Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it feels as though you want to go to a brand new place where no one knows you or your name or anything about you, and start fresh, like a blank sheet of paper. The thing is, that might sound very tempting and it might make everything VERY EASY. But years down the road, you want to be known as that person who stuck it through, and came out even more vibrant. If you leave, that's all people will remember (you'll be an unfinished painting), but if you stay people will quickly forget your current trouble and see your transformation. So even it when it hurts, even when you embarrass yourself, even when you wish you could take it all back, you'll swallow and keep moving and somehow eventually that ugly brown mark will be a unique touch on a very beautiful finished painting.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Growing Actress Selena Gomez always has a very trendy yet chic sense of style. She has her very own affordable line @kmart check it out here -->

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey Guys!

This is a video which goes through my packing process for my church's retreat over the weekend. Hope you guys enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I  have this thing for movies that may not necessarily be box office hits but here's one that I thought was good and maybe worth giving a whorl...excuse the bad language

I still remember my mom teaching me how to read at the tender age of 4. More specifically, I remember her twisting pinches when I couldn't remember the proper sound that the letters "s" and "h" made when they were placed together. Those pinches were more than ample incentive to learn the nuances of English spelling and pronunciation!

And then came The Boxcar Children. I met them in Second Grade and I quickly fell in love with Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden. And of course Grandfather and Watch. I even had a crush on 10 year old Violet whom I had never seen but in my mind's eye, as she, along with the others, would solve mystery after mystery after mystery.

And then... My family decided to up and move to Dallas the summer after my Second Grade, and in this sudden transition and confusion, I buried myself in books; reading was my escape. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on, and I was always reading. In the car. In bed. In the bathroom. At the dinner table. In the hallway during the restroom breaks for class, where I nearly walked in the girl's restroom several times. Now you would think most parents would be thrilled if their kids read so much and had a general love for the written word. Well, I read so much that my dad literally tore up and threw away some of my books because he felt I had an unhealthy obsession with books and reading and no interest in anything else. Maybe he was right, who knows.

Social skills are overrated, right?

Now that you have a brief understanding of my not-so-secret nerd-ness, let me introduce you to my library. You have your young adult fiction, the classic literature, a collection of Stephen King and Michael Crichton, a few textbooks I chose not to sell, a Quran, Book of Mormon, some Bibles, a bunch of other randoms, and my current favorite: theological books. And of course, no modern library is really complete without a collection of movies, music, and seasons of Smallville.

All that's missing is a comfy chair, a roaring fireplace, and the Dewey Decimal system. I'll settle for just two, I'm not picky.

I love books. If I have a weakness in my spending habits, it's my book-buying. I love roaming through Half Price and perusing their inventory. Used books have character, man... Except the ones with food stains. That's just sloppy eating.

I leave you with this: read. Read and read and read. Not just for the sake of saying you read something, but so that your mind is exercised. Read to learn. Read for pleasure. Read to think. Read to grow. But above all, just read. Read... or perish.

This Post is by: Brice Johnson- Brice is a musician, singer, self proclaimed archeologist, and fellow lover of life. He will be have his very own blog soon, so stay tuned.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't ever bet against your mom.......

So yesterday my mom had a day off from work, I always tell her to relax, stare at the wall, contemplate existential crisis' for once. Nope, when mom has a day off, that means the whole house is going to get cleaned and something is going to be cooked....this sounds great....EXCEPT she always wants to include you in the process so that you don't feel left out. WHY DO YOU WANT TO CLEAN A PANTRY, if its just going to get messed up within a day? Sometimes I don't think I will ever understand.

SO back to yesterday, my mom wanted to put one sack of basmati rice into one of those nice plastic clear containers that you are supposed to keep cereal in. She left the remainder of the rice and the filled plastic container on the table, so being the good daughter that I am I decided to put it away in the pantry, WITHOUT her even having to tell me. EXCEPT she comes back and ask where the rice and container are, I proudly tell her I already put it up. She then calmly explains that she wasn't finished......

Regina: "umm mom there is no way that anything else is going to fit in that plastic container, so I neatly placed the remainder of the rice in the original sack it came in RIGHT next to it"...

Mom: shakes head "Bring it here"

Regina: Grumbles "okay whatever"

Mom: Smiles like she knows something I don't know ...then proceeds to fill the rice in the container

Regina: makes YEAH RIGHT face...

Mom: Continues to pour emphatically- smiling to herself

Regina: thinking "oh crap she is actually going to do it..."- but keeps a very cool and straight face

Mom: finishes and looks triumphant

Regina: grasping at straws "oh..but...its not going to close..."

Mom: Shuts cap tightly

Regina: Defeated.

Mom: Gloating.

The Moral of this story, children, is that you should never bet against your parents. They never told you this but they go to secret school for moms and dads and learn things such how to put impossibly large looking items into ITTY BITTY containers. They will deny the schooling if you ask them- they had to sign some sort of plausible deniability contract.

Until Next Time


Monday, March 7, 2011

The contents of this article are not in anyway related to me, I have never once felt this way or expressed desires towards marriage. I don’t feel lonely EVER. =) That being said:

Every Malu Pentecostal girl has at one point or time in their life felt that marriage would be the solution to their problems. Okay, so maybe like me, you don’t like to admit it but somewhere deep down (for some of us DEEP DEEP DEEP DOWN) you have to admit that your thoughts have strayed along these lines before.  Why you ask?

I have an odd number of people in my family. I have noticed that my mom has my dad, my brothers (twins) have each other and I have…..winnie the pooh?. So from young age I have felt that I had to right this wrong and find someone to be my partner. Many of you LADIES may find yourself in this very same boat- you look around and you need someone to fill the void.

Most girls in our community are limited to having to stay at home even after college (except of course for MARILY JACOB) which put limits on what they can do. There are always questions (even if your going to church) who are you going with, why are you going, FOR WHAT PURPOSE (why don’t you just stay at home and help mummy). So girls tend to think that if (sorry WHEN) they get married they can come and go as they please no questions asked.

Thirdly women (EVEN STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN) like to feel defended. Not all the time, but its nice not to fight every battle single handedly and to be able to turnaround and say you take this one.

Every Disney movie that I have known has ended with the girl getting the guy, them getting married and living “happily every after”. This only furthers our fa├žade that life just moves in perfect harmony after that, the first step is all that’s needed and the rest is wedded bliss.

For these reason and many more, many women easily fall into the trap of believing that marriage can solve their problems. I am not here to tell you that marriage is a bad thing, in fact IT’S A GREAT THING, but if you go into thinking your going to solve problems, you’re probably in for a rude awakening. Marriage has added perks- the prince charming we have been dreaming of our entire lives, comes and sweeps us off our feet, but what then? Do we simply have no more problems?

Forgive me for being skeptical, but somewhere along the line we have to wake up and realize that their might be problems and we have to learn that marriage isn’t a solution only a promise to find solutions together with another person.

Dear Ladies, I too have fallen for this dream world in which the problems are solved and life is perfect (these days a little more than I would like), but I rest assured knowing that these are the days that I am growing, learning about myself, making the mistakes I need to make to become the proverbs 31 wife that God has called me to be. Plus the single life has its perks too. So enjoy the time we have now, because once its gone, there isn’t really anything we can do to get it back. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Post is Dedicated To: Roshan and Rony (the twins), Lisa (my honorary sister), Crystal, Priscilla, and not least of all Lance

"Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion"

While sitting at the Doctor’s office waiting impatiently for my mom’s appointment to be finished (or at least get started) I rummaged through several magazines (Thank You office manager who replenishes and supplies these racks- You have no idea of the impact you are making).

I noted that 3 (if not more) of the major magazines had articles on Amy Chua and her new book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom in their January editions. Some of the articles expressed concern and disapproval of this Asian mother’s approach to parenting and her disdain for western parenting styles, while others praised her and viewed Asian Parents as Superior.

I came home and watched clips of interviews with Amy Chua, read excerpted articles and finally read the book. For some Unknown reason this book/story struck a chord with me.

Some of Chua’s methods are extreme, I agree but I think her reasoning and purpose are sound.  Some Children do not really know what they are capable of accomplishing and if not pushed and prodded, they will remain mediocre when in reality they are excellent. Growing up, if left to my own devices, I am not entirely sure I would have been driven to accomplish or understand what my strengths were. I hated reading, I hated Writing and the thought of SPEAKING in public would have lead to me passing out. Since all three of these were strenuous activities that required discipline I would have chosen to opt out using the excuse that I was simply unable or less then apt. My mother, thankfully knew better.

While most kids got to do fun things, my mom made me write essays  on topics that she would give me (for example birds). We had a set of encyclopedias which I could use as reference. It had to be completed before she came home and before I could go to McDonald’s play pen  (I guess that was the ish back then) to hang out. I absolutely hated it but I complied, today I write blogs for fun, I consider writing one of my fortes.

Even better was her pushing me to speak on stage for a competition. I was mortified. I was scared to death- I couldn’t do it. I begged, I pleaded, I refused, but she did not let up. She promised me that if I did it just this once that she would never make me do it again. So I did, I failed miserably, my hands were shaking, I read the entire speech in less then 2 minutes (total time limit 5 minutes) and I made a fool of myself. Rather than allowing me to wallow in self pity and letting me go as she had promised, (that tricky woman), she forced me to sign up for every competition after that until I perfected it (she took out all the papers in my bible, so I wouldn’t have anything to read off and could maintain eye contact). Today, although, I don’t like to give her much credit, I am able to stand up and express my thoughts in front of others without crying (I still get butterflies) but I can do it.

Even in choosing my career path, she stood by and wouldn’t let me just veer off path. She wanted me to be a pharmacist, I wanted to be a Literature Major, who went into Law. And although I have bitter feuds with her regarding this, I am happy that she made me do something that was beyond my comfort zone, I truly believe that I am capable of becoming a pharmacist and offering something to the field of pharmacy that others can’t.

The thing is she saw talents and capabilities in me that I did not even know existed. She used unconventional methods (she used to tell me that I would clean other competitors bathrooms when I didn’t succeed- (this probably explains my fear of bathroom cleaning)) that maybe others would look down upon but she did it because secretly she was my biggest fan who knew that I could become better then even I imagined.

Somewhere between hating my mother’s techniques and secretly admiring them, I became worse then her. I am not sure how many of you who read this are an older sibling, but maybe if you are, you will understand me a little bit better.

Over the past few years I have received more flack than Amy Chua when it comes to my methods in “raising”/helping/disciplining my younger siblings. I have two younger brothers who are twins, and 4 younger cousins (I am the oldest grandchild). I feel personally responsible for each and every one of them and love them with all of my heart.

Many times people misunderstand my motives and assume that the control freak in me simply enjoys disciplining. Although, I am a control freak, I can’t say I particularly enjoy punishment or disciplining or even being overly involved. I simply know that because I was pushed hard, I achieved much and I don’t want my younger siblings to miss out because no one pushes them.

I don’t think there is another person in this world who feels as much pride as I do when they are victorious (even in the smallest things), or anyone else that mourns when they fail (not even them).

One of my brothers likes to take the easy road, he hates putting effort or trying something that is difficult, BUT, he is extremely bright. We get into huge fights regarding this.One example that comes to my mind is when he was entered for a speech competition in 2009, he didn’t care to put the effort and failed miserably. I could tell he felt bad. I was unable to be there fore him because of school, and whats even worse, my mom wasn’t there (my mom, who has never missed any of my speeches in her life was not there for my baby brother). I called her up and I chewed her out (she ended up crying).  The very next year he was forced to sign up again, he WHINED, CRIED, ANNOYED ME, like crazy but I wouldn’t let up. I forced him, stood behind him, and made sure my parents were there to witness his victory.

People always harp on me for my strict manner of dealing with my brothers and my cousins. What they don’t realize is that deep down it comes from a heart that wants each and every one of them to succeed to achieve better then they thought possible. I love seeing Lisa standout with her amazingness (she reminds me of myself so much), Priscilla with her stubborness but willingness to beat the odds, Lance with his kind heart, Crystal with her heart of Gold yet silliness, and RONY with his sarcastic sentiments and need to defend all.

There is a threshold to which this technique won’t work any longer and Chua gets to that understanding towards the end of her book when one of her daughters simply won’t comply. I think the key is knowing who you are dealing with, what works for one won’t necessarily work for the other. At some point and time I expect Roshan, Rony, Lisa, Priscilla and Lance (crystal is already there), to make their own decision and understand the consequences, but until then I want to make sure that they are given every opportunity and helping hand they need from an older sister whose been through quite a bit and seen quite a lot.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

This Post is Dedicated To: Lisa Varughese, Shervin Samuel, Robin Raju

I was in denial- It took a trip down to the store for me to actually understand the grandiosity of my dilemma, my place is closing down.

I know that most people's response to the news that borders is closing is to "go to barnes and noble". I have nothing against Barnes and Nobel in fact its one of my favorite bookstores-since its the only one that Corpus Christie seems to have. But the Borders in Mesquite holds a very special place in my heart.

I can't think of another place that brings back so many memories flashing back simultaneously. There have been heart felt book reads and conversations in the children's section, Awkward encounters at the coffee section while trying to study, A CRINGINGLY AWKWARD CONVO between the fiction and literature section over the phone-although it ended in me gaining a friend ;), friendly run-ins, a tell all by a good friend and many more. Even the parking lot can be credited for several interesting gift exchanges.

All in all I am left feeling empty like Meg Ryan's character, Kathleen Kelly, when her children's bookstore closed. I wish there was a way to petition to borders company to keep the one LEGITIMATE bookstore in MESQUITE TX alive.

In last words I would like to say,

Dear Borders,

You will be greatly missed, your open spaces, colorful arrays and assortments, delicious snacks, and wide variety of guest will not be forgotten, there shall be a horrible void where you were.


An avid Customer ( who is now wishing she bought her "pretty little liars" series from you rather then barnes and noble)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Most of you may not even be acquainted with what translation (ie: KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, The MESSAGE) in fact the reason you bought your bible as one of my cousin’s (he happens to be in seminary school as well) so aptly joked is based on the color and font. I am not sure why but for as long as I can remember I have been what I like to call a translationist or a translation snob. I have always cared what translation the bible that I am carrying is in, and will verify verses using other translations. Maybe its because I have since a young age been required to make speeches regarding bible topics and I like to use bare minimum- (meaning I don’t like to make things too complicated).

For the past couple of years I have been using more contemporary translations, such as New Contemporary Version and as of late for my birthday I had my parents purchase a fifty dollar leather bounded Message Translation. Now I love Eugene Peterson, he simply seems to have a quirky way of putting the truth, but at the same time it’s not always directly what is stated. I have found myself penciling in what the verse is actually stating using other versions such as the NIV. And you can forget following along during church and winning bible reference.

So I have been on the search for a new bible with a translation which is both contemporary and close to the source (original Greek).  I want to keep my Message Translation as a reference point and devotional guide but I also need another bible to simply carry to church (a good cover and font won’t be begrudged) but I want a decent translation as well.  So far all reviews I have received lead me to go for the ESV translation. Let me know what you guys think.

Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want-KJV, NKJV, ESV
Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing-NIV
Psalm 23:1- The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need- NCV
Psalm 23:1 – God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. –THE MESSAGE