It's been a while since I've posted.  I've been working on some art, furniture art, and upcycling projects that have taken a good amount of time, and it's been fun to temper my creative side and learn new methods of creative expression.  I ran across this video on Lost At E Minor.  Having been to the dump yards in Nicaragua and my recent interest in upcycling, as an effort to reduce resource depletion, it really hit home. 

Arguably one of Obama's best speeches?  Agreed...

Two amazing things happened the other day.  I finally received my MBA diploma from Loma Linda University, signifying the end of a tedious learning session, and my friends and I painted a chair - the 2nd being better than the first.

I was being impatient.  The day after I set up my avocado seeds, I checked it to see if anything was growing.  The day after?  Same thing.

How did I let this one slip by?  I've been a fan of Staind and Aaron Lewis from back in the day when Staind performed the grungy grunge and today, I still return to tunes like "For You" and "Waste" when I'm feeling a little emo, sans the black frame glasses.

Someone recently told me that he/she refrained from voting because, "they are all crooks."  Another person claimed that they, "all lie."  There are so many sides to the "American" coin and there is no panacea for all problems.  But if you say that you won't take a stand, for the country that provides you with all of perfections and imperfections you have been blessed with, simply because they are all liars or crooks, that sounds like cop-out to me.  I'm not an openly political person and I won't sway you in any direction except to have a legitimate reason to take action but, will admit that this post was inspired by Michelle Obama's speech on 9/4/12.

My colleague "noticed" that during meetings, I'm either on Facebook or sketching.  That's not true, I don't always sketch.  Haha.  Here's Aloha Tower for you.

We spent the last 2 days together.  All.  Day.  It wasn't exactly how I had planned things and it was a quaint reminder to be flexible, open-minded, and cognizant that even the best of people, things, and situations can go awry.

Vida D. Scudder once said that, "It is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed." 

I should make this an entire series of blogs, blogs about the "Weird Things That Intrigue Me," starting with this one, a blog about weird innovative fashion.

I had an epiphany of a sort. To give you a little background, I'm a person who can barely read a sentence without my mind taking some sort of unchaperoned detour; will forget your name after 5 seconds; can never give you directions to my house using street names; has applied shampoo to my toothbrush; and without Google, my Google calendar, and my phone, would pretty much be an invalid. I do however, have a keen visual sense and when tagged to some sort of emotion, will never forget the image of your facial expression as you proclaim your absolute disgust of dark chocolate over 70%; your flailing hands as you re-enact fighting off hoards of other (equally) crazy women at a Black Friday sale for your favorite red blouse; clutching your iPad gleefully, as you play all 9 versions of Heartless (in a row); and you, flirtatiously tossing back your hair, knocking all 20 shots off a waitress' tray.

I started reading a monograph by Jim Collins, called Good to Great and Social Sectors and one particular line reminded me to constantly progress, "no matter how much you have achieved, you will always be merely good relative to what you can become." I've always used the term, "potentials." Yes, it's not a word that is normally pluralized but, I've always felt that my potential today exceeds my potential, yesterday and my potential tomorrow exceeds my potential today. Anybody doing anything great today?

There are stories that inspire me and this happens to be authored by a good friend and recent travel buddy to Nicaragua. Reading her story is like taking the trip again and viewing it from a different set of eyes. Good stuff! As I mentioned in my previous post, I expected to be inspired in a specific way and did not receive that. Kimmie's story reiterates that inspiration can come in all forms and in the many experiences that surround us, we just need to be a little more open-minded. Thanks Kimmie, for the reminder. =)

Surf Shine: Nica Heart: Traveling to Nicaragua was a lot to process, a sensory & emotional overload.  I have found that there is always something to learn from eve...

It was July 4 and I was invited to a friend of a friend's house for an Independence Day barbeque. Normally when I show up at these things, where I don't know anyone except one or 2 people, I wonder who is going to be there and if the people are friendly.

Men pump iron until their elbows can no longer touch. Men drink protein shakes and yell, obnoxiously, in the gym as they bench press every 45 lb plate within knuckle-dragging distance. Men, drink 12 packs of Heineken in one sitting and use as much profanity as can possibly fit in one fucking sentence. But, men don't do yoga. Women do yoga. And not only that, only hippie women do yoga. So I've been told. Well, I do yoga. And if I did yoga more often, I'd probably feel even better. On the SYRV X trip, I had a chance to do yoga everyday and noticed that my surfing felt a lot more fluid; I didn't have the awkward back pain that would greet me frequently and unexpectedly like a shark 2 minutes into the most epic surf session; and my body felt stronger, more limber, a lot more rested after a good night's sleep. I decided to continue yoga, going to classes at least twice a week and as described in the video, it has improved my active lifestyle. Do yoga!

How things materialize and come together is a phenomenon that's beyond my understanding. It's been a few weeks since my trip to Nicaragua; and since, I have had an unsettling feeling, as if a thought, an idea, an emotion would redirect my mindset, like a speeding surfer cracking the lip of an unrelenting wave, only to find his stance even stronger and his board in an even faster groove. This anticipation grew. And grew. And grew. It, among other thoughts, became almost unbearable and kept me up until the wee hours of the morning a few nights. Nicaragua left me with a grab bag full of sights, experiences, interesting people interactions, thoughts, perspectives, and emotions; a bunch of shattered pieces that I helplessly held in my hands and could not begin to assemble. Until now.

Just leave me alone... I guess she's been around for a while, singing her smooth and sultry tunes. I recently discovered Asa and damn, she is a soulful artist.

In August of 2011, I went on my first SYRV Adventure to volunteer in rural Nicaragua. Among many things, the 2011 trip showed me that others, in this world, live with a fraction of the things that I had recklessly disposed of. It showed me that even though one has less, it was possible to be equally as happy, if not more, than one who has "more". The trip opened my eyes to the beauty of the people, places, and wildlife in Nicaragua; and it inspired me to return, this time with a few friends, on another SYRV Adventure in May of 2012. I expected my experience to be textbook similar, but I was in for a surprise.

I recently discover the works of Asa and wonderful musician with a very laid back vibe.  Good with a glass of wine!

There somethings you plan and somethings you don't.  I snapped a few photos while in Africa that I thought were cool.  Hope you enjoy them!

I could yammer on about my journey to the top of Kilimanjaro via the (7-day) Machame route, starting from day one, but there are many other blogs that do an excellent job of describing the technicalities of the journey and so I will defer to them if you happen to be seeking advice on preparation.  I will however, describe the last day of ascent and the amazing feeling that awaited me as I reached the 2 peaks, Stella and Uhuru.

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