Thursday, July 31, 2008

Amazon Woman

This is it! I leave tonight for the Amazon! I won't have any access to email or internet while I'm gone, so the QQ is going silent for a bit. That is, unless I stumble across a Starbucks with wi-fi in the rainforest. I'll have plenty of stories and pictures when I return!

xoxo,
~LJ

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meat Market

Last night I was at the final team meeting for the Brazil trip. Our leader asked a friend of hers to attend the meeting and pray over our group.

She prayed for many things, including our safety, health, unity, effectiveness etc...
But the part that threw me off was when, during her prayer, she compared us to USDA Grade A cuts of meat.

I couldn't say "amen" for that part.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Baker's Dozen

In answer to the queries, I did bake. I did not bake the next letter on my baking list. I made chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes. They were very popular.

The Darkness of The Dark Knight

I finally saw The Dark Knight. It was...well...dark.

Now you'd think from the title that I would have realized how dark it would be. But I was thinking more along the lines of Batman Begins and less along the lines of Silence of the Lambs.
This movie was horrifyingly evil. Heath Ledger did an amazing job as the Joker. There was nothing cartoon-ish about his character. Compared to Ledger's chilling, soulless blood-lust, Jack Nicholson's Joker seems like a circus clown.

Christian Bale was suitably menacing. But even in all his "Handsome Playboy/Tortured Vigilante" glory, he merely served as a foil for the Joker's sickening sport.

I was a little disappointed by some of the foreshadowing (I guessed most of the major plot twists before they happened). And there were some continuity issues which bothered me. I realize the editors had a challenge with not being able to re-film any of Ledger's scenes. But the director should have been a little more careful with some of the details.

For example, in the Hong Kong sequence the bad guys are speaking mostly in Mandarin with only a little Cantonese thrown in. But as we know, most people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese. A minor detail, but clumsy nonetheless.

Oh, and am I the only one who noticed the Messianic undertones at the end?

All in all, I thought the movie was incredibly well-done (because I'm sure all of you are waiting with bated breath to hear my verdict). If you haven't seen it, you should. But be prepared for your blood pressure to go up, your stomach to churn and your mind to recoil.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I feel the baking bug hitting me. I don't think I can resist much longer.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Sad Tale

My roommate recently took a vacation to Puerto Rico. She brought back a gift of coffee for me. A couple days ago, I decided to try the new coffee. I was a little disappointed. It had an odd flavor that I couldn't quite identify.

I tried it again the next day, thinking perhaps my taste buds were just "off." Nope. Still tasted weird. So yesterday I switched back to my old standby. I made a pot of coffee at 4am, poured it into my thermos, added cream and splenda and headed out the door on my merry way. I was a few blocks down the road when I took my first sip. What the?! That weird funky taste had invaded my old coffee beans too! That's when the truth dawned on me.

The cream had turned.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I feel naked

I left my phone at home.


I also can't find my contacts.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Unintentionally Scandalous

Things I said to guys this weekend that came out all wrong:

"I'm not the kind of girl who says 'yes' just because she gets asked."

"I'll see your hug and I'll raise you."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Personal First

I met some friends for dinner last night. As I walked through the restaurant to find the table, a man walked by me and wolf-whistled.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Wise Man Said...

Me: "I'm really tired of always being in the friend-zone with guys.

Him: "99.9% of the men you meet will only ever be in the friend-zone."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Compassion, or Public Relations?

On my assignment today, we had to stand outside in the blistering heat for about an hour.
I was covering an announcement from Citgo that they're supplying energy-efficient light bulbs to 7,000 Houston households. They talked about the extreme heat and how important it is for low-income residents to stay cool and still save money on their energy bills. As the speakers droned on, they appeared to be oblivious to our misery. I don't think they even noticed when an older woman got sick from the heat and was put in a car and taken to the hospital.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weighty Matters

I reread C.S. Lewis' The Weight of Glory this week. I had forgotten how beautifully rich is it with insight into the human soul. In the span of less than a dozen pages, Lewis captures the essence of human longings.

There are many quotable sections from it and most of you have probably heard it quoted before (even if you weren't aware of the source). A number of his thoughts are resonating with me this week, but the one that has been the most powerful is this:


It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory
hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about
that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor's glory
should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry
it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in
a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most
uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it
now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption
such as you now meet, if at all,
only in a nightmare.

And a few lines further down:

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
Nations, cultures, arts, civilization -- these are mortal, and their life is to
ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with,
marry, snub, and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.


"Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This is how the story went:
I met someone by accident
It blew me away.

It was in the darkest of my days
when you took my sorrow and you took my pain.
You buried them away.


You dropped me off at the train station,
put a kiss on top of my head.
You watched me away.

Then you went on home to your skyscrapers,
your neon light and waiting papers
You call them home.


I woke up feeling heavy hearted.
I'm going back to where I started.
Morning rain.

Now though I wish that you were near,
that same old road that brought me here.
It's calling me home.


I wish I could lay down beside you when the day is done.
And wake up to your face against the morning sun.
But like everything I've ever known,
you'll disappear one day.
So I spend my whole life hiding my heart away.

I could spend my whole life hiding my heart away.

All a Dream?

I was fast asleep. Out of nowhere, a piercing burst of an alarm went off in the night. I jolted awake and tried to identify the sound. But before I could figure out what was making the noise, it just as suddenly stopped.

The clock said 3:38. I got up and checked the house. My roommate was asleep. The smoke alarm was off. It definitely wasn't a car alarm or an alarm clock. What could have made that sound? My heart was still pounding from the surprise. I couldn't go back to sleep for about an hour.

And I still don't know if it really even happened.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Adventures of Laurie & Laurie

If I ever try to say my life is boring, just smack me.

It was Saturday afternoon and my roomie and I were quietly spending the day at home. I walked up to my room to retrieve something and smelled a very slight odor of smoke. Not wood smoke, more like plastic or an electrical fire. I checked around the room and inspected the light fixtures, but didn't notice anything unusual.

Then I heard what sounded like a loud diesel engine outside. I peeked out the window.

"Um, LL, there are two large fire trucks parked outside our house," I called out.

"Ok," she said.

I walked downstairs and looked out the front door. Firemen were suiting up and unrolling hoses. Then I noticed smoke billowing out of the upstairs window in the townhouse next to us.

"Hey LL, I think the house next door is on fire," I said. "Maybe we should have some shoes on and be ready just in case we need to evacuate our house."

I turned back inside to get flip flops and grab my purse. When I turned back around there were about five firemen walking through our front door. They were fully suited with masks, oxygen tanks, hatchets, the whole works.

"You need to leave the house immediately," they said. "The house next door is on fire. Please leave now."

LL and I walked out the front door while the firefighters stayed in our home and went upstairs.

We stood across the street for about ten minutes, watching the process. Smoke curling out the windows, then a fireman smashing out the glass and the spray from the hose glistening in the hot air.

It didn't look like the fire had spread past that one room, but those five firemen were still in our house which was making us a bit nervous.

"LL, if the fire spreads to our house it will hit my closet first," I said. "All my clothes will be ruined. And my shoes!"

We can see where my priorities lie.

Finally the firemen exited our home and a few minutes later it appeared the fire was out in the house next door. The men started taking off their equipment and removing burnt furniture from the house. Out came the mattress...all that was left was the metal springs. Then from the upstairs window came sailing a burnt-out TV, lamps, drapes, various odds and ends melted into unusual shapes.

Finally, one of the firemen came up to us.

"You can go back inside your house now," he said. "We did a little bit of damage inside. I'll show you what happened."

Um, ok. We looked at each other nervously.

He led us inside. "We had to tear a couple of holes in your ceiling. We needed to see if the fire had spread from the unit next door."

Sure enough, we have matching holes in our bedrooms. The firemen drove their hatchets up through the ceiling, one in my room and one in hers. There was a thick covering of sheet rock and insulation on the carpet.

"Sorry about that," he said. "We had to make sure the fire was contained. Call your insurance company and they'll arrange to take care of it."

Sigh. Well, we needed to vacuum and dust anyway.

And our hero, James, came over and taped plastic over the holes. So while it's not patched, we don't have to worry about insects and squirrels paying us any visits.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Out of Order

This was posted on the back elevator at my office.
I'm pretty sure it was a joke.
I hope.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Going All Mary Poppins On You

Recently I've been pulling a lot of random things out of my purse, much to the delight of those around me.

This week the items have included baby carrots, a turkey sandwich, nectarines, flip flops, a t-shirt and a Bible.

A couple days ago when I whipped out some string cheese, one of my friends exclaimed "it's a MAGIC bag!"

I'll let you know if I discover any umbrellas or lampposts in there.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Summer in the City

Our air conditioner broke last night.



Crush Mail Waiting

Apparently I have 1 unread crush. I'm supposed to click on the link to discover the identity of the secret crusher. I can only think of two possibilities: 1) internet hoax or 2) socially awkward man. Either way, I'm not feeling the motivation to follow the link.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Letters Dept.

Dear Socially Awkward Man,



I'm writing because I'm concerned that you may not have received my first letter to you. Perhaps I have the wrong address? I say that because it appears you disregarded the advice I gave you. I'm not trying to be harsh. Many, many socially awkward men have gone before you. Learn from their mistakes. Help me help you.

Best Wishes,
Laurie

Monday, July 07, 2008

Let's Give 'Em Something to Blog About

No seriously, give me something to blog about. I'm fresh out of material.

I thought of telling you about how a couple of girlfriends and I went barhopping and picked up a chick. But I figure you're not interested in that kind of thing.

I also considered telling you the story of why one of my friends needed me to stir his iced tea for him. But it's a little bit sad.

I thought about explaining why my roommate was playing with her fat in front of several of our friends. But her fat is her business.

I could blog about eggplant. But this is a family-friendly blog and eggplant just isn't appropriate.

I'm at an impasse. I have nothing to blog about.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Looking Back

Sometimes I miss the Friday Funnies. They almost always offered something to talk about. Friends would have little competitions to see who could make it on the list. Lurkers would check in faithfully every Friday to see what the latest one-liners were.

But the Friday Funnies were also a lot of work. I had to pay attention to all the banter. I actually started carrying scraps of paper around with me to write down the funny things people said. And I had to do quite a bit of finagling to protect the identities of the innocent.

Honestly, I've forgotten most of the FFs. There are a few lines that stick with me. But most of them were fleeting. The words that last the longest in our memories are usually the ones that are either the most hurtful or the most encouraging. Several people have said very encouraging things to me this week. Those words don't have to be written down for me to remember them. I store them up in my heart. I am reminded how very powerful words are in our lives. I have been blessed with encouraging words this week.

If you're still reading at this point, I encourage you to take the time to speak words of blessing to someone today. Tell someone how important they are. Remind them of their excellent qualities. Speak loving kindness to a friend or co-worker. You will be giving them a lasting and precious gift.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Deadline Looming!

It's not looking good for my New Year's Resolution. I have just shy of six months left to accomplish my goal. I'm afraid that may be an unrealistic timeline for nuptials, considering the fact that I'm not currently in a relationship. "Fornicate in '0-8" is probably not a good goal.

But I think six months is a perfectly reasonable timeframe for my back-up plan. Of course, I've already blown the first six months so I guess it's time to bring my A-game for the next six months.


I'm not sure exactly how to do that, but it sounds good. But if any of you guys want to help me attain my goal to "Go on a date in '0-8!" please let me know.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

You can't make this stuff up

Last week I went to an event that I've been wanting to blog about ever since. But I don't know how to adequately capture the evening in a single blog post. Every time I attempt to write about it, my creativity fails me. I think I am reduced to giving you...

A Cast of Characters:

A pirate-lady
Anti-death penalty advocates
Several nuns
Mexican government officials
A man with a braided beard
Two doctors who were the live band
Australians
The wife of a convicted murderer
A one-armed priest who is also a woodcarver
and...
Tom

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Three-Way

This weekend I took a road trip to Louisiana with two friends. We had a lot of fun conversations and amusing moments. But the part that sticks out most in my mind is when we weren't speaking to each other.

Instead of having actual conversations, the guy was texting me while the other girl was texting me and I was texting back to each of them. We were all in the same car. This is what modern technology has reduced us to.