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The Heart of Life

The Heart of Life: January 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013


My husband and I have this thing for this show on the Travel Channel called Ghost Adventures.  We watch every Friday night.  Sometimes Saturday nights too.  We obviously struggle socially.  Oh well.

If you've never watched it, it's about three guys who go into haunted locations throughout the country (and sometimes outside the country) to investigate the spirits that reside there.  They get locked in the building overnight and use a variety of fairly legitimate tools (EVP's, thermal imaging cameras, etc.) to capture spirit activity.

There's a really great history aspect to this show.  Before they do the lock-down they learn as much about the building's history as possible.  They research documented deaths that occurred in the location, as well as any inhumane conditions that have been a part of the location's history.  Pretty much all the locations have some sort of tragic past, which really appeals to the social worker in me.  They've investigated a poor farm that was later turned into a sketchy insane asylum, prisons where famous murderers received the death sentence, mansions where an entire family was murdered by a crazed daughter, and so forth.  Even if you think the investigation itself is bologna, the back-stories are awesome.

They also do a lot of interviews with people who have had weird experiences in the location.  It's like sitting around the campfire listening to ghost stories.  Even if you don't believe, it's entertaining.  One time they were investigating a resort and interviewed a lady who used to work there.  Years ago she had been walking down a hallway when suddenly she got slammed face-first to the ground.  Another worker saw her get pushed down, but also saw that nobody pushed her.  She hit the ground with so much force that her nose bones got pushed up into her head--definitely not a normal injury for someone who simply tripped while walking.  Also they found a bruise in the shape of a hand on her back.  Maybe the story was a cover-up for some sort of domestic assault, but it's still a cool story.

Believer in ghosts or not, the actual lock-down part of the investigation has real entertainment value. It's like reality tv on steroids. Sometimes it's intense, and sometimes it's funny, but it's all pretty candid. Sometimes they get scared, scream, and run away. What more could you possibly desire from a television program?

As for me, I'm a believer in the ghost-related paranormal.  I don't have a lot of personal experience to back my belief, but I still believe.  A few years ago I worked a grave shift once a week at Smith's doing price change.  I'd heard rumors of a ghost that was usually seen along the back wall of the toy and hardware sections, but I didn't take it very seriously.  I mean, it's a store.  Who haunts a store?  But in the wee hours of the morning during one grave shift, I think I saw it.  I was sale-tagging action figures while listening to my iPod, when out of the corner of my eye I saw something.  The something was dark and stood along the infamous back wall.  By the time I turned my head to get a better look (I was wearing my glasses), nothing was there.

I was pretty sure I was the only person on that side of the store, but after I finished my tagging I surveyed all the nearby aisles to confirm that nobody else was around.  I was right; the only other person in the department was working nowhere near me.  Occasionally the grocery guys ventured into my department, but it was always to jump out from behind some display to scare me.  Stealth without startling wasn't their style.  It's possible that I imagined the something--it was late at night and I was tired.  I can never be certain what I saw.  Regardless, I'm still a believer.

I don't do this often, but I kind of want to open up a conversation about this.  What do you think about ghosts?  Have you ever had an experience with a ghost?


Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Plight of Ambiguously-Colored Eyes

I accidentally pushed "Publish" instead of "Save" while writing this, so it may have showed up in your feed in its incomplete form.  Oops.

It's been a while.  I've had my hands full with random obligations.  Last month I got called as the ward choir pianist.  Pshhhhh...  I know, right?  Piano isn't my best talent.  I only excel with tons and tons of practice.  And excel is a pretty generous word to use.  More like "crank it out somewhat acceptably" with tons of practice.  I got the music for our first song, and it's probably the most awkward piece of music I've ever played.  Neither the top nor bottom hand have any flow.  It's a bunch of random, notes.  Sigh.  Bless the poor choir.

I've also been working endlessly on report cards.  Yes.  Report cards for preschoolers.  It's crazy.  I get why they do it--they like to show parents that their kids are learning.  But as a teacher it's overwhelming.  I think I've spent a total of ten hours in the past week just on report cards.  And this is in addition to my normal in-class time.  I'm all preschool-ed out this week.  I'm so happy it's a long weekend so I can recoop.

On to the matter at hand.

Eye color is often categorized into four neat classes:  blue, green, brown, and hazel.  If you don't qualify for strictly blue, brown, or green you are labeled hazel.  Hazel is the catch-all of eye color.  The only thing people of this category have in common with each other is the ambiguity of their eye color.  If you do a Google image search for "hazel eyes" it comes up with a huge variety of eye colors that range from brownish to greenish.  Some are a murky yellowish-brown, or brownish-green, and some I would consider mostly green or mostly brown.  The vast majority have a certain degree of brownish, but then some have no trace of brown.  It's pretty bizarre that hazel covers such a huge range.

What color is hazel, anyway?  Wikipedia says, "Definitions of the eye color hazel vary: it is sometimes considered to be synonymous with light brown or gold, as in the color of a hazelnut shell."
When I was young, I was told I had hazel eyes.  And because I figured others could see my eyes better than I could, I believed them.  I even indicated "hazel" for eye color when I got my driver's license at age 15.  (True story--I'm an Idaho girl.)  And then when I was about 17 or 18 I took a close look at my eyes in the mirror and decided, "I think they were all wrong about my eyes."

I found that the color near my pupils is a combination of light and dark greens, and then it's rimmed by a dark blue.  There is no trace of brown at all.  No yellow either.  Mostly green with a dark blue rim.  This isn't hazel.

Take a look for yourself:
I made it nice and big so you can better analyze my eye color.  Pictures are a little tricky because they rarely capture the true essence of your eye color due to lighting, etc, but this one is kind of close.

So I decided to take charge of my eye color.  I, Lindsey, have green eyes.