Tuesday, October 30, 2007

cheesy goodness

i have much to catch up on with this here blog. here goes...

last thursday my brother and i went to a grilled cheese invitational. yeah, you read that right, a grilled cheese contest. oh that link is a bit crass, just so you know. this is the logo. it's amazing and disturbing at the same time - the logo, not the contest (it was amazing) - the girl just looks like she's going to bite off her mom's hand, and she also seems to lack an upper lip. anyhow, the invitational was held at some awesome dive bar somewhere in oakland. there were three possible categories: standard, exotic, and sweet. the tasters/voters stood in line and we would get a small portion of a sandwich, about 3-4 bites worth. i got one called the ol' vermonter - a sharp cheddar with some kind of apple pie filling. it was quite good. my brother on the other hand got some exotic one that involved gorgozola-type cheese with figs. i spit my bite out. he knocked his rating down a few notch because of my reaction.

anyway, the dive bar was awesome - the bartenders were crazy cougar ladies, there was a neon sign for king cobra, the dj was spinning early 90s hits, the cheese grillers wore funny costumes, the organizers/volunteers wore white lab coats. good times. i kind of want to spin this somehow into a possible youth event/fundraiser.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

today's near death experience

i hurt my back last weekend, so i've been packing myself to the gills with advil.
after church today, i pop some in my mouth and then take a swig from my water bottle. then my throat reflexively coughs or chokes or something, i think maybe one of the pills got stuck in my throat. i spew the mouthful water everywhere and then have a 3 minute coughing fit in which i'm not sure if i can breath, but i must be able to since i keep coughing. not fun.
i think i'm okay now, but my throat feels weird.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

dramatis personae

i'm waiting for my laundry to finish drying. i haven't written in a while. lots of internal wrestling in my head that is best done off the internet. difficult, but good, i think in the long run.

it is difficult to get a foothold in these kids' lives. they are overscheduled. the pace of life in this area is speedy and high pressured. if i have a hard time keeping up as an adult then these kids are on some serious overdrive. oh, to be young and adrenalized. add to that the nature of this commuter church and geographical spread of the congregation, i have had to adapt to new ways of connecting with kids.

so i'm on facebook (getting whupped on in scrabulous, i may never be productive again because of this game), and i text message and email. and i make phone calls. this is the closest i have ever felt to being a freakin' telemarketer. i've had several awkward phone conversations. this actually happened when i first started:
me: hey, is ____ home? this is audrey calling from church. i just wanted to say hi.
mom of student: oh sure, hold on a second. (holding hand over phone and yelling) ____, audrey is calling for you!
(muffled hollering, all of which i can hear)
student: who?
mom: you know, from church, the new ____ (name of previous high school director)
student: ... i don't want to talk to her.
mom: you are going to talk to her! she just wants to say hi.
i consider shouting into the reciever that i can STILL HEAR HER! and that i feel so validated by being described in terms of my predecessor. student gets on phone. i say hello, invite to youth group, and am met with monsyllabic answers. end of conversation. it is so absurd that i can't help but laugh at the situation.

or this:
me: hey what's up? would you like to go see this movie tonight?
student: i can't, i'm going to a family dinner with my grandparents.
me: .... oh. okay. (realize that i have run out of things to say)
then a few minutes of painful small talk about school and then i get off the phone. and realize that i feel as nervous as a teenager asking someone out that just got rejected. what the hell?

my friend described the key to her experience substitute teaching as developing a persona and sticking with it to grab the kid's attention. so my persona, which admittedly isn't really that much of a stretch, is that i am awkward. i kind of play it up for them a bit. it's actually kind of fun. it is really an inescapable part of life. i don't really mind looking a tad foolish in front of them; i told one kid, honestly, would you want to see someone who looks like they have it all together in the front all the time? no, you'd just sit there and kind of hate them. and the kids that act cool? it's fun to scandalize them by being goofy around them, as if what i was doing would lower their cool quotient. they deserve it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

i need to stop going into used bookstores. it's getting to be a bit of a problem. i just can't help myself.

correction: it's not that i go into used bookstores. or even that i buy used books. it's that i now have a pile of books on my desk that are all really great but i have not read.

old skool

some friends from regent were in town; i trucked myself over to the other side of the bay to spend a most agreeable but far too short afternoon with them. fall in california is quite nice - vancouver people feel free to curse me out at this point; you're jealous and are right to be. it was a refreshing breath of community that i have not felt in quite some time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

sometimes i feel really popular...

i got this email a little while back:
"I was just playing with Sienna and she picked up a plastic apple like it was a phone and said, 'I wanna talk to audrey.' Then she had multiple conversations with you on broccoli, grapes, and the apple. I was also told to talk to you on fruits and vegs."

Monday, October 15, 2007

out of the woods

well, a high school retreat that actually is a retreat and the kids don't return more tired than before they got there. what a novel idea.

once again, i stress out and then God shows up in such simple and unexpected ways that i wonder why/how i get myself so
worked up in the first place.

teaching times were short and simple; leaving the kids to spend time in conversation with God. we taught about the jesus prayer, looking at different times people came to Jesus, saying "Jesus Christ have mercy on me, a sinner." we also gave the kids lots of time to try out journalling, giving them prompts about praying simply and honestly with God. i found the times of writing very refreshing to me also. i've kind of fallen out of the habit of journalling ever since my thesis project.

we played funny games, did a climbing wall and zipline. watched "monty python and the holy grail." that was especially nostalgic, i remember watching it for the first time in high school and it pretty much altered my life, it was that hilarious. we also had a nap time scheduled in the afternoon. some kids slept for the whole 2 hours, while some got up to play after the first hour. they just do so much during the week; they're that tired. some of them said they wouldn't go on the retreat unless there was nap time again. a good mix of fun and relaxation.

Friday, October 12, 2007

into the woods

well friends, i'm taking 18 kids on a retreat. we'll see i was paying enough attention during my regent years and to my own life in general to impart any wisdom to them. that seems an inaccurate statement. i just hope i am open to how God will lead me in paying attention to these kids.

i feel a little sick - i hate being the planner/logistical person. i mean, i can do it, it just stresses me out to no end. the upside is that i get to plan weird games such as floor hockey with ping pong balls and fly swatters. seriously? this is my vocation right now? ok. so if you're the type that prays, please do so on my behalf.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

guilty pleasure

well, for no good reason at all, i continue to reveal my guilty pleasures. #2 - watching ultimate fighting. that's right, mixed martial arts, cage fighting, whatever you call it.

for this mild addiction, i blame my friend dan. that's him in the video above kicking his brother in the groin - you can even hear me laughing awkwardly in the background. when i was a groomswoman at his wedding, i was invited to the bachelor party (i think partly a move of self-preservation on his part) and this is what they did - i cowered in the corner. ironically, the dude is a pacifist, a position i would also take. in fact, before this night, i could never handle watching ufc with him. i think after basically 24 hours of watching ufc footage, or seeing my friend's buddies beat the crap out of each other, i was brainwashed. yet i continue to watch it on my own, 7 months after the party. i know who some of the fighters are, and some of the fighting styles. i think i'm kind of fascinated at how much punishment a person can take. yeah, i don't really get it. and i do feel guilty. so there you go.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


i've had better weeks.

yesterday, after a bad night of sleep, i got into a minor fenderbender during my morning commute. it could have been worse; the traffic was flowing jerkily and it happened when i looked over for my bag of cereal to munch on. i was only going about 5 miles an hour. it was a pickup truck, and it wasn't visibly damaged. my little honda fit got scratched a bit and the edge of the hood was banged up. shouldn't cost to much to fit. still, hardly an ideal thing to happen.

the job life has greatly increased in velocity. i don't know how to feel about this. the level of enjoyment fluctuates from day to day, perhaps even moment to moment, which is normal to life in general i guess. i often wonder what god is up to; if i am being incredibly foolhardy, or if i am on the right track.

also, my mom left for buenos aires today for a week. she is going with some friends to tour the city. how 'bout that. i'm more than a little bit jealous.

Monday, October 01, 2007

game help

so i thought of a fun game to play for sunday school next week, and figured that it would be fun to get your input, as most of the readers of this humble blog are theologians of varying degrees. the tentative title is "is that really in the bible?" and am open to a different title.

in any case, the point is to show the kids different quotations and they have to guess if said quote is actually in the bible or not, such as:
"Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me" - Yes, psalm 56:1
"Haste makes waste." nope.
"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." - yes, twice actually - Proverbs 21:9, 25:24

you get the idea. it reminds me of the brothers k when everett would shoot back made-up king james-style quotations back at his mother. so comment away, real or made-up verses alike!