Welcome to Silver and Shadow
This is a blog I will be using for topics other than food. Politics, religion, spirituality, humor, green living, anything that I want to talk about that doesn't fall under the food/cooking category.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tonight at church, I thought about him. Right as the candles were being lit and we started singing Joy to the World. I thought that it was sad he wasn't there singing and raising a candle with us. And then I glanced at my family sitting in the rows in front of me and caught a sideways glance of my cousin, M, who is the one who most physically resembles Grandpa Del, and I saw him. For just a moment, I saw him. And tears came to my eyes and fell before I could stop them. And I saw that he, and my grandmother, though they are no longer with us, are in fact with us. And in us. They are a part of who we are.
And as I thought about this again after another fun Christmas Eve party with my family, I had another realization: This, the 50th Christmas since my grandfather's passing, was the first Christmas in my recollection, that all four of his children were at that church service together. It may have happened before and I was too young to remember, or maybe before I was born, but I thought it was eerily appropriate to have all four together again this particular year.
Merry Christmas, to my family, here and in the beyond.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The above video is one of the top viral videos of 2010. Every time I see anything related to it, I feel uncomfortable laughing at it. The people in this particular story are African American, but they are also poor. I realized that we as a society feel it's ok to laugh at poor people, whether they hail from the ghetto or the trailer park. Skin color doesn't really matter. Physical evidence of one's class level, such as missing teeth or garish make up are considered laughable. How a person speaks, denoting their education level and educational opportunities, are a cause of great hilarity.
I've definitely been guilty of this, and am coming to see that it's not funny. It's cruel. Why should I make fun of somebody else's opportunities in life? Why should I see them as a joke and less of a person than I am? Would I want somebody who was in a higher class than I am to laugh at me? No. So why should I do it to anybody else? This is something I am going to try and work on in the future. It's a bad habit, which can be hard to break, but I will make the effort from now on.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
So, here's how I look at it: In speaking to people, unless you know for sure what they celebrate, stick with "Happy Holidays". In naming objects, call it what it really is. Christmas tree, Christmas ham, Menorah, Kinara, etc.
And I think people who get upset that they aren't having Christmas shoved down their throats 24/7, should think of the fact that they most likely get a paid Christmas break from work, as well as possibly time off for Easter, and Thanksgiving, when people of other faiths must use vacation time if they want their holidays off. So, maybe, fair is fair??
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
As we are dealing with the start of "Snowpocalypse 2010", I hear a lot of people complaining about the mayor and how everything is his fault. I can't help but come up with a list of things that significantly impacted this storm, that the mayor had nothing to do with. They include:
*Not listening to the warnings a week in advance and putting snow tires on your car, and carrying chains in your trunk.
*Driving your car too fast in the snow.
*Hitting the breaks too quickly in the snow and not giving yourself enough space from the car in front of you.
*Leaving your car in the middle of the freeway.
*Insisting on driving to work when everybody in the local media is urging people to take the bus.I'm sure there are actually many more things that people are doing that aren't due to the mayor...
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I never knew you, but I would have loved to. I wish you could have told me about your war days in the Pacific. I wish I could have heard your voice. I wish I could have felt you hug me. I miss having you in my life. It's not fair that you were taken before I had a chance to know you, but that's the way it is. Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and I will be thinking of you. Thank you for the sacrifices you made for this country, your family, and me. Even though you returned alive, you did not return untouched by war. All who fight are changed, and yet you went anyway. Thank you and I love you.
-Your granddaughter Summer
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
"Well, I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree with you on the praying and Bible in school makes the country better argument. I don't think it's fair to force people who aren't Christian to read the Bible or pray to a God they don't believe in in a public school setting. I don't think it would act to unite people, but would divide them further and only create more anger and resentment against Christians in this country if they tried to foist themselves on everybody. If a person wants to pray in school, they are welcome to. I used to bless my food before lunch or pray before a test and I kept it to myself and God and I feel I turned out just fine.
I also must respectfully disagree on the idea that the country was a better place back then. I don't know what era "back then" was, but I think of times when there was still segregation and women were expected to stay at home and raise children only and I cannot think of those as better times than the ones we live in now. How can a group of people who claim to want to enjoy the freedoms we have in this country want to then foist their ideals on others and cause those people to enjoy their freedoms less? It isn't fair. Most liberal people I know don't want to force conservatives to not live their lives the way they want to, they just want the freedom to live their lives too. I just don't see how that's so horrible. Taking away freedoms and rights won't make people Christians. It'll make them hate Christians."
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I have to think that if demons truly exist, like really they are minions of Satan or whatever, they aren't gonna possess one random guy. What does that accomplish? Not much, I say. He'd just get locked up in the mental ward, or wander the streets as just one among many homeless people. I think, more likely, it was a way of explaining mental illness in a time when there was no science to explain it.
I think if a demon was truly going to do its thing, it would infect minds, not take over people. It's going to take over people who can influence other people. A demon wants to make a difference in the world, right? A horrible difference, but a difference nonetheless. I think people who are already predisposed towards hate are what a demon would utilize. Think of the Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers. So irrational in their hatred, yet they get their name and beliefs out there. And it's said that the Devil can quote scripture too, so who's to say people like that aren't being influenced by a little more than irrational hatred? Think of somebody like Hitler? So out there, and so powerful. Or groups like the KKK. Who knows...But I think it just goes to show that people need to have and keep love in their hearts, and make that the guiding force in their lives. Because if you hate, you will use it, and if you love, you will use it too.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Hopelessness and hate are powerful motivators. And where there isn't hope and love, those two will fill the void. Angry people who want to shape the world will use hopelessness and hate to control the actions of others and help fulfill their vision. Responding with equal hate only fuels it more. Only with hope and love can hopelessness and hate be conquered. They are the strongest motivators in the world.
When we can reach out to one another, with open hands and arms, not bombs, could people learn to love? When people see that we are all the same, whether we come from a land of deserts and sand or a land of green flowing grasses, whether we are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, or Atheist. Tolerance is not enough. Acceptance is necessary to the survival of humanity. Either/or, you're either with us or against us, us/them, none of these strengthens people. It only weakens us.
But we must have hope. Hope that love will out. Love will be stronger than hate. Hate can and will eventually be defeated. Because it must. Period.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I saw the victim's picture on the news and realized that I've seen him hanging out around my building. Always begging for money, as so many of the others down there do. And as always, I shook my head and ignored him whenever he asked for change. I feel strange having known of this man, though I didn't know him. I struggle with conflicting feelings like "why didn't I give him money" and "if I'd given him money, he'd only have drunk it away..."
I feel bad that this happened to him, but I feel like it was ultimately his choice to let alcohol rule over his life. Sure alcoholism can be considered a disease, but it's sort of a disease with an asterisk after the word. A disease in which it can sort of be conquered, if one wants to. And this isn't the reason that all people are homeless, of course.
I suppose all of this blathering is to say that I can't fix the problems that make homeless people homeless in this world, and that I shouldn't necessarily feel guilty for having passed this man by countless times, paying little to no attention to him, because there was nothing I could really do to help him. It doesn't make me feel any less bad, however...I don't really know how to resolve this...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I have a friend going to Disneyland for the first time with her family and I thought I'd write this up for her. Feel free to leave a comment with more advice if I missed something.
Start the trip off with a train ride all around the park. This way you can really get a feel for the park and see the layout.
Make sure to watch Fantasmic! at least once. Preferably earlier in the trip than later. That way you can go again if you want to.
Go on the Haunted Mansion ride at least one time at night. It's more fun to come off the ride into the dark.
If you see the line for Indiana Jones is not too long, go on it! That ride breaks down really often, so go whenever you can.
Don't bother standing in the line for the Finding Nemo submarine ride. Go to a cast member there and ask to go into the room they have for people with claustrophobia. It's the exact same experience, and takes a fraction of the time. Those lines are ridiculously long!
Eat a snack in the morning and go on the big rides before it starts to get really busy. Eat breakfast later when the ride lines start growing.
If possible, try to watch the latest Disney and Pixar films before going because these will have a high presence in the park.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If driving, buy a case of water bottles to take with you and refill them instead of buying them in the park. At almost $3 to buy a bottle in the park, this will save you tons of money. And with the heat, you will need to drink more than you think you will.
If you do Toon Town, do it early in the day or later at night. It gets really hot and crowded there during the day.
Study ahead of time and make sure to take advantage of the Fast Pass system.
Make sure to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe at least once.
When you go to Disney California Adventure, go right when it opens, and head directly to Toy Story Midway Mania. This is the most popular ride in the park and the line is always long.
On Main Street, use the reader board near the entrances to the other lands to see the wait times for rides. These are pretty accurate.
The kid's meals are usually big enough for an adult, and come with a drink. This is a great way to save money.
On the first day, go to the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney, or Town Hall in Disneyland and get a "first trip" pin. They are free and make great souvenirs.
Make sure to clear out all bags of any pocket knives or glass bottles, as those will be confiscated by security at the bag check station.
Have your photo id ready along with your passes to get into the park as quickly as possible.
Always get a hand stamp before leaving the park!!! This is imperative!
Must Eats:A churro, a corndog, caramel apple(ask for them to cut it into slices for you,they're easier to eat that way), Dole Whip, Bengal BBQ skewer, and my personal favorite: a Schmoozie's Smoothie.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable with drifting away from organized religion. I mean, this Paul guy didn't even know Jesus but is claiming to know what he wanted and thought? Come on...I'm sure he had good intentions, but still...So that leaves me with what? Not necessarily following Christianity as it is known. So what do I do? What do I believe? Do I believe in God? Yes, though not necessarily how He's depicted in the Bible. More like a genderless spirit/entity than in the shape of man. It's still just easier to say He/Him, etc. Do I believe in Heaven and Hell? I believe in energy. I believe this is the energy of God, and that there is positive and negative energy. We come from it, and return to it, and whatever we give in our lives, is where we return to. So if we spend our lives moping and being negative or hateful, we return to the negative energy. If we spend our lives being hopeful and helpful and trying to do good, we return to the positive energy. I think following the philosophy and words of Jesus isn't really a bad idea, and that it works for me, but that it isn't relevant to every human on the planet, and they ought to be free to follow whatever path makes the most sense to them.
So, as a whole, I suppose I'm not against church or organized religion, but I think it gets used against others so much that it's really ruined it for everybody. We all have to do things the same way, we all have to clap and do the hand motions, we all have to go spread the good word, or we're bad Christians. Never question anything, just believe and do as you're told. I don't buy that. I started questioning organized religion in the 7th grade and haven't looked back since. But instead of feeling insecure and bad about myself, I feel strong and secure in knowing that I am allowed to have a different opinion and still be loved by my God. I am allowed to express myself however works best for me, and that is ok. That is how I was designed to be. And who am I to judge?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Hopefully some day soon this will all be a page in a history book and kids will say "I can't believe this was ever an issue."
Sunday, August 1, 2010
I realized, that what a person eats, is extremely personal. It is a part of who they are. A part of their identity. Just like their religious stance, political beliefs, and sexuality are. And quite often, what a person eats is wrapped up in all of that. To put that into question is to question who a person is on every level.
I would compare militant vegans to conservative Christians who are devoted to ending abortion. Sounds strange, eh? But just because one group claims to be liberal doesn't make them so. The inability to see things from any other perspective is what makes a person liberal or not. To not be able to see something other than how you feel about it, in fact, makes you conservative. It's just what subject matter you pick that makes the difference. And both groups have taken their particular belief and turned it into their own religion, which makes them even more similar than not.
There are lots of ways of looking at the world, and the food we eat, and how it is produced. I cannot fathom being a vegan, but I never say never. I try to remain open to experiences and thoughts about food, because that is how I look at the world. But I can see now, that teasing a person because of what or how they eat, is wrong. And should be discouraged. You know, live and let live...or maybe Live and let eat??
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Rule 1: The Doctor is a bluffer. He always has an ace up his sleeve, and that vital piece of info he never shares until he absolutely must.
Rule 2: Doctor Who is not Lost. The wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff is most likely not based on a government and/or evil corporation conspiracy, and there are probably not multiple timelines going on, or alternate universes. This might not be always the case, but more than likely the time travelly stuff is more straight-forward than that. Time travel is always complex, but it doesn't have to be uber complex to still be interesting.
Rule 3: The Doctor is not infallible. Though he may be loath to admit it, he does mess up sometimes. He doesn't always make the best choices he could, and he can be downright cranky at times. This is when we roll our eyes and let him snark away cuz he'll get over himself soon enough.
Rule 4: The Doctor is very brave and not afraid to sacrifice himself for the betterment of mankind. From what I've seen, he's not got a martyr-complex, and I don't know that I'd classify it as a God-complex either. It's more like it just is what it is.
Rule 5: The Doctor would never win on Project Runway. His fashion sense is rather...unique. Whether it's a celery stalk on his lapel, or a coat of many colors, too many, really, or a fez and bowtie, each Doctor brings a different look with him. And none of them, except perhaps Nine, would really be considered "normal". I suppose, though, that's what makes him interesting. But I will say this: Bowties ARE cool...
Rule 6: The Doctor has an ego, and needs it to be fed. Hence the need for an audience in the form of a companion. Sure he gets lonely, but I think a bigger part of him needs someone constantly cheering him on. Whether this is ego, or deep down he's actually lacking in confidence, remains to be seen. Or at least seen by me.
Rule 7: The Doctor knows best. Usually. And though I hate being told what to do, more often than not, if the Doctor tells you to do something, you ought to do it. It could mean the difference between life and death.
I think that's a pretty good list so far, I'm sure I'm missing some, though.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
So we went, and it was cold and cloudy, so I wore jeans and no sun screen. This ended up being a mistake. The jeans were good, because they kept my legs covered, but my face was horribly burnt because the sun finally did come out and we were in it for about 4 hours. It was worth it though. There was a storyline to it, not like I thought it would be. I just thought it would be random airplanes flying randomly, but there was a plot, and bombs and stuff so it was really cool. And my friend from high school flew his "Warthog" in the show and had a huge role in it. The narrator kept saying his name, it was fun.
Airplanes are very interesting, but not very pretty. Function over form, I suppose. But they showcase the amazing things we can do as humans. Creating machines that can fly up into the sky like birds, with grace and strength. The power they wield is truly awe-inspiring. And it showcases what the military is good at: being powerful and intimidating, yet not always deadly. They drop food and other aid to people out of those planes too, not just bombs. I guess it's a balancing act. It's cool to know that the airmen, as they're called, I guess there are no airwomen? love what they do and get true joy out of it. I suppose there is an art to flying those planes. Those people are expressing themselves and the way they see the world, when they fly. And I say, fly on!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The other issue is the language. It's tough, but I realized that for myself, it's easier to think of it as literally a completely different language than English. The words might be words I know now, but they aren't what they were then, and that makes them completely separate from today's language. So, it does need translation, and studying and all that to really get it.
I realize now I was reacting to seeing Shakespeare set in modern times. I have never had a problem watching or listening to or reading the old-school stuff. I really think that's the key that's getting go me.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
And then there's the language. I have to read the versions with the translations on the side of the page just to understand it. I mean, it's English, but it's not. I know what the words mean, but when they're all put together the way he did it, I feel like I'm dyslexic. Not being able to understand such a simple story only makes me feel stupid, which makes me like Shakespeare less. But, when I do get it, I really do get it. And it's usually fun at that point.
I just don't think he should have written about stuff he didn't necessarily know anything about, like mental illness. It's one thing to write about witches and magic, cuz that's not real and whatever you want it to be, it can be. But knowing how mental illness works is kind of important when you use it so often as a story-telling device. Sure it makes for an interesting story, but it's not very helpful. There's such a stigma against mental illness already that there doesn't need to be stuff like that out there giving people the wrong idea.
I know he can't be considered responsible for it, he was a product of his times, and who knows what sort of education he had. I'm sure that's well known, but I don't care enough right now to Google it.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
But there are things that bother me about us too. No matter what your political beliefs are, we all believe ours is the correct set. And everyone seems to want to foist their beliefs onto everybody else. I don't know why we can't coexist peacefully, but it's been 250ish years and we have yet to do so. Here's hoping we make a bit more progress in the next 250. What we stand for, and what we do, are often conflicting. And our nation's leadership seems to exemplify this very well, no matter which party is in power. It makes it difficult for me to be a flag-waver.
One of these years I hope to have it all figured out. But as with all things, it's the journey, not the arrival, that makes it all worth while. I may never be the type to love, with a deep passion, my country, but maybe I'll grow more comfortable with the feelings that I do have. I think, my greatest feeling of pride and love, come from the fact that I live in a country where I am allowed to not love it blindly and only say positive things about it. I have the right to be critical, and to expect better of it. Therein lies its greatest strength and is what sets it apart from other nations in the world. And that, is something that I can feel very proud of.