Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Office Space Update

My new office before...

Help from Randy...

Help? from Travis...

LOTS of help from Michael and Molly- when Molly and I picked this blue... we both were worried we didn't like it, but it turns out it's my favorite part!

A minor injury along the way. Woke up Saturday in PAIN, at the urgent care they discovered a corneal abrasion... best guess is chipping drywall in the prep process.

And the final product!

I've been in for a week now... am settled... and love it. Love having a window. Love having space (nearly double my previous space) for meetings. Not sure that I should be so close to our counseling offices because I'm REALLY noisy... but they've been nice and we're working out systems for co-existing.

Getting Ready

So I think i finally really believe I'm going to make this trip to Honduras. It's literally less than a week away now.

I leave Tuesday morning to fly to Houston. Have a 21 hour lay-over there and will spend the night with Chris at Rice.

Wednesday I travel to San Pedro Sula, arriving early afternoon. No idea how I will get from the airport to the hotel, to the venue, still some details to work out.

Thursday is rehearsals- yesterday I was emailing Cesar, the worship leader and he sent me several tracks from the worship set. It's cool to help get my head in the game and practice my spanish to music. Rehearsals begin at 7pm. Not sure exactly what the rest of Thursday holds for me. I'm hoping to attend Mass at a historic church in the city.

Friday and Saturday are the Summit. Long days. I understand that most of the churches in the area have a Saturday PM service, so I'm hoping to catch one, if possible.

Sunday, return home by 10pm.

It's a whirlwind trip and I can't wait.
Here's some Honduras facts I've learned:
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly two-thirds of Hondurans live in poverty- unemployment hovers at 28%, the average daily wage is $3.15US. San Pedro Sula is the Aids Capital of Central America.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why do I do that?

At work we are in the midst of office shuffling. It's been chaotic at best but this week I get to move in to a new space (which has a window).

Our team was given 5 offices for 8 people. The division of the spaces was tough for me because I'm moving in to a larger office with a window while some others on our team who work part time are sharing smaller spaces. But that's another blog for another day once things settle down. Remind me, i promise i will write it one day.

Monday afternoon I found myself with the opportunity to move in to my new space. It's currently some shade of light green with some florally wall paper. Very nice but totally not me. I hate pastel colors. Is that too strong of a statement? I love people who love pastel colors, like I love people who love pets and the American flag in church, but i always feel like someone needs to turn the color up when i look at a pastel. Needless to say, my first step is to quite literally attack not only the wall color but the wallpaper.

I have never wall papered or painted a room. I don't think I like remodeling. It's kind of like exercise, i love to watch it on cable.
Our house is what i affectionately call... dorm room chic. Donated furniture and stuff I like. Informal. So this whole process is daunting to me. I decided that I'd have Molly help me as she wants to be an interior decorator.

Anyway, back to the story.
I went to the paint store and picked up some spray to help with the removal of the wall paper. So, I'm up on a ladder spraying gel at wall paper and my mind begins to twirl...
Man, I wish Michael would help me with this project. I probably spent about 15 minutes evaluating the health of our marriage based on what his instinctive response to a request for help would be.
In fact, I even let my mind wander as far as to wonder what he'd do if I didn't ask. Would he... even... offer... (insert minor chord here...). Or maybe, he would quite naturally ride in on his white horse and paint from the saddle with the bristles of the stallions tail?

Then I remembered one of the first things I learned 20 years ago when I got married, which is to speak your mind, rather than to hope they guess. Golden advice.

So I pick up the phone and call him and say, "when you come by tonight can you and Molly plan to hang out for 'a bit', I'm taking down the wallpaper in my new office (with a window) and would like some know at the VERY end of the task."
He says sure and hangs up.
All the while, I'm spraying and scraping.
For a moment i'm delighted.
Then my mind spins again.
What was the look on his face when he hung up?
He paused, if only momentarily, when I asked... what did he really think?
Molly was with him, what did he say about me, to her?
Why couldn't he just have been born to remove wall paper...
Sweating now, spraying, scraping...
There was a moment of clarity when I realized that if this was the kind of project Mike enjoyed, we would likely have done this at least once in 21 years of marriage...
spraying, scraping, Randy Rock has taken pity on me and is now sitting in the mess of paper on the floor of my office talking about trains or something, which is delightful because it distracts me briefly from thinking that Michael is somehow less than perfect because he didn't offer to do this task for me.
And then I have my epiphany.

How often do women, do I, think up something and then expect Michael to fall in line.
Is this something women do more than men?
I thought long and hard about examples of times when Michael has ever thought up a job for me to do... he's probably moved offices... ten times in ten years and never asked me to help. In the "old days" you heard of men inviting their bosses over for dinner at the last minute and the hard feelings that created for their wives... but seriously now... is it just part of our wife dna?

Maybe it's just at our house, but I'm going to try to go a little more gentle on the "honey do" list from now on.

btw- 6 hours of work, the wall paper is down. Mike and Molly both scraped with me and I can't wait to paint!

Homecoming 08

Let's just get it over with... this is without question my favorite photo from the night. But of course, there is more to the story...

Saturday morning tie tying lessons with Dad...

Get ready at Kelcee's house
Trying out our new tie tyings skills under the watchful eyes of both sets of parents, no pressure...
Picture with the rents...
The group shot for those of you want to see the dresses...

Molly and Andy


Been blogging alot in my own mind.
which is progress
since for a while i was blank
now if i can make time to blog any of it...

a quick update - for no real reason i'm changing my communication habits, it could be short lived, but i'm not living on email, facebook as much recently.
Did my real life finally get interesting? Just kidding.
Actually, I am trying to be "present" more focused, less distracted, distracting... and/or rude.

Several weeks ago I was at an "The Office" viewing party. The people who were invited (I was driving a couple of them home) were mostly high schoolers and when i arrived and sat down to watch the last bit of the show I noticed many of them were were involved on their phones "talking" (aka texting) people throughout the show. There wasn't alot of talking going on in the room with one another. They would all laugh at the same time, as a result of something they watched together, but many of them were somewhere else entirely.

OK, I'm not one of those old people who just doesn't "get it..." I'm easily one of "them" but it did get me thinking... about how they connect and what it means that they may very well talk more when they're not face to face, than when they are.

I have a friend who finds blogging annoying because he believes it replaces real relationships and community with false connection. We have agreed to disagree on this point. I have made friends because of the blogs I read and the relationships which develop and I guess part of what is unsettling for me now that i've unplugged a bit, is that i'm feeling out of touch with these people. More relational guilt for not being a good friend? No, I really do miss the connection.

On the other hand, I'm way more focused in meetings and have actually been out with some friends who i dont typically connect with electronically. So, per norm there's good and bad to everything...

and oh, if you send me an email, you might not get an answer for like a whole 24 hours unless i'm at work.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Moth: drawn to the light

The Moth Mission Statement:
The Moth is dedicated to promoting the art of storytelling. We celebrate the ability of stories to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection. We do so by helping our storytellers to shape their stories and to share them with the community at large.

So I don't really read... but I do podcast. I recently discovered "The Moth" podcast (thank you This American Life) and I'm loving it.

The Moth, a not-for-profit storytelling organization, was founded in New York in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate in New York the feeling of sultry summer evenings on his native St. Simon's Island, Georgia, where he and a small circle of friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales on his friend Wanda's porch. After moving to New York, George missed the sense of connection he had felt sharing stories with his friends back home, and he decided to invite a few friends over to his New York apartment to tell and hear stories. Thus the first "Moth" evening took place in his living room. Word of these captivating story nights quickly spread, and The Moth moved to bigger venues in New York.

I gotta wonder if this isn't more what "church" felt like in Acts...
I grew up attending a small church. Our communion service involved the men of the church standing up randomly and sharing from where they stood a Scripture, a prayer or a story of how God was at work in their lives. I have really come to value and treasure that experience as an adult. And the moth feels like that... regular people telling their stories to one another. This fall Jay's been asking people to share their testimonies in our rehearsal team time and staff meetings. It's cool to get to know one another on a deeper level, to know our stories.

I would love to continue to find ways to do more of this in our church amd team gatherings...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Question for God...

why is the creative thinking community so burdened with mental illness?
A friend sent me this list today...
1641 Isaac Newton - bipolar disorder, depression, schizoid symptoms, paranoia
1709 Samuel Johnson - obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette's syndrome
1731 Henry Cavendish - autism
1757 William Blake – bipolar disorder, hallucinations
1759 Robert Burns - anxiety disorder
1770 Ludwig van Beethoven - bipolar disorder
1777 Heinrich von Kleist
1788 Lord Byron - bipolar disorder
1795 John Keats – bipolar disorder
1805 Hans Christian Andersen - bipolar disorder
1809 Charles Darwin – panic disorder, agoraphobia
1809 Abraham Lincoln – depression
1809 Edgar Allan Poe - depression, paranoia, alcoholism
1809 Alfred Tennyson - anxiety disorder
1810 Robert Schumann - bipolar disorder
1812 Charles Dickens – depression, bipolar disorder
1816 Charlotte Bronte - anxiety disorder, depression
1820 Florence Nightingale – bipolar disorder, hallucinations
1821 Charles Baudelaire - bipolar disorder
1828 Leo Tolstoy - depression
1844 Ludwig Boltzmann - bipolar disorder
1845 Georg Cantor - bipolar disorder
1849 Johan Strindberg - depression
1853 Van Gogh – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
1856 Nikola Tesla - possible obsessive-compulsive disorder
1863 Edvard Munch – bipolar disorder
1872 Calvin Coolidge - depression
1874 Winston Churchill – depression
1877 Herman Hesse – bipolar disorder
1882 Virginia Woolf - bipolar disorder, psychosis
1883 Franz Kafka – anorexia, obsessive-compulsive personality
1884 Sara Teasdale - bipolar disorder
1885 Sigrid Hjertén - schizophrenia, modernist painter who died of a botched lobotomy
1888 Eugene O'Neill - depression
1890 Vaslav Nijinsky – schizophrenia
1895 Anna Freud - anorexia
1896 Antonin Artaud - schizophrenia
1896 F. Scott Fitzgerald - depression, alcoholism
1897 William Faulkner - bipolar disorder
1899 Ernest Hemingway – depression
1900 Zelda Fitzgerald - schizophrenia
1901 André Malraux - Tourette syndrome
1902 John Steinbeck - anxiety, depression
1903 Mark Rothko - depression
1905 Howard Hughes - obsessive-compulsive disorder
1906 Samuel Beckett - depression
1906 Kurt Gödel - paranoid delusions
1911 Tennessee Williams - depression
1913 Frances Farmer - paranoid schizophrenia
1913 Vivien Leigh - bipolar disorder
1922 Jack Kerouac - schizophrenia
1928 John Nash - schizophrenia
1928 Anne Sexton - bipolar disorder, anorexia
1930 Buzz Aldrin – depression, alcoholism
1932 Sylvia Plath – depression, bipolar disorder
1941 Lionel Aldridge - paranoid schizophrenia
1944 Ray Davies - bipolar disorder
1946 Syd Barrett - schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
1946 Tom Harrell - paranoid schizophrenia
1947 Elton John – bulimia
1948 Nick Drake – depression
1950 Karen Carpenter – anorexia
1953 Kim Basinger - agoraphobia, social phobia
1961 Princess Diana – bulimia
1966 Jeff Buckley - bipolar disorder
1967 Kurt Cobain - bipolar disorder
1969 Elliott Smith - depression, alcoholism

I think I know the answer... the enemy wants to steal beauty.
The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
::: Michelangelo :::

Monday, October 6, 2008

getting the word out...

Every month i put together a newsyletter for our production ministry team.
It's long and it's all important, but I think the form is lame and it's too long.
Do you have any good examples of updates you receive where you actually read all the content? If so... link me! Thanks

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Recently i told myself that i needed to turn the blog faucet back on...
today something happened which I feel compelled to blog about though I know I will regret it...
here goes

Today Mike and I went to Old Navy.
They are having a big sale and he has a gift certificate there.
I hate buying new clothes, for a couple of reasons.
First, I gravitate toward what I already own.
Second, I have been routinely avoiding flipping my exercise switch for way too long
Third, While I hate everything in my closet, I really don't NEED anything but new khakis but can't find the perfect pair, and I won't settle for less.
OK you guessed it, I'm stalling...
So I take about 12 things in to the dressing room.
(I love that you can take as many things as you want in to the dressing room at Old Navy).
stalling again.
One of the things I took in was a dress.
I always try dresses on and never buy them.
I took in a medium and a large.
yes... stalling...
I put the medium over my head... and knew I was in trouble, it wasn't going to fit. problem was... it wasn't coming off either.
I've had some pain/trouble with my right shoulder lately and that didn't help with the untwisting which would be required.
I was utterly, completely stuck.
Please tell me this has happened to you before.
Fortunately I had heard Michael enter the dressing room across from me and I whispered loudly... Michael, can you come over when you... get a minute... calmly as though I wanted him to see what i was considering buying...
which couldn't be further from the truth...
i really didn't want him to see me like this, stuck...
he came over and rescued me
and as i looked at the dress I thought I really like this dress, dang it
so I took the Large off the hanger and tried to step in to
not happening either, couldn't get the bodice up over the hips.
unbuttoned the one button and back over the head again.
And then...
stuck again...
turns out this one is also a medium, on a large hanger.
And Mike... was no longer across the hall, i realized only after whispering his name loudly multiple times.
Not gonna lie, I was frantic.
so i called his cell and coaxed him back in to the dressing room
and again we skinned the cat.

The good news... I found new khakis
and yes, it did cross my mind to actually get a large and try it on.

lesson learned... i will not go shopping by myself.

Recipe: Chicken Scallopine

Last week I was reveling in finally perfecting Chicken Scallopine. A couple people have asked for the recipe. It's from Food Network- here are my own notes.

The recipe is straight forward except it always takes me much longer to thicken the sauce at the end. Be patient, it will set up.

Don't skimp on the saffron. I've done it a couple times without it, but it's worth the splurge. I found a tiny jar at Trader Joes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Adventure Begins

This week I began realizing what the GLS commitment is

Travel to San Pedro Sula, Honduras in early November. Away from home 6 days. Had to determine whether to sight see in Honduras or Houston and decided 1 night in Houston and then Willow gave me nearly 24 hours on the front end "free" in Honduras, so I'll be able to at least see the city.

This is San Pedro's (we're on a first name basis now) second GLS. This is somewhat good news as the team has experience. Last year their projector didn't arrive until 10pm the night before (ours is routinely in place days, if not weeks ahead for testing) and there was no remote sent with it, so they climbed up duct taped truss to turn it on/off each day. The somewhat daunting news is that it's also a Vision team location so I'll have WCA people there to watch us succeed and manage challenges.

It's definately a Latin American country. Of course, that's no surprise, but do me a favor and check out this link.
Yeah, that's right, it's in Spanish. What will it be like to be in a foreign country immersed in their language and culture for 5 days? I have no idea but I've been watching univision this morning and realizing I need to brush off my dusty Spanish.

I practiced wearing a skirt this week in case I have to. Basically decided it's ok but not something i want to do on a regular basis. Biggest issue- no pockets. How light can I pack?

My cousin Laurie married Oscar who is Honduran so I'm hoping to connect with them soon and get some ideas/tips. We love their family so it will be fun to connect with them as a result of this adventure. Our church also has a connection in Honduras so I'll be doing some homework.

I think i want to take something American as a small thank you gift for a few of those I'll be serving with... do you have any suggestions? We've been brainstorming but are mostly coming up with food.