Saturday, February 1, 2014

Annoying Teenagers

From unsplash, By Danka Peter

I know I've only worked at a high school full time for five months, so I'm no authority on teens, but recently I've noticed something about high school students I don't like. It could be I'd forgotten this or was too young to recognize it before but teenagers are annoying. Ignorant machines made in a factory somewhere with the specific purpose of making noises, sounds, movements, and displaying behaviors that grate on my patience.

I guess this is God's way of preparing me for children or perhaps payback for putting my parents through this for most of a decade, teaching teens is one of the most fun but most irritating jobs I've ever had. If I had to pick any age children to work with, I wouldn't change my mind for the world. As cute as the elementary kids are, they are too little for me. It is those students who are on the verge of being adults, who are standing on the edge of possibility and shouting into its face to "Remember me!" These are the people who light up the most when you help clear the fog in their heads about which way to tackle the mountain before them.

They may get on my nerves, and I am sure I get on theirs, but I wouldn't trade those arrogant naive fearless children for anything. They remind me that this part of me is still alive and is worthy of my attention, even if only every other month.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

No, I will not fix your Stuff!


Because of circumstances being what they are, I am on the IT department at my job. I was volunteered for this position because, naturally teaching classes that use a computer means I know how to fix complex network problems. I have never setup a network outside of plugging in the ISP provided router and using the provide password to log my home computer onto that network. I very little knowledge of IP number blocking, subnets, remote accessing, and editing permissions for domains.

If you ask me to fix your computer problem, I will more than likely tell you to A) restart it - "it" ranging from your computer to your router to whatever device isn't working how you think it should work-, B) make sure it's plugged in all the way, C) Google the problem first, or D) talk to the person who gave you the device because I have no special power or knowledge about your problem. I have fixed most of my computer problem because I know how to Google and know a couple of people who have actual training in this field who I can ask to "answer a quick question". Most of the time they tell me to Google a particular phrase.

So you got it right? Ask Google, not me cause I don't know why your "thing" doesn't work when you plug the "cord" into it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So frittata good!


It's Saturday morning, coffee in hand and my dad asks me what's for breakfast. Immediately I'm think, "what do we have that would qualify as breakfast?" Quiches are easy to adapt to what you have on hand but they can take almost an hour to make. What's quiche like but quick? A frittata!

As I understand it, it's an egg based Spanish dish eaten for any meal. Started in a skillet but finished in the oven, a frittata is easily adapted to whatever you have on hand.What I had in my fridge was sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, purple onion, avacado, and egg whites.

How did my creation come out? Fantastic! So good in fact, my father (who doesn't like to try new things) enjoyed it a lot! He wanted to know how to make it for himself, which is something he never does. So did some other friends after I posted pictures on instagram. So here you go! I hope you enjoy it!




Saturday Morning Frittata
1/4 cup medium chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/4 of a medium purple onion,finely chopped
Half of a ripe avocado, diced
Large handful of fresh spinach. 
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of eggs whites (I bought a carton from walmart but you could use probably 3 or 4 egg whites to equal this or just use whole eggs)
Cheese (optional)
Seasonings (however you normally season eggs)

*Your skillet will need to be oven safe for this dish. 

1.Preheat your oven to Broil 350 degrees. Saute the onions on medium heat until they are just starting to turn brown.
2. Toss in the Sun dried tomatoes and saute them until they are just starting to turn brown (You can substitute fresh tomatoes but I sun dried taste better to me for this).
3. Being careful not to add a bunch of water, add the spinach to the pan. It will look like too much for the pan but it will cook down quickly.
4. As your your spinach is wilting, mix your eggs & egg whites together (add your seasons now). As soon as your spinach has cooked down, pour the eggs in the skillet and stir the ingredients making sure everything is evenly distributed. Add you diced avocado now, making sure you evenly distributed it in the pan. 
5. Turn the heat down to low and let everything cook for about five minutes. You'll notice the bottom will cook through but the top will still be runny (if you are adding cheese to your dish, do that now).
6. Put your skillet on the top rack in your oven for another couple of minutes. You want the cheese to melt and the eggs to set before pulling it out of the oven.

You can serve it right out of the pan or plate it however you like. I eat mine with a little dijon mustard and a strong cup of coffee.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

That one question I keep asking myself

I am on an emotional carousel sometimes. Up & down, around & around.

I see so many jerks who have girlfriends when I'm hanging out with my friends. The girls are usually pretty good looking while the guys are either very attractive or very plain. They said crude things to impress their friends and act uninterested in the girl they are there with. This frustrates me when I witness it, mostly because the girl puts up with it but also because I am single. Not that I want a jerk for a boyfriend but when I see people who in no way deserve a romantic relationship with one, it makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with me.Why am I still single?

I answer this with the following responses, I don't put myself out there enough, I'm not pretty enough, I'm too fat, all the usual negative self talk I have. I wonder how much of this I make up in my head and how much of it is self fulfilling prophecy. I go back and forth about whether I want to be in a relationship or not. I don't really have time a serious relationship needs to grow and I enjoy my freedom as someone not attached. I do get lonely and from time to time I want to go on a date but have no one to be my other half. That's when the negative self talk comes to the surface, crushing my self esteem and making me second guess every life choice I have made in the resent future.

This is when learning contentment is hard. Not so much looking at what you don't have and desiring it, but knowing you will have it one day and at that time it be something you do not want.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gimme Shelter and pass the tissues




Usually when I watch a movie, I don't cry. My friends will tell you I wear my heart on my sleeve as I'm often emotionally moved by, well anything. A song, a video, a certain piece of art, a really good meal, any number of things will cause my heart to swoon but is it rare that I am moved to tears. That's what happened while watching Gimme Shelter, Ron Krauss's new film starring Vanessa Hudgens.

Gimme Shelter tells the story of Apple, a teenager who's spent most of her life in & out of foster houses but in no one's hearts. After discovering she's pregnant, Apple reaches out to her estranged father for help but this doesn't go as well as planned and friction between her step-mother and her step-siblings causes her to seek other means of help. After a few days of living on the street, her desperate actions land her in police custody and a chance she's never had before, to have someone care for her. Based on the life of a girl taken into a shelter run by Kathy DiFiore, pictured above, this movie gives hope that the people who need the most help will get a helping hand at the right moment.

When the movie started, I knew this would be a difficult emotional journey. I have experience with the all too familiar story of a child abandon by her parents, a few of my childhood friends know this tale personally. The opening scene is brutal and heartbreaking as you see just how heavy a hand life has deal Apple. In fact, Vanessa's performance as Apple makes her unrecognizable, when she came in the theater for the Q & A, I wasn't sure the woman on the screen was the same person sitting in front of me. As good as Vanessa's performance was, Rosario Dawson's was outstanding. The scene they have together in the hospital is one of the best I've seen in a film as you see Rosario trying to explain how she is doing the best she knows how to be Apple's mother.

As I watched the film I was completely captured by cast's performance. I felt all of the anger, heartbreak, fear, and pain of Apple as she went from a scared little girl, who only wanted to have a family, to a young woman and mother who would do whatever it took to be everything her parents were not. I felt the disappointment, bitterness, failure, and fear June felt when Apple was taken away from her. Though I felt the end was abrupt, it ending on an emotional breakthrough Apple has in front of her father- she realizing for the first time she finally has the family she's always wanted- I feel this is a powerful, well produced film. I feel not only should people see it, but the performances Vanessa Hudgens and Rosario Dawson give should be seriously consider for awards and accolades.
Kathy DiFiore was nice enough to take a picture with me. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Obligatory Post about New Year's Resolutions

I'm not really resolving to do anything this year. I'm making plans to travel more when I have time, pay down some debt, and in general be a healthier person but no list of things I plan to change. I feel if I hadn't made the plan to change my mind by now, I'm probably not going to change whatever habit I wish leave in 2013.

One thing I do every year is a cleanse of some kind. At the beginning of the year my church has a fast, A Solemn Assembly. It is during this week that we fast from TV, the evening meal, and spend more time getting to know Christ. The idea is to seek after God, get closer to Him, and start the year as you intent to spend it, putting your relationship with God first. In the past I have fasted from all matter of things:  solid food, TV, the internet (before Facebook), all social media (after Facebook), video games, worldly music, and  a few things I've forgotten. I usually decide on something I feel takes up too much of my time as of late. This year is no different and though I have cut back severally on my social media consumption, I still feel like I spend too much time doing no profit things. Some of these things would be any amount of time spent on Reddit, Tumblr, and Steam.

Before you vote me off the fangirl island, think about what you get in return for the time you spend on these websites. I might learn a few facts, feel like I'm part of group who "gets it", but usually I have no return on my time investment. I'm no closer to finishing any of the novels stuck in my head, no new creative ideas have formed, and no relationships have been fostered. This week, I'll be off those sites in an attempt to set myself up to use my time more wisely this year. I hope to have an outline of at least one of my novels by year's end if not more.

In addition to this, and fasting from TV consumption, cause I hardly watch TV on a TV anymore, I've taken up the 30 Day No Sugar Challenge. I was shocked to learned, after noticing how tight my clothes had gotten, that over the last six months I'd gained twenty pounds. I wasn't surprised because I'd picked up my bad fast food habit again before The Holidays started. In order to finally get back into some kind of shape, I joined a gym and decided to do this challenge. There aren't too many rules, but the ones I've set for myself go as follow:
1. Nothing with sugar as one of the first three ingredients
2. No sweets (So no dessert but fruit is okay)
3. Only one fast food meal a week
4. Only one dining meal a week
5. No alcohol

2014, let's get this thing going.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Two thousand thirteen


I first started to compose this post while I was in the shower. And like all my post that I start else where, only half of it remains now that I am able to type it out. It's very near the end of 2013, a year that seemed for the first time in a long time to take its full chronology to pass. Maybe it's my romance with nostalgia or all the Best Of post I've been reading on Buzzfeed, but this year seemed especially full. I wouldn't cheapen it by trying to say nothing important happened this year. I changed careers, became  certified teacher (in two content areas), say goodbye to some very good friends, said hello to others. I fulfilled a life long ambition to travel the world and returned home not so much whole as overwhelmed, full and more determined to achieve those "Before I turn 35" goals I wrote down so long ago.

I grew spiritually, something I don't talk a lot about because I want it to be evident not by my words but by my actions. I lead a small group at my church and out of all the teachery things I do, I think this one has never made me more happy and closer to God. Every time we meet, I am glad and excited I woke up and came to small group. Something else I fully embraced this year was drinking. I wouldn't have called myself a drinker before this year. Someone who enjoyed a drink every know and again, or did actually drink, yes, but not a drinker per se. I accepted that part of me and what I thought I would feel (shame, disappointment) wasn't actually what I felt. Relief was the first, strongest emotion, followed by happiness and boldness. I was glad to identify as one of those people who frequents a bar enough to know the staff by name and have a "regular" drink. I felt a settling deep inside me like my foundation, the very core of who I am, was being set. It felt great and only helped to make me feel like I am becoming who I should be.

I've never been a person who wanted a do-over in life. Mostly because I believe in learning from life and moving on but also because I don't like to live in the past. Looking back too much can stop you from living your future or even more dangerous, not living in the present. If I had the opportunity to life this year over again, I don't think I would change any decisions I made. I might have stayed in London an extra day, I might have taken that extra road trip to Austin or Oklahoma, but for the most part I would have lived life the same.

I thank God for giving me such an amazing year. It was fantastic and you know what? So was I.