Saturday, June 11, 2011

read it slowly, think it about it carefully. make it mean something.

If you woke you this morning with more health than illness, you are more
blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of
imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are
ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest,
torture, or death, you are more blessed than 
three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead,
and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish
someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are alive and married, you are very rare.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch
If you can read this message you've just received a double blessing in that
someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
Have a good day, count your blessings, and pass this along to remind
everyone else how blessed we all are.

For the last two weeks, as soon as I wake up I begin to list of things I'm grateful for. 
It's not the type of list that i have to ramble on about, as if it's an assignment and a certain amount
of gratitude means more; some days i only find myself deeply thankful for eight things, some days it's 25.
it's about making sure you are being grateful for the
beautiful things in your life (and when you do, you're guaranteed more beautiful things).
so here's my list for today:
i am thankful that i have today.
i am thankful i'm healthy, that my family is healthy. 
i am thankful for the job i have to support the habits i possess (good or bad- either way, i have a great job). 
i am thankful for boise idaho, a fantastic place to live and grow. 
i am  thankful for the gift of receiving inspiration
(being inspired is the most fulfilling feeling in the world). 
i am thankful for the people in my life- both
friends and acquaintances- that teach me something every day. 
i am thankful for vincent, who makes me a stronger person day by day.
 i am thankful for safety and protection i've been given- i've never been in a war zone, a mission risk,
or in the path of a destructive person. and we forget that, sometimes.
i am grateful that i wake up every morning with sleepy eyes rather than a body riddled with pain.
i am thankful that i can cruise the internet, without limitations or censorship, and learn something 
i didn't know yesterday.
i am thankful for my mother <3 , her love and creativity spark my spirit.
i am thankful for the spring semester i just took, that opened up my spirit and heart to the 
millions of people who are suffering; i'm thankful i'm beginning to find a purpose.
and, i am thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts. although i may write about cheesy,
corny things, sharing it other people expands my perspective and potential. so thank you for reading.

here's a tip for you: if you ever wake up "on the wrong side of the bed", and you start your day of
in a pissy, negative, temperamental mood, begin to think about all that you have, and all that you've been
given to enjoy. if that doesn't snap the selfish negativity right outa you; i'll help. :) 


Friday, June 10, 2011

what i learned in rhetoric.

You should always know how to present what you have to say, even if it'll cause a passionate discussion, in a well respected manner. These are the most common fallacies everyone should know, to avoid using and to identify in others!

Ten Common Fallacies Everyone Should Know

Fallacies: Incorrect or misleading beliefs or opinions based on inaccurate facts or invalid reasoning.

 Ad Hominem

When someone attacks the person instead of the argument.
Example: "Jordan's just a stupid blonde on unemployment. Why would you ever consider her strategy for getting a job."
"Mike cheated on his final exam. You can't trust him to know the answers to any of your questions."
 Appeal to Authority

When a statement is considered true because it's made by someone who is considered an "authority" on the topic.
 Structure: Source A says that "Q" is true. Source A is authoritative. Therefore, "Q" is true.
Example: "My doctor says taking St John's Wart everyday will make me less depressed. He should know, he's a doctor!"
"The policeman said it's legal for him to search my car. He's a policeman, so he must be telling the truth."

Appeal to Ignorance
When a claim is considered true because it hasn't been disproven (or vice versa). 
"Since you cannot prove that Aliens do not exist, then they must exist."
"John said he saw a UFO last night, but he didn't get a photo. He must be lying."

Bandwagon Fallacy

When a concept is considered true because lots of people believe it's true.

"9 out of 10 doctors agree that Medicine X is the best. So then Medicine X must be the best."
"This TV show is the best show on TV right now. Everyone is watching it!"

Begging the Question

When the statement is assumed true based on the statement itself.

"The Bible is the word of God, because it says so in the Bible."
"How do I know he's stupid? Because he doesn't know anything about anything."
"Marijuana wouldn't be illegal if it wasn't seriously harmful to your health."

Loaded Question
When a question contains the presumption of guilt.

"So when exactly did you stop hitting your wife?" (Assumes the person WAS hitting his wife).
"Being that spanking children is a good parenting technique, should it be allowed in the United States?"

Non Sequitor

When a statement's conclusion does not follow from its premise.

"If you don't buy this type of food, then you are neglecting your children's health."
"I hear loud shouting and rustling noises through the wall. The man next door must be hitting his wife."

Red Herring

When someone diverts the attention away from the topic to a NEW topic to throw you off and win the argument.

Topic A is being debated.
Topic B is introduced as being related to Topic A.
Topic A is abandoned.
Now Topic B is being used to discredit you.

"So you think abortion results in lower crime rates. Well, we've all see what happened in Nevada with that abortion doctor who killed his patients with dirty equipment. You want that? You want to see patients killed in dirty clinics? Then go ahead and support abortion."

Slippery Slope

When it's assumed that a small step leads to a larger chain reaction of events resulting in a greater impact.

"Once the government has passed this gun law, they'll pass other gun laws resulting in total confiscation."
"If we legalize abortion, then next thing you know we'll be killing new born babies."

 Straw Man

When someone ignores the argument and replaces it with a distorted or exaggerated version of that argument.

Person A: "Evolution states that humans developed over a long time from the same common ancestor as the gorilla."
Person B: "Everyone listen to Person A. He's saying that we decended from baboons!!!"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

juxtaposition of who we are. seriously awesome video.

this video reminds of me Mark Laita's work i posted awhile back titled "Created Equal" (here's my post!). 

The symmetry and contrast of this video emphasizes how important every little thing in our life truly is.
maybe one day we'll learn to appreciate how different we are, because it just proves how connected we will always be.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the most beautiful 2:55 minutes i could experience.

what's for dinner? oh, just this AMAZING 15 minute healthy burrito!

Healthy meal in 15 minutes that's guaranteed to make you feel good the rest of the day! 


I chopped red onion, cucumber, mushrooms, tomatoes, red pepper, and roast beef sliced fresh from the deli.

Next,  combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, with a table spoon of extra light olive oil on medium/ high heat. Stir until all pieces are tender and fully sauteed. 

While all the ingredients are in the sauce pan, add 2 teaspoons of all natural pesto (my favorite is 
Roland pesto from italy!) to the pan, and turn to low. Stir pesto into ingredients until all pieces are covered.

Next, remove the ingredients and set aside. Using the same saucepan (there should be a little olive oil 
left) throw a whole wheat tortilla (or whatever type you like) in the pan for about 30 seconds on either side 
on high heat.

Remove tortilla and place ingredients on the lower half of the tortilla. Add feta, extra sharp cheddar cheese
and fold &roll (like you would a normal burrito).

With 2 teaspoons of olive oil, place burrito in pan on medium high heat until it's toasty and crispy.

Finally, always remember to make food pantsless (i seriously didn't even notice i wasn't wearing pants until i put this picture up, and it's too funny to take down). I added fresh cilantro, thyme, and basil from vincent's garden (shh, don't tell him) to crispy top.

Enjoy, and let me know how delicious it was!

Monday, June 6, 2011

my home schweet home: a few of my favorite little corners

what a beautiful life you live. here's how to live it.

39 Ways to Live, and Not Merely Exist

"The proper function of man is to live - not to exist." -- Jack London

So often, we go through our life waiting to finally be happy. There are always standards on what we're doing right this moment and excuses for not doing what we really want to do. When I pause and look around, i realize so much of my life is on autopilot, merely going through the robotic motions without a jolt of energy or passionate reason. It's not always a bad though, though, because sometimes those who have the strongest endurance have to withstand the dullness and monotony of life. But, there come a time in everyone's life were regrets and wishing for more consumes them. It's that moment that you realized an entire summer has been wasted on your autopilot mind, or your best friend is moving overseas and you felt like you haven't talked to them from your heart in years. It's the time in your life that your spirit is needing a walk around the park, rather than being stuck on your computer or in your car or in the tv screen.

well, my lovebirds, if you want to live life and experience the beauty of what you're called to do, you need to stop settling for this lowest common denominator lifestyle and expand your horizons, your mind, your spirit and your life.

Leo Babauta wrote a list of 39 ways to live, and i'm sharing my little secrets with you. but, out of respect for him, how about instead of just reading it, you try it.
  1. LovePerhaps the most important. Fall in love, if you aren't already. If you have, fall in love with your partner all over again. Abandon caution and let your heart be broken. Or love family members, friends, anyone -- it doesn't have to be romantic love. Love all of humanity, one person at a time.
  2. Get outside. Don't let yourself be shut indoors. Go out when it's raining. Walk on the beach. Hike through the woods. Swim in a freezing lake. Bask in the sun. Play sports, or walk barefoot through grass. Pay close attention to nature.
  3. Savor foodDon't just eat your food, but really enjoy it. Feel the texture, the bursts of flavors. Savor every bite. If you limit your intake of sweets, it will make the small treats you give yourself  (peanut butter and chocolate are my favorites) even more enjoyable. And when you do have them, really, really savor them. Slowly.
  4. Create a morning ritual. Wake early and greet the day. Watch the sun rise. Out loud, tell yourself that you will not waste this day, which is a gift. You will be compassionate to your fellow human beings, and live every moment to its fullest. Stretch or meditate or exercise as part of your ritual. Enjoy some coffee.
  5. Take chances. We often live our lives too cautiously, worried about what might go wrong. Be bold, risk it all. Quit your job and go to business for yourself (plan it out first!), or go up to that girl you've liked for a long time and ask her out. What do you have to lose?
  6. Follow excitement. Try to find the things in life that excite you, and then go after them. Make life one exciting adventure after another (with perhaps some quiet times in between).
  7. Find your passionSimilar to the above tip, this one asks you to find your calling. Make your living by doing the thing you love to do. First, think about what you really love to do. There may be many things. Find out how you can make a living doing it. It may be difficult, but you only live once.
  8. Get out of your cubicleDo you sit all day in front of computer, shuffling papers and taking phone calls and chatting on the Internet? Don't waste your days like this. Break free from the cubicle environment, and do your work on a laptop, in a coffee shop, or on a boat, or in a log cabin. This may require a change of jobs, or becoming a freelancer. It's worth it.
  9. Turn off the TVHow many hours will we waste away in front of the boob tube? How many hours do we have to live? Do the math, then unplug the TV. Only plug it back in when you have a DVD of a movie you love. Otherwise, keep it off and find other stuff to do. Don't know what to do? Read further.
  10. Pull away from InternetYou're reading something on the Internet right now. And, with the exception of this article, it is just more wasting away of your precious time. You cannot get these minutes back. Unplug the Internet, then get out of your office or house. Right now! And go and do something.
  11. TravelSure, you want to travel some day. When you have vacation time, or when you're older. Well, what are you waiting for? Find a way to take a trip, if not this month, then sometime soon. You may need to sell your car or stop your cable bill and stop eating out to do it, but make it happen. You are too young to not see the world. If need be, find a way to make a living by freelancing, then work while you travel. Only work an hour or two a day. Don't check email but once a week. Then use the rest of the time to see the world.
  12. Rediscover what's importantTake an hour and make a list of everything that's important to you. Add to it everything that you want to do in life. Now cut that list down to 4-5 things. Just the most important things in your life. This is your core list. This is what matters. Focus your life on these things. Make time for them.
  13. Eliminate everything else. What's going on in your life that's not on that short list? All that stuff is wasting your time, pulling your attention from what's important. As much as possible, simplify your life by eliminating the stuff that's not on your short list, or minimizing it.
  14. Exercise. Get off the couch and go for a walk. Eventually try running. Or do some push ups and crunches. Or swim or bike or row. Or go for a hike. Whatever you do, get active, and you'll love it. And life will be more alive.
  15. Be positive. Learn to recognize the negative thoughts you have. These are the self-doubts, the criticisms of others, the complaints, the reasons you can't do something. Then stop yourself when you have these thoughts, and replace them with positive thoughts. Solutions. You can do this!
  16. Open your heartIs your heart a closed bundle of scar tissue? Learn to open it, have it ready to receive love, to give love unconditionally. If you have a problem with this, talk to someone about it. And practice makes perfect.
  17. Kiss in the rainSeize the moment and be romantic. Raining outside? Grab your lover and give her a passionate kiss. Driving home? Stop the car and pick some wildflowers. Send her a love note. Dress sexy for him.
  18. Face your fears. What are you most afraid of? What is holding you back? Whatever it is, recognize it, and face it. Do what you are most afraid of. Afraid of heights? Go to the tallest building, and look down over the edge. Only by facing our fears can we be free of them.
  19. When you suffer, sufferLife isn't all about fun and games. Suffering is an inevitable part of life. We lose our jobs. We lose our lovers. We lose our pets. We get physically injured or sick. A loved one becomes sick. A parent dies. Learn to feel the pain intensely, and really grieve. This is a part of life -- really feel the pain. And when you're done, move on, and find joy.
  20. Slow downLife moves along at such a rapid pace these days. It's not healthy, and it's not conducive to living. Practice doing everything slowly -- everything, from eating to walking to driving to working to reading. Enjoy what you do. Learn to move at a snail's pace.
  21. Touch humanityGet out of your house and manicured neighborhoods, and find those who live in worse conditions. Meet them, talk to them, understand them. Live among them. Be one of them. Give up your materialistic lifestyle.
  22. VolunteerHelp at homeless soup kitchens. Learn compassion, and learn to help ease the suffering of others. Help the sick, those with disabilities, those who are dying.
  23. Play with children. Children, more than anyone else, know how to live. They experience everything in the moment, fully. When they get hurt, they really cry. When they play, they really have fun. Learn from them, instead of thinking you know so much more than them. Play with them, and learn to be joyful like them.
  24. Talk to old peopleThere is no one wiser, more experienced, more learned, than those who have lived through life. They can tell you amazing stories. Give you advice on making a marriage last or staying out of debt. Tell you about their regrets, so you can learn from them and avoid the same mistakes. They are the wisdom of our society -- take advantage of their existence while they're still around.
  25. Learn new skills. Constantly improve yourself instead of standing still -- not because you're so imperfect now, but because it is gratifying and satisfying. You should accept yourself as you are, and learn to love who you are, but still try to improve -- if only because the process of improvement is life itself.
  26. Find spirituality. For some, this means finding God or Jesus or Allah or Buddha. For others, this means becoming in tune with the spirits of our ancestors, or with nature. For still others, this just means an inner energy. Whatever spirituality means for you, rediscover it, and its power.
  27. Take mini-retirementsDon't leave the joy of retirement until you are too old to enjoy it. Do it now, while you're young. It makes working that much more worth it. Find ways to take a year off every few years. Save up, sell your home, your possessions, and travel. Live simply, but live, without having to work. Enjoy life, then go back to work and save up enough money to do it again in a couple of years.
  28. Do nothing. Despite the tip above that we should find excitement, there is value in doing nothing as well. Not doing nothing as in reading, or taking a nap, or watching TV, or meditating. Doing nothing as in sitting there, doing nothing. Just learning to be still, in silence, to hear our inner voice, to be in tune with life. Do this daily if possible.
  29. Stop playing video gamesThey might be fun, but they can take up way too much time. If you spend a lot of time playing online games, or computer solitaire, or Wii or Gameboy or whatever, consider going a week without it. Then find something else to do, outside.
  30. Watch sunsets, daily. One of the most beautiful times of day. Make it a daily ritual to find a good spot to watch the sunset, perhaps having a light dinner while you do so.
  31. Stop reading magazinesThey're basically crap. And they waste your time and money. Cancel your subscriptions and walk past them at the news stands. If you have to read something, read a trashy novel or even better, read Dumb Little Man once a day and be done.
  32. Break out from rutsDo you do things the same way every day? Change it up. Try something new. Take a different route to work. Start your day out differently. Approach work from a new angle. Look at things from new perspectives.
  33. Stop watching the news. It's depressing and useless. If you're a news junky, this may be difficult. I haven't watch TV news or read a newspaper regularly in about two years. It hasn't hurt me a bit. Anything important, my mom tells me about.
  34. Laugh till you cryLaughing is one of the best ways to live. Tell jokes and laugh your head off. Watch an awesome comedy. Learn to laugh at anything. Roll on the ground laughing. You'll love it.
  35. Lose controlNot only control over yourself, but control over others. It's a bad habit to try to control others -- it will only lead to stress and unhappiness for yourself and those you try to control. Let others live, and live for yourself. And lose control of yourself now and then too.
  36. Cry. Men, especially, tend to hold in our tears, but crying is an amazing release. Cry at sad movies. Cry at a funeral. Cry when you are hurt, or when somebody you love is hurt. It releases these emotions and allows us to cleanse ourselves.
  37. Make an awesome dessert. I like to make warm, soft chocolate cake. But even berries dipped in chocolate, or crepes with ice cream and fruit, or fresh apple pie, or homemade chocolate chip cookies or brownies, are great. This isn't an every day thing, but an occasional treat thing. But it's wonderful.
  38. Try something new, every weekAsk yourself: "What new thing shall I try this week?" Then be sure to do it. You don't have to learn a new language in one week, but seek new experiences. Give it a try. You might decide you want to keep it in your life.
  39. Be in the moment. Instead of thinking about things you need to do, or things that have happened to you, or worrying or planning or regretting, think about what you are doing, right now. What is around you? What smells and sounds and sights and feelings are you experiencing? Learn to do this as much as possible through meditation, but also through bringing your focus back to the present as much as you can in everything you do.

Today, June 6th, I'm going to experience something I've never done before. I'll tell you all about it after i get back from my adventure :)