My ideas come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living."
- Anaïs Nin

BookBook … BookBook … BookBook

Photo courtesy of www.twelvesouth.com.

Photo courtesy of www.twelvesouth.com.

Remember my complaints about how Nook and Kindle owners were so lucky to have protector options for their devices? Well, now there are options for laptops (Macs in particular) and cell phones (iPhone)!!! I don’t normally encourage exclamation marks, but I do believe this calls for several.

BookBook iPhone Case

Photo courtesy of www.twelvesouth.com.

One of the new writers at my job started a few days ago and brought with him something so amazing I stopped mid-sentence to revel in its beauty. It was a holder for his cell phone in the shape of an old hard cover book. Inside it held his license and credit cards like a wallet.

When I get the new iPhone (or any new phone, really!) I am ordering one of these babies! I am also interested in ordering the same style for my laptop. It will be well worth the money.

Please visit Twelve South for more product information.

Inked Angel

Photo courtesy of www.whby.com.

I walked the 5K today for Kaukauna’s 3rd Annual Walk for Suicide Awareness. I am really happy that I went. They provided a scenic view along the river and I listened to a mix album on my iPod that my friend Randi created after a few people we knew took their lives. I didn’t expect the event itself to be so emotional. I thought that maybe it would be more about celebrating their lives and reliving happy memories. Perhaps it was because I was there alone to soak in my own thoughts. Or possibly that when I pulled into the parking lot there were over a thousand people. I knew what it meant and it broke my heart. Every single person there had attended a funeral and wondered why their loved one (or maybe, with that ripple effect, even an acquaintance) would do such a thing.

As I was walking back to my car, an older man covered in sleeve tattoos caught up with me, asking if I had walked alone. I said, “Yes.” He told me he lost a daughter and I mentioned my friends/co-worker. And then he gave me a hug “for walking for those people.” It was just what I needed. Sometimes you just need a hug. As he walked away, I realized he was part of the group I followed in the beginning.

His team name: Inked Angel.

I wondered if his daughter had been covered in tattoos and, if so, what meaning there was behind them for her. Or, maybe, it was her family that got tattoos of angels on their own bodies in memory of her. His wife had several tattoos exposed on her legs, too.

To any one who reads this blog, please say a little prayer or keep this family and their daughter in your thoughts. I know I will.

BREAK THE SILENCE.

KNOW THE SIGNS.

STAY AWARE.

SAVE A LIFE.

Smartphone Editing

Last night into this morning, I could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned so much I wrapped myself up in my sheets, uncovered myself, recovered myself, twirled my curls, and turned on a “Friends” DVD, but nothing exhausted me. Perhaps it was because I knew Labor Day weekend was over and my set schedule of work was returning. So what did I do? I grabbed my smartphone and began editing my blog posts. I found many embarrassing errors in my writing.

It’s interesting how well one can edit into the late hours of the night, even when knowing how soon the alarm will sound.

Moral of the story?

When you can’t sleep, you edit. When you can’t edit, you sleep.

Now, if only my bosses thought like that …

Analyzing my SUPERFREAKONOMICS Brain

My lovely boyfriend loaned me SUPERFREAKONOMICS: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance in hopes that I would get a better understanding of the mindset of an economist when certain decisions are made (that really just piss me off). And I’m really glad he shared it with me! I did not give the book 5 stars because it has convinced me — even through all of its knowledgeable sources — that the authors may not be credible on every issue, but the beautiful thing about the book and why it deserved 4 stars is because of the authors’ ability to put as many options and examples in the pages as possible without going overboard. It brought me a new way of thinking. A form of thinking I should have gotten in college, but didn’t. I made a profound discovery while reading this story: I was narrow-minded in college.

Photo courtesy of www.npr.org.

Photo courtesy of www.npr.org.

Sounds odd, right? Usually,  you learn more about yourself and the rest of the world while attending college, but unfortunately for me, I couldn’t get myself to look beyond what was fed to me in class. For example, if I learned something in class that struck a chord of anger, disgust or frustration, I soaked it in without allowing myself to process the information or rationally decide on the best solution through my own analysis. I relied too much on the first answer I received from a professor or whomever was willing to give me any sort of peace of mind.

When I really think about it, journalism played a big role in that. Yes, I was supposed to be neutral with all my stories, and I was as much as possible, but when learning about a subject foreign to you, you rely on your research to get started, yes, but majority of what you learn comes from your sources. And if you’ re only interviewing a minimum of three “experts” on any given subject, your article still lacks all possibilities.

It didn’t help that journalism students had to take a little bit of everything for good measure. I understood and respected that for the sake of becoming a well-rounded person, but I hated and turned my mind off in classes like philosophy and microeconomics because it made it difficult to stick with my own, poorly created ideas about the world. It was almost like a barrier keeping my brain from exploring more possibilities. Plus, I just hated the subject and held no interest for it at the time.

And I’m not just talking political ideas. So, I’m not saying I shouldn’t have leaned so far toward the left or right, but that I should have come to terms with both sides and made my own educated decision. I had convinced myself that I was moderate, but I wasn’t. Moderate doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with Republicans here and Democrats there. My decisions should not have been made off of those thoughts at all. I leaned one way or the other depending on the subject and focused more on which way I was leaning than which path was appropriate to find critical answers or at least a rocky, personal research path to follow.

But politics aside, I realized my own short comings towards the end of the book when global warming was discussed. I knew most of the facts from an “Ecosphere in Crisis” class that I took in college, but the solutions that some of the scientists were coming up with were plausible but outrageous and I’d never heard about them before — even in that class. I instantly thought about how I would have taken this information in college. Most likely, I would have taken all of the ideas, picked the main argument, and said:

“This is the best solution to fight global warming. All others are wrong.”

But what my brain says now is: “That is absolutely insane. What happens if this happens? Then what will they do? This solution can’t be reversed if something goes awry. And while I understand that global warming may not be entirely affected by this, I still believe that it should not be ignored and all culprits should be examined.”

And most importantly, I was thinking: “What other options are there? Is there a greener, more realistic, less drastic option? If so, what is it and what are the consequences?”

Why has it taken me so long to get here? To use my brain in this way? It is almost as if I was too immature for certain college courses.

Next round (graduate school, god willing ), I hope to use my brain to the best of its ability; and, yes, there will be a next time because I have my heart set on it. I want to ask the right questions and consider all of the answers this time. And maybe there isn’t going to be a true answer to any of my questions, but at least I will be able to accept/recognize that and not stick to the first answer that comes my way even if it is incorrectly being executed. More research is always to be done.

It’s amazing how much one can learn of oneself from a single book. Ah, the beauty of reading.