Saturday, January 29, 2011

to stronger lungs!

i admit i'm not trying to be superwoman or anything.  i'm just trying to stay reasonably in shape.  the last time a nurse checked my lungs, she had cautioned me of having some underlying issue with my below average lung capacity.  probably explains why it hurts so much when i finally reach the landing of the stairwell on the fourth floor of my hospital.

today i ran one mile.  tomorrow i might run one mile again.  maybe more, maybe less.  and by the end of february i might run just one mile still.  but i think that's okay.  i figure 10 minutes of running is really nothing compared to the hours i spend jumping from website to website.

i hear that running can be a good time to think about things.  unfortunately i was too caught up in my irregular breathing pattern while avoiding sloshing into potholes so i didn't really get a chance for contemplation.  but if i were able to think, i'd probably be weighing the possibilities of my future that for some reason is impatiently demanding a definitive response from me.  bah.

and the picture up there?  well, that's how i felt after i closed the circle to my one mile.  poor kevin.  perhaps a better day tomorrow!


this is just my luck.  i have a sore throat.
my current vitamin c intake is about 5 times the RDA. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ringing in my ears

i think there are websites that can help me embed playlists into my blog.  it'd be pretty awesome if i could figure out how to do that but unfortunately my techno-savvy prowess only encompasses the addition of unfocused jpegs and the occasional witty one-liner in italics.

so instead, i'll just list off a few songs that i really like today :D

Shawn McDonald - Closer
Matt Brouwer - Better Days (goo goo dolls cover)
Lincoln Brewster - The Power of Your Name
Among the Thirsty - I'd Need a Savior
Switchfoot - Your Love is a Song
Final Fantasy 7 - Tifa's Theme
Kirk Franklin - My Life is in Your Hands

and cuz i'm a girl and i like stuff like this ^_~
Taylor Swift - Enchanted
Jason Chen - Romeo & Juliet

it might be fun to do a weekly playlist of songs i'm listening to. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

in my own little world

I think it might be liberating to run outside the pages of my notebooks. The only problem is finding an open field where I won't crash into anything or be met by stationary, obstinant encounters.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4

Thursday, January 20, 2011

now playing: brahms intermezzo in a major

some days the piano bench is the most comfortable seat in the room.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An unconventional look

Before I forget what all my scribbled notes mean, I thought I'd put some thoughts together..

The climate of our society is changing.  It's always been changing of course, and people and groups and Facebook fans are rising up to voice their opinions everyday in an attempt to steer the trajectory of the world in their direction..  and some ideas are good.  Really good.  Things that remind me that hope is still thriving in this day.  But then there are things just stir my insides like a grande vanilla latte.

Tonight in class we talked about the debut of a book by Joan Wolf that's hitting bookshelves this Tuesday.  This book is particularly interesting to us being that the author vehemently argues against breastfeeding in today's society.  (With a title like "Is Breast Really Best?" you know there's going to be some heated discussion during our 3.5 hour class segment.)  If you know anything about what I advocate and the field of study I'm in, you'll know that I'm a strong proponent of exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age.  My stance is based not only on the health and nutritional benefits of breastfeeding to the mom and child, but also the sociological implications that it entails.  Not to mention, the design of the woman's body for such a role.

A little bit about this author, Wolf is an outspoken feminist with an equally loud group of followers.  Her articles and counter-articles about breastfeeding have been published on huge news platforms (paper and digital) and she's been spotlit on major broadcasting stations regarding the topic.  You'd likely falter under her rapid-fire arguments against breastfeeding if you weren't prepared.  Here's the gripping deal though.  Why so adament against this natural process?

Wolf argues that society has brainwashed the today's woman into believing in the concept of total motherhood.  This perspective obligates mothers to be experts in everything concerning the child, including their physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being and to be the primary caregiver in meeting all these needs.  On top of that, they are to be completely self-sacrificial, realizing that what the mom wants and what the child needs should never come into conflict.  For example, a sleep deprived new mother is woken up yet again by her screaming baby at 3am.  The mother wants to ignore the cries and go back to sleep but society has conditioned her into thinking that to be a good mom means to get out of bed and attend to her newborn's needs.

Furthermore, Wolf is ready to defend women who consume alcohol or take illegal drugs during their pregnancy asserting that "there is no consistent, reliable evidence to indicate that alcohol categorically affects fetal development".  Horrified that women could be placed at risk of legal prosecution for using drugs during pregnancy, she shifts the attention to questioning the role of the father in the upbringing of a child.  In her opinion, women should not be burdened by the pressure of having to be the sole provider of the growing child within her.  And neither should she be found in a position where she is forced to weigh the outcomes of satisfying her own desires with attending to the needs of her child after delivery.

Wolf writes that women today have bought into the lies of this total motherhood.  An epidemic that leads women to quit their jobs, stay at home and take complete control over the livelihood of their child all in the name of good parenting.  And if, for whatever reason, they are unable to adjust to the lifestyle of a traditional mom, they are to be shunned by other women who've mastered the art of motherhood, and they must inflict upon themselves guilt and self-hatred for not living up to these outrageous standards.

She believes that no woman should ever have to give up her desire to work because she thinks she needs to stay at home for the baby's sake.  After all (she concludes), research does not show any significant data that breastfeeding affects the positive outcome of a child's growth in any way.  In her book, the term sacrifice does not exist.

Upon reading her publications, I was horrified.  Can she really be making these claims?  And are there actually people who support her in this movement??  Personally I consider her a supremely radical feminist in my own terms, but I have a feeling this can be likened to the story of the frog being boiled alive.  Changes are happening in our society that are ever so gradual that we may not even turn our head to notice.

She has a captivated audience.  An audience that, 30 or 40 years ago may not have existed, but today, they're hungry for every word she's putting out.

These days more women are getting higher degrees in education compared to men.  Women are obtaining jobs in higher places and bringing home paychecks well over those of their male counterparts.  And yet they're still cursed with the biological role of birthing children.  So how does the modern woman they deal with this?  Another highly acclaimed writer goes so far as calling the state of child-raising a prison.  Surely any woman these days would not enjoy the frequent feedings of a newborn and the constant 24/7 attention it needs.  And breastfeeding?!  Yeah right!

With an increasing percentage of women in the workforce, there is also a growing movement of women who are becoming dissatisfied with the pressure of having to conform to the traditional female role.  This, of course, is nothing new.  We're all familiar with the women's rights movement, the advent of birth control, laws to protect women's rights in the workplace, etc.  And each time another women's rights battle is won, we celebrate a victorious milestone in our history books.  Except that with every milestone, I believe we are also moving farther and farther away from the biological role that women were created to be.

But still, these super women are looking for answers and Wolf is leading a strong pack that is telling them exactly what they want to hear.  The new message that is being put out now is that it's perfectly fine (and we applaud you) to choose a working lifestyle and we'll do everything we possibly can to help you raise a child as you grab onto another rung of the corporate ladder.  No more guilt, no more weirdo expectations of living up to a 50s era Stepford wife model, and no more days (and sleepless nights) spent at home feeding the baby when you've got a tin can full of formula goodness at your disposal.

Is it possible that we're missing one huge point though?  The last time I checked, the female body is the only one that is capable of developing the womb that carries the fetus.  Biologically, her body is the only one that can shift through the stages of growing another human life within.  Females have a skeletal structure that supports reproduction, an endocrine system that is so specific in its complex function of creating another life, and a mechanism for producing nourishment for the infant immediately after its birth that is unparelleled in males.  Just to name a few.  These basic facts are so intrinsic to the female design that it would be unnatural to override their functions.

* To be clear, I think that every family has a right to decide gender roles within their household and there is nothing wrong with the use of formula in infant feeding.  I am certainly not unaware of life's curveballs.

However, could it be possible that this shifting social construct of our generation is leading us farther away from the original design of man and woman?  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying the many benefits of the movement for equality between men and women.  But I believe that there are some things that have gotten out of hand.  This prison that Hanna Rosin talks about is a unique place where mothers have the ability to nurture and raise her children with the supporting role of the father.  And if that is your starting block, I really think a world of change can happen.

Now before any male reader starts thinking, "Yes, imma get me a stay at home wife to cook for me and fold my socks so I can live the life", I'd have to say much the opposite!  Quantitative evidence of greater female enrollment in higher education compared to males and similar proportions in the workforce should be a sign to the guys that they need to step it up.  In simple terms, unless men take up the responsibility to be men, then women in turn cannot fulfill their responsibilities as women.

Just like a frog being gradually boiled alive, our society is changing and there are a lot of seemingly innocent and subtle shifts in the way we do things.  On the one hand, I know and believe these changes are inevitable.  But on the other, I think there is a design that is perfect - and regardless of what the world says, this pattern just might be the hope for change in this world.

And now the caffeine has run its course in my system and I am very tired.   It's likely that this essay of a post doesn't make much sense at all as I just hashed out the remains of my brain at the end of a long day.. but it was worth a try = ]

Saturday, January 15, 2011

blasted hair.

Alright friends, please help a sister in need.

Ever since my mom stopped cutting my hair for me, I've always been on the prowl for the cheapest hair salon. Most times I end up in a shoddy part of the neighborhood with an old lady telling me I don't look Chinese.. in Chinese, as she's whizzing away at my hair. And it's my curse that I'm always too shy or ke qi to tell her that it looks nothing like the picture I brought in. Or that one side is significantly shorter than the other. (After which I'd go home and attempt to remedy on my own)

The aftermath of these salon visits usually entails me pinning and tying up my mess of hair until I deem it necessary to visit the old lady once again. After all, maybe she's just been saving up her efforts to work her magic the next time I come in.

Except.. maybe not.

This afternoon, one of our dietitians came into the office and exclaimed toward the back of my head, "well aren't yOu having a bad hair today!" Granted, she's never been known in our office for her tact but that's certainly not what I'd expected having spent several moments in front of the mirror trying to tame and reinforce the frizzies.

So enough is enough. I need a hair stylist recommendation. Preferably one who speaks English and won't ask for my paycheck in return for an awesome hair cut. Also, I'd like to not have to do anything to it between the time I wake up and leave the door.

Thanks in advance.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4

Friday, January 14, 2011

las primeras preguntas

This past Wednesday acacia got a chance to meet and hang out with the English Family Group fellowship. I'm definitely not the social butterfly type but its so rewarding to make the effort to get to know some of the other women from my church.

Before the potluck, one of our advisors helped me come up with some conversation starter questions to catalyze dialogue between our fellowships. ..and also reduce the amount of potentially awkward silences that may occur ^_< In coming up with the questions, I had in mind, what sort of things would I want to know about this person that might help me understand him better in a relatively short amount of time? Being more of a reflective type rather than inquisitive, I came up with 3 out of 10 questions. :D

Later that night, I was thinking.. conversations and good questions are key to getting past the superficial sediments of the person and hitting closer to their core. There's always time for silly small talk and random exchanges of animal sounds and such, but I think there are times when choice words supersede :what's your favorite color:

So say, hypothetically, that you're in a speed date/blind date situation, what first questions would you be asking?

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4

Thursday, January 13, 2011

commence the lovey dovey season!

Unloved things must be deeply loved to become lovely.
- Chesterton

In thinking about serving and other things of the like, rarely do we find ourselves at the feet of a well manicured queen. James talks about helping the unclothed, the widows and the orphans. Jesus served people who had contagious diseases.

In my hospital, these people are put on contact precautions with signs warning care takers to gown up before entering their room. Psych patients are put under close watch and we try to turn another ear when they yell or make unpleasant comments. It's so easy to discriminate the lovely from the unlovely when signs of uncommon demeanor and appearance are so apparent.

And yet we're still called to love. Take it a step further and we find that :while we were still sinners, Christ died for us: sigh. How to let this love be reflected in my life?? I so much love to work in the hospital but I think there is so much to be learned when it comes to humbly coming before each patient in service and love. It should be less of a .job. and more of an obedient response to the love that we've received.

It's only January and Valentine's day items are already piling up on shelves everywhere. Unfortunately by February 15th all these things will be red-tagged and dumped in clearance bins.

Hoping we all find a love that lasts.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4

Friday, January 7, 2011

the proverbial new beginning

there's about 12 dozen things in my life that i would like to improve.  for starters, my hair.  someday i'll figure out how to make it look normal.  and whatever i say, dOn't let me get a perm ever again.  among others, my timeliness and adequate consumption of water.

another important thing i'd like to improve is my confidence.  you'd think that having piano recitals every month of my life growing up would help but conversely, i'm more inclined to crawl into my mind of self-consciousness and doubt.   fortunately i think i know the solution to this.  like piano lessons, it takes some finger exercises and grueling etudes. and when it's go time, just do it.  in time it'll get easier, so they say.

and so while i'm at times reluctantly hurdling through things i'd rather hide under the piano bench, it gives comfort to know that this is where god's put me and these experiences will only sharpen the abilities that he's growing in me.

 It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

here's to a new year, new experiences and new things to be thankful for.


Saturday, January 1, 2011


at a loss for wise words to begin the new year..

"hoorayyyyyyy!" -deborah