Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just Some Stuff...

  • Today I finished reading a book I started a couple weeks ago. This sounds like a dumb thing to mention, but this is honestly like a big feat for me. I hardly EVER finish books I start reading. The book actually wasn't all that amazing of a book, but I chose it from my many of books on my small bookcase next to my computer desk (which sits there as a constant tease for me, because I sit at the computer and find myself looking over at the books on it and thinking, "Gosh, I really wanna read that book" but I'm fully aware of the likelihood of me actually reading...or if I start it actually finishing it). The book I read was Maria Shrivers "Ten Things I Wish I'd Known - Before I Went Out into the Real World". Don't get me wrong, it was a decent book, but I mainly chose it because it was one I had wanted to read and mostly because it is a small book and I wanted to remind myself that I could be dedicated enough and read a complete book. Today, I read the remaining 8 of the 125 pages and I feel good knowing I can start and finish a book!
  • Something interesting about that book is how I think back on it now that I've read it all and it was the chapter on marriage that I recall enjoying the most and thinking how true so many points of it seemed to be...HA! Funny, since I'm not (and never have been) married. But maybe it seemed interesting because I was reading it during a time I was dating a guy, and working on a relationship by compromising brings about similar situations whether you're dating or married. The chapter is called "Marriage Is a Hell of a Lot of Work" and here is the opening paragraph to that chapter...

Oh my God, is that true. And I had no inkling of this when I left college. Otherwise, I wouldn't have spent my twenties worrying that I wasn't married. In fact, if any of you is worried that you haven't run into anyone named Right, male or female, don't be in such a hurry. Chill, relax, and enjoy your freedom, because once you're married you don't have that kind of freedom anymore. After being in such a rush to meet their soul mates, so many people complain about being married to them. It's nuts.

  • Instead of starting another book now, I think I'm going to give this audio book stuff a try, as I got a book on CD I've been interested in reading for sometime now for only $10 a couple weeks back. It's a book a good friend of mine read a while back and recommended it to me saying she thought I'd enjoy it. It's called "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. I've gotten about halfway through the first CD today and it seems interesting. It's strange to listen to someone reading a book to me over my iPod, but we'll see. I hear this audio book stuff is cool. I will say though, as a non-fiction reader, I like to "read" stuff that makes me think, thus I find myself wanting to read slowly and understand everything and let stuff set in before moving on, and this might cause me issues with an audio book. There's been a couple points where I've paused my iPod so far to let a sentence he read set in...HA!
  • Tonight, one of my best friends added a new entry to her blog that she hadn't written in for over 3 years. This makes me smile.
  • I'm in LOVE with this new website one of my friends introduced me to via her blog. It is called GoodSearch and it's a search engine that gives money to charities everytime you surf it! How GREAT is that! Sure, it only gives like a penny with each search, but do you know what sort of potential this has!?!? I SOOOO recommend you become a GoodSearch-er and recommend it to your friends. I downloaded the GoodSearch toolbar because I used to always use my Google search toolbar, and then I changed my internet explorer homepage at work from to because I'm often having to look up stuff on the internet at work and I like to give back to GREAT causes when I'm doing my work! Go check the site out and pick a charity you like to donate too. I've chosen the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Oh, and if you're worried that it might not be a "good" search engine and that you think nothing compares to your Google, understand that GoodSearch is powered by Yahoo, thus it is a "good" search engine and will give you good results! =)
  • Finally, I was recently introduced to this GREAT "waste of time internet game" that you and your friends can fall in love with too! HA! It's one of those games that is extremely simple (in a complexity sort of way, not in an easy-to-win sorta way) and highly addictive. The email forward that I got the website from claims that this "game" is actually a test used by the US Air Force. They say that those training to fly in the Air Force have to obtain a score of 2 minutes on this test, but I don't know if that's a bunch of bologna or not...HA! Anyways, the email also states that if you can go more than 18 seconds on it you're "phenomenal"...uhhh, my current high is 25.016 seconds and I've scored in the 20 seconds several times, so uh, I guess I'm "phenomenal"...but I'm not going to go writing home about that one. Or at least not until I am good enough to be an Air Force pilot! HA! ;) The website is this. There are instructions on how to play it at the bottom.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Today's Ten Shuffled Songs

I LOVE music! I'm literally obsessed with music! I'm pretty good at knowing songs, artists, etc. I'm good at coming up with good songs for specific moments--you know, like coming up with a song to go with a wedding moment, or a montage of pictures, etc. This might be because I listen to so many different kinds of music and songs. I'm not sure.

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine and he was saying how he loves movies. He owns more than 900 movies on VHS and DVD. He mentioned how movies impact him because he can often times find himself watching a movie and he can see himself in the movie, or as aspect of his life, or just relate in one way or another with the film. I told him I could understand that, but for me it wasn't movies, rather it was music that did that for me. I love how songs can really get to me in ways that either drive me to want to do something, or to want to sing them at the top of my lungs, or to want to cry, etc. I like to take songs and pick out how they can seem to be talking about parts of my life even though the song was written about something totally else [i.e. a song about a romantic relationship (which I’m most likely NOT in at the time) and relating it to something else in my life]. Though the artist might be singing about the power of his/her love for someone they long to marry, I can sing the songs and think of how they relate to someTHING I love in life, or someone I love in life (even though they are someone I love in a way other than a romantic type of love), or even just about how I can love life in general.

Music is just a powerful force in my life. It's funny because one of the most natural highs I get in life comes from singing at the top of my lungs. I love just getting into some good music and belting it out! HA! Something I've really noticed in my life over the past year is how much I miss my 20-25 minute drives commuting to school. It was during those times that I got some good "music time." Time would I could crank my music as loud as I wanted in my car and sing as loud as I felt like that day. Living in a house with so many people limits my chances for being alone and feeling comfortable in just belting out some songs.

My life currently consists of a travel time of less than 1 minute (well, depending on how I hit the one stop-light) to get to work; therefore, my daily commutes are restricted for singing time. With this being the case, I've found that about the only GOOD thing about my best friend living over 30 miles from me is that I do get my alone-time in the car once again (especially when I am traveling in rush hour traffic to get to her house, so it takes me about an hour to get there). I mean how do you beat the high one feels from getting to sing at the top of their lungs AND knowing they are going to be hanging out with their best friend real soon. =)

The amazing gadget of the iPod has helped bring all my music in my life together into one portable place. [Thank you, Steve Jobs]. Anyways, that little gadget goes basically EVERYwhere with me. In the car (especially on any trip longer than my trip to work), to work, to friends houses, and even to the shower with me. It's almost always playing when I'm in my room if I'm not watching television. If I'm reading I have it on classical music playing in the background. If I'm working on the computer I usually have it playing in the background. Back when I was in school I used it for studying or writing papers, because I love classical music playing when I'm doing that sort of stuff. Back when I was working out regularly I used it then. It helped me through my studying for my licensing exam (which I studied 95% of the time while walking on a treadmill and listening to my iPod all at once...and yes, I passed it the first time...HA!). At work I have it playing constantly at my desk (even when I'm having to walk away from my desk to go do something in another part of the building for our staff), so who knows what it could have playing when people come to my desk looking for me and I'm not there (this is yet another reason why I like clean edited versions of music...HA!). All this to say, my iPod gets a LOT of use. The top Most Played Song on it has been played 472 times!

Besides when I'm at work, the only other time I will for sure ALWAYS have it on daily is when I take my nightly showers. I LOVE listening to music while I shower. Heck, without much driving time nowadays, this is about my only other time to get in some halfway private singing time. [Note: I call it "halfway private" not because I let people in the bathroom while I'm showering, but rather that there is an office connected to my bathroom by a single door and MANY times when I'm my shower in the evenings there is someone in the office only a door away and so if I were to sing very loud at all it would no longer be just me hearing myself...HA!]

Anyways, by the time shower-time comes in the evenings, I'm typically tired of my current iPod playlists from listening to them usually during the day at work, so I'm wanting something different. With this being the case, I'll often times just put it on "shuffle play" to see which of my 1697 songs on my iPod will pop up and play for me...HA! Since I do have SUCH an array of music on it, I typically try to find something up-beat and shower-worthy for when I'm wanting to just "sing-out" in the shower. So what I'll normally do when I put it on shuffle is I'll skip forward until I find one that grabs my fancy as a "good shower song" and I'll take the risk from there and hope the next two or three that are going to play through while I'm in the shower end up being "good" ones.

So tonight this blog entry has been inspired by my shower "playlist" that randomly occurred tonight while I listened to my iPod on shuffle as I showered. I skipped through to find what I wanted to start with and ended up starting it with "Glory Days." When that song popped up in the shuffle choices I realized I was just feeling it and thought it would be a great one for in the shower and so it began. Below I'm going to share with you ten songs that ran through my random shuffled list starting with The Boss. I was really pleased with this list. Just some random fun stuff. I'm even considering doing this sort of a blog entry every now-and-then because I think it's fun and interesting to see the types of music on people's iPods. Feel free to share a list of ten songs in a row that come up on your iPod when it's put on shuffle. I think you can learn about a person by seeing their music tastes. Plus I just love hearing about songs I don't know.

Here is my list from tonight. The number in parentheses after the song artist is how many times that particular song has been played on my iPod. In order to not bring about incorrect assumptions by the numbers, if a song is rather new to being added to my iPod, it's number will be displayed in red.
  1. "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen [15]
  2. "Music of the Night" by Paul Potts [7]
  3. "Be Still" by Kelly Clarkson [9]
  4. "Like a Prayer" by Madonna [22]
  5. "When the Sun Goes Down" by Kenny Chesney [37]
  6. "Break Away" by Rascal Flatts [38]
  7. "This is Me" by Dream [16]
  8. "The Ballad of John and Yoko" by The Beatles [22]
  9. "Everlasting Love" by Gloria Estefan [23]
  10. "Head Over Feet" by Alanis Morissette [20]

Friday, January 11, 2008

Who To Vote For For President...

I'm not good at keeping up and following candidates to know what they do and don't support on "big" issues. I'm interested enough to know I care if they are for or against supporting topics concerning my educational background, but even that doesn't mean I could tell you off the top of my head which candidates do and don't support that. HA!

Basically I am NOT much for politics (they really rub me the wrong way most the's too fake and let's try to say what you want to hear, to me anyways), but since it isn't like I'm going to be able to wave a magic wand and POOF be gone with politics, I figure I at least should TRY to know who my vote would best be used supporting.

This being said, I've always been someone that loves to find one of those tables/charts that you can find around election times that compares where all the different candidates stand on the "big" issues. Because a quick glance at something like that and I'll be like, "Okay, I'm voting for _____." Yes, I know, it is a highly thought-out and intelligent way of voting, but at least I DO vote, right?


So today I found this website to this short 12-question quiz that asks you where you stand on the "big" issues and then it tells you which candidate is closest to your views. I really enjoyed this and I thought I'd share that link with y'all and since I honestly don't care, I'll share my results with you too...HA!

The quiz is at this website.

And this is the ranking of the candidates on how closely they believe what I believe on the "big" issues...

1. John Edwards
2. Barack Obama
3. Bill Richardson
4. Hillary Clinton
5. Mike Huckabee
6. Mitt Romney
7. Dennis Kucinich
8. John McCain
9. Ron Paul
10. Rudy Giuliani

Wow, good thing I took this, because I had been thinking..."Hmm....if I decide to vote republican I'm going to vote for Giuliani. He just seems like such a great guy and he was so cute and good at handling the 9/11 thing it seemed." Phew...that was a close one! HA! ;)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happier Without It

I think sometimes it takes getting what you thought you wanted to realize you were happy without it.

That might be the only half-way profound thing to come out of this entry. That came to me earlier in the day today, and ever since I spit it out, I have had a hard time not thinking about it and realizing just how true I think it is.

It’s funny how happiness can be disguised; disguised in a manner that keeps us from completely identifying it. Sure, maybe we don’t feel unhappy, but we don’t find our self thinking to our self how happy we might actually be in our situation. I think it might be just as much that we have become too accustom to the state of feeling satisfied and happy that we begin to not even recognize it when it’s lurking.

One might say we begin to take the feeling of being happy for granted. While I believe that could be possible at some points in time, I feel that the feeling I am depicting here is different. I believe it is less that we are forgetting how happy we were, but more that we don’t realize we are as happy as we are. It’s almost like we don’t realize that what we have is satisfying us to the point of happiness.

I feel that it happens too often in a materialistic world that we find ourselves wanting when really what we think we want isn’t much more than something we have been deceived into believing we need. We convince our self that since it brought “happiness” to someone else that it can (and will) do the same for us. We seem to be on an endless journey to obtain a never-ending state of happiness—a figment of our imagination. We become mislead by thinking that this state can only be achieved through gaining that “next thing” we have convinced our self that we “need.” The irony falls in that in the grand scheme, it is quite possible that we are happy during the time we are striving for the next best thing and that we are simply reluctant to notice it.

What is unfortunate is how often times when we do gain whatever it was that we desired, in the end we end up going without recognizing the minimal change in happiness that it brought us. What typically happens is we simply move on toward wanting whatever it is we now feel will bring us closer to that desired state of happiness without seeing the state of happiness we are already in.

I think what can bring about such a bittersweet discovery is when we have obtained that in which we were desiring and we are capable of realizing that it did not bring us the happiness we had envisioned it bringing us. I believe it is at this point when we can truly see that we were just as happy without it as we were with it that we get the closest to realizing just how happy we actually are in life.