Tag: change

A house?

February 2nd, 2012 — 11:14pm

I’ve not written specifically in this blog for a while and I’ve got a great article coming, but until then a post from my WordPress (http://kaitco.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/a-house/) will have to suffice:

For the first time in my life I considered that idea that I should be a homeowner. I actually started to look into what homes would be in my price range before I started to add some logic to it, but I can’t escape the fact that I actually thought about it.

I’ve been anti-house for a long time, but in recent months, I seem to be running out of space in my townhouse; and I really want a garage again. The living room isn’t large enough for all my stuff anymore and I would really like to have a decent sized kitchen again. I won’t be able to afford the kind of house I grew up in yet, but the idea of a little space that’s all my own is starting to sound more attractive than it ever did.

“Now is the time to buy” is all I ever hear nowadays and I’m wanting more than ever to feel like a “real” adult with a mortgage and a car note and all the other debt that the rest of America has. Now, feels like the time.

This idea faded a bit on the drive home, but it’s still there nagging at me as something to consider. That said, just a week ago, I almost dropped 1500 to buy a MacBook just because I wanted one, so I realize I just get caught up in the moment at times.

I had planned on getting more writing done today than I did.

I wrote 1003 words today (dinner with Angel and Anthony that evening.). As far as my writing goes, I’m starting to see what I used to attempt daily as not nearly enough any more. I used to pray daily for 500 words, but now when I see that all I wrote was 500 and I highlight it on the page, it looks like nothing and it’s no wonder that it’s taken me three years to write this book.

All this notwithstanding, I wrote a poem today; probably the first in about five years. It’s not truly “my” poem in the sense that I “was” my character Dana Barrington while writing it, but still, poetry is hard and I’m always lightly amused at the result when it’s done.

I wasn’t going to write any poems at all for this project, but I’ve got Damen and Dana discussing poetry in depth and it won’t feel right without at least one:

The story

How do I tell the story
to someone so young?
Should I lie
Should I weep?
Say nothing?
Keep it deep?

He’ll ask the question
I know it; soon
I’ll take time
I’ll get by
But can I look
In his eye?

How do I tell the story
to someone so young?
I’ll make it quick
We’ll feel our pain
But he’ll know he wasn’t
Born in vain.

I was inspired, and thus my character was inspired, for the poem after reading an Emily Dickinson (If I can stop one heart from breaking) and I don’t think much of it, but it’s done and now I can move on with the rest of the book, especially since I completed Chapter 24 tonight.

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Dear Netflix: I still heart you

July 12th, 2011 — 10:13pm

So, I like many other Netflix users, received a disheartening e-mail today about a change in the Netflix pricing. Now, instead of receiving streaming and DVDs together at one price, each service is offered separately and charged separately.

Currently, I have 5 discs out at a time and I get free streaming for the pretty price of 34.99, plus tax. Starting in September, I will have the same service for 35.98, plus tax…barely a dollar increase for the same service.

The cheapskate that I am would normally be outraged at being charged more for the same service, but if I liken it to cable service, Netflix comes out the winner. For years Time Warner had effectively screwed me over by increasing their prices as much as ten dollars a month for receiving the exact same service, without having reasons as valid as Netflix’s.

What reasons, you ask? How about multi-fold increases in the customer base, all running off the same servers and all needing to increase the contracts with the studios? Sounds like a fair reason to increase a bit for the least profitable services.

What’s not profitable, you ask? How about the people paying 16.99 for 3 discs at a time and also a service that people who have no discs pay for 7.99? If you do the math, it only makes sense to differ the services as the folks paying 16.99 are getting far more than anyone else on line.

Now, someone like me at the higher echelon of Netflix service barely feels in the increase at all. In fact, it feels like a decent and expected increase for the cost of service and I don’t remember this big a stink when the previous year’s price increases came to light. That said, if you were paying just 16.99 for 3 discs at a time, you have been rather hosed, but seriously…why are people losing their minds over this? Did no one ever expect that Netflix prices were eventually going to increase over time?

It’s unfortunate that if you originally paid less than $20 for an awesome service that you now have to pay a whopping 8 dollars more than you did two months earlier, but when you consider the alternative, you are still paying far less than you did for cable.

If you are pressed for cash, then decide what you use more. Are you really taking advantage of all three discs at your house at the same time you stream movies and TV shows? If not, take advantage of one of the brilliant other offers available, like 1 disc at a time for 15.98, for example, and stop crying. If you do use all three discs and stream like crazy, then be advised that the gravy train stops here.

I, however, not being cheap when it comes to my Netflix love, feel very little of this new chain of events and, honestly, if a price hike is what it takes to keep Netflix service great and keep them from moving their call centers to abroad, I’ll pay an extra dollar or eight any day.

1 comment » | On Me, Politics

A good start

January 4th, 2011 — 12:18am

With only laying out just two major goals for myself as of 1/1/11 (be a better child of God and write every day), I think I have done a decent job so far: I managed to get to church on Sunday and I’ve written something every day.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to set some real goals for myself, though not for the year, but for just the month. A year is a really long time when you think about it and so much can change in a year. Houses could be bought and lost, weight could be lost and gained again, families could be shattered or started…a lot can happen in just 12 months. So, since I am desiring a change (one of them being the current theme of this blog and the state of DorienneSmith.com), I think the best way to set goals is to create some realistic ones and follow-up once a month to make sure I’m on track.

This month’s goal, on top of the other aforementioned daily ones, is to get a least a twenty minute workout at least once a week. It doesn’t sound like much, but after this weekend, I realize I may need to start slow.

I was playing Kinect with my little cousins Friday night and Saturday morning I was in so much pain that I could barely move. At first I thought it was just some new side effect of a caffeine headache, but then slowly I realized that it was just moving around with the Kinect the previous night. I have been so sedentary these last five or sixth months that just fifteen minutes of activity that I used to be able to do at a moment’s notice was too much for me. I was worn out after the first round of games with the kids and, while I’m no spring chicken anymore, there’s no reason that just a little physically activity should leave me in paralyzing pain the next day. It’s time to stop the madness.

A workout a week is barely anything at all, but I at least have the plan to place what I need to go straight to the gym after work in my car so that I’ll have no excuse. Hopefully next week, I can stretch it two weeks and maybe even add a new goal, but if I can just manage this through January, I can look back on the start of this year proud of what I tried to do for myself.

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I feel blessed

July 28th, 2010 — 10:14pm

I got promoted again today…that’s not why I feel blessed though.

Nine months ago, I found myself wallowing in a depression, the likes of which I had not experienced since before I was saved. In the passing weeks and months, He has blessed me time and time again, but…

I always found myself thinking back to that dark point in my life when I thought nothing would ever go right again and I thought I would simply sink lower and lower until the darkness consumed me. I often wondered why I had to go through all of that, why it had to be me, why I had to be brought so low before I was able to feel so high and, until recently, I had passed it off with the easy reason of knowing that one has to go down before going up, even though I never fully understood it. Today, however, it occurred to me why I had to go through my trial and why I will continue to go through trials as I travel through life.

To go through something is always worth telling or sympathizing, but to go through something, only to come out on top afterward is a testimony and this is what He wants. Not just someone to say, I’ve lived through X and survived, but a true light to the world who can I say I lived through X and triumphed!

Today, I was able to testify to someone, albeit in a more secular fashion than I would have preferred, and it was not until afterward that it occurred to me why I was made to suffer. Without my suffering, my doubt, my pain, I would have had nothing to tell this someone who so clearly was searching for guidance. With no hardship of my own, my advice would have been a lecture, not a testimony.

At nearly 26 years old, I have had a blessed life. I can’t remember ever going hungry a day in my life and, even though my mother tells me we were poor when I was a small child, I never once felt it. As yet, I have yet to miss a rent payment, even though I had gone four months without a job and, while my debt to income ratio is not where I would like it to be, I at least know it exists and can still make plans for the future without worrying about a seven-year black mark on name. I am an American who was raised during the 90s, who never saw life on welfare or drugs in my home or wanton acts by parental figures in my presence; I’ve lived a charmed life.

When I became saved, the first thing I wanted to do was bring someone else to Christ, anyone! But, few willing participants could be found. I won’t go so far as to say that I saved anyone today, but I love simply realizing why Jesus pushes us through trials and uncertainty: so that we can be lights to others wandering in the darkness.

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A three-year accomplishment

May 14th, 2009 — 10:27am

Today marks three years since I joined my church!

I sometimes mention this to some people and they either don’t care or just don’t find it terribly significant. For me, however, May 14th is like a birthday.

Three years ago, on a Mother’s Day Sunday, I decided to come to church with my mother because it seemed like the right thing to do; a gift, of sorts, for Mother’s Day. I had already been coming semi-regularly (because Christ always changes you before you realize it) and each Sunday I faced this inner battle when the pastor was inviting us to join the church. Part of it was my stubbornness saying, “No one is going to tell ME what to do.” Yet, another part, sounding far meeker and calmer, simply asked, “Why not?” It would feel like a burn in my stomach each time and the previous Sunday, it seemed like I had to grab hold of one of the chairs to keep from stepping out into the aisle and giving my life to Christ.

On May 14th, 2006, I didn’t have a response to the “Why not?” and so, I stepped out in the aisle and made my way to the front of the church, ready for a change in my life. I remember quite clearly Pastor saying, “I’ve been waiting for you, my sister.” as I approached and, as I sat down in the front row, I tried so hard not to cry. It wasn’t until I really “let go” that the tears started to come, not unlike they are now as I recall this event and, when I looked back into the congregation and saw my mother nearly sobbing over the fact that I had joined the church on my own free will, I really started to cry.

I can’t say that I changed from all my “evil” ways right there and then, but something was different in me from that day forward. Just reading back through the past entries of this blog can show anyone the difference in the person I was before and after May 14, 2006. Before I had joined the church, my friends and I would laugh at how ignorant all religious people were and how silly they all were to give 10% of their money to their churches and spend half their Sundays listening to “some sermon” every week. Before I had joined the church, Sundays were best spent lounging around, doing nothing and recovering from whatever I had poured down my throat the previous night. Before I had joined my church, Lincoln Park, the last time I had actively pursued a church, I left at the end of their service saying, “I don’t think I’m a Christian anymore.” Before I had joined the church, I was a floundering mess with no direction, no drive and, as sanctimonious and almost trite as it might sound, no future.

Like I said, the total change in myself didn’t come overnight. I still slipped up, but I was very aware of my slip-ups and desired to do more with my life instead. What stands out most to me, however, is what happened not even a full week after I had joined. My roommates were throwing a party that upcoming Saturday and, as I had an exam, for which I had not even cracked open a book, I told them that I would just go home to my parents’ house that Saturday so I could study and then get up for church the next morning. I remember quite clearly one of my friends looking at me quizzically and saying, “Well…you can miss one Sunday, can’t you?” Now, the friend who said this to me is not “evil” or someone who was trying to cause my downfall in any way, shape or form. In fact, we are still, in some sense, friends today, but the question she posed seemed simple and obvious. And, I had actually thought about it for a minute and let the words swirl in my head as I struggled with an answer. You can miss once. It’s just once.

The problem was it would not have been “just once.” Just once would have signified that the commitment I desired to make on May 14th meant nothing, that joining the church was no different than saying that I was going to go to the gym every day or put in three hours of studying every night or write more or call my relatives or try to reach out to old friends…when I never did. “Just once” was not just once. It was everything my life had been up to that point and I knew that if I was going to make a commitment to Christ, I did not want to face this particular “just once” on my judgment day. So, I told my friend that I really had to study (which I didn’t really do when I got home) and I didn’t want to be a downer for their party. They had their party and I went to church that Sunday and have felt like I was at least walking towards the path God had lain out for me ever since.

In many ways, May 14th really is like another birthday. I sometimes detest the term “born again” because I had known so many people who were “born again” and were the most mean-spirited, antagonistic and amoral people I had ever witnessed, but sometimes the term is fitting. On May 14th, I was born again in Christ. While I know I will still have struggles and countless slip-ups between now and the time my journey is over, my goal in this life is to never need to be “born again” again. My goal is to just stay on the path and to let May 14th be the only “born again” day I’ll ever need.

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Jesus, On Me

It’s finally happened…

October 18th, 2008 — 4:59am

…I’ve missed an episode of SVU and, to top off everything else, I think my undying love for The X-Files is finally starting to take a downturn. I realized the latter a few days ago when I go through old files on my computer and saw I had not updated the TXF site in months. (As I write this, I decided to take a little break and post some kind of update and found that David Duchovny split up with his wife. Does any Hollywood marriage last!?!) It is a strange feeling for me to not have some X-Files story building at the back of my mind or to not have a bits of an episode playing in my daydreams. Lately, I have been writing more often and have had little to no time to watch anything at all, hence the reasoning for missing SVU.

I wonder if this is a sign that I’m getting older. A part of me says “no” since I still play the Sims like it is something I’m paid to do and I watch (emphasis because it usually just plays in the background while I play Sims) Daria and Futurama in non-stop loops as playlists on my computer. Then another part of me causes my head to nod and say…”yep, I’m getting old.”

I turned twenty-four last month and I let the occasion pass without much fanfare partly because I was bracing myself for the one anniversary (I hate using that word to describe this, but there really aren’t any synonyms for it) of Edrith’s passing and partly because I just don’t want my birthday to seem like a big deal anymore. All the “fun” ones have passed and only the old ones remain; 25, 30, 40 etc. I’ve got friends who are living together, friends who are getting married, friends who have got married and are about to start a family, friends who already have several children…I’m getting older and every so often I think about how far I have come, but mostly how little I’ve moved since I turned eighteen and became an “adult.”

Supposing I look at the positives, I am successfully living on my own first the first time. I say successfully because I haven’t got tuition hanging over my head and can actually focus on paying off some debt while still managing my apartment and preparing to add my college loans to the fold. I am also starting to figure out who I am: a writer. It has always been a part of who I am, but I’ve been sensing now more than ever that this is the path on which Jesus has set me, rather than something that I just want to do. When I think about any job or career path I’ve ever had, everything always came back to writing. I somehow found a way to write on the job or found myself working just to support myself while I write. I know it’s best to take advantage of these times now because I know marriage and children would never allow for that kind of behaviour…if I ever get married and change my mind about over-population and my general forecast about the state of humanity. I guess there were some negatives to add, but thank God (literally) they’ve been pushed away by thoughts about this story and that story I’m planning to write.

Something interesting I’ve experienced, however, that has got me really think is the idea of rejection. The closest I came to not getting specifically what I wanted, ie: entrance into a creative writing class at OSU, and the fact that my creations have been rejected multiple times from ModtheSims2 presents a completely foreign sensation to me. I’m not used to dealing with rejection, though I’m happy I haven’t resorted to tears or swearing over something I don’t care about too much, but there is something so unsettling about working so hard at something only to not have it well-received. On the other hand…perhaps this is Jesus’ way of telling me my time is better spent on other things…*rubs chin*

Oh well…this is my second completed written “project” in two days, so here’s to praying that this is one step in the right direction in the way of writing the “Great American Novel.”


Original link

On a side note — Daggonnit, John! Why couldn’t you start later in the afternoon so that I could make it to Westerville after church!!! I guess I should be somewhat satisfied though because it if was both John and Sarah, I would have to be giving 11:00AM service “my best” as I flew across the city to see them both. Honestly, that is a once in a lifetime event and I met Bush when he was running. Of course, that’s not much to brag about, but still kind of cool on its own…

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Jesus, On Me, Writing

The Dante Test

August 15th, 2007 — 10:27pm

I have had this Dante’s Inferno test as a bookmark for ages, almost as long as I have had my own computer. Here is the result I got when I took it today:

The Dante’s Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Level | Score
Purgatory | Very High
Level 1 – Limbo | High
Level 2 | Low
Level 3 | Moderate
Level 4 | Very Low
Level 5 | Very Low
Level 6 – The City of Dis | Very Low
Level 7 | Low
Level 8- the Malebolge | Low
Level 9 – Cocytus | Very Low

Level descriptions: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-information.html
Take the test: http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv

The first time I took this test was probably in 2003ish and I remember feeling slightly uneased by the fact that I got Eighth Level of Hell as a result. I laughed off the test (it is something someone came up with on Tickle), but I was still troubled by what I saw. I did not think I was living a “bad” life, but there it was, spelled out for me: The Eighth Level of Hell. I had taken the test several times in these past years, but today was the first time I’d taken it in at least a year and I got purgatory. Even if I lied on the answers in the past, I never got purgatory, yet, out of the blue I was going through the links in my Bookmarks and decided to take the test again.

I am not overly enthused by this new result, but I am somewhat proud of it. I’ve been feeling like a new person in Christ for the past year, and every once in a while, I receive yet another confirmation like this one. I am not the same person I was at 20, and while the fact seems simple and plain, it is a truth of which I’ve grown quite fond of remembering.

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That was interesting

December 20th, 2006 — 3:33pm

I went through all of my previous posts adding categories where necessary and it struck me, just how different a person I am from only a year ago. It’s mind boggling. As I sit here, words fail me. That the person who wrote this post, could be even remotely related to me seems unimaginable.

At church, we often discuss how Jesus has managed to change us for the better. Everyone else always talks about God bringing them out of the bottle, and leading them off drugs and helping them treat people better, but these things never seemed to pertain to me directly. As I looked back on long-forgotten posts, I saw just how profoundly I have changed. Words that spilled out of me a year ago almost shock me. If I did not remember each event surrounding my previous posts, I would swear I never wrote those things.

Hmm…I guess it is just humbling to see the person I was not too long ago.

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Feeling different

June 18th, 2006 — 10:06pm

Today, I spoke with someone with whom I had not conversed in what seemed like ages. It was amazing to me….She seemed so very much the same and I felt like I had “aged” some ten years since the last time we had seen one another. The same things that anger the both of us were still there, but I felt the very strong need to remain positive and behave as a model Christian. However, I felt torn….We would shoot the breeze all the time about this or that, but always in negative terms, however, now I don’t want that negativity dragging me down anymore. For the first time since I joined my church, I felt truly changed. It felt very wrong for swears to come out of my mouth like I tried to today, and I don’t think I’ll be going down that road again. The whole situation seemed….just out of place….odd. There she stood, someone who I consider to be one of best…..my best friend, and at one point we were so very similar and today we seemed miles apart from one another.

I told her that I had joined the church, because I wasn’t sure if I’d told her earlier and she seemed VERY surprised, as I expected. We would go on about how stupid religion was for HOURS, but now I cannot see myself doing that anymore.

Today, I felt different. Today, I actually felt the change Jesus has made in me.

The next step is asking her to come to church with me. I’ll have to be crafty about it, but sometime in the not too distant future, I’ll ask her.

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