Monday, December 29, 2003

top ten fab things about christmas 2003

10. learning to play the star wars XBox game with a five year old boy, at a frightfully lame adult Christmas party.
9. a new stuffed panda. name still TBD.
8. mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, mom's enchiladas and homemade refried beans.
7. David Lamotte CD's, good movies, and the threat of stealing my cousin's Legolas poster.
6. Grandma's butterscotch brownies. Oh, those are so good.
5. FIVE GOOOLLLLLLDEEENNNN RINNNGSSS>......oh, wait, no. umm...five flavors of jelly bellys.
4. not telling the secret of mom's HUGE present for more than a week!
3. nearly telling my aunt that I hated her dog. Except I never even came close to saying that--she just wanted me to, of course, so she'd have a reason to be irritated. Except that once she asked me if I'd said it, I was like "no"...but in my head I thought "but yes!"
2. the look on my brother's face when he opened a gift full of scripture from major world religions.
1. A new preaching robe! By far the best present. beautiful. Everyone loves it. If they weren't so hot I'd wear it all the time, except around animals that might drool on it (aka dogs).

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Sing, Sing, Sing

Sing, Sing, Sing
Colossians 3.12-17
CNCP
December 28, 2003

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


When World War I erupted in 1914, launching the first great European war of the 20th century, soldiers on both sides were assured they would be home by Christmas to celebrate victory. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case.
The men on the fronts did not get home that Christmas…or the next Christmas, or the next, as the war dragged on for four years. During that time 8.5 million men were killed, with hundreds of thousands more injured. The "war to end all wars" took a horrific human toll and transformed Europe.
However, on Christmas Eve in 1914 one of the most unusual events in military history took place on the Western front. It was a very cold night. Looking over the trench, the British soldiers saw German soldiers holding up lanterns and Christmas trees. Within moments of that sighting, the British began hearing a few German soldiers singing a Christmas carol. It was soon picked up all along the German line as other soldiers joined in, harmonizing.
British troops immediately recognized the melody as "Silent Night" and began to sing along. One by one, British and German soldiers began laying down their weapons to venture into no-man's-land, the small patch of bombed-out earth between the two sides. There was an undeclared truce and peace had broken out.
Frank Richards was an eyewitness of this unofficial truce. In his wartime diary he wrote: "We stuck up a board with 'Merry Christmas' on it. The enemy stuck up a similar one. Two of our men threw off their equipment and jumped on the parapet with their hands above their heads as two of the Germans did the same, our two going to meet them. They shook hands and then we all got out of the trench and so did the Germans."
That night, former enemy soldiers sat around a common campfire. They exchanged small gifts from their meager belongings - chocolate bars, buttons, badges and small tins of processed beef. Men who only hours earlier had been shooting to kill were now sharing Christmas festivities, showing each other family snapshots, and singing Christmas carols together.
This amazing story is one that is well known to many, particularly after the history channel’s program about it last week. How awesome it must have been—a welcome silence from guns and shouting, from death all around, this singing of carols, joining of enemies as friends.
Singing is also one of the things that joins together our whole culture during the Christmas season. I really think that, as a society, we do more singing at Christmastime than any other time of year. Carols are playing in every store, elevator, and phone hold system. Songs sung in church are hummed and sung together by friends and families, by groups of carolers in our neighborhoods and hospitals. There are churches that host a “Sing-Along Messiah” where everyone can join in on Handel’s glorious work.
Singing brings us together—as a society, as friends, and as family. It breaks right through traditional religious lines. Christmas carols are sung together by church goers and atheists alike—especially in my family. Many in my family are atheist or agnostic, but they sing with gusto when it comes to “Joy to the World”, “Angels we have heard on high”, and even “Good Christian Friends”! We always sing carols at this time of year. Mom and I hunt for the most singable CD, then bake and cook (and eat more than we should)—all the while singing along with “Little Drummer Boy”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, and dozens of other songs playing on the kitchen CD player.
This year, some of my family watched hours of Christmas Eve television shows of Christmas carol singing and playing—a handbell concert, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, even the Presbyterian Church’s televised service of Lessons and Carols. Much of the time we sang along (sometimes aloud and sometimes whispered) and we were all pretty happy. We forgot briefly about each other’s annoying traits. We truly loved, and we forgave funny voices, bad attempts at harmony, and thwarted jokes about the Hallelujah Chorus. Singing drew us together. It didn’t matter that members of my family had celebrated four weeks of shopping and wrapping while I observed four weeks of hopeful and expectant waiting for God. It didn’t matter that some of us believe the holiday commemorates God’s breaking in on our world, and some think there might not even be a God. It doesn’t matter that some of us celebrate church Christmas and some cultural Christmas. The sacred and secular approaches to Christmas are brought together in song.
Singing is also a crucial part of the biblical story (and the lectionary!) for this holy day. The angels in Luke are singing. The psalms for the Christmas season all begin with “Sing to the Lord a new song!” The Prophets tend to talk about new things God is doing and is going to do, and how the people sing of them. And here we have Paul telling us—quite directly!—“With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” This is definitely one thing we can all do together.
I nearly did an experiment at the airport on Friday morning. I wasn’t entirely sure what would happen to me if I tried this, so I kind of wimped out, but I was severely tempted. I thought I would just randomly begin to sing a Christmas carol while I was waiting in the gate area for two hours. You know, just strike up something relatively harmless like “Deck the Halls” and see if people would join in. Then maybe move on to a more overtly Christian song like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and see where that got me. I did hum quite loudly but couldn’t get up the courage to actually sing words out loud in the airport. It’s a good thing that’s not what the soldiers did on the battle field on the first Christmas Eve of World War I. Instead they had the courage to lift their voices, to walk out on the battle field, and exchange gifts with their enemies. That’s what I call clothing yourself in compassion, humility, kindness, patience, meekness, and love. Singing drew them together as human beings, as the chosen people of God.
It’s hard work to clothe oneself in compassion, humility, kindness, patience, and meekness. More often I think we cloak ourselves in these things—kindness and patience in particular. Now, I say “cloak” because—at least some of the time—it really is just a disguise. For example, some members of my extended family don’t really like each other—to say the least. Nonetheless, at holiday time we all get together and pretend that we like to spend time together. We cloak ourselves in kindness and patience, but that patience wears thin and the kindness tends to disappear as soon as the irritating ones are out of earshot.
Now, I know that not all families are like this, but I would be willing to bet that many families have at least one person or one sector that is less than enjoyable. How often do we cloak ourselves in kindness, humility, and patience and claim we are clothing ourselves? I cannot even number the times that is true for me. But the good news is that we are forgiven, and we forgive, and we do in fact love one another—for love is deeper than simply liking each other or being able to get along for an extended period in close quarters. Love is no substitute for kindness or patience, but it sure does help us forgive those things that get in the way of kindness and patience!
Love also helps us to sing. God has given us the ability to cross all kinds of lines with a simple melody. And in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, in the middle of all the frustration, the travel, the chatter, and the tearing of gift wrap, comes God. God has broken out into our world as a small child, and the angels are singing. The Word has come to dwell among us, and may it dwell in us richly. The very Spirit of God has come and is here and will always be, for the simple melody is one of love—and love binds all things together in perfect harmony. It doesn’t matter if your harmonizing skills are a little out of practice. It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t sing. Everyone can sing, because God has given us voices and songs.
These voices are given for singing of God’s glory and our amazement. The very first question of the Heidelberg catechism states that the chief end of human beings is to glorify God. In Luke’s story, glory and amazement abound. The glory of the Lord shone around, the angels were surrounded by the whole heavenly host, and the shepherds were amazed. Those shepherds went to find the child and they were amazed, for all was just as it had been told them. And on their way home, the shepherds glorified and praised the Lord, and who knows?...maybe they sang of the amazing experience for the whole journey. It probably didn’t matter whether they all had similar opinions before they went, or even when they were returning. It probably didn’t matter how they were dressed, whether they went to the synagogue as often as they should, whether they offered as many sacrifices as they ought, or how many gifts their children got at Hanukkah. What mattered was that they had an encounter with God and they lived to sing about it. Singing drew the shepherds and angels together in the presence of God, who was right in their midst.
It’s hard to see how this can work for us—in our divided world, where some eat plenty and some starve, some fight and others protest, some sleep peacefully while others lie awake wondering what new horror tomorrow will bring How are we supposed to sing together in the midst of all the talking and the suffering? Perhaps we ought to do what the soldiers in did in 1914 and what I wanted to do on Friday—just start singing and see where that gets us. That’s what the TaizĂ© community has done—they just started singing short memorable songs and using them for prayer and praise. Now more than 100,000 people from over 100 countries visit the community in France every year, and hundreds of thousands more join in sung prayer services all around the world. The TaizĂ© community’s one word for its ministry is “reconciliation”—and they seem to be doing a great job. People from all over the world are singing with one voice, and God’s chosen people—the holy and beloved ones of God—are singing and praying. Truly the Word is dwelling among us, the light is shining in the darkness, and many are trying to be the one body we are called to be.
The story of Christmas is an amazing one, one we have the privilege of replaying every year, of remembering, of celebrating. God in all God’s glory has come to earth and makes a home among mortals. And God has done it as a baby, not as a full grown king, not as an angel, not as some unseen force. A small child—a miracle in and of himself, not to mention that this baby is the incarnate Word of God. And there’s more good news from Paul: The Word dwells in us now—for God has come and is with us always—even to the end of the world. Paul prays that the Word will dwell in us richly, and that everything we do will be in the name of the Lord Jesus, who has come into the world to be its light—a light the darkness of the world cannot overcome. And so we sing. We sing of God’s love, we sing God’s glory, we sing all together as the chosen people of God. Indeed, we join our voices together with people of all times and places, with angels, and with the whole choir of heaven: Glory to God in the highest! Amen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

rudolph the red nosed reindeer

...had a very shiny nose...blah blah blah...."you'll go down in history!" then kids interject.... what?

What is it you stick into that spot?

you know...."shouted out with glee (yippee!!)...rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you'll got down in history (like______!)."

I'm very curious. apparently different people say different things there.
We always said "like Lincoln!" don't ask why....apparently lincoln is the most famous person we could come up with, i don't know. but my dad does it too. maybe it's a northwest thing. so now i'm asking: what do you say there?

Friday, December 19, 2003

home

well, i'm "home" with my fam for the holidays. there's snow on the ground (some), it's kind of chilly, and i'm three time zones away from where i was this morning. the flight was LOOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGG. on the bright side, we ate lunch at Georgio's, my fave sub place, and guess who was there?
you'll never guess.
Jay Buhner.
That's right. mariner's outfielder Jay Buhner. he was just sitting in a booth, eating a sub. i wish i had asked what kind it was. anyway...it was cool. Very Cool.

Just a note re: the post below.
I like church. I really do. Leading worship is one of the coolest and most energizing things i do.
but the fact remains that when one is tired and facing the prospect of going to bed late and getting up early, it doesn't matter what's going on "tomorrow", all that matters is that it's too early and you want to sleep.
Just saying.
and, for the record, i got sick on Sunday and spent the week sniffling, coughing, and being generally miserable. Because apparently my body was tired of being pushed to its limits every single day and just wanted a break. too bad it wanted the break during finals week. bleah.

anyways, i'm safely home and am now seeking the recipe noell uses for balsamic vinegared-stuffed with something-portobello mushrooms. so i must go. ta.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

i am tired.
and there's church tomorrow.
oy.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

ice water

well, apparently drinking ice water burns more calories than drinking warm water. but isn't this the same theory that birthed the pizza-and-pop-and-ice cream-diet?

Unfortunately I can find no evidence that ice water isn't good for you. Except that if you've been exercising, you should drink room temperature water....something about shocking your body when your own body temp is high, or something. this is currently unconfirmed info.

I just found out that i have to do a ton of greek translation by tuesday, so i can't spend time looking this up anymore. if anyone knows, by all means share! :-)

happy monday. well, sunday night.
:-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

the first thanksgiving?

**The folklore taught in schools has it that the Pilgrims originated the Thanksgiving festival and that they provided the Native Americans with a feast they had never seen. In fact, the opposite is true. In November 1621, one year after the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, the Pilgrims celebrated harvest festival jointly with the Native Americans-a harvest festival that the native inhabitants had been celebrating for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Most of the food at this festival was supplied by Native Americans. It was a meal that the Pilgrims had never witnessed, consisting of native American foodstuffs. The main meal was a sort of corn meal mush along with nuts and fruits such as gooseberries, strawberries, plums, cherries, cranberries and a groundnut known as the bogg bean. Popcorn and popcorn balls made by the Indians with maple syrup were served as a sweet. There was a variety of breadstuffs such as cornpone, ashcakes, and hoe cakes, made by Native Americans from their own recipes. It is also possible that other native foods such as pumpkin and squash were served. In his Food Encyclopedia, James Trager tells us that there is a live possibility that turkey wasn't even served. It's true that the Indians provided some deer meat, and game birds, but they were side dishes and not the focus of the meal. So the 1620 Thanksgiving dinner proper in 1620 was probably a totally vegetarian one, because the Pilgrims were unable to find animal flesh. The second Thanksgiving in 1621 was also catered by the Native Americans. Not only was it probably turkeyless, but it was mainly vegetarian. Doesn't it make more sense, therefore, that instead of celebrating Thanksgiving as an orgy of Turkey slaughter, Americans should celebrate a vegetarian harvest festival? **
(from this great page)

conclusions from previous two posts

1. turkeys are dumb but killing them is probably still wrong, especially the way it's done, and who wants to eat dead animal? think about the live turkey while you're chowing down. Whose mother did you kill for your own pleasure?

2. it probably isn't good for you, but it sure does taste good. this is not different from anything else you could eat, including pie. except pumpkin, which doesn't even taste good.

3. tradition isn't a valid reason to do anything else, so really this isn't it either. Besides, the tradition is most likely wrong.

4. everyone should go to one of those vegetarian thanksgiving parties where they have a live turkey running around, because that's kind of cool.

5. just eat mashed potatoes, people. :-)

top reasons to go ahead and eat turkey (from the vegetarian)

1. turkeys are stupid and possibly deserve to die.
2. it tastes good. well, dark meat does. it might be the ONLY meat that tastes good, actually.
3. tradition.

top reasons not to eat turkey

1. it's dead. gobble gobble.
2. only the dark meat is worth eating and it's apparently bad for you.
3. it will make you sleepy.
4. you have to clean up after you cook it and that's just gross.
5. The turkeys have been treated horribly, may have been boiled alive, and were raised standing in their own poo. that's just awful.
6. 90% of all turkey meat is contaminated with some kind of bacteria. (peta brochure)

Sunday, November 23, 2003

uses of ice besides beverages, where it shouldn't be anyway

Well, there are the obvious:
*ice packs
*freezing ice cream (in a homemade-ice-cream-maker)
*keeping in ice chests, lunch boxes, etc, to keep things cold while you get ready to use them.
*putting in plants, to water them slowly for a while rather than drowning them with a hose
*putting down your friend's shirts when they are hot. or when they are cold.
*melting, then filtering, for drinking water
*freezing your credit cards so you won't use them (theoretically)
*chilling wine (in one of those buckets designed to do this...not just in a pitcher you fill with ice then stick the wine bottle in. I mean, that does work, but it's much less efficient and much less easy than the wine bucket.)
*rubbing on your lips after you've played a wind instrument for too long. Popsicles are better, but ice works in a pinch. However, see below on nasty unfiltered water ice. bleah.
*put ice in front of a small fan to cool the air that is blowing through your room.
*put in pet's water bowl in the summer to keep water cool. Pets don't care about filtered water.
*cleaning gum off of fabric. or hair. peanut butter also often works for this.
*cleaning candle wax off just about anything. I haven't tried this on hair but it would probably work. However, if you have candle wax in your hair you need to rethink your habit of standing underneath dripping candles.
*getting paper wet. if you wanted to do this very slowly, you could...just put an ice cube on some paper. soon it will be wet.
*breaking things. ie: computers, printers, toasters, books, windows, etc. you can either throw ice cubes, thus shattering whatever it is you wish to break, or put the ice cube in it and wait for it to melt, thus disabling whatever you are breaking. I don't recommend this necessarily, I'm just saying you could.
*melting. i don't know why you would want to do this--you obviously already have water. and i already said this about 8 lines up.
*holding. i mean, if you were really hot, just holding an ice cube might help cool you down.
*put them in your bath. a cold bath is probably good for your skin somehow. maybe. but this means you can't have a hot bath, because the ice will melt. really this thought is only ideal if you are the person in one of those urban legends...who's had a kidney removed and wakes up in a bathtub full of ice. you know the ones. they aren't true.
*testing the strength of paper towels. how many ice cubes can your paper towel hold? I bet Bounty or Brawny or one of those B-brands can hold a lot. at least their commercials claim they can.
*preserving bugs. your ice maker probably does this for you already. look carefully when you get ice out of it, otherwise you might drink a fruit fly. eew.

ok, i'm tired now and need a nap, but first i have to plan some youth group. which starts in 55 minutes. hmm......maybe no nap. sad.
happy sunday. stay away from ice in your beverages. :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2003

sadness

today i had to eat ice cream from my freezer because i couldn't get to Jake's (car still dead).

In other news, yes, I realize that ice put into ramen noodles would still be unfiltered, but you see, one wouldn't notice the nasty taste because of the obscene amount of salt in the flavoring for ramen noodles. With a little luck, that same obscene amount of salt might just kill off any nastiness in your unfiltered ice cube.

alternatively, you could just wait until it was cool enough to eat. That takes about what, a minute and a half?

church tomorrow. as usual. i might be typing that here every saturday night from now until i die. i wonder if I can keep that up, or if i'll forget at some point, and someone will ask "hey, Teri, didn't you go to church on sunday? because you didn't tell us you were going to. yes, i know you're a minister...so?"

Friday, November 21, 2003

Friday, Friday...

well, some homework done, but not enough to count. Crap.

Now it's friday so I'm just going to try to get it done at some point. before the end of the weekend.

in the meantime, we're talking about Thanksgiving in the youth group this week. How is that going to go, you ask? Well, that is the question, isn't it.

Today we had communion like an actual meal--we had people sit around tables we brought into the chapel, and share bread and grape juice. It was cool and everyone loves us for our experimental chapel. Brilliant!

I think that ice is not good. in fact, ice might be satanic somehow. think about it. not only is it super cold, in fact colder than you probably really need it to be, but it also falls out of the glass on you when it decides to move randomly. then you spill on yourself and look like a dumbass. and really, who wants that? and what if you're wearing white and you spill coke? or cranberry juice? or grape juice? or coffee? i mean, really. why, people, why?
or, at the very least, why not use a straw?
also, ice tends to be made from unfiltered water, which means it makes your drink taste bad and probably infects it with all kinds of impurities.

i think the europeans have it right. they don't even make ice for drinks usually.

maybe this weekend i'll post a list of uses of ice that are not beverage related.
for example, it can be used to cool ramen soup that is too hot.
it can be used to put down people's shirts when they are very hot. except my experience is that people don't actually appreciate that.

hmm...yes. watch this space.

In the meantime, I'll be going for a much better form of ice: the kind followed with cream. that's right, Jake's, here I come!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

bulletin, check.

homework, not check.

come to think of it, maybe the bulletin is not yet a check.
because, you see, it doesn't have any music in it. the music needs to be reduced on the copy machine.
then i can check off the bulletin.
but not the homework.

crap.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

if all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops

then we'd all be fat, and our tongues would tingle from so much sugar and hard candy, and someone would likely have an eye poked out by a lemon drop.

but it would be kind of fun.

just saying.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

naturally...

I'm brilliant. i mean, obviously.

I preached well today--or maybe I'm supposed to say something like "God used me to speak today" or some such thing, but I was up until 4 in the morning rewriting/finishing the sermon, so you know what? I did a good job. And I'm brilliant.

Don't worry, I'm not at a loss for self esteem. Humility, maybe. Self esteem, no.

In other news, 8th grade girls talk a lot. And so do I. But really, what parent truly expects that a room full of middle school girls is going to finish anything on time? And what parent asks a church group to hurry up and finish praying? honestly. it's church people, we run over. and we pray. just saying.

amy's chili is good.
noell's black bean soup is good.
mrs. dryman's spaghetti sauce (portobella mushroom) was good.
jake's ice cream is the best place ever. except happy mart. well, on the other hand, happy mart is 6 hours away in a very sketchy small appalachian town, and jake's is about a mile from home. so really it's a question of convenience as to who wins the best-place-ever award.

apparently the car is fixable after all. as in, if there's a new engine put in, it will work again. so it has gone to the doctor again, this time a far-away doctor, a specialist if you will, and it will be gone for about a month. but it will come back and be like new. this is very exciting. Very.

now, while i wait for a ride, i'm going to work on the mission trip.

goodnight, all...

Speak Up

Speak Up!
1 Samuel 1.1-2.10
CNCP
November 16 2003

God seems to have a history of closing wombs and forgetting about women, then miraculously remembering them. First we had Sarah, then Rebekah, and Rachel, and now Hannah. Except this time it seems God had some help in remembering—maybe God got a remembrel—you know, in Harry Potter they’re those glass orbs that get red smoke in them when you’ve forgotten something…and God finally remembered what it was God was forgetting—Hannah!
Who sent this remembrel? Hannah, of course….but why? Why was it so important that Hannah not be forgotten? Well, for starters, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, was mean. Can’t you just hear her calling Hannah names and mocking her—“o barren one” , “dry well” , “worthless wife…” , “hey, Hannah, your oven is off” …. She was irritating, she was mean, and she caused some serious depression. It doesn’t take long for this kind of verbal abuse to become a part of you—something you believe, something that you won’t talk back to or stand up against because you secretly wonder if it’s right and you don’t deserve to be called a person. That’s what Peninnah was doing—in this story she represents the whole ancient society, telling Hannah that she is worthless, that she is not a whole person (or even a person at all) because she isn’t like everyone else, her experience is different, she’s not useful to her husband…for she has borne no children. In this story, Hannah never talked back to Peninnah—perhaps she didn’t have the strength or the will, perhaps she didn’t have the heart, perhaps she didn’t have the self-esteem. In any case, Peninnah continued her abuse year after year.
Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, doesn’t seem to be much better. Sure, he loves her in spite of her barrenness, he even gives her a double portion at the time of the yearly sacrifice—but he isn’t terribly sensitive. If he has to ask why Hannah is sad, why she cries, and why she won’t eat, then he’s not paying a lot of attention to his family dynamics. Then he asks the problematic question: “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” Translation for modern readers: “Can’t I be enough for you?” Hannah can’t answer this question.
Maybe people read this as a loving question—Elkanah loved Hannah even though she didn’t have any children. Others, however, might point out that perhaps it is one of those moments—you know the ones, when you think you’re saying the right thing but you really, aren’t—insinuating that he alone could change the eyes of society and give her personhood, as if he alone could simply remove all the expectations and judgments of the community from her. A barren woman in those days was of no worth, and everyone knew it. Besides, it would be easy for him to say, since he already has children to be his heirs. It’s not like he needs Hannah’s children to carry on his family line, and her children wouldn’t be among his firstborn anyway, because Peninnah’s several children have snatched up the biggest portions of any inheritance.
But Hannah doesn’t answer her husband’s question. She remains completely silent. She is depressed, she has lost her appetite and her voice. So she does the only thing she can—she goes into the house of the LORD and prays. She makes a deal: “God, if you’ll remember me and give me a son, I’ll give him right back to you.” She doesn’t seem to want the child for herself or her husband—she doesn’t want him to have around the house or the farm, to be a comfort or help, or to carry on the family line. The most important thing for Hannah is not to have the child with her, it’s to have the child. So she bargains, and she is fervent in her prayer. Only the most desperate woman in the most desperate situation could make this prayer, with this promise to God that she’d give up the child she so longed for. That kind of desperation led her to a make a desperate deal.
However, as she made this prayer, Hannah wasn’t speaking out loud. She was just property, she wasn’t worth much, and she had probably so internalized Peninnah’s abuse that she didn’t have a voice to speak with anymore—she had been silenced by her community, as so many people still are. Unfortunately Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk because she was moving her lips without making a sound. He confronted her about making a spectacle of herself there, in the Temple of the LORD. He essentially confirmed her worthlessness and demanded that she leave behind her sinfulness. But Hannah has finally had the last straw: she finds her voice and defends herself to this priest, to this man of God who is supposed to see everyone as God’s child and servant, this one person who shouldn’t think the worst of her but apparently does anyway. “Do not consider me a worthless woman!!!” she says. She has at long last stood up for herself and contradicted what everyone has been thinking. She has been continuously silenced by a community that considers her worthless, by Peninnah who abuses and insults her, and now the priest is impugning her integrity too! Hannah does NOT stand for this. “Do not consider me a worthless woman. I have been praying this whole time, in great anxiety and distress.” Hannah is silent no more.
Eli was probably shocked that this woman, this worthless woman, had talked back to him. How dare she? He was also, hopefully, upset with himself for not being able to tell the difference between prayer and drunken stupor. But he doesn’t show any of this…instead he takes his words back. He then assures her that God will hear her prayer and grant her request, and Hannah goes away, she eats again, she drinks again, and, most importantly, her “countenance was sad no longer.”
Hannah has now talked to God silently, and to Eli out loud, and now she has all kinds of self-esteem growing in her. God remembers her at long last, and she has a baby. While the boy is still unweaned, it’s time for the yearly trip to Shiloh. The whole family is going, but Hannah speaks to her husband for the first time in this whole story and says, “no, I’m not going. I’ll come later, and guess what? I have to leave the boy there.” Not only has Hannah found her voice, but she’s found her willpower and her spunk, too!
Now, at this point, you would expect that Elkanah would say, “umm, excuse me, but technically, according to socio-political family system rules of our age, that child is mine and I get to make the decisions. I already let you choose his silly name….what do you mean you’re going to leave a boy, someone who could be really useful on the farm, at the temple? I don’t think so, and if you do I’ll get rid of you AND bring the boy home.” But he doesn’t. Instead he says, “do what seems good to you. May the LORD establish his word.” Umm…this isn’t exactly normal. Men of this time period are supposed to be in charge. Men of this time period are the heads of households and the women are property, not the decision makers. Men are strong and women follow. But apparently not in this case, for Elkanah, the one who only a year ago asked “am I not more to you than ten sons,” finally understands Hannah, and what she needs. So, Elkanah and the whole family pile into the minivan and leave, and Hannah and Samuel stay behind.
Once the two of them do go up to Shiloh, Hannah sees Eli and rushes over to him to tell him the news… “I was the one here a year ago, and this was what I prayed for (she says, pointing at the child in her arms), and look, I got it! So now I’m giving him to the LORD, which means you get to take care of him here. Have fun, and be nice to him, and may he be God’s servant forever. Bye!” Is this really the woman whose lips were moving but whose voice was silent just one year ago? What happened? Her newfound voice is startling and amazing. Well, she did have the baby she asked for. And not only that, but this baby is not just like any other baby. This child is Samuel, who will become one of Israel’s greatest prophets, the prophet who speaks directly with God and anoints kings. God has not only given Hannah a child, but has placed her in the line of Israel’s matriarchs. She is essential to Israel’s life and continued story. She is God’s chosen one, who brings a bearer of God’s message into the world.
And so she goes into the temple and prays. Last time Hannah was fervent but silent. Now she still prays fervently, but she prays to God out loud, she praises in a loud voice, and she goes on for quite some time. The song she sings as her prayer is remarkably similar to a psalm that is used at the time of the Passover festival, and extols God for God’s amazing power and justice. God has lifted up the lowly and brought down the mighty….God has lifted up Hannah from her despair and depression, and has thwarted the insults and abuse of Peninnah, society, and the priest. God has opened Hannah’s eyes to her full humanity—and now (in the eyes of the world) Hannah is as worthy as any other woman. There is no ground for the community’s view of her any longer, and that has turned the world on its head….God is the only Rock, and God is the one who gives, and God is the one who judges, for the whole earth, and indeed the pillars on which the earth rests, are Gods. Peninnah doesn’t have anyone to make fun of anymore…indeed Hannah nearly addresses her directly: “talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth….” Because no longer is Peninnah able to consider herself better than Hannah. No longer is Hannah the utter bottom of the food chain in the family, a non-person. The society has no more mean names to call Hannah. Eli can’t say she’s a worthless drunken woman anymore. God has made her aware of her wholeness. She is not only a mother, but the mother of a prophet, and thus a crucial character in Israel’s story. No wonder, thousands of years later, Mary used the same words to praise the God who made her a central figure in the same story. And now not only is Hannah lifted up, but Hannah’s voice is lifted up. In the beginning of the story, she was silent, but now she raises her voice for the heavens and the earth to hear—she speaks up at long last. And she uses her voice to say “this child isn’t what’s important—and I’m going to give the boy back to God, who is The Holy One who breaks molds, does new things, and reverses injustice in the world.”
It seems that Hannah’s is an early story of women’s rights, of women’s voices and authority in the home and out of it too. This is a story voiceless women, and indeed all people, can plug in to, a part of the story of God’s community that we can all find our voices in.
Some of you may be wondering “how can I find my voice in a story about a woman who can’t have children?” Our society today doesn’t place such a strong emphasis on children as anyone’s only path to worthiness, thankfully. Hannah’s story is not just about the child, though. It’s also about judgment and worth. Yes, the ancient community judged women by their child-bearing ability. Later, the medieval community judged people on their piety. And now our modern community often judges us on our education, our car, the church we belong to, the clothes we wear. We, like Hannah, may not be able to find our own voices to speak up against these judgments. But, also like Hannah, God shows us our full humanity, and opens our eyes to our worth as God’s children. Our worthiness lies, not in the expectations of society, but in our identity as God’s beloved, God’s chosen people. And so, like Hannah, we must raise our voices for earth and heaven to hear, speaking up for ourselves and others, and exulting in the Holy One, beside whom there is no other.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

dead

it's dead. sadness. things like engine blocks should not be cracked.

just an fyi.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

oy oy oy oy oy

car is at car doctor. car may be going to car graveyard. sadness.

i'm preaching this weekend, and leading a discussion (for young adults) on presbyterian history, polity, and acronyms before worship, and leading a youth program on women in the bible and the church in the evening. oy. how did i get into this?

must go make bulletin.
ttfn.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

duh

church = good.
car nearly overheating = bad.
the coolant was empty = bad
smoke spewing into the atmosphere from my car = bad
new coolant and water now in car = good. hopefully.

and there's still homework to be done. OY. long weeks are always too short.

Monday, November 03, 2003

a long week ahead

so much homework, so little time.

but at least my amazon package came.

i'm hungry now.
it's sunny outside.
i need to be at church thinking about a mission trip.
tomorrow is the second hour of 24. i think it might be a good year. day? whatever.

must go. very busy. back eventually. ta.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Junior High Retreats are like the Discovery Channel

According to my friend Jonathan...

because, you see, there are all these kids, aged approximately 11.5 to 14, in a small confined area. They will either: a)try to hook up (mate), or b) kill each other. It's like watching the Discovery Channel, only with kids. For 25 continuous hours.

In the case of my kids, we had two near hook-ups, saved by friends (because they were clearly bad: one boy got nicknamed the "sketchyfrenic boy"). No deaths, so far. Thankfully. I don't really know how I would have told the parents when we got back.

News from the land of middle school:

*Jesus is the potato of life. (after talking about Jesus being in the bread from lunch, one girl said he was in the tater tots...then had to be told that they were potato, and proceeded to make up a theory about Jesus being like a potato...)
*Sketchy, like what you do in art. As in shady. As in Eminem.
*"my arm hurts" "well, leave it alone, yo." "i am, I'm just picking at it" (RE: a rugburn)
*plural of "yo" is "yos"
*scorpions in the bathroom are bad.
*when there is a bird in the cabin, you should not shut the door in an attempt to get it out. It will only poo on your bed. (this happened to an 8th grader...)
*campfires that turn into bonfires are bad. the leaders thought we were going to catch the big cross on fire. Instead we only woke up bees and had about 5 kids get stung....
*the point of a keynote is NOT to talk about yourself. Just an FYI.
*God is not fun. Or fun is not God. It's not really clear which. (this was an irritating thing, fyi)
*it's supposed to take about an hour, or just over an hour, to get to the retreat center from the church. it took me about 40 minutes. hmmmm.......
*Arby's curly fries are the best.

The end. for now. :-)

my favorite things to see at Six Flags

people in costumes.
people making out in line.
people waiting in lines, trying to figure out how the whole party can ride together, then getting confused, and not riding at all.
really short lines. (this almost never happens)
people in All-American shirts that were probably made in Taiwan, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Uzbekistan, etc.
people with cool hair.



Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Halloween to you, Happy Halloween to you....

Can you imagine the waitstaff on a cruise with a day like today? They put every occasion to the Happy Birthday tune...
ie:
Happy Birthday to you......
Happy Anniversary to you...
Happy Honeymoon to you... (often sounds like 'onymoooon)

so other options would be:

Happy new baby to you....
Happy sunburn healing to you.....
Happy weight-loss goal-reached to you....
Happy Hannukah to you
Happy Kwanzaa...
Happy Christmas...
Happy Thanksgiving...
Happy new job...
Happy end-of-seasickness....
Happy new pet...
Happy ice-cream-day-for-the-diabetic....
and, of course,
Happy Halloween.

just saying....

in any case, it's Halloween. I am going to Six Flags tonight..yay!
and tomorrow I go to the Middle School Retreat, run by our Presbytery.
As a leader, not a youth, thank you very much!

anyway, it's really early and i'll be tired.
goodnight.

Monday, October 27, 2003

slacker.

I am one. sorry. i'm trying to be better, but at this point we're going to have to work one entry at a time.

in school news: midterms are over. i have a paper due this week. i now have four classes instead of only two...this is bad because i thought i would go crazy before! if anyone has tips on time management, i need them. especially if they do NOT involve making lists of things to check off, because that doesn't really work for me. and i get discouraged if i get behind on a schedule.

in church news: the young adult group is up and running. the youth group is busy...we raised over $175 at a bake sale this weekend, the lock in was a success and no one burned themselves while baking all the things we sold in the morning. next weekend is the middle school retreat, which is at the presbytery's retreat center about an hour away. bright and early saturday morning we will be going!

in self news: my birthday was excellent...thanks to all of you who wished me happy birthday, took me out to dinner, gave me fab gifts, etc. you know who you are. if you aren't one...well, wait...there aren't any of you who aren't. never mind. for my birthday dinner we went to cafe sunflower, which is a FAB veggie restaurant in buckhead. i will definitely be going back...and back...and back..... :-) Last night I had a date with a guy I met at the restaurant, and it went well. We'll see how this goes! it's exciting to meet people outside the seminary--because let me tell you it is hard work to meet people who are outside the seminary AND outside the church you go to. HARD.

In other news: it rained yesterday....people are going crazy....i got a lot of mail over the weekend, including my first issue of the Vegetarian Journal....I'm going to six flags for halloween....Joe Brown Highway, somewhere in North Carolina, should be avoided at all cost....my next road trip better include Jonesville VA's ice cream or the beach....the school computers should be killed for making my first edition of this entry go away...but not totally killed because then how would i get on the internet?....i'm hungry....i have to go now.....

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Excuse me, What?

Excuse Me, What?
Mark 10.17-31
CNCP
October 12 2003

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “you lack one thing. Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded at this and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God, all things are possible.”
Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you!” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
~~~The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus!~~~
Don’t we all love this text? I mean, really. Preachers are so fond of it, because we get to tell people that it’s really important to give us your money. In fact, this text is exactly the kind of thing I often call the “shakedown”: in the church we hear it as the offering sentences, the stewardship season, the capital campaign….
Or, alternatively, there is the “don’t worry, he wasn’t serious” tack that I heard the first time I heard this text preached on. I was in high school, not a church-goer, and I was hired to play clarinet with the handbell choir of a local Presbyterian church—the one known for the wealth of its members. This was the text of the day, and the first line of the sermon—the only one I remember, actually—was “don’t worry, you don’t have to sell your fancy cars and give away all your money.” You can imagine the effect that kind of contradiction would have on a highly literal, unchurched, lower-but-rising-middle class teenager. I talked bad about Presbyterians for several years after that.
Well, now I’m here, and I’m as frustrated as all of you with the constant talk of camels really being thick yarn, and the needle really being a gate, so that the contradiction that Jesus mentions here is lost. I think we spend a lot of time talking about the language Jesus uses, and not enough time talking about the thing he’s trying to say. I’m sure we could argue for days about what he’s really trying to say, but I only have about 14 minutes left so we won’t. Instead we’re going to leave the camel question behind for a bit and talk about people.
Imagine with me that you are this man. You’ve just run a long way, maybe from the next town, to ask Jesus this question. You know the commandments, and you’ve followed them, but there’s still something missing—you just don’t know what it is. Jesus first points out that you can’t ascribe God’s goodness to him, then tells you to follow the commandments, obviously. You explain that you’ve always been very good, very righteous, very law abiding. … And Jesus loves you! … But then he tells you something you really don’t want to hear: sell everything you own, give away the money, and come wander with him. “Excuse me, what?” You think. Sell everything? Follow…where? You go away very sad.

What is it about selling your stuff that would be so awful? Is it that everyone associates wealth with God’s blessing? Is it that a loss of social status would change who you are? What is it? Well, I know what would be awful for me: I like most of my stuff. I’m always telling people I have too much stuff, and I do. But I do have some things that I am not able to part with…like my clarinet, for instance. I haven’t played in over a year, and there’s a beautiful, high quality professional clarinet in my closet. But would I sell it even if Jesus told me to? Probably not. Sure, I’m willing to entertain the notion—I often do, for about 12 seconds—but follow through? I don’t think so.
Well, Peter points out that he and his fellow disciples have done exactly that. Well, they left everything, anyway, though it’s not clear that they necessarily sold everything. I often see myself as Peter in the gospel story—he gets it, then really really doesn’t…he’s just so human. It’s probably a little easier to imagine yourself as Peter, so let’s take another trip to the land of make-believe for a moment.
You’re packing for a journey—well, as much as you’re allowed to pack: your toothbrush, some sunglasses…Bartholomew gets caught trying to sneak an extra shirt for the trip so you’re all running late…and you’re finally walking out the door when yet another random person comes running up to Jesus insisting that he is asking the most important question of the century.
You overhear some of the conversation…Jesus telling him to follow the commandments—well, most of those were commandments, anyway—and then you hear the man claim to have followed them all. Huh? Who has followed all the commandments their whole lives? This guy must not have seen a priest lately, so he just doesn’t know that he’s broken them. Wait, wait, Jesus is talking again… Sell all your stuff and come follow me? Wha..why…huh? Well, I guess that’s what we’ve all done. Hey Jesus, guess what? We must have it right for a change because we’ve left everything to follow you. Excuse me, what? Wait….are you talking in riddles again? Yes I said riddles, not parables, riddles. Have you ever seen a camel? Those things are huge! No way. Wait, you’re already walking, but, hey Andrew, did he confirm that we got it right in leaving our homes and following him? Hello? Jesus?
Let me just tell you, this is how I feel most of the time. “Look Jesus, I’m doing something right for a change!” “Hey, I already do what you told that person, so that must be the magic formula that will get me in, right?” The difference between Peter and the random man is that Peter thinks he’s got it, and the man thinks he doesn’t. The man asks a question, and Peter makes a declaration. But there is also something similar about the two.
Did you hear the man? “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Peter, “look, we’ve got it right, yeah, the 12 of us, over here!” So really, neither of them is right, for they are both thinking in terms of themselves, and in terms of what they think they are supposed to be doing. Jesus is challenging them to think in new ways—and the only way he can do that is through their own experience. God meets us where we are—and for the man, where he is is with himself and with money. And for Peter, where he is is with getting it right and with himself. However, Jesus’ answers to the man and to Peter point out that though God meets us where we are, God doesn’t necessarily want us to stay where we are. Instead, as Bonhoeffer says, God is often calling us to rethink our own paradigms. Maybe it’s not about following the commandments to the letter. Maybe it’s not about doing what was recommended for someone else. Maybe it’s not about being wrapped up in ourselves and the way we think the world should be. But maybe it all starts with asking the question…just as the man asks the question. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t rethink his paradigm, his worldview, his entire frame of reference, without a very drastic change—or at least the suggestion of one.

What about Peter? Good old Peter, the epitome of humanity in relation to Jesus. What does he get in response to his declaration? “That’s right, and don’t worry, you’ll get your reward. But … the first will be last, and the last first.” That doesn’t sound like a reward, does it? It sounds like the disciples will be last into the kingdom because they were first in following Jesus.
Maybe this is just the suggestion Peter needs. He sees that he and his newfound friends follow Jesus, they seem to do everything that’s required of them, they believe…Peter even declared that Jesus is the Messiah just two short chapters ago. They are the ones who get it, not the Pharisees, not the women at wells, not the children…and certainly not this rich man. Peter sees himself as already well on the way to completing the requirements he thinks Jesus has laid out for everyone. He is caught up in this worldview, this paradigm, where those who get it right are the ones who get in...but it’s clear that his own view of what is right is definitive. Jesus keeps telling him, and keeps telling him, and keeps telling him, and finally this time comes right to the heart of the matter: “sure, you’re right,” he says, “but many who are first will be last and the last will be first.” Because it’s not about your vision of right. Because it’s not about when you started following me. It’s not about how perfectly you follow me. It’s not about how you see yourself. What’s more important to me is the simple fact that you do follow; the simple fact that I can and do love you even when you don’t get it; the simple fact that I called you and all these other people too.

Anthony DeMello was a Jesuit priest in India. He wrote several collections of wisdom stories, most about a “Master”, who is a leader, a guru, if you will…sometimes Christian, sometimes Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim…or any variety of things… He has a story about a Master who was “exceedingly gracious to university officials and professors who visited him, but he refused to be drawn into their theological speculations or to answer their religious questions. His disciples were amazed by this and asked him about it. He answered them: how can one talk of the ocean to a frog in a well? Or about the divine to those restricted by their concepts?” This story describes so well what I see here, on so many levels. The man is restricted by his wealth, or at least by its possession of him, and by his worldview that defines what is good, what it means to be a disciple, and what it means to have eternal life. Peter is restricted by his worldview too…of right and wrong, of first and last. And often we are restricted by the image of the camel and needle, the idea that wealth is necessarily a bad thing because Jesus tells this one man to give it all up, the concept of stewardship as being about money and not necessarily about time, talents, or service. It’s hard to break out of our paradigms, to rethink our worldviews, to think about the ocean when we have only lived in a well.
Thankfully, though, there is the line Peter may very well have overlooked and the rich man didn’t even hear: “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God. For God, all things are possible.” For mortals it is impossible to be perfect. For mortals, it is impossible to get it right. For mortals, it is impossible to enter the kingdom of heaven of one’s own volition. But not for God. For God, all things are possible. It is possible for God to forgive us when we are not perfect, to correct us when we get it wrong or when we think we’ve got it right, to bring us close to God in the church, in the sacraments, in Scripture, through the Holy Spirit, and in one another. It is possible for God to call us, and to help us respond. And through God it is possible for us to rethink the paradigms we live in and to reshape the world around us. This is the key point that both Peter and the rich man are missing. They are missing that for God, and therefore for us with God’s help, it is possible to do all kinds of new things.

Do we have any starting points for this rethinking of our paradigms? Why should we rethink our worldview and try to figure out a new way? Isaiah tells us. In the old way, there was self-righteous fasting, sackcloth and ashes, worthless sacrifices, and confusion about God’s distance from us. The place God wants us to start is this: “is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to let the oppressed go free, to share your bread with the hungry, bring the homeless poor into your house, and cover the naked?” The list goes on…and what is the result? Our light shall break forth like the dawn. Our healing shall spring up quickly. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed to us. We shall call, and God will answer us saying “Here I am!” What better place to start than the place God has given us?
We know that Peter eventually gets it and begins to rethink his own worldview. His storyline continues, and tells us that it took him several more tries, including denying Jesus, including watching his friend and mentor die a horrible death, and including a worldview-shattering experience of that friend and mentor resurrected from the dead. But those several tries eventually led him to become a leader in the church, the first apostle to preach, the apostle who is the rock in our cloud of witnesses.
But what do we think happens to the man after he goes away grieving? Does he think and pray about it, and sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, bank on that treasure in heaven, and go wander around with Jesus? Or does he maybe keep his possessions but stop letting them possess him—do they become less important to him, and he is thereby freed to serve others, as his form of following Christ? Or, the least attractive option to us readers…does he simply go away and decide that Jesus was bitter that day—jealous of his wealth, status and comfortable life—and continue living his life as before, following the commandments to the letter but missing the spirit of the law? Does he continue to be wrapped up in himself and his own chances at eternal life, or does he decide to look away from himself and see the good he can do to those around him? Your imaginations have to provide the end of the story. But, depending on the ending you choose, it may be just a beginning. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

npr is oppressing me.

I need a transcript. It hasn't arrived yet. I thought that was the whole point of email--it's fast. When?? how long, O Lord? how long?

oy

must write sermon
must not be slacker (too much) in class
must exercise
must not go crazy...

Saturday, October 04, 2003

oh, the excitement!

*well, it's world communion sunday. or it will be in 20 minutes or so. this is my first time doing communion at this church. yay!
*friendster is kind of fun but kind of weird. in other words, jury's still out.
*i'm preaching next week. on the rich man in Mark 10.17.
*i love my friends. except when they are molesting. then i do not love them as much.
*eggplant parmesan is very very good. kentucky fried chicken is not.
*spiders on my front door are really gross. but at least it's not on a web that blocks the door anymore. i guess.
*applesauce is very good. especially mom's.
*i need to be in bed now. more later, i promise. unless amy's computer continues to be dead, in which case you'll have to wait until i drag myself to the lab. (oh, as though i never ever go in there...)

Sunday, September 28, 2003

i do not have time...

...for making challah bread. nor do i have my own kitchen.
...for homework
...for sleeping
...for losing my phone and having to look all over creation for it
...for blogging.

i'll be back, i promise, soon. don't worry. just wait.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Jewish Holidays

...mean no challah bread for communion. oh, the sadness! we have to have a different kind of bread. I love challah, though. oy.
we're trying a new wine this week, too...the one from last week was really not good. ughh.

I have to go to church tomorrow and discover whether anything has fallen off the wall, and to hang the last thing. This is very exciting. please be excited.

now i am going to read for theology. goodbye.

Monday, September 22, 2003

i have an office...

lalalalalalalala!

i have an office at the church. i rearranged the furniture yesterday, and today i'm going out to do some minor shopping for things i need in there--like something to go on the wall, some cleaning supplies, water, etc. the usual, really.

i wore a robe when leading worship yesterday. and a stole. i looked like a real-life pastor. it was kind of scary, but then it wasn't anymore. I've decided it's only weird if i'm walking around NOT in church. and then, really, anyone would look strange--even an ordained pastor.
see, Calvin, you aren't always right.

just saying...

Friday, September 19, 2003

fab!

it was fab. and there's a site where you can find out your Les Mis character! aah, who doesn't love cheesy personality tests?



I'm Jean Valjean!

(No, really.) Some people may see me as a little sanctimonious, but though I care deeply about doing right, I'm not above a little skulduggery in a good cause. Being in touch with my spiritual side doesn't make me an easy target... on the contrary, in fact.


Which Les Miserables Character Are You?

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

woohoo!

I am going to see Les Mis tonight, with Amy and Noell, courtesy of someone at Noell's church and Amy's generosity (though I told her not to do it, she did, and I still love her.) :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2003

today i have not...

...done any homework yet.

...picked up rocks for monday's chapel.

...been off campus.

...drunk 8 glasses of water.

...done any exercise.

...written any useful emails (except one just now, i guess).

...watched any tv (this might have to change now, actually).

...done anything productive whatsoever.

Friday, September 12, 2003

so....

it's friday. and the last post was on tuesday. i'm a slacker. what has been going on?

well...jenny my college roommate is getting married. classes are going. the internship hasn't started. i've been tired. the "fish" is living in my room (amy's allergic to her) and she (the fish) likes to wake me up by biting my arm...at 7am. which would be ok if i needed to get up then, but i don't. and it would be ok if she didn't do it when i was trying to go to sleep too, but she does.

so what exactly is it about me that is so tasty to animals? Ollie likes to bite my arm and hand. mosquitoes bite me every time they come near. i probably get bitten by spiders in my sleep. I forever have random bug bites on my arms and legs, and sometimes my back. do i understand? no. i've learned that mosquitoes are attracted to blue, and that bananas (even after you eat them...something about the vitamins and your blood..) attract them too... well, i don't eat bananas (they're nasty), but almost my whole wardrobe is blue. hmm. but that doesn't explain the cat and her attraction to my skin. explain!

there was supposed to be yoga tonight but the yard sale is currently in the living room (it is tomorrow morning) so i don't know how yoga can happen. hmm.

i think i should go home soon, play with my fish, and go to bed early so i can get up and help noell. oh..yay...

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

oy

there was a lovely post to go here, i promise.

unfortunately, it disappeared. i do apologize. perhaps another time.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

gross

brown water and roaches. ugh.

the south--oy.

in other news, school has started, i only have two classes and an internship (until the second half, anyway)...theology is going to be a lot of reading but should be a good class (shirley guthrie is teaching with george stroup this year). exegesis is something to get through, i think...but interning will be a good experience. yippee.

amy and i are nearly halfway through our 11-week healthy plan, and it's going really well. woohoo!

umm...roaches are nasty.

that's all for now.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

aaah, school

that's all, really. it starts tomorrow and there are several things i need to do before my first class, like locate the notebook i bought for this semester, and get a binder ready, etc. oy. i need to go to bed. goodnight...

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

one more day

...until classes start. today i dropped and added (classes), went to chapel, and ate in the 'tory. oh boy.
and i'm too good at greek. huh.

just fyi: i changed my phone number. if any of you (who may or may not be reading this) normally have my phone number....well, email me for the new one. it's a chicago number. yes, i still live in atlanta. it's a money and convenience issue...

anyway, that's all now. buh-bye.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

yay!!

allison, i love you!!

Thursday, August 28, 2003

btw:

all the old comments are lost with the installation of a new system. sorry yo.

also, if anyone knows anything about how to change some of the font colors in my template--and make it work--that would be great. I've been trying for months to get my titles in a different blue, but NO, only beige. i've tried just changing the color code for the font in the style header, but that doesn't seem to work. help me!!

new comments

hey y'all....i've changed my commenting system so hopefully it will be fully functional now. YACCS was oppressing me, so now there's blogspeak. assuming i didn't mess up the copy and paste of code....

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

aaah, yoga

breathing is the whole point of yoga. so there.

Monday, August 25, 2003

in other news....

people are crazy. all people.
taize at druid hills. more issues than usual.
text messaging with friends. good times, had by all.
WHORE (whore). heheheheh!

computer lab, closed until tuesday afternoon. dumbheads.
noell. fabulous.
dinner. great.
noell's car. fixed.
dr. pepper floats. yay!
"do you know a man who's fathered four or more children with four different women and who denies them all? if so, call the maury show at 1-888-45MAURY."

wow.
why is this happening?
has anyone ever considered the commercials and the time of day they are on? this show and its ads air during the middle of the day when most people are at work. so who's watching? hmm. maybe the people who sleep around and refuse to acknowledge their children. hmm. on the other hand, apparently i'm watching this. granted, there's nothing else on, and i'm on holiday, but still. oy.

this woman on the show right now has had five men tested to find out if they're the father of her baby. guess what? none are. as she says that it's "not about her"....that's too bad. she slept with enough men, while she was in a relationship, that she doesn't know who they are. the next woman is on the sixth man...hmm....i wonder how that will turn out. geee....

oy.

Friday, August 22, 2003

DONE!!

Greek is finished. I will never write another paradigm chart. I will never have to translate from memory, using only words that I remember. I will never take another Greek quiz. I am a happy, happy, tired person.

it's naptime. but I just thought i'd share that greek is done, it's vacation now (for a week), and there's a party tonight. woohoo!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

people should not be awake this early.

Monday, August 18, 2003

bedtime: 3am
awake time: 7:30am. thoughts: no way.
awake time 2: 9:30 am. thoughts: not worth it.
awake time 3: 11:30am. thoughts: time to get up for chapel.

at least i know what's important in life.

now i have to go make t-shirts for my greek small group.

:-)

Sunday, August 17, 2003

why do people suck?

not all of them, just some. sorry noell....i'm sorry you work with one of them.

in other news, my creme brulee was amazing. yay!

it was so good. you have no idea.
wow.

noell's mushrooms were really good too. :-)

i really like food. how is it that i got put into the lust level of hell instead of the gluttony level?

Saturday, August 16, 2003

ok, so, the power's been out in the northeast for a while now...

why is there still debate about the power grid and the energy bill?


In other news, mimosa saturday was waffles today. Too bad my waffle maker decided to be dumb and kept sticking....i had to make them with Noell's instead. still yummy, but not belgian.

i hate thunder.

we sorted the greek school into hogwarts houses today. that was thoroughly fun....now we're going to post the list on the wailing wall. hopefully it doesn't make anyone angry!

the family reunion is ending. i missed it. again. yippee!! i've never been. :-) it's been like 7 years. wow...

tomorrow i'm visiting Northminster Church. hopefully it is a possibility for an internship...i'll know more monday, and for sure by wednesday or thursday. oy. this whole SM210 deal is stressing me out.

greek is almost over, thank goodness. Just ONE MORE WEEK!!!!! no more paradigm charts to produce, no more principal parts to memorize...just a passage from John to translate in two hours, and it'll all be finished. woohoo!!

scrabble. more people should play it.

Monday, August 11, 2003

oh yeah, and i wish i was in scotland right now.
i love kids.
i love playing with kids and getting paid.
i wish i could get paid for easy stuff all the time.
i wish i didn't have to do any more greek homework.

i'm going for a walk.

Friday, August 08, 2003

bug bites. lots of them. i'm not supposed to scratch them, i know, and yet i do. UGH! I have managed to keep four down but one is now essentially an open wound, to be covered with bandaids. oy.

it's humid outside, it's hot, and yet amy and i manage to get our exercise in. we have walked four days this week so far. here's the the plan! :-)

just pointing out, i want to go to scotland so anyone who wants to help me pay for that is really welcome to do so. i don't really have room for more stuff, more books, more whatever...so clearly a trip that would fulfill me spiritually and allow me to spend some time with my good friend.

just saying...

Monday, August 04, 2003

so today when i was putting gas in the car i may have gotten a drop on my foot. what happens with direct contact between auto fuel and skin? i had a red spot there for a little while but now it's gone. if there's a tumor there tomorrow, i'm going to be very sad.

we won third place in trivia tonight--very exciting! thanks to wes, who knew that angela lansbury's character name was Jessica Fletcher (on Murder, She Wrote). we got as far as Angela reasoning through the question, but we couldn't remember her character's name. then it was Wes to the rescue! woohoo! he also remembered that the prince on Mr. Roger's was called Prince Tuesday. nice work wes, nice work. apparently it pays to spend nights in the hospital (on call as a chaplain) because there's some quality tv time there.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Bend It Like Beckham--very good movie. highly recommended.

parish associates preaching sunday morning services without having a clear point in mind first--not recommended.
maybe the church will be better next week when the pastor is back from vacation. we'll see.

amy's parents went to scotland today. i want to go to scotland really really really badly. for my birthday, all i want are contributions to my go-to-scotland fund. no material things, just contributions. you can send them to my mom's house...email me for the address. thanks!

Thursday, July 31, 2003

what? who's bitter? i don't see anyone here who would be bitter about the changing of a syllabus halfway through a class to include an unknown number of quizzes in spite of the fact that the course requirements state that there will be seven quizzes.
no, no one here.

in other news, i was reading (during the road trip, a long time ago now) that prolonged exposure to used motor oil has caused cancer in laboratory animals.
the question is: what animals? how long was the prolonged exposure? how used was the motor oil? was it 10-30 or 5-30 or some other set of useless numbers? and why would you do that to animals?

apparently similar results occur with fuel fumes.

here are the "principal parts of excruciatingly common verbs" that I know. in transliteration...since i don't have greek characters on this computer and you prolly don't either:

really really well known by me:
erxomai (eleusomai, aylthon, elaylutha)
esthio (phagomai, ephagon)
dunamai (dunaysomai, skip, skip, skip, aydunathayn)

known, kind of, well...maybe...hopefully...well, at least for now but tomorrow may be a totally different story:
ginomai (genaysomai, egenomayn, gegona, gegenaymai, egenaythayn)
phero (oyso, aynegka, enaynoxa, enaynegmai, anexthayn)

definitely not known, but hopefully will be by tomorrow morning at 9:
baino (baysomai, ebayn, bebayka)
pipto (pesoumai, epeson, peptoka)
lambano (laympsomai, elabon, eilaypha, eilaymmai, elaymphayn)


hmm. perhaps i should be studying?

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

here are my results from noell's crazy test.
whatever.

DisorderRating
Paranoid:Low
Schizoid:Low
Schizotypal:Moderate
Antisocial:Low
Borderline:Low
Histrionic:Moderate
Narcissistic:Low
Avoidant:Low
Dependent:Low
Obsessive-Compulsive:Low

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --


Monday, July 28, 2003

hmm. i can't figure out how to make my link table (at left) wider so that each box is one line. anyone, anyone?
heheheeheheheheheheheh

boycott?
i really really really need to get my oil changed.

just thought i'd share.
well, it's monday. that's about all i have to say about that.

it is also naptime.
yay.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

i did fine on the midterm...fyi.

i just spent five hours going through the database of the spirituality program and getting snailmail addresses for people whose email addresses are wrong, and writing postcards asking for an email address update. oy. i am very happy it's over....but i still have to do homework. cry. i do not like doing homework. i almost want greek to be over just because there will be less homework when fall semester comes. or at the very least it will be spread out over more days instead of zillions of sentences every day. oy.

this is my amusing/cool thing of the day.

also, NPR online is a great great thing. :-)

right, i'm going to eat and study now. ta.

Friday, July 25, 2003

the midterm is over. they are supposed to be returned to our boxes this afternoon, but i haven't checked yet. hmm. in any case, it's nearly party time! there's shopping to be done, hair to be re-managed, and things to do! woohoo!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

you would think i had a real job, with how much work i've been doing. what's wrong with this picture? oh yeah...i don't get paid. well, ok, i get paid in "grant" money from the school, but i don't get actually paid to work, really. or at least it doesn't feel like it. a pay check is probably the key. and the fact that i don't seem to have any money. hmmm....

Sunday, July 20, 2003

ok...have been to chicago and back, to orlando and back, and i think i am now stationary for the remainder of the summer. woohoo!

Chicago was good...there's an H&M moving in where FAO Schwartz used to be...i love chicago. i love my church most of the time. calum's installation service was EXCELLENT, as was the surprise of me being there. hehehe! bradley also flew in as a surprise, which was most excellent. the committee meeting ended well in spite of the statement by the committee chair that I am "very young...we've never had someone so young under care of our committee before." whatever that means. oy.

orlando was fun...the weather is basically the same as here. the drive (about 7-8 hours, depending on how fast you drive. it took me 7) was boring...the wedding was nice except for the southern baptist pastor who kept saying things about "a beautiful young woman and a handsome young man"...even in his prayers...and who stated that the purpose of marriage between a man and a woman is to keep man from acting out his lustful desires or some such statement. other than that, it was very nice. allison is officially married now--how exciting! i got to see some school people, too, which was good. I also visited Downtown Disney, but I didn't go to any of the parks (no time or $$). anyway, it was fine.

all in all, a really busy week. i've traveled about 3000 miles in the last seven days, visited lots of people, and done almost no homework. so now, i WILL do that. I will. really.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

waking up in less than three hours.
getting on airplane in five hours.
time for bed now, i think.
too bad i haven't packed.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

haircut: check.
harry potter finished: check.
vocab memorized: check.
email checked: check.
utter downpour outside: check.
stupid pronouns: not check.

hmm.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

is it really that hard to understand the concept of a four-line address? honestly.

Monday, July 07, 2003

as a preface to this post, i would like to point out that i use the word "hate" particularly sparingly, as it is a strong word not to be bandied about lightly.

12 things i hate

1. my CPM
2. rain that comes down hard, floods things, and never seems to end. particularly if it is simultaneoulsy sunny.
3. brussels sprouts.
4. meat.
5. some orange foods. most orange foods only get "dislike" to "strongly dislike" but some, like oranges, get hate.
6. my CPM
7. the campus calendar that won't load on my work study office computer.
8. getting up too early. the time of "too early" varies.
9. people who are utterly incompetent, who don't listen or read before asking questions, who try to sound smart when they aren't, and...did i already mention incompetence?
10. My CPM
11. people who aren't nice.
12. when the mail doesn't come when it's supposed to. like my new phone, which should have arrived last week but isn't here yet.

15 things i love

1. my friends.
2. my family, most of the time. most of them.
3. my church (at home).
4. sunshine, but not humidity.
5. Carole Norton, the only nice person that has anything to do with the CPM. good thing she's not a committee member.
6. Hebrew.
7. The Old Testament, mostly, especially Isaiah. even the mean parts, because it's so beautifully said.
8. preaching
9. sleeping
10. ice cream. tonight is the ice cream social at the church across the street. it may be the only time all year i'm early to something.
11. mashed potatoes, with lots of butter.
12. garlic bread.
13. kittens.
14. brown paper packages tied up with strings.
15. people who do their jobs, tell you exactly what needs to be done when, and who are nice.

4 things i'm indifferent about
1. greek.
2. homework.
3. grilled cheese sandwiches.
4. salad. it's on the hate list, though, the minute someone says "i'm sure they have salad" in response to the query about the vegetarian-friendliness of a restaurant proposed for plans.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

hola, all. happy sunday.
planned to go to church today, but church apparently unexpectedly started at 10 instead of 11. whatever.
greek again tomorrow. but in the meantime, good good food tonight. yay! stuffed zucchini and garlic bread--yum yum!

it's hot. it's humid. it's time for the ceiling fan--thank goodness!

I haven't exactly followed the news the last few days, so i can't comment on any of it, but i'm sure someone, somewhere, is doing something retarded. we can just rest assured that that someone is probably located near Washington DC.

so, just so y'all know, talking to cats is innefective. saying "we don't bite" probably doesn't get you very far.

amy says we ought to watch a movie when i've finished my "business" so i feel like i should try to download some porn or something. naturally i won't...i mean, this is Katie's computer. heheheh!

i'm very full but i'm feeling the ice cream. d'you feel that, d'you feel that?

Saturday, July 05, 2003

happy fifth of july.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Harry Potter in Latin.

highly recommended.

happy fourth of july. tomorrow i'll be sure to wish y'all hapyp fifth of july.
so...we gained our independence through action from within the nation and whatnot. too bad we think that other countries can't do that--we have to do it for them.
i'll be happy on the day i can celebrate independence day knowing that the other nations are independent from us, rather than knowing that we have become the nation that others need independence from.

ta.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

The Committee on the Prevention of Ministry

my least favorite people in the whole world: the CPM of Chicago Presbytery. hate mail is not condoned but nonetheless encouraged.

they are f***ing with my life right now, in a manner which is not approved. grr..

in other news, it's sunny outside today, finally. finally, finally, finally.

"Finally, it happened to me, right in front of my face, oh I just cannot hide it..."

yeah. the sun has come out, after the deluge of Tropical Depression Bill.

TDP dumped a ton of rain on us. a ton. literally. per square foot. well, a lot, anyway.

but now the sun has returned, thank goodness. it's about time something was cheery looking! after all, i've had a death in the family AND a Preparation for Ministry crisis all in the same week. honestly, who plans these things?

at least the worms are gone. from the ground--not the presbytery committee structure.
there will be no funeral, but we are all very sad. thanks for all your condolences....who will i write letters to now? no one, i suppose.

in other news, i saw Legally Blonde 2 yesterday. hilarious.
and in still other news, i got 100% on my first two greek quizzes. so far greek is not hard. it helps, of course, that i studied some greek before.

in yet other news, i'm going to chicago in 10 days. yay!

and, indeed, other news states that we are all crazy and The Chicas now have a four-person blog. good grief!

and, finally, my last piece of news for this entry is that it's not nice to be smarter than other people. so there. no one is allowed to be smarter than me. good thing the chicas are all of equal intelligence, eh?

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

a sad day...my great grandmother passed away last night. we used to have four generations of women alive on my mom's side of the family (including me)...now we are down to three.

it is not a happy day today.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

clouds. church. sun. new people, where are you? class starts tomorrow, you ought to be swarming all over the place by now!
must book a flight to chicago, but can't until tomorrow afternoon (after i talk to beth). too bad it will be less than 14 days before i fly then, because that's usually cheaper. hopefully the one day under won't make a big difference!

yesterday was a day of nothing...amy and i sat and watched pride and prejudice--the six hour version--all day long. then we watched emma too, for a good jane austen fix. the evening capped off with Moulin Rouge. aah, ewan mcgregor. you've been busy in the living room this weekend! too bad you aren't really in the living room!

i keep feeling like i'm supposed to be doing something, but i'm not. i have nothing to do except wait for school to start. i'm afraid to start a new book because i don't know if i'll keep reading it when class is in session. my room is (relatively) clean. i don't have any job applications to fill out right now--i'm just waiting to hear back from the three i've already turned in. no homework, not many people around...no tv...generally nothing, basically. i should take a nap or something.

tonight, however, i am babysitting for two hours. yay money! :-)

a nap is sounding better and better. have you ever started to think about something then wanted it really badly? you know, chocolate, a new book, that cd you saw at starbucks, a nap...well, i'm there. :-)

Saturday, June 28, 2003

today is mimosa saturday.

yay!

if you want to see a movie with really realistic fight scenes, great special effects, a fab soundtrack, and truly wonderful plot, i recommend "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" for your viewing pleasure.

we had fun last night.....

:-)

Friday, June 27, 2003

Charlie's Angels tonight. yay!

Greek starts monday. have I started learning it? yes, yes I have. I already knew the alphabet, of course, from when I decided to study greek last year (weird, i know, i know...whatever). I have learned two chapters of vocab and am trying to figure out the purpose of the accenting if it has nothing to do with pronunciation. so far i'mna go with...none. ha!

i know Ken is mad at me right now, but I thought of him today when I was in a mall food court and saw a sign at the japanese restaurant: a big red circle with MSG inside, and a red diagonal line across the middle (a la "no left turn"). Ken always orders No MSG at asian restaurants. anyway....

i'm going to eat dinner now. movie later. maybe by then i'll have something interesting to say.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

isn't it interesting how the ads at the top of the page reflect the topics on the page? i used to have worship resources. now i have luggage ads. that's great.
hmm...new version of blogger has arrived for us free peoples. hmm. yay for a new color scheme, i guess?

mom reminded me yesterday that i forgot to tell one of the funniest stories from our road trip: the case of the missing contact case.
We're at susan's house (yes, that would make it day three) and we're going to magic mountain. mom wakes up to find that her contact case, which had been on the bathroom counter--with her contacts in it, mind you--has gone missing. a mischevious cat has stolen it! :-) after a LONG search of the whole house, it was found underneath a rug by the back door. hmmm....
after mom put her contacts in she put the empty case INTO her toiletry bag. we came home from magic mountain to find that it was again missing, for she had apparently neglected to zip the bag all the way up. hehehe! this time it was behind a filing cabinet at the bottom of the stairs.

apparently susan's cats enjoy stealing things. interestingly, they've never stolen susan's contact case, which is exactly the same. hmmm....

anyway, it was absolutely HILARIOUS. we looked everywhere, susan kept asking the one cat she was sure hadn't done it..."taz, did you see who did this? did you see where they put it? did you?" and she would continuously ask the ones she was pretty sure did do it: "which one of you did this? blanche, was it you? NED...did you take it? what did you do with it?" heheheehehhehehe...

FYI: it was determined that the first time it was a blanche job, because there were no teeth marks. the second time could have been a ned exploit, though. hmm...

sneaky, frisky kitties!

the new kitten at the chicas' house is very frisky herself--she likes to jump and play. apparently that makes her psychotic, according to noell. whatever. that's just what kittens do. :-)

i wish i was a kitten sometimes. then i wouldn't have to learn greek.
and greek hasn't even started yet. LOL.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

one never knows, does one.

no, one does not.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

ok, here's the final breakdown.

The Epic Road Trip
the recap, summary, final thoughts, whatever

*vehicle: 1993 Ford Explorer, Eddie Bauer Edition, maroon.
*persons: two. until we picked up a hitchhiker (Amy) just north of Houston. then we were 3. :-)
*Stuffed pandas: one.
*luggage: one Very Large suitcase. One smaller suitcase. Two duffel bags. One garment bag. One backpack. One laptop computer. One blanket, one pillow, one large towel, one hand towel, one washcloth. One large cooler. One bag full of snack food. Two food items as overflow from the bag.
*Snacks: Two cases of water, two and a half cases of coke/dr. pepper (total throughout the trip--we restocked in houston). Guacamole-flavored chips. trail mix. pop tarts. corn pops. fruit loops. wheat thins. pudding.
*Total days: 12
*Total driving days: 9
*Total distance: 4,794.1 miles
*Total gas: 227.791 gallons. 15 fill-ups.
*Average gas mileage: 21.046 miles per gallon. with the air conditioning on, in hills and mountains and plains and valleys...
*Highest price paid for fuel: $2.09.9
*Lowest price paid for fuel: $1.39.9
*Total amount spent on fuel: $341.12
*States: 10. Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia.
*Hotels: 5
*Friend's/Family's houses: 3
*Major sights seen: lots. including but not limited to: Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, The Very Large Array (of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory), Roswell New Mexico's UFO museum, The Continental Divide, Carlsbad Caverns, The Alamo, Avery Island--the Tabasco place, New Orleans' French Quarter.
*Total National Parks visited: 3
*Total State Parks rejected upon arrival due to unreasonable cost and unknowledgeable rangers: 1
*Total private parks rejected upon arrival due to unreasonable cost, bad timing, or the cheesy factor: 4
*Towns rejected as places to stay due to scariness, dirtiness, or extra time in the day where we could clearly keep driving: 3
*amount of driving done by mom: All.
*amount of driving done by me: none.
*hills and mountains seen: tons.
*grass: lots. only two national grasslands though.
*trees: not many until Louisiana/Mississippi and especially Alabama/Georgia. Too many then.
*total time spent driving through unpopulated areas with boring scenery...or with occasional small towns consisting of five houses, a "store", and a sign with no indication of population: probably about 50 hours, at least. maybe more.
*cactus: well, lots of different varieties, but no saguaro, unfortunately. I've been denied the opportunity to get my picture taken next to a saguaro cactus, standing with my arms turned up (bent at the elbows) imitating the cactus. So far, anyway.
*tumbleweed: one that I saw. I slept some of the time though.
*CD's played: 52 without repeating. nearly 70 total.
*wildlife seen (alive): 4 deer in one place (nowhere near a sign telling us to watch out for deer). lots of prairie dogs, on route 66 in arizona. snake on the road (might have been dead though, we don't know.) some squirrels. two california condors. some buzzards. a couple of snowy egrets. about half a million bats. literally.
*wildlife seen (dead): deer, in Carlsbad, NM. dog. lots and lots of roadkill of various kinds, including raccoon.
*wildlife not seen though we were warned about it by roadsigns, making me very disappointed when we never saw one: elk, bear, deer, alligator.
*total time spent in the car: hours upon hours. at least 72 hours, probably more.
*longest driving day: 11 hours.
*longest sight-seeing day(s): Grand Canyon/Painted Desert/Petrified Forest, and Carlsbad Caverns. (days 5 and 7, respectively)
*Total amusement parks visited: two six flags. soon to add one (tomorrow!) though it might not really count, but mom IS still here, after all.
*time zones crossed: three.
*mountain ranges: two. plus the texas hill country.
*swamp lands crossed: one. Louisiana.

*net effect: a VERY sore behind, bonding time with mom, a nice tan, lots of great sights of the US seen, a car in Atlanta so i'm no longer stranded on the CTS campus at the mercy of my classmates.

*total money spent: TONS and tons and tons. approximately $1,000, I think. just my estimate: mom might have a more accurate guess.

*the trip itself: priceless.

the end



Thursday, June 19, 2003

ok, i'm back. here's the recap on the last few days.

day ten
Six Flags Astroworld. not as fun as magic mountain, but still fun. Highlight was definitely the barrell roll coaster--that was awesome!! there were no lines so we rode in the front on almost every ride. Mostly they weren't as fast as Magic Mountain, and not as thrill-ride-esque, but it was a good time. we were there when the park opened (10am) and we were out by 1, which is when the thunderstorms started and everything was shut down anyway. yay! The rest of the afternoon we just lazed about, planned the rest of the trip, did some shopping (re-stock of water and coke)...yeah. Amy made dinner--veggie lasagne, which was very good but which she left the spinach out of on accident. very funny! heheheh...we had spinach salad instead. :-)

day eleven
we left at 8:30, just as we planned, and drove to New Orleans via Avery Island. Avery Island is where they make Tabasco sauce...it was very cool. Good times! New Orleans was busy, dirty, hot, and humid. we drove down Bourbon Street, we walked around a little in the East End of the French Quarter, went to Louie Armstrong Park to take a picture, and we moved on. We stayed in Slidell for the night.

day twelve
the end...the last 8 hours! We drove via Birmingham, Alabama to Atlanta. It was a pretty boring drive--lots of trees, amy and i slept while mom drove (no change there from the rest of the trip!), and one rainstorm so heavy that visibility was about 30 feet IF the car in front of you had their flashers on. We got to Atlanta around 8-ish Eastern Time. yay! we're here.

mom's still here, and prolly will be through the weekend. i'm going to a wedding in Johnson City, Tennessee this weekend and will be back Sunday night...then we're going to Six Flags Over Georgia on Monday! woohoo! :-)

there will be a complete stat list from the trip coming up tonight. watch this space!! :-)