Thursday, August 25, 2005

an outfit that will not be making the trip. alas, fare thee well . . .

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

*insert trumpets here*

Dearest Highness Ellen,

*insert groveling bow here*

Mine ears have heard the most wondrous tales of your talent and beauty from afar. The good Queen Rachel and the newly-crowned Queen Jennie speak only of the delights of being a member of your court. They have praised your goodness and your generosity and have compelled me to come before you with my plea.

I am no more than your loyal servant, but I come before you on bended knee. Dare I ask it? Would you bestow such grace upon me as to induct me into your court? Nay, I should be so lucky as to find favor merely to be your musician or jester.

So here I am with nothing and no one to recommend me, but I ask all the same. Would you be so kind as to coronate me?

Your Loyal Subject,
Lady Suzanne

p.s. I might just make you an original Royal Handbag.

Time to Get Ill

Licensed to Ill is only $7.99 on iTunes. Thirteen white-man-overbiting, head-nodding, arms-pumping-above-head tracks for the same price as half a batman tshirt.

Sure Shot isn't on it, though. I had to purchase that one separately.

If leaving this place should feel a bit like dying, then I am expecting St. Peter to meet me at the gate greatly disappointed if I haven't met my Beastie Boys quota by Friday.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I am leaving!! My flight leaves Friday, and I am in mass-panic mode. I may not post much this week, but I'll try to at least leave vignettes if at all possible.

Yesterday: co-hosted wedding shower for Chris and Alicia. They will be getting married while I'm gone. It was my first time to meet Alicia, and she is beautiful. I'm very proud of your choice, Chris, and very excited for you. I then proceeded back to Paula and Adam's and fell asleep on their bed, forcing them to take the couches. Sorry about that.

This morning: breakfast with Kevin and Latonya and back to Ta-town.

It's a beautiful Sunday, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Scrubbing & Surfing

The dental assistant job ended yesterday, and I find myself once again unemployed. So what do I do to occupy my day? I clean the bathroom. For three hours. Three hours, folks. And this is not a large bathroom. The tall people on Ellen's site would hit their knees when they squat. Somehow, I managed to scrub for half an afternoon. I scrubbed and re-organized our three-person corner caddy and found the hole that the ants have been climbing through. And Rachel was right. Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser is a miracle-worker. I swear, all I did was gently wipe, and the soap scum ring around the bottom of the tub packed its bags yelling, "I'm packing my bags and yelling!"

It is so clean that I have come to the edge of the linoleum several more times today (I've been drinking a lot of water) and been compelled to remove my shoes before entering. Ahhhhh. It feels so nice to have a clean bathroom. I'm wondering how long I can hold out on taking that next shower . . .

I also found this picture of my old friend Andy Scott from OBU. He's a diving coach at Duke now!! Way to go, Andy!!

And for those few yet faithful fans, the Barbie saga has returned.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Jesus Christ

I went to see The Killers tonight for the first time--nice. I gotta admit I was a bit skeptical about them at first, but I highly recommend you catch them live if at all possible.

mm, mm, good

After rocking out to "Somebody Told Me" and "Mr. Brightside," we went to IHOP for late-night pancakes. It was our 18-year-old waitress Rashael's second night on the floor by herself, "So I hope I do okay," she told us as she set down our pitcher of decaf. "You're doing a great job," we assured her. She was so cute about explaining her waitressing thoughts out loud to us. At one point, our conversation lulled to find her leaning against the divider next to our table. "I didn't want to interrupt you guys, so I thought I would just stand here and listen until you noticed me." How can you not just smile about that?

i found this picture in a google image search for an ihop pic-- let me be that happy to have pancakes.

It took a while for our food to come out, and we were excited when we saw Rashael (pronounced Ruh-SHELL) come around the divider with plates of eggs and pancakes lined up her arms. "Short stack?" she asked Matt. "Who did you call me?" he asked. "JESUS CHRIST!" she answered and blushed. Apparently the plates had been hotter than she had anticipated, and our hunger pangs were quelled momentarily for several minutes of laughter.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Tooth and Nothing but the Tooth

So I've been pretty busy this week. By night, catching up with friends on the phone, trying to raise the last 35% of my monthly support, and writing thank-yous for those wonderful souls who make up the first 65%. By day--a dental assistant. No, you read that right--a dental assistant.

i did this all by myself!

I am now a semi-certified, x-ray-developing, instrument-sterilizing, patient-room-cleaning, coffee-making, trash-taking-out-ing dental assistant. And let me tell you, I am exhausted. Teaching piano doesn't really fall into your 8-5 work schedule. It is 10:17 pm as I type this, and I wanted to be in bed two hours ago. My dental hygienist roommate Amy's boss (d'ya get all that?) hired me for this week plus a couple days. It's pretty perfect timing really. But that's how this whole week has been--perfect timing.

At some point last week, I had reached the breaking point. August 5 was my goal-date for being in Germany, and, well, I'm still in Wichita. "God, I am unemployed and not at full support--how am I going to do this? Is this really what you have called me to do? Am I really with you? Am I just making this up?" And the tears welled up. It was the first time I had cried out of frustration and fear. All tears up to that moment on my couch had been about saying goodbye to dear friends, family, or places--these were out of doubt. I had reached the end of me.

Within an hour, my friend Austin walked into the same restaurant where my friends and I were eating lunch. "Hey, I think we can help you out on that support thing." The next night at the movie theater we ran into Amy's friend Amber. "Well, send me information on supporting you." Before walking into a pizza place the following day, I heard "Suzanne!" Natalie wanted me to send her family more information on supporting me. My support jumped from 41% to 65% in one week.

It only takes a little thing like money for me to begin to doubt his ability to be God. He turns Jupiter and Mars in their orbits, and yet I doubt his power to move the hearts of those I ask. The wealth of the nations is his, and I can't trust his ability to provide next week's groceries. He loved me first, and I cannot begin to fathom it.

"My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water."
--Jeremiah 2:13

Muddy water. I've sacrificed the moisture in my hands for sanitization processes and latex gloves this week, and yet I'm still not willing to give up my muddy water. These cisterns, these wells of mine--they're not deep, they're just familiar. There's too much me in this picture. Trust really does require abandon--and until now, I've been trusting my online bank account.

God, lead me to your cisterns. Help me to recognize them. Give me courage to drink deeply.

Monday, August 01, 2005

100 Things About Moi (II of IV)

26. The worst lie I ever told was at summer camp in Wisconsin. We had meals family-style, and I seemed to always get stuck at the end of the table, where the servings plates got passed last. This particular evening, we were having fried chicken, and I had my eye on a particularly juicy-looking piece when Jackie, who slept two bunks over from me and had made fun of my favorite t-shirt, decided she wanted that piece, too. I seethed under my breath, "That Jackie is such a pig!" "What," asked her friend next me, "What did you say?" "Um, I said my friend Jackie's on a dig . . ."

27. I am actually a world-famous journalist that was forced into the witness-protection program after single-handedly protecting the long-lost language of the tribe of Widuni, which survived near-extinction by re-introducing the adjectival hyphen.

28. My lying and hyphenating skills have greatly improved since fifth-grade summer camp.

29. I like shoes.

30. I really like shoes, but I've only worn one pair of hot pink Reef's for the entire summer.

31. I'm not really a Coldplay fan. Many apologies.

32. It is a secret dream of mine to one day attend an Aerosmith concert. oops.

33. I don't like change . . .

34. I got my first CD my sophomore year of high school. I had had two really cool pine racks that each held 100 cassettes hanging in my room. In my mind, there was no economic need to entirely redo the format of my music collection. So, I procrastinated. One afternoon I was shopping at the mall with my friends. We were browsing in a Christian bookstore, and I recognized the band playing over their speakers--Out of the Grey. They were a current favorite of mine, and I walked over to the CD section of the store. "Excuse me, do you know what's playing right now?" "Why yes, it's Out of the Grey, and this is their CD right here!" I replied to the woman who had asked. It turns out, she wanted to buy it for her daughter. "You think she'll like it?" "Well, that's the one I'd buy if I had the money," I said. There was only one CD left, and next thing I knew, the clerk was handing me a plastic sack, telling me it was mine. "Um, no, I don't think so . . . " "Um, yes, I'm pretty sure this is yours." A stranger had purchased my first CD for me. I still like that cd.

35. I bought my first CD player shortly after receiving my first CD and winning the school-wide candy sales competition (see #23-24), which granted me a $125 shopping spree at the mall.

36. Between the two of us, my roommate and I own five cats. No, after three re-readings, that is not a misprint. We have five cats, they are family, and I can identify each of them by the jingling of their collar alone.

37. I was a senior rookie on drill team--meaning, it was my first year of drill team, and I was a senior. I never got entirely comfortable with being in a leotard that year in front of the whole school.

38. I am a HUGE Adam Sandler fan. The love affair began with Billy Madison my junior year of high school. "Stop looking at me, Schwan!" It's still in my top five. Mr. Deeds is my current favorite.

39. "Mrs. Lippe's car . . . is green." Mine is currently a silver Jetta, but my dream car is an orange Scout, and my high school English teacher's name was Mrs. Lippe.

40. I won my first swing dance contest last night. This comes as a shock to me as well.

41. I love experiences that speak to deeper parts of my spirit. Swing dancing has become one of these things. I had my first private lesson today with a kick-ass teacher from Chicago. She worked almost the entire hour on keeping my body and frame in a position that allows me to follow my partner (the lead). Following is really about positioning myself to respond to whatever the lead throws my way. It was positioning that stuck out to me today--there is intention in that word. There is an art, a will, a discipline in allowing myself to be led, rather than a limp-limbed slinging-about. It occurred to me that I am incapable of sensitivity to God's gentlest proddings without that same art, will, and discipline. Thanks, Evin.

42. I sucked a bee up my nose at summer camp in Wisconsin in fifth grade. I think it may actually have been one of those water mimics, but the bee-thing makes a better story, so we're going with the bee.

43. I can't stand cottage cheese or tapioca pudding. I think it must be a texture thing.

44. The list of lessons (we're talking private lessons) that I have had at some point in my life in no particular order: gymnastics, ballet, soccer, softball, tennis, golf, crocheting, baton-twirling (seriously), drawing, piano, guitar, painting, swing dancing, jazz, swimming, Spanish, voice, violin, scrapbooking, driving, jazz piano, racquetball, knitting, typing, strength-training, German, cooking, wine-tasting, basket-weaving (also seriously).

45. I can be indecisive (maybe also insecure) about choosing clothes for the day. I have been known to go through three outfits before deciding. I just don't like the part of the day when I have to decide what to wear. Can we invent an iPod shuffle mode for my closet? Please?

46. I love journaling, but blogging has kept me from writing as much as I used to. As Oscar Wilde's Gwendolyn says, "I carry my diary with me wherever I go. It is always best to have something sensational to read on the train."

47. I may forget birthdays and anniversaries, but I never forget trash day.

48. I like to buy cereal, but I don't really like to eat it. Mikey, the rabbit, and Fred Flintstone call to me as I walk past their aisle, and I just can't resist. "Ooh, look, I can get a big cool bag of generic Cocoa Pebbles, and look how much I'd save . . . " I had two bulk Raisin Bran boxes for over a year--I packed them and moved them to our new home and still didn't eat them, then sold them in a garage sale. I'm currently working on a box of generic Bran Flakes and am determined to finish them before the week is out. Feel free to ask me about those later.

49. I first encountered the word determined in a Superman comic on a ski vacation with my family when I was 7 or 8. I remember asking my dad, "Why is Superman always DEET-uhr-myned?"

50. One of my favorite quick-wit moments (since I have had many) happened at a small gym that used to be downtown where Amy and I had memberships. We had just finished working out this particular day and were hanging out at the front desk. A UPS worker had exercised that morning and was heading off to work in his uniform. "Thanks, Kim! See you tomorrow!" he said on his way out. My friend looked confused, "Did that UPS guy just work out?" "That or he's delivering a gym bag," I quipped. *insert laugh machine*