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Showing posts from 2007

*Shudder*

Last night I had another moment of hypnopompicsleep paralysis [yes, there are 3 links in that sentence]. I woke up at 1am and couldn't move. Not at all. The fan fixture in my room seemed to be some sort of dark (and exceedingly large) owl or hawk that watched me intently. Everything in my head was trying to make my body respond, but it wouldn't.

So I started singing a hymn. Roughly one verse in, I heard my brother walking toward his room. He was singing the same song - two lines behind me. I don't know if I heard him in my sleep, but it certainly wasn't a conscious choice to sing the same thing. And somehow, it gave me great peace. And then I could move. I lay there, breathing deeply like I'd just run up the stairs, even though I hadn't moved at all.


In thinking about it this morning, I have two thoughts:
1. I don't know if I could handle full body paralysis. There is something incredibly frightening and frustrating to being unable to make your body respond as…

Prized Possessions

The fun thing about going through boxes of stuff is that I find things I forgot I owned. And sometimes, they're things that have a great deal of meaning. Yesterday, I found My Little Ponies, a tiny stuffed puppy that Sarah gave me when we were just becoming friends, some photos from way back when, and these two little objects:

1. An award from the U of G. This wasn't actually that long ago, but I often forget about it. At the time, it was both a complete surprise and a very reassuring way for God to say, "You've been faithful, and so have I."

2. A very tiny New Testament. Back when my Grampie landed in Britain, during WWII, he received this. At the time, he didn't know Jesus. But the little book is marked up with all sorts of stars and underlines, and even a few notes his mom sent him while he was away. I love this little book.

Sleep Routine

10pm: I feel sort of tired. I probably turn on my computer. Or sit in front of the TV. Or both.

11pm: I can no longer waste time on Facebook or email. There's nothing to do. I turn off my computer.

11:10pm: Teeth brushed, face washed, in my boiler of a den.

11:12pm: I contemplate reading.

11:18pm: I decide I'm too tired to read.

11:19pm: I put my headphones in to listen to a little music.

11:40pm: I realize I am not going to fall asleep with my headphones in. I take them out.

midnight: I wonder why I am still awake, and what thoughts are soooo pressing that I cannot sleep.

12:30am: I'm almost asleep, I think.

4am(ish): I wake up. Either I am too hot, or my blanket has slipped off and I'm too cold. I fix said problem.

8:30am: My alarm goes.

8:30am: I stop my alarm and roll over.

9:30am: I wake up.

9:45am: I wake up again.

10:00am: I wonder why no one has woken me up yet.

10:10am: I roll out of bed.

Christmas Highlights

Well, Christmas is over in my family's house.

At least, the Christmas tree, gift-giving, big-meal, family aspect of Christmas.

Highlights include:
- finally getting all my gifts purchased at 1pm this afternoon.
- decorating the tree by myself last night while listening to my mellow mix.
- meeting my brother's girlfriend.
- all three of my siblings actually gave money away instead of spending it on me!
- delicious food, courtesy of my mom. And sister-in-law (pumpkin toffee cheesecake!!!)

Slightly less amazing moments:
- the non-arrival of my ordered-online gifts. Grr. Much anger.
- making my nephew cry. Oops.
- eating toooooo much yummy food. My tummy hurts.
- not knowing what to do with myself on Christmas Day.

Complicated

In tonight's movie (The Darjeeling Limited) my favourite lines were:

"I wonder if the three of us would have been friends in real life. Not as brothers, but as people."
I had wondered the same thing earlier today - would I be friends with my siblings if we weren't siblings?

girl: "Whatever happens in the end, I don't want to lose you as my friend."
boy: "I will never be your friend, no matter what, ever."
I thought it wonderfully summed up the impossible complexities of relationships.

Ontario Sucks

This is the title of a song by The Arrogant Worms. It is funny. Today, I agree with it for the following reasons:

a) snowplows leave inordinate amounts of snow on driveways. It is a pain to shovel it. We don't have this problem in Vancouver.
b) I thought the bathroom ads in BC were disturbing...the TV ads are worse here. I can't get over two of them - I think for health care, or safety - that's it. The Work and Safety Board, whatever they're called... their ads are graphic and disturbing. I will change the channel when they come on.
c) It is cold.
d) Transit is not as good. Well, that's Guelph to Vancouver, not Ontario to BC.

I still love Ontario. I am not yet convinced that BC is "the promised land" as one friend told me. But the grass is always greener on the other side, and now that I'm in Ontario, I guess I can whine a little.

Whiny baby is the new term of endearment at Fun City...

{editor's note, 10:15pm: I am not at all as upset with Ontario as I r…

Oh Yeah...

Christmas is upon us. It's been stressful for me, and I'm not looking forward to the rest of my Christmas shopping.

But I actually thought about the Christmas story today. I went to a Christmas play, and sat two rows in front of the percussion (if ever I were in an orchestra, I would like to play the timpani, the triangle, and the xylophone).

I thought about Mary and Joseph. I thought about the trust that they had to build. And the trust they probably didn't feel easily.

I thought about angels and the celebrations in a realm that I can't see. Someday, I'd like to party like it's heaven. Someday, I will party like it's heaven.

I thought about the wise men and the shepherds, and how ready, how willing they were to drop it all and come worship a little baby.

I thought about God. God, becoming human. Jesus - a helpless baby, depending on His very own creation for everything. Learning how to walk and say Mama.

I thought about love. How God loves me. How beautiful He i…

Lovely, Lovely Universe

Pretty much speechless. This is the Carina Nebula.courtesy of Hubblesite.org

Aaarrrggghhh

Somedays, nothing seems to go right. I want my plans to work the way I've planned. That's the point of planning. Planning that is planning is fun. Planning that is reworking the same plan six different ways: not fun.

A Weekend's Worth of Thoughts

Friday night:
My housemates are good cooks.
My housemates are good party hosts.
My house throws a good party.
I'm tired.
I hope everyone's had fun.
Wii is fun.
Bed. No seriously. Bedtime.

Saturday:
I'm tired.
I don't have to go anywhere.
White Christmas! Favourite Christmas movie ever.
Happy sigh.
I should get dressed.
I have experienced both sleep paralysis and hypnagogia.
Go Canucks, go.
Strongbow... cider not beer.
I am really tired.

Sunday:
Wow, still tired. Need to sleep better at night.
I like my church. I like that everything comes back to Jesus.
Lunch with Laura!
I forgot how much I love Anne of Green Gables. I think we're kindred spirits.
How can I watch the last half of the sequel in the next month?
Spa Night!
I love apple cider.
My hands feel so soft.
My eyeslids are tired.
So sleepy.
Mmmm, bed.

Who's upstairs?
Are they playing video games?
They're definitely playing video games.
Ha. I can hear the controller.

Biographies

I'm reading a biography of Simone Weil. I'm still waiting to get to her religious conversion/experience, which is what I'm primarily intrigued by. Her thoughts on manual labour and the value of the proletariat are not quite in my sphere of pressing concerns.

But as I read a 300 page summary of 34 years of life, I can't help but wonder what they're missing. I mean, you can't possibly cover everything. And a biographer can't possibly know everything. So what are the details left unmentioned?

And if someone wrote a biography of my life - a stretch to be sure - what would make the cut? What would be considered too insignificant to mention? Would they be right?

Funk: Back

Rain: pouring.

Slush: three inches deep.

Mood: back in crappy-land. I have work to finish tonight and feel insulted by a friend. Even though I'm pretty sure I'm imagining it.

[Also, I was at the Funk's house, which was a good time. And now I'm back home. By myself.]

Snow

Before it began melting (tomorrow's high is 11), it looked like this. Just so you know.

Funk: Gone

I was not having a good week. Until Friday. Friday, my spirits lifted inexplicably.

On Friday night, I cleaned the fireplace. We have never used the fireplace. It was last cleaned something like 6 years ago. There was a lot of ash. And some slightly rotten wood. My housemates called me Cinderella, and for a moment, I knew how she felt: Murphy soap in ridiculously hot water, black hands and cast iron fire-holders...

My housemates were watching TV, and one of the shows on was Scrubs. Partway in, I commented Hey, that guy looks like Clay Aiken. I thought it again when the character showed up five minutes later, but didn't say anything for fear of seeming a bit obsessed...but then! He of course was Clay Aiken and got to bust out with a 30 second song (staff talent show was the context). And then I felt both pleased with myself and a little disappointed. I knew it was him! I'm now itching to bust out his album, which I own. I got it as a gift.

Yesterday, I woke up to a tiny bit of sno…

Call Me Scrooge

I've been having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. Possibly because it is not yet December. Possibly because there is no snow. Or possibly because I'm aggravated by the pressure to buy gifts for many people. And my innate inability to buy pointless or standard gifts off a list of wanted items.

Downloading Amy Grant's Christmas album from 1983 has helped. So has going to Winners to buy decorations for the upcoming house Christmas party, and baking some sugar cookies.

But I'm still not full of Christmas cheer. Or at least the cultural Christmas that says I have to spend money on people to prove my love for them. Or something of the sort.

Bah, humbug.

Risky Business

I'm not usually one to make snap decisions. Sometimes my spur-of-the-moment choices turn out well. But sometimes they don't, and I get burned. I was thinking about this today. Here are a list of some recent quick choices & their results...

1. Let's run a 5k! Sign up online for $50 for an end-of-season run.
Pro: I actually run during the fall, since I have a race to get through. And I get a free hoodie.
Con: I don't actually run the race (see #2). The hoodie snags easily.
Worth it? Not quite. But I'd do it again and hope for better results.

2. Let's eat cheap ethnic food! Thursday night supper & then Friday lunch.
Pro: Delicious and cheap meals. Two of them.
Con: My digestive tract is bothered by said meals. Couple this with a migraine, and I miss my 5k.
Worth it? No. Why do I not learn? I can't eat greasy ethnic more than once a week.

3. Let's dye my hair! Buy a box of do-it-yourself dye and go at it.
Pro: Something fun and different. Looks good.
Con: So n…

Overheard.

This afternoon, I went to a coffee shop to read my Bible, journal, and spend some quality time with God. I dozed off. When I woke up, I had the following conversation with God.

Sorry, God.

Beth, I love you even if you fall asleep.

I know...

So why this guilt?

I feel like things should be different.

Like you shouldn't be so relaxed around me?

Well, sort of. I mean - I feel like I should be apologizing, or proving something or being generally amazed and ultra-attentive.

Why?

Because You deserve that. You should be listened to and loved and fawned over in the most sincere way. Because I never do enough for you.

You can't do "enough" if you tried. I gave you life so you wouldn't be stuck in this cycle. I'm not here to just incur more guilt. You can't do enough and I don't want you trying. The whole point of this is that you don't have to feel inadequate anymore.

So what am I supposed to do?

Love me.

It's never enough...I try to love You. I really do.

It's n…

An American Cultural Icon

I read a great article this morning. It was about Oprah. I generally stay unopinionated when it comes to her, but I'm not really a fan. I used to watch her show when I babysat. It panders to me. But...although I'm fascinated, I don't quite like it all. As Wendy commented, "She's become her own god."

Intentional = Right?

On Saturday night, at a party with my ultimate friends, Wendy & I got into a great spiritual conversation with one of our teammates (Unfortunately, I was hampered by what I think was a migraine). His perception of right and wrong was essentially this: if you intentionally make a decision, it is right. Good and bad are relative, dependent upon what the individual dictates them to be. So long as you are aware of your choices, you are doing fine.

I disagreed. The night before (or maybe Thursday night?), I sat in the living room for a few minutes after everyone else had left for bed. I slouched on our slouchy couches and thought about life. Then I decided I didn't want to think anymore. So I got up and turned the TV on. And I started watching. Roughly 5 minutes later, I decided that this wasn't actually an appropriate way to deal with stress. So I turned it off and went to bed instead.

My ultimate friend said, no. So long as I was aware of my choice, it was perfectly fine for me…

The New FYI

Last night, one of my housemates was amazed at the multi-tasking of my desktop. I had open my email, face-crap, a couple of msn conversations, music, and some work files. Apparently, I typify my generation in its approach to these machines.

I think that I am atypical, though, in my attitude toward computer lingo. More specifically, towards instant messaging lingo. I'll admit, I'm more than a bit snobbish. Shortforms drive me bonkers. For a variety of reasons.

Disclaimer: I am not angry or intending to make fun of my friends who use these phrases - I don't get angry. Actually, I am poking fun a little. But I'm not intending to cut you down.

BRB - the only one I use with any consistency - because I generally type it as I run from the computer to whatever interruption is drawing me away. I genuinely have an excuse for not typing the entire thing. I've never said it in person-to-person conversation. More energy- & syllable- efficient is the simple "One sec"…

Into the Wild

Last night, I watched Into the Wild with some friends from church. [spoiler alert!] It was a really contemplative and thoughtful movie, and fairly tragic too. With the disclaimer that there is nudity (mostly of the non-sexual type) and some language, I'd recommend it. Basically, it follows the true story of Chris, a guy who graduates college and promptly disappears on a two year adventure of hitchhiking and exploring.

Three characters stood out to me. Each of them almost made me cry, and all were old men. The first was this man on a payphone to his wife. He was pleading with her to take him back, apologizing for some unknown spat. His time is almost up, and Chris, who is at the payphone next to him, about to call his family, passes over a quarter so he can keep talking. The man's shaking hand puts it into the slot, but within 5 seconds, the woman on the other end hangs up. I'm left doubly sad - at this lonely and regretful old man, and at Chris, who passes up one more chanc…

A Rather Relevant Email...

From a work-related email I received this morning. The only thing I would modify is that "going green" is actually a part of "going red":

The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away; the haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth… Isaiah 24:4-6


Hardly a day goes by now where we don’t hear something about “global warming.” The changing of the earth’s temperature to the point that the ice caps are melting, bringing among other things, the threat of flooding, heat waves, forest fires, extreme weather, and even the question of the ability of some species to survive as the changes impact their natural habitat. With this comes the constant fear for the future of our children and our grandchildren, and the kind of world they will inherit.The world blames this problem …

Melting Icecaps

Last night, I watched An Inconvenient Truth. I feel more personal responsibility to change the way we treat our earth than the guys I watched it with. They figure that since Jesus is coming back before the end of the world, it doesn't really matter anyway. I think stewardship is important, whether the end of the world is inevitable or not.

This morning I read in Luke about the "Signs of the Ends of the Age." And I have to admit that I'm not really eager for Jesus to come back. I mean, I want him too. But I'm fearful for the general consequences and the massive unpleasantness that is a part of justice. Also, I think the specifics of what will happen are not as clearcut as the Left Behind series makes them out to be. I think there is a lot of ambiguity in the Bible, mixing symbolic and factual prophecies.

As I was praying about this whole thing, I wrote, "I desire that none should perish, Lord - and I often forget that you feel the same." I'm not sure h…

Lunch Break

I like the shower at my parents' place in Ontario. The spout is far above my head, and I don't have to duck to wash my hair. Here, the shower head is roughly at my shoulder blades. Were people really that short 90 years ago??

Last night I laughed a lot with my housemates. I don't remember what about exactly, but I do know that for the second time, one of us was invisible to another as they entered the room. Last time, Lynsey was under a blanket on a couch and scared Dan when she moved. This time, Wendy came in, saw Dan, Andrew & I, and a minute later commented, "Oh, Kurt! I didn't see you behind Dan..."

Bowling with my staff team was a blast this morning. During game one, I designated myself Official Team Dud, as I was the only one who didn't break 100. Game two was the official "trick bowling" game, and rules varied from the "Twinkle-toes" run to bowling from a chair to the ever-amazing Granny-bowl. We laughed. The women in the Frid…

Highlights

A few favourite moments from my extended layover in Guelph:

breakfast and visiting with Jenn. Not just because Angel's makes good french toast, either.visiting with Mom, Dad, Jonathan, Stephen, Jenn & Jake. I really miss my family, and the inevitable growing up and apart.shopping with Mom for a birthday gift, then Jonathan for jeans. an afternoon of fun with Sarah Primmer and Heather. I think they're both fantastic, and I'm glad I matter to them.an evening chat with Kirsten and Mindy. I feel great relief to know that I'm not alone in my fears and struggles. Having coworkers who are also friends is a good thing.

Hunny Pots

I think I have always disliked honey.

Peanut butter? Yuck.
Honey? Yuck.

I'd try every so often, hoping that things would change. But one slice of toast would turn me off for another six months.

When I gave it a shot in September, something had changed. My tastebuds had grown up, and honey was no longer sickeningly sweet with a weird after taste. It was delightful. Smooth and sticky and oh-so-yummy. I eat it every other day for breakfast.

I wish I could say the same for peanut butter.

In cookies? Delicious.
In sauce? Scrumptious.
On bread? Unpleasant.
By the spoon? Revolting.

I may be one of 3 people in the world, but I can honestly say: I don't like peanut butter, and I don't think I ever will.

Giving Up

Second day, and I'm already cheating. The random song theory isn't being fruitful. It's resulting songs that are too similar to each other. And others that I don't really like. I might just start picking the songs that I find stuck in my head.

Also, I think it's not a lack of motivation to write. More a lack of time. Actually, it might be a combination of both. Possibly the lack of time makes me too tired to turn the inspiration in my head into worthwhile verbal thoughts.

Sand & Water

All alone I didn't like the feeling
All alone I sat and cried
All alone I had to find some meaning
In the center of the pain I felt inside

All alone I came into this world
All alone I will someday die
Solid stone is just sand and water, baby
Sand and water, and a million years gone by

I will see you in the light of a thousand suns
I will hear you in the sound of the waves
I will know you when I come, as we all will come
Through the doors beyond the grave

All alone I heal this heart of sorrow
All alone I raise this child
Flesh and bone, he's just
Bursting towards tomorrow
And his laughter fills my world and wears your smile

I will see you in the light of a thousand suns
I will hear you in the sound of the waves
I will know you when I come, as we all will come
Through the doors beyond the grave

All alone I came into this world
All alone I will someday die
Solid stone is just sand and water, baby
Sand and water and a million years gone byAurally, I don't really like this song. I've only listened…

Inspiration

I'm lacking in motivation to write blogs. Well, not motivation exactly. But it's been awhile since I've felt truly compelled to write anything. I end up thinking of random snippets on the bus - like how a guy I knew roomed with Colin Firth's step-son at university, and how it is both a big deal and completely nothing at all - but then by the time I get home, I've forgotten completely. Or partially, which is just as useless as forgetting completely.

One of my friends has been doing a series of blog entries on the Big 10. Commandments that is. I really like her style of writing and the way that she processes life, and it seems to me that this discipline of writing on specific topics for a set period of time is probably good, not just for my own thoughts, but for her ruminating and thinking about life. (deep breath) Another friend wrote a great entry on engaging culture as Christians. Both of these are things I think about on an almost daily basis.

Clearly, I can't …

96 Over 54

A giant tea this morning once again proves that caffeine has little to no effect on me. At blood donation time, my pressure was a mere 96/54. I'm surprised they let me give!

I love ceilidhs. Love love love them. I also love my friends. Love love love them. I also love old people. Love love love them.

I got a great deal on shoes today: $20 for $110 Privo-Clarks that will be my new rainy-weather wear.

I love the sunshine.

I am excited for ultimate.

I need to sleep.

Oh, and Jamie and Vanessa had their baby. I am ridiculously excited for them. I loved being a part of the pregnancy during the spring and early summer. I love that I was there when Vanessa first felt little Noah kick. I think they will be wonderful parents. Although, I'm sure they will have their bad days. Don't we all.

I am glad today was not one for me.

Starbucks

Waiting in line for my tea, I notice a newspaper stand at the back of the cafe. Please pay for your newspaper at the counter a sign says. I hadn't realized they weren't complimentary. I sit down at a table for two and take out my books. Bible. Journal. With Christ in the School of Prayer. A few minutes later, I look up and around - there's a homeless man out front by the newspaper dispensers. I think to myself, When I'm done, maybe I will buy him something. And I go back to my books.

A middle-aged man in a suit sits down at the table in front of me. He has a blue ribbon pinned to his suit and I wonder what he's supporting. Another man sits at the table next to him, carrying a newspaper in his hand.

"That your lunch?" he asks the blue-ribbon guy. I can't tell if they know each other or if he's just friendly.

"Yeah - my wife gives me hell for eating like this," he laughs as he holds up his purchase: a chocolate chip cookie. I tune out while b…

Aunt Irma

My favourite TV show at the moment is The IT Crowd. Yes, it is even beating The Office. This episode is possibly one of the funniest ever.

The best conversation starts around the 3:00 mark, and at 5:00 is a line that I will never grow tired of.

Now that I've talked it up, I hope it's still amusing.

British vs American

I discovered recently that American fork etiquette is different from Commonwealth etiquette.

If you belong to the Commonwealth, typical usage would be: to cut your food with your fork in the left and knife in the right hand. Then you spear your bite-size piece of meat, with your fork facing down, and eat - fork in your left hand still.

However, in some sort of effort to out British spies at the time of the revolution, Americans decided to do things differently. Americans will cut a piece of meat with fork in left and knife in right hand. Then they will switch the fork to their right hand, and instead of spearing, they will scoop the food on top of the fork.

I have found myself using both methods, as I've thought about this over the past few days. I have distinct memories of my parents teaching me the American style of eating, although I definitely tend toward the Commonwealth style when I'm on my own. It's faster, more convenient, and that's why a fork has tines!

For once …

Just Before Bed

I have a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head. And they're too big for me to handle tonight. Too big to blog about in any semblance of coherent.

I will say these few things though:
a) I love my church. and I love my church small group.
b) My entire day is so different when I actually start it right. With God.
c) Even half an hour of seeing through the clouds at sunset makes me happy.
d) I really miss my family.

Rainy Afternoon Ramble

Justin Timberlake's Love Stoned was playing on the radio as I drove to get groceries. Coming out of the grocery store, it was Summer Love. JT is a secret guilty pleasure. I refuse to download his FutureLoveSexSounds album, but I love hearing his songs on the radio. It's the beats, really. Although I will gladly own that album once I'm married.

Speaking of "guilty pleasures," one of the Vancouver radio stations is called "CraveFM." Their tag lines are something along the lines of What do you crave? A song for every craving. Guilty pleasures are their version of the "way-back play-back" as another station calls them. It's interesting to see how business so easily capitalizes on the fact that we as humans have "cravings." And it's my belief that our cravings are for more than just songs.

I realized a few weeks ago, when contemplating the contest I blogged about, that if I were publishing for something other than pleasure (money, l…

Commercials & Babies

Yesterday, I ate a Teen Burger at A&W. It was delicious! Today I saw the commercial that advertises them 2 for $6...the guy in it also does improv on Granville Island, and I've seen him there a couple times. I feel like I know someone famous.

Another commercial laments the lack of commitment in our world today, and how easy it is to go for new - a new nose, a new job, a new spouse...yet somehow, it's an ad for some sort of car. I didn't actually catch what sort.

I was reminded today of a hilarious moment earlier this fall. At lunch after our leaders' training day, a rather small child, a baby actually, needed a diaper change - badly. As someone was changing her diaper, this baby got very upset. She started screaming. Her father came in to help. She continued crying. Wailing. She wailed so hard that she started peeing. She managed, in fact, to pee on the student changing her diaper.At the time, none of us laughed. But today, as everyone was wearing clean clothes, it w…

One Day Early

Last night, I went to check the GlobalTV site to see what was on, since I was actually home for once. For some reason, the list for tonight's shows was on instead...I panicked for a moment, thinking I'd missed The Office - but then I realized it was just a day ahead.

It reminded me of a TV show I used to love. This guy in NY got the paper for the next day - before anything happened. Then he had to go around and prevent houses from burning down, or students from causing a fight, or stop a sting operation from going wrong...I don't remember the name of the show. But I do remember there was always a cat when the newspaper got dropped off.

You Are Mine

My newest highly-enjoyed band is Mute Math. I went to see them with "Fun City" last month, and have since been listening to their album on repeat.

They put on a sweet live show, and their lyrics are great. The song entitled "You Are Mine" is my current anthem/prayer. Knowing that these guys are Jesus-people, I know who they're talking about...but for others who listen & sing along, I wonder who it is that this refers to:

Everyone has their obsession
consuming thoughts
consuming time
they hold high their prized possession
it defines the meaning of their life

You are mine

They're our objects of affection
that can mesmerize the soul
there is always one addiction
that just can not be controlled

You are mine

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Today is a special day for 2 reasons.

Reason #1: I moved here to BC one year ago today. Happy Anniversary, Vancouver life!
Reason #2: It is my friend Laura's birthday. Happy Birthday, Laura!

I started off the day with the wonderful sunrise drive. It was fantastic. Next up: ultimate! Surprise, you get to play two games, not just one! And you get to borrow/have (hopefully keep) a real GAIA jersey. Next up: gelato as a reward. Let's put on every calorie we may have burned off... Back to the house for cleaning. Shower. Banter with roommates. Bake. Off to Laura's! Food. Laughter. Fun people. Games.

Ten selected things I love about Laura.
1. She's funny.
2. She's warm-hearted and welcoming.
3. She's wise.
4. She's musical.
5. She loves Jesus.
6. She is laid-back.
7. She knows herself.
8. She likes me.
9. She bakes delicious foods. Like tonight's chocolate mousse. Mmmmm.
10. She is confident.

Sun-what?

sunrise
Originally uploaded by bethaf. I don't remember the last time I saw a sunrise. But this morning I drove a friend to the ferry terminal, and I was full of exclamation and awe as I watched the sky lighten. It was beautiful. It made being up at 6:30am worth it.

Diverse Discussion

Tonight was full of deep and meaningful conversation.

Dinner with my good friend Amy resulted in covering several important topics relating to faith, identity, the Bible, and sexuality. This topic has come up several times recently, and our general feeling, as single Jesus-loving women in their twenties is that "Christians" have tended to one of two extremes - either neglecting God's call to sexual purity and living in indulgence to our whims; or confusing purity with a-sexuality, refusing to recognize that sexuality is a God-given part of our design, not something that is magically made at the moment of marriage. Neither end of the spectrum is on target, but what that middle-ground looks like is not entirely sure either.

Back at home, the housemates and our cool musician friend are eating delicious Moroccan style stew. Jane and Kurt have finally met, after living in the same house (technically) for roughly 6 weeks. We sit around the table for the next two and a half hours…

Horror Flicks

I don't watch horror flicks. But as we were sitting in the living room tonight, Dan commented that we (Dan, Andrew, Wendy and I - the staple members of "Fun City") could be the cast to a horror flick. As the discussion progressed, we debated who the murderer would be - apparently he/she is an outsider, not one of us - and who would survive. The three of them unanimously agreed that I would make it. Possibly one of the guys. Definitely not Wendy.

I feel honoured. And confident that I'll never ever ever have to prove them right.

Sunshine

leaves & sky
Originally uploaded by bethaf. It might not be as warm as Ontario, but it was a beautiful sunshine-y day today. I finally went for a jog. And I finally took some pictures. I haven't taken a lot of photos since my holidays.

This weekend has been great.

First Ever Top Five

My friend Kelley hasn't blogged in a couple of months, but she used to do all sorts of "Top 5" lists, which were always fun to read. So, in honour of her (and the holiday tomorrow), my first (and quite possibly last), "Top 5" List.

Top 5 Families I'd Spend Thanksgiving With.

5. The Colleys - I think I would like Laura's family. Actually, I know I would. Plus, if she learned to make tea from her mom, I will drink tea ALL DAY. Maybe I'll even forgo dinner.
4. The MacGregors - they're pretty much second family to me. I always enjoy my time with them and the exciting new dishes that Aunt Buffy makes.
3. The Browns - of the Meredith variety. And Jillian and Benton and Jordan. And their Mom and Dad. In beautiful Haliburton. Love that family.
2. The Ayers - I actually did spend Thanksgiving with them today, and it was just fantastic. They're a great couple I've known my whole life, and I enjoyed interacting with them as an adult. Also, they are incr…

Signage

I've always loved reading signs (it must be a part of my incredible thirst for literature - I read almost compulsively), and there were three rather smug signs on our trip to Bellingham.
Sign #1 stood in front of a farm: "FLORA - Health Products from God's Pharmacy." I also noticed three other "signs" in front of their fields: a miniature Statue of Liberty, then a large American flag, and finally some sort of light-thing that read "Old Glory." Funny how ten minutes across the border, faith and patriotism manifest themselves rather differently.Sign #2 is visible as you wait to cross into Canada: "British Columbia - Canada." But not until you're at the border can you read the side banner. It proudly proclaims, "The Best Place On Earth!" I love BC, and it’s really a great place to live. But for a people who generally find Torontonians (and all Ontarions) too big for their britches...well, it's highly amusing to me, who’s a …

Lynsenator

I really like my roommate Lynsey. Today is a day off, and we are going to the States. Hurrah for Kohls and Ross and Target!

Also, when I told Lynsey about the super-annoying bathroom ad, she did a dramatic reenactment of another ad she'd seen. One with a man gutted by a pole and with blood coming out his mouth...

I thought she was joking. Or exaggerating.

Turns out she's not. The guy is sitting on a construction site, speared through the stomach by an iron rod. And there is blood coming out of his mouth.

WorkSafeBC really wants us to be safe. So they're grossing us out while we try to empty our systems...Very helpful. I no longer have any desire to be a construction worker. Oh wait, I never did.

Saliva Should Be Neither Seen Nor Heard

If I had a Blackberry, I could blog about my witty thoughts as soon as I think them and not rely on my ability to remember them later. I often don't. Unless I'm in a meeting with someone. Which is actually when most of my ideas occur - mid-conversation when I can do nothing about it.

Behind me, there are kissy noises interspersed with talking. I am assuming a couple is sitting there, but I am not exactly looking. I do not like kissy noises. I am grossed out by any sort of noises in which you can hear saliva. These include: people talking with ill-fitted dentures, kissing noises, chewing with the mouth open, chawing on gum, and Sarah's scratching of the roof of her mouth (how her mouth gets "itchy" is beyond me).

It Never Rains But It Pours

Ok, so clearly this is my third post in roughly 3 hours. Lucky you.


Sometimes when I hear news, it doesn't really surprise me. It's almost as if I already knew. Or that it just seems right - even if it's not easy news. Like when my childhood pastor decided to leave our church, or the news that my parents are trying to sell the house, or the friends that have dated on and off and decided in August to get married in December.

But sometimes, news takes you by storm, and even though it's not surprising, you weren't ready for it. I hate news like that. Correction. I don't hate the news - I hate that my heart will not respond graciously and humbly when I want it to. And I realize that what I said I felt in my heart and what I do feel are not the same. Which means I have either been lying to myself or I don't even know myself. Possibly I have been lying to myself because I don't want to know myself.

Which is more unpleasant: not knowing myself, or knowing myself …

Contest

I was recently made aware that CBC is running a contest/game thing and I'm now rereading 2.5 years of blogs to see if I have anything worth entering. If you have a favourite entry...let me know. If I enter it and win, I'll go halvsies with you on the winnings. Or invite you over to watch satellite TV with me.

Actually, come to think of it, I don't actually care to win the prizes. I just want to win. I want to be "famous. " I want to be the best in Canada at something.

I wonder what sort of categories I could even compete for the "best in Canada" award...or what "best in Canada" awards I would give to people I know.

A List

of things that made me happy today:

listening to my ponytail swishing against my jacket, because it means that my hair is getting long.spending a little $ on long-distance phoning, because it means I got to talk to Heather.laughing with Sarah and Lynsey, because we're friends, not just coworkers.sitting on Vanessa's couch, because I didn't have to shout over the hordes in the caf for her to hear me as we talked.knowing there are leftovers in our fridge, because I made a deliciously creamy sweet-potato yesterday. (Sweet potatoes. Yams. I never know which is which, and I don't know why they're called by one name in one country, and switched around in other places. For the record, I consider the orange vegetables sweet potatoes, and the pale yellow ones to be yams. Also, I am probably missing the most delicious sweet potato casserole ever, made by my Uncle Les, as I spend my first ever Thanksgiving away from home.)looking at the flowers I bought myself for no reason at…

Exciting Times

On Thursday, I had the incredible experience of helping walk someone through the decision to make Jesus a part of her life. It blew my mind (literally) to see what God has been doing in her heart and to be so priviliged as to encourage her to take this step of faith. I nearly cried. The friend I was with nearly cried. My new friend did cry.

Then there was our student retreat. This is a big deal in my line of work, and it went off without any major hitches. There are always slight hiccoughs (yes, I am spelling it the British way), but overall, a smooth time. What the results will be...will only become apparent in these coming weeks.

Last night, my first couchsurfing guest arrived. Again, a risky thing to do - inviting a stranger to stay and visit and generally be in your house. But what a great risk! I am loving our Tasmanian-born Australian musician friend who is currently recording somewhere in North Van. Last night was a great time with housemates and guest. Laughter, music, The IT Cr…

IQ Tests and Big Change

I have started an entry close to five times in the past five days. But each time, I discard it before I'm even this far.



This time, I have left it for roughly an hour and a half. This past week seems like it's been a subtly big week. Nothing major in events, but major in my head and in my heart. And once again I've decided that I don't have the energy or the words to explain myself. It takes a lot of thought - my serious blog entries sometimes take a couple of hours to write, and I don't feel compelled to put that much effort into it tonight.

Turns out I'm a crappy blogger after all. (If it's major change happening inside of me, but I can't actually get that change outside in words, is it actually change?)

Instead of putting effort into processing and verbalizing the things I've been learning this week, I did an IQ test online. And a Meyers-Briggs test. Because of two conversations with two different roommates. I am, apparently, an INFJ with an IQ of 1…

The Green Couches Suck Me In

1. Clarity comes when we get back to the essentials. Like the fact that it is all about Jesus. Jesus is the point of division, Jesus is the point of unity. Jesus is who changes peoples' lives. The rest are peripherals. God reminding me of this resulted in the most peaceful day of the month.

2. Hankies are hot. When I see a man with a cloth handkerchief, I automatically assume he is European and cool. Unless he has a pocket protector or gray hair.

3. Something funny that someone said that I wanted to blog about but now forget.

4. My new book keeps getting postponed as I continue to be too social. I need better boundaries.

Later:
HA HA HA. After hanging out in the living room for 3 hours I'm finally going to bed. Quotes of the night:
"You're like my grandma...Good Lord!" (pulls a blanket over his head) "You were the purity police!"
"It's true..."

Buzz Words

organic
grassroots
synergy
authentic
simple
community

The problem with buzz words is that they become overdone and their meaning starts to deteriorate. Then you have to either re-invent a word to mean the same thing, or re-infuse meaning into the same word.

In other news, I attended my first hearing-loss-loud concert. And decided that concert culture is not something I'll fully embrace. For various reasons which won't get a full post. They include - my idolatrous nature, physical danger, false intimacy, and the uppity possibilities of the 'inner crowd.' (Why do we all crave cool-dom and connection to the bigwigs so much? I'm fully as guilty as the next guy, but I don't fully get it - why can't I get over it?)

Also, massage therapy is rocking my world. I only hope I can reimburse it through my insurance, as planned and hoped.

Good Genes and Bad Socks

I am wearing the comfiest and all-around best socks that I own. Unfortunately, they have Winnie the Pooh on them. I do not like wearing kids' characters , and Winnie is exactly that. So I hide my socks with shame, but wear them because they are sooooo comfy.

I went for a dentist check-in today. First time in two years. My teeth seem to be in great shape, except for the filling that will eventually need replacing (in 5 years or more) and the possibility of my thin gums wearing out and needing a graft (when I'm 35 or so). I give complete credit to my parents genes - I don't even floss regularly! Hurrah for good strong teeth.

All the Rage

Apparently the new big thing in bathroom advertising is lights and sound.

As I open the door to walk into the stall, I hear a high-pitched beeping - and assume it is someone's cell phone. As I sit down, it continues. And there are flashing lights on the advertisement on the back of the door.

Neither one stops until I leave the stall. Words cannot express the frustration and anger I feel towards corporate consumerism as I sit there.

I will never, and I mean never purchase SoBe's Energy Rush. Or any SoBe product.

Impervious

I wish I were impervious to strangers - in that I wish I didn't care what they think. However, I do. Case in point:

1. A good-looking firefighter smiles at me today and I'm smiling back...for the next half hour.
2. A bus-driver singles me out for crossing in front of a bus (it was at a bus loop and I was at the crosswalk) and I feel chagrined the whole way home.

11pm

I really need to start going to bed at 11 o'clock. Not only do I need 9 hours of sleep, but I don't think straight after 11. It's not a good scene.

For Those Not On Facebook

Here is what my finished room looks like. Ta-da!!!!!



In unrelated news, for the first-ever time I checked to see how many facebook friends I have. And whether I had more than someone whose profile I'd just looked at.

I do.

Ewwwwww

I'm not sure which is grosser, that a mosquito that flew in my mouth and down my throat this morning or that it got stuck there and I coughed it back up five minutes later.

Finishing Touches

I went to Ikea this afternoon with some of my housemates. The hopes were high, as I anticipated picking up picture frames and curtains to finish off my freshly painted room. And I wasn't disappointed. Ikea, in all its consumeristic glory, sucked me in and had me wanting to buy things I have no intention of ever needing.

I limited myself to the task at hand - picking the perfect curtains and even finding an as-is picture frame for $6 (it was missing the backing, but could still be hung easily). Success! Or so I thought...

For the first time, I am disappointed with the quality of my Ikea purchases. My curtain rod was not only 2 inches too short for the existing bracket, but it rather easily slid completely apart, leaving me with two plastic ends, two metal rods, and a spacer on my floor. So my brand-new curtains could not be hung. And the picture frames? The set of 4 'invisible' frames are slightly smaller than 4x6, which means my pictures need to be trimmed to fit in them. No…

Degeneration

Bad habits I seem to have picked up over the summer:

Clenching my jaw when I'm stressed.
Cleaning infrequently due to the false belief that I will soon be gone anyway.
Cleptomania. Ok, not really. But it fit with the Cl- theme. (Yes, I know it actually is spelled with a K)
Shopping. I have incredible urges to buy things. All sorts of things, from music to T-shirts to Mini-Wheats (on sale at Safeway right now for $3.46 instead of $8 something!).

Actual Post

Today started out poorly and ended wonderfully. I wanted to cry and crawl in a small hole this morning. I did not want to do my job. I did not want to see anyone, let alone talk to anyone. Especially strangers.

So what happened? I got together with God and told Him how I was feeling. Essentially. And I was reminded that I believe in what I do. That I want to see lives transformed, and that I know that apart from Jesus, there is no such thing as satisfaction. I believe that university students will change the world - it's only a matter of whom they will change it for.

The smallest big thing of the day was the fact that it didn't rain. Not at all. The sky was, in fact, virtually cloud-free. A big change from the 100% chance of rain, heavy at times that I read earlier.

The biggest small thing was coming home and feeling like it was exactly that. Home.

Fun City

That's the unofficial name of the house I'm living in. Fun City - definitely going to be a good year.

Example: last week, Dan (one of the basement dwellers) tried to gift us with a horrible fleece pillow. He left it in our living room. We returned it. It came back. We threw it down the stairs. This morning, it was in our fridge. Tonight, we returned it...since they haven't found it yet, and may or may not read my blog, I won't spoil the surprise.

Wendy and I were watching some Remy when we saw Dan come up - he looked suspicious and we questioned him on what he was doing.

We don't want the dang pillow!

He laughed. Lynsey came out of her room. Andrew came upstairs...Lynsey checked the kitchen for us and started laughing. We went to look. No pillow. Instead...

That's right, Bo Someone-or-Other in Life-Size-Cardboard-Cutout style. What greater gift could we ask for?

Wendy wouldn't let us keep him. I'm okay with that, because I anticipate more laughs in the coming…

Dear Global TV

Dear GlobalTV,

In the arena of TV and politics, I am clueless. But this I know. You have picked up The Office this fall, and I am happy. Actually, I am counting down the days until the premier (exactly 28 as of today).

You are the only channel that we get with the bunny ears in our living room, and for a time, I feared that I would have to either start paying for cable (heaven forbid!) or watch episodes online and after the fact. This is far less enjoyable (and slightly less legal?) than watching it with the million other viewers.

Now, thanks to you, all my favourite shows - The Office, House, Numb3rs - are all on the same channel. And it's the one I get.

Usually, I prefer CTV to you. But you will be getting my business this fall. I hope that makes you happy.

Sincerely,
Beth in Vancouver

Tripping the Light Fantastic

I have an addiction.

It's not coffee. It's not drugs or alcohol or anything immoral.

It's a cheesy detective show from the 80's called Remington Steele.

Specifically, it is Pierce Brosnan as Mr. Remington Steele.

I may have mentioned this show before. I am not over it. Far from it. In all its predictable glory, it has sucked me in and is chewing me up. Wendy and I watched 3 consecutive episodes tonight (longer than a full-length movie) , and well-deserved emails to people I care about took a backseat. Whoops.

There is just something about him...he is impeccably dressed in three-piece suits with cuff-links and tie pins (he has somehow managed to mostly avoid the great pitfalls of 80's fashion that his co-star fell headlong into). He has a soft British accent. He throws out witty remarks (and uppercut punches) with great ease. He fights for the honour of the woman he loves. He flirts with the woman he loves, but refuses to take advantage of her when she is most vulnerable…

I Never Thought I'd Say This...

...but Facebook isn't half bad.

I met up with a friend from way back in kindergarten tonight. We got reconnected on Facebook a few weeks ago and grabbed a coffee tonight. It was good.

When I came home, my housemate commented that Facebook isn't so shallow. And I agreed. It's true that 9/10ths of the people who add me as friends never even say hello on my wall. But that one last person who does makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Plus, I'm always looking for another timewaster.

Why Love?

Given all the problems love can create, why do we keep longing for it? How many thousands of years will it take for us to learn? How many Romeos and Juliets need to lie dead on the floor before we’re willing to give up this perverse addiction? Oh, I know they weren’t real, but then again, is love? If evolution is our preferred understanding of the human story, why can’t we evolve ourselves out of this primal Achilles’ heel we know as love? And don’t give me this thing about the propagation of the species. Love isn’t necessary for reproduction – just sex is. All you need is attraction, not emotion…If intimacy is only about attraction, we could just keep lust and dispense with love.But it just won’t go away.from Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus

Dr. Jones, Dr. Jones...

In Guelph, I didn't really like my doctor. But since there aren't enough doctors to go around, I stuck with her.

In BC, there is a website of all the doctor's accepting new patients. After perusing the list, I pick one and call it, expecting I'll have to try five or six places before I find someone who is still open to new patients.

Not at all. First try = success! And I get an appointment for next Friday. Talk about fast. On a selfish side of things, I am pleased. A more globally aware perspective says that this sort of imbalance is not right or fair...

Shame on life for being this way.

Hurrah for having a new doctor. Hopefully she's good.

Yes.

Yes, I have blogskin ADD. I think I'll stick with this one for awhile. But maybe not.

Yes, I am painting my room. The doors are already done.

Yes, I am feeling much better.

Yes, I am tired.

Yes, our fruit fly problem is not solving itself.

Yes, I called Dell before my warranty expired and am getting yet another DVD drive.

Yes, I decided to extend my warranty, as it expires on Sunday and so far I've gotten 2 free DVD drives under it...

Yes, I have paint on me.

Yes, the weather was beautiful today.

And yes, I was inside working.

Phone & the Feast

An unexpected phone call from a friend is a pleasant surprise, although I'm notoriously bad on the phone if I have no planned course of conversation. Also, my head was pounding because I had to stand up to get the phone, so then I was concentrating on breathing deeply and not on what was being said.

Sorry, Jesskah. Next time I'll be a more fascinating phone friend.

I like Jesskah for many reasons. One, I don't remember how our friendship started. Two, she plays a mean euchre. Three, she is witty. Four, she is a thinker. Five, she not only thinks but says profound things.

In a blog about Jesus and what it means to "glean" she said,
Your most repulsive table scraps are my banquet.This is profound in my head, but I can't articulate quite why. I link it to the story of Ruth and how Boaz's leftovers were her bounty. In the same way, even the 'leftovers' in God's word give life beyond measure. And if that's true of the leftovers, just imagine the fe…

Not Cool

Two things that are not cool:

1. Blogger randomly destroying my template.

2. Being violently ill in the middle of the night.

However, because of #2 I have been able to find at least a temporary fix to problem #1.
I need to sleep now.

Question.

If you were packing and storing a gift certificate to a cafe called Death By Chocolate before you moved and went away for the summer, where would you put it in order that you could find it and use it with a friend at the end of the summer?

UPDATE: I found them!!!! Hurrah!!! They were in the card I was given. Thank goodness I keep these things in an organized fashion and could easily find it.

{Resolved: No more blogging during work hours.}

Time's Up

I am just about due for a serious post, after so many light-hearted and random entries. I try to balance it - no one likes a downer, but I do need to be honest with both the fun and the less-fun.
---
Yesterday, when I sat down to start my back-to-work time, I wanted to cry. I finally owned up to the stress and trepidation that I felt about this new school year and the changes that it holds. After a good chat with one of my roommates and a bit of prayer, I felt more confident. Today's staff meeting bolstered the excitement, as I realized how glad I am to have six people on our team (if only there was a guarantee that they would all be on campus for the entire semester!). A meeting later on was a mix of encouraging and frightening, as I was reminded of things I feel I failed in last year.

Although I don't avoid conflict nearly as much as I used to, I still find it incredibly hard. I embarked on two conflict-potential discussions today, and am nervous about the long-term results. In…

A Good Night

Tonight is a good night by virtue of the following things:

- The fridge is clean. It was disgusting. Now I can happily put my food on any of the shelves.
- The kitchen has been purged of pots from 15 years ago and food from 2 years ago. Perhaps this will deter the fruit flies.
- I have chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Mmmmm, cookies.
- I am watching Remington Steele with Wendy as soon as I finish writing this.
- My luggage is supposed to arrive any minute.

{The fact that it is 11:30 and I've just been informed that my luggage will not arrive until 1am is unfortunate. However, unless it is stolen off my porch in the middle of the night, I should wake up to a suitcase full of clean clothes. Which solves the issue of not having done laundry this evening...}

A Few Vital Things

I am back in BC. It was raining this morning. Surprise, surprise.

I'm almost done setting up my room, but I am missing a few important things. Namely, my wardrobe. 85% of my wearable clothes are in a suitcase that has run away from Air Canada. My hope is that I either get it back today, or never. Then they give me money to buy a new wardrobe. I am glad that I left a new pair of jeans here. And that my mom found some clean laundry that ended up in my carry-on.

I hope they call me before my phone battery dies. The charger is in the luggage.

In other news, here is a photo I came across from earlier in the summer. These are my feet happily enjoying luscious grass on campus in Colorado.

Get Out of My Head, Fergie!

I was telling some friends tonight (at Nadine's birthday dinner) about a song lyric that is stuck in my head and ridiculously pointless. Then I came home and went on YouTube to watch some Rhett and Link. And what do they sing? The same ridiculous song!

I do not miss my blanket. I don't think I did when I was a child. And I won't miss that song, when it gets out of my head.

Assorted Thoughts

I had a brilliant flash in my head of a blog/hypertext based on a box of assorted chocolates, with the title "Assorted Thoughts." It is ridiculously cool. I can picture the layout, how you click on a chocolate and get a little description card about the Lemon Creme that is actually a blog entry or segment of a story or something. There might even be two layers in the box.

Since I lack the time and the know-how to create such a masterpiece, I will list, in no particular order, some of the assorted thoughts that prompted one more never-to-be-completed idea.
All-You-Can-Eat Buffets (what other kinds are there these days??) are not a good investment for me. I can't eat a lot in one sitting. I prefer to eat every 2 hours instead. But if I pig out, my whole day is thrown off. I probably won't eat again.
Sherbet should not be a dessert. It should be medicine. When I eat too much at a buffet, nothing else makes my tummy feel slightly less engorged than a small (small) scoop of …

"The Runaways" by Anberlin

A great song about girls and the way we sometimes are. But don't fail to notice the very last stanza...

Come closer now
I know your desire is to be desired
Steal a kiss yet and call us friends
Distance is the thief in which you conspire

Turn and time and time will tell
Time will tell or tear us apart
You're miles and miles and miles away
Silence reveals where we really are

You only stand to break my heart
I can tell it by the way you runaway,
Runaway girl
You only stand to break my heart
I can tell it by the way you runaway,
Runaway girl
Runaway, runaway girl

It's clearer now
You're nowhere into giving
Giving into, giving into me
It's your fault
You're like a rare disease
I know you're in love
With love I believe

Turn and time and time will tell
Time will tell or tear us apart
You're miles and miles and miles away
Silence reveals where we really are

You only stand to break my heart
I can tell it by the way you runaway,
Runaway girl
You only stand to break my heart
I can tell it by t…

Ten Photos

In ten photos, our trip. Here are #s 1-5, in chronological order: