Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today's Path: Learning To Drive a Manual

Okay, so this isn't on My 50 List, but it is now accomplished. This past Sunday, my friend took me to a school parking lot and we drove in circles for what seemed like forever.

Now for the back story:

My car has reached the point in its life that I need to trade it in or sell it. However, when I get rid of my car I am going to need another one. To broaden the amount of cars that I can buy, I decided I needed to learn how to drive a stick.

Back to the story:

My friend walked me through what she was doing when we went to the school. Once there we switched spots, and it was my turn to drive. Who would have known getting it into first was going to be the hardest part of the day? Of course I stalled the car a couple of times...well more like 20 over the course of the day (Honestly, I lost count).

The second hardest thing was conquering the hill. When I say hill, I mean most likely not even a 1% grade hill. I killed the car a couple times, but I made it through.

About 90 minutes later, my friend asked me to drive her home. WHAT?!?!?! Are you kidding me? Drive on a road where there are other cars? I laughed at her and then took the bull by the horns and drove her home.

YES, after 90 mins. I drove on the road. The best part was I didn't kill the car once on the way home. So it can be done.

What do you want to conquer?

Rock on,
Lane J

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Today's Path: Define Who I Am - Part Two (of many)

The past week was a very interesting and exhausting week. I was having issues sleeping. I was getting about 3 1/2 - 4 hours of sleep a night. It came to a point where I was not functioning but not being able to even take a nap. After a talk with a good friend Thursday evening, I took a walk to a nearby park, laid on the ground, watched the stars appear and then had a heart to heart with myself.

Back in February, I started defining who I am in my post Defining Who I Am - Part One (of Many). I started by defining words that describe who I am or affect me. Now it is time for Part Two.

As I was laying on the grass under the stars, I realized something very important. For the past, oh probably, six months, I have been trying to fit into a mold that I couldn't fit into. It wasn't a mold that anyone else created but me.

I had set standards that I thought I wanted to be. Now I know that was not anything near what I wanted. I traded who I was for an idea of who I thought I wanted to be. I tried to conform to a new environment instead of being myself.

I am by no means saying that you shouldn't ever change. Change is good. It took me a long time to realize but change IS good. I am merely offering the advise of "Don't change everything about you at once, because then you might get yourself stuck between your own beliefs."

So for a few more words on who I am:

Adventurous: I love trying new things. Usually things others would never do and might even say I was crazy for doing (i.e.- Skydiving, getting a tattoo, bungee jumping). It's the high I get of knowing I did something many of the people I know would never try.

So this one is hard at times. I have always spoken my mind. The issue is it isn't always welcome. I have learned to bite my tongue. However, I realized recently that I wasn't speaking what was on my mind, especially when things were bothering me because I was afraid of the reaction I would get.

: Okay so the past week, I haven't been. If something new is happening around me or if I am asked to help out I am usually there with bells on. I mean come on, who do you know who would be excited about getting pied in the face and would where a shirt that said "Bring It"?

Rock On,
Lane J

Friday, August 22, 2008

7 Lessons Learned from Pie Throwing

Today at work we pied several people. We have been raising money to build the first level of Super Mario Bros out of canned food which will be donated to St. Mary's Food Bank here in Tempe. We raised over $600. Today at around 12:30pm the throwing commenced.

And here is what you learn:

  1. There is no getting out of it. Smile and take it.
  2. Cool whip is a fashion statement.
  3. No matter where you put your shoes, they will get pie on them.
  4. If you ask me to not be a wimp and throw the pie at you, I will!
  5. If you throw a pie at your friend, be prepared to run.
  6. Keep your shoes on! When you run on concrete in Phoenix you will get blisters!
  7. After 2 showers you still smell like spoiled milk!
Photo Credit: Kari McBride

Rock on and eat pie,
Lane J

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Higher Being was in Phoenix

This past weekend was CRAZY!!! Lots of things happened...well two things happened which resulted in me losing sleep last night.

First, a couple friends came over for pool time on Sunday. While at the pool they decided to tell me about a robbery they heard about. HELLO? New to living on my own! I really didn't want to hear about robberies.

The second event happened on Saturday which resulted in lost sleep Saturday night and Sunday night. I was driving my friend back to my place, and I was telling her a story. For some reason, I did not see the upcoming light. It turned red. I kept driving. Somehow, only by the grace of the Higher Being, did I avoid a car in the middle of the intersection. I swerved missing the car by only inches.

It was very weird missing the car. Thinking back I don't remember having control of the car. It was like someone else was driving my car instead of me. Whatever happened, whoever was there, Thank You.

Many thanks over the past two days have been sent above to whatever it was that was with me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Are Objects Capable of Wrong?

Many of you know I lived somewhat of a sheltered childhood. As a result, I can be naive at times. Other children who live sheltered childhoods don't object to things they are told. I, too, use to take everything in stride and not object to what I was told. But I have to put my foot down...

My family is quite religious. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. I believe it is healthy to have a sense of there being a higher "One." However, the issue I have is when an object becomes blamed for wrong. Yes, an object.

For as long as I can remember, television has been blamed for evil in the household within the my family. The television? What can it do? Can it turn itself on? Can it change the channel by itself?

The television can do nothing on its own. It takes a human to turn it on and change its channels. So why then is the television being blamed for such immorality? It is the parents/users that should be blamed. They have the ability to change the channel, moderate the channels or turn it off.

The television is one of the greatest inventions. How else would we know what Africa or the rain forest is like? Thanks to National Geographic we can see and hear first hand what it is like. We can see what it is like when countries set aside their differences and come together to compete for Gold in the Olympics.

Television is an object. It cannot be blamed for wrong. It is the user that must be blamed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Today's Path: The Only Mosquitoes

I have now been in Arizona for close to three months. These past three months have been awesome. Sunshine, pool time with friends, sunshine, new faces, less humidity, and did I mention sunshine?

But when I left St. Louis in May, I was told I was leaving the bugs and mosquitoes. In the past few weeks I have come to find out that I have probably brought a few with me. I have had about 5 or 6 mosquito bites over the past 2 weeks. Where did they come from? Don't they like to live by water? There isn't much here in the desert.

Therefore, I have concluded the mosquitoes enjoy St. Louis blood. Hopefully by next summer I will not have as much STL blood in me so the mosquitoes will leave. But on the bright side, if I was in STL I probably would have had closer to 20 bites in the past 2 weeks. So I will settle for 5 or 6.

Keep enjoying the summer. Rock on!

Lane J

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Today's Path: 5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Facebook

With the internet now reaching 1,463,632,361 people world wide, the influence of the internet is growing. People are capable of finding anything and everything they want to. The internet can offer life lessons that are both positive and negative. One website that has a large influence is Facebook.

Facebook has two applications which may be more addicting then Facebook itself and possibly crack, Flair and Bumper Stickers which offer life lessons. I have picked a few from my profile to share with you.

1. Never do anything you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics

2. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance in the rain.

3. Dream as if you'll live 4ever & live as if you'll die tomorrow

4. Dance like no one's watching.
5. Forget about the people from the past. Theres a reason they didnt make it to your future

Are you on Facebook? If so are there any life lessons you learned from your or your friends Flair or Bumper Stickers?

Rock on,
Lane J

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Country's Best Pizza

My BFF is in town this week. We have been hanging out and showing her around the Phoenix area.  Last night we went to Pizzeria Bianco, which in recent months has been voted the best pizza place in America by Yahoo!.

So after work yesterday, I ran home to get my BFF and head towards downtown to meet with our friend Kammie.  Knowing that Kammie was going to be on a conference call on her way to the pizzeria, I went online before we left and got directions to E Adams St.

As we were driving along 7th St., where the directions told us to go, I couldn't find E Adams.  The directions end at 7th St.  After driving around for a little while longer, I decide to get out my GPS system my parents gave me for graduation.  Unfortunately, GPS cannot find streets which don't exist.  I end up calling a friend who has actually driven in Downtown Phoenix. 

When we arrived at Pizzeria Bianco, I went in and put our name on the list for a table.  The nice hostess informed me it would be a 1-2 hour wait.  I was excited because usually the wait is 4 hours for the best pizza in America. 

So what do we do, we wait.............................

Okay so we are starving by the time we get a table around 7pm.  We enjoy a nice salad.  They were good, but we are still unsure if it was because we were so hungry that it is good or if it was because it was good.

Then it was pizza time.  One Margherita Pizza and one Wiseguy please.  

They were so good.  We ate all but 3 slices.  YUMMY!!!

All in all, great time with friends, YUMMY food.  If you don't like waiting then you should probably try somewhere else.  But remember you missed out on the countries best pizza.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Today's Path: Life lived backwards?

Earlier this week a friend sent me an email entitled "A different perspective on life." It went like this:

I want to live my next life backwards...
You start out dead and get that out of the way...
Then you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day...
Then you get kicked out for being too healthy...
Enjoy your retirement and collect your pension...
Then when you start work and you get a gold watch on your first day

You work 40 years until you're too young to work....
You get ready for High School: party...
Then you go to primary school you become a kid, you play, and you have no responsibilities.
Then you become a baby, and then...
You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in Spa-like conditions - central heating, room service on tap...

I rest my case...

At first I was seeing how that could be an interesting concept, but then I realized something. For your entire life you would have the knowledge you did when you died. I don't want to be 5 and worrying if there are people in my community who don't have a job or money for food.

There is a saying that goes:
The more you know, the worse off you are.
When I was younger I didn't know a lot of things that I do now even though I wanted to. Looking back I'm glad I didn't. Recess was meant to have fun and not to contemplate the meaning of life or world peace.

What do you think? Do think life truly would be better lived backwards? Think about and share your thoughts below.

Rock on,
Lane J