Thursday, October 30, 2003
Yeah. I know. You miss me.
See, I've had this post floating around my head for the last week, about Johnny and June, I've just not had a chance to get it posted yet. I've been crazy-busy this week. But its coming, I promise.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
So I spent like 2 hours workin on the new background pic I was gonna use...but I was just getting frustrated and tired so that will have to wait.
In the meantime though, you'll all be happy to know that my photo gallery is up. Its been up for a bit, some of you have seen it, some of you haven't. But I finally finished the captions.
So you can go seeeeee: Mic's Photos. And I've been up for almost 20 hours now. I'm kinda tired.
Monday, October 20, 2003
I was really looking forward to this weekend. Two whole days off, even Sunday night. But its not been very good.
Once in a while, I’ll get completely down, for no real apparent reason. This weekend is one of those times. I’ve been really just…not even sad, per se, maybe more melancholy. Just haven’t really wanted to see or talk to any people.
I think a big part of it is that I miss home…again. And I knew it was coming, and wasn’t looking forward to it, so maybe that makes it worse. I’m here, and I’m where I’m supposed to be for the moment. But if I had any advice to give to those people who are considering moving overseas (from wherever “home” is), I would say….Don’t go unless you take (or have there) at least one person there who really loves you. And I know I’ve said it before. And I love Scotland, its an amazing place. But the thing about it is that…there are a lot of people around that really like me, but not one person that really loves me here, beyond that friendship love. And it’s difficult, knowing that not one person in the whole country, the whole continent, actually really loves you like that. And that you have almost two more years around here.
For the most part, I successfully avoided humankind today. On the way back from Starbucks I took the long way home, past these beautiful lonely streets and art house theatres and old men walking small dogs and couples in love dressed for the autumn weather, managing to cuddle and walk at the same time, which really should be an Olympic event if you ask me. I had Eva Cassidy in my headphones…she does this amazing cover of “Fields of Gold” that just brings you to tears, even on a good day. I left it on repeat the whole time. Walking past the Meadows, it started to rain that kind of rain that looks more like snow in the streetlights, while the wind took orange and gold leaves and made mini-tornadoes out of them.
Add a little loneliness, and it all made the night slightly surreal…kinda like the end of an episode of Felicity or Dawson’s Creek.
I wasn’t sure whether that actually made me more or less depressed.
To be continued soon....
Sunday, October 19, 2003
Recommendations and thoughts....
Go check out:
1) Sco's travels around Asia....great pics AND great words...
2) Britt's "Fun Things To Do In a Strip Club" over at Starving Artist. Niiiiice!
3) Check out Jonathan (Blind Kid Bus Driver Extraordinaire!) again, just because he writes things like this:
If you accidentally go down the wrong way on a one-way street with a bus full of blind kids, just pretend like everything is all right. Seriously, it's not like they are going to report you or anything.
A few others thoughts from today:
--The Pope is gonna beatify Mother Theresa?! Beatify?! I thought that was only something Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg did.
--Anyone got any good ideas for me and Marian's (aka The Ickle Girl) joint birthday party? Some kind of theme thing? She thought maybe pink, because we both hate pink, and that would be SO unlike us...but we both decided we hate pink too much to go with that one. So we need other ideas because her boyfriend won't plan our party. THANKS ANDY! (Jerk. You're not cute, either. And have I mentioned Ben? And Jerry?!)
--I'm still wondering....if I fart when sitting on the floor, can the people in the apartment below us hear it? Do they know its a fart? More importantly...do they know that *I* am the farter!?
Everytime I look at myself.....I can't believe how awesome I am.
That is all.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Scotland in autumn is sorta sad if you don't have someone to share it with.
It's too beautiful.
..on jazz and baseball...
Hey. I'm feeling much better today. Your prayers must be workin! Y'all are good at that. So today was a good day...a good start to a weekend that should be pretty great. I actually have both days off this week, which I find extremely exciting. And yes, I KNOW that its 3am and I really should go to bed...but "Eight Men Out" is on TV! Say what you like about the game...but God bless baseball. I've a newfound appreciation for the sport after leaving the States and returning. I loved every second of the game I got to see in Atlanta (Braves vs. Phillies) in July. It was one of those nights you knew from the outset that you'd never want to end. Everything about it was so American in almost made me cry, from the overpriced beer to the smell of the hotdogs and the familiar songs and familiar chants played again and again. The sights and sounds...just totally enveloping you...
I really did almost cry.
Over here, baseball is shown probably 3 or 4 nights a week, usually at about 1am. I've never been much of a tv-watcher of baseball (its too slow, and not enough audience involvement from your living room) but I usually find myself looking forward to watching it here. Most of the time its only as background noise, while I'm doing other things, and I'll check the scores every few minutes, listen for the big plays. But its more just about the familiarity of it all, the American accents that accompany the announcers, the American product advertisements along the stands, those familiar noises and songs again. I know a lot of you aren't American, and might not even be very big fans of my country. And that's okay. But its still home to me, and there are still things you loved as a kid that you'll never grow out of, if only because its woven into your very fabric.
If you ever get a chance, go to 18th and Vine in Kansas City, where you can visit both the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and The American Jazz Museum. They're pretty stunning.
(If you can...stop into The Blue Room on a Monday night....)
Kansas City...jazz...and baseball.
Its almost perfect.
(For further research and study -- and for a great tip for a gift you can get me for my birthday [*coughNovember9thcough*] or Christmas...I think its on video....somewhere -- feel free toclick here. ;) )
(And yes....I know...I kinda changed up the format for this particular post. Why? Because I CAN. :)
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Good News....Bad News....
*Edited...just for Amy!* ;)
Okay folks. So I have good news and bad news.
Good News Number One:
I did, in fact, make it through Tuesday. Well, sorta. I actually came home early from class and crashed in my bed. But I did get the essay done, and I didn't ever actually burst into tears.
Bad News Number One:
I'm still quite sick. The stomach pains have been going on for some time now and tend to come at inopportune times, like when I'm trying to sleep. Still accompanied by occassional nausea and continual headaches. I went to the doc yesterday and she has no idea what it is. (Snippet of conversation: "Is there any chance you could be pregnant?" "No, none at all." "Are you romantically involved at all?" [Pause] "Umm, no." [This pause was apparently enough for her to say....] "You know about contraception and emergency contraception and all that, right?" "Um, yes, thanks.") So anyway, I'm doing tests next week to see if she can figure it out. Whooppee.
Bad News Number Two:
My computer is dead. Not only does it keep crashing, but the modem is now completely and utterly pootched.
Good News Number Two:
The Man (aka my work) are talking about buying a NEW one! Praise Jesus!
But for now, that means I'm without a computer. The desktop at my office is really tempermental (I usually take in my laptop) so its rare I can actually get on the internet from there. Til then I've been using my flatmates, Ruth...who has been out of town for two days and took her darn computer! She should be back tomorrow (not "tommorrow"...like I might have said in my younger days...ha!) though. And she's quite gracious about letting me use it.
So that's the updated news. Posts may be more rare for a bit, but I'll still try and stay on top of things! The great part about it is that I'm using tonite to catch up on oodles of reading I have to do for class....with no computer distraction. :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Yeah so in case you were wondering, I *really* feel sick, but not sick enough (aka kneeling before the porcelain throne) to skip class. Otherwise, I just want to cry. its partially my fault, but partially just being way too busy and letting things pile on top of me too quickly. And I have a 12 hour day at college today.
Not entirely sure I can do this today.
Saturday, October 11, 2003
I don't remember if I've told you about "Jeremy the Perfect Boyfriend" yet. Jeremy is an invention of my friend Peter. If you've not read about Jeremy yet, you DEFINTELY need to go do that. Its is very, very funny.
In other news, I had a nice night out with the pals tonite, went to see "Finding Nemo", which I thought was mucho excellente. If you haven't yet seen it....go do that, too. (Americans: it comes out on DVD on November 4th. Brits/Scots: it just came out in the theatres today. Its so unfair. All others: I have no idea.)
And in case you were wondering why the little man with the cat went away, the site that was hosting my pic is down, and should be up again soon.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What is your favorite kind of hug? Discuss.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Bless Her Heart...
Tuesday, I found myself once again on that familiar bus ride from Edinburgh to Glasgow, for the start of my second of three years at ICC, doing the Youthwork with Applied Theology course.
Anyone that knows me knows I’ve never been a morning person, unless by “morning person” you mean staying up most of the night and greeting the sun when it peeks round the corner. Add to this that I’d gotten three hours of sleep the night before. 6am isn’t a nice time…its even less nice if you were personally awake to see 3am. Needless to say, I should have been miserable.
“Should have” being the key words there. The morning was STUNNING, let me tell you. There are few more beautiful sights I’ve seen in the world than Edinburgh on a cold and clear morning. I was well pleased to see that the Coffee Stop at the bus station has now started to carry Splenda sweetner, many props for that. The guy that got my coffee was very pleasant, which is always a plus when you’re getting your morning coffee. Even better, the bus driver was very sweet. He whistled, and I love whistling bus drivers. And he called me “young lassie”. I love it when they do that.
I had every intention on curling up in the back seat of the relatively empty bus and getting a good hour of sleep on the way. I had a sandwich to eat first though, and that is to be savored when you are as hungry as I was. So out come the headphones and I play the new Passion CD, which I’m very much enjoying.
I end up just sitting there, by myself in that seat, watching the amazingly beautiful Scottish landscape go by…green hills and blue skies and striking sunlight coming to meet it all early in the morning.
And I was perfectly content.
I want too much, usually. I want things and I want them now, and I forget that tommorrow I’ll probably regret not enjoying yesterday enough. Now there’s nothing wrong with hope, and looking to the future. But we’re never promised tommorrow. I think too much of our lives – or maybe especially mine – is lived in hope of tommorrow instead of the joy of now. “Everybody’s working for the weekend”. When I was in grade school, I couldn’t wait til I was in junior high. When I was in junior high I couldn’t wait til high school. When I was in high school…well that’s when Pandora’s Box probably gets opened. You’re suddenly looking at a lifetime ahead of you, which you hope to contain college and travel and “real jobs” and money and relationships and marriage and sex and kids and then more sex. These days I spend too much time looking forward to the weekend, or the next holiday or my visit home for Christmas, or one of my close friends are coming to visit me here in Scotland or next terms class or next year’s graduation or jobs that might be available after that or getting married and…..
Well you get the idea.
But right there, in that moment on the bus to Glasgow, I was completely and utterly happy and content. By no means is my life perfect right now. In fact, its probably slightly stressful. But, in that moment, I was completely overwhelmed with the idea – no, the fact – that Christ really and truly is ALL I need. Everything. I realized that the God that created those hills and that sky and those trees and the sunlight that warms my face…that very same God is madly in love with me. And no matter what, that love will stay tommorrow and the next day and forever. And that love provides for me and wants me to enjoy THIS moment, for His glory.
And in that moment, in that contentment, my heart hurt for so many who do not know that peace, for those who use every means possible to cover up the fact that they don’t know it, to convince themselves that they’ve found it.
Sometimes, the blessings of God come at me in so much abound that I nearly lose my breath at the whole idea, in light of my complete and utter screwed-up-ed-ness.
“We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life.”
(John Piper, “Don’t Waste Your Life”)
O eternal Godhead,
O sea profound,
what more could you give me than yourself?
You are the fire that burns without being consumed;
you consume in your heat all the soul's self-love;
you are the fire which takes away cold;
with your light you illuminate me so that I may know all your truth.
clothe me with yourself, eternal truth,
so that I may run this mortal life with true obedience,
and with the light of your most holy faith.
Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
I need words
As bright as sky
I need a language large as
This longing inside
And I need a voice
That's bigger than mine
I need a song to sing you
That I've yet to find
I need you
Oh, I need You
I need you
Oh I need You
To be here now
To hear me now
("I Need Words", David Crowder, DCB "Can You Hear Us?" )
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
1) I also think there are quite a few NON-blog friends that are very awesome. (*coughFionacough*)
2) I also like quite a few blogs I've not linked yet (*coughAdamcough*), I'm just lazy about links these days.
3) I do, in fact, think (actually..know) this new dude fits all three of the previously mentioned requirements of taking to dinner (eventually), admiration, and tree climbing. He also fits quite a few OTHER, non-mentioned qualifications, such as: being a big fan of Indian, Mexican and Thai food, and Terry's Chocolate Orange (and chocolate in general),and American football, being taller and bigger than me, somewhat smarter than me, and loving God passionatelyand wanting to serve Him. All that AND he agrees that Empire Strikes Back is DEFINITELY the best of the Star Wars movies, and that Seinfield is highly overrated. That's pretty much all I ask.
4) That dude is, in fact Tim Goldsmith. There, I said it. I quite like him.
5) I don't really have a number 5, but 5 is a nice round number, and you can't leave a list at a number 4....that just wouldn't be right.
That is all for now.
Monday, October 06, 2003
Yesterday, I was talking to my good friend Ashley. I told her I might have found a pretty good guy, and she asked me:
"You mean...one to take you to dinner? Or one that you admire? Or one that you can CLIMB TREES with?!"
I thought that was an EXCELLENT question. :) Preferably I suppose all three is best....
One of the many reasons I love Ashley...
Off to work.....
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Somewhere between making my toast and turning off the light in the kitchen today, I realized that man, I've met some AWESOME people thanks to blogging. Meg, for example. And Jason. And Coqui, who is pretty much my new best friend, ohhhh yeah. (Hear that? That's her screaming and running away....)
And Tim....well.... ;)
That's all for today.
(Note: If I met you through blogging, and your name is not here...it doesn't mean you are not awesome. You might not be awesome, but you probably are. And I promise, my links list is NOT in order of preference I assure you. Coqui is not my 31st favoritest blog friend....neither is Matt my 4th...or 5th favorite-est.....etc, etc, etc....)
And on a totally different note:
Its a bit pricey, but I know you guys will want to snatch this puppy up right away:
Saturday, October 04, 2003
About a year and a half ago, I went through a pretty sucky breakup, left the only real home I had at the time (The Doulos) and all the friends there, and was left pretty heartbroken. Just after that, I spent some time working at the Operation Mobilization USA office in Atlanta. During that, I picked up a book of essays and quotes by Soren Kierkegaard, named "Provocations", and read a great essay on love, that God used to profoundly speak to me. Just recently I picked it up again, and though it important enough to share with you guys. Its all echoed by John Piper in his new book "Don't Waste Your Life", another book I'm reading now. More about Piper's thoughts in days to come:
The Greater Love
By Soren Kierkegaard
Worldly wisdom would have us believe that love is a relationship between one person and another. Christ’s life teaches that love is a relationship between three: person-God-person. However beautiful a love-relationship is between two or more people, however complete all their enjoyment and all their bliss in mutual devotion and affection are for them, and even if all people praise this relationship—if God and the relationship to God is left out, then this is not love, but a mutual and enchanting illusion. For only in love for God can one love in truth. To help another human being to love God is to love another person. And to be helped by another human being to love God is to be loved.
Love is by no means merely a human bond, no matter how faithful and tender it is. As soon as you leave God out, the power of human judgement becomes highest. Such judgement loses sight of love altogether. As soon as a love-relationship does not lead me to God, and as soon as I do not lead another person to God, this love—even if it were the most blissful and joyous attachment, even if it were the highest good in the lover’s earthly life—nevertheless is not true love.
Not only should the celibate belong solely to God, so should the person who in love is bound to a woman or a man. He shall not first seek to please his wife, but shall strive first that his love may please God. Consequently, it is not the wife who shall teach the husband how he should lover her, or the husband his wife, or a friend his friend, or associates their associates, but it is God who shall teach each individual how he or she should love. Only when the God-relationship determines what constitutes love is love prevented from being some illusion or self-deception.
Love that does not lead to God, love that does not have the single goal of leading us to love God, such love eventually comes to a stand-still . Moreover it escapes the ultimate and most terrible collision: in the love-relationship there is an infinite difference between God’s conception of love and ours. A purely human conception of love can never comprehend that anyone, through being loved as completely as possible another person, would be able to stand in the other person’s way. And yet, Christianly understood, this very thing is possible, for to be loved thus can be a hindrance to one’s God-relationship.
For the Christian view means this: to truly love oneself is to love God; to truly love another person is, though it mean being hated, to help the other person love God;.
The World cannot seem to get it through its head that apart from God, love is a chimera. For God alone is love. Where love is, God not only becomes the third party but essentially becomes the only loved object, so that it is not the husband who is the wife’s beloved, but it is God, and it is the wife who is helped by the husband to love God, and conversely. The love-relationship is a triangular relationship of the lover, the beloved, and love-not love by itself, but love in God. For ultimately is it is God who pas placed love in us humans, and it is God who shall finally decide what is love.
In matters of love it takes no time at all to become deceived. It is so easy to get a quick, fanciful picture of what love is and then be satisfied with the fancy. It is still easier to get a few people to associated together in self-love, to be sought after and admired by them till the end. But if your ultimate and highest purpose is to have an easy and sociable life, then don’t have anything to do with Christ or his love. Flee from him for he will do the very opposite. He will make your life difficult and do this precisely by making you stand alone before God.
How many have been corrupted – divinely understood – by...friendship, or by a woman’s love, simply because, defrauded out of his God-relationship, he became far too attached to her while she in turn was inexhaustible in her praise of his love? How many relatives and friends corrupted by their love because they got him to forget his God-relationship and changed it to something people could shout about, admire, without being sensitive to any admonition about higher things?
Do not appeal, therefore, to the judgement of others in order to prove your love. Human judgement has validity only as far as it agrees with God’s demand. No love between one person and another can, in and of itself, ever be perfectly happy, ever perfectly secure. Even the happiest love between two people has still one danger, the danger that earthly love can become too intense, too important, so that the God-relationship is hindered.
You must always watch apprehensively, lest this danger overtake you, lest you too should forget God, or that the beloved might do so. Such apprehension may mean being hated by the beloved. But only God, who is the one true source of love, is the continuously happy, the continuously blessed object of love. You should thus not watch too apprehensively; watch only in adoration.