One week, no iPod: Monday

For those who don’t know, I gave up my beloved iPod for one week and kept a journal. The reason why is for a horrible school assignment that is meant as a form of torture. Here is day two as transcribed via my notebook. Read Day One First. The contents of the notebook have not been edited, therefore my stream of consciousness may or may not make sense. However sometimes my edited writing doesn’t either. And yes my mind does think this way. Here we go.

Monday 8/30/10

8:25am: Did you know the hallways on this campus creek? Maybe it is just me, but they sound like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz when he runs out of oil. Creek…er…Creek. Ok maybe it isn’t creeking as loud as I think it is, but to be honest, it is the only sound I hear. As I walk without my iPod, I realize no one is talking to each other.  I see people talking on their phone, some are texting or playing around with their phones while some are listening on their iPods(I am slightly jealous). Whatever they are doing, they are communicating with someone, just not with each other. I don’t think they notice, or notice me noticing them.

8:46am: In class early. I am not sure what to do. No one is here. Usually I would be listening to my iPod and zone out. Can’t do that. Maybe I should read ahead because I have nothing else to do.

8:47am: Realized I forgot my reading….awesome.

11:30am: The silence is killing me! No one is at the office at work. Was it labor day this week and I forgot? Maybe nobody is usually here on Mondays and I never noticed. I am usually listening to my iPod, working on the computer and off in my own world.Usually it is a podcast,sometimes music, but usually my ear buds are in. I never realized what was around me before.

1:00pm:I hate waiting around for people. As I wait, I am trying to check my Facebook on my phone, which I usually do on my iPod. My phone is usually not a problem, but the service in this building is horrible. Who do I call to complain about this? I can’t even make a call! I miss wifi.

9ish to 10ish: I am not aware of the time, but decided to use my radio to go to bed to. Just discovered my iPod deck has a sleep mode. As the music plays, I start to fall asleep, but I am awaken by the commercials and/or a song I do not like. I keep changing the station, and the same pattern repeats. After about four times of this. I am now officially awake. I miss the music on my iPod. Maybe I have a bad attachment to this advice.

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One week, no iPod: Sunday

For those who don’t know, I gave up my beloved iPod for one week and kept a journal. The reason why is for a horrible school assignment that is meant as a form of torture. Here is my first day as transcribed via my notebook. The contents of the notebook have not been edited, therefore my stream of consciousness may or may not make sense. However sometimes my edited writing doesn’t either. And yes my mind does think this way. Here we go.

Sunday 8/29/10

9:45am: Laying in Bed. Went to pick up my iPod to check out PostSecert like I do every Sunday, and realized “bananas” it’s Sunday! Time for hell week. Instead of getting out of my warm bed, I decided to check the website on my phone. God this is taking forever on my phone. I could have read 10 secrets by now in the time it took to load. This already blows like the wind.

10:19am: Mandy is texting about Fantasy Football. Reminds me to post a joke on Banta’s wall about forgetting Charles getting drafted eight times. I wasn’t even the one drinking and I couldn’t remember that. Halfway through writing on his wall, I realized I am using my iPod to do this….Fail! I didn’t even go  7 minutes(ok I did, but still fail)! Can we restart this? I need to give this rectangle thing to Cristalle

10:27am: Finally get out of bed to hand my iPod to Cristalle. F This! This is going to be a long week.

10:49am: Little bro Nathan asking who I got in the draft last night. It is hard to remember exactly who and text it to him. Went over to grab my iPod, but remember I gave it to Cristalle. I ask for it back for a second, and she refused. She said she hit it. What roommate listens and does exactly what their roommate tells them? Time to power up!

10:52am: Bill Simmons has a new podcast! I usually listen to it on my iPod, but because this sucks, I will have to listen to it online. Where is it usually?

10:54am: This is taking too long to download. The Internet is being slow! Why didn’t I just give up TV?

2:30pm: Complaining to Mike about my lack of iPod. He questions if I will be able to make it the day, nevermind a week

4:45pm: Just used my  laptop to listen to my music/podcast most of the day. I need to get ready for my cousin’s birthday party. Moments after turning off my computer, I press the button on my iPod deck that would usually turn on my iPod out of habit. Nothing. No sound. I don’t even realize I pressed the button until nothing came on. I need something;some sound. Radio?

9:30pm:What am I going to listen to fall asleep to. The sounds of silence echos until my phone goes off.

11:03pm: After a longer than should have conversation on my phone, I am drifting in and out of sleep of silence.

Spoiled Media Nerd

I admit it. I am addicted to media of all sorts. I Facebook hourly, DVR horrible reality shows, check email, listen to my Ipod all the time, and even Twitter crazy blog posts. Media is my choice of drug.And I am sure it is everyone else’s. Tell me, when was the last time you went a week, excuse me a day, excuse me a hour(sleeping does not count) without using any form of media? It doesn’t take a genius to see or know that we are surrounded and engulfed by it.  In today’s society, the use of technology is everywhere and we are constantly connected by our plugs. Do not act like I am the only one.

However, I am going to have to give up one form of media. My professor, Dr.Wise gave us an assignment to give up not all media(I think he saw the shock faces of everyone) but just one for a whole week. Go without it and see how you feel. I immediately went into a panic of what I could give up. What am I able to live without for a week?

Facebook/Twitter: Ummm no
Email: Need it for school and work
Phone: My mother: Mija what happens if my car breaks down? You need your phone
Radio: How else am I going to get through an hour drive to and from school without falling asleep?
Television: Football season around the corner
Text Messaging: See Facebook

After coming up with excuse after excuse, I kept raking my brain for a solution. How can my professor tell me to give up a medium? for a whole week? Is he mad? Or am I the mad one? I am going to go with the latter because I am sounding like a spoiled media nerd. And maybe I am. However, in order to pass the class(which btw is a media class), I decided to give up my iPod. This maybe the hardest especially because I am attached at the ears. I have love obsession for my Ipod (as shown here) However, I do not use it for anything besides zoning out and listening to music. Being attached to the buds gives me that comfort of the connection, but at times I feel like it cuts me off from the outside world(or at least that is what my mom tells me)

Starting Sunday (8/29), I am giving my roommate my iPod for a week, and I will be forced to listen to the silence.  I will keep track of my thoughts and feelings on this here blog as I go through the seven stages of grief. Maybe it won’t be that bad. It maybe the worse week. We shall see. Am I able to go a week giving up a medium I am use to? Or will the crazy bus come pick me up? Maybe I am too attach and plugged into my medium. Could you do it? Maybe you, like me, are just another member of the spoiled media nerds.

Let the torture begin!

Doing it for the troops…

This last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my best friend’s graduation from OCS(Officer Candidate School…for the Marine Corps).

Let me start by saying I am not a fan of guns, loud nosies, or being yelled at making me the worst possible candidate for the military. This may sound like an elementary like opinion, but my military exposure can be defined as whatever the media, hot actors, and movies have shown me. Not to say I am an idiot by any means, but with little exposure, the military itself was never on my mind. With this as my foundation, it was a complete shock when my roommate came up to me and said I want to join the Marines.  To say I was 100 percent in favor would be a lie. I support my friend, but did not agree or understand why.

But whether I liked it or not, she was off to Virginia for 10 weeks. I never believed she wouldn’t pass. If you ever met Cristalle, her determination, strong will, and her stubbornness would not let her quit without a fight. However, as the summer weeks went by, it started to sink in the magnitude of what she had been doing.The hit from the frying pan came when my mom and I flew out to Quantico Virginia.

Side Note: Of all the 50 states, Virginia may have the worse, or most moody, weather ever. Raining, humidity, clouds, cold, and sun? I was only there three days people. The only thing missing was snow. I will take my dry heat and four seasons of hot and hotter all day everyday before the roller coaster of Virginia.

Back to the lecture at hand, my mom, Cristalle’s step-dad, and I sat in a lecture hall with hundreds of families waiting to see their candidates(marines). As a booming voice silenced the crowd, Col. Richard C. Jackson II, to whom the voice belong to, approached the stage. For the next hour, he spoke not only about the last 10 weeks, but the values of the corp. He kept repeating them.

Honor. Courage. Commitment.

“Follow these values,and you get the keys to the castle.”

As photographs and videos splashed through out the presentation, he kept repeating:

Honor. Courage. Commitment.

“Follow these values,and you get the keys to the castle.”

The castle, I was coming to learn, was not only graduation, but to those in the audience. The colonel incorporated how the family and friends helped instill these values long before OCS. If the candidates didn’t encompass this, they would not have made it to graduation day. It was those in the room who taught them what they needed to know, they just put muscles on it.

Okay maybe the corp did teach them as well, but he made it seem so simple, yet difficult for many to achieve. Few ever truly do, and few industries ever promote this. Imagine a company that did, and said the only way to success is follow these values and work. Would things like Enron or people/characters like Gordon Gekko exist? I would like to believe not, but maybe I have been drinking the kool-aid.

However, it was this message that continued throughout the lecture and weekend. We saw it in the graduation, other candidates, and most of all Cristalle. Although her personality hasn’t changed much, the way she spoke about her experience and the Marines kept pushing the message home. Her excitement and lessons got me excited. The whole weekend turned my thinking 180. Although I will never understand how it is to serve our country, the fight hits home. The pride for them is there.

The ceremony itself left me in awe. While no cap and gowns were involved, the soldiers and their guns showcased the hard work. The music, the cadences, and even the calculated movements helped bring flavor to the graduation. Cannons also added to the celebration, booming from black hole of the stilt like trees. It was a sight to see.

The weekend helped change my mind, and made me want to learn, from an outsider’s perceptive, more about our armed forces. Although I do not agree with every aspect the military brings, seeing first hand how hard these men and women work has changed my thought process. Not enough to join, mainly because my big hair will not allow it, but I can at least admire these soldiers and be proud of them. And most of all my best friend.

I understand you may not agree with the war, but those are about ideals, not the people on our side. Below is the end of their graduation. It is rather long, kind of cool, but worth at least a glance.

I often hate that word change…

Hey loves other randos who ever reads this…

Today I am writing about change. I know. I know. Change has become the dirty word used by politicians, bums on the street, and fill in your own example. If we don’t like something, people tell us to simply change it which is, to sound like a 16-year-old girl, annoying. This word change brings upon us hope and sometimes despair. It makes us uncomfortable, but yet it something we yearn for. I simply find it a little confusing.

A confusion that happen to me in January. As I often have to, I had another doctor’s appointment. Having the amazing family history I have (diabetes, heart, and other random diseases) my poker hand gave me thyroid problems. And while most people can control their thyroids with medicine or simply killing it, being the young buck with a sensitive stomach, mine became uncontrollable. My weight would go up and down, my body would ache, and I would constantly sick as if I had the flu. I would get sick to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed without convincing myself to. And honestly, the college lifestyle I was leading didn’t really help.

As my body attacked me, I was attacking it more, and a part of me didn’t care. Why should I? Economy sucks. Family can’t get along. Friends are leaving. My degree is worthless, and I am not sure grad school is going to make it better. I thought 2010 was suppose to be better? I had the tone like many of my peers, and even others, have right now. I mean even the keynote speaker at my graduation talked about despair and lack of prosperity of today and the future.

Side Note: It is not comforting to be sitting at your graduation, and the keynote speaker is asking us to save journalism or else it will perish. It makes me feel the last four years were simply a horrible prank and I should of stayed in business school. Who cares if I had to take accounting 3 times? I mean they have people who do tha…wait I would be those people. Awesome.

But back to my story. I was going through the motions of life instead of living it. I thought no one noticed, and I was alright pretending all was well. It wasn’t. As I sat through yet another doctor visit for this stupid thyroid, I just wanted to leave. As I was about to get out, my doctor said:

“Hey at 23 your body is running like its 40.”

With such a random, blunt statement I had to do a double take. For once in my life I was speechless (insert my mother going mija why you lying?) but it was true. I couldn’t speak. This woman had to be crazy, but sadly she wasn’t. The doctor continued to tell me that if something wasn’t done with my thyroid, I wouldn’t be able to live a healthy lifestyle or even a good one.

That statement wasn’t only a blow for just my body, but my ego as well. I wasn’t invincible. I wasn’t Superman, even if I had the cape. I was forced into this change if I wanted a normal lifestyle. She suggested using HCG along with other medicines and constant testing to help stabilize my body. A part of this testing included a strict 500 calorie diet, blood work, and constant check ups.

So I went through the treatments, and honestly still felt miserable. I wasn’t a fan of not eating, my body being pricked, and my blood being drained from me drip by drip. I mean who really is? The process itself was more painful than before. Instead of having to convince myself to get out of bed,I simply couldn’t. I felt useless, distraught, and as if someone was constantly hitting me. I couldn’t hide my pain as my body was bruised, my hair fell out, and sometimes had to stop to catch my breath. I couldn’t tell if any of this was worth it.

As I slowly got off treatments, and came back to life, I decided I never wanted to go through this again. Working out become a necessity, but just working out wasn’t going to do all the work. I wanted to be healthy both physically and mentally. I started thinking more positive, and embracing those around me. I started to write more, do yoga,and just simply live. I wanted to live my life like it was intended, not because I needed the pay check. Don’t get me wrong, a little coin is nice, but experiences cost less. Although I am not hundred percent healthy, my body runs like a 23 year old now, maybe even 22.

So what is the point of this blog besides bragging? It’s pretty simple, I am endorsing the unknown. Right now, all I know is I starts school August 19th, and what happens after, I am alright with. It literally took sitting in a doctor’s office for me to feel sick about my habits, thoughts, and emotions at the time. I wasn’t happy, but now I am getting there. Change is, and has, been good for me. I write before you a different girl, lady, and even woman then a year ago with those dirty words of hope and optimism flowing through me.

Am I scared? Ummm Hell Yea! And I will have days where I am down and out, but I guess they are a part of life’s adventures and I will just go along with it. Maybe it is a change I will need. At least I won’t have to take accounting.