Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Place Called a Library

A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them. – Mark Twain

Mr. Twain is certainly a genius whose wit and humor have proven to be to the point and permeated with true meaning. This is the reason I chose one of his quotes (so many of them are great!) to praise this one place that I believe anyone should acquaint themselves with. You might ask, why am I so fond of libraries and cannot wait to promote them to all? My simple answer would be how could I not? 

First, as those who have been in a library might have noticed, it generally is overtaken by cascades of books: old and new, short and long, in English and in some language you don't speak:). And books, as static and boring as they might look, could not be more alive and full of interesting and educational stories that teach us about the world we live in, about the people surrounding us, and most importantly, about who we really are. 

Second, borrowing a book instead of buying it actually contributes to the agenda of being green. I am by no means opposed to buying books; however, with the latest craze of everyone writing a book and pushing to sell as many copies as possible for a profit, it is hard not to notice that quality is many times sacrificed at the expense of quantity.

So do not be afraid to open a window to knowledge, and save some paper (a.k.a. trees you know...) while you are at it, by visiting the local library. You might be surprised and intrigued by what you find there. And no, I don’t  mean the homeless lady talking to herself. Although, she might teach you something cool too:).

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh baby!

I read an article today on MSNBC about home births increasing. There is a natural birth trend that has been growing for the past few years. Have you seen Ricki Lake's documentary The Business of Being Born? The film follows several pregnant women, Ricki Lake included, who have home births with midwives and *gulp* no pain medication.

It's quite an interesting movie (yes of course I've seen it!) as it goes beyond anecdotal evidence of how natural births are amazing (and painful) to the science of the human body, pregnancy and bonding.

While I can't say how I will choose to give birth (when that happens long down the road), I do have to agree with a point in the movie about the natural being taken out of childbirth by health care. Doctors are 1: concerned about lawsuits maybe a bit too much to think holistically and 2: OB/GYNs want a 9-5 schedule so hey let's endorse C-sections. Then there is the systemic disqualification of midwives and their competencies. I knew a nurse midwife who shared with me stories of being escorted out of a hospital because doctors would not give her privileges there and doctors refusing to work with her or her peers.

What do you guys think? Would you have a home birth? Do you think midwives should be recognized as professionals who can assist in birth?

For the record, I think this would be me without pain medication:

Have you seen the movie? It was cute but I loved this whole scene especially Jada Pinkett Smith's character, while sobbing, 'I did it! I did it!' Hahahaha

If only birth were like this:


Natural Childbirth

Midwives Alliance of North America

American College of Nurse-Midwives

- A

The Power of Beauty Obsessions

As I have already mentioned in a previous post about Toddlers in Tiaras, I am most certainly not a fan of the so-called beauty pageants, especially the ones for young children. Imagine my frustration, then, when while watching the news one morning last week, I hear about a case on Good Morning America about a mother who uses Botox on her eight-year-old daughter. The case outraged many, including me, and I decided to put down a few thoughts on it. 

The case is by all means the perfect example of the extreme heights to which appearance obsession has taken many. What’s worse is that the mother stated that she is not endangering the child’s life and that her daughter asked her for the Botox. Ok, I am sorry, but since when are eight-year-olds in charge of what they can have? Isn’t the parent supposed to be the mature adult that should be making the decisions? Watching the video, one can discern who truly makes that decision as when asked by the interviewer why she does it, the young girl’s simple answer is, “I don’t know.” 

Most of the reports on the case focus on the physical aspect of the harm incurred. I am not very familiar with the chemical structure of Botox, but I am sure it does have an impact on one’s body. However, I am more concerned about the psychological impact this ordeal will have on the young girl. If this child grows up believing wrinkles don’t look good on young girls (What wrinkles are they referring to anyway? She is an eight-year-old!), how will she accept herself as she matures and becomes an adult with actual wrinkles?

Are people so bored nowadays that we have to focus on so much that does not matter (appearance) and forget to pay attention to what makes us unique and special (character)? Every time I read or hear about a case, similar to the above-mentioned one, I recoil in disgust and feel disappointed by the human race. What such actions teach young children is that what they are is not good enough and that somehow, they need to use outside agents to make themselves look prettier. Then we wonder why the younger generation feels their lives are empty and meaningless...

 - Krasi

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"The Human Experience"

“The Human Experience” is a movie, a documentary about two brothers in search of the true meaning of the human experience. I am not sure where to begin describing the impact this documentary had on me and on others who have seen it. It reveals information I would like to believe we all somehow know and understand at some subconscious level. 

The most important message infused in the stories (experiences) presented in the movie is that life is worth living. It is worth living because it is. As one of the experts, a doctor, summarized it, even people in the worst of situations, with horrible medical problems want to be treated, want to be alive and remain so because one or five more days in this world is a gift to be enjoyed. No one knows what happens when we are gone so it is wiser to enjoy this fleeting gift of life, right now, while we have it. The above could not be more evident in the experience that led the two brothers to a place in Peru inhabited by children severely abused and with horrendous physical deformities. The kids cry during physical therapy because it hurts. However, they don’t mind enduring the pain; they “have the joy of living” and all they care about is that they get to go home at the end of the day and play with their friends. 

Another important lesson of the documentary is that to experience something out of one’s comfort zone is to learn. Most people understand consciously that there are many suffering out there and living in abhorring conditions. Unless they get to walk in the sufferers’ shoes, however, they do not really know what it is to be that person. Sometimes, it is urgent to step out of one’s comfortable life and embark on a foreign and scary adventure to truly understand what it means to be human, what it means to both suffer and rejoice. After all, it is quite obvious that the children in Peru and the lepers in Ghana, despite their physical challenges, find more meaning in life and enjoy it more than many Westerns do, Westerners who have everything and yet lack so much. 

The conclusion is, no matter what happens in life, life is still good. All people need to do is pay attention to the humane in each of us and ignore the distractions of the materialistic society we live in. Then, we can all be happy and actually enjoy life, not just go through it as if it is a chore. 

“We must rapidly begin the shift from ‘a thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society.”
-          Martin Luther King Jr

 - Krasi


Sunday, May 15, 2011


I know. I haven’t contributed with a post in a little over three weeks and as should be the right course of action, A. politely reminded me I need to do my fair share. I guess as much as I would not like it to be so, sometimes, I end up being too busy with the mundane practical and needed actions, such as work, and am not able to do what I actually enjoy doing, such as reading and writing. However, since I like for others to accept me as a trustworthy person who can be relied to do what they have committed to do, here I am again. As it turns out, this is a perfect opportunity to discuss trust and most importantly, what does it have to do with climbing? 

A couple of weeks ago, several of my climbing friends and I spend a weekend climbing at Enchanted Rock and man, was it hot! I was thoroughly exhausted after spending hours hiking and climbing in 90-degree weather. But that’s a topic for another conversation. What I would like to focus on today is the importance of climbing in the development of trust.

I’ll be the first to admit. I am not a very trusting person, not at all actually. As such, the hardest aspect of climbing for me wasn’t the action of going 30, 50, or 100 and more feet up a wall or a rock; what turned out really difficult is to learn to trust my belayer (the person on the other side of the rope who secures the climber), the equipment, and the skills of the people who set the anchors to which I am to hang as I climb. Soon after I started climbing, I realized that a large part of what makes one an excellent climber (aside from being a little insane and not afraid of heights and falling) is the ability to trust. To trust that the belayer will do what s/he is supposed to do, to trust that the equipment is safe and reliable, and to trust that the anchors have been properly set and will hold an elephant, that is if an elephant did one day decide to climb a huge mound of granite.

Needless to say, I do not trust just anyone to be my belayer, especially when outside on a real rock. But the important thing is that I did learn to trust, which drastically reduces fear and as such, improves climbing as I am actually able to move up without freezing 30 feet up in the air and not being able to move. 

Considering the many issues young adults face today and the armies of negative exposures attacking them from all sides, I would definitely recommend an activity that will add a positive flavor to their lives. I am, of course, referring to climbing. It is a great sport not only because it will allow them to spend time with others and socialize, to stay active, and to become more respectful of nature and the environment; it will also teach them to be able to develop healthy trust and not be afraid and suspicious of everything and everyone. And that’s a mighty good thing!

 - Krasi

Saturday, May 14, 2011

World Fair Trade Day

Hi folks, just wanted to drop in and let you guys know that today is World Fair Trade Day. What better time to see the wonderful variety of beautiful and tasty items you can buy knowing that the talented people that produced these items were paid fairly! Ebay has a wonderful fair trade store and that's just a start! Other places that carry fair trade goods:

Ten Thousand Villages

Fair Indigo

Grounds for Change

Major retailers have begun to carry a limited supply of fair trade products as well. Check your local Whole Foods, Target, even (I say this begrudgingly) Walmart. If you don't see any fair trade items, ask for them! Use that consumer power folks!

You can find more retailers, companies, and websites that carry fair trade goods at Fair Trade Federation.

- A

Friday, May 13, 2011

Where is the love?

An oldie but a goodie...

Where's the love y'all? I don't know. Where's the truth y'all? I don't know.

**Although I live in Texas that's the only instance in which you'll hear me 'say' y'all ;)

Have a wonderful, love filled weekend you guys!

- A

Friday, May 6, 2011


Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

Have a great weekend!
- A

Monday, May 2, 2011

Love & Politics?!

Love and politics...two words I never thought I would use in the same sentence but I can say that the only time I love politics is at the White House Correspondents' Dinner because those politicians get it! This years was no exception. President Obama was hilarious! My favorite part? The Lion King clip and his follow up..."I wanna make clear to the FOX news table, that was a joke"...hahahaha. Then Seth Meyers followed up and killed it! Both men had me laughing hysterically and quite out loud.

I love that about this country. You can make fun of your leaders, all the way from the top (president) to the senators and representatives.

Did you have a chance to watch the dinner? What did you think? I'd never watched one until last year. For curiosity's sake, I decided to go back and watch from the previous administration.

- A