Sunday, November 15, 2009

Confusion

I am happy. I really am. I have taken steps in my life to ensure that happiness. I have cut back on the hours at my dead end job. I have made the completion of my thesis a priority. I have the support of an amazing husband. I love every single one of my friends, they all support me and I know they are there for me when I need them. I am lucky enough to have an amazing, understanding family who I love so deeply it sometimes hurts. Also, my pets are fun and comforting in their own special ways.

Why then am I unable to motivate myself? Why do I have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning? Why do I avoid talking on the phone when a friend calls? Why is it so hard to stick to the plans I have made for myself? I woke up this morning and planned to have breakfast then walk into the office to do some work, followed by some gym time and a walk home. Then my evening and night was going to be filled with thesis work. Not an overwhelming or intricate plan so why is it 5pm and none of it has been completed?

I am not writing this blog to whine, but perhaps to vent and see it writing and put it in public will force me to see how ridiculous I am being.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Heroes usually don't like being called heroes but that is part of what makes them heroes...

First of all, I want to thank Matt for his service even though I am glad this strike team is over:


Next I wanted to share how we could help the families of the two fallen firefighters from LA County:

Donations are being accepted in their memory at:

F&A Federal Credit Union - "Memorial Fund"
P.O.Box 30831
Los Angeles 90030-9972

There have been three accounts opened to benefit the families of Captain Tedmund "Ted" Hall and Fire Fighter Specialist Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones. Their untimely death on August 30, 2009 has been a shock for everyone. Following are the accounts:

Tedmund "Ted" Hall:
Account/Member Number 617171

Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones:
Account/Member Number 617172

Combined Pool Contribution:
Account/Member Number 617170

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Responsibly Made

ok I know I owe a Coachella post but I keep seeing things saying they are responsibly made and I needed to rant a bit.

For a while now I have been making an effort to live my life in a more socially and environmentally conscious way. For example, I have started buying more Bamboo textiles instead of cotton, using sigg bottles instead of multiple plastic bottles, buying more products with natural ingredients, and trying to buy things that are made locally.

It seems like it is still very difficult, if not impossible, to be 100% 'good'. The bamboo requires chemicals to turn into cloth but it grows quickly and heartily, the sigg bottle is made of aluminum, the natural ingredient made products often come in wasteful packaging,and buying essential items locally is difficult when everything is made in China.

I have no problem supporting the global economy but I do find a sort of irony in the fact that shipping things from china to my local store is extremely ungreen seeing as how large barges and the trucks to move the product are a huge pollution problem. I am also intrigued when companies state that their product is responsibly made in China so they could bring it to you cheaper. Well, to be honest I would rather pay more for my products in order to provide someone with a real living wage and real benefits. I understand that if one company did in fact pay workers at a factory here in the US a truly living wage they would lose the competitive pricing edge, but it would have so many other positive effects: The money paid to them would go back into our sore economy, we would increase moral by creating more jobs available to the low skilled labor force, and we would cut down on transport pollution as well as production pollution since the US has more stringent regulations. I guess American Apparel created a more socially conscious business model, but not all of their products are made using organic cotton or bamboo.

I don't have any solutions, I am struggling with how to mitigate all of my concerns and I have yet to come up with anything solid. Once I figure out why all reusable grocery bags are made in China and how I can find some that are not, I think I will feel a lot better.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Who's got two thumbs and is headed to Coachella tonight?

This girl:


As I was packing last night I realized I actually have dresses that are pretty much just for Coachella. I am also taking this parasol again so this is exact picture could potentially be taken this year.

I am so excited it's ridiculous. I thought it would make it difficult to focus on work today but actually I have been ├╝ber efficient and have come to a lull as I wait for the day to catch up with my speed, so I blog.

I am sure you have all seen the awesomeness that is the lineup, but just in case:


I could list all the bands I am most excited about seeing, but that is slightly cliche and I usually find that I am pleasantly surprised by bands I had no intention of seeing...so the highlights of the weekend are difficult to predict.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...have I mentioned how excited I am?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fear of an Arab Planet

Since I have not been able to sleep well, I have been exploring the On Demand feature of my cable company and discovered the Sundance Channel. I came across an interesting documentary called Slingshot Hip Hop. I think the movie describes itself best:
"Slingshot Hip Hop braids together the stories of young Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and Separation Walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them."
This movie moved me like nothing I have seen recently. I was able to view the conflict from the perspective of people living it daily, not from the well thought out words of politicians and corporate media. Even though the Palestinian rap may not be for everyone - even if it is for me - their story and struggle will tug at you if you are able to put aside your existing bias and truly listen.

I felt so extremely helpless after watching it. The only thing I could think of doing was supporting them by purchasing a t-shirt and the CD made from all of the artists that are featured in the film. I wanted them to know I heard them, I really heard them, and I will do my best to make sure a few other people hear them as well.

I hope you all can take a couple of hours to sit down and consider another side. Watch the trailer: HERE

Here is the shirt I bought also to spread the word just a little more:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sleep is the cousin of death

It is 4:24 in the morning, I am sick, I can't sleep and I really really want to. My mind is empty while moving 1,000 miles an hour at the same time. It is now 4:39, interesting how little I wrote in that period of time. I guess I should try again...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A neat way to do an instructional video

also I dig this woman's style...and the song is pretty awesome too:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nostalgia

I love Google's street view! It is a lot of fun seeing where I lived in London. I miss it a lot!

This is the street view of Metrogate which was basically a dorm/hostel like facility, but it was a really nice area and a great location. Close to Hyde Park and easy access to the tube. The only thing that proved difficult was grocery shopping. We would fill our back packs and tromp back to the house in the pouring rain. Something would inevitably be smashed when we made it back. Anyway, I was so excited to see it I wanted to share with everyone:


View Larger Map

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eye Update

So I went to the optometrist yesterday to get a new prescription for my contacts and glasses. Apparently my eye is not ready for contacts and she would actually like to put me on some steroid type drops next week when I get back from vacation. I am kinda sad because now I HAVE to wear glasses always. I was hoping that 2 months was plenty of healing time for the ulcer :(

To make lemonade out of lemons I went ahead and upgraded the glasses I had (which were really only meant to be back up for contacts). The new glasses are Burberry which is great because now they will match my perfume. I also got a pair of prescription sunglasses because really, you can't go to Jamaica without sunglasses!

I have another appointment on Sunday when I get back at which point I will get the drops that have to be administered 3 times a day for 5 days. My dad says I probably won't get to go back to contacts until December which is unfortunate but like he said it really is not that easy to get a corneal transplate so its better to err on the side of caution (I suppose).

Well here are some pics of my new fancy glasses:




Monday, February 16, 2009

Beauty in Long Beach


A little light in my day...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

MetaProcrastination

I find it interesting that I was looking up "Why people procrastinate" in a clear effort to actually procrastinate. Cambridge University Counseling Services had a page on procrastination that I figured I would share in an attempt to validate the last few minutes of my life:

Procrastination


If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.


Thomas DeQuincey


What is procrastination?


The avoidance of doing a task which needs to be done - postponing until tomorrow what can be done today.


Procrastination not only affects a person's work, but also commonly involves feelings such as guilt, inadequacy, self-disgust, stress and depression.


Often we try to disguise our avoidance by being very busy doing things that may be interesting, and even useful, but don't contribute towards the main goal - even doing something we normally hate - rather than writing, for example, just before an essay deadline!


Why do people procrastinate?



  • poor time management, often associated with a distorted sense of the time available

  • an inability to prioritise

  • overload of tasks at a specific time

  • anxiety about the task, so time is spent worrying rather than doing

  • difficulty concentrating

  • not knowing what is required

  • feeling overwhelmed by the task(s)

  • concern about failing or not meeting your own standards

  • fear of success and its possible consequences

  • perfectionism, often associated with unrealistic standards

  • negative feelings - e.g. "I'm stupid", "nothing ever goes right for me"

  • all-or-nothing thinking, where one setback is seen as a total catastrophe

  • being bored by the task

  • never having learned how to work or sort out problems while at school or living at home

  • avoidance of things which are disliked or difficult.


How to overcome procrastination


Overcoming procrastination usually involves both better organisational and time-management skills as well as a clearer understanding of its personal or emotional meaning.


The former skills can be learned and improved with practice. Although there are some useful tips that can help you improve, it is primarily a matter of finding the ways of working that best suit you rather than trying to rigidly follow someone else's model.


Counselling can help you to understand and change the personal or emotional aspects to your procrastination.


Here are some suggestions to help you get started:



  • Accept that there is no magic wand: you will have to do the task!

  • The words that we use to ourselves in thinking or talking about the task matter! They have feelings attached to them which colour our anticipation and experience of the work. Try changing the words "have to" and "can't" to "choose to" and "choose not to" - this won't always be true, but it will probably be more honest most of the time. After all, you don't have to do this work - you probably chose to come and do this course, research or job, and you could choose to leave it!

  • Take account of the sort of person you are, of your values and your expectations. Assess whether these "fit" with the way in which you are trying to tackle the task - do you need a new approach with which you will be more comfortable? Patterns of working vary from one person to another, and so do the desired outcomes.

  • Recognise self-defeating behaviour and its associated thinking. Try to work out why you procrastinate: what do you gain from it? Find out how to overcome such behaviour. You might choose to sort it out yourself, to refer to a self-help book or leaflet, or to consult the appropriate person, such as your tutor, supervisor, director of studies, manager, colleague or a counsellor.

  • Identify goals and make realistic decisions about how to do the tasks, and prioritise.

  • Ensure that you have the right equipment, information etc. to help in tackling the task. Some time spent in preparation and planning is vital - but not to the extent that no real work gets done. So set a time limit for the planning stage(s). Plan a (small) section and then work on it.

  • Whilst spending time planning is very useful, here's a word of warning to those who make very detailed plans which go wrong within an hour and are then ripped up in disgust - plans need to be flexible! Don't plan all the hours in the day; leave plenty of unplanned times and spaces - to allow for things taking longer than expected, and for you to have extra time for relaxation when they don't!

  • Break down tasks into manageable bits. Set yourself small goals - to read one chapter; to write 1 page; to work for 45 minutes, take a 15 minute break and then do another 45 minutes work.

  • Boost your motivation. Dwell on your strengths, on tasks you have accomplished and feel good about, in order to remind yourself that you can be successful.

  • Give yourself rewards when you accomplish something.

  • When you are getting stuck, rather than just stopping work, try a different strategy - take a pencil and an old, half-used piece of paper out of the bin, and scribble unplanned and unstructured notes and ideas to yourself for the task in hand. Or start on a different section of the piece (you don't have to work from the beginning to the end), picking the least demanding in thought or creativity.

  • Quite often procrastination is connected to anxieties about the quality of the work you hope (or fear) you will produce! At times like this, it is worth remembering that it's better to produce something rather than nothing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

I know I am late, and this isn't going to be the full blog I should write, but it has been a little while so I wanted to post something.

So here is a picture of my kitten and I sleeping...pretty much where I would always rather be: