Friday, February 25, 2005

crazy about that internet thing

Sorry I haven't been posting this week, but our house's wireless has been out of wack. Which means I didn't check my email for almost two complete days, almost went crazy. This week has gone well, on Thursday I filled in due to a last minute change on the day trip to Earlham for recruiting. I had never been on campus, so it was neat to see one of the other peace colleges. Other than that it has been a fairly normal week. Internship has been up and down as usual, although today was a really cool day because I got to see the exhibit finally installed. Even though most of it was designed and so forth before I got on board it was really neat to see something I had been working towards finally complete. Plus KT even mentioned me on the the thank-you board (although she did spell my name Nafzinger, which now puts the State Museum 0 for 2 on getting my name right considering my name tag reads Abiigail). Although what is really exciting is that I will be cutting back on hours for the state museum and sort of doing a smaller internship with one of two possible organizations. The first option is H House which works with homeless people and serves as a space for them to spend time in during the day when most shelters are closed. The other is the MR Community Center which offers a variety of possibilities including working with a range of ages from pre-school to the senior center and also some computer training options. Both I think would give me a much clearer hands-on possibility and also hopefully make me feel more useful than I currently do with my current internship. Next week is spring break for us, which is ridiculously early I know, but hey Goshen is doing it too. Our house is going to New Orleans for the week, camping actually. It should definitely be quite the adventure, or so I hope. But the really exciting news is that a bunch of my friends are coming down for the weekend. So hopefully between 1 and 2am Steph, Meryl, Becca, Crystal and Ebony will be arriving.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

As you can tell I was a little skeptical about the whole massive number of curlers in my hair thing. The scariest moment was when my stylist informed me that this was indeed her first time givine a perm. Posted by Hello

okay in all fairness the boys looked hot too :) Posted by Hello

Start your day off right with these sexy ladies. (picture taken on Valentine's Day, hence the roses) Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005

happy moment, people

I just checked my sitemeter and apparently I have just passed the 1,000 visitor mark on my site! Thanks to those of you who read all this babbling! :)

Okay I finally have the pictures on the right computer, so here is one of our groups first pictures of the semester. (l-r: David, Abby, Miriam, Anna, Samuka) Posted by Hello

God only knows where I'd be without you by the Beach Boys

This song is apparently the number 1 love song of all time (at least according to Entertainment Weekly). I do like the song a lot, but I would have to say I am not sure it is the best. Anyways I am here at work, after actually working for the entire morning. I was helping install a new sports memorable case in the Indiana Treasures section. Interesting people to work with, not incredibly friendly, but nice to work with. Not incredibly interesting work either, but at least I felt useful. I would have to say that this internship would generally be pushing me to reconsider museum work and look elsewhere, but hey who knows. This past friday night I learned some of the key differences between butt and booty. Miriam dressed me up to go to this party with Samuka's co-workers, so I ended up in the tightest pair of pants that I have worn in a long time. Which apparently makes all the difference, because as my housemates informed me I definitely had booty. Up until this point I had always been of the opinion that I had butt, not booty, but I have now been educated. The party itself was okay, not as lively as we had hoped and there wasn't any dancing, mainly a bunch of people I didn't know making conversation. But it was nice to get out of the house. The rest of the weekend consisted of large parts lying around like bums, shopping and baking an amazing "screw lent" cake. I do say in my own defense I was never a big fan of the idea of giving up all sweets for lent and I had been wanting to bake a cake for quite a while. I would write more, but I have to head to supper.

Friday, February 18, 2005

ooh ooh guess what!!!

We* got Aurora!!!! Does anyone else know who got which houses? *Myself, Meryl, Alex (Meryl's sister), Erin, Charlee, Mel, Leah, Lena)

Friday morning feels like Saturday

I don't know why I haven't really posted this week, I guess I really wasn't in the mood. It has been a really good week and a really bad week. A lot of emotional ups and downs mainly being played out in my head. But first the facts... Tuesday was an internship day and it went better than most. KT introduced me to some other people working in the Museum and generally I felt useful. That evening was crazy paper time for the house. But before we settled down to business, we had a guest speaker T King and his supervisor. They are the community organizers behind ONE (Organization for a New Eastside) which follows the pattern set up by Saul Linsky and others of working to empower and create changes that the people living in the neighborhood feel are important. He had us do a fun exercise where we took turns playing the organizer and the neighbor. At one point I pretended to be a crazy ole' lady with twenty cats. After they left the house settled back down to writing papers. Although because I had been able to complete good portions of my paper during the down time of my internship I wasn't in the same boat. So basically I finished mine up and then watched the Daily Show with Jon Stewart at eleven. He is, seriously, one of the funniest men I know. I actually laugh outloud at his show. Miriam and I have developed quite the crush on him actually. Too bad he is probably in his forties and married.... Wednesday was classes and we started off with MM and Practical Peacemaking. As always an excellent class. Perfecto ??????? came in and told us about the work he has been doing in his home country of the Philippines. He works with children prisoners, essentially young street children get detained in the same cells as adults and there are also issues of torture with the police department. Perfecto is in the states working at the graduate law school and it was just amazing to hear his story of continuing despite setback after setback. At first he worked as a journalist, but the editors didn't want print the stories, then he organized direct actions, then began working as a lawyer. It was amazing to hear how even though there has not been huge successes Perfecto keeps working. During our afternoon class we spent some time reviewing for our exam on Monday and discussing philanthropy. That evening I watched Alias! It was really good and I it was the first time in three weeks or so that I actually saw one live. There is a lot you miss out on when you just read the synopsis on twoevilmonks (although that is definitely better than nothing). Yesterday was internship day and due to a miscommunication between KT and myself I spent the majority of the day running around in my boots! Lets just say after that I feel into a whole new level of love with my sneakers. While the boots are nice for a quite day in the office they are killer for high use. What KT and I and another volunteer was doing was disinstalling the exhibit that currently stands in the Legacy Theater and getting it ready for the instillation that will happen on Monday. It was a good internship day in that I did something productive, but I guess I feel like I have yet to be really engaged by this internship, I guess I don't feel like I have done anything that couldn't have been done by someone else. But hey maybe the first few months of most jobs are like that, I hope not though. So that brings us to this morning, which was lovely because until about half an hour ago I was asleep. So far I think (other than Samuka who is at work) I am the only one awake in the house. Which makes it the perfect time to go make myself some french toast.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

Well for those of you who know me, you know that I have never really been a fan of Valentine's Day. Chalk it up to the good dose of cynicism I possess, the fact that I don't need another reminder that I am single, and the fact that we never celebrated it growing up (not to mention the huge over comercialization that surrounds the day). Essentially I don't really care for the day, but this Valentine's Day was different. It really all is Anna's fault, she loves Valentine's day. And I mean loves it all, the decorations, the cards, the special meal, but she loves it not for the whole romantic couple thing, but for the telling people you love them and of course some of the romance in general. So this evening we cooked a special Valentine day feast. I made Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Anna made Cheese Fondue, and Miriam made Fruit Salad. Then we all got dressed up in fancy dresses and dimmed the lights and had some sparkling grape juice. It was a blast and the food was great. Then to top it off our neighbor D Micheal stopped by to deliver some Valentine cookies. Now even though we are giving up sweets for Lent, we decided that today would be an exception. After we stuffed ourselves on all the yummy food the boys cleaned up and us girls changed back into regular clothes. To cap off the evening we went on a walk downtown. The evening was balmy (at least for winter in Indiana) and the sky was clear. We pointed out stars and walked down Pennsylvania Ave to the military monuments. I managed to get a few good pictures of the city lights and a really nice group shot, which I will hopefully post in the near pictures (it will also give you all an idea of my hair). All in all it was a really lovely evening and I would have to say the best Valentine's Day I have ever had (even surpassing the one in 6th grade when Ryan (my one and only 3 week elementary "boyfriend") gave me chocolates and a card). I guess it just reminded me that even the most annoying holiday can be redeemed when you spend it in good company and with a joyful heart. Hears to embracing the sappy every once in a while! So what were your days like?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Chicken Tikka Masala (alternate title being one more procrastination technique)

Okay I know I am posting twice in the same evening, but I just have to say I love this food. I discovered it in two important instances this summer, although in retrospect I think I ate it for dinner on a very awkward double date last spring at Shalimar Indian restaurant. I had it again last night at India Garden and it was just as good as I had remembered. Since I had leftovers I had it again for supper this evening and it was so good I just had to look around on the internet for it. It is actually a dish native to Britain, created in the mid 1900s from the blending of the British obsession with gravy and Indian curry cooking. The story goes that apparently one obstinate Brit demanded gravy on his chicken tandorri and so the chef made up this blend of cream and tomato paste to accomendate him. The dish contains the spice of many typical Indian foods, combined with the mild sauce favored by the British, essentially creating my favorite food. Now for my two main memories of it. The first was in N. Ireland on a day long hike with a bunch of senior campers. We had broken for lunch and due to the kitchen renovations taking place at Greenhill, Tristan (the senior camp director) and I had been unable to really pack ourselves a lunch. So we were on the mercies of our campers to provide us with food. One guy gave me an apple and one girl gave me half of her sandwich. A basic deli staple it was filled with this unusual curry type chicken salad. I asked her what it was and she gave me the response "tikka masala salad". Although confused by the name I tried it and it was yummy! That got me hooked and so several weeks later when I was waiting in the Belfast airport waiting for my flight I tried the Chicken Tikka Masala in the airport restaurant and once again was amazed by how tasty the combination of tomato, chicken, and curry spices was. So there you have it my ode to Chicken Tikka Masala.

Cecilia by Paul Simon

This weekend has gone quite well. Yesterday was just fantastic, sunny and warm. I was just in a good mood overall. Plus we went grocery shopping, which oddly enough I always really enjoy. I guess it is all that bargain finding and the chance to spend money that really doesn't feel like my own. Plus it is fun thinking up meals and searching for the ingredients for them. Unfortunately Meijers seemed to not have any Tahini, so I will have to postpone the hummus for a while yet, but it will happen soon. But back to my day. I made zweibach! It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty yummy, although I think using butter instead of margarine makes a big difference. Then for dinner, my housemates and I went to a really yummy Indian restaurant up in Broad Ripple. I split chicken tika masala, an order of paneer nan, and raita with Anna. So a really yummy meal for basically $10. Then we all went to Glendale Mall to see a fashion show as a part of Black History Month that Miriam's boss participated in. Then we bummed around the mall for a little bit and went to see Sideways up in Castleton. I had been hearing rave reviews of it for some time and I have to say it lived up too them. It is very rare to see a movie about adult men's close friendships and an honest look at the different interactions between men and women and of course the fascinating world of the wine connoisseur. I would recommend the movie, but no need to see it in the theater, just wait for it to come out on video. Although one caution would be that it does contain some brief nudity and full frontal male nudity. Which actually brings up the whole question of why full frontal female nudity can occur in PG-13 movies while full frontal male nudity often risks an NC-17 rating and guaranteed R. On to Sunday. This morning Miriam, Anna and I got up and went to First Friends Quaker meeting. It was an interesting service and not entirely what I had expected and unfortunately the woman who invited and we were going to meet there never showed up. So we missed out on the promised sunday lunch. But the service was interesting and led into an hour long discussion over lunch of the ideas behind various organized religions. Then we went to the 3pm show of Vagina Monologues at Indiana Law University where one of our peace house professors was performing and it was quite enjoyable. Although I it isn't a play that I would enjoy seeing over and over again and that I enjoyed it more when I knew the actresses involved (ie the Goshen College performance of 2003). After the play Mary (our prof) gave us a tour of the law school including the mock courtroom they use for practices and for mock trial competitions. I pretended to be judge, Miriam and Anna were the lawyers and David was the jury. It was great fun, but we had to drag Anna away when we discovered that the microphones actually were working. But now I really must work on my paper.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

I just finished watching the movie Hotel Rwanda and it was quite an emotional punch. Although I knew a lot of the details about the Rwandian genocide, there is so much power in seeing the stories of real individuals effected by the worst acts of violence in the 20th century. For those of you who aren't familiar with the background of the genocide. In 1994 Tutsi rebels were attempting to broker a peace treaty with the Hutu government of Rwanda when the Hutu President's plane was shot down. This action provided the spark that sent the Interahamwe (Hutu Power Militia) into all out massacres of Tutsi citizens. Instead of intervening Western powers and the UN watched and did nothing. The foreign press, ex-patriates and internationals all withdrew allowing almost 1 million Rwandians to die. The movie centers around the story of Paul Rusesabagina, the manager of of the luxury hotel in Kilgala, Rwanda. Although a Hutu, Paul's wife and relatives are Tutsis. Played by Don Cheadle (who does an amazing job), Paul refuses to give the refuges who flock to his hotel up, bribing Rwandian generals and foreigners alike in order to save his family. The movie had a similar note as Schindler's List, serving to both raise awareness of the atrocities concerned and the enormous ability of humans to turn a blind eye to evil and cruelty. Yet it also brings moments of hope and the ability of one individual to stem the tide and bring life instead of death. One aspect that I was particularly struck by was the complete lack of differences between Hutus and Tutsis. Physically no different and sharing much of the same culture, the "tribes" of Hutu and Tutsi did not exist until the Belgians colonized Rwanda and attempted to find differences between those that they chose to rule and those they chose to deny opportunity too. Essentially I would say that Hotel Rwanda is required viewing by anyone and everyone. While the movie does contain violence, I feel that it contains a much more important factor and that is a story of truth which is rarely told about the Rwandian genocide.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

so Ireland is out

Well the disappointing news of this week is that I will indeed not be able to go to Ireland this summer. But hey I know that I will find many other ways to travel there and well I'm going to China! And that will just have to be enough for now. Anyways in other news, my plans for my internship changed a little bit this week in that KT's mother passed away this weekend. Which has made my schedule a bit up in the air and I won't be working tomorrow. I really feel bad for KT right now because it would be so hard to lose your Mother, at any age and in circumstance, but especially when one is younger. In other news, I will be back on the Goshen campus tomorrow evening for a recruitment trip. So if any of you want to hear more about how awesome Peace House is, come to the coffee shop between 9pm and 11pm and hear more about. Plus I think there may be some free coffee in it for you! Oh and my other random complaint is that I tried to tape Alias tonight and failed! Stupid VCR! So now I will have to wait to read the synopsis on twoevilmonks.... Well since I can sleep in tomorrow I am gonna stay up and watch a movie!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Music: Come on Home by Indigo Girls

(courtesy of my launchcast radio system) So much has changed since I last posted, namely my hair. Yes I finally did it folks, I got that perm I have been considering for the past few months. On Friday (which I have off work every week!), 4 out of 5 peace housers all drove up to Excell Academy in Castleton. A hair saloon school, it features cheap haircuts done by beauty students. Miriam got her hair straightened, Anna and David got theirs cut and I got myself a spiral perm. After a small fiasco about the price and some great lawyer skills provided by Miriam I got my perm for the advertised price of $15 (plus the $5 for the extra perm solution). While my immediate reaction to the perm was one less than happy (I thought I looked like an electrocuted wet rat), I have since come to like it more. In fact I like it quite a lot. But back to my weekend, we arrived home and packed our bags for Goshen. After a three hour trip including a Fazoli stop, 1 potty break, no wrong turns, and about a million radio station scans, we arrived in Goshen. It was great to see people I hadn't seen in almost exactly a month, (ie Meryl, Jess, Libby, all the other girls from my floor). Essentially it was a nice homecoming. However it didn't take Meryl long to put me to work helping with her birthday party meal. She made two Russian Mennonite classics zweibach and verenika (spelling is all wrong, I know). This was quite the process starting with preparing the verenika Friday night and continuing early Saturday morning working the whole way up until 12:30pm when we ate. It was delicious and a great crowd of people showed up. The one difficulty of the time was using the electric grill in doors, the College Cabin got quite smoky. After all that I went home for a little while and visited with Mom and Dad. I also got to see the finally completed kitchen, which looks amazing! I think it is the best room in the house now. It fills easily with light and Mom has her plants all over the space. Lots of cupboards and storage spots with a high usefulness quota. Then Saturday evening was the International Student Club Coffeehouse and Dinner. I had never attended the dinner before and it was yummy! Although by the time I started eating the various dishes I couldn't remember which countries they were from or their names, each of the ones I tried were quite good. I should also mention that this event was the first time I wore my boots to a dress up occasion. I wore them with my little blue polyester vintage 70's dress. I think I looked like a hooker but I loved it! The outfit also caused my brother to double-take, which I thought was hilarious. The coffeehouse was a blast, lots of talent and lots of amazing dancing. The highlights for me were 2 African dances and a solo Haitian dance. One from Tanzania and the other from Ghana, the African dances were great examples of how amazing hips can be when moved correctly. Good lord, I wish I knew how to make my hips move like that. After the coffeehouse was over, girls from the floor and myself had a mini dance party in Steph and Meryl's room, although we couldn't replicate all the hip movements we had seen, we had lots of fun trying. Sunday morning came all to early, but it was Carnival at Assembly so I was at least somewhat motivated to get out of bed. Carnival this year was very unique and I think probably one of the oddest I have ever been too (and that is saying a lot). The theme was compost, so there was a big compost pile of shredded paper in the front with three worms (John Glick, Julie and Ian Keim) crawling in it. Then for second hour Mary Lehman Yoder gave a great sermon on the life of Christine Weaver and how she composted the difficulties in her life in to a spiritually rich life. Mom and Dad made lunch for us all and it was a good crowd (Meryl, Steph, Krista Ehst, Jonathan and the parents). Good food and good conversation. Then after playing a few games of sequence with my parents and meryl, I did my taxes and found out that I neither get a refund or have to pay. Then I took a lovely hour nap before Anna picked me up for the drive home. So there you have it the basic picture of my weekend. I will try to post a picture of my new hair shortly.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

cubicles: those bloodsucking office days

Actually despite my rather bitter title, today has been a better internship day than usual. It actually sort of started off badly, with my boss not showing up until 11:30am. Turns out she had a diversity training event and was here since 9am, however I failed to see the small post-it note she left me and therefore spent 2 1/2 hours wondering around thinking, "what the heck?". But it seems her day is way worse than mine due to a splitting headache and a crisis with her mother's health. Isn't it weird sometimes how something bad happening to someone else can all of a sudden make you feel better? It turns out the work she wanted me to do was scanning in a a bunch of old photos, which while not exactly brain-stretching has led to one of my more relaxing afternoons. Due to the long scan time, there are significant stretches of time where all I can do is surf the internet! It is so much nicer to waste time when you aren't doing it as procrastination, but as required downtime. Therefore I have spent most of my time reveling in the world of blogs, which as you can see from the new additions to my sidebar has been quite fun. Yet along with blogging I have been obsessively waiting for emails and checking to see if one of my checks has cleared. Which along with the almost complete lack of people time today has lead to this slightly weird belief I currently hold that I am indeed the last person on earth (or at least the people in the other cubicles and I). Which always leads me down that temptation to blog odd posts that bemoan the fact that my impact on this society is so small. Which leads me to check my sitemeter every few minutes. So anyways, good cubicle day, although I think I couldn't bear them for more than a semester. Oh and do check out those blogs to your right, they are a good time.

Goshen, Goshen, Goshen, maybe Ireland

Tomorrow my housemates and I will be striking out towards Goshen. I am really excited about getting back to see everyone and Meryl's birthday party and the International Coffee house/dinner and getting to see my parents finally completed kitchen. It is interesting because this will be the third out of four weekends where I will be having some form of Goshen contact (starting out with my parents' visit, then Steph, Becca and Tara and ending with my recuitment quick trip a week from today). Yesterday was a good day, Miriam and I got up early to take advantage of the free staff IMAX showing at the State Museum of Jane Goodalls' Wild Chimpanzes. Excellent movie, lots of great chimp footage and some really spectacular IMAX scenery pictures. Then we made it back to Old Centrum just in time for a spectacular class with J Liechty as guest speaker. He is a really great professor, and for those of you back in Goshen I would really recommend a class or two with him. But even more exciting I was talking with J and apparently there is a Irish Literature and Political Studies course this summer taking place IN Ireland!!!! And while extremely expensive, it would fit into my schedule for the summer, occurring right in between may term and my possible Maple Scholars program. And if I don't take it for any credit (which I would prefer not to) it could cost possibly half as much. And I will probably try to get a plowshares grant to cover at least some of the expense (and maybe my parents too). So it is really in the air and has a bunch of ways to fail, but there is a chance I would be able to return to Ireland and get to study there with J Liechty (for those of you don't know, he spent 20+ years there working at peace and reconciliation)!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

why I love the Indy buses

First off, there is a stop less than two blocks away from Peace House. Route 2 buses come by it around 8:30am every morning, which times my transportation perfectly, landing me at the State Museum by 9am almost every morning. Second, people are nice on the buses. Well I can't really state this as fact, but so far in my experiences and those of my other housemates, people who ride the bus seem to share of genuine bond. Only we know what it is like to have to depend so completely on a commuter system to get us to jobs. And only we know exactly how wonderful a warm bus can be, especially when it arrives 5 minutes later than you originally that it would on a frosty winter morning. Third, the drivers are friendly. I have been riding the buses for a two weeks now and most of the time it is Sam who drives the bus down Central Ave. every morning. There is something quite nice about being greeted with a "hello, dear, how are you?" every morning. There you go, three reasons you should ride the IndyGo bus system