Ms. Retrospective

Catch a glimpse of the mundane adventures in my life, my artwork, and my warped night dreams!

Recording my Mind

September30

brain_18780t

A friend posted her dream from last night and it dawned on me that I had partially been remembering my dream from last night.  Of course as soon as I was going to blog it, I wondered if I could conger up the images and events.  Psyching myself out, I could only feel just a  light sense of the dream.

This dream seemed great this morning as I woke from it, full of action and excitement.  Usually if there is a dream that I remember, I do write it down on a notepad by my bedside, but this one was so vivid, so real, I felt I wouldn’t forget it as I rushed about getting ready for work.

When I try to send an e-mail but instead it gets lost in space somewhere, I feel sick to my stomach.  I feel the same way when I can’t recall a dream.  At least with the lost e-mail situation, I have an idea at least of what the e-mail subject was before it disappeared!  Even as I write now, I can feel some of the dream touch my conscious mind, and gets lost the same moment.

I am sure it will be done someday but it would be great to have a dream recorder that I could plug into the TV in the morning and watch, hear, feel and smell last night’s dreams.  Instead of dream recognition and writing them down, I could have a video blog instead!  I can only wait for that day to come so that I can share exactly what I dream without the fear of forgetting it.

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My Own Font!

September18

Thanks to Brian at Morning Toast.com via Twitter, I was able to make my own font!  Brian linked to FontCapture and after following the directions, poof!, I can “write” on the computer.  I call it Becky G skinny Font. (I also made a Becky G Font which was made with a thicker marker).

Below is an image of a word document with my font being used:

2009-09-18

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What My Appearance May Be In 60 Years!

September18

I decided to be an old “me” for Halloween so I did some digging online, researching how people age.  I saw some Hollywood make up videos aging a 27 year old gal into a very old lady.  Since I don’t have 10,000 dollars for a professional to make a plastic overlay for my face, I will have to stick with stage make-up.

As I browsed the web, I also saw some Photo-shopped images of Hollywood stars as old people.  So, last night, I spent 3 hours on my own “older” self in Photoshop.  I added cloudy color in my eyes to depict glaucoma, sagged my cheeks, eyelids, and chin, grayed my hair, and used the burn tool to draw in each wrinkle, along with yellowing my teeth and thinning my lips.

I wonder if when I get to be 87 or so, if I will actually resemble this.  Only time will tell!  I only hope that is isn’t before 60 years that I look like this…

Below is a before and after picture of me, current and aged:

old becky

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Apple Dumplings Creation!

September10

Desktop3

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My Repulsive Reflection

July17

Ulgy Reflection

My mood was mixed with anger and sadness as I watched a BBC series featuring the Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church,  who is known for their hate protests around the world.  This post is not regarding their beliefs or the controversy around them; it is about seeing my past self in their arrogant attitude.

The emotions I felt settled into one solidifying emotion as I reflected on the BBC series: shame.  Pastor Fred Phelps says in the BBC documentary, “Get to some stuff that I am the only one who can answer.  Then we can have a good interview.” Unfortunately, I have shared this self-righteous precept in my life.

My past feelings were not the same as the Phelps’s message of  “God hating fags”, “Thank God for 9/11” etc., but on the overlying principal that I was right and everyone else was completely wrong regarding religion. More than wrong, I felt that others around me were incapable of understanding the truth that I knew.

I remember having one conversation with my husband where I acted arrogantly towards his “false” opinions.  I am ashamed to write that I had felt this way even now.  I am more ashamed that I, as well as countless others, am so capable of blindly following ideas as they are overpowering our brains.  Whether it is a religion, a cult, a government, a social network, or biased media, we are all in danger of being conformed to that group’s view.

It is the extreme views that are the most dangerous and rightfully so.  There are religious groups as well as socialist groups who draw in followers who hold similar ideas to begin with, continually molding it into a unified body.  The obvious notable extremist groups include the Taliban, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Nazi Regime.

With these groups as well as other less threatening groups, the individual self is slowly destroyed and the new “oneness” solidifies with the group.  Slowly, over time and persuasion, they become a human time bomb.  The conglomeration of same-thought overtakes the organization and destroys both the “self” and the outsiders around it.

Dangerous “us versus them” doctrines are what destroys humanity. Whether the idea of supremacy originates from ancient books, tradition, or brainwashing, nearly every “group” is a potential threat to humanity depending upon that one “supreme” conviction. This “hive mind” behavior scares me.

I would like to say that I am independent of others’ overpowering influence over my life, but I cannot.  I feel helpless and limited by this concept.  I want to be able to think in original ways apart from the past and present masses.  I want to be someone who can see the truth without having to distinguish between polar reasoning.

That is the sadness I feel.  I am ashamed of my human limits in body and mind.  I have been learning to not trust others, that they too are only piecing together life’s answers as they find them.  Unfortunately, I now know that I cannot trust my self either, that nothing is certain.

Being consciously aware that at any given point my views on any subject could be corrected by another view, restrains my words. Relinquishing one’s “absolute truth” is scary because that opens one up to vulnerability. A group atmosphere naturally creates a secure feeling for the individual and they are willing to sacrifice their mind for that security.  I, too, had willingly done this in the past, but I am doing my best to take back my mind.

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Past My 5 Year Warranty

June22

wheelalignment

Matt jokingly commented tonight, as he helped me get up from the couch, that I must have only had a five year warranty.  Shortly after my chuckles intensified the shooting pain, I was also reminded that yesterday was our 6.5 year anniversary.  That made me think again  that time is flying by faster and faster, and I am no longer a kid.

I find that I can no longer work or play as I used to.  After lifting wood that was much to heavy for me (last summer and this spring), and bouncing my self all over the yard as I mow for 3-4 hours a week (over the last 4 years), that fact is finally sinking in.

Most likely because of this, I am having some sciatic problems and just had my second chiropractic adjustment this evening.  On Friday, I was pretty convinced that something was off when I saw my x-ray displaying my crooked backbone!  I don’t know what I did to flare up the nerve in the last couple of days, but this is the worst that it has ever been.  They “warned” that I may feel worse before I feel better, but that isn’t encouraging.

There are only 9 visits left out of 12 that my insurance covers, so here’s hoping that is enough time for my alignment or “tune-up” to get me going. The following maintenance will have to be done without the professionals.

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Saying NO with Respect!

June2

This is some advice I am taking for my own use and I am posting it for others to learn from.

Enjoy!

How to say NO and have people respect you for it

Just say no

Saying yes is easy, saying no is a skill. And an important skill too, because saying yes too often can get you into trouble and saying nothing is troublesome altogether. So saying no is an important skill to use on a regular basis. Saying no to yourself and saying no to others.

The skill of saying no

Saying no is often associated with negative feelings, like disappointment, anger and loss. That’s why it’s a lot easier to say yes all the time, because people like to avoid situations that evoke those emotions. But at the same time, we don’t feel proud or satisfied with saying yes. It’s a Catch-22, we don’t want to say no and we don’t want to say yes.

So often we reside to other options, but they prove to be even more troublesome than just saying no:

  • Saying yes, doing yes
    This is authentic. If you say yes, do yes. People will know that you keep your word.
  • Saying yes, doing no
    This is deception. You try to keep the relationship good at first, but don’t keep your word and end up damaging it in the end.
  • Saying nothing, doing yes
    This is vague, but mostly if you do not answer people assume that you will say yes.
  • Saying nothing, doing no
    This is vague and deceptive. People assume that you say yes, but you do the opposite. Plenty of room for an argument.
  • Saying no, doing yes
    This is confusing to say the least. People will not know what your word is worth, saying no clearly does not mean no.
  • Saying no, doing no
    This is authentic. If you say no, do no. You might disappoint someone, but you are clear and people will know that you keep your word.

Saying yes and saying no are the only two viable options in the long run. Saying yes is something that most people are very capable of, saying no on the other hand…

To master the skill of saying no, you need to build upon your courage and consideration. Courage is the skill you need for you. It is needed to be able to choose for yourself and say no when you feel or know you have to say no. You might disappoint someone, but you have the courage to bite the bullet and just say it.

Consideration is the skill you need for the other. Taking the needs and wants of the other into consideration is an important skill to assess the impact of saying no. It might not change your decision, but it will prepare you and allow you to get the message across in a respectful way.

Argument

Saying no to others

The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes. – Tony Blair

Saying no to others is not fun, but an essential skill if you want to keep your sanity. Tony Blair takes it even a step further and states that the art of leadership revolves around that skill. Leaders tend to be people we respect and value for their opinions and choices(well most of the time anyway). So how do we say no to people and gain respect while doing it?

Stephen Covey writes about this in his famous book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. He calls it the public victory and consists of 3 of the 7 habits (Think win-win, Seek first to understand and then to be understood, and Synergize). These hold the key to gaining respect by saying no.

In the six options I listed above, there are only two that can lead to win-win situations. Saying yes and doing yes, or saying no and doing no are authentic responses. But saying yes to unimportant stuff is a clearcut win-lose situation! When deciding what to do, take the mutual gain in mind. What is my win? What purpose does this serve for my goals? Am I depositing on the others Emotional Bank Account? Are they depositing or withdrawing on mine?

Saying yes to something because it leads to mutual gain is the only true win-win out there. If you say no to something that doesn’t lead to mutual gain, you effectively prevent something that ultimately ends up as a lose-lose situation from happening. In this light saying no is a proactive move, whereas mindlessly saying yes is reactive.

Saying no needs consideration and respect for the other, because if it’s not important to you, it doesn’t mean it’s not important altogether. Hear the other out as they are explaining why they want you to do something (seek first to understand). Repeat in your own words what you think they said, to confirm that you understood them (this will gratify them already). Tell them you understand why that’s important to them, and explain them why you are going to say no nevertheless. If people feel understood, you have created fertile ground to say no respectfully. And people will appreciate you for it too.

If you take it one step further, you can build upon what you just achieved. Explore the problem at hand for a moment to find another solution. Finding a new solution that serves both purposes is saying no too, but more creative. You say no to the lose and openly explore how to change it into a win. This will build your image of leadership even further.

Image by DownTown Pictures

Saying no to yourself

It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. – Steve Jobs

But saying no is not exclusively to other people. A big part of saying no is to the one you need the most: YOU! It’s the hardest because the conflict I just described in saying no to others is now internally in you. It’s an internal conflict where a part of you wants to do something and another part in you doesn’t want to do it at all. How do you solve this?

First of all, it’s important to realize that both parts want something that’s good for you. They have a positive intention for you. It might not always be clear what that intention is, and it might need some introspection to uncover it. What positive result does this specific behavior bring you (peace of mind? energy? relaxation?). If you find both intentions, you can follow the same path as with others (more or less). Find a third alternative that will satisfy both needs (and it may even bring an added extra).

Covey talks about the private victory as well. The private victory are the first three habits (Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, and First Things First). These habits are about putting you in control, knowing what you want and knowing your priorities. And if you look closely in the previous section, you’ll see that these are at the foundation of saying no to others.

There’s only one ‘hidden’ assumption in the previous section: you know when you want to say no. You achieve this by knowing what you want and knowing what’s important to you. If you don’t know what you want, or what’s important to you, how are you going to know when to say no? The success you have in the public victory depends a great deal from the success you have in the private victory.

There’s more to it than “Just say NO”

So in the end there’s more to it than just saying no. If you want to do it right, there are no tricks, no secrets, no hacks. For a genuine and lasting result you need to put in authentic effort and respect. Only then will you find Win-Win solutions, and who knows … maybe even more.

Sig

Again this article comes from here. Please enjoy their site.
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Krusteaz Addiction

March19

I find it funny how my brain can want two things at once.  I want to be healthy and in shape but at the same time, I want to eat Krusteaz Crumb Cake!  Within the last week, I have purchased 3 boxes of Krusteaz Crumb Cake and out of the 3 boxes, have eaten most of the cake!  The last batch that I made last night is not finished yet, but is about halfway eaten.

krusteaz-crumb-cake

I am addicted to Krusteaz!  The moment I think about it or any dessert, I salivate!   I almost think that there is Boingonium in the mix for me to want it so badly. After this box, I am making a pact with myself to not eat like this any more.  One or two pieces here and there  is fine, but come on, 3 boxes!  Oink Oink!!

I have noticed that I am gaining a little weight and that while weight isn’t necessarily bad, it is the kind of weight that is most likely dangerous.  I am planning on riding my bike more and to work out.   The last time I worked out was when my kittens were small enough to be stepped on (which I did).  Now I have no excuse!  I must be healthy.  There must be some underlying reason for me to eat Krusteaz (or any bad-for-me food) besides it just tasting good.  I may have to join Desserts Anonymous (if there is such a thing)!

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Drinking Coffee

January27

I have always been able to say “I don’t drink coffee” like the little squirrel, Twitchy, says in Hoodwinked. But as of this past weekend, I cannot.  I watched a PBS program that talked about some benefits of drinking coffee and remembered that my doctor actually told me to have a cup a day for energy.  I always thought that coffee had one of the best aromas but that the taste was too bitter.  It is day 4 of my 1 cup of coffee a day, and it isn’t as bitter as it used to be.  I guess it really is an acquired taste!  On Saturday, I think the coffee really charged me up because I was almost bouncing off the walls and Sunday I felt really good.  I was energized and in a really good mood.  Yesterday was pleasant as well.  It may be a placebo or it could be the caffeine; either way, I am more awake than I had been and doing fine.

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My Own Desktop Organizer!

January15

I enjoy organizing! One might even think I was a little OCD when it comes to items having their own place and label. At home it is a little less obsessive than at work because there isn’t as much to keep track of (or that want to). While visiting the Morning Toast web page, they posted an article and a linked to this computer desktop organizer. I thought about making my own and finally did on Picasa (which is the BEST free software out there for photographers/artists who can’t afford Photoshop). It isn’t flawless since I only spent 10 minutes gathering color/texture and using the collage feature in Picasa. It is organized though!

Before having this organizational tool, I had files and folders spread out on my desktop in groupings, hoping that one wouldn’t get confused with another. This was an important task since multiple copies of a letter were saved to the desktop that coworkers had sent me. I didn’t want to change the titles of the files so that I could send it back when they asked for it.

So below is my end result! (Just imaging the correct files and icons floating there as if it were your desktop!) Like a reader, Jen, from the Morning Toast article posted, “*Smacks forehead* That’s a good idea!”

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