Monday, October 10, 2011

Music Monday: An Album: "Own the Night" Lady Antebellum

I know I wrote about Lady Antebellum last week in Music Monday, but since purchasing their CD "Own the Night" last week, and listening to it over and over in the last week, it merits another post, not just about one song, but about the whole album.


I can't tell you the last time that I actually purchased a CD.  Last week, I bought two.   They were both Lady Antebellum.  I knew that I wanted "Own the Night" because I had listened to a couple of songs on Spotify, and loved them.  Interesting side note: I got a new car at the end of May, and had yet to play a CD in it.  When I put in my new Lady A CD, it said "Disk 1," so I discovered that I actually have a 6 CD changer in my car, and never knew it!

Back to the CD, I have probably already worn it out, just listening to the first 3 songs.  I mentioned two of them in the last post, but the third one is "Dancing Away with my Heart."  I fell in love with this song the very first time that I heard it.  I don't know if its just that I'm in a place in my life right now where I relate to the lyrics, or what, but I love the whole album.  There are a few catchy songs that you will catch yourself singing along with, such as "Friday Night" along with slower more meaningful songs like "Cold as Stone."

Check it out! I promise, next week, I will try to chose a different artist :)


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Big "Fat" Response to a Pirate Rant

In every edition of our campus newspaper, The East Carolinian, there is a section called "Pirate Rants."  This is an anonymous opinion section where students can write 'rants' about things on campus or relating to student life.  People often talk about their roommate troubles or talk smack about other students.

I remember when I first started reading the TEC, way back when I was a student the first time, Pirate Rants used to be funny, entertaining little snip-its that gave me something to read in between classes.  I don't remember them being hateful or mean spirited, as some of them seem to be now.  Last Thursday, after my Southern Lit class, I picked up a copy of the TEC, and just like every other time, I turned straight to the Pirate Rants.  While reading one rant, I got a little upset.
To the horribly gross fat girl in my English 1100 class: PLEASE, for the love of God, do not sit where I can see you anymore. I cannot concentrate on the lecture when I have a disgusting gelatinous blob of nasty whale blubber staring at me.
Seriously?  How dare you suggest that a person stay out of your sight because she is overweight?  I'm sure that this girl probably struggles with her feelings regarding her weight enough, without some insensitive a-hole writing a Pirate Rant about her.  It is a sad society that we live in when being overweight is considered to be "horribly gross."

Obviously, this particular rant struck a very personal nerve with me.  As someone who has been overweight for most of my life, this offended me.  However, I think that even if I were not overweight that I would have felt the same way about it.  People that are overweight or fat, are stereotyped into being these nasty, lazy, human beings.  That simply isn't true.  There are many reasons that a person can be overweight.

It made me angry that such a prejudiced rant would even be published.  And while the TEC will claim that it is freedom of expression, I feel that some editorial discretion should have been exercised with this rant.  I highly doubt that if a rant suggesting that someone of a minority race or of a different sexual orientation not sit in the line of sight of a student were submitted, that it would published.  This rant was just as judgemental as a rant of that nature would be.

If you are so shallow that having a fat person in your eyesight makes you lose concentration, then you are the one that has the problem. This reminds me of the Marie Claire article that came out when the TV show Mike & Molly premiered.  The author, Maura Kelly, said that she would be grossed out if she had to watch two characters that have fat rolls kissing each other on TV.  After lots of criticism, she published an apology.

Today, two Pirate Rants were published in response to this particular rant.  By writing this post, I am validating one of them:
The only people that are offended by the girl posting the “whale blubber” rant are the ones that have the blubber. 
However, I'm sure that more people were offended.  I was particularly happy to see the other response:
To the so-called “horribly gross fat girl in the English 1100 class”: You are beautiful regardless of what size you are. Don’t ever forget that. 
This "horribly gross fat girl" often forgets that.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Music Monday: We Owned The Night

I love Lady Antebellum... I don't think that I've ever heard one of their songs that I didn't instantly love.  Their newest album "Own the Night" came out a few weeks ago, and the first two singles from that record, "Just A Kiss" and "We Owned the Night" are amazing.

They performed on SNL this past weekend and did both songs.  I really like the lyrics of "We Owned the Night"



Tell me have you ever wanted
Someone so much it hurts?
Your lips keep trying to speak
But you just can't find the words

When the summer rolls around
And the sun starts sinking down
I still remember you
Oh, I remember you
And I wonder where you are 



Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Dialect/ Southern Accent

I don't normally "blog with a purpose" like this, but it is something that I might start doing from time to time.  After all, these things 'pop' in my head too!

I prefaced this in the video below, but I will type it out here too.  In 2 of my classes this semester, we have been talking about dialect and accents, specifically Southern accents/dialect.  This is the way that I distinguish the difference between accent and dialect (often used interchangeably).  Accent is the way that you say certain words.  Dialect is a little more complex.  It encompasses accent and includes the certain grammatical differences of certain regions/areas.

In my Language Arts class the other night, we were talking about code switching.  This is when you learn to lose your native accent and dialect in order to speaking in a more "academic" way, so that you sound more educated.  There have been students taking classes to lose their Southern accent so that they do not sound "uneducated" in job interviews or in their professional life.  An example of a celebrity that has admitted to doing this is South Carolina native, Stephen Colbert.  He observed that on television, people that spoke with a Southern accent were portrayed as "dumb," and he did not want his accent or dialect to hinder his career.

I think that everyone code switches from time to time.  Just think about when you talk on the phone.  Depending on who you are speaking with, you might change some of your word choices or speak a little differently.  I agree with my teacher that we, as teachers, need to demonstrate proper "Standard American English" when we are teaching.  We have to model this practice for our students.  However, if one of my students does not speak with "proper" English, I will not freak out... until they write that way.  I cannot stand when people "write the way they talk" in professional or academic writings.  Written English has certain rules that everyone should follow. Good written grammar is important in a professional or academic setting (obviously blogs aren't included in this)

Here is a video I made to demonstrate my Southern accent and my dialect.  (Ignore my stupid facial expressions and the massive eye roll when I say "way up North" lol)

I am proud of my Southern accent.  If someone thinks that I am stupid, dumb or uneducated because of the way that I sound when I speak, that is their problem.  What is more important is what I am saying, and not necessarily how it sounds.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Music Monday, er, Wednesday - Blessings

Remember how I said I might not make it every week... week 2, fail... So, I'm posting 2 days late :)

This song has been in my head all week... Multiple times a day, I will find myself just humming parts of it. I think I first saw it posted on someone's Facebook page, and since then, I've been listening to it a lot.  Such a great message... Just listen to it, and the lyrics will speak to you, especially if you find yourself going through a trial or a difficult time in your life right now.

Blessings -- Laura Story


Friday, September 23, 2011

Breakdown Here...

Earlier this week, I had a bit of a breakdown... I knew it was coming, and one small thing at work pushed me over the edge, and I just couldn't take it anymore.  Being a full time student, and working full time is a lot harder than I thought.  I'm struggling with the balance of things. I know a ton of people do this all the time, but I'm struggling.

I know that I haven't written a lot here lately about all of the things happening in my life, but I feel like my plate is full... things are falling off in fact. I have to figure something out soon, because if everything keeps going at this pace, I can't keep up.

Any tips on how to juggle so many balls?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Music Monday: Slow Fade

In an attempt to start blogging more, I'm going to try to start weekly features.  Try being the operative word in that sentence.  This needs to become a habit for me... like checking email or facebook.  I love blogging and I have a lot to say, but I never set aside time for it. If I miss a few weeks here and there, don't beat me up too bad... I'm trying!

So, for Music Mondays, I will feature a song (obviously) that has either been on my mind lately, or has some meaning to me or whatever... its a very broad category, so there's lots of room for me to do whatever I'm feeling at the moment... Here's the first installment!

Casting Crowns: "Slow Fade"



This song came on my Pandora station the other day, and I'm not sure if I have heard it before, but I can't stop listening to it.  On Saturday, I was working a festival with Tupperware, and they had a Praise and Worship team singing for awhile, and this was one of the songs that they had in their set.

For some reason, this song has really spoken to me this week (a lot of Casting Crowns songs do).  If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I've struggled a lot with "giving myself away."  As I look back at the last 8 or so years of my life (since high school), there wasn't one particular event that has caused me to get to the point where I am now... it has definitely been  a slow fade from the person that I used to be. I didn't crumble in a day.

And just as gradual as the process to "crumbling" has been, the journey to feeling whole again is just as gradual.  I think that over the past few months, I have taken some steps in the right direction, but its going to take some time, and some work on my part.  I have to work to be happy, to feel complete, and some days, that is a lot more work than other days.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What If...

What if it never happens for me?  What if I never find that one person that I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life with? What if I never have kids? What if those personal goals that I've set for my life and all the dreams that I've had never come to be? Everyone says to be patient, that it will happen in time... but believe me, that is a lot easier said than done.  Its hard to wait around for something that you KNOW will happen... you know, like Christmas or your birthday... but its a lot harder to wait for something that may never happen. I hate feeling like this.. but it is what has been on my mind for the past couple of days.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Starting Over

So, if I'm going to do this blogging thing right, I think that I need to start over completely.  I thought about moving the site, but I decided it was just too much hassle... so I have decided to get a fresh start here.  I have completely redesigned things, so take a look around and let me know what you think.  I will continue to work on things over the next few days (as time allows) and will *fingers crossed* start blogging more... if anyone still reads...


Sunday, July 31, 2011

So...

So... I'm thinking of starting to blog again... I didn't realize that it had been that long, until someone pointed out that I had basically fallen off the face of the blogworld... So, should I pick it up again?  Did anyone even read it? Comment and let me know!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 5/30: A Favorite Quote

I've mentioned on this blog that I love quotes... I can usually always find a quote for the way that I am feeling at any point in time.  I have several quotes that I use as my "go to" quotes. This is one of them:

"You can't live your life for other people. You've got to do what's right for you, even if it hurts some people you love."

 - Noah Calhoun, From the Nicholas Sparks Novel, "The Notebook"



Monday, January 31, 2011

To Tupperware or Not to Tupperware...

I feel like I have reached a crossroads in my Tupperware business.  When I first started selling it, back in 2008, I really didn't have any expectations of what I would do with the business, but as I got more involved with it, I became more successful.  Then, as time went on, life got a little busy, and Tupperware took a back burner.

I feel like I have so many things going on in my life that I don't have the time to commit to fully "work" the business.  I know what it takes to be successful in this business.  I have been to many training classes and sales meetings.  I am very lucky to be part of a wonderful Organization that has top leaders who are very talented and have taught me many things.

I have thought about quitting all together, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I would love nothing more than to "restart" my Tupperware business and be very successful.  I wish that there were more hours in the week, so that I could have parties and share the products that I love and believe in with everyone.  With my work schedule lately, I never really know what time I'm going to be leaving work, so it makes it hard to plan ahead and schedule parties...

I think that I have decided that I don't want to completely stop.  I have several customers who place orders from time to time... but I really need to build my customer base.  Maybe if I can schedule some weekend parties I can get back into the swing of things.  I really do love the company... and extra money would be most helpful. So maybe, just continuing on for a few more months as I have been, and maintaining my active status will give me a little time to get things straightened out until I can devote more time to it.

(Shameless plug:  If you'd like to purchase some Tupperware, my website is www.crystaldunn.com)

Day 4/30: A Favorite Television Program

(yes, I know I'm running a day behind...)

I watch a lot of TV shows...DVR is one of the greatest inventions ever.  But if I had to pick just one show that is my favorite, it would be gLee... 


I love this show.  It is hilariously written, tackles current topics, has all of the drama that is high school, and all of that is even before we talk about the music.  From the pilot episode, I was hooked.  I haven't missed a show yet.  It is one of the shows that I look forward to every week... If you haven't seen it, grab the DVDs and catch up so that you will be ready for the next season!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 3/30: A Favorite Book

This one may also sound clique... but one of my favorite books is "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss.  When I was in 10th grade, our English teacher read us this book, and since then, I've been in love.  It is a great book that fits many occasions.  Whenever you want to feel encouraged, pick up this book and read it... by the end, you will be ready to go. Several of the "places" described in the book are so fitting for various times in your life.  Right now, I feel like I'm stuck in "The Waiting Place... for people just waiting..."


Waiting for a train to go 
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants 
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.



Working on some "real" posts soon!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 2/30: A Favorite Movie

Picking a favorite movie was a lot easier than picking a song... I know that this movie is the quintessential chick flick, and that many many women consider it their favorite... but Grease is probably my all time favorite movie.
In 1998, the 20th Anniversary Edition of Grease was released.  I had not seen the movie before then.  It was the summer before my freshman year in high school... and I literally watched the movie every day... I can almost quote this movie from beginning to end... I know all the songs... It is truly one of those movies that I can watch over and over and never get tired of... And for the record, Grease 2 wasn't nearly as good...

I'll leave you with a little treat from the movie...



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 1/30: A Favorite Song

So, I've tried this blog challenge thing before... and haven't always succeeded... but this one, I think I can keep up.  Earlier tonight while reading Kimberly's blog, I saw that she is doing a 30 Days of Things challenge of sorts. Each day, for 30 days, she will write a blog about a certain thing.  I figure since each day already has a topic assigned, I can actually stick to this one...

Here is the list of each topic:

  • Day 1: A favorite song.
  • Day 2: A favorite movie.
  • Day 3: A favorite book.
  • Day 4: A favorite television program.
  • Day 5: A favorite quote.
  • Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive.
  • Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without.
  • Day 8: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
  • Day 9: A photo you took.
  • Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
  • Day 11: A photo of you taken recently.
  • Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
  • Day 13: A guilty pleasure.
  • Day 14: A vacation you would like to take.
  • Day 15: A person you admire.
  • Day 16: A song that makes you cry.
  • Day 17: An art piece.
  • Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive.
  • Day 19: A talent of yours.
  • Day 20: A hobby of yours.
  • Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
  • Day 22: A website.
  • Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
  • Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
  • Day 25: A recipe.
  • Day 26: A childhood memory.
  • Day 27: A physical feature you love.
  • Day 28: A scar you have and it's story.
  • Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days.
  • Day 30: A motto or philosophy.
So... here we go... 

Day 1 -- A Favorite Song
I always have a hard time choosing "favorites." I like lots of different styles of music... and many different songs come to mind when I think of songs that could be considered a "favorite." However, when I think about songs that I have loved for a long time, and that speak to me whenever I hear them, this was one of the first to come to mind. 


Patty Loveless "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" -- This song is from the early 1990s, and I have loved it since then.  "Life's about changing, nothing ever stays the same"  How true are those words? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Wish That...

  • I had a job that I looked forward to going to everyday, instead of one that I dreaded.  I long for the day when I feel like what I do is actually making a difference, rather than just attempting to pay the bills. 
  • I didn't have to worry about money.  I am thankful that I have income right now, when a lot of people don't, but it would still be nice to not have to scrimp and scrounge to make sure that everything gets paid. 
  • I could rewind and redo part of the last few years... only if I still had the knowledge that I have now. 
  • I was really as comfortable being single as I let on... and that this longing to be in a good relationship would vanish. 
  • I had more time to do things that I enjoy... like craft and other creative things. 
  • Sleep came easily and waking up came easily too. 
  • I could be all things to all people. 
  • I could focus on the good things in life and be happy. 

Book Review -- "The Bride's Baby" by Liz Fielding

From the Book:
Events manager Sylvie Smith is organizing a glittering fund-raising event: a wedding show in a stately home. She has even been roped into pretending to be a bride...a bride who's five months pregnant! The bride everyone is talking about! It should be every girl's dream to design a wedding with no expense spared, but it's not Sylvie's. Longbourne Court was her ancestral home, and she's just discovered that the new owner is Tom McFarlane—her baby's secret father. Now Tom's standing in front of her, looking at her bump....

Tom and Sylvie share a night together, Sylvie gets pregnant... doesn't tell Tom right away... Months later, Tom sees Sylvie, thinks the baby is another man's... Tom and Sylvie are secretly in love with each other, but neither of them wants to admit it...

This story was your typical misunderstanding.  The main conflict could have easily been solved had the main characters just sat down and had a normal conversation.  I found myself thinking throughout the book.. 'just blurt out that he is the father... '  While, it was a good read, I felt that it could have been a little less on the "who is the baby's daddy" side, and spent more time developing the relationship between the main characters.

Not too bad for another freebie on the kindle.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review -- "A Very Special Delivery" by Linda Goodnight

This book was another freebie on my Kindle.  I kind of went a little crazy downloading free books, solely based on title and overall rating.  This was one of the books that I didn't really read the description of, and just downloaded and started reading.  I did not realize that it was a faith based romance book.  That being said, it was still an enjoyable book. 

From the Book: 
It was the surprise of a lifetime for recluse Molly McCreight when single dad Ethan Hunter entrusted her with his infant daughter while he delivered medicine to an elderly man during an ice storm. Past experience had taught Molly how fragile life could be, but she was touched by this stranger's faith in her abilities. Once the storm had passed, though, and her guests returned home, normalcy eluded Molly. The Hunters' presence had brought much-needed joy to her quiet world, but their absence threatened to crush her forever. Still, was she ready to admit that this tiny family held the key to the future she'd always secretly craved?

The religious aspects, while very prevalent, weren't over the top, or pushy.  The book deals with loss, guilt, overcoming obstacles, falling in love and forgiveness.  This book was a quick read, and overall, I liked it.  Not bad for a book that I blindly chose... and the fact that it was free was even better! 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review -- "Speed Dating" by Nancy Warren

I've kind of fallen off the reading wagon lately too... so much for that 2010 goal ... but when my Mama asked me what I wanted for Christmas... I knew I wanted a Kindle.  I've been wanting an e-reader for a while now, and with Amazon's latest release, there were some features that I liked above the other options out there.  When I opened the Kindle on Christmas Eve night, I wasted no time downloading books.  I love that Amazon has a free section!  A lot of these books are ones that I wouldn't normally select, but I like that it helps in expanding my very limited selection of genres.  The first book I read was "Speed Dating" by Nancy Warren.

The thing that attracted me to this book was the NASCAR reference, and that much of it was set in Charlotte, NC (and it was free).  The main character, Kendall leads a pretty boring life as an actuary. (I didn't know what that was until I read this book...) She is in Charlotte for a work conference, at which she is being honored with a prestigious award.  Minutes before she is supposed to attend a banquet, her finace confesses that he has been having an affair with a coworker, who is now pregnant and that he's leaving Kendall.  Enter Dylan Hargreave. NASCAR's pretty boy... one of People's hottest bachelors... Kendall's total opposite.. After a chance meeting, Dylan helps Kendall live a night that she will never forget.

This book was a quick and enjoyable read.  It was romantic without being sexy, but wasn't sappy.  It had characters that were easy to relate to, some you will hate, and some you will love.  An opposites attract story that is set in the fast paced world of NASCAR, but not strictly for only NASCAR fans.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goals: January 2011

So, I started thinking about what my goals for 2011 will be.  After making, and not accomplishing several goals last year, I wanted to commit to things that I think are actually obtainable.  While reading through posts from other bloggers, I saw that Hope is doing monthly goals.  I really liked this idea because it will allow me to break bigger goals into smaller segments that will be easier to accomplish.  So, this year, I will be making a list of goals at the beginning of each month, and at the end of the month, I will report back with my progress.

Goals for January 2011:

  • Read (and write a review of) 4 books. 
  • Write at least 10 blog posts. 
  • Get 2010 tax information to Accountant and get taxes squared away. 
  • Fill out FAFSA for finacial aid. 
  • Clean out "Blue Room"
  • Organize craft supplies. 
  • Make decision about continuing with Tupperware. 
Hopefully, at the end of January, I will be able to report that all of these have been done.  Stay tuned for progress :) 

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