my life in my words

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Let’s start here . . .

I think you could ask probably any girl to name one famous person that they love and they’ve got at least 2 people ready on a list in their brains. Some would like to call them “celebrity idols” or “iconic heroes.” I have what I like to call, GIRL CRUSHES. Legit. I have girl crushes. Don’t be fooled, I still bat for the home team, but truth be told, if I were ever ever ever ever ever in the presence of these drop-dead gorgeous, amazingly talented women, I’d GEEK OUT like no other!!!


And not just cause she’s a Latina . . . promise! 😉 She has truly grown as an actress and even though she totally could, she’s not a celeb that goes around seeking headline stories and shocking tabloid press. She’s classy—she’s one of those ladies that can walk onto the red carpet and just command your attention, without even having to shout . . . which we Latinas can tend to be known for. She’s a phenomenal actress. She’s beautiful. She’s named after my country for crying out loud! 😉 But really, she just is such a stunning woman. I love her!

Girl Crush #2: KAT VON D

Being a woman who is a little “rough around the edges” and tends to “push the envelope,” I got nothin’ but love for Kat Von D. She’s got a great sense of style and is incredibly talented. I know it can be easy for people look at a woman with tattoos and think she’s just trying to fight for attention or she’s kind of lower class, but I see Kat and I think the complete opposite! She’s beautiful and the art that lives on her body is equally as beautiful because they each represent something special to her. And though I will never have such an extravagant amount of ink done on my body . . . in fact, I’m shooting for one here, folks, I will always smile big when I see her pics or re-runs of Miami/L.A. Ink. PS: Have you SEEN her makeup line at Sephora?? It’s like she’s reading my “make-up” mind!


I love punk rock music. Plain and simple. I do. Hayley, the lead singer of Parmore, is the queeeeeen of punk rock music! She’s funny, she’s got a laid-back personality, she can rock a guitar with the best of them, and the girl can SING! man. i just love everything about Hayley. I seriously could go on and on. I’ve currently got 4 Paramore songs in the queue for me to learn to play on my electric guitar . . . I know it’ll be a while until I get even anywhere NEAR her talent, but man, I’m excited to learn! Plus, she’s so rad, I titled this blog post after one of Paramore’s songs 😉

Girl Crush #4: KATIE SOKOLER (color me katie)

You may be asking yourself, “Who is this? What show is she on?” Well let me set the record straight. She’s one of the most creative people I know . . . and she’s not on TV or in movies . . . she’s just an extremely creative woman that I admire. I first found out about her through an article in American Way Magazine . . . yes, the in-flight American Airlines magazine. But her creativity really re-fueled the creativity in me and inspired me sooooo much! You should check out her blog — COLOR ME KATIE and take a look at her wonderful, whimsical work! You may not develop as much of a girl crush on her as I have, but you’ll at least be tempted 😉

Girl Crush #5: KRISTEN WIIG

When it comes to funny, I look straight to Kristen Wiig. She is just a top notch improv comedienne! She is one of the main reasons I watch Saturday Night Live. Her impressions and the sketches she is in are the best medicine for me after stressful days. When I need a good laugh, I watch her various Gilly sketches, or her Bjork sketches on hulu and just laugh the stress away! She’s beautiful, strong, funny, and isn’t afraid to push the envelope—and I LOVE that about her!

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Said The Sun To The Shine

For the record, I TOTALLY meant to write a post yesterday about my first day at softball practice. However, I had pulled an all-nighter on Saturday and so when I got back from practice, I decided I would take a 2 hour nap and would set my alarm accordingly. However . . . not only did i NOT fully wake up from the alarm sounding, but apparently I subconsciously put my laptop speakers on mute (I use an alarm clock program on my mac cause it’s louder than my phone’s alarm) and apparently dismissed the alarm that sounded on my phone. I don’t remember doing either of those things . . . and I woke up 15 hours later. :O

Anyway, all in all, softball practice was great! I only sustained minor injuries . . . when I put up my glove to catch a pop-fly, but just missed it, which led to said pop-fly making it’s mark . . . on my chest. Right here>

I know I know . . . i gotta work on my catching skills. I’ve never been good at catching pop-flies, so it’s not like I was incredibly surprised. I just now have a strong reminder that I need to work on those skills more.

Moving on . . .

On Saturday, I got to do one of my favorite things ever: MAKE A MIX-TAPE!

I seriously LOVE making Mix-Tapes! So one of my friends asked me to make some for him because he hadn’t been able to keep up with recent music and wanted to try out some different styles and sounds, so I jumped at the opportunity—it’s so fun and creative and allows me to share music I love with my friends. Here are the ones I made for him:

It made me sooooo excited to hand them over to him! Also, one of the funniest things about the process of making the mix was my iChat conversation with Kelley while I was picking the initial song lists:

Me: I want Paramore on there. The question is, THE ONLY EXCEPTION or FEELING SORRY?
Kelley: I dunno Paramore really . . .
Me: It’s okay. Hayley forgives you. 😉
Kelley: I used to like WE ARE BROKEN a lot but even that one has kind of fallen off with me . . .
Me: Ah. I like MY HEART
Kelley: Me too. Also my lungs.

This is just further proof that iChatting with Kelley while making a Mix-Tape is NEVER a bad idea. 😀

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Let’s Get Physical

Heyyo! So today I got to spend a lot of time at the gym. Usually I only get to hang there for about 30 minutes because I don’t always make time to be there for longer. I was working out hard today . . . for about an hour and a half, and was just thinking of the journey I’ve been on to get to where I am currently as far as my physical fitness goes. You see, when I was growing up, I was a pretty big girl.

Look, I’m Hispanic and we love to eat, okay? And we have the BEST FOOD EVER!! 😉 Also, the fact that I was never was good at saying no, especially to yumtastic food, didn’t help either. Growing up, I ate what I wanted, and a LOT of it was very unhealthy. We were constantly on the go and I’m pretty sure we spent a large chunk-o-change on fast food. Since finding out I had Pre-Diabetes, and fighting to avoid it, I’ve been able to make some pretty big changes in my diet. There are a lot of fatty foods I have cut out of my diet and a lot of things I’m slowly siphoning out of it currently. It’s not always an easy fight, but I am getting much better. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t conscious of my weight. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for all the progress I’ve made thus far. Last fall, after months and months of working out and eating better, I was able to drop 2 pant sizes. This may seem like a little step forward, but for someone like me, it’s a pretty big deal!

Usually when I go to gym, I go dreading the workout. Even when I was on staff with MCA and we HAD to go to the gym 2x a week, I hated it. I had the worst attitude towards working out. I didn’t like to sweat and I didn’t like to push myself. Also, I was pretty comfortable with just being large and in charge. But today when I was at the gym, I noticed that my attitude toward working out had shifted for the better. I even worked out a little extra just because I felt I could push beyond my perceived limit for the day . . . and I did and it felt great!

I’m looking forward to working with my doctor/nutritionist to become better and better and get to a place where I can feel good about challenging myself to push my limits. I want to be healthy and make wise choices. I’ve gotten so much better about saying NO to the wrong foods and YES to foods that are healthier for me, even if they’re not my favorite foods. I’ve rearranged my schedule to get in more gym time and I’m looking forward to becoming even more healthy. I would be lying if I said that my mirror reflection wasn’t a motivator, but an even greater motivator is the thought of defeating something that can easily take my joy, my health, and my life and lead it to a point of pain and inconvenience.

I will add that living in Seattle has worked wonders for me as well . . . these hills . . . they’re insane. Also, the building I work in has no elevators and I work on the third floor. I sit at a desk for the majority of the day and it’s so easy to just be content with inactivity, but one thing I do is challenge myself to make more trips up and down the stairs to continue to get in some more exercise. I discover that the more active I am, the more free I feel and the more healthy I feel. I want to be able to do another 5k this year as well (possibly even 2), and softball season is starting next month! I’m looking forward to going into these physical activities with a brighter, more positive outlook!

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Oh Sailor

Ahoy me mateys!

This be yer cap’n speakin’. I wanted ter let ye know what be happening upon mah starboard bow lately. And it be deeeez. I’ve been fightin’ a bit ‘o’ homesickness lately and these be helpin’ me fight that scurvy foe. I commandeered these with me Diana Mini. I hope they be pleasin’ to yer eyes, matey!

Peg-leggedly yers,

Cap’n Amanda “Patches” Martinez

mi muddah

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10. A.M. Automatic

Who lip-syncs along to their favorite jams while they’re getting ready for work in the morning?!?


This can only mean one thing . . . time for another music round up! Here are some of the songs I’ve been singing while getting ready in the mornings:

| ONE SMALL STEP by Sparky’s Flaw (aka Parachute) |

I’ve actually had this one on the good ‘ol iPeezy for a while, but it came on the other day and I just put it on repeat for a good 20 minutes and it’s made it’s way into my morning routine. It’s peppy and it’s a real get-up-and-go tune.

| I WOKE UP IN A CAR [ADAM YOUNG REMIX] by Something Corporate |

In anticipation of the upcoming “Best Of” album by Something Corporate, titled SPACE, they released this remixed version of I Woke Up In A Car by Adam Young of Owl City. I’m not really a fan of how he Auto-Tuned Andrew’s voice, but the mix overall gives a kinda of pop sound to a punk rock tune, and I can appreciate that in moderation. I do like this mix. 😀


| BYE, BYE, BYE (cover) by Further Seems Forever |

While we’re delving into the wonderful goodness of punk rock tunes, let’s talk about how sad I am that I only just heard this cover recently . . . and it’s been out since 2002. Shame. Just shame. In any event, it will no longer go ignored 😉

| MY DARLING BELLE by Bobby Long |

So I bought this on iTunes, but there is no video of it on YouTube for me to post here. But Bobby Long is one of my favorite indie folk artists. I love his voice and his style, so bold and poetic. If you get a chance, listen to (or buy) the track on iTunes. It’s a good’un. 😉 In the meantime, here is a live performance of Bobby playing My Darling Belle in Vancouver, BC.

| AIRPLANES by B.o.B. Featuring Hayley Williams from Paramore |

I promise you there is crack cocaine stuck in every nook and cranny of this hook. It has been stuck in my head so much. It’s so catchy and it’s very clever lyrically. And did I mention that I absolutely LOVE Hayley Williams?? Cause I do! She’s one of the best things that could have ever happened to punk rock! And, as THE JIGGLE’S PUFF says, “you can now go ahead and add rap as well.”

| HEARTLESS by Justin Nozuka |

This is a great one that gives a sweet soothing vibe in the morning. It’s off of Justin’s new album, which just came out this morning and has been added to my iTunes. This is just a great song that reaches to that smooth music vibe I dig.


Talk To Me

Hello Class!

Today we have a guest speaker: iChat!!

This is one of my favorite tools for communication. The ability to share files, and to chat with my friends makes me smile soooooo big!! Like this:

Exhibit A: Ridiculous Smile While Crossing Eyes From Excitement

Okay maybe not quite like that . . . but you kinda get the point 😉

But i really DO like to chat with friends. Amazingly enough, one of the people I talk to most on there is my friend Kelley.

Exhibit B: Kelley, Friend Extraordinaire

When I lived in Austin, Kelley was the person who would always hang out with me when I wanted to do stupid stuff. She’d also willingly hang out with me in the print room while waiting for 5,000 brochures to print out on the (handcrafted by Satan) Bizhub printer at 4 a.m. while we guzzled down primo octane espresso courtesy of the 24 hour Starbucks down the road. If I was going somewhere, Kelley was riding shotgun. We shared so many inside jokes and she has become one of my most near and dear best friends. Last Thanksgiving, she was able to come up to Seattle and visit me and we didn’t miss a beat! I loved it!

Now that she’s back at school in Texas, we use iChat to keep up with funny, sad, tough, liberating moments each day. We talk about EVERYTHING. And because we are able to play off of each other’s humor (trust me, she is like 10,000,000,000 times funnier and quick witted than me!) Here are some of my favorite recent chats with Kelley:

Exhibit C: We were having a discussion and for some reason, a conversation she had had with her dorm-mate who was telling her about placenta-based shampoos came up. Please note: we are completely random people & we talk about all sorts of stuff—but it always ends in good laughs.

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Exhibit D: We were talking about how I really wanted to watch a show on TV but I had a prior engagement. The prior engagement was pretty important, but the pop-culture junkie in me really wanted to be able to watch the episode.

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Exhibit E: We had found a picture of a friend of a friend online and she made a reference back to a moment from her visit to Seattle. We had gone to see Parachute play and they were opening for Kelly Clarkson. The ENTIRE night, Kelley kept referring to Kelly Clarkson as though she were Carrie Underwood. I still get good laughs from that. PS: I have WAY too many friends and friends of friends who look like Elijah Wood.

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I’m telling you, it’s never a dull moment on my iChat! I love it! PS: that picture of Andrew McMahon doing the “Haters Gonna Hate” is like . . . the best thing on the planet. It comes up constantly throughout my chats with Kelley. I’ll send it to her randomly in response, and as you can see, she reciprocates the favor 😉 In fact, if you ever get bored, go to my Tumblr and search back through my posts to find the chat posts. They are mainly banter between me and Kel. We are quite the duo . . . one day we will learn to fight crime together. We will be armed with wit and this:

Extra Extra PPPPPS: If you have an Instant Messenger Screen name, email me, DM me, FB Message me, or leave me a comment and I will add you and share in the shenanigans! 😉 I heart my iChat! 😀


A Little Bit Of Red

Introducing a new sermon series:

I feel that lately, I’ve had this certain argument so much more often: The Issue of using Twitter and Facebook and maintaining a blog. I don’t know if I’m just completely naive (which is a valid possibility), or if others just have a skewed view of me and my approach to technology. Let me begin by clearing the air:

I love technology. I embrace technology. I am aware that technology has the potential to steal one’s time. I am aware that technology in unhealthy amounts can cause a person’s life to become unbalanced . . . however, I believe the same about unhealthy amounts of fast food (ie: the new KFC heart attack “sandwich”), tanning, and pretty much just about anything in life. If it’s an unhealthy amount, it throws ya’ off.

For the record, I am not writing this as an attack. I am merely sharing my thoughts openly about something that has been coming up in my life sooooo much recently. In fact, you might be surprised just how often this topic comes up in my various circles of friends that I have here. There have been some who seem to think that I have an unhealthy amount of technology in my life, due to the fact that I have a Facebook, a Twitter, a Blog, and a Smart Phone. I suppose I may come across to some as a vapid tech junkie, but I think that those who know me best would say that I only add things to my life that I know I can maintain and that I think are beneficial. I also think they would say that I know when enough is enough and I’m able to say no when something is enough—it’s been a long hard road to get to the point where I can do that, but I feel I’m getting better and better at it.

Last Wednesday, I was challenged by a friend of mine to go an entire day without using my phone, laptop, or the internet. He had also recently shared about a radio broadcast that NPR did about how radio waves from cell phones will over time cause our society to become more and more immoral. He mentioned that I should take time out to go outside and read a book. He said I should spend all day Saturday tech-free. I accepted the challenge—it’s not too far from my ordinary Saturday. The only downfall was that instead of doing my writing on a computer, I had to jot down notes on a notebook that I had to re-type into my computer today. The challenge was most likely meant to get me to re-evaluate my view of technology and its power in my life. If that was in fact the challenge, then it was a success on both ends. I rose to the challenge and was able to re-evaluate my view on technology. The following are the thoughts I had throughout that day about my viewpoint on technology:


I get the feeling that many of my friends here, though they know me on a certain level, are unsure of my ability to maintain a healthy life sans technology. I get the feeling that people think I just live on Facebook and Twitter—also, that these social networking tools are leading to the corruption of the world around us, when in reality, technology is not to blame—racism, hatred, selfishness, and ignorance are the true culprits. Would tragedies be happening on a daily basis without social networking? OF COURSE THEY WOULD. We just have the inconvenient convenience of knowing about them sooner thanks to technology.

For the record, I have a blog because I am a writer. By nature, I am a writer. I’m guessing that either because no one has bothered to ask or because they know but don’t see it as anything of consequence,that me being a writer who is unpublished makes any defense I have futile. But I am a writer—published or unpublished. It is my passion and it is something I work hard to perfect. As a writer, the daily habit of writing keeps your perspective fresh. It allows you to keep those muscles moving. When I go out to coffee shops on Saturdays, I’m not just wasting my life on Facebook, I’m using the internet to research things for the stories I’m writing and I’m using applications on my laptop to log scenes and stats and other useful information. Also, I write songs. I use my computer to store the lyrics and thoughts so I’m not constantly bringing 10 spiral notebooks with me everywhere I go. The proof is here—all the songs I have stored in my MacJournal:

I promise I’m not just wasting my life on the internet doing nothing but playing internet games

I also have a blog because I have a family and I have friends in various places across the US. I can’t spend hours upon hours posting about my day on each of their Facebook walls. THAT would be unhealthy. Instead, I write here. And if they feel like reading about my day, they can. If not, they can ignore this blog. The choice is theirs. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this blog has helped me stay connected to friends and family in such valuable ways. For instance, when I post things here, especially videos, my mom shows my niece, and all of a sudden the miles don’t seem too far for her. We’re connected.

I use Facebook and Twitter to stay connected. A few weeks ago, two of my old small group students were in a car crash. The youngest, Rachel, was very close to me. She has often told me how much I mean to her and every time I’m in Austin, we get a chance to connect and share lots of hugs. She is such an amazing little lady. Sadly enough, I wouldn’t have known about the accident if it had not been for Facebook and Twitter. I would not have know what happened, or that anything DID happen. Through Facebook, I was able to find out which hospital she was in and what room she was in and thanks to the connectedness I have on those social networking sites, this moment of love was able to happen on my last visit home:

Me & Rachel doing our “Flying Marshmallow” sign

I know it sounds so dramatic when I say that, but it’s so incredibly true. The chain of events that led me to this hospital room, were all thanks to Facebook and Twitter. I cannot even BEGIN to explain to you the chords that were struck in my heart when I went in to see Rachel and her eyes lit up; and the feeling I felt when Rachel’s mom turned away the PT nurses and told them to come back later because this was a very special moment for Rachel. I’m still not sure how I was holding back tears, because inside my heart, they were definitely flowing freely. I am entirely thankful for the technology that led me to that hospital room, to sit next to a girl that couldn’t stop smiling even though she had gone through the ringer of surgeries and survived an insane car crash.

As far as the cell phone’s ability to corrupt my morality, I’m on the fence. I’m sure that in some crazy way, shape or form it could possibly maybe have access to my morality. I’m not quite sure how, but I’m also not sure I care about it either. For now, I’m pretty much FOR the use of my cell phone, again in moderation . . . which is what I use it in now anyway. It offers me a way to stay connected to my family and my friends. I understand how intimidating it can be, seeing as how it is a “Smart Phone” and those come with apps that can be seemingly threatening. However, I’m grateful. Because of that phone, I can know at the touch of a screen how far away my bus is or if I just missed it. I can also get from one destination to another when I’m lost (which happens more often than you would think). And furthermore on the topic of my cell phone, I cannot tell you how thankful and grateful I am for those times when I’ve had an extremely exhausting day and I look down to see my best friend Sarah calling me from West Virginia to say hi and to listen to how my day has been going, and to challenge me and to give me a great laugh or to share with me things that are going on in her life. Because of those moments, our friendship outlasts the distance between Seattle and West Virginia.

In all honesty, most of the conversations I’ve had with people about this issue have left me feeling like a kid at the dinner table. As if I’m not welcome to the “adult world.” I admit, I see things differently and I may not do things the “way I should” or as a “proper lady” would. But I’ve never been proper. I challenge things. I challenge the status quo and I refuse to live a seemingly lifeless life. I spend my weekends outdoors, with friends, doing fun things. I dance at bus stops, I’m loud, and I don’t mind wearing party hats to the grocery store, and sometimes I tweet about it! The fact that I fully embrace technology is not something I am ashamed of. And I don’t believe that it is stealing my soul or threatening my morality. From the many conversations I’ve had about social networking and blogging, I’ve reached five solid conclusions:

1. Social networking, blogging, and use of other technology is not for everyone

2. The road to hell is not paved with technological devices

3. My use and embracing of technology does not make me less of a human being . . . when you use harsh tones and degrade me for using and embracing technology, I still feel its effects.

4. I love technology and embrace its ability to keep me connected to the people and things I love


Update: I realize that this is a rant, and it can come across as condescending. I am in no way trying to attack or criticize any one person. In my attempts to express the thoughts rambling on in my head, I wholeheartedly admit that my own selfish immaturity may have seeped through. Let me be the first to admit that I am NOT better than anyone. I have edited this so as to convey the true thoughts, without casting blame. The truth is, no one is to blame. We all have different viewpoints, mine is no less valid than anyone else’s. My intent in this post is not to stir up dissension or confusion, but to put into writing what I have said over and over and over again in various conversations in order to bring myself closure. I realize that this may not have been the best place for it, since tone and sincerity is hard to convey in a format like this, but I won’t remove this post. I need to be able to look back on things I’ve said or written and learn from them. This is me learning. Thanks for understanding. 😀

That said, let’s all laugh at that picture of Andrew for another moment—it’s PURE GENIUS! ;D