Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Road Trip Alone

A road trip I had "planned" on going on actually happened. I stayed up late Wednesday night finishing a paper and packing the night before I left for the trip. On Thursday after my Human Anatomy lab I packed a few more things into my car and head North on the 101! With about 7 and a half hours of driving to go, I found myself accompanied with nothing and no one but a Sufjan Steven Christmas album and my heater. I was excited about being alone and driving. It was going to be fun!

After I arrived late Thursday evening to one of my best friend's apartments we went on a midnight Portland walk through town to grab a doughnut at the oh-so-famous "Voodoo Donuts" where I got a doughnut called: the triple chocolate penetration it's a chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate frosting and coco-puffs!

The next day, Friday, Brooke and I had to wake up early because my car was in illegal parking. Turns out it's a bitch parking in Portland if you have a college student's size wallet. We went to the Waffle window, which was fantastic. Brooke got a 3 B waffle (bacon, brie, basil) and I got a pumpkin pie waffle (because it was close to Thanksgiving)! We walked around the Portland Hawthorne District, went to some cute shops, got Boba tea (also known as Bubble tea I found out), and found a beautiful Portland yarn shop called Happy Knits (sounds like happiness!) After finding parking Brooke and I went to the market to get some things she needed to make dinner. She made Chicken Vesuvio for dinner and for dessert a 5-minute-chocolate-cake-in-a-mug-in-a-microwave! It was wonderful and we spent a good amount of time photographing all the food before we ate it.

Saturday morning Brooke had said that we could park the car in a parking lot all day for just 5 dollars! So we parked in the parking lot and a man asked if we were going to but a parking pass. Turns out he was leaving and so we were given a free parking pass. I was very excited about it. We walked through town to the amazing Farmers market! It was a beautiful place to be in with young families all buying the week's produce, people eating good food, and flowers. It felt like home and with Brooke talking about how much she wants to have children it made me start thinking having a family wouldn't be so bad. Brooke bought a bottle of cranberry-blueberry juice after we ate our tamales. We went back to the apartment to get some mittens and then headed off to explore the other Portland districts. We hit the Downtown, SW, NW 23rd, Pearl, and Hawthorne. We went into Powel's books. I thought it would be fun to walk around recording all the rows of book and people walking by, I did it with my camera looking like it was just hanging on my neck though (so no one actually knew the camera was on). I have about 30 minutes recording of just walking around looking at books. I think I got Boba tea twice within two days. While walking through the "snobby" side of town we sang/mumbled a Charlie Brown Christmas song.

After being out all Saturday Brooke and I both were extremely tired so we decided to take a short nap before continuing our evening. Two or three hours later we woke up. I think we both felt like old grandma's for taking a nap for so long. When we woke up we finished watching Fantastic Mr. Fox and watched another movie.

Sunday morning I woke up early and headed North, once again! It was a little more frightening for me to drive now because I was going even farther than I had originally planned and it also started to snow. I had never driven in the snow. I stopped in Vancouver, Washington for a couple hours and said hello to a friend and went to church with her. It was interesting hearing how other people are growing out of their childhood and diving into their adulthood.

I arrived tired and warm (despite it being freezing outside) in Seattle about four hours later. I stayed at a friend's house there and she was very kind to take me out to coffee and show me a little bit around her new found home. She explained how wonderful her life was there and how she has been successful building her community there. We went to a mega church called Mars Hill. It was thee hugest gathering of people my age that I've ever seen for something Christian related. Everyone seemed so put together and glamorous for some reason. The pastor had a leather jacket on was looking very stylish. This is not to say it was a shallow church at all. I saw many people actually taking notes during the service. The music was awesome, I loved how the band wrote their own songs. The message was awesome. It focused on how we need to be prepared at any moment. The pastor said something that I had always thought of before. Something to the effect of "Well if I'm wrong? Well I'll have nothing to loose. But you? You who do not believe? You will have everything to loose." Of course he said it better. After church Chelsea and I went to the Saint Mark's Cathedral and listened to the monks sing. All the pews were filled and people we unfolding their blankets to sit and listen to these human angels sing hymns. It was like gold wave frequencies were entering my small ears and filling my whole body with an indescribable joy. I just wanted to sit on that cement floor for the rest of my life. When Chelsea, her bearded 'friend', and I went back to the house some friends of hers were already there with a game of trivia and a couple empty bottles of wine. It was fun even thought I am probably the worst trivia team-mate to ever exist.

Monday in Seattle was really laid back. I woke up to a wonderful surprise with a fresh blanket of snow that covered everything outside. Chelsea and I had eggs and muffins for breakfast. We put elf on, talked, and watched the snow fall down from the sky like light, white feathers. I had planned on meeting a friend for coffee, Chelsea told me that it would be wise to go at least 30 minutes earlier than when we were going to meet up for coffee. I decided to go a couple hours before my friend Jeremy and I were going to meet up. Turns out it was a very wise decision because I had to park nine blocks away. I called Jeff, my Arcatian neighbor and friend and talked to him while I was walking towards Jeremy. He directed me to the most beautiful yarn shop I've ever been in in my whole life. I picked up a 75$ skein of yarn. It was so beautiful, but I put it back down on the shelf with ease. I actually didn't buy any yarn, which was strange. I bought my mom a Christmas gift at the World Market and headed towards the Public Market.

I walked through the fish section where many burly bearded men were working. I walked by a cutlery shop, a cheese shop, and a book shop. In the book shop the shop owner's little child was riding his scooter around in circles. It seemed like a game for him to see how many times he could get me to move out of his way. At first it was annoying then I decided that I thought it was really funny. I met my friend Jeremy, who I had briefly met earlier this summer. I found out he was born and raised in Pennsylvania, went to college in Virginia, and moved to Washington about 2 and a half years ago. He used to be a youth pastor but now he would like to roast coffee beans and be a professional coffee bean roaster, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. We went to Thai food for dinner, I had never actually went out to Thai food before except for one other time (but that time didn't count because I didn't order for myself). I ordered this lemongrass-mushroom-chicken soup, it was so so good. After dinner he walked back with me through the snow the nine blocks to my car and then I drove him to his regular transit station corner. It was nice to meet him a little less breifly than the last time.

I planned to drive the 10 hours back to Humboldt that night. Things turned out a little differently than I expected. I was pretty much parked in traffic for 8 hours. I am not exaggerating. So this 'little' ten hour trip took me roughly twice as long than I had originally thought it would. I was either driving in my car, filling up my tank with gas, or napping in the front seat for the next 24 hours after my pleasant Thai dinner with Jeremy. It didn't help that I couldn't talk to anyone the whole way because my phone had died a couple hours into my waiting the traffic.

It snowed all through the night. It was probably the closest I've ever been to death in my life. I was scared. I was alone. The only comfort I had was that my heater never failed me. While the trees violently shook in the frigid wind and snow, I was toasty warm from my nose to my toes. It wasn't smart for me to keep the heater on while I was driving, however whenever I would put the air conditioner on or roll down the windows my whole being would fill up with despair from the reality that I really had no idea where I was, only that I was following the directions I had researched on the internet while I was getting ready for the trip back. The naps helped, the Burger King breakfast made me stay awake because my stomach hurt so bad from it, Sufjan Stevens tried his hardest to shove some Christmas spirit into my weary sole soul, and the slapping my face repeatedly and screaming the loudest I could also contributed to my being alive to write this blog post.

So Tuesday morning the 23rd of November, I woke up in the late afternoon in my bed in my apartment in Arcata. I missed the previous Thanksgiving dinner with my mom, dad, brother, and close family friend Yesi because of the unexpected delay of snow traffic. I started the six and a half hour trip South towards Modesto. When I arrived at home that evening I was welcomed and scolded by my parents. The next morning, early my mom, dad, and I left for Santa Maria where we would spend a couple days with family celebrating Thanksgiving and catching up on what was happening. Thanksgiving was wonderful and a little off kilter this year. It seemed to be a quiet because all the extremely loud cousins weren't there this year. I wish I was the loud cousin. I think I tried to be a little bit but since no one else was being loud with me I felt like I was yelling in a library so I decided to crawl back into my regular shell.

Coming back to Modesto took forever. We added an extra hour onto our trip because my dad had to stop by a car dealership where he had entered to win a brand new car. Of course we did not get a brand new car. Saturday I went shopping with my mom. Sunday was the only day my brother had off of work so the whole family went on an outing that I suggested to see Harry Potter. I love Harry Potter. I decided after the movie ended that I would read all the books and get really into it. I went to church and talked a little bit with a couple friends I hadn't seen in a while. I packed and wrote out directions.

A 3:50 am this morning I woke up and got ready to go back to school. I had to take naps along the way because I kept falling asleep. I drove about 20 minutes with the gas light on because there wasn't a gas station for the longest time. I was scared I was going to destroy my car. I prayed for all down hills so I wouldn't have to use the gas pedal at all. I think it worked pretty well because I really didn't use the gas pedal that much. I missed my music class and didn't turn in two assignments for my Statistics class. I took a nap and talked with my roommates for the rest of the night. I am still unloading all the laundry I took home to do. My bed is just the mattress tonight and my room is a disaster. I am scared for the rest of my semester.

I am very thankful to be alive and to have gone on this trip. I don't know if I regret not asking anyone to go with me yet. I'm sure it would have been easier. However is easier always better? Maybe it is. I learned a few things about myself. I have trouble being comfortable around people and not being an awkward person. I'm still trying to figure out if it's all in my head or if other people sort of get an awkward vibe from me as well. I have also discovered that I do enjoy relaxing while I am traveling, however, I like the option of doing an unlimited amount of extremely fun things. I think that from now on before I go travel somewhere, I will research where I am going and find really interesting things to do or to see. I don't want to be a boring 'sight-see-er', however I do want to be able to get a lot out of where I travel if I would like to. Not just the highlights of where I am going but rare and interesting things of where I am going.

So from November 18th to November 28th I have traveled approximately 2,400 miles (not including walking around.) (This is including driving with my parents to and from Santa Maria from Modesto.)

This is just a slice of what I endured on my trip. I hope to have many more travel posts! Perhaps next time with another person to drive when I am spent!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Look, Listen, and Think!

One of the reasons I'm a little wishy-washy about same-sex marriage is because of the affects it could have on the children, also probably because of how I've been taught to think about gays and lesbians [at home and in church]. Here are some points I've found that have helped me to continue my train of thought for this big social dilemma we have going on today.

In the United States District Court Transcripts for the Prop 8 Ruling it was stated:

"The factors that affect whether a child is well-adjusted are:  (1) the quality of a child’s relationship with his or her parents; (2) the quality of the relationship between a child’s parents or significant adults in the child’s life; and (3) the availability of economic and social resources. The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment.  The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. " (page 97) (The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology by the American Psychological Association.)

"Religious beliefs promote the idea that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians."

"Religion is the chief obstacle for gay and lesbian political progress, and it’s the chief obstacle for a couple of reasons. It’s difficult to think of a more powerful social entity in American society than the church. It’s a very powerful organization, and in large measure they are arrayed against the interests of gays and lesbians. Biblical condemnation of homosexuality and the teaching that gays are morally inferior on a regular basis to a huge percentage of the public makes the political opportunity structure very hostile to gay interests. It’s very difficult to overcome that." (page 103)

I feel like it's a bit disheartening to know that literally EVERYWHERE we (the little Christs) are seen as hateful and conservative people. We don't like the gays and we don't like the government helping out "those lazy sons of bitches". I wish we (the little Christs) would just do our job and start loving in copious amounts and stop being so stingy with our love. 

An estimated 65,500 adopted children are living with a lesbian or gay parent. (http://adoption.about.com/od/gaylesbian/f/gayparents.htm) (I'm hoping this is a credible source..)

I thought this was interesting:

My roommate was talking with me about same-sex marriage and I stated my concern about the affects it would have on the adopted children. She told me that the foster care system was awful and people really do get screwed over in that system. She said some thing to this effect: wouldn't it be better to have the child have a family who loves and cares for them rather than for the child to have a hard life bouncing from family to family?

As for the paper I am currently writing for my Sociology class on the final Ruling of Prop 8, I still don't know how I feel about it. I am still thinking and open to any ideas or thoughts. Though I am proud to call myself a little Christ (a dedicated Christian), I am open to admitting I am dumb for something if you give me a legitimate reason for why I am so. I'm trying to learn here people. I'm trying to learn what I believe. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trees and I

Today I took a nap outside next to the redwood trees. I actually didn't take a nap. I watched these black birds fly around and land on some type of tree that had grown really little green apples. The black birds kept smacking the branches with their black beaks until the little green apples fell on the ground. I hoped no black birds would poop on me. I called my mom and talked to her until my phone was too tired to keep service. I closed my eyes and absorbed all the cold from the ground. I was hoping I'd eventually get the ground warm and then I wouldn't have to be cold anymore. I failed at warming the ground. I was cold until I stood up and went back to class. I was cold in class, then the sun hit me when the curtains were pulled and even the hair on my head was warm. After class I went to my room and took a real nap, for two hours. I woke up and studied Organic Chemistry in my bed. I went to the library to study more. I can't wait to listen to Christmas music, but until then some Feist might do the trick.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Organic Chemisty

Did I really just study Organic Chemistry for 6 whole hours without noticing it?

Friday, November 12, 2010


And I began to think about how centered around myself I am. As I was supposed to be listening to someone else that was talking to me I was thinking of all of the different ways I am self-centered. I caught myself doing this. I caught myself thinking of how terrible I am, and not even listening to the someone talking to me. I am even self-centered when I'm thinking about how I'm self-centered. How strange is that?! Last week I took a day of silence. This was even before I thought I had a problem. I think the after-effects of the day of silence could be more impacting than the day of actual silence. I should talk less is what I think I should do.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birthday Day

I am so old now. I am complete in my quest of covering my head with wide array of white and gray locks. My wrinkles show who I am. My beautiful children now come bringing their beautiful children over the house. My honey and I have paid off mortgage last year. I am home and I am loving every minute of it. We are planning to rent the side house along with giving unlimited availability of the glorious backyard/community garden to families in need. Honey and I are going to another country next year. We are going to love the widows and the orphans by teaching them sustainable ways of how to produce clothing for themselves as well as produce a revenue from our many little lambs that we have raised over time (which we will give to them). It has been a beautiful day. The whole family came over our house to celebrate my Birthday. We all sang together after dinner while drinking hot apple cider that Honey and I made from this seasons harvest of tasty apples, grown right from the backyard orchard. I love listening to my family sing and laugh together by the fire. It's so funny to remember back when I was in college feeling like my life would never bring me joy, only pain and suffering. I am so glad I have followed the Good Lord's plan for my life. I couldn't have asked for a better family or for a better life. The Great Shepherd had kept His promise in giving me a joy I can't explain and can't run out of.

This is an old picture of when my mother sent me purple orchids in the mail for my birthday while I was away from home in my second year of college at Humboldt University. The little lady on the right side of the photo was my roommate Kristin Hall, such a sweetie pie. Kristin Hall and I laughed and cooked together all the time that year.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't bring a Hummer to Humboldt, or anywhere for that matter

Getting back home from dropping off leaks to a friend, I see a big black Hummer sprayed with red spray-paint. There were three or four girls all around the vehicle and one of them was on their cell phone. "Daaadyyy...!"

My first thought was, 'Oh no that's terrible! Why would someone vandalize a poor students car like that!?' However, I began answer my own question. Why these girls would dare to bring a car like that to a place like this? Humboldt County is known for relatively just two things. It's marijuana and it's hippies. I thought that even though our county is a county that totally rejects inefficient monster cars, why do we ever, non-hippies included, think that this is an acceptable car to be driving? Why do we have to be hippies in order to be aware of the amount of Green House Gas emissions we produce annually by driving our cars around?

I thought to myself, what is the difference between a Hummer and my little Hyundai accent?

Well a Hummer's MPG (city) runs about 13, whilst mine at about 28. A Hummer's MPG (highway) is 16, whilst mine is 34. So someone in ownership of a Hummer might pay twice as much for gas a year as what I would. Also the amount for Green House Gas Emissions are a little over twice a much for a Hummer as a Hyundai, with a Hummer at 13.1 tons per year and a Hyundai at 6.1 tons per year (assuming you've driven about 15,000 miles that year).

6.1 tons per year? How could I be doing that and not even realize it until I read about it from my 20 minutes of internet research?

So I guess...ride your bike!