Thursday, July 29, 2004
Okay, before I get started, I'd just like to say that I'm taking a chance here. This is post number 334. For those who are not so mathematically inclined, this means that the last post was number 333. I briefly contemplated ending my blog altogether, right there, just to make sure that my blog was eternally holy and blessed by the number three. But I decided against it and ventured on, in hopes that the Lord will still bless this blog. (I need a foot mat for the front door of my blog now: "Bless This Blog", like the house signs that always seem way too demanding and Jabez-like for my taste. "BLESS THIS HOUSE! NOW! RIGHT NOW! IT NEEDS A NEW PAINT JOB!")
Only 3.5 days left to go here in the good ol US of A, which makes me incredibly sad, honestly. Its nice to know that Tim will be in Scotland this time, so its slightly less depressing. And I still have a good bit of summer to enjoy. But I know that I'll spend the next week or two with just a tinge of bitterness, knowing that the work that I am going to be doing could easily wait til two weeks later, giving me more time at home - home which is a very long ways away. But work doesn't like that idea. So I'll just have the bitterness. That's probably not the right attitude, is it? I miss home most right after I leave it again.
Things done so far (of the most important things, of course):
- Licked a light pole on the Plaza in Kansas City for 25 cents. (Let the record show that I offered Dena 25 cents to lick it and she wouldn't do it. Then I got the offer....well of COURSE I'm gonna take it! That's like 10p in Scotland!.....Oh wait....)
- Ate "turd-looking" (according to Dena) grape leaves food thingy stuffs. It was good. I love Jerualem Cafe.
- Seen both "Dodgeball" and "Anchorman" at the theatres. Tim and I agree that Dodgeball was Ben Stiller awesomeness at its finest, and that Anchorman was hugely disappointing. Dude, Will...you can do so much better, man. We know you can.
- Did Half & Half Shots at Denny's at 11pm.
-Ate at Taco Bell. (Beauty.)
-Stopped at "Nostalgiaville", in Kingdom City, Missouri. That's really all you need to know. Its a great place to take a potty break too. Clean restrooms.
-Argued with Tim over whether "Whiz-Biz" was really an appropriate name - nickname or otherwise - for a child.
-Bacon. Eggs. Toast. Coffee. Oatmeal. Grandma's house. Need I say more?
- Drank $8 beer at Busch Stadium. I'd like to say that Bud tastes better at $8 per 24oz, but that would be a lie. Hey, at least we got free hotdogs and soda. And the KICKER.....free calendar of Cardinals players AND THEIR PETS!!!!! In the immortal words of Gershwin, WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE?! (Except maybe cheaper beer. Jerks.)
- Gaseous Emissions. I'm not allowed to say anything more.
-FAT TIRE BEER! Man, I love Fat Tire. I've had a lot of Fat Tire. Did I mention how much I love Fat Tire?
-Watched WAY too much VH1. That's crazy crap there. All that "The Fabulous Life of...." and "I Love 1989" and "I Love 1990....91....92....93...." "The Top 50 Worst Videos Ever", "The Top 10 Worst Haircuts that Inspired An Entire Generation of College-Level Drill Team Members", "The Top 500 Worst Songs By Eddie Murphy, Peter Cetera, and Styx"....Seriously, man, VH1 is the heroin of the TV world. I go through minor withdrawal symptoms early in the mornings, before my first hit. I'm thinking of joining a full 12-step program after leaving the States.
-Found out the "famous" (in my family) "Walnut Bowls" store on I-70 has closed. I am seriously sad. Everytime I go past I say "Next time, I'm gonna go there!" Well THIS time....that came back to bite me in the ass, kids. *tear*
-Finally did an Irish Car Bomb (the drink, mind you) at Kelly's in Westport. Man, that's good stuff. Coulda done it with a pint, though. What's with this half-pint wussy stuff?
- Went up the Gateway Arch again with Tim and Adam. Discussed how much we would want to pee off the top of it, it we could.
-Accumulated approximately 80,962 bug bites of different shapes, sizes and smells. ("What?")
-Enjoyed a lot of margaritas. And beer. And Rumplemintz. And Fire Water. And Lemonchello.
-I'm starting to sound like a lush, aren't I?
-Nacho cheese and chips in the rain on the boat. Ah! Memories!
Okay there are many more things to share, of course. But I'm starting to fade.
The family LOVES Tim. I think my grandmother actually loves Tim more than me. She told my mother the other day: " She BETTER hang on to this one. And if she doesn't, well then I'm just going to have to pin him down and keep him for myself!" This was slightly scary, considering the amount of dead things (beetles: my grandfather is an entomologist) that are pinned down in drawers in the basement of their house. I'm frightened to ever break up with Tim for fear of being disowned by my own family. Not that this is a present option of course. No sir.
Speaking of Tim and Family, I'm actually really wishing that I could be meeting his family much sooner. (I know you guys read this!) I actually thought to myself today: "I should update my blog....Tim's mum will be wanting to hear how things are!" He's actually been updating, but its mostly about food I suppose. We've had no shortage of it. So...Tim's mum....here you go. :) Hope the trip was good! And Amy and Heapy and P&K....hope you are all wonderful and enjoying the new ones!
Now, if you'll excuse me.....Tim and Grant are done playing NCAA College Football on the PS2, I'm tired, and there's a shot of Fire Water upstairs waiting for me with my name on it!
Seriously, I'm not a lush.
Quote of the Day: "You know, many many people actually forget that Jesus was AMERICAN!"
Friday, July 23, 2004
Shnucks Supermarket, 9:20pm, Florissant, Missouri
Adam: "Crustless bread! I am TOTALLY going to blog about crustless bread!"
Mic: "You know your life is sad when......."
Yeah so things are fun. You guys miss me yet?
Friday, July 16, 2004
I think we should bring back the awesomeness of Velcro.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
As a lifetime consequence of signing up for information from Liberty University years ago, I get a e-newsletter from from Dr. Jerry Falwell. I've acutally written and asked for them to stop sending it to me, but to no avail. The subject line is always in capital letters, making me feel like Mr. Falwell himself is standing in my Inbox shouting at me.
Today's email subject line read: "PRESIDENT BUSH IS OUR LINCOLN."
Can someone tell Dr. Falwell what happened to Lincoln?
For goodness sake.
In other news, someone linked to my site from Googling "Champion by Carmen". I am, apparently, the second on the list if you search for this.
I'm oddly proud of this.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
You know, I'm not usually one of those people that complains about the public transportation system. Well, I might do, but I don't usually mean it. I do realize that here in Edinburgh we are blessed with a relatively dependable bus and train system. It's just the quirks that occasionally bother me, like having to take two buses (the 37 and the 16, or the 11 if the 37 is more than 4 minutes late) after 7:30pm back home because the number 15 stops running at 7:30. But that's a different story. Besides, you kinda get used to it.
As much as I LOVE and miss driving, I'm convinced you find out a lot more about a city and its people by using the public transportation system.
There is, for example, a sign that boggles my mind, on the way from Penicuik to Edinburgh. This sign is in Bilston, which is a group of about five pathetic brick boxes that they decided to slap a "village" name on. I don't even think there is a shop there. The only thing of note is the group of tree-huggers that inhabit a forest across the field from Bilston, (in the winter, you can see all the tents in trees...and year around you can find the dread-locked white disaffected formerly suburbanite 20-something pot heads getting on and off the bus)....and this sign.
The speed limit in Bilston is 20. I know this beacuse the sign in question says so. Its NEON green, glow in the dark.....and it says underneath: "Twenty's plenty!"
How friggin condesending is that?!
It would be different if some kid put it up as a joke, but no, this is a Council-issued road sign. I mean, if they're putting that on the 20 signs, they should just splash out and put them on all the other ones. "Ten is Zen!" "We're keen for fifteen!", and my personal favorite: "Sixty is sexy!"( Kinda like that sad t-shirt you bought your beer-guzzling uncle who lives in Jackson last year for his birthday, because you were invited but don't actually know him well enough to know what to get him. It was either that or just beer.) And why does it need to be glow in the dark? Any idiot who is driving at night without his lights on has bigger issues than just the speed limit, buddy.
Where the actual transportation doesn't usually bother me, people sometimes do. I KNOW that I could smell burning plastic on the bus. It was only me and two other guys on the top level at that point, and one was where I could see him, so that left only the kid sitting ALL the way at the back of the bus, who, I'm sure, was experimenting with a lighter and the hard plastic back of the seat. I turned around and looked at him really hard, and the scent got increasingly lighter til I went away soon after. (I gave him THE EYE! You know what I mean.)
So then, 30 minutes later I'm getting off the 37 to get the 16. I'm standing at the door, and the guy (he looked like a manky
Gérard Depardieu in "Green Card", long hair, french accent and everything...) "mistakenly" puts his hand momentarily on mine, on the hold bar, and leans over WAY too close. I turned around quickly, and he jumped back. "Ooh, sorrrie, sorrie" he said in his weird accent.
In the immortal words of Stephanie Tanner:" How rude!"
You'll be glad to know I didn't actually say that, however.
So by this time, surely my weird people of the day quota was getting full (there were others earlier in the day that I've not mentioned), and I only had one short bus ride to go, so I thought I would be free and clear. But NOOO.
I got on the 16 (sans Weird Gérard), and took an empty seat on the top level. Within seconds I realized I'd picked the wrong seat, because it STANK. Seriously, someone around me needed a shower. And maybe a fall into a vat of cologne. (Still going with the French theme of course.) I snuck a look at the CCTV cam at the front of the bus, showing me all people around me....and NONE of the usual suspects were around. Everyone near me looked completely normal and un-smelly. So confusing.
Two stops later, though, another smelly and scary looking guy came to sit next to me. He looked like the 60-year-old Mexican guy I met in Albuquerque gas station once who tried to sell me a 72 El Camino in exchange for my as-yet-to-be-concieved firstborn child. Except that guy smelled better.And was probably actually Mexican. (We don't get a lot of Mexicans in Scotland, sadly...I miss good available Mexican food.)
There was too much arm contact. Anyone who has ever been to the movies with a "friend" (not a "more-than") knows the arm-contact issue - it's a sticky situation. This guy really needed to move his arm. I'd inch my arm closer to me, and yet I couldn't get away. Slightly disturbing. Interestingly, however, this guy smelled DIFFERENT to (what I eventually just determined...I could be totally wrong) the European backpacker girls behind me. So, while he did not increase the pleasantness of the air about me, it didn't get any worse, it was just different. And we all know I like a little variety in life.
Bottom line, though, it all made for interesting travels. All the Lothian Buses in the world, however, could never compare to the interesting...ness....of jeepney travel in the Phillippines. You, 5x3 feet of truck bed space with benches, 87 Filipinos, and no less than 139 photos and figurines of the Virgin Mary......
Good times....good times.
Monday, July 12, 2004
"I think I just broke my bumcheek."
This beautiful line was spoken by one of my young people tonight, after a fall from a skateboard. I thought it was hilarious.
In other news, I called my friend Estella today, to see if Ruth can stay with her when she travels around Eastern Europe next month. Estella is Polish, and a great girl, a friend of mine from the Doulos. "How are you?!" she says. Before I could answer, she goes on: "My friends read your blog, and they tell me what is going on with you! Ha!"
"Yes! My Polish friends! Well, Anja, I mean."
She goes on to say that Anja reads my blog, and goes on to relay the story about me setting my hamburgers on fire. So WEIRD. Apparently Anja (am I spelling your name right, Anja?) found David Gray through my blog and now loves his music. Ah the gift of linkage.
So Anja, or however you spell your Polish name, this blog post is for you.Thank you for reading! I told Estella I should say hi, and she got really excited. You should comment! I was wondering who was reading me from Poland! Glad to know you read the board.
Also...I know there are others of your LURKERS that I don't know of. If you regularly read this blog, and you've not commented before....you should say hi. I'd love to hear from you.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
The Catch-All Drawer
You know what I mean. Everyone has a catch-all drawer, and if you don't, than you really should. This post will be sorta like that. I thought long and hard about some deep and meaningful theological stuff I could go into, but I decided against it - its getting pretty late. I'll just blether on instead.
First of all...at this very moment, I'm watching the Cards (leading the Central Division!!!) play the Cubs at Busch Stadium in St Louis, on TV. They show Sunday Night Baseball (ESPN) on Channel 5 many nights, always after 1am. It's exciting enough to watch the Cardinals on TV here in Scotland. What is even MORE exciting is to know that I'll be at Busch Stadium ,(in its next-to-last season before the new stadium is built) with Tim watching the Cards play either Cinci or San Fran, in about 2 weeks. I'm definitely looking forward to it. Missouri, Baseball, BBQ's and Beer....pretty much all I need for a good summer.
Second of all, I've managed to find Tim a great place to live, only a 10-minute walk away from my flat, with a really nice guy as a flatmate. (Though I may point out it's looking very probable that we'll get the lease...its not for SURE yet, so I don't want to jinx it...) This has TOTALLY made me so excited today. Its a townhouse in Merchiston, on a great little hidden-away, cobblestone street. I took a walk down there today and loved it. It's a funny street - a combination of some older, 80's style brick townhouses and converted warehouse townhouses....with two REALLY posh ones stuck in the middle. So its a street of Ford's and Fiat's....with a Porche, Audi and BMW right in the middle. (I'm not kidding, these cars were actually sitting there on the street. Not even in one of the garages they had. Strange.) Very cute street though, in a really good area. I think I skipped all the way home. (Or, nearly, anyway.)
Third of all, there's no nice way to take people's links off your blog, so all my apologies probably don't really matter much. Sorry if you've been replaced. I just went with some blogs and links I've been reading more frequently these days...and you know how ADD I am.
Only five more days til I fly home. Only 4 more days of work. I cannot express to you how excited I am. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing some of you guys, too.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Cheers for Beers!
Aw man, I've seriously had a GREAT two days.
Last night was my friend Fiona's uni graduation party in Glasgow. (She got a FIRST! Hurrah! Congrats Fi!) My ("masculine! Not Foster!") friend Jody lives in Edinburgh, and I caught a ride with him, since we were both going. Jody is a really good guy, and we don't often get to catch up, so it was good to see him. We got there an hour or so early, and as we're driving in , I got a call from Craig (or Tubeo, as he is known to The Boys) so we could sort out what we were going to do in Edinburgh the next night (tonight). I mentioned that we were just up the road, and Craig says "lets get drinks!". Well I'm a spontaenous kinda girl, and we had about 40 mins to kill, so Jody was up for beers at Drouthy Neebors. We didn't have a ton of time last night, but it was good to meet up.
Then, it was across the street to DiMaggios for dinner with Fi's friends. I only knew two folks aside from Fi and Jody (Neil, my course leader at ICC, and his wife Catriona....Hi guys! Apparently they read my blog, so I have to be careful what I say here. ;) It's slightly worrying though...I realize a lot of people read this thing and I totally forget who. This was all a topic of conversation last night, too. Strange world I inhabit.), but it was good, just to hang out, eat food, great desserts, enjoying company and coversation. I sat there thinking about how great friends really are, and how much of a blessing community is.
Tonight I met up with Craig, before he runs off to see the rest of the world. (For those who don't know, Craig is a friend of Tim's, who has been backpacking around the world this year, and happened to be in Glasgow for a few months.) Such good times! We went to Monster Mash of course, because that's where I take pretty much everyone. Good food, good price, good atmosphere, and Sweetheart Stout! (Not everyone loves it, but Craig greatly enjoyed it.) We discussed Tim's obsessesion with certain video games at Boys House, and how he was The Man To Beat. We also talked at length about our mutal love of Counting Crows...which I could probably talk about for days. (Dave Matthew Band...John Mayer...Counting Crows....Craig, if anything, you have an excellent taste in both music and friends!) We walked in the rain (gah...its supposed to be JULY, folks! I was freezing in a SWEATSHIRT!) to Bruntsfield to meet up with my friend Iian for beers. Iian is heading off at the end of the month to Elgin to teach (P1's....5-year-olds....cracks me up), so we'd said we needed to get our house group folks together before he leaves. Well no one else could come. (Our group is a group of couples...one couple is getting married on Saturday...another couple, it was their 6-year (YEAR!) dating anniversary.....WHAT PITIFUL EXCUSES!!!!) But Iian is probably my closest friend at Reef Group, so I couldn't let him move away without a night out.
It's always chancey, though, getting friends (or groups of friends) together who don't know each other. Heck, I barely knew Craig, for that matter. But I figured I knew him well enough to know he's an easy guy to chat with, as is Iian, so they should get along okay. Well before we'd even gotten to the pub (King's Bar), Iian had already offered to take Craig to Dublin for a day next week! Needless to say, they got along swimmingly, and a good night was had by all. Many many thanks to Craig for dinner and to Iian for a few rounds at the pub. ("Mmm, Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar!" Not just any crisps!) We probably could have all keep chatting for much of the night, but Craig had to catch the last train to Glesga, and Iian was off to say hi to his girlfriend up the road. Sadly, our evening had to close. I'm sure to see Iian on and off after I get back, and hope to see Craig again at some point...and with any lucky, the two of them will get to hang out for a Dublin trip next week.
It all goes well with my recent reflections on friendships, and the massive blessing they are in my life. I thank God every single day for Ruth, my flatmate and one of my best friends. I would seriously go crazy here without here. (Though I realize I probably often drive her crazy!) I will soon get to go home to see friends and family that are dear to me. I have been blessed so very very much.
But once more, for the road: Thanks, Craig!!!
"We may look back over the past few years of our lives and see an endless cycle of individuals who have come and gone, come and gone, come and gone. and the exit from our lives wasnt because they moved away. It was because our friendship discovered the edge where vulnerability and insecurity collide and neither could handle the humanness. God's purpose, then, could involve a whole new way of doing relationships where we shed superficial or volatile, two-week relationships...in exchange for sustained, intentional, grace-filled, clumsy, humorous friendships." -- Kyle Lake
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Thursday, July 01, 2004
I had a management meeting this morning, at a cafe. After the meeting, I hung around to catch up on some Bible reading with a cup of tea. At one point, a man leans over my table and says: "Having any luck with that?"
Um...how should I respond to this? It reminds me of the dude from Borders last Summer: "Good luck with your Christianity!"
"Uh, yeah...doin good so far...."
And he left.
Seriously, people, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
After that, I went to the grocery store, post office, then Peckhams gourmet foods shop.
It wasn't til I got back to my flat that I realized I'd left my bag of groceries....somewhere.
Luckily, I'd left it at the post office - as opposed to next to the post box, in the sun (raw chicken!), as I'd feared. But here's what I don't understand - why didn't the woman behind me in line say something? She would have had to walk over it to get to the window. People are so weird. I'll pin it on British reservation.
The nice man (Ahmed, I believe), who is my favorite post office dude, kept it behind the counter for me. I asked if I'd left my bag, and he gave me a cheeky smile: "Hmmm, what did it have in it?" "Urm...chicken...and mince...and..." Ha ha. Yes of course dear, I'll get it right here...."
I'm 22 years old, and I'm already forgetting bags of groceries around town. Gimme 10 more years and I'm going to randomly start misplacing other things, possibly things that are usually attached, like arms and legs. Probably children. That's really the only thing that scares me about parenthood. Labor? No worries. Potty training? Not a problem. Forgetting my child somewhere? Probable.
I should never be allowed to have sex, even after marriage.