Not Done Yet

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I announced that I would restart posting on this blog on a regular basis but life got in the way. Again. I apologize and will make it up to readers. With a new year well under way, I have decided that I will resume posting under the schedule I promised earlier: twice a month. No matter how small, I will add my thoughts here.

Two new posts already wait in my queue and one will be posted starting next weekend. As my weekdays are pretty busy, I will be posting on the weekends. So if you’re not too pressed for time, check A Lofty Existence for new posts then.

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Why I Like Hillary Clinton

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Hillary Clinton 2016? Yes, please.

To some people, the name Hillary Clinton brings to mind images of an uptight, sarcastic, diabolic tyrant who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. On the other hand, to me Hillary Clinton is an admirable, respectable politician who embodies many of the qualities of an ideal leader.

Some of these qualities are the same qualities which have turned Hillary into the type of villain usually left for dictators and greedy CEOs. However, these traits leave no question in my mind that Hillary is suited for large-scale leadership in a difficult time and as I backed Hillary Clinton for United States president in 2008, I will do so again in 2016.

  1. She is passionate

Critics call Hillary Clinton power-hungry and single-minded. I won’t disagree; I’m certain Hillary wants to be successful and a well-known leader, and is dedicated to this mission. However, I don’t hold it against her and even consider her tenacity to be valuable in a future leader. We need someone who believes strongly in their goals and is willing to see them through, no matter what.

     2. She is willing to face opposition

Hillary Clinton is arguably the most disliked and controversial politicians of the past decade, outside of the presidents. There are countless campaigns, articles, groups, and websites against Hillary. When she lost the 2008 presidential primary to our current president, Barack Obama, people all over the country breathed a collective sigh of relief, “Thank goodness.”

Much of the opposition to Hillary’s candidacy seems to stem from the simple fact that she
is a woman. In fact, in a Gallup survey conducted earlier this year the second most hillary-president-2016common reason given by American opposed to Hillary Clinton as U.S. president was that they don’t want a female president. For a woman vying for the presidency, that’s disheartening, to say the least.

Yet Hillary bravely faces this daily opposition and remains committed to her ideals. She’s put herself in the spotlight to be criticized yet again because her goals are so important to her. This is to be respected, if not admired.

    3. She has progressive ideals

Hillary Clinton’s liberal political ideology more closely aligns with mine than the majority of candidates. She has championed ideals I consider important, such as women’s rights, educational reform, and health care.

   4. She is intelligent

Whether or not you agree with Hillary’s tactics, you can’t deny that Hillary is an intelligent woman who has carved out a unique place for herself in American history. Accomplished lawyer, senator, first lady, and the first woman with a serious bid for the American presidency. A person does not happen on these positions by accident — it takes intelligence and foresight.

  5.  She is authentic

She’s nakedly ambitious. She’s secretive. She’s cunning. So what? She’s a politician. I would prefer a leader who is honest about what they care about, what they don’t care about, and what bothers them than a politician who vacillates to remain in the good graces of everyone. On the way to accomplishing anything noteworthy, a person may alienate some. Hillary expects that and accepts that, and won’t change strategy to appease those who disagree.

Now, do I agree with all of Hillary Clinton’s past decisions and views? No. Do I think that she is the only candidate worthy of the presidency? No. However, I do like her as a person, and consider her a worthy of the Oval Office.

Dog Frustration

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Cute, but frustrating

 

Since I last updated over a year ago, several things have changed. One major change is that I now have a dog, technically a 9 month old puppy. She is a Golden Retriever and one of the most lovable dogs in the world. Except to me.

I think I hate my puppy.

I know, I know: how can you hate a harmless, cute little puppy who loves you unconditionally?

Let me explain.

My puppy and I, let’s call her Mandy, have a tense relationship, which started from the day I got her in late July of 2014. She was the most adorable thing in the world and I was so excited to have my very own puppy. She squirmed and tried to run away as my boyfriend and I gave her her first bath, and shivered the whole ride home but I was so happy to have her.

Then we got home. Mandy peed on my kitchen floor, then pooped on it a few minutes later, a watery mix of diarrhea. I brought her outside immediately and waited for 30 minutes while she sniffed grass, looked around, and tried to eat bugs. Okay, so she didn’t need to use the bathroom, right? Except she did, and as soon as I brought her back in, she released another sticky brown puddle.

And this was the start of a long journey littered with brown piles: Mandy has big issues with potty training. Mainly, if she feels the urge, she will release her bowels anywhere (including indoors). Waiting until we get to the appropriate spot is not something she does. I have tried tons of training techniques and she does understand the association between outdoors and relieving herself. The problem is that she just doesn’t seem to care.

Now, if her only issue were with potty training then I may not be pushed to the brink of sanity the majority of the time I deal with her. However, I simply don’t like Mandy very much. It is not her fault, and she is a very friendly, playful dog, but I think our personalities are mismatched. In particular, a few things give me the most trouble: Continue reading

A Lofty Existence Returns

backYou knew I couldn’t stay away: beginning next week, A Lofty Existence will be regularly updated at least twice a month.

I can’t believe over a year has passed. So much has changed, both personally and in the intricate web that is the Internet. I’ve always meant to get back to blogging, but never had the time.

However, a few things have pushed me out into the blogosphere, again. Events that have compelled me to add my voice into the sea of many, events that I will address in future posts.

So, if anyone is still out there, I’m back! But even if no one is: I’ll continue to post my thoughts about events in the world, social issues, personal issues and anything else that comes to mind.

 

A Lofty Existence Closing…For Now

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I have come to a decision: as much as I would like to, I will no longer be adding new posts to this blog on a regular basis. In other words, A Lofty Existence is closed. However, not completely. I will likely be adding new posts on an infrequent basis, so if you are a new reader or an old one and really enjoy the blog, you may want to keep your subscription or subscribe if you have not. The blog will stay up, complete with all posts and comments, and I will be approving new comments.

After three years of blogging on a regular basis, this was not an easy decision. I learned a lot in that time, and enjoyed sharing and interacting with commenters. I would like to say thanks to everyone who contributed to the blog, in one form or another. I truly do appreciate it and I’ll keep in touch!

alee

Blogging on Blogging: Criticism

writing-criticismFor those who love blogging, it can be fun and rewarding. At the same time, owning and keeping up an engaging and informative blog is hard work — much more than it may seem to those reading the finished product. Feedback on posts and topics of discussion are always appreciated, however, feedback sometimes crosses the line into criticism which isn’t so constructive. Some even extend their criticism to other outlets — other blogs, forums, and the like.

While even unwarranted, negative feedback can help and spur a blogger to improve their writing, it for the most part detrimental. Besides the obvious result of demotivating the blogger who is criticized, it wastes time and creates a negative atmosphere. Among others, here are a few more reasons you should rethink or reformulate any critiques you’re contemplating sending a blogger’s way:

1. Blogging takes guts

To blog means to lay out your innermost thoughts and feelings. Needless to say, this isn’t the easiest thing to do. Scrutinizing a particularly personal post teaches the blogger that their ideas and thoughts are not welcome and discourages them from ever bearing their literary souls again.

2. It easier to tear down than build up

Those who criticize a blogger or blog post tend to feel that they can do better, or that the writing is simply not good enough. However, there is a world of difference between reading and critiquing, and creating. If you don’t believe this, try it.

3. A blogger is their greatest critic

Yes, before you ever see the blogger’s post it’s usually been raked over for the slightest mistake or misstep. While some may simply type and publish, most posts are read, corrected, and rewritten a few times. The act of writing makes a critic of any writer; it creates it own improvement.

All of the above said, criticism is necessary and I welcome it. But criticism can overstay its welcome when it hinders rather than promotes. Critics are needed, but thoughtful, honest writing is in short of supply. Instead of criticizing, it seems some chronic criticizers could better use their time by writing themselves; showing by example how a wonderful article or post is written.

How do you feel about criticizing blog posts and bloggers? If you have a blog, have you encountered criticism and how did you deal with it?

10 Cities I’d Love to Visit

The world is full of places to see and things to do, and at times I’ve wondered about the many places I’d go if I could take a grand trip around the world. The list of gorgeous cities and historical sites I’ve compiled would take days to list, but here is a short list of cities around the world that I’d love to see and explore one day. Feel free to add any suggestions!

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10. Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is a historic city in western Austria known for its mountain backdrop. It has beautiful constructions dating back to medieval times, like the Golden Roof built by Archduke Friedrich IV, and Maria Theresien Street, pictured here.

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9. Chaguaramas, Trinidad

Meaning “The Land of the Palms,” Chaguaramas is a small coastal city in northwestern Trinidad. The beautiful beach area has must-see natural scenery, such as The Bamboo Cathedral, a stretch of road hailed by sky-high bamboo stalks on either side.

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8. Reykjavik, Iceland

The capital of Iceland and most northerly capital of the world, Reykjavik, like most of southern Iceland, is an area unlike any other. The chilly climate manages to house a range of arctic wildlife, from mink to reindeer. It’s also a great place to view the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), a natural light display caused by solar winds in northern latitudes.

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7. Accra, Ghana

Historically a trading city, the capital of Ghana is now a busy area of over 4 million, and a center for banking and foreign exchange. The city now contains fascinating modern architecture, but it once included major portions of the vast Ashanti Empire in the 18th century.

Poland Jewish Museum

6. Warsaw, Poland

Although historical events may indicate a city in conflict, Warsaw has a large and culturally diverse population including many of the world’s major religious groups. The city contains picturesque constructions from various time periods. Warsaw continues to renew itself while preserving its history, with projects like the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opened in April.

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5. Bern, Switzerland

Bern is an amazing culturally rich city which features medieval structures contrasting  with a modern culture of unique shops and theater.The photo here is of The Kramgasse, a curved street in the Old City popular for its shops. It also the site of Albert Einstein’s former home.

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4. Iquitos, Peru

Containing a large portion of the wondrous Amazon Forest, Iquitos, Peru’s Amazon River is one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Its equatorial climate hosts contain almost 900 separate species of animals and just as many plants. Iquitos was officially established as a Jesuit station in the 1750s.

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3. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Dutch capital features a vast system of canals, some of which is pictured here, and a booming economy based in the financial and tourism sectors. Known for its nightlife, Amsterdam also has a notable arts culture with sites such as the Van Gogh Museum, dedicated to the influential Dutch painter.

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2. York, England

The city of York dates back two millenia when it was founded by the Romans. Now a major tourist attraction, this north England city features attractions such as the York Minister cathedral, and the lovely narrow streets of The Shambles (shown here, at night), containing many small shops and restaurants.

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1.Malmö, Sweden

Starting out small, Malmö has become Sweden’s third largest city and is a center of innovation, bustling city life, and natural beauty. A continuously growing city and the definition of European modernity, it has a young and varied population, with almost one-fifth of its population hailing from other countries.

Summer Break

hammock-summer…Even bloggers need a break!

I’ll be taking a two-week summer break starting next week and ending in early August.

UPDATE: The next post will be published on Sunday, September 1st.

During this time I will be reading, approving, and commenting on previous posts, including those in the Clouds, but no new posts will be published.

I will also be working on a new layout and hosting for the blog, which will likely be up and running by the time I return from break or shortly after. These improvements will hopefully provide a better reading and commenting experience for everyone.

Have a great summer!

Happy Birthday A Lofty Existence

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This blog turns two years old this week. Hard to believe isn’t it?

I wasn’t sure the blog would make it to its second blogiversary, but here we are. The second year was a bit different from the first year of the blog in a few ways, like posting frequency, commenting, and visitors. However, much remains the same and the past 12 months can be seen as successful as the first.

So how did the blog do in terms of numbers for this year?

Posts: 212

Comments: ~5,600

Page Views/Hits: ~650,000

Social Network/Website Post Shares: ~1000

The top three posts for this year –none of which were written this year, unfortunately– by number of views and links:

1. Top Ten Signs Your Partner is Avoidant

2. Why People Become Attached After Intimacy

3. Attractive Features in Men

Random trivia:

Most viewed photo? The Enneagram map

Most clicked link? The relationship attachment style quiz.

Top commenter? Mira, of course.

Greatest number of visits in a day? 7,106 (on July 25, 2012)

Best referring websites? Google/Yahoo, Beyond Black & White, Reddit, and Facebook

Coolest referring websites? The Huffington Post and Beyond Black & White

I won’t make any plans for the upcoming year, as we never know what the future may bring. But if I had one wish it would be that this blog can continue to grow and evolve and develop, and that every following year will be better than the last.

See also: