Saturday, April 29

ANEW . . .

What a small surprise can do for one's spirits = amazing grace.

The weekend is here, the week is over, a new week looms happy = relief.

A sunny day, a cup of coffee, long hours on the road with Herb = solace.

The receipt of prayer from unexpected sources = family.

NHF's first elder installed tomorrow afternoon = progress.

Celebration with the L.O.L.'s in the day, relaxation with the Gaggle at night = rest.

Friday, April 28

JUST . . .


Tuesday, April 25


This cold is driving me mad. Literally. First, my reaction to the super-strength cough syrup yesterday was ... awful. Thank goodness a friend was available to help me out and volunteer to hold my hair if I puked. And today, I'm actually angry that I can't get better. I hate being weakened and feeling weak. I feel like every vulnerability in me is exposed right now and I don't want people to see me this way ...

Thanks to Fran and TinyCricket for the diversion:

Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. Judicial law clerk
2. Mother's helper
3. Catering assistant
4. Legal intern

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. The Sound of Music
2. Madagascar
3. Emma
4. Pride & Prejudice (BBC)

Four places I have lived:
1. Manhattan
2. Brookline
3. Boston
4. here

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. CSI:
2. Without a Trace
3. Lost
4. Will & Grace

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Block Island
2. Los Angeles
3. Whistler/Vancouver
4. Tampa

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Omma's kimchi-jigae
2. pad thai
3. McDonald's french fries
4. spaghetti with thick bolognese sauce

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Block Island
2. in bed
3. down by the water
4. with Boboma

Four things I always carry with me:
1. Burt's Bees lip balm
2. eye drops
3. my driver's license -- if I get killed while I'm out, I want them to easily identify my body
4. tissues

Sunday, April 23


I can still embarrass myself.

I'm embarrassed to admit that even at this age, I wish that people, especially women, liked me, and it bothers me when I think they don't or that they might not in the future. I feel insecure around women I don't know very well, and wish that I could be as at ease with them as others around me are. I wish I could be more outgoing and engaging, less loud and brusque, warmer, stand on a larger plot of common ground. I wish my personality meshed well with everyone else's, and that I didn't rub some women the wrong way. I wish I could make friends with women easily. I wish that my self-confidence never wavered, and that I always said the right things at the right time with the right inflection.


FOR REAL . . .

I took part in another conversation about birth order this evening with some friends.

It's really true, birth order does play into things a lot, really blurring the line between nature and nurture sometimes. At least among my friends, it truly does seem to determine many things about one's personality and behaviour.

It's so interesting to see it all play out.


OUCH . . .

Every time I swallow, it feels like I'm moving my throat around two large jagged pebbles.



Rock on, Charles-in-Charge.

I raise my glass of room-temperature water to your 29th year, along with heartfelt prayers for wisdom, laughter, an ever-closer walk with our Father, good health, and a kick-ass trip to London.

Saturday, April 22

NOT MY OWN . . .

Lately, I am oft reminded that my mind and my thoughts are not my own. If they were, Scripture wouldn't tell us that we had to let Jesus take our thoughts captive. The implication is, of course, that if Jesus doesn't, someone or something else will, and really, it's just always better that a ceaselessly-loving, ever-gracious, eternally-wise, and unerringly-merciful God take my thoughts captive than any other seemingly-worthy thing or person in the world.

But it's so true, isn't it? We -- especially the elite, educated, multi-degreed, upper-middle-class set with lots of letters after our names -- really pride ourselves over being able to control our thoughts, to come up with original thoughts, to exchange what we think are our thoughts and products of our own intellect. We like to think that as we are able to control the movements of our bodies, we also are able to control the movements of our minds and brains, and even hearts. Five minutes spent trying to get that television commercial's catchy-but-annoying jingle out of our heads should quickly dispel us of any such illusions.

Iiiiiiit's BACON!

And so it is that again, I'm a little stunned that my mind and heart are controlled today, not by myself, not even by God (I don't think, not yet), and not by the boob-tube ... but by the weather. Five days of glorious sunshine spoiled me and put a perma-pep in my step, and apparently loosened my brain a bit too, letting it go towards the inane and the soft. Today, I am glad to wake up to the sound of rain pattering against my windows, drumming on my roof. I am glad to see the misty grey of the atmosphere when I look outside, and I'm glad to hear the unique, heavy swish of car tires driving along wet roads. Today, already, my thoughts are a bit heavier. Not necessarily earth-shattering or life-changingly profound. Not sad or melancholy, even. Just heavier and quieter. I am very glad for today.



I admit that I've been following the latest immigration-policy news sporadically. I am, at times, the queen of denial, and so when there is news that is somewhat unappetizing to me, I'll only pay attention if and when I want to.

But now, they're actually sending people to jail.

I don't know what to think, really. I don't know where my loyalties are supposed to lie. I don't know yet where my faith calls me to stand in this debate, and what if it makes me stand in a place different from where my earthly political views lead me to?

My family rooted here completely legally -- invited, even, by the government in the 70s when health-care professionals were in dire need in this country. What would my life have been like if we weren't able to call the United States "home?" For all of its ups and downs, ain't no place like home, and it still is, I'm convinced, the land of opportunity and the place where dreams come true -- the only such place in this world, if I may be so bold. I think that it would be selfish, irresponsible, wrong, merciless, to cut such off from the rest of the world. And I think that it's horribly ironic that policy would be set to boot people out of this country who are working in jobs that no "American" would deign to do! Surely, evicting 11 million residents can't be good for the American economy. But then I think, if there is a legal way to enter this country and to stay here, should not that course be taken? Any other way is physically dangerous, and now, criminal. It's not a "we did it so they should too" argument. It's just that ... well, I guess this is where my black-and-white worldview comes into play. The rules are the rules, and aren't there already too many real and fabricated exceptions?

I'm not schooled enough to enter into this debate. All I know is this: I'm sad that people want to come and live in the United States because they see it as a place of hope and betterment and life, and that they are now being arrested and detained for daring to hope. Everything in between, I know, is so complicated, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for compassion.


SNOTS . . .

And now, just because this is how I am, I'm going to talk about my nasal mucus. I've been stricken with my third cold of the year -- already! So unusual, because odd blood counts and faulty knees aside, I'm largely a very healthy lady. Still, in my ever-persistent effort to be a more optimistic person, I have to offer one small good and gratifying aspect of being sick.

I love blowing my nose in the morning. I don't know all the science that happens overnight when one is felled with a cold. I'm guessing things move, harden, become gelatinous, whatever. Gag. Whatever processes my body goes through while I sleep, all I know is that when I wake up, I'm all clogged up and I need to be free. A couple of minutes of walking around and letting gravity do its work, or maybe taking a hot shower if I feel so motivated, and voila! (Or wa-la!, as some are wont to say.) I'm ready to blow.

It's amazing what comes out. It feels like EVERYthing comes out. And my, is it colourful. What is it they say? If it's clear, you're good; if it's not, then there's an infection. Well, my friends, I have SOME sort of crazy infection going on, and the weirdo in me loves the fact that it all comes out every morning in the first tissue of the day.

Gross. Gag. Sorry to have nauseated all of you. But I offer you this benefit of having a cold, because it really is a benefit. After blowing my nose and having all that overnight yuck come out, I feel SO GOOD. I can BREATHE. And I have concrete evidence that whatever was in there is no longer in there. So few things in life are so concrete and prove-able. I'm taking what I can get.



Hugs and kisses. Being wrapped up. Inside jokes. Reading entwined. Needing. Nourishing. A glance being all it takes to erupt into gales of uncontrollable laughter. Not being grossed out. Mi casa es su casa. Good morning.



Lately, there is a huge push by American Christians -- largely from the Southern Bible belt, actually -- to conserve the environment and to care for Creation as God does. (They are even scaring Shrub, what with midterm elections coming up, and so few Republicans wanting to speak out FOR the environment!)

I think this is SO. FREAKIN'. GREAT. It's just so perfect, and it's so right, and it's so biblical.

But I'm rolling around in a gas-guzzling 4Runner. URRRRGGGHHHH.

If I could, I'd trade it in for a manual-transmission hybrid 4Runner right now. Do they even make those? Sigh.

Well, how about this for a compromise then: I'll drive not-so-fast, so as to use the gas as wisely (and safely) as possible. I'll recycle all paper, metal, glass and plastic. I'll turn off the lights if they are not needed. I won't run the water while I'm brushing my teeth. I'll take even more efficient showers than I already do. I'll donate my old cell phone to a women's shelter to be refurbished into a 911 phone. I'll get in touch with as many companies as possible to lessen junk mail. I'll carpool. I'll bring my own bags to the grocery store. I'll buy more plants.

Whatever I can do ...



Is it just me, or does it seem like even in the midst of extreme joy and contentment, there is always one little thing that worries one's psyche, like a bothersome hangnail that you can't get rid of just yet, until you find a nailclipper with which to snip it off once and for all?

My dilemma of a few days ago -- to love and forgive, or to give up -- still stands. I'm so irritated by it now. I know all the things that I must do: view her as Christ does, as one already redeemed, forgiven, loved, changed. But I keep replaying in my head the things that I see with my own eyes: a repeated cycle of immaturity, severe passive-aggressive behavior, childishness, ingratiating fakeness. It's difficult to put on God's eyeballs. It's becoming easier to not care, actually ... at least the distance of not caring will make it more certain for me to not get hurt by her again.

Where is that nailclipper when I need it?



Okay, okay, I know I was trying to be optimistic, but I have to say one thing that particularly sucks about this cold I'm suffering right now: it's wreaking havoc on my skin. The combination of fever and lack of sleep has caused one big fat mother of a fever blister / pimple to appear on my chin, and it hurts like @(*#&*&$%^#*^&$%.


Thursday, April 20


There are too many anniversaries ...


YUM . . .

C(h)ristine asks what my favorite comfort foods are ... here are mine (and yes, I'm getting hungry at the thoughts):
    kimchi jigae
    spicy black beans and rice with a fried egg on top
    pad thai
    Kraft macaroni 'n cheese
    day-old japchae stir-fried with rice, eaten with kimchi
    Omma's kalbi-jjim
    my sweet 'n spicy spaghetti


RIDE ON . . .

I don't know why this thought even occurred to me, but if I were a major star, and someone asked me for my rider -- the things I required in my dressing room or trailer before appearances -- this is what I would ask for:
    Poland Spring water, room temperature
    Lay's regular potato chips
    Heinz ketchup
    Banana's crab-horseradish dip
    Kleenex tissues
    a nail clipper
    Kona coffee
    half 'n half

Actually, I'd probably bring all this stuff along with me myself. Urrrrggggggh, I'm so boring, even as an imagined diva.



Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had their baby. Gross. I'm sick of them already. Enough! THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS GOING ON IN THE WORLD.

Wednesday, April 19


These get me everytime, with a shudder straight down my spine:

"but yet"



It's back, and all I can say is ...


See brain. See brain implode. See brain ooze out ears.



Happy second birthday, Ren-o-rama.
Girl, you rock my world.

It's the eleventh anniversary of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing.

I have yet to see a news story about it today.
Is it already old news?
Have people already forgotten and stopped caring?

I was just a college junior on April 19, 2005, but I recall as if it was yesterday my ebbing of still-innocence, my naive questioning of why someone would do such a thing, my awful jumping to conclusions about the perpetrator(s), my dismay at discovering the depths of hatred and mania existing in humanity, and the development of wariness.

My heart is heavy with remembrance. I'm sad because so few, save the survivors and the affected families, remember. I don't see value or health in living in the past, no, but I wish there was more honour and respect shown, and more gravity given to a day -- one of the days -- that changed our country.

I wonder what eleven years will do to 9.11.01.

Tuesday, April 18


Although I am 100% introverted, people don't usually exhaust me, not in a bad way. Sure, after a particularly social weekend, I feel the need to rejuvenate in silence, but it's never a bitter feeling -- I just view it as gearing up for spending more time with friends and family later on. Once in a while, however, people do exhaust me, in a bad way, and it takes every ounce of energy in me to fight the urge to become bitter and unforgiving, to give up on people and refuse to give them a second (or greater) chance.

I find that I'm most exhausted when I rely upon the words of someone, but then realize that when I act upon my reliance, the person didn't mean the words in the first place. They behave badly and ask for forgiveness and express thanks for anticipated grace, but then when an actual face-to-face moment comes, they behave just as badly as before. There is unexplained huffiness, a refusal to look me in the eye, a pointed distinction between the cheeriness shown to others and the sullenness shown to me. It's juvenile, actually, and reminds me increasingly of how spoiled brats behave when they don't get their way. I don't mind being caring and forgiving (although admittedly, the latter is very, very difficult for me) ... I do mind coddling someone who is out of diapers and is allegedly on their way to becoming a self-sufficient and productive member of society.

I guess I'm annoyed at the bad behaviour and the immaturity. After all, if you're going to talk about growing and maturing and learning how to behave better and love people better, then I feel you should at least TRY, and not complacently rely on people taking care of you and accepting your badness as it is -- that's just not fair AND it's false. And yes, I'm annoyed that people think they can do this -- perpetuate a cycle of apologizing and RECEIVING forgiveness, then taking it and running without giving effort to change in return. As it is, I'm starting to feel like the forgiveness is being forced out of me, because really, am I really going to say "no?" But I'm most annoyed -- hurt -- because I feel taken advantage of. People -- this person -- think (or know?) that they can treat me badly, manipulate me as a crying baby manipulates her mother, and still get hugs and care in return. But even babies realize that there comes a time when they don't need to cry so much, and they can start to take care of themselves. I don't know what adults' excuses are.

I have lost count of how many times we have gone through this cycle. "Are you mad at me? I'm so sorry if I did something to hurt you. I love you and think you're great, so please forgive me." "Of course I forgive you, and no, I'm not mad at you, and we're fine." And then ... the silent treatment. The huffing and puffing. The giving of short, curt answers to leading and inviting questions, asked in an effort to warm the path. The turning of the cold shoulder. The 'I'm going to laugh and joke with the person standing right next to you, but I will ignore you completely' behavior. It's like middle school ... except we're all about twenty years older and should know better. I'm sick of it; I'm sick of people like this.

I have grown a lot in the last year. I feel like I make a special effort on a daily basis to examine the bad things in me, and to correct them. I try to make eye contact with the person I would rather avoid. I try to truly forgive the person I would rather hold a grudge against. I try to smile when I would rather be grumpy and sulk in the corner. I try to be straightforward, and less passive-aggressive. I try to be sensitive to the needs and hearts of others when I would rather ask for sensitivity to myself first. I am nowhere near complete success in any of these things, or in any other aspect of my self that I'm trying to change for the better. But I give myself credit for trying. And I, for better or worse, wisely or not, expect the same of others. And I am continually disappointed by the unwillingess of some to grow and be stretched, and to let go of themselves and their own needs and to be humbled before people around them. I don't know how much more leeway I can give to such people; my patience is wearing thin.

I guess the power is in remembering myself. I am wretched, and mean, and selfish, and proud, and moody, and needy. I am so many more awful things than even that awful list contains. But I am covered by grace. I need to tap into that grace more and more, I guess, and instead of feeling anger against people, I should learn to feel pity for them, so that my heart is moved by compassion instead of bitterness.

Still. I can't help growling inside, and having fantastical visions of the can of whup-ass I would unleash upon people, -- this person -- if I could. A big loud "GROW UP AND GET OVER YOURSELF, WOULD YOU?" would suffice, I think.

Has anyone else been in this forgiveness doormat situation? What is one to do?

Monday, April 17


I become chilled to the bone when I read stuff like this: "God is killing soldiers, they say, because of America's unwillingness to condemn gay people and their lifestyles."

Let me just say right now: THIS IS WRONG. IT IS FALSE. IT IS UNTRUE. IT IS WRONG WRONG WRONG and WRONG. The people who stand by such a statement and profess Jesus Christ as their Savior are WRONG and FALSE and totally, utterly misguided.

God weeps, as do we, for each soldier killed, for He wishes them dead no more than their own family members do.

I, and my church -- for I feel completely confident in speaking for it -- SEPARATE OURSELVES from these people and this belief.



I left my watch at Camp Capio last night after doing the dishes, so I swung by Camp earlier today to pick it up. The Noodles greeted me at the door and ran to me for hugs and kisses. MJ moved away pretty quickly and stood there pointing at me, hopping up and down, repeating "Aunt Cha Aunt Cha Aunt Cha Aunt Cha," with a goofy grin on his face. CA stayed with me, however, and leaned back so that she was cradled in the curve of my arms. Then she peered closely at my face, furrowed her brow, raised a pointer finger and indicated a red spot -- a slowly-healing pimple -- right below my lower lip.

"What's that?" she asked quizzically.
"Oh, did you find my pimple? I think it's a pimple," I replied.
CA nodded seriously. "Yeah. Pimple," she replied.
"Just you wait until you're older, CA," I said.
CA looked me straight in the eye, and still with a serious expression on her face, said, "Uh-oh."



I pulled into the gym parking lot the other day, got out of my car and started walking towards the entrance. A guy stood outside the gym's front door, puffing on the last legs of his cigarette. As I got closer to the door, he took his last precious drag, then stomped out the butt of the cigarette. Then he went inside to start his workout.

God bless a balanced lifestyle.



There's a nine-year-old girl at church who is already self-conscious about her weight. I wish I could do something about this, eradicate the self-consciousness and give full release and abandon to the miraculousness of her personality and self, so that she never ends up locked up in the cell that is slowly being built around her.

Sunday, April 16

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?" "What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."

He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Saturday, April 15


There are lots of good things about short-term fasting.

It focuses me, leads -- and sometimes, drives -- me to prayer
It makes me think about things other than myself -- people who are far hungrier than I am, people who are actually suffering.
It makes me think about God.
It makes me think about every blessing He gives me. Namely food.
It makes me realize that there is so much in my life that I don't need to live.
It makes me appreciate the air I breathe, the song I sing, the clothes I wear, the water that I drink.
It makes me read the Bible during the time I would normally be eating.
It makes me pay attention to people during mealtime, instead of paying attention to the meal.
It makes me really thankful that at the end of the fast, there will always be food to eat and my body will always be nourished.

People make a big deal about breaking fast -- I know folks who prepare incredible meals that just need to be heated up and eaten. I know other folks who drive straight to the nearest Wendy's or McDonald's and feel that they have never eaten a better burger in their entire lives. I know others who discover that they just aren't hungry, and so they go another few hours until they are.

Me, I'm pretty random. I just go where the break-fast flow takes me. Today, it was:
    -- noodles and veggies in peanut sauce
    -- Indian-style tofu cubes
    -- spicy-tuna and cucumber roll in brown rice
    -- small McDonald's french fries
    -- small McDonald's vanilla shake

It was almost as delicious and satisfying as my day was.



I was talking to a friend about the day after Good Friday but before Easter Sunday: this random Saturday that has apparently no other distinction than being the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We were wondering what the heck went down, back in the day, when Jesus had been taken down from the cross and buried, but had yet to be resurrected.

How many really knew the resurrection was coming? Certainly even Christ's most faithful disciples at the time only had a very foggy idea of what He was talking about, and it's hard to imagine them really expecting Jesus to be raised from the dead, the heavy tombstone rolled away from the opening and the burial cloths laying unraveled inside. Maybe the women in Jesus's life knew? His mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, other women followers ... throughout the Scriptures, they seem to have had an uncanny insight into Jesus and who He was. Maybe they understood? But even so ... who really would have expected what happened, that which He had been saying all along? If that were me back then, watching from a far hill, my Good Teacher be killed on a cross, would I have known what to expect three days later? Would I have believed the impossible, and would I have waited for it? How would I have spent my Saturday?

As Jews, they all probably observed the Sabbath. Sat shiva, perhaps -- or is that a modern development? Surely, they mourned. Some, I'm sure, wondered where their King went -- He whom they expected to bring revolution against and freedom from Caesar. Maybe they spent the day cursing Him for not having saved Himself, for not having saved them. Or maybe, in whatever state of confusion and life-must-go-on attitude, they just ... moved on.

It's interesting to me that there is no account in the Scriptures, as far as I can tell, of what happened on that middle day. Where did everyone go? What did they do? What did they do with the torn temple curtain? The disciples apparently fled, but to where? Who was afraid, who was happy, who didn't care a whit? How did Pontius Pilate feel? What happened to his wife, who all the previous day had been having just a baaaad feeling about things?

If I were to write a fictionalized account, a novel, let's say, about Saturday, The Middle Saturday, what would I say? (Well, there's the title now. It's mine, so don't take it.) What would I, could I, assume? How much would I have to completely create from thin air? Is there anything, nothing, I can know about the Middle Saturday?

I know this much. It leads up to Sunday, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday. And now, knowing what I do, I would freely tell the tale of believers who waited with baited breath ... who knew that even on the heels of horrible and incredible suffering and unfairness, great victory and downright, foot-stomping joy would come ... who were just wriggly with anticipation and excitement for the Middle Saturday to pass so that Sunday would arrive, and with it a new birth, life and salvation.

Thursday, April 13

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" -- which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah." One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"
GRRRR . . .

If any of you have been trying to contact me via telephone, then my deepest apologies. Telephone has been misbehaving. I never thought I would say this, but ... Verizon sucks.

Thankfully, Verizon also believes in free phone upgrades. Mine will be arriving Monday and so hopefully, my communication troubles -- by phone, anyway -- will be over. You'll have to call and re-record your messages, though. I probably didn't get any left in the last week and a half.

You'd think someone with as severe a telephone-conversation aversion as I do would be glad to have a phone that doesn't work correctly. But I'm all sorts of irritated. Sigh. And grrrr.



Saw it and ... I can't decide if I liked it. Banana put it just right -- it was uncomfortable. Not just because one of the main characters is an unmarried woman without a lot of money (currently moi) in a sea of married girlfriends who are bringing home the bacon (currently everyone else in my life) ... but because it was just ... real. None of the actors looked particularly beautiful or made-up or movie-ized. No conversation was tempered, no emotion masked. Everything just was what it was. And that was uncomfortable.

It made me think: how do I view movies such that if they are not a complete and fake escape for me, they make me uncomfortable with their realness?



I just spent eight minutes staring at the laundry go 'round and 'round through the window of the washing machine.



Before I go silent and deep for Good Friday, here's a bit o' fun, thanks to JaneLane ...

10 CDs I am listening to:
1. Shane & Shane: An Evening With Shane & Shane
2. Shane & Shane: Psalms
3. David Crowder: A Collision
4. David Crowder: Illuminate
5. Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna
6. Imogen Heap: Speak For Yourself
7. KT Tunstall: Eye to the Telescope
8. Jason Mraz: Tonight, Not Again
9. Damien Rice: O
10. Soundtrack, "Brokeback Mountain"

9 random things about me:
1. I love classic rock music.
2. I can read a book a day.
3. Despite all my beef-lovin' talk, I could be a vegetarian and be perfectly content and satisfied.
4. I am much more traditional and conservative than I seem.
5. I think I am taller than I actually am, and it confuses me to look at pictures and see myself standing shorter than all of my friends.
6. I love to floss.
7. I like weird sensations, like the ones I feel upon being bitten (without breaking skin, obviously) or as I'm pulling hair out of my body (particularly the eyebrows and legs. Actually, only the eyebrows and legs. I don't really pull hair out of anywhere else. TMI?).
8. Silence doesn't bother me, but I struggle with the fact that it bothers other people.
9. I'm so, so, SO happy that baseball season has finally started.

8 places I've been to:
1. Block Island, Rhode Island
2. St. Petersburg, Russia
3. St. George, Utah
4. Nyack State Park & Beach, New York
5. Whistler and Vancouver, British Columbia
6. Seoul, South Korea
7. Yankees' spring training in Tampa, Florida
8. Newport, Rhode Island

7 ways to win my heart:
1. Listen.
2. Speak truth.
3. Infuse music everywhere.
4. Be faithful, loyal, forgiving, and put God before all others, even me.
5. Be smarter than me and unafraid to passionately teach me everything you know and love.
6. Be so funny that I'm always smiling and laughing, even when no one else is.
7. Give a darn good massage.

6 things I believe:
1. For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
2. If I believe in something, I must not stay quiet, no matter how much a fool people think me, no matter what friends I may lose, no matter that I stand alone.
3. Prayer is powerful, because He hears, and then He does.
4. Words are powerful and must be wielded carefully and lovingly, and if I can't, if you can't, then we must stay silent until we are wise enough to do so.
5. The people who love me will never cease to surprise me with their care and generosity.
6. Reading saves lives.

5 things I'm afraid of:
1. Clowns.
2. Regretting my life and my choices.
3. Losing the ones I love.
4. Cats.
5. Being alone.

4 of my favorite items in my bedroom:
1. The orchid plant.
2. My marshmallowy comforter.
3. Framed family picture, circa 1982.
4. My favorite pair of blue jeans.

3 things I do every day:
1. Pray.
2. Drink coffee.
3. Ruminate.

2 things I am trying not to do right now:
1. Send an interruptive email, just to say hi.
2. Pick my lip, a bad habit I picked up at age 6 and TWENTY-FOUR YEARS LATER, still can't quit.

1 person I want to see right now:
1. Boboma.

Thursday, April 6



Jesus Christ.



Wednesday, April 5


I'm hungry. It's dinnertime. It's past 6 o'clock in the evening.

But it's bright and sunny outside. How the heck am I supposed to eat dinner when it's bright and sunny outside?

(It's the little things, people. The little things.)

Tuesday, April 4


It's sunny outside today, but cold and breezy. Today is my day off. No gym, no yoga, no hikes in the park, no weight-training. Today I'm just sitting.

Today is a hard day. I don't know why. Hooch and I used to talk about people we know being manic-depressive, bipolar. People with extreme mood swings -- hysterically high highs, incredibly sour lows. We spoke with the assumption that we and I are not like that, that we are normal, steady, stable. Or at least able to present ourselves thus. And so we rode the waves of other people with as much understanding as we could muster.

But I wonder sometimes where I fall on the spectrum. Because sometimes, nothing is going wrong and nothing is bad, but I just feel ... down. Sometimes, for no reason in particular, I cry and am heavy-hearted. Sometimes, I just want to be alone and think and ponder and pray and sing and sleep. It's fascinating, actually, because I can feel myself sliding down into this, from a state of totally steady bliss and cheeriness. And I can't exactly stop myself.

And then, mostly, I'm fine.

Is there a name for this? What am I suffering from? Or is it just growing pains?

Monday, April 3


That's a phrase that has become sort of a joke between a friend and I, even as we both seriously subscribe to the concept ... and all I have to say is, The New York Times website does not have it.

I thought the new template of their site was driving me crazy just because it was 4:30 in the morning when I looked at it. But no. In the light of real morning, I see that it IS unpleasant to look at. It's too small, too light, too airy. These are stylings I enjoy on sundresses, or stationery prints, or spa brochures. Not on my main news source.


WORDS . . .

Have I already mentioned that I am lately beginning to understand the great power of words? After all, God created the world by speaking it forth. He said; we were. Jesus healed most often with words. He commanded, rebuked, comforted with words. He acknowledged that people's words exhibited their heart's faith. And in recent sermons at NHF, I've been hearing a lot of the same thing, injected throughout different types of messages: we must not take words for granted, we must not underestimate their power and their dig, we must use words to build each other up and not to tear each other down.

I've really tried to etch these lessons on my heart, and to carry them with me consciously throughout each waking moment. It's hard. I love words. I love the value of words. I love the different meanings of words, and the impact of inflection, the addition of a facial expression, the punctuation of a grimace or a grin. I love most the old words, the old-fashioned words that no one speaks anymore. I love big words, small words, strong words. I don't like weak words, and wish my brain had a humongous thesaurus built in, because I'm tired of saying sunrises are "pretty." I love reading words, writing words, hearing words spoken or sung, and especially whispered lovingly into my ear.

But I'm facing a difficulty, that I think Mrs.G shares: I find myself increasingly in situations where I don't know how to use my words. All of a sudden, I find myself unable to express in a greeting exactly how happy I am to see someone. All of a sudden, I can't emit the proper heartfelt words to properly accompany a strong and sympathetic hug. All of a sudden, it is difficult to call upon the words of gentle rebuke, to lovingly tell someone not to do something wrong. All of a sudden, I can't convey how thrilled I am, how sad I am, the things I'm thinking about, the heart-things I want to share, the care I want to give. Everything comes out wrong; nothing comes out at all. I am powerless without my words.

I've been told this is because I love words too much ... and I think that statement is partly true. I rebel against triteness and cliche, and so if I think I'm going sound trite or cliched, then I prefer not to speak at all. Unfortunately, this has led me to an awful lot of silence lately.

I wish I could just build a window into my heart and brain -- a little viewing area to which my friends and loved ones can step up and see exactly what I'm thinking and wanting to say. Then they would know precisely, and would not feel -- I hope -- overlooked, unloved, uncared for. And they would understand that my silence is not one of distance or coldness, but a deep, commiserating silence of understanding and true love.


IT'S GREY! . . .

And I am thrilled about it. Ranger Jay likes to tease that California is the best -- warm weather all the time, blah blah blah. I love me my warm weather, but I speak no falsehood at all when I say that I prefer the mix. I know me -- I would get bored of constant sunshine and balminess. I would come to underappreciate it. I would wake up one morning, and every morning thereafter, thinking, "well, duh, of COURSE, it's going to be sunny and warm today; what's so special about that?"

The imagined prospect horrifies me.

Days like today are ripe for snuggling, and I will. Days like today are perfect for sips of hot coffee and couches and blankets and long conversations; I'll have me some of those too. Days like today are made for intermittent naps; I'll definitely be indulging. Days like today are designed for slow huddled strolls, ducking into quiet spaces for glimpses of warmth; I'll take me some of that.

Days like today also remind me that I am to rest. I've been doing a lot of resting these past few months, and I am so grateful for the time ... but there's been a lot of stress and activity in there too -- things I've been doing and thinking about that I would not have been able to work through and work with had I been attending to a full-time, outside-the-home job. As per usual, I go and go and go, and it's only when I wake up to a particularly soothing grey blanket of a day do I realize that I need to stop, nap, rest, be given refreshment and rejuvenation.

It drives me slightly mad for about half a second when my stand-by websites change their templates. CNN did it. Now The New York Times has done it too.


Sunday, April 2

REAL . . .

I rarely lose sight of the fact that God is real, that He is powerful, amazing, creative, loving, almighty, and huge. Among other things. I could go on and on. Even in my darkest and lowest moments, there is always the little voice echoing in the back of my skull and from the corners of my heart, "I'm real! Don't forget, I'm right here and I'm real!"

But I am never more aware of Him than when I am outside and it is simply G O R G E O U S.

Four days in a row now, I've had opportunity to explore the grounds of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve and the Stone Barns Center. (I'm only mildly annoyed that after four days and a total of 8-9 hours of walking and running, there are still acres of the property I have not yet seen.)

My simple and stuttery words are insufficient to describe the feelings, sights and sounds. How do I draw for you the vision of sunlight streaming through just-budding trees, or the ripples coasting across the surface of Swan Lake, or the distant view of the Hudson River waaaaaay over the ridge, or the leaning of new branches in a hard morning breeze? How do I echo for you the sound of woodpeckers knocking away at who-knows-what, or flocks of birds playfully chasing each other at warp speed, or the rustle of squirrels and chipmunks romping through the last of the dry leaves, or the cautious steps of deer peering at the sudden influx of human traffic, or the gentle chewing of the Stone Barns cows? How can I accurately tell you about the tingling in my lungs when I take a deep breath of clean air, or the spring in my step when I crest a steep hill, or the warmth in my heart when I exchange "hello's" and "good morning's" with fellow perambulators, or the power in my body when I arrive back at my car and take several moments to stretch my burning muscles while facing a bright spring sun?

It's like BAM! I just landed in God's living room and He's pouring me a glass of Vitamin Water and inviting me to stay as long as I like, but please just don't litter.

They say it's going to be cloudy and chilly this week. I almost welcome that, welcome the break from all this beauty. I don't want to be spoiled by it; I want it to be new and amazing each time I go out there. But I think I will miss it very much.