The night sky and Milky Way resting above a lake in Canada.
Visit donweissphotography.com for more mesmerizing nature photography.
I’ve decided to take part in the Daily Prompt a day late. (Does that make it the Yesterday Prompt?) When I read the original prompt, “Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?,” I began thinking. And thinking. And thinking. And then it hit me. Our society has way more than just 7 “deadly” sins, as the Catholic Church calls them. We go day to day completely blind to what is actually going on around us. This is frustrating to me because I grew up in a religious school and home setting. Prayer every morning and every night, like clock work. It wasn’t until I graduated high school and got put into a world where not everyone had the same beliefs as me that allowed me to expand my thoughts and vision in a way I had never been able to experience before. There’s so much out there that is more than we know, more than we’re supposed to know.
My 8th Cardinal Sin: Being blind to what isn’t right in front of us
Because if we open our eyes, it’s amazing what we can see.
As I lay here in bed, throw back, grade school-colored PJ pants on, attempting to keep the fifty pound weights from crushing my eyelids, I’m thinking about how much I have yet to do tonight; all of which includes blogging and reading of course. First up, ticket for one to the blog train. Choo! Choo!
So last Thursday, I left on my first big adventure of my life. You know it’s big because I used bold, underline, AND italics. Me and my closest friend, Hannah, went on an 8 hour road trip to Virginia Beach to see Dave Matthews Band perform. This all started when I was fed up that I was the only one in my family that had not been on vacation this year. My brothers go on vacation with their girlfriends, and my dad goes on photography trips every summer. So I convinced my mind that I was more than deserving of a little me time. I started looking around online, searching every website imaginable. Then I remembered that I had missed the DMB concert in Pittsburgh. I swiftly searched for his upcoming tour dates, and there I saw it: Farm Bureau, Virginia Beach, VA. Right away, I sent a text message to Hannah asking her if she would want to join me, which of course she had agreed to. The next two weeks were full of anticipation and excitement.
We left on Thursday morning, around 11. The GPS said it would take 6 hours and 48 minutes to drive from Pittsburgh to our hotel in Virginia Beach. So we started off our 7 hour journey. One of the good things about being friends with Hannah is that we have the same exact taste in music. The whole ride down consisted of us screaming the lyrics to our favorite songs with the windows rolled down, allowing the brisk wind to blow through our hair. So we’re driving for a couple hours, when we realize the GPS took us the back way instead of through Washington DC. We ran into construction, which added about 45 minutes to our travels. Once we got to civilization again, it was rush hour. Cars were packed together like sardines. We sat there for an hour! We finally arrived at our hotel at around 10 p.m. What originally was suppose to be a 7 hour car ride turned into almost 12 hours. Needless to say, we were bone-weary and dog-tired.
The next day, we woke up and took our travels to the beach. The area we arrived at was swimming with people, literally. So we ran into the ocean, let the waves sweep us away, then began working on our golden tans. However, that didn’t last long. It was so crowded with people that we couldn’t go more than 3 minutes without someone walking by, kicking sand up that ended up all over our suntan lotion’d, greasy bodies. So we decided to go grab some lunch, then begin to get ready for the concert that was later that night. We went to a restaurant right on the bay called Rudee’s by recommendation from her father. I had She-Crab Soup and a salad. It was well-prepared, well-seasoned, and quite scrumptious to say the least. A definite recommendation to anyone in the area. One of the things we noticed was the music they played in Rudee’s; the music was mostly John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. We were delighted because this was the exact kind of music we enjoyed. It made our visit that much more memorable.
We got back to our room, showered, and put on our sundresses. This is the night we had been anxiously waiting for, everything had to be perfect. Luckily, the concert venue was only 12 minutes down the road from our hotel. We got there about an hour and a half early. We stood in line until 6, when they opened the doors. Surprisingly, there was not much commotion and everything went pretty orderly through the ticket lines. We hurried over to purchase a tour t-shirts, then subitaneously traveled back to the lawn to get a good seat. We found an area with a perfect view; what we didn’t know was that we were about to be surrounded by drugs and drunks. The concert started, and the crowd went crazy (as expected), and as did we. Dave played a few acoustic songs, then left for a 30 minutes intermission. During that 30 minutes, the sun went down, and the drugs and alcohol set in. There was redolence of marijuana in the air around us. As soon as the second set started, everyone around us went completely wild. The family to the left of us, who were all in their 30’s or older, were passing around blunts. They also had brownies, which I’m guessing had substance in it as well. The youngest of the group, who also happened to be the most messed up, came over and introduced herself. Her name was Lola and she was around 35 years old. She said told us she came over to give us advice. I thought to myself, “Oh boy, I know this is going to be the drugs talking.” So I was prepared to hear something completely spiritual, yet bizarre. She told us to never negate anything in life, regardless of how bad it may seem. She began to tell us about how her son’s father passed away last year. She said, “Am I sad about it? Fuck no! Wanna know why? Because he’s all around me. He’s in the air. He’s in the trees. He’s everywhere. I can feel him.” A lot of you might have just laughed and thought she was crazy, but this hit home with me. I lost my mom 3 years ago. I’m still mourning her loss to this day, but Lola had a good point. Why be sad? Being sad isn’t going to bring her back. Instead, I should be rejoicing that I had such a great mother, and that I still do. Who would have thought I would have learned such life-changing advice at a Dave Matthews concert? The night went on and the concert was phenomenal. For anyone who hasn’t been to a DMB concert, you need to go. Everyone is so carefree for those 4 hours, it’s extremely refreshing to the soul.
Saturday we lounged around the pool by our hotel, continuing to work on our tans. Our hotel also had a spa in it, so we spoiled ourselves and got manicures. That night we traveled back to beach to go to the much approved beachfront restaurant called Waterman’s. After searching for parking for what seemed like eternity, we finally found $3.00 road parking, which I successfully attempted my first parallel park. (Go me!) The food was extravagant. I ordered a pasta that included cavatappi noodles, a tomato cream sauce, onions, peppers, fresh shrimp, fresh scallops, and sausage. It was worth the $20.00 I paid for it. The shrimp was huge! Another recommendation I would suggest to anyone visiting the area. That night, we decided to pack everything up and crash early to prepare for the 7-8 hour trip back home.
Overall, the experience was great. It is definitely going to be something I remember for the rest of my life. One of those, “remember when?” stories I can tell my kids over and over again until they become sick of hearing it. I think it’s important to treat yourself every once in a while. Even if you don’t think you can afford it, the memories are more valuable than any type of currency. Good friends, good music, and good food can get you through anything and everything.
Turns out, not where, but who you’re with that really matters. – Dave Matthews Band, Best Of What’s Around
Until next time,
I’ve been nominated! I picture my acceptance speech would go a little something like Jennifer Lawrence’s. That is, if it required me to look elegant in front of a large crowd. Lucky for me I can sit here in my bed, wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt, hair in what I like to call a bun (some people may choose to call it a rat’s nest…), and no make up. Oh, the beauty of the internet.
A thank you to http://chaosandclementines.wordpress.com for the nomination. I greatly appreciate being one of the lucky randos you selected. Who knows, maybe this will be the start of a great internet duo. The Bonnie and Clyde of the web.
The Liebster Award is an award given to new bloggers as a way to recognize them and to discover other new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere.
1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog
3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. List these rules in your post
8. Inform the blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
1. If you could live anywhere in the world for the rest of your life, where would it be?
2. In your own opinion, what is your best quality and what is your worst?
3. Who did you last say I love you to? Did you mean it?
4. What made you decide to start a blog?
5. Would you rather spend a night alone or out with your best friends? Why?
6. What fictional movie character would you marry in real life? Why?
7. Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?
8. What would you rather be doing at this very moment?
9. If you had the choice to be born in another time period, which would it be and why?
10. What song reminds you most of your childhood?
11. What is your biggest pet peeve?
My 11 Rando Facts:
Okay, now for my nominations:
Okay Nominees! Time to get down and dirty. Here’s your Q&A
1. What’s your go-to snack food?
2. Country or City? Why?
3. Who is your idol? Why?
4. Dogs or Cats?
5. Favorite childhood memory?
6. Do you put your ketchup on your fries or do you dip them on the side?
7. If you could go back to high school, would you?
8. Favorite social media site?
9. Do you watch/read/listen to the news? Why? Why not?
10. Why did you start a blog?
I’m looking forward to hearing your answers!
After a decent amount of research, a plethora of advice, and too much procrastination, I finally made it…my first blog. As I’m sitting here on my couch, Modern Family buzzing on the television in the background, my cat begging for attention, I catch myself wondering: where do I even start? A name seems like a push in the right direction. If anyone can find one of those new Coke bottles with the name Jess on it, I’ll be accepting all donations.
Here are a few basic facts about me:
This is my two brothers and I from this past Easter. My oldest brother, Eric, is on the left. He graduated from PSU main a few years ago and is living in Philadelphia. On the right is my other brother, Ethan. He just graduated Wheeling Jesuit and is going to be attending graduate school next year.
So enough about me, there is plenty of time for that in the future. This blog is directed toward helping students through high school, college, and life in general. I have experienced a considerable amount of unfortunate events in my time. So as I go about talking about my daily struggles and mishaps, and also my joys and successful experiences, I want to hear about yours, too. I can’t promise the greatest advice, but it’s someone to listen and it’s cheaper than a therapist. I will have my contact information in an up and coming post. Until then, COMMENT! I want feedback. I want questions. I want interaction.
“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” -Margaret Heffernan
Until next time,