Thursday, March 30, 2006

I have arrived

This may be my last blog entry ever. There is simply no need to go on after this. I have reached the pinnacle. Todd Richards thinks I am uber cool. Sigh.

todd-dancingLadies and Gentlemen, this man defines uber cool. If you don't believe me, check out his blog where currently at least three different women are demanding personal visits and attention from him.

Speaking of three women, this man is cool enough to have three hot ladies for dates on New Year's Eve.

This man is so cool that other men are jealous of the attention paid to him.

todd-sunshineTodd Richards is so cool that he collects Sunshine around him.

He's cooler than the other side of the pillow...and he thinks I am uber cool. I plan to retire while I'm at the top of my game.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I like my coffee the way I like my men...

Brown, slightly sweet and not too bitter. I have frequently used that line as a joke. But this morning I was having breakfast with a friend and we were looking at the selections of coffee. We both started laughing as we read the labels because the descriptions could have easily referred to coffee or potential dates. Here's a list of what was "available."

Rich & Full-bodied
Bold & Smooth
Spicy & Clean

That last one is my personal favorite.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Girl Fight

Apparently I have thrown the gauntlet down and now find myself in an awkward situation. I have to beat up Kelly Parker. I don't want to beat her up. I actually really like her and think she is great. But my future housing situation is at stake here...along with a GINORMOUS diamond ring. I think Kelly has her eye on the ring, not on the man. I can't let this one go without a fight. So all this week I am preparing for a throw-down. I'm eating plenty of power bars and running stadium bleachers and focusing on the goal.

Kelly, it's you and me. This Sunday. Noon. CLC gym floor. You're gonna wish you'd never laid eyes on Kirk before.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Kissing Cubans Part Two

After an entry devoted to my love of kissing, it is hard to know where to go from there. So let's talk more about kissing. I mean really, does it get better than this?

To answer the intense (and somewhat protective) questioning by Ross...I didn't have one planted on me in Cuba. The kissing I speak of is the kind referred to by Scott and Erin...the little cheek air kiss. But it's such a great gesture. While I know we will never have that kind of kissing culture in Summit, I do wish we were a more physically affectionate bunch. Sometimes people just need to be hugged and loved on. I try to teach people how to properly hug (more difficult than some might imagine) and I think the air kiss would fit in nicely. Scott thinks so too...ladies, he just might ask you for one.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to kiss someone today. Be it family member or friend, grab someone and throw a little kissy their way. They may express surprise, but I guarantee they'll like it.

Just be prepared next time you see never know what could happen.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kissing Cubans

Popular demand requires a dissertation on my love of kissing. Let me preface by saying I am surprised at the interest in my love for kissing. Don't we all love it? Dear readers, are there any among you who don't enjoy kissing? Please confess and explain to us all what kind of sick freak you are. Kissing is cool. We should do more of it. Kisses for everyone! I plan to start a new policy in Paradigm...the class kiss is my personal agenda for 2006. I plan to lead out in this area by kissing as many people as possible. Again, everyone likes kissing so this is a good agenda to have. It's hard not to like someone who hands out free kisses. I am already incredibly likeable (not to mention adorable) and all my kisses will just catapult me to the top of all popularity lists everywhere. My name will be the first added to Summit Evites. I'll be invited to guest-kiss in other classes. I may start a discipleship/small group to cultivate kissing in others. Maybe I'll set up a kissing booth at the next Summit event. Viva los besos!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Missionary by Day, Comedian by Night

I realize that some of the items on my list of observations may require explanation. Remember, I told you some of them would remain a mystery. But #9 and #12 will get some further illumination in this post.

For about half of the trip, our group participated in a large college retreat. Think Campus Crusade combined with a primitive boyscout camping trip. The conditions at the camp were extremely difficult. I won't go into that today, but it was bad enough that several of us decided to sleep on the bus at night instead of in the rooms.

The first night, four single girls slept on the bus and one married man joined us. This guy is an amazing, seasoned missionary. His passion is to reach primitive people groups with the gospel. We had no idea he is also a comedian.

Now we didn't want this man to join us...because we figured he would snore. We were joking with him and told him we didn't want him on the bus because we know he is a snorer. His reply back to us was "there will be a snorer on this bus, a talker and a farter. One of you is probably the farter." We were cracking up laughing. Then one of the girls on the bus said "I just have one rule for this trip. I will NOT go number two without toilet paper." We all laughed and then it got quiet for a minute as we reflected on the very real possibility of the need for this rule. Then out of the darkness, Mr. Comedian says in a Mexican accent "eef you are going to have one rule, that ees the rule to have." Of course this set us off laughing again.

The next morning Mr. Comedian came up to us girls and told us he had a confession to make. He said "last night I let out two windys...I was stuck on the bus and didn't know what to do, so I just let them out. Girls, we're talking two of the top five of my life!" We didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Hilarious.

Later on that day Mr. Comedian was talking to me about my job and found out where I work. He said he listens to me all the time and was so excited to know that's who I am. He said he was going to go home and tell his wife "Honey, I slept with a girl in Cuba who is on the radio!" The funny thing is, I know that's what he'll actually say to her...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Last Shall Be First

Nothing like beginning at the end. I am about to tell you the story of my trip home from Cuba. Stories from earlier in the week will be forthcoming...but this is what is the most fresh in my mind.

On Sunday, we got up at 3am Cuba time (which would be 1am Houston time) and left the hotel at 3:45am to head to the airport. We checked in and went through customs. A couple of our people were questioned by the authorities. One girl was interrogated by three Communist officials for about 15 minutes, but they finally let her through. Our plane was supposed to take off at 6:40am, so we had some waiting time ahead of us. We finally boarded the plane...and then we just sat there, and sat there, and sat there. Our flight didn't take off until 9am -- two and a half hours after it was supposed to leave. Turns out some guy got pulled off the plane by Cuba customs and they had to unload all the baggage to find his suitcase and then reload everything.

So we're now on our way to Monterrey...where we have to catch our connecting flight to Houston. We land in Mexico and have 45 minutes to catch our flight. Only problem is, we still have to go through immigration! The line is forever long...they finally pulled us out of the line and moved us up to the front so we could get through. By this point we have about 10 minutes. We are literally running through the airport with all our bags trying to get to the Continental ticketing counter. We rush up, out of breath and terrified that we're too late. About 2/3 of our group gets through with boarding pass in hand. Right as I walk up to the ticketing the counter the agent tells me the plane is full -- there's no more room. What the?!?

Turns out Continental got tired of waiting for our group and gave some of our seats away to stand-by passengers. Now mind you, they knew we were in the building. They knew we were being rushed through immigration. They knew it wasn't our fault that we were late. And they knew that we were doing everything we could to get there in time. But they still gave our seats away. So there I am with eight other people from our group, being told we are stuck in Mexico on stand-by for the next flight to Houston.

At this point the rest of our group is boarding and we are working as quickly as we can to write down names and phone numbers of people back home for them to call when they got to Houston. After the flight left and we were alone in the terminal we went to the gate agent and asked what would happen next. He said there were multiple flights heading to Houston...but they were all overbooked. "You're on stand-by, but you're not getting on a flight to Houston today" he said. "In fact, you're probably not getting on a flight until Tuesday." TUESDAY!!! You've got to be kidding! Every airline was overbooked, even flights to Dallas and Atlanta were full.

Then the agent told us he had an idea. "There is a 4:30pm flight from Laredo to Houston. There are 16 seats available on that flight, so we can get you all on together." So what's the catch? "Laredo is three hours from'll have to figure out a way to drive there." Oh, and by the way, it's 12pm and the flight leaves in 4 and a half hours!

Next thing we know, all nine of us are loading ourselves and all our suitcases into a van with a Mexican driver and driving through the mountains and across the Mexican countryside for three hours. It took an hour to get across the border (yes, there are trucks with soldiers and machine guns). Then we couldn't find the airport and had to stop to ask for directions. We pulled up to the airport at 4pm, ran inside and the people at the counter said "we've heard about you, we've been waiting for you...come on through." The Laredo flight was delayed by about 30 minutes, so we had just enough time to check our bags, take a restroom break and relax for about 20 minutes before we boarded.

Once we got on the plane I began to get nervous. I was reminded of a dream a friend of mine had about a month ago. In that dream, she and I were traveling together (check), got separated (check), took different flights (check) and my plane crashed and I died (gulp). Needless to say I was praying hard. We were just approaching Houston when we hit turbulence. Now I have experienced turbulence many times and it has never really bothered me...but this was unlike anything I've ever felt. The plane literally dropped into what felt like free-fall. People were screaming and clutching one another. It felt like we were on a roller coaster when you go over the edge and your stomach lurches up into your throat. I truly thought the plane was going to fall from the sky and we were going to crash. It was the most horrible moment of my life. It only lasted a few seconds, but it felt like forever. I wasn't comfortable until the plane landed in Houston and I was standing on the ground.

We were finally home. It took them an hour to get our luggage to us. After all that, we thought they had lost it. Finally by 7:15 I walked out of the Houston airport after more than 17 hours of traveling from Cuba to Mexico, through Mexico, across the U.S. border and ending up in the city that I love. It is good to be home.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Texas, My Texas

It is sooo good to be home! I have so many stories to tell about the trip to Cuba. I am still attempting to process my thoughts and feelings about it all. I will try to post several items throughout the week. For today, I will give you a list of thoughts, comments and topics in no particular order. I will explain some of them throughout the week...some will remain a mystery.

  1. Cuban frogs jump really high
  2. "They will know you by your love for one another" has a new, sweeter meaning for me
  3. I like kissing
  4. I don't like slabs of pork fat
  5. It should not take 17 hours to get from Cuba to Houston
  6. Texas is beautiful
  7. I am incredibly selfish
  8. God is doing great things in Cuba
  9. I slept with a married man
  10. Last week was one of the most difficult weeks of my life
  11. My sufferings are nothing compared to Christ's suffering on the cross
  12. "If you are going to have one rule, that is the rule to have"
  13. I swam in the Caribbean
  14. No more rice and black beans. Ever.
  15. Americans have so much and yet are so poor in faith
  16. I spoke more Spanish last week than in my entire life
  17. Me gusta guava
  18. I have a Cuban boyfriend
  19. My friends mean so much to me
  20. Our God of wonders will always amaze me

Friday, March 10, 2006

Viva la Revolucion!

To my faithful 2.7 readers: I'm going to Cuba. I'm actually flying rather than taking the pick-up boat shown here, but it may take just as long to get there. I won't be updating the blog until some time during the week of March 20th. So I'm leaving you with all sorts of fun links and pictures to enjoy while I am gone. And if you get really bored at work, you can always go back through the archives. :)

Cuba Facts
Our Hotel
Our Transportation
Pastor Gregg in Cuba
The Climate
The Wildlife
Jerrell leading worship
The Leadership Team
Local Converts
Evening Devotions
My Testimony

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Jesus is a legalist

A friend pointed out these videos to me and I can't stop watching them. Seriously, these are so funny and wittily done. Before you go get all offended, know that a church put these together as sermon illustrations to demonstrate what people commonly think about Jesus. The videos are designed to satirize our misconceptions of Jesus. Turn the audio up on your computer, they can be difficult to hear.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Handy-Man Found

The dryer is repaired. If I were really smart I would have taken pictures to document the event. It was quite an entertaining process for me, but I was only the fabulous assistant. I think the primary repairman didn't have nearly as much fun as I did. In case you ever want to replace your own dryer belt you will need the following items.

a torque screwdriver set
a crescent wrench
a flashlight
a fabulous assistant
chopsticks (I am not making this up)
and a wonderful friend

If you have all those things, your dryer will be working like new in at least two days.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Girls 101

After an interesting and amusing conversation last night including dating; spreadsheets; ratios; and odds, I thought it might be helpful to post this article for you guys. Why? Because practically everything you thought or said last night was wrong. :)

Does she want to date you?
~By Alan Goldsher

Guys can be kinda dumb. I’m not talking kinda dumb in a low-IQ kind of way—remember Ken “Mr. Jeopardy” Jennings? Last time we checked, he was a guy—and clearly not unintelligent. But in terms of figuring out how to comprehend a woman’s feelings about us when we’re trying to make the leap from “friends” to “friends who kiss,” forget about it. This is especially true for guys who’ve been burned in the past (and who hasn’t been?) who are wary about rejection. Maybe we’re not totally illiterate, but we often have a difficult time reading signals. So here are a few signs she’s interested—consider them your green light to get closer.

The “let’s laugh” signal
Distinctly not-dumb guy David Wygant, author of Always Talk To Strangers, is an excellent signal-reader. “If she makes you feel like a stand-up comedian, even though you’re not that funny, she wants to take it to the next level,” says Wygant. Similarly, Rosemarie of White Plains, New York, shares, “If I’m interested in a guy, I kind of tease him—I try to get a funny, bantering chat going. It shows that I’m interested in playing a bit of a cat-and-mouse game, you know? I’ll say something like, ‘I think you’re just making that up,’ or ‘Honestly now, has that line worked?’ but I say it with a big smile and eye contact so he knows I’m just joking.”

The tell-tale time sign
If you are friends with a woman and sometimes wonder if there might be more there, take heed of when she wants to hang out with you. If she wants to meet you for a quick workday lunch, chances are she doesn’t fancy you in the way you might hope. But if she asks you to meet her for a drink in the evening or to see a movie with her on a Saturday at 8 P.M., she may be casting you in more of a boyfriend role. Says Shelly of San Diego: “I work with a lot of guys and admit to getting crushes on coworkers from time to time. I’ll chat them up about new movies I want to see, and if one I’m interested in asks me out, I do what I can to make it at night on a weekend. That makes it so easy to grab a drink or food afterward and get to know each other on a more personal level.”

The body language clues
OK, so the odds of a woman reaching out to hold your hand while you’re flirting with her are slim to none. So how does she use her body to show you she’s interested? Jess from New York believes a woman’s gestures will send you the message. “Her body language will give her away—if a woman leans in toward a guy while he’s talking, mimics his body language, and maybe sneaks in a subtle touch here or there, these are pretty good signs that she’s into him. Obviously, he should get her phone number and actually call.” And how does a guy know if a woman isn’t interested? “If she is looking around the room while he’s talking to her and crossing her arms across her chest,” says Jess, “she’s probably not that interested. Also, if she tells the guy that he would be perfect for her sister or she suddenly brings up the fact that she’s been talking to her ex-boyfriend, there’s probably not a spark there.” The guy should just move on to a woman who is worth his time or possibly take the uninterested woman up on her sister offer.

The look of “I like you”
A guy should also know what kind of eye contact is waving him in. Direct eye contact that lasts more than a couple of seconds is a sign of interest, say the experts. And if a woman looks from your eyes to your mouth, well, things are in very, very good shape. “I don’t know if it’s conscious or not, but when I like a guy, I find my gaze wanders from his eyes to his mouth,” says Moira of St. Louis. “It’s definitely a seduction move; it lets him know that I’m thinking about what it would be like to kiss him.” Gentleman, if you’re getting that signal, this is another time you want to go ahead and get that phone number.

Taking the next step
Once we men realize she “likes us, likes us,” our minds are oftentimes so blown that we have no idea how to proceed. Fortunately, Wygant does: “Once she gives you the hints, you need to close the deal. Ask her to talk to you away from her friends or call her up on the phone and say, ‘You know what? I want to take you out for a nice dinner—just the two of us.’” What if the object of your affection is a woman you’ve known as a pal for a while? Over dinner, you have the talk, advises Wygant. “You say, ‘I’d really like to become more than friends. I’d like to start dating you. What do you think of that?’ At this point, she’s given you every single sign that this is the conversation she’s been dreaming about, and of course the answer is going to be yes.” So it all really boils down to a two-pronged plan: Pay attention and take a chance. If you focus your energy on the woman in question rather than on yourself or your surroundings (which is what you should be doing anyway), you’ll pick up more than you ever thought you could have. And if you disregard the very obvious signs — the laughing, the touching, the eye contact — and you don’t go for it, well then, then you are kinda dumb.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Calling a Handy-Man

So...any of you guys out there know how to replace a belt in a dryer? We (the three roomies) think we know how to do it...but we all know where thinking gets us sometimes. Here are the directions that I just received. Sounds simple enough. What do y'all think? Anyone care to place bets on whether Laurie, Kristen and Dinah can manage this one? We could even invite people over to watch the comedy ensue.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 30 min - 2 hours depending on your dryer and skill

Here's How:
1. Unplug the dryer from the outlet. It's crucial that the power is OFF before you take apart the dryer or open the top.
2. Open the top of the dryer. You may need to unscrew a top-mounted lint filter.
3. Remove the screws from the front on the inside.
4. Check to see if the belt is frayed or broken. Check all the way around it if you don't see a problem right away. If it is damaged, you'll need to buy a new one. If not -- the problem could be something besides the dryer belt.
5. Write yourself a note with your dryer's model number and serial number to take to the store or search for a replacement on the Internet.
6. Remove the dryer drum carefully.
7. Put the belt on. It goes over the drum from the front and around the motor drive pulley and idler from the rear.
8. Replace all parts and fasteners before reconnecting power.

What You Need:
New belt

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Three Things

1. I picked out my outfit today based on which shoes I wanted to wear.
2. I accidentally jabbed my mascara wand into my eye.
3. It hurt.