The seaweed is always greener In somebody else’s lake…


If you could be anything in the world, what would you be? Today I’d be a fish or a turtle. So cool.

This post is dedicated to a couple of friends who are really struggling with who, what and where they are in life.

So many times we want to be what we are not.  Where we are not.  More often than not, it’s perfectly fine being exactly who we are, what we are and where we are.  What else is there?

If you could be anything?  What would you be? Where would you be?

I think that sometimes we think that if only we were someone, somewhere or something else, life would be better. I also think that sometimes we assume others have special powers or characteristics that give them special privileges that put them at a higher level or in better positions causing them to have fabulous lives and if only we had what they have life would be sublime.

Man got fire!!

“Everyone’s afraid of their own life
If you could be anything you want
I bet you’d be disappointed, am I right?” – Modest Mouse

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha

“Something inside you emerges….an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness. It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself.”
– Eckhart Tolle

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It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear…


I’m in to my 4th day of learning Nepali (नेपाली) and before I get all stressed out and start thinking I will not be able to do it I am re-visiting my October 30, post 31 days of randomness to remind myself to “brush myself off” and keep trying.  It was a post I had actually Re-blogged from another very intelligent person.

Please wish me luck. (कृपया मुझे शुभकामनाएँ) Namaste (नमस्ते)

वैसे, 3 दिन पर मैं कोई भी इस बात का नेपाली में नहीं लिखा था.यह गूगल अनुवाद किया है तो मुझे माफ कर अगर लिप्यंतरण समझ नहीं पड़ता है.तुमने क्या उम्मीद ..मैं केवल 3 दिन पर हूँ.

By the way, on day 3 I did not write any of this in Nepali.  It is google translated so forgive me if the transliteration does not make sense.  What did you expect.. I’m only on day 3.

For anyone else who is learning a language.. the below instructions are awesome advice for language learners.  Enjoy.

Looney Toon-y Advice for Speaking a New Language

Learning a new language can be tough, and learning how to get comfortable using that language is even harder!   After you learn how to properly pluralize toilet paper, you still have to gear yourself up to ask a stranger where the bathroom is.  Most of my relatives speak English as a second language, and it didn’t take me long to realize that Looney Tunes teaches you everything you need to know about being comfortable using a newly-learned language.  So here it goes, Advice from the Toons:

Porky Says :  Don’t Panic — If you can’t say it one way, say it another.

Porky the Pig is known for his stutter, but he compensates by replacing words that are hard for him to say with words that are easier.   It’s a simple technique, but an effective one.  Often times, new language learners get so focused on saying one word properly that they don’t just try to complete their thought in a new way.

For example: If you want to find the library, but don’t know the right word for library or don’t feel comfortable saying it, try asking where you can get or borrow a book.

Sylvester Says :  Over Pronounce — Don’t be afraid to over do it.

Sylvester the Cat is known for his spitty, overly pronounced word usage.  The truth is, most languages involve an emphasis that doesn’t come naturally to most new learners.  So whether it’s rolling an R, distinguishing between a B and V, or pronouncing a sound that you’ve never had to make before — just over-do it.  People will understand!

For example: Where I grew up, it’s common for people to drop the H from words that start with an H.  Like “heat” instead of “eat”.  But since you wouldn’t want someone to EAT THE PIE that you just asked them to HEAT, it’s important to over emphasize the sound you know you struggle with.

Bugs Says :  Get Visual — Use props and body language.

Bugs Bunny is known for references that his demographic most certainly does not understand, and using words incorrectly.  Instead of fretting over the incorrect word choice, though, Bugs just points to things around him, pulls out handy reference items, and uses body language to make sure the point gets across.  New language learners often forget to use the world around them as a tool!

For example: If you want to know if a dish on a menu is spicy, but don’t know how to ask– point at the menu and then make the universal gesture for “I just ate something hot!”.  (You know, wave your hand in front of your open mouth and bulge your eyes out a bit.)

Tweety Says :  Repeat — Repeat, repeat, and then say it again

Tweety speaks Birdy as a first language, so when he speaks in English, he often has to repeat what he said.  Sometimes in different ways!  Many new language learners feel embarrassed when someone asks them to repeat something — but remember that quite often, they just didn’t hear you, or maybe didn’t understand that particular phrasing.  Try asking the question in a way that repeats your questions as much as possible.

For example:  If you need directions to the supermarket say the equivalent of, “Can you help me find my way? I’m trying to get directions to the supermarket.  If I go left, will I arrive at the supermarket?”  rather than just “How do I get to the supermarket?”

Daffy Says :  Get Loud — Mumbling is for Natives.

Daffy has a lisp, but it doesn’t stop people from understanding him because he speaks loudly and clearly.  If you’re patient with your speech, assertive in your delivery, and loud enough in volume, you have much greater odds of being understood.  Many new language learners mumble because they’re afraid of making a mistake, but the safest bet is to speak loud enough for people to hear you.

For example: If you’re looking at your feet and mumbling when you ask where the bathroom is, people will probably rely on your body language to fill in the blanks that they didn’t hear.  They’ll assume they’re talking about your shoes, and you will get very confusing advice!

Pepé Says :  Be Proud of your Multilingual Abilities — Language is a beautiful gift.

Pepé is French, and isn’t trying to hide it.  If he doesn’t know the word in English, he says it in French. If he can say it best in French, then he does and explains why.  Language is about communication, and communication is a two-way street.  People are open to learning more about your language if your language gets the point across better.

For example: The French phrase “je ne sais quoi” has been nearly fully adapted into English because it’s simply the best way to say it.

_____________

In summary– don’t be so hard on yourself, and take it easy.

I am a Pirate.. a mighty, mighty Pirate


Who am I?  Why am I the way I am?  What am I doing with my life?  Where am I going to be  in the not so distant future?  In the very distant future?  How did I get here and where will I be going?  All questions that can probably be answered in just one picture –

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Yes, you are right.. I am a Pirate.. a mighty, mighty Pirate.

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They were the best of times, they were the worst of times.. Ahhh high school.

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There will be people who state that high school was a low point in their lives or that it didn’t matter at all and made no difference to them in regards to how they turned out as an adult.   Maybe they hated it or thought it was a complete waste of time. However, it cannot be denied that by having gone through it, high school exposes a person, to a certain level, on how to become (or not become) an adult.  It’s a place where you must decide what is important and what is not; how you want to be treated or how you will never treat someone else.  High school, if done right, is a place where you might meet some of your longest standing and best friends in life.

I do understand that high school today is a much different beast than it was when I attended (1981-1985).  We did not have to worry about someone coming in and shooting up the school.  We had authentic learning experiences that were not focused on taking tests.  We didn’t have a lot of parents suing schools, so most of the science experiments and field trips were more spontaneous and exciting than some of what I have seen in schools today.  We were also not monitored as much as kids are today (rightfully so) because we knew that our neighbors would rat us out if we got too out of hand.  We were also given “breaks” by some of those same neighbors resulting in a different kind of learning lesson. There was accountability in the school as well as out of it, which in my opinion, led to a greater amount of freedom because we all knew that we were being looked after.  There is a certain amount of safety connected to discipline and accountability which is not as prevalent today as it was when I was growing up.

Another thing that we had in the 80’s were AMAZING teachers.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying at all that teachers today are not amazing, or at least not trying to be amazing.  The problem is teachers have so many more constrictions and confinements today than my teachers had.  The issues might be the same, but the tools and freedoms to solve the problems are not as available and often times not considered as acceptable.

Teaching to a state/federal/national test limits how much spontaneity a teacher can use in the classroom.  When I taught in California, our administration stated basically, “As I walk by one 1st grade classroom I should be able to hear the beginning of a sentence and as pass the next first grade classroom, I should hear the end of that same sentence.”  This of course is ridiculous, but that is just one example of how tightly planned a teacher’s day sometimes is.

The 80’s were an amazing time of transition as well.  A time of loosening up of some of the more stringent ideas of what should be taught in school so there was a little more play in the school.  I remember our teachers being pretty hip.  It was the beginning of an era of group motivational speaking.  We had so many convocations about self-esteem and enjoying life.  We had a leadership weekend once a year where our entire class could sign up and go to a campsite and sing songs, compete in team building activities and just learn how to bond and enjoy each other while receiving messages about how to be a better person in general.

I think these things that happened to me in my high school years made me the person I am today.  I do realize this is not the case for everyone in high school and that I was fortunate to have gone to the school I went to and had the friends I did and even fortunate to have survived it all unscathed.  I’m still friends with many of the friends I made in high school and actively try to find the ones I lost contact with because they are that important to me.

I had several favorite teachers and coaches/counselors/mentors in high school.  I remember one teacher randomly stopping me in the hallway when I was going through a very low point in my life and telling me how amazing I was and how I was going to be an inspirational and remarkable woman one day.  I don’t even know how he knew I was going through some tough times but he did.  At that particular moment in time I didn’t believe him and I didn’t think it would actually happen at all. Guess what?  It did.  Sure, I’m no more amazing and remarkable than the next woman, but when I feel down or beaten those very words start echoing in my head and push me on.  This man was not an anomaly.  This was a message that many of us got from many of our teachers.

Another teacher/coach/mentor/counselor always wore purple and gold clothing to school.

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I saw him several years after graduation when I was substitute teaching in a different school and strangely, he wasn’t wearing purple.  In retrospect, purple and gold were probably not his favorite colors. These colors were obviously our school colors but to him they were a little more than that.  They were a symbol to him. A sense of pride was demonstrated in this man for being who and what he was while he was what he was. His only objective in life seemed to be wanting to instill that same sense of pride in each of us.  His convocations were always full of life and humor and hoping that we would all be able to acknowledge at some point who and what we were while we were what we were.

More than that though, our teachers seemed to want to help us understand that what we were right now was only temporary.  What we were going through at any given moment was only what was happening at that moment and it was all a preparation for everything that was to come.

One of my favorite convocations we were shown (I think 4 years in a row) a video entitled “Greatest Days of your life (so far).  This film has also echoed in my head when I’ve felt down and out and even when I have been as up as I could be.  I’ve been able to apply it to nearly every situation and time period in my life.  It’s also why I am who I am today and I just wanted to share it and hope you all enjoy it as well.  Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. For some reason I could not actually attach this youtube video.  When I did try, some Mindy Mcready videos popped up in their place.  At any rate, take some time to click on the links.. they really are good, if not a little dated.  Again, thanks for stopping by.

This award winning film, “Greatest Days of Your Life,,,so far” written and performed by Mark Scharenbroich (Mark Shake and Bake) in 1981 has been seen by more than 10 million students

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4vCCP8qi6g&feature=share&list=FLguvhB-JXvilrXL9OlStWGg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg42uFcfj-M&feature=share&list=FLguvhB-JXvilrXL9OlStWGg
Mark Scharenbroich’s The Greatest Days of Your Life…(so far) 1981 film

http://www.youtube.com

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Travel theme: Bright


Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Bright.

After visiting Catatumbo, Venezuela I had some amazingly bright opportunities for photos.  Sadly, my point and shoot could not quite capture the amazing display of mother nature.

Here are a couple pictures that others were able to capture with very good cameras –

Lightening in Catumbo Venezuela

Lightening Catatumbo

And….

Here is what I was able to capture –

Midnight could not catch a bolt but caught weird bright skies from pitch blackness.

Approx 1 am from pitch blackness to the appearance of daylight.

Here are the other bright spots from my Catatumbo, Venezuela trip.  I hope you enjoy.

Catatumbo lightning – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Catatumbo Lightning (Spanish Relámpago del Catatumbo) is an atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela. It occurs strictly in an area located over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered to be the world’s largest single generator of troposphericozone, that is, ozone that does not replenish the stratospheric ozone layer.

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31-days-of-randomness-personal-inspiration-30/31 – My Hands


In continuation of my 31 days of randomness  – Day 30 & 31 – Do what you can..with your own 2 hands.

I AM actually combining day 30 and 31 because I’ll be going deep for the next 3 days and I am in fact a day behind.  When I say deep I mean vacationing.. I was going to leave it a mystery but decided that might not be a good idea.

My hands in the world

My inspiration today and actually for most of my life has been to understand what I can do and do it.  As a child I used to worry about everything.  I was hyper-tense at 13 to the point my parents took me to a doctor and had me evaluated.  The evaluation produced no conclusive results about my health and I stayed in this super agitated stated until about my mid-20s when it dawned on me that I tended to put 100% of everything I was into every situation presented.

Over the years I have found inspiration in understanding that there is only so much one can do.  I often seek words and music that reinforce that concept.  The following are some of my favorites.  Some are recently found and others I have been listening to and reading for quite some time.  I hope you enjoy.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” ― John Wesley

Worry about being better; bigger will take care of itself. Think one customer at a time and take care of each one the best way you can.  – Gary Comer, founder of Land’s End

Nothing would be done at all if a man waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.  -Cardinal Newman

This all started from a random site I found called thenester.com.  Apparently there is a group of people who have committed to posting a topical theme a day for 31 days.  31 Dayers 2012.  In 30 days I have re-posted only 800 of the over 1200 bloggers who have participated in this 31 day commitment.  It would be worth a click to go check out the ones I have missed.  I hope you have enjoyed my posts.. and in fairness I’m really glad these 31 days are over.  It was a fun challenge but wow.. 31 (or 30) days on one topic was a super challenge.