Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If only I could understand the words

Ho-kay so, I know my last post was about cultural things, but I am just obsessed with Hindi, Tamil, Asian songs (and everything) in general lately... There are a couple songs that my friend(s) introduced me to, and one of them even came on my Pandora station as well, and all I want is to be able to sing along to it!!! Unfortunately, I don't speak Hindi. Dang it. Although even though I can't understand the words, just listening to their voices and watching the music videos, I can feel what the song is about! And it doesn't hurt to have my friends translate them either ;)

I always admire how the majority of people from other countries around the world can speak multiple languages. Yet here in the United States, we're taught English and that's about it. How boring is that?! Ok, some schools teach Spanish too- which is an improvement. All of my friends from other countries, whether they're from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Germany, Spain...wherever it is, speak at least three languages. AT LEAST. Since there are people of so many different cultures and from neighboring countries, it's just a given that you learn many languages. I am always so fascinated by all my friends' abilities to speak so many languages... And I wish I had learned more than just Spanish growing up!

It's easier to learn, and become fluent, in a language when you start at a young age. I just don't get how after taking Spanish from kindergarten through college, I'm still not fluent. I was totally fluent when I was in Spain! Then I came back to the US... *sigh* and now it's gone. Probably doesn't help that I never practice... :/ oops.

Anyway, maybe someday I can become re-fluent in Spanish. And hopefully ASL too. And maybe Hindi. Or Nepali. ;) We'll see.

Until next time, I leave you with these two amazzzzzing songs. The first one is Hindi, the second is Arabic. I've literally been listening to them on repeat. My roomie Veranja says I'm turning Asian. ;) Thank you, V!

Zara Zara -- Bombay Jayshree

Enta Eih -- Nancy Ajram نانسى عجرم - إنت إيه

PS-- It's Frozen River week! Aaah!!! Freaking out. If you're in the Winona area, or up for a trip, you should come check it out! It's gonna be grand :)

Frozen River Film Festival site

Friday, January 20, 2012

Multicultural things make me happy :)

I work on campus in food service and due to my class schedule and such, I work on weekends only. All of my coworkers that work on weekends with me are from Southeast Asia. I love it. So much. I absolutely would not have it any other way. They are seriously some of the best people I have ever met. I can't even imagine my life without them! I already realized all this; but tonight on our walk back home, I just kind of looked at all of us... and smiled. We all had handmade hats from Nepal on, all bundled up, snow crunching underneath our feet.

Throughout the entire night, there are always many different conversations going on... Some between Sri Lankans, Chinese, Nepali, a mixture of the three... It's so great. Then of course, there is the large group of guys from the Middle East that usually hangs out where we work too! Actually, a majority of the time I don't understand any of the conversations going on! Surprisingly, I enjoy it. In fact, I love it. It fascinates me how we can all come together and bond, even coming from such different backgrounds.

Here are our Nepali loves... (My friends Amanda and Katie as well!)

So many Americans avoid new things, new cultures, new people. Or they want to stay to themselves; stick to "their own kind". When a lot of international students came here at first, they said they didn't feel welcomed by the American students. They said it was quite the opposite of being welcomed, and many people simply ignored them or looked down upon them. This saddens me deeply. I'm glad I'm not like the "norm" of these unwelcoming people. I LOVE hearing about their religions, their homes, schools, weather, land, friends, families, food (ooo especially food!! ;) hehe!!), and recently-- MUSIC.

I'm addicted to it. After the song Why This Kolaveri Di was introduced to me, I totally fell in love. I searched Pandora and found Bollywood and Tamil radio stations...and let me tell you, it was the best thing I've done in a long time! No joke. This is all I listen to now. It makes me dance happily, even though I don't understand anything they're saying! The dancing done to most of this music is just as beautiful as the songs! English music is so boring now ;P

Anyway, these people I've met and grown very close to have opened my eyes to so many things. They inspire me! I love them all so much...and I tell them often ;)

One of my friends is selling some handmade items from Nepal on campus... I currently have a hat, mittens, coin purse, and over the shoulder purse from there. They're sooo wonderful, and original. Plus, it's from Nepal and handmade. How could it not be perfect?!

Now for your listening pleasure, here are a couple songs you should listen to. Just imagine me dancing around my kitchen and my room to music like THIS. You'll want to join, I'm sure! :D

Why This Kolaveri Di -- Anirudh,Dhanush,Shruti Hassan, Aishwarya and Sound Engineer Sivakumar

Autograph Tamil songs -- Ovvoru pookalume

"Maiya Yashoda" from Hum Saath Saath Hain

PS-- Notice the nose piercing in the third video... This is a very common thing for women as it symbolizes womanhood and fertility. Which is awesome, because that's why I love mine even more! Especially since it's on the left side! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's happening

It's happening. The next two weeks are going to kick my butt. I've been aware of this for quite some time, I know. But now it's finally here. Finishing up all the prep for FRFF, diving into case studies and court dates, and legal terms for my Child Advocacy Studies classes...which all are blurring together thus far, since I have three of them and they're all CAST. Oh and grad school stuff needs to be taken care of as well. And figuring out my capstone project. Oh, there's graduation paperwork that needs to be done? HA. I'll worry about that later...

I had a great weekend with friends and did nothing productive (besides work of course), since I won't be able to have much of a social life from here on out probably, haha. I started getting more organized (not completely, but it's making progress- I swear!) in hopes that that decreases my anxiety and stress levels. I'm super excited for FRFF; it's going to be a great success. Just the building up to it sucks sometimes, as does anything wonderful!

Send some strength, encouragement, and positive vibes my way if you can please... I'm gonna need 'em! I will get through it. Slowly but surely. Keep on truckin' along. Oh and coffee is amazing. Just in case ya'll didn't know that already. OH! And I found love note number NINE from Andrew today... It could not have come at a better time, I swear. I needed that. I can't believe he's been gone since October - and I'm still finding love notes lying around various places from him! Ha, I am one lucky girl that's for sure. Two months til I go to KC too! Eep! Yay! Actually, it's less than two months...If I counted correctly it's 46 days?! (Someone check my math...since we all know how terrible I am at it :P)

I've recently enjoyed these two songs: one for calming my mind, and one for putting on my happy pants!

Calming: Samskeyti -- Sigur Ros

and the happy dance is... Loca People -- Sak Noel
(there is swearing in this. but GAWWWD it's amazing. and catchy. you'll love it, trust me!)

PS-- Speaking of Sigur Ros, I got to skype with Emily Templin, my lovely former-part-time-roomie friend who is an au pair in Ireland right now, for the first time in months today! I miss her dearly and love living vicariously through her awesome, crazy, Irish life. ;)

Remember this quote

"We as people cannot afford to give anything less than everything we have to our lives. Life is simply too short to not enjoy every second of it. When you choose to do something, anything, do it to the very best of your ability. Run as fast as you can, because exhaustion will only make you stronger. Sing as loud as you can, because everyone deserves to hear your voice. Create anything that makes you happy, because expression is the true way to prove that you are alive. Finally, love completely, because a heart will always heal in time. You can never regret something that you have decided to do with your entire self, because even if you fail you will have given it your all. Every moment of life is a gift, and to not utilize or appreciate these moments would seem ungrateful of your own existence. Put simply, just BE. Be as much as you can possibly be, because life is worth living fully and it is the only thing we cannot afford to let pass us by."


I wish I knew who had said it, or where it came from. If you know the source, please let me know. Because this is so perfect. I love it.

I want need to keep remembering this. 


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Little bit of life lately!

Hi there beautiful people :)

I apologize for lack of activity over here on my blogster world... Life has been quite a joy ride lately!

Let me start off by saying how absolutely perfect my New Year's weekend/ Christmas with Dad's side of the fam was... IT WAS AMAZING. Basically had grand ol' bonding time with my freaking awesome cousins (most of them...some couldn't make it) and I got the best gift from my grandparents: a gift card to the Co-op! I literally cried I was so happy about it. How perfect can that be? I love the co-op, and I wouldn't have had any food upon my return to Winona without it! Ha! So that was great... Then New Year's Eve (that Saturday...) my sisters and cousins drove me to a town in Iowa to meet half way with Andrew. Then him and I drove on down to KC for the weekend.

We basically drank wine, ate food, shopped (way way more than both of us usually do, so we were pooped!), and spent some quality time together... I can't remember the exact schedule we had, but all I know is I enjoyed every moment of it. I got to see my cousin and her new hubby, and my best friend too- so that was awesome. It was just so nice to be there with Andrew. Our alone time was my favorite part because the past few times we've seen each other it's been hectic and busy as all hell with family events, etc. So that was nice to not worry about that. And yes, we totally spent New Year's Eve in PJ's, drinking wine, eating pizza, and watching Big Bang Theory. We felt so old... But I wouldn't have had it any other way! Ooo and we have BOMB DIGGITY Indian cuisine for lunch Sunday... Holy yummy. It made me miss all my Nepali/ Sri Lankan friends though!

After the perfect weekend, I had to take the Greyhound back to the Cities.... HA. That was... Yea. I will never do that again. Andrew, I love you. But I will not go through that again. :P The bus was hot... Then a rando guy ended up sleeping on me/ cuddling with my shoulder for the last ~4+ hours of the trip... It was about a 10 hour trip. And the drive from the cities to KC is only 7 hours. So that sucked. Lol. I mean yes, the weekend was completely worth it. But boy was I glad to be off that bus that evening! I got a good "welcome back" night with my parents and sister by going out for tacos at a restaurant called Rusty Taco. [If you're in the St. Paul/ Mpls. area, definitely go check it out! Rusty Taco site] We had read great reviews on it in the local paper; they have gluten free tacos (as they're all in corn shells) and two vegetarian options. The owner was an awesome, fun, energetic guy... You could tell how passionate about his restaurant he was! So that was fun.

Fast forward a bit... to Thursday the 5th. I took the GRE that day. Ha. What a joke. It was terrible. I feel like I guessed on every thing. Emilie had helped me study basic math skills the night before... But of course there was a ton of algebra and geometry, and vocabulary that I'm pretty sure no one actually uses... So yea. But it's done now. And the one school that requires the GRE that I applied to won't know the minimum score requirements until March 1st, so I won't know if/ when I need to retake it until then. So that sucks. But oh well... I wouldn't be able to afford it soon anyway! ;)

Aaaand that same night I returned to Winona. Man oh man, I am NOT ready for this new semester. With my new minor I added (Child Advocacy Studies), I'm going to have a hard adjustment to having so many classes when I'm used to working constantly, not go to class and study constantly. So that will be interesting.

Also, this whole month of January will be absolute hell- not only because of the new semester. But because I am one of the technical directors for the Frozen River Film Festival here! It's an awesome thing that's put on every year; it's a great community event. But it's a ton of work... I mean, obviously it's worth all the effort we put into it. It's just very time consuming. Here's the link so you can go check it out! And if you're in Winona during the festival- you must go! It's great! :) FRFF Also, if you're in Winona and feel like being generous, we need more volunteers to help out! ;) Andrew is a total technology guru, and he used to work at it. But now that he's not here anymore, my technical partner Sam and I have to take over! Woooo!

Anyhow, so that's my life lately. I apologize in advance if you don't get updates from me throughout this month... Or if I only put lil' blurbs out. That's why. Because it's going to be a crazy, hectic, busy month... But it will be fine. And I will survive. Oh and I have to finish applying for grad schools... Heh. Yay?

I got this. Ain't no thang, right?

I hope you all are doing well, having a good start to your year, and enjoying life. Andrew and I are pretty much counting down the months til my spring break (when I get to visit for a whole week!) and July when I go move down there... 6 months. *sigh* seems like so far away. I'm sure time will fly though...

Take care and much love!


Pretty Winona :)

Mmhm... One of my favorite quotes lately.

Something I tend to forget to do ;)