Book Review: “The Broken Circle” by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller

Hello!

I am known to scroll through Amazon’s Prime Reading catalog for a good hour and a half, just seeing what’s available and basically take inventory of what I could be interested in after I finish my current book. Everytime I do this, I would always see this book listed in the memoirs section, but I would talk myself out of it because I knew it would pull at my heart strings but one day I told myself to get it because I wasn’t doing very well with the other book.

For some biographies and memoirs, I don’t like to read the synopsis given to you beforehand. I think the description can play with your mind and although I just skimmed at what the book was about, the title alone told me what to expect and you can’t blame me especially when the tagline says “a memoir of escaping Afghanistan”. I didn’t have to know anything too critical to understand that this would be a rough one but I got it anyways!


42945699._SY475_An emotional and sweeping memoir of love and survival—and of a committed and desperate family uprooted and divided by the violent, changing landscape of Afghanistan in the early 1980s.

Before the Soviet invasion of 1980, Enjeela Ahmadi remembers her home—Kabul, Afghanistan—as peaceful, prosperous, and filled with people from all walks of life. But after her mother, unsettled by growing political unrest, leaves for medical treatment in India, the civil war intensifies, changing young Enjeela’s life forever. Amid the rumble of invading Soviet tanks, Enjeela and her family are thrust into chaos and fear when it becomes clear that her mother will not be coming home.

Thus begins an epic, reckless, and terrifying five-year journey of escape for Enjeela, her siblings, and their father to reconnect with her mother. In navigating the dangers ahead of them, and in looking back at the wilderness of her homeland, Enjeela discovers the spiritual and physical strength to find hope in the most desperate of circumstances.

A heart-stopping memoir of a girl shaken by the brutalities of war and empowered by the will to survive, The Broken Circle brilliantly illustrates that family is not defined by the borders of a country but by the bonds of the heart.

taken from Goodreads.

I want to point out that, Enjeela’s story starts in the late 1970’s and into the early 80’s, so I wasn’t alive during this time. I kind of remember watching various documentaries that were filmed at this time so I remember hearing things about the war going on in Afghanistan but I didn’t know who it was with until everything was mentioned in this story; I thought it was an interesting way to understand the early conflicts there.

At the beginning of the book, it was nice to learn about the beauty of Enjeela’s home in Kabul. The lush earth and ways of modernizes going on in the community. This was another part of history I did know about too. I saw on Twitter years ago of two women in Pakistan wearing skirts and they had their hair down and it was flowing in the wind. They looked happy to have their pictures taken, but the next photograph was of a group of women covered in head to toe with black burkas. I thought it was very sad to see how big of a shift had happened throughout recent history.

As much as I enjoyed learning about her early memories of her elder sister getting married and how their house was furnished in both American and Italian styles of the day. We quickly make our way to some of the new changes of her beloved country. It was somewhat slow of a build up, but once her mother and sisters left, everything really takes things into another tempo. One moment we are told how Enjeela and crumbling family have moved into a smaller house to meeting Masood and officially making their way out of her beloved, but war-torn country.

I thought of a documentary I watched on PBS last year called “For Sama” and it was a documented account of a Syrian journalist living with her husband who was running an open hospital while they were getting bombed from every angle and their baby girl Sama was born in the mix. I saw the humanity side of this war going on, and although it was small it was as frightening to watch, but I knew it was 10x worse for those who lived in it every day and night for a long period of time. To read about a six year old having to walk with her siblings without their parents and on top of that, with a strange man who you would automatically think of the worst possible outcome for all of them. In a span of six months they lived in little villages and were treated like a loved one with everyone they came across, but on the other side of that, those same people were burying their loved ones because they were being killed fighting for their right to live there in their homes.

Everything about it was heartbreaking but they never seem to give up on not just themselves, but the promise her whole family being together again soon. It was a beautiful story, I just wish we were given more information about what happened to the rest of her family at the end. It is my only bad note about the story itself, yes, she told us about what happened to her later on in life but we weren’t given anything about her siblings. They were as present in the book as she was, but we never get told anything more about them.

Have you read this book yet? Are you a fan of memoirs? Do you, by any chance, have a favorite one you’ve read either this year or in the past? Let me know below!

snowflake

Springtime Inspired Baby Names!

Happy May!

I have really embraced spring this year!! Despite the fact that this Coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is mainly called on the news, has basically taken away every part of big springtime celebrations, I am still enjoying the season for what it is: a renewal of life! And people becoming parents for the first, sixth or tenth time is a huge change to life and lately I have been trying step up my game on look to the positive side of things like a baby being born into this crisis, and instead of seeing worry and eventual death, I see the color yellow and hear laughter!

For today, I am going to talk about my favorite springtime inspired baby names for boys, girls and even adding some unisex names to the post. This could be a long one, so I apologize if there are parts were I just start rambling silly things!


So, first we are going to discuss my favorite girl names because spring automatically makes me think of little girls with their Easter dresses in pastel shades! Every women loves when there is a break in the cold weather to wear their favorite dresses, whether they are long or short, it doesn’t matter they want to rock something different than thick sweaters and jeans with faux fur boots!

I also have to give a shout out to a friend of mine who allowed me to help send out some suggestions for their little girl. I tried my best but after sending so many bohemian (boho) names, I suddenly started falling in love with a bunch of them and everything about it gave rise to the idea of getting this post together!

Greta –  I have always loved “Greta” but I know how strong of a name it looks and sounds, so it is not always one that I talk about a lot. However, I do think the boldness is a good thing, because it gives an edgy sense to the little girl who gets to use it for the rest of her life. I think it is a pretty for a baby, toddler and for an elderly woman, but once she gets to her teens she might be bored or embarrassed about it, so might opt out for a nickname and I found that “Etta” which is becoming increasingly popular as a standalone, could be cool!

Poppy – Poppy is one of those absolutely adorable names for both a female human and animal, although I’d never call a cat ‘Poppy’ as I tend to chose regal names for them, but dogs and rabbits could be cute.

I know it is very popular over in England, but something about it doesn’t stop new families from wanting to use it for their daughters! I do wish it could increase on the national list of names used in the United States one day.  I find this such a sweet name but figuring our what kind of nickname to go with it has become a bit difficult for me.

Harlow – I don’t think Harlow will ever leave my favorite list. I have loved this name since it was announced that Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden named their daughter Harlow Winter Kate in 2006. Honestly her whole name is still a combination I rave about to people. I went to school with a girl, who’s youngest daughter is named Harlow Claire. I also think this is a great pairing, it’s really sophisticated compared to the uniqueness of the Madden’s picks.

Indigo  – When I was fixing a list for my friend, this was one of two names that I really never liked, especially ‘Indigo’ mostly because I always saw it as a boy name, but I don’t really understand how it ended up on my lists and not hers!

I think a reason why it entered my space is that it is a word for the color purple. I don’t care for Mauve, Violet or Lilac, but I do enjoy Lavender a lot! I am very picky when it comes to purple in general. I am more into lighter shades like lilac, but I am more of a fan of royal purple; the darker the better!

Isabeau – Now I know this one might seem strange, but one of the smaller objectives of this post is to add various names. Greta and Isabeau may not be names that remind you of this time of the year, but they do for me! I think it is a great alternative to Isabel/Isabella. Since everyone loves those versions, I thought this could be cute but strong against other names out there!

Ophelia – Since I was never a fan of William Shakespeare’s plays–they were honestly the least favorite things to read in high school! I wasn’t really introduced to Ophelia until about six years ago! I had just made my first baby name board on Pinterest and it popped up on my feed and that’s it! It does come and go of my lists but whenever I see it online, I find it to be a cheery name for a little girl. It is one of those rare names that work for any age!

Jane – Jane is such a simple name, but I find that so attractive! Everything about is lovely, but recently I found out it also adds an interesting quality that I think people tend to forget; it can be used as a way to give originality without even trying! A combination I have found precious honors my sister Emily, but also gives the child a way to become her own person. Emilia Jane is the whole name. I find the colors pink and yellow come about whenever I tell people of it online. I also see a child bearing these names being original but passionate over the significance over the special meaning too.

Athena – Ever since I found out my name derives from Greece, I have been obsessed with other Greek names! I also love the mythology, so I am a lover of the Goddess Athena. She is a Goddess of wisdom, courage, the arts and justice. She was one that was very beloved in Ancient Greece.

Since I am a lover of royalty, I find it odd that it has never been a popular name in females throughout time. There is only one I know for sure that might have roots in Greece and that is the Danish princess Athena, daughter of Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Her great-aunt is married into the Royal Greek family, Queen Anne-Marie, younger sister to Athena’s grandmother Queen Margrethe II.

Dove – This is another recent find, and I mean really recent, I would say around 10 months ago I found out about it as I was watching the Disney Channel film Descendants 3, one of the main actresses has the name Dove and I find she is exactly what I’d picture a young woman with that name. She’s very pale but has gorgeous blue eyes and blonde hair! I find it hilarious that once I find and put it on my list, everybody is using it like crazy!

Hazel – For a while, I didn’t like Hazel. A part of me thought it was too old of a name for a daughter of this generation, but then one of my cousins used it with her second as a middle name and then I started putting together different combinations and using them on name games on Facebook and Instagram!

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For most people, when they think of springtime they might be into pretty girl names. Oddly enough, I had the opposite thing to happen! I feel it might have something to do with St. Patrick’s Day being in March that makes me think of Irish names for little boys! And I do love more boy names that come from both Ireland and Scotland, but when I was going through my big list of names I knew I would have to shake things up and give you others that you may not assume to be perfect names for spring!

Leif – There is always one name that you absolutely love and have a special meaning behind it, that you literally leave out of every “favorite” list you make, or at least I do!

My love of the name ‘Leif’ comes after reading a book in high school, it was called The Last Leaf by O. Henry. It was about a story of two women artists who were living in New York. They were both healthy until came down with a really bad illness and was on death’s door. She told her friend and roommate that once every leaf falls off the tree outside the window of her hospital room, she will die.

I found the story very different, I saw it through a reader’s point of view and as the artist too, because at this time I was taking an art class, and I had the same thinking as the sick woman in a way. After I finished the final project, I was going to be done with it for a very long time. I basically killed it off, but I kept the special quality of the story and fell in love with the name Leif in a way to honor my love of the art and story.

Rhodes – This one has a similar backstory as well, as I love photographs of roads fading off into the background, and whatever journey a person can take going forward, made me see this name in a different light.

There are times where I enjoy it more as a girl name, but then I’m back to only having it as a boy name. I also don’t really use it as a first, I like having it as a middle and it adds a quirky but adorable way to name a little baby.

Thoreau – As the previous two have a long history with me, this is relativity new to the list. Everytime I see it, a spring green appears in my mind, but I also has a nice city vibe too!

Another part of it that I really like is that it is rarely used still. I look through our local newspaper and I never find it listed to both boys and girls. So, if you are looking for something a little different or if you like the nickname, “Thor” or “Thora” this is a great way to have a strong name but also calling your child after a Marvel character!

Forest – I love Forest so much! Now I’ll be honest, I wasn’t much of a lover of it when I was younger because of the film Forrest Gump, but I did grow up knowing one kid in school with the name! I often wonder what he thinks about the sudden surge in popularity it has been getting in the last five years?

I think Forest with one “r” is really sweet, but I have issues whether or not it sounds awesome for an elderly man. Hmmm…

Camden – When 2014 rolled around, suddenly the name “Camden” became a big standout and I was such a fan of it the moment it came out! Nick and Vanessa Lachey named their oldest son Camden Jack and then less of a week later Kristin Cavalleri and her husband Jay Cutler named their son Camden John. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of either combination but it never stopped me from loving the name so I thought of this as a big win!

Oliver – Here is a fun fact for you! While my sister was pregnant with my nephew, there was a chance that he would have been called Oliver. The only reason why they let it go was that my mom threatened to give him the same nickname we gave our childhood cat Oliver which was “Mem-mem”. So they decided on Nolan as his first name.

I still love the name, but I don’t necessarily understand the big deal of naming your child after your beloved pet. I mean, if they meant a lot to you then I think it’s really sweet to give it to your baby too. Audrina Partridge named her daughter Kirra Max, after her dog she had for a long time and passed away while she was pregnant with her baby girl. For some names, it is totally a cool trend, but nobody would be able to use “ChiChi” as a nickname in our family for obvious reasons!

Cillian – As I said above, when I think of spring names, I instantly think of St. Patrick’s Day and I love Irish boy names. Oliver and Cillian both have Irish meanings but I think Cillian is the cutest of the two because it works with all ages. I am also into having a “C” instead of the “K” that everyone mostly uses, because it looks more like a Gaelic name and of course, it looks more manly or strong.

Holland – I have recently fell back in love with it as a name for a child. Originally, I only liked it for a girl but I have never cared for the name “Holly”. I think the fact that it’ll be used constantly during the month of December, thanks to the many, many Christmas carols! Also, I just think it looks and sounds dated and tacky, and I love different era names!

Noble – I found this one several years back, as I heard it on an episode of Blue Bloods and I immediately had to quickly put it on my list! I have to say, I was really watching that show on a limited basis, but I guess something good did come out of it, it brought this handsome name to my attention.

It’s been really nice to find out that couples are finding and enjoying it as much as I did when it came on my radar. I think it’s a clever alternative to my nephew’s name ‘Nolan’ but I do have to say that both are rising on various popularity lists around the country. What I like about it is, it’s a masculine type of name but it is also an interesting quirk about it too!

Cove – So, this name hasn’t always had an easy time with me. Honestly, when Cove and Lennon first started gaining momentum on the charts, I couldn’t understand the love for it. I just hated both of them, and what is even more odd is that both transitions were fast! Like when Aspyn and Parker Onard revealed their daughter’s name was Cove, I instantly hated it but within four months later, I was fine with it. I saw it with another beloved favorite of mine and changed my mind on what I felt for it!

So, now that we have the boys section done, we can move on to talk about some of my favorite unisex or neutral names. Honestly, I think the only reason why I decided on doing this part was so that I could add more onto the post! What is even worse is that I changed my first setup of listing five of them at a time, but as I continued to go through my jumbo list for the banner, I realized I had too many good ones to leave it altogether, so here we go for the last time!

Callahan – Everyone can develop a special feeling towards a name, like we discussed with naming your child after a favorite pet. Whether you are inspired by your pet, famous celebrity, athlete, etc that it is your choice and I will forever say “go for it” but I feel like the reason for why I love this name will make a lot of people laugh–including my mother!

In 2002, right before we left to go to the hospital for my back surgeries, one of my aunts and cousins gave me a present and it was the VCR tape of Legally Blonde. It was one of three movies that I watched all of the time. Whether it was 12 hours before surgery day or 5 hours afterwards, it didn’t matter I wanted to watch it and it’s literally no wonder why I (and my mom!) know EVERY word in it.

Now let’s go back to this post. Our main character Elle has a professor named Callahan, and he is a shady ass dude! If you haven’t seen it, you must be living underneath a rock or something! Anyways, everytime I hear it on the movie or online, I feel like it could be a great name for both sexes. The first five letters “Calla” is a flower so if you are like me, and want to mask the real reason why you used it, you have that in your corner, but really what I enjoy about it is that Callahan is versatile in every way.

Boston – Boston is such a cute and surprisingly unique name–one that I feel should have been used a lot more during the American Revolutionary War and afterwards, because Philadelphia was used on girls for quite a bit in the late 1780’s to early 1800’s, but I never see anything about Boston! It is getting a great following now, sort of like what happened to Alabama a few years ago (but I hated that one with a passion!).

In the beginning, I was only loving it for girls too, but then I saw a pairing with a boy middle name and I thought it was really cute! There is a BookTuber with the name Boston and she looks like a Boston, and I’ve seen some very adorable boys with it lately! I’ve never been more confused on which is my favorite side!

Hunter – When I was in school, I knew a few Hunters, and always liked it on them, because instead of getting a full on hunter vibe with camo and deer heads up against a wall like a giant trophy, I always thought it was a nice jock type of name. Since the two boys I knew actually played football, it made sense to like it this way!
After watching the film Thirteen and learning about Holly Hunter in 2008 I think, I suddenly had an obsession with it being for a girl. For a while, I changed the spelling to “Hynter” which everybody hated it, but I generally like putting an “e” or “y” for other letters! After some time I have found new love for it but I went back to the original way and I still prefer it for both sexes–even though boys will always be my favorite!

Bodhi – I was going to talk another name but I rarely use it now, so I exchanged it with another favorite of mine. Bodhi is like Camden because of how popular it became among the celebrities a couple of years back. Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green named their second son Bodhi Ransom (another great name too!) and Teresa Palmer and her husband Mark Webber welcomed their first child Bodhi Rain back in 2016. Oddly enough both of them were born within days of each other! And now Ian Somerholder and Nikki Reed have a daughter with the name Bodhi Soleil.

I have kept Bodhi on my list for YEARS! I think I’ve known about it since 2008, because there was a radio DJ on one of my favorite stations who had it and I thought it was interesting–but again I was obsessed with it mostly with boy names and I have tried to make it work with some of my family names and I finally figured out two names that I think sound great with it but it’s been recently that I have liked it with girl names. I saw Bodhi Charlotte on my Instagram feed and have been going crazy with this pairing ever since! It’s a little classic but edger for a little girl.

River – River is one that has been on my lists for a very long time. I’d say the year was 2006, which is around the time I started really loving names and eventually collecting them in my cell phone. In my first phone, I had quite a bit of combinations and River was one that was constantly popping up in my head. I never kept it in a single category either, I liked the subtle quirky but woodland theme it gave to both sexes, but I did try to make it more into a middle rather a first name.

By the time it had reached its peak in 2017, I was like yes! because I thought it was such a cute name back then, I felt it needed its time in the spotlight! I really adore Kelly Clarkson’s daughter River Rose. I feel like it has a cutesy vibe but also brings out this rocker palette too! So far, she is the only girl that I have seen and enjoyed the whole pairing! However, if you have a River or collect name combos too, I would like to see what you have with it too!

Halston – Halston is very, very new to the party! I actually watched the film that had an actress by the name of Halston Sage, which I have to say is just gorgeous! I think it’s a great example for this part of the post because the combination is perfect for both sexes.

For the most part, I have been enjoying it mostly on boys but in the last few months (see, I told you it was new!) when I was helping my friend figuring out girl boho names, I kept seeing it in my mind and for about five days, I had nothing but Halston in my head for a girl. My friend didn’t really say anything about it to me and I didn’t mention my new love for it either..

Moon – I have always had a special relationship with the moon as a planet, but accepting my love for it as a name for my future children has always been difficult. I don’t really know why, but it’s only since I have been open about my favorites online among other name lovers that I have been wanting to experiment with it. The majority of the time, I have used it for boys but I think it’s great for girls too, it’s just I don’t think I can use it.

Ziggy – This one has been popping up all over Instagram in the last two months. It may very well be the third favorite of the year! I believe it works better for girls, but I have seen a few boys with it although for them they usually use it as a nickname rather than a full name. However, it’s the total opposite for the girls; namers like to pick an a sweet, but strong middle that starts with an “A” but I think if it fits these themes, it’ll give a little girl an unique way to describe herself!

Laurel – Laurel is a perfect alternative to “Lauren/Loren”. Personally, I still love the name “Lauren” and haven’t seen very many kids nowadays use it as a first in the last few years. I think Laurel is a great way to keep spring in a child’s name, but I would love it to become popular with its longer version – if you are expecting twins and you still want to use this way for one, I think it could be great on a boy!

Eden – I think everyone would agree with me when I say, I have always thought of Eden as a nice short girl name, but again like Ziggy above it has been getting increasingly becoming a favorite among people who would a different genderfluid type of name. I would also like to mention that if you adore calling a little boy “Eddie” this could be an interesting way to make it happen! Since it is so small, I think you could go long as far as middle names, like Alexander, Benjamin, Christopher, etc. I do think keeping a masculine middle would be beneficial to him as he grows up. As much as I like unisex names, it is a good thing to keep an mind pairing each name with a traditional, family or gentle middles.

One last thing I have to say, you have nine months (or so) until the child is born, so I’d hope every one is really thinking hard on the subject of naming. I’m not talking about where your name lands on the Top 10 annual lists or how unique it is, but I’m saying for at least 18 years, this child will have to bear the name(s) you have chosen for them. Again, this is my personal take on naming a child so whether you agree with me or not is perfectly fine with me, I’m just trying to give you some guidance on interesting ways to brighten up the times!

Do you like any of the names I’ve mentioned in the post or banner? What are your favorite spring time names for girls, boys and neutral babies?

snowflake

Music Monday | Rick Rubin

Howdy!

Last week in the series, I talked about Dr. Dre, who I have pretty known my whole life (music wise) because of my mother and the amount of old school rap that was played on our cassette player located in my parent’s room! However, for this week I will be discussing my admiration for Rick Rubin.

Rick Rubin is a very special person for me, because by the time I started listening to Linkin Park in 2009, he had just finished working with him on their album “Minutes To Midnight” (2008). This was my first memory of him working with anybody that I enjoyed at the time. So, while I was getting myself deeper and deeper into the world of Linkin Park, I was learning what could (at my own pace) of this interesting music producer. I call him “interesting” because although most producers want to work with a large variety of acts, they usually tend to stick to one genre and stay there for the rest of their lives. Rick Rubin has had most of his success in heavy metal, hard rock and rap music.

The two most popular acts I learned in the first two years was Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys. He has worked with many, many other bands over the years, but these were the two that sort of explain the reason why he helped Linkin Park in the past.

The album I associate Rick helping produce the most is “The Black Album” that was released in 2003. This was supposed to be the final album for the rapper before he retired from the music scene, but considering a year later he and Linkin Park came together like Run-DMC and Aerosmith did in the late 1980’s with “Walk This Way”. Although I don’t think they released an album like Jay-Z and LP did; technically they did an album and put on a concert and would later crash each other’s tours to perform “Numb/Encore” every once in a while. When Chester Bennington died in 2017, Jay-Z was out on tour with his wife Beyoncé, and he performed the hit but instead of doing Chester’s parts, the audience sang every word. It was very beautiful and a great gesture to Chester, his family and the rest of the band too!

Rick Rubin was the reason for this match to come together in the early 2000’s, because he had just finished working with Jay-Z and was close to LP too, as Rick is known to experiment in the nu metal scene in that time frame. The reason why it was so huge for these two acts to do this was because not many people went outside their comfort zones in the music world, you stayed in your genre for most of your career. At least, that’s my take on the scene and I was very much part of it since I really didn’t like to go outside of my bubble gum pop world although there were was a time were I enjoyed rap music, but you can tell I didn’t listen to a lot of rap between the year 1999 to 2002, because I was busy enjoying Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys too much to really pay attention!

Nowadays, it’s really accepted to like a wide variety of music and not to mention foreign languages that come with these new changes too! Radio is still a big way to introduce new music to a larger audience to the world, but it’s also important to realize that record producers to go through this switch too! They will always stay within their comfort zone, which I think for Mr. Rubin, it is heavy metal, but from time to time he will find something different to sink his teeth into and it might shock a few people that follow his journey just as much as the other musicians too.

So, if you are a lover of Rick Rubin’s work, who is your favorite act(s)? And do you have a favorite era of time too?

snowflake

 

 

Life Lately | Detox For 10 Days!

Howdy!

Hope you’re all doing well out there!

April was an interesting month for me. It was suppose to lead into a great adventure up north for my nana’s birthday, but thanks to the Coronavirus, we, like everybody else’s plans, were cancelled. Honestly, I thought weather would be the main reason we couldn’t go, so this wasn’t necessarily on my radar, but I had somewhat prepared myself for this kind of outcome; so, I wasn’t overly excited or disappointed when it came around.

The other thing was the huge detox I was forcibly to experience at the beginning of the month. My mom and I were in agreement that our internet service turning off our Wi-Fi in a middle of the epidictic was absolutely stupid! Thank god I am not in school anymore or I would have panicked. We had to wait over 10 days or so until someone was sent out to come fix our connection. Like I told my mom on the 3rd, “I don’t know if I should feel bad for the person on the other line” because my dad was basically shouting at how awful this is!

All wasn’t lost though, I was still able to use both my laptop and tablet for other things. I could still write out drafts, play Spider Solitaire, read my books, and organize the many, many lists of baby names on both electronics. (EDIT: I didn’t organize the baby names!) So, I had a lot more pros, than cons and I was okay with that! The one thing I was mildly upset about was the fact I couldn’t post my “Three Good Things” online, but I could work on them for the days I am missing and once I came back, I would upload the posts.

On the day I chose to write this post, which was day 2, we were experiencing another beautiful day of spring weather. It’s nice to see our trees in bloom again. Our neighbors have two dogwood trees in front of their house and I love it when they turn white at the ends. In a matter of days, they’ll change colors again and become a nice dark green and stay that way until the start of fall. It is also really awesome to see our front yard growing in grass after little over a year since we tore down our old house and dad had to put straw all over the large space. The few strands that remain are being taken by the birds as they are building their nests in the nearby trees.

The day before we were greeted with a sweet surprise in our mail. We received a cute drawing from my little nephew! My sister and brother-in-law sent a folded piece of paper of their traced hands and there were some parts to make it extra special, Nolan got to draw on it too! When my mom came home from work, she showed it to me and I almost broke out in tears because it was absolutely adorable!

A few hours later, I thought it would awesome to send them something back. In February, my mom bought Nolan a Mickey Mouse coloring book for a $1. We have a lot of pages where there’s lines of purple and blue (colors that he knows the most!) and everybody else attempting to stay inside the portrait of Mickey and his buddies! I thought it would be a great idea if we could do a page and send it to him in the mail. Once I made the announcement, my mom grabbed the book and Ziploc bag of crayons from the living room where we have his lunchbox full of Hot Wheels and the larger cars underneath the light stand. She put them inside my bookcase closest to my bed so that if I wasn’t too busy, I could work on it throughout the day.

I actually sat back towards the wall on my bed, a place where I like to sit and read my books, and I had to push away all (5!) of my blankets to the end of my bed to make enough room to pull this off without causing me too much pain. To make sure I didn’t suffer, I took more breaks than I usually give myself, so by the time I finished the page I was actually comfortable in my placement.

And of course, I had to show off my footwork (haha!) and sent a text of my masterpiece to my mom. I decided to do a simple design just in case it would cause me too much pain and/or if I messed up, I could switch to another one. I knew he would enjoy a Mickey page than any of the other characters. I just hope he wouldn’t mind if Aunt Megz does the maze page in the book? I am a sucker for mazes!

By the time this goes live, I would hope to God I have my internet back and everything is right again! I’ll live if it doesn’t but damn if I have to wait longer than the 10 days we were told, I might be the one yelling at the poor soul who decides to answer the call!

UPDATE: I went without using any Wi-Fi for like five to six days before my mom let me use her phone every once in a while. It was actually harder for her to stay away for like five minutes! After day four though, I was actually counting how much longer I’d have to be without it.

Do you schedule in the amount of time you want to be without your phone, Wi-Fi, etc? What do you do to detox from your electronics?

snowflake

Music Monday | Dr. Dre

Howdy!

Last month I announced that I was going to do another series on my blog. It would replace my normal summer Tune Tuesday posts since I am no longer publishing anything on those days, instead I would switch it to Monday.

The theme would be based off of what inspired to want to become a record producer after I graduated from high school ten years ago, but I would also include people who I look to nowadays. Every month, I will post a banner that will have two people I will focus my attention on, and hopefully that’ll keep you excited for the next one.


I have always had a love/hate relationship with hip hop music. There are words that I don’t really enjoy hearing all the time, such as “bitch,” and the “n” word that you will never find me using ever! I also don’t like the way women and the breed pit bulls are being laid out whether in a rhyme or the music video. They allow each part to be stereotyped, even themselves as musicians. Whenever people listen to rap music, the audience automatically assumes the person spitting a line, is a gangbanger, has abused women, over uses alochol and drugs, etc. Something about the world of music affected me in both a positive and negative way that I still wanted to be the disabled and female version of Dr. Dre.

Since I was born in the early 90’s, and my mom was both a lover of rap and rock music, there was a lot of sounds jamming in our household. My dad worked construction, so he was gone through most of the day and would get home late, so while we spent time with mom, she would play various cassettes and CDs of music. When we were home sick, I really relished in the environment. Since my sister and I were introduced to the genre at a fairly young age, we weren’t shown the violent side of the genre, I actually didn’t know anything about it until I was in my teens and then everything I heard as a child made more sense to me.

Although I don’t remember if my mom had any of Dr. Dre’s albums when we were kids, I still knew why he was so important to the music world. To be perfectly honest, I’ve always felt I don’t have to listen to older music if I highly respect and understand what each person did for their genre. Dr. Dre was no different. I knew he was at the heart of the rap world, but I didn’t really see it first hand until I hit my second phase of listening to that kind of music in 2003.

I don’t remember how I was introduced to 50 Cent’s music. I feel like Eminem had something to do with it, and at this time, Dr. Dre was producing music for Eminem and they were both working with 50 Cent to release him to the masses, so they were a formable force to be reckoned with, almost like a Holy Trinity, together they could release anything and everybody would love it.

The music video for 50 Cent’s hit “In Da Club” is showing you how they molded him into this person; they influeced him into this giant act to entertain people from around the world. It was incrediable! In a way, that is what a music producer is suppose to do, is make you into this beast, give you the confidence in yourself to be able to make greant music. I feel there’s a lot of trust going into this, because they direct you into the right lane, they become your mentor and inspire you to release your demons, passions, easily, and because of this everything you say can be taken in a certain way, whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable. They believe in you and see your true purpose and I think that’s what makes Dr. Dre a legend.

I use to have dreams and write songs throughout my time in school about the possibility of working with my favorite rappers of the time. Since I was highly obsessed with 50’s group G Unit as a teen, they appeared quite a bit but once I decided on what I’d like to study in college and after I was accepted into the school, sadly those dreams became less and less, and I wonder if I should have read into that change a little more. My ability to write songs officially vanished in 2008, which I find interesting because I always think that this was the last year rap music felt new and exciting. Of course, this is only my opinion and considering I made the choice to give the genre another try after a six year hiatus, I can’t say for sure it was a great idea on my part.

Which side of Dr. Dre do you like the best, his rap career (whether with N.W.A. or solo) or are you more interested who he works with and the beats he creates?

snowflake