Sunday, September 30, 2007

Little Orphan Update

On this, my 300th post, I thought I'd share with you folks a little inspiring story. Remember these guys? If not, read about them here and following, but regardless, they are now these guys...

and that's them...well...I'll just copy and paste. This is from Karen:

Last November I hired a break dancing teacher for our Abundant Life Home boys. His name is "Bank" and he is 18 years old. He loves our boys and recommitted his life to Christ at Christmas. He had fallen away from the Lord for a few years and was so glad to be introduced to our TLC family and be back with Jesus.

A little while ago, Bank asked me if the boys could miss school for one day, because he had gotten them an audition for our Thai version of American Idol, a show called "Game Panaan", very famous with Thai people. The boys and Bank passed the audition and the next week we all piled in our "A.L.H." van and headed to Studio 7 for the big day of filming. We bought matching outfits and prayed and practiced our interviews....confident we were going to win the big one!

Throughout the morning at Studio 7, the boys practiced, had show-make up applied for under the lights, and we prayed. Anticipation was high...we were all nervous giggles and butterflies.

At about noon, P' Ganiga pulled me aside and talked to me. She had remembered from the files of our boys, that one of our boys, Mac, had an aunt who worked at a large Thai newspaper. She noticed when we drove into Studio 7, that this newspaper had a factory right next door. They have factories all over Thailand....but what if the aunt still works there, we wondered? Mac had lost contact with her and all extended family members about 9 years earlier, and could not remember her name. We did not have the file with us.

"Let's call the boys' old orphanage and see if they have copies of his file," I said on a whim.

We called Sister Jinda at the Lorenzo Home and she said she'd look and call us back.

A few minutes later at noon, P' Ganiga and I were sneaking out of Studio 7 with the Aunt's name and praying as we hurried next door.

At the factory gate, we met a security guard and explained the whole story. He said we were nuts...that there were thousands of employees, and that nobody stayed working there for years on end. We begged him to let us go in or to check with the office staff. He said he would call us if he found out anything. We walked home dejected and ate some lunch with the Thai celebrities who were there to judge the show.

At 1 p.m., P' Ganiga got a call from the security guard who said that Mac's aunt still worked there, and would be in for her shift at 3 pm. He gave us her number, but as we called and called, we found her number was disconnected.

The sky turned black then and a big rain storm was imminent. The boys were now in the room finishing up their make up and waiting to be called on stage for their big performance.

At 2 p.m., a lady walked through the door and P' Ganiga noticed she had on the uniform of the Thai newspaper next door. P' Ganiga walked up to her and asked if she was related to Mac. The woman began to cry immediately and asked P'Ganiga if it was true....Was Mac still alive? "I thought he had died years ago for sure....I never dared to hope that he would live...I never come in early for work, but the rain was coming...."

P' Ganiga started to cry too and called me over. She introduced Mac's aunt and I started to cry too. We called Mac out of the make up room and with my arm around him, I explained to him that this woman was the aunt that had raised him when his parents died of AIDS, until Mac was 5 years old.

Mac was smilling and speechless, and his aunt hugged him and cried and cried. Pretty soon the boys all gathered around and everyone wanted to know what was happening.

Just then, the studio workers called us onto the stage. Mac's aunt came with us and sat with us as they introduced us. Mac kept stealing sideway glances at his aunt as we waited, and was beaming with pride as the M.C. talked about our children's home and how amazing our boys were. Mac really wanted his aunt towatch him perform, but her shift started at 3 pm and it was now 2:50. She wasjust getting up to leave when the M.C. called the A. L.H. dancers on stage and she was able to watch the whole show and cheer for Mac.

The boys ended up getting a score of 100 out of a possible 100 for their breakdance! They were asked what prize they wanted, and they asked for a computer for the new girl's home we had just opened. The studio rolled out a beautiful computer right there and called up the three girls from our children's home and gave it to them on stage.

Mac's aunt came to Chonburi that weekend and stayed for night at A.L.H. with Mac. Mac was able to share the story of Jesus with her and P' Ganiga was able to read some scriptures to her and answer some of her questions about God.

Today, Mac is taking a baptism class and preparing to be baptized in October with our church family and his new family at A.L.H.. Mac had asked P' Ganiga and me many times over the last year to help him track down his aunt, and this day at Studio 7, profoundly impacted Mac and showed him how much God loved him.

Only God can orchestrate a miracle at a T.V. studio that plays out more exciting than any box office hit!

*sniffle* I hope you're all a little bit weepy now. I am.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Computer ha ha

We received an e-vite to a party held just upstairs and, thinking that I'm hilarious, I checked off 'I am interested in carpooling' because hey, funny joke. Five minutes later, I got an email from e-vite telling me to enter in my carpooling information.

'Come, on e-vite,' I say, 'I was just joking. We live downstairs.'

'It's an algorithm,' Joel says, 'that is, a well-ordered collection of unambiguous and effectively computable steps that lead to a result and stop in a finite amount of time, and as such, has no sense of humor.'

Addendum (Disclaimer: Joel badly wants me to blog the conversation following, and I do not do so of my own volition)

Joel: How many states begin with the letter 'B'?

Me: None. I used to know all the states and their capitals.

Joel: Oh yeah, you grew up in America. I shouldn't ask you America-themed questions. Ok, how many provinces begin with the letter 'B'?

Me: Also none.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I love sauce. I feel that sauce makes a lot of tedious things infinitely more palatable (e.g. vegetables) and takes delicious things several steps further into flavor country (e.g. mashed potatoes, in which case by 'sauce' I mean 'chicken sauce,' i.e. 'gravy'). In the category of sauces, I include dressings, melted cheeses, and any sweet somethings one would drizzle over a dessert.

I knew three girls, each of whom I lived with at one time or another, who would argue about who loved sauce more. They finally established a hierarchy and had shirts made, which ran thusly from least to most: Fond of Sauce; Partial to Sauce; Obsessed with Sauce.

However, while I love sauce, I do not countenance the eating of sauce in itself. Sauce belongs on things. Sauce alone is too powerful of a flavor punch for my liking, and is also almost completely devoid of nutritional value. With one side of my family running to pudginess and diabetes, and the other side running to cancer, I'm pretty keen on nutritional value, and so I keep my sauce consumption to a relative minimum.

Joel, however, feels no such compulsion. The Kruegers, apparently, live forever, and never get fat. Not only will the man pour himself a lake of ranch to go with his pizza, but he will wipe up any excess with his finger and eat it alone!!! Grossness!

H'anyways, just now, I made some caramel sauce (i.e. I microwaved some Kraft caramels in a bowl) to dip apple slices in - waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier to eat than caramel apples, and none of that damned core to deal with - and I went a little overboard. We had probably twice as much caramel as we needed, and that's a lot of leftover deliciousness to toss in the trash. Luckily, Joel was there to swab up what he could with his finger. When that failed him, he scraped off the rest with the back of his pen. When the pen no longer sufficed, he licked the last lingering bits straight from the bowl.

Nothing in our house will ever go bad.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Because some stories can only be told with Paint

Our cul-de-sac is shaped less like a sac and more like a 'P'...thusly

And there are houses here, here, here and here...

And they are all very large houses with many vehicles. Many nice vehicles. These people have spoiled children. H'anyways, everyone has massive garages to house their sports cars and their wives' SUVs and their daughter's little Hondas, but they also have friends, so once in a while there will be a car or two parked on the street in the round part of the 'P.'

Now, we live here...

And 'we' is our landlords (1 car), me and Joel (1 car), and the three tenents living upstairs (3 cars), and so we park here, here, and here...And then someone's mushroom manure truck (???) is always parked here...H'ANYways, a few weeks ago, this guy...gets mad that people are always parking, not in front of his house, but ACROSS THE STREET from his house. His wife and daughter can't pull out of their massive driveway with cars parked there, he says. So he gets a can of paint, and paints the curb yellow...thusly. This does three things: It looks trashy, because it is clearly an unprofessional job and yellow paint is dripping down the curb and pooling on the street; it encourages people to park there, because really, who ARE you? Are you the Mayor of Abbotsford and do you really think this is going to work? And, it prompted someone to phone the real City of Abbotsford, who then phoned this guy, and told him that he is not, in fact, the Mayor, which is probably why he is outside, pressure-washing the yellow right off that curb.

The moral of the story is something along the lines of 'know when you aren't the Mayor' and 'be content with your garage/driveway/front of house space and don't begrudge those of us who maybe have more vehicles and less space,' and did I mention that the road turns after this guy's house, thusly...

so that he actually has two sides of the house that he can park cars in front of? So, settle down there, tiger. 'Nuff said.

Update: The City of Abbotsford Bylaw Enforcer (for reals, it said so on her car) stopped by yesterday to make sure the deed was done.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New compy uters!

Things had reached critical mass, computer-wise, here at the old Krueger house. This is my laptop...

Her name is Ahsley Spoonb II, and I've had her for years and love her dearly. That being said, she is beginning to resent the burden of two masters. Joel has a zillion computer assignments, due in no small part to his ghey computers class, and a med school application, and a batch of articles online that always need to be read. I have a zillion papers to write, my Facebook to check, and this blog to maintain, which I do three-quarters assedly. And SO, since we both always have to be on the computer, and since we have only the one, one of us always has to go to school (Joel) while the other one sits at home with the laptop and the cupboards full of snacks (me), and we never get to see each other and I get fat. And did I mention I've had her for years? That's years of Word documents, of pictures, of music files, and lately, of videos, cluttering up her teeny, lap-sized brain. So Ahsley's been, how you say, le sluggish of late.
On TOP of that, she's developed this problem with her fan, so when the fan kicks in (which it does every five minutes or so), it makes this whirring, grinding, buzzing sound. Last night in class, this lady turns to me and says 'Can you turn the volume on that thing down!?!' to which I says, 'I'm sorry, it's the fan, it just started doing that and I haven't had time to get it looked at, it's dirty or busted or something' to which she says 'Well, it's really irritating' to which I says 'Well I can't do anything about it right now,' and then every time Ahsley kicks into buzzy fan gear, I silently cheer her on. But then this morning, in a class full of people I like, she was doing it all over again, and louder and oftener, and I'd apologized to the people on either side of me before class so that by the middle of the class, we're all kind of laughing every time it happens, and then my professor stops and says 'Is my fly open? Is there food on my face? Why is the back row laughing?' and I had to explain that we were laughing at Ahsley's death rattle.
H'anyways, all that to say that my dad built himself a new computer, and was so kind as to donate this...

to the cause of 'Let Joel and Rachel Spend More Time in the Same Room.' This will do nothing for Ahsley Spoonb II's tuberculosis, but will hopefully take some of the stress off and let her breathe, which may, in turn, keep both our heads from exploding.*

*By which I mean Ahsley and me...Joel has as little to do with the inner workings of the computers as possible, which just proves that he is smarter than I am.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Final time - 2:28:43

Come, friends, and join me as I blog through the Trail River Run 10K/Half-Marathon in real time space.

0 km: The gun goes off, and there are awkward fits and starts as everyone tries to leave at the same time and not crash into the people in front of them. The trail is all soft, dark dirt and trees on every side and everyone is chatty and fresh. It's 9:00 a.m. and freezing, but not raining, and there are breaks in the clouds.

2 km: The trees have fallen away on one side, and been replaced by a lazy river. One can see the path for miles ahead, dotted with the race's leaders. My right hip is starting to twang when I land, and I'm praying desperately for that to go away.

3 km: A smattering of long, lean people with ropy muscles are sprinting by me, heading the opposite direction. These are the 10-k runners. They have reached the half-way mark, and are heading for home. They are all moving very fast.

5 km: I pass through the 5-k mark. There is a water table and a batch of teenage volunteers shouting encouragements. The sun is peeking out.

6 km: I regret not having made use of the port-o-potty at the 5-k mark. I begin to encounter runners who have reached the first turn-around (the course is Y-shaped...the run goes from the bottom of the Y to the top right arm, back down to the crook, up the left arm, and back down to the base) and are heading back down. They are each of them very skinny people, and most of them have some combination of short shorts and spandex. Many of them shout some form of encouragement as they pass those of us still headed up. I am surprised by how these thumbs-upses and shouts of 'keep it up' affect me; after each one I am left grinning like an idiot and running like a ninja, buoyed up on the cameraderie of strangers.

7 km: I hit the first turn-around. My left hip is starting to ache. I head back down the path, shouting encouragements in my turn to those I pass (all, like, twenty of them).

8 km: After the surge of adrenaline brought on by the last two km, this one is the loneliest yet. We've begun to string out along the trail, and the nearest people are several hundred meters before and behind me. I take my first stop to stretch out my hips and knees.

10 km: I'm totally bored and my hips hurt.

12 km: I'm done the first leg. As I start the second leg, those same long, lean, ropy, spandex-ed people pass me again. This means that they are over 6 km ahead of me. This also means that for the next 3.5 km, we are passing each other and cheering each other on. The effects of this are somewhat less intoxicating, since I am having to stop at least once/km to stretch my knees and hips. A blond, weathered lady gives me a look of commiseration as she trots by on her tanned, skinny legs.

14 km: I am trying to follow Joel's advice, to run my own race, and not be bothered by the middle-aged women with their wide bums passing me to the right and the left. My hips are killing me.

15.5 km: The second turn-around. The water-station man high-fives me and tells me to get going, that this next is the easy part.

15.6 km: I realize just how much I hate running back over ground I've already covered.

16 km: The turn-around station is still in sight. A woman in yellow points and asks me, 'Is that our marker?' I nod, and say something encouraging about it not being long now, and then run on, expecting her to pass by me. Instead, she falls in behind me, cutting her overall run short by about a kilometer.

17 km: I'm stopping to walk for about 100m of every km now. The woman in yellow passes me. I'll be damned if I let her finish before me, because she CHEATED, but for now it's all I can do to keep her in sight.

19 km: I'm finished the second leg, and have only the stem of the Y left. The traffic guard yells at me that I'm 'so close to home now,' but I know she lies, because I've been doing the math in my head. I'm starving, and my shirt is soaked with sweat.

20 km: We're back on the wooded trail. This part is much shorter in my mind than in real life, and, drawing strength from how close to being done I think I am, I pass the woman in yellow. I hope she walks the rest of the way.

21 km: I don't remember the trail being this long. I become convinced that I missed a turn-off somewhere. I've left the woman in yellow far behind, and haven't seen a volunteer in ages. I think of how angry I'll be if I've run further than is necessary.

22 km: I hear voices. A woman and her two daughters have taken up positions at the very end of the trail, and are cheering the stragglers (yes, I straggled) on. I see Joel standing there with the camera, I see the Start/Finish line, I see bagels and oranges and coffee. I am a sweaty mess, and my hips are on fire, and I can hardly stand long enough to stretch out, and I groan all the way to the car. BUT I am finished, and now I can stop training and start going to the gym like ordinary people (that is, sporadically), and next year I can figure out a way to Novicaine my hips beforehand so that I can run the whole thing without stopping.

PS. Dear Body,

Thank you for your efforts on Sunday. Now, as promised, IOU one week in the bath, and rampant eating, and to walk much less than is necessary.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

As I march steadily towards the nursing home

This, my twenty-fifth summer on this earth, was the first time I had to deal with my body's aging. I mean, aside from the substantial laugh lines, and the teeny pooch of a belly that I'm sure wasn't there when I was 16, and my muffin tops, and so on. I spent the summer training for a half-marathon, and the more I ran, the older I felt. My right knee went first, cringing at the way I come down hard and flat-footed. Then I developed a problem with the tendon that runs from my left hip down past my left knee. Before long, I was cutting runs short, not because I was tired, but because my knees just wouldn't hold me up any longer. By adjusting my gait and stretching out that tendon before, during, and after each run, and by the grace of God, my knees stopped giving me trouble just in time for my hips to begin voicing their displeasure. Every run I've taken in the last month has left me pregnant-waddling afterwards to avoid using my hips. In addition, I've always suffered from abdominal cramping. It seems to go away if I just ignore it for long enough, but seriously, when you're running, what else is there to think about besides your abdominal cramping (and fiberglass hips and shifting kneecaps)?

Last week, I went for the longest, hardest 10-K run of my life. I used to run 10 K with such ease and delight! With every step, I felt the damage I was doing to my joints, and what was supposed to be my last long run before the Big One quickly turned into a dash for home in the interest of self-preservation.

So. A teensy bit of weekend-backstory. Joel got up at 4:15 on Saturday to catch the 6:00 ferry to the island to play in a volleyball tournament, and this concerns me not at all except that I told him to wake me up when he said goodbye, and then I used that early-morning-waking to justify sleeping in til 9:30 (which is waaaaaaaaaaaay late in this house). Saturday eve, I went to the wedding of two people I don't hardly know, and Joel and the other guys rushing back from the tournament missed the ceremony entirely, and we didn't have our car because we'd both gotten rides, and were stuck there until midnight (thanks, Anna, for abandoning your husband to drive us home, and thanks, Carl, for letting Anna abandon you and I'm sorry you were trapped there until the bitter end) and didn't get home until nearly 1:00, and then got up at 6:00 so we could drive into Port Coquitlam in time to pick up my race package.

All that to say, it was a beautiful trail run, and my hips felt like shards from about 5-K in and got steadily worse, and there were some lovely people and I had all sorts of deep, spiritual thoughts (what else is one to do when running for nearly 2 and a half hours?) which I may share with you tomorrow, and Joel and I definitely took a loooooooooong nap this afternoong, and I forsee many hot baths in the next day or two, and if you'll excuse me, I have to hobble upstairs for a date with the landlords.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

There's coffee in my sock

Some people can't function without a coffee in the morning. Me, I can function. I can make it all the way from my bed to the kitchen, I can measure out my water and grind my beans and stare at the machine until it's done, all without my morning coffee.

What I can't do is put on a jacket. It's been a long, hot summer, people, and the act of putting my arms through something that isn't a cotton tee is apparently more than I can handle. The upshot of all this is that this morning, while struggling with my light warming apparatus (one might call it a 'zip-up' or 'hoodie'), I knocked over my coffee mug. Now, I have demonstrated to many people the almighty power of this mug, how I can turn it upside-down and nothing will spill, and how this allows me to put it back into my backpack when I'm done and not worry about the last icy slurp dribbling out onto my crackers. I guess the Righteous Lid of Power was slightly askew, or the mug is out to get me, or something, because when it hit the ground, the lid flew off and waves of coffee drenched the carpet/the shoe rack/the wall/the shoes (including Joel's new[ish], [predominately] white shoes)/my pant leg.

What did one do before the Internet, when faced with such disaster? Fortunately, I don't have tobother with that question, because I have the Internet, and with this six-step cleansing ritual involving dish soap, vinegar, and every dish towel and wash cloth we own, I was able to remove the stain. Unfortunately, there are things the Internet can't give me, such as my coffee back, or wings to get to class on time, or something intelligent to say on Blake's 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell' (which, I'm convinced, is just a literal description of some crazy, pepperoni-induced dreams he had and, as such, have little to no discernible meaning).

I can only hope that, one day, the Internet will evolve to this level of usefulness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

When I'm a teacher....

One of the things that I miss about science or math classes is teachers saying 'you're wrong' when you're wrong. 9 is not 4 cubed no matter how badly you want to protect your student's tender feelings. In English classes, every idea is 'on the right track' or 'getting there,' even if it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in left field.

This semester, refreshingly, I have not one but two professors who will tell you flat out that you are grasping at straws when you read the industrial revolution into each and every one of William Blake's poems. They will tell you that they don't quite see where you are going with that statement, instead of trying to finish it for you and legitimize it with some actual content. And then this morning, my one professor (who is dowdy and has bad hair and who I love) says, mid-lecture and without missing a beat, 'and if this isn't terribly interesting to you, there are plenty of other places you can go and chat,' at which point the two boobalicious brunettes apologize and put away their iPod and pretend to pay attention (for about fifteen minutes, and then one puts her head on the desk and takes a nap, and the other goes to the bathroom for half an hour, and this is a 300-level course! I hope she flunks them). I love that in a professor. I appreciate the need to nurture, to encourage, to gently guide young minds along the path of learning, but there are times when sternness is in order. And maybe a caning.

Monday, September 17, 2007

And now back to your regularly-scheduled trivial pursuits

Joel and I spent Saturday applying for med school (him), idly reading Blake's 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell' (me) and watching Season Three of The Office (us), periodically chanting 'Jim and Pam! Jim and Pam!' (me again). It did not disappoint. Before we knew it, it was 11:30 and we were surrounded by empty popcorn bowls and Burger King wrappers, staring at the end frame of the disk. In a way, it's intensely pleasing to have covered a whole season in one day. Whenever I re-watch an episode, it will bring me back to that long, luxurious morningafternoonevening in my sweatpants, methodically eating my way through the cupboards, with my chosen life-companion by my side alternately molting from the stress of med school applications and eyeing my double cheeseburger, telling me that so much meat this late at night is going to give me burger-mares, and that I'd better let him have a few bites (the fact that I did have a series of weird dreams involving piranhas is irrelevant). At the same time, there's something to be said for savoring a season one episode at a time (I don't mean watching it in syndication like a fool, because who does that? I mean an episode for lunch, and then another for dinner, and maybe one to fall asleep). I find it easier to remember key lines, and thus to quote them ad nauseum when I've only watched an episode or two. Perhaps it is the better way. Still, when you have nothing but day ahead of you, and such a tasty season, it's hard to say no.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not your usual good times

I don't know what it's like out there for the rest of you married folk, but Joel and I have this thing we do where we take each other for granted. Like, the whole excitement of living in the same house after three years of living in different cities (and sometimes different countries) wore off about as quick as a Playland hand stamp, and now we're all thinking that we can just forget about doing nice things for each other or spending quality time together or that we can just up and get mad for no real reason (that last one's mostly me). I feel like, somehow, we're not supposed to feel this way, and the universe seems to agree.

One night, about two months after we got married, I had gone to bed angry (which everyone says you should never do), and I dreamed that Joel died. Not just that he had died and that was it, dream over, but that we were hanging out, and then he was diagnosed with leukemia, and then we had to go through treatment and it was long and drawn out and there was all this hope and then hope-crushing and finally, one day I was saying good-bye (because in my dream I still lived in Burnaby) and he said, well, this is good-bye forever, because I'm going to die before I see you next, and he did sure enough, and I grieved him for ages. I know that in real time, this probably only took five minutes, but in dream time, I lived the whole thing and it was awful. I woke up not mad at him at all.

About a month later, a guy Joel went to college with and who married a friend of mine was travelling through the mountains to go to a wedding in Alberta. A semi-truck flipped over and crushed the driver's side. Joel's friend was killed instantly. He and his wife had only been married about a year (I never blogged about this because of the trouble I had getting over this post, and because when someone dies for real, and not just in a dream, it seems irreverant to deal with it in the same flippant fashion, and impossible to deal with it in any way to do it justice).

This past weekend was supposed to be the next-to-last wedding in the flux. It was called off at the last minute because the bride's mother is dying.

So here I am again, taking a break from my usual complaining and making fun of people and blabbing about my business to think about what a waste it is of the very short time we have. Nothing is promised to you. My friend Katherine has a zillion tumors (give or take) and at least ninety other health issues completely unrelated to those tumors. Eight years ago, they gave her two years to live. I asked her if she feels like she's cheating death. She replied that we all cheat death every time we get up in the morning.

If you've cheated death by getting up this morning, make sure you appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

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Greets, friends. Long time no see, and all that. Weekend was MAD busy, Joel's sister got hitched. I'm studying literature circa French Revolution in two of my classes, I have begun referring to this barrage of weddings as the Reign of Terror. I don't mean it. I'm so terribly happy for all the people getting married, and the weddings are all lovely and eventful and calorie-laden, and I only complain because I am all funned out! The Terror was to have ended this coming weekend with Casey and Lara's wedding, but LESS THAN A WEEK AGO we got invited to another matrimonial hullabaloo for the weekend following. If this keeps up, we should have back-to-back weddings until February, when my brother gets married. On Groundhog Day. I maintain that, as some people release doves, Matt and Gillian should release groundhogs. Particularly this big fat one.


H'anyways, the reason I'm only posting now (it is Tuesday, mind) is because, since the weekend, the Internet has been acting quirky and lovable (read: finicky and childish) and I haven't been able to do much of anything on it. Today I was finally able to get on to such treasures as Blogger, Wikipedia, and Google Images (see: groundhog) but I still can't get into Bloglines and Facebook. Alas.

Perhaps it's best. I have an assignment due Thursday that I just found out about today.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dumber than your average college student?

A girl across the class upon being chastized for using her stir stick after she had placed it on the desk: 'You're such a germaphobe, just like Howie Mandela!'


Did she mean Howard Hughes, he of the Kleenex boxes and jars of urine?

Did she mean Howie Mandel, of Bobby's World fame? Did he have a predilection for Lysol, and I'm just not current on my washed-up-actors-turned-game-show-hosts' phobias?

Did Nelson Mandela have a brother that none of us knew about?

Is she just D-U-M, and I should go back to sailing my Facebook Pirate?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I know you've all been waiting for it...

H'okay, first up, photos from the other day. I scammed them off of Alyson's Facebook, so hopefully the quality won't be too crappy.

The vertical stacker:
The pyramid:
The pyramid, top man standing:The giant tower of death:

I swear to you my hand is at least 15 feet in the air.

In other news, I started classes today. I'm taking a bunch of English classes that all kind of blend know what I mean. They're all like Victorian/Romantic/15th Century/Modern whatever. I'll let you know how they are once I have them sorted out in my mind. But I'm ALSO taking Intro to Forensics which, awesome! And part of me figured I had it all built up in my mind and was setting myself up for a fall, and part of me was totally hoping that I'd get to go around CSI-ing things, and then I talked to this guy today who's taken it, and it sounds RAD. Again, I'll keep you posted, but I hear I get to dust for prints!

Monday, September 03, 2007

It's exHAUSting having so much fun

Man, I am weddinged OUT, y'all. And there're still two to go. Joel's best friend Steve got married yesterday, and the dance went super-late, and I was looking through my pictures trying to find a fabulous one or think of a funny story to tell you, but nothing really happened. Joel stabbed himself in the nipple with his boutenierre. One of the guests had a few too many and tried to kiss me, but I got my forearms up between us and hollered 'Stranger Danger!' until he realized that I actually wasn't going to kiss him back. The tailor who altered the boys' pants and made the girls' dresses made everything too tight, and so Joel ripped the seat of his pants sitting down and none of the girls could zip their dresses up, and they had to do them up with safety pins. Joel looked hot anyways (see far right).
Steve and Amber named the tables after things they like instead of numbering them, and we were table Mexico, so we made a Corona Man
(I had to spell 'Corona' like, eight times before it looked right). The mashed potatoes tasted like Kraft Dinner, but totally in a good way. There was kareoke. Matt Street knows all the words to every song ever written. This baby looked like an old man, and I wanted to hold him, but he was fussy and I didn't know his parents and even at a wedding, that's kind of weird.

Weddings are exciting and all, but somehow after you go through the whole ordeal of planning your own wedding, and then you attend five more, with two more coming hard and fast, you start to lose that sense of wonder. Yay, married, awesome! I'm tired, and would like a nap and some chips. And maybe to hold that baby.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

If you tell them it can't be done, you can be sure they'll do it

What is it about swimming pools that tuckers you out? Is it because your metabolism has to work overtime to keep your body temperature above freezing? Is it because of the water resistance, because moving from here to there takes disproportionately more energy? Is it because entering a swimming pool turns you into a five-year-old, and children, by nature, sleep better and deeper than adults?

Last night we were at the dress rehearsal/BBQ/pool party for Joel's best friend Steve, who is getting married on Sunday to the lovely Amber (Steve + Amber = Stamber. Hilarious, no?). Because the pool belonged to Steve's parents' neighbors, and it was full of youth group for most of the evening, we didn't get in until around 8:30 and it hadn't been a warm day anyways, so the pool was freakin' freezing. H'anyways, the boys lost no time in making 'stackers,' ie. seeing how many bodies they could stack onto one pair of shoulders. It took about ten minutes of scrambling and re-arranging bodies and deeper-no-shallower-no-deeper-it'll-be-easier-no-shallower-it'll-look-awesomer before they got three-high. Boys have this innate bigger-and-better in them, so it wasn't long after their triumph that they were trying to figure out a way to stack four-high which, if you're just going one on top of the other, is stupid and impossible, but if you build a pyramid, is do-able, but you can't build the pyramid on all fours because that's an eighth-grade cheerleading squad, and it has to be in, like, the shallowest part of the pool because, awesome, but if you fall, fall forward or you'll die. So three guys get on their knees and link arms, and two guys hop up so they're sitting on the shoulder-shelves in between the three guys (this would be waaaaaaay easier if I had the pictures, but Alyson was taking them and she said she'd Facebook them but apparently not everyone is as keen as me), and then the three guys on the bottom stood up. Ok, picture this now. Not a one of Joel's friends is less than six feet tall, and we've got the three biggest on the bottom, standing now, and then two guys sitting on their shoulders, so this tower is one-and-a-half guys tall, and then Kurt gets on Kevin's shoulders (Kevin is the free-floating stabilizer and booster, and has arthritis and diabetes, which is kind of irrelevant except that he was always trying to be in on the bottom of things, and someone would invariably yell out 'You have arthritis and diabetes!' but he was the bottom of the first three-high stack, so I guess we can all eat our words), sorry, so Kurt is sitting on Kevin's shoulders and then he stands on Kevin's shoulders so that he can clamber up on top of the second-level's shoulders and sit there, and hey presto! We have a standing pyramid! And then everyone falls forwards because to fall backwards is death, and swims over to see the picture and it's awesome but you know what would be even awesomer? If Kurt STOOD UP on the top shoulders. RAD! So the guys on the bottom switch it up a bit, because being in the middle hurts most and it had taken at least three tries to get Kurt up in the first place, but now it's a science, and so this and that all happens again and Kurt shimmies up off of Kevin's shoulders and gets a foot-hold, and now he's STANDING on the shoulders of two guys who are sitting on the shoulders of three other guys, who are standing in the pool. Everyone falls in, and man, that was awesome. But you know what would be awesomer still? If Kurt sat back down, and someone else sat on his shoulders! But who is left? Kevin is the stabilizer, and everyone else is in the pyramid. As if with one mind, all eyes turn to where I'm huddled by the one warm jet, shivering and hooting and shouting encouragements. So the pyramid builds itself again, and then I'm standing on Kevin's shoulders, but this is at least twelve feet of body by now, and Kevin's only six foot, and I'm five-something, and from my perch on Kevin's shoulders I can just barely reach Kurt's shoulders, and so I'm clambering up but it's all slippery bodies and Kurt has nothing to hold on to and I have nothing to hold on to except him, and so we all go down in a mess of limbs, but this can totally be done, for reals, guys. So Joel, who's tallest, comes out from the bottom of the pyramid to act as my boost, and Kevin (of the arthritis and diabetes) takes his place and again with the pyramid, and this time I'm almost up but I slip on someone's arm and fall backwards and graze my back on the bottom of the pool and my boobs fall out of my top but I'm underwater so it's ok and I shove them back in, and we almost had it that time, but it's hard because even on Joel's shoulders, I'm only just as high as Kurt, and I can't use his body to climb up his body, because he's so precariously perched, and it's like I'm standing on a wall and trying to get my legs over another wall that's up by my shoulders but without touching that wall because it'll fall, and then I'm stepping on the shoulders of the guys on the second row, and Joel is shoving my feet from below, and the tower is wavering in the breeze and the guys on the bottom are grunting and suddenly I've got a leg over Kurt's shoulder and one arm in the air, and Alyson snaps the picture and we all fall into the water and I land with my knee on Ben's back and someone puts their fist in my eye and everyone surfaces groaning and cheering, because that's a four-tiered pyramid, and it's never been done.

It was about two-and-a-half minutes before they were searching around for something else that had never been done.