Friday, April 30, 2010

Sticking Out

I don’t like sleeping with any part of me hanging off the edge of the bed. Is that strange?

There’s an urban legend about someone leaving her hand off the edge of the bed so that her dog can lick her hand. She wakes up to find her dog dead and written on her mirror is, “Humans can lick, too.”

That has nothing to do with my quirk. I can’t remember a time that I was okay with it and that means before I heard the urban legend. I think it might have more to do with having a bunk bed when I was younger. I’m not sure though.

You’d think that to ensure that I don’t roll something off the bed, I would get a bed that’s bigger than the twin-sized that I’ve always had. I like my bed and I don’t move that much when I’m asleep. I guess I’m used to the twin.

In college, I had a full-sized; in CA, the room came with a queen-size, with a pillow top. Oh, the pillow top was nice! Having a bigger bed would mean that my work would end up sleeping next to me; I don’t really like that idea. Although, a bigger bed would mean that I would still have a place to sleep even with my cats on the bed, hmmm. The smallest one insists on sleeping right in the middle. Nah, even if I get a bigger bed, I’d keep it all for myself! Might be kinda nice….

And about that dog licking thing, I hate having a dog lick me. I told my mom it felt like a human licking me and shocked, she asked, “how do you know what that feels like?” “Um, because I’m a human and I’ve felt my own tongue?” Oh, come on! Like you haven’t licked glue off your hands before! CHOCOLATE, I meant chocolate. I lick glue off of chocolate. NO!

That's right, I'm not a comedienne. Mahalo.

[Photo: See how she claims the pillow too?!]

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What’s In a Name?

I’ve told this many times so I might as well write it down, though people will keep asking so I’ll have to tell it again eventually.

Jenn, Jenny, or Jennifer?

For some reason, no one called me ‘Jenny’ as I was growing up. It’s only recently that I’ve been hearing people call me ‘Jenny’ with some frequency.

In 7th grade, I had a friend named Jenny. The following year, I made friends with KN’s younger sister, also named Jenny. I’ve been trained not to answer to ‘Jenny’ --- which is cool ‘cause all the Gump “Jen-ay” references were aimed at them!

When I was a senior, someone came up behind me and asked me a question. I inadvertently snubbed her; she had called out ‘Jenny’ and I didn’t know she was addressing me. My friend had to tell me, “Um, I think she’s talking to you.”

‘Jenn’ or ‘Jennifer’ is just fine.

One day, I think it was in 2004 or something, I decided I would be more ‘grown up’ about my name. I started signing off as ‘Jennifer.’ I was reconnected with Neo; he noticed the signature and asked, “Why do you write ‘Jennifer?’” “Um, because that’s my name…?!” [sarc.]

Only it’s a little tricky whenever I type it because sometimes I go too fast and I have to correct “Jennfier.”

[Photo from here.]

Growing Pain in the Toe

I was so sure that I had smashed my toe bad enough to have the nail fall off. I mean, I didn’t smash it on purpose. I don’t know if it’s gonna come off anymore or not. It’s still an ugly gross dark purple. The skin around the nail is seriously tough and dry now. The cuticle has come off hard with the nail growing out.

Isn’t it fascinating but frustrating at times that the body will heal and we don’t really have any control over it? Fascinating because the other time when the toenail definitely came off, I didn’t know much about nails at all, so there was a moment of scare because I didn’t know if it would grow back or not, how it would grow back, etc.

Just from having observed it grow back, it kind of grows up from the bed, looking kinda scaly and stuff for awhile. Then it grows out. So it layers and then pushes outwards.

The frustrating part is that I have no control over how it heals or how long it takes. I always avoid shoes as much as I can, but this time I’m being more aware of avoiding shoes because ever since the toenails grew back the other time [after Kaho‘olawe], I’ve had to keep the nails absolutely trimmed as short as possible. If I forget to trim them down each time, they would hit against the shoe and bruise the toe all over again. That’s why I tend to keep up more with painting my toenails, to cover up the ugly bruising underneath them. Anyways, all that to say that it’s helping me avoid the gym [because I’m not wearing shoes at all for now] which is not good.

And it hurts! The nail on my left toe grew back funny, and it’s the nail that is badly bruised right now. The right toenail grew back okay, I just need to keep it trimmed but there’s no extra pain as long as I don’t bruise it. On one edge, the left nail grew back to kind of fold downward a little. I don’t know how to describe it exactly. As it grows, it’s digging into my skin and squeezing the meat of my toe. Even when I keep it trimmed, it still hurts to wear shoes. I think it also makes me more off-balanced than usual as I walk.

For now, it’s a MAJOR pain to trim the bruised nail. :(

Here’s pictures!! I know you wanna see it! Hey, I need to document the pain, lol. I like my toes, but they photograph so ugly weird! The orange is just nail polish I couldn’t get off because of the pain.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Extraneous Trips

For my internship today, I had a field trip to another office, but it was closed. Lol, at least now I know where it is!

The second ex-trip, not so funny.

I’m okay with taking the bus, especially the express. Today, going home however, was not good at all.

The driver was hard on the brakes several times, which I was thinking might mean that the brakes were not working properly- scary. Hard jerk on the freeway. Heavy foot in the neighborhoods.

And I had been up for about 30 hours straight. And hungry.

Then she took the wrong exit. Good thing it only took us 2 extra minutes to get back on course, but given that I was beginning to feel sick with all the jerkiness, not fun at all.

I thought I was going to throw up when I stepped off the bus.

: (

*sigh. It’s life. Glad the brakes held up and I’m safe at home. When I got home, I was immediately dead for following 3 hours- it was bliss!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prank That

For the record, today at 5:11 pm my time, I was prank called.

From a private number, a youngish sounding female voice called, asking if I was short and fat. Then she asked if I had pimples on my face.

So I became convinced that it couldn’t be one of my friends just trying to be funny and hung up. If it was one of my friends and I find out who…. I mean, if that person thought that was funny, as in clever, that is sad. That was in no way a clever call.

She promptly called again. I promptly didn’t answer. I don’t have time for this junk. She called again and left a voicemail this time. In a ridiculous voice she said:

Hi, why you no like answer now? Hello, it’s Ashley, answer your phone. Why donchu wanna answer? I’m [inaudible] at home, I know your name is [hope and safe?] and loved and true. Answer your phone. Anyways, I have a product for you to use for your pim-pohs. If you can answer your phone, then I can sell you the prah-dahct. Goodbye!

“Private Number” just called again at 5:24, as I’m typing this.

I’ve recorded the message in case this person calls again.

I don’t have my number listed on FB.

For now I’m gonna ignore this and just believe that it wasn’t someone I actually know.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What’s God Gonna Do Next?!!

I finally watched “Apocalypto” a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it! Some parts, especially in the middle, are pretty gruesome, but as far as I could tell it was important to the story.

I try to be careful of giving away spoilers for those whom haven’t watched/read something yet.

By the time that Jaguar Paw is at the altar, I’m already excitedly thinking “What’s God gonna do next?!” I know it’s just a story and probably not written with God in mind, I don’t know, but I really got into it and my mind was looking forward to what great thing God was going to do next.

The plot summary on the movie’s imdb page says, “He [Jaguar Paw] is able to eliminate them [Mayans trying to capture him] slowly throughout this process.” That’s wrong because most of the things that saved his life that time were things that Jaguar Paw had no control over. Something came up that just happened to help him escape. Sorry, spoiler, Jaguar Paw escapes.

Even when the rain started and filled the well, I knew what good thing would come out of it.

If I had watched this movie when it first came out, I probably wouldn’t have had the same reaction. I probably would’ve just enjoyed it as any other action/period movie.

Have you seen “Apocalypto?” What were your thoughts on the movie? Or did you just enjoy or not enjoy it?


[Image from impawards]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TWLOHA: Write It On YOUR Arm!


Hi everyone,

Check out this event:
TWLOHA Day

And write “Love” on YOUR arm! Show your support! I did!

If possible, add your photo in a comment below or if you're on FB, post your photo on the event page and tag me too. It'd be fun to see how many of our friends do this and help get the word out!

Mahalo!
Aloha!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Right-handed Lefty-ness

Just as I am a second child convinced that I was meant for middle-childness, here’s another enigma: I believe I was also meant for left-handedness.

I have a memory of being very young, when we lived in the apartment, back when Mom stayed home with us, babysitting more kids, and Dad went to work. I was learning from my family how to read and write. Dad was always reading the newspaper; he still does. Mom and Dad were examples to us about the importance of reading.

I remember thinking about holding the pencil or crayon, whatever writing instrument I was using. I had it in my left hand. I distinctly remember thinking that I was doing it wrong because I noticed that everyone else in my family held the pencil in their right hands. In whatever order it happened, I saw that Mom used her right hand, Dad used his right hand, and Brother used his right hand. I made the decision that I would do it rightly and started using my right hand.
____________________________

I still have this memory, but as my memory has often proved less than perfect, I didn’t really talk about it much. That is, until a few years ago. For some reason, Brother brought up the fact that I used be left-handed. As Brother has a much better memory than I do, this validated my own memory of writing the “wrong way.”
____________________________

What further validates the idea [for me] that I’m a lefty living as a righty in a righty-world is the sense that I think very differently than a lot of people that I know. I’m not making any suggestions about a higher intelligence; I’m just saying that my thought processes seem to be more different than the average. Every so often I would say something and someone will reply with “I never thought of it that way.” It’s not that they believe I’m right necessarily, just that I’ve given them a way to see something from a different perspective; it’s something like saying that [2+2=4] while I’d say [2x2 =4]. In casual surveys/tests, it seems that I think more towards the central, but leaning more to right-brained thinking than the left.

I don’t know how authoritative it is, but check out this site for some interesting ideas about brain-ed-ness. Looking at the differences in manners of thinking, I’m still rather certain that I am more right-brained, while still being close to a balance of both.

I should add something about this to the "I Am Who" entries!

If I could research stuff like this for a living, I would! I might even find out that I’m wrong in the end, but this stuff fascinates me.

Hmmm… not sure what question I could ask you that relates to this. Leave a comment please, even a random totally unrelated one will do!

Mahalo for reading.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Visit with Dad

Friday, we went to see Dad. His surgery was earlier that morning. The doctor says that the procedure went well, things look to be good as it didn’t look like the mass had spread to other areas. Here’s praying.

I’m okay with hospitals, just not when it has to do with my dad. When he had heart surgery years ago, I think I was too young to understand what was going on, and probably my family sheltered me a bit as they tend to do, even now.

I remember visiting Apple in the hospital once, but she was young and feisty. Also, from what I understood, she was there because she hadn’t been taking her medication and so that led to some minor complication.

I visited Gramma in the hospital after her stroke. I went with them to pick her up from a PT session. Gramma’s spirits were good. She was cracking jokes with her sister. Gramma’s just always been tough; I think that’s where my mom gets it from.

But my dad…. It’s not that my dad is fragile by any means; he’s tough and strong. I love both my parents equally. There’s just something about my dad that I don’t like seeing him having to depend on others for things like eating.

Maybe it’s how these things have happened so far, Dad thinking he’s fine and healthy and out of the blue almost, he needs surgery. At least Dad’s good about getting regular checkups; that’s how his doctor detected the small irregularity in his heart the first time. It was just a routine physical that ended up saving Dad’s life.

When Dad’s injured or sick, I’m usually the one that stays home and takes care of him. He likes to tell my aunts how I’m his nurse.

Anyways, Dad is fine for now. He’s still in the hospital for another few days to continue monitoring his recovery. Thank you for remembering him in your prayers and please continue the praying for his health.

MAHALO, greatly and sincerely.

Face/Off with Good Acting

A classic in the TV world is the body-switcher where one character gets stuck in the another body and vice versa. I love these episodes because although it can be so cheesy, it’s good for finding out if an actor is truly an actor. Maybe I also like it because it has to do with literally stepping into another person’s shoes and learning about how they live, how they’re treated, etc.

The movie “Face/Off” is example of what I’m talking about, hence the title of this entry [I know, I was bound to make sense with the title at some time]. I get a kick out of watching a movie and going “is that really John Travolta?!”, when an actor is so good at what he’s doing that I can’t tell that he’s acting, you know? This was the movie that made me think that Nicolas Cage is a good actor [I just won’t normally go to see a Cage movie because there’s something about his face that I don’t enjoy watching].

What is more with the body-switching premise is that it’s not only about seeing good acting, it’s also about seeing the actor embody another character. One gets so used to seeing an actor be a certain character that it becomes difficult to think of that actor portraying another established character until it’s brought out through the body-switching episode.

A good and entertaining body-switcher series episode is that of Stargate SG-1, Season 2, Episode 18 titled “Holiday.” SG-1 is an enjoyable series altogether and if you can, in order to fully appreciate the humor in S2: E18, watch the whole season at least or watch all the way from the pilot episode if you really have the time.

Here is the episode summary for S2: E18, from the backcover:
Jackson’s body is swapped with that of an old Goa’uld enemy named Ma’chello. As Jackson lies dying in the alien’s aging body, O’Neill and Teal’c accidentally switch forms too- and unless the alien is captured, all three will be trapped in their new bodies forever.

The delightful body-switcher happens between Teal’c and O’Neill. I loved watching how Christopher Judge [Teal’c] get to play the looser, irreverent O’Neill personality and Richard Dean Anderson [O’Neill] lift his eyebrow in quiet strength Teal’c fashion. Good acting on both parts!

Can you think of a good body-switcher episode? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Mahalo for reading and enjoy SG-1!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wouldn’t Hurt A Fly

If it fell into my soup, I would! Maybe.

Does that look like the face of someone who would hurt a fly? ---> [Don't answer that unless you truly really absolutely must.]

I think it’s funny when I hear interviews of people and someone will say something like, “Not Joey-Bobby-John, he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” and yet Joey-Bobby-John’s on trial for some kind of heinous crime or something. I’m not saying Joey-Bobby-John’s guilty; I’m just saying, the whole notion of character witnessing is a fascinating thing. What an introduction to this entry, huh?

And yes, in the style of trying not to make anyone think I’m talking about a real person I made that name up- stylish, no? No. You don’t think so. Moving on…

I think often about things that are and at the same time are not, seeming contradictions, stuff that one will never quite figure out. For instance, it seems that people all at once would like to stand out to be unique and great and also to be normal and like everyone else.

Only so much can be learned about a person by observation. It’s never the whole story. I like finding out about someone by actively spending time with them. It’s still not the whole story, yet at least it gives me a better picture, more understanding. I mean, I’ll listen to gossip and stuff but all that won’t dictate how I treat a person. I know what it’s like to have rumors about me go around [I’ve helped some get out just by not answering questions and such, but that’s another story] and I’m not perfect so I try to be aware of things and find out for myself [which could lead to another off-topic story about girls and crushes].

The guy that [haha] got stuck taking me to prom, I used to hate him, and I will rarely say that I hate anyone. When he was a freshman in high school, I was a junior. He was such a young punk: mouthy, sarcastic, just got on my nerves so bad that I could barely stand to be in the same band room as him, and the band room was a big space. Well, it’s another story about how we ended up going to prom together and we’re still good friends today. All that was to say that I hated him, then I got to see a different side to him that eventually led me to really care for him. I didn’t know him until I spent time with him.

So it’s interesting to me that people want to know more about themselves or other people through stereotypical stuff. I’m talking about stuff like astrology and personality tests. I think there’s some truth in stereotypes and stuff but I keep in mind it’s not the whole story. I’m fascinated by all the common and the unique intricate details that make up who a person is.

I’m gonna try this exercise thing. In the end though, nobody can tell me who or what kind of person I am wholly except for God [the same goes for you]; that’s what I hold to anyway.
____________________________

Here are ways that one could try to define me by [vague-ities are for safety and ridiculosity reasons]:

Libran

Horse

Born in the 20th century on one of the Hawaiian Islands to parents of different Asian ancestries

2nd child [though I still say I was meant for middle-childness, I’m gonna ask God when I get there]

INTP [seemingly, I’d like to see it proven by DNA somehow]

Single currently [although there are many voices in my head so I would challenge that status but you get what I mean, I’m not dating any one person as far as I know. Yes, that is another story but basically I’ve been on dates before and not known it]

Female [born and still am one]

Christian

Nerd

Yellow [favorite color, but also blue, red, green, orange, white…]

9 [favorite number, but also 15, 10, 49, 28…]
____________________________

Well, these things can’t tell others how I feel, what’s in my head, how I would react, the words I will use, what I’m allergic to, the dreams I have, my experiences, which jokes I will laugh at, etc. You get the picture.

I am also fascinated by the things people write in their “about me” spaces. I have a difficult time writing anything there. This is what mine says at the moment: I asked Carey, "Do you think we get along so well 'cuz you're a Special Ed teacher?" Yup, don’t that just say it all? I know, I’m insulting the great people who are special needs students by insinuating that I am in any way associated with them; I’m “special needs” in other ways, I think. The other way, I would be insulting the general population of students if I were to associate myself with them, so either way… I’m gonna stop here.

I’m gonna see if I can research what is said about such attributes/people and write a piece about how it fits or doesn’t fit with who I think I am. Maybe I’ll think up more attributes also [maybe I should test those FB quiz apps!]. And if you [think you] know me, chime in on this stuff or tell me something about you, how you relate or not or whatever you’d like to say. I'll label these entries as... "I Am Who."

I really should have been a sociologist or archaeologist or something. What a shame.

Mahalo for reading. Comments always welcome!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Because of You: A Calculating Exercise

When I was around 7 or so [when do we learn multiplication?], Dad started to teach me about calculating the GE Tax on a product. It was namely any My Little Pony or Barbie item I happened to ask for; I had to calculate the tax on the item before he would give me the money to pay for it.

This isn’t to say that I was spoiled and always got whatever I wanted. There were times that Dad said no, but also I didn’t like asking for things very often; sometimes I was too lazy to do the math so got denied that way. For some reason, I wasn’t the kind of kid always seeking to have stuff, as if I knew we weren’t poor but neither were we rich. It also helped that Mom was quick to beat the tantrums out of me early.

Back to the tax lesson, GET back then was 4%. Dad would tell me that it’s 4¢ per dollar, 1¢ per quarter. If the item cost $9.39, that meant 36¢ + 1¢ for the quarter= 37¢. He would tell me if I had to add another cent for the remainder, which it does in this example [remainder 14 > 25/2], totaling 38¢ tax. Then he would have me calculate the total, this example being $9.77 [$9.83 today].
____________________________
I’m not sure what Dad was thinking when he decided to start teaching me this shortcut to tax calculation. I wonder if he knew that he was also making me aware of money and that things cost a lot of it. My finances right now aren’t that great, but I’ve been more sensible about it than some friends, especially when I’m working.

If one thinks about it, Dad’s way of making me aware of money was much more subtle and manageable than the picture of parents today. I’ve seen kids walk up to their parent, carrying something in their arms. The parent tries to say “no,” but as soon as the kids’ about to make a fuss, the parent tosses the item on the check-out conveyor belt.

I didn’t have to do chores to earn stuff, but I did have to do the math. If Dad could afford it, and I did the math, he would give me the dollar bills for it. I would take the item and money to the register and go through the whole transaction myself. I would see Dad’s money go to someone else, and notice how little of it came back if at all.

Now that I think of it, perhaps the act of having to go to the register also helped deter me from asking for stuff. I was extremely shy as a child, still am quite shy. I would have Dad carry up until I was too big; I would pretend to be asleep on his shoulder as he carried me from say, the car to the elevator so that I didn’t have to interact with people saying how cute I was and all that. Visiting relatives, Dad carried me a lot so I didn’t have to hug uncles and aunties. Terrible, no?

I still don’t really like going up to cash registers. I look for the shortest line, have my club card and money ready, so I can get the awkward [for me] interaction over with, not because I’m in any hurry. In a long line, there’s also more chance of awkwardness [me] with other customers, like if the person behind me is holding his one item 3 feet behind me, do I do the polite thing and put the place-holder bar on the conveyor belt behind my items anyway?!!
____________________________
Dad’s tax shortcut would make me think of other “shortcuts.” I am usually faster than my friends when calculating tip at a restaurant; I’m just too lazy to do it nowadays. If the bill is $9.39, move the decimal over to find that .939 ---> 94¢ is 10%, $1.88 is 20%. If I give $11 for my bill, that’s about 17% tip, pretty good.

To calculate a 33% sale, I divide the total by 3 then double it. 9.39/ 3= 3.13 x2= 6.26. $9.39 on 33% sale is actually $6.29 before tax. 20% off would be 9.39/ 5~ 1.88 x4 =7.52 [7.51 by calculator]. Or I could estimate 20% off of $10 is $2, so I’d pay about $8. It also depends on how close to the price I want to be.

I may not be able to add 4 10-digit numbers all in my head in 5 seconds, but I’m a little more mindful of numeric relationships than I believe I would have been if I had never made the connection in what Dad taught me with the tax [that 4% tax means 1¢ per quarter].

Mahalo for reading.
[Photo: Dad teaching me to exercise the body too]
____________________________

What’s a lesson that you remember learning as a kid?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Panic Button and Sheep Control

It’s right here. I think that’s the hugest temptation that the devil has for me; to push that button. I’m so sensitive to it, like a close friend. In the past, what followed Panic into my life was Anxiety and Depression. I don’t remember consciously making the decision to press the button. It always seemed like Panic would just show up.

It’s right here. I’m doing my best not to press it. I’m doing my best to keep God in my sights. This moment in life will pass. It’s difficult, but it will pass and God will continue to be.
____________________________

The upcoming schedule for Dad is that tomorrow he’ll go in for a CAT-Scan. He’ll be admitted into the hospital on Wednesday. The surgery to remove a mass will be on Friday. Then he’ll stay in the hospital for at least a few days to monitor things.

Mom and Dad [and Bro] are going along like this is nothing, it’s just another day. For me, it’s a strange time. Maybe God didn’t have me take a break from ministry because of the ministry- maybe He wanted me to take a break so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with responsibilities and then this. That sounds lame to me and I don’t think it’s correct. It’s just that I would like to prove to be a woman of God no matter what is going on in my own life, continue being Christ to others because God is in control. I didn’t know this was coming as I considered and considered what I should do with the ministry.

It does give me concern that I don’t know what’s going to happen with Dad and to have this come at a time when I’m … wandering a bit. Receiving God’s first call was daunting for me and I think I did a horrible job of it. I doubt that I did what I was supposed to do. It’s been almost 2 ½ years of trusting God and obeying Him. I have always sensed God’s presence in my life, even when I didn’t want to. I was beginning to hear His voice so clearly, so true and real; I think it’s why I’m so close to Panic now because I don’t hear Him, or I’m not sure that it’s Him I’m hearing. Is this a test, Lord?
____________________________

Whatever God will have for our family, I will take it. I will take it, but not alone. My friends are praying for Dad and I can’t express how great that is. God knows.

You are never alone in your trials and temptations either. God is everywhere, He is with you. And He’s given you people in your life to help you along. I’m becoming more and more convinced that God is manifest in good relationships and that as the devil hates what God loves, the devil tries what he can to destroy relationships.

This just came to me, about the lost sheep. In my mind lately has echoed the chorus “I left the 99 to find the one, and you’re the one” [Paul Alan’s To Bring You Back]. My thought is about what the shepherd did after finding the one lost sheep: he brought it back to the flock. I think there’s a responsibility of the flock in that to receive the lost sheep. It’s also a responsibility to the good shepherd to bring that sheep back to the flock. It seems simple and logical, but our natural attitudes are not that way, if we would be honest.

4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? [Luke 15:4]

Sorry for the detour. This is a strange entry, but how many of my entries are …normal? I think I’m gonna take a little more time with the lost sheep thought and come back to it later if it comes to me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Christ-Community: Come Unity [Ongoing Thesis Maybe]

This is my first pass at defining the Christ-Community as I’ve been searching for lately. I’m sure some brilliant person has already written a good book on this [and others not so brilliant have written not so good]. I have difficulties writing after reading how someone else said it quite perfectly already. So here’s my layman’s [or lame-woman’s] go at it.



+++

[From www.merriam-webster.com/ ]



Main Entry: com•mu•ni•ty

Pronunciation: \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural com•mu•ni•ties

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English comunete, from Anglo-French communité, from Latincommunitat-, communitas, from communis

Date: 14th century

1 : a unified body of individuals: as a : STATE,COMMONWEALTH b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself c: an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location d : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society e : a group linked by a common policy f : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society

2 : society at large

3 a : joint ownership or participation b : common character : LIKENESS c : social activity : FELLOWSHIP d: a social state or condition

+++



That is a lot of definition. I think I’ll do this: I’ll say which ones may or may not apply. I’m definitely going to need a few entries to get through this Christ-Community “thesis.”



I would say that in my mind the community “is a unified body of individuals as an interacting population of various kinds of individuals with a common characteristic living together within a larger society, linked by a common policy, scattered throughout society.”



Well, at least that’s a start.



To add the “Christ” part of it, the unifier would be “a belief in the Triune God.” This is to distinguish the Christ-Community as being Christian. I know, people define “Christian” in different ways so I’m not sure that is a sufficient distinguishing attribute.



Off the top of my mind I would say that the common characteristic would be “brokenness” and that the common policy is “love.” Now, we can’t know why another person is broken but if we can constantly be aware that each person, we all, every one, is broken, that’s the next step. Then “love,” another sticky one to define. So that you at least know where I’m going with the “love” policy, I will simply cite 1 Corinthians 13 [look it up].



How am I doing so far? I know, I couldn’t sleep so I decided to lay some of this down since I keep mentioning it.



I think that’s good for Session Intro. The interesting part will probably be trying to tie together the idea of “living together” while being “scattered throughout society.” And again, the “love” section.



Any questions/comments?

Through the Labyrinth, the Search Is On

I think I just don’t know what to do. I cared so much last year, is it okay if I take a break from caring at all?

Don’t mind me. Nor the last entry [I wrote that in my mind while riding the bus home]. Maybe the last several entries. I know it sucks to read cryptic things. Now you know.

It’s all here. It’s still fresh. What does it matter though if I’m the only one hearing it?

So it seems that God has constantly placed me on my own. I wonder if it’s His way with me of keeping me close to Him and out of a comfort zone.

Even Pegasus is off flying somewhere else for the moment. I’m close to not wanting Pegasus to return either.

Displaced? Uprooted?

I finally watched “Facing Giants.” Terrific movie! I think it still holds after given the fact that I just love sports movies. I wanna try the death crawl thing. I should add that to the 40.

I’m happy for the Others, at least in part. But this goes back to a previous “shattered” entry about what it costs.

No middle-men.

Oddball?

Lost in translation.

I don’t understand why people put such a high value on being unique. I’m sensing more and more that I’m unique and it kinda sucks.

Disconnected. Disillusioned maybe.

_____ stopped me from speaking for myself. Again. That’s what it’s been like with ____.

What did it matter? Did it matter?

It’s not the chase, that’s not what I want.

The community. Maybe that’s what’s next. I don’t know though. Look what happened last time. And even then, where?

I’m been looking for the fruit. I’ve been looking for the community. Add to that 1 Cor 13.

In between these sentences are about a million thoughts each. This is why I don’t do stream-of-consciousness stuff very often [and this is not one either]. You would get so lost that you still wouldn’t find it if I drew you a map. This is why I’m usually a doer; so nice people like you don’t get lost. However, I now have nothing to do.

It’s a blend between Artax and Rockbiter.

BTW, "Labyrinth" is a classic movie also.

If you got through all that, mahalo for reading!

Pondering Precipitation

Tonight the sky is as I feel. It’s full of heavy clouds pouring out rain from their stores of varying capacities. The lesser light and heat of the countless stars and singular moon are being hidden… or hiding of their own accord… I can’t say.

If I stepped outside with the energy running high, running hot, could I become cleansed? All the memories that are ruled by the frown, of pain given and pain taken, of confusion and of guilt, of nightmares come true and dreams that died… all of it… would they lift off my skin and disappear in the steam, becoming one with the mist?

The rain continues, a drop here, buckets there.

How much I would like to find out….

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Non-Communication & Other Mishaps of Bumbling

So the doctor didn’t tell Dad that they found a small mass along with the polyps. His regular doctors are trying to schedule another surgery to take the mass out. Dad can’t work until then.

Even with what's going on with Dad, I would have still gone on with ministry.

I went to a design development meeting at my old school. The project is going to affect the school’s band program, of which I was a part. When the teacher walked in, he did a double take; yup, of course he would remember me. It’s only been past a decade. But it was cool to be remembered and get to talk a bit and see what the program is getting.

I walked the C&C building today. So many stairs. It goes about 8 stories high, like a labyrinth! No wonder they have trouble making good decisions; every day it’s a mental exhaustion exercise to find their offices.

One person called me last night to check up on me. Nobody else followed up with me after I left and I still don’t know what’s going on.

I don’t get it. Someone once told me about perceptions; perception is that it’s gone for me. It’s gone. I would say more… I’ll say it hurts even more. Now I’m on the other side of it and I still don’t know what to do. It seems so hypocritical. It continues the sense of _______. I don’t get it on many levels. So perhaps I was right to question…. Usually I’m okay without knowing but it sucks this time. And it pushes me further away. Now I have even less to __________. And I don’t understand why I’m reacting this way. I mean I know one part, but yahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Yup. Don’t that just say it all?

Is it possible to hear God correctly about one thing and at the same time hear Him incorrectly in another? Is it possible that He'll give me a hint about one thing and not say anything at all about another?

Sorry if this bummed you out. I know.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Daddy’s Girl

Mom and I were coming home from Good Friday service. I called home and left a message for Dad about a dinner order. We got our dinner and headed home. Just as we were about to pull onto our street, Dad calls. I don’t tell him how close we are to home, I just take his dinner order so we turn around and head out again. A few minutes after I pick up Dad’s dinner, he calls again- unusual. He asks if we got the food already. I say yes and he says nevermind, just come home.

We open the door and Dad’s standing there, all dressed. He says that his doctor called and something about the ER… and I can’t hear anything anymore. He was still talking but I don’t know… I didn’t hear it.

I was going to change my clothes and go with them but Dad said to stay home. Mom drove him to the ER. That was about 9:30 pm.

I didn’t know what to do so I tried to keep busy. I shot out a quick message to a few praying friends. I took care of Mom and Dad’s dinners. I ate my dinner ‘cause the voices in my head told me to eat, the food’s not going to keep well anyway. I did dishes. I heard the buzz of the dryer and took out Dad’s laundry, hung up his shirts, and put the rest of his laundry in the dryer. I did some mindless FB-ing while the shorts dried, then I laid them out like I’ve seen Dad do a million times before.

I watched the volleyball replay. Mom called little before 2 am. Dad’s getting a blood transfusion and I ask what that means, trying to hide the fear in my voice. She sounds strong, Mom’s a tough one. They should be home about 5 am, it’s about an hour per pint. Dad, in the background, is asking me to take care of his laundry- already done. Mom’s giving me instructions for putting the dog to bed and closing up.

What?!! As if I could sleep! I put the dog to bed anyway. I take a shower and watch a movie. I try not to freak out with the idea that someone else’s blood is in my dad because his blood isn’t enough or something and that Dad’s had heart surgery before and how fragile the heart can be and just BRING HIM HOME.

I am tired, so I go to bed but keep my door open. I’m staring into the darkness, trying to stop my heart.

A few minutes later, I hear the car in the driveway. I get up and open the door for them.

And then I sleep.
____________________________
Mom tells me that Dad has to go back to the hospital for a test. Dad’s not supposed to drive and Mom’s exhausted so they have Brother come and pick them up.

I wake up a little later. Aunty calls but I’m not answering phones so she leaves a message. I don’t know what she knows or why she’s calling. I get up and go to a meeting where I know I’m going to bring tension but I needed to say some stuff and then I leave because I want to be home or wherever Dad is and the meeting people are probably thinking it’s all them but it’s not.

Dad’s home again, Mom’s knocked out. Dad says that he’s having surgery on Monday [Don’t freak out, Jenn]. He asks if I talked to Aunty and don’t tell any of the Aunties what’s going on [My dad, being the Protector over his older sisters].
____________________________

The next day is Easter Sunday. I’m excited but also… I want to be home with Dad. But I go. I drop off Mom and go to visit friends at their church.

It was wonderful. I was a little early, so I helped Friend stuff eggs. Friends ask about Dad [they were a part of the Friday night message to my fellow prayer warriors]. It’s a small church in size right now which allows them to be more intimate and open. During the prayer portion of the service, Friend has them pray for Dad among the requests from others in the congregation. It’s refreshing to be around fellow believers whom also fervently believe in the POWER of God to do anything. I almost cried for this and for Dad. I’ve been looking for the Christ-community, and here was a glimpse of it.

I leave after service to go pick up Mom. I see on my phone Easter texts from a couple of Friends from Home Church- another glimpse of the Christ-community [and they don't even know what's going on in my family].

When I got home, I knocked out. My sleep schedule is usually unusual, but I need it to be more normal for the internship so with all that’s going on, my sleep is again highly unusual.

And here I am, typing to you.

Please pray for my dad’s surgery to go well.

Mahalo to my family at Friends’ Church.

Mahalo for reading and PRAYING.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

First Love

I’m excited/ nervous/ anxious/ jittery at the moment! Do you know what tomorrow [Sunday] is? It’s EASTER!!!

To understand what I’m talking about, I should tell you that I didn’t always look forward to Sundays and going to church. In dealing with depression, it’s difficult to wake up on any day, but Sundays were just… I just didn’t have any life on Sundays. I went very few times, if God woke me up on time that day. I would go and just feel disconnected.

In 2007, God slowly and gently worked on me. I didn’t really realize at the time what was going on but now I look back and see how God was moving me. By the end of the year, I said to Him, “Okay God, really show me something because I’m going to trust You and do things Your way.”

So the past two years and a half, God has really stepped up the work in me because I was finally allowing Him to do it. As I spent more time with Him and set my heart to obey, I found God waking me up in the mornings [I still battle depression, but there’s a marked difference in me now].

And Sundays became THE BEST! I was happy to wake up on Sundays and go to church, regardless of anyone else being there, regardless of any feelings of detachment, regardless of anything that would happen, because I was attached to God.

Communion Sundays have been the best and the most difficult though. I’m very near to tears thinking about how faithful and loving God has been to me. I think about my faults and struggles, and then realizing that Jesus died for all of that. I can’t rightly express how that moves me.

Then God tossed me a ministry, pretty brand new. It became a struggle. I wake up on most Sundays still with excitement and hope… but by the end of the day I would go to sleep crying- and not a good cry. I find myself constantly checking my heart; what am I doing this for? Did I wake up today out of obligation to people, or because I know I get to do something for God today?

[I am in utter awe and amazement that I get to do anything for God. I would like to disciple someone towards spiritual maturing and to know that I had a part in this only by the grace and power of God. This is my idea of God’s forgiveness and redemption, that He allows me to share in His work.]

Ahhh, but TOMORROW… bliss! Tomorrow I am going to the Easter Sunday service at a friends’ church. I’m going to spend time with people whom also seek to love and serve God. I’ll get to [musically] worship Him in full fellowship with others.

I know, I’m expecting a lot, but God can do it!

Mahalo for reading and have a blessed Easter remembrance of the power of God over death to raise His Son!



[Photos of me and the 4-yr-old on last year's Easter Sunday]

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mankill Stare Is Here To Save the Day!

I used to go a lot of places by myself. I get into these modes that I feel like a lone wolf, only I think I’m more feline than lupine, so I guess I should say lone mountain lion…….. anyways…….

Well, I haven’t done much lone lion-ing for awhile now and since I’m taking a break from ministry, I think I’m going to be satiating my inner nomad a bit while I’m at it [Did that just confuse you? I know, I know].

Uhhh, so I haven’t gone out on my own for awhile. Especially to places like ColdStone and Coffee Bean, the last 2 years I’ve frequented only with friends.

This past Tuesday for some reason I felt the urge to go to Coffee Bean by myself. I originally planned to do some writing there so I wanted at least an hour. By the time I headed out, I was going to have only a half hour. I went back and forth in my mind but decided to go anyway.

I got an iced tea and could have taken a seat inside but for some reason decided to sit outside. I wasn’t there maybe 5 minutes when this lady with a stroller carefully approached me. As gently as she could but hurriedly she asked for a pen and paper. She took the pen from my hand [because I was going to write] while I looked in my purse for a paper.

Now, when I lone-lion it, I tend not to carry a purse. It’s usually my wallet, my keys and my phone. And some kind of lip product like gloss ‘cause I love my lips. I also don’t usually have post-its with me.

I had a pad of post-its that I put in my purse about a day or two earlier for some strange reason. I hand her the post-it pad.

She sits down across from me and begins talking on her Bluetooth. She writes down an address, name and phone number. When she’s done with the call, another call comes in but she puts that person on hold to thank me profusely. She introduced herself and shook my hand.

As she’s walking away, I overhear her saying that she just got a call for a job interview for Friday and she got caught walking around without her purse and how I helped her, etc.
____________________________

God, the master orchestrator! I mean I said “for some reason” a lot in this entry but something comes out of it that’s good and it has to be God, right? The post-its, choosing to go to CB by myself, having stuff with me to write with… God, right?

And I laugh because God knows I have been missing His joy in my life. I haven’t truly laughed and smiled in a long time. I haven’t felt good/ useful/ necessary/ helpful etc. in a long time either. Also, this experience prepared me for a counseling meeting I was going into right after that, putting me in a better mood than I expected to be in.

*sigh. God is good [all the time] all the time [God is good]!

Please take a moment right now to pray that Tracy does well in her job interview on Friday!

Mahalo for reading. Keep your eye [and spirit] open for God’s movement and join Him! It’s worth it!

[P.S. One of my nicknames is "Mankill Stare." Don't ask questions. ;) ]