Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Good Day...

-I woke up in the middle of a dream with Harry Connick, Jr. It was at a good stopping point in the dream though, so it wasn't like I was bummed that it had been interrupted and that I wanted to go back to sleep. Anyway, we loved each other.

-I cleaned my bathroom and bedroom and, boy, does it feel good to not cringe everytime I open my eyes to the mess.

-My roommate Megan's boyfriend Paul made us biscuits and gravy and it was gooooood.

-I've been at a coffee shop with Valeria all day and I was actually pretty productive (the fact that I've been here since 1:00 and am just now blogging shows how on track I was!)

-We are going to happy hour at Addison's tonight... and I love half-price Nachos Bianco and my wonderful friends!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Coffee.

I'm currently sitting in a coffee shop that I've never been to (well, I guess we sang carols here for like 2 minutes one time...), it's Dunn Bros! A few of my friends work here, so it's about time I tried it out... I'm drinking a non-fat Caramel Mocha Latte with one package of Sweet n' Low and it's quite lovely (I'm sure it would have been even better if Em E made it though). My first impressions of this place are that they have really sturdy wooden stirring sticks, there is a lot of natural light (as Colleen pointed out to me), and there is a more diverse crowd than your average coffee shop (as in young and old diverse, rather than artsy and business-y diverse, although it's that, too). You could say I'm pretty pleased.

The diversity got me thinking. Coffee transcends the ages. I remember when I was little thinking that only old people drank coffee and I would pour Coke in mugs pretending to drink coffee. And then I remember in middle school when I tried my first Frappuccino from Starbucks and thought I was the coolest kid in school. Now I'm in college and love coffee shops in general, so much that I even work at one.

I feel like coffee is often related to stress because people use it for the caffeine to get things done. I unfortunately use coffee like that quite often. But there is an old couple next to me, probably in their 70s or 80s, who are appreciating coffee and the experience, and I love it. They are sitting there, enjoying each other's conversation, with no rush to quickly finish their sentences or move on to the next place. It just makes me smile and reminds me of one of the main things that life is about: taking time to love people.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

TV Updates...


Last week I wrote about Top Chef and Lost. Just in case you were wondering...

-Hosea, the cheater, won Top Chef. It was kind of a cop out because he didn't do a dessert, but whatever... Next week Make Me a Supermodel starts on Bravo replacing Top Chef's time slot. Needless to say, I will likely get hooked on that too.

Lost was great... as always. But guess what?! Sayid was in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic... building houses!!! That's exciting to me because that is exactly where I plan to study abroad next semester. And I won't be building houses but I WILL be loving on people in some way or another, so that's fun. Almost a sign from God, as funny as that sounds!

Stay tuned... surely something substantial will happen in my life so that I won't have to blog about TV next time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kaldi's Window

Today I sat at Kaldi's, eating some wonderful Chicken Pueblo soup, listening to my iPod, and studying for a quiz. I sat at a bar seat that overlooks the big front window. Big mistake. I people watched more than I studied.... I wish I could have taken a picture, because I saw some interesting things. (The funny thing was that as I left the house I thought, "Should I bring my camera?" and answered to myself, "No, I'm just going to Kaldi's, there's nothing to take pictures of there...." Lesson #1 learned.)

I saw many things but the thing that stuck out the most was three very eccentric looking people playing very classic instruments: a violin, a cello and some kind of percussion instrument (I'm unsure of what kind because my view was obstructed by a trash can...) and I loved the sight of it! A few people were gathered around and I was curious to know what their music sounded like. There was a man really grooving to the music and I thought that was fun until I realized that he was listening to a CD player and was grooving to THAT music. I thought to myself, "What a shame... there is a cool, rare musical experience on the sidewalk 10 feet away from you but you are listening to your own CD player!"

Then I realized I was kind of doing the same thing. Although a little farther away than 10 feet, I was sitting there, listening to my iPod, not appreciating the rare gift of their music. I wish I could tell you that I got up then and there and went outside to hear them play, but I didn't, I kept studying. It has been bothering me all day though... Lesson #2 Learned: I need to stop and smell the roses more, or listen to the street musicians, or whatever...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Oscars

I watched the Oscars the other night with my roommates and had an awesome time. Between the beautiful dresses, the hilarious musical pieces, and Meg constantly screaming for The Dark Night and against Benjamin Button... it was quite the evening!

I wish that more of the women had colorful dresses this year though. Everyone was wearing white, off white, champagne, etc. No one really wore color except for the girl from Slumdog and Natalie Portman, which I think was probably my favorite dress of the night.
I thought Hugh Jackman was hilarious. Maybe it's because I like musicals, maybe it's because I think he's good looking. I don't know... But I thought he did a great job. I heard someone on the radio saying that they thought this years Oscars was really boring, but I disagree. Below is Jackman's opening... number? I loved it:

I was excited that Slumdog Millionaire won some awards. It's refreshing to see a happy movie (although it has some tough stuff in it too) win an award. I was glad that Heath Ledger won Best Supporting Actor and I am convinced that I need to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Reader because apparently they are really good.

Oh, the Oscars... I love it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bank Observations

I become a slacker at blogging on the weekends. But it's Monday and I'm back!

I went and ran errands with my friend Mary when I was home for the weekend. She had to go to the bank, and unlike the rest of the world who uses the ATMs or at least the drive-through window, she likes to go inside the bank to do her business. While waiting in the car for her to do her thing, I had a chance to look around a bit... you know, appreciate my surroundings. Here are two interesting things that I saw:

1. It's a backwards tree! The leaves are on the trunk and the branches are bare!

2. This was on someone's car window. Got fairies? Really? No, no one has fairies... and who really wants fairies anyway besides Peter Pan?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down

I'll start with the thumbs down because I always like to end on a positive. Last night, two of my favorite people from Top Chef tragically got voted off! Jeff, who had already been voted off, had a chance to re-enter the competition by winning a Quickfire Challenge (yes, I AM using the terminology) but the trick was that he had to win the Elimination Challenge to be able to stay on the show. He didn't win it all, so he got voted off... again. It was hard enough the first time. After Jeff left, they voted off Fabio, my other favorite! I just don't know what to do with myself. Who am I going to cheer for in the finale? Stefan, the cocky French guy? Hosea, the cheater? Carla, the crazy? I just don't know...


As for a thumbs up... today I randomly remembered a video that my brother Cory and I made over the summer. It was fun to make so maybe it will be fun to watch. You should check it out:



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just because I'm losing, doesn't mean I'm....

I love Lost. It is probably the most complex show on TV right now. I will be the first to abmit that I don't understand half of what's going on... but that's exciting to me. I like knowing that once the show is over I can rewatch the whole series and still learn all sorts of new things and make all sorts of new connections. Not many shows are this intelligent while still maintaining the relational and human aspect of things.

Some say they wouldn't mind watching it but that it is too far along and that they would be lost (as in confused). True, you will be lost. But I recommend you rent (or purchase because you'll want to in the end) the DVDs and start from the beginning. Just don't expect to have a life for the next month because you will want to spend every waking hour watching it. Now that's good television.

Oh, and Jack and Kate kissed tonight... I miss the days of Jack and Kate.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Sound of Music.

I love The Sound of Music. It has been my favorite movie for I don't know how long. I have a test tomorrow, so am a working on my typical notecards and wanted something on in the background so I put on The Sound of Music. It's a great movie... I have decided some of my favorite parts are:

1. When Liesl yells, "Weeeee!" after Rolf kisses her in the gazebo.
2. When Captain von Trapp joins in singing "The Sound of Music" and the kids are so amazed that he can sing that they stop singing, then later they join in with harmonic "Ooo"s after the shock has warn off.
3. In the heat of the moment, when Maria and Georg finally confess that they love each other, instead of going in the direction that movies go today, they break out into song, holding hands and nuzzling each other.
4. They sing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" as she walks down the wedding aisle.
The list continues, but for those of you who aren't huge Sound of Music fans (which is most of you)... I'll stop. Long story short, good movie. Everyone should see it (although I just spoiled a lot if you never have... my bad.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Famous Fridge...

For some reason I thought this was really funny... I am a big fan of the musician Matt Wertz. He is from my home town, I was friends with his sister in high school, and our moms are in a Bible study together. His mom sent our family their Christmas card and so there is currently a picture of Matt Wertz (and his family) on my refrigerator at home. I laughed for a long time when I saw this. I'm still not really sure why... I guess that it's because some people consider him famous, and he's hanging out above the ice machine with the fam and our sponsor child from the DR.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Creativity For Sale!

My dad wanted to get my mom some flowers for Valentine's Day, so he and I went out and picked out a bouquet and the flowers came in bunches. So when I came home I got the fun job (that sounds sarcastic, but I'm for real!) of arranging the flowers, and this was the finished product.

I have decided that I just want to be creative for a living (is anyone counting the number of jobs that I have decided to pursue... I think the number is almost in the double digits). I want people who lack creativity to come to me with a project that they can't do because they aren't creative, and I'll do it for them. Like decorating cupcakes, making artwork, decorating a room, arranging flowers, etc...

So if anyone is interested, my creativity is officially for sale. (I'm up for doing some pro bono work too...)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Day '09

A couple of months ago my brother Joel went out and handed out some lunches to some homeless people in downtown KC. Since then, he has continued going downtown to serve the community and has started a cause called 10 Lunches. He organized an event today called Love Day '09 in honor of Valentine's Day.

We met at The Scout statue in downtown KC and Joel gave a great speech (if I can brag on my brother) and then sent everyone out (about 30-40 people) to different places downtown to pass out the lunches that we all brought. It was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I am so glad I went. The morning was wonderful... serving the people of Kansas City with the people that I love most.

Overall, I would for sure say today was a success. I am so proud of Joel... Here are a few pictures of the day.
(A group of us giving lunches away to some people at their make-shift shelter under the bridge)
(Walking around, looking for people to give lunches to.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Long, but worth it.

I'm taking a class called Religion and Sexuality this semester and it has been quite interesting. My teacher's name is Bob and he is an ordained minister who preaches every Sunday. He has been incredibly neutral in discussion; everything is gray. I never realized until this semester how black and white I like things to be. While I have enjoyed this class, I have been very frustrated with how "tolerant" and neutral all of the discussion has been. I've been frustrated with Bob because people are asking him questions that are opportunities for him to speak for Christ, but he doesn't.

Today my outlook changed. He was talking about what the definition of an evangelical Christian is (because we have been reading this horrid book that rips them apart) and he totally and completely preached the Gospel. Not in a way that said, "This is what you should believe," rather, "This is what they believe." Either way, the truth about sin, God, Jesus, and the cross was communicated to about 30 students in a liberal college classroom. Maybe the environment and the way it was communicated wasn't how I'm used to, but it was spoken nonetheless. When I realized what was going on... I got goosebumps and almost started crying. Ridiculous, I know, but true.

The whole situation reminds me of what we are reading about in my Bible study in Philippians. Paul said,
"It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivaly, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." (Philippians 1:15-18)
And because of this I rejoice.

What are YOU listening to?

I'm sitting in a computer lab on campus, doing some stuff for school and listening to my iPod on shuffle and Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" came on, which got me to thinking: What if people knew what I was listening to right now? And what if we all wore signs, like those ticker kind of things, that showed the music we are currently listening to? I probably would not be listening to Whitney Houston right now, that's for sure. I would probably just listen to the stuff I think that others consider "cool", or have never heard of (because it's "cool" if you listen to music that no one else has heard of) like Coldplay, or MuteMath, or some of the indie stuff that Joel gave me. Now shuffle has taken me to a Britney Spears song from her first album. Even though I don't have a sign broadcasting to the world, "I'm listening to Britney Spears," I'm still going to change it.

P.S. It's Wednesday! Only 4 hours and 20 minutes until my week becomes practically carefree!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's raining...

I'm about to go to bed, and it's raining... no thunder or lightning, just a peaceful rain... and I love it. Today was kind of a stressful day, but as I prepare myself for bed I realize that it was only stressful because I tried to do it all on my own. Basically I'm thankful for this rain, and the fact that I get to sleep and start over again tomorrow, with the intention of leaning on the Lord because it's the only way I can survive and it's the only way I want to.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Copycat

I took this picture for two reasons:

1. Because one of my new favorite photographers Kevin J. Miyazaki posted a similar picture on his blog here and I wanted to be just like him.

2. Because I never peel oranges this well and I was pretty proud of myself. It wasn't even a clementine, it was a navel, and I peeled it in 3 pieces!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why I love Spanish...

(He may look creepy, but he's actually quite great...)
I just read this really pretty line from this guy's, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, "Los ojos verdes" (The Green Eyes) and it would have been pretty in English, but it is even more beautiful in Spanish!
"Eran: luminosos, transparentes como las gotas de la lluvia que se resbalan sobre las hojas de los arboles despues de una tempestad de verano." ("[The eyes] were luminous, transparent like the drops of rain that trickle on the leaves of the trees after a summer storm.")
And some more good stuff from Becquer's "Rimas IV" (Rhyme 4), about poetry...
"Mientras haya unos ojos que reflejen
los ojos que los miran;
mientras responda el labio suspirando
al labio que suspira;
mientras sentirse puedan en un beso
dos almas confundidas;
mientras exista una mujer hermosa,
habra poesia!"

("While there are eyes that reflect
the eyes in which they gaze;
while the lips yearn
for the lips that yearn;

while one can feel in a kiss
two confused souls;
while a beautiful woman exists,
there will be poetry!")
I don't really like mushy literature or poetry in general, but there's something cool to me about reading it in a different language. Basically I fell in love with Spanish all over again today, and that's great news... because this semester is going to be tough! What great timing...

Cupcake Dreamer...

I have mentioned before that I secretly dream of becoming a cupcake baker. Tonight at about 11:30 I decided to practice perfecting my craft and baked some Valentine's Day cupcakes! I had so much fun! My roommate Meg joined me toward the end and we had a great time...

(The cupcakes we made for each other!)
I took quite a few pictures to document the event and now I don't know what I'd rather be: an actual cupcake baker or a cupcake photographer (as if that's a real job....) As for now, I'm still headed in the career path of becoming una profesora de espaƱol and I'm pretty content with doing cupcakes on the side.

("The Shop" and our finished product!)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My coffeemaker is better than your coffeemaker...

Freshman year my mom bought me a coffeemaker (pictured right) from a garage sale for my dorm room. It has stuck with me through thick and thin over the past few years, but I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been as faithful. Last year my roommate Sarah brought a bigger and better coffeemaker (pictured left) to the apartment so we all started using that one. Over the last year it has gradually started acting up to the point that now when we try to make 4 cups of coffee, it only makes about 1/4 cup and steams off the rest.

So, today I decided to try out the little guy that was sitting all alone on top of our refrigerator... and it dominated the other coffeemaker! It's the first cup of home-brewed coffee I've had in months... So, the little ugly coffeemaker has reclaimed its place in my heart and the bigger and "better" coffeemaker is now on top of our refrigerator. Oh, how the tables have turned.

(Thanks to Valeria for pointing out the coffeemaker incident to be a good blog opportunity. She's the greatest. I really like her a lot.)
(PS I love my "I Heart Jim" mug.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

All the way from Shanghai...


I order my books online this semester to try to save a few bucks. Compared to the $300 or $400 that I normally spend, I only spent $107 (with the amazing help of my wonderful parents.) I had received all of my books except for one, which I got yesterday in the mail. I was about to open the package when I noticed the stamps were kind of weird. Then I looked on the return address to find that my book came from SHANGHAI! I don't know why that is so intriguing to me... but it is.

When I opened the package I found my book looking like this... which it is supposed to look like this.

I don't really care what it looks like as long as the content is the same (which I am going to go compare it to the real book this afternoon) I just thought it was interesting that my book came from Shanghai. No wonder it took so longer to get here...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Scarves Galore!

I have a problem. I think I am addicted to scarves. Buying them, wearing them, adoring them. It's bad. The other day one of my friends saw my randomly scarf-free neck and said, "Abby, I don't remember the last time that I haven't seen you wearing a scarf." I realize that I completely overuse the accessory, but I just love spicing up a boring shirt, or adding a different texture, or just the feeling of security that comes knowing my neck is not alone.

Above are all of the scarves that I have... at school. I probably have 10 more at home that I knit in high school. Like I said, I have a problem. But I just don't think I am ready to deal with it. So until the weather is too hot to handle, you will see my neck looking something similar to the picture below. (The scarf below was given to me by the love Ellis fam for Christmas!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday Nights!

I love Wednesday nights! They are almost like Fridays to me... It's a freeing feeling knowing my weekend has practically arrived. Here are the reasons why I love Wednesday nights:
-I just survived the longest day of my week. Work from 4:30-8:00 then class from 10:00-4:45! That's a long day...
-I only have one more class for the rest of the week, which is easy and doesn't start until 11:00 on Thursdays.
-Top Chef! I love this show and I don't know why.
-LOST! Best show on television. And I can watch it (and the above mentioned) guilt free because I have little to none homework to worry about.
-I always sleep wonderfully because I had a long day. And I love to sleep.

Special things about this particular Wednesday night:
-I went to Panera with two of my lovely roommates and I had a salad that encompassed pretty much everything I love about food: BBQ, corn, black beans, and chicken!
-Aladdin was on the Disney Channel!
Yay for Wednesdays nights!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So random...

One of the girls in my Bible study told me last night that I had to YouTube "Beatbox Flute" so I did and this is what I found. Too funny...



There are more videos of him playing Inspector Gadget, Sesame Street, you name it...