Tag Archives: Love

Water: We Take it for Granted

It’s amazing how much we take water for granted here in the United States. I have 3 toilets in my house. 3 Showers. 4 sinks. 1 Dish Washer. 1 Washing Machine. And at least 2 outdoor water spickets. I work at a campus with 100s of bathrooms, water fountains for drinking water, and a sprinkler system.

So it’s hard to believe that there are “884 million people that lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people.” and “3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.” People are dying from water and the lack of a place to take care of human waste properly. All while we can simply turn a faucet in our home to get a glass of water and turn to the fridge to drop in some fresh ice cubes. “An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.”

Quotes taken from here: Water.org

Now why am I talking about this? Well, I’ve got a friend that has been involved with these water issues for a few years now. She’s traveled to many of these areas with poor water quality to bring them filters and teach them about proper sanitation. You can check her blog out here! Erin Swanson I’m writing in particular to plug a contest she is currently entered. The winner of the contest will get $15,000 donated to their charity of choice. Erin’s would be Water.org. You can read some of her blog and check out Water.org’s mission statement etc. to see more about what they do. The cool thing about this contest is that every vote for her blog P&G (The sponsors of this contest) will be donating a days worth of drinking water (2L) to someone in a developing country. So even if she doesn’t win your vote is still helping!

To vote just visit her site. HERE! At the top of this blog post you’ll see a little widget that says, “VOTE FOR THIS BLOGGER” Just enter your email address and click that button. You’ll receive an email and all you have to do is confirm your vote and you’re done. You can do this once a day and the contest ends on the 27th.

She’s currently in 4th place and needs something like 2,000 votes to surpass the leader…who will also continue to be getting votes. So if you like what you see spread the word and lets help her win this thing. If not we helped get some drinking water to a few hundred people. She’s currently got 595 votes!

Again here are the links.
Erin’s Blog
Water.org
Water Facts

*Pictures taken by Erin Swanson in her travels to Bangladesh

Week #6 Photo A Day Challenge

I am a lazy bum! Here’s last weeks photos!

July 25th: Photo #36

Sorry if you are getting sick of seeing me! There was a full moon tonight so it was really light out. I tried to take some pics of the moon, but it just becomes a huge halo of light!…it would be better to take a pic of the moon of a really big telescopic lens…which I don’t have…and can’t afford.

July 26th: Photo #37

Saw this building awhile back. Thought it would make a good shot with all the ivy and stuff on it. I was just having some fun with some weird colors and this is what I ended up doing. I liked the purpley sky!

July 27th: Photo #38

Hanging out with Augie and Nathan the other night and snapped a quick shot for the photo of the day.

July 28th: Photo #39

Been raining a lot lately. The storm was coming in over my office. Took this picture as I was coming back from dinner.

July 29th: Photo #40

Went to my mom’s work to take some photos of students doing a “Water Walk” for some physics class or something…I was a bit late and they were all just swimming by the time I got there. So on my way out I took a picture of some of the mats that cover the basketball court when there are events going on.

July 30th: Photo #41

Yep…another stormy sky pano! This time, after realizing it is kind of hard to match up a 6 photo panorama I got the brilliant idea to just take the photos vertically! So that’s exactly what I did. This is a 4 photo pano with all the shots taken vertically. I think it turned out pretty good!

July 31st: Photo #42

Today I watched my BFF from high school get married. She looked gorgeous…so much so that her husband teared up when she was walking down the aisle. For his sake I posted a photo were he’s not crying :). Congratulations to you both. I’ll post a full album soon. My pictures aren’t great cause I was using a zoom lens and I hate taking flash at weddings.

Song of the Day 7/28/10 – Strong Enough by Kina Grannis

Yay! Humpday! Here’s your music for the day. I’ve been posting up these co-write things I’ve been doing for the Kina Grannis co-write contest and have failed to introduce you guys to her lovely music. I also realized I’ve yet to share with you all a female artist…and I’m a sucker for a girl that can play the guitar and sing like this!

I found Kina on YouTube and she’s got quite a following online because of her connection with her subscribers. She’ll make shoutouts on almost all her videos..birthday wishes, etc etc. After checking out her Wiki I found out she also won the Doritos Crash the Superbowl. Her first video one YouTube was for her entry for the DCtS in Nov. 2007.

You really just can’t help but fall in love with how sweet this girl is. You can tell from her videos that she’s just an amazing women and her music too is just candy to the ears!

The song of the day is Strong Enough by Kina Grannis. It’s off her newest album, Stairwells. I chose to use a video someone posted on YouTube of the actual album version as I like it better than the acoustic cover she does on her channel (the audio quality just isn’t up to my standards 🙂 ). The album songs great though. So here it is, and if you like, definitely go check out more of her videos…she does some creative things. I suggest watching the video to “Valentine”

Lyrics:
Welcome to the days of wariness
Where I’m feeling an echo inside my chest,
I’ve a heart beating impatiently long,
Waiting for the other half of it’s song
It’s song

[Chorus:]
No, it’s not enough
Don’t touch my hand and call it love
If you can’t hold it tight, tonight
If you’re not strong enough

And times have told the ways things come to light
Realizing a lack in your will to fight
Despite words crying at inconsistencies,
As you fall uneasily to your knees, your knees

[Chorus]

And I’m not blind to what you’re doing here
Make me feel like I’m special,
But my dear, I have seen through a weakness in your eyes
You don’t know it, but you’re telling me lies,
Me lies

And you will soon awake to see
There is no heart in anything you say to me
We thought we’d found a harmony, a perfect match of melodies
No, But if you listen closely now, I’ve been singing all alone

No, OooOoo…

[Chorus]

Strong enough, OooOoo…
Strong enough,
Strong enough,

[Chorus]

Strong enough, OooOoo…
Strong enough,
Strong enough…

Kina’s Links:
Kina’s Website
YouTube
Myspace
Facebook

Last.fm
Twitter
Wiki

Kina Grannis Co-Write Verse 2

This is my lyrics for Kina Grannis’ Co-Write III, Verse 2. Lyrics of the two previous winners as well as my Verse 2 lyrics are posted below.

Verse 1 written by Kate McGill – http://www.youtube.com/katem3

As I lay here on the bed my heart it speaks
I let it beat its beat, you feel the love it leaks
And I can’t describe just how much of it is for you and what you do
But if I could love just one it would be you
Pre-Chorus and Chorus written by Brent Morgan – http://www.youtube.com/bmorgan1088

All this time, I was broken
Trying to find a love unspoken

And I know ya want the same love,
That I’ve fought so long,
The one we thought was wrong,
And you know I, oh I, need your love
‘Cause we can’t fool ourselves,
into someone elses heart

Me again…trying my best to make some winning lyrics for Verse II

It is time for me to make this nice and clear
I’ll just lay it out, get rid of all this fear
And I know I don’t have much to lose
but I could get lost in you
I just hope that you say you love me too

The Light of My World

 

Image by BaylieMarie

I sat in the front row and you were way in back.
I showed up late most days just to see your face.
It was the best part of my day; the ten seconds from the door to my seat,
When your eyes met mine and just for a time it was only you and me.
If you didn’t know it then, I’m sure you know it now.
I love you.
Some fifty years later and your eyes sparkle still.
Same as they did on the night of our kiss,
When we bailed on the prom and jumped on ol’ Route 66.

We were somewhere west of Santa Fe,
I’d stopped to pump gas into that rusted Bel Air.
With the grace of a dancer you slid to the back.
You knew I was watching, as I tried not to stare.
My back to the car, I finally couldn’t take it,
So I turned around and tapped on the glass.
You came to the window with a smile.
I was grinnin’ one back so hard it hurt,
Silently mesmerized by those beautiful eyes.
The spell was lifted as the window came down.
I put my hands to your cheeks as I bent to meet your eyes,
Which seemed to be giving light to the moon.
You licked those perfect lips and fluttered those long lashes.
I’m no Einstein, but I ain’t stupid.
One hand on your neck the other upon your chin
I swooped in and met those lips with mine.

For the longest time I wished it would’ve been better.
Not the kiss, the kiss was more than I could have asked for,
But the gas station wasn’t the most romantic setting.
Looking back now, I see there is nothing more real,
And nothing more romantic than that night.
My beat up car, the smell of the gas,
That little station lit by the moon.
Or was it your eyes.
Every time I filled up the car,
Every time you smelled that scent,
We were reminded of that magical night that faded straight into day.

I never wanted that kiss to end,
But we were driving with a purpose.
So I reluctantly pulled away,
A final kiss for both your eyelids.
I paid for the gas and grabbed some cokes,
Only to return to find you sleeping.
I had never seen you look so beautiful.
You mumbled something as I started the car.
I knew it was,
“I love you.”
But you claimed you said,
“Drive slow, you.”

If it was the latter I didn’t listen.
We had to hurry to make it by the morning.
I drank your coke too, but I really didn’t need them.
Just knowing your life was in my hands
Was enough to keep me going.
It was a long race, me against the dark.
I turned off the radio, careful not to wake you.
Left alone in my thoughts.
Left alone in your silence.
I learned a lot from you that night.
You didn’t need to be awake for me to see you could trust me.
The silence said it loud and clear.

You turned and faced me.
Eyes shut, but smiling.
Sweet dreams of me I suppose or maybe I’m just dreaming.
You or the road, my eyes couldn’t decide.
I caught them fixed one too many times on you.
With the gentlest of touch I ran my fingers through your hair,
And spoke softly till your head began to rise.
Sorry I had to wake you,
But I needed to share the thrill and excitement before we came to our senses.

We had left on a whim.
It was stupid and reckless, but we were young and in love,
Which seemed to make it okay.
It didn’t matter then,
‘Cause for all we knew there was only an us,
And a long road ahead.
The air was still, early in the morning.
Our headlights were all that could be seen.
So I turned them off to scare you and instead you looked in awe.
The moonlight was ethereal.
So many shadows, yet so much light.
An oxymoron that is hard to describe.
Mouths open, eyes wide, and I flipped the beams back on.
We turned to each other laughing, oh how ridiculous we must have looked.

Lucky for us we were the only ones for miles.
Maybe I’m just exaggerating, but at the time it seemed the world was ours.
Only you and me.
A bond of hands.
A bond of hearts.
Rubber to asphalt.
The darkness slowly drifting away.
The last few hours were a blur.
We exchanged tales of our past.
You recalled your first kiss in the 5th grade.
I reluctantly confessed my jealousy.
You kissed me quick to let me know I was the only one to feel those lips now.
You wanted more.
I definitely wanted more.
It took all my strength to keep pressing on.
Passing place after place I could’ve pulled over,
But we made do with our fingers intertwined.
We had plenty of time for making love in the years to come.

That night was a bonding of souls.
A meshing of personalities.
A foundation laid for a relationship that would last forever.
Something the night itself couldn’t do
As the glow of morning started shining through.
Right on time we made one last stop.
Gas station again, same old trick and I kissed you through the window of my car.
This time I returned with orange juice and some Little Debbies.

Back in the car and back on the road with Flagstaff to our back we headed north.
What was left of the night started fading fast,
So the first chance I got we pulled off the road.
A scenic overlook where the Bel Air slowed.
You grabbed the drinks and treats.
I grabbed the blanket covering the back seats.
Finally it was time to relax.
We laid on the hood with civilization to our backs.
We sipped.
We munched.
And we said our goodbyes to the night.

For a fool hearted plan, it was executed with expert precision.
Not a moment too soon that sliver of sun came crawling into view.
We watched as it rose on those big ol’ canyons,
Turning the sky into an array of colors.
Bringing to life the land in a way the moon could never do.
Your eyes opened wide.
Those golden rays of light beaming from you.
I knew it then that you brightened the world.
At least you did mine and you never ceased to bring that light into my life.

The years have passed faster than it seemed.
We lived, we loved, we dreamed.
Our kids have grown.
Our kids have kids.
Life moved on, but we didn’t miss a thing.
I tried so hard to preserve that night.
It was our spark, the match that lit the fire.
The fire that still burns in each of us.
I never could sell that damn car.
So after the kids moved out I spent most of my time
Meticulously restoring that Rusty Bel,
Hoping one day she’d ring like the beauty she never was.
Sure I finally got it looking good
And we spent most of our retirement cruising around,
But it was today that it truly shined
As we relived that adventure through the night.

So here we are.
One last time together, looking over those massive canyons.
One last sunrise.
One last hope that all this can bring back those memories.
It’s been a long night.
Especially for this old man.
Hard on my body.
Hard on my mind.
Watching you as I tell this tale.
Trying to convince myself I saw you smile.
It’s been a tough road to travel.
Not just what was left of ol’ Route 66.
I mean the one that took from you all those moments we had created,
But both roads have lead us to this point.
And now the time has finally come for us to watch the night disappear.
It made me wonder though, what will the sun do when you aren’t here.

The Pursuit of Happiness, Art, Music, Photography, Film, Poetry, and Spirituality

Exclaim: You’re Alive!

I’ve chosen this title for my blog as I hope to post on the many reasons Life is good and I think we should share our joys of being Alive. Exclaim, shout, share your joys of life for everyone to…well, Enjoy!

In this blog I’ll be focusing on a few things that really put a smile on my face.

Art: I’ve always had a love for art in any fashion. I don’t practice any Fine Arts very often these days, but will do some sketching occasionally. If I blog about Art it will most likely be about another Artist I find interesting. I’ve got a lot of my photography on a great artist site called Bluecanvas. If you are an artist I highly recommend you setting up an account on this site. Here’s my profile.
http://www.bluecanvas.com/rafe

Music: There are so many flavors of music and I find myself enjoying quite an eclectic mix of tunes. There is nothing that makes me feel the emotion more than the simplicity of a passionate singer strumming with a guitar. I’m a big supporter of local music and tend to stay away from the Radio. Not that I don’t enjoy some of the music found there…I just find a particular joy in discovering music that’s not just handed to me via mainstream outlets. I might end up doing a Song of the week or Band of the week thing at some point. You can also expect a review of any new music I acquire. If you are curious as to what music I’m into you can check out my Last.fm profile. If you are a music lover like myself then look into getting a Last.fm account if you don’t already have one. It posts (they call this scrobble – you download a program that shows what songs you listen to) all the songs you listen to onto your profile and gives you stats like: Most Listened to Bands/Songs etc. I’ve had an account since Sept. 2006 and have scrobbled over 30,000 songs. Another cool feature is the Musical Compatibility. Go to any user’s profile and it will tell you how compatible your two music tastes are…fun to see how you compare with your friends. Here’s my Last.fm profile.
http://www.last.fm/Prafeston

Photography: Maybe it’s the easy way out, but my love of Art shifted at some point around the time I graduated high school to Photography. I’ve always thought I’m a creative dude, but in some instances I’ve had trouble expressing my ideas on paper or other forms. I have always had an eye for beauty, form, positive & negative space, and the unique aspects of life seen through our eyes. Photography has given me an easy way to capture these things. I recently started a Photo A Day Challenge and will post an update on a weekly basis with photos from the week. I’ll probably have a random post here and there about photo related topics and/or ideas.

Film: In college I was suggested by a friend to try out a Video class and I have thoroughly enjoyed making and editing anything and everything. I’ve posted many of these videos on my YouTube Channels. I’m hoping to start doing a bit more Video Blogging so you can expect to see those show up here as well. Who doesn’t love a good Movie? If I watch one I find particularly interesting or worth talking about I’ll give it a review.
http://www.youtube.com/Prafeston – Mostly Live Band Videos and College Projects
http://www.youtube.com/IamRafe – My new Blogging Channel

Poetry: Being a big music fan I have grown to love poetry and lyric writing. It’s not something I do A LOT, but I do like to write occasionally. I don’t have any formal training in the area so I feel like my poems lack structure at times, but I have found I have a way with words and rhythm that it seems to just come naturally to me. You can look forward to me posting old poems occasionally and new ones here and there.

Spirituality: I grew up in a Christian (Presbyterian) home and God has always been a part of my life. I’ve gone on quite the Spiritual jounrey since I was in high school. I’m very open minded about Christianity and Spirituality in general. As with all aspects of my life I’m a big monkey see monkey do or learn by example kind of guy and this has carried over into my spiritual life. I believe Jesus’ main messages were Love. I don’t push religion on anyone and I don’t think I have the biblical knowledge to even do so, but I do believe I can be an example of Christ by showing his love in all that I do…at least I try. I have fallen away from God some in the past few years. I’m a little unsure of where I am in life and where I want to go. I travel a lot and haven’t gone to church on a regular basis. It would be nice to find some time to do some reading of the Bible and get in the habit of praying again. Should I read something worth writing about or think of something spiritually related it might make it’s way into a blog.

Conclusion: I hope to keep this blog going as I’ve tried many times in the past to write on a regular basis and it just hasn’t happened. If you like what you read please subscribe and help me feel like I’m writing for a reason. Look forward to lots of posts on all aspects of my life, but in particular the ones which I have mentioned above. Art, Music, Photography, Film, Poetry, and Spirituality. Feel free to suggest a topic for me to write about as well. I’m open to any ideas. Get used to lots of Exclamation points! Lots of Randomly capitalized Words! And Lots of Ellipsis… 🙂