Monday, February 21, 2011

I Believe In A Thing Called Love

I should start by saying, I have a wonderful boyfriend and I am madly in love with him.  Today's post was not inspired by my personal life but rather by another blogger's piece about falling in (or out of) love that got me thinking. She had read a book with her students about a married couple that always fought. During the class discussion one of the kids asked, "Why did they get married if they don't like each other?" Pretty astute question for a young kid, right? Now, I don't want to copy her post but I do want to share a quote she used. “It is impossible to fall out of love. Love is such a powerful emotion, that once it envelops you, it does not depart. True love is eternal. If you think that you were once in love, but fell out of it, then it wasn't love you were in." She then goes on to conclude that the couple who constantly fought in the book did so simply because they were never in love. Check out Missy's post Why? for yourself. 

Immediately after reading this final line, I thought "Ah, that is so simple and obvious. They were just never in love." At first I was satisfied with that and ready to move on. But I have to wonder, is it really possible to conclude that they were never in love, just because they are always fighting now? I must admit I never read the book that sparked this discussion so I do not know all the details of this particular couple's story. But I think a valid issue was raised. Can love change?

I do believe that real love is powerful and lasts forever, but does the relationship always have to last forever with it in order for it to be real love? While that is ideally the goal of marriage, other variables can get in the way.  If a relationship suddenly isn’t working or healthy anymore, does that mean that somewhere the love was actually never real?  

I know there are situations where people still marry for reasons other than love.  Some marry for money, some are set up in arranged marriages, others because they want children and then there are those that even though it is illegal, marry with the hopes to obtain a Green Card. But I am only talking about those people who marry for love here. 

American’s have the #1 highest divorce rate (50%) in the world. If we conclude that they, the couple in the book, were never in love because they always fought, can we therefore conclude that all divorces occur because the people involved were never in love? I do not think that is a fair assessment. As humans we are always evolving, always changing, forever growing.  When we marry, our goal is that we grow together with our partner, for richer or poorer, for sickness and in health, etc. However, it is possible for two people to grow in different directions. I ask then, when a couple grows apart, does that mean they were never truly in love in the first place? Again, I don’t believe this to be true.

Despite growing differences, can couples constantly argue but still love each other? We’ve all seen that couple that is constantly arguing, we’ve heard of the partner that had an affair, or seen those people at a restaurant who sit in silence.  But is the love really gone?

People cheat. It is wrong but people still unfortunately do it. The reason may be different for everyone, but usually the cause is that one partner is not fulfilled in some aspect of the relationship and they look elsewhere to fill the void.  Is it a matter of love changing or personal needs not being met?  Trust might be damaged, but can love still persist?

Have you ever been badly hurt by love or cheated on? How do you feel towards that person now? If you were truly and madly in love with them, do you hate them for what they did but still love them deep down somewhere? You might have a broken heart and hate what they did, and not want to be with them anymore, but does that mean you no longer experience love for them?  On the flip side, the question can be asked, how can you hurt someone you truly love?

Think about your parents.  You love them unconditionally, right? Despite that, kids have been known to say to their parents, "I hate you!" because they didn't see eye to eye on something. Families argue and fight but that doesn't mean the love is not there.  Granted, love for a partner is different than love for a parent or sibling, but in the end, it still falls in the category of love.  Let me give an example of family love- I am a Daddy’s Girl through and through. My love for my father is so deep that I have physical reactions when he is sick or hurt.  One time while I was caring for him because he had food poisoning, I had to run to another bathroom because I thought I would be sick too. Instead, I fainted. Another time, when he dislocated his finger, I got him water, an ice pack and a cold washcloth. I then called my mother to come home.  When she walked in, she asked which one of us had to be taken to the hospital because while he sat there sweating, holding his dislocated finger, I sat next to him with his washcloth on my forehead, dizzy, and green; all because I saw my dad in pain. Despite this deep undeniable love, we still fight sometimes. But no matter what happens, the love is and always will be unconditional.

It is difficult to answer the student’s question. Maybe there are cases where couples thought they were in love, but it turns out to be infatuation or something other than love. Perhaps the couple in the book really never did love each other, afterall. Either way, I think love is complicated, beautiful, and powerful. I do not think there is only one person who is "The One" for us, but rather the person we fall in love with becomes The One. I will never forget my first love. I was young and the way I love today is drastically different than how I loved back then, but that doesn’t mean Mr. First Love still doesn’t have a place in my heart.

I don’t believe true love ever dies. I think it is eternal. But the relationship itself might not be. 


Love, Caryn

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Silly Fads From Our Childhood

When we were kids, we all wanted to fit in with the cool kids.  No matter what the popular toy or "it" thing of that year was, if they had it, we wanted it too.  It became mass hysteria and group obsessions. Parents paid big money so their kids would have the latest toy. As we've grown up, we have learned that everything goes in cycles and fads don't last, not even The Popular Kids stay popular forever. Recently, I was feeling nostalgic about my childhood and all the goofy fads that have come and gone over the years.
Here is what I came up with:
·      Pet Rock - Really? How was this ever entertaining? Yes, this was before my time, but how did the inventor become a millionaire from this? Why didn't I think of that?
·     Pogs -Slammer! I remember there would be groups of kids scattered throughout the blacktop sitting in circles playing at recess. Some schools banned this because it was considered a form of gambling by "keeping your opponents winnings".  
·      Beanie Babies - How could small stuffed animals be retired and worth so much? Why someone paid me $500 for my collection, I will never understand
·      Slap Bracelets - Tell me if you ever saw one today, you wouldn't smile and instantly try to slap it on? And then say Ouch!
·      Tamagachis - I liked this virtual pet for about week or so until I got tired of waking up in the middle of the night or hearing it beep in the middle of class because it wanted to play or eat. The best was when the thing would leave animated presents behind when I didn't care for it fast enough. Eventually, I think I took my own Tamagachis batteries out.
·      Silly Bandz (Is this still going on?) I was given a spoon last summer but even though I was told it was a spoon, I was still confused as to what was so cool about it. Not sure why this one caught on.
·      Tickle Me Elmo  - Mother's went CRAZY at holiday time for these. Do you remember the madness? This was even my friend's Bat-Mitzvah t-shirt theme.
·      Furby -  aka cute little gremlin looking toys - The gimmick here was that they could learn to talk and repeat what you said. They never seemed to work quite right but they did talk at the most unexpected times, like while you were sleeping.
·      Hypercolor Clothing - You know, the sweatshirts that changed color when you blew hot air on them? This fad lasted about as long the sweatshirts did after going through the wash and dry cycle once or twice.
·      Game Boy- Not so much a fad, but early Nintendo technology. The only gaming system I was allowed to own. 
·      Pokemon Trading Cards- a competitive trading and collecting game. I never played this one but I do remember this joke from when I was a kid: Q: Why don't you want a Pokemon around while you're taking a shower? Answer: Because he might Pikachu! Hey, I didn't make it up. Don't blame the cheesiness on me.

Looking back at all the goofy things that have come and gone, why did we want to do what the cool kids were doing again?
What did fads do you remember playing with when you were little? Do you remember any other fads that I may have forgotten? Please share them!

Friday, February 18, 2011

All My Loving

What musical group has the following:
·      5 movies in which they starred
·      1 (recent) movie with a story line based on their music 
·      1 Broadway musical tribute band
·      A cartoon series 
·      A repertoire of over 200 recorded songs
·      21 #1 hits.
·      First group to not have one lead front man and have a group name that didn't single out the lead singer
·      Wrote their own songs
·      Used many studio effects including reverberation, backward tape effects and echos
·      First rooftop concert/changed how we view concerts
·      Influenced styles, behavior & pop culture
·      Music that continues to be popular
·      Fan base that spans three generations.
·      I think the Only group iTunes advertised on TV & billboards once they finally got the rights to sell the music online.
·      Has a Rockband game dedicated to them
·      First group to make a music video (I'm not talking first to air on MTV - that was Video Killed the Radio Star)
·      Has a headlining Cirque Du Soleil show in Vegas
·      Has a class dedicated to learning about them and their music at Indiana University (one of the best classes on campus)

 as Ed Sullivan once said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles!"

Last weekend for Valentines Day, I took my boyfriend to see Rain - A Tribute to The Beatles.  This was my second time seeing it, but his first. I knew he'd love it. It was a great way for us to spend Valentines Day together. Anyways, if you are not familiar with it, this is a tribute band traveling on Broadway who walk-like, talk-like, sing-like and act-like Paul, John, George and Ringo. They were extremely talented.  If you Close Your Eyes during the show, it's easy to forget you where you are and that you aren't listening to the real thing.  I am convinced I was born in the wrong era. I wish I had been around in the 60's for many reasons, one being I would have loved to have seen my favorite music group, The Beatles live.  This tribute group is the closest I will ever get to feeling as if I am at a Fab Four concert.

But what really amazes me was here you have a concert hall made up of a tribute band, performing songs by a group who have been broken up now for 41 years, to an audience that spans three generations, all from Across the Universewho Come Together and can sing along to each and every song.  How many other groups have had that kind of long lasting impact on the music industry? They made music because they loved music.  Not because they wanted to be rich or be famous, initially. Today groups are so focused on making money that you can not hear the love or the passion for music that once existed in the sound.  Today's songs are very much created by a studio for profit instead of for the joy of making magic.  For me personally, there are days when I am feeling down and one way to help me feel better and Get Back to being myself is by listening to their music.   I know that When I'm 64, I will share this music with my children or grandchildren.   You Won't See Me being a bigger fan of any other group. 

Please feel free to comment and Tell Me What You See when you think of The Beatles. 

{via Love- on a wall in Vegas - photo taken by me}

* P.S. Bonus points for those of you who realized that I used song titles/lyrics throughout this post :) *

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nothing Beats a Live Concert

When I was little my mom worried that I didn't know music.  I am not sure where she got that idea from, maybe my sister sang in the car louder than me? She doesn't know a lot about music, so maybe she projected that onto me? Either way, turns out that worry of hers was unnecessary. I love music.  I love blaring it while I'm in the shower; while I am getting ready to go out; rocking out in my car, and I love it live. My past birthday I chose a bar specifically because it had a live band. I enjoy going to concerts but I do admit I am more one to sit down on a lawn and enjoy the music than to bounce around and stand the whole time. (Dancing at a concert is fun and encouraged, but I like the option to sit and relax too). My dad took me to see James Taylor for my first ever concert. I have a very clear memory of that day. I also went with him once to see Dave Matthews Band.  Since then, I have continued to go to concerts but honestly my list is shorter than I would have expected.  I will keep this an open running list and add to it as time goes on.

Concerts I have been to (in no particular order):

1. James Taylor
2. Dave Matthews Band
3. OAR
4. Guster (2x)
5. Billy Joel and Elton John together
6. Lifehouse
7. Good Charrolette
8. New Found Glory
9. The Eagles
10. Don Henley and Stevie Nicks
11. Stevie Nicks
12. Tom Petty
13. Crosby Stills and Nash
14. John Mayer (2x)
15. Counting Crows
16. Hootie and the BlowFish
17. Darius Rucker (solo as country singer)
18. Rascal Flatts
19. Carrie Underwood
20. Kris Allen
21. Barenaked Ladies
22. Chicago Symphony
23. Rick Ross
24. Howie Day
25. The Stache (cover band)
26. Sister Hazel

Have you seen any of these singers/groups? What did you think?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bloggers Beware

courtesy of
There are a lot of posts out there that explain to newbies, like me, the benefits and the How-To's of blogging.  When I first began, I read a post by Christine at Bun & Burrow and found it very helpful.  She gives us tips from utilizing social media and photos to using proper grammar. She shares with us the simple reminder that we should be ourselves in our posts, just as we are in real-life.   However, I think it is just as important to be reminded of the the dangers of blogging.

While anyone can be an iReporter or blogger now - it is very easy to forget the cardinal rules of copyright infringement. You think, "Oh, it's just the Internet so anything goes" but in fact, you can get sued for something as small as using a photo without permission or taking someone else's story and claiming it as your own.  As a Journalism major, I remember studying this issue and being warned that the Internet was unlike any other form of media or data source. And that was several years ago. It has evolved a lot since then.  Growing up, we all had to write research papers and provide a Works Cited to showcase our sources. Blogging really is the same way.  Just like that research paper, if you find something you like, you must paraphrase it and make it your own and credit the original author.  No plagiarising.  Just like magazine writers and newspaper columnists credit their sources, so must bloggers.  Another important issue to remember is to be factual.  When it comes to making factual statements, it is important to check the source.

Recently I came across this article What To Do If You Are Sued in Today's Chicago Woman Magazine for bloggers who might not know what to do if they are sued.   It is worth a read. It may save you from filing for bankruptcy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Commercials

I enjoy watching The Big Game every year.  I actually like football and enjoy watching it during the season too. I love the spirit of Super Bowl Sunday. People gathering with friends, the excessive amounts of food, the friendly bets, and the commercials.  Everyone has such high expectations for these commercials; it is no surprise that it is getting harder and harder to write a commercial that successfully stands up to all of the hype.  For all the millions of dollars that the advertisers spend, I wish there would be more memorable commercials. I am not knocking the advertisers here. I give them all credit in the world .  I know creating a (good) Super Bowl ad is not an easy task.  But what ever happened to the classic ads like the Budweiser Frogs with "Bud.Wise.Err" (1995) or McDonald's Larry Bird and Michael Jordan (1993)?

It seems like every year there is ONE commercial that stands out as my favorite. This year, my favorite was the Darth Vader kid for Volkswagen. This was simple, clever and made me smile.  The winner last year was Google. No dialogue just a simple story told through Google Search.

My all time favorite is the one with the man eating pizza on his porch who gets bitten by a mosquito, only to watch it blow up in distance.  This commercial was funny, simple and entertaining but managed to get its message across with no dialogue or music.  The ad appeared in 1998 and I still vividly remember it. That is one well done commercial Tabasco.

On a social media note:
 I did not notice the #hash tag for Audi, even though I knew to look for it.  I had to go back and watch it again.  Sure enough, #progress was there in the last frame.  Like me, some people probably didn't notice it, while others, including those who don't use Twitter, did notice but were confused as to what that meant.  I didn't follow on Twitter to see what happened, does anyone know if this generated the buzz that Audi had hoped for? Did YOU notice the hash tag? Here is the ad again if you want to see it for yourself. Audi Super Bowl Ad

Sorry Pepsi Max, Doritos, Justin Bieber, and you too, Kim Kardashian.  Your commercials just didn't do it for me this year.

What were your favorite commercials this year? Of all time? 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow days and Thundersnows - Blizzard '11

I'm standing in the middle of Michigan Ave.  
I knew the weathermen had warned us that a snow storm of 'life threatening' possibilities was heading our way. But the news tends to be like The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  Every year we have THE BIG ONE '09 or THIS IS IT '08 etc. but usually they turn out to be over-hyped and we get no more than a few inches. This time, the weathermen got it right. We got more than 20 inches!

On Tuesday I left work at 230p to beat the coming storm. So much for that. It took me an hour and 10 minutes of waiting outside in the cold just to find a way home.  I thought that was bad, until I got home and heard people were trapped on Lake Shore Drive, some for 6+ hours. Some people even ditched their cars.  People in Chicago are used to snow so to actually get a snow day, or in some cases, two consecutive snow days, you know it actually must be pretty bad.

It was strange to be home from work on a Wednesday. It was even more strange when there was lightning and thunder in the middle of a blizzard. Not currently residing in Chicago? You probably don't believe that can happen. You are probably saying, lightning while it is snowing? Thunder in winter?  Not possible. Well, I didn't believe it either until last night.  It is one crazy phenomenon.

Yesterday afternoon when I thought it had stopped snowing I decided to go out and take some pictures. Enjoy!

Here is a view down Michigan Ave - No Tourists, No Cars, Nobody! This is a first!

Here is a view down State Street - Again empty. 

 View from my apt. Usually you can see for miles.

 Someone must have said "Forget this! Too much snow!" And abandoned their shovel...

A young mother took her kids sledding down the middle of Rush St.

 My favorite - People cross country skiing on Michigan Ave!

Standing on Lake Shore Drive - while it was shut down and clearly not plowed yet either.

This is me standing on the Beach. Where does the lake begin? All you could see for miles was pure white.

Thanks to this massive blizzard Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow yesterday! I am looking forward to Springs arrival and hoping it is sooner than later.

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