Monday, December 22, 2008


Am I the only one who will read a book more than once just for the sheer pleasure of it? Or is Cape Cod just a particularly illiterate region?

I've been re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien as is my wont every year around Christmas-time. Here is a normal conversation that occurs between me and co-workers, friends, kids in my youth youth group, etc:

Other Person: What are you reading?
Me: Tolkien, The Two Towers, part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Actually, I just finished it last night, I'm on the third chapter of The Return of the King now)
OP: Oh. Is it good?
Me: Heck yes. I loved these books before they made them into movies.
OP: Oh, you've read them before?
Me: Of course, they're good books.
OP: Seriously? Why would you read a book if you've already read it once? I never read a book more than once.
Me: Well, do you a watch a movie more than once?
OP: Yeah, if it's good.
Me: Well, it's the same for me and books.

I guess I don't see what's so strange about reading and re-reading books because that's what I've grown up doing. I've read Tolkien's trilogy along with The Hobbit and The Silmarillion multiple times. One of my favorite books, Moonfleet, I've probably read 20+ times. Granted I'm not re-reading them every year (with the exception of LOTR...I try to read it at Christmas time every year mainly because that's when my dad would read them aloud to me when I was a child). However, to me, books are like friends; one gets to know the characters so well that even though I've read the book and know what's going to happen, it's almost as though it happens that way not because the author penned it as such, but because there would be no other way for that character to act.

I remember having conversations with a dear friend of mine (and fellow writer) when we were struggling through college. We were both so sick of writing academically and craved the creative pen again. I remember one conversation she told me that she had people in her head begging her to write about them and tell their stories. I've expeirenced this as well. I've written a few short stories where, initially, I tell it the way I want to tell it, but somewhere along the lines it's just not right. It's because before you can write a good book, you have to develop who the characters are so when you put them in various situations it's almost as if they call the shots based on who you created them to be.

I digress. My point is I understand that it doesn't take as much time or brain power to watch a movie or 2, 3, 4 hours of television, but I guess I don't understand how someone cannot enjoy reading a good story unless they're that illiterate that it's a struggle and a challenge. Am I being too cocky? I grew up reading. For a homeschooled, sheltered little Christian girl with no cable, there was really no other option. Plus, my parents laid the foundation by reading to my sister and me when we were small. The only memory I have of how we spent our evenings as a young family is of my dad reading to us followed by "jamming" on his guitar. I remember the Oz books by L. Frank Baum (14 books in the entire series), the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, and my favorite, "The Adventures of Oblio and Enzio," created from my dad's own mind.

Books are friends. Aside from their obvious values, expanding the mind, learning new vocabulary, strengthening reading and comprehension skills, books hold within them the key to the imagination. In the words of the Bookkeeper from The Neverending Story (another amazing book), "Books are no bebebe's."

And with that, I'm done. And I haven't even started on how I think romance novels don't even count as books...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bah Humbug

So, it's been awhile. I'm having thoughts of deleting this actually, but I'm too lazy to do that, so I'll probably just let it sit until the Second Coming.

I finally decorated my little apartment tree this weekend and damn if I didn't do a good job. I mean, I love my parents Christmas tree with all my sister and mine's homemade orniments and tacky popsicle stick picture frames with pictures of me with hideous bangs in a hideous Christmas sweater with a hideous overbite, but I don't have any kids to bedeck my tree with tiny arts and crafts so I decided to go classy and do one of those glamour trees. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones right out of a Macy's window display. I bought a 4 foot artificial tree last year (I know, I hate them too, but sometimes you gotta bite the bullet) for my studio apartment, but had nothing to decorate it. It came prelit with white lights so that's all it was adorned with. This year, however, I decided to start an orniment collection of my own, so I went to Snow's and bought some gold balls and gold ribbon, a golden star and gold tinsel and went to work on Sunday. I must say, it does quite a bit to brighten the livingroom and even my roommate who is "over" the Christmas decorations is enjoying it.

Despite my meager efforts to bring some Christmas cheer into the day-to-day, it just doesn't feel like Christmas this year. As excited as I have been for December 25 for the past two months, as the date is approaching I'm feeling less and less anticipation. Getting older really sucks sometimes. I'm hoping that going to Buffalo and spending Christmas with my dad's side of the family (since my mom is still in Houston) will help bring that warmth of the holidays back. It will be good to be in my Nonna's house again, it's almost like coming home.

By this time next week, I will be in upstate New York and I will be another year older. Here's to living for a quarter of a century.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Thanksgiving was weird this year. Not necessarily bad, just very, very, different. As the girl who is always adamant that traditions be followed to a tee, it's a wonderment that I didn't freak out that we didn't do the same thing we've done since I can remember: Thanksgiving potluck with family friends, make a pecan pie and mulled cider to bring, watch The Princess Bride.

But, as the years have gone by, the kids have grown up and started families of their own, each going off to their in-laws or starting traditions of their own. While I was in college, I insisted that we do everything exactly as we had always done in years gone by whether that was our tradition of reading Lord of the Rings around the first fire of the season, trimming the tree together, or a myriad of other holiday festivities. There was so much constant transition in my life at the time that I needed an anchor on which to attach myself. But now, so much has changed that I think I would make myself crazy if I tried to keep everything as it always was.

This year, I celebrated Thanksgiving with just my dad, my sister, and my niece. My mom left for her hometown of Houston two weeks ago to be with my grandmother as she goes through multiple tests and surgeries, so she is absent from our table until February which seems strange and wrong. Yet, despite all the changes and upheavals, Thursday was comforting and relaxing. I made the turkey for the first time ever in my life and, not to toot my own horn or anything, but it came out damn good. I spent the night at my parent's house on Wednesday and Thursday and we all had such a grand old time cooking and eating together. We also had a Lord of the Rings marathon over the weekend where we watched all three extended versions of the movie.

Despite not doing what we had done since time began, part of me doesn't really care about following every little tradition as long as I am surrounded by family and love. It's no wonder this is my favorite time of year. Looking ahead to Christmas, I'm already getting excited about the lobster and the calamari and the home-made Italian pizza and calzones, the lights and the caroling and the trimming of the tree. One thing I'm not looking forward to: shopping crowds. Maybe I'll do what I did last year and just get all my shopping done online...hmmm, sounds like a good idea...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A New Record

I've broken a personal record. Last week, I worked 6 days straight, equalling 80 hours. I'm sure there are plenty of other people in the world who consistently work that much, perhaps more, week in and week out, but who really cares about Jamaicans anyway? *

As exhausted as I still am, I don't regret taking advantage of working the morning drive the past several weeks, or being thrown in to cover election night as a rookie. It's been exhilarating and intense and nerve-wracking being back in the field and having so much trust that I will excel placed upon me. Even so, it will be nice just working the weekend shift and not waking up at 3:30 in the morning half the week.

Speaking of, today was my last day working the morning drive. As excited as I am about getting more sleep and dropping my hours down to a cool 60ish, it was also bittersweet saying goodbye to the people I've worked with for the past three weeks. Once I'm completely trained on my Saturday shift, I'll be working by myself for the most part. I'm not complaining, I prefer to work by myself; however, I'm sure it also won't feel like working in an office.

Another positive about not waking up at 3:30a.m is I'll actually be able to regain my social life. I wanted to go to Boston last night for a worship service at one of the churches in the city, but sleepy eyes and a tired body told me that, as much as I wanted to carpe diem, if I push myself too much there will be nothing left to carpe. Savvy? Thinking back on it now, I know I made the right choice, but man, I'm bummin' that I couldn't go up. This particular church has a 20's group that meets every Tuesday for small group Bible studies. My roommate and I with another girlfriend went up last month and I really enjoyed it. But, the second Tuesday of every month is when they have their large group corporate worship and fellowship which I've been wanting to participate in for the past several months. It would be nice to have some interaction with other Christians and get different insights, perspectives, friendships, and maybe even a husband out of the deal.** Plus, I've been craving a good worship service ever since graduating from college. I guess I'll have to plan on next month and hope that nothing comes in the way again.

I don't have anything else to write about since my life revolves around work and that isn't always the most interesting topic to detail. I do have some potentially exciting news that I won't be free to share until a later date, but I'll give you a teaser: It involves work. Yay!

*I am going to hell
**So I'm not really expecting to find my husband at this group...who am I kidding? I so am! But, that's not the main reason for...well, ok, so maybe that's not the ONLY reason for going up to the city once a month. PS, things with Mr. Boston ended up not working out. Apparently we both wanted different things, i.e Me: something mature and fun. Him: sex

Friday, November 7, 2008

Insane in the Membrane *Insane in the Brain*

My Life. Is. Insanity.

Just in case anyone was actually wondering where I've been, I've been working three jobs. Hurray! Sometimes all in the same day. Double hurray! I've stopped showering and sleeping because I decided, Hey, those things aren't really a necessity. Neither is food, unless it includes trail mix from Trader Joe's or peanut butter crackers from the vending machine. Psh, nutrition? Who needs it?

Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating copious amounts of a lot-ness a little bit. But, I really have been busy. I am loving the new job at the radio, the resort is winding down in the off-season, and we've hired two more employees in my full-time job, so my work load here has decreased significantly. All-in-all, I shouldn't really complain...except maybe when last night was the first time I saw/hung out with my roommate since sometime last week. Although, I don't think we've actually hung out for closer to a month now. See, I told you: Insanity.

The good news is, I'm off from the resort all next week, so I'll finally have my evenings to myself. I think I seriously need to catch up on my aimless television watching which includes, but is not limited to: Re-runs of Saved by the Bell, Full House, Family Matters, Reba, Scrubs, and House; Rock of Love Charm School (it's so trashy it's watchable), The Hills (I've missed the last two weeks. Damn), Sappy Western Love movies on Hallmark, and of course Beverly Hills: 90210 with the roomie, which we watched two episodes of last night. Oh Luke Perry bliss! *

On a completely unrelated note, I am ridiculously excited for the holidays this year and that includes gorging my face like a champ.

And with that, I'm out. ONE! **

*Actually, I have to say that, despite the extreme sideburns, Jason Priestly is number one in my book. What would I have to do to get a boyfriend like that? AND he writes for his school newspaper? Be still my heart!
** Points for anyone who can name the originator of that phrase (this may be exclussive to Waynesburgians)

Monday, October 27, 2008


I just heard one of the stories I wrote this morning read during the hourly newscast. I can't even describe how cool/amazing this feels. I haven't been this excited about a job since...well, since I can't even remember.

Reason #2 for total and complete excitement: C-Crew Reunion 4.0 (three times in one year!) coming up this weekend as well as Julie's wedding! Whoop whoop!

In Other News

I was up at 3:30 this morning so I could be on the road by 4:30. Why, you ask? Well, I'm so happy to answer that question for you. Because, my friends, I am the newest News Girl (not my official title) at one of our local radio stations, known for it's award winning news program. Feel free to congratulate me.

Some of you may remember a while back when I mentioned sending them an e-mail expressing my desire to merge back into the field of communications. As I wrote at the time, I had an interview and then waited for about a month while they continued conducting interviews.

After the first week of October went by, I started checking my e-mail more intentionally and was getting ready to send one to them myself just to test out the waters, but I got swamped under special events planning for my other job. I eventually got back in touch with the company and found that the position was still available.

This brings us to the present. I exchanged several e-mails/phone calls and we pegged down this morning as my first day. I'm going to be helping with the morning drive as training until I start on a weekend position. Meaning, the 18-hour/3 job days will not be forever.

I am wicked stoked. I mean, for the first time in two years I'm actually doing something that I was trained to do in college. Granted, it's not print journalism, but in my eyes, radio's the next best thing. Mark Perry would be proud.

Despite having to wake up at 3:30 a.m., I am in such a good mood. I couldn't be happier about the current situation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Detailed Description of a First Date

I was quite surprised when I received Mr. Boston's call two Saturday's ago. We had been in contact back in September before I traveled to Pittsburgh for Miss Sanders wedding shower, but for whatever reason, we just couldn't set a date. Combine this with the fact that I am a firm believer in what I call the one-week-rule. This is similar to the "Friend Zone" in Scrubs. Basically, from the time you meet someone new to the first date there is a maximum of 7 days to make this happen. After that week grace period has passed, your face will be distorted in all your pictures and you will die a plethora of different issues are confronted. Such as:
  • You're comfort zone becomes a texting/voice mail relationship
  • You develop a texting relationship placing more pressure to connect during a first date
  • When said first date does occur after so much time has elapsed and the chemistry you thought would be present is absent, well that just makes everything more awkward when you have both been waiting so long
  • The potential of meeting someone else and loosing interest in candidate #1

However, when Mr. Boston called, enough time had gone by that the one-week-rule had reset. We made plans for that evening and 8:15 p.m. found me at one of my favorite restaurants.

I arrived first and sent him a text letting him know it was about a 30-minute wait and I had put our names on the list. He called a moment later telling me he had arrived and asking me where I was. I walked outside to greet him and we went in to sit at the bar while we waited for our table.

Before I say anything else, let me say that I looked hot. Like, smoking hot. And Mr. Boston isn't so bad himself. This means that I'm the closest I've been to the "Matching Phenomenon" since I was with The Marine (you'll have to scroll down a bit to find the right entry. I just lost myself reading my old xanga site. Perhaps you will too?).

I have to say, the date went well and there was never an awkward lull in conversation. However, he did swear a lot and that was a huge turn off for me. I also got the sense that he's a drinker which is another no-no in my book, but, eh, not a deal-breaker at this point in time. All-in-all, though, the overall shining quality about this date was my own mental and emotional break-through that I experienced. Throughout the whole night I was nothing but blatantly honest with him about my faith, who I am, and what I want. And wouldn't you know it, Mr. Boston absolutely loved how confident and passionate I am.

At the end of the night, we were standing out in the parking lot and the conversation went a little something like this:

Mr. Boston: Well, clearly, obviously we're going to get together again
Me (teasing): Hmm, is that clearly obvious to me?
MB (laughing): No, you're totally right, it's your call. But, I had a wonderful time tonight and would love to see you again.
Me: I had a great time tonight too. But, I'm going to be brutally honest with you. I don't play hard-to-get but I am hard-to-get. I know I'm a catch and if you want anything with me you're going to have to work really hard. If that intimidates you than that's a good thing. I don't mean to sound egotistical, but I'm an incredibly worthy person and I say that mostly because I haven't always seen myself that way. I know exactly what I want. I know exactly what I want. That's probably why I'm still single, but I don't mind waiting for something good.
MB: Wow. *pause* Wow, I have never had a girl be that honest with me and that is so incredibly sexy. I love that you know what you want out of life and I am totally ok with that.

Wow! Who woulda thunk that all those MSN articles I've read about guys loving confidant girls were right? The funny thing is, I wasn't even being confidant to impress him, I was being confidant for myself. For too long, the only criteria a guy needed to have to be with me was that he liked me. I'm not sure why I always had such low self-esteem when it came to relationships, I had all the pieces. I guess I just didn't know how to put them together. I didn't have the experience of learning to be comfortable in my own skin.

We didn't get together this past weekend because he didn't make it down to the Cape. He'll be down this weekend for his birthday, but I'm not sure how that's going to work since my weekends already pretty booked. Hopefully we can figure something out or else we fall back into the one-week-rule.

Oh well, as I told him after our date, even if we come out with a great friendship, I'm all set. And yes, I know guys hate being put into the "Friend Zone." Don't worry, Mr. Boston, you're not there....yet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

First Dates, Quality Time, & Weight Loss

It's been an eventful past couple of weeks. I have several stories to tell and I'm not necessarily in a writing kind of mood, so I'll use the ever-popular bullet points.
  1. Two weeks ago (October 11 to be exact), the one-and-only Christina had herself a date. I had been in contact with a certain gentleman last month and for one reason or another our plans kept falling through. He lives and works in the Boston area so we'll just call him Mr. Boston for now (in no way, shape, or form related to the celebrity). Randomly, I received a call from him on the 11th informing me that he would be on the Cape (where he grew up) for the long weekend and wanted to know if I was available for dinner that night. I was available and we did have dinner. It was a successful first dates as first dates go and we'll most likely be getting together again. More details to come.
  2. My father, sister, and niece were visiting my dad's side of the family in upstate New York all last week leaving plenty of Mommy & Me time. My mom and I don't have a history of being the best of friends, but in the past year we've really been getting along great. I spent all day Sunday and Columbus Day with her (mostly because I came down with an awful cold Sunday night), as well as Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon waiting for the rest of the family to return from Buffalo.
    Some of the activities we enjoyed were:
    -Going to an Artisan Fair on Sunday and getting started on our Christmas shopping
    -Watching all 6 hours of the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice
    -Watching some tear-jerker movies on the Hallmark Channel
    -Cooking together
    -Organizing my CD collection into the new case I purchased last week
  3. My co-worker/friend is going to work for another company beginning next week. Who the crap am I going to have lunch with now? Or go on weird diets and weigh myself with? Speaking of weighing, we weighed ourselves this morning and I've lost 10 pounds since I started this weird candida diet two weeks ago. Go me!
  4. The Red Sox are not going to the World Series. This means I've lost sleep and stayed up to watch nail-biter games for nothing. On a related topic, someone take Tampa Bay's temperature, the mercury in the cow-bell thermometer is spiking through the top.
  5. The Roomie and I finally turned the heat on last night. This, or course, was after I spent all day Saturday cleaning the cat hair from the previous renters out of the vents. Now we are cozy and warm with no fire hazard or allergy inflammations.

Stay tuned for details on my date coming....uh...when I feel like it?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why All I Can Now Is Dirt

Candida: Candida is a symbiotic yeast, which lives in us and on us, as part of our normal collection of microorganisms. Candida yeasts are symbiotic organisms; everyone has lots of them. Yeasts overgrow when conditions are right for them and they can be a nuisance. You cannot get rid of all yeast. You hope to find an ecological balance, with yeast growing at a controlled rate, below the symptom-producing level.

Some of the symptoms include (but are not limited to):
  • An incapacitating fatigue
  • Problems with concentration and short-term memory
  • Indigestion/acid reflux
  • Intense cravings for carbohydrates and/or sugars
  • "Crawling" skin
  • Visual disturbances may include blurring, sensitivity to light and eye pain.
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Recurring obsessive thoughts
  • Personality changes and mood swings (irrational rage or crying for no reason - fear of talking to people, any kind of confrontation, isolation)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Sensitivity to heat and/or cold
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Gluten and/or casein intolerance
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Dryness of the mouth and eyes
  • Menstrual problems including PMS and endometriosis
  • Eczema
  • Allergies and sensitivities to noise/sound, foods, odors, chemicals
  • Anemia
  • Weight changes without changes in diet
  • Feeling in a fog

It just so happens that I included all of my symptoms on that list, which is much longer and much more extensive. The hard thing about candida is that so many of the symptoms could be related to something else. So, how do I know that this is what I have and not some other debilitating disease? Easy. My chiropractor told me so. And then my witch doctor confirmed it....I mean uhhh....

In all actuality, I probably would've ignored my symptoms and continued to feel miserable and exhausted all the time (and no, the 60 hour work weeks don't contribute to that in the least); however, my sister had candida yeast as a child which caused my entire family to change our lifestyle and go on the "candida diet."

Let me give you a brief walk through of what my diet consists of these days.

Morning: Take 2 anti-fungal pills (kills the yeast overgrowth), take 2 garlic pills (also an anti-fungal), 1 multi-vitamin, 1 fiber pill.
Evening: Same as above, except no multi-vitamin and I take 2 fiber pills and two probiotic pills (the healthy bacteria in the body that needs to be replenished).
My meals in between consist of absolutely no carbs, no sugars (not even natural sugars from fruit), no dairy (as well as certain other foods to stay away from such as mushrooms and peanuts), and *gasp!* no alcohol . It's a good thing I'm not a big drinker anymore or I'd be screwed.

Now, I know you're all highly interested in the inner workings of my body, but hey, this is the most exciting thing happening in my life right now. And by exciting, I mean the bane of my existence. I must say, though, I've had much more energy since I've been doing this for the past week and no more indigestion. Saints be praised! I've also had much more tears shed when a co-worker brings in a freshly homemade apple pie that I can't have.

Nevertheless,* the really interesting thing about this is that even though I'm a healthy eater to begin with—lots of fresh produce, legumes, only lean meats, etc.—this is teaching me so much about how the human body operates, how intricate it is, and how important it is to maintain this fine balance on which we all operate.** Besides, staying away from all the processed, fatty foods can only do me good, right? And maybe, just maybe, I'll finally get rid of those love handles.

*Yeah, that's right, I busted out a nevertheless! How's that for being a grammar nerd?
**Bam, the grammatically correct sentences just continue to flow

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jamaican Cooks & The Fact That All I Can Eat Now Is Dirt

Nigh on a month ago I started hearing whisperings among the bell staff at the Wequassett regarding one of the cooks. Since, at this point, I had only been working at the resort for about three months—and only part time at that—I had no idea who they were talking about until one of them oh-so-casually mentions how he thinks this cook and I should exchange numbers. I asked who he was and realized I had seen him once or twice. Since he wasn't too bad on the eyes I felt a little complacent about the whole thing.

Here we see:
Error #1: I told this particular bellman, "Do whatever you want."

The next time I was at the employee kitchen for my break, I notice this particular cook, we'll call him Murphy (mostly because that's his name and he will never come across this blog). Murphy comes up to me and starts asking me what I like to do, where I like to eat, etc. etc. I gave him no definite answer and slyly remove myself from the situation.

Here we see:
Error #2: Failing to tell him ASAP that I am uninterested.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago when one of the bellman hands me a slip of paper with Murphy's phone number. "Are you kidding me?" To which my only response was, "He's waiting for yours." "Yeah, 'cause that's clearly gonna happen," I responded while throwing the piece of paper away. I was than berated by said bellman for not giving Murphy a chance and what a nice guy he was.

Here we see:
Error #3: Not sticking to my guns and knowing that Jamaicans/Foreigners are persistent as hell.

From that point onward it just went from bad to worse. The other bellman in the duo collaborators took my phone number from the employee list and gave it to Murphy under protest from me and later that night, at a farewell party for the digit lifting culprit, Murphy and said bellman convinced me to go out to dinner with him that Saturday night (that Saturday night being this past Saturday night).

Here we see:
Error #4: Me actually agreeing to go out to dinner with him just to get him to stop bothering me. HA! Giving in is actually more of an incentive for Jamaicans/Foreigners to stalk you.

Since that point, last Tuesday night, until the next time I worked on Thursday night, Murphy called me a total of seven times in a two-day period. Let me repeat that for emphasis, seven times in a two-day period. He called me not once, not twice, but three times on Tuesday night when I didn't pick up right away because, you know, I was sleeping to "make sure I made it home ok" after the aforementioned farewell party. He called me four different times on Wednesday. No messages, just missed calls 20 minutes apart. He called me twice on Thursday before I got to work.

At this point I realized my fatal errors and knew that there was no other way to stop the insanity except to go into uber-bitch mode. The thing is, I legitimately couldn't go out with him on Saturday night due to plans that I forgot about in the heat of the uncomfortable moment that was Tuesday night. However, when I tried to tell him this, he got mad at me for not returning his calls. Is it just me, or is he sounding a lot like a jealous lover? So, he got mad and demanded that I tell him why I hadn't returned any of his phone calls. The exchange went a little something like this:

Murphy: Why didn't you call me back?
Me: Why didn't you leave a message?
Murphy: I didn't want to be charged on my phone. I just wanted to say hi.
Me: You were already calling me, what's so hard about leaving a message saying, 'Hey Christina, just wanted to say hi and see how you are doing?"
Murphy: I told you, because I didn't want to be charged for the airtime.
Me: But you were already calling me. Besides, why would you continue to call and call and call? Why would that make me want to call you back?
Murphy: I wouldn't have continued calling if you had called me back.
Me: So you're punishing me for not returning your calls? If I don't return your calls then you're just going to continually call me and leave no message?
Murphy: No, that's not what I meant.

Etc., etc. Basically he held me 30 minutes beyond my normal half hour break to fight with me about going out with him. Correct me if I'm wrong, but why would this make me want to go out with him? Am I all of a sudden convinced that, yes, this is a good idea because you sat there and fought with me about how I need to give you a chance and you're a great man? Of course! How could I be so blind! I mean, really people, what's the delio? Why are guys so persistent when it's clear that the woman involved is not interested? And you wonder why we can be such bitches. Take the hint. If I didn't call you back it's because I wasn't interested. And how much pleasure would he really have from taking a woman out to dinner only because he forced her into it?

Thankfully, since our little "chat" on Thursday (the last time I worked), he has not called at all. Something tells me I'm going to be taking my breaks at home from now on seeing as I live a minute away from the Wequassett. Add to that the fact that all I can eat is dirt now and I think that's a good reason to avoid the employee kitchen all together.

Post on why I can only eat dirt now coming soon....or not so soon, depending on my motivation.


Yesterday the sky was full of clouds. Dark, menacing, Autumnal clouds. The kind of clouds that bring October storms and leaves plastered to your windshield, stuck in your wipers when you try to whisk them away. The kind of clouds that broke every so often to let a solitary beam of sunlight through to illuminate the earth in stark contrast to the dark sky.

Driving home from work last night the sun had sunk low enough on the horizon to break through the gray covering and send forth one final shout of hope. It cried out, "I am here!" in violent shades of fuscia. The sunset was a perfect combination of the dark purple of the clouds lit from underneath in layer upon layer of magenta and orange. In the West, where the sky was clear, a shimmering golden haze was all that could be seen. I wished that I was driving toward it instead of East. Every time I looked in my rearview mirror, the colors became more and more faded, dying embers of a once heroic, passionate stand against the oncoming night.

I looked at the clock: 6:30. Night comes so soon and winter is setting in creating a chill in my bones amplified by the fact that we have yet to turn the heat on in the apartment. The time has come to switch over my closet and put extra blankets on my bed. 'Tis the season of soups and humidifiers, chapped lips, cold hands and feet, and the deep desire for days of summer.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just Call Me Miss Mary Lou Joe Jean

I started writing a post last Sunday while I was at my parent's house hanging out with some friends, playing Uno and watching V for Vendetta. I never finished it and I'm probably not going to finish this one just because it's close to the end of the day and I am tired. Being tired right now is not really an option though because, well there's still 2.5 more hours until the end of the day, but more importantly, CAMA kids starts tonight.

CAMA Kids: Christian And Missionary Alliance Kids: A sort of VBS, but held the first Friday night of every month during the winter instead of every morning for a week. I, being the Good Smaritan unable-to-say-no person that I am, will be teaching the third grade class. The third grade, mostly boy class. Joy. The theme for this year is a mix between County Fair/Down on the Farm. I'm totally borrowing one of my mom's square dancing outfits for this one. I'm gonna tell my kids to call me Miss Mary Lou Joe Jean. Don't get me started. Don't even get me started. You may laugh, but that's what ya gotta do to keep those dang kids entertained. So, on that note, this is Miss Mary Lou Joe Jean signing out.

Story on Persistant Jamaican Cooks Who Can't Take No For An Answer coming up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

To Date or Not To Date?

One more hour at the Wequassett before I get to go home to my wonderfully comfortable, down comforter and down mattress pad bedecked bed. It's been a long 15 hour day and I'm grabbing a short respite back on the switchboard so I can actually sit down and collect my thoughts.

I was supposed to work last night and have tonight off, but clearly my schedule request was not honored. I'm not sure how much I minded having a night off between my two 15-hour days, though. Especially since Danielle's night off is Wednesday as well and that means some much needed roomie time. *

Last night our roomie time ** consisted of watching an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter (don't be a hater) and two episodes of Party of Five, Season Three. This, as all you Pof5 fans know, is the season where Bailey becomes an alcoholic. Intense does not describe it and Dani and I often forget to breath while grasping each other in sweaty......suspense! Sheesh, what did you think I was going to say? I mean, we're close, but not that close.

When all is said and done, we had to tear ourselves away from the box set and go to bed. I believe there's only something like 4 episodes left on the DVD and Season 4 won't be coming out until after the New Year. How will we survive, you ask? By purchasing the first 3 seasons of 90210. Have I mentioned that we've also purchased and watched the first and only season (why, oh why, did they only create one season?) of My So-Called Life and are working our way through Life Goes On? The problem with these amazing shows is that it takes so long to put them into box sets. And yet, before the season has even ended, they have Grey's Anatomy and Law & Order SVU for everyone's viewing pleasure while Dani and I are left waiting with baited breath for the next season of amazing, classic melodramas to come out. It must have something to do with switching from analog to digital format. Whatever it is, they best get cracking so we can continue our addiction.

Add to this our addiction to NES and you have for some serious quality time. Maybe this is the reason why I'm still single....speaking of which, one of our Jamaican cooks at the resort asked me out tonight. My response was flustered and confused and I in no way gave him a straight answer. I have no idea what to tell him. He's attractive, but I tend to chicken out of dates of any kind. I'm not sure why. It all boils down to knowing exactly what I want and writing off anyone who does not meet that criteria.

I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I'm pretty sure it's a not-so-bad thing that I'd rather go home, curl up in my aforementioned comfortable bed and just fall asleep. That is, of course, after I finish watching the last four episodes of Party of Five.

Seriously, don't be a hater.

*Technically we're not roommates, we're apartment mates. But, let's face it, that's just too burdensome to type out every dang time.
**If we want to get even more technical, Danielle and I have been friends for over 20 years, so the whole sharing an apartment thing is not what defines our friendship in the least.

Memories sans Barbara Streisand

Every time I travel back to Western PA it feels like coming home. As much as I fight it, I love the sight of the Highmark building, all the bridges spanning the three rivers, the trolley cars on the incline going up and down. As much as I love Boston more, Pittsburgh is safe for me, it's familiar, and it's home of so many memories.

Visiting friends from college and seeing the city again made me incredibly nostalgic. So much so, in fact, that I keep revisiting the idea of moving out there. Maybe it's just because I'm looking for a change of pace. Maybe because so many of my friends are still there. Maybe it's because the cost of living is so much more affordable. Maybe because, after two and a half years, I'm finally realizing that Western Pennsylvania really isn't all that bad (aside from the fact that there's no ocean).

After arriving in Waynesburg, Heidi and I took a short drive back to that little campus on the hill. I haven't been on campus for over a year and to say that I wasn't affected would be a gross underexageration.

Heidi parked outside of the Stover Campus Center and we went inside for old times sake. I still remember my mail box number and everything is so painfully familiar. The feelings that were pulsing through me with every beat of my heart are so hard to put into words. I was all-at-once overwhelmed and nostalgic and sad and grateful many other things. There is not one nook on that campus where I don't have a memory. Even the little things like walking to Buhl Hall everyday or slipping on the college seal in the middle of the Quad or walking through the parks and swimming in the fountain came out in my memory in sharp relief to the fact that I will never again have those experiences. No matter how many reunions I have with college friends, we will never again all be in that community and living together so closely. It's a strange sensation and even stranger that it's hitting me over two years later. I'm glad that we were there at night. I'm not sure I would've been able to handle walking around during the day and not recognizing any faces and not having any faces recognize me. I wonder if my picture when I was Titania is still on Eddie's door in the Performing Arts Center?

After that brief run-in with the ghosts of my memories, I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. I saw everyone I wanted to see and then some and that's all that I can really ask for. The reality of an hour and a half plane ride and a more expendable income is making me giddy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

You gotta love John Candy and Steve Martin...hopefully none of their escapades will happen to me while I'm traveling by train, by car, and by plane to and from Pittsburgh this weekend.

Despite my inherent need to stress about packing every single time I travel, I am extremely excited to see all my college friends again. Granted, the seven-hour train ride to meet Heidi in Baltimore might be a little rough—maybe I should bring my copy of War & Peace—but, the subsequent four-hour car ride with her back to Pittsburgh will be fabulous, I assume.

Other items of excitement: C-Crew reunion 3.0! Seeing the amazing Kimmie! Lunch with my Twinner! The infamous not-for-long-to-be-known-as Miss Sanders wedding shower! And of course, getting a day off work!

And with that, I've filled my exclamation point quoto for the month. Yes, the excessive use of exclamation points annoy the crap out of me. And yes, I take great pride in being a grammar snob.

I'm bringing my laptop to PA, so I'll try to stay in touch over the weekend; otherwise, look for a blog o' greatness when I return.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


And So It Goes by Billy Joel is one of the saddest songs I've heard...and still makes me stare out the window and wonder....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ain't Nobody Gonna Get Me Down

I don't like ice in my drinks. Namely because I tend to be a guzzler and ice just gets in the way. In fact, I don't like anything getting in the way of quenching my thirst, so I really only go for water or the occasional unsweetened ice tea. Of course a good ol' Cape Codder never hurt either. However, last night, while watching the Roomie play Zelda, I guzzled a little too much Malibu and Pineapple (with a splash of orange, of course). I wasn't really thinking anything of it except that a night cap sounded like it would go well with the mighty sound of Link's sword slashing through Ganon (ok, so maybe she didn't make it that far). But this morning, my head is thinking otherwise and I am thanking my lucky stars that I don't have to work the second job tonight.

Today's been rough. Add to that a deadline of 4pm to completely finish a postcard I've been working on just started designing today and then turns out my supervisor goes behind my back to get another co-worker to finish it because there are a "few things" that need to be changed instead of just asking me to do it for her since I've been working on it all morning *pauses for breath* and you have for a grumpy pants Christina.

Oh well, only one more hour left to the day and then I'm actually home free with abso-freaking-lutely nothing to do for the rest of the evening. Be still my beating heart! This hasn't happened since the late 90's, I believe, when I was still rocking out my dad's old flannel shirts with a pair of undone overalls and a waffle knit shirt. Yeah, I did that look. Don't be a hater.

BUT! I have to say that yesterday was an extremely good day. Well, yesterday morning was an extremely good morning at least and that is because *drum roll and trumpets* I had an interview!!!

I graduated two years ago with a degree in Communications and since then, I've been working the same job: basically the lackey at a small commercial lending company, working hard to give a leg up to all the small business owners in the community. Commercial lending = numbers. Number + Christina = mayhem. Fortunately, I don't deal much with the numbers side of it. I actually enjoy my job on most days. I get to do all the administrative tasks crap that nobody else does. At least I get to use part of my second option in Public Relations when we have our annual workshop series and I get to pretend to be a special events planner/designer of all print/online material that goes out of the office. However, I've been hankering for something new. Something that's more in my major/motivation for life.

Several weeks ago, I shot off a few e-mails. One went to the managing editor of the weekly newspaper I interned at four years ago and one went to the general manager of one of the local radio stations here on the Cape. I received positive responses from both parties, newspaper editor promising she had some freelance opportunities starting this fall and radio manager saying they had a position open for a weekender. Awesome and awesome.

So, I had my interview at the radio yesterday and, all things considered (the fact I haven't been in front of microphone/done anything remotely radio for four years) it went swimmingly. After the initial interview was over, they had me take a news release and cut it down to radio copy. I was then required to cut together a minute and a half of news for their hourly report. Even though I was initially nervous (aka scared shitless), once I got into it, realized they used Audio Vault and Cool Edit, and created more of a report with my interviewers, I felt great.

They still have other interviews they're conducting, but I am crossing my fingers that this goes through. My boss jokingly said that instead of people asking me, "Have you done any theater lately?" they're going to graduate to, "What are you doing on the radio these days?"

Your mom.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Constellations and Consternation

I saw Orion for the first time on Wednesday night. He was large and low on the horizon, the three stars making up his belt perfectly aligned as I always remember. Orion is my favorite constellation and has been since I was just a wee thing. This was mostly due to the fact that, besides the Big Dipper, he was so easy to find. As I've grown older, Orion takes on a whole new meaning.

He. Is. The. Perfect. Man.

Brave. Strong. Noble. Heroic. Beautiful. Loyal. And the best part: Silent. He was just what I needed to see on Wednesday after a long car ride and an even longer evening of anxiety.

So, I went up to Boston on Wednesday night with my sister and her co-worker, Lexi, to see Lexi's fiance play with his band, Tripping Lily (amazing, amazing, amazing). My Seester and I had been planning this for about a week before the plans fell through three days before the excursion was planned. Since I had already requested Wednesday night off from work, I was trying to figure out what back up plans I could make to avoid sitting alone all night on my couch watching random sitcom re-runs or playing the original Mario Bros. on the sweet original Nintendo system my roommate bought off of e-bay. In the end, I told work on Tuesday night that I was pretty sure I could come in and work the next night, but would let them know for sure the next day.

This brings us to around 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning when I receive a call from Seester telling me that we were in fact going to Boston. Yikes. Just yikes. I'm in no way prepared to go to Boston that night. Besides the four inch stilettos I donned that morning, I was also wearing a skirt and sleeveless shirt which I knew would do nothing to ward off the chill evening air of September in New England. But, being the can't do anything without a plan spontaneous, bold person that I am, I decided to screw the man and go out for a night of fun. I called work and told them to revert to the original schedule. Complete mayhem and confusion ensued and I was yelled at to always alert the manager when there was a schedule change. This caused mayhem and confusion for me because, to the best of my knowledge, the schedule hadn't changed and I was alerting them that I wasn't coming in after all. Was I wrong?*

The funny thing is, even though everything with work was fine and I had the prospect of a great night in Boston, I was stressed about having fun. Is this normal? After a few pep talks by both myself and Seester and borrowing a co-workers cardigan (that went with my outfit!) I was starting to feel better. But, my anxiety only increased when Seester and Lexi were an hour late to pick me up and I realized that I very easily could've run to the ATM to pick up some cash and grab some dinner before they came. The funny thing is is that when I thought that (when they were only a half hour late), I still could've done both those things in time. It's kind of like when you're waiting to make a left-hand turn and there's a car coming in the distance and once you take the time to wait for them to get closer, you think, man, I could've gone when in reality you still could've gone when you were thinking that you could've gone but now you can't? ** What's even worse is when you realize that you could've gone even after you realized you should've gone when you thought you could've gone. I know you know what I'm talking about...and if you don't, you clearly did not grow up in a tourist town.

Regardless of all the previous happenings, I did enjoy myself that night for the most part. Primarily because the band was great and we ate at Fire & Ice. But, driving home at two in the morning with the prospect of a 15 hour work day to commence in the morning made me realize that despite the good food, fellowship, and music, was I just becoming an old fuddy duddy, more content to laze around on the couch, giving Bowzer a lesson, and going to bed at 10 p.m.?

Who knows. But, I told all of this to Orion while I was driving the long stretch between exits 10 & 11. He never gave me an answer. Damn silence.

*Before answering that, take into consideration the fact that I am never wrong. Never.
**Don't hate me for that sentence.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


We've had a lot of rain/storms here on Cape Cod during the summer. Several weeks ago, during one such storm, my friend/co-worker came down to my office to talk about the rain, to which I said, "Man, it's like a friggin deluge."

I received nothing but this look she gives me everytime I use "big words" (such as cantankerous and monosyllabic). After berating her for not knowing what deluge means, we have a good laugh and go back to work.

Today there's another storm. About 10 minutes ago it starts to pour and I see that my co-worker is calling me. I pick up the phone and say "Deluge," which is met with copious amounts of laughter.

"K, bye" we both say and hang up.

Sometimes I love my office.


I'm eating my mid-morning snack of Yoplait yogurt. This morning's flavor is Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Not quite my favorite, but I don't hate it. As I sit here eating, I can't help but remember the one time Ben came to visit when I was still in the Harwichport house and I woke up super early to make him his favorite: pineapple upside-down cake. But, because I was in such a rush to have it all ready to eat by the time he woke up, I burned the syrup bottom and the whole cake was ruined.

When he woke up and came downstairs to the image of me trying to salvage my failed attempt at baking, he laughed and hugged me, took a sample bite and said, "Let's go out to breakfast."

Even though he never acknowledged my feelings and always made me second guess myself, he had his good moments. Granted, after awhile the good times failed to compensate for the bad times.

Unfortunately, his oh-so-wonderfully unexpected e-mail is making me reminisce on these memories. I guess I don't mind suffering through it since after reading (and re-reading) his e-mail, I finally had the determination to throw away all of our old correspondence...all the old e-mails from 10 years ago, all the letters, the cards, and the pictures. Everything. And while I'm tempted to feel a stab of remorse that all of the correspondence from our first attempt at a relationship was so sweet with young love, I keep going back to why I need to hold onto it. Someday down the line I'm going to find a man who matches all my grooves. Why would I want to carry baggage from a past relationship? No, he owned my heart for almost nine years, I'm ready to be done. I've been ready for awhile, but I guess I just never thought of that old box under my bed until his e-mail triggered it.

So, thank you for reaffirming to me that I am, once and for all, completely over you. Hopefully one day you can be the same.

Oh, and for the record, when I was thinking about the pineapple upside-down cake disaster, I did tilt my head and smile. And I tilt it to the right...not the there, he didn't know me that well after all.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Love Sitcoms From the 80's & 90's

So, for the past month, I have been addicted to my friend Andy's blog. Our friendship is circa 2002 when I was preparing to head off to college.

I didn't intend on telling the story of how I met Andy, but I think I'm going to go with it. I believe it all started when a mutual friend, Chris, called me regarding my interest in the choir. We exchanged AOL IM screen names and began chatting online (remember when it was all about the IM and no one had even heard of "social networking sites?" Oh, thems were the days). Soon enough, Chris gave me Andy's screen name and said that he thought we would be great friends. Andy and Chris were best friends at the time, but this is still something I don't understand. Even though he denied it for years (maybe just one), Chris had an uber crush on me right from the get-go. Why ever would he connect me with Andy "Man-Whore" Shaw? (no offence, Andy, but that's how you were known at the time.)

Anyway, Andy and I started a pretty intense conversation regarding my vow to remain single until I found "the one." Unfortunately, I started dating the worst excuse for a human being that summer and totally went back on my vow (something I still regret to this day).

I met both Andy and Chris at Matriculation for the freshman class and Andy spent the whole afternoon with me and my parents. It was great fun. We continued to spend a lot of time together those first weeks of college and I was fairly angry at myself for not being single and available, but c'est la vie. We settled into a great friendship and since Andy and I were both Communication majors and both in choir and theater, we spent a good amount of time together throughout college.

He's always been a funny guy and I have heartily enjoyed reading his incredibly witty blogs over the past month. Which brings to the original reason for this posting. He recently posted something to the extent that The Hills was scripted or some other crap, to which I responded in the negatory. This inspired him to launch into the top ten greatest shows when we were growing up. His inspiration, of course, inspired me to continue his list with a few that he left out. I'm also going to be responding to some of his top ten in the same order he listed them, so make sure you've had your coffee for the morning first.

Read his entry first. Don't worry, I won't be mad, just make sure you come back here when you're done :)
  1. The Mickey Mouse Club. Andy listed Full House first, as well he should. Not only have I seen every single episode, but I've probably seen every single episode at least 10 times...and can quote them...and can call it every time they cue the sappy music, "Pam was my sister and I loved her very much..." Oh Uncle Jesse, what would pre-teen girls do without you? So, while Full House is worthy to be number one, I am making the case that the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club should take precedence. Where else can you see pre-pubescent Britney Spears sing and dance to I'm Gonna Get You? And yes, I definitely used to record the episodes and watch them over and over again until I learned the dances. Besides Britney Spears, we also see Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and JC Chavez start their stardom careers on the Mickey Mouse Club. What more could you ask for? A made-for-teens soap opera type drama? Oh, we have that, too in Emerald Shores. It's a complete package people, a complete package. Now I'm going to write to Disney and request, nay demand, that they put the episodes on a box set. And on that note, we'll MMC ya later!
  2. Andy mentions Seinfeld as his number two, but I have to go with another Disney Channel classic: Kid's Incorporated. That's right, Looks like we've made it, we're Kid's Incorporated *K. I. D. S!* Yet again, we see the start of a modern pop star's career on this show. That's right, kids, Fergie used to be Stacie on the show. There was some great talent and some great morals on this show. Like that one time when the two girls decided to both write a song and they wrote the same exact song without even collaborating. Is that even possible? Thank you for teaching me not to plagiarize, Kid's Incorporated!
  3. Hey Dude. This was just classic TV and I loved it for several reasons:
    a) I wanted to Marry Ted
    b) I thought Christine Taylor was related to my friend Spangle Taylor
    c) I still get a little scared thinking of that episode when Ted tried to scare everyone for Halloween and he ended up being the one scared in the end.
    d) I still know the entire theme song...It's a little wild and a little strange, when you make your home out on the range...
    e) Sarah Lindholm and I had some great moments watching it in her parents bedroom, eating peanut butter and fluff sandwiches off the TV trays.
  4. 90210. Does anyone else think that it's a total and complete farce that they're coming out with a new 90210? Seriously, how can you improve perfection? Knowing me, I'm probably going to become seriously addicted to it, just as I was seriously addicted to the original. However, I was never as addicted as my sister, Angelina. In fact, when we were mere children, we created a scheme, a scheme that would change the world as we knew it. As every true 80's/90's child knows, 90210 aired on Wednesday nights after Married With Children (another show I used to watch, but not quite worthy of the top ten list). Wednesday night was also, conveniently, my parents Bible study night. That's right, you know where this is going and I know where I'm going...straight to hell. Angelina and I, to convince my parents that we were old and mature enough to be left alone for the evening, told them that we loved Wednesday nights because it was "Sister's night." They were under the impression that Ange and I would play games and have a generally all-around bonding night while they were studying about our sweet Lord Jesus. Instead, we were blatantly lying and using it as an excuse to watch dirty television sitcoms we were in no way allowed to watch. Unfortunately, my parents came home early one night and caught us red-handed. I never really knew what happened after season 4. Did Brenda ever get back together with Dillon???
  5. Who's the Boss. Granted, this can in no way compete with Andy's number 5 choice of the Fresh Prince (In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my you really need me to continue??). However, Who's the Boss is another show that I watched every single episode 10 times and can rival Full House for my loyalty. Because in all honesty, who can compete with an Italian male housekeeper who's catch phrase is "eh oh, oh eh?" This is another show I wasn't initially allowed to watch. Yeah, what was up with that mom and dad? I think it might've been because of Angela's mother, Mona. She was pretty quick on the sexual innuendo draw. Yup, that's the kind of grandmother I want to be for sure. Another reason why I love this show...Muska and I have a deep love for Tony Danza's hair....don't ask.
  6. Punky Brewster. Yet again, Andy's choice of Saved by the Bell totally trumps Punky Brewster. And for the record, I loved Slater, wanted to be Kelly, and hated Tori with her damn leather jacket that she wore all the time. But, Punky does get a strong vote here too. Does she even need any words of acclamation? Let's just say she was the reason why young girls everywhere wore different colored socks. She was also the reason why one of my favorite outfits in the second grade was a black turtleneck with a purple cardigan over it, black stirrup pants, purple socks, black shoes and purple and black scrunchy rockin' out the side ponytail. I will never ever post the pictures on here.
  7. The Cosby Show. Dr. Huxtable, you were the epitome of fatherhood. This show made me want to be apart of this family...and be black. Even though, technically, Vanessa looked like she was white, I still wanted to be black like her. Damn you non-black genes! By the way, Andy's number 7 choice of Boy Meets World makes me smile. Randomly, everyone thought I looked like Topanga when I was in high school, does this strike anyone else as completely out in left field??
  8. Family Ties. Even though this was just slightly before my time, I still remember that warm, tender feeling it gave me every time I watched it. Also, Jennifer gave new meaning to classic bad 80's hair.
  9. Wonder Years. Andy mentioned this on his list of shows that did not make his top ten list. But, it makes my top ten list because, yet again, this was another show I wasn't allowed to watch. Big surprise. So, in that there was a lot of mystery surrounding this show and hushed conversations about how sexy Winnie was. Plus, as I've watched it in later years, it's just a timeless show about growing up in our generation. Hmmm, I just found the entire 6-season box set for only $50. Excuse me while I shuffle around in my purse for my debit card...
  10. Mork and Mindy. Ok, granted, this was a much older show, but come on, it's got frikken Robin Williams saying nanoo nanoo. And he lives in an egg!! How much better can it possibly get??

Ok, so that's it folks. The Christina Top Ten Best Sitcoms of the 1980's and '90's. I might even be so cool as to call the "I Love The 80's & 90's Sitcoms Part Deux" VH1 style. Oh yeah, I'm totally busting that one out.

I'm sure I won't get nearly as many comments on this as Andy got on his (unless he links my blog and all his readers come over here *hint hint*), but let me know what you think anyway. Ok, MMC ya later!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Hatred and The Hospital

I can't stand airports. In fact, I'm pretty close to hating them. The only reason why I abstain from hating them is because, let's face it, hate is an extremely strong emotion. Which is why I save that emotion for the newest object of my loathing: hospitals.

I. Hate. Hospitals.

I never thought I could dislike a building more than airports, but hospitals take the cake (side note: what does that phrase even mean? Take the cake? Who thought that one up and why don't I have any cake now that I'm thinking of it so much??). If you think about it, at least airports have carpeted floors; there's nothing comforting about the cold, tile floors in hospitals. As many renovations and calming colors the Cape Cod Hospital utilizes to make their patients feel at ease, there is nothing easing about seeing a loved one with tubes attached all over their bodies and the steady beeping and compressing of various machines.

My Mama went through major surgery on Monday and as I sat at her bedside between jobs on Monday afternoon, no amount of telling myself that she would be fine could quell the foreboding in my spirit. She is fine. But, what if someday she's not? Sitting there, holding her hand, watching her fade in and out of cognizance, scared me. I remember having nightmares as a child of my parents dying and becoming an orphan and I used to tell my mom that I never wanted her to die. But, what child hasn't gone through the trauma of this fear, unfounded though it may be? It seems as though it is human nature to automatically assume the worst case scenario. However, now that I'm getting older and, consequentially, my parents are getting older as well, will the experience of keeping vigil by a sick bed become more and more common?

My parents aren't that old. I used to think anyone over 50 was ancient, but the older I get, the more middle aged 50 becomes. Still, when the realization hits you that your parents can't do half the things they used to be able to do 10 years ago, it's a sobering experience.

One thing is for sure, any disagreements or failures to see eye-to-eye with my mother all seems so unimportant now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Take me out of Funky Town

I'm in a funk. I'm pretty sure it's because I hate my job. No, hate isn't the right word...maybe bored? Unfulfilled. That's the one. Completely unfulfilled and frustrated that there are no newspaper jobs on the Cape! Oh, that's easy, says the me from former days, just move to where the jobs are. As appealing as that may be and as ridiculous as this next statement is, I can't. Why? Because God told me not to. Why do I have to be such a good lil' Christian girl? I mean, don't get me wrong, I've tried to move off Cape, I've come really close to it a couple of times. But for whatever reason, the door is closed before I can cross the Sagamore Bridge.

The rub lies, however, in the fact that at this point, I'm not sure if I really want to leave Cape Cod (unless it's for the grasslands of Africa that is). With my complete immersion into the youth culture at my church, I feel like I'm fulfilling a greater purpose than being able to weild my words at a reputable newspaper. As much as I crave the deadlines and the copy editing and the words, words, words, I crave being where God wants me to be more. And for some reason that I can't fathom now, He wants me here. On Cape Cod. I've said it before, there are worst places to be.

But, back to the original topic: I. Am. In. A. Funk. Not just any old funk. A funk of giant proportions. A funk that makes me want to do nothing on my specifically requested vacation day except for sit on my futon (soon to be replaced by an amazing love seat which will be delivered as of Saturday), eat all sorts of junk food, and trading off between drooling on the accent pillow during re-runs of Saved by the Bell and crying out of self-pity. Man, I'm in tough shape.

It's not so much that I'm depressed. I just work so much that I don't know what to do with myself when I actually have free time. See, my brain doesn't even recognize that phrase as proper English. What is this strange thing you speak of called free time? And if we want to be technical about it, there really is no such thing as free time. The past two days I had off were two days of precious vacation time of which I only receive two weeks of per year. Way to go me, I just wasted at least one day of vacation time being a glutonous slob and the other...well, spending $90 on clothes...but I look damn hot in them, so I'm not sorry! I won't be sorry, dammit!

It is nice to have money, but at what cost? I never have any time. Let me repeat that: I Never Have Any Time. I slept over my parents house on Sunday night and half of Monday I spent lounging around in my pj's watching TV and talking with my Mama. It felt good. It felt really good. Because really, what's the point of living 5 minutes down the road from my parents if I never see them? It seems that there's no win/win combination in your 20''s either work too much to make ends meet, or not work enough and starve more often than not because you can't afford to go grocery shopping.

Where's the balace? And where, for pete's sake, are all the newspaper jobs on Cape Cod???

Monday, July 21, 2008

Heaven Came Down

Few are the times in life when one can claim they have witnessed an occurrance rarely seen by man. Or at least man on Cape Cod.

Last Friday night, I was a spectator to one of the most brilliant sights mine eyes have ever seen. I was in the throes of frustration, grief, and angst. I ran to Nauset Beach which has been my sanctuary in so many times past. As I crested the top of the dunes, there lay my ocean, white caps showing pale in the half-shrouded moon, waves thundering in all their glorious rage. I was struck to the core by the beauty of uncontrollable nature and the God who has created it. I ran along the shore letting the wind whip the tears from my eyes and not caring how much my lungs burned or how high the waves crashed on my legs. I ran until the moon broke out from behind the clouds and showed her face, red with summer heat and passion. I dropped to my knees completely undone at the grandeur of my God and wondering how I could have ever doubted His sovereignty. I could not stop crying. I could not stop worshipping. I could not stop the trembling as I realized for the first time in a long time how terrifying, how utterly enormous my Lord is. The inspiration that wrote the Psalms was in my heart and I wish that I had a pen and paper so I could have written my thoughts at the moment and not days later.

When I finally left the beach, I turned my attention to the flickering sky behind me and thought I would investigate on the bayside. I remember asking God to show me just a glimpse of His glory.

I arrived at Rock Harbor totally expecting the Community of Jesus to be putting on a fireworks show. It wasn't the Community of Jesus. It was the real thing. A lightning storm of magnitude that I had never seen before was filling the sky. There was a small crowd on the beach: friends, couples, family. I sat by myself in the dunes and watched as bolt after bolt hit out to sea and every several minutes a huge branch of lightning would break through the clouds and stretch out across the heavens. Every time my heard would lurch. I had trouble keeping back the tears, my heart hurt so much from the beauty of it. Part of me wanted to share it with someone, part of me was content to sit by myself, awestruck, no need for words.

The storm continued to blow into shore and the lightening flashed increasingly brighter and bigger. The thunder made my teeth chatter. I had no idea what emotion to display. I was dumbstruck.

At last, the storm was right above the beach. I was lying on my back watching the display of infinite power and majesty. The heavens opened and the great deluge began. I ran back to my car laughing, drenched, as the storm thundered above me.

I put on "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin on the slow ride back to my apartment. As the second verse began, "Who has told every lightening bolt where it should go," a streak of lightening flashed across the sky and left a pathway of light before my vision. I didn't know whether to laugh or to I did both. How could I ever doubt? This storm was just a tiny part of how majestic, how terrible, how infinite God is. It was so much more than a glimpse of His glory. And I am so in awe of Him.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

She Works Hard for the Money

It's been almost a month and the only reason why I'm writing is because I just saw that Natalie left me a comment to write. This is not a bad thing. In all actuality, I don't even have the time to write now, but I'm putting in the effort.

The good thing about working 65 hours per week is:
  1. I'm working and therefore making money
  2. I'm working and therefore have no time to spend money
  3. The Wequassett feeds me a shift meal the three nights I work there, cutting back on grocery shopping costs majorly

The bad thing about working 65 hours per week is:

  1. I end up going commando a lot because I never have time to do laundry
  2. I never see my friends, including my roommate
  3. The new apartment still does not have a new couch, area rug, or kitchen table because neither Danielle or I have any free time

The Wequassett stays open until November, but I'm really not sure if I can hold to this schedule for an additional three months. Maybe if I just cut down to two nights a week that would be a lot more manageable than three, even though it's only one night. Hey, having two nights off as opposed to one makes a big difference. The fact that I still have not received my first paycheck from the Wequassett may be factoring into my hesitancy to continue working until November. Maybe once I start seeing that extra $500/month I'll be wishing they stayed open year 'round.

All in all, that extra cash will cover gas, tithing, and allow me to put more towards paying off my student loans every month. Heck, maybe I'll even open a high-interest account and watch my money grow. Isn't it exciting being an adult?

But, despite working like a dog and only going to the beach four times so far, this summer is proving to be a huge improvement from last year. Last year I was still suffering the pangs of broken heartedness over my ex, as well as sowing a few too many wild oats in my attempts to rebound from him. That combination equaled a very unhappy Christina. Unhappy and broke considering I was paying out the ass to live on my own.

I love having a roommate again. I'm glad that I lived on my own last year and had that experience, but sharing rent makes it so much easier to afford life. Plus, I absolutely adore the new apartment. I love the old fashioned door handles and the uneven floors. I even love the sharply gabled ceilings.

And with that, I believe that I've done enough rambling and enough updating. I hope you're happy, Nat :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's All New

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to be using the internet right now...I'll take my chances. So, tonight is my first night at a new job. I'm working the front desk at the Wequassett Resort & Golf Club...definitely one of the nicest resorts on the Cape. Very formal. Very swanky. Yet, somehow very unorganized when it comes to new employees. I have gone from waitress to hostess to assistant server to working the front desk all before I even stepped foot onto the resort as an employee. I'm not complaining, only amused.

For now, I am working the switchboard which means I get to answer the phone all professional and transfer the calls to their happy destinations. I also get to do random odds and ends and be slowly, but surely, trained on the software programs and general ways of the resort. However, since I know such a limited amount as of now I'm basically just waiting for the phone to ring to have work to do. I'm half wondering if having an evening job is worth it and half looking forward to meeting new people, learning new skills, and, ultimately, making more money.

I'm sure I'm just having "new kid" jitters. In all actuality, I'm catching on very quickly and I'm looking forward to the time when I know everyone and can answer questions with authority and ease and I'll look back on this time as only a slightly uncomfortable starting point to future success.

For now, I'm looking forward to leaving in an hour and curling up in bed....and perhaps a nightcap may find its way into my hand as well....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Running to Stand Still

I went for a jog last night for the first time in a long time. I'm not sure if it can really be classified as a jog as I power walked through most of it. But, I did push myself to run for the last quarter mile. It's always easier to push yourself at the end when the finish line is in sight. There are so many analogies I could make from that last sentence...I'll abstain for now.

I'm excited at the prospect of getting back into shape and being able to run with abandon. I'm even more excited at the prospect of having a full hour with just me and the thoughts pulsing in my brain to the rhythm of my shoes on asphalt.

Eight years ago I was afraid to think, afraid to analyze the ideas set before me, afraid to be alone. My theme song was "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd...
"When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
And I have become comfortably numb."
I still love that song. It helps me to remember the darkness of being comfortably numb and the joy that startled me out of my fortress of doubt.

Now I cannot imagine not taking every thought captive. Now I glory in solitude. I'm not sure what this means for my life or for what I am being prepared. Does it have to mean anything except that I'm not afraid of thinking, of being alone anymore? Maybe the meaning lies in the fact that I've finally become content with who and where I am. I have found my identity and it does not lie in my sister, in a man, or in my body. My identity is in Christ and that makes all the difference.

Still, I wonder sometimes if all those tiny, little decisions we make add up into one giant purpose. I wonder if the decision I made to get out and go for a jog will lead into some greater destiny. Perhaps the stamina I build going out every evening for a run will come in handy when I have to run for my life in some foreign country? Maybe the reason we are left to wait is because we have yet to see the importance in the every day choices and activities in which we engage.

These are the things I hope to ponder in the evenings as I listen to the slap of my feet on the road and the cacophony of birds in the trees. These are the things I will think of to prevent myself from ever again becoming Comfortably Numb.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Seize the Day vs. Instant Gratification

Sometimes, when I really stop and think about all the mundane details that make up my life, I become incredibly anxious that I'm not living to the hilt every moment. I've been so caught up in the whole process of moving--packing, folding, boxing, loading, unpacking, organizing, buying, assembling--that I'm forgetting what Mr. Stallings told me long ago, to "notice that clouds travel at different levels in the heavens and at different speeds..."

In the midst of trying to set up my new bedframe (which came at possibly too high a price) I happened to glance outside my window whilst I was in the throws of having a heated argument with my mattress and noticed the brilliancy of the stars. There were no clouds for me to notice how they were moving across the heavens, but the pulsing of the Milky Way curved across my eyesight in a way that begged me to rejoice in its light.

I did not rejoice. I thought how I wished I could take the time to appreciate its beauty and then went back to grunting my mattress ontop of the wretched platform that cost me part of my dignity and all of my savings. Sometimes I wonder why I still use CraigsList....
Sometimes I wonder why I'm not doing more to Carpe Diem, Seize the Day. I remember a song we used to sing in youth group:

"Seize the day, seize whatever you can
'Cause life slips away just like hour glass sand
Seize the day, pray for grace from God's hand
And nothing will stand in your way.
Seize the day."

Seize whatever you can. Am I seizing whatever I can? Sometimes I think yes and sometimes I think no. In my conversation with Ange and Carolyn last night, Ange got me thinking with her comment of, "If God wanted you to be anyone else or anywhere else, you would be there."

Though I've contented myself that there was a reason why I was not accepted to the Samaritan's Purse program, I still have nights where I am wrestling at Bethel and demanding that I be blessed. This can't be all there is, I yell at the Angel. This can't be it, I demand more! I demand everything that has been promised to me and I demand it now! Why is waiting so hard? And I don't just mean for me. Our culture as a whole is so permeated with "NOW" that there are times when it seems normal to have instant gratification all the time.

So, is this longing to "seize the day," to make every moment count just a byproduct of wanting to have done and see everything before the ripe old age of 30? Is this just my impatience bubbling forth once again because I'm not content with the here and now, the small and lowly tasks that make up a day? Is this me throwing another pity party?

Oh how I need to be reminded to wait on the Lord. I need to be reminded to be still and know that He is God. I need to notice that clouds travel at different levels in the heavens.

Yet again, I still have so much to say and no words in which to say it...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dancer in a Daydream

Perhaps one of the most heart-warming sights is to watch little children performing. Whether that be dancing or singing (which I had the pleasure of witnessing both this weekend), the experience is second to none.

On Saturday night, Mila had her very first dance recital at the Academy of Performing Art's annual Night of Dance. I was unbelievably proud. And unbelievably nostalgic.

The last time I was in the Nauset Middle School auditorium, I was the one on the stage.
One of the few thoughts I had as I sat, transfixed, watching the older classes pirouette across the stage was that I miss dancing. I miss the feeling of flying with my feet on the ground, the familiarity of my jazz shoes, the leather stretched perfectly around my toes. I miss being able to touch my nose to my knees and to fall into a split. I miss dancing so hard that the sweat falls into my eyes and my legs turn into pillars of water.

I started going to Tara's African dance classes during the winter, but I miss jazz and ballet. I miss the fluidity of the movements and the stretching before hitting the dance floor. I'm tempted to sign up for a summer class, but with all the craziness of summertime on Cape Cod, I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit it into my schedule. I told myself I would never work three jobs at once ever again, but that may be happening this summer. What with Coastal Community Capital during the day, possibly waitressing several nights during the week, and change-over cleaning on Saturday's, I'm hoping that I'll still have a few precious hours for soaking in the sun on the beach.

Right now, the future is full of possibilities. I have more that I want to write about, but I will leave that for another time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Leap of Faith

I have not been updating regularly. I really have no excuse for this except that I am not at all happy with my writing lately. I feel stale...stagnant...stifled. I think it's because I'm too happy, too content in my life. I have no strife and conflict to birth creative genius. Isn't that twisted? When my life is good, my writing is bad. When my life is bad, my writing is good. Don't I love a good paradox.

I originally created this blog because I wanted to keep my journalistic skills sharpened even in this haitus from my beloved newspapers. Unfortunately, that remains to happen. Perhaps that is a contributor to why I am hestitant to fill this blog with useless ramblings just to have to create a new one for "professional" purposes.

I miss reporting. I miss having a hand in bringing the news to the public. I miss interviewing unique people. I miss telling stories that inspire and inform.

I know that I didn't spend $80,000 on a useless degree that will sit on the shelf collecting dust. I know that eventually I will be able to actually get excited to come to work; I will once again glory in the rush of meeting deadlines and baske in the noisy, crazy, frantic atmosphere of a newsroom on production day....

I miss journalism. Everything about it: Moving stories and ads around the page layout trying to make everything fit like a puzzle, staying up until 3, 4, 5 in the morning running on nothing but caffeine and adrenaline, finding inspiration for columns in the extraordinary ordinary. I miss even the things I hated, like tracking down interviews at the last second because a junior writer dropped the ball. Come to think of it, I'm just starting to miss college in general.

Two years later it's finally hitting me. Part of it may be that I wasn't able to go back for a visit this past year. So many things have changed at Waynesburg that I'm not even sure I want to go back. Somehow, I fear that my memories will drift away on the morning mist if I walk through an unfamilar campus. New library. New dining hall. New science building. New faces.

I got wind that Mark Perry is going back to Chicago. Yes, many things have changed.

Sometimes I fear revisiting old haunts because I'm afraid that I will be the one haunted. Haunted by the ghost of my former self. Waynseburg is not the only thing that has changed over the past two years. As much as I wouldn't recognize it, I wonder of the campus would recognize me? It's scary how places can stir up memories that have long been forgotten. Much like music, parts of our souls are tied up in the places we live, the places we grow, the places we love.

It's strange to think of who I used to be then. It's strange to think of how short two years are and yet what a long journey it has been. Where we begin is where we arrive....

Some things never change and some things change too much. Where is the balance point? Maybe there is none. Maybe we are only meant to embrace the life pulsing within us only to spread our arms and leap off the edge...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Than a Conqueror

This past week, I have been bitter, frustrated, anxious, and angry. All of my old habits that I thought I had already conquered, all my old antagonism toward my mother, toward God came back with a vengeance. Ugh!

I find it interesting, though, because I knew exactly what I needed to do. Probably one of the most frustrating aspects of being in that place of anger is having all the head-knowledge of Christ and either not wanting it, or not being able to surrender to it. That's where I was. And it took much prayer, will-power, and two pep-talks to bring me back to this place of joy, peace, and contentment.

I am amazed at how quick the turn-around time was on this. In the past, it would've taken me days, maybe even weeks, of stewing on whatever-was-pissing me off and even after "getting over it," still holding on to some small portion of my bad emotions just in case I need to pull them out for fire power at a later date. I feel so victorious! I know, more than ever, that I am destined for something greater than this mediocre life, something greater than living for the weekend and putting in my good Samaritan act every once in a while. I know that God has a plan for my life that transcends being a "good little Christian girl."

This walk with Christ is not easy. In fact, it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, "The Christian ideal has not been found tried and left wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried." There are some who believe that once in the grip of salvation, life all-of-a-sudden become easy. No. Life all-of-a-sudden makes sense, but if anything, the path just becomes steeper.

So why choose this? Why choose anything that is difficult? Because anything worth having is difficult. Any victory won is only sweet because it was gained with, to use the cliche, blood, sweat, and tears.

I don't know how this story will end. I don't know if I'll end up living a life of comfort working for the Kingdom here on Cape Cod or if I'll be dodging the bullets of the Janjaweed in Sudan. I don't know and I don't need to know. I know God and I know that His grace is sufficient for me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Life of Praise

It's been over a week and I suppose that I should write about the last thing in the world I would want to write about.

For months now I have been squaking about my application to the Samaritan's Purse internship program, of the possible opportunity I would have to quench some of this fire burning within me to save some small corner of the world and, in doing so, save some small corner of myself. For months now I have been riding a see-saw of confidence and doubt in my potential acceptance. For months now I have felt like I have arrived.

I have not arrived and I have not been accepted to the program. And, as I said in the beginning, I don't want to write about this; but not because it brings me so much pain and bitterness, rather because I'm not exactly sure how to put my jumbled heap of emotions onto the proverbial page.

I believe my exact quote at the very beginning of the whole application process was, "Praise God if I'm accepted and praise God if I am not." I am holding to that. And I am going to use a quote from Casting Crown's "Life of Praise" to exemplify part of what I'm feeling:

"I will love you Lord always
Not just for the things You've done for me.
I will praise you all my days
Not just for the change You've made in me.
But I'll praise you for you are holy, Lord.
And I'll lift my hands for you are worthy of so much more."

I want to draw attention to the last two lines in particular. As Christians, we praise and serve God not because of the blessings He bestows, but because, as sinful people saved by grace, we have no other response but to worship. He deserves our praise not because He makes us feel good, but because He is a holy God. As the great apologist J.P. Moreland states in his book, Love Your God With All Your Mind:

"Theologians describe God as a maximally perfect being. This means that God is not merely the greatest, most perfect being who happens to exist. He is the greatest being that could possibly exist. If God were merely the greatest being who happens to exist, it would be possible to conceive of a case where a greater god could come along (even if such a being did not actually exist) or where the real God grew in His excellence. In these cases, our degree of worship ought to increase and, therefore, a God who just happened to be the greatest being around (and who could be surpassed in excellence) would not be a worthy object of total worship. Fortunately, the God of the Bible is a maximally perfect being; that is, He is the greatest being that could possibly exist. It is impossible for a greater being to supersede God or for God Himself to improve Himself in any way. Thus, God is owed our supreme, total worship. This is why Scripture calls idolatry the activity of giving more dedication to something finite than to God. God is worthy of the very best efforts we can give Him in offering our respect and service through the cultivation of our total personality, including our minds."

This should be reason enough for me not to pout about my non-acceptance to the Samaritan's Purse. But, while it seems foolish to human intelligence, I trust the God of the universe explicitly. This means that no matter what happens, He is in control and I am at total peace leaving the details to Him. His timing is perfect. He has never dropped the ball in the past, why should I think He will start now? Truly, He is faithful even when we are not.

For those who know me as the independent, self-motivated, won't-take-crap-from-anyone woman that I am, it may seem pardoxial that I am surrendering all of that control to a God that many claim does not exist.

Ahh, there's the rub. The Christian life in and of itself is a paradox. Give to receive. Loose your life to gain it. The last shall be first. The weak shall become strong. And yet the beauty within it is that it is only after true and complete surrender and sacrifice of our own personal gain that there will ever be any fulfillment. After 24 years, I have finally transferred this head knowledge into everyday life.

So, while I am still disappointed that my dream of Sudan, Chad, Kenya, and Malawi is put on hold indefinably, I am more excited to see what amazing adventures are in store for me while I am still waiting on good ol' Cape Cod. And let's be honest, there are worse places to wait than Cape Cod.