29 October 2010

The Power of Positive Thinking

At the end of Vinyasa class yesterday, my yoga instructor left us with some fantastic parting thoughts:

"You should know that you have the ability to change your body so that it will do what you want it to do, & you have the power to change your thoughts, to put a positive force into the world, & to get a positive response."

These words are so important, & they really hit me today. I've been in a bit of a funk lately, & these were just the words I needed. We are infinitely capable. Our attitude to life has so much influence in what we get out of it.

My instructor told us a before class that, at the restaurant she works at, customers who come in grumpy always tend to have a messed up order, & then they leave in an even worse mood. As we end our week, let's try to remember not to be like those customers.

You have power over your thoughts. And your thoughts shape your world.

Jonty & I are seeing a couple of our favorite bands & attending a Halloween party or two. What are you doing this weekend? Have a great one!


Travel Thursday: New Mexico {The Ranch}

Hi lovelies, here are some more photos from my trip to New Mexico a couple of weeks ago. These are from my grandma's ranch in the mountains.

A peek of golden leaves! 

 Before working in the creek

The beaver dam we tore apart & attempted to move to a better location 

After (You should have seen my boots!) 

My grandma's old tenant (She rents out a house near hers.) used to keep his birds in here.

The attic, where I helped replace two windows 

This beautiful house is for sale. Send me an e-mail if you're interested! 

My grandma painted those flowers years ago. It's hard to even imagine her doing something like that now.

Jonty & I are working on putting together some video clips taken in Kenya. Hopefully it will be ready by next Travel Thursday!


28 October 2010

Travel Thursday: New Mexico {Balloons & Santa Fe}

As promised, here are a few more photos from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. We were camped out in a Target parking lot, so we weren't in the best location for shots, but you can still get the gist of how cool it was.

The next day, we ate lunch at La Fonda in downtown Santa Fe. I always love looking at the beautiful Cathedral by the square.

Luckily, during the time we were there, we had some beautiful, sunny days. Fall definitely started to show its colors, too. I've never seen such an abrupt change from green to gold. From the time we arrived to when we left a week later, the leaves went from all green to about half yellow/gold in color. And it was sunny, so they didn't get all wilty and brown or anything and were actually quite bright and cheery. It was so beautiful! I regret not photographing the changes, but I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

Did you get to watch autumn's arrival this year?


25 October 2010

Inspiration: Originality

I love this scene from Garden State. Lately, I've had a bout of Blah, the disease of lack of inspiration and motivation. When Jonty & I watched Garden State the other day, though, I could tell that the Blah was starting to subside - thank goodness! I hope this scene gives you the same heart-pumping, exhilarated feeling that it gives me every time I watch it.

And this next video is for a fantastic song called Radar Detector by Darwin Deez. It is seriously kooky, in a mind-bending way. Enjoy!

My inspiration this week is originality. What's your inspiration?


12 October 2010

Ranch Monday

Today has been a very ranch kind of day. I stuck around the house this morning, waiting on a call for my grandma. While I waited, I made a yummy salad lunch & my fave winter veggie pasta recipe to have for dinner later. (Both were a big hit!)

This afternoon, I helped by the creek. The beavers rebuilt their dam in a place that has led to too much land erosion in a bad area. So we had to tear it down. We felt bad but did our best to help lug all of the supplies further down the creek to a better spot & start building their new dam. Hopefully they feel at home in their new place! It was pretty hard work, & we left wet, covered in mud, & with water-filled boots, but it was fun. And it just felt good to use my body for something worthwhile.

After we changed shoes/socks & drinking lots of water, my mom & I fixed a window pane in the house my grandma owns down the street.

Afterward, I decided to go on a run to keep up with my 5k training plan. (I'm on the second to last week.) Perhaps due to the high elevation, or maybe the work I did earlier in the day hadn't caught up with me yet, but I definitely did not make it the whole 2.75 miles! The shower felt amazing anyway. And I'm pretty sore now.

This evening, we watched North to Alaska. It really set in the ranch feeling even more! I loved it. If you haven't seen it, buy it the next time you come across it at the store. (It's usually really cheap - $5 or less - since it's an oldie.)

I hope everyone else had a good Monday too!


11 October 2010

Up Up & Away

Hello friends! After only two days at home, I'm out of town again! This time, I've headed to The Land of Enchantment (New Mexico) to visit my grandma. My mom & I flew into Albuquerque, where my grandma met us, & then we stayed overnight to watch the final mass ascension at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It was pretty cool to see! Definitely worth the braving the frigid morning air. I have better photos, but you guys will have to wait, as I left my camera cord at home. For now, here's a camera photo.

I'm looking forward to a week at my grandma's ranch: hard work, good company, reading, watching movies, & lots of picturesque scenes. More soon.


08 October 2010

Something Awesome: Considering Careers

The other day, I was stressing thinking wondering about my (near!) future. I turned to Jonty & asked, "What am I going to be when I grow up?"
He replied, "Something awesome."

Being a philosophy major (and master, degree to be conferred in December) that has decided, for the moment, not to continue on to a PhD program, there is no straight answer as to what my next move is. While some people are under the impression that philosophy is next to worthless in the real world, barring law school, it actually is the opposite. Philosophy requires analysis, attention to detail, and knowledge of many subject areas (depending on your concentration - from environment to education to physics to mathematics to ancient history). Good writing skills, ability to work individually with little supervision, and interpersonal skills also help in a big way. These are broad and important skills that could apply to so many careers.

But I'm still searching for mine.

At the moment, I'm looking into teaching at the (junior) college level - preferably online, so I can be flexible if Jonty finds a job elsewhere. I've also checked out some Office/Admin/HR Assistant positions, since they could possibly allow me to understand the company's setup better and lead to entrance into a higher up position, but at minimum I will get paid while I search for other opportunities.

I've also been checking out positions with the UN & other international organizations, & so many require a master's in a related field (Is philosophy related? My bachelor's is also in government...), some really specific knowledge, or, like, 10 years' experience in, for example, international mediation in areas of conflict. Gah.

Having "so many" options, right now, is seeming more like not having many options. I think one major obstacle is not knowing how to get into a field. Perhaps I need to get my network on.

A chat with my sister, while visiting her in Portland last weekend (photos coming soon), made me think about the different things I've wanted to be "when I grew up." Here are just a few:

* editor
* writer
* fire fighter
* singer/actress/model
* teacher
* astronaut
* FBI/CIA staff (not an agent - too dangerous)
* humanitarian
* psychiatrist
* doctor

While some of these options can be abandoned, barring further eduction (perhaps an option later...), I've still got some possible "dream jobs" on my list.

Even though it seems like a long shot right now, I have a feeling that I'm on the path to "something awesome."


04 October 2010

Worry Wort

For the next couple of days, I'm in Portland, Oregon visiting my little (20-year-old) sister. (We call each other Sissa.) Anyway, my sissa & I were chatting before bed last night, & she made a remark that was exactly what I needed to hear in a way that only she can. She told me that I worry too much.

I worry too much.

I'm sure we can all say that about ourselves, to some extent or other. But lately, worry has really been affecting my life: my mood, my happiness, & my productivity. Starting today, I want to concentrate on clearing my mind of unfounded stress, of problems that I just can't solve, & of responsibility for other people who can & do take care of themselves. We all deserve to cross a few worries off our list.

Also, the lovely Persis over at Miles of Style posted this quote today, & it did its job of inspiring me. I'm usually not one to re-post, at least not this quickly, but I really wanted to share.

"Bunkum and tummyrot! You'll never get anywhere if you go about what-iffing like that. Would Columbus have discovered America if he had said, "What if I sink on the way over? What if I meet pirates? What if I never come back?' He wouldn't even have started."  -Willy Wonka, Charlie & the Great Glass Elevator


01 October 2010

Just Another Studio Friday

My mom's fiance plays Scottish Celtic music, & this weekend he is finishing up an album. Last Friday, & again this Friday, I'm at Skyline Studios with him, watching the mixing/mastering process. It's a pretty cool experience, & I thought I'd share some photos.

The studio is in Oakland, which can mean we hit some pretty gnarly traffic if we're not careful. Luckily, there are some amazing views of the hills.

Oh, did I mention that Jonty is here with me?!

Yep, I picked him up at SFO yesterday afternoon. Customs almost didn't let him through! The day was a bit of a mess, but we had In-N-Out (We got off the BART train & walked! = Dedication) & then hung out with our friends Ally & Kenny at their house last night. Today we're at the studio all day & plan to see some friends back in Sac in the evening. And tomorrow we head to Portland!