December 15, 2012

Her Circumstances

Northeast Elementary School
Northeast Elementary School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
      In my high school Spanish class, a boy annoyingly dubbed me "4.0 chick". While I was what one might consider studious, the name was hardly appropriate, as I believe my final high school GPA was more like 3.9. Funny how I can't even remember clearly, isn't it? There was a time when it seemed so important. I used to define myself by my grades. A B on a single assignment was worth tears. It meant I had failed. I wasn't good enough, or smart enough. Because being smart was all I really had. I wasn't good at anything else. It was early in elementary school that I learned that good grades could get you attention, acclaim, and approval, something I wasn't getting from my peers.
    Then I went to college. At first, my grades stayed pretty much the same. I was in the honors program and absolutely loving my classes. Then stuff happened. It's hard to pinpoint one thing. I got a life, for starters. But then that life fell apart. The shelter I'd lived under for the majority of 18 years was pretty much obliterated. I guess that's what growing up is. It sucks sometimes.
     In the end, I barely graduated college at all. It took me 6 years. My GPA was something I cannot even bring myself to type here. I had to retake several classes, one with a professor I can't stand. I had to swallow my pride and face classmates who knew I was repeating that class, that I had walked across the stage a year before but failed my summer classes and therefore not actually graduated. Out of shame, I kept it a secret from everyone in my family but my parents that the graduation that they had celebrated with me had turned out to be a fraud.
    Romans 8:28 says that "all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
    A lot happened during my college career. I lost two of the dogs I had grown up loving. My best friend of nine years stopped talking to me. I lost two grandparents in less than a month. I gave up on a relationship I'd been waiting on for four years. I got my first job. I had my first car wreck. I ate pizza in the park in the rain. I wrote papers an hour before they were due. I wore lots of black. I ate ramen while sitting on the kitchen floor and talking with friends. I backed out of the driveway of my childhood home not realizing that I would never ever come back to that same place, as it was in that moment, again.
    While a lot of this was happening, tests and studying just didn't seem all that important. Some people would disagree. Some people say that it doesn't matter, I should have sucked it up and soldiered on and studied and excelled anyway. And maybe they're right. A lot of people with much worse circumstances than me have done much better. 
    But maybe that's not the point. When I first started college, during orientation, a group of us sat out in what I would come to call 'the garden' and talked about what we wanted from our college experience. I told them that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. And I did. My unspoken desire was to be someone, someone not exactly new, but to be...myself. My authentic self. Not the person who gained the approval of others. Not the overachiever who defined her worth by the letters on her report card. Who lived or died by how 'good' she was perceived to be. Someone genuine. 
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November 20, 2012

Into Thy Calm: The Decayed (The Six Shades of Sin, Part VI)

Into Thy Calm: The Decayed (The Six Shades of Sin, Part VI): "Woe unto them...who justify the wicked for a reward and take away the righteousness of the innocent!" Is. 5:22-23 Justice is a popul...

November 10, 2012


First edition cover
In November 2007, I was living in a one bedroom apartment. My bedroom was dead to me as it was covered in clutter.

I had run exactly one 5k at that point, in 45 minutes. I rarely cooked, especially since my sink was filled with a precarious pile of dirty dishes. I had hair past my shoulders.

I loved wearing silver hoop earrings. I was studying Psychology at a Roman Catholic University. I had recently read The Redemption of Althalus. I was driving an obnoxiously gold Ford Focus named Penny.

I worked at a family-owned medical supply store. I had been dating Tony, the man who has now been my husband for almost a year, for a little under a month. My Uncle Paul was still alive. My best friend had talked me through the panicky Fall Break during which I ardently hoped that Tony would call me. 

I had just adopted a 4 month old little boy kitten from the animal shelter. I named him Kazu, short for the character Kazuhiko from my favorite manga, Clover.
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NATURA MODERNA: HUMUS: As a young boy, I spent hours roaming the woods near my home and then proceeded to draw for hours while listening to the radio. Vague mem...

September 06, 2012

Into Thy Calm: In the Midst (The Ministers of God, Part 2)

Into Thy Calm: In the Midst (The Ministers of God, Part 2): " all things we commend ourselves as the ministers of God with much patience: in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in flog...

August 10, 2012

Aren't we all unlikely?

Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew (Photo credit: compujeramey)
It's been a while. You may have noticed two other entries published recently. They were drafts about which I had long forgotten, but I decided they were worth posting.

I am up late, due to two Mountain Dews and a lot on my mind. I can blame my dear, dear friends for at least two of those things. I was given (Okay, I requested it) the Mountain Dew by Justin when I wandered up to his apartment after discovering my friend's wife, Ari, was not hiding in her bedroom from his weekly man night. Eventually, Ari materialized and we retreated downstairs to her apartment. While lounging on her bed and discussing depression, old friendships and other assorted things, I noticed a copy of The Unlikely Disciple on her bookshelf. I promptly stole it (with her permission), and when my husband and I had retreated back to our own abode, proceeded to devour it.

I already had a lot on my mind about....religion, I guess you could say, though I cringe to use that term, with all its connotations. Perhaps it would be simpler just to say what has been on my mind. Baptism. Christian culture. Christianity as a sub-culture. (Sub-cultures of all kinds have always fascinated me.) Movements. Guilt. Slacktivism. Judging. Creating a hierarchy of sins. This book just gave me more to think about. I also seem to be experiencing a shortage of people to talk about these things with. Too bad most Bible Studies suck.

The thought occurs to me that perhaps I am missing real community. I hang out with a lot of people, but we don't have much time to actually talk. Perhaps I need to make my life quieter. Spend more time studying and pondering and less time watching Netflix. I don't want to become afraid of the silence. I want my friendships to be about more than the latest Batman movie.

...okay, my cat just yawned the cutest yawn ever and nearly killed me with teh cute. For srs.


I need to be more purposeful about my life. Am I happy? Yes. But I can do better and I can be better. I have been trying to establish routines to keep me from being bogged down by the mundane, so that I can focus on things like this. Things that are transcendental, things that matter. And it seems that time has come. I'm excited. :)
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This is my pitiful attempt at putting scripture around the house. The only plain post-its I have right now are tiny, so I have to write 'crazy small'. The verse is Deuteronomy 31:8, " The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”, which I read this morning. I noon...because that's when I got up. Ahem. I'm also researching prayer, because I'm pretty sure I'm terrible at it, so if you have any ideas on that, please share.

 I've decided I want to lose 23 pounds. If anyone has anything smart to say about that, they can keep it to themselves. The first thing I ate today was a peanut butter sandwich with 100% whole wheat bread. That gives me good carbohydrates. Now I'm making eggs for protein. I have to go to bed at ten pm tonight. As productive as last night's bookshelving was, this cannot continue. And I want to snuggle with my husband, so deal with it. Another habit I want to start is praying with him before bed. I think that would be awesome. Going to bed on time would also help us to make it to the Young Married class at church, which we keep missing. 

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little people

It's been a truly glorious week.

Tony and I went jogging on Monday and had the pleasure of my uncle and his foster dog Bullseye joining us.

Thursday night we went to the art museum and I wore an adorable red and black outfit of which there are sadly no pictures.

August 04, 2012

Into the Calm: It's Time to Grow Up (as explained by an orthodox ...

Into the Calm: It's Time to Grow Up (as explained by an orthodox ...: "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not beneficial. All things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify. Let no man s...

June 27, 2012

Hassled by the Real World

English: My Grandfather
English: My Grandfather (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My Mom talked to my Grandfather about a week ago. He will hereafter be referred to as Mr. M. He told her that he loved her and he wanted her to be happy and have a good life, but that he no longer wanted a relationship with her. He told her that she was not there for him after my uncle died.

T has been truly amazing the past couple of days. He has cheered me on in my new job and not pressured me about money at all. He has made me laugh and folded clothes and complimented my cooking. He has forced me to run when I didn't want to and helped pack boxes. I am a very blessed woman to have such a husband.  

As mentioned above, I have recently started a new job at a Special Needs Ministry. The clients range in age from 18-55. It is a non-profit (of course, do I work at any other type of place?). I would like to organize some field trips for them or maybe find some good guest speakers but I am not sure what they would be interested in. I am still kind of trying to get a feel for the place.

My car is broken. I am really sad about this and it is seriously the last thing we needed as our money was already stretched super thin this month. We have had to borrow from my parents and I cannot possibly express how much I hate doing that. It makes me nervous to owe anyone money and I hate depending on my parents when I know things have been rough for them lately too. I am in my mid-20s, I should be independent! Aaargh! 

We had too much fun tonight. We went to a friend's house for game night. While it was fun and the company was great, I feel like we really shouldn't have gone. I feel like I am trying to do too much and I am packing my schedule too full right now. I jump at every invitation without really considering if it is best for me or will help my get closer to my goals. I need to remind myself of my priorities.

I have been thinking a lot about my previous career lately, if you can even call it a career. I used to work at a residential treatment program. The majority of my coworkers were awful people. However, I enjoyed my work. But I was highly disappointed in the place where I worked. Now I am wondering if all programs in this field are like that. The hours were also terrible. No wonder people in this field burn out so quickly. Combine the high stress of the job with little sleep and it is a recipe for disaster! I truly think this can be prevented.

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May 16, 2012

My Review of MythBusters: Season 1 DVD Set

Originally submitted at Discovery Channel

The Myth Busters Season 1 DVD lets you relive all the best momentsexploding toiletschicken gunsescape from Alcatrazand morefrom your favorite TV myth busters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. Before they became famous (icons and bobbleheads), Savage and Hyneman were special effects masters who underst...

Good show, mediocre dvd

By Daniellemichelle86 from Memphis, TN on 5/16/2012


4out of 5

Pros: Engaging Characters, Original, Informative, Entertaining

Best Uses: Perfect Gift, Adult Viewers, Younger Viewers, At Home

Describe Yourself: Casual Viewer

My husband and I really enjoy relaxing in the evenings with a good episode of Mythbusters. Adam and Jamie are awesome and amusing, obviously. Unfortunately, the individual menus for each episode are a little annoying.


March 25, 2012

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)
Today's sermon was amazing, and I do not say that lightly. It was all about how Jesus goes where other people, religious people particularly, are not willing to go. It got me super-excited to meet my mentee on Thursday!
The pastor also mentioned that Jesus cared more about people than about religious rules. However, here I think it is important to differentiate between religious rules and scriptural rules. Always check what any 'church' person tells you against scripture. And never put man's rules above God's, no matter who that man (or woman) may be. This is a form of idolatry!
Chinese lepers at D'Arcy Island, British Colum...Chinese lepers in British Columbia, Canada (Photo Wikipedia)
He asked the congregation if they had befriended any lepers lately. By 'lepers', he meant people seen as socially unacceptable, either by the church or society at large. I often see myself as one of these people, which is interesting. I have experienced firsthand what it feels like to feel ostracized and unworthy. While we should hold people accountable for their sins, we should not make them feel this way! We all have shortcomings and struggles and we were all once lost.
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March 18, 2012

Sakaki (Azumanga Daioh)Image via Wikipedia
We had Ari and Tay over for dinner last night. That was nice. T made some amazing onions and some pretty good chicken. The onions though...I swear they were like candy. I showed Ari and Tay some Azumanga Daioh and Kazu stretched out in Ari's lap until Tay annoyed him because he kept shaking the couch. We watched stupid Youtube videos and Tay ate all our Oreos. It was fun.

Kazu is kind of being a big butt today. At the moment, he is sitting behind me on the computer chair, but he has been rattling blinds, trying to pee on the papers in the shredder box, and jumping on the table. I think we're not showing him enough attention.

The apartment is still a horrible mess, though everyone claims that it gets better each time they see it. My next project is the bedroom. For starters, reorganizing and cleaning out our clothes. I have an Oprah magazine with some good ideas to that end.

T and I went running for 20 minutes at the Farms yesterday. Next time, (which I'm thinking will be Thursday) we step it up to jogging 90 seconds, walking 90 seconds, jogging 3 minutes, and walking three minutes. Lather, rinse, repeat. 5K here we come!

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March 14, 2012

can't sleep, clowns will eat me

I'm getting old. I say this not because my birthday is tomorrow (which it is. Pi day. I know you're jealous), but because of other things. Because I don't await my next dvd purchase with bated breath. I'd rather save my money towards a three day trip to the next state with my husband. I talk about things like life insurance and taxes. I get excited about changing my name at the bank.

I worry about my Mom and Dad. It's difficult to find the balance between the new family that T and I are creating and my family of origin. I don't want to leave them behind. I worry about them. I'm terrified of losing them someday. I know I don't call me Mom nearly as much as I used to. Where do they fit into all this? It was beautiful today to sit outside with my Mom, picking at my sandwich and talking about marriage and respect and identity and femininity. She can be so smart when she puts her mind to it. That was a flicker of the old her, before a drunk driver and diabetes and an arrogant father took her strength away. Maybe I'll see more of that soon. I think it's also a result of the spiritual renaissance I've been experiencing. She and my Dad have been getting closer and closer. I gave her my copy of "Love and Respect" to read. Perhaps through my faithfulness and the testimony of my marriage, we can help bring my Dad back to the fold.

I miss my friends dearly, lately. However, I am thankful for facebook and online messaging and texting. I defy anyone who says that technology has damaged our relationships. Anna is going to GP to be a GP. I'm insanely proud of her, not just for her assignment, but for taking on the difficult task of explaining her desire for it to her parents. And honored that she wants to hang out with me (in person!) in 2015. I don't want five years to go by between seeing one another again. I need someone to go on adventures with, and she's the girl for the job. Lyss will be getting her black belt next weekend, and I plan on being there. I want to encourage her like my grandparents always encouraged me at my dance recitals. If I have any say in it, she'll be the happiest, most confident 12  year old on the planet. I will see Ari Friday night at the salsa club. We have both been busy as of late, but my anniversary card to her made her laugh, and that made me smile. I am texting Cassie, who is in Korea now. I do need to call Garrard.

Kazu is a kitty. As of late, he has been more directly playful with T and I. He will occasionally run up behind me and grab my legs gently, thereby initiating a game of tag. I make silly noises, and run around corners and gently grab or tap him while we chase each other. Sometimes I hide behind things and wait for him to pounce me. Sometimes I get down on my hands and knees and crawl around. It is fun, and he is ever so gentle. When he does get too excited, he heeds my admonitions quickly.

Spycraft Roleplaying Game (1 st edition) coverImage via Wikipedia
We rearranged the furniture Saturday, in between a Spycraft session and a Doctor Who marathon. (3 episodes counts as a marathon, right?) The long suffering Nick and TM helped us out. T deserves special credit, since it was also his birthday. Of course, we did bribe him with thin mint cake and a party hat, which he insisted on wearing like a unicorn. Anyway, I'm happy with the end result. We've managed to make a large space look like three different rooms, while still maintaining a sense of space and not making the tv the focal point of the room.

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March 04, 2012

Into the Calm: Homily 37: Love and Holiness (as preached by an or...

Into the Calm: Homily 37: Love and Holiness (as preached by an or...: "And may the Lord make you to increase and abound in the end that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness...." I Thess...

February 22, 2012

pedal with authority

English: My cat (Kazu) built herself a fort! S...Image via Wikipedia

"We pedal with authority in here!" Hehe. That's what my spin class instructor said today. It made me giggle. I told Ari how I want to rearrange the living room. She approves. It was nice to have her and Tay over here for a change. I really want our house to be like Lou and M's was for me. Relaxing, welcoming, homey, and safe. Some of my best and/or most defining moments happened in or because of that house and the people in it. It would be an incredible blessing for our house to be that for someone else.
Kazu had company today too...cousin Julep came to visit. They both did very well. Kazu was relaxed enough to tease Julep a little bit, which was pretty funny. I think it's good for Zu to have a playmate. It keeps him physically active and also socially and mentally stimulated. Yay healthy kitty! And let's be honest. It's cute for Kazu's friends to be our friends and vice versa.

So Ari asked why I was taking pre-natal vitamins (To raise my vitamin D levels, not because I'm preggo, mmmkay?). I walked on Tay's back and he and Tony talked about their jobs. We talked about moving to new apartments and Tay showed us his silly Minecraft stuff. Ari complimented my kitty apron and said that we need to get Tony a cooler apron.
English: Minecraft screenshotImage via Wikipedia
She also said my buffalo chicken balls with blue cheese dressing were good. : D It was a really nice, relaxing evening.

A tray of chicken balls in a Canadian Chinese ...Image via Wikipedia
Also, I made pie. ^--chicken ball recipe

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this is where I write stuff: Caryatid Who Has Fallen under Her Stone

this is where I write stuff: Caryatid Who Has Fallen under Her Stone: "Here we have another emotional symbol - but wrought with exquisite artistry. Ben, for three thousand years architects designed buildings wi...

February 01, 2012

Awesome stuff I have Done lately

  • Finally took all that crap to Goodwill. Yay for clearer entryways!
  • Exercised yesterday even though I didn't make it to Spin Class.
  • Filled out more job applications
  • Made mango salsa, despite cutting myself with the knife. :(
  • Chose more wedding pictures to have printed.
  • Went grocery shopping with Ari.
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January 22, 2012

Respect the Polygon!

ugh...the laundry is endless. Especially the whites. It would probably help if I would just sHOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  Actress Amber Ta...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeit down and do it all in one go, instead of continually responding to the siren song of the computer. I might get my first tattoo tomorrow evening. My friend Laura is going to help me design it, since I want to combine several animal paw prints in a relatively small design. She has several tattoos already and is pretty good at that sort of thing. I got some cute little hairclips at Claire's the other day when my parents came to visit and I suddenly became thirteen again. Now that my hair is crazy-short, I really want to juxtapose it with a more feminine style. 'Juxtapose' sounds better than 'dressing ironically on purpose because it amuses me and confuses others'. I've been reading Sybil Exposed and it's terrifying. Terrifying in a very special, realistic sort of way. That a doctor could be that selfish and short-sighted as to make her patient completely emotionally and financially dependent on her...and then callously tell that patient to 'get well' when the patient was no longer needed to advance her's truly sickening. It seems that therapeutic boundaries and ethics in psychology are relatively new. I psychiatrists and psychologists also take the Hippocratic oath? It seems they should. It is a sobering reminder of the need for boundaries in treatment. Even the most well-intentioned of us should constantly be checking ourselves. There are no excuses.
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January 15, 2012

Leaving Eden

DVD collectionImage by nickstone333 via Flickr
I should get in the shower. And get dressed. But I SO don't want to. I worked 16 hours yesterday on only about 5 hours of sleep. I also found out a few days ago that I may have been sick without realizing it and that may be why I've been so tired lately. Granted, I've also been doing a lot, but it'd be nice to have more energy. My doctor is supposed to have mailed me a prescription, so hopefully that can be remedied soon.

We've cleared out some area in the apartment by finally installing the DVD shelves and putting away my ridiculous DVD collection. T added his five DVDs to the collection and we discovered that we had two copies of Final Fantasy XII. Anyone want one?
English: Photographs of several "Final Fa...Image via Wikipedia

So, I'm going to clean out my car today and maybe even get it washed. Huzzah! It won't look like I live in my car anymore!

The boy is being all responsible and motivated. I'm sure he's right, but it kind of sucks because I just want to chill. Yesterday was both emotional and exhausting, so I want a day to recollect and recharge before I get started on job applications, name changes, and post-Christmas shopping.

English: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s signature.Image via Wikipedia

My parents are coming to visit tomorrow. I'm excited, I just hope they come early. My Mom is off work for Martin Luther King day and I haven't seen my Dad since I got married almost 2 months ago.

We played cars with Ari and Tay the other night. Monopoly deal is surprisingly fun, especially considering how much I hate Monopoly. We also got to see Colt. And visit Julep puppy! She was so funny, she kept popping up from under the table like an adorable Jack-in-the-Box.

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January 09, 2012

So Good

Tommy Tutone 2Image via Wikipedia
Listening to Tommy Tutone and putting up laundry while the husband finishes up dinner. I think I could get used to this domestic thing. I'm still terrible at washing dishes by hand, and have this creeping feeling that they don't really get clean that way. But it's good in a pinch. I am clumsy, and splash soapy water everywhere and forget that the water is running and almost overflow the sink. But I am trying and learning, and I am actually enjoying feeling more capable. ...I'll run them through the dishwasher later. It can't hurt to wash them twice. Unless I'm inadvertently breeding super-bugs that way! Oh well. (BTW, when I got mono at age 9, my best friend's mom told my Mom that it was because she kept her house too clean).

Yesterday, while we were chilling in bed with our respective laptops and a kitty at our feet, T asked if it was bad that he kind of wanted it to just be "me and you and kitty for a while". I told him no, and inside I was happy that he is so pleased and content with our married life. But it does bring up the question of kids. Having kids or not isn't the question. That's one thing I know without a doubt. I would be very sad if I left this world without having raised a child of my own. Whether or not it's mine biologically is more up for debate. It would be fascinating to see a mix of our attributes and interests and there is some sense of wanting to pass on my/our DNA, I suppose. But there are also children who need families and if need be, I would be open to that. I don't know if T would though, and it's really something that both people need to be on board for. (Ending sentences with prepositions is my bad grammar guilty pleasure, deal with it).


Or do I?

Anyway, the question is really...when?

Then again, my cat just ate a paint chip, so maybe I'll revisit this topic later.

I'm working on clearing out the kitchen, which I'm sure you all find fascinating. I'm still tired all the time, but get an odd second wind at night. Am I becoming nocturnal? This doesn't bode well, since I'm trying to sync T and I's schedules. I went for a physical today and they're supposed to test my thyroid. The doctor said the ultrasound of it looked good, and I've had bloodwork done on it before that came back normal, but I still wonder. It's not normal to want to sleep this much, right? I used to have so much energy...ugh.

Making an amazing dinner with T might just be worth waiting until 7:25 to eat...a lot of adjustments have been needed, and instead of freaking out, I am starting to take joy in the sacrifice. It's worth it to go to bed a little earlier or eat a little later to be with him and to make him happy and fulfilled. He certainly pays me back. He keeps me laughing about moose made out of yogurt and makes me eggs for breakfast and a million other amazing things.

I'm sorry, am I making you nauseous? Oops.

I actually made an effort to get dressed today, with a healthy mix of just throwing things together. I tend to look my best when I do that. Even though I was going to the doctor, I refused to dress practically in just a t-shirt in jeans. I smoothed my hair down and put on my most awesome knee-high boots. And I really felt like a million bucks. Who knew?
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Daily Burn Fluid IconImage by alternatekev via Flickr
I've spent most of the last few days trying on and getting rid of clothes. I'm excited. Hopefully, with some old stuff cleaned out it will be easier to find the more stylish pieces that I know are in there somewhere.
 I was also able to exercise today. I've actually really been enjoying the videos from DailyBurn. Maybe I'll finish one someday. I did 38 squats today! Go me. In 6 months I'd like to be back in marching band shape.
  If that doesn't get me back in shape, moving tons of furniture will. I've been moving from my bachelorette apartment to my husband's apartment. (Which is now OURS!!)
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