music in my life: mumford and sons

first of all, this album is by no means my typical choice of music. I've never been much of a country fan mainly because of what I call the "twanginess" of the music. I don't know what it is I have against banjos and stomping of the feet, but it always made me nauseous. I've also never been a fan of overly christian music - the kind that praises God in every line. however, mumford and sons is just that: banjos and stomping of the feet blended with spirituality.

I bought this album for two reasons: (1) I saw a snippet of their performance at the grammy's and was drawn to their obvious passion and enjoyment when performing and (2) it was $7.99. and I just can't seem to stop listening to it. when I popped the album in my car for our morning drive to work, I wasn't sure what to expect. and then the band belts out in perfect unison: serve God, love me and mend. at first I thought, oh brother, did I just buy a christian album? but as the song progressed and crescendoed into this powerful refrain

love, it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free,
be more like the man you were made to be
I knew I was hooked.

it's been a couple of weeks since I bought this album and I can't get it out of my head. it's like the songs are the soundtrack to my life, always playing in the background. and it's not just one song - I'll have one song playing over and over in my head when I wake up, a different one by lunch time, and then a new one when I go to bed. the music is almost haunting. it really sticks with you.

this is a powerful album. it is soft & dainty and then strong & thunderous. the lyrics are beautifully written with so much heart and sadness. uplifting, even cheerful songs are creatively mixed with songs of darkness. each song is poetic - without the instruments they can be read like a poem. it's almost as if the album throws you back to a different time period with its majestic feel with hints of spirituality. I envision being at a grand ball for the king when track number 5, "white blank page," comes on. 

this band has a certain rawness - a sort of grittiness - that I truly admire when it comes to musicians. not just about laying it all out on the line, but the ability to make the listener
feel the emotions of the songs. I listen to them and not only do I hear the passion in their voice, but I feel the pain, the remorse, of the singer. this type of rawness is very rare, especially on an album.

quick facts
favorite song(s): "the cave," "white blank page," "I gave you all," "little lion man," "after the storm"
number of songs skipped: 0. this is one of the few albums that I don't skip any.
favorite time to listen: any time. mainly the drive to work because it really relaxes my mind and prepares me for the day. although I listen to "after the storm" whenever I need a reminder about love.
overall score (out of 10): 10.


AMFs, tacos, and the renaissance

I kind of fell off the wagon last week. I stopped working out, ate A LOT, and was just overall lazy. I don't really know what came over me and at the end of the week I just had zero motivation.

then I hung out with friends friday night. taco night saturday (my favorite nights in the world!). and went to the ren fair on sunday. being able to let loose and have some fun has given me my motivation back. I'm really starting to realize the importance of balancing work time, fun time, and productive time. for a while there I was just being productive and even though it felt great, it became overwhelming.

so with my new motivation comes a list! (oh how I love lists.) things I want to accomplish this week.
  • workout after work every day
  • get doggie bed for outside
  • start to adapt pepper to being outside during the day
  • put paitings/pictures up
  • buy cute decorations for bathroom (target!)
  • do something different and out of my comfort zone this weekend

hopefully I can get my butt back into gear. I had enough lazy days. now back to working on my San Diego body!


when I grow up...

how I got from wanting to be a teacher to being a metallurgist.

as a kid, I remember wanting to be a teacher. I'm not really sure why, but so did my best friends at the time, so it seemed fitting.

when I was really young (and I mean really) I remember getting (or maybe my brother got it) this little magazine titled "WEATHER" in the mail. (I think it was a bonus issue for being a subscriber of "wild animals" or whatever that magazine was called.) I would look through that thing and study it until the pages fell apart. and then I still browsed through the lone pages. I remember matching the clouds in the sky to their names in the "cloud" section. I remember reading about tornadoes and cyclones. that was my favorite magazine and the start of my weather fascination. (I think I still have it somewhere too.)  so when I got into middle school, I wanted to be a meteorologist. not the kind that's on the news and is wrong 80% of the time, but the kind who studies storms and chases them. my mom always thought I was crazy since I have an intense fear of the wind, but that's what I wanted to do for a long time. I loved the weather.

when junior and senior year of high school came along and we were told by the career counselor that we needed to find a major to apply to college, I still had meteorology on my mind. I looked at colleges that offered a bachelor's in meteorology. to my disappointment, I only found a few, University of Florida being one of them. I had no desire to go to Florida. I wanted to stay instate. or at least a-days-worth-of-driving-back-home-state.

so how did I get from meteorology to chemical engineering? after realizing that you needed a masters to be a meteorologist, I returned back to the white board. I remember looking through this monstrous book (at the "recommendation" of our counselor) senior year. I don't remember how I came across chemical engineering, but I did and it made me think of making household products, like windex and pine-sol. I thought that sounded fun and always thought it would be cool to be a part of the process of manufacturing products every one uses every day.

so then, how did I get from chemical engineering to metallurgy? I still dreamed of making cooler and greener household products when sophomore summer of college came along and my boyfriend (chris, who just switched from civil engineering to mining engineering) was able to score an internship close to my parent's house. back then, the mining industry was a lot more laxed than it is now (or maybe it was just that company) so he told the HR rep:

"I'll work for you if you get my girlfriend an internship too."

I thoroughly enjoyed my internship and found the mining industry completely fascinating. the process of making copper was amazing. but I still wanted to try to get internships in the other chemical engineering fields: processing and oil. the next summer came along and I went to the job fairs and distributed my resumes to proctor and gamble and exxon and such and heard nothing. thing is: processing and oil are in an abundance of chemical engineers since the majority chem e's going into those fields. so these companies were a lot more strict with their applicants. not that I had poor grades or anything, but compared to my classmates who lived and breathed chemical engineering, I had no luck. mining, on the other hand, were ecstatic to have chemical engineers apply and paid little attention to grades. and then I realized that once I get in the mining industry, which I already was at that point, getting other internships was a breeze. I was able to score three internships out of the four summers I was in college which isn't common for my classmates (the first chris got for me, the other two I was able to get myself). then while the rest of my classmates were struggling to find jobs and eventually succumbing to grad school as graduation creeped up, I got a job as a metallurgist. (a metallurgist is like a chemical engineer but focuses more on metals, minerals and mining where as a chemical engineer is more broad. most of the classes coincide with each other.)

so that's how I got to where I am today. I had to remind myself because this week has been so hectic and frustrating it had me questioning why I chose this profession in the first place.

quote of the moment:
"a person can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. 
holding him down for the first leg is the hardest part."
-a coworker


panicking and a cherry on top

I seem to panic and stress at the silliest things - stuff people normally wouldn't even notice was happening. or stuff that people normally would find so insignificant they would just brush it off their shoulder. nope, not me. I freak over little things yet I'm surprisingly calm when it comes to big actual stressful situations (presentations, interviews, etc...)

for example, I hate, HATE, HATE driving without directions or a clear understanding of where I'm going. I will not go on the road without knowing where I'll end up. and if I do, I'll have my trusy GPS (Luvie) with me.

other things I panic about:
  • holding people up in a line (hence why I very seldom go to subway)
  • making any kind of phone call (I usually have to write myself a script)
  • conference calls (where it's harder to write a script)
  • being around or talking to my superintendent and/or manager (not that they're bad guys)
  • gas (I've only hit the empty line - not dying empty, but the empty line when the "low fuel" light comes on - twice)
  • hospitals

I think know my problem is that I tend to overthink everything. I go over every possible scenario and how I would handle them in my head before I do anything. and if I'm unsure of any possible scenarios, I will have a full fledge panic attack (not very often - maybe once or twice). maybe I have a controlling nature. I have to know what's going on at all times. I need to feel prepared. there's no way I can just "wing it." I practice presentations so many times that I memorize what I will say (which is why I usually don't get stressed over them). if only there was a way to stop my mind from thinking too much

on another note
 my lovely sister(in law) gave me the "cherry on top" award. *gasp*cheers*tear* pretty cool I think. my first ever award.
in order to accept the award you have to:
  • list 3 things you love about yourself
  • post a picture you love
  • pass on to 5 other blogs you just adore!
so my 3 things I ♥ about me:
  1. my personality. I can laugh about anything and get along with pretty much every one. I think I'm a burst of fresh air who makes things interesting. even if I do panic at times.
  2. that I can be a girly girl and still root for sports harder than some guys.
  3. that I can appreciate everyone and everything. from my coworkers who kindly answer my stupid questions to the lady who gives me my "free throw" book at the suns game when I head to my seat, I think everyone has good in them.
one of my favorite photos:
pepper (when she was still a pup) & ginger

5 blogs I ♥
  1. moms are for everyone - emery jo's stories of her relationship with her husband, with God, and her children always leaves you with a smile on your face when you're done reading (go congrat her on her adorable new baby boy!).
  2. she breathes deeply - mandy is so sweet and adorable it's hard not to love her blog (also go congrat her on her beautiful baby girl!).
  3. lullabies to terrorize - I've known amanda for quite some time from tucson and I enjoy her bluntness and refusal to candy coat anything.
  4. playing house- full time - I feel like I can really relate to autumn and her feelings on life and herself. I wish she lived closer so i can visit and chat over tea while watching her adorable girl.
  5. three birds - chelsea has an amazing ability to make every situation either drop dead hilarious or extremely heartwarming which always makes for an interesting read. (while you're there congratulate her on her baby on the way)


music in my life

music has always been important in my life. my childhood days consisted of listening to classic rock nonstop (drove my mom CRAZY with it being on at all times of the day), being quizzed on artists and song titles (one of my many talents is being able to most of the artists and/or song titles from this genre), sitting by our big front window on rainy days and singing "american pie," admiring my dad's cd collection (one of my ultimate goals in life is to have as many cds as my dad),  trying to name artists/song titles before my brother (I always won - except once, damn you first beat of "blinded by the light"), toting around my cd player, watching mtv and vh1 all day (when they actually showed music videos), being awaken on my birthday by the beatles' "birthday," being awaken every summer day by the beatles' "good morning good morning" (I still cringe at the sound of that rooster), and being in marching band. and because of that, I have a pretty open mind when it comes to music. I say I like everything, because I really do listen to it all. jazz, hip hop, pop, rock, classical, rap, alternative, indie, punk, 80s, and now even some country (which I previously couldn't stand). my only exception is the kind where all they do is scream. I don't find that musical nor do I find it pleasing to my ears.

another thing to note about me and music: I have a bad habit of buying cds. some I buy randomly without knowing the sound or the artist and some by hearing only one song (or a portion of a song). my spontaneity may stem from my ultimate goal of having more cds than my dad (see above), but it may also stem from my passion for hearing something different. I'm always open to new music - something I'm not accustomed to.

in reality, it may not be such a bad thing - some of my favorite albums I've bought without knowing anything about it (i.e. quietdrive). I think it keeps things interesting. you can't listen to the radio anymore to hear new music, because every station plays the same thing. over and over again. and my friends either aren't as passionate about music as I am, or have questionable tastes. so my way of exploring new music is to browse for $7.99 or $9.99 cds. I've noticed that these cds (the $7.99 and $9.99 ones) are usually the best cds by unknown non-mainstream artists.

I am in no way a music expert, but there's certain albums or artists that I think people should be aware of. so be on the lookout for my "music in my life" series where I'll post reviews of some of the music I come across.


addiction at the moment

jalepeno chips
I could probably eat a whole bag of these in one sitting if I wasn't afraid of it burning later...if you know what I mean. they are simply addicting. so addicting I strongly believe they should have a warning label. caution: you won't be able to stop eating these. you will buy multiple bags at a time. you will crave them like they're crack. excessive amounts may hurt tomorrow.

and not just any jalepeno chips either. you gotta get the lays brand. poore brothers is too sugary.

my mouth is salvating for some now.

quote of the moment:
"opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work"
-Thomas Edison


me, myself, and I

even though I've paused from monthly challenges, I'm still dedicated to getting healthy. not only for appearances (call me shallow, but I do want to look good for summer days by the pool drinking margaritas and daquoris), but also for my mental state. lately I've been so down in the dumps and it's gotten not only irritating, but also extremely exhausting. I'm tired of feeling so worthless and hopeless. I've come to realize that I need to start focusing on me. I need to focus on making me happy instead of destroying myself trying to make chris happy. they always say that you can't love someone if you don't love yourself. and I believe that I'm prohibiting myself from being loved. my angst and depression is pushing chris away. no one wants to be around a debbie downer. no one wants to love a debbie downer.

over the weekend I bought some cute workout clothes. clothes always motivate me. whether it's to find a reason to wear a cute dress or go outside to wear cute shorts, clothes encourage me to do something out of the norm. the workout clothes will want me to workout in their cuteness. and since I don't fit in any of my other clothes much anymore, (talk about depressing -  I've been able to fit in clothes I've had since high school! this is a feeling and situation that I am not used to.) I'll be even more motivated. I also bought some wegiths and more workout videos. my game plan is to continue my dancing videos (I now have a variety that I can alternate around) focus on ab workouts and do some strength training and cardio. I did Jillian Michael's video with weights yesterday and it totally kicked my ass. but afterwards I felt like a total badass with the ability to throw someone onto the ground if they get snippy. (I don't think I could though.) then eventually, once I become more conditioned, I can start running or bike riding or hiking to get myself out of the house. and because I'm doing this well before summer, I won't feel pressured to do it and give up thinking I don't have enough time.

starting yesterday, I'm going to keep track of the food I eat and the activities I do so that I can get an idea of my calorie consumption versus calories burned. I want to tone up and gain some muscle weight so I'll also weigh myself daily and keep track of my progress. I'll try to post any tips or comments I have along the way.

this is just one of the things that I'm going to do for me. this is going to be the year for me, not to sound selfish. but I need to make me the person I want to be.

quote of the moment:
"become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid"
-lady bird johnson