Saturday, July 27, 2002

I remember. It was taco bell. So I'm in the taco bell in Target. The guy making stuff is clearly new. He looks at an order for a seven layer burrito with no sour cream (thus a six layer burrito, but whatever). He studiously discovers the ingredients and begins to assemble--proceeding doubtfully, with no one supervising--and clearly has no idea what's going on. I watch him put sour cream on it. Then he doesn't know how to fold a burrito. (Apparently he also doesn't know how to read the big order board flashing in big letters NO SOUR CREAM.) A woman comes over, inspects, discovers the SC, and redoes the whole thing in roughly the time it took him to squirt guacamole on. At long last I was in possession of a burrito. A Ten Minute Burrito, delivered into the hands of the Very Hungry Me. oy.

Well, I'm away on workcamp. We leave church in about 8 hours, probably, counting our delays and whatnot. Send your happy thoughts and prayers with this group: 15 senior high youth and 5 leaders are going to Jonesville, VA, to work with Appalachia Service Project on repairing houses and making them liveable. On the last day we are going whitewater rafting! yay! We are driving down there, so pray for safe drives, for casualty-free construction, and fun rafting. :-) I won't be posting until we get back: at the Very Earliest, late night on the 4th. More likely I'll be back on the 5th--because I'll probably be tired on the 4th. We'll have just driven back in one day. ugh. I'll see you then!


Friday, July 26, 2002

I did have something thoroughly clever to post about tonight. But i've forgotten. So you'll have to deal with slightly less cleverness just now, until it comes to me.

my current favorite person
Ken Chin. He helped me clean my apartment tonight. After my current least favorite people, the workers who are tuckpointing outside my window, sawed bricks outside all day (literally) and spewed a THICK layer of dust onto EVERYTHING in my apartment. My black furniture was cream colored. I was not happy. Now my apartment is cleaner and I am happier.

I've been out to play tonight and I'm sleepy. I have to get up early tomorrow because there are so many things to do--do laundry, get candles, set up the chapel, get vans, organize worship, lead worship, pack...yeah. I also have to read Cosmo, because I haven't yet. It's a busy life.

While I was out running this morning an older couple passed me on their bikes and the guy asked his wife "how fast is she running?" and I was informed that I was running 7 miles per hour, and doing a good job. heheh! One of the things that made my day--and my jog much more entertaining.

Did you know that at Home Depot you have to buy tools in the tools section? You can't pick some up and then do other shopping and check out with tools at a regular checkstand. You have to do it in their own little enclosed area. How bizarre.

there are so many people out there who don't know how to drive. They are Very Annoying.

I'm going to bed.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Adam:"are you a little bit frumpy?"
teenage girl: "oh no. I don't wear like, ho clothes, but i wear clothes that fit. I like to show my body in a tasteful way."
A: "and where does that get you when you don't believe in losing your virginity before marriage?"
TG: "..."
ok, this gets better. they've never kissed. they've never had sex. they only saw each other at school. now that school's out they haven't seen each other. they've only spent time "alone" at school. and he wants to get married. oy.
"is it legal to get married before you're 18 in Oklahoma?"

this is a real question from a 16 year old. his girlfriend is 15. she also apparently has another guy AND another girl who wants to marry her. Hmm.

Gotta love Loveline.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

woohoo! I have added a poll now, as you can see to the left, there. Vote away! I think only once a day though. It'll probably run until I get tired of it. :-)

In other news, I am going on the senior high workcamp (as a leader, thank you very much) which leaves this weekend. We are going to Jonesville, Virginia, to work on houses and stuff. The last day we are going whitewater rafting! yay! It should be good fun. However, I have quite a bit of shopping to do. oy.

hilarious appears to be my new favorite word.

Just so you all know, other favorites include: distressing, unclear, clearly, perhaps, whatever, and excellent.

there you go.
Dick's Last Resort. Hilarious restaurant. You go there, it's a mess. People throw stuff all the time--wadded up balls of napkin, paper placemat, whatever. the waiters are vaguely rude, tossing a pack of silverware on the table, throwing napkins in the air and hoping they land on your table...and if you have a cool waiter, he'll make you a hat. They write things on paper, staple it into a little hat, and put it on you. Your table laughs uproariously, then you find out what it is. In our group we had hats that said things like "Professional Dildo Tester", "I brush my teeth with dirty tampons", "my vibrator chips my teeth", "my friends think I'm straight", "Hooker in training $10 (crossed out) $5 (crossed out) $2" and "I finger bang my dog". My favorites from around the restaurant were "Ask about my group rates", "the priest took my cherry" (on a wrong, yet so funny...), and "sperm bank, deposit in rear" (bad, in every way, and yet funny in that context). There is a live band that does covers, and takes requests from cute girls. The food is remarkably good--but it would have to be because the place is such a mess (paper products balled up all over the floor....everywhere.....). People actually took children there--we saw several who were probably 10. Lots of bachelorette parties. Several drunk people--one who passed out on the table actually. It's very loud. It's very lewd. It was SO FUNNY. All my friends wore their hats all the way home. Walked three blocks to Michigan Avenue, then took a crowded bus to Belmont, where we walked through boystown to Ken's place. They even wore them in Dominicks. wow. (I left mine at the restaurant..because I'm a wuss that way.)

It was crazy-fun.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

birthday present shopping with Maddy. This was hilarious.

So I say, "since I wasn't here at your birthday time, and you were out of town, we'll go shopping and you can pick out a birthday present for yourself. Do you want to go to FAO Schwartz?"
Maddy (age 8) says, "Can we go to Borders instead?"

We go to Borders, we're there a long time reading books...then she wants to go to FAO after all. So we go there. We play with every toy we can..but she doesn't want any of that. We head down to the Lego store, but end up at the Disney Store instead. We again played with everything, pushed every button they have on the wall (they have buttons on the wall, at roughly kid-height, which when pushed make disney characters talk around you. very cool.), some more than once. We saw the Britney video of "can't help falling in love with you" from Lilo and Stitch...and finally Maddy chose the Buzz Lightyear action figure. he talks, he "shoots lasers", his wings pop out...yeah. bonus for me: it was on sale! :-)

Happy Birthday Maddy. (it was a long time ago, over a month...but you know..I haven't seen her since the week BEFORE her birthday!)
my current favorite people:
John and Betsy Cairns.

They let me come to their house yesterday, all afternoon, and spend the night, because there was another heat emergency here and they know I don't have air conditioning. Bless their hearts, I slept excellently. and it was so nice to be there and they were all parental, making dinner, we ate pie and ice cream, watched tv, chatted....

parental-ness is excellent in small doses. having said that, i thought i'd be ok tonight because it was nice out today--but for some reason it's actually getting warmer as the night goes on (didn't anyone tell the weather fairy that that's WRONG!!??)--so it's hot in here.

I have had so much fun the last couple of days, it will take a little while to blog it all. Because I'm tired now, having woken up at a reasonable hour this morning to babysit my friend Maddy, who is fab. but just so you don't let me forget anything: dinner at Dick's Last Resort...funtime at the Cairns', Maddy's birthday present shopping, and Taize.


Sunday, July 21, 2002

apparently you can purchase a slave in Somalia (or maybe it's Sudan?) for only US$53. There is actually an organization that goes in and buys slaves, and frees them. How sad, that $53 can buy a human life. That's like, one pair of shoes. Less than one pair of jeans. Dinner for two. a human life.
"so, I earned fifty three dollars today. what should i do? maybe i'll buy some new books, a cute top, and have lunch. or maybe i'll buy a PERSON."

Ok. SO I go to the beach today--I put on sunscreen, I am only there for an hour...I come home and voila, sunburned shoulders. But then I realize, wait! this sunburn pattern doesn't match the shirt I was wearing on the beach! I think for a moment. I was out running for an hour this morning with no sunscreen on, and the tank top I was wearing then remarkably matches...
so: sunburn tip number 63: beware the sun while exercising. number 64: remember that sunburn doesn't always develop immediately but can in fact take a few hours to show up.

So apparently my theory that if I'm moving the sun can't burn me is false. shucks.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

blogathon, venetian night. blogathon, venetian night. blogathon, venetian night. I don't know what to do!! I could blog for 24 hours straight, trying to raise money for charity. The question is whether anyone would sponsor me. OR I could go hang out with friends that I won't be seeing much of in just a few weeks (because I'm moving away, obviously)...and see a boat parade and the biggest fireworks display of the year. Bigger than the fourth of july (which Chicago has on the 3rd--whatever). oy.

I went running again tonight, but this time with two friends. guys. gay guys, but guys nonetheless--mostly, anyway. ;-) It was good because one has a sore knee so wasn't able to run for more than about 3/4 of a mile--which was fine by me! LOL.. we walked the mile or so around to home, stopping at another friend's apartment to play with their new kitten, chat, and whatnot. good times.

I rented Kate and Leopold tonight. It was cute. I ate a whole medium pizza from Pizza Hut (mushrooms and black olives, I know you're all dying to know)...but without the outside crusts because they were too thick and chewy. that's pretty much my day. Oh! I downloaded three new games onto my Edge: backgammon, crystal quest, and minesweeper. woohoo! I amuse myself on the bus (when I get a seat on the bus, that is) by playing games on my palm. i know how geeky/yuppy that is, and i do it anyway. heheh.

I am supposed to meet Ken to run again at 10--so i should be getting to bed now. ta.

Friday, July 19, 2002

I am so tired. I went to bed at 3am, and the workers who are redoing the brickwork on the building were drilling outside my window at 8am. I tried to continue sleeping, but was only partially successful. I wonder if anyone has a house they'd like to donate for me to sleep in right now?? How about an office with a sofa or something? I may be at church later...loads of people are off on fridays and probably wouldn't mind if I slept in their office, right?

So yesterday, (I meant to post this yesterday but forgot, sorry) I'm on the bus, going downtown. It's relatively crowded, particularly given that it was the middle of the day. There were probably about 20 people standing, and almost all the seats were filled too. Then two sitting people get off the bus, but the people who are standing around the seats all insist that they don't need to sit down. Meanwhile, up at the front, there are 10 people who need to move back so others can get on, and some of them would doubtless sit down. But the pride of these four guys is such that they won't concede that they'd like to sit down on the bus. People!! There is no shame in sitting down on the bus. Unless, of course, you cut off an old lady in the seat grab, or you sit down instead of your pregnant wife or something like that. But in everyday situations--JUST SIT DOWN and get out of the way! You are blocking the progress toward the back of the bus, and people can't get on. If you don't want to sit down (you are getting off in three stops anyway..whatever...) then MOVE BACK so that the people standing in the front, blocking the door, can sit down. Frankly (as a woman, speaking to the men who insist that they don't need to sit down), I'd rather see you sit down on the bus than see you be clumsy and fall on people because you aren't good at standing on the bus. Which do you think is more damaging to your image?


Thursday, July 18, 2002

are you all a bunch of wusses or what? no questions, no guesses....hmm. Don't think that I'm going to just give up the answer to you if you wait long enough.

So anyway, we got these pillows, in navy. They are excellent. I want one for myself, actually! :-)

There was yet another bus crash in uganda. The roads and the vehicles used (in most of africa, actually) are so bad that there are several crashes a year--particularly during touristy times like now. Loads of people always die when they happen. It's just not good. oy.

It is so humid here today that the air is actually sort of foggy. ugh. my apartment isn't so hot (i have the door open and the fan blowing from the window toward the there's a bit of a breeze, which I am sitting in the middle of) but it's sticky. My skin feels damp, like I didn't fully dry off out of the shower, you know? ugh.
here's a puzzle for y'all. you can post comments with questions (I only accept yes or no questions, though!!) or potential answers, or email me if you want to hide your answers from any other people who may be reading this...
Anthony and Cleopatra are lying dead on the floor in an Egyptian villa. Nearby is a broken bowl. There are no marks on their bodies and they were not poisoned. Not a person was in the villa when they died. How did they die?

i got some cool new shoes today that make me 4.5" taller. Sarah bought the same ones. We walked all around the store trying on shoes until we found matching ones that they had in both our sizes. So exciting!!

Tomorrow afternoon Fourth Presbyterian Church will be in possession of several zafu pillows (they are like buddhist meditation cushions) that we can use for the Taize service. yay! :-)

I wish it would be a little cooler out, but still sunny, so i could go out and get some sun but not be so hot. ugh.

Do you know how many parables there are in the Gospel According to Matthew? 17. 18 if you count the "you are the light of the one hides a lamp" etc... That's a lot. How do I divide them into two successive Bible studies? chronologically? topically? some other way? I need to work on that.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

can i just point out that it is SUCH a good thing i went for a run last night, because this morning at any decent hour it was already 90 degrees outside. I would probably have died of heat exhaustion or something had I gone out this morning.
prayer. it is a bizarre thing. of course it's a good idea, but it's so hard! today someone asked me what to do when you just can't pray...I didn't really have a good answer. my solution is usually that I don't--which of course is not a good idea. generally i spend time in community then (like at church, etc) because people then are praying even when you can't. That's why I went to church on September 11--because there were so many who couldn't find the strength to pray, but I felt like I could, so I went. so when I can't, I go in the hopes that others can. does that make any sense?
but what do you say to someone who asks what to do when they are at such a low place spiritually that prayer is beyond their reach? they try, and feel like they've failed? when life seems good but inside they feel empty? when people have said "you don't have to pray--just be still and listen for God" but that's just not possible because the waiting seems interminable? I don't know...

this is something i need to learn to deal with i think. hmm..
I'm back. I had an uneventful mile, an uneventful cool down (1 block), and an uneventful trip up the 11 flights of stairs to my apartment. I must note that the stairs were the hardest part. How did I ever make it up the 96 of the Hancock tower? I'll never know. Perhaps I should make one trip up the stairs part of my daily life, instead of always taking the elevator. 11 floors is a lot, though. hmm...I'll think about it.

BTW: Laurie's YABS was good. very good.
I know this is totally dumb, but it's 11:15 pm and I am about to go for a jog. On well lit streets, and not for too long...just a mile or so. if you never hear from me again, send someone to look for me between Belmont/Sheridan and Clark/Diversey. Thanks. ta.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

i walked a lot yesterday afternoon. that's about it, really. I had an enjoyable time visiting my friend Bradley, and I watched about ten minutes of Fourthcomers Beach Volleyball. That's yesterday.
Today isn't looking much more complicated than yesterday, really. I have some Taize things to do, and Bible Study tonight. I am not leading YABS tonight though, so I'm kind of off the hook. woohoo!

I really like FrootLoops.
I really need to figure out how to make my checkbook register in my Edge. that may in fact make my personal accounting process actually viable--since i almost never write things in my checkbook if I use my debit card, and even when i write things down i never do all the subtraction, etc, so the way I know how much money i have involves calling the automated line at the bank and having it tell me.

Today is hot...and it's an ozone alert day. oy. I'm so walking to church anyway, because I need some sun so i can produce Vitamin D, after all. humph. I guess I have to take a shower

Monday, July 15, 2002

I have now been awake four hours, and have yet to really do anything. hmm. I have been reading yesterday's newspaper. I've talked to some friends, burned a CD..that's all. Literally. I should go outside, and probably will sooner or later..hopefully...but in the meantime it's actually NOT hot in my apartment for a change, and I'm enjoying that. huh. figures.
I have become a movie queen the last few days. I've seen three movies in three days. Friday i rented Gosford Park. Saturday I saw Road to Perdition. Tonight I rented the Godfather and watched it with Sarah. Good times! Neither of us had seen the Godfather before. We only watched #1, as we started around 11pm. We finished at 2:30am, and now it may in fact be bedtime for me. I will not be up at a "reasonable" hour tomorrow.
Today we took the junior high kids (only three of them, which was good because it meant we took the car instead of the van, but bad because it meant that not that many kids could come...) to Enchanted Castle, which was good fun. We played laser tag, arcade games, bumper cars...had a pizza lunch, etc. good times, good times...
bedtime, bedtime...

Sunday, July 14, 2002

after all of that, let me just point out some things about myself.
1. i have lots of stuff. most of it i don't need. i know that, and try not to buy more stuff i don't need.
2. i am actively involved in lots of different things trying to make the world slightly better, for as many as i can, which i grant isn't many, but if everyone did do the math.
3. i really believe all that stuff, and act it out as best i can. and yes, i vote. and pray. though not enough, of course.
4. yes i do things like go to movies (very occasionally, like today--the first time since i saw Star wars the day it opened), and i sometimes eat out, i also donate money, time, and stuff to various causes. I try my best not to be all talk and no action, though with limited financial resources i am that way at times. for example, i don't spend whole years building canals or houses or whatever in africa--much as i would like to--but i do make sack lunches for the homeless in chicago every week. so there you go.
Well, Gosford Park was good. It was slow, but once stuff happened, it was good. And when it was all over, I had enjoyed it. Then I promptly brushed my teeth and went to sleep, because it was nearly 2am.

As for my various rants against the US and its people...well.....need you really ask? look around!

1. The government consistently thinks of itself (and only itself, which is another story entirely..moving on with the sentence now...) as the best thing ever invented and can't understand why everyone else on the earth doesn't think the same.

2. As a country, we consistently act as if we were the only people on earth and things we do don't make a difference to anyone else. For example: we refuse to enforce global standards on pollution. Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, if we would curb our emissions and depletion of the ozone layer and do our part to stop global warming, that people in Africa would be living now instead of dying because there's a famine, brought on by drought, which is likely a direct result of the rising temperature on earth? ponder that for a while--every minute you drive your car which has emissions that are too high (or, if you live in a place with good public transit: every time you drive your car) you are killing a child or parent in Africa. Yet we do nothing.

3. We are the wealthiest nation on earth, with a crapload of natural resources, an economy stronger than 80% of the world, and material STUFF up the wazoo. Our GNP is equal to that of about 15 African countries combined. And yet we can't find it in our hearts to support debt cancellation, to send food to hungry people in Africa, to supply HIV/AIDS treatments to the millions of people around the world who have the disease, pay for or help construct infrastructure that would bring clean water to people who have no access to water in their villages in central africa...etc. And why? because the governments of "those" countries aren't like ours. They must be corrupt. Because they were corrupt fifty years ago. And if they are still corrupt, why aren't we just sending people to DO it instead of sending money that ends up in the hands of guerillas? If we sent people to work and live and whatever...perhaps we would ALSO create some cross-cultural understanding. Oh wait, see numbers 1 and 2.

4. Not interested in the plight of those on the other side of the globe? how about closer to home. In spite of the facts mentioned in the first sentence of number 3 above, there are still people IN THIS COUNTRY who do not have running water in their homes. 6% of the homes of Alaska have no running water. 2% each in Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia. There are still people IN THIS COUNTRY who don't have homes. There are people IN THIS COUNTRY who are hungry. There are people IN THIS COUNTRY who have been "phased off" public assistance because their allotted time is up--but who don't have skills to get jobs that will feed them or clothe their children. There are people still on TANF who are working but not making money because they don't have skills. Get this: if you are a two-parent family (say a family of 4, 2 parents 2 kids), you are required to have both parents working. Which means you have to pay for child care. Not all states have a child care allowance--and those that do have very small ones. So you are getting assistance (a little), you have jobs that likely don't pay well because schooling/training/etc are not considered "work activities" in most states--so you have to take minimum wage jobs because that GED class or that tech school doesn't count, and you will lose your assistance if you do that instead of work. Sound like a problem to you?

5. Materialism. when faced with a choice between doing something for someone else and buying something new--which would you choose? if you had $35, would you donate it to a charity/put it in the offering plate or buy a few new CDs to add to your 100+ collection? think about how you use your resources (time, money, etc) and budget all of them, giving consideration to other people and yourself.

6. Still need more reasons to dislike the US? see below about the international war crimes tribunal. or find in the archives (<-- over there)..a couple of weeks ago my rant about racial profiling in the war against terrorism (date 5 June) and how we all seem to think that a) muslim = terrorist, that b) "middle eastern looking" = muslim = terrorist, and that c) WASP American citizen = perfect. Whatever.

7. As for when i'll be getting out of here, two things.
a) as soon as possible. but not before:
b) I am able to try to do something about all of this. Does it do any good whatsoever to complain about life being bad and not do anything about it? no. what can you do? for starters: THINK GLOBALLY. When you do something, buy something, say something, vote, etc--think about the implications for other people, not just you. Planning to drive the three blocks to work in your old car? Remember the famine in africa. Planning to buy a $10 shirt at gap (if such a thing exists)? Remember that it cost them 50 cents to make because children in sweatshops in indonesia made it for you. etc. Then, ACT LOCALLY. Volunteer feeding the homeless. volunteer with habitat for humanity. write your representatives in government. buy fair trade products. don't drive if you don't have to...walk, ride a bike, take public transportation, etc. don't support companies with unethical business practices. (here are just a few: nestle (the big one), coca-cola, gap) get out there and make a difference. greenpeace, world wildlife fund, nature conservancy, homeless shelters, soup kitches, food banks, free clinics of various kinds, orphanages...these places are in need of people! If you aren't inclined in this way, what about doing something to help people? volunteer to read to kids, to tutor, to sit with the elderly, to be a friend to those who don't have friends or family left. and, of course, pray. in the end, "without the Lord in our work, our labor is in vain." But remember: "as often as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me." Every time you do something for someone else, work for change, or even consciously choose not to buy something or patronize a particular store for any of these or other reasons, that is in itself a prayer. work and prayer are one--and good works are one of the more "instant gratification" types of prayer.
c) i know there were just two things, but now there are three. In addition to acting locally, you can act globally. go on a mission trip. Participate in a "time on" project in another country. go somewhere and do good. there are HUNDREDS of opportunities like this. In addition to helping people in a lasting way, you are creating a bond with people, a cross cultural experience that is invaluable not only for you but for the people you are with. This understanding and experience is one of the most effective ways to foster global community.

need ideas for projects both near and far? try this.

While I'm not saying that these are necessarily uniquely american problems, they seem to be disproportionate here. (hence the reason other governments are often annoyed with us, and why people in other countries so often find americans annoying and stereoptype us to be so...because they encounter exactly that!) There are of course people who do good, those who disagree with the stance often taken by the government...these are the people that we need to be a little more like perhaps. It's good to stand by your country, etc, but not to the point where that is more important than the lives of other people and the life of creation.

ok, i'm done with that. for now. i think i need to go read a book for a bit.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

i don't really have anything to talk about today. I am once again annoyed with the US government, with the mindset of most American people, and with the general arrogance we carry onto the world scene, disrupting global community for years at a time. whatever.

I am spending my evening in today, watching Gosford Park and eating brownies. yum.

tomorrow perhaps I will post the background on the story of the 16th camel, which people are still asking about several weeks later. you can find it in the archives, prolly the first week or soon as i learn how to link to the archives i'll do that for ya. :-)


Friday, July 12, 2002

I love gay bars. Dancing is so much more fun when surrounded by masses of completely uninhibited men entirely uninterested in hitting on you.
I downloaded Lode Runner onto my sleek visor edge. I also downloaded a Yoda who dispenses advice like an 8 Ball. I am now in possession of a sleek, sexy, palm pilot named Ruby which can be Yoda AND a handheld version of a highly amusing game. Excellent!

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Let me get this straight.

We, the USA, through our elected representatives, have refused to sign the treaty creating the international war crimes court....which we helped create, etc....AND we want complete immunity for american peacekeepers so that they never have to be brought before this court, which we refuse to acknowledge anyway...
notice that peacekeepers from other nations are not included in this immunity. Only americans, and other people who haven't signed the treaty. Which, once again, puts Americans in with iraq, some other "axis of evil" nations...etc... and why? well, "on grounds that other countries could use the new court for frivolous and politically motivated prosecutions of American soldiers." (from an AP report) Uh HUh. Because the fact that the americans don't have to be held responsible for their actions will make everyone who IS real friendly.
So, now, the US has made a "concession." We the people, making our demands and assertions that we are always perfect, are willing to continue peacekeeping (however effective that actually is anyway) if we can be immune for 12 months. With the option to extend by further 12 month periods anytime. sound like "forever" to you?

Just to recap: the US refuses to sign the treaty they helped author, AND wants to be exempt from the rules of it. Oh, the familiar american refrain of "we are so great! no one else can even compare! how could they presume to a) be like us or b) judge us? They don't even understand what it's like to be Americans! God bless america! We don't need any treaties...we have God! That's why the treaty shouldn't apply!" and so on, ad nauseum.

God bless everyone else, except the Americans. We seem to think we can bless ourselves.
Ok. So I spent the majority of the day playing with my new Visor Edge. Don't make fun of me! It is excellent! I now have my entire address book, birthday book, calendar, and more! in this small piece of metal that is roughly the size of a medium-ish mobile phone (a little wider, that's all). Except that it is less than half an inch thick. It's amazing! and cute too! :-)


I am going to have ice cream in a little while. Because, after all, it is Ice Cream Wednesday. ICW for short.
What is ICW you ask?
It is a way for friends and friends of friends, and friends of friends of maintain a bond around the world. ICW transcends the boundaries of nation, religion, and class.
It's very simple, don't worry. There are just two rules.
1. You must eat ice cream on Wednesday.
2. If, for some reason, you are unable to eat ice cream on Wednesday, you must eat ice cream before the next wednesday.

In other words, you must eat ice cream at least once a week.

The idea is that as you eat ice cream, or as you gather with friends to eat ice cream, you are engaging in the same activity that your friends who are far away are engaging in! So, for example, this was started by Becky, her sister, and me. (yes that was grammatically correct so don't give me any crap about that...) Becky and I would go out for ice cream after rehearsals (which ended late on Wednesdays, hence the reason we have ICW and not like ICT or something--besides the fact that ICT sounds like one of those "technical schools" that spend all the money they bring in from tuition on advertising very late at night on shady radio stations. but i digress, as usual.) on Wednesdays. Becky's sister also ate ice cream on Wednesday evenings, due to her schedule. Then we got some more friends doing it. But soon, a few people moved away. Or we went off on long holidays (for example I spent two months in Scotland). When this happened, we continued to eat ice cream and remember our friends, also eating ice cream but somewhere else. And we got more people involved. So now ICW is a cross-cultural, global institution. There are ICW participants in Africa, Australia, Europe, the US and Canada, and China. And those are only the ones I know about!

It used to be that there was a rule that ice cream had to be eaten "out"--as in not at home. However, this proved to be economically exclusionary, and now any ice cream eating on wednesday qualifies.

Having said that, I'm going out for ice cream with a friend now.


"Eat Ice Cream!!"

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I am a straw chewer.

I bite straws that I am using to drink beverages (you know, starbucks, tea at the mall, etc...) and when i finish my drink the top of the straw is so flattened, it's a wonder that any liquid could even come through.

I'm not that weird, am I?

an aside to mom (who i know reads this regularly...): i did the interlochen thing online, yes i mailed grandma a letter, and whenever you want to leave for atlanta is fine. just let me know when your plane gets in. ;-)

my clothes are still damp. and my shoes--well, we won't go there. damp is drier than what they are.

Today we played with sparklers in the church courtyard. That was fun! :-)

my visor edge has arrived. I can pick it up in the receiving room between 8am and 4pm. I'll be down there around 8. :-)

i'm going to bed. i really am going to get at a reasonable hour tomorrow. if nothing else, i have a new toy to play with! :-)

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

the most fun i've had in a while

At 1:15am, Ken and I went out for slurpees. In a thunderstorm. (the nearest 7-11 is roughly 1/3 mile from my house) Then we walked over to the lakefront, up to belmont, and back to my house. splashing through the flash flooding all the way! :-) I LOVE IT. I am soaking wet, we were freaked out every time there was lightning, thinking our umbrellas (mostly useless..though they did keep rain from running down our faces every nanosecond, instead of every 5 seconds) would conduct the lightning and we'd be fried, or if we were by trees that they would for sure get hit and burn and fall on us. It was scary out there by the lake! The thunder is REALLY loud too. In fact, my puter should probably be off right now. But back to the story: we're out walking (total roundtrip is roughly a mile) in a thunderstorm, slurping slurpees, splashing, getting soaked, etc. My streetcorner is flooded, as usual, so we took the opportunity to kick water on each other, etc. This woman who lives on the 15th floor of my building saw us and went around to the side door! lol. anyway...i'm very wet. my clothes are drying in the bathroom. the bonus of having rain-soaked hair (you know, where it's mostly wet but there are strands that are dry--so maybe 80% damp, 10% soaked, and 10% dry) is that I can pull it up in a claw clip and have porn-star hair. You know the kind. hehehe! i love playing in the rain!
this is what a guy ACTUALLY SAID on Loveline just now: "she wants to be my girlfriend, but she doesn't want me to ask her out right now." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!
Adam says, "I picture Brett having low-level conversations with his little brother's hamster."
They have decided that he is stupid. LOL.
perhaps i listen to too much Loveline. ha!
God must be a woman, because man is the devil

This is what I saw painted on the lakefront bike/walk path at Diversey today. I am intrigued. It was painted in red, along the white line dividing lanes from shoulder. (which, incidentally, is odd--a shoulder on a walk and bike path. anyway.) This is by far one of the most interesting pieces of graffiti I've ever seen.
So I'm out for a nice walk on a hot, humid, hazy day. I take the slightly long way to the lakefront path...i cross under the Drive at Diversey, and over the bridge, and see this. I contemplated it my entire walk. When I wasn't amazed at the number of people running without appearing to sweat in spite of it being nearly 100 degrees, and thinking about how much I'd like to have roller blades, that is. I drank my "enhanced water" in lemon flavor (enhanced with B vitamins, which is why I drink it...and the berry flavor is's made by snapple, in case you're interested) and thought about a)why man is the devil and b)why that means that God has to be a woman. Now, granted, I believe it is entirely possible that God is a woman, or at least androgynous or otherwise beyond gender. And most of the time i agree that man is the devil. so why, you ask, does this statement intrigue me?
well, it's because it was painted on the road, I think. someone obviously feels strongly enough about this to actually paint it on a path that thousands of people use every day. what kind of bad relationship was this person in? or are they a man so disillusioned with other men that they can't take it anymore?
and aside from that, does it matter what gender God is? At least the person still believes in God, and that God is good...hence the reason maleness is out. but it just struck me as odd. and if man is the devil, does that REALLY rule out that god is male? i mean, according to legend the devil was once an angel in heaven. so...he was once good? so man is just more fallen that woman? ha! that still doesn't mean that God is a woman. Even if the man were not the devil, God could still be a woman! or at least both male and female. maybe the chinese have it right with the whole yin/yang thing. huh.


Monday, July 08, 2002

so, today it is hot. I should totally be at the beach right now, but it just got cloudy and I'm afraid those thunderstorms might come faster than the weatherchannel thinks.

Allergies are a strange thing. I don't have any, really, except to a laundry detergent that makes me itch. some people, though, have allergies seasonally, or based on weather or plants or animals or foods. I know there's something genetic about this, but whatever. Does that mean, since my familyis basically allergy-free, that if I marry someone who is also allergy-free, that my children would be allergy-free? or is this gene somehow getting weaker through the generations and so my grandchildren will end up allergic to everything from dust to pollen to cats to flowers to sun? Or is the recessive allergy-prone gene going to suddenly rear its head, making medical costs astronomical for my children? oy.

Not that I'm planning on having any children, there are no marriage prospects (or even boyfriend prospects) at this time....I'm just curious. A lot of my friends have allergies. I would be convinced that some of it (a large part) has to do with too-clean upbringings. Just go out and play in the dirt, ride the dog like a horse, and do kid things, for pity's sake. no need to stay cooped up in your dust free-twice a week cleaned-insanely sterile-disturbingly bubble-like condo, watching tv or playing video games. honestly.

And another thing I am wondering today. Fans. I LOVE my fan. why don't more people have them? if they did, maybe people wouldn't die of heat. it isn't like they are expensive. maybe everyone should donate a fan to an elderly person in their neighborhood who doesn't have A/C. I've done my part--the youth group donated four fans to the social service center at the church after that workcamp. I bought those fans! :-) (though in some way, once I get a check, the church actually bought them. but i had to drive that churchmobile (15-passenger van) to Target in a town I'd never been in before to purchase them.)
And dating services. online. Don't a lot of people lie on those? And isn't there a statistic like 75% of the people with personal ads in the paper are married or something?
And peeling sunburns. Why is it that my arm sunburn from two weeks ago peeled in a couple of days, but the one on my legs from last week (which may have in fact been worse...) is only peeling now? And why do they have to peel at all, cuz it's kind of gross. I know all about the skin cancer thing, yadda yadda yadda, but really.

homeland security. whatever. people are complaining about their rights being infringed upon by the pledge of allegiance. what about by Tom Ridge? sure, you can be detained forever for no apparent reason, with no apparent rights. sure, we can keep the country on "high alert" for months on end, making the public not care, not remember anything about a color-coded warning system, and ignore everything you say. sure, we can claim that all terrorists are from the "middle east" and therefore everyone else should be on the lookout for those "evil" people. uh huh.

anyway. enough of that for now. maybe i should read a book. if i keep reading the news i'll just be more and more annoyed.

btw: I love gardenburgers. yum yumyum.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

I am having such a good day! For starters, I was sick overnight. that automatically makes the daytime, when not ill, fabulous! Then, I finished Les Mis this morning. I was so happy when it all came together at the end, then I cried with JV died...then I hurried to church because I was on the verge of being late. The service was good this morning. this afternoon I met an Associate of the Iona Community who is in town as part of his sabbatical. Calum took us all to lunch, which was excellent.

Now, for what I've been thinking about today. This whole deal about the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, I never actually say the pledge anyway, because I believe in a global community, not in a specific entity known as a "country", and I do not pledge allegiance to inanimate objects such as flags. I prefer to think of myself as a citizen of God's country you can only imagine what i think of this whole "under God" debate. Today in the tribune there were several letters from people who have suggestions about this. One was to simply remove "under God," much as it was added 50 years ago. Another suggestion was to change it to "with faith"--with the idea that then everyone could say it in good conscience, taking "faith" to mean whatever they want (faith in God, in goodness, in morality, in society, in themselves, whatever). A third suggestion was "under good" which is nebulous and frankly probably untrue. Especially if you listen to the ultra conservative christians who believe that everything is evil and they are the only ones who are good. And also, to suggest that our politicians, under whom we actually live (from a practical standpoint, anyway) are good is perhaps beyond the capabilities of 99.678 percent of the population.
Here's my suggestion: leave it as is. Instead of fighting about this, why are we not feeding the children we are trying to protect from state-sponsored religion? Why aren't we making sure the teachers who lead them in the pledge are competent and have the resources to teach well? why are the politicians so excited to sing "God bless America" on the Capitol Building steps, to only show up for opening prayers when there's a patriotic crisis on, but never willing to pray for (or act on) wisdom in dealing with other countries? Why aren't we worrying about becoming a truly catholic (ie universal) community rather than protecting our own selfish national interests? So, i say to leave it. If you don't want to say it, don't. if you do, do. If you want to pledge your allegiance to the fabric of the flag and the socio-political fabric it stands for but don't approve of God watching over you and that fabric, then leave those two words out. Is this really such a hard concept? When will we stop arguing over the possibilities of "promoting" religion in schools and start simply accepting that we all need a good grounding in tolerance of other faith traditions, whether we have one or not, that we all need moral grounding and guidance, and that it's more important to allow people to express themselves than it is to repress expression? maybe if we had more tolerance for each other's religious beliefs, we'd have less crime, less delinquency, and fewer societal problems in general.
Now, I know what you first amendment pushers are thinking. "Keeping all reference to God out of state and school and wherever else we can is the way we create tolerance." I am sorry to tell you, I disagree. Tolerance does not equal repression. "tolerance" and "blocking out everything we don't like" are not the same. To create and foster tolerance and understanding requires exposure to different ideas, rather than only our own agendas. Did it ever occur to anyone that "God" is not simply God of the Christians, or God of the Jews? that God is the same...whether muslim or christian or hindu...that people's perceptions of God are what differ? So why can't we say "under God" and each be referring to the God we know? is that so far out there as a concept that it is beyond understanding? If so, perhaps public policy and procreation should also be avoided.
End of today's diatribe. check back tomorrow for more, perhaps on a new topic.
I am a chauffeur. When I have a car, that is. Which isn't all the time, nor even a majority of the time. but when I do--i drive around a lot. Almost anyone can get a ride from me if they ask. it's quite distressing, really. Would I actually be able to say no? doubtful, since i'm not good at saying no in most situations. That's how I end up doing so much stuff, isn't it. oy.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Well, I didn't end up going alone. Bradley came as well, which was excellent. I was so happy to see someone coming to Taize with me! :-)

Today I have done: not much. I typed meeting notes, have read a little, had some conversation with a friend, and procrastinated on finishing Les Mis. but now, really, I'm going to do it! I am!

first, however, Teri's tip for getting a sunburn # 26:
hydrate well post-burn. It really does feel better. And you're slightly less likely to peel, at least immediately. And if nothing else, you're well hydrated.

tip # 27:
STAY OUT OF THE SUN after you've been burned! This is highly important. for one thing, your burned skin will hurt like the devil if you expose it to more heat, sunlight, and UV rays. Also, you are more likely to burn MORE, and QUICKER, because your skin is already sensitive.

quick other news: my aunt is getting me a palm pilot for graduation. Soon (it should arrive in 3-5 days) I will be the most organized person. Ever. this palm does amazing things. It can be a computer for getting email, browsing the web,etc. It can be a mobile phone. It can be a calendar, checkbook register, address book, game name it, I can do it on my happy new palm. How exciting is that? You can check it out too! (I'm getting it in red...)

anyway. happy saturday!
I made a new Taize bulletin today. woohoo! It was great fun. Less actual cutting and pasting this time, but fun nonetheless. This evening I am going to a church that has a Taize service, one that is big and elaborate, etc. I have been before, but this will be the first time I've gone alone.

i desperately want to talk to my friend that I hurt--but he is not answering the phone, or makes me sad.

anyway...I need to clean up and get ready to go. yay Taize!

Friday, July 05, 2002

Ok, so I've discovered the point of Les Mis. It seems to me, that it is actually a book about the author's vision of French History and philosophy. So there are long passages about war (Waterloo, revolutions, insurrections, riots, etc...). There are long descriptive passages about Paris, other towns, cities, neighborhoods, etc....and what they were like "then and now". There are long discourses by characters on different philosophical points, ranging from freedom to the revolution to monarchy to wine to girls/love to everything else. These various components are occasionally interspersed with a plot line. Sometimes they relate (like the Waterloo section, which really does relate much MUCH later), mostly they don't. And the point seems to be: da dah duh daaa! that there are loads more poor (materially, spiritually, or psychologically) people than we usually notice, that they lead lives somehow related to all this philosophy, and that miserable people have lives too. They live and die for the same ideals the masses of un-poor do...but it is infinitely more complex for a variety of society-imposed reasons, all of which suck. So there you go.

It's actually quite well done, intimating how disparate things (and people) often link together to form a life, a situation, a's just that the plot disappears for hundreds of pages at a time.

I still have 200 pages to go.

In other news, it's slightly cooler this evening. I watched the New York City fireworks on TV. My friend kari and i sang along to the Messiah while watching a George Washington documentary with the sound off. I bought Frappucino bars, but my freezer won't keep them frozen. My apartment is a mess. I did laundry, and got three excellent emails today from good friends. The friend I was mean to is, I think, still very unhappy. I may actually have stuff to do tomorrow! And there's Taize tomorrow night at two different churches in town. yay!

and now, it may in fact be time for bed, as I am being so random that i am not even sure what all that was about or why it may or may not have been related....

mmm..frappucino bars...

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Signs it is hot in your apartment:
1. There is a "heat emergency" and the heat index (ie the 'real feel') is 105 degrees, yet when you step outside it feels so nice and cool!
2. things in your freezer are melted.
3. you can stay up until 3am and not feel tired, because the thought of trying to sleep is incomprehensible.
4. you don't turn on any hot water in the shower, but by the time the water hits your body it's warm.
5. ice in your glass of water melts before it has a chance to cool the water.

need I go on?
I want to go do volunteer work in Nepal. Just for a little while--3 to 4 weeks. I think that would be very close to the coolest thing EVER. This will involve me figuring that out and saving LOADS of money. but it would probably be so very worth it... I want to do this quite badly just now. Perhaps even more than I want to go to Taize. Nepal needs volunteers quite desperately, and the people, culture, and landscape are just begging for people like me to come meet and be helpful to them. Don't you think?

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I said something un-nice to a very good friend yesterday. I feel terrible and I'm very very sorry.
vocabulary lesson...

"inept" = without skill or aptitude.
"inept" = the opposite of "ept"
so, to be "inept" is to be lacking eptitude, to act with no eptivity....

for example:
"his actions showed a serious lack of eptivity, and created a bad first impression."

"She continuously proves to all that she is the opposite of ept in every way, including relationships and interpersonal communication."

In other news, a story from Anthony DeMello I recently came across that speaks to me on so many levels:

"The Master was exceedingly gracious to university dons who visited him, but he would never reply to their questions or be drawn into their theological speculations. To his disciples, who marveled at this, he said, 'Can one talk about the ocean to a frog in a well--or about the divine to people who are restricted by their concepts?' "



Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Must get temporary screens for my windowns. there are scary wasps that fly in and out of my apartment, and I do not approve. This is restricted airpsace!

in the meantime, unfortunately, the windows are closed.

i'm going to shower now so i can go shop for screens. yay!

Monday, July 01, 2002

about that door thing--obviously not when I'm not there. Or when I'm taking a shower. Or sleeping.
I have learned how to put those cool little pop-up notes on my hyperlinks. this blog is, once again, providing endless hours of amusement...

AND: I have decided to keep the door to my apartment open, because then air actually moves around and it's much less hot in here. Why I didn't think of this before, I'll never know.

I ran this morning. It was supposed to be coolest, with the lowest humidity and reasonable wind speeds, between 8 and 9, so I ran between 8 and 9. the weather channel may have lied to me. or changed the forecast between yesterday at 6pm and this morning at was very hot, quite humid, nearly wind-free (shocking, I know, in Chicago of all places!)...and can I just say that there are not nearly enough water fountains on the lakefront path between Belmont and Fullerton? None at all between Diversey and Fullerton. It seems bad that there's a half mile stretch with absolutely no water in sight, except for Lake Michigan. (which, can I just say, when it's not windy out there--UGH.)

I need to take a shower. and read yesterday's newspaper. and make an agenda for tonight's meeting. and go to church where it's air conditioned--so much that I was actually cold yesterday! woohoo!
I seem to have lost some archives. I do hope they come back soon!