Saturday, February 27, 2010
Some day I want to be a coffee shop dwelling writer. I haven't decided yet if I want to be the sketchy person perched in the corner silently observing or the social butterfly who hops tables from the time the coffee shop opens until it closes. I don't know but I'm willing to set aside my dislike for coffee and hatred for the lingering coffee shop smell to achieve this goal.
The long process towards reaching this goal began on Wednesday. I had a nice chunk of free time in the afternoon. My plan was to do go right after lunch, do homework until my meeting at 3:30, finish the meeting quickly, and then write for fun until dinner.
Around 1:45 I walked in to the coffee shop and ordered my favorite drink: a decaf peppermint mocha. Lucky for me, my punch card was full so I got a free venti! Normally I order a tall, so I figured the venti would last me until dinner. It didn't but that's ok. See! I'm on my way to being a coffee drinker!
I found an open table and for the next hour or so I worked relatively diligently. Of course, I did take a break from preparing for my poetry workshop to enjoy some people watching or have a short chat but nothing too substantial.
That is until Jessica found me. I knew I was in trouble when she pulled out the chair and sat down across the table from me. By this point it was about 2:30 and my homework wasn't done yet. She had a coffee date at 3, so I didn't panic. I could still use that last half hour to finish my work and then write for fun (not blog) afterwards.
At exactly 3:00 the bell on the door to the coffee shop rang and in walked Dr. Zirci. It was actually ironic because Jessica and I had just been talking about his wonderful family.
"You're in my office," he teased me.
"Actually, I'm in the coffee shop," I teased back.
"That's my table," he argued.
"I don't see your name on it," I countered.
"This exact table is my office from 3-5 on Wednesday afternoons," he said pulling out a syllabus to show me he does indeed have coffee shop office hours at that time. What a fun professor!
Before he could kick me out of his office I invited him to join me. The three of us engaged in conversation until Jessica's coffee date arrived and I changed tables for my meeting. We left Dr. Zirci alone in his office.
At 4:15ish I returned to my seat next to Dr. Zirci ready to write.
"What are Katie and Dr. Zirci doing?" I heard a voice behind us.
"I don't know. Maybe she needs remedial help," a second voice answered.
"She's definitely not in Anatomy and Physiology; she's an English major. Plus, they're laughing. I'm pretty sure A&P isn't that funny."
"You're just jealous," I wanted to say but I didn't. Instead, I stole a glance at the time on his computer: 5:00. We'd been talking for a solid forty-five minutes; forty-five minutes of my precious writing time had dwindled away. Have you ever tried to write for fun in a coffee shop sitting side by side with a professor who's also your adoptive father? Let me tell you, it doesn't work very well. However, I don't regret it. Instead of writing, I spent forty-five minutes watching YouTube videos, looking at photos, and sharing life.
Sure, my story's not any further along but the time was well-spent.
Be real-life social today. Don't wait for people to join you in the caf because sooner or later dinner will be over and your conversation will wrap up (unless you're David). Don't wait to see wh appears in your apartment because it's only a matter of time before you'll disappear into your bedroom to do homework. Intentionally place yourself somewhere where you will interact with others and do nothing but fellowship. Put aside your plans to share life. Oh, and facebook/ blogger doesn't count, sorry. :-)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
They all start in the same way: Elizabeth and me fighting over shot gun. Sometimes I win; sometimes she wins. Either way it's a physical struggle between the two of us. We're both the oldest of three girls so we know how to fight and don't always fight fair. Hair pulling is not out of the question.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth won, so Amy and I sat in the back. Once seats are assigned and we all crawl in the second fight beings: to wear a seat belt or not to wear a seat belt, that is the question.
"Are you wearing your seat belts?" Andy asks every time. For the record, my seat belt is always on. It's Amy and Elizabeth that he has to worry about. They have been known to unbuckle each other so they can honestly answer "no" when he asks "Did you just unbuckle your seat belt?" He still pulled over and refused to go again until their seat belts were on correctly.
"I'll put my seat belt on if Katie takes hers off," Amy argued. I took my seat belt off. She put hers on. I put mine on. She took hers off. "And keeps it off!" That wasn't part of the deal.
"No, no, no the law says everyone in the vehicle must have their seat belts on at all times," Andy argued.
"Andy, do you plan on crashing?" Elizabeth asked.
"I don't think anyone plans on crashing. I think that's why it's called an accident," I suggested.
"But, really, Andy, you're a safe driver; he drives ambulances. We'll be ok."
"Put your seat belt on anyway," he argued.
"No! I've got a great Mom Arm. If we crash I'll just use my Mom Arm to save myself," Elizabeth suggested.
"You can't Mom Arm yourself. That just doesn't work!" Andy argued.
"Fine the I'll Mom Arm you and your seat belt will save us both."
For some reason I don't think that's going to work either.
"I'll put my seat belt on if Amy puts on her seat belt," Elizabeth started.
"I'll put on my seat belt if Elizabeth puts on her seat belt," Amy countered.
"Ok, on the count of three the two of you are going to simultaneously put on your seat belts... One... two... three!" Failure.
"If you don't put your seat belt on Katie's going to hold your shoulders, and I'm sure her hands are cold," Andy told Elizabeth.
Ten minutes after we got in the car both girls put on their respective seat belts which remained on for the duration of our three minute venture. Although it is always a concern. If he hadn't been driving stick shift I think he would have held Elizabeth's hands in his to prevent her from removing her seat belt.
While we were driving we created a what-if scenario regarding the importance of seat belts. My own accident story apparently isn't good enough for them.
"What if a deer jumps out in the middle of the road, I hit it, and you go flying through the windshield because you weren't wearing your seat belt and your Mom Arm failed. Then you crack your head open on the road and blood is spewing everywhere!" Andy started our hypothetical.
"You're trained to handle that," she said mocking Andy's EMS training; this has become one of our favorite lines (third favorite to be exact. The first two are "That's what she said" and "-er? You barely know her!").
"What if the airbag pushed me backwards while seat belt-less Amy is pushed forward behind me so we clunk heads and both pass out. Now you're still bleeding to death in the middle of the street," Andy continued.
"Katie, will you call 9-1-1 before you go crazy and start sanitizing everything?" Elizabeth asked me.
"I can't. My cell phone was in the bag you chucked into the elevator a half hour ago. Sorry," I said.
I was still sitting helplessly in the back seat, seatbelt fastened and hand sanitizer ready, as my friends struggled for consciousness when our hypothetical came to an abrupt hault. It was not by choice, however. You see at that very moment we learned the meaning of the word "irony." From the woods on our left jumped a deer. There was a mix of laughter and shock in the car as the deer disappeared into the woods across the stree.
No, Andy didn't hit it and our bizarre scenario didn't come to fruition, but I think Elizabeth and Amy will wear their seat belts next time we all go for a joy ride in Charlie.
And to think this post was going to be "Why I Wear a Helmet"... That'll be next week. :-)
Buckle up for safety, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I folded my hands but opted against closing my eyes. If I closed my eyes, I probably would have fallen asleep. Besides, who wants to close their eyes while riding through the beautiful mountains?
Katie: Hey, God, I absolutely love these mountains You've created. I'm willing to risk motion-sickness and take my eyes off the road to enjoy this beautiful creation You've made. Every tree perfectly formed and every mountain hump meticulously placed. The effort and precision amazes me!
God: You know, Katie, I put the same amount of effort and precision into creating you.
My prayer time could have been over right then and there. I was content; I was filled. But it wasn't. There was still eighteen minutes to go, and God had more things He wanted to teach me. He often teaches me through the things I see (another reason I didn't want to close my eyes).
We passed a sign that said, "Rest Area. No facilities."
I began to think to myself about how dumb that is: a rest area with no facilities. As we drew closer there was another sign stating it's a look-out point without facilities. Ok, beautiful but not practical.
We all, women especially, want to be considered beautiful. Most of us enjoy feeling pretty. In fact, sometimes when we're getting gussied up we don't pay attention to the practical. We're too concerned with "Does this look good" than "Will I be able to walk in these shoes?" We much rather have lovely long eye lashes than realize we can't see because mascara is making lines down our glasses every time we blink. I prayed that God make my life practical rather than beautiful.
Maybe He doesn't have fame and glory in my future. Maybe my blog will never have more than eleven readers. Maybe the words He's given me have a deep impact on those eleven readers and draw them closer to Him. Maybe that type of intimacy isn't available in a community with a larger reading audience. Maybe one day I'll be ok with that. I prayed that day would be soon. Make my life practical rather than beautiful.
Not five minutes later, the Garmin fell. Sitting in the front seat of the bus, I crawled forward, rescued it off the dash board, stuck it back together, and re-suctioned it to the windshield.
"Good in theory; poor in design," the bus driver said to me with a smile.
I am a firm believer that things should be designed by the people who are going to use them. College students should design dorm rooms. Teachers and students should design classrooms. Doctors and nurses should design hospitals. Bus drivers should design Garmins.
However, there is one exception to this rule. One time when the "thing" being used should not be designed by the user. Life. My life should not be designed by me, the liver (aka the person living it). Instead, I believe life should be designed by God. After all, the life we create is good in theory but poor in design. The life we make is beautiful but not practical.
Travel with me through the mountains of life and into this dangerous prayer:
Abba Father, make my life practical rather than beautiful. Wipe away my good theories and replace them with Your great designs. Let me be ok with it.
Let me know how I can pray for you and have a wonderful week!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Here are some highlights:
- Using an ironing board as a sled...
- The Oreo Olympics: What started as a game to get a half-an-Oreo from the forehead to the mouth sans hands turned into "If I flip this whole Oreo from one shoulder to the other shoulder before kicking it, will you catch it in your mouth?"
- "Patrick, I could hearing you giggling in my bed," complained a female adult chaperone. Please, let's all enjoy her misplaced modifier... and then we'll adjust the sentence to say, "From my bed I could hear you laughing, Patrick!"
- I was the only one sitting at the kitchen table in our house. Please note this kitchen table seats at least ten people and all of the other seats were unoccupied. A girl came into the house to dodge a snowball. Well, she was successful... I was not. The snowball hit one chair and one chair only: mine.
- Kevin and Jeanie had never skied before. Brad and I are intermediate skiers. Somehow the two newbies ended up on the lift together while Brad and I were in the next chair. Acrophobia Kevin screamed the whole way!
- [Quite possibly my favorite] We were playing a game called "Body Parts" where two partners are separated and have to run to each other and touch the called body parts. For example, if the caller says, "Nose to toes," partner one's nose goes to partner two's toes. I took full advantage of my role as caller by saying things like, "tongue to ear" but then I got bored and began to take requests. Somewhere in the game bones started appearing, and "That is not your femur." The very last call wasn't mine but someone screamed, "Cranium to femur." Well, the cranium missed...
As we were driving back this afternoon, we took a twenty-minute prayer break. No iPods, no books, no conversations, no music, nothing.
I looked out of the bus, noticing the stunning mountains, and started my prayer. Except that'll have to be a different blog! This is me resisting the urge to say "Sundays don't count in Lent" and update again. See you Tuesday!
PS: If you can tell me what skit the title of this post is from you win fifty-points.
Friday, February 19, 2010
"Technically I didn't teach her to sing it. She was singing it already. I just taught her to sing it correctly. Would you rather I let her sing it incorrectly next time?"
Never underestimate my Jesus. You're telling me that there's no hope; I'm tellin' you you're wrong. Never underestimate my Jesus. When the world around you crumbles: He will be strong; He will be strong.
Well, I was very grateful for his teaching me correctly because on Wednesday I lost my thumb drive (jump drive, flash drive, life, pick your term of choice). Like I've already mentioned, I eat computers so it wasn't a big surprise when my beloved blue side kicked walked out of my life. However, that doesn't make it fair or pleasant.
You're telling me that there's no hope; I'm telling you you're wrong.
Right. Hope is not gone. My thumb drive is gone. Along with it the latest drafts of my novel, my completed powerpoint for Monday's class presentation, my resume, my collection of crazy quotes, and I don't want to know what else. Of course, my first instinct was to blog about my catastrophic loss. I couldn't. Thanks, Lent. My life is missing and I can't even use my favorite coping mechanism! Yesterday was not a pleasant day.
Never under estimate my Jesus.
I'm a creature of habit. I use the same bathroom stall, I aim for the same computer in the lab, I sit in the same section of caf, so retracing my steps isn't hard. Especially since I can narrow it down to two hours from when I had it last to when I noticed it was missing. Retracing my steps was easy: computer lab (yes, I ejected it), copy room, three different professors' offices, bathroom, and the caf. That's it. The professors haven't seen it, the secretaries haven't seen it, the police haven't seen it, the caf woman hasn't seen it. No one has seen it. It's vanished into the dark abyss!
"Maybe you flushed it," Elizabeth suggested. That doesn't help.
When the world around you crumbles: He will be strong; He will be strong.
"CARL! Why are his hands gone?!" Screamed the llama in the disturbing video Andy and Dr. Z showed me on Tuesday. Well, my hands are gone; just my thumb. Drive. Most things I lost can be replaced with an earlier version... except the quotes list. Sure, it's just for fun but gosh can it make me laugh. I could use a laugh right now.
PS: If you see a blue, rubbery thumb drive that says, "Katie" when you plug it in: it's mine. Yes, the one that almost never leaves my computer
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Apparently, every King Cake contains a plastic baby and whosever piece of cake contains the baby is responsible for buying the King Cake the following year. They all noticed the baby in my piece but no one bothered to tell me it was there OR what it meant. Instead, I'm gnawing on plastic. Thanks, girls.
Oh, and thanks for giving the girl from out-of-state the fetus because she'll definitely be able to buy the King Cake next year! Not gonna happen.
For me, this week has always been about something different than avoiding plastic in a King Cake. Fat Tuesday's often passed over as we focus on Ash Wednesday.
True, I'm not Catholic, but it's our family's tradition to give something up for Lent. As I searched for something to sacrifice this year, I looked at were my time is going. Whether you can see it or not a lot of time is going to this blog. Don't worry, no 40-day blog haitus. However, I am going to give up updating more than once a day. ;-)
When I started this blog, I intended to update every other day or every few days. Well, "every few days" turned into "once a month" and I don't want that to happen again. However, daily blogging is incessant, and I never intended to keep it up as long as I have. We're going back to a roughly every other day schedule.
With that said, I can't write about everything. Sad day! Therefore, I want to know: what do you most enjoy reading? When you type in my url what do you most hope I've written about today? God moments? Suite stories? Writing tips? Family quotes? Book reviews? Some language mishap? Birthday blogs? Poetry? Other?
You already know my mantra, if you take the time to read this take the time to let me know you've read it.
"Because [God's] steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise [Him]. So I will bless [Him] as long as I live; in [His] name I will lift up my hands." Psalm 63:3-4
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"Why do you have a Day Book?" Roxy asked me yesterday as I tried to scribble down a few more notes for my blog prior to the start class.
"I'm a writer," I told her. I could tell from the confused look on her face that my answer was not satisfactory. From her terminology, I also knew which professor she had for her English general requirement classes therefore had a place to start with the explanation that would consume my remaining writing time.
A Day Book is a catch-all often used for classes. It includes homework, class exercises, free writing, notes, thoughts, ideas, and often handouts (thank you, glue stick). A Writer's Notebook is basically the same thing with a more intimidating name, less focus on classwork, and a little bit less glue. It's really easy to separate our English students by concentration and favorite professor based on the term used for the notebook clutched to their chest.
I wasn't a Writer's Notebook/ Day Book girl. The term didn't intimidate me, the lack of organization did. I love the organization of having separate places for different things and had a system. One binder for class, the PowerPoint for quotes, Word for story thoughts, the blog for God moments, and a small journal for the day's events. The thoughts of having all of those things combined together in one composition book concerned me. Imagine the mess! Then I glanced around my room and noticed the plethora of post-it notes strewn everywhere and decided something needed to change.
Enter my Writer's Notebook. I gave in and bought a composition book only because I finally found some that were college ruled! (Thanks, Office Depot). It lives in my back pack and is almost always with me. Whether I reach for it over a loose leaf sheet of paper is something I'm still working on, but I am improving. It is also the first thing I pack when I'm traveling. The first drafts of many of these blogs are hidden within its pages sitting side-by-side with thoughts that have yet to make an appearance in blog-world. It also contains great quotes and conversations, rough scenes from my novel, and sometimes my rants that cannot stay contained inside of me. For organization, I've tried to color-code my writing in pencil, black pen, and purple pen, but sometimes I forget which color means what. Sure, I still have a post-its everywhere, but I'm learning to enjoy the chaos of my Writer's Notebook.
This also leads to bedlam when the Writer's Notebook vanishes.
"OH MY GOSH!! I lost my Day Book," Keith ran into the caf screaming. Panic stuck. I guess he even sent text messages telling people to pray for him because it was like part of his life and been ripped from him.
"It'd be like if someone stole our blogs!" He said hitting me in the arm trying to put this catastrophe in perspective for me. I already understood, but there was no cutting him off. "Can you imagine if someone stole our blogs!"
"Katie's life would be over," Nikki teased. Maybe I'll hide her Writer's Notebook for a few hours and see how she likes it!
If you don't have a Writer's Notebook/ Day Book, get one. (And don't lose it, Keith). It doesn't have to be a college-ruled composition book. It can be a 10cent notebook Wal-mart sells right before school starts but know your spine will probably get messed up. It can be a fancy leather-bound book that's soft to the fingers but know those get expensive after one or two. Adapt these ideas (that I've already adapted once) and find something that works for you. But get a Writer's Notebook. Non-writers, I won't laugh (too hard) at you if you call yours a "Day Book."
Oh, and don't use a blog to catch your thoughts. I know, I'm writing to myself here. The chances of me accidentally destroying my blog is greater than losing my Writer's Notebook. I eat computers. Paper doesn't taste as good.
Remember those stories we talked about yesterday? Go break in your Writer's Notebook with some of them. :-)
Have you found Writers' Notebooks/ Day Books work for you? Are they practical for your life? Please let me know!
PS: Happy birthday, Emily. :-)
Monday, February 15, 2010
"How many of you like to tell stories?" A professor asked one morning. Every hand in the room shot up. Of course, this is a creative writing class.
"How many of you like to hear stories?" Again, every hand went up.
"How many of you like to hear your parents or grandparents tell stories?" A bit hesitantly, the hands raised themselves into the air.
"Only the first time," Chelsea whispered to me. A little bit of laughter erupted from our side of the classroom. She'd voiced my exact thoughts. Only once do I really need to hear about how you walked to school everyday through the snow. Yes, I realize it was up-hill both ways.
However, there are some stories I don't mind hearing over and over again. Toddler Dad being brought home by the school girls because he had lost his clothes somewhere in the neighborhood (I like to think this was a recurring story and therefore truly happened as often as Dad tells it). Or how Mom's boyfriend took a flip off of the roof into a snowbank and a passer-by thought it was Grandpa.
I am blessed to have four grandparents and two parents, all healthy. Unfortunately, they're 900 miles away not telling me stories as we sit around and chat. Sometimes I miss that. Somedays I miss dinner being interrupted by a "Hey, did I ever tell you about the time our family cow followed me to school?" Yes, you have, only every day since I was old enough to remember but please tell it again!
As a writer, you never know when these stories are going to come in handy. Maybe they're the substance you need for a good poem, a great situation to plug into your novel, an amusing blog post, or even something to write about when you're suffering from writer's block. Recording and rewriting these stories in your Writer's Notebook is an excellent exercise.
What's a Writer's Notebook? That's tomorrow. See you then!
Go write about your family's classics,
Sunday, February 14, 2010
While I love to be served, I need to make sure I'm serving as well. Regularly I need to ask myself: have I gotten dirty today? I'm not talking "Where is the hand sanitizer?" I'm talking, have I sacrificed some part of myself to help someone else? Have I put the towel on?
In John 13, Jesus' disciples are fighting over who will serve. More accurately, who will not serve. They've been out traveling and their feet are filled with grime. Yuck!
When supper's ready at my house Mom screams "W-A-S-H" and a stampede of elephants rushes to the bathroom to wash our hands. In Jesus' time, they washed feet before eating. Not because they ate with their toes but because they wore sandals and by the end of the day their feet were caked with dust, dirt, and whatever else happened in the street.
Since it was a dirty job, the feet-washing responsibility fell on the person with the lowest status. Can't you just hear the disciples? "I'm not doing it!" "EWW! I am NOT washing the poop out from between your toes!" "Not gonna happen."
While they're busy bickering about who is NOT going to do the dirty work, Jesus is in the other room changing His clothes. He comes out wearing a towel and bends down at the feet of His followers and begins scrubbing.
It might just be me but something doesn't add up in this passage. The is a job for the lowest person. Jesus is doing it. Jesus is God. Last time I checked, God is NOT the lowest on the totem pole. That's the point. Our God named Jesus was willing to become the least of these to serve His friends. Even His friend that would betray Him. He knew all this and He still put the towel on.
What about you? Have you put the towel on? Do me a favor and serve someone today. Oh, and don't do it because Katie said so. Don't even do it because it's your job. Do it out of love (you can decide whether for that person or for God).
Let me know how I can serve you,
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I don't know which I heard first: the banging or the screaming. My mind went wild.
Someone just fired gunshots in my living room, I panicked, imaging the worst case scenario. My suitemates are out there bleeding to death, the thoughts continued as I contemplated the best way down from my loft: climb or leap. What if the gun-man is still out there?
Wait a second, that didn't sound like gun-fire, I noted. This isn't inner-city Chicago; this is the middle of nowhere. Way too creative, Miss Writer. I began to think of more plausible ideas. The guys on first floor felt their snow-ball pelting a few weeks ago was inadequate and we've become their target once again? Bottle rockets? Fire crackers?
"Gosh, I love the smell of sulfur," Nikki moaned; Allyson and Jo still screaming incomprehensible words.
Once I realized we weren't all going to die and my heart stopped pounding, I turned back to my book and instantly could felt my face turn red. The book in my hands? Fearless by Max Lucado. The Chapter? "Worst-Case Scenario." Yup. Maybe I should start reading that chapter again.
Friday, February 12, 2010
One of our choir songs is by TobyMac talking about the entire world uniting as one. This weekend, our entire country is united under one white blanket. Why not unite and show kindness? We've got to start somewhere, why not here? We've got to start sometime, why not now? Show someone love tonight. Be compassionate. Share your snow.
Winter weather conditions here: Not bad. Roads covered but not icy. Safe to drive if you know what you're doing. If you are brave enough to go out, we were seated immediately at Olive Garden on the Friday before Valentine's Day. The 24-hour Wal-mart, however, is closed, so I don't really see the need to leave the comfort of your own home (apartment/ dorm room). :-)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I do try to include a nice mix of God moments, this is what my crazy friends did this week, book reviews, and other random stories. I've had the last two well-covered this week, but I was thinking it's been awhile since I posted my last God moment.
First thing this morning, I decided I wanted to post a God moment today. Problem: that means I need to have a God moment today and God moments don't always come when you call. You have to go searching for them. So I've been looking...
In my dreams... nope, I dreamed about a hearing man complaining to me (in ASL) about the lack of closed captioning on certain television channels. Gosh my dream-life is exciting.
In my social life... My creative writing friend has strep throat and one of my suitemates has a staph infection. My life is filled with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and vitamin C. God did not get my attention through disinfecting the door-knobs and light switches, sorry.
In my academic life... "What language am I supposed to be using now?" has been my motto for this week. Signing to people who speak Spanish doesn't work any better than speaking Spanish to deaf people. I've tried both.
In my free time... what's that?
Just because I've been searching for God and haven't heard from Him directly doesn't mean He's not here. Just because you can't see His hand in your daily life doesn't mean He's not there. He's there. Trust me: He's there. Keep looking. Keep praying. Keep listening. When He gets your attention, don't be shocked if it's not life shattering. While He can do ostentatious divine interventions, most of the times He's gotten my attention it's been through mundane, every day activities. He's with you in the crazy and in the daily.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Elizabeth: We were getting out of the car, and Katie slammed the car door into my finger and MURDERED IT! See! It's gushing blood.
[Note the lack of blood]
Elizabeth: It's purple!
[Note the tan finger]
Elizabeth: I can't move my whole hand!
[she says waving to a friend]
Elizabeth: IT HURTS! [Wails in pain] I'm going to DIE!
Katie: Andy, would you look at Liz's finger please. Tell her how long she has to live!
Elizabeth: ANDY! Save ME! My finger is dead! Katie aggressively attacked it with the car door!
[Andy opens his EMS jacket, pulls out a bottle of ibuprofen, and places it ontop of the "purple" finger]
Andy: There you go.
Elizabeth: [Sigh of relief] That's better.
Andy: Now what happened?
Katie: She got in a fight with the car door.
Elizabeth: NO! Katie assulted me with Amy's car door! She slammed my finger into it and KILLED it! I'm dying!
Katie: We were fighting over shot-gun...
Andy: The two of you fighing over shot-gun? NEVER!
Katie: Yeah, well, I won for the first time in my life only because you weren't there to push me out of the way! Anyway, Liz isn't used to sitting in the backseat, so when she got out of the car she was a little too close...
Elizabeth: I was just excited to get here! I was running! And now it hurts! I'm DYING!
Katie: I opened the door and she slammed her finger into it.
Andy: So, Liz, you slammed into Amy's car door with your finger; Katie didn't slam the car door ON your finger.
Katie: Thank you!
Elizabeth: She MURDERED IT! Katie's a murderer! An Ax-murderer!
Amy: Katie, you have to walk back to our apartment because I need to take Elizabeth to the hospital. But not the close hospital, the far hospital because that's where Jo works and therefore it's the best.
Andy: I'll drive! I can get there real fast!
Katie: Yeah, in your car or in your ambulence?
Elizabeth: IT HURTS!! The medicine didn't help, Andy. Kiss it. That's what Katie did! Brad tried to kiss it, but he really just licked it. That didn't help! AHHH!!
Andy: Let me see.
Elizabeth: Don't TOUCH it!
Andy: How are you going to get better if no one can touch it?
Elizabeth: [moaning] I don't know.
Amy: We'll have to sign your cast.
Elizabeth: [Smile] Ok! [Viciously] But NOT Katie! Katie can't get anywhere near it!
Andy: They wouldn't put a cast on your finger. They'd splint it. I'm trained to handle that. If you broke your femur--which is very dangerous, so please don't do it--I am trained to handle that, too.
Katie: Last time I took biology I learned the femur is not in the finger.
Andy: Splint the femur; splint the finger. Same idea.
Adam: Liz, are you ok?
Elizabeth: KATIE KILLED ME!
Katie: Here we go again.
Elizabeth: She brutally slammed the car door into my finger...
Katie: But Andy put the closed bottle of ibuprofen on it, so we're good now.
Adam: Oh, ok. Good. I'm glad Andy were there to help.
Elizabeth: He WASN'T! He wasn't there and I was gushing blood EVERYWHERE! Worse than the other finger I cut while shaving this morning!
Katie: Liz, these are fingers. You only get ten! A new endangered species: Liz's fingers.
Elizabeth: AHHH!!! It's been a rough day for my appendages!
If she's lucky, she might live..
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I'd have a poem about viewing the newsletter* online,
but we both know we'll see it never.
Oh, it would be so fine.
I'd have a poem about viewing the newsletter online,
the joy of having a new website,
oh, it would be so fine
to show the newsletter in a new light.
The joy of having a new website,
the PDFs are ready to go,
to show the newsletter in a new light,
but why is the process painstakingly slow?
The PDFs are ready to go,
and every month again I try,
but why is the process painstakingly slow?
This has become my battle cry.
And every month again I try,
but we both know we'll see it never.
This has become my battle cry,
if only I were clever.
Yes, I do talk in my sleep. However, unlike the man in the article, I don't have a wife (or husband or roommate) to write down my weird night-time quotes. While I do record the dreams I remember in the morning, I will not be putting a tape recorder in my bedroom at night. Instead, I'll be forever doomed to remember my classic line, "NO, DADDY, I DON'T WANNA WEAR THOSE PANTS!"
I've got a wide variety of dreams. Some of them very creative like the dream about turning into a shoe (that's going to become a short story for class). Sometimes they make me nervous. The dream about taking a long fall off of a pier and into a field of cat tails made me nervous because I sleep on the top bunk... But I was relieved to wake up still in bed! I have learned that if I'm having a nightmare/ super weird dream, I'm probably cold. Well, I'm almost always cold no matter how many layers I wear and our air conditioned apartment isn't helping. Thus, I've had a lot of weird dreams lately.
I firmly believe God still speaks through dreams and the other night he caught my attention again.
The other night I had this dream where my "uncle" had gone blind. At first we were all fed up with his new loss of sight because he was running everywhere without a real care. However, eventually we accepted it.
When I woke up, I thought some more about it. Just because he lost his sight doesn't mean he was living his life in fear. If I lost my sight, I'd be scared to move, but he was flying everywhere, not afraid to fall. Without sight, he had no fear.
Without sight of Gods' plans, do you have fear? Are you willing to fall? Are you willing to fail? Are you willing to be lifted up again?
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
2 Timothy 5:7 (emphasis mine)
Monday, February 8, 2010
After a wonderful lunch with some friends, I went to the post office and picked up a package. All of the sudden I heard this "MOOOOO."
Years ago in the grocery store, the milk aisle used to "moo" when you opened the door, but I don't remember requesting this feature be added to my mailbox.
I kind of turned around confused. If there had been a cow at the post office, I would not have been completely surprised. One of my family's favorite bedtime stories was the time Jenny the Cow visited Dad at school. However, there was no cow at the post office. I figured someone had to be playing a joke because that was a really good moo but no one was laughing.
Just smile and keep moooving before Melia thinks you're hallucinating and starts going nurse-crazy on you, I told myself, gently shaking my package to see if that was the source of the moo. Nope.
I tried not to think about it was we walked back to my apartment. When I put down the package, I heard it again.
Ripping open the package, I began searching for the source of this delightful noise. Every time I put my hand in the box, it sounded again, but my hand always came out with chocolate. I'm not complaining but chocolate is kind of a disappointment when you're looking for a cow.
Finally, there he was: my beautiful, red and white Holstein mooing Valentines cow. Awesome! Actually, what makes it better is that it is a POOPING, MOOING cow! Estatic, I ran out to show Becca, who was not nearly as excited about this moo cow as I am. Becca doesn't really enjoy poop quite as much as I do, apparently. A pooping, mooing cow? How much better does this piece of plastic get?!
A lot, actually because my cow... well... has a problem. Ladies and gentlemen, I am now the proud owner of a red and pink, CONSTIPATED, mooing cow! Name suggestions welcome!
PS: It's been a long day... After an hour and a half meeting with Dr. T, he looked at me and said, "Hang in there, Katie, and go take a nap." Normally he doesn't have to tell me that until Midterms and we're hardly three weeks into the semester. Oh snap!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Wishing she'd opted for the hot chocolate instead, she attempts to maneuver her gloved hand around the spoon in her McFlurry. Her dinner, a Taco Bell Chulupa with chicken, sits in her lap forgotten. Not unlike she is.
"You want to let me in?" she calls on her cell phone.
"Oh... uh... shoot... well... see... uh... um... we're still at the grocery store," explains the voice on the other end. "We're on our way back," he lies.
The clock tower lets out a chime. It's 5:45. According to the invitation, the Superbowl party in the boys' dorm started fifteen minutes earlier. For the first time in her life, she's glad she didn't arrive on time.
The ice cream in her cup does not threaten to melt, but she's slowly losing feeling in her fingers as she touches the plastic spoon to her lips.
"He begged me to come," she said aloud to herself, remembering the pleading facebook messages asking her to ditch the Superbowl party in her apartment to attend his. Now he's failed to arrive at his own party and left her sitting in the cold.
Ten minutes later, the ice cream is gone; she is still waiting. Suddenly, the door behind her pops open revealing the morgue turned boy's dorm as her party host bursts out into the chilling winter night. She glances at her watch and starts up at him.
"We have chips," he says with a sly smile.
Of course, chips make her frost bite worthwhile because now instead of begging for mercy, he'll beg for grace, and he'll want it in the form of cheese chip dip. Yet she'll give it. If only in the name of forgiveness and familial love.
Dear Mr. Kevin Kassakatis,
I was not going to update my blog twice today. However, your tasteless, rude behavior this evening left me no choice. I have considered this your forfeiting the war and will being my victory dance as soon as I thaw.
<>< Katie Ax
PS: But I still love you.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Since the subtitle of the novel is "A deaf woman faces blindness" I thought it would be about, well, a deaf woman going blind. True, the first person protagonist has Usher Syndrome, the leading cause of deaf-blindness, but beyond some poorly-used foreshadowing, she doesn't address her visual problems until page 216 out of 253!
She spent two chapters, a total of about fifteen pages, talking about her narrowing field of vision. The entire rest of the book left me made me glad I'm a hockey fan because I'm good at screaming, "WHO CARES?!" Eventually, I stopped screaming it in my head and began to write it in the margins. At one point I even drew a box around the words "that's what she said" because reading those words in print was more exciting than whatever the "she" in the novel had said.
The book is not poorly written but the co-authors aren't wordsmiths either. Grammatical errors are few but hilarious nevertheless because they are mistakes those of us who can hear the English language can hear but the deaf cannot. Although, the book does include a plethora of useless fact detailing the lives of every single person the Kitty, the protagonist, encountered.
More than a deaf woman facing blindness like the title suggests, this novel tells the lifestory of your typical deaf woman. Sorry to take the Deaf way and be blunt. Diagnosed as mentally retarded, deaf, and dumb, Kitty Hoffpauir spent her childhood struggling to communicate with her family, learning to balance her residential school life with her home problems, and proving that "deaf" does not mean "dumb." Eventually she makes her way to the top of her class and is eligible to attend Gallaudet University (think Mecca for the deaf). Washington, DC creates a culture shock for this Acadian Southern deaf girl. Eventually she learns to embrace the multiculturalism that exists in her life and be content with who she is.
It is finally at this point in the book that she addresses her sight problems. She says, "I didn't mind being deaf. Although deafness took away hearing, it gave me community--and that community was based on sight" (232). A book detailing these challenges would have been more entertaining and appropriate with the title. Oh, well.
It was interesting to read her take on being deaf in a hearing family, being deaf and raising hearing children, watching deaf interact with each other, and the communication challenges she faced throughout life. I loved noticing how some of her family members were able to see beyond her deafness and understood her need for alternative communication while others preferred to force her to try and read lips or took to kicking her to obtain her attention.
Over all, I give this book a 2 out of 5. It could have been a 3.5 without the misleading subtitle. I think it's a good read for anyone who wants to know more about Deaf culture but don't expect a lot about deaf-blind or Usher Syndrome.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
"Hey, how are you?" I asked giving him a hug. I knew the answer before he spoke.
"Not good. It's raining. I HATE the rain. Absolutely hate it more than anything else in the world. It's going to be a bad day," he explained. As someone whose mood is often dictated by the weather, I understood. Rainy days are often miserable but "hate" is a strong word.
"Do me a favor, try to find one thing good in today. Yeah, it's rainy and gross, but God still made today and therefore there must be one thing good in it," I coached. He kind of groaned, and we went our separate ways.
I don't see Jordan very often and was surprised when I saw him again at dinner. I asked him about his good thing for the day.
"I got a good grade on a test," he said proudly.
In the next few minutes we made a list of good things:
1. Good grade
2. He's alive and breathing
3. It's Friday
4. We saw each other twice
Not bad for someone who hates the rain more than anything! Sure, they're all pretty basic but they're still reasons to smile on a no good, very bad rainy day.
This morning, I saw him again and asked how he was doing.
"Today is much better. It's not raining today. My feet are dry!" His girlfriend and I teased him about getting some rainboats. Yeah, that idea didn't fly. Maybe dry feet was his good thing for today.
I think we all have days like Jordan where we know before breakfast that it's going to be a bad day. Rain, headaches, heavy backpacks, and nasty caf food make my days bad. Smiles and hugs from friends, cancelled classes, and blog comments make my days better.
I'd challenge you to do the same thing I often encourage myself to do and I suggested Jordan do: find one thing good in today. Even as simple and being grateful that you got out of bed this morning.
"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" - Psalm 118:24 (emphasis mine)
Friday, February 5, 2010
This afternoon, the tv was on and instead of retreating to my bedroom, I sat down on the futon, computer in hand, and began to blog. Like always, the television stole my attention and it was not long before I was enthralled by the Wife Swap episode where a strict Irish woman living in Pennsylvania exchanged lives with a more laid-back biker woman from Washington.
As with most episodes, these two families were polar opposites. The Irish family spent all day running from activity to activity while the biker family spent their days riding bikes and jumping on bed. Swap the women and there's a problem.
The women want to convert their new families to be identical to the home they left behind while the fathers felt there was no problem with the original lifestyle and refused to change. While I enjoy seeing the way different families operate, this lack of open-mindedness and constant fighting was making me crabby. I don't need any more help getting crabby this week. The only thing stopping me from changing the channel was not knowing which remote goes to the TV and which is for the VCR--ok, DVD player--and the desire not to get up.
Ultimately, I'm glad I watched all the way through because both families were (eventually) able to admit their lifestyle was flawed. Face it, all lifestyles are flawed. Their willingness to see these flaws embrace change is was impressed me.
I don't like change. I don't do it well. Sometimes it's necessary. Since most of us are college students, the changes we need to make in our lives may not be the same as the families (eating dinner as a family at a table, fathers spending more time with the children, having more of a variety of activities in the kids' lives, less controlling mothers...)
That doesn't mean every thing's perfect. Do me a favor, try and find one flaw in your life and work on it. It won't be an instantaneous transformation, but work at it.
I'll try, too. Maybe I'll learn to embrace the idea that everyone else keeps telling me: I can be a poet. Or maybe not.
Chris: We're going to get two subs and not eat them right away, but the two drinks we're going to drink right away because we don't want it to turn to ice.
Katie: Of course, drinks that turn to ice are never good.
Adam: You CAN make a science joke!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I, on the other hand, stare blankly, "I don't know who this is."
"It's a person," someone guesses.
"Yes, a man."
Okay, if I don't know who a person is, how on earth am I going to describe him? Lucky for me, Allyson started shouting out mens' first names and hits the right one, Jack. My entire team began listing famous people with the first name Jack. When I heard, "Jack Nicholson" I threw the controller at Nikki, sitting behind me on the couch.
"That's not what it says!" Nikki exclaimed. She'd been peering over my shoulder, enjoying my struggle. "It says Jack Nicklaus."
"Are they two different people? I don't know who either one of those people are," I admitted. A year ago I would have struggled and continued the game, lying, if necessary, that I'd heard someone say "Jack Nick-claus."
David leapt to my rescue explaining who each person was, and they gave my team a point anyway.
This same thing happens in Apples to Apples all of the time. I'll throw people-cards cluelessly if I don't have anything better to put in. Sometimes the other players find the choice hilarious and I win; other times they find the card offensive. Oops.
Learning to ask questions and admit when I don't know something,
PS: I do know that text messages reading, "WHAT NO BLOG YET??? Are you alive? Are you conscious? Did you get eaten by a walrus? You do realize it's almost 4 and thus you have 8 hours left to blog" really mean "My day is not complete until Katie updates her brilliant blog. Perhaps she has forgotten about my dependency on reading it and therefore I shall remind her."
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
"Are you still going to eat that?" Nikki asked a table over. There were only ten people in the whole caf, so it didn't really matter if we all had one conversation.
"Yeah," Spencer said with a smirk. After all, he'd taken the time to make the waffle, might as well eat it.
A few minutes into eating his breakfast, a caf woman walked all the way from the waffle maker to Spencer's table with a smile on her face and a plate in her hand. She put the perfect waffle in front of Spencer, picked up his waffle shambles, and discarded them.
It took her maybe thirty second to pour the waffle in the maker. I'm sure she didn't stand there and wait for it to be ready. Then it was done she spent a minute to successfully remove the completed food from the maker, walk it to Spencer, and take his garbage.
For her, it was two minutes. For Spencer, it was breakfast. For me, it was the opportunity to watch a random act of kindness.
I'd love to see more of them! (Especially with this new revival on campus)
PS: Short enough? :-P
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
On Thursday he's headed to India for six months to be a witness for Christ and live up to his name: Jesus Shoes. That isn't his real name.
Last spring, my ministry team and I led a weekend youth retreat where we had a plethora of very similar names. For some reason, the youth could not get our worship leaders' names right. Instead of refering to them by instrument, the high school girls nicknamed both of them: Broken Arm Guy and Jesus Shoes. Jesus Shoes wore Chacos, and Broken Arm Guy proving it is possible to play piano while sporting a beautiful lime green cast.
At first neither one of our worship leaders liked their nicknames but didn't have the hearts to correct the youth; it was only for a weekend, after all. Personally, I think the nicknames were pretty appropriate, but I let Broken Arm Guy drop his nickname after the weekend. Jesus Shoes, however, has stuck in my mind.
As Jesus Shoes prepares for his journey to India, his name seems even more appropriate. After all, he's headed across the world to be Jesus' hands and feet. Jesus' shoes?
While what area of ministry exactly he's going to be working with in India is still being determined, he knows he'll be teaching guitar to some of the youth. This actually worries him because he doesn't have any idea how to teach guitar. Besides his putzing a little bit in my living room this afternoon, he hasn't played guitar in almost a week. When he gets to India, his guitar-playing hours will be almost unlimited, but due to time contraints he hasn't been able to play much lately.
Hey, Jesus Shoes, you're going to India to teach guitar but you haven't played this week. Hey, Jesus Shoes, you're going to India to preach the gospel, have you read it this week? I realize that's a dumb question. Or is it?
I think it's something we all need to ask ourselves on a regular basis. If we're here to be witnesses, have we showed God's love this week? No matter where we are, we're on a mission. Are we being Jesus' hands and feet?
Know you are loved and will be missed; riding the dolly through the storage unit in a tornado warning just isn't the same without you, brother. Represent our Father well. Be safe in India, but never forget that you are to be Jesus' Shoes.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Since school was closed today no one really wanted to eat in the cafeteria. We knew we'd be on day number four of whatever they could scrounge up from the back room and the pickings from that back room were getting grim on day two! Breakfast/lunch is typically one meal for us and can be made in the apartment thanks to our random supply of items.
Dinner, on the other hand, is more of a challenge since we don't have an oven/stove. Gourmet microwave meals only go so far. Either way, we needed to face the "icy roads" on the mile and a half trek to the grocery store. The problem is that none of the girls in our apartment who (a) drive and (b) have a car felt comfortable making this treacherous voyage. They called upstairs for one of the guys to take us to the store. It was around that time that I announced I wasn't going; Elizabeth felt my participation in this escapade was not optional.
Then why are we finding a driver? Even though I don't enjoy driving, I was well over-qualified for this dangerous excursion on dry roads.
"Get in the car, girls," I said and was expecting a repeat from the other night. Lucky for me, the only useless question was, "Which car is yours?" Clearly the one with out-of-state plates and no snow on it because I'm the only one with a real snowscraper. Pray for me in this foreign country...
Our spontaneous dinner plans turned from microwave lasagna to raw hamburgers in .7 seconds. Our apartment is going to smell like grille forever! However, I accept that because we had a wonderful time making hamburgers, chip dip, macaroni and cheese, and cookies all without a stove! That takes skill.
"This tastes like a homecooked meal," someone remarked.
Correction: This IS a homecooked meal.
Sitting on the floor with real plates on our laps, we thanked God and each other for this meal. Every single one of us was vital in the creation of our dinner. I braved the weather and drove to the store. Adam and Allyson cooked burgers. Nikki found us a George Forman (shhh! Don't tell!). Ryan provided real plates. Amy found the ketchup, and Elizabeth used her mad skills to make Mac & Cheese. No one of us could take the credit for our meal. It was a group effort.
Just like every one of us had a unique role in tonight's dinner, we each have our unique part in the Body of Christ. In Romans 12, Paul outlines this idea when he writes,
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Well done, ladies! (And gentlemen).
PS: It has also come to my attention that Mr. Kassakatis has been spewing cruel words regarding my blog. This harsh criticism will not be taken personally for I realize Mr. Kassakatis is merely jealous that he cannot communicate as well as I do. I am truly sorry. (not so much).