Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wow, I watch a lot of news now?

Yes that's a question mark because I can't believe it. I used to follow the news but not as my automatic choice when trying to relax. Granted, this country was, and continues to be, a hotbed of political activity. I understand that it's important to follow current events, especially because it impacts you but it competes with so much crap these days on television. I used to watch this crap a lot - reality tv shows, specifically. Said shows use to include The Hills, Laguna Beach, some VH1 programming, I think I've said enough. I can defend myself, or at least explain my rationale - however weak you may find it.

When I was in college, I used to study sociology with a concentration in social welfare and public policy and administration. The courses and subject matter in this academic specialization can be depressing and frustrating as hell when you were as liberal as I was in college. (I'm still fairly liberal, but have toned it down a bit - but that's a whole other story). You could safely say I had a bleeding heart. My mental vacation and coping mechanism (besides partying in college) was watching lamely dramatic, and quite comedic, reality tv shows. I'm not totally proud that I supported such egotistical programming, but when you study the hardship in the world you need a break.

I realize now that I am adult, and feel like an adult, because I don't want to support that crap anymore. I want to devote that energy to the events which impact my life and understand their extent. I wonder how many other people my age feel that way and actually follow through? Or, are a little surprised by how much news they watch?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Opt-In Part Deux (see below)

My point? I’m sure many people think that they would go abroad by themselves for $300. But that is the na├»ve, optimistic "yes". I found this organization almost 2 years ago, and thought I would do it then. But 2 weeks ago, I got an email saying projects were open, suddenly I was actually signing up. It took me until February to start this blog (guess why I did?).

For just a week, try and live your life by searching for opportunities and asking yourself – would I regret NOT doing that? Let it marinate and let your soul answer. Think, IF it were a month after you would have started or would have gone, would you regret not going or starting or participating?

Remember that you only have one life and sometimes that means you only have one chance to live it the way you want to. Don’t put life off. Stop waiting! Incorporate more life into your life. So that you’re happy – know thyself and do what makes you happy and don’t let the instances that could make you happy pass you by. Is that the type of life you want to lead?

Opt-In

If you could go abroad by yourself for $300 + air fare, would you? Yes, I would.

My new year's resolution was inspired by the Jim Carey film "Yes Man". I decided that I wanted and needed more life in my life, so my plan was to say yes to any opportunity which I found or crossed my path as long as I could realistically do it. Go on a date with someone you don't know? Yes. Attend a local community meeting for the first time? Sure. Stuff like that may not seem like a big deal but when you are someone who would rather go to the gym, watch your show, clean the house, finish that book, close your eyes for 20 minutes, etc (aka find some excuse which would prevent you from executing your regular routine), then I suggest saying yes to the next opportunity which presents itself to you. REALLY. The more uncomfortable the better. I'm sure you can think of something.

I'm not trying to be a life-coach, or act like I've discovered this concept for the first time. But so many people pass up the tiniest of opportunities. Who knows what you might miss out on if you don't cherish the random instances in life.

For me, I'm going to Scotland this summer by myself. I have NEVER traveled abroad (I'm actually waiting for my first passport to arrive any day now), let alone by myself. But, I found an organization, read about it, and thought, "Yes I will go abroad with random people". I'm not comfortable, I don't know what's going to happen, but I know that if I don't utilize the opportunity, I will regret it and always wonder.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hello, my name is Shannon and I am a movie addict. I have been for as long as I can remember, seriously this is not an exaggeration. There are many home videos of me as a child planted in front of a tv watching movies - Dumbo, awesome. Muppets Take Manhattan, hands down one of my favorite movies of all time - thank you Jim Henson, I really mean that. My taste has thankfully evolved, but I appreciate said classics. This behavior was reinforced when my parents started the tradition of letting my siblings and I rent 2 movies every weekend when we were younger. (Side note: now that I think about it, that may have been the most efficient way to occupy your 4 children for a couple of hours).

This led to my random talent for cross-referencing actors, and my friends can vouch for me. You know when you're watching an animated film, and you recognize the character's voice, but you can't figure out who it is - I got you. I'm sort of like a walking imdb.com. Nevertheless, now that I am a self-proclaimed young professional boggled down by an excessive amount of student debt, I have been able to satisfy my addiction to movies in an extremely cost-effective manner - online websites that stream movies for free. Yes, this might be illegal BUT according to the disclaimers, it's not because they're just streaming. Fingers-crossed they're not lying. I have seen the majority of new movie releases from the comfort of my lap-top, its a beautiful thing. In a way, you could blame the lenders who charge 8% interest for this habit. Renting movies or going to a movie theater isn't exactly a valid excuse for deferment.

I do go to movies occassionally - mainly Harry Potter and films that show at old school theaters, i.e. Bryn Mawr Film Institute. So, if you are a fellow movie addict with a hefty debt from college, Google free movies online (I'd link to the website I use, but I prefer they don't get shut-down). In case you were wondering, I am happy to report, my talent for cross-referencing continues to grow and develop. If you would like to challenge me, do it up - I dare you. (Well, sort of, it could be a blow to my ego if I got it wrong, so nothing too crazy, please.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just the other day, I was enjoying my lovely 40 minute commute home from the city. The train arrives at my stop, glorious SEPTA getting me home, on time....hooray..but no. The train broke down at my station. Now, this is not a problem for many SEPTA commuters, except when the station you know and love is one of those without a crossway over or under the platform - so 20+ commuters and myself are stranded. Sweet freedom is just on the other side of SEPTA's #363 - your car, the sidewalk, maybe even a loved one who went out of their way to greet you after a rough day...how sweet! Too bad. There is NO sign of activity coming from the big heap of metal. What's better - the conductors aren't acknowleding it. (Side track - why don't the say anything when CLEARLY the train aint moving anytime soon, seriously people.) My favorite moment was when one 20-something-male-yuppie (you know who you are) decided to take on the role of Mr. "I'm not waiting anymore" and cut through the train and hopped onto live tracks to get to the other side, brilliant! Except, he just earned the reputation among his fellow commuters, people you see EVERYDAY, as the jackass who basically risked getting killed, nice job - you are THE man, really, take a bow.