Wednesday, January 31, 2007

in the waiting line

sigh. waiting for:

my car to arrive. (mr. honda dealer was full of shit back in november! when he said it would be here in january!)

people to call me back after i've left messages, sent resumes, written cover letters, sucked up.

the next part of my life to start.

this is not passive waiting. i feel like i'm doing what i can to make this happen. all these machinations to get to a result. phooey.

i'm going to go eat cookies.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

it tastes like burning!

once in a long while i get bodyslammed by a case of heartburn. i didn't even eat anything spicy. i feel awful, like i'm disintegrating on the inside. or someone punched me in the sternum a bunch of times. hard to concentrate on anything when i feel like this. augh. i'm going to bed early. definitely the lowlight.

the highlight of today was volunteering to sort book donations for the annual church book sale. i hung out with some sweet old ladies, scored a cheap lunch, and got to pick out a free book for my services. i found a copy of of amusing ourselves to death which i was rather pleased to find under a truly enormous pile of books. if i keep helping until the sale, i'll get to pick out more free books, as well as scope out more of the book selection.

hope the heart stops burning tomorrow. stupid stomach acids.


i'm writing again. not coincidentally, i am anxious again.

i'm remembering, last year i kind of understood how a lot of writers went crazy and drank a lot. and that's the really good writers, the ones you've heard about. what happens to the writers that don't get famous?

at least, in reading what other writers have said about writing, i know i'm not the only neurotic one. thanks, anne lamott! i know you're crazier than i am! or so i would like to think.

but i think this is something i ought to get a handle on. not just in writing but in life too. right now i'm kind of confronting that all again, and it's mainly pissing me off. thinking in new ways? seeing things differently? why, that takes too much WORK, even if it is a better way. sigh. yet i press on. growing, even though i dig my heels in against this process a lot of the time. and yet... and yet, there are these glimpses of truth and freedom and grace that are so amazing, i am inspired to keep going. i used to see this all as a big trial, and i still do most of the time. but i am learrning to see life as an adventure also, and that makes it a little less scary. it might even be fun.

and in the words of lorelai gilmore on the trouble with stream of consciousness writing thoughts... "hockey puck, rattle snake, monkey, monkey, underpants."

Monday, January 29, 2007

chinese fire drill

here's the actual fortune that i got when my mom ordered chinese food the other night:
"Your goal will be met in two months."


"There is no emoticon for what I am feeling!"

while i was visiting in vancouver way back in december, i caught up with many friends. our conversations caused me to think about the time spent since i've moved away from that great city. what i've been most thankful for is the church i have been attending. i wondered if i'd be able to find a place that had a perspective similar to regent. on more than one occasion i have conversed with christian friends, only to find myself on a different wavelength from them, if not at odds. to say the least, it is disorienting. others of the regent diaspora, holla if you hear me.

even so... i found it ironic that after working in a church, and spending 3 years studying theology and discussing the church and community blablabla ad nauseum... i have now actually been that person who just shows up for the service, and then leaves without talking to anyone. i really had no idea that IT IS SO EASY. well, at a large church, anyway. it does take a lot of intitiative to get connected and it is something i am still working on. starting with actually talking to people at church. the class i have been going to has helped. forcing myself to be extroverted and being pleasantly surprised with the conversations. making friends with friends of friends. this is a good community.

no news on the job yet. calling them tomorrow to follow up. trying to remain upbeat and maintain intertia.
in other news, i'm going to 4 weddings between march and june. one in march and one at the end of may and 2 in june. holy craziness. all shall be good times though. i'm looking forward to each of them.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

"I've been going to Bible classes. They're teaching me to be more judgmental." Maude Flanders

this morning i went to a networking thing at a local church. it's one of their outreach ministries, and i think it's quite a good thing for this particular social setting. they meet saturday mornings consisting of unemployed people, employed people trying to change careers, recruiters and such. there's a sharing time of progress made through the week, question and answer time, a guest speaker on some job related topic and of course the requisite coffee and tea at church meetings. i was impressed. seem like an important ministry in suburbia, supplying community and help during the difficult job search. i was the youngest person there, besides the guest speaker, an HR exec-type for mervyn's. i don't know if it will turn up anything, but it couldn't hurt. i'll probably go again. it helps to know you aren't the only person that doesn't have a job, and to realize that you actually are qualified for employment.

last night i watched good night and good luck and last week, rabbit proof fence. both excellent movies. rent them from your local library today.

also, the recruiter or whatever he is from my brother's staffing agency contacted me yesterday. he refers to himself as "JC" his initials. i suppose to anyone that isn't a christian that's not weird to do so, as it is, I find it a little odd. it reminds me of owen wilson being the cheesy christian ex-boyfriend from "meet the parents."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

whiling away the hours

back at the coffee shop. back to my old habits of procrastination under a deadline. i revel in it, and then when it gets to crunch time, i rue my poor self-discipline. though i would assert that procratinators can be very disciplined when they need to be. much like lazy people are terribly efficient because they don't like to expend more energy than necessary. or i am just rationalizing. it sounds pretty good though, don't it?

however, it does give me incentive to blog. i consider this to be my writing calisthenics before the actual heavy lifting. and i have some fun before i start to agonize over every word.

i think this is a "christian" coffee shop. at any rate, some dudes are praying out on the patio, i've seen someone reading "the divine conspiracy" and other people walking through holding books of a similar thread. perhaps christians just like to congregate here. if the owner does happen to be a christian, i give them props for not being cheesy or attempting to convert people through the decor. it's a nice place. of course, here in the burbs no coffee shop is open past 8, which kind of sucks.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

two books that are actually worth having on your coffee table

my brother hooked me up with a cool book for christmas. he noticed that i had linked this artist/vandal/iconoclast/
cultural revolutionary banksy here on my blog a while ago. See more of his art and philosophy here.

Last week, I went to a presentation on this book, which I had mentioned here previously. Husband-wife team of Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio were awesome. the publication of the book comes at an interesting time, they shared, as for the first time in history, the number of overfed people is equal to the number of underfed people in the world. a blurb from the website...
"it tells about how people feed themselves in 24 countries around the world. Its contents are based on detailed research, beautifully photographed, presented with often disturbing clarity. Photographer Menzel and writer D'Aluisio introduce us to 30 families, representing every continent, each family photographed with the food they had for the week they were interviewed. The household range is from the most affluent in the developed countries to the neediest.
the photographs are beautiful and the stories are poignant. i mean, you could probably guess what people eat and who is healthier and such, but it is quite stark to presented in such a visually fascinating way.

one of their previous books is called material world; they photographed families with their worldly belongings, which is equally as fascinating. in an upcoming book, they examine what an individual person eats in one day.

hepped up on goofballs

usually when i drink my morning cup o' coffee, i feel pretty good.

sometimes though, the caffeine just hits me all wrong and i end up feeling anxious all day. couldn't seem to get anything done, beyond upload my resume at the staffing agency where my brother has been getting his freelancing gigs.

mostly i just tried not to freak out about life. took a walk and got started reading jayber crow - which seemed to help. i'm going to back off the caffeine for a little while though. cause days like this just don't feel good.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

irons in the fire

today i am in a coffee shop, working on a piece to submit to an anthology about growing up female and evangelical. i've opened up some old files from my thesis and am cobbling something together. it's odd to revisit these works that had consumed my life a year ago. i haven't looked at them since i turned them in to be graded. no post traumatic stress attacks yet. though some of what i have written still makes me chuckle, so that's a good sign. it feels good to flex these muscles in my brain again and remember that i love writing. the past months have been a much needed break from the insanity of last year, and i think i feel ready to pick up the pencil again, or peck away at the keyboard, as it were.

it helps to do this, rather than waiting and waiting for a phone call. i am doing the things that are in my control, rather than agonizing over things that are out of my hands.

i went to a job fair yesterday for a nonprofit that manages several low income housing properties. unfortunately i had a splitting headache but i dragged myself there anyway. after perusuing the available job descriptions and failing to be piqued by any of them, i left. no sense going through an interview when i felt less than stellar physically. i know they exist now and i can check their openings online. headaches suck.

i unloaded many old books at church today for their annual book sale. i am afraid to go to the actual sale, as i might end up with a bigger pile of books than i donated. such is my addiction. the first step is admitting the problem.

speaking of which a new novelty in my life is listening to podcasts of "this american life." in spite of the ethnocentric title, grrrrrrrrrrreat storytelling can be found here. it inspires me. perhaps one day you'll hear me reading on there, which would be too amazing for words. something to shoot for, i suppose.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man"

i haven't written, not becuase i have not had anything to say, but that i have had too much to say. an embarrassment of riches, i suppose.

of most recent interest - colts rule! i am rather partial to peyton manning as of late because he was the rock of my championship fantasy football team. (that's right, i won the baseball AND football leagues this year. i am awesome.) my brother was texting me the scores during church. once church was over, i tried to entice people into going to the pub 'round the corner, but there weren't any takers. i hung out and chatted with people for a bit, but when eric messaged that the score was tied at 31, i took matters into my own hands. i took off for the pub, bellied up the bar (the only girl i might add) ordered myself a pint and a sandwich. fantastic last 5 minutes of the football game. loved it. like i said, sometime you have to take matters into your own hands.

my second interview went pretty well, i think. it was another 90 minute extravaganza of seeing the local high school, talking to another director and chatting again with the people i met last time. i still like what the organization is about. i could see myself there i think; i guess we'll see. they've got some thinking to do, and i've got some thinking to do. i should hear from them in a week or so. regardless of what happens, i'm still feeling pretty good about this whole job search process.

other posts about other stuff to come soon.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mom, this gravy tastes better than God's sweat!

listening to the rain beat down on the roof and sufjan's michigan album. both are a balm to the ears. the music also makes me think of the various people i associate with michigan - a rowdy bunch, let me tell you. it also makes me reflect on the past few months and glad that i chose to stay in california or, say no! to michigan, as it were. not that there's anything wrong with the great state, it just wasn't the right timing.

of course there's been a crazy stretch of cold weather here. cold temperatures and clear skies - made me wish for the insulating clouds of vancouver. ah-nuld has declared a state of emergency in the agricultural counties. the damage has been pretty bad. look out for the increase in cost of produce.

the second interview is on friday. i'm not really nervous. i guess i'm learning what's in my control and what's not. i can give the best interview i can, but the decision is out of my hands. in fact, i am interviewing them as much as they are interviewing me. and i am confident in finding work. well, right now, i'm very motivated as the studentt loan payments loom over my head. eugh. perhaps i will not be escaping my parents home as soon as i would like. which is unfortunate. lately, it has been chafing.

tomorrow i volunteer at the food bank, hopefully people will talk to me this time. then in the evening, a neighboring church to mine is hosting these authors/photographers talk about their book. "In Hungry Planet: What the World Eats the creative team behind the best-selling Material World books, Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, present a photographic study of families from around the world, revealing what people eat during the course of one week’s time."

here's hoping this energy i am feeling will not fade soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

ice cream sunday

no trip to the pub, but an after-church trip to the best local ice cream parlor is pretty damn good. i had a root beer float, so i guess that's close enough. plus, the most articulate 10 year old i've ever met was part of the company. at different points we debated linguistic nuances, how to cheat at legoland, and is it really opposite day when you say it's opposite day because then that would mean then it's not really opposite day.

also, something that is unexpectedly funny: infants wearing sweater vests. you'll understand when you actually see it for yourself. said baby's dad also alerted me to the existence of Cordarounds. horizontal corduroys. eh? eh? how about that?! hilarious. and yet... strangely alluring.

the class on ethnic reconciliation looks like it will be very good. raising good and hard questions that will hopefully provoke some discussion. i have really appreciated the ways we are encouraged to learn and grow at this church. making more inroads with people and gettin to know them. sunday is my most socially active day of the week. i'm quite tired, but it feels good.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

we'll live like kings! damn hell ass kings!

the toilet in my bathroom has had a leak in it for a while now. the sound of water running from the tank into the bowl has been driving me crazy and i finally have done something about it. i replaced the flapper lid, a few days ago which helped. but it was still running. so then i replaced the fill valve and the whole ball mechanism. the process involved a few trips to ace hardware, dripping water from the tank onto the floor, a good bit of cursing, and cold dirty hands. but the final result is a silent toilet. i feel quite accomplished on this saturday evening.

a trip to the pub as a well earned reward should be in order, but a) i've not made the friends required for such an activity yet and b)sadly they don't seem to go in for that kind of thing here in the states as they do in the 'coov. drinking buddies: activate! ... form of a pitcher of sleeman's honey brown lager! and maybe some garlic fries. no, nachos. mmmm... nachos.

Friday, January 12, 2007

woohoo! four day weekend!

the pressure to blog everyday is starting to get to me. one cannot be witty and incisive all the time.

however, this is what i wondered today... i watch the gilmore girls reruns on the abc family channel (she's just started dating jess and he annoys me). their slogan is "a new kind of family." they run other shows such as full house and sister act and so on. yet this weekend, they are showing bridget jones' diary. what the hell? that's just super.

visited with my friends and their 17 month old son today. i'm trying to get him to like me; it'll take a bit of work. the last time i showed up at his house, his mom wasn't there and he freaked out (understandably). today, he seemed amused when i kept throwing stuffed animals at his head.

taking a month long sunday school class called "a christian approach to ethnic reconciliation, justice and community." sounds interesting. i'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

comings and goings

the police found my dad's car in a costco parking lot. apparently the genius car thief was careening around, hit a curb, and got himself a flat tire. so he left it there. thankfully, his (or her) stupidity is what got us the car back.

my computer on the other hand, is at the apple store right now. needs a new logic board. it's free, once again. of course, i was kind of hoping they'd just give me a macbook instead. maybe next time.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

super pissed

computer spontaneously has decided to only have the fan turn on, and to stop actually turning on the display or have osX kick in. hopefully this is a minor issue.

now i am on the family dell and it is pissing me off too. but only because it is not a mac.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

autobots, roll out

tomorrow my honda fit rolls off the production line, supposedly. it can't come any sooner (estimated 1-3 weeks); my dad's car got stolen today. yeah, out of the company parking lot. where there are security guards. and the company is right near the city hall. what the hell?

anyway, he's got the company car in the meantime. my mom's got jury duty (which i take issue with - companies only pay for a certain amount of time a trial takes. it doesn't seem right that a person should suffer if they are in a lengthy case). the bro's got a temp job over in the south bay. (we've got a lot of cars - this is california) thus i am now stranded at home. not that i was planning to go anywhere; it's just nice to have the option. oh well. it'll be good to walk.

in other news, the place i interviewed at wants me to come back for another interview, presumably with the board of directors or some such people. don't yet know when that will be happening. interesting. my brother's friend pointed out that it is somewhat ironic that i'm applying to work with a youth employment program while i don't have a job. i told him to shut up. our friendship is like that.

Monday, January 08, 2007

blast from the past

i love youtube for many reasons. nostalgia for the pop culture of days gone by being a major one.
if you remember this ad, holla "S to the P-R-I-T-E"

Sunday, January 07, 2007

marge, this is so depressing. my only hope is this homemade prozac.

trying to keep up my blogging streak. by the by, blogger has been stupid lately and not let me post pictures. anyone else having this problem?

i think i'm mostly healthy now. just a lingering dry cough left over from this cold. it's pretty annoying. since i had that bad cold, i've been thinking about medicine since i spent that first day i was sick at the drugstore, staring at the huge array of cold medications. and then there were the countless brandname medication advertisements on tv during my law and order binge. to be totally honest, i watch A LOT of tv. i'm trying to cut back.

back to my original rant - now, don't assume i'm one of those people that tries to tough it out when i'm sick or that i have something against medicine. i thanked my lucky stars for the tylenol cold night formula. i appreciate the advances in science that prevent illness or get us through it. but do we expect it too much, do we depend on it too much? i saw an ad for a birth control and the main selling point was how terribly inconvenient having your period is, and this pill will shorten it so you can get on with your life. wtf? another slogan is "one step closer to a pain free world." i repeat, wtf?i don't want to live in a pain free world. pain is a part of living, it serves good purposes. add to that how the availability of medicine is as unevenly distributed as wealth in this country.

and that is my rant for today. also, i used the phrases "by the by" and "thank my lucky stars" i think i'm about 68 years old.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

family matters

this is what it's like having two brothers. happens every 15 minutes.

though i do have to confess that my youngest brother and i exchanged some punches at the rather nice restuarant we were dining at with my parents because he said he wouldn't share his dessert with me. my arm still hurts where he punched me. but i did land some blows off the back of his head, so we're even. the waitress laughed at us. this picture was taken right after our desserts arrived. the deliciousness of my creme brulee dulled the pain in my arm.

You know what's even better is Jesus-- he's like 6 Leprechauns.

i've been blogging quite a lot in the new year. perhaps my tired old mind has recovered from writing my arts thesis and i am ready to be writing more again. i'm submitting some stuff for an anthology at the end of the month, so we'll see how that goes.

mom, bro and i went to the mall today. it's been a while since i've been in a mall. i have a low tolerance for these places. at the risk of sounding like an old person ranting, which i am totally okay with, why must they play music so loud in some of these stores? it's like one of those techniques they use on prisonsers of war to disorient them and break their will. malls end exasperate me.

saw the movie the holiday with some friends tonight. one of those movies you enjoy and then afterward you forget it. kind of like the way cotton candy melts in your mouth. still, all good fun. it's been a while since i've actually gone to a theater to see a movie.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Smithers, release the robotic Richard Simmons

things of interest...
the movie amelie - i watched this last week. lovely movie. very visually rich, and a fun storyline. rent it. love it. the film makes me want to go to paris. anybody want to come with me? anyone want to front me some cash?
talladega nights: the ballad of ricky bobby - utterly ridiculous and awesome. will ferrell is even more out of control than he was in anchorman. nascar is a pretty easy target. the movie has a good heart in the middle of all the insanity. still, anchorman is my favorite.

this guy was on late night tv two nights in a row. matisyahu - a practicing hasidic jew and a reggae artist - probably chaim potok's alternate plot for my name is asher lev. nevertheless it's catchy music. go listen to him on itunes. i find him intriguing, even though i haven't really listened to reggae since i went through a brief but intense bob marley phase in high school.

i know the holidays are over, but i found the Cavalcade of Bad Nativities after christmas and then i was busy puking, so i'm writing about it now. i mean, marshmallows are a completely appropriate medium to convey the awesomeness of the incarnation. browsing the site is good for wasting a good 5 minutes or so. it should properly offend those who have an artistic nature (much like those wrought iron child figures meant to be garden ornaments that took up space at my old coffee shop for a time).

today i was driving around berkeley with my brother. we browsed at a pawn shop (things in pawn shops: musical instruments, power tools and old jewelry) and got burritos. i have found my new favorite veggie burrito. it had nopales in it, which are from the prickly pear cactus (i just looked that up on wikipedia). come visit and try it for yourself. plus, this is our favorite place because of the quality of the salsa bar. the salsa is really what puts a taqueria over the top for me.

anyway, the whole reason i'm writing about this is what happened when i was dropping him off at a friend's house. i did one of those accelerating through the yellow light at the intersection things. it was close, but not that close. but when i looked in my rear view mirror, i saw a cop car with the lights on about a block behind me. i thought "is that for me? what the heck? it wasn't red." and my stomach sank. i pulled over to the curb and the cop zoomed by. my brother started cracking up and didn't stop for about 5 minutes. he'd yell "that timing was amazing!" and start laughing all over again. i was able to start laughing too once i got over the shock. awful.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

hello, supernintendo chalmers!

the energy (in most cases done begrudgingly) with which everyone around me has jumped back into their routines has me antsy. i thought i was antsy during the fall, it turned out to mostly be the lingering confusing process of transition from one place to another. tough to live through, but necessary, and i continue to do so. i feel less stretched between two places, or even placeless. my spiritual director noticed in our last meeting that i am more "here" now. i suppose the visit to vancouver helped, and finding some jobs that resonated with me. needless to say, i'd like to start on the next season/phase/era/whatever of my life. i'm ready to stop gathering so much moss, though i'm sure the transition from lethargy to activity will be brutal.

today my youngest brother taught me how to drive stick shift. it's about high time i learned. it was only semi-traumatic. he's a good teacher. he's also 1) the only person in my family what wanted to teach me, and 2) the only person in my family that i could handle teaching me.

and only being a year or so behind the curve, i installed tiger on my computer. fun with widgets.

my tv show addiction grows. blast those marathons they've been showing over the holidays. now it's friday night lights. i think that takes care of every night of the week for me (like i said in the past entry, i've got no social life). i don't really know how to feel about this. ever since i've been driven inside and away from my outdoor reading chair, i've become less literate. lately, i've been bettering myself by reading wikipedia (last 3 entries read: Spider Man, Matisyahu and douglas coupland). but i do love my shows. try to take the from me and I WILL CUT YOU.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

bowling for sandwiches

today held a few fine outings for me, the formerly housebound. i mean, being a sloth is okay when you have a choice about it, but cabin fever does set in when you are too sick to go anywhere. went bowling with my brother and his girlfriend. bowling alleys, like skating rinks (both of the roller and ice varieties), are like time capsules of 70s and 80s era decor. earth tones, garish decorations of giant bowling balls, hard space age looking plastic chairs, and so on. it is hideous and kitschy at the same time. at least our town bowling alley has become more kid friendly - i remember going in there when i was little (my mom was in a league for a while) and my eyes stung from the cigarette smoke. i'm a lot worse at real life bowling than the virtual bowling i'd played on the nintendo wii recently. reality is a bitch, but at least you get to wear cool looking bowling shoes (though they are rented, which is a significant loss of cool points). i bested my brother in two games, and now he owes me a panini from our favorite deli.

then a friend called unexpectedly. she is in town for a few days and called me immediately upon landing at the airport to get our old small group together for dinner. i'll have to admit that i was incredibly excited to have dinner plans (and to eat good real food again!), the social scene has been rather inactive as of late. it was good to share a table with some old friends, a pleasure that doesn't happen nearly enough anymore. that is certainly one of the things i miss most about my time in vancouver, making and eating meals together and enjoying the company. ordinary moments that are much cherished. so ordinary, that it is easily pushed aside and out of step with the rhythm that most people seem to live their lives here in this area. still trying to get used to that and wondering how to live differently and to connect with people.

Monday, January 01, 2007


i have reached law and order saturation. i know, some of you out there think that can't possibly happen, but oh it can. plus watching all that advertising can't possibly be good for me. but i did learn that k-fed is wrestling john cena on wwf raw tonight. i kind of want to watch that because i think that guy has needed a beat down for a really long time.

i feel pretty okay again and really needed to escape my house today. so i loitered around borders books for a while. all these books that i'd love to buy but lack the cash flow. then i saw the board game version of joel osteen's "your best life now." man, i hate that guy. if you lose in the game, that must obviously mean you don't have enought faith in God or that you have some hidden sin God is punishing you for.