Monday, January 31, 2005

Day Two, Part One (AKA: "Will the real handicapped person please NOT stand up??")

Wow, I’m coughing my brains out again. I was thinking I was doing better (if only a little), but….nope, coughing again. And my nose now looks like it was sunburned all on its own, its all red and peely. Ew. But anyway, enough about my sickness! On to the fun stuff! While I drink my incredibly strong hot toddy! And use too many exclaimation points!

So, last Thursday (or two Thursdays ago now), was The Big Day.

On the schedule:

1) Oath of Office Ceremony
2) Inaugural Parade
3) Inaugural Ball

And yes, I can hear you say: “Mic, that’s a lot for one day! You must be Superwoman!” and I would say, “Yes, yes it is. And yes, yes I am.”

So after not nearly enough sleep, April and I ventured out, wearing as many layers as possible, to meet Kirk downstairs, ready for approximately 7 hours in the freezing cold snow. Hurrah! Hats, gloves, hoodies, double socks, scarves, the works. Just call us Boy Scouts. (Except don’t, because we are neither boys [except Kirk], nor scouts.)

After the Metro ride and a short walk, we made our way to the biggest crowd I’ve probably ever been in. It was pretty insane. And yes, security was as tight as they say. I wasn’t sure they were gonna let my canvas bag in (I didn’t bring any other bag to the States, though, so I had to take a chance), but luckily, the hot Secret Service man had pity on me. (“You know, the bag really is a little too big, but…..” “Oh yes, sir, I’m sorry, sir, I tried to take as much out of it as I could…..” Man, he had such a cute smile, too…when he wasn’t smiling, he looked pretty scary, though.)

Yeah so we managed the best vantage point that our tickets could get us….which just happened to be behind the handicapped section, which sat on a raised platform, for those in wheelchairs. Now, this was fine, so long as those in wheelchairs weren’t standing up. You laugh now, but I’m serious. They kept standing up. Granted, some of them didn’t exactly have the mental capacity to understand that they shouldn’t be standing up. But most of them did. And they would turn around with a look that said: “Nanny, nanny, you can’t make us sit down!” The crowd was shouting at them to sit down. I still find it funny that the folks in wheelchairs were standing up. Remind me to take a wheelchair to my next inaugural, they got a much better view, AND they got to sit down.

All the while, my toes were freezing off. I’m definitely not kidding this time, either. I was wearing my Chuck Taylors, which isn’t advisable in snow (though they didn’t get very wet, if at all), and below-freezing tempatures. Much to the distain of the woman in front of me, I tried all sorts of options to get my feet warm, to no avail. (She was awfully cranky.) Thankfully, we were standing with some other supportive and fun (if talkative) folks, so I got a helping hand or two, in addition to April and Kirk.

After the Oath of Office, we joined the extremely large crowd making their way to the parade route. Now, because we were closer to the stage at the Capitol, (relatively speaking), we were further from the route than many others. Plus, we had to go to the furthest part of the route, since we had ticketed seats (because yes, we’re special!). Well this is where the story gets complicated and boring. Let’s just say we (Kirk and I…April stayed in the non-ticked area) ended up in a line of literally thousands of people, trying to get through a security tent with only three lines working. We would have never been able to get through before the parade was even over. So we gave up. We did the smart thing and jumped on the Metro before it got overcrowded with people, made it to the car, and back to Kirk’s place….before the parade even started, thanks to the delays! (Needless to say, Kirk was not pleased the tickets he paid for proved unnecessary.)

Kirk is an EXCELLENT cook. Seriously, his kitchen stock rivals my grandmothers, which is saying an awful lot since I’m fairly sure Grandma is prepared for nuclear winter. I warmed up my poor toes under a blanket and enjoyed a lovely apricot beer and watched Fox News show the parade, while Kirk cooked up a mean fish and chips. (Ironic, much?) April called at 4 to say that she was back at her place, and I could come over to get ready for the ball.

(To be continued. You bored already? ;) )


P.S. I added a couple of pages worth of photos, too. Hurrah!


Michaela @1:12 AM :: Comment

Friday, January 28, 2005

DC/Baltimore/Philly - Day One (AKA: "Napoleon Dynamite Complex")

Wow. When my mom shows up on my blog, you KNOW that I really should start writing here. (Though of course, she was all about the dress. So this new information will do nothing for her.)

Keep in mind, as I tell you about last week back in the States, that at this very moment, I’m feeling terribly sick. Not only am I really sick, but I’m in a really bad mood. At the moment, I can’t stand college, can’t stand work, and as much as I love Scotland and Edinburgh, I’m getting really tired of it. I’m sure in the days to come, I shall elaborate on these things, but for now, I’ll get back to work on the trip…while I play the Garden State DVD (Braff and Portman’s commentary, if you must know) in the background, and blow my already Rudolph nose, and cough up the one poor lung I must have left, while drinking Lemsip, laced with who-really-knows-what, but it always makes you feel better. That and my PJ pants. Instant betterness, if only a little.

First, to explain why I ended up in Washington, at the Inaugural Ball, to those of you who have not yet heard, and keep wondering.

My friend Kirk (whom you can see in the photos) works for the Administration. (If I have it correctly, he’s an Assistant Director for Communications at Homeland Security. He can correct me if I’m wrong.) So he gets to go to all this stuff. And he needed a date. Considering the fact that I’d never have the chance to do all this again, and Kirk is a good friend and a fun guy, I was happy to accompany him. Along with all this, my friend Aaron was going to be in town for the festivities. Aaron and I were supposed to meet up in San Diego last month, and he got sick, and we were both bummed out it didn’t happen. Needless to say, we were surprised when we realized we were gonna be in the same place so soon. Plus, a bunch of other folks from the RMFO board (yes, internet friends…so sue me…) all decided we’d use this opportunity to meet up in Baltimore, on my way to see my friend Christiana in Philly. Sufficiently confusing for you? Probably.

So we shall start at last Wednesday.

I left early in the morning to catch my 8am plane to Manchester, and then on to Washington. I nearly missed my plane, of no surprise to some of you, I’m sure. In my defense, I was there in plenty of time. But I got there and got through security and all and the screen says my plane is gonna be delayed an HOUR. So I’m thinking I should get something nice and Scottish for Kirk, and head to the shops. Next think I know – like 15 mins later, I hear “final boarding call” for Forbes. Yeah, I nearly crapped my pants. And of course I was no where near my gate. Luckily, Edinburgh Airport isn’t that big, but I was still having to “run”…as much as you can when there are a lot of people in one place. I was carrying my gown in a bag over my shoulder, and seriously almost took an old guys head off with it when I rounded a corner. He was sitting reading his paper. I definitely annihilated the paper.



Manchester was uneventful, save for “The Chewable Toothbrush” dispenser (It’s JUST GUM!) and the TV hand dryers. The hand dryers in the bathrooms had these little screens (I took a picture of them), and when you put your hands under them, they’d BLAST a commercial….the volume would go up really loud (of course….in order to hear it over the dryer) and the screen would start in with the dancing tampons or whatever. (I didn’t really watch one.) Hm. Interesting. Didn’t make me want to buy tampons or shampoo or anything though.

I flew BMI (British Midland) on purpose. I always love flying with BMI, despite the fact that I hate flying. They have the little screens in the seats so you can pick your movie. Or your Game Boy game. (Seriously, playing Super Mario Brothers brings back SUCH good travel memories from childhood.) Their food is always good. I could go on, but that’s really all I ask for in an airline – good food and good entertainment. Well, that and getting me to where I need to be. On time. They do that too.

In addition, these may have been the longest flights (or, series of) that were THAT smooth. Like, practically zero turbulence. Perfection.


So I land in Washington, about an hour later than expected due to weather. Kirk meets me at the airport, and we decide to skip the “Celebration of Freedom” concert that night, since it was reaaaaally cold, and we’d already missed part of it. More importantly, there wasn’t really anyone we were THAT keen on seeing there. Besides maybe the Temptations, but we got over that.

Instead, we decide on Chic-Fil-A, Target, and Napoleon Dynamite. It doesn’t get much better. I was staying with April, a friend of Kirk’s in his building (I LOVED her, and wanted to move in with her!), so we invite her over (after the trip to Chic-Fil-A and Target and Kirk’s old church) to watch Napoleon Dynamite, which she’d never seen. It’s pretty much Kirk’s favorite movie (funny + totally clean = Kirk’s favorite movie), and I love it, so we were happy when April loved it too.

By the time that was over, I was waaaaaay tired, having not really slept in the past 24ish hours, so it was time for bed. Plus, we had a BIG day coming up, on Thursday. A girl has to get her beauty sleep for the ball…. .

;)

To Be Continued….






Michaela @2:53 AM :: Comment

Monday, January 24, 2005

Photos!!!

So I just got back to Edinburgh a few hours ago, and I REALLY need sleep. But to satisfy that itch you need to scratch....or something.....I've posted some photos of my last few days for you to peruse. (They are essentially in backwards order, chronologically. If that makes sense.) There will be more up later, but those are mostly the "fun" and/or "people" pictures.

Enjoy!


Michaela @1:39 PM :: Comment



Cameron, Michaela, Christiana


Michaela @12:43 PM :: Comment

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Snow Storm Fun Timey!

Soooooo.....

It's 1:00 pm on Saturday in Philadelphia. Do you know where your snow shoes are?

Cuz damn, my Chucks are fairly worthless in 5 inches of snow. I might as well have gone barefoot. At the moment, I'm chillin in Philly with Christiana and Cameron. We've braved the blizzard in order to come to the library to get some movies (Adaptaion and Memento, plus we have a bunch of Arrested Development episodes to watch) so we can stay in at Christiana's beautiful house for today. Our excursions have obviously been hampered by the snow, but hey, it's all good. I can see Philly some other day. (And I will.)

So much to say. At the Inaugural Ball on Thursday night, Kirk turns to me and says: "I can't wait to read your blog about this." So, I mean, with THAT kind of comment, I don't want to disappoint. I haven't been taking my notebook around so much (as I sometimes do) so I'm hoping to write before the details escape me. (Maybe I'll make some notes today while we're all cozying inside...and shoosh, I'm sure that's a verb...) So far, there's been Napoleon Dynamite watching, Chic-Fil-A eating, Target shopping, Inaugural attending, painful walking, ballroom dancing, red-wine spilling (surprised? I think not) awesome food eating, road-trip singing, voice-loosing, International Spy Museum...enjoying, diner eating, monument viewing, and much frostbiting of toes. And of course much more, but I'd hate to ruin ALL the surprises. Besides, the libary is about to close due to the snow. So I think I should depart, friends. And I've been taking a lot of pictures. So you'll get those, too.

(I'm supposed to get back to Scotland on Monday morning. This snow is making me wary of that, however. We shall see.)

Peace Out, Brovas.

Mic-D and the Foouty O-Zees


Michaela @5:45 PM :: Comment

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

So I'm off to D.C.

As in, Washington. And Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

So strange....last night I was partying at a hardcore pub (yes, they exist) with my college friends, in Glasgow. Tonight, I'll be partying with OTHER (and very different) friends at a concert in Washington. (Soon to be followed by the ceremony, parade and the ball the next day). And then I'll see some MORE friends in Baltimore and then Phillly.

Yes, I lead a bizzare and blessed life.

Photos will come, but probably not til I'm back on Monday.

You kids be good now.

Hold down the fort while I'm gone.

Don't eat the yellow snow.

Pray for my flights.


:) Much Love,
Michaela


Michaela @6:39 AM :: Comment

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


AJ thinks he's soooooo damn cool.


Michaela @11:51 PM :: Comment



Paul (so tough!) needed an additional (ink) tatt to go along with his other four, apparently. They're like Pringles, once you pop, you can't stop. Or something. AJ is proud of his work.


Michaela @11:49 PM :: Comment



Yep, it's an Elvis pinball machine.


Michaela @11:47 PM :: Comment



AJ and Chris make a super-shady deal!!!!! (Not really.)


Michaela @11:47 PM :: Comment



Proof that A.J. and I are not cool. And it looks as if I'm playing that clove cig like a penny whistle. Hm.


Michaela @11:46 PM :: Comment



Colin, Paul, Stuart and Gizzy....Paul felt it necessary to place the cigarrette somewhat close to Gizzy's nippular area. Gizzy seems nonplussed, but let me assure you, he's just finished jumping back rather quickly...


Michaela @11:45 PM :: Comment



I'm such a hipster. Check out those Chucks! (In the blacklight...)


Michaela @11:43 PM :: Comment



Train window


Michaela @11:42 PM :: Comment



Polmont Station


Michaela @11:41 PM :: Comment



On the train home....


Michaela @11:40 PM :: Comment


Wow.

It snowed here last night.

A LOT.

I don't remember the last time I've seen snow like that....a freakin BLIZZARD.

Purdy!


Michaela @2:01 PM :: Comment

Monday, January 17, 2005

I'm Not Cool.

(Plus, "Annie Hall" and "Closer"....)

So this afternoon, I head out to Starbucks in attempt to get some work done on an exegesis paper I hope to finish very soon, since I keep putting it off.

The couch is taken by two girls about my age, giggling, in stripy socks. So I take the last remaining table in the room, on each side of which is a rather attractive guy, of differing varieties. One is shortish, shaves his head, and is borderline TOO buff, telling me he obsesses about working out, which makes him less attractive. But he’s still attractive. He’s working his way through the Sunday paper. The other guy has dark hair and reads The Complete Optimum Nutritional Bible. (Maybe they should hang out.)

I don’t know what it is, but it seems in the presence of even remotely attractive men – even those I’d never seriously have an interest in – there is still this bizarre desire to make an impression….to sit up straighter, to make movements that would be deemed “cute”, to position the hair in such a way that I can look mysteriously out from the corner of it. Not that I did all these things, mind you. But I’m setting the mood. I mean, I did sit up straighter, walked more purposefully, did the cute movements, I guess – but the hair was pulled back, so my mysteriousness had gone right out the window.

Anyway, my life continues to prove to me that I’m not really that cool. Nor am I cute.

After all these purposeful movements (which weren’t all that purposeful, aside from wanting to be noticed, how shallow is that?!), I sit down gracefully, move to place my hand on the table, and in doing so flip my stir stick out of my grande latte, shooting milky coffee goodness clear to Northumbria. Or at least three to four feet from my table. (Thankfully – miraculously – it managed to avoid my white t-shirt.)

Classic Michaela.

In reaction, I shoot my mug a look of being completely appauled at the mere thought that he could do such a thing. I realize quickly that this reaction is absurd (it was, of course, not the mugs fault...if anything I should've glared at the stir stick...) , and resort to the “laugh at yourself” route, without actually laughing outloud.

If anyone WAS watching, I’m fairly sure they’d have thought I was a complete lunatic.

I cleaned up the mess in attempt to regain the appearance of sanity.

Within minutes, the girls left the couch, so I pounced on their empty space. I cleared my table, leaving only a few sugar granules. A man comes in to sit down, looks sadly at the sugar granules, and goes to find another table. Apparently, my former table had been infected by the sugar granules.

I’m not joking, here.

Anyway, speaking of crazy women, I bought “Annie Hall” on DVD yesterday for a Fiver. Seriously, this has to be one of the best 5 quid purchases ever. It was the first I’ve ever seen it. Mom hates Woody Allen, thinks he’s a neurotic child molester (and she wouldn’t be too far off, but nevermind…), so that’s the main reason I’ve never seen this movie. But my gosh, this movie is genius! I don’t really need a plot, give me dialogue (aided by humor) any day of the week. I now see why it won Best Picture that year. It also helps feed my 70’s nostalgia phase, though I’m fairly sure I can’t actually be nostalgic about a decade in which I did not yet exist.

Speaking of “dialogue” movies, I saw “Closer” tonight. I can honestly say it was a fascinating movie, but I can’t recommend it to everyone. A lot of people would be offended by some of the dialogue. There is no on-screen sex, and very little nudity, but there’s a lot of talk. So take that as a warning, in case any of you take my praise of this movie and go see it and are offended.

The thing is, it’s not a pretty or a nice movie. It is the story of how these four people hurt each other. As much as I obviously can’t relate to the adultery and such, I think most people can relate to many of the emotions. There are these moments in which you look at a character on screen and you can think to yourself: I have felt that. Exactly. I felt that same strong resonance with certain characters at certain moments in Garden State and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Even Annie Hall. There are a few scenes in which a character has just been extremely burned by their lover – deep, stinging cuts – and yet the jilted character still finds themselves wanting the presence and touch of the very person that hurt them so badly, so purposefully. And then they feel its irony. I’ve felt this on a few occasions, and gosh, those tears were just like mine.

I can’t say I cried at this movie, though. All the characters, on their individual levels, are meant to be despised to some degree. (Natalie Portman’s character being arguably the only one slightly less so.) You really feel little sympathy for them. The thing about this movie was that it exposes sin. It exposes our filth and our lies and deceit and anger and thirst for revenge and control. It shows how vile and purposefully hurtful people really can be. (“How . . .? How does it work? How can you do this to someone?”) It unveils the consequences of all these. It quite plainly reveals the idea that there must be something more than this bitter, false “love” and desire.

While many will disagree, I think the screenplay (done, thankfully, by the same guy who wrote the stage play, Patrick Marber) was extremely well-written. I actually ordered a book of his plays. Even the jobs given each character are extremely telling: the photographer who “steals lives”, the dermatologist who can’t see anything more than skin deep, the obits writer, writing euphemisims for the dead, and the stripper, giving too much of herself away to those who have not earned it.

And I cannot begin to sing the praises of Clive Owen’s performance. I hated his character and still pitied him. Mostly, I was shocked at the honesty of his anger, and how well he played both the pathetic beggar and the evil villain out for revenge….

Yet after all this, I still left the theatre with girls behind me saying: “What a waste of time! It was dreadful. Nothing happened.”

Clearly, they couldn’t have just seen the film that I saw….

Dan: You act as if the heart were something simple. A diagram...
Larry: Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood.


Michaela @1:47 AM :: Comment

Saturday, January 15, 2005

This Is Not a Post About Tea

Four days later and I still haven't found time to tell you about my Tuesday adventures. Those were good times. Suffice to say, it was my kinda place. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about it.

I might be busy again tomorrow though, I must say. Sunday is looking a little more free...but I need to get crackin on a paper from last term when I was sick. Ick. But anything is possible. Tomorrow night, maybe...

Tonight, Marian and I had a girls night in, and rented Big Fish and City of God. We were too tired to watch City of God, but we watched Big Fish. Marian's first words after credits started rolling was: "Can I ask a question? WHY HAVE WE NOT SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE?!" I must say, I really enjoyed the movie. You know, I used to brag about how I never cry at movies, but now I seem to get all weepy at so many silly movies. For years its been like this, ever since I became a so-called "grown-up". I find it interesting that I was somehow LESS emotional as a child.

Anyway, that's probably a whole new blog post right there.

On the docket for tomorrow:

-Sleep in

-Pick up money

-Pay for plane ticket

-Pay for dress

-Get dress fitted

-Visit tanning booth again (shut up, this is somewhat neccessary!)

-Read a book

-Write a much needed journal entry

-Watch "City of God"

Sounds like a good day to me!

Blessings,
Michaela


Michaela @1:58 AM :: Comment

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Busy Days....

And not enough time to post about the Magic Tea Room. I'll be out til late tomorrow night, too, and I have stuff going on during the day on Friday, so let's hope then I can properly catch you up on it. Maybe I'll get back in time tomorrow. I'm just REALLY stinkin tired these days, despite getting decent sleep (8 hours), I think I'm pretty behind on sleep from...well, the rest of my life.All of it up til now! Something like that, anyway.

So what kept me so busy today? Besides two work meetings.....I'm on a special goverment operation....to find a ball gown. (I found one and its GREAT.) Plus shoes. And a bag. And jewelry. Etc.

Why?

You'll find out.



(To those who already know....shhh!)


Michaela @11:28 PM :: Comment


The Magic Tea Room

So tonight was SO fun. Me and the college crew went to the far reaches of Glasgow to what we called the Magic Tea Room, but actually had changed its name to something Asian and completely unpronounceable (is that a word?). And it was SUCH an awesome place.

Water bong? Check.

Drugs? Uncheck.

Tea? Check.

Midgets? Uncheck.

I gotta say though, I'm WAY too tired tonight to really properly write about the whole night, so I'm gonna delay all the details til tomorrow. (Note... one "m" for Amy...)

Yes, now you're intrigued!

Muah ha ha.



Michaela @1:28 AM :: Comment

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Photographs
By Andrew Osenga

I’m so tired, I said what I came to say
I don’t want to go again,
but just lay here and dream the world away
You can have all that I offered,
but I’m keeping what I must
and it’s not that I don’t love you
No, it’s time I do not trust.

So take a photograph,
caust this ain’t going to last,
and I will make the best I can,
but God, I’m praying it’s about to end.

Tomorrow will be wonderful,
and it’s sweet promise is in sight,
but right now I don’t want to hear it,
cause I’m still down here tonight.

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,

and take that photograph,
and throw it in the trash,
cause I have tried the best I can
and thank God that’s about to end.

and I don’t know where I’m going,
but I know that you’ll be there.
_____________________________________

What Is Not Love
By Derek Webb

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

chorus
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

chorus
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
--------------------------------------------------------

Because sometimes, songs and poetry can say things much better than I can. It's already been said before, and said better.

Love,
Michaela


Michaela @5:30 PM :: Comment


As the Ruin Falls

C.S. Lewis

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love --a scholar's parrot may talk Greek--
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.


Michaela @1:21 PM :: Comment

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Nicholas

So let me tell you about my favorite part of today.

First of all, it was a good day altogether, for the most part. I woke up at a decent hour, took the lazy morning routine of shower and cereal and all that, enjoying it all immensely after my crazy day yesterday. Tim and I had arranged to meet at Starbucks so I can get on his bank account before he leaves for Australia on Monday, so I spent a couple hours there, reading and journaling and such. From there, Tim and I took a wander around town, leading us down to Holyrood Palace, and then up to Carlton Hill.

On the way up to Carlton Hill (which is really stunning, by the way, I highly recommend it), we stopped so that Tim could take some photos. I soon noticed an old man who was really really struggling with his walker on the steps about 20 or 30 feet away. I observed for a while, but realized he was going really really slowing, and really struggling, so I went down to help him.

I think I was expecting to see a homeless-looking man or something, but I was wrong. He was quite a handsome man for his age, well dressed, with a very quality walker. (One of those ones with a sitter on it. I personally wouldn’t mind one of those for myself once in a while.)

“Sir, can I help you at all?”

“Well, heh….do you think you can carry it? It’s heavy…”

“Oh sure, no problem.” (He was right though, it was heavy.)

“….So what are you, like an Olympic athlete or something?”

“Ha…no!”

“Well….thank you….very much….”

He went on to ask if this was the way to Holyrood, and if he could get to the Cowgate from there. Tim had come down by this time, and we directed him down the other way, where there were no stairs, just one ramp that went in the right direction. I brought the walker back up the stairs for him. He thanked me again.

“You have a good friend here, real good friend…” he said to Tim.

“Yes, I do.”

I asked him his name. It was Nicholas.

“Good to meet you Nicholas, I’m Michaela…..”

I felt bad, him going so slowly…I wanted to pick him up and carry him to Cowgate. The sheer fact that he’d undertake such a task (walking all the way to the Cowgate), however, indicates a certain self-respect and pride, being convinced that he could walk all that way. I sure hope that he made it okay. His sweet face sure made my day. I’m glad God nudged me to overcome my own fears to help him out. Why are we so often hesitant to help people out? Honestly, I never do. Or, not enough. I guess I finally figured if he didn’t want me to help, he’d simply decline. Plus, Tim was close by, in case for some reason something happened.

But my goodness, his smile was so sweet.


Michaela


Daniel answered and said, "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding..." (Daniel 2:20-21)


Michaela @2:33 AM :: Comment

Thursday, January 06, 2005

So I’m back in the Land of the Scots!

Gosh, this city (Edinburgh) is really SO beautiful. I arrived at 8:30 on Monday morning. It was so strange, to be coming FROM my home, TO my home….to somewhere which is so familiar, but can really never be my home. But you know…it really is stunning. Yesterday was a GORGEOUS day, if a little cold. Not a cloud in the sky after about 10am, which is unheard of here. I spent it in one of my favorite café’s, Black Medicine Coffee Company, chosen because it is a decent walk (through The Meadows) away from me, and its fairly cheap, and I love it there. So I did a lot of reading and writing yesterday and spent the day by myself, because I hadn’t had a day to myself in about a month. (I miss Ruth, though.) Coupled with a great phone call to Jeff (thanks, Brother!), it was excellent. I went to bed early (I’d gotten up at 8:30am…I think I have some sort of reverse jetlag or something), at 10, and STILL managed to sleep all day today, and so have been extremely unproductive. Which I’m pretty okay with, considering I’m gonna have a 15-hour day tomorrow.

So all this thinking and writing and reading inspired a lot that I was going to blog about. And now its all gone. And its past midnight and I need to be up in about 5 hours in order to head back to classes. I’ll come up with something good soon, I assure you. My advertisers are getting restless….

;) Mic

P.S. Is there anything you want to know that I haven’t talked about yet? I’m open to ideas.


Michaela @1:36 AM :: Comment

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Thoughts and Dreams

So I am still in the United States. Again. I missed my flight. It was good, though, because I got a little more time with my family, and I got to spend New Years with them, which was just great. (I’d actually tried to get my flight changed and had been told it was not possible.) It probably was the best New Years I’ve had since…the ship. (We had great New Years parties on board back then…) It was just really really wonderful. And it's been between 65 and 70 degrees here, it's been crazy. I still didn’t have the time to do what I wanted to do (I’m sorry I still couldn’t see ya, Dad) but then I feel like I got a little extra. A few more cups of tea at the fireplace with Mom.

And so, I’m awake again the night before flying. (This time, I really should be leaving tomorrow!) I never can sleep well the night before I fly, I hate flying. I always feel like I should leave a letter for people, should I not survive. I don’t understand why I seem to hate it more and more as time goes on, and the MORE flights I take, but it’s the truth. Seems the most logical thing, of course, to go to college in Scotland. Sheesh. I’m usually okay once I actually get in the air. It’s the anticipation that gets to me.

This time it’s maybe a little different though, because its my last time to go back to Scotland from home. I only have six more months to go. It’s such a strange thought, to realize I’ve lived in Scotland for two and a half years. So while there are definitely things that won’t be fun to go back to (I have a LOT of college work to catch up on, for starters….), I’m really looking forward to going back with the knowledge that the rest of my time there is short, and to really grab ahold of my time there. I mean, I still wake up in the mornings in Edinburgh and think…”Man, I live in SCOTLAND…and this city is beautiful…..and my flatmate is my best friend and I love her to bits…..what blessings I have here!” But it doesn’t ever make leaving home any easier. In many ways, I have no idea what I've been feeling today. I can't explain it, because I don't know what this feeling actually is.

Anyway. Tomorrow I’ll hop on a plane to take me back one last time (for a while at least), and I will realize that one day soon I’m gonna really miss Edinburgh.

I’ve definitely already missed a lot of it. I wish all of my favorite people and places and things could be in one place, just once. I figure that’s sorta what Heaven will be like.

I knew my sleep would suffer tonight (though I’m certainly getting sleepier), so I stocked up on sleep last night. Sorta. I mean, Mom and I were up watching Garden State (gosh I love that movie so much) til like 4am, but I slept til 1 or something, so that was fine. But for whatever reason I had some CRAZY dreams. Lovely though…mostly…

In dream number one, I dreamt that Zach Braff (of Scrubs and Garden State, for those of you who are uninformed of such things) and I were somehow good friends. I was over at his apartment or something and he had to use my computer…or I had to use his….I dunno. There was this weird tension, the kind you get when you like a good friend of yours who doesn’t really like you back, but then you don’t really KNOW if they don’t like you back, because sometimes they give indications that are probably nothing, but you read into them way too much, because you’re sure they probably really don’t like you back. Yeah THAT kind of tension. I was definitely crushing on him, and he was either clueless or I was on the “Friend Ladder”. So sad. Zach Braff was in one of my dreams and there was no makeout. It is almost a crime.

In the second dream, I was hanging out with Dude Who Will Remain Unnamed, and there was definite flirting going on, and it was the lovely and sweet kind, instead of the trashy and annoying kind. The hand-brushing and light touches, instead of the oogly eyes or drooling. This would indicate, I’d say, even more of the Garden State influence on my nighttime subconcious. (That or I just like sweetness.) . There’s such a difference, in flirting, in that early indication of affections. It’s such a dance. It was a really nice dream, actually, after feeling somehow rejected by Mr. Braff in the previous dream. Bah!

In the third and longest dream, Anne and Micah, two of my high school friends who got married (you should hear more about them later, when I tell you about our little party) were moving into the apartment upstairs from me. Except my apartment was like an old school house, with similarities to the farm house my aunt and uncle used to live in. Anne said after all these years, it was weird to be living in the same place….

They were all pleasant enough, even the Braff one. I woke up in a good mood, feeling as though I’d spent the last few hours with some of my closest friends, even if one, in the dream, was a crush who didn’t seem to like me back. (Isn’t that the story of my life, anyway? I think you get used to it after a while.) I felt as thought I’d spent it being cared about, right there in my dreams.

I should try and get some sleep. I can maybe get 5 tonight, which may be a record for a night before a plane trip. If you could, pray again for my anxiety about traveling. Your prayers did much last time.

Thanks again. Many of you truly have no idea how much you mean to me.

Love,
Michaela


Michaela @10:31 AM :: Comment


A New Years Photo Extravaganza!

Home Sweet Home!


Michaela @4:15 AM :: Comment



Ah, the front door grocery store machines, stealing your money every single time, in exchange for low-quality sugary notsogoodness. It's amazing the prices haven't gone up with inflation since I was a kid.


Michaela @4:13 AM :: Comment



So, if you're a Schnucks #1 fan...you're screwed! Sorry kids!


Michaela @4:12 AM :: Comment



The ugliest Anne of Green Gables I've ever seen. No wonder they're on sale.


Michaela @4:11 AM :: Comment



Need onions? We got your onions right here.


Michaela @4:10 AM :: Comment



Radishes!


Michaela @4:10 AM :: Comment



Mom...shopping.


Michaela @4:09 AM :: Comment



It's New Years Eve...and we are in the RIGHT aisle!


Michaela @4:08 AM :: Comment



The new shoes. (They're bright green, but obviously I fixed up the colors a little...) Pimpin.


Michaela @4:06 AM :: Comment



Me and Dave, my stepdad.


Michaela @4:04 AM :: Comment



For the idiots who are unsure what a fuse looks like....


Michaela @4:03 AM :: Comment



Fireworks at midnight!


Michaela @4:02 AM :: Comment



Dave's Fireworks Dance....


Michaela @4:02 AM :: Comment



Mom and Mac


Michaela @3:58 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