Thursday, January 31

Woke up at 6am.  It was cold, and dark, and I left my blinds closed because there was no sun up at that point to let into my apartment.

Today the other RLCs and I drove to Olympia for a day conference at THE Evergreen State College.  One of the highlights of the day included the entire group of 200+ student affairs professionals singing Evergreen’s fight song.  I’m reprinting the lyrics here for your enjoyment.

Go, Geoducks, go!
Through the mud and the sand let’s go!
Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about.
Let it all hang out!
Go, Geoducks, go!
Stretch your necks when the tide is low!
Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about.
Let it all hang out!

Imagine a room full of master’s and doctoral level professionals singing these lyrics to a kind of jazzy tune.  Glorious. 

For those unfamiliar, a geoduck (pronounced “gooey duck”) is a sort of large mix between a snail and a clam that…well, I’m not entirely sure what they do, but I think some people eat them.  They’re disgusting.  And apparently they’re THE Evergreen State College’s mascot.

In other highlights, I was selected to share for about 2 minutes on behalf of SPU in front of the entire conference.  It’s not important what I said.  The main thing: me, microphone, 200+ people.  Few things make me happier.

I also won an Evergreen Geoduck t-shirt in the raffle, sat next to Scott and Zach, who kept me entertained, and managed not to fall asleep on the way home from Olympia.  This was extra good because I was driving.  Two days in a row of five hours of sleep makes for a tired girl.

We celebrated Scott’s birthday this evening with happy hour at McCormick and Schmick’s (happy birthday, Scott!) and I returned home to spend several hours working on the PA interview schedule.  It’s still not done. 

On a personal note, I understand that LOST premiered tonight, and if you care for me at all, you won’t tell me what happened.  I Tivoed it, and I think I’ll be a healthier person if I go to bed now and watch it tomorrow.  So please, please please, spare me for one more day your theorizing and exclamations.  Just let me catch up to you, and then we can wonder together.

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Wednesday, January 30

My kitchen smells like my homemade granola and peppermint tea, and I can hear the rain dripping on the pavement between the pauses in the jazz drifting out of the old radio I got for Christmas my freshman year of college.

What should be a nearly perfect evening is all interuptted by the 100 some-odd interview availability sheets from current and prospective PAs scattered in random piles on my kitchen table.  I’ve been stalling all night – hence the granola, and the washed dishes, and the sorted finances, and the changed lightbulbs – and now I can’t remember how I even started this process last year.  I have multiple spreadsheets open, each with mutiple tabs, and yet I can’t find any that contain the information I actually need.  My back is starting to get sore, and the foot that I managed to bruise during my 7-mile jaunt with Katherine on Sunday is throbbing from the working professional shoes I wore today.  I had a meeting at 8am this morning, which is the time I normally roll out of bed, and I couldn’t get to sleep until 1am the night before.  Tomorrow I have to be ready to drive 7 of my fellow RLCs to a day conference at Evergreen State College at 7:30am, so what I probably should be doing right now is taking a shower and going to bed, but I think I’m finally starting to piece together a faint memory of how I did this last year, and I’m afraid if I stop I’ll lose it.

But now John Coltrane just came on the radio, and I never want to work again.  I want to be lazy forever.  Just lay around, listening to jazz and making granola. 

Tuesday, January 29

Today was long, and tomorrow will be longer, so today is going to be short.

Drew has a Feist video on his webpage that I have not seen before.  It makes me happy.  I’ve watched it three times.

PA applications came in yesterday, and we spent all day trying to organize them, which meant I spent the majority of my day gazing at spreadsheets, which meant that at the end of the day I was tired.  On the upside, I was in the 2nd SUB all day, so I wasn’t holed up in my tiny Ashton office at the top of the giant hill that no one ever feels like summitting.  I ended my day with a thousand things left to do, but I was surprisingly mellow.  And I got to have coffee with Dr. Cindy Price, which was fantastic, as always.  I need smart people in my life reminding me that I’m not crazy.

Tonight’s Bible study witnessed the return of Ryan and Katrin from Vietnam (hooray!).  They came adorned in their brand new customed tailored coats and shoes.  Apparently these are easy to come by in Vietnam.  So our little family was together again…until Jenny leaves for San Diego for 6 weeks.  Ups and downs, I guess.

We’ve been in 1 Samuel for awhile (my idea, I get lampooned for it weekly).  It’s a lot of stories and, at times, not as much content.  Or maybe it’s there but we have to look harder.  Anyway, one of our mini-topics this evening was prayer.  I think this evening I decided that prayer is a complicated thing, or at least my understanding of prayer is complicated.  On the one hand, we’re supposed to “ask, and you shall receive”.  Seldom, though, do I hear any of my friends outright asking for anything.  Let’s say, for example, that I want a particular job.  I want to pray boldly that God will give me the job, but right there I think most Christians (or semi-conservative evangelical Protestants) would say that praying in that way is selfish, and that praying in that tone reflects belief in a prosperity gospel, which is silly.  God isn’t a human resources director, dispensing jobs at anyone’s request.  However, it seems like praying that “God’s will be done” is silly.  God’s will is going to be done, right?  I hope so, because I’ve based 27 years of life on that cornerstone, and if I’m wrong then I’ve got some plans I need to shift. 

So if we don’t pray for God’s will to be done, and if we don’t pray for exactly what we want, then how do we pray?  Even as I typed that, I thought of the Lord’s prayer, and the way that Jesus kicks the whole thing off by saying “pray in this way”. 

 9“Pray, then, in this way:
         ‘Our Father who is in heaven,
         Hallowed be Your name.
    10‘Your kingdom come 
         Your will be done,
         On earth as it is in heaven.
    11‘Give us this day our daily bread.
    12‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Ok, so re-reflecting, it looks like I am supposed to pray that God’s will be done, but I can also ask for things that I need, like daily bread.  I see no indication that I should pray for things I want, like…a new job. (Sidenote: if you’re a student of mine and you’re reading this, I’m not job hunting.  I’m just using it as an example.  Don’t come pounding on my door tomorrow asking if I’m leaving SPU.)

What I usually end up praying is that the desires of my heart will be the same as the desires of God’s heart, and I think that usually works.  Because ultimately, when I think I want these other things, I know that what I really want is to make God happy.  I have this vision of myself as a little kid, scampering around the yard, pulling up all the flowers the landscapers just put in to make a bouquet of roses for my dad.  I look over my shoulder, hoping to see him looking at me with pride and anticipation for the gift I’m about to give him, while deep down I know in all actuality I’m probably going to get put in time-out.  And the look on his face…you know, I’m not sure I have a clear picture of that look.  Maybe that’s where I start to get confused.  I know he loves me, but I know I’m probably messing up, and I don’t have a clear picture of how all that translates into a single expression.

This post was the opposite of short.  I took ice cream out of the fridge about an hour ago.  I like it kind of melty.  Sometimes I forget about it, like right now.  I should probably go take care of that.

Monday, January 28

Mondays are rotten.  Generally speaking, rotten.  Today wasn’t bad, but it was Monday, which automatically brought it down a notch.  Just saying, is all.  Monday slightly redeemed itself by having a dusting of snow on the ground that caused 8am classes to be cancelled, but that has no real affect on me, other than putting the students in a good mood, which seldom hurts anything.

Today was relatively uneventful, aside from taking Michael to buy a new coat and pants.  We went to Filson for the coat, the inside of which looked like an old mountain lodge.  I wanted to curl up in the chair by the fireplace and read a book.  There was even what I imagined to be a hunting dog roaming around the store.  I mean, he was definitely a dog.  I just imagined that he hunted. 

Other than that, today was just staff meeting, dinner with Chauncey, and our first PA half-staff meeting of the quarter.  My original plan was surprise the girls and take them to B&O Espresso.  General consensus, however, was to stay in my apartment in our sweatpants, eat brownies out of a pan, and tell our most embarassing stories, which was also fun. 

My job is so funny.  I just got paid to do that.

It’s supposed to snow some more tonight.  I’d say there’s a 70/30 chance of no 8ams, 50/50 chance of classes getting cancelled altogether, although really that’s probably being generous.  I just looked outside and we’ve got nothing yet.

My sister sent me a link to this clip and it made me laugh and laugh.  From what I gather it was done by a group of students at Asbury College.  Please enjoy.

Saturday and Sunday, January 26 and 27

Highlights from this weekend:

Not turning on my computer for two days, hence the non-posting.

Waking up late on Saturday to make pancakes and listen to NPR.

Falling asleep during my massage.

Going out with friends from college for Thai food and dancing, which involved Melissa and I sitting with the coats and people watching while the rest of the girls danced to over-loud hip hop music at the War Room.

Church on Sunday morning.

Going to the Elysian Brewing Company after church and getting the Chicken Avocado Curry, my absolute favorite.

Watching Kevin maneuver his wheelchair over the completely un-handicapped friendly sidewalks of Seattle.

Going for a 7-mile walk with Katherine around Alki Beach.

Completely forgetting that our LTAS meeting was at my house until there were people standing in my living room, and the graciousness of the girls in shifting the schedule to get done early.

Radiohead Laser Show at the Seattle Center with Joel.

Going to bed at 1am, knowing that the snow was coming.

Friday, January 25

Happy birthday, Deborah.  I’m fairly certain you won’t see this, and I’m fairly certain you’d be upset if I posted any kind of public display of affection for you, so…your gift is in the mail.  Or will be soon.  Welcome to your 20s, sister.

Today a magical thing happened.  Today I saw Bill Bellamy at the market.

For those of you who aren’t quite sure whether or not you’re thinking of the right guy, I’m referring to this gentleman:

bill-bellamy.jpg

Host of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing“, successful comic in his own right, and the most famous person I’ve ever seen up close.  I was within touching distance.  All my trips to New York City, and the nearest I’ve come was seeing Brian Williams from across the street from the NBC store.

I was with Kristen, and we were just planning on taking a drive through the market, because it was beautiful outside, but wicked cold.  As I made the turn at the entrance, we noticed a larger than usual number of policemen, at least two of them on horses.  The first thing I noticed was his bodyguard, who was probably 6’6″ and 250lbs.  Next I noticed a much smaller man talking into a camera.  He stopped talking to the camera long enough to chat up some kids and snap a picture with them, and while we were stopped to wait on them I realized the man had on much makeup, and that OH MY GOSH KRISTEN, THAT IS A FAMOUS PERSON whose name I can’t remember WAIT, KRISTEN, THAT’S BILL BELLAMY!

“Who?” she replied, as I punched her in the arm several times.  I punch when I get excited.

“Bill Bellamy!  He’s famous!”  By now we had completed the turn, but not before I heard him through my cracked window tell the kids to stay in school and make As.  Kristen still looked confused.

“Bill Bellamy?  Hosted ‘Last Comic Standing’?” I implored.

Kristen’s face lit up with an “oh, yeah!”

“We just saw a famous person!” I squealed, and we both started screaming.

By now we were well past him, and what had started out a casual drive quickly turned into an all-out Bill Bellamy hunt, our weapons being my cell phone camera and some loose paper from Kristen’s backpack that we could use for an autograph.  We found a prime parking spot and took off on foot, only to realize that he had disappeared while we circled the block.  Not to be deterred, we roamed around, calling his name.  At one point we stopped to talk to a fishmonger who confirmed that we had, in fact, seen Bill Bellamy, and that he had just taken off further into the market.  He said that it had sounded like they were doing some pre-filming for “Last Comic Standing”. 

We never did see him again, despite our constant vigilance.  Be certain, though, that when “Last Comic Standing” does finally air, I’ll be watching, and I’ll be letting everyone know that my car was RIGHT BEHIND THAT CAMERA when Bill goes into whatever cheerful expostition he was giving about the comic talent of Seattle.

Thursday, January 24

Mom, if you didn’t get around to reading my blog until today, be sure you go look at the entry from your birthday.  This one you won’t care about as much. 

I was hoping to start today’s post with the words “Terminus Est,” which would be indicative of the fact that I have finally done with all 630-something pages of my Walt Disney biography.  (How funny/sad/strange is it, though, that I started my day thinking about how I wanted to end my blog tonight?)  Alas, it cannot be so.  I’m getting closer, though.  Walt Disney has just opened Disneyland, and I think he’s getting ready to start drawing up plans for Epcot. 

I’m still working my way through every Disney cartoon ever made, or at least, every Disney cartoon they have at Video Isle up on Queen Anne.  Right now I’m watching 10 hours worth of Mickey Mouse color shorts on Walt Disney Treasures: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two.  It’s so interesting to think that these were made for the express purpose of showing them in theaters, because I can’t imagine watching them on anything other than my television.  I watched so many of these growing up in the 80s, and they were made almost entirely in the 40s and 50s.  Also interesting: every 3 or so shorts Leonard Maltin will interrupt to remind us that when these cartoons were made, it would not have been seen as inappropriate for Mickey to be dressed in disguise in traditional Native American garb, or for one of the characters to speak in an exaggerated Italian accent and be named ‘Macaroni’.  “Remember,” he says with a smile, “guns are never funny, but in this case the cat is threatening to shoot himself as part of Pluto’s nightmare.”  This all feels a little over the top, even more so because some of the things he’s cautioning us to be aware of are the LEAST of the problems that today’s viewers might have with the shorts.  Like maybe it’s not a great idea to give a dog a birthday cake covered in lit candles.

I think next I’m going to try to hunt down a collection of Goofy shorts.  I’ve concluded he’s my favorite.  I remember at one point in my childhood, during one of our trips to Disney World, my family concluded that if I were a Disney character, I’d be Goofy.  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to why.  Jennifer was Tigger, and Deborah had no character, because she was cute and young and at that point had not developed enough opinions to be stereotyped.

I promise this obsession will be over soon.

Also of note: for the last two days I’ve been listening to cars skid up and down the surprisingly icy hill by my apartment.  It’s an eerie sound, and I keep expecting one of the skids to end in a crash.

I decided that this was the morning to give up caffiene.  The heart palpitations have been somewhat out of control the last few days, and from my extensive research (read: I looked up some stuff on Wikipedia), it looks like caffiene can be one of the main causes of what my doctor assumes are premature ventricular beats.  I don’t drink much caffiene to begin with; aside from my morning pot of coffee, I always drink decaf, and I usually buy caffiene free soda for my home.  However, if changing my morning beverage to decaf will keep my heart from jumping out of my chest, then I’ll do it.  I was expecting a major headache, but instead I’ve just been lightheaded all day.  Again, my research (Wikipedia) tells me that caffiene causes blood vessels to constrict, which gives people the slightly wired feeling, so I’m assuming that by eleminating caffiene I’m allowing the blood to flow freely to my brain for the first time in who knows how long, which would explain the wooziness.  Maybe if I keep this up I’ll get smarter.

Final story.  This evening Joel and I went to see “Juno” and afterwards went to Daniel’s Broiler for dessert.  We seated ourselves in the lounge area, right next to the piano, where a cluster of 40- to 60-year-olds were rockin’ out their Thursday night.  After about half an hour or so one of the older gentlemen stumbled by our table.  I was in the middle of what I’m certain was a fascinating story, and it took me a few seconds to realize he was listening in, staring right at the two of us.  We gave him a smile, which he took as an invitation, lays a hand on each of our shoulders, and says something like,

“This is what I like to see.  Two young kids, out having a good time, not causing trouble…Are you two in love?” 

No, we respond, we’re just getting to know each other. 

“Well, that’s good,” he says.  “That’s what I like to see.  How old are you?” he responds. 

“And how old are you?”  I respond. 

“That’s good.  You know, I’m a surgeon, and I haven’t been out in 20 years, and I’m having a good night.” 

Yes, you seem to be, we say, and he gives our shoulders one more squeeze, shakes Joel’s hand, and walks away to enjoy his first night off in 20 years.

Between this and Bad Night Waitress from our first date, we have quite a track record.