Friday, December 31, 2004

Jared Sayz...

The third blog I read is one I followed a link to from Cameron's page (how does he know her anyway?). It's called "This Beautiful Mess". I don't know Michaela but she is an interesting read. She is kinda wacky in a good kind of way. One of those people you meet and are either instantly the kind of friends who are friends for life whether or not you ever see each other again or you'd find her weird and annoying. Which sounds like it is a bad thing. But it's not I swear. I personally would much rather be someone who elicits a strong response from someone that a tepid "Jared? Yeah, he's ok." Love is better than hate but even hate is better than ambivalence.
So I had commented on her website occasionally. But my most recent comment garnered a response in her next post. Wow. I felt so very meritorious. (Is it just me or am I using to many big words?) Does that mean I have now arrived at my very first blogationship? Well at this stage it'd probably only rate as a blog-quaintanceship but still...
I am not sure how I feel about this. I have always turned my nose up at online friends. I mean aren't they so... Shallow and superficial? All you ever see of a person over the internet is what they want you to see. So how can you REALLY know them? I've honestly given thought to no longer reading Michaela's blog,
But then again, who am I kidding? Cutting it back to only two blogs wouldn't be enough for all the time wasting I get done. The New York Times doesn't post that many new articles everyday...

So tell me....true? Some of you know me in REAL life. Do I elicit a "strong response"?

In other news, I'm not in Scotland yet. I missed my flight. Which was good, actually. I'll be staying here til the 2nd. Party on, Wayne.

Michaela @1:48 AM :: Comment

Monday, December 27, 2004

Oh Yeah!

I've added some photos to my RMFO account....feel free to browse....bunch of stuff from the Southwest and Nashville trips. Huzzah!

I'm off to grandmas.....


Michaela @11:46 PM :: Comment

Sunday, December 26, 2004

(Written Dec 23)

Once again, Oklahoma has convinced me that its only redeeming factors are a Rogers and Hammerstien musical made famous on stages 1000’s of miles AWAY from Oklahoma…and of course the truck stops.
Oklahoma is a truck stop mecca. Then again, isn’t all of Middle America? The Midwest is to America like Malaysia: nondescript, a conglomerate of its surroundings. I say this with ALL the love in my heart (for Malaysia as well), being Midwest born and bred. But we lack many distinguishing features, such as Southern California’s palm trees and beaches, Seattle’s coffee, Colorado’s mountains, the Southwest’s Mexican/Native American flavor, New York’s stench, or Florida’s Mickey Mouse-loving old people as shouted by mother in traffic once.

In my own experience, certain parts of the Midwest’s most redeeming factors include:

Nebraska: A good zoo, a minor league baseball team, a decent Counting Crows song, a good Bruce Springsteen album and, for a time, good college football.

Kansas City, Missouri: Jazz history, The Plaza shopping centre, and BBQ.

St. Louis, Missouri: Nelly, 3rd highest crime rate in America.

Kansas – K-State football, KU basketball.

Illinois – Doesn’t count, because they have Chicago. Aren’t they northern?

Indiana – My only experience of Indiana involves being pulled over by a good-looking police officer who issued me a warning for wearing headphones in my ’79 T-Bird (without a fully working radio! And I was listening to a SERMON!), and for the fuzzy dice on my rearview mirror. Tears did nothing to alleviate the situation, as twirpy 17-year-olds speed past at 90 miles an hour. FUZZY DICE! I’m sure there’s more to Indiana, however. So I hear.

Arkansas – Bill Clinton, Evanescence, and incest jokes. I’m fairly sure we should scratch Arkansas off the map altogether.

As much as I make fun, the Midwest is home to me. Pulling into Joplin, Missouri, we pass what can only be described as a truckers “compound” – truck sales, several truck stops the size of some Northeastern states, weigh station, rest stops, and a TRUCKORAMA Truck Wash. All seen lit up at night on Christmas Eve-Eve to the sound of James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James”….Ahh, home sweet home.

Michaela @8:24 PM :: Comment

Overheard on Christmas:

Grandma: "I think I've got the gout."

Aunt Susie: "I cried when I read Mom's card."
Grandpa Gayle: "You cry when you read the newspaper."

Dave: "Where's the munchies?"
Me: "Where's the pot?"
Grandma: "POT? Where? When? Yay! Lemme at it.....HA!"

Mom: "Ok, lets vote for the movie to watch....."
Grandpa: "I vote for the '51 National League pennant, Dodgers vs. Giants....ha HA!"

Grandma: "You know, your grandpa, he likes the boobs...I'm always getting grabbed...."

Various: "Where's the wine?"

Highlights: Mom's remote controlled farting machine at dinner, a new fireplace, seeing the Chiefs beat the Raiders, Mom's candied yams,our dog Boris with the reindeer ears, Penny Serenade, learning to knit....first Christmas at home in four years....

Michaela @8:44 AM :: Comment

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas.


Michaela @8:22 PM :: Comment

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A Place to Belong (Breathe Deep This Amazing Grace...)

My heart feels steady, yet all over the place these days…

So we’re driving through Arizona and New Mexico over the past two days…it’s a great opportunity to get my head around my thoughts, find some much-needed clarity. (Though it would be a lie to say I don’t start overthinking things…)

What has been heavy on my mind is the idea of home.

The idea of home pervades so much of our life, so many of our relationships. I should not have been surprised when I found out that Sandra McCracken’s song “Ticket Home” was written when she got engaged, specifically about the relationship….

It was the song that convinced me (for a short time) that I needed to move back home from Scotland, a year into my time there. Of course God changed my mind, and I’m thankful he did. But the push and pull for the familiarity of home is so very strong. I think it is rooted deeply in our desire for a place to belong. Even those of us who have the hope of heaven end up loving life too much…because it is all we know, and it is familiar. In reality, our true home is so far beyond our imaginations. We stay in bad relationships because it is what we are familiar with, and we fear being alone, not feeling like we belong to someone. We stay because we once feel like that person would be home here, and we refuse to let the idea enter our minds that we may be wrong.

Me, I can’t even decide what feels like home anymore. America will always be home, sure. But I flip through the pages of Scottish Life magazine and see photos so very very familiar – much more familiar than St Louis, or even much of Kansas City anymore – and I feel more confused. I want to stay. But I want to go back, too. (Just as well, since I have to.) Even those of us with the travel bug…I think we are still looking for home and belonging, even if that is found in our lack of one (and most of us grow out of that anyway, when we find that it cannot be found).

My relationships – both with friends, and with boyfriends – has been similar. And with each departure, we find it more difficult to enter new possible territory, for fear of the unknown, fear of leaving our familiar. And when what seems familiar comes along, we are all the more fearful that it cannot be true, because we’ve been proven wrong before.

All of these feelings culminate in our endings.

Fear of dying strikes often when we are faced with it. What are we so afraid of? We are afraid of leaving the only home we know – this earth – for the one we know so little of. It is when we are forced to let go of the belonging that we find in our friends and relationships that we cling tightest. It is when I am close to going back to Scotland that I start wondering about my home here…so close to when I start coming back here (only six more months there, you know) that I wonder about my home there.

And in all our doubts lie our lack of trust. We doubt that God really does love us enough to provide. We do not trust he has our best interests (being really only found in our delight in HIM) at heart, and we doubt that the “homes” he has built and will build are what we truly need.

And we again get caught up in ourselves.

Oh, I need more grace.


Your voices swirl and welcome me,
Hem me in, make me see.
That we are all familiar now,
We're in each other's blood somehow.

I will never be a stranger,
I will never be alone.
Cause wherever you are is home.

So raise a glass and gather round,
Toast the night and friendships found.
And I'll lay to rest my troubled face,
And breathe deep this amazing grace.

.I will never be a stranger,
I will never be alone.
Cause wherever you are is home.

Sometime soon this road may part,
Mine may end where yours starts.
But should you ever need me,
You know right where I will be.

You will never be a stranger,
You will never be alone.
Cause wherever we are is home.

(Props to Aaron for helping be discover this Dave Barnes song....with "A Night Like This".....)

Michaela @9:27 AM :: Comment

Monday, December 20, 2004

Alisa and I went to Mexico tonight!!!!!

And all we got was a lousy chunk of chili-flavored cotton candy.

Go figure.

Michaela @8:14 AM :: Comment

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A young lady who is loved by that Great Being...

Another amazingly beautiful day! If I had my way, I’d live my life in the mountains. Give me snow, mountains, evergreens and cliffs, I love it all. Today we drove from Flagstaff to San Diego, and it was just an amazing drive. We took the scenic route, through all the above in Arizona (which I always attribute more to Colorado or Montana than Arizona), and through desert hills further west, populated by little towns consisting mostly of RV’s, abandoned motels built during the Eisenhower administration, an all-purpose store, and a US Post Office (which almost without exception was the nicest building in each town). We stopped at one of these stores, and outside sat two very old women in wheelchairs, laboriously ringing bells for the Salvation Army collection. They were both adorable and beautiful, with wrinkes as deep as I want mine to be one day. We took our time at that store, for whatever reason. As I wandered around, I got to imagining these two old ladies' lives, where they had been and where they hadn’t been, why they came here in the first place (if indeed they weren’t born here), and why they never left, who they married, who they didn’t marry, their children, grandchildren, and friends they miss. I got anxious and handed Mom my corn tortillas I was buying, and told her I was going out to talk to the old ladies.

“Get a photo of them, will ya?”

I promised I’d try. That was indeed one of the reasons I wanted to talk to them in the first place. Unfourtunately, as I walked back out the door, I found they’d left. Work day over, and I’d just missed them. The moral of the story is: don’t pass up chances to speak to old ladies. Or old men, for that matter. They have stories to tell, and they’ll soon be gone.

I got less reading done today, because I was too busy soaking in the beauty of the drive. As the sun went down, I broke out the flashlight and got down to business.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been reading Piper and Taylor’s book on Jonathan Edwards. As most Americans who have read a high school literature book, my previous experience of Edwards work has been “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (which used to upset my immature high school theology). But unlike most (I think….I haven’t actually discussed this with many folks, so I could be wrong), I was also -in the same literature book,I think- exposed to a beautiful prose piece he wrote…

"They say there is a young lady in New Haven who is beloved of that great Being who made and rules the world, and there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her andfills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything except to meditate on Him, that she expects after a while to be received up where He is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven, being assured that He loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from Him always. She will sometimes go about from place to place singing sweetly, and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always conversing with her"

These are the two things I’ve always thought of when I thought of Jonathan Edwards, but I never knew much more about him.

In this book, there is a hugely interesting chapter on his wife, Sarah Pierrepont Edwards, written by Noel Piper, wife of John. I highly recommend this chapter to any Christian woman. It has been fascinating to read the woman behind the above piece of prose I so distinctly remember from high school. She was such a godly and influential woman, and her work as wife and help mate to Jonathan was at a level that any woman of God should want to strive for in their own marriages. As a mother, she did a fantastic job of raising 11 children, in colonial times, under added pressure of being a well-known minister’s wife. A study was done in 1900 of the decendants of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. By that time, the marriage had produced:

-13 college presidents
-65 professors
-100 lawyers and a dean of a law school
-30 judges
-66 physicians and the dean of a medical school
-86 holders of public office, including:
-3 U.S. Senators
-Mayors of 3 large cities
-Governors of three states
-A V.P. of the U.S (their grandson was Aaron Burr, Jr.)
-A controller of the U.S. Treasury
-100+ missionaries sent overseas

This blows my mind. I can’t think of a better way to say that, because it does. I love God’s perfect plans! I pray that if He decides to bless me with children (and I sure hope he does), that I can be positively influential for generations to come…aside from academics or public office holder, I pray they’ll be children of God, above all else.

The above prose piece tells of the great love Jonathan had for his wife. I remember distinctly that my lit book told me he wrote that before he met Sarah, but my current book tells me otherwise. What it does tell me, however, is that they first met when she was 13, and he was 19. (They married when she was 17 and he was 24.) What a thing to write about a 13-14 year old! Sure, he was a young man in love, and probably a somewhat blind love – Sarah was by no means perfect, and was only who she was by the grace of God – but I hope that to some degree similar things could be written about me eventually. (I feel extremely unqualified at the moment, but God is still working in me.)
On his deathbed, Jonathan dictated a letter to Sarah, who was away from him at the time. In the letter, he sent his “kindest love” to her, and spoke of their marriage as an “uncommon union”. It is inspiring, above all, to read about these two. And I just started the book!

Ahh, I’m babbling on again. This happens when I’m tired. San Diego beckons tomorrow morning, so I should probably get some sleep. I’m not liking this hotel room too much – it’s too pastel. So let’s see how well I sleep in a room that is much too pastel. I have my fears….

Read a good book, folks.


Michaela @9:47 AM :: Comment

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Nothing To Say
(Andrew Peterson)

Hey, Jamie would you mind
Driving down this road awhile
Arizona's waiting on these eyes
Rich is on the radio
And I think we ought to take it slow
Arizona's caught me by surprise

Hey, Jamie, have you heard
'A picture paints a thousand words'
But the photographs don't tell it all
I see the eagle swim the canyon sea
Creation yawns in front of me
Oh Lord, I never felt so small

And I don't believe that I
believed in You as deeply as today
I reckon what I'm saying is
there's nothing more
nothing more to say

And the mountains sing Your
glory hallelujah
The canyons echo sweet
amazing grace
My spirit sails
The mighty gales are bellowing
Your name
And I've gotten nothing to say
No, I've got nothing to say

Hey, Jamie, do you see
I'm broken by this majesty
So much glory in so little time
So turn off the radio
Let's listen to the songs we know
All praise to Him who reigns on high

And I don't believe that I
believed in You as deeply as today
I reckon what I'm saying is
there's nothing more
nothing more to say

And the mountains sing Your
glory hallelujah
The canyons echo sweet
amazing grace
My spirit sails
The mighty gales are bellowing
Your name
And I've gotten nothing to say
No, I've got nothing to say

Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah

Hey Jamie would you mind
Driving down this road awhile
Arizona's caught me by surprise

Gosh, today was beautiful. Just stunning. We are now in Flagstaff, Arizona, mountains and desert all behind and in front of us. We drove through the Painted Desert, and the Petrified Forest, but we couldn’t take our eyes off the sky. Its been a very long while since I’ve seen a sunset like that. The above song kept running though my head, and I wished I had it with me to listen to.

But the whole day was wonderful. I finally got another notebook to journal in, and now I’ve got much too much to catch up on in there, as its been a few weeks since my last one ended. I finished “Eleanor Rigby” and started up “A God-Entranced Vision of All Things”, picked up today in Albuquerque, and am greatly enjoying it. It’s a very good book to take along on such a trip, being able to read about God’s glory and our need to delight in him….and it just seems so easy to delight in him when you see his wonders of creation.

Hope you are all well. Trey posted some more Nashville photos, so I’ll post some here soonish. Sleep tight, kiddies.

Enjoy God.

Michaela @6:37 AM :: Comment

Friday, December 17, 2004

Truck Stop Majesty

So I’ve been rereading some of my very early blog archives (have I REALLY been blogging for almost two years now?!) and I can’t decide whether I was actually funnier then, or if I was just more annoying. Have I simmered down in my old age, or have I just gotten more boring?

I suspect that the fact that I’ve lived much longer in Scotland may have more to do with it. I’m sure I’ve talked about this, not too long ago. But I’m rereading that, and remembering what it all felt like….I was a COLLEGE STUDENT! HEAR ME ROAR! Not only a college student, but one studying overseas, staying in a dingy student flat with two extremely weird flatmates. Lately, I have quite normal flatmates (relatively speaking), one of whom I love and adore (RUFUS, I miss you too, darling!) and I’m coming in on the home stretch of college and of my time in Edinburgh.

I sometimes have wondered, if I were to ever actually become a writer (something that is consistently bugging me), whether I’d have to KEEP traveling so much for inspiration. Sure, I like to think that I can write about mundane life details, but I think these have to be triggered a little by travel or change. I don’t know.

All this is to say, I’m thankful that I’ve recently got to enjoy so much travel – especially in the States, and especially with my, *ahem*, “college friends” in Nashville, both of which are a strange mix of oh-so-familiar, and not-at-all familiar…with a good dash of the new, too.

At this moment, my little brother snores really loudly in the hotel room bed next to me, somewhere in New Mexico, in a town I cannot pronounce. Familiar, yet unfamiliar.

Today was spent in the back of our truck, traveling from Jopin, Missouri (where we’d driven to yesterday) to aforementioned current Town I Cannot Pronounce. It was all quite strange. I remember doing this very thing exactly a year ago, as my family went down to Albuquerque and Corpus Christi for the holidays. I remember then, thinking that, my being 22, it would probably be the last family vacation I’d really take as a “child”. I remember wondering (as many people do around this time of year) where the next year would take me, and where I’d be this time next year. (Or, this year. You know.) I remember picking out a neon sign as we’d pass by, waiting and watching it til it went over the dark horizon, and I couldn’t see it anymore…somehow signifying time’s passing, over and over again, as signs went by. I was reading Anne Lamott’s “Bird By Bird” and listening to Patty Griffin’s “A Kiss In Time”.

This year, I’m reading Douglas Coupland’s “Eleanor Rigby” (I’ll have to pick up a new one soon, as I’m almost finished) and am listening to Remy Zero’s “The Golden Hum”, Sandra McCracken’s “The Crucible”, the Garden State soundtrack, and many others. My little brother is taking up more space in the back of the truck, but still manages to keep to his own side, and busy himself with video games and movies.

The trip today was completely fascinating to me. For starters, Oklahoma is terrible. I’m sorry, to all people who live and/or love in Oklahoma, but I speak the truth. Its flat. However, its charm, I believe, is found in the fact that it is completely charmless. Its that part of America where the brown starts to overtake the green, and the clay red threatens to overtake the dead browns. Cities have a Wal-Mart and a Sonic, and a few churches that are at least as big as the Wal-Mart. But I guess that’s all one really needs in life, right?

Though it helps to have a Western Sizzlin and about 19 truck stops.

Truck stops really ARE one of the most fascinating things in American culture. And I mean that. The big ones are cities in and of themselves, with just about anything a person could want or need, along with a Taco Bell, Subway, and stuffed-toy-grab-machine (do those things actually have names?) that heartlessly takes quarters from small children. They are even more interesting with my family involved. The following conversation actually happened at the Taco Bell, at a truck stop somewhere in Oklahoma:

Me (after my brother and mother had been goofing around) in fake seriousness: “Honestly, I can’t take you guys anywhere.”

Mom: “SURE you can!....the zoo…the circus….the mental hospital…you can take us LOTS of places, really.”

I hate it when my mom manages to out-funny me.

Not long after Taco Bell, the sun is starting to set, and I’m desperately trying to get reading before I lose light. Dave catches my attention and points to a very old water tower (“Britta”or “Brittia” or somewhere), which is completely about to topple over. Tower of Pisa, right in OK. Next to an equally interesting long-abandoned Lube and Tire Shop (no extra “p’s” or “e’s” in this country…no sir…), which I wish I could have taken photos of…

Within minutes, Dave announces on that coming up on “The Largest Cross in the Northern Hemisphere”. Its so bizarre, I’ll post a photo of it soon enough. It’s just standing there, in the middle of nothing, on land flatter than Amanda Glass in the 6th grade.. With a gift shop. And new construction…what I can only assume in a much larger gift shop.

Anyone else see a problem with this?

What *was* beautiful about the Oklahoma landscape was the “opposite of the sunset”…that line of color at the horizon…the blues and pinks and purples that have now been desecrated by the overuse in clothing and rooms of tweenage girls and Paris Hilton, to the point that we forget those beautiful colors once lined the sky, and indeed still does in some places….

Back to truck stops.

They really are quite majestic. They have everything a trucker could ever legally want, and ALL of it plugs into their cigarette lighter. I’m serious. Stoves, hot plate, coolers, lights, refrigerators, televisions, microwaves, oven mitts, small dogs, you name it. It was fascinating. I wanted to become a truck driver, just so I could buy up all this stuff to plug into the millions of lighters that must come with such trucks. But women truck drivers have faces that have been worn away by Texas, beautiful, but hard, so perhaps I’ll stick to my own little car.

But I might buy one of those 890oz sized insulated cups (larger than some compact cars), just so I can FEEL like a trucker….

I look forward to more truck stops tomorrow on the way to California.

Love and Cornflakes,

****P.S. If my blog looks screwy again....I'm really sorry. I have no idea what the problem is.

Michaela @10:24 AM :: Comment

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Nashvegas Photos and Wrap-Up Notes : AP Christmas Show 2004
(AKA...You shoulda been there....)

Friday: Tag-Team Nosepicking with Lori and Yours Truly.  Posted by Hello

Michaela @7:40 AM :: Comment

The Girls of Rm 238 (Carla, Chrissy, Katey, Me, Lori, Susan and Rhonda)  Posted by Hello

Michaela @7:11 AM :: Comment

Brandon's face: How can I NOT post this photo?!

Omni Hut...ass-grabbing with Chrissy...overpriced food..."ASK HER OUT!"..."Lord, thank you for this tiki atmosphere..."..."I only know one sign."....cigars and Shiner...Milkwalkee's Best Vomit....Josh Bobbitt stars in: "The Spillage"...and "The Double-Tap"...I Saw Santa Praying"..."She actually has the entire scene of Golgotha tattooed on her. The other two crosses are just lower down on the hill." The *HOTNESS* meets....attack of the forearm....Rhonda's fudge...Bedtime: 4am

Michaela @7:10 AM :: Comment

For those who know what "cake" means. Adriene nearly hurt herself laughing before she pointed it out to the rest of it. Chrissy makes her sexy face.

Michaela @7:09 AM :: Comment

Rockin it out at Fuddruckers. (And this is only HALF the group...the rest are at the next table...)


The Girls hit up Franklin...Marridees...."Though the cake is safe in the oven....fake snow..."Amy Grant has walked these streets!"...thimble cider...Chrissy proposes to Rhonda..."This can be my dining room table"..."Did you see her fur coat?!...Fido' in the 'Ville...used CDs...The U2 Car...Fuddruckers...onions and saurkraut...."WHAT FOR THE HELL?!"..."MOTHER SHITTER!"...the Mushmouth hat...Ben busts out the geetar...Reformed theology Starbucks coffee...undercover photos...girltalk...bedtime: 4am

Michaela @7:08 AM :: Comment

So hot right now.  Posted by Hello

Michaela @7:07 AM :: Comment

Me and Geof (Where's the love? THERE is the love!)  Posted by Hello

Michaela @7:06 AM :: Comment

Mic, Chrissy & Adriene : The BQ's

Michaela @7:05 AM :: Comment

"WHAT FOR THE HELL!?!" (Jason and Me)

Michaela @7:03 AM :: Comment

(I have deleted this photo because of this sick bastards that keep coming back to my site just for this picture.)

Michaela @7:02 AM :: Comment

The show was AWESOME.  Posted by Hello


8am wakeup...with Rhonda...Pancake Pantry with Pauline...Remy Zero...Midtown Fellowship...amazing worship..."Is that Andy O?"...stealth disco denied! coffee!...never mind the mexican food...hotel time..."School of Rock"....Papa Johns Pizza....Big K excursion...Donna Reed..."Wild At Heart" heresies...Frou Frou...Old Spaghetti Factory...Chris the Waiter...Rhonda and Chrissy make a Public Service Announcement...tackle hug...The Movie Game....bug in the wine, spot on the mug!...Luke greetings...The Ryman..."NO PHOTOS?!"...the show=priceless and beyond words...(Deliver Us)...Jason and Ben want Phil Keaggy's babies...The Ryman Militia go in for the kill...piggy-back rides...Lori gets some ass...Waffle House...Paul joins the land of the living...Walt's Chilli and Annie's Sweet Tea...Stephen (workin til 6am)...Chris (workin SINCE 6am) bacon EVER...footsie standoff!..."I Walk The Line"..."Kokomo"..."The Joker"..."It's Five O'Clock Somewhere"!...More Movie Game...Big Business..."Jared, that doesn't count...."...girltalk...bedtime: 4am...Packing..."Think of the children in Africa without socks!..." (Kari: Send it to them in the card...)...Ruby Tuesday's..."Invite Calvin into your heart today..."..."Mom, its your ghetto phone!"...The Finding of The Ring...Goodbyes....Drive home with an amazing sunset, and Randall Goodgame, Frou Frou, Sandra McCracken and Remy Zero to serenade me....

***Note: Thanks to folks whose photos I used! Scott, Adriene & Jeff, Chris, and probably some others...

Michaela @7:01 AM :: Comment

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Nashville Weekend is over.

And it was GLORIOUS.

Fun times were definitely had.

More to come.


Michaela @9:14 AM :: Comment

Friday, December 10, 2004

Best Intentions

OK, I had EVERY intention in giving you guys a few clippets (you got that? Not snippets...not clips....CLIPPETS!) of my last week here at home, which was to include:

-The One Where Mic Gets Hit On By A Geek
-The One Where Mic and Aaron Rule All
-The One Where Mic Plans for Nashville
-The One Where Mic Sleeps A Lot*
-The One When Mic's Electicity Gets Turned Off
-The One Where Mic Finds Out She Gets To Go To San Diego
(Though not for actual figure skating.)

...among others.

But then, I find myself out of time again. It's way too late, and I have to be up at a decent hour in order to pick up my pimp ride that will take me to Nashvegas, USA for the weekend.

I should pop in and say hi, though. Rumor has it we have wireless internet in our hotel. However, I'm pretty sure me and the gang will be much too busy with the usual pillow fights, Spin the Bottle/Seven Minutes in Heaven games, and TPing to really do much net surfing.

FTR, I'll be fairly busy immediately following too, since I get back on Monday, and on Wednesday, I'll be leavin with the family for a week or so to head out to San Diego. I'm mucho excitedo, amigas. You guys will keep busy, I'm sure. Don't you have some shopping to do, anyway? Christmas cometh.


*No, that's not me. Its my dear friend Kari. Heh.

Michaela @9:37 AM :: Comment

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Daily Routine and the Tattoo

Ah, bliss.

I sit here with my laptop, in bed, cup of tea next to me, and the “I Heart Huckabees” score/soundtrack playing. (Note: Jon Brion, the guy that did the score/soundtrack for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" did this one too. Yes, its that good.) And my dog is keeping a keen watch outside my door…snoring loudly.

It’s been a lazy day, and continues to be a lazy night, which is just as well, since as of tomorrow, things will get significantly busier. I did very little today. I have been enjoying some great tunes thanks to Meg, who sent me some lovely gifts of the aforementioned soundtrack, plus Zero 7’s “When It Falls”, Thievery Corporation’s “The Mirror Conspiracy”, and Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine”. (She also sent copies of Frou Frou and the Garden State soundtrack, when my CD case was thought stolen, and those with it. But I found them.) I ordered Papa John’s pizza, and ate myself silly, because that pizza is just too darn beautiful, and I can no longer get it delivered to my apartment in Edinburgh. So I gotta eat it while I can. I spoke to a few good friends on the phone, made some brownies (fudgey…not cakey!) and watched too much TV, for the same reason I ate too much pizza…the shows that I can only get once a week in Britian seem to be playing so often here. (Satellite TV helps.) And I spent an EXORBITANT amount of time on the internet, due to my parentals wireless connection, which means I can take my laptop all over….in front of the TV, out to the back deck. It really is unhealthy, I think.


Where was I?


Yeah so we landed okay, obviously. It was really not fun, but I’ve never been so happy to see the shining lights of St. Louis. The guy next to me, who had not uttered a single word the entire flight stands up and says to me through a clenched jaw: “That was fun.” I don’t remember what I said, but I’m sure it was witty, with a touch of surprise due to the fact he’d actually spoken.

Dave was late picking me up, because of work he had out in the boonies, and Mom’s Jeep was AWOL, so I picked up my luggage (the fastest I’ve EVER gotten my luggage back at Lambert Airport) and walked up to the pickup area outside.

It never fails to amaze me, the smell of St Louis – America, in general – and how different it is from Edinburgh and the UK. I could make up something (Missouri smells like cows, Scotland smells like haggis…..Missouri smells like fish bait, while Scotland smells like Sean Connery….etc….why is this starting to feel like a SAT test?) but in reality, I can’t really nail it down. It just smells differently. They are both lovely smells. But different.

I wait in the heated shelter, while the parking attendant/security guard – a woman all of 5’2” – chats with the other woman who is waiting:
“This rain….what horrible weather!”

“Yep…it’s supposed to snow tomorrow!”

“Yeah, well its getting colder….I guess it will have to….get below….30…..”

Yep, I must be back in America.

In case I wasn’t sure, I turn around to see one of the biggest SUV’s I’ve ever seen, covered in NASCAR and Jesus stickers. I’m not kidding.

Yes. Definitely America.

Dave picks me up, quick hugs all around (you take too long in those airport lines, they send you back, man…) and calls mom to say I’ve made it one piece. (Despite the fact I’d just talked to her on the phone.) We chat about this and that on the short ride home, as I try and take in all the strange familiarity of everything . Soon enough, that familiarity is doubled, when we arrive home.

Mom is making dinner (homemade chicken pot pie), and margarita mix is already on hand. The usual just-getting-home stuff happens, chats and changing clothes and a good shower.

I emerge from the bathroom, as Mom is putting the mix into the pies…

“So, you wanna know a secret?”

“I don’t know, do I?”

“You’re not gonna like it.”

“The tattoo?”


“I already saw it.”

Apparently, enough of my shirt in the back had come up at some point for her to notice. In typical Mom style, she was waiting to see when I’d say something to her. She goes on to VERY grudgingly (though probably exaggerated…) admit that she actually does LIKE what it LOOKS like. The design and all. She just doesn’t like the fact that its on ME. Forever.

“By the time you’re 80, that thing is going to be hanging on your ASS.”

“Mom, by the time I’m 80, no one is going to be looking at my ass.”


Michaela @7:53 AM :: Comment

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

As Of Twelve/Seven/Ought-Four
(Uncensored! Sort of!)

20 Years Ago, I ...
1. Had just turned three and was about to move to Michigan from Missouri
2. Had an obsession with my tire swing
3. Enjoyed a great trip to California with my family

15 Years Ago, I ...
1. Was informed by an OLDER (and icky) girl on the playground what condoms were (“ew!”)
2. Had my mom for a teacher for two weeks. (GAG)
3. Was extremely excited that my mom had finally gotten preggers….and in 7 months time would give birth to my one and only sibling, Grant!

10 Years Ago, I ...
1.. Had just moved from the ghetto (Kansas City, Kansas) to the Happy Burbs (Lee’s Summit, Missouri).
2. Was HATING my new (now defunct) school, but liking it better than the last new school.
3. Was crushing on a tall and attractive 7th grader named Ted.

5 Years Ago, I ...

1. Was loving my final year of high school. (Half days, and library aide nap times!)
2. Swapping emails with my then new favorite author.
3. Getting ready to head overseas for two years.

3 Years Ago, I ...
1. Was gearing up for a strange Christmas in Port Klang/Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2. Trying desperately to get over my first big bad breakup.
3. Waving goodbye to my good friend Elin, at 4am, leaving the ship for good.

1 Year Ago, I ...

1. Took a great trip to New Mexico and Texas.
2.Was enjoying my new flat with my new flatmate Ruth who would become my new best friend.
3. Was spending too much time on the phone.

So far this year, I ...

1. Smoked cigars at a streetside cafe in Amsterdam
2. Madeout in a van on the shores of Loch Lomond
3. Finally realised I have friends who deeply love and care for me.

Yesterday, I ...
1. Talked on the phone with a dear friend...and felt useful and needed.
2. Drank one (or two) of Mom’s Amazing Margaritas
3. Stayed up waaaay too late talking about embarrassing moments and snobbery

Today, I ...
1. Spent hours at Borders writing down Buechner quotes and reading from this book and this book.
2. Slept a lot ….between watching a lot of kitsch VH1 clip shows.
3. Drove in the rain, while eating Taco Bell and listening to Sheryl Crow.

Tomorrow, I...
1. Will take the Jeep into the shop, in hopes it will be done for this weekend in Nashville.
2. Will enjoy more coffee from Mom’s high-tech coffee maker/grinder
3. Will do a lot of writing I keep meaning to do

(Blatently ripped off of Phil, because I'm too tired for a real post tonight.)

Michaela @7:26 AM :: Comment

Monday, December 06, 2004

Kid Tested….Mother Approved!!!

In talking with Cameron tonight, I was informed that Cameron’s mom reads my blog. She’s hardcore, apparently – she even read my blog in the long period of time that even Cameron himself did not read my blog. I like this. I realize my blog is actually liked by mothers. Not my own, mind you (she can never remember where to find it, so she has given up), but others, it would appear. Tim’s mum reads, Cameron’s mom reads. I think maybe Meg’s mom Tricia did at one time (though I think she reads Tim’s more often these days), as did Katy, Sco’s mom. And of course I have several readers who ARE mothers (or fathers, for that matter): Kristin & Phil, Amy and Andrew, Mark T (The Sage), Mal, among others. My own dad seems to like it.

So this gives me the warm fuzzies. Its nice to know my blog is one that can be taken home to mom. I’m glad to know that mothers and children can discuss points about my blog, and learn together. I’m considering making “This Beautiful Mess: Home Study Version”. Or better (for the hip and groovy): “TBM: Study Journal”. (Not to be confused with TBN. That could get ugly. I break out in hives at the mere thought.)


I’m a little behind.

Time for the Reader’s Digest Version.

The flights from Scotland were interesting. It was nice, because it’s the first time in 2 and a half years that I’ve been able to actually board a plane in Edinburgh, and get off in St Louis within only two flights. It was almost magical.

Sadly, the flights themselves were pretty crap. It was a smaller plane, which meant no little personal movie screens per seat. It is no excuse for crappy food though. And this may well have been the crappiest airline food EVER.

This meant I was pretty darn ready to eat by the time we landed in Newark. (Can I just say…the smog over NYC….so PRETTY!....*gag*) I had to wait much too long though, as I struggled to get and recheck my baggage, go through customs, and security again. My favorite part was when the very old lady in front of me in the security line (still a fair distance from the end of the line) announces: “Oooh! Looks like we have to take off our shoooes! Better get reaaady!” She proceeds to unvelcro her shoes.

I wanted to kiss her on the forehead.

After all this, I was nearly FAMISHED of course. I thankfully come across a Nathan’s" Famous" burger (Est 1678 or something) place, selling insanely overpriced burgers and hot dogs. As all visitors to New York, I justify my purchase by saying “Well, its New York”, which is a lie, since I was actually in New Jersey, but nevermind. But my case is further strengthened by the fact that I had not eaten a decent burger in four months. If I have to pay 6 bucks for it, dammit, I will.

And it was SO GOOD, too. Really. I was glad I paid for it. I was not glad for the massive cookie I paid 2 bucks for, but…you win some, you lose some. And you pay out the bum for some.

The flight between Newark and St Louis was less than fun. It was fairly bumpy the whole way, though mostly less than terrible. What I hate more is flying through continual cloud. The reason I need to sit by the window, is because I NEED to see a horizon, folks. Someone didn’t get the memo, because all I saw was grey out my window, and that is fairly spooky.

Then it got crappy.

Within seconds of our starting to dip and raise, dip and raise, the flight attendant gets on, calmly (within his pauses for the big movements…somehow NOT reassuring, let me tell you) mentioning that it will probably be “a little bumpy” for “the rest of the flight”, which was supposed to be a whole thirty more minutes. Great. Fun. Just like the rides at the park. Except that I paid a lot more. And this isn’t actually fun. I was pretty freaked, but I realize too that if anything really happens, holding on for dear life probably isn’t going to make much of a difference. The guy next to me is white-knucking the whole way, somehow making me feel superior, though I was scared to death.

The captain followed not long after the flight attendant, with a similar “way-too-calm” talk.

Now, see, I value honesty in life. I’d have a lot more respect for these guys if they just got on and said something like: “WHOA there, folks, this next half hour is going to be DOG CRAP CENTRAL for ya, so….(*bbbbrrrrrrr*) HOLD ON TIGHT! IT'S GONNA BE ROUGH! WE’VE GOT A RETIRED WWII PILOT UP HERE HELPING US OUT IN THE COCKPIT, ALONG WITH A HOOTERS AIRLINE HOSTESS, FRED SAVAGE AND TWO TRAINED LLAMAS, SO REST ASSURED YOU ARE IN GOOD HANDS! LETS ALL JUST PRAY THAT THE DUCT TAPE AND THE BALSA WOOD HOLD GOOD AND TIGHT! HA HA! WHHHEEEEEEE!”

Seriously, it would all save us a lot of trouble and worry. Just shoot it to me straight, dear captain.

(To Be Continued, of course...)

Peace, Love, and Something Witty,

Michaela @8:46 AM :: Comment

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Another Non-Post

So much to say. I had good evening. (And my last few days have been good, too.) I had plans to come back and write all about this evening, and instead I ended up talking to my Corey (can I just tell you what am amazing support my girl Corey has been in the last few months? She's amazing...) and Jason (he's alright.... ;) ) so I got distracted.

Maybe tomorrow, huh?

As for now....

Pet Peeve of the Day: White dudes on "Showtime at the Apollo". That's not cool. Get off the stage man, you're embrarrassing yourself. And caucasians everywhere.

Yours Truly,



As an appetizer for tomorrow, and also because I feel like everyone needs to hear this song....I present to you the song that has recently been completely kicking my butt.....

What is Not Love

What looks like failure is success
And what looks like poverty is riches
When what is true looks more like a knife
It looks like you’re killing me
But you’re saving my life

But I give myself to what looks like love
And I sell myself for what feels like love
And I pay to get what is not love
And all just because I see things upside down

What looks like weakness can do anything
And what looks like foolishness is understanding
When what is powerful has not come to fight
It looks like you’re going to war
But you lay down your life

But I give myself to what looks like love
And I sell myself for what feels like love
And I pay to get what is not love
And all just because I see things upside down

What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
And I say I don’t know you
But you say it’s finished
When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
And I say I don’t know you
But you say it’s finished

(By Derek Webb, from his album "I See Things Upside Down"....which is amazing.)

Michaela @7:24 AM :: Comment

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Well I find it amazing that one can travel for only 12 hours and find themselves so far away from where they started.

It's really nice to be home. Sorta surreal in a lot of ways, and maybe a little the sense that I'm feeling differently than how I thought I would be. Though I'm not entirely sure what that feeling actually is. I've slept a LOT. I pretty much got close to zero hours of sleep in the three days before I left, and I don't sleep on planes. So since I've gotten home...well I went to bed at 10pm last night, woke up at 9am today....then fell back asleep somewhere around 11 or 12...and woke up again at 5....or so....and once again I feel so tired I may fall right over.

So I think this weird feeling is called "sleep deprivation". It feels kinda like being on drugs. I don't know why more people don't try it, its a heckuva lot cheaper than drugs.

All that is to say, I'm sorry this post is too short. I wanted to write a lot more tonight, but its just not going to happen. I've got plenty of time though. Relatively speaking. And the Jeep is busted for the moment, so my ability to get out of the house is limited. (Though I'm seriously considering trying to learn to quilt while I'm home and sick, as inspired by something Andrew's sister Sare made....tada!)

But hopefully tomorrow I'll have more energy to tell you about my trip home. It had its exciting moments.

But for now...home is good. It's nice to hear my mom say: "Hey there, Care Bear!" she has since I was a little girl...but hear it in person, rather than over the phone....

Other nice things about home:

-Finding out the little brother is starting to get cool. This is a good thing. I was worried there for a little while. I've never actually wanted to own an article of clothing that my brother owns. I like his hoodie.

- Hot Apple Cider

-Mom's homemade chicken pot pie

-Nightly margaritas!

-David Letterman

-My dog and cat. Boris (the dog) is looking spiffy these days, dispite his raging arthritis. Its amazing what a Christmas scarf from the Animal Hospital can do for a "he doesn't get older, he just gets better!" dog.

-Christmas lights


More will come later, like I said. I love you all. Okay, I love MOST of you. Or, I love some of you, like some of you, and some of you I tolerate. You can probably place yourself in which category you might be in. ;)

Ruth, you'll be glad to hear that after an hour and a half on the phone with Dell, my new AC power cord should be coming tomorrow or the next day. And it was under warranty. Hurrah!!!!!


Have a Very Merry 2nd of December,

So I'll sing a song of my hometown
I'll breathe the air and walk the streets
Maybe find a place to sit and read
And the ants are welcome company
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes.

Michaela @7:19 AM :: 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