Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Project!

All right guys, the project I described in my previous post is up and running! Check it out if you so desire. :-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coffee Stains on the Paper

I love to go to coffee shops and sit by myself and write. It's something I don't do enough, and something I definitely want to make more time for. And something I did today.

And it sparked an idea in me for a blog or something similar... a project, kind of, that would also force me to allow time to be alone (which I love and thrive on but often give up to help out friends and family), at least once a week, if not more, and also plays very nicely into my love of traveling to new places.

So I may be starting another blog - this one with a theme. :-) But I'll just be writing whatever I'm thinking about, about my life, issues that are relevant at the time, and sharing. I wrote my first one today... but this is a great time in my life to be doing this, because I'm going through a ton of transitions... mainly typical young adult stuff. But that also means relevance.

I'm kind of excited at the prospect of having a writing project again.

Anyway, I think I'm off to create the new blog. I'll probably still write on here (I like to write), and 'two are better than one' as the scriptures say. (I know I'm taking that terribly out of context - don't condemn me).

Later, all,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Selling Out :-D

A List of Several Things I Used to Scoff at:

1) Farmville. That facebook game that takes over people's lives, and they become compulsive about organizing their lives around the times that their crops need to be harvested. It's not even real! Why spend so much time playing?

2) Disney Channel Shows. Hannah Montana. The Suite Life. Wizards of Waverly Place. Lame Lame Lame. It's bad enough that kids and teenagers are so obsessed with such poor entertainment - why do so many college girls love Hannah Montana?

3) Domesticity. Women should find other things to love than 'housework'. Oh those poor poor females who spend most of their time cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc.

4) Dogs. I like cats. They are smart. Dogs are dumb and slobbery and gross.

5) Top 40 Radio. Who listens to popular music? Not I! Nothing good to be found there.

6) Highway Driving. Why take the interstate when you can take back roads? Much simpler, much nicer to do the country driving.

7) Art Majors. Why would anyone go to school to get a degree in art? It's not like they can actually use it, or earn a living from it. So impractical!

8) Those Kinds of Couples. Who spend hours on the phone each night, talking to each other. Who email back and forth in between the phone calls. Who text each other little things about their day. All of that communication is clearly unhealthy and obsessive. There's no way anyone could possibly just enjoy talking to each other that much.

9) Talking on the Phone. I don't like talking on the phone. So impersonal. Talking in person is way better, and I do not like spending more than a few minutes on the phone. I will email someone before I will talk on the phone with them.

10) Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets. Gross. Gross gross gross.

A List of Things I Have Come to Enjoy in the Past Year:

1) Farmville is actually fun, and even though I only joined after my mom and boyfriend joined forces against me, I very soon started to love it. It's so pretty! All the different colored plants and trees and animals... don't judge if you've never played. I learned my lesson.

2) I recently spent many hours watching Disney Channel Shows with an 11-year-old girl that my friend Rachel babysits. And... I was not just pretending to laugh for the sake of the child.

3) I've spent a lot of time being domestic this summer. I've been keeping the kitchen clean and organized for my mom, helping to clean and organize various rooms in the house in general. Baking a little. Cooking a little. Mending / Altering clothes a little. Budgeting. Making a wardrobe. Doing laundry. Folding clothes. And I like it.

4) I love Samson. He is the best dog ever.

5) I also spent a lot of time while I was in St Louis with Rachel, listening to Top 40 Radio. There were some catchy tunes on there... I might have even listened to the station on my many-hour-long drive home on Thursday... and as I passed through different parts of different states, flipped through different stations until I found another one playing those songs. I can admit it.

6) Highway Driving and Cruise Control are the best! Fast! Clean! Efficient! Easy! No cows on the road!

7) I am an art major.

8) My boyfriend and I started dating three weeks before the end of the school semester. We've talked to each other a lot over the summer. I love talking with him, and we haven't actually run out of things to talk about yet. Ever. I miss him - I can admit that. :-) We have spent many more weeks apart than together since we've been dating. Recently as we were talking on the phone, we noted that perhaps we had become on of those kinds of couples.

9) *See number 8*

10) Yeah... hot pockets. Tasty.

So what I'm saying is... it's okay to change your mind about things. And perhaps in the future, I will form much less strong opinions about things that I have never tried or experienced. :-)

Try something you've always made fun of today.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Time stopped for me this past month.

Granted, I needed it to stop for me four months ago:

But that wasn't possible - I tried, and my mind tried even harder than my body, but it could only stop for a couple of weeks before I could no longer get through my classes without thinking about the work, so I wrenched my mind back, shut off my heart for a while the best I could, and put it on hold.

I somehow forced through the semester (even without losing my scholarships!), and there were even some nice surprises sprinkled throughout. :-) And maybe more concentrated toward the end. I did see Fantastic Mr. Fox during finals week for the first time; that was a definite high point.

Okay, I've had my Wes Anderson reference; I've fulfilled my 'cool white kid' duty for the week.

But really, I always try to do too much, and God still managed to answer my prayers and meet my needs despite my best attempts to keep going without. My summer hasn't turned out like I've expected, but this past month of June, time didn't just slow down for me. It essentially stopped. I had zero responsibilities aside from taking care of myself. And just now, as I'm finally starting to feel refreshed and closer to back to normal, I'm picking up little things again, like a starter lap before school starts again in August.

I really shouldn't make sports references that I don't understand. I don't even know what a 'starter lap' is, or if that even exists. It just sounded vaguely appropriate. :-)

And as to being 'back to normal'... I think the definition of 'normal' changes after someone you care about passes away. And that's okay. Every experience we have in life changes us, if we let it. And this is one that I think should.

I still feel my eyes tear up, and my throat begin to burn, when I think about him. Maybe that will always happen; I don't know.

It's not that he was a saint - neither of them were - they were teenage kids. But they maybe had more good motives than bad, and some great qualities. And I saw how much care he invested into making the plays run smoothly, technically speaking, and how much pride he took in a smooth performance. And how much he cared about my sister, and how insistent he was to make things right after she'd been hurt. And how he really did respect his parents, and love his sister.

I guess his accident was really bad. He may not have even known what was hitting him before he was gone. Maybe he didn't feel a thing.

And it still feels empty. There was an empty seat at graduation (3 actually, for the three classmates that have died), an empty spot at the tech table during the last play, an empty spot in the pew every Sunday. Especially this Sunday, with the singing of both "I'm So Happy" and "God Save the Queen". :-) So it's not just empty; it's silent.

And maybe my tears are for his family too, who feel the emptiness and the silence much stronger than his friends.

For a while after the accidents, the events of that day and that week played through my head constantly, images of the viewing and funeral and grieving community interrupting my thoughts and playing constantly when I didn't want them to. And now it's not an uncontrollable thing, but I'm beginning to want to think about them, and remember the lives that were lost.

And so I know I'm healing. And God is walking me through it with all the love and care He possesses.

And so the things I know about God now?

God exists.
God keeps his promises.
God is powerful.
God is love.
God meets my needs... whether I want Him to or not.

:-) Happy 4th. (through the tears brimming in my eyes)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wisdom from the Kitchen


One important part of the American way of life is to really like a potential president while he's campaigning, vote for him, watch him get elected and sworn in, and immediately stop liking and supporting him after he's been in office for a year or so and hasn't solved all of our problems. Usually this is followed by statements such as "Yeah I knew we shouldn't believe all the hype." or "When something's too good to be true, it usually isn't."

As if we had any idea how to run the nation.

Of course, this pattern happens throughout life in many other situations. From new college courses, to new authors, to new soul mates, to new diets.

We're a culture of immediate gratification, easy ways out, and a victim of circumstances complex.

Nothing good comes instantly. Look at mashed potatoes.

Would you rather have the kind your grandmother spends all morning making? Peeling the potatoes, mashing by hand, adding sour cream and butter, and cooking over the stove? Or the 'Just add water!' kind that you find buried in the pantry, pour from a box, stir a few minutes, and serve? We all know which tastes better.

And for those of us that have spent the time peeling those potatoes, know the kind of satisfaction that comes from knowing and experiencing each step of the process. It is much more gratifying to me to know I am being complimented for a job well done than for knowing how to take shortcuts and still achieve a semi-positive outcome.

Although, considering typical human nature, I am probably just being complimented for the pleasant effect my potatoes have on the consumer's stomach, and the fact that he could achieve instant gratification by having the food placed in front of him instead of having to put in the time to make it himself.

It's a hard life.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Growing Up

My little sister is going to college this fall.


She and Kevin and I were all in the kitchen yesterday, milling around and making our dinners, and talking to Mom, and I had several flashbacks of the same picture, at different stages.

Kevin, Sarah, me, lined up at the kitchen counter, playing with tupperware and things, Sarah still a baby in a high chair, while Mom was on the other side, cooking...

Kevin, Sarah, me, lined up on our barstools - Kevin and me turned toward the center, sticking our feet on Sarah's chair because it drove her crazy...

Kevin, Sarah, me, teenagers, all too tall to sit at the kitchen counter to eat, all still doing it out of habit...

Maybe it's a weird thing to think about, but I was definitely struck by how different we looked in different stages... but there is a sense of similarity about it too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Gambler

Last thing I learned from my summer internship:

Know when to quit.

Or, as the poet Kenny Rogers might say, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run."

Now, don't get me wrong. I love my church. I love the internship. I love the people I was working with, and I'm excited about the relationships I've begun to form.

However, I knew from the beginning that I needed rest more than anything this summer, and I hadn't quite thought through and accounted for the depletion of emotional resources I always feel at the end of a school year, the intense emotional exhaustion I had gone through this year in particular, and my extensive solitude needs as an introverted individual. For me, it basically came down to either:

a) finish the internship and go into the next school year with no more resources than I ended it with, which is something like -9,000%.


b) quit the internship, but finish school.

Naturally, I chose option B.

So now I'm at home. I'm resting. I'm writing. I'm playing with my brother's 6 month old, 65 pound puppy. I'm going through my stuff and attempting to part with more of it (because I don't need most of it nor do I really have room for it in my dorm room...). I'm cleaning and doing stuff around the house. I'm helping my mom in the church nursery. I'm reading a whole lot of Sherlock Holmes stories. I would highly recommend them to the emotionally drained. There is absolutely zero emotion in Mr. Holmes. He analytically solves mysteries - the only person he cares about is Watson, and that sentiment even only presents itself in the most subtle ways in the stories toward the end of his life. Dear Watson. Kudos to him for not needing any indication of his best friend's affection to be assured of the importance of their friendship to him.

I'm also doing a lot of thinking, and believe you me, it is incredibly freeing to have time just to sit and think and pray and process. I have a lot of mixed emotions about the past school year to sift through, but I intersperse those processing times with Holmes and internet chess, so I am indeed, slowly beginning to recharge.