Food For Thought: What Are We Afraid Of?

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So, over the last few days, there’s been this viral video of this dance team dancing to the spoken word of Jon Jorgenson going around. I was captivated by the beauty of dance itself, but even moreseo, I was captivated by its message.

So, I did a little research. Who is Jon Jorgenson, and why have I never heard this message before? I looked at his bio on YouTube, and this is what it said:

Jon tells stories. Stories about art. Stories about leadership. Stories about people. Stories about hope. Stories about sports. Stories about LEGOs, snowflakes, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Jon tells stories online, on stage, in writing, and in rhyme. Jon tells stories about everything in the hopes of pointing us towards the one thing that really matters.

Now this sounds like someone Iike.

The more I listened to the videos, the more I appreciated his messages. You may not agree with all of his stories or all of his messages, but in most, I can almost guarantee that you can relate to something. This one in particular.

I listened to it several times and each time I had several different thoughts. I thought about what I’m afraid of. I thought about why I’m afraid of it. I thought about the opportunities I’ve missed in the past because I was scared. Damn… That kinda sucks.

Then I thought about all of the things I could accomplish if I just took a leap. A leap of faith. A leap in positive thinking. A leap in taking chances. A leap in no longer thinking about all of the “What if’s” and starting to think about “how can I’s.”

Then I thought about our current state of affairs in my community, in my city, in my country. It was then that I realized how completely and totally motivated we are by fear. And when we’re motivated by something negative, it results in a negative reaction. When we’re scared, it’s easier to become defensive. When we’re defensive, it’s easier to get angry. When we’re angry, it’s easier to hate.

At the end of this video, Jorgenson asks “What room does fear have when I make room for love?”

It has none. If we’re making room for love, we can’t have room for all of the negativity that comes with fear. Fear comes with baggage. When we’re making room for love, we can’t be hateful. We can’t be angry. We can’t be defensive. We can’t be afraid.

With this video, I have a new goal. It’s not to be unafraid. In all honesty, that’s a bit of a daunting task.

My goal from all of this is to be more positive. It’s to try to see both sides of a situation. If I can make sure that I take a positive position — even on a negative situation — fear will diminish and opportunity will rise. Opportunity for new. Opportunity for growth. Opportunity for love.

What do are you afraid of? Are you motivated by fear? What can you do to overcome fear and turn it into love? Hit me up in the comments if you have any advice… Because this one’s going to be tough!

P.S. guys, you should watch the dance video that got me to this guy’s videos. That dance was spectacular. Incredibly powerful!

Did they ‘Make a Murderer?’

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mamBy now, I’m sure you all have watched the Netflix docu-series “Making a Murderer” which follows the trials of Stephen Avery. We watched the ten-part series in two days. Six hours the first day, four the next. We were totally addicted.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, this is a brief background. In 1985, Steven Avery was convicted of a sexual assault that happened in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. He plead not guilty, there was evidence to suggest that he may not have been guilty, but he was convicted. He spent 18 years in prison before new DNA technology allowed his attorneys to submit new evidence into his case that proved he was not the assailant. After spending 18 years in prison, Steven Avery was a free man.

By 2005, amidst his civil lawsuit against Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department & District Attorney for his earlier wrongful conviction, Steven Avery was arrested for the murder of Teresa Halbach. The docu-series takes you through the trial, the evidence presented in the case (albeit, some of it was omitted from the series), and ultimately the conviction against Steven Avery and his 16-year-old below-average-IQ (which is important in the series) nephew Brendan Dassey, for murder.

Since the release of the docu-series, this country has been up in arms, even petitioning President Obama to pardon Avery. Why? Because they think he was wrongfully convicted. Again.

Before I go any further, I want to briefly outline some of the evidence that was not presented in the docu-series.

  • Not that it had anything to do with the murder, some of Avery’s past criminal history included an animal cruelty charge where he doused a cat in oil and set it on fire. It also included assault to a female relative at gunpoint.
  • Previous to the disappearance and murder of Halbach, Avery called Auto Trader several times to request that Halbach be the one to take photos at their salvadge yard, prompting Halbach to complain to her boss that she didn’t want to go to the salvage yard anymore, because there had been times where Avery had only been wearing a towel when she would arrive.
  • On the same day of Halbach’s disappearance, Avery called her three times, two instances of which included the use of *67 to make his call anonymous.
  • The police did find a bullet with Halbach’s DNA on it — which came from Avery’s gun that he kept hung above his bed.
  • In the case, there was testimony from Brendon Dassey that described how they bound Teresa Halbach to the bed and raped her before they murdered her. Excluded from the docu-series, they did find proof that Avery had purchased handcuffs and leg irons only weeks before the murder, similar to the ones described in Dassey’s testimony. Avery claimed that they were purchased for use with his girlfriend Jodi. (Yuck).
  • In addition to the blood that they found in the RAV 4, they found DNA evidence of Avery’s sweat on the hood of the car. This corresponded with testimony from Dassey that he and Avery moved the car to the junk yard and Avery lifted the hood to remove the battery cable.

Ok. Now, if you want to learn more about the evidence that was presented in the series, check out this link. It’s pretty thorough and offers a timeline of what I’m about to talk about.

I’m not going to say whether or not I think he did it. I have my beliefs, and I have my thoughts on the case. However, I will say this: I think Avery should be released from prison.

Our criminal justice system is designed to protect the innocent. It is up to the prosecution to prove the defendant to be guilty. “Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” right?

There was a lot of evidence presented against Avery in the case. And a lot of the evidence was reasonably debunked by Avery’s lawyers.

Moreover, Avery was labeled the murderer before the trial had even begun. So much for innocent until proven guilty, right?

I’m not saying a guilty man shouldn’t go to jail, but are we sure… 100% sure that Avery did it? Or is there a reasonable doubt that he did?

I’m not a lawyer or a judge. I wasn’t in the jury. I didn’t see all of the evidence, and it wasn’t up to me to determine his guilt or innocence. So, I hope and pray that our system got it right.

I thought this documentary did a really good job, though, of showing the corruption in our system, demonstrating the role that the media plays in how an individual (particularly defendants in trials) are perceived, and explaining that there are times when trials aren’t held to the standards by which our country’s law was defined.

So… I now ask you three questions if you’ve seen the system or are familiar with the case, all rhetorical, but questions I’ve pondered a lot since then.

  1. Do you think he did it?
  2. Would you rather send an innocent man to prison for something he didn’t do or let a guilty man go free?
  3. Do you think the jury made the right call based solely upon the evidence presented in the trial?

Every time I answer those three questions, no matter how I answer them, I end up with the same final thought: Steven Avery should not be in jail.

What did you think of the series? Were you totally and completely addicted like I was? Hit up the comments below and tell me what you think.

 

 

Remember When I Used to Blog?

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Remember when I used to blog? I used to blog about Glee, and I used to blog about life. Thank God for Facebook reminders about what you did “On this day” because it reminded me about this little blog, and it reminded of all of the days I would take a little break — a break from work, a break from news, a break from negativity, a break from the stresses of life — and write about whatever I was feeling in my world on that day.

I think I just decided (a month into the new year) that I’m going to try to pick this up again. Why? Because I think it’s important to take some time out for yourself every day. Or at least every now and then, because I can promise I will not be blogging every day, to challenge yourself… your mind, your body, and your soul.

So… what’s my life been like the last two years? Well, for one, Glee ended. Glee is the entire reason I was introduced to blogging in the first place. I think it ended at the right time. It may not have been going in the direction that I wanted to see it go in all of the time, but it was always great: light-hearted, fun, and encouraged you to challenge the normal. What’s more beautiful than that? RIP Glee. You were the best.

I moved out of the house that I lived in with my four best friends. It was like a sorority house, and we made all of the best memories there. But, since then, I’ve moved into a house with my boyfriend and we’re making our own wonderful memories. In fact, we’re *hopefully* going to be moving into a house of our own (renting BLOWS, FYI), and I can’t wait to see where life takes us as real adults. Don’t worry, you’re all invited to the Stock the Bar Party.

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Me and Eric are really good at adulting. This should be interesting…

I have a new nephew! We finally have a boy to carry on the Kuhn name! My second-oldest (and also second-youngest) brother and his wife had a BEAUTIFUL baby boy this past October. He’s perfect… I just wish he didn’t live in Chicago! Can’t wait to meet Clayton Joseph.

One of my nieces joined the Navy. I don’t have kids, but I think the pride I feel for what she is doing with her life right now is about as close as I can get right now without them. She amazes me every day (even though I don’t get to talk with her often), and I cannot express how very proud I am of her.

WE GOT A DOG! Also known as my dogter. Also known as my daughter… She’s my child. I won’t lie about it. Not only is she the world’s sweetest dog, but she’s got one of the biggest personalities I’ve ever seen in a dog… She’s a total ham. Here are some things you should know about Lena:

  1. She hates selfies, but I make her take them all the time anyway.
  2. She has anxiety. This is newly developed, but fire alarms are traumatizing, apparently.
  3. Her favorite show is Pitbulls and Parolees.
  4. She’s only 38 pounds, but she’s all muscle. She’ll knock you over when you walk through the door.
  5. She can literally jump over six feet, even though she’s small. Yep, we have a six-foot privacy fence in our back yard and she’s jumped it… twice. So we know it’s not a fluke.
  6. I wanted to name her Cersei… after Cersei Lannister. Eric wouldn’t let me because he thinks she’s terrible. I just think she’s an empowered woman. So we named her the next best thing: Lena. Thanks Lena Headey!
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Lena being Lena & hating selfies while I’m forcing her to take them.

I got another tattoo. In addition to my “TMB,” which I had inked because of how important TroutyMouthBlog is to my life; I’ve found something else that’s equally as important. Her name: Stevie Nicks. After I saw Fleetwood Mac in concert and she told the inspiring meaning of the song ‘Gypsy,’ I may or may not have had the words “Back to the gypsy that I was” tattooed on my ribs. It hurt, but I’m still obsessed with it a year later, so that’s good.

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This was clearly taken right after I got it… It doesn’t look that swollen anymore, don’t worry!

I’m still working at Captiva. I’m still coaching for my old high school. But now, I’m also coaching 7th graders at a rival girls school in St. Louis! Luckily, it’s CYC and not high school, so there’s no conflict of interest there.

Other than that, I’m just living life & keeping busy. Not always the most glamorous life, but it has its moments, so I’m going to try hard to resurrect this blog and remember to appreciate those moments.

If you feel like giving me ideas on what I *should* blog about, I’ll gladly welcome suggestions. Or if you want to just leave a comment to say hi, that’d be cool too. I’ve missed this a little bit.

Top Ten Movies of All Time

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My roommate asked me the other day what my favorite movie was. Without thinking I answered Top Gun. Upon further thought, though one of my favorite movies (and on this list), I think I’ve changed my answer. And while watching my number 1, I decided to make this list of must-see movies.

So the title of my post might be a little hyperbolic, but still… You should probably try to watch all of the movies on this list. Also, if you don’t like Edward Norton or Tom Cruise, you should probably leave now.

10. American History X

Another creepyish movie. But damn good. It’s basically about two brothers involvement in a neo-Nazi movement, and the older one’s reformation. Lots of tough topics, graphic scenes, and ultimately a phenomenal story… Oh yeah, and of course, the Great Ed Norton, so it’s a win-win.

Best Quote: “Hate is baggage. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time. It’s not worth it.”

9. Bridesmaids

I haven’t laughed so hard in a movie since… Probably Mean Girls. So basically for ten years. And also I feel like that ages me. Whatever, Stove. Seriously, though. So funny.


Best Quote: “You’re more beautiful than Cinderella. You smell like pine needles and you have a face like sunshine!”

8. Jerry Maguire

This movie showed us the money, made us fall in love, made us want to play football, and made us want to have 100 kids that look like Jonathan Lipnicki but only when he’s little. And, there were about a million amazing quotes that came out of this movie. Aside from “Show me the money,” there’s “Did you know the human head only weighs 8 lbs?”, “You complete me,” and of course the best one listed below. All of that in one film? Sign me up.

Best Quote: “You had me at hello.”

7.  Primal Fear

This movie’s a little creepy. But also amazing. And it’s one of Edward Norton’s first acting roles. This guy is like my favorite actor, and he rocked his second movie role ever. And I don’t want to spoil anything, so I just won’t say anything further. You can’t go wrong with this movie. Gosh.. Even looking at the pictures for this movie gives me the heebie-jeebies. (Sidenote: people are going to be upset, but Fight Club is not on this list. I’m sorry. I think now’s probably not a good time to tell you I haven’t seen it.)

Best Quote: “You want justice, go to a whorehouse. You wanna get fucked, go to court.”

6. The Shawshank Redemption

It’s actually been a while since I’ve popped this one in. But I think I should probably re-watch it soon. It’s based on a Stephen King novel, so you know it’s good. (Don’t worry, The Shining isn’t on this list, but I could have added it.. maybe.) Plus, it’s got a stellar cast, which includes God.

Best Quote: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

5. The Goonies

Kids that go on a treasure hunt. Plus, it’s got Rudy (I mean, Sean Astin), Chunk, Sloth, and some kid you can’t understand. ‘Nuff said.

Best Quote(s): “Hey you guuuuuuyssss!!!!” and “Do the truffle shuffle!”

4. Stand By Me

Kids that go on a treasure hunt of different sorts. And by treasure I mean hunt for a dead kid. But on the way, they learn a lot about themselves, and their older douche bag brothers. Phenomenal movie for any time of year. Side note: Who knew Jerry O’Connell would grow up the way he did? Humph.

Best Quote: “Sick balls, Chompy!”

3. Mean Girls

You may question my judgement here, but whether you’re a guy or a girl, you can’t help but laugh at this movie. And if you think you can, then YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!

Best Quote: “Don’t have sex. Because you will get pregnant. And die.”

2. Top Gun

I’m not even attracted to Tom Cruise, but there’s just something about him that every girl loves in this movie. I think it might be his huge… F14.

Best Quote: “Hey Goose, ya big stud!” “That’s me, honey!” “Take me to bed or lose me forever.” “Show me the way home, honey.”

1. Forrest Gump

What’s not to love about Forrest Gump? Not only does this movie contain the best cliches (“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”), the most profound thoughts (“I’m tired now. I think I’m gonna go home.”) and the most hilarious quotes. (“I gotta pee.), but you simply fall in love with all of the characters in the film, especially Haley Joel Osment and except for that hoe-bag Jenny.

Best Quote: “I’m not a smart man… But I know what love is.”

Do me a favor… Leave me your list in the comments below. I need some movies in my life!

Album of the Week: Mashups By Candlelight

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I really want you guys to like this one. But it’s different. It’s different because there are no words, just music. Just piano, to be more specific. I told you that these were going to bounce around from genre to genre… But of all my albums of the week thus far, this one may be my favorite.

This week’s album of the week: Mashups by Candlelight by Scott Bradlee.

Alright, so… I listen to music all day everyday basically. I listen to pop, rock, indie, oldies, jazz, hip hop, instrumental, acoustic, you name it. Tomorrow, I’ll be listening to this album… again.

I’m a complete sucker for awesome piano… Maybe it was the 9 years I played in combination with the very little I actually learned in those 9 years that made me listen to a good song on the piano and weep on the inside because I know I’ll never be that good, even though I really really really want to be.

So, when I discovered Scott Bradlee, I was basically like “again, again, again!”

This album from start to finish is phenomenal. If you’re like me, you’ll start it from the beginning, then play games with yourself to try and figure out what two songs he’s mashing up.

I love this album not only because he mashes up modern day songs that I love on the piano, BUT he also adds his own style and flair. He’s a jazz musician. A lot of these songs have a retro / jazz feel to them, and it’s really fun to hear how he manipulates the tune to make it his own.

I dig it. You should too. Give it a go and tell me what you think. And be sure to check him out on Spotify.

Oh. And if you’re wanting to know my favorite mashup on the album? It’s this one:

Oh, and hey… Do me a favor? Get the word out about this guy. Because he will probably see my Album of the Week reviews again. As will his band “Post Modern Jukebox”.

Peace and love, dudes.

-Bonnie

P.S. Sorry for not posting an AotW last week — it’s been OOBER busy ’round here.

Oprah

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Thanks to my addiction to junk reality TV and OWN featuring the Lindsay Lohan docu-series every Sunday night, I’ve recently discovered The Oprah Winfrey Network. It started just by watching Lindsay, but then my roommates and I started watching more and more. Lately, we haven’t been able to turn it off.

That being said… I think everyone should watch OWN. I think it should be part of life that you have to have access to the Oprah Winfrey Network at all times. As I’ve watched this channel, I’ve discovered three important revelations about Oprah that I had yet to know prior to its discovery.

1. Who needs a life coach when you have Oprah?

This is a serious question. Oprah has a show on her network called #Lifeclass. Case in point… She’s your instructor during this 43 minute time period where she teaches you important values about living life and how to be happy with yourself. THAT’S WHAT LIFE COACHES DO. 

2. Oprah is a goddess. Or at least the equivalent of a human-race Yoda. 

She’s basically a cross between Fergie and Jesus. For instance, she sings all the time when she gets excited (#Fergie). Not only does she give really great advice about life and happiness, but her interviews are basically prophetic, especially when she is interviewing hot-mess celebs. Ok, ok… I know that it’s not hard to tell that if Lindsay Lohan doesn’t get her sh*t together that she’s going to end up dead. BUT it’s the way Oprah discusses it with these people that really make her interviews amazing. Plus, she gives things away and makes dreams come true. Just watch a marathon an episode of Where Are They Now, and you’ll see it, too.

3. I’m bound and determined to meet Oprah at Some point in my life.

I know that probably everyone says that. However, I feel like that when people meet Oprah, she touches something in them.

She has people on the show and their lives change for the better… forever. All I want is to meet Oprah so that my life can improve forever.

If you haven’t gathered… OWN is a life changer. If you haven’t watched it, you should.

Let me know about any revelations you’ve found lately — be it through TV, music or life in general.

 

4/14/2014 UPDATE:

Oprah even moves something in the happiest man on the planet: Pharrell.

 

To answer your question, “Why are you crying on Oprah”, Pharrell… See #3.

…Because I’m Happyyyyyyyyyy. 

Album of the Week: Girl

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We all know Pharrell Williams makes us “Happy”, but I was not anticipating that his album G I R L would be equally as wonderful as the first single on the album.

That’s why G I R L is my album of the week this week.

The album is a jam. It’s got some sweet collabs on it that really shine vocally. Ms. Alicia Keys is sick. And I’m sure you all have heard of Justin Timberlake? Yep. He’s on this album, too.

The reason I love this album, simply, is because it’s F.U.N., fun. Toe-tappin’, head-bobbin’, hips-swingin’ fun.

There’s not a ton of depth in the lyrics, but that’s to be expected when you’re just looking for an album to rock out to.

My favorite song is “Lost Queen”. If you’re ever in a bad mood, this song will pick you up… Because you’re a lost queen (or king?). Just kidding, it’s because the melody is easy to hum along to, tap your foot to, get down witchya bad self to. Sounds like he should have collaborated with Lorde on it.

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, take a listen to Pharrell’s G I R L. And if the album doesn’t pick you up, let me know. Even though I think you’ll be lying…

Let me serve you, serve you, remind you that you are a lost queen… I think you are a lost queen… 

Until next time!