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Spinning Straw into Gold

by Kate Engel

September 13th, 2006

Ver Vill Uns Scheiden @ 07:44 pm

E-mail from my redneck brother: :)

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on US 95 south, just outside of

Nothing is moving north or south.
Suddenly a man knocks on his window.

The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What happened?"
What's the hold up?"

"Terrorists have kidnapped Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and John Kerry. They are asking for a $10 million ransom.
Otherwise, they are going to douse them with gasoline and set them on
fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection."

The driver asks, "On average how much is everyone giving?"

"About a gallon."

September 12th, 2006

Jack Jackson @ 09:59 pm

So I'm really, really sick of music majors who are completely full of themselves. I have never met a more arrogant set of department members in my life. I don't mean to be mean, but it's not cool to have that much of a lack of humility. While I know most of the better musicians by name, when I officially meet them for the first time, I get such a kick out of asking "so, what instrument do you play?" as though I've never heard of them. I usually receive a little offended air, a scoff, and "um... voice/piano/etc., [insert "DUH" glare]". Makes me laugh.

I can name several freshmen who assumed that they'd make it into Chorale. When I congratulated one on their callback, the response was so tepid and "of course!"-themed that I was actually kinda glad that they got put into Kantorei (which rules so much more, anyway).

Ranting about a freshman who I'll call Thomas Thompson. Pompous. Arrogant. Violinist. Was in my Musicianship 109 class. He made it a point to meet with the professor and get an appointment to test out of it, because clearly it was below him. I was invited to try to test out, as well, due to the diagnostic test we took. At the test-out, Thomas looked at me scornfully, because he clearly had more of a right to be there than I did. I mean, hey, he didn't get into Cleveland Conservatory and he doesn't have perfect pitch, but he's "damn close." Well, Thomas. Um, not to toot mine own horn, but who tested out of Musicianship, and who didn't? Oh, right. The chick who doesn't even know what Cleveland Conservatory is. I have an idea as to where... but beyond that, well...

I believe those are the two worst cases of musical arrogance. Voice and Violin (perhaps strings in general, but particularly violin). I keep hearing stories of kids who try to get into these special conservatories, who say that those places don't know what they're missing, well then WHY are you at Valpo!? Clearly, if you are good enough to be there, then you would be there. I'm sure there are better music programs than those which Valpo has to offer.

I hate that I've started to suffer from the disease. I'm more comfortable singing, which is bad. I feel like my intelligence is being insulted in my music lessons, which is bad. I think that if I did better, I'd get better material. So it's my goal to practice like heck in the near future. I kind of want to do more than 2 pieces for piano juries, but if she thinks that's all I can do, then who am I to deny that?

I think it's good to set high goals, but you have to still be excited if you actually achieve them.

Oh, I love music!!!! I'm so excited about Sigma Alpha Iota, and I hope Shannon's my big! :) :) :)

So that was supposed to be the closer to this, but I'm frankly worried about music right now. Carey played at colloquium today, and HOLY CRAP! I don't think I'll ever play piano in front of another person ever again. At least another person who's heard her play. I want to crawl under a rock and play piano clandestinely forever.

Oh, by the way, Trinity kids, I'm a music major now. So boo ya.

September 5th, 2006

PB&J @ 08:55 pm

Current Music: Rent

So I made this special Mix CD for Kantorei retreat this weekend, and I didn't even listen to it on the bus.

I like Jon Finger- He and John came and watched Casablanca with us last night, and it was a fun time.

Completely overwhelmed in every way, and I don't know how on earth I'm going to catch up. I really, really don't care about classes right now. Except piano. Funny how it always works out like that. But I left my music in Virginia Oram's office, I think, when I was accompanying, which, on a scale of 1 to awesome, went kinda ok.

I have energy, and nowhere to put it.

August 23rd, 2006

Footloose @ 09:19 am

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Wicked

So, I love Macs! They're pretty much the neatest. Right now, I'm a big fan of the "Stickies" program, because I have this floating window with my to-do list on it for all my organizations. Which is just awesome. It's weird not having to start class until 12:55. But I think it's a weirdness I can live with :-D

I've decided that I really like my CC little sister, and I'm excited to get together with her tomorrow. And she's in my Musicianship class! Hoorah! I met her in a funny and random way- checking the choral audition sheet, and her name happened to be at 4 and it was 3:50, so i shouted out "IS KELLY HERE!?" and she was. And it was awesome!

The other one is Rachel Hessler. And she hasn't gotten back to me. Sadness. :( :'( (progressive sadness)

Anyway, Kelly and I are meeting for snacks tomorrow, so that's nice.

It's so great to be back on campus. Back to being social. Having people stop by the room. It's wonderful after being in a HOUSE.

I distributed my leftover candy from Activities Fair at my floor meeting last night. (Ha, as soon as I typed "candy" I realized that I still HAD some and totally grabbed some chocolate. At 9:30 in the morning!)

August 22nd, 2006

Slow Jamz @ 11:49 pm

Current Music: Wicked

So John called to tell me I got into Kantorei, and I shrieked in joy :) I wasn't expecting to get into anything. But I'm now a First Soprano in a really good choir! :-D Endless thrills of excitement.

ALD will be tough this semester.

Played Boggle with Alex, Shannon, John, and Stephanie tonight. Fun-packed :)

Met with Kelly Erikson earlier- ALD Vice President to go over many things for the semester, and I believe we have the whole organization down pat. Hooray! She's the neatest!

Trying not to be overwhelmed. It's tough.

August 19th, 2006

Fragments galore. Sticklers, Unite! @ 08:50 am

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy
Current Music: Wa wa wa WICKED

Marc Taylor is a fun, fun guy!

Hung out with Erin and Marc last night. Marc built a chariot over the summer. I await the time when we may see it in action.

Found a new late-night place to eat. It's called El Amigo, and it's open til 3 on weekdays/4 on weekends. AWESOME! Cheap, authentic Mexican chow.

Move-in at 2 today. I'm dreadfully excited, as can be vouched by Erin and Marc, who witnessed my rather disturbing display of excitement last night. Ha.

Saw John last night. I was happily reminded that there do exist people who are more excited than I can get :)

Gosh. Now I have all these boxes. So little time, it feels. AAAH!

I think I'll get to campus early and do some pianoing. It's been a long, long time. And I have all this new music waiting for me!

Very excited about class on Tuesday :)

Elections Committee meeting Sunday night. ALD starts on Monday at 1 when we switch over bank account names, then Eboard meeting. Dance, Etc, Monday night at 5 or so at PIZZA HUT, must have election petitions done and copied by Tuesday.

August 17th, 2006

A Different Nostalgia. @ 03:07 pm

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Something TIP

I've been doing some serious TIP nostalgia-ing. I'm planning to make an entry about it, but I only have one TIP friend on LJ. But I will do it anyway. So I'll dedicate it to you, Handsome. Strictly 3rd year, 'cause that was me and you, kid.

And we all thought we'd never be happier.

Quick 3rd-year friend list: Najia, Erin, Sarah Hampton, PatPATPATPAT, Dan, Frank oh Frank, Justin (whose cellphone number I still have, shocking), Marcelo, Raffi, Sean, Jack, oh, that was the best summer of my life. I hate how things were never again so wonderful. I was still ignorant and naive, and the world was so beautiful.

I'm terribly happy that I didn't know then what I do know now.

I don't think I will make an entry. But know that my days with Erin and Najia were indeed the best I've ever had.

I had a dream that I got a kitten last night. @ 02:42 pm

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: Wicked!

I must say, I'm doing better than I thought at this whole "once a day" thing. I can excuse the past week as I've been in Branson, Missouri. It was one of the best trips of my life, rivaled only by Spring Break of 7th grade and the summer afterward. But no national trip has ever been so neat.

I had terribly low expectations. I thought it would be just as touristy and "stupid" as Orlando is. However, the shows had a genuine classiness to them that was just neat. It was a lot like Vegas, only it was totally Midwesternized. You could tell that it was an extremely talented bunch of people that were really trying hard to give you a great show.

On Monday night we saw a singing group called "Pierce Arrow." The songs were fairly good. They were interspersed with acts by a surprisingly funny comedian and singles by former Miss Florida Kim Boyce. The show was terribly good. 2 of the singers in the group (6 men) hold the current 1st and 2nd Guiness World Records for lowest note ever sung- 1 guy held it for 20 years, and it was broken 2 years ago by another guy in the group. Ha. But, my, they were quite low. The theater shook. Oh, basses. What I'd do. Terribly patriotic at the end.

Tuesday afternoon we saw the "Acrobats of China." It was just cute. There was a very sweet lady who came out and taught us a little Chinese at the beginning (Ni Hao -"Nee How" and Xie Xie -"Shieh Shieh," which is Hello and Thank You. But I totally knew that from Chinese last year, ha!). I love Chinese people. They love it so much when people are interested in learning their language and culture. The show was amazing! It was put on by the New Shanghai Circus, and it was breath-taking.

Wednesday night we saw this guy named Yakov Smirnoff. He's a Russian comedian. He came to the States in 1979 with his parents. He had previously been an art student and later professor in Russia and continued that work here. As he constantly reminds the crowd, he gained his citizenship here on July 4th, 1986, and he's spending this whole year celebrating 20 years. His comedy was clean and funny. Interestingly, he received his Masters in Psychology this year from UPenn, where he focused on studying relationships/marriage/stuff. He's terribly impressive.

That show was particularly special. The last 15 minutes were dedicated to him telling his life story and talking about his artwork. His passion was just a wave over the audience. We were raptured by his unswayed patriotism. Although he had clearly Democratic views, he made it clear that George Bush shouldn't be subject to constant criticism. Which I think is awesome-- We have to remember that despite bad decisions, he is still the leader of the country and deserves plenty of respect otherwise.

Gosh. I could go on about that show. Very funny. I got pictures.

Oh, yes. That brings up more about Branson. The shows' stars were some of the most down-to-earth people around. Of course, that's because they don't really make all that much money- they're just people making a living, but having more fun doing it :) I recognized one of the Pierce Arrow guys as having been on a plane with me a couple months ago on a connecting flight from Baltimore to St. Louis. He had a B ticket on Southwest. I knew him because I couldn't stop staring at him in the airport. Very distinct appearance: Short, Terribly blonde thinning hair, very very wrinkly face, huge eyes. Looked like a Jack Russell Terrier or something. Anyway.

All the shows allowed photography, even flash for the most part (except a couple of the more shocking displays at the China show). At every show, everyone involved would go and stand in the audience afterward to get pictures, sign autographs, or just chat for a bit. The Russian guy even holds free workshops on the weekends about relationships and humor. I mean, this place was just neat. Something special about it. Definitely. I hope to go back.

Said goodbye to date-guy last Friday. It was upsetting, and I felt awful. Stupid Valpo, always popping in to ruin a good thing!

August 11th, 2006

Hey look! Nostalgia! @ 08:45 am

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: WICKED!

Holy crap... I seriously like don't remember the Rollins thing at ALL. We had roommates? Wow. Oh yeah. We stayed in a hotel... I remember that, kinda. I have a feeling I didn't like my roommate... But I don't remember. One. Bit. Musta not been terribly enthralling. Which is probably why I didn't go to Rollins :) I remember that they told the Philosophy majors that they weren't going anywhere with their lives...

Oh yeah, remember how we spent like forever looking for Homecoming dresses, and you finally got the gold one? I think there were hours involved.

And then you told your dad that I thought there were only 9 plagues, and chaos ensued (I didn't think that, silly, I disagreed with what your little book said).

And your parents in general.

And you always giving away half of your fluffer-nutters. I wouldn't bring my lunch sometimes in expectation.


Hans, Franz, and Kristoff. Absoluloodly dootly. (um, that's not a word, but it makes sense in the context, I think)

Anthony trying on his sister's shoes.

The fact that Barbara and I didn't invite Anthony to our birthday party, and she kinda thought he was gay :)


Becca being Jewish

Becca robbing the cradle

Liz being incredibly cute all the time

Mrs. Ciompi being the chillest Psych teacher ever

Sitting in Mr. Greene's room EVERY DAY during break

Sitting in Mrs. Wehr's room EVERY DAY for lunch, and having nowhere to go when we got kicked out

Making fun of Justin Higley

For Barbara: Metaphysically committing suicide, making random surprise mixes for each other ("For Barbara, Because She's Black"), talking to Sean Evans online, Barbara talking TOO MUCH to Sean Evans online, starting the thing where we explain everything and play dumb (I do that all the time now, thanks!), and, gosh, my life.

Ok, this was a comment. It will now be an entry.

August 10th, 2006

To Becca, and Others @ 07:35 pm

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: Eh, Wicked.

This entry goes out to Becca. It's weird, when you try to think of who your "best friend" was. When someone asks me that, 7 names come to mind.

Katie Griffin from 3rd grade in Virginia, with whom I share more memories than I could ever count (and I got to 5,200 once). We've grown apart quite a bit, but when we're together, man, yeah.

Sara Wahlstrom is one of the few people that I can talk to for hours and hours and never shut up. Just to age my parents a little, my dad hired her dad right out of college- and my dad was like 40. Our moms chilled, and we were friends in the womb :)

I met Barbie in 8th grade. We played once that year. We didn't get along too well, actually. Stupid middle school mentality. We shared advisory all through high school. We didn't even talk much in 9th grade. But then we had our glory days. And then Anthony and Gillian came along, and things were not as great for Barb and me, but gosh darnit we made a comeback senior year. I remember making pizza and eating cookie dough until we felt like we would pretty much explode... And then we'd just do awesome, awesome things, like drive my golf cart all over creation and back.

Katie B. was new in 10th grade. And she's awesome beyond any human comprehension. I remember going to a couple of random concerts, and upon arrival at one, after a very, very short time, she looked at me and said, "You've never been to a concert before, have you?" And my cover was blown. :) But she was hip enough to let me have fun anyway, hehe. And this one time I saved her life on the highway in the middle of the night, when she came over to go catfish-fishing, when there are no catfish in my lake, SILLY!

Gillian goes on here, of course. Most of the fun we had was good and clean, but there were more deviant, non-LJ aspects as well. Peace, dude. You got me through senior year, seriously.

I never got to know Gaby well enough, I think. But she still gets to be on the list, darnit! We had too many wonderful Band memories, along with crazy ideas (Giha and Ken???), and even useful study tactics (TESTIFY!!!). Oh, I really want to explain that, because it's just too awesome. While studying for AP US History, and revealing how dreadfully little I cared for the class, anytime someone answered a question correctly, we'd throw our hands in the air like a gospel choir and yell out "TESTIFY!!!" Because, come on! Who wouldn't want to be hailed for rightness by a Buick choir!?

And that brings us to the Buick! Oh! Well, first the Intrepid... Then the Civic... Then... OH GOSH! I remember how I tried to hide my accidents (blush). Anyway. So many good things came out of that little parking spot I had next to school. When the Chemistry group got called in for questioning, because apparently we were seen driving off campus :-P

Those Chem days were some of the best in my life. Those were the Katie and Becca Glory Days.

And that brings me to Becca. Oh, Becca. Did you know that your name only has 5 letters, and they're all from the first 5 letters of the alphabet? Becca and I started chilling it to a minimal extent in 8th grade, but never really hit our heyday until the very end of 9th grade, when on a whim we went to the mall and bought MATCHING OUTFITS!!! and saw Spiderman.

The outfits were as follows, I belive: Jeans that were kinda brown/rustic themed, with......... Some sort of shirt.... I think mine was black? Gah, don't remember. Actually, I bought several things that day, I believe. So I'm probably entirely wrong. I'm right about the jeans, though :)

Anyway, Hey, Becca, did we take Chemistry together in 10th grade? First period? Can't remember. (10th grade was my favorite year, bee tee double you) 10th grade was just awesome. I remember I was "in love" with Pat from Vero Beach/TIP. I cried at Homecoming because he wasn't there, aahh. 10th grade was Derek year. Gosh, 10th grade was "closest-thing-to-a-boyfriend" year all the way. Maybe that's why I had so much fun- Just giddy all the time, HA.

I think we did take Chem together, isn't that when we started Rock Paper Scissors? Just so you know, Becca and I started a glorious tradition together of playing rock-paper-scissors on paper in order to avoid Dr. Personette's lectures to the full extent of our abilities. It was quite a rockin' game, and an absolutely thrilling timewaster if you ever want to learn! And Dr. P would yell at us, all the time. All. The. Time.

Aside from 10th grade frivolities (also, that's before people started dating. Becca may have had Wesley, but, eh, he wasn't much of an issue), Junior year did have its goodness. Mostly 'cause Becca and I took "like every class together," hehe. I remember getting to know her family quite well. Sleeping over a LOT, for "sutdying" purposes, of COURSE.

Gosh, I could spend hours in memory lane. I haven't said a twentieth, nay, a hundredth of the sheer awesomeness of my best friends (Bah-Kahs, "It's a f*in' nice day today!", DRUGS, Seder at Becca's house, Becca's parents, Gaby's British dad, Katy Day and her wicked-awesome house, Anthony, 10 fingers (and how no one had ever done anything, hahaha), my hot tub, Ghetto vs. Prep, dear Lord, so many!). I hated high school, but man I loved some of the people. Sometimes I wish I could be so ignorant again. But we weren't ignorant, right? We knew everything!

Speaking of singing, do you remember when we went on school field trips and sang on the bus? I'm glad that "DIE DIE DIE" stuck with ya.

Becca-- I avoided that CD you made like the Plague, because I just knew I wouldn't be able to listen to it. I finally did on my way home from Christmas Break. It took me almost 8 months, and there were still tears.

Still want those clubbing pictures, Becca. That's the final evidence of us growing up. The end of innocence. Adulthood. Be afraid.

Last night @ 08:14 am

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy

It was nice! And I got a rose!

August 9th, 2006

What do I expect? @ 04:24 pm

Current Mood: nauseated nauseated

Here I go. I'll post how it went later.

August 8th, 2006

I haven't had more than 4 bites of seafood in my life. @ 09:13 pm

Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: Wicked... I can't stop...

Happy birthday, Barbara! That I may see you again sometime.

That aside.

You know that feeling? When you feel... Yeah, I got it.

Early to bed tonight. I have my mental list of everything I should do for tomorrow. Gah! Saw Alex at the office today. Will see Alex tomorrow. Scared.

I decided to start typing spaces with my left hand for this entry. Take that, anti-ambidexterity! My poor left hand has always felt so "left out," har har. You should try spacing with your opposite hand, or maybe I'm just weird in that I always only space with my right. Just switched back to my right hand now, and it's weird how I don't even notice when I type a space. It just appears. However, with my left hand I'm much more conscious about space placement.

Went puttputting with Stacey and friends tonight. It's weird how people out here all call it "mini-golf." I mean, if you say that (darn that stupid left-hand-space thing. this is taking too long), I guess I get what you mean... But I've never heard the expression "mini-golf" until I went to Valpo, where Caroline didn't know what "puttputt" was. And tonight, everyone called it "mini-golf." I couldn't decide if I felt really Southern, or just really weird. Courtney (my down-home and awesome sister in law) calls it puttputt... I mean, I suppose "mini-golf" sounds more refined... But COME ON, people! It's PUTTPUTT for Pete's sake! What part of puttputt is REFINED!? The plastic windmill, or the gold-spray-painted Eiffel Tower?? :-P It's puttputt, my friends, and always will be.

I came in 3rd, by the way. If I had my game on for the front 9, I would have done better. Got 5 over on the front because it took me a couple holes to remember, "Golf... Oh yeah, I play that!" Then I got 1 over on the back 9, very proudly looking awesome. Anyway, early bedtime tonight. Beauty sleep.

PS, All my recent entries have been lies. Utter lies. I haven't listened to anything other than Wicked in the past month. So anything I've posted that claims otherwise is totally fibious (ha, fibious...). I 'fessed up in my last entry, but it's what's on my mind. Ah, Wicked.

I had no respect when Kim and Ibby sang. I had quite a low opinion of the musical then. But now... Oh, man.

August 7th, 2006

(no subject) @ 06:04 pm

Current Mood: lethargic lethargic
Current Music: Addicted to Wicked

So, anyway, I forgot the utter awesomeness of how I freak out about everything-- I feel like the world is going to end, then I get to my deadline and it doesn't, and I feel so relieved! I still have a job. I have a couple more days on my project I had so screwed up. Yay! Whew! Still a lot of work, but at least I'm good.

The two comments on the last entry made me laugh. Don't Rape Ugly GuyS. The best US History group. Ever. And Harry's outlines... Were those the hieroglyphic nonsense notes scribbled across a crumpled sheet of modern parchment? Oh, right. :)

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. I got home from work, and brought home a big bouquet for my host family 'cause they're so sweet. I took a shower and then passed out on my bed. Midday showers are SO intoxicating!

August 6th, 2006

Doubleplusungood @ 08:43 pm

Current Mood: worried worried
Current Music: My heart pounding in my head

Oh God, Oh God, Oh God. I hate when I screw myself over. So much! A month ago, when I got this project, I jokingly envisioned myself a month in the future, freaking out over the fact that it isn't nearly finished. It's freakishly similar to the Moby-Dick project, as well as every single other commitment I've ever had. And now, as usual, that vision has come true. I hate being distracted all the time. I have never gotten anything done in my entire life. I have the attention span of a goldfish.

Things I never finished, didn't pay attention to, stopped caring about, couldn't focus on: AP World History, AP US History, every single test and quiz in those classes, any paper I've ever written, the outlines from US History (sorry, Becca, Jessica, and Harry), AP Chemistry, accompanying my church's musical, band, music lessons, AP Calculus BC, Physics 152, 10th-12th grade, fashion, organization, my Moby-Dick research project

I don't hear half of what people say to me because I generally stop listening about one quarter of the way through the second sentence. I remember numbers but don't know names. I take a test but end up counting the vowels or flecks of print on the paper.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I hate it. I hate that I can't get organized. I hate that I can't pay attention.

It's weird how this bizarre disorder has shown me what I care about most. The only projects that I DID finish:

AP English Lit art project: Much Ado About Nothing? I'm not sure what work it was, but I made a board with 3 wooden boxes on it that were decorated variously: a beach, a graveyard, and a representation of lurrrve. It looked awesome.

Campus Election Ballot Box: That baby looked ready to go on to Nationals after I was finished.

Various Art Projects with John: Christmas shapes, several cards, other things

Birthday cards and presents: Several decorated frames, lots of original cards, a couple big projects, etc

So. I love crafts. I'm in trouble... oh, man. Time to go freak out. I hope everyone else's night is good.


August 5th, 2006

Oh, Bee Tee Double You @ 10:05 pm

Current Mood: indifferent indifferent
Current Music: "By the Way" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

PS, I put up new pictures on Facebook! Go look at them. Like, now!

PPS, The last entry's title is completely irrevelant to anything. Its original purpose was to direct you past the mindless blithering and go straight to the part about Kim, which I meant to make philosophical and personal, and there would have been tears on your part, but instead I launched into a treatise on Thai food, so it's stupid. And the section was too long to be considered the "end," anyway, so you would have ended up at the bottom of the entry, where I made a note about "mood" and "music," which isn't very interesting at all, if you ask me, and you would have thought I was boring. You'd have been wrong, though!

PPPS, there was something else I wanted to say, and I will post it when I remember it. Night, all!

Skip to the end... @ 09:27 pm

Current Mood: relaxed relaxed
Current Music: "Uncle John's Band" by The Grateful Dead

So, anyway. This summer has been pretty crazy. A lot of foundational thoughts were shaken, particularly with regard to many a specific thing which won't be elaborated on right now. Assumptions were burst like over-blown balloons.

Ok, so not that drastic. Let's say they were deflated, like 2 week old balloons, old and shrunken enough so that a pinprick only lets out a little gasp and there's no real "pop."

The "entering the dating world" thing was pretty big (different from my previous entries; prior to the actual "being asked out," I realized that dating is ok to begin with)--

But that epiphany sprung from the deflated assumption that I knew who I was destined to be with. One of two. It took this summer to realize that NOOO-ho-ho-HO, some things are not meant to be.

Well, God, thanks for clearing that up. Sometimes You do such great favors :)

So that's what my mind was doing... By and by, I had fun tonight!

For those who don't know, I work in the World Mission Department for my church headquarters in St. Louis (ha, all you Trinity folk, it's my job to indoctrinate you in the Lutheran faith :-D). Anyway, I went to work at an Orientation for new missionaries who are about to enter the field.

The event was 2 weeks in June and took place in St. Paul, Minnesota. There were 35 fresh, young people and a couple old folk who were getting ready to go do international mission work.

It was awesome. In short, one of them was from St. Louis, and 2 months later, we finally got together, like we'd planned back at Orientation. Her name's Kim Galinat, and she's going to Thailand for a year to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

We went to a neat place called CRAVE Coffeehouse. It was awesome! It's a contemporary worship service right in the middle of downtown next to SLU (St. Louis University, pronounced "sloo").

During the week they have food during the day, and Fridays they have a live concert. It was a cute place. Definitely.

So, afterward, we went to the Loop to grab some Thai food (of course! This could be her last time :-P). I had the most amazing chicken and peanut sauce thing. I love Thai food so much. Oh, man!

My Daddy and I used to grab Thai after our ballroom dance lessons in Orlando. The place was right downstairs. They got to know us so well-- Walk in the door- "Oh, hello! Nam Sod for you, yes? Medium spicy?". Nam Sod. Pretty much the coolest stuff ever. It's minced pork tossed with roasted peanuts and onion, with fresh mint leaves sprinkled throughout. It's served on a bed or with a side of lettuce for making little lettuce wraps. It's seriously worth a hefty monetary sacrifice, but one is never necessary :) Gosh, I'm hungry now. That place also had great pumpkin curry.

Did I just type 5 minutes of Thai food? Oh, well. With me, that's possible :)

Anyway, I was going to write about the mental consequences and character-building qualities that moving to a totally foreign country would have, but man, I'm tired. Totally bloated from my peanut chicken. I would never order Nam Sod with anyone but my daddy, by the way, because it's kinda weird lookin', and I'm terribly self conscious about my choices of food :-D

Have a good night, all.

I won't mention anything about my late entries, because my roommate Jess spent the entire last month of living together fantasizing about her upcoming solitary social excursion with a USI student upon her arrival home, and I know I had my pillow over my ears for at least half that time :)

I think I may start marking my "music" and "mood." I'm doing things a little different now, so why not?

August 4th, 2006

I Kissed Dating Hello @ 03:18 pm

I never dated in high school. I believe that the purpose of dating is to size someone up for marriage. Whenever a "date" opportunity came up, I was immediately scared, because I envisioned us sitting at dinner, staring at each other. "His eyes are a little close together... Man, he chews loudly... I wonder if he'll always laugh like that..."

Aside from the blatant judgmentalism, I see the date as a sort of settling item. Agreeing to start dating is one step closer to choosing a mate and, therefore, drastically altering your lifestyle. Scared my socks off. I always told myself that I would start in college. That's reasonable, right? I figured I'd be grown up enough.

But, alas. I'm not. I was scared off once this year at college. It happened 9 times in high school. Think you like someone. BAM! Commitment! *Run Away! Run Away!* Sigh. I hate feeling that way.

But I haven't changed in college. Any sign of coming together or something bigger, and I split. I'm worried that unless something glacially progressive comes along, I'm never going to be comfortable with anybody. But I can't think like that. That's bad.

So, instead, I'm thinking of trying the dating thing. A little nervous. And worried. And I start next Wednesday.

There's a whole other strain of logic that leads to the fact that I'm ok with dating. I still disapprove of purely physical dating/hooking up. But I had an epiphany as to why adults date. That's right. I'm an adult. AAAAHHHH!

Kids. Oh, man.

Oh, Goodness! @ 10:34 am

Has anything ever happened to you that was so wonderful, you didn't know what to do or who to tell?

Something wonderful happened to me today. I've been wanting it to happen since my first week. I never expected it. And it happened.

But when I ran through the names in my head, I couldn't think of anyone that I could tell. I just don't know how to share something like this. My hands are still shaking. Oh, joy!

August 3rd, 2006

(no subject) @ 10:34 am

I think I want to start writing in this every day. I really suck at that, but gosh darnit I'm gonna try!

I really, really want some key lime pie. I read an old entry of Justin's, and I realized how long it'd been since I've been to Florida. Authentic, good ol' key lime pie. So tasty!

Spinning Straw into Gold

by Kate Engel