Saturday, July 30, 2011

i just came to say hello

i'd like to speculate that for over 70% of the people I have friend-zoned, they are there permanently. my friend zone boys are some of my favorite friends i have. and i love when they don't randomly test boundaries or think that some drunken night anything is going to change. that small portion of friends who could venture out of the friend zone, keep the flirtatious texts coming my way, but its not going to change anything any time soon. im pretty stubborn. im a social butterfly, enjoying this exact moment. im loving being single. i can't wait to be in EspaƱa. i love this picture below cause its pretty valid. that road is a two way street. you can be in friend zone and progress towards something else, you can settle in friend zone and stay there forever, you can settle in relationship town and revert back to friend zone. or you can get the hell off this highway and choose another one entirely. 
but its for me to decide where he belongs. 
that's my story and i'm sticking to it. 

"i could stick around, get along with you, hello. it doesnt really mean that i'm into you, hello. you're alright but i'm here darlin to enjoy the party. don't get too excited, cause that's all you'll get from me. yeah, i think you're cute, but i feel like you should know, i just came to say hello. i'm not the kind of girl to get messed up with you, hello. imma let you try to convince me to, hello. just enjoy the party. kind of like this game, but there's something you should know. i just came to say hello." -martin solveig feat dragonnette, hello

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

has it really been 3 years?

People work too hard to figure out the meaning of their lives. Why me, why now. The truth is, sometimes things don’t happen to you for a reason. Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time for someone else.” –Jodi Picoult, Second Glance
Some items on the to-do list get marked off right away, other items hover waiting for the to-list maker to have the will power, the courage or the ability to complete them. it's so easy to think about someone or something and let it pass by without action. though i don't usually post really personal stuff on my blog, i think that this is important, so stick with me. 
certain memories in my life stand out very clear, like they happened yesterday. i was standing in this small hotel bathroom in Odessa, Texas staring at myself in the mirror with a steaming hot curling iron in hand. my reverie was broken by what i thought was an extra precautionary alarm going off again. to my surprise, i looked down at the phone and i was receiving a phone call from a dear friend of mine at the time. thinking that she just wanted to wish my luck for the brutal day ahead, i answered. she sternly told me to sit down. all i could think was, "i'm burying my mother today, what the hell is she going to tell me that's going to make this day any worse?!" and that's when she explained that a horrible plane crash took the life of one of my best friends. this girl had been one of the first people i met in the horrid week called Sorority Recruitment. she had laughed at everything and had an incredible attitude. we clicked. she was one of the first people i told at alabama that my mom had cancer because she found me crying in the dorm room hall. we listened to Dave together. we went to fraternity parties and had our red solo cups filled by pledges with delicious pink panty pulldowns. all summer, she had kept up with me and how my mom was doing. she was going to book her flight to atlanta to come visit as soon as she got back from alabama. In fact, when I got back from Texas, I had flowers waiting for me at my house that she had sent the day she died.
i think about Lauren everyday. not only do i miss the ability to pick up the phone and call her, i wonder if she would be graduating with me on Saturday, i wished for her as a refuge in harder times this past year and i am graciously reminded of her fun-loving spirit, how loving of a friend she was and her incredible zeal for life every time i pass her picture on my dresser and every time i call my dog by her full name, named after Lauren's last name and nickname. 
Graduation next week is going to be bittersweet because it was suppose to be in May but this little f5 tornado ruined that. graduation is going to be odd because close friends that were planning to come in May will no longer be able to attend. it will be odd to be in tuscaloosa without a home. i already have my diploma. but most importantly, graduation is going to be bittersweet because in the last three years, I have lost two people that meant so much to me. And no matter what, it's going to be weird without them there.
I have been meaning to call Lauren's family since... well, since, May. On several occasions I've spoken to her mother and she is an incredible woman. For no good reason, something less important has gotten in the way of making that phone call. Walking Grey Brue today, i pulled out my phone and dialed Mrs. Brue. The call only lasted 17 minutes, but it was perfect. Just touching base felt amazing. Letting her know that I still think about Lauren, that I still think about her, I could tell meant a lot to her. And she told me the same. That this picture of Lauren and I is sitting on her dresser. 

Sometimes you don't do things for yourself, you do them for someone else. Sometimes you get a nice mix of both. All this to say, the next time the idea of doing something nice for someone else crosses your mind, don't let it go. Force yourself to do it, no matter how tough it seems. Make reminding someone that you care about them a priority. You may find that doing something selfLESS has incredibly selfISH rewards. Thanks for reading, I hope you found it inspiring, or at least something like it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

grab somebody sexy, tell 'em hey

warning: this post contains a plethora of explicatives.
cheers to the freakin weekend, i'll drink to that yeah yeah / with sober girls around me they be actin like theyre drunnkkkkk... like a G6 now now nowwww im feelin so fly like a G6 / because she moves her body like a cyclone / down like she supposed to be,
she gets down low for me,
Down like her temperature ’cause to me she zero degree.
She cold, overfreeze,
I got that girl from overseas
now she my miss America
now can i be her soldier please,
I’m fighting for this girl
I’m a battlefield of love,
Don’t it look like baby cupid sent his arrows from above
don’t you ever leave the side of me,
Indefinitely, not probably,
and honestly im down like the economy / girl, i know, mistakes were made between us two. and we showed our ass that night even said somethings weren't true / them baggy sweat pants and the Reeboks with the straps She turned around and gave that big booty a smack (hey) she hit the floor (she hit the floor) next thing you know shawty got low low low low low low lowwww / okay youre a goon, but whats a goon to a goblin? / in my rearview mirror is the motherfucking law, got two choices yall pull over the car or bounce on the devil, put the pedal to the floor. now i aint trying to see no highway chase with Jake, plus i got a few dollars i can fight the case so i pull over to the side of the road. i heard son, do you know what im stoppin you for? cause, im young and im black and my hat's real low. do i look like a mind reader, sir? i dont know. am i under arrest or should i guess some more? well you was doin 55 in a 54. license and registration and step outta the car, are you carrying a weapon on you i know a lot of you are. i aint steppin out of shit all my papers legit. well do you mind if i look around the car a little bit? well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk and the back and i know my rights and you gonna need a warrant for that / grab somebody sexy tell 'em hey, give me everything tonight / listen to this track, bitch. girl, the way you're moving got me in a trance. DJ, turn me up. ladies, this your jam, cmon. imma sip moscato and you go loose them pants. imma throw this money while you do it with no hands, drop it to the floor i love the way your booty goo / that's when she said it, looked me dead in the face, asked cash or credit / she put that sugar on my tongue tongue yippy yippy yum yumm goodie goodie gum drop put me in a tongue lock / i'm about to take my key and stick in the ignition / i need Winn Dixie grocery bag full of money right now to the VIP section yeah yeah yeah / got rubber band banks in my pockets / i dont say hi, i say keys to the Benz /  wanna get you in the bath tub with the candle lit you give it up till they go out or we can do it on stage of the Ludacris concert / i'll slap you off that barstool there goes another lawsuit, leave handprints all across you, Good Lordy whoadie, you must be gone off that water bottle you want what you can't have, ooh girl that's too damn bad/ I got my swim trunks and my flippie-floppies I'm flipping burgers, you at Kinko's straight flipping copies / I'm riding on a dolphin, doing flips and shit, the dolphin's splashing, getting everybody all wet but this ain't Seaworld, this is real as it gets I'm on a boat, motherfucker, don't you ever forget I'm on a boat and it's going fast and I got a nautical themed pashmina afghan, I'm the king of the world on a boat like Leo. If you're on the shore, then you're sure not me-oh Get the fuck up, this boat is REAL!!! fuck land, I'm on a boat, motherfucker (motherfucker!) fuck trees, I climb buoys, motherfucker (motherfucker!) I'm on the deck with my boys, motherfucker (yeah) the boat engine make noise, motherfucker / excuse me, you're a hell of a guy you know i really got a thing for american guys / check my myspace and ive got a lot of friend requests, YES. / if you catch me at the border, i got visas in my name if you come around here, i make em all day ill get one done in a second if you wait sometimes i think sitting on trains, every stop i get to im clocking that game, everyone's a winner we make our own fame 

The premise of Limitless is the main character gets his hands on a drug that allows you to use all of your brain instead of just 20%. It got me thinking, if I could just have the 30% or so that is full of song lyrics back, I could really do some incredible things. Not just any lyrics, I'd like to keep a lot of the lyrics in my head, its the lyrics about bitches, going to the club, gettin drunk etc that I'd like to do away with. Today, I made a smart playlist of my top played rap music and realized how many songs I know every single word to. Words that I couldn't even type above because they're so raunchy and absurd. I've got to believe I could put the portion of memory that knows every word to 99 Problems, What's Your Fantasy and I'm On A Boat towards curing AIDS or helping fight hunger. Until such a drug becomes FDA approved, I suppose I'll still be able to bust out every word while dancing to it with a drink in my hand or while jamming with my windows rolled down. Highly recommend the movie though, it definitely gets you thinking.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

forget about the pricetag

Recently there are several huge themes that have become increasingly apparent in my circle of friends. One of them is a constant chat about not having the money for this or that. I get it. Money is a huge limitation. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Now that many of us are on our own (or at least about to be), we are forced to think about things like a budget and what our costs of living are. The magic little squares of plastic in our wallets have lost their magic now that the bill is paid from our own bank accounts. In light of being financially independent and responsible, I’d like to offer a counter point of view. I love this song that’s in iTunes top 100 right now- because how true are these lyrics? “Money can’t buy us happiness. Can we all slow down and enjoy right now? Guarantee we’ll be feeling alright… You can’t put a price on life.” This incredible stage of life where we are young with little to hold us back, we’ve got to make the most of it, regardless of the cost. What you would do if money wasn’t a limitation? How would you use it? Tonight I imagined a dream budget with plenty of extra to give to charities, to spend on hobbies and other past times I enjoy, to entertain friends, to spoil friends with random gifts and surprises, to occasionally treat myself to a massage when its been a long week, I’d only eat locally and organic grown food, to ensure my children can go to the schools of their dreams, to explore the world and check off items from my bucket list… what things would be categories in your dream budget?
Think about your favorite memories. Now try to estimate what the memory cost. Wouldn’t you likely agree that it is ultimately priceless? When I think about some of the times in my life that I was the absolute happiest, it wasn’t always doing something extravagant that cost a lot of money. It’s late nights talking with a beloved pledge sister telling stories from our childhood and laughing til we cried while we were suppose to be studying for an exam the next day. In order to successfully accomplish living with no regrets, you’ve got to seize every opportunity that you have. You have to take some risks, which is probably going to involve dishing out more cash than you might be comfortable with. But I promise you that if you spontaneously decide to go to Miami for the weekend (which a dear friend of mine decided to do a few weeks ago) that in five years you won’t be able to tell anyone the cost of the plane ticket. In fact, you probably won’t even remember the cost of that ticket in two years. But you will remember the awesome times that you had.
Maybe next time you hear this song on the radio,  you won’t just hear it; you’ll listen to what it is actually saying. It makes an excellent, thought-provoking point unlike a majority of the fluff on the radio.
Money is only paper, only ink. We’ll destroy ourselves if we can’t agree.–Tracy Chapman
If we have that attitude, Tracy Chapman sings that the rest of the world will fall into place, piece by piece. Like most things in life, it’s about striking that balance. 

eye for eye and F for fight

this video/song/band will make your day. guaranteed.

sometimes you just need a feel good song. so DISCOVER new music. meet a new artist. ladies and gentleman, i present to you, Foster the People. I am in love with them. Their catchy beats and optimistic lyrics just put me in the best mood ever. One more day until the weekend and it wont be long now til the shackles on my wings are off. For now, take a word of advice from Houdini and "raise up to your ability. FOCUS ON YOUR ABILITY."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Double vodka sprite with not one, but TWO limes

first to 20. Spain versus US
I think it's brilliant to have the light switch on the outside of the door so that when you actually get into the room, the light is on. (1 for Spain)
Elevators do not need to be nearly as huge as they are in the US. (1 for Spain)
I am legitimately concerned about how I am going to live without sweet tea, peanut butter, Chic-Fil-A and queso.  (4 for US)
I enjoy enjoying my meal without the waiter berating me about getting the hell out of the restaurant. (1 for Spain)
Air-conditioning should be the norm and not a privilege. Especially if its over 100 degrees outside. (2 for US)
Daily siestas are pretty sweet. (2 for Spain)
Slim likelihood of getting lime in my drink at a bar and 7 Up instead of Sprite means I might have to find a new drink of choice. Not cool. My double vodka sprite with two limes has gotten me through a lot of good nights. (4 for US)
Walking everyone and public transportation instead of driving. (3 for Spain)
That stupid square comforter instead of "normal" bed linens- sheets and a comforter. (1 for US)
[Uh oh... US is kicking ass right now]
Night owl schedule- dinner at 9 then hit the bars. (1 for Spain)
The inability to get "late-night" ANYWHERE after 10 pm. (1 for US)
Croquettas, sangria, vino verano and healthy, organic, fresh food. Yummm. (3 for Spain)
The ground floor should be ZERO and not ONE. It really doesn't make much sense any other way. And every time I come home from Europe, I get confused. (1 for Spain)
Paying to use the toilet. (1 for US)
Football. Alabama football. (2 for US)
Spanish. (3 for Spain)
Pandora. (1 for US)
Hollywood and TV shows. (1 for US)
The ease of traveling to other top destinations and countries. Extra bonus for Ryan Air cause flights can be less than 10 Euros. (2 for Spain)

Final Score: 21--20
I will give you this confession: I am taking you with me where we can contemplate our chemistry. Your eyes are lined with questions.. I get the feeling we’re so misdirected, I get the feeling we have lost control. We are dropping out into the so unknown. -Jack's Mannequin  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cain and Abel sitting at the breakfast table

Progress is one of those words that means what it sounds like; it's an onomatopoeia. A few days ago, a woman and I were chatting casually and exchanging hatred for almost every male out there. She said that she is a practicing Buddist and believes that sometimes the Universe ultimately makes decisions for us to set us back on the right path when we have gotten off track. Or something like that. I was in a hurry and couldn't finish that conversation but I hope some day to be able to dive into that topic a lot deeper. Several days later, I realize that this "universal direction-guiding" regardless of who you think is to thank, is ultimately CHANGE. 
More often than I admit out loud, I find myself lamenting over the past or friendships that have experienced rough twists and turns or vanished. This lamentation isn't in hatred, it's in love. And it's human. It doesn't mean that there is blame there or that I have deeply rooted regrets or grudges that I cannot let go of. In attempting to describe what I mean exactly, I'll borrow these words from Josh Kelley. "I'm sick of chasing after things. I'd rather them chase after me, keeping up is bound to wear me down. There's a million ways to skin a cat; I put my choices in a hat. Picked a few and threw the bad ones out. So if you want me, you better knock me down. Cause I ain't easy and this ain't hallowed ground. I've been thinking about ole Cain and Able sitting at a breakfast table, talking about the way things use to be. Abel looked at Cain and said, 'all that shit was in your head.' I'd like to think Cain was hard to please."
I don't know why I think that mental image is so poetic. But I am just imagining sitting across the breakfast table with anyone I've ever crossed paths with, nonchalantly speaking about what exactly happened between us. Sharing with one another precisely where there was hurt, blame, disappointment, forgiveness. The word enemy is so strong, but there are certainly a select few people from the past few years that chaos, drama and emotions run pretty deep. My mind doesn't fill with memories or thoughts of them daily by any means, but when it does, it's interesting to feel at peace with it all now. Whatever happened, happened for a reason. Even if I am still clueless to what that reason was. Because that happened, I got here. And now I'm on this incredible new branch of my journey that is going to lead to a lot of new and crazier things. 
I am beginning a really hardcore stance on DISTANCE. I think that distance between two people is all relative. One of my dear friend's Facebook quotes under her profile picture the first three years I knew her was "laughter is the closest distance between two people." And I believe those words to be true. Who knows how my friendships will continue to change as I stretch them by moving to a completely different continent. I hope that the friends that support me and love me the most will stick by my side and make the effort necessary to maintain our friendship for hundreds of years to come. I love a lot of people but I don't love doing all the work and getting beat up all the time. Those days are over for me. So, if you want me, you better knock me down. As Dave says, "Why worry? Changes have come and changes will come again." 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

breakdown, honey, take me through the night.

so for a personal test, i will be starting a blog series that will have titles that begin with each letter of the alphabet in succession starting with the last blog, this one being the second. the titles of my posts are important to me and demonstrate what i believe over all, to be one of the most critical themes of the entire post. we will see how this goes... but just consider yourself informed that's what i am doing. 

last night, i experienced an epic breakdown. a breakdown that defines that exact word. one little thought sent me completely over the edge. it was a meltdown of seismic proportions and it felt so good to finally get it all out. to actually FEEL and cry and scream. there is a quote circulating on Pinterest, that crying does not mean you are weak. since birth, it has been a signal that you are alive. just how true that statement really is came very clear to me last night. i am typically very strong and rarely find myself in emotionally compromising situations where my vulnerability is laid out on the table. but i do breakdown.
the breakdown itself isn't at all the point. it is what you do what the breakdown.
what you do when you realize that you aren't in control at all.
what you do when you realize that all the sudden the world is spinning faster than you can grasp.
you've got to make the best of what's around. you've got to let it all out. then, pick yourself up off the floor and FIGURE IT OUT. i am beyond words thankful for those who are there for me and i firmly believe that without them, i would be dead.
you can't always have this "things are fine and dandy" mask on. and with those who complete your life, you should be able to stare them straight in the face and tell them what's eating at you, what scares you, what's going through your mind, what you're proudest of and what you are thrilled about. i'm sick of the facade. so as Missy Higgins and Brett Dennon serenade me with their Tom Petty cover, "there aint no sense in pretending. something in your eyes gives you away. we've said all there is to say. baby, breakdown. go ahead, and give it to me. breakdown, i'm standing here can't you see? breakdown. it's alright."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

and words are futile devices

you know, sometimes there just are not words. sometimes words can't accurately express thoughts or feelings or emotions. there are times when that emotion is overwhelming and language does not, cannot fill in the vast gap between what the heart is experiencing and what the mind is attempting to make sense of. usually, when these things happen i turn to music, lyrics, quotes and borrow advice from friends. i depend on dear friends understanding me well enough to where i can just exist and they can read my mind. clearly, that doesn't always work out. in the light of news about some pretty intense tragedies in the past few days, i am reminded of the immobile and helpless feeling of having no words. no words to miraculously fix the broken heart. words that sound so convincing even said with the greatest confident voice mustered: "it's going to work out somehow" but instantly implies a hesitant expression and underlying uncertainty for the ears receiving the platitude. for other friends, i am aware of the fear in the air and i do not have words that coalesce that fear. i just do not. for others, i have found that i do not have words to substantially thank or demonstrate my immense gratitude for all they do for me.
on a separate but related note, i have discovered this past week in particular that i do not possess the language skills to describe what i am feeling. that's really hard for me to do. credit to Sufjan Stevens for the blog title and for setting the mood for my reverie. if you're actually a dedicated reader and you looked up the video and listened to the whole song and are now reading into who i would say this song to, please pick up the phone and call me before making assumptions. but as with always, if i wasn't fully dedicated to the lyrics, the artist and the song, it wouldn't be in a post.
in place of my own words to respond to heartache and tragedy, i offer one of my favorite quotes ever:
"when there are no words... know that the silences are carrying the thoughts and prayers of all who love you." (dawn dais)
and in place of my own words to respond to fear (whatever that may be), this is what i offer. some inspiration. and truth.

You gain STRENGTH, COURAGE and CONFIDENCE by every experience in which you really stop to look FEAR in the face... DO the thing you think you CANNOT do. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
The next thing to do is take some advice from Peter Bradley Adams and gather up the people you love and embrace them. hold them in your arms. and together, figure it out.

gather up in the arms of your pity
the sick, the depraved, the desperate, the tired
all the scum of our weary city
gather up in the arms of your love
those who expect no love from above

I ask you this, which way to turn?
I ask you this, which sin to bear?
which crown to put upon my hair?
I do not know, I do not know...

I wait to take the hand of love, with every one you gather up
I wait to take the hand of love,
come every one, come gather up

there's lonely people in the lonely night
they grab a lonely dream and they hold it tight
there's lonely people in the lonely day
who work to solve their dream away 

so I ask you this, which way to turn?
I ask you this, which sin to bear?
which crown to put upon my hair?
I do not know, I do not know...

I wait to take the hand of love, with every one you gather up
I wait to take the hand of love,
come every one, come gather up
won't you gather in your arms, gather in your arms  

Friday, July 8, 2011

less drowning, more land

though i am not 100% positive, i think the sensation pumping through my blood has not been felt in over four years. i have not felt the security and excitement of pieces falling into place like this in a LONG time. and it feels amazing. i feel like I am no longer watching my dreams from the window  (read what post i am referencing here) but instead i am holding them in my hand like a snitch. watching that dream flap its wings excitedly as i am holding it, just waiting for me to line up a few more puzzle pieces so that i can grab ahold of it fully and let its wings carry me there.
plans are odd things. this year in particular, i have advocated being open minded and ready for anything (reference here). i have reassured myself there is beauty in uncertainty. and after several months, i relapsed into PLAN mode and started laying down plans left and right. it just creeped up on me. finally, i caved under the peer pressure to have it all miraculously figured out. shockingly with a little elbow grease and a few great contacts, i was feeling really good about the new blueprint. i had some promising options hanging in the air and was thrilled for the things i had lined up for myself. then BOOOM. i received an email about a job i had applied for in February. three emails and two days later, i had accepted a year-long position in Madrid, Spain. goodbye plan. hello awesomeness. one of my absolute favorite Bible verses is the Lord's answer to Habakkuk's complaint in chapter one of Habakkuk. He says, "I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told."
what's that?  i am not in control? seriously?! this entire time i was thinking i was. oh, was that where i went wrong? well, thanks for the slap in the face, god/fate/destiny/chance/all of the above. a very, very sincere thank you. it was deserved i suppose. i am beyond words exhilarated and thrilled not just for myself but for those around me as i excitedly stay tuned on how their futures are coming together so beautifully also. perhaps patience really IS a virtue, after all. who knew.

"no more false starts and no dead ends" -from his wonderful and newly released album, Matt Nathanson, Mercy      Watch him preform it live by clicking here!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

what i believe is what i DO

the quote in my senior year book under my name is: "If you believe something passionately, people will follow you. People will follow you because they think you know something they don’t, some clue to the meaning of the universe. What I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do." -Donald Miller

Walking around Rome a few weeks ago, i was all the sudden caught in a gigantic gay pride parade. the energy, passion, excitement and raw conviction was contagious. It got me thinking about how many things I believe in would get me to join in a PARADE of thousands and thousands of people. So I added, "participate in a parade, rally or protest for something that I passionately believe in" to my bucket list. 

     I'm not saying that I want to make the news or a headline, necessarily. However, I think everything I believe in should be a belief strong enough to jump into a parade. I couldn't help but let deep reflection pass over me in a sea of people covered in rainbows, smiles, makeup, glitter and signs begging for change. I am guilty of being silent on many political things I believe. Most of my close friends are republicans. Politics rarely finds its place in 95% of my everyday conversations; it feels strange to even blog about this topic. I firmly, with all my being, believe that every single human on this earth should have rights. I don't think that those rights are limited to religious beliefs, personal preferences, sexual orientation or lifestyle choices. In fact, it would be my greatest career goal to devote my life to enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sadly, since its creation in 1948, leaders and citizens of the world have done a very poor job of seeing this document bring about change across nations. Keeping the events of the Nazi-induced Holocaust in mind, there have been great steps in the new field of international law. Genocide, crimes against humanity, extreme discrimination and acts of injustice are in news headlines everyday. I urge you not to turn a blind eye to these occurrences, but instead stand vigilant. Inform yourself on these hot topic issues and take a stance. Don't take this post as me telling you what to believe, but instead of begging you to discover for yourself what that belief is. Believing alone is not sufficient. You must take that belief and DO something with it. Don't take the easy way out and say. "oh, I don't know how I feel about that." Don't take the other easy way out and say, "i agree" too quickly. 
    In a class I took last fall, we were discussing laws and social change. For simplicity purposes, I will use one analogy and let you create a list of others in your mind. Just a few decades ago, no one knew smoking cigarettes caused such grave effects to your health so smoking was allowed everyone and an activity engaged in by nearly everyone. Now we have laws against smoking indoors, specific "smoking" designations in places and new intensified warning labels (I think this is awesome by the way. Read up on it: here and flip through the ad photos HERE). I cannot honestly wrap my mind around living in a smoke-filled bubble with no knowledge of the consequences. It makes me wonder what legislation and scientific discoveries our children will grow up around. Will my daughter one day look me in the eye and ask what it was like when abortion was illegal or when the only people who were allowed to get married was a "man and wife"? Will she ask me why we thought that they shouldn't be entitled to the same rights as us? In the same way that I wondered after reading The Help, what made the white man think he was so superior? History is an odd thing. It builds upon itself. 
     I just realized that this is four blog posts I've been mentally writing for weeks all rolled into one, really intense post. I really think great changes will come in the near future for many political hot-topics. Inform yourself and do something with the knowledge that you gain. So that you can tell the next generation WHY you believed what you did and what you did to support that belief: either join the crowd or fight against it. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

one day without breaking one law

something i've been thinking about recently is texting and driving. i do it. i do a lot of things while driving actually. in high school, i was notorious for doing my makeup, while listening to my favorite morning radio show, THE BERT SHOW and eating breakfast. in my personal opinion, the best way to pass the time in the car is by chatting on the phone whether its a quick trip to Kroger, a lengthy adventure involving traffic or a roadtrip across state lines. i was coming back from my beloved Tuscaloosa last week and texting not one person, but two or three as i was comfortably seated with cruise control. i didnt have a near death experience or anything, but all of the sudden, this huge tractor trailer was honking at me in the lane to the right and shooting me the nastiest looks he could make while going 70 miles per hour. i assumed it was because i was texting and driving. so this got me thinking, "you know, this is pretty dangerous." i can't say that i am going to miraculously stop texting and driving tomorrow, because i can't keep that promise. but it is against the law. and it is unsafe. i'm not ready to take Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge, but its a goal I am going to work toward. Let's try to stop texting and driving, fellow readers. I know its not going to be easy to break a habit, but at least we can encourage each other against something that puts our lives at risk and risks the safety of the thousands of cars we pass. What do you say? Not to a pledge or a "wake up tomorrow and change" but to a, "i agree. and i'm going to start trying not to text and drive." This post was inspired by an article in this mornings AJC. I HIGHLY recommend reading it here. To brush up on Georgia's laws, click here.

I most likely break some law at least multiple times a day. There are a lot of things that I do with the impression that I am invincible. I hardly believe that sending one little text message will result in me spending years in jail from vehicular manslaughter, but in reality, it certainly could. With a little inspiration from a dear friend to review my annual resolutions, I find it difficult to assess progress on old resolutions when all I want to do is add new ones. I want to stop texting and driving. I need to stop drinking and driving. What other everyday things do you do that is unsafe, unhealthy, illegal? Unprotected sex. The tanning bed. Smoking cigarettes. Doing drugs. We may be young, but the things we do have consequences in many forms. Behavior doesn't change over night, but that doesn't mean that it's not worth trying to change. 
Read the article and say what you think about texting and driving and the laws that make it illegal yet still so easily done. Excerpt from the AJC article mentioned above: Texting may have led to a double-fatal crash in Newnan in late May, Cosper said. A 16-year-old driver ran a red light and hit another car just before midnight, killing both drivers. Friends of the teen victim have said they believe the driver was distracted by a text.  “Some people refer to it as being “intexticated,” Cosper said.
Does the meager tally of citations make the law, which carries penalties of a $150 fine and one point on the offender's license, a failure?  Not to hear the people responsible for enacting and promoting it.
"You have to remember that the intent was to change behavior," said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, who promoted the bill authored by state Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming.
Peake said he knows first-hand that an understanding of how dangerous the practice is won't necessarily stop someone. "I was the world's worst," he said.
Now, based on what he hears from friends and family members, "I seriously believe we have changed the behavior."
Monica Maurer, who sees people driving erratically almost daily as she commutes to Georgia State University, disagrees. At least half the people she rides with still routinely text and drive, she said.
"If it is helping, it's not helping much," the 23-year-old student said of the ban -- which, incidentally, she thought applied only to people younger than 18.
Often, her friends won't desist even when she asks them. "They say, ‘I'm fine, I know what I'm doing,'" she said. "It freaks me out."
So who's right?
It's impossible to know, many experts said.
Twelve months isn't enough time to measure changes in behaviors such as texting while driving -- if it's possible to measure them at all.