Friday, January 29, 2010

Video Adding and Shameless Endorsing.

(Whoa, I finally figured out how to add videos that aren't from YouTube to my blog...)

Now I am going to use this video adding opportunity as a launching pad for some endorsing of 4 super cool, absolutely crazy, and very, very talented people.


Their names are (in order as seen above);

'Hedge,' Nathan, Caleb and James.

They are a band and they call themselves

-VISITOR REBUILT-

And I am their friend/fan/photographer/photo-editing-slave/whatever else (complicated story...just nod and cooperate.).

About 2 weeks ago they did their first show at a charity fundraiser, and me, being a fan with prior commitments, only made it through 2 songs before having to leave.

I videoed most of their song "Ever Rising," but unfortunately the sound quality on my little camera didn't quite match the awesomeness of all that the song was. Drums (Jammmmesss....) sort of over-powered in the small room, so you don't quite get the full musical effect. The overall picture quality is pretty bad too. Surry, but it is the best we've got at this current time.

So, I guess you will just have to go to their next show.

Ladies and gentlemen; VISITOR REBUILT!

video

One spoonful is all it takes...?


This
morning
I
ate
a
bowl
of
cereal.


This may sound to you like I have run out of ideas to blog about, but on the contrary,my friends, on the contrary.


You see, I do not like breakfast cereal. I wholly agree with Willy Wonka (yes, the Johnny Depp one) that is is made of little shavings that are in your pencil sharpener. Then you put milk on it and it gets all soggy and then you have polluted milk and...it's gross.


I also do not like breakfast, in general. My typical breakfast consists of a black cup of coffee. That's all. That's it. I tend to only eat real morning meals when I know I have a day full of physical exhaustiveness, such as 5 hours of solo house cleaning, or a day full of roofing. Or when I am in the UK and it comes with broiled tomatoes. Or in Costa Rica where it comes with Gallo Pinto (black beans and rice! for breakfast! amazing!). On any normal day where I a) sit at my desk, or b) clean houses for a couple hours, any attempt of healthy morning eating leaves me feeling full up until like 2:30 pm.


But APPARENTLY eating breakfast is muy muy importante...? Or so they tell me. "It's the most important meal of the day," "food is fuel, Bella." All that. And google is telling me that people who skip breakfast have a 450% (yes. four hundred and fifty) chance of becoming obese and that if you skip breakfast you end up consuming 40% more calories throughout the day. And that your brain will preform better...something scientific about blood glucose levels and cognitive functioning...


So. All that being said, I ate breakfast today. Or...something. Apparently (again) a GOOD breakfast is around 500-600 calories. My breakfast, a bowl full of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, was only around 200, milk included. Can't say I loved it, but...it is a start. And regardless of calorie level, it was 60% iron. which can only help my very anemic, vegetarian self.


I don't know if I can keep this up, though. I am trying to tell right now what my cognitive functioning skills are doing... I think I feel normal? Maybe I need a test.
Regardless, I am going to go out cereal shopping and buy me something granola-y, and hope it gets less soggy than the little flakey things I ate this morning.


But apparently (lots of apparently), I am on my way to a better me...? And I will be less... obese? (by the way, I am so not even kinda close. At all. Silly statistics.)
Please let me know when you see me if I seem more ...cognitive. And hopefully it will be on a day when I ate breakfast.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What I Stand On...

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed!- tear up the planks! Here! Here!..."-The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe

No. I don't have a dead body under my floor boards. Just hold on a minute...

Tomorrow is the day I have been long waiting for. Tomorrow is RUG DAY! While that means nothing to you, to me it means there will be rug in my long un-rugged new room. And once the wall to wall gray rug moves in, I will soon be able to follow!

Now, what I do have 'under' my floorboards (or on them and they will soon be under my rug) is words. Powerful words.

Yesterday I spent an hour on my hands and knees, writing Bible verses, quotes, and song lyrics on my floor with black sharpie (It smelled "great" up there, mixed with the scent of polyurethane on the stairs...Yeah, don't try this at home, kids.). I am almost sad to cover them up after all that work, but the cool thing is that I will know they are there. I will sleep in my bed, sit at my desk, walk up the stairs and be standing on words which mean a lot to me.

Some pictures of my masterpiece;


Directly at the top of the stairs. (And in case you missed the post in which I explained these words, they mean "Glory to God alone" in Latin.)

Exactly on the spot that my bed will sit. All 40 verses of my favorite scripture passage; Psalm 37. I spent a good 45 minutes writing this out word-for-word. And the lines are even straight-STRAIGHT!!!

In the center of the room under the fan (because I didn't know where else to put it...); chorus lyrics to So In This Hour, by The Rocket Summer. Great song.


On the spot where my keyboard will stand.


Under my desk; the area where I will spend most of my time.

So in the next few days my sister and I will be transferring all of our stuff from one floor/side of the house to another. Obviously pictures to come. Ridiculously excited.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

General Larry Platt, bringing the truth to America

Okay. First let me say I am not an American Idol fan. I don't watch it unless someone else is making me. Idolatry just isn't my thing...

But I have to admit the auditions tend to be hysterical. Although, it is a little sad that the friend's and family's of those people lied to them enough to let them make fools of themselves on national television...

Anyway, a little over a week ago my friend 'Mopeeps' sent me this video in an email and we (and the rest of America) have been singing it ever since. General Larry Platt is...a hero.





Is that not one of the funniest things you have ever beheld?
And if you so "hood" that you wear your pants below your waist...or knees...go buy a belt. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Definition of me.

If there were a dictionary defining people and I were in it, this word would accompany my entry.

ar·dent (adj.)
1. Expressing or characterized by warmth of feeling;
passionate
2. Displaying or characterized by strong enthusiasm or devotion; fervent
3.
a. Burning; fiery.
b. Glowing; shining

*Disclaimer: my name actually means 'Consecrated to God' but 'ardent' is who I am.

Quote-ables (delayed, but not forgotten!)


Book recommendation time!

Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper. Pretty straight forward title. At the recommendation of two friends, and on loan from one, I am now experiencing it for myself.

This book will challenge you right out of your average, mediocre, lukewarm Christian existence. If you take action...
We were all created for a single purpose; to passionately live to glorify God. No matter our age, no matter our occupation, no matter our background.


There are a lot of Christians who use God as "fire insurance" or as some sort of good luck charm when times are tough. It is wrong. God didn't just create us, and send his Son to save us, just so we could be exempt for eternity in hell. We are to glorify Him here on earth in EVERYTHING we do.


...but let me get to the quoting part of this post.
In the second chapter of the book Piper begins to talk about the life of a man named Jonathan Edwards. You've probably heard of him. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) played a huge part in the Great Awakening of America. Though his life was abruptly ended by smallpox, the years that he lived, he lived with intentional purpose and passion. In his twenties Edwards wrote a list of 70 resolutions which he was going to live by. Go read them. If you can get past the outdated language, you will find they are pretty radical.
In his book, Piper quotes several of them.
"...5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
...17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die." (he also quotes #22, but I am focusing on these 3)


Now, you might find it rather depressing that I am talking about death at my mere 18 years of age. But actually, I am talking about LIFE.


No one has promised me 80ish years of living. No one has even promised me tomorrow. I, like Jonathan Edwards and John Piper, have come to a point where I have determined to live now, with all I have, to the glory of God. Jesus died for me to have life to the full (John10:10). While I am still sucking air I am going to take full advantage of what is already mine.
In Philippians 1 Paul, who is in jail at the time, writes this;


"...On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn't shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I'm Christ's messenger; dead, I'm his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can't lose.
As long as I'm alive in this body, there is good work for me to do..."(the message)


I am guaranteed life eternal. But I refuse to sit around waiting for it to occur when I die.
As people get older and think they are nearing death they begin to formulate "bucket lists" of all the things the suddenly feel are important for them to accomplish before they die; utterly ridiculous, and rather sad, in my opinion. I am going to live now, until the moment I stop breathing, in such a manner that there will be no bucket list for me to formulate. When I die I want my life to scream "SOLI DEO GLORIA" (Latin, Glory to God alone).


What are YOU living for? What in your life is worth dying for?

Go buy a copy of this book. Read it. And live it. You've got one life. Don't waste it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Love for the land of green.

"Bella is irish. Perhaps not by blood and heritage, but by choice and desire."---Bella's best friend, Emily.

Today I found myself thinking about and missing Ireland. I don't know why, but I can't get it off my mind.

Back in 2007, I was previledged to be able to not only go there, but to compete on an international stage amongst some of the best Irish dancers in the world. A goal and dream of mine since I started dancing. My dad and I, a team of dancers from my dance school, their parents, and my teacher all spent about 6 days in the Kilarney area.

And in the middle of it all just so happened to fall my 16th birthday. Couldn't be any more perfect.

You have to know that this was more than just a trip for me. More than just a competition. I have a passion for all things Irish. Those 6 days are now looked back upon as 6 of the best in my life.

Technically there is perhaps a wee wee wee sliver of me that is actually Irish (I sort of would like myself to be Irish/Korean/Jamaican...but that is another story...) but it is such a smallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll portion that it doesn't really count. I pretend I am Irish. And it has worked pretty well so far.

Ireland is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Everyone welcomes you in their utterly amazing accent. You drive down the road and BAM, there is a castle in a cow pasture to your left (which is also the side of the road you are driving on.). Another couple kilometers and there is a castle standing on a golf course or just outside a housing development. As an American with no castles hanging around it was...magical. Strangely enough the people there are totally used to their castles ruins...

And people always talk about how everything is green; well it is. I was there in February and still everything was unusually bright.

While I was there I not only got to compete with a team of 8 girls, but I also got to fit in a good deal of site seeing with my dad. We visited 2 castles (well, we "visited" a good many of road side ones, but we officially toured two)-Bunratty and Blarney (and yes I kissed the stone. I actually kissed it twice). Saw the Cliffs of Moher, filming location for the Princess Brides "Cliffs of Insanity." Hiked to a waterfall called Torc. Ate lots of traditional "pub grub." And did a whole lot of walking about and shopping.
Some pictures.

My dad and I got of the plane around 5:00 am, having had no sleep, rented our car and headed out into the early morning fog to find some breakfast. In the UK they give you broiled tomatoes for breakfast, which is always one of the best parts to any of my trips to England or Ireland. And I don't even like breakfast.


What not to do at the Cliffs of Moher...

Cliffs.


Imagine poor Westley climbing these. Imagine him fighting Inigo at the top. Imagine...INSANITY!

Bunratty Castle in Shannon, wee hours of the mornin'.

Roadside castle...

Oh look, another one...
Oh look, one amist a golfing green...

I love trees. And Ireland has some fantastic trees.

Small look out tower outside of Blarney.

The legendary BLARNEY STONE. Or at least the opening that you hang out of to kiss it. It is hard to see the actual stone in the picture. They say that those who kiss it will receive the gift of eloquence...can't say I agree with such shenanigans, but it is always fun to have an 80 year old man dangling you by your ankles off the side of a castle so you can place your lips on a germ covered rock. The question is do you get more eloquence if you kiss it twice, or does it somehow negate? Hmmmm...

The legendary castle itself.

Kilarney National Forest in which Torc Water fall was located. I felt like I was in Fangorn or something out of Lord of the Rings.
Steps in the mountain, going up to Torc Waterfall, on my birthday. Not the greatest picture, but one of my life's greatest memories. We all went out to eat at a local pub on the night of my 16th birthday (by the way a pub isn't at all like a bar. totally different.) and my dad some how got the waitress to bring me candles in my dessert-Banoffee- and had the guy singing traditional Irish songs get the entire pub to sing me happy birthday. Definitely once in a life time.
The INEC (Irish National Events Center) where the competition was being held.
GlenEagle Hotel, connected to the INEC.
My dance teach, Dede, and I in the airport waiting to fly home.




...Now that I have posted all this, I only want to go back more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Katie Notebooks.

Meet Katie. This is us in Costa Rica, last summer.

My friend Katie has a really cool notebook.

Katie and I belong to a small group of college girls (within our youth ministry, Merge Ahead) known as a CREW. Every time our CREW meets, someone is envious of Katie's notebook. It is this fantastic little thing made of cardboard recycled from a macaroni box, held together by 3 book/binder rings. She uses it to take notes at church, and with the help of a mini hole puncher she easily adds in sermon notes, bulletins, and all sorts of other things, just by undoing the binder rings. It is like a mini scrapbook...of words!

She didn't make it, but we always end up talking about how anybody could, if they wanted to.

Then, this week my vocal teacher told me that she would like me to bring a notepad along to my lessons, to be able to write my practice homework. Perfect opportunity to make a Katie notebook! So I did.






About a week ago we discovered we had something very unusual in common. Katie and I both secretly have a liking of Martha Stewart. I would like to be Martha Stewart, in some aspects...like less uptight and higher in moral character. I'm all for integrity...
And Katie wishes she was Martha's best friend.


That being said, Katie and I are going to get together in the next few days and just...MAKE STUFF. Probably more cute notebooks. And whatever else.

Pictures most likely to follow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We have a mystery on our hands...

We all know I am a Poe fan. A huge Poe fan.
What you may not know is that today is Edgar Allan Poe's
'201st birthday.'
Now I will ask you what you know of the "Poe Toaster?"

The Poe Toaster (as he is known) is a mystery man (men...?) who has been visiting Poe's grave site in Baltimore since 1949. Each year, in the early morning hours of January 19th- Mr. Poe's birthday- he appears and leaves 3 roses and half a bottle of Cognac on the grave site.

He always has. Several dozen truly devout Poe fans fly into Baltimore and wait outside the dark cemetery to catch a glimpse of him. He, whoever he is, has always appeared before 5:30 am.

But not today. Today the Poe Toaster is missing.

Anxiously the small crowd of people waited. But he did not come. It is now 2:00 pm. Where is the Toaster?

Fans are stilling hoping he will appear late. Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum, is going to keep waiting for him over the next couple months, just in case he shows up.

But will he? Is this the end of the mysterious Poe Toaster? Has something happened to him? Or has he simply decided to end the tradition of more than 60 years?

Already we hold the unsolved mystery of Edgar Allan Poe's unusual and sudden death. And now we have to cope with yet another mystery; the missing Toaster.


I guess it is fitting as a way to honor the master of mystery himself- Edgar Allan Poe.

...................................

I just thought you should know, though I doubt you will be as concerned as I am. Check out myfox.com for more info.

The Adventures of Emikel and Jro...+Sam, again!

-CHAPTER 12-

Call us nerds, but we love Shakespeare.

This photo was taken after a performance during our last summer of Shakespearean acting. August 2008.

Doesn't sound fun to you? Well, you are mistaken. Shakespeare is incredibly fun. And it makes you sound smart. Both good things.

I like tragedy best- blood, gore, betrayal, and dark lipstick. Emily likes comedy- laughter, love, smiling, and guys with donkey heads. Sam likes...Sam, what do you like better? But all three of us have done both.

That year, Sam and I were in King Lear, she as Cordelia (the good daughter of Lear) and I as Goneril (the verrrrryyyyyyyyyyy bad daughter of Lear, oddly enough, my favorite role ever...). Emily, who wasn't performing on that particular day, was Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Three very different characters, two different plays, three very different people, and yet we all manage to get along quite nicely both inside and outside of nerdy activities.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quote-ables.

"I have a dream...." -Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 18th. The day we celebrate the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. is, in part, the reason my blog is called what it is. While I hugely admire what he did to help move our nation toward racial equality and end discrimination, that is not why my blog reads "...but I have a dream." at the top.


This post isn't about skin color or origin of birth. This post isn't even about racial equality (which I do whole heartedly believe in, thank you very much).

This post is about PASSION.

(Excerpts from a speech he gave, now remembered as the 'I have a dream Speech;'
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...
...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character...
...I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood." )


The thing I most respect about Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is that he was a man of great action; he saw what was wrong with his nation, his world, and actually did something to improve it.

(If you don't know who he was, or what he did, shame on you. Google him.)

In the end, he died for what he believed. April 4th, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, he was assassinated. (side note: I've been lied to by Bono my whole life. I need to tell you that Bono told me, in his song "Pride(In the Name of Love)" that "Early morning, April 4th, shot rings out in the Memphis sky..." He was shot at 6:05 pm...oh well. Good song.)

While still alive, he was the youngest man (at 35) to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize (and he actually did stuff to earn it, but that is another story...). He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. In 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a USA national holiday.

King was a radical. King was passionate.
King knew what he was made to do and he did it.

While I do not expect to be assassinated anytime soon, and while my dream isn't the same is his, I know that I was created for a purpose. I fully intend, by the grace and aid of God, to fulfill that purpose(see blog post titled "With a Pen in My Hand").
And I will not, WILL NOT, be stopped.

My name is not King, but I HAVE A DREAM.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hola! Mi nombre es Gato Loco.

More Amigurumi! The last one was cute and fuzzy, but this one just...CRAZY.


Meet Gato Loco ("Crazy Cat" in Spanish).

I really like doing cat ears, but previously had been an absolute failure at tails. I'm improving. And I really like the colors and the eyes on this little guy. And, for no particular reason, he is wearing a scarf!






Today he is going to find his way onto my Etsy (new and exciting items, my friends!) and he could be YOURS for just $15.00!!!!!!! (*but wait, if you call now...actually no, still 15.)

I love this amigurumi stuff. With each on I get better and with each on I get more ideas for the next.

Last night a started a really soft little piggy. And Monkey and Elephant are on the horizon. More to come!

"THE WORLD MUST BE AMIGURUMIED!!!"...I think Shakespeare said that in Much Ado About Nothing...or maybe it was 'peopled'... :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"I killed a man with this one thumb..."

*title quote is from movie Ratatouille and isn't wholly applicable to this current post.

Yesterday evening I walked into my kitchen and there were 5 kids sitting at our table dipping their fingers in ink pads.


Classic fingerprint art. Very kindergarten, but fun for all ages.

Brother #1 held out a paper he had made me (with thumbprint pirate on it) and said "Do you want to play?"

I, even at 18, cannot resist a childish art project. I cannot resist ANY art project. Fingers in ink are no exception. So I set about making a fingerprinty cartoon, which started out as a battle between one pirate (me...) and some ninjas (complete with katanas, throwing stars, and nunchucks), but turned into a humorous stab at Twilight.


Here be the arrrrrt, mateys;

*looks like me, yes? :)*okay, I actually think ninjas are cool...but pirates are waaaaaaayyyy cooler.

*clowns creep me out. The Joker...yeah, all clowns are evil like that. I just know it. There are not funny and you should hide your children from them.

*Note how the boy with gargantuan eyebrows glitters, as blood drips from his mouth...

I will never be pursuing a career as a cartoonist, especially not a fingerprint one, but I had fun with this. Try it. Goooood times!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bear

Meet Wasabear. He is fuzzy wuzzy. Very. Really, Really.




New shape, new size, and new incredibly soft yarn.
And he could be yours for just $15.00!!!!
No really, he is up for grabs. I am going to list him on Etsy and Artfire in just a few minutes; in just a few days he could be in your home for you to pet and squish!
*My father thinks he isn't a childrens toy. He is a "desk buddy" and I should market him for adults who want fuzzy things sitting in their offices.*
Is your desk without ...fuzziness? YOU KNOW YOU WANT HIM!
Okay, I am a lousy sales man... but how could you NOT want a little critter like him!?
And if only you could touch him through the internet! He is high on the list of softed things I have ever felt!
Up next is a teal, black and red...creature! (the ears kind of make the animal and I haven't made the ears yet.)
More to come! Amigurumi is my new obsession!

Bawk Bawk Easter Bunny

*title is apparently off a Cadbury Egg commercial from years ago. My dad quotes it whenever chicken are eaten or bunnies are mentioned...? But the Easter Bunny sits upon the same lie throne as Santa...another story, for another day...

I had previously mentioned how my littlest sister was envious of the amigurumi cat I made for another sister's birthday. So, because she is 20 months old and has no patience to wait until her own birthday in April, I made her a bunny.

She named her HopHop. Or just Bunny. Depends on the moment...

She is about a foot tall, is made of cotton yarn (typically used to make wash clothes and stuff, but I had a bunch of scraps and I wanted to use it up), and wears a tutu (her legs came out not like I wanted them-kinda like a mermaid-so I covered up the flaw with a poofy dress). And I especially like her big, crazy ears...although cat ears are a lot quicker to make...
(But I now have requests for a moose, a hippo, and an elephant; I had better improve my ear/antler skills soon.)




This is the sister, sledding, with a bunny, in my grandmother's living room...? Oh to be one!

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