Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Birthday Weekend

So my big birthday day is less than 26 hours away. Don't worry if you haven't mailed my birthday present yet; I'll be accepting presents through the rest of the month. =o)

I'm currently in Dallas. My dad had a meeting up here and my mom came with him because they need to go to Waco. Mainly, because my oldest brother is flying out to Germany tomorrow. He's going to visit his former roommate and attend the U2 concert in Berlin. That lucky @#$!*^%!!!

I'd love to go to Germany; I have some close friends I'd love to visit! I'd also love to go to the U2 concert, but I'm not that bothered about it because I'll be going to the show down in Houston. That's right, the show that was sold out less than an hour after ticket went on sale. Yeah, I have general admission tickets, the best tickets you can get. Finally I can cross off one of the things on my "List of Things to do Before I'm 30" list.

Anywho, back to Dallas. I basically had no choice about coming up. It was either come up and spend my birthday with my family, or stay home alone on my birthday. I'm glad I chose the former. I'd much rather spend the evening eating cake, opening presents, and playing nintendo with my brother. Although that may sound boring to some of you, it sure beats sitting at home all by myself watching Nick at Nite. *sigh* I'm feeling nostalgic about last year's birthday - I spent it working in the Nightshelter; not only did I have a blast, it was humbling to see so many new acquaintances (some of them poor and homeless) go out of their way to make it a special day. *sigh*

So, I'll be spending another birthday in Waco. I'm very thankful for my family, but I miss all my old friends. Too bad they won't be around; they're literally spread out over the WORLD. At least I don't have to worry about being thrown in a pool this year. That hasn't happened in a few years - not since Baylor Landing was replaced by a parking garage - so I should be safe.

Since I'll be at my brother's, I'll be without internet (unless I can hack into someone's wireless signal...), so I end this post with a bit more narcissism.....


Sunday, June 26, 2005

We finally bought a new scanner and I thought I'd test it out with this photo. That's me and my brothers with our grandpa. I'm the little cute one on the right. Eric (aka Bird) is the one up front and David (aka Sha) is the one on the left (the one that looks like a true mexicano). Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


After having worked at a TV station, and now working at a newspaper, I would like to share an observation with you.

I believe that those of us who work in the mass media are a lot like zookeepers. (Although I've never worked in a zoo, so I couldn't quite tell you for sure...)

I remember visiting the zoo as a child and being awestruck by the wonder if it all. I believe I was seven years old when I went on an elephant ride (I remember the guide said something about the elephant's hair being bristly like a toothbrush, and sure enough I could see the black bristly fur right in front of me). To this day, I'm not sure how I kept from falling off the animal -- it was huge, and totally swaying back and forth!

Then there's the smell. I think it still remains in my nostrils to this day.

But at least I got to go home after visiting the awesome yet smelly animals and escaping the stench. I don't even want to think about what kind of crap the zookeepers have to shovel around.

So here's where the metaphor kicks in. You turn on your TV and watch the news or just enjoy a show. It's awesome. You want to wear the styles the actors are donning, you want to imitate the cool tone in the announcers' voice, and you shudder at how close the cameras were able to zoom into the actors' faces. Or you walk to the kitchen table where the newspaper is lying around and flip through the front page, the crossword puzzle, the comics section, the sports page. Fun and enjoyable, but then you move on and get on with your day.

But for those of us in the media, behind the scenes, the glitter can fade rather quickly. The wardrobe people who pick out the actors' styles are probably just following orders from a director or producer, the announcer is probably some fat guy who's been working on his voiceover all day with the help of some engineer named Charlie, and the camerapeople are in therapy for putting up with hyper directors who like to yell when something isn't shot perfectly. Or the person designing the front page at the newspaper is frustrated because a news-breaking story was added at the last minute, the dude who puts the crossword puzzles together is spazzing over a millimeter of space that is throwing off the whole puzzle, the comics person monotonously downloads another cartoon off the internet, the sports guys are about to explode with stress because the game went into overtime and their section will be late. Not always so enjoyable -- that IS our day.

I'm sure the zookeepers enjoy being with the animals and feeding them and explaining aspects of the animal kingdom to young visitors, but for the most part I'm sure their day just consists of shoveling crap. The kids who visit the zoo will ooo and aah over the animals, but I'm sure underneath a smiling face, the zookeepers might be thinking, "Big deal. It's just a smelly monkey."

It's lots of fun working in the media and being in the middle of all the action. Sometimes people will ooo and aah over what's on TV or in the paper, but for those of us who work behind the scenes shoveling all the crap around, sometimes we just think, "Big deal. All I did for it to come on your TV was push a button." Or, "That newspaper is just a bunch of Quark documents stuck together."

Some days are awe-inspiring, but other days, it's just a smelly monkey.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

TV Corner3

[Sorry for taking so long to post this... I got this idea back in March while watching Turner Classic Movies :> ]

The concept of time often gets a bad rap, like when you're running late, etc. But I think sometimes time can be our friend.

Random example. From my point of view, time was very kind to the musical West Side Story (I believe the '60s film version was adapted from the cutting-edge 1950s Broadway musical). All throughout the movie, there are all these macho guys dancing & twirling around all over the place. Sort of like a gangsta ballet or something. Which makes sense if you remember you're watching what was originally on Broadway nearly 50 years ago.

But I don't think any filmmaker would be able to get away with something like that in 2005. Too gay.

See? They did a good thing when they made that movie back in the SIXTIES. The time was just right for them. But if they had waited until now, it would have been splashed all over the tabloids, or all the televangelists would have been rebuking it, or... something like that.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Quarter of a Century . . .

. . . is only two and a half weeks away for me. Scary.

Ten years ago I thought I would either be married or on my way to being married by the time I turned 25. That's even scarier. Praise the Lord I was wrong! What's funny is, I was probably closer to being married ten years ago than I am now. Back then I was probably more likely to compromise than I am now.

I remember when my oldest brother turned 25. Even that was kinda scary. And that was 6 years ago. Those six years sure passed quickly.

I was thinking a few months ago about how I'm in my mid-twenties. That's scary. Next come the late-twenties, then the thirties.

Hmm . . . I'm sensing a scary theme; a theme of scariness, that is.

It's not that I'm scared of turning 25 or 30. It's just that it's so weird.

I don't feel old enough to be 25.

People who are 25 are supposed to be mature, right? Not me! I'd be overjoyed to rent a moonwalk for my 25th birthday (and I would do it if I weren't so poor at the moment).

People who are 25 are supposed to have started a career, right? Not me! Sure I'm fixing to go into teaching, but I only see it as temporary; something to bring in money so I can pay bills and prepare to go back to England.

People who are 25 don't live at home and mooch off of their parents (Is 'mooch' the right word?). (((Well, I technically don't see it as mooching, but as them supporting me for all those years I supported myself in college. ;) Since I was the last kid through college, the money had dwindled by then. But it was ultimately my choice to pay my own way.)))


Okay, enough wallowing; although, I once heard that self-pity is the best kind because at least you know it's sincere.

I have to be a grown-up now and go do my homework.

Wait a sec'!!!

People who are 25 aren't supposed to say, "I need to go do my homework," are they?

I have a feeling it's going to be a rough year.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Here's some advice for ya, Tirzah:

"If you have a cat, or a dog for that matter, be careful where they urinate," Oyabu said. "Especially keep them away from electrical appliances and wires."
That's some sage advice from fireman Masahito Oyabu. Apparently, two kittens in Japan opted to potty on their owner's fax machine rather than in their litter box. The result: a fire that nearly burned their house down.

You may want to pass the word on to Tommy and Tessie . . .

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Word Tag Meme

This is a meme they're doing over at the Thinklings. Here are Bill's rules:

1. I will start us off in the comments thread with one line from either a book or a poem. Aw heck, I'll allow songs too (and brace myself for the onslaught (or trickle, if this post bombs) of U2 lyrics).

2. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to then supply another line from a book, poem, or song that has one of the major words from the line I supplied. For instance, if my line is "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit", the major words are "hole", "ground", "lived", and "Hobbit". The smaller words (articles, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, etc) don't count. So, based on "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit" you might be inspired to supply this line (with attribution, of course):

"That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me." - Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allen Poe.

3. The next person will then supply a line that contains one of these words: "maiden, lived, may, know, name, Annabel Lee, other, thought, love, loved". If you know html, please surround the word with bolding tags (, ), as I have done above, so that it will be easy to see which word spawned your entry.

Update: OK, movie quotes are now allowed also. I gave in to the pressure.
My quote is in the comments. Please humor me. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I had a bright idea.

I decided to go for a walk when I got home this evening. It was such a beautiful evening and I love walking at night. I haven't done much walking in a few months, either, and sometimes I just need to get my rear moving. It was a spur of the moment thing, so I threw on the closest thing to me. Also, since it was already past ten, I wanted to hurry up and get out there. I had the bright idea of slipping on new tennis shoes . . . without socks. Needless to say, my right pinky toe is numb and the back of my heels are rubbed raw. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking.
I was almost to my turning around point when I started feeling it, so I just kept going. After I turned around I started to jog. I figured my feet were going to hurt no matter what, I might as well jog to get the pain over with. Sure, I felt even more pain when I got home and couldn't breath, but at least I got home faster than I would have!
Hmm . . . I should go find the hydrogen peroxide now . . .

Update: It's been two hours since my little excursion and I've discovered why my toe was numb. A blister, about half the size of my toe, has formed on it! What do I do??? Do I leave it be or do I pop it??? This is always the dilema I have when I develop blisters, but I get them so rarely I can never remember what I did the last time. Any sage advice anyone?

Wal-Mart & other consumer ramblings

I keep telling people that I try to "boycott" Wal-Mart, but I think I may be coming closer & closer to actually doing a REAL boycott.

Except for Sams Club. I've still got one of those groovy memberships. :D (Hey, it comes in handy when you want to buy an 18-month supply of soap...) Or the music downloads at (only 88 cents per song, plus tax)... but I may just download from iTunes instead (I think the sound quality's better).

The other night after work, I spontaneously decided to get some stuff that I needed at Wal-Mart. It was about 12:45AM, but hey, they're open 24 hours, right? Well, I got INTO the store OK... the elderly dude who greeted me was very nice & even sold me on the idea of getting a shopping cart. Then it looked like they were stocking the shelves, so I walked around the stock crates & made my way to the electronics section. But it was blocked off with boxes.

Hm. No problem, I'll just get the toothpaste I need. Mission accomplished there... but WAIT! Some dude walks by with a floor buffer. It looks like he's waiting for me to get out of his way while he's adjusting his cord. No problem... but WAIT!! How do I get out of here??? I walk halfway across the store (with my shopping cart that's holding only my purse & toothpaste) just to untangle myself out of the labyrinth that was once the Wal-Mart aisles.

What happened was they were roping off most of the store so they could buff the floors. Did they notify me about this? No. Were there signs posted anywhere, maybe with one of their trademark smiley faces telling me Sorry, we're buffing? No. Did I even get eye contact or any other type of acknowledgment as a human being as I walked around the boxes, trying to shop?? No way. Hello, I am a paying customer!!

I decided that they didn't want me to shop there that night, so I simply paid for my toothpaste & got out of there. (The cashier's teenage kids apparently were there in line in front of me, at least I assume they were her kids, because she grounded a couple of them... that was interesting. :> ) The elderly greeterdude was very courteous at saying goodbye, but still I was frustrated. I decided I would go to Target and/or HEB later instead.

I usually don't even GO to Wal-Mart. Not unless I'm super-desperate & broke. (Or accompanying a family member just to hang out.) The store is almost always dirty & smells funny. And crowded. And huge. You park your car then it takes 5 minutes to walk to the store, then when you're in the store it takes you 10 minutes to walk to the other end of the store, and -- crap! -- you forgot something on the other side so you have to walk 10 minutes all the way back. Then the CHECK-OUT line... you stand in line 10 minutes & then wait while the cashier takes their sweet time, usually around 10-15 minutes, to ring up & finish bagging your stuff. Then it takes you 5 minutes to walk to your car, 5 minutes to get out of the parking lot, & about 5 more minutes waiting to pull out into the super-busy street... Sigh.

Then you make it back home, exhausted, & are proud of yourself for saving a grand total of about 20 cents.

When really if you had just gone to HEB, it would have taken you only 2 minutes to walk to the store, 3 minutes to do your shopping, 3 more at the checkout, & then 3 more back in the parking lot and -- viola -- you're driving home. And still have energy to spare.

While we're comparing prices, say you're a bachelorette (like myself) who likes to buy microwavable canned meals. HEB sells a store-brand can of spaghettios & meatballs for 75 cents, & Wal-Mart sells their own store brand for the same price. You microwave the food & HEB's tastes light & yummy. Wal-Mart's tastes OK, but it is greasier & the meatballs are shaped weird & are smushier in your mouth. Which, I ask, is the better value?

Fried chicken at the deli. HEB sells a yummy assortment of pieces that taste just as great hot & fresh as they do if you let them sit in your fridge & eat them cold a few days later. Wal-Mart sells chicken (I'm not sure of the price) that tastes OK too, but is much greasier... sort of like Albertson's, only shaped more normally.

If it sounds like I'm an HEB fan, I am. I guess their efficient service, reliable products, & less-smelly stores have won me over. (Except for that one in Bellmead... WOW was there a pungent odor coming from the dairy section before they rebuilt the store a couple of years ago... yeesh!)

I am beginning to discover Target. We don't have the supercenter version with grocery section here, but I've found some pretty good deals at their electronics section. And the Hallelujah chorus would have fit in perfectly with the look on my face when I saw the 60-foot giant rolls of bubble wrap. Like, WOW!!! Hmm... I may have to rethink my Sams Club membership...

My personal opinion is that Wal-Mart takes advantage of poor people. They charge like 5 cents below what everyone else charges, so everyone & their dog flocks to the bargains. Then their products, scuzzy stores, & horrible customer service all combine into one subtle insult to the modern consumer. Like, blech.

I read somewhere that nobody can compete with Wal-Mart, so what the other stores do is compete AROUND Wal-Mart -- try to be something it's not. Like a clean, efficient store (HEB). Or a store with really huge candy & soda sections (Albertson's). Or a resource for cutting-edge products & services (Target). Or just plain less crowded (KMart). Well, whatever these stores are doing to compete around Wal-Mart is working, at least for me. For the most part, they've won me over.

[I realize I have written this at the risk of offending hundreds of loyal Wal-Mart customers. Please realize that this is my opinion only. :D Many people I know & love do their shopping exclusively at Wal-Mart Supercenter.]

But remind me not to do any more spontaneous shopping at 12:45AM.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Today . . .

. . . I drove over 200 miles. And that was just to go to the places I needed to go and do the things I needed to do around town. The greater Houston area is HUGE!

. . . I spent more time in my car then I did anywhere else I went, and that includes the three hour class I had this evening.

. . . I was a grown up and went to a bone fide education job fair.

. . . I was nearly crushed like a bug in my attempt to be a grown up. But it's all good, and I'm not quitting my quest.

. . . I was reminded of God's faithfulness (a truth I sometimes forget).

Praise the lord that tomorrow is another day and that should involve less driving!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Child-like God

This is a quote I love from G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Since it's too long for the sidebar, I'll post it here.

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm a thief!

Allow me to share my recent indiscretion with you.
It all happened as I was driving home from class last night. It was 9 and I was a bit hungry. Then I remembered that I had a coupon for a free chicken sandwich with the purchase of a drink and fries. I got the coupon at work a month ago and yesterday was the day it expired. I figured I might as well stop since I was in that part of town.
I ordered my food and got an extra something for my mom. When I drove up to the window to pay, the guy handed me my bag of food and my drink, and I gave him my money and I asked for some condiments. He was talking and listening to he coworkers and just nodded as he rang up my order and collected my change.
As he gave me my change, he asked if he had given me my drink. I said, "Yes," but I still needed the condiments. He nodded again and turned back to collect the bits and put them in a small bag. As he handed me the bag I saw that it contained fries and shrugged as I thought, "I guess he just kept the fries in case I asked for ketchup or something." But as I started driving away I glanced at the first bag he handed me and noticed it was fairly large to just contain a chicken sandwich and a box of nuggets. So I checked the smaller bag and noticed there was a sandwich under the fries. Then I checked the larger bag and counted a box of nuggets, a sandwich, and fries. Uh-oh. By then I had already turned onto the highway and I didn't feel like turning around. Did I exercise my integrity by going back and telling the people they made a mistake? No. I kept driving. I know, I know, it was wrong.
When I got home I jokingly told my parents that I was on my way to hell. They asked me to explain and I did. My dad assured me that I wasn't going to hell; he should know because not only is he a pastor, he's the Baptist equivalent of a bishop for the greater Houston area.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Designed by Lena