Barbara's Random Thoughts

Friday, October 29, 2004

Throw Rocks

Just recently figured out free picture hosting. And so, because I can, here's a picture.

Image Hosted by

I love this picture. It was taken on the beach at the Mumbles this summer in Wales. Jude and I love to use the phrase, "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them." Well, here you have boys throwing rocks.
| posted by Barbara | 10:59 PM |

Thursday, October 28, 2004


I was just looking at some of Lloydie's photos of the adventures she's having in Scotland, and now I'm longing for another traveling adventure. I'm thinking of my semester in Italy and really missing that freedom I had to just hop on a train and head off to explore. Tomorrow I'm going to hop in my car and drive 6 hours down the coast for a weekend in SoCal. Somehow it's not the same...
| posted by Barbara | 10:19 PM |


Why am I so excited about the network premiere of the Fellowship of the Ring on the WB? I own the extended edition on DVD. I can watch it anytime. Without commercials. Why am I marking my calendar? Gosh, I'm a geek.

Perhaps I shouldn't go on to mention that I have plans to listen to the BBC radio drama of the Lord of the Rings on my drive to LA this weekend.
| posted by Barbara | 6:09 PM |

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Unknown

I ran across this blog recently. And I was procrastinating there just now, avoiding queries about ISBN requests, and I found this quote from Thomas Merton’s Dialogues with Silence, which I haven't read, but am now putting on my list. In the last couple of years, God's been teaching me a lot about trusting Him with the unknown. And this prayer seemed especially appropriate today.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does actually please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I never do anything apart from this desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may not know anything about it. Therefore, I will trust you always, even though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are always with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
| posted by Barbara | 8:10 PM |

One Year

Saturday, October 23rd marked the one-year anniversary of my move to the Bay area. I celebrated by throwing a housewarming party with my roommate Julie. And so, Saturday was a blur of cleaning and preparing, running around making sure the party was going as planned, and then finally sitting down to enjoy some games and conversation with good friends. Then afterwards, I had some good hangout time with all my roommates. But the day didn't offer much opportunity for reflection, so last night I sat down and tried to pull some thoughts together. And I'm posting this today in honor of another little milestone--a year ago today was my first day of work up here.

The past year has been full of beginnings--new people, new places, new experiences. I settled into a new job in a new place. I found a church. I made some awesome friends, both at work and at church. I even got promoted! It's been quite a year. And I appreciate it all the more now, looking back, because of the unexpected blessing it's been.

A year ago, I wasn't sitting around thinking about what the next year would hold. I had no idea what this year would hold, so I tried not to think about it. I'm not overly fond of the unknown. So many people commented how they admired me for doing this, said how brave I was, how exciting to see me stepping out in faith in such a way. And none of that made much sense to me. I honestly don't think I thought this all through before I did it. The job opportunity came, it was in the industry I wanted, it was on the West coast, so I took the job and moved. I'd always said I wanted to leave SoCal, after all.

I got here and tackled one thing at a time, like a checklist: Find an apartment. Learn the new job. Find my way around. Find a church. Meet people. Make friends. I got through each day, one at a time, and tried hard not to look back. I didn't realize before I did this how hard it would be to make a new place home, to find a community here. But here I was, so that's what I did.

And now it's been a year. Looking back, even at Saturday's party, I'm blown away by who came, and by how many really great people have become my friends. And by what this past year has held for me. It hasn't come easily. I do miss my friends and family in SoCal. And I'm still building friendships and a community here. It takes time. But as I look back, and as I look around me, I feel so thankful to be where I am.

Here's to next year.
| posted by Barbara | 7:01 PM |

Monday, October 25, 2004


I use this word too much. Please, somebody stop me!
| posted by Barbara | 8:30 PM |

A little story (not for the very squeamish)

This weekend, in the madness of preparing for our housewarming party, I managed to cut open my right hand pinky finger. Not badly, just enough to make it bleed. A lot. It didn't even hurt. This is where I encountered a problem. Since it didn't hurt, I didn't notice that I'd cut myself. (I think it happened while I was washing dishes.) Anyway, I discovered the cut while I was blow-drying my hair. I couldn't figure out why there were red smears on my sweatshirt. Then I noticed red smears on the blow dryer. THEN, I finally noticed the blood dripping from my finger. What kind of a freak am I to have not noticed that my finger was bleeding all over the bathroom?

I cleaned off my finger and applied a Band-Aid, then cleaned off the blow dryer and the bathroom sink. I changed my shirt, got out the stain remover, and got rid of the blood smears. After having accomplished all of the above, I looked down and discovered more blood smears all over one leg of my jeans. ARGH! I changed again, tackled more blood smears with stain remover, and headed back into the kitchen, where I found an amused and slightly grossed-out roommate who pointed out the blood that was smeared onto both kitchen towels. Sigh. At least I noticed the gaping wound before I made my vacuum cleaner cookie bars. (All of our housewarming guests are now breathing a collective sigh of relief.) I replaced the towels, cleaned a couple of blood spots off the kitchen floor and stove, and thought I was done for the day. We had a nice housewarming party in our nice clean house, and I was happy.

Then yesterday I discovered two little bloody fingerprints on the side of my soup container in the fridge. Sigh.

And you thought I was done, didn't you? Alas, no. I went to bed last night, and tossed back the top quilt to find three more little bloody fingerprints. What is my problem?!?! How can a person bleed all over the freaking house and NOT NOTICE IT?!?!
| posted by Barbara | 8:22 PM |

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The rain is here!

And I've missed it. However, today's rainy-day contentment is marred just a bit by a not-so-lovely smell in our hallways. Apparently the elevator is leaking hydraulic oil. Woo. And my office? Right around the corner from the elevator. There are doors open & fans on, but still the smell remains. Breathing this air just can't be good. Sigh.
| posted by Barbara | 6:01 PM |

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Tonight on my way home from work, I was listening to NPR and heard of the beheading of Kenneth Bigley. This news was sandwiched in with other headlines about the evening's presidential debate: Another hostage was beheaded. Debate tonight.

I remember the way I felt when I heard about the beheading of Nick Berg. Shock. Horror. Disbelief. Fear.

And the news was everywhere I turned. On the radio, the TV, all over the internet. But tonight, it was just another story. A big story, yes--but just one among others.

I know there have been other beheadings since then.

Nick Berg.

Kim Sun-il.

Eugene Armstrong.

Jack Hensley.

Kenneth Bigley.

With each victim, the news becomes less shocking. Add another victim to the list, and it becomes more commonplace. Another beheading in Iraq. Presidential debate tonight.

But I also know that my reaction remains the same. I can't hear those words without the same sense of dread. It's a tight, sick feeling in my throat that doesn't diminish no matter how many times I hear: Hostage. Beheading. Iraq.

It's a feeling that's there even as I write these words.

And this isn't something I can get used to. It isn't something anyone should have to get used to.
| posted by Barbara | 6:52 AM |

Thursday, October 07, 2004

How not to begin your preface


We're sorry the book costs so much, but the
publisher can't give it away for free.

Sigh. What am I going to do with this author?

| posted by Barbara | 2:06 AM |

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


This new position, added to my old responsibilities, is keeping me really busy. I'm enjoying it, but I'm a bit overwhelmed. Today's agenda? I must contact a supplement author, finish an art manuscript, get a manuscript into production, get a glossary to production, check a sample chapter, review a study guide, and do a million other things. I can't wait till they hire my replacement, but it'll be another two weeks at least. Sigh.
| posted by Barbara | 6:26 PM |