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Showing posts from March, 2007

So Much Fun: Part 1.

Thursday night saw me attending my first Vancouver concert. Held at the Commodore Ballroom (which I would highly rate as a concert venue), I joined Joy and her Scottish friends for a little Paolo Nutini and Annie Stela.

Annie Stela was the opening act...never heard of her before, but she was pretty good. Looks a bit like Sarah Paulson, the actress on Studio 60 (I'm still mourning the loss of that show) and has a powerful voice. A couple of her songs sounded more like musical theatre ballads than folk-rock, but overall...I enjoyed her.

We left our table during Annie to move to the front of the venue - about 3 people in from the stage, right by the speakers. Not my favourite place to be, but I wasn't really complaining...One of the Scottish girls mentioned that when her brother saw Paolo in London, he was a wee bit inebriated - performed well, but not so coherent between songs. Well, Paolo and his band finally came on, and with them, an overwhelming wave of marijuana... at first I…

Oh Music...

I can never get enough new fun music. Artists that currently intrigue me:

The Fray
Paolo Nutini
Regina Spektor
Arcade Fire
Arctic Monkeys
Stabilo Boss

If only I had the ability to get their music easily or cheapily. I could have bought a couple of these albums for under $10US on the weekend...but I didn't. Silly me.

Unexpected Gifts

So here I was, thinking my day of good things was over (sunshine, Subway, praying in a sunbeam, Sun Chips, a science-esque documentary I could understand, crepes...), when a new friend called me up out of the blue to see if she could drop by with a gift for me.

A gift! For me! A most delightful gift, as a matter of fact. A blender. Because I was talking about how I miss making smoothies, and eating lots of fresh fruit in this manner. I was truly surprised and felt really loved. I don't usually like getting gifts - I feel awkward and uncertain. But this time, I was just really floored. We've only hung out a handful of times, and I definitely didn't expect such a perfectly suited gift. I am going to make a smoothie tomorrow.

We ended up hanging out for a few hours (I was actually at the coffee shop across the street, as my roommate had company), and I really do like her. We talked about all manner of life subjects and laughed often. It is good to feel at home with friends. And…

You Know Who You Are

We met a ridiculously good-looking man (yes, man - not boy) last night. Let's call him..."Tom." I'm pretty sure he is still as good-looking now as he was last night (or even five minutes ago). Still tall, dark, and handsome, still with a chiseled jaw and five o'clock shadow. Still wearing the ring with the crosses. Do you know that he writes music? I forget if he mentioned this or not, but I heard from a reliable source that this is, who doesn't love a man in uniform? I know you tried picturing him dressed for work.

Also, I think my pen (the one pictured down a couple posts) fell under your couch tonight. Could you bring it on Wednesday? I only have 2 pens right now...

UNRELATED: I know I say this pretty much every week, but it's worth saying again: I love my small group. They're wonderful people, even if they can't tell bad banana bread when I try feeding it to them. Plus, we always have thought-provoking conversations.

I just remembere…

Shoppin' in the States

Today's trip to Washington with Wendy was fairly uneventful. Other than the looooooooooooong wait at the border (both ways), there's not too much to tell. Ate some food, shopped. Went to Target (a trendy version of Zellers), some outlet stores (picked up some deals which, after conversion and gas tax, may end up being not that amazing after-all), and Kohls, which actually had the best shopping selection.

It rained. Oh, how it rained. When it finally eased up, this is what we saw on our way out of Subway. Not the best pictures (none of my pictures are any good), but I've never seen such an intense rainbow before. The near end was right over the next hill, I think in the same little town that we were. I almost asked if we could go catch the leprauchaun...but I didn't. Because we needed gas and something to do while waiting at the border.

Today's most prominent sentiment was the frustration of clothes shopping. I was hoping to add a few summer shirts to my wardrobe, and…

Chocolate Famine!!!

Originally uploaded by bethaf. This week is Sustainability Week at my uni, and the SUB concourse was full of wonderful booths today. It felt a bit like Guelph. There were many informative and exciting companies, everything from anti-corporation shoes to recycling to organic grocery delivery. I definitely picked up free organic tea, laundry detergent, cereal, granola bar, dish-washing detergent, and of course, chocolate. Oh, the chocolate!

I asked one of the women giving me free cocoa if the rumour a friend has mentioned was true: because of drought and political unrest in Africa, are we heading into a shortage of chocolate within the next few years?

She said, partly, yes. Actually, she sort of side-stepped my question. There is an increasing demand for more pure-cocoa chocolate, which requires more cocoa (obviously). Most chocolate is made from mixed-plantation cocoa, although she predicted that chocolate is becoming/will become more like wine - chocolate with cocoa from specific an…


Three humourous stories, hopefully accurate to how they occurred, on the subject of sex.

Friend #1 was talking with her boyfriend. In their conversation, he admitted to peeking at her underpants. She said something along the lines of, "Ah! That's personal!" To which he replied, "You know what's personal? A toothbrush is personal."

Friend #2 (who is single) was meeting with her psychiatrist, who has "crazy eyes." She randomly assured my friend that if she is currently or should in the future experience sexual problems, that she should come to the psychiatrist, who will help her. As my friend related this story, it was a rather awkward moment (what do you say to that??). But I assured her, "Well, if you are having sex problems, you don't want a crazy-eyed psychiatrist on your bad side..."

Friend #3 and I were in line at Subway while discussing the awkwardness of seeing a recently married couple (specifically of the Christian persuasion, w…

A Bus Driver

I discovered, through the phenomenon of Facebook, that there's a bit of controversy back home about one of the city bus drivers. I'm not going to get into it, because frankly, I don't know what's going on. But I do know that this guy is hilarious. So I thought I'd share some random stories (some mine, most not) of things Geoff has done or said. Keep in mind that Geoff is a 30 year-old bald Irish-type guy with a goatee. This guy has an insanely fun sense of humour and a huge initiative capacity, to say the least.

The first time I ever had Geoff as a driver, he started talking out loud, and no one was quite sure what to do...I remember he answered his own question of how everyone was doing by saying, "Well I'm great! You know why? Cause it's Wednesday. And that means I'm getting paid. And I'm going out. And I'm Irish!"

He was driving the 52, pulling into the UC and he said, in his big booming voice: "Guelph University! Where you'l…

[untitled thoughts]

The other night - either last night or Saturday - I lay in bed, unable to fall asleep. Somehow, in the wanderings of my mind, I started questioning one of my friendships. I was going over our most recent interactions, and our more recent lack of interactions, and I asked myself, Does she really like me?

There are friendships I think I'll always question. Call it insecurity, blame it on my volatile junior high friends, I honestly struggle to know where I stand with some people. I fear pouring energy into a relationship that is mostly on my end, not so much on theirs, fear being 'clingy' when I need to let go.

This frustrates me to no end, and I wish I could be more confident. It is a slow and steady learning curve, knowing how to appropriately connect peoples' actions with their emotions/motives, distinguishing between acquaintance-friends and what one friend has titled "inner-circle" friends, recognizing and accepting the sometimes fluid and dissolving nature o…


I just sat down in what I’ve recently learned is called the “conversation lounge” or something similar. There is a pigeon on the stairs, and a girl sitting there is feeding it. Tearing off pieces of her sandwich and feeding it by hand.

This is a) unsanitary, b) annoying, as it does not encourage the pigeon to leave and c) good, because the pigeon is not bothering me. Except for the fact that I almost put my bag down in pigeon guano, which is disgusting and makes me fear that I have unknowingly sat in some.Every so often it is flapping its wings and flying a foot or two. This makes me nervous, even though I’m not afraid of birds. I don’t think I am, at least. But I have no desire to have a pigeon fly into my face. Or poop on my laptop as it flies over it.

Day In The Life...

I slept in, but not so much that I was panicky. Got showered and made it to church without being late - and my hair dried obediently. Not tamely, but not disastrously. I have a friend to sit with at church and I like her singing voice. I like my pastor's preaching. Today was on Mark 13 - a balanced perspective on "apocalyptic writing," I think. (You can listen here if you're interested.)

Lunch at a great little place (there are hundreds in town) and some great little people. Well, not all little. But all great. We talked science, which is a language I don't quite speak...I want to follow, but sometimes I can't. I learned why mentos and pop are a recipe for disaster.

Then phoned my parents, which is always nice. We even talked taxes. I am slightly worried that I don't know where my sheet with the magic number from the government is, but that's a worry for another day. Then I chatted it up with Suz. I always like "the Suz" and am blessed to have…


I think every so often about the soundtrack of my life. If the following categories from Karen and the random button on Windows Media Player (I am in an angry mood with iTunes) dictated how my life would sound, this is the result:

Opening Credits: Three MCs and One DJ (Beastie Boys)

This could be super fun as opening credits. Images flashing...I can see it in my eye, although my life is nowhere near ghetto enough to fit with it. The opening scene would probably be me, pretending to be cool and dancing to this song in my bedroom. Or Edmonton at the still memorable dance party.

Waking Up: Middle Man (Jack Johnson)

"Somehow we always get stuck in the middle...every time he gets rejected, he loses affection..." Waking up to an unpleasant day, apparently. But fitting to how it's been lately. The first ten minutes of my day have been full of surprisingly confusing/less than pleasant thoughts.

First Day At School: Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel)

I think I remember m…

A Spring Salad of Thoughts

Originally uploaded by bethaf. Spring comes earlier to Vancouver than it does to Ontario. I like that. I was praying for a sunny warm day today, so I could spend it with God walking through the woods and down to the beach. It wasn't balmy, but it didn't rain either. A good quiet day, spent with my journal and Bible and camera and a little bit of music.

I also got my BC License, after a 2 month wait for the Ontario government to fax three lines of information to the ICBC. Ridiculous. The guy serving me was meticulous, asking me at least three times if I had any license suspensions, and asking me to read the same line three times on the vision test. I passed: surprise, surprise.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, and I need to find a recipe. I'm going to a potluck that requires a dish either green or containing potatoes. There are limited potato dessert recipes. I've found only two that look appetizing. One of my friends commented, in discussing whether green beer …

Salad Dressing

Aquafit makes me feel idiotic. But then after, I'm glad I went. And I'm glad I'm not a guy in a Speedo. It's awkward any way you look at it. Or try not to. Look, that is.

I decided I wanted to go for Japanese with Wendy after, mostly because I like the salad dressing at the little place above McDonald's in the Village. It is an amazing house dressing of some variety.

I blog too often. I think about blogging too often. I think about the fact that I think about blogging too often. 'Nough said.

Post #2

I didn't think it would be really fitting to put this as a part of the last post, but here are some other, much tamer thoughts that have been floating around in my head.

The last few months have had two re-occurring themes when it comes to God and my relationship with Him. They are 1. giving that costs and 2. simplicity of love.

To paraphrase my pastor, "God doesn't care about the size of the gift so much as he does the cost to the giver." This has come up over and over recently. God doesn't care about the act so much as the heart. He wants everything. God desires our gifts to be given, not out of our excess, but our poverty. God loves a cheerful giver. Obedience in giving means we give not knowing the outcome of our gifts. Giving of our selves requires sacrifice. David refused to give a gift that cost him nothing (2 Samuel 24).

In our small group tonight, we also talked about giving small things that seem insignificant but may not be (like the widow, whose 2 pennie…

Is the Bible Crude?

Last week, in conversation with some fellow Christ-following-peeps, the phrase, "more conservative than God" came up. Basically asking the question, do we as Christians sometimes make subjects/words taboo in a cultural rather than biblical way? Although this could apply to a variety of things, we were directly referencing biblical topics and language that are somewhat hush-hush.

When I was younger (and even a bit now, to be honest), I used to giggle through Song of Solomon. My favourite was the verse that said, "Your stature is like that of the palm and your breasts are like clusters of fruit. I said "I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit."" How very un-baptist! I know that there are proper contexts for comments like that (ie, marriage), but what about the graphic way God portrays Israel's spiritual prostitution in Ezekiel?

I remember a couple of guy friends in high school youth group found this to be quite hilarious. "Yet she …

One Secret, Two Excerpts

Little known fact #6: I often toy with the possibility of getting dreadlocks. I probably never will, because I am scared to have super-short hair when I decide to lose them. Also, they are a lot of work if you want them to be nice. Also, many people think they are dirty and I care too much what people think. Specifically, what if some boy likes me, but upon discovering I have traded in my crazy curls for even crazier dreadlocks, decides I'm too far gone to be worth his efforts?

I am reading Travelling Mercies by Anne Lamott. She is beautiful and roughly the same age as my mom and writes about dreadlocks:

Dreadlocks make people wonder if you're trying to be rebellious. It's not as garbling and stapled as a tongue stud, say, or as snaky as tattoos. But dreadlocks make you look a little like Medusa, because they writhe and appear to have a life of their own, and that's scary...Most people, if asked, might wonder if perhaps dreadlocks are somewhat unpatriotic - isn't it …

à la Jesskah: aka [untitled]

I don't remember watching TV since I came back from Scotland. For a brief moment, I felt great pride. Then I realized I've wasted the equivalent time, if not more, on here. Blogs, Facebook, TV shows, email, MSN...

As my mom would say, "It's six one, half dozen the other."
To which I inevitably reply, "Go with the half dozen, cause if it's a baker's dozen, you'll get more."

A Charmed Life

I'm standing in front of the New Apple Farm Market, picking up yellow peppers in search of one that is ripe but not bruised, when I have a flickering recollection:

It is high school, and I'm watching Jamie Oliver while babysitting. I have a slight infatuation with him at the time (clean-cut British boy who cooks up a mean storm, what's not to love?). He is somewhere in London, at a series of little grocers, picking fresh and local produce and encouraging his audience to do the same. I think, What a life, living in a city like that, grocery shopping at little independent places, cooking delicious food...

It hits me, as I finally find the yellow pepper that will satisfy my taste buds this week. I'm there. Not in London, but a major international city, living two blocks from a series of little grocers, testing my produce to make sure it is fresh.

I pick out a yam. Yam fries have been springing up lately - at a restaurant, a friend's, Karen's flickr site - and I want …

5 Little Secrets

Shelly tagged me to reveal five little known facts about myself. Here are five I've deemed semi-private-but-I'm-willing-to-share. The really private are staying that way.

1. I have a strong dislike of being called by my last name. It makes me feel unfeminine. I don't know why, but it irks me. There is only one person with permission to call me by my last name or any fish-related names, but even that was after some extensive working-through, and mostly because I realized that the random names she assigns people are her love language.

2. Back in the day when swimming levels were done by colour, I failed Orange. Yes, it is the lowest level. I never took swimming lessons again and didn't learn to swim with my face in the water until I was 13. I can stay afloat/move around in the water without difficulty, but don't ask me to do the breast stroke. I wish I could swim well but am too embarrassed to take lessons now.

3. I have had great bladder control since the cradle. If I&…

Wired Monk

I don't often get hit on - possibly because I give off an aloof aura or something (I have been called both the "Queen of Ice" and "Gestapo" by guys before, but those are stories for another time).

Tonight after aquafit, I walk past the little coffee shop on my corner. Music comes through the doors, and I remember that it is open mic night. Now I like some good amateur music, and I don't really want to sit and watch TV for an hour before I go to bed, so I decide to head on in.

It's pretty crowded, but I order my drink and sit at the bar-type counter. I have a decent view of the musicians, and I am enjoying myself. I'm proud of the fact that I've ventured out on my own (I rarely do), and look around at the other people. I like people watching. I think it may be a dangerous thing to do when I'm on my own though.

Anyway, I'm sitting there thinking about life, music, tomorrow's plans, and how much I love vanilla steamed milk when a voice ask…

*Happy Sigh*

Originally uploaded by bethaf. On Sunday, I went for a photo walk along the beach. It was my first time back since the end of January, and it was wonderfully refreshing. I love the waterfront.

It was also good to be back at church. My favourite line from the sermon (on the fact that the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible): "The word bathroom isn't in the Bible either, but I strongly encourage you to believe in its existence..." He did go on to actually talk seriously about the Trinity. I really appreciate the mix of humour, solid teaching and practical application I'm getting at my church.

Last night, I had a smoothie, which made me happy also. I don't have a blender, so getting one at a friend's house nearly made my day. It also reminded me of many fun times with my solid '60's blender on Kirkland.

We watched a documentary called 'Jesus Camp' which made me sort of sad. If you've seen it, I'd love to chat about it. But …


Just when I think I'm figuring out my heart and my life, something new gets thrown at me and I'm back where I started - slightly confused and uncertain and second guessing myself. Sometimes the line between contemplative and over-analyzer is pretty blurry.


I hesitate to have a favourite poem or novel or anything, really. But this poem is one I've loved since high school. It is a wonderful poem. I can't think of many things more lovely than living in a "bee-loud glade" where "peace comes dropping slow" and the sound of lake water lapping is heard "in the deep heart's core."

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, and a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veil of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening's full of linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement…