Wednesday, April 10, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: Spring Ice Storm

I remember several years ago when I was either in eighth or ninth grade, we had a massive ice storm around this same time.  The difference between that one and this one? The weather had been consistent leading up to the storm, and it took more than one single day for the ice to completely melt off.

Today when I got off work I decided it would be the perfect day to take my mom's fancy camera (the one that she doesn't know how to operate very well) and go photograph the odd yet very normal beauty of my surrounds that were green and in full bloom covered in ice.

The "baby" tree in the south part of our yard was hit the worst.

Our beautiful Bradford pear trees were covered in ice as well, but they were still beautiful to look at.

This is quite possibly my favorite photo.

I'm serious when I say a thick layer of ice.

I have several more storm shots from today that I uploaded to Flickr and they can be found here.

B.E.D.A. Day 10: Completed

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: Books Help

I didn't realize until a few months ago that I can have bad cases of anxiety.  Most often I'm stuck laying in bed at night unable to think because of my anxiety.  The solution I found, is something that I used to do a lot and I think is the main reason why I never completely realized I had so much anxiety at night: reading.

When I was in the first grade we had these reading assignments where we picked a book that wasn't very long maybe twenty pages at most.  The books varied on difficulty depending on the vocabulary used.  We would be sent home with the book and a reading card for the week that our parents had to sign every day when we read with them.  My mom, who has always been a very avid book reader for as long as I can remember would always help me read my assignments before bed.

Ever since then I would usually read before bed.  I can even recall one snow storm that had knocked out our power for a few days.  I was scared as a little kid but I remember sitting in the living room with candle on the coffee table as I read my library book.  I escaped from the fear of not having any power.

In middle school and high school I was known to always have at least one book with me. Honestly, I was like that even in grade school.  I often got in trouble for reading when I was supposed to be working on assignments.

I've always loved books, so naturally I've been used to reading at bedtime.  When I went off to college I hadn't expected that I would be too tired at the end of the day to read myself asleep, but still I would lay there and my anxiety would take over.

At the beginning of January I made a conscious promise to myself that I would pick up reading again.  I've still continued reading, but not like I used to in high school.

Now, I'm working on multiple books within a week and on some nights I've read myself asleep.  For me, reading is a hobby of sorts and a way to cope with my anxiety.

B.E.D.A. Day 9: Completed

P.S. Here's a link to my GoodRead's account.  I'm planning on reading 50 books for the year of 2013.

Monday, April 8, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: Top 25 on iPhone

Today I decided that I would share my top 25 most played songs on my iPhone, even though my entire music collection isn't even any where near being able to fit on my phone.  I thought it would be fun to share, seeing as I just keep the songs that I really enjoy currently and the ones that I like to listen to when I go to the gym.

  1. And Run by He Is We
  2. This Is the Stuff by Francesca Battistelli
  3. Fall by He Is We
  4. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Again by Taylor Swift
  5. Happily Ever After by He Is We
  6. Blown Away by Carrie Underwood
  7. Kiss It Better by He Is We
  8. I've Got Nothing by ChartJackers
  9. Lutheran Swag by Agape (this was for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's National Youth Gathering of 2012)
  10. Good Girls Go Bad (feat. Leighton Meester) by Cobra Starship
  11. Springsteen by Eric Church
  12. Forever and Ever by He Is We
  13. All About Us by He Is We
  14. Lightning by Alex Goot
  15. Like a G6 by Far East Movement
  16. Your Love Never Fails (feat. Chris Quilala) by Jesus Culture
  17. Made In America by Toby Keith
  18. Redneck Yacht Club by Craig Morgan
  19. Creepin' by Eric Church
  20. Drink In My Hand by Eric Church
  21. Country Music Jesus by Eric Church
  22. Club Can't Handle Me (feat. David Guetta) by Flo Rida
  23. Prove You Wrong by He Is We
  24. I Run to You by Lady Antebellum
  25. Drop the World by Lil Wayne & Eminem
It took forever to find all of these on YouTube considering how slow our internet is and then add inclimate weather on top of that.

B.E.D.A. Day 8: Completed

Sunday, April 7, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: My Opinion on Taylor Swift

I feel that because of the nature of this post, I should at least put a warning out.  WARNING: This post expresses some of my views and opinions, you don't have to agree with me.

I've had so many mixed opinions about Taylor Swift.

When I was first introduced to her music years ago when I was in middle school, I loved her so much.  She was a young country artist just trying to make it big with something she loved doing.

Slowly, over the years Swift has changed my mind about her.  Part of it is probably of me growing up and forming sound opinions about certain things. Also, that Swift herself is older and has taken certain paths in her life for her own reasons.

Today, I now can explain, or at least get the general point of why I dislike Swift at times, and at others can tolerate her.

The most recent songs of Swift that I've heard include 22, I Knew You Were Trouble and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Again have been on the pop radio stations that I occasionally listen to. I don't mind them, (with the exception I Knew You Were Trouble, I just can't stand listening to that one) and I often find myself singing along.

The problem: even though most of Swift's newer songs are only being played on non-country stations, she's still be heavily considered to be country.



I don't mind Taylor Swift's music.  I just have a problem of branding music the wrong way when it doesn't fit the genre that it's supposedly in.

And yes, considering yesterday's post about how I view today's country music could mean that this could just be a new step for country...but I seriously don't even think we're any where near that point.

Right. Glad I've got that out of my system now.

To each their own.

B.E.D.A. Day 7: Completed

Saturday, April 6, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: Today's Country Music

I've long since stopped listening to people who try to tell me that country music shouldn't be classified as music.  Instead I shrug my shoulders and try to keep my comments and opinions about rap music to myself.

If you're like me and grew up listening to country music you can agree with me that the genre has changed quite a bit, no matter when you started listening, to the present.  I grew up listening to a lot of classic country that my mom kept on...eight tracks, and then her collection of cds as well as the artists that were around in the late 90's and early 2000's.  Even to this day my preference is to listen to the Outlaws, or George Strait.  And I can't forget Shania Twain, who was my first cd when I was about six and my love for Shania's catchy songs on the radio made me beg for her music.

To me, today's country has a lot of rock inspired sound to it.  I at first was a little ticked off when I realized this difference but as I've listened to more and more of today's country and compared it to earlier music in the genre, there isn't that much difference between the two.  Some of the music that the Outlaws produced had some rock inspiration in it.

It's a hard thing for me to explain, especially if you don't know anything other than today's country.  I guess I'm saying that to me I'm always going to the love the classics.  That people today can't capture the stories like Patsy Cline, George Jones, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Rodgers and countless others.  To me, when I think country, I think the classics, and I'm sure that's how it'll always be.

B.E.D.A. Day 6: Completed

Friday, April 5, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: Healthy Habits

For the last couple of months now I've focused a lot on forming new healthy habits.  It's been a rough start seeing as I've had to stop and start a few times.  It does however get easier to go a longer time before I have to stop for one reason or another, and the hiatus period is shorter each time, making it even easier to start again.

Part of the reason why I have been focusing on my health is because I realized a few months ago that between my mom and my dad's sides of the family that my brother and I are pretty much screwed when it comes to our health in the long run.  With diabetes as the number one thing that has been passed down from both sides, it's also the tamest of things all considered.  Since the realization of how screwed my brother and I are, I decided that now was the perfect time to get serious about forming new healthy habits that I want to continue with for the rest of my life.

One of the things I first started working on, and honestly I'm still battling with it now, is realizing some of the triggers to my eating.  I had started noticing a few months ago that after meals I felt stuffed, and though it wasn't make me feel ill it still gave me an icky feeling.  And then the foods that I was eating so much of at these meals weren't the best ones to be putting in my body.

I have found that portion control is the way to work on fixing this.  I normally only put a small portion of all the foods I'm eating for a meal on my plate.  I have to promise myself at the beginning of each meal to only eat what I'm hungry for, and that I don't have to completely clear my plate each meal.  In the couple of months I've been doing this I've found myself feeling content after each meal and instead of feeling stuffed or full, I feel that I am no longer hungry.

Another habit I have been getting into is buying and eating fresh fruits and vegetables as often as I can.  Now that I'm home (there's going to be a post on this soon), I've been slowly incorporating my fresh produce into the meals that I make for my parents when it's my night to cook.  I'm not very good with cooking, but learning how to cook and working on these skills are so much more fun when I try to incorporate my fresh produce.

The other large habit that I've taken up is working out at least five out of seven days a week.  Although I have been slacking on this the last couple of weeks since I've been super lazy when I get off work and don't want to go to the gym, I do try to do something will benefit my body, like stretching for fifteen minutes before bed.

It's a long journey to get to where I want to be health wise, but I'm taking it a day at a time and remembering that it took nineteen years to form the habits I have now, that it's going to take a while to form and stick with these new ones.

B.E.D.A. Day 5: Completed

Thursday, April 4, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: In the News

When I was younger I would "read" the Wichita Eagle with my parents.  By "reading" the Eagle, I mean flipping through all the pages and looking at black and white and occasional colored photos.  Today I realized that it's much different when it comes to newspapers.

For the last several years we haven't had any newspapers delivered to our house simply because we needed to cut costs and unfortunately the newspaper subscription just had to go.  Recently, my mom started up a four day per week subscription with the Wichita Eagle and to get our local newspaper once a week.

Within the last few years I've done my fair share of reading newspaper articles for classes, projects, and even for fun.  The catch though, they've all been online.  With a few clicks of a mouse and a couple of keystrokes, I can have a newspaper on my laptop, Kindle or iPhone screen within seconds.

Now that we've got the newspapers coming directly to our house again, I've felt like something has fallen in place again.  I can sit in the morning and flip through the pages and see what's going on.  On Thursday I can read what my home town is doing with new projects coming up, and of course, check out the police beat section just to see how many dog disturbances there can possibly be in one week.

I love technology.  But reading material, whether it be books, magazines or newspapers just feels better when I have it in my hands and can physically turn the page.

B.E.D.A., Day 4: Completed

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

B.E.D.A. 2013: Surreal Moments

I was in Kohl's yesterday when one of my favorite songs by Alex Day came on the speaker system.  What was so crazy wasn't the fact that I started singing along without even realizing what I was doing while shopping, but that when I realized it was Alex Day's song I couldn't believe the feeling of pure happiness I felt.

It's not very often that I hear some of my favorite YouTuber's music being played out IRL (In Real Life), but when I do, I'm beaming with happiness.

I first got into subscribing to YouTubers who made content on a regular basis back in late 2010, early 2011 around the time I had my hip replaced.  There's not much to do that doesn't require a ton of brain power when you're on so much medicine and limited to sitting in bed for most of the day.  Among many YouTubers I found and subscribed to and still interact with in ways of internet, Alex Day is one of them and to this day I have watched every video that he's uploaded on YouTube.

Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena both are YouTubers and are racing on The Amazing Race.  I had to explain the YouTube thing to my parents the other night when we were watching Joey and Meghan because they didn't understand how YouTube worked.  I explained to them about how difficult it is to make new and original content for viewers and that in itself can be a full time job.

It made me realize when I was explaining this that the people I watch on YouTube have helped me personally in many ways.  Some of my favorite bands, or artists have been people from YouTube like Luke Conard, Alex Goot, Jason Munday, and Alex day (just to name a small selection).  Their music has at some point in the last couple of years made me relate to it and in turn has impacted my life in some small way.

As Luke Conard says, "music is the most powerful form of magic."

V.E.D.A., Day 3: Completed

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

BEDA 2013: Stuck

The last couple of days have been wonderful just because we've started to get some rain in our neck of the woods.  The grass in our front yard has suddenly become a dark green and has made me realize that I need to start mowing sooner than I had originally expected.  The wheat is starting to look healthy and full of nutrients as it's still growing.

With rain comes muddy back roads.

It's been a habit since I was a child. We've always taken the shortcut from our house west of town to the next town over where we often do our errands and grocery shopping. It's a clean shot on one road that leads us from here to there, and most often the road isn't that busy since it's been known to be one of the rougher dirt roads in the area.  About halfway the dirt turns to concrete and it's a smooth sail from there.

I can remember the first time I drove the road in my car without my parents with me.  It was wonderful to drive by myself.

It still is.

The bad part of this habit of using this road all the time is this.  You're brain doesn't fully comprehend that it shouldn't drive this road after it's been raining nearly two days straight.

I ended up getting my car stuck about a third of the way down the road after the concrete ended and the dirt/mud began.  I was doing alright until I hit a particularly soupy part of the road and lost control of the wheel for a little bit.  My car ended up in the ditch, but thankfully the part of the road was in an area that the ditch wasn't really a ditch and I basically just stopped myself by lightly running into a large mound of dirt that a farmer had put on the edge of his field as kind of a bank.

I knew that if I tried too much to get the car out that I would only dig myself deeper into the mud. I gave up with trying to move it myself pretty fast.  I called my dad, thinking that since I was only a couple of miles away he would bring his truck over and pull me out, I'd be right on my way home.

He didn't answer.

My next call was to my mom, at work where I knew she was busy.  It was around the time I thought she would be heading home and I knew her truck could make the drive to pull me out.

She didn't answer.

My next form of sending out an S.O.S.?

Sadly, no one responded to this either.

Shortly after sending my S.O.S. tweet, a man passing by stopped and asked me if I wanted him to go get his truck to come pull me out.  While waiting on him to return, another man stopped and asked if I needed help, shortly followed by two guys in a truck so large that could have pushed me out.

In the end, the guy returned with his truck and his wife and daughter with him.  The daughter of whom I had actually met when I was in high school.  They pulled me out and made sure I got to the highway alright.

My car, The Hazard will need to be taken into the shop in the next couple of days to have a realignment done since anything over 45 makes the car start to shake and makes driving a bit difficult.

Today, God showed me that there are still people out there in our society who are willing to help someone out when they're in distress...or just laughing their ass off in their car on the side of the road.

B.E.D.A., Day 2: Completed

Monday, April 1, 2013

BEDA 2013: An Explantion of Sorts

It's amazing how fast time has flown since New Year's.  I nearly didn't even know it was April until today when I was forced to write the date down at work.

With April, comes rain and a thing called B.E.D.A. (Blog Every Day, April). I decided that since I have been lacking the motivation and the spark of energy to write that I would participate again this year, and make sure that I post all 30 days worth for the month.

Why? Because I feel like I'm now at a spot in my life that I can pick up blogging again, or at least writing things that I can share with others.  I also think that though I'm a bit rusty from not writing the past few months that this will give me a great opportunity to dust off the keyboard and get back into the swing of things.

I also decided that this BEDA I will use this month as a learning tool.  My main goal for this month is to write pieces that I normally wouldn't write.  As of right now I'm not sure what that would include, but it will give me a sense of what I would like to work on and refine for the future endeavors with this blog or with any project requiring writing skills.

This month won't be pretty on some days, but I'm willing to take this on.

B.E.D.A., Day 1: Completed