Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Day One.... errr.... Two

Love England. Crazy with no sleep though. Have a huge room over a Chinese take-away. It's all a bit bizarre!

Happy Birthday to Bryan!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just Breathe

Getting all ready to leave in about an hour. I'm packed, re-packed and re-packed again. I've made my list, checked it 14 times. Santa has nothing on me.

I'm fighting my usual urge to pack everything I own. And the urge to panic.

At the same time, I'm trying to process everything that happened this weekend, which is also making me need deep breaths.

I'm off on this amazing adventure. I'll check in when I can.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Journey OneThing

The weekend was amazing. I highly recommend going to a OneThing conference. However, fasten your seatbelts, because it wasn't easy. So much thought and prayer and change packed into 36 hours. Right now I'm feeling completely raw.

Took piles of pictures and can't wait to go through them.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Off on Journey 1 of 2

Heading out in a few minutes (as soon as we figure out how to put up an out of office reply!) for journey one of two.

This one is a prayer conference in Rochester. Fortunately we have a 5 hour drive to get there, because I don't have my head in the game yet. Still frantically trying to mop up issues at work. And, as I'm mopping, more people are spilling things, so cleanup is rather an endless task.

The pace and chaos have made the last few days pretty miserable. At home I've been reading Psalm 119 and it's really amazing. However, there's a huge gap between what I'm reading and the reality of my life this week.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Clock Ticking Down

As the departure for England approaches, I'm starting to feel the squeeze everywhere. It seems all the problems of the world have to be solved before I take off. I feel this especially at work, but also at home. I'm getting calls from family members I haven't heard from all year, but who wanted to chat before I left for the big trip.

I'm only going for two weeks people! At work they are asking for a transition strategy. Ummm, I'd rather not make myself completely dispensible, thanks!

Overall, it's becoming increasingly obvious that not everything will be done when I leave. There will be a few loose ends that will have to be picked up by others and some things will simply have to wait for me to get back.

Once I get to the airport, there will be no more work, no more helping people out with one more thing... just focusing on relaxing, enjoying my time there and learning what's in store for me over there.

Unfortunately, I'm also running short on trip preparation time and my planned reading of books and memorizing websites to be ready just didn't happen.

In other news, sorry there haven't been any pictures lately. It's a product of my dead laptop. Hopefully I'll have a new one waiting for me when I return. We shall see.

Also, when listening to a new CD, listen to it on an actual stereo, not on your computer, before judging it. Clay's CD is much better on a real stereo. The bonus iTunes track "Lover All Alone" is the real standout for me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


While I'm no Outblush or Uncrate, I occasionally turn up interesting things to buy online. Today's comes from a most unusual place - a prayer letter.

There's this ministry in Thailand called Night Light helping women get off the streets. One of the programs is a jewelry making business. They make beautiful jewelry, which is even more beautiful because it's helping these women into a new life.

Take a look

Here are a few of my favorites:

If you're on my gift list, don't be too surprised if one of these ends up under the tree for you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


So, today was to be the big day - the release of Clay Aiken's new CD. While my love of all things Clay has cooled over the last 2 years, I was still anxious to hear the new masterpiece.

At lunch I went over to Best Buy to pick it up. Sat in my car with memories of 2002 as I tried to unwrap the stupid plastic wrapping. Got it in the CD player and listened to two songs on the way back to the office. Pretty good.

Popped the CD in the new MacBook and fired up iTunes. It didn't acknowledge the CD. Nothing on the Mac side would. Try the Windows side. Windows Media Player knows there's a CD in there, but says there's nothing on it. Hmmm...

Okay, I'll take it out then. Not so fast. Can't get it out on the Mac side because it still won't acknowledge it has a CD in it. Eject button. Nothing. Shook the computer (hoping gravity would help or something). Looked into the CD slot. Yelled at the computer. (perhaps you see why I don't work at a helpdesk... "Yes, maam, I understand you're frustrated. Have you tried shaking the laptop and yelling at it?")

Went over to the Windows side and finally found a tiny eject button in Windows Media Player.

Listening to this CD is a lot of work! And what's with my snobby computer not playing Clay Aiken?

Anyhow, I finally got it playing and have listened to it 3 times. Overall - meh. Not all that memorable. C+ maybe. Really disappointing overall. However, I do love the song that's the iTunes bonus song. Much better than the rest of the album. Hmmm..

So, very glad I'm not one of those who has had their entire lives revolving around the release of this CD for the past year. It's a fun CD. I'm sure I'll listen to it now and then. Still doesn't hold a candle to Clay live in concert.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Needed that Laugh

I was driving home tonight, a big ball of tension and stress while chanting "I will not worry - I will not worry - I will not worry" when the strangest thing happened.

I drove by the Oscar Mayer weinermobile.

I wish I could say I have pictures. I had no time for that. I did have time to burst out laughing though - a great relief after a horrible day at work.

My computer has been deemed dead by the Circuit City service folks. Though, I have to say I'd hesitate to buy a warranty from them again, since the first line of all their help desk scripts is "Reformat your hard drive". Aren't you supposed to help me save my computer? Sigh.

One week until England and I don't know if I'll make it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

National Pastor

America seems to need to have a national pastor. This has been done with varying levels of success. Billy Graham set up lots of safeguards and accountability to deal with the dangers that come with that kind of attention and power. Rick Warren seems to be the leader du jour.

I think there's lots of great spiritual leaders in the country, but centralizing that power and having one spokesperson for Christianity in the US is dangerous. Too much power for a mere mortal.

This week I got concerned when I read a couple of articles about George Bush. Now here's the caveat - I wasn't there to hear what he said and the text of his comments has not been released, so I'm commenting on how the comments have been covered.

Bush has been using some pretty provocative language - tying revival to the war in Iraq and to prayer for him. Here's a couple of the articles:

The original article by the Washington Post talking about Bush's initial comments.

Article two, in which Bush seems to tie revival to people praying for him.

Article three, which includes this great quote:

Bush's claim of seeing a great awakening under way puts him in a camp of discredited prophets. His use of religious code words is cynical. Both diminish his moral credibility.

Bush knows what the media is like. He knows what will be quoted. If he doesn't know that, he has lots of people around him to tell him. In a world where Islamic extremists riot over a cartoon or a comment from the Pope, is this the view of Christianity we want to give the world? The US isn't a theocracy, nor should it be.

I think it's great that we have a President who's a believer and I'm praying for him. However, I think tying revival to support for his policies and actions is dangerous, whether it's for real or a PR snafu. I'm really hoping it's the latter and Bush's aides are popping Rolaids like tick tacks.

Bush is not the national pastor. He's the president. Using "God is on my side" narrative has never been that successful in the past (and Bush has already had to apologize for using the word "Crusade" in the context of the Iraq war).

Sign me up at the head of the line hoping for revival, but I don't see it centering around the President's war.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Signs you may be going to hell....

I know I shouldn't joke about these things, but is there really a sermon bad enough that you'd need this?


My laptop is an ongoing saga. I was running some diagnostic/fixing thing last night (don't worry - this was all started by a real professional and not by me!) and left it at 75%. I woke up this morning to a bright blue screen with a record of where the serious error is. Oh, and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I have to say that the blue screen of death is a real shame. I love that color blue. When I see a shirt in that color I buy it, because it's an amazing color. But evidently, it's also the color of computer funerals. :(

In other blue news, I think my brain is soon going to pull up a blue screen of death as well. Too many balls in the air and not enough skill at juggling. The computer thing is really bothering me, along with all the other crap I blogged about yesterday. And, just when I needed a jump start and my church is having a series of awesome events I really want to go to, I can't go into my church.

It's kind of a circular thing. And is leaving me blue.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Series of Mishaps

I'm having one of those weeks where you start to wonder if anything is going to go right.

- My computer is still among the possibly dead. I got some of the stuff off it last night, but I'll still lose a lot if we have to wipe or replace the hard drive. Charming. In the meantime, no photoshop to work on my pictures.

- Still trying to "catch my breath" after a series of bad asthma/allergy attacks. First church and then this week a new person showed up at my small group drenched in perfume. And I was supposed to lead the study. Good luck with that!

- Work is just a big ball of crazy. Interpersonal conflict above my level and big bunches of bureaucracy preventing any progress.

- Planning for England isn't going as well as I'd hoped. The British rail system is far above my level of understanding. Trying to figure out which pass I'm supposed to buy and whether it will actually guarantee me a spot on the train. Plus, most of the things on the list of high priorities are outdoors. When I checked the forecast this morning, it's supposed to rain for the next 10 days straight. My memories of England will be very very wet.

- I talked to Janet last night and she's moving earlier than I thought. By "thought" I mean guessed, because her moving date seems to change every few days. At least I know I'm not the only one being jerked around by their company. Not much comfort because I really don't want my friends to have to share my pain!

Overall, it's a really weird time. Nothing earthshatteringly wrong, but enough that I never really want to get out of bed in the morning. Storkbryt had a blog last week about God making us stronger and I keep wanting to look up to the heavens and shout "Can't this wait a few more weeks? I'm cool with being weak a little longer."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Guess I'm not as Geeky as I Thought

Your Geek Profile:

Academic Geekiness: Moderate
Geekiness in Love: Moderate
Internet Geekiness: Moderate
Movie Geekiness: Moderate
Fashion Geekiness: Low
Music Geekiness: Low
Gamer Geekiness: None
General Geekiness: None
SciFi Geekiness: None

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


In honor of leading a study tonight on being anxious about nothing I've had things turned upside down in my life this morning.

Did my usual routine of getting up, hitting the power button on the computer, heading in to brush my teeth. When I came back to the living room the screen said that windows hadn't started properly and what mode did I want to restart in. I chose Safe Mode and tried to wake myself up enough to deal with a computer crisis. Rather than going into Safe, it just rebooted. Charmingly, no matter what mode you chose, it reboots. Can't get to a DOS prompt or into Windows. Makes figuring out the problem more than a little difficult.

Anyone have any advice? I've never seen this before.

Given the amount of information stored on there, I'm pretty anxious to get it restored to health quickly. AHHHHHH.

Anyhow, in short, I'm anxious.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Red Sox and Red Necks

My brother was here for the weekend and got to see many different sides of the country. We saw a Red Sox on Friday and the previously mentioned heartbreaking loss.

Saturday was shopping and then a surprise birthday party for him. Sunday was a local county fair.

He definitely got to have some crazy experiences and his first first funnel cake.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


After my many years of being a Red Sox fan, I should know better than to get my hopes up. Last night's game was looking decent until I left at the top of the 5th and KC scored three runs. At one point they were up 8 to 3 and people started leaving. Then, in the bottom of the 8th, the Sox scored 6 runs. It was amazing and so fun to watch. Then the Sox squandered it in the top of the 9th and never came back. Sigh. I did get to see David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and even Trot Nixon play.

A very long drive home and I'm still really tired this morning. Yawn!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

MercyMe at Soulfest

Is it just me or does Bart look like Mario Batalli?


I know we're not just supposed to rejoice when things are going well, but there are particular reasons to rejoice today.

Reason #1
Gas is down to $2.59 a gallon. I know, this doesn't seem like that much of an exciting thing. However, since I'm one to complain when gas prices go up, the least I can do is be happy when they go down.

Reason #2
There was some uncertainty about my job situation and that got taken care of this morning. Now I have a job until at least the end of the year. While others were telling me not to worry, it's been a huge drain on me for the last week to be dealing with this. So, hopefully no more spontaneous crying jags for a while. Well, unless the Sox lose on Friday.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Soulfest Barlow Girl

Some more pics from Soulfest.

Another Blow for Canada

Subtitle: Lessening the chances I'll ever fly again

Read this article this morning (with thanks to Relevant for the link). Evidently, it's now also a problem to pray on planes in Canada. They took a Hasidic Jew off an airplane in Montreal for praying. First streetcorners, now planes.

Now, if you've ever sat next to me on a plane you know this is going to be a problem. Maybe I'm supposed to sit there and pretend not to pray while secretly praying. Hmmm..

Anyhow, the Jewish group B'nai Brith Canada has kindly offered their services to give sensitivity training to Air Canada. I'm offering my services to give Air Canada a smack up the side of the head.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Open Apology

In honor of a houseguest coming this weekend, I thought I'd clean out my fridge last night. Interesting discovering in there.

A blanket apology to the world. If there is currently a cheese shortage going on in the world, it's my fault. I'm hording it all in my fridge. Ditto salsa. Lots and lots of almost empty bottles of salsa.

My fridge is now a slightly less scary place. Tomorrow, the kitchen floor!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Proof I Live in the Country

Some pics from an exciting day today.

Just hanging out.

Can you guess what this is?

The highlight of the day.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Soulfest - Audio A

Well, a little Audio A and lots of Soulfest general pics.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Chris Tomlin Pics...... Finally

At long last I'm getting through some of my Soulfest pics. Starting with Chris Tomlin, of course!

A New Year

On Wednesday I thought it would be amazing if I would find something in my daily readings for that night that would serve as a theme verse for this coming year. I was up to Psalm 84 and found this verse:

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
~Psalm 84:5

The concept of pilgrimage is such and interesting thing and something we don't talk about much. The idea of being on a journey toward God. The added aspect for me right now has been the my theme in planning the England trip has been pilgrimage.

So, on Wednesday night this seemed really cool.

Thursday, not so cool. I suddenly got uncertainty about my job thrown at me, and suddenly pilgrimage was less cool and more scary.

For better or worse, it seems like this year is going to be about pilgrimage. I'd better stock up on dramamine.