Cheerful "BAM"blings

Of What's-Her-Face

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My First 2016 Blog! (And Focuses For the Year)

So around this time of year you get a lot of people who say, “I don’t really do resolutions”. And I don’t know if I do them in the traditional sense; I don’t often make specific goals of exercising per week or certain pounds to lose; I don’t keep track of how many books I read or movies I watch or have fixed skills I’m going to learn or habits I’m going to stop.

But I’ve always liked the idea of looking at the year that’s just passed, and starting January 1st with a vision of things I want to focus on in the coming year. I feel like I’m starting with a clean slate; it’s like going to bed and sleeping in order to recharge for a busy day tomorrow.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 2016 is my blank notebook, full of opportunity and yet beautiful before I even write in it. Who knows what kinds of adventures await me? So, in preparation for this year, here are my focuses for 2016:


 1. RECONNECT WITH GOD

All throughout 2015, I felt emotionally distant from God. I had disconnection in my worship time, got defeated reading Scripture because it felt pointless, and my prayer time seemed like a rant without any resolution. And since the few times I set aside to try and get some spiritual rejuvenation in my life seemed to fall flat, I kind of pushed it to the back burner. Oh, I didn’t mean to, but the busyness of life just crept up on me and before I knew it, I had gone weeks without really talking to God about anything or pursuing Him in everyday life. And the weeks turned to more weeks, and months, and… you get the idea.

I know that my salvation doesn’t depend on my consistency of having a quiet time, and I know that I’m not supposed to be run by emotion. Sometimes I do all the right things and I still don’t “feel” God. But there is goodness and power in continuing to do the right things even when it feels like it’s going no where, because it’s still doing something. I just may not be able to see it.

I don’t really have a structure to “how many Bible verses I’m going to read per day” or “how long I’m going to spend in prayer each week”… but I do know that I want to refocus my heart on Jesus once again. Whether the emotions follow or not, I will do my part to seek God wholeheartedly and draw close to Him this year.

2. FIND CONTENTMENT IN THIS SEASON OF LIFE

Even though I’ve had a job all year that I’m extremely grateful to have, it’s been really hard for me the past 6-months to accept where things are in my life. All I’ve ever really desired has been to get married, have kids and raise a family as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve never wanted a career, or to go to college, or to work all the time. Of course, I knew if I wanted to live on my own (which I’ve always wanted to do) I’d have to support myself. And now I have this great job where I can DO that.

I don’t know if this discontentment stems from laziness at not wanting to work, or if it’s from waiting on a dream that hasn’t happened yet… but this year, I’m determined to fight it.

Years ago, before my first relationship, I told God I wanted to figure out how to be content being single before I got involved with someone. And I was content, and then I dated someone, and now that it’s over I find myself having to go through the same hoops again. I’m not feeling committed to this season of my life… and that’s something I want to change, because why would God bring me into the next season if I can’t find my place in this one?

So one of my focuses this year is to learn to be content where I am: as a single, working, almost-26-year-old who is hopefully going to be moved out by the end of the year. I want to focus on my friends… on my blogging… on my ministry… on working hard and being excellent at my job… in fighting through the boring monotony of every day. I don’t have to worry about anybody else. Just me and God and what He wants me to do. I want to embrace my singledom so that, when the next guy come along, I have the wisdom to know whether it’s right or wrong instead of jumping into it due to desperation.


3. BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

So I want to move out with my sister and be on my own, but that requires money and being semi-stable. So I’ve been working this year on saving up money. And I think I did a pretty good job, but suddenly I’m going to be turning 26 this year and I need to get my own insurance, and it feels like everything in my savings disappears before my next paycheck, and rent and food and utilities… I’m slightly overwhelmed with what living on my own and being responsible is going to entail.

So I want to focus on being more financially responsible this year. This does not mean that I can’t have fun and go on trips and buy things for people and splurge every once in a while… but it does mean that I need to work on my self-control for silly things that I don’t need. I’m going to try to cut out fast food for the first two months and really work on saving, and keeping the money that I’m saving. I need to be able to say no to buying things on impulse that are unnecessary. I need to be able to make a budget for myself and stick to it. Whatever it takes to be a good steward of my money, I want to learn to be that. I know I’m going to fail a lot, but my hope is that I’m also going to learn more restraint and discipline and budgeting and hopefully be better at all this by the end of the year. Because great plans of living on my own… come with great responsibility. Or something like that.


So those are basically my main focuses. Of course I want to blog more and read more and give more and eat more healthily and exercise more and be more grateful and dance in the rain and live laugh love and all that mumbo jumbo… but if I focus on everything, then I’m really focusing on nothing! (Was that deep? That was deep! And now it’s in bold because it’s so deep!) So good luck with all your resolutions and goals and focuses this 2016! Happy New Year!


My Two Characters of Al Pacino

Eh, I was gonna do 5 movies with Al Pacino, but the Godfathers were all SO LONG (3 hours each!) that I decided I would just do 4. So I watched the Godfather Trilogy, and ended with Scent of a Woman. What did I think? Read on to find out!!!!

THE GODFATHER PART I

So Elizabeth said to me about this series, “It’s a good family movie.” Not meaning that it’s good for the family to WATCH, but that it is about family sticking together and that kind of thing. So I kept that review in mind as I watched it.

I didn’t realize that 1) Marlon Brandon was so old, 2) how much Marlon Brando looked like Paul Newman when he’s old, 3) how young Al Pacino was.  I didn’t know what Al looked like, so it wasn’t until about 45 minutes into the movie that I figured out which one was Al. For this one, it was fun seeing all the You’ve Got Mail “Godfather” references in the first movie: “leave the gun, take the cannoli,” “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday,” “go to the mattresses,” etc. I didn’t expect all the people that died to die. It was really long.

 

THE GODFATHER PART II

People say that this was the best movie of the 3… and I’m not sure why? It was certainly the darkest. Is that a good thing? Do people like it because it’s so cynical and shows you how far you can go if you live through violence and revenge? Because that’s what I got out of it. Michael becomes a jerk: to his family, to his wife… he’s controlling and manipulative, and I don’t understand most of the politics or what he’s trying to do or who he believes, and it was just dark and depressing and I didn’t like him at all. So… yay for darkness that says to not be like a mafia lord? Based on this movie alone, it’s not a family movie in either sense. But maybe I’m just too uncultured to get it. Anyone who likes this one, please feel free to tell me what I’m missing!

 

THE GODFATHER PART III

This one was probably actually my favorite because it deals with the question of redemption; can he make things work after all of the horrible things he’s done? Is it worth it to confess his sins? Can he connect with his children and be the father he needs to be? I thought the ending was abrupt and unresolved… and I didn’t quite get the last shot. But I appreciated the redemptive themes throughout the movie and thought they made his character more interesting and less evil.

 

SCENT OF A WOMAN

I liked this movie! There was a lot of swearing and the dude did not have a good mouth, but I thought it was sweet. I liked watching the growing connections between the two main characters, and the kid was really sweet; I felt I could kind of relate to him and his struggle to help even though he had no idea what to say or do. He DID have integrity, and even if the climactic scene was cheesy and maybe a bit over the top, it was still cheer-worthy and cool. And I was happy that it ended with a clear assumption that their friendship was going to continue. This was kind of the reverse of his Godfather character; in those he seems nice but has meanness in his heart, and in this he seems mean but has niceness in his heart. Anyway, I liked it.

RANKED IN THIS ORDER:
1. Scent of a Woman
2. The First Godfather (thinking it over, the first might’ve been more interesting to watch than the 3rd)
3. The Third Godfather (but these middle two are still interchangeable)
4. The Second Godfather

I’m super late for my movie watching in September so I will postpone my musicals until October. Catch up with you then! 🙂

 


My Clint Eastwood Movies of June

Clint Eastwood month was chosen and filled with my dad’s suggestions. I didn’t manage to watch all 6 (I did 6!) in June; I think I carried over a week. And since I didn’t write ANY of my reviews until YESTERDAY, they all kind of blurred in my head. While I did enjoy them for probably different reasons, they are all the same movie with the same character to me right now. But I did my best to say something different about each movie. Also, I do think Clint Eastwood is a good actor despite how much I poke fun at him in my reviews, so just keep that in mind. Here goes!

Fistful of Dollars

A simple western movie about a “Stranger With No Name” who comes into a small town and does what he can to save everyone secretly. He was young and mysterious, and though I’d never seen Clint before, he cracked me up because his voice and his serious face and attitude were PERFECT for that kind of lone-ranger man of mystery. He was all, “I speak to no one, I can take care of myself” in a deep, grovelly voice. Of course he didn’t SAY that exactly, but he was totally that personality that Joel always wanted to play as a kid in character games; the moody, intelligent man who clearly has a past but doesn’t want to talk about it. My favorite part was when he accidentally punched the girl in the face and he made his one expression in the whole movie of vulnerability/fear. He was totally freaked out; it was great. Anyway, aside from making fun of his taking himself so seriously in my head, I enjoyed the movie fairly well. There was violence.

The Gauntlet

This was the one movie I watched with the older members of my family (as opposed to just myself). It was different to see him as a cop than a cowboy, and he did talk more and have a bit more of a personality. The plot was good and interesting, though it definitely had lots of language and some raunchy dialogue scenes. We just talked over those. It was exciting, though, and ended satisfactorily. There was violence.

Dirty Harry

People said that this was one of his biggest “vigilante” movies and that he got flack for it… and it was true, in a sense, but I think it ended in a fitting way. I saw him as a character weighed down by the evil of the world and the fact that he wasn’t able to do much about it legally, and he eventually developed the resignation for the consequences that come with violence on the job. It had a famous quote. It was interesting. There was violence.

Bloodwork

A retired cop, but still a cop, I got to see him as an older person. My dad pointed out that he plays the old, cranky guy really well, and I totes agree. He was, again, the same character: competent, man of few words and no facial expressions (you can never tell if he’s thinking hard or completely bored), able to deduce everything, always ready to shoot a gun but still has a caring heart on the inside. He just likes to hide it. This one was interesting, and I TOTALLY guessed the answer right away even though I didn’t know I was right, so I was proud of myself. Well, I was debating but that and another theory. But I sort of guessed it. But anyway, the movie was a good one. There was violence.

In the Line of Fire

Secret Service Guy! Same kind of job, but at least he gets a different title. Hostage things are sometimes more interesting than just plain copping, so I liked it. He was, again, old in this. But I was so proud of him! He laughed and smiled and flirted with a lady… several times! Like, it was a part of his personality and not just 1 line that they gave him to meet their quota of proof that he cared about anything! He had some emotions! The story was also fairly interesting, and the ending climax was solid and thrilling. Everyone did a good job. There was violence.

Unforgiven

I was told that Clint directed this and that it was really anti-violence which went against all his “vigilante” films and threw everyone off. Maybe I had too much of an expectation of it, because it was one of those that is a subtle portrayal of the evils of violence and I wasn’t sure what to do. I mean, clearly it showed that violence is destructive, but since there was that ending stuff with Clint, it didn’t feel like HE learned his lesson, unless his lesson was that you can’t change enough to withstand going back to who you were when there’s pressure. And maybe that WAS the point; that you should stay far away from it. Like not going to the bar if you don’t want to be an alcoholic. Which was probably totally the point of the movie. Anyway, it seemed very serious and deep, but it was unpleasant to watch in times. THERE WAS VIOLENCE.

I’m not going to put these in order because I don’t have enough opinions to differentiate them in my head. If anyone wants to recommend to me any comedies or romances that Clint is in where he plays any kind of a different character, let me know!

In closing, since I’m halfway through July, I may just wait to do Al Pacino month until August. I guess we’ll see what I feel like doing and what I have time for. Stay tuned for future blogs and thanks for reading! 🙂


My Seven Best Picture Winners of May

Well, I managed to finish the 5 movies assigned to me by Elizabeth before the month ran out, so I had an extra week to watch two more! Go me. These are seven Best Picture winners I hadn’t seen before this month, in the order that I watched them in. Enjoy!
P.S. I have semi-spoilers for Birdman, King’s Speech and Cuckoo’s Nest. Just… don’t read these if you haven’t seen the movies. Thanks!

 

AMADEUS

I don’t know much about Mozart, but I thought the movie was fascinating. It was uncomfortable in parts, what with, you know, the devious plotting and psychological tormenting, and neither main character was a great person, but I loved the way it looked at the music, and it was a great story with interesting people even if they weren’t nice. Definitely a good movie, and though not something I would necessarily want to repeat much, I can see why it won the Oscar.

 

 

CRASH

I’m not sure what I thought of this movie. It was definitely interesting; but this one was also very uncomfortable in parts (though of course it was supposed to be) and it was a very angry movie. It felt like every single scene was trying to make a specific point about race and being too prejudiced and not paying enough attention to everyone else’s prejudice, and I had a hard time understanding what some of the points were, and so I couldn’t quite get the movie as a whole. Most of the people I thought maybe I would like turned out to be confusing and just as bad as the rest. Which might have been the point of the movie, that everyone is a jerk and a nice guy. (My favorite character was the locksmith, who was not a jerk.) But despite the fact that I didn’t particularly enjoy the watch, I recognized a lot of people, I’m sure it was meaningful and deep, and I can see why it won the Oscar.

 

 

THE KING’S SPEECH

Definitely the lightest of the movies this month, and I really enjoyed this one. Colin Firth was awesome in his role, as were the other two, and it was a great story. I thought that his speech improvement would be quicker and that he would be “cured” by the end and showing off his speech, but it wasn’t nearly as cut and dry, and the ending speech was so much more moving when you know that it’s still a struggle but that he’s learned how to overcome it and keep going. The friendship between him and Rush was also really cool. I can definitely see why it won an Oscar.

 

 

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST

This one was also an odd one. The second time seeing Jack Nicholson, first time seeing him young. He was very good, and it was an interesting story… but I’m still trying to process how I thought about it. I think my issue with it is that it didn’t have any strong, emotional impact on me, which was what I was expecting. I thought moments of it were very sweet and happy. I loved the way he connected to Chief, and how his personality made for great days of fun and joy for the men around him; the “baseball game”, the fishing day, and the party. I felt like his presence really brought something fresh to their lives. And even the ending showed that, when in the last few moments something so sad could push someone to freedom. I did have a hard time along the way trying to decide if this was a conspiratory asylum, or just people with strict rules. And I don’t think I ever decided. But it was definitely interesting, and I can see why it won an Oscar.

 

 

BIRDMAN

This one was really interesting. First off, the cinematography was fascinating, and it made the movie move at a different, surreal pace, which added to the aura and feel of the story. I thought everyone was great, and it was a unique story with characters who grew on me even though so many of them had issues. However, the ending really confused me at first. It clearly wasn’t sad, but then it couldn’t have been literal, because that doesn’t fit the movie at all. Hannah’s conclusion was that it was metaphorical, and I think that’s a good explanation that satisfies my confusion. Overall, it ended better than I thought it would, it was very interesting along the way, and I can see why it won an Oscar.

 

 

 

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

The second movie with Jack Nicholson! This helped close the gap in age between Cuckoo’s Nest and How Do You Know, the only movies I’ve seen him in. Also, my second Jeff Daniels movie! Anyway, it was fine. It wasn’t a bad movie, but I didn’t love any of the characters, and I just had a hard time figuring out who I was supposed to root for. It had sweet moments, and I guess as a movie following people who try to work out their imperfect love as imperfect people, it was kind of cool. But it definitely wasn’t one of my favorites. Good acting jobs, though. I think the ending is the only reason it won the Oscar.

 

 

GHANDI

Trying desperately to watch two extra on my list before the end of the month, I chose a 3 hour movie! But it was definitely a good one. Ben Kingsley did an excellent job. I did NOT realize that Ghandi lived that recently! I always thought he was, like, 1700-1800s! Shows you what I know about anything. Anyway, it was a fascinating biography. I was very intrigued by how determined he was to be nonviolent, and amazed by everyone’s devotion and willingness to follow him. In a way it was kind of eerie to see how devotedly he was followed and the power he had over them. But you could tell he was really a good guy, and if you’re gonna follow someone political, he’s a good choice. Anyway, it was educational, it was well-done, and it clearly deserved to win its Oscar.


MY RANKINGS:

My Bottom Two: Crash, Terms of Endearment (I have to like the characters, and I didn’t much in these)
My Middle Two: Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (very well-done and admirable, but both I was ambivalent about emotionally)
My Top Three: Ghandi, Birdman, Kings Speech (Likeable characters, drew me in, kept my interest all the way through, satisfying endings after they sunk in)

Next month: Clint Eastwood movies picked out by my Dad!


Pros & Cons of Short Hair

I have had my new, short hairstyle for… several months now (July or August but I’m too lazy to go and check exactly; my internet is too slow) and this cut has been the first time I have ever had hair higher than my shoulders.

191340_10150122852093371_6564355_o

Oh YEAH?

So…. here’s a short little blog about the pros and cons I have discovered about my short hair! (We’ll pretend that this is my second blog for April. It’s the 31st, everybody! 😛 )

PRO

It’s easy to wear short hair under a hood in the wintertime! With my long hair I have to ponytail it and try to stuff it all inside, but with short hair… no hassle! 😀 1403680_3802486837301_1927042476_o

PRO

Low maintenance! I don’t have to brush my hair, just wet it and comb through it with my hands!

CON

High maintenance! I don’t have to brush my hair, but I have to wet it and blow dry it in order for it not to be either too flat or too “Morning Hair” (which is, by the way, much crazier with short hair then long)

CON

There’s really only one style for my short hair, so it pretty much looks the same from day to day without a lot I can do to make it look particularly interesting

         999821_10151552603119296_403290438_n                           253825_2145357040020_1893256_n

254203_2145236757013_7939342_n                            255112_2145356680011_650554_n

PRO

Then again, for somebody who is bad at making decisions, sometimes it’s nice to only have to scrunch up my hair with my hands and walk out the door without having to worry about which way to style it

CON

I can’t do this with it:

262630_2145355479981_8223029_n

Though whether that is an actual pro or a con is debateable

PRO

But with short hair, I can look slightly more like Nick Fury! (emphasis on “slightly”)

 10838265_10200659175758416_1579070944054398469_o

PRO

Whether I’m exercising, playing sports or driving down the road with my windows down, it is SO NICE to not have hair blowing in my face or wisps flying out of my ponytail! (This might be my favorite pro about it.)

11034476_10200447023134733_6940892303156989243_o

Gotta keep your hair out of your face while you’re Dancing to the Rhythm of the Waves! (above) Or when you’re at a real dance class. (below) 11081450_10200541670300853_9045457608073927512_n

 

CON

I have to get my hair cut FAR more regularly than when I had long hair. I could probably go once or twice a year for a haircut with long hair (since it took me a long time before I started caring) but I have to go every 8-12 weeks with this cut (which is a lot for me)

PRO

And on a final Megillish OCD note, my cut helps create balance in my family! My Mom has no hair, so my Dad makes up for it by having a beard. My older brother has really long hair, so now I make up for that by having short hair!

What do YOU like about your hair?

546207_10151181700183340_194411632_n10355678_942438132436510_9152677789513051846_o


My Five Brad Pitt Movies of March

10259253_4372402604839_8186125890345860383_o

Elizabeth actually got a picture with him last year! (Well, with his wax figure self.)

Well, I watched 10 new romances in February, so I’m continuing the movie-watching pattern! With the help of my family, I’ll be choosing a different category each month (by genre, by actor/director, year, etc.) and watching 5 movies in that category that I haven’t seen. Most of the movies are recommended by my sisters Elizabeth and Hannah, and this month was Elizabeth’s doing, as she loves Brad Pitt. I had already seen Ocean’s Eleven and Mr. and Mrs Smith, his best in her opinion, and so these were her next choices. Enjoy!


MEET JOE BLACK
I was told that this movie was silly… and it was definitely odd. It was one of those things where I could never predict what was gonna happen so it just kept doing things I didn’t expect. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. At first it was fun and felt like it was making fun of itself, but then it got all serious, which threw me off. I giggled everytime Brad Pitt did his Jamaican accent. Anyway, I guess it was sweet, but it was definitely a weird movie, and way too long. But it was a nice try.

(*SPOILERS* Also… did they EVER give a reason why Anthony was gonna die? I mean, he just believed him and walked off into the distance! Did he keel over out there? Did death just decide they didn’t want him to live anymore and manipulated him into following him? Were they just trying to be mystically “your time has come” without any physiological reason for his body to give out? I don’t get it! *SPOILERS*)


MONEYBALL
I’m never particularly interested in sports movies, but I don’t hate them either, they just tend to blur together (stand-outs being Remember the Titans and The Blind Side). However, this was a good one. The plot of them trying to switch up the structure and strategy of the team was more interesting than just “c’mon guys, we gotta train and be inspirational!”. (Though I might’ve enjoyed it even more if I had ANY idea how the structure of baseball worked.)

I really enjoyed the friendship between Brad and Jonah. It was sweet and fun to watch, and we all cheered when he first hired him. (Also, Chris Pratt! :-D) I also kind of liked that they didn’t have a triumphant final win, just because all the movies do. (Though that makes me sound like a terrible person.) Anyway, I enjoyed the watch and though I may not remember it a whole lot, it was a good movie.


FIGHT CLUB
*SPOILERS*
I was quite intrigued by this movie. The first half of the movie had me cracking up, with the support groups and his deals with Marla. Then I was just along for the ride with Ed and Brad, trying to figure out where this was heading but compelled all the way. I guessed the twist at one point (when Ed said something about “we” and Marla said “who’s we?”) but then wrote it off as silly because, of course, people SAW them fighting! But then, it turns out I was right and he was just completely insane! So that was fun.

I’m not quite sure if I bought the ending, at least not right away. Why didn’t Ed die and why did she go back to him so quickly just because he said he beat himself up? But I talked it over with people and I’m pretty sure the gun was fake, and I’m guessing that if I hadn’t watched an edited version (which took out a lot of Marla’s plotline) that her choice would make more sense. All in all, a fascinating movie that was entertaining to watch with a fairly satisfying ending! *END SPOILERS*


TWELVE MONKEYS
Now THIS, on the other hand, was frustrating to watch because I always felt like I was about to figure out what was going on but it never quite got there for me. I was mentally trying to rush to the end just because I thought maybe with the whole picture I could understand it, but I still didn’t. (*SPOILERS*) Why was his child self there at the airport? Why did the scientists send him back in the first place if they were the ones responsible for the virus? Why didn’t the police run after the guy that they were claiming had a deadly virus? *END (SPOILERS*)

It was mostly Bruce Willis, but Brad Pitt was entertaining to watch in his manic state of insanity. It kept my interest but I would have LIKED it a lot more if there was some sense of satisfaction in comprehending the point of the movie. Oh well.


SPY GAME
I get Redford and Pitt mixed up sometimes because they often play similar characters, and they have similar faces, (though Pitt’s voice is lispier and higher than Redford’s) so it was fun to see them both in the same movie. I think I was generally more interested in the “present day” storyline than the back-story (sorry Brad, since you were mostly IN the back-story) but I did like it the whole way through. I thought it was interesting and well-done, and I thought they both did a good job. I liked watching the two of them together. I might’ve felt the ending for Redford was a little too ambiguous for my taste, but all in all I thoroughly enjoyed this one.


RANKING THEM IN ORDER

1. Fight Club (Most fascinating)

2. Spy Game (Solid and entertaining)

3. Moneyball (Forgettable but good story and characters)

4. Meet Joe Black (Strange, discombobulated, long but made me giggle)

5. Twelve Monkeys (Frustrating to watch, unsatisfying ending, really wanted to get it but didn’t, unpleasant visually)


Join me next month as I discuss my 5 Woody Allen movies I’ll be watching in April! 😀


Five Things I Learned At McDonald’s

Well, since last week I had my last day of my McDonald’s job, I figured I would do a blog about it! It was my very first REAL job (all I’d done before was babysitting, paper route, volunteer work and online writing that wasn’t enough for me to live off of), and I was so very grateful to get the job when I did, after being unemployed for so long.

So, now that that phase is over (so far), here are the top 5 things I learned while I was working at McDonald’s! 🙂

  McD2

—————————-

1. I Really Like to Help People
I know, that’s kind of vague, and something that everybody says. What I mean, though, is that whenever I am able to do something that actually helps someone out, I get a very satisfying feeling of accomplishment. And it’s over the smallest things! When somebody is ordering and they ask a question about what’s on a sandwich, or they want to know the difference in price between a frappe and a mocha, I love being able to give them the answer. My job IS to help them get what they want; that’s what I’m there for. And  so however they need me to assist, whether it is with  my knowledge of the menu or spending extra time  rereading their order back to them, I really enjoy doing  my best to make their shopping experience a good  one.

—————————-

2. Take Criticism Seriously, But Don’t Take it to Heart
Anywhere that you work, you’re going to get corrected and critiqued by people, especially when you’re learning a new job. Your managers and supervisors are “bossy” and authoritative for a reason: to teach you how to do the job with excellence. That means that things you do are going to be corrected, and attitudes you have will be reproved. When you’re doing something wrong, it’s their job to tell you how to stop and fix it.

When it’s busy and chaotic in McDonald’s, sometimes it gets very stressful, and it’s easy for any critique at all to feel like a cut-down or condescending, if you let it. Communication is key, and the priority isn’t to sugarcoat it, but to make sure the message gets across. The important thing for me is to make sure I listen to the words that are told to me (“Make sure you do this”, “This part of your job is your priority, not that”) without getting thrown off or hurt by any stressed tone or frustrated sigh. People can’t help getting stressed out, and frustration can make people seem more upset than they actually are. So if I’m tempted to feel insecure by something that was said in the heat of craziness, I’ve learned to follow the correction itself while shaking off the rest.

—————————-

3. A Small Compliment Can Make Your Day
When running around doing a lot of mundane and repetitive tasks all day long, sometimes a genuine smile or a kind word can just make your day. I remember one morning I had been on Window (which is what we call the counter with the cash registers, for some reason) for a McD4while by myself; I had served a pleasant man who went and ate his food, and when he was done he came up to the counter and told me that I had a very pleasant demeanor, and to keep up the good work. I smiled about that for the next 10 minutes.

There was a lady in drive thru who always asked for extra ice in her sweet tea and would thank me every time I put it in. Many customers who came through were just so friendly and good-humored that it brightened me right up. And of course, getting a smiling “You’re doing a great job!” from a manager, or a delighted “Hi, Bethany!” from a co-worker was always encouraging. So the next time you enjoy your experience at a restaurant, say so to the worker! It might just make their day.

—————————-

4. The Majority of People Are Actually Pretty Nice
For years I didn’t apply to any fast food places because I was all like, “I don’t think I could handle all the angry customers!” But actually getting into the job, I discovered that that issue wasn’t nearly as prevalent as I expected it to be!

More than half of the customers I served were friendly, pleasant and understanding. Lots of times the customers themselves would be the ones apologizing for their complicated orders. MCD3Even those who aren’t overtly chatty or smiley are rarely grumpy or make complaints. Most people will wait patiently for their food, and when we as workers treat them politely and apologize for any mistakes we make, we’re usually greeted with understanding. (Though of course we never know what people will say when they go out to their car 😉 )

Though I’ve definitely experienced my share of cranky customers and rude people, for me it’s a very rare thing. Everybody has their bad days and snippy moments, but for the most part, I think people really try to be decent to each other. And it’s very encouraging when they are.

—————————-

5. No Job is Unimportant
Like I said earlier, it was several years of off and on job searching before I decided to apply to any fast food places. It’s not that I thought it was “beneath” me; it was just the kind of thing that everybody seemed to say wasn’t the best of work, and again, I was scared to be in that fast-paced environment. And while I still wouldn’t want to work in fast food my whole life (especially now that I’ve discovered how much it hurts to stand for too long), getting the McDonald’s job was very relieving for me, and I was so grateful.

While the work is basic and the tasks fairly easy to  learn, that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Being  excellent in everything is something that you need to  take into every job you have. It’s easy to mess up  behind the counter, and “accuracy, speed aMcD1nd  friendliness” are the 3 things McDonald’s strives for.  Finding the perfect balance between all 3 can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible! But it takes a lot of teamwork. You’ve got those taking orders, taking money, making food, packing food and giving food When everyone does their job with excellence, everything goes well; but when a mistake is made, usually more than one person has to help to rectify it. Each task is vital, and though we may not be saving the world, striving to always do my best is something I want to take with me into every job.

Thanks to my McDonald’s team for being my team and making my time there awesome! Good luck to all of y’al! 🙂


When In Doubt? Be Thankful!

So I’m sorry, y’all, that I haven’t blogged in ever. I’ve been getting adjusted to my schedule of working until 5 every day, so while I haven’t been exhausted, I have been busy, and tired on the weekends. Hehe, blogging was much easier when I did nothing all day. 🙂 And while it’s not like any of you are hanging on the edge of your computers (…….?) in anticipation for my next blog, I am going to try to be better at being consistent. Even if I just put up something that’s short and sweet.

So while there are still a few pieces I’m working on before I post them, I figured I’d get a blog done, as well as update you on my life, by writing down a bunch of things I’m thankful for lately! 🙂 So here goes!

1. Music! Music is all forms of awesome, beautiful, fun, catchy, silly, emotional, worshipful, and keeps me from falling asleep at work.

2. Patterns are fun. I’m listening through my MP3 player alphabetically, and I’ve been enjoying watching multiple Pride and Prejudice adaptations over the past few weeks. Patterns give goals and create accomplishments.

3. I love rewatching Babylon 5 while Joel and Elizabeth watch it for the first time

4. I have a full-time job that is helping me to get on my feet!

5. I have a part time job that gives me extra spending money for myself!

6. This one’s a bit random, but I like the fact that I feel more confident in my personal wardrobe than I used to

7. Singing! Whether it’s belting a loud ballad, singing through a musical with my siblings or softly humming a worship song to myself, singing brings me much pleasure and emotional satisfaction.

8. Organization is something cool that God invented, and I enjoy utilizing it

9. I’ve been connecting with some cool people and making some new friendships, as well as renewing a few with people I’ve known for a while, and it feels good.

10. I like ice cream! And I get it a lot because, guess what? I HAVE MONEY!!

11. Dancing! It’s an amazing way to enjoy music and express myself. I like to do full-on twirling and jumping when I’m by myself, or the more subtle leg-bob or thigh-clap when I need to not make a scene. Moving to music is something that I’m glad I discovered I like to do.

12. I’m very thankful for the supportive disciplers and Godly men and women around me that have been a strength for me this past year

13. I’m excited that I’m going to be helping out with D-groups again come fall. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with HTBC youth, and I’m very much looking forward to it

14. I’m so glad that God is still my best friend, and that He always will be. He most seriously (and most literally) makes my life.

15. And last of all, I’m thankful for my blog. Thanks to everyone who reads it, and to the person who invented blogs.

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!


Highlights of the New England Trip!!

SO! My 3 sisters, my friend Carolyn and I went on vacation to New England for 10 days, and we all had a great time! Hannah wrote up her photo blog, and so I’m gonna do a blog, too. Basically, I’ll just write about some of the highlights (which I keep spelling “hightlights”). Enjoy my first disorganized blog of the week! 🙂

   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COOL PLACES WE WENT      Awesome Phantom

1. We went to New York City! And we saw Phantom of the Opera! It was fantastic, the show was fantastic, the city was surreal, it felt just like the movies… it was great. The NYC adventures included: getting rained on at the top of the Empire State Building, traveling by train, subway and TAXI, eating street vendor food in Central Park, viewing Times Square, and taking fun pictures at Madame Tussauds.

We all found different ways to hold hands with him. This was my pose.

We all found different ways to hold hands with George Clooney. This was my pose.

(Silly Blurb: At the top of the Empire State Building, I put 50 cents into the telescope excitedly to see if I could see the Statue of Liberty. But it was so rainy and foggy that all I could make out was a blur. But I was so excited to see that blur, I exclaimed, “I see something! I don’t know what it is, but it’s something! Hannah, do you want to see something?” I repeated this bit when Bekah came up, and all 3 of us got to see something. 🙂 ) 

What a lovely view! The rain didn't deter us at all! :-)

What a lovely view! The rain didn’t deter us at all! 🙂

 

2. Canada! We drove up to Maine and our hosts took us to the border where our car was searched before we could enter the country. Passported and excited, we drove into the country and took a picture at the first sign we saw. Then we found an exit off the highway, turned around and drove back. The nice guard to let us into America asked us if it was worth it, and we said yes. Canada

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

COOL PEOPLE WE SAW
Well, everyone we saw was cool, but they come in different categories, so here they are.

 

In PA, we were taken to the prettiest view in the area. Scary, but gorgeous!

In PA, we were taken to the prettiest view in the area. Scary, but gorgeous!

1. Internet Friends! We had the pleasure of staying 2 nights with a family very dear to me, the Inmans. I used to snail-mail pen-pal with 2 of the daughters for years, and our families have gotten together several different times since we’ve known each other. Though it wasn’t very long and one of them had a baby so we couldn’t hang out much :-D, it was great to see them again. We also got to stay with some internet friends of my mom’s. Getting to know the families and just hanging out was a blast. Their hospitality for strangers reminded me so much of my days in New Life, and I think we all had a great time.

 

2. Relatives! We stayed with my Dad’s brother in New Jersey (Uncle Andy), as well as the aunts on my mom’s side in Rhode Island! Though we only got to chat for a few hours before he left, Uncle Andy took us out to a classic New Jersey diner, as well as recommended a fun

The group at Waterfire. It was very cool and pretty!

The group at Waterfire. It was very cool and pretty!

breakfast place in the morning. The aunts, who we stayed with a few days longer, took us to Waterfire one evening, Newport the next, and then also bought us some clam cakes and chowda, since only Hannah remembers ever eating those. It was lovely to see and hang out with all of our relatives, including a few cousins and uncles. Miss you guys! 😀

 

3. New Life Alumni! I was so glad to get to see Jojo and Jose on this trip, 2 good friends of mine that I traveled with in the drama company. From swapping NLDC stories around the dinner table, to spontaneous worship time around a campfire, and ending with a late-night evening of girl talk, it was just a lovely time of fellowship. The camaraderie that I feel with my NLDC friends was something I’ve missed a lot since I’ve been home. And even when we don’t always see eye to eye, the friends I made there will always be near and dear to my heart. That stop on the trip was extra special for me. Campfire Jojo Jose

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SILLINESS THAT HAPPENED
Along the way, there was just a lot of silliness that happened. Here is some of it. Even though all these may be “You just had to be there” moments, I’ma tell you anyway! 🙂

 

-Playing Catchphrase with my family is always a blast. Us 4 sisters played a few rounds at Uncle Andy’s house, and these were some of our favorite clues:

“You do this to stop the bad guys from coming in!” (Answer: Lock the Door. Bekah said “Now all I can picture is a huge swarm of bad guys trying to come through your door”.)

“It’s like, ‘Whoa! Whoa!’ And I think it’s an ice cream place?” (Answer: Yo-Yo. when the time ran out, Elizabeth looked at it and suddenly remembered what a yo-yo was)

We had gotten the words “Hello Mary”. Next hint: “Skip to my ___!” “Baby! Hello Mary Baby!” (Answer: Hello Mary Lou.)

Hannah gave these paraphrased clues, and Elizabeth gave these answers: “It’s like when you’re on your feet, but you’re the other way.” “Lying down!” “No, it’s up and down. It’s like you’re upside down; you’re not on your feet.” “Stand on your head!” “No; you go up and down, but your feet are not on the ground!” “Somersault! Levitating!” (Answer: Hand Stand.)

 

-We were on the grounds of a lovely mansion and enjoying the view of the ocean and the

These were the grounds. And see? Hannah and I are pointing to where we want to live! :-)

These were the grounds. And see? Hannah and I are pointing to where we want to live! 🙂

distant neighborhood. I said, “I want to live in that house with the turrets!” Hannah replied, “I want to live in that boat.” To which I said, “I want to live in that lighthouse.” To which she replied, “I want to live on that fence.” This went on and on, with each thing we were living in becoming more and more ridiculous. “I want to live in that guy’s backpack” was quickly followed up with “I want to live in that guy’s mouth”. From bugs to leaves to cracks between the rocks to dumpsters to windows to the wind, we tried to come up with as many as we could. But my ABSOLUTE favorite was in the parking lot when Hannah said, “I want to live in the spot on the ground where I will get run over the most amounts of times.” Cracked. Me. Up.

 

-During our dinner of clam cakes and chowda, Hannah and I got on the subject of her mocking me, and for some reason I had the rhythm for Dr. Seuss’ “Sam I Am” stuck in my head. So I asked her, “Will you mock me in the rain? Will you mock me on a train?” Soon it became a back-and-forth conversation that went on for a good half an hour. It went something like this:

“Will you mock the way I drink?” “I will mock the way you think.”

 “Will you mock me with a smile?” “I will mock you all the while.”

“Will you mock my Facebook status?” “I will mock your favorite catfish!”

“Will you mock me if I eat that one?” “I will mock you if you have a fat son.”

 

This was our Chowda Spot

This was our Chowda Spot

– Hannah brought along this storytelling card game called “Once Upon a Time”. Each person has a certain amount of cards that they play, in turn, to try to create a coherent story. If nobody interrupts you, the person who started the round CAN put all their cards down and end the round if they think quickly enough. For us that night, each person would generally only play 1-3 cards in a row before another of us jumped in with our own. But one round, Elizabeth managed to get all her cards into 1 story all by herself: all 7 of her noun cards, plus her Ending Card. It went something like this:

There once was a queen who lived in a castle. One day her daughter wanted to to go the woods. But the queen said, “Make sure you bring a brother or a sister along, because you might get eaten by a wolf. Or poisoned by a witch! And we would have to go live in the ruins.” Then they found out that wolves do hunt in packs. And they both died. And they were buried in the same grave and the kingdom mourned for them.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And some final pictures!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

Modeling my sunglasses and nail polish that-changes-color-in-the-sun from Newport.

Modeling my sunglasses and nail polish that-changes-color-in-the-sun from Newport.

Close Central Park

Elizabeth took some photos of me in Central Park. Such a pretty backdrop.

The Jonas Brothers! After Jonas L.A., I'm a teensy bit of a guilty pleasure fan.

The Jonas Brothers! After Jonas L.A., I’m a teensy bit of a guilty pleasure fan.

Cute Mansion Picture

Nice picture of the 3 sisters. 😀