Barbara's Random Thoughts

Friday, September 30, 2005


No-one ever really dies on Alias. That's all I have to say.

| posted by Barbara | 6:21 PM |

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Continuum!

Kristy's posted about a pet theory the two of us have shared since college. This brings back so many memories! I need to go find some more pictures to illustrate.

| posted by Barbara | 7:27 PM |

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Light on the content

-I sold my old car on Monday and so I am once again a one-car family. Driving stick--especially to work--still makes me nervous, but it's getting better.
-I joined the ministry team for YAF. The first meeting was on Sunday, and I got a little overwhelmed about it earlier this week, but overall I'm excited about the opportunity to serve in ministry more consistently again.

Looking ahead:
-Seeing Carmen on Friday.
-Going backpacking for the first time next weekend. Will see how I do with the whole no bathrooms thing.

A sort of explanation-type thing:
I'm not feeling as comfortable blogging anymore. I haven't been journaling much lately, either, so I don't know if it's more a writing thing or a personal thing. Too many "I read your blog!" comments lately? I don't know. I try hard to be myself here, regardless of who might be reading, but I guess a lot of what I've been thinking about lately hasn't been bloggable: I wouldn't want to share it and you probably wouldn't want to read it, either. Being mired in self-doubt is never fun. Anyway, I hope to be more substantive here soon. I should ostensibly write something for the upcoming YAF newsletter, so maybe that will get me started.

And with that, I shall return to my regularly scheduled workday.
| posted by Barbara | 7:11 PM |

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I was very proud of myself last night--I drove into San Francisco. In my new car. Anne gave me "Barbara-proof" directions to her apartment, but I did encounter a few hills in my quest for parking. And I conquered them. And I sort of parallel parked on a hill. Not a huge hill, but a hill nonetheless. The hill-free directions didn't take into account the hill at the stop sign from Dolores onto San Jose on my way back to the freeway, but that was conquered as well.

I was so proud of myself, which, I think, is why I was humbled this morning on my way out of church, by unnecessarily, unintentionally, and repeatedly revving the engine while attempting to leave the church parking lot. I blame the large-heeled shoes I was wearing. The clutch didn't feel like it usually does! But I still feel like an idiot.

Somehow blogging my shame makes me feel better.
| posted by Barbara | 10:35 PM |

Thursday, September 22, 2005

So far

I've been perusing my bookshelves this week in search of ideas for the next book club selection. And this led me to take stock of my reading thus far in 2005. I posted this in January--a list of books I intended to read this year. And here's what I've actually read so far. Italicized are the books that appeared on the original list. (Please note the proliferation of titles that did not appear on the original list.)

Love Letters, Madeleine L'Engle
Red Suitcase, Naomi Shihab Nye
Les Miserables, Victor Hugo (yeah, so I'm still working on this)
Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
Good Grief, Lolly Winston
Daddy-Long-Legs, Jean Webster
The Clerkenwell Tales, Peter Ackroyd
The Final Solution, Michael Chabon
The Archivist, Martha Cooley (re-read)
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
I'm Not the New Me, Wendy McClure
The Blue Sword, Robin McKinley
The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
Girls in Pants, Ann Brashares
Judy Moody, Megan McDonald
The Goose Girl, Shannon Hale
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
Persuasion, Jane Austen
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon

The Grace Awakening, Chuck Swindoll
The Confessions of Max Tivoli, Andrew Sean Greer
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Ann Brashares
The Plot Against America, Philip Roth
Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco

5 out of the original list of 20. Heh. Les Mis was my summer project and I'm not even 100 pages in. I can bet you right now that I won't make it through The Once and Future King--planned as my fall/winter project. I suppose I could make it my next book club selection, but I think they'd mutiny (or just not show up).
| posted by Barbara | 12:34 AM |

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Personal victory and random crap (if you'll pardon the pun)

I drove the new car to work today with the kind companionship of Lucinda. Woo!

On a completely different note and because I can't be bothered to start a new post, I found this highly amusing: Beijing toilet trains for Games.

In July, the city vowed to launch "the largest toilet revolution in its history."

Perhaps Beijing should implement Britain's Loo of the Year Award.
| posted by Barbara | 5:52 PM |

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ahoy, mateys!

Did you hear about the pirate movie?

It's rated arrrr.

Today's dumb joke is brought to you in celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Go here for some pirate haiku.
| posted by Barbara | 6:53 PM |

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Sometime last week, summer ended. And I didn't notice. Maybe it's because I had a cold and couldn't smell that change in the air. But summer's gone and it feels and smells like fall now. ("Fall" sounds so prosaic and American. But I feel pretentious saying "autumn.") I put an extra quilt on my bed over the weekend, and I've started breaking out the sweaters. I love the cool weather.

This quote was on my poetry calendar today:

On Writing "End of Summer"
"I dropped my hoe and ran into the house and started to write this poem. It began as a celebration of wild geese. Eventually the geese flew out of the poem, but I like to think they left behind the sound of their beating wings."
--Stanley Kunitz

End of Summer
Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.

I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.

Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
the roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
that part of my life was over.

Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their population forth,
And a cruel wind blows.
| posted by Barbara | 7:42 PM |

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

For the curious

My new car!

I meant to post these earlier, but better late than never.
| posted by Barbara | 9:06 PM |

Also not in the Bible...

"Love sought is good, love given unsought is better."

I've had this quote running through my head for the last couple of days. For some reason, I thought it was from the Bible...Proverbs, perhaps. I googled it today, and it turns's Shakespeare. Confusing Shakespeare for the Bible, hmmm. Yeah, I went to Biola.

This reminds me of how in high school youth group, Jonathan and I would use quotes from hymns and pass them off as Bible verses. At least we did it knowingly. Sadly, most of the time people wouldn't notice. You can sometimes pass off Ben Franklin maxims as scriptural as well. "God helps those who help themselves"--also not in the Bible. Just FYI. In case you ever come up against me or Jonathan in a youth group debate.
| posted by Barbara | 8:49 PM |

Monday, September 12, 2005

Lambs and Cows

This morning during worship, we sang the Michael W. Smith song "Agnus Dei." Our worship leader, Jake, introduced it by mentioning that "Agnus Dei" is Latin for "Lamb of God."

During a worship team rehearsal at Green Hills, the title of this song got misspelled in the rehearsal schedule. Bill joked that "Angus Dei" must be the Scottish version of the song. Heh. When I hear this song, I often think of Bill saying "Angus!" in a fake Scottish accent. So when Jake said that "Agnus Dei" meant "Lamb of God," I wondered to myself if "Angus Dei" might mean "Cow of God."

It's a wonder I ever have any meaningful times of worship when things like this tend to go through my head on a Sunday morning.
| posted by Barbara | 4:42 AM |

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Overdue blogging...long post.

As seen in the pictures below, last weekend I went to Yosemite with YAF. This was my second time going on the YAFsemite trip, and it was nice to have the extra day of the Labor Day weekend. Last year, it was just Friday through Sunday, and I felt like I really didn't have time to hang out and talk with anyone but the people I drove there with and the people I hiked with. This year, we left mid-day on Friday, took time to go Geocaching on the way (thanks to Justin), and still got there slightly before dark. In time to enjoy grilled tri-tip, pasta salad, beer bread, and chocolate mousse for dinner. Mmm.

Saturday, I got up early and joined with the Half Dome hiking group. I never planned to go all the way to the top--instead I hiked to the top of Nevada Falls and came back (about a 7-mile loop). The falls were still beautiful, even if the water was really low. It was nice to get back to the camp mid-afternoon and have time to take a shower, then sit by the river and read and relax.

Sunday, a group of us went to a worship service at Yosemite Community Church, and it was awesome to worship there, knowing that the grandeur of Yosemite surrounded us outside! The view stepping out of church was amazing.

Sunday afternoon, I went on a short hike to Mirror Lake with Sonia and Kelly & Josh. I had a great talk with Kelly on the way there--I appreciate my small group girls! Others from our group showed up at the lake a little after we did, and it was great fun watching various people attempt to jump across the lake at its narrowest point.

Another awesome thing about the weekend was getting to share a book of poems with Elise. I love sharing books I love with people who end up loving them,'s such an Anne of Green Gables "kindred spirit" experience. =)

Monday morning, we had a worship/devotion time next to the river, with time for us to sit alone and take time to pray and hear from God. The theme for me that morning was the same it's been for the last couple of months...missions. God keeps bringing me back to that. I'm seeking out some details from a program called Nieu Communities, and there are some other steps that God's working on my heart about, so I'll see where that leads.

I started coming down with a cold on Monday, and it hit in earnest on I've felt out of it a lot this week. But Project Stick Shift is progressing. I think I frightened some children in the hills of Menlo Park on Wednesday, as I drove around with Lucinda. I'm getting better with the hills, really! The goal was to drive to work this coming Monday, but I don't know if I'll be that brave. Stupid hills.

This morning was the memorial service for "the other" Julie Chen--a really close friend of my roommate Joyce. Julie lived with us for about 3 months before she left this summer to serve with Wycliffe in the Philippines. She passed away unexpectedly about 3 weeks ago. It was an amazing service, and I was blown away by all the stories from people whose lives had been touched by Julie. She made such an impact in the lives of all who knew her--she was so vibrant and so committed to pursuing God's plan for her life. Hearing her passion for missions, for caring for others and showing them God's was such a reminder to me of God's call to follow Him completely and live life to the fullest, wherever He may lead. I didn't know her well, but her passion for life and for her Lord was an inspiration to me.
| posted by Barbara | 12:05 AM |

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Me with Sonia and Kelly at Mirror Lake. (Mirror Stream, more like it...)
| posted by Barbara | 2:03 AM |

Looking back at Nevada Falls
| posted by Barbara | 2:02 AM |

The water was SO cold, but it felt good...
| posted by Barbara | 2:02 AM |

Relaxing near Nevada Falls
| posted by Barbara | 2:02 AM |

Near Vernal Falls
| posted by Barbara | 2:01 AM |

So much for those older siblings of mine...

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.
At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.
When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.
Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.
You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.
The Birth Order Predictor

(The author of self-help books?! Hahahaha!!!)

Just another example of me thwarting expectations.
"You don't seem like a youngest child..."
"You don't act like you were homeschooled..."
And then there was: "I'm glad you're not American..."
| posted by Barbara | 1:35 AM |

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

One of the reasons I miss the GHBC staff...

When I was in Concert Choir at FC, we sang "Somewhere in My Memory" for our Christmas concert one year. The words to the song are beyond annoying. And it was the one song that our director chose to make into a reader's theater piece, in addition to our singing it. So I not only got to sing about "feeling that gingerbread feeling," I got to hear a dramatic reading of it as well.

I grew to hate the song.

The tune of this song is a recurring theme in the Home Alone movies. Which is fine...if you don't know the words. I cannot watch Home Alone because I get the stupid song stuck in my head and it drives me crazy. "Precious moments, special people, happy faces, I can see..."

Jamie, one of the pastors at GHBC, loves the Home Alone movies, and will play the soundtracks endlessly as soon as Thanksgiving is over. When I worked at GHBC, my desk was right outside Jamie's office door, and I would groan audibly every time he put on the CD. He delighted in turning up the volume.

Today, I got an email from Jamie:

"Barbara, I was going to send you a quick note to mention that Christmas is only a few months away which means that we will soon be able to watch Home Alone 1 & 2 which contains what I know to be your favorite Christmas song of all times but since I want to ask for help I wont mention the song."

No points for guessing which song is currently stuck in my head. "Gazing at the fireglow...feeling that gingerbread feeeeeeling..."

| posted by Barbara | 11:34 PM |

Friday, September 02, 2005

I don't want to be a one-post-a-week kinda girl.

I've been reading a lot of Naomi Shihab Nye's poetry lately. Highly recommended. I love this:

Some days we wad our papers up
and throw them away. Some days, some years.
And the ones who come close but do not love us,
cannot love us, I'd say to let them pass through
painlessly, rivers of dust through a window.
They have nothing to do with you.

--From "In the Public Schools"

And I've quoted this before, but it bears repeating:

I want to be famous
in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole,
not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot
what it could do.

--From "Famous"

And with that, I'm off to Yosemite for the weekend.
| posted by Barbara | 7:35 PM |