Tuesday, December 27, 2005

you can't go home again...

but you can always go out to the hometown bar during the holidays and have awkward conversations with people you used to go to grade/middle/high school with.
alcohol helps.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

home at last

currently sitting in my car outside someone's house and leeching the wireless connection. my sad geeky compulsions know no bounds. i'm home finally after the great midwestern oddyssey. it was good times but i'm glad to be home and not crammed into a tiny car or on a plane.

i hung out with my brother in chicago and we shopped and ate our way around downtown. sampled some deep fried twinkies. they were amazing.

then i met up with dave and steve and we drove to st. louis for nate and jen's wedding extravaganza. it was fun to be with friends and have no responsibility besides showing up at the wedding. many laughs and drinks consumed.

we stayed at this trip of a hotel where the reception was held. themed suites, and an overall medieval theme. this was in the lounge.

the trip home was eventful. we tried to get an early start and leave st. louis by 8. but then DW locked the keys out of the car and we were delayed by 45 minute or so. after AAA came, we folded ourselves into the car full of our stuff and DW drove like a madman to chicago. dave and i both had flights at 2:45. except his was at midway and mine was at o'hare. we dropped dave off first and then DW did a mean nascar impersonation to o'hare but i just missed my flight. i didn't really care, i thought i'd just get on a later flight, but then the check in lady said i had to fly standby. that's when i almost flipped out because i wasn't guaranteed to be home that day. but i made it on both flights (layover in minneapolis) and got home at midnight. too many hours of travelling. i'm still stiff.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

best thing ever

smart wool socks. cozy warm.


done and done. stick a fork in me.
after i turned in my last paper, katie played the handel's hallelujah chorus loudly for me at the well cafe. it was quite triumphant and ecstatic. a proper way to signify the end of the semester.

now frantically cleaning and packing and running errands before i leave. in between all that, going out shortly for a beer with friends. another proper way to celebrate the end of the semester.

yay for vacations.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

stay on target

sitting up too late, typing away at my computer. blech. wondering why i keep doing this to myself.

eyes on the prize: getting to see my brother in a few days in chicago, road tripping with pals, going to a wedding of two fabulous people (which is always fun), being in california again, sleeping in my bed, and christmas.

thinking about going on a coffee fast once this round of finals is over. time to purge the body of toxins. will replace them with beer. mmmmm... beer

Friday, December 09, 2005

almost there...

i turned in my last paper in, and only a take home final to go! hard for me to muster any energy for this. i just want t obe done. spoken like an upperclassman.
highlights of the week:
1. thesis proposal approved. this would be more exciting, but now i actually have to write my thesis. that's insane.
2. i paid dave a dollar to bear hug one of our profs upon hearing that his propsal was also approved. jeff threw down a dollar too. it was totally worth it to see him be surprised. wacky things like this need to happen more often at my school.
3. i saw the WORLD'S LARGEST GINGERBREAD MAN yesterday. it was AMAZING. you out there in cyberland are jealous, i know it. really, what could be better than an afternoon with lara katie and sienna looking at culinary masterpieces?

mmm.... giant cookie
lara and katie in awe before the sheer AWESOMENESS of the cookie.

some twisted gingerbread maker humor. note how gleeful the elf looks over his candied companion being dragged to his death.

sienna was unimpressed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

it's that time of year

hm... by my count, including high school, 4 years of college, and now during my 3rd year of grad school (including summer term and this semester), i have taken/written finals 23 times. i am a masochist.

anyway, signs that it's finals time:
- two other housemates and i have been hunched over our computers tonight.
- for the last newsletter issue this semester, i was so tired last night that i accidentaly sent the printers last week's issue, which they printed all over again. i had to frantically call them this afternoon, to see if they could do the right order in time for distributing it tomorrow.
- i have a 2500 word paper due tomorrow. i'm at 1,195. and i'm blogging.
acutally being at 1195 isn't so bad at 12:30. i'm going for slurpees.

Monday, December 05, 2005


it's snowing again. crazy.
haven't left the house all day. a bunch of dear friends came over and we watched football all afternoon. it was glorious. it doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, December 02, 2005

ice ice baby

it has been a bad week for me, agility-wise.

damage report:

tuesday - cut left index finger with bread knife while slicing bread for our weekly soup lunch at school. lots of blood and whining.
wednesday - burnt arm on soup warmer while working at the coffee shop. more whining.
thursday - executed a cartoonlike fall on the ice while walking to school, both feet flew out from under me and my right knee taking the brunt of impact. bruising, and lots of cursing accompanied the whining.

i seem to go through these streaks of injury. last fall, i sprained my right hand playing soccer, majorly bruised my arm when i slipped on the icy steps behind my house, and gave myself a fat lip when i hit the goal post with my face, again during soccer. two of those happened in the same week, i can't remember which ones. these things might happen while i have a lot on my mind, school or life-wise. whatever.

as you can see, it snowed earlier this week. quite unusual this early or at all in vancouver. when i was greeted with this sight out my window that morning, i believe my words were, "what the heck?" the novelty wore off quickly, precisely at the point when i fell on the ice, a few days later. i do hope that it snows later this winter, because we've got an awesome/dangerous sledding hill at the park by our house. some things you just don't grow too old for, though your bones knit more slowly.

perhaps this is a more safe distance for me to enjoy snow. a pic from when i went to bowen island a few weeks ago.

surprisingly, i didn't injure myself at all playing ultimate. wait... no, i pulled my hamstring one week. never mind. we finished our season about a month ago. this is us during one of our playoff games. this was a tougher season, we just keep getting older, and the competition gets younger and faster. but we had a respectable season. lost in the quarter finals to the other regent team. that was a tough loss, a pretty even game, one of those that you know if you played again, we could've won. oh well, coulda, woulda, shoulda. there's always next season. in the meantime, i shall go into hibernation (wishful thinking).

and just because i have to keep including pictures of her because she's so dang cute, here's sienna again. she's so cute, i think she makes me better looking just because i'm holding her. she's the smallest, cutest, and drooliest housemate. i babysit, and i say that it's so lara and jeff can have a break, but i really just want to hang out with her. call me the filipino au pair. since the nanny workforce in vancouver is about 98% filipino, that's not so unusual.

you think i'd be done with my school work because i'm blogging again. actually, no. i'm back in fine procrastination form. woohoo!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

in the homestretch

i've looked up long enough from this semester of work to realize: i'm almost done.

i don't know how that happened, with a relatively small degree of freak outs, and with my sanity left largely intact. in fact, i'm kind of excited to be working on my thesis next semester, even though i know it will drive me crazy and push me hard too. miraculous, i'd say. it feels good to be on a path that is hard but bringing out good stuff.

the thesis proposal goes in on tuesday. i am excited about this prospect, even though it would have terrified me a year ago, actually even just a few months ago. and still does a little, but in a good way.

not much else to report actually. american thanksgiving passed without much fanfare on my part - i spent it doing laundry, which was exactly what i wanted to be doing. first because i was out of clothes, and second because i needed some down time. it was followed by a friday night babysitting, again, something exactly my social speed. watching tv and hanging out with someone that has no vocabulary. it's not that i'm antisocial, it's that my brain gets fried a fair amount these days. okay, maybe i'm a little antisocial too.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

saturday night fever

bailey's irish cream
breyer's vanilla ice cream
milk (organic, no less)

put ingredients in blender. mix to desired consistency.
consume while watching movie.

doesn't get much better than that.

busy days = short blog entries. but soon the dust will clear and i will write more soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


still plugging away... writing and thinking like crazy. sometimes i even enjoy myself.
occassionaly my thoughts turn to more fun activites such as these... ah well, there will be time for that again soon enough.

Monday, November 14, 2005

giving this some serious consideration...

" well that was wonderful.
hey mav, what was the number of that truck driving school again?
i think i'm gonna need it."
-goose, top gun

Monday, November 07, 2005

further sayings

"if i ever meet josh harris, i'm going to kick him in the balls." - dan (josh harris is the author of "i kissed dating goodbye")

comic relief

actual conversation:

"i mean, that's what i hate about this theology thing sometimes. . . writing about it is so self-deprecating . . . defecating?"

"yeah, i hate it when i crap on myself."

hilarity ensues.
one of the precious moments that makes up seminary.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


a gloriously semi-productive day.
ate a bagel, sat in a coffee shop to read and do some work.
wandered around 4th ave, in and out of different shops.
it was good to be aimless for a while, breathing crisp fall air, and soaking in the fleeting sun.
hoping that relaxation will jog some creative muscles in my head.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

deep breaths

instant reality check:

hmmm... write papers or hold baby? write papers or hold baby?

shout out

vancouver hearts nate first. after a rousing sendoff night of beer and friends, followed by rousing morning sendoff of friends and fireworks, our intrepid hero headed off to the great midwest to be with his sweetie, jen rice. we heart her, too.
we are sure that he is filling his pockets with new trinkets he is finding on the ground in st. louis.


i emailed my seminar paper to my class. after doing so, i was immediately wracked with angst about word choices, oh i should have said this point instead, that was so cheesy, ugh ugh ugh. sometimes i wish that email had an "unsend" button, that could reach out over cyberspace and retract your communications.

oh, i ma ridiculous.

and for some reason, somehow, i feel "called" (not sure if that is even the case) to be a writer. i am a writer?

i don't know if i can stand the mental anguish of putting my words out for people to read. perhaps it is only outweighed by the mental anguish i would suffer if i did not write.

so i press on. not quite knowing where i am going.

hey, it worked for abraham.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


word count 1112 of 2000.
seriously, it's like pulling teeth here.
considering mountain dew consumption.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


funny: plastic dinosaurs

not funny: writing a 2000 word paper on why things are funny

Monday, October 31, 2005

dinosaurs, part deux

because i neglected to include the other photo last time...


why i probably shouldn't have a master's degree: i put plastic dinosaurs in model of the school to amuse myself.

why i might be qualified to write a paper on the theology of humor and laughter: see above.

happy halloween.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

ultimate frisbee, by the numbers

1 beautiful fall day.
1 win. (yay!)
1 loss. (boo!)
2 cramped calves.
2 bananas consumed to combat cramping.
good times.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

taking a stand

i'm calling for a school schedule reversal...
1 week of class. 12 weeks of reading.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

jurassic park

"But if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists." - Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

this dinosaur was discovered in the regent model yesterday and is now extinct. a moment of silence, please.
off to the left you can kind of see the plastic palm tree i put in there too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

good things about fall...

raking leaves.
then jumping in said leaves and having a leaf fight with your housemate.

perhaps i just didn't notice this when i was younger, but leaf piles never feel quite as fluffy as they appear when you throw yourself into them.

then again, what do i know about fall? i grew up in california. regardless, i do know that watching the World Series is another good thing about fall.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

you have all the time there is

from "As I Lay Dying" by Richard John Neuhaus...

"Around 1910, William Temple, the future archbishop of Canterbury and son of Frederick the archbiship of Canterbury, complained to his father that he did not have the time to do all that needed to be done. 'William,' said his father, 'you have all the time ther is.' I tell myself that frequently, especially when I am worried about getting done more than is mine to do: You have all the time there is.

Time is not unlike a sacrament; it is capable of bearing the absolute. Christian thinkers have written about the 'sacramentality of the present moment.' Our lives are lived in a succession of present moments, and the trick is to slow down the past at which one moment is succeeded by another. 'Be still, and know that I am God.' says Psalm 46. But our world presents itself as a conspiracy against being still, against living in the present moment. I walk out on Second Avenue and the people, the cars, the buses, the very buildings themselves, along with an impetuous drive within myself to be someplace I am not, are all pressing up against the enemy of the present moment that is the Future, which is to say the next present moment that is, in turn to be escaped as rapidly as possible into the next present moment; like a rushing crowd trying to get out of a burning building through a tiny exit. Having never stopped to live in the present moment, we one day run out of present moments and discover we have not lived at all. It is true in every present moment: You have all the time there is."

particularly applicable as i face down the preparations to do an arts thesis project. and pretty much just life in general.
top three moments this past week:
1. placing miniature dinosaur figurines in the model of the new look Regent college last tuesday night. it's been 4 days, and they are still there. i bust a gut laughing every time i walk by it. pictures to come.
2. sprinting with rochelle from safeway back to my house, carrying munchies and a carton of ice cream so we don't miss the beginning of the new lost episode.
3. reading sara's paper out loud to her as she typed furiously on my computer so she could turn in her paper for class. the things we do for our friends that aren't a big deal because of who they are.

plus, holding sienna is a highlight in and of itself. this is a given.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

my job

a close up look at what i deal with about 10-12 hours each week.
i feed people's addictions, basically.

Monday, October 17, 2005

and now for something completely different...

because i'm procrastinating,
and because i live with the cutest baby on earth. seriously.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


things i like:
sleeman's honey brown lager
space heaters

things i don't like:
wet socks
poor insulation
my short attention span

reality check

this morning i woke up to blue skies and sunshine out my window. a rarer and rarer sight this time of year in vancouver.

it pissed me off.

instead of working on my paper due on tuesday, i'd have to go play ultimate frisbee. a few of us have played together in the intramural league for the past few semesters. i'm far too loyal and have problems saying no and a big enough guilt complex that i showed up to play. i was annoyed that it cut into the middle of my day. it grated on my nerves.

i don't know at what point in the day i realized that i was being an idiot about it. i was mad about playing outside on a beautiful fall day? what was wrong with me? i took a deep breath of crisp fall air, looked and i mean really looked at the grass, the trees and the sky. I pushed my worries aside, knowing that when it came time, i'd get things done, as i have so many times before. i resolved to enjoy myself, and be present in the moment.

we won both games. hardfought battles, as we were short on subs. i'm starting to remember how to play again, and my body wasn't as sore as it was last time we played. these bones are getting older and slower.
as a reward, one of my new teammates bought us all caramel apples from the apple festival. that's so little league - i love it.

also, my housemate jeff made hostess cupcake and reese's peanut butter cup milkshakes. awesome.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

the hits just keep on coming...

well, the week is over, so that's good.
my bank account has been restored to me. they didn't catch the person who did it. but they verified that i was not the person responsible for going on a $3000 shopping spree over last weekend, thus hugely overdrawing my account. it's been disorienting to have this bit of security taken away in some unknown manner. there is some reasoning behind this age of paranoia.

stunned that october is half over. time slips away all to quickly. my attention and energy is spent in a huge variety of ways, and i hope it is done wisely. torn between wanting to be with friends while we are all still in this place together and attending to my various responsibilities as a student. usually friends wins out, but we're getting on to academic crunch time. i wonder why i do this to myself. although i do find in myself a new desire to rise to the challenges and course set before me for the next few months, school-wise. it must mean i really like what i'm doing. or else i'm a huge masochist. i guess we'll find out pretty soon.

celebrated two good friends tonight. they're getting married in december. good wine, good cheese, good company, good stuff.
good night.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

like a slap in the face

being around many people again is kind of a shock to the system, after a weekend of retreat.

other things that are a shock to the system:

going to the dentist at 8 am and getting your teeth cleaned, since the last time you got yout teeth cleaned was 2 years ago, and learning that pretty much the whole inside of your mouth is decaying. but no root canals, so that's good, gotta find the silver lining somewhere.

trying to pay for the dentist and your card gets rejected. going to the bank later that day and discovering that somehow, someone has gotten your info and went on a spending spree yesterday so that you have zero dollars in the bank account. still trying to figure out how this happened because the card itself is still in your posession.

i want to go back and hole up in my retreat room at rivendell.

Monday, October 10, 2005


*note: though rivendell has wireless, and i did have my computer with me, i refrained from blogging until i got home. it was a mighty struggle.

I spent the weekend at rivendell. frodo and the other hobbits say hi. actually this rivendell is a retreat center on bowen island. it's a beautiful place. a friend once described it, "it's like a pottery barn on top of a mountain overlooking the ocean." the consumer evilness of pottery barn aside, it's a pretty accurate description. it's pretty beautiful place. this was my third time there.i sat at this desk.
this was the view.
between staring out the window and reading i did a lot of this. it was quite invigorating. that's a good sign, seeing as how i will soon be working on a arts thesis project.

retreats are interesting. first you're all excited to get away, and you throw yourself down on your bed and heave a great sigh of relief and relaxation. after a while though, it gets kind of hard to stay in this relaxed state. you get kind of sick of the small supply of food you've brought and crave something, like, say, a doughnut. after a while you want someone to talk to. the soul is not used to so much quiet. you wonder things like if your friends notice you're gone, because by golly they should. The Buddhists call this "monkey mind." It is the description of the mind of a person who is not in the present moment, like a monkey that goes from tree to tree tasting a piece of fruit from each and then dropping it and moving on to the next tree. We jump from thought to thought and project to project without really ever being in the present and fully experiencing everything we are doing at a given time.
it takes an effort to calm the mind and let go of insecurities such as this and to appreciate the silence, to open yourself to God and to a depth of thought that is hard to get in everyday life. most of the time, it seems like we're just skimming the surface, and have neither the time nor courage to see what's in our heads. Retreats make us stop, and slow down. it takes a certain degree of work to be on a retreat. but it is good work. kind of like the feeling you get when you're washing dishes and you can space out on the simplicity of the task.
i was both happy and sad to come back. retreats are temporary things, gotta come back to the real world at some point. you just have to bring the peace back with you somehow. henri nouwen's book "the genessee diary" is a more in depth look at this tension of being needing to be apart and also needing to be in the world. he spent 6 months at a trappist monastery. it's interesting to see how the seeds of other books he's written began in this journal that he kept.

Monday, October 03, 2005

big weekend

Lots of stuff went down this weekend. Besides the whole crazy shoulder dislocation thing (not my shoulder, either of them) - that was unfortunate and unexpected. What was anticipated and exciting was the fact that my friends rochelle and titus got engaged. that's them there on the left - when i hang out with them all three of us laugh pretty hard and i like that. actually, taking care of hudson in the ER waiting room almost prevented me from placing the scavenger hunt clues rochelle had entrusted me to leave for titus. it all worked out, and now they are engaged. woohoo!

sunday night we had a party for jane. she turned 29. we are all leaving our twenties, bit by bit. which is not to say that we are growing up, because we still like taking pictures like this. yep. sienna has a drinking problem already. but she still manages to look cute here, even after chugging an entire bottle of sleeman's honey brown lager. mmmm... honey brown.

we made prodigious amounts of prodigiously delicious mexican food. again, we california kids really miss the stuff, so we have to make it ourselves. freakin' good enchiladas, 2 kinds of guacamole (my contribution), salsa, topped off with some sangria. all made and consumed with good friends. the secret ingredient is salt. avocado may very well be my favorite vegetable, er fruit. whatever it is, i just like to eat it.

this is the kind of social setting i was talking about in my last post. the actual subject matter being discussed in the photo is best left never spoken of again. besides that, i enjoyed the hell out of myself in a room full of some of my favorite people. great party.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


discovering these busy days just how introverted i am. sure being with a group of close friends energizes me and my playful side comes out. but i feel utterly drained after my shift as a barrista, or a long day in school. once i get home i pretty much pass out. i need the time to be "off." it's just interesting to be realizing new things about yourself. or perhaps it has to do with the season you are in. my first year at regent, for instance, i would have totally been into going to the parties and would sit in the atrium passing the afternoon by visiting with people. instead tonight i watched a movie with a few friends instead of the party scene, and sit at the counter at the coffee shop away from the center of social interaction. i opt for sitting around a table with a few good friends. which will hold, i suppose, until i move to wherever it is i go to after this place and have to start over again, forcing me to extroversion. such are the rhythms.

spent the afternoon taking care of my friend's 3 year old son, hudson. while hudson and i played in the waiting room, he was getting his dislocated shoulder popped back into place. we were playing ultimate frisbee and it popped out. russ's wife and other son were at home, so i went along in the ambulance to keep hudson company. there was no alternative really. it was a bit surreal. and funny to see how hudson trusted me, since i had spent my first year at school babysitting him every thursday. it's not so easy to earn a place in a child's world, and when a kid remembers my name, i feel honored. he and i passed the time by checking out the inside of the ambulance, and he made up his own songs to sing. i mean, for hudson, it was a pretty exciting day. not so much for russ.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

searching for rhythm

i hate the beginning of the school year. rather, the beginning of each semester. but mostly i hate september, and summer being over.

as much as i'd like to believe i am a spontaneous person, i like having a routine. i think it is having the routine in the first place that allows me to practice spontanaeity here and there. but to not have a rhythm to the week, to not know how to pace myself each day ... kind of wrecks me. the past two weeks, i've been going at a dead run, stopping here and there to pass out from exhaustion. getting better at knowing when i need my down time and how to take care of myself, so that's good.

it's funny comparing the shape of my life now to what it was like last year. i lived alone, and felt like ghost - no presence, no connection to anything or anyone. now i am up to my ears in people all the time, and am fairly visible to people as the newspaper editor (i don't think i'll ever get used to people recognizing me from stuff like that). if i go back farther in time to compare there are more striking differences. knowing your history is good - it helps show you that you are changing, and not so stuck being yourself all the time. even better is having friends over a long period of time to grow with and to encourage each other.

well, the whole cause of my frenzy - school - seems to be going well. taking 2 classes - intro to christian counselling, and the vocation of the artist (seminar class to prep for my arts thesis). the year will be good and challenging - a combination i love and hate at the same time.

oh, and now i'm totally addicted to coffee again. but when you work in a coffee shop and get it for free all the time, how can you not? i'll probably just be eating the beans soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

favorite moments of my trip home

1. my brothers took me to the cancun taqueria immediately after i got off the plane. they know to do this every time i come home now. on mexican independence day, no less. viva mexico!
2. watching the giants/dodgers game on tv with my grandma and brothers. my grandma has been in the hospital for the last few weeks. she's why i went home actually. it was good to spend time with her.
3. having breakfast with my friend marybeth and her family. her husband craig makes some mean pancakes. there's few things in life better than pulling up to a house and having her two little boys garrett and kyle (kyle still in pajamas) come running out of the house yelling "audrey!" and jumping on me. i'm glad they still remember me. it's been a while.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

birthday for b-dub

this is one of my closest friends in vancouver. sara bywaters aka b-dub turned 28 today. that's me learning how to express affection.

a few of us made dinner together and hung out. among other things, ate some great homemade fresh salsa and guacamole (a california kid's great loves) and instead of a birthday cake, enjoyed some birthday donuts. sara has what you might call an addiction, which i am more than willing to support. the old posting of the donut picture is what inspired her to insist on having donuts for her party. and when it's your birthday, you get whatever the hell you want.

nice to relax with good friends and good conversation. also good to celebrate a great friend. we split a boston creme donut. mmmmm.... custard filling. sometimes you just gotta have a donut.

wishing you a happy 28th birthday again from this little corner of the blog universe. i'm glad to know you. even if i am your flippin intern.

bags are packed, i'm ready to go...

quick trip home and back. nice to see the sun, eat a taco and see family.
going back to friends, clouds, and more school work. well, one of three ain't... much.
but friends are a good enough reason to return.
plotting how the heck to get back to california at the earliest opportunity with the least expense.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


... forbidden donut.

walkin' tall

gotta brag a little. today, the presidente of our school complimented me on the first issue of the student newspaper. it felt pretty good if i dos say so myself. i feel about 10 feet tall. or meters, this being canada and all. yay for the metric system.
and for adobe indesign software.

Monday, September 12, 2005

back to school

first day of school:
totally exhausted.
drank beer, played video games and smoked a cherry cigarillo on the deck.
i love being in grad school. christian grad school, no less.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

on being anal-rententive

by my count, i have spent approximately 50 hours over the past 5 days working on the et cetera, the student newspaper.
i have a better knowledge of fonts, spacing, and indesign software now. i also think that i have lost 30% of feeling in my right index finger from constant contact with my mac touchpad. perhaps i'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome also. meh, in the old days you had to worry about scurvy, now it's repetitive use injuries. at least, scurvy sounds cooler.

perversely, i am enjoying myself. i spent half an hour creating the stupid page headers alone, so they looked just so, and I LIKED IT, even though no one will give them a second look. what the hell? it's the journalism training in me, and where my creative spark catches on, or something. so this is good, even though i am losing sleep, and i feel like i'm going to throw up much of the time. i suppose those feelings will go away. i hope so, because i have my own school work to do. though that will be insomnia and nausea-inducing also, i'm sure. better to feel this way than nothing at all, i think.

i read some stuff that i wrote at my friends' arts night last friday. photos were displayed, a monologue spoken, music played, and i read. as i said that night, i'm used to writing stuff, not reading it out loud. and the way i feel when i read people what i write, it's like that dream where you're at school and you're naked. having them read it themselves is different, there's more space, and i can go hide. anyway, i just thought, what the hell and went for it. i was so tightly wound before hand, i'm surprised i didn't shatter like a wine glass when the soprano hits that high note. then something funny happened when i got up there in front ... i wasn't nervous anymore. and the laughter, which i was shooting for, came down so warmly and it felt so good that i wanted to wrap myself in it like a load of laundry fresh from the dryer.

all in all, not a bad way to start the school year. i'll sleep when i'm dead.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

kids are all right

I miss working with kids. One could argue of course that we're all a bunch of big kids. and if someone had told me when i was in junior high that much of the time i would still feel awkward when i was 29, well, i'm not sure if i would find that comforting or if i would try to jump off the top of the nearest tall building. anyway, at least in the midst of the craziness, i can still laugh. the following is an excerpt of a teacher's tale by my friend melanie grossheider. i hold her in high esteem.

This convo is with a little sixth grader named Phung who is from Vietnam and does not entirely yet have a handle on English language or American culture.
(after school, on a budding spring-fever day)

Phung: Ms. G, can I ask you a question? Do you promise not to laugh?
Me: Of course, go ahead.
Phung: What is, "make out"?
(long pause, check to see that student is serious)
Me: Making out is when you kiss someone for a very long time. Where did you hear that expression?
Phung: Like half hour? Does that count as "make out"?
Me: Yes, kissing for a half an hour would count as making out. Phung, is there someone who wants you to make out with him?
Phung: What about two minutes? Does kissing for two minutes count as making out?
Me: Phung, let me tell you something. (proceed with long lecture about how kisses are precious and if you give them away to people who dont know how special they are, then they won't seem so special anymore, etc, than you Pondy sex seminars)

Lecture ends.
Phung: Can it make you pregnant?
(later on in year Phung is caught behind the school making out. It can be supposed that she was there for sometime between two minutes and a half an hour.)
You have to love middle schoolers- working with them is like no job in the
entire world.

technology - bah

panic is setting in.
time is at a premium.
summer is OVER.

Monday, September 05, 2005


watched this movie last night with some amigos. it's a documentary about andy goldsworthy, an amazing artist. a description of him and his art from his website:
"Throughout his career most of Goldsworthy's work has been made in the open air, in places as diverse as the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, Grize Fiord in the Northern Territories of Canada, the North Pole, Japan, the Australian outback, St Louis, Missouri and Dumfriesshire. The materials he uses are those to hand in the remote locations he visits: twigs, leaves, stones, snow and ice, reeds and thorns. Most works are ephemeral but demonstrate, in their short life, Goldsworthy's extraordinary sense of play and of place."

i was struck by his patience, and easygoing nature. to be sure he is an intense man on some level, because it would take some serious intensity to be out in the damp cold at 5 am stacking rocks to create a work of art. yet when the pile of rocks would fall, for the third or fourth time, he would shake his head, exhale, and mumble one curse to himself. if it were me i'd be running up and down the damn beach, chucking rocks and swearing my head off, and maybe work myself into an aneurysm. i hold on so tightly to things, writing, relationships, school work, etc. that when it doesn't go quite right, i throw a tantrum. it is good to remember that some things are simply beyond my control, and that's okay.

nature has a strange mix of the eternal and temporary, and there is beauty in both. the flowers will bloom, wither, and die in a matter of days. but year after year you can count on flowers appearing. i can pick up a rock at the beach and skip them out into english bay, yet it will wash back on to the beach long after i've died. nature has such a different rhythm from the way we've made life out to be. i want to be able to be in the present moment, yet let it run through my fingers the way the river stream flows between rocks.

i think we try to hold on the bloom of the flower all the time, and bask in that obvious beauty, try to maintain that in ourselves, in our appearances. we've lost the appreciation for the fallow time, for the quiet and dark winter, when there isn't much to look at, but oh, the things going on beneath the surface, the preparation for growth! impressive. awe-inspiring. beautiful. and then to be able to let things go after they have bloomed. but to freeze something that is meant to be temporary for all time, to try to buck the rhythm of nature... makes it less precious, turns it into something that looks like those crazy airbrushed models on the magazines that leer at you in the grocery store checkout. it just doesn't look right after a while.

i'm all over the place. time to go back to my school work.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

here i go again

"Here I go again on my own
goin' down the only road I've ever known.
Like a hobo I was born to walk alone.
An' I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time
but here I go again, here I go again,
here I go again, here I go."
- Whitesnake

Really, what better way to open another school year than quoting whitesnake?
The summer days are dwindling down, and new faces are appearing at school, dazed and overwhelmed by this different setting. Me, i've been in this setting all summer, working like a dog, and trying not to hold their excitement against them.
New things are happening for me too, new challenges and ways to grow and discover what i am capable of. i'm sure i'll freak out, but on the other side of it, i'll be glad i went through it - like lots of other times in my life that have shaped me. my final acts of the summer will be finishing up some summer school essays, and then designing the new edition of the school newspaper, the et cetera. i'm the editor, and it's starting to sink in what kind of power i wield. i'm getting excited about things, it seems to mesh well with my other job - barrista extraordinaire at the well, which is the real information hub at school. it's there that i can cajole people into writing articles for me. i think this is where my real job will lie, as opposed to editing. it will be in getting a wide range of the student body to write and share their perspective on things.

tonight i went to a bar with some friends that had live flamenco dancing. sipped some sangria, and people watched. the dancers were awesome, it was a non-pretentious place, that was low on the "scene" and full of people who wanted to chill and watch some cool dancing. i watched the dancers' faces and loved how their faces lit up when they were really feeling the rhythm and movements. i want to pay attention to the things in my life that make me feel joy like they do when they dance. even in the choreographed movements, there is room for freedom and expression.

i am hopeful for this year and what will happen in me, and in the lives of my friends. i am struck by the quality of people that i have gotten to know in my time here and am so impressed with their character, wisdom, and openness to God's leading. not to mention their knowledge of tom petty lyrics, fantasy football, frisbee throwing skills, and how we can all sit around a table and spend the evening laughing. so whitesnake doesn't have it quite right - i'm not on my own ... or maybe it's just that we're all a bunch of crazy hobos together.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

marital bliss

well, another pair of friends married. another great party and celebration of 2 cool people. the vancouver rain managed to hold off for the exact time of the wedding and reception, which was great.

some pictures from the wedding - my friends sara and jess and i looking smokin' hot.

the monkey is a special decoration for the honeymoon mobile. it's a toy of dane's that well, humps, things. we took pictures with it the entire weekend and finally duct taped it to their car. it's fun to be mischievous. now we just need more friends to get married so we can keep having fun parties.

smallest housemate ever

This is Sienna. But imagine her squirming a bit more, with two big blue eyes, and crying sometimes (or more often during the late evening hours according to her parents.) She's pretty cute. and yet another avenue of procrastination for me.

Friday, August 19, 2005

wedding prep extravaganza

bachelorette celebration
Originally uploaded by audmo.
In Seattle for Katie's wedding weekend extravaganza - as a bridesmaid, i am here to do katie's bidding, and make life easier or less stressful before the wedding. Today was the wedding rehearsal, and in the evening a few of us bridesmaids and bride went to the Hyatt in Bellvue for champagne and dessert - chocolate covered strawberries infused with Grand Marnier. Quite possibly on the of the best things i have ever tasted. more pics from the day below.

i got a digital camera for my birthday and i am having lots of fun with it, can you tell?

rap snacks: the official wedding snack

the official wedding snack
Originally uploaded by audmo.
not just for hip hop any more. the flavor is "Lil Romeo" BAR-B-Quin With Honey. Li'l Romeo says "stay in school."

ooo... topiary

ooo... topiary
Originally uploaded by audmo.
the question isn't why do i do this, but how can i not do this? this is in front of the kiana lodge, where the ceremony and reception is. i felt one with nature.

flower girl and ring bearer

flower girl and ring bearer
Originally uploaded by audmo.
christoper the ring bearer and hannah the flower girl. so cute.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


friends, i present to you - rap snack. the official snack of hip hop. better recognize, yo. this shizzle's fo' rizzle.
available at a 7-11 near you. buy some or i'll bust a cap in your ass.
check 'em out at www.rapsnacks.com

Monday, August 15, 2005

maybe tomorrow

My friend molly, who i talked about in an earlier post just put out a cd. i'm listening to it right now. it's kick ass. i'm quite proud of her. and blown away at how good it is.

check out some samples on the web here: http://www.myspace.com/mollyjenson

Sunday, August 14, 2005

high class

salient memories of the summer of 2005 would include:
sitting on the beach watching the sun set with friends drinking wine, eating fruit and peanut butter and chocolate oreos and smoking cherry cigarillos.

now that's the kind off summer i'm talking about.


i miss:

going to a's games
the way the fog rolls into the valley over the berkeley hills
duct-taping jr. highers to sign posts
mexican food
reading in the overstuffed purple chairs at cuppa tea on college ave
sitting in the pool with jenn laughing

Friday, August 12, 2005


lara and jeff: parents of one gorgeous baby girl named Sienna, as of 11 p.m. Wednesday night

my parents: in canada and exploring victoria today

me: writing a paper sitting in my room with my feet up on the window sill. thinking about the trinitarian doctrine of God, and how this impacts the life of the church today. hmmm... while this is important to do, i would prefer to be doing it at any time other than on a sunny vancouver summer's day. meh, i say. meh, indeed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


a good summer night. grilled some brats and ate dinner out on the deck. went down to the beach with some friends to see the sunset and threw the frisbee around. we bought some ice cream at safeway and then sat around the table laughing really hard. i didn't realize how long it had been since i had laughed that hard until afterward. it's been a long and busy summer. things seem to be letting up though.

but man, i live for those moments of just easy and silly time with friends. they are precious to me, both the moments and friends themselves.

lara - still in labor. she and jeff left for the hospital finally at 8:30 tonight. meaning she has been in labor for about 43 hours. so new baby could be here now. for her sake i hope so. she must be pretty tired.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

labor pains

my housemate lara started having contractions this morning at 1 am. it's 10 pm and still no baby. man, screw all those movies where the lady suddenly goes into labor and they have a hilarious frenzied journey to get to the hospital barely on time. the flustered dad would be played by hugh grant or some other actor that is good at acting endearingly bumbling.

anyway, the doctor told her not to come into the hospital until the contratctions were 4 minutes apart or her water broke. we sat in the backyard chatting this afternoon and jeff her husband chalked up our new 4 square court. i've never been so close to a woman in labor, excluding my mom - one time being when i was born and the other two at the birth of my brothers, but i was too young to really figure out what was going on. so i try to hold back from peppering her with too many questions, but she is patient with me, and sometimes jeff and i can get her to laugh.

so hopefully sooner rather than later, their baby will enter the world. and we will have another (really small) housemate. and they will be parents. how crazy cool is that?

anyway, seeing lara breathe her way through a contraction makes the metaphor of creation groaning as a woman in labor for the return of Jesus and the full redemption of the world takes on new vividness for me. hey, i'm in theological school, of course i'm going to be thinking about this. i think we jump to the climactic part of the baby being pushed out because well, it's the most spectacular and painful part. but to see lara go about the day, waiting expectantly, quietly, tiredly because she's been up for the past 22 hours, and watching jeff attentively timing contractions by her side... this is a part of the process too. ordinary as it is, we go about our daily lives, the little things like errands, communicating with friends, eating, cooking, cleaning, dating and so on ... we feel the labor pains come on as we yearn for our redemption for life to be changed and returned to how it was meant to be. and we hope. and it hurts. but what's coming will be so amazing that the pain will be forgotten because it will all have been worth it. part of me feels guilty to have co-opted lara actual real pain to my little analogy. but the other part of me is glad to be reminded that these papers i am writing are not the whole of life, that there are important and miraculous things happening around me, and that there is much to hope for in the waiting.

i can't wait to meet lara and jeff's baby. i can't wait to babysit.

Monday, August 08, 2005

mmm... pork rinds

i am a lousy pool player. but give me a beer and some fries, and i am content attempt to try to improve my game. it's summer, and my attic room is stifling hot, but i'm mooching a free wireless connection, cranking my ceiling fan and it's all good.

papers and such loom, but for now i am happy to pretend to have a carefree regular life, for a few hours here and there. spent the weekend camping with some girlfriends, swimming, soaking in the sun, quoting simpsons lines, and reading poetry about love marriage and sex (it was a bachelorette-style camping weekend).

trying to live in the moment and enjoy myself, and also be responsible so i don't jack myself up once school starts.

waiting expectantly for my housemate lara to have her baby. which mean that our house will have a baby and i can inflict free babysitting on them. it seems like an altruistic gesture to give parents time to themselves, but really is selfishly motivated as i love to spend time with babies. the biological clock is ticking and all that stuff.

parents coming this weekend. hoping to welcome them into my world and that we can enjoy our time together, and perhaps grow to understand each other a little better.

august is full of stuff. good things ... weddings, time with friends. because after that the pressure cooker of school starts. wish august would stretch into forever full of long sunlit evenings playing pool, or video games, or four square.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

yet another quiz

well, i took another quiz thing, this time concerning which theologian i would be. i think perhaps this result is rather accurate though because everything if find on the internet is 100% reliable, right? right?

anyway, i have been considering suffering lately. i'd say from a safe distance, as i have led a rather charmed life. yet we all have our wounds and scars. i think for a long time i kept them from God, from others, and was ashamed of them. that view has changed, as i have had tastes of healing and grace. though i am a bit of a clown, and love to laugh, i have begun to see that one cannot truly laugh and find humor unless one is also prepared to plumb the other end of the spectrum, to grieve, to see pain. humor and laughter can be things of hope, of grace. well... that's what i've got so far. more to come as the thoughts develop.

i think i'm going to name my dog, if i ever have one, Jurgen.

You scored as Ju�rgen Moltmann.
The problem of evil is central to your thought, and only a
crucified God can show that God is not indifferent to human suffering.
Christian discipleship means identifying with suffering but also
anticipating the new creation of all things that God will bring about.

Ju�rgen Moltmann


John Calvin




Karl Barth


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Martin Luther


Charles Finney


Paul Tillich


Jonathan Edwards




Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


i'm 29 now. my birthday was last saturday.

through some strange turn of circumstances, it was the second birthday in a row that required me to spend most of the day on a bus to seattle. last year, it was to catch a plane to fly to san diego for a friend's wedding. this year, i only had to go to seattle to attend my friend's bridal shower (i'm a bridesmaid in the wedding, and her oldest friend). there are better ways of spending a birthday than being on a bus for 5 hours (traffic, paranoid border patrol and their drug-sniffing dogs) but i think there are worse ways too.

a few friends cooked up a birthday breakfast for me and we sat at picnic table at the beach to enjoy it. it's finally summer-like here. they armed me with an audio book for the journey and took me to the bus station. i made the rookie mistake of sitting on the sunny side of the bus, and was slowly baked to a crisp the whole way down. really, i've made the trip down there enough times to know to avoid this situation.

as mild sunstroke set in, i amused myself by imagining what i would like for my birthday dinner. i knew i'd get to pick because, hell, it was my birthday. i came up with two requirements as i came over the bridge into seattle and considered popping open the emergency exit window and throwing my scorched body into the bay, or sound, or whatever that body of water is: patio dining, and a humungous cobb salad. the salad that starts out healthy because it's a salad but then gets piled with toppings like bacon so it's not that healthy after all.

james and katie came through, and along with some other old friends, we dined at a restaurant overlooking downtown seattle and mt. rainier. besides the bus thing, it was great to have a chance to celebrate with different groups of friends, and to eat a heck of a lot of food. don't think i need much more than that.

katie's bridal shower, apart from being in an stifling hot living room, was fun. i have mixed feelings about these types of parties (like yay! a spoon!), but usually enjoy myself. it's cool to see how well she and james know each other now, and to see what they admire and value about each other. it's kind of a mysterious process how two people come together to be married. like you can't really explain it with a diagram or powerpoint presentation (thank goodness), but you can look at two people and see that's it's happening.

i've known katie for about 12 years now, my oldest friend. it was funny for me to see how well i knew katie from the little bridal shower games that we played. we've had ups and downs because of being awkward teenagers, and then being awkward twenty-somethings. i am assured that even though we may be in different places and circumstances, we'll be friends in some form or another. it takes time to get to a point like that. and work. and a lot of grace. i am glad to have a friend like her.

back to my paper. i also picked up a four square ball while i was in seattle (damn stores don't carry them up here. communists). beer and four square night is imminent.

Friday, July 29, 2005


free cable tv... gone. just like that.
we hardly knew ye.
wait, yes we did. old episodes of the simpsons, reality tv, baseball games, old cheesy great brain candy movies, reality television, food network, reruns of dawson's creek in the morning. sigh.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

timeless activities

so my birthday is coming up in a little over a week. the big 2-9. i tend for forget how old i am now. not just because i'm getting older, but the late 20s birthdays themselves are unmemorable passages of time. not like when you turn 16 and you can drive and 18 and you can buy smokes or 21 when you can really start to damage your liver. hmm... all of these are potentially dangerous activities, why is that so exciting to us?

well... anyway i'm turning 29 but last weekend, you could have found me and my friend dane taking the screen out of my front window of my room. why? so we could throw eggs at my friends sara and jess as they walked out of my house to go for a run. the perfect crime.

i let fly with an egg, an awkward throw from the angle of the window and where they were walking. the egg BOUNCED off the lawn. Sara picked it up and chucked it right back up at my window, where it doesn't bounce and shatters on the wall just beneath my window.

dane's egg actually broke at their feet, but we found the 3rd egg he threw in the grass when we walked outside. it was intact. either the eggs are incredibly heavy duty, the grass is incredibly springy, or the regular laws of physics do not apply in canada. crazy. talk about a plan backfiring.

but then dane, dan and i played timesplitters 2. the most ridiculous/pointless but most fun video game ever. we bascially shouted for 2 hours. i was laughing so hard, i think i was hung over the next day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

in the interests of exhibitionism

well, blogging to some extent is about sharing yourself. which sometimes turns into just plain narcissism. but really, we're all like that anyway. it's just that now we all know just how much.
so, i present to you my internet meyers-briggs test results. i don't know if i really agree with them. i hate the test anyway. i have trouble making decisions. comments on the accuracy of this are welcome.

on the life front, i had a good day. in a good space with my writing which is good because that was a major reason i came up here. it's a big rubber-meeting-the-road time. should be an interesting ride. which you will all know about (all 5 of you) because i will write about it.
peace out.

Your #1 Match: ESFP

The Performer

You are a natural performer and happiest when you're entertaining others.
A great friend, you are generous, fun-loving and optimistic.
You love to laugh - and you like almost all people equally.
You accept life as it is, and you do your best to make each day fantastic.

You would make a good actor, designer, or counselor.

Your #2 Match: ISFP

The Artist

You are a gifted artist or musician (though your talents may be dormant right now).
You enjoy spending your free time in nature, and you are good with animals and children.
Simply put, you enjoy bueaty in all its forms and live for the simple pleasures in life.
Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate - you are good at recognizing people's unspoken needs.

You would make a good veterinarian, pediatrician, or composer.

Your #3 Match: ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

Monday, July 11, 2005

blame it on the rain

extremely bitter about the amount of rain that has fallen this summer. tonight i will barbecue, regardless of the weather, even if i have to get someone to hold the umbrella while i grill. dammit.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

blog blog blog

well... i forgot to mention that july 1st was canada day. it's somewhat of an oversight on my part, but really, canada day is not celebrated with as much flair or colorful explosions as the fourth of july. as much as i love that holiday, i am happy to be in canada, and to have a different perspective on the world. let's just say i haven't really been too into the rabid religiously-termed patriotism that has colored the country as of late.

but enough of that. i thought, for the few that read this, i would call attention to the links over there on the side. they're worth checking out. my old camp buddy nate henry sings in the band sherwood - he mostly drives around the country, eating bad truck stop food, sleeping in a van in between rocking out in various parts of america. they have yet to visit vancouver, which i am a little bitter about, but only because i want to be at a show and tell people that i know a guy in the band. my friend molly jenson lives in san diego. her hair color changes a lot, though she is always stylin', and has an amazing singing voice and plays a mean guitar and piano (though not at the same time, but i'd like to see it if she could). molly may or may not be playing in vancouver this fall. we've known each other for oh, almost 4 years now, but have only actually been in the same space for oh, about a total 3 weeks, plus many countless phone calls. she rules.

i'm tired. i will talk about my other friends later. soon. night.

Monday, July 04, 2005

oh yeah

and it was the fourth of july.
yay america.

day by day

still working and busy. it's frustrating sometimes - i feel like my summer, my time, is sliding by and i'm just trying to stay afloat. i end up cranky and tired, and my only feasible option is to stare at my ceiling for the entire afternoon - because if i was around anyone i'd rip their arm off and beat them with it. a necessary (and healthy, not to mention safe) thing to do, but not really how i'd like to spend most of my afternoons. and i have found myself too tired to do much more than this on many afternoons.
then there are surprising moments that remind me i'm simply alive and in the present, not just some machine going from task to task. spending a warm summer afternoon (which have been too few in this cloudy vancouver summer) in the backyard, in companionable silence with a friend, turning some leaves aside and discovering raspberries. i'm surrounded/bombarded with images continuously, yet with them i really see color, i really feel the ripeness as i pull them off the vine, and really taste the sweetness. transformed from a tired numbness, to resting in the moment and being satisfied.
the weird thing is, i can't really force these moments, or grasp after them, but to just take things as they come, try to slow down, and pay attention.
and then spend the evening watching a bad teenybopper movie, offering a scathing commentary and laughing really hard.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

further snapshots of community

watching the basketball game while dan and dan are hitting each other in the butt and sara and i are shielding our eyes. having flashbacks to high school because we can't figure out what to do with our evening.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

saturday afternoon

slept in today. continuing to organize, organize, and organize - everything from old papers, to bills, to various house things, to the various articles cluttering my room. i am an organizing machine. i'll have to take a nap soon.

we've had several different people stay in the house this month. the bywaters family from virginia (a rowdy bunch, let me tell you), 2 recently graduated-from-college girls from toronto who are considering regent, and a middle-aged couple from boise idaho who are also thinking of attending regent. also some dear friends who just graduated from regent last month came back to visit, which necessitated the barbecue celebration/reunion. tonight, and an old college friend and her husband are also stopping through on the way up to whistler. phew. it's been a full house - seems like we ought to put a revolving door in.

but it's all good. it's great to have people over, makes the house feel more lived in, and welcoming. which was what got me started thinking the other night. i think the word "house" refers mainly to the actual physical structure of the place in which i live. in the house there's the living room, several bedrooms, a bathroom a kitchen and a basement. i sleep there. i make food there. we watch tv. i will live in many different houses in my lifetime. when i first moved in here, and the place was mostly empty, save for some hand-me-down furnishings from friends, the place was just a place, a house.

after a month, after hosting people, after laughing and talking with friends on the deck or in the living room, after finding a free couch and rocking chair on craigslist (and getting a free tv in the deal, also), after discovering what the various mysterious light switches activate (and there are many of those), i am more willing to call this place home. discovering what kind of atmosphere we can create here for friends, for ourselves, how we interact with each other ... this is what goes in to making a house a home, and each home i live in during my life will be unique. i am growing roots here, as i have been for the past two years at regent in vancouver, and will continue to do so until i leave (in a year - yikes!)

i stumbled over an old journal entry the other night, in which i am considering what kind of home i would like to have. it was back in january before i knew i was going to live in a community house/home. funnily enough, the physical characteristics i considered - like a deck, bbq, fireplace (gas, no less) are here. and the intangible things - like welcoming atmosphere, laughter, good cooking smells, nights of good conversations with friends... those are here too. good stuff.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

chilling out, maxin', relaxin'

we've broken in the new (to our house, anyway) grill tonight with our first house party. good times.
wendy, one of our prospective student visitors, said she felt welcomed into our home and comfortable and that she enjoyed being there with her husband (and other things that i can't remember right now because i'm tired, but i know that i agreed with her). what she described is pretty much what my hopes for our community home, so i was happy to hear her say these things.

home/house ... words that are used interchangeable but i think carry subtle but powerful nuances. more on this later

Monday, June 06, 2005

home sweet home

the last few weeks have been spent pouring a lot of coffee, finishing up coaching crew, checking craigslist obsessively for free stuff, hitting up thrift stores, browsing at garage sales, and getting hand-me-down things from friends. our house is starting to seem more like a home, and that makes me happy. life has settled into a more manageable rhythm.

so i've been puttering around doing lots of little things. it's been hard for me to sit still long enough for contemplation and i sorely need to. hopefully i can set aside some time before i start up with summer school.

at church yesterday, the sermon was about persecution - that it is something we all face as christians in one form or another, whether it be imprisonment or violence, or apathy. it is something good to remember. some bible verses were offered as pointers in how to deal with persecution, "do not be discouraged" and others along the same vein. and i was annoyed. because what if i am discouraged? does that make me a bad christian? as our lives go through the undulating highs and lows that is the human experience, there are going to be times when we are discouraged frustrated and cranky, or just outright angry. what then? how do these verses speak to us in the midst of that? as we undergo persecution, do we recognize just how hard it is to follow christ? or are we just supposed to put on our christian happy faces and pretend everything is okay?
all that to say, i'm not on the verge of giving up my faith or something like that, but i think i'm just continuing to discover and appreciate that life is much more nuanced and complex than we take the time to notice. and then sometimes life is breathtakingly simple. i don't know. just some haphazard thoughts...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

customer service bites

so i've been putting in major hours at the well (school coffee shop). during the school year i only work 2 shifts, so i've gotten a different perspective from being there every day. what perspective is that, you might wonder? basically, people are dumb.

okay, that's a bit harsh. let me explain further...
1) it surprises me in such a starbucks-saturated culture, that people don't know what a latte or a cappucino is. on one hand, their ignorance is comforting and shows me that we have not been fully brainwashed by coffee chains. on the other hand, i'm pretty tired of explaining what a cappucino is 80 times a day, or hearing people try to make a dumb joke about it.
2) people are passive aggressive. well some people are. other people will just make a complaint outright to me - like, "why is this so expensive?" and i will explain that our prices are such and such because our dealer makes them this certain way, or it's organic, or blablabla... however, if you choose to say to me, "at starbucks this is only $5." we cannot really have a discussion about this. i see that you are annoyed that you are paying more, however you do not leave me room to respond. so i will look at you blankly and then turn to the next person in line to take their order. and later, i will make fun of you. and your large steamed milk with caramel, with extra whip and extra caramel. seriously - i hope you enjoy adult-onset diabetes.
it makes me wonder though, about how we communicate. we've forgotten how to do so directly, and try to manipulate situations or shove our own agenda onto other people by cloaking what we really want with different words. how exhausting. and frustrating. i'm no angel in this type of situation, either. i guess i've been unlearning how to do this, and trying to be clear and honest with friends with my words and feelings. not to mention with the odd overworked barrista, or food service employee. be nice to those people - they have access to your food & beverages.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

we fear change

once in high school, when my friend jamie was asking for some quarters so he could use the soda machine or something. i dramatically responded, "change? we fear change!" which cracked him up. and he still mooched the buck off me. later, i went to senior prom with him. because we were friends and he laughed at my jokes.

seriously, a sign should be hung around my neck that says "does not deal well with change." whenever something does i deal by going to sleep for a long time. it's just a necessarry part of the process for me. i get cranky when i don't. i end up looking something like a little kid when he's so tired, he can't go to sleep, so just bawls a lot and then suddenly passes out while still crying and hyperventilating. i watched this baby do that a few weeks ago when i was babysitting - it's quite a fascinating phenomenon. how can one fall asleep while screaming at the top of one's lungs at the same time?

so i become narcoleptic ("i've always wanted to try soup but was afraid of drowning.") and i forget things. like going grocery shopping. or writing on the blog. although i know only like 5 people read this thing. sometimes i check the blog out, expecting to see something new, as if someone else would write on it, or i'd have written something and had forgotten about i had. why yes, i am slightly insane.

though i believe as i invite more chaos into my life, i will also invite more fullness more "real life" into my life. and if sometimes that involves me feeling like a kid freaking out, well, okay then. better than not feeling anything at all i think. at least i'll have more interesting things to write about.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

mooooovin' on up

spent a hectic but good day packing up and moving into my new home. went from a basement suite on my own to an attic bedroom in a house with four other people (right now it's only 2 other people - long story). anyway, it was slightly chaotic and tiring, but there were laughs and love and togetherness also - community life in a nutshell, i'd say.

looking forward to summer evenings on the deck barbecuing and drinking beer and long conversations.
in the meantime, many boxes to unpack and getting settled.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Beer: Proof That God Loves Us

"Portuguese gym-goers urged to drink beer"
Click on the title link to go to this article. Take that, Atkins diet. Let's all move to Portugal.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

done and done

tonight several of my good friends graduated from regent college. good stuff - definitely an occasion to be celebrated ... and mourned a little bit. celebrated because it it quite an accomplishment, and good to acknowledge a significant period of life that involved a lot of growth and challenge. mourned because, it is an ending, a loss as everyone moves on to a new life and set of circumstances. such is life - a lot of joy and sadness mixed in together. it continues to surprise me how i can simultaneously feel these emotions, and at how life can be so simple an so complex at the same time.

some moments can be blissfully simple - friends gathering around a table to drink beer, eat nachos, laugh and enjoy each others company - doesn't get much better than that for me. and other relationship so complex, like in how to communicate - really communicate with each other - and walk alongside each other as we all grow and change, as we butt heads and annoy and hurt each other. and somehow in the messiness of that friendships grow and become richer too.

perhaps i'm just being sappy and thoughtful because i've had good bit of beer. but that would just be making excuses - i really can be quite sappy whatever state i'm in.

so here's to regent college class of 2005 - good friends, good laughs, good times. glad to be friends with them. best of luck. (i don't know why i wrote that. none of them check this blog, but what the hell)

it also boggles my mind that i will be in their position on the graduation stage next year. between now and this time next year, i will have written a thesis? damn.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

stick a fork in me...

... for i am done. one more semester of international graduate school of christian studies under my belt. i'd just say seminary but my school likes to insist that it is a grad school and more than a seminary. don't ask me why, we just do.

i mailed off my last paper last night from the seven eleven (post offices are parts of established business instead of in their own buildings here), spirited there by my friends (dave was dressed in his pajamas). then we plundered the candy section, i bought myself a celebratory falafel (had skipped dinner while writing furiously) and watched "waking ned devine" and drank wine. slept in today, met up with my friends sara and mollie, we painted the walls (a nice warm earthy red) at jacob's well, a ministry in the Downtown East Side (one of the poorest areas in Canada). manual labor is good after a long semester of thinking hard. went out for burgers and beer afterwards and then sat around visiting with each other. the first 24 hours of my term break have been spent very well. looking forward to another summer in beautiful vancouver.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I'm old

I lied. I didn't pull an all-nighter. I got bored and tired at 3 am and went to bed. Have been loitering/working on my paper in a coffee shop for the past, oh, 5 hours. So so close now...

Meanwhile, outside it is in the upper 60s and sunny. Nature is taunting me...

All-nighter, baby

Am being throttled to death slowly by my final paper. What makes it worse is that I'm really into the subject, just to tired and lazy to put much effort into the writing. it would just be better if i didn't care at all. shoot.

on other fronts, i babysat this morning while my friend Rebecca taught an ESL class. hudson, her son and my little buddy, is three years old and in the middle of potty training. so most of the time, i was in the church nursery bathroom with him, trying to convince him to poop. see, he hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet, and has been making himself sick by er... witholding. i could tell he was in some degree of discomfort, but everytime i tried to get him to sit down, he would burst into tears, which would also make his little brother everett cry. it was quite different from my regular grad-school discussions. though, as my friend marybeth once told me while she was trying to potty train her own son, there's a weird sermon illustration in there somewhere. sometimes, even though it is the best thing for us, we just can't let go of some stuff. even if we would feel so much better if we just relinquished control and let go. as it is in the bathroom, so it is in the rest of life. and god's just sitting there with us in the bathroom patiently.

that's too weird to ever put in a sermon. but it is good for a laugh.

Monday, April 18, 2005


one paper left. after friday i can write a post that is longer than 3 sentences.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

it's kinda like liger, but different

check it out - a wholphin. yes, a whale-dolphin hybrid. weird. click on the title of this entry for the link.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Remember Alf? He's back ... in pog form

talking about the simpsons, alf, and pogs is the only thing that has made me feel kind of smart this week.

Monday, April 11, 2005


i know it's finals because i just ate top ramen for the first time in many years. i also didn't bother to put it in a bowl, but proceeded to eat it directly out of the pot.

feeling ulcerous

just turned in paper #1 of three due this week, plus an exam on wednesday. my stomach is churning some serious acid here. in the midst of hating life, part of me is really into what i am learning. the grading part of academia kind of sucks.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

rowing - the return

As of tuesday, I will be back out on the water again. it's been oh, about 5 years since i had anything to do with rowing. perhaps i've just needed that long to forget about the pain and mentan anguish. so now all i remember at the good things. i'll be coaching at the thunderbird rowing center, for this corporate challenege event. kind of a teambuilding thing for different companies. basically just a fun introduction to the sport for these office flunkies.

i'm really really excited about it. as much as i can be in the midst of final papers and exams. ugh. but it will be good to be outside, on the water and coaching - something i love to do. and it will be good to get out of the christian bubble i find myself in at school.

also thinking about running a half marathon at the end of june. guess i want to exercise my body as much i've been exercising my mind lately. can't wait to escape the library.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

insomniac thoughts

i wrote this for some of my online ponderosa camp friends.. thought i'd just post it here too because i don't have time to write it all over again, and i'm still kind of mulling it over...

tonight i was tired because of freakin' daylight savings time. so i figured i'd try to go to sleep early instead of working on my research paper. it is now 1:30 in the morning and i could have been working on my paper instead of tossing and turning. frick.

it is our last week of classes this week. today was our final session of "empowering the church... really-long-titled-class". we basically spent the whole semester examining the identity of the chuch (which is shifting and changing with the ever-changing culture), trying to deal with being in a post-modern, post-christendom (christianity as a guiding force in world culture) culture, and figuring out the mission of the church (announcing that the kingdom of the triune god has come near). it was fabulous, and maybe a few of our questions were answered (do we need to change? yes), lots more were raised (like how the heck do we do this?), and we are learning to live with that tension.

so, for our final class, there was an open sharing time for students to share what they'd learned from the class. then one of our professors preached about the wounds of Christ - how these wounds signify that God has suffered and is suffering with us. and these wounds bring the promise of healing. and these wounds empower us to do his will. then our profs anointed our hands with oil and blessed us. quite powerful stuff.

as i watched my classmates go forward, one of my profs., darrell johnson, encouraged us to pray for each other. as i prayed for these people, some of whom were friends, some acquaintances and some strangers, i was struck by 2 things. 1) that these people had never before appeared so beautiful to me than at that moment. because they were open to doing God's will and approaching Him with open hands to receive blessing. because they were moved to leave their regular lives, and come to school and pay to get their spiritual/intellectal asses whupped on a daily basis. because they loved God, and love His people. 2) that these people were also a ragtag bunch of misfits, if not a total freak show. these were the people God was raising up to do his mission? i wanted to laugh, not out of derision, but out of joy/astonishment. because, were it up to us, we would pick people who looked like brad pitt and jennifer aniston, that ooze charisma like bill clinton, had big muscles like shaquille o'neal. instead, the lowly, the meek,the poor, the seemingly foolish... these are the people that make up God's church. if that is not some sign of God's sense of humor i don't know what is. if that is not some sign of God's universal love, i don't know what is. if that isn't some sign of God's mysterious wisdom... you get the idea.

anyway, that's the best i can do for quarter to 2 in the AM. thoughts?

for all the problems the church has, God's will is still being accomplished.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

ay dios mio

Originally uploaded by audmo.
procrastinating. at word 2023 of a 3750 word paper. it's due on friday. so i think i'm hanging in there okay. of course, i have yet to come up with an overarching point to the paper so that could be a small problem later. but i won't think about it now.

instead, consider how SWEET i look with an afro. this was at our annual regent ball (or as i like to call it, the regent prom) they went zany this year with a "foolish formal" theme since it was on april 1st. rented out a 5-pin bowling alley, and had a major dance party. i felt like i was at summer camp, what with all the dancing, cross-dressing men, and nasty thrift store skit closet-esque clothing. i really think costumes need to be incorporated more into social events. i love it.

on other fronts, i am leaving behind my solitary existence in my 1 bedroom basement suite and will be moving into a community house with some friends on may 1st. yay for friends! and living above ground - i've got dibs on the attic loft space, kind of a greg brady bachelor pad thing going on, with less blacklight.

i've gotta buy myself an afro wig.

writing and writing and writing

paper time. ugh.
and i freely decided to go back to school.
however, i think it's ultimately a good thing that i am here. the momentary (3 weeks worth) of torture is but a small price in the big picture. (what i'm trying to convince myself of right now.)
deep, cleansing breaths...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

belated happy easter

he is risen indeed!

Monday, March 28, 2005

I went to a maundy thursday service last week. it was a tenebrae service, a meditation of scripture and music on holy week, up to good friday. Its kind of the opposite of a candlelight service. after each scripture reading, a candle is blown out. the service ends in darkness, with no dismissal. it is powerful, mournful and unsettling. i want to skip ahead to easter - actually i don't, really. at this point in my life, i find myself rather interested in the grief process, depression, pain, and so on. pre-easter kinds of things.
i am moved once again by the SPECTACULAR WRONGNESS of the execution of jesus, the physical pain that he endured, the emotional and spiritual anguish, and our own anger, jealousy, and deceit.
when i survey the wondrous cross ... sorrow and love flow mingled down ... demands my soul my life my all.
i don't get it ... it seems the more i explore and feel my own pain, the more joy and hope come to me also. the more i consider the pain and horror of jesus' death, the more meaningful the joy and celebration come Easter morning. and all the more joy when He comes again in glory. i long for that day.
of course i didn't think this at the time of the service. in fact, in the darkness and warmth of the chapel, i dozed off a little bit. puts me in the company of the disciples.

it's that time of year...

sick as a dog. with papers, exams, and life proceeding at the speed of light.
prayers all around would be appreciated.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

living it up in the homeland

so i wax poetic about my brother going to our homeland, and today i get this email:

"songs i've heard karaoked in thick pinoy accents:
by: Canseco for Pulitzer (ericvmolina2000)
Mar 23 8:02pm
1. Aqua - Barbie Girl
2. Matchbox 20 - Unwell\
3. Ricky Martin - She Bangs (it was as good as you might imagine)
4. Frank Sinatra - My Way (12X)
5. Willie Nelson - Always on my Mind (actually that was me)
6. Shania Twain - From this Moment (extra points for being sung by a transvestite comedy troupe)
carry on."

i was jealous before. now i'm really jealous. i think. i'm not sure.

Monday, March 21, 2005

family ties ... sha na na na

my middle brother eric is in the philippines right now with my dad. eric is between terms at his fake advertising portfolio school. it's really an advertising portfolio school; eric just calls it a fake school because it's kind of a two bit run operation. when i saw the place it reminded me of when i did yearbook - a bunch of kids in an artsy room with the air of lax supervision. he likes it though, and it seems to be bringing out the smart ass creative side in him.

i'm a bit jealous of eric getting to travel around. for one, the weather is probably pretty amazing (i.e. not cold and rainy as it is here). and more significantly, he's travelling to both the old hometowns of our parents. this is something i'd really like to do myself someday. it would definitely give me more insight and understanding for my parents and where i come from. it's one thing to hear my dad lecture me about that stuff (not effective) and quite another to see it in the flesh (far more effective).

ever read the color of water? it's by james mcbride, i believe. he wrote about his mom's life, and orthodox jewish woman who married an african american man in the 60s - not too common then. she ended up raising 8 or 9 kids herself. amazing story. the story is about her, but also about him and how the story affected him. good stuff.

i think it's kind of like that for me. no, i'm not half jewish, but i do feel divided between my parent's lives and my own life. i'm not bi-racial, but bi-cultural. i look filipino but i can't speak a lick of tagalog, save for the swear words my dad would utter when he'd drop something on his foot. i don't really know anything about filipino culture. but today my friend dan told me that i'm the most knowledgeable person on north american pop culture that he knew. i can talk that talk, quote simpsons lines, refer to obscure movies, answer trivia, and so on. i blend into that culture. but in so doing, i think i've negated where i come from and part of who i am. i feel a bit lost at times. it's been interesting to explore this a bit. know thyself, right?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

stalking rock stars

just got back from stalking u2. the band has been up here for most of march, rehearsing at GM place for their upcoming tour. last night a few of us went out for dinner (intending to get "mediterranean schnitzel" - we just wanted to find out what it was, upon arriving at the place, we ended up going next door for burgers instead. vera's burger shack: some of the best burgers in vancouver) then on to GM place. we wandered around the building, and loitered around the loading bay. after talking to the nice security guard, he informed us that they'd probably be in there for another 3 or 4 hours. so we headed home, but after we pressed our ears to the doors of the arena and heard them playing "yahweh." it was cool.

we went back tonight, but it looks like they'd packed up and gone. their tour starts up pretty soon. alas. so much for our hopes that bono would come by regent to visit our profs. apparently, darrell johnson, has given him some spiritual advice, as has a former prof, eugene peterson (he wrote the message). we ended up getting some gelato instead - tiramisu and biscottini (italian cookies 'n' cream) for me. good stuff.

it was fun to break out of the studious routine and do something out of the ordinary. "out of the ordinary" = stalking rock stars. i have stalked regular people on occasion also.

deadlines loom in the near future. in the meantime, i've been playing outside a lot on the weekends - finished up the soccer season last weekend, and tomorrow are the ultimate frisbee playoffs. we're undefeated so far, and haven't been challenged too much except by the other regent team. basically the opposite performance from my soccer team - we got bounced out of the playoffs pretty early. it's been a tough season there. in any case, playing for both teams has allowed me plenty of chances to throw myself on the ground, which is my specialty. i like to get dirty and play hard. i've been pretty sore the last few mondays in recovery from the weekend. i'm wondering how i can translate this mentality to how i write my papers. when i'm playing a sport, i just get this confidence that i rarely feel elsewhere especially when it comes to academics. perhaps i just trust my body and instincts more than i trust my intellect. i see no good reason for this way of thinking to continue.

talked to the ubc crew coach last week. looks like i might be able to coach this summer - learn-to-row classes and some competitive programs. we'll see what happens - my student visa limits me to working on the UBC campus or with school affiliated organizations. i've got my fingers crossed and i'm praying hard. not only would it be good money (rowing tends to be a pricey sport) but it would be so so so good for my soul. i miss being out on the water and i totally thrive on coaching/teaching. and i'd get a wicked tan. heh.

all right. not sleepy since i took a long nap this afternoon. didn't leave my place all day except for a short walk. cleaned up the place, read some, and made carrot soup. it turned out all right. could be a little tastier. more soon, because i like to procrastinate.