Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Little Bit of Pink

A Little Bit of Pink

Draped dress
myer.com.au

Alexander mcqueen handbag
$2,740 – harrods.com

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I’m Just a Girl

I'm Just a Girl

H M zipper jacket
$48 – hm.com

Alexander wang shorts
theoutnet.com

American Apparel long stocking
americanapparel.net

Alexander McQueen skull box clutch
$1,440 – cultstatus.com.au

Metal bangle
romwe.com

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I Took Back the Night

ImageLast Night I went with my boyfriend and joined about 60 or more girls ( along with 3-4 more guys) to Take Back the Night at UTK campus.

What is Take Back the Night?

You can click the link above for the full information. To Sum it up it is a movement that has grown about protest that started when The first “Take Back the Night” march was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in October 1975, after the murder of a microbiologist, Susan Alexander Speeth, who was stabbed to death while walking home alone.

It has grown internationally and to include all violence against women: physical, emotional, and sexual.

I won’t lie when I first decided to go I didn’t think it would have that kind of impact on me. Even though I too am a victim of violence from another man, a man I thought loved me, I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions swirling in side of me.

I got a poster ready. Got a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks and headed to Pedestrian Walkway with my boyfriend.

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My Boyfriend and I at Take Back the Night

I saw quite a few girls and not surprisingly very few guys. My boyfriend got a lot of stares. I became really nervous, so did he. The fact that he was one of few guys I think was a little nerve wracking. I was not so much nervous, but anxious. I didn’t know what to expect.

We began our silent march around campus.  A few guys that just happened to walk down pedestrian walkway held up papers mocking us saying, “I’m holding a sign too.” They soon left when they saw police. Cowards.

We walked and we were yelled at, some guy jeered at us from his car. Others from across the street asked what our signs said;  we all turned our signs and showed them. It was great that someone decided that take the long way, we were passing an event that was being held by the torchbearer statue that night.

We passed by the dorms and there were a lot more people. I don’t remember people making a lot of comments or shouting at us here. I really appreciated the UT Police Department being there. We circled around the dorms and made our way towards the library, than to the University Center.

It was a long silent march. I did a lot of thinking during that time. I knew that often that those who had been victims of violence had the opportunity to speak out in confidential forum. I was wondering if I should speak and I kept thinking maybe I would. I still held back though.

When we finally go to the room in the University Center I sat down and I looked up at the stage. There were two microphones. One was labeled media and one was labeled confidential. There was media at the event and since not everyone was comfortable with talking about their experiences, the restrictions was the media can only quote and record the people that were on the media microphone.

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Katie Hnida

We had a great speaker, Katie Hnida, ” She is a pioneer in the world of sports, being the first woman to play, and score points, in a NCAA Division One football game.” She originally played at the University of Colorado. There she was sexually assaulted, emotional abused, and verbally harassed by various teammates. To make matters worse one of her teammates raped her. She kept silent on the matter; feeling afraid and low. She left Colorado and later on went to New Mexico. There she found a place, a home, and a family. Playing football for the New Mexico Lobos (spanish word for wolf). While here she heard about women that began to come forward about being raped by other football players. She came forward with her story and has been an inspiration since.

Kate Hnida with New Mexico Football Team

Katie Hnida with New Mexico Football Team

She spoke first and listening to her story was inspiring and heartbreaking. I could tell my boyfriend was becoming angry when he heard someone of the things she went through.  I went to talk to her at the end of the event (before the candlelight vigil), I had a small one on one with her. She was extremely genuine and a beautiful person, I hope I get to meet her again someday. I can’t wait to read her book.

After she gave her talk, they said the microphone was open to all and they asked everyone to remember the rules about which mic to talk to and how long you can talk. That way everyone had a chance to go. It seemed like forever, but no one moved. I kept looking around and no one moved. I had already decided that I was going to go that day. The more I looked around and saw the reluctance, I knew I was going to be the first to go. My boyfriend told me later he had the same though, “Is Christine going to the be one to go first to get this started?”

I took of my jacket and my scarf. I took a deep breath and I walked up to the stage. Kate Hnida had actually walked up to the stage (her back to me, not seeing me) and asked if anyone would like to volunteer, she stopped halfway through and asked if I would like to. I could only nod. I went up the confidential microphone, I wasn’t and I’m still no ready to share my full story to the world. So, you will not be hearing the whole story from me. Just results of the trauma.

I introduced myself. Explained that I suffer from PTSD as a result. That I have constant anxiety and panic attacks from the trauma. My depression, became worse after the incident. I am still afraid to wear dresses and skirts because of my experience. One of the things that helped me the most was that I found someone.I said,  You may say I don’t need anyone to give me validation and I agree, you are right. But it helped me. It was another stepping stone to healing. It was all thanks to a man, (I indicated to my boyfriend in the audience, one of the few guys there), who said he loved me for me. That my appearance was just the added bonus. I talked some more and I said Thank You.

I got an applause. Now soon after that those that were in charge of the event asked the audience to say ,”We Support You” instead of clapping. Personally I’m glad they clapped. It felt like they were saying thank you. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for going first. Thank you for working through your fear. We are proud of you. We are sorry for what you went through. Stay Strong. Stay beautiful. Keep Fighting.

Katie Hnida was in the front row while I spoke. From all the faces I saw in the audience I saw my boyfriend and her, the rest were all the blur. She was so sweet. Having her react in horror to my story, to know that a stranger feels/knows/believes that what I went through was and is wrong. It was having someone else validate that. Not needed, but another step towards healing that will stay with me. It’s nice knowing that I’m not the only one that believes it was wrong.

After that I of course had to leave the room. I met the College psychologist/counselor that was there on hand in case this kind of thing happened. I talked with her. Very nice and kind. I was mostly out of it the rest of the evening after I spoke. It can be very draining emotionally and physically when pouring your heart out. I didn’t go the candlelight vigil they were holding. I was too tired, I needed to rest and be away from lots of people.

It was a great experience. I did not think it would have the impact it did.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you know someone or if you are someone that has experienced violence. I encourage you to go and listen. If you have a story, you don’t have to share it. If you want to though, I encourage you to do just that. If they allow men (not all do, it’s to help the women there feel safe) please do go men.  There are men that have been victims as well. If you haven’t been a victim, be there to show support to the women. After all, it only takes one person to stand up.

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Bishops in the Catholic Church- Wake Up!

I have been Catholic all my life. Been through Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation.

With the recent “Bishop of Bling” being in the news it has made me think of the Bishops in the Catholic Church. How they really need to start practicing what they preach, become better apostles, go out to the people, and some just need to get off their high horse. Now I am not saying all Bishops are like this. There have been many that have been kind and nice men. However, the fact that between me, my mother, her mother and her mother’s mother we have rarely met a bishop that was a teacher, a spiritual guide, A Shepard of the Lord. That is a huge problem!

Here are a few Examples of Good Bishops to look up to:

  1. Pope John Paul II
  2. Pope Francis
  3. Bishop Sheen (Fulton John Sheen) – May soon be in the process for canonization for sainthood.

Many Catholics might say, well they are human. They aren’t perfect, they sin too and they are not God.  My response to that is simple, I know. I know they are human. I understand that they too face temptation and sin. However, they have chosen to follow the path of the Lord. They have to work hard everyday to follow his teachings and live the word as well as preach it. Therefore they need to start asking themselves WWJD? Seriously. Would Jesus spend so much money on a fancy house? Would Jesus stay at home and not go out to his flock? Would Jesus sit behind his desk all day? Remember The Bishop has more power than a priest, they are supposed to be a representative not only of the Catholic Church and God and to quote Spiderman,

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If they are not living up to the responsibility, they are not living the word as well as preaching, they are failing the people and God.  So, the Bishops need to take a lesson from Pope Francis and former Pope John Paul II. Seriously, if you want people to join, stop being hypocritical and start living the word!

WARNING- The next few paragraphs is my own personal experience and does not represent the Catholic Church as a whole.  This is my experience and feelings only.  I am also not an authority. I’m just a woman learning about her faith and expressing her feelings on certain matters. 

Over the years I have been blessed and lucky to meet amazing priests, occasionally I would meet a priest that I believe needed to rethink their vocation. The Deacons I have met are either clearly devoted to the path they have chosen or they are doing it because it makes them look good and they are proud of it. Bishops on the other hand, I have been disappointed in them tremendously. Within the diocese I am a part of( I will not name names- for now) I have been disappointed by the Bishops lack of appearance within the diocese. I get the diocese catholic news so it’s not like I don’t try to stay aware. Here is the main reason why I have been disappointed by his performance and I will use an example to help explain it.

Imagine you make a new friend and his name is James. He seems pretty cool you hangout a couple times. After that, you really don’t meet up or chat. He doesn’t drop by to say hi. No, this is what he does instead. Once to twice a year you will get a phone call saying hey man, there is this really great cause that I work for needs more money, could you spare some change? And even though you are miffed that he hasn’t taken the time to stop by and say hi, you don’t want to come across as a jerk and there are people in need, so you say, “Yeah, I’ll help.” After this not only do you get the phone call 1-2 times a year, you are on the email list and their mailing list for this charity and every year you receive a phone call from this guy, even though you haven’t met up with him since.

Now let’s say that this individual is a Bishop. Granted because the diocese could have 40+ parishes, it would make it a little more difficult to visit every single one in a year, but it is still possible. I don’t know how often he visits the parish near to his house, but I know that visitation to the parishes in my area have been scare and he only lives about 2 hours away. It’s not like in the old days when Peter and Paul had to walk around in the desert on foot or take a boat that may not make it across the ocean. Forgive me for not being sympathetic. You have a car that is air conditioned, if they( peter and paul) can walk 5,000 miles & face constant persecution (aka being killed for spreading the word) , than there is no excuse for you not to drive 2 miles comfortably in your car just to visit some of the parishes.

I have only seen him  once since 2009 in person that is. And well with what I saw, he looked as enthusiastic as this cat

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I am so bored.

and this was during RCIA welcome mass (or something like that, it has been almost 2 years)! To help encourage the potential new members on their journey on whether or not they will become catholic. If I was a potential new member this guy would not have helped convince me at all. (side-note: RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, it is for those 18 and older that want to become catholic, I was someone’s sponsor to help them on their catholic journey to help them decided whether of not they want to become catholic.) My thoughts on this guy-

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Now I have heard him speak since, from a recording device that was being played over a sound system. He was asking for our parish to help him. What was it that he asked for? He was asking for money for catholic charities, catholic education, clergy formation ( instruction for new priests, deacons, etc.), and youth ministry. Most recently he had the priests read a letter he “wrote”. Part of me wonders that the priest would had been reading it had not been happy about the situation either. Now I will say this, all of these charities and organizations are important. They don’t fund themselves. However, if we look at my little comparison earlier where James only calls to ask for money. It’s rude and it’s like having an annoying relative that you hardly see beg for money. You feel bad for saying no, but part of you just wants to tell the guy off.

Now another reason why this angers me is because it is taking place in God’s house.

Mark 11:15

“They came to Jerusalem, and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there.”

Granted this was in relation to the fact that there were people there selling animals so the jewish people could sacrifice the animals to God and were taking advantage of the people. There were also a temple tax (money changers were in charge of that process)  existed as well:

John 2:14

“He found in the temple are those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. “

The point is, instead of listening to the homily (sermon) we have to listen to a man that we rarely see ask us for money. Selling us on the idea of Catholic education and ministry, which is important don’t get me wrong, It’s when it’s being done and the fact that it happens often that angers me. I just want to see him do some real work. I want to see him work with the poor, the sick, the disabled. I want to see him communicate with out politicians and asking them to strive toward peace. I want to see him act, not just sit and talk. I want it to be genuine as well and not look as disinterested as the cat.

Bishops Ordination

When a priest is chosen to be bishop he becomes Bishop elect and he will eventually undergo his rites of ordination, this is a ceremony where they have a mass, there is many people in attendance, there is a blessing, etc.  When the Rites begins he is examined and asked a serious of questions.

I think it is high time something is added to that list of questions…

Matthew 19: 21

“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Matthew 4: 19-20

“He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”

By the way, by leaving their nets, they left their only source of income. Money for food and living.

So what is the point I am trying to make?

I believe that all Bishops (and priests too) should take the vow of poverty. In fact I think it is high time that they do. That’s right, many Catholics believe that priests and bishops have to take a vow of poverty. Not the case.

Sisters and Nuns take the vow of poverty and they get a lot of work done(I’m not saying there are priests and bishops that don’t. I am saying though despite taking this vow, sisters seem to be able to work just as well at their mission). Helping the poor, the sick, the disabled, teaching, working in hospitals, food kitchens, etc.  All the grief and bad reputation they have gotten, I have never had a bad experience with a sister. In fact I admire them more than I do most priests.

Bishops don’t need to have big houses, expensive cars, iPads, iPhones, etc. And neither do the priests. It is unnecessary. I do understand the need for phone and computer to stay up to date with the ever changing world, but neither do they need the latest things. I understand they are people too, but I don’t see sisters and nuns at sporting events.

I still believe in God, I still believe in the Catholic faith, despite all the flaws I see with the people that serve. I hope that since Pope Francis took the vow of poverty, it will encourage other people within the church to do the same, or at the very least cut on their extravagant ways (Bishops & Cardinals I’m looking at you). maybe it will be required eventually by all that work within the whether it be priest, deacon, sister, or brother.

I hope eventually Bishops will start to live up to the role that they have been gifted with. It is a gift! Don’t squander it.

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Fall Looks: Baggey Sweaters

Fall Looks: Baggey Sweaters

Denim skinny jeans
$4.78 – yeltuor.com.au

Banana Republic red scarve
bananarepublic.gap.com

H M braided headwrap
$8.08 – hm.com

Autumn home decor
grandinroad.com

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Fall Looks: The Sweater Dress

Fall Looks: The Sweater Dress

Merrell dress
rei.com

Maison Michel wide brim hat
matchesfashion.com

Fall home decor
etsy.com

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Peter Pan, a Boy without a Conscience?

1000px-302PanCloseUp

I won’t give a huge summary of what happened from each episode from Season 3 of Once Upon A Time. No, I will be focusing on a very interesting character. Peter Pan. My thoughts may seem slightly scattered, just imagine it however as those cluster charts.

***WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD***

Many people have been upset with the fact that the beloved Peter Pan they knew from the childhood has become psychotic. Personally I’m excited about this. A Character that wasn’t truly good or truly bad has become a villain. I love villains (in books & movies- not in real life).  We were first introduced to him in the last episode of Season 2 “Straight Until Morning.”  Well his shadow and the fact that he exists. We really didn’t get to see him till the first episode of  Season 3. I was actually surprised about that, I was expecting to wait a little longer. Oh, who else was freaked out with Peter’s glowing eyes from the shadow?

Peter’s Shadow?

When I watched the first episode. I flipped out of my mind. Why? Peter. I, of course knew right away that Greg and Tamara both would die. I mean the last episode of Season 2 gave it away. Once we knew Pan was looking for Henry. Peter Pan tricking two normals that hate magic into stealing Henry. It just sounds too much like Pan for him to not do that.

Interesting thing that shocked me was Peter’s Shadow. It has the power to steal other shadows and when he does, they die. Greg was killed in this manner in episode 1. In episode 2 we see Rumpelstiltskin cut off his shadow and it took a metaphysical form and was able to take commands. Seems like an extreme measure. But as we learn, even he fears Pan.  Also Rumplestilskin cut off his shadow and didn’t die. Peter pan’s shadow is separate from him and he is still alive. Yet, why did Greg die?

Now from the moment when Greg’s shadow was taken, he became pale and lifeless. He was dead. Yes, there have been theories saying that Greg is not really dead and it’s only because Pan’s shadow has Greg’s shadow that he is in a empty shell like state (kind of like the Dementor’s kiss, but with stealing shadows). Interesting theory. Part of me is on the fence about it.

I will get to both issues later.

I think what Rumpelstiltskin did to his soul is the same thing that Pan did. That’s right, he cut off his own shadow and may have an army of shadows at his disposal. Why? Simple to be powerful. To have control. To not die.

“But, how is that possible? If they did it to themselves, they would be dead.”

We have seen people & heard people take out their own hearts and others and they are still kicking. Cora took her own heart and she was fine. This is Once Upon A Time and they are in Neverland. Anything is possible, remember that.

Now back to Rumpelstiltskin. He doesn’t fear anyone because he has power.  The Evil Queen doesn’t scare him. Cora wasn’t an issue (he loved her at one point). Only Love has scared/fascinated him so far. No villain we have seen has scared Rumple since he has become the Dark One. And yet the Dark One fears Pan. Why?

What can we gather from this?

  1. Rumpelstiltskin has met Pan before.
  2. He has been to Neverland before and knows how it works.
  3. Peter Pan has to be really powerful.
  4. Peter Pan is more ruthless and heartless than the Dark One, Cora, and Regina. Yikes!

Where Did Rumpelstiltskin and Pan Meet?

When I saw the first episode, I was expecting the storyline between Pan and Rumple to be along the lines that through Rumples travels he met Pan and they had this huge fight. Possibly met Pan through meeting Hook.

That theory got blown out of the water in the second episode.

As soon as I heard that Rumplestilskin was abandoned by his father. I knew.

Rumple had been a Lost Boy! 

Now I can hear what you are saying, “But Pan never lets anyone leave!” “Once you are with Peter, you are with him for life.”  Makes him sound like a controlling psycho boyfriend, huh?  Guess what you are all forgetting one thing, Baelfire. He was taken to Neverland by Peter ‘s Shadow.  And he was able to get out of there somehow. It may have taken a long time, like 100 years or so, but hey he still got out of there.

If Baelfire was able to do it. Rumple would have been able to do it as well. Like Father like son.

I also have another theory in case he was not a Lost Boy, but that is the theory I prefer.

Shadow = Soul?

In old fairy tales the soul and shadow were connected a lot. There has been a theory floating around about the fact that when Peter Pan’s shadow takes someone else shadow/soul he gains control over them.  Have his own personal army that would be pretty hard to kill, since its not completely alive.

Part of me wants to appreciate the theory that Greg is not dead/is in some form of limbo. However, I do think he is dead. He has served his purpose as a character and to drag him out at this point would be unnecessary.

Peter Pan, the boy.

He is a mystery. If he has been around since Rumpelstiltskin was a child abandoned by his father, he has to be old (even if Rumple wasn’t a boy when they met, Peter still has to be pretty old).  Also the fact that he doesn’t mind have his shadow steal children for his own army, he doesn’t care if people die, and it doesn’t faze him that he is hurting others. It’s all part of his plan. His game.

Doesn’t this remind you of someone?

Cora

Cora

That’s right. He reminds me of Cora. He will do whatever he takes to be powerful and to forget. Remember in the original Peter Pan story, he was abandoned by his parents. He too was an orphan. We see the orphan/abandonment theme a lot so far in this season and its only episode 2! Henry was abandoned by Emma. Emma was abandoned by Snow and Charming. Baelfire was abandoned by Rumple. Rumple was abandoned by his father. Pinnochio (who yes has not appeared, still helps makes the abandonment point) was left by his father. Mad Hatter’s daughter also abandoned in a way, she was left with another family, “abandoned.

In this series, a lot of people have been abandoned, left behind, orphaned. Whether it is physical by putting them into a magical wardrobe or its emotional/mental when there father is drinking away and not being there for his daughter, Cora. For those that don’t remember we see him in like 1 episode and he is drunk and we get the impression that this is not the first time. He is probably an alcoholic and hasn’t been there for his child.

As a result we are getting interesting view points on how each character reacts to being abandoned.

Recap

  1. Peter was abandoned. An Orphan
  2. Peter is ruthless
  3. Peter is feared by the Dark One.
  4. Peter likes playing Games
  5. Peter’s shadow steals children.
  6. Peter creepily reminds me of Cora

Peter has no heart.  Peter has no soul. 

My reasoning for this Peter Pan was abandoned. He felt hurt and unloved. He soon realized. Love makes you weak and we all know the worst thing for a boy is to look weak. It’s part of the culture. So, he somehow learned to take out his own heart and keep it locked away.  And to prevent him from being killed by another (or another way to take control and be strong), he also ripped off his own shadow, his soul.

This leads to another question. How did he learn to do this? I have 2 answers for that.

It was either Cora or Rumplestilskin (this is if Rumple was not a lost boy, although its possible he could have gone back to Peter since he knew how to find him). Cora seems just as heartless and I’m not sure what her motivations would be to be honest with helping Peter out, not without it benefiting her. But with Rumple, he would do it for a price of course. Maybe to find Baelfire. After all Peter goes after those that had been abandoned. It’s possible he could have asked for help with finding Bae.

Back to the issue of abandonment. Abandonment is a painful thing. We see Peter mention this fact to Emma in the second episode. Henry, Emma, Rumple, and Baelfire haven’t really come to terms with being abandoned. He almost seems to throw it in their face and mock them about it. He is not empathetic about it at all. He could see their desire to be loved as weak. Which could help explain his comment to Emma, “You’ve got fire. I like fire.” She is not weak, despite being abandoned, in Pan’s eyes. Especially if you compare how she has lived in comparison to Rumple and Baelfire. Both who have gone down paths that are not so good. She turned her life around. Granted, she still needs to forgive her family, but if she has that same spirit so does Henry and he was abandoned too….

Just wait. I’m getting there.

His soul and heart not being there would also explain why pixie dust doesn’t work anymore, which means it used to, so what could have changed? Maybe at one point he ripped out his own heart and cut off his soul/shadow. You need to have a heart & soul to believe in good, wonder and magic. After all death/lack of soul/ darkness/lack of life vs good/blind faith/hope (think Regina vs Snow White here). Emma is the daughter of Snow White. Henry is the grandson of Snow.

The Heart of the Truest Believer

Peter Pan intends to steal Henry’s heart. The title of the first episode of the 3rd Season is a dead giveaway. After all hearts, believing, and spirit (aka soul) is a huge theme that reappears throughout the series.   He has the same fire as Emma and the same belief that snow has. The whole “anything is possible if you just believe” mentality.  We saw the pixie dust immediately work and we saw not only Pan’s face, but the faces of the other Lost Boys. All Impressed.  So I wouldn’t be surprised if Pan doesn’t try to take Henry’s heart. And it would be something new we haven’t seen. We have never seen someone put a heart back into themselves.

After all Neverland runs on belief and Henry is full of it.

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