Thursday, April 29, 2004

Fo Shizzle.

So Marian came over tonite.

"Guess where I'm going this weekend?!"


"Alton Towers!"

"NO WAY! I'm so jealous."


"Oooooh. YES!"


So it went something like that. I'm going to Alton Towers (Link 1, Link 2) this weekend. I'm pretty excited, as this is the largest theme park (pretty much the only good one) in the UK, and from what I hear they may have enough roller coasters to satisfy my thrill-seeking. (Keep in mind, I *am* a "Type Seven".....). We're driving down on Saturday - Marian, me, and three of her friends from college - camping overnight, and rockin the hizzouse on Sunday. It should be very good times. It's also perfect timing, since I don't usually have the money (though this should only set me back about 60 quid) and this weekend is a rare weekend that I get both days off.

Now lets just hope it doesn't rain in merrye olde Englande this weekende.

Michaela @10:35 PM :: Comment

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

"......and now perfoming...for the first time ever....our dearest Glenn...."

I love when something can trigger a memory. Today I was watching a TV program and the woman on it said she had dreamt of being a dancer as a child. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself, just remembering one of my favorite “belly-laugh” moments that occurred on this ship….

Endri was a small Indonesian guy who always had a smile on his face. He was funny, but more in that “Awww, you’re precious!” kinda way, than just really witty. Glenn was a Kiwi (New Zealander) and was the REALLY funny one. Glenn was the class clown, Glenn was the one that people EXPECTED to make them laugh. So keep these things in mind.

This one morning, we’d received a new group of short-termers who would be working with us on the deck department for the next few weeks. As an introduction, our Second Officer, Ashley, told us to say our names, ages and what we did before we joined the ship. So of course we all do our part. Endri casually said he was 23, and stated what he did in Indonesia (which I think was farming? I don’t remember). Glenn then said he was 22, and he used to raise sheep. (True.) Without skipping a beat, Endri turns to Glenn with a look of shock and says with his accent: “You told me you were dancer!” For a moment, everyone thought maybe Glenn DID say that, just for fun, because that’s something he would do. But combine Glenn’s look of utter shock and Endri’s bursting into laugher….we knew Endri had come up with that one all on his own.

Ahh yes. Deck Department on the Doulos.

Good times.

In other news: Watch out kiddies! The Man is tracking our blogs!!!!!

Big Brother is watching.

Michaela @12:29 AM :: Comment

Sunday, April 25, 2004

With Regards To Summer

I am so very very blessed.

Today was a great day. It was a recharge day, which was something I desperately needed after a busy (but good) week. I slept in, probably much too long (I’m not telling you how late), but it was enjoyable. Since I spent my surprise Thursday “day off” getting caught up on work and housecleaning and things generally needing to get done, I was able to really take a proper day off today.

After the lazy snooze of a long “getting up”, I finally rolled out of bed and made it to the shower. Showers are great, especially the long Saturday morning ones, where you can just enjoy the natural light from the window, the hot water, and the time to think. (I used to be able to get a lot of thinking and praying done in the car, but I find the bus isn’t as great for that, so the shower has somewhat taken its place in that). It struck me, how extremely blessed I really am. I know I’ve blogged about all this before, not long ago. But I really and truly am. If I were not me, I would envy my life.

But as the day continued, I was reminded too of how fleeting these times are. Not to say that the future stages of my life will not be as blessed, but that no day will be exactly the same as today will be, and it will soon be tomorrow. I often wonder how many people have the same thoughts and feelings as I do. Some are universal, sure…but each person puts a different spin, a different perspective on their experience…..

Today was a beautiful day, partly cloudy, but probably the warmest day we’ve had so far – sweatshirt weather. (I still often wear my winter coat.) The Meadows, along with Bruntsfield Links (link 1, link 2), are connected parks (formerly a golf course), pretty big, and right in heart of the “student” area of the city, between Marchmont, Bruntsfield, Newington, and the University of Edinburgh. So as to be expected, the Meadows were packed full of university students today, catching up on reading, tossing Frisbees, and playing football, all alongside older folks walking their dogs and young families watching their kids play. It’s a pretty extraordinary sight, actually. So today I rode the bus past the Meadows and thought: “I wonder how many of these people are fully aware of how fleeting this time is? How many of these people know how blessed they are to live here and experience this?”

I often had similar feelings on the Doulos (link). I remember looking up at the night sky in Tanzania, not long before I was to leave the ship, and thinking: “Man…I’m standing under an African sky. This is something I do not want to forget.” I remember sitting around a table of some of my closest friends, laughing so hard that it hurt, thinking that soon we would return back to our separate corners of the earth, and would probably rarely see each other. I remember being fully aware of how much I would miss the salt air of the sea, and the sound of the waves hitting the sides of the ship as we were sailing. I knew it was a phase in my life that was fleeting and one that I wanted to FULLY experience, as much as I could – sights, sounds and smells.

So now I find myself right here. My second year of university is finishing up, and I’ve only got one more year to go. And after that, I face a whole new phase of life, not in Scotland, not in college, not here. As exciting and scary as that is, I do not want to be focused too much on that.

It’s very possible that in two years from now, I’ll be married, living somewhere totally different, in a completely different job, in a completely different life. And with that life will come its own special blessings. This makes me want to embrace this time all the more, with its own particular blessings and moments that are not to be repeated.

I’m sure that in my next phase of life, and the next, I’ll be writing about how much I am loving the blessings of the moment, and how I want to embrace that phase of life too… I’ll be writing about the sights and smells and sounds and people and moments of that phase of life.

But I know, that 30 years from now, I will look back on this time, when I was in my early 20’s, living in Scotland…and still feel blessed that I was able to experience these things, was able to file these moments away as memories.

Ironically, (or not….God seems to work this way at times…) my Bible reading today led me to Ecclesiastes 11:7-10…

Oh how sweet the light of day,
And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!
Even if you life a long time, don’t take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour,
Remembering that there will be many dark days,
And that most of what comes your way is smoke.

You who are young, make the most of your youth.
Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.
If something looks good to you, pursue it.
But know also that not just anything goes;
You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.

Live footloose and fancy free---
You won’t be young forever.
Youth lasts about as long as smoke.
(The Message)

I often forget, in the midst of the waiting for tomorrow, and the mundane stress of today, that as cliché as the line has become, today is indeed a gift – that today is not just something to “get through”, but something to grab ahold of, and to enjoy. Andy Osenga (link) once wrote a great song called “Photographs”. In it, he speaks of embracing both the good and bad moments of life, sorrow and joy…

So take a photograph,
If you’re wanting this to last,
Cause you can try the best you can,
but God knows, it’s about to end.

Sleep it comes so easy
And faith it fights so hard,
So come to me please, Jesus,
Before I waste another night, my Lord…

Dream sweet,


Michaela @2:12 AM :: Comment

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Another pointless survey.

You know you love them, though. I have Cameron to thank for this one.

1) Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says: "Greenland? There is no malaria in Greenland! Why you want a malaria shot? And what happened to your face, honey?"

2) Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?: Nothing. My cupboard is too far away.

3) What is the last thing you watched on TV? I watched Home and Away at 12:30 today. So sue me.

4) WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what the time is: 8:21

5) Now look at the clock, what is the actual time? HOLY COW, its 8:21. And I promise I have no looked at the clock since about 7:05. That’s insane. I have an uncanny sense of the time though….too bad that can’t translate to me BEING on time.

6) With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? Street noise, since my window is open, mostly cars.

7) When did you last step outside? I got back around 7 after a short excursion to Starbucks.

8) Before you came to this website, what did you look at? The RMFO boards

9) What are you wearing? Jeans, and my NAVY t-shirt over a white long-sleeved shirt.

10) Did you dream last night? Yeah. Two of them were freakin psycho. And no, I’m not telling you what they were. (They weren’t dirty though, before you go thinking things.) Apparently, everyone dreams, every night. We just don't usually remember them.

11) When did you last laugh? Not sure. I think maybe at youth group last night.

12) What is on the walls of the room you are in? Some of my photography from my travels: one of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney…one of laundry drying on a boat in the Maldives….one of a really old lady standing on a balcony in Hungary….and one of a boy at an orphanange in Myanmar…

13) Seen anything funny lately? The other week I had a lunch meeting with a guy who is pretty high-up in youth ministry stuffs in Scotland, and he accidently ended up smearing food all over his nose and forehead…totally without noticing. And I had to be the one to tell him it was there. He was so embarrassed, I was embarrassed FOR him.

14) Last movie you saw? Last night, my flatmate had a DVD of Back to the Future 3 on. It’s my least favorite of all the BTTF’s though.

15) If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first? Hm. Probably a ticket to Sydney. (Though I’d probably have to pay a substantial sum to get my boss to let me off work for a few days.)

16) Tell me something about you that I don't know? My first crush was on a kid named Shane, back in Kindergarten. Yeah, he was hott.

17) If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do? Regardless of guilt? I should probably NOT put some lame answer about my thighs though, eh. I’d probably want to do something about sanitary water and starvation….but this question bugs me, because of my thoughts on the sovereignty of God…He knows what he’s doing, even if I don’t like it….

18) Do you like to dance? Um. It depends. Sometimes. Usually not so much.

19) George Bush: I may not agree with every single thing he does, but I do respect the man and will vote for him over Kerry any day of the week.

20) Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? Elisabeth Marie. (maybe…)

21) [Same question for a boy] Not sure. Connor maybe….or Dylan…

22) Would you ever consider living abroad? I have lived abroad for the last 4 years….

Ta da.

Michaela @9:17 PM :: Comment

One of my favorite things about my job is when I see kids I work with just around town, in Penicuik. I'll often be walking down the street and hear "MICHAELA!", and I look around to see one of my kids shouting from across the street or down the road. They always stop and say hi. Tonite while I was waiting at the bus stop, two of the teenagers I knew from the Youth Cafe walked past with a group of their friends (whom I didn't know). Their friends waited while the two of them (they are DATING now...I didn't even know that!) stopped to talk to me for a second, excited to see me for the first time in over a month.

I love it when that happens. :)

I may complain too much, but I do love youthwork.

Michaela @12:07 AM :: Comment

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

You all know me so well. I'm proud of you.

Well as promised, I have posted some of the answers I recieved to my survey. Some are funny, some are not funny, some are lies, some are hopes, some are inside jokes, some were in Swedish. These are some of the answers.

Much thanks to Amy, Jar, Jason, Tim, Peter, Adam, Kari, Megan, Jared, Joshua, Chrissy, and Roger for your answers.

Have fun guessing who was who.


1. My name:

- Michaela Forbes
-is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

2. Where did we meet?

-In the parking lot of Logan's in Nashville, or on the Guild board. I guess it depends on whether you mean "in person" or our first interaction. ;)
-how about where will we meet... grocery store? i am feeling the cantalope's looking for a ripe one and you ask "having fun with that?"

3. Take a stab at my middle name:

- Marie, I am pretty sure.
-...maria? (it seems half the girls i know have this for their middle name so i figure it's my best shot)
-Rose (doesn't michaela rose sound pretty? unless your last name is rodriguez or romano...)
"The Fox"
-i'm not violent. what did your middle name ever do to me?

4. How long have you known me?

-A few months
-A year I guess
-Since Guild days. I remember your late-night ramblings. And we talked about having never kissed a guy. hehe.
-In reality...3 or 4 months? But we always seem to be inside one another's heads... So it feels more like 4 and a half months.

5. When is the last time we saw each other?

-March 12, 1994 [said by the guy that noted he's only known me for a year]
-When you were taking my picture while I was asleep. lol.
-In a dream where you were telling me about your mom. That was 8 months ago.
-I fear for you stumbling, thus actual "seeing" has been ruled out. (plus there's that whole "you in Scotland" thing)

6. Do I smoke?

-I don't think so, I hope not.
-Occasionally you smoke cigars when I don't give them to N8
-cigars with your mom...right?
-Ocassionally with your mother.
-like a chimney

7. Do I believe in God?

-Yes (or you have us all fooled!).

8. When you first saw me what was your impression?

-Nice glasses
-"There's my twin!"
-That you were stunningly beautiful.
-I think I was doing Elvis..... oh, wait, you mean my impression of you? I thought "She is cute, I will have to write to her & say Hi"
-"Tall girl walking with a black guy with dreads . . . must be Michaela and Booker." ;)
-Is this chick for real, she is more boss then any of us guys on the balcony, she deserves a Balkie.
-"what is this?? how could someone ever be prettier than me?!? she's really really ridiculously good looking!"
-so when you come up to me and ask about the melons i think "whoaballsyfunnymocking-newyorker?-geeilikeher"
-In order: Glasses. Hott. Smartass. Hott.

9. Month of my Birthday?

-August (and everything after) forget
-with a name like Michaela I would say... April
-What does this demonstrate? My callous indifference? There, I said it - I don't care when your birthday is! I'm an ass! FINE!!!
*storms out*

10. Color hair?

- Pink last I heard, but it looks red in Tim's photos. I would say natural colour is medium brown.
-A reddish brownish mauve
-red, or pink, or brown

11. Color eyes?

-Oh, um, brown?
-Green with flecks of red and gold.
-The color of mystery.
- Blue?

12. Do I have any siblings?

-Yes, a much younger brother
-3 - all dead
-a sister. and a cousin who is like a brother to you

13. What's one of my favorite things to do outdoors?

-Make out
-Kiss me
-Punch dogs
-run naked through the park.
-take pictures (like i said i went to your site one before. not that pictures is necessarily right, but just so you know it is an educated guess)
-Moon old people.
-I don't know, so I'll guess make out? ;)
-kiss statues

14. What's one of my favorite things to do indoors?

-Make out
-Kiss me
-Nurse dogs back to health
-Drink coffee.
-Drink tea or beer and watch movies. Or Friends. And you like to read.
-Kiss Tim.

15. Do you remember one of the 1st things I said to you?

-"I thought everything was bigger in Texas?"
-I don't remember, probably something about beer.
-"you look like one of those movie bad guys who turns out to be good. Or good who turn out to be bad. I can't really tell which. But you look like you're not one to be messed with."

16. What's my favorite type of music? Not sure.

-Caedemon's call kind of stuff. I don't know what you would call it.
-Blue-grassy Folksy stuff.
-Counting Crows -esque rootsy
-You have a taste for a simple Alternative/Americana style
-everything....i think
-You like lots of different stuff. The Counting Crows are your favorite. So I'll just put that, maybe I can get some points there. ;)

17. What is the best feature about me?

-Your taste in men.
-the ass machine
-the way your eyebrows don't match. one is straight and 'perfect', the other flips up as if you are seeing irony all the time. i like the ironic one. [The weird thing is that this answer came from a guy I absolutely do not know, and who claims to have only been on my site once. But he's pefectly spot-on: my eyebrows do not match.]
-Your intellect...and ass.
-You are so fun! And you are passionate and outspoken. I like that.
-Physical feature? I think you are a very beautiful woman.
-your face!....i'd say one of them is your stylin' funky hair though
-You have a nice smile and a good sene of humor.
-Buns of steel & rock hard abs..... Or a Beautiful smile
-Your confidence isn't a mask for being ridiculously insecure. You seem to be actually confident.

18. Am I shy or outgoing?

-Outgoing on the whole, but shy on occasion.
-you can cloak yourself in secrecy but that is not the same thing as shy.
-I actually have no idea. Online you are really outgoing, but in person, I think you tend to keep to yourself.
Outgoing but introverted (i.e. Small groups and convo are more appreciated than large groups. I'm guessing large groups drain you... Youth work aside.)

19. Would you say I am funny ha ha or funny sarcastic?

-A bit of both
-Who said I find you funny at all? You can be sarcastic, but I think I would consider you more ha ha. It is a more legitimate funny.
-you lean more towards the sarcastic side

20. Am I a rebel or do I follow all the rules?

- Rebel
-Well by general world views you would be a rule follower, but you are a bit of a rebel in the Christian circles.
-You're a Christian rebel, which is intrisically non-rebellious
-A little of both. ;) But I think that's how Christians often are. I am that way myself.
-there are rules? being a rebel implies that you know the rules and you choose to follow them. i bet you walk to the beat of your own drum.
-I think you are a rebel without a clue.

21. Would you consider me a friend, an acquaintance, or a good friend?

-I don't know how to classify our relationship.
-More than just a friend.
-Agood acquainance with potential for non-friendship
-I would consider you my friend. Crazy though that is.

22. Would you call me hippie, glamorous, nerdy, snobby,or something else? None of those, but I'm not sure what.

-I would call you ?alternative?
-Loveably nerdy
-I think you are too cool to be a hippie. I don't like to categorize people who are my friends. I think you are very cool. That's what I think of when I think of you - cool glasses, cool hair, cool clothes.

23. Have you ever seen me cry?

-Yes I have. I have even made you cry
-No, nor do I wish to.

24. If there were one good nickname for me what would it be?

-Slutmonkey. Oh, wait...that's my name!
-I like it when people call you Forbie. If I'm supposed to make one up, I would like to call you the "Make-out queen." hehe.
-In the best possible connotation... And with multiple levels of meaning... SMARTASS.
-Duuuuhhh Forbie?
-Ass Machine Lobos

25. Are my parents still together?

-I think so.
-As opposed to drawn and quartered? Yes.

26. If I had broccoli stuck in my teeth would you tell me?

-I'd get it out myself... the hard way.
-Yeah I would. Who knows, I may even pick it out for you myself!
-of course, i tell everyone that. and when i point to my own mouth where it is i am using the mirror method, not the same side method.
-I would forcibly remove it for you.
-I sure would. Life's too short to let my friends have broccoli in their teeth.
-Completely dependant on the social setting. Most likely, after some joke at your expense, yes. If for some reason I was being a jerk and wanted to take it out on you... No. and then I would proceed to introduce you to every attractive male(and female) in the room. But I'm not a jerk much, so Ithink you and your dental perfection are safe.
-Hell no.

Michaela @12:22 AM :: Comment

Sunday, April 18, 2004

I have my reasons.

There's a line in "Lost in Translation" (a beautiful flick, by the way), that says that all girls go through a photography phase - just like they go through a horse phase (which I went through too, around the age of 10) - where they take pictures of their feet.

Now, my photography phase has lasted at least 6 years now, so I think its safe to say it's not neccessarily a phase. But I think the reason I love that line so much is because I was flooded with memories of my friend Julia.

Julia is now finishing up at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she's done her photography degree. Julia is one of those "quality over quantity" friends, and has been as long as I have known her. She started uni (at Kansas City Art Institute) while I still had one more year of high school, so it was hard to ever get time to see her. But when we did get together, we'd usually get together at Denny's Diner, around midnight, 1 a.m., and talk for as long as we could about our dreams and passions, many of which were different, many of which were similar: missions, ministry, U2, travel, God, art, Waterdeep, college, jazz, getting married (we were both unhappily single for much of our early friendship), having kids, Phil Collins (hush.), Counting Crows, cigars, experiences, and more. (Not neccessarily in that order.) I would always order the hashed browns, smothered and covered, doubled if I was hungry enough, and a pot of coffee for us to share. She would normally order some meal that included toast, oatmeal, eggs and bacon or sausage. She would order the bacon and give it to me, since she's a vegetarian by default.

I think I knew at the time that these nights with Julia were nights to be remembered, and nights that would not last forever. Julia and I both have always cultivated a passion for travel, so it was inevitable that one or both of us would leave Kansas City eventually. In the end, I was right. I was blessed to be a bridesmaid in her wedding to Ryan - an amazing guy - in March of 2002, after which she moved away to Rhode Island. (My rucksack, nicknamed "Ophelia", even got to accompany her on their honeymoon to Ireland.) After returning from my time on the Doulos, I was off to Scotland. These days, we try and touch base a few times a year. I haven't been able to see her since the summer after he wedding, though, which has been almost two years now.

Julia was always shocked that other people considered her "artsy". The best part of this being that Julia was, is, and forever will be the epitome of "artsy". She was a lot of other things too, don't get me wrong -- she is a passionate and loyal friend, and one of the most godly women I've ever personally known. But she is definitely artsy, too.

One night we sat on her dilapidated fire escape out the back of her first apartment, around the corner from another of our favorite haunts, the New Earth Coffeehouse. I felt crazy-lucky, not only to have a great friend like Julia, but a great friend like Julia who had her own apartment (very groovetastically decorated I might add), with its own fire escape that we could enjoy. (How this fire escape could actually be called that though, is beyond me, since it was completely wooden and probably unsafe in perfect weather. It was probably just a balcony that we liked to call a fire escape.) We loved to sit on that nasty fire escape/balcony, and smoke cigars. (Julia really introduced me to cigars, and I will be forever grateful.) Add a Jones Soda and good conversation, and our nights were perfect.

And this particular night, we were talking about what other people thought of us. She told me that among our friends, I was considered the popular/outgoing/loyal/girl-who-is-a-friend girl, which was all true except maybe the popular part. I told her that she was known as the artsy one. She looked utterly shocked. This is the girl that was actually getting a degree at the art institute, who would make her own skirts out of her photos that she'd printed onto fabric, who gave away her own silk paintings as birthday presents (except for mine, which she managed to catch on fire before giving it to me...but the story is enough of a present for me). She wore black-rimmed glasses like mine, except she wore them before they were "cool." She wore black Mary Janes, and thrift-store clothes in the most amazing combinations that I could never get away with, but that looked fabulous on her. The girl was artsy, whether she wanted to admit it or not.

Anyway. This was Julia.

So one night, one of us calls the other and we make time to eat at Denny's at some crazy hour. She'd just gotten back from a trip to somewhere (we were both always going on trips to Somewhere), and I wanted to hear about it, and see her pictures. She breaks out the photos, and there was a series of - yes, pictures of her feet.

After seeing three pictures of her shoes in various parts of an average subway station, I looked up at her. She knew the look I was giving her.

"Hey! I thought it would be a good idea! Like...places I've been. I was going to do a "Walk a Mile In Someone's Shoe's" kinda essay thing."

I laughed.

"Yeah okay I know. I stopped taking them after a while, if it makes you feel any better."

So this was Julia's foray into the world of taking pictures of her feet. It only lasted a few days, and she's by far one of the best photographers I know, if not THE best, and I know quite a few, believe it or not.

So I told you this story to explain myself.

Yes, I have a picture of my feet posted here. And I make no aplologies. I like my "new" jeans. And I say they are "new" because I bought them last summer, with the specific intent on sewing wedges into them so that I would like them better and they would look better on me, like the ones I had last year. But I didn't get around to getting them sewn til last week. And I wanted to share the joy with you all. But the other, full-length photos didn't come out so well. So you only get the feet picture. And you'll just have to deal with that. But I wanted you to all know that I'm fully aware of that line in Lost in Translation, because I think of it everytime I see a picture of someone's feet. I think they can be quite enjoyable if done properly, however.

The other pictures I just took because I had my camera out anyway around the house.

And the story about Julia...well I just miss her.


Michaela @6:33 PM :: Comment

Michaela @6:02 PM :: Comment

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I'll Show YOU Toilet Paper.

Yesterday, after a morning meeting, I was blessed to have the rest of the day off. Since I'd just gotten my paycheck, I paid a visit to Fopp, which is the place for poor students like me to get cheap (new) books. And they have good ones, too - ones that people actually want to read at the moment.

So I picked up a copy of "You Shall Know Our Velocity" by Dave Eggers. I was a fan of his first book ("A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering genius") but have heard so-so opinions of this one. I still wanted to check it out for myself though. And it was only a fiver. For five pounds (or three, and some of the books there are), if I don't finish the book, I don't feel like I've wasted any money.

Oh, and I picked up a video of Reservoir Dogs too, since it was on sale for 3 pounds.

Anyway, from there (after a brief stop at McD's for a fairly good chicken sandwich) I walked up to the Royal Mile, to the Starbucks next to the Tron. There are two Starbucks that are closer to my flat, so I don't frequent this one. Its still nice though, so long as its not too busy. There, I ran into Ella, who was my favorite employee at the Forrest Road branch last year. (I've only been to the Forrest Road branch a few times since moving from Marchmont to Bruntsfield this year.) This girl is great. She saw me in line when she was taking the order of someone else, but gave an excited smile and a wave, which I returned. We greeted each other like old friends ("What are you doing here!?" "What are you doing here?!"), and had a little chat before she got back to work and I went upstairs to enjoy my latte.

As usual, I ended up staying there for a few hours, with my new book (which I'm liking so far), journal, various music, and my comfy seat. (I've decided that when I get married and get a proper house, I will *need* to get a reading chair much like that one.) And, as it was nearing closing time at 8pm, I thought I should go to the toilet.

Now, earlier I'd already gone. I went into the left side toilet, and noticed that there was no toilet paper. I was so proud of myself for noticing BEFORE I started my business, and could go into the other stall.

This time, 2 hours later, I was not so fortunate.

I went into the stall which previously had toilet paper. (HOW MUCH TOILET PAPER DO YOU *NEED*, GIRLS?!) I sat down. I start my business. I toilet paper.

I panic. I look around frantically for any possibilities. And then - a saviour! - someone walks into the other stall.

Now, I was pretty sure THAT stall didn't have any toilet paper either. So I made sure to get her before she sat down. When it comes to toilet paper, I have no shame...

"Excuse me, but do you have any toilet paper in there?"

"Oh, um, no", comes the answer, in a German accent.


I sat there in shock.

I literally turned to the wall she was on the other side of, my mouth dropped open and I looked horrified, like when Lucy is somehow shocked or surprised in I Love Lucy. Except this was just instinct. No one could see me anyway. (At least, I hope not)

Now, there simply is no excuse for this. If you walk into the toilet, and see there is no toilet paper for you OR the poor stranded woman in the stall next to you, you do NOT GO ANYWAY. You do one of two things: 1) Go ask the management for more toilet paper, or 2) walk just outside the bathroom door to the little stand where every Starbucks keeps their sugars and milks and napkins and grab a handful of napkins to share with your poor stranded comrade-in-peeing.

This woman did nothing of the sort.

I was half-hoping she would do her duty and then go get me the napkins anyway. But I was wrong.

I eventually found something in my little bag that I could use (desperate times call for desperate measures), but you don't really want to know details. Needless to say, i was very sorry that I'd taken my little packet of tissues out of my bag 2 days before. I somehow felt like a failure of a woman though, because I didn't have the needed item in my magic bag, as most women are required to have. Need a tissue? We've got a tissue. Spilled some food on your jeans? We've got an eye makeup remover pad that should get that right out. Pen? We've got at least 45 in any bag we carry. Car jack? Right here in the side pocket. Fishing lure? I keep one, just for emergencies. Lip gloss? I have my own factory in my inner zip pocket, producing over 15 different flavors. Got something stuck in your teeth? Here, use my floss. And electric toothbrush. And toothpaste. And miniature dentist, Dr. Travelsized.

As every good Boy Scout, from now on, I pledge to BE PREPARED.

Michaela @3:03 PM :: Comment

Thursday, April 15, 2004

So my friend Joshua made a little movie for me. I think you guys would appreciate it. :)

:::The Information:::

:) Enjoy.

Oh, and keep the survey answers coming. I've got some jewels so far. I'll post the best, probably tommorrow.

Michaela @10:33 PM :: Comment

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

One More Time....

Well I've tried things similar to this before, and they haven't worked. You guys aren't always into this audience participation stuff. But we'll give it a shot, anyway. I got this little survey from Megan. The idea is to email ( me the answers. If you do really well or say something extremely poignant in them, I might blog about the good stuff. Bottom line though, I'm interested in what some of you might say or not say.

:) Play along!

1. My name:

2. Where did we meet?

3. Take a stab at my middle name:

4. How long have you known me?

5. When is the last time we saw each other?

6. Do I smoke?

7. Do I believe in God?

8. When you first saw me what was your impression?

9. Month of my Birthday?

10. Color hair?

11. Color eyes?

12. Do I have any siblings?

13. What's one of my favorite things to do outdoors?

14. What's one of my favorite things to do indoors?

15. Do you remember one of the 1st things I said to you?

16. What's my favorite type of music?

17. What is the best feature about me?

18. Am I shy or outgoing?

19. Would you say I am funny ha ha or funny sarcastic?

20. Am I a rebel or do I follow all the rules?

21. Would you consider me a friend, an acquaintance, or a good friend?

22 Would you call me hippie, glamorous, nerdy, snobby,or something else?

23. Have you ever seen me cry?

24. If there were one good nickname for me what would it be?

25. Are my parents still together?

26. If I had broccoli stuck in my teeth would you tell me?

Michaela @8:27 PM :: Comment

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

On Moments and Memory...

First of all, guys, I should let you all know that I'm feeling MUCH better. The medicine that the doc gave me on Friday seems to be working well. I've still got a cough and half of a voice, but at least I can sleep most of the night now. And I ended up having a pretty good weekend. I had a lot of fun with Kirsten, Lisa and Karen, being able to share Easter church service with them, and taking a trip to Monster Mash, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Edinburgh. It was really good to see Kirsty again and catch up with her.

This morning was great. I had forgotten that here in Britain, they celebrate "Easter Monday" as a public holiday. So I woke up to an alarm, but as I lay there half-awake between snooze buzzers, I realized that my office was closed today. Whoo hoo! It was almost like a snow day, back in school. (Though, lets face it, there's just nothing like seeing your school district name run across the screen as "CANCELLED", on a snowy day that is perfect for sledding and movies and hot chocolate!) I had some work to do here, but at least I got to relax a little.

I also got a chance to chat a bit with my friend Trey. Trey is just a great guy overall, and I tend to think we're cut from the same cloth at times (though that cloth must be burlap, I figure: irritating, yes, but relatively useful...). He just started his blog, much to my dismay, because that just means there's another blog out there that is better than mine. But a few days ago (April 7th) he wrote a post about how much the little moments define you, both to yourself and to others. He'd just put into better words what I'd been mulling over for a few days now. So Trey and I started talking about it...

When you look back on life, most of the time you don't see the big things: you don't see those massive decisions that seemed so important, like changing jobs, or picking a university. These things are important of course, but memory is embedded into the tiny corners of these big things. When I remember things, I remember moments.

Trey pointed out that the best of these moments happen when you least expect for a defining moment to occur. A good example of this happened to me the other week with Tim. And I hope he doesn't mind me saying it, because I don't think I've actually told him about it yet...

I don't actually remember where we were, or what was going on, but I think we were just walking down the street. He was trying to get me to do something, without actually telling me WHY he wanted me to do it - closing my eyes or something. I refused. He asked again, and I refused again. Finally, he looks me straight in the eye and says:

"Do you trust me?"

For whatever reason, that hit me like a ton of bricks. And it was a moment and a look and words that I will not soon forget, and one of many such moments during those two weeks.

Another of these moments occured in the early months of 2002, so about two years ago now. It was just before I left the Doulos, and we were sailing between the Maldives and Tanzania. It was a long voyage. Now, if you've not experienced, I can't really explain to you how beautiful a night sky is in the middle of the ocean. I got to experience these beautiful skies on many voyages while on deck bridge watch. But this particular night, I decided to lay on my back on the crane deck, giving me a perfect view of the open sky. After a few moments, however, I was tripped over. (It's pretty stinkin dark out there.) It was my friend Matt, who had the same idea as I did. So he lay on his back next to me, and we just stared at the sky, talking about the story of Abraham, and how he was promised a nation that would outnumber even these stars. We talked about plans and ideas and dreams and relationships. It was a good night - well worth getting tripped over.

I remember another moment - sitting in my psychology class, Senior Year of high school, feeling the desperate need to write every single detail of every single moment down...feeling that if I didn't, those moments - even the mundane ones, even boring lectures in a very poor psychology class - they would just drift into the oblivion of moments forgotten. I suppose that's part of what bothers me now when I don't make time to write down things.

But my ideas of it all have changed significantly since high school. If a moment is worth remembering, whether it be because of its pain or its beauty or its laughter or heartache, it will be remembered. I no longer feel that DESPERATE need to write every detail down, for the memorable will sort itself out from the not-so-memorable. But this is also why I love books and writing so much. A picture can in fact tell a thousand words. But it cannot tell everything. It cannot tell you what the people in the picture were feeling, what happened in the moment before the picture, or the moment after it. It rarely tells much the person taking the picture. A book, or a piece of writing can tell you all these things and more...or less, if that is better.

I'm thankful for NOW. I too easily forget the importance of being content, of seeing the blessings right in front of me, this very day, instead of continually looking ahead. But tommorrow's memories are made up of today's moments, and God has blessed us with today as much as he has yesterday. Tommorrow isn't even promised to us, at least on this earth.

So I better start living in his blessings TODAY, instead of demanding more blessings tommorrow.

Michaela @1:37 AM :: Comment

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Just When You Thought It Was Safe....

I woke up in a terrible, horrible, foul mood. I’ve not slept more than 4 or 5 hours each night this week, because I’ve been coughing my brains out. So last night I lay in bed from 1am to 5am and never could fall asleep. Finally, at 5am I called my mom and attempted to talk to her through my lack of voice and my constant cough. It was good to talk to her though, we ended up talking for 2 hours. When I went back to bed at 7am, I finally got some sleep….til noon, when I woke up feeling terrible and knew that it was worthless trying to go back to sleep, even though every bone in my body wanted more sleep.

So aside from a trip to the doctor (next street over) and the drug store, I lounged around today, not really wanting to move. Ruth cooked me a wonderful dinner. Then my friend Kirsten called, who is currently traveling around Europe with 2 of her friends Perth (about an hour away) and if it was okay if they came for the weekend. Umm. Okaaay. I knew she was going to be coming in the next few weeks. I just thought I’d have a LITTLE more warning than that. Especially since I hadn’t cleaned at ALL this week, due to my wanting to crawl into a hole and sleep til next spring. So I had to clean. And Kirsten and Co. are here. And I’m really happy they are, actually, because I really needed SOME form of distraction this weekend. But then on the other hand…well, you know when you just feel like wallowing in your sickness/misery/tiredness? Well I had THAT planned for this weekend. (Plus Easter services and such. Not to negate that.)

So there ya go.

I’m still in a bad mood. But I don’t want them to have a bad time here because of it. I just suspect that I’ll be zoned out all weekend, and well…kinda neded some time to myself. But I think much of the time (hopefully) they’ll be galavanting around Edinburgh anyway.

Gosh this is such a dreadful post. Here I said in the LAST post that I wasn’t going to talk about my being sick crap, but I did anyway. Sorry guys.

Soon, my blog will be entertaining again.

I feel like what my friend Kari said: "What a mess I am. It's Good Friday, and all I can think about is myself."

I'm sorry.


Michaela @12:54 AM :: Comment

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Excuses To Use Big Words

So I'm at a bit of a loss here, kiddies.

I'm not entirely sure what to write about here. Not that there aren't things to write about. But the last 2 weeks have pretty much just been with Tim (plus Chrissy and Dave). And we had a great time, but frankly, some things you just want to keep clandestine ("And I say that largely just because I wanted to use the word 'clandestine'."). Besides, it would just be boring you all with mushy love stuff, and then I might have to start gagging at my own blog, right after I make the color scheme a light purple with flowers, puppy dogs, and comic sans font.*

Plus, I'm in a bit of a quandry. I mean we had a GREAT time, don't get me wrong. But then, thanks to my friend Peter, I ran across this extremely handsome man, Robert Cloutier. I'm finding myself strangely drawn to his long flowing locks and unicorn art.

Tim: "But, baby, I've never been in prison."
Mic: "Sure, but can you do a pastel of a unicorn? Yeah, I didn't think so."

And since Tim left, I've been crazy sick anyway. And no, not just "luuurvesick", for all you smart-alecks, but hacking-up-a-lung kind of sick. I now have my own special "Shrine To Kleenex" on the floor next to my bed. And who really wants to read about THAT stuff?

Now, after all this love talk (*cough*), I know some of you boys are feeling a little down. I can pretty much hear hearts breaking around the world at the idea that Michaela might be off the market. Do not fear, young ones. I present to you: "How to use a hand puppet to meet, attract, and date tons of single women!!". My friend Jason has been using it apparently, so we'll have to ask how that's going for him.

If anyone else actually uses this, and can videotape it, and can send me the videotape, I will pay him exactly $4.23. And that can easily pay for 4 (and ALMOST 1/4) songs from iTunes. That's top-dolla, folks.

Okay, it's back to blowing my nose, drinking herbal tea, and watching crappy daytime British TV from the comfort of my couch, wishing I could gets some sleep.


*No offense to people who have blogs of light purple, with flowers, puppy dogs, and said font.

Michaela @10:50 AM :: Comment

Sunday, April 04, 2004


So Tim is gone and his leaving has made for a crappy day to say the least. It's only real redeeming quality - besides waking up and him still being here in the morning - is BBC 2 showing Good Will Hunting tonight. Almost the perfect movie for my mood. Me, Ruth and a cup of tea....the three of us are watching.

Not only does it include Robin Williams, who is quite possibly my favorite modern-day actor, but it also includes one of my favorite monologues in any movie, only slightly tainted by the fact it was written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon....

Sean (Robin Williams): "So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much."

The movie also includes a favorite line of Tim's:

"I gotta go see about a girl."

Michaela @9:40 PM :: Comment

"In the city you will find that the poor and the broken are often much, much more open to the idea of Gospel grace and much more dedicated to its practical outworkings than you are." (Tim Keller)

"Always On Your Side" by Sheryl Crow