Monday, August 31, 2009

Pointless Ramblings about School

Today was my much anticipated first day of school! I never notice how much I miss school until I take a loong break. And, BOY, was this break a looong one! [[5 months]].

There is just something about the first day of classes and back to school shopping that puts me in a state of euphoria. My mom took my brother and I back to school shopping today. We spent 200 dollars. ON SCHOOL SUPPLIES. Mostly, it's because my little bro and I are very obsessive (OCD) so we like to buy a lot of post it notes (me) and pens (him). But this whole thing was just so much fun! We were being silly and having a blast together! It's been hard to get my brother in a happy mood for us lately, so this was much needed.

So, I got my new beautifully colored notebooks and folders and post it notes and PINK Breast Cancer Awareness pens. I packed them in my backpack and headed for school. I started at Orange Coast College today. It's a big change from Ohio State, and in typical Raewyn-fashion, I was freaking out! I didn't know where to park or where my class was, etc! I'm sure I was a hilarious sight to be seen.

But I made my way to the library, honestly, there is something that is just so peaceful and comforting about a library. I wish I spent more time in them! And I found my friend! She ended up petitioning my class (photojournalism). We are super stoked about this! Me because I'm a journalist and looove photography, her because she's a documentary filmmaker!

Our teacher is the photo editor for the LA times...which means yet another connection for me when I get out in the world! YAY! I need to impress him with my photography skills so I can get a job! Tomorrow I have Public Speaking, and then the next two days after that philosophy and cultural anthropology.

I don't know what it is about school, but it makes me feel so complete, like I have something to look forward to - I'm working toward something! I swear I'm always gonna be a student!

This entry was pretty much pointless, but I am just so excited for the opportunities a new semester brings! I hope everyone else has a good school year!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A little hiatus...

Hey guys! [[Although, I'm really not sure if anyone reads this regularly]]
My friend from Ohio just flew into Cali today so I'll be spending the weekend at her house with little access to a computer. But I promise, Sunday night will have a fantastic blog! I've got quite a lot of ideas floating around in my head.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Money, Money, Money!

Hey guys!
I got my second guest write last night from my friend Britney. Recently she found a pretty cool way of budgeting and I know for a fact that all of us college kids out there are seriously unable to budget. However, it's a really cool website and absolutely free so even some of the "adults" could use it! Here's more:

Being 21-years-old is tough. I don’t want to complain. It’s also fun, but transitioning into the real world—not so much fun.

Approaching the end of college (well…), starting my first real job and attempting to deal with my bills is overwhelming. I’m also planning on moving out in the next couple of weeks and the whole process is completely unknown to me. I wish there was some kind of manual for acting like a grown up, but sadly I can’t find it online.

One of my biggest concerns, and I think everyone’s, is how to become financially independent when I make less money than I spend. I have come to learn that this is impossible—I know crazy right?

It’s not like I’m going out to bars every night and shopping all the time either. I’m talking about paying for gas, school expenses and groceries—very unglamorous. After accumulating credit card debt (that might have been slightly my fault, but Europe is a life experience and you can’t put a price on that!) and spending many a days in tears over the state of my finances, I have gotten a little on track.

In an attempt to be responsible, I have signed up for mint.com. The website keeps track of all your bank accounts, student loans, credit cards, car payments, etc. Did I mention it’s free? It also keeps track of where you spend your money. From what I understand from all the articles I read, this function is the secret to being moneywise—knowing where your money goes.

It has handy little pie charts to tell how much you spend each month on gas, food, shopping, and entertainment, whatever you want. It also compares how much you spent this month compared to what you spent over the last couple of months. The website lets you create budgets, so you can keep track everyday of how much you have left to spend.

When I first found mint, I was a little wary about giving up my usernames and passwords to all my financial accounts, but after researching it I feel secure in the site. Using mint has helped me make realistic budgets and in knowing where I spend my money I’m more conscious of it. I would recommend it to everyone. I mean I might still be poor— there is that little thing about having more bills than I make—but it isn’t out-of-control anymore. - Britney Barnes




P.S. Brit and I bought a lotto ticket on Monday, and I'm sad to report that we didn't win =[ Next time? ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Involved - Better You, Better Community, Better Living

So, lately, I've had a little bug up my butt about volunteering. I just didn't know how to go about finding volunteer events because every time I've volunteered it's been through a group that I was a part of, or someone close to me was a part of. (For example, the American Sand Association, Girl Scouts, Crime Survivors, Dune Right, etc.)

Then the other day one of my best friends directed me to VolunteerMatch, where I found a lot of convenient ways to volunteer. I am so excited for my volunteer things to come, and in typical me fashion (which, if you haveBoldn't noticed is a little crazy), I'll list them out and tell you why you should help out! Or rather why I'm helping out. haha =]

ASA - Sand Sports Super Show Sept 18, 19, 20
Throughout high school, I volunteered at the Sand Sports Super Show every year at the American Sand Association booth to SAVE OUR DUNES! At heart, I lean toward environmentalist on the spectrum of my views of the world's health. However, when it comes to Glamis, the environmentalists are much more bureaucratic than about saving the animals in the sand dunes. So I joined the ASA, to save my favorite recreation AND in some way save the animals. The ASA isn't just about saving a recreation, it's about teaching the people who do go to Glamis about cleaning up, etc (we tried to start an organization called Dune Right for this particular purpose.)

The Orange County Children's Book Fair Oct 3
I love to read. I love teaching kids to read. I also think that there is not enough of an emphasis on reading in children's lives. The television and internet has slowing begun to usurp some good ole reading time. I'm not gonna lie, even I have fallen victim to these technologies. As a child, though, you could not pull me away from my books. It was so bad that if I got in trouble, reading could be and was taken away from me. I want to inspire this type of passion in children - and what better way to do that than helping at the book fair?! Sometimes all it takes is one favorite book to spark this passion!

CHOC Walk
Oct 18
Every year, one of my besties, Michelle, does the CHOC Walk at Disneyland. Like any other "Race for the Cure" or fundraising Walk, you pay a registration fee and then set up a way to earn donations that will go to CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County). This year, since I will be in California and not Ohio, I've decided to join her. Assisting CHOC is very dear to my heart because CHOC took amazing care of Gregory whenever he was hospitalized. Check out the website, it really is an amazing cause.

In2Books,
anytime
This is another organization that works toward helping children get into reading. The cool thing about this one is that it's done on your own time in your home. The way this works is you sign up and are matched up with a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade student. Throughout Sept - June, you read a total of 5 books and discuss the books via email with your student. I am really excited about this one!!

Ronald McDonald's House
, anytime
This has been my passion since 7th grade and it's SUPER easy! All you have to do is collect the Soda Tabs off any cans you have and turn them in to the Ronald McDonald House. They recycle these tabs and use the money to house the families of patients at CHOC and other hospital if they can't afford hotel rooms.

Make-A-Wish Foundation, anytime
Someday, I really want to make a wish come true. Gregory was granted a wish from this organization and to see the smile on his face that day, my heart melted. The Make-A-Wish foundation grants the wishes of children with a terminal disease. See what you can do to help! Companies can even do the wish together!


Of course there are so many other ways to volunteer! What are some of your favorites? =]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Detox Die-its?

Type into the search bar: detox diets.
The result? Hundreds of different detox diets to try to rid the body of toxins (smog, pollutes, unhealthy chemicals in food, etc)

The most recently popular detox diet, thanks to Beyonce, is "The Lemonade Diet" also known as the Master Cleanse. I've read mixed reviews on this diet - apparently, you feel like HELL for awhile and then begin to feel energized and better. It's my understanding this is how any detox works, including detox from chemical dependency.

This particular diet consists of a salt water flush every morning, several glasses of "lemonade" (fresh squeezed lemon juice, natural maple syrup, and cayenne pepper), and a laxative tea at night. It is recommended to do this diet for a minimum of 10 days, and a maximum of 40 days.

I'm no health expert. On the contrary, I have the biggest sweet tooth and, until I went away to college and was surrounded by people who were body-conscious, I rarely ate anything healthy, choosing foods high in sugar and corn byproducts *which I learned in Food, Inc is not entirely healthy* However, detox diets appear to me, to be quite dangerous. Last year, I watched a couple of roommates try "detox diets" of drinking solely water for a week. I understand that it is possible to survive for quite some time on this type of detox, because water can keep one functioning. But of course, it leaves to malnutrition. Which, many around the world are subject to because of circumstances - not because they PAID for a diet to put them in such a state. Sure, a detox will drop tons of weight, but if you don't continue the diet, the weight is just going to return!

Personally, I would much rather slowly detox my body by eating food that has been grown / raised in a healthy manner without the chemicals that are in so many things we eat in today's world. But, I want to know what everyone else thinks on this matter...I am intrigued by the idea of a detox (not for myself, of course) and greatly admire those who have the drive to stick to the diet. (Although, again, this might be canceled out by the fact that most people who follow a detox do not do it in a smart manner and end up causing more harm than good for their body and thus are dumb...)

So what are your thoughts on detox diets?




P.S. WebMD wrote a very balanced article on this topic.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Anxious, much?

Today I had a little adventure with one of my best friends. We set out to Ikea for no particular reason other than to pretend like the rooms are in our own [future] apartments and would anyone like to join us for tea in the study? haha.

After we had exhausted Ikea (and it's delicious, cheap, and weird Swedish food), we decided to go to Barnes and Nobles for a good book search. The result? Us reading books in B&N for a good 3 hours. I even finished reading my book! Which is what i wanted to talk about, this book.

"I Don't Want To Be Crazy" by Samantha Schutz
The basis of this memoir is her struggle with the realization of and living with her anxiety disorder (she had panic disorder, which is one of my anxiety disorders). This book really made me feel less like a crazy person because of my feelings of my freshman and sophomore years of college (She discovered her disorder in college.) Here are a few excerpts!

I just need to put a little space
between me and the panic.
I need a little bit of calm
so I can get a grip
and hold on to something,
to pull myself up
and out. (pg 164)

I have no idea how many times I have thought that to myself, but it is well into the thousands ^^


I have only a general sense of the pain
of not being able to control my body
and my thoughts.
All i ever wanted
was to have control --
to be in charge of myself
and the rest of the world. (pg 203)


I suggest everyone read this book because
a) it has VERY awesome formatting
b) it's a quick read
c) it will help you understand anxiety disorders! (and some of what goes on in my head, in case you ever wondered.

I don't think that anyone should ever be ashamed of an anxiety disorder because it is based off of your chemical, biological, and psychological make-up. It would be really helpful if people understood this...I'm trying to research it as best I can to understand myself a little better, but please, put up with my "crazy."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Because, I Write

My friend Max wrote this poem and it's absolutely beautiful. I've been asking my friends to guest write on the blog or give me topics to write about because I want this to be more about everyone than about what my thoughts are. Max thought to share this with me, and I'm going to share it with you guys.

I write of love and loneliness,
Amidst my years of emptiness,
And wonder where the wonder went,
Because these things I know.




I pen lost words of happiness,
Found in the arms of loveliness,
And wish my wish were never sent,
Because she told me no.





I kneel below the loftiness,
Enraptured by my dizziness,
A victim of my swift descent,
Because I fell so low.






My rhymes have all turned venomous,
To twisted words of dreariness,
I hate the hate I never meant,
Because I hated so.






Yet still I write in artlessness,
Of feelings felt in happiness,
Of times past time I never forget
Because I can’t let go.

If anyone else has anything they want to share - pictures, artwork, poems, articles, journal entries, a quote, etc let me know! my email is: raewynsmithwq@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Self-Evaluation

I wrote this in December...

I am who I am. I live my life in extremes. People might consider that bipolarism; it is anything but. I like to feel my emotions to their fullest to see what I can learn from them. I enjoy learning. There are lessons in everything, it just takes a little searching. I don't believe people when they say that life is boring or meaningless. To me, it means that they aren't truly living. I have always been questioned on why I keep myself busy and why I always have an exciting life, a story to tell. The truth is because i live.

At 19, I have figured out exactly HOW to live my life to get the most out of it. I experience it all - i taste it, smell it, see it, hear it, touch it. I like to be busy, because I hate what if's and "could have done's." In this state of control, my life is chaotic. I never know how it is going to turn out and that excites me. I know that it will work though. Somehow, in someway, I will be okay and pull through this because, I was meant to live my life. People never realize how much control i always have in any given situation. I'm a control freak. Those that have worked with me or seen me work on the newspaper know this. But I live my life in a way that, the control looks chaotic. It looks like I might tip over the edge and be unstable, but I am far from it. I have never once been so intoxicated with anything that I have lost control or forgotten what has happened. Nor have I allowed myself to completely lose myself to anyone person in love or in anger. My control is always just slack enough for me to truly experience the situation. Maybe i experience too much. I can recall things said, feelings felt, the touch of someone, background noise, tastes, smells...It's incredible. But again, nothing is ever too little. uite the opposite, I feel too much. I care too much about people [[some of whom don't deserve it, in the eyes of others.]] I try to do too much in my day and life [[and end up exhausted or sick]]. But that's okay.

I am determined. Determined to never regret. I don't always understand why things happen or don't happen but I'm okay with that. As a journalist, I'm supposed to ask questions, I just don't always ask myself why. It always reveals itself in time, I have found. No one understands how my only regret is that I didn't visit Gregory enough in the hospital. I wish I could have learned more from him. He was the strongest person I've ever known and he was just a child. For him, I live. For him, I am strong. He is my guardian angel, my hope, my sunlight between the clouds. He pushes me everyday. I believe everyone has the ability to be like this. To put their trust inthemselves. To have faith in life. Not exactly God [[though that IS a part of life]] but in life.

At the same time though, I am scared. I am scared because of how I have been hurt, [[but isn't everyone]]. I try not to let it hinder me, though. Fear can set us back so much, when really it should free us. I am scared of chaos and change, yet they are the only things that have been truly constant in my life aside from a neverending supply of love. I fight myself everyday to overcome my fears. I am my own worst critic; the one thing that disappoints me the most. That's usually why I cry or get so upset in situations. Not because of the other person, but the fact that I allowed it to happen. It's the control thing. It's the OCD. These are the things I dislike about myself, but I am okay with that. I can't have the good without the bad. All I can do is accept it - to accept my flaws. And I do. I hope that you do too. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crazy Piercings

So, as I said last night, I got my tragus pierced. Which, until my friend got it done a few months ago, I was unaware of what in the world it was. It's the little piece of cartiledge that is opposite your ear. (this is a picture of mine)
I've always been afraid to get a cartilage piercing because I've heard from my family members (all of whom I thought had EVERYTHING pierce-able pierced, until recently of course) it is very painful and takes forever to heal. Last night, I obviously succumbed to the allure of piercings (and my friend's desperate pleas that I get a cartilage piercing as well!). Since last night, the idea of the things people pierce has been intriguing me.

Such as, I didn't think it was possible to pierce your wrists, until i saw my friend's photographs. Not to mention back dimples? Who would have thought that could be cute?! But then there are the crazy piercings that totally boggle my mind and amaze me at the same time.

Never in a million years would i dream of getting the back of my neck pierced...or my scalp! But people do it! It's so crazy and just shows how far the need to be different can stretch.

All I can really think of is: wow - high pain tolerance and some crazy ideas!!

I googled this website
for more crazy piercings - what a concept! (and I thought I was the one amongst my friends who was more radical!)




P.S. I hope this piercing heals before it's riding season!! Because an infected ear + my helmet can not make for a good trip to the desert!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Honeymoon Period

Ohh, the Honeymoon period. I think that it is, without a doubt, one of my favorite parts of a relationship. In that moment, anything seems possible because of course this relationship is going to last forever, this person in front of you is the person who is going to save you, he's the one that deserves you - who you've saved your heart for all of these years! He's going to erase all of the pain that anyone has ever caused you!

But the reality is, no one but you is capable for the last part. And honestly, nothing in your life is going to be completely flawless - especially relationships.

My friend called me crying today because of a slight disagreement with her boyfriend. I think she's starting to realize the honeymoon period - everything is changing and things are gonna normalize. But doing normal everyday things isn't horrible. Essentially isn't that what we all want in the end: to be married doing everyday things with our person?

The test of a true relationship is if you can overcome the honeymoon period and then all of the fights and misunderstandings that follow the end of the honeymoon. There's always going to be something to nitpick about, but also, something to look forward to.

I'm beginning to realize the honeymoon period works for everything, not just relationships. A new job - I always love it at first (the true test is if I ALWAYS love it); starting school (classes always seem sooo much fun at first); a new hair style, etc etc.

So, at what point is the honeymoon period over? And how is the smoothest way to transition into contentedness?


P.S. I just got my tragus pierced, at what point does this honeymoon period end? Because I still LOVE my nose piercing...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Big Dreams

So I'm pretty sure we all have the friend with the crazy ambitions and drive to do whatever they set out to do. And if the word friend is stretching it, then everyone at least knows of that person at school or at work.

In high school, it was this one girl who I both adored and hated. She did sports, honors, ASB, MUN, Fellowship Christian Athletes, National Honors Society, California Scholars Federation, Yearbook, volunteer work, etc. You name it and she probably did it. She even found time to hang out with her family almost everyday. And she was SO cheerful about everything. I envied her for that and for her ability to dedicate to each of the things in her life.

In my life, I've tried almost everything in school - sports, art, student council, clubs, yearbook, journalism, etc. But journalism is the only thing that I've ever stuck with. It shows my commitment to it. But even now, I question if I really am passionate about it or if I just do it because I'm good at it. At one point, I basically lived and breathed journalism. But I haven't had an article published in years. That's right...YEARS! Not one, but two years and several months. And now I'm afraid that I will be horrible at it OR it's not right. I know (because everyone tells me) that I haven't lost it, especially because my editing professor at OSU loved my articles. It appears to be in my blood. But I just feel that I'm pushing it all back one more year since I have to go to a community. I'm sure I'll find some way to stay focused.

The other night I was hanging out with a couple of the girls who were in journalism with me but graduated a year ahead of me. Both have been editor in chief of their college newspaper. One of them is interning for the LA Times. A few summers ago another friend (who is a year younger than I) interned and free-lanced for the OC Register. So you can see my dilemma.

I love hanging out with these girls. I admire their ambition and I love taht we have this in common but sometimes it drives me crazy. I feel so inadequate! Don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of ambition and dreams. I've taken "dream big" literally since I want to start a magazine and the industry has a 90% fail rate. EEK!

But I can do it. Really, all of us can. Dream big and accept the failures because it will teach you a lesson, and you'll rise again!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Speak Up!

It's pretty rare for me to be a quiet observer at a party. Actually, it's very rare for me to be a quiet observer at almost anything. Mostly, because I am not a quiet person at all. But occasionally, when I'm tired or very introspective i will become the quiet observer (as opposed to the loud observer that I usually am...Captian Obvious).

Last night, I was at a pretty crazy party where I apparently was a hit. Mostly, because I'm crazy but that's not what this story is about. I was observing the people around me (obviously) and their interactions and, although I was not perfectly coherent, I came to a realization in regards to girls and guys communications in and out of an official, exclusive relationship.

One of my friends, was invited to this party by the boy that she liked and long story short there was a misunderstanding. She felt like he was ignoring her and so she got upset and, instead of telling him (because shouldn't guys just KNOW when we're upset with them?), she took the traditional girl approach to say "I'm fine." Honestly, my boyfriend knows those words are not a good sign at all. Also, i shrug. But back to the point at hand, of course it blew up into something bigger than was necessary because she was too afraid to say anything because she has no legitimate "claim" on him.

I have a legitimate "claim" on my boyfriend - we've been best friends for years, tell each other everything and have been dating for about a year give or take some craziness that we like to throw in to keep it interesting. Still, I get afraid to tell him things. Don't get me wrong, the fear isn't completely unjustifiable. Every girl knows that boys don't know how to handle emotions (their own, OR girls') and they hate it when we cry, which happens all the time anyway.

But this doesn't mean we should be afraid to talk to them. That fear leads to miscommunications and MORE emotions. It's like leaving the lid on the pot when the water starts to boil, pretty soon it's going to bubble over.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone's noticed, but guys are very blunt and straight-forward and don't like to beat around the bush. When a girl is straight-forward with the guy, they really admire her for "having the balls" to face this fear. Guys want girls they can have a conversation with, who hold their own and aren't AFRAID of them. (If a guy wants you afraid of him, he's not a good guy to be with and you should run away immediately because that is most likely abuse, for the record.)

So the next time something's bothering you, SPEAK UP. Don't do it emotionally, with all of the tears. Do it in a manner that is logical and clear. They'll appreciate it and you're relationship will probably be a lot stronger. =]

Take me as I am
as I was meant to be
and if you give a damn
take me, baby
or leave me
--Rent

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Breakin' Dishes

Have you ever heard the song by Rhianna, "Breakin Dishes?"

I'm breakin' dishes up in here
All night (uh huh)
I ain't gonna stop until I see police lights (uh huh)
I'm a fight a man (tonight)
I'm a fight a man (tonight)
I'm a fight a man
It's one of the favorites off of the first Warrior Queen CD because nothing can quite satisfy that frustration like throwing dishes can! I never knew how exhilarating it could be until i went to Sarah's Smash Shack yesterday in San Diego. [[WHICH IS AMAZING, and I recommend it to anyone!]]

We first discovered Sarah's Smash Shack from a TV commercial and a recommendation from a friend who lives in San Diego. She has never gone, but she had heard about it. We've been planning a Smash Shack date since last October but it hasn't seemed to work out. Ideally, we would get all of the girls together to break dishes and have a party there [they do host events]. Although, we didn't quite get the RSVP's we had hoped for, my mom and a friend and her mom chose to accompany me to check out the Smash Shack. And BOY! was it a blast!!

Don't get me wrong, the Smash Shack, is by no means strictly for girls - it's just a place for anyone to go and break things [[almost anything you want, you can order off the menu or bring in your own stuff]] It's pretty affordable, we each paid 30 dollars for a "mystery box" of ten dishes (Thanks for paying for me momma!!).

The recommend making reservations if you're going in with more than a couple of people, so I called ahead. When we walked in we signed waivers and chose from their menu of things to break [[my favorite was the photo frames, but I didn't have any pictures to break]].

Next step? Putting on our safety gear! Sarah's Smash Shack provides you with jumpsuits, boots (if you don't wear proper closed-toe shoes), masks and gloves. Once you gear up they take you to the "Break Room" and let you have your way with the breakables. The coolest part about all of this? You can write whatever you want on them!! We wrote lyrics, feelings, drew pictures, etc!

Also, they let us take pictures throughout the session!!

Here's My Photo Album

So basically, if you're in downtown San Diego, Sarah's Smash Shack is a MUST visit!! Keep your eye out for our warrior queen day! =]
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