29 February, 2008

the swell season in eugene oregon!!

THE SWELL SEASON will play the
McDonald Theater (Eugene) on Sunday, April 27, 2008.
(The Swell Season, is the main singers who performed and acted in the Musical movie "ONCE")

I didn't know how excited I would be about this concert until after I bought tickets!!! I am completely ecstatic that I get to attend this one. YAY! heroes-shmiros...whatever, these guys are great!

Some songs for you!!

Falling Slowly(Live at Sundance!):

If You Want Me:

When Your Mind's Made Up:

28 February, 2008

giftless birthday blessings?!

Jackson is next (on the 22nd of March) then me and then Oliver on the 20th of April...it gets a little crazy. We also have a lot of friends with birthdays in the next couple months. I am really trying to figure out what we are going to do this year. I have looked into ECHOage , and Birthdays without pressure and I have read articles in which parents spend $38,000 on A birthday party!!! Insanity! and all these kids already have so much. too much, as far as possessions go. I may be in the middle of both ideas, but I don't know yet. I am trying to decide, but kids always get so much...and much they forget and don't play with very soon after the party. Also, I would just like to invite people and not feel like they feel the need to bring anything at all.

Wouldn't it be so much more special if the child felt honoured by someone's presence rather than the gifts they bring?? I know kids can be greedy, and I know it is human nature...but do we contribute by how much we indulge that craving for more?

What about investing in 529 plans (For Saving for College)??

Do you have any suggestions of other sites or ideas you have tried or heard of?? I am interested.

not a shopper

Just las sunday we began the all horrid task of "church shopping". The whole concept is something I find problematic. Being that I am not a shopper in other areas, there is no reason that I would enjoy this type of shopping either. I am a buyer. I go, I buy. I don't think twice. But in churches, you have to and that is my misery right now.

People suggest this one and that one claiming they are exceptional, or "just what you're probably looking for", or "don't go to that one!", "I hear that church just went through some problems".WHAT!? yes, that was said, and things more piercing and worse than that about God's chosen, about those giving their all to walk in his footsteps.

Now that there are many possible churches, does that make people more apt to not remain faithful to their initial choice? We have options, churches with all different flavours, catering to all different groups, needs and desires. We don't work out problems, we walk away from them and take them to the next church that will embrace us...just to find out that isn't a good fit either, so we move on. Why can't we find what we are looking for?!?! Well, I'd argue that the problem is with us. If I live in a city with just one founded, bible loving, church and declare that there is nothing for me, or that I don't fit in, something is wrong with my own heart. Yes, I said it. Something is wrong with you, with me. The mentality that we do not have to stick with it, the mentality that there must be something better out there...is wrong. Always wrong.

Our sights are set higher, we require more, want more!! More, more, more! What is this whole thing about anyway...is it about what I can put in, what I can do, what God is moving to do in my heart, or am I desiring a church that can be attended with no questions asked. where I can go and not give as much of me as I should? As much as is being asked?

Why do we ask so much of everyone else and not of ourselves? Why is it okay to judge people when we cannot walk straight? What is our problem!?

I guess my argument is that there are too many possible choices, even in the state of Oregon which has the largest population of unchurched people in the USA . What!? Yes, too many churches make for christians who are too critical of where they end up, how they are fed, what they are fed, who feeds them, who eats with them, who does not, do they feel comfortable, loved, inspired, treated well? What is this? What needs to change? I do. We do. Something is wrong with this picture.

PS:Keep in mind that I am only talking about true bible following churches here, such as those heeding all the commandments of Christ. I am not talking about anything else.

27 February, 2008

TV LAND: Lagos, Nigeria!

What do you think about this?
"Americans purchased 30 million digital televisions—2.5 million of which were just in preparation for the Super Bowl"- Planet Green Blog

It seems like a good idea. TAKE MY TV BACK!!

If you are interested: take back my TV!

i just can't get over oregon

I took these out my car window, (yes while driving)...I am so glad that I am constantly memorized by the beauty that surrounds me. I think that is one reason God made seasons, just as you are getting used to the glories of one it is time for the next. Amazing.

25 February, 2008

a rush at your fingertips

This game is so fun...if you are a nerd it is completely addicting, so beware!! Mel posted a link to this a while back. I wanted to post the actual game so ya'll could enjoy it. PLAY IT!! it is a rush!

brought to you by TravelPod, the Web's Original Travel Blog ( part of the TripAdvisor Media Network )

23 February, 2008

can we ever please (or displease) a "miseducated" audience?

I was watching some news on NBC or ABC or something a couple days back. There was an interview with Pres. George W. Bush where someone was actually telling him he had done something good. The reporter said that Bush during his tour of duty had done more than any other American president for Africa. The reason for that dates back to January 28, 2003 when he decided to wage war, war on HIV which is killing off so many in the African nations. I do not know our president personally, and I do not know if he is always is true or right. I do know that he is not perfect. I do now know that there are some things that he has gotten right.

I have to challenge you, before you speak, or act or criticize: make a point to know what you are talking about, that way at least if you tend to disagree with him you'd be balanced and not just a mimicking parrot in your regurgitation of erroneous facts about this man. If for the most part you agree with "G-Dawg" you should also find that there are some things that he has done that will not make sense to you. It is okay to question him, he is not divine. He does do wrong. Deal
with it. Don't parrot what you heard someone say and make it your argument unless you have the background info to actually know why you think that way. Personally I completely disagree with his policy on Immigration. I fully agree with the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan).

I do not believe that a President can do no wrong, I do not believe he/she to be flawless and unquestionable, but I do see that there is good in almost all people and that if we get rid of all the negative things we are constantly focusing on we might find that that person (whom we thought we "knew") was actually much more like us, than previously known. We might find out that he is human. We might find that President George W. Bush had done good things, that we should have known about all along. I found that out.

Honestly, I am not into politics, I know for not being into politics I sure have been politiky lately, I guess maybe I'm more into social politics(if that exists)...just like I am not into history just for the facts and dates, I am into these things for the people, for the African children with malaria and aids, for the Iraqi people, who think they may finally have a shot at freedom. I am into this for knowing what the President's heart is, what is behind the facades of all things unknown.

What am I saying?: If you find him full of fault you are wrong, if you find him fault-less you are wrong. He should not be so revered that all that he does is perfect and just, and he should not be so wronged as that all that he accomplishes is selfish, ugly and incompetent. seriously, who can please (or displease) a "miseducated" audience?

Here are some tidbits from the links above:

President Bush announced the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan)

President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan). The Emergency Plan is the largest commitment ever by any nation for an international health initiative dedicated to a single disease -- a five-year, $15 billion, multifaceted approach to combating the disease around the world. The United States now leads the world in its level of support for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address January, 2008 Requesting that the US double its commitment to the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we're working to cut by half the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African nations. And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next five years.

22 February, 2008

goodwill, canned food outlet, and winco

We are moving in, we have moved in, it is great.

We moved and got rid of internet and got new internet, and such. It is great to be online again; I can attest that I have been having withdrawals. Serious withdrawals. It too way to long to get things working right, a technician had to come to the house. But I am currently getting my fix, and feel pretty calm and content to sit staring at the bright screen.

I have alphabetized my books, we don’t have a ton but it did take a while. It is really neat because now we see all the ones that we want to read again, since the book shelves are placed in the living room. I have that room set up for reading, and it seems it has worked well so far! I put lights all around directed at the seating, and it is a joy to sit in there. There is a gas fireplace, and it is a pretty cozy and warm environment.

We were going to have the boys share a room, but it didn’t work out too well for the sleeping part of it. They played really well, all day and long into the night, jumping on the beds, singing songs, and really just proving that they were not ready to do it yet. Not yet, but soon. Jackson will be 4 years old next month and Oliver will be 2 in April. We’ll probably hold off for a year or so.

I have been trying to keep myself out of the book sections in Goodwill, the Arc and other such cheap-book-finding locations. I have talked myself out of trillions must-haves and have bought many of them as well. Oh, it is so fun to find good deals on books!!

The boys and I have had too much fun at the library too. We got to go to story hour a couple of days ago, it was crowded, and so we really weren’t able to see very well. I am really excited about the bilingual story time that they hold there, we’ll have to try it.

Groceries, we all need them. I have fallen in love all-over-again with WinCo, but even better than WinCo is the Canned Food outlet!! Oh, my…it is nice to see prices so low. We have had a good time there.

Well, I do miss Lebanon…mostly the people we know over there, but I am enjoying Corvallis and what it has to offer.

16 February, 2008

signing out from lebanon

I'll be gone, for a couple of days. we are moving and i need to figure out good a good internet provider in corvallis. all you corvallisites, call me it you know. I'm interested in cheap and fast...aren't we all!

signing out from Lebanon.

until again.

14 February, 2008

presenting: dream accomplished.

here is my dream.

ps: I know I posted a guitar several weeks back that was amazing an Art & Lutherie...this one is made by the same company Godin, but is actually quite nicer than the other one. It is a Seagull, I love these guitars, they are excellent. Can you believe it~!? I am so blessed!

Thanks again, my funny valentine!

13 February, 2008

a guitar!? he bought me a guitar!

Valentines, of them all...mine is the best!

My valentine bought me a guitar for valentines day! What? Yes! The one I have longed after, wished for, dreamed of and etcetera...

I am so stinking blown away...thanks my valentine, I had no idea.

want to do a book challenge?! tell me about it!

Since there is some interest and so I'll spill the sites that I have found (mostly on other book blogger's pages as my new book buddy Trish ). I will let all my friends know about them too. It isn't nice to hoard anything good, right!?

Here are the things I have discovered so far:

There is a Book Awards Reading Challenge (Which Trisha would probably be interested in!) They have Newbury, Pulitzer, Booker and the Nobel...you can choose a challenge or do them all!!!!

If you are a lover of long saga-esk books, try the Chunkster Challenge 2008
You are supposed to read at least 4 books that are over 450 pages each. I choose to do a couple more, but that is only because the doubled up for other challenges.

If you have not seen a challenge to fit your fancy...go to A Novel Challenge
There you will find, tons of challenges: A-Z Challenge, Dragons and such Challenge, Princess Challenge...Royalty Challenge (Okay...I am just trying to remember what I saw) there are too many so you need to go for yourself!

Interested in memoirs or autobiographies and such?? Go to the In Their Shoes Challenge and you be in heaven. The rules are posted there..it looks like fun!

The TBR (to be read) Challenge is really neat, it is the books you ALREADY own, and you choose from those to read, thus eliminating our ever expanding need for more, and I mean MORE BOOKS!

Okay, so this is the last one I am going to search out for you...it is called My Year of Reading Dangerously...seriously, what a title!? Who wouldn't want to join with that one! This one is for those of us who have been intimidates (scared) of reading certain books, authors, genres, and so on. There is an official list of books that you can read, or you can make up your own scary list! I joined this one, it looked like too much fun. There are 12 picks for this one...so it is a longer list of books. I chose many off of the actual list, because it is always more fun to read with others, and there are many that I am interested on the official list.

A word to the peoples: If you are going to try to do this, start off slow. Also, I noticed that a lot of the challenges will be closed for joining in March, so if you want to join you should think about how many books you can actually read this year. Also, do yourself a favor and use the books several times, or more! You'll be happy when it is time to check off those lists!

Oh, and as payment for all this super-duper useful info: you HAVE TO let me know if you do join a group and what you decide on...I am nosy that way!!!

My Book Challanges:

As a commitment to reading a lot this next year and as a tiny motivator I have joined in on two book challenges. Our book club at Pretty Paper is just dandy, but I seem to get through the books way fast and wanted some inspiration to keep me reading. I also wanted to put some of the book club books on my lists so that I wouldn't have way too much to read. I will try to use each book in more than one list so that I am not overwhelmed, yes, I know my limits. I have selected two challenges for this year so far. I am deciding on my books for them, so here it goes!

The Chunky Chunkster Challenge:
(Consisting of large/massive good books)
1.) Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
2.) Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
3.)What is the What, by Dave Eggers
4.)Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
5.)The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
6.) Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood

My Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge:
(Consisting of books or authors that you were intimidated by previously)
1.)Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
2.)Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
3.)Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood
4.)Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
Transformations, by Anne Sexton
6.) As I Lay Dying,
by William Faulkner
7.) The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret Lives of People in Love, by Simon Van Booy
Transformations, by Anne Sexton
Maus I and II, by Art Spiegelman
What is the What, by Dave Eggers

12 February, 2008

The History of Love-Rated!

I finished The History of Love by Nicole Krauss last week. Oh, my goodness...what a good book to read. It is one of those in-between books for me, it is not a silly nothing total chic lit (which I do enjoy sometimes too), and it is not loaded with information so that I needed to read and re-read paragraphs to make sure I didn't miss anything. It is an amazing book, it caused me to think, it is somewhat of a mystery and a love story of not just husband and wife, but best friends who are up in their years and share loss and history, of a mother and daughter learning to relate, brother and sister growing up together. For each character in the book it is the loss of such a love and what has caused the pain, and how they reach through that pain to continue on in their love even after death or distance or choices that have put a separation mark between them.

Even thought the title would give off a mushy, sappy book, this is not that. It is not that only because it concentrates on people and their difficulties in conquering their loves, but also in how they were or were not able to maintain them. This book deals with the deeper aspects of love, as in loyalty, devotion, patience and trust. I was not able to put it down, and even when I had to (I do have two little boys!), I would just keep on thinking about it until I was reunited with it once again. Now it is over...I wish it weren't. This book struck deep within me, I loved it...truly. It is one of my all time faves.

my rating:
The History of Love 5/5

JD Salinger-Rated!

I have recently finished three of JD Salinger's books, and here they are with their ratings:
*Nine Stories 3.5/5
*Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters 4.5/5
*Franny and Zooey 5/5

I really enjoyed all three, but I think I overdid it on Salinger stuff in a row.

I recommend them all, some folk seem to not like that style of writing though...it is pretty precocious, just like his characters. It drew me in thoguh, I didn't even have to work at it...it just happened.

Here is what I have to say about Franny and Zooey which is my favourite of the three books:

I enjoyed the book and the characters and all, but that was completely secondary to what I got out of the book. It is almost like I got what I did despite the fact that the book talks about a group of wonderbread kids who have life so easy that they try and make it complicated. I realised that I did have a hard time tolerating their fainting spells, and when they insulted their mamma and called her fat and such. I began to see them as more spoiled and less actually practising what they knew. So, like I said it is almost as if the donkey was speaking for me...like God used Zooey despite who he was, not because of who he was. I would argue that God does that with us all to a certain extent.

It seems that Salinger could have chosen to use these wealthy, upper class, wonderbreads because of the impact it could have on the reader. It is easier to take something from a preacher who you can see does not have it all together either, you can relate to him...and maybe that is why the author chose to do it that way. Maybe he was mocking the whole idea, as in these are they only type of people who can afford to mope around and recite little prayers....who knows what he meant to do...I do know what I got from it though. No matter what he meant, God spoke to me, even if it was through a talking donkey.

07 February, 2008

my faithful friends: my trusted books

This is what I came up with. It is constantly changing a tad, but most of these have been here for years. These are the ones that I read and re-read and love it each time. Let me know if you've read any of them and what you thought!!!!

*La Frontera de Cristal (The Crystal Frontier)-Carlos Fuentes
*Aura- Carlos Fuentes
*Uncle Tom's Cabin- Harriet Beecher Stowe
*One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
* Nobel Lecture -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
*Franny and Zooey- JD Salinger
*Washington Square- Henry James
*A History of Love- Nicole Krauss
*A Tale of Two Cities- Charles Dickens

*Woman Warrior-Maxine Hong Kingston
*Lizard- Banana Yoshimoto
*Interpreter of Maladies- Juhmpa Lahiri
*Del Amor y Otros Demonios (Of Love and Other Demons)- Gabriel García Márquez
*The Hobbit
and Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien

06 February, 2008

VOTE! vote for a human.

Did you know that we youngsters are expected to really actually vote this time around! Did you know that usually we don't, that usually we have a lot to say about the way things should be run, but we don't do our part in seeing that we wouldn't have to complain any longer.

Who will make the difference, who will lead the way that one should lead a nation? Who will give more than he/she as to lead the way we insatiables expect. We don't expect a man or a woman to lead this nation...that is why we are constantly let down, we are so excited about Super Tuesday because all the candidates put on their best shoes and their prettiest faces and head on over to make us be charmed into loving them, into submission. But the real problem is that we don't want to follow a mere man/woman...we want a super person....one with no faults, no blind spots, no personal problems, that always says the right thing, always argues the best, always leads the way we want them to, always looks nice, always makes their kids behave, always worth us looking up to, always unwavering, always happy, always our puppet.

The problem is that there are too many billion people here in this nation, that there are too many perfects, that their are too many people who would want their leader to do the opposite of what we would choose. I'll tell you now, no leader that is elected will be hero worthy. Our current president is not, the next one will not be either...we are expecting things that they cannot give. Sure "promises are made and should be kept" is the war cry of so many who are annoyed with candidates and their vows to change this and that and then never change a thing. But aren't we the ones who expect them to make promises, we want big promises, promises that they will treat us right, that our lives will be better, easier, things will be more peaceful, we will all be able to afford going to the doctor....but they can't meet this. They shouldn't promise what they can't keep...but we should not beg of them to make them, when they have no idea how it will happen. Let's allow them to be real, to be honest, to be people instead of perfect. We are a blood-sucking nation, we require so much more than ever possible...and when it is not met we sit on our wealthy white butts and complain, complain, complain. What about worrying about the people who really do need help? What about doing something about it ourselves? This is not a one-man-show. You want change? Change it.

I think there would be a lot fewer people let down if they realized that the president is not some holy entity. Faults will be found, mistakes made and re-made, our personal goals will not be looked after....but truthfully being the president of the United Sates is the most horrible job description I could ever think of. I would not will it on anyone.

peace out homies...keep it peaceful out there all you Clinton, Obama, McCain, Hukabee, Romney enthusiasts...keep it peaceful.

PS the thing that I do think is the most excellent is something my sis ellyn mentions in her blog (see sidebar if you want to head there) That FINALY we have a woman and a minority in the run...this should happened long, long ago. I am at least greatful that it has happened now.

04 February, 2008

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa build out of Jenga blocks...Check it out!

moral of the story...
don't spend two weekends doing what some old guy can knock over with a microphone chord in 1 minute!

silly reporter!

C-Town here we come!!!

I've been warning and re-warning all of you. Now the time has come. My parents are leaving next Tuesday for España and we will head on over to rent their house. I am excited, but I hate moving...so that is the way it looks right now.

The boys will be sharing a room, we will live in Corvallis, and we will be in search of a church. These are all exciting and freaky at the same time. However what we do know really helps: this is exactly what we are supposed to be doing right now. What comes after...we'll just wait that one out. (meaning: we have no idea)

ps: this picture is not us...but I wish it were!! They are sillies!


Thank you to all of you who stepped up and gave me a list of your favourite books!! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on those. fo sho!

For those who have yet to leave a list...or still want to leave another list...KEEP THEM COMING!! It is never too late! Oh, and from now on know if you ever read a book that you absolutely love, I'd love to know.

At some point I will post my favourite 10 books of all time...I just have to figure out which ones they are.

Thank you tons!