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.