Wednesday, December 30, 2009

can I get that in writing?

For the past few hours I have been watching TV and looking at's "Best of 2009" lists. One of the things I stumbled upon was a picture of Megan Fox and the tattoo she has on her shoulder. I am oddly fascinated by tattoos and their meanings, and this girl has a lot! Now, I'm not a huge fan of Megan Fox. I think she is kinda boring and, sure, she's pretty, but I thought that was all she had going for her. Even then, sometimes I don't think she is that attractive because she tries to hard.

When I searched for her tattoos on Google, I found a few different sites that talked about the meaning of each of her tattoos. I thought it was fascinating! Maybe I'm weird, but I really think that tattoos are cool if they have the right meaning behind them. Although the sites I looked at were all speculation and nobody actually knows what the meanings are, I liked two of the quotes that she has and it seems as though there is more to this girl than I originally thought.

"We will all laugh at gilded butterflies"

 According to my online research, this tattoo is a quote from Shakespeare's "King Lear" when he finds out that his daughters have betrayed him. One of the best explanations I've found for this tattoo is that a gilded butterfly only gives the appearance of gold, but is not actually gold. It is no longer useful and it loses its natural beauty. If you are smart enough (as, I suppose, King Lear was... although I have never read the play and am not a big Shakespeare buff), you will realize that appearances aren't everything and that sometimes there is much more than outer beauty (or much less!). For those of us who are smart enough to figure that out, I think it is justified to laugh at those who still believe that appearances of gold and beauty are everything.

Another person who posted their opinion on a blog called "Useless Things" believes that the quote means "I search for authenticity" which is a pretty awesome analysis if I do say so myself. The person goes into a deep analysis about the correlation with the Marilyn Monroe tattoo on one of Fox's arms, but I won't bore you with that. I do believe that the search for authenticity in Fox's line of business is extremely important. Authenticity is something that everybody should strive for, no matter who you are or what you do with your life. Very deep Megan Fox, very deep. (Not to mention that I just really like the way the quote is phrased, very poetic. Thank you William Shakespeare.)

 "There once was a little girl who never knew love until a boy broke her heart"

With this one, I didn't find anything too interesting about this, except that I like the quote. Apparently it is part of a poem that she wrote, and eventually got tattooed on herself. It is so true, though! You never know your full ability to love somebody until they are gone. A broken heart is the hardest way to figure out how much someone means to you. I'm not sure the meaning behind this quote for Fox, but I know that for me it would express the pain of being hurt so bad by someone I loved, but joy and happiness at the knowledge that I am able to love that much at all.

I have always loved tattoos with script, as long as the script is something insightful and meaningful to the person with the tattoo. I want one so bad, but I have no idea what or where I would get! I don't want to get one just for the sake of having a tattoo. I have some friends with pretty sweet tattoos, but nothing has come to mind for myself yet, so until then I will wait.

According to Fox, every time she gets a tattoo it's a little "Fuck You" to everybody who tells her not to.... interesting.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

i know you want pop

I guess every year a DJ named DJ Earworm puts together a music video of all of the top hits for that year. I stumbled upon this year's because it has been posted on people's Twitters and Facebooks. He did a fantastic job putting this all together. It's cool to listen to as well as see the music video.

Check it out!

If you want to check out his website, here is the link:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

what a WONDERFUL life

Clarence: Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he? 

Okay, so I know I already posted something about Christmas, but I feel as though this is extremely noteworthy (yes... even more noteworthy than Lady GaGa's "light me up put me on top" song).

Every year my family all gets together and watches the Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life". We all set aside time, sit down on the couch, pop in the VHS (yes, we only have it on video), pay close attention, and watch the movie. At the end we all make fun of Daddy for crying, but only after we have all wiped away our tears first.

That movie is one of the greatest movies ever made. The story line is fantastic. It is, at least for me, about the true spirit of the season. Even if you are not Christian, I think that "It's a Wonderful Life" is a fantastic movie. It is not even about Christmas at all! Sure, they have the decorations and stuff but the story is what makes it important. The way the movie makes you think, the way it makes you wish you could have the moon lassoed for you, and the way you can relate to the characters and the way your heart melts when George Bailey runs in his house after his great realization about his life and scoops up his children, kisses his wife, and realizes how amazing life really is.

That is what Christmas is all about.

I love this movie. I love this season. I love my family (even though THIS year they watched the movie WITHOUT me... but don't worry, I have it memorized. Maybe I'll watch it tomorrow night by myself).

Here are some of my favorite quotes :) MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

George Bailey: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George Bailey: Well, then you can swallow it, and it'll all dissolve, see... and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair... am I talking too much?

 Mary: Bread... that this house may never know hunger.
[Mary hands a loaf of bread to Mrs. Martini]
Mary: Salt... that life may always have flavor.
[Mary hands a box of salt to Mrs. Martini]
George Bailey: And wine... that joy and prosperity may reign forever. Enter the Martini Castle.
[George hands Mr. Martini a bottle of wine]

 Little Violet: [commenting on George] I like him.
Little Mary: You like every boy.
Little Violet: What's wrong with that?

 Little Mary: Is this the ear you can't hear on?
[whispering in his bad ear]
Little Mary: George Bailey, I'll love you 'til the day I die.

(last lines)
Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
George Bailey: That's right, that's right.
George Bailey: Attaboy, Clarence.

in the name of the season


I just got back to my house from our Christmas Eve service at church and when I signed on to Facebook, there were about 15 people with "light me up put me on top falalalalalalalala" as their statuses. Naturally, I had to look it up and see what all the hype was about. Apparently it's a Lady GaGa song. Of course, it's dirty.

Anyway, I thought it was funny so here is the video that I found on YouTube.

What is our society coming to?

Anyway, happy holidays!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009


I am finally back at home where I belong.

After 48 hours of buses, flying, cars, and only about 5 hours of sleep, I made it back home.

Daddy picked me up from the airport.

I saw Mommy at Church.

Grandma made me my favorite soup for dinner.

I fell dead asleep in my own bed at 9 p.m.

Today I got to get bagels with Katelin and it was wonderful to see her after 4 months of not seeing or talking to her.

I can't wait to see my sisters and the rest of my friends and family.

Next week is CHRISTMAS!!!

<3 it feels good to be home

Sunday, December 13, 2009

who said it's over?

Okay, I love the show Greek. It is on ABC Family and it is one of those shows with not so great acting, but I am such a hopeless romantic, it is just the kind of show that I absolutely LOVE!! If you haven't watched it, please do. Casey and Cappie are absolutely adorable and when I watched the Thanksgiving episode from this most recent season I actually teared up. Yes, that's right, I'm a sap. But it's so adorable!!  I know that TV shows aren't reality, I know that love doesn't always work this way, but it is the Notebook effect. You watch it and you just feel like at some point you will meet someone who will change your entire life and you will be so happy and you just know that you are supposed to be with them because you are soul mates or lobsters (yes, that was a Friends reference), or whatever cheesy love story title you want to add to it. Not kidding, this is adorable and I absolutely love it. Even in crappy times when I don't have someone to hold me or kiss me or whatever, even when I can't think of an ex-boyfriend who could become that one for me or come up with a potential future boyfriend who will make me feel this way... it still makes me happy to know that people DO have these relationships. They do fall in love and it does last and sometimes, people do mean it when they tell you that they love you.

Casey: I know where I wanna be in ten years, do you?
Cappie: I wanna be with you!

Casey: Why can't you find someone else who's perfect for you?
Cappie: Because no other girl in the world compares to you.

Casey: Yo know, Cap, I hope I didn't hurt you when I ended things
Cappie: who said it's over?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm feeling the way you cross my mind

Laura just reintroduced me to this song by Michelle Branch and Santana. Although it can be viewed as a romantic or love song, that's not how I'm "feeling it" right now. I'm feeling my friends in Spain, my friends at home and at Poly, my family, this experience in Spain, and just appreciating life a lot. Maybe I'm taking the song in the wrong context, but that's how I'm feeling right now.

Last night was an absolutely wonderful last Friday night in Valladolid, I had so much freaking fun! But now I get to spend the rest of my day doing homework and studying for finals. There you go - the highs and lows.

Anyway, here is the music video and the lyrics. I'm sure you've heard the song before, but I just thought it was wonderful. Thanks Laura!

Sometimes, I imagine the world without you
But most times, I’m just so happy that I ever found you
It’s a complicated web, that you weave inside my head
So much pleasure with such pain
Hope we always, always stay the same

I’m feelin’ the way you cross my mind
And you save me in the nick of time
I’m ridin’ the highs, I’m diggin’ the lows
‘Cause at least I feel alive
I’ve never faced so many emotional days
But my life is good
I’m feelin’ you
I’m feelin’ you

You go, and then I can finally breathe in
‘Cause baby I know, in the end you’re never leavin’
Well we’re rarely ever sane, I drive you crazy and you do the same
But your fire fills my soul
And it warms me up like no one knows

'Cause I’m feelin’ the way you cross my mind
And you save me in the nick of time
I’m ridin’ the highs, I’m diggin’ the lows
‘Cause at least I feel alive
I’ve never faced so many emotional days
But my life is good
I’m feelin’ you
I’m feelin’ you

[guitar solo]

I’m feelin’ the way you cross my mind
And you save me in the knick of time
I’m ridin’ the highs, I’m diggin’ the lows
‘Cause at least I feel alive
I’ve never faced so many emotional days

Oh, I’m feelin’ the way you cross my mind
And you save me in the nick of time
I’m ridin’ the highs, I’m diggin’ the lows
‘Cause at least I feel alive
I’ve never faced so many emotional days
But my life is good
I'm feelin' you
I'm feelin' you
I'm feelin' you
Oh, I'm feelin' you

Oh, I’m feelin’ the way that you cross my mind
And the way that you save me in the knick of time
Oh I’m feelin’ the way when you walk on by
I feel light, I feel love, I feel butterflies
I feel butterflies

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I am tired and ready to go home.

This experience in Spain has been absolutely wonderful, exhausting, ground breaking, eye opening, and anything else you can think of... but I'm tired and I miss my friends and family and I want to go home.

My time here is still absolutely fantastic and I go through mixed thoughts of "Wow, I can't believe it is already here! I feel like I just got to Spain!" and "Uh, I'm done now. I feel like I've been here forever!"

When I get back to the States I know that I am going to miss it here. I am going to miss the people, the language, the experiences, all of it. But I am really ready to start my life. I am ready to actually become someone, instead of just learning how to start.

I am ready to work hard at my classes, help out as much as humanly possible with Poly Script, cuddle with my friends, and go out and have fun with them.

Not that I haven't been doing anything here, but it's just that time.

I had a wonderful long weekend in Italy last weekend (read about it in a day or two on my other blog), but now I have to crack down on studying for finals. I have exactly one week before I will be on my way home.

It is so crazy to think about that, but I am relieved.

I need to crash. I need to get home, break down, get hugs, cuddle, relax, see friends, spend time with family... and just, as they would say here, descansar.

On that note, bed time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I know I haven't written in a while (hey, I've been busy!) but I just wanted to share this song with you all because we listened to it in my Spanish grammar class the other day and I'm basically obsessed with it and the rest of the songs on the CD. I know it's in Spanish, but the music is just awesome and it makes you want to dance and sing!!!!

I promise I will write more soon (maybe even tonight if you're lucky)! And some of my new posts will include music and videos and stuff because they are my new obsession.


oh... and this one by the same singer... "Pereza"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

oh Oprah

Funny thing from this website

They Do Have A Point
Movie Theater | Durham, NC, USA

Customer: “I want two tickets to Precious.”

Me: “I’m sorry, that doesn’t come out in this state until the 20th. It only opened limited in a few states today, but no theater in North Carolina will get it until November 20th.”

Customer: “I looked on the website! It said you had it!”

Me: “Please come inside to the customer service counter.”

(I pull up our website and the Precious movie website.)

Me: “See, both sites say that it doesn’t open here until the 20th. Sorry about the mix up.”

Customer: “But Oprah said it would be playing!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but Oprah has no control over our movie schedules.”

Customer: “Oprah controls EVERYTHING!”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

parts of yesterday get tattooed on your soul....

Ever notice how certain things instantly make you think of specific people for perhaps no reason at all? Or maybe there is a reason, but generally one that you don't want to remember. Things change, people move on, and you will never be the way you were before. That's all part of life. We all know that... but it doesn't change the fact that it hurts.

Recently there have been lots of changes for people from my high school. Girls I have known since I was 13 are getting pregnant. People who dated in high school are engaged. Boys who dates friends are becoming fathers. It is so scary. Maybe they are happy with those decisions. Maybe those are great decisions for them, but they aren't for me. It makes me happy to be where I am in my life. I am so lucky to be on this wonderful adventure in Spain and at least trying to figure out who I am, what I want to do, and meeting people who will be life long friends from this trip on.

I don't really know what to say about the ways my life has changed since I was in high school. But there have been many different things that have shaped who I am today. Sometimes I still miss the friends I had back then. Sometimes I miss the boys I dated or the parties I went to. But I would never ever go back to the pain that I went through back then. There are just some things that make me remember those people and sometimes I wish I could just pick up the phone and text those people and tell them that I was reminded of them at that moment. However, I can't. There is too much that has happened since then and lost of them are not my friends anymore because too much has gone down and we have hurt each other too bad. That doesn't keep me from missing them sometimes, though. That doesn't keep me from thinking about them or going on their Facebook pages every once and a while just to see how they are doing and make sure that they are happy.

There are things that I experience every single day that make me think of people from my past. There are certain songs, pictures, books, or experiences that will forever take me back and make me think of those people, and those memories are not always good. A lot of times, the memories are painful and make my heart tighten and make it just a little bit harder to breathe.

Anyway, I hope that all those people from my past know that I still think about them and care about them no matter how much has changed in our lives. No matter how many mean things we said about each other, no matter if we haven't seen each other since we were 18 and walked across the stage at graduation, or if we just simply lost touch. We may never be part of each others' lives again, but you touched my life in so many ways and I still think about you and wish the best for you.

This song, for some reason, makes me think of all those people. I heard it a while ago and I just love whenever it comes up on my iPod. I hope you enjoy it too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My exciting life

(847): So I am drinking whiskey and watching home alone 2 by myself. It turns out moving to a foreign country isn’t all that different after all.

This is actually surprisingly relevant to my life (minus the alcohol) considering I am sitting in my bed, watching online TV, drinking hot chocolate, and eating Oreos and peanut butter.

Apparently I live a very uneventful life no matter where I am in the world.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Have you ever gone back and thought about shows that were on TV when you were younger, but you never watched? Or maybe you did watch them when they were first on TV, and now they are back as reruns and it is nearly impossible to ignore them and change the channel or turn off the TV. I do that all the time.

Recently, I have been watching the terrible 90's soap opera "Dawson's Creek." I mean, this show has terrible acting, ridiculous story lines, and is right up my alley. Anybody who knows me knows that no matter what show I start watching, I get addicted. So, I am about three quarters through the first season, and even though I can't handle the acting and the characters, I can't stop watching it. Now, I wouldn't necessarily recommend the show to anybody, but then again, if you're looking for a show to get addicted to, check it out.

Dawson's Creek.... 90's soap opera
Joey, Dawson, Jen, Pacey

The boys in the show aren't even that attractive! At least they weren't when the show was filmed. Now, however, the main characters haven't done too bad for themselves.

Michelle Williams (Jen Lindley)

Joshua Jackson (Pacey Witter)

Katie Holmes (Joey Potter)

James Van Der Beek (Dawson Leery) ... he also happened to be in one of my favorite shows of all time: One Tree Hill. I have to say, he is much more attractive now than he was on Dawson's Creek.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Color of Confidence

I am sitting in the Valladolid train station waiting for my train to leave at 12:40. I have been meaning to write this entry for a while, but I never seem to have the time.  Although I don’t have internet at the moment, I will save this as a word document and then copy and paste it to my blog.

One of the first things I noticed when I got to Valladolid was the color red. Us girls were sitting on the bus that had brought us from Madrid to Valladolid, and we were looking out the windows at our future Spanish Mamás. There was one Mamá with super cute red shoes and a red purse to match. She was my mamá.

That day she toured me around the city. We took the bus, walked around, and she showed me everything that I needed to see in order to survive in this city. Once again, one of the things I noticed was the color red.

Red is everywhere in this city. Women wear red shoes, they have red jackets, red purses, women and men alike wear red pants, even as I’m sitting here waiting for my train, at least three people have red suitcases. What is it about this color that calls out to people? Why do all these Spanish women (and men) have such a fixation with the color?

It’s not just because the color has so many beautiful shades and is such a fashion statement (although that’s a definite bonus). It’s because red is the color of confidence.

Maybe red doesn’t scream “confidence” to you. Maybe you think the color of confidence is blue, or yellow, or green. There is one thing that all of these colors have in common though. Each of these colors is going to catch your eye. Each of these colors is going to cause people to turn their heads and watch you.

I’m sure everybody has experienced this sensation: You wake up in the morning and decide that you are going to put just a little bit more effort into getting dressed. You put on your favorite pair of jeans and a cute shirt… not just the default Hanes white-t that you normally gravitate towards. Maybe you also put on a cute pair of boots or the adorable sandals you bought the other day. What is missing though? Looking a bit better than you do on other days isn’t going to turn heads. Lets face it, that is your goal, right? You want to make people notice you. You want to show them that you have self respect, self esteem, self awareness, and self confidence. When you want people to notice, what do you do? Wear a bright color! No matter if people normally notice you or not, bright colors always catch people’s eyes.

This is why the color red says “confidence” to me. In order to wear red you need to have a certain level of confidence. The color red is what causes people to turn their heads and stare at you. If you are uncomfortable with people looking, you’re not going to wear a color that stands out in a crowd; you are going to wear a color that makes you blend in and fade to the background. Red does just the opposite.

Red is the color of confidence because it says “look world, I’m here and I’m not afraid to be noticed!”

Red is the color of confidence because it is noticeable, and who can make a difference if they fade to the background?

Unfortunately, I am not confident enough to wear red. Yeah, I’ve got that pair of Jessica Simpson red stiletto high heels in my closet. I’ve only worn them once. In high school I had a red Abercrombie sweatshirt that I wore, but I stopped wearing it well, mainly because it was Abercrombie, but also because I didn’t like the way it made me feel like I was the person who was standing out in the crowd. In fact, just yesterday I returned a pair of red flats to the shoe store because I couldn't see myself wearing such bright colored shoes.

I’m working my way up to the level of confidence that will allow me to be the girl in the red shoes and red jacked who catches everyone’s eye. I’ve been paying attention to the red jackets that all the women here wear. Maybe I’ll get one and wean myself away from the mentality that I shouldn’t stand out. Maybe I’ll buy a pair of red shoes that I can wear with dark jeans and a black t-shirt so that just my feet stand out (no pun intended).

Maybe, by the end of this trip, I’ll have the confidence to wear red, strike up a conversation with the cute boy across the aisle on the bus, or stand out in a crowd.

Until then, I’ll sit here in my (super cute) dark grey pea coat and bright teal scarf, hoping I don’t stand out.

But wait… if everybody else is wearing red, and I’m wearing teal, does that mean I am the one who is standing out, not them? Maybe I have more confidence than I think.

I think it takes a certain level of confidence for someone to fly halfway around the world and live in a foreign country for three months. It takes a certain level of confidence to not just learn, but want to learn how to communicate in a language that you weren’t raised speaking. I don’t quite have that confidence yet. It still scares me to death to walk into the grocery store and talk to the lady at the checkout, to communicate with the lady at the cell phone store because Maryn lost hers and can’t figure out how to get a new one, or to talk to my mamá and be able to actually carry on an intelligent conversation without stumbling on my words. Yeah, that all takes confidence and I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working on it. I guess that is one more thing I will add to my list of things to accomplish before I leave Spain.

¿Y tú? What is your color of confidence? What color or accessory do you wear when you want the world to know that you are there and ready to be noticed?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Must Have Done Something Right

We should get jerseys cause we make a good team
But yours would look better than mine, cause you're outta my league
-Relient K

Dunno who that is for, but I just liked the lyrics!

Friday, October 2, 2009

wonderful journey

The Beginning- Anastasia

The past week has been a wonderful beginning to the long journey ahead of me. I know that our entire life is a journey, and I have experienced 20 (sometimes wonderful, sometimes not so wonderful) years of that journey, but for some reason I feel like I have just begun to live.

I spend a lot of time being afraid of the things around me. I'm afraid of new experiences. I dwell in old occurrences. I  worry about losing friends, about changing relationships, about being on my own, and about never figuring out who I am and what I am supposed to be.

My time in Spain has already been so eye opening for me. Even though I have only been here for a week, it feels like my entire world has changed. I am finally growing into the person I know I can be. I am trying new things like living half way around the world from my family in friends, eating things like FISH and TOMATOES (I know, I know... no big deal, right? Well it is for me!), and traveling by myself.

The people on this trip with me have been so amazing. I really lucked out with the people who came to Spain from Cal Poly. Although I have not had time to get to know the guys very well, the girls have been especially amazing. They have opened my eyes to so many new things and they have showed me so many different ways of thinking.

I have spent most of my time with about seven other girls. It is interesting to me that most of them have boyfriends. Even more fascinating, though, is that all of their relationships have so much ground in God and what He wants for them in their lives. They all truly feel His presence and live their lives for Him; something I have never experienced... ever.

I follow Natalie and Tiffany's blogs. I have been reading Tiffany's, but I just started following Natalie's today. Her ability to talk about her relationship with God is amazing to me! I wish that I was that passionate about something in my life. For me, it doesn't have to be religion. It doesn't have to be spiritual. It just has to be something that makes me feel alive and ready to live to my full potential. Something that makes me want to stand on top of a mountain and say "Look world, I am Rachel and I have something to contribute!" So far, I don't feel that way.

In my conversations with Natalie, Tiffany, and Hanna (not so much the other girls yet, just because I haven't had the chance), it has become apparent to me that I admire their faith so much. Like I said, not just because it is religious, but because they have something to support them in their best moments, but also in their worst. They have somewhere to turn and an amazing bond with God to get them through everything that He hands to them. How do you develop faith like that? How do you find something that makes you so passionate and love life so much?

On our way from Madrid to Valladolid I had a wonderful conversation with Hanna. It started out with her asking me questions about my life, my family, my beliefs... and it turned into us sharing about literally everything that came to mind. The conversation really opened up my mind to different things about my life that I miss, that I want to change, and that I would like to continue working on.

Hanna's first question to me was "Who, in your life, do you look up to most?" I told her, and she said "Why?" It really made me think... and not in the same way that you would if you were writing about that for a class essay or something. Like, I really thought about what she was asking me. She then asked about my family and asked about different things in my parents and my sisters that I admire and look up to. She asked about different things that I would like to take from them, and evolve within myself. I asked her about her faith and about how she became such a strong believer in the Christian God because she was not raised that way. I asked her about her boyfriend and about people she looks up to. She told me about her older sister who seems like a wonderful person.

Hanna, if you're reading this, I absolutely LOVED that talk we had. I loved that you could share with me and tell me things about yourself that I would have never guessed. I loved that I could talk to you and not feel judged, or like you thought less of me after sharing my beliefs. I loved that I could see, hear, and feel your passion about every single thing you said to me. I can tell that you are a wonderful friend and I look forward to getting to know you better and hearing more about your relationship with Kevin, your family, God, your friends, and anything else you want to share with me.

I wish that I could have talks like this with many other people. So far, I have only found a few people in my life who I can really share things with. That conversation with Hanna was one of the most genuine conversations I've had with someone.

I hope that I can continue to have conversations like that with the people I am in Spain with. To all the girls I am becoming friends with, I really do cherish you girls and I can't wait to get to know you guys better. To the boys... I hope we can get to know each other better too. To my friends at home, I miss you guys and I can't wait to come home and share my experiences with you. To my family (sisters, parents, cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.), I miss you all as well and I hope you can send me e-mails and keep me updated on college, sports, recitals, and life.

One day, I hope to find something that makes every day worthwhile. I hope to find something, or someone, who makes me feel so passionate about life the way the girls on this trip have.

With that, I will leave with a final thought for you to respond to. And I would truly like to hear what you have to say. This thought (or thoughts) has evolved from my experiences thus far and the people I have encountered.
1. What are your passions? How old were you when they developed? How do you fulfill your passions in every day life?
2. Do you believe in God? If yes, what makes you certain he is watching over you? How do you feel him in your life? If no, has something happened to make you stop believing, or have you never felt Him? Do you believe in something or someone besides God?
3. On your toughest days, what helps you get through?
4. If you had to choose certain characteristics that you admire from each of your immediate family members, what would they be?
5. Who do you admire most? Why? What is something you don't like about the person you admire (simply because, well, nobody is perfect)?

Of course I would love to hear your answers to those questions... if you decide you want to share with me, write me a message, post a comment, whatever. Tell me about all of your answers, tell me about one of your answers, tell me about none of your answers. They are to get you thinking and reflecting the same way I have for the past week or so.

Normally I would apologize for how long this blog is. But I am going to work on not apologizing. This blog is mostly for me. If you want to read it, WONDERFUL! I'm so glad. If you don't, then you won't even get this far in this post, and there is no point in me apologizing anyway. I appreciate being heard, I appreciate your thoughts, but most of all, I appreciate your support and the love that I feel from my friends and family.


just to clear things up...

I know that my blogs are slightly confusing for all of you who are reading them, so I will explain the difference between the two.

Thinking Out Loud: this one is mainly for my thoughts, feelings, random ideas, reflections, etc. It is a way for me to journal without needing to sit down with my physical journal, take out a pen, and write. Typing is so much faster than handwriting everything, I get frustrated when I sit down to write and then my hand gets cramped up. It is also a way for all you guys out there to see what I am thinking, when I am thinking it, and to tell me what my ideas have made you think about.

Rachel en España: this one is for me to post pictures, tell about different activities and travels, and inform the world of my experiences in Spain. My sister gave me the idea when she went to Hungary last year. Many students send out mass e-mails to everybody they know, filling them in with their experiences. This is an easier way to do that. You can read my blog whenever you have time, or you can choose not to. It won't stuff up your e-mail message box, and you don't have to download the attachments of pictures, etc. because they are all posted right there.

Yes, I will be writing in both these blogs, but they will be about different things. Rachel en España is most like a recollection of things I have done each day. Thinking Out Loud is more like a thought jar... somewhere for me to put my thoughts of the day, the week, the hour, etc. Thinking Out Loud may repeat some of the things from Rachel en España, but I will not post (in excess) about my travels. Most likely I will not post pictures here, etc.

In any case, if you read my blog, once again I thank you. Please keep reading both of them. Leave your thoughts. Tell me your ideas. Share your beliefs. That is what I am here for. This blog is mostly for me, but it is also for you too. If you don't like something I say, TELL ME! If I spell something wrong, CORRECT ME! If you disagree with my opinion, SHARE YOURS! I love to hear other people's experiences and listen to what they have to say.

Whether you are in Spain, London, Italy, California, New York, Chile, Argentina, Russia, or Mars.. I appreciate your thoughts.

I love you for reading my blog, and I hope you love me for writing it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm "RT-ing"

Okay, it is 1 in the morning in Spain but I still need to take the time to check all my important websites: Hotmail (parentals use that one), Facebook, Blogger, and, por supuesto, TWITTER! (I should add my bank account and My Cal Poly to that list... but for some reason money and grades aren't super important right now).

Anyway, this was on somebody's Twitter updates and I am being "that girl" and re-posting it. Just not on Twitter... because that would just be silly ;)

Read this... if you Tweet, you will laugh. If you don't Tweet, you will scoff, and then laugh. I liked it and found it humorous.

Blogging and Twitter... what great ways to spread the word about things that are important, funny, lame, boring, thoughts, experiences, etc. A mi, me gusta.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

leaving on a jet plane


I can't believe this trip is finally here. I am all packed and ready to go. I had a little bit of a freak out this morning about the fact that I packed WAY too much stuff, but my dad calmed me down and helped me think rationally about what I have packed. I pulled out a few things that I knew I wouldn't wear, but I still have a ton of stuff.

I am checking two bags (a large suitcase and a smaller suitcase) then I have my backpack and a duffle bag to carry on to the plane. The only reason I have the duffle is that I'm scared to death that they will lose my luggage (apparently British Airways is notorious for losing baggage), so I packed an extra pair of clothes just incase that happens.

Unfortunately I have been a bit under the weather the past few days. Last night I had a fever of 100.2. It is a good thing I went to China earlier this summer because if I was going now, I would be quarantined and I wouldn't be allowed in the country! When I woke up this morning, my dad gave me three different types of drugs so that I would feel okay and not be completely miserable. As of right now, I'm feeling okay (only a bit drowsy because he gave me Benadryl to help with allergies I think... he said I would just have to fight through the sleepiness).

I am going to miss all of my friends so freaking much while I'm gone. They have been extremely supportive, though, and I am excited to share all of my stories with them when I get back.

Before I left, Kat and Nikol gave me a going away package. They didn't have to, but it was so sweet of them. The package had a few "survival" things in it - y'know, a shot class, a teddy bear, photo albums, underwear, and notes from each of them. Somehow that care package made everything okay. Thank you so much girls, I love you and I will miss you.

This is getting a little long, and I still have a few things to do, but I just have one final thought. I have another blog that I was planning on using while I'm in Spain. I will be writing in there a lot (I think) and posting pictures. I will also be writing here, but I haven't quite figured out how I'm doing to do this. If you want to hear about my adventures, read this blog as well as that one. Also, e-mail me and I will try to e-mail you back! I'm not sure what the internet situation will be, but I will somehow find ways to communicate back home.
Link to my other blog:

One final note before I sign off.... HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY KAT!!! I love you and I miss you and I'm really sad I can't be there to celebrate with you... but you know what to do :) I am sending you birthday hugs!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

cute date ideas

I was just stumbling ( and I came across this super cute list of date ideas. There are some for people who don't have any money, and there are some for people for whom money is not an option. I thought they were super cute so I decided to copy and paste the ideas here. Thank you so much "oncealways" for posting these online.

1.    Go on a search for as many good climbing trees as possible, climb as high as you both can in all of them, compile photo evidence
2.    Go to a major chain bookstore, and leave notes to future readers in copies of your favorite books
3.    Have her dress up as a ghost and you dress uup us Pacman. Walk around downtown holding hands, and whenever anyone sees you two, pretend to be embarrassed, and run off screaming “wocka wocka wocka.”
4.    Create photo evidence suggesting that you went on an adventure that didn’t really happen
5.    Dress up as superherous and stop at least one petty crime “ie. jaywalking, littering….”
6.    Build forts out of furniture and blankets, and wage war with paper airplanes.
7.    Try and visit as many people as you can in one night, and turn as many things inside their apartment upside down as you can, without them noticing.
8.    Go to the airport, get the cheapest, soonest departing flight to anywhere when you show up, and stay there for a weekend.
9.    Write a piece of fiction together. Outside at a cafe. Ask strangers when you get stuck.
10.Dress to the nines, pretend to be married, and test drive very expensive vehicles at an auto dealership.
11.Do the lamest tourist thing in your area that you have both secretly wanted to do forever. Have an unabashed good time!
12.In the middle of the night, drive to the beach, so you arrive just as the sun is rising. Have a breakfast picnic, then fall asleep together. Bring a sun umbrella.
13.Drive somewhere unknown and have dinner in a city you’ve never been to. With fake names.
14.Go to a minor league baseball game under the stars. Tell each other stories about how bad you are at athletics. Randomly cheer for both teams. Eat lots of Cracker Jacks.
15.Go around the city with sidewalk chalk and draw hearts with equations inside on random things
16.Walk around a city and perform short silent plays in front of security cameras
17.With camera and pair of boots, make photolog of a day in the life of the invisible man.
18.Walk around the city all night and find a place to eat breakfast at dawn 
19.Go to a restraunt and convince the cook to create something completely new for you.
20.Rent a movie you’ve never seen before. Set on mute and improvise dialogue.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the time of my life

So, another famous person died this year.

Patrick Swayze passed away today from pancreatic cancer. (Read the story here) I know he has been sick for a long time, but it is still sad. Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies of all time and I think Swayze was a wonderful dancer. He was inspirational.

I know that I didn't know him personally, but my heart goes out to those who did. It is sad that he died so young. I hope someday soon we are able to find a cure for some types of cancer. I have had some people in my family diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and luckily we have been able to catch it early. Unfortunately, some people, like Patrick Swayze, are not so lucky.

Monday, September 7, 2009

jam packed but wonderful weekend

So this weekend has been slightly crazy.
First, Thursday was a lot of fun with the roomies, their bfs, and mike.
Then Colin came to visit on Friday night which was nice but I was sad that I didn't get to spend a lot of time with him; I had work at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday so I went to bed pretty damn early.
Third, my mom and Liana (as well as my mom's dog, Toby) came to visit on Saturday and stayed until this morning. On Sunday I took them to Forever 21 (which Liana loved) and then we went to Santa Maria and I got new glasses at Lensecrafters. They look so cute! I also took my mom to Pita Pit for lunch and Corner View for dinner. We all slept in my room which was a bit crammed, but still nice. I will miss them when I go to Spain.
Finally, Steph S. moved in to the house this weekend. We spent some time today getting her situated and putting her clothes in the closet etc. I am really looking forward to her being here so that I can get to know her better. She's very nice!!!

One thing that I did with my sister and my mom while they were here was to watch some YouTube videos. My mom had sent me an e-mail a while ago with a video attachment. I hadn't watched it yet, but I'm glad she showed it to me because it was so cute. You know flash mobs? It is kinda like that, but in Belgium. It is my favorite flash mob video I've seen.

(If you don't know what flash mob is, watch this video then look up "flash mob" on YouTube.. love it!)
Its like an actual, real life musical. I really really want to put one of these together. I think it would be so fun and epic. A great story to tell. If only we lived in musicals all the time

Thursday, September 3, 2009

my new love

Okay, so the new love of my life is Niall Matter. He is the bartender on the show "The Best Years" and he is sooooo cute. Wonderful <3

Monday, August 31, 2009

23 days and counting

My flight for Spain leaves on September 23. That gives me 23 days to figure out everything I need, prepare myself for this adventure, and pack. This afternoon I was the only one home so I got a few things done. Well, some of them were done yesterday/a few days ago, but its the same idea.

1. I moved everything from my HP laptop to my external hard drive so that I can take my laptop in to Best Buy and get the hard drive cleared off so that I can sell it on Amazon, Cragslist, Ebay, etc. If you are interested in buying it, let me know!!

2. I mailed the text book that someone bought from me on Amazon. I only got $10 commission for that one, but hey, it's $10 more than I had before!

3. Informed my employer that I will not be here for fall and filled out my leave of absence form for F21 so that I can return in the winter (hey, I'm gonna need money then too!)

4. Looked up flight prices for travel to visit Katelin in Texas in February or March ($100 on Southwest!!)

5. Made a packing list for Spain. It is pasted at the bottom of this post. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read through this and let me know if I am forgetting something (or just say "list looks good" if you can't come up with something else). It would definitely be bad if I forgot something. Please do that for me, it would be a HUGE help.

6. This isn't something that I've done, but I need to post the free printer and free iPod touch I got with my MacBook on Amazon or EBay. Once again, please let me know if you are interested in buying those things and how much you're willing to pay. Printer: $100 value. iPod touch: $250 value

Spain Packing List

•Sleep Shirts
•Sleep Shorts
oWalking shoes
oFlip flops

•Canon Rebel
•Small digital canon
•Camera chargers and cords
•Plug adapters
•Laptop charger
•External hard drive
•Nail polish
•Razor and extra blades
•Blow dryer
•iPod and charger
•Cell phone charger (just in case)
•Travel journal
•Guide Books
•Contact solution
•Eye drops
•Copy of passport

•Text Books
•Note cards
•Note book(s) – 5 star

•Head rest

TO BRING OR TO BUY (when I get to Spain)?
•Razor blades
•Face wash
•Body wash

Sunday, August 30, 2009

it still isn't over

I have this poster in my room hehe

I watched The Notebook today with Christine and Gare Bear. I know I've probably written about that movie before, but I can't help writing about it again. It is one of the most epic love stories I have ever heard. It is incredibly romantic. I hope that I can find a guy who is even half as devoted and in love as Noah Calhoun.

Allie: How come you didn't write? I waited for you for seven years. It wasn't over for me!
Noah: I did write. I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote to you for a year. It wasn't over. It still isn't over.
(commence epic love scene)

Now, I'm not saying that I would want to wait around for some guy for 7 years. I'm not saying that I would sit here and pine over someone who I didn't think cared about me or wait around for him because I expected whoever "he" may be to come back to me... but it is interesting to think about. What if the person you dated when you were in high school or early years of college came back into your life somewhere down the road and ended up being the person you were meant to be with?

We aren't all lucky enough to have epic romances like Noah and Allie... but we can definitely dream. Oh well.

P.S. I'm still holding out for Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams to get back together in real life. I absolutely LOVE them together.
P.P.S. Christine and I went to see The Time Traveler's Wife yesterday. Very good movie. Very sad story. Loved it. Once again... epic love

Friday, August 28, 2009

roomie day out

I need to stop spending money. On the plus side, I got paid $300 today. On the downside, I love everything at F21. My new obsession is accessories. I figure, if I have enough accessories, I can wear the same outfit (not two days in a row, of course), change the accessories I wear with it, and it changes how the entire thing looks. It is pretty exciting. Today I bought lipgloss (it was only $1.15, I couldn't resist), gold bracelets, and a gold necklace... I had to match the gold leaf earrings I got at Nordstrom when I was home (although the earrings are much higher quality, but whatever).

We had a girls day today (Me, Christine, Steph, and Britt). We went to F21, two banks, taco bell, Michael's, the Dollar Tree, Target, K-Mart, ate a free 18 inch Costco pizza, drank margaritas, and watched Made of Honor. (Christine and I added another stop in there, but we won't get into that).

Now, before you judge me for going to K-Mart, let me explain. I really really wanted flat boots, and K-Mart was having a sale on them for $20!! So I got a pair of dark brown ones (my Steve Madden heeled boots are black...) but I may have to go back and get the black pair. I'm in love.

lately I have written a lot about fashion/clothing/shopping. I feel like I need to break away from that. But it's what is making me happy right now. Which I think is a good thing. Well, I think it's a good thing besides me spending all my money on clothing and stuff. Oh well, at least I look cute. You may be bored reading though... I promise I'll write about something different when something exciting comes along.

P.S. Christine and I have a movie date for tomorrow... we really want to see the Time Travelers Wife with Rachel McAdams. Love her!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

an outfit good enough for Hugh

So there are definite ups and downs to working at Forever 21. One of the cool things, though, is talking to people about the clothes they are buying and the outfits they are trying on. I love working in the fitting rooms for that exact reason. Its like I get to be part of their shopping experience and sometimes they have very cool stories.

One of my favorites so far was a girl and her mom who came in to my dressing room. The daughter was very tall (perhaps 6 ft or taller) and in fantastic shape. She was trying on little black dresses and a few short colorful ones. When I had first asked what she was shopping for, her mom said "She has an event in LA to go to." They came in to the dressing room three times. The third time, she tried on the black dress she was going to get (which looked fantastic!!) and HUGE jewelry. I asked what the need was for the big jewelry and the mom goes "She got invited to the Playboy Mansion and needs an outfit to wear. You know, she can't wear anything plain or ordinary. She's definitely got to stand out."

I was in shock. How crazy is that? What kind of people get invited as personal guests to the PLAYBOY MANSION!?!

Whatever, I thought it was cool.

Monday, August 24, 2009

the mix

So my best friend Katelin made her way to Texas last week. She is going to the University of Texas in Austin this upcoming year and I really hope she loves it there. Before she left on this huge adventure (its a long drive and a huge move for her) I wrote her a letter and made her a mixed CD. Well, actually, I am not very good at selecting twenty PERFECT songs for her, so I ended up with sixty... so I guess it was a three CD going away mix. I just thought I'd share this mix with everybody because I absolutely love these songs and so many of them mean a lot especially for life changing events, broken hearts, and best friends. I advise you to check out some of these songs. They are all country, but I love them!!! (Almost as much as I love Katelin)

1. Alright - Darius Rucker
2. Austin - Blake Shelton
3. Bad For Me - Danielle Peck
4. The Best Day - Taylor Swift
5. Best Days of Your Life - Kelli Pickler
6. Big Green Tractor - Jason Aldean
7. Call Me Crazy - The Lost Trailers
8. Change - Taylor Swift
9. The Climb - Miley Cyrus
10. Don't Think I Don't Think About It - Daruis Rucker
11. Everytime I Hear Your Name - Keith Anderson
12. Fall Into Me - Emerson Drive
13. Firecracker - Josh Turner
14. God Love Her - Toby Keith
15. Good As Gone - Little Big Town
16. Good Little Girls - BLue Country
17. Gunpowder and Lead - Miranda Lambert
18. Heads Carolina, Tails California - Jo Dee Messina
19. Here's to Finding a Good Man - Danielle Peck
20. Highways and Broken Hearts - Eli Young Band
21. Home is Where the Heart Is - Lady Antebellum
22. How 'Bout You Don't - The Lost Trailers
23. How Do You Like Me Now - Toby Keith
24. I Can't Unlove You - Kenny Rogers
25. I Don't - Danielle Peck
26. I Run To You - Lady Antebellum
27. If You're Gonna Play in Texas - Alabama
28. If You Had Called Yesterday - Julie Roberts
29. Isn't That Everything - Danielle Peck
30. It's Good To Be Us - Bucky Covington
31. It Happens - Sugarland
32. It Matters To Me - Faith Hill
33. Last Train Running - Whiskey Falls
34. Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers
35. Lesson In Leaving - Jo Dee Messina
36. Lessons Learned - Carrie Underwood
37. Let Her Cry - Hootie and the Blowfish
38. Long Gone - Lady Antebellum
39. Lucky For You -SHeDAISY
40. Me and Emily - Rachel Proctor
41. Mrs Steven Rudy - Rascal Flatts
42. My Give A Damn's Busted - Jo Dee Messina
43. No - Jason Aldean
44. One Day You Will - Lady Antebellum
45. Perfect - Sara Evans
46. Picture To Burn - Taylor Swift
47. Runaway - Love and Theft
48. She'd Be California - Rascal Flatts
49. She's Gonna Hurt Somebody - Chuck Wicks
50. Someday My Prince Will Come - Tanya Tucker
51. Stay Gone - Jimmy Wayne
52. Strange - Reba McEntire
53. Sucks To Be You - Danielle Peck
54. Unseen - Kate Amiger
55. The Way It Goes - Gloriana
56. Whatever It Is - Zac Brown Band
57. When I Said I Would - Whitney Duncan
58. When It Rains - Eli Young Band
59. Wild At Heart - Gloriana
60. God Blessed Texas - Alan Jackson

Sunday, August 23, 2009

compliments to the...

I think people should take more time to notice things about other people and compliment them. It is a confidence boost the entire way around.

People should also learn how to accept compliments. Saying "thank you" is perfectly acceptable. As is responding with another compliment, as in: "Wow, I like your shirt" "Oh thanks, your hair looks nice today" "Thank you!" el fin

Today I got complimented on my outfit at work from a girl who was waiting in line at my fitting room and it was wonderful. Then, I went to Beverly's to buy canvases ($1.86 for a 16x20 canvas!! that is UNHEARD of) and the girl at the register stopped in the middle of her sentence and said, "Not to sound creepy, but you have beautiful eyes" ... something I am choosing to take as a compliment instead of viewing it as weird that she was staring at me so intently, haha.

Anyway, take time to compliment people!! It's definitely something that can make someone's day!!

(Note to Forever 21: Not cool to switch around our work locations and throw everybody off. I feel bad for those people who were closing tonight. There were piles of go-backs when I left at 2:30)

"I'm not good with big spoons unless there's ice cream on the end" - Gilmore Girls

Friday, August 21, 2009


Where can I meet a guy like this? MLIA = My Life Is Amazing (not My Life Is Average)

Today I was at at party and while eating a hamburger I made a face with the ketchup and mustard. I was mortified when I cute guy saw how immature I was. Until he showed me his burger. It was harry potter. Glasses and scar. I spent the rest of the party with him. It was awesome. MLIA.

and this is absolutely adorable...
time to rethink our "survival" habits

dress to impress

So, I ended up getting a job at Forever 21 in SLO. I picked up my check yesterday. Guess where I spent it all today... that's right, Forever 21. However, I got a super cute purse that fits my laptop and its wonderful. It's brown and fake leather and when I was being rung up at the cash register, three of the women were like "Oh my gosh I want that bag so bad! Do we have more?" ummm no, I got the last one :)

I have decided that making myself look good is something that I am willing to spend my time and money on. Clothes are worth buying because they are such a confidence boost. When I get ready in the morning and I put on a nice outfit and spend a little more time making myself look good (which is relatively easy considering my closet for the past... well... my entire life, has consisted of jeans, t-shirts.. preferably plain white Hanes, sweatshirts, and flip flops). That's not to say that I won't ever wear those clothes again, but if I'm going out and spending time with friends outside the house and all that, I will put a little more thought into what I wear.

Like today, I put on my skinny jeans (which I got a while ago at Forever 21 for $12), Steve Madden boots, and a button up shirt and I looked pretty hot. Not to mention that trying on clothes was much more exciting when I could try them on with my super sexy boots. Hearing the girls who were working in the Faith dressing room at F21 tell me that I look really good in the outfits that I try on, and the added excitement when I put on a dress with my boots and I can just feel their eyes on me and slight jealousy that I can pull off almost anything I put on. I've always wanted to be one of those girls who can wear just about anything. I'm on my way. Now, I'm not saying I can wear anything; but I've learned that being fashionable and stylish depends not only on the clothes you wear, but your attitude while you're wearing them.

If I walk out of my house in my boots, or any outfit looking hot, my day can be that much better.

And in other, less girly news, I think everybody should check out Matt and Tommy's new website. It's the newest and fastest growing site in soccer news, commentary, and game recaps. The rest of the world loves this sport, it's about time that Americans get on board and do the same!!! Check it out: Constantly Offside "Your home for completely biased soccer news"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

looking for a time waster?

even if you don't like reading...
you will find these books fascinating!!!

If you do like reading, though, i guess you're supposed to check out these books.

Something cool every day... check it out!!

And by the way.. is a pretty cool/entertaining website. Type the address in to your web browser and click "stumble". It will take you to a whole bunch of random and fascinating websites you would never have known existed!! (Just skip over the boring sites... there are some of those too)
i wish i was this good with photo shop

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

summer till now

This summer has been kinda crazy. Not exactly what I was expecting, but oh well. Here's a quick overview of what I've been up to. (I wish I had time to write more)

1. Moved in to a house with some wonderful girls, Stephanie, Christine, Brittany, and Kathryn.

2. Made some mistakes.

3. Went to China... it was a very eye opening experience and it made me think a lot about my trip to Spain. It made me a lot more comfortable to travel there because I at least understand some of the language instead of being completely lost. It was extremely difficult to travel there. They have a very very different culture than we do here. It was a wonderful experience, but lets just say that I am glad to be back in the states until September 23.

4. Celebrated my roomie's 21st birthday!!!

5. Got a job at one of the largest Forever 21s in the nation. I have only had a few days of work, but I am enjoying it so far. However, after I get off my shifts (which, if I'm closing, last about 3 hours later than I'm scheduled) my feet are killing me and I never want to stand ever again. I already spent my first paycheck, though, because I needed cute clothes to work in. Overall, I think the clothes were a good investment.

6. Focused on my own emotional growth and am still trying to figure out who I am and what I want from college, friends, guys, life.

7. Watched Shark Week on the discovery channel with Christine.

8. Went to a Lady Antebellum concert at the mid state fair which was amazing!!!!

And on a different note... I just watched Revolutionary Road with Christine and Garrett. It was such a depressing movie. It made me lose a little faith in the possibility of finding a guy who makes me super happy and who i would be able to spend the rest of my life with. Ugh... kinda dumb, I know... but I worry about those things sometimes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009



and happy shark week to everybody else in the world :)
i think YOU should take the shark personality quiz. i'm a hammerhead

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jodi Picoult and things

So I'm on this big Jodi Picoult book reading spree. I read "My Sister's Keeper" while I was on vacation in New Jersey. Over the past few days I read "Nineteen Minutes." The first is about a girl who is conceived in order for her to donate her blood, bone marrow, stem cells, etc to her older sister who has cancer. Not very uplifting. The latter is about a school shooting by a boy who has been picked on his entire life. That wasn't very uplifting either. I also just started her book "Handle With Care" about a little girl with a birth defect. Yet again, not uplifting.

Also, today I watched "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" with Britt and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about what makes us feel good about ourselves. Like, the fact that watching shows about other people's misfortunes makes us feel better about our own lives. That reading books about families with sick children makes us sad, but also makes us smile because that's not the way our lives are.

Its so sad to think about life that way... but it is completely true. Whenever we hear about a friends' misfortune, of course we feel bad for them, but we also (unfortunately) think to ourselves "wow, I'm lucky that isn't happening to me."

Jodi Picoult is a wonderful author. If you get a chance to read any of her books, I definitely encourage it. Even though they are sad books, throw you through twists and turns, and may be hard to get through because of some of the emotional issues the characters are dealing with; the books have the potential to change the way you think about life.

Maybe that's an extreme, but in any case, her books are great. You should try one out sometime.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Don't Stop Till You Get Enough

Today is a very sad day in the entertainment world. Two of our society's great entertainment icons passed away.

The first was Farrah Fawcett at age 62. Fawcett was one of the original Charlie's Angels and when my parents were kids, every girl would have died to have hair like her. In fact, I don't think any girl now would mind having hair like Farrah. She was absolutely stunning and an inspirational woman. She will be missed.
RIP Farrah Fawcett, February 2, 1947 - June 25, 2009

The second was the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson. He got his big break in The Jackson 5 and sang some the songs on my favorite soundtrack, Now and Then. He was in the spotlight for his entire life. Although for the past couple decades we didn't see the absolute best of him, his work will never cease to amaze people. Some of my favorite songs were performed by this man. I'll miss hearing about all the crazy things he's up to.
RIP Michael Jackson, August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

three years ago today

Today is the third anniversary of Andy Maute's death in that car accident.

I try not to think about that day and the weeks following that crash. I learned from it, I dealt with it, I moved on from it. He is the reason I will never EVER get in the passenger seat of the car of someone who has been drinking. He is the reason I will never even consider getting behind the wheel myself after I've had anything to drink.

I'd only known Andy a few months before he died. But in those three months, I spent a lot of time with him. His friends were my friends. The week before he died we had an epic night at his house with just six of us. We drank, jumped on his trampoline, and had a very awkward confrontation in his backyard with three Danville cops... maybe even the same three who were called to the scene of the accident when Andy wrapped his car around that tree. At the time that they came in to Andy's back yard on that Tuesday night they were doing everything in their power to keep from laughing at him. You don't want to know what he was wearing when he stood up to talk to them. They weren't laughing when they pulled him out of the car that night.

I found out about Andy's accident when Tyson called me three years ago today. I was in Colorado. I wasn't even at the party. But when she told me there was an accident, my first instinct was that I was worried that people got arrested. My second instinct was that I wanted to kill whoever was driving because they were so stupid! When I asked where Andy was.. was he okay? did the police have him in custody? .... all Ty said was "Rachel... Andy's dead."

I went through that entire summer unable to talk about him without breaking down. Sure, we sat around and talked about what a great guy he was. But if you looked around the table at everybody's faces, it was not a happy conversation. You could tell that people just wanted to run away from it all. Just get up and leave. None of us could.

I know that there were a lot of people who were closer to Andy than I was. I know it probably hurts them a thousand times more than it hurts me. But it still does hurt. I do miss him. He was an amazing guy. He was going to go to Boulder and be an amazing snowboarder. He didn't judge people and he knew how to have fun.

One day a few months ago, I was going through my phone and deleting numbers of people I didn't talk to anymore. Without thinking, I deleted his. The instant I did it, tears welled up in my eyes and my heart hurt. But I guess there comes a point when you have to let go.

Over the past three years I've come to terms with it all. When I get in to a conversation about drunk driving or loss, he always comes to my mind. I mention the accident, explain why I'm so against drinking and driving, then leave it at that. I don't think there needs to be much more explanation than that. I don't cry about it anymore. When I think about it, sure it hurts, but not nearly as bad as it did that whole summer... except days like today.

I hate to admit it, but when June 24 rolls around, I wake up in the morning without a second thought. I eat breakfast. I take a shower. I go on with my day. Until something stops me. And I look at the date. And I remember.

Today it was somebody's Facebook status that threw me into the memories and the pain. Who knows what it will be next year. All I know is that it sucks. It sucks for me. It sucks for Aaron, Tyson, Kelley, Jeff.. every single person who sat there in that church when they brought his coffin down the aisle. It sucks. And it hurts.

I can't hug Andy anymore. Nobody can. But I can remember how crazy he was and how much fun he used to have with every single thing that happened in his life. The few weeks before his death are testament to that. Anybody who was with him during those days know that Andy Maute went out with a bang.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I knew Andy super well. I'm not going to pretend like, if he could come back for three days, I'd be one of the people he would want to see. I know I didn't actually mean that much to him. But I had an amazing time during those few months that we were friends.

Andy Maute is the reason I lose so much respect for people who drink and drive. It's not about the ticket. It's not about the DUI. It's not about totaling the car. It's about what happens when the car hits a tree, or another car, or a person. If you want to look at it this way, Andy was lucky. He was lucky there wasn't another person in that car with him, and that he hit a tree instead of another car. Imagine how much worse it would be if he'd killed someone else and survived... instead of just himself.

Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but think about it, it's the truth. I hope that I'm not taken the wrong way and that I don't sound heartless. I miss Andy a lot. I'm not glad that he's gone. But I am glad that he is the only person who was physically harmed in his accident. If there is something worse than death... it could have been that.

I don't want to preach what is right and wrong. I just wanted to say what I was thinking. Every time June 24 rolls around, I'm gonna think about Andy. Every time the topic of driving under the influence of anything comes up, I'm gonna think about Andy. There is a part of my heart that goes out to his family and friends and anybody who knew him. We miss him a lot. The world would be a better place if he were here still.

RIP Andy Maute May 1989-June 2006