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Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 2 Discoveries of the Weekend

Who knew that Alanis Morissette wrote a song based on my life? I would encourage you to find a way to listen to it if you can. I find the music as beautiful as I find the words true.

Also, go here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgZ_tu8s5Wk&feature=related



"Everything" by Alanis Moriessette

I can be an asshole of the grandest kind.
I can withhold like it's going out of style.
I can be the moodiest baby
and you've never met anyone
who is as negative as I am sometimes.

I am the wisest woman you've ever met.
I am the kindest soul with whom you've connected.
I have the bravest heart that you've ever seen
and you've never met anyone
who's as positive as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part.
You see all my light and you love my dark.
You dig everything of which I'm ashamed.
There's not anything to which you can't relate
And you're still here.

I blame everyone else, not my own partaking.
My passive-aggressiveness can be devastating.
I'm terrified and mistrusting
and you've never met anyone as,
as closed down as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part.
You see all my light and you love my dark.
You dig everything of which I'm ashamed.
There's not anything to which you can't relate
and you're still here.

What I resist persists, and speaks louder than I know.
What I resist, you love, no matter how low or high I go.

I'm the funniest woman that you've ever known.
I'm the dullest woman that you've ever known.
I'm the most gorgeous woman that you've ever known.
And you've never met anyone
who is as everything as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part
You see all my light and you love my dark.
You dig everything of which I'm ashamed.
There's not anything to which you can't relate
and you're still here.




This is the only video I found that didn't cut out parts of the song.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Saw it at the Chanhassen tonight. My extended family went in celebration of my grandparent's 65th wedding anniversary. My review.....

Cast:

Narrator - Wonderful casting. She was extremely talented but you didn't really notice how good she was unless you thought about it which means she played her part perfectly - good enough to fill the second most major role without overplaying it to the point of distraction.

Joseph - I have to admit, I haven't been overly impressed with the Chan's leading male roles as of late. I saw Les Mis earlier this year and Jean Valjean utterly destroyed one of the most momentous moments in the play. Now, I understand that it is the Chanhassen and the standards to which I try to hold them may not be fair. I saw Joseph at the Orpheum with Patrick Cassidy and I could not help but compare the performances even though they are not intended to be comparable. Although I knew my hope that Donny Osmond would be making a special appearance at the Chan tonight was a long-shot, I was at least hoping that Joseph's character would help redeem my devastating experience with 24601. He did, for the most part. There were a few parts in "Close Every Door" that were a bit sketchy, but, overall, he performed well. He was a decent piece of eye candy, too, which didn't hurt. He was unnaturally hair-less which seemed to cause some uneasiness amongst the women at my table, but you've got to give the guy props for singing over half the show in his underwear (basically). It is an interesting show to watch if you know anything about proper musical breathing...Joseph does not wear a shirt for almost the entire performance and I found it quite intriguing to watch his stomach as he sang.

Gad - He was my favorite brother. That's all I really have to say about that.

The children from the audience - So, this was pretty cool.....two kids from the audience got drawn out of a hat and were a part of the whole show. There were two child actors in the show that basically led the audience kids around the entire time. They got to do quite a bit like pushing props across the stage that were part of the scene and whatnot. I really don't know how to explain it, but it was not nearly as cheesy as I thought it might be. The best part was that one of the kids that was chosen looked PETRIFIED the entire time. It was hilarious.

Pharaoh - His Elvis wig didn't cover the bottom of his hair in the back and that kind of bothered me, for whatever reason. He did the splits on stage, so you gotta give him props for that. But the one thing that will probably stick with me forever.....Pharaoh was wearing pasties. That's right. Pasties. He had teal, sparkling nipples. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to laugh or cry.


Themes:

Hmmm....this production doesn't "explore" themes in the same way that some other plays do. It simply retells the story of Joseph, although even in that endeavor it keeps itself fairly lighthearted. Although there are glimpses of ideas such as purpose, providence, family relations, temptation and forgiveness, these themes are not necessarily developed as the overall feeling of the show is kept fun and playful.


Presentation:

I have seen a fair number of shows at the Chanhassen and I have no reservations in saying that this is the best performance I have experienced there. As I said earlier, it does not compare to a show at a theater like the Orpheum or Ordway, but that is not necessarily the intention. For a Chan performance, I was quite impressed. The dancing was great. Costumes were...colorful.....and very fitting for the performance. The multi-colored coat was my favorite. The music....ah! the music....well, let's just say...I have had every word memorized for years and it was painful to not be able to sing along. I love the music and it is just that much better when performed live. One of the things I appreciate about Joseph is the variety in music, from French ballads to rock'n'roll, country-western to calypso. Genius.


Overall impression:
Enjoyed it immensely. Wicked is still my favorite show ever created and I don't imagine that changing anytime soon, but I would rank Joseph as a close second. I would have said that before tonight, but seeing the show again just confirmed/reminded me of how much I love the story and the music. Although I remember enjoying the show at the Orpheum, I saw it when I was quite a bit younger and I am not sure I had developed much of an appreciation for the theater arts at that time. Now my appreciation runs deep and the more shows I see, the more I respect the art. The good performances deepen my respect because they show me the powerful ways that music can speak to us, the depth of emotion we are able to feel as we catch glimpses of our lives in another's story, and the beauty of the art. The bad performances deepen my respect by reminding me that it is not "easy" to do theater well. I guess what I am trying to say is that if you have the chance to go see Joseph at the Chan.....or anywhere else......don't pass it up.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Top 11 Observations I Made this Weekend

That's right. Top 11.

Because
a) I am still slightly upset about evernorth and am rebelling by breaking the mold of the Top 5 lists,
b) I wanted to stay prime, and
c) I had 11 thoughts.


11) I rarely break eye contact when I listen and I rarely make it when I talk.

10) I love skiing.

9) Dunn Bros cooks an awesome breakfast.

8) My generalized fear of people greatly impedes my ability to pursue and invest in new friendships.

7) Most people don't like to read the books that I read for "fun."

6) I am a workhorse. I can pursue the completion of a project or work on mastering a new skill for nauseating lengths of time without experiencing any true feelings of boredom or frustration.

5) Now that I don't regularly wake up in the early morning hours, I have lost any kind of discipline for going to bed at a decent time.

4) I get downright giddy when I receive a hand-written letter in the mail.

3) Chair-lifts hurt when they hit you in the head. They hurt both your head and your pride.

2) I can sing Christmas carols without any sense of awe over what I am singing about.

1) As much as I may think that I prefer to "go it alone," life really is better when done with other people.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Skiing haiku

my first time skiing
scared i'll fall and break something
what a fool i'd be

first time ice skating
first time rollerblading
now first time skiing?

the shame would be great
if i broke another bone
on a "first time" fall

but it's for Christmas
and to spend time with my friends
so i will still go

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dear Jesus,

My heart hurts.

Would you please come and guard it for a while so I can try to get some sleep?

Thank you.

Love,
Eva Joy

Friday, December 7, 2007

"I am going to Seminary."

“Oh, really? What do you plan on doing with that?”

This is the question that people most frequently ask when they discover I am going to Seminary. I never quite know how to answer it.



I want to tell them about how much I love learning and the joy that I feel as I put my mind to use on issues with eternal significance.

I want to tell them about the weekend at work when two different nurses on different nights, both of whom I had never met before, opened up to me about deep losses in their lives after they learned that I was going to Seminary. One had lost her father just under 4 months ago and the other had lost a 22 month old child to a vaccine reaction. The first was using sexual fetishes to try to numb her pain; the other was desperately clinging to Jesus.

I want to tell them about the nights that I come home from class and lay awake for hours, my mind screaming over questions that anger and confuse me. And I want to tell them about the peace I feel in the morning when I realize that the point is not necessarily to answer the questions but rather to ask them.

I want to tell them about how skeptical I am of Christians who quickly throw out clich├ęs about feeling led this way or that yet how the only way I know how to describe how I ended up there is “by God’s leading.”

I want them to feel the peace I experience as I sit in class on Monday nights and the “high” I live off of for several days afterwards.

I want to tell them about my hope that Seminary will help me articulate my thoughts and beliefs so that when I meet my patients in times of crises or hear them say they don’t think life is worth living anymore, I can meet them in their pain instead of letting panic seize my heart.

I want to tell them about the connections I have made and the amazing people I have already met in just 15 short weeks.

I want to tell them about the provost who came over and asked me if I was okay after I cried my way through worship at the induction ceremony and the way his few caring words had a deeply healing effect on my spirit. That was the first moment that I felt assured I was in the right place.

I want them to see how big I smile when I walk into class on Monday and am greeted by my classmates.

I want to tell them about how the sacrifices that I have to make in my finances, time, and friendships challenge me to reassess my priorities daily.

I want to tell them about the responsibility I feel to use the mental capacities that I have been given to dig into the intricacies of my faith.

I want to tell them how much I enjoyed writing my first exegesis and how it was one of the most meaningful spiritual experiences I have had in months.

I want to tell them some of the side comments my professors have made that have pierced my soul with difficult challenges and deep encouragement.

I want to tell them about how hard and deep I have laughed on certain Monday nights, of the connection I feel with my classmates when Thorsten says “I am going to make a claim,” Chris instantly responds with “I disagree,” and no one can stop laughing for several minutes. I want to tell them about how fun it is to laugh at “intellectual” jokes that I would not have understood just a few weeks ago.

I want to tell them that their question is extremely American and that maybe I don’t want to use my degree for anything at all. Maybe I just want to be a better person. Or a different one, at least.

I want to tell them about the spiritual numbness that I have become all too familiar with and the hope I have that I will be broken.



But most people do not seem interested in giving their time and attention to such a list of reasons, so I usually stick with something more like,

“I don’t know why I am there, but I have a sense that it is leading to something much larger than I can even imagine right now.”

This seems to satisfy them, for the most part.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Reflections on a morning of Christmas shopping

I abhor shopping, mostly because I hate spending money and partially because I can be ridiculously indecisive at times about whether or not to purchase a particular item. This being the case, I typically shop by myself to avoid dragging others into my misery. However, when a friend of mine asked me to join her for a Christmas shopping extravaganza, I accepted, mostly because it seemed like a good excuse to spend time with her. Here are my thoughts on our four hour shopping experience:

1) You would think a snowy Thursday morning would be a convenient time to shop since everybody else would either be at work (because it is Thursday morning) or at home (because it is snowing). This is not true.

2) You would think that it would be easy to find snowpants in Minnesota in December. This is not true, either.

3) We made twelve stops altogether. Of the twelve times I started my car, it only refused to start twice. That is the best daily percentage that I have had in weeks.

4) I have been to Barnes and Noble three times in the last four days looking for five* different items, none of which they had. Lame.

5) The results of my Christmas shopping consisted mainly of snowpants, a pair of boots, and a half gallon of milk, none of which are actually presents for other people. This is mainly because I am making the present that I am giving to my family members (thanks for the inspiration, lh) and Rach and I decided that she and Linds and I were not exchanging gifts, we were just going to go skiing instead. So I didn't feel bad about it. But it did cause me to wonder why exactly I was going "Christmas shopping" in the first place.

6) It IS indeed more fun to shop with another person. At least it is when that person is as fun as Rach.

7) Part of the reason why I hate shopping is because I usually know EXACTLY what I want but I am unable to find it. Occasionally this happens because the thing doesn't actually exist. For example, I know exactly what Bible I want. I want an ESV with HaperCollins Study notes, 5.5"x8.5" thinline with a Chi-Rho on the front, specifically a Chi-Rho in the exact style like the one on the front of Kyle's journal (which is also the tattoo I would get if I ever got a tattoo, but I never will). Unfortunately, this Bible exists only in my mind and not in the real world. My hopes of it ever existing are slim-to-none since a) I have never seen a Bible with a Chi-Rho on the cover, b) a thinline Bible with study notes would not likely have text in a readable size, and c) the Haper Collins Study Bible is NRSV. So I usually just browse the Bibles and get annoyed that I can't find what I want. This happened today with my boots, as well. My mind created an image of exactly what I wanted, the difference being that I believe the boots I wanted DO exist in real life, but I was unable to find them.

8) The Great Harvest Bread Co is a great place for lunch.

9) I am getting really, really excited about the gift I am making for my family. I am also starting to get a little nervous that it might not get done in time for Christmas.


*One of these items was a Bible** which I also could not find at the Christian bookstore, so I do not feel I can hold that one against B&N.

** I was not looking for the Bible described in point #7.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Story of the Day

"Tired of knowing everything without ever being sure." -Storypeople.com


I love storypeople. If you know me, you know this is true. I get a "Story of the Day" from them, and this is what greeted me when I woke up this morning. How fitting after an enlightening and challenging Monday night at Seminary. If it came with a print, I think I would change the "Christmas order" that I put in with my sisters. But alas, it does not, so I shall just have to store it away in my brain for quiet reflection on a later date.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Media subsitutions

I never watch TV.

Never.

But when I woke up today, I figured I had better get an idea of what was going on with the winter storm since I would be venturing out in it to get to work.

After finding my remote and brushing off the dust, I started flipping through my ten channels looking for a news team that was covering the storm. In the process, I ran across a show about the Hawaii Ironman and the triathlete* in me got a little sidetracked. There were only about 7-8 minutes left, so I watched it until the end. It was mostly a bunch of feel-good stories about the hardships the athletes had gone through in their lives and the tremendous accomplishment of finishing the race. One man had lost both his legs in some sort of accident. When he crossed the finishline, the narrator said something along the lines of "Impossible? Not for so-and-so. It is no coincidence that moving from impossible to possible is done by removing two letters: I M. IronMan." Cut to the leg-less man, saying, "This is an accomlishment that will last forever." (enter echoing voice):"Last forever, last forever, last forever, last forever, last forever."

And....roll credits.

Next, I flipped to QVC to see if my aunt was working. I could tell the voice wasn't hers, but I didn't recognize whose it was so I waited for them to show the host to see if it was someone new. They were talking to a caller who was buying the blush they were selling and at one point the host (who I didn't recognize even after I saw her) said, "Well I am so glad that you are trying something new that can help you feel better about yourself."

I moved on to the news channel where the weatherman told me not to venture out unless absolutely necessary at which point I turned off my TV and left for work.

Two reflections on my 13 minute TV-watching experience:
1) I was saddened by the reminder of the substiutes being offered by our world: Faith in self instead of faith in God, temporal accomlishments** instead of eternal rewards, and self-worth found in a new blush instead of our identity in Christ.
2) I was reminded why I never watch TV.





*I realize I am more of a poser than an actual triathlete, but I recently decided that with the money that goes into the races and training, I have at least "bought" the title, if nothing else. Who knows. Someday I might still go hardcore. Someday.

**I do not mean to downplay the significance of accomplishments such as the Ironman. It is obviously something I have tremendous respect for, having dabbled in the triathlon world as an ameteur "sprinter." There are incredible spiritual lessons to be learned from such an experience which is part of what keeps drawing me back to my races. However, when the worth that we place in those accomlishments starts overshadowing things that acutally DO have eternal significance, we have a problem. That's all I'm saying.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Top 5 Worst Ice Cream Flavors Ever (yet to be) Created

5) Tuna Sourdough
'nuff said.

4) Jalapeno Holiday
A delectable blend of jalepenos and red hots. Creates a festive red and green dish perfect for serving during the holiday season although it has been shown to contribute to the increased fire-hazard during the winter months.

3) Seafood Splendor
A mixture of choice saltwater fish, lobster, orca and calamari. Melts in your mouth so that you feel like you are drinking chunky seawater.

2) Sweet Potato Surprise
Got a sweet tooth? Does something with "sweet" in the title sound like the perfect solution? That's what you would think, but....SURPRISE!

1) Lutefisk Lightning
Sends a shocking chill through your body making you feel like you have been struck by lightning.

Winter haiku

first snowfall this year
thoughts turn towards Christ's atonement
and getting to work

Friday, November 30, 2007

Gross

As I was coming into work tonight, I drove past Culver's and the sign said, "Tuna Sourdough." My first thought was, "That has to be one of the top 5 worst ice cream flavors ever created."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's complicated....

Many of my friends are (or have been) in relationships where "it's complicated." Heck, it's even a descriptive option on facebook. My question is....when is it NOT complicated? When was the last time you heard somebody say "It's easy. We communicate so perfectly that there has never been a misunderstanding. We agree on everything and wouldn't change a single thing about the other person. We have each other completely figured out and it is all smooth sailing from here."

Part of the beauty of relationships is that two people can spend a lifetime together and still not have each other "pegged." I am not even IN a relationship right now and yet "it's complicated." I have spent more time with myself over the last 23 years than anyone else has and I still haven't figured me out.

I am a homebody who wants to see the world. I am a pessimistic realist who can find a way to laugh about nearly everything. I am currently in Seminary and it is simultaneously the best and worst part of my life. StrengthsFinder tells me that I value harmony and fairness yet I live like an opinionated elitist. I have developed too many deep and meaningful friendships to adequately maintain them all yet I can't shake the feeling that people don't like me. I am a relatively cultured individual who clings to the simplicity of my small-town roots. I don't like to talk but once I get started I can go on for hours uninterrupted. I am a strong, confident woman who is scared of people in general. I am the reserved, quiet one who is a born story-teller. I prefer to live by myself and fear that I will be alone forever. I play 11 instruments but have never considered music one of my talents. I am a rule-oriented, left-brained person who loves art, photography, literature and theater. I am confident in decisions like buying a home and returning to school but I hate figuring out where to go for dinner. I like everything to be in its proper place but you would never guess it by looking at my desk.

So, you ask, "what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" (Mary Oliver)



Well, you see, it's complicated....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Give me 23 days

I may blog again. Where is this urge coming from? Well, thanks for asking. I am not entirely sure. My reasons may include (but are not limited to):

-The sudden and mysterious death of evernorth.net which has left me deeply saddened and bewildered. I suppose this blog is my form of a rebound relationship.

-Being back in school has fired up my creative writing capacities and I need an outlet.

-I recently returned to reading the blog of an old friend, discovered the blog of a new friend, and I continue to check lh's regularly as well. The humor and depth of thought on these three sites has inspired me to try to join the ranks of blogs that are worth reading.

-My dad always tells me I am a talented writer and I am determined to prove him wrong.

-My new night shift schedule allows me the most free-thought time between the hours of 0100-0400 and normal people are not awake to talk to/process ideas with at that time.





I am giving myself 23 days to decide if this is worthwhile.