Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This how my sister and I communicate on Facebook.

Bethany Hagensen


             Bethany Duuude. We have 81 likes in common. We're like the same person. Except you liked Glenn Beck, so not really.

9 hours ago ·  ·  · See Wall-to-Wall

    • Angela LOL, that's funny! Well you like Adam Lambert, so we're even.
      7 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Invisible Life, Rachel McKibbens

Jimmy went belly-up in the mason jar
My daughter tapped on the glass with a slightly interested fingernail
I nodded my head
My son ran into the hallway to investigate
"Jimmy is dead!"
He said, in our best deathly duet
My son shrugged his shoulders
"Well, I guess he doesn't get to have a name anymore."
He stood there like a grade-school principle
Staring us down in the hallway
I felt like crying,
"You mean he doesn't get to be Jimmy anymore?"
I asked, because I really didn't know
My son, plump with pity, looked at the jar then me then his sister
then back at the jar,
"I'm sorry, mom, but that's just the way it goes.
When you die, you don't get to be anybody anymore"
And all of my unaccomplishments
wrapped around my skull like a rock fist
"Yes, sir,"
I said and peeled the gold Jimmy suit from the tiny skeleton
and draped it across the palm of my son's hand
"Goodbye, Jimmy." I cried,
my daughter rolled her eyes
"No." said my son, sternly.
"Not Jimmy. You have to say goodbye death,
and then say a prayer for the invisible life"

Rachel McKibbens is a poet and published author from upstate New York. McKibbens is the winner of the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam, the mother of five children and teaches creative writing and poetry in hospitals and schools to at-risk teens.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Photo blog!

I started another blog!
Not another blog!
I run around with a camera on hand almost all of the time. I see so many interesting colors and shapes in the my surroundings. In an instant, everything can change and there is an entirely different (but equally interesting, generally) scene to observe. It is usually not that my surroundings changed, it is usually that I moved and I am seeing the same things from an entirely different angle. I love to capture as much as I can, as all of these things fascinate me to no end.
Because of this, I have an obnoxious amount of pictures that need a home. Although I do post them on Facebook from time to time, it doesn't seem like quite the right place to keep putting them.
My plan for this new blog is to be posting some of the pictures I take every day. I have no idea how often I am going to be updating it; I think it is going to be a whenever-I-feel-like-it kind of thing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jellyfish, Andrea Gibson

"...Before you become my friend
picnic with my rubble
roadtrip with everyone I left in the dust
do the laundry from the last time I was loaded
how she found my trigger and we woke
with the sheets pulled above our heads
praying the mortician could make us pretty
None of us are pretty
but our ugly has an alibi
and our gorgeous has a baby sister
a sand collection or three harmonicas we keep blowing off
from that flute we carve from our wrists
Put your lips here
Tell me there is music in my blood
then tell me there is more in my light..."

At one point, I am sure that I would not have appreciated this poem. Like most people, I have this thing about feeling uncomfortable.
However, I've come to this idea that art and life are one in the same. Life can be absolutely breathtaking and beautiful; but it also can be arduous, difficult and lonely. I feel that refusing to acknowledge the sadness only pushes it down further, allowing it to multiply beneath our skin.
What I love about this poem is how well she captures the concepts of loneliness, failed intentions and escapism. Although those aren't themes that most people want to be able to relate with; I think most of us can.
Andrea Gibson is a poet and activist from Denver, Colorado. She is the author of four books, has self-released four CD's and won numerous awards including the 2008 Women of the World Poetry Slam.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Poetry Slam

I've recently fallen in love with Slam Poetry. It all started with a link to a poetry slam winner tweeted by my friend, Idzie. I then started browsing Youtube for more poetry slam artists, and I was just blown away.
Here are a few of my favorites.

Katie Makkai

Kate Tempest

 Lyla Johnston

Maggie Estep

Andrea Gibson

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

10 Veg*n Celebrities I Love

Paul McCartney

Ellen Degeneres

Tonya Kay

Jason Mraz

Daniela Sea

Jane Goodall

Ginifer Goodwin

Albert Einstein


Joaquine Pheonix

Natalie Portman

Friday, April 30, 2010

10 Things I Love About Being Healthy

In my dream last night, I remember that I was using crutches and tripping all over the place. I don't remember what the dream was about, but that detail stuck with me as I opened my eyes this morning. I wiggled my toes in gratitude that I have had the ability to walk for almost two years now (Will be two years next July). It's easy for me to get caught up in my day to day stresses that I don't realize how incredibly blessed I am. I was inspired to write a list of things I love about being healthy.

1. Using stairs
-Being able to use stairs opens a whole new realm of possibilities as to where I can go

Taking my dog for walks

Being Able to Work

Making Meals in the Kitchen

Being on Eye-Level with Other People

-From a wheelchair, everyone was usually looking down at me (unless they were especially short). It's so fantastic to look at people straight in the eye.
Free Hands

-I used to have really bad hand tremors and couldn't hold things still (I actually had to use braces 24/7 at one point). I love having hands that move freely without worrying that I will drop something or that my writing will be illegible.
Being Outdoors

-Wheelchairs are generally not conducive to uneven terrain. It's fantastic to be able to take a walk outside.

Going to Other People's Houses

-Most houses are inaccessible to wheelchairs (Something that I think should be designed differently when houses are being built!) and it's hard to visit other people. Thankfully, most public buildings are marginally accessible though. I'm very thankful for ADA laws, although I think they could be even better.

Being Barefoot

-There's nothing like feeling the ground under your feet.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Top 13 Favorite Artists

1 Howard Shore

Shore is an academy award winning composer, conductor, orchestrate and music producer. He is famous for composing the soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

2 Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh was a Dutch-impressionist painter who lived in the late 1800's. He suffered a great deal from mental illness, which is well reflected in his paintings by the colors, proportions, use of shadows and texture. Although his paintings are highly respected today, he was little appreciated in his lifetime.

3 Aaron Weiss

Weiss is a poet, painter, writer, musician and frontman for the post-hardcore band, MeWithoutYou. What I love most about his art is the unbridled passion, emotion and honesty contained in every finished piece.

4 Ludwig Van Beethoven

Beethoven was a German composer and musician who lived in the early nineteenth century. His hearing began to deteriorate in his early twenties, yet he continued to compose, conduct, and perform, even after becoming completely deaf.
He remains to this day one of the most influential and well respected composers of all time.

5 Andy Warhol

Warhol was an American illustrator, film maker, print maker and painter. What stands out to me most about his art are the clean lines, repition, symmetry, realistic proportion and vibrant colors.

6 Frida Kahlo

Kahlo was a Mexican painter who lived in the early 20th century. Perhaps the most interesting of her paintings are her self-portraits where she portrays herself from, introspectively, every angle imaginable.
Unfortunately, her art did not become popular until thirty years after her death.

7 Alex Grey

Grey is an American painter, installation artist, performance artist and sculptor with a fascination for the metaphysical. Themes of death, transcendence and bio-electrical energy are key elements of his paintings even from childhood art.

8 Pablo Picasso

Picasso was a Spanish painter and sculptor in the early to mid 20th century. His full name was actually Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. No joke.

9 Gretchen Ryan

Ryan is an American painter and illustrator. Her art consists of a stark contrast of realism and surrealism, giving her child beauty pageant collections an eerily beautiful glow about them.

10 Katherine Von Drachenberg (Kat Von D)

Kat Von D is a Mexican-born tattoo artist, painter, illustrator, photographer, musician, model, author and TV personality. She is well known for her life-like portrait and animal tattoos.

11 JM Barrie

Barry was a Scottish an author and playwright in the early 20th century. He best known for writing Peter Pan.

12 Christian Riese Lassen

Lassen is a Hawaiian painter who is famous for his abstract pieces featuring oceans.

13 Peter Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer who is famous for writing the music for The Nutcracker.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5 Ways to Use Your Brain Better

Because I'm hopefully going to college this fall, I've been reading about ways to increase brainpower. There was so much information, I was overwhelmed. I compiled a list of 5 things you can do to get the most out of that space between your ears.

Eat Your Omega-3's
No matter how much you exercise your brain, you are going to have trouble concentrating if you're not getting enough omega-3's. Omega 3's are a fatty acid that is vital for brain health as well as healthy skin and hair. An omega-3 deficiency can present itself as fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings, depression and poor circulation. You can get them in flax seeds/oil, walnuts, eggs and fish. It's recommended to take a supplement or take extra care in eating O-3 rich foods considering most people don't get enough by default.

Get Ambidextrous
Studies show that people who use both hands equally also use both sides of their brain more symmetrically, thus increasing concentration and memory. Along those same lines, swimming is an excellent activity for people struggling with dyslexia, as it forces both sides of the brain to work just as hard. You can start training yourself to use both hands equally by practicing writing with your non-dominant hand and using your less dominant hand for normal activities (As long as it's safe! Use your head.).

Read and Write
It goes without saying that reading increases intelligence. It increases vocabulary, spelling and concentration (not to mention the knowledge gained from the actual content of the book!). Also, people who read well tend to also excell at writing and communicating.

Get Active
Red blood cells are the vehicle that oxygen travels to the brain with. With each heart beat, 25% of that one heartbeat will go to your brain. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, asissting the brain in getting the proper amount of oxygen.
Also, physical activity increases endorphins- a feel-good hormone. This can be a powerful tool in combatting depression (In addition to other treatments, of course.).

Stress management is invaluable to the health of the brain. Stress is a primal "flight-or-fight" response, which triggers chemicals in the brain and body that, in a survivaly situation, could save your life. However, if these chemicals are always running around in your system, your body can suffer tremendously. Conditions associated with chronic, un-managed stress are; Heart Attack, high blood pressure, Stroke, Obesity, Insomnia, Ulcers, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Infertility, hair loss and many, many more. It also can affect concentration, memory and mood.
Try giving yourself at least an hour a day to sit down and rest. Whether you like to read, journal, listen to music or watch a sports game- just give yourself some time. In contrast to that, moderate to light exercise is also a great tool in managing stress. Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and aerobics are all excellent brain-calming forms of exercise.
Last but not least, make sure that you are getting at least eight hours of sleep! Your brain will thank you.

Links to check out!
Lumosity- This is a great website with interactive IQ-building games
Stress Management Tips- As its title implies, this website is full of great stress management tips that anyone can use!

The Mayo Clinic
The University of Maryland Medical Center
Fit Brains
Discovery Health
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Increasing Your IQ (No, I'm not kidding!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"You think that other people think there's something wrong with you because you think it."
-Byron Katie

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Faux Egg Salad

I ate out at a mediterranean restaurant with my mom last night and we had this really good taboule (The wheat sprouts might not be raw, but to my knowledge, everything else in the dish was). It was so good that I wanted to make it at home, but I didn't have all of the ingredients.
What I ended up making has no resemblence to taboule, it actually tastes more like egg salad. All the same, it's really good.
So, here is the recipe!

1 zucchini, peeled and chopped

3 cups of cilantro, diced

1/4 of an onion, diced

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup of cashews, ground

A handful of raisins

A dash of olive oil

A dash of salt

Mix all ingredients together and eat! Serves three or four.