Saturday, November 29, 2003

Well, I'm back from Texas filled with Mexican food, German food, turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. I must have gained ten pounds.

We had 23 for Thanksgiving at my aunt's house. It was actually really nice for us all to be together again. I've never been close to my dad's family but it's not because I haven't wanted to. I've just always felt like our little part of the family were outcasts. We just didn't seem to fit in. But everyone was pretty welcoming this time. We had a good time together. And times like those make me a little wistful that we aren't all closer together. And I really do miss Texas. I always forget just how much until I go back there.

My mom's new place has a lot of potential and it will be fun to see all the changes she will make. I think she'll really enjoy living in Austin. It's such a neat city.

I have lots of thoughts whirling around in my head after my week in Texas so it will probably take several blogs to get it all out. I'd like to see one thing though.

It was really cool to see President Bush's stunt for Thanksgiving. I'm sure it was a real boost for the troops. However, I couldn't help but think that it is his fault those people are over there and not with their families right now. It really was the very least he could do. And I'm glad he did it. I don't hate President Bush. I may disagree with him and I may get mad at him but I look at him like I do some family members. We may complain about them and whine about their faults and how crazy they are, but if anyone outside of the family says anything bad about them, we'll defend them. It's one thing for me to complain about my President. It's another thing entirely for an outsider to do it. If any foreigner bad-mouthed my President, I'd be all over him like flies on poo. I like keeping things in the family.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I just got home from church and I am reminded of how much I really love going. It is always so difficult to pull myself out of bed on a Sunday morning but it's always worth it. You can always worship alone. You don't NEED a church to be a Christian and to communicate with God. But there is something about fellowship that is so rewarding. Especially when you start to feel like the only Christian on earth. Then, you go to church and think, hey! all these people are Christians too! You will always have that basic thing in common even if you don't see eye to eye on every issue. And I find the ritual and familiar music comforting. I'm not a modern church kind of girl. I'm not comfortable in charismatic environments and I don't care for modern Christian music. I like the familiarity of the traditional church service and hymns. I went to a modern charismatic church when I first got together and was shocked to see people in jeans drinking Starbucks in the sanctuary while the music director played an electric guitar and people jumped up waving their arms in the air and shouting, "Yes Jesus! Hallelujah!" Now, I think it's great if some people find God that way but it just isn't for me. I prefer formal and traditional. That's just how I was raised. Anyway, I'm grateful to have found my church and I'm especially lucky to be a part of our Sunday school as well.

I'm going on hiatus this week as I will be travelling through Texas. But I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope we will all take the time to think about the things and people in our lives that we are thankful for.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

We've been having internet problems so I haven't been able to post any new blogs. So sorry about that.

Today I'm thinking about music. I've been listening to the soundtrack for "Love Actually" which is as charming as the film. I've always been a fan of soundtracks. My favorite soundtrack of all time is the one for "Stealing Beauty." Close runners-up are the soundtracks for "Cruel Intentions" and "Pulp Fiction." I've always thought it would be great to have a soundtrack for my life. Or a theme song. Like Ally McBeal. I've often thought that a good empowering theme song for me would be "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks. I've even had theme songs for relationships. Usually one for hello and one for goodbye. For instance, my hello song for Erik was "Since I Met You Baby" by Sam Cooke. Our goodbye song was "Music of Goodbye" by Madonna. My hello song for Nick was "Stand Up" by Def Leppard. Oddly enough, our goodbye song was "Long Long Way to Go" also by Def Leppard. (but then again, Nick was a heavy metal kind of guy) My hello song for Bill is "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne which perfectly describes the night we met. Lately, I think of Bill when I hear "Sorta Fairytale" by Tori Amos. The other men I've dated haven't warranted songs because they were either a) losers or b)not significant enough.

Do any of you have theme songs? Or soundtracks for your life? I've always found it amazing how important music is in my life. My friend Brandon always makes me mixed CDs when I'm going through difficult life patches and they are always fabulous. Music can be so cathartic and therapeutic.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

I attended my first benefit gala last night. It was called Intrigue: The Fire and ISES gala. It was held at the Tabor Center. (a small shopping mall in downtown Denver) When you walked in, a big flame shot up in between two ice sculptures. There was a red carpet and when you walked down out, there was a line of volunteers flashing you with lights to simulate paparazzi. You then mounted an escalator and you received a program at the top. Waiters circulated with trays of mojitos and wine and hors d'oeuvres. There was a band playing on one stage and then another smaller stage with a flamenco dancer and singer. After about half an hour, they ushered us all up to the second floor. As you went up the escalator, there was a wall of fabric with shadow dancers behind it. You then walked down a lighted passeway to the end where another band with dancers was set up. They had dozens of tables. Some with molecules made of lemons as centerpieces. Others had elaborate floral arrangements. There were three buffet tables and chefs were cooking the food while you stood there. Salad with walnuts, pork chops, oysters, prime rib, pasta dishes, etc. One buffet table was covered in real flats of grass. There were three open bars upstairs. Every so often they would announce the next act: a pair of dancers doing a routine, a fashion show, an aerialist. I decided to leave after about an hour because although it was interesting, it wasn't much fun wandering around alone. I sat down to consider my options when a girl from my group named Meredith spotted me. She insisted that I join them and I wandered around with them for an hour. That was a lot more fun. I met some really nice people. At 10pm, they shuttled everyone back downstairs where they had transformed the area into a dessert buffet. They had created a covered tent feeling to it. The buffet was fondue. You would gather different fondue items like strawberries, marshmallows etc and then there were two fountains of chocolate and white chocolate fondue to dip them in. The crowd was a little intense so I decided to head out. At the door, they handed me a canvas goodie bag with samples, coupons and other freebies. The event was pretty cool. Not your stereotypical gala event. I think it would have been more fun if my friends could have been there but I'm glad I got to meet some new Junior Leaguers.

I felt so out of my element I did some weird things, though. I have to constantly fight shyness so sometimes I do things to try to drive myself out my shell. For instance, one man trying to make conversation with me asked how my new Member course with the Junior League was going. I told him it was great except for the hazing. He asked me what kind of hazing and I said, "They make us stand in the middle of a circle while they whip up with pearl necklaces and pelt us with white gloves." I couldn't believe that came out of my mouth. Everyone thought it was funny but I couldn't think what possessed me to say that to a group of strangers. Shyness can do weird things to you.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

I really like today's Storypeople story:

"I can put down roots pretty quickly in the face of radical change, she said."

It reminds me of me. I don't respond well to change and I can definitely dig my heels in. Unfortunately, change is the only thing you can count on in life. Well, along with death and taxes.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I have a confession to make. When it comes to animals, I am a complete softie. And I am unapologetic about it. I've always been this way. When "Dances with Wolves" came out, I was much more concerned about the animals getting killed than I was with any of the humans. I had to walk out of "Turner and Hooch" because they killed the dog. I can't explain why I'm so sensitive about animals but I think it is because animals are so honest. They act out of instinct. Nothing particularly premeditated. Because they don't have reason like we do, we can't hold them accountable for their actions in the same way. Animals don't do things out of cruelty. They act out of nature. That is why I have such a fondness for them. It is hard for me not to anthropomorphize them. So, when I saw "The Girl From Paris" last week and they had a scene where milk cows were being slaughtered, I just about lost it. I'm not sure I can ever eat red meat again. I've always known what goes on in slaugterhouses. I used to be the President for Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. And I'm not a vegetarian. But I can't stand cruelty for no good reason. I don't want my food coming out of the extended and unnecessary pain of another creature. Animals eat animals. That is a part of nature and I don't dispute it. That's why I have never become a vegetarian. But usually, in nature, it is an honest and quick death. We don't give that to the animals that provide our food. And it is dishonest and cruel of us. I'm not sure how we can get back that honesty.

Friday, November 07, 2003

I saw a sneak preview of "Love Actually" last night. What a charming film! If you like British comedies a la Bridget Jones, you'll probably love it. I can already hear critics calling it "the feel good movie for the holidays." My one problem with it is its implausibility. Several people in the film go through major relationships ending and then pick up with someone new in a matter of days. I just don't buy that. And only two of the characters don't have a storybook ending. But it is still a very likeable escapist kind of film. No one ponders any particularly deep issues and no one suffers any regrets over their past relationships. It should have been a Disney film.

Speaking of regrets....I think that is one of the most common things people say about their lives. "I just want to live my life without any regrets." Is that possible? I'm not sure. I look back on my short life so far and I already have regrets. I have lots of regrets about college. I loved college. But I didn't do it right. I should have spent more time studying. And I should have made different friends. I chose the wrong friends. At that time, it seemed to be the right decision. But they ended up betraying me. I joined a sorority for the experience. I figured if I didn't like it, I could always quit. Well, I found out I had negatively stereotyped sororities. Not all of them were bad. I actually met some really nice intelligent women. But I didn't take advantage of my time in a sorority because none of my friends had joined one. I wanted to maintain solidarity with them. Well, I'm only friends without about two of my college buddies now. And when I see some of my former sorority sisters here in Denver, they are so kind and friendly. But the opportunity to really bond with them and enjoy parties and college dating etc is over. I opted out of all of that out of some misplaced loyalty to people who didn't even really care about me. If I could do something over, I would definitely do college over and really take advantage of the experience in ways that I didn't the first time around. Of course, that's just the beginning of my regrets, but it is one that really stands out in my mind. I wonder if I would be in a different place now if I had experienced college life differently.

I'm going to keep putting comment markers on each of my blogs so you people better start commenting. Otherwise, I just feel like I'm ranting in a makeshift journal instead of trying to share thoughts with other people.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

So, I played the old Da Vinci Code game online and that is the most fun I've had in awhile. I love puzzles! If you like them too and you are interested in the Da Vinci Code, go to this website and start the game.

In other news, I saw this great film last night called "The Girl From Paris." It's a French film and it was wonderful. It has a self-sufficient woman who decides to move from Paris to the Rhone-Alps to run a goat farm. It sounds boring but it was so great. So honest and heartwarming. The woman was close to my age which resonated. There is something appealing about taking care of goats in a place of solitude with a great landscape. Letting hard work lead your life. But I suppose that could also be quite isolating as well. As the movie showed. Maybe I'd better keep on being a city girl. The only animal I'm capable of taking care of is my cat.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Well, Halloween has come and gone. I think I'm going to start celebrating Day of the Dead instead. What a wonderful way to remember those who have passed on. And I love the altars and the sugar skulls and the Day of the Dead figures. It sort of makes death more of a part of life. I think we develop this fear of death in our culture. Well, it's also a fear of the unknown. But if you just accept death as part of the life cycle and bring it into culture, it becomes a little less scary. After all, it is inevitable. I think we are more bothered by not knowing exactly what is going to happen. Of course, religion helps us out there.

Speaking of religion, who out there has read the "Da Vinci Code." What is the dealio with that book? People are fascinated by it. Is it the puzzles? The art? The Holy Grail quest? The sacred feminine? The great cover-ups of the church? What is attracting people to this book? I can't figure it out. The story is mediocre but the material is interesting. I think people love a good conspiracy. And religion is always a hot topic. People are constantly searching for answers. I think some people may be shocked by what is in the book but I think that you can strip away all the mystery and the supernatural and still have something extraordinarily meaningful and transformative in Christianity. But that's just me.