Thursday, December 29, 2005


YES!! Saw Annie at the FOX theatre. It was ANNE-TASTIC. Boo.

I was exctatic when my roomate got me tickets for my birthday this year. Annie is one of the first movies I could recite backwards and forwards. I totally know all the songs by heart. Tonight, as we approached the theatre, I could tell by the sparkly headbands of the little girls piling out of mini-vans, that we were going to be the oldest people there by our own will.

I was right. No matter.

The movie that I love so much is pretty true to the original broadway showing, except for Punjab, the whole ending, the different songs, the omitted songs, the excellency of Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, IODENT instead of OXYDENT toothpaste, and the DANCING.

Other than that it was exactly the same...

Oh well. It was still very good, and I was very impressed by the character that played Sandy the dog.

(Little known fact. Sarah Jessica Parker played one of the Annie's in the original Broadway cast. )
(Additional Side note: Amy just said it was a whole lot more entertaining (her words) watching me sing the songs in the living room. )

Oh. I just love it! Schmabby, sing it with me now!!

Hey, hobo man, hey Dapper Dan
You both got your style, but brother
You're never fully dressed without a smile

You're clothes may be
"Beau Brumelly"
They stand out a mile, but brother
You're never fully
dressed without a smile

Who cares what they're wearing On Main Street or
Saville Row
It's what you wear from ear to ear (to ear)
And not from
head to toe that matters

So, Senator, so, janitor
So long for
awhile, remember
You're never fully dressed
Though you may wear the best
You're never fully dressed without a smile!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

I'm "All In"

Psalm 51 says: Create in me a clean heart... O God. The hebrew word for "create" used in that verse--"bara" is the word that means "to make something from nothing". Interesting that that word was NOT the hebrew word for "made" ("asah"). Not the word that means fashioning something that is already there, as to work in silver, gold or some other medium... it suggests that we must ask God to give us a whole new one. That the slate must be wiped, and we must completely start over, that the one we started with is just not salvagable. That.. to me... is good news.

The ones we start with are so defensive. When anyone gets too close to something that we cling to, we react, sometimes poorly, mostly in defense of whatever it is that we identify ourselves by. In Shakespeares words from Hamlet: "Methinks he doth protest too much."

Our hearts guard something about us. Every person was made to worship (and to fear) something. We just were. I've never met a single person who didn't manage their lives around something. The object of that worship can be anything, but it's most likely the thing you react to when someone attacks it. Maybe it's your kids, maybe your looks, maybe your income, sports ability. Whatever is most sensitive, whatever causes you to say "Man, where did that come from, why did I say that? Why did I react like such an idiot when someone poked that button?" Very raw, very human thing I've been interested to observe lately. The interesting thing is that I tend to like the people more that don't react to anything in a defensive personal way. (And I don't mean people who just kill the natural reaction) People who just smile, like my Great Aunt Norma, who once said, "I suppose I got the knees that God meant me to have." (She really is Great). People that just don't feel the need to defend, or else, the center of their being is so far into Christ that they know that the attack isn't directed at them personally, but at God himself, and God, in their eyes doesn't really need a defense. At least not a puny human one.

In a nutshell, I guess I don't know what I'm saying really. It's just interesting to me to watch what stokes people's fires sometimes. There were these two guys playing poker on TV the other day, and they were just mouthing each other all tournament long. They almost came to blows a few times, but it just was so obvious to me that they were both just scared to death to be beaten by the other, and they both felt this animal need to conquer the other and to tout themselves over the other. Literally, when the one guy finally won and sent the other packing, he stood up and hoisted his arms up over his head and walked around still jawing at the other guy (he wasn't even the last guy at the table)... the commentator says: "Some people win graciously, and then some people...."

I just got the book "Word Freaks" for Christmas. It is a book about the terribly interesting world of competitive Scrabble. My pastor used one of the lines in a sermon before, but I think it's so good I'm going to quote it again. This guy who won the national tournament one year was quoted as saying.."Basically this validates my entire existance...I'm not kidding." Ha. What is my scrabble? Or worse, what have I NOT achieved to date that I think WOULD validate my entire existance?

Competition. What is it? Why do we think that winning someting, just having some sort of relative (key word is most certainly 'relative', because I think there is something to be said for excellence just for the sake of excellence) superiority over someone else vindicates us, validates us?

Diana Barry: "Myra Gillis had 37 doilies when she got married, and I'm determined to have AT LEAST as many as she had."
Anne Shirley: "I suppose it would be impossible to keep house with only 36 doilies.

You know what? I'm tired. I think I'm officially giving up the rat race. I don't think there IS anything out there that would validate my existance. Not this superb blogthing, not my mark left on society, or comedy, or hairstyling, or good friendship, or the environment, or my lack of marital bliss, mastery of culinary arts. Nothing. There really IS no golden goose. I'm already as validated in Christ as I will EVER be. So.. with that, I think I officially am putting away my claws, re-sheathing my sword, putting the bitch to bed. I am putting her to bed. She is tired. She will choose joy because if someone does attack her, (and 99% of the time it's not really a direct attack anyway, but a ploy of the enemy) they obviously don't know who she is. They just don't realize that she is a blood-bought daughter of the creator of the universe, who has no time to get her feathers ruffled, there is simply too much joy to be had, to much encouragement to be given, to much life to be lived, to much freedom to be enjoyed.

Take my brother for example. He is pretty darn cool, and a big deal TV-star, he is a good deal funnier, knows his engineering stuff, and is much better looking than I, but I am not the least bit intimidated or competitive (save the friendly jeopardy game). Because I know that my folks don't love him more than they love me. It's just not the case. Maybe THAT is why some Christian people choose to call their fellow members "Brother Blank". Maybe it's to remind them (in an incredibly cheesy, really hard to believe sorta way) that we all have the same daddy, and he loves us the same, so there is no need to compete, no need to strive against one another. My Daddy does have enough love for all.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I recieved a Honeybaked Ham gift certificate for Christmas from my company and promptly mis-placed it, after telling my mom that I would bring home a ham for Christmas dinner.

I lament to my mom, after explaining the situation on the phone, "I'm such a loser" she replies "Aw... but your MY loser".

It was just what I needed to hear.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

They will know we are Christians by our T-shirts.

"It is easy for Christians to say today, "Well, yes, this is true. We've got to teach the truth, obey the truth, and believe the truth about Christ. And of course, we've got to stop doing the things the world is doing." That is as far as they go. Have you heard Christians get up and testify along this line? They say, "I used to smoke and drink and dance and go to the movies and play cards and gamble and all these terrible things. But I don't do any of them any more. I believe in the Lord. I've stopped all these things." They leave the impression that it ought to make everyone become a Christian, to see such a tremendous change.

But what you discover, soon enough, is that people are not a bit impressed by what you have stopped doing. Not the least bit. Why, worldlings can stop doing these things if they have a good reason. And they do it. If that is the basis of your Christian testimony, you have got nothing more to say than they do. No, the world is not a bit impressed by stopping something.

What does impress them is seeing you do something they cannot do. That is love. That is why John says that the third mark of a genuine Christian is that he begins to love---not those that love him (anybody can do that, is Jesus' remark)---but beginning to love those who do not love you; to treat kindly those who mistreat you; to return good for evil and to pray for those who spitefully use you; to welcome and treat kindly those who are against you and are trying to hurt you. This is the mark, isn't it? You no longer treat those who have needs around you with callous indifference, but you respond to them and do not shut them out of your life."

Ray Stedman on 1 John

Friday, December 16, 2005

Of Note...

Today I witnessed an event firsthand that I once though was only a myth. I was stuck in the line at the Walgreens pharmacy behind a guy who was actually ASKING THE PHARMACIST QUESTIONS. I should have taken a picture and sold it to a tabloid.

Today I also witnessed one of the funniest things I've ever seen at a hockey game. Between the 2nd and 3rd periods, the audience entertainment contest was a race between four people. These people were in exotic bird costumes: a Chicken, a Flamingo, a Parrot, and some other gray bird. The costumes were made to look like they were riding on the backs of the birds, with fake human legs dangling around the birds necks. Much like this:

They were to race around four barrels placed at the corners of the ice. They start out and much like a dizzy bat race, they are all over the place trying to run on ice, but eventually the chicken gets the hang of it and pulls ahead. By the time he reaches the home strech he gets cocky and starts hot dogging by putting his hand up to his ear to egg the crowd on. We oblige. Then just as he reaches the finish well ahead of the other birds, he BITES IT. Falls down literally three feet from the finish tape. The flamingo gains on him, the chicken struggles and tries to army crawl his way over the line. It was painful and heartwrenching. Then when he realizes he will get passed up, and gives up trying to lug himself and the awkward chicken garb across the line, he turns to sabotage and tries to trip the flamingo. This may be one of those examples in life that just can't be captured by words, but it was just priceless. Even now, thinking about that stupid cocky chicken, I laugh out loud. Ha.

Also of note, an update on my situations, the oil got changed, the washer is fixed by some resourceful ingenuity by my father and I, the headlight is fixed, the garage door part is in my possesion, I have a new phone that only cost me 65 bucks and it's better than my old one, my bedspread came clean, and my brother is a college graduate. Hooray! Praise-ja Vu. (Like that one Ange?)

Not of note at all, I'm reading Memoirs of a Geisha. It's rather good. I tend to have the bad habit of not savoring anything, I've ravenously devoured it since buying it Friday morning. It's one of those things I just think about constantly and just need to get through it, I'll even skim pages I deem uninteresting to finish a book faster, to get to the meat of the story. I'm fascinated by the idea of a gray eyed Geisha. I didn't even know it was possible. I can't wait to see the movie.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Early Lang Syne

This year comes to a close. Soon it will be my first blog-iversary. We've laughed we've cried, we've been anonymously spammed. It's been a good year. I've needed this outlet very much.

I picture December as an old tired man, limping wearily along the calendar, taunting the children about the promise of Christmas break, and dragging down the rest of us with his lack of innocence and the cold brittle temperatures of his bones. He goes to sleep earlier and earlier everyday, depriving us of Vitamin D, and sending us into a reflective, depressive wintery state. He's had a full life, twelve months of joy and of sorrow. But Twenty Oh Five is tired and wants to call it quits. We all feel it.

Hang in there everybody, you only get one crack at the rest of December, Twenty Oh Five. And the '06 baby, while virginal and pure, he too, is just another old man in the making. Don't let this '05 old man get crotchity on you.

Or as I would say to Willie! Corchity.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thinking about Thanks

I know it's well past T-givin. But I got to thinking about saying Grace before meals. Actually, I just got to thinking about the train made of cans. And I was just thinking about how much work got put into that silly thing. And how honestly glad I am that people got food. People who maybe wouldn't have gotten some that day if the train hadn't come together like it did. If we had dropped out, 2000 cans of pork and beans would still be sitting in a Schnucks warehouse somewhere. I wondered if those peeps were thankful (you know for all 'my' hard work). Bleck. Then in a millisecond, as light often comes, I was repulsed by the thought. I thought of how few times I bend my head, or still my heart to thank God for the meals I eat. I mean sure my paycheck feels like I earn it and buy things with it out of my very own strength, but when thirteen hurricanes hit the US, try to use that paycheck to buy a good tomato? Yeah good luck with that. It is an illusion, how independent we think we are of the good grace of God. I mean have you savored the little cherry tomatoes that you can get at Sams? Oh my word! They are like candy. Little oblong spheres of joy. I eat them by the handful, in a salad, or just, yeah by the handful. It's too good for words. In a season, a whole crop is gone. Or, in the blink of an eye, gas is 5 dollars an ounce. In an instant, the 401K you spent your whole life pouring into, gets shot to smithereens. For what? Investing in the security that you thought you had. Failing to praise the maker for what you had while you had it.

I say that not to sound self-righteous. I realize that I can get preachy sometimes, but know that I'm only speaking to myself in this venue. I do not trust Him a good deal of the time, and I certainly don't thank Him. Like the women at the shelter the other night, when the lasangna took a half hour more to cook, thereby postponing their regularly scheduled dinner. From some it was taps on the counter. "What is going on here?" "When will it be ready?" "What's the hold up?" We got untrusting prideful stares from women who had been out in the cold all day long, starving. Some where so hard, and indignant toward the good-intentioned hands that wanted to feed them. But some ladies were sweet. "Oh boy that food sure does look good over there...y'all are gooood cooks! Thank you so much." So weird to see such an obvious example of how God must see us as he tries to bless us. So crushing. I am so demanding, so impatient, yet I feel so entitled sometimes.

I laugh as I picture myself tapping on God's counter going.. "Isn't he ready yet?" "Where is my husband?" "Everyone else has eaten already" God (who I picture as Luke from Gilmore Girls in this analogy) says "We'll he's still frozen, and your still prideful, indignant and hard. Trust me, you don't want him now. You'll get salmonella. I am the cook here. You gonna trust me? Are you? And don't use cell phones in my diner!"

"Umm yeah. I guess. Those tomatoes you made....those are looking pretty good over there... Lordy, you are a good slow cook, a giant spiritual Crock Pot."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Rains, Pours Yadda Yadda Yadda.....

Just when you think you have your spiritual life sort of in a place where it is going to stay for awhile, your practical life (for lack of a better word) goes to pot.
Number one, my sewer backed up on me. Pipes are supposed to slope to the street. Mine don't.
Number two, my garage door opener gears are stripped.
Number three, my furnace sounds like an old man.
Number four, I need my oil changed and literally haven't had time to get it done in the last three weeks.
Number Five, My check engine light is on, washer fluid is filled, and my headlight is out. (I count those all as one, I suppose).
Number six, I stuck a can of diet cherry coke in my purse this morning on my way out the door to church. I forgot about it, and came back to the house and set it on my bed. It sprung a leak, soaked my densely-written-in-purple-ink 'to do' list, stained my bedspread purple and ruined my phone.
Number Seven, I can't wash my bedspread or any of my monster mountain of clothes because my washing machine is broken. Thats makes two broken washers in the last year.
(And my roomie gets to add a minor car accident to her list of annoyances, as the house related ones affect her too.)

So to recap....
I can't wash anything, call anyone, drive anywhere, park in my garage, or spend any money because I haven't got the roto-rooter bill yet. I don't even know where to start.

In spite of all this, I'm in very good spirits, as I said, I am spiritually feeling pretty good. Presents are all wrapped, baking is done. Work is good. Listened to a ton of Beth Moore this week, got my shipment of her cd's in the mail, and they are as ever, so great! I had the pleasure of dinner and a chick flick (Pride and Predjudice) with a very good friend of mine Friday night. It was the perfect girl nite. Very encouraging discussion, and good times.

I'm also in good spirits because I got to work at the Grace and Peace women's homeless shelter last nite, and it was very humbling. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes with the amount of hard stories there are. I have a roof over my head, a family that loves me, a great job and food on my table. Life is ridiculously good. The trick is deciding that it would still be ridiculously good even if I didn't have those things. Jesus said "I am the bread" and in Him we have life and breath and our being, the rest of it, Maximus, is shadows and dust. Concretely, I'm not sure how that works, but in my spirit, I know it is true, because there are times when I have indeed had everything, and it wasn't enough. So it stands to reason that if all I had was Jesus and nothing else, that it would somehow, inexplicably, be enough.

In the meantime. I'm not ignoring your calls. Thank God the internet still works.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sometimes Beth Says it Best

"I can say without stuttering that in my 45 years of living I have NEVER had a man be as mean to me as women have been...

Now I've had them be stupid, Amen?"

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

30 days

I have Buddy from Charles in Charge to thank for my ineptitude in remembering the rhyme for the months.

In one episode, Buddy screws something up thinking that there are only 30 days in August, and proves it by matter of factly reciting the following:

30 Days hath September, April, August and November....

As a result, that rhyme does not work for me. For I have to sit and think which month then replaces August. It's quite a dilemma. I like a good mnemonic device, but damn it Buddy you've ruined me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How we spend our days...

Is in essence, how we spend our days.

So how have I spent my days? Sometimes I censor details in the interest of being interesting. Most of the time even when I do that I'm not very interesting NO it's TRUE. Smiling to myself as I recall many a blather recorded on this webarena that has the appeal of a piece of dryer lint.

More lint you say? Ok then...just for you.

Anyway. I'm in a small group now at church. I've been terrified of vulnerable community as of late, but this is going rather well. Doing life with folks IS a good thing. Don't kid yourself. We need people. No man is an island.

Also starting to hang out with kiddos in sunday school which we don't want to call sunday school but have yet to give it a better name. I like kids. I used to think the junior high ones were from a different scary planet (I thought that even when I was one) but I do like them, and they are very cool. Maybe I'll have some after all. Excited about investing in them more.

Work has been going very well, it's the perfect mixture at the moment of interesting, challenging, monotonous work and I love being there. I really do. How many people can honestly say THAT? I leave for Syracuse on Thursday of this week, and if any of you are in the greater Syracuse area, my colleague is meeting our client for dinner... I guess I am too. That made no sense.

Volleyball double header tomorrow nite. How I love volleyball. Insert gushies here about the heart leaps and soul smiles that come with a double header championship game.

Annie! won a thousand bucks on the radio. Sheesh. If it's Williams related, it doesn't even suprise me anymore....

FUNNY. A gal in my small group told the funniest story tonite. She works as some sort of teachers aid (sorry not exactly sure what she does) works with little kids and interacts with some hilarious parents. Isn't there some joke about parenting being one of those things anybody with a pulse is allowed to do, but we require licenses for fishing? If it's not, it should be.
I digress... A parent at her school brought a cake in for her sons birthday. My friend (I'll call her "Cary") says to her "Wow this icing is really good, it's not at all like store bought icing" to which the mom replies: "Oh it isn't just any old store bought cake! It's from Derbers." Cary has never heard of this place, and it equating it with a Straubs, or a whole foods, or something exotic. Shocked that Cary had never heard of Derbergs, they have this giant country club-esque discussion about where Cary shops and why she doesn't know this place. "Schnucks? Pshaw... it's soooooo much nicer than Schnucks. Seriously." Finally, after painful agony, and what seemed like hours, it comes to light that the lady is indeed trying to say DIERBERGS.

Shoo a sista is laughin.

My brother's TV debut came and went, and was awesome. He did well. Fun times. Had all of his buddies over to watch it at home, and they are so funny. He is one of the few people I know who has great relationships with his high school buddies still. It's nice. All my high school friends all moved away. (Understandably so).

I realize I need to talk with my roomate about this incredibly weird conversation we had about Christmas decor. We were talking about whether or not we get a tree this year. I'm thinking automatically "I can't really afford a good artificial one this year". And I totally dismissed the possiblity of putting up an actual tree. I'm a dork. That is totally what we should do. Here I was denying my capitalist pagan roots....

Side note, I had a friend in college who was jewish, who decorated a tree as a part of their traditional... tradition. They called it a Hanukkah bush (sp?). I think that's great.

I also had another friend in college. That made two.

I love tea. Especially green tea. Especially mint green tea. With one sweet and low packet. Oh yes, tasty. I've been to Kayak's twice in the last week after having never been there before. I had a delicious cup with my dear friend Angela, and then tonite stopped in for another before small group. And I have a rant about Washington University. I park in the Kayak lot. That has giant signs that say "retail parking only" I think to myself, 'I'm a retail person! I can park here!" I was in there less than five minutes, and I come out to a lovely yellow pain in my arse of a wupd parking ticket for the expired meter at 7pm. Are you serious? Can WU really commandeer a parking lot? Kayaks is a public establishment, I don' t have to be from WU to go there, and it's not even technically on campus... don't get me started. Wu can't have ANY MORE OF MY MONEY. I threw it away with flair. I hate WUPD. Their little yellow attempts at control....

On the flip side, in the good little piece of paper catergory, I got some coupons to First Watch today. Buy one get one free for any entree. Anyone want to get treated? I can hook you up. Call me we'll do lunch.

I saw a machine on video at work today that has a vision system that picks up catheters from a random loose spaghette-like pile, and using robots, threads them into a shape, and then seals them up in a package, that is way more intersting and unique than it sounds, I promise. Take my nerd-word for it.

All in all. Feeling good about life. Things are rather splendid.

Linty Murl out.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Oh Love that will not let me go.

A story I found, may be an urban legend, it's from a source quoting a source:

It is the story told of a pregnant young woman who prematurely gave birth to her first child. The doctors quickly observed major problems. After many surgeries and procedures, the couple rejoiced at their child’s restoration. In the last procedure, the oxygen tube was mistakenly disconnected for several minutes and the baby’s brain was deprived of oxygen, leaving her blind and unable to hear, speak, or walk. After hearing the news, the couple’s pastor rushed to the hospital to find the young mother holding her baby, singing to her. He said, “I am here but I don’t know what to say.” And the mother replied, “It’s okay. We are doing fine.” Caught off guard, the pastor asked how this could be in the midst of such pain. She said, “I have been thinking of a scene which has given me comfort. I picture a huge stadium with thousands of people and a platform in the middle. I see God on the platform holding this baby girl and saying ‘Who will take this one? She will never walk, never see, and never speak. She will never be able to return love to anyone. She will cost you everything you have and you will get very little in return. Who will take this baby?’ I see myself standing up in the back row and coming forward saying ‘I will take her. I will make her mine.’” The amazed pastor asked how she could have such peace. The woman said, “In my mind I think of the same stadium with thousands of people and the same platform. This time God stands on the platform holding my hand and saying ‘Who will take this woman? She is rude, arrogant, selfish, greedy, worldly and self-absorbed. She is ungrateful for all she has and will never love as she ought.’ About this time I see Jesus stand on the back row and move forward, saying, ‘I will take her. I will make her mine.’”

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

(Sing that last part with a kitchy oompa-loompa beat. Rinse. Repeat)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Homestar Dusty is an Exceptional Televised Athlete

Whoops, I got the first time wrong, see correction in red for Sunday!
He won 5th place recently at the Pinnacle "Exceptional Driving" competition in Laughlin, Nevada. (And no that's not "wow you have no wrecks AND no parking tickets") That's Golf. Where not necessarly longest ball, but longest, most accurate ball wins. And Dusty got 5th out of 128 other amateur long drivers. Which gives him pro status, puts some cash in his pocket, and gets his mug on TV.
November 25 @3:30 - 4:30 PM on ESPN2.
November 27 @ 1:30 - 2:30 PM (CST) on ESPN.

And I'm his sister. Which makes ME cool.



Hey wait up...

Monday, November 21, 2005

It's that time again....

That's right. At long last. This blogs humble beginnings chronicled many points of the 2004-05 Washington University Women's basketball season. I know that no one else cares about this.

But that is why this is my blog. I can put whatever I want on here. If Mark Williams can blog only monthly and put pictures of giant octoblerones on his, then I can certainly plug the red and green.

Enough apologies.

This weekend, the gals opened up the '05-'06 season in typical fashion, two games, two wins. They have some freshmen that need to learn the system still, and overall they looked pretty weak on D, but that will come. Anytime you beat DePauw by more than ten, you are doing alright. Wash U also beat the former national champions, Milikin, (who are still ranked number one in most polls) in a scrimmage a few weeks ago. So they are showing great promise.

This picture I posted is one of my favorites in print from my era. It's my classmate Tasha Rodgers, arguably the best athlete to come through the program, and my assistant coach, the giant teddy bear that is Coach Cochran, or as we affectionately referred to him "BC". They are celebrating after our second National Championship, Tasha had 23 points.

I, on the other hand, had a turnover that made the other teams highlight video. It was played over and over again during the broadcast of the tournament selection show the next year with the whole team and all our families in attendance. (They still gave me a ring).

Good times ;)

Yeah Bears.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Eaten Alive by Wolverines or the Garage.

I stole this from the blog of Scott Adams the Dilbert guy. This imagery made me laugh out loud.
"Today I am whacked out on pain killers because yesterday I had surgery to correct my deviated septum. I didn’t ask a lot of questions about the procedure but I can deduce most of the details based on the way I feel today. Apparently doctors shove a starving wolverine into one nostril, where it scratches and eats until it hits brain. Then they pull him out by his tail. Nurses stop the bleeding by packing each nostril with a queen size mattress that is carefully wrapped around a wino."

Not much else to report.

But I was held hostage by my garage door today. It got off kilter in the tracks somehow. And it did, like a rat looking for a cheeto in a maze, take me a few minutes to get out. It was really cold, and it was morning. You know I rarely have anything brilliant going on upstairs before noon anyway, and couple that with my poor circulation and lower than normal body temperature..It must have been how cavemen felt. So after tapping the door three times with my car, it sprung open and a genie popped out.

Several times I almost thought it was going to be a real issue, like "I have to call into work, I"m going to be stuck in my garage forever." until the inner voice of calm that is Murl says "This is a garage. You are not trapped without food or water in an elevator or something even relatively small. And the side door still works. The people-sized one."

I could explain my attempts at getting out of this contraption, but it would be snoozerific. So I will spare you. Lets just say I learned a lot about my garage door. And about how you can't prop it up with a garden rake. And how I'm glad there weren't small dogs or children around when I tried to prop it up with a garden rake.

Funniest part may be when I eventually did get out of the garage, out of habit I hit the button and it closed. I backed out of the driveway and by the time i reached the street (read BIG time delay) I finally noticed that it had worked.

I was cold.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Change and Closure

So I had lunch with my old arch nemesis today. Some of you heard me talk about her and our struggle to coexist peacefully at our office back in the day when our noses sat thirty-five inches away from each other in the tiny office we used to share. We were both proud and stubborn, and so wanting to "fix" the other one in "christian love" that we beat ourselves senseless.

We sat in that room together for almost a year. Polishing. Annoying. Irritating. Ignoring. Sometimes crying. It was awful. A terribly painful and long experience for me and I know for her as well.

I am not a morning person. She actually tried to talk to me before noon. She is a minute detail person. I am a big-picture dynamics person. She stuck her neck out. I buried mine in the sand. She had this sinus thing that drove me crazy, said "Rum" instead of "Room"and well, I'm sure I did somethin.

But we both call ourselves Christians. This means we tried. We really tried to submit and to yield and to give in and give up and let the other one have the honor, only something would always stir our competitive spirits toward one another. We tried and prayed together and shared and stuggled to see eye to eye.

To summarize. Girls are just crazy. Especially girls who feel they still have worth to prove.

We eventually moved out of the same office before I stapled my earlobes shut. She eventually followed God's calling to plant a church out in Seattle near her in-laws. I jokingly told people God took her to Seattle for me. I was kinda relieved, to be honest. Maybe overjoyed was the word. I loved her. I really did. But I didn't like her very much. Now, still working for our company, she flys into the office to do work sometimes. The first time I saw her I didn't know how I would react. We were not friends. We were more than that. It's so weird.

So we kept saying that we needed to get together and catch up when she was in town. Usually when we got together it was one of two things. Her condescending on me. Me feeling my usually-dormant national champion competitive spirit rise up, or worse, us gossiping about anyone and everyone we could in the office. You know, in that crappy way that Christians sometimes do...

Today's lunch started out like any other. We were discussing some drama and what the cures are and why everyone is so negative all the time. Getting rather personal in some instances. And we ordered food at Bread Co and I felt the Spirit say gently "Linz, don't do this. Don't let her do this either she doesn't want that." I, ignored it, and started back in when she sat down, but she interrupted me mid-slander and called herself out and said, "Hey that was kinda gossipy wasn't it? I probably shared too much there. I'm sorry."

What? Who are you and what did you do with my arch nemesis? I'd never heard her call herself out before on that stuff. Especially when it was so heavily me too. It was awesome. I agreed and told her I had been thinking the same thing. We went on to have the best, most refreshing discussion about what God is doing in her life, and her marriage, and her heart. I told her about my new found grace (like cornflakes? "Taste it again, for the first time"). In her, I saw a woman maturing, still struggling to forget her old names, but one who was at PEACE. I used to think she put on this earth soley to get on my nerves. But now, I saw her as Beautiful. It was amazing. God gave me eyes. And I hope she saw what I now am... a person who is so consumed presently with believing who she is in Christ that no longer feels the need to compete and to strive to be liked or respected by her or anyone else.

We talked about the other doors she was closing in St. Louis and how it was timely, because she wasn't really going to be around the office in the forseable future, and maybe never again. It was like God came to lunch with us and said, "Hello Poppets. Not a single second of that time I made you spend together was in vain. Nor will any second anywhere else be wasted, because you are mine. "

Like a real live episode of 'Father Knows Best'.

Anyway. She also spoke of some things in her life that gave me thrills of joy to hear, and I told her how I was falling in love with Jesus again. I never thought we would ever be here. I never thought that she would change or that I would let her.

I'm not sure who bent more. I used to care who got that credit. But now I realize, that since we met in a mid-point at all, it means that it doesn' t really matter who bent more, because we got there. Got to this sparsely-inhabited land called "Unity". The credit really isn't ours to claim anyway.

God, in his mercy, ties up every loose end. Bottles every tear, only gives you what you can handle and will force you into situations that make NO worldly sense, that are strictly for Kingdom gain. I don't know how this story will glorify God really , because no one really knows it, but I pray it serves as a reminder of how intricately and SLOWLY he sometimes sanctifies us. This is over the course of 4 years, which in reality, is light speed, but I'm overjoyed at the moment. For the balm that God is pouring on my ripped and wounded places, for removal of old thorns in my side, and for his mysterious weave of 'coincidences' to glorify himself and bless the crap out of me. For freedom to love without condition.

I have tasted. The Lord is good. Hope that doesn't smack of Christian-ese. I'd rip out my heart and take a picture of it, if it could help you see what drives the words.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I THOUGHT I could!!!

We won a blue ribbon!! Well kids, the train that we built out of 2000+ cans of tuna, pork and beans, and pineapple is a winner. It got judged today at the St. Louis Mills mall, and won "Best Use of Labels". If you are in the area and want to see it, it's by the glow in the dark putt-putt place. There is still an award at large for Peoples Choice, so if you are there between now and November 17th, drop a vote for this little guy.
Chinese Dragon won jurors favorite which is sort of equivalent to "best in show". So the way i figure it, we got second ;). Hooray!
Here are some others that were there:
Chinese Dragon

Oscar the Grouch

Rosie the Riveter

Hungry Hungry Hippo:

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Yeah that's it.


Oh yeah, and don't see Jarhead... unless you were a marine. Then see it and let me know if it's real. And if it's real...


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Call My Name.

The Neverending Story is my all time favorite movie. It was the first movie that I cried for joy in. You know at the end when Atreyu is riding through the field on Artax, and the music is playing. Man I just started blubbering and couldn't stop. I'm like 4. "Mom why am I crying and not sad?"

It stayed with me. Another quote that stayed with me throughout my life is this one:

Engywook: Next is the Magic Mirror Gate. Atreyu will have to look his true self in the face.

Falcor: So? That shouldn't be so hard.

Engywook: Oh, that's what everyone thinks! But kind people find out that they are cruel. Brave men find out that they are really cowards! Confronted by their true selves, most men run away, screaming!

The existance of the whole world of Fantasia hinged on whether or not this Empress got a new name.

Childlike Empress: "Born of the Word, the children of man, Or humans as they're sometimes called, Have had the gift of giving names. Ever since our worlds

This flick is full of spirtual parallels. I thought of this the other night when Mike was speaking at Damascus Road. He talked about a very odd exchange in the Bible when Jacob was wrestling with God. I never really understood it until I looked, really looked (or, rather, Mike looked) at what was being said:
27 The man asked him, "What is your name?"
"Jacob," he answered.
28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."
What is the deal? How cryptic! The key is what the name Jacob means. It means "he who deceives". I was reading this back story on a recent trip and I could NOT for the life of me figure out what was going on. Jacob and Esau. Fighting inside the womb.

Esau is an idiot. He sells his birthright to second born Jacob for a bowl of stew. But then Jacob steals his fathers blessing by dressing up like a goat to trick his blind father into thinking that he is the hairy red headed brother Esau. It's like a hebrew soap opera. But then Jacob in the end gets the blessing from God and from his father and all the marbles. Why? He cheated! It's not fair.

That's right. It's not.

That, I think, is the point. Jacob says "I will not let you go until you bless me". God says "What is your name?" And Jacob, exhausted from the fight, ashamed and beaten says "'The one who deceives'. That's my name. That's who I am."

But God says no. He says. "Your name will no longer be that, it will be "Israel" because you have struggled with God and men and overcome. I no longer see you as the deceiver that you were."

A new name. God gives us a new name after he beats us. After we cry uncle. We get to shed our old skin. Our old name. And it's beautiful defeat. Our hip is out of socket, and we walk with a limp from now on. But we have a new name. And we must not take it in vain.

But doesn't it drive you crazy? It's totally backwards. God wins. He takes the championship belt and the crown of roses and the robe with his name on it, and walks over to your corner and puts it on your head, and around your waist, and across your shoulders and carries you out to the shouts of the crowd to your astonishment and shock at first, then to your delight.

What is the name I used to have? Slut. Coward. Cheat. Lazy. What is my new name? Beloved. Forgiven. Daughter. Sister. Bride. He tells me again in Hosea. And again in Isaiah. And again in Romans. And again and again and again.

But we have an accuser who seeks to assist us in reminding us of our old names. Much like the thing in the Neverending Story:

G'mork: Fantasia has no boundaries.
Atreyu: That's not true. You're lying.
G'mork: Foolish boy. Don't you know anything about Fantasia? It's the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature of it, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying then?
G'mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams, so the Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G'mork: It's the emptiness that's left. It's like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Atreyu: But why?
G'mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control. And whoever has ontrol has... the power!
Atreyu: Who are you really?
G'mork: I am the servant of the power behind the Nothing. I was sent to kill the only one who could have stopped the Nothing. I lost him in the Swamps of Sadness. His ame was Atreyu.

But Atreyu got through the Magic Mirror Gate. And past the Sphinx, whose eyes stay closed, until someone who does not feel his own worth tries to pass by.

Add this movie to my list of stuff I want.

Stuff I want*

I know this is weird, but I've never really had a list this long or expensive before. Thought I'd let you in on this:

1. Gas powered Leaf Blower
2. Digital Camera
3. A cheap fixer for my "HP" ipod.
4. Socks. Fun ones. Big ones.
5. A bathroom in my basement.
6. A volleyball court in my back yard.
7. Not another dish in my kitchen
8. The West Wing season 5!!!!!
9. Square One TV. In any viewable shape or form. DVD. VHS.
10. Braces.
11. A big fat power washer.
12. A new haircut with blonde in it.
13. A sugar daddy to purchase all of these things.

*of course this list is material, foolish and mostly said in jest...i have all i need, and then some....
**and "Knowing is half the battle" and other good moral redemptive stuff.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's the MOST wonderful day of the year!

That's right.

The day where we gain an hour. Oh joy. That's sixty whole more minutes to do whatever it is you want to do . I was once asked what my favorite holiday is (I'm sure it was by Casey at a South City diner nite) and my unequivical answer was this day. This is literally better than Christmas for me. AND THIS daylight savings day was better than most.

Today I defeated a fear. A long standing childhood fear.

Of the riding lawn mower.

When I was about 11 I jumped off of one and ran screaming into the house. I am startled very easily, and incredibly gun shy, so loud noises tend to set me off, and the whir of the giant rotating blades skeered the begeezus out of me. I was up and outta there faster than a long tailed cat in a roomful of rockin chairs. Now, in my adulthood, I see them putt along at all of 3 mph and this fear has seemed rather silly. But I had never overcome this, or needed to.

But today... I was victorious. After figuring out the mystery of operation, (Amy, I attribute ignition success to my "myst" honed skills. ) I rode around the yard about thirty times. It was liberating. I definitely called like three people, including my roomate who was inside the house. It was fist-pumping amazing. Wow. I'm now a completely self-sufficient homeowner, no need to hire a lawn boy.

ALSO (as if this day could hold any more joy) I hung my two person hammock today. My mom procured a perfectly good one from Goodwill for 13 bucks. Two trips to Lowe's, four s-hooks and three feet of chain later...I am in hog heaven. I think if I died today, I'd say I lived a full and rewarding life, chock full of the blessings of God.

I'm very proud of me for the riding mulching I did today. I'm very happy and the rain held off today long enough for me to take a legitimate nap in my hammock and for me to plop a second person in it and talk about life. I'm very happy that I got to share this day with some people I love, and very happy that I went to Church today. For the first time in awhile, I truly worshipped, and there was an illustration using Sea Monkeys.

Put a couch back in the kitchen. A couchen... rather. And resurrected the tree people in art form. All in all. A great day.

I beat the mower. Huzzah!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Culprit Found!!

I can rest in peace.

Okay I give..again.

After a really humorous day of accusing everyone in my office of the aforementioned prank, the mysterious anonymous comment mystery has been solved. But this ghoster poster didn't commit the crime. Only messing with my head. It's not that hard to do.

Anyway this still leaves me with an unanswered bit of questions. WHO did this? And now, the pool of potentials has now re-expanded to included just about anyone.

To further increase the irony (this is probably a story, like a lot of my stories, that are only funny to me, so bear with) This morning. The heinous yellow chair is out at the curb for the trash pickup, and my roomate wakes up and notices that the chair is gone, but the trash hasn't come yet. Nice. Now either the perp came back and took the chair for further tomfoolery, or someone random now has themselves a *new* piece of furniture.

I should check my roof and the backyard to make sure it is indeed gone. But I fear this is a mystery that will remain a mystery for the ages.

But if you are out there, tell me who you are so I can properly give you your kudos for making me crazy.

And speaking of kudos, dish a few to Willie! for the pic. And no this wasn't the actual chair. But close in it's yellow-ness.

And it's chair-ness.

Murl out.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Best Part of Waking Up............................... Is Soldiers in Your Cup

Or rather, the best part of coming home from a long week is finding a spattering of green army men and a rat-nasty yellow chair in your front yard, a door mat with a weird birdhouse on it, tinsel and signs saying "This Thanksgiving, Eat Chicken... *Heart* Tom Turkey" Hmm. Who are these people? And why have they not come forward? I do not understand. I have covered the obvious bases. Willie! is innocent. Casey was sick. Deana told me about seeing the chair before I got home (maybe that's a cover.. but I doubt it). The first gut reaction was DeeDee and Becky, cause I missed her birthday party... but they seem clueless too. Whoever you are you have had me. I am had. And I salute you publicly. Good game. Tell me who you are.

Always something I wonder when I'm gone for a week is if I'm missed. It's a silly thing to wonder, but it is at the core of my curiousity. Did anyone even know I was gone? I'm gone alot. It's becoming more frequent.

People can convince themselves of anything when they are trying to stand in a Southwest line. "That? That's not the line. Obviously only people who are standing UP can hold a place in line." Total abandonment of any rational thought or any consideration for fellow man. This guy also happened to be decked out from head to toe in Harley-Davidson gear. I'm just sayin.

Seriously, he thought he was going to cut infront of 12 people because they were not standing up. Wow. I was really nice, but WOW. That guy was seriously delusional. And I think he got away with it somehow. He turned a perfectly orderly line into a funnel of frenzy. Felt like it was wartime Russia and everyone was biting, kicking and grabbing for the last potato.

But my cause was upheld and the sweet man in the very front of the line let me infront of him after the evil chaos creator busted my chops and the chops of 7 sweet ladies from Nebraska.

And Molnar, I met Gary from BRI in that very same line if you are reading this. We chatted about you for a bit. It was eerie.

Also eerie is that upon wandering the strip in Vegas on a nite that we weren't scheduled to be there, going the absolute wrong way from where we were going, we ran smack into the Sullivans. SO very random. Shared three years of intense life on the b-ball team with their daughter and my folks spent three years with them in the stands. It brought tears to my eyes to see them so randomly. Randomly. Ha. As if anything is really random.

As if me asking God to show himself to me in the worldliest of places, among the worldiest of people, in my skeptical heart would go unanswered. By random conversations. By people talking about Jesus on the tee box much to the chagrin of everyone in the stands. By the woman sitting next to me on the plane reading "Dinner with a Perfect Stranger." By the beauty of his creation. By the lack of him, actually. The emptiness that is there when he is not. I could feel it. And it's cold, lonely, hard and sad but it feels normal, you know.. not sacred. You know when you have been in sacred moments. When you are on the octobery front porch sipping tea laughing talking with your girl crush and your favorite brother. When you have tears streaming down your face at the car wash on the phone to your best friend because you aren't sure of anything except for the fact that you don't know shit and a hand wax is way too expensive when there are starving people around. When you see that there are quite a handful of folks who could have "lawn art-ed" your house when you were gone and you find out that you were indeed missed. When you realize that you are sorta stealing this line of thinking from a book called Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, but keep writing it just the same because it just rings true and I don't think he'd mind. I like the sacred moments.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Someone found a Starbucks part 2.

Yes.. I just wanted to update the update on a few things.

First. Snuggles is dead. Okay, he wasn't actually dead, but he was really close, he had stopped swimming...just to clear my conscious. He was a good fish. He lasted a year. Which, in my care, is a year longer than anyone thought he would last. I flushed him Monday morning October 17 at 11:05 am. Death at sea. In his last days he was surrounded by friends and wide-eyed onlookers, and quizzical looks. "What is wrong with him?" Some say fin rot. Some say a broken spirit. Some say a mini-fish stroke left him paralyzed on one side so that, at the end, he would struggle up to the surface, miss the food that I sprinkled, and listlessly float back to the turquoise rock bottom.

He was a good pet, even though you could never snuggle with him. He will be missed...


Two. We are here in Mesquite, NV for the Remax World Long drive competition. Dusty is in Group 1. You can follow him here live if you care. Dusty fought the good fight *shanked* one 326 yards. Time expired on his last ball because he picked up a mis-manufactured tee and couldn't get the ball to stay on it. Very hard to watch. But there were definitely guys hitting their best balls 326 yards. So he'll be back. I know he will be. Felt better as the day went on and some other well known guys were hitting OB on all six tries. A sport of luck. I think I will also try to be there next year. Overall, fun times in Mesquite Nevada, home of more golf courses than stop lights, and of the ridiculously cheap prime rib buffet.

Three. Just so you know where I get that thing where something stupid makes me laugh non-stop uncontrollably. It's from my mom. Oh man. Never in my life had I seen her laugh so hard. She would slow down and say "oh back spasm" and then start right back up again. Later she tells me it was a response to cut the tension of me trying to navigate my directionally challenged dad through the streets of Las Vegas. He was driving full speed and we A-Teamed it over a speed barricade (bump just doesn't seem to do this thing justice).

Anyway. Cards lose. Dusty lost. Good thing the scenery here is beautiful..

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Christianity is Foolish

It really is.. It's like Alice in the Looking Glass:

"Now, if you'll only attend, Kitty, and not talk so much, I'lltell you all my ideas about Looking-glass House. First, there's the room you can see through the glass -- that's just the same as our drawing room, only the things go the other way. I can see all of it when I get upon a chair -- all but the bit behind the fireplace. Oh! I do so wish I could see THAT bit! I want so much to know whether they've a fire in the winter: you never CAN tell, you know, unless our fire smokes, and then smoke comes up in that room too -- but that may be only pretence, just to make it look as if they had a fire. Well then, the books are something like our books, only the words go the wrong way; I know that, because I've held up one of our books to the glass, and then they hold up one in the other room. `How would you like to live in Looking-glass House, Kitty? I wonder if they'd give you milk in there? Perhaps Looking-glass milk isn't good to drink -- But oh, Kitty! now we come to the passage. You can just see a little PEEP of the passage in Looking-glass House, if you leave the door of our drawing-room wide open: and it's very like our passage as far as you can see, only you know it may be quite different on beyond. Oh, Kitty! How nice it would be if we could only get through into Looking-glass House! I'm sure it's got, oh! such beautiful things in it! Let's pretend there's a way of getting through into it, somehow, Kitty. Let's pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it's turning into a sort of mist now, I declare! It'll be easy enough to get through -- ' She was up on the chimney-piece while she said this, though she hardly knew how she had got there. And certainly the glass WAS beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist. In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room. The very first thing she did was to look whether there was a fire in the fireplace, and she was quite pleased to find that there was a real one, blazing away as brightly as the one she had left behind. `So I shall be as warm here as I was in the old room,' thought Alice: `warmer, in fact, because there'll be no one here to scold me away from the fire. Oh, what fun it'll be, when they see me through the glass in here, and can't get at me!' Then she began looking about, and noticed that what could be seen from the old room was quite common and uninteresting, but that all the rest was a different as possible... ...Here something began squeaking on the table behind Alice, and made her turn her head just in time to see one of the White Pawns roll over and begin kicking: she watched it with great curiosity to see what would happen next...."

It doesn't make any sense. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. The smartest people aren't the most righteous? The meek inherit the earth. The kingdom belongs to the persecuted, the poor in spirit, those who thirst and hunger.

Things really only make you happy when you share them or give them away.

And unless you come like a child. Like a child. Unless you trust like a child, you will not understand.

It's exactly backwards.

God...why did you set it up this way, why is your way so foreign to us? Why when I try to explain to someone who isn't a citizen of the kingdom they say something like "You can't stand in the way of a bull and expect him not to charge you just because you are a vegetarian?" Or something equally clever (thanks for that one Ziegler) that makes me think 'no... of course I can't argue with that.' I can't argue Jesus. I can't make belief of a baby in a manger and mere death on a cross of ONE man make sense. I don't understand how that distinguishes eternal life and eternal shame.

That is... apart from the fact that it's true.

I cannot make it make sense to you. But it makes sense to me.

I can, however tell you how many times I've doubted and had questions or struggled with something and a voice, a voice, a personal, unbelievably strong, loving voice answers and brings encouragement and wisdom. Sure maybe it's power of suggestion, maybe it's all in my head.

But it isn't.

17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20[Lindsey], guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.

The kingdom of God makes no sense. But it is a better kingdom. I cannot prove it. But it's not my job to prove it. It's my job to live it. The best that I can. With help from God himself.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The most important button

That you ever push, is sometimes the one that turns your alarm clock ON.

Career suicide.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thanks and Praises

This is my favorite painting of all time. I used to have it when I was in college, as just a poster carelessly tacked on the wall. I used to just stare at it all the time, but somewhere along the trail, I lost it. I haven't seen it anywhere in stores lately.
Thanks and praises to mister Bernard Hoyes. I like your roy-g-biv-ness.

Last Sunday was Deana's last at DR. It's weird to me. She was the reason I stuck around in the first place. I'd never met anyone who didn't care what you thought of her, she was going to tell you the truth no matter what it cost her. I'm glad that we got to try to honor her a little bit. I was very glad to be a part of a group of people who were honoring someone like her. In a day and age where I'm ashamed of people and our culture and myself a good deal of the time. I'm proud of her. Because more often than not she chooses to do the right thing versus the easy thing. Someone who dies to herself all the time. Someone who cares about the little guy because she was the little guy. Who instead of treating people the way she was treated, treats them the way she wishes she was treated. God showed me more of what he is like through her. Of course shes not perfect. But I'm better for knowing her. And that... is the gospel.

That's what we are supposed to be here.

God oh please, help me make people want to know you better. I admit. I stink at it.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

International Big Deal..

Heh heh. He won in Jamaica, mon. He was there when I was in Europe and this is a list he sent me of the things HE learned while there:
1) Kingston is not a tourist town...old people...leave the reebok workout suits and cameras..the images there will burn memories in your retinas greater than any solar eclipse could do.

2) Dont lick the sidewalk no matter how good it looks

3) Dreadlocks thicker than firehoses do exist....

4)Jamaicans apparently like to blare american music..especially a nice rendition of "o'holy night" no matter what season it is

5) they use the word "mon" as a comma..mon

6) I know a great bathroom in the hilton where you can obtain a nice contact buzz

7) Americans are often referred to as the white devil

8) a 60 jamaican dollar tip will even piss the homeless off....apparently its like 12 cents american

9) Goats are like the american racoon or opossum

10) Jamaicans do not like David Hassselhoff

11) Apparently im like an international long drive kind of a big deal there

12) dont go there

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Casey recently picked up this list that I left lying around my house. Even as I wrote it, I thought to myself, I better destroy this later, or atleast not leave it out, because this is an odd list of things to just leave lying around. He got a chuckle out of this:

-Sunday School
-Beth W
-train stuff
-liz on Sunday.

I have to agree, it is rather random. I have to admit, I got only two of these accomplished.

That's why I don't make lists. The failure feeling is just too great. And for those of you wondering what a bioreactor is, I have posted a picture of one.

There you go, that's what I do. That's how I roll. Those are what I put on my lists of things to do...

I've been running around like crazy lately, not blogging. Company golf tournament, bunch of meetings and just returning to my normal self after jet lag has all precluded my terribly interesting website being updated. That and lack of terribly interesting things to write. I mean, how do you top Europe? I'll keep tryin...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Chronicles of Murl: Things I learned in Europe

1. Lufthansa is the European word for "Lost Luggage". Mine was lost twice. Had to buy skivvys in a little lingerie store in Vicenza, Italy. I'm putting them on my expense report.

2. Found out that I must be more German that I think. It's my love for the unifying beer drinking songs. "All Australians are born Illegitimate, born illegitimate, born illegitimate...."

3. All Italians know the words to "Country Road". They wear matching T-shirts and sit together in one big group at Oktoberfest. Yeah All of them.

4. Oktoberfest is not a thing for Germany. It's a thing for Bavaria. What does that mean? Bavaria=Texas. Lederhosen and the frilly dresses= Cowboy boots and hats. Ahh... It all makes sense now.
5. People hate Americans because of our Military presence. Not because we are there, but because when we are there we are egotistical, arrogant, ignorant, disrespectful jerks with guns and buzz cuts who carry vodka in a camel back while running. (Don't write letters, I just met two of them, but they tainted my view immensly, for all of you Europeans, we are all not like that).

6. Trains are awesome. Riding in cars with natives is not. I am normally not motion sick.

7. If you lose your luggage once, and you buy really expensive skivvys, you should pack at least one of them in your carry on from that point on... because lightning can strike twice.

8. Course number 5 or 6 of a good meal is heaven on wheels... the cheese cart. Heck yeah.

9. You would think that while you are sitting drinking wine in an outdoor cafe on a piazza at sunset, watching the people mill around casually and unhurriedly, dodging bicycles laden with loaves of bread, not a car in sight, not a building newer than a thousand years old, that you couldn't feel more removed from America. Then the music from the string quartet wafts over to your table. Rich cellos and violins echo off the walls of the buildings. It's "Memory" from CATS. You scan the grounds to see if you can throw yourself infront of a Vespa.

10. You know that you better have a map handy when you ask the train station ticket lady to repeat what she just said in English and she replies "That was English".

11. You probably just got screwed when the weinerschnitzel cart vendor says "That will be twenty" and you say "Euros?" and he pauses and says "Sure"

12. Adapters are not enough. You need the transformer. A fried cell phone charger means you call your parents from a strangers cell phone in line at the airport because you don't know anyones phone number by heart.

13. Jim Garner is a rock star. I didn't really learn that in Europe.
14. If you are shaving in a foreign country, put your razor completely back in it's case before shoving your hand into your bathroom kit.

15. Flights that have people on them who have heart attacks over the Atlantic turn around, fly an hour in the opposite direction and land in Iceland. They remove the patient, and then after refueling, have to remove the patients UNATTENDED LUGGAGE. Flights that have this happen on them tend to miss the connecting flight...and the next connecting flight...and the next one....

16. I cry much more easily at movies on airplanes. Sure Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, that just means I'm a cheeseball. But Monster-In-Law? I'm certifiable.

17. When changing your pants on a train infront of lederhosen-clad adolescents, you should probably put something over you.

18. Six million Germans agree. Oktoberfest Rocks. I know this because I asked them, they were all sitting at my table.

19. In Munich, there are Houston Astro fans. I knew wearing my Cardinals shirt to Oktoberfest was a great idea.

20. In Italy dinner lasts 4 hours. But that's only if you are with Amerian clients. If you are lasts 6.

21. Swizterland is the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

22. The world is really big. My mind tends to be really small.

23. I love Coke with ice in it.

24. I like water without bubbles in it.

25. I like America. But I like the way the Europeans do some things too. Like 6 weeks of vacation, toilets that have different flushers for 1 and 2, escalators that don't move until you step on them, mass public transit, highways with no speed limits, and chocolate. I like that American doors open to the outside and that we don't eat lukewarm bologna for breakfast, and that we actually have church in our churches.

26. I love my job. The sex drug is coming along. I figured out that by increasing sex drive, prompting weight loss, and tanning, basically it turns you Italian.

27. OH YEAH... I almost forgot. Joaquin Phoenix is OUT of rehab. I mean once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, but he seems to be doing well... Or so said the magazine that was divinely left in the seat pocket infront of me with his black and white mug on the cover.....there is a God.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm off

Off like a prom dress to hop across the pond for some equipment audits. First time I'm going somewhere with clients by my lonesome. Should be interesting.
I'll start off in Verona, Italy, and take a train to eastern Switzerland, then will drive to Basel, Swizterland, fly to Frankfurt, fly to Hannover, and after work is done, I'll take a train from there back to Munich for Oktoberfest with our very own Jim Garner. Where I'll do God knows what, stay God knows where and hopefully actually find him in the midst of the worlds largest kegger, and hopefully get to an airport in time to come home. 7 planes, 2 trains in eight days. No internet for me for the week, leaving the lappy at home, so I'll pretty much be uncontact-able for the next week. Miss me! Ciao!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This could be bad....

Dear Friends,

I'm in a jam. Going to Europe on Sunday for a week, and my iPod, my sole source of peace while I travel seems to be broken. Anyone know of anywhere in St. Louis that fixes iPods FAST? A store? A guy somewhere in a basement with a hammer? Anyone want to loan me theirs for a week?


Desparate in St. Louis

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cry a little

“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,’
I still dread all my sufferings,” (Job 9:27-28a).

Life isn’t without some divine decisions that our mortal minds simply cannot comprehend. At times, we cannot imagine why God couldn’t have just given us what we asked. Sometimes our frustration lies in the fact that we know He could have, that He certainly had the power, but in His divine wisdom, He chose not to. Hear this with your heart: God knows we can’t think like Him. His ways and His thoughts simply are not ours (Isa. 55:8-9). Sometimes the very essence of faith is trusting God in the midst of things He knows good and well we cannot comprehend. Not that we won’t, but at times we literally cannot.

~Beth Moore

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Tasty of Tasties.

It's like a piece of my heart has returned to me.

My dear friend Angela is home from all over the eastern world, and her return has been balm for my soul. I have missed her, and I'm not good at the mushy stuff very often, but she is all that I love in a person. So funny, so real, so compassionate. And to a much lesser degree than most, will act like she doesn't know me when I almost pee my pants in the supermarket after I see a box of cereal called "Organic Gorilla Munch".

Will you stop here and just read that again.


What in the free world is that? It was like a dream, I looked up and saw the box, with the giant gorilla nostrils and the face staring at me, and I almost lost it. Like just saw it and doubled over and had to like limp over to the box to point out what I was dying at. Gosh I'm sitting here writing this and I laugh out loud. Mark, Murph, Patrick, it's the closest I've been to wetting myself, so if you want to work that into your next attempts at bladder busting, that may be helpful.

Anywho. (Gosh just read it again. Organic. Gorilla. Munch. Wow. I really really need help, let me know if anyone else thinks that's pants wettingly funny... I'd say I'm just easily entertained, but that's just not the case.)

Tonite we did a 'get to know you' interview thingy with Mike and Beth the new DR people, and we had the audience write down questions on index cards, and I, talk-show style, censored and selected the anonymous questions and read them to Mike and Beth. Angelas question was "Do you like bacon?" Had Annie! been there I would have sworn it was her doing. But it was Ange, and yes Mike and Beth DO like bacon*. So after that that was settled, Angela and I got to talking about the increasing numbers of people who have "an unusual proclivity for bacon"** and how there should be a website and T-shirts. I agreed. I mentioned the bacon shaped air-freshener hanging from my rear view mirror, and then we went and made BLTs***.

God knew I needed her back here right now. Needed some fresh air, fresh perspective, and to laugh so hard. It's an amazing thing really, that a person can live in another hemishpere for a year and then come back and it feel like they never left.

Very very good, indeed.

*Wondering at this juncture if Mike and Beth also have an unusual proclivity for Kevin Bacon?
**Quote provided courtesy of Casey Finan's journal entry.
***And yes, we used Farmland thick-sliced bacon. It is the best, after all.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Faces in the crowd

Yeah Todd. This guy was nasty on Defense. Also note the three hottie hot hot fans sitting directly behind him.

And sorry, Liz, Sean Scott is in fact dating Rachel Wacholder.

Friday, September 02, 2005

AVP Y'all

Yes!!! I'm off to the AVP with a few of my nearest and dearest. Chi-town here I come.

Man I love this game. Happy Labor Dabor to me.

Deana, as usual, you are a rock star for organizing the weekend...

My recipe for happy includes yellow and white leather, a couple of people whose names I say with exclamation points at the end, and a minivan.

Heck yes it does.

One of my purest dreams was to play sand volleyball for the rest of my days, maybe even try out for one of these tournaments. But I fear I have waited too long. My body has become too old. A summer of mono, and an inflamed rotator cuff, bursitis-something-something and me losing my real leather volleyball have all sadly put a major damper on the sand borne festivities. Ah well. Will continue to live vicariously through Misty and Kerri.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


My brother Schmustyface Ryan Merrill, after two years of trying, rocked his way into the Remax World Long Drive Competition this weekend by qualifying in Indianapolis with drives of 392, 388, and 385 yards. In some cases, 40 yards farther than any other balls in the round.

WOO HOO!!!! I'm so proud of him and excited* for him.

I'm always ridiculously proud of my bro, so this isn't news really, but he really can hit the little ball a LONG way. I'll definitely keep you posted on the event!!

Very exciting. He is one in 128 peeps worldwide who qualified for this event. He could be on ESPN!!!

*So excited that I may just try to qualify myself since we are going to be down there anyway (it's *much* easer to qualify in the womens division and there is a LOT let money at stake) so I'm going to give it a try... what the heck.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Oh man. This is the coolest thing ever!! Google has rocked my world with it's new Google Earth. Go get this for free at and be amazed... 3D rendering of the Grand Canyon or anything else you want to see on the planet earth.

Liz...even You can find your way around with this!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I Love the Bible...

Clean Garments for the High Priest
1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."
5 Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.
6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: 7 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
8 " 'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
" 'In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,' declares the LORD Almighty."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Open House Party

August 28th. 2pm - ??

You, dear readers, are invited.

(Provided you know where it is, and that you actually know who I am)

Monday, August 08, 2005

It's over...

Whew.. back to normal life again. The talk is over and went well, I felt. The mono is gone, I shot baskets in my driveway and am feelin like a champ.

I'm off to Detroit rock city on Tuesday for a couple of days to kick off a new project, one I am very pumped about. Should be good times.

God is good folks... all the time.

Murl out.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


I've never really figured out an actual example of something that is truly "ironic" so no need to write letters, but for lack of a better term... It's ironic that I'm getting nervous about speaking at DR Sunday nite, and my topic is Fear...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'll admit it...

I really want to see that penguin movie.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Last post reminded me of my quote wall at work. Some of my favorites...

"I ordered an Italian sub on French bread... I got an Italian salad with French dressing"
Bill, who trusted Tim with his lunch order...

Ken: "They call it a kickoff meeting for a reason" (because it coincided with getting tickets to the KC Chiefs game"
Lindsey: "They should call it a 'sidekick'-off meeting" (as it was to be my debut at a time when I was dubbed "the sidekick")
Ken: "More like an on-side-kickoff meeting"

"What does NFG stand for? Not Fully Grown?" (Me, refering to a Newfoundland Gander airport code sticker on a door of a small of stature co-worker)

And every quote wall since the beginning of time has it.. the quote that launched a thousand quotes:

"What? Are we shooting from the seat of our pants here?" Ken on the speakerphone to J-Ro.. masterfully combining "Flying by the seat of our pants" and "Shooting from the hip"

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Monday, July 25, 2005

No Reason...

Tried to figure out a reason to use this and tie it into my daily travels....but It just hasn't happened...and I just like it too much not to post it. (it will probably happen tomorrow).

Amendment... Thanks to my roomate, Amy, who reminded me that, the Cap'n Obvious card indeed this is a card to be played on JKM the Fish. She is sitting in our house watching "swordfish" with us and the scene comes on at the end where the guys in the bus attach themselves to a gigantor helicopter. I make a comment about the hutzpah of such a copter, that it would have the power to lift a moving passenger bus off a highway. To which JKM replies matter of factly.. "Oh you know it's one of those 'lifting' helicopters."


Another example comes to mind just when I ordered my usual chicken chimichanga at our favorite mexican lunch place and my waiter promptly asks me "chicken or beef"?


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Re: my next tatoo will say moron...on my face

That was the subject line. This why my brother is my favorite person of all time. This is an excerpt of an e-mail conversation I just had with him.

Dusty: "oh let me tell ya. somethin...let me....tell you i go to the phillips 66 down from the house you know on at the pump go inside get some red bull...come back get in my car....and take off....with the f**kin pump still in my gas tank and rip the sumbich off....yeah the guys like yeah need your insurance card and drivers license...he just called and said he fixed it...there is a god and his name ironically is chris and he works the morning shift...i swear god im about 50% unpissed from my shitaki morning ive been having..and to boot i had to park on the GD 8th level use to 4.....but things are better....i swear to god man"

Lindsey Replies: "Oh I totally did that once, lucky for us, the connections of those hoses to the pumps are...ahem...what we call in the industry "quick disconnects" (typically) which means they realize that there are morons who will drive a way with the pumps in and they just snap back into place, maybe he took your insurance to make sure you didn't bend it.

That is funny though..."

Dusty Comes back:
"yes apparently it was a disconnectable thing...thank the gas gods in exxonia....but me's and you have the gene in our minds that lets us concentrate on the wrong thing at the right time...its like we think about bigger and better things when we should worrying whether or not we are going to remove the extremely flammable hose from the belly of our 2500 lb raging inferno of why the hell should thinking " how good my frickin starbucks coffe is going to taste when i get to work and why is the gross national product of peru is on the decline since the CAFTA agreement signed in early february allows all independant unions to supply international suppositories to people with a low risk 401k"

and this is serious
this just in from cody who is in colorado working

he goes back to his hotel a couple nights ago from the bar...there are 8 cops with lights on and the whole 9 yards...he like what is going on? the park ranger tell him there is a bear in their hotel...yes thats cody get excited and goes in to get a better look of course...the bear is in the frikin pool taking a swim...the cops tell him to go back to their rooms and stuff..of course cody says screw that..him and another dude circle back around the building the other way....the bear comes around the same corner after it has been hit with a trank dart and two twelve gauge slugs...its gets to cody and stands on its hind legs and the cops put another cap in it and kill it....cody says...ok then im going to go to my room now and clean the crap out of my britches and you guys just take care of yogi...ok then cya...

how funny is that...

murtis out"

Monday, July 18, 2005

Math for Dummies.

Beautiful. San Francisco. Sweet Lord, Mona, you are right. Went to Sausalito for dinner tonite. Ate spring rolls and salmon at this little place on the water and watched all of the ships cutting in and out of the bay. Little curly ribbons of road wound tightly up the sides of the green mountains. It was impossibly beautiful. The smell of the air was salty, mingled with something else cedary and wonderful. Then we drove up the coast to Muir Woods, home of the giant Redwoods. Breathtaking. Dizzying to look to the tops of the massive trees. I felt at any second those things would come to life and say in a booming Lord of the Rings voice "The park closes at eight". Some of those trees are almost two thousand years old. Foggy, flowery, lush, named after the cookie. Sausalito. I will honeymoon there. Amazing.

Places usually don't affect me that much.

Even my flight out to SF was clear and I could see the country from 15,000 ft. Dry desert, green patches of irrigation, river-carved canyons, mountains that look like rumples in my bed sheets. It was like a painting. So beautiful. So just for me.

As I sat on the plane, I was reading "Mathematics: Is God Silent?"

The answer is most definitely no.

Katie's that I like.

I had the pleasure of listening to Katie sing at Koko and Fabs' wedding. MAN she wails. I always turn into this blubbering mass of emotion when she sings. It's really incredible. She is also one of the most beautiful people I've ever met.

Koko and Fabs are also ridiculously beautiful people. And when I say beautiful, I do mean it in the classic diamond commercial sense, but also in just the pure of heart sense. Never a fowl word have I ever heard either one utter, and I've never known a more graceful, humble pair of people. And good gravy they are so in sync with each other when playing any sort of team sport. They will just shred you to bits playing ultimate frisbee...

"Jealous, Party of One..? Jealous?"

Naw.. more like happy.