Thursday, April 18, 2013

Minnesota, home of two seasons!

That's right! Minnesota only has two seasons, winter and summer. If you've never been to Minnesota or don't know where it is, it's located in the upper Midwest between Wisconsin and South Dakota/ North Dakota. Even though we are located in a region where we should be getting "four seasons" we really don't. And other Minnesotans can back me up on this. We have about three months of summer between June-August. And than we have nine months of winter from September-May!
A perfect example of our crazy weather here is today! It rained, hailed, snowed, and had tornado warnings all in one day. Now tell me that's not crazy! And to top it off, it's in the middle of April! It's suppose to be spring and we get hit with a snow storm!? C'mon!!!!!

I bought some really cute flats two months ago thinking I would be able to wear it by now, but doesn't look like it will be happening anytime soon. I miss the days I can wear my t-strap sandals and shorts. I can't wait to be able to go outside without bundling up. Sometimes I wonder why I live in a state that has winter nine months out of the year, and than I remind myself, snakes. I know a lot of people are afraid of snakes or they are not a big fan of snakes, but I am terrified beyond terrified of snakes. I think I would literately have a heart attack if I ever encounter I real snake. I know that there are snakes here in Minnesota too, but because it's so cold here nine months of the year, the chances are a lot smaller than a state that's warm year round. So, I guess I'm okay with a little crazy, cold weather!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where have I been?

Where have I been? That's a good question and I wish I knew the answer too! The most accurate and simple answer I can think of is...LIFE. When I started blogging again with the intention of blogging everyday with a new project, I was only working a part-time job. I had a lot more time to work on crafts and diy projects, shortly after I started blogging again I got a full-time job and life just got busier. You wouldn't think that just that few extra hours a day would make a big difference but it does. One, you can't sleep in anymore, two, you don't have the time to run to the store to pick up the things you need, and three, you don't have the energy at the end of the day. I eventually just felt like if I'm going to sit at my computer and do work, I rather do something that "count" or "matter". Not saying that blogging doesn't matter but you guys know what I mean right? Anyways, starting this year I've decided to go back to school or an Accounting degree so I've been super busy with that too. So as you can imagine, between school, full-time job, youtube channel, daily errands and duties, not to mention being a wife, I just didn't have a lot of time on my hands. But I've decided to try and blog again...why? I don't know I just felt the need to blog again, maybe it's the gloomy, cold, crazy weather we have here in Minnesota, or maybe it's the fact that I miss just writing about my random thoughts I have throughout the day, whatever it is I'm going to try and blog again.

So, as you can probably tell from my previous posts I'm an artist, that's what I went to school for for my first undergrad. I know a lot of you are probably thinking, what the heck am I going back to school for Accounting if I majored in art with my first undergrad, the two are not related at all! I get that from everyone who knows I'm going back to school for accounting. Long story short, I was going to go back to school to get my teaching degree and teach art, but I decided after graduation that teaching wasn't really for me. Spent a year trying to find a full-time job, finally found a full-time job, but it's not what I want to do and the pay's not that great. So I decided to go back to school for a degree that will hopefully pay of someday. I did a lot of research on accounting and it sounds like something I would enjoy learning and doing for a career so that's why I'm going to school for accounting.

What is else is new? Youtube! I know youtube is not new, but I have a youtube channel now! My channel is call HowToKind OfGal. On this channel I will be uploading tutorials on how to do all sorts of things like, crocheting, art related stuff, nail designs, hair accessories, and hair styles. Eventually I would like to do makeup tutorials too! I only have a few videos since I have been so busy, but I promise there will be more videos soon. Please stop by my channel and subscribe!

Well, I guess this is all for now folks! Please stay tune for more blogs!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

So I haven't been doing a very good job keeping up with the blog as you can see, but I have been working on redecorating my apartment still. The first project was cutting bird silhouettes for one of the wall in the living room. I went to Jo-ann fabric and bought a few items for the project. So I got some black and white card stock paper, cork tiles, and a glue stick. This project is actually really simple, but very time consuming. First I had to find some bird silhouettes online, made them various sizes, printed them out, and then cut out each individual silhouette. Than I traced them onto the card stocks, cut that out, traced it onto the cork tiles, cut that out, glued the card stock and cork tiles together. Finally, I put the mounting tape on the back of all the silhouettes and than onto the wall! Sounds like a lot, but it's not that bad and it kind of fun if you're into that kind of stuff. Some of you might think why didn't I just buy decals right? Well, decals are very expensive for the amount you get! I think I spent only like $10.00 for everything to make the project. To me it was a better deal than just buying decals plus I get to choose what the birds would look like and what size they will be! I forgot to take a before picture of the wall, but it was just a plain white wall with the black shelves and the picture frames. Here are a few pictures of the wall. The cute little boy in the picture frame is my super adorable nephew!

I am still crocheting like crazy! I finished all the hats and scarves for the kids at the daycare, but I have been working on stuff for my co-workers and some staffs at my work place. So far I have made a pair of slippers for a co-worker, two hats for staffs, and two headbands. Right now I'm working on two more hats for a staff and a co-worker. I forgot to take pictures of the hats, slippers, and headband so I don't have pictures to show you guys, but I'll take pictures of the two new hats I'm working on right now once it's finish!

A new update! I got a new job that is full-time so this next week will be my last week at the daycare. Sad face!!!! It's going to be extremely hard to say good bye to all those cute faces! But that also means that I won't have as much time to work on craft projects plus I will be working longer hours so I will be more tired too. But we will see, hopefully everything will be okay and I will have enough time to update all of you guys on my projects!

Friday, November 11, 2011


I know in my last post I said I was going to work on a project everyday...well it has been going good so far, but the redecorating project is put on hold for right now. I need to get paint to paint the walls and I haven't had time to go buy it yet. Plus I need to get the paint approved by the building manager. I guess there is only a certain kind that you can get and I'm not sure which one is at the moment, either way the project is put on hold maybe this weekend I can start on it again.

However, since my redecorating project is put on hold I have been working on art work I have a new drawing...and yes another peacock drawing. I don't know what it is about peacocks, but I love to draw the creature! I think it has something to do with the repetitive pattern of the feather. It doesn't matter how many ways I draw the peacock or the pattern of the peacock, they are all the same and yet different at the same time... plus they are just beautiful to look at.

On another note I have been working like crazy to get the hats and scarves for the kids done. I just found out on Thursday that I got a new job! Yay!!!! It only took me about a year to get a full-time job. Anyways, since I won't be at the daycare too much longer I have to finish these hats and scarves even sooner than I thought. I have about two weeks to finish everything, but I should be able to get it done because I only have two more scarves left to finish. Yes, two left I have been crocheting like crazy. I think my hands are permanently stuck in the position they are when I hold the needles! I really hope they work out for the kids at the daycare! I going to miss everyone so much. It's crazy to think that I'm so attach to these kids when they're not even mine or related to me! It makes me so sad to think that they are all going to grow up and they won't have any memories of me because they are all still so young. I wish there was a way I could stay connected with the parents. Oh well, can't stay there forever, I need to take care of me and my family first and if that means working a different job so I can pay the bills, that's what I will have to do.

On a happier note, I can't wait for Thanksgiving. I haven't seen my mom and sister and my little nephew since my wedding which was in August so it's been awhile, and I miss them and can't wait to see them again. I can't wait to go shopping with my mom...I hope she buys me lots of things considering she didn't get me a wedding gift! My sister and I talked today and I think we're going to wake up super early this year and go find some good deals. By the way, does anyone know how you can find out where all the good deals are? But most of all I can't wait for all the good food! Not only the turkey, potatoes, and pies, but the hmong food my mom and sister are going make for me! I can cook a lot of food, but I lack in the hmong food department and haven't had any in a long time! And I can't wait to spend some time with my little nephew who by the way broke his arm! That little boy is going to be two in February and he is the naughtiest thing ever. Still love him to he's the only grand baby in our family! Can't wait for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When I'm alone

Recently my husband started a second part-time job in the evening leaving me to be by myself more than ever. What do one do with her time when she is home alone? I crochet like there's no tomorrow! Lol. I figure I should fill my time with something I enjoy and get something out of it. Within the last week I have made five hats and scarves plus two pairs of slippers! The hats and scarves are for the kids at the daycare I watch, and the slippers are gifts for family members.
Because I have so much time to myself these days I have been looking for ideas to redecorate my ideas I'm a broke artist remember!? Anyways, my most recent project is our bedroom. I found a picture online with frames hung on a wall and just fell in love with it. Here's a picture of what I want, but with white frames and a purple background. What do you guys think?

My goal is to do one project a day and blog about it! Today was day one and white frames were on the agenda. I went to a small thrift store in Crystal and found a ton of frames for a super duper good deal! However, when I was at the store I decided to get all rectangle frames because there wasn't any unique ones. I bought eight frames and came home to paint them only to find I didn't have enough white paint! I hate it when I have my heart set on a project get super excited about it and can't finish it for stupid reasons! I will have to make a trip to the art store to get more paint! Oh...side note. Would gesso work? Or would it be too dry? Has anyone used gesso on wood before because if you have and it works let me know because I have a ton of gesso! Anyways, here's a couple of pictures of the frames and how far I got on them. Stay tune for further update on the redecorating!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blogging again!

So like I said in my 411 box, I use to blog for an online class I was taking in college and than stopped for a couple of years, but thought I pick it up again! So here we go!

Lately, I have been doing a lot of paintings again and for those of you who know me knows that I love art, but stopped for awhile due to personal reasons (good ones). However, I have started again and would really like to put my work out there for people to see other than my husband. I do all kinds of art, but mostly drawing and painting. I do a lot of black and white drawings due to the fact that I like the contrast of the black ink on white paper. Most of my drawings are patterned meaning it would be just a bunch of lines and patterns or an object filled with lines and patterns. It's kind of hard to explain so I will have to post some pictures so you guys get the idea.

This past weekend I also started a seascape painting for my husband's friend. I haven't done a seascape painting in a long time almost forgot how much I like it! Something about the water calms me, it's almost relaxing to paint it! Yes, I know I sound like a weird art person!

I have also picked up a new hobby, CROCHETING! I'm crocheting a bunch of hats and scarves for the kids at the daycare I work for. So here are a couple that are done!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hip-hop gone wild!

Hip-hop, ghetto, graffiti, rap, d-jing, break dancing, nick names, what do all these terms have in common? All these words are in common because they all portray the hip-hop lifestyle. All these words take part in the world of hip-hop. But the foremost and most important question should be, how did hip-hop grow to be a lifestyle? What influenced hip- hop music to become more than just a type of music? Different people may have different answers, but one answer that numerous people agreed on and has shown to be true, hip-hop music has become a lifestyle for the reasons the lyrics and the rap artists. The lyrics that hip-hop artists song today send out horrific messages that influences the listeners to live a violent, immoral, and more sexual lifestyle.

When you watch MTV and BET, what do you think of? When I watch MTV and BET, I wonder to myself, how in the world did hip hop become this lifestyle? How has hip-hop become more than just a type of music? There isn’t just one straight answer, there are many and it goes back as far as when hip hop was first introduced to society. Through Dj-ing, break dancing, rap-records, and graffiti, hip-hop developed a style. Along with those things are the lyrics that hip-hop artist sings and the idea that they seem to enforce. Artists send out terrible messages that influence the listeners to live a hip hop lifestyle. A lifestyle that includes very violence, immoral, and sexual behaviors. A lifestyle that would have been totally the opposite of Plato’s ideal lifestyle, which was to only teach children the good things in life.

Dr. Delores Tucker, who is the National Chair of National Political Congress of Black Women, gave an example of youth violence influence by hip-hop lyrics in her speech to congress. The example was sixteen years old and his friends from New Mexico, who killed his eighty years old grandparents over something as little as beer and what got them to work their nerves up to murder the grandparents was by listening to “Serial Killer” by Snoop Doggy Dog (Tucker 12). Now, why do you think this was used as an example? This was the perfect example to use to show that hip-hop lyrics do have an influence on the listeners. Artists sing songs with lyrics that send messages saying that being violent is an okay thing. For example, N.W.A’s album called Straight Outta Compton, with the song name “Gangsta Gangsta.”
Now I’m the mutha fucks that ya read about
Takin a life or two
That’s what the hell I do don’t like how I’m livin
Well fuck you
This is a gang and I’m in it
My man Dre’ll fuck you up in a minute
With a right left, right left your toothless
And then you say goddamn they ruthless!
The first nigga that I saw hit em in the jaw
Ren started stompin em, and so did E
By that time got rushed by security
Out the door, but we don’t quit
Ren said, “Let’s start some shit!”
I got a shotgun, and here’s the plot
Taking niggaz out with a flurry of buck shots
Boom, boom, boom yeah I was gunnin

Rap artist are singing songs with these types of messages in them, and sending them out to people to listen to. With more than half of the listeners being minors who are too young to know better than not to follow what the lyrics are saying. “Young people often look up to perform artist for moral guidance and inspiration, as well as entertainment, but when these artists glorify guns and beating, they are injecting poison into the veins of America’s future,” said Tucker (qtd. In Tucker 12).

Many people disagree that they lyrics of hip-hop music has an influence on listeners. But when you get cases like the sixteen years old and his friends from New Mexico, who killed his eighty years old grandparents over beer, can you really say that the lyrics don’t have any influence what so ever? The problem with hip hop music is that, 780 million worth of rap records were sold in 1993, with more than half of the age of 17 and 50 percent of these minors were between the ages of 10-14 years old (Tucker). The point here is that they majority of the people who actually buys these records with bad messages don’t know any better than to follow the footsteps of the lyrics that they listen to. These minors don’t know what they are getting themselves into because they lyrics make it sound so good to steal, be violent and use drugs. A very good example is a letter from a prisoner that Dr. Tucker used in a speech to congress. Rappers make it sound so good and look so real that I would drink and smoke drugs just like on the video, thinking that that was the only way I could be somebody. My hood girls became hoes and bitches. What is so bad about it is they accepted it. You know so why? Because they put themselves in the video too, and the guns, money, cars, drugs, and men become reality. Look where this kind of thinking got me, facing 25 years to life in jail.

People may argue that rappers are only singing what is true and real. But what is the truth and reality? Is killing each other, stealing, and using drugs they only real thing going on here? Like Pierre Bennu said, “Yes criminals and violence come from the streets, but so do men and women who love their lives with kindness, and within the realm of the law.” There should always be more to life than just what’s happening on the streets in the hood. If it’s isn’t the case I think it’s pretty depressing that they don’t have more going for themselves. Instead of just singing about the problems, why don’t they try to do something about it?

In an interview Charlie Rose had with Ice Cube, “To be an American is to flaunt what you got […] and try to have more than the next man.” (Saddik II0). It is messages like this that gives young youth today the wrong idea about life. Being an American doesn’t and shouldn’t mean you have to flaunt what you have and you don’t try to have more than your neighbors, or the people around you. Being an American means you are free and equal. It would be nice to be rich and have everything you want, but it shouldn’t always be about things like that, and that’s what some rap artists are making it seems to be. In the interview, Ice Cube was asked if rap lyrics have any messages that goes out to the listeners. Ice Cube said that there’s a difference between when the rappers are just having fun and when there is really a message for the listeners (Saddick II0). This could be true, but how does the listeners know the differences? How are they suppose to know that lyrics like the one in “Gangsta Gangsta” was just the rapper having fun, and it’s not a real message to the listeners? Ice Cube also said that the violence described or used in the lyrics should be viewed as representation. He also compares it to movies with violence such as Heat and Terminator and said the violence in the rap lyrics should be viewed as “theatrical” just like the movies (Saddik II0). But the problem with that is that a lot of the listeners are from the hood just like some of these songs. This lead people to think that if it’s being said in the lyrics than it must be true and they must follow what is being said because they are from the hood too. This is not just true in the United States it’s even true in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. “In regard to hip-hop culture, some authors conclude that marginalized youth (those who experience the most dramatic social pressure) who listen to rap are likelier to be violent,” said Miranda and Claes 2004 (Perullo).

Not only does hip-hop persuade people to live a violent lifestyle, but also an immoral one too. Throughout the hip-hop history, the lyrics have created a negative portrait for women. Many lyrics some more extreme than others look down on women, disrespect them, and put the thought that treating a women like a sex object is okay. People can say that this isn’t true, but when topic such as the right to use bitch and ho in lyrics comes up at hip-hop conferences, can you really say that it isn’t true (Sharpton)? After all, it is like what Rev. Al Sharpton said, “They wanted the right to call a woman a bitch something the slave master called black women with impunity.” McCluskey also said, “Black women’s bodies, historically, have been sites of sexualized commodification and spectacle for the White mind. During slavery their bodies represented production and reproduction, allowing slave owners to increase their property while satisfying their lust” (Keels). Why would people especially black men want to negatively portray black women when that’s what slave owners did to their mothers, great grandmothers, or their kind in general?

What’s really immoral about this whole topic is that, it’s not like giving women a negative portrait is a latest thing. It goes all the way back in history, as early as the lyrics of “The Message” by Melle Mel and “Rapper’s Delight” by Sugarhill Gang. For example from “The Message” by Melle Mel:
Crazy Lady, Livin’ in a bag
Eatin’ outta garge pails, used to be a fag hag
Said she’ll dance and tango, skip the light fandango
She went to the city and got so so seditty
She had to get a pimp
She couldn’t make it on her own.

On top of all that, hip-hop music has influence young youth to be more sexually active at younger ages especially in the African American youth. And it’s causing them to suffer from AIDS and HIV at a very young age. People especially young kids don’t need to take notice of the rapper singing about “his” sex life and how good it is, and how many women he slept with. Like Dr. Benjamin Hooks, former Executive Director of the NAACP said, “Some argues that these artists are merely speaking frankly about their reality and the black cultural experience, but our experience does not include debasing our women, glorification of violence and the promotion of deviant sexual behavior.” I’m pretty sure that not all the rappers out there are really like this in real life, but that’s what annoys me the most. If they are not really like that than why are they representing it? Why are they influencing young kids to be violent, immoral, and more sexually active if they themselves wouldn’t want to be like that? Instead of enforcing something like this, they should try to do something about it. Throughout the paper I have been talking about how music artists and their music are responsible for the actions of young children today, but parenting has a lot to do with it as well. A lot of what kids get themselves into these days has a lot to do with their parents and how they are raised. I always believe that good parenting can make a great impact on the children’s lives.

Hip-hop music has been to blame for young youth’s immortal behaviors. Although there has been a lot of proof that hip-hop and rap music have an influence on the youths that listens to it, there are also things that parents can do to help reduce these things from happening. If parents have good parenting skills to start out characteristics that help promote moral development that was given by the Indian child website of theories were: honest and trustworthy, faithful and loyal, hard-working, responsible, and self disciplined, kind, with concern for their fellow human being, independent, able to resist the pressure of the crowd, generous, giving, and gentle, concerned for justice, and respectful of legitimate authority rules, and laws, respectful of themselves and the rights of others, respectful of life, property, nature, elders, and parents, courteous polite, having good manners, fair in work and play, merciful and forgiving, understanding and futility of holding a grudge, service oriented, willing to contribute to family, friends, community, country, religious organizations, and school, courageous, peaceful, calm, and serene.

It was to believe that if children with these characteristics, it will help them to have a better moral development, therefore they would live a more moral life. In order for this to happen, the parents would have to do the following: respect their children, teach by examples, teach by telling, help children learn to think, help children take on real responsibilities, balance independence and control, love children and help them develop a positive self- concept, and lastly, foster moral development and a happier family.

When parenting, parents need to respect their children, but should also require the respect in return. When punishing or disciplining, the discipline should be with restraint, respectful, fairness, and gentleness. Once the children are getting older, the parents should ask and consider the children’s opinion, before setting rules and consequences. Parents should also teach the children’s by examples; it’s one of many ways to help children turn their moral reasoning into positive moral behaviors. An example of this would be how the parents talk and treat others outside their family. But because children will always be around bad examples as well as good ones, parents need to use words as well as actions. Knowing how and why to do certain things will leave a better impression. Not only do parents tell the children what to believe, but also help them to think for themselves. By giving children constant encouragement to stop and think and to take the viewpoint of others into consideration, it can help children’s moral development. It has been shown that children who thinks about and discuss moral issues make better progress through the states of moral reasoning than the ones that don’t. Taking real responsibilities can also help children’s moral development. Completing chores around the house, take responsibility for their own homework, or volunteer in the community are all ways that can kelp. When parenting, giving children independent is good as long as there are limits to them. Giving too much independence will only lead children to feel like they are overwhelmed because they are not really ready for all the freedom. Not only that, but the children may feel as if the parents don’t care what kind of people they will become. But not giving enough freedom can be a problem too. By not giving enough freedom, it leads children to rebel to get the freedom and that can lead to making poor choices. Also when there is parental love, children have a better understanding of the parents’ values and rules. Overall, when parents gives their children examples to learn from, people to identify with, way of life and values to maintain, and a support system to turn to in times of need, their children are going to be in better shape when it comes to being moral.

So as you can see, even if children are exposed to bad music such as hip-hop and rap music, the bad mortals that get sent out in the lyrics may not affect them if the parents helped developed a good moral development with children. The hip-hop and rap music are always going to be there, and the messages that are being sent out may never change from the way it is now, or even get worst. But if good moral developments are exposed to first, there can be a reduction in immoral behaviors.

Overall, hip-hop music has become more than just a type of music; it has become a lifestyle, a violent, immoral, sexual lifestyle. Of course not everyone that listens to the music gets influence by it, but the big picture is that there are many listeners who do get influenced by this music and it’s not a positive influence. Yes, the music can represent the person who sings and listens to it and it can represent who they are, but like Dr. C Dolores Tuck said, “Principles comes before profit.”

Bennu, Pierre. “Fuck Hip hop: A Eulogy to Hip Hop.” Dissdent Voice. 18 Dec. 2002. 03 May. 2009<>.
“Parent Skills.” Parenting Skills-Rearing Moral children.2003 Indian Child.03 May 2009<>.
Roach Ronal. “Black Issues in Higher Education.” Find 22 Apr. 2004. 03 May 2000. <>.
United States. Senate Subcommittee on Junenile Justice. Shaping Our Response to Violent and Demeaning Imagery in Popular Music. Washington:GPO, 1995.