Lent has arrived. Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, and boy was that the truth. Holy moly. One and a half paczki and three cookies later, here I sit displaying my Catholicism via ashes on my forehead. Feelin’ good.
Speaking of eating more sweets than my body can handle, I believe I promised a workout playlist last week. Keep in mind that these are songs that keep me pumped up as I run, and I understand that some of them will seem weird. However, I urge you to give them a chance.
Before I dive straight into that, I’ll share a little more about my life. This morning was excellent. I woke up at 6:00 a.m., and I got ready to walk to the train station to meet with Mary Ellen, a staff person and friend from Interfaith Youth Core. She speaks Italian wonderfully, and we both wanted to brush up and converse—so we did! We met at the French Market downtown, it was a delightful time. My Italian-speaking has gotten so rusty. Yikes. In any case, it was a lovely way to start the day. If anyone around Dominican wanted to speak Italian, I would love it. After this morning, I discovered that I need to speak it more often.
Okay, now for the playlist…
Arcade Fire-Ready to Start
This is a great song to begin your workout. Not only does it pump me up with its melodies, but the lyrics literally beckon me to start, as well. How can you beat it?
This little number is still in the realm of normalcy. This is right when I finish warming up, and I need to amp up the intensity. It has a nice pulse to move to, and it sounds so fierce!
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers – Why do Fools Fall in Love
Okay, we have no left the realm of normalcy. I would have never thought that this would be good to run to, but one day it just popped up on my iPod, and I gotta tell ya—I didn’t hate it. It’s fun, it’s energetic and it’s something different. It makes running seem like a pleasure (which, for some, it might be anyways).
M83 – Midnight City
Change of pace from the last tune. Yes, this is a song used in a Victoria’s Secret commercial. It is nonetheless catchy in its own unique way, though. I think this is another one with a nice pulse.
Britney Spears – Trip to Your Heart
What? You listen to Britney Spears, Hannah?! Absolutely, I do. This is the song I play when I start to become annoyed with the fact that I’m still moving, and it’s becoming monotonous. I need something to inspire me. This does the trick. It makes me up my speed every time.
St. Vincent – Cruel
I don’t know how many people would dig this, but I love this girl. This song has a great beat, and it’s musically interesting, it helps me shift my attention from the fact that, at this point, I’m probably starting to lose steam.
Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend
This is the song that milks one last push before I start thinking about winding down. About this time, I’ve been on the ol’ treadmill or hittin’ the ol’ asphalt for about 25 minutes or so. This helps me push through to the end. Also, the music video I’ve linked is funny. During a late night writing session, a writer for SNL mimicked Robyn’s dance moves in her video, and there’s a split screen comparison. Pretty funny.
The Shins – New Slang
All right, the workout is winding down. I’m still jogging, but slower. I’m starting to run through my post-workout schedule in my head as my session comes to a close.
The Middle East – Blood
The time has come. I lightly jog for part of this song, then slow it down to a brisk walk on the last part. My workout has come to a close.
Oh, hi there!
Folks, I’m spicin’ it up. Usually I’m all like, “I read a lot of theology….blah blah blah…I watch the Real Housewives…blah blah blah…” Well, reader, you and I have been engaging in one-sided exchanges for many months now (cough leave me a comment cough cough), so I figured it’s about time I share more of myself.
I might have mentioned somewhere in earlier blogs that I really enjoy music. To give you an idea of just how much I love it, let me tell you a little fact nugget. Last year when I was an RA in the Centennial residence hall, I had an entire bathroom all to myself. However, it was outside of my bedroom (as those familiar with Centennial layout will understand). Now I always have music playing in my bedroom. Always. Therefore, when I left my bedroom to go to the bathroom—no music! What? This simply won’t do! Solution: iPod dock in bathroom. Music at all times, no matter what. I can’t get enough.
So, reader, you understand my passion. Given this, I thought it might be fun to include some music on here every once in a while. I was planning on sharing a few songs that I’ve been enjoying particularly lately so you could gain a sense of my taste. However, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. All you lovers out there who are wondering what to put on the mix CD for that special someone, fear not. Your remedy is here. I will provide you with songs that swoon, tunes that tug the heartstrings, melodies that tell your sweetheart, “Choose me. Be with me. I’m the one for you. How could I not be with my impeccable taste in music?!” Ahem. Okay, I’ll get on with it.
Applicable to many kinds of loving relationships!
Sing it, Connie. Her only error was limiting the number of reasons to sixteen. Be sure to tell your love dove that your reasons for loving hir are insurmountable.
This song plays in my head every time my phone rings. I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not I’m kidding.
Oh, ‘90s love. If I were a teenager in the ‘90s, I’m certain I would have cried to this song every time I felt angsty.
I don’t know what it is about this song, but it gets me every time. It feels like they mean it.
This song is for all you folks who find yourselves doing the long distance thing. I feel your pain, but this little ditty soothes it a little. Only a little, though.
Oooo, so smooooth.
Perhaps a little risqué, but tastefully so. What a crooner!
This is perhaps my favorite love song of all time. If anyone needs a first dance song for a wedding, I think this one is perfect.
BONUS TRACK WITH FUN FACT ABOUT HANNAH’S PARENTS
Nat King Cole – Stardust
Fun fact about Hannah’s parents: this song plays in the movie Sleepless in Seattle when the ghost of Tom Hanks’s wife visits him (wife in the movie; Rita Wilson’s still alive and kicking). One time my parents were watching that movie together and my dad asked my mom to dance when this song played. So they did! Isn’t that so sweet? My parents love each other, and I love them.
Readers, there is so much more where this came from, but so little time. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line with your feedback.
Stay tuned for next entry where I will share the songs that keep my legs cuttin’ up the treadmill!
Until next time…
Welcome back from winter break, readers! Long time no see; but I suppose that’s always the case since this exchange doesn’t really involve seeing you all in the first place.
Quick update on my break: all I pretty much did was read theology books and lie around. It was wonderful. This was the first time I didn’t work a job over a break, so it was lovely to be able to relax and spend time with my family, friends and leisurely reading. It felt luxurious! Somewhere in between holiday meals with family and hearty laughter among old friends, I got engaged. I am just giddy! That made my break as spectacular as could be!
Then came the first day of the spring semester. Unfortunately, I did not attend the first few days at school because, fortunately, I was in Atlanta for some interfaith business. There was another Interfaith Leadership Institute there, and I helped train other students at it. It was a delightful time, though I was only able to leave the hotel once. Therefore, after a four-day trip to Atlanta, I return with the knowledge that there is a hip and noisy pub in Decatur that has a quaint atmosphere and is underwhelming in menu options…and that’s about it. Much to my dismay, I was not able to bump into any of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I guess they’re not down with the Decatur pub scene.
Now I’m been back into the Dominican swing of things for a few weeks, and I’m lovin’ it. All of my classes are super engaging, and my schedule is much more manageable (classes only on Tuesdays and Thursdays). I am particularly jazzed about the course The Church, taught by Clodaugh Weldon. I’ve never had her, and it’s been such a treat so far. We’re going to debate women’s ordination, celibacy in the priesthood, and many other things throughout the semester. A class like this is a dream come true for me. Literally.
I’ve been having these crazy dreams lately that are always about theology. I had one last night that I was professor teaching students all about Thomas Aquinas. The night before that, I had a dream that I was trying to reform the Church, then I somehow morphed into a horse…and was then shot by a farmer, who I am fairly certain was supposed to represent said Church. Wild, right? I’ll have to Google what this could possibly mean. In fact, I’ll do that right now.
“To see a black or dark horse in your dream signifies mystery, wildness, and the unknown. You are taking a chance or a gamble at some unknown situation. It may even refer to occult forces…If you see a dead horse in your dream, then it indicates that something in your life that initially offered you strength is now gone.”
Whoa. Now that’s interesting. Looks likes the Minks is going to have to start keeping a dream (b)log.
Until next time…
It is the week before finals, and my gears are still turning. I’m a happy camper. I only have papers due for finals week, which is nice. However, since I’m trying to get home as quickly as possible, I’m trying to condense what is meant to be another two weeks of work into one week. This should be overwhelming, but I recently bought some holistic anxiety-relieving chewing gum at Whole Foods—works wonders. Best placebo ever.
You know what I think I’m most excited for as the end of the semester draws to a close? I will finally have time to reflect upon that fact that we’re in the Advent season. I really need that, too. In studying theology, it can be very hard to maintain a personal sense of spirituality or faith. I read so many positions on so many things to which there can never be any concrete answer, and it is quite draining. I’ll be happy to finally have time to process what all the information I’ve accrued over the semester means for my own faith. Actually, it might be most effective put everything I’ve learned aside for a bit. I think my soul is fried and tired from despairing in its current confusion. Take that, cold academic pursuit of God.
Back to this advent business. A while ago I was practicing some songs for mass with Amy Omi in the chapel, and the music reflected the anticipation of the Advent season which was right around the corner. She talked about how there’s something really lovely about the sense of waiting that comes with Advent. It’s really hard to articulate, but there is such beauty in the solemn patience required of the Advent mentality. The anxious expectancy of something greater than you have ever known—I don’t know, there is something particularly awe-inspiring about this moment on the liturgical calendar.
My favorite scripture this time of the year is in Luke when the shepherds go to share what they had been told about the birth of Jesus, and everyone is amazed at what they say. Luke 2:19 reads, “But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” How lovely and poignant.
This is a bit unrelated, but I have a heartwarming story to leave the reader with before I depart for holiday break. You know those chocolate Advent calendars? My grandma always got one for my brother and I every year. It’s one of my favorite things of all time. I just love those things! So one year my grandma decided to get us one that was not the usual chocolate calendar, but one that was a bunch of doors that opened to an ornament to place on a miniature Christmas tree. Don’t get me wrong, this was lovely and all. She said it was nice because it would be something we could use every year. This meant no more chocolate calendars. I missed the chocolate one. Then on Christmas day that year, my grandma went into the hospital. She died there five months later, and in retrospect, I find it so uncanny that that was the year she gave us a permanent Advent calendar.
On that note, happy holidays, readers!
Oh, what’s that? Could it be…the light at the end of the tunnel?! Indeed it is. I could not be happier to be able to say that and mean it. This has been the most demanding semester of my scholastic career. I am not complaining, though, I am just tired.
Disclaimer: the text that follows is not uplifting, and it might be too personal. However, I think it’s important to share for two reasons: 1) I think if we all shared more freely, we would understand one another better, and 2) I think the experience I am about to share could be valuable to fellow students who go through similar things.
Thanksgiving was last week, and it is typically one of my favorite holidays (if we’re being precise, second favorite to Christmas). Well, this Thanksgiving was very weird for me. It was the first Thanksgiving where it felt more real (rather than surreal) that both grandparents on my mother’s side are gone. The holiday just didn’t feel the same anymore. No more little place cards at the table with my grandmother’s perfect cursive. No more watching my grandpa cut up Italian meats and cheeses for everyone to nosh on as if we weren’t minutes away from embarking upon eating a button-popping meal. On one hand, I feel guilty for placing so much meaning on these little things that should really be in the background to the central theme of giving thanks. On the other hand, the sincere hand, those were definitely the things that, for me, distinguished the day from all others.
However, I don’t really have time to process all that experience because I’m back at school and need to produce a handful of papers and read a bunch of stuff. For me, this has been one of the hardest things about being a student who lives for away from home. So many things change back home, and I get mere glimpses of it from sporadic phone calls and vacations for holidays. Everyone else has time to adjust while I feel stuck in this little, focused bubble of academic diligence. When my grandpa died last year, I flew home for the funeral, came back two days later—back to the grind. Then I go back home a couple months later for Christmas, and I think, “Wow, I don’t have a grandpa anymore,” while amidst a family that has been coping for the two months that I have been thinly spreading myself between school, jobs and activities. It’s hard sometimes, and I don’t know if people talk about that enough.
Sorry if this sounded too much like, “Dear diary,” rather than, “Hello, blog readers!” I often share how I think the life of a student is exciting and wonderful (which I still believe wholeheartedly), but sometimes it’s rough, you know?
Until next time…
“Always there comes an hour when one is weary of one’s work and devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart.”
― Albert Camus
Oh, hi there—long time no see, readers!
I was not feeling too well throughout last week, so I hope you’ll pardon my absence. I’ll try to pump out another entry to make up for my unintended, though perhaps perceived, negligence.
Last week was a poor week to inadvertently skip writing a blog because it was an amazing week. My classmates in my Interfaith Literacy and Cooperation class, along with our instructors Cassie Meyer and Eboo Patel, threw an interfaith after-party that followed Eboo’s talk. I am still trying to express how gratifying of a night that was for me. I have been working on interfaith organizing for over a year now, and I’ve been waiting patiently for it to take off. Just as I was starting to get a little impatient, last Tuesday night happened. I could not have been happier about our turnout for the “speed-faithing,” and I’ve been hearing that everyone had a great time built upon meaningful conversation—that my classmates and I provided a venue for! It’s all extremely exciting, and I extend a big thanks to all who supported.
Now for this week…
Again on the topic of the interfaith class I’m taking, we just read an article by a Muslim and his experience growing up in South Africa and how that has affected his take on the meaning of interfaith. He wrote of his upbringing. He said that that he could count on the Christians or Jews that lived next door to him for a cup of sugar. This got me thinking.
One of the quintessential images conjured up when thinking about neighbor-to-neighbor relationships is the gesture of asking for (or giving) a cup of sugar. Many would understand this notion, yet when does that actually ever happen? I would never think of moseying next door to call upon my neighbor if I find my recipe is one cup of sweetness short from becoming a tasty treat. I would think, “Oh no, looks like I will have to run to the store. Darn.” At the same time, I believe that it would not only be okay for me to go to my neighbor, but that they would be welcoming. I know I would be so tickled if someone actually came to me in need of a cup of sugar (that is, after my neighbor pinched me to indicate that I was indeed an aware agent in real time).
Now I’m about to get all Miss America on you folks. Can you imagine how the world would improve if everyone not only felt comfortable to request a favor from their neighbor, but could do so based on the confidence that it would be well-received? If anyone has yet to actually ask their neighbor for a cup of sugar, there’s no time like the present.
Did this ever happen, though? I picture there being some historical reason like, “Oh, yes. Back in the Great Depression, sugar was so hard to come by you just had to ask your neighbor!” If something like that is the case, relationships with neighbors shouldn’t be based on the desperate need.
You know why I don’t think this happens anymore?
Well, there you have it folks. I think we need to be more willing to interact with our neighbors…despite their potential to be wolf-like. Until next time…