My Life is Not My Own

Lately, I’ve felt like my life is out of control. I’ve been overwhelmed with the reality of my situation and I have not reacted well to it.

Realistically, I am in complete control of the situations I find myself in, but practically, I don’t know how to take ownership of them. This leaves me with a feeling of incompetence and helplessness (two emotions that I do not deal well with).

I know that other people must go through similar experiences; there is no way I am “special” or “unique” and, with six billion other people  on the planet, someone must understand what I am saying.

So people of Earth, if anyone has suggestions to my sufficiently vague situation, I would appreciate them.

When feeling overwhelmed by multiple things, how should I approach it? Is it best to master one at a time or should I try working a little at each? How do I justify carving out time to relax and refocus? Should I be devoting all my energy to solving my problems? When is it okay to ask for help? Who should I ask for help?

Any advice from shared experiences would be greatly appreciated!

The Dilemma

For Christmas, my parents gave us a gift card to AMC Theaters. So last night my husband and I went to a movie for a date night. We saw The Dilemma (we like dumb comedies and love Vince Vaughn and enjoy Ron Howard). It had a pretty decent cast and the plot seemed intriguing enough. Unfortunately there were a few problems.

Starting with this: our gift card was for AMC and we went to a Century Theater which is not affiliated with AMC. Oops. Guess we goofed on that; as a couple, preparedness is not our strong suit. (ask my family about Christmas shopping this year)

In fact, problem two (or I guess this would be problem one), we did not leave enough time to get to the theater. at 7:35 we were still standing on the platform at Howard waiting for a purple line train to pick us up. This was, of course, after I tried to board a yellow line train going the wrong direction.

Also there was one part of the plot that I didn’t like, even though I understand why is was necessary to simplify it. After twenty years of marriage, Nick and Geneva had no kids. And there was never a conversation about why after 20 years they chose not to have kids. I know it probably doesn’t bother most viewers, but it caused many questions for me. Many questions. Such as, why were they still together if the last six months had been crap if there were no children to worry about? why continue to evade your problems? I get that 20 years of marriage is a long time, but it didn’t make sense why neither partner addressed the problem.. also how were they preventing pregnancy? was one of them sterile? did she take birth control? Did he have a vasectomy? This one part of the movie left me with more questions than it should have. I guess I just wanted the writer to discuss this (for lack of a better word) uniqueness in this couple’s life.

Otherwise, the movie was delightful. You get a few good laughs. The supporting cast (Tatum, Latifah, and Connelly) was delightful and had some of the better laughs in the movie. Vaughn found himself soliloquizing in his usual style; jumping from one idea to the next at a rapid speed (it’s funny, just getting old). James was a neurotic mess; bouncing between an unapproachable scientist and lovable best friend. And Ryder… well she had a very difficult role to fulfill, being the unfaithful women does not endear oneself to audience, but she manage to express the difficulties that lead her to her lover despite a terribly written part.

I would say, overall, it is not worth seeing in theaters. Wait until it comes out on DVD to enjoy this one!

Red Bull gives me “creeps”

Have you seen the new “red bull” commercial? It creeps me out every time I see it.

A zebra goes down to the river’s edge, pulls a red bull out of her purse, drinks it, and puts on lipsticks. In the background, you see a crocodile creeping on her. She then sets her purse aside and steps into the river. The croc attacks and a struggle ensues.

the commercial leads you to believe the zebra is eaten, but then she walks (on two hooves) out of the river with a crocodile purse. a voice over says “red bull gives you wings”

someone else please tell me you see how wrong this is? First, the zebra already has a purse. why does she need another? also, it’s okay for a homicidal zebra on the savannah? I get that crocodiles are not “nice” but they are carnivores.

Also, the battle scene is traumatic! I was shocked the first time I saw it. I couldn’t believe Red Bull was going to show a Zebra die on a commercial! (they didn’t but still). I mean, come on, the zebra SCREAMS for crying out loud. She is obviously in pain or surprised at first.

And then, Red Bull wants me to believe that one zebra can escape from a death roll? Not real! it couldn’t! crocodile wins that battle every time. Except here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM, but there were extenuating circumstances

also, why is red bull promoting crocodile purses? I thought it was illegal to kill the animals for their hides anymore. (PETA should be all over this too) Just watch, there will be a surge in crocodile purses now… i just know it.

Finally, she doesn’t have wings. Red Bull’s gimmick forever was actually giving the cartoon characters wings. there were no wings in this commercial. So no, Red Bull did not give her wings.

Every time I see this commercial, I just get seriously upset. It seems so wrong. I am sure they were going for humour, but they missed.

The Comeback of Fur

When did this happen? PETA, Greenpeace what have you been doing? Chicago’s women (and men) are covered in FUR!? I thought this fad had been tabooed out! Obviously, not nearly enough red paint was thrown. It’s not even that I have a problem with fur. I have a problem with the waste and opulence that fur connotates. who really needs a mink coat? It’s not even justifiable: no one eats mink.

I get the leather bit: we eat cows, let’s be efficient and use all the cow we can. But fur?? From fox/wolves/mink/etc. it’s weird and gross.

In my opinion, people wear fur merely for status value. In the past only rich women could afford fur. Now, the middle class can get access to it and somehow the mc has gotten in its head that fur = money. it doesn’t. it just makes people angry; its unattractive and unnecessary.

So PETA and Greenpeace and all you crazy animal people, stop slacking. I am sick of seeing fur-clad people roam the city of Chicago.

 I blame Lady Gaga and her meat wearing extravaganza…

India

So, my husband and I have begun talking about moving to India for a year. This won’t happen until after I graduate (may 2012), but we’ve already started discerning whether or not this will happen. There is so much we can do in India (matt has experience running a calling center or he could write for a newspaper/blog and I could do anything: maybe teach at a college or teach English or join some volunteer org for a few years), but mostly, we just want to get some experience living abroad. We want to really emerge ourselves in a different set of values and customs and traditions and see what we can learn. Now (or a year from now) is the best time for us to seriously consider and do this: we don’t have children, we haven’t established any roots, and we can probably find programs to help us pay back our loans!

so… any thoughts? comments? questions?

And this forward really did not sit well with me

Here is my initial reaction to the forward; all gut feelings and thoughts:

As a Christian and as an US citizen this really upsets me. The reality is that while about 75% of people in the US identify as Christian only about 30% go to church or take part in Christian groups regularly. Since it is Church (universal) that creates holidays and traditions, and our Christian faith says that we need the help and support of other Christians to even consider succeeding on our journey, what are the other 45% of people doing to ensure their salvation? HOw are they choosing to live their Christianity? Our country was founded on the concepts of FREEDOM FOR ALL. our declaration of independence declares independent from a tyrant country dictating taxes, religions, and ideas from an ocean away. People came to the United States to escape religious persecution. Our constitution proclaims that the government will protect the rights of minorities as well as follow the majority (obviously a contradictory statement). If there is 25% of our country that is NOT Christian, then maybe they are feeling religious persecution? (for example, the Patriot Act essentially created legitimate means to spy on all our MUSLIM citizens).

My faith is not a faith that needs to be crammed down people’s throats. My faith is not political. It is about love. And I try to remember some of the important adages when I consider my faith

St Francis of Assisi said preach the gospel always and when necessary use words

Mother Teresa said do little things with great love

Jesus Christ said the first commandment is to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul, and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.

My faith does not tell me that God has to be on the one dollar bill. It does not say that my God is a political entity. It does tell me that everything I do should be guided by the Holy Spirit.

People are upset that we are taking God out of schools and out of government, but why? If we wanted a true spiritual revelation it would be bigger than the government anyway. We would love our neighbors: we would take care of the sick, we would help prisoners (really help them, especially after they got out of prison), we would turn the other cheek. There are so many ways that I fail every day as a Christian. Every time I walk past a homeless man on the street I see Christ, but I keep on walking. In the Gospels Jesus says: Whatever you did for the least of them you did for me. I fail so much. But, when I do fail, I don’t look to the government to lift me up and help me become a better person– I turn to the cross.

So, this offends me. Not only is it inconsiderate of other faiths represented in our country, but it is inconsiderate of my faith. The government does not dictate my faith. It does not stop me from practicing or prevent me from taking off work for religious holidays. It does not stop students from praying in schools, but it does protect students from having other faiths and ideologies preached at them from a government worker– the government does not need to teach about God in schools.

If this is what Christians choose to be riled by, it’s no wonder we are living in a culture of death where not all life is given the same worth and not all people are given the dignity and honor due to them.

Care about something bigger than dollar bills.