One more post before I go hit the books again! I found out that today is National Coffee Day from Tony Burgess. I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but I love the atmosphere of coffee shops for studying and meeting up with a friend. Today, I’m welcoming the new fall season with a pumpkin-spiced French Roast coffee. What kind of drink helps you start your day? Enjoy!
Hope you are well today! This morning I read an article from Politico magazine titled, “The Most Important Woman Lawyer in the History of the Republic“. Ginsburg captured my attention many years ago during the appointments of justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
She has led a remarkable life and left a legacy advocating justice for marginalized societies. For those who aren’t too aware of her work, I thought to share some headline quotes from several legal thinkers from the article below.
‘She pivoted the entire structure of the Fourteenth Amendment’Linda Hirshman is a lawyer, writer and author of Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World.
‘She was a champion of our democracy’Geoffrey Stone is a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.
‘A symbol of everything that is right about our system of justice’Ted Boutrous is a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and global co-chair of the firm’s litigation group.
‘A person who modeled civility, compassion and decency’Kimberly Wehle is a professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law.
‘Part of her legacy will be to encourage the end of lifelong tenure for justices’Sanford V. Levinson is a professor of law at the University of Texas Law School and co-author, with Cynthia Levinson, of Fault Lines in the Constitution.
‘Her death is a call to do more to protect equality’Peggy Cooper Davis is a professor and director of the Experimental Learning Lab at NYU School of Law.
‘One of the most articulate defenders of a right to choose abortion’Mary Ziegler is the a professor at Florida State University College of Law and the author of Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present.
‘A lawyer’s lawyer’Jamal Greene is a professor at Columbia Law School.
‘Women and men both owe her a great debt’Susan Deller Ross is a professor and director of the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown Law School.
She transcended the traditional role of a justiceRick Pildes is a professor at New York University School of Law.
Despite naysayers, she was to women’s rights what Thurgood Marshall was to civil rightsIlya Shapiro is the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Rights at the Cato Institute and author of Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court.
‘She never let abstract ideas distract her from reality’Gillian Metzger is a professor and co-director of the Center for Constitutional Governance at Columbia Law School.
‘The founding mother — or simply founder — of our nation’s sex equality jurisprudence’Kenji Yoshino is a professor of constitutional law at NYU School of Law.
‘She was an exemplar of purpose and poise’Josh Blackman is a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and the President of the Harlan Institute.
‘She reminded us that realizing America’s ideals is a work-in-progress’Robert L. Tsai is a professor of law at American University and author of Practical Equality.
‘She was as kind as she was smart’Roberta A. Kaplan is the founding partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.
‘Hers was the path of millions of once-scorned immigrants from exclusion to acceptance’Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
Bzzz! My sister has recently taken up the new hobby of bee-keeping during this crisis. All my siblings have been rather proactive and have been an inspiration to me. So, honey and bees are the theme of my post today!
As a hardworking busy bee, you can say I’m constantly searching for all sorts of “flowers”: various blogs on WordPress to read. These awards allow me to celebrate the community garden!
For bees, the flower is the fountain of life. For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.Kahlil Gibran
I would like to thank Maria Cristina Gino Baroso who has kindly nominated me for the Liebster award. She’s such a warm, friendly woman from the Philippines. I love her hospitable spirit. She features remarkable stories of beautiful people of all shapes and sizes, some overcoming all sorts of adversity. I also enjoy reading her slice of life stories from delicious food to an interesting coin collection. Her questions are featured below:
What do you do first when you wake up every morning?
The morning light trickles in through the blinds. I snap off the nightlight by my window and throw my arms up to do a nice yoga stretch. My back loves it after I had slept like a curled shrimp.
What do you do last before you sleep at night?
Last night, I dozed off to an episode, “The Power of Miracles“, of Morgan Freeman’s TV Series, “The Story of God“. My feelings before going to bed are one of awe and inspiration. The night before I finished the first season of the Arthurian fantasy drama, “Cursed“. Exciting adventures with the fae have been full of suspense and intrigue!
Who’s the first person you greet, “Good Morning” when you wake up? What do you like best, coffee or tea, and why?
I greet my roommates once they wake up and start making some tea. Lately, it’s been earl grey or mint. Sometimes, I like a raspberry zinger or citrus tea with honey. Whatever the mood calls for! I love the various herbs, fruit, or leaves in tea that I don’t necessarily get with coffee. I also associate tea with relaxation whereas coffee gets me pumped up for the day. Though there benefits to both, I’m not much a coffee drinker. Though, I love the smell of it!
What do you usually offer your guests when they come visit you?
What I offer guests who stop by is dependent on who it is. Some of my guests are very picky. A few examples are pho, blueberry waffles, banana bread, Dr.Pepper, water/tea, mixed nuts, ginger/sesame candy, Danish cookies, strawberry shortcake.
How would you treat someone who has just disrespect you publicly?
I confront those who publicly disrespect me. I will not let them get away with belittling me and others. I take a moment to collect myself because otherwise my emotions get the better of me. Afterward, I calmly speak my mind and say what I need to say in front of their face. Typically, I cry once I get home to release the tension.
Did you receive a love letter or a friend’s letter? What’s your favorite line from it?
I love getting letters, cards, creative notes whenever, wherever. I’ve kept cards that my classmates have given me when I was 10 years old. Sometimes, I revisit them when I need a reminder. They represent a time and a place, but they always pick me up!
😉 Infatuation letter – My god, though… do you know you are the only girl I’ve ever met who has used the phrase, “but I digress”?
❤ Love letter – But I feel like… I don’t know. I just feel very happy and lighthearted. I have no idea what is coming… yet I’m excited for it anyway. Thank you, Sa. And yes, believe me when I say, I love you.
😀 Letter from a Friend – I got to tell you, Sa, that Birthday Card you sent to me, is a keeper (it goes right into my vault). Thank you. You can’t imagine how it lifted my spirits.
Do you believe that first love never dies?
I believe first love never dies or rather, it’s the memories that don’t die. I will never forget my first love. Random things trigger my memories as they fade in and out. They make me laugh and cry. When I reminisce sometimes, my chest tightens, and it feels like my heart hurts. Other times, my heart is fluttering and beats fast. I’ve grown so much from that experience. We both did, and I cannot go back even though it lingers in my life.
What is your personal mantra and why?
Having a heart of gratitude for all blessings and the abundance that is unfolding in my life helps me keep things in perspective.
If you’ll be the president for a month, what would you do to end this COVID-19 pandemic?
Coronavirus: 5 things New Zealand got rightDW Made for Minds article
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the country no longer has any coronavirus cases. It has also seen very few COVID-related deaths. What has been the key to New Zealand’s success?
If I were president, I would take a leaf from New Zealand Prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
1) Swift and tough lock down – Decisive actions
2) Consistent, effective communication of rules
3) Ramp up testing capacity and mask production
4) Willingness to learn from science
I’m not sure the American people will respond like the New Zealanders though. Press conferences directly to the public helped achieve public buy-in in other countries
If you’ll be a superhero, who would you be and why?
I got to learn more about Jubilee from X-men this past year. She. Is. Awesome. Wow! Not only is she bubbly and not to mention powerful, this spunky, optimistic character has overcame quite a bit of trauma. Even when she lost her powers, she tenaciously strives to remain a superhero by other means. Fans have shared more of her powers in greater detail. 10 skills that many people may not know about her:
- Pyrotechnic Energy Blasts – Sometimes, it’ll be nice to see fireworks!
- Absorb Energy – Always a must have when you working various projects!
- Explosively Charge Objects – Detonate…maybe I’ll keep this one under wraps. 😉
- Wondra – Super strength and the ability to fly 100 mph to avoid traffic
- Force Fields – Resistant to physical injury and protection from earthquakes is nice.
- Ghost Mode – Pass through substances without getting hurt. HM!
- Gymnastics – Olympic-level gymnast. Just plain cool!
- Evade Telepathic Detection – Hide from mental probes.
- Vampire powers – Need I say more? Accelerated healing power is a nice plus
- Turn Into Vapor (Mist Mimicry) – I always thought about flying with a cloud
It’s hard to find people who haven’t received an award already! You’re not obligated to respond, but I was grateful to have encountered your posts this week.
- Rishika @ cartWdesigns – Her original artwork is a lot of fun to browse!
- Revivedwriter @ revivedwriter.wordpress.com – Brief Whimsical/thoughtful Poems
- Shreya Singh @ Savouring Simplicity – Thoughtful, inspirational articles
- Singhpiyush6089@ The Perceptions Square – Such beautiful photo poetry
- InspireChief @ Lessons Learnt – Shares motivational tips influenced by his first hand experience of owning a business and the army.
- Efrona Mor @ 52 Secrets – Thoughtful posts on love, food, and history
- Anisha @ CrazyNerds – I enjoy her motivational & delightfully random poetry/fiction
- Mae @ From the Pen of Mae Clair -Mystery and Suspense, Flavored with Folklore
- Favorite comfort food?
- First book that made you cry?
- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
- Best money you ever spent as a writer?
- Favorite under-appreciated novel?
- Bloggers you enjoy reading?
- Your spirit animal?
- What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Thanks for following along. If you want to check out my other Liebster entries to learn more about me, check it out here! Until next time! 🙂 ❤
If European cities were a necklace, Prague would be a diamond among the pearlsAnonymous
Czech Republic has been a country I’ve frequently heard about throughout my life. Whether it was my high school project on the Cold War, a Sabrina the Teenage Witch comedic sitcom episode, or one of my many places on my director’s travel wish list, Czech has always struck my curiosity with a peculiar fascination.
Though travel slow right now, I have a travel membership that allows me to daydream a bit in the meantime. They have categories which makes it difficult for me to choose:
- Go Back In Time in Prague and Beyond
- See Picturesque Prague by Land and Water
- Relive Medieval Times in the Czech Countryside
Here are some snapshots of some areas in Prague I found on the website! The towering Gothic architecture is a sight to behold!
Walking around the Prague is comparable to being in a fairy tale: except for one minor detail: it’s real.Lust for the World (1 day in Prague)
Prague; the city so beautiful that it was spared by Hitler… or so the story goes. Prague is a living and breathing enigma; old and dirty but somehow unimaginably graceful.World of Wanderlust
The ancient splendor and beauty of Prague, a city beyond compare, left an impression on my imagination that will never fadeRichard Wagner
It’s easy to fall in love among the winding cobblestone streets and snow-covered castles of Prague, but is it a good idea?Dana Newman, Found in Prague
Detinice Castle, Kralovehradecky
Excerpt from Unusual Hotels of the World:
Medieval themed hotel providing magical middle ages experiences in an authentic setting
This property is a fantastic escape from the day to day boredom and way better than any chain hotel for stories to tell your friends about. Step back to a more rustic time and enjoy the authentic and imaginative attention to detail, the quality of entertainment, excellent food, wine and the whole atmosphere to make your trip memorable and truly MEDIEVAL!
Wooden floors, wooden beds, simple and rustic furniture – original pieces, candle lit rooms, unique bathrooms – simple, rough but stylish, wooden faced flushing toilets, etc. Behind the decor, the facilities and service are modern.
Dinners are served in the next door Brewery Tavern – an extravaganza of banqueting, drinking and regular live entertainment medieval style.
Feast on food prepared on a traditional open fire and beer served by tough and tender wenches of the Inn. Be entertained by swordsmen, jugglers and dancers in the candle lit vaults. But be prepared for medieval mannerisms – keep in check or fall foul of the Innkeeper!!
A part of the Dětenice resort – baroque Chateau, adjacent Medieval Tavern with Brewery and authentic style Medieval hotel.
Eastern Europe has been really trendy. Prague is the best-preserved city in the region … and the best beer in Europe lands on your table there for 50 cents.Rick Steves
I will end my daydream with a quote unlike the ones shown above. I suppose I need a balanced perspective! 😉
How can you not love a city that has a pub with vinyl cushions on the wall above the gents’ urinal, so you can rest your head while you ‘go’? Where you can order a beer without speaking, simply by placing a beer mat on the table? And where that beer is probably the best in the world?
But it’s not just exquisite ale and a wonderfully relaxed drinking culture that keep bringing me back to Prague. There’s also wit and weirdness in equal measure: a public fountain where two figures pee in a puddle, spelling out literary quotations; a 1950s nuclear bunker hidden beneath a city centre hotel; and a cubist lamppost. Quirky doesn’t even begin to describe it.-Neil Wilson (Lonely Planet)
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
On the one hand, I like deadlines. Its existence spurs me to action.
On the other, I don’t like them. It forces me to make sacrifices and prioritize decisions.
What did I end up sacrificing this past month? Time with my blog Heart was willing. To-Do's ever so increasing. Energy was waning. Out of all things, why does it have to be something that brings me joy? Life doesn't make sense at times.
This year’s A-to-Z blogging challenge was a bust! I truly wanted to explore these topics more in depth! In the past, I was very spontaneous with my prompts and wrote whatever I was in the mood for which was surprisingly quite successful.
A2Z Survivor? Hardly (at least not for April)! Below features all the topics I wanted to write about this past month. I’ll certainly save them for later! I’ll probably change this blogging challenge month-long sprint into a year-long marathon.
a - Axolotl b - Burj al Arab c - Ciselure d - Dogme 95 e - Entremets f - Fallingwater g - Guggenheim Museum Bilbao h - Hanno the White Elephant i - Isicathamiya j - Juggernaut k - Krampusnacht l - La Tomatina m - Michael Jackson's Manifesto n - Neottious o - Orlov Diamond p - Paisley Underground q - Qasida r - Rose Trellis Egg s - Songkran / Shibuya-kei / Sagrada Familia t - Trumpets of the Martians u - Umbilicanimism (American Beauty) v - Viking Metal / Venetian Mask w - Wonky Pop x - Xuan Calligraphy Paper y - Yag (Carmen San Diego Fanfiction) z - Zen Manifesto
On top of that, I started a separate blog about project management for school thinking I could juggle another challenge…simultaneously! That was a certainly a no-go. I did manage to write about how AI is helping Save the Ghost of the Mountain. A pat on the back for something launched!
These overall reflections of my recent A2Z experience leads me to think about a question that Dr. Tanya asked sometime back in February.
Do you have a niche?– Dr. Tanya, Blogging Insights #18
Do you have a niche for your blog? If so tell us more about it.
I think it would be visual storytelling – I called my blog Culture Shocks to focus on sharing my reactions to new cultural experiences. I wanted to undergo great periods of growth, and jarring experiences would help me stretch outside my own boundaries and meet new people.
At the very least, it would attract those who relish in new adventures and seek novel experiences because variety is the spice in life. I figured I would have plenty of fresh content so long as I didn’t pigeon-hole myself as to how I conveyed these experiences to my audience.
Have you ever thought of niche-ing down and why?
Yes, plenty of times! I think it gives me great purpose to be intentional about the audience I would be writing for who is serious about reading your content. It would motivate me to write even when I may not always feel like it because I wouldn’t want to let them down. I actually found old blogs I wrote years ago before Culture Shocks:
2009 – Trash to Treasure Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects
2012 – Exploration into World Literature
2012 – Confessions of a Parapsychologist Assistant
At the time, I thought it was just easier having separate audiences for vastly different topics. I felt like if I could focus on a particular niche, then I might be more prolific. It’s difficult to write regularly for separate blogs and maintain different brand personas. Even while doing this challenge, I thought to myself, “Gee, wouldn’t it be easier to explore deeply about one topic rather than write from five categories?”
If you chose just one as your niche, how much would you miss writing about the others?
Too much! There’s times where I feel like a skimmer rather than a diver. Though I do wonder: If I chose a niche, perhaps I can tie those topics with something unrelated and find some point of commonality which can provide a new angle on an established topic.
After Dr. Tanya’s question, Fandango shared a provocative question that also made me reflect:
As a blogger, what makes you tick?– Fandango, FPQ #67
What DID make me write today in the midst of my busy life? My last post was 2 weeks ago. I just finished working on a rigorous 3-month long project for work this morning. Safeguarding my sanity meant encasing myself in a bubble. My supervisor and CEO said to me, “It’s time to take a well-deserved break!”
I take such a deep breath, I didn’t realize how much oxygen I missed. I realize I blog when I want to chat about something, but I don’t really share in public. I can share random trivia tidbits without worrying about wasting other people’s time.
I look over to my left and my eyes fixate on my cute, whimsical owls, and my thoughts drifted into how I missed my whimsical blog. I once read a journal article titled:
The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus– Hiroshi Nittono, Michiko Fukushima, Akihiro Yano, Hiroki Moriya
I’m exhausted. I almost don’t want to stare at a screen. Yet, I miss the people in this community and want to stay close the proverbial campfire. While eating some ambrosia salad, I wrote this poem below with intertwined quotes:
Take a Deep Breath. Do you know the feeling that DEADLINES induce? Future date unmistakably marked Yet, why does it feel imaginary? Why doesn't iit feel as real as The Present?
Deadlines just aren’t real to me until I’m staring one in the face.― Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
Deadline looms around the corner
Like a shadow in a dark alley
Skin tingles. Hair prickles.
Its impending presence
…grind us to the lowest depth of subjugation…– William Williston Heartsill, Diary of William Williston Heartsill (entry Mar. 1863)
Everlasting companions: Anxiety, Stress, Exhaustion
Gradually creep into one's well being
Despite Deep Breaths' attempts to squash its vitality,
Lassoing the infamous Trio proves quite difficult
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.– Ecclesiastes 4:12
Calling in for reinforcements
Spiro-meters are important
To measure the shortness of breath, but to tackle it?
A Blessing Counter. A Kindness Barometer. A Playfulness Gauge.
Maybe, a flexible Salvidor Dali's clock
Or... a Clock that breaks quite often
So that you can take a break along with it.
Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and clears our energy enabling us to better connect with the Spirit within.– Author Unknown
Not ready to receive my comeuppance
Deadline taps me on the shoulder
Delivers the final pummeling blow
Just as quickly as It arrived
It was gone in a flash and left without a trace.
Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite.– D. Antoinette Foy
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”Rabindranath Tagore
Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness from Linda G. Hill is: “…write about whatever is beside you when you read this prompt. Not when you sit down to write, but whatever is beside you right now. Take note of it if you think you might forget. Enjoy!”
So, I read this prompt while jogging in a deserted field area this afternoon. Em from Earthly Brain shared a prompt as well: “ If I could learn a lesson from the clouds, it would be …“. An impromptu poem materialized in my head. Enjoy!
Puffy cotton balls reflecting brilliant light
Today I greet the day as it comes
Drifting along with the wind
It’s somewhat difficult for me
to play hide-and-go seek
as I often gleam behind nature
No matter though, Sunny and I
Our friendship is billions of years old
Together on the best and worst of days
A generous spirit today
Frolicking among you
Revealing a wondrous site
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.European Proverb
As Mel has done, I turned to Google for help in interpreting this statement that Fandango has shared with everyone. It boils down to not criticizing the character faults of others when you have similar faults. Sounds like an ideal in understanding humanity’s fragility.
I came across some very striking interpretations along the way. Below is a creative work done by tattoo artist, Sam Barber, featuring a vulnerable woman who is struck by the aftermath from the blow of broken glass. It touches on some points Mel has written about how painstaking it is to rebuild a person who has been shattered. The storms in life can rank up such fear. How can one be comforted when they’re exposed and open to another attack once the glass has been shattered?
My mind jumps to an extreme literal example. My memory recalled an assignment I had about “Kristallnacht”, otherwise known as “Night of Broken Glass” during November 9-10, 1938 when the Nazis brutally assaulted the Jews while everything was ravaged and shattered.
Realizing that his home was now uninhabitable, he broke down and – as he confessed in the letter – started sobbing like a child.Jewish merchant, Martin Fröhlich
Koenigsberg’s New Synagogue took as long as 80 YEARS to rebuild from the aftermath! Now that is the recovery of a building, can you imagine the recuperation of the people? Despite these devastating events, another Kristallnacht occurred 17 years later in Turkey in September 6, 1955.
Below is another compelling interpretation I found from a Dutch artist who seems to favor a realism approach acknowledging that people from glass houses will always throw stones even though they shouldn’t. From this pain, one can acquire wisdom.
They say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Maybe, but sometimes it’s a good idea. Only those who live in a fragile surrounding in consciousness and with the fantasy of danger, protect themselves. And other glass houses. Daily Painting about glass housesAlles, was Kunst ist – A painting a day keeps the doctor away
It leads me to think of the individuals who felt this way:
Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure.Arnold Schwarzenegger
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.Lao Tzu
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.Kahlil Gibran
It makes me wonder why people are attracted to super human individuals who can withstand the symbolic impact of broken glass when watching a film. Perhaps it’s because we realize how fragile we can be, and anything to the contrary intrigues or inspires us.
Just when I think I’m going to be doing haikus for the rest of the year due to my tight schedule…
Blogger “Normal Happenings” has tagged me in an interesting challenge that seems to coincide with a random daily horoscope I received a few days ago from a free Vedic astrology app called Yodha. (By the way, I like your new branding! It’s bold and glowing like a neon sign. 🙂 )
Happy new year! For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following my blog, and I will be swinging by to read yours as well. I see a lot of new faces out there, and I just want to say hi! This is my fun, personal blog where I typically write about all sorts of subjects in a variety of formats: poetry, story, photo-story, music. I’m about to start another blog for school related stuff, but that’ll be shared on another post!
You may wonder how did I encounter Vedic astrology? Well! One day, I was chatting with a young lady about the staggering synchronicity in both our lives, and she told me about how she regularly talks to her Vedic astrologist for all sorts of decisions. She said that she made some of the best business decisions of her life with his guidance and that it is a lot more accurate than western astrology. I was skeptical because there are a lot of quacks out there as you well know, but intrigued nevertheless.
So, I downloaded the free Yodha Daily Horoscope app where authentic Vedic astrologists from Nepal share with you their insights. I started learning more about it. Apparently there are Indian universities that offer advanced courses in Vedic astrology despite scientists protesting about it being a pseudoscience. Jyotisha is the traditional system of Hindu astrology. Its etymology is from the Sanskrit term, “jyoti” meaning “light heavenly body”. The term Vedic astrology came about later around the 70s.
Below are the sort of messages I get. This is one I received this morning:
“Due to your nature, you are a rather positive person. You are someone who can find a silver lining in most of the situations. Perhaps you are aware of this gift and know how to implement it. At times, you can put a smile on your face even when the circumstances don’t naturally warrant it and in doing so you can spread good vibrations to others. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that not everyone has that gift and you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t. The planets are encouraging you to show how it’s done.”Astrologer P. Bhattarai
Anyway, back to the horoscope that inspired this post! She mentioned how when time and money permits, I enjoy traveling to an exotic locale and experiencing new things. However, lately, I may be seeking a more spiritual experience which may not be a physical location: a journey to understand myself better, gain a deeper understanding of myself, be more conscious and aware. I thought Daily Inkling’s prompt might help me explore this arena!
“Write 24 talking points between current you and you from seven years ago. Consider teaching yourself something you’ve picked up since then.“Twenty-four Seven
Seven years ago was the year 2013. A pivotal point in my life: the beginning of a lot of new things, drastic changes to my lifestyle. This is a rare occasion when all of my category boxes on my blog have been checked! I’ve chosen 24 random topics to discuss in no particular order: then vs. now!
2013: Grocery store cashier – Served a lot of people from all walks of life! I love to meet new people and listening to their stories.
2020: Technical writer for a cybersecurity firm & vacation business manager – nice balance between the two!
I read a lot of books during both years, but I’ll just mention two for now:
2013: Shantaram, an epic, philosophical tale of an Australian convict opening up clinics in the slums of India
“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
2020: The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to be Happy – People worldwide share unique testimonials of what made them happy
Optimism isn’t frivolous: it’s necessary. If we feel hopeless all the time, if we’re always in crisis, the natural response is to give up and stop trying altogether. But we can’t let snark win. Problems are there to be solved. Challenges, to be met. We can be aware of the bad while also being mindful of how we can make it better. … Empathy is essential, and learning what matters to people on the other side of the world helps us all. Understanding how different nations view happiness can impact how we interact with one another going forward.Helen Russell
2013: Friends were there to lift my spirits, give me warm cup of tea when going through a new challenge, have fun in the cosplay contests at school. Really enjoyed checking out the Ghostbusters!
2020: All of the above still applies, but my friendships seem to have more depth and honesty. Also, true friendship has a way of helping me see things in myself that I didn’t think was capable.
2013: I took my family and friends to check out the Arboretum gardens in Dallas, TX during special holidays like Mother’s Day
2020: I hope to visit Vanderpool, TX sometime and bask in the warm glow of the “lost maple trees” during autumn
2013: Infatuated by a gentle young man I met one beautiful autumn day while feeding the birds at the pier down by the lake. A rather electrifying meeting, though the relationship never developed due to my fear of commitment.
2020: Enjoying a long term relationship of 4 years. Its been a dream come true filled fun adventures, humor, and passion with the normal ups and downs of life.
2013: Attended community college on a digital forensics academic track. The most memorable project was where I developed a website for a hypothetical geologist living in Colorado. He was studying various types of gemstones he found during his excavations. I researched stories of legends surrounding their origin.
2020: Currently working on an online masters program for technology and innovation management track. The most memorable project so far involved a hypothetical four million dollars granted to me to develop a civil engineering software application from start to finish.
7) Volunteer Cause
2013: I worked with a group of friends with Habitat for Humanity. Learned a lot about house building and painting!
2020: Currently helping a school teacher collect cans and plastics with the Rotary Club for a contest with Pepsi Co.
2013: Had a thing for barre workouts!
2020: About to do Hot Yoga with my cowokers!
2013: Back when Google+ was around, I heavily got involved with a sustainability discussion group for many hours. The discussions intrigued me. I wanted to learn how to be eco-friendly and be up to date with all of it.
2020: I’m itching to get plugged into community initiatives regarding sustainability issues. They’re looking for ideas, and I hope to contribute in someway!
2013: I fancied the idea of being a student blogger on campus. I applied, but was turned down for the position. It may have been because the writing sample I sent was about the sound of a lovely bell ringing off in the distance as I was walking around the campus lake to class. Maybe they want more samples about student life? 🙂
Below is the walkway of the lovely campus I used to walk by often.
2020: Didn’t matter! Here I am blogging my heart out on my own without anyone else’s approval! I don’t know why I thought of it sooner! 😉
Blogging my thoughts has been a freeing, exciting experience. Thank you to my readers for making the experience so worthwhile!
12) Fashion Interests
2013: Bold floral-print Sunday dresses
2020: Bandage skirts, Currently love them! Sorry no picture of me in them, but I love to wear them with leggings
2013: 30 Rock, CSI Miami, Supernatural, Glee
2020: Meteor Garden, Witcher, Miraculous Lady Bug
2013: Frozen, Iron Man III, Man of Steel, The Croods, Monsters University
2020: Star Wars (2019), want to see Mulan, Artemis Fowl, Sonic
There were a lot of news stories that deeply affected me and my path trajectory.
2013: Nelson Mandela’s death, Boston Marathon bombing, Edward Snowden
Nelson Mandela was a leader whom I was captivated by. Boston Marathon and Edward Snowden prompted my interests in security.
The news story above impacts me because it deals with one of my favorite childhood pastimes. My first major Lego project was a pirate ship. Always fascinated by adventure even then! Will be going to a Lego Brick Fiesta event with some friends this year to indulge in this interest!
2013: Followed Maria Sharapova tennis matches quite a bit since I practiced developing my forearm swing at the tennis courts!
2020: I might go check out some Spurs basketball players play! Matt Bonner signed my basketball. He was so down-to-earth and friendly!
2013: I was really curious about consumer drones. Always felt tempted to buy one to take awesome aerial photos and videos from the sky!
2020: Right now, I’m super curious about the Click and Grow smart garden!
18) Favorite Hang-out spots
2013: White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX
I enjoyed walking sections around this park almost every day. Seeing the scenery change with the seasons is a great beauty. I once walked around the whole park which took four hours! There are some incredibly beautiful views, expansive hiking trails, fishing spots. There’s also a well known ghost story as well about the Lady of White Rock Lake! One of my favorite memories is sitting on a wooden bench on top of a hill and seeing the sunset as the breeze is blowing the tall grasses.
2020: Riverwalk & Pearsall Park in San Antonio, TX
I enjoy walking downtown and checking out the riverboats with curious spectators gliding by in this river. At night, it’s bustling with tourist activity. Families and couples are dining in the restaurants. Some of my favorite memories here was when my brother visited me and we got to listen to a beautiful mariachi band singing a lovely serenade and when my boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas slow dancing in the island platform.
I love to go jogging here with my exercise buddy early mornings! The fields and the hills are incredible. Breathing in the fresh cold air is refreshing.
2013: I was trying to continue my Spanish studies on Babbel
2020: Duolingo’s mascot, a little owl, has been guiding me in learning Spanish and Vietnamese basics. It’s been fun learning from their podcasts too!
2013: For an English literature assignment, I had the opportunity to watch a live Shakespearean comedic play, Taming of the Shrew.
2020: Curious about the Miss Saigon musical in town!
2013: Fascinated by Google’s chart that compiled deforestation rates by country
2020: Currently checking out Mongobay’s environmental snippet summary
2013: Learned about Healthcare.gov’s crashing website as millions of Americans tried to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Stress is relative though!
2020: Everyone around me is getting the flu! Got my flu shot. Learning about personalized AI medical care innovations
2013: Played Juice Cubes a bit!
2020: Curious about Smash Hit and Megaman Zero!
24) Quote I lived by
2013: Eleanor Roosevelt impacted me from an early age.
“Do the thing you think you cannot do. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”Eleanor Roosevelt
2020: Right now, these below! More to come later!
Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new directionGermany Kent
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.Socrates
That was fun! See you soon everyone! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂
“We only have one life and one body to care of, and we better do it right. You never know what tomorrow may bring and so we better live this life the best we can and be grateful for everything we have.”Novak Djokovic
I want to wish all of my readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Life outside the blog-o-sphere has been very busy. Tried a confetti creamed corn recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for a few potluck dinners I was invited to, and though it doesn’t quite look like her pictures 😉 it was still a great hit!
Rory’s Challenge? 3 quotes. 2 songs. 1 image…
Once again, I over-delivered! Take care everyone! ❤
“And I know now that all the time I was trying to getKaren Hesse, Out of the Dust
out of the dust,
the fact is,
what I am,
I am because of the dust.
And what I am is good enough.
Even for me.”
Good evening! Please forgive me for my absence, everyone. It’s been a whirlwind, and I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle, but it seems like it going to pick up again soon! Recently got back from Las Vegas travels filled with personal development nuggets, and I have fun Halloween adventures to share. I also had an enjoyable collaboration with Joey on Writing with Strangers which resulted in a Grimm inspired poem, “A Boy Named Gullible“. I’ve also been learning how to navigate the world of solicitors touting their products and services in my new job. Discerning what is really the best value for what my boss needs is… a process. 😉
Karen Hesse wrote a verse novel called, “Out of the Dust”, which is set in Oklahoma’s dust bowls during the time of the Great Depression. Billie Jo, the 14-year old protagonist, must cope with the tragic losses of her family members and forgive herself for some devastating mistakes.
I was 13 years old when I first read it, and stepping into Billie Jo’s world was an eye-opening experience. This book was the first time I encountered a full length written in poetic format. The quote above makes me wonder about the symbolism of dust in the story and how it shaped Billie Jo’s identity. I wonder how the proverbial dust in my life has affected my character.
I’m hoping taking more breaks and relaxing my mind will help me find a few answers to my homework and work responsibilities. I decided to pass on the Brain Focus supplements in the pharmacy aisle. I like to think I can naturally release the fog in my mind and wait for it to gradually clear so I can find my way ahead…
Though, I wouldn’t mind a metaphorical leaf blower to speed up the process of blowing the brain fog away! 🙂
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