Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why I Have Not Posted This Week

I am sitting in a quiet 1:1 at work. I am provided with ample time to update my blog yet find that I have little to say despite not having posted in over a week. When I reflect on my last week, I realize why there has been a dearth of posts:

1) The highlight of my week last week was buying a new paper shredder. Seriously. This exciting event took place on the same day that a dear friend of mine bought a house and another got a phone call from a certain member of the opposite gender. Needless to say, as far as "events" go, the week did not seem blog-worthy.

2) I spent the weekend at camp, which means a) I had limited access to the internet, and b) my thoughts surrounding my weekend seem too intimate to throw out on the world wide web. Generally speaking, I had an incredible weekend. Camp has this wonderful ability to put my life in perspective and provides a certain clarity of mind that I seem to lack when I get caught up in my normal routines. I also feel that I have healthier relationships at camp than I have ever had anywhere else and I was thankful for a weekend surrounded by godly, encouraging people. I am fully convinced that some of them love me deeply and that is not something I have consistently experienced elsewhere. That is all I am going to say about that. I could talk about the weekend for an extended period of time but, as I mentioned....not world wide web material.

3) The "highlight" of today was going to the dentist. I have not been to the dentist in over seven years, so I wasn't expecting it be "fun" but it ended up being on the verge of traumatic. I do not consider myself a wimp or a bad patient, but I felt like both this morning. It had been so long since my teeth were cleaned, they wanted to do a procedure they call "debridement" and then have me come back in a few weeks for an actual exam. I gagged four times while they were taking x-rays and I had tears rolling down my cheeks during the entire debridement process. Tender gums and a strong gag reflex do NOT make for a good dental patient. And I was so tense, besides. As the torture was nearing an end and the hygienist had already said, "The worst part is over" three times, she finally commented, "You just don't really relax, do you," to which I sweetly replied (after getting my mouth sucked out by the little sucker thing), "I'll relax when I get home and no one has their hands in my mouth." So now I go back in a few weeks for my actual exam and then if any work needs to be done, I'll go back one more time after that. Ick.

So, as you can see, life has been rather unremarkable as of late. When there's nothing more exciting to report than a new paper produces a stretch of blogging silence. Yet I managed to make a post out of it afterall.

Oh, one more thing.....the "Quote of the Day" on the flip-a-day calendar I made my family is, "Winter is nature's way of saying 'Up yours.'" Seemed quite fitting for the ridiculous drop in temperature combined with white-out blizzard conditions that we are experiencing here in southern MN.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Out-Of-State Contractors

My theory: Whoever decided to put stoplights at the bottom of steep hills in Minnesota didn't live in the state.

At least not in the winter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Of Mice and Men

Based on a true story.

Scene 1: A girl whom we will call Eva* arrives at her townhouse late Monday night after spending the day in the cities for Seminary. She calls her friend Rachel and begins a pleasant phone conversation while unloading her backpack.

Scene 2: It is approaching midnight. The friends are still conversing while Eva begins to toast an english muffin. Her attention is drawn to her island as she hears some rattling amongst her pots and pans.

Flashback: It is Monday morning. Eva is standing in the kitchen enjoying a bowl of Marshmallow Mateys before heading to the cities for the day when all of the sudden there is a startling clamor heard coming from her island. It sounds as though all of the pots and pans have fallen in an unfortunate sort of domino effect. Eva considers opening the cabinet to survey the damage but decides that taking the time to pick up her pots could make her late for her meeting. She leaves the house with the passing thought that the next time she opens the cupboard she needs to try to remember to be prepared to catch her cookware.

Scene 3 (present time): Thinking it strange that the pans would be shifting on their own in two different occasions that are a solid 14 hours apart from each other, Eva is now sitting on top of her counter, staring at the island, explaining to Rachel that she thinks there might be a mouse in her cupboard. She can hardly hear herself speak over the pounding of her own heartbeat. Rachel is alternating between laughing and offering practical advice such as taping the door shut and going to bed. Eva can't stand the thought of trying to fall asleep "knowing" there is a mouse in the house. As the discussion continues, Eva hears another noise coming from the island. It sounds like one of the lids is rocking back and forth for a stretch of time that would seem to require an outside force to be moving it. Her imagination envisions a Gus-ish type mouse standing on a lid surfboard-style and getting his kicks from rocking it back and forth. Rachel suggests opening the door and seeing if anything runs out.

Scene 4: Eva is now sitting on top of the island, broom in hand, trying to figure out how to open the door, man the broom, and hold the phone all at the same time. Rachel is bursting into more frequent bouts of laughter as Eva's laughter is waning, having been replaced by a more genuine feeling of fear and/or panic. Eva seems stuck on the thought of the mouse being loose in the house if she is unable to kill it with the broom. Rachel the Courageous Mouse Hunter offers to drive over and offer her mouse-hunting services. Eva gladly accepts.

Scene 5: It is now well past midnight and the girls are on top of the counters, ready to strike. Rachel is on the island preparing to fling the door open at Eva's command. She continues to be stricken by fits of laughter. Eva is sitting on the cupboard/stove opposite of Rachel and has traded in her broom for the quick-mop handle, minus the spongy attachment. Although it offers less surface area with which to strike the invading culprit, its hard, plastic body with its spiky bottom is almost certain to deliver a deadly blow. After a couple of practice jabs, Eva gives the word and the cupboard door is flung open.


Door #2 is opened a little more shyly.

Still no movement.

Eva attempts to remove the pans from the cupboard with the end of the mop-stick, but to no avail. After poking the handle in all of the reachable spaces, her feet finally touch the floor and she begins to empty the shelves by hand.

Scene 6: The girls have both returned to the ground, the cupboard is empty and there is no mouse. Not even any droppings. The cupboard is searched for possible entrance points (such as the holes from the electrical wiring) and none are found. With all fears put to rest, the cupboard is restocked and the mop handle is returned to its closet.

Scene 7: Several hours later, the girls are still sitting on the couch, enjoying their hot tea and ice cream. Their conversation has ranged from football playoffs to sermon critiques, and the mouse escapade quickly becomes a fading memory (or is it a repressed memory?). As the topic of boys was raised (only to melt away faster than the ice cream) Eva realized that this was the kind of night when she really could have benefited from having a man around. But then she remembered what the poorly-quoted Helen Roseveare once said: "At times I would think I was lonely and felt like I wanted a man who would love me, but then I would realize that all I really wanted was someone who would balance my checkbook and fix the broken leg on the dining room chair." "And," Eva would add, "kill the mice."

Scene 8: Eva is lying peacefully in bed. She is thankful for her courageous mouse-hunting friend and wishes Lindsay could have been around for the adventure. She still can not figure out what was causing all of the ruckus in her cupboards, but she finds it easier to live with mystery than to live with a mouse.

*Names have not been changed to ensure that you know exactly who I am talking about

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Cultural humor. Kind of.

I am currently reading a book that is assigned for one of my seminary classes on the Gospels. The book compares the social structures of Palestine in the time of Jesus to the social structures of the United States in the 21st century and discusses how the cultural gap contributes to Biblical illiteracy. In the chapter about kinship in the ancient Mediterranean world, I came across this sentence:

" 'Genealogy' is a particular type of 'list' (note also in the Bible: king list, administrative list, booty list, itinerary)."

I laughed outloud when I read the words "booty list."

This only serves to prove the authors' point.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Story of the Day

Maybe I don't want a Happy New Year, he said.
Maybe I want an intense New Year with a lot of growth experiences
& I had to admit I'd never thought of that

If you don't know what Storypeople are, that is unfortunate. I got four prints for Christmas which will soon be proudly displayed in my kitchen because that is where they will be seen the most by myself and others. You are welcome to come over and check them out while sharing a delicious cup of tea with me.