March 19, 2009

From Whence Does Tragedy Come?

With Spring Break comes the annual youth group ski trip to Colorado. I opted out, not being a great fan of the sport. Everything was going great, they were having a blast.

Then on Monday, March 16, 2009, all of us back home were horrified as the news spread of a crash on the slopes, and one of our sisters in critical condition. 15 year old Jessie is now fighting for her life in Grand Junction, Colorado, after sustaining serious wounds to the head. The skiiers came back in shock, and the rest of us weren't far behind.

For me it's a time of frustration and anger. Frustration because she's far away fighting for life, and all I can do is pray for her. Anger because every time these groups go to ski, they come back injured and broken. Besides Jessie, other injuries included a torn ACL, a damaged knee, a punctured abdomen, and numerous others, not including one terrible back injury last year.

It can't be worth it - no matter what you say, it can't be worth it when teenagers are coming home in ambulances.

These times are reminiscent of Colin Phillips' accident and the death of Rachel Barger in 2005. I am however much closer to Jessie than I was to either Colin or Rachel.

In all of these crises, the amount of confusion and aprehension are only surpassed by the incredible power of the body of Christ coming together when one of our sisters has fallen down. There are now more than 1800 [see footnote] members in a Facebook group created for her, with hundreds joining every day. Emergency prayer vigils have been organized, and the power behind this network is startling.

The speed with which FaceBook and group texting spreads news and updates is also startling.

God WILL be glorified, whatever the outcome. If Jessie makes a full recovery in two weeks, we will praise Him for His miraculous healing power. If Jessie continues to fight this battle for years to come, or worse, we will praise him for the beautiful girl we all knew, for His guidance and presence throughout, and perhaps we will be able to show our savior to the world in the process.

He has not and will never abandon our Jessie. He loves her more than any one of us. Maybe he misses her so much that he has planned to bring her home to stay, and maybe he has much more for her to do here on earth. Either way she is in the capable and perfect hands of a great and mighty God.

God didn't promise days without pain,
laughter without sorrow,
sun without rain,

But he did promise strength for the day,
comfort for the tears,
and light for the way.

Edit: As of 3-21-09, the FaceBook group has 3,155 members

As of 3-23-09, 5,008 members

As of 3-25-09, 5,807 members

As of 3-27-09, 6,487

As of 4-1-09, 7,380

March 15, 2009

The day of the senior picture shoot! It did in fact come. It was glorious.

We set out for the ghetto to get some urban/grunge shots. The effect was lovely, but shirtless people kept driving by and honking. Ew.

Our ballet shots were....difficult. I was trying to dance on old broken down pointe shoes, on rocks and chunks of glass and random underwear strewn about. Not that I'm too great of a dancer, or too great of a model to begin with. Two complexes all rolled together....

At our next stop, an old abandoned mission building downtown, we pulled in just ahead of another suburban - another photographer and a senior girl out on a similar mission. Interesting incident. There were no honking people here, and no underwear, but there were hobos. It was great.

We wandered around to the next building, where we just made ourselves at home on the porch of a coffee shop. Kayla had written 2009 on my bare feet, which were then propped up on the table with careless nonchalance. The idea was to get them in focus, and me a little blurrier in the background, blowing big pink bubbles.

The most immediate problems that presented themselves were my incredibly ticklish feet, and my inability blow bubbles. We got through the tickly Sharpie business alright, though I did do some necessary squealing and shrieking. The bubble blowing....well, all the ones I could get peaked at about golf ball size. Kind of pitiful, but you do what you can.

We got back to her house after a good three hours of shooting, to find my car....slightly less whole than it was when we left it. The neighbor apparently has a few backing issues - that were taken out on my drivers side door and front fender. Darn.

Well, blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. Oh, the irony. Just another story to tell....

March 13, 2009

Me - The New Hawaiin Smock Dealer

The shortest distance between two points
is always under construction. ~Noelie Altito

A tree never hits an automobile
except in self defense. ~American Proverb

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits
are objects of scorn to smart Americans who
blow horns to break up traffic jams. ~Mary Ellen Kelly

Any man who can drive safely
while kissing a pretty girl
is simply not giving the kiss
the attention it deserves. ~Albert Einstein

We trooped down to the Driver's License place today -- DPS? DOT? DMV? -- to get things updated. I am now the happy possessor of an unrestricted license, meaning I can now drive at any hour of the day, and carry as many distracting passengers as I please. wOoT

It was, as always drudgery in that office. Wild ideas start coming into your head, like - somebody really needs to stand up and announce a game of musical chairs, or whip out Catch Phrase or Mad Gab, or even hangman. Maybe it would even be sufficient to have a group of people standing at the door to greet people as they came it. We could pass out tropical leis and name tags:

I can only imagine what would happen if those examiners came into the waiting room to find 30 previously subordinate serfs in a big circle, wearing bright hawaiian print smocks and floppy hats, laughing happily and playing party games. They would, likely as not, order us all out immediately or arrest us for disturbing the mortuary. Political prisoners.

Makes you really want to go out and start purchasing hawaiian print smocks in bulk.

I did escape the office for a little while to walk around outside. I observed construction workers smashing discarded glass doors with bricks (more of that having-too-much-fun-for-their-own-good business), and nearly got run over chasing a button from my sweater that fell into the street.

My license picture was actually an improvement over the restricted version, even though I made the bad decision to make it hair experiment day, and this particular experiment will now be forever preserved.

The unrestricted license is just in time for me to legally drive myself to the bowling alley this evening to party for the majority of the night. The only on-time blessing the DPS ever gave me.

March 7, 2009

You will notice one missing - sadly there are no pictures of her anywhere on the planet. Logically put, none to upload here.

March 5, 2009

New Feature
I would like to draw your attention to the status update section I have recently added to the top of my sidebar. As you can see, these are little announcements as to what I'm doing, or what messes I'm making, or what I'm thinking about at the moment. The goal being for me to update it at least once a day.

Vocal Chord Update

I am happy to report that my throat feels infinitely better and there seems to be no lasting damage to my vocal chords. I shall now endeavor not to treat those chords so badly in the future.

I'm not actually very good at stealth operations
Alright, so yesterday I was sneaking down the hall during naptime. I was feeling like a spy because so far I was getting by without being heard...I could hear Philip singing to himself

...and on that farm he had a pig, E-I-E-I-O
with a moo moo here and a moo moo there...

Then, alas. Ninja fail. I made a semi loud noise and the E-I-E-I-O's stopped. Philip called out very carefully -- "who is der?" His counterpart in crime, also not sleeping, called back from across the hall "don't you know! that noise is you!" This confused him and I thought my ninja identity would be saved. "it was me?"

"yes! it was your crib. it makes that squeaky noise."
"oh. dat's okay. it was my crib make dat noise."

Kind of like Marlin from Finding Nemo convincing the forgetful Dory that he was the voice of her conscience....ha.

Counting Down the Days
Perhaps you are not so aware as I am myself, but it is
50 days till choir tour
65 days till prom
79 days till graduation

The prom obsessing has already began. People are already making limo and dinner reservations...I'm not saying I don't already have the dress and I'm not going to deny occasionally thinking about it, but it still seems like such a long time till prom to be making such a fuss about it. :-)

March 3, 2009

Good morning to you all. Can you believe its March already? Well, I can't, not really.

My first item of interest is that I have possibly bruised my vocal chords. Maybe? I really don't know, it's an odd feeling. I was sort of not doing healthy things to my voice yesterday and they have been not-so-subtly getting back at me for it today. I'm definitely not going to sing anymore for a few days...ikkkk.

After choir today (yeah, with the whole vocal chords thing, it was painful) I went to eat with some friends. We were waiting in line to order at Chick-Fil-A, when this elderly gentleman came up to us and said "Did you know a man once fell into a bubble gum vat. Do you know what happened to him?" *insert blank stares from all of us* "His boss chewed him out!!!"

Definitely the weirdest encounter ever.

I'm laughing more now than I was at the time...cause it took us all by surprise. Ah, interesting times.

That's it, ya know. Buenos tardes.

March 2, 2009

February 27, 2009

Recently I was enjoying a half hour or so alone in the house, happily creating some dinner. I was making good use of the broiler when I got in too much of a hurry and grabbed the oven element instead of the cookie sheet. Whoops. You will be glad to know I was not injured in any way, but the pot holder was seared nearly all the way through. And -- it smelled of burnt marshmallows. Yummy.

As you know, last Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent. I attended a lovely Ash Wednesday service alone, which is always best for those sorts of services. As you can see, I rather like to be alone.

I have given up sweets, desserts, and other foods subjectively deemed to contain too much sugar. This is sad for me, but a great time to exercise devotion. It's also a good time to devote my time to exercise, which should theoretically couple with the no sugar and possibly result in a smaller waistline?

Happy fasting....

Psalm of Confession for Lent: Psalm 51:1-17

February 26, 2009

Another original


Standing from a distance
You look so very tall
But way up close you seem to me
Like you feel very small

No matter what you're going through
I'll love you just the same
I know how much life hurts right now
It isn't you I blame.

You need to know I believe in you
And I know what you can be
Life might not be so difficult
If you wouldn't fight it so desperately

You know I have to leave you now
It's time for me to go
I've waited here for you too long
And what have I to show
Life doesn't wait for anyone
I pray peace one day you know

February 21, 2009

Hope you can read this. Hahahaha, it was humorous to me.

Tale of an impatient two year old
Philip marched up to the librarian this morning, who was preoccupied with another job. He slammed his book on the counter and demanded "Type us in NOW!"

What can you be thinking, that newly abandoned child doesn't belong to me....

The only fan of a slightly obscure sci-fi show
Recently my Facebook status was a quote from 3rd Rock From The Sun. It said
"Stupid, STUPID alien! I do irrational, often annoying things for LOVE!"

This is a quote by John Lithgow's character Dick. Well, apparently no one else caught my reference. I had all these messages reassuring me that I wasn't stupid, telling me I was stupid...and one kind friend thought I was having some sort of relationship breakdown. *sigh* Just a happy quote, friends...

The Urge To Scrapbook
So, I have the great urge to scrapbook. Namely, to create digital scrapbook pages to print off my own 2008 choir tour scrapbook. Both sets of my grandparents have their own copy of this...and yet, I don't. Weird. Besides this weirdness, I want to redo them for a different page size and mess around with the content for my own copy.

Volunteer Work
This morning me, my father, and various other siblings participated in our church's monthly work day. I met my bestie beforehand at IHOP...we managed to pull in at the same time in spaces right next to each other, and get out to find we were wearing matching clothes. That's special right there. The rest of the morning we painted and worked in a food pantry. And daddy patched a wall. I never before realized how many brands of green beans there were.

Book Worms
This weekend is the annual book fair at the expo center. Let me tell you, it is a madhouse in there. Thousands of people almost pushing each other to rifle through stacks of maddenly unsorted books of every possible variety. Well, they're sorted by category. Tired spouses and bored children left to stand guard over piles and piles of books. Besides the old cloth bound pieces of literature, these books can be had 24/7 at the library for free. I wonder why these people get so excited.

They had an entertaining loudspeaker at least. It was announced that if the named party does not go out front immediately it will be necessary to call a taxi...and that we know such and such is not lost, but their poor friend is, and will they come find her at the information desk...and will Sam and Dick the Yin Twins please show themselves...odd.

February 20, 2009

Speaking Up For The Unborn

Oklahoma City made national news this week when a man was pulled over for having an anti-Obama sign displayed on his truck. The sign was confiscated and the Secret Service were called in to investigate a possible "threat" to Obama's life. The sign read "Abort Obama, Not The Unborn." The technicality being debated is the definition of the word "abort." The officers claim that the word abort means to kill. Thus...they're worried about the man wanting to kill Obama. To quote columnist Jill Stanek: "This just goes to show everyone innately knows what the word 'abortion' really means." You know it.

Here is a link to the full story.

I understand that the police and Secret Service must do their job and investigate possible threats. Inciting violence is a crime, but that wasn't this man's point. The word abort was used because it is the word used for unborn babies and his point was Obama should be impeached.

February 17, 2009

I would like to start by mentioning that we have just passed the third anniversary of the creation of this blog. Huzzah.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
3/4 cup artificially sweetened nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/2 fresh or canned fruit (suggestion: blackberries, strawberries, pineapple)
Whipped Cream
Chocolate Chips

You know how delicious that sounds. Yes you do.

Oh the frustration of these past few days. Sitting on the sidelines during ballet because she's broken the recital piece into little groups of people and she's decided the whole class period will be used to choreograph everyone else's bits. And not too many other people doing much because they are also standing around while she choreographs on the spot.

If you are interested, this is the music selection for the recital:

Advanced Ballet:
"Aria (Cantilena)"
Composed by Hector Villo-Lobos

"It Had To Be You"
Michael Buble
There was no version of Michael on YouTube, and no acceptable cover.

We have some new pieces added to our choir repertoire - one of them a Sunday School medley. Jesus Loves Me, Do Lord, The B-I-B-L-E...It's ridiculous. Completely impossible that a grown person would try and make a high school choir sing If You're Happy And You Know it in public. In one concert - our entire social lives evaporated. Like magic.

February 12, 2009

The Lightning Bolt Poem

Hahaha, so, I found this poem in my desk today. It must have been from quite a while ago - I barely have any memory of it. I certainly don't remember what I wrote it about. But -- it made me laugh. Funny tense to write a poem in...

You wait in the hall and take one last breath
It must be now or never, freedom or death.
You take up your purse, put on that last glove,
You wait for a lightning bolt sent from above.

No lightning bolt comes, and so with a sigh
You take a step nearer, sure you will die.
That little steel room contains your worst fear -
I shan't be surprised if you never reappear.

February 9, 2009

This past weekend, as I said previously, I went on a Confirmation retreat as a student leader. We started having fun times nearly as soon as we left. Our bus driver was speeding along (in the ballpark of 70mph on a two lane highway in the dark) and we passed right by the turn. So, he's not allowed to back up on highways, basically meaning the bus can only go forwards and therefore we spent a loooong time wandering around county roads before we got turned around. The driver was all defensive and exclaimed "Did you just not realize I didn't know where I was going???"

It was certainly a fun, if exhausting weekend. Leaders are kept busy. I missed out on my small group's hike to the cross as us thirteen high schoolers were locked in Miller Hall banging our heads against the wall. We were left without adult supervision with the simple mission of putting together a skit for evening worship. You just try containing 13 ADHD and argumentative teenagers...

I actually think we should have made a documentary of it. At one point we had some guy banging on the drums, another trying to smash everything in sight with a soccer ball, and the other eleven all rushing around yelling at no one in particular.

The first thing we did was decide on the guy that would play Jesus and I'm pretty sure that was the only thing we ever agreed on. In the end, we just ended up doing the Lifehouse is the original skit, courtesy of YouTube, currently boasting nearly 9 million hits.

Ours was significantly less polished and we needed serious coordination with the different sins and temptations, but it ended up really working, and I think everyone really got it. Towards the end, when you see everyone fighting Jesus, we went a little nuts. It was mayhem, and I got a few good whacks in the process. No fear, I'm sure I punched at least my fair share of people as well. We are hoping a tape of our skit will soon be available on YouTube. :-D

Late late that night we had one last element for the kids in the woods. We took them around in the dark, reading scripture, smashing clay pots with crowbars, and lighting things on fire. It was cool. You don't probably get a good idea of what was going on from that description, but that was sort of the point. Haha.

Sunday I got back just in time for my Quartz audition. So. Blasted. Nervous. The tonal memory excercises seemed much easier than last year, but then again time tends to warp my memory of such things. I screwed up a few things but mostly did quite well. The sight reading was the best part of the whole audition. I got 90 whole seconds to make whatever noise I wanted, unlike last year's unfortunate goof. I could've lept for joy when I saw the music - 4/4 time, F major, nearly all steps and two sol-do jumps. Hallelujah indeed! Nailed it. BAM. I wasn't thrilled with the audition as a whole, but I did okay.

We don't submit resumes or supplementary paragraphs this year, which makes me nervous because those are two things I think strongly helped my acceptance last year...eek. I still haven't been able to calm down about it, even though its over and nothing I can do now will affect it. Now I just have to wait till April. Drat it all.

Back to chemistry and other normal occurances. Back from camp, I get significantly more sleep and cleaner, hotter showers....

February 5, 2009

I got a little hyperlink happy....

Last weekend we actually went on two college visits. Yes. It was January of my senior year before we went on a single one. All the overachiever sophomores who have visited every college in the state and five more around the country now have license to gloat.

So, I started out leaning heavily towards OSU. For no logical reason, just predisposed bias. We toured OU first, and I was pretty impressed. They had telephone booths!!!!! I could go there every day and pretend to be Rose Tyler....except, of course, Tardis is a blue police call box and not a red telephone booth.

There was somebody in the cafeteria playing Disney songs on the community piano, that was nice. The old library was also awesome. They smooshed seven layers of library into a four story height, which means the ceiling of each was only just high enough for me to walk into. The floors were separated only by cemented glass blocks. My cousin Joe would have to do a log roll to get from one side to the other. Not sure he could even crawl through on hands and knees. :-D Love you Joe.

After getting back from OU, I spent a good part of the night hanging with choir friends. We ate a whole lot of pasta, and read letters Brittany's dad had sent her mom while he was still in India. Bryan tased himself until he collapsed, after which the taser was taken away. Ha.

Our OSU visit the next morning was a little crazy. We went on one of those mongo group tour days. It wasn't really what I expected, and I was more than a little underimpressed. Wait, that's a terrible sentence. More-Little-Underimpressed...contradictory. Anyway, we still have more colleges to visit so the race isn't over yet.

This weekend I'm heading out of town to a retreat with the confirmands at church, undoubtedly many adventures to come.

January 27, 2009

Update from the land of ice......

We have been declared a disaster area. If there is a commissioner out there thinking we are suffering a disaster because we get a few extra days to take it easy our warm snug homes, I should hope that commissioner never has a tree fall on his house. It might redefine his idea of a disaster. Okay, so I guess there are some power outages and a few dozen wrecks...[and when I say a few dozen I really mean exactly 900]

We made stew and hot tea and sledded down our driveway. Not too bad at all. Unfortunately school could not be totally gotten rid of (I can never convince our school board that the ice creates hazardous transportation issues), and I plugged away at a few academic endeavors, including at least 4 hours filling out scholarship applications.

The same thing over and over and over. With all sorts of road bumps and detestable essays in between. I have a new arch enemy.

We pulled a glass bottle out of the refrigerator at lunchtime. There was some yellowie liquid in it, which was, to say the least, quite gross. Dad had assumed it was a science experiment. It was, I said, a science experiment gone bad that just escaped from the soda bottling factory. It actually contained some sort of papaya guava lemon soda concoction, which was naturally rejected by myself when I first tasted it. Unfortunately, the back shelf of the fridge failed its trash compactor examination and the repulsive stuff refused to be obliging and vaporize itself.


I leave you with this nice little quote, especially applicable to those of you also experiencing a "state of disaster."

In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer - Albert Camus

Oh yes, I nearly forgot. Below this is a post of my Brickfish entries. If you care to, votes on my photographs will be accepted. :-)