Friday, October 24, 2014

Just Thinking...

    This week has flown by, once again-- and this time, I've noticed that I've been doing a lot of reflecting.  This is what I've been thinking about... 

Favorite Show: Downton Abbey


    I know it's not a new thing, but I'm into the third season of Downton Abbey!  At first, I didn't realize what all the hype was about- and being that it started off on some kind of exclusive cable channel (HBO or something like that) I couldn't watch when others were raving about it... But, in regular "Tiffani" fashion, I'm happier viewing it this way, anyway, for the most part.  For starters, I can rip through the episodes, which are about 2hrs each, without waiting between weeks.  This show is so gripping, though, that it's a good thing that I can start from the beginning. I'm pretty sure I started watching in season 4, so I'm almost caught up.  But I just love English Life.  There's something so interesting to me about the 1900's English nobility, and all the frivolous things they worried themselves with, in the day.  They found their attention to class & refinement to be the upper echelon of society, when today, it's laughable.  I'm watching this, and laughing at some of the crisis that was caused because someone's "livery" is too snug or a family was short a Footman for the night... But on top of that, the drama is classic, the characters are original, and the scenery & props are amazing!

Favorite Journal:  Q & A Journal

   Another blogger I read told her viewers about this awhile back, and I just realized how cool it really is, and finally bought one!  It's basically a 5-year mini-journal, where each day, it asks you a question for you to think about.  Some of the questions are meaningful & deep, and others are just quirky, like 'Who is the last person on your call log?'  Then, when you get done with the first year, you repeat it the next year (for the next 4yrs) and you can see exactly what you wrote the year before.  It doesn't leave you much room, so it's an easy Jot down... Now, if you keep another journal (which I do) it may inspire you to write more... Such a fun idea! 

Favorite scare:    Spooky Clowns


  So I'm not afraid of clowns, but I thought this was hilarious when I posted it on my friend, Jen's page... She's  terrified.  I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween, but now that I'm older, I'm reveling in all the fun of the season! 

Favorite Event:  Pretty Little Liars



  
    Destiny, dressed as "A" lol

(our "A" cupcakes)

Destiny going after my sister, Shay! OH NO! 

    So, my sisters and I are big Pretty Little Liars fans- and we were pretty excited for the big Halloween Special-- Although we had a lot of fun at the party I threw (above pics) I would be remiss to say that we were a little disappointed in the "Halloween Special", to say the least.  But as disappointed in the Halloween Special, as I was, I was more disappointed in the rudeness & computer balls of some of the fans.  I went on the Fan Page to express that I was disappointed that there was no actual episode, and I could tell from the page that it was about the sentiment of50/50 of the other responses overall.   It's become sort of a tradition that there's a Halloween Special each year, it's one episode that's shown off season, that adds the season. There were a lot folks disappointed that instead of an actual episode, this year, they did a Q&A cast/fan appreciation hour.  So basically, it was a bunch of Cast Recaps & Fans commenting on past seasons & their favorite parts of PLL.  

         Now, To their credit, I guess they've been announcing for some time that it was a Q&A "Fan Appreciation" hour (-- from what the people bashing my comments had to say, lol).  Now, in the past, though, they've done Q&A during commercial breaks, so even if someone did see those posts, it's still not guaranteed that people would have understood it as such. If over half the people on the site felt the same way, then it's a pretty good indication that the message wasn't received well. It was just disheartening to see how many people were being rude & bashing other people, and making snotty remarks on the page-- saying that "the real fans knew..." One girl had the audacity to say something to the effect of "If you were so excited about it, how hard is it to go to the fan page every once in awhile to find out?"  I wanted to be like, "Look, Moron, I live a real life. I unfollow the posts, because they junk up the feed (Facebook)-- and why would I go to the page when it's off season?"  But instead of getting into a petty argument over a tv show, I decided to be an adult and let it go, lol.  It's just appalling to me how nasty people get about the dumbest stuff online, though.  

Favorite Project:  Owlie Pumpkin

  


   So, this is my Pumpkin this year!  I have an Owl theme in my kitchen, so I thought it would be really cool to paint an owl.  I'm really happy about how it turned out, and I didn't need to get any ideas from Pinterest, lol.  No offense to Pinterest (because I do like it) or to those who find creativity difficult, but it just seems that people are handicapping themselves in 2014... People don't take the time to try and think things through for themselves.  It seems like every opportunity for originality is met with a portal to some kind of technology that can do it for you. I find myself holding my tongue a lot, because I know other's feelings might get hurt... But I'm just realizing why my soul rebels against manufactured creativity... For one, it doesn't challenge you to be original, everything else online comes from other people's creativity.  Sure, it's a good place to find ideas, but for me, it's a last resort, or I use it as a way to collect the random bits of pieces I'm going for.  It's just sad that people have no drive to do it or themselves... Apparently, I have a big problem  with living your life relying solely on unoriginal & uninspired ideas/concepts, lol.

Favorite Article:  Comforting friends in grief



   I read this article in Psychology today about Grieving & Suffering, and I found it to be helpful and interesting. I saw it on a page of an old HS friend who recently lost her daughter, and thought it would be worth the read. It really was.  I generally try to be a little more considerate and thoughtful, when it comes to when expressing my condolences-- as well as being original.  I was thankful that I don't usually create these faux pas! 


  Well, that concludes today! I'm going to get some Indian Food... Lately, that Chicken Tikka Masala has been calling my NAME! What's going on with you? Let me know!

XOXO,
   Tiffani











Friday, October 10, 2014

Humanity

   I'm excited for today! I get to go home early, after a long week at work!  Some interesting & thought-provoking things have happened this week... Some good, some bad... but nonetheless, they've happened, and we're better for having the opportunity to stop and think about them... Here they are! 


Favorite Video:  Can We Auto-correct Humanity?

   I saw this video, and felt glad that I'm not the only one feeling like we're becoming droids.  For one,  I'm a person who likes authenticity-- so, this manufactured, cookie-cutter way we're doing relationships isn't working for me.  For starters, people don't really value other people, unless there's a tragedy.  How many times are you with a group of friends, and the majority of them are texting or posting online, while you're trying to have a good time together?  And let's not forget that every activity, every event, and pretty much every meal has to be posted online??? I know my friends are irritated with me, because they don't really understand how much it aggravates me that people can't do ANYTHING without posting it online, these days.  I feel like posting every get-together & time you do things w/your friends, cheapens the experience, eventually. Sure, it's fun in that moment, but people just rely so much on technology to remember the good times for you, rather than treasuring them.  And really? Do you need to be connected ALL the time? Does everyone have to know EVERYTHING about you?  I love social media & technology-- but not at the risk of losing real relationships...

Favorite Book:  Amy, My Daughter

   If you've read my blog for awhile, you know that I'm a big Amy Winehouse, fan.  Amy's music got me through some really truly rough times, in my life.  I want to absorb the true essence of her music & her style (in a sense)... One thing that is sad about artists who past, is that you can only love them through their pasts... I'll never get to go to an Amy Winehouse concert.  But, I hope I'll begin to see more about her, through her father's book.

Favorite Gripe:   Ultimate Empathy vs.Extreme Narcissism... 



   FYI- I do NOT love our narcissistic society... I've had the displeasure to witness great hardships, this past week. A friend's daughter committed suicide, and another friend's mother passed away... It is inevitable, given a tragedy is someone else's life, that some idiot will take the family's suffering, and try to turn all the attention on themselves.  It's really sad, because it's not about them! My favorite brand of extreme narcissism, are the people who post things on social media, to people who will never ever see/understand it-- as if they're posting it to that person alone... all they're really saying is "Look at me, look at me!!"  Posting prayers & posting messages to dead people... It's all far too attention-seeking for me... Let me expound on that... It's more like "passive-aggressive attention-seeking"--- two things I loathe.  For one, if you seek attention, at least be upfront about it. If you feel the need to express a loss online, then do just that! Talk about how you feel... but don't pretend that you're talking to that person, and no one else can read your post...It's annoying.

      I feel it comes from an extreme sense of entitlement. There are some folks that are just so self involved, they can't let other people have anything to themselves, even if it is grief & pain... Instead they have to ingratiate themselves into the thick of everything, and try to glean as much attention as possible, when really, it probably has very little to do with them.  And there will always be some moron who says things they shouldn't say... Such a bad case of "not the right time..." In grief, people generally don't want to hear that it was anyone's fault... To my horror, a relative did this at my Great Aunt's funeral, and (sadly) it's been the only thing I can remember anyone saying about her, that day... It's not the time to assign blame.  It's a time to gain strength from family & friends, remember what was good about the person & memorable moments.  I know everyone deals with grief differently, but I can say, it's probably safe to say that a bunch of self-serving negative comments about your own personal issues, is no help to anyone...


Favorite Movie:  Gone Girl

                                                 

     I read this book a few years ago, and was so pleased that it was made into a movie... Of course, there's always that anxiety that the movie won't be a good as the book (which is why I usually like to see the movie, first)-- but this movie left NOTHING to be desired!  Each moment is gripping & you sit on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next (even if you already know, because of the book-- man, I hate a spoiler!).  You get drawn into the sick world of revenge, manipulation, public image, betrayal and truth.  This move is a MUST SEE!




  Well, I'm off to my weekend! Hope you can do the same soon! Let me know how you feel, even if you don't agree! Trust me, I am not one of those "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" types, lol... I can handle a healthy disagreement... What I don't handle is disrespect- there's a difference. Comment below!



Friday, October 3, 2014

A Great Read!

  Another whirlwind week has gone by! Here's what's been going on:

Favorite Pet:  The Cat Who Tried To be My Pet...


       This is a very similar picture to the cat the kept trying to be my pet, near my office.  As many of you know, I'm not a "Cat" person. I'm not even a small dog person (generally)... It's Big Dogs for me, all the way... but I can say that this cat warmed my heart. It was super- sweet. The first time I saw it, it was just sitting in the parking lot. When it saw me, it just started walking towards me. I thought it was going to walk behind me, because most cats don't just walk right up to you... but as I turned, it turned... So, I shewed it away-- because again, I don't really like domestic cats (Wild cats are my thing)... All I could think of was this MEME, and that this was "the beginning!" ha ha


  I won't be 40yrs old for some time, but that was the frightening image in my head, ha ha ha... So, I saw it every now & again. one night, after a particularly late meeting, some of the boys from the Youth Council that I work with, were playing with it. It just rolled over & pounced & let the kids play with it for at least a good half hour, before we left.  We wanted to find it a home, because clearly it had been someone's pet at one point. It was highly domesticated.  But sadly, this little black & charcoal beauty was hit by a car. I saw it near my office, and I teared up-- which was a strange feeling. It wasn't my cat, I don't like cats, but it was just so sweet.  I only wish we had more time to find it a good home. Rest in Peace, Little Kitty!  
     

Favorite Movie:  Schindler's List 

    
          From time to time, I love watching movies I've already seen, that had a profound impact on me, in the past. I'm interested in the Holocaust, and have been for several years. I have an affinity for certain cultures, and the Jewish Culture happens to be one of them.  I remember being moved by Schindler's List when I was a teenager, but I couldn't remember who Schindler was, or if he was a good person, bad, or indifferent.  I remembered crying, but I didn't remember if it was a good reason or a bad reason.  So, I watched it again, and [because of other documentaries I've followed] I was able to grasp the full impact of what  Oskar Schindler did. The man was actually a Nazi sympathizer on all Nazi politics, aside from the race superiority aspect.  He wasn't really involved with the politics of the war, until he saw it as a business opportunity... That was what he originally set out to do; Get rich off of the war... But fortunately, to a lot of people, this was not his ultimate purpose. This one man was able to spare aproximately 1,200 Jews from Plaszow, Auschwitz & other Concentration camps..  What a great contribution, when about 6 MILLION Jews were slaughtered as a result of the Holocaust. What a great movie! 

*** SIDENOTE:*** Speaking of the Holocaust, I am not so naive to see the irony in what's happening overseas with ISIS.  Christians & Jews right now, in 2014, are being beheaded for their faith. Sure, this has periodically gone on for centuries, but it is more evident how prominent it has been recently. Please remember to pray for healing. Pray for justice... Pray for a cease to all the senseless killings. Many would agree that these are just more "signs of the end times"... But of course, this has been said over and over again for decades, as well. The best thing we can do is pray, stand firm on our beliefs & support our armed forces.  

Favorite Event: My Housewarming Party!!!



     So, I had my Housewarming Party Last weekend! Probably much to the chagrin of my downstairs neighbors, who weren't invited (ha ha) but it was so much fun! I'm so blessed to have such great friends and family, to show up and support the move! We had lots of food & drinks, and really enjoyed ourselves.  So, it's official! I'm moved in! I still need a few more pieces, but overall I'm loving life at my new place!

Favorite Concept:  Diversify!!!



    There was a moment that happened for me today, that really caused me to appreciate my thirst for diversity.  I thrive on it... So, when I came across a situation of something so basic today, something purely and utterly ignorant, I was dumbfounded.  I say "ignorant" in the truest form, not in a condescending way... but regardless, it was truly disturbing to me.  It was almost as if these folks were telling me they didn't know Michael Jackson was in The Jackson Five! Yeah- it was that jarring.  But it really made me appreciate that I live a life with varied interests and cultures. I don't hide in my bubble. I Branch Out! Even though, at times I can be a bit reclusive, I branch out & diversify through books, documentaries, and being truly interested in how others live their lives.  I have friends of all different ages, cultures, religions, ethnicity and economical backgrounds... I know people who have used drugs in the past & have struggled on and off for years; I have friends who grew up in church their entire life and never have gotten as much as a detention in middle school... I have friends who have been to prison, and friends who grew up in church their entire life and went to prison, lol (for example).  I don't live a sheltered existence, any more than I submerge myself into any one cause or culture. There's so much more in the world than the tiny little space you create for yourself. Being able to relate to others on their level is an invaluable asset in human growth.  I encourage you to diversify your life, when you can! Get some flavor! There's nothing better than knowing a little bit about people & things outside of your own "Bubble"... It's growth & power!


Favorite Read: (sort of)... lol Orange is the New Black


     I picked up this book, to try and become familiar w/the Characters, since I don't have Netflix, and it's going to be awhile before I can borrow the DVDs, (Long Library Waiting List)... I read it in 2 nights. I probably could've finished it in one night, but my eyes were tired. The book held my interest for most of the book & was pretty well written. It shed a light on the injustice of the justice system, and the responsibility we all have to take for our actions. I wish I could empathize w/Piper... but eventually, it just got annoying to read about all the "breaks" she got from our racially biased law system--These are her words-- not mine. As a Black American, I can only empathize so much before her "Free Passes" for being White, Blonde & Blue Eyed and "Middle Class", gets infuriating. It was somewhat comforting to know that at least she recognized it, but annoying that (especially near the end) she seemed to basically make it through by a bunch of other people holding her hand through the process-- Besides learning Yoga & running, she doesn't do much to try and do her time well. She really just attaches herself to people who seemed to be endeared to her, yet I don't see where she really gives back to them-- besides her blip of ghost writing/cheating papers for Mrs. Jones. I guess that's the hardest thing for me to deal with. She seems to have taken so much from the experience, and not given much back... Had she had real things to worry about afterwards (like where she was going live, what kind of job would accept her, how she would rebuild her life...) maybe her outlook on her experience may have been different...

     I hope that now that she seems to be making a profit off of her "experience" and these women's lives, that she's doing something to maybe get them better legal aid or education-- Or at least putting money on their Commissary. I don't believe that everyone in prison deserves to get out- but I do believe that a lot of folks are incarcerated for very long terms, while people like Piper Kerman  (and this just in, ahem, Theresa Guidice w/her little 15mos sentence...) get a slap on the wrist then get out to make millions. The book seemed to be different than what I've been hearing about the Netflix series... But I'm still eager to see it. I gave the book 4 Stars because it's very well written and was interesting.


Favorite Audio Book:     The Night Circus

 (Actually My favorite Read this week, lol- Had to find a way to finagle 2!)


    I actually listened to The Night Circus on Audio, and aside from the narrator's quirky voice & style, it was a really intriguing book! Sometimes I get into books on CD, because I can do other things (Like preparing for my Housewarming party) while I listen.  This was a mystical story about two performing artists who end up competing against each other in a test of the skills & endurance.  Neither one of them really knows the rules, because they were destined to be opponents at very young ages and their benefactors aren't very forthcoming with the information.  They only know they've been taught extraordinary talents that are masked by the guise of The Night Circus... The Night Circus does things differently than other circuses. For one, it starts at dusk and doesn't stop until dawn.  The have dinner at Midnight, every night...The patrons find it to be the most amazing circus they've ever seen, with feats & magic they can't explain.  There are so many components to this story, that it's definitely a must-read... (or must-listen!) 


 Favorite Laugh:  Zaydee Dopleganger!


     I saw this meme online, and pretty much died laughing! This is not actually my friend Meghan's daughter, Zaydee but this is so much of something she'd do! She's cute with those spiky little pigtails, but is just as feisty as you can imagine! With the little pacifier in her mouth ta boot! I love when memes remind you of someone! 

Everyone have a great weekend! I'm going to a costume party! I hope it turns out well! I think It's gonna be Litchenstein Pop Art Comic for me, this year! It's not exactly an "Original" idea, but it's super-cool & easy to pull off if you have a steady hand for make-up



XOXO!
   Tiffani