Monday, January 31, 2005

How cool is this!

My dad is featured in time magazine!

He's definitely has a LOT of different views than some of the other influential christians listed with him, but it's pretty freaking amazing he is even up there!!

And the picture is cute too!

Weekend Recap

well we went to see hotel rwanda on friday night. it was really intense. there wasn't even a lot of gore but enough to shed light on what went on. it's incomprehensible really - all those lives lost, all the blood shed, all the hatred.

it makes me feel shameful and guilty for everything i have. it makes me wish there was something i could have done. it makes me wish i could do something now for all the horrible things that are going on around the world, and especially in sudan.

but what can i do? donate money i suppose. put pressure on our representatives to send help and make it a priority. there are a lot of suffering people in the world. with the tsumani, this has become clear once again. when you think that 200,000 (approx) died in the tsunami and how hard that is to comprehend and how the whole world is turning to help southeast asia, and then think of the 800,000 people that died in Rwanda...and who knows how many are dying in the sudan and how little help (if any) was sent just makes me sad. i don't mean to compare two totally different things and make one seem less tragic or anything. i don't know, i'm just sad about it.

and i just don't know what to do.

i definitely feel what jodi has to say in her most recent post. you see things like that, you think about other people's lives and it is really hard to concentrate on these seemingly insignificant things in your life. i mean school is obviously important, but there are so many silly little steps, hoops to jump through and it makes me wonder, is that what we were meant for?

i don't know. i'm feeling a little confused lately and somewhat unable to focus on things. i'm definitely excited about my future and excited about getting married and all of that, but at the same time, i just feel the weight of a lot of other things. hopefully i can manage my time a little better, find a way to make my time meaningful and not just ME focused, and find some time to make some serious progress on all the things in need of my attention.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Fancy Titles

So, I'm still getting used to being engaged. The I thought about the fact that Jesse is now my fiancée and that I too am a fiancée. This means that I currently have an ACCENT over a title used to describe me. I have never had an accent over anything that referred to me and so this fact makes me happy.

I also discovered that there are in fact TWO words that sound alike (at least I think they do, but I may be dumb about this):

Fiancée - engaged woman


Fiancé - engaged man

How curious! Am I the only one who didn't know this?

I would also like to inform anyone reading that today I am in a supremely strange mood which I attribute to lack of sleep and end of the week jitters. Don't ask what the jitters are about though because I won't be able to answer you.

Okay, and now to SWITCH gears a bit to something more serious:

It scares me to death that things might happen in my relationship, in my forthcoming marriage (!), that I won't be able to handle. It scares me to think that two people can just become so distant and estranged and wonder how they ever ended up like that in the first place. Relationships can morph when you're not looking, I have found this out in the past. Because I am pretty sure most people don't get married thinking "yeah, this'll probably end, but what the hell? why not give it a try!?" Most people, I think, believe that they will make it. That they will be different and not part of the 40-50% of marriages that now end in divorce.

OH my gosh!! I just realized that there may be ONE other time that you get to have an accent on a title associated with you - divorcé - is this a real word? Perhaps I made it up...

Okay, anyway, so it just scares me that things change so much. and in a negative way in particular. people get unhappy and the over all those days and weeks and months, things happen and bitterness grows and the past gets tangled up and it's hard to know how to untangle it. and something that once seemed like a cute habit now drives you crazy and small things become big ugly problems that take up so much space that there's no room to live. and i guess the commitment might keep things going on the surface, but in reality the relationship may be dead. or at least really cold and distant.

this all worries me. already. i want to make sure that we can figure out ways of handling things in the future. even though we have no idea what that future will hold. what sorts of things might happen.

so i came up with an idea. first, jesse's idea is to go to pre-marriage (and i'm sure post-marriage) counseling. i'm up for this, and although i have never been to a counselor, i believe in them. so yes, this is a good idea. add it to the list.

but my contribution and idea is a book. i just thought of this today. a book that we would write in as notes to our future selves. we could put happy things, like good memories and silly times. but most importantly, we could write down the lessons we learned with each and every previous disagreement and misunderstanding or insightful conversation. Perhaps this is silly, but I envision having something to go to, to remind us of where we were of what we learned about each other in the past and then hopefully of some hope to get through the current difficulty.

i'm sure as life gets hectic the book will be left behind. but maybe we won't need it anymore. maybe we will just get in the habit of storing away those special moments and insights so that we can recall them whenever we need a little reminder of why we're in this at all.

one of my comm teacher in undergrad said the secret to a happy marriage is having low expectations. what do you think about this? i'm the eternal optimist, so i'm sure you can guess what i think...

okay, i guess that's all for now.

happy friday everyone.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Miracle Water

I was watching TV while getting ready yesterday morning and saw a infomercial for "Miracle Water" being sold by some evangelist. Even though it was horrific, I couldn't stop watching.

And then suddenly, I thought I was going to cry. It's not because I was struck by the healing power of the spirit of god or anything. It was the whole exploitation of these people and I just felt so sad. And then it was almost comical. I kept teetering between laughing and crying.

There was the woman who asked Leroy (the evangelist) to meet a man she could marry and a month later she met him. Then she drank the "blessed" miracle water and wanted to lose weight and she lost 10 dress sizes. And the comes on the evangelist and says "Can you imagine losing 10 dress sizes!? Order this miracle water today and you'll be blessed and never struggle again." Something to that effect.

There was the woman in an audience of some church who got up and threw her walker down, not needing it anymore. There was a woman telling the story of her son who was ill and couldn't play with friends, but the drank some miracle water and was healed! The doctors couldn't explain it.

Come to think of it, they were all women telling stories - at least the ones I heard. Maybe men already have god's blessings and don't need it.

Anyway, what do you all think of this? How can anyone do that? Exploit faith and put it into a bottle to sell, handing out empty promises of god's blessings?

Being the research queen that I am, I looked it up some info today and found out some ironic things. His name is Leroy Jenkins (read his testimony - "miracle arm") and apparently at some point in the past he had to stop distributing the water because it was making people sick. It had some bacteria in it and was unsafe. I guess he must be back in business if I saw this commercial yesterday though.

Here's some more classic quotes from this guy, if you want to read them. Apparently he promises healings for those that can produce $1000 check.

I'll leave you with this:

"You have to be willing to give to Him. Whatever you make happen for God's work, He will make happen for you. You see, they obeyed Jesus and poured out what they had. If you want God to bless you, you have to pour out something to Him. The Bible says in Luke 6:38, 'Give and it shall be given unto you.' This was Jesus talking. He was saying, 'Give God your best and He will give you His best!' What is your best? Is it $100 or more? then give that. If it is $50, give that. If it is $30, give that, or the closest thing you have to $30."
(Leroy Jenkins, letter from his ministry 2004)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


First, I am so uninspired right now regarding work. This job is BLAH and I miss teaching and I guess I'm just waiting for this to be over.

My main duty is to promote this new group work facility on campus. I had some motivation in the beginning, but now that's all gone. I really just don't care and don't want to do it anymore. I am making presentatins in classes to inform students about it...but besides that I'm doing very little. And since I'm in charge of this, all the motivation and ideas really have to come from me. Usually I'm really good at that, but this spring semester is not looking like one of those times.

I wish I could think of some new project that would get me excited and revved up about this again. Let me know if you have ideas!

Maybe being in school my ENTIRE life is getting a little tiresome. Sigh. Or maybe it's just this job.

Friday, January 21, 2005


So right now, according to it is 10 degrees but it feels like 0 degrees. And even though we are lucky enough to have the sun shining today (which is rare), it is still miserably cold outside.

I always think about homeless people when it's so cold out. Instead of waiting at the bus stop for 20 minutes in the cold, hoping it will get there soon so you can go to your nice warm building and work and then go to your nice warm home...they live out there at the mercy of the elements. I know there are shelters out there, but sometimes people don't like to use them.

During undergrad I briefly worked with the homeless outreach project. We would stop at a shelter, pick up notebooks and information and usually a drink (hot or cold depending on season) and then walk around in philly. We had certain routes to walk each week and after talking to the "regulars" we would later write down info about them in our books. That way we could keep track of who was still on the streets and if they got any assistance or needed anything.

These faces from the few times I met them, have left lasting impressions on me. The blind woman who played her recorder outside an upscale bookstore in hopes of making a few dollars from passerbys. We helped her cross the street one day to a payphone so she could call someone she knew who worked at a restraunt in hopes he could bring her some extra food that night. The vetern who lived in a dark corner alley that spoke to me about things I could not understand, about wars, about death. The friendly man on the bench in LOVE park that collected all the cigarette butts from the streets and smoked what he could out of them, burning his fingers often. The thin older woman who had been on the streets for years, talking at a jittery pace, twitching, moving constantly, not wanting to talk for too long. The quiet man sitting near a large fountain, mumbling, refusing to talk to us. An unidentifiable person sleeping in a mound of old blankets.

These are the people I think of when it gets cold.

After the first time I went with Homeless Outreach, the mayor of the city made a new law. No one could reside on a city street or place for longer than fifteen minutes. And no one was allowed to give the homeless food or drink. This, he reasoned, would clean up the streets of Philadelphia. If no one feeds them, they will disappear. If they are constantly harrassed and told to move from one street location to another every 15 minutes, surely they will go somewhere else. Become someone else's problem.

And the people going to the Opera in their fancy gowns and tuxedos won't have to feel guilty. They won't have to look at the mound of person sleeping near the stairs or the blind woman playing her music or the man scrounging the streets for a smoke.

After the experience of talking to these homeless people, I always try to talk to other homeless people in other places. I don't always give them money, but I always try to make eye contact. To let them know that I see them. To let them know that they still exist - they aren't invisible to me. I think that would be one of the worst feelings. To be suffering in a city of so many people and feel so alone. To be a nobody every somebody that walks by. I know just looking someone in the eye doesn't give them food or a place to live, but sometimes that's all I can do.

Anyway, I think I'll stop complaining about being cold. For me, it's temporary. Others aren't so lucky.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The story...

So just in case you didn't get to hear it from me, here's how he proposed.

On Saturday morning I went with some friends to look at wedding dresses (for the two that are engaged). We ooohhed and ahhed appropriately and had a lot of fun watching them try on many styles and tiaras and veils and everything.

When I got home, I started working on making a soup for a dinner we were all having that night at one friend's house. The guys were at a sports bar watching the game for the afternoon (or that's what we thought). I left my apartment around 6 PM to meet for dinner but the guys didn't get there till around 7. We kept calling them to tell them to get here, but they were too into the game and said they would be there soon.

So we hang out for awhile and finally around 10:45, Jesse and I leave to head back to my apartment. When we walk in the door, all the lights were off, so I switch on the hall light. He turns it off. I was like "Why did you do that? I can't see anything!" He says, "Well, what's the light coming from your room?"

So I drop my stuff and walk into my room to see THREE HUNDRED gerber daisies (my favorite) in all different arrangements and vases all over my room. There was gauzey white fabric covering my dresser, my bookshelf, my desk and tons and tons of tealight candles burning. On my dresser, there was a bottle of champagne, a framed picture of us, tons of flowers, this fancy little rasberry cheesecake and in the center, the ring box - open.

I was SO surprised and shocked, I just sat down on the floor in the middle of the room and laughed and laughed. I was just taking it all in and just so floored and surprised and HAPPY most of all. So Jesse is just watching me and laughing at my reaction and I finally say "Do you have a question to ask me?!" And he says "YES! Do you want to marry me?" And of course, I say "YES!!"

The ring is just what I wanted. It's white gold, square brilliant cut in a catherdral setting. If that doesn't mean anything to you, that's okay. Just know it's sparkly and it fits.

Jessica, my roommate, was one of the ones in on the plan (among others). Apparently the flowers got delivered that morning while I was gone and they put them in another person's apartment to stay for the day. As soon as I left at 6 PM to go to dinner, Jessica called Jesse and the guys came over to set things up. When we left the dinner at 10:45, Jesse called Jessica and told her to go light the candles. She did an amazing job setting everything up. My room was so beautiful, I didn't want to touch it or sleep in it.

Anyway, after it happened, I proceeded to call my family members and some friends (it was late though!). It's been a fun, crazy weekend and I'm sure this semester is going to be even more crazy! But I'm excited and looking forward to everything.

Okay, that's my story. Isn't it a good one?!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

This weekend....

I got engaged! He proposed last night and I said YES, of course.

Tomorrow I'll write the story of how it all went down. Right now, I'm still too excited to sit down and do any one thing for more than five minutes.

But I'm really happy. And I can't stop staring at my finger. My hand looks older now and more sophisticated.

okay, more on the actual proposal tomorrow. :)


Thursday, January 13, 2005


Well, the defense was definitely a little nerve racking. They weren't mean or anything, but I did have to "defend" my choices often. And they made *a lot* of changes/suggestions. I guess no one comes out without changes, though.

Basically, they just upped the complexity of my study. It's going to take more time and going to be a lot harder to analyze, but ultimately I think the product will be better and I'll have data to use in the future if I want to try to write other papers out of it.

It was hard to not come out of there feeling a little down though. I mean they were all very encouraging and assured me that it was great I was this far already, but still...there is A LOT of work to be done. And a lot of work to change the work I already did. Add that to the three classes I'm taking (had to drop feminism and add a stats class) and working 20 hours a week, and I'm cooked (as brett would say).

well, here's to a semester full of productivity and accomplishments!

Wish me luck!

I don't even know if I believe in luck, but send some positive thoughts my way this morning was I head into my thesis defense. Hopefully they'll give me the go ahead and I can move onto the next step of this process!

I am happy to say that I have almost made it through an entire week of classes and that I have managed to get up every morning at 6 AM to work out. Not that that will last, but I am going with my P spurt while I have it. Maybe it will last long enough to whip me into shape for spring break. And maybe some exciting spring break plans will emerge that are worthy of being whipped into shape. We shall see.

I'll update later on how the meeting went! Let's hope they don't grill me too much.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

New Beginnings

I love the idea of something being new. Of having a fresh start. And I guess a lot of people do. That's why we call it a "new" year and why people make resolutions. When I think about 2005, I really do think it's going to be a different year. Some things are going to change without me trying to change them and other things are going to take some effort.

Here's some things I'd like to happen this year (besides the ritual "get in better shape" and "eat better"...both of which I intend to do.)

stop being so absorbed in my own head
start really seeing people
make opportunities to have meaningful conversations with people
contribute to my community
try to be a better long distance friend
find a church...or some other spiritual place to be a part of
read books for fun
learn a new skill (maybe sewing)
do unexpected thoughtful things for people
become friends with someone new
travel to another country

what are your hopes for this year?

Friday, January 07, 2005


"Forever" -- Ben Harper

Not talkin' 'bout a year
No not three or four
I don't want that kind of forever
In my life anymore
Forever always seems to be around when it begins
but forever never seems to be around when it ends

So give me your forever
Please, your forever
Not a day less will do
From you

People spend so much time
Every single day
Runnin' 'round all over town
Givin' their forever away
But no not me, I won't let my forever roam
and now I hope I can find my forever a home

So give me your forever
Please your forever
Not a day less will do
From you

Like a handless clock with numbers
An infinite of time
No not the forever found
Only in the mind
Forever always seems to be around when things begin
but forever never seems to be around when things end

So give me your forever
Please your forever
Not a day less will do
From you