Tuesday, January 31, 2012


How's everyone doing in the blogosphere?!

I'm still recovering from our fun weekend in the snow. It was a wonderful trip with 15 peeps, 4 cars, 2 condos, and a bit of snow. But hey, I'll take a little snow over no snow at all.

One of our beautiful sunsets in Tahoe:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

snow (?) trip

Tomorrow I am taking 15 college students up to Lake Tahoe for our annual snow trip. It rained this past weekend which means it was snowing there. But it's been sunny and lovely and in the 60's here all week (and maybe up there?) so who knows if any snow is still on the mountains. Nevertheless, we are going and will have a wonderful time.

Be back to blog more next week!

Monday, January 23, 2012

response to "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus"

I just watched an interview where Jeff Bethke, the guy who did the "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus" video, got questioned on CBS This Morning.

As you read, this video struck a chord with me. I liked the way he shared his poetry, but I didn't like what he said. I was hoping he would have an opportunity to explain things further.

This is a GREAT interview. I liked hearing from him and Father Edward Beck. Father Beck said what I would have, if I had met Jeff in person.

You can watch the interview here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

fairy tales

I have been enjoying a new TV show this year called "Once Upon A Time". The premise is: the evil queen (from Snow White) has put a curse on all fairytale characters and brought them from Fairytale Land (or wherever they lived) to our world (in Storybrooke, Maine) and none of them remember who they were. Snow White is an elementary school teacher, Jiminy Cricket is a psychiatrist, Red Riding Hood is a waitress at her Grandma's Bed and Breakfast diner, and the evil queen is mayor of the town.

Each week they focus on a different Storybrooke character and flashback to who they were and what their story was in Fairytale Land. Last week we saw Hansel and Gretel's story. And something was brought to mind that I never really focused on when I heard these stories as a kid. The blind witch with the candy house? She's a cannibal. Good lord, she wants to cook the kids in her oven and eat them. Why did this not give me nightmares as a kid?

It got me thinking about all fairy tales I heard when I was young. Almost all of them are actually quite disturbing. But either Disney made them G-rated and took the bad/scary stuff out, or it just didn't hit me how crazy the stories were. They're just stories and hey, I'm a kid! Let's go ride bikes!

Let's look at some famous fairytales and review the real story:

* The Little Mermaid - when she goes to get legs from the Sea Witch, not only does she give up her voice but she is told it will constantly feel like she is walking on sharp swords. And if the prince doesn't marry her, she doesn't just turn back into a mermaid. She DIES. And guess what? The prince doesn't marry her. He ends up marrying someone else. But as a last chance to live, her sisters bring her a knife the Sea Witch gave them in exchange for their long hair. If the Little Mermaid kills the prince with the knife and lets his blood drip on her feet, she will become a mermaid again and live. But because she still loves him, she cannot do it. As dawn breaks she throws herself into the sea and her body dissolves into foam. Um, WHAT?

* Sleeping Beauty - When Aurora (who originally had brown hair - suck it, Disney!) pricks her finger on the spindle and "dies", seven good fairies put everyone to sleep for 100 years. After a hundred years, a prince who had heard the story of the enchantment approaches the overgrown branches and thorns in front of her castle. And they just OPEN and make way for him! Really? No dragon to fight? And he doesn't even kiss her to wake her up. He trembles upon seeing her beauty and falls on his knees before her. She wakes up, followed by everyone in the castle who all continued where they had left off. Um, girlfriend was asleep for 100 years. She is at least 100 years older than the prince. Weiiiird. (P.S. The story continues where they get married and have two kids. The prince's mom is part-ogre and sends Aurora and her children into the forest and then tells her cook to kill them and prepare them for eating. What is WITH all this cannibalism?!)

* Rapunzel - Before I start, I must say that I love the movie Tangled. It's seriously in my top 10 even though it just came out a year and a half ago. The original story is a bit different. A prince hears Rapunzel sing in her tower and watches Dame Gothel climb her hair. When Gothel leaves, he asks Rapunzel to let down her hair which she does (skank?). He visits her every night and they eventually start sleeping together. Dame Gothel sees Rapunzel getting pregnant (even though Rapunzel doesn't know what's happening to her because she's been so sheltered) and cuts her hair and banishes her into the wilderness. Dame Gothel uses the hair to lure the prince up and then he freaks when he sees her and leaps from the tower and is blinded by the thorns below. Awesome.

* Cinderella - there's no fairy godmother in the original story. When the stepmother and step-sisters go to the ball, a white bird drops a silver gown and silk shoes to Cinderella outside. The ball is actually 3 nights and she goes every night. She keeps leaving before midnight and so the third night the prince has the entire stairway smeared with pitch. The third and last night, she loses a golden (not glass) shoe in the pitch as she runs down the stairs. Then it gets fun - when the prince goes around to find the owner of the shoe, one step-sister cuts off part of her heel so her foot would fit the slipper. The other step-sister cuts off a toe so she'll fit. *vomit* Obviously, it fits our girl Cinderella and at the wedding, doves from heaven fly down and strike the two stepsister's eyes, leaving them blind. Ack! Along with cannibalism, there seems to be a lot of blinding going on in these stories.

* Red Riding Hood - a talking wolf? Ahhh! I'd run. But RRH stops and chats with him like it's no big deal. He runs ahead and does the whole swallow-Grandma-whole-and-dress-like-her bit. He's so clever. RRH will never notice! And she doesn't at first. (Idiot.) But when she finally does, he eats her in one bite. Then along comes a hunter who cuts open the wolf and RRH and Granny emerge, living and unscathed. They fill the wolf's body with heavy stones. The wolf awakens (did he not wake up when he was, you know, CUT OPEN and two living people climbed out of him?!?) and tries to flee, but the stones cause him to collapse and die.

* Snow White - it goes something like this. The Evil Queen who can't stand the thought that Snow White is prettier than she is, calls a huntsman. "Hey, you! Burly dude! Take my step-daughter out to the woods and kill her. To prove to me she's dead, bring me her lungs and liver. I'm hungry and I want to eat them. Hop to it, boy!" He loves Snow and can't go through with it so he lets her go. He then brings the queen the lungs and the liver of a boar, which is prepared by the cook and eaten by the queen. (I'm seeing the pattern here)

The queen is so pissed when her magic mirror tells her S.W. is still alive. So she tries to kill Snow herself. Try #1 - she comes by the dwarves' house disguised as a peddler. She offers colorful laces and laces Snow White up so tight that she faints, causing the Queen to leave her dead on the floor. However, Snow White is revived by the dwarves when they loosen the laces. Try #2 - the Queen dresses as a different old woman and brushes Snow White's hair with a poisoned comb. Snow White again collapses, but again is saved by the dwarves. Try #3 (success!): the Queen makes a poisoned apple, and in the disguise of a farmer's wife, offers it to Snow White. When she is hesitant to accept it, the Queen cuts the apple in half, eats the white part and gives the poisoned red part to Snow White. Snow eats the apple and immediately falls into a "deep stupor". When the dwarves find her, they cannot revive her, and they place her in a glass coffin, assuming that she is dead.

A prince traveling through the land sees Snow White in her coffin. He instantly falls in love and begs the dwarves to let him have the coffin. The prince's servants carry the coffin away. While doing so, they stumble on some roots and the movement causes the piece of poisoned apple to dislodge from Snow White's throat, awakening her. Are you kidding me? All she needed to do was cough? Land sakes alive. No kiss required in this story either. Oh and here's the fun ending. The Evil Queen goes to Snow and Prince Charming's wedding and as punishment for what she tried to do, she's given a pair of heated iron shoes. They force her to step into them and dance until she drops dead.

I can't believe we read these stories to our kids.

Here's what we can learn about fairy tales:

* cannibalism was a popular pastime
* step-mothers are evil
* chicks can sleep and be dead at the same time
* it doesn't matter if you're a good guy or bad guy. You might be blind at the end of your story
* the Brothers Grimm were CAH-RAZY

Monday, January 16, 2012

kayaking and Michael Jackson

I had an amazing Saturday and I would love to share it with you all.

First, my friend Laura invited me to go kayaking because she bought groupon tickets months ago and wanted to use them. So off to Monterey we went! It was such a beautiful day. We saw all sorts of fun stuff: scuba divers (swimming below us), kelp forests, jellyfish, seal lions, harbor seals, and my favorite: a mama sea otter with her baby! We weren't allowed to get too close so hopefully you can see them in the picture. The mama is on her back and her pup is laying on her stomach. So so cute!

We ended up at the end of cannery row where the Monterey Bay Aquarium is. I grew up going there with my fam and have always loved it. There is an area where you can walk outside and look at the bay. It was such a cool experience being on the other side of it - out in the bay, looking at the aquarium.

Then that evening, I went to my first Cirque du Soleil show EVER. Have you been to one? I've heard about them and seen pictures but never experienced one myself. The family I used to baby-sit for (8 years ago) had tickets and wanted to take me. (P.S. I feel very blessed to have such wonderful people in my life who want to invite to fun stuff like this, both kayaking and the Cirque show).

What made this show special was its theme



Here's the description of the show: "This once-in-a-lifetime electrifying production will combine Michael Jackson music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil creativity to give fans worldwide a unique view into the spirit, passion and heart of the artistic genius who forever transformed global pop culture."

It was amazing, you guys. I just sat in awe the whole time. They played every single MJ hit and had dancers, acrobats, aerialists, costumes, LED suits that changed colors, etc. The choreography blew me away. We weren't allowed to take pictures or video, so here's the official preview they released on youtube:

If the tour comes to your town, you should definitely go!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jesus hates religion?

There's a video that has been shared on facebook, twitter, blogs, and other social networking sites the past few days (I have personally seen it posted it 9 times on my facebook news feed by different people). It is titled "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus". It's gone viral and has almost 8 million views.

The video features a young guy (probably in his 20's) named Jefferson Bethke who lives in Tacoma, Washington. He speaks in rhyme for 4 minutes explaining why Jesus is better than religion. In the video, he makes statements like:

- "What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?"

- "...which is why Jesus hated religion..."

- "Now back to the point. One thing is vital to mention, how Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums."

- "And that's why religion and Jesus are two different clans."

- "So for religion? No, I hate it. In fact I literally resent it."

As I was watching it, I had a weird feeling. How do I describe it? I could tell this guy loved Jesus and had obviously spent a lot of time putting together this "spoken word" poetry.

But something wasn't right. His doctrine was off.

Where in the bible does Jesus say he hated religion?

A friend posted this in response to the video: "Jesus was a very religious Jew. He went to temple and he offered sacrifices. He participated in the feasts and holy days. He was baptized and he taught his followers to baptize. He knew the Torah and how the people of his day understood it. In fact, he modeled many of his actions around motifs found in the Torah, and his later followers interpreted his actions through this lens.

Like the Hebrew prophets before him, he challenged the abuse of religion. But he never rejected it.

Similarly, the early Christian authors understood Jesus through the very languages and practices of the Jewish religion. Jesus was remembered as a sacrificial lamb, a high priest, a prophet, a king, a new David, a new Moses, a new Adam, the Son of Man, and many other 'religious' images."

Maybe Jefferson didn't understand what "religion" is? Why didn't he say Jesus is better than legalism? Or Jesus was against false religion? Those statements are biblically sound.

I read an article that basically explained everything I felt (and would have blogged) about this video. You can read it here.

My favorite sentence in the article is "We should not retreat from vocabulary that has been defiled, we should redeem the terms."

I would love to hear your guys' feedback.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

what's going through my mind right now

* I might be going to my first Cirque du Soleil show EVER on Saturday night.

* I have Tim Tebow fever.

* I get to see my nephews tomorrow! *squeeee*

* I LOVE this sunny weather. It's January and I was in short sleeves today.

* I got a new pair of athletic shoes and I've been running a few times a week. Who AM I? I hate running. Why am I going running?

* The show "The Bachelor" makes me embarrassed for my gender.

* I wish it was March 23rd so I could see The Hunger Games movie.

* I wish I didn't get nervous around boys I have a crush on.

* I'm taking 20 college students to Tahoe for a snow trip in 2 weekends. The only problem is there's no snow. Hmmmmm.

* My hip-hop dance class has started up again. Yeah!

* We still haven't taken down our Christmas tree yet. It's January 10th.

Friday, January 06, 2012

skating kick-off

We always like to start off the new semester (at the college group) with some ice skating. Rather "ice falling", because nearly everyone walks away from the ice with a wet booty. But hey, it's still fun!

And before we head home, we make a quick stop at our happy place.

Monday, January 02, 2012


I think I am 5 years behind everyone else when it comes to technology. Mostly in the phone area of technology. Part of that is by choice. Part of that is stubbornness.

First off, I don't want to pay the extra money for a smart phone. And the phone plan.

Next, I don't want the freaking internet at my fingertips all the time. I already struggle with pulling away from my computer at work or home. I don't want to be tempted to be online every other moment in life.

I don't like it when people say they can't live without their smart phone. I'm on eharmony and there's a section where you put the "5 things you can't live without". I cannot even tell you how many guys have their iphone in the top 5 (Some even have it as #1). Really, men of America? Really? You cannot LIVE without your iphone? I'm deleting you, sorry.

And lastly, I don't like that they are a status symbol. "Oh, you have the droid? I have an iphone. It's way better." Or "You have an iphone? Which one? Just the 3g? Well, I got the new 4s. It's way better." It promotes competition, elitism, superiority/inferiority complexes, and lame conversations. And honestly, the second you get the new updated version of your smart phone, a new version will be released 6 months later. It's ridiculous.

But with all of reasons to be against smart phones, I am thinking I might need to get one next year.

When someone has a question, I can't answer them. Everyone else can pull out their phone and google it.

People don't need to carry around a phone and their camera, like me. A smart phone does both.

When someone asks me to hang out, I tell them, "I'll have to check my calendar at home (or work) and get back to you." Everyone else can pull out their phone and check their calendar right there. And then type in the hang-out time.

I get lost a lot. Something with GPS would be nice...

And I begrudgingly admit it would be good to use with my college students. We can talk about apps and play games against each other. Those are things they do with each other right now and I cannot join them. And I never know what they're talking about.

I'm torn. I would love any advice. Should I get a smart phone? If so, which one? Or should I continue to hold out? Even if it makes me 5 years behind everyone else in technology?