Tuesday, February 21, 2012



Never would I have described myself as being passive aggressive,
but trying to make yourself clear while avoiding saying what you think will do that.

I am passive aggressive.
I guess that's better than being aggressive, which is what I usually am. or what I used to be.

Who am I kidding?
aggression > passive aggression.
when did I turn into such a sissy? someone come kick me and tell me to get some balls.

I think relationships are hard to change.
If you've set them up to behave a certain way,
it's kinda of jarring for either party in the relationship to drastically change their behavior.
they key is to setting them up to behave well from the beginning;
to set expectations and make reactions clear.

maybe the control freak in me is being extra freaky today.

All of my future relationships will have clearly defined functions.
not that they won't be able to change, but so long as they continue the way they began,
they will behave within the prescribed limits.
like math.
a function has a clear equation, and if you add or take away from it, transform it, it's something else.
it's no longer the parent function, in fact, you can create a different function completely.
by changing around the variables, ya change how they interact, and the relationship totally changes.

on a different note.

I'm passionate.
I'm not passionate about one thing in particular, I'm just a passionate person.
Whatever I choose to do, I do all the way.
I become slightly obsessive.
I try to be the best.

But I'm not a perfectionist.
I realized a long time ago that perfection is unattainable...
there's always someone better, and to contrast, there's always someone worse.
(unless it's bowling, then, I'm the worst)

Life is poetry in motion.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bucket List

“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

1. go to Jerusalem
2. go to Germany
3. Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England -- one trip!
4. Go to Greece (again!)
5. go to South Africa
6. go to Morocco and Egypt (in one trip)
7. Go to Paris (again!) /Southern France
8. chinese fire drill
9. steal a car
10. Visit all 50 states -- no airports! Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
11. jump 5' (on horseback)
12. win a photography contest
13. fly first class
14. plan someone else's wedding
15. go to Brazil
16. go to Cabo San Lucas
17. ride in a rodeo
18. see the Church of Trees in Belgium
19. get married
20. see Alcatraz
21. go to Disneyland
22. raise kids
23. get published (photos, essays, poetry-- something!)
22. get a degree
24. build a home
25. have no debt
26. have my own vegetable and herb garden as well as small orchard
27. skydive
28. go for a hot air balloon ride
29. fly in a helicopter
30. ride in an ambulance (preferably as a paramedic)
31. grow my hair out
32. see New Orleans
33. buy workings for our Grandfather Clock from the Black Forest
34. See the Aurora Lights in Alaska

"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well."
-Diane Ackerman

Monday, January 30, 2012


THIS is a great site... whereon, the article below was found.
It is outstanding in its description and definition of a real man.
And this is the real chivalry of the present hour."

True and False Manliness
By: James Freeman Clarke, 1886

MANLINESS means perfect manhood, as womanliness implies perfect womanhood. Manliness is the character of a man as he ought to be, as he was meant to be. It expresses the qualities which go to make a perfect man, — truth, courage, conscience, freedom, energy, self-possession, self-control. But it does not exclude gentleness, tenderness, compassion, modesty. A man is not less manly, but more so, because he is gentle. In fact, our word ” gentleman ” shows that a typical man must also be a gentle man.

By manly qualities the world is carried forward. The manly spirit shows itself in enterprise, the love of meeting difficulties and overcoming them, — the resolution which will not yield, which patiently perseveres, and does not admit the possibility of defeat. It enjoys hard toil, rejoices in stern labor, is ready to make sacrifices, to suffer and bear disaster patiently. It is generous, giving itself to a good cause not its own ; it is public-spirited, devoting itself to the general good with no expectation of reward. It is ready to defend unpopular truth, to stand by those who are wronged, to uphold the weak. Having resolved, it does not go back, but holds on, through good report and evil, sure that the right must win at last. And so it causes truth to prevail, and keeps up the standard of a noble purpose in the world.

But as most good things have their counterfeits, so there is false manliness which imitates these great qualities, though at heart it is without them. Instead of strength of will, it is only willful; in place of courage, it has audacity. True manliness does what it believes right; false manliness, does what it chooses to do. Freedom, to one, means following his own convictions of truth; to the other it means thinking as he pleases, and doing as he likes. The one is reverent, the other rude; one is courteous, the other overbearing ; one is brave, the other foolhardy; one is modest, the other self-asserting. False manliness is cynical, contemptuous, and tyrannical to inferiors. The true man has respect for all men, is tender to the sufferer, is modest and kind. The good type uses its strength to maintain good customs, to improve the social condition, to defend order. The other imagines it to be manly to defy law, to be independent of the opinions of the wise, to sneer at moral obligation, to consider itself superior to the established principles of mankind.

A false notion of manliness leads boys astray.

All boys wish to be manly; but they often try to become so by copying the vices of men rather than their virtues. They see men drinking, smoking, swearing; so these poor little fellows sedulously imitate such bad habits, thinking they are making themselves more like men. They mistake rudeness for strength, disrespect to parents for independence. They read wretched stories about boy brigands and boy detectives, and fancy themselves heroes when they break the laws, and become troublesome and mischievous. Out of such false influences the criminal classes are recruited. Many a little boy who only wishes to be manly, becomes corrupted and debased by the bad examples around him and the bad literature which he reads. The cure for this is to give him good books that show him truly noble examples from life and history, and make him understand how infinitely above this mock-manliness is the true courage which ennobles human nature.

In a recent awful disaster, amid the blackness and darkness and tempest, the implacable sea and the pitiless storm, — when men’s hearts were failing them from terror, and women and children had no support but faith in a Divine Providence and a coming immortality, — the dreadful scene was illuminated by the courage and manly devotion of those who risked their own lives to save the lives of others. Such heroism is like a sunbeam breaking through the tempest. It shows us the real worth there is in man.

No matter how selfish mankind may seem, whenever hours like these come, which try men’s souls, they show that the age of chivalry has not gone; that though

” The knights are dust, and their good swords rust,”

there are as high-hearted heroes now as ever. Firemen rush into a flaming house to save women and children. Sailors take their lives in their hands to rescue their fellow-men from a wreck. They save them at this great risk, not because they are friends or relatives, but because they are fellow-men.

Courage is an element of manliness. It is more than readiness to encounter danger and death, for we are not often called to meet such perils. It is every-day courage which is most needed,—that which shrinks from no duty because it is difficult; which makes one ready to say what he believes, when his opinions are unpopular; which does not allow him to postpone a duty, but makes him ready to encounter it at once; a courage which is not afraid of ridicule when one believes himself right; which is not the slave of custom, the fool of fashion. Such courage as this, in man or woman or child, is true manliness. It is infinitely becoming in all persons. It does not seek display, it is often the courage of silence no less than speech; it is modest courage, unpretending though resolute. It holds fast to its convictions and principles, whether men hear or whether they forbear.

Truthfulness is another element of true manliness.

Lies usually come from cowardice, because men are afraid of standing by their flag, because they shrink from opposition, or because they are conscious of something wrong which they cannot defend, and so conceal. Secret faults, secret purposes, habits of conduct of which we are ashamed, lead to falsehood, and falsehood is cowardice. And thus the sinner is almost necessarily a coward. He shrinks from the light; he hides himself in darkness. Therefore if we wish to be manly, we must not do anything of which we are ashamed. He who lives by firm principles of truth and right, who deceives no one, injures no one, who therefore has nothing to hide, he alone is manly. The bad man may be audacious, but he has no true courage. His manliness is only a pretence, an empty shell, a bold demeanor, with no real firmness behind it.

True manliness is humane. It says, “We who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.” Its work is to protect those who cannot defend themselves; to stand between the tyrant and the slave, the oppressor and his victim. It is identical in all times with the spirit of chivalry which led the good knights to wander in search of robbers, giants, and tyrannical lords, those who oppressed the poor and robbed helpless women and orphans of their rights. There are no tyrant barons now, but the spirit of tyranny and cruelty is still to be found. The good knight to-day is he who provides help for the blind, the deaf and dumb,the insane; who defends animals from being cruelly treated, rescues little children from bad usage, and seeks to give working men and women their rights. He protects all these sufferers from that false manliness which is brutal and tyrannical to the weak, abusing its power over women and children and domestic animals. The true knights to-day are those who organize and carry on the societies to prevent cruelty, or to enforce the laws against those who for a little gain make men drunkards. The giants and dragons to-day are those cruelties and brutalities which use their power to ill-treat those who are at their mercy.

True manliness is tender and loving; false manliness, cold and hard, cynical and contemptuous. The bravest and most heroic souls are usually the most loving. Garibaldi, Kossuth, Mazzini, the heroes of our times; Luther, who never feared the face of man; Gustavus -Adolphus and William of Orange, are examples of this union of courage and tenderness. Bold as lions in the defense of the right, such men in their homes and their private life have a womanly gentleness. False manliness is unfeeling, with no kindly sympathies, rude and rough and overbearing. True manliness is temperate; it is moderate, it exercises self-control, it is capable of self-denial and renunciation. False manliness is self-willed and self-indulgent…….

True manliness differs also from the false in its attitude to woman. Its knightly feeling makes it wish to defend her rights, to maintain her claims, to be her protector and advocate. False manliness wishes to show its superiority by treating women as inferiors. It flatters them, but it does not respect them. It fears their competition on equal levels, and wishes to keep them confined, not within walls, as in the Mohammedan regions, but behind the more subtle barriers of opinion, prejudice, and supposed feminine aptitudes. True manliness holds out the hand to woman, and says, ” Do whatever you are able to do; whatever God meant you to do. Neither you nor I can tell what that is till all artificial barriers are removed, and you have full opportunity to try.” Manly strength respects womanly purity, sympathy, and grace of heart. And this is the real chivalry of the present hour.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

here's to...

I went to dinner with my cousins tonight. Had some great conversation, good food, and lots of laughs. but above all, I met a hedgehog for the first time. See Sir Elliot below.

As a side note, I didn't tell my roommate that I was even going anywhere... and when I got home it went a little like this...

Mireya: Hey, come look at this. Chad has these funny holes in the roof of his mouth.
Me: most people do....
Mireya: no, come look!
Me: *looks* yep, those are where the sinuses and the mouth connect :)
Mireya: oh....
I thought you had been raped and murdered, by the way. Where were you?
Me: Oh. haha, yeah I had dinner with my cousins... you could've sent me a concerned text?
Mireya: But I thought you were dead. I don't text dead, raped girls. That's weird.

Here's to having a comical roommate who's concerned her boyfriend has interior gills.

and here's to hedgehogs. that are kinda freaky... in a cute way.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Downfall of Women and the Need for Modern Chivalry

Chivalry is dead. No, not dead; chivalry is suffering… in agony. But why? Why is such a revered concept so ill-practiced? It all has to do with the downfall of women, and why chivalry is more important today than it has ever been.

Chivalry was developed in the medieval period as the code of conduct lived by the noble of that time. Chivalry was a term used to sum up the ideal qualifications of a knight; these ideals involved being virtuous, truthful, loyal, courteous to others, helpers of women, supporters of justice, and defenders of the weak. In addition to these traits, knights studied the art of war and were required to tactfully wield weapons and skillfully ride a horse.

For centuries after, women would romanticize the prospect of a prince charming coming to save her princess-self… until the late 1960’s. As the feminist movement began, women stood up and told men their place wasn’t in the home, raising children and cooking dinner. Feminists demanded that they be given equal opportunities in all workplaces, and that men take on their fair share of household and family duties. As time passed, progression of the feminist ideals went as far to declare that men were, in many cases, unwanted and unnecessary. In today’s world, women may tell themselves and each other that they don't need a man. They can even start a family on their own thanks to IVF techniques.

Unfortunately, the feminist movement has vastly emasculated men. Males are too willing to step aside and slack their duty of providing for their families, they all too often impregnate women and deny their children, and forfeit their responsibility of being the spiritual and emotional heads of their households. In abdicating their responsibilities, we have rampant out of wedlock babies and more women are in college than men.

But while women have proved that they can “do it all,” should they? Many argue that they shouldn’t, and evolutionary psychologists are finding that women have always been, and will likely always be, dependent on men. Not financially, or even biologically, but emotionally. Feminists argue that the woman has finally freed herself from a dependency on a man, but the reality is that women have deeply rooted primal instincts to look for men that are more successful than them, better protectors than them, and that can easily provide for them and their children.In addition, it is human nature to want to be loved, appreciated, and treated with respect. Men and women alike prefer honest and loyal partners that they can develop lasting relationships with. The feminist movement even proclaimed that, they just manipulated the meaning and outcome of those desires.

An additional problem that arises today is women complaining that men don’t do enough. Is it not hypocritical that women spent decades protesting their supposed inequality to men, and when they have finally shed their proverbial shackles, then to accuse men for slacking their duties as husbands and fathers? Feminists, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Men and women are built differently for a reason. Feminists need to let go of their haughty attitudes and expectations and realize that men have a job. Furthermore, men need the support of women to do their job well. That said, men need to step up to the plate and realize that not all women are feminists, and most women need men to be chivalrous before there will be any kind of success with marriages and families within the home.

Now, it’s unrealistic, very cheesy, medieval, and somewhat illegal to expect men to kill anyone who threatens you as they gallop towards you on a handsome horse before carrying you off into the sunset. In fact, chivalry at that time was reserved as a standard for the most noble, and most women today are not as lucky as to marry a duke or prince.

But it is irrefutable that there is a need for a modern kind of chivalry. In a world where infidelity is ever-increasing, dishonesty is accepted, injustice is rationalized, and scandal is celebrated, we need to encourage a kind of chivalry that aids and improves the lives of men and women alike. The gender role barrier is crumbling, but this doesn’t mean chivalrous courtesy should be fading as well. Men shouldn’t be expected to know how to ride a horse and carry a weapon, but the common man should be being virtuous, truthful, loyal, courteous to others, helpers of women, supporters of justice, and defenders of the weak.

Kindness always follows a circle. When women are courteous and honest with men, men will be kind and faithful in return. The vehement feminism of women and slacker attitudes of men break that circle and create a downward spiral of distaste, anger, and immorality.

Women, it’s time to let go of grudges. You have the power to do whatever you want, and the freedom to pursue whatever path you choose. For the success and happiness of the family, a good partnership with men is vital.

Men, forget the oppression of feminists. Women need you to step up and lead. You have the potential to be far more than you are, and women are there to support and love you along the way. Your figurehead is integral in your marriages and as an example to your children. Chivalry is a necessity.

on the bus...

The only bus I ever rode (until college) was the school bus. It took me to and from school. The drivers were strict: you had to sit in your assigned seat and keep your feet outta the aisle.

I was a little nervous (I'll admit it) the first time I had to ride a UTA bus. I had no freakin' idea what I was doing. Lucky for me, my roommate, Mireya, is fairly aware of my general stupidity, and is happy to help me, and explain the niceties of this place called Happy Valley.

Since day #1, I've somewhat figured it out (my route at least). And more than the route, I've learned that you should always expect the unexpected when riding public transit. and be flexible.

I ride the UTA bus to and from campus at least once (sometimes twice) every weekday. The bus ride itself isn't too bad. It can be eventful, but the bus stop is where the real entertainment occurs.

Sometimes, it's full of college kids. These generally are quiet-kinds of people...

If I end up on the bus with someone in my apartment complex, we might strike up a conversation.

Some overly-inquisitive, overly-talkative students find it necessary to make awkward small talk, generally involving questions pertaining to my class schedule and major of choice. This always brings stupid questions about why, how, what, who, where... that I just don't want to answer. But it's against my nature to be rude. so I grin and answer. and politely return the questions.
**on the rare occasion, these conversations happen with people that give me the creeps. I try to avoid these situations, or escape them at the nearest possible opportunity... I've learned fake phone-calls are great excuses.

I've discovered there are also other people in Happy Valley...

People who have weird conversations in public places, speaking at a volume appropriate for a football game, with strangers sitting within 1-2 feet.
** my first experience with such people was memorable. sitting at the bus stop, a gaggle of three individuals sit next to me. a little too close, but they didn't smell rank, so I pretended to pay extra close attention to Facebook while being forced to eavesdrop. (I was sans-headphones...) Their conversation surrounded their buddy Pete who had been having a really rough time with drugs, alcohol, and some other immoral activities. If this had been the extent of the conversation, I probably would have forgotten it by now, but they went into gory detail of how their poor soul of a friend would lock himself in his room for days, binging on his vices. I felt so sorry for poor Pete, but honestly, I didn't want to know...

People who are quiet, but choose (or perhaps Fate chose for them) to wear the oddest clothes.
**this morning, a larger, older man boarded the bus wearing sandals and a zip-up sweatshirt... not odd, other than there's snow on the ground (and his toenails were freaky), and his sweatshirt was only zipped part-way (he wasn't wearing a shirt underneath). My first reaction is always to shy away. But I thought about it, and said a little prayer that wherever he was going was a better place and that he'd be able to find the opportunity so he could buy new shoes and a shirt. and a coat. Happy Valley gets cold. So, here's my shout-out to that man: Best of Luck!
**two days ago, I got on the bus and saw a man in all black. black biker boots, jeans, and leather jacket. he had a blond mullet... a legit mullet. he had the leathery skin to match the persona, and he was wearing his sunglasses on his forehead (but not on top of his head or on his nose, like... on his forehead. I didn't even know that was possible. but Biker Man did it). This man was awesome. I couldn't help but stare, because I was so impressed. Keep on keepin' it real, Biker Man.

And then, the bus drivers themselves...
They can be really nice.
They can be really quiet.
They can take their job way too seriously
** I once had a bus driver that announced every upcoming bus stop. Sometimes, the bus is automated to do this itself. But I guess his bus was ill-equipped. so he did it himself. useful, but kinda odd...
They can almost hit the cars in front of the bus.
They can almost hit the people in front of the bus.
Some of them get mad if you get on the bus through the back door.
Some of them get mad if you don't use the back door of the bus.
Women bus drivers are significantly scarier than male.

And it's only been one month.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paula Deen

Me: oh woah, it's smokey in here...
Mireya: yeah, I got a little frisky with some butter.

love my roommate. her humor never ceases to amuse me.