enlightenment

“Oh Damn! It’s Such A Good Video.”

– Shirley

I’m posting this video where Reza Aslan systematically and thoroughly counters popular accusations made against Muslims—something that the media loves doing.

First of all, I just love this video because he shuts them down immediately and eloquently, and that to me is the most delicious way to watch people get shut down. Second, when I was watching it, it got me to think about how the media and the internet are each other’s worst enemies. Think about it.

dumbfounded keanu, keanu reeves meme, meme

Rofl. So much amusement from this face. Much derp. Such wow.

The media can effectively brainwash its viewers because, unless you’re experiencing the event firsthand, how would you know what’s truth and what isn’t? But here comes the internet, with all its sneaky and brilliant content sharers, providing things that the media can’t filter—which isn’t to say that you don’t see ludicrously false things on the Internet either—and it lets us broaden our perspectives.

Anyway, short post because I have a little thing called work and I need this important thing called sleep. It calls me.

Happy Hump Day! :)

-Shirley

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sunset, nature, beauty, happiness,

A Practice in Happyness

I’ve been perfecting the art of happyness for 22 years. It’s not quite there yet because true to who I’ve always been, I’ve nailed down the intricacies before I fully get the basics. I am 100 percent all systems go and it’s only after going 0 to 60 that I realize I have forgotten to buckle myself down. (Not literally. Jeez.) I am all or nothing, all the time, and it’s hard for me to do things in moderation when it is sometimes necessary to do things in moderation.

I have discovered many things that make me happy during the brief moment I have been alive, and discovered that while many of those were fleeting harbingers of happiness, a few things have stuck around long enough to make me realize that those are probably things that will always calm and soothe me.

  • The act of being alone and/or traveling alone in public. I like the anonymity, I like knowing that no one knows who I am.
  • Listening to music (made infinitely better by earbuds or headphones). I did not consciously realize how much music impacts my life until recently. I am a person who can, and will, listen to something on repeat, endlessly, until I tire of it. (People who have been in close proximity have experienced this first-hand, probably to their annoyance. :) ) It’s just that, for me, when I like a beat or melody, it just kind of envelops me and I sink into it like a…like a melodious bubble of sound that blocks out everything else. Like I am the melody itself, without a form and constantly flowing. Like I am in a sanctuary no one can invade.
  • Nature. Specifically, nature when it showcases its artistic mastery (e.g. The teal turquoise robin’s egg blue violet green of the Northern Lights, the fireball orange red scarlet bruised pink of all sunsets everywhere, etc.). But if you show me anything with more than four legs, I will squish it like the bug it is. I do not like dat ish.
  • Niceness. Manners are important. Being polite is important. Haven’t your mothers taught you that?
  • Um, Food. I can eat meals I love over and over again—it’s like my relationship with music.
  • Fitness and Health—which are sometimes in great conflict with my love for food. It’s a constant combat between the two sides because most days I want to eat everything in sight, but then I think Wait…your arteries…and then I go ahead and eat whatever I’m going to eat anyway in great excess. (Again, I am all or nothing. No in-betweens.)
  • Watching and re-watching movies.
  • Reading. (Fantasy novels ftw.)
  • Being with people I love.

Sometimes, though, I find it really hard to be happy. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember how to smile, and even what I listed above can’t make my spirits lift. And that’s why I say it’s a practice in happyness. I’m just tryna focus on nailing down the basics before I move forward.

Think happy thoughts! Tomorrow is Monday after all. :)

-Shirley

En-dope-phins

So, sometimes I have to really force myself to work out. Especially when that workout entails cardio. Like everyone else, I have a love/hate relationship with cardio. (If you say you love it, shut up and stop lying.) No one straight up loves cardio. They might love the feeling afterwards, but they don’t love all the [literal] steps leading up to that feeling; all that huffing, puffing, blowing houses down, red-faced ish. Nah.

But that “feeling” afterwards. Right when you’re finished with those three miles or those twenty minutes or that HIIT workout (100 burpee burnout anyone?), you feel SO accomplished. Like today, I pushed myself harder than I normally do and I lost sensation in my teeth and mouth—that happen to anyone else?—and I was like WHOA let’s not throw up on the gym floor, yeah? Afterwards though, I felt great. I felt like I could run another two miles. (But I didn’t. Because that would be a little too ambitious.)

Endorphins are natural hormones that make you feel empowered and invigorated and good about yourself, don’t ask me how, but they just magically do. AND IT’S GREAT.

But it’s not what keeps me going back to cardio. What keeps me going back to cardio is being able to order Thai take-out  and eat a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after an intense cardio session. That’s a real life #confession folks.

Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Cookie dough ice cream is one of the best things in life.

Happy Saturday night :) I know I’M happy right now, all filled with that deliciousness.

Oh, btw, someone give me a high-five for that dope title. C’mon.

-Shirley

Freedom of Speech is not Freedom to Speak

Too often I see people shut down by others who have the popular crowd mentality. (This is speaking from purely a United States environment, but I am sure any country with any sort of nationalism will have people who gobble up media coverage as fact without fact-checking for accuracy or, to be quite honest, a less biased view.)

I have come to the conclusion that the Freedom of Speech is not the Freedom to Speak. What we really feel is masked due to popular sentiment backlash—where open views are tolerated only if your opinion is the majority opinion—or stifled so you don’t get unwanted criticism because who wants to defend their every statement? The effect of crowd mentality is overpowering, overbearing, silencing, and leave most who disagree disgruntled and grumbling on the sidelines, but never doing anything about it. (I’m one of those people. Politically and activist-ly silent. Not wanting to make a ripple in the pond. But I’m changing that little by little just by reading more on current events from less politically-fueled sources.)

Then there are those who furiously study and become learned on just one side of the whole story, spread it like some virus, win some converts who pick up on that misplaced confidence as wisdom, and then BAM, an entire legion of agitators is born. The problem has much to do with people needing to be right and to win, not so much the desire to inform.

In light of recent events,

I felt that a history lesson would be enlightening to a lot of us.

Make an unbiased, informed decision for yourself. A Detailed Explanation. And even MORE detailed explanation.

The first link goes in-depth about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, answering questions you might have thought a little basic to ask. (There are no such things as stupid questions—only badly-timed ones.)

The second provides the backdrop for what’s going on with Iraq/ISIS today. (News flash: It’s part of a centuries-old conflict that the West has inserted itself into thinking they know best.) This is a pretty darned-long article, but it’s chock-filled with informing and entertaining footnotes, and the author, Tim Urban, writes like he’s talks—interspersed with the occasional expletive.

I’m still finishing the second “Wait But Why?” link, but I thought they were so insightful that I wanted to share!

Happy Saturday and Happy Reading :)

(And by the way, what a glorious Saturday morning it is! I’m happy to see clear blue skies and be breathing in yummy, fresh cafe smells.)

– Shirley

The Most Monday Thing I’ve Ever Done

This past Monday was rough. I had a great weekend with a great someone, and staying up was so easy when there wasn’t work to get up for the next day. And that worked out pretty well too, until it was Sunday night.

When you wake up before 6am, and need as much sleep as I do to *barely* function, sleeping after 12am is not okay. Which is exactly what I did. Which is exactly why I woke up like dis:

I got dressed for work with eyes half closed, in the dark because I didn’t want the sudden brightness from turning on the light to blind me, goosebumps pimpling my arms and legs ’cause Boston mornings, and threw on the first thing that popped into my head. That thing was a dress. And only a dress.

You get where I’m going with this?

After I make my way to work, I clip my electronic tap card onto the usual place on my dress—right at the shoulder—and fail to notice a bra strap.

That’s right ladies and gents. I forgots to wear myself a bra. Good thing I had my gym bag with a sports bra inside or I would have gone my day going way too casual.

Anyway, is it just me, or do Mondays get progressively more sucky and less forgiving as time goes on?

Does anyone else want to share a time when they thought “This Is The Most Monday Thing I’ve Ever Done”?

It’s okay, I won’t judge. And by that I mean not any more than you’re judging me right now.

Always triple check your outfit before you head out, folks.

-Shirley

Back To Childhood—Happy Thoughts Pre-Tooth Extraction

Back To Childhood—or so this song reminds me of. I went on a Kina Grannis music spree the other day and this song was like BAM you’re gonna listen to me and you’re gonna like it. And I did—I loved it.  Good beats (the clean, snappy clapping kind, not the bass kind), light-hearted, easy-to-remember lyrics.

Doesn’t it remind you of childhood adventures? (Which is what the actual music video is about, by the way.) It’s almost enough to make me forget about me getting a tooth pulled out tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Shirley