Thursday, January 30, 2014

7QT - Happy New Year!



---1---
I skipped Quick Takes the last few weeks, due to general busyness (and not feeling like posting, I guess)...so I'll begin by getting you all caught up and tell you now about my New Year's Eve. I grabbed a friend and went downtown for a little while. My city sponsored an event at various venues for a single $8 ticket. We caught a couple songs by a big band, then saw a stand-up comedy routine by the Skinny Improv. They would ask audience members for suggestions for the scenes. At one point they asked, "What is the most unexpected thing you've ever found?" A little girl chimes up, "A green-necked snake in my back yard!" The guy goes, "Oh, wow - you just knew what it was when you saw it? A green-necked snake?" She answered, "Yeah. I'm a horticologist."
 
After the comedy we walked over to the library where they were having a poetry slam. Apparently they have one here in town every month. I plan to go check it out at its usual venue and maybe even participate at some point! I love poetry. And yes, while everyone else would clap for the poet, I sure was snapping my fingers like the wanna-be-part-time hipster I am (the other part of the time I'm unsociable and really don't wanna be hip or anything else that involves other people or their opinions). ;)

Two college students who had just arrived from China sat by me at one point during the slam. One leaned over and asked, "This is a Christian church, yes?" I said, "No, this is not a church, it is a library." So he asked me if I could recommend a good Christian church to him and his friend. I recommended two - one I have attended several times, and one that is within walking distance of campus. The two young guys then got up and left, and it dawned on me that they might have been looking for churches that were having events/services that night. Oops!
 
---2---
My nose hurts. I'm tired of blowing it.  
 
---3---
A couple friends and I went bowling last weekend. It's been years (as in, quite a few!) since I've been bowling. I'm the envy of leagues everywhere, with an average of anywhere between 60 and 150 points per game. I think my highest score last weekend was just over 100.

Stefanie and Glenda and..."that's me in the corner" (que song to play over and over in my head).
 
---4---

The inspiration for the poem I posted last week was a young girl in residence where I work. She was sleeping on the couch instead of in her room, and in her jeans and button-up shirt instead of in her pajamas. The clothes looked new, and since it is normal for the place to provide new residents with a clothing allowance, I assumed she had recently gone shopping and picked them out herself. It was a cute outfit. I remember how I dressed in high school, too. I didn't have new clothes very often (if ever), so when I did come into possession of a "cool" article of clothing, I wore it all the time because I wanted to fit in (I didn't realize that overwearing clothes, fashionable or no, may not have been the best way to fit in lol). I realized the efforts people go to in order to be like everyone else - be accepted (or acceptable) - be just as valuable as all the other, worthwhile, people on the planet...the people whose opinions matter.
 
Advocates for persons experiencing homelessness often urge others to see past the outward circumstances and physical appearance, the mental illness and unusual picture of what it means to be human, to see the unique individual as a person of worth, an integral part of the proverbial melting pot of humanity. I agree with that...but I think it goes both ways. Whether covered in grime from the streets or glam from the shops, underneath we are all the same. People just want (and need) to be accepted.
 
---5---
Last night my friend and I happened upon some belly dancers and fire eaters! They were an amateur group; most of the girls had little rhythm and the guy that juggled flaming...things...dropped them about 6 times (but I'm sure no one was counting); but it was an interesting night out of the house. :)




 
Hey, we all gots ta start somewhere.
 
---6---
Tonight I participated in my city's annual homeless count. I have been meaning to sign up to volunteer at a local homeless agency, but am having trouble connecting with them, so this was my first step toward that goal. It didn't seem like much we did for them (we took a survey about the length and causes, etc., of their homelessness), but we did get to listen to them, show them respect, and give them a drink and a small, healthy snack. Some of the people we interviewed had kids. Small kids. Babies, in fact. And some had physical health issues and/or mental health issues and had no way of obtaining treatment/medications. There was one mother with three young children playing on a corner (a very cold corner, but at least warmer than the beginning of this week). We approached her but she informed us she did have a house, but it wasn't a very good house...there was no water or electricity and several people had committed suicide there, the latest of whom was a friend who did so last week. The kids were happy to receive our oranges and granola bars. In the presence of that family in particular I was struck with the realization that I was witnessing parent/s who had always been poor and uneducated and underprivileged raising their children to know only the same things. (That statement was not supposed to sound accusatory.)

So often people complain that poor or homeless people just need to get a job and fix their situation. For some this might be true. For others, it might be nearly impossible. For others...they simply don't know how. Thus, any way you look at it, they need help.  
 
---7--- 
 
The sign-up list for the A to Z Blogging Challenge for this coming April is now open! The idea is to post 26 times during April (that's one day off per week) with each day's topic corresponding to the next consecutive letter of the alphabet. Around 3000 people participate, and it's a fun way to challenge yourself to post more regularly, as well as find new blogs and gain new followers. Sign up here!
 
Have a great weekend, everyone! For more Quick Takes, stop over and see Jennifer at


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shoddy Reflection of Deity



I know.
The one-hundred-twenty-dollar jeans and the
Name-brand, form-fitting shirt and the
Sparkly, hangy-down things from the cute little crocheted hat...
All that stuff
draws attention to itself.
The Birkin bag and shiny, high-heeled crocs
Serve as tempting
distractions,
Drawing the eyes and the
Mind away from what the bling disguises,
What the make-up hides,
What the glitter and highlights transform into an
Icon:
The image we all strive to attain.

But try to see past all that.
Because underneath the grimy
Filter of fashion and
Caked-on cosmetics lies a
Person, just like you and me, with
Feelings, and family, and
Purpose.

Beauty is only skin-deep. It
fades.
But once the pesky prettiness is
Washed away, what
Remains is
precious.