Saturday, January 27, 2007

Panic at the Church

Well! I just got back from Panic Squad - an improv comedy group. Robyn and I went early to help Teri with "presenter care" - which basically meant hanging out with the guys, and getting them water. Gotta say, it wasn't too much of a hardship hanging out with professional comedians who have a focus on keeping it clean and kind. I have hardly laughed so hard in my life - especially when I suggested "mud bogging" as an activity for use in one of the theatre games.
Last night was a great concert too - Casting Crowns - but I didn't get any decent pictures since the security guard also kinda served as photo nazi. The "performance" was amazing, though - and I use that word with hesitance because they were great at getting the whole audience involved: with the interaction and the lyrics on the screen, we were all the performers and the audience was elsewhere entirely. One of the moments that made me laugh was when the lead singer spoke about how God kept him humble with his dyslexia and ADD. He explained the ADD as singing one of the band's songs while people were passing a beach ball in the front of the crowd...and he sang "Who am I....there's a beach ball floating by..." It was quite funny. All in all, they were very cool, honest people.
And now, once again - off to bed - another big day tomorrow.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Well, tonight things are gonna be pretty brief - it was a long drive! Robyn and I are safely settled in our hotel room - one king sized bed and one pull out couch. I watched two movies today, as our drivers (Bruno and Natalie) bought a mobile DVD system for their kids and we took advantage of that! We watched Cars and Ice Age: The Meltdown. We used a series of nasty bathrooms (whee) and are glad for the nice clean whiteness of the hotel! Now, we have to get up at about 6:30, and it's 12:42 now, Alberta time - and I still need to shower. Goodnight!

Break Time

Well, it's that time of year again, when I head off to Edmonton for Breakforth. I'm a little nervous, honestly...somehow I'm not feel spiritually prepared. Talking to the others about what they're excited about made me feel a lack - especially since I'm taking a leadership course when I'm not in leadership. I feel pretty silly about that. I was when I registered for the course, of course. (heh, repetition funny) I'm sure I'll manage to get something out of it, regardless. Mike's heard the teacher speak before, and he said he's quite good.
I'm excited for the concerts, too, though it seems a bit shallow to say that. I get to see Newsboys for the third time - that one's a loud concert, so I may need something to stuff in my ears. I also have an opportunity to see Starfield again, but there's another event that conflicts with that one, and since I've seen Starfield three times in the last two years, I'm afraid I'll have to ditch out on them to see Panic Squad - think "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" in a family-friendly sort of way. It's quite a feat, I think, to be funny these days without getting at all risqué. The other concert that I'm anticipating is Casting Crowns. I've fallen in love with this band over the past year or so, since I find the vocals and music solid in skill, inspirational in execution, and the lyrics to be poignant and honest. To wit:

Is there anyone that fails? Is there anyone that falls?
Am I the only one in church today feeling so small?
Cuz I take a look around me; everybody seems so strong.
I know they'll soon discover that I don't belong.
- Stained Glass Masquerade, from the album Lifesong

Here I go again, talking 'bout the rain and mulling over things
That won't live past today, and as I dance around the truth
Time is not his friend, and this might be my last chance
To tell him that You love him - so here I go again
- Here I Go Again, from the album Casting Crowns

She is running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying but the canyon's ever-widening in the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older and she's three more steps behind
- Does Anybody Hear Her, also from Lifesong

I love these songs. Somehow I can relate to a real Christianity, and not just a Sunday morning show. (Another of the songs says, "If we are the body, why aren't His arms reaching?")
I think that's what I need to keep in mind this weekend - that it's not important to look good to the people I'm with, or to the seven thousand other people who will be there. It's not even about looking good to Him. Instead, it's about going thirsty, and asking to be filled - going honest and asking for something real. Forget super-spirituality. I'll be me; I'll be authentic, and we'll see what happens.

Note: I'll try to update - potentially with pictures! - every day while I'm there. They may be a bit incoherent, as we tend to run on very little sleep. But check in! Hopefully I'll have been here :-)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sense of Timing

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - and only a month too late. We did have snow at Christmas, but only the tiniest dusting and crusty remains, if I'm remembering correctly.
It really is lovely to look at, of course, but since my snow tires are on their last legs, it's not much fun to drive in. It's normally a five minute to drive - not even, on a good day - and I think I need to allow at least fifteen. I hate the sense of stupidity that seems to permeate the drivers once the white stuff hits. And it's cold, and wet, and look at my poor car! She doesn't want to go anywhere either. I'll brave it, of course, if only not to ruin my so-far-stellar class attendance record. I'll just have to find someone to throw snowballs at, since it looks like good packing snow...
Of course, I sort of forgot what I was doing and left for school - just closed the laptop up. Now I'm on a break in a two hour class, so obviously I made it. It was quite an adventure, let me tell you! But maybe later...because my prof's back! (And he's talking about American Idol...)

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Date Night

I got a phone call around 6pm last night, from Robyn.
"Hi. I was wondering if you had any plans tonight, and if you didn't - could I take you on a date?"
Well, I giggled a bit, but of course, I accepted. We went for Italian downtown, to a restaurant where neither of us had been before. The portions were enormous - I couldn't finish mine and Robyn looked like she'd barely made a dent in hers. I had to laugh when she said, "I usually get when I get shrimp, they just seem so small!" Shrimp, small? Who'da thunk.
We shared a piece of tiramisu for dessert, which I'd been craving since explaining to Andrew what it was a few days ago. It was magically delicious; I really have to learn how to make that!
After dinner we headed up to the University for their production of Arthur Miller's "After The Fall." The setting is the mind and memories of the main character, Quentin, and it explores him relationships with the women in his life (his mother, his first two wives, and a German woman he meets overseas.) Though Robyn and I agreed that it was a good play, and well done, neither of us particularly enjoyed it. Still, I'm glad we went - I'd never seen an Arthur Miller play, and given that he's one of the only playwrights I've ever heard of, it seemed I should see something of his.
After the play, we went over to Robyn's and talked for a few hours about everything and nothing, and we showed off adorable babies that we'd never met - ie., well, I read so and so's blog (Chris and Beth, Zoot, Amalah, RSM...) and look how cute their child is! We figured out we're living vicariously through our blogfriends and getting our baby fix that way, since neither of us is "family planning" anytime soon!
Any good date ends with talking til 1:30am, right? Especially when it involves talking over chai tea. Of course, since we were playing with Zach, my sweater is now covered in cat hair and I'm sneezing something fierce this morning!
It was a good night, though. I enjoyed it, and being "taken out" for dinner and a show made me feel all special and warm/fuzzy-like. I had fun - thanks babe. :-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Perfect Moments

Someone asked me the other night what my perfect day or perfect moment would look like. There are any number of possible answers, really, but I'd take the first that came to mind. So I closed my eyes and let my imagination take over.
I can hear wind outside, even the occasional bit of thunder, which I've always thought of as God showing off. But it's warm where I am - a fire burning in the hearth and a mug of hot chocolate warm me from the inside out. I'm sitting in an overstuffed armchair with my legs curled up underneath me, and a smile on my face. Someone just made a bad joke, and I shake my head as the rest of the room groans. Still, we're all laughing - telling stories, coming up with outrageous ideas and dreams for the future. And amidst the teasing and jokes, there's an unmistakable undercurrent of love.
I leave for a minute to go get some snacks - and get filled in on the things I missed in that brief moment. There's a scramble for the baking I'd been working on earlier - something about those cookies. And just to be completely unrealistic for a moment - it's my fantasy after all - let's say the cookies have no calories at all.
The house smells like vanilla; deep reds and creamy yellows seem to absorb and enrich the warmth from the fireplace. I can just hear the music underneath the voices and laughter - a simple, acoustic guitar, smooth vocals.
It's a perfect moment, filled with warmth and music, laughter and love. And it's mine.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Well, the New Years photos are up on Flickr, though most of the ones on there weren't taken by me, but by Carmen, or Anna on Carmen's camera.
Tomorrow's the "first day of school," so I should likely head 'er - even though I've only got one class, it's a busy day with all sorts of other stuff. So I'll leave with with my week's most amusing moment...
Talking to Andrew the other night, explaining how I felt a bit left out that a friend had yet to give me an invitation to the reception or a wedding photo (the friends eloped and will have a reception in a few months...)
Me: He forgot me!
Andrew: I wouldn't forget. I could never forget you.
Me: Aw, you're so sweet. How'd you get so sweet?
Andrew: I paid a leprechaun.
How he comes up with these, I do not know. But he's sure fun to hang around with :-)

Saturday, January 06, 2007


For me, this is less the start of a new year and more of a new semester. The student's year starts in September, after all.
For a while, it looked that I wasn't going to be able to go back to school, due to mediocre performance and some paperwork issues. I spent most of the morning Thursday on the phone, battling through the bureaucracy and playing telephone tag with various advisers and assorted registrars, and now it looks like everything's on par for me to start things again on Monday.
I'm actually kind of glad that I was unsure if I could attend, because it helped me to clarify what exactly I wanted to be doing.
I like my course of study - for the most part, I find it very interesting. This semester, I continue with my cogntive psychology class, and I add an abnoral psychology (should be right up my alley, eh?) and "The Philosophy of Emotion." Oddly enough, with only three classes, I'm still finding myself at the university five days a week. I'm hoping that'll help me keep the stress level low as I'll only be doing a little at a time. I've also got a plan and a schedule as far as going to the gym. I've got a balance of weights and cardio, as well as taking a yoga class with my friend Pam once a week. Today, I'm sore, after my first weight lifting day yesterday, and probably a bit from the, uh, unique positions from my very first ever yoga class. But it's okay - because I'm allowed to take weekends off! I'll still shoot for a modicum of activity though, and go for a little walk this evening.
So, new year, and all that. I've just got to rest up this weekend so I'm ready to face it all come Monday!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Casino Fatale

So, the start of a new year, eh? Well, last night was pretty darn tiring, so I'm not much for the forward thinking right now. Instead, I'll sum up the evening's events! (Even though Robyn already wrote about it...I'll just give a slightly different point of view.)
The evening started when a few of the girls came over for some pre-party primping. Robyn brought over some of her Mary Kay stuff, and I made The World's Simplest and yet Most Delicious Fruit Dip. (Combine equal parts Cool Whip and strawberry yogurt. We even had both fat-free, and it was absolutely amazing. Love it!)
We headed over to Andrew's, aka for the evening as Casino Fatale. We were checked against the guest list and invited in. An evening of intrigue followed, with murder and jewel thievery. I had been mildly disappointed with my character, until I found out that I got to be an undercover Russian spy. I attempted to assassinate the mysterious Mr.X and his bodyguard (who was also, incidentally, my "boyfriend.") That same "boyfriend" (who I was really just using for information) also tried I was proposed to by, and turned down, a charming English Lord (who needed a wife to claim his inheritance.)
The highlight of my evening, I think, was when said Lord (aka my friend Brent) played a "Moment of Passion" card, and I was so shocked by his (fictional, even!) proposition that I faltered, and dropped and broke my wine glass. For a moment, Anna Upanova and Lord James T. Burke disappeared, and Heather and Brent kinda dissolved into hysterical laughter. After that, I relegated myself to plastic cups for the rest of the night. All told, I spilled three times. Some suave, international super spy I am! Anyhow, I don't have my pictures up yet, because I left my camera at Andrew's house, but Robyn's got hers up, so check them out, if you like. I'll get mine up in the next couple days.
Anyhow, after the party wrapped up, we toasted the New Year with yummy sparkling juice and the people at the space needle on TV (New York's not live! How lame!) and then most people went home. A select few (snobbery! No, a shrubbery! <-this insanity will be explained momentarily) of us stayed longer - Andrew (since it's his house after all), Devon, Chantal, Amber, Brendon, Brian and myself. And by longer, I mean way too late. I took Brian home around 5, went back for a little while, and got home myself a little after 6am. We talked about the weird teachers we had in high school, had a bit of a swing dance demonstration, and Andrew and I danced for half a song until my toes really hurt. ;-) Chantal and Alden (earlier in the evening when Alden was still there, obviously) put on quite an impressive show with the swing - Chantal even got flipped - much to her surprise!
Anyhow, I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all, and that we're all pretty exhausted today. Hopefully in the next day or two I can get my camera and dish back from Andrew's, and return to Robyn her change of clothes and her Satin Hands!
Happy New Year, everyone...may it be full and blessed.