Monday, July 25, 2005

off I go

I am heading out tomorrow morning to PA for interviews and then to VA for the Hess reunion. It will be nice to escape this awful IN heat and humidity for a while and of course see all the family. I'll be flying back on Sunday evening into Chicago, then South Shore to South Bend, so it will be a long day. This afternoon I got the news that my eyes seemed to have healed completely and I am close to 20/20 in both eyes! See you all in about a week.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Tim: These are the pictures of the deck that Mom said you wanted. The picture in the upper left hand is when Dad was finished laying some of the floor boards, as you can see we were in the middle of quite a rain storm. The upper right hand is a close-up of the planks, they are recycled plastic, kinda like wood, but not quite, but very eco-friendly of course. Then the bottom left gives a view of what has been done up to today, where Jonathan is perched is actually meant for hanging flowers. The final pictures is from inside the kitchen, looking out, as you can see the deck also provides a nice resting place for strange wildlife that wonder through my pictures. Posted by Picasa

Tim: These are the pictures of Bruce and Nancy that you requested, if you want I can send you email versions of the seperate pictures. I hope you are enjoying Spain. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 23, 2005

it's Saturday people

Wow, I just got this big random joyful feeling! Does anyone else ever get these, out of the blue, not expected, but there anyways? Yesterday was a great day, after my presentation (which Jan totally approved of!!!!) I went with Tara and Megan to have a European lunch at Rachel's bread, which was European in both its length (over 2 hours) and content (a tomato and mozzarella salad, Haverti cheese sandwich on wheat-berry cranberry sourdough bread, and meadow tea, with half a chocolate croissant for dessert). Then we walked around downtown for a while, just taking in the sun and strolling. All together a very lovely day. Oh and my latest I-love-my-Lasik moment was this morning when I was stepping into the shower and tried to take off my glasses. Needless to say, they weren't there!

Friday, July 22, 2005


This morning I got up at 7am to get to my post-op check-up at 8am. Everything looks good, although due to residual swelling in my left eye, my vision is not 20/20 yet. Although my right eye is pretty much perfect. Lasik went really well yesterday, although there were some very uncomfortable weird sensations, I wouldn't describe it as painful. The staff there were really great and the surgery itself only took around 15 minutes. Although it felt both longer and shorter than that. I spent most of the afternoon really bored, with no reading, computer, TV or other detail activity allowed. So I built a house of cards, played a few rounds of solitaire, and then even two games of spider solitaire, which is much more complex to play without a computer. The best surprise of the afternoon was Steph stopping by. I had called her house and left a message with her Mom saying to have her call me, but without even getting the message she stopped by. So we played some idiot, which basically helped the whole boredom thing. Then in the evening I made a Japanese salad dressing that I got the recipe from Jess's Mom, it turned out well. And I capped off the evening by going to Small Group. I think the best part about Lasik can be summed up by this morning when after waking up I reached for my glasses and realized they weren't there!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

so maybe not the best template for actually reading the blog

Well obviously I have continued with the messing faze on the blog. I switched basic templates to allow for more graphic variation, as you can see I have yet to find a good way to blend the graphics into the page instead of having the graphics take over. Anyways the three graphics below are all from N. Ireland, where I was last summer, except for the tree which was taken by Tim in Scotland. Other than this blog messing, I babysat all day and am racking my brain for ways to write up my interviews/analyze them. I am kinda hitting some bumps in that department, so this may not be the best evening. Oh and tomorrow my eyeballs take on one laser each, for the team.

 Posted by Picasa It should also be noted that this picture was taken by Tim and can be seen in its full glory at And while you are at that site, take a look around because Tim has some great stuff there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

if at first you don't succeed, try, try again

trial Posted by Picasa This is a photo taken by my talented brother Tim in Scotland. As you can see I am trying rather blunderingly to teach myself how to make my own blog template, so this is the results of about an hour of my time this afternoon (during which of course I should have been writing).

Monday, July 18, 2005

Lasik countdown: 3 days

I realized I haven't posted anything in depth for a while, probably because I have been doing a fair amount of housesitting and well I just haven't been in the mood. This summer has been good, although it hasn't been living up to my expectations. Which probably indicates my expectations were too high :). But it has quickly become something in between two points, the first being may term with learning mandarin Chinese and the second being actually going to china. I am really excited about going to china, I can't wait to go and live in another country for 3 months, to see lots of exciting landmarks, such as the great wall, the terra cotta soldiers, the forbidden city, the Yangzhe river, and many others. But at the same time I also have this thin little undercurrent of nerves/fear/anxiety. So much of one's experience is shaped by one's attitude and sometimes I struggle with maintaining a good attitude even in the best of settings. One example of this would be when I probably 8 or so and our family traveled to New York. We went to see the statue of liberty and I thought of course that my 8 year old legs would have no problem climbing the hundreds of stairs up to the crown of the statue, my parents wisely thought better of this and so I ended up staying at the base with Jonathan and my Mom. I of course was so mad, I pouted for the rest of the day. In fact when my Mom tried to take a picture of Jonathan and I looking out over the wall, I refused to turn around. Which resulted in a picture of my 8 year old back and Jonathan next to me with his buzz cut, little 6 year old belly and a somewhat solemn expression on his face. However this pattern of allowing my attitude to shape my experience continued into high school where on a amazing 3 week family vacation extravaganza (we drove north into Canada, stopped at Niagara Falls, traveled east to Prince Edward Island, turned south down into Maine, drove through new England to Pennsylvania for a family reunion, continued south down into South Carolina where we volunteered for a few days at a African American church that was being rebuilt after the series of racist arson attacks that occurred in the South during the 1990s) I couldn't stop complaining. Now part of this could be blamed on my huge sinus infection, that resulted in me spending countless hours drugged out in the tent, but part of this was also my own decision to make myself miserable. Although is should also be noted that this was the vacation in which my Dad read the entire Lord of the Rings series outloud to our family, which was and still is in the top 20 events of my life. However listening to Frodo and Samwise struggle through Mordor, while lying half drugged out in the back seat as we drove into PA would also be in the top worst moments of my life. As I have grown older, I have worked at getting over this way of allowing my attitude to dictate my experience, but it remains a challenge. I think in some ways another main reason that this summer has not been as amazing as originally thought is because of how my attitude shapes my perceptions. Because obviously this also effects my social life, it gets really hard for me to interact with people I don't know as well, when I can't seem to get into a positive attitude. And then of course when I don't hang out with people as much it can quickly slip into the vicious cycle of "nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna go eat worms" It is kinda interesting, because this isn't at all what I was gonna post, but then hey blogging as therapy, not exactly the newest idea in the book. In other news I received and devoured Harry Potter 6, it was amazing. I laughed, I cried, I loved it. Special Note to Katie: I would love to analyze it/chat about it with you. Last night Tara finally called me (she had finished it too) and we talked about it for probably close to 2 hours! As for my own review of it, I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it really was great. Rowling does such a great job of giving the reader both the expected and the unexpected, also it is so much fun to guess how she is going to pull off the rest of the plot that is going to be shoved into the final book. I think a finer analysis of the book will have to wait until I give it a second more relaxed read through. But currently, cheerios to JK Rowling! Oh and about the Lasik, I am going under the knife (actually the laser in this case) on Thursday morning. My dad gets to drive me up to South Bend for my 8:45 surgery time! So I would really appreciate your thoughts and prayers then, because as much as I am not worried about the surgery, I still really don't like how I will be awake the whole time. But I also can't wait to be rid of glasses and contacts forever (or at least until my late 50s when I will probably need reading glasses)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This is from my trip this past weekend to the Botanic Garden in Chicago (is that name right Jess?). Slightly over messed with, but I like it anyways. Posted by Picasa

no frickin way!!!!

I can hardly believe it, after a tip off from Katie on her blog, I found out that Colm Wilkinson will be performing at Goshen College this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dude, he is part of the reason I feel in love with Les Miserables. I will never be able to hear songs such at Bring Him Home without immediately wishing it was being sung by Wilkinson. But oh wait, the pain, he is performing November 19th and where will I be. You guessed it in China and not in 3rd row seats. I could almost cry. Oh and if you need confirmation here it is.

Monday, July 11, 2005

what I did this weekend in Chicago: a photo collage

Sunday, July 10, 2005

sittin here in my underwear

Music: Jump, Little Children Say Goodnight This evening as my parents were driving my home from the South Bend Airport, we were chatting about a younger cousin's upcoming decision to attend either the public school in her area or LMH, the area Mennonite high school. I realized I wouldn't really have any advice to give her. My decision to attend Bethany, the Goshen Mennonite high school, over my local school district, shaped my life in ways that are hard to even imagine at this point. My parents would live in a different house, I wouldn't even know many of my high school friends, but more than that I could have been shaped into an entirely different person. As is commonly agreed high school is a highly influential part of life, but how different would I be right now if that choice had been made differently. I don't look back on it with regret, but just a high dose of curiosity. What I wouldn't give to be able to see the different me that would exist today if I had not gone to Bethany. But then I am sure I will have many more of these major "forks" in my life to come. They do tend to draw forth the question, How much to our experiences shape who we become?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

massive nudity

I found this on boingboing and thought it was hilarious. Lots of naked people (there that should increase my searchable words)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I always

get nervous when I have my check-in meetings with Jan. Maybe this time she will rip apart my ideas, tell me that I am a slacker, and that she is going to make Carl take away my big check. But every time, I just end up getting inspired and happy to be researching.......although this inspiration generally fades within the hour, but still follow this link to see what I am listening too, but since you asked: Iron & Wine Muddy Hymnal

Monday, July 04, 2005

patriotic duty

Today I fulfilled my duty as an American citizen by spending the day shopping in South Bend. I figured it was as traditional a way to spend the day as any BBQ. Tara drove Kat and I there in her mom's amazing hybrid. We browsed Old Navy, the mall and some other stories. I bought a nice pair of green pants, that I should be able to wear as capris or as regular pants, they will definitly be coming with me to China (which is less than 2 months away). It was fun to hang out with them both, especially Kat, who I haven't seen as much as I would like to this summer. But my real reason to go was the take pictures with them in the photo booth that gives you those cool sets of four poses. I love those machines.

Friday, July 01, 2005

for all those stalkers out there

Is it just me or is technology getting almost scary these days. This is a link that takes you to Google maps, where you can view a satalite picture of good ole' Goshen College, (interestingly enough it is fairly recent because it was taken after the complition of the Connector, but before the Apartments were built. Just a little crazy isn't it!

better late than never

Although a little late in coming, here is a picture of Laurel and me at a look out point near Sedona, Arizona. We wandered around this little set of shops that were all modeled to look like an old Spanish fort/mission. It even had a little chapel in it, very gorgeous, but of course way beyond my wildest monetary dreams. But in more recent recollections, I just had the most amazing lunch at the Blue Gill restaurant, where Steph works. It is located where Bread and Chocolate used to be and is now a rather high priced fine dining establishment. Steph, Asha and I went all out using our food budget for this housesitting gig. We used over half of it on one meal, but let me tell you it was well worth it. We got dessert and Steph ordered Creme Brule, so I got to reenact my Amelie longings and crack the top!