Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Six-Year Workaversary, and an Unexpected Gift

Six years ago today ("today" being December 30th), I was asking myself how on earth I had gotten myself into a position where I had no money, no job, no will to get dressed, and apparently no desire to bathe. I was depressed, living off my credit cards, and living on Doritos (and not in a good way).

Six years ago today, I swallowed my pride and accepted a job at $7 an hour, making sandwiches at a restaurant 3 blocks away from my home, where I stopped wearing my rings and started wearing t-shirts and tennis shoes with marinara stains on them (they didn't start that way).

Six years ago today, I began the process that kicked me out of my depression and began the slow (agonizingly slow) trek to fiscal solvency. Yes, I'm still only about halfway up the mountain, but I'm on my way.

Between six years ago and today, I got a promotion to a training position (still hourly, but I got to travel and I got per diem), I opened 19 stores, I developed Plantar Fasciitis, I got a job in the Payroll Department (despite my art degree) and I got a promotion within that department. Between six years ago and today I moved to a one-bedroom apartment from a studio, I still flirt with depression but it's no longer a love affair, and when I subsist on Doritos usually it's merely because I enjoy them.

And today, on the six-year anniversary of being once again employed, I got an unexpected gift... a free ticket to see The Addams Family in its pre-Broadway stay at the Oriental Theater in Chicago. I do not take joy in the fact that K's friend had to cancel her trip to visit him for the New Year at the last minute. But it was such a huge blessing to get an email saying "Do you want to go see The Addams Family tonight? I've got an extra ticket." Because K never makes me pay when we go out for lunch, and I knew he wouldn't make me pay for the ticket, and he certainly didn't make me pay for dinner.

I don't think you will ever understand how much I wish we could be attracted to each other.

But as someone who doesn't have the money (or the credit) to go to New York to see all the shows, I was awestruck to be breathing the same air as Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth.

I mean, they're like famous! Ok, I've been to the theatre before. I saw Joseph twice in High School back when Donny Osmond was just dancing for the Pharoah's wife and not all of America.

I saw Wicked two years ago.

And I finally saw Phantom of the Opera last Christmas.

I even saw Miss Saigon in London.

But that was forever ago. This was tonight. This was Nathan and Bebe. They've been in movies and on Frasier! (one of them anyway.) And besides, it was my workaversary present.

I started my day with trepidation, wondering if my boss would even remember or if I would have to remind her like I did last year (she remembered, eventually). And amidst my plans for NYE going down the crapper, I was given this opportunity to see a show that lauds the ideals of love, foreplay (boy, does it) and above all, being true to oneself.

If that wasn't a great way to wrap up my year, I don't know what is.

So happy workaversary to me, and stay tuned because Fictionary Friday will either take the week off or be secondary to my Last Year/This Year Letter.

See you next year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living."

~Amanda Bradley~

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's Harder to Pull an All-Nighter When You're 30.

Ok, to be honest, I have pulled more all-nighters since college than I did while I was at college. Although I was quite the night-owl (my first semester I had my first class at 1:30pm three days a week so I generally went to bed around 4am) I was also a very strong supporter of sleep. So there were only a couple of times when I would stay up all night, walk bleary-eyed to a class to hand in a paper, and shuffle back to my bed.

But to actually stay up more than 30 hours... I think that's only ever happened after college. And besides an accidental trans-continental all-nighter (I was so excited for Europe I didn't sleep a wink) I think most of mine have, sadly, been work related. And of course that's why I've not been able to melt into bed a mere 25 hours after getting up last. Because you have to get through the whole next day--or at least until they have pity on you and let you go, usually around noon.

My first ever all-nighter was when I worked at an ad agency. I had been tasked with making multi-layered sheets to overlay on a map, and the sheets would highlight specific towns in Illinois. Great in theory, until I realized that in order to get the shapes of the towns, I would have to create separate shapes for each of them. Yes, I had to draw over each line. Twice. The ironic thing is I'd had a migraine earlier that day. Besides a quick run to the salad bar at the grocery store down the street, I'd spent the rest of the day curled up on my chair, wearing sunglasses against the glow of my computer screen, and keening softly (me, not the computer).

And then, suddently I got a second wind around 8pm, and pushed through to the next day. This was at a place where you had to write your name and the times you came in and out for the day, so it was super-fun trudging down in my yesterday clothes and writing "Still Here." I did manage to impress my boss though, which was lovely, and he let me go home as soon as the project was picked up at noon.

Lately I've had to pull work all-nighters about twice a year. I pull hours clocked in by associates in our stores, and fun as that sounds I won't tell you the details on how it all works. Suffice it to say, there are times when we have a shortened schedule (if you're getting paid this week on Thursday instead of Friday, you might want to thank your Payroll department 'cause they're probably on a shortened schedule too).  And during those times, we have 5 hours to do what normally takes us about 13. So we have to pull hours from the store as soon as possible so we can process the insanely-interesting algorithm that creates overtime pay.

Problem is, you can't pull hours from the store until everyone's done working for the night on Sunday. Because we're a restaurant. And we're open (some of them) on Sunday.

I hope I don't sound super bitter here though--I realized that we really only had two options if we were going to keep to our shortened schedule deadlines. Option #1: I could get to work at 4am, fully dressed yet full of sleep, eye crusties, and a desire to do anything but work methodically and with excellence. OR... Option #2: I could pull the hours at midnight, potentially doze for about 2 hours, then get in to the office at a more reasonable hour. Meanwhile, I can be wearing my pjs and watching movies while stuff processes.

Which one would you choose? (Yeah ok you morning people, you can just enjoy your crazy over there, ok? The rest of us will be wearing our pjs.)

The only wrinkle in the plan is when A) I bring home work to do while stuff processes, which can add time, and B) I don't actually get to have a nap beforehand because, even though I only got 5 hours of sleep Saturday night, I'm just not tired. Or C) I realize that I'm so very exhausted that if I even close my eyes for a minute I will end up sleeping through the night just like Julie did in Julie & Julia, and I will ruin my boeuf bourguinon. Or everyone's paychecks.

Yesterday was a type C sort of day. I got up officially at 9am although I was awake earlier. But we'll call it 9am. We went to church, my sister and I went through a pile of old games and puzzles my mom is trying to sort out, we watched Harry Potter #6 and then we came into the city to drive me home and go to dinner as a family. And then they all stayed so we could finish watching The Big Bang Theory Season 1, which I had received for Christmas and then forced them to watch since no one in my family had ever seen it. Heretics.

Anywhoo, that got me to 11pm, at which point a friend of mine was online so we chatted till 12:30 when I realized I had to actually start working. And work I did, until 7am. Then I took a shower and went to work. And ok, when I say I did not take any naps on Monday, I do admit that I did quite a few long blinks--you know, the kind of blink that actually predicates a mini-dream until you jerk your head up, wipe off the drool, and pray to God that you hadn't been talking out loud or snoring.

My boss let me leave at 1pm, bless her. And of course the very moment I was off the clock I was wide awake and chatty, and we talked for a good 15 minutes before I realized that I should really leave. And then I talked to the receptionist for a good few minutes... and then I had lunch, and then, finally at 3pm I came home, and called my bff. And we talked until dinner time, and then I put on a movie and made an attempt at an adapted recipe of pumpkin mousse pie (I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but then at this point I'm pretty impressed that I'm still able to string words together). And now, suddenly, it's 8:40pm. Which means that, once I finish this post and leap lurch from my chair to get into bed, I will have been awake for a full 36 hours. Oh. My. Goodness.

The trick really is to stay up though. If I had fallen asleep when I got home from work, I'd have awakened at 8pm in a pitch-dark apartment, freaked out that it was actually Tuesday morning and have a heart attack before I realized what time and day it really was... and then I'd be wide awake until 3am and get to work exhausted the next day.

My preferred method, however, is to push through the day and go to bed at 9pm, or whatever time will give you a solid 9-10 hours of sleep. This really will help balance it out. Or at least I hope so, becuase I do not need another exhausted day at work.

That being said, it's just about my bedtime. If you've actually made it to the end of this post, please leave a comment--how do you get through that all-nighter, and did you do more of them in college, or do you suddenly find yourself doing them now?

See ya on the flip side... hopefully. (Good thing I've already pre-set my Wit & Wisdom Wednesday post) :D

My New Baby is Here!!!

And if you've been reading my blogs somewhat regularly, you already know that I'm either talking about something other than a human child, or something magical happened over Christmas. (There's a very important factor to producing babies, that I am not currently doing.)

But what I DID get is the present I asked for... a new Kensington Trackball Mouse with Scroll Ring. I bought a trackball in college when I got Tendonitis, and it was phenominal (the trackball, not the Tendonitis). Nine years later, after using it through college and 3 jobs, it broke, and I had to order a new one. It was silver and sleek and I love it. But when I developed Carpal Tunnel in November, I went looking to see if they had any updated versions for less than $60, and that's when I saw her:

Isn't she beautiful? I haven't officially named her yet but for some reason I'm thinking Sheila. The greatest thing about her though is that nobbly ring around the blue ball--that's the scroll ring. It takes the place of the scroll wheel that exists on most "normal" mice, and that I've been sorely missing for the last few years.

But there is something else that's pretty cool... an attachment I didn't even know I was gonna get!

You just slide on this little extra piece, and voila, even MORE wrist protection! It's like this thing was made just for me. Hooray for Shelia.

**Just to be clear, Kensington has no idea I'm writing this. I wouldn't turn down a gift from them because I love their products, but really I'm just telling you all about Shelia because I'm so happy to have my new trackball mouse, no other reason.**

Happy Monday, all, and here's to Shelia, and to good wrist health! :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Fictionary Friday - Foreclosure

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:
Dictionary Definition:
Foreclose v. to deprive (a mortgagor or pledgor) of the right to redeem his or her property, esp. on failure to make payment on a mortgage when due, ownership of property then passing to the mortgagee.

Fictionary Definition:
Foreclose v. to tell people in your bar or restaurant that the place is closing half an hour before it actually does, in order to start cleaning earlier.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Try to maintain the holiday spirit and remember the ultimate purpose of the holiday isn't the food, it's being with family and friends."

~Anita F. Fernander~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My, How Time Flies...

My sister, the Gymnast, graduated from college yesterday. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. I mean, I remember changing her diapers. Of course I was only 7 at the time, and we used cloth diapers and pins. Sorry about sticking you with the pins all the time, Kathy. We're cool though, right?

But yeah, look at her, she's a graduate now:

It's really just crazy. I can't believe it's been 4 years (well, 4.5) since she graduated from high school. I don't know how on earth I'm going to deal with this when it's my own kids!

But here's more pictures. I won't bore you with pictures of the ceremony. I don't know what it is about gymnasiums anyway, you just can't get a good shot without a $3000 camera. Stupid lighting.

Here's Kathy and the 'rents.

And here's Kathy and her boyfriend, Fiona. I mean Kelly. Good strong Irish name.

And here's me, the Gymnast, and the Drama Queen.

What a great day it was. I'm really insanely proud of my sister. But I have to say that the best--the absolute best part of the entire ceremony was when they sang the school's alma mater. My mom got all teary-eyed, because it's her college's tune... and I almost peed myself trying not to laugh because it's totally the song from Dirty Dancing. Like practically note-for-note. So while everyone was singing nice strong words about the college, this is all I could think of:

Absolutely hysterical.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Are You Single??? Do You Know Anyone Who Is?

Hi. My name is Janet. I am 30 years old and single. I am ok with that (mostly). I love to blog. I love to read YOUR blogs. I do not craft very much but I do enjoy a good crafting post. I don't cook. I really wonder how I manage not to die of starvation, and then I remember--I pay other people to cook for me. I love babies, but I have none of my own. I love the idea of a husband but again, not currently present in my life.

What I do have is a need, a really huge need, I mean really honestly to the core of me NEED... for some single bloggers to follow, and who would hopefully follow me.

Why? Because as much as I will love looking back on your breastfeeding posts when I have rugrats, I don't have any need for them right now. I'm not trying to offend, just be honest with where I am. What I would love to read is some posts by women who work all day, then go home to their cat/dog/goldfish/hampster/bottle of Merlot and watch The Big Bang Theory. Ok, if you have a boyfriend that's fine, because God-willing I'll be posting about boyfriend issues again at some point. But you get what I'm trying to say, right?

I mean seriously, are you out there? I've connected with a couple of you, I know. But the world is too big for there to not be more than 3 of us.

But you married peeps can do me a favor too... do you have any single blogger friends? Please send them my way! I know, it sounds like I'm asking for you to hook me up with your guy friends, doesn't it? (Well, that is partly why I put the photo up. Any hot single guys in their 30s, come to mama) But really, I'm just looking to expand my network of bloggy friends, and I'm realizing that single women are not a big enough percentage of them.

So please help a sista out, would ya? :)

Fictionary Friday - Devoted

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Devoted adj. Set apart for or applied entirely to a specific purpose, use, or cause.

Fictionary Definition:
Devoted adj. Describing the people of a country after it changes from a democracy to a dictatorship.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Don't Decorate My House, I Decorate Julie's

So I love Christmas. I love Christmas decorations. I do not, however, put up Christmas decorations. Mostly it's because I'm single, I don't really have many people come over, my cat would get into everything, and I've been living at the office for the last month.

I do, however, belong to an organization that has a yearly Christmas gift exchange. It used to be just an ornament exchange until a few ladies pointed out that everyone now owns about 30 extra ornaments, and couldn't we just do Christmas "things?"

So the way the game works is that you buy a Christmas Thing for no more than $10, you wrap it and put it under the tree at the party, and everyone draws a number. You probably know how it works, but I'll say it anyway: The first person opens a present. Whoever has number two can either open a new present, or steal the present that #1 opened. If they steal, the first person opens a new present. Then person #3 goes, and they can either steal, or open a new one. And on and on it goes, until everyone is settled with a opened gift. Now, the way my ladies do it is each present can only be stolen so many times before it's out. Otherwise we'd be there until midnight. It used to be on the 3rd steal, but we reduced it down to the second steal a year or two ago. Seriously, there's like 40 ladies fighting over gifts!!

And I do mean fighting. It can get pretty nasty. I practically had my heart broken the first year when someone stole a beautiful angel ornament from me. So now I don't focus quite so much on ending up with a great present as I put time and energy into having a gift that everyone wants and fights over. This takes two tacks: First: A good present, and Second: Strategic wrapping.

I'm gonna start with the wrapping so you can get your hints now: if you have an oblong box (like a shoebox) don't wrap it the normal way, with the lid on the top. Instead, flip it on one end, wrap it, and put a bow on the "new" top. Nothing gets people's attention like a tall box. Or, do what I did this year and go for understatement: the only bag I had that fit the present was a brown-paper handle bag. Very dull. But instead of trying to decorate it, I just wrote on it with a Sharpie: Side 1 said "Pick Me. Don't let the pretty bags have all the fun." and side 2 said "I've heard the best presents come in unassuming packaging. Care to test that theory?"

Both of those ideas got my gift opened in the top 10. :)

And for the present, well I'm lucky because I work at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and they have a sample sale twice a year where you can get a whole lot of ornaments and decorations for great deals like "half-off of wholesale." Yessirreebob, it's fantastic. So I've ended up with $40 gifts that I paid at most $12 for. And some of them may have been worth even more.

But the really funny thing about this whole deal is the fact that in the last 5 years, 4 of my gifts have gone to the same person: Julie.

I kid you not. The first year I made a star ornament that she ended up with. I must say I'm quite happy that it's in such good shape--I really had no idea how long it would hold up.

Then the next year I brought in a wreath made of pinecones. This was the year I started buying stuff at the sample sale. There's a good chance it would have retailed for $50-60:

It was really just coincidence that Julie ended up with both of my gifts at this point. I believe the ornament was literally the last gift opened (the reason I started paying more attention to wrapping). I don't believe Julie knew I had brought the pine cones.

Then there was one year when I bought a tea mug and plate set. Julie did not win that. It was an off year.

But then, she ended up with the jingle-bell wreath. There is a good chance I pointed it out to her, just to see if she would start getting my gifts again... and she did. :)

But this year is the one that kills me. Because I got there before she did, I didn't sit close to her at all, I said nothing... and before I knew it, my lantern was in her hands on the final steal.

How funny is that? I mean, really. there are 40 women at each of these parties. And Julie got my present 4 out of 5 years. Of course, she does know that she's getting a good deal with my gifts, so perhaps she keeps her eyes open for something that looks like it costs more than $10.

Either way, I find it quite humorous that, while I don't decorate my house at all, I have had quite a hand in decorating Julie's.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"It is important that you recognize your progress and take pride in your accomplishments... The recognition and support of those around you is nurturing."

~Rosemarie Rossetti~

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fictionary Friday - Parodies

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Parodies n. humorous or satirical imitations of a serious piece of literature or writing, a person, or an event.
Fictionary Definition:
Parodies n. a reference to the bosom of a well-endowed woman. eg "Look at the parodies on that hottie!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."

~Maria Robinson~

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy SITSmas!

Happy SITSmas, everyone!!! If you're one of the few people who found me in other ways than The Secret is in The Sauce, click on that link <--- and you'll see what I'm talking about.

If you are a fellow SITSta, welcome!!! I decided I'd take this opportunity to introduce myself a little bit since we probably don't know each other very well.

This blog isn't full of cute Christmas crafts and you will probably never see photos of my apartment--unless I actually manage to clean it. I may--may--post a recipe or two but that will be an amazing day when I do, because I don't really cook. But what I DO love is finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. I believe that God created the earth and everything on it (including us) and that makes everything extraordinary. So you can find beauty in the darkness, joy in sorrow, and salvation in heartbreak. You really can.

So, here's some info on me:

This is me. Hi.

I work in the HR/Payroll department for Potbelly, a restaurant that's mainly in the Chicagoland area, but we're in about 13 other states as well, and we keep getting bigger! I love the company, it's full of wonderful people, it's a great concept, and I've really learned a lot. I very much hope that I can continue to advance my career in the company, because I do love it. I don't blog about work much though, because I like to keep my passion for writing separate from my "day job."

I also sell Mary Kay skin care and cosmetics. Love the stuff. If you've never tried it you really must. If Chicago isn't close enough to where you are, find a person in your area.

Other than that, I write, I take Zumba, and I try to sleep. Emphasis on try. Being a night owl and having a day job is not easy.

Oh, and I forgot to introduce the man in my life:

This is Mau-be.

Mau-be is Vietnemese for Tiger. He's the man in my house until I meet someone human. But I love him to pieces.

So I know I'm supposed to tell you all about what my 2009 has been like, and what I want to do/be in 2010, but honestly... I'm gonna be late for work if I write any more. So I'm gonna post this as-is, and hopefully get back to it later today. But if not here's the thing... want to learn more about me and see how 2010 works itself out? Just give me a follow. Don't worry, I really do my best to write interesting posts. :)

So Merry Christmas everyone, and have an Extraordinary Day!

Monday, December 7, 2009

So... How Did it Go?

Alrighty, I'm sure you've been waiting eagerly to see how my song went... and thank you all for the supportive words and prayers, I really really appreciate it!

My communion song was O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I sang the first two verses in Latin, then did three verses in English. I did the three verses that are in the hymnal I own... there are many many verses. I'm quite proud of myself for being able to figure out (thanks to the internet) which Latin verse was which, and then be able to pronouce it somewhat well (of course it hasn't been a spoken language in so long it doesn't really matter how I pronounced it).

But I have to say: in the long run the whole event was a comedy of errors... but the great thing about a comedy is that's the one that ends well.

I prayed two things before I sang: God, despite whatever happens and however it sounds, please minister to people. And God, please let it be beautiful.

So the practice on Saturday was fine after I broke down in tears because someone hadn't realized I couldn't find my key while they were noodling around on the guitar. I didn't get anything recorded like I had asked because the sound guy didn't think I wanted a recording while we were practicing. But ok, whatever, I knew that Sunday would be great after the pianist, percussionist and I had finally worked it all out.

And then Sunday the percussionist called in sick. And my pianist was sick, although thank God she was there. And she'd added a trill to the piano part that is a more conventional sounding trill than I wanted, and all of a sudden I lost how I had sung it for the last 2 weeks when I practiced it, and we didn't have it recorded to listen to. And we had to have a new percussionist, so we only actually sang through the song once, and my pianist forgot to come in on the chorus.

And I haven't gotten more than 5 hours of sleep a night in a good week.

And halfway through worship I realized I was losing my voice. I stopped singing, and drank a lot of water, but I could feel my throat hurting. (Unfortunately I forgot my training or I would've drank some really hot water.)

So it's finally time for the song, and thank goodness the pastor spoke for a good 8 minutes before we started to sing, because it took that long for my heart to slow down. This was my church family, you'd think I wouldn't be so nervous! But I was. I kept drinking more water and my mouth was dry as a bone.

But then the song started. The percussionist came in on time. I hit the right key. The pianist came in on the choruses with perfect harmony, and my voice actually sounded richer and more full than it had any other time. And even though the trills weren't what I wanted, they weren't horrible.

And my right hand was shaking so much holding the mic (I'd practiced that way) that I had to hold it with both hands.

And then I felt it... the phlem. I lost about half a line. Thank God I had a pause built in at the end of each line, because I spent about 5 of those pauses coughing into my shoulder before I dislodged it!

But you know what? I got through it. I sang it start to finish. They even applauded, and someone said Amen. And a few people came up to me afterward and told me that it was lovely, that it was really great.

And both of the pastors told me it was beautiful. And one of the girls in my Bible study said that all she could think of when she saw me singing was that I was beautiful, that I looked like a cameo. And I think, I hope, that some people were touched. Because above all this song was a call and response: the People eagerly yearning for their Messiah to save them, and the Angels singing down to them "he is coming!"

So all in all, despite everything that happened, I'm pretty sure it ministered to people. And, as I've been told, it was beautiful.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Singing at Church Sunday: Rather Nervous!!!

The Worship Ministry at my church includes all vocalists, musicians, sound and A/V team members. As such, I have been on the worship team for a few years.

But all of that has been at the back of the church in the sound booth, sitting behind a computer.

On Sunday, I'm going to be at the front of the church behind a microphone, with about 75 pairs of eyes on me. Yikes!!!

Technically, I'm only singing one song, the communion song.

Somehow that's not making me feel much better. Why? Because even though people will be filing down the aisles and gettig their communion and praying and stuff, still it's just going to be me and the backup vocalist up there! And yeah, she's the backup. Wow. I sooo can't believe I'm actually leading a song. I mean really, that's what I'm doing. I'm leading people in worship for this one song, the song during which people are communing with God before they take communion.

I am not making myself feel any less nervous.

Part of my nervousness is that I've not led a song before, haven't stood and said ok, this is how I want the keys and percussion to sound, this is the key I want to sing it in, etc. And of course, I don't really know. I mean, I can hear it in my head, but it comes out differently when I actually sing it. And since I don't play piano and can't tap out the rhythm I want to hear while I sing without messing myself up, I'm gonna be going into practice today feeling somewhat unprepared.

I know, I know, it'll be ok. But please send prayers and happy thoughts my way as you read this, would you?

Because here's the thing. I go to a church that does modern worship songs. And I love it. But a few people think that "Christmas Carols" are too worn out, too cliché to be used on Sunday morning.

I think these people should be wrapped in tissue paper until they submit are missing something very important, however, and this is very specifically why I have chosen O Come O Come, Emmanuel as my song. Not only because it's a hymnal song (written originally in Latin no less) but it's an Advent song, a song for the coming of Christ.

When these songs were written, they were modern worship songs! They were full of passion and joy and expectation, and celebration. This is the birth of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, our Savior, our Messiah, the One who died and went to HELL for 3 days so that we would never ever ever ever have to experience one second apart from God.

Hello!!! It came upon a midnight clear, on a silent night: angels we have heard on high, singing o come, o come Emmanuel, Gloria in Exelsius Deo!

Forget the fact that people all over the world sing these songs just because everyone sings them. Listen to the heart behind them, imagine the joy, the exultation, the triumphant celebration in Heaven when Jesus God came down onto the earth to restore humanity to Himself. And He came as one of us, to be the humanity we should aspire to become; to be sin replacing our sin, to be the sacrifce we should be forced to give.

And when you sing these words, sing them from your heart. Sing them to your Savior, and sing them to yourself, and this time really listen to what it is you're saying. Because after all, aren't we all waiting for our Salvation to be lived out? Don't we all ardently desire God to come among us, and don't we rejoice when He does?

O come, o come Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel.
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Has come to thee, o Israel.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fictionary Friday - Immutable

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Here we go:

Dictionary Version:
Immutable: adj. Not subject or susceptible to change

Fictionary Version:
Immutable: adj. Someone you can't get to shut up

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Should Give My Exhaustion a Name

I have been staying awake far, far, far too late for someone who has a day job. But the problem is, I love being up late. I'm a night owl. I read in O magazine somewhere that there truly is a difference between the people who are at their "peak" at 9am, and those who are at their peak at 9pm.

Guess which one I am.

So I think I'm going to give my exhaustion a name, since I seem to be living with him now. I think I'll call him Earl. Earl has me so insanely tired I want to take a nap allll the time. He makes my head all fuzzy and makes it hard to concentrate.

Of course, if my exhaustion gets a name, then I think my night-owl-ness should get one too. How about Claude? Claude would not let me get to bed last night. He just kept me up for hours and hours on end. I don't even know why, I could barely focus on anything.At some point I had to just give up and let him run the show.

Did that sound dirty enough for you yet? Because Claude and Earl both found it hysterical.

Well, goodnight, all. Goodnight Claude and Earl. I'll see you in the morning, as soon as I roll over and open my eyes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

~Jimmy Dean~

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You're So Cute I Want to Hurt You

I have a friend who is a wonderful mother. I mean it. She's got a husband and five boys and still manages to sleep and take care of everyone who comes within 3 miles of her house. She just oozes maternal comfort and love.

And she wants to eat your children.

Have you ever seen a baby that's so cute you have to come up with words to describe how cute they are? And do you find yourself using food and eating-related words? What are we, cannibals? But how often have you said this: "You're so cute I want to eat you!" or "You're so cute I want to squish you!"

Wait a second! Now, I don't have any children, but wouldn't you as a mother kinda freak out if someone walked up to you at the park or--worse yet--church, and said "Your baby is so adorable I want to eat him up?" aaahhh!

So, yeah, we's weird people. Not that I'm any different. I say the same things. Especially when I see my friend Heather's baby (photo above). Except the only difference is I generally take it to the hyperbolic level. You should try it sometime. Next time you see a cute kid, go up to them and say "You're so adorable I want to commit bodily harm upon your person."

Just make sure the mother knows you're kidding. :)