Wednesday, April 30, 2008

slightly overwhelmed

this world has so much to offer me.
which door will i go through?
i just need to make some decisions, and it's honestly quite overwhelming.
i also have so many desires, goals, passions and dreams for my life.
where do i want to go? who do i want to be? what do i need to do practically to take me there?

i want to be ready for whatever the Lord has in store. so, here are a few things i hope to accomplish this next year:

1. speak more spanish. learn more spanish. use more spanish. teach more spanish.
2. make art. make art. make art. be around art. learn about artists. become friends with more artists.
3. live independently financially.
4. drive less.
5. conserve more. be less wasteful. do my part in taking care of the environment. teach others how to also.
6. read more. lots of books. different types of books.
7. start something. lead something. be involved in something much greater than myself.
8. work at a coffee shop.... no, seriously, i want-- er, have-- to do this. no question.
9. invest deeply in my friends. get to know them.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

last day of class!!

okay, so today was my last day of class until i graduate college!

i still have one day of finals... so i'm not home free just yet. but, wooooo, it feels so good!

maybe one day i'll write a book on what i learned during my past 5 years of college. or better yet, what i wish i knew before my last year of college! .... OR what i wish someone would've told me before i began college.

i think my calling in life is to be a guidance counselor. how hilarious would that be if i counseled high school kids. well, i could counsel kids and not be a guidance counselor. it's crazy how much i've been thinking about teaching lately. now, i don't know where i would want to teach, but i do know that i would like to stick with the middle/high school agers.

enough of this jabber. i need to finish school first!

I'M ABOUT TO GRADUATE!!!! haha.

fact about me: i love researching things. all types of things. just give me something, and i'll learn everything i possibly can about it. for example, i know way too much about elephants because i got on this huge elephant kick last semester.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

why take care of the earth when it's all going to pot anyway?

If I truly believed what my title says, I would question if I was, in fact, a child of God.

Dang, Tiff, that's a bold statement. Yes, I know it is... That's how strongly I feel about our responsibility in taking care of Creation for the redemption of the world.

Well, what is Creation? You know, when God did all that stuff in the first 6 days, like making light and forming the earth & seas and making animals (the ones Noah took on the big boat) and then making Adam & Eve. Okay, that is all Creation. It's not just you and me, which I feel is a common belief of our conservative Christian society. Well, at least in the South.

Why would God give us all this goodness and then not care if we destroyed it? And I'm speaking to Christians mostly.... because I think we have the narrowest and most unwavering points-of-view on this issue, and i hate it!

To "go green" right now is a trendy thing, and for those who hop on the bandwagons late in the game or not at all, I think you need to reconsider this one. It's redemptive. Let me repeat that, Going green is redemptive.

I can't write like this person, but I found this site on our responsibility as children of the Creator....

Genesis and the Psalms help us understand that the Creation is a gift from God. Everything in Creation is created by God and is good. That is why we, and all other parts of Creation, have intrinsic worth and are sacred. The Psalmists assume that humans have much to learn from nature and that all Creation participates in praise and glorification of God (Psalms 19, 36, 65).

.....
However, the biblical message of environmental justice is more complicated and radical than simply requiring us to manage natural resources wisely and utilize technology and laws to maintain a healthy environment. Creation plays a central role in God's covenants and in the Christian understanding of salvation.

If nothing else, the Bible is a series of stories about covenants. When God makes a covenant with Noah, for example, God also makes a commitment to Creation (Genesis 8-9).... When the covenant is broken, all parties to it are harmed. In Isaiah, we see the earth mourning and withering from the pollution that is the result of people's transgression of the laws.

The Christian covenant is consistent with the Hebraic. As God's incarnation, Jesus has the vocation to restore right relations with the land (in fact, all of nonhuman Creation) as well as to liberate the poor and suffering. (Mark 16:15, John 3:17, Romans 8:18-21.)

http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/environmental/mandates.html


A group of Christian leaders, the Evangelical Climate Initiative, has taken some action. This is from their statement...

"The same love for God and neighbor that compels us to preach salvation through Jesus Christ, protect the unborn, preserve the family and the sanctity of marriage, and take the whole Gospel to a hurting world, also compels us to recognize that human-induced climate change is a serious Christian issue requiring action now..."

What's crazy is that this group of Christian environmentalists were met with an opposing Christian force, one that agrees with the Bush's minimizing the effects of global warming.
All this can be seen in PBS' Moyers on America Series, "Is God Green?"
i just saw this documentary and couldn't believe it!
other resources i dig:

Saving God's Green Earth: Tri Robinson
my first practical eco-friendly book
interview with Michael Wittmer, author of Heaven is a Place on Earth
Engaging God's World: Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
who killed the electric car? i just saw this documentary and couldn't believe it!
10 practicals
reusable bags
The Great Warming : haven't actually seen it, but it sounds better than An Inconvenient Truth (it has live testimonies from people being affected right now)
treehugger: be the change
stop global warming
National Resources Defense Council


Well, there are so many more that I like, but I'm tired of writing.

I do have some final words: I'm a passionate person, but I don't mean to point fingers at any person more than myself. This post is meant to enlighten and make aware and inform and offer resources. We are all pieces of the puzzle and can take 1 or 2 small steps at first to conserve energy, gas, water, trees and to 'keep Creation.'
I'm simply trying to use fewer limited resources and face my own materialist tendencies head-on (some days more successfully than others!).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

just for you, jessica





this is my ring from NYC-- per request from red dreamer aka my beautiful friend, jessica bentson.

the attraction to the ring:
1) the color
2) the man who was selling it
3) the location-- we were at this outside market-like thing.... it was so cool!
4) the handmade quality-- the ring was too small, so the vender formed it to my finger size. you can see all the ridge texture from where he beat on it. i love it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

praying

I thought I'd include that I'm currently praying for a job in Blacksburg. I know you're thinking, "well, yes dear, I would hope so...." But really guys, I'm being proactive about it. So far, I've sent emails to a few places asking if they're hiring. Thank you, craigslist, you were of no help in my job search!

Some places
I'm interested in are teaching middle school, an art store in town, and 4 photography places. Please pray with me that I am seeking God and trusting that He opens and closes doors for His specific purpose. He is good, and I'm so thankful to be His beloved daughter.

open my eyes i wanna see you
open my ears i wanna hear you
open my heart i wanna feel you
and your great love, o Lord... once again

i wanna fall in love... once again
i wanna be more desperate.... once again
i wanna lose my sleep.... once again
falling in love with you

"open my eyes", sarah mcmillan

Saturday, April 19, 2008

i blog more when i don't have rules

one time, i made this rule where i had to blog every day, even if it was just a sentence. but that didn't last long. (it was a different daily blog that i unsuccessfully tried to start)

today was wonderful. bright & early, i drove up to davidson to meet with a couple other youth group leaders. when we finished, there was "art on the green" going on right in front of me. so i got to meet a lot of local artists, talk with them, and see their art. it was divine! i also ran into an old elementary school friend of mine, and that's always nice!

tonight, i came home and felt like painting. i've never painted a portrait of myself, so i figured i'd give it a whirl. i feel like i cheated because i don't normally draw myself from photos, nor do i like to. however, there's not a convenient spot in my apt to sit and draw myself, so i opted to paint from a black & white photograph. this is actually the first figure painting i've made. i've done more gestural figures before, but nothing like this.

well, here it is....

not the best quality photo-- i used burnt sienna, yellow, magenta, & white (no black).


isn't this hilarious?!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

eye irritants

I don't understand, but my eyes are irritated by some eye liners or mascaras-- it's so annoying! Tonight, I borrowed a friend's eyeliner and my eyes did not agree. It doesn't look as bad as the burning and prolonged suffering actually is....

Around my eyes is puffy...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

hokie spokes, my thoughts on finding an apartment-- and a man

After looking at places to live in Blacksburg today, we found one we really looooove!

It's right in the heart of downtown Blacksburg, above a bicycle shop called Hokie Spokes! It has so much character, is really small and cozy, and I want to live there!! It's as much city life as we could possibly live. And I love the idea of telling people that I live there. The rest of what we saw didn't make me excited... they all looked the same. I almost liken finding a place to live like "finding" a man. Though you may laugh, it feels strangely similar. I could settle for a guy who is nice and would make a decent husband-- but wouldn't I want a guy who would make me excited to say that I am with him?! Well, of course! Strange analogy, but I think it's true.

So, you walk up the door to the right of HOKIE SPOKES and a stairwell leads you up to the quaint apartment.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

stuff christians like

well, i was just reading a friend's blog and she had this link posted and it's really worth advertising on everyone's blog. the site explains things that christians like...

http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/

it's a must-read... it includes posts like breaking up after a retreat, dating God instead of me, side hugs and so on....

Monday, April 14, 2008

dinner is served!!


look at what i'm eating tonight.... it's vegetarian chili with tortilla chips. really, the chili was from a package & i just added tomatoes and beans. and the chips- well, i did cut up a tortilla and bake them. but it was really easy.

i think i was more excited about my presentation! haha.


ps. for dessert, i made cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips.... yummy!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

new york!

I figured it'd be in my best interest to log my first visit to New York!! And it might be beneficial to the readers, also....

When Renee and I arrived to La Guardia Airport, we hopped the city bus and then rode the subway into the upper west side, where we met up with Amy! We dropped our luggage off at her place, walked a few blocks down to Central Park, and tried to eat lunch at Alice's Tea Cup.... it was a long wait and we were too hungry, so we stepped into a diner instead. After lunch, we had saved enough room for MAGNOLIA'S!!!! Boy, those cupcakes are dense and yummy!!

After spending more a little time at Amy's place that afternoon, I traveled solo down to MoMA via the subway. This was probably the most exciting memory of mine from the weekend.... only because I saw art in person that I have only studied in the textbook. And since I just had Contemporary Art History last semester, I feel like I appreciated the artwork much much more! I actually knew what I was looking at-- haha! I can't even begin to describe all of what I saw. I only had 2 hours to explore the grand museum (and it was free, thanks to Target!!), so I raced through 3 floors: Painting & Sculpture, Drawing, & the Special Exhibition called Color Chart. I feel like I did a disservice to MoMA, but I had no other choice! :) I saw some of my favorites (Pollock, Miro, Cezanne, Frida, Rauschenberg, Duchamp, Sol Lewitt, Van Gogh, & de Kooning..... just to name a few) and saw some artists for the first time. It was overwhelming, yet so freakin amazing!! Enough of that for now... hehe.

The second part of the night I met up with Amy, Renee, Kristin Greenslit and Danielle Vaccaro. We went to the Beauty Bar and got manicures, then had a NewYork-style late dinner at some French restaurant nearby. A little pricey, but it was very nice.... well, everything's pricey there. We caught a taxi home.

On the second day, Amy had to work for the morning, so Renee and I decided to venture down to the infamous Canal Street on our own. Now, this is the place where you buy fake designer purses from supersketchy people. We took the A train down to Canal St, yet couldn't find the flea market-like vendors (don't ask us how we missed it!) and gave up, so took the train up to Broadway & 34th (I think?) and shopped!! H&M and Zara got most of our attention, and Kristin met up with us at Zara. We were successful and had a lot of fun. Later that afternoon, Amy showed us her Redeemer Church office and then we walked down to Times Square.... stepped into the huge Toys 'R Us and soaked in the crazy tourist culture that Times Square exudes. We sat down at Junior's and had New York cheesecake and watched as Claymates obsessed over Clay Aiken (can i say gross!!?!). From there we searched to buy hats for the party we were going to-- without luck.

That night, we ordered in (you can get anything delivered there!) and got ready for a night out. We walked about 10 minutes to a really amazing apartment. The party's theme was something about wearing some type of headgear. Kristin, Amy, Nee, and I all wore hats-- nothing crazy like some people wore. I watched Carolina lose to Kansas that night and then joined the party crowd. We mingled, talked with some interesting characters, had some wine & weird cookies, then headed back home & slept.

Sunday, we attended church with Kristin. I enjoyed it, even though it was a guest speaker instead of the pastor; I learned new things about Van Gogh! After church, we tried to eat at Alice's Tea Cup with no luck, so we went to Carmine's and enjoyed a whole lot of amazing Italian food! Amy, Nee, and I went to the farmer's/flea market and looked around (I bought a ring!) and then made our last stop at Magnolia's with dual purpose-- to celebrate Renee's 23rd year of living and to buy some goodies to take back to NC. Finally, our trip to NYC was about over. We packed our stuff, caught a taxi, and escaped into the airport's grip.

stuff white people like



the artwork that drew me in... can't find name or artist...


Very briefly today I used my roommate's computer and she had an article from TIME magazine online up. I was drawn in by the artwork posted and then read the title, "Liking What White People Like." So, I read the article. (Very interesting; if you want to read it, click here.)

It's about the popular blog "Stuff White People Like." I visited the blog, and it really is fascinating how seemingly true the posts are.... except if you read the TIME article, the writer isn't caucasian, yet can really relate to most of the stuff white people like. And then I was thinking about how some of my white friends wouldn't relate to a lot of the posts. Is it really about race? [hmph!] I don't like to believe so.

I do, however, understand that the blog is "making fun of white culture-- albeit a very specific slice of urban elitist white culture" (TIME writer, Jennine Lee-St. John).