Beanie Babies

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Long ago, I was a young boy who loved his stuffed animals. I wasn’t the kind of person who brought them to school with me or anything, oh no that would be far to embarrassing for a 2nd grader. No, I slept almost every night with my stuffed animals within arms reach instead, far less embarrassing to admit as a high school senior. However, I did keep them around for company. My parents were almost always working, so I spent a lot of time with myself, or rather with my stuffed animals. They were kept around to keep me company and so that I wasn’t ever truly alone. In fact there were two real stuffed animal types that I owned. There was Skippy the bear (who got his name because he was a polar bear, initials being PB, also the same initials as Peanut Butter, and so he was named after Skippy Peanut Butter), as well as my entire collection of Beanie Babies.

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River Rafting

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

I recently read a story about a man who was venturing in the forest, and had to keep a certain distance between the river and himself. He happened upon the river at the end of his trip, while crossing a bridge, and described what he saw. His description about the river seemed so much like a river I had seen before, I decided to give it a shot.

The American river in the heart of California, is a river with rapids ranging from class 6 to class 2 (pouring waterfalls to small waves). We happened upon our lunch spot, after rafting for a while, and I decided to do a little exploring. I came to a bend in the river and sat down and watched the water moving over the rocks. The bend was a long bend, curving around a dry spot in the river. The dry spot was a large swath of small rounded rocks, somehow staying in place despite the rivers strong current. Small weeds had begun growing out of the rocks, signifying that the rocks had been there for a while. On the bank that I was sitting on, there were small trees growing over to the river, shading the bank and part of the water. The edge of the river was lined with blackberry bushes, which were ripe and delicious. The river itself was running smoothly over the rocks on the bottom, creating small ripples. I watched a leaf flowing around the bend, where it got stuck in an eddy next to the bank. There the water swirled the leaf around at a dizzying rate before spitting it back out into the gentle ripples. The rocks under water were colored green and brown, presumably serpentine, a common green rock found on the river’s edge. The river itself was very clear; you could see details of the rocks many feet underwater. After watching the river for what seemed like hours, the lunch bell rang, and I ventured back to the rafting group, before setting out across those same ripples later.

My Nature (Personal)

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Touching on one of my precious posts, “My Nature“, I recently had an adventure that led me to see all of the differences between true nature and the man-made world. I was traveling to Australia when I peaked out the window mid-flight to see this:

This photo captures one aspect of nature, the sun and how it influences everything. If you were to live like the caveman did, before the industrial era, or even just before the idea of massive cities existed, this would rule your life. This massive object governs the whole world. We (as man) don’t venture out at night as much as we do during the day, we don’t call people at other places at night, and we don’t even stay awake for most of the time when this thing isn’t around. Man hasn’t touched the sun, and we hardly understand it with the exception of a few theories. The sun to me is true nature. Meanwhile, this is not:

This is the view out of my 25-story hotel in the middle of Sydney. Obviously, this is one of the most industrial places in the world, and one of the least natural. The feeble attempt to make it seem a little more natural by the park in the middle of the city is hardly natural. The birds themselves don’t even search for their own nuts and food, as they just fly around looking for the closest person with a piece of bread. Clearly, this is not nature.

The Peaceful Underwater World

December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Imagine yourself on a plane, gliding over farmlands on your trip across the country. You look out the window noticing all of the circles on the ground, as you fly about at incredible speeds to your destination. If you look up, you can see the dark purple of space, so much closer at the altitude you are cruising at. As you glide you are suddenly caught in an updraft. The plane is thrown all about and you sudden feel like you are falling. You feel the pit in your stomach as you clutch to the armrest to keep yourself from flying out of your seat, and you have that feeling that you might not survive this flight. Then the plane levels out, you catch your breath, before you are again suddenly thrown from side to side, the plane jerking every which way. The drink glass on your tray table falls over, spilling all over the place. finally, after what seems like ages, the plane stops, and you resume your flight like nothing ever happened. Now imagine all of that tossing about again, except this time underwater.

At a place called “Hell’s Kitchen” this is all you experience. The dive consists of this: Jump in, sink to 40 feet underwater, swim straight, and after 5 minutes check what depth you are at. When I did this dive, we has come one come out of the current at 15 feet, and another at 90 feet. I breathed so much of my air, that a dive that is normally about an hour-long, was shrunken to 20 minutes. This is one of the many reasons I suggest people should start diving. That and watching the fish swim every which way when they get caught in the current, it is rather funny.


December 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Disneyland is without a doubt one of the more nostalgic places I’ve ever been. When I saw World of Color over the summer I couldn’t help but tear up. I’m a rational girl and a  cynical, detached person by nature but for some irrational reason Disney is my emotional kryptonite. When I go to Disneyland or even visit the Disney Store a part of me becomes carefree and ridiculously and illogically happy. As a matter of fact the when I visited the Disney Store website to get this link I wasted a good five minutes browsing things that I logically should have outgrown over a decade ago.



Last month I went on a trip to Disneyland with my mother, Aunt and two younger cousins.  The two latter had a deprived childhood and although they are 12 and 10 had never been to Disneyland. It was incredibly special for me to go with them because your first visit to Disneyland is such an important rite of passage. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to go to Disneyland as often as I do.  Ever since the first time I visited the park, almost 16 years ago, I adopted the belief that Disneyland is indeed the happiest place on earth.   There is no other place on earth like Disneyland. As my silly french exchange student put it even other Disney parks cannot compare as they are “BAAAAD… FALSE Disneyland”.
Since re-watching Disney Classics with an analytical eye proved to be a fun activity, ss part of my inner-child challenge I thought it would be interesting to see how Disneyland was different for me as an 18 year old. Interestingly enough unlike some of my other childhood favorites I didn’t approach Disneyland differently as a technical adult. Disneyland merely brought out my inner child and forced me to abandon (some of) my cynicism. I had too much fun to be analytical and was too carefree to worry about anything but saving enough room for churros and soft serve.


November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m a vegetarian and always have been so I’ve never gotten too excited about the whole turkey thing during the holidays. I happily stick to my tofurkey and let the carnivores in my family enjoy the bird. Although I have pet chickens and would be extremely offended by the concept of Chicken Day, Turkey Day doesn’t bother me as much. I have to wonder why.


When we matched up animals and characteristics in class we proved that a lot of people, myself included, have preconceived notions about animals. Maybe I think that turkeys are inherently stupid. I mean they aren’t exactly geniuses but not technically much smarter than my chickens (for the record I believe my chickens are exceptionally smart birds). Maybe it is because I don’t think that turkeys are very cute. The cuteness factor is a big deal. You don’t see little marshmallow turkeys or rubber bath toys shaped like turkeys. Whatever my reasons I don’t sympathize with turkeys as much as I should and it makes me feel guilty! Maybe the reason Turkeys are exploited over the holidays as they are is because they are deemed ugly and stupid. Maybe it’s because they are really delicious, I wouldn’t know.


Not the Same

November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Over Thanksgiving Break I decided to begin my inner child-challenge. I began to re-watch episodes of one of the shows that defined me as a kid, “Rugrats“. My mother always joked that “Rugrats” was two shows, one for adults and one for children. Rewatching it I began to understand what she meant. There are many jokes that would have made me blush had I understood their meaning as a youngster. The social commentary on “Rugrats” also great and I love the way the show pokes fun at the detached role many parents play in their kid’s lives. Yes, there are many new and exciting aspects to one of my childhood favorites but this blog post is going to focus on what is missing from revisiting “Rugrats” in my “old” age– commercials!

Yes I loved the show itself but I was equally captivated by the plethora of advertisements that interrupted the program! The subliminal messages that oozed into my brain. These commercials are likely responsible for my current shopping addiction. I would watch the little children with envy as they played with the super awesome toys that my mother deemed violent or mindless. I remember how I would often feel a tad bit jealous when I would see commercials I had auditioned for air during “The Secret World of Alex Mack“. Remember all of those Hooked on Phonics ads during “KaBlam!”commercial breaks?  Priceless.

During commercial breaks I was able to escape even further. There are many TV show themes that I can’t for the life of me remember but I have a feeling there are dozens of commercial jingles that will always remain in my head. So yes, watching “Rugrats” takes me back but being able to watch old commercials would be so beautifully nostalgic! No commercials takes a bit away from the experience, making shows from my past seem a little less authentic.

In the age of TiVo I doubt that commercials will make as much of an impression on the “Hannah Montana” generation but the cheesy, manipulative commercials that I enjoyed as a child will always stay with me.

Enjoy this commercial break from “Figure it Out”

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