Irish Cream Italian Sodas

I love Irish Cream Italian Sodas.  They were one of my favorite beverages at the local coffee shop, Grounds for Thought, in my college town.  Since moving to Portland, I had yet to find an Irish Cream Italian Soda (though I did stumble upon some delicious Raspberry Italian Sodas) until I was at Bipartisan Cafe a few days ago.  Simply delightful!

Ruby red, raspberries, and refreshment

“What color is that?  Is it red?”

“Well yes, it’s called ruby red.”

This is how my friend greeted me today when she saw my hair as I walked into our local coffee shop, Grounds for Thought.  I’ve always had reddish hair, from red hair when I was two to the reddish brownish color that naturally spirals out of my scalp now.  I love it; having curly red hair is exciting because it reveals my personality even when I wear dark v-necks and jeans (which is my typical and favorite choice of outfit).  I can’t tame my hair; it almost symbolizes my desire for freedom and uniqueness.

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Anyway, though my hair is naturally considered red, I like to enhance its redness from time to time.  Usually I pick a natural color, and no one really notices that I dyed it.  However, when debating hair color at Walmart the other night, I finally opted for the edgy color (something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now).  I picked ruby red, and I couldn’t be happier with it.  It is funky and fun.

To keep with the red theme of the day, I decided to order a raspberry Italian soda tonight.  It is quite delicious, but before I tell you about it, I must first divulge that I have recently discovered that I love raspberries.  I’ve never minded them in the past, but I also would never choose raspberry if other flavors were offered.  However, for some bizarre unexplainable reason, I have begun to adore raspberries recently.  I even seek them out and choose raspberry when flavors are offered.  A few nights ago, when debating what fruit to buy, I chose raspberries and proceeded to eat the entire container while watching TV with John.  This new love astounds me, but I quite like it.  Raspberries are delicious.

Now onto the raspberry Italian soda.  It is so good.  The raspberry flavor is sweet, but not so sweet that it is overpowering in its sweetness.  Drinking a raspberry Italian soda is refreshing after a long day.  It quenches my thirst and brings happiness to my soul.  What more could a beverage do?

What is your refreshing beverage of choice?  Or what crazy color would like to dye your hair?

Post #65 – Reading minds for a day?

Insecurity plagues me sometimes, particularly when I wonder what people think of me.  Do they really like me?  Or are they just being nice?  Do they really think I’m a good writer, or are they just trying to encourage me?  Does he think I’m attractive or fat?  The list goes on and on, especially on days that I’m down.  I often people watch while sitting in coffee shops and ponder what people think of me, both the people that pass me by and the people that really know me.

So, if given the chance to read minds for a day, I would seriously contemplate the pros and cons of doing so.  I could discover what people really think of me, both those who think well of me and those who don’t.  Would the confirmation of my friends’ love really be worth any potential bad feeling I stumbled upon?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Though I do already know people who genuinely don’t care for me, so perhaps finding out that more people could feel that way wouldn’t hurt as much as the betrayal I felt when I discovered that some people close to me genuinely don’t care for me.  Ok, let’s be real.  It would still hurt to find out that anyone doesn’t like me, and I have no reason to distrust what my close friends say to me.  So perhaps reading minds for a day to discover what people think of me would end badly.

I could use the power for good though.  I could learn what my friends really like and surprise them with gifts or excursions or whatnot.  I could learn what they are intimidated by or afraid of and encourage them.  Somehow, I don’t think this justifies reading minds for a day.  I could just ask them these things and be open about my own likes and fears.  Then we would all know.

So I suppose that I would not read minds for a day if given the choice.  The risks outweigh any potential benefits.  This is one time that I would rather not be sorry than safe.

Post #64 – Better sorry than safe?

According to the wisdom of the ages, it is “better to be safe than sorry”.  I grew up hearing this old adage, and in general, I do think it is better to be safe that sorry, at least in most circumstances.  Why cause problems or pain if it can be avoided?  No one like to be hurt or frustrated.

However, I think there are times that it could be better to be sorry than safe.  Well, only if the sorry means taking a risk that could end in sorry rather than safe.  One such example is love.  I have found that it is much, much better to be potentially sorry than safe when it comes to love and commitment.  If I wasn’t willing to be hurt and sorry, then my relationship and friendships could never be deep and vulnerable and real.  I wouldn’t stick around when the relationships were difficult and then I would be all alone.  Being willing to be sorry (though it is quite hard and risky) has led me to be open and real with my friends and husband, which has led to deeper, meaningful relationships (and some heartache from failed relationships and friendships).  I know that my close friends and husband will stand by me regardless of what happens in life.  If you aren’t willing to risk it all (by which I mean every aspect of life or at least being hurt) for love, when are you willing to risk it all?

Embarking on adventures, particularly of the global variety, is another example of a time that it may be better to be sorry than safe.  Being safe means being comfortable and not being willing to risk trying new things.  I would much rather have adventures than do the same thing with my life every single day.  I want to travel the world, though so far my traveling outside of the U.S. has been limited to countries whose names begin with ‘C’ and end in ‘a’ (Canada and China).  I want to try food from around the world.  On my adventures, I have discovered so many new foods that I love, and some that I just don’t like and find rather repulsive.  Anyway, living an adventurous life doesn’t lead to many “what if?”s other than “what if I had stayed home?”.

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What adventure would you take if you could?

Post #57 – Random Acts of Kindness

I love random acts of kindness.  I love trying to be kind to random people and those close to me.  I also love being the recipient of random acts of kindness.  Let’s be real… who doesn’t?

I try to be kind and considerate in general.  Though I’m not always a fan of chores such as cleaning and doing the dishes or even housewifey things like packing lunches, I try to do these things and be considerate and kind to both my roommate and my husband.  However, doing these chores isn’t a random act of kindness.

The last random act of kindness I did was probably on Monday when I let my friend borrow my car for the day to drive to Dayton, OH and back.  That is something I wouldn’t do on a daily basis.  And though I would typically let anyone borrow anything of mine that I wasn’t currently using (or wasn’t weird to borrow – like toothbrushes), letting Emily borrow my car was random in that it doesn’t happen every day.  So yeah… I think that is it.

As for receiving random acts of kindness, people have been really kind to me recently, though it isn’t necessarily random.  Friends have bought me lunch; Mal lets me and my husband live with her rent free, lets us do laundry, and makes us dinner; John’s parents lent us a car and a phone; the list goes on and on… I am blessed.  Also I have received many encouraging e-mails from random people recently as a result of an article I published.  Those are random and kind.

What was the last random act of kindness you did?  Or what was the last random act of kindness that touched you?

On City Lights

Last night, I drove through the city of Detroit on my way home to Bowling Green.  As I crested a hill on I-75, I got the most amazing view of city lights.  Detroit is by no means a large city or a fabulous city, but that hill offers a spectacular view at night.  After miles of driving in darkness with only the occasional store front lit, the lights of Detroit sparkle against the pitch black sky illuminating the horizon.  Every time I drive past the dazzling array, I am invigorated and reminded of my love of cities.  I love cities – the lights, the hustle and bustle, the variety, the people, the experiences.  I cannot wait until I can move to a city and experience city life on a daily basis.  It will be so exciting!  Until then… I will have to settle for driving past the lights as I drive back to small town Bowling Green, which I have learned to appreciate and enjoy in the past four years.  It has been a delightful in between cities town for me.   But I will return to a city.  Someday, somewhere.  Of that, I am sure.

On becoming alive

As I sat in one of my favorite coffee shops yesterday, I realized that I felt apathetic about life.  I desperately wanted to feel, even if that meant feeling sad or angry.  While I was journaling about this lack of emotion that I felt, my friend walked into Grounds, came over, and invited me to her table with two of her other friends.  I joined, and we all started talking.  We connected about random, sometimes ridiculous things.  And all of a sudden, I realized that I was feeling again.  I was feeling alive again.  Why?  Because I was connecting.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking, pondering, and considering what I want to do when I graduate.  I am single and free to go anywhere and do anything.  I want to pursue my dreams and passions, which I believe that God has laid upon my heart.  I’ve dreamed about many different things.  Moving to Seattle.  Moving to England.  Moving to Boston.  Moving to Spain.  The last place I want to move is back home with my parents.  And until quite recently, the second to last place I wanted to be is Bowling Green, Ohio.  I moved to Bowling Green for school in August 2006.  And it has been a great place for me to grow and really become myself.  However, I have never dreamed about staying in BG.  I didn’t even want to come here for school.  But as I have been really delving into my soul to realize my dreams, I have come to realize what I want to do with my life.

I want to connect with people.  Through writing.  Through social justice organizations.  Through teaching.  Through being friends.  Through investing in each other’s lives.  That is what I want to do.  Connecting with people makes me come alive.  It makes me feel.  Yes, I have been hurt, and I will be hurt by people.  But being hurt is no longer enough of a reason for me to run away from people.  I would rather feel and connect with them than run away and withdraw.  So that is what I am going to do… now to just figure out how… and that might mean that I stay in Bowling Green and continue to connect with people.  Who knows?