Tuesday, February 27, 2007

t-t-t-too much time on my hands...

What can I say? In yesterday's post I warned you that I wouldn't have much to do this week. ;o)

This is stealing Patricia's ideas again, by the way. See, I can always count on my friends to give me something to do. ;o)

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
What’s Up, Doc?

2. Name a movie that you've seen multiple times in the theater.
Lord of the Rings (all three)

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
Kate Hudson, Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Harrison Ford, Charlize Theron, Anthony Hopkins

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Adam Sandler, anyone with the last name Wayans, Dana Carvey

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
Princess Bride; What’s Up, Doc?; Clue; The Boys Next Door

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to.
The Sound of Music; My Fair Lady; The Last Unicorn (though I know it's not a real musical)

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
The Sound of Music; My Fair Lady; Phantom of the Opera

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
The Boys Next Door; The Passion; Lord of the Rings

9. Name a movie that you own.
Lady in the Water

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Umm……no idea. I generally don’t know who does what in the entertainment business.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
Yes, in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The movie was Space Cowboys. Not particularly memorable.

12. Ever made out in a movie?
Yup. ;o)

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven't yet got around to it.
Marvin’s Room; Dragonfly; White Oleander; To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday

14. Ever walked out of a movie?
No, but I should have.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
The Return of the King

16. Popcorn?
Sometimes. Usually, the thought of all the fat (in buttered popcorn) totally puts me off.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?
Average…three times a year.

18. What's the last movie you saw in the theater?
The Guardian

19. What's your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
Fantasy, drama, sci-fi

20. What's the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
Bambi. I bawled when Bambi’s mother died because it was the first time I remember thinking that my parents could die.

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
Little Man; The Devil’s Advocate (see #14)

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Alien Resurrection (conceptually, it freaked me out); Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

23. What is the scariest movie you've seen?
An American Werewolf in London—I was nine, watched the first ten minutes of it, and spent the next ten years being scared of the dark. Other than that……The Ring (the first one).

24. What is the funniest movie you've seen?
What’s Up, Doc?; Clue; Hitch

Monday, February 26, 2007

happy birthday to me.....sort of

So. Today, I am chronologically 30 years old. Contrary to what one might expect, being 30 doesn't bother me in the least. Actually, I think it's kind of cool. I like getting older. It means I'm learning and growing. Besides, I wouldn't want to be 20 again even if you paid me.

However, what does bother me about having a birthday today is being sick. Yes, once again, I'm sick. Or maybe not again, but still. I did start feeling a lot better last week. But over the weekend, things started going down the tube again. I went back to my earnosethroat specialist this morning, and she gave me the lovely news that I have some sort of virus. Woo.

So I've cancelled my birthday coffee that was supposed to take place this afternoon, I can't go to rehearsal tonight, and I'm "written sick" the rest of the week. The doctor said this could take two weeks to run its course. What's really frustrating is that if I'm still having problems on Saturday, I am under orders not to sing in our "concert" on Sunday. (More on that later.)

I'm trying to remain factual here and not complain.....but may I say that I AM MAD ENOUGH TO SPIT?! Not at my doctor, of course.....but at my weak immune system and at the situation.

In other news, I spent the weekend at the Advanced Bible Study Seminar (or is it Series?) (ABSS) in Gemünden (near Frankfurt). The lessons were excellent, and especially the one on Sunday morning really struck me. At some point this week, I'll write something about it and post it here. Or maybe I'll actually update Have Some Water for the first time in over a year.

Stay tuned! I'm gonna have a lot of time on my hands this week. ;o)

Friday, February 16, 2007

briefly venting about Elfwood

Okay. So I've got three new pictures in my Elfwood gallery. Just to give you a brief overview: When an Elfwood artist submits pictures to Elfwood, said artist waits about two weeks for the pictures to get approved by moderators. If the moderators approve the pics, the pics are uploaded to the artist's gallery. If the moderators don't approve the pics, they then send the pics back to the artist, along with a rejection notice.

If you want to know their approval criteria, have a go at this. Good luck.

Anyway, on my last "ticket," I had four pictures. Three were accepted, one was rejected. Before I tell you about the rejected one, let me recount the following:

I just finished looking at a recently accepted picture on Elfwood. This picture was a photograph of a brain which the artist had scultped from clay and then painted.

"But wait!" you might say. "Isn't Elfwood a fantasy/sci-fi art gallery? How does a simple brain qualify as fantasy or sci-fi art?"

Well, dear friend, you'd be right in questioning the inclusion of a simple brain. *However*, because the artist called it an orc brain, it perfectly qualifies--under Elfwood Rules--as fantasy art.

As for my picture that was rejected? Ah well, it was merely a painting of a castle. Nothing fantasy about that, right?

But if, in my personal comments about the picture, I had written, "This castle is a repository for the brains of all the orcs Our Hero has slaughtered over the last couple of years," my castle pic would have been perfectly acceptable.

...Wait a minute. Now there's a thought. Okay, here ya go, I'll make you a bet: At some point in the near future, I'll resubmit that picture with that line as the description, and we'll see if I'm right about it getting accepted! I'll keep you posted.


it's official

Hi all,

Just thought I'd give a non-complaining health update. ;o) Yesterday, I got the bill for my visit to the ear-nose-throat specialist. She didn't tell me this in person, but still it wasn't a big surprise to read on the bill that she has officially diagnosed me with chronic pansinusitis. Meaning, chronic inflammation of all the sinus cavities.

I have appointments on the 21st to have my sinuses X-rayed and to have allergy tests done. We already did X-rays and allergy tests three years ago, but this is a different ENT, so she wants to see current results. After that, I'm expecting her to tell me that I need surgery.

Three years ago, the other ENT said that as long as I could keep the sinusitis from becoming chronic, I wouldn't need surgery. So I guess three years was my grace period! ;o)

As for my current condition....I'm feeling pretty good now. Almost back to normal...or what's normal for me, anyway. ;o) My head feels almost gunk-free, and I cough less each day. I'm still using the one-a-way "miracle" nosedrops the ENT prescribed (for those in the know, they contain: dexamethasone, diphenhydramine hydrochl., naphazoline hydrochl., hydroxyaethylcell.-sch. [whatever that is], propylene glycol, and sterilized water). (And apparently, one of these compounds is a glucocorticoid, which I assume is a steroid.)

These nosedrops seem to be working really well, as I actually only need them once a day. I feel better at this point than I usually feel at this point after a round of antibiotics. So I'm extremely glad about that! Yesterday, I was even able to sing again, for which I was very grateful.

So, there you have it. I'll let you know the latest on my health after I get the results of the appointments on the 21st.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

1. Corinthians 13 made practical

Bri posted something on her blog yesterday that I think is worth posting on mine, too. Here it is, followed by an expansion of the comments I left on Bri's blog:

1 CORINTHIANS 13 (For Missionaries):

If I speak the language like a native,
But have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And If I have all the answers,
So as to convert millions, but have not love,
I gain nothing.
Love is patient with the home congregation
And kind to demanding converts;
Love is not jealous of fellow missionaries,
Boastful because it is American,
Nor rude to its hosts.
Love does not insist on its own mission methods,
And does not become frustrated nor embittered.
It does not rejoice in the failures of its fellow workers,
But truly rejoices at their successes.
Love will stand all criticism,
Give consideration to all advice,
Help all beggars,
And endure all visitors.
Love never ends;
As for methods, they will pass away;
As for language, it shall cease;
As for cultural understanding, it will pass away.
For our understanding is imperfect;
But where love abounds, such imperfections are overshadowed.
Before I went into the field, I knew all the answers;
When I became mature I pondered my presumptiveness.
For then I saw romantically and confidently,
But now realistically and humbly;
Then I thought I knew the heathen,
But now they have come to know me.
Cultural understanding,
And Love abide, these three,
But the greatest of these is love!

(paraphrased by Dan and Joyce Hardin)
(Taken from Christian Woman, January 1974)

My thoughts:

Ouch. I've had a copy of this for several years, and I take it out and read it about once a year.....and I'm thinking it's been too long since the last time I read it.

One of the most difficult things for a missionary--or any leader in the church, for that matter--to do is keep focus, keep the right perspective. Frustrations do build up.....and as for me, sometimes I erroneously feel like I'm not allowed to voice them. After all, I'm supposed to be setting an example of longsuffering and faith, right?

Right. But part of longsuffering is being able to voice frustrations--and release tensions--with the right attitude. And my attitude is wrong so very often. I am critical, I am judgmental, and I am proud. (I don't care how you try to euphemize it.....being proud is a sin. And when I give in to it, I am hurting instead of helping people around me. But I'll write on that subject more extensively another time.)

I think this paraphrase of 1. Corinthians 13 applies not only to "missionaries". After all, what is a missionary? One who goes out to tell others about Jesus. Another word for such a person is evangelist.

Or Christian.

Because every Christian, by definition, is supposed to be an evangelist. Every Christian is supposed to be a missionary. Not necessarily in the context of going to a foreign country (or coming back to their own country) to evangelize. But every single one of us is supposed to be living, thinking, speaking, loving, breathing in such a way as to represent Christ on earth. If you are a Christian, you are an ambassador from God, sent to reach out to those who don't know him.

It's not the preachers' job. It's not the elders' job. It's not the missionaries' job. It's not the Bible class teachers' job.

It's your job.

I'm not writing this to inspire guilt in anyone. This isn't supposed to be a why-aren't-you-out-there-doing-your-job? kind of post. But the paraphrase above got me thinking, since it's subtitled "For Missionaries". We need to expand our definition of the word "missionary." The current definition seems to be "someone who goes to a foreign country and leads and teaches in a local church" or something like that. But I believe we need to re-think that.

Ephesians 6 describes Christians as soldiers in a spiritual war against evil. C.S. Lewis describes us as soldiers sent behind enemy lines to sabotage Satan's plans. If you're a Christian, God has put his armor on you, he has given you the weapons you need, and he considers you ready for battle. He has led you into battle, and you have followed. You are now behind enemy lines, and your job is to help free the captives.

You can do it with your words. You can do it with the decisions you make each day. You can do it with a smile, with encouraging words, with the time that you give to another. You can do it by being a shoulder to cry on. You don't have to leave your country, your city, or even your neighborhood. Maybe all you need to do is step out your front door (remember what Bilbo said!) and start a conversation with the guy next-door. Just brighten your corner of the world with the love that Jesus is giving you every moment of your life.

To be the soldier that God has made you, just open your eyes, look closely at the people you see......take those loving concepts from 1. Corinthians and start living them.

Friday, February 09, 2007

10 random/weird things

Well, here's another idea I've stolen from Patricia's blog. Technically, I'm supposed to tag five other people to do this, but since I doubt anyone would respond to my tagging them, and since the five people I would probably tag are not at all likely to respond to my tagging them, I'm not going to tag anybody, but I will, instead, play the game all by myself for my own entertainment and for the amusement of hapless wanderers who find themselves sucked into reading my blog. *insert maniacal laughter here*

So. The point of the thing is this: List 10 weird things/habits/little known facts about yourself. Here goes:

1. I really like puréed, cooked spinach, boiled eggs, and mashed potatoes. Mixed together.

2. Superheroes (i.e. Superman, Batman, Wolverine, etc.) are one of my secret "guilty pleasures."

Not so secret now, I guess. ;o)

3. I don't eat my pizza crusts until after I've eaten all the pieces of pizza. Then, if I still have room, I eat one or two of the crusts.

4. Invite me over to your house. If your toilet paper is directed under the roll instead of over, I will gladly change it for you.

5. I cry at most movies. And at really random scenes. Like the scence at the beginning of "Fellowship of the Ring," where Gandalf arrives and Frodo is happy to see him. Yes, that makes me cry. The reason? I have no clue.

6. Most of my deepest feelings come out in my art and my poetry; I'm rarely able to speak them aloud.

7. One of my favorite mementos is a paperclip bent into the shape of a heart. I carry it around in my purse. (And no, I'm not going to elaborate on its significance.) ;o)

8. I always dream in color; I usually dream in stories (IMAX theater in my head); and I sometimes dream in German.

9. When I was a kid, I went through a phase of wanting to be an archaeologist. I even wrote a letter to Mary Leakey in Nairobi, but she never wrote back.

10. I have a faint, L-shaped scar on my bottom lip.

Ta-dah. ;o)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

parental and personal health update

When I talked to my mom Wednesday night, she had an interesting tale to tell about her visit to the doctor that morning. The doctor did remove her appendix, and he did remove a cyst......but, strangely enough, the cyst was nowhere near her appendix. Instead, it was in the left side of her abdomen. This was exploratory surgery, otherwise they wouldn't even have known that the cyst was there. The pain around her appendix had nothing to do wih a cyst or with her appendix (which he removed as a precaution); instead, that pain was being caused by adhesions (stringy tissue that formed as the result of a past infection nobody knew about). So he removed the adhesions, too.

Mama is at home recovering, still in some pain but at least able to get up and move around a little. Barring possibility of infection, it looks like she's going to be fine. I am relieved, to say the least. The cyst and adhesions are going to be biopsied, but the doctor doesn't seem to think that there will be anything malignant to deal with.

I am continually amazed at God: his creativity in designing the human body, and his constant care for us as we navigate these fragile bodies through all the physical dangers this world has to offer. I'm convinced that it's really only by God's providence that any of us survive at all.

And since our bodies are part of this fallen creation, we do have to deal with these frailties on a daily basis. I refer you to the following schematic, the original of which was drawn yesterday by the ear-nose-throat specialist who was illustrating to me one of the particular frailties of my particular body: 


Though the fact of my deviated septum was not new to me, I did appreciate the doctor's efforts to show me just what's going on in my nose up there. For further illumnation on the subject (no pun intended), she wants me to get my sinuses X-rayed and take allergy tests again. I don't know what this is supposed to prove, since we already did the X-raying and the allergy testing three years ago, but.....I am meekly submitting, as I frankly no longer have the willpower to think for myself on the matter. I think it's due to lack of oxygen, since I can't breathe properly at all. There must be millions of my brain cells dying as I type/you read. (I can't use the phrase "as we speak," because, technically, we're not speaking.) 

I am frustrated, irritated, mad at the world for no good reason at all, and working really really hard on the inside not to start throwing myself a pity party. I'm well aware that there are those in this world who suffer a great deal more than I am suffering, and that I should be grateful for and content with the blessed state in which I currently exist. 

But it's awfully hard, sometimes, to be grateful and content when you can't even breathe right. *sigh* 

This will be my last post of this nature. I'm tired of complaining and hoping for sympathy from various corners. If I vent anymore, I will vent to myself and have done with it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

i wish i may, i wish i might....

I want to go to Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Israel, Asia, Alaska, Africa, Canada, and back to Ireland. 

Just thought I'd mention that.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

all comments answered

my mama's health, my health, and other odds 'n' ends

I talked to my dad a few minutes ago, and everything with Mama's surgery went fine. Thanks to God! After surgery, they had to give her a bit more pain medication than expected, but that's not outside the realm of normal. She's home now and sleeping. Tomorrow morning, she and Daddy will go back to the doctor, and he'll hopefully be able to tell them more about the cyst. My hearfelt thanks to those of you who prayed for my parents and for the doctors. God has it all in his hands, and that's a great comfort and encouragement to me. We would all be so worried if not for him! Anyway, thanks to those of you who've been supporting my parents in prayer. 

Over the weekend, I'd considered heading over to my parents' place yesterday, in order to be there for the surgery today. Now I'm glad I didn't do it. The last thing my recovering mother needs is a sick person in the house. Yep, that'd be me. 

Gunk in my head, my throat feels like I've been gargling gravel, and my body aches with exhaustion of the kind you get from running a marathon. It always amazes me that there are people who can get a sinus infection and yet still manage to go to work (even though they *should* be in bed). If I weren't in what is basically a self-employment job, I would've gotten fired a long time ago. I was up and around for three hours yesterday, taking the bus to the doctor and pharmacy, then back home again. I barely have the words to describe the misery. Even sitting in the doctor's waiting room, I started getting dizzy. Sit at a desk or stand up and teach all day? Forget it. 

No antibiotics this time, though. The doctor said it's too soon since the last time. I tend to agree.....but I have my doubts about getting rid of this any other way. She's also sending me to an ear-nose-throat specialist tomorrow, for an ultrasound on my sinuses. Yippee. 

This is so annoying. And so uninteresting to read about, I'm sure. Sorry I can't offer anything more fascinating. I *could* write about the news article I read this morning. It described how the Mormons will probably "baptize" the current Roman Catholic pope after his death, because the Mormons "baptize" dead people into Mormonism by proxy. They "baptized" John Paul II by proxy a year after his death. They did the same with Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan. I could write a long article about how silly I think this is. I just don't have the mental energy for it!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

something for my Faithful Reader(s?) to do

When a girl spends half her week working on a Teacher's Guide to a series of simple English Bible lessons she's written, her brain tends to be filled with language exercises--even during moments when she's not crafting away at the aforementioned Teacher's Guide. 

That said, I give you the following linguistic practice text. Take your time on it; try not to get frustrated; and, above all, remember to have fun

Fill in the blanks in the text below, using the following words in the correct order: 

husband......again......fun......friends......aardvark mating rituals 
sinuses......interested......under......fellowship......voodoo doll 

One evening, Courtney _______ sitting at home _________ self-quarantine. Courtney was ______________, because her stupid ___________ seemed to be getting infected _________. She was also sad, since several of her ___________, as well as her ______________ Ed, were getting together to watch the _______________. Although Courtney wasn't any more ____________ in football than she was in the minutiae of ____________ _____________ _____________, she had still been _________ forward to the evening of _______ and ____________. Frankly, she was beginning to wonder if someone, somewhere, was in possession of a little Courtney-shaped __________ _____ and was constantly jabbing the area of the doll's sinus cavities with especially sharp ___________. *________* 

Answers available upon request. ;o)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

prayer requests

For those of you who pray to God, I have a few requests that you might help me pass on to him: 

My mom, Kay Weger, will have surgery this coming Tuesday to remove a cyst that is on or around her appendix. They will take out her appendix at the same time. If all goes as planned, the surgery will be relatively brief, and she'll go home Tuesday afternoon/evening. 

Also, my grandfather, Bill Weger, is scheduled for an angiogram on Feb. 12th. His carotid artery is partially blocked (I don't know if it's calcium buildup or cholesterol buildup.), and the angiogram will determine whether the doctors should put in a stent, or open up the artery to scrape out the plaque. Either way, after the angiogram, the next procedure will take place on Feb. 20th, I think. 

Please pray that God will bless the minds and hands of the doctors and nurses working with my mom and my grandpa. Please pray that God's will be done. Nothing more complicated than that. :o) 



Thursday, February 01, 2007

minor stuff; Dream #93 in online translator mode

Long day of researching, I'm tired, I will try to answer all newest comments as soon as possible, I'm sorry for this run-on sentence; and in the meantime, here's a fun something that I wrote as a draft awhile back but didn't publish; enjoy:

Dream #93

I Rejoice Me Just, That The House Not Burned Down

recorded June 21, 2006

Once at night about several weeks, dream I can recollect is not finished with someone, a cigarette lighting, and I could smell in a smoke. Then the dream came to an end, and I woke up, but I could smell in a smoke. I lay there since the several moments, convinced, that the smell was prolongation of dream and would disappear at any moment. Some moments went, but the smell did not dissipate. I was declined and shook awake Ed. " Ed! Whether you Smell in a smoke? I smell in a smoke!"

I heard it, in a gloom smelling. Then it spoke, "Is not present, I not smell in what. Come back to sleep. " And it again rolled to itself.

I understood, that now I also could not smell on it more. I laid down again, already in a dream receding, hoping, that Ed really had no also our apartment on fire was. But until then I have lowered already too far back to a dream to rise and check things.