Thursday, December 10, 2009

my nativity has six wisemen

my nativity set has issues. It's a wooden stable with plastic figurines glued inside. The shepherd broke some years ago so that only his feet and a small patch of grass were left in the manger scene. Broken off at the legs is a tough way to go... and no amount of glue could reassemble feet to legs (as witnessed by the oozed and now solidified glue stuck to the once attached legs of said shepherd boy). You'll be happy to know I have pried up the patch of grass and feet and now my manger scene is shepherdless.

Joseph became unattached from the stable last year. Intact, but removable - in case Mary would like to try it on her own. But, assumedly raising the Son of God is not recommended as a single-parent activity.

I have various animal figurines that are actually several sizes larger than the human figurines, so Mary and company are either all dwarfs, or the animals in Bethlehem are freakishly large. A three-legged sheep watches over the baby Jesus. A large three-legged shepherdless sheep.

There are six wisemen. Three are glued within the manger scene, watching over Mary's shoulder as she watches over the babe, and three (sized extra-large) stand outside with their camels, also extra large. I post them because perhaps little extra wisdom (or at the very least a little more gold) might help us all.

All this to illustrate something... perhaps that it's easier to accept and find room on my countertop for a mixed-media manger scene (Oh little plastic Son of God), than to actually find room in my heart for Christmas this year. I used to be a real fanatic about the Jesus stuff. Got more Bibles than any one person really needs. and I can beat myself up pretty well when I think about losing the faith... but here in my kitchen/living room on the countertop bar next to my foot-and-a-half tall pre-lit Christmas tree is a plastic metamorphosis. a momentary revelation. and maybe my religion is as mixed up as my manger these days - but I have a feeling that plastic Baby Jesus has a little grace for me.

So, I'll keep plugging in the small naked light bulb that is supposed to be coming from some star over the manger. And I'll think about Christmas and faith and the kind of room needed for all representations of the love and peace and joy we all want at the holidays and throughout the year - no matter what or whom we believe in. ...or even if we don't know, anymore.

Dear plastic Baby Jesus, is there hope for us yet?
I hope so.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle!

I have that song - you know the one - Queen, Bicycle - stuck in my head. It's been there since I left work yesterday to pick up the old Schwinn Suburban from the bike shop after a near complete overhaul. I guess I should have expected that since all the parts were original and the bike is a 1970s dinosaur. But what a pretty dinosaur she is, and I can't wait to take her out for a ride. But - it's raining. again. And so she waits by the door... calling to me... and I tell her... soon...

In other news, I'm looking at a comparative/contrasting study on Black poetry with the theme, mother. The first poem I chose was Langston Hughes, The Negro Mother. Then, Gwendolyn Brooks, The Mother. .. I'm looking for more - but these two are a really great start with incredibly conflicting and moving lines. I need at least one more from the Black Arts period ... and then I need to find a few contemporary examples to round out my little study. I'm reciting these poems for my class on African American Poetry. The class lacks the structure typical even to undergraduate (let alone graduate) courses, but is otherwise not completely aggravating. If you're interested in what other poems I find, hit me up and we'll talk it out.

The orange juice lifestyle change 2009 is still going strong. I've lost more than 15 pounds in about 5 weeks. I'm excited - and I can't wait to keep losing more. woohoo!

oh, and yes - I'm completely unpacked - or at least 95% there... found the kitchen knives! ...and I love the new place - I should post some pictures. I want to do that "week in the life of me" photoblog that I've seen others do... I should rock that next week - we'll see what happens.

for now - Mr. Raincloud, please go away so I can ride my BICYCLE!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

of orange juice, boxes, kitchen knives and spices...

Orange Juice.
I was accepted into a program at work that is essentially for people who have the potential to cost the university a lot in insurance and health care. (that's me!) I and my cohorts have enough risk factors that the university is paying for a program designed to lower that risk. So - day one. four hours in and I'm kindof excited about it. 32 oz of watered-down orange juice and the worst part was trying to figure out how to store the rest of the OJ after I watered down the portion I'm supposed to drink today. I finally settled on a pitcher I purchased from Fiesta! and the jug that used to hold margarita mixer. I won't be needing the margarita mixer for awhile... no sugars until I break the addiction. so - down the drain it went. I didn't cry. I'm guessing it was because I'm also out of tequila and haven't yet found the blender so - no big loss. I'll let you know the progress of this new adventure as it unfolds.

I have unpacked exactly 10ish boxes. which, by my count leaves about 30 (or perhaps 300) more. Things are slowly finding their way to where they belong. Tonight... I need to decide between the kitchen and my clothing... But I like the new place. I met some neighbors, Danny and Laura who live upstairs and diagonal across the courtyard. He's a seminarian and she's just as sweet as can be. They go running every morning. They made me cookies. I invited them over for boardgames once I find them among the boxes. Perhaps they are geeks like me.

Kitchen Knives and Spices.
These are things I haven't found yet. They exist somewhere behind and underneath layers of stacked cardboard in what is supposed to be my office/spare bedroom but what is now just a room full of boxes. I'm having trouble cooking with only half my kitchen unpacked - and that half not at all placed where it's most convenient or makes the most sense. My mother found and unpacked a box labeled "kitchen" which happened to contain coffee mugs, shot glasses and wine glasses. So, all beverages in the past 5 days have been consumed in coffee mugs, because it seems silly to consider drinking water, lemonade or juice from a shot and or wineglass. She did not find the dishes, bowls or drinking glasses. they're around somewhere.

Let me know if you want to lend a hand. ... and if you find those kitchen knives!

Monday, September 14, 2009

a moratorium on rooftops and jumping


Found out today that the aforementioned assumed good news was well... premature. Someone was promoted. ...just wasn't me. So congratulations to that other girl. and for me.. well, it's one day closer to my turn.

Friday, September 11, 2009

preparing for changes: a kind of catch-all

There's so much going on and I can't really say some of it out loud as of yet so this seems some sort of substitute for the type of rooftop shouting or at the very least jumping up and down that has been building inside me for a week or more.

First off - the movers will be here a week from tomorrow and truth be told I'm not much farther along than the last time we talked.
So this is apt to be a busy weekend indeed. The hope is to leave out only what I need to survive for the next 7 days and box tape and label the rest for transport. I pick up my keys in a week and will go over to the apartment that night and figure out furniture configuration.

Second - I think it might be nearly safe to consider the possibility of saying here, while not actually announcing (ie. rooftops and jumping), that I should hear (good news) about a (possible) promotion today. I have no details. I have had no details for a week and it is killing me. Gotta love bureaucracy and all the paperwork and steps involved. This could mean a sizable move up in position and ...benefits. of course again... no details. did I mention that it's killing me? ugh... the waiting.

soon, the jumping

A milestone occured the other day. It's been four years since I rescued Libby from the shelter, and since they figured she was about a year old when we adopted each other, she's now about five years old. ...and still as goofy as ever. So - in tribute and celebration I offer some of the silly tidbits about my faithful companion:

Yesterday, I needed to do a little vaccuuming and as I sucked up bits of doghair and dust from the carpeting, Libby felt the need to inhale all the food in her bowl just incase the vaccuum decided to pick up more than what was on the carpet. She looked extra-satisfied when she licked the bowl clean, just as the vaccuum was moving from livingroom to bedroom, past the now empty bowl. Mine, all mine.

Motorcyles crive her especially crazy... that, and city buses. Their presence, idoling on the street below our picture window, is known to throw Libby into bouts of high-pitched whining and increase the need for her to jump from the windowsill to the floor run about in cirles, only to return to the windowsill for more whining. Special caution is to be taken while traveling with dog in car, passing motorcycles and city busses as there is considerably less room for the running in circles/whining routine.

Waking is a duty Libby does not take lightly. After the alarm, but before the master has risen from the bed, if I linger too long... Libby will take to her post. She stands directly next to the vertical blinds which cover the sliding glass doors to the balcony and wag her tail. This sets the blinds into a frenzy, knocking against eachother and filling the room with light from outside. This, I have decided, is the worst noise in the world.

I'm hoping she adjusts to the new home well, and somewhat sheepishly - this is one of my main concerns about the move. I hope she will love that the new apartment is bigger, even if the windows are not as dog-friendly. I hope that she appreciates my shorter commute as much as I know I will. Plus, we will be within a few miles of two dogparks. w00t!

Well - today's a big day with the building dedication at my school - so I best be off to greet the VIPs... hopefully this day will go quickly with all it's festivities... and the news and the yelling from the rooftops and the jumping up and down can begin shortly thereafter. for now - the waiting... and the VIPs.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

31 days and counting...

The movers come in a month. I have exactly 6 boxes packed. Well, two of those were boxes previously packed and stored in a closet. I have exactly 4 boxes packed, and 2 boxes moved from storage closet to the dining room/moving staging-area.

I packed my books first. Time for leisure reading is something I don't plan for in the next 30 days. Except of course for my book club book. We're reading "Same Kind of Different as Me," by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It's an interesting book so far and proving to be one of many easy distractions from the menacing job of packing up my life and moving to Lakewood.

I have lots of projects planned for once the move has actually happened... painting walls, hanging curtains, making the place homey and all that I dream it will be. I think about where to place furniture.

Pre-moving is always difficult. It's hard to get excited about getting cardboard-dry hands and the fear of accidentally packing something you desperately need in an unmarked box at the bottom of the pile. But I will prevail.

Tonight's goal... 3 more boxes. ... and maybe - packing something other than books.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Downsizing. . .

I've been living beyond my means for a long time. whole life it seems.
It's a pattern ingrained and I want to undo it.
So I'm looking to downsize - to make larger payments to my debts and learn about living with less.

It dawned on me recently that the Lord will care for my safety and security and that it's time I start pairing down - thinning out... what it is I really need? a room with a place for my bed, a place for my things and a home for my dog. (she is non-negotiable).

seriously - who could abandon this face?

but many other things I can live without.

I can budget and make progress and eat more ramen and rent a room instead of an apartment and sell or give away much of the material things that cling to the surfaces that surround me.

I can...
live with less.
eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
ride my bicycle or take public transit even more than I already do.
read library books.

so - it looks like I'll be selling much of what I own over the next couple of months.
let me know if you're interested.
also - know anyone who has a room to rent come September?