Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Isn't MIDI Awful?

Evening, folks. Technically morning, but it feels eveningish.

I had my first gig in a long time on Sunday. It went fairly well, I sang better than I've probably ever sang on a stage and the crowd clapped in the appropriate places and didn't talk over me too much. So that's good.

I got booked again for next Sunday night and again for when I come back from getting married (incidentally, I leave a week on Friday. Smileys don't express my happiness about that). The second show is in front of 500 people! Pressureville, man, pressureville.

And all I have to hide behind is an acoustic guitar. No band. Just me, my guitar, capo, plectrum (pick to most of you) and my vocal chords. On my Jack Jones. Gulp.

But I take solace in the fact that my songs will be the happy point of the night, all the other acts are serious and songwriterly.

I can't wait to start doing gigs with Lori :). We'll be the next Mates of State. Watch this space.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Three Cheers for Chris of the Lankfords!

... and my friend Chris (of the Volsequoyah* fame) created this!

That's pure brill!
First things first- This is great! Go there and read it. It's short and cute.

Second things second- Amanda and I played dress-up this weekend. We may never get to play dress-up together again!

Of course, this ain't the first time we've played this little game. Oh no. Not the first.

I can already hear Celion Dion crone, "...Those days are gone.... ALL BY MYSELF!!!!! DON'T WANNA BE ALL BY MYSEEEEELF ANYMORE!!"

No, really, just the "those days are gone" part. I won't be all by myself. Rather I will be all by my Scott! I imagine it will look something like this...

Friday, August 27, 2004

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Do you ever get tired of being yourself?

Like do you ever just get to realizing that you are really pretty uncool and boring and perhaps many other things far worse, like pretentious or annoying?

Or do you sometimes just get tired of the general attitude that marks your life?

Sometimes I get so tired of who I am. I can't seem to think of anyone I'd rather be, on the other hand, so I suppose I'm in the best place I can be. But sometimes I wish I acted differently or spoke differently (or didn't have the uncontrollable urge to go back and change "acted different" to "acted differently" or be unable to leave a comma splice where it is but rather proofread everything I write and ensure all commas are in their correct place...) Sometimes I wish I didn't think the way I do or always insist on being right.

I often wish my life's circumstances were different. Why couldn't I have been a musician instead of a writer? Why not a painter instead of a poet? (No one really like poetry anyway... I know I sure don't.)

Like most of what I have to say, there is no point to any of this. In fact, this is a minor bitch-fest. I am just tired of me! And there I go, thinking, "Hmm... that would make a cute (cliche) children's story--a girl who is tired of being herself and thus tries being different people but ends up realizing she was always meant to be just who she was..." Once a writer, always a writer, I suppose.

(Now that I'm out of college, I feel like I have earned the title "writer". My diploma proves it.)

And do you ever find yourself being who you think others would like you to be? I find that I actually do this quite often. I never before would consider myself one to commit such a crime, but if I'm honest, I do it all the time. Not to say I'm a Lying Lori and everything you've ever known about me is a lie (though it is-- I'm not really engaged to a Scotsman! Hah! Buffaloed!) Erm.... next paragraph.

(Introspection. Pish.)

Maybe this all more out of shame and embarrassment at often really liking who I am. Generally, I like me. Maybe at times like this I am struck with the reality of my vanity, and it's the vanity I hate. Because really I don't not like the things about me. Sure I think it would be cool to play the xylophone or be a painter, but I do indeed love to write. And I love being a Calvinist (perhaps I love the controversy?). But I do not like being vain. But what's the alternative? Self-loathing? Am I really supposed to not like myself? Erm... next paragraph.

I get to writing like this, and I can't seem to stop. (I did it again, fixed that almost-comma splice.) What do you say we go for a surprise twist ending?

Things I'll Miss in Scotland
1. Real peanut butter
2. Brilliant blue skies
3. My mommy
4. Southern accents
5. Amanda

Things I Will Joyfully Embrace in Scotland
1. Irn Bru
2. Unnecessary U's
3. Scott
4. Rain and cold weather (jumpers)
5. Chicken pakora
6. A king size bed and sex

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Wedding Wine-Tasting Day

...So there I was surrounded by bottles and wine glasses at a table for four all alone...

Today was wine-tasting day.

I selected a lovely cabernet and a fairly lovely sauvignon blanc for the rehearsal dinner. I felt very posh/stupid sipping different wines and trying to tell the difference. I was quite surprised to discover, however, how vastly different one bottle of cabernet tastes to the next. And how very vastly different are the different types of wines. I highly prefer cabernet over merlot now. And certainly red over white. I do not like chardonnay.

I had not planned place cards for the rehearsal dinner, as I think most people would prefer to sit with whomever they want. But what happens to the scragglers who know no one? Where do they sit? What if all of your friends have dates and you do not? Do you sit next to someone else without a date or leave an empty chair? So many things I have not thought about.

Scott and I are fantastic. I am simply desperate to see him again. He will be here in something like 15 days! I love him so much more than I ever knew was possible. What I've realized with Scott is that one may love someone else with everything one has, but if that love is not returned just as strongly, that love will be maximized to its fullest extent and will plateau. One may feel they are loving with all one has and to love more would be impossible. But when that love is spilled back over to one from the beloved, one's love suddenly gains the capacity to grow even deeper and even bigger. Thus one's love re-overflows back to the beloved and the cycle continues. I assume the cycle must continue forever. I assume this is part of God's plan with marriage, and partially explains why divorce is so disasterous.

A little memoir...
In the baby days of our relationship, back with "love" was the "L" word, Scott emailed me with a quote from a song: You're worth the trouble and you're worth the pain/ And you're worth the worry, I would do the same/ If we all went back to another time I would love you over. (Belle & Sebastian) My heart soared with affection when I read this email, though certainly with feathers of panic. I copied the words onto a Post-it note and stuck it to my desk. That Post-it still hangs in my office, and I imagine will come to Scotland with me in a scrapbook.

Another little embarrassing memoir...
I always signed my emails to Scott "Love, Lori". Often times after an IM chat I signed off with a "love ya". One evening, feeling especially proper in my language I signed off with a "love you". A pause ensued before "Scott is writing a message" appeared. "Love you too," he replied. A few days later, on the phone, a nervous and somewhat unsure Scott asked me about it. He said he was surprised that I had said "love you" after we had recently talked about how unsure we both were about love. I was mortified. That is not what I meant! I just meant "love you" like "love ya" only more grammatically correct (though not completely grammatically correct.) Scott laughed and took it all in stride, but I wanted to die.

He later told me he loved me (properly) and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. So these moments fall into a category of cute and endearing and happily unimportant.

In conclusion:

Sexy Sadie says: hey, when we are in scotland and missing our families and friends, we can put on sad beautiful music and cry together
Lori says: good idea!
Lori says: i'd love that!
Sexy Sadie says: we'll have to warn the boys first though, so they can be prepared
Lori says: yeah, send them off to play video games nad eat salt or something
Lori says: grow sideburns
Sexy Sadie says: haha
Sexy Sadie says: exactly

I will not be left alone in Scotland. I have good friends already.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Adventures in Utah

Well, I'm not caught up on work, but blogging will make a lovely distraction.

My Summer Vacation -by Lori

The plane flying to Houston left at precisely 3:15 as it was scheduled. It may have been the first time I've ever been on a plane that left on time. Thank you, Continental. However, I was without a watch so the flight was painful. I never knew when we were going to touch down. In Houston I connected to the plane headed for Salt Lake City. It left precisely on time, too. Again, thank you, Continental. And again, I was without a watch (though I searched in the airport stores to no avail) and could not stand not knowing how far into the flight I was. Nevertheless, three hours later I was walking down the corridor to the baggage claim where I was greeted by the wonderful Jonathan and Sarah. We went to Jonathan's best friend's house and drank girly sherbety mixed drinks until we were giggly. Then we went home (Sarah drove, no drunk driving involved), and I tiredly crawled into my newly cleaned and organized guest room.

Thursday I woke up to a blinking clock. The power had gone out. Once again I did not know the time. Gah! I got out of bed and prowled around the house until I found a working clock. 7:00. I reset my clock and went back to sleep until 9.

At 9, I got up and played with their dog, Calvin. Then Sarah awoke and we all sat around and ate toast with her mom. Then at some point Jonathan got up, we all at some point got ready, and then we headed off for Park City (where the Winter Olympics were held a couple years ago.) We stopped at a cliff and gazed at the scenery. Tried to climb up to the top but my weanie lungs couldn't handle the altitude change (and my weanie legs and feet in flipflops didn't like the climb). We drove on into Park City and had lunch. This was the first of my terrible diet I adopted while on vacation. I had a "Pickaxe" burger-- slab of beef with monterrey jack, grilled onions, and avocado on a tasty powdery bun. And a whole lot of fries. Approximately 18 Points I reckon. We walked around a bit and then drove to Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. (I guess it's downtown... I don't actually know.) I didn't take a picture, but here is one I found online:

Here we learned all about how much Mormons love families.

On the way home we stopped by the London Market where we purchased Irn Brus and Yorkies and other British snack items. We stopped by the church as well so I could call my darling Scott. Talking to Scott was the highlight of the days spent in Utah. As much as I adore the Hayses, they are no match for my Scott time. Scott agreed to shave his (too) long sideburns for the wedding. He's excellent.

(Jonathan and Sarah's pastor in Scotland also is giving us a car! But more on that later. This interrupts my essay. But it certainly worth mentioning and thanking the pastor profusely for!)

That evening we were late for dinner but came back to Sarah's family's house for chicken and rice that we almost missed out on. It was very tasty. Sarah's dad is a mean barbequer (as I was soon to find out.) The shiraz was also quite nice. After dinner, Sarah and Jonathan and Sarah's sister and brother-in-law (Anna and Steven) and I got out the Scattergories and the gin. We played an increasingly funnier-as-it-went game. What is sticky and starts with O? I don't know, but Jonathan sure laughed really hard. What is round and starts with N? Nipples, of course. That was an obvious one, at least to me and Sarah. What will you find at a beach that starts with a T? I'll give you one guess. If you guessed titties, you were right! (I sure hope this post gets lots of hits. It should.)

After Scattergories (and a couple gin and cranberry juices) Anna and Steven left and Sarah's younger brother and two younger cousins joined us for a game of Cranium. We split into teams and Jonathan and I kicked serious ass, despite that fact that we were far more sloshed than the other gamesters. I usually am not that much of a drinker--I've been drunk maybe 3 times in my life. I usually know my limit and I stick to it. But it must have been the atmosphere and the laughter and the fact that gin tastes so good that somewhere I passed the threshold and just kept going. I think I drank maybe half the bottle (though granted, I spilled two glasses...) Most of the occurrances are probably "you'd have to be there" funnies so I won't subject you to it. But believe me, it was great.

Well as all good times have their consequences, I awoke the next morning with a serious headache. That serious headache turned to a serious stomachache. That serious stomachache turned into puking in the downstairs bathroom. After that I felt much better and the three of us headed off to Wingers for some delicious and fattening lunch.

The following events were less pleasant so we will skip to dinner. For dinner, Sarah's wonderful dad grilled steaks. My stomach may not have felt the greatest, but who can pass up steak? We then went to the video store to rent a video and the experience was your typical video store experience-- after much wandering around, many half-hearted suggestions, many suggestions to rent videos with ridiculous titles or scandalous pictures, we ended up taking home a favorite among us all-- Love Actually. We picked up a few pints of ice cream as well and watched the movie with Sarah's very cool mom.

The next morning Sarah went with her mom to run the Utah homeschooling convention or something, and I accompanied Jonathan to a yard sale he was committed to. Not much to say about that except Jonathan sold a guitar for $400, had a digital camera stolen, and I ate two chocolate doughnuts. Oh and I found a breast-feeding book in his collection and bought it from him for a quarter. I nearly bought The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, but then I remembered that I hate all that Prayer of Jabez crap so I didn't. I urged Jonathan not to sell such heresy, but money and greed... you know how it goes. (Ha, I kid, I kid.) To tell someone else's joke that um, won't be funny being read on a blog but that keeps me giggling even now... a man looking through the books asked why so many religious books- is someone a theology student? Jonathan admitted, "Yes, I am a theology student, which is why all the religious books. And I am selling these books because I'm a theology student." Oh, I laughed. I cannot tease anyone for the dodgy books they owned in their early Christian days. I have a couple of those dodgy books myself. (Though I had the decency to toss them, not sell them. Heh.) The man ended up buying Jonathan's entire "Left Behind" series. Ah... the secret pasts of theologians... I wonder what secrets our great Reformers had stacked away on a bookshelf once upon a time?

Following the yard sale, we stopped by a couple music stores to check out fiddles. Sarah has been wanting to play. We had no luck and went home. We ate pork ribs. We drank wine.

Jonthan got on eBay and found Sarah a beautiful Francesco Cervini fiddle at a great price. We sang along to music being played in the living room. I went to bed. It had been a lovely day.

Sarah and I got up at 4 the next morning to head back to the airport for my flight at 6. I had gotten a watch while in Utah so the flight home wasn't nearly so miserable. My dad met me at the airport, and the vacation was over.

The End.
I know you all must be just DYING to hear from me, sorry for the long break.

I was in Utah. I forgot to mention that.

I was in Utah visiting Jonathan and Sarah. Oh I had so much fun! I'm definitely glad to be back, but I'm sad to be gone. Jonathan and Sarah are two of the coolest people I know, and probably the coolest couple I know.

This is just a preliminary post to let you know the Lori is back. I will tell all about my fun trip and the fun people I met and the fun drinks I drank soon. Right now, I have a week's worth of work to catch up on.

(By the way, isn't my darling's post below so cute?? I love him.)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I Am Not A Title, I Am A Free Post

I have seen two movies (The Village and I, Robot) in the last two days. I've not been to the cinema in ages. It was just grand.

I was expecting the good one to be the bad one and the bad one to be the good one. I, Robot was much better than I expected (I loved the Foundation series when I was a kidder) and The Village was pretentious nonsense. Oh well.

I even figured out the "twist". When is Shyamalan (spelling?) going to stop with the twists? It'd be more surprising now if he didn't bother.

Anyway, it's four in the morning and I'm not doing a great job of appearing literate. Lori wanted me to post, so I did, or I'd be in trouble.

And seeing as how in four weeks exactly I'll be a married man, it's good to keep the good lady happy.

Does anyone else think it's weird that I'm getting married? Because I do. I don't even acknowledge the fact that I'm not a teenager any more. My brain just doesn't like the idea much. I'm a kid who wants to be a rockstar, it thinks. Not a mortgage redemption guy who is getting a house, a wife and a car (thanks for that :) ).

I'm happy about it really. It'll be the best thing to be not lonely any more.

This was supposed to be a big emo post about the technicalities of missing someone, how it gets less obvious and more painful over time. But it just seems silly to try and think that much at this time of night. So you get a semi-coherent post instead. And you'll just have to put up with it.

Sigh. My eyes hurt. I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I'm sorry about this, but because this made me laugh out loud several times (because I find many of these things so true!) I had to post it. You might think your state is funny, too.

You Know You're From Arkansas When...

"Vacation" means goin' through Harrison on the way to Branson.

Down South, to you, means Louisiana.

You have no problem spelling or pronouncin' Ouachita or Possum Grape.

You know what Toad Suck and Booger Holler are.

Your idea of a really great tenderloin is when the meat is twice as big as the bun and comes with cole slaw on top.

You say catty-wampus and tumped over.

You know the difference between a deer dog, a duck dog and a coon dog by the way they bark.

Pulaski County is considered a foreign or exotic place.

You consider being a "Beef Queen" an honor.

You faithfully drink Pepsi, Mt. Dew, or Dr. Pepper everyday of your life.

You know what a "cow drop" is.

You have your own secret bbq sauce.

You know how to snipe hunt.

You or your neighbors have more hunting dogs than you have family members.

You visit the Arkansas State Fair mainly to see your neighbor's prize chicken.

You've been invited to or had a bunkin' party.

You abhor homosexuality, but love "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

You'd rather be No. 1 in football than No. 1 in education.

You think that recycling means riding your bike down the same old path.

You think orange barrels are really part of the interstate system.

When the forecast calls for an inch of snow, you run out with all the other crazies to stand in line for three hours to buy a month's worth of groceries.

You drink sweet iced tea out of a sports bottle.

Your traditional Thanksgiving dinner is a deep-fried turkey.

You call a shopping cart a buggy.

You see "No Hunting" signs are riddled with bullet holes.

You think "Animal House" is the training film for incoming athletes at the University of Arkansas

The three food groups are Velveeta, pork rinds and a six-pack.

Everyone you think of as a "liberal" is either Methodist or Catholic.

You think that Bill Clinton is a lyin', cheatin' sumbitch, but you'd still vote for him again in a heartbeat because he's OUR lyin' cheatin' sumbitch.

You've "offered" someone an "ass-whoopin'. " (

When you give directions they include "over yonder," "down the road a piece," and "right near."

You're not commitment-phobic: you love God, guns and football.

You'd rather have a Budweiser beer museum than a presidential library.

You think pinto beans are nekkid without hamhocks, cornbread and buttermilk.

Sweet milk and torn up biscuits in a glass is your favorite dessert.

You think bagels are nothing but a cruel doughnut joke invented by some Yankee!

You eat at Senor Tequila's for atmosphere and Lolita's Tex-Mex for salsa.

You say, "I voted for Clinton to get him out of the state."

You own three cars and one license plate.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Arkansas.

Get Your Own "You Know You're From" Meme Here

More cool things for your blog at

I currently do not like the look of my blog. I am working on it. Please do not pass judgment quite yet.

I leave for Utah tomorrow. Ye-uh.

Monday, August 16, 2004

When do we reach the Angle of Repose?

I feel obligated to write something.

I'm reading this book, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. (Being out of school allows me to do things like this.) I am constantly moved to tears as I experience Susan Burling Ward's constant transitioning to lonely and rugged places as she follows her husband to each new job. I believe I am moved more by a feeling of understanding than by literary charm, though that is not to be ignored. I know how Susan feels. I too am leaving my own Milton in exchange for an uncertain life in a far away place. I, at least, shall have my travel fare. She has only her Oliver to keep her company, to keep her from boredom and loneliness; I will have only my Scott. Oliver leaves during the day to work and provide for his family, leaving the new Mrs. Ward at home, waiting with homesickness for her dear husband to return. She fills these hours idly, writing letters home and worrying about her future. Will she ever make real friends with whom she can relate? What if something happens to Oliver? What would she do without him?

As I silently and helplessly move Susan along through the years, I fear and mourn with her. Will I make friends in Scotland? What will I do if I lose Scott? How will I cope with the loss of family and friends?

Yet I am more encouraged than Susan was able to be. She often felt quite uncertain about her man, having barely known him when they wed and he being very unlike the literary and cultured socialites in her circles. I, however, do not fear what she fears (and what she need not fear.) Scott, like Oliver, loves me more than I deserve. He overlooks (perhaps does not even see) my unworthiness and is resolved to care for me better than I care for myself. Susan was surprised by the care and sensitivity in which Oliver prepared their first house before she arrived. She expected a shack; he'd prepared for her a breath-taking home. I trust that my Scott is just as eager to provide for me the same kind of life Oliver resolved to give his beloved, and with the same kind of love and adoration.

I am also learning with Susan. (*SPOILERS for those who have not read as far or who may read in the future.) After Oliver quits his job at the mines and begins searching for new work, he passes his time experimenting with cement. Susan is confident of her husband's ability and is sure he will create a working cement. In an effort to encourage him and motivate him, she insists that he go into the cement business and build a plant. He is a little reluctant, but she (and I) attribute this to his fear of failure. She insists that he can do it, and that she would even be willing to live out West for much longer if he were able to start this business. He ends up agreeing and even getting excited about this prospect. He does indeed invent cement but cannot get the financial backing to start a plant. Susan is instructed by an older woman to leave this notion of hers behind and allow her husband to go back to what he really loves. She tells Susan that he only followed this dream because she wanted him to, but that a man will never be happy if his work cannot reflect his true heart and talents. Both Susan and I took this advice with stony anger. She wasn't pressuring him into this, was she? He was just as excited as she. This was their dream, not just her dream! Yet the woman was right. And we were wrong. (*END SPOILERS.)

Will I do these things to Scott? Is this one of those forms of miscommunication that I'm always being warned about? How will I know when I'm making a similar mistake? Have I already made similar mistakes?......

....With all that said, I'm unable to end this post effectively. Where was I going with this anyway? I love this book. I love Scott. I can't wait to be married. I am very much in love.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Friday the 13th

Creepy things:
-It's August and it feels like October.
-An alarm went off in the house this morning and it didn't beep like mine. But it kept going so I hit my alarm and it stopped. But my alarm wasn't set for that time and it doesn't beep like that.

Good news:
-I am marrying Scott McWonderful in 35 days.
-My student loan repayment doesn't begin until February 2005.
-It is Friday.
-Monday I have a long morning meeting, so the day will go fast.
-I haven't seen any s's in my house since I magic-mothballed the surrounding areas.

Bad news:
-My throat is getting sore.
-I miss Scott.

Rando Factoids:
-I got a haircut yesterday, a trim really. My bangs fall much nicer now.
-I did not get a haircut on Tuesday because the girl working didn't say hi to me and Amanda when we came in and then went to the back and sat for a long time. Amanda started getting her hair cut by the other girl. 30 minutes later the first girl came out and asked if I was ready. I curtly told her no thank you, I have been waiting for 30 minutes, and I am no longer interested in getting my hair cut. She shrugged and started on another guy. Then she went into labor 8 and 1/2 weeks early. I experienced guilt.
-I have been wearing my glasses, and I really can't see.
-Amanda rented 13 Going on 30. We shall view it this evening.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Getting personal... Lori's Boob Job

I read this today, and it got me thinking. And the thinking it got me, got me writing. And the writing I'm gonna do, is personal.

Everyone warns me that marriage is hard. My mom's favorite joke when I ask her for advice on marriage is, "Don't do it." Everyone warns me about finances. Everyone warns me about communication. I, being currently (though not permanently) unmarried, believe them. And then part of me thanks God that Scott and I have such an honest, communicative, edifying relationship. We rarely fight, and when we do, we resolve the fight quickly. Often times we get grouchy, but one of us kills the grouchiest by calling the other some ridiculous name like "Grumpy-butt" or "dummie-face". Not that I want to be naive and think all problems can be ended by forming an adjective-noun combination. I'm just thankful that we have already developed the kind of communication that we have--it puts us one or two steps ahead of the game.

What I've discovered on my own, however, is less of a hot topic. So I'm going to explore it here, for the benefit of myself and hopefully for the benefit of some others who read this.

Earlier this summer, at a regular check-up, my doctor detected a lump in my breast. I'd actually known about this lump for 5 or so years but really didn't pay much attention to it. I assumed it was probably normal, a lymph node or a mammary gland or something. She also detected two more that I was unaware of. She referred me to a specialist right away.

I told my mom about it, and she guessed it was a cyst. Apparently, she and all her sisters had also had cysts. This didn't worry me in the slightest.

I went to the Breast Specialist and had an ultrasound. (I'm too young for anything else.) The doctor took pictures of all the lumps and measured them. One he decided was nothing--the other two he did not like.

"We're gonna need to take those out. You're awfully young, but I wouldn't leave anything that big inside anyone," he told me.

"What are they?" I asked. "Cysts?"

"No, they are tumors. I'll have to remove them surgically. Can you come in for surgery tomorrow?"

Tomorrow! Suddenly my heart was seized with fear. Surgery?! Tomorrow?! "Um, yes, I can come in tomorrow." The doctor left the room, and I sat in the room alone. My eyes filled with tears, for fear of surgery. Would I feel it? Would they put me all the way under? I'd never had surgery before, I did not like the idea of a knife cutting open any part of my body so close to my head. (For some reason, surgery down in my feet or somewhere seemed so much less terrifying.) The nurse came in to get some information from me. She noticed the tears in my eyes.

"Are you ok?" she asked.

"I--I don't-- I've never had surgery. What does he think is wrong with me? I'm too young to have breast cancer, right?"

The nurse smiled gently. "You're young, yes. But I had breast cancer at the age of 30. It does happen. But know you have age on your side. You know in your heart if you have it. I knew, before they ever had to tell me. You know, too."

Well, this New Agey advice did nothing. What is in my heart? I wondered. Fear. Lots of fear. Cancer? Maybe. In fact, oh my gosh, maybe. I know in my heart? I don't know anything now! I certainly don't know I don't have cancer.

I left the clinic and fell apart in my car. I sobbed. I drove home, praying and sobbing. God! If this is cancer, I know it's for your glory. Somehow! I don't know how but I know you are in control. I've known you long enough to know you aren't going to leave me now. I trust you! But I am so freaking scared! This prayer continued until I got home.

I needed to talk to Scott. But something inside of me didn't want to talk to him at all. He would be so scared! He would feel so helpless! He will want to be here, and he can't be. It hurt me even more to have to share the pain and fear I was feeling. I thought about our wedding vows which we would make at the end of the summer "...in sickness and in health... til death do us part". I hadn't realized how hard "in sickness" would be. Part of me even thought it would be better for us to break up, rather than have Scott forced to go through this with me, should I have cancer. I called him anyway. I needed him.

Scott was scared. Scott wanted to hop on a plane right then and come to me. He promised he would should the diagnosis be cancer. He was upset. And I hated having put that on him.

We talked about the vows, the "in sickness" part. He knew he could do nothing to change the situation, but he needed to be a part of it. He always says, "You're a part of me now." You can't keep these things to yourself once you're married. Being unmarried and single meant leaning on myself and carrying the burden alone, which is what I wanted. But being betrothed now meant sharing the burden, not carrying it alone. I'm not going to lie--I didn't feel any better after sharing it. I didn't feel like any of the load was taken off me. Instead I felt like I'd just told Scott, too, he might have cancer.

So, as a still unmarried, very naive little girl, my warning isn't about finances or communication, but sharing burdens. As I read the post linked above, I was touched that other people experience the same thing. It seems like such a selfless thing at the time, to protect the person you love from pain. But it isn't so. It's not ground-breaking advice, I suppose it's really not advice at all. I feel silly even bringing it up, except for I know how hard it was. I almost want to delete this whole paragraph... But I think I'm going to leave it.

Even though my point has been made, I ought to finish the story. I was going to need someone to take me to and from the surgical clinic. It just so happened that my dad was in town that week on business. He teaches mechanic training school, and it just so happened that this one particular time he had brought another guy with him to observe him. So my dad arranged for the other guy to teach his class on Friday, and he took me to my surgery. (God wasn't forgetting any details!) I was taken to the back with all the other patients and cried a little as I laid on my cot in nothing but socks and a hospital gown, wishing Scott were there, feeling very cold. I touched my lump a few times wondering what it was. I'd read up on the surgical procedure the day before, after I'd learned what was to happen, so I was moderately prepared, though I kept worrying I might wake up during the surgery. However, this should have been no worry at all, for I took two breaths into the mask and next thing I knew I was in a bed surrounded by recovering patients like myself. I made a joke about nipple hair apparently to one of the nurses and fell asleep again. I woke up again in another room where my dad was waiting. The nurse told me I had been quite funny and that the surgery went well, took only 30 minutes. The doctor assured us that one lump (the big one) was most certainly a fibroadenoma. The other lump was uncertain.

Monday morning I got the call that all was benign.

In my follow up visit, my doctor described the tumors' appearances to me (as I had asked him before the surgery to do). I imagined them green and hairy. Scott imagined them bloody. They were just smooth and kind of yellow-tan. Boring.

I don't have cancer. Not right now anyway. I still have a tiny fear in the back of my mind that something was overlooked, that the third lump should've been taken care of, that I will probably develop cancer in the future. But for now, I am all well. And, uh, to make this a nice functional conclusion, if I do have cancer some day, Scott will share it with me. And if he ever gets sick, you better believe I'm going to share the pain with him.

You Gotta Be 2000 Places At Once

Just got the new Polyphonic Spree album. It's the first CD I've bought in about two months, I think. It's very good. I'm enjoying it. I was in town, it called me, I was weak.

I'm recognising some of the songs from when I seen them last year. Which is nice.

I've been thinking a lot recently about going back to university. I screwed up the first time and I don't think that a degree would hurt my career. I just don't know what topic to do/what my career is.

Should I just work in the bank forever?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Inspirational Desk Calendar Quote of the Day

"God has two dwellings: one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart."- Izaak Walton

All I'm going to say about this questionable saying is what parent thought it would be a good idea to turn the name Isaac into Izaak? I mean, it's like the Kwik Kopy. It's blatant, unnecessary misspelling. I find it repulsive.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Fun Facts

Q. True or false? Dinosaurs made their nests in the same place every year.
A. True! Just like birds today, some dinosaurs would return to a nesting site year after year.

Q. When scientists see ripple marks near a dinosaur fossil, what do they know?
A. The dinosaur lived near shallow water.

We moved out of our apartment this weekend. Ingrid went through and removed all the nails that we drove into the wall. No wait, not all-- just the ones she put up, even when there were several in the same place. Ha! Good thing Amanda bought a hammer.

I got my paycheck today and balanced my checkbook finally. I have a balance of $ -83.41. That's after the paycheck.

I got put on Amoxicillin today. It "may reduce the effects of birth control". I am being cautious and abstaining from sex while on the meds. Wait... I've been abstaining my whole pitiful life! Not much longer though. (39 days!)

Scott bought his plane tickets this weekend, and he miraculously got on the same return flight as me!!! We were certain we would have to fly seperately as we both purchased tickets from discounters. But God knew I'd be a basket case flying out of my country, so He arranged for Scott to fly with me. Yay Jesus!

Amanda's new house has spiders.

"There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford." - John Bradford

Oh yeah, I'm flying next week. Going to Utah to visit the Hayses, my new favorite people ever. I think the nurse assumed I was Mormon. I wanted to clarify, but I kept my mouth shut. She may have been Mormon for all I know.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Let's all hold hands and sing!

I made a B in my math class!!


On a less joyous note, I found out I will not be sent my diploma/degree/whatever I'm supposed to expect before I leave the States. I pleaded with the registrar lady, but she couldn't (or wouldn't) help me. I was hoping to be able to show my degree at the British consulate when I apply for my visa. Turns out, my transcript may not even be updated in time. The lady in the registrar's office said it will take 4-6 weeks after next Tuesday to update it. If it takes exactly 6 weeks, my transcript will be ready one day before I leave for L.A. Which, mind you, is in the middle of our honeymoon. Who the hell wants to go by their old University to pick up a transcript in the middle of their honeymoon?? "Scott, sorry, enough now. I have better things to do. Like go to Silas Hunt Hall and buy an official transcript."

Well, anyway, as long as it happens by then. If it takes a day over 6 weeks, (which it probably will only take the 4) I won't even have a transcript to prove to the consulate officials that I have a degree and really could get a job over there.


On a less complainy note, I'M NOW TRULY, GENUINELY, OFFICIALLY GRADUATED!! (Well... after grades get turned in on Tuesday.) But as far as it concerns me, NO MORE SCHOOL EVER!! (Unless I decide to go back for a Master's which I am doubting.) I'm a college grad!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Excerpt from "Personal Narrative" by Jonathan Edwards

"From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God's sovereignty, in choosing whom he would to eternal life, and rejecting whom he pleased; leaving them eternally to perish, and be everlastingly tormented in hell. It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me. But I remember the time very well, when I seemed to be convinced, and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty of God, and his justice in thus eternally disposing of men, according to his sovereign pleasure. But never could give an account, how, or by what means, I was thus convinced, not in the least imagining at the time, nor a long time after, that there was any extraordinary influence of God's Spirit in it; but only that now I saw further, and my reason apprehended the justice and reasonableness of it. However, my mind rested in it; and it put an end to all those cavils and objections. And there has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, in respect to the doctrine of God's sovereignty, from that day to this; so that I scarce ever have found so much as the rising of an objection against it, in the most absolute sense, in God's shewing mercy to whom he will shew mercy, and hardening whom he will. God's absolute sovereignty and justice, with respect to salvation and damnation, is what my mind seems to rest assured of, as much as of any thing that I see with my eyes; at least it is so at times. But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God's sovereignty than I had then. I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has very often appeared exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. But my first conviction was not so."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Joy Of Fax

Who would have thought a machine that scans and prints could bring so much despondency into the world? Why is it that some people cannot bring themselves to press the little "Memory Transmit" button before faxing. Why do we have to fax? Why not encrypted email? It's safer!


Audience participation time. Go get your fortune. Up there ^.

Then suggest more.

Memories of Desert Shield/Desert Storm

I came across this blog today via Joshua and Kristen's blog. It gutted me. It also brought back a few memories.

In 3rd grade we were given a writing assignment. The entire class wrote letters to the troops serving in the Gulf War. My dad has always been in the military so I was somewhat familiar with aspects of military life. Or whatever aspects a 3rd grader would be expected to be familiar with. In my letter I asked about the food (referring mentally to the astronaut food I tasted at an Air Show at the base.) That was what I believed must be the most interesting thing about being away at war. I also felt very compassionate. I told him Jesus loved him. I told him I hoped he didn't miss his family too much. All in all it was a very brief letter, considering I was about eight and the writing assignment was probably a paragraph. Today, I wondered if those letters were ever sent, and if they were, what my soldier thought about my letter...

The Gulf War was a big deal to me. I only knew what I heard my parents say and what my teachers said and what my classmates said, but these things impacted me. I remember asking my mom if Dad was gonna have to go to war. She said probably not, so I asked her how she knew. She explained that my dad is only in the Reserves now, and so the likelihood of him being called was less. I wasn't comforted. I was afraid my dad was gonna have to go. (Today, my older brother serves in the Air Force and wants to go to Iraq. I do not understand why, but my dad says if Danny goes, he wants to go, too. I don't know how I feel about two of my family members going away and this childhood fear coming true. If either go, I will wear a yellow ribbon despite how I feel about this war.)

I remember being at Mazzio's Pizza after church one Sunday and a breaking news story came on the television regarding Kuwait. Everyone in the restaurant got up from their tables and crowded around the TV, employees and all. I did not know what was going on, but I was terrified.

Amy Richardson said her family was voting for Michael Dukakis. The rest of us told her he was bad and her family should be voting for George Bush. We made her cry. We were probably the first 1st grade class to be banned from discussing politics on the playground. Oh yeah, and Charlie Don't-Remember-His-Last-Name told us he was perfect, and we told him that was a sin to say he was perfect. We made him cry. We were then banned from discussing religion. To this day I haven't learned my lesson.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

I genuinely have the greatest future husband imaginable. Scott, darling, I love you so much.

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.