winter woolies

Today marks winter's first good snowfall; an all-day snowfall that left the world muffled and purified, and the roads treacherous for the unprepared, or the unskilled.

I had an unusually great day, although it's general goodness as a day certainly tacks onto someone's not having a good day at all. This lack of sympathy shall be explained.

We awoke (after an extra hour of sleep due to time change) to the snow already fallen thick. Scratch church; check fresh-baked croissants and a couple hot cups of tea. Then some relaxing in slippers with a good book.

Realizing the snow would not soon abate, we headed out to shovel the driveway and car park. This is not a small task. It can take two people working steadily over an hour to do it right. Especially if you have a landlord who doesn't provide a snow blower or similar mechanical wonder. In that time our road took it's first victim.

Our road is fairly steep in it's own right, and with a bit of ice and no sand, it's a devil. If you don't know how to drive it, you will fail in your attempt to make it uphill. Today, the first was a woman from a neighbouring apartment who put part of her car in the ditch and then hiked the rest of the way to her apartment.

We did what we could to help her, then walked up to Blockbuster to get ourselves some movies, had lunch at the Joshua Tree Cafe, (and no, U2 is not cool), watched Trainspotting, ate some homemade apple pie, started watching Shakespeare in Love, and couldn't finish it (such boring crap! I remembered why I always avoid romance, or it's evil twin, romantic comedy), and ate a pretty good omelette for dinner.

By this time our road had take many casualties; a lot of spinning out, and Martin and I watched one fellow make at least three runs to take the hill. We tired before he did. I finally went out to sand part of it. It may have helped a bit, but the climax was five cars spinning out and trying to make the hill at once. It may be evil of me, but I thought it was pretty funny. Or, maybe I am just a loser with too little to do. Oh, well.

I just love the first snow of winter... I feel kiddish, and it makes me especially appreciative of a warm little apartment, with tea and slippers whenever I want them. With an Abba cd in the stereo, I feel fit to take on winter. Sigh. Only five months to go.


chicks who do devos

If I ever had anything edifying to say, it surely doesn't feel like now. However, I thought to post something that sends me into fits of giggles.

Baby Got Book video

Oh, it makes me laugh. And quite smart.

Work is sucking up much energy these days; feeling really drained and not able to offer much once I reach home. I mentioned to Martin how I sometimes one is so aware how the toil of mankind is a curse. Day in, day out - all the maintenence of keeping a house clean, a car running, eating proper meals, getting the bills paid.

Martin is working alot of hours as well. The cold weather sets in, and tensions go up as people on the streets want a place to sleep, and they are understaffed. I fear sometimes that he will wear himself out with such long hours, extra shifts, and demanding work. But he is dedicated and a hard worker who really sees right to the core needs of the people he is serving. I am so amazed at his clarity of perception, and his non-assuming way of loving people without looking for personal glory. If I sound proud, I am. He can spell "caramel" backwards faster than I can.

I have been spending alot of time reading a very thick, very fantastic collection of vintage mystery and detective stories. They are highly entertaining, mostly because of the history revealed in the writing. The moral altitudes, the stereotypes, and the character development. I was struck recently with the notion of starting a book-lending club amoungst co-workers and friends. I know I (and other like me) have stacks of great books that a not enjoyed as they should be. I try to keep only books that are worth re-reading, however, I also would never get rid of a good book. So rather then hording a treasure, I think it would be nice to start sharing. Hm. We shall see if it goes anywhere.

Also, something I have been anticipating began last week; our Friday work floor hockey game. We have an excellent setup, including boards. It was awesome, and by Sunday I could move again. It's a great outlet for energy, and, er, aggression, and a great chance to hang out with fellow labourers from other departments.

Speaking of exercise, I think I will go eat a piece of pie.

Mmmm. Pie.


like a rockstar

There are many things I want to be. But I will never be talented enough to be anything close to the variations of my persona I think would be fun: Artist, chef, rock star, stock car or sport bike racer.

I get close sometimes, I think. I am producing about one piece of art per year, (and sometimes only when I lose a bet);I can whip up a mean breakfast for Martin; I often look at my guitars and wish I was dedicated enough to play more; and I push the rather gutless little Civic off lights, trying to bruise the ego of the fella in the lane beside me.

But am I really good at anything? I start to doubt it. And I am growing more okay with that every day. That's a good feeling; realizing you are more comfortable in your own skin than you were last week or a month ago. That good feeling is also stepping back and seeing that 'search for significance' as a dog chasing it's tail. So what if I am not particularly good at anything, and my grandmother refers to my piano playing as "banging"? I have fun when I play, and I think I'll be okay just doing things alright. And besides, partying like wannabe rockstars was never really fun anyways.

Satisfaction in the way God created us. Appreciation, even. It's a difficult thing. We're always urging each other on to improve upon ourselves, rather than just be. And I find it easier to despise myself than honour God for the way he's created me. But I am trying to let go of the past, trying to accept grace, and trying to live out this head knowledge that nothing good comes from me unless it's from God.

I mean, so what if I write that book I have always wanted to? What will it be if it's not God-lead? Ashes and dust: Futility.

And just when you think you're helpful or valuable doing a certain thing, you're plucked out and plopped somewhere else. A plan in the works is for me to go to El Salvador in December; not as a writer, researcher, or communications person, but as a leader of a team of 12 ladies aged 16-20. All I can do is steady myself as I am dropped into an unknown world of spiritual mentor to girls who have been Christians much longer than I, guide in a culture and country I do not know, teacher of things I have not yet learned.

Obviously, I am stoked, but freaked out. And I suspect that's a good way to be.

Maybe I'll come back more satisfied and less talented than ever before.


everything's a trigger

Martin and I have rented the Lethal Weapons; 1, 2 and 3, and watched the second before Martin went to work tonight. Bust my gut laughing. Humour's good, but oh, the cheese guitar riffs and the eighties vehicles are far better. It's the funniest. A gold woody station wagon - brand new in 1989. And wow - the language and nudity must have been really out there for the eighties. There's some fairly obvious gay-bashing as well. Both of us noted how much culture has changed in the last 20 years.

So watching flicks is one way we have been spending time lately. We also watched 3/4 of The Wizard of Oz; the first time Martin's seen it. Unfortunately, the DVD crapped out and he never got to see you-know-who melt. I love that movie. It scared the junk out of me when I was a small child, and ironically, it also scared the crap out of my father as a kid. (Now, he had a much better reason to be freaked; that movie has amazing visual effects for the day. I just have a totally vivid imagination.) And for anyone who watches it in the near future, check out the Munchkin soldiers goosestepping... Definitely pre-WWII.

It sounds weird to me, even as I think it, but some people are really good to watch movies with. Martin is such person. We both are willing to watch just about anything, but thankfully both gravitate away from the romances. I have never really liked to watch movies with someone before; in fact, I was notorious for passing out during. But along came Martin, and like so many other things in my life, this did an about-face. I am free to laugh as loud and long as I want to, at anything, and he enjoys it. Sometimes he watches me instead, and that feeling heats my heart. It's so good to be loved. I had no idea.

Last weekend we checked out this particularly good flea market in Hillhurst area; I think Martin's caught the garage-sale bug. It was awesome because this flea market was more like what people do in Sweden, so I got more of an understanding of what he had described to me in the past. Now, I have some not-so-secret fascinations. Shoes, and bags. More specifially, lately, retro luggage. And I picked up the most divine little set of suitcases for $15, and we got some sweet deals on a 4-CD ABBA collection, Phantom of the Opera, and Bjork. I was a happy little girl, skipping through the flea market with my green little suitcase. I may be able to retire the red pleather one I've been using for a few years now.

There were so many awesome and bizarre people flea-marketing. I love it's earthy, sensible feel. Most people were jovial and chatty; alot of easy, no-hassle conversation. Not the painful tiring chit-chat of air-conditioned malls or high-end stores, but genuine, enjoyable interaction with old guys, people with questionable mental health, and be-ringed, ageing hippies.

When we are not doing things such as this, I am spending alot of time on my own lately. It's been good; something I needed. (We had someone billeting with us for 3 weeks, and by the end, I think I was getting a form of cabin fever. There was too little space, and too much people, if you know what I mean.) Now that I have my "space" back, I feel more sane. I have been enjoying the quiet apartment, music, books, writing, etc. The thinking time has been healthy. I recently read all of Romans. This was significant for me - my Bible reading up until now has been sporadic, just reading bits and bites. Reading a book from beginning to end was enlightening and inspiring. I am in the process of rereading it, and it's really hit me how important it is to dwell on the word of God. When it sinks in, you carry it in your heart, and these verses just pop into your head at rondom moments, and it's awesome to be thinking about God's word when you are just going about your business. This is a new and awesome experience for me. Something I have been thinking about in particular: The Holy Spirit, praying on our behalf, and praying in line with the will of God.

I am also rereading the Chronicles of Narnia. I haven't counted how many times I have read them; the books are like rags, and I've owned them as long as I can remember. Literally. For me, Lewis writes the most soul-stirring allegories. Every time I read a book I have this new image of God's omnipotence, of His grace, love, fatherhood, of the fear and reverance I should feel, of the inexplicable glory. On a side note: I haven't seen The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, nor will I. I know deep down the movie will taint and ruin the purity, innocence, and reverence of the writing.

On that note, I believe I shall go bunk down with a good book and a cup of tea.