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It is now officially less than a week until I move into my new apartment in Arkansas!  This is really exciting and I’m really looking forward to all the new experiences that come with having an apartment.  While some aren’t as exciting as others such as paying bills and keeping everything in order, but the fun side is having friends over and having parties occasionally. 

I’ve always wanted my own apartment and it’s about that time.

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Today is July 15th and its almost that time to head back to school.  It is exactly one month from now when Early Week starts back down at school.  I just can’t believe that this summer has gone by so fast.  However, when you do nothing but work all summer, its seems to become monotonous and makes it go by really quick.  This entire summer, I have only had maybe five days off that can actually count as a vacation. 

While this summer has been filled with work, it has also been filled with setbacks.  My mom fell off a ladder and hurt herself and so I’ve been taking care of her this summer.  At first I didn’t know what to expect with my mom and her injury, but afterwards, it soon became chores of cleaning, cooking, and taking care of her garden.  After a while, it soon became monotonous with everything that my mom tells me to do, but it’s just a few more weeks and then she can get back to her normal routine.  Another setback was that I found out that my grandma has lung cancer.  This was straight out of left field.  I was not expecting this at all.  She’s never smoked a day in her life, but she got lung cancer.  Life can be really ironic sometimes; you can never be doing something, but you suffer the consequences as if you had been doing it your entire life. 

Hopefully as this summer comes to a close, I can get to enjoy some free time before I have to move back to school.

Something very strange has been going on for the past week now and I hope that it doesn’t continue any longer.  For the past week, I have been hearing certain voices in my head that I have never heard before.  These voices come and go I think, but sometimes I think that they are still talking to me while I don’t acknowledge them.   I don’t want to say exactly what these voices are saying, but all I can say is that they are blasphemous things. 

For the past couple of years, I have actually fallen to the wayside from church.  I never attended a church service while I was at school in Arkansas and that is completely my fault.  I know that the church has been a big impact in my life, and to suddenly forget about it was not good for me.  Could these voices be the result of not attending church regularly?

I have begun to follow strongly in my faith more, now that these voices are coming into  my mind.  I don’t where they came from, but this didn’t happen when I cam home from school this past year in May.  I could just be imagining them, or I could be paranoid about something, or even yet, this could be a sign that I need to get back into practicing my faith again.  Sometimes being occupied with school and sleeping in on a Sunday because I partied a lot the night before, it can get in the way of finding time for your faith. 

Am I crazy or are these voices real?

This summer has gone by way too fast! But then again, this is probably what most Americans say during the summer months, especially as July approaches and you have to start making arrangements for the Fall Semester.  Although this summer has gone by pretty quick in my opinion, I still have a lot to take care of before I leave to go back.

My grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer this past month and this was a shot out of nowhere for me.  She never smoked a day in her life and she got lung cancer.  It doesn’t seem fair you know?  Already having to deal with my mom’s accident earlier in the summer after falling off a roof at our farm, this doesn’t seem to be any help either.  There has just been a lot of shit going on this summer. 

But finally today, I have a day off from work and now I’m going to enjoy it.  There have been some good things going on this summer.  I met this amazing girl at the end of this past school year and I finally got a chance to hang out with her this summer.  I wish that we didn’t live so far apart; me in Springfield, MO and her in Gentry, AR, but that won’t stop me and it never has.  I have had a lot of failed relationships in the past, but I really hope that this one could work out. 

Well now, I’m going to go enjoy the rest of my day off.  See ya later.

Ever since spring classes ended, I have been so busy with work and exercising that I haven’t had time to blog or write down almost anything this summer. I’m working towards an apartment for the upcoming school year and hopefully I have it soon.

While I have so much to talk about, I’m gonna head off to bed.  Five o’clock comes really early for work.

Arizona has been the center of a lot of attention lately with their new immigration law.  In light of the new immigration law, there have been numerous threats of economic boycotts in Arizona.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer dismissed any sort of threat of economic boycott.  By deporting illegals in Arizona, Governor Brewer believes that there won’t be any sort of economic backlash, despite what some people think.  U.S. Representatiave Raul Grijalva, a Tuscon Democrat, called for a boycott of state services such as tourism, services, and goods coming out of Arizona, but there are some serious doubts as to people who will actually boycott.  Governor Brewer says outrage over the ability of police to ask people for citizenship documentation will fade. She recalled how another uproar faded when she was secretary of state and rode herd over a requirement that voters show ID at the polls.  The state of Arizona is the focus of the entire nation and is the center of a serious issue that has been in debate for years. 

Govenor Brewer is being extremely bold in making these claims that people will forget about the police asking for documentation and that the economic boycott will never have any real effect on the Arizona economy.  Usually those politicians who make remarks like that could have some kind of backlash from the people.  It could even mean the end of their political career.  Much like Nixon when asked about Watergate, said the famous words, ‘when the President does it, it’s not illegal.’  It promoted this separation between the government and the people and this can cause a lot of problems.  While statements like this can cause problems, I believe that she is right in saying that the people’s outrage over asking for documentation will fade away.  Those that have no fear of violating the immigration law shouldn’t be outraged over these actions.  Those that are outraged are probably those who want to help illegal immigrants and are in danger of violating the immigration law, which also prohibits the harboring of illegals.  This new immigration law still has a lot of obstacles to go through, but maybe it can still hold up in spite of all these protests.

In a previous blog entry, I had mentioned that the state of Arizona had passed the strictest immigration laws in the country.  As of now in the state of Arizona, anyone suspected of being in the US illegally without providing proper documentation will be deported with 24 hours.  The law also states that it can now check all properties suspected of hiding illegal immigrants and arrest those harboring them and then deport the immigrants.  This law made Arizona the state with the strictest immigration laws in the country to date.  While this sounds like great news to the people living in Arizona, the Mexican government had a much different attitude towards the law. 

The Mexican governemnt criticized Arizona for the immigration saying that a law like that promotes racial profiling and it was a violations of rights for immigrants.  A law such as  this, they claimed, could have a negative effect on the civil rights of Mexican nationals.  The Mexican government has always had positive relations with Arizona not only on tourism and commerce, but also with general ties of friendship and sharing a common Mexican culture in both areas.  The Mexican government claimed that not only would this hurt relations between the two, but it would cause a lot of racial profiling.  Arizona countered this argument, however, by claiming because that Arizona is an area with such high migration of Mexican immigrants, they need to have some kind of control over the populations moving through the state.  The law that Arizona passed would help to control this movement and keep more illegal immigrants out.

In my opinion, Mexico can slam and complain all they want about the immigration law.  While the law helps us control the number of illegal immigrants coming into the United States, how does this law hurt Mexico in any way?  Mexico is not the one having immigration issues with illegal Americans coming into Mexico.  We are simply trying to control what has become a major problem.  With more and more illegals coming into the United States, the job market has become more focused on hiring cheap foreign labor.  By hiring immigrants, companies don’t have to worry about healthcare plans, Social Security taxes, and any other sort of taxes that come with hiring employees.  By having tougher immigration laws, we can control the movement of illegals coming into Arizona from Mexico.  Plus, if  Mexico is mad at us for having a law that they claim is racial profiling, are they encouraging Mexicans to move to the United States?  Well, while I can’t really speak for the Mexican government (since I don’t really care for the political corruption and other notorious actions occurring in the capital city), I believe that Mexico shouldn’t really get too concerned over ONE law in ONE state that has been trying to solve a problem it has been dealing with for years.

Today was a big milestone for me concerning my workout.  I usually work out with my trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I finally used up all the sessions I paid for.  After working out with my trainer since January, I am finally going to start doing these workouts on my own.  I really got a lot out of them, but now I just have to remember them all for the summer.  I plan on working out a lot during the summer, especially since I’ll be working on my farm a lot coupled with working out in the gym as much as possible.  With working out at the gym and at my farm, I hope on losing a lot of weight and getting some decent muscle tone. 

After working out with my trainer, I now have a set workout that I can follow instead of just doing random exercises like I used to do.  I did the P90X workout to start off with and I ended with a workout that I’ve never heard of before.  It’s called Crosstrack and from what my trainer told me, it’s how lacrosse players train during the off season.  After doing the Crosstrack workout for a couple weeks, I now have a new respect for lacrosse trainers and now I understand why they are in such great shape.  Crosstrack is actually much like the P90X workout because there is so much cardio involved and this really helps because cardio is the key to burning fat. 

I’m really glad that I did this workout during the semester.  If I hadn’t done it, I would probably be in pretty terrible physical shape with my eating habits.  Luckily I had my eating habits taken care of by meeting with a dietician during the semester.  She gave me some pretty good advice about how to eat right while in school, with all the temptations that come with the large dining halls.  I now think I have a better control with my eating and now I can apply that to the summer, which will only help me even more while working out.  I know that I can do this.  Now I just need to survive until the end of the semester and then I can start doing this in the summer.

April is the month of finals and everything in school is starting to wind down.  Apart from all the schoolwork, I had my final assessment with my personal trainer today and once again, I have gotten some mixed results.  My body fat has fluctuated a lot, but it pretty much remains the same.  The biggest improvement I have to say is that I have gotten incredibly stronger in my upper body.  There’s this section of the assessment where you do as many push-ups as you can and I did forty-four.   That is almost off the scale in determing how strong your upper body can be and that really made me happy I could do that many.  In my very first assessment, I only did sixteen before stopping.  Man, I was pretty weak and pathetic then wasn’t I?  My aerobic exercise and ability has increased greatly as well.  Since I did so much running and cardio during the work and on my off days from my trainer, I’ve got a pretty strong heart (now I can withstand all the future heartbreaks, lol.)

While I’m happy that my strength and aerobic ability has increased greatly, the only thing that still gets me is my weight loss.  Over the course of the workout, I have only lost about seven pounds.  While this bothers me, I still think that I can shed those extra pounds of fat and make some real improvement.  Now that I have learned all the workouts that my trainer has taken me through, I can take these and use them during the summer and really lose some weight.  Since I’ll be at home and working all summer, I can actually control what I eat even better and I’ll be getting some kind of physical work everyday even if I don’t get a chance to work out.  I’m really glad that I did this and have stuck with it.  If I hadn’t kept doing this workout, I have no idea what kind of shape I’d be in right now.

I’m finally glad that Arizona finally has the courage to do what every other state bordering Mexico should already be doing.  As of this past Tuesday, it would be illegal to be in the State of Arizona without proper documentation or some proof of citizenship.  The bill also states that it can  ask for this documentation from anyone suspected of being illegal at any time.  While this bill could still be vetoed by the governor, the bill has tremendous support and is likely to become state law within the week.  The bill originally voided churches and other charities from harboring illegal immigrants, but now any immigrant without any proper documentation would be arrested and deported as quickly as possible. 

This bill would greatly increase the power of the local police since they would be the ones making the investigations and arrests.  The original Federal immigration program 287g has already increased the regulations for immigration, but this bill would add on even more restrictions.  The local police is already enforcing federal immigration laws now, but with this new Arizona bill, the 287g program would become a permanent addition to the Arizona police force.

While some people argue that illegals should be allowed in the United States because they should make a living, I however believe that if you want to live in this country, you should enter the legal way, not the short and illegal way.  Because of the alure of having a cheap labor force for a lot of companies in the Southwest, they are denying jobs to US citizens who I believe deserve those jobs more than the illegal immigrants.  The illegals don’t even have citizenship here so therefore they shouldn’t have US jobs.  I know that if I went to maybe England or Canada illegally, I know that they wouldn’t hire me because I was an illegal alien.  But here in the United States, since we seem to care more about getting things cheap and getting rich quick, we lose sight of who we should be offering these jobs to.  In my personal opinion, if you want to live in the United States, do it the right way; take the citizenship test, get the right paperwork, and then while you are waiting for approval, get a job and earn money for your future.  That way once you become a naturalized citizen, you already have some solid footing in the United States.