Monday, October 24, 2011

Poly-Tics. :)

Politics. It comes in two words. "Poly," which means "many"...
And "tics," which are blood-sucking leeches!

Fyi, I did not fabricate this joke. :) I got it from Christian comedian Taylor Mason. But it serves as a very nice introduction to this post...

I love politics. It's my life's blood (among other things). If there were no politics, there would be nothing to talk about, think over, argue, debate, etc. And I love debate.

I know politics can be a touchy subject for most people. And I'll admit, I can get pretty wound up in the midst of a heated discussion. The difference is, I can keep it pent up under a smiling facade so that nobody ever knows how I'm really feeling--and then go home and scribble about it later.

But to continue...

I watched the GOP Nevada debate on YouTube last Thursday. Very interesting. Enlightening, as I said to a friend of mine. I hadn't really been following the candidates until now. But I have to admit, my curiosity has been officially piqued.

Now before I go any further, I want to make clear that I am NOT endorsing any particular candidate at this time. Of course I have my favorites, but I seriously just want to make sense of all ideas rumbling around in my head. So without any further ado...

Rick Perry:

Don't know what to think about him. On one hand, he seems to have some really great ideas. On the other, he's not a very skilled debater, and his little tousle with Romney really lowered him in my estimation. A President has to be a politician in the sense that he needs to be able to exercise control his emotions. It's one thing to push your point; it's quite another to be obnoxious about it. I think his dogmatism really painted him in a bad light...more so than it put the pressure on Romney. So while I have no doubt that Gov. Perry has done some good for the people of Texas, I don't think America wants a time-bomb in the Oval Office.

Rick Santorum.
Seems to be an all-American family man. Not sure if he's the Presidential caliber we're looking for though. Almost seems too nice, if that's possible. He didn't get a lot of time to speak, but what he did say, I agreed with. The jury's still out on this one...

Herman Cain:
Well, for starters, I think he's a very knowledgeable businessman. However, I don't agree with his 9-9-9 tax plan at all. At least not from what they were saying at the debate. I do believe in a flat tax, but I don't care to be paying for "apples" and "oranges" at the same time. (Wasn't that a hilarious moment? I nearly died laughing. Let's see...how many times can we repeat the same thing without getting our point across? lol)

Mitt Romney:
Eesh. Slippery! That's all I can say. I don't know, Romney will probably do very well in the polls, but as a politician, I would be very nervous putting him in office. Reminds me of a cross between Bill Clinton and JFK. All charm and intelligence, but what's up his sleeve? One thing I will say for him though, he certainly can keep his cool under pressure. I went to one of his rallies back in 2008 and remember being very impressed by the way he carried himself. I think he has the look of a President.

Newt Gingrich:
Hmmm, I think I like him, but I'm not at all familiar with his career enough to say. Interesting what he said about a candidate's religion though. The moderator asked whether or not voters should take Romney's religion (Mormonism) into account when they vote. I thought Newt's answer was very poised and diplomatic and answered the question without coming across as too opinionated. Anyway, Rush Limbaugh seems to think he'd be a good pick...we'll see how he does in the polls.

Ron Paul:
I really respect this guy. He's one of the few who's willing to say what needs to be said without beating around the bush. At the same time, I think he's a little too radical. Which is why I don't foresee him doing well in the polls. There's only two things that I disagree with so far. 1) He proposes cutting defense spending by 15%. Bad idea, in my opinion. Even Ronald Regan knew that the most sovereign nation maintains "peace through strength." Secondly, on the issue of illegal immigration, I'm for building a wall across our southern border. I hope that Paul does well in his future career, but I can't imagine his views will be accepted by a majority of Americans.

Michele Bachman:
Okay, I know you're going to call me a feminist, but can I just say it would be really cool to have a female President in 2012? :) I mean, you talk about making history, let's make history. Not sure how she stands on foreign policy, but I believe she has the finesse, brains, and experience for a Commander in Chief. Lots I can say for this woman, but I thought her delivery was impeccable. I attended one of her rallies last year, and had the opportunity to ask if she would consider running for President. Though she gave me the round-about answer then, it seems I was right! ;)

Anyway, just something to think about. And again, please don't take my opinions out of context. Their just my opinions...and while this country is still free, I'm entitled to them! ;)

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Two-Faced Tango!

It's truly amazing the conversations that can happen around the table.

A few days ago my family and I were sitting around after dinner discussing--what else--cats!

Fyi...We own such a creature, and it goes by the names of (and I quote): Mocha, Moo, Precious, Precious Petunia, Baby, Schmucums [sound it out for yourself] Schmucum-face, and all manner of embarassing titles which I DID NOT sanction! Anyway, I hate our cat! Not because its mean, but because its stuck-up and endowed with far more attention than any animal has the right to receive.

But to continue...

My mom had been looking through a magazine we subscribe to, when she found a story about a two-faced cat. Literally, the thing has two faces, three eyes, and one brain. Here's the picture in case you don't believe me.
 
Our conversation went something like this...
Mom, who loves any and all cats, crying indignantly: "The poor thing! I'll bet no one would ever adopt it. But I would."
Dad: "You would adopt anything."
Me: "Yeah, like the tailess cat you almost brought home from the shelter."
Mom: "I don't love based on looks. I would totally adopt a cat with two faces."
Nick, who is at times the most inane, self-proclaimed "Moo-lover" of the house: "Mom, Mocha is two-faced."

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! The brillance of it. That has got to be one of the most accurate descriptions of our cat I have ever heard.

But the night was still young.

A few minutes later, having agreed to disagree, we got on the topic of dancing. Now for those of you  who don't know, I've made it my life's ambition to teach my brothers how to waltz. I know some of you are laughing right now, but c'mon! I'm not the only girl who wants a guy who can whirl and twirl me into his arms. My brothers are great guys, but I figure I'll give my future sister-in-laws a little extra bonus! :D They can thank me at the alter! lol

Anyway, we were teasing one particular member of the family who can't dance to save his life! (Teasing is a regular commodity in this household!)
--Right! You? Can dance? Give me a break!
--Hey, that reminds me of the show "So You Think You Can Dance."
--Wouldn't it be funny if you changed the intonation of that sentence?
--Let's try it!

Here's what we came up with. And just for kicks, I'll act it out for you. Ready? :P

Ok, here's the phrase normally: So you think you can dance?

Now, licking my lips, I cross my arms with attitude, snickering: SO. You think you can dance!?

Change. Now I'm the skeptic cowboy in an old, black and white Western, looking you up and down in a voice dripping with challenge: So, YOU think you can dance, huh? (Let's see ya do it then!)

BANG! You're dead. Scene changes. Now I'm the teacher calling on you before the entire class. My glasses are perched on the tip of my nose, and I'm glaring down your throat with that smartly ridiculing look: So you think you can dance! (Well, thinking isn't everything, you know.)

Change. Now we're on the playground, and I've got my finger pointed at you as I'm doubled over laughing hysterically: So you think YOU can dance?

Change. I'm the timid girl who nobody thinks about, summoning up the courage to accept the football captain's invite to prom: So you think...you can...dance?

Change. We're standing in a dark, deserted alley in the heart of NYC. It's two in the morning, and I say, rubbing my chin with my fist: So you think you can...*side long glance to my buddy standing next to me* dance?

The End. *bows* *curtsies* *catches bouquet*

Thank you very much, I'll be here all week! :D (10 points to whoever can tell me what movie that line is from!)

So yeah, just a little insight into the happenings of our home-life. And now that I've officially made a fool of myself, I'll bid you a charming adieu! :)

Hope you guys are having a great evening!

Monday, October 17, 2011

When Flowers Fall.

So I'm discovering very quickly...you can't take three Literature courses and not expect to feel some spark of inspiration! :) Today I was composing an essay when I a picture suddenly popped into my mind. I saw an old woman standing at a beach, dropping roses into the ocean swells. From there, I came up with the short story you're about to read. :) My class is studying theme, symbolism, and allegory right now, so fyi, this story is meant leave off ambiguously. It's not perfect by any means,  and the writing style itself is extremely different from my usual voice, but I hope you enjoy. :)
I'm not very romantic. But I'm sight of the ocean. That blue, sparkling, rippling vision that seizes my heart and draws me in. I cannot resist its gentle tug as I pull up to the sandy sidewalk, kill the engine, and step outside. The wind whips strands of hair out of my ponytail as the salty wind lathers my lips. It's about five o'clock. The sun is just hovering above the horizon and painting the sky a thousand shades of orange. I kick off my shoes, roll up my jeans, and walk off into the sandy wilderness, feeling the silken grains slip between each of my toes.
I walk, not knowing where I am going, up and down the rugged beach; sometimes jumping a wave or two, sometimes reveling in the way the sand clings to my ankles. What is it about the ocean that makes me want to sing? I don't know. Why does a gull soaring high and free pull the corners of my mouth into a smile?
I rub my hands over my face and feel a twinge of pain beneath my right eye. There's still some internal bruising though the purple color has faded green and the green to my normal skin tone long ago. Yes, the bruise has healed up nicely. And mom believed me when I said I had got it playing softball. I could always make her believe me. She didn't know--about him yet. And she never would, I'd make sure of that. The swelling hadn't looked so bad when I arrived home for the summer. That was the first time in my life I'd been scared to come home.
I sit down on the beach, sand filling my jean pockets, and hug my knees to my chest. There's a large boulder to the side of me and I lean against it pensively. Somehow the abrasiveness of the rock feels strangely comfortable, though it leaves funny marks on my arm. I stare out to sea just thinking, quiet, content in that summer way, inhaling the breeze and the accent of cold that signals night is on its way.
That's when I see her. All alone, tottering toward the water's edge.  She's standing about thirty paces from me, unaware of my presence. I'm glad she doesn't see me. I don't feel like talking to anyone just now. But she doesn't seem to want to either.
She stands with her small feet close to the water's edge, with the waves lapping at her shoes like a friendly dog. Her polyester pants have a perfect crease down the center of each leg, and I think she must have spent a lifetime getting them to look like that.
I look down at my jeans and t-shirt. Somehow I feel grossly underdressed. But of course this is the beach, so I'm fine. I look back up at her. She's fishing in her bag now. It's a large, paper brown bag, the kind you get from a small-town market. It's oddly shaped too, like whatever's in it is tubular and thin. I think it might be some sort of urn. Old people dump urns in the ocean, don't they?
I can see her frail and trembling hand reaching in. She must be about eighty years old because her wrist is shaking like a leaf. I squint my eyes, and half-wonder if it's her husband she's "burying." My eyes do a quick search of her left hand. No ring. Maybe it's in the urn. Then I tell myself to stop being ridiculous and watch as she pulls out a dozen roses instead. A gust of wind snatches the paper bag from her grasp. It flitters away in the wind. She takes a few painful steps to chase after it. But it moves too fast, and her legs are too frail. She resigns herself that it's gone, and I think perhaps that same bag will appear on another beach thousands of miles away.
I glance back at her. Her face is pointed straight out to sea, her eyes encircled in thick, plastic framed glasses, looking directly into the sun. She's blind, I think to myself. No one could keep their focus for so long. But I see that she's not, for anyone can tell her look is a deliberate one. She knows what it is she's seeing. And yet the dear old thing appears to be looking at nothing at all. She just stands there like a soldier at attention, receiving her orders from some invisible captain. Is it the ocean speaking? Or does she hear something in the wind? She cranes her head forward.
A rush of deafening noise catches me by surprise! I jerk my head up in time to see a black jet streaking across the sky. My heart is pounding hard, and I swallow a gulp of sea air to steady myself. I look over at her. She's staring after the jet, calm, quiet, and composed, as if she'd never heard anything at all. But I know she has, because all of a sudden, the wrinkled cheek begins to  twinkle in the setting sun. She is crying. I can see the shimmering tears slip from the corner of her eye and travel down her short, sagging neck, until they are absorbed into her shirt collar. She holds the roses very tightly now. Her hand is still shaking. I feel I should go over and help to steady them. But I feel I would be intruding upon some sacred ceremony, and so I stay put, a guilty observer.
Then sun has almost set now. It's half teetering on the horizon. I can see her blush in its warm glow, the pink rays overhead enshrouding her old frame. She clenches the roses tightly in her fist, and in the waning light, they look redder and than ever.
I watch as, slowly, she reaches for one of the bunch and lifts it to her lips. She holds it out before her over the rolling swells, hesitates for a moment, then lets it fall. I can see it rock back and forth at her feet before the tide carries it away. She does this eleven more times till a dozen, red roses are dancing in the water. Then she turns and hobbles back to up the dune. I hear the start of an engine. How strange I should not have heard it before. It puckers and put-puts out of ear-shot, and I am left with nothing but the evening sky and a dozen roses sailing out of the harbor.
©OrchardHouseScribblings2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

FINALLY!!!!

I got a job!

Today I followed up on applications I had turned in to various restaurants.

Well, one of the stops on my list was...well, I'm not going to say where. This is the world wide web, after all. :) But suffice it say, it's a fairly well-known business in a location convenient to where I live.

Anyway, I was greeted by the host, who referred me to his boss, who referred me to HIS boss! The lady that ended up giving me the interview was really friendly. And somehow, after a half hour of racking my brain, trying to answer questions intelligently, I was hired! Can I just say, the words "You've got the job," have got to be the most beautiful-sounding next to "I love you"? :D I guess "You won" also figures somewhere in that equation...

I'm SO thankful. I've been looking for almost two months with no luck. But God knew, and He picked out a better place with better pay than I had originally chosen for myself. AND. I still get to attend church Sunday mornings with my family!

I'm ecstatic. My first "real" job--and a rather nice one at that!

I LOVE FRIDAYS!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Words of Wisdom

Just finished studying Henry David Thoreau this week. For those of you who don't know, Thoreau was the 19th century Transcendetalist, philosopher, and Naturalist who wrote Walden. He is also the author of the famous essay Civil Disobedience.

Anyway, most of his work is not rooted in a Biblical world-view. However, some of the things he had to say are very compelling. I've enjoyed reading his work...when it didn't put me to sleep! lol Unfortunately, I made the mistake of misreading my syllabus and doing two weeks worth of homework in one...so I basically read all of Walden in a single week. Yeeah. Don't ever do that. Not good for your eyes, digestion, health, morale, etc. My brain, as for as Thoreau is concerned, has been reduced to mush! 

But I digress.

I wanted to write down some of the inspirational quotes I took with me. Some are humorous, some are profound, and others just pertain to my life as yet. Hope you glean from them as much as I did.

"...You can't kill time without injuring eternity."

"A student who wishes for a shelter can obtain one for a lifetime at an expense not greater than the rent which he now pays annually."

"Those things for which money is most demanded are never the things which a student wants most."

"...Don't play life or study it--live it!"

"We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate." (How does this argument fit with the concept of facebook, I wonder? :P)

"One piece of good sense would be more memorable than a monument as high as the moon."

"None is so poor that he need sit on a pumpkin." (I'm so going to use that someday!)

"Often the poor man is not so cold and hungry as he is dirty and ragged and gross. If you give him money, he will perhaps buy more rags with it."

"I never knew, and shall never know, a worse man than myself."

And then, my crowning favorite...

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

So true, so simple, so right.

Hope you guys are having a great day! And smile, 'cause tomorrow's FRIDAY!!!! :D :D :D

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Guys I Love Best

I’m so glad I’ve grown up with brothers.

Girls without brothers, you don’t know what you’re missing. See, I’ve figured out there’s only one thing boys possess that girls can’t: testosterone. :P

It’s what makes the world go round...and round...and round...and then round some more. Like a merry-go-round on rocket power! :P
My brothers are polar opposites of each other in almost everything. One is a run-way model, the other belongs on the cover of Sports Illustrated. One likes directing films, the other likes starring in them! One is quiet and reserved; the other is loud and passionate! One is a long-distance runner, the other is a football player/sniper! One is a fireman, the other’s a cop. One plays guitar, the other plays drums. One show his sister affection by complementing her hair, the other shows affection by pulling it! lol

I love these guys to death! They’re the reason, I’m tough. They’re the reason I’m girly. They’re the ones who will open doors for me one minute and be arm-wrestling me the next; the guys who are my constant bodyguards, personal entertainers, and—I would say cheerleaders, but that doesn’t provoke a very nice image, does it? :P
We fight with and for one another. We discuss deep issues and then behave like immature teenagers. They tell me how guys think; I show them how to straighten hair, and what NOT to say to their future girlfriends! They show me how to fire a gun; I school them on Jane Austen. They tell me their dreams, and I tell them mine. And as they get older, I realize I no longer have two younger brothers to keep in order—though both are now taller than me. I have two great friends.

Thanks Joe and Nick for being the awesome guys you are! And I don’t care what anyone says, you’re both WAY cuter than the Jonas brothers!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blow, Blow, and Blow Some More!

I have a new best friend.

He's so soft and soothing, always there when I reach for him, and each time I do, my heart does a leap for thanksgiving.

He's got a pretty cool name to. Wanna know what it is?

Yep, Kleenex has been my constant companion this week. We've had some terrific bonding time. :) To give you an idea, there's a nice, snowy moutain growing next to my bed.

Oh, the joys of being sick! lol I feel a new sympathy for any of you with allergies. I've been crying all day long--my eyes won't stop watering.

I know you guys could probably care less, but misery loves company, and this is MY blog! So I'm just going to ignore your rolling eyes and tell you how my day went. :) (And if you're my friend, you'll finish this post!)

Woke up late feeling like a tree had been shoved up my nose. Maybe the entire Redwood forest.
Blew my nose. Several times.
Stumbled downstairs in my p.j.s feeling like death. Got to the kitchen and blew my nose some more.
Greeted by mom with a cruel joke that had me soaring the clouds in ecstacy one minute and then crashing down into the depths of despair the next. Almost immediately, the guy who's refacing our fireplace arrived, and I bolted back upstairs trying not to be seen. lol (But as I was wearing in bright red p.j.s decked out in skiing penguins, I don't think I was very successful. *sheepish grin* They're Christmas pajamas, what can I say?)
Safe again in my room, I blew my nose.
Changed into regular clothes, brushed my teeth, washed my face. Blew my nose.
Came downstairs resembling more of a human being and ate my breakfast. Blowing my nose intermittently.
Went back upstairs and laid down with the laptop on my stomach.
Staring at a blank screen, wondering how I am going to compose my paper.
Reaching for the tissues...
Eyes watering...
Ker-choo!
Ah, ah, KER-CHOO!
And that's how my day went.
Now I'm sitting here writing...and I'm STILL blowing, sneezing, watering, dabbing.

Overall, I think it's been a pretty awesome day. At least my sore throat is gone, which has got to be the worst feeling of all!

Anyway, on a completely different note, I finally got around to watching Becoming Jane. It was pretty good. Surprisingly, I liked Anne Hathaway in it. Pretty romatic movie, too (minus one or two small things) and totally my kind of movie. They start out hating each other...
Then verbal volleyball turns to love...
 And they live unhappily ever after. :D
Anway, I should go take something for this congestion. Breathing happens to be important to me! lol