Friday, October 31, 2008

It Could Have Been A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I'm convinced weather really does affect my mood sometimes, and here's why.

It was cold and overcast this morning. I was up early. Earlier than I wanted to be. Much, much, much earlier than I wanted to be. I had to drive to school, and I never drive to school. I had to pay for a day parking pass. I never pay for day parking passes! (I didn't have enough cash, so I scrounged for change.) I had to go to the lab to work on a project that had to be done this morning. Crunch time. I had a meeting after that... long and somewhat boring, but I gleaned from it what I could. After all, I've paid cold, hard cash to be in this club, so I should get something out of the investment - right? Right. After that the library, where I consumed my peanut butter and jam sandwich, painstakingly worked on my resumé and consequently got almost nowhere with it. My phone was on silent, so I missed a call from my dear friend Jo, who told me in advance she would be calling from England today. I miss her! I was very disappointed. I should have been prepared. I should have been expecting her call. It's not like I can just call her back, either. After I was done looking at the missed call, and listening to her lovely English accent on my voicemail "Hey Beaut, it's me...", I packed up my computer and hiked across campus to meet a girl, with whom I'm working on another big project.

Warning: this next part is kind of gross - but it's relevant to the story.

On the walk across campus, something began to feel terribly wrong with that peanut butter and jam sandwich I ate earlier. I ducked into a building, where luckily I know where the bathroom is. Once in the bathroom, I made sure I was the only one in there before throwing up a little in the trash. I rinsed my mouth out, thought, "gross," and then rejoined the world outside.

I met with my person, and when we finished, I turned in the sketch of the magazine layout I had prepared for our meeting. The adviser informed me that we were supposed to bring a magazine example for what we wanted our article to look like - in other words, the ideal publication it should be printed in. I honestly do not remember her saying that before, and I'm not one to forget assignments... but I just conceded and swallowed the fact of more points lost.

I welcomed the clock striking 4:00, which meant I could walk to my car, and drive to the store to run a quick errand before heading to work at 5:00. In the parking lot of Scoleri's, a man knocked on my window while I was checking my voicemail. "Did you know you have a flat tire?" He asked. Before I could get the word no out of my mouth, he was gone. Thanks, Mister.

Now, I have changed a tire before, but that was a long time ago, and I really didn't want to mess with my crappy jack, in the rain, in that crowded parking lot, when I only had 45 minutes to get to work. "No problem," I thought, "I'll just call AAA." I was helped by an Indian woman who I could hardly understand, who kept repeating the information I gave her back to me - only it was incorrect. Ah. Then she transferred me to another woman, also Indian, but, she stayed on the line. Then there were two Indian women, speaking to each other, and every once in a while saying, "are you still on the line, Miss DeRoss?" They took a half an hour to find out that my membership had expired only a few weeks ago. Really? Are you serious right now?

I walked into the store, and found a clerk who looked nice and helpful. I explained the situation, and said, "I know it's a lot to ask, but do you think there is anyone here who could help me with this?" He said sure, and went outside to get the jack out of his truck, and change my tire for me. I was extremely grateful to him, but he was not that nice to me. He seemed irritated. I don't blame him. I was irritated with myself.

Nevertheless, I drove to work with my donut tire, and made it just in the nick of time.

I could have let this series of events ruin my day, and probably would have except for one small detail: it was raining! And it's about time. It was just hard for me to be in a bad mood with the refreshing rain splashing against the earth.

This video relates to what I felt like today, and is amusing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leaf through the paper no more

One of the most internationally acclaimed newspapers of this country, the Christian Science Monitor, is soon to cease being printed daily. By printed I mean the traditional style, ink on paper, delivered to your doorstep or favorite local coffee shop printed. By April 2009 the Monitor will be printed solely online. Though this news does not come as a surprise to me, it brings a little closer the realization that everyone is having to do their part and make sacrifices to survive the state of the country's economic crisis (did you hear Mervyn's is liquidating?) as well as simply progressing with the times. While this development will cut costs significantly for the Monitor... there is a long-standing tradition that is being phased out.

I am not of the generation that is used to picking up a newspaper and flipping through its pages regularly, but I can't deny that it feels different to hold a newspaper in my hand than it does to scroll through web pages. I used to read the Christian Science Monitor at school, while I drank my coffee and waited for class to start. (Now, oh dear! I will have to switch to The New York Times.)

I just found this news interesting, because it is a big step for such a prominent news organization to make. Yes, it is only one publication, and one that not a large percentage of the population even reads. Yes, print is far from being phased out completely. Even the Monitor will be putting out a weekly edition. Yes, it is necessary to make these kinds of changes and I am not opposed to it, but it's significant. Years from now, when everything is only printed online, this will be looked at as a turning point in the history of print media... a medium that may not even exist at that point in time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

Tonight I was walking home from downtown, where I was watching Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist with my friend (who happens to also be my roommate) Emma. It was a pretty cute movie, but that's beside the point. It was cold outside, and we started talking about snow and how great snow is. Snow makes things quiet, a muffled quiet so you feel tucked in. Snow is clean. It makes everything look fresh, it's gorgeous. (Except when you're ten years old and set up a snow cone shop in the front yard, using food coloring and sugar to "flavor" the snow cones. Then it looks like someone tie-dyed it. Or just drank a bunch of food coloring, then threw up in the snow. Either mental picture works.) You can build fake people out of snow. You can sled in it. You can snowboard in it. You can snow-shoe in it. You can throw it at people. See what I mean? The list goes on. Mostly, I miss the smell outside after it snows, and I miss looking at it. So this blog post is simply to voice my wishful thinking and say I'm ready for snow.

...I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Run Like A Girl

My day on Sunday, October 19:

2:30am - Wake up in a hotel in San Francisco to the sound of a major fight going on in the street below. SCREAMING! YELLING! CUSSING! CRYING! HITTING! Emily is on the phone with 911 reporting it. I feel dazed. Where am I? What am I doing here? We look out the window to see two groups of people pitted against each other ready to go at it. Soon enough I will have to wake up again and put on my running clothes. Quick! I have to go back to sleep...

5:00am - Three obnoxious cell phone alarms pierce the silence that cloaks me in so comfortingly. I am too nervous to fall asleep again. I lay with my eyes wide open, my head on the pillow. I sigh. I get up. Put on my running clothes. Put on my tennis shoes. Put my hair in a ponytail. Pin back the strays. Pop four ibuprofen. Stretch a little. Eat some fruit and granola. Mentally prepare for what I'm about to do. (What am I thinking?)

6:00am - Leave the hotel with Carla and the girls. The city is dark. There are people everywhere, just like it is the middle of the day. Thousands of women are flooding to Union Square, preparing to run their race. Music is playing, there is free water and gatorade. I drink some. "Are you ready for this, KK?" Carla asks me. I smile and nod. "Yeah, I guess so," I say. We sit down to stretch and pray. Mom and dad call. "One step at a time, one stride at a time, ok Kakes?" my dad encourages me.

- Carla and I make our way into the masses of women standing in the street. At least there is body heat - we're standing shoulder to shoulder among thousands - because it is cold! We talk to a nice lady from Arizona who tells us she drove the course the day before and that the course is beautiful! She encourages us to not just look at the road, but to focus on the scenery.

6:57am - The National Anthem is sung. We look at the flag. Take it all in.

7:00am - The race starts. We move with the crowd to begin the 13.1 mile run...

The first six miles were awesome. At mile six I had to work hard to push through for a while. My chest hurt from breathing deep because I had a cold. My sinus headache was getting to me. My blood sugar was high and my blood felt like pudding in my veins. I walked for a bit and it helped. I started running again. Drank some water at a water station. There were some pretty sweet downhills to make up for the San Francisco uphills on the course. At about mile 11.5 my body felt stiff and my skin felt numb and tingly. I wasn't sure that was normal, so I asked Carla. She said she didn't think so. I walked a bit there, but then decided I might as well run. I only had 1.5 miles to go.

Somehow I missed the mile marker for mile 12, so when I turned a corner and was running through the cheering section and saw the finish line right in front of me, I thought I still had over a mile to run. What a relief! I looked at Carla and said "I thought we still had to pass mile 12!!" "No, we're here, run!" she said. I crossed the finish line, and it was great. A San Francisco firefighter handed me a necklace from Tiffany & Co and congratulated me. We were handed a bunch of free stuff. We met up with Emily and Ellie and Tim and Autie who were waiting for us at the finish. We ate granola and smoothies by the beach with them for breakfast...

Then I drove home from San Francisco. I went to bed at 8pm and slept like a rock. Today my shoulders are very sore. Tomorrow I have a midterm.

It's early and cold. Getting ready to run!

Lots of people.

Mile 11 on the course.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Baby Stepping, I'm Doing the Work...

Life is a lot easier when you think of it in terms of taking it a day at a time. I like planning ahead, and I think that's important, but it's also necessary for me to realize that I only have to live one day at a time when I begin to feel overwhelmed. I'll get there (wherever there is) eventually. Granted, sometimes I do feel like I need a prescription to take a vacation from my problems, but then I start to look at only one baby step at a time. It really does help, I promise. I mean, if it works for Bob Wiley...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grace is Gone

If you haven't seen the movie Grace is Gone, then I think you should.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Once I Shed the Whole of Me, Then I'll Be Smiling

"They litter me with small awarenesses, then they ask if I'm good enough." -Matt Nathanson.

Sometimes I feel this way, but once I realize it's not about me, then I can really be happy. Joyful. My life is for God's glory. It's why I was put here on this earth. If I think it's about me, then I will never be satisfied. I will always be let down. I'm too caught up in school, relationships, work and personal ambitions. I can't put too much stock into what I want or what people say about me. Even the best of friends or the most spiritual of Christians can make me feel inferior and inadequate. I can't compare myself to them, and I can't rely on their approval. I can only humbly offer my life to Jesus - live in service to Him. I fall out of this mindset too easily. My identity is in Christ. Alone.

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

Colossians 3:1 - If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:8b-9a - since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Unexpected Slammed Doors

I just found out that I have a few more units to take than I expected in order to graduate in June. I had a temporary freak out, but now that I know what I have to do I will just buckle down and get it done. It's really a drag when your academic adviser screws up and misinforms you. But I am over my frustration at him and now am just trying to plan my life for the next year. I might go to Bosnia in the summer. It's very tentative, but I applied for a short term thing over there. I hope it works out because I think it would be very cool. But now this possibly not graduating in June thing seems to be throwing a wrench into the mix. But I just need to trust God. As the pastor at Celebration, Aaron Porter (who I love) says, "A shut door doesn't always mean God is telling you no, sometimes God wants you to bust that door down." So I'm going to keep pursuing this... and we'll see what happens.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another One

I started another blog. It's called "...That Was Awkward..." You should check it out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where does your picture hang?

And I just really like this music video: