Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rescue 9-1-1?

So Coldplay – incredible. If you want a good description, read Lisa’s blog. I learned a lot about concerts in general. One thing is that you’re sort of expected to stand for the whole thing, which actually wasn’t as hard as I thought. Another thing is that people sing along, out loud, and some can’t sing. Another thing is that people smoke marijuana around you to the point that you feel like you’re smoking it, too. Mostly, Chris Martin and the band are geniuses. My favorite part was the song “Yellow”, when huge yellow balloons fell from the ceiling, and showered people with golden sparkles whenever someone popped one. It was magical. Or maybe it was just the marijuana.

I have more interesting things to talk about. Possibly the best story since chili night. I’ll give you a hook, so you’ll keep reading. It involves calling 9-1-1, but there’s no deaths or serious injuries, so don’t worry.

Ready for the story? Ok. It starts Saturday night. My roommates and I had just finished watching a movie, and we were getting ready for bed. Suddenly I smelled something really funky. I thought maybe it was a match, or maybe my marijuana-infested clothes from the previous night. But it just kept getting stronger. Soon my roommates were also complaining. I was glad it wasn’t just me. After sniffing around everywhere, we concluded it must have been a skunk outside. I felt satisfied with this conclusion, and went to bed.

Fifteen minutes later, Danice burst into my room and said, “It’s gas. We have to get out of here.” I guess her and Bryanna had discovered online that propane can smell a lot like skunk, and after sniffing around more outside, they thought the smell was strongest coming from the vent to the upstairs part of the house. I quickly put my clothes on, thinking about whether I should take anything with me, like my guitar, or my wallet. I remembered from grade 1 that in a fire-related emergency, you’re not supposed to try to take anything with you. So, leaving everything behind, the three of us went outside, and across the street, fully expecting the house to ignite in flames.

As we stood there staring at the house, Bryanna pulled out her cell phone and called 9-1-1. As we waited for the emergency personnel, we discussed the fact that she wasn’t wearing any underwear, despite her mom’s warnings that she should always have a clean pair on in case she died. Soon we saw the fire truck coming down the road. They pulled around the corner and just sort of stopped in the middle of the street. Wow, I thought to myself, this is so serious that they’re not even going to take the time to park! The guy sort of yelled at us: “I can smell it from here. It’s a skunk. You dumb girls!” Well, he didn’t say the last part but he might as well have said it. So they didn’t even check it out. Or shall I say, we didn’t even get to check them out? No, I shall not say that.

So we re-entered our skunksmell house. The night didn’t end there – the skunk incident was closely followed by a burglar incident. We heard creeping footsteps upstairs where our landlords live, and our landlords were in Palm Springs. We were so worked up at that point, convinced that somehow, by skunk, by gas, or by burglar, we were all going to die that night. We almost called 9-1-1 again. Luckily, I had the good sense to go outside and look through the upstairs window – it was just Eugenie. You know, the roommate who got married. False alarm number 2. So we are left with two near-exciting experiences. And good blogging material.

Really, there’s more real exciting experiences happening in Saskatoon. Real live emergencies, not pretend ones. Just ask my sister, who has shingles, or my brother, who got punched and kicked by masked hoodlums.

Wait a minute, one thing did happen. I learned how to make a list on my blog of links to other people’s blogs. And a site meter. (Thanks, Bryanna). So check em out.

I leave you with a beautiful picture of what happens when your landlords go to Palm Springs right after Halloween and none of the roommates want to take responsibility for disposing of their pumpkin. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Melba Conspiracy

I bet some of you are wondering about Melba, the mouse. I am unhappy to inform you that she is alive and well, despite the application of new mouse hunting tactics at our house. We now have four mousetraps set in our basement. The whole house smells of bacon, because that is our bait. These are the biggest mousetraps I’ve ever seen. They’re almost as big as my foot, which would probably be seriously injured if I happen to step on one accidentally. We also have a little device that emits ultra-high-pitch sound waves to make mouse ears hurt. And we stuffed the hole in the wall with steel wool, which mice apparently don’t care for.

Every morning I creep out of my room, nervously eyeing the traps, sure that this time, we’ve caught her. What do I find? She has once again chewed through the tape over the hole in the wall, and managed to push aside the steel wool. What’s more, there always seems to be a little less bacon on the traps, almost as if she’s cleverly nibbling away at it without tripping the traps. She’s the craftiest mouse I’ve ever seen. Although I’ve personally never seen her.

This brings me to my theory. What if this is all an elaborate scheme dreamt up by Danice and Bryanna? After all, they’re the only ones who have allegedly seen Melba. Mouse poop would be fairly easy to imitate and spread around the house when I’m away. They could sneak into the living room in the middle of the night and cut holes in the tape. With what motive, you ask? Well, perhaps it’s a cruel form of roommate initiation. They want to see how easily tricked I am. Maybe they’re testing my true love for nature by plaguing me with one of the most disliked creatures. Or maybe it was all so that they could plant the supposed ultrasonic emitter, which is actually some sort of spy gear. It might have something to do with the faked moon landing, or World War Three and the impending end of the world. I’ll keep you posted.

In other news, my cold is getting better. I’m feeling a little more settled. The Coldplay concert is the day after tomorrow (on my mom’s birthday!). The sun comes out once in a while. I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life. Thanks for your advice and prayers!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Holla back

So I’m back in the Van. Back to the Rock, back to the rain, back to the Regent.

Since I got back, I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself. This self-centered tendency is closely followed by the tendency to self-analyze. As I self-analyze, I realize that many factors play into this.

One, I got really settled at home and then I had to leave everybody again. And I feel even more homesick now than I did in September. Roommates and Regent friends aren’t the same as my best friend and my siblings and parents. They’re not supposed to be. But it’s a difficult adjustment.

Two, I got a cold the day I arrived here, and it’s only worsened since.

Three, it’s been raining here. So much that they almost broke a record for consecutive rainy days. Then it stopped. For one day. And started again the very next day, my first day here. I think I prefer snow.

But today, the rain stopped for a while, and I finally made it down to the Rock. I met Martin and Solomon, two of my old friends, and two new friends, some Goldeneye ducks (Christine has cleverly named them Bond, James Bond).

More importantly, it gave me the chance to reflect on a deeper reason for feeling sorry for myself. I think I haven’t been feeling as wanted as I did in Saskatoon. When I was in Saskatoon, everyone wanted to see me, mostly because I had been gone and I was back. I went for coffee and talked with a bunch of people. Here, everyone has been gone and come back. No one is specialler than anyone else. No one actually uses the word specialler. There’s no special welcome week like there was in September, and one hundred students aren’t introducing themselves to me. It’s back to being just another student. Even if I am a student with a cold.

So I realized that that's a pretty dumb reason to feel bad - I know I'm still loved and wanted in both places. On top of it all, I’m being reminded in all sorts of ways that it’s not really about me. Despite what I told my prayer group this morning, the universe is not Bethocentric. It doesn’t revolve around me. Which doesn’t mean, however, that I’m not indispensable in the grand scheme of things. As my CTC prof reminded me, we’re each an essential part of a much larger story, and everything in our lives somehow fits into it. Maybe even my cold. After all, colds really aren’t the end of the world, you know. And everything is a little brighter when you buy the most expensive, softest, nose-hugging Kleenexes in the very nicest box. (Thanks, Chris, for the idea).

But yes, you may still feel sorry for me because I have a cold. Poor Beth. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

mostly a list and a request

I lied. I did not Christmas blog. I did not even New Years blog. I’ve generally been thin on blogging. They have been sparse. I have been having a wonderful break, too wonderful to blog. Now it’s winding down, and the blogging bug bites again. I’ll start with a recap of highlights from the last few weeks (in no particular order), and some pictures…

- my sister Sarah getting home from India!
- overdosing on Dutch Blitz (this is a card game)
- coffees and lunches and sleepovers with friends
- Narnia and Harry Potter (and many other movies)
- watersliding with Christine and Dan
- watching Baliwood movies with Sarah
- us three sisters getting our hair cut and looking HOT (see picture)
- playing piano at Erik and Yuriko’s wedding on New Year’s Eve
- great talks and encouragement from Rachel
- finishing “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” and starting “Angels and Demons”
- trying on Sarah’s sari
- crazy sleepover with my small group girls (see picture)
- the two Christmas Eve candlelight services
- hearing my dad preach again
- discovering that my brother Daniel can sing
- playing piano to Christine’s singing again, and playing our famous duets.
- taking pictures of beautiful Saskatoon with Christine (I’ve included a couple)
- learning about Superman, thanks to Don
- learning about myself, thanks to Christine and Rachel.
- a very different, and very special Christmas day on the 28th, my first time not opening presents in the morning
- answering two common questions from Saskatoon friends and acquaintances: I have found neither a husband, nor a specific direction for my life so far at Regent.
- hearing from some of my American extended family members
- eating Christmas dinner with Christine’s family, and realizing what a different dynamic there is when there are three brothers and one sister, instead of the other way around!
- putting more thought into what to do with my life, and more specifically, the summer
- not having to cook
- buying pants without holes in them
- remembering how to drive, especially on Saskatoon’s icy streets
- Christine forcing me to drive on Saskatoon’s icy (not to mention blizzardy and deer-infested) streets
- doing puzzles with Mom and Daniel, and, during a brief and uncharacteristic blitz, with Rachel.
- seeing Rachel in her children’s play, playing the part of a 9 year old boy.
- playing Daniel’s Indian drum, Riverdance style.

I went for a drive with Christine last night (on Saskatoon’s icy, blizzardy… you get the point). Luckily, we survived, and we even had a great conversation. Isn’t driving great for conversations? I think it’s because you’re both facing forward and there’s no awkward silences – silences are sort of OK. Anyway, we talked about our friendship (which was incredible) but also about our future dreams. For the first time, I shared out loud an idea I had about what to do with my life, one that I’ve never seen as feasible, but, thanks to her encouragement and challenge, I’m reconsidering. It’s very scary and I’ve been second-guessing myself all day. But at least I’ve put it into words. I’m not going to tell you what it is. But I do want to continue the conversation. Once again I want to ask you to participate in this, if you’d like. Please, even if you've never left a comment before, this is your chance to help me, and give it a try. Here are your options:

- Leave me a comment (or if you prefer, send me an e-mail) with something you could see me doing with my life, vocationally, from what you know of me. This is not a test of how well you know me – it’s more like a brainstorming session. I need help in solidifying who I am and what my passions are. I'd love it if God used your input to spark my imagination and help me consider things I haven't thought of yet.

- If you know my best friend Christine or my sister Rachel, would you please also leave a similar comment about what you see them as being capable of doing vocationally. They haven’t asked me to do this, but both of them are asking the same questions I am, and I’m sure they’d be interested in hearing your ideas too.

- If you prefer, just leave me a comment or e-mail offering me any advice you might have in this area. Maybe, if you are a grown-up, or just ahead of the game, you could let me know how God led you to choose a particular area of work. Anything you can offer me.

My last few days in Saskatoon will mostly consist of coffee (although I don’t drink coffee), trying to appreciate my family and friends as much as possible before I go, and practicing with the boys for Boycott Scott’s CD Release concert at the Bassment. If you live in Saskatoon, you’d better be there. Friday the 13th.

So that’s it; I’ll post again once I’m in Vancouver. I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine again, and I’m excited about my classes and seeing Regent friends. But it’s sure going to be tough to leave here. I'm keenly aware of how much I love everyone I've seen in the last few weeks.

Danice, I know I’m supposed to be the responsible roommate, but I need to remind you that I forgot my keys to our house. So leave a door open for me on Sunday night, please and thank you.