31 January 2009

________ Is: Part 2, Strength

We walked into the kitchen at the Centro de Nutricion Infantil, greeted by the smells of cooking rice and sterilized surfaces.  It had been weeks since I'd both washed my clothes and had a proper (namely, warm) shower and I felt like a rather wretched contradiction to the sterile environment.  Our guide, who fortunately knew some English, kept going with her talk: "Dees is where de shildren ooo are 'ealthy enof to ago home at nite spend de dayee.  De pareents, they com here and dey learn to, uh....how you say....dey cook wit de rite nootrientses..."  

Healthy Bolivian food.....right  I thought to myself as I took a chug of my bottled water, still feeling the effects of whatever food poisoning I'd come down with a week prior (and which would end up lasting about a month more).   As I recapped my Nalgene, I saw a tiny head poke its way around the corner of the window separating the nursery from the kitchen.  There was a little boy, no more than two, staring at me with the huge, dark Bolivian eyes I'd become accustomed to over the past eight days.  
I smiled.  
His expression remained.  
I waved sheepishly.  
His eyes got even bigger as he ducked down below the window.

"So now we go to de room wit de shildren an you will play wit dem for awhile, no?"  The end to the guide's speech snapped me out of my momentary flirtation.  We made our way around the open walkway of the hospital and into the nursery.  About two dozen toddlers looked up at us with those same huge eyes, those same unchanging expressions.  We looked at each other, unsure of what to do.  

For a week we'd been visiting orphanages run by a Christian organization, the International Orphanage Union.  We'd met Vivenna, a homeless six-year-old who had been pushed into a fire pit in the jungle and suffered burns over 80% of her body, but who was the most joyful little person I've ever met.  We met Elian and his older brother, who'd been left on the street because their parents couldn't feed them, and who proved that little boys--be them in the Northern Hemisphere or Southern--have the same mischievous look on their face right before they're about to do something they know they shouldn't.  Every time we walked down from the Hacienda to Villa Frutillar to play with the kids and work on building a wall in the orphanage they'd run up to us, arms outstretched, wanting to be picked up or played with.  They laughed all the time.

But these kids, these babies---they weren't laughing.  They weren't even smiling.  A few of them were crying as a nurse weighed them in the back of the room, but other than that, there was dead silence.  

We made our way into the nursery, each picking out a child to play with.  Lauren sat down with a girl in a red shirt who was half-heartedly hitting one wooden block against another.  Nate picked up a boy staring at a fire truck.  I looked over toward the window to the kitchen, and there was the same little boy I'd made eyes at, standing in the same position and holding a tattered Barney doll in one hand.  After I'd made my way across the room, he fell into my lap like a bag of the rice cooking in the next room, every bit of his body conforming to my crossed legs and outstretched arms.  I put his Barney doll in between his little hands and smiled at him again.  He stared up at me, his face at once both expressionless and pleading.  I'm sorry I'm no fun, his eyes said, I just need to be held for awhile.  I rubbed his nose and the sides of his face like my mom did to me when I was sick and little.  I prayed over him.  And, strangely enough, my thoughts started drifting to tattoos.

Yes, tattoos.

It has been made perfectly clear to me by my parental units that if I were to ever get a tattoo or extra piercing while still under their roof, figuratively of course, that there would be "financial consequences of the college nature".   Now, that doesn't mean that I haven't considered what I'd permanently etch into my skin if given the freedom.  As a matter of fact, I have decided that I ever felt compelled to, I would tattoo the Greek (or Aramaic, if I'm feeling saucy that day) words for "His Hands" on my right wrist and "His Feet" on the inside of my left ankle to remind me that I am, in fact, God's hands and feet in the world.  And this is what I thought of as I propped this little man up on my Indian-style lap and my already tired arms.  Hands and feet.  Hands and feet.  Hands and feet.

Becky Barbo's voice broke my thoughts, "Cindy, what do we do?  I've never seen kids who don't want to play before.  They're not even smiling.  They're too..."
"...sick."  I finished her sentence for her.  
"It's so sad."  Her eyes has the same tears in them as mine did.  
Hands and feet.  Hands and feet.  Hands and feet. 

I can't tell you exactly why I chose this picture to represent Strength.  It could be the strength that it took for this little one to fight through severe malnutrition.  It could be the literal strength it took for me to hold this little sack of rice for over an hour.  It could be the spiritual strength that both he and I had that day.  It could be the origin of our strength.  I'm not sure.  It just seems right.  

30 January 2009

It's a Big Summer for the Lamberts

As if giving away their youngest daughter in marriage wasn't emotional enough for my parents, Becky and I decided (like so many times before) to give them a double whammy of emotion. 

 Coming June 19th (or somewhere around there):
My future niece or nephew!!!!!  They're not finding out if it's a boy or girl, and even if they were, the child clearly has Becky's genes because it had its legs crossed, so they couldn't have found out even if they wanted to.  Way to be difficult from the womb.  
It totally has the Lambert nose, I can tell already.  

Okay this is the most adorable thing I've ever seen.  It's sucking its thumb.  

Yay!  I get to be an Aunt :)

Um, I Love Chicago?

So nobody really said anything to Phys Plant when the drainage pipe froze completely over about three weeks ago.  We all thought it looked kind of cool as a three-story pole of ice.  And then I walked down the alley yesterday to see this:

It stopped eventually but I'm not entirely sure what's going to happen when Spring comes (if it ever does).

28 January 2009

Second Helpings of Eating Simply

I looked at it.  It looked at me.  If it had eyes, I imagine that it would have blinked as if to say "Oh yeah, take me on.  I'm not scared of you!"  The blade in my hand flashed menacingly in the florescent light of the kitchen.  With a deep breath and a final look at my as-yet-unscathed fingers, I attacked the butternut squash sitting on the cutting board.  I tried to cut it lengthwise.  No go, it was too hard.  I tried to poke the tip of my knife (which is actually meant for bread...my chef's knife went mysteriously missing thanks to Evil Roommate from last year) into the middle and push down, working in halves.  Also a disaster, as the metal bent dangerously and visions of playing the cello with half a thumb flashed through my head.  I tried again.  Finally, progress!  I sliced into the squash lengthwise, but blast!  It had outsmarted me again, cutting not in halves but in about a third(ish) of the way.  No good.  

After a long and tedious battle involving a lot of yelling at a vegetable and some samurai moves, I stood in my little apartment kitchen, my hands covered in orangey pulp, and two halves of a butternut squash lying in defeat in my baking pan.  I looked over at Mari in the living room.  She raised her eyebrows at me, "What are you going to do with it now?"  Well, celebrate culinary victory, of course!  I turned on the oven and grabbed my bottle of olive oil, pouring a bit into my cupped hands.  In lieu of using a brush (like I own one), I ended up rubbing the olive oil on the squash's flesh.  "Hey Mari, this actually feels pretty good!  Come over here and rub my squash!"  
She didn't even look up from her computer.  "No, Cindy.  I am not rubbing your squash."  
"Aw come on, it's really cool.  Rub my squash, Mari!"
"I like you, but I don't like you like that.  I'm not rubbing your squash!"
I may have won the Battle of the Butternut, but Mari was unmoved.  

I finished oiling the squash and tossed it in the oven, waiting to pounce on it when it was done with some honey and brown sugar.  Mmmm, eating simply is tasty.  And maybe a little hazardous.

26 January 2009

Dear Oxford (and life), I Miss You.

Wistfully, wistfully, wistfully I stared at the brochure I'd been keeping behind some papers in the top hanging folder next to my desk, pleasantly out of sight and out of mind...until now.  Its sidebar showed steeples and domes with the singular, teeny inscription on the side: "Oxford skyline from the north".  It slapped me in the face and taunted me at the same time.  "Naner naner naner, you can't get me..."  With a sigh, I replaced it behind some empty file folders out of my line of sight and returned to the blinking cursor on my screen.  

"Dear Sir or Madam,"  I had written.  I continued:  "As a past participant in the Summer Programme in Theology, I recently received the brochure for this year's program.   I would love to attend, but by a happy coincidence the dates fall directly over my wedding day!  Please do not take my non-application for non-interest and do keep me on your mailing list as I plan to participate in subsequent summers, albeit as Cynthia Cheshire instead of Cynthia Lambert.  As soon as I have my new contact information, I will send it to you...."  

It's not that I'm not incredibly excited about getting married.  It's that I'm not incredibly excited about my life at present.  It seems to be a trend:  Heather even posted about sitting on her haunches and feeling generally uninspired.  Call me crazy, but the barren landscape of Chicago in midwinter doesn't really inspire like the steeples and grand architecture of the English-speaking world's oldest university.  And the fact that I follow An Aerial Armadillo, a blog written by a woman currently in Hampshire and whose sidebar has comments from Twitter like "Forget gherkins, dark chocolate is a brain stimulant. (According to the Royal Court of the Spanish Empire.)", doesn't really remedy the "I miss England" feeling.  

It's not even "I miss England."  It's more "I miss how I felt in England" which was mainly free, excited, academically challenged, and personally fulfilled.  It was something I really wanted to do and which I really worked for, and as I walked across Tom Quad after Registration I burst out into tears because I realized that I actually did it.  Kip wasn't there;  I didn't really have any friends (in the whole nine days I was there) except for when Sammi visited;  I was lonely.  But on a personal level, I really felt good about where I was.   

But now I'm here, in 9-degree weather, feeling overwhelmed less by the academic depth of my work and more by how much stuff there is to do, and the only connection I have to my best friend in the entire world is a phone line that tends to drop calls and a four hour time zone difference--which is fine for short adventures but ends up leaving your soul chronically bruised after awhile.  

Basically I just really want Kip to fly out for about a week and to escape in some rural town that reminds me of the UK with a classic novel and a healthy supply of tea.  Until then, I have Environmental Science at 1:00.  

22 January 2009

Personal Health, Schmersonal Health

Of all the things to dread when embarking on the college experience, I didn't dread professors or the Freshman 15 or even cafeteria food (hey, after 18 years of Boy Scout dinners, I was trained).  I dreaded EXS 1000, otherwise known by its evil pseudonym: Personal Health.  Let's ignore the fact that North Park has a multi-million dollar, brand new, state-of-the-art exercise center that offers semester-long classes in things like Yoga and Spinning and even one called "Rock Bottom" that does, in fact, turn one's bottom into the muscular equivalent of a rock.  Can we take one of those classes and get credit for it contributing to our own personal health?  No, that would be logical, like giving us the day before Thanksgiving off.  And so, in order to graduate, we must all claw our way through EXS 1000.  I, in a moment less about intelligence and more about procrastination, decided to wait until the second semester of my senior year to take said class.  

And I got into Oxford????  Not smart.

In the greater spectrum of terrible classes, this one is admittedly not so atrocious.  Take last Thursday, for example.  Instead of merely sitting in a class talking about how we could become personally healthy, we actually got up and did it--thanks to Billy Blanks and the wonder that is TaeBo.  Now, you have not lived until you have a seen a senior philosophy major who never hits the gym in favor of hitting the books do TaeBo.  I have lived a life fulfilled, my friends, for I have witnessed one Mark Roosien, who is a lover of wisdom if ever there was one, kicking and jabbing his way to fitness.  

Today, we followed suit with a plethora of tests designed to see how personally healthy each of us is:  we tested our body fat percentage, our cardio skills, our muscle endurance, our flexibility, and more.  Basically, it told me what I already know:  I'm skinny and out of shape, although I have decent abs.  What's curious is the fact that my body fat percentage indicates that I am not "Overfat", nor am I "Ideal for Health".  Oh ho, I am "Ideal for Performance".

What kind of performance I could perform without adequate readings on muscle strength, flexibility, and cardio is beyond me.  Checkers, maybe?

Thank you, EXS 1000, for introducing me to that most noble family of sports: board games.  
I owe it all to you.

21 January 2009

Dad's Shot at Bacon-Filled History

In between classes, with our teeny tiny TV in the living room locked on Inaugural festivities, I happened to check my email while someone important (no doubt) was entering the Capital for the ceremony.  Dad had emailed me from his PDA: 

"You get to do Grant Park--I get DC.  I'm downtown--what a zoo!  You want a picture?"

Um, YES!!!

By the way, I found my new favorite presidential fact yesterday thanks to an NBC commentator--apparently it's a long-standing president-elect tradition to stay up until the wee hours tweaking their speeches.  Sometimes they just sit their VP down in a hallway and recite it to them until they fall asleep at 4:30 in the morning (Clinton).  Sometimes they actually don't change it at all (Obama) and sometimes, an aide walks by the bathroom to find them sitting in the tub with a cigar practicing it (JFK).  I would really have liked to have been a fly on the wall in that bathroom...could you imagine?  "Ask NOT what your country can do for you...no, no, that's all wrong.  ASK not what YOUR country can do....no, still wrong!  Ask not WHAT your country...gah!"  
Bonus points to JFK for having had a breakfast of a plateful of bacon; he was inaugurated on a Friday and the Pope declared a special dispensation for all Catholics that day that they could eat meat because it was a day of celebration that a Catholic was being inaugurated.  

Also, I heartily approve of Michelle Obama's dress.

19 January 2009

Eating Simply (or Is It Simply Eating?) Either Way It's an Update

New excitement on the eating/living simply frontier:  Chicken Tortilla Soup that I made with Josh on Friday in lieu of going out for lunch.  We talked about the papacy over it.  Double whammy.

The Second Post About Fearing Graduation

In accordance with my graduation-fearing state of mind, last night was a big night.  

I sat in front of my computer, the numbers on the screen reflecting off my glasses, a certain mixture of trepidation and excitement coursing through my body.  "Winter Sale!" it exclaimed at the top.  "Travel through June 10, 2009!"  The cursor rested on its target like the victim on a dunk tank platform.  With a deep breath and a hint of a squeal over the thrill of it all, I clicked the mouse button over the word "Purchase".   "Thank You" responded the screen, "Your one-way ticket on Flight 123 from Chicago to Juneau on May 10 has been purchased.  For more information, contact..."  Its standard warning about flight change fees and meals for purchase faded somewhere behind my optic nerve, replaced by visions of getting off a plane with Kip in Alaska, diploma in hand and an apartment downtown waiting to be made into a home.

Yes, indeed.  The ball has started rolling.  

18 January 2009

The First Post About Fearing Graduation

I'm not really a fan of Lord of the Rings.  I'm sorry.  It's just not there.  Yes, I love Harry Potter, but that's really where my love of fantasy literature/cinema ends.  Nevertheless, I spent three hours last night with the majority of my circle of friends watching Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers and working on the baby blanket I'm making for my sister.  During a lull in the crocheting action, I looked around the room and thought for the first time, "I don't know if I'm okay with graduating.  I don't want to leave all these people."  It was odd.  

This afternoon seemed a custom-made response.  After church and Sunday brunch, I found myself heading to Jewel for some groceries with Kasey, Alethea, and Tim.  Digging through a pile of flaky red onions in the back of the produce department, I looked up and saw Kasey and Tim smiling at each other over an armful of apples as they headed to their cart.  A glance to the left found Alethea surrounded by the greenery of the flower department, picking up two identical African violets and looking at one then the other as if to study which had more God-given beauty than the other.  

It was an excellent snapshot of my life.

These are my friends, my people, my brethren.  Kasey's joy in simplicity, how well she and Tim get along, Alethea's incredible ability to find the divine spark in absolutely everything--no matter how far we move away from each other, these are the things that will never change about them, that I will always cherish, that will stay the same whether I talk to them everyday or only see each other at reunions decades down the road, sharing pictures of children and reminiscing about the time we up and drove to Wisconsin in sub-zero temperatures because we felt like it.  

I'm unbelievably excited for all the graduation festivities (which will be occurring in about 110 days, but who's counting?)--baccalaureate, getting out of finals, the graduation ceremony itself--and I'm even more excited for what comes after, namely the end of my long-distance relationship.  I am sad for leaving North Park, though surely not for leaving behind the Dialogue classes and GenEds and the evil Interceptor that security drives around, knocking down students like they're bowling pins.  I'm sad about leaving my friends, the people who I didn't even know existed five years ago but who have become like limbs to me in the past four years.  

In the end, approaching graduation really is what they all say it's like: scary and exciting and heartwrenching and thrilling all at the same time.  Until then, I suppose I'll take a cue from another movie of the non-fantasy persuasion, Dead Poet's Society...I'll suck the marrow out of the rest of my collegiate experience.

17 January 2009

Seriously Check This Out

It has to be done.  Click on my full profile, then on "rice pudding" under my interests.  I dare you. 

Interesting, no?  
We should all make t-shirts that say "Superior to Tapioca" or something.

16 January 2009

________ Is: Part 1, Love

A few months ago, pictures on the sidebar of this blog appeared quietly and without fanfare.  They sit there, waiting to be scrolled through, telling silent stories in color and form.  I like to imagine what I would think of if I saw these pictures on another blog; Who is that child and why does he personify strength?  

Some of them are simple:  "Family Is" is our family Christmas photo from a few years ago.  I don't think another photo could adequately describe our dynamics quite so much as this one, with Dad's leg raised in a wonderful show of poise, our family reacting around him.  "Life Is" isn't a statement of where my life comes from, but simply the photo in my library where I felt most alive at its moment of capture: on the couch in Alaska about a year ago, laughing with Kip at some joke that neither of us can remember, or perhaps just grinning at being together.

One photo that I absolutely adore is the one for love. 

These are my grandparents on Mom's side and when I think of a couple in love, I think of them.  I'm sure it's been romanticized over the years, but the story goes that they met in the space between their backyards looking at the bunnies in a hutch when he was six and she was four.  Time went, they grew, and years later we get these pictures, taken during their engagement.  They loved each other, even up until the very end when Grammy had Alzheimer's and Grampa got sick.  Years later, Grammy's funeral, sad as it was, had a tangible air of joy to it.  It was as if we all had silently agreed to rejoice in the fact that Grammy and Grampa were together again, and surely that was a greater joy than the sorrow at our loss.

This is the kind of love story that people write books about.

Blast From the Past, Part 2: Our First Marriage

Pushing aside dusty boxes and piles of unwanted magazines underneath my bed at home, I happened upon a purple book with an old photo of the Eiffel Tower on the front.  I clutched it as I wriggled my way back out from under my bed--no easy task!  Leaning against my bedframe as I opened the first page, I was reminded by my old journal from my first summer at Camp Carpenter when I was 16 that the marriage taking place on August 8th will not be Kip and my first:

Later that night, at flags we were all talking about who we were going to be for the Staff Hunt.  Ironically, Kip said that he was going to be George Washington.  I promised that there were no ulterior motives to my character switch [from Molly Pitcher to Martha Washington]....

Later that night at the Staff Hunt:

[Hiding with some other staffers] got old fast, so I left my bags with them and bounced down the hill towards the lake so I could find another place to hide.  As I was working my way around the lake I saw that Kip had come ashore in his rowboat (he always rows around the lake, pretending he's crossing the Delaware).  As I was finishing signing some cards, I went to turn the corner to find a new place to hide, but all of a sudden, I heard Kip calling, "Oh, dear?"  I smiled and stepped back saying, "Yes, darling?" He sat up in the boat and held up a lifejacket and said 'We have an extra PFD if you'd like to join us. Naturally, I was wooed by his sweet manner and warm smile and the fact that he was dressed in full colonial military dress made the situation seem that much more like a movie.   I walked over to the boat, and Kip stood up and held out his hand to help me into the boat.  I took his hand, and he helped me into the boat.  There was about a half a foot of water in the bottom of the boat, and after some embarassing shifting around, I settled down next to Kip, my dress a little wet, and slightly embarassed.  I was already wet, so I didn't really mind that the hem of my skirt was sitting in the water at the bottom of the boat, but Kip tried to move it out of the way so I wouldn't get cold.  When we were done signing the kids' cards, Justin started to row back, but we were stuck on a sandbar, so Kip leaned out and pushed us off.  On his way to sitting back up, he reached out and picked a flower off of one of the lilies growing in the lake.  I couldn't see what he was doing, but the next thing I knew, he sat up, leaned over to me and gave me the flower saying, "For you, my sweet."  I smiled and thanked him, then smelled the flower and thought of how romantic and movie-like the moment was.  As the time continued, we rowed around the lake, watching the sun set and talking about colonial America and how much more interesting it would be to live back then.  We agreed that the Revolution was the most interesting war and he seemed quite impressed that I had made my costume.  After the sun had set, darkening the lake from a salmon pink to a gray blue we headed back into shore where I got a lecture from Peter about having a PFD and a buddy tag out.  The night was worth the lecture though....It may have sounded cheesy, but I felt this was worth writing because Kip's actions seemed to me the absolute picture of chivalry in a world where chivalry is thought dead, and I really felt like I was in a movie :)

I kept that flower hidden in my cabin (and later in a memento box from camp) until it disintegrated.

15 January 2009

'Tis a Gift to Be Simple

This is egg salad.

This is a fresh loaf of bread.  It is tasty.

When their culinary kinetic energy combines, these two items may become an egg salad sandwich.  Or an odd version of stuffing.  Either way, they are delicious.  

To be truthful, it does feel a bit odd to be so excited about food, but my feelings of oddity are eclipsed by a massive amount of pride because I made both of these foodstuffs last night.  There's something utterly satisfying about kneading dough after a rough Spanish class, punching and pushing my frustrations into the floury surface until they, along with any air pockets, evaporate into the yeasty-smelling atmosphere and I'm left with nothing less than a renewed spirit and a perfectly shaped ball of what will become tasty goodness.  I set out last night to make some bread because I needed it, because I was hungry, because I felt like doing something domestic and above all, because it was a bit of simplicity.  Bread isn't exactly the easiest recipe, but it's at least somewhere between jell-o and coq au vin.  And besides, it wasn't culinary simplicity I was going for.  It was spiritual simplicity.  

A couple months ago I started reading Foster's "A Celebration of Discipline" and the discipline that hit me the most was that of simplicity.  He writes, "The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward life-style."  It's a conscientious commitment to the Kingdom instead of emotional or mental or physical stuff.  So I've been trying to let go of my stuff this semester.  Anyone who knows me knows that it's the mental and emotional stuff that I hold onto, but I've been working my way up by giving away clothes and shoes and handbags and books like there's no tomorrow.  And baking.  It's something simple to me.  It's participating in creation, it's healthy, it's centering.  It's acting how God wants me to act--simply.  I put all my stuff in between God and me, hoping that it'll fill the void when really it's not a book-shaped hole or a kitten heel-shaped hole or a blogging-shaped hole.  It's a God-shaped one.  

I had this ball when I was little:  it was half red and half blue and had all these cutouts of shapes that you could put little corresponding pieces into--stars and circles and squares.  When you put the pieces in the right holes they fell into the middle and when you were all done, you could pull it apart and start over again.  Really, it's a good lesson.  Why do we keep trying to put square pieces in star-shaped holes?  It's not a solution, it's a distraction.  If we get rid of the squares then there you go, situation solved. 

Maybe it's just bread and egg salad, but I feel a lot better--more at peace, much closer to God, less stressed.  And fuller...of tasty sandwiches, that is.

Follow the Blog and Reaaaaaaad Some More....

Today is a big day.  Two exciting things:

For months now, I have been looking for a good blog to follow.  One that's interesting.  One with good writing.  One, in short, with a bit of chutzpah.  
Meet Barry.  He is the (for now obliviously) proud owner of my first followed blog.  Huzzah.

Also, I significantly changed my template and I'm probably unhealthily excited about it.  I'm probably going to regret staying up until 2:15am the night before an 8am class tweaking it, but then again, maybe not.

14 January 2009

Here Comes the Sun, Doo Doo Doo Dooooo....

My freshman year roommate Carla, my current roommate Mari, and I have a sort of trifecta coalition against florescent lights.  This is no blind bias either...we have our reasons:  they're ugly; they make everyone in a florescent lighted room look pasty, corpulent, or all of the above; they make annoying buzzing sounds; they have the supernatural ability to lull anyone underneath them to sleep no matter the situation; etc, etc, etc.  Over time, I have learned to deal with all of these things, especially considering the fact that North Park hasn't seemed to realize that there are other ways to light buildings.  Generally I accept the monopoly that florescent lights have on my life at school.  Yesterday, however, had a variable that I hadn't realized would bother me so much.  Yesterday, I was still less than a week from being in Alaska for half a month.  

This is Alaska in the wintertime.  So yesterday, when I was in a brightly lit classroom inside a building that stood in a brightly lit day after two weeks of being in that ^, I felt unbelievably uncomfortable. 
It was not fun.

One would imagine that after not seeing the sun for two weeks,the sight of that celestial orb would be met with some sort of excitement.  In reality, it's less "Oh! The sun!" and more "Oh.  The sun.  Please put me back in my mole hole now", so among the dough punching and books with blank pages and all of the craziness that is returning to North Park, we may also add to the list the fact that I am constantly walking around campus (and selected brightly-lit classrooms) squinting like an opossum out during daylight.  Is one of the early symptoms of a Vitamin-D insufficiency discomfort in bright lights?  Either that or I'm turning into a vampire.  I should probably WebMD that.

13 January 2009

Welcome Back to North Park

It's that time of year again.  North Park's campus has given way to not just a blanket but a honking deep shag carpet of snow, the temperature is in the single digits (or has a negative sign in front of it), and classes are back in full swing.  The fact that it's my last semester is a combination of strangely exhilarating and just plain strange.  It seems fitting, however, that in only two days back at good old NPU, there have been enough odd goings-on to make me feel right back at home.  So far, I have:

-watched Kasey punch a giant ball of dough 
-giggled through the Lord's Prayer because my denominationally eclectic group of friends and I kept arguing about whether to be Catholic or not and include the "For thine is the kingdom and the power..." at the end
-been subject to a drive-by criticism by a certain professor with high expectations next to the bridge 
-grinned through yet another one of Dr. Zelle's cheesy metaphors
-heard my Environmental Science professor refer to "wuss-ass A minuses"
-blushed like I haven't since high school when my Personal Health professor asked if I get my cholesterol tested and what exactly the number is in front of the entire class
-been asked by Alethea if we could make more acrostics during Eastern Theological Tradition
-watched Mari pout as she turned the page in her Latin Politics book and discovered that pages 10 and 11 were blank.  She subsequently discovered that pages 10 and 11 weren't alone in the blank department and held the book above her head, proclaiming the sinister nature of whoever published the book before she trudged to the bookstore to return it.
-sat crocheting on the study room floor with Christina and Heather because it was just too logical to go to the living room and sit on the futon

...and that's it for now.  More odd moments are forthcoming for sure.

Blast From the Past, Part 1: Eighth-Grade Stock Market Wisdom

As part of the Lambert Manifesto of '08 (delivered by my parents at the beginning of the school year), I cleaned out my room at home before Christmas.  It included, but was not limited to: about four huge bags of trash, several boxes to be delivered to Goodwill, a variety of plastic boxes labeled with "Give to Cindy and Kip When They Move to the Lower 48", and two boxes packed and ready to be sent to Alaska whenever we find an apartment.  Among the old prom pictures and useless knickknacks that for some reason I kept through several moves, I also found stockpiled old journals and school projects.  Reading through them, I decided something:  I was pretty darn funny back in the day.  Take, for example, this little tidbit from my 8th Grade "Consumer" unit:
"We bought [Carnival Cruises] stock in December because we thought of the winter that we were experiencing and were going to have.  Our reasoning was that a lot of people don't really like the winter, and get bored of it over time, so they go on a cruise.  We figured that then (December 21) would be a good time to buy it because it was pretty low and it would most likely be rising very high soon....We think that [the ups and downs of the stock] happened near spring because hope was drawing near.  People tend to go on cruises in the middle of the winter to get away from the unbearable cold weather.  When you can see that spring is coming and the weather is getting better, people don't really need a cruise to the Caribbean to console them, or at least I don't.  Anyway, back to the stock...."

Seeing as it's about nine degrees outside and there's no sign of Spring in sight, I think a need a cruise to console me.  Maybe it'll help the stock market.

11 January 2009

More Adventures with Free Airport Wireless

I don't know if I was blessed with mystical free wireless finding Chi or what, but once again, I'm sitting in an airport (a happenstance that seems to be occurring with alarming frequency these days), enjoying the benefits of free wireless.  My guess is that I'm "borrowing" the signal from the Alaska Airlines special members room that happens to be about 25 feet away from my comfy spot on the floor.  Hey, if I had an extra $250 lying around I'd be a member, and I fly them all the time due to their monopoly in Juneau, so let's just say they owe me the one and a half bars that I'm getting on my Mac, shall we?

Here's the immediate plan:
1. Get on the plane.
2. Eat my (scrumptious) breakfast taco from Anthony's.
3.  With aforementioned breakfast taco satisfyingly in stomach and feet at a desirable temperature, flip the hood up on my Cheshire University sweatshirt.
4.  Insert headphones.
5. Sleep for the rest of the flight.

Oh yes, with the adventures the past few days of being woken up early by carbon monoxide alarms going off on Friday and staying up until 5:30 in the morning with Sherri Mahoney wondering what the guys were doing at work on Saturday, then only getting about four hours of sleep last night, I'm thinking that breakfast taco should be a success and so should my nap.  

We'll see how it goes.