Thursday, December 17, 2009

"I have four dollars."

I have been avoiding writing this blog for several days now. I'm not sure why, but I think it hits a nerve in me that makes me uncomfortable with my own position, and so I avoid it.

The other day, I had just parked at Target. As I turned away from my car, a man approached me, speaking as he walked. He looked a little worn, but not necessarily homeless. He said that he and his wife had come from Madras, had car trouble, and were now stuck in Portland. I struggled to follow his story as it grew, details being added as he continued. His wife's mother was on her way to Portland, he said. They had a cat with them. They had tried all the shelters, and they were full (I knew this was true--this was the deepest day of last week's cold snap). His wife was pregnant.

He continued to talk, said he had asked for help from the police, who had given him a copy of the Rose City Resource. Eventually, he said that his wife was at the Portland Hostel (he had a brochure in his hand) but that they needed money to pay for the room. I knew that the question was coming, and I knew I had some singles in my purse, and I knew I couldn't lie to him.

"I have four dollars," I said.

"Well, that'll make a big difference," he said. I handed him the money, he told me to have a blessed day, and walked on through the parking lot. Other people made a wide path away from him when he made eye contact. I saw a friend shortly after, and she had a lot of questions. "Why did they bring a cat? How do you know he actually went to the hostel?" I only had one answer for her.

"I don't know," I said, "but I don't think it's my job to know."

Here's what I do know: I could have said "Look, buddy, things are tough all over. I don't have a job right now, and it's just not happening," and few people would have blamed me. I also know that things are true. I rarely have cash on me--I often get asked for money, and have to say honestly I can't help someone. And that four dollars, by God's grace, was not standing between me and having heat or lights in my home. It was not my only chance to eat for the day, and it was not making any difference in me having a roof over my head for the night. The truth is that those four dollars would have almost certainly gone toward a coffee, and little else. And I am not called to be anyone's interrogator.

It's possible that my four dollars bought him a bottle, bought him drugs. It's possible. It's also possible that he returned to the Portland Hostel that night with a handful of one dollar bills, and that he and his family had a place to stay for the evening. I hope that was the outcome, but I will probably never know.

Was it a waste on my part? I don't think so. Hopefully, if nothing else, I and some other people listened to his story rather than avoid him, and that he experienced some small kindnesses in the course of the cold day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Apostrophes are excellent at hiding in caves."

I'm a little behind the buzz, but Oprah had Jenna Jameson on her show the other day. Whitney Matheson, who is the pop culture critic for USA Today (Hello, fantasy job. Nice to meet you.), also has a Twitter account, @popcandy. And the day before the broadcast, Matheson said the following:

"Oprah is interviewing Jenna Jameson tomorrow (?!). Man, I can't wait to hear Jenna's advice on how to live your best life."

It got me thinking. For the record, I didn't watch the Oprah episode, and my knowledge of Jenna Jameson is strictly limited to magazine articles (real ones, with words). But I do know that she's an extremely savvy woman, and she has basically built herself an empire. She even has instructional videos. And now she's on Oprah's couch, which is essentially a seal of approval from the most powerful voice in world culture. In a sense, Jameson's become the porn star next door.

I am not here to judge Jameson's actions, to critique her moral position, or to spark a debate on the evils or benefits of the porn industry. I'm here talking about Oprah and a porn star because I think Whitney Matheson's simple little tweet was actually quite profound.

Oprah is all about living your best life. She's also had Joel Osteen on her show more than once, and has embraced his extra-positive view of living the best life possible. And Osteen's latest book, It's Your Time, also just came out.

Matthew Paul Turner has a blog I follow, Jesus Needs New PR, and he's always full of snarky comments for almost everybody. He posted about It's Your Time, and posted the text from the book jacket, with his own comments interspersed. I have taken them out, but reposted it. I'm going to let the text speak for itself.

For legality's sake, I'll make it clear that the following is the property of Osteen's publisher, Simon & Schuster. Any grammatical or spelling mistakes are typos, and should be blamed entirely on me.

Get your hopes up. Raise your expectations. Your best days are in front of you. In challenging times, it may be hard to see better days ahead. You may feel as though your struggles will never end, that things won't ever turn around for you. This is exactly the moment to put your faith into action and expect God's blessings. It's your time to declare your faith, to look for God's favor, and to give control of your life to Him so that you can find fulfillment in His plans for you!

It's your time to believe.

It's not easy to always be optimistic. Life can be difficult and in hard economic times it's not just your finances that suffer. Your relationships can be strained. Your health can be stressed. When one part of your life after another takes a bad turn, you can feel like there is no end in sight, no way out. The truth is maybe you don't have an answer. But God does! Maybe you don't have the strength. But God does!

It's your time for favor.

In It's Your Time, best-selling author Joel Osteen, pastor of the nation's largest church, offers the inspirational truth that no matter where you stand in life, you are never alone. He reminds you also that the bigger your burden, the greater your blessings to come. You may have neglected God, but He has not abandoned you. He has already released good things into your future. As long as you're breathing, you can still reclaim His favor by renewing your faith and accepting His plans for you.

It's your time for restoration.

In these pages, Joel offers assurances that God does not want you to merely survive challenging times, He wants you to thrive. When you give your life over to Him, God will send new opportunities your way so that you can soar to new heights of fulfillment. History has shown that the most difficult times can serve as a catalyst for creativity, innovation and accomplishment. If you hold onto your faith, ask for God's favor, and don't give in to depression or discouragement, you will emerge not bitter but better, not a victim but a victor.

It's your time to trust.

God is already working in your life to arrange the right people, the right skills and the right opportunities to give you the tools you need to fulfill and exceed your dreams. Drawing from Joel's experience and those of people around the world, It's Your Time offers messages of faith, hope and strength to help you rise above any circumstance so that you can fulfill God's best plan for your life.

It's your time to stretch.

Joel has filled this book with bold new prayers, inspiring stories and practical tools for moving forward in faith. You will find inspiration from others who have overcome adversity and achieved their dreams. You will find proven methods for not just picking up the pieces but for building a new life better than you'd imagined. The hopeful messages and warm encouragements in this book will push you to expand your horizons beyond what you thought you were capable of doing so that you might go even farther than you'd ever dreamed of going.

It's your time!

I hope somebody can understand where I'm going. Oprah has adopted a "whatever works" policy that she is sharing, quite literally, the world over. Whatever gives you your best life! If it's God, great. If it's sex, great. If it's food...sorta great. If nothing else, you living your best life now will keep Oprah in business as she shills for every new diet fad and every new mildly attractive doctor she meets.

But ultimately, Oprah's message is that it's all about you. It's all about your pleasures, your satisfaction, and your fulfillment. And no wonder both Jameson and Olsteen make great Oprah guests--their messages are exactly the same.

Thinking about these two made me think about how often I have misrepresented God and the gospel, how often I have made it sound like something simple, happy and easy. The truth is that my relationship with God brings me joy, but it is far from easy. It has been an experience of letting go of myself and releasing my dreams, not of finding fulfillment in them, as Osteen supposes.

This doesn't mean that I don't have dreams or hopes--it means that I have a new hope, one that isn't based on my success or failure, or my ability to perform. It's based in allowing myself to be changed, and to be transformed, little by little, into who I am and will be. I understand that part of that will mean failure, and part of that will mean continually allowing my dreams to change and re-emerge, rather than demanding that they succeed and expand. It means that I won't always be satisfied in other people, and that I won't be able to make them react and respond how I want, no matter how many videos I watch or inspirational prayers I pray.

Jenna Jameson, Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey are not the enemy. I am just like them, and at heart, I want the same things they're offering. I want what I want, even as that changes day to day. The real enemy can wear lots of names (greed, selfishness, pride), but it's always hard to define.

What do you see as the enemy? What's the best way to not be taken over by it?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This is probably sacrilege.

When I signed into Blogger tonight, it told me I had 12 followers.

Being the seminary grad that I am, my first thought was, "Ooh, just like Jesus!"

No lightning bolts as of yet. Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I gotta write things down sooner, because you guys are funny.

A real blog soon, but first, more funny bathroom signs!

Matt sent this to me from Fire on the Mountain, with the caption: "It's like the one on your blog...except this one is giving birth."

Stay classy, Planet Earth.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Actually, I prefer your midsection."

Christina and I watched the movie "Hidden Secrets" tonight. Just as I had feared, this "Christian version of 'The Big Chill'" was a perfect example of everything that tends to go wrong in "Christian" movies.

The editing. The music. The script. The pacing. The cheesy wordless montages. It was all there. But the worst part was, as Christina and I discussed after finishing the film, the characters were like cardboard cutouts rather than real people.

It tried to do what other Christian movies have failed to do. It tried to present non-Christians in a positive light and some Christians in a negative light. But this was done with such extreme, broad strokes that it was caricature from the outset.

It also tried to be a movie that, according to the behind the scenes featurette that we, of course, watched, "dealt with the issues". And because this is a Christian movie, those issues were abortion, homosexuality, skepticism, and for one or two scenes, stem-cell research.

It troubles me that this is the best Christians can come up with, because I know it's not true. The fact is that there are Christians making movies, and making good movies, but they choose not to put the Christian stamp of approval on it, and I don't blame them. Placing a Christian label on your film puts you in league with "Hidden Secrets", "Left Behind" and "The Omega Code". I wouldn't want that for my film.

What about you? Have you seen a "Christian" film that was done well? How have you seen Christianity portrayed in film?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sorry, today's been quiet.

Here are the big discoveries of today:

I learned that I can STILL access my old Yahoo email account, and when I did that, it gave me access to this:

I started using LiveJournal when I was in Ireland the first time, and used it off and on. As of today, I had not signed in for 95 weeks, though, so...

I've read through the oldest couple months of entries, and it's funny. Some things are different, and others... you just realize you are how you are.

For years, Robin has told me that the day we first met one another, we went to Shari's, and for years, I have claimed no memory of this. And then, I found this:

"Friday i went out with raina, mandee and robin to shari's. robin is a complete spaz--we're so alike, i don't know why we're not twins. we had fun, she spilled ice cream on herself, it was good times all around"

I love that girl. And I was her maid of honor. Amazing.

Tomorrow, Christina and I are watching this: Netflix billed it as "A Christian version of 'The Big Chill'. I think there will be giggling.

Also, I stopped writing at midnight last night to get my NaNoWriMo count for the day, and then I wrote a little more. I have not touched it since. The count at this moment is 2,058, and yes, I will write tonight, and take another count at midnight. Only 47, 842 words to go!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"You took the toilet paper out of your hair."

Oh my, my friends. Another weekend very nearly done, and here is what I did:

*Watched "Medicine for Melancholy", which was neither as excellent as I hoped it would be, nor as disastrous as it certainly could have been. It may or may not come up again in the future.

*Remembered terribly late that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), decided to take the "Why the heck not" approach and do it, or more aptly, attempt it.

*Watched "District 9" on the big screen. Didn't throw up or pass out, though I thought about doing both. Comments are likely to appear in a future blog.

* "Built" my own Halloween costume. Being neither crafty nor particularly handy, the "Basket Case" costume took a lot more effort and elbow grease than I had originally imagined.

*Attended a Halloween party with friends old and new, and at one point glanced around the room and thought, "These are some good people right here." It was nice.

*Began NaNoWriMo right around the time of the DST switch. Just over 600 words in half an hour. Mostly dialogue, like the rest of my life.

*Discovered an extensive NaNoWriMo community via Twitter and the official site, both in Portland proper and worldwide. It's an engaging crowd.

*Attended Emmaus after a one-week absence, and rediscovered my unreasonable love for the family there. Cole also rocked it, in a message that will be shared here soon.

*Discovered that November is also National Blog Posting Month, one post a day for 30 days. May attempt it, may not. Blogs may begin to look like this.

Life's alright. How are you?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Maybe you should have a beer beforehand."

Here's a two-part confession: I am terrible at doing a whole lot of stuff. This probably doesn't surprise anyone. Everybody's terrible at something. I know people who are terrible at being musical, people who are terrible at performing household repairs, people who are terrible at being even slightly normal around other humans.

I'm really terrible at lots of things, but one thing I'm especially bad at is self-promotion. It might seem counterintuitive, being that I have this blog and all. A friend told me the other day that blogs are largely narcissistic, which sort of made the compliments on my talents as a blogger from others sting in retrospect. And while I see my friend's point, I am choosing to disagree, for my own sake. I don't think he was talking about this blog specifically, but more the ugly view of blogger culture, the idea that simple people sitting at home can decide that people are expectantly for the next morsel of brilliance that will fall from their table.

One of the things that I'm discovering in new ways consistently is that (confession part two) I'm really very good at a lot of things. It doesn't even have to do with talent--there are just some things I can do very well. This is hard for me to admit, because I am used to downplaying things so much. It's hardly as if I am positioning myself as a wallflower, seldom seen and never heard. But I don't talk about my skills or abilities as anything unique.

This came into sharp focus last night, when a friend offered to go over my resume (two friends, actually). Having read my resume, my friend then asked me to talk about each position listed. And in each case, what I spoke was more detailed and more impactful than what I had listed and sent out to who even knows how many employers.

Obviously, you can't ramble on aimlessly on a resume, and so I am in the process of trying to rework our discussion last night into some kind of appropriate and proactive language. But here's the ridiculous part: sitting in this coffeeshop, when I retype lines on the resume with this new, stronger language, I can actually feel myself blushing as I type. That's pretty bad, right? I mean, wow.

I don't really know how to break out of this. I'm a pretty bold and confident woman in person, and even in my writing. But this whole idea of trying to tell someone, "Your organization needs me, and here's why," makes me feel like I have been dropped into a foreign country without so much as a name.

On the other hand, writing rarely makes me blush. It has at times, but not often. That might mean, as some have said, that I'm not being honest enough. But I don't feel that this blog is narcissistic, and I hope it never becomes anything close. I hope that it's clear that I'm just trying to figure things out the best I know how, and the best way I know how is by writing. I hope it's clear that writing make me feel more awake and somehow lighter, even when the topic is heavy. And I know that I'm no good in isolation. Too much time on my own just makes me smaller and more confused.

But I know people manage this every day. They present themselves as the talented, useful, amazing people that they are, they stay honest, and no one looks at them and thinks that they live on some kind of pedestal. So how do you all do it? What works for you? Psyching yourself out in the mirror? Pretending that you're Rocky going into a fight? Managing somehow, without blushing or cracking a smile, to tell someone their house is on fire and you're the only one with water? Please share, really. I'm interested.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Much like the blog and everything else, I signed up for Netflix last week, eons after everyone else did. I tried to act like I was taking the moral high ground, supporting local business (which I was, since I love Movie Madness) but I was also repeatedly paying late fees and spending gas money etc. So I stared at the free month of Netflix (thanks, Gabe & Robin, by the way), and decided finally to give in. And newsflash...

If you like movies, Netflix is crack. Seriously. It's insane. So let's say, in non-Netflix life, you're standing in Movie Madness and you want to bring a movie home. There are at least five that are in your face and interesting, but you are not a slug and therefore cannot bring five movies home at a time.

But Netflix gives you a queue, and you can add things endlessly! They're popping up to your house one at a time, so you may see a movie and say, "You know what, I may want to see that movie sometime in the next seven months. Let's stick it on the queue." And there it sits, waiting, and not at all making you feel like a slug.

Netflix also has this thing where you can find your friends who are on Netflix, and you can see what's on their queue and what they like, and you can compare tastes and have a big Netflix party. But see, the thing is, I don't want any of my friends to see what I have in my queue, not because I have added anything shameful or tasteless (yet), but moreso because my queue is insanely long and the breadth of it basically proves that not only could I swap trivia facts with that dorky video store employee who watches and knows everything, but actually, secretly, I am him, and always have been.

The thing Netflix famously does is they take the films in your queue, movies you've rated (I'm not telling you how many I've rated, either), and types of movies you say you like, and then they suggest things. If you're me, they suggest things you've heard of or been vaguely interested in, and this is how your queue grows to gargantuan proportions. But when you sign in, they suggest things based on mix and match categories. So today, my main screen is suggesting some "Dark Foreign Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead", "Tortured Artist Dramas", and "Mindbending Psychological Movies". Don't I sound like a barrel of fun? Who wants to come over?

My absolute favorite though, because they take what you like plus what the typical Netflix user likes, is when they recommended that I see some "Unrequited Love Movies", such as "A Cinderella Story" and "Taxi Driver".

Seriously. Apparently anyone who loves "A Cinderella Story" will also love "Taxi Driver" and vice versa. I would love to know how many angry letters Netflix gets in a month. "Dear Netflix, How dare you suggest that we follow "The Lizzie Maguire Movie" with "GoodFellas". Have you no sense of decency?"

That would be a great department to work in. I wonder if they're hiring.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is this the worst band ever?

I heard this song on the radio today, and the lyrics are so dumb, I had to share them. I bolded the ones I found particularly baffling.

"Hey Soul Sister"

Heeey heeeey heeeeey

Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains (what?)
I knew I wouldn't forget you
And so I went and let you blow my mind
You sweet moonbeam
The smell of you in every single dream I dream
I knew when we collided you're the one I have decided
Who's one of my kind

Hey soul sister, ain't that mister mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain't fair you know
Hey soul sister, I don't wanna miss a single thing you do tonight

Heeey heeeey heeeey

Just in time, I'm so glad you have a one track mind like me
You gave my life direction
game show love connection, we can't deny
I'm so obsessed
My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest
I believe in you,
like a virgin, you're Madonna
And I'm always gonna wanna blow your mind

Hey soul sister, ain't that mister mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain't fair you know
Hey soul sister, I don't wanna miss a single thing you do tonight

Well you can cut a rug
Watching you is the only drug I need
So gangster, I'm so thug
You're the only one I'm dreaming of
You see I can be myself now finally
In fact there's nothing I cant be
I want the world to see you'll be with me

Hey soul sister, ain't that mister mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain't fair you know
Hey soul sister, I don't wanna miss a single thing you do tonight
Hey soul sister, I don't wanna miss a single thing you do tonight
Heeey heeeey heeeeey (tonight)
Heeey heeeey heeeeey (tonight)

Just to give you some context, you know how does those deals? They're offering the new Train album, the new Five For Fighting album, and the new Creed album at $29.97. It can be 2000 all over again!

According to Wikipedia, the song was written by Armund Bjorklund, Espen Lind and Pat Monahan. Monahan is the only one who's in the band, and the other names, if you'll allow me to be presumptuous, sound vaguely Scandinavian, no? Pop acts, probably forever, but I know for at least the last 20 years, have been surviving off the efforts of foreign songwriters like these, presumably because they are Hit Machines. But seriously? All they did was string some pop culture references into a song. I bet I could write one. In fact, maybe that'll be my next blog.

I do have an embarrassing admission to make: I used to be a Train fan. In fact, I owned their first two albums. Paid full price for one of them, even. Anyway, as I heard this song today on the radio (105.1 The Buzz, if you're wondering), I thought, "Didn't they used to be better than this?" and I realized quickly that no, they weren't better.

Their first album had the single "Meet Virginia" about a woman who "...never compromises/loves babies and surprises/wears high heels when she exercises" and who refuses to confess when she is caught stealing. Line up, gentlemen, she's available.

The second album gave us "Drops of Jupiter", which I LOVED, but even then, I loved in spite of the fact that it made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The lovely girl in this song apparently sailed around in space trying to find herself, "listens like spring and talks like June", and misses fried chicken, soy lattes and her boyfriend.

So, yeah. The lyrics always lacked a certain something. But I guess I'm just appalled at how many flat-out lame or just totally wrong songs are circulating (and making money) right now. And they stay popular for so long! We've got the Black Eyed Peas reminding us of the days of the week on "I've Got a Feeling", and the lovely, insane Lady Gaga's ode to blackouts in clubs with "Just Dance", Finger Eleven's "Paralyzed", which always makes me feel like everyone involved with the production of that track is just way scuzzed out, and there's way more. I'm sure you all could think of at least one song out now that's nothing short of asinine.

I do have my pop song weaknesses though, and so in an effort to make amends, here's my current loves:

Jordin Sparks, "Battlefield". First of all, it's Jordin Sparks, for crying out loud, from American Idol. Second, it's a shameless and painfully obvious ripoff of "Love is a Battlefield". I know this. But dang it, it sticks in my head and makes me sing in the car at the top of my lungs. Win.

Kelly Clarkson, "Already Gone". I have always loved Kelly Clarkson. Always. I have completed long car trips with nothing but "Breakaway" in the cd player and loved every minute of it. And I just think she's great, even if she's also from "American Idol", and EVEN after "From Justin to Kelly" (Side note 1: I voted for Justin Guarini all the way through Season one of AI. Side note 2: I was housesitting for my parents a while back and tried to watch some of "From Justin to Kelly" on the FUSE channel. It's really bad.) Also, turns out the first two tracks on her latest album are "My Life Would Suck Without You" (which is essentially an ode to codependency), followed by "I Do Not Hook Up". I think that's hilarious.

Royksopp feat. Robyn, "The Girl and the Robot". There are so many awesome things about this song I hardly know where to start. I think it sounds fantastic, and I typically hate these dancy, Scandinavian-esque (sorry, but they're from Norway) tracks. Also, it has Robyn, who was popular when I was in junior high and is apparently still going. But really, you have to see the video. I can't embed it, but click here. It makes the song. Like, someone could hear the song and think, "I know what you mean, I'm dating a robot, too..." and the video would be like, "No, seriously. my boyfriend is red and boxy and made of metal and he waters plants."

How can you not love that? And I'm curious, what song or band is driving you up the wall right now? Also, feel free to share any pop culture-laden hit songs of your own. What rhymes with Fergie?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Tell them I'm eating my body weight in cheese & crackers."

Personally, I'm not fond of the "I'm angry and I'm going to vent my frustrations on all my hapless readers" posts. But I heard something tonight that made me so frustrated I have to get it out. As always, I'm happy to hear what you think.

A friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous, texted me tonight to tell me that a burgeoning relationship had just ended. This person contacted my friend recently, and let her know that though they hadn't seen each other in several years (they were classmates), he had been thinking about her consistently and felt that God was telling him to explore a potential relationship with her.

I know, it sounds a little weird already.

So, this "relationship exploration" or whatever began very recently, and they had been in contact on a daily basis since. Tonight, apparently, they were discussing eating and exercise habits, and this person said told my friend something along the lines of, "If we end up getting married, I will run with you every day until you have the body of a model."


My friend was understandably taken aback, and she informed him that while it was one thing to encourage her to be healthy and reach her goals, it was something else entirely, and entirely inappropriate, to expect her body to change utterly because she was now his wife.

When she told him this, the man announced without much fanfare that he had obviously been wrong about God's leading in the situation, and that both the conversation and the relationship possibility were over. Just like that.

My friend is neither fat nor thin, but that is hardly the point. I told her plenty of stuff that she already knew, mainly that his words were complete bullshit and she should be glad to be rid of him so soon. But it brought up a question to my mind that I have often wondered about before.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that this is not a man-bashing post, that women are just as capable (and I think sometimes just as likely to) of having these same thoughts.

A long time ago, some pastor or another told me to make a list of what I would want in a husband--character qualities and the like. They made the point that the list should not be focused on physical attributes, but that this list should be consulted when I dated anyone, and if crucial items on the list were not met, I should not be in the relationship.

Whether you've been told explicitly to make a list or not, I believe we all have one. Especially for those of us in the Christian community, many of whom have been told that our spouse is out there, waiting, and God, in his perfect timing, will bring us exactly the perfect person for us.

What this often turns into is the incorrect assumption that we can essentially custom-order a spouse from God. And because this is rarely discussed, it often goes unchecked, leading many of us to think in the back, secret spots in our minds that this Perfect Person God Has Chosen For Us will look how we would like, will have a personality that compliments us perfectly, will share our political leanings, sexual interests, social constitution and, of course, obviously, spiritual discipline.

This is so untrue. I remember being absolutely cut to the core when I first heard this, but it's true:

GOD HAS NOT PROMISED YOU OR ME A SPOUSE. There is nowhere that says that God is bound to provide you the perfect husband or wife. For many of us, He will, but not because He has to. And since it's not promised to us to have a spouse, what right do any of us have to tick off boxes and categories into which our spouse must fit?

I do believe, if you are a Christian, that God intends, if you marry, for you to marry someone who also loves God with all their heart, soul and strength, and who will encourage you to do the same. And it's all well and good for us to say, "Well, I want to marry someone who isn't a liar, and who isn't greedy..." etc, but the truth is we're all liars, we're all greedy, and we're all sinners, and whoever you marry, that sin is going to show up at some point. The important thing is not to imagine it's not there--it's knowing what to do when it arrives.

So, all of this is to say that I am sorry and frustrated for my friend. Unfortunately, I've found that sometimes invoking the name of Jesus over a relationship simply allows for one person (or both) to jerk the other around and cause great amounts of grief.

How do we handle this better, friends? How do we stop the inner monologue that says, "Well, this can't possibly be the person for me, because God wouldn't send me someone who...". I wonder if any of us can see people for who they are, and not just who they are to us. Would it change anything? I think it might.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making sure you get yours..

***A note for my non-Christian friends: The following might seem a bit more 'hyperspiritual' than previous posts, but I hope it will still offer an engaging perspective for you. Please feel free to share your thoughts***

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to live as a Christian lately. It's fair to say that I've been pretty focused on the topic for the last two and half years, but I know I am still learning. And I've been thinking about it in terms of some of the political debate that has been circling around.

What does it actually mean to live as a Christian who is fully devoted and committed to Christ?From what I can tell, it has to do with a lot of letting go.

If, as Christians, our goal is to live like Christ, then we have to study how He lived. In the time of His ministry, He had no home, and lived largely by the kindness of friends and neighbors. He lived a life of consistent service, never asking to be compensated, and He lived a life where the very people He served ultimately sent Him to His death. When He was on trial, He didn't speak in His own defense, and never demanded that His rights be upheld.

So what does this mean for us? A more appropriate question is what does this mean for me, as I can't promise that everyone will come to the same conclusion.

I have to remember that everything I have, the socks on my feet, the food in my pantry, my degree and the breath in my lungs is a gift from God. Because everything I have is a gift, I do not have to demand anything from anyone. I will be cared for, I will be protected, regardless of whether I receive the proper respect my position affords or the paycheck my degree requires. Because God has loved me and provided generously for me, I am compelled to share that with others whenever and however I can. To this end, I will serve who I can as well as I can. This is, I believe, excellently lived out through things like the Compassion Connect clinics.

In the midst of the country being deep in the health care debate, I submit that it is not up to me to determine who is deserving of health care and who is not. Jesus famously used the metaphor of the sick to point to honoring him ("I was sick, and you cared for me"). I believe our actions, for good or ill, have deeper impacts than we realize. God's love and care for us are not dependent on them, but he can take our meager offerings of service, and use them for far greater things.

I don't believe that this means that every Christian must liquidate their assets and begin to live on the street. It doesn't mean we should fear success, or that having money is bad. But it does mean that we hold what we have lightly, understanding that it is not ours, and should it be taken from us, we will not be without hope. So, we serve, we give and we learn, slowly, to put others ahead of ourselves.

I hope it's clear that I am learning just as much and just as slowly as anyone--I hardly wish to submit myself as an example. Jesus' call regularly worries me, because I love my life so much. But I know that in losing it, whatever form that takes, I will gain a greater value of Christ and being like him, and what could be better?

I believe a large part of this comes from where we take our identity. I want my primary identity to be that of a Christian. Any other identities, past, present or future, will fall, I hope, under that. Where is your primary identity? Is it as a Christian? An American? A spouse? A parent? Does your identity come from your job, or from what you choose to consume? Whatever determines your primary identity will determine how you live.

I've been thinking about writing this blog for several days, and I've postponed it because it made me nervous. I understand that the views I am putting forth may not resonate with everyone, and may even frustrate some. But I believe I must say them. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this as well...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"I'm a woman, so I love puzzles in the shape of men."

I had a conversation yesterday with my friend Julia, and although she called under dark circumstances, I laughed harder than I have in a very long time. I've known Julia since I was 14 or 15, and we've managed to stay in excellent contact. That having been said, I have completely given up on knowing where in the world she is at any given time. She works for a missions organization and is hopping from one place to another all the time. So now I just ask, and it's usually something like:

H: "So where are you now? Copenhagen?"
J: "Copenhagen was literal days ago. I'm in Albuquerque. But I'll be in Johannesburg Thursday."
H: "I'm in northeast!" (insert clown horn noise here)

Julia is one of those people who really does need to write a book at about her life. I know we all tell one another that we are so fascinating we should each be penning volumes about ourselves all the time (every waking minute!), but with Julia it's actually true. She's a talented writer already, with some great poetry and short stories to her name. But her life is better than any fiction she could come up with, mostly due to the fact that it's usually completely insane.

Julia's not the insane one, to be clear, but things around her tend to go really crazy all at the same time. If it were happening to me, I'd probably be drowning in vodka and Xanax, but she manages to keep it together. Selfishly I would like to credit that partially to our phone conversations, but i doubt that's actually the case.

Couple other things I would like to give you a heads up on:

  • KATU-TV (ABC 2) has just launched a bunch of hyperlocal neighborhood-focused sites, and they said they were looking for neighborhood-centric bloggers. So i got in touch with them, and will eventually (when I post something) be seen here. I have access to some of the other neighborhood sites as well, so if something's going on, feel free to give trume a heads up. :)

  • I've gotten some feedback recently about the blog on Twitter, which I think is crazy and makes me feel weirdly excited. So, if you're on Twitter, feel free to say hi to me, ohmylands. If you hate Twitter, I'm sorry, but I love it.

  • Last thing is something I want to put out there and see what people think. Someone on Twitter posted a link about a new Conservative Bible being worked on, with the aim of ridding the scriptures of their current "liberal bias". According to one source I found (; apparently Wikipedia is too liberal to be trusted), one example of this bias is found in Luke 23:34:

"Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible." (

Does this bother anyone else? I'm going to wait a day or two before I comment further, but I would like to hear your thoughts. Remember, you can find me all over the place. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"You save my life, I'll save your life."


I went to see The Hangover with Jessie at the Laurelhurst tonight. If nothing else, the experience reminded me why I try to avoid the Laurelhurst on Saturday nights, and why I tend to avoid jam-packed movie theaters in general.

For the record, The Hangover is actually pretty funny. It won't change your life, but it will make you laugh, and it wasn't nearly as raunchy or as grossout-focused as I thought it would be. That being said, people of the Laurelhurst 9:35 show: It's not that funny. Seriously.

This audience, which was packed, laughed at every single thing. Every. Single. Thing. And here's the problem with laughing at every single thing: it's not how comedy works. Comedy is usually a string of funny things (often called "words" or "gestures") that together work up to something called a punch line. The string of funny things is, in fact, intended to prepare you for the punch line. By that token then, if you laugh uproariously when, say, someone waves their hand or says "Let's go", and then laugh again, equally uproariously when this person's friend waves back or says, "I agree", then you often actually end up missing the far funnier thing that person three has to say or do (Particularly in movies like The Hangover, where there are three principal characters, this is how the scenes are meant to play out. Person A is funny, Person B is normal, and Person C is hilarious, but you miss that because you're still laughing about A and B, who weren't funny, really, to begin with.).

And so, attendee at the 9:35 showing at the Laurelhurst, when you and 200+ of your loudest, drunkest, most every-single-frame-of-this-movie-is-pure-comedy-gold friends chortle and guffaw through two hours of mayhem, I get a bit annoyed, because I can't hear half the movie. Maybe I'm just old.

But like I said, the movie is funny, for the most part, it's not a complete creepfest like Wedding Crashers or a completely body-fluids-obsessed farce like every other hit comedy in recent memory. And Bradley Cooper's extremely cute, and the other two guys are plenty funny, but hopefully it won't shock anyone to learn that the movie is just a rehashing of funny scenes from other movies.

Case in point 1: "Oh no! There's a tiger in the beloved car and he's going to rip it to shreds! This is nothing like the scene in Tommy Boy where there was a deer in the beloved car and he ripped it to shreds!"

Case in point 2: "Oh, my, that wedding singer is creepy and innappropriate, and will not be seen again. But he's also nothing like the creepy and inappropriate rival wedding singer (in The Wedding Singer, in case you're lost) who pops up once and will not be seen again."

It's pretty sad, too, when something gets introduced and you know exactly how the next ten seconds will play out, ie; character in the backseat finds a used condom, tries to toss it away, inadvertently sticking it to the passenger's cheek. Passenger claws desperately to remove the condom, in turn inadvertently attaching it to the driver's neck, causing the driver to operate the car erratically, etc., ad nauseam.

Also, and after this I promise to be done, someone needs to stop putting Ken Jeong in movies. The man is not funny. He's over the top and ridiculous, which for sure has its place, but I'm tired of him already, and nobody knew he existed a year ago. And in The Hangover, it's almost like we're supposed to give this collective sigh of relief like, "Hooray, we can all be racist and laugh at the Overstated Asian Accent of Dubious Origin because he's Asian and he's the one doing it, see? It's hilarious.

Well, I disagree. In HeatherLand, Ken Jeong is fired for the next 18 months, and no theater is allowed to be more than half-full. Also, the popcorn and drinks are free, and if you like characters in a movie, you get to take them home and make them part of your celebrity family. HeatherLand is a lovely place, believe me. And you have to, because in HeatherLand, I'm always right.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Your hands! They're like biscuits with sticks jammed in 'em!"

I haven't posted in over a week (Apologies, as I'm sure you are all sitting around waiting for me). It's been a strange week or so; I've been intermittently grumpy, and who wants to read the grumblings of a grumpy me? I don't even want to write them.

That doesn't mean the week was terrible--there were plenty of good times, lots of friends, and countless things I wish I had written down but didn't. So, here's a couple highlights, if they can be called that:

Ben came and hung out this weekend, and we were at Powell's at Hawthorne, and I was searching for a book (there's a story there, but first...). Ben was talking to me, and this guy came up behind him, trying to go down the aisle. He was probably in his early 20's. But here's the thing. The guy was wearing a bowler hat. Like a proper, It's-1901-and-it's-time-to-hitch-my-horse-in-town-or-whatever-guys-in-bowler-hats-did-back-then hat. And then, when Ben moved aside to let him pass, the guy gave us the tiniest of bows, complete with one of those weird rolly-hand waves, and said, "Pardon me," in a voice that I honestly couldn't tell if it was silly, or just his normal voice.

It was my favorite moment of that day.

Here's the thing about the books: Eric's books hate me. I think they've all talked to one another, and signed a suicide pact. If they get sent to my house, they know the kamikaze mission is on. Last summer, I sent him a text that said, "I have to buy you a new copy of Cloud Atlas because I just smashed a bug in it."

Seriously. I was minding my own business, reading, and a GIANT bug of unknown origin landed on the page. I shrieked, slammed the book shut, and then...blech. Bug guts all over the page, luckily on a paragraph I had finished. So I own that copy now, and I'm pretty sure there's still some kind of brown spot somewhere around the middle.

I don't think these things happen to normal people. Case in point, the death wish that had me in Powell's in the first place:

I've been reading his copy of Love in the Time of Cholera. The other day. I set the book down on my bed, and when I sat down, I bumped it, and it fell. Could have happened to anyone, except that this book is clearly part of the suicidal insurgency. So rather than falling gracefully to the floor, it tumbled partway, and then allowed pages 41-51 (and only those pages. I smell a plot afoot) to catch on my bedframe, ripping them three-quarters of the way down the page. I am pretty sure I said, "You're kidding me," out loud. So that copy's mine now. Eric gets a new one.

I'll probably, hopefully be blogging more regularly from here on out. At the moment, I have had too much coffee, and it's making me jittery and I kind of feel like my brain is clicking too fast. Please tell me someone else has felt that way. :)

And before I go, a friend of a friend saw these restroom signs in Vermont. I think they should be universal:

and then...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"The wind picked up. Are you a witch?"

Maybe I should have catchy little categories, like "Free Stuff Friday". But it's not Friday, so maybe the category should be called "I'm lazy and it's free." Let's go with that one.

Jesus Hates Religion. Part two of the Emmaus series, text and audio.

Jeremy Okai Davis. This is the artist I've been bragging on. His work is up at Seven Virtues, and it's awesome.

Seven Virtues Coffeehouse. They're not giving anything away for free, and they haven't updated their site, but there it is. I think they should change their name to "Heather's Other Home", but so far they haven't caught that vision yet.

Caitlin Schwerin. I don't know Caitlin, but she's a recent Portland transport who used to work with Amanda Rae, my best friend growing up. I think her art looks fun, and she's showing it on Alberta for Last Thursday (exact details are on the website).

Lauren Zettler does Soundgarden. Lauren is from New York, and I follow her on Twitter, and when I ask her things (like, "Can I share your free song?"), she's always nice about it, which makes me feel like less of a creeper. I saw Lauren back in May with some friends at a little hole in the wall coffeehouse on Williams. She sang for a tiny crowd, and there were these creepy mannequin heads behind her. But her voice is awesome, and I like the way it seems to change the song. And it's free!

Lastly, Jason Boyett's blog about Rich Mullins. My mom bought me a tape of Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth when I was 7 or 8, and I literally have never stopped listening to it (on cd, now. :) )

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Can you guys hear me? Am I deaf?"

Oh my gosh, so many silly things. But first of all, a one-woman dialogue:

*h*: Hey, self?
*h* (self): Yeah?
*h*: I'm really not a fan of this whole "Let's not sleep at night" thing.
*h* (self): Yeah, I know.
*h*: So... yeah. A memo, is all. (Get it?)
*h* (self): Got it. How are you feeling?
*h*: Actually, I feel kinda funny.
*h* (self): Uh oh. Need a bucket?
*h*: Not that kind of funny...more like 'I keep giggling aloud at my own thoughts' funny, so let's run with it.

Ta da! Thank you. I will accept my Pulitzer and other baubles of appreciation via UPS.

So, my tv's been broken since I moved in here (and when I say "broken", what I actually mean is "I can't get the universal remote to work which means I can't get the tv to switch to video mode which means I can't get the converter box to work which means it's sorta kinda broken." Seriously, if you can fix it, you're welcome to do so at nearly any time.), which means that I don't watch much tv, and when I do, it becomes this wonderfully exciting thing.

I tried to watch a couple summer shows via Hulu, but I gave up, and I feel better about that now that I know Kevin Skinner won America's Got Talent. I mean, the guy's talented, no doubt, but he's so backwoodsy that I'm just afraid that two weeks into his Vegas show he's gonna go on a coke-fueled rampage, swimming in the fountain at the Bellagio, pointing out hookers and slapping transvestites. Take care of yourself, Mr. Skinner. Meanwhile...

The Office had its season premiere last night (and yes, so did Parks and Recreation but I missed it so ssshhhh...), and if there is one show I will always find a way to watch on the night it airs, it's The Office. And I learned something last night. I really like watching that show with people who love it, and like watching it with people who are sometime casual observers a lot less. Since one of them may be reading this, let me say for good measure, I love you and I think you're great and I will not let our varied levels of devotion to this show affect our friendship, apart from the fact that I might not hang with you Thursday nights.

But usually, if someone doesn't love The Office, but also doesn't dislike it strongly enough to not watch it if it is on somewhere they happen to be, the following will happen: They will laugh some (but not as much as me), they will become a harmless and unintended peanut gallery, from which will be heard statements such as, "Um... okay..." and "Oh my gosh...." and "Wow. He's kind of a jerk..." and all of these will be made with slight (I think mostly unintended) hints of disdain. And usually, if you ask a casual observer of The Office if they are a fan of the show, they will say something like, "It's funny sometimes, but it's so awkward. Like, I know it's supposed to be, but sometimes it's just too awkward."

This is usually the point where I will announce that I love the show, and I will feel like a heathen and a failure. But the fact is that the casual observer is right, the fact that it's so awkward is what makes the show, because you either see moments like that (hopefully to a milder degree) all the time and feel like you know people like the characters in your own life, or you don't. But I'm sorry, I find the idea of Andy describing his maybe-gay maybe-not-gay fantasy about Brad Pitt to his gay coworker hilarious (ask someone who's gay, and I can almost promise you they've had a mellow form of that conversation with a straight coworker). And Jesus still loves me, and I'm sure he would love Andy Bernard, too, were he real.

After that, this new show Community was on, which stars this guy named Joel McHale, who used to be on this show on the E! network (or maybe still is) called The Soup, where he stands in front of a flat-screen tv and talks about clips from all the different talk shows and reality-tv shows.

Please don't ask me why I know this--I can only suggest that my brain is and has always been a sponge for useless trivia and has no room for practical things, such as how to live--but there have been at least three other hosts of the talk show show, which used to be called Talk Soup, and they are John Henson, Aisha Tyler, and GREG KINNEAR, YOU GUYS.

So John Henson is now kind of a cartoon of his former self, and he did the narration on that dumb Wipeout show and I think DirectTV commercials or something, which makes me kind of sad. Aisha Tyler was on Friends way back when, long after I had stopped watching, and I'm sure she has done other great stuff, I just don't know what it is. But still, she's funny, she seems awesome, and I think we'd be good friends. Call me, Aisha!

And Greg Kinnear, like way, way, way back. I love Greg, and no matter how many Little Miss Sunshines he is in, I will always hear, "It's high times for you, isn't it Melvin? The gay neighbor is terrified!" in my head when I see him, and this will make me want to hug him and take him home. And by the way, if you are in the sad position of never having seen As Good As It Gets, that should be fixed immediately, because that movie is hilarious and sad in a great way, and Greg Kinnear is perfect.

Whew! All that to say that Community was actually pretty funny, and then Jay Leno's "new" show came on and everyone got kind of quiet and sad, because it's Jay Leno, which means it's not funny.

Okay, before I go, I feel like I need to share something that proves I still have a working brain: literature! I finished Franny & Zooey, which I loved and want to read like four more times, and just started Love in the Time of Cholera. And in defense of why I love novels, check out this first line:

"It was inevitable: The scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love."

Are you kidding me? That's the kind of first line that makes me a total mess: I don't know whether to curse, or pray, or make out with the first man I see. And I'm only 30 pages in, but the whole book is like that! It makes me read it slow, not because it's particularly difficult, but because the words are so lush. His sentences go on for days, but they manage not to waste a word. I usually like prose that really clips along fast, but those 30 pages were kind of heavenly.

See? Brain still works. Maybe I shouldn't fix my tv... having this much to say about it is kind of great.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"He's more a slinker than a crawler."

Lots of stuff is going on, most of it good, but I can't talk about all of it right now. One thing I can talk about, as I have been asked several times in the last week or so, is why I am choosing to remain in Portland.

I received an email today in response to a resume I sent off yesterday informing me that of the over 130 applicants for this particular position, I was not selected for an interview. It's gotten to the point where this doesn't surprise me, and it doesn't even make me sad. It just is.

Someone asked me the other day, when I said I wanted to stay in Portland, if I was truly open to whatever God had for me, whatever role, whatever location. I didn't exactly take offense to the question, but I find it odd that anyone would assume that choosing to stay in one place and being open to God's leading would be mutually exclusive. I have always been open to God's leading for my life, and if there's one area He has always been clear about, it has been my home, whether it be temporary or permanent. I truly feel that I am called to be in Portland right now, job or no job. The fact that I am not looking for jobs nationwide is not a denial of God's direction--it is actually in response to it.

Every time I have moved, I have known it was time to go before I knew where I was headed. And every time I have moved, God has placed the location in front of me without ambiguity. The situations may not have always worked out the way I envisioned or hoped, but I have been in the right place at the right time. I think of my semester in Dublin, after graduating Linfield. I found swiftly that I did not like the city. The internship with the Irish Film Institute didn't turn into any sexy job prospects, and I didn't meet anyone who was going to whisk me away and show me an entirely new and entirely thrilling life.

But I shared a house with four other girls in Spencer Dock, and I was surrounded by kids who were incredible, some of whom I am still in touch with today. I came home from work every day to at least three kids on my doorstep, who would talk to me and share with me, often until after dark. I don't miss Dublin in the least, but I do miss them. And I know I was in that house for that short time for a purpose.

Being here feels similar. I love this city more than I ever have another (except maybe Galway, maybe...). I have never felt more at home in a place, and I have never felt more potential for growth than I do right now. Yes, hunting for a job is tiring, demoralizing and depressing. But being in this city and being unemployed has given me the opportunity and availability to have conversations I could not have dreamt up, and to be involved with ministries I would otherwise have to leave behind.

There are, of course, things I don't love about Portland. I hate how divided the city can feel, how important your neighborhood is to your social standing, and how some types of people have come to represent the whole of Portland (if you're unsure, pay attention to the type of thing someone says is "so Portland"--it will invariably be something hipsterish and slightly wacky, as if hipsters are the only people who live in the city.). But being here makes me feel alive, makes me feel like life is in motion and reminds me daily that God, and not Heather, is in control. When the time comes for me to leave Portland, I believe I will know. It may be soon, or it may not be for many, many years. But I know that when I leave this city, it will not be to seek greener pastures or because life doesn't seem to be working according to my own plan. It will be because God has made it clear that my time in Portland is finished, at least for a time, and He has something new in store. I might not know exactly what that is right away, but I know that His guidance will be clear, and will not be tainted by my own hopes and fears.

And again, I feel like that's a good place to be.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Because sometimes you just need free stuff.

Emmaus Church had its official launch last night, and it went really well. As promised, here's the link to the message, both in text and mp3 form. Jesus Hates Religion, Part One. I love, love, love this church.

I also made a really surprising, comforting discovery on, which is an awesome website, if you haven't found it yet. They let you either pay what you want for the music they offer, or you can get it free by telling five people about it. And there's tons of music. One of the EPs I found is called Woman's Work is Alchemy and it's from this woman named Sarah Masen. When I was in high school, she released an album called Carry Us Through that I really think is partly responsible for me not completely losing my mind in high school. So go listen, tell your friends. I'm so glad she's still recording.

My old roommate Gabriele and her boyfriend Victor are visiting this week, so I'm hoping to get a lot of time with them. Knowing Gabe, the time will make for some fantastic stories.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Let's try this.

Fair warning to anyone who stumbles upon this one: I haven't slept, and so when my brain is less sleep deprived, I may think wiser of it & take it down, but for now...

I haven't slept because I don't have a job & it's really stressing me out right now. So, I thought, even though (I think) everyone knows I am looking for something, let's see what a reminder might do. And for the record, many of you have been very helpful & have given me a lot of good suggestions. However, given the fact that I have a disability, I have to narrow my job search considerably. I cannot do any type of work that requires that I handle:

  • food.
  • live animals.
  • infants or small children.
  • any people who may become either violent or physically unsteady (so nothing where I may potentially be required to wrestle someone to the ground or hold someone up.).

This might seem like I'm kidding around, but virtually every job that has been suggested to me so far has included one of those four categories. And I understand, it's what's out there right now.

What I need is a desk, somewhere in the Portland Metro Area. Does anyone know of such a thing? A job in a ten-mile radius that has a desk? It doesn't seem like it should be hard to find, but I sure don't seem to be having any luck. I figure this can't hurt.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Jeanie? Jeanie! JEANIE!"

I've had another couple lovely days...Molly threw a toga party in honor of her birthday Saturday night. Because I was driving, and I am "responsible", I had one beer and nothing else, and if life has taught any of us anything at all, it's that being the only sober person at a drunken party can either be the sixth layer of hell (or so), or it can be fantastic. I chose fantastic.

This morning, I went with Eric to Screen Door for breakfast, and I wish I had thought to take a picture of it, because it was, if nothing else, imposing. Goaded by someone else's Facebook bragging, I decided I needed to try the chicken and waffles, which is apparently their breakfast signature.

What I GOT was a giant sweet potato waffle with four huge pieces of chicken-fried chicken piled on top. The whole thing was held together by a giant knife. Yeah, that's right. And you know what? My body probably hates me, but it was so delicious. Most of it is in my fridge right now, which means tomorrow is destined for equal deliciousness.

Today was also the big relaunch of Emmaus church, and I have never seen that many people in that building on a Sunday night. The message was great (and will be posted here tomorrow for those of you who are interested), the mood was great, and my parents finally got to come down and see what the church was about, which meant a lot for me.

Tomorrow is another launch into the finding-a-job foray. To be perfectly honest, I kind of gave up last week, and am really hoping to knock out some good work starting tomorrow. In the morning I'll see if the house or the coffeeshop is the best place to do that. If I can manage to not have an interruption of someone wonderful (which of course, I always welcome) maybe I can actually do myself some good. As always, prayers, positive thoughts, tips, and good words with YOUR boss are always appreciated. :)

Before I go, I have to share this, courtesy of the Willamette Week, and spotted by Beth, under "Musicians Available":

"Crappy bass seeks crappy band to play crappy music for skanky ho's...Serious about improving, having a good time."

So, who wants to hire Jeremy? Oh, Portland, I love you.

No quotes, just housekeeping. :)

For one thing, September 11 is kind of a weird day. I'm guessing some of you feel like me: you kind of want to do something, but you don't know exactly what. And yes, I remember exactly where I was that day and no, I don't really want to talk about it, and I think that's ok. And then I found this on The Mom Creative, a blog I follow, and I really liked it.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it? It also makes me wonder if Mr. Rogers' real-life neighbors ever felt like they were living in an extreme state of irony, but that's another post entirely. Hopefully, it will never be written.

In other news, I have made some basic changes to the blog. I really hope Blogger didn't resend a post every time I made an edit. If it did, I apologize. I'm new. There's really nothing you need to chase down and find, except for the picture of Christina and Spock (it's in the "Happy f---ing birthday" post).

Also, just a heads up that if you use Blogger or something like it, following is a great way to stay posted on the blog. It comes right to you!

See you later, pals. :)