Thursday, December 15, 2011

i have been super obsessed with Over the Rhine lately (i'm late to the game, but hey better late than never). saw them live about a month ago and they blew me away. the long surrender, their latest album, is pretty amazing. for this christmas season, i recommend snow angels their second christmas album. and i love that they put this song on there. this is a great prayer.  
New Redemption Song
(Words and Music: Detweiler)
Lord we need a new redemption song
Lord we’ve tried
It just seems to come out wrong
Won’t you help us please
Help us just to sing along
A new redemption song
Lord we need
A new redemption day
All our worries
Keep getting in the way
Won’t you help us please
Help us find the words to pray
To bring redemption day

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

oh hey, it's december tomorrow.  what the heck? i'm always surprised at how time passes in the blink of an eye.
and it's advent. i just got published again, this time in my grad school's advent reader. was lucky enough to be invited to write one of the entries. not too shabby.
so for the first sunday of advent, it seems that it's de rigueur to preach about waiting and anticipating and preparing. since that's what the period of advent is really for, yes? and lent, too.
and thinking lately about what i want and hope for my life, i kind of rolled my eyes at this. because i'm not good at any of those things really. i am impatient, and pessimitic and short sighted. how is it that sometimes what i think god is saying to me simultaneously the thing i need to hear the most and the last thing i want to hear? scratching my head about this.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


i know my last entry was a bit of a downer. if you are a friend that might have been worried about me, sorry 'bout that. things aint that bad. i'd say that they are pretty okay. it's more than i could say for other recent times, so that's something.

went apple picking over the past weekend with the youth group. i've taken a step back from being a volunteer this year. couldn't quit cold turkey, but i'm around mostly just on sundays. it feels right to be less involved, i've needed a bit of a break. i mean, this is the fifth year of being with the youthies. i haven't managed to be employed at one place for that long. ever.

it's been an interesting shift too. it's easy to define yourself by what you do/who you spend time with, and so on. so i find myself in a new space. not sure what kind of shape it is taking. it's disorienting and exciting at the same time. i'm not really sure what else to say about that.

back to my original story - we went apple picking, to get apples to make pies for family and neighbors to learn the practice of hospitality. i ended up with some freshmen boys in my car. as you might guess hilarity then ensued. how can it not with 14 year old boys? i know, other people might not feel this way. don't get me wrong, sometimes i want to punch them in the back of the head, but most of the time they are endearing in a overgrown puppy kind of way. they were balanced out with a junior guy and another advisor.

once we actually got to the orchard, we split up in pairs to fill boxes. me and the junior set off. after about 20 minutes, we had filled about half the box when the 2 freshmen romped into view. they were all, "heck yeah, we're almost done!" and the junior looked into their box they had set on the ground. i did too. while i tried really hard not to laugh, he said, "those aren't apples. those are really unripe persimmons." yep. they had a box full of bright green persimmons. "what? no. they taste like apples!" they insisted. yeeeeah... i have no idea where they found the persimmon trees. and persimmons only remotely resemble apples when you are comparing them to, say, pineapples. and i imagine that the taste is same comparably. i can only sigh and shake my head at this. and laugh, of course. chuckleheads.

Monday, September 12, 2011

wondering when birthdays became less awesome to celebrate and more markers of failed expectations. sorry. not to be a downer. but this past birthday was probably the first one that i was excited about, mostly because i had a freakin' awesome hamburger cake and 2 pinatas. and i really did want all my friends to be there to enjoy that with me.
i'm just thinking this way because a friend has her birthday coming up and she simply said, "i thought i'd be pregnant by now." she and her husband have been trying for a while. i said, "i thought i'd not be living with my parents and maybe in a relationship by now." darn society/culture for imposing schedules on life when hardly anything really ever happens the way we had planned.

Monday, August 22, 2011

passing the peace

so last sunday i went to st. andrew presbyterian church in marin city. for those not in the know, that's where anne lamott goes to church. yeah. it was kinda stalker-y. whatever.

the church i usually attend is on the medium to large side, so it was good to be in a smaller community. it's pretty much as she described in her writing. only the regular pastor was on study leave; i'd like to hear her preach sometime. my friend lauren and i went last summer in hopes of seeing both anne and pastor veronica. so cross anne off the list. it's getting to be an annual trip to for me and lauren.

we kept our groupie status under our hats, tried not to stare and paid attention to the service. lauren and i even went so far as to introduce ourselves when they invited the new people to do so, which was out of character for both of us. we got a hearty, "hello lauren, hello audrey. " then came the greeting and passing of the peace part of the service. you know: shaking hands and saying, "the peace of christ be with you." and responding "and also with you". since we were trying not to act like adoring fans, we did not approach anne. but she popped up behind me in the center aisle and gave me a strong handshake and "welcome." awesome.

sidebar: the church i attend doesn't do the passing of the peace of christ during the contemporary services (it's been a while since i've been to the more traditional one, but i don't think they do it there either). instead it's called community time. like go say hi to someone new or someone you don't know time. as a fervent introvert, i HATE community time, and usually force whatever friend i sat with to talk to me until the 3-5 minutes are over. seriously. i think i have even resorted to going to the restroom during that time, maybe just once or twice. okay. back to story.

but the pastor encouraged us to extend christ's blessing to each other in this time, and knowing that he works in us to be a blessing to each other. or something to that effect. now, THAT is something i can get behind. because then that time of greeting is more than just small talk. Jesus is in that interaction and it gets me out of my own little comfort zone. plus church is so small, that you really can greet everyone at church. (the same thing happened when i went to another friend's episcopal church a few weeks ago - that's something else i'll probably write about soon) it just went on for like 10-15 minutes. hard to do that when there's like 100 people in a service. or not i guess if you want to shape a service that way. i digress.

anyway, that's what i've been thinking about since church yesterday. peace of christ be with you.

the happiest place on earth for some people

i'm on a non-profit organization mailing list and i got this today.

Beau Bonneau Casting is immediately seeking fun and fit, real families of 4 or more (Caucasian, African American, Hispanic and ethnically ambiguous) that are SF Bay Area local and enjoy amusement park rides for a Non Union Disneyland Commercial.

Only traditional nuclear families consisting of a married Mom and Dad, ages 30 – 50, with at least 2 biological kids aged 5 – 14yrs can be considered. If Grandparents are local that is a plus but not required. Must be related, camera friendly and in good physical shape. No cousins, aunts/uncles or family friends, etc.

let's start with "ethnically ambiguous" - what? i'm sorry disneyland, do you not approve of interracial marriage?
and "traditional nuclear families with a married mom and dad" - does that rule out, say, the brady bunch? seeing as how they were a blended family and all. i don't know that they ever actually admitted to being divorced on the show though. what about single parent families? never mind gay or lesbian couples with children - the horror! i bet gay or lesbian money is welcomed at the disney gates. but don't make them feel any more welcome beyond that.
"camera friendly" - no ugly people.
"in good physical shape" - no fat people.
"no cousins, aunts/uncles or family friends, etc." - it ain't the 1950's anymore. we're a ways from traditional upper middle class nuclear families these days.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

how webmd just scares the hell out of you

so i went to the emergency room last night.

since i am now blogging about it, you can assume that it was not all that serious. but still freaked me out pretty good.
i was just sitting on the couch and rubbing my eye absentmindedly and when i stopped, my eye felt weird. like not good weird. i looked in the mirror and it seemed there was stuff on my it. since i had had a routine eye exam that morning to update my glasses prescription, i was kind of thinking about my eyes anyway because my doctor had wanted me to go back for another appointment to get my eyes dilated to check on my retina (since i'm getting to be an old lady).

i jump on webmd of course to try to figure out what's with my eye since i wasn't in any pain besides my eye looking red and crazy and watering. it wasn't really helpful besides listing a lot of crazy things that could be wrong with my eye. i called the nurse helpline and tried to describe what was going on. she recommended some home solutions, but also if i was concerned to go to urgent care or the emergency room. since i only have 2 eyes and i kinda need both of them, even if they are crazy nearsighted, i drove to the emergency room.

on the way there, i thought to myself this figures that my mom who's a nurse would be out of town when this happened. i suppose that might have been a blessing in disguise because even if she is a nurse, she's also my mom and might have just freaked out. i also tried to calm myself down from all the worst case scenarios that go spinning through your head in these situations. i figured that since my vision hadn't changed and my eye wasn't hurting that it couldn't be that bad and even might have a bit of an entertaining time wearing an eye-patch. such is my coping strategy, people.

when i got there, it was almost 11. it didn't seem very busy, but when you tell the triage nurse that you are 0-1 on the pain scale, you are not a high priority. so i lay on the bed and watched some conan o'brien and simpsons reruns. basically what i might have done at home on the couch anyway, if i didn't have work the next day. the nurse practitioner thought maybe i had scratched my eye, or something had gotten into my eye that i had inadvertently rubbed in, even though i don't recall being bothered by anything- it just came out of nowhere. she said it looked like my eye was allergic to something, even though i don't have any allergies. her test showed that i didn't have any scratches, so then i just waited around for them to irrigate my eye. which is basically having sterile water squirted on my eyeball. it sounds terrible but actually felt really good afterward. had to go the pharmacy to get the prescription for my eyedrops and Allegra and got home at 3 am. i was partly exhausted and partly wired from the adrenaline of freaking out. and kind of hungry. i guess having a minor medical emergency works up an appetite.

needless to say, i did not make it to work today. happily my eye has now returned to a more normal appearance. i mean, for a little while there i thought i had somehow rubbed off the surface of my eye - i know that sounds physcially impossible, but it really looked like that in the mirror. yeesh.

what a wednesday/thursday.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

i'm almost 70

so i turned 35 last weekend. the hell? 35. three-five. 35. damn. it sounds old. fortunately, i am emotionally stunted, so i think i'm really like 27. age ain't nothing but a number, anyway.

for this birthday, i actually wanted to have a party. maybe because it fell on a saturday. or that 35 seems like a nice round number to have a party. but i also think i'm kind of settled enough here to want to have my friends around on this day. the last time i had a party was in vancouver, 6 years ago. it was kind of about time to have a shindig. so i just went for it, as you can see by the pictures.

i wanted to do something big and little kid friendly, so we hung out at the park for the afternoon. invited friends from all different friend groups which usually stresses me out, but i just decided not to sweat it this year, since all the people i know are really cool.

my friends and i have long admired the hamburger cake at this bakery in oakland. it truly is a thing to behold! when i ordered the cake, i picked vanilla cake, with chocolate butter cream filling. so it looked hamburger like inside when sliced. SO AWESOME. no other words necessary to describe this cake.

i also decided to have pinatas. why two? because one is for my grown up friends, and the other is for my kid friends. the only real difference was that i put little bottles of booze in the adult one, i forgot to buy some lottery tickets and cigars. there was also some nicer chocolate options in the grown up one. but the kid one had pop rocks and squirt guns and little shark erasers in it. mmm... pop rocks. i love shopping at the dollar store.

anyway, it was a great afternoon. if you want to see more pictures, you just have to get on facebook and check it out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the only thing i've done consistently

I got my ass kicked by a 16 year old girl the other week. If you know me at all, you’d guess I kinda had it coming, and you’d be right. I tend to practice “tough love” with the youth in that I don’t mind being sarcastic or pushing them around as a joke. One week at the beginning of youth group, another advisor went running up to a kid she hadn’t seen in a while and gave her a big hug. I turned to the kid next to me and asked her, “does it make you sad that I don’t do that for you?” she said, “no, if you did that it would be weird.” And the other kids all laughed in agreement. (sidenote: I do hug people, I just don’t do it when I know they’ll make a big deal out of it. right. So I’m not touchy feely, but you already knew that.)

Anyway, we were playing kickball, and as usual, was trying to do something to mess with people. And I accidentally ran into this girl when she was trying to get on base. When I walked over to apologize, because I did feel really bad about that, she jumped on me, sat on my stomach and pretty much had me pinned for a good 5 minutes. I was laughing at first, and then in my mind was like “crap. I can’t get out.” She was surprisingly strong and heavy for being a skinny teenager. But I kept laughing because I didn’t want it let on that I was annoyed that I was stuck. Which I was. The thing is, the kickball game just continued on around us. The kids are pretty used to my antics. She let me up after a little bit and I made a resolution to start working out again (which I have not followed through on).

Last fall, I wrote about getting into a water fight with another kid at youth group. I didn’t add to the story that a few days later on Sunday morning he nailed me in the back with a water balloon after our morning youth group meeting. I was plotting my revenge, but I saw another kid leaning out the window about to take aim with another balloon. There were little old church ladies walking around me, I had to take the boys aside and end it because no little church lady needs to be hit with a water balloon. I was pretty mad. But I realized I wasn’t mad that I got hit with a water balloon. I was mad that I could not exact my revenge and then tell the boys that the fight was over. Yes, I am mature.

I feel like I’ve lost a step or two this year in the youth ministry game. I guess that is to be expected - I keep getting older and they stay the same age (what movie is that line from? anyone?). I’ve been at this for 4 years, of which I am proud to have been a consistent presence for them. And this is the first year that I’ve volunteered while I’ve had a full-time job, which is kinda rough. Lots of Thursday evenings I wanted to just go home and watch parks & recreation instead of go to youth group. And as this year’s crop of seniors agonized over where they would go to college, I wanted to yell, “Omygod, just pick one!” So, yeah, that was a new experience for me.

I’ve decided to take a step back from volunteering this coming year. And I’m kind of excited about the break. Of course, the first Thursday of the summer program, I ended up at youth group somehow. Reflex, I guess. I don’t know, while I do think I need the break, I do know that hanging out with these guys, well, makes me more fun somehow. I mean, they’ve provided plenty of fodder for the blog (usually at my expense, but I welcome it) – what the hell am I going to write about now? Books? Philosophizing? What i ate for lunch? Online dating? All good options, but they don’t really get me going story-telling-wise, like good old-fashioned human interaction does. Blog aside (I mean, I barely ever write on this thing anyway), it does my soul good to be around these kids and support them through adolescence. I mean, if you survive those years, you pretty much can survive anything right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

all my favorite people

discovered this song earlier this week. it's been on heavy rotation since and it kinda gets me choked up every time.


All my favorite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just want to hold you and let the rest go

All my friends are part saint and part sinner
We lean on each other, try to rise above
We are not afraid to admit we are all still beginners
We are all late bloomers when it comes to love

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Awful believers, skeptical dreamers, step forward
You can stay right here, you don’t have to go

Is each wound you’ve received just a burdensome gift
It gets so hard to lift yourself up off the ground
But the poet says we must praise a mutilated world
We’re all working the graveyard shift
You might as well sing along

Cause all my favorite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
As for your tender heart, this world’s going to rip it wide open,
It aint gonna be pretty, but you’re not alone

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me, my heart should know
Awful believers, skeptical dreamers, you’re welcome
Yeah, you’re safe right here, you don’t have to go

Cause all my favorite people are broken
Believe me, I should know
Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just want to hold you and let the rest go

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

love language

so i was at our all church conference this past weekend in the santa cruz mountains. i spent it, as i always have, in the youth dorm with the high schoolers. a) i get to go for free which is the only way i can afford it, and b) they are fun, if exhausting. the conference is a good intergenerational community time.

during one of the main sessions, there was a short period of sharing where a third grade boy had decided that he wanted to get baptized while at the conference. so our youth pastor was up there in front of a few hundred people with this kid, who i'll call sean. as the two of them approached the stage, this fifth grader boy in the row behind me loudly whispered to an adult advisor, "that kid sean is a DORK." the advisor was all, "hey, come on now..." but the boy persisted, "no, sean is REALLY a DORK." at this point i had already had heard enough, turned around, and whispered, "YOU'RE a dork." and then turned around again. the boy clammed up a bit, or at least backed off calling him names, and the advisor cracked up.

it was a purely reflexive reaction. i sat there, first pleased with myself, then felt a little bit guilty about not being a little bit more mature, and then shrugged that off because i made my point succinctly. i mean, WE'RE ALL DORKS. no one has more or less of a right to be at church or in the family of God than anyone else. and when someone tries to pretend that is the case, well that's just like waving a red flag in front of me. me being an angry bull, in this situation.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a magical animal

i forgot to add this in my post yesterday, but why do we eat ham on easter? i know for a lot of people easter is a big family holiday, but i tend to keep to myself on that day and reflect. a few kids i saw at church were pumped to go eat a nice easter ham with their families. is it basically the most anti-jewish dish to eat? one final extra super non-kosher dig? and then wash it down nice glass of milk. seriously.

Monday, April 25, 2011

mutually assured destruction

well i stuck all the phone books on my colleague's desk. i believe the grand total was 10. our office environment is so staid, that i find it absolutely necessary to do things like this - which includes carrying 6 of the aforementioned phone books to work in a duffle bag and my back pack to work. i was kind of sweaty that morning. i am deeply committed to the pranking craft. or i'm just a huge dork. you decide. hint: the answer is both. last friday the books were stacked back neatly by my desk, and my hard drive was hidden away behind them. well played.

.1% of the work week successfuly frittered away through the hijinks. 78% of the work week is frittered away by facebook and twitter. 12% of the work week is spent on the baby bald eagle cam. and 5% is on the shiba inu puppy cam (scroll to the bottom). and 3.9% is spent emailing my friend who sits at the desk 4 feet away from me or throwing wads of paper at her or leaving work early on fridays to go to happy hour. and 1% on actual work. (full disclosure: it took me a shamefully long time to get those percentages to actually add up to 100. and in case my boss checks this, these numbers are totally wrong) although i have to also add that being on facebook and twitter is really part of my job. oh, social media. and since the eagle cam and dog cam were found on twitter, those are tenuously work-related. as are the emails to my friend since 1 out of every 200 emails is actually work-related.

maybe the next time i write on the blog, it'll be about stuff that happens outside of work. but i spend most of that time sleeping.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

bringing out the big guns

today my coworker finally asked me if i had been putting phone books on his desk. time to collect a bunch over the weekend and put them all on his desk at once for him to find on monday. restraint be damned.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

back to the same ol' same ol'

so i survived that 13.1 miles last week in case you were wondering. it went all right. i did exactly what i thought i could do with the amount to training i'd done, so i'm happy with that. i also know that i can do a lot better than that, so i probably will be whining about doing another half marathon again on this blog soon. i did the marathon in 2:21 and i would love love love to break 2 hours. a modest goal i think. then i can really go back to being a slob again.

actually, i'd probably run this race ( again too, for a variety of reasons. the organizers did a fabulous job with the whole event, from the pre-race expo, to the event itself and afterward (beer coupons). thumbs up for that. and thumbs up for the city of oakland - it's a city that gets a bad rap, and it was great to see all sorts of people turn out to cheer us on, from japanese taiko drummers, to hardcore oakland a's and raiders fans, to the arty metalwork organization putting a cool metal arch with real flames coming out of the top on the course for us to run through. loved it.

getting to work again was only slightly difficult. i took the day off work after the race and hobbled around. our office is on the second floor with no elevator, but tuesday was the only real slow day up the stairs. on thursday i was up to my old tricks (see previous entry concerning filling mug full of jello at work). one of the guys i work with is our green business consultant. meaning he consults with small businesses and helps them become more environmentally responsible, and it saves them a lot of money, to boot. anyway, last week, he was talking about supporting san francisco's plan to stop printing the yellow pages. because that's a hell of a lot of paper. on thursday, our building got 5 phone books - even though there are only 2 offices in the building. i immediately grabbed all of them and hid them next to my desk. at my friend's suggestion, i have been putting one phone book somewhere on his desk each day since then. my original instinct was to put all of them on there at once in different places. but this at least stretches out the amusement. i'm not used to practicing this kind of restraint. we are now tempted to go around the city and grab more of them, perhaps maybe walling in his cubicle - that's just a pipe dream. but would be really amazing! i thought maybe since i got this office job i would act more "grown-up" (whatever that means). i am pleased to report that this is not the case.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


chilling at my brother's apartment the night before the half. these past 3 months have gone by pretty fast. also kind of boggles my mind that when i started this blog, i was doing my first half marathon, and that was almost 6 1/2 years ago! eek.

kind of nervous about tomorrow since, as i have thoroughly complained about myself on the blog, i haven't gotten to train all that consistently as i would have liked. ah well, i'm relying on adrenaline and sheer stubbornness to get me through. to finish is to win right? i'm also going to have 30 of those energy goo things and i'll be fine. and i'll be thinking about those ice cold "free" beers that i have coupons there on my bib. let's be realistic - they'll probably be foamy and lukewarm but they'll also taste pretty damn good after 13.1 miles. wish me luck, eh?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


i know i wrote earlier that i'd try to blog every day for lent. obviously, that hasn't happened. you shouldn't believe everything you read.

i don't know why it is that i haven't feel the urge to write stuff, well, at all in a long long time. i'm not sure if i've gotten more boring, or less observant. the more kind option my friend pointed out is that i have become less introspective. which is true, since i've been out of the great mind effer that is theology school for almost 4 years now. sometimes i miss that. but mostly i miss living with some great friends, and down the street from more great friends. those were the days.

i suppose i can also blame facebook for the blog decline. it's just easier/faster/blablabla to post short funny stuff on facebook that i'd normally put on this here blog. exhibit a, at left: my brother in san diego wandered into a used bookstore and see "me" on a children's book cover. apparently i look like a fictional 12 year-old laotian girl named vatsana. man, this picture still makes me laugh every time. i have to say that it is a strikingly accurate portrayal of how i look when i am confused. i wish i could get book royalties from this.

for those keeping track at home, the half marathon is in a week and a half. i tweaked my back somehow at some point last night and spent most of the day sitting at my desk in pain. not so fun. should be all good in a day or two, fingers crossed. even though i didn't train super consistently i still spent a fair amount of time getting ready for this. am now on a strict regimen of icy hot, cold pack, and heating pad, and stretching. not all at the same time.

Monday, March 07, 2011

blankety blank

time's been flying pretty fast it seems. it's already march, and it's even lame daylight savings time this weekend. yet when i sit down to blog, i usually draw a blank on what to write. it concerns me a bit - i'd rather not sleepwalk through life, and hopefully i don't look as zombie-fied as some people do during my morning commute on the BART train. it's easy to get wrapped up in my own head and not notice what's around me. my brother got me an ipod touch for christmas, so i try to take pictures of things that grab my attention. it's been a helpful discipline to try to notice things.

one rainy morning last week. i know i shouldn't have been taking picture while driving but i like to live dangerously. and it was a pretty sweet rainbow.

this here is a skateboarding bulldog. definitely not something you see everyday. he and his owner showed up by city hall during my lunch break. everyone was so delighted to watch this dog run around with one paw on the board; he never did hop up on it. as i headed back to the office, the two of them ran by down the sidewalk - it was pretty great to see all the bystanders react to the sight of the two of them it's not often that the city bustle pauses. i'm not sure who was getting more exercise, the dog or his owner, who was pretty bullish himself. man, i want a dog.

yesterday was my longest training run yet for the half marathon. did roughly 10 miles, on the official course. i was slooow, but i liked getting a chance to familiarize myself with the scenery, and to do a long run with people. i've done all the running by myself so far - the kids on training wheels keeping the same pace as me while i'm running in golden gate park doesn't count. and not all that motivating. but handling the 10 miles (in the rain, no less, which makes me feel kind of hardcore. well, what passes for hardcore for me these days) gave me the boost of motivation to get through these last weeks of training. and then afterward, i ate one of these:
a fat root beer float from fenton's, after i consumed their famous crab salad sandwich with a side of curly fries. i'd been thinking about eating lunch after mile 1 that morning. so excellent.

probably going to throw another one of these down on fat tuesday. which is then followed by ash wednesday. followed by lent. i think this year, i'll try to write on the blog every day again. we'll see. i just like to tease all 3 of my readers.

Monday, February 28, 2011

light bulb

much like new years resolutions, the blogging has fallen by the wayside. the running has been semi-consistent at least. race day in 27 days.

spent dead prez weekend in lake tahoe with a bunch of high schoolers. i haven't seen that much snow in a long time. maybe when i was in college and had to climb over a snow bank to get to my dorm when i got back from winter break. out of the 4 years in dc, i never had a stinkin' snow day to get out of class. i still feel gypped. anyway, the snow was pretty sweet. wait, after about 20 minutes of floundering around in thigh-high powder, i realized that i'm not all that hot on snow.

other than that, there was a lot of good lounging and laughing. this is the first time i've really done youth ministry while actually having another job. yeah, it took long enough. i'm still adjusting and figuring out what my life looks like with a 9-5 gig. because i've managed to avoid a job with that schedule, well, pretty much my entire post-college life. i'm thinking that's why i felt like such a geezer on the trip. or maybe i actually am getting closer to being a geezer. seriously, like next week, i'll be shaking my fist telling those damn kids to get off my lawn.
actual conversation:
kids are getting ready to head down to the beach for the annual jump into lake tahoe.
in february. (yeah, it's cold. lots of screaming involved).
me: is that what you guys are wearing down there? you need to wear jackets.
2 girls are dressed in shorts flip flops and t-shirts. one is wearing a hoodie. she gestures at her hoodie, while the other one stares at me blankly.
me: you guys it's really windy out there. you guys need to wear a windproof jacket. the hoodie won't help you after you get out.
more blank looks.awkward silence
me: why are you still standing in front of me? go get your jackets.
3-5 more seconds of blank looks. more awkward silence
girl 1: .... i think i'll go put my jacket on...
girl 2: yeah that sounds good, i'll go with you.

me, as they walk away: yeah, way to come up with that idea on your own guys.
other kids laugh.

this might have been the trip where i've sounded most like a mom. sigh.

Friday, February 04, 2011

there's always room for jello

the other day a friend commented that she enjoyed it when i tagged along at various youth group meetings and trips. she said that i added "zest" to those times. to which i responded, "so I'm like mrs. dash?" and the answers is yes, folks. i am a social mrs. dash. this may be an actual personal characteristic, but there have been times in my life when i have felt less than zesty - so it is nice to actually feel and be this way. i'm not sure that sentence made any sense, but i have a regular job now that makes me lose brain power when i get home in the evening.

anyway, this past wednesday i was left largely alone at the office. people had class, or worked from home, what have you. which was kind of demotivating, but fortunately, i can be creative when left to my own devices. see, this here is my friend's favorite mug for tea. she drinks about 359 cups of tea per day out of it. i had to bide my time until i could get my hands on the mug, and had the box of jello mix in my backpack for a few weeks.

i think my friend herself gave me the idea, when she told me how jim encased dwight's phone in jello in an episode of the office. i suppose you could say that i harass her a bit because i regularly throw wads of paper at her, and once also hid this same mug in my desk one morning before she made her tea. it's all in good fun. well, for me, anyway. i have an impeccable sense of professionalism and decor. actually you should just never turn your back on me.

the jello set over night, and i missed the whole reaction in the morning since i got to the office a little late. that's okay though, it was totally worth it. as you can see, i was quite pleased with myself. wouldn't you like me for a colleague? waiting for retaliation.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


It’s hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness.

Chuck Palahnuik

Saturday, January 29, 2011

one of the best days ever

so i thought maybe i'd catch up on things on this here blog. if anything, i kinda miss writing and i'm mighty out of practice. just for kicks, you know? anyway, i figured i should elaborate further on the day i got a employed.

the only entry i'd written in october was how annoyed/discouraged i was about the job search. and it continued like that for a few more weeks. i was pretty discouraged that i'd have to go find another coffee monkey gig to scrape by. out of the blue, i got a phone call from where i'd been volunteering about a full-time opportunity.

I went in for my "interview" which was kind of a foregone conclusion since i had already been there volunteering for several months. so i walked out with a job, and since it was rush hour in the city, i walked over to the civic center to watch the big screen telecast of game five of the world series to kill time until i could drive home. it was one of those rare amazing nights in the city when the sky was clear and you didn't need a jacket.

the game zoomed by because tim lincecum is amazing. it became apparent that this was the giants' night. i wasn't going to leave for home, not when victory was at hand. i decided to treat myself to dinner (because, what the hell - i had an income again!) at sam's chowdermobile, one of the handful of food trucks making a killing at the game. while i was standing in line with a good view of the screen, the giants scored their 3 runs. complete bedlam ensued, and i was high fiving all the people around me. i relaxed on the grass with my lobster roll, old bay fries and coke. a beer would have been nice, but no alcohol was permitted at the civic center plaza (which turned out to actually just be BYOB). have you ever had a lobster roll? man. a tasty bread roll, filled with lobster meat, and melted butter. i guess there's other spice too, but really, they had me at melted butter. and anything with old bay takes me back to when i lived in dc, with the tasty maryland blue crab.

then brian wilson shut the rangers down, more bedlam, more high fiving and then suddenly everyone around me was holding booze that i think they had been too nervous to be drinking until the giants won. i don't know if i had ever seen that much concentrated exuberance before. wait, in college, my school upset the number 1 ranked basketball team in the country, while prez. clinton (man that was a long time ago) was in attendance and the game was televised on ESPN. we rushed the court. so, the giants win was like that, but multiplied by 1000. what a day! this here picture of big time timmy tim encapsulated how i was feeling too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


ok, so it's almost freakin' february. join me in head spinning.

i have to (semi-)publicly (because how many people are reading this anyway) confess that the half-marathon training isn't going all that great. i have yet to settle into a real routine with this. i'm also not totally thrilled that i'm a little bit more rickety-feeling since i last trained for a half. but i'm plugging along. hopefully i'll be injury-free and still do this thing.

brain dead entry. sorry. it's wednesday.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

oh-eleven, now with more narcissism

so in one of those misguided energy bursts that come in with the new year, i am trying to blog. the key here, as with new year's resolutions, is to have low expectations. it's a proven strategy.

anyway, another misguided energy burst caused me to sign up for a half-marathon at the end of march. there. i put it out there so i can't back out. i really liked my last (also my first) half marathon which was in victoria, back in '04. which i blogged about - and i can't believe i've been a blog nerd for that long. back then, i would write papers all day in the library, or do the barista thing and then spend the long amazing vancouver summer afternoon/evening running along the beach and woods. man, i miss vancouver.

so now i'm trying to do that with a full time job and in the cold san francisco winter. don't scoff at me, you northerners. it's really frickin' cold in the morning. and it's the morning. as if i need more reasons not to run. i've also been mostly sedentary for the last few years. that last part is actually motivation, because i can tell my metabolism is slowing down. LAME. i can remember what it was like to be in shape. and i have to work harder for it now.

i know ya'll are on the edge of your seats, so check back to hear me whine some more about a) running, b) getting up early, c) ke$ha. seriously who likes her? she has no talent.