Thursday, June 30, 2005

I. Am. Old.

I'm so old, it's not funny.

I was browsing about the student applications website today ( when I discovered that, depressingly, I'm now considered a mature student. Weird man.

Although, it does make it easier to get in, easier to pay the costs, etc. So that's not so bad.

But still, someone describing me as mature.


[edit]After doing some digging, I think my temporary dream of going back to Uni must be forgotten. They won't accept my Highers because they're too old, so I'd have to go through an Access course. Sigh.

Oh well, I'll just have to build a business empire. [/edit]

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

For Mom

You wanted me to post a few pictures so here you go. The last three are from Canada, the first is my new hair cut (on the day. I can't reproduce that in the mornings.)
This is us in front of Green Gables, by the way. Isn't Scott just having the greatest time?
I'd take more time and actually put these in a gallery, but I'm in a rotten mood and can't be bothered. Plus, I'm hungry, and my darling husband ate my tortilla chips that were meant for my cheese dip. I'll call you soon. Hope all is going well back home.
Love you, your daughter

Elton John

Elton John and Bob Geldof should be shot in the feet for this whole Live8 thing. Hypocrites and rascals, the pair.

It's my day off work, and an acquaintance is currently rabbiting on about these concerts over MSN. Hopefully he doesn't have my blog address.

Why should we take it seriously? Elton John spends £250,000 a year on flowers. That'd feed, like, a squintillion people or something. Bob Geldof is so ridiculously stingy he steals royalties from the members of his band.

It's an exercise in self-promotion for all involved.

Except Bono. Cos he's a saint.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Triple Diatribes

This stupid website!

So, the links aren't working, for some unknown stupid freaking &$@#% reason. I fixed the links last night, they were working for me then, and now they are doing the same thing as before--adding an extra "" before the link. Gah! I don't know if it's Dreamweaver or what, but I don't normally have problems with things as easy as links. So, for the time being, links are still down, but of course, if you want to see your website broadcasted to the world (the underworld, where dead links go), you can always click on the link and just delete the extraneous web address.

I think we're going to revamp tonight. Too many problems.

Speaking of too many problems.... My life has that.

Segue into post... [divided into three parts]

Marriage vs. Dating: Which Holds More Weight?
There's a young man whom I see every morning on the train. We ride the same train from Greenock to Glasgow, and then the same train from Glasgow into the West End. He's a bit of a ned but is incredibly kind. I've never felt creeped out by him at all, even though he has the look of someone who would usually creep me out. He's very polite and usually gives me an acknowledging nod in the mornings, and if he passes me in the station's lower level, he often makes a polite passing comment like, "These early mornings!" I very much get the impression that he is generally a good man.

This morning, because he does not creep me out and I have no reason to avoid him, I ended up sitting in the same block of seats on the train into the West End. He made his usual passing comment, something about the train in the morning, then he said, "You'd think your boyfriend would drive you into work!"

I was about to correct him and say he is my husband when suddenly a sick realisation came over me. Stating that Scott is my husband might possibly come across as a flirt. What, you may ask? How would that be flirting? The answer is, that in today's society, people stick with their boyfriends because they like them, and they stick with their husbands because they have to. In today's society. That is how the world views marriage. If I let him think Scott is merely my boyfriend, there would be no misunderstanding in my intentions to be polite to the nice guy. However, if I were to inform him that I am married, I suddenly become ambiguous and a bit challenging. People cheat more when they are married than when they are dating.

I did not correct him but went on to explain how Scott has to be at work in Greenock at 8, and I have to be at work in Glasgow at 8, so it works best for me to take the train. Polite conversation ensued, and I alighted at my stop.

This realisation says something horrible about the state marriage is in these days. The realisation was also invoked by the novels I've been reading lately. I've been in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez phase lately, and in all of his books, adultery abounds. Me, in my naiveté, assumed this was all fancy, something to move the plot along. But I am currently reading his autobiography and have discovered that all the desperate housewives offering their "love" to any and all are no mere fancies of an accomplished writer but the raw stuff that imagination is made of. In his own life, for instance, in his adolescence even, he had a many month long affair with a young married woman, who had him in her bed all the nights a week that her husband was away captaining his ship.

The world no longer sees marriage as a holy union which ought to be sacredly protected and nurtured. Marriage has become no more than a prison cell in which the only way to happiness is to sneak through the bars at night in search of other loves, prisoner or free. This view of marriage, of "hammering the nails in the coffin", of "the old ball and chain", all teasing aside, is prevalent in the world today, and it simply breaks my heart.

Before I was married, I couldn't wait to be married so that I would be left alone by the morally deviant men who wander to and fro searching for a woman to pursue (usually in the most unromantic and transparent of ways) and take to bed. A guy in a bar once told me that that's not the way it works, that a wedding ring is no more to a man than a tempting challenge. I thought he was just being cynical, but unfortunately, I believe he was still right.

I Believe In Hell, But How Am I Supposed To Tell You That?
A friend of mine today said out of the blue that she didn't believe in hell. She went on to say that she thinks this life is the hard part that we struggle through, and then in the end we are all forgiven for everything, and we go to heaven where all our hard work is rewarded. I sat a bit stunned for a moment, wondering what to say. In my heart I thought, "Are you just gonna stay quiet knowing if she were to die now she would not be going to heaven?"

I meekly said, "I believe in hell."

"Do you?" she asked. "Well, who knows."

I surprise myself. In some situations, I can be so bold and so outspoken about the Gospel. I love the Gospel, I really do, and I embrace it's offensiveness because it is Truth and the Truth sometimes hurts. Sometimes it's unpleasant (to us) but above all it is Truth which I value highly. I believe God is glorified by everything that He does and we do. But then when someone brings up the awful - namely, in this situation, hell - I clam up. I am terrified. I don't want hell to be true. I can discuss theology all day long about how God is glorified with justice and that is why some go to hell. But deep down, in my finite mind and my imperfect heart, I don't want hell to be true any more than my friend does.

I was at my favourite bar, JR's, one night after hours. I was having a drink with my boss, the owner, whom I still to this day love with all my heart. He knew I was a Christian, as do most people, so after a few drinks he asked me point blank, "Do you think I am going to hell?" Stunned and sober, I paused, thinking frantically, and then finally admitted, "If you never come to know Jesus as your Saviour, then yes." Wade just looked at me incredulously and then laughed, "I don't believe in hell." We talked about the issue a little while longer, the whole time me waiting to be handed my letter of resignation. No firing ensued, but the experience was terrifying. I am eternally grateful to God that I did not chicken out, but the experience hasn't made me any wiser.

I had a similar experience with a person even more adored than my boss. Eleni Mandell, my favourite she singer/songwriter, was in town. We'd met the first time she came to Fayetteville, and we had kept in touch. When she arrived this time, I had pizza with the band and then joined Eleni at the bar for a drink. The subject of her being a Jew came up. I told her I was a Christian, and she said something about Jesus that I can't remember. At any rate, I felt that same panic and that same urgency to just say something, and I ended up having to tell her, too, that those who don't believe in Jesus will not find themselves in heaven. She didn't take it too well, but she assured me she appreciated my honesty, etc... The whole night I felt sick; I'd basically just told my favourite musician she was going to hell.

This business is hard for me. I'm not good at it. I don't have a conclusion other than to say that I imagine the Christians reading this will sympathize, and the rest of you will think a little less of me for believing in hell. I feel so inadequate.

The Message Revisited
Contrasting all I just said, because I value the Bible so dearly, I want to reitterate my point on The Message with a few links (thanks, Amy). So many people think this book is a great new translation, and it has been endorsed by people as great as Billy Graham and J.I. Packer. So in that case, I feel humbled to be contradicting men of such calliber, but they too are human, and all I can do is stand up for what I believe, no matter who I offend. (You wouldn't think I was the same person as she who just wrote the post on hell. I'm a fallen human, saved only because God extended some undeserved favour to me.)

* The Message: Inaccurate Paraphrase Recommended by Evangelical Leaders
* 'The Message' Bible Per-version
* A Conversation with Eugene Peterson
* What Kind of Message is THE MESSAGE?
* and Amy's blog post on the subject: The Message

Monday, June 27, 2005

The moment you've all been waiting for....

... ah shucks, let's be honest. You haven't been waiting. But they're here--

The Unbelievable Cheek Award Nominations!

That's right. Simply click here to vote for who in this blogosphere has the most Unbelievable Cheek!

Also, links are "up"-ish: meaning, if you click on them, you will be taken to the correct page; however, it will not load up within this frame. We can't seem to figure out what frame we are supposed to target. It's a load of bullhonky, but at least they're up and running again!

I feel very feated. That is, I've defeated this thing called the interweb.

More interesting news coming soon! (And likely it will all be at Shmorgishblog®, where interesting news will always prevail! ... That is, once it gets started up.)

A Blog Buffet

Not that I have anything of worth to say at the present time, but I never like to leave the ole blog too long before updating. Don't wanna lose our vast number of readers. (Heh.)

A couple things:
1. Tonight we plan to fix the broken links above. Hopefully it will all be fixed by the time we go to bed tonight. I'm also gonna move the poll back to the main page because its more fun there. It'll probably be underneath the little side bar over there <--. And if I have the time/energy, I'll post some pictures.
2. I still haven't posted the Cheek Award nominations. I think that means I'm unreliable and shouldn't have contests because I'm too lazy to post the results. But it's not forgotten and I hope that when I do post them, you will vote on them to name the Second-to-Last House in Greenock's Cheekiest Person Ever.

Nextly, we'd like to you head on over to a new blog that is forming, Shmorgishblog®. It will sort-of be utter crap. We hope you enjoy it. (If you'd like to join Shmorgishblog® please leave us an email, and we'll send you an invite.) What is it, you ask? We're asking the same question.

Lots of faith is needed on the McF front. We're waiting on some money to come through with which to purchase our plane tix for our upcoming (quickly upcoming) trip to the USA. We are meant to leave in three weeks. The money should come in in the next two. We (ok, just I) need faith that the money will come in on time, and that when it does, there will still be tickets available for purchase. Scott's not worried. I am.

We're going to see Sigor Ros this weekend. I've never listened to them much, but they are beautiful, and I look forward to seeing them. Scott's got several albums I ought to listen to before Friday.

Politics savvy me thinks the US should not ban flag-burning.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Message of The Message

I. Hate. The Message.

I don't know how to say this without being too offensive, but this book is offensive. It literally sickens me.

God's says what He means. God doesn't pull any punches. The Holy Spirit inspired many men to write precisely what He meant to say. These men wrote these things precisely as the Holy Spirit inspired them to, and sometimes the things that were recorded sound pretty harsh. Remember when God blatantly said, "Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated"? Remember when He said, "For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God"? Remember when Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me"?


See, it's not that God is heartless and cruel. It's simply that He is Holy. Holy meaning set apart and perfect and unable to withstand sin. Because God is Holy, He cannot look upon sinful man with acceptance. This is why God sent His Son Jesus to earth, to be the propitiation for our sin. Those who are in His Son are now justified and made pure in the sight of God. God is able to look at man through His Son and see him as redeemed. But this conversely means that those who are not in His Son are not pure and justified, and God cannot look at him as redeemed. So God spoke plainly to us in His Scripture so we would be sure to understand - if we are a part of Him, we will remain with Him. If we are not a part of Him, we will not remain with Him.

The Message completely wipes away all clarity on the matter. In an effort to simplify the Word of God and translate it into every day language, the author Eugene Peterson has completely obliterated a vast majority of Truth. In an effort to make the Bible more "palatable", he's made it less true. And a Bible that is less true is as good as a Bible that is not true at all.

Take the following passages for instance:
1 Corinthians 5:1-5 -Immorality Rebuked
It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

The Mystery of Sex
I also received a report of scandalous sex within your church family, a kind that wouldn't be tolerated even outside the church: One of your men is sleeping with his stepmother. And you're so above it all that it doesn't even faze you! Shouldn't this break your hearts? Shouldn't it bring you to your knees in tears? Shouldn't this person and his conduct be confronted and dealt with? I'll tell you what I would do. Even though I'm not there in person, consider me right there with you, because I can fully see what's going on. I'm telling you that this is wrong. You must not simply look the other way and hope it goes away on its own. Bring it out in the open and deal with it in the authority of Jesus our Master. Assemble the community--I'll be present in spirit with you and our Master Jesus will be present in power. Hold this man's conduct up to public scrutiny. Let him defend it if he can! But if he can't, then out with him! It will be totally devastating to him, of course, and embarrassing to you. But better devastation and embarrassment than damnation. You want him on his feet and forgiven before the Master on the Day of Judgment.
[The Message]

Upon first read, there is little difference. A bit of monologuing going on in The Message, a bit of over-simplifying, but nothing strikingly heretical. And it is for this reason that this book has made it into Christian bookshops, homes and churches.

But let's look closely at what has been added/omitted which actually make the two passages say different things.

It begins as simply as the "title" of the passage. (Note: I do not know if titles were used in the Greek or not, so this is just an introduction. Greek students may be able to give an answer in my comments to where the titles are picked up.) The New American Standard, a very reliable translation which comes directly from the Greek, calls it "Immorality Rebuked". The New King James Version calls it "Immorality Defiles the Church/ Immorality in the Church Must Be Judged". The Message calls it, masterfully, "The Mystery of Sex." What? Hold the boat. How is sexual immorality comparable to the Mystery of Sex? Already, we are entering this passage with the idea that it is about the wonderful "mystery of sex" as opposed to a passage dealing with church discipline.

Both passages then explain what has occurred. Someone has been with his father's mother, which due to the strange wording implies a stepmother. Then, the NASB immediately strikes straight to the heart of the matter- "You have become arrogant and have not mourned." Ouch. Immediate reprimand. No beating around the bush. One may have expected Paul to first rant about how awful that is, but he instead looks at the church with a rebuke. The Message, however, goes about it in a different way. Considering that it hurts worse when your mother tells you she's "disappointed in you", the author assumes that this same method is what Paul really should of used. "And you're so above it all that it doesn't even faze you! Shouldn't this break your hearts? Shouldn't it bring you to your knees in tears?" This translation kindly tells the church they are "above it all". Nice euphemism for "arrogant". Shouldn't this upset you, guys? Guys, come on, this is bad! Guys, why aren't you in tears? I'm very disappointed in you. The congregation hang their heads in shame.

Now, what should be done? The NASB states clearly that "... the one who had done this deed would [should] be removed from your midst." He doesn't really leave any room for you to argue with him. He's basically said what should happen, case closed. No questions, this is what should be done. The Message isn't quite so decisive, so hurried to be sure it knows best. "Shouldn't this person and his conduct be confronted and dealt with?" Probably, yeah, he probably should be. Paul: "I'll tell you what I would do...."

This is the part that gets me! "I'll tell you what I would do"? Does Paul ever say that in any direct translation from the Greek? Neither the NASB or the ESV, which are extremely faithful versions straight from the Greek have no mention. The King James Version and the New King James Version don't seem to have it, either. No, just The Message. To be blunt, the author is putting words in Paul's mouth. This way, if one feels like it's "really mean" to put someone out of the church, they can refer to The Message and say, "Well, it's only what Paul would've done. It's not a requirement." Now we have a loophole. Instead of going through a painful and difficult and offensive and unpopular church discipline, we can now simply take Paul's "advice", or we can leave it.

"Even though I'm not there in person, consider me right there with you, because I can fully see what's going on. I'm telling you that this is wrong. You must not simply look the other way and hope it goes away on its own. Bring it out in the open and deal with it in the authority of Jesus our Master." Now The Message has provided us with Paul's "advice". If he were there in person, he'd bring it out into the open and deal with it.

The NASB renders this part of the passage quite simply: "For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present." These days we have a huge problem with "judging". We tell everyone we are not meant to judge, and this is true to an extent. Not we, but God, decide a man's fate. However, as Paul later explains in this chapter, we are to judge those that are within the church, but not those outside the church. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13, particularly 12) Interesting. And here, Paul has said with no coat of sugar that even though he's not even there, he's already judged the guy.

The Message would never say something so offensive. It's getting a little away from text in particular, but later in the passage when Paul says we are to judge our own (v. 12), The Message says, "... don't we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers?" Emphasis mine. Once again, we've been let off the hook through the power of semantics.

Back to the main passage. We come to the conclusion of this paragraph. The Message concludes with this: "Assemble the community--I'll be present in spirit with you and our Master Jesus will be present in power. Hold this man's conduct up to public scrutiny. Let him defend it if he can! But if he can't, then out with him! It will be totally devastating to him, of course, and embarrassing to you. But better devastation and embarrassment than damnation. You want him on his feet and forgiven before the Master on the Day of Judgment." Compare that to the simple conclusion of the NASB: "In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

Wow. What are we to do with this? In one case, we are to put him in front of the people to defend himself. To one not reading carefully, this seems fair. But note that he is told to defend if he can. If he can't, then "out with him". One may think that this is just words; of course he can't defend himself for doing this! But suppose you were using this translation in your church, and this man actually could defend himself? (And I bet he could actually convince many people of some good reasons, i.e. they're in love, they loved each other before she married his father, his father was abusive to her and she just needed someone, etc.) Suddenly we find that we are stuck. Well, he could defend himself, and well, so I suppose it's ok, I mean there's no Biblical precendent now...

Luckily, the NASB (and in reality, the Greek) doesn't leave us with this loophole (or any of the aforementioned loopholes). Paul says he has decided to "deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh" that he may be saved in the end. Once again, the man isn't pulling any punches. The words he uses are harsh. In fact, this phrasing of "deliver[ing] one to Satan" is used in all the other translations I've looked at, including the ESV, NKJV, NIV, even the New Living Translation! The reason for this is clearly stated in all translations (some in more obvious ways than others): So that his sinful nature would be destroyed, and he would be saved. It's a backwards thought to us of how putting someone out of the church will bring him back to Christ. But it does make sense, in that it will bring shame and hopefully conviction (which is where faith in Christ's promises and commandments come in) to the sinner. And regardless if it makes sense, it's commanded in God's Word.

As I said at first, this translation sickens me. Practically all passages of Scripture can be refuted as thoroughly when contrasting The Message with any other translation. If you want to read more contrasts made between The Message and the Bible, click here. This offers many passages of Scripture that have been twisted through The Message to make Scripture more palatable, more modern and less offensive.

When God speaks, we would be wise to listen. God speaks clearly, He does not speak in code (no matter what The Da Vinci Code says), and He always says what He means. The Message by Eugene Peterson does not in any way faithfully represent the true words of God. It instead makes God's Word, and in essence Jesus Christ himself, putty in the hands of men, that may be twisted and molded to the likings and tastes of sinful human beings. Where God once told us what He wanted us to know, we now may pick up a poor translation and find the god that we humans have been looking for - the one who does what exactly what we think is best.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

FREAK-OUT of the Day

Background: We received the proof copy of the newsletter. It looked good. However, some of the information was wrong (not my fault, but the fault of those who gave me the information) so quite a bit had to be changed from the proof. I decided to quickly update the file and reburn onto CD to give to the printers.

11:50- Received changes requested by Rector
12:30- Changes completed
12:35- Called Printers, arranged for disc pick-up at 1:15
12:39- Deleted original file on shared drive to replace with new file
12:40- Opened My Documents to copy new file over
12:40- New file missing
12:41- Opened PageMaker to easily locate file
12:41- Error Message: File cannot be located
12:41- Panicked
12:42- Realised I'd been using and editing the file saved on shared drive instead of file in My Documents. Realised I just deleted said file from shared drive.
12:45- Proclaimed loudly my love for Recycle Bin
12:45- Opened Recycle Bin
12:46- File not in Recycle Bin
12:48- Realised shared drive doesn't save deleted items in Recycle Bin
12:48- Panicked more, broke into sweat, started shaking.
12:50- Thought rationally; took an old version of the layout, checked for errors and continuity. Copied newsletter text from Word document, which had been kept up to date straight through changes made at 12:30. Pasted into old layout. Made appropriate changes to style and spacing. Saved after every change.
1:07- Placed newly created file into shared drive. Saved copy in My Documents.
1:08- Called IT department to request items be burned to CD. IT department empty.
1:09- Called IT director's mobile. Discovered he had not left for lunch. Arranged for burn.
1:10- Ran upstairs to pick up CD. [Never checked to see if it worked, by the way...]
1:15- Came back to office.
1:17- Printers arrive. Disc handed over.
1:17- Crisis averted.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Family Time

I've been missing my family something awful lately - the noise, the commotion, the arguments, the sheer number of bodies cramming into small spaces.

This weekend I finally got some of that back. With my new family.

The McFarlane clan, the whole lot of us, went down to Annan to visit Scott's aunts family. With Pete back from America and Kate up from England, it was mayhem - beautiful mayhem! All crammed into the living room, teasing each other, laughing, playing the guitar, drinking tea, it felt like home.

I had already met Scott's aunt and his two cousins, Amy and Alex, but this was the first time I'd spent a lot of time with them. Amy is the girl I wanted to be in high school. She's fourteen, going on fifteen, and she's mega stylish. She has cute hair, cute clothes and great style. Alex is the boy I would've totally had a crush on when I was twelve. He's cute and cheeky, with spikey blond-tipped hair (but unfortunately supports Celtic). I absolutely fell in love with my new cousins this weekend.

I also met Scott's other cousin, Tracey (Tracy? Tracie? Don't know how she spells it), and she's also very very cool. I think we're the same age, but she's far beyond me in coolness. She's an amazing hair stylist, one of the best in Britain (no, really), and she's funny and beautiful. I fell in love with her, too.

I like that my new Scottish family is growing again. It got so small for awhile, just being me and Scott and his parents. Now Pete's lady will be here tomorrow and Kate is engaged and I've met Tracey and I love Amy and Alex... I love family.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sooner Rather Than Later

I said I'd post about Canada later, but thanks to my work at work being done, I've got the free time. Canada post it is:

Well, after an excruciating five hour drive from Greenock to Manchester we flew for a not-so-excruciating five and a half hours to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where we were picked up by the not-quite-yet-Mr-and-Mrs Graeme and Emily, who drove us another three or four hours from Halifax to Stanhope, Prince Edward Island. We originally intended to hire a car at the airport and follow G&E to PEI, but we ran into some, er, financial difficulties. The car hire price alone was fine (and we would've been driving in style in a Pontiac Grand Am) but then the insurance was tacked on- an additional $50 a day for 7 days. Ouch. Doable, but ouch. Then the problem arose in that both Scott and I are under 25, the car hire age. We could still rent the car--for an additional $50 a day per underage driver. We cancelled the car hire.

When we got to Stanhope (or "Stanup" as the natives refer to it) we were greeted warmly by Emily's family and a big pot of hot chilli and fajitas. It was 2am our time, but we scarfed down several fajitas and several bowls of chilli regardless. We were starving.

One interesting note about PEI. You can't (at least not easily) find soda or beer in plastic bottles or cans. Something about a Pepsi plant long ago that used glass bottles only and a rule/law/ordinance was made that glass bottles were to be solely used to support the local business. Or something. Anyway, you put a dollar in the machine and down plops - er rather, crashes - a glass bottle of your favourite drink. Soda in glass always tastes better anyway, and you get money back when you return the bottle. Just like Mexico.

Another interesting piece of PEI triv: They have just built a bridge from Nova Scotia to PEI which is 12 or 14 kilometers long. It's absolutely stunning. It's called the Confederation Bridge. But the interesting/ghastly part is you have to pay $40 to cross over on it.

Scott and I did end up renting a car once we got to PEI, thanks to a hook up Emily's dad had with the car hire place. They didn't have any smooth convertibles or sexy Grand Ams left, but they did have a couple of Dodge Caravans and a Ford pickup. We chose a Caravan for its *slightly* better gas mileage. We felt big, vulnerable and beast-like. Scott had a penchant for turning corners as if he were still in the Skoda, and I was terrified each time that we would tip over - particularly because we didn't have insurance. Like good ole Christians, we trusted in the divine power of God for our protection, not some man-made insurance policy. Terrifying.

Graeme and Emily's wedding was delightful. They had it in a sort-of enclosed pavillion thing with windows raised overlooking the "Clyde". Emily was the second most beautiful bride I'd ever seen - I, of course, being the first. (Joke. That was a joke.) She looked like an antique doll with her gorgeous Victorian-style dress and her dark dark hair pinned up in loose curls. Her colours were light blue and caramel brown, which added to the "antiquiness", and her maids of honour looked absolutely stunning next to her in their caramel dresses. But best of all, and most attractive of all, was the Best Man. He was wearing a stunning black suit with an impressive silver tie, and I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. He was gorge. (Short for gorgeous, those of you who don't speak Lor.)

The food was great, too. Oh man, it was DANG good.

Highlights of the trip (so as to keep your interest by changing the format and not allowing myself to babble on and on):
1. The wedding (or course)
2. The day after the wedding, Scott and I went to Cavendish, the island's sort-of tourist hub. I got to go to Green Gables, the famous home of Anne Shirley in the fictional town of Avonlea (which is actually Cavendish). Scott didn't get it, but I, having read the entire series as a youngster, loved it. If it hadn't been rainy, we would've taken a walk down Lovers Lane or the Haunted Wood, but instead we just toured the house (which was much smaller than I imagined) and got a picture taken with a bottle (glass) of raspberry cordial. Watch out, Diana, the stuff is brutal!
3. As we searched for the Boardwalk, we passed a Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, of which Scott had never heard. So we swerved to the left and parked. It was great. I love the Ripley's. It's one museum where I can actually read all the little signs without getting bored. It was a major highlight of the trip for both of us.
4. We found the Boardwalk, and I got to shop. This is big.
5. One thing I've always wanted to do, geeky as it totally is, is get those old-timey pictures taken where you dress up in old fashioned clothes and get photographed in front of some old fashioned set. We drove past Grandpa's Photo Studio, and I begged Scott to let me look. The prices were way high (as they are in Canada - stupid country) so we just looked and went on our way. But the whole night I kept thinking of how I'd always wanted to do that and how much I'd regret it if we didn't. So my darling, self-sacrificing husband took me back the next day, and we got our picture taken. It was the biggest joy of my .... modeling career. Let's just say this: My husband makes a SEXXXY cowboy, while I only moderately pass for a saloon girl.
6. The other highlight was two days after the wedding. Scott and I wanted to give a gift to Emily's parents for being so gracious to us and helping us out so much while we were there. So we stopped by around lunchtime (the timing totally coincedence) to give them a nice bottle of port. Emily's mom quickly invited us in before even seeing we had a gift in our hands and asked us to stay for lunch. We decided she and her husband must've been feeling the empty nest by the way she completely mothered us. She gave us tunafish sandwiches, crisps, soda and cakes. Offered us biscuits and tea, too. It made us feel really happy for going over, not only because we got a free lunch, but because we felt that it made them happy that we came over. The house did feel awfully empty and quiet with the Post-Wedding Syndrome, and it brightened our day (significantly) to have seemingly given them a moment's parenting joy again.

Then, as Scott mentioned earlier, we shuttled three hours back to Halifax, waited around for four, flew for 5.5 and drove again for another five. We arrived in Manchester at 1 am PEI time and didn't get back to Greenock until about 8 PEI. All this without Scott sleeping a wink. He was tired.

Case Canada: Closed.

All Together Now...

Take a deep breath of relief with me.


The newsletter is done. Well, donish. I have put the "final" copy onto disk and am awaiting the printer's representative's arrival to give it to him. The printers will make a proof copy of the newsletter, send it to the school for proofing, I will make the relevant changes (hopefully there will be few) and off the proof goes to print! Thousands of little booklets designed by me will be returned to the school to be passed out to pupils, parents and former pupils (many of whom are "distinguished"). I'm totally relieved and totally scared. What if they get the proof copy and it's all wrong? What if the printer calls and tells me I did the "linking" incorrectly? Let's remember I had to teach myself Adobe PageMaker completely from scratch only three months ago, and I don't actually know that I've used it right. Oh gosh, I'm getting nervous.

Oh well, it's done and it's off to print and there we go.

Oh and in exciting news, no one edited out my paragraph about the major Conservative party sway amongst the ritzy pupils of The High School of Glasgow. YESSSSS. The good stuff survived!

We will blog about our Canada trip soon (maybe), and I apologise now for I realised in Canada I had left without posting the "Unbelievable Cheek" nominees. I will do that this weekend (maybe).

No one reads our blog anymore. We're dead boring.

Gwen Stefani's solo album is mega kick-a. Buy it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Back In The U..K

Ladies and Gentlebeans,

We are officially back from Canadia. The wedding was positively charming, the travelling less so. Today/Yesterday (that concept is still sort of muddy) we drove for 3 hours, waited for 4 hours, flew for 5 1/2 hours, waited for an hour, drove for 5 hours then collapsed at home.


Needless to say, we are rather tired.

Amusingly, the wedding was held in New Glasgow, on the River Clyde. In Canada. Weird.

I was going to say more, but I've had two pints, the computer is running slow (dumb MS update) and I'm far too tired to type with any kind of accuracy.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Bustin' This Joint

Ok, kiddies.

We're out for a week or so, off to the land of the brave, or something.


A Whiskey On My Way to Work

Aye, that's right. A wee dram in the train at 6:30am.

It was actually my husband's new speciality- hot toddy with Lem-Sip. For those of you who do not know, a hot toddy is hot water and whiskey with a bit of sugar, honey and cayenne pepper. It is meant to relieve cold symptoms such as a runny nose and sore throat. Lem-Sip is a medicated powder that is mixed with hot water also intended for the same purpose. Whatever they say about mixing alcohol and drugs is out the window with this drink. Scott filled my thermos with the hot toddy/Lem-Sip mixture and sent me off to school this morning. It actually works - for about three hours. I'm back to sniffling and talking out of my nose and sneezing. I sound like a chipmunk on the phone.

We fly tomorrow. I am fully equipped with Strepsils, Sudafed, Lem-Sips and Earplanes, as well as Nurofen and Anadin. I might explode.

We're also equipped with Cheesy Wotsits, McCoy's Salt and Vinegar crisps and Mars Bars.

Canada, here we come.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Owww: Complain Post

I feel awful. I feel a serious sore throat coming on - my esophagus feels about three times larger than it did this morning - and my head is pounding. My shoulders and neck are insanely stiff (I believe this to be the remnant of my work-out and gardening pain) and my nose is beginning to run.


... I think that's the end of my complaint.

I had a delightful lunch. The school has a professional chef who makes healthy lunch food (part of Britain's campaign for healthier school lunches) and the meals are £1.70 EACH! Now when I say meals, I ain't talkin' 'bout no chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and pull-apart bread. No. I'm talking steak and onions with all the veg. I'm talking chicken with lemon butter, veg and potatoes. I'm talking LOBSTER. Yes. Oh yes, you heard me. LOBSTER. For a £1.70.

It's taken me a few months to fully realise the wonderful opportunities at my fingertips right across the parking lot at the stand. Today, however, I'm changed forever. I am hooked on school food. If my friend stays on, it's the stand for lunch, and I ain't takin' no for an answer. (Heck, if he doesn't stay on, I'll still go to the stand for lunch, but I'll be a lonely administrative staff member among a pool of teachers, which would be awkward.) They have lovely desserts, too. Today was bread pudding, but I forewent it in order to have homemade macaroni and cheese which I can't make for myself since Scott won't eat it. Chicken, green beans (which aren't very popular here, so it seems as Jamie had to ask me what they were.), broccoli, cawliflower and for me, mac, for everyone else, roast potatoes.


The bro-in-law is back, and I'm very happy. I always liked Pete, even when I didn't like Scott. Sure he was pairing off, too, with one of my girls*, but I liked him anyway. It's good to have him back. I'm actually a little excited about having his... erm... lady friend (what am I supposed to call her?) Rebekkah here. I hope she actually comes. Since my first sister-in-law left, I've been lonely for a new one. I'm getting a new one this summer, but she's in America so she's not fulfilling my lifelong desire to have a sister either, so my hopes are now in Rebekkah. High hopes. Don't dash them, woman.

Crap, my nose is officially running now. Perfect timing, thanks. I go on a plane in just four days. My headache is splitting. My eyes are watering. I need to go home. I wonder if anyone would object to my leaving 45 minutes early? Or should I just stay.... Knowing me, I'll just stay. Bleh. What does it matter? I still have an hour and thirty minutes of travel left after I leave anyway. What difference does 45 minutes make?


*"My girls refers" refers to the girls on my TMI team four years or so ago when I came to Scotland for the first time. "Pairing off" refers to the rule that during the course of the summer, there should be no coupling of members of either the same sex or the opposite, no matter how innocent it may be. The goal is to have unity amongst the team members so that no one will feel left out, and no dating should occur in order that each member would be able to focus more absolutely on Jesus and the ministry they are a part of. The Scottish boys are notorious for picking American/Canadian girls from TMI and pairing off with them. Enter Scott and my original disdain for the hooligan. Enter Pete, etc.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


It seems that everyone in my blogosphere is experiencing a bit of blog-ethargy lately. I for one have certainly been blethargic. I've actually been quite busy at work, which is why I haven't posted since last week. It is also my excuse for not having yet posted the Unbelievable Cheek Award Nominations. Scott, however, has no excuse, as he is off work today. But granted, he's probably spending quality time with his brother who has finally returned after his galavant in America. And he better be completing the items on the To Do list I made for him yesterday.

At any rate, I have nothing to say now, either, as I have to stay crackin' on my work. I don't get it. Two months goes by and I have NOTHING to do, and then the one week of the term that I am choc-a-bloc with work, people decide now would be a good time to ask for things "before you leave on your holiday". Right. I leave Tuesday. It's Thursday. You ain't getting it before I leave on holiday. Try giving me some warning beforehand next time.

My only friend at work by the way may be leaving in ten days. I'm crossing my fingers that he stays. Who would I eat lunch with if he leaves? I don't want to go back to being the dorky girl who eats alone in the cafeteria.

And I leave for Canada on Tuesday (as aforementioned) so you probably won't be getting much updating out of us for a week, though I promise pictures for when I return. In the meantime you can come by and vote on the Unbelievable Cheek Awards.

In closing, congratulations to the Motters who are now currently humping it up as a married couple.