Monday, January 30, 2012

Painted for a Morning :)

I'm in love. Oh so in love with color. How in the world can it produce so much beauty?? Which leads to my next question: How in the WORLD do the Indians do it? Asia has got something on color, and I'm just happy they share it. 
So with failed plans of a personalized Holi Festival last year, naturally we jumped at the chance to get a sort of modified Phoenix version. Ladies and gentlemen, The Color Run. It's a simple 5k "run" and at every kilometer you go through a color zone in which you are painted with holi powder. So many stinkin' people came but I guess that also adds to the "Indian Festival" experience. My sister, family friend and I were unsuccessful in finding the rest of our team (seriously, the crowd was natural disaster size) but in the end we met with success after calling for them via microphone on the stage and reveled in our painted Avatar glory :) I have never felt more like running wild screaming "Broowaa!" in my life. Goodness knows what an actual Holi Festival would do to us.

Yes I did.


Due to potent powder's ability to ruin technology I opted to leave my camera at home and save its use for the aftermath.














The Color Run, Tempe


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January



My world has felt so small this month with the working of school, the new year, and preparations for my best friend's wedding in March that it has felt like it's packed a year's worth of events into a condensed 4 weeks or so. How timely our reunion then! The Toth cousins came to broaden our borders and to have them leave is a sad thing.  Especially since we hit a bizarre wave of spring weather and it's left with them. Though an early tease it was welcomed  to encourage our plans of outdoor adventures with zoos, wildlife parks, hiking, sling shots, archery and rock climbing. Not to mention the multiple movie viewings each and every night. I love family reunions :)

What doesn't make me happy? My sister's cat continues to prove to me that in my attempt at living vicariously through her in owning a feline I am forever thanking God that mom kept me from commiting myself to such an animal. Whether it be Tzeitel's innocent curiosity in smearing herself against a freshly painted wall, chewing on a set of shelves I'm attempting to put together, or her out right brattish antics of stealing my face scrubber from my sink and hiding it under the dining table, jumping on my face in the morning and/or attacking me at random around each corner. Life just wouldn't be normal without an arch nemesis and Tzeitel has graciously offered herself up as mine. It's a love/hate relationship. And don't worry, there isn't a fight we face that isn't resolved by the end of the hour... and then reconvened.







From arch nemesis to soul mate, somehow this creature makes my most miserable hours of school work into the best of memories. She spent 24 hours straight with me as I crammed 5 weeks worth of statistics and math homework and studying into a few days. We broke briefly for her to go out and eat or whatever dogs do outside, but I ate, worked, cried, spaced out and slept in that room with her ever snoring and twitching (she's been dreaming a ton lately) self as my moral support. It's such a comfort to have someone pass through an all-nighter with you and still be ready for round two. So really, it's been 48 hours.
I like her :)
Math has me beat. I can sigh now and turn my mind to writing papers for today I made a pitiful attempt at finals. Will the grades suffice? ...Isn't that always the question?

Rotund Prairie Dog :)

This little prairie dog habitat allowed visitors to feed them treats. Though accustomed to humans they were still skittish and untrusting. All except this one. 
He came out for his turn to "keep watch", picked up a cookie and rolled back on his chubby rear end to relax. Naturally, another prairie dog had to come pick up his slack and later you see he was right. Full of a little too many cookies he had to take a rest. :) He understands how the system works







Happy as ever :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shake it Out


In the handicap of dealing with emotions I am immensely grateful Florence has done it for me. At last, a song for all those who long to be alive in the season that may threaten romantic hope. Not a song of regret over a lost romance or the revel of a present one or even of the fixing hope of a future one, just power in holding the courage to shake it off. 


Regrets collect like old friendsHere to relive your darkest momentsI can see no way, I can see no wayAnd all of the ghouls come out to playAnd every demon wants his pound of fleshBut I like to keep some things to myselfI like to keep my issues drawnIt's always darkest before the dawn
And I've been fool and I've been blindI can never leave the past behindI can see no way, I can see no wayI'm always dragging that horse aroundAll of his questions, such a mournful soundTonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground'Cause I like to keep my issues drawnIt's always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaShake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaAnd it's hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him off, oh whoa
And I am done with my graceless heartSo tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart'Cause I like to keep my issues drawnIt's always darkest before the dawn
Shake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaShake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaAnd it's hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him out, oh whoa
And it's hard to dance with the devil on your backAnd given half the chance, would I take any of it backIt's a fine romance but it's left me so undoneIt's always darkest before the dawn
And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don'tSo here's to drinks in the dark, at the end of my ropeAnd I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hopeIt's a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat'Cause looking for heaven, for the devil in meLooking for heaven, for the devil in meBut what the hell, I'm gonna let it happen to me, yeah
Shake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaShake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaAnd it's hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him off, oh whoa
Shake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaShake it out, shake it outShake it out, shake it out, oh whoaAnd it's hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him off, oh whoa



Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 = Tolkien



It's a new year, and one that I am both fearing and anticipating with peace. I'm excited, and that's a lot of pressure to put on the next 12 months, but so be it. One thing I am certain to be overjoyed with is the re-appearance of Tolkien into the world and wherever Middle Earth exists there is a lot of clarity and epic courage that follows.
As is tradition, December was the season for watching the trilogy and for some reason it has meant a lot more in comparison to recent past viewings. Perhaps it's the "familiar" at the end of a strange and insecure year or the rekindled hope that the struggles you committed energy into battling will be conquered. That even when the road looks bleak, hopeless or you just feel lost... that you keep going because it is for the greater good. Whatever the reason I have fallen in love all over again with a story where mind, heart and imagination are satisfied.
The old year has been an adjustment and I can't help but feel a bit lost by the end of it. It was a rich year that I'm thankful for but its evaluation of progress has shown its apparent lack of quality. It seems quality in its entirety has taken on new definitions and I find myself coming up so short, so unequal to the task of me and my life changing for the better that its purpose is questioned. I could sit tight, ignore the storm on the horizon and remain comfortable for a bit longer... or, I can grab my map, pack, tighten my belt and head off to Mordor to be rid of my ring. Problem is our own ring of power takes a life time to destroy... a lifetime of refinery. But you have to get up some time and not pay attention to the odds that are stacked against you.
"Can you promise that I will come back?"
"No. And if you do, you will not be the same."
Oh I love the depth and reality to it. Every decision they made, each little line and mile they crossed you can see is what made the story. Not chapters of build-up and an escalating finale, but simple unseen choices left unpraised that shaped the characters who saved Middle Earth... and I love them for it. Sitting in front of that familiar epic scene where Gandalf fights the Balrog in the depths of Moria was a moment of clear reminder for me. Suddenly an old truth, quite forgotten, called out in my distant memory of what sacrifice, obedience and the decision to choose the hard road was all for. It was a rich moment and I realized I needed its friendship to help me along the way.
So I crossed all my book plans off  for this year and simply wrote "The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit". I guess you could say this is me quitting my goal of planned success for the year and am simply walking out my door. Now instead of counting all my new friends in all their unexplored binding and pages, I'm going to visit an old one that changed my life for the better.
I cannot express how excited I am.



How much more excited am I that Peter Jackson would fuel my re-entrance into Middle Earth with the promise of The Hobbit in December. It's living the exciting anticipation of the trilogy all over again! This was the first book of Tolkien's that I read when I was in 8th grade. With my siblings engrossed in the trilogy, and me waiting my turn to get my hands on the one copy of The Fellowship that we had, The Hobbit was my entrance into Middle Earth. Hooked, and in love with this high brilliant genre, the books changed our lives forever.
And how much more happy am I that I have FINALLY finished The Troubled Heart of Africa. Now I may pick up The Fellowship with a clear conscience and be free of unnecessary baggage to weigh me down for my journey with Frodo.