Sunday, June 30, 2002

Tip #12:
If using sunscreen on one body part but not others (for example, arms but not legs--see tip numbers 16 and 17), be sure not to touch the un-screened part with sunscreen-covered hands. This will result in fingerprints in the middle of your sunburn.
Teri's tips for getting a sunburn, #16:
when burning your arms, make sure that a) you don't burn badly enough to peel, or, b) you only burn on the arm opposite your dominant one. For example, if you are right handed, burning your right arm is a bad idea because it is difficult to peel off!

Tip #17:
To avoid this problem, burn your legs or other easily reachable area instead.

Tip #1:
Always have a bottle of that spray-on Aloe with Lidocaine handy! but,
Tip #2:
beware the blue kind, which can turn your skin temporarily blue with repeated application. This can be easily remedied by wiping skin with a cool cloth, prefereably a non-abrasive kind such as a paper towel.

Friday, June 28, 2002

maybe i'll go for a run (was supposed to this morning but didn't wake up)---when it's cooler outside, obviously not right now, duh. until then, I'll be trudging through Les Mis, desperately hoping for the story line to return...
I love days like today. I got out of bed around 11. haven't done anything since except skim a book on feng shui and do a little rearranging in my apartment. I may shower later...I may not...I don't really plan on going anywhere so it may not, in fact, be necessary. :-)

I'll let you know if I do anything.
Things I have done since leaving the church building today at 4:55pm:
1. Shopped at Victoria's Secret's semi-annual sale.
2. walked about a mile.
3. learned to eat with chopsticks.
4. tried a new flavor of ice cream (wildberry with berry truffles..yum!)
5. felt Very Full.
6. Discovered lyrics for the song "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World and emailed it to Sparks, who constantly sings the song but mumbles through the words he doesn't actually know.
7. Scoped the cost of staying at Walt Disney World Resorts.
8. peeled so much skin off my arms that I'm surprised to still see arm there.

Things I have not done though I ought to have:
1. Washed my dishes.
2. taken out my paper recycling to the bin.
3. cleaned my apartment.
4. found stamps so I can mail things.

All in all, it seems that the accomplishments outnumber the we'll call it good, and I'll go out to play. After all, it's Thursday! GB night! woohoo! :-)

Thursday, June 27, 2002

yay! I have successfully created a bulletin for a Taize service. I did it the old fashioned way--literally cut and paste. when we do them for real, obviously, we will use a scanner and computer, but I didn't have access to that today. It's only 3:30 and I am done with the work for today! perhaps I'll go shopping...perhaps i'll stay here and read my book for a while (where it's air conditioned!!)...who knows...

I was at Whole Foods yesterday and they didn't have any edamame. I was so sad! I want it fresh, not frozen, and they did not have that. cry! I will have to try a different whole foods--because I've seen it in the refrigerator of a friend's house--with the Whole Foods sticker on! there's one down here--perhaps that is what i will do now! yay, a purpose!

I'm off...ttfn!

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

I haven't done much today, and yet I have. The first Taize service is outlined and I will be creating a bulletin this evening and tomorrow--fun--and I'm about to go look for floor pillows and do a little grocery shopping at whole foods. yay!

I love the air conditioning at this church, I just have to say. :-) It is so nice in here, when my apartment is about ten thousand degrees. Roughly.

anyway, off to whole foods! :-)
i often wonder if anyone (other than Rachel and my mom) reads this. are you out there? anyone?

i slept in today...yay! :-) it's hot in here again...and getting hotter! oh dear. must turn my fan towards me I think! duh...

I haven't gotten anything done this morning, just read the Tribune and talked to some friends online. thank you letters? no. phone calls? no. paid bills? no. all things to be put off until afternoon, apparently!

i am hungry and lunch isn't for another hour. oy. maybe i'll read a book now....
and that it is REALLY HOT in my apartment?
can i just say that Cadbury makes the best chocolate ever? yum yum yum.
it went ok. i talked a lot, which is unfortunate, but now i am free for several weeks! i got people to sign up to lead the next four weeks in a row, so i'm free until 30 July. excellent!

soon i get to go home. woohoo!
one last thing before i go down: does anyone know what you are supposed to say when someone knocks on the door of the bathroom you are in? i never know what to say. hello? ok? yes? one moment please? and yet I knock before i go in...even when i know there's no one in there....hmm..what are they supposed to say? what if they don't know?

any ideas?
I have been here all day (here being church, and "all day" being since after lunch, aka around 1:20pm CDT) working on tonight's YABS (YABS being Young Adult Bible Study). I went across to FoodLife (FoodLife being an excellent food court in the Water Tower shopping centre across the street) for dinner, couldn't decide what I wanted, and had pizza and a strawberry smoothie out of sheer apathy. BUT: the Bible Study (commonly referred to by me and others who lead as "BS") is ready to go. It will be odd. I'll let you know how it goes. just fyi: it's the beginning of a 10 week series on Matthew, and tonight is the "overview" session, which includes history, context, authorship, the form and flow of the text, etc. It is opposite of everything our BS usually is: it is almost a lecture, whereas we usually have discussion. The sad part about all that is that I am the one lecturing. As if I know stuff! whatever....must go down and just do it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

it's around 290 square feet, including the closet, which is Very Large.
I can't tell if I'm turning tan because of the light in my apartment. I'll let you know when I've been out in the natural light a little. without the sun. I think it's cloudy out there today, but still bloody hot. oy--this is only the beginning of Chicago Summer! whatever will I do? I know...hang out at church where it's air conditioned! woohoo!

it is Very Loud in my place right now because the guys who are working on the bricks or whatever on the building (they claim to be tuckpointing, but I looked up what that is and it certainly doesn't look like what they are doing) are drilling right outside my window. it is ridiculously loud.

anyway, it's still morning and I don't have anything to say, but i have loads to read (mostly about the historical, social, and literary contexts of the new testament, particularly matthew) so i'm going now. to do that. really. right after i brush my teeth, wander aimlessly around my apartment (all 100 square feet or whatever of it), measure the square footage of my apartment...etc.
about that sunburn-turning-to-tan thing....hold that thought. My left arm is peeling. lets just pray for a tan at this point--but without the skin cancer thanks.
my skin is very hot. so is my apartment. it was cool just an hour ago...what happened?

i get to have a car for 12 days starting tomorrow. woohoo! :-)

must get to sleep. I'm still tired, and I swear I can still smell the bugspray. Did I tell wait, I just read yesterday's entry and I didn't tell you. so here we go:

we were staying at this camp near Bloomington (Illinois, where special olympics were being held). we had cabins that are not usually used, and had many many bugs. they were also near ruin (well, close...maybe...) and the last date anyone had written on the wall or ceiling (in that time-honored camp tradition) was 1983. we were in the woods, on the shore of Lake Bloomington. There were 4 sets of bunkbeds in this cabin that was about 10 feet by 12 (maybe 14 if you're lucky)...some windows, a screen door that didn't really close...that's about it. except for the bugs. I don't mean just a few bugs--I mean a lot. All over. All the time. spiders, mosuitos, flies, other bugs that may or may not have names--the people who catalog insect species should take a trip out there, I'm sure they'd discover some new species and they could name it after me. After all, at least I sprayed insect repellent on ME, not on the BUGS. The kids sprayed it everywhere. (so did i.) bed? yes. sleeping bag? yes. curtains? yes. suitcases? yes. pillows? as gross as it was, yes. ditto for towels. the floor around the bedposts? yes, in the hopes that bugs would then NOT crawl up the posts into our beds. there was a permanent cloud of bug spray in our cabin for all four days. I'm not kidding about that. We sprayed it every chance we got. on everything. on the bright side, we didn't get bitten. on the decidedly-less-bright-side, my throat feels like i drank a bottle of the stuff, and i think that insect repellent is now a permanent part of my chemical makeup. It may very well be part of my DNA. at least that would be good for any children i might have someday.

i think that i should get to my reading and my bed now. even though i only woke up 13 hours ago. yay, sleep! :-) must make up for the weekend!

Monday, June 24, 2002

I love my bed. I had such a happy time sleeping in it last night!

it is Very Hot in my apartment, and yet I'm having a good hair day. Can someone explain this to me?

I am going to work in an air conditioned place now. yay! :-)

my sunburn is slowly but surely turning into a tan. One more day should do it...then I can go out in the sun again! With better sunblock on this time, of course. Right now it's just too hot on my burned skin to go out. Hence the need for A/C. anyway...i'm off to the coolness of the church library. ta.
we're back. we survived. i need a drink, and I'm not going to get it Right Now. oy. I need my bed--it's calling me. yay, my own bed! I've missed you.....

Thursday, June 20, 2002

workcamp leaves this afternoon. Am I ready to spend three and a half days with 21 junior high kids? if not, too bad!

I am having such a good morning, doing basically nothing. Well, sort of. I watered the flowers, cleaned up the house, and have done two loads of laundry. I guess that's not technically nothing, but it's close enough. :-) It's hot out, and I've turned on the air conditioner in the house. The poor dog was so hot!

The trip should be good, I think. I'll be gone a few days--back Sunday night or Monday morning. Don't forget about me while I'm gone!!
it's done. and pronounced awesome by Sparks. AND all in ten pages--which means five pieces of paper plus a cover page in a booklet format. excellent! :-) Now i must eat, and rest...perhaps read a book....aah...

Wednesday, June 19, 2002


Thanks to Rachel's friend Aaron starting a blog for his youth group, I have figured out what was wrong with my template and have managed to change the layout to exactly as I wanted! yay!
they are gone. must get to work. liturgy. music. for kids age 11 and 12. harder than it sounds.
well...i had a long breakfast today. I saw the Chihuly in the Park exhibit at Garfield Park Conservatory. I went to Costco. I ate at the Chicago Diner. I drove by Buckingham Fountain. Now I'm home. Mom and Grandma leave tomorrow. There is much work to be done on the Junior High Workcamp Devotions. And on the Taize service. and we leave on Thursday!

Mom tried to lose a hat she bought for my brother. that's not a very good idea, now is it?

My friend Bradley desperately wants to be in my blog. Here you go Bradley. :-)

I am very full. very very full. yummy pasta bake. Very Full.

when is vacation again?

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Today I went to play with my friend Maddy, who is seven. I was babysitting all day, though it actually felt like just going over to play! :-) We watched Harry Potter, we wrestled, we went to the park, we watched cartoons, we had dinner with my mom and grandma, and we ate ice cream! Then we read stories and got ready for bed. woohoo! It was fun. I am tired now though, and still have to finish up the devotions for the Junior High workcamp by tomorrow afternoon. oy. must go write liturgy, prayers, games, conversation questions.....

Sunday, June 16, 2002

well, that's over. And I've dragged my mom and grandma to church as well. They didn't sing or read or anything, they just sat. But small steps--at least they are being supportive! :-)
Graduation was not very long, but it was boring. Phillip Glass spoke, but I think he forgot his point as he began to speak--so he didn't have one. too bad..
The party (at Chicago's Pizza) was excellent! :-) yum yum yum..and almost all my good friends were there. yay!

Today on the way home from taking my friend Emily to the airport, I recognized a street name from a place I wanted to visit and turned on it just for fun (it wasn't on the way home at all!) and magically Eli's Cheesecake Factory materialized in front of us! woohoo! We went in and bought some Very Cheap cheesecake--the "imperfect" ones are $2-$11! excellent!
We are going to the garfield park conservatory now to see the Chihuly in the Park exhibit. should be fun.
happy Sunday!

Oh answer you all who think I'm really done with school--i'm not. I'm done with a bachelor of music degree, but in the fall i'm beginning a master of divinity. more school ahead. :-) "real world avoidance" indeed.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Well, graduation is today. excellent! the official end of my college career is at hand. I have to get ready really soon here--or else I will be "late" by my grandma's standards, which is an hour early. Luckily, we were told not to arrive before our assigned time because there is a ceremony before ours that will be getting out, and they want to avoid congestion.
The Chocolate exhibit was quite good. The museum was very crowded, and there were quite a lot of children, which always inspires diatribes from mom on how people aren't raising their kids right anymore. which may be true--or it may just be kids, being kids...I don't really know....

it's still chilly out--how obnoxious. Luckily I'm having an indoor party...

must go shower, dress, figure out how these academic hoods work, make sure I don't forget my cap and gown....

the next time you read a post of mine, I'll no longer be a DePaul student! I'll be an alumnus. yay!

Thursday, June 13, 2002

So, my apartment is clean, my mom and grandma are here, and we ARE having real music at graduation. woohoo!
We are going to the Field Museum today, which should be fun...there is an exhibit on Chocolate there right now! excellent!

why must it be cold? why? why? it's supposed to be summer? it's not. oy.

see you post-chocolate! :-)

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

oh yeah: RE graduation music...the Dean is claiming that he had no idea. He is trying to remedy the situation and hopefully we will have real music after all. Thank goodness!
I tried to take a nap at church tonight, before Bible study, but I couldn't sleep because I kept seeing people I know and wanting to chat. hehehe!
I went to my friend Gretchen's birthday party tonight--it was a Hawaiian theme (because it's King Kamehameha (how do you spell that anyway?) day. :-) The punch was excellent!
SO now I am still a little sleepy and yet a little wired because it was a fun party--and I don't have to be anywhere until noon tomorrow. Tomorrow is my last day of work! woohoo! No more front desk for me! :-) This is thoroughly exciting! My mom and grandma arrive tomorrow too. yippee! Must clean my
I think I will read until that makes me sleepy (approximately 3.6 seconds at this point, as Hugo seems to have taken a break from the storyline--again....). goodnight all!

Happy King Kamehameha day. :-)

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

well, it's Tuesday. I'm a little sleepy (and I'm drinking Diet Dr Pepper with my breakfast this morning because it's too hot for tea but I really need some caffeine to get me to the office...ooh, where I'm supposed to be already!). Today is my last day working in the office! Last last last last day! woohoo! This is the most exciting thing that's happened in a while!
Well, that and I bought a very cool book yesterday. An introduction to Biblical Hebrew. I figured I could at least learn the alphabet and maybe life in the autumn won't be so difficult. We'll see.
I'm still bitter about graduation music--and I did write a letter which was decidedly not happy, to the president of the university and the dean of the music school.
time for me to be at my last day in the office. 16 minutes ago, actually....I'll be there in 20 minutes I promise! :-)

Monday, June 10, 2002

I picked up my cap and gown today. woohoo! Graduation is in 5 days. excellent!

I discovered, though, that there will be no live music at graduation--everything will be recorded. At the MUSIC SCHOOL graduation! What's wrong with this picture? Let me explain:
We have just spent four years and upwards of $80,000 to learn how to make a career performing music--yet the school is unwilling to pay the $1,200 that it would cost to hire actual musicians to play at graduation. So, they are contributing to the inability of musicians to make a living--because recordings are taking the place of live music in so many places, and now at the graduation of a prominent school of music in the US. This is not good.
Excuse me while I write a very scathing letter to the president of the university, informing him that this is an outrage and that any money I might make in my career (in spite of people and organizations like this university) will go to institutions more worthy than this one--institutions and people that are engaged in MAKING careers rather than undermining them.
I had so much fun tonight: after playing my last ever required "performance" of the clarinet (at church, with my trio, which was a stunning success, btw), I went out with my good friend Josh. We had drinks at my favorite Irish pub and then ice cream at my favorite ice cream place. It was excellent. I only wish he weren't leaving the city in a week. oy.
i'm sleepy...very sleepy...

Sunday, June 09, 2002

the activity in which junior high kids got tied up was a success, mostly. hehehe!
tonight I ate baked lays barbeque chips and diet dr pepper for dinner. Then I read the label and realized that the chips are made with chicken fat. Too late now--i ate them. but the thought of not eating them anymore makes me sad. I emailed Lays to ask why that was really a necessary ingredient.
Also tonight I figured out what to do with the Junior High Youth Group tomorrow. Clearly, the answer was to tie them up with rope! I cut some rope to the appropriate lengths for said activity. I also bought some masking tape to tape their hands up. Should be fun. :-)
I'm still reading Les Mis. I had to start over, it had been so long since I read it. I had been around 600 pages in when I had to stop because of school work--6 months ago. Back to page 1 in a nanosecond. oy. I'm in the 300s now, but the book has nearly 1500 pages. I could be reading this a while. Watch the "what I'm reading" post to the left there to find out when I finish and what will be next.
BTW: I'm not going to murder the junior highs or anything. we are playing "special olympics" and the idea is that they have to compete in some games and sports with a difficulty, such as no use of their arms, or no fingers, or blindfolded, etc, to get an idea of what it might be like for Special Olympics Athletes who have learned to participate in sports in spite of their difficulties. The group is going on a workcamp to volunteer at the Illinois Special Olympics in two weeks. hence the activity. and the rope. (it's still going to be fun to tie these kids up.)
I think that's enough rambling for now. if you want more, by all means let me know. clearly i can come up with more stuff to say.
happy saturday evening. :-)

Saturday, June 08, 2002

Guess what I did yesterday? I meant to post this, actually, but forgot. I went to Borders and read a whole book. It was an excellent book, I highly recommend it, called The Fourth Treasure and it is by Todd Shimoda. I sat in the cafe, had a mocha (and this month at my local Borders if you buy a mocha you get a free Ghirardelli chocolate square!) and read the book...the whole thing. I loved it.
I wanted to rent The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, the classic Pasolini film, but not one video store within a reasonable distance of my house had it. I discovered today that they have it at the Harold Washington Library downtown, so I am going down on Monday afternoon to try and convince them (again) that even though I don't have an ID with a local address, I really will be living here all summer and would appreciate a library card..thanks. Until then, I just have to be annoyed that no video store has this landmark film. oy.
now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go cut some rope for tomorrow.

Friday, June 07, 2002

so my classes are over...i am done! i turned in my paper, complete with SASE so i can get it back.
the last day of class was--you guessed it--pointless. We were to be having a sort of "final reflection" session, but no one had anything to reflect on really. We got out 35 minutes early. from a class that is only 60 minutes long. oy.
but now i'm home for a bit and later I'll be getting free pizza lunch! excellent!

on another note, the Moulin Rouge soundtrack vol. 2 is excellent: it has "Spectacular, Spectacular" on it, which I love. LOL.


happy friday morning.
you know, as much as i say i'm happy my clarinet career is ending, and that I'm glad to be done, i'm still kind of sad.
Tonight i had drinks with a couple of friends and our clarinet teacher. now, Julie has been not only my teacher but also a mentor, life advisor, and friend for the last four years. tonight was the last time I'll see her, probably for a while. we had a great talk, which went on for hours longer than any of us expected, and when it was over we hugged, thanked each other for a good four years, and went our separate ways. now i'm so sad i could nearly fact i might before this post is over!
though i'm quite sure that the clarinet is not what i want to spend my life doing, it is still a big part of me--after all, it's been my life, essentially, for 12 years. and though i'm also quite sure of what i do want to do, i don't want to deny this part of me and claim i'm never going to do it again. So it makes me sad, that i am leaving the clarinet behind a little (or a lot) and that i have to leave my teacher. i guess that's part of growing up--leaving one set of people and moving to another. but that doesn't make it any easier really. I will miss Julie, her bluntness, her caring, her good teaching (she's the best! literally...), the funtime and the stories (some of the ones she told tonight are SO going into a sermon someday!). Julie has helped me grow up these past four years and I am forever indebted to her for being fabulous. and, if nothing else, fear of Julie will keep me right when i do decide to pick up my clarinet and play, even for fun. My embouchure will always be good, my tongue position hand position's just not possible for me to play the clarinet any other way. thank you julie for being so fab. :-)

speaking of julie's stories: do any of you believe in ghosts? do you have stories about them? julie had some that were VERY convincing. hmm.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

so today it was supposedly going to be sunny. Is it? no. It's cloudy. And cold. i hate Chicago weather.

I cannot figure out why the text looks the way it does--where it's indented on the left and continues like that forever, and it goes a VERY LONG way to the right.
why? Any thoughts on how to change that, much appreciated.

The end is in sight: today is the last Thursday I will be working.
Tomorrow is my last class (ancient israel: history, literature, and religion, in case any one wants to know). And my last paper will be turned in.
My last day of work is Tuesday.
Graduation is next Saturday! woohoo!

i say "the end" but what I really mean is the end of a chapter: I'll be in school again in September. oy. but in a new place, a new degree, new weather....

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

And how long will people like me walk indifferently (or slightly guiltily) by the other people who are like me but who have to sell Streetwise to try to make a living...mumbling "sorry" or "no thank you" and not really looking them in the eye?

And how long until people like me get arrested and detained without any rights, the same way Arabs and Muslims do for no reason, only with the reason against me being anti-government/anti-war/politically "radical" rhetoric?

Not soon enough...maybe then something would be done about all of it.
how long until we realize that Muslim and Arab are not synonymous with terrorist? how long until we remember that the unabomber, Timothy McVeigh, and the vast majority of violent criminals in this country are american citizens?
how long will we allow people's right to be violated because they or their ancestors came from a country that our oh-so-respectable president deems "evil"?
how long will we require people to report to the government and be fingerprinted because of their religion?
a Very Disturbing chicago tribune article (you will have to sign in or register for it's quick and it's free!)
how long?

And while I'm at it, how long will we allow millions of people to starve in Africa while we grow excess food and hoard it for overweight americans? What about the starving people down the street? or right outside our doors?
What about the 12 million children who go hungry at least once a day because their parents have jobs that don't pay enough to feed the family, but they aren't eligible for food assisstance because they have jobs?
how long will we tolerate war that is a direct result of pushing our own agendas? When will there be peace and toleration and understanding?
how long?
so this morning I couldn't get out of bed and consequently was late for work. nonetheless, it was a pretty good day. the Bible Study I led went very well, which was good, and I was able to chat with my friend Bradley afterwards, whom I haven't seen in a couple of weeks. Excellent!

Just out of curiosity, which eye do you look at when you talk to someone? I look at the left eye, usually.

i should be sleeping--i have to be awake in 6 hours!
goodnight. i think....

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

it all went well....except when one member of the committee asked a really hard question. oy.
I was asked about 20 questions...and the person after me was asked NONE. NOT ONE. What's up with that?
I got an A- on my jury.
My friend Josh is trying to write a paper on an eecummings poem--but he doesn't quite know how to fluff it up to make it longer. it's due very soon, so happy thoughts his direction are much appreciated.

I have to lead Bible Study tomorrow--I should get on that. hehe!

Monday, June 03, 2002

wish me luck. I am going to play my final clarinet jury (ever!) and then it's off to a meeting of the Presbytery of Chicago's Committee on Preparation for Ministry. I have to interview with them, then see my "advisory group", and then hopefully they will decide that I'm worthy. Fun.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

that was some of the most spirit filled worship I've ever participated in. It was so great! Lots of participation, great prayers, fun singing, loads of "Amen"s from every was so moving and excellent! everyone shared in thanksgiving and prayers for the tutoring program, which has touched so many of the people who were there and so many more who were not...and everyone put a branch on a tree of life to symbolize that we are all part of the same tree (you know.."I am the vine, you are the branches", etc). fab!
dinner time...then rehearsal...I can only hope that the Spirit can imbue the rest of my day the way she did in that hour. wow.
I wrote my last paper tonight. At Barnes & Noble, with Ken and Emily doing homework beside me. when our computer batteries were nearly dead, we stopped and went for food--it was nearly 10pm. after eating too much at panera we went to Ken's new apartment and watched silly TV for an hour while eating Pringles and drinking the second most disgusting thing ever: rum and coke only instead of coke Ken used diet pepsi. this is a bad idea. stay away. now I'm home but I feel slightly ill. I've not read the paper through yet; it might be awful.

tomorrow (today? no. it's not tomorrow until I've been to sleep and woken up again) i have to lead afternoon worship at church. This week it is a service celebrating the tutoring program. The service has been planned by a group of people and will be very contemporary, very all-age, and potentially very interesting. I wrote the liturgy, the responses, and the prayers....and the music ranges from a Caribbean benediction to "When the Saints Go Marching In" to "This Little Light of Mine"....huh.

Anyway, I think it's my bedtime.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

Today I went to work and when I looked for the keys "in the drawer" in Matt's office, they were not there. I looked in every drawer, multiple times, before sitting down in his chair and staring about hopelessly. I picked up a sheet of paper to snoop a little, and all the keys were under it! On top of the desk, under a piece of paper. That hardly qualifies as the "in the drawer" that the note at the desk had informed me of. When I closed the desk this afternoon I put them guessed the drawer. Really.

As I was reading some folk tales from different parts of Asia today, I was reminded of this story (which I am SO going to use in a sermon someday) which I heard for the first time two years ago from Brian...

The Sixteenth Camel

Once, long ago in (insert desert/middle-east/ish country here), there lived a man with four sons. When he died, he left some land and 15 camels. According to the local law and tradition, the inheritance was divided among all the sons, with the oldest receiving half the property, the next half of that, the next half of that, and so on. So, when the mourning period had ended, the sons gathered to divide the property. Dividing the land was easy enough, and the young men moved on to the 15 camels. The first son claimed his half: 7-1/2 camels. The second claimed his: 3-3/4 camels. The third claimed his: 1-7/8 camels The fourth was left with 15/16 of a camel.
Now, as the boys fetched an axe, a neighbour noticed that this was not working out well, particularly for the camels. He donated one of his own camels to solve the problem. Now, with 16 camels, the eldest son took 8 camels, the second 4, the third 2, and the youngest 1. Much to their surprise, there was one camel left over, which they returned to the neighbour.

When I remember the reason Brian was telling this story, I'll let you know. I just like it. :-)