Archive for the ‘My Matrix’ Category

I am a huge fan of graham crackers, especially when sandwiching gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate, but now I am a Honey Maid fan. Their incredibly brave ad campaign depicting the diversity of families received massive amounts of hate mail. Honey Maid didn’t just turn the other cheek, they embraced the fear and hatred showered on them and transformed it into Love.

I realize how callused my soul has become after years of fighting to survive; each morning my mind readied for battle. It is so easy to become consumed by stress, disappointments, and obsess over imperfections within myself.

There are few moments in my life when I see the world around me, and everything stops: all the noise and chaos, all the pain and hurt, all the hustle and bustle.

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When these moments find me, I can feel it in my soul. I can feel the noise and chaos fade to nothing, all the pain and hurt being soothed, and the hustle and bustle losing relevance.

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As the grit and grime of everyday life is washed away, it serves to exfoliate the calluses on my soul; softening them, allowing me to feel crisp air flowing into me.

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Filled with the scent of life, I awaken to the magic in each sunrise, and the blessing of each breath.

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Hot Springs, AR

End of a Chapter

Posted: October 4, 2013 in My Matrix
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For nearly 14 years I have been a quality assurance analyst; software tester; client acceptance tester; every company had their own IT labels. The bottom line is that since the age of 23 I have tried to break applications, and I have really enjoyed it. I have worked hard to be really good at what I do.

Today I closed out this chapter of my life, and on Monday I will begin another. Software Engineer. I have worked hard, and been rewarded with an amazing opportunity. It will be quite a learning curve, but I am ready for this. I am nervous, and I am excited.

For 12 years Jessica Fletcher was cursed; no matter where she found herself, bodies were sure to appear. Whether she was in Cabot Cove on the east coast or L.A. on the west coast, Ireland, Italy, or Russia, death followed Jessica. For 259 episodes friends, family members, and complete strangers would fall victim to murderous plots, waiting for Jessica to lead us all to the truth.

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Throughout the seasons Jessica’s main occupation was murder mystery author, which apparently temporarily qualified her for other occupations: archeology, undercover investigation,  football team  manager, filling in for a congress person was probably my favorite temporary job. But through it all, she wrote countless novels. The most famous being “The Corpse Danced At Midnight” which recurred multiple times in multiple formats. This, and other Fletcher titles, we adapted into movies, board games, virtual reality video games, children’s books, plays and even puppet shows. Talk about success.

When a show kills one character and arrests a second in every episode, the revolving door at the casting office never slows. Many recognizable faces appeared in episodes over the years, some even reappearing in other episodes as different characters. It seems that appearing on a “Murder, She Wrote” episode was the first step into a career in television.

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I am an old soul, and this is reflected in my love of this show. Yes, it’s campy and predictable but even 20 years later it maintains a refreshing charm that I continue to adore. I decided to watch each of the 259 episodes and appreciate them.

I recently made my final car payment, and I hope to get another 5 years out of it, at least.

In my Valuable and Practical Skills article I mentioned my lack of automotive understanding. I wasn’t exaggerating, I knew how to pop the hood and add windshield fluid. An example of my ignorance: I had no idea that you can hose all that stuff under the hood down to clean out the dirt and grime. Keeping it clean in there then helps you to see if/when you have leaks. After a couple hours with my cousin today, I feel fairly confident that I can help extend the life of my Toyota. He was patient and respectful as he walked me through everything from the Alternator to Water pump; explaining the function, symptoms to watch for, and how to care for it.

Aside from the practical application of the knowledge I gained today, I feel empowered. I drive this machine everyday, and now I have an  understanding of how it works. Keeping up with the regular oil changes and services is of utmost importance, but knowing that I can detect a minor issue before it becomes a big issue and I am left stranded somewhere gives me peace of mind. Especially in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

A BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY COUSIN NATE!

I’m going back in time for this, but I wanted to continue sharing My Matrix.

I love football. I used to play backyard tackle football with the neighborhood boys all year round. Growing up in Pennsylvania, there was a lot of perfect weather for our games. But then there were the 3 or so months where the ground felt like concrete, snow was knee deep, and the frozen football could snap fingers. And we loved it.

Twenty + years later and I still love the game. Although now I enjoy the game in my cozy chair, not dodging tackles and getting grass stains. Through all these years I have been a Buffalo Bills fan; through the good and the bad, the ups and downs. My pride in being a fan remains strong.

I currently live less than 10 miles from Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and am determined to keep hold of faith in the Bills. I receive a lot of ribbing for it, but I will not abandon them.

At 34 years of age I FINALLY saw my Bills in person when they played the Cowboys.

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The outcome of the game doesn’t matter half as much as the feeling that welled up inside me when I watch Buffalo take the field.

Alaska

Posted: August 11, 2013 in My Matrix
Tags: , ,

I’m going back in time for this, but I wanted to begin sharing My Matrix.

In August of 2011, my family experienced the great Northwest, and it was a-maz-ing. We were on a cruise ship and so each moment out on our balcony offered new, breathtaking sites; it was so unbelievably beautiful.

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Coming from Texas, where “everything is bigger”, I was in constant shock at the size of the mountains and the expanse of the ocean. When we boarded the ship we couldn’t believe how big it was, a floating city! But this floating city was just a speck of ice next to these mountains.

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Do you see the brown line just above the surface of the water in the picture above? The tide was out, and that line is the exposed mountainside. That “line” is 300 feet high. Yes, it is. No, I’m not lying.

Aside from the view being picturesque, the air was so clean and clear. None of us had any allergy or breathing issues. It was like breathing virgin air. I know we weren’t the first people there, but that is what it felt like. It honestly felt as though I was the first person to take a breath out there.

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Can you imagine, just for a moment, living in this lighthouse?
Can you possibly imagine the quiet of the night?

They call Alaska “The Last Frontier”, and it really honestly is. This beautiful land really does exist, and I experienced it in My Matrix.