Saturday, August 12, 2017

Charlottesville


Neo-Nazis use a symbol of Polynesian culture in their storm through a college campus. A black cop stays calm and protects men throwing Nazi salutes and wearing KKK hoods. People trying to stand up against racism are literally mowed down by a coward with a car. These are all sights you'll see this weekend in Charlottesville. And it's a heartbreaking reminder that evil is alive and well.

To all Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, and every other non-Christian, please hear me: THIS. ISN'T. JESUS. This is not what he stood for. This is not what he preached. This is not what he would be doing if he were around today. These are bitter, angry white men scared at the idea of people not like them getting a seat at the table. There is still a HUGE number of Christians who believe in freedom of religion the way the Constitution intends it. I know it may not feel that way, but I promise you, it's true. And we won't give up the fight.


To all POC: You are seen. You are valued. You are loved. These may be the loudest voices right now, but they're wrong. These are bitter, angry white men scared at the idea of minorities no longer staying silent and taking away their privilege of the final say. They may be louder for now, but it won't stay that way, no matter what terror like this makes us think. I don't have the answers, all I can say is please know that so many of us are on your side. You are never alone.


To white people, especially Christians: STAND UP. SPEAK UP. DON'T SHUT UP FOR A SECOND AS LONG AS BIGOT RALLIES ARE HAPPENING. We may not be able to end bigotry and hate, but we can send it back to the fringes of society where it belongs. 


All lives won't matter until non-white lives do.
All lives won't matter until non-Christian lives do.
All lives won't matter until we get a president who condemns white terrorism as strongly as he does ISIS terrorism.


We've got a lot of work to do. The longer we hide behind "not all white people" "not all Christians" "not all Republicans" to avoid taking blame, the longer we allow this to spread like the disease it is. It's on ALL of us.


post signature

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dunkirk! OMG.

All of my thoughts will be under the poster to respect you poor, unfortunate souls who haven’t had the pleasure honor of seeing this movie yet. 
SPOILERS ABOUND.


Okay, seriously, if this movie is not the Hamilton of the Oscars, and by that I mean if it does not get nominated for all the awards and win every single damn award it is nominated for, then I will personally start a revolt against the Academy. Because HOLY HELL. THIS MOVIE IS PERFECTION. Easily the movie of the year. Christopher Nolan did it again.
I don’t really cry at movies or television, but that part where Alex told Peter George was dead, then Peter still told Cillian’s character that George was going to be okay, and the look he gave his father afterward, because he knew it was the right thing to do not to traumatize him any more than he already was, that was the part that got me closest to crying. 
Speaking of George, I want to take Barry Keoghan and Aneurin Barnard and wrap them up in blankets and keep them safe and warm forever. It was nice to see Alex’s humanity come out and try to save Gibson just what seemed like seconds after trying to throw him off the ship.
Watching Harry Styles nearly drown three times in the span of an hour and forty-five minutes is not good for my blood pressure. Or sanity.
Hans Zimmer is a genius, and also really, really cruel. I think I’m going to be hearing that ticking clock in my sleep.
How can Tom Hardy possibly do so much with just his eyes??? I want to meet him just so I can ask him that. It’s ridiculous. He spent the vast majority of the movie with the pilot’s mask over his face, yet I felt more attached to him than almost any other character. That final look when he takes his mask off in front of his burning plane and you can see Germans behind him, AGH! SO GOOD! 
I didn’t get to see it in IMAX, because we don’t have an IMAX theater nearby, but the cinematography was so phenomenal, I still felt like I was there. I remember noticeably jumping several times.
The chemistry between Kenneth Branagh and James D’Arcy was great. They made me smile, even in the middle of all the tension. They and Mark Rylance were the perfect balancing forces leading the chaos.
I actually audibly laughed when Peter pulled Collins in from the water and Collins just said, “Afternoon,” with a tone of like Hey mate, how’s it going? Nice day out, isn't it?
Harry was so good, and I mean that from a purely cinematic perspective, not because I love him. I forgot that I was watching Harry. I can’t believe that for someone jumping into their first major acting role, with such a recognizable face, he was able to immerse himself so easily. Maybe it was at least partially because who Alex is is so different from who Harry is, but even though I knew it was him, I forgot it was him because I was so enthralled by the action of the movie, particularly during the scene in the grounded boat with the group. You could tell that Alex was really only an asshole because, as Harry said in interviews, he was as scared and desperate to get home as anyone, but he genuinely scared me a few times. 
All in all, 10 out of 10. I’d go see it again, but my grandma was so pissed at the movie theater upping their prices, there’s no way that will happen. Ah well, once is far better than none at all.
Run, do not walk, RUN to see this movie as soon as you possibly can.

post signature

Monday, July 31, 2017

Get your red on!

Well, July is officially over, which means I only have to survive one more month of brutally hot summer, then the best season of all arrives.


FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!
Insert all the praise hands here.

The Wolfpack started preseason camp Friday, so I am already HYPED UP for what is looking to be a good season. I know, I know, don't get caught up in the hype. State is spectacular at being a letdown. But this is the best group of players we've had in recent memory and the highest preseason standing we've had in a long damn time, so I say it's not getting caught up in the hype, it's having faith that this season is going to be one to remember. :)

I mean here's what we're dealing with.

4-1/4 returning starters on the offensive line (1/4 because one of the guys started 3 of the games) that allowed only 17 sacks all of last season
A wide receiver who can run a 4.48 40-yard dash (faster than a WR/RB we have who is an All-American sprinter)
A redshirt-junior quarterback who threw for more than 3,000 yards last year
An "all-purpose back" so multi-purpose talented our conference had to create that title just for him
An all-senior defensive line often ranked among the top 3 in the nation
A punter with the fourth best average in school history and the best in over 40 years
8 players on preseason national award watch lists

And that's just for starters. :)

I love this school. I love this game. I LOVE THIS TEAM.

September 2nd, I'm ready for you.

Win, lose, or tie, Wolfpack 'til I die!

WOLFPACK FOR LIFE!

post signature

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My People

I know I say this a lot, but if I didn't have my friends, I would go absolutely batshit crazy. Really.

Stuck here, if I didn't have people that I could text at the drop of a hat, even if it's just for a word of encouragement and a reminder that I'm not alone in this insanity, even when I feel like I am, I truly don't know how I'd make it. As much as I love my family, they are exhausting, in every sense of the word. I am so. tired.

That's why I'm so thankful for the people whom I chose and who chose me. They are the people who know me deep in my bones, with all my scars and flaws and insecurities, and love me just the same. They are the people who make time for our relationship, because they care and because it's important to them, too. They are the people who, despite being spread over literally thousands of miles, make me feel surrounded by love when I need it most. They are the people who support me unconditionally and who tell me I am enough - I don't have to try to be anything else.

I don't get that from my biological family most of the time, and that kind of love is something everyone deserves. The past couple weeks, it's been especially evident to me just how crucial it's been in my survival, especially from one person in particular. He's been so unbelievably good to me, despite having literally every second of his day taken up with work and stuff for his own life. He's still invested. He still cares about my life and is here as much as he can be. Just having someone to talk to can mean so much. I can't even properly explain it.

So yeah. I don't really have anything else to say. The past few weeks have been pretty boring, and I've been feeling pretty awful, both physically and mentally. But I'm thankful that in the midst of it all, God has helped me to keep an eye on one major constant blessing in my life.

My people. When all else fails, they are good, so so good.

post signature

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Well, this is just fantastic timing.

Well, this didn't turn out quite as planned.

I decided this week that I was going to start walking around my neighborhood again. I found out last week at the doctor that I weighed 274 (I managed to lose 6 lbs in May and June despite being completely sedentary because of my foot surgery! I was shocked!), and my goal is to hit 250 by the end of the year, so while I've been doing pretty well so far all things considering, I wanted to do a little bit more, and as my friend Jay says "it's all about increasing that output."

But I knew that I needed to start slow and take it easy on myself, first because it's been so long since I really tried this, and two because the fusion in my right toe is still pretty sore, so I didn't want to hurt myself right off the bat. Here are my stats from Wednesday - Friday.


I thought those were pretty good, right? Slight increase in distance day by day, but still not too sharp. And each day when I got home, I felt GOOD. Like the whole cliché endorphins-rush kind of good. And my muscles were sore, and I was definitely out of breath, but I wasn't in real pain, you know? I was really happy, I thought I was doing well and was going to take today off to rest, anyway, for some balance.

Well, about an hour after I got back inside last night (Friday), I could barely walk. My right hip and lower back were in so much pain I was either screaming or wanted to any time I moved the slightest little bit. It is AWFUL.

I have no idea what the heck I did. If I'd had any indication I was hurting myself, I would have stopped and come home. Agh. I was just getting started, and now I have no idea when I'll be able to walk again. Because something tells me this pain is going to stick around for a while.

(Hint: I'm actually writing this post on Tuesday the 11th, and yep, I still can barely move. AWESOME. It's a bit better than Saturday, but I am still nowhere close to being able to go on a walk again.)

Prayers for healing would be much appreciated. I'm really determined to keep losing weight, and this is just...frustrating, to say the least.

post signature

Saturday, July 1, 2017

God is SO COOL.


Something happened today that's the kind of thing you hear about happening to other people but never think will happen to you.
So today, I ran into the grocery store for Mom for some things we needed. You know those days where you have a strict budget on how much you can spend at the store, with NO room to spare? This was one of those days, so I was a bit anxious to make sure I stayed under budget. No one wants to be that person that has to put stuff back while people are waiting behind you, especially days like today when it was a madhouse. When I got to the line, I asked the cashier if he had a store card on him for discounts. He did, so I took a deep breath, and once the mom and daughter in front of me were done, I stood there watching the total as he rang up my items. The bagger asked me how I was, and I said, "I'll let you know when I find out if I made it under budget." As the cashier was getting near the end, I felt a hand on my shoulder. The mom who'd been in front of me was there and said, "I want to buy your groceries for you. I'm a believer, and God is telling me to buy your groceries." YEAH. I KNOW. I started ugly crying right there in the grocery store. And you know what's the coolest part? If she hadn't done that, it would have taken up every dollar of that budget I had when I walked in.
Here's to you, Robin. Thanks for reminding me that God is in the details, and that there are more good people than bad out there.

post signature

Friday, June 30, 2017

Seamless


Oh man. This study right here, Seamless, this is one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's 165 pages of teaching, but also laughter and love and excitement and everything I knew I was missing but was too scared to go look for.  Because here's the truth, y'all: as much as I love the Lord, and as important as people know my faith is to me, reading my Bible has been almost non-existent. And it makes me feel like a complete fraud. It wasn't necessarily because I didn't want to, more because I didn't know where to begin and procrastination is the best way to protect a perfectionist from the pain of rejection and failure. 

But I spent the month of June doing this study after it had been sitting on my shelf for years (and I only missed/had to play catch up on 3 days, which is amazing because I lack discipline), and now I can't wait to read more. I feel like I have the tools to begin without feeling overwhelmed, like it will make more sense to me and less like I'm reading gibberish. I love that I have this study and my notes from it to go back to to help keep people and details straight. I think that was one of my biggest issues before, and why it all seemed so confusing. 

Starting out, I didn't know how Angie was going to fit 66 books into 6 weeks of study, but she did, and she did it so beautifully, and I couldn't be more excited. Now, it really does feel more like a love letter than anything. All the glory to God. 😊❤️

post signature

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What now?

I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life next.

I was so set on applying to PhD programs, convinced that that was my next step, that I started telling everyone who asked that I wanted to be a college professor, which I really did (do?), but now that I didn't get into any programs two years in a row, and you need a PhD to do that (you can be an adjunct with a Master's, but they don't make enough to live on as a full-time income), I really don't know what I want to do or be now.

I know I'm going to start job hunting now, but what am I even supposed to look for? How do you apply for jobs when you have no idea what you want to do? I suppose I'm just going to apply for anything and everything, mostly because I'm desperate to get the hell out of this house and this town as quickly as possible, but it's really rather depressing because it feels like everyone around me either already knows what they're doing or has a specific goal in mind, and I'm in this weird fog in which I don't have the slightest clue what direction I'm headed.

You know what really doesn't help, though? The only people that are physically right here with me, the only people I spend time with, my family, don't seem to believe in me or that I can do it. My mom accused me of sabotaging myself from getting into Montreal because I "either can't or don't want to handle the anxiety of growing up," which is absolutely insane because all I want to do is be on my own. She wonders why I don't talk to her anymore about anything personal; it's because she says crap like that. My grandma has given me three separate lectures on finding a job close to home because she doesn't think I'll make it if I move far away on my own. And while I do enjoy proving people wrong, it's really exhausting. I know that I'm lucky to have friends all over the place who believe in me; I just wish I had someone right here who did.

Is the thought of growing up and moving out on my own? Yeah, of course it is. But my life has been filled with scary things that I've not shied away from and done anyway. I don't know why they're expecting this to be different.

But you know what? I was texting Jay last night (thank you, WhatsApp), and he reminded me that while ideally, everyone would have a supportive family, sometimes it just doesn't work out like that, and I can't let their disbelief affect my self-esteem. My worth isn't dependent on what they, or anyone, say I'm capable of. I just have to focus on who I am, the gifts that I know I have, and what I know I want and am capable of.

God's going to lead me in the right direction. I just have to have faith. Everything and everybody else is just background noise.

post signature

Thursday, June 15, 2017

25

Happy birthday to me. I guess?

I like other people's birthdays much more than I like my own. At least when I'm in this town with literally nothing to do and no one to see.

And Mom is in Chapel Hill for the night because she has big medical tests first thing in the morning, so it's just me and the dogs, TV, and a glass of honey whiskey.

The one upside to the day is that I have gotten a lot of texts and messages from wonderful people and FaceTimes with my two favorite soccer boys, so the day could be a lot worse. I'm definitely very loved.

Truth be told, I don't mind having the house to myself. I get to blast my music as loudly as I want to. :)

Here's to another year. Let's get it!

post signature

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Story of Life

I was leaving the doctor office yesterday, and the lady checking me out asked me how I was. I responded, "Good in some ways, bad in others, but isn't that the story of life?" She chuckled and said, "Yes, yes it is." So shall I get to the good and the bad?

Good: My foot is doing really well. The two bad falls I had last week didn't do any damage to my foot. I got all my bandages off and the incision looked great. I was told I could get off the scooter and start walking on it (in a boot, of course), but here's what I was really looking forward to ---> He told me I can finally get it wet! I could shave my whole leg and wash my foot after 46 days of not being able to. The first thing I wanted to do when I got home was get in the shower and scrub the disgusting amount of dead skin off, but of course, I was inexplicably super lightheaded as soon as I got out of the car, so I had to wait a few hours. But still, once I did it? Once I got to shave my legs nice and smooth and wash my foot until it looked and felt like a real foot again? I was practically in heaven.

Bad: Montreal lost my application. Yeah. I know. I don't know how, but when I emailed the head of the political science department to ask why I hadn't gotten a response yet, he said they had no record of me ever submitting an application (even though I have a dossier # from the email I got confirming that my application was submitted successfully). So he told me to send the dossier number to this lady and she would look into it. I did that, and she told me today that that dossier number does not open any folders for them so all she can tell me to do is contact the registrar. Now, the registrar's website is so confusing I'm not even sure that I emailed the right place because there were like 12 to choose from, and even if I did it will take up to a week for them to answer, so I'm probably going to have to call them tomorrow and awkwardly use my French for the first real time in three years on the phone with an actual French-Canadian. THIS SHOULD GO WELL. And to boot, I have until June 15 to tell the Residence Department if I'm not coming if I want to get a refund on the $389 Mommom put down for my first month of rent. So I emailed THEM asking if there was any way to get an extension on that deadline because I don't have an answer because the freakin' university lost my application and I'm trying to get it straightened out but I don't know how long it will take. But who knows what they'll say to that. So basically, I've been waiting and waiting on this school thinking for once I was being patient and that's a good thing (yay maturity!), only to find out that no, I'm being screwed over and didn't know it and am now running out of time to fix it.

All of that Montreal stuff happened today and yesterday. By the time I got the email from the lady today telling me they had no folder on me and to contact the registrar, I had to wake Mom up because I was having a panic attack and she's the best at talking me out of one. Then, she gave me Ativan because, as she put it, "You are NOT having another seizure tonight!"

Now, I'm going to do my Bible Study for the night (I finally started a real study!), maybe watch a Netflix documentary (I made a list of all the ones I want to see on my phone - because I'm weird), and then go to bed. Stress is draining.

post signature