Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2011 and hello 2012!


This year was so much better than last year and I hope to say that again another year from now. In 2010, I finished my master's degree, bonded with extended family, had amazing family vacations in Palm Desert and New York, attended 6 out of 9 weddings I was invited to, dealt with two car accidents (one was Mom's and one mine), lost my beloved Lucy, gained a lot of confidence in handling life alone, turned 25 with good friends and in Vegas for the best time ever, and celebrated with the world over Will and Kate's wedding (looking back, I definitely don't regret taking the day off work to watch it). Overall, it has been a good year. 


My prayer for 2012 is less struggles for myself and those I love. To find a church by my apartment that I enjoy. To get a raise and more opportunities at work. To read more. To laugh as much as possible, spend lots of time with friends and family, and to give all the glory to God. 


May 2012 bring you many blessings. Thanks for sharing 2011 with me. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas: Disneyland, Big Bear, & Newport

Happy and merry! 


I have been enjoying having this whole week off from work and spending time with family and friends. Here is what I've been up to... 


Disneyland on the 22nd.




Big Bear for Christmas with the entire Tilton family. Loved seeing snow! I am not used to it and it was incredibly beautiful! I even made a snow angel. 







Newport and Balboa with my friends Teri and Teri (we make the Teri, Teri, and Carrie show!). 






While there, we saw DIANE KEATON! 




I like to say we all watched "We Bought A Zoo" together, even though she didn't exactly sit with us... she was seeing that movie. I literally gasped "Oh my gosh!" out loud when she came out of the restroom right in front of us. Honestly, we heard she was at the movies, and I guessed it was ours, so we didn't leave hoping to see her, and then we stayed until she and her friends and family drove away. Diane was very happy and full of laughter and smiles. People really left her alone, except one guy who asked "are you Diane Keaton?" and she stomped her foot, smiled, and said "ohhh! yes, I am." Later, she and her family/friends discussed where to go for dinner. She drove away in a black Range Rover with her son and his friend/cousin both safely in the back seat. Best moment of the week. I was speechless for a bit! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rosie O'Donnell, Rick Perry, and the problem with America

I was recently watching The Rosie Show and she discussed and showed Rick Perry’s Strong video. I had not seen this video. I’ve heard rumblings about Rick Perry and his politics, but in this beginning primary season I have sort of stayed away from the Republican debates until candidates are thinned out closer to polling time. I admit, it is not the smartest political choice on my behalf, but at this time, watching the Republicans get bashed by the liberal media depresses me and makes me feel bad for being a white, middle class, Christian, Republican. If you think this is a bad reason, look no further than Rick Perry’s “Strong” video and its strong You Tube response. It is reportedly the most “disliked” video in You Tube history, which is saying a lot considering some of the lack of talent and lack of taste in uploaded videos these days.

Rick Perry’s video made me uncomfortable for a variety of reasons, most obviously because I am a born-again Christian who is a member of the Republican party (but I do land on the more moderate side, often referring to myself as a liberal Republican, I guess as opposed to a conservative Democrat). I get uncomfortable because I too feel that not only Obama (as Perry states in his video), but Democrats (and “liberals” in general) have continued to escalate a war on religion, specifically, born-again Christians. As a Christian, I do worry that someday I will no longer be allowed to openly attend church, discuss my religion at the workplace, say “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, have pastors who can be arrested for refusing to marry a gay couple, and no longer be allowed to say “Merry Christmas” in the month of December. This may sound extreme to some, but it really is not that far-fetched.

What is happening in America today is that as some people are being given more freedom, others are being given less. I will admit that the public voices “representing” Christianity today are voices that I too would like to give less freedom, however, laws and policies and cultural decisions being made to silence all Christian voices are hurting more “normal” people in this country, the general American public who don’t have microphones and podcasts and television platforms. People who don’t bully those who are gay or stand outside military funerals with cruel signs or ban the reading of Harry Potter in schools. These are normal, working class people, who believe in the truth of the Bible and want to attend church every Sunday morning (or Saturday night, like me). These are people you work alongside, grocery shop with, carpool with, and have never heard a hateful, anti-like comment from before. These are the people actually being hurt in the process of shutting down public – albeit disrespectful and ignorant – voices.

People hate what they don’t know. Until someone can have empathy for a different viewpoint, growth and unity can never happen. This is why the public right-wing “Christian” voices can be so hateful toward a gay person struggling to accept him/herself and feel welcomed by society. This is also why SNL can make fun of Christians, because they don’t know the real people attending church down the street. We are an American culture making opinions and laws based on exaggerated stereotypes. This has to stop. It can be stopped by ending hate on all sides – right and left – and seeking to know the other. Do not fear what you don’t understand, seek to learn about it. I am not asking everyone to agree with everyone else. I am not even advocating the “live and let live” philosophy. I am merely suggesting we step out of our box and understand the other. You don’t have to agree and support gay marriage, or even vote for it, to end bullying and hatred. You also don’t have to believe in God to understand that religious people can voice opinions too and that doesn’t make them hateful, ignorant, bigoted opinions.

I hope for a culture where all voices are heard and respected. Where gay couples can get married in a cooperating religious place, but pastors have the right to refuse without fear of hate or arrest. Where a woman can be a feminist and pro-life without feeling like a fraud. Where saying “I’m gay” does not exclude you from an opportunity and saying “I’m Christian” does not make you ignored. This is the kind of America I want to live in and that I believe is what our forefathers and mothers dreamed for us. This is the American vision that I will vote for and hope someday to be reflected in a presidential candidate. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lucy


Mom and Dad had to put our beloved Lucy down today. I am so sad. Best dog in the whole world. So blessed to have had her in our lives. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

If you want to laugh

Watch this clip from yesterday's The Chew. I am still dying with laughter about it. 


Blustery day

(the tree that fell outside the entrance to my work). 


Wooo! It is windy here! It has been Winnie the Pooh blustery. I swear that last night I thought my windows would bust open and I would fly into the sky. The sound it makes is the worst. I was up half the night listening to it and wondering if it would be as bad on the way to work (since I have a very light and small rental car right now). 


Driving to work, the winds had calmed, but there was debris every where. I swerved (slowly) many times to avoid tree branches and many stop lights were out. The local school districts and universities cancelled school, but of course, my institution did not. I am praying they will tomorrow, because tonight is supposed to be worse than last. 


The Santa Ana winds have never been this bad. I am not a fan of the Santa Ana winds. To me they mean fire season and dry skin. But I do have one romantic thought about them due to the movie White Oleander (one of my favorite movies). In the movie, the main character says that when she was younger her mother would ask her what she'd pack if the winds changed and fire threatened their house. Her mom told her if she was brave she wouldn't pack anything. That line has always stuck with me.