Saturday, August 28, 2004

take me out to the ball game, eh

i feel sick. see, i've been surviving on a steady diet of junk food since i have come out of my studious stupor. i hadn't the time to grocery shop while i was working on my paper, so i guess i was eating badly then too. i've been somewhat lazy in getting back into my regular routine again. it's been much too nice to be a sloth.

not that i've been a complete sloth for the last week, that just applies in the area of academics. other than that, i've been doing the barrista thing (still trying to perfect the proper milk steaming method), catching up on the rest of my life and preparing for the upcoming school year. and for the last 2 days, i've helped a few friends move to new apartments. i feel that i have gotten a pretty good idea of how an ant feels now - the relentless routine of picking up heavy things in one place and carrying them to another place. but the plus side of the whole process is that your friends buy you food and drink as a great show of gratitude. this puts of the inevitable grocery shopping a little bit longer.

so right now, i'm full of cheeseburger, beer, and mini donuts. it tasted so good while i was eating it, but now i feel nasty. it's just your standard fare at nat bailey stadium, home of the vancouver canadians, the single-A minor league affiliate of the oakland a's (the a's rule!). it's been a mellow summer, social-wise, so i took matters into my own hands and organized an outing to the ball park. i miss not being able to go to a's games regularly. i have made the trek to see the mariners a few times - but they suck, basically. the game was a lot of fun, even though halfway through i was mostly paying attention to my friends, and the at-bat music. i always love to ask, "if you were a baseball player, what song would you choose to walk up to the plate?" it always sparks good conversation. my top choices:
1. the opening guitar riff of "let's get it on" by marvin gaye
2. top gun theme song - not highway to the danger zone, but the instrumental music when they were getting ready to launch of the deck
3. california love by tupac
4. the super mario bros. theme song - just to throw the opposing team off

by the way, if you're ever up in vancouver in the summer and take in a game, i highly recommend the mini donuts. they've got the little machine that fries up the donuts right before your eyes (similar donuts available @ pike's market in seattle). and you can't beat the prices here. gotta love minor league ball. there was also a rad fireworks show afterward - about 20 minutes or so - quite impressive for a single-A club. fun times!

of course, they sang both the american and canadian national anthems before the game (a girl that looked about 10 years old sang them, and she had a great voice - i'd love to be able to sing like her. instead, i have a blog site) and you know, the canadian theme song is quite nice. i'm betting most of you don't know much of the song beyond the first 2 lines, so here are the full lyrics for your personal enrichment:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

it's a good thing i'm training for a half marathon. tomorrow i'm going to run off this blasted ball park food. though i may look into getting a mini donut frying machine. oh yeah, and the canadians beat the everett aquasox 3-1. (what the hell are aquasox?) I was hoping that they would take the field wearing those beach shoes that nike used to make. i guess they're just in the mold of the red sox or white sox, but aqua? that's just not cool.

Monday, August 23, 2004

out of the cave

i have emerged from the depths of the library. just the last of my work for one of my summer school classes - 20th century theology. light summer reading, it ain't. dang.
anyway, not only did i finish 2 lengthy papers and turn them in today - i finished them early. yesterday afternoon, to be exact. this is unprecedented! i have never accomplished this before. usually i am up late into the night, typing madly and cursing. then i turn it in at the very last minute, without editing. at least, this is what i did in college. last night after i finished, i went to dairy queen for an oreo blizzard (quite possibly one of my favorite ice cream treats) to celebrate, my friend rochelle treated. this morning i slept in, briefly edited both papers, and then turned them in at 12. no mad rush, no cursing, and i didn't hate what i wrote. usually i loathe whatever i compose. this is just amazing on many fronts.
now i can veg out on the olympics every night at my friends' house. yes!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

sitting under trees

a freaking crow crapped on my head today.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

cape fear

Two years ago, when i was trying to figure out if I wanted to go on this blind date (a la, I asked my friend katie for any insight she might have. Her only question was, "Will it make for a funny email? Then you should do it." I ended up going, not just for that reason. it turned out to be run-of-the-mill awkward blind date, nothing really to merit a funny email, or a second date for that matter. katie is crazy like that - once she and i got stuck in san francisco after the last BART train took off for the night, and i had to call my cousin arlene in berkeley to come and pick us up at denny's. that's a story that will be told another time.

Recently, my friend rochelle proposed another way of approaching life, which is that you should do whatever scares you. I thought this was interesting perspective. Until recently, I viewed fear as a weakness, a flaw that holds you back and is somewhat irrational, like a fear of spiders or heights. Being scared happened because you did something stupid, like how in horror movies the kids on a road trip think it's a good idea to spend the night in the abandoned cabin in the woods when their car breaks down and then decide to split up and explore even though there are reports on the radio of an escaped mental patient from the asylum near them.

But this line of thought ... fear takes on a different meaning. I'm thinking about doing an arts concentration here at school, meaning that i would explore my writing chops and maybe end up putting together a collection of stories or something like that. i think that's why i like writing, because i like telling stories. there are a lot of other areas of study that would be cool to do and seem more practical (as if anything in seminary is really practical in the world's eyes). anyway, this prospect scares the heck out of me, and i've only told one person this out loud, and i kind of cringe typing it out. this is a different kind of scared than what i originially conceived of - this isn't some deep-seated psychological phobia; nor am i telling the gang "i'll be right back" and then unwittingly going into the garage where the axe-murderer is.

No, my heart beats faster, and my breath catches in my throat because this is something that means a lot. And when something means a lot to you, you really really care what happens, and there is risk involved. that's when the voices kick in and tell you all about the worst case scenarios, how you suck, how everyone will look at you incredulously and shake their heads because you are so deluded, and on and on until you are convinced that you're barely able to dress yourself in the morning.

now i'm no adrenaline junkie - I don't swim with sharks or go sky-diving just to know I'm alive. although i do like to speed down the 8th avenue hill near my house. i barely go on rollercoasters. but i think rochelle's got a point here. there plenty of times in my life that i can look back on when i chose to play it safe, stuck with what i knew because it was predictable, even if it had nothing to do with my real passions. then i think of the times that i've been terrified and had no clue how things were going to turn out. these are the times when my heart has really been touched (which i've discovered can hurt like hell but still be a good thing somehow). These are the times that i've felt like i've really lived my life.

being scared isn't a bad thing; it's a human thing. we all feel that way at one time or another. how we respond to it is what matters. check in with me again in a few weeks to see if i really live out what i say. even though i've said all these things, i'm still scared. but it makes for a damn good blog entry.

Monday, August 09, 2004

manifesting a manifesto

i looked up manifesto on today:
man·i·fes·to   n. pl. man·i·fes·toes or man·i·fes··tos
A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature.

i just used the word because i think it sounds cool (it's up there with brouhaha and diatribe). i'm probably one of the last people you should expect declaring anything of a political nature. this is impressive when you consider that i lived in washington dc for 6 years where everything is about politics. whenever the subject would come up with my friends, i would either stick my fingers in my ears and yell, "lalala" until they were done, or i would aggressively change the subject by listing the different ways that scooby-doo was a drug-influenced show (what really was in a scooby snack anyway? i mean, really)
actually i came across the word manifesto during college when, in fear of further unabomber attacks, the washington post and the new york times published his manifesto. my friends and i kept it, and would read excerpts every so often because it was entertaining. none of it really made sense to us.
anyway, here are a few of my public declarations that may or may not be of a political nature nature...
1. drugs are bad.
2. fried food is bad, but tastes really really good.
3. people who only talk about politics all the time and won't drop it until you agree with them are really annoying.
4. baseball is good. especially the oakland a's. but not the yankees. or the dodgers. they suck.
5. fantasy baseball is for geeks. therefore, i am a geek.
6. coyote ugly is one of the best utterly meaningless movies to watch ever.
7. someone needs to pay me to write things like this for the rest of my life.
8. even though america has of a two party system, compared to the whole political spectrum they are practically identical and don't seem to represent the interests of your average working class joe anyway.
9. i only utter one vaguely political statement every 4 years, so i'm set.
10. writing term papers when i could be outside at the beach is bad.
11. under no circumstances are you to ever pass by a kids' lemonade stand without buying a cup. not doing so renders you a cold heartless human being.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

insomnia, duct tape and beanie babies

I'm in recovery from my "vacation" (picture my saying this while doing the air quotes gesture - one of the more pointless but amusing gestures out there, which are never to be used seriously). it's hard to get back into the everday routine again, especially when all that awaits are term papers. ugh. spent a good part of the afternoon napping, and as a consequence i am wide awake now. oops.
but to amuse myself and perhaps those out there, here is a list of the best pranks/jokes/capers i have pulled...
in no particular order of importance
1. in high school, sneaking out with amanda, bridget, natalie, and several others one night and stealing various cones, road blocks (the kind with the flashing light on the top), town council campaign signs and then leaving these along with many rolls of toilet paper all over the lawn of my friend brandon cheek's house one night. no small feat, considering he lived in a gated community, but amanda had gotten another friend of ours to call the gate and tell them to let us in at 1 in the morning. we didn't look suspicious or anything.
2. flying out to dc from california in october, 2000 to surprise my friend jill and watch her last home volleyball game ever. i was one of her biggest fans. actually only about 3 people knew i was going to be there so i surprised many of my friends. jody and helder made lunch plans with jill in au bon pain (which i still simply refer to as "the pain"). i showed up early and took up a whole table waiting for them. i pissed off many people on their lunch break. when they finally showed up, jill totally walked past the table and i had to yell at her from across the store. her jaw hit the ground. it is confusing to discover someone who is supposed to be 3000 miles away and is instead right in front of you.
3. again with jill, this time back in college. i actually forgot about this one until jill brought it up during her wedding rehearsal dinner last week. she was out at class or something that night, and i was inspired to steal all of her beanie babies. her grandma would send her these periodically - all dogs. anyway, i decided to steal them, i just barged into her room and told her roommate and then left. jody and i then take these beanie babies and took pictures with them around campus on various landmarks. we also sent jill ransom notes written in crayon. i think i was done with school by then, actually, i was unemployed. that explains a lot.
4. church mexico trip, 2002. steve and i dress up in his crazy disco clothes and pick up katie from the airport. we even had a little sign with her name on it like we were limo drivers. she actually doubled over laughing. it was a good way to finish off a long but great week.
5. ponderosa camp, summer 2001. on my last night working at camp, my friends and i bought some cans of sardines and cheese. we made up a tray of appetizers (it looked delicious), put on my crazy hawaiian shirts, grabbed the video camera and boombox with party music and raided the girls' cabins at about 3 am. we'd stick the sardines in their face and film them waking up to the smell. we even got some girl to eat some of the little treats we made. then we woke up the program director boys and hid an open can of sardines in their bathroom.
6. church ski trip, 2003. andrew, a 7th grader, had been pestering me on the bus all the way back from tahoe - a 4 or 5 hour drive. once we got back to the church and off the bus, i took out a role of duct tape from my bag, grabbed another adult leader, kevin, and we duct taped andrew to a pole. not so elaborate, but immensely satisfying. i think it's every youth leader's dream to do this.
7. a regular work day at church, spring, 2002. matt, steve, and pat get invited by a friend of theirs to go sailing in the san francisco bay for the day. rachel, katie and i are little disgruntled by the fact that they get to go play while us girls are stuck at work. steve is the only one unfortunate enough to leave his car in the church parking lot. after lunch the three of us take the giant bulk roll of saran wrap from the kitchen and spend about 45 minutes wrapping it around his car. we also use the die-cut machine and cut out little pink teddy bears and butterflies and insert them into the many layers of saran wrap, and tie a pink balloon to his antenna. it looked like we were celebrating the birth of his baby girl (steve is single).

Thursday, August 05, 2004

blog, blog, blog

A new post ... which is funny because I haven't revealed this site to anyone yet. Sort of just spitting into the wind right now, if that metaphor isn't too gross. I'll get my act together soon and then the world will changed by reading my thoughts. Changed, I tell you!
Just spent a few whirlwind days in southern california. I have seen several friends from the full spectrum of eras in my life, from high school to summer camp to college days. It was crazy but wonderful to see everyone, and to revive old jokes and relive old stories. I'm exhausted now, but it was worth the all good laughter over the last 6 days. I'm a lucky person to know so many quality people.
If you ever find yourself in the Ocean Beach 'hood of San Diego and are jonesing for a burrito, I highly recommend Tommy's Tex-Mex on Voltaire street. One of the best burritos I've ever had. My judgement could be skewed because I now live in Vancouver, the black hole of Mexican food, but I don't think so. In fact, I think I have become even more of a Mexican food snob. It's something I crave even more these days because it is not accessible to me. All of us Californian students here whine about this all the time.
I was very happy to go to my friend Jill's wedding and share in this special day for her and Darren. The fact that I got to have burritos and be in California also was icing on the cake.
Now it's back to reality, and the books. If only Tommy's would set up a franchise up here.