Tuesday, July 22, 2014

stars in space

      I've made it into a game. Log on to Netflix. Type a random word in the search engine box and see if anything good comes up. Rule #1: You have to watch whatever comes up. Rule #2: Rule number one is voided by any mention of David Bowie. It's rather challenging. Today, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a documentary about the human race's first moments in space. Don't ask the name, after scanning for David Bowie, I don't really notice.
      This was one of the greatest films I've seen in quite a long time. Original footage, first-hand interviews, shiny space suits and one of the most influential events in human history. Let me clarify, I do not classify this as an influential event due to our making it to space and the moon. No, this makes the list of times when the human race proved that they are amazing and in doing so, influenced everything else. This is my favorite list. 
      Humans have long been known as a group of individuals comprised of many different hobbies, tastes, interests, abilities, desires and perceptions. It's amazing to me that we haven't blown up the planet yet (though we have come close). Throughout the years, humans have found ways to link those skills and interests and whatnot to create and improve. 
      Concerning this documentary, I found another great thing about human beans: we are brave. Not only were the astronauts brave in risking their life to explore, but we were brave in believing we could send them out there and bring them back alive. Space, for me, represents the epitome of "the unknown."  If you think about it, there is really close to nothing that we know about space. Sure, we've progressed since that day in 1961, but if you think about it, there is a lot out there that we have absolutely no solid knowledge about. And can you imagine back when Yuri was suiting up? Someone was looking into that black abyss one day and thought, "we should wrap a man up in a shiny suit, fling him up there and see what we find." And then someone volunteered. And then someone built a spaceship. And then that volunteer got into the spaceship and was rocketed up into space. And THEN, a few years later, someone got to the moon. What if the moon was acidic, and one step could have disintegrated you? But Armstrong did it. He left that shoe print that looked strikingly similar to every pair of shoes you ever wore before the age of 8.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." 
     Here is a human bean, testing the limits. What I love about that, is that people do it everyday. I had an irrational fear of turning on a blender once. Fortunately, the only job I could get freshman year was at Jamba Juice. I walked in, and after making my first smoothie, started the blender. So maybe it would explode and rip my face to pieces (that was the irrational fear part), but I did it. Martin Luther King Jr. knew the risk of standing up for his rights, but he did, and because of that, our entire nation was changed. Firemen jump into burning houses to save people, soldiers fight to protect their freedom, a kid stands up to the bully at school, you leap off the plane with nothing with a backpack that supposedly has a parachute in it. 


     It's amazing. The human race is a lot of things, and brave is perhaps one of the greatest. So, here's to being brave. Cheers. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Stormy Weather

For some bizarre reason, whenever there are clouds and a slight drizzle, I get in this contemplative mood. So I sit here, and type up some advice for myself while the epiphany lasts. Here are some things about life that we all should know. I think it's becoming cliche to say things along the lines of "I know this is cliche, but...." but I don't really mind being cliche. I think it's totally mainstream and cool. #makingmainstreamcool #beforeitremergesascool

1. First off: if you're going to do something, do it and be amazing. Nothing is more impressive to me than someone who found their passion and pursued it with all they had just because they loved it. Even if you don't become the best, if you've done your best, your best will be enough to make you happy, which is the most important thing. 

Pele- "Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pele. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player, but how to be like a man."

2. L.I.V.E
      An acronym for how life should be lived.
L: Lusciously. No, don't just buy all the things. I believe a luscious life can be lived in a sub-Saharan hut or a penthouse apartment in New York. The ability to find luscious qualities about your circumstances is something that can make or break a satisfied outlook on life (I've got to find another word for life, it's gonna get old real quick). 
I kinda really want to be like her.
I:  Involved. If there's anything I've learned about this existence, it's that YOU are in charge of how involved you are. So many times I've missed out on things and blamed it on someone not making the effort to involve me or reach out to be my friend. This is a symptom of laziness. If you feel left out, it's because you're not making an effort to be let in. Be friendly, reach out to others, always be kind, etc. If you're this kind of person rather than a pity party in the corner, you'll not only be more happy with your current relationships, but will perhaps assist in brightening the day of someone else. 
Enjoy Life     
V: Vivaciously. Building off that last one, seriously if you are happy and try to have a positive and excited attitude about this time in which we are alive, you will have so much more fun. I live the 3 second 5 minute rule: you've got 3 seconds to be annoyed or mad, then you decide whether, in 5 minutes, this thing will influence the rest of your journey or not and whether it will be worth being sad or angry any longer. It happens all the time, where we just blow up or sit there and mope for forever, and then regret that time lost later. So just take your 3 seconds, judge your 5 minutes and move on to the bigger and better. 
good thoughts..            Winnie the Pooh
E: Eclectically. Technically meaning "selecting or choosing from various sources," I choose this word to mean something along the lines of DON'T JUST BE IN YOUR OWN LITTLE BUBBLE ALL YOUR LIFE. I was this person. I was in my own little head, sitting in my little house, in my little city, in my little state watching How I Met Your Mother and various David Bowie films for a lot of my life. I believe that there is a section of happiness that comes from exotic encounters. Expanding your horizons, choosing to be influenced by "various sources." For some, this means travel the world. For others, like me, who also want to travel but have no money, it means to take the time to value eclecticism. Read the news, learn how to belly dance, create your own tea ceremony, be an eclectic person, made up of different things or skills or anything. Don't just become really good at basket-weaving and think that's all the accomplishment one needs in life. Well-roundedness. That's the key. 

I was going to go on, but even I got sick of reading this. So anyways, live your life my friend. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Dislike of Spring

First of all, allergies.

Second, I hate tulips. Sue me, Alice.

Third, in Utah we don't really get Spring. We get more of a "is it summer....? Dare I get out my shorts? Sandals? Oh wait...no, here's another foot of snow....which will disappear by morning!"

Fourth, literally everyone is in love and not afraid to show it. I don't necessarily hate people in love, I just dislike this season at BYU when they're all outside roaming the campus like they own the place.

Fifth, I don't have an excuse to stay inside all day.

And last, but not least, it's not summer and there's still school.

Friday, January 24, 2014

When Writing: Land

January, 23rd 

I can feel it. 
Our soles are thick, 
But the beating heart is pounding.
I can hear it.
Her cool breath,
Seeps its way into my bones,
Leaving her stained kiss 
Upon my cheeks. 
Maternal love.
Through my veins, 
Runs a surge of belonging. 
The earth, 
Her body, 
The silence of the wood,
Reconnecting us.  
Softening our callused hearts.
Our souls are thick, 
But I can feel it. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

La nouvelle année

   It's a new year, folks. I'd like to start it off agreeing with my friend Neil Gaiman. 

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, tryig new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing  your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes, make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is; art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, 
Make your mistakes, next year and forever." 

        I've spent my whole life making New Year's Resolutions hoping to prevent mistakes. Mistakes are my worst fear. Really though, the worst. I'm that kid that won't do something because I might not be perfect at it or it won't go as perfectly planned as I had hoped. This is unfortunate and mostly results in me being unhappy with where I am in life because I won't just go do what I want to do. 
       Come on, Marina. You own enough Nike apparel, and have read 1 Nephi 3:7 enough times to be motivated about this. 

       But on the reals, it's been called to my attention that I am horrendous on follow through. I've got my shot all lined up, knees bent, ball in hands, eye on the prize, but I just can't let go of the ball. If I let go, who knows what's going to happen? I can't come to terms with the possibility of failure. I figure, if I don't let go of the ball, I will never miss the shot. What I'm learning is that if I DO let go, there's not only the possibility that I will make it, and have thousands of screaming fans rush the floor, but there's also the possibility that I'll miss, but have a failure to tuck into my experience file. My pocket of learning. A Batman utility belt for life. 

       I need to learn that failures can be just as rewarding as successes. 

      The fear of risk and failure is not entirely illogical. I think the basis of our progression in life is built off the recognition and the dedication to overcoming these fears. I have a theory that joy in life can be attributed mainly to us doing remarkable things, remarkable in this case referring to any amount of progression. Progression can be anything from learning a language, to mastering the art of Kung Fu, to watching others progress, and using that as motivation to progress yourself. At work, at school, at play. In all times, in all things, and in all places. Progress. The noun and the verb.

     But don't get crazy.

     Challenging yourself is one thing. Spreading yourself too thin just makes for not enough honey on every bite. And that's not fun, or delicious. Which is what life should be. Expand and reach, but don't 18th century style torture yourself.

     Mosiah 4: "And see that all things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." 

       My train of though just jumped off that band wagon, but anyways, New Years. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Failures can be good. Utility belts are awesome. Batman is awesome.

D&C 100:12 "Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice, for behold, and lo, I am with you even until the end." 

Best regards, 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

On Demand

     Concerning percentages, I've found that a plethora of my time spent as a university student is comprised of attending school, studying for classes, working, and Netflix. As I'm sure is the case with many of my fellow comrades, we take part in the battle with On Demand resources every day. There is much to be said about these assets, both in and out of favor. Their unmeasurable convenience, portable capability and entertainment value are off the charts. However, these attributes also make them ridiculously distracting. After a hard day's work, one sometimes feels deserving of an episode of How I Met Your Mother which can conveniently be watched alongside a math assignment, or one of the odd assortment of 20th century David Bowie films while reading Milton, but at one point, one must face the inevitable truth that the simultaneous attempt of homework is futile. 
    I would categorize these new resources under the label, "potential threats." Not unlike a bar of good Swiss chocolate or Benedict Cumberbatch's face, they all succumb to the saying, "too much of anything can take a wrong turn," with chocolate launching one into a state of a diabetic coma, Benedict's chiseled cheekbones slicing through one's rational function of thought, and Netflix hurling a stick of dynamite at your "A" in Critical Theory 101. 
    In moderation, however, these "potential threats" become valuable resources. Often, have I been enlightened on subjects that concern my field of work while watching one of the many available documentaries uploaded to Netflix, or, perhaps, culturally immersed in a foreign film. There is no denying that this "age of potential threats" carries with it benefits to the student, however, like Swiss chocolate, it must be in moderation, as to avoid an educational sugar coma, which, I will assure you, results in nothing but minimal sleep, tears, and an odd desire to drop out of school to become an unemployed street performer. 

Monday, December 2, 2013


I've been thinking a lot about thinking. Mostly about intellectualism. 

I was sitting in my American Literary History class talking about modernism. I found myself getting way too excited about our discussions, and left wanting to spend the rest of my life reading Pound, Eliot, and Hemingway in a room full of Mondrian's "New York" collection. 

I came to a realization. Was this starting me on the path to intellectualism? Was I already an intellectual? Did I even want to be an intellectual? 

In my studious 30 second search on Merriam-Webster, I discovered this: 


: of or relating to the ability to think in a logical way
: involving serious study and thought
:of a person : smart and enjoying serious study and thought
1. a.  of or relating to the intellect or its use
    b.  developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than by emotion or experience :  rational
2. a. given to study, reflection, and speculation
    b. engaged in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect

I like thinking logically, and I'm all for serious study and thought. I study, reflect, and speculate, and like to at least pretend like I engage in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect. 

Wait, Marina. You skipped the one about being guided by intellect rather than by emotion or experience. 
I know, third-person blog reincarnation. I'll explain. 

Being in an English major, I read a lot of literature. I participate in a lot of discussions about said literature. I analyze and write a lot of papers about said literature. I enjoy it. Maybe even love it.  

I love talking with other people and seeing why they love literature. I love thinking about what Golding was trying to say about human nature in Lord of the Flies, and what Eliot meant by "Hollow Men." Does this definition of intellectualism define who I am? I would venture to say that it's quite possible.

Except for definition 1. b. 

I really don't think that to be an intellectual requires one to be driven purely by rational thought, omitting all emotion and experience. 

To me, at least, to be intellectual is to analyze emotion and experience through one's own emotion and experience. All literature is grown from these things, and to be an intellectual is to acquire the ability to analyze and  understand someone else's representation of emotion and experience.

Just for fun, I'm going to say emotion and experience one more time. 

In the words of the ever-so-interesting Albert Camus, 
"An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself." 

Control. And the ability to know enough to understand what the control of ourselves in our quest of knowledge is.  

Till next time.