Thursday, December 15, 2011

Erika Done Got on Her Soap Box

Erika Done Got on Her Soap Box

I like to see the news updates from our local news station in Lubbock on my FB page. I just need to be careful to not read people's comments.I made a mistake today and read a few. Now y'all get to read about it.
 It is so infuriating how closed minded, stubbornly ignorant, bigoted, and just plain rude people can be to people they have never met! America is a melting pot of cultures and that is what makes us so awesome. What is the American culture without the influence of the various cultures with in it?
Did you know that the Christmas tree that so many people insist on having, came from Germany after soldiers spent time there during a war? The Christmas trees they saw were smaller, though.... It ain't American if it ain't big (or Southern for that matter).

Many of the foods we eat are based on a dish from another culture and we Americanized it. For example: Taco Bell. Hispanics will know what I am talking about. When I was in Mexico, I did not see a single piece of flatbread folded with a bunch of crap in the middle,  "grilled" and then covered with cheese anywhere... just saying. It ain't Mexican food. They probably did make it once, but in order to expand their wallets and America's waistline, they had to make some changes.

Even the language we speak is not originally American. It is from England and we made it our own. (We also continue to find ways to ruin it to make us sound even more ignorant and uneducated). Nothing bothers me more than when I hear people say, "We are in America, speak English!" How can we communicate with other countries, understand their cultures, expect them to accept ours, and try to keep what little peace we have if we are not accepting of their cultures and language? How?? The first people who lived here did NOT speak English, nor were the second or third. As I recall, after the Native Americans (who spoke various languages between all of the tribes) were the first to live here. Then, our shores were settled by the Spanish, French, and British. The idiot Columbus did not even speak English... I will not digress as to how I feel about him and that ridiculous day we deem a Holiday. Yes, English is the primary language we speak. Yes, people need to know how to communicate- somehow- in English in areas of our country to receive basic necessities (groceries, health care, utilities, and various things involving government). I do not argue with that. I also believe that we have NO RIGHT to tell someone that they cannot speak their language just because we do not understand what they are saying. If you don't understand it, go learn their language. Example: I can NEVER understand what the ladies are saying to each other when I go get my nails done. But they are not talking to me and unless I want to go and learn their language just so I can eaves drop, I am not going to complain about it. I will just sit there, get my lovely nails, and watch whatever is on the TV. NOT A BIG DEAL.

 We also have no right to tell someone what they can and cannot celebrate. One example would be Christmas. People celebrate Christmas in various ways around the world. Some people do not celebrate Christmas at all. Some people celebrate Christmas, but not because they believe in Jesus. They celebrate the traditions that go with Christmas. Much like people do with Valentine’s Day and Halloween. That is THEIR choice. It is OUR choice as to how WE CHOOSE to celebrate. We can focus on what we believe, and pray for those who don't.  Trying to force someone to conform to what you believe will not make them change their minds. I guarantee it will only push them away. I have seen it with my own beautiful, brown eyes. Demanding that they not have their public celebrations, even though we have Santa-land or Nativity plays, is unfair. We can learn so much from the various cultures that live right here in our towns and neighborhoods.

I have seen those awful comments so many times and it really got to me today. I guess it is because I actually had time to think about what these people were saying. Instead of thinking, "It is their problem that they are idiots." Today I thought, "It is because of people speaking like this that we have hate crimes, bullying, and segregation still running rampant in our country." I am at an age where I am trying to make sense of what my parents taught me, my grandparents told me, what I can see for myself and how none of it fits together. Hate crimes are still going on like they were in my grandparents day, judgment about interracial... anything... from my parents day is still there. I see people making policies and laws to try to change these things. Nothing will change unless we try to understand each other, where we come from, and then teach our children the lessons we learned.

I will get off my soap box for now. I will probably delete this when I calm down. I think I have learned my lesson and will do my best to not read comments by people I hope I never met. We need to understand that we are NOT the same and that is a GOOD thing! We are AMERICAN and what makes us American are the bits and pieces we have borrowed from other cultures and shaped them into a culture of our own. Why stop? Let’s keep learning and improving!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Let’s get it started!

I am starting tonight with my change to a new, healthy me. My goal is not necessarily to lose weight (though that would be wonderful) but to be healthy and strong. I am not using any particular diet (Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, etc) but to eat healthy as a whole. I do plan to start back up with my food journal, though. I find that extremely helpful and important. I say I am starting it tonight, because tonight I went grocery shopping with the intention of buying only healthy foods. (I did get some chocolate milk mix, but that is for the Gulick men who for some reason can't live without it) This is not the first time I have shopped this way, but it has been a good while. I made my menu for the week and then my list off of that so I would not go crazy and buy everything that seemed appealing.

I found myself half way through my trip wishing I had been more specific with item labeled "cereal" on my list. Do you know how many options there are of cereals that call themselves healthy? It's ridiculous. I am notorious for not wanting to make decisions on certain things, especially when it comes to food. So, true to form, I texted a close friend who seems to be doing well in the healthy living category. They told me about this Kashi-Go Lean (all registered trademarks) cereal. It looks gross… kinda like feed for a gerbil, hamster, or guinea pig. But they ASSURED me that it was tasty. I figured why not. It was about the same price as the other cereals. Plus, why ask for an opinion if I am not going to take it? Then they decided to go ahead and suggest a milk to have with it. Now I am a Skim milk kinda gal. I see no reason to go and get Vanilla flavored Almond milk unless of course you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or have some other reason as to why you can't drink milk from a cow. Plus, my husband LOVES to pick on me. I could immediately see him calling me a Diva and somehow turning the milk's name to Princess Erika's Special Milk (in one of his many versions of my voice) or something worse. I could also see him sneaking into it and drinking all of it before I got the chance to try it. Then I realized I was making a huge deal out of a $3 "tasty" jug of milk. Why not try it? In the health facts they were very similar. Except the Almond milk had more vitamins and minerals. I could use more of those!! So I bought it. I also bought the other milk for the boys. I am sure the chocolate milk mix would be great in the almond milk, but there is really no need for that. J

I am actually looking forward to breakfast tomorrow! Cereal was not on the menu until Wednesday, but I am sure I will live with this slight change. I would have tried it tonight, but seeing as I was not hungry from the TOTALLY unhealthy dinner I had it would have been counterproductive to do.

I know being healthy is not only about food. I must exercise. There is just no time for me to go to the gym with the schedule I have right now. So, I am going to start the 30 day Shred (courtesy of my sister). My sister is moving at the moment so it is packed somewhere, but she assures me that it will be found soon. Therefore, I will be going back to my old frienemy, Mari Winsor, until I can start my torture with Jillian Michaels. I would do my –The Firm- workout, but it is also packed with my sister's belongings. I have had great results in the past with these 2 workouts and I hope with the change in my eating I will see some kind of results soon.

Oh yeah!! I almost forgot. Today I had a full length picture taken of me. I figure this could be my "before" picture. This way I can document my process through pictures. I am debating if I should wear the same shirt and take my pic every week or once a month to see if I can see any physical changes…. I still need to think about that some more.

Well that is all for today.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ode to Deodorant

Why do you fail me?
You say you will keep my secrets
But you give away my scents
You sometimes change the colors of my clothes
You even change the color of my skin!

You deceived me, Deodorant!!
You smell so good in your little plastic home
With your clever little top
But as soon as your asked to work
You make me smell so foul

I hate you, Deodorant
But I can not be accepted without you
Oh Deodorant
What are we to do?

Here it is!

I have finally started a blog! I am still not sure about the name. I had 2 other names picked out and somehow "Erika Mania" found itself on the page.
Why have a blog?
  • Well, mostly because I have a lot to say. :)
  • I am starting a few new things in my life (like I need to start anything else new) and I really want to cataloge it and also share these new experiences with people who would like to share them with me.
  • Reading my blog is the reader's choice. Unlike facebook where you are subjected to my nonsense, here you can choose to read what I have to say.
  • Sometimes, that tiny little "what is on your mind" box is just not long enough.
  • This helps me reflect what I have said before. I can see if I am being redundant in my thoughts. I can also see if I am making any progress in my growth.
What might you see in my blog?
  • Hopefully not too much complaining. lol
  • Of course, stories of my boys and my adventures in this wonderful thing called Motherhood. (I also call this "the trenches of parenthood)
  • my thoughts over something I have read or experienced that has brought a hightened emotion or reaction.
  • Probably some reflections or new realizations I find in my life.
  • I am going to start this new workout plan and I want to share my progress with you!
  • Some new things I see in my walk with Jesus
  • And whatever else I think is important and SUPER cool!
I hope this is a positive experience for us all! I can't wait to get started and start getting conversations started about different things!!
This is it for now.