Thursday, September 30, 2004

So, today is a big day for two reasons. First of all, today is DEBATE DAY!!! I hope it will be a good one. I feel as if the two camps are more interested in appearances than issues at the moment. And that's not good.

The second reason that today is a big day is that I went home at lunch and found the NEIMAN MARCUS CHRISTMAS BOOK in my mailbox. Woohoo!!! I look forward to this catalog every year. I love flipping through it to find out what fantasy gifts they are offering each year. This year's fantasy gifts include your own personal bowling alley and your own personal Zeppelin that carries 15 people! Neiman Marcus has always been a special place for me and my immediate family. I can remember going with my mom and dad to visit the Neiman Marcus Holiday Shop at Christmastime and going to see the fabulous window displays downtown. I also get to each at the downtown Zodiac tea room, shop for food goodies at the Epicurean, eat lunch the Little Mermaid, visit the animatronic History of Neiman Marcus showcase and visit the many fabulous Fortnight events they had throughout the 1980's . Yes, it's decadent and expensive but it is so fun to walk through . All the pretty clothes and baubles. You don't even have to buy anything to have a good time. Sometimes, when I'm feeling out of sorts, I drive to the mall just to walk through Neiman Marcus. And sometimes, I'll find something special, like the Christmas gift I bought for mom this year.

Neiman Marcus....the OTHER happiest place on earth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

So, I have a new theme song. I've been listening to Annie Lennox's "Little Bird" to get pumped up. It makes me think of all those times I was crippled by depression in college. Here are a few lyrics:

"I walk along the city streets
So dark with rage and fear
And I...I wish that I could be that bird
And fly away from here
I wish I had the wings to fly away from here
But my my I feel so low
My my where do I go ?
My my what do I know ?
My my we reap what we sow
They always said that you knew best
But this little bird's fallen out of that nest now
I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I've just got to put these wings to test

For I am just a troubled soul
Who's weighted...Weighted to the ground
Give me the strength to carry on
Till I can lay this burden down
Give me the strength to lay this burden down down down yeah
Give me the strength to lay it down"

I like the idea of strengthening our wings and putting them to the test with flying. It's so easy to live in fear but I sometimes you just have to make that leap of faith. I haven't been really depressed since college. And now that I've made that leap of faith with Gary, I really do feel like I could fly away. I'm just happy all the time. It's crazy.

Monday, September 27, 2004

I wanted to let you all know that my cousin has been found. She was located in a hospital outside of Paris. She was out of her mind and had no idea where her backpack with her passport and credit cards had gone. It turns out they had found a doctor who spoke English and he was finally able to get her name and U.S. phone number out of her. The hospital then contacted my aunt and uncle and my uncle flew to France to retrieve her. I am relieved she is safe. I can't imagine what she must have been through wandering the streets of Paris for a week in that state and I'm grateful she's okay. Thank you for all of your prayers and good thoughts. I know they helped to bring her home.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

So, I have to ask for some help today.

I just found out this morning that my cousin Molly who is very mentally ill (and a few years younger than me) has been missing for a week. My aunt and uncle have contacted the police and found out her cell phone hasn't been used since last Tuesday. This has very profoundly affected me and I'm trying to keep it together while I'm work at today and not fall apart.

I am asking that, if you are so inclined, you put my cousin Molly and my family in your prayers and thoughts. She is very naive and has been very sheltered so I'm very worried about what could happen to her. So, please pray that she will be brought home safely. I know she won't be far from my thoughts today. And every day until she is brought home.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

So, I have something embarrassing to admit. One of my favorite guilty pleasure t.v. shows returns to t.v. tomorrow night. Yes, that's right. AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. Why do I like this show so much? I don't know. It's just so over the top. I like seeing the ridiculous contests and stunts they put the skinny little bitches through. (I don't really think they're bitches, it's just fun to say that) This time, they will have a "plus-size" model. Oooooo. If Janice Dickinson is still a judge, that poor girl will be the first one booted off. If you aren't 5'10" and 125 pounds, you don't have a chance on that show. Anyway, I'll be watching tomorrow night. And I can't wait. I wonder if it's possible to create a drinking game around ANTM? Hmmm...

As for tonight, Amy H. and I will be hitting the Sting/Annie Lennox concert. It may even be snowing when we leave the Pepsi Center tonight. I'll let you know how it goes...

Monday, September 20, 2004

So, I'm teaching Sunday school again and we are doing really hard-hitting stuff this time. I am teaching the older kids about the history of Israel and the origins of all of the battles surrounding it. It's really tough material but it seems to engage the kids. We have lots of good talks about possible solutions for this part of the world. One of my favorites:

A fourth-grade boy said, "Why don't we just sell it to Egypt? That way no one gets it."

Good point.

I have been reading a contemporary Christian book called YEARNING by Barnes and it has a lot of good stuff in it. Barnes talks a lot about the modern preoccupation with fulfillment. Especially in the guise of self-help and therapy. And he posits the question as to whether God means for us to be fulfilled. It's very interesting. One part in particular caught my attention. It has to do with what Barnes calls "the Christian Subculture."

Here is an excerpt:

"[Christians] pretend that by circling the wagons of the church they can hold off the harshness of the secular world around them. They have their own fellowship groups, jargon, hero figures, music (both sacred and rock) and even political lobbyists. It adds up to an isolated religious culture created to protect them, and their children, from the arrows of secular influence. The effect is to put the church in competition with the world rather than in loving mission to it."

I think this is a common problem with Christianity today. I especially see it with some of my family members. One of my pastors told us in bible study that he really doesn't like the whole LEFT BEHIND series phenomena. The problem with focusing on being taken out of the world and leaving people behind is that Christianity is supposed to be about our mission WITHIN the world. Sharing the good news with others. Not setting ourselves apart from everyone else. I know a lot of Christians take issue with how I live my life. But I think God put us all here for a reason. And while I am alive, I intend to live IN the world. Not isolate myself from it.

Monday, September 13, 2004

So, I've been thinking...
In OUT OF AFRICA, Karen says, "When the gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers."

A long time ago, I asked God to send me someone to share my life who I would have lots in common with. He sent me Erik. An only child who liked all the same things I did. But he was never around, didn't understand me and never really loved me.

So, the next time around, after dating a few losers, I asked God to send me someone who appreciated me and was crazy about me. He sent me Nick. A man who made me feel adored and appreciated. But Nick was a workaholic who had very low self-esteem and ended to things to "protect" me. The timing was bad.

So, I dated around again and then decided to get more specific. I asked God for someone who not only loved me but also had time for me. So, I got Bill. Bill cared about me and was always with me but we had nothing in common and nothing to really build upon. Plus, Bill was embarrassed to be seen with me in public although he had plenty of private time for me. Our values and beliefs were completely different and always at odds.

So, I dated around again and decided that I needed to be very specific this time. So, I asked God for someone who was smart, funny, emotionally available, fun to be with, adventurous, kind and generous, passionate, liberal-minded, supportive of my Christianity, and goal-oriented. Someone who would get along with my friends and be willing to go out and do things instead of sit around at home. Someone who would take an interest in the world around him. Someone who would love me for who I really am and not some vision of how they wanted me to be. Someone who would be proud to be with me and who could handle my occasional craziness. And to be sure my message was a good one, I recruited a few friends to pray for me.

And God sent me Gary.

And it was good.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Jury duty is a very interesting experience. I was chosen for a criminal trial and it lasted five days. They never even asked me a single question. It was just a luck thing that I got picked. The defendant was charged with twenty counts of organized crime, conspiracy, theft, fraud, forgery, possession of a forged instrument, criminal impersonation, and computer crime. He chose to defend himself. Big mistake. He seemed a little arrogant. After the trial, we discovered that he had fired his attorney because his attorney wanted him to take a plea bargain because:

a) he had prior felonies
b) the evidence was overwhelming
c) his wife was testifying against him

He wouldn't settle for anything less than dismissal of all charges. So, he fired his attorney saying he could defend himself better. He certainly changed his mind later on.

The defendant was the ringleader in an organized fraudulant check-writing ring. He and his wife "recruited" a few people from shelters who were poor and drug addicts and had them do the check-writing. They created check and false IDs on their computers using Versicheck and Adobe Photoshop. I'm sure it just started out as a way for them to buy groceries and things for their family. But in the end, they bought computers, large screen televisions and were driving a Lexus.

It was really odd to be sitting in judgment of someone else. I mean, I'm not perfect. Who am I to decide someone else's fate? But even though I felt some sympathy for the guy, he was guilty. That's all there is to it. There are lots of people out there struggling and they don't turn to crime. I'm just lucky I'm so blessed in my life.

"Oh, my life is good. I've got more than anyone should."

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I know I haven't written in over a week but I have good reasons for it. I served as a juror on a criminal trial all last week. It was a very interesting experience and I'll write all about it later. Then, my darling boyfriend Gary came to Colorado for the weekend. We went to Winter Park with 240 other members of the Hash House Harriers for some fun in the mountains. Now, I'm back at work trying to dig my way out from under the piles on my desk. I hope my co-workers realized just how much I do around here since I wasn't around for five days. Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend and I'll catch you all up tomorrow.