Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Avoidance Technique

For Valentine's day, I went to my brother's house. We watched "Horton Hears a Who" and I watched my two-year old niece try to act the parts. See the video below--it takes her a minute.

video

When she wants to be, she's a funny kid.



She had this tendency to crawl behind the couch and get suck between the wall and the lamp. It took her about 10 minutes to get out, but I had a great time documenting:



I just don't know why they gave her that bowl haircut.

Monday, February 23, 2009

BOL

Stephanie
POP 'N FRESH

10:21pm
Natasha
Fruit roll up!

10:22pm
Stephanie
I was about to write "mack that cheese" but there are waaay too many possible innuendos we can run with that one.

10:23pm
Natasha
Aaaaaah!
that's such a good one

10:23pm
Stephanie
lol
tanks.

10:23pm
Natasha
you're welcome

10:23pm
Stephanie
maybe even throwing in a "Macdaddy" after it
you know

10:23pm
Natasha
that's good

10:23pm
Stephanie
"Mack that cheese, macdaddy"

10:23pm
Natasha
there is so much fun to be had with names of foods

10:24pm
Stephanie
even Teddy grams
grahms
nasty visual image if you split those words...

10:24pm
Natasha
we
ew
gross
you have a sick mind
I love teddy grahms

10:25pm
Stephanie
I must because even Google didn't come up with anything for "grandmas in teddies"
for which I am very relieved.

10:25pm
Natasha
Lemon Party

10:25pm
Stephanie
is that a food?

10:26pm
Natasha
it's a website where old men do things, sexually to one another

10:26pm
Stephanie
WTF
gives a whole new meaning to Lemon Bar

10:26pm
Natasha
Oh yeah!

10:26pm
Stephanie
Mmmmm, all that powdered sugar.
Not so powdery anymore.

10:27pm
Natasha
its ruined now
there's a food I can give up for lent

10:27pm
Stephanie
I want you to know that I'm enjoying this conversation so much that I'm going to paste it onto my blog so I can remember it forever.

10:28pm
Natasha
nice

Friday, February 20, 2009

Everything in Abundance

I feel sick. Queasy. Nauseous. Perturbed. Anxious. Indecisive. Unsure.

Undistinguished. And I need to pee.

For the past two hours, I've been researching grad schools. I have information about the requirements for Purdue, Fullerton, Northwestern, UCSD, Berkeley, and Cornell (in order of preference). I want to study linguistics, but if I go to Purdue, I would be more inclined to delve into their 18th Century Literature program.

UCI's website is really confusing and I should probably get more information about the English programs available at the University of Chicago.

I have many reservations about going to grad school and I kind of want to go teach ESL somewhere just to be active while I study for the GRE.

I should look up international grad schools. My professors need to get in touch with me because if I have to write something up for my Master's degree, then I don't think linguistics will be a right fit for what I have in mind.

I still need to pee.

Today, for a Sigma Tau Delta event, we went and read books to kids. I read one about a family who is very incompetent in handling their dog and another about a clingy girl and an adventurous bear called Corduroy.



I was much more enthusiastic than that voice. It was surprising how much I enjoyed reading to kids, given that I don't like them.

My dad thinks I should take a test to become a substitute teacher. It's $250, whereas the GRE is $150. I thought my expenses would be minimal after graduation. I also have to pay application fees for grad apps (at least $55 each) and the schooling deal for the ESL class is nearly $900 on one website. Hot damn.

I want to just stay in school, get BA's in everything but math and science, and get an editing job back at Tyndale. I could even skip the BA's and go straight for editing at Tyndale. I should email the PR lady and ask if there are any jobs available, even though the website has been bereft of career opportunities for months. Ok, weeks.

Stupid bills.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Will the Old Files Please Stand Up?

I found some treasures today quite by accident. My little brother is applying for college now, and I read over his purpose statement or whatever they're called now, and I just got off the phone with my dad, who brought to my attention that in my computer still lay the documents I sent in to VU that, consequently, got me in.

This is my personal statement essay:
A lot of people go through life trying to understand or figure out, in most cases, the meaning of life. There are books such as “Purpose Driven Life” to help one discover the purpose of one’s life; there are self-help tapes that try to convince the listener that there is a reason for life: humans are not the byproduct of decomposed fish, but rather, a miraculous phenomenon! Well life is a miraculous phenomenon, but not for the reason science would have us believe. However, I have discovered the reason why I exist. I was put on this earth for a purpose—as we all are—and my life will be different from another person’s life.
I have found that, although the destination—death—is always the same, the journey of life will vary from person to person. My ultimate purpose in life is to influence people’s lives by serving and helping them. It is that simple. I am to help people cross the street, put away groceries, fix dinner, set up furniture, and generally, to serve. After all, the most influential people on Earth served others! And that is my reason for living. I am to be Jesus Christ’s vessel and do what He wants me to.
Eventually, I will be a philanthropist. Yes, it will provide me with beautiful tax breaks, but more importantly, it will be the ultimate stage of my existence. I hope to be a world-wide philanthropist. In fact, I plan to go abroad and help people there, where people live off of dirt and dirt-like water and do not know any better. People are not meant to live in dumps and ghettos; they just do not realize that Jesus’ plan for their life is much more than that.
I feel fortunate to have learned what my purpose is early enough so as to not waste my life, pursuing things that would defer from my definitive purpose. However, I wish that I had stumbled upon this revelation before the end of my Junior year of high school. I feel that I have wasted three valuable years of possible influence by not participating in the Interact club earlier. It was fun serving dinner for St. Patrick’s Day to the elderly people of the community. And it was fun to do the Jeopardy game for the other schools in the San Jacinto school district! I am fortunate to have had experiences in my church that have helped to nurture my passion for God and to serve others, such as peer counseling and coffee-making. It is gratifying to watch a person transform after he or she receives Jesus Christ due the presence of God and serving him or her a hot cup of coffee, complete with the savory flavors he or she wished to have, and the right amount of whipped-cream to make the journey down the esophagus a smooth one.
The reality hits me, however, that one has to be very wealthy in order to help others for nothing…which is why I will pursue a career in Business Administration. There will always be a need for business, so it is a sound career. However, college tuition is rapidly increasing. A middle-income family can hardly afford a house, much less a college education. I know that it is possible to become a Chief Executive Officer after many, many years of climbing “up the corporate ladder,” but I am too anxious to fulfill my purpose and influence lives. I know that God only has good things planned for His children and that He will provide for my tuition according to His riches and glory. I give glory to God for all the opportunities I have had; it has become my lifestyle. I will not alter this lifestyle…after all, without giving Him the glory He deserves, He can take it all away.


We also had to write a brief statement of faith, and this is what got me accepted by an AOG school:

I am a bonafide believer in Jesus Christ and have been ever since I was six. Like most kids, I didn’t realize the seriousness of such a commitment and I felt disappointed because the Pastor said I would feel something in my inner being and I didn’t. I attended church regularly and have been involved in puppettering ministries, operating the sound board, active in leadership roles since Junior High, and even dance ministries. God began to feel nonexistent; not because of my involvement in church and lack of dedication to Him, but because I was so used to God and I failed to seek Him more and more.
In eighth grade, my group of friends was not so stupendous and they influenced me. I began to curse and stopped before I would utter the biggest profanity of all. I rededicated my life to Him that night and I cried myself to sleep when, again, I did not feel a stir in my heart.
I understand at least two things now: 1) God works on people differently, and 2) what I have now is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ instead of what protocol called for to become a Christian. For me, I had to train myself to listen to His still, small, quiet voice. I have had to learn to talk to God and let Him know what I need. It is a continual learning experience, and I must say that I am most committed. It is difficult for me to have put so much faith and emotion into something and just leave it. My relationship with God is no passing fade and I will defend it with my life.


Anyone else have theirs handy??

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coffee Break

I am working on homework at school, trying to figure out how to re-write some of my pages to turn into my professor who I have recently discovered is not married. Not only is that pretty upsetting, because I thought he had a wife named Susan, but I have been trying to get 5 pages out of my head for the past 4 days. I have a long-ass amount that I've written in a previous draft, but it doesn't work with the tone of my current pages-pages, by the way, I am partial to.

Anyway, it's been a really lazy weekend and I've only been dressed for the last end of the days, spending 13 hours (or more) in my pajamas before meeting people for homework. Today, I didn't put on a shirt. I just threw a sweater on and went. An old semi-friend came up to me while I was making a dent in my pages and started talking with me when I realized that I am in a public place in a sweater with no shirt on. Jump back!

This is the chunk I'm re-writing:

In the farthest corner, held together almost exclusively by the sticky substance of cobwebs, teetered a pile, stacked atop cardboard boxes and a daybed Bailey slept in when she was twelve, which was from that same period of her life when she discovered Van Gogh and his story about his self-destructive obsession with the prostitute he loved named Rachel, sending an ear to the woman in a fit of passion, or so she read on Wikipedia. Fueled by the idea of Picasso’s blue period, a concept she was infatuated with when she saw “The Old Guitarist” on a calendar on her seventh grade teacher’s wall, Bailey attempted a portrayal of Van Gogh’s ear delivery scene, which was poorly rendered, though multiple attempts would be executed, though none would equate the horror of the sample from the blue period.
As interpreted by Bailey, her blue period necessitated three different but equally limited and insignificant shades of blue—navy, pastel, and teal. The amorphous blob of the woman was a conglomerate swirl of the three colors holding the pastel envelope, out of which slid a navy blue ear. The distinguishing body part that depicted the difference between the severed ear and the blob were the distended eyes that were stretched enough to cover almost the entire length of the woman. The piece was her first attempt and reflected a conglomeration of melted paints, poorly applied shellacked covers, and abstract ideas of what a severed ear and a horrified woman would look like, all wrapped up in a blue background that had faded with time and attracted the ligaments of random, unfortunate insects. As it horrified Bailey and Bailey’s mother, Barbara, its permanent placement at the bottom of the pile was the best real estate it would ever get.
The three years dedicated to imitating Van Gogh’s blue period was appropriately marked by the toppling pile of more than twenty 10x15 canvases, and various smaller palettes, varying from 5x6 to sketches in blue ink. The maturation of Bailey’s periods occurred on her fifteenth birthday when Barbara’s sister, Polly, presented Bailey with an art book of the life works of Picasso.
“Barb, don’t worry,” Polly said to her sister. “She’ll grow out of it and you can stop buying so many blue dye tablets.”
Bailey didn’t make it past the chapter of the man’s cubist phase before she was cutting apart cube-shaped scraps of cloth and foil to piece together, forming collage after collage of distorted human outlines and bulbous carnivorous designs, which were only designated animal status because of the assortment of wildlife print scraps that gave them any consistency, but to say the image was wholly discernible would be a stretch of any imagination or ability.
In contrast to the hodgepodge and literal cube-like approach bailey took, she tried depicting Van Gogh’s story with the phase, making vague outlines of ear, woman, and envelope, giving most emphasis on the blood that soaked the ear, hand, and envelope. It looked like a fortunate, grotesque accident of confetti, but the piece was good enough to be considered in a local art fair. Bailey get interested in the fairs in high school, and was a continuous, crushing denial of what Barbara outwardly called talent and inwardly called economic failure, a view perpetuated by her art-less upbringing.
“Isn’t my daughter brilliant?” she would ask parents who had children in the same art class. Her constant comparisons to children who were still using charcoal and play dough was how other parents knew about Barbara’s trepidation, and the permanent place Bailey’s father took next to his daughter’s work to bask in what he thought was the epitome of creativity scared the same observant parents.
“I don’t know where she gets it from—certainly not me! Barb!” he would call across the room. “You devil, you. You slept with the milk man, didn’t you?” Chip would nudge the person closest to him, usually the art teacher, and grin. “There isn’t any originality like this in anyone in my family.”
Fueled by her mother’s masked approval and her father’s honest encouragement, Bailey’s cubist period was piled up across a bureau and littered the brown shag carpet of the basement in such disarray that it could have been considered art to the abstract critics of the time. Despite the many efforts of Barbara and Polly to shift Bailey’s perception of the world from the drab, formulaic cubist approach in which she resided, there was a change when Bailey’s father, Chip, thoughtlessly gave Bailey a bonsai tree for Christmas. Despite the non-tender and unimpressionable age of eighteen, Bailey was unmistakably taken with the knotted, erect, and impossible tree, which proved to be her muse for the next two years, in which she engaged in painting the realism of Southern California landscapes and strangers in the dusty, Palm-tree laden state, much to her mother’s dismay.
“Chip, why?” she lamented. “Why did you do this to me? What are we supposed to do with all of her crap?”
“Honey, it’s going to sell! Just watch. Look at her work—her teacher said that the composition and color use is above average. She has great ideas!”
The maturity of style with these pieces was noted in the crowded basement as they were mostly piled on the walls. Unframed, it was not the classy status Barbara would have preferred for any room in her meticulous and well-ordered house, but the fervor Bailey channeled to any phase she enjoyed was to the detriment of her art’s appreciation. Most of the hundred canvases were propped against the walls, and because Bailey would refuse the smaller canvases in favor of what she believed was making a statement with the bigger canvases, equaling 10x15’s or exceeding that, they quickly covered the small room that constituted the basement. Few pieces hung on the walls of the house, mainly because the clean, modern style of the house was not amicable enough to accommodate the realistic depiction of strangers—especially not the bloody and abhorrent version of Bailey’s new edition of the Van Gogh lover piece—the pieces that fulfilled the requirement held by modernism were placed in the kitchen and sunroom, where pieces of fruit bowls, the Nguyen backyard, and a portrait of Chip and Barbara were duly appreciated by family and friends alike.
“Chip, your daughter is so talented. Do you think she would do a portrait of my family, too?”
“Oh, you don’t want that,” Barbara would say. “That took her three weeks. We had to sit for how long, Chip? Four hours every time?”
“But look at the result—I would gladly do it again. She got me exactly the way I see myself,” Chip would counter. “She has great insight, and her art teacher always compliments her use of color and composition,” he would boast to the friend who wanted an original.
There seemed to be a natural progression from Bailey’s realism to her impressionism, which she had learned about it in college when she was twenty. Living in San Francisco, she had many opportunities to paint the period’s focus—a landscape as seen from behind a rain-pelted window. The distorted and smudged trees, people, and views of Fisherman’s Wharf were her best works, evidenced when measured against the ratio of sold works to unsold, dusty efforts, but there were plenty of remainders in the basement that were in boxes that surrounded the circumference of Bailey’s designated, if unused, painting area.
Bailey continued the impressionistic phase after she graduated from college, and the works she made were quite different from the pieces made in San Francisco. When she moved back home to Temecula, the notorious lack of rain caused a decrease in volume of works produced. The few times it would rain, Bailey would frantically work and later store the rushed pieces, both finished and unfinished, in cardboard boxes. The focus was one Bailey took advantage of, but the nature of blurry windows and views that are consequently as blurry as the window made one piece almost identical as the next, except the colors the landscape called for, the pieces were naturally more depressing than Bailey would have intended.

Blahfoodblahfatblah

I feel like I've been at 45 posts for a very long time.

Today, I think I learned something about myself. I may be a stress eater. I have so much on my plate with Synecdoche, Sigma Tau Delta, Spanish, my six classes, trying to write a 50 paged manuscript (ok, so seven classes), wanting to lose weight by going to the gym, stressing out about my finances (my goal is to pay off my credit card before graduation), working, and staying in touch with my friends and family. I love being this busy because I want to be on the move, but I find myself doing very, very poorly with my diet.

I go into the caf (sorry, Hannah--the Bon) and intend to have something good and healthy--a salad with some meat stuffs in it, or something like that. Then I see that there is the open burrito/taco bar and I make myself a burrito bowl much unlike one from Chipotle. The Spanish rice, refried beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, and little dollop of sour cream, followed by a spoon of chicken or other meat is something I love to eat with tortilla chips, or even pita chips.

When I am putting the food in my to-go box, I say that I deserve something tasty because it's lunch and if I eat something unhealthy early in the day, then it's more likely to get burned off. Then I get food for dinner, and it's another bad choice with minimal veggies, max carbs, I'm sure. It's a lot of bread, and even though it is whole wheat, I need to revert back to my healthy eating days.

The little mantra I used to tell myself was that I've been treating myself to nice little "somethings" my whole life--I can go without. Well, lately, with everything going on, I've done nothing good for myself. I'm not going to tell you how many sweets I've stuffed in my body because...well, here's my Sunday Fitness update:

Weight: 215.6





Fattyfattyfattyfatty.

Hmm. I don't know what to do. I should take up smoking instead. I need a new occupation that I like better than food that is free.

Friday, February 13, 2009

After Graduation...

Mental note:

Try to make some pictures like aknacer and rosie_hardy.

They are awesome, and I mostly like Rosie's pictures. Yes, I read about them online today. It's an adorable story, and her photography is very much the kind I like.

I'm going to be on Flickr much more often. Totally.

New goal: REALLY learn photoshop.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Black is Slimming on Slim People

I'm sorry.

It's back.


Weight: 214.8



I have bought into a lot of shit about my weight. My mom is big as well, and we have been overweight my whole life. She would tell me that if I could see my toes when I looked down, I was fine. That as long as my boobs were bigger than my stomach, I was good.



I can't even say that I look pregnant because pregnant people have the nice, smooth belly. I was talking to my mom this weekend about why we're fat and she said that she has just recently thought of herself as fat. I told her that we needed to let go of our misconceptions about the power of our fat.



We both had the impression that we were being ourselves. We thought that we were proving a point--that fat girls can be loved, too--that being fat, we would be able to find the man God has for us because he wouldn't be a shallow jackass like my father was (is).

I told her we weren't proving a point to anyone. We aren't doing anything good for ourselves by staying fat because it's unhealthy, and it's not as if we are happy at our dimensions.

I've decided that it's stupid to think that God will bring me a man who will not care about my weight. I've decided this a while ago, but I'm documenting it. How can I want a man who isn't shallow when I don't want to talk to people who look like they've never heard of shampoo before? And how can I want a man who doesn't want an attractive woman?

I want to be an attractive woman not because that's what the media tells me, but because I believe that what we look like reflects the way we feel about ourselves. Granted, it's expensive and I have no money, but I can still try to look better.

I want to look at myself in the mirror and see this change into something better:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Coffee Calls

Life,

I feel I need to remind you--you are my bitch. You work for me. You do what I want you to do, and you do not boss me around.

You just remember that.

Forcefully,
Stephanie

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A New Installment

I am here to introduce a new edition to my blog: Fitness Sundays.

Every Sunday, I will give an outline of the exercises and/or eating plans I have for the week, along with my current weight. By doing this, I am hopeful that my shame will spur me to shed my lard-laden body.

Starting today!
Weight: Wayyy the hell too much (214.8, without pants)
Height: 5'7







Hello, blog readers!
Upcoming week:
This week will be another busy one, and my friend is getting married on Sunday. I am the maid of honor. They are Italian. Fatness will be rampant!

I plan to counteract the horrible food choices I will be making on Sunday by eating through the food pyramid like I usually do, and be sure to NOT eat anything excessively. For example, I try to limit my sugar intake to once a week. For dessert tonight, I had an ice cream cone so that should be all I have.

As far as working out...I don't know what will happen. Maybe some DDR, added to my walking furiously around campus to go from class to class to work to class, etc.

Mmm. Yeah. Let's see how this works.

Welcome to the most embarrassing aspect of my life!