Wednesday, January 30, 2008

dancing through life

warning: this could be a long one.
a lot's gone on since last friday...

1. juno. a review said it reminds us why people fell in love with going to movies in the first place. it is so good... go see it.
2. book club. some friends and i started a book club about this time last year, but it kinda fell apart after 4 months. we've decided to give it another go, and our first book will be a thousand splendid suns... i am pumped.
3. this is week 2 of the boiler being broken at the church i'm trying to visit. but, two cool things as a result: i saw a handful of people standing outside the church for a while and i thought they were there to tell others there wouldn't be a service; but about 10 minutes later i saw that they were armed with garbage bags and had begun to wander around the neighborhood, collecting trash. cute :) and because of said service cancellation, i had church in the solitude of my apartment. i love the way my spirit is ministered to in that time alone with God...
a friend sent me psalm 62:8, that says pour out your heart to God and let him be your refuge. so, i focused on that.
4. turkish coffee: i had the cutest pot of the stuff i've ever had the other night.
5. tuesday was incredibly long, and pretty good. i got to work at 4am to split into teams of outreach workers to count the homeless staying outside that night. fortunately it wasn't extremely cold. i laughed to myself about how strange my job can be: climbing up rocky inclines under bridges, muddy slopes in the woods with bare tree branches smacking me in the face, unceremoniously disturbing the rem-cycle sleep of the homeless to "ask them a few questions" to get an idea of how long they've been homeless, if they've had services, and so forth. their compensation? a granola bar. our team was on the western outskirts of the city and we found six people: one guy living in the sweetest fort-like structure made of tires. oh, and a coworker and myself fell in the mud, which is 4 times as funny when it's dark and early.
6. wicked! i saw the musical a couple weeks ago and had tickets to see it again last night. i was in the very last row of the top balcony, but it didn't make a bit of difference. the first time elphaba showed up on stage i cheered, as if seeing an old friend. she has a phenomenal voice! i also picked up on a lot of subtleties i didn't see in it the first time, which i really enjoyed. i saw a lot more of the deeper meaning of what the story is saying, and i just loved how it spoke to the idea that sometimes what's good and right is not what the majority may accept as right, and that it may not even be something they think about. i kinda took from it that sometimes when you choose to speak out or stand up for something you believe to be true, you may be the only one, and you may not be liked for it...
7. that reminds me of a broadcast i heard on npr last year around mlk day. it was the story of a father telling his daughter about mlk, who he was, what he did. he told her that mlk tried to speak on the fact that all people should be created equal and should respect and love one another. the little girl said, that's like Jesus. and the dad said, yeah, kind of. she asked, did they kill him too? interesting....

i have much more to work through in my mind, but this is getting arduously lengthy.
until next time, stay warm.

Friday, January 25, 2008

dirty pop

"A Denver man named Wayne Watson has sued Kroger Co. and two of its popcorn-making subsidiaries for giving him a butter-flavored respiratory disease. Watson says that years of eating two to three bags of microwave popcorn a day gave him "popcorn lung," a respiratory illness caused by inhaling the fake-butter flavor diacetyl. Popcorn lung has been known to sicken workers in butter flavor factories, but Watson is the first person to suggest that general microwaving use can also cause the hilarious-sounding disease. Scientists have determined that Watson must either stop eating fake-flavored popcorn during every meal or stop standing so close to the microwave oven while it's cooking."
-Danny Cross, Cincinnati City Beat 1/23/08

Thursday, January 24, 2008

well i feel like an old hobo

There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you?

"But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
Amos 5:24

"...and the world is never the same again, when the prophets come to town."
Rick McKinley, Imago Dei

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

you said what you have to

by the last half hour at work today i was thinking in fluent swear words. nasty ones. i was mentally cussing out the agency workers i had just spent the last hour and half sitting with who, at the end of those 90 minutes, revealed that they were to be, in fact, of no help. great. i'm so glad i drove approximately 45 minutes to come meet with you. heh.

funny parts of my day, however, were:
  • giving a client a baby ruth bar as a form of bribery to take a shower
  • telling a very schizophrenic client a joke. his response: "was that a question to bring me back to reality?"
so, even on mental-swear-word days, i still laugh. :)

aside from that, i want to go here. i have never had bubble tea, and i'm intrigued.

Monday, January 21, 2008

baby you'll freeze out there

the church i'm visiting has their own coffee shop, the speckled bird cafe. it's really cute, i hadn't been in before. i like the idea of a place where the church can gather and hang out... but also a place out in the community where people can get to know each other.
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there are several cute, independent coffee shops near me. i think i need to start patronizing them more, as opposed to those owned by "the man." :)

i'm reading this book lent to me by a friend, called Three Cups of Tea. this guy is a mountain climber that falls in love with a village in Pakistan and, upon discovering they have no school, decides to make that happen. it's pretty good, i'm enjoying reading about the way the village finds a place in his heart, the discouragement, the rewards, the lessons... he quotes mountain climbers that have experienced this village:

"'We breathed an air of utter satisfaction, of eternal peace,' he continued. 'All this gives rise to a question. Isn't it better to live in ignorance of everything- asphalt and macadam, vehicles, telephones, television- to live in bliss without knowing it?'"

and then again,

"'I used to assume that the direction of 'progress' was somehow inevitable, not to be questioned,' she writes. 'I passively accepted a new road through the middle of the park, a steel-and-glass bank where a 200-year-old church had stood...and the fact that life seemed to go harder and faster with each day. I do not anymore. In Ladakh I have learned that there is more than one path into the future and I have had the privilege to witness another, saner, way of life-a pattern of existence based on the coevolution between human beings and the earth.'"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

i'm mr. brightside

last night my friend lauren came over to my place and we had a delicious dinner of lentils in red curry sauce from trader joe's. it was a recommendation from courtney. and it was so well-recommended, we both enjoyed it very much. and we had a long evening of chatting over said delicious dinner, talking about life and work and everything in between.

i found out that the loan forgiveness thing isn't gonna work for me. even if i stay in the non-profit sector for 10 years, only then will what's left of my loan and interest be forgiven. and by then it'll be paid for. which is good, i guess; but it would have been nice to be freed of that debt prematurely.

i discovered that ingrid michaelson is coming to town next month... right here to the little town of oakley. i think that would be a fun show. who's with me... tickets are cheap!

we found an amazing homeless camp today, quite the setup. apparently the police are going to run them out soon, so we went to see if we could be of service. but no one was home. i took pictures but they're on my phone... anyone know how to get those onto my computer?

happy almost friday :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

we are so fragile

so last night i was laying in bed reading and my roommate brought in a flower wrapped in paper with a note taped to it that she found set in our mailbox.

in that note is written, "your beauty.... should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 peter 1:3-4  
it also had some encouraging thoughts that i'm keeping to myself :)

the note was unsigned.  and the flower is beautiful.  i am so thankful for friends.

in other news...
i found out today the rumor i'd heard about loan forgiveness for social workers is TRUE!!  in fact, it is specifically designed for those who work in non profit (which i do!).  apparently you commit to ten years in the field, when your loan is consolidated through direct loans (mine already is) your clock starts, and they pay it off!  so, i'm calling tomorrow to find out more.  if you've got student loans and work in non-profit, i'll fill you in.  that news made me happy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

i can't sleep

i got ready for bed only to lay there, thinking. ugh. so then i called court, which helped. but then i still just didn't feel sleepy. because of my thinking. so here i sit, awake and knowing i have to be at work in a handful of hours. oh well.

i made that calzone on new year's eve. isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

let's jump out the window.

i love this song for multiple reasons. take a listen. enjoy.

Australia The Shins
Born to multiply,
Born to gaze into night skies,
When all you want’s one more Saturday.
Well look here, until then
They gonna buy your life’s time
So keep your wick in the air and your feet in the fetters
‘Til the day...
You come in doing cartwheels
We all crawl out by ourselves
And your shape on the dance floor
Will have me thinking such filth I’ll gouge my eyes.

You be damned to be one of us, girl,
Faced with the dodo’s conundrum
I felt like I could just fly
But nothing happened every time I tried.

Oh duotone on the wall
The selfless fool who hoped he’d save us all never dreamt of such sterile hands.
You keep them folded in your lap,
Or raise them up to beg for scraps,
You know, he's holding you down
With the tips of his fingers just the same.
Will you be pulled from the ocean,
But just a minute too late,
Or changed by a potion,
And find a handsome young mate
For you to love.

You'll be damned to pining through the windowpanes,
You know you'd trade your life for any ordinary Joe’s,
Well do it now or grow old.
Your nightmares only need a year or two to unfold.

Been alone since you were twenty-one,
You haven't laughed since January.
You try and make like this is so much fun,
But we know it to be quite contrary.

La la la la la la la
Dare to be one of us, girl,
Facing the android's conundrum,
I felt like I should just cry,
But nothing happens every time I take one on the chin,
You Himmler and your code,
You don't know how long I've been,
Watching the lantern dim,
Starved of oxygen,
So give me your hand,
And let's jump out the window.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

you take me the way i am

"We must not despise what little we have to give to what seems a bottomless pit. In the hands and prayers of Jesus and in turning to face the poor it is enough. Miracles can happen when we risk what we have. Indeed, risking what we have to find life and Christ among the poor is required to take poverty personally and turn crowds into community."
-Ashley Barker Finding Life

"The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community... but the person who who loves those around them will create community." -Shane Claiborne Irresistible Revolution

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

oh tie me to the end of a kite

it's the first day of a new year. appropriately spent, i think, in sweatpants with coffee by my side, reflecting on the past 12 months and looking ahead to hopes, dreams, goals of the year to come.

the past year was, in summation, good. :)
some examples:
running a half marathon
running a full marathon
visiting cities like chicago, st. louis, nashville, boston and seeing good friends
a new (ridiculously lovely) job
learning lessons, sometimes hard, sometimes good, most times both
new friends, deeper relationships with preexisting ones
lots of wonderful chats over coffee with amazing friends
so many good things...

it's weird how hard new year's eve is for me, every year for as long as i can remember. i'm not extremely nostalgic, so it's not as if i hate to see the old year go. in fact, i love the freshness that a new year brings... so much renewed hope and the excitement of the unknown. and a lot can happen in a year... this past was a good example of that. but each year, maybe it's just the pressure to make it happy and good and exciting, that one night just ends of bearing down on me in an unpleasant way. not to say that my ringing in the new year festivities weren't fun- they were- it's more in my head.

i went to some friends' house and we made food and chilled. it was nice.
the Christmas season was nice, too, primarily spending time with friends and family. i have to admit i was a little relieved when the actual holiday ended, but the low-key visits, shared meals and beverages and chats with friends were rejuvenating.

overall i'm hoping for another good year. here's to taking it a day at a time, thinking less about self and loving others more. cheers :)