Tuesday, December 30, 2003

not a pretty sight

if ever given the option to pick your punishment, please - i beg of you - do not choose chinese water torture. believe me, if you could see the bar of soap in my shower after a day of sitting under a lightly dripping faucet, you would agree wholeheartedly.

Monday, December 29, 2003

in case anyone wants to know, it is currently raining and 45 degrees in venice. yes, i do mean italy.

my Christmas was great - thanks for asking:). very relaxed and with lots of cooking and being with people i love and opening presents. and Christmas eve, i went to a late church service with salimah and her sister. i will say this: it was lovely. i wished it had been more, but it was nice, even still....

so the work week began without much excitement. i had a meeting this morning at 11 that i was sure would end with me getting smacked by this drama queen-esque person in my office, but it didn't happen. honestly, it might have been kind of exciting, though, you know? i mean, who ever thinks that they're gonna get beaten up over some music curriculum?!

okay, and in other news, campbell's chunky grilled chicken with veggies and pasta soup is not so good. i have an announcement to make: no one - and i mean NO ONE - needs to be putting bell peppers in soup, people! make a note of this, please.

thank you for your time and attention:)

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

in the bleak midwinter**

i'm sitting here at work trying (not very hard, i might add) to pretend that i'm getting something accomplished. it makes no actual sense for anyone to be here; everyone's basically milling around and munching on snacks that are lying about in the kitchenette.

but that's not what i really want to say....

on the way to work this morning, i was driving in the rain and fog and darkness and it struck me: if this were the time of Christ's birth, He could arrive at any moment, in any of these middle-class suburban homes, without effect, and no one would be any the wiser. Christ could have come in any year, in any culture, for any reason. but it was God's timing that He arrive that day, and for something so seemingly 'insignificant,' a lot of people still took notice of his coming. a lot of people STILL take notice.

and then my mind wandered to those shepherds in the fields, to whom the angel of the Lord appeared. i can only imagine their anxious minds as they made their way through the dark on the way to Bethlehem, their hearts swelling with hope against hope that the Messiah had really come. i wonder how many of them questioned, hesitated, turned back, even, out of doubt. but to the ones who went, what a beautiful and mysterious sight it must have been: God, becoming man. peace and love and joy and hope all wrapped up in that one tiny child.

those people must have been in awe, must have wondered what to do, what to say, what to think. to see the Lord is an experience that changes even the most doubting and hardest of hearts. i am certain that those visitors left that stable different than when they arrived.

and perhaps they made their way back to where they lived and maybe when they were alone with their thoughts, they hoped that there might be another time when they would get to catch a glimpse of that face.

i am certainly not a shepherd. no angel appeared to me one fateful night....but, i have encountered the Lord. i have felt and known His Spirit and His love for me. i have bowed down in worship and i have raised hands to heaven, giving thanks for the gift that the Lord gave me through Jesus Christ - eternal reconciliation with God, my Father, the joy of my heart.

and this morning, my heart pounded with expectation for that day when i will truly see Him. and as i drove into the approaching morning, i felt the Holy Spirit stirring inside me, the prayer rising in my throat:

come soon, Lord Jesus. come soon.

merry Christmas, everyone. may you be touched by the miracle of His coming....


in the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
in the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
the ox and ass and camel which adore.

angels and archangels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

what can i give Him, poor as i am?
if i were a shepherd, i would bring a lamb;
if i were a wise man, i would do my part;
yet what i can i give Him: give my heart.



**by Christina Rosetti, 1872

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

i have a question....

WHO was it that decided to put that whole bit about 'figgy pudding' in the song we wish you a merry Christmas?

i mean - what kind of audacity is it that announces 'we WON'T go until we've got some...so bring some right(/out) here!'?

am i the only one amused by this???

Sunday, December 21, 2003

newsflash:

i am a total sap. i actually teared up at the end of finding nemo. then later on, i caught the tail end of the preacher's wife and practically bawled during the singing at the end. what is wrong with me?!

on a more newsy note, i finished all my gift wrapping tonight. and please let me say: it was no small feat. i am relieved to have that off my shoulders. tomorrow evening, i am scheduled to go to the grocery store with salimah to pick up the last of the food i need for my Christmas dinner. i'm also going to barnes and noble to return a book that a friend gave me for Christmas, because i discovered, much to my chagrin, that salimah had purchased said book (and written in her copy) for me for Christmas this year. so basically, it's all about me not only getting a cookbook that i REALLY wanted, but another one to add to my collection....who am i to complain?:)

tomorrow for lunch, catchka will be coming to work to hang out with me, salimah, and cat's sister. we shall have whole foods and presents and much laughter....and we have the whole conference room reserved (so there!). i am looking forward to a relatively low-key work week of much goofing off and most people being on vacation.

Christmas is coming, people....only 4 more days:)! i'm actually going to try to hold it together until then....no more sobbing over cartoons!
the end

i cannot believe i'm saying this, but the HUGE project on which i've been working is, for the time at least, over....my language arts and social studies/geography editing for this school year is DONE!

*huge sigh of relief*

and it's sunday afternoon, and i'm going to take a shower, watch finding nemo, and eat my leftover tikka masala from last night. Jesus, thank you for this gift today!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

miscellaneous

yahoo is right on top of my last nerve just now. i'm now getting personal e-mail in my bulk (supposedly spam-filled) folder. um, hello? not only that, but some of the actual spam is making it into my inbox. i nearly missed an e-mail from amber this morning....the nerve!

in other news, my nails are almost completely recovered from my self-performed gel nail removal operation a couple months ago. it will be nice to be able to grow them out beyond the end of my fingertips again. anyone care to place bets on how long it will be before i start craving the fake ones? my bet is 4 months.

okay, so something that i'm tossing about in my head is the notion of cutting off much of my hair again. it's gotten really long - definitely mid-back, even when curly - and i'm starting to hate it. about 2 years ago, i made a pact (of sorts) with myself that i would let my hair grow (with the occasional trim, of course) until i got married and would then cut it shorter again. i think at the time, however, i was under the impression that i'd be getting married a lot sooner than it now seems i will. frankly, i'm just frustrated with it. it's so thick that when i tie it back (which i do most days), it pulls on my head and gives me a headache. too frustrating, i tell you!

something tells me it's time to visit my hairdresser back home and do something a little different. i'm too old for this madness....

and speaking of being too old, i've clearly reached that point in life where a) i start to call people younger than 22 'kids,' b) rock music in church is getting on my nerves, c) i have to eat breakfast and do my morning routine, or i feel completely out of sorts for the rest of the day, and d) i could easily go to bed by 9:00 pm every night and feel totally good about it (i DON'T, but i could).

it's hump day, people. from here, it's all downhill toward the weekend.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

degradation

can i be honest about something? i am really concerned about the state of affairs with the airwaves in this country. i know that must sound rather bizarre for me to say, but let me explain....

it wasn't that long ago that you couldn't hear bad words on the television - at least not on the networks. now, you're lucky if people aren't cursing. and yes, i know, THAT's not the end of the world. i mean, there are worse things you could say. but here's the thing: they're starting to crop up. and not just words, but actions. i never would have imagined a day when i would turn on the television and see two women or two men making out in front of the camera....or two people in bed having sex.....or all of the blood and gore and gratuitous violence. i am, to say the least, disheartened. surprised? no. disheartened.

we live in a sensationalist society. we've become intolerant of average experiences. everything has to be extreme in order to hold our completely miniscule attention spans. in order to have fun, we have to play extreme sports, or participate in extreme reality shows. our food has gotten bigger (have you noticed that even the 'small' fries at mcdonalds aren't 'small' anymore?) if you can't drive thru, order it online, download it, or get it on pay-per-view, then what's the point? you need it NOW. everything has to happen right NOW. it's all about what i want NOW. our interests for life are waning, our ability to stay in relationships (why bother? they take too much work!) is at an all-time low, and our apetites are at an all-time high.

oy. this gives me a headache.

the more and more i think about the world we live in, the less comfortable i feel with the notion that my children, should i have them, will be exposed to all of this mess. and i feel that i can say one thing for sure: there will not be much in the way of tv watching going on in my home. even now, the only way that i can find something decent/educational/interesting to watch is to have cable. with a few exceptions, i hardly tune in to network tv.

i have, however, been watching the new show 'joan of arcadia.' if you're not familiar, it's an hour-long 'family' drama in which joan, a 16-year old high school student, is visited by 'God' on a regular basis and is told to do certain projects, befriend certain people, etc. and often, she does so, even without knowing God's purpose for her in the situation. of course, just to mix it up, God shows up in different 'packaging' each time He appears to joan. and i find it interesting that, now that joan has been interacting with God on a regular basis, she's starting to recognize Him immediately, regardless of the form He takes.

anyway, it's a fascinating premise. might be worth checking out sometime if you're home on a friday night, as i tend to be:).

with all of that being said, i shall now step down off of my soapbox about our society and all its issues. at the end of the day, things are going along just as He said they would. we've always needed Him. sometimes i think this time is a gift - to help us see how truly desperate we are.

Friday, December 12, 2003

thank GOD it is....

i just had a really lovely lunch. i made some safeway select red pepper rigatoni stuffed with spinach, feta, and artichokes and put on it a sauce of toasted walnuts, onion, tomato paste, hot pepper, and white wine. i finished it off with some asiago cheese grated finely on top. delish!

in other news, my skin is very dry and i'm feeling quite anxious. this has been a hellish week, so i've been out of things to say, but i'm hoping that as the holidays approach, presents are wrapped (i finished all my shopping online in one day!!), and perhaps even cookies are baked, i'll be able to relax a bit. suffice it to say that this week has contained vandalism to my new car, a trip to the car dealer for some unrelated issues, spilled apple butter on my otherwise pristine white sofa, and nearly losing my job. the highlight of my week? i put together a cart for my kitchen and now my microwave and toaster oven have a place to relax and aren't clogging up my counter tops.

God's peace seems elusive these days. thankfully i don't have to feel it to know it's real....

Monday, December 08, 2003

oh yeah, baby....

maine
Maine is your state. It's pretty and nice and
quiet and not crowded. I love Maine, so do
you.


What State Is Perfect For You?
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Saturday, December 06, 2003

the ho-hums

okay, so last night's plans did indeed get cancelled, but my two girlfriends from g'burg are on their way here for this evening's dinner/movie get-together. and michael, in an incredibly kind (and not at all unlike him) gesture, drove salimah here yesterday so that we could hang out and be snowed in together. and then she spent some time digging out my car today. so sweet:)

you know - there's something getting under my skin right now. i don't know what my deal is, but i just can't seem to make myself DO much of anything. i'm having post-thanksgiving/pre-Christmas lethargy, and it stinks. i have grand plans for cooking, cleaning, more unpacking and organizing, but i'm completely unable to make any of them come to pass. it's pathetic, really. here's hoping it's just a phase. i'm definitely not feeling depressed; maybe i'm just tired. i don't know.

Friday, December 05, 2003

old man winter

i must admit - i enjoy snow for all of about an hour....until i have to go somewhere....and then i just feel like it's a hindrance to the world. not to be rude - it really is quite lovely to look at - but come, now. is this necessary?

i have (had?) plans tonight - some friends are supposed to come for dinner. we'll see if they cancel or not. then tomorrow, i have (had?) some other plans with some OTHER friends and i'm wondering if they'll hold either. come on, thermometer. work your way up there!

all annoyances aside, i'll admit it was beautiful to wake up this morning to the blanket of white. i am seriously stocked up on cocoa and cookie ingredients, but there's no one with whom to share this storm:(....

*sigh*

perhaps this is a sign that i need to catch up on some reading, clean my house, and do laundry. um. we'll see if any of that happens;)

so welcome, winter. it appears you're here for good now. have your way with us, and then move along, please:)