Friday, August 26, 2005

It's my last day

How surreal.

Yesterday my co-workers held a little surprise gathering with cake and presents. It was lovely, and unexpected. (I thought maybe a card, 'cause we do that. But the rest was a genuine surprise.)

Last night I went out with my sister, niece, and three other good girlfriends for supper. Lots and lots of fun!

I went to bed with Harry Potter at 8:30. Asleep by 9. Must have needed it.

Today, I have to pack up (including electronically) and say my good-byes. If I thought focus was a problem before...

Tomorrow I'm taking a 6 a.m. bus to meet my beloved and load up the truck with his things; Sunday we're back here to pack up my crap. Then we're heading north for my sister's wedding (she's home now, and slowly recovering), then down to move, and then I start school!

Not sure when I'll be able to blog again after today. Until we chat again (and well beyond!), be well and blessed my friends!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tribute to Brother Roger

Jim Taylor has a nice post about Brother Roger and the Taizé way of worship. Read it here.

Mr. Happy strikes again

While I've never really described in detail some of the stunts he's pulled, I've spoken briefly of Mr. Happy before. I've had little trouble with him lately (at least, he hasn't been turning off my power whenever the mood strikes him), but last night I heard a story from my new neighbours about his latest antics. I shake my head in wonder...

Last night the new neighbours were having trouble with the power in their apartment. (I'll admit, my first instinct was to wonder if Mr. Happy had anything to do with it, given my experiences and my knowledge that he has more control over the other apartments than a regular tenant should.) They do not have phone service yet, so they asked if I could call our landlord and ask him to investigate. I did, and he said he would ask Mr. Happy to check things out. When I relayed this information to the neighbours, the woman said, "Oh, he's the guy who keeps flushing."

I must have looked confused, because she went on to tell me that the past few days he'd been flushing the toilet repeatedly whenever she or her kids took a shower. There was a leak of some kind, and rather than having it fixed or at least letting them know, he spent his time standing in the bathroom, flushing his toilet until they got out. (This guy gets off by trying to intimidate women and kids - in this apartment he gets both.)

Again, I have to shake my head in wonder. I have moved beyond contempt for him and into pity - it must be a sad life he's leading. I also feel sorry for whoever is moving into my apartment next week...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Look at me! I'm a book!


You're The Guns of August!

by Barbara Tuchman

Though you're interested in war, what you really want to know is what
causes war. You're out to expose imperialism, militarism, and nationalism for what they
really are. Nevertheless, you're always living in the past and have a hard time dealing
with what's going on today. You're also far more focused on Europe than anywhere else in
the world. A fitting motto for you might be "Guns do kill, but so can

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Link from Lorna of see-through faith.

Blog maintenance

Last week I received my first piece of comment spam. Not a huge deal, but I don't want it to get huge. So, like other bloggers before me, I'm taking advantage of the new "word verification" feature to nip this in the bud.

Prayers to calm my racing mind

This morning I woke up around 5:30. Normally, I can get back to sleep with little difficulty - especially when I have an hour left before the alarm goes off! But the last two days have been different - I wake up with my mind racing, and I can't turn it off. Yesterday morning, I tossed and turned and drifted in and out until the alarm went off. This morning, I decided to get up, and to do something that tends to fall by the wayside when things get frantic: spend some time with God in prayer.

It was tough to quiet my racing mind and just be. To help me focus, I got up and grabbed my copy of Women Pray: Voices through the Ages, from Many Faiths, Cultures, and Traditions, edited by Monica Furlong.

I love the book, but I tend to find myself drawn to the following two prayers. This morning was no exception.
The prayer has great power
Which we pray with all our strength.
It makes an embittered heart mellow,
A sad heart joyful,
A foolish heart wise,
A weak heart strong,
A blind heart clear-seeing,
A cold heard ardent.
It draws God who is great into a heart which is small.
It drives the hungry soul up to the fullness of God.
It unites the two lovers, God and soul, in a place of bliss,
Where they converse long of love
Mechthild of Magdeburg

Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
Troubles forecasted
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.
Susan Coolidge

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Look at me! I'm a dagger!

Tanto Weilder
Your personality is best represented by the
Japanese dagger, called a Tanto. A person who
wields a Tanto knows better than anyone that
you cant judge on appearance alone. You have
the unique ability to see the full potential in
people and objects long before anyone else has
a clue. You are clever and are probably
underestimated a lot by others, but YOU know
who you are and exactly what you are capable

What sort of Weapon best Represents your Personality? (anime pics!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks to SPC, who is also a Tanto...

How to Be a Lady

Meg has posted some thoughts on the book How to Be a Lady: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy by Candace Simpson-Giles. Seems like an interesting read - judging not only by the snippets she provides, but by her preamble:
Ordinarily, the sort of thing that touts demure and lady-like behavior sets me off but I kind-of read this book as a guide to being a decent human being, a guide to curtailing the number of people you piss off on any given day and that, I think, is something we could all learn from. And just so's you know, there are companion books on gentlemanly behavior which, I suspect, are more similar than not to this text.

The countdown is on!

This is my last Tuesday at work. It's not nearly as exciting as yesterday was, because yesterday was my last Monday at work, but it's a pretty close second!

I'm spending my time trying to get my materials in order, because I don't want to leave a big mess for my replacement. (Whatever I leave for my replacement in terms of reference materials and instructions will be more than what I got, but I still want to be as helpful as possible.)

It seems very surreal that I'm almost done at this job, that I'm moving, and that I'll be in minister school in a few weeks. It's been so long in development (about 20 years or so!) that it hardly seems real that I'm actually doing it. I'm excited and terrified and thrilled and freaking out and rejoicing, all at the same time. No wonder I'm so tired!

In life news, my baby sister (owner of Sauer) is getting married in less than two weeks. She seems to have had more than her fair share of pre-wedding stresses - crazy step-mother in law, lost bridesmaids dresses, emcee cancelling at the last minute, stuff like that. But the kicker came last Thursday night, when she was hit in the head by a baseball during her weekly rec league game. (The ball was thrown to her - it hit the top of her glove and bounced off into her forehead. She, like her big sister Jen, is quite klutzy.)

She's been in the hospital with a concussion since Friday afternoon, because she was still getting sick and had a terrific headache. Yesterday my parents drove her two hours to a regional hospital for a CAT scan. It came back negative (thanks be to God!), but she's still in the hospital. She's hoping to get sprung today. I'm thankful she's in such good hands, and praying that she gets the rest she needs to heal.

My mom says the freakiest thing has been that my sister has been quite calm through the whole ordeal - it's like the wedding stress got knocked out of her. (Bad pun intended.) I think that's a good thing, but Mom has been much closer to the wedding plans than I, and is worried because, "It's not her." Personally, I think my sister is realizing that there are more important things in life than centre pieces and seating arrangements, and that even if things don't go exactly as planned, they'll be wonderful. She's marrying the man she loves.

Friday, August 19, 2005


No beard this time...

Link via Terrapin Station.


Wow. Powerful story.

Thanks to Feeble Knees for the link.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Punctuation is my strong suit, honest!

You are a STUDENT of the English language!

You are on your way to becoming
gramatically sound; however, you must keep
studying if you ever want to become a master.
You do manage to speak better than most
Americans, but then again, that's not really
saying too much. Keep studying, little

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla

Link from Becky.

I'm conflicted, but I'm not sure why

I saw this today over at Waving or Drowning?.

My first reaction was laughter. It's obviously satirical, playing up one of the essential flaws in the anti-gay marriage argument.

My second reaction was unease, but I'm having a hard time translating this niggly feeling of discomfort into words...

UPDATE: I removed the graphic, because it was saved on my work computer and since I only have one more week of work, it would disappear anyway. You'll have to head to Mike's site to see it.

Also, I think I've figured out why I felt uncomfortable with the site. It makes fun of the protestors, which I do find funny, but it also makes light of a serious issue. However, sometimes I need to lighten up and not take things so seriously.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Once again, I'm a bearded old man...

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

That is my Meyers-Briggs type. Kinda creepy...

Thanks to Emily for this quiz!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

8 days to go

In about an hour, I will only have eight more days at this job. I have things to do around here in that time - but I'm having a really hard time focusing. But that's nothing new...

Susan Rose at Musings of a Discerning Woman has been struggling with this, too. It's nice to know I'm not alone in these feelings, and I admire her attitude.
It is a struggle though. Each and every day. The first struggle is to make it to work. Then to stay focused while I’m there. Then to find it buried in me to do this high level work when I’d much rather be, oh, working with the homeless or organizing a peace vigil or writing a parish newsletter or talking with God. But this is my job right now, so off to work.

My prayer for the next eight working days is to find the focus and motivation to do my job that have been missing for the last couple of weeks while I'm at work, and to focus on the things I need to do at home before the move while I'm at home. I'm just too muddled otherwise. ;)

More pet photos

These are my cats, Dizzy and Ella. They're brother and sister, five years old. They get along very well - and now and then I catch them in poses like this.

My dad will be taking them up north this weekend, keeping at their place while we move and unpack and attend weddings and such. I appreciate that, and am comforted that they'll be in good hands while we're going insane driving all over the province. But I'm going to miss them.

But first - a quiz!

What is it with my quiz alter egos being old, bearded men?

You scored as Albus Dumbledore. Strong and powerful you admirably defend your world and your charges against those who would seek to harm them. However sometimes you can fail to do what you must because you care too much to cause suffering.

Albus Dumbledore


Hermione Granger


Remus Lupin


Ginny Weasley


Ron Weasley


Harry Potter


Draco Malfoy


Sirius Black


Severus Snape


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with

Thanks to Jen at .:ordinary time:. for this one!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Off to #3

Heading west today for my cousin's wedding - third out of four, third straight. Getting very tired, but looking forward to this one - I haven't seen most of this side of the family since I left for China, or well before, and my beloved has yet to meet any of them. The whole event should be loud, fun, and exhausting. ;)

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fun with Google

Found this on Beth's site, wide-eyed and laughing:
Directions: Type "(your name) is" with the quotes, into a Google search then pick out your favorite 10 responses. Copy, then repost your responses:
So, here are mine!

1. Jen is something one learns rather than something one is born with.
2. Jen is in the money!
3. Jen is not only an essence, but the essence of all things.
4. jen is out of control
5. Jen is an exceptional person who is to be worshipped and adored at all times.
6. Jen is a bear
7. Jen is an out-of-work internet celebrity.
8. Jen is afraid that she will go to prison.
9. Jen is not better or luckier than you
10. Jen is the coolest person ever.

Too much fun!

Making up new words

From Meg at Bridget Jones Goes to Seminary.

Very, very funny - the definitions are priceless. My two favourties are "sarcas-hole" and "dominitrix."

There is some discussion in the comments over "snarky" - most people agree that it's already a word. It's been in our family lexicon for years, typically used to irritate an already-irritable family member by taunting in a high-pitched annoying voice, "Snarky, aren't we?"

My brain is full...

...and something's being pushed out to make room for all of the moving logistics we've been discussing.

I think it's my ability to focus on work tasks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Just playing around with Blogger's photo uploading tools.

This is my sister and almost-brother-in-law's border collie puppy, Sauer. He's much bigger now - this photo was taken in my parents' kitchen in May. He's adorable, energetic, and incredibly smart.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Who knew?

You are Gandalf!
Wise and resourceful, you are an efficient person
that knows what you're doing.

--What Lord of the Rings character are you?--
brought to you by Quizilla

I am not a huge fan of LOTR, but I do know who this guy is. Interesting...

(I love these Internet quizzes! Thanks to Gord for this one!)

Back to the grind, as they say


Back home, back to work, and back to the blog!

Last week was a busy, busy week, and it's only going to get busier as we prepare to move, I wrap things up at work, and we attend more weddings. (Two down, two to go.)

Since I last posted (well, not counting yesterday), Uncle V. has continued to make amazing progress and should be making the long drive home soon. (Due to the nature of his accident, he can't fly, and the ride home will be longer because they have to avoid the mountains.) We had dinner with Aunt V. last week, and she's in good spirits. Exhausted and anxious to get her husband home, but in good spirits.

Wedding 2 was also great - this one was a lot more frantic for us, because my beloved was the Man of Honour for the bride. The ceremony and reception were held outdoors, in the couple's back yard. The weather was perfect - bit warm, but not humid (for the first time all week!). There were no major hitches, the service was lovely, and we had a nice time catching up with friends of my beloved. All told, we had a great time.

And now, here I am at work! I was dreading coming back, fearing mountains of work waiting for me, but that wasn't the case. I'm now preparing for my departure, which is a bit weird but very exciting. Finally, I can tell people what it is I do around here! ;)

I had two surprise visits yesterday - one from my sister and niece, and one from a friend of 15 years whom I haven't seen since before I went to China. She brought her two daughters, ages 5 and 2, and we had a short but lovely lunch together. It was a very nice way to get back into the work week. :)

On the home front, I have to resume packing - and purging! My beloved and I have to figure out the logistics of getting out of this apartment and moved into the new one, up to my sister's wedding, and back in time for orientation. We have to hand off the cats to my folks for a few weeks (since I can't really put them in storage with the rest of my stuff!), and figure out when we'll get them back. We have to finalize apartment details, cancel services here and set up new services there. I know I'm forgetting things, but it all boils down to this: We have a lot to do.

So far, I think I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping a lid on any freak outs. (That's not to say I haven't freaked out a bit, but I'm keeping them to a minimum.) I'm doing my best to not stress out, to remain confident that things will work out, and take time to relax and pray and recharge.

The bright side is, in all the brouhaha of weddings and travel and moving plans, I don't have a lot of time to panic about becoming a student again! ;)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Catching up on my blog reading

Awesome post from Mike at Waving or Drowning?

Food for thought, indeed.

(I will post a "real" post soon, honest!)

UCCan Blogroll

Richard at Looking Backward...Looking Forward has set up a blogroll for United Church of Canada bloggers. I finally got the code to work (some days I'm not all that computer-savvy), and the blogroll is in my sidebar.

If you'd like to be added, head on over and let Richard know.

Thursday, August 04, 2005



How strange to be away from the Internet for a whole week! I`m long on updates but short on time, so I`m resorting to bullet points. Once I`m back home, I`ll be more verbose, I promise. ;)

-Uncle V. is making a miraculous recovery. Details are slowly emerging - basically, he suffered a series of mini-strokes during a diving trip, likely while underwater. Dramatic sea rescue, time in the decompression chamber, extensive therapy, excellent medical care, and many prayers later, he should be well enough to travel soon. Everyone is looking forward to his return. There`s a long road ahead, but there is plenty of support in place from friends and family. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

-Wedding 1 was great. It was late starting and brutally hot in the chapel, but the service was lovely and the choir who performed was amazing. Very nice start to the 2005 Wedding Season. :)

-We found a place to live! We made a lot of calls and looked at several places, and found a nice two-bedroom in a quiet, residential neighbourhood. It`s not quite as close to downtown or the school as we`d hoped, but it`s on the bus route and it`s not too far away. We`re happy and excited, and relieved to have that major chore taken care of.

-Wedding 2 is on Saturday, so we`ve got two days to relax and pack and do errands and relax before the festivities and the trek back north.

-I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on! ;) I`ve been missing that, and can`t wait to have some time to hang out online.