Toto and Chickens

I’m not much of a TV watcher. This leaves me in the dark with basically every TV commercial that’s popular, unless it’s a Super Bowl commercial because I totally come out of the rafters to watch those things on real TV. When I do watch TV, it’s like my mind is suddenly open to the outside world – those things people in stores, on buses, or in the doctor’s office are talking about finally make sense.

When I was in Seattle with my parents last week, I saw a TV commercial that blew my mind. Granted, the reason I loved it has everything to do with the fact that I had returned from South Africa (ZA) not five days before and the song in the commercial was Toto’s Africa, something one of my friends from ZA continued to play for us on her phone. But still, the commercial is great. It reminds me a bit of a Jimmy Fallon sing-along with Amy Poehler and a bunch of other people dressed as chickens, only even cooler because it’s Toto and Pacific Northwest chickens.

Enjoy the show.

Tata (or should it be Toto) for now.

Rece

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Dance, Dance Revolution

I love to dance. Isn’t that the silly line from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun? Sarah Jessica Parker opens up about how dancing is her life and then she ends up dancing and falling in love with the mean, hot boy with the muscles?

Well, I’m no Sarah, but I do love to dance. And though I’ve been told by many people that I “dance like a white girl” and “have no rhythm” I refuse to quit. Dancing is so fun and so jolly. It takes me back to my junior high and high school days where although I looked like my cousin’s basset hound I had the personality and spirit to keep me happy and thrilled by life.

Here in South Africa, I’ve gone dancing twice with my friends. One time, we ended up at a few clubs, one of which was an attempt at an Irish pub. I say it was an attempt because it was called “The Dubliner” and yet I’m not sure that much of the place seemed very Irish (including the beer choices). At that place, this cowboy from Texas who smelled of stale cigarettes twirled me into some country swing dancing for the majority of the night.

The second time we went dancing was sort of by accident. The intent was never to go to a club and so I was wearing my light blue TUKS t-shirt which is at least a step up from wearing a Disneyland t-shirt in public but a step below looking good. It didn’t matter though, the music moved me.

Isn’t that what dancing is all about, feeling the beat of the music and sharing that with people on the dance floor? I sure think so anyway. There’s nothing like busting out my junior high dance moves which are about 18 years out of date. Woot! Woot!

Tata for now.

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(Yeah, I’m the dork in the back with the arm tattoos.)

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Penguins

I saw plenty of penguins yesterday on my trip down to Boulders in the Western Cape of South Africa. These penguins were the things my friends an I sort of hoped to see during our first day in Cape Town only the three of us had no idea where things were or how long it would take to get places.

Did you actually know I was in Cape Town? Maybe not. Most of the initial posts for this trip were posted to JourneyCSSA at the start of my trip, but since penguins aren’t very academic or ed reformish in my life, I decided to put them on trusty old Peanut Butter Girl.

Speaking of Peanut Butter, I haven’t had any peanut butter in any many months until the other day when I was walking through a food market in Cape Town by the waterfront. A young woman was selling jars of natural peanut butter her company makes. #yum I should have gotten myself some, but honestly, I still have leftover treats from the Disneyland trip with my family. Why I lugged them all the way to South Africa, I have no idea though I did give a granola bar to a panhandler today. He was asking for money for bread. Why not just give him a granola bar to help him out with food?

We weren’t allowed to hand out food to the penguins the other day. This was a true bummer, but you know, I wouldn’t have wanted to give some food to a few penguins and when I would run out have the whole nest of the penguins attack me and peck me to death. (This is what birds do, you know. Or at least this is what my friend Emma is afraid of.)

Because I’m a “good girl,” I followed the rules and just looked at the penguins and took pictures of them dancing in the rain. And of course, I took a selfie of myself with the penguins before rushing up the hill to get back to the bus and dry off (it seriously rained more than it does in Oregon).

Tata for now.

Rece

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Wine in the Western Cape

Did you know wine was a thing in South Africa? If you didn’t, you should. And that stuff is good. The other day, one of our classes was actually tasting wine (wink, wink) after listening to our lectures. I think I would like to go back to grad school again after this degree to get a certificate in wine making. Good, idea, ja?

(Ja means yes and sounds like “ya.”)

Cheers,

Sharece

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Living with a Three-Year-Old

I’m not a mom. I haven’t experienced the joy of giving birth to a small child and watching him or her grow up into a strong, unique personalitied individual. I have, however, been roommates with a three-year-old… for the past week.

Yes. I am THAT roommate. I take pictures of my roommates when they sleep to use as blackmail! (Bwahaha!)

Yes. I am THAT roommate. I take pictures of my roommates when they sleep to use as blackmail! (Bwahaha!)

My little roommate is cute. She’s got great hair, great eyelashes, and pouty lips. Essentially, she’s my college roommate in midget form and once again, just like my former roommate, she steals the show, leaving me the old hag lady with every opportunity to dry up a shrew.

Yesterday, my roommate and I had some quality bonding time. We hung out in our room while we waited to go down to the pool. While waiting, she played teacher with imaginary kids. From what I could see, the Jaybird is one of those bossy teachers that likes to put kids in their places. It makes me wonder where she learned this… At daycare? Church? From her parents? From me?

My roommate is one of the sweetest, jolliest, and also grumpiest little people in my life. I’m so glad I got to bunk with the Jaybird for the week. I’m also glad that I haven’t made it to motherhood yet. I’m much better as the cool, groovy aunt that gives treats, tickles, and gets the kiddos into trouble. That’s what being a great roommate is all about right? Yeah. I just don’t think I’m ready to live with a three-year-old full time…

Tata for now.

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This kiddo is a treat.

This kiddo is a treat.

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The Power of One, An Inspiring Movie

When I was about thirteen-years-old, I watched The Power of One for the first time. My oldest brother had read the book or watched the movie in college and he was moving home for the year to get ready for law school so he brought his inspirational gear home with him. I loved the movie, probably because of the music, the message, and the fact that it was about changing the world. Now, eighteen years later, I watched the movie again. I’d seen it a few times since, but I feel like today when I watched the movie, I watched it for the first time. Maybe it’s because now I’ve read more about South Africa. I’ve finally read more about the history. I’ve read some stories of black people’s struggles in apartheid South Africa. I’ve even studied more about what we’ve even done here in the United States to people of color. I truly know more. And I feel pained knowing how we humans have historically and still do treat one another. Watching this movie today helped me realize that my desire to change the world continues to grow, though I know that we have a long battle ahead of us. I think that’s part of what The Power of One is all about, teaching us all to step up and band together as one to make the world a better place for all.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.45.08 AMThe Power of One is the story of P.K., a young man with English roots who grew up on a farm in South Africa. He attends a boarding school run by Afrikaans where he is the only English boy. For this, he is severely hated. When his mother dies, he ends up staying with his grandfather who knows nothing about how to raise a child or even communicate with children. P.K. becomes acquainted with his grandfather’s friend Doc, a German musician whose family was killed by Hitler. Doc teaches P.K. about music and when Doc lands in prison for not obtaining the proper documents to live in South Africa, P.K. visits him every day. P. K. eventually learns to box, thanks to Geel Piet, a black prisoner friend he makes. It is Geel Piet who starts the rumor that P.K. is a rainmaker, a person who would bring change to South Africa and help bring the tribes together. Much more happens in this movie. P.K. meets a girl, wins boxing matches, and helps black South Africans learn to read and write English. This movie is amazing and because I want you all to see it, I’m not going to tell you every detail. Please watch it.

I’d also like to encourage all of us to not just watch it but perhaps to dig a little deeper. After you watch it, think about this story and the similar stories people are living around the world and even here in America. Why, for example, are our schools in the U.S. still segregated? Maybe it’s not a written rule, but have you ever looked at the maps of racial distribution by neighborhoods? We’ve continued to separate ourselves though we claim in our constitution that all men (still don’t get why we can’t say “people” here) are created equal. The truth is, of course, that we’re not all equal and we haven’t been treated equally… ever. There are differences in every single person, thus we shouldn’t aspire to be equal (who has to give up their culture to become “equal” anyway?). Rather than pretending to treat one another equally, we ought to be providing equitable opportunities for all and that means that sometimes, people who come from marginalized backgrounds deserve the extra boost to help them succeed in this strange world of ours.

I’m sure that today I could have finished watching this movie and said, “Cool. This was fantastic. You’ve got to watch it.” And then I could go off and forget about it. Sometimes we humans read things that are inspirational or watch things that make us want to change the world and then we go on with our lives. I really don’t want to have that surface-level desire to change the world. I really want to be an agent for change. That’s why I’m writing this post right now. I want to be a better change agent. I’ve got to stand up for inclusion and equity for all people. It’s not an easy position to be in at times. But it’s what I care about and what I value. So I’m going to do my best and try. Wanna join?

Tata for now.

Rece

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Pa Bunn’s Week-Long Birthday Bash #bbj65bday

Birthdays rock. Pa on bdayI mean, they really do. My dad had a birthday yesterday and he’s gotten a week-long party for it. Why, you may ask? Well… he’s 65. And he hasn’t had a fancy birthday party ever and he really wanted his family to go to Disneyland for his birthday. So… we bought the tickets… took the train… and came to Disneyland.

Yesterday, for the full birthday, we spent the entire time at the park. And that was awesome. Plus, we were easy to spot with the bright green shirts. Woot! Woot!

Traveling with a group can be a bit much on occasion. Bathroom breaks are many. Food issues DEFINITELY arrive (and the Bunns get grumpy when they want food. Let’s face it though – everyone gets grumpy when they want food.). And old and young people don’t always have the same level of energy as they did when they were teenagers or twenty-somethings (and no one on our trip fits those categories – YIKES!).

Bunn, party of seven #bbj65bday

Bunn, party of seven #bbj65bday

Thus far, our trip has been a hoot and a half. We may be a bit tired from the constant fun, but you know, that’s just part of being at Disneyland.

Tata for now.

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A “First” Experience

It happened. The thing I’d been hoping to avoid for my entire life finally happened. And I cried.

What, you wonder, am I talking about? I’m talking about a speeding ticket.

NameHere’s what happened. I was driving my sister’s blue minivan on the back roads of Nampa, Idaho to visit my favorite winery. I was on a street called, Deer Flats Road and, let’s face it, I was driving pretty normal for Idaho (62 MPH – not a usual “crime). That’s when we passed a cop driving the other direction and he flipped a U-y so he could pull me over.

I was so grumpy though I tried not to show it to the young cop. I was secretly wishing that he would give me a warning. But I’m pretty sure when he saw my Oregon license and my eyes with no makeup, he figured I was a perfect victim. So he ticketed me.

After he gave me the ticket, I started to cry. I imagine that if I would have been crying at the beginning rather than at the end, there may have been a different result. But I’ve never been really great with timing so…

My sister (who was in the car with me when I got the ticket) asked me if I plan to contest the ticket in court. I don’t. I’ll be in South Arica at this time. So I have to pay the ticket. That’s why I’m mad: not because the cop stopped me (I can tell he’s on a power trip), not because I broke the law (by going over the ridiculous speed limit), but because I have to waste some money to pay a fine. That money could pay for a few pedicures, several nice dinners, camping gear, or part of a new Fossil purse, and yet, I have to pay it to the court system so cops like the one who stopped me can stop more people and “keep order” in society. #whateverCOP #SpeedingTicketsMakeMeGrumpy

I wonder what sort of lesson I’m learning from this ticketing experience. Is it to follow the rules? Respect cops? Be more frugal with my money? In all honesty, I think the lesson is still being learned because clearly, I’m not over it. Maybe I’ll know what I’ve learned once I write the check. #ugh

Tata for now.

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P. S. Please note that I have a reputation for my driving: that I drive like a grandma, always 5 UNDER the speed limit, which is part of why this whole thing is such a big deal.

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For My Father

It’s Father’s Day. If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the numerous Father’s Day posts and old pictures of dads. I put one up. It’s the one you’ll see at the end of this post. I’m not the daughter that likes to pretend that my daddy is perfect; he’s not. I am however, very grateful to have the old gray-haired man as my papa, mainly because, well, without him I wouldn’t be here. And he also brings me some good laughs.

Yesterday, my mom and I took my Pops out to get a pedicure. If you’ve ever helped trim sheep hooves, you may be able to appreciate what this pedicure did for my father. He needed one. Badly.

Father's Day Pedicure 2014 A new tradition?

Father’s Day Pedicure 2014
A new tradition?

When we left the Garden Nails salon, my dad couldn’t stop looking down at his feet. “They don’t even look the same,” he mused. Throughout the evening, he talked about his “new feet” at least five times. He even talked about the cheese-grater they took to the bottom of his feet at breakfast this morning (classy, I know). He’s incredibly proud of his new feet.

In case you’re not really getting my dad’s excitement, image taking a three-year old to the shoe store and buying her a pair of sparkly shoes she really wanted and how she would stare at them and talk about them to everyone she saw over the next two days. That’s what my dad has been like about his feet. I appreciate his enthusiasm.

My old man is a hoot. He’s a bit quirky (you see why I’m so cool now, yes?) and he’s a bit stubborn (part of our German heritage), but I really enjoy this old duffer.

Happy Father’s Day, Pops! Keep livin’ the dream!

Love,

Rece

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Movie of the Week: Belle

I am a movie person. When other families spent holiday weekends and furlough days camping or visiting grandparents, my family went to the movies. The movie theater was local and at one point, matinees were only $2.50.

I get that time has sped forward and movies are nowhere near that low price, but I’m still a movie junkie. I love watching them. I love talking about them, and I love writing about them.

Unfortunately, this year, I haven’t gone to the movies that often. As a grad student, I just “don’t have time” to sit in a theater for two hours when I really should be reading articles that will inform my research and academics. Tonight, I made time. I’m in the countdown phase of my first year of the CSSA program at OSU and I am feeling it. There’s just one big project looming over me and I’ve got to finish it up on Wednesday night with a presentation. As I worked on the project this evening, tapping my feet and biting my nails, I meandered over to Fandango to see what was playing. That’s when I saw it: Belle. Belle finally made it to Corvallis and though it was only ten minutes to showtime, I threw on a pair of pants and headed to the theater.

Belle is the story of race, family, and equality. It’s a story set in England when the slave trade was still very much part of the culture. The heroine of the story is Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay, who goes to live with her aunt and uncle and her blond cousin Elizabeth. Belle’s story is hard, real, and incredibly important. I would definitely recommend this movie to people who care about movies, good stories, history, and social justice.

If you’re looking for a good study break or if you’re just looking for something to do on an evening out, I suggest you check out Belle. I definitely give the movie FIVE STARS!

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