Thursday, May 26, 2005

well I bought a bridesmaid dress this evening

It really was a pretty good day overall, I just seem to have fallen into an unseen dip, hopefully only temporarily. Anyways my dress is pretty cool, strapless, floor length, gathered at the side and peridot in color (a light green that is). I like it and I had a good time at the Thai restaurant with Steph and Abby (another bridesmaid). I had a slightly disappointing evening last night, managing to miss the middle of the Alias finale and the end of the Lost finale. Really though, I guess I shouldn't get that into TV shows anyways :) Oh and today I successfully cooked a meal for Dad's department. It was a lot of fun and they tipped well, so that was nice. I made salad, cashew chicken, rice, fruit salad and carrot cake. It took me almost as long to clean up as it did to make. I don't really know why I am feeling down all of a sudden, maybe because there about 4 things I really need to get down, that I haven't really started yet. Oh boy...... summer..........

Monday, May 23, 2005

well its back to the ole dial up

Summer is going well so far. I haven't managed to be super productive, but I have babysat twice already for the Good-Kaufmans and their two little girls. In fact last Saturday evening found me in charge of four little girls all under the age of 4. Despite some interesting ideas about how poop should be transported to the toilet and a few temper tantrums it was a good evening. I also finally got my Ti Chu deck that I ordered on-line and have definitely been getting my moneys' worth out of it. That is the nice thing about having free time, so much more relaxing and game time, versus study time. However I did find out that I got a B in my one credit not actually needed English Syntax course, which means that I no longer have a 4.0. I guess I should have guessed it, as soon as I get to liking the idea of graduating with a 4.0 I go ahead and ruin it. Oh well. I think one of the best parts of break so far has been the family time. While I have already gotten annoyed at all the "friendly reminders" given me by my parents regarding the state of my disaster area room, it is nice to spend time with them. Especially Jonathan who I haven't spent proper time with since Christmas. Another big highlight of the last few days was going to see Star Wars with a bunch of people last Thursday and then crashing at Jesse's house (yes Steph's Jesse). It was a really good time and it was nice to get to spend more time with someone who is and is going to be such a big part of Steph's life. Oh and I am really pumped because next weekend I will get to see my cousin Laura again, which is always a blast.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

zai jian putonghua*

*goodbye Mandarin Well May term is over and I have to say it was a good one. The other day Meryl was digging through some of her stuff in preparation for packing and discovered the notes that we had written at the end of last May Term. Our group from History of the Southwest was a really good one and at the end of the term we had all passed around papers and wrote nice things about each other. So Meryl and I had a blast reading over what each member of the group and said about Meryl, so many warm fuzzies! I think I have just had a lot of luck when it comes to may terms, pretty much 3 out of 3 have scored high on the awesome levels! I was reading Steph's most recent post about how her junior year is now officially over and it finally hit me that I have only one year left till graduation! Wowsas, I mean I can't believe I am more that half way done with college and that soon I will be heading out into the "real world". But fortunately I feel more ready for that than I ever had before, maybe its a part of this whole gaining independence/maturing thing. Also I am really excited about my summer, my fall and my next Christmas (which just may happen in London with my family). All in all pretty darn happy. You know I guess this is how happiness happens sometimes, just sneaks in through the window and while it may not last it is a good darn time.

Monday, May 16, 2005

almost a week

Well folks, may term is almost over and I would have to say that being on campus doesn't suck as much as I thought it would. In fact it was probably as good as my freshmen year when I went to Columbia. I got to know my SST group better and learn way more Chinese than I would have thought possible in three weeks. But I guess the real question is how much will I remember. But really what has made this may term wonderful is my girl friends. Being around my closest friends after three months without them has been wonderful. There is no other group (than maybe my family) that I am so comfortable in, so free to be myself. Each of my friends are so wonderful in different ways, there is Meryl who has been my roomie forever and we know each others tics like the back of our hands. There is Jess who can sense how I am doing a mile away and listens like no tomorrow. Steph with her great caring, joy and generosity. Katrina with her wit and wisdom. Becca with her giggles, humor and sense of knowing me longer than anyone else. Katie with her exciting blogs of foreign places and amazing writing. Kristi with her inner joy, kindness and warmth. And so many others, I am so blessed. Yesterday at potluck, a group of us was have a conversation about Gender and God and how changing "he" to "she" in various verses can really change the tone and meaning of the scripture. It made me think about how I see God. I think at the times I feel closest to God it is when I imagine my closest woman friend with a touch of father in her. One evening this past week I was lying in bed so angry, sad, and frustrated by the memories of past difficult relationships. It was late and as I lay there I couldn't get myself to relax, but as I lay there I began to pray. Not very eloquently, just asking for help, asking why, asking for reassurance in a similar fashion to how I talk to my girl friends. And as I did that I slowly relaxed and I felt so much in peace about it all and I began to realize the pettiness of my thoughts and how much I needed to let it all go. It was a really beautiful moment for me, and one that hasn't happened that often for me. On a completely different note, this may term has also been a new beginning for me and having crushes! I haven't had a real good ole' crush in quite sometime, so it is nice to have the thrill of thinking about a guy again and all the sappy things that go along with it. Of course nothing may come of them, but they are nice to have once in a while. With that I need to go get un-smelly in the shower.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

a Rumi poem stolen from Meryl who stole it from David

Keep walking, though there's no place to get to. Don't try to see through the distances. That's not for human beings. Move within; but don't move the way fear makes you move. Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the studyand being reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Rumi

um its Monday, duh

As you have probably noticed by now, I tend not to do very well with the whole title thing (or the whole typing the as "the" and not teh"). Anyways I probably should correct this title to read Tuesday, but because I really thought I was typing that and it was my fingers fault that Monday appeared I will leave it there as a warning to them. This past weekend was carrific, with Meryl and I logging 28 hours in one for a total of 17 waking hours in Hesston with her family. But it was worth it! I got to see her family and Alex, her sister, (who will be my roomie next spring). Plus I got fed amazing russian menno food several meals in a row. All in a all a good, if slightly rushed, time. Since my arrival home I have done the following things: -took the second English Syntax test -went to Chinese class on 5 hours of sleep -typed more of a manuscript for John Roth -took a shower -got a mango smoothie from Java Junction -visited my parents for supper -had blood successfully sucked out of my vein in order to determine its type -mentally frolicked in the sun and blue skies -ordered the sixth Harry Potter from Amazon -got nine hours of sleep in order to aid recovery from the weekend -got a loverly email from Jonathan in London -wrote a paragraph in Chinese about my family that went something like this (except with tones) Wo jiao Ai Bi. Wo jia you wu kou ren. Tamen shi wo baba wo mama wo gege wo didi. Wo baba jiao John he ta shi Computer jingli. etc etc So all in all its been a good few days!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

bridal shopping

Well seeing as most of you probably know my good friend and roommate Steph is now officially engaged! So this afternoon, Meryl, Steph, Jess and myself traveled up to Dave's Bridal in South Bend. Good Lord! For anyone in the least bit interested in weddings and wedding dresses this is the place to go. I mean even if you aren't interested, you will be by the time you leave. While the three of us played the excited friend role and advisors to the dress selection, Steph tried on various dresses to try to determine a specific style that she would be interested in. The first two had good points, but it was the third that blew us all out of the water. It was beautiful! Strapless with a fitted bodice and then flowing skirt it had beautiful gold and pastel embroidery all along its train and bodice edges. Plus it also fit Steph beautifully! It was when the salesperson added a veil to the ensemble (even though Steph probably won't get one) that I had that oh my word moment! Steph is going to get married! Of course not for 2 years, but still. Unfortunately that dress is also out of the price range, but there was another one that was also really beautiful and much more reasonable. So there that I have done the wedding gushing, I also had a great evening checking in with Katrina at the Brew. It was wonderful! She is one of those dear friends who I don't see all the time but when we do hang out it is perfect and we click right back together. Well I need to do a little packing for this weekend because I will be driving to Kansas with Meryl so that she can see her sister graduate from Hesston. Goodnight. Oh and by the way Laura, I do plan on being at the Hess reunion and of course want to hear if Jed will be there :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

ummm lalalalala

Today: -finished 1 out of 4 english syntax tests -"studied" Chinese -successfully stayed awake during 4 1/2 hours of class -made gelantinous jiaozi -played cherche la boche -got really sore (probably left over from shot in right arm for tetanus -attended chapel -listened to music -was introduced to new addictive computer game named collapse times I wished I was in Europe: 4 times I wished I was engaged: 0.5 times I tried to say "my brother and his girlfriend are in Europe" in Chinese: 3 times I went to the rot: 0 times I listened to the Wailing Jennys' 40 days album: working on 2 nothing else for now, pretty slow these days.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

so you know how I have this homework thing

So this weekend....not so much with the productive. I have to confess I studied Mandarin a grand total of 0 hours! I am so bad, but well I did read some of the Modern China book and I thought about it a lot! So what did I do this weekend, you might ask. Well on Friday night I hung out with the friendlings and watched Spanglish for the second time. While a good movie, I wouldn't really recommend it for a double viewing, one time was enough. Then I slept in for a while before going home to unpack a little (ie move all my boxes into my bedroom where they will haunt me come the end of may term). During which I ran into Becca and Jess, invited them in and ended up going with them to the library and borrowing the first two volumes of Manor House. Meryl and Steph joined us for watching all 4 hours of the PBS reality recreation of an Edwardian household complete with maids, the butler and of course the aristocratic family who lives in luxury. So very fascinating and I mean who isn't a sucker for British reality television. Saturday evening turned out to be interesting with a lively game of Up the River Down the River in the Connector followed by almost three hours of Ti Chu which was taught to my friends and I by Charles Bontrager. After staying up until 4am and the brief electrical outage that reset our alarms, my room collectively skipped church. However in true college fashion I still attended the surprise luncheon with my parents providing me with one out of my two homecooked meals for the day. This afternoon Becca invited all of us to her house for a yummy lentil and rice meal with an amazing pecan dessert. And of course this evening mainly consisted of my two guilty television pleasures Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy that I watched with Becca and David. Anyways my 11pm bedtime beckons so goodnight and maybe I'll learn more Mandarin Chinese tomorrow.

my review of John McCutcheon

A regular performer at Goshen College, John McCutcheon returned this past Saturday night to Sauder Concert Hall. An accomplished folk musician, McCutcheon has received numerous awards, including five Grammy nominations and has produced over twenty albums. But more importantly, McCutcheon thrives on performing live at venues ranging from 5th grade Peer-Mediator graduations in Alaska to folk festivals around the world. McCutcheon’s love for children’s music comes out clearly and during his children’s concert Saturday afternoon, over 100 children took to the stage with him. Playing to a rapt audience of adults, students and families, McCutcheon opened with “John Henry”, the folk hero who successfully worked faster than a steam drill in order to save the jobs of his fellow minors in the late 1800s. Combining story and song with his own brand of self-deprecating humor, McCutcheon told how the song had impacted him as a 9 year old and reflected on his initial inability to see John Henry’s death as a victory and his own interpretation of the song as praise for the average people who do great things. This interweaving of songs with antidotes set the theme for the evening with McCutcheon providing background information and stories for many of his songs. Along with the classic folk songs, McCutcheon played many of his original songs inspired by childhood memories, newspaper clippings and even current events. McCutcheon makes no attempts to hide his political leanings and sang a song he wrote after watching the 9/11 hearings in which he vented his frustrations with political figures who refuse to take the blame for their actions. Born a catholic but a practicing Quaker for most of his adult life, McCutcheon also sang Guthrie’s “This Land is my land, This Land is your Land,” with the extra verses that have been left out of many more popularized versions of the song. Each of McCutcheon’s songs blended his rich storytelling ability with his mastery in five different traditional folk instruments. Switching fluidly between banjo, guitar, autoharp, piano, and hammered dulcimer demonstrated his mastery throughout the evening. Proving especially memorable were several of McCutcheon’s hammered dulcimer pieces and his impeccable fingering on the banjo. A practiced and engaging performer, McCutcheon also encouraged audience sing-a-longs during several of his pieces including, “The storm is over” and other well known favorites. During the second half of the concert, McCutcheon took several requests including the crowd favorite of “Christmas in the Trenches.” Throughout the evening McCutcheon proved once again his ability to entertain a range of ages and perform in a variety of genres.