Thursday, November 24, 2005

There's a first time for everything.

Hello, everyone!

I think Bible School students are susceptible to metaphors. My greatest life metaphor right now is setting my eyes on the Promised Land, which is home. I go home in 23 days, and I’m floored by how much I have to accomplish before that time. But I’m also realizing what the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” really means. It adds such a sweet dimension to an already wonderful holiday. I’m so excited to see everyone again, and to not have any work to do whatsoever, to be able to relax and catch up.

I wanted to make a list of “first times” in my life in the past month or so. Here goes…

1. First time cooking 1.32 kg of ground beef at once. If I told you why Danice and I had to do this, I would be making you fear for our health, so I won’t. We’re fine. Really. But we have a whole heck of a lot of cooked taco-flavored ground beef that we have to eat fairly quickly. I’ve had too many tacos. If anyone has any ideas of how to use it up without the use of an oven, please comment. Ah, another reason to look forward to home… mom’s cooking…did I mention Danice and I went through 2 kg of peanut butter in a month and a half?

2. First time getting carded at a bar. I went to my swing dance wind-up at the campus bar, aptly named “The Pit”. I was thinking so well that night. I said to myself, Beth, you don’t want to leave your wallet or purse sitting by itself while you’re on the dance floor busting out the moves, so maybe you should leave it at home and just bring a $10 bill and your bus pass in your pocket. Great idea, Beth. Until the bouncer asks you for ID. I pulled out my bus pass, which obviously doesn’t show my age at all. I tried to bribe him with the $10 bill, to no avail. Finally ten of my Regent friends showed up and vouched that I was a grad school student, obviously of age. Obviously mature. Obviously.

3. First time paying $70 for a concert. Yes, I’m going to Coldplay in January. I will finally witness someone pounding the piano harder than I do. I’m pretty excited, but not as excited as Danice. I’m still more excited about coming home.

4. First time eating supper at a professor’s house. I went with my tutorial group to Prof. Sarah Williams’ house lastnight, and it was great. We had such eloquent, important discussions together. Well, other people did. I talked to her 11-yr. old daughter the whole time. We mostly talked about the trials and tribulations of life in grade 6.

5. First time enduring a week of fog. A whole week of fog. Can you imagine it? That’s what all of these photos are showing you. Let me qualify that behind the masts of the boats, there are usually mountains. But one of the photos looks like God smudged the mountains with his thumb. And another shows that the bottom half of downtown Vancouver is engulfed with the stuff. It felt like I was living in a mysterious suspense movie, with danger around every corner. Today it finally turned into rain.

6. First time telling a prof to his face that I would kill. Ha. I’d better explain this one. Have you ever taken a language class and had to drill verb conjugations out loud? Perhaps those of you who have taken French will remember “je mange, tu manges” or “j’aime, tu aimes…”. I wonder if the choice of verb reflects the culture somehow. After all, if there’s anything the French are good at, it’s loving and eating. Hebrew is a different story. The verb my prof has chosen for the purposes of oral verb drills is “katal”, which is “to kill”. There we are, saying, in Hebrew, “I kill, you kill, he kills… we all kill!” I’m sure this will come in handy one day in my journeys to Israel.

7. First time seeing ducks having a conference, and duck racism, and seagulls having a bath, and seagulls lane swimming. I’m serious. They do these things. You just have to watch them a lot like I do.

8. First time playing on a worship team that consisted of me on piano, the leader on guitar, and a tuba. At the Anglican church. Throw in some pipe organ and it all works.

9. First time singing in a gospel choir. Yes, my friend Ben from Boston started a Regent gospel choir, and we rock. Like everything at Regent, it’s entirely multicultural. We are a Canadian-American-Asian-East Indian-British-Australian-New Zealandian choir. Suspiciously lacking in African Americans. But we’ve learned a lot of great things. Like how to all sway in the same direction. If you don’t, and you’re standing in the middle, like me, the two swaying directions converge on you, and that’s awkward.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Have yourselves a happy Thanksgiving (I’m surrounded by Americans, and they bring out my American holiday spirit) and a merry first Sunday of Advent. Daniel and Rachel, good luck in your plays. Chris, get well soon. Dad, happy birthday. A shout out to my grandma in Kentucky, who is a faithful reader of my blog. And also to Kate – I didn’t know I’d known you for so long! I love you all.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

like the dickens

Someone who is very important to me reminded me tonight that I need to make people feel very important to me. Especially if they really are. That person will be loved profusely, now that I know how. But there is another person I could love much better. I don't quite know how, but this is the most recent way she's chosen to love me, so I will share what's been bubbling up inside me.

I miss hearing her singing downstairs, even when she went over one part a million times. She doesn't know how I used to sometimes sit quietly on the stairs to hear better.
I miss stealing her clothes and having her tell me they looked good on me.
I miss limp celery wars, and spaghetti flinging, and her making fun of my wieners and beans.
I miss her fried rice. I miss her chagels.
I miss laughing right out loud at the table with her.
I miss just looking at ther and her knowing.
I miss her Coach Z impressions.
I miss asking her to do the "sue" impression.
I miss her calling me "boots" even though it made no sense.
I miss her turning 1-syllable words into 2 syllables. ga-ross.
I miss her abbreviations. what's the sitch?
I miss her friends. I miss being proud of what a good friend she was to them.
I miss her feeling too hard.
I miss her tears on my shirt.
I miss being a good sister.
I miss singing Christmas songs with her. old favorites. Michael W. Smith.
I miss her stealing the guitar all the time. And the car.
I miss watching her worship.
I miss seeing her love our girls, and know what to say to them.
I miss reading her French papers.
I miss bragging about her to people who knew what I was talking about.
I miss all of things no one else finds funny.
I miss her old self, too, her twitchy nose and her big floppy hat.
I miss watching her play soccer and kick it so hard and hearing her encourage.
I miss her more-mature-than-me-sometimes perspective. I still need it.
I miss her hugs.
I miss her 273 times (or whatever that number was).
I miss her like a racehorse.
I miss her like the dickens.
I'll miss her hard for 26 more days.

love you.
don't take november too hard.
it will not be always winter and never Christmas.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The chili have no extreme limit

Hello all. Thank you for your all of your comments. Quick update on the umbrella situation. Jordan was absolutely right; I would feel too guilty taking someone else’s umbrella. I am, after all, a holy Regent student. On Thursday, I had to walk to the bus stop in the pouring rain, with nothing but my raincoat, which is pitch yellow. (I know pitch is black, but it’s so much fun to misuse. I’m with Sherri all the way!) I tried to make the rain more bearable by imagining it as God’s love pouring down on me. This metaphor didn’t work well, since I hate being wet, but I love being loved by God. Needless to say, I was looking forward to buying a new umbrella. Providentially, when I arrived at school, my umbrella was there! Someone must have brought it back! Dilemma solved. However, the bunnyhug dilemma is still in dilemma-land, so feel free to add your two cents.

Yesterday, my Regent friends, Tora and Julia, hosted a chili and beer night in their basement suite. Actually, it was a cook-off. The only chili recipe I have is Aunt Carol’s recipe, which includes a can of coke. I think it’s great. Danice thought we should substitute it with a can of beer. We had our worst fight ever. Due to my sheer argumentative superiority, she gave in and let me use the coke, so long as she could bring the beer to drink. I purchased most of the ingredients, and started combining them. I realized I didn’t have chili powder, and I was going to do without, until my other roommate, Bryanna (who happens to be the best chef in the whole basement), informed me that you couldn’t make chili without including any chili flavoring. I conceded, and ran out to buy all missing ingredients.

Once I was done, Danice and I left our house with a big, smoking pot of chili. Realizing we were going to miss the bus, we starting running down the street with a big, smoking pot of chili. Can you picture it? Anyway, we made our bus, and soon we arrived at the cook-off, adding our chili to the 8 other entries. I tried most of them. There was chili with tuna in it, chili with chick peas, chili with pineapple… next to all of these, mine was starting to look very plain, coke or no coke.

I awaited the vote results with fear and trembling. The results: our chili tied for fourth place. However, I believe there was a voting scandal of the largest proportions. Dave’s chili came in first. Dave had, unfortunately, misunderstood the nature of the chili and beer event, and, instead of bringing a large pot of chili for all to sample, he had brought a small bowl for his own enjoyment. Nevertheless, he won the competition, I believe, due to pity votes. I believe this merits disqualification, bringing me up to third place. Furthermore, the original second and third place winners were none other than Tora and Julia, the hostesses. Coincidence? I think not. More like conflict of interest. Disqualified. Therefore, our chili clearly came in first. Isn’t it great? I attribute our success to the ambiguity of the word “coke”, which I used in my frequent descriptions of the chili.

The really important part of this story is that I got to choose a prize! I chose the mini-frisbee shooter, mostly because I was so taken by the eloquence of the slogan on the package, which I have represented here in this photo. No extreme limit indeed. Whoever wrote that was surely the Shakespeare of Japan. What caused even greater consternation was the fine print on the sticker on the shooter. I will write it out here for you. All typos are those of Japan’s Shakespeare: “Devil Children Devilisershooter. You two have become devil children who detemine the fate of the world. An omergency occurred just as a spell to summon devils was chanted.”

So, dilemma #3: will I become possessed if I keep this toy? Should I burn it?

Thank you, Tora and Julia, for a great, though possibly soul-endangering party.

P.S. Two of my favorite people in the world have recently written posts about me. Because I want to give them the exposure they are due (and because I am narcissistic), I highly recommend to you and

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Umbrellas and hoodies

Here's a cool picture I took when it finally stopped raining. We had a couple days of sun, and not we're back to clouds. But I'm starting to get used to it.

Today I present you with two dilemmas. Feel free to give me advice.

Dilemma 1: The umbrella.

At Regent, there is an "umbrella area" where people leave their umbrellas. At first, I was wary about leaving my umbrella there, because I paid a good $20 for mine, and I didn't want to lose it. But I was assured by Regent veterans that it was safe. After all, there were much more expensive umbrellas there, and a thief would surely go for one of those first. So I reluctantly left it. Well, at the end of the day, I went to grab my umbrella, and surprise surprise, it was missing. I looked through the whole pile twice. There was one umbrella that was the same colour as mine, but it was obviously much more expensive. So maybe someone accidentally took mine. I checked again today, and that one is still there, and mine is still not. Here is the dilemma - should I take it? Should I take the one that almost looks like mine?

Dilemma 2: Hoodie.

So I used an English term the other day that made people look at me really funny. The thing is, these people were not Asian, Australian, British, or even American. These people were Canadian. The term was 'bunnyhug'. Yes. Just in case you didn't know, Saskatchewan and possibly some parts of Manitoba are the only places that use this term. I personally have never thought about how strange this word is. I have never broken it up into its two root words, "bunny" and "hug". I have never imagined bunnies giving me hugs. But apparently, that's the image that springs into the minds of all non-Prairie people. So they said "cute" and "that's so sweet" and "awwww". Hello. I do not want to elicit those reactions. So this is the dilemma - should I convert to "hoodie" or stay with "bunnyhug"?

I'm sorry this blog entry is so devoid of the deep meaning a student of theology should infuse into everything. It's my busiest week. Must. Write. Paper. But I'm still finding time to go down to the Rock in the morning. The other day, it was just Martin and I. Martin the heron, that is. I watched him fish. He's so freaky - he stands so still and then he just springs into action, with a bill like an ice pick. Crazy. I'm glad I'm not a fish.

That's the deep thought I leave you with. Be glad you're not a fish.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Stop the waterfall

I like waterfalls. I've always thought it would be cool to have a bedroom where one entire wall was a waterfall, perpetually flowing.

Right now, I feel like I'm living underneath a waterfall. It started raining here right as Christine was leaving (is there a link?). Which is about six days ago. Six days of rain. If it's not raining, it's about to rain. I looked up in the sky tonight and thought for a split second I saw the northern lights, but it turned out to be the edge of a cloud.

So Vancouver, right now, is a study in the oatmeal-like consistency of rain-drenched piles of leaves. It's a full bus with fogged up windows and passengers trying to hold dripping umbrellas away from their pants. And then walking off the bus and opening umbrellas in synchronicity. They're like natural extensions of everyone's arms. I would love to see an aerial photo of Vancouver right now, with all of its flowing seas of multicoloured umbrellas.

You would think that in a city like Vancouver, smart people who design university grounds would know how to drain them of excess rainwater build-up. But no. On the contrary. Walking between Regent and the bus stop can require parting the Red Sea. Unfortunately, they haven't taught us how to do that in our spiritual training so far. So we get wet. As Sherri would say, pitch wet.

I'm starting to think a larger investment may have been desirable in the whole umbrella department. The structural integrity of my little maroon umbrella is lacking. Today the wind added to the rain, and twice today my umbrella blew inside out. How embarrassing. Vancouver is a study in how to hold your umbrella so that it won't blow inside out. I have much to learn.

So, I promise you, this is the last time I will write a post solely about rain in Vancouver. How utterly predictable and boring. And cliche.

My apologies.