Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eve of an Eve

I could technically use my new planner I bought for 2010, since the 1st is on a Friday, and today and tomorrow are visible on the first page. But I'm not quite ready to let go of my old planner yet. We've been many places together, and I wouldn't change any of them. The past year and a half of my life is represented in that book. I could let it go today, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Today, as I was walking home, I passed by this certain pizza place down the block that has outdoor speakers that play the radio. Meat Loaf's "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad" was blaring, which definitely takes me back. I tend to go through phases of music. Like two years ago, I listened to the Eagles, and only the Eagles, for about two months. The songs just made sense, you know? In high school I had a Meat Loaf phase. I used to love to go on long drives, and I would listen to Bat Out of Hell from beginning to end (back in the day when gas was cheap!). I'd take the car, pick a direction and drive until I felt like turning around.

Certain songs just remind me of driving so much. Like "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. I used to listen to that song so much in the car.

Something I love about Meat Loaf's songs are they are all so epic. I mean epic! songs here. They all tell a story in this power ballad-esque fashion. So dramatic. Love it, love it. And have you ever seen the videos? I watched "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" online. Intense!

I am reading The Count of Monte Cristo for book club. This book is so compelling! And gripping. Parts of it I just read and read and can't put it down. We are reading the unabridged version, so getting through all of the obviously extra stuff has been a bit hard. Have definitely gone through a lull, so glad that's over. It's my brother's favorite book, and I can definitely see why. I'm nearly halfway through, so only 700 pages to read by Saturday (gasp!). I can do it.

The Bears won today. Woot!

I so enjoy listening to Pandora. I have a station called "Southern Comfort" and it always manages to play the most perfect songs. Yes, I did just say "most perfect."

I so want to learn to play the guitar. So I can play "Classical Gas" and have it sound absolutely amazing. In my dreams though.

Today's quote (can't believe I keep forgetting a quote!) will come from Mr. Aday:

"And some days I pray for silence/And some days I pray for soul/Some days I just pray to the god/Of sex and drums and rock and roll"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

British Period Pieces

Today is another sick day for me. As was yesterday and will be tomorrow. But no worries - I am going to make it. I need to slow down, I need to relax. And now I'm doing it. Last night I watched Gosford Park and today I watched A Room With a View. Both are absolutely fabulous movies. I'd never seen A Room With a View. You know how you can watch the first 30 seconds of a movie and know, just know right then and there, that you're going to love it. Bam. I knew it. "Love at first sight" style. It opens with a woman singing beautiful Italian opera, and the credits give not only the actor/actress but the character name as well. Works for me.

I love Gosford Park. Every time I watch it I learn something new. Probably because you're never really introduced to the characters, you're kind of just thrown into the mix, trying to figure out who is who.

I feel like it's still summer right now. I'm seated on the couch, reading the newspaper. A truck outside has it's radio on very loud so I can hear it. So far we've listened to:

"Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" by the Backstreet Boys
"You Make Me Wanna" by Usher
"Battlefield" by Jordin Sparks
"Hey Mr. DJ" by Rihanna

Classic stuff right there. Anyway, it feels like summer because it's still very nice outside, still got some blue sky. I have time to sit and read the paper in the afternoon. Nowhere to be, nowhere I need to go. So, so grateful I have a job where I can take a sick day (or two). If you know me, you know that is representative of some serious growth. Serious growth.

I have only felt like eating Spaghetti-Os for the past two days. I haven't eaten them in years. Like about ten years, no joke. They just sounded right today.

I have also consumed huge quantities of orange juice in the past four days as well. Every other time I'd rather just eat an orange, but not this time.

I don't get how everyone seems to be pulling Obama in two completely different directions. First, people are saying he's doing way too much, he needs to focus his energies on just a few key issues, and then people say he's not doing enough to address this (small) issue right here that absolutely needs to be dealt with. Qu'est-ce c'est? People, the man has been in office eight months. It takes time to undo eight years of someone else. Plus the world's problems are compounding and collapsing on him all at once. Every issue is critical or every issue is secondary. Pick one.

I never before realized how often I start sentences with some variation of "I read this article in the paper..." until someone pointed it out to me. True. I read the paper every day. I absolutely love it. I'm trying to get the Bible to be that routine as well. But I just love reading the paper. And I love reading the paper I currently subscribe to as well (for over a year now). I think everyone should read the paper. I'm such an old person sometimes.

But seriously, I read this article in the paper just now about civility and how our society is often lacking in it. Couldn't agree more. Of course, I manage to be a walking contradiction of both bluntness and old-fashioned-ness (perhaps balance or harmony would be a better word here?) but I do believe in telling the truth with grace. Putting a pink flamingo in your yard is an acceptable level of tackiness. Grabbing the mike from Taylor Swift is not.

Must be off now. I'm sure there's some medicine I need to be taking right now.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Football Season

Something else I love about fall - FOOTBALL! I know I already mentioned this, but I do love watching football. Sunday night, here I am, watching the Bears take on the Packers. Great rivalry. My team had better do well. The Redskins have already lost today, so lets go Bears!

I could hardly believe today when I looked out the window at 7:45 PM that it was already pitch black out. Whoa. Fall is definitely here when the sun sets before eight. Something so exciting about the crispness in the air. You can smell cold, I firmly believe this. I think it smells pretty good.

I have been hacking up my lungs for a while now, so I am definitely heading to the doctor tomorrow. Thank You God that I don't have work tomorrow. You know how much I hate the doctor's office.

Woot! Green Bay just missed a field goal.

T is always asking me why I say "woot." I think I go thru phases of phases. "Woot," "Fabulous," I have my catch-phrases. That's fair.

Dunkin' Donuts finally re-opened, and there was definitely a long, long line. So funny.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dunkin' Riots

My neighborhood has a lot of old people. I love old people. They have their habits and their routines (Monday is post office day, Tuesday is grocery shopping day, etc.). Now, our local Dunkin' Donuts is the hangout for the over 65 crowd. A few weeks ago, they closed the DD for renovations. They put a sign in the window saying when it would reopen. I remember walking by the window, checking out how the construction was going and thinking to myself "there's absolutely no way they're going to finish on time." Sure enough, when that original re-opening day came around, another sign was put up with a new date. This continued for about two weeks. Now they just have a sign in the window saying "Tomorrow." Quite creative.

I've noticed the DD regulars have been hovering around the store, bickering about its closure. I'm ready for one of them to throw a cane through the window.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The First Day of Fall

Many a journal entry and short story has been written by me about the first day of fall. It rarely falls on September 22 (or whenever the "official" start is), but rather it begins whenever I notice something "fall-ish" happening. Today T and I played baseball in the park for a couple of hours. When I was in middle school, I wrote a short story about the first day of fall, and it involved me playing softball in the yard with my mom. Something about sports and autumn in my mind are linked, as I am also watching the first NFL game of the season right now (Tennessee v. Pittsburgh, eh, don't mind who wins).

I've been wanting to write another blog since about March (my last entry) I'm sure. I love to blog and journal, and I will think during the day "oh, I want to write this down" but for some reason I don't. Hazard of not working around a computer all day long - which I absolutely LOVE! I could never work in an office or at a desk. Never. Would lose it pretty quickly.

Since March, so much has happened. Attempting to catch up.

Stopped nannying for K and L at the end of May. Still miss them.

Nannied for A and T during June.

Another summer at camp. I absolutely love being a camp counselor. Another year of four-year-old boys. There is something just magical about four-year-olds. I think it's the best year ever. Old enough to be aware of the world around them (not always true for three-year-olds) and young enough to not be in school yet and still be very attached to adults. Probably speaking from my own growth, but I loved this year so much more than last. I felt so much more aware of myself and of my boys and of my co-counselors. I could set boundaries with people I needed to set boundaries with. I could love my kids in a good way. Overall it was a fabulous experience. I love my job.

Nannied for K for two weeks. Forgot how exhausting yet rewarding it is to spend the day with her. Our last day together was magical. We spent most of the day at the park. I love the park by her house. So many kids, so diverse. There's this one family of boys that is there all the time. Their grandmother watches them, this overweight, heavily tattooed, deep-voiced woman whom I aspire to be one day. Always wearing a tank top. She plays poker with two of her friends on this certain picnic bench, she has a cooler full of drinks and a picnic basket full of snacks and she isn't afraid to yell at her grandkids AND their friends. Anyway, K and I watched this man attempt to rescue his blow-up rocket ship from up in a tree. It was waaaay up there in the tree, and at first he tried to throw a soccer ball at it. Then he got creative and filled up a water bottle halfway with water and tied a string to the cap, then spent almost 45 minutes throwing this bottle up, trying to shake the limb the rocket clung to. It was amazing. K sat on my shoulders for a while, both of us watching. We made friends with a six-year-old boy, and he and K played together for nearly an hour, running around together. It was absolutely adorable, totally love and first sight.

We also spent one afternoon at a birthday party, and did you know there are houses in Greenpoint with legit backyards? It was amazing. Just like being anywhere else in the country.

I have applied to Teach for America, and I made past the application round to the phone interview round. I am so excited! I am more than excited. I am full of a deep joy that can only spring from my Savior and my God. Only from Him. I m so intensely desirous of this opportunity, this moment, I can hardly justify any attempt to put it into words (yet here I go again). I want this so badly. So, so badly. Everything about this makes sense, it makes sense on some level I cannot even know or understand. I want to do this. Not for me, but for these children. These children deserve something better than what they're getting. I plan on becoming a teacher no matter what TFA decides. If they don't select me, that's not going to stop this epic quest to become a teacher. But I really do want TFA. I want to work in the rural South - that would absolutely be my first choice. Rural regions are so ignored. Urban poverty is broadcast everywhere. It makes the news. People want to help because they want to live in those areas anyway. No one wants to move to the middle of nowhere. But I do. Not that that desire makes me better or more capable or more ready, not at all. I am still a weak, flawed human vessel. Why the good Lord would choose to use me or work through me, I still have absolutely no idea. I wouldn't choose me. I know I'm going to fail. Any successes I do have are all His anyway. So why do I do this? Because my God has called me here. He has said to me "Be My hands and feet here on earth." Just like what He said to Peter in John 21: "Feed My sheep."

I have started nannying for T and A this week. Absolutely love these two kids, but they can definitely be a handful (as all kids can be). T and I have spent the last two days together, as A is in school now. He's been asking me lots of questions about death and God and Heaven. I am a bit stuck at how to answer these questions. I tell him that God loves him so, so much, that God knows him very, very well, that he can talk to God whenever he wants and ask Him anything at all. T is just going thru a "death phase" right now I guess. I'm trying to tell him the truth, and honestly he's looking for comfort right now. He asks if his mom will be in Heaven. What can I say? I have no idea. I tell him yes, of course she will be. I tell him that all of his family will be there. Then, this evening, he tells his mom what he learned about Heaven today, and she gives the perfect response for who she is. She says that Heaven, like religion, is up to the individual person, that people have different beliefs, that no one knows for sure, etc. Typical post-modern, culturally Jewish thing to say. I am silently screaming next to her, wanting to yell "Give him some hope! That's what he's really asking for!" It's amazing that to this young child, concepts like "heaven" and "God" totally and innately make sense. He can take them as a given. What an example of child-like faith. I totally don't have this. I ask God all the time to explain Himself to me. Like the end of Romans 11, "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?" I just want to be able to start with God and go from there.

I have been reading the TFA blogs, and I am totally obsessed. I love reading those blogs, thinking to myself "Yes! That is absolutely what teaching is like!" I am so not ready. I know this because I feel ready. Which means I am so unprepared.

I have watched the first four episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 on Netflix. The original. Circa 1990. Oh yeah.

I plan on blogging more often now. Epic entries will of course still be included. Quote for the day:

"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I am still waiting to hear back from City Year. I am having a heck of a time with one of my references, so of course I feel like a flake. Plus the people at the office have been so patient with me about all of this paperwork and such. I really, really want to do this. I've been praying over the last couple of days for a renewed sense of desire for what God wants. Where is His heart in what I am doing? What does He care about? What does He like?

Today has been a really good day. Excellent. So was yesterday. K and I had a great day together, playing at Mamalu's and reading fairy tales when we got home. I love walking from their house to the B61 bus stop in the evenings. I take a long route there, and it's during the early evening when the sun is setting. It is so beautiful. I really love Williamsburg and Greenpoint. And I especially love not taking the L train. I'd always rather take the bus. So much more to see.

I've gotten into this TV show Jericho. It was a show about a town in Kansas dealing with a nuclear attack that destroyed 23 American cities. One of those post-apocalyptic shows. It only lasted for 29 episodes, but it was such an incredible show. I never watched it when it was actually on TV, just over the last couple of months on Netflix. I think I got started in November or December. Anyway, I finally watched the finale last night. Fantastic. Loved it. The thing I love about this show (among other things) is how it is structured. I find incredible parallels between the show and the Gospel. The first season was all about rebuilding Jericho and what that looked like, about getting a town put back together and getting it right again. Season two was about foreign attacks, dealing with outside influences, maintaining wholeness found. If my heart is not right towards God, I cannot fully love other people. Like this quote in Boundaries I keeping coming back to: "To know what to ask for, we have to be in touch with who we really are and what are our real motives." So, so true. Two separate things are going in: God is fixing individuals and God is fixing His creation. God heals us for a purpose. The healing is not in and of itself the final end, but rather it is a part of the ending, a part of the final redemption.

Also, I am so struck by the incredible passion in the show for the redemption of the world, for the full truth to be told and to be known, for a rebuilding. I know I am not passionate about God's kingdom, not as passionate as I should be. I am too inward looking, to self-centered, to me-focused. I hate it. I need to look up more. I need to look at my Creator and His mercy and grace as much as I consider my own failure and sin.

Yet again, I feel like I cannot convey what I am actually trying to say. I feel like I am so poetic in my own head, but that's because I don't have to communicate with real words. Sometimes a feeling is enough. I wish I could play the guitar, so my fingers could strum out a melody that my mouth could never put words to. It would be exactly what I am feeling right now.

Speaking of feeling right now, I am in general so excited about the future! I'm not sure why, only because I know a God who brings delight and who has promised hope and a future for all of us. And the best part is He knows me and will never forget me nor look past me. I still think this is absolutely incredible. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry has to miss the softball game because of a funeral. George is trying to talk Jerry out of feeling guilty about not going to the funeral and says to him "If you're a spirit, and you can travel to other dimensions and galaxies, and find out the mysteries of the universe, you think she's going to want to hang around Drexler's funeral home on Ocean Parkway?"

If I was the God of the universe, would I care so much about this one planet in this one galaxy? And these people who lived and died on it? It's like me now taking an equal interest in every single ant that's existed ever on this planet. What?! Crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy how much God loves us. I guess all of this connects back to John Piper's Desiring God. If God truly was the best thing in the universe, He could not be a good God if He did not offer Himself to us. Something like that. Part of that.

Once again, I am thinking of moving to New Orleans. I'm going to apply in October for Teach for America and Teach NOLA, as well as NYC Teaching Fellows and Mississippi Teachers Corps. I know I want to be a teacher. God has definitely been growing in me a heart for New Orleans for a long time. Who knows. He does.

I just felt like writing a bit in the journal. Not a whole lot to say. Pretty content with life right now. In love with Jesus, but only, only because He was in love with me first.

Quote for the day will come from Jericho:

"It's not about convincing one man he's wrong. It's a whole system."
"You think it's impossible? This has all happened before. If the names weren't Jennings & Rall, it would be names like the British East India Trading Company. If it wasn't Ravenwood, it would be the Hessian mercenaries. It all comes down to the same thing..."