So again I’m copying an idea from Expat Mom. She did 57 random bits, which I’m not sure I can achieve, but I’ll try. Here we go.
1) So on the extradition of Guatemalan ex-president, Alfonso Portillo: it seems like the United States is actually going to issue an extradition order. But isn’t it curious that just as a US court is preparing the paperwork for his extradition, he gets sick and has to be hospitalized! Ahhhh what a lucky coincidence!
I discovered Mana when I was about eight or nine. Franky listened to them allllll day looooong! I honestly can’t believe they’ve been around for so long, and that I actually like every album they’ve made. Although I hate to pick “favorites” of anything, if I was forced at gun-point to pick a favorite band, this would be it. For those of you not familiar with them, Mana is quite the phenomena in Latin America and for Hispanics in the United States. You can’t attend a family gathering, wedding, birthday party, etc., where you won’t hear at least one Mana song played. At least. So it’s difficult to pick videos to put on here. Well…it seems that I can’t actually post any of their videos, so if you want to enjoy, you’ll have to follow the link :)
I’m not sure were it came from or how it started, but I’ve always had it. I can clearly remember being six or seven years old, walking down the aisles of stores or Price Club (that’s right, old school), seeing a typewriter and later computers, and feeling the need to touch the keys. It became a thing. Every time I saw one somewhere, I had to type something on it. Not just anything. My mom’s full name. A-S-T-R-I-D-D-E-L-C-A-R-M-E-N-B-E-L-T-R-A-N. Weird, I know, but I HAD to do it!
Many of you may have heard of a bestselling book a few years ago, “Three Cups of Tea.” I bought it online after seeing a random add for it in the online version of the LA Times. It seemed like something I would like. I’ll admit that the first few chapters were a little tough to get through, but once I got passionate about what this one man was trying to do, it was difficult to stop turning the pages to see if he was able to accomplish it! His idea was that what was needed in the Middle East was education, a lot of education. Greg’s main beneficiaries were girls who had so far been forbidden to go to school. Greg’s goal was to raise money to build schools for these girls, in remote villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan. These projects are all accomplished with the help of local community members: money is raised, but labor is provided by the parents of the children who will one day attend the school.
I’m officially 27 years old. Huh. Like most birthdays that pass, you don’t really feel “older.” What I do feel, however, is that every year my birthday gets better and better. I feel like the past two birthdays have been the best so far. I think one of the main reasons is because, as I’ve gotten older, I appreciate quality time with friends and family more so than going and drinking way too much :) The last two years, my birthday has been a week long celebration with different circles of friends, with parents, family, Jeff, co-workers, etc., and I can’t thank everyone enough for all of their attention and thoughtfulness.
I discovered Imogen Heap through Jeff (shocker!), when we first started dating. She’s amazing. I’m posting several of her videos because I like each one for different reasons.
For those random readers who don’t know too much about me, I come from a single parent home. Whenever people find out about this, they feel like they need to apologize for some reason. Thing is, I never met my dad, so there isn’t much to apologize for. Unlike those of you who lost a parent through divorce or death after having them in your lives for years, I’ve never known what it was like to have a dad. So how can I know what I’m missing out on?
Fortunately, I have an amazing mother and an amazing family who always stepped in where needed. My grandma’s been my second mom, and my uncle Louie was always available to join me for father-daughter elementary activities (thank you Louie!). As a young adult, I always thought I was pretty well adjusted for a single parent, only child. Maybe deep down I have some daddy issues, but thankfully those haven’t come to light much :)
I never thought much about what I thought as a child, and how that affected my mom. In my mind, I’ve always been comfortable with not having a dad around. A few months ago, however, my mom was cleaning out some stuff and she showed me a drawing I made when I was in first or second grade. It broke my heart to think of how much that drawing hurt my mom. I forget exactly what it said, but I had drawn a house in the shape of a heart, and I had drawn myself and my mom, along with a “dad.” I had written a caption on it to the effect that a family isn’t complete without a dad. Yikes.
Looking at that picture as an adult thinking of starting her own family soon, my thoughts were not towards what I felt when I drew that picture, but what my mom felt when she saw that picture.
Thank you mom for never giving up, no matter how difficult or hurtful the journey.
I have always wondered when it would happen. Although my mom and my aunts are satisfied with their jobs, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what they dreamed of doing or being. I’m sure when they were younger, they had dreams and aspirations of what they wanted to achieve with their lives. Personally, I think they’ve all achieved amazing milestones, each of them raising children through varies adversities in life, buying homes, maintaining relationships, etc. My focus here is more on career/professional dreams rather than personal or familial.
When I was in second grade, I remember an assignment (which I’m sure we all had at some point) where you had to draw yourself as what you wanted to be someday. I drew myself in a camouflage uniform (my uncle was a marine). I can still picture that drawing. Needless to say, that dream only lasted as long as it took me to realize that I would never be able to run a block without losing my breath.
Then I moved on to becoming a teacher. I think this one lasted all the way through highschool. I was fascinated by chemistry and biology, but I never thought I would be able to effectively explain these concepts to a classroom full of children. So I left that one aside. I’m glad I did this because once I reached college and met people that were actually pursing science degrees, I knew I would have never made it!
From high school on, I was fascinated with diplomacy and international relations, and international non profit organizations (focused on human rights and democracy). That one has stuck around for some time now.
My question when I see folks who are older than me is: what was it like when they each realized they weren’t going to get exactly where they wanted to go? I’m assuming we each have a time in our lives where we start realizing that the realities of life get in the way of the ideals you wanted to pursue, and you start to adjust to those new realities.