Sunday, May 29, 2005

Star Wars Episode III


I finally saw the third one. I went in determinedly skeptical, but somewhere got sucked in. Poor Padme. All of the strength and fire in her is gone. And poor Leia - her best speech now null and void. And Obi Wan. Trying to be like his master but falling short. How hard to follow Darth Vader and destroy him. And Anakin. Pulled three directions. Used by all, and ultimately his attempt to mistakenly do the right thing is the very thing that brings him to allegiance with Darth Sidious.

What a graphic hunting down of the Jedi. I'm glad they showed it all. Even the children.

And Palpatine. What a way to show his disfigurement. How young must the actor have been the first time around. Yoda. Failed in his effort to bring Darth Sidious down and forced into exile. And Chewbacca -- really played by Peter Mayhew again! And James Earl Jones uncredited in the end.

And how cool how they tied all of the weaponry and ships together. Look at the tail end of Organa's ship and tell me what it reminds you of. And the X wing and Y class ships. Only, isn't it a bit early for the Death Star? (Nice cameo of General whatshisname)

Then watch A New Hope again. Are all the storm troopers clones? When did Darth Vader find out that Palpatine lied, and his son is alive? Leia got so close to Ben Kenobi. Only a few miles of atmosphere between then when she was captured.

Darth Vader's fall at the hands of Obi Wan alone redeemed the first two movies.



Why does change, even good change, even change that you know to be right where you're supposed to be, feel a little bit like dying.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Au Francais

Au Francais

For some unkown reason, my adobe acrobat reader is all in french.

Sorry I'm so boring and all business

Sorry I'm so Boring and all Business

Whenever I get into a new place I start to blog, and then think: Who really wants to hear about my new decor, and my problems acclimating my cats, and what my new job is, and all of that. But then I realize this ranting sounds even whinier, so I'm just going to go ahead.

So here's everything up to date:

Living the Dry Life
Being on contract isn't bad. Austen has been giving me a hard time by phone and text message, but I haven't found it hard to not drink. I really don't drink that often. I don't. Or, at this point, didn't. Since I can't have any at all. Not that I'm secreting a bottle of Gran Marnier in my boudoir. I don't have a boudoir. We do have an empty bottle on display downstairs. I think we're rationalizing it as vintage somehow. On a dry campus it seems funny. Almost as funny as the bottles of margerita mix that were donated to the food pantry at the mission. What on earth are we doing to do with that. Turn it into punch, I say. No sense wasting it. But I hear it's being poured out on principal.

Moving In
I'm in. And unpacked. And working on getting everything pretty. I'm having two difficulties. One: There are no windows in my room. So I don't wake up to anything. Pitch black. Like sleeping in a tomb. And two: I wear earplugs so I don't have to hear my two nocturnal monsters roaming around at night. So somehow, even though I had no trouble waking up to my alarm with my earplugs in at mocks, I haven't woken up to it any day this week. Will become a problem tomorrow when I must get up at 6:00 for the 7:30 manditory prayer breakfast.

The Cats
Are adapting. Cai has stopped complaining. We've reached a compromise. When I'm in my ebay room working they can come and wander around in the big warehouse room. That has seemed to shut him up. At some point they can roam free in the evenings, but I haven't figured out how to find them when I want to go to bed. I don't want them tripping alarms and so forth.

The Job
I love it! I'm just in the right level of happiness. I'm authoritative enough that I can delegate some of the low stress jobs to the volunteers and part time employees (like sorting clothes and pricing things) but low enough that the buck doesn't stop with me. I have a lot of variety: sometimes I work the register, for the rest I organize, set up new displays, and once we get the craft room set up (partly me again) I can start taking the pieces of things and turning them into stuff to sell.

I'm attending my old church for the time being. I know people, I know where I can plug in if I need more to do. And I'm not in the know enough to be bothered by politics.

At this point that's mainly decorating my apartment and getting the ebay store up and running. I do have a bible study on tuesdays, and the mission womens lunch on tuesdays. And I see my family from time to time when they volunteer at the mission or I run home to steal pepsi.

The Family
It's great to be home. I love being near enough to see them from time to time. Nearer than once a year post-holidays. And when I'm broke I can go home for meals...

It's light out until almost 10. When I'm not in my cell I love wandering out and seeing sun all evening. The weather is hot and getting hotter, but it cools off at night. I love this valley. It's beautiful. And the train runs through our front yard such as it is. The train yard is my front door.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tripping alarms left and right

Tripping Alarms

The motion sensor alarm sets itself at night, often while I'm still up and kicking around being crafty. It's the only downside to the whole arrangement. Sunday night we tripped it, and not only is it loud enough to wake the dead, but reconstitute the cremated. No worries about anyone trying to get in.

Cai is not adjusting well to being an indoor cat. He seems to think he needs to roam around and amuse himself by getting into stuff. Even if that were possible, I don't even want to imagine the nights that I don't find him before the alarm sets.

Today is the mission ladies lunch and then I work a few hours, then the tuesday evening bible study. We're working on Acts. Well, they are. This will be my first time going. And funny enough, the sermon at First Pres this sunday was on Acts too. Maybe God's trying to tell me something. On my own my goal is to read the Bible chronologically. I have the little guide now, so it should be fun. Of course, my cats may not appreciate being read aloud to, but my life makes their lives possible, so who cares what they think, right?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I'm in

I'm all moved in

Not decorated yet, but I'm unpacked. Now I get to raid the thrift store and pick whatever I'd like to add to my decor. So far, that's two paintings in cool frames (one landscape, and an oil painting of a little girl leaning on a broom -- very vermeer without the light)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Painting done

Painting finished

Tape off the doorframes. Second and in some places third coats are drying. Now I need to vacuum and clean the bathroom et voila! I think I'm ready to move in tomorrow. The only downside? All my furniture is still in Waco. So I have some books and clothes and things, but no place to put them really.

I'm glad I have moving in to work on this week. And I start work on Monday. Huzzah. One bummer: my first paycheck won't be until the 15th. So I'm going to have to withdraw some money from my contingency fund to live on until then. The perks: I have no housing type bills to pay, and my groceries can come from the mission. I picked up baked beans, cinnamon applesauce, and the knock off brand of cheezits to tide me over. Yeah, I'm not much of a cook. For myself that is. Today I've had a glass of cranberry juice, a Pepsi, and a couple of handfuls of cheezits. Pasta, though, is currently boiling away.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Musical Review in Standard Paint

Musical Revue in Standard Paint

Paint Guy #1:Ok, guys, I'm out of here. long, farewell, auf weideresehen, goodbye!
Paint Guy #2: Adieu, Adieu. To yur and yur and yur...
Paint Guy #3: The time...has something and say goodbye...

I just witnessed it. Three guys in a paint store breaking into song. I wonder how many times their wives and girlfriends have forced them to sit through it.


Did you know Darth Vader has a blog?

Old Shadows

Old Shadows

Rachel: "Well, he doesn't look asian. All six-odd feet of him."

Tasha: "Actually, only four of them are odd."

Vanessa: "Well, 1, 3, and 5 really."

Rachel: "Oh bad bad bad bad word."

Aaron: "It would be different if it was really good chocolate."

Rachel: "Funny. She can't look at a guy without his shirt on, but she can say 'testicles' in public."

Vicky: "That's different. It's food!"

Vanessa: "If you would like to all of these a twenty foot trailer...I can help you."

Torrie: "That's the point of tour: Getting out of stuff with your homestay politely."

Tasha: "Maybe when she gets married if she thinks of it as a buffet she'll be ok."

Torrie: "I made banana bread!"

Tasha: "For the first time?"

Torrie: "No,the second time."

Austen: "The first time with sugar."

An audience member to Jules: "Your horrible brown nose was terribly effective."

An audience member to me: "I like your scar."

Sign: "Motivational Fulfillment and Packing Service."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tsunami Relief

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The team volunteering to fill buckets for Tsunami relief victims.  We reorganised their whole system.  But then, that's what we do best.  Their goal was 2,000 buckets full of soap, toiletries, and towels.  We helped do several hundred the day we went.



*sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff* *sniff*




I just got back from my formal interview. I'll know for sure tomorrow. My grungy tour clothes are already in my car to begin cleaning out my little staterooms and painting. I'm going back to bed shortly. My head feels like it's going to explode any moment.


Monday, May 16, 2005


Of course, like at the end of every set of finals, I'm sick. Sore throat and my eyes decided to wig out at the same time. Looks ghastly.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I bought paint today. Arts and Crafts: F22. It will be beautiful. Now all I have to do is get the go ahead to move in. And clean out the two rooms that will be mine.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

My first day home

First Day

My first day back was productive. In an I'm just getting off tour and I refuse to do anything sort of a way.

Mom and I left this morning to go to the old house. I wanted to scope out my stuff, and mom was digging up flowers for the beds at the new house. I grabbed my scrapbooking and my quilt to work on until I have a job and decorating to do.

This afternoon I went incognito to the mission to scope things out. I met the Saturday manager, who, as it turns out, was a waitress at the my first job. I remember liking her. And I met my future boss and got a tour. Saw the rooms that will be cleaned out to become mine, and I am allowed to paint. Afterwards, I headed to KMart to find the paint I used two years ago. Martha Stewart, F22, Arts and Crafts Green. It still exists, and will be on sale tomorrow. Guess where I'll be going... Now I'm picking colors for my bedroom and bathroom. Its far easier to paint before you move in the furniture. I learned that the hard way last time. After the formal interview on Monday I should be good to go. The only concern now is the application which I sent from Watsonville last week hasn't appeared. I don't want to fill it out again. It was quite long.

I came home, took a nap, and then leather lotioned my car. There are a few very dry spots. So I walked into an auto parts store and accosted a guy. He was terribly helpful. I'm glad I put on a skirt and heels.

Now I'm watching Jane Eyre and quilting. And occasionally amusing myself in the slow parts by blogging.

I hope everyone made it home safely. I heard Tasha, Torrie and Austen went to Saturday Market and had a great time, I'm sure. Jess called already to tell me I went home with her phone charger. And I hope Aaron made it to see Nick Flora's band play last night.

So, Hi guys! I miss you already.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Old Town Sacto

My Sister and Me

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Drea and I in OldTown Sacramento.  She came down to see the show twice, and hung out with us that day as we wandered around the touristy shops.  I'm, of course, stuffing my face with the inevitable daily sandwich.

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The Spring 2005 Wycliffe Dinner Theater team:

Tasha, Julie, Torrie, Austen, Jerry, Joann, Vanessa, Jackie (who was replaced by Jonathan)

Johnny, Vicky, Liz, Brenda, Amy, Me

Chris, Jessica, Angie, Adam, Aaron

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

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Testing out this new photoblogging thing.  Not as tricky as it could have been. On a sidenote, I always think it's silly to go to a major landmark, stand in front of it, and wave.  What do you get?  A whole photo album of you waving in front of something that can't be identified.


Welcome to Yakima, the Palm Springs of Washington.

I made it home this evening. How strange to come home knowing it's to stay for a while. As soon as I finish typing I'll go unload my car. Monday I have an interview.

We dropped all of my teammates off at the airport this morning, some quite early after a rather late night. I've got the post-tour blues.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Well, that went well

Well...that went well...

Sort of. One of my crew threw their back out. And the kitchen had a rat and termite infestation, so we tried really hard not to touch anything. We were especially worried about the tupperware we'd spent two hours yesterday sanitizing and cleaning. But we had Amy here from last tour. So everything seemed to be evening out.

The show was fine. A few glitches here and there, and lots of pictures and chatting with our VIPs between acts. During the close there were roses for Joann, and Tasha bought roses for the cast, and the cast bought roses for Tasha, since it is the last of her 222 shows. And then pictures, and more talking, and more posing, and then...

I found out that the wash lines hadn't been set up. And the church people decided to take matters into their own hands. And they haven't taken lots of tests for their food handlers licenses. So, I ticked a lot of people off by making them stop what they were doing and start over. And everything moved slowly. And I forgot I was supposed to do inventory. And we only had one sink. Because the dishwasher didn't work. And so on, and so forth. Our normal end time is 10:15. We got done after 11.

And Jess decided at the last minute she wanted a picture of the kitchen crew in front of the trailer I was trying to shut up. In the rain. So my crew gathered around, posed, and realised we were missing someone.

The dinner theater now has a picture of the kitchen crew, with me yelling "He's mopping the floor. Leave him alone!" Death look and all.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Where is your towel

I never go anywhere without my towel!

I finally saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday. And I borrowed a towel to take with me. They're right. It was handy as a pillow when Angie's neck got sore, and worked as a blanket when I got cold.

I wanted to see it badly after I heard it reviewed as having a "completely nonsensical plot." That clinched it. Sounded like they'd followed the book for a change. And then some tourmates of mine brought in a news clipping with actors' pictures. And it was the entire minor cast of Love Actually.

It was brilliant. I loved it. They had the sperm whale and the pot of petunias. And Alan Rickman played Marvin the manic depressive robot. No one else could do it and not make you want to kill yourself. The special effects were good enough, but not spectacular until the creation of the worlds sequence. Amazing. And it was funny that they used a lightsaber sound effect in one scene and had to credit Lucasfilms.

Well done, and room for a sequel.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

San Francisco

San Francisco...the place where people pee at random on the side of buildings.

I actually saw that yesterday. We were walking through the financial district and looked over and there was some guy taking care of business on the side of the Bank of America. Now, As much as I think that, as far as BofA is concerned, well done!, it was a little gross.

So, twelve of us spent our day off in San Francisco yesterday. We rode the Bart from Pleasanton and then all split off in Union Square. Lots of window shopping to do there, but FAO Schwartz left. That was disappointing. We followed my AAA guide (courtesy of my homestay)on a 4-6 hour walking tour of downtown. We veered off through the financial disctrict, saw the original Wells Fargo bank and museum. Nice stagecoach. Then we went through Chinatown and lost our two Chinese members of the team to dim sum. The rest of us skipped Coit tower and headed through Little Italy. There were some good smells wafting from every direction, and it was about lunchtime. But we opted to head to the waterfront. That's where it got messy and frustrating. Seven people take bloody forever to decide where to eat, and of course, we ended up back at the first place. Aargh. But one our blood sugar rose we weren't quite as grumpy.

Pier 39 was next in order. We shopped around and watched a street performer. He wasn't the best magician ever, but he was a great performer. He interacted with the audience, brought volunteers up from the crowd. And he knew how to pick them. One of his assistants was a 6 year old girl with long pigtails. What a cutie. Then we went to see the sea lions, took some pictures, and met up with our Chinatown party.

Ghiardelli Square was next in line. I bought some chocolate. Then we all went into Sharper Image for a free chair massage. That gave us the strength for the next phase. Next on the to do list was Lomard Street, but we skipped over it because Aaron had wanted for ages to find the park that was the opening scene for the Full House credits. He found the name of the park on a postcard in Chinatown, so Alamo Square was next. 29 blocks south and 8 blocks east of Ghiardelli. And we went. It was a perfect day. Sunny with some clouds and a little breeze, so instead of taking a smelly bus, we walked. And found the park after a long time, and all picked characters from the montage to take a picture in front of the Victorian row houses.

From there it was only another 12 blocks total to the Height and Ashbury district -- the hippie part of town. And Austen wanted to see that. So we walked past shops full of henna and hemp clothing and pipes. The guys were able to tell us that SOMEBODY in there was smoking weed. We ate dinner in an Arabic restaurant, sitting cross legged on cusioned benches around low tables. I ate mostly with my fingers because "it's really so much better if you eat with your hands."

We ended our day by taking a bus back to Union Square. Then we missed our train by 1 minute, but caught the next one. During the wait we counted blocks and realised we'd walked about 8 1/2 miles that day.

I sure was ready for bed!

Monday, May 02, 2005



I'm in the process of filling out an 8 page application. They emailed it to me a while ago, but it went to junk mail and I didn't catch it. So here I am writing two essays and filling out pages and pages of personal information. One whole page says "Answer the following doctrinal questions. Do not use your Bible." Almost done.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Hot tubs and orange blossoms

Hot Tubs and Orange Blossoms

Yesterday we drove from the east side of the bay to Exeter, halfway between Fresno and Bakersfield. As soon as we arrived at the church, our homestays combined forces and treated half of us to dinner at Baker's Square. The drive over was disorienting. I've noticed it before, but the eastern half of California looks a lot like Oklahoma, minus the palm trees and orange groves. But down here there's cotton and tomatoes, oranges, walnuts, strawberries, and almonds. Little squat brick houses, and mom and pop stores. The biggest excitement in three towns is to go ride the escalator at Gottschalks.

Last night Vanessa and I spent an hour and a half in the hot tub, smelling 30 acres of orange blossoms wafting on the breeze. What a wonderful smell.

And yesterday I got nostalgic for home. For dark cozy winters where the sun sets before 4 and there's nothing to do but cook soup and read. And ski. For late spring where the days lengthen, and snow crocus, tulips and daffodils pop up just in time for Easter pictures. The rare rainy days where you can smell the mountains, 45 miles away for the first half hour after sunrise. And the summer days, where the sun rises at 4 and sets after 10. Blazing hot days and chilly nights once the sun sets. Fresh corn on the cob, as much as you can eat from the farmers market. And crisp fall days. Where it's cold enough at night to change the colors of the leaves. And I'm going home!