Wednesday, May 31


In case you didn't know, I am utterly and completely ridiculous.

Those who know me well know that I think a lot. But they also know that this thinking is not always productive or helpful, to myself, largely. For me, thinking goes down two avenues. One avenue is encouraging, thoughtful, productive, analytical, problem-solving, curious, absorbing, engendering care and imagination and resolutions and innovations. The other avenue just leads to worry and anxiety. 99.9% of the time, the worry and anxiety is either unwarranted or totally misplaced. And of course, worry and anxiety get me to nowhere but sleeplessness.

This morning, one small, tiny, miniscule bit of information was revealed to me that slapped me in the face with a big sign that read: "YOU DID ALL THAT FRETTING AND HEMMING AND HAWING AND HEART-ACHING FOR NUTHIN', LADY. AGAIN."

I was so sheepish, but I couldn't even confess my sheepishness because that just would have made me look even more ridiculous than I already know I am. All I could do was sort of smile to myself, inwardly, shake my head at myself, and finally, just give thanks to God for being so gentle with my already-fragile heart. He knew exactly what I needed to hear from this person to feel at ease and to not spend the next several days fretting. And as always, He provides what I need.

Thank goodness God is God. Because me ... I'm just ridiculous.


GOD IS GOD . . .

We started new Bible study material last night. One of the first questions asked: how did you view and know God as a child, and how has that knowledge or view changed, grown, reversed over the years?

Such a mind-blowing question. In twenty-one years of being a Christian, I have never once stopped to think about how my view and knowledge of God, my understanding of Him, has shifted or not shifted, grown or shrunk, turned 90-, 180-, 270-, 360-degrees. Even had I wanted to be one of the people answering the question aloud, I don't think I could have formulated a coherent response.

Talking to Boboma after everyone had left, it was easier to unleash my replies to the question. But even then, the fact that my answer went on and on and on, and circled back on itself, then turned around again, was mind-blowing. There just is no end to the vastness and multi-facetedness of God; thankfully, neither is there an end to my ability or desire to know more and more of Him, to question Him, to peer into Him, and to have Himself continue to describe, reveal and show Himself to me. And eventually, the twain shall meet.

Tuesday, May 30


I'm still slightly on fire.

The crankiness really is exacerbated by the fact that Ranger Jay is gone. In a care group of about eighteen people, he was one of my four anchors. My platform of sanity and security stood firm on four legs ... I'm teetering a bit now on just three. My three remaining anchors are strong, but it will take us all a while to find our balance again, I think.

Juice was here this weekend too. Sigh, I miss him already, and it's made worse by the fact that it was like he never left. Why do people say things like, "it's so clear to me that I belong here" ... but then leave?! Duh.

I'm trying not to dwell on all the other things too, the little, petty things that set me off, almost always unreasonably. It's important, I know, to remember that for everything that bugs me about someone else, I must annoy the heck out of people in my own special way. And still, my friends and family stick by me and tolerate me, and even LOVE me. It's the least I can do to get over myself ...



Headlines that begin, "Hope fades ..." send such a chill through me. Hope is right now fading of finding survivors of the Indonesia earthquake. 5,700 dead and counting ... and what was the last number I heard? 200,000 and more without homes? I can't even conjure an image in my head of what that means or what it looks like.

I can't just sit around, and I hope you won't either. World Vision is on the front-lines of assistance and relief, as always. Join them in this, would you?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -- Romans 15:13

Monday, May 29

ON FIRE . . .

I am cranky and tired and sad and not coping well with the health issues of those close to me or the departures of those I love or the lack of sleep over the last month, so I'm just going to rage and rage to my heart's content. I probably won't mean most of this tomorrow, and maybe I might even regret my raging because it's all such small potatoes, really, but it's my blog and I'll say whatever the heck I want to in it, First Amendment, thank you very much. (Actually, I have no idea what the constitutionally-protected or not-protected status of blogs is, so I might really be up a creek here.)

It is NOT alright to treat my house as your own if you are not a close friend and make very little effort to be one. It is NOT alright to be argumentative about whether the air conditioning is on or not, because IT'S ON, and you just need to be patient and sit still to cool down. It is NOT alright to open the window and let in mosquitos and other creepy-crawly bugs just because YOU can't feel the COLD AIR that is blowing out of my vents. It is NOT alright to rummage through my cupboards and ask if you can eat whatever you find in there. It is NOT alright to ask "why not?" when I say, "no, that's not for public consumption." It is NOT alright to spill something on my carpet, and sort of rub it in with your foot half-heartedly and feel no compunction to even TRY to clean it up because you just don't care because it's not YOUR house. (To counter this, though, I must add that if anything ever spills on your carpet, Ranger Jay is the guy to have around. Arm him with some OxyClean, and you'll be set.)

It is NOT alright to come to a social gathering and have one of your first actions be to ask or reach for my computer so you can watch things on It is NOT alright to then spend the next hour, in the company of others who do NOT share your prediliction for all things media-related and against all things human-interaction-related, watching things on the computer, to the exclusion and detachment of everyone else. I dread the day when all parties and gatherings will happen via the Internet. We will have no use for each other as living, breathing humans anymore.

It is NOT alright to sing at the top of your lungs some ridiculous show tune, in my home, which is part of an attached apartment building, at 11 o'clock at night on a Sunday. It is PARTICULARLY NOT alright when you can't carry a tune.

It is NOT alright to wear clothing that doesn't match your age. It is NOT alright to try look ridiculously young because you just end up looking cheesy and desperate, or to dress flimsily to church (although, actually, hee ... I think I was sort of flimsy myself yesterday, but it was so darn hot! Besides. My skirt, at least, was a decent length.). It is NOT alright to then drape yourself all over men who BELONG TO OTHER WOMEN. And yes, I just said "belong," because you know what? At a certain point of intimacy, that's just what it is.

It is NOT alright to not know proper, everyday vocabulary words. If you went to college, you have NO EXCUSE. Read more books, or pay more attention to what people are saying and how they are saying it. The vacancy and emptiness is just becoming tedious at this point.

It is NOT alright to act out when you are 25 years old or older. Stop showing off for people. Stop over-dramatizing a wound that doesn't exist. Stop clamouring to be the center of attention when there are twenty other people in the room who are more interesting than you. Stop talking louder and louder to be heard, thinking you are wittier than you actually are, or thinking that people care what you are saying. Stop flirting with other women's men. Stop that infernal young-person drawl -- you sound like a Valley Girl.


Alright, I realize that everything I said here is also NOT alright. But I am cranky. And angry. And annoyed. I realize how ungracious and hypocritical everything I have said is, for I know better than anyone all the times I have been overimposing at someone else's home, or have behaved like a baby after I passed puberty, or have mispronounced a word because I didn't know better. Errrr ... I hope I don't have to confess to having dressed inappropriately to anything though. And I am somewhat ashamed at my lack of compassion and understanding, and my unwillingness -- temporary though it may be -- to forgive these people these small wrongs. But the memories of these things are still fresh and the "wounds" suffered from being the target of rudeness and a member of an unwilling audience still sting. So just allow me this raging, for it will end soon, and all will be right again. As long as everyone cooperates.

Saturday, May 20


The Unlimited Mood asks: what do you do to keep your soul open?

I've actually been thinking about the soul a lot lately. How my soul is doing. How I am affecting the souls of others. Am I keeping mine healthy? Am I contributing to the health of the souls around me?

Lately, some things have happened where I was confronted with the reality that I hurt somebody, tired him, withheld from him all the care and grace that he constantly gives to me. We talked about how we are to feed each other's souls, and to trust each other. In trusting each other, an ultimately in trusting Christ, our souls would be at rest, and would not tire each other, would not hurt each other for no reason.

That hurts my soul, to know that I hurt someone else's. I wish I could fix his, and thus, have mine healed as well.

But back to the original question ...

I look up at the sky a lot. There is so much up there I can see; even more that I can't. When I look up, there is no limit, and my mind is not allowed to close, my imagination is not allowed to wither, my hope is not allowed to fade. And there is just something about gazing into the sky -- whether it be sky blue, or dotted with clouds, or blindingly sunny, or drizzlingly grey -- that does not let my heart, my soul, sink. I can't help but be uplifted.

I make a lot of noise. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes I hum. Sometimes I whistle an unidentifiable tune (largely because I cannot whistle well enough to actually carry a tune). Sometimes I just moan a little bit to relax myself. Sometimes I snort, or guffaw, or cough, or imitate the noises I hear around me -- the beeping of the alarm at Borders, the locking alarm of Boboma's car, the milk foamer at Starbucks, the odd and varied sounds emanating from Bob. Making noise releases things in me, and at the same time, somehow, allows me to soak in the happenings about me.

I make Boboma talk to me. When he stops, thinking he's talking too much, I make him keep going. Once in a while, there are people who just make all your brain synapses fire all at once, your heart's chambers expand to capacity, your IQ level increase just by listening and having every corner of your mind tapped for energy and response. The things I have learned, the things I have come to know, the things in me that have emerged ...

I watch people and things. If I'm not driving, I spend my time in the car watching the cars and people passing by. I watch people in the grocery store, the book store, the coffee shop, the sidewalk. I watch the kids playing pee-wee baseball in the park across the street. I watch the dog sniffing along the grass for ... for what, exactly? I watch folks walking by, or loitering on the corner. I watch traffic patterns, cyclists, and even the occasional inline skater. I imagine what their lives are like, and inevitably my thoughts are led to the quality of my own life, and how I can strive to live it better, with more passion and more conviction and more faith.

I think a lot. I think a lot about how to feed my soul, how to ingest God and enjoy Him. And of course, always, I think a lot about how I hurt people, wound their souls, and what I can do to fix that hurt. Sometimes I am so paralyzed by cowardice, fear, and of course, pride. But often times, the more I think, the less the paralysis has a grip on me, and my soul is allowed its honesty, to face head-on another soul and to reach out to it in the way that I need to. It takes more time in some cases than in others ... but I know that my soul will close when I stop thinking.

I read a lot. I listen to a lot of music. I go to the museum a lot. I watch interesting movies. I am striving to never let weaken that part in me that can be touched, moved, stirred, aroused, deflated, excited, enlivened, impassioned. That indescribable part in all of us that lies so deep within us that words can never suffice. Could it be ... my soul?

And you, now? What do you do to keep your soul open?

Friday, May 19


There are lots of things I don't understand about popular opinion, the things that the public is interested in, the things that elicit conversation and attention, the things that attract adoration and hatred, the things that generate controversy.

I don't understand self-proclaimed liberals who pride themselves on being open-minded, but are close-minded about Christianity and against Christians, lumping all of us and our lives into one itty-bitty boat of stereotypes inaccurately fueled by the religious right.

I don't understand the hoopla about "The Da Vinci Code." It's fiction, and like any book, should be read thoughtfully. It's a movie, and like any movie, should be watched carefully.

I don't understand the attention given to Britney Spears and her baby, and the questioning conducted about her parenting skills. Unbuckled (and therefore patently unsafe) car rides notwithstanding, the girl tripped and almost fell, and she happened to be holding her kid. Does this not happen to many parents? Do not people trip and almost fall all the time? Do not worse things happen? Do we not have better things to do than discuss -- or care about -- what kind of mother Britney Spears is?

I don't understand why it matters that Susan Sarandon came out in support of Hillary Clinton's opponent in the senatorial race. I don't understand why it matters that any celebrity supports any political candidate. What has happened to us that we need someone else -- rich 'n famous, or not -- to influence our thinking, sway our opinion, or affirm our convictions?

I don't understand why 80's fashions are making a comeback. My hair wouldn't feather then, and it ain't gonna feather now.

Thursday, May 18


How interesting that among my recent posts, the last one about my intra-nasal pimple has garnered the most comments! (This tells you so much about my friends and I, doesn't it? Oh, you should hear our dinner conversation ...)

Well, because I thought it was news that's fit to print, here's an update: the pimple popped while I was in the middle of a sneeze-n-nose-blowing extravaganza (in the middle of a small and crowded cafe, naturally). It dried up over the course of the afternoon, and when I got home and before I went to bed, I did indeed put Neosporin on it (yes, INSIDE my nostril, and yes, you CAN put Neosporin in there too!), and this morning, all is well with my nose.

So la! I am once again living proof that Neosporin cures all things. I really wish I could eat it ...

Wednesday, May 17


Once in a very long while, I look into someone's eyes or engage someone in conversation and realize ... there is nothing there. I am met by a completely vacant set of eyes. Nothing behind them. The conversation is completely lacking in continuity, complexity, even accurate vocabulary. There is a total absence of common sense or common knowledge. I used to think that was funny, that someone could be so empty. Now, I realize, it's not funny at all. For the other party, it's just sad. For me, it's scary and unnerving to be speak into an emptiness and have nothing returned.

Sort of makes me want to be a perma-student so that I'm always learning and my brain is always filled with SOMEthing.


OWIE . . .

I have a painful, freshly-developed pimple on the inside of my right nostril. BAD place to have a pimple in the height of allergy season ...

Monday, May 15

AWE . . .

It's been years since I've been to the American Museum of Natural History. After sumptuous places like the Met and pristine places like MoMA, AMNH takes some getting used to. But it was mere moments before I was transported back to the wonder of my childhood. As an adult, i think, there is even more to wonder at. Things, nature, the universe, are not easily explained away as "magic," or "coolness," or "something I don't have to understand yet." No, I WANT to understand it all, and my mind is always blown by how I can't. This world, this universe, and everything in it is too grand, too intricate, too beautiful to grasp all at once. I hope I never lose my ability to wonder. I hope that's something I can pass on to multitudes of generations to come.


VROOM . . .

I'm a Ford Mustang!

You're an American classic -- fast, strong, and bold. You're not snobby or pretentious, but you have what it takes to give anyone a run for their money.

"Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.


ALL OF IT . . .

I walked indoors earlier this afternoon while it was grey and misty outside. I walked out two hours later and it was sunny and glistening outside. I love that!

Thursday, May 11


PEK's latest sermon series has been about the media: music, television, movies. How to watch them, and how not to watch them; how to listen, and how not to listen. Even before this series, I've tried to be careful about what I let in through my eyeballs and ears. My tolerance in the last year and a half for blood, guts, shooting, fighting, sex, bad behavior on the small and large screen has fallen in spades. Things that never used to bother me, bother me. Even little things, like the last scene of the movie "Red Eye," where the heroine behaves in an uncharacteristically impatient and rude manner ... I understood the purpose and the scripting and the character arc, but it still bothered me, and made me feel so bad inside.

I think my critical eye has also been sharpened. I've always viewed commercials as an interesting animal in and of themselves. I've always viewed them skeptically, hated the feeling of being blatantly manipulated, and really appreciated intelligent and creative marketing. Still, when I've got a grip on the remote control, I like to mute the television when commercials come on. I've always despised the feeling of just sitting there, unable to exert control over the things that wash over and through me. The mute button enables me to be selective, just a little more careful of what I let in.

Nevertheless, I forget once in a while. And this time, when I forgot, I heard and saw a recently oft-repeated commercial about HPV and cervical cancer. And the voiceover told me that there is a link between HPV, a virus, and cervical cancer. She told me that many women have HPV and don't even know it. She told me that sometimes, HPV causes cervical cancer, and sometimes it doesn't, but that every woman should go to her doctor and be checked out. She told me to tell every woman I love and care about, about these statistics and that they should visit their gynecologist.

I don't normally do what the television tells me to do. But I thought ... I've had enough of cancer around me. I don't want anymore. So all of you, go, get checked out. Please.

And now, I've got to hit the mute button again.

Wednesday, May 10


I'm back on the workout wagon again. This means, once again, that every time I drive into the gym parking lot, I once again notice the one or two gym rats frantically sucking the last dregs out of their cigarettes, before stomping them out and entering the gym to start their workouts. I just don't know what to think. I have to laugh, and sort of strangely admire their perseverance. Is that what I should call it? I don't even know what to call it.

Anyhow. My body feels great. My muscles still have their memory. And the other day, one of the trainers came up to me while I was doing the weight-training circuit machines, and complimented my "perfect form." I'm not a gym rat, and I'm not normally vain, but forgive me while I GRIN.



Imagine not having any concept of the future ... or money, or government, or politics, or national boundaries, or airplanes, or disease. The Nukak-Maku people of Columbia have lived like this ... and now about eighty of them have emerged from the jungle to join the modernized world.


That just blows my mind. I read the article over and over again, each time imagining a new scenario -- scary, exciting, deathly, adventurous, downright odd. I am just full of wonder. Can someone remind me in ten years to look them up and see how they're doing?



Oh yes. No good deed goes unpunished. Every action has a reaction. Every behavior has a consequence.

I thought it was fortuitous timing, that I had gotten over a cold before I had to take care of a friend who came down with something even worse. Fortuitous at the time, paying for it now.

I feel like I've spent most of this calendar year sick or felled with some sort of mysterious ailment or ache. I long for optimum health. Actually, I long for a massage. Maybe my lymph nodes just need some nice kneading action to get the healthy blood flowing ...

Drippy. So, so drippy.



I have much to think about. And on top of all that, I also have to think about whether to share the things I'm thinking about. When someone insists on complete honesty, I still wonder if they really mean it. SURELY, there are things they don't want to hear, right? Still ... I wonder how long I can keep these things inside me. Sigh. I was looking forward to so much, and none of it happened. Tomorrow, I will pick up where I left off and keep moving, but for now, for tonight, I think I'm going to wallow just a little bit, before I take a cold tablet and knock myself out.

Saturday, May 6

BETTER . . .

In seven hours I have to meet Mrs. G so that we can head into Manhattan for the Revlon 5k Run/Walk. Given the hour now, and the hour I think it will be before I can actually lay my head down and close my eyes for real, I expect I'll be sleepy in the morn.

Recovery is slow -- what dastardly cold is this? But I like taking care of sick people. Aside from the danger of contracting the sickness in turn, there is gratification in seeing someone feeling more energized after eating a meal you have prepared, feeling less ill after taking a cold tablet you recommended, feeling less congested after swallowing the cough syrup you've spooned into their mouth, feeling rested from companionship and understanding if not from actual sleep.

During a rare and much-needed nap recently, I had a dream that I prayed for recovery, hands outstretched as if a prophetess. Not too far from the truth, actually.



I don't have a job to go to during the day, so why do I feel so stretched? I feel like I"ve spent the last two weeks in some strange state of torn-ness. I have been torn between commitments, events, people, friendships, even mundane things like dinner choices. This has resulted in me feeling constantly tense. Not quite snippy and on-edge, but close. REAL close.

I've seen this in others too. There's just so much going on: business trips, weddings, volunteer events, social events, church events, friends leaving, friends arriving, doctors' appointments, work commitments, school assignments, family obligations. We all have become rubber bands pulled at both ends. It just remains to be seen, which end lets go first.

I didn't think it would matter, being unemployed at all, but it does, still. I can't wait for summer to come. I don't think my schedule -- amazingly busy as it is -- will change. But my mindset will. I'll slow down, I'll have perspective, I'll slacken my rubber band. I can't wait.



Tomorrow morning. I long for it.

Friday, May 5

IT'S HERE . . .

I was wondering last weekend ... everyone around me was bleary-eyed, puffy, red, hived-out from seasonal allergies. Hanging out upstate, all of my friends were being attacked by all manner of greenery- and nature-oriented allergens. Except for me. I dared to hope -- I really, naively, stupidly, did -- that perhaps I would have a respite this year. That this year's allergens would not affect me. Maybe, MAYBE, even that my allergy-suffering days were gone, and I was somehow cured, my sinuses victorious against the nefarious forces of pollen, dust and other things I can't really see.

But no. It's not so much, I've come to realize, that my cough and cold are lingering beyond their well-worn welcome. No, it's the fact that I, too, have succumbed. Post-nasal drip -- check. Itchy eyes -- check. Sneezy nose -- check. Tickly chest and throat -- check. Constant sorta-there drippiness -- check. Oh yes. Allergy season is upon me.

Nevertheless, we carry on!

Four of us will walk in the Revlon 5k Run/Walk to Fight Women's Cancers tomorrow morning, in Central Park. A sunny and breezy morning it's supposed to be -- I personally can't wait for a leisurely walk with my dears and a certain Melon, and to honour from the bottom of my heart JKA, my mom, me, Maria, my great-aunt, my aunt in North Korea, Mrs. G's aunt and cousin ... every woman threatened, scared, wounded, scarred, tortured, touched and left by cancer in some way.

Donate if you might, to me or any of my teammates.

Thursday, May 4


... meme. They abound. I don't even remember where I got this one, so apologies if you are my "unconscious" source. (Oh yeah, Kaavya Viswanathan, I just gave you a shout-out.)

The iPod Meme: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

How does the world see you?

"Seconds" (U2: War)
    [This is so ironic, given the conversation a friend and I were having today about the dream my mother had while she was pregnant with me. We were talking about why it is so important to me to amass knowledge, to be intelligent, to be viewed and perceived as intelligent, and to be able to present myself intelligently in all the situations in which I might find myself. And basically, the conclusion I came to is that I am always struggling to be something other than second-place, and the conclusion my friend came to is that I'm number one in many people's books, and so should be number one in my own. Easier said than done.]

Will I have a happy life?
"Jesus, Lover of My Soul" (Stuart Townsend: Worship Together)
    [This is all I aspire to, really. "Happy" is nonsensical to me. Satisfied in and by Christ seems ideal ...]

What do my friends really think of me?
"Uptight" (Stevie Wonder: The Good-Feeling Music of the Big Chill Generation)
    [Alright, alright! I know, already!]

What do people secretly think of me?
"The Answer" (Shane & Shane: Upstairs)
    [I am gratified that this song came up. I love this song. I want to learn how to play it on the guitar -- a very near-impossibility. It would be bizarre if I was the answer to anything, but hopefully, by the way I live my life, and by virtue of Who I love and by Whom I am loved, I can lead people to The Answer.]

How can I be happy?
"Very Slowly" (Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring)
    [Sigh, I'm trying to be patient. But I'm not entirely UNhappy, you know.]

Will I ever have children?
"Let My Love Open the Door" (Pete Townshend: Grosse Pointe Blank)
    ["Open the door?" That just sounds like I'm going to end up giving birth to a baseball team. But where there is true love, you will never find me complaining.]

What is some good advice for me?
"Rock 'n Roll is Here to Stay" (Sha-Na-Na: Grease Soundtrack)
    [Hmmm. I know this already, and I love it. Also timely, given that I was just having a discussion with a friend yesterday about good ol' rock 'n roll, and how much we love it when it's done well.]

How will I be remembered?
"Romance" (R.E.M.: Eponymous)
    [Hee-hee. Good.]

What is my signature dancing song?
"Queen of Clubs" (K.C. & the Sunshine Band: 25th Anniversary Collection)
    [Is this because I've been back into the rave and trance music lately?]

What do I think my current theme song is?
"Praise Awaits You" (Matt Redman: Facedown)
    [Doesn't it just ... I feel, sometimes, that I struggle to praise God throughout the day, every day. Some days are easier than others. But as a friend and I were just talking about today: God is everywhere, in all things, at all times, and with always the greatest love. Praise does await Him, and bad on me to delay giving it.]

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
"Don't Like Goodbyes" (Frank Sinatra: The Capitol Years)
    [No kidding. Everyone's leaving. Okay, not everyone but it sure does feel like it, and so far, there are no guarantees that anyone is coming back. WAH.]

What song will play at my funeral?
"I Am A Rock" (Simon & Garfunkel: Greatest Hits)
    [What a morbid question ... but I confess I like the answer. I would have preferred something a bit more upbeat and raucous, perhaps even of a sort to cause jubilant dancing and laughter. But really, it would satisfy my soul to know that I've been a rock to even just one person in my lifetime.]

What is my day going to be like?
"I've Got You Under My Skin" (Frank Sinatra: The Capitol Years)
    [Ain't that the truth, but in a really, really excellent way. I couldn't have asked for a better day, a better week, for so many and so few reasons. My only wish: that I had some magical machine on which I could press the repeat button over and over again, as many times as I like.]

Wednesday, May 3


I've been too tired and sick and fuzzy-brained lately to come up with anything original. Thanks to The Unlimited Mood for some lack-of-blogging relief.

1) How old do you wish you were?
Actually, I'm kind of enjoying my current 30. It's the perfect age for feeling all grown-up, and still allowing a bit of early-20s-ish mania now and then.

2) Where were you when 9/11 happened?
I was at my eighth day of work at the federal courthouse. I had just watched, on my judge's television, the second hijacked plane fly into Tower 1, when a U.S. Marshal came into chambers to hustle all of us out of the building. What an introduction to public service ...

3) What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
At work, Hooch and I used to leave firmly-worded notes for the vendor guy. When the notes went ignored, we would call the vending machine company, and then ultimately the soda companies, to get our money back, or at least a coupon. I don't think I've tried to buy vending-machine soda since I left Hooch's company.

4) Do you consider yourself kind?
Once in a long while, but not enough. In fact, I'm often ashamed of how unkind I often can be, and am.

5) What did you eat for breakfast today?
An English muffin with butter and raspberry jam, one egg over-easy, and a cup of English breakfast tea.

6) If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
The small of my back. Peek-a-boo!

7) If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

8) Do you know your neighbors?
Yes, on a "hi, how are you?" basis.

9) What do you consider a vacation?
That depends on my mood. I enjoy the full gamut of vacationing, from a mere long car ride; to a sunny place of peace and quiet with a good book and good coffee, preferably near a large body of water that I don't necessarily have to enter; to a raucous girl-fest with my best ladies and some red wine; to an educational and busy jaunt through museums, libraries, cathedrals, old pubs and stylish cafes.

10) Do you follow your horoscope?

11) Would you move for the person you loved?
Depending on so many things, yes.

12) Are you touchy feely?
Yes, but I try to be sensitive about it. Still, sometimes, it's just fun to hug Mr. Safety to watch him squirm. Hee.

13) Do you believe that opposites attract?
Yes, but I wonder at the permanency and depth of the attraction.

14) Dream job?
Non-fiction author ... federal prosecutor ... caterer ... event planner. Do I have to pick just one? (Does this mean I am without direction in my life, or simply that I am a woman of many tastes and abilities? I prefer the latter, natch.)

15) Favorite channel(s)?
Bravo, The Food Network, USA and TBS for reruns, ABC for "Lost" and "Alias."

16) Why do people always delete questions out of these?
Haha, you got me. Obviously, it's because I don't want to give up the information requested.

17) Favorite place to go on weekends?
My secret cafe; Bed Bath & Beyond (sad but true); any bookstore; church; then home.

18) Showers or Baths?
Showers. Who's got time to clean the bathtub thoroughly enough to feel safe sitting in it?

19) Do you paint your nails?
Only my toenails. I can't breathe when my fingernails are painted.

20) Do you trust people easily?
Absolutely not. This is both a blessing and a curse, but mostly a curse. Do not be like me in this.

21) What are your phobias?
Clowns and birds.

22) Do you want kids?

23) Do you keep a handwritten journal?

24) Where would you rather be right now?
In bed.

25) Who makes you feel guilty?
People I've wronged ... and people who don't know what it is to let a wrong be covered, then erased, by grace.

26) Heavy or light sleep?
Light. Waaaaay too light.

27) Are you paranoid?
Oh, totally.

28) Are you impatient?

29) Who can you relate to?
A couple of girlfriends, Boboma, my mother.

30) How do you feel about interracial couples?
Why is this even a question? How am I supposed to be feel about interracial couples? I don't think about them, just like I don't think about same-race couples.

31) Have you been burned by love?

32) What's your life motto?
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."

33) What's your ringtone on your phone?
It's set to a standard, but the standard on my particular phone is really ugly-sounding and I hate it. Plus, the phone is new, so I never recognize my own ringtone. Oh, the post-modern blues.

34) What were you doing at midnight last night?
Watching an episode of "Monk."

35) What did the last text message on your phone say?
I can't recall the last time I got a text message.

36) Whose bed did you sleep in last night?
Mine. Hee-hee.

37) What color shirt are you wearing?

38) Most recent movie that you watched?
"V for Vendetta."

39) Name three things that you have on you at all times.
My watch, Burt's Bees lip balm, and my perfume.

40) How much cash do you have on you right now?
Well, I just got paid for a day of kid-watching, so ... scads!

41) What's your favorite town/city?

42) I can't wait to (til):
Work time is over and we can play.

43) Who got you to join myspace?
Myspace scares me (and it should scare you too); you'll never find me on it.

44) What did you have for dinner last night?
Homemade spaghetti with sausages, spinach, red peppers and zucchini in a thick sweet n' spicy sauce.

45) When do you wanna get married?
Last year.

46) Who is the last person you spent $50 on?
I spent close to it for a recent baby shower, but more accurately, Boboma.

47) Do you have an air freshener in your car?
Ew, no. Do you ever notice that air fresheners don't freshen the air?

48) Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Always: my knees, my shoulders, my temples, and my lower left back.

49) If you could choose, how would you pass on?
Oh, how morbid! I would choose to pass on as God would have me pass on.

50) Any sex today?

51) Do you miss anyone?

52) Do you like revenge?
Sigh. Yes, yes I do.

53) Know how to swim?
Barely. I can probably keep myself afloat for about seven minutes. Beyond that ... glug, glug, glug. Rose has given up.

54) Do you know how to skate?
Hahaha! Don't make me laugh.

55) Did you do sports in high school?
Totally not. I was a music nerd.

56.) If you could have one wish come true, what would it be?
There are too many, but the biggest one of all of my big wishes: that all people would come to know Jesus, and in doing so, that the world would be healed of all of its suffering and injustice, and that all of us would come to love each other deeply and treat each other with mercy and compassion.