the final event of the life of the organization.  So much finality in one little event.

What's next for me in my journey?  Can I properly use my MSW towards sexual health education?  Should I move back home?  What's next?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Toesies of the Month - April 2010

Not that I needed an excuse or anything, but I love birthdays for the special treats!

This birthday month, I took advantage of Spa Week, even though I'm still angry at them for promoting vajazzling, and signed up for my first ever body scrub.  Since I usually have a relatively easy day on Wednesdays, I set up an appointment last week and decided to go for my monthly pedi on the same day.

The body scrub was amazing!  I told the woman that I had never gone this before, though I have body scrub type stuff at home.  I must admit it was nice to have someone else do it.  There was a 20 minute massage portion after the scrub and shower, and I told her that I had a lot of tightness in my legs.

Recently, I've been having a lot of heel pain.  I figured it was from a lot of standing around at work and from multiple belly dance classes.  But when I told a friend, who happens to subscribe to Runners World magazine, he suggested that it might be plantar faciitis.
From Google Health.
After reading up on it a bit, I tried massaging my Achilles tendon, and the pain in my heel was throbbing along with it.  I know I should probably go see a doctor, but being unemployed doesn't make me feel very secure about how much my health insurance will cover.

Either way, it was clear that my tootsies and legs needed some care.  It was very kind of the woman who did my body scrub to pay special attention to my legs.  Afterwards, I was smelling all kinds of mango-y goodness, and took a bottle of the body scrub home.

I must admit that my poor toesies were in desperate need of some lovin'.  Two days before my appointment, I realized I had pretty raggedy heels and nails that needed trimming.

Since I was in the Coolidge Corner area of Brookline, a mile away from my home, I decided to check out some of the nail salons in the area.  I must say, I was not disappointed.

The spa chairs were ridiculously comfortable!  The arm rests were huge, and even had an extra table for manicures.  I might have found a new nail place, though it makes me sad to think I'm deserting Dana's Nail Salon in Brighton.

For my birthday, I decided to grab one of my favorite nail colors.
Designed by Annie at Brookline Natural Nail, Brookline, MA
Color:  OPI - Sonic Bloom
Occasion:  Birthday!
April 2010
I discovered this nail color years ago at a nail salon in Los Angeles.  Then I proceeded to hunt it down online and get a bottle of my own.

The nail design is super cute!  I only wish I had a black light to shine on it.
I'm really quite satisfied with last Wednesday's self-care day.  It was amidst a pretty intense work week, and well-deserved for all the work I'd put in.  Now, April vacation is here and I can rest my toesies for another week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

8 Things - Learned/Learning/Learn

This Thursday, the theme for Magpie Girl's 8 Things is Learned/Learning/Learn.  I admit that this is a difficult topic, mainly because I have to reflect a lot about what's been going on in my life - and there's been a lot!  But for the most part, I'll stay as positive as I can.

...How to be an effective Social Work Intern Supervisor.  In fact, my time as a supervisor is soon coming to an end, come May 14th.  I'm sure I have more to learn, but I'd like to think I've done a pretty damn good job so far.
...That I am not a dog or a cat person, but I really love both.  There's something about having an animal in the house.  For all the stinky farts from the dogs and all the spazzing out from the kitty, it's hard to imagine life without these darlings.  Unfortunately, the doggie on the right has already gone to Doggy Heaven.
...That I can ride my bike safely around the city, not because of the city but because I ride safely.  I've had my share of small scares, including a time when my tire got stuck in a groove and I flew over my handlebars and when some dude clipped me.  But for the most part, it's nice to be able to get somewhere fast enough on my own.

...How to say "No."  Today provided the best example for this!  The school the non-profit I work for is based in was having a staffing issue today.  One of the other outside organizations who is in the school does random jobs depending on who needs help.  It's almost like they're called on for subbing, secretarial duties, and general child-watching.  Today, they were playing secretary.  Though we're in the midst of organizing a huge talent show-like event, the Assistant Principal asked that I also take part in secretarial duties since other orgs were helping out.  I told him that I couldn't because of our event, but he assumed that I would do it anyway.  Luckily, other things started happening that provided a nice distraction.  But, I felt like I had to avoid the area until the other stuff started happening.
...How to speak up for myself and put myself first.  This is mainly concerning personal relationships.  I'm such a mother hen sometimes, that I often put myself last.  But then, when I do try to take care of things for myself, I've been accused of not taking care of the household.  I'm told that I should go and enjoy being social and active, but then I'm blamed for being too busy outside to focus on what (or who) is at home.  I'm still trying to figure all this stuff out.
...To embrace my body.  I love all the things my body can do, like dance and get around the city on my own.  I'm still working on getting to a happier place with the way I look, but at least I'm aware of my own strengths and challenges.

...How to save more money.  Goodness...saving money is tough!  Especially when the majority of my income is coming from the government.  But I'm slowly trying to do better about the spending.
...How to play more Beatles songs on the bass and piano.  Well, I need to practice more in general.  But, it would be awesome to learn something new in addition to practicing the old stuff.  After playing Beatles Rock Band, I'm re-inspired to learn some of my favorite songs and their actual notes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

City Sights - Spring Cleaning

Man...I've been trying really hard to hold off on prematurely posting this.  I immediately snapped a picture of these sights.  In the first picture, I felt like I might have been the only one who thought it strange.  In the second picture, I wasn't alone, so I was able to share the strangeness of it all.

March 2010
Commonwealth Ave and Kelton St, Brighton, MA
Why yes, that is a chair among those bicycles.
I liked imagining that one of the folks with helmets would ride the chair down the hill.

 March 2010
Union Square, Somerville, MA
The type above says, "At yard sale ex. Kitchen ware, clothing, toys, blankets, small fans, small electronics"
I like that I have such a wide variety of options to choose from at this yard sale.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to check it out, but this ad was really tempting me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Brain Wrinklies - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Another Saturday is here, and I've enjoyed the company of the Science Channel.  As I'm doing my thing around the house, my mind is being blown away by a show about telescopes, specifically a large binocular telescope.

I love shows about the universe.  I'm sure I've geeked out about this already.  But for me, it makes me feel like the tiniest little speck, and I am in awe of all the amazing things that I will never see in my lifetime.  I think I'm lucky enough to be privy to the pictures they show on the shows themselves.

But I wanted to geek out a little bit about one specific fact I just learned.  Forgive me if any of you scientists are like, "Sheesh! I knew that already."  But my brain seriously grew another wrinkle.

twinkle twinkle
Stars themselves don't actually twinkle!  They only appear to twinkle to us!

Okay, so, if I understood the explanation correctly, the twinkling is caused by pockets of hot air, or turbulence.  We know that light travels fast.  But as the light shines towards the earth and our sights, it will travel through pockets of hot air, making the light waver a little bit.  Thus, twinkling!

Seriously, I never knew that!

I love looking up at the stars.  Though I've lived in cities for the majority of my life, I've had the pleasure of the stars company.

In Los Angeles, my neighborhood wasn't overly polluted with light, so I was able to see the stars as I stood in my yard.

In Santa Cruz, a small oceanside town, having the campus on a mountain top and living so close to the ocean aided in looking at the stars.

In Boston, I unfortunately don't have the same kind of view, living in an apartment complex located in a heavily populated area.  But there are so many places I could easily travel to if I wanted to see the twinkling.

Now, I feel like I will have a whole new appreciation of those heavenly bodies star gazing. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dream Escapes - Yoni's Owner

I'm feeling like I want to start using this blog as a place to put some of my dreams.

When I used to sleep more, in my younger and less busy days, I frequently had dreams and would often remember them vividly.  There were times when my dreams would hint at some event to come, and there were times when little bits of my dreams would come true.

My best friend/soul sister used to have incredibly vivid and foretelling dreams.  Once, our German Shepherd went missing, and she dreamed that he returned, barking at our front gate.  My father and I were sitting at our dining table, and said how much we would appreciate him now.  About 2 weeks, the exact thing happened.

Now, I like to think that I have my feet on the ground.  But I also believe that there are times when things are unexplainable.

Luckily, my boss also feels the same way.  I love that I can bring a dream to supervision as an agenda item!  She taught me that the best way to interpret a dream (no, not using those dictionaries!) is to figure out exactly what you were feeling in a dream, and find an example in your life where that exact feeling is showing up.  Then, you can ask yourself, if there was something I could have changed about my own actions in the dream, what would I change?

It's a great tool, really.  So, I hope you don't mind that I'm using this space as a part-time dream journal.
Let's start with a short one:
All I really remember was that the boyfriend and I were home.  This woman appeared at our door, claiming to be Yoni's (our kitty) owner.  She called her Yoni, though, which I thought was weird that she named the cat what we named her.

As I handed her over, I immediately started to cry.  I couldn't believe that we were willing to just give her back to this woman who lost her in the first place.  

I remember waking up slightly, and crying as I awoke.  I remember feeling like my boyfriend didn't care that we were giving her away, and he didn't care that I was so saddened by it.  

I realized that I had been dreaming, as Yoni lay curled up by our feet.

It's strange really, that I was feeling such anxiety from losing her.  Clearly, my boyfriend and I love her very much and feel very attached to her.  I suppose that I was feeling very alone in my anxiety, which is true, since my boyfriend seemed to brush away my dream as "just an anxiety dream" and nothing more.

But, sometimes I do feel like I'm alone in my anxieties, not necessarily about Yoni.  At work and in general, I feel like there's a lot of burdens being put on me - much of which I know I have to go through on my own, though people are still supportive.

Either way, I do know that my boyfriend and Yoni are constants in my life, and I can turn to their support in the worst of situations.  And if some lady were to come and claim Yoni as hers, she's going to have to fight me for her!

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