Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our Deepest Fear...

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure.

It is our life, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn't serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

--Marianne Williamson

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Real F Word

Today on facebook someone posted an article about a woman who was murdered because she was stalked by a man who was obsessed with her. That man took her life, and sadly, this is the norm for so many women as domestic violence is rampant in our country. You wouldn't believe it, but the numbers are frightening, and nobody talks about it. It effects all women of all races and social classes. In reflecting on this horrible, and unnecessary event and what it means, it makes me think about how very important feminism is.

I guess it's time for me to "come out" on this blog as a feminist. Feminism is considered a bit of a dirty word, especially it seems in Christian circles (in my experience). That's why I usually refrain from using that word for the most part, because people carry such negative assumptions about what it means. The thing is, feminism is of utmost importance, and is so vastly misunderstood. Feminism is this beautiful idea that maybe we're all equal and should be treated the same and with the respect that each human being deserves--regardless of your race, social class, gender, sexuality or what have you. Don't think you're a feminist? Take this quiz:

1. I think women and people of color should be allowed to vote.
2. I think women and people of color should be allowed equal access to jobs and education
3. I think men should be involved in their children's lives.
4. I think all people are equal/should be treated equally.

If you said "yes" to any of these questions then say it with me...I....am...a...feminist (in the simplest of terms). I love feminism because it has given me so much: I had this fantastic realization that maybe I was more then my body weight, and just maybe I didn't need to be in a relationship to determine that I was valuable. Maybe I WAS smart. Maybe men didn't have to live up to this silly expectation of being "real" men--maybe they could be compassionate and loving--maybe they were more then violent, angry muscle "manly" men. I would have told you all of these things pre-fem Jess, but I don't think I really believed it. Feminism has made me appreciate the full worth of human beings, and helps me make the world a better place for those who are undervalued and have been cut some bad breaks just because of their social status. The biggest reason I love feminism is that it has given me my faith back. I think I see Jesus a lot more clearly then I used to, and that is a beautiful thing. I can see a kinder, gentler Jesus who loves people equally. I think because of the beliefs I carried about men and masculinity, and what I had been told about it in church, I never really thought I could really know Jesus fully. He seemed sort of mean. We say we believe in equality today, but if we look at how we really treat people who are poor or of a different race or gender and what the unconscious assumptions we carry about them, we'd find that maybe we're not as egalitarian as we think. I say "we" because I am part of the problem. But we are so much more then our genders, and I think feminism looks beyond the social expectations and wants people to move past stereotypes and wants them to be whole human beings, not limited to one set of characteristics for one particular gender. One of my favorite professors from college wrote this article, and it has been one of the most pivotal readings in my college career (and I love it because it is so simple). After I read this article it made me look at Jesus in such a different way...and realize that maybe feminism wasn't as bad as I thought it was. This is why I can believe in Jesus, because He was (is) the only one who could completely treat people as equals. I love this because it's just that simple.

"Why I am a Feminist" by Dr. Kevin Neuhouser (September 2006)

Because Jesus is.

That's the short answer, but hardly a very satisfying one without some explanation. After the flurry of attention to gender issues on campus last spring, I decided to study how Jesus treated women. So, this summer I read through the four gospels and noted every single recorded interaction that Jesus had with women. From the gospel accounts, I can only include that Jesus was a feminist.

Now, I know full well that the term "feminist" did not exist when Jesus walked in Palestine. But according to the gospels, Jesus treated women in ways that meet the basic definition of the term. Although there are many different kinds of feminism, differing on both the explanation for why the problem of gender inequality exists and how it can be solved, at the heart of every feminist is the belief that gender equality is to be valued and pursued. Thus, the basic idea of feminism is simply that women should have access to the same resources and opportunities as men and that they should be treated with the same respect as men. And this is exactly what I found Jesus doing in the gospels.

In his recorded interactions with women, Jesus incarnated three basic feminist principles: 1) In his teaching ministry, Jesus presented the same content in the same form to women and men, and 2) Jesus never relegated women to the domestic sphere, and 3) Jesus fully incorporated women into his ministry.

Teaching:
The gospel writers focused the majority of their content on Jesus' teaching ministry. Never once, in all the accounts, whether teaching large crowds or individuals, did Jesus present separate gendered messages to men and women (e.g., women should be/do one thing while men should be/do something else). In every single case, Jesus presented a single message that demanded a single response from both women and men. The required response for everyone was faith and obedience. And Jesus recognized and praised women's responses to this teaching message, implicitly calling his male listeners to live up to women's righteous examples (e.g., the Canaanite woman of "great faith," the widow who gave God her last penny, the woman who anointed Jesus at Bethany).

Not only did Jesus teach the same message to men and women, he also taught women and men in the same way. Jesus never "taught down" to women or patronized them by softening the message, In fact, at times Jesus seems almost rude to women as, for example, when he pushes the Canaanite woman to express exactly why he should heal her daughter (Matt 15:21-28). In doing so, Jesus demonstrated a belief that women had the same spiritual and intellectual abilities as men and therefore could be pushed just as hard to use and develop them fully (e.g. the Samaritan woman, John 4:1-41).

Spheres:
In none of the gospel accounts is there a single example of Jesus separating men and women into mutually exclusive spheres of activity--women to a domestic sphere of caring for men and children, men to a public sphere of work and ministry. In fact, when Martha tries to enlist Jesus in her attempt to force her sister Mary back into the kitchen, it is Martha who is reprimanded and Jesus announces that it is Mary, who is sitting with the male disciples to listen to Jesus, who "has chosen the right thing." (Luke 10:38-41). In addition, all four gospel writers record that not only male disciples, but also many women left homes and family to follow Jesus in his traveling ministry. Some of these women even supported Jesus financially from their own economic resources. Neither Jesus not the gospel writers express any concern that this choice to leave the domestic sphere might be inappropriate behavior for women. In fact, Luke (8:1-3) reports that these women "were with Jesus" in the same way as "the twelve." Thus, Jesus provides no support for a division of women and men into separate spheres as an act of Christian obedience.

Ministry:
At the core of the gospel "good news" is the pronouncement that "Christ is risen!" This is fundamental to the message that Jesus' followers have been commanded to share with the whole earth. Thus, it is striking that on the morning we now call Easter, Jesus first entrusts this message, not to the male disciples, but to his female followers (Luke 24:1-11). Jesus gives the women who have come to the tomb instructions for "the Eleven," in effect, making them apostles to the apostles. Mary magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the "other women" obey Jesus' instructions, but then something unfortunate happens--the men fail to believe the women "because their words seemed to be nonsense." Luke implies that the men are at fault for their disbelief because the women faithfully relayed "all these things" that Jesus had spoken to them. At the very beginning of the Church era, then, male followers of Jesus underestimated women's Christ given role in the ministry of the gospel, unable to believe that Jesus could or would use women to instruct men.

Thus, Jesus--in his teaching, in his refusal to divide women and men into separate spheres, and in his incorporation of women into the fundamental ministry of preaching the good news--fits the definition of "feminist," a man who treated women as equals to men. Unfortunately, men who follow Jesus today face the same temptation as his first male followers--to fail to hear the voice of God speaking through women who are faithfully accepting their full equality in Christ.

If Jesus was a feminist, then I need to be one too. (end)


I also love this article. It gives me hope on so many levels:

http://community.feministing.com/2010/02/the-greater-gain-and-the-great.html#more

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"It's Been a Long Night in New York City...It's been a long night in Boston too..."


2 Johns in one week. Jon Bon Jovi and John Mayer that is. Last night I got to head up to Bean Town to see who some claim is one of the greatest guitar players ever. NO BIG. I don't know if this is true, but I will tell you he surely impressed me. I don't know that this is saying much since I only know how to play about 7 guitar chords, but still. We rode the train in (and who doesn't love some good ol' public transportation...you always end up with good stories). Now, I was a little sleepy mind you, as I hadn't slept the night(s) before due to my redeye flight from Seattle, however my adrenaline was pumping and I perked right up when John popped on stage. Our seats were REALLY good... basically as good as it could get without being on the floor, so with a pair of binoculars I probably could have seen his nose hairs had I wanted to. He is an interesting man and at one point asked the crowd if they had dreams, and did their dreams consist of being able to sit around all day and watch video games and get high?! Hmmm. When I think of the word "dreams" that particular scenario does not come to mind, but to each his or her own I suppose. MY BEEF: No "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room." Wha?!


video

Perhaps the only downside to the night was the itty bit of guilt I felt knowing that John has been full of unsavory drunken remarks and has been in the midst of a media storm if you will as of late. I'll be honest, it would not hurt him to eat a giant piece of humble pie granted that he did say some "tool-ishy" things during the concert. INCONVENIENT TRUTH. My RA's informed me this only weeks before the concert, to which I kept saying "ahhh I don't want to hear it!" Seriously, of all the times of the year to make ridiculous remarks it had to be now, and given that I am a person who has been known to boycott things as I know that I should be ethical with my $$$ spending, this did put me in distress and in a bit of an ethical pickle indeed. JOHN: I was THIS close to not coming, man!!! However I did my best to separate Musician John from Tool John. Love me some Musician John...Tool John needs to simmer down. It's so hard caring about things like equality and humanity sometimes. Sigh. Ignorance is indeed bliss.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

He Came, He Sang, He Conquered

Well, Bon Jovi LIVE in concert has come and gone, and let me tell you, what a spectacular event it was! That man has not lost his vigor after 25 years. Plus, it is fun to go with sociologists because they talk about fun crowd phenomena like "Theory of social proof." And it is fun to go with a mother who is as gung ho of a fan as you are. Of course Bon Jovi is really more of an experience then an event, and Jon left me with some important life questions. For example:

1. Why in the WORLD is David Bryan (keyboardist) the ONLY one who hasn't had a haircut in 25 years? Long curls are SO out man!
2. Is Jon Bon Jovi a Calvinist? ("Only God would know the reasons, but I'll bet He must have had a plan, you were born to be my baby, and baby I was made to be your man...)
3. How does that man have four children given that he wears such tight leather pants and has been doing so for an incredibly long time?
4. Would global warming be such an issue had the 80's/AquaNet never occurred? As much as I love them, I hold the band slightly responsible.

These of course are all important life questions that I have yet to answer, but I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out. In order to appease what I am sure is your own insatiable appetite for homemade Bon Jovi live concert videos, check out this:


video



A Small Aside

I find it throughly sad that Valentine's Day came and went before I had a chance to give my loved ones these suckers:


I mean, how loved would I have felt if someone would have given me a Detective Stabler/Detective Benson valentine card that said "We make a great team?" (NOTE for next year) Please note that there are a few that are troubling that I don't condone, however some of them are very clever...

Hello, Seattle

As you have most likely guessed, my Seattle trip has come and gone. It was a pure delight, just as I had anticipated. The weather was gorgeous, the sights glorious, the memories fantastic. But the thing I love most about Seattle? The food. This should come as no surprise to you, as I throughly, and may I reiterate throughly enjoy food consumption in any form. Here are some of my favorite Seattle bites:

Trophy!!!!
"The Hummingbird" Cupcake
"Thanks a Latte" (hehe)
A new Macrina discovery: Banana chocolate chip pecan coffee cake (MONEY)

It is OK to wipe the drool from your chin...I am.

Pano-ramo-mania!

So, I recently discovered that my camera has this REALLY cool "panoramic" function (multiple examples below). I've had this camera since August, however being a person who loathes instruction manuals and tends to haphazardly discover that various electronic devices are capable of more then she thought, this was a delightful finding and came around just in time for my Seattle vacay. Thus, here is my Seattle panoramic series:

Classic Shot from Kerry Park
Greenlake
Near Kerry Park
Watching the Olympics at Heather's House
Key Arena
Outside Macrina
Inside Macrina
Gasworks Park




Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rockin' It Up in Sea-town

Well peeps, I made it to Seattle, just in case you haven't figured that out yet. Happy endings all around, really. My time in Seattle has been glorious as you can very well imagine, and I can't wait to write about it more in depth. Favorite memories, thus far.

1. Bon Jovi w/Mom/Dr. McKinney (I shall elaborate more later)
2. Macrina every day of the week
3. My first manicure ever (Nails=lovely shade of orange)
4. Time with B, Dansey, Al, Hol and Cass
5. Lunch on the 3rd floor of Alexander
6. Seeing TONS of people on campus (Hall Council, Dr. Neuhouser/Dr. Diekema, Res Life Staff, Moyer students, etc)
7. Trophy cupcakes
8. Sushi w/Leigh
9. Fremont market with B (hey #8 and #9 rhyme!)
10. Sitting at Gasworks in the sun watching boats sail by (and sadly an emergency coast guard life boat...?)
11. Having snacks at Al's house
12. Walk around Greenlake (and seeing a skating man in a skunk costume whiz by)
13. Nachos at the Matador (and a REALLY strong margarita...whoops)
14. Fully utilizing the panoramic feature of my camera
15. Many times of laughing til it hurts
16. Pazookie with B and Dansey
17. Molly Moon's Starburst ice cream and femmie chats
18. Late night pillow talk
19. Reflecting on memories of the days of yore
20. Hangin with Heather (too come)
21. Chilling with Jenn and Ronnie C (also to come)
22. Coffee with Brian
23. Cass's backscratches
24. COFFEE!!!
25. SEATTLE SUN in ALL ITS GLORY!



So much good, too little time.

Pictures to come!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Weather Hates My Guts

Bon Jovi is in 3 days. T-H-R-E-E. I am sitting here listening to "Bad Medicine" in anticipation of this event. Not ONLY am I going to see JBJ, but also all the people/places who I love in Seattle. Therefore, you can only imagine my dismay and immense frustration that it would decide to snow harder today then it has snowed in the last 2.5 months. Please note that I did not write "shock and dismay," because this is not shocking at all. Because inevitably, every time I decide to fly in the winter, Father Chrsitmas decides to dump buckets upon buckets of snow, leaving me stranded in Portland, Oregon, Bradley International Airport, Orlando, FL or any combination of the three. The real lesson here is that I should not fly, ever. Start saying your prayers (I'm Livin' on a prayer right now, hee hee) that I make it out dead or alive (hopefully alive).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day! I actually forgot that it was indeed V-day until my friend called me and reminded me of this. This is unfortunate for me, as every year for the last 5 years I have purchased my friend Adam several boxes of Necco Candy Hearts (as shown above). He loves those disgusting things. However, this year between the mayhem that has been work and my lack of cognizance about what day in February it was, it slipped my mind. Consequently, I spent 45 minutes of my Valentine's Day driving to Target and back in order to scrounge up a box of Necco hearts to send him. It turns out a traditional box of Necco candy hearts is very difficult to find in local East Coast grocery stores. All that was left was a giant box specifically targeted at women with sayings for your best "gal pals," such as "BFF," "Fearless," and "Women Heart" (whatever that means.) (**As an interesting sociological commentary, I found it slightly disturbing that this particular box advertised that there's only 100 calories for every 30 hearts you eat!!! Damn it! If I want to eat those hearts I want to eat them--I don't want to think about calories! Ugh.). I imagine this is the sort of thing that Carrie Bradshaw might send to her 3 best friends on "Sex and the City." Anywho, this is what Adam will be receiving from me in the mail, albeit a few days late. Valentine's Day is one of those odd days of the year where everyone pretends/actually does hate it, but then they bring a lot of attention to it by focusing on the hate. "It's too commercialized!" "Single's Awareness Day!" Ugh. I realize that I am enabling bringing attention to this day by writing about it, but I feel OK and secure with this because this year my attitude toward this particular day is an odd mixture of apathy and celebration. And, as many things in life tend to be--it's about your perspective. Why can't we just celebrate love in general?! I have plenty of people that I love and celebrate, and who likewise love and celebrate me. My friend says this makes me a hippie. I've been hearing that a lot lately....hmmm. Anywho, I love Valentine's Day because I love Love. Not romantic love (although I wouldn't turn it down, let's be clear), but plutonic friendship love. And as I journey through life I realize more and more how very few people have experienced true friendship. So thank you, dear friends and family for your love. I salute you! And I leave you with this lovely quote from our dear friend bell hooks:

"When we accept that true love is rooted in recognition and acceptance, that love combines acknowledgment, care, responsibility, commitment, and knowledge, we understand there can be no love without justice. With this awareness comes the understanding that love has the power to transform us..." (bell hooks, Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Netflicks is the BEST. THING. EVER.

One of the RA's suggested to me the other day that I get Netflicks, given my addiction to time-wasting, procrastinating and obsession with television (now, now, only in the winter months and only on Saturday or Sunday. Come spring I shall be riding my soon-to-be-purchased bicycle all over town. But it's cold out there!). Anywho, I don't know why I had never jumped on the Netflicks bandwagon, but this isn't surprising given this is the same person who tends to discover "new" artists when they have been around for several years (read Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, The Eagles, Tom Petty, etc), or ends up liking and sporting various fashion trends a little late (after 4 years of weedling, my friends finally got me to wear dresses and high heeled shoes and "dress up" in general...ahhh gender conformity), or doesn't discover certain TV shows until they are on their 11th or 9th seasons (a.k.a. "Law and Order: SVU" and "Scrubs."). It is not unusual for me to say to my friend Callie, "Oh my gosh did you REALIZE that this artist was so great?! Or that such and such was so delightful?!" To which she will inevitably answer (always gently), "Jess, I know right! I totally discovered that in high school!" At this point, she's usually already told me that so and so was so great or that high heeled shoes really don't hurt that badly if they're quality, but being the stubborn person that I tend to be, I did not listen until I discovered it for myself. So, while the rest of the world has been paying their small monthly Netflicks fee, I have been throwing my hard earned dough away and overpaying for various TV shows via itunes. BUT NO MORE!!! I mean, did you know that you can stream movies live! Yup, they go right from the internet to your computer!!! And given that my computer is the size of a small flat screen, this certainly works in my favor. So, should you find yourself in need of watching an old classic such as "Ten Things I Hate About You" (watched it last night--it made me nostalgic for Seattle), or perhaps a newer movie (500 Days of Summer is a gem) or if you would like to watch any of the ten seasons of Law and Order: SVU, by all means stop by! I will probably be watching.

And no, I did not get paid for this promotion. But I should. Because I need some money.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Countdowns!!!

9 DAYS.

13 DAYS.

JESS. IS. THRILLED.

What will the snow bring? Apparently very inappropriate ice sculptures.

This morning I called my friend over in Facilities to discuss some business. The phone kept cutting out and I was like, "Dude, where are you?" He proceeded to tell me that last night during the snow storm, some mischievous students had decided it would be an awesome idea to construct a giant phallic symbol out of the snow right by the front entrance of the school. Witnesses to the incident said it was very anatomically correct. My friend now had the task of destroying said symbol with the plow, and I had caught him in the midst of this activity. The best part was that the trustees (aka big wigs) were on their way to the school this morning. The worst/even more hilarious part of this incident is that my boss happened to drive by this construction with her three children in the car. Needless to say, this was indeed the most hilarious moment of my day. Totally immature I know, but I can't help it. On my way over to another building I noted that one particular snowperson was posed next to a flagpole in such a way that might suggest a stripper/exotic dancer. My Facilities friend said that he had seen another snowperson behind one of the residence halls, but had avoided going to see what IT was up to. And this is why I love college students.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Only YOU can prevent poverty!

CAN PREVENT POVERTY!!!


Some cool stuff is happening in the world of poverty. That sounds weird. What I mean is, there are big things happening to try to END poverty (by 2015 *fingers crossed). Poverty is one of those things that REALLY bugs me because it can EASILY be eradicated if we more evenly distributed our resources. Seriously, it's probably one of our biggest problems with one of our easiest solutions. ESPECIALLY in this country. We tend to believe that poverty doesn't exist in America (wrong), and if it does, it's the individual's fault, or it's "not as bad as in other countries" or said person is lazy. Ugh. Unfortunately we have a very, very distorted view of our social class in the U.S. (I get fired up about this issue, but am more feisty then usual this week since we talked about social class recently in grad class). ANYWAYS, like I said, the pro here is that big things are happening to help this problem. When Jesus comes back to earth I would really like to look him in the eye and say, "Well Boss, we at least got this right. People aren't hungry anymore." Woo! Anyways, these are a few websites if you would like to help out. With the click of the button you can make BIG changes. You can sign government petitions or make financial contributions. Awesome!

www.one.org (you sign up, they send you an email, you click and sign petitions about upcoming legislature or letters to urge congress to vote. super easy. It takes like a second).
http://www.onedayswages.org/ (donate a day's wages to the cause!)
www.poverty.com (click on the "take action" link and print out a letter THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN to send to D.C. Super easy and it only costs one stamp! Seriously, what could be easier?! The letter basically urges the U.S. to live up to its promise and jump on the bandwagon and donate the money that it promised it would in the past)
http://endpoverty2015.org/ This one is my favorite: it talks about the millenial goals. (Read up--super awesome and interesting)
www.freerice.com You can sit and learn new vocabulary words to impress your friends with your verbose vocabulary AND donate rice to those in need. LEARNING AND ACTIVISM...what's better?!
If you are interested in the Haiti relief go here: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/ The United Methodist church is putting together little care packages for those in need, as well as taking $$$.

These are two good books on poverty: The Working Poor (by David Shipler, probably one of my favorites) and Nickled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. They both greatly changed my own view of poverty in the U.S.

I love these options too because, if you are like me, you don't have very much money, and I'm beginning to see what a privilege it is to even be able to BE charitable. But most of these items are FREE and are about taking action. Your vote is just as important as the $50 you donate. By taking only a few minutes of time to click "take action" in the comfort of our own homes we can make huge differences. I know it sounds super cheesy, but it's true: we're supposed to bring heaven to earth as Christians--that's our mission in life. Awesome mission, and these days it seems it gets easier and easier to take action what with technology and all. I'm hopeful we can change things :)


The Gifts that Keep on Giving

People love receiving gifts. I love giving gifts. This makes a perfect combo. My friends know this about me. Nothing will put me in a better mood then knowing that I have found/made the PERF gift for someone. I buy gifts months in advance if it is the perfect gift for someone. As Kurt from Glee once said, "Makeovers are like crack to me." Just replace "makeovers" with "gift giving." (and then change the are to "is" because it's now singular). However, upon becoming a sociology major and realizing that I live in a consumer capitalist society that tends to hurt people because it's all about getting more and more STUFF, gift giving became a bit more of a burden (and usually said items that are being produced aren't keeping the human beings that are creating those products in mind and inevitably exploit the worker). I still wanted to give, but to give well with those people making the products I was consuming in mind. Basically, I wanted to be ethical in my purchases (or at least attempt to be). Anywho, I've found a few sights that are my favs to purchase "socially conscious gifts" from. I've since had people who have jumped on this bandwagon ask me what sites I use...so here they are!

www.tomsshoes.com (buy a pair, give a pair to a child in need--it's really win win!)
www.thehungersite.com (they donate cups of food to those in need. probably the most reasonably priced)
http://worldofgood.ebay.com/ (I haven't ordered from this one specifically, but a friend recommended it)
http://rosaloves.com (this one is super cool. Each shirt has a story, and they donate 60% of the proceeds of the shirt to that person that the story is about).
http://www.greenheartshop.org (eco friendly/fair trade stuff)

Or...you could get super creative and MAKE a gift. Write a poem! Paint a picture (you can even go to a thrift shop and buy a used canvas and recycle it...) Write/perform a song! Bake cookies! Go see Bon Jovi live in concert! The possibilities are endless! My friend Amanda is really good at crafting out of recycled stuff--just google and see what you find! Go and change the world by giving!!


If you are looking to give me a gift, I would like a bicycle or a puppy. Bicycle because I love riding and it is eco friendly. A puppy because I miss my dog and puppies are fun.

Why.


Dr. McKinney sent me this the other day and I forgot to post it. I love it. I think it says it all.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spirit Night at SJC

You may be wondering, "Jess, why are you dressed up as a (slightly older looking but still incredibly good looking) cheerleader? It's not Halloween! You're not in high school! And you're certainly not auditioning for a role as a cheerleader in 'Glee' even though you would be a totally great addition to the cast and would probably outshine Lea Michele with your talent and charisma!" ANSWER: Spirit Night at SJC. And let me tell you, we were filled to the brim with spirit. The RA's took it upon themselves to embody the fullness of spirit: the cheerleader. Using some uniforms from the athletics department, we embodied spirit and fun. We dressed up as cheerleaders to inspire our fellow residents to attend the game and cheer on our basketball team. Spirit was oozing out of our pores. We yelled! We ooed! We aaahhhed! We got angry at unjust calls! We celebrated when we scored! There were relay races! Prizes! What more could you ask for? Not much. Maybe had we had a tray of cupcakes, that would have been a nice addition. Although we were ultimately defeated, we walked away with our heads held high. We knew we had done our jobs well. The only people who could possibly have embodied "cheer" more then ourselves were a) Kirsten Dunst's character in "Bring It On" or b) Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell, our beloved Spartan Cheerleaders.
This picture is my artsy pic of the night. I think it turned out quite well. Dear Admissions Team: You can totally use this in any of your nationally recognized advertisements/brochures/paraphernalia (for a nominal fee. I need a new bicycle).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My First Oil Painting

Today I finished my first ever oil painting. Feel free to applaud. My fellow classmates did.

The piece is a rendition of Edward Hopper's "Lighthouse Hill" (1927). I find it ironic that my first painting is of a lighthouse, as I hate lighthouses because of a trip to the Oregon Coast gone wrong (the Troxell family will know what I am talking about). Anywho, here's Hopper's piece:


Here's mine. I didn't think it turned out half bad. Well I mean you can at least TELL that there's a house and a lighthouse in the picture, and I figure that's a start.


I don't know if this classifies me as an "artist" yet, but I'm at least well on my way.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Thoughts

Work has left me a little frazzled as of late. It's really just this week and I have to just persevere. There are a few things though that make me joyous:

1. The chocolate chip cookies were extra good in the cafeteria today. I don't care how many cookies I eat, I will never get sick of them.
2. I have approximately 14 days until I go to Seattle and 16 until I see Bon Jovi
3. There is a new Law and Order SVU on tonight and NOT the State of the Union Address
4. We're doing an online discussion on a book at work, and I went to pick my book up which was by...Christian Smith!!! Not very many probably know that name, but he's a sociologist and we read one of his books during my undergrad. Thus, it was a very sentimental moment for me :)
5. My friends have been sending hilarious texts, facebook messages, etc. and I've gotten to talk with a few of them, more then I've been able to in the last month. Awesome.
6. My boss shared some stories to make me laugh very very hard today, and I love that I have a boss like that.

Although these things are very small, they are giving me great big smiles right now.