Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm Still The Same

At least once a week (particularly last week) I am reminded that as much as I may have changed as a person, grown in the Lord, learned who I am, "blossomed into a woman" as my mother might say, I am in fact, still very much the same in many ways.

One of those lovely personality traits to which I am referring is represented in this piece that I wrote a few years ago for a poetry slam at Revolution Café in Bryan, Texas.



My life can be defined by one simple word: Awkward.
My life is awkward.
It’s not that I’m socially inept
Or incapable of interaction with the opposite sex
But simply that I find myself with my foot in my mouth
My words all tangled up
Frantically fighting for some sense of order.
My inner monologue has gone on permanent vacation
Leaving me behind,
With random thoughts racing through my mind
And I can’t seem to get the right ones out
So then you all wonder “What in the world is she talking about?”

My self-editor, the filter from my brain to my mouth
Seems to be having technical difficulties
And now everything has gone south
Blundering, bumbling, uncouth and uncoordinated
Spewing word vomit on the nearest available victim
As I tell them my life story
And about that awkward last day of school in seventh grade
And everything I did earlier that day
Until suddenly I realize that they didn’t want to know
And why am I rambling? Why don’t I just go?
And get in my car and wonder why I said what I said
And then I go home and toss and turn in my bed
Thinking about what a fool of myself I’ve made
And now he’ll never ask me on a date
And why can’t I just be smooth like that girl over there
And to make myself feel better I put on my superman underwear
But you didn’t want know that
That was too much information
And thus I find myself in another awkward situation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

American Stereotypes

Living in Europe almost a year now has made me realize that the world has some strong stereotypes of Americans. Some are only slightly true, some are absolutely ridiculous, and a very few are "spot on".

Currently I'm reading a book called "Infidel", the autobiography of a Somalian woman who escaped a forced marriage by fleeing to The Netherlands and later left Islam (hence the title "Infidel.") I might comment on it in another post, but at the moment I'd like to share a quote that made me laugh out loud:

In October 2002, I flew to California. It was the first time I had ever been in the United States, and I realized almost immediately that my pre-conceptions of America were completely ludicrous. I was expecting rednecks and fat people, with lots of guns, very aggressive police, and overt racism - a caricature of a caricature. In reality, of course, I saw people living perfectly well-ordered lives, jogging, and drinking coffee.

Yep. That's pretty much what people seem to think about us. That and lots of really stupid pregnant teenagers. I'm glad she changed her views.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Unity of the Word

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it."
John 1:1-5

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Colossians 1:15-17

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
Hebrews 1:1-3

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Crisis Averted

This is a walnut.

According to wikepedia, it grows on the deciduous walnut tree, genus juglans, and can be eaten in a variety of ways.

Except by me.

I am allergic to them.

Not in the, "if I eat you I shall immediately die" sort of way, but rather in the "if I eat you I will become like Hitch" sort of way.

Today I ate at one of my favorite restaurants in town - a vegetarian buffet. You pay by weight, so you just load your plate with as little or as much as you want and enjoy a delicious, healthy meal before you recycle your plates and plasticware in their hippy-friendly recycling bins.

But vegetarians often eat a lot of nuts (Because they're nuts themselves? That's SO something my dad would have said) so I always check the ingredients before scooping onto my plate.

Today they had a delicious looking pasta salad. Thanks to Jason's Deli, I have a relatively recent obsession with pasta salads, so this was an ideal choice.

I checked the listed ingredients: no nuts.

So I served myself a heaping scoop and sat on a bench outside to savor my meal in the sunlight.

Later as I was finishing up my last bite of one of the more delicious pasta salads I've ever enjoyed, I thought to myself, "something doesn't feel right."

My body was telling me something, but I didn't understand until I looked down at my plate and saw two lone, teeny tiny pieces of walnut* where my pasta had been.

Oh dear. This could be bad.

Enough time had passed since I took my first bite of the salad that I figured if I was going to go into anaphylactic shock it would have happened already, so I decided to take a moment to speak to the only restaurant employee I saw.

She was involved in a very important phone call, and as I had nothing in my hands to buy didn't seem too concerned with me standing in front of her.

After I stared at her smiling for a moment she got the idea and told her bff to hold on.

I told her, "the pasta salad has nuts in it, but it's not listed on the ingredients [I double checked before speaking to her] and I'm allergic to nuts [this is where a look a horror started to spread across her face] and ate it without knowing. I'm going to get some medicine right now, but I just wanted to let you know that you need to list nuts on the ingredients."

She looked horrified.

She apologized profusely and tried to make excuses.

I assured her I wasn't going to die but that yes, I needed to take some medicine right away, and again, please list nuts on the ingredients because nuts is a very common allergy.

And then I left, in a hurry to find some medicine as my ears continued to clog, my throat itching more and more, and my chest steadily tightening, partly due to the nuts and partly due to my growing anxiety. I really and truly knew I wasn't going to die or even have very serious problems, so long as I could get my hands on some medicine quickly, but my physical discomfort was steadily growing.

However on a Sunday afternoon during siesta time, the pharmacy around the corner was closed and a 15-20 minute walk home loomed before me.

Thankfully pharmacies in this country are like Starbucks in College Station** - there are far more than you could ever need or want - and I soon came across a 24 hour pharmacy.

I walked in and told them what happened and they knew exactly what to give me. I took it right away, still standing at the check-out, and after just 1 or 2 minutes I could feel a significant difference. It was incredible. I don't know what that stuff is, but I'll be keeping some in my purse from now on.

Crisis averted.

Now I'm not familiar with the laws in this country, but I can assure that in the United States there would have been fine print somewhere listing nuts among the ingredients with little asteriks like these: ***

And then after I ate the salad with the nuts they either would have pointed it out to me, or if they were non-compliant with the Food and Drug Administration laws I could have sued for 5 million dollars and treated myself with lasik eye surgery and one of these:

That's a Jaguar XJ.

The dude from Top Gear drove all the way across England and Scotland and back in one and never got bored or uncomfortable.

I've secretly wanted a Jaguar ever since I first became aware of what one even was on LBJ freeway in Dallas roughly 8 years ago.

I have diverted and thus it is time to end this post, after a few brief footnotes:

*the walnut was chopped so finely that not only was it difficult to see among the pasta and pesto sauce, but since I have not eaten one since my childhood I didn't know how to recognize the flavor

**I love Starbucks but anybody who has been through College Station surely must have noticed that we have an over abundance of this over-priced yet oh-so-addictive coffee chain

***the United States is obsessed with lawsuits, which is why hot coffee cups have written warnings that the coffee inside is hot

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Awesomeness That Is....

So I told you to check back to see something awesome, and now the time has come to find out what that awesomeness is.

As you can see, this is a picture of me:

Of course we all know that I am completely awesome.

That is obvious.

But the awesomeness that is "Me" is just about to get even Awesomer.

Did you notice the background in the picture of "Normal Awesome Me"?

Do you know where I am in that photo?

Do you know what's coming next?

Meet "Super Awesome" Me.

Technically, that would be "Super Awesome Me in a Little Bit of Pain".

Can you see the difference?

Do you see the shiny little spot on my slightly throbbing red nose?

Yes my friends, I pierced my nose.

I'd secretly been wanting to do it ever since sophomore year at A&M when I went with Denise to get her nose pierced but I knew my mom would object. Well, kill me, to be exact. So I pierced my upper ear instead. It was kind of a whim during dead-days - a way of procrastinating studying for final exams.

Then I didn't want to do it because it had become so trendy, and while I don't like to be out of the loop, I also don't believe in doing something just to be part of the trend. I got over wanting to be part of the "cool" crowd my freshman year of high school.

So whereas some do it as their way to "stick it to the man," my NOT doing it was my own rebellion against society - the society of "cool kids."

But I still secretly wanted it.

I like shiny things.

And I think I have a cute enough nose for it.

And I'd rather do something stupid while I still have the excuse of being young and dumb than wait until I'm an adult and should know better.

But I don't think this was stupid.

So I mentioned it to my mom a year or so ago and she was clearly against it.

Then I brought it up a few months ago. Again, not so much for it.

Seeing as how my 24th birthday was approaching, despite my "adult" status I still didn't want to do it without her blessing.

But a friend wanted to give it to me as my birthday present.

Thus, I had a dilemma.

So I spoke to my dear, beautiful, graceful, charming, lovely, mother again.

She told me to do it.

Well, actually she said, "do what you have to do."

It was over chat so I couldn't hear her tone of voice but I imagine that it was light and joking and she was smiling and shaking her head in that "oh you young whipersnapper" kind of way.

At least that's how I like to picture it.

Thanks Mom. :)

I'll be sure to post a prettier, shinier picture for your awesome viewing pleasure in the coming days.

Now if I could just figure out how to blow my nose...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thank God

Tonight I had a quite frightening moment, and I'm still thanking God that I'm okay.

I was coming up the stairs out of the metro when I saw a man and woman walking towards me - or rather, the woman dragging the stumbling man towards me. The man was so drunk (and/or under the influence of something else) that he could barely walk, and he seemed to be resisting the woman, who also might have been under the influence herself. They nearly knocked me over as I was coming up the last 2 steps, but I saw them just in time and quickly moved out of the way.

I thought, "They're going to fall."

Sure enough, two seconds later, they went tumbling down the stairs.

Not just an "oops I tripped" kind of fall.

It was the kind of fall where they went bouncing down 15 cement steps, rolling over each other, banging their heads, shoulders, and backs on each step along the way.

Immediately when they reached the bottom a crowd of people jumped around them to see if they were okay, while one girl ran to get the police standing just across the way.

I just stood there and stared.

After standing back for a bit taking it all in, watching the crowd gather and the police make calls on their walkie talkies, I sat on a bench and said a prayer for them.

Then I realized: that could of been me, too.

They nearly pushed me anyway.

Only because I was looking up at the right moment instead of looking at the steps did I see them and move out of the way. They certainly hadn't been paying any attention to me.

What if I hadn't been looking up? What if I had exited the metro just 2 seconds later? What if something had distracted me and I didn't see them coming straight at me?

I praise the Lord that I'm okay - that they didn't run into me and take me with them. That I didn't walk out 2 seconds later.

As it turns out, it seems the man was relatively okay. His head was bleeding quite a bit but he was able to stand...sort of. So at least he didn't break his neck. But I never saw what happened to the woman. She never came back up the stairs, and when the ambulance came the police just waved it on by, so my only guess is that she too, was able to walk/stagger away from the fall. I really am amazed that neither of them broke their spine.

As Mad-Eye Moody would say, "Constant vigilance!!"

But no matter how much you pay attention, things happen. Surprises come. There are things that are out of our control. But today, I'm praising God for another day of my life; for another day without injury; for the saved lives of the drunk couple.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Get Ready...

Tuesday is my birthday.

Tuesday is also a holiday here.

I am choosing to believe that the holiday IS my birthday, and the whole city is celebrating with me.

Isn't that nice of them? Everybody's taking off from work in honor of my 24 years of life. They're so sweet.

In celebration of my birthday, I'm going to....

Well, I'll leave you in suspense. But check back Tuesday or Wednesday to find something awesome.

Tee hee.

Tee hee.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I would just like to comment that I love chocolate.

That is all.