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Showing posts from April, 2010

How the Cookies Crumble

Typical fortune cookie:
A couple weeks ago, I went for Vietnamese food with my roommate. For some reason, Vietnamese restaurants (at least this one), give fortune cookies.

Lynsey's fortune cookie said something like, "A close family member will have wedding bells in their life soon."

Guess what? Within two days, her brother called to say he was engaged.

My fortune cookie said, "The next full moon brings an enchanting evening."

Tonight is the next full moon. And it has been a delightful evening, with a great tea-date and back-to-back skype calls. One of them even included an episode of The Office. (enchanting isn't quite the right word)

moral of the story: Even fortune cookies get it right sometimes.

Idle Hands & Idle Minds

Idle hands are the devil's tools.
(here, my hands do the devil's work of melting snow)

I think that's the saying. My personal adaptation for today is:
Idle minds are the devil's playground.

When you clear my schedule of deadlines and projects and generally, anything of major substance, my mind is left free as a bird.

Free to dream, which I'd been looking forward to.
Free to freak out, which I hadn't anticipated.

Turns out, I'm not quite as amazingly zen-like as I thought. Once I started stressing a little, it was surprisingly easy to let it keep growing. I daydreamed all the things that could go wrong with the uncertainty and changes in my life. I had conversations with friends that were half reassuring and half commiseration. I berated myself for freaking out when I have SO many blessings I could be enjoying instead.

One day, I found myself thinking, I wish I could go back to October. October was a good month.

But the thing is, October was actually kind of stress…

Pippi & Pinky

My housemate Tom commented on my socks today. He said I look like Pippi Longstocking.

I had forgotten about Pippi Longstocking. I loved her as a kid. She was spunky, rich, independent, adventurous, red-headed and otherwise amazing.
(img source:

Her full name is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking. How can you even compete with that!?!

Also, Wikipedia tells me: In one episode of Pinky and the Brain, when Brain asks Pinky if he is pondering what Brain's pondering, Pinky replies with "I think so Brain, but me and Pippi Longstocking... I mean, what would the children look like?"


I also forgot how much I love Pinky and the Brain. My time-wasting on Youtube skills have produced the following gems:

I bet parents around the world hated all the swears their kids dropped trying to duplicate those tongue twisters!

(I didn't even know of IKEA yet...)

Did I know American Gladiator?? Would I have recognized ANY of …

Magical Movies

Back in 2006, two movies came out. (Okay, a lot more than two movies came out. But I'm only looking at two of them today.)

The Prestige

and The Illusionist.

I remember watching The Prestige and loving it. Four years later, I've finally watched The Illusionist. Also loved it (thank you, Jonathan for a great Christmas gift two years ago!). They're surprisingly similar for movies that came out within two months of each other:

Period pieces set in 19th century Europe.Magicians are the main characters.Women complicate things. (Two actresses I wish were classier, for the record.*)Illusions are amazing and stupefying.Plot twists abound.

I'm not sure what it is that sucked me in to both flicks. Perhaps the lovely costumes. Perhaps the thrill of illusions and wondering how it all works. Perhaps because the stories aren't as easy to predict as most. I like having to try.

I'm ill-qualified to review either movies with any more critical thought than this...and feel like I'm …

My Eyeballs Hurt

A few years ago, my roommate Wendy and I established a rule. If you preface a statement with, "I know I'm being a whiny baby..." you're pretty much allowed to say whatever you want. And then those listening affirm that yes, you are indeed a whiny baby. But they like you anyway.

So. I know I'm being a whiny baby...but my eyeballs hurt. I have some sort of strange sickness whose symptoms include: fever, general aches, throbbing head, aching eyes. Interestingly, my throat is fine.

I have no energy to make food for myself, so I ate some slightly-stale cheerios with the last of the milk, poured myself the last of the apple juice, and am now munching on chocolate chips. Mmm, delicious.

I might watch some TV, but kind of wish I could do that with my eyes closed.

Woe is me.

(Because it is Friday, you should all watch this video. This is the exact antithesis of my neighbourhood.)


On Saturday night, I closed my computer, unplugged it, and didn't turn it back on until this afternoon. (brief exception: skype date on my boyfriend's birthday...totally allowable as part of the realities of long-distance!)

This was a much needed break for me. I have a wide-open schedule for the next six weeks, and the last thing I want is to find myself at the end of May, wondering where it went and what I'd done with myself. I know how easily I get sucked into the wonders and banality of the internet, so I decided to start things off sans computer & TV. It was easier than I thought it would be. I've made my list of things to accomplish. I feel confident that I won't default to hours of online thumb-twiddling when there are people to see, things to create, and big thoughts to reflect on.

I was also reminded how often I go online or watch TV when I am tired of thinking, or if I'm looking for escape. I couldn't do that these past few days. Instead, I had t…

The Words Don't Agree

This afternoon was the third round of writers' group.

As you know by now, we start out with a reading and then a little window of time to write a creative response. Today's selection was from The Baltics, a series of poems by Tomas Tranströmer.

The lines that inspired me were:
something wants to be said but the words don't agreeand
...the humming chorus full of mistaken words
So I wrote.

The Words Don't Agree

I hear your words clearly,
but between my ears and my mind
run twisted train tracks
that change them,
flip them,
inside out.

By the time I know
what has been spoken,
their meaning is mistaken,
replaced by years
of other voices
saying other things.

Your words are forced
into the form of my refrain;

A song written painfully,
pressing louder,
refusing to bend to interruptions,
or counter traffic.

(Perhaps your voice
will be the one
to straighten crooked paths
and sing a louder song.)

I Amuse Myself

Things I said yesterday that made me laugh:

"I really want to touch your edamames."

"The thing is, it's not about getting into the Chocolate Factory. It's actually about being friends with Willy Wonka. And yes, in this illustration, Jesus is played by Johnny Depp."

Music: Most Highly Recommended

Today's album of choice is Upstairs by Shane & Shane.

I purchased this album in Edmonton, summer of 2004. It was a whim, and I had no idea that it would become the spiritual staple in my life for the next four months.

Revisiting this album after a long hiatus was a fascinating experience. With the first chords of Psalm 13, I nearly started crying. Even without closing my eyes, I could picture my little bedroom with a couple of air mattresses and built in shelving, and a possible mould problem... I have such clear memories of lying there listening to this album over and over on my roommate's portable CD player.

(Yes, on CD.)

The summer of 2004 was not an easy one. But it was a good one. I told someone today that it was a "milestone-marker" in my life.

Even now, I love every single song on this album - an incredibly rare occurrence. Each song has some line, some rhythm, some thing that gets me in the gut or in the heart or that place that makes me say, Daaaaaaaaaaang.

I …

Boat on a Beach

A Sunset & Boat @ Kits CP
Originally uploaded by bethaf. I was surprised by how many boats were pulled up on the shore at Kits Beach this evening.

I was also surprised by how many times I walked through clouds of marijuana smoke (Not literal clouds. But the scent did waft across the path quite often).

I was not surprised by the fantastic conversation I had with my dear friend Ali. She is a delight. That's the only word for it.

A Red House

A Red House Square
Originally uploaded by bethaf. Aside from the boarded up windows, wouldn't this make a delightful little home?

Cat Sat

I have been cat-sitting for almost two weeks. The family returns tonight, and I feel a bit relieved.

Don't get me wrong, I like their cat. It's the cuddliest creature known to mankind. It comes when called (usually) and likes nothing better than kneading a place on my lap to lay down on. I haven't had to touch the litter box, and it kept my feet warm at night.

However, these are the things that remind me why I don't plan on owning pets in the near future:
They shed. Everywhere.They need constant, daily attention. You can't just leave them on their own for two weeks. They don't understand facial expressions and subtle communication. This means I'm left with violent urges when annoyed.They lick disgusting things and then think they can lick me.They kill things (at least, this cat did. On the front step, leaving only the mouse entrails for me to clean up... *shudder*).Their food smells gross.They cause allergies.They wake up earlier than I do in the morning. Or a…

Lent: A Glorious Failure

You know what?

I didn't do such a great job of my Lenten plan.

But you know what else?

It doesn't really matter.

Not because Jesus doesn't matter, or because it is okay to make commitments and then blow them off.

It doesn't matter because my inability to follow-through on something as simple as starting my day off with Jesus doesn't actually affect my identity. That is what Easter is all about.

My pastor preached a great sermon (bottom right corner of the page, or you can find it on iTunes) from one verse on Sunday. He broke down Romans 8:1 into four fantastically simple parts, which we discussed last night at my small group. Here is a super-brief summary:

Therefore - in light of chapters 1-7...(good chapters, folks)

there is now - now: already, so soon, at this very moment AND finally, after waiting so long

no condemnation - we no longer need to fear judgment from God. At all. God gave us his best when we were at our worst, and we are free.

for those who are in Christ Jesus…

This Week's Playlist

Back in the late fall, I put together a playlist on my iPod, made up of the songs that stood out to me as I thought about the unknown changes ahead.

So now that I'm in the midst of those changes, I thought I'd highlight what I'm listening to during my last-week-of-work.

KT Tunstall - Through The Dark

best lines:
Try to find a light on somewhere
Try to find a light on somewhere
I'm finding I'm falling in love with the dark over here

Ingrid Michaelson - Overboard

best lines:
I could write my name by the age of three
and I don't need anyone to cut my meat for me.
I'm a big girl now, see my big girl shoes.
It'll take more than just a breeze to make me

Fall over, fall over, fall overboard, overboard.

Capstone - I Will Worship

I can't find a music video for this on Youtube, which is a shame. These are the lyrics:

My soul yearns and even faints
for the courts of the Lord
My heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God

So I will worship you till my breath runs dry
And soar upo…

The Inside Scoop

In my last post, I promised a more full explanation of the November turning point. So in a rare moment of transparency, I've decided to just lift it straight out of my journal. And then I'll add a few thoughts I've had since then.

The context: I'm in Tofino and have set aside a day to think and pray through whether or not I should stay with my current employer.*

The journal:
...I have a rich life - no financial concerns, decent health, multiple close friendships, and many opportunities to enjoy the culture and nature of the city I am in. i'm so grateful for this, God. You have truly given me many, many good things.
And yet one thing weighs heavy on my heart. This issue of job/work/occupation/calling. I am not content where I am. Although I am seriously considering an external change, I need to examine my own heart and be willing to make internal changes before or instead of changing my situation...
I want to model a life that is simple and not overly structured, gett…

A Great Big Life Update

I haven't been blogging much this week because I have been thinking and waiting and revising plans that have been in the works for months. But I don't want to stay silent til all the puzzle pieces are in place - if I did, I don't know that I'd ever blog again.

So I'll start last summer and bring you up to speed...

July: I'm enjoying my new role at work, the travel plans and variety of tasks I'll have. I've committed to this spot until the spring, by which point I hope that God has shown me what the next step/thing is.

August: My job description changes a bit, which is a little bit sad. No jaunts to Asia after all. But I'm enjoying myself, and begin contemplating a move back on campus. And back east. I begin reading Courage and Calling by Gordon Smith.

September: Vacation in Saskatoon is surprisingly lovely. Towards the end of it, I start feeling sad. I don't know why, but this feeling lingers all month. Eventually, I identify that I feel grief, like…


I changed my blog template. Do you like? Does anyone even come here anymore or do we all just use google reader (other than my mom, who I know comes to see the comments :)?

I have to blog about more and unexpected changes in my plans that have occurred this week. But I'm waiting for tomorrow to happen first.

The End.