Thursday, August 30, 2007

Forget Lemonade, Go Make Sand Castles!

Life hasn't exacrtly been giving me lemons, but I've definatley been needing to decompress the chaos of the brain. So, two weeks ago, after turning in our Biblical exegesis papers at 4:30 (48 hours after turning in 15 pages of Philosophy papers) Cabe and I (who are always ready to do something other than work that needs to be done) headed out to Golden Gardens beach for a couple hours of sand castle building. Some of you know about me and sand castles (i heart them) but I hadn't really said much to Cabe. Just a casual, "Wanna make sand castles when we're done on Friday?" and next thing I knew, we had about four hours' worth of serious Tolkeinesque citadel sandworks that prompted every passerby to feel obligated to comment. Autumn, a friend from school also happened to be at the beach and said she had been watching the two of us playing with piles and buckets from a distance before she knew who were, and was wondering "where's their kid?". Duh-
Needless to say, I was impressed and pleased by the fortitude, foreplanning and vision shown by Cabe- sometimes you think you're the only one who cares about sand castles, and then you find there are other people willing to be mistaken for eight year olds.

Speaking of that, this first sand castle venture was even equipt with the obligatory visit and inquiry from random 6-9 year-old-lonely-precocious -child-who's-there-with-a-parent-and-not-a-playmate who always appears at my attempts at serious sand castle building, so we of course had some psuedo-helpful help and high vocabularied conversation with young lad of 8. It didn't take me long to recognize that the narrative he was forming around his pyramid-in-progress was closely based on an episode of "the Backyardigans" (I'm a faithful viewer).

Well, one Friday later, with the final Hebrew assignment (and final summer term work) emailed off, we headed back to Golden Gardens, but this time with more buckets, shovels, and helpers. Chase, an incoming counselling student form Mars Hill, and Carrie, my roomate and Mars Hill counselling graduate. Serious work was done, and we were all pleased with the trajectory of our work, though sunset made us stop. We started making plans on how to approach our next castle endeavor: graph paper may be needed.

But then today, our hypothetical 9am-6pm week-long class got out quite early, so Cabe and I grabbed Chase again and tried to get some serious building done before nightfall, but this time we chose a tide-sensitive location, and got completely run over within about an hour. The much-discussed ziggurat was almost ready for embellishment. But it's okay, because today was just a research/rehearsal phase for some serious day-long building plans for Sunday. Let's hope the tides and the weather and slightly autistic children don't keep us from building our dream to completion this time! After all, we're having to fit a month of summer vacation into six evenings. Get it while you can, people.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Summer Break Woo Hoo!

By some freak twist of fate, I and some other of my fellow students at Mars Hill Graduate School have been scheduled with no break whatsoever between our (full length) summer term and fall term. I spent the last three weeks writing four papers, the last of which I emailed off at 2pm on Friday, and I start a 9-6 five day intensive class this Monday. So this present almost-over weekend is all I've got for a break, and it isn't even technically a break, because I'm supposed to be done with the reading for the Monday class and I'm not yet halfway through.

But just the same, I'm already almost nostalgic for the insane last month I've had, and I just ran across this picture I took while in the midst of it all. So, a portrait of procrastination, here's me playing peek-a-boo with my computer in the study carrel at school while trying to be motivatd to start writing a ten page Biblical exegesis paper, having just finished 16 or so pages on philosophy from Plato to Kant.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Angry, Angry Homework Haiku

On trying to regurgitate information I never actually learned:

Wish I understood
what the F%&# you all seem to
know so very well.

It's the little things
that usually make you
want to jump off cliffs.

Explicatives were
made for nights such as these. And
baseball bats as well.

Anyone need some
demolition work done? I'm
open for business.

Kill me. Kill me now.
But I better still get the
"A" that I deserve.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I know what it means, but what does it mean?

My favorite part of the schoolyear is the purchasing of new books time. Not just because I get to buy me some books and look at how great they look on my various shelves, but because, without exception, afer I do the big order on amazon or for the bulk of my new books, there always seems to be one more book added to the courselist at the last minute. This "extra" book affords me the chance to justify buying myself a movie from my wishlist, in order to qualify for free shipping. Now, we can debate the wisdom of spending $10-14 dollars in order to save $4.83 in shipping, but I'd prefer to live in denial and keep building my collection.

So, the winner for this fall, with the sudden need to purchase the essay compilation Essentials of Christian Theology, is Nicole Holofcener's most recent film Friends with Money. It was one of my top four of 2006, but it had been so long since I'd seen it, I got it last week from the Seattle Library to confirm my feelings before purchasing. And again, I was blown away by the insight and subtle realities of human interraction the film portrays. And even though it's a film that makes you feel sorry for rich, white people, if you think about it, that's pretty impressive. This film kind of rips my heart in a good, sardonic, sad but ultimately hopeful way, and lately, that's my favorite kind of story to be immersed in.

Well, the other best part of buying books/movies, is the placing of a new DVD in its rightful spot on my DVD shelf. Since I organize my DVDs by distribution company, I always notice copyright info and stuff. Well, as I nudged "Friends With Money" between my other Sony Pictures Classics releases "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Persuasion", I noticed some very non-sequitor text on the bottom of the box which reads:

"2006 Sony Pictures Clasics, Inc. for the Universe excluding Australia/NZ and Scandinavia (but including Iceland). All rights reserved."

I like knowing that my movie is meant for the whole Universe, but that aussies, kiwis, and flinginbjorgens can't watch it. So glad to see Iceland finally be included in something, though. I love Iceland!

(previous free shipping movie purchase winners include: Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, Sideways by Alexander Payne and The Remains of the Day by James Ivory)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pocket Check

It's that time again- the small bits of paper in my jeans backpocket have started to get heavy. Time to start fresh. Here's what I found.
1) Faded ticket receipt to "Knocked Up" at The Big Picture, Belltown.
2) 2 tickets to "Ratatouille" at AMC Alderwood Mall. I took my 3 1/2 yr. old niece and was there for her first time seeing a movie twice in the theatre. It's a Swanson Family rite of passage.
3) Ticket to "Harry Potter" 5 at AMC Alderwood mall.
4) Ticket receipt to "Sunshine" at AMC Pacific Place.
5) Ticket to "The Simpsons Movie" at AMC Cinerama-- it sucked but the theatre is great.
6) Ticket to "The Bourne Ultimatum" at Lincoln Square Cinemas, Bellevue. It was allllsome!
7) 2 AMC ticket credit card receipts
8) Ticket to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at Taproot Theatre. It was a free ticket from a friend and Cabe and I went for kicks, and it was worth every kick-- oh low-grade muscial theatre--how delicious you are!!
9) 2 AMC moviewatcher coupons for $0.50 off any combo. (weak!)
10) A receipt stub from "Souped Up" on Greenlake. Delicious tuna melts, there, my friends.
11) A QFC grocery receipt including beer, root beer, french bread and brie.
12) A folded index card with grocery list my brother asked me to pick up for their goodbye dinner- "2 loaves of yummy, crusty bread, spinach dip or brie option, six pack of Winehard's Root Beer, olives?" If the list seems familiar, the QFC one above was also to share with Matt and Rebecca on a previous evening.
13) A folded index card with information on how to get to my Allstate agent's office to get renter's insurance.
14) SAND-- from the sand castle spectacular of last friday. More on that, if we do it again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Thin Mint Line

My passion for Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies came up in a conversation today about rationing vs. relishing, and I'm finding my musings disturbingly applicable to life beyond cookie love. The past few years, I've made the hard decision every year NOT to buy Thin Mints from the Girl Scouts that camp out in front of every grocery store. The reason is simple, but sad: The intense pressure of having Thin Mints available only once a year, makes the brief presence of them in my life a real two-choice dillema between sticking them in the freezer and carefully rationing them out to last as long as possible, or, just diving in and enjoying their minty crunchiness while it lasts, not thinking of each cookie as one less cookie for the rest of the year, but just being grateful for the cookie that is. This inner battle has grown so frustrating, that I've landed on not buying them at all, so I don't have to deal with the gain/loss battle of loving Thin Mints.

Well, as any of you intelligent observers of human behavior might have done, Cabe relfected my words back to me in this way:

"That's really sad: So basically, the thing you love the most, you don't let yourself have."
(His approximate words- he can correct me if he remembers them better)

But oh how true and sad indeed. Isn't that the struggle with loving anything/wanting anything/
hoping/risking anything? If you go ahead and buy the Thin Mints and eat and enjoy them, you will have to face the fact that they will eventually run out. Not buying the cookies saves you from having to do the countdown to no-cookies, but really, you jumped right to the no-cookie part, and never got the some-cookies and lots-of-cookies part of the story.

I'm not saying that risk is exactly like Thin Mints, because the Thin Mints will definatley run out, and what you're risking for is not a definate loss situation. But the risk usually feels that way. It's easier just to say no to the thing you want the most, so you don't have to face losing it. And because of that, you never ever get the thing you so crave.

Can we learn to be strong enough to enjoy the Girl Scout cookies while they're here, remembering even that a whole year may not be that long to wait for them to come again? Can we enjoy each cookie, and not just taste it as a precursor to loss? Can we go ahead and love with relish and delight, even knowing we might be alone in doing it?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life on the InterWeb

The only thing better than finding out that people actually read your blog (this still boggles my mind), is finding posts about yourself on other people's blogs. For anyone like me who is desperate to understand who the heck they are, it's always nice to see oneself refected through others' perception. In the case of this blog post from a friend who likes to be mysterious in his blogging sphere, I found my portrayal quite flattering and accurate regarding my love for soda and sugar. So, though I'm still buried under two ten page papers, a five page final exam essay, and a who-knows-how-long Hebrew grammer paper, I thought I'd share one of the many delights of weird interweb land. And people, keep the Kj observations coming. They're like bread and butter to me (or bread and brie I guess).

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday Haiku

My heart, heavy as
asphalt, groans at me "What the
F#%$ is going on?!"