Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mondoetry: Wayfarer

never fear that you’ll be swept up in the mainstream
no, your feet are planted far too firmly for that
when the air I breathe feels like its jumping down my throat
the arm I see and I’m holding onto

days stretch out
long nights are cold alone
I might be flying
who knows where
your heart’s my second home

seem to see you through rose colored glasses that you gave me
when they’re gone you haven’t changed
we could still pick up from the spot I saw you last
before your magic is all caught up in the spotlight

days stretch out
long nights are musicless
I might be dying, sighing
who knows where
I could lay my soul to rest

the rush I wonder if I’m heading where I ought to be
a general direction that you’re waiting there for me
when the life I have feels like strongest riptide
you’re the rock I’m holding onto

days grow old
long nights are longer still
I might be crying
who knows where
love and life begin at all

*Author note: sometimes my past self astounds me. I wrote this in early 2003 and there has been no editing. originally it didn't have a title but i gave it one because i don't like to use the title "Untitled". it is hard to believe that was already over 7 years ago!

(c) 2003 Stephanie Mma

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

At Random.

10 things.

1). So glad for the friendship of those that are walking with me in this passage of my life. Your honesty and time are not taken for granted. And you are all amazing in your own right. :)

2). Now I have to write a paper before I can graduate. As if I didn't have enough on my plate already. This may actually push off some of the other things, however... hmm... I am rather looking forward to addressing this challenge but am so so scared of getting torn to pieces by paper submission committees...

3). I tried my first batch of cold-brew iced coffee on Saturday. Delicious. However I need to make more!!!!!

4). People are so crafty sometimes!

5). Like to inhale aerosols? Enjoy bright colors? :D yes. And please wear a mask!!!!

6). The place where I live now is amazing and I am so thankful to be here with a roof over my head, a place to lay my head, and even a touchscreen microwave. I know that many people live with much much less and I don't ever want to take this for granted. Wondering how I can make a change in this area to help others. ..

7). A renewed perspective on who I am, and my goals for the near future and for my life in general is both encouraging AND challenging at the same time. I am learning more and more each day. And there is STILL so much to do, on so many levels.

8). A long but very interesting quote. I think it deserves a moment or two of your ponderous energies, but that's just me.
"It may be possible for each of us to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden, of my neighbour's glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you may talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and corruption such as you now meet if at all only in a nightmare.

All day long we are in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities it is with awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal, Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations, these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or ever lasting splendours. "
~C.S. Lewis

9). Just Watch.

10). And I will leave you with my current jams:
   flags - Brooke Fraser
   Let Go - Toby Lightman
   Building a Bomb - Little Tybee
   Soldier of Love - Sade
   Lilies - Arovane <- my sleepy-time album!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mondoetry: Rain by Shel Silverstein

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.

: Shel Silverstein :

131-365 : Rainy Streets

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cooking, and Procrastination

I thought we'd keep in the flavor of posts starting with C's... first there was Connecting, and then Conformity...

::: Cooking!!! :::

I enjoy cooking when I have the time. (Who doesn't like to chop things, mix things furiously, and baste delicately?! Mainly I like chopping and then smelling how good the garlic smells when I throw it in the pan!) When I first arrived in the fine Peach State, I didn't have a lot of friends and spent the majority of my weeknights trying some new recipes or making up my own dinner ideas. Not all of them were successes...such as the picture below, Mystery Stew which I thought was pretty gross but tried to eat for a few days anyway because I made a huge pot of it. Warning: chopagetti ramen does NOT make a good stew base!

167-365 : Mystery Stew

There were and are various sources from which I received and/or mooched recipe ideas from. Including but not limited to: my local coffee shop chef, friends who are amazing cooks, various websites, google, and some amazing Southern legacy recipes from my aunt's church cookbook! :D There are a lot of cooking sites online, but my two favorite are:

1) which has many different categories of recipes, as well as the feedback from many cooks who've tried them, and even daily suggested recipes! You can register and store recipes in your recipe box for fast look-ups, and you can even create your own grocery list from the needed ingredients! The two recipes that I have really enjoyed from this site are the Pumpkin Cookies VII (hands down all around these do not last long when friends are near. I add about another 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree to make the flavor stronger and the dough even smoother) and the Toscana Soup - by ken miller - which is the OG soup of choice for me, and an amazing fall/winter soup to have. With the potatoes and sausage it's very filling. And DELICIOUS! It goes very well with a nice salad and some buttery garlic bread.

2) which is not a recipe network but instead a spot where all the awesome recipes on the web are gathered and categorized for your convenience. Sort of like a reddit but for cooks! There apparently is also a magazine, which is what the website is for. I haven't been using this site as long as, but I am excited to try some of the fancier dishes here. Saveur also is a good enabler for finding even more recipe sites. I found out about this through Toscano & Sons, an Italian market/cafe on the Atlanta Westside that has some fun recipes and delicious authentic panini, as well as hard to find ingredients available.

ANyway, not everyone needs these recipes to make a sweet dinner dish - parents and grandparents often also have some great recipes, and it's good to connect with them and be interested in some of their favorite foods too, right? :) My mom's Chinese baked bun (mantou) recipe and my dad's Chinese dumpling recipe are the family favorites to eat! The dumplings get snatched up pretty quickly whenever I take them anywhere ;)

357-365 : Dumplings All in a Row

So, happy cooking, and don't be afraid to try a new recipe or modify it if you didn't like the original way it turned out. And if you haven't too much time to do such cooking, be encouraged, not discouraged. And maybe make time once a week to do so if you still really want to.

And now, on to the
::: Procrastination :::

I've been trying to get back into my lomographical photographical tendencies. Currently needing to fix my holga camera but I stumbled across these online: cool pictures from a lomo camera. When u adapt the camera for 35mm film (it usually uses 120mm rolls) it looks like this (pretty awesome):

And something more serious, Stop the Candy Shop - a movement to address sexual exploitation of children. In Atlanta, occurring. Happening. It makes me very upset that this goes on. And this hit home as well, since I grew up in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. There is a metro number to call and a national number as well if you see someone who you think may be a trafficking victim. Not sure what "trafficking" means? Nightlight, an organization that works to end human sex trafficking (incl. but not limited to children), has some helpful information here and also has an Atlanta branch which is actively involved in at-risk communities to help with preventative programs and restoration programs. These organizations are both faith-based, but I believe that restoration must be holistic to be true and complete restoration, and that is how in these venues, the issue is being addressed. Physical, emotional, social, economic/political, and spiritual.

On that note... i want to go about this week without any blinders on - I feel like with such a busy schedule it's so easy to just drive forward and ignore the things and sometimes people, that aren't my immediate concern... but that's not how I want my days to go...

ciao xx

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

FridayFoto: Wanderlust

Amazing black and white work from Africa by Nick Brandt(UK).

which reminds me. I need to renew my passport.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


When I was beginning in my rock climbing endeavors (btw if you are interested but haven't done it because you are nervous I would encourage you to attack this challenge! find a friend who climbs and make them take you, or take a lesson from a climbing gym. Or double win, if you have a climbing friend who works at a gym, you are good to go!), I would always have trouble once I hit the halfway point up the wall. Typically I climbed on 30 or 40 foot walls, and halfway up, I would suddenly find myself on the verge of hyperventilation and my hands would start sweating profusely, which made it difficult to continue climbing without worsening the hyperventilation.


You just get up there and then realize, I am a couple stories off the ground and the only thing between me and the cold hard concrete is some fabric strappage, a rope, some person I may or may not actually trust with my life, and if you are indoors, a 3" piece of foam laid on the ground. But if you want to keep climbing, you push past that place... or drag it with you, thus expending 3 times the amount of energy that you actually should have, just to get to the top and touch the last bolt.

My point in sharing this story was just to say that as I continued climbing, it got easier and easier to overcome this fear. (until you start lead climbing, and then you have to deal with it on a whole new level) This week I've been mulling over the idea of conformity. I think that idea of pushing past your fear carries in this realm. The fear or struggle may be in dealing with yourself and the desire to be what everyone else is or is trying to be, or it may be in dealing with the fear of being rejected or unaccepted for being different. At least for me this was a very real issue I have had to deal with. Even now I am still growing in this area...definitely!

From almost day one (ok maybe there are a couple of years of cultural grace) western/ American society gently or sometimes not so gently pressures us to be. like. From the beginning we are shown a series of hoops which, we are told or it is implied to us, that if we learn the tricks and jump through these hoops, on the other side will be the end product of a full and happy life.

Non-conformists tend to find their own way and sometimes ignore the established system, creating their own, but the same can be said of their paths as well. They believe that being non-conformists and all the alternative hoops contained therein opens the gateway to a fulfilled life, by which might also be define as a life outside of the hoops set by mainstream society.

My main point with going through this thought process is to say that in some circles we have lost the importance of being. just for the sake of being who we were meant to be.

Every one is different, from biological and chemical makeup to the circumstances through which we are taken as we travel on the road in front of us. We make different choices than everyone else (or at least perhaps we ought to every once in awhile) and no one lives the life of someone else.

This is not to say that we do not need the presence, influence, and friendship of other people. Not in the least. In a group, the tendency may be to all become like one another in perhaps a behavioral or aesthetic sense, but in reality, you, as a unique individual, have so much to offer from being the most you that you could ever be. Various individuals through history have either recognized this and embraced it, or just all-out lived it.

And of course the token hyperbolic example: With loss of pain came the loss of depth...

These are a lot of words. Conformity or nonconformity for either's sake is completely the wrong goal. I am the best me that anyone could ever be. And you are the best you, that anyone could ever be. And if I am trying to be someone, anyone other than me, I sincerely believe that I would be missing out on some serious blessing in my life.

Think about it.

PS - today's entry was sponsored by the letter W, for wikipedia, because I linked to it like a bajillion times through this discussion...

PPS - there's a friday foto coming, but here's a little snapshot of where i've been haunting about lately. :)