Saturday, June 30, 2007

To Do List Update

Well, I did most of it. Or at least some of it.

I did get a window for my car, in St. Paul. In the ghetto. And I got hit on at the auto parts place, by a creepy looking guy who I wouldn't date for a million and one reasons, not the least being he's hitting on me in an auto parts place. Really now, not in a million years!

I did go buy stuff to make dinner for Jon & Aidan. Steaks & chicken (marinating as we speak), and watermelon, and stuff for grilled veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, onions, peppers), and corn and stuff for pasta salad, and strawberries and Newcastles & Leinies and yum!

I did get most of Kari's present finished. Just a few last minute touches left to wrap up & we're good.

I did watch some of Planet Earth simultaneously, however it was the segment on Caves, and they were showing a lot of bats, so I turned it off and put in some Lilly Allen instead.

I didn't go tan. Just not a huge priority. And I didn't get a coffee, though I'm craving a Hazelnut Mocha. Pretty much Nutella in a drink.

I did, also, clean out my car & get my oil changed.

I think I rock!!

But I can't get shoes, especially green ones off my mind. I know I shouldn't, I know I can't. But I want to. I need to be content with these ones, the ones I bought the other day at Nordstrom with Kari, when we were wedding shoe shopping for her. They're cute, and if I wear them around this weekend then maybe I'll forget the green ones.

What I'm Going To Do Today

The list is mighty, but I think I can do it.

2. Get a coffee, probably before I go tan.

3. Come home and finish Kari's birthday presents. Hello, when was her birthday? Damn, I slack.

4. Simultaneously watch the BBC series, Planet Earth, which I am totally in love with. Amazing aerial shots, vivid, up close footage of God's beautiful creation. It reminds me to give thanks to our Creator. Oh, and who knew that Snow Leopards were my new favorite animal?

5. Continue to try & locate a window for my car.

6. If I can find a window today, go pick it up.

7. Then take it over to Jon's house so he can fix it, and in return,

8. Fix dinner for Jon & Aidan. Make them watch the Planet Earth series with me, or maybe convince them to play a round or two of Hand & Foot.

9. If for some reason I still can't find a window, then clean out my closet, since Katrina will be home tomorrow, and do I really want her going through my closet in the state it's in?

10. Oh, take back that movie. Yikes!!!

That's my day. Pretty much. I'd like to go shopping, but I really do not need anything. Stink. I want a green dress & green pair of shoes so bad. Maybe next weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

An Embarrasing Vice

You want to know the truth? The silly, slightly embarrassing truth?

I'm a celebrity baby stalker. I am. I can't help it. I love babies, and in the last year, two adorable baby girls have me totally peeking at the tabloids in the supermarket checkout line, hoping for a pic or two of their wee little faces. Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and Suri Cruise. They are soooooo cute!!!

So, today, when I logged into my hotmail account to check my email there, a rarity since I'm at gmail most of the time, I almost peed my pants when I saw this headline "Baby Brangelina: Pics of Shiloh". All thoughts of email fled my mind as I longed to see those big blue eyes and that adorable pout.

So, here you go, here are the pics that have me totally enthralled. Come on, she is pretty cute!!

P.S. I threw in a few of Suri, too, lest I be accused of playing favorites.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm Kind of Ticked, You Would Be Too!

Yep, I'm in one helluva mood right now. My car got broken into today, at work. Some idiot criminal decided they would pick the most inconspicuous looking little car in the lot, and violently smash in the driver's front window, rummage through all the stuff, spill my Nantucket Nectars lemonade, and gut my console to get my base model cd player. I hate stupid people right now!

I do have perspective - I mean it is totally fixable, no one was hurt, I'm still alive, yada, yada, yada. But I feel a bit violated. They took my radio. And Settlers of Catan. And some really cute black leather D'Orsay heels I got on sale at Ann Taylor over the weekend. I should have had those things inside, yes. But that doesn't negate the fact that someone broke into my car and stole them. Settlers. Cute shoes. My favorite Alison Krauss cd in the player. COME ON!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lessons On Submission, Love & Elephants

So, I just finished the book, Helen of Troy, which was very good by the way. It gives the detailed life story of Helen of Troy, or Helen of Sparta, as she was originally called. It covered her life prior to meeting the Trojan prince, Paris, and her reign as a fearless, independent princess and eventually as Queen of Sparta. It also spoke of, in relative detail, the Trojan War, and Helen's role in it. Most of all, however, it addressed the choices people make between romance and companionship - passion verses friendship. This book made the assertion that there can only be one or the other, a thought I'm not sure I agree with.

This book, and the one I finished just before it, Water For Elephants, sparked a conversation with a friend, recently, about love, passion, friendship, settling and elephant taming. Yes, elephant taming.

In the book Water For Elephants, the main character is veterinarian who runs away to join the circus. For a man trained in dealing with animals, he doesn't seem to know much about how to tame an elephant. The plot line deals with his conflicting emotions at seeing the ringmaster physically abuse the show's star elephant, as well as domestically abuse his lovely, young wife, whom the vet is in love with.

But what the veterinarian doesn't seem to realize is, that though beating one's wife is a cruel and unsuccessful way at earning her loyalty, for elephants, it's just the trick. See, in order to tame an elephant it's will must be broken first. The elephant, wild when caught, is tied to a special wooden frame or between two tree trunks where it is unable to move. Tied thus, it will began to tear at it's ropes and flail with it's trunk, while it is introduced to it's new master. In order to break it in, the young elephant is repeatedly stuck with an elephant hook and beaten. At the same time, the master talks to him it in a calming voice and strokes it gently. Stroking is important (heehee, understatement of the year), not only because elephants are contact animals, but because this is how the elephant will learn to let itself itself be touched from head to foot.

Fear, pain, thirst and hunger finally make the elephant give up all resistance. When the elephant begins to accept its fate, and it's will is broken, the master allows it to take a bath in a river and to eat, although it will be tied to another working elephant during that time.

After a few weeks of this treatment, the elephant will be tame enough to be led around, still shackled, by several workers, but no longer accompanied by other working elephants. This experience teaches the elephant, first respect for its keeper, and secures it's loyalty throughout it's lifetime. And we all know that elephants are one of the most loyal animals created. Even more so than dogs.

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

Well, as I was explaining this process to my friend, a dear respected older woman, really like a mom to me, she then mentioned to me that she had heard that only Asian Elephants have ever been held in captivity and trained, that there were no recording instances of African Elephants ever have being caught or tamed.

This immediately intrigued me. After all, I had seen a lot of similarities between my own will, stubborn and thick as elephant skin, and the elephants will. To hear that, there was an elephant who yet refused to be tamed, made me laugh. After all, maybe I was like the African Elephant - No man shall ever capture or tame me!

Or could he? Because as I did some research, I realized that what she had mentioned about the African Elephants wasn't true. While it was true, that nowadays, "domesticated" elephants are usually of the Asian breed, it wasn't true that no African elephants had ever been tamed. As a matter of fact, Hannibal's elephants were African, and African elephants had been used in the Belgian Congo, all proving African elephants can be tamed.

The differences in the two breeds, and the propensity for the taming of Asians verses Africans, has nothing to do with the actual elephants, as much as man's view of their use in society and culture.

Asian cultures highly esteemed elephants, even creating an elephant-headed god, which first appeared in Buddhism, then in Hinduism, and eventually rose to Tantric proportions in China. In contrast, in Africa elephants are not revered or worshipped. I even read that attitudes towards the usefulness of elephants had a lot to do with the fact that in Asia elephants were more useful to locals alive than dead. Whereas in Africa, they were considered more useful to the locals dead than alive. In Asia, live elephants have been used over the centuries in armies, for transportation and in industries like logging and construction, whereas in Africa the taming culture died out and poaching for ivory became the sole use for these mammoth beasts.

Ok, all this randomness aside - really, what does this have to do with anything? Well, I guess the more I've been learning about elephants, and exploring the myth of the African Elephant and it's wild, untameable nature, and as I was reading about Helen of Troy and her unquenchable, independent spirit, and the way it was broken and subdued by her passion for Paris, I've been thinking a lot about what it would take to really tame me. Secure me. Get me to submit and settle into a less independent way of living and relating. Not just romantically, but in general.

And like the mystery surrounding the African Elephant, I think that all the lore is quite untrue. Though it won't take shackling, beating, stroking (ok, so maybe some stroking), torture, starvation and eventually bathing while tied to a working elephant to get me to submit, sometimes, it seems pretty darn close.

Why is it, that though I know it is easier and far better to just submit to the Lord, I constantly struggle and buck up against Him, on hind feet as it were? Why do I fight a master I cannot win, when all I really do long for is to give Him my unswerving loyalty? Moreover, if He ever were to see fit to bring a mate into my life, would I really be able to submit to opening up my independent lifestyle, on a daily basis, and forsake the solitude and quiet that I love so much, to enjoy letting someone else in? Or will it take beatings with an elephant hook and the pain and tears that I can only imagine sometimes?

One sunny day last week, I took off for a walk. Really, I drove, to take a walk, nonsensical, yes, it's true. But I drove to Lake Calhoun, and then from there, walked around the lake, and then into Uptown, where I did some shopping, and took A-L-L day long to just be by myself. I love it. Nothing makes me happier sometimes. Seriously.

I remember thinking to myself, just as I was approaching the Lake & Hennepin intersection, "Man, if I had a husband, he'd want to know exactly where I was right now." And when I was coming home. And what I was doing. And how much money I was spending. And what I was buying. And what my plans were for the rest of the day. And so on. And so on. And so on.

Now, I can hear all my married friends say that, when you meet the right person, you want to share those things, and don't mind submitting, and blah blah blah. But then I can also hear my grandma remind me that the older you get, the more set in your ways you become, and the harder it is to change. So which is it? Will I really give up so easily? Or will I need to be broken in, like an elephant, to a way of living that is totally foreign to me. Truly domesticated.

Most importantly, however, how long will the Lord have to keep me tied up in between wood posts like this? I need to learn the joy of submitting to Him, to allowing someone far wiser, more skilled and better equipped, basically run my life. Yes, I have choices, but in the end, if I'm gonna do this, I want to do it 200%, and truly submit to Him, hook, line and sinker. And that's going to take a lot of giving up and giving in of independent, untamed ways of of thinking and living.

Yet, unlike Helen, who had to choose, one or the other, her independent reign as Queen of Sparta, rifed with the mere companionship of King Menelaus, versus near captivity and derision from the Trojan court in her life with Prince Paris, I do believe that I am in a winning situation. I trust that my God has a great enough plan, bigger than a herd of elephants, for my life, that will be joy filled, even if not always as independent and self reliant as I'd like. And I take comfort in this fact: If the African Elephant can do it, submit and be tamed, then apparently, so can I.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Zoo

So, it was 6:45 am when I woke up this morning, and realized I didn't bring up my whites from the laundry room the other day. That's right. Fifteen. To Seven. Eeeeaarrrly!!! Brrr!!

As I was heading downstairs, I thought I'd try on the new dress I got from Gap this week. Excited, I pulled it from it's navy blue bag and threw it on. It still smelled new. Gotta look cute to go get the laundry. Then I walked down the stairs, to the landing where the full length mirror is, and when I got down there, it wasn't the dress that caught my attention. It was the rodent droppings on the landing. All three of them.

Dear Lord, I live in a zoo.

I am so grossed out. Can rodents climb stairs? Am I safe up here? I keep my door closed most of the time, but what about when I meander into the bathroom or the kitchen, and leave it ajar? Will they make a run for it, and hide out somewhere? What if they're already in here? Do I have to hide my feet at night so they don't start to nibble on my toes? What if it's not just a plain little brown mouse? What if it's a city rat? A downtown, eats from the garbage, carries communicable diseases RAT? Not Ratatouille (looks cute by the way). A Rat!!!

Urrrggghh, I am freaking out and squirming at my desk, feet tucked up underneath me, even as I write this. I live in a zoo!

Speaking of a zoo - you know what I really want to do this summer? See a concert at the zoo. Chris Isaak (palpitate, palpitate) plays next month, but he's sold out. I can't complain, I've seen him live twice already. And outside, at the Greek Theater nonetheless. Outdoor venues are truly the best, why would you want to hear music that good kooked up inside some recirculated air conditioned box anyways?

Buddy Guy plays in August, at the zoo. Not quite as good looking as Chris, but waaaay more fun on the guitar. I can't get the image of him playing guitar with his, umm, mouth, out of my head. The raw talent. No pun intended. I've seen him outside too, though just once. Aahh, was that really fun, or was it not?

Just thinking of these two concerts has inspired me to make a new playlist, my favorites from both of these talented artists, and in a fit of whimsical genius (yes, I do surprise myself at times). I have entitled it Two Shades Of Blue. Heeeheee!

Hmmm ..... Maybe I could catch all the rats and mice in the house and sell them to people with snakes, on Craigslist and then I could have enough money for concert tickets at the zoo. Killing two birds with one stone. It's not birds I want dead in this house though. It's the rodents! I need a cat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Failure To Communicate Part Deux

You ever just want to shout something from the rooftops? Just scream it out? Something big? Something important? And a megaphone won't do - you need LOUDNESS!!! You just want your voice to be heard.

I want to do that with a friend. I want to tell them "I know what you're going through, I found out. I know you're struggling, even though you don't know that I know." I want to encourage this person, and offer words that will salve some of the hurts, words from the Lord's word. I want to tell them "Here are some verses I read and when I did, I thought of you. Take comfort in them my friend. Here is my prayer for you, my hope for you, my heart for you. I care."

If I did, though, it would be so ill received. Pushed aside. Ignored. The challenges this person is facing were told to me, not by the person, but someone else who cares. And as someone who has recently been in the situation of wanting everyone out of her business, I can imagine that this person would not be comfortable with me knowing their personal struggles secondhand.

So, they would reject my words. I know because we've been there before. They would interrupt and make light of it, and just not listen, maybe even lose their temper. Just like last time. And the time before that too.

The mere fact that they wouldn't accept my words, though, makes me want to scream it out. If they were to just listen, and say thanks, I wouldn't need to resort to shouting. But after a long time of trying to be a friend, to someone who rejects my friendship, I am at the point where I want to scream "I just want to encourage you, so take the stinking encouragement and verses and words already and stop acting like a jerk. I just love you, so there!"

Urgh! I just want to communicate with this person. I just want them to communicate with me!! Because in the end, I just want to love on and encourage and build up this person, and see them blessed and happy. Is that so hard to accept? Do I have to scream it out?

What we've got here, is a failure to communicate!

Weng Weng Mania!!!

If you haven't seen or heard of it, I suggest you check out "00- For Your Height Only", only the best James Bond rip off, Filipino, Crime Fighting, Disco Dancing Dwarf movie ever made. Weng Weng - he's petite, like a potato!!

What We've Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate....

Now, I've always been a big fan of communication. I'm a talker. Yeah, I know, I can hear the snide little giggles right now. Seriously though, with me, what you see is what you get, and I will tell you exactly what is on my mind. I'm huge on communication. It relieves people from unrealistic and unreachable expectations and can stave off disapointment, confusion and misunderstanding. Language, specifically is a gift that we humans possess uniquely, and can use to both uplift and hurt others.

So not being able to blog, or be online all last week was a lesson, one of many recently, in just how importantly I take communication. I felt out of touch, and unable to reach out to others. Odd, because what did I do before I was blogging & on Facebook/Gmail all the time? Talk on the phone? Visit in person? Write a thoughtful letter? Novel concepts all!!

The first lesson in communication, though, started about a month ago, at work, when I realized that I am only one of three English speaking employees in the pastry kitchen. Everyone else that I work with pretty much speaks only Spanish.

Now don't get me wrong, I actually kind of love it. I am learning a new language on the job. Or should I say I am adding to my already sporatic, random vocabulary of Spanish words and kind of figuring out how to construct sentences? In all earnestness, I am trying to learn and to communicate with the other girls as best I can in Spanish. I even find myself talking Spanish to the English speaking ones, just out of habit.

But recently, when one of the other English speaking women walked out on the job, I was left for the rest of the week with no one to talk to, and only Spanish speakers to listen to. The inability to communicate, as well as the complete lack of opportunity to talk to anyone, drove me insane! I found I was talking to myself, or sometimes speaking English to the other girls, only to pepper my one-sided conversations with the phrase "Well, it's not like you know what I'm saying anyways".

The whole thing really got me thinking about the mission field actually. Specifically the reality that I could never be on the field alone, that is without another English speaking friend, to communicate with.

It also reminded me of the realization I had , awhile back, that I really have no desire to be a single missionary. I know a few such brave souls, and truly I am not one of them. I know I would, ideally, be happiest serving in a foreign setting with a husband. There would inevitably be so much I'd want to talk about, pertinent and intimate things. Even having an English speaking friend to talk to might leave me longing for someone to share more personal, intimate and spiritual matters with. Communicating myself, in words I know are understood, to someone who not only understands English, but understands Trinetteish, is so important to me.

For now, in the pastry kitchen, I am longing, craving another English speaking person to talk to. At least I am back online, and for now, will strive to continue to communicate well.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Spotless Minds Breed Eternal Sunshine

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned."
Alexander Pope

So, as I was home sick today, I was praying about the whole set up thing with C.T. Here are some conclusions I came to regarding my feelings for "the one who doesn't care".

1. I need to get back to the point where I was before, where I really believed that there was not only no hope for "him" and I, but I didn't want there to be. I want to be at the point again where I remember how very not good he would be for me, and I for him.

2. I realized, that the reason I hang on, is more about me than it is about him. I asked the Lord to show me why I love him so much, and I realized that though he is an amazing guy, he has given me no reasons to love him. No hope, no basis, no reasons. I love him because it says something about my loyalty and dedication. If I hang in there, and hold out hope for him, I am a romantic, a loyal person, and would have a great story. But what reason do I base my hope on? There are none that he has given me. I am in a hopeless situation, and I choose to stay there.

3. That being realized, I figured out that one of the other reasons I hold on is because there is no one else. When I was dating M. or J., recently, I was more than ready to forget about "him", and their attentions and affections helped me to do that. Maybe all I need is a good distraction.

So, yeah, that's what I kind of figured out today. Which makes me really, really excited to be set up by the girls on this blind date. I mean, what the heck. It's just a date! If nothing else, I can get a good friend out of it, and who doesn't want that.

Hopefully, however, even if I just get a friend, I will get "him" amnesia in the process, and forget about the one who doesn't care for me. I need some Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.

An Inconvenient Cold

I'm sick today. I felt it coming on last night, and I was really hoping it was just allergies. I was lying on Michelle & Jon's downstairs sofa, watching Meet The Fockers with Jenny & Leah, when I realized my throat was really, really sore. My first thoughts were "I better not give this to the kids", whereas my second thought was "I took a few days off work for my birthday to rest, and now I'll have to go back to work sick". Drats!!

Last night, in the middle of the night, it hit me. And hit me hard. Dang it! I woke up around 3:30 FREEZING cold, shivering so bad I was downright shaking. It was like the cold permeated all the way down to my bones. At the same time, my body was burning up with a fever. I could feel it, on my flushed cheeks, the sweat that was sliding down my back and the fact that my thighs were so hot, I had to change my spot in bed, because the sheets underneath me were going to spontaneously ignite. The odd fever/chills combination clued me in and I knew what it meant - I was not happy.

At least I have today off to just kick back, Dayquil up and try to kick it. Michelle loaned me Hannibal, so as I recline here, I'll have something to watch. My small group has kickball tonight, so I better rest up & get better. I may suck at kickball tonight, but I'll still go. I love kickball. And I love my small group, who I found I brag about quite a bit.

So that's where I'm at today. Sick, still in bed at 8:15 (wow, usually I've been at work for a few hours by now). Thinking that I really should get up and clean my room, but also wondering if one of the things you learn at age 32 is to just rest when you can, because most days it's the last thing you get to do.

Things I used to take for granted, or try to get out of (naps, sleeping in, people's offers to give me a scalp massage or buy me dinner) have now become luxuries I relish. Instead of foregoing them because I'm "too strong for that", I now enjoy them with gratitude and appreciation, that I'm learning only comes with age. Aaah, the joys of aging gracefully. Let's hope all three white hairs aside, I can manage to do so.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Amazing Weekend

So this post will be brief, in part because my "B" key is acting funny, and in part because it's almost midnight, and I'm pooped! *ut I just got home from the *est weekend - the best *irthday weekend I should say.

I love quality time - nothing *rings me more joy. And my new favorite quality time is with the Johnson girls. Heck, the whole Johnson family. There is SOO much to share, *ut here's the *rief recap.

1. Dance Party. With costumes. Pics to follow this week.
2. Waking up at Jon & Michelle's to see the kids early in the morning and share coffee and treats with them. Granted, having every stuffed animal on Josiah's *ed thrown at me at 6 in the morning was a bit of a rude awakening, *ut one I loved nonetheless.
3. Nana, and the sweet wonderful hug she gave me, and the words of encouragement she shared with me today
4. Sharing Sunday dinner as a family
5. Sharing "cloves" and sangria with the girls, on not one, *ut two warm summer nights. Talking, sharing, listening to them ooze with pleasure at the thought of setting me up with C.T.

Which makes me kind of sad in a way - *ecause it makes me realize that my heart is still not availa*le - though I wish, so very much, it was. I just wish I didn't care a*out "him" anymore, and I wish I could give anyone else a fair chance. ut maybe this C.T. guy could *e just the guy to make me forget a*out anyone else - anyone else that doesn't care for me. It's gonna take an amazing guy to make me forget the amazing guy I'm crazy about. But if the girls are right on, and I trust their wonderful hearts, then who knows, this could be someone to make me forget!

In any case, it is *eautiful to hear them gush, and go on and on a*out setting me up and what a wonderful match we're going to make. They were even daydreaming a*out getting me married off, *y my next *irthday no less. Hahahah. Such high hopes. I love their optimism. I love that I get to spend enough time with them to have their optimism shine through. I am *lessed *y their love & our relationships. I love them with all the wonderful, family love in my heart. Good night!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Best Of Both Worlds

Ok, hands down, we all know, I'm gonna be a stylish mom one day. People may tease me about the cute shoes I wear ("You gonna be able to walk in those???"), or my lack of authentic looking painting clothes (when I was at camp over Memorial Day weekend, it seemed like everyone I met asked me if I was really going to paint in that shirt), but when I'm a mom, you will not see me in some cheesy looking tee shirt or ratty sweat pants. And my kids, they're gonna be adorable! Cute little Gap-ad lookalikes, in their baby rocker tee's and RL overalls and baby Crocs. Seriously, it will be the best of both worlds - motherhood & fashion. I love clothes, I love babies - it's a match made in heaven. Heehee, I can't wait.

And what will a stylish mama like myself read to my adorable, Barney's (the store, not the dinosaur) loving kids? Why, "This Little Piggy Went To Prada" of course. Ok, so this book is the real reason for tonight's post. I saw the book last week & I fell. In. Love.

I mean come on, in life, what do I love?

1. Kids
2. Clothes
3. Books
4. Art

Oh my god, this book has it all. It's revamped nursery rhymes, or as it's subtitled "Nursery Rhymes for the Blahnik Brigade". I giggle just saying it. Nursery rhymes where all the little stories have been tweaked to be a name dropping, fashionista's dream litany.

For example, instead of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, we have

"Twinkle, twinkle, diamond ring,
In a blue box tied with string.
Tiffany's new princess cut,
Twice the size of baby's butt.
Twinkle twinkle, show your spark,
Can't change nappies in the dark."

Or instead of This Little Piggy, there's

"This little piggy went to Prada,
This little piggy went to Cannes,
This little piggy dined at Nobu,
And this little piggy, Hakkasan.
And this little piggy went 'Wee wee wee wee!'
All the way home (because she had a fat bottom!)"

And lastly, why hum along to Frere Jacques, when you can gleefully sing

"Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton,
Mulberry, Mulberry?
Nappy bag dilemma – Lulu, Kate or Anya?
Shopping spree, buy all three."

Manolo, Louis, Versace, Prada, Tod's, you name it. It's in there. And though, in reality, I have been wearing the same $10 eyelet top for the last three days (hey, I've managed to keep it clean and it's white, I'm wearing it almost as a celebration at this point), I am perfectly content in my simple life. Thankfuly, I doubt I will ever be personally acquainted with anything mentioned in this book (sans bebe). Yes, I am not necessarily a name dropping Carrie Bradshaw wanna be as much as I think I could be, being from L.A. and all. So this book delights my inner sense of fashion know how, while at the same time being whimsical enough to not take itself too seriously. Just like me.

On to the next best parts. It's a book. Say I more?

It's for kids. It's nursery rhymes. Nostalgic. Adorable. Kid oriented. Reminding me that indeed, urban babies do wear black (and country babies wear plaid), and yes, rock-a-baby, you are safer in daddy's arms when mommy is wearing her Choo's. How cute would it be to read it to an adorable little baby, in a soft little mommy voice, all the while smiling inside, because all baby hears is "coo, coo, coo, mommy loves you", and yet reading it is wonderful Nordstrom's piano music to my ears?

And, the other two best things about this book - one is that the proceeds benefit Save The Children. Save the Children work with kids suffering from poverty, disease, injustice and violence, with the aim of finding lifelong answers to the problems they face. Of course, Jesus and a good Juicy Couture tracksuit are all they really need. Heehee, giggle again. Just Jesus, seriously.

And lastly, the art - the illustrations are all soft, dreamy watercolors. Though I usually do enjoy multi-media myself, I think the tranquility of the watercolors would inspire maternal calmness in any reader.
The illustrator, one Eun-kyung Kang (aka Zebby), has a background in fashion and textiles, and that esoteric eye shows through in her renderings of all the cutest luxury goods.

So, if you want to know what brings a big smile to my face this week - it's mostly the thought that someday (before I'm 40 puh-leeze, God), I may have a baby of my own, all big brown eyes, and tons of wavy sandy hair, and hopefully dimples. Secondly it's that I could, at that time, read this equally adorable and frivolous book to said potential cutie pie baby! What more could I ask for? I am joyous just thinking about it.

Random Wanderlusting

I am so set for a road trip right about now. I can't seem to shake this sense of wanderlust. Usually when it comes around, it will last for about a week or so. I'll think of a place I want to go to, want to run to, and then I'll forget after a while. I'm never quite as serious as I think I am about it.

But this time around, whew, I can't seem to shake it. It's been weeks, months even, if you go back to my fascination with Jackson Hole, WY. I just want to run. Run far, run wide, and run and never look back. I want to run!! Run so hard!

I'm listening to road trip music. Born To Run, and stuff like that. "Tramps like us, Baby we were born to run!". Bruce sings about the amusement park rising bold and stark and loving Wendy with all the madness in his soul and how they were sprung from cages out on the highway and then he invites her to "Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims and strap your hands across my engines". Whew. I want to go there!!

Goodness gracious, I want to run. I want to roll down every window in my car (sure, Saturn's aren't the most romantic getaway vehicle, but I love my little blue baby), and let the wind rip through my hair, and feel the sun on my left arm as I wave my hand up and down along the lines of the horizon. I want to have no particular destination other than "The South". South of what, I don't know. There's Nashville - they have a good music scene. Or Miami, I know someone moving there I could crash with. Or Mexico. Sun drenched days, stark landscapes and low music as I sweat in jeans and a tank or two.

I want to run. So bad right now. Not from anyone or anything in particular. Just because I was Born To Run. I'm a woman created for adventure, and being stuck in a pastry kitchen and my bedroom is driving me nuts. I want to run, and just keep going till I find the ocean and then walk in barefoot for a swim. I want to run. Anywhere. I want to run. Anyone want to come with? I'll promise to come back, because after all, I think I'm a homebody at heart.

The Weirdest Thing

In my whole entire life, I have never had to trim my fingernails back. They have never grown long enough for me to have to. They either break off, or I bite them during some movie or when I'm stressed (attractive, yes!).

So, for the first time, in my life, I find myself sitting over my roommate's bed (haha, just kidding, the bathroom trash can), and trimming my fingernails. They're so long, I can't lift up sheet pans at work without catching them and I'm afraid I'm going to break one. Actually last night, I did break one, opening the car door. So, I realized I should prune 'em back.

It makes me kind of sad actually, to have to trim them, because I have enjoyed offering people impromptu back scratches for about a month now. But, alas, they have to go.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Love Language Fix

So, I have always thought that I have ever mercurial Love Languages. They shift depending on my mood, who I'm with and definitely on my situation in life, at the time.

Sometimes I'm a Words of Affirmation kind of girl. Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment". I can still remember one that I received about 3 years ago, where a good friend sat me down and complimented me on having a servant's heart. That has stuck with me for years, and means just as much to me now as it did then.

Other times I relish Acts of Service. All I really want for my birthday this year is for someone to just take my car while I'm at work, wash it, vaccuum it out really good, and return it smelling like anything other than bread crumbs and coffee. Seriously, as I was driving home from dinner this evening, I kept thinking what a blessing that would be to me.

Most of the time, though, Quality Time is pretty high on my list with Gifts and Phyiscal Touch at the very bottom, where they tend to stay. There are very few people I feel comfortable letting touch me for an extended amount of time. Trust and comfort level play a huge factor into that, I'm sure. Even so, anyone who knows me well, knows that when I'm ready, I'll let you know, through touch, that it's ok to touch me. But till then much patience is needed, if you happen to show love through touch (and believe me, I just happen to have more than a few friends who do).

But regarding Love Languages, today I scored. I think I may have received all 5, in just one evening with a friend.

I arrived at my friend's house, and immediately plopped, face down, on her sofa. It was a long day at the bakery, with a lot of heavy lifting, and my body aches from head to toe. Most days, I just don't even realize this - Soreness is normalcy now for my body. I feel so very comfortable with this person, that the sight of me walking in the door and beelining for the sofa, where I buried my face into the cushions was probably no surprise.

Then came the blessings - at first, in the form of a backrub. And what a great backrub it was. All the knots were found, and with the patience to actually look for them, instead of performing the usual perfunctory shoulder and neck rub. They were worked out with strong hands - none of this pansy gentle touch stuff! I could've passed out at that point.

I would've too, if she didn't remind me that I came over to borrow books. I'm positively book hungry these days! Book famished. Book starved. After months of reading for LDI, and wishing I could just read one leisure book instead of Grudem, Fee & Stuart or Carson-Moo all the time, I am now at a point where I can dive back into reading for pleasure. And what a pleasure it has been. In one week's time I have read two books, Water For Elephants, and The Twentieth Wife. But now I'm out of books to read here at home, and with no time to get to the library during the day, I am dying to get my hands on some new material.

So, in a sweet gesture of friendship, not only did my friend let me borrow three books, but she gave me one too. Such a highly appreciated gift!

Then we walked, not drove, into Dinkytown for dinner. The stroll on this beautiful summer's night, and the conversation we shared on the way there and over dinner (the best - Fish & Chips & a cold, tall mug of Newcastle) met all my Quality Time requirements. It's nice to actually spend time with someone - talking, sharing, and just enjoying a walk together. To me, that's time well spent.

Speaking of walks, and Quality Time too for that matter, yesterday I had the great joy of having my new favorite thing in the whole wide world - family time. As someone who's biological family time usually involves watching one or more relatives consume massive amounts of alcohol, act like complete lunatics, and pick obnoxious, sometimes violent screaming fights with one another, family time with the Johnsons is postivively idealistic. We're talking 1950's, wholesome, Leave It To Beaver, are they for real, Quality Time. I love it!!! I could not ask for more than the time we share together, and it brings me such joy that I am beginning to think they think I'm on some sort of opiate whenever I'm around them. I'm not, just filled to overflowing with love for them, and from them. :-)

So, for some family time (where Josiah proceeded to comment that he thought we didn't have enough family along on this outing), we went to Centennial Lakes, as the massive amount of following pictures can attest. Of course, my camera battery died half way through the day, so I didn't get any pictures of the "peddleboat" experience that consisted of Jenny, Michelle & Ana on one boat, and Peggy, Josiah, Nana and myself on another. At one point, Josiah decided he wanted to "peddle", so Peggy scooted her legs aside and he "peddled". Pretty much, I peddled, but he thought he was doing all the work on the other side of the boat. I couldn't understand why it was such a workout till I realized that Peggy was not peddling with him at all, and I was lugging around our three & a half bodies around the lake. It was the best time!! Poor Nana, she had to sit facing backwards the whole time, and when the lame-o rudder got us stuck in an Austin Powers style 11-point turn under the bridge, I thought she was going to turn around and slap me. Not that Nana, with her beautiful skin and calm demeanor would bitch slap anybody. But she may have come close with me.

But I digress - back to tonight's lovely evening.

So, yeah, in the course of one night, I had Quality Time, Words of Affirmation (as we talked and shared over dinner and she set me straight on my thoughts of leaving Hope), Gifts (the books), and Physical Touch (I think I could actually get used to the backrub thing, I kind of like those!). Was there an Act of Service somewhere in there? I can't say, really the whole night seemed to serve and bless me, so I guess, yeah. All in all, I'm feeling pretty loved!

The Best Small Group Ever & Senseless Violence

Have I mentioned that I pretty much have the best small group ever? We are amazing! Such fun people! How fun are we? We are so fun, our groups has a name - the Northeast Ninjas. And matching NE Ninja tee shirts. And we're having an Anchorman movie night next Friday. This is pretty much my favorite scene from that movie. The first time I saw it, with Sam & Romina from small group, I made them rewind this part three times, because I was laughing so hard.

Really, cinematically, it's second only to the scene in Meet Joe Black where Brad Pitt gets nailed by two cars.

Monday, June 04, 2007