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Showing posts from January, 2007


I took my camera out for a test run tonight. It seems to me that if I don't use the flash, my pictures have an awful lot of noise, even when I used various settings intended for different lighting. I know so little about photography and cameras... how do I know if it's just me, and if it is just me, how do I fix me?

Sigh. I need to prep for tomorrow.

Grouse Report

I rented gear, took a lesson, enjoyed the sunshine. After lesson it was break time. Mmmm, lunch. Mmmm, chalet. Then it was time to attempt the big run. The big beginner's run. I did well in my lesson, apparently, and was ready to give it a try.

The problem is, the easy run is a whole lot longer and steeper than the baby run that I'd been on. A whole lot. I might be able to turn, but going fast is not my favourite thing. Especially when I'm doing something new. (Like when I first started driving - I remember going 30 down Elmira, in the big van with my brother...Now, I'm hardpressed to do less than 60 on that same road.) So the big hill scared me. Quite a bit. It was hard to maintain a reasonable speed. I wiped out three times, and I think that, for those watching, they were decent wipe-outs. No rolling involved, but definitely a massive flail and slide at least once.

I went back for a second attempt. Corey was a great and patient help, and I felt slightly better about my…


I forgot to mention - on my way out of the camera shop, about two blocks down the street, the bottom of the bag gave way (it must not have been sealed well) and out fell my camera box and warranty. I picked it up and prayed that this is not an indication of troubles to come.

$ On My Mind

Here is why I am fretting about money:

1. I have an appointment with my account manager on Wednesday to talk about RRSP's. So I've been trying to get an accurate picture of my in-out flow.

2. This has reminded me that I need to pay back my parents the 4 grand or so that I owe them for my degree. The downfall of owing parents over the bank is that the parents don't remind you and it doesn't get done. At least, this is true of my parents.

3. I am going skiing tomorrow, for the first ever time. It will probably be around $100 for lift/rental/lesson. More or less, depending on the use of a coupon owned by someone else.

4. I was informed today that the Canadian dollar is falling. True or not, I don't know. I am sad that it may affect my purchasing of British pounds for my voyage next month. I also need to purchase, before my travels, a compact umbrella and a thing-that-lets-me-plug-in-my-electronics. I forget what it would be called.

5. This is the big one: I bought a dig…


I need a weekend to recuperate from my weekend. I am tired. I wonder if this is healthy - I generally have 8 or 9 hours of sleep at night, but still get so tired.

Anyway, Nadine "tagged" me, and wants me to do the following:

1. Grab the book nearest me.
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Read four sentences down.
4. Record the following three sentences.
5. Name the author and title.
6. "Tag" three people to do the same.

As you wish, Nadine. I sort of cheated cause the book closest to me right now isn't the book closest to me when I read the "tag." But since I don't know how these things work, maybe I'm not cheating.

"It tires me just thinking about it. Sabbath-keeping was always meant to be robust, not this picking of the bones.

There is a word you may not know, or if you do, likely never use: synecdoche."

- The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
(for the record, I do know the word synecdoche. But since I have to stop at 3 sentences, you'll have to google th…

For Kell-y

Seriously. I can't believe the internet. LOVE IT. Sometimes. I came across a link to this movie (part 1 of 8) which I watched during O-week of my first year. In fact, it was the day that I met the infamous Graydon. He laughed so hard he was crying, and at one point, he fell out of his chair. I remember it clearly, at Kate House's house. Kelly and I still laugh about this day.

Disclaimer: If you watch the movie, it will be a complete waste of your time. It is quite possibly the dumbest movie I've ever sat through. It is not believable or even plausible. But, if watched with the right friends, it is hilarious. On your own...that's a whole 'n0ther ball game.

"So cute! Buh-bye!"

3 Thoughts and A Song

So, I thought I changed my phone number on MSN when I moved three months ago...turns out the reason I never get text messages is because I only changed my call-back number. Whoops. My apologies to whoever is wondering why I never responded to a message.

I chickened out of aquafit tonight. Wendy is sick, and I wasn't making a solo-swimsuit appearance. Instead, I will use my exercise ball while watching House. And do laundry. That burns 100 calories or so, right?

I am neither ambivalent nor overtly-interested in the Pickton trial. It is everywhere, and I have not made up my mind on its role as what some might call "info-tainment," like a live CSI or Law & Order.

Lyrics of the night. A new song for me, by an amazing band called Leeland.

Wounded and forsaken
I was shattered by the fall
Broken and forgotten
Feeling lost and all alone
Summoned by the King
Into the Master’s courts
Lifted by the Savior
And cradled in His arms

I was carried to the table
Seated where I don’t belong
Carried …

Talk About Timely

I check my email this afternoon and find an email with this title:

Rwanda Genocide...but this time it's in the Congo.


"At the centre of the conflict are two people groups: the Lendu and the Hema. Each is vying for power, potentially at the cost of wiping out an entire people group. Suliman Baldo, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch returned from the region last month warning of the gravity of the situation. Alarmingly, he explained, the two tribes have begun to identify themselves with the Hutu and Tutsi tribes of Rwanda. "The two groups have competed for control of the land for a long time, but these identifications and the connection they have to genocide threaten to transform the struggle into something far more devastating."In every village, people tell of family members murdered, children kidnapped and forced to be soldiers or sex slaves. Violence is a part of daily life and forgiveness is a foreign concept. The spirit of injustice and hatred reign in th…

Just a Thought or Two

We'll start with the shallow ones:

I am totally sucked in by The Office. This is a new and humbling feeling for me, being a little bit of a TV series follower. I used to take great pride in my non-addiction to TV. I might go so far as to say my disregard for most things television. Irregardless, I watched the episode that I missed on Thursday. And when Jim nodded that yes, he still had feelings for Pam, I just about lost it. But I don't watch this show just for the romance - the pranks and general staff interaction are greatly awkward and hilarious. Welcome back, Dwight. So long, annoying Andy.

My hair trim resulted in a slightly shorter cut than I'd originally planned. It's my own fault for doing it myself and thinking I'm all as good as a hairdresser, which I'm clearly not. I don't think it's butchered, by any means. Just short. And apparently short makes me look young, which I definitely needed no help with.

Last night, I had a great night of fellowship…

Saturday Morning Tradition

sailboats & ivy
Originally uploaded by bethaf. Walking along the waterfront is quickly becoming a tradition. I love that the photo opportunities are neverending. This wins for favourite picture, I think. I love that people are sailing today. It is barely 4 degrees out, but there they are...

I am not sure if I'm being vain, posting all these pictures. If you think I am, feel free to disregard them all. I'm definitely excited about photography these days. And desperately wishing I had any sort of zoom function on my camera.

As Promised

You know, it's been awhile since I've felt pressured to blog, but I recently promised people I'd write about a couple events over the last few days. The problem is, I don't really feel as excited about telling the stories as I thought I would. I'm not going to go into a big philosophical debate about who/what I blog for, but I wanted you all to know that if the stories aren't as full, fun or fascinating as you'd apologies. I did enjoy myself, honestly.

*Katie V and I had a phone date the other evening. We opted for the cheap option of VoIP, and paid the price of cutting in and out, spending five minutes messing with volume, and generally being creeped out by the sound of voices in our heads. Was it worth it? Definitely. As I rambled away about things God has taught me and various moments in my life, I felt so inadequate to even communicate my own experiences. I don't much like that feeling, when what I say and what I remember seem to be…

Aqua-size and Genocide

These are things rarely covered in the same sentence, but since both are topics from last night, they have met here, in my blog.

When Wendy and I decided to go to an aquafit class (who doesn't want to start the new year with more exercise?), I was fearful that
a) everyone else would be over 60
b) it would be boring, and
c) the instructor would be either annoyingly bubbly or harshly demanding.

I was misled in all my preconceptions! There was a mix of ages, and even a couple of men. The workout was actually a good pace - not overly easy, and I felt a bit tired but not sweaty! at the end of the hour. And our instructor: cheerful and sweet. I liked her, and I think she looked a bit like my cousin, Lisa. Although I'm not sure I can picture you leading an aquafit class, Lisa...

Consensus: I'm going back next week! But I think I need a better bathing suit...the one I've got isn't exactly work-out gear. Not that it's scandalous, just wedgie-prone. Now that I've overshare…

Icy Sunday

ivy in ice 2
Originally uploaded by bethaf. Lessons I'm learning about digital photography:

1. Always take extra batteries.
2. It is hard to take pictures with your mitts on.
3. If you aren't wearing mitts, your hands will get cold when you are standing under dripping icicles.
4. When you're outside, taking pictures of the same thing from many angles makes drastic changes with the lighting.
5. If you want to take pictures of people, you need a camera with a big zoom. Or you need their permission.
6. Even with a crappy camera, if you take enough pictures, you'll can still get a few good ones.

Days Like These

I'm so glad that God knows exactly what I need and when I need it. He sends encouragement at exactly the right times and in the greatest ways. On Wednesday, I was wondering why I'm here, feeling overwhelmed and stressed, even though I was only 3 days into the semester. Last night, I fell asleep smiling, certain that God is still good. Here's what I think contributed to the shift:

* Thursday starts with some heartfelt prayer, telling God that I needed Him to be God, because otherwise the whole idea of what I do is pretty pointless.

* I sit down in the cafeteria to do some work on my laptop. Four guys are sitting at the other end, and I catch snippets of their conversation "....God lets us choose....what what if someone is religious and then isn't?..." I glance over, discreetly, but they notice. Since we both knew I was listening in, I eventually ask, "Mind if I jump in on the conversation?"

They're fine with that, and for the next half h…

More Flowers

black & white
Originally uploaded by bethaf. Just in case you're still interested in my recent photo fever.

Finding Rest

One measure for whether you're rested enough or not - besides falling asleep at board meetings - is to ask yourself this: how much do I care about the things I care about? When we lose concern for people, both the lost and the found, for the bride of Christ, for friendship, for truth and beauty and goodness; when we cease to laugh when our children laugh (and instead yell at them to quiet down) or weep when our spouses weep (and instead wish they didn't get so emotional); when we hear news of trouble among our neighbours and our first thought is that we hope it isn't going to involve us - when we stop caring about the things we care about - that's a signal we're too busy. We have let ourselves be consumed by the things that feed the ego but starve the soul.

Busyness kills the heart.

And then the moment of reckoning comes - when we must meet the situation with genuine, heartfelt compassion, wisdom, courage - and nothing's there, only grim resignation and a dull…

Mes 3 Amies

These girls don’t know each other, but they all have two things in common. Three, actually:1. They are my friends.
2. Today is their birthday.
3. We met through the lovely organization I now work for.
So on this day, I salute each one of these am-asian (yes, that is a contraction of amazing + asian) girls.Peggy: my staff mentor out here in Vancouver, Peggy has been working on campus for nearly ten years. She is the mother of two lovely children (one born just last month), and is a shining example of serenity. I have heard rumours of her bearing the nickname “the peaceful Buddha” for reasons which are quite obvious. A) She is ridiculously peaceful and B) she was (but no longer is) pregnant. Hence the belly. I am privileged to work with her and confident I’ll be learning a lot from her in the months to come. And borrowing her sleeping baby to cuddle.HiuKei: Hiuks and I met in Montreal. I was mentoring her, even though she is older than me. Not by much, really…I like her fun …

Palooza Report

Highlights of the joint birthday party:

5. Eating much yummy food and feeling loved.

4. Walking from the bus in the dark & hail/snow/rain listening to Sufjan Stevens.

3. Almost falling asleep in the corner while baby Meaghan slept on my chest.

2. Three mix CDs from the wonderful Singaporean, Joy!

1. The student who wrote, "You're a day closer to being w/ Jesus!" on my card.

Thanks, all. 'Twas grand. And yes, I know the fork game.

Turn Around, Bright Eyes

Originally uploaded by bethaf. People are worth a couple thousand pictures each. I wish I had a secret high-quality camera that could take pictures for me discreetly.

I wanted to walk along the beach this afternoon, but didn't get a chance before it got dark. And now I don't know if it's sketchy or if I'm just a little bit paranoid. Also, it was spitting, and I'm notorious for disliking the rain. So it might be another quiet night in after all.

Thanks for the emails and e-cards (I love Hoops and Yo-Yo, so FIVE cards in FIVE minutes was wonderful, Lyds), the phone calls, two text messages (in all honesty, I didn't recognize the # of either sender, and they didn't tell me their names. But whoever you are...thanks) and the one bouquet of flowers. I was petrified as to who sent turned out alright.

Let That Be Enough - Switchfoot

Song of the Week!

The lyrics don't fit perfectly with my own life, but there are two major similarities. The singer's awareness of his inability to live life on his own resonates with me, and I've found myself praying the chorus fairly regularly over the past couple of weeks.

Similarity number 2: my twenty-second birthday is tomorrow. I will note, however, that I was born on a Tuesday, not a Thursday, and people here do know about it.

Lyrics are as follows:

I wish I had what I need
To be on my own
'Cause I feel so defeated
And I'm feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I'm a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy
And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
Let that be enough

It's my birthday tomorrow
No one here could now
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a k…

English Bay

green glass
Originally uploaded by bethaf. I love walking along the shoreline, listening to shells crunch under my feet, trying to guess whether the tide is coming in or going out, and taking photos. Many photos. Looking at them all when I get home, I wish I had a higher quality camera. But even with the one I've got, I am able to find a few post-worthy pictures.

Today, I am enjoying my solitude.


Profound thought from this site[warning: some controversial content]. I find the concept fascinating, and have thought of several postcards I'll never send in.

It's Snowing

Yes, it's true. More snow since last night than my entire time in Guelph. I am glad I'm working from home today.

I am on hold with Bell. Surprise, surprise. I just want my bill to be delivered...

I haven't written on here much lately, and I haven't missed it as much as I thought I would. Probably because it's easy not to write about the deep lessons I'm learning. Those are things I like to keep hidden, although they should probably be something I'm most willing to share with others. More to come on that.

I raided Lydia's musical list as I had some free downloads of indie music. I am now officially a fan of: The Format, Sufjan Stevens, The Salads, and Moby (I know, not on her list). Although I like Moby's music, I don't know how fully I agree with his beliefs. In fact, I don't think we agree too closely. From what I've seen/read (and granted, I could be wrong), his approach to Christianity is to see it as a social justice program. This is pa…

Grainy Photos

See this picture?

Look closely at the guy on the right.Yes, that's right. He has a rat's tail. Or maybe it's been renamed something cool for the new millenium? Regardless, he was on my plane. I'm glad I snuck this picture.