Barbara's Random Thoughts

Friday, March 31, 2006

Happy birthdays

My sister, in an email yesterday: "Can you believe Johnny will be TWO tomorrow? How old does that make you?! Ha ha." My response? "Still younger than you!" Ha.

So. Two years ago today, this boy became part of my life:

Happy birthday to my nephew Johnny.

And because I neglected to post about her birthday a couple weeks ago, happy birthday to my niece Hannah as well.

This is really just an excuse to show you how adorable my sister's kids are. Posted by Picasa


| posted by Barbara | 6:38 PM |

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Currently listening...

The Innocence Mission

Georgia, it grew in the night when you thought it was
tired, and how can it always recover and come
and want to whirl you around with your eyes closed,
no matter how you say: I won't go,
go, go.

Georgia, we follow along, it goes pretty far.
You go ahead, I'm going to wait in the car.
Instead of run with my feet when they won't go.
Okay I will, but I don't know.
Go, go

And you would think now hope would be tired,
but it's all right.
You would think now hope would be tired,
but it's all right
You would think tired, ragged and oil-brown
but it's all right

And I know it seems useless,
I know how it always turns out

Georgia, since everything's possible we will still
go, go.

And you would think now hope would be tired
but it's all right,
it's all right


| posted by Barbara | 11:44 PM |

Personal DNA

Because everybody's doing it. Hover your mouse over the different colors. Very cool.

Considerate Creator

And here are the details, if you want to know more or are stalking me:
My Personal Dna Report
| posted by Barbara | 7:00 PM |

Friday, March 24, 2006

25, 27, and 29

Tomorrow (25th) two friends of mine will celebrate their (27th and 29th) birthdays. I thought I'd celebrate with some Austen.

"A woman of seven and twenty can never hope to feel or inspire affection again, and if her home be uncomfortable, or her fortune small, I can suppose that she might bring herself to submit to the offices of a nurse, for the sake of the provision and security of a wife."
--Marianne, in Sense and Sensibility

"It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before; and generally speaking, if there has been neither ill health nor anxiety, it is a time of life at which scarcely any charm is lost."

One age fares rather better than the other.

Speaking of ages and birthdays, I am turning neither 27 nor 29 next week. Anybody have a good quote for 28?
| posted by Barbara | 10:32 PM |

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

You're my friend if I owe you money. Or if you owe me money. Or something.

I'm beginning to think that one of the signs of community and friendship is reciprocal debt.

When Heather and I were roommates, we always had some sort of debt going on between us. We'd go out for dinner and I'd offer to pay since I owed her for the last movie we'd seen together. Or I wouldn't have cash and so she'd pay for dinner and the next can see where this is going.

Yoori (another ex-roommate) and I did the same thing. We usually kept a running tally on the fridge of who owed what. There was one time when she paid me back with a sweater. She'd ordered it from J. Crew for $20, it was a bit small for her, and she owed me $20. So I got the sweater.

Yesterday, a neighbor girl tried to deliver and receive payment for some Girl Scout cookies Joyce had ordered. This was the poor girl's third attempt, so Julie and I paid her ("I've got $2.75, do you have 75 cents?"), and Joyce paid us back when she got home. I had borrowed a 37-cent stamp from Joyce earlier in the week, so that left the debt at...38 cents. Joyce paid me back with one 37-cent stamp and a penny. Awesome.

I go through the debt thing a bit with my coworkers, but on a much smaller scale. Anne often borrows change to make up the 60 cents needed for her Diet Coke caffeine fix.

I bring all of this up because we had a YAF ministry team meeting and dinner last night. At the end of the meeting, Lori handed money to Daryl to pay him back for the last dinner we had as a team. Then we all went out to eat. When the check arrived, Jenn handed me $7 to pay me back for a movie we'd seen together. My $7 from Jenn immediately went towards what I owed for dinner, and I turned to Jason and asked if I could borrow money to cover the rest. Debt, my friends. This is what it means to be in community.
| posted by Barbara | 1:13 AM |

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In honor of the day and my Irish heritage, I am wearing a green stripey sweater. And very green and stripey socks with shamrocks on them. They are truly obnoxious. Heather got them for me several years ago in Dublin because...well, because Heather buys me weird gifts.

The parents are coming to visit this weekend--they'll be here tonight. Plans include the Stanford Theatre, Max's Opera Cafe, and possibly the de Young or the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park if the weather cooperates.

Um...that's all.
| posted by Barbara | 7:20 PM |

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Commenting on the commenters

This was kinda fun. Especially since I didn't think there even WERE 15 people who comment here. you go:

Go to your page and list the last fifteen people who have commented you. If someone has commented twice, skip to the next new commenter.

1. Kristy
2. Dave
3. Yungman (Justin)
4. Ed
5. Jessica
6. David Seruyange
7. Chloe
8. Jay Z (Jason)
9. Julie (S.)
10. Tracey
11. Julie (C.)
12. Charina
13. GS (Dan)
14. Joe G.
15. Elise

Have you ever kissed 4? Let's just start right in there, shall we? That would be a no.
What's the best memory you have of 10? As we have never met, the memories would have to be of reading her blog. But those are good memories!
Why are you friends with 9? She emailed me on bubbs, we met up, we started reading each others' blogs...
When's the next time you're gonna see 6? Aw, that's a bummer of a question, cause I don't know. The last time I saw him was over a year ago, when he was working in SF for a week. Come visit CA again, David!
Tell something juicy about number 15. Heehee...I guess I could, but that's just mean.
What do you like about 8? He's always got something positive to say, and he's always willing to pitch in and help out. Even when he's got one arm in a sling...
Is number 1 attractive? Yeah, but she's just not my type. ;-)
What was your first impression of 7? Another "we've never met." I'll go with my first impression of her blog: I noticed that she was listening to Over the Rhine. Which is automatically cool.
How did you meet 3? We met at YAF, but I didn't get to know him much until Yosemite and backpacking last year. And when he started fixing random things at our house and saving episodes of Lost for me. And through blogging, of course...
Do you think 13 could kill someone? Hahahaha!!! Definitely. I say that without any sarcasm whatsoever. It's so incredibly appropriate that #13 is Dan...
Is 11 your best friend? My best friend doesn't seem to read my blog anymore. =( But Julie C.'s awesome! I miss her now she's in LA for law school.
Do you think 2 has a crush on you? Seeing as we've never met, I'll say that's a no.
Who do you spend the most time with? Probably #15 these days. We haven't hung out in a while...but...dinner tonight!
What is the last thing you did with 1? We hung out on New Year's Eve, played Book Lovers' Trivial Pursuit, and watched Sixteen Candles. I don't know how Nathan put up with us.
Have you ever been to 3's house? Yep. Game night!
Would you ever kiss 5? That would just be weird.
How do you know 4? We met at YAF...maybe on retreat a couple years ago? And we were in a very short-lived small group together (for a total of about a week), until I ditched them for a women's small group. Sorry, Ed.
Have you ever slept with 5? Wow, 5 just gets all the intrusive questions. No.
Do you think 6 is sexy? Well, if only he looked more like Robert Smith...
Have you ever liked 7? As we've never met, and I don't like girls like that, the answer would be no.
Where is the last place you went with 8? Game night at his apartment.
Are you real close to 9? Not real close, but we book club together. =)
What kind of relationship do you have with 10? It's purely an online relationship...that sounds wrong. Um. I read her blog.
Have you ever kissed 11? We prefer the high-five.
Have you ever been to the movies with 12? Nope--maybe we should sometime. =)
Have you ever gotten in trouble with 13? Haha...quite possibly. Do late Shakespeare papers count?
Would you ever make a move on 14? Here we go again with the intrusive. (I guess #5 is off the hook now.) Nope. I really don't "make moves" anyway.
What do you and 15 talk about the most? Lately, about how we need to hang out! Usually...poetry, music, friendships, God...lots 'o stuff.

(Swiped from #2)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pray for me, and I'll pray for you

Sunday's sermon on Eph. 1:15-23 focused on praying for others on a deeper level. I've been thinking about this quite a bit the past few days. The passage is one that I've prayed specifically for a good friend of mine for several years, but somehow I hadn't really thought about prayer before in the ways that Danny discussed.

He talked about how often we pray only on a surface level--only focusing on the experiences of ours and others' lives: for this person to find a job, for that person to get well, for this relationship to be reconciled. We pray for circumstantial things--and that's ok--but there's so much more to prayer, so much more to be asked of God. After all, "his incomparably great power for us who believe" is outlined dramatically in this same passage: Paul goes off about it in verses 19-23.

So many times, I find myself not knowing what to ask God in a given circumstance, not knowing how to pray for a friend, because I'm not sure what I should pray for the outcome to be. And so this idea--which should perhaps have been more obvious to me--provided a bit of an answer to that. I've been challenged to pray for the deeper issues of spiritual formation instead of the surface issues of events and circumstances.

One of Danny's points was that we often pray for circumstances to change so that we don't have to change. That reminded me of a W. H. Auden quote: "We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die." I don't think Auden meant it in a spiritual sense necessarily, but that's where it hits me. We ourselves need to be changed, though we would rather pray for everything to be fixed for us. Maybe that's why prayer often seems to disappoint: because we're asking for the wrong thing to be changed. And that brings me to the part of the sermon I most needed to hear: instead of praying for circumstances to change, perhaps we should instead be praying for those circumstances to change us.


Ides \YDZ\, plural noun:
In the ancient Roman calendar the fifteenth day of March, May, July, and October, and the thirteenth day of the other months.

I had no idea that "Ides" referred to the thirteenth in some months. Innnnteresting.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Poems...and more Prufrock

Vote for America's Favorite Poem. Prufrock is currently in the lead. I would have preferred a larger selection, but oh well.

And because Prufrock has been frequently mentioned around these parts might want to check out this frat-boy version of the poem. It's a bit crass. But come on:

"I'm gettin' old, man...I'm gettin' old...
Gonna wear my pleated khakis rolled."

That's good stuff right there.


So this is being grown up

The year 2000 was a big wedding year for me. It was the summer I attended five weddings in four weekends, as well as a few other weddings not occurring on consecutive weekends. Julie & Brian, Paul & Bonnie, Amy & Joe, Pam & Marcos, Amy & Uel, Sarah & Dan, Jacob & Jeanette, Michelle & Sean...I think I attended a bridal shower or a wedding every single weekend that summer.

Weddings haven't been clustered together quite so closely since then, although last year saw a wave of babies among many friends (5, to be exact). I thought that was the next wave and that should be it for a while.

But the past couple of weeks have resulted in the announcement of 2 more pregnancies and an engagement. Sadly, my first reaction to the engagement announcement was to think "Here we go again!" I really am very happy for them. I sincerely am. But I feel just a little like Anne of Green Gables: "How horrible it is that people have to grow up -- and marry -- and CHANGE!"

In other related news, my friend Suzanne recommends eHarmony.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Reading, writing, and...well, we'll just leave off the arithmetic

For a little over a year, I've been meeting with various friends for a book club. (I still feel somewhat middle-aged-housewife saying "book club." Oh well.) It's interesting to me how this has affected my reading habits. Book club books more readily push their way to the front of the reading queue--because I have to finish the book on time and come up with something at least semi-intelligent to say about it. The closer book club gets, the more pressing the need to complete the chosen book.

I've mentioned before that I own an embarrassingly large number of books that I haven't yet read. Add to these the books I buy because I'm excited to read them right away. (Or because I found something promising on the remainder table.) I try to shoehorn these into our book club selections, but they keep getting shot down. I guess I'm just too democratic. Darn you book clubbers! (Completely random aside: "book clubbers" reminds me of an old Newsboys song from when I was in high school: "Breakfast Clubbers, say the motto / that he taught us to repeat: / 'You will lose it in your gym class / if you wait till noon to eat.'" Man, I haven't thought of the Newsboys in ages...)

Then there are the books borrowed from friends. Julie lent me the first of the Lymond Chronicles in November, maybe earlier. I've only recently invested time in it, because I've been distracted by book club books and potential book club books. But a borrowed book has a greater sense of immediacy than one I already own. After all, I can read my books any time.

Now, add the library to the mix. Library books are even more immediate. They must go back in three weeks! Yes, they can be renewed, but not indefinitely. And I am weak at the library. I went to return a book last night, with the halfhearted goal of walking out empty-handed. If I'd been wholly committed to this goal, I would have returned the book at the slot outside, rather than walking in. Walking in was a sign of weakened resolve: "Oh, I'll just walk past the new fiction..." I left with three more books. Now these will push their way further up in the queue.

And so, I am left with a shelf full of books I wholeheartedly intended to read, once upon a time. This is the area of my life where I am an optimist. I will read them, someday! (Keep me away from the library and bookstore, and I might just be ok.)

Aaaand, writing. On my way to Bible study on Tuesday night, some music I was listening to and some things kicking around in my head led to a couple of ideas for poems and an idea for something to write for the YAF newsletter. That was cool. I feel like I haven't had much to write lately, or rather, I haven't had the words in which to say it. Especially when it comes to poetry. Ironically, a creative writing class at Biola sort of turned off the writing a bit for me. I think I got to the point in that class where I could evaluate my writing better, and realized: hey, my poetry kind of sucks. Since then, I haven't written many poems that I feel are worthwhile. But reading more poetry lately has helped. I started tinkering with a couple of poems on Tuesday, and I'll probably sit on them for a while, but I might post one soon if I manage to convince myself that it doesn't suck.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

I don't have a title.

So I put up a new template, then promptly neglect the blog. Sorry.

I don't have much for you today, either.

Today is International Women's Day. Ok. Here's a quiz for you--test your knowledge of pioneering female writers. I got a not-very-good 6 out of 10:
"Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose."
You haven't done too badly, but why not take Mary Wollstonecraft's advice to heart, keep persevering and have another try.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I was bored with brown.

So what do you think?

(And does anyone know how to get the Flickr badge to align right instead of left? It's bugging me.)