Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Pursuit of Thankfulness

Chris & I watched The Pursuit of Happyness with some friends on Friday, and I have been thinking about it ever since. I have seen it several times (in fact, we own it), and I just love that there is a sweet-but-not-sappy [true] story out there of a father who is devoted to his son-- who is honest and loving and affectionate, and who sacrifices everything he has to follow a dream & provide for his boy. It's beautiful.

But that's not why I have been thinking about it.

I have been thinking about it because we're broke. At least, we think we're broke. Our cars are definitely "broke".

Our paychecks have been short (like Danny DeVito short), and we are going to have to take some time off from our campuses and work on fund-raising again. Both of our cars are in need of various degrees of repair (we can't drive one of them right now), and we have already shelled out hundreds of dollars on repairing them in the last month. It's a bummer.

It's easy to look around at the lives that my friends lead and feel sorry for myself. They go out to dinner, and buy new clothes for themselves, and go on vacation, and drink wine that's not Two Buck Chuck... Chris told me a few days ago that we couldn't buy groceries for the rest of the month. I was shocked & frightnened-- and then I realized that "the rest of the month" meant Thursday!

When I watched The Pursuit of Happyness, I realized just how much we have. It's ridiculous to feel sorry for myself. I am well fed (a little too well fed lately!), I get plenty of sleep at night (again, a little too much lately!). We have an incredibly comfortable, warm bed to sleep in at night, and we never have to wonder if it will be there for us when we get home. We have family & friends who love us, and we would never, never have to end up on the streets. We have beautiful things-- furniture, and clothes, and "toys", and a kitchen full of stuff. In fact, our little apartment can barely hold all of our junk. I think that's a pretty good sign that we have too much!

I could go on & on listing the things in my life that I can be grateful for. I probably should. I think that gratitude is the key to happiness & contentment. It is something I need to develop more of.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thoughts on Africa

Chris & I have an interesting decision before us. We have been dreaming of going to Uganda for over a year now. Our hope & plan was to lead a group of college students to Uganda this coming summer to work with a ministry that rehabilitates child soldiers.

Last year, it seemed like God was opening all kinds of opportunities for Uganda, and it seemed like everywhere we went, we met someone who was from Uganda, had lived there or was going there. It was amazing. We even met a student, named Wadri, at one of Chris' campuses who himself had been a child soldier in Uganda. As we got to know him, we talked about his dreams to restore his country, and had big hopes of joining with him. I truly believe he could have been the president someday-- his energy & charisma were so compelling.

It's difficult to even write this down like a story, but shortly after meeting Wadri, he died mysteriously in his car of heat exhaustion. Chris & I found ourselves one Friday evening last Spring at a funeral home filled with Ugandan immigrants, listening to them memorialize Wadri. After that, things started to slow down with the whole process.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago...
We have been talking with The Powers That Be in our company about leading a summer project to Uganda, and things were looking good. But then, 2 weeks ago, everything changed. They said our region would not be going to Uganda this summer. We were offered to lead a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, where we would be working with college students & leading AIDS awareness classes. Very cool, and interesting-- but not what we were dreaming of. It looked like the doors to Uganda were closing, and I have been mourning that loss for the last 2 weeks. Although it seems strange or even silly to mourn something I never had, it was a dream over a year in the making, and something I felt so deeply connected to.

But the story took another turn on Friday when we found out there there is still a chance we
might be able to go. It's a small chance, and it hasn't been given approval by any means, but it has gotten my heart beating fast again.

There is a ministry called Child Voice International that rehabilitates child soldiers, and they are working on a special project to
"construct a center in northern Uganda where children affected by war can live in a supportive community until they are emotionally, spiritually, and physically restored; educated; trained in a profession; and prepared to earn a living." Just reading about it makes my heart ache and my eyes tear up.

Unfortunately, when I think about the South Africa trip, I feel nothing. Maybe it's because my first introduction to the idea left a bad taste in my mouth. There were some miscommunications, some hurt feelings, and some big frustrations at the time, which have all been cleared up. I wonder, though, if I just have attitude about it now, or if this simply isn't the right project for us.

We have a few weeks to get things worked out. It seems like if we can organize some contacts in Uganda fast enough, we might be given the Green Light from the Higher-Up's. It's a long shot, but my feelings run so deep that I've at least got to try.

I guess if it doesn't work out, we'll go from there...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

One Holiday at a Time

Note: I've noticed that my last several posts have been a little on the "low" side. I don't mean to seem negative-- just keepin' it real, ya know? After a relaxing weekend, I feel much more balanced & rested-- so I think I'll even out all my deep, "low" posts with something lighthearted and shallow =).

I realize that it is not Christmastime. Despite Costco's attempts at marketing, I am refusing to buy into consumer ploys. I refuse to even allow an eggnog latte to pass my lips until the day after Thanksgiving (which is, after all, the first real day of "Christmas"). Having said that-- and firmly establishing myself in Halloween-- I will also confess that I have been lusting over something lately, and that my lust can only be quenched by making a Christmas list. I'll explain.

Every female in San Francisco owns a pair of tall boots. I saw a little five-year-old today in patent leather black boots; I've seen fashionable working women wearing them, drugged out hippies, and sweet little Latin Jehovah's Witnesses roaming the streets in tall boots. And, I myself own a pair of tall boots as well-- but I've decided they're not the right tall boots.

I went through th
is same longing last Fall, and finally bought myself a pair of boots for an amazing $39. And even though they're cute, I'm realizing that I settled. I didn't quite get what I wanted, and the desire still burns within. So this Christmas, I decided I would go all the way and spend the $150-ish (okay, ask for a gift of $150-ish) on a great pair of boots that I really love.

Here are the contestants:

Hush Puppies, Elaine $150

Kenneth Cole, Kiss Her $118

Aerosoles, Divison $99 (I can't seem to get a picture of them!)

What I really want is a pair of boots that can look nice with a skirt or a dress, or over skinny jeans. Something comfy for city-walking would be great too, and I want them to be real leather. My dream would be to have red boots, but I haven't found any to fit the bill. And should I get black or tan? I wear so much black that tan boots might be fun...

I can't seem to get my mind off of them. I go out into public and notice every pair of boots around. Too bad they'd be too hard to pry off an unsuspecting tourist's feet. I suppose I will have to wait, write Santa a letter, and make sure I'm a good girl. Is it wrong to ask Santa for hooker boots?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yoda Ears

A funny thing happens to our dog when he's really worn out: his ears go from perky & expressive to Yoda ears.

I'll explain. When we took him camping a few months ago, he spent most of the time in the lake, retrieving an enormous log that probably weighed 80 pounds. It was incredible. He just kept going until he almost drowned, and even then, he wouldn't let go of the dumb log. When he was seriously close to death,
came out of the water each time with Yoda ears-- all droopy, like they were sliding sideways off his head.

On Monday, we discovered this deserted patch of beach south of Daly City, and spent the evening throwing a eucalyptus branch into the waves for Gavin to bring back. He got pummeled by a few waves, and each time, the Yoda ears came back. Let me tell you, he's not a cute dog when he's all wet with Yoda ears.

I tell you all of this because lately I feel like I've had Yoda ears-- not literally (that would be seriously strange), but in my heart, and also in the worn out haggard look I've noticed in the mirror. I know I'm not actually drowning, and I know that I am going to be okay, but I've decided that I'm taking on a new expression to describe how I feel: Yoda ears.

I invite you to take on the term as you see fit =)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I feel empty. I think all the events of the last week have started sinking in, and I am realizing that I feel like I don't have much to give. I would much rather hide behind my laptop & answer emails than actually meet with students, have conversations, and give of myself emotionally. Thankfully, I have had the freedom to do that today, and have taken full advantage of it. =)

I met with a friend today for lunch, and we shared about our lives & our relationships with God, and we prayed for each other. We are going to try to meet every week (or so), and I can't even begin to say what a God-send that is.

When I came home, I realized that (outside of ministry) that was the first time I have met with a friend like that since I moved to San Francisco. Saying that felt very profound.

I mean, we have hung out with friends (as couples) since we've moved here, and I have had deep conversations with friends from home and in ministry, but this was the first time that I have ever sat down with a friend from San Francisco and gone deep with each other. It felt very profound, and very right, and yet also so sad. As I shared with her, I felt how deeply I needed someone to just listen-- someone to minister to me. I hadn't realized how much I was aching for it.

I admit, I am feeling rather emotional tonight as I type away, and I'm not sure how much to attribute to low blood sugar, or hormones, or all of the impending changes & disappointments. It's probably a little of each. I do know that I plan to lay low this week, spend as much time connecting with Chris as possible, and taking time to process my feelings. I think I need a little time to take inventory, and take care of myself... Wish me luck =)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lord, Have Mercy

For the last several months, my family has traveled on a bit of a roller coaster -- not just with my Dad's cancer, but with my brother applying to the LAPD. There have been lie detector tests, background checks, physical exams to make anyone puke (or pass out, as the case may be), endless forms & interviews... it's been unreal. It's seemed like with each new hurdle to cross, there was some last minute crisis that would flush everything down the tubes.

Well, today marks the last true hurdle in the application process, and if he passes, he starts looking for an apartment and joins the Police Academy. And this last one is completely beyond his control.

Remember in Little Miss Sunshine, how the teenage brother's only dream in life is to be in the Air Force-- and then he realizes he's colorblind and has a meltdown? Well, that's what we're all hoping doesn't happen today.
Can you see the 12 in the picture? That's all he has to do to pass. The only problem is that he is a little color blind. Pray for mercy =)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

All Better Now!

Okay, I was having a rough time last week. I felt like I needed a melt down, but didn't quite have the time. We're facing some pretty significant changes (and losses) in our ministry, our team & our roles. It also looks like our dreams of leading a mission trip to Africa have all gone to pot. On top of that, last week, we led our first Small Group for our church, and put on a Fall Retreat for our students. And I was sick.

I honestly didn't think I was going to make it. As we were trying to get out of town for the conference, we had a fiasco getting Gavin into a kennel & didn't have anyone to watch him. You know, just one of those last minute panicky moments where you don't quite know if everything will work out.

But it did. Miraculously, it really did; and I sit here Sunday morning in my PJ's with a belly full of pumpkin pancakes (YUM!!) feeling happy & content very, very grateful.

Our Fall Retreat this weekend did some amazing things in my heart (okay, it was God-- but He did it through the Fall Retreat). Every detail seemed to go haywire at the last minute, and yet somehow, it all worked out-- beautifully and in that sacred kind of way where you know it was only God who could have orchestrated something so lovely.

I grieved a little for Africa, and the dreams that were not to be. I felt like I was able to let go of it, and with it, some of my anger & hurt. But, more than that, I fell in love with our students all over again. For the first time, I think, I "got" why it is so important to work with college students (maybe I'll get into that in another blog!), and why my job is so important. On Friday, I had one foot out the door (so to speak), and was ready to say Goodbye to all of this Campus Crusade college ministry stuff. But as I listened to one student love & counsel another student through thoughts of suicide & depression, I got teary-eyed, and had one of those heart-swelling-with-gratitude moments. "I could do this for the rest of my life," I thought to myself.

The truth is, I probably won't do this for the rest of my life. The truth is that the changes & losses are still coming. The truth is, it still makes my heart sink when I think about not going back to Africa. But, all of those things feel smaller now, and I feel a kind of peace & contentment now that anchors me down. It's a good day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I wish there was an angry font, because I would use it right now.
I AM ANGRY!!!!!!
Descretion and Christ-like-ness keep me from posting the details on my blog, and I'm not even really sure what I can say except that I am so, so angry.

I feel like yelling profanities at the top of my lungs and hitting
things and flipping off large Christian corporations (I didn't say that). What really sucks, though, is that I don't have the energy to do all those things, 'cause I'm still sick. What really, really sucks is that, although I know it's okay to be angry, I also know that I need to do all that Christian stuff like forgive & take deep breaths & not say things I will regret. I'm really trying-- but sometimes it's hard to keep the filter on.

I'm not just mad (that's more of a knee-jerk reaction), but I'm also really bummed, a little hurt, and very disappointed. There are a lot of emotions in there. I suppose all of them are helped by some deep breaths & some help from the guy who says "Vengeance is mine..." ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mostly Dead

Today is cold & rainy again, and I am sick. All these wonderful, loving people around me have been sick & very generous in sharing, and I woke up this morning feeling yucky, and felt yuckier as the day progressed (or should I say Digressed?).

Strangely, though, it's been a nice day. I had big plans for being on campus: leading a prayer time, meeting with students, tutoring immigrants & recruiting for our Fall Retreat this weekend. Instead, though, I slept a huge portion of the day, and got caught up on all (well, some) of the behind the scenes work that has been plaguing me for a while. Yesterday, I felt guilty for being so behind, but it's funny how being sick can take away all that guilt. "I'm sick. What can I do?" The expectations are lowered significantly =)

Chris & I are going to make some experimental sweet potato & sausage soup and watch a movie with the Kleenex box & Airborne close by. And, really, that's not so bad, is it?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Big Winner!

So this week hasn't been all bad for me. On Friday, the Fed Ex guy showed up at our doorstep with a pair of brand new running shoes-- for free!

A month or so ago, I heard about this give-away that a (previously unknown to me) shoe company called Ryka is sponsoring (sign up and win a pair yourself!). It turns out, I won a pair of $90 running shoes! I wore them yesterday for the first time during my work out & they're awesome! I'm so happy with my new prize, and highly recommend them to others. =)
(No, that is not what the shoes actually looked like!)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pirate Party

Some friends of ours throw an amazing costume party every year. Last year, the theme was Super Heroes, and Chris & I dressed up as characters from The Incredibles. This year, it's a Pirate theme. Now, anyone can come to a Pirate Party with an eye patch and tattered clothes, but we wanted to bring a little creativity. Here are some of our ideas:
  • The Dread Pirate Roberts (and possibly an R.O.U.S.?? I definitely can't pass for Princess Buttercup)
  • A Parrot, or a Monkey (Pirate "accessories")
  • A DVD Pirate-er (wearing a trench coat lined with DVD's)
  • A Mermaid (again, a pirate "accessory")
  • Peter Pan or Tinker Bell, or maybe the Lost Boys or Tiger Lily
  • "Arrrr" (Simply wearing a bunch or R's all over you-- this was my mom's idea. Cute!)
  • The Black Pearl (wear a giant black trash bag, and simply be "the black pearl" super cheesy, but kind of funny!)
The goal here is to be something creative, and to not spend a bunch of money. It would be easy to buy a $50 Tinker Bell costume, but I would much rather spend $3 at Michaels for a bag of feathers, and make myself into a parrot (somehow!). A huge bonus would be to actually look cute-- something I did not achieve last year as Edna Mode!

Any ideas?

When it Rains, it Pours

The rain metaphor continues... As I mentioned yesterday, one of the low points last week was receiving paychecks 1/3 of their normal size. Well, we woke up this morning, looked out the window at the beautiful, sunny day (the sky is never so blue as after it rains, is it?), and noticed a huge hole in our Jeep's window.

Apparently, someone walked by with a baseball bat last night, and thought it would be fun to smash in our back window. Nothing was stolen, and luckily it had stopped
raining by then.

Now we have the pleasure of using almost all of our paycheck to fix our car. But what can you do? We'll be fine-- we already paid rent for the month, and we have enough for groceries and the essentials. I made Chris some bran muffins to cheer him up, and we will probably try to brighten our day with a bike ride under the clear blue sky... that is, of course, unless the little grey cloud continues to follow us. ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tropical Depression Kernaghan

It's been a long week. I feel like, lately, I have been living through a bit of a hurricane inside. Circumstances have kept me pretty busy, but it's more than just that. There is a difference between walking forward ten feet on solid ground, and walking forward ten feet in shoulder-deep water. Either way, you're only walking ten feet, but your surroundings make the task significantly easier or harder.

These last few weeks, I have been going onto campus, meeting with students, praying, sending emails, tutoring, talking on the phone, making fliers, and organizing events. All these things are normal, and don't sound very difficult or stressful-- unless you're under water.

And I have felt under water lately. Some mornings this week, it felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane. Some moments, it was only a tropical storm, some moments, a tropical depression, and right now, it is currently [physically] softly raining outside my window-- which reflects my reality inside, too.

There have been moments this week where I have felt completely overwhelmed with emotions, with self-doubt, with negative thoughts, fear, discouragement & lack of motivation. I believe very much in God, and also believe very much in an Enemy who does not sit around in red tights with a pitch fork, but who comes after us in our thoughts, in our relationships-- in any way he can. Each time I have felt this overwhelming weight, I have done my best to pray (or asked someone else-- usually Chris-- to pray for me), and almost every time, it has gone away. But eventually, it comes back.

I could go into details: details about why my week has been hard and emotional; details about my Dad not being healed of cancer [If I was a good Christian, I would say "yet"]. Details about my funk & disappointments on campus, or about our paychecks being only $300. But I don't feel like details.

This morning, I learned something that will be fairly significant to my life, my job, my career path, and even where I call home (and No, Mom, I'm not pregnant!) ;) As the thoughts & questions swirled around in my head, I looked outside at the rain, and felt it a little in my heart & my soul. I need to process and to think & reflect, but Chris had to go immediately out to campus (poor thing), and I am here, alone with my laptop (and the sleeping pit bull pup).

I feel surprisingly calm, though. I am at peace-- although I don't feel like I have much capacity to pray or to work, or do much of anything. I feel like curling up on the couch, turning on the "fireplace" DVD, and reading a book. Watching a mindless chick flick & painting my nails sounds nice, too. I don't anticipate that these difficult feelings, questions or circumstances will go away on their own. For now, though, I can take a deep breath, hear the rain falling outside, and know that I am safe and dry in here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Raindrops Falling on My Head

Last night, it lightly rained, and I laid in bed under my warm covers, reading a book, and listening to the sound of the drops outside.

Is there anything more wonderful than falling asleep to the sound of rain, when you are safe and warm in your bed?

I guess sitting in front of a fire, reading a book & drinking hot chocolate is pretty marvelous, too. Hmmm, that's a toss up-- they are both rare treats for us Californians!

Here's to cool autumny days, rainfall at night, and the clean newness that comes afterwards! Cheers...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Welcome, Autumn!

There is something that sends a thrill up my spine when I see pumpkins at the grocery store, and I can fill little bowls around the house with candy corn, and Starbucks has pumpkin spiced lattes again (of course, the latter happens in like August, but I choose to ignore it until the appropriate time).

Autumn is a funny thing in San Francisco because some of the best sunny, warm weather occurs during the months of September and October. Winter comes in July (as Mark Twain so aptly noted), summer in October, and then I guess it jumps straight into winter and spring.

But today was crisp and chilly, and actually felt like autumn. I have my indian corn and
mini-pumpkins and minimal Halloween decorations sitting out, and it brings me joy. It's not just that I love autumn & Halloween (I do), but that it marks the beginning of a whole season of joy & wonder & my favorite high-calorie foods. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of Christmas. Oh, it's a glorious thing.

Today, I welcomed in autumn with a pumpkin smoothie. Last year, I
must have made 10 failed pumpkin smoothies, but today, I found a great recipe... which I will share with you now for your harvest pleasure:
  • 15oz. can pureed pumpkin (chilled)
  • 12oz. can evaporated milk (chilled) [I used regular milk-- didn't have evaporated]
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 small sliced banana (frozen) [it really helps to peel & slice the banana before freezing it-- I learned that the hard way!]
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon [I added allspice & nutmeg, too]
I played around a little with the measurements & wasn't super exact. The whole orange juice & banana thing sounds weird, but it actually works. And did you know that 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin has 300% of your daily dosage of Vitamin A?? That's a pretty healthy breakfast =)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Elote: What Not to Eat on a First Date

For only $2 last night, I not only had an amazing cultural experience, but I also discovered the Grand Champion of Things Not to Order on a First Date.

Chris & I got home around 8pm last night from a fun afternoon on a friend's rooftop, watching the Blue Angels (I actually ducked a few time, they got so close!). We were tired & hungry, and didn't feel like cooking, so we ventured out to Taqueria Vallarta.

Just to give you a little background, Taqueria Vallarta is a little taco shack in our neighborhood that sells brain, cheek, hip, tongue (and of course, chicken & carne asada) tacos until about 2am. They were shut down for almost a year for... drum roll please... excessive cockroaches and rats (among other things--but at that point, do you really need other things??). Usually, Chris only goes to Taqueria Vallarta when I'm not around 'cause greasy roach tacos aren't my all-time favorite.

For some reason, though, I was feeling adventurous, and I ordered Elote. Elote, it turns out, it a whole ear of corn, slathered in mayonnaise, rolled in crumbled Mexican cheese, and doused with chili powder. Like I said, I was feeling adventurous.

As luck would have it, it was amazing! The only thing, though, is that you should never, ever eat it around anyone who is not extremely devoted to you (or blind), because I literally had cheese and chili powder from the tip of my nose to my chin. My lips burned for at least 15 minutes after I had finished it, and I had to hold a wet towel against them to put out the flames.

But, after surviving almost 24 hours since I ate at the scary taqueria, and after the swelling in my lips has gone down, I would definitely say that I would order it again. Just not on a first date.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Being the School Bully

Everyone has memories of the school bully-- the kid who bossed all the other little kids around, or threw a tantrum when they didn't get things their way, or yelled, hit, kicked or bit until you cried.

For me, the school bully was this girl named Dana. She was big & mean, and her mom followed her from Elementary School through High School (and maybe college too-- I don't know!) working in the school's administration office and giving her everything she wanted. She was awful.

Most of us have also experienced the bossy, bitchy, mean & scary co-worker. We can all agree that they are no fun.

Well, today, that School Bully/Office Bitch was me. I don't know when I officially ran out of steam, but sometime this morning, when our staff team came over for our usual Friday Breakfast, I became that scary girl in the picture. I snapped at people; I was mean & critical; I was bubbling over with irritation. For some reason, every noise in the apartment seemed to bounce off the ceiling and echo in my brain. I was not pleasant.

Is it too much to ask to have the seven of us show up on time, organize breakfast in an orderly manner [in a kitchen that's about 10' x 1'], rearrange all our furniture, and sit down to eat [in our tiny apartment] in calm, peaceful silence?? Hmm, maybe it is =) For some reason, everything seemed especially chaotic, crowded, and insanely loud. But maybe that was just me =)

I wish that I was one of those laid back, calm, peaceful types. I wish that I was one of those people that you felt at ease around-- those types that exude a quiet confidence and breathe in Zen. I think that fiery Guatemalan blood prevents those moments from lasting long. I just wish I could hide it better when the scary school bully reared her ugly head...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Staying Afloat

Right now, I feel like I'm having a hard time staying afloat. I've been trying lately to live in a place that embraces both the hard things and the good things-- not being overwhelmed with the hard, but not trying to push them out of the way and pretend they aren't there, either. I have been meditating on Jesus' words (in The Message translation) "Make your home in me as I make my home in you." As things get stressful, or start to feel overwhelming, I try to center myself and find a home in Christ, and just feel at peace with where I am.
It feels different from just "pushing through", and dealing with my emotions when I have time. I have an image in my mind of holding sadness and joy and peace all together, and embracing them all as the stuff life is made of.

Yesterday, I was really struggling in this department. I was rushing out the door to get to Cal State East Bay-- one of my main campuses about 45 minutes away that was having their big club fair. My plan was to make a 5 minute stop at Kinkos, run a few photo copies, then get to campus & the club fair by 11am-- a half hour earlier than I needed to be there. I won't go into details (they just make me angry!), but it took 2 hours and 15 minutes for me to actually walk onto the campus. Let's just say that although it's listed as a Kinkos, a FedEx-Kinkos Shipping Center is not quite a Kinkos. It took me over 1/2 hour to make 40 copies on a self-serve copy machine. It also t
ook me 45 minutes to find a parking spot on campus. Yuck.

The brilliant ending to my club fair was when I was talking to a thug-looking kid with gold chains galore, and my shirt broke. Yes, my shirt broke. I was wearing a stretchy tunic shirt with
thick tank top straps, and one of the straps just broke while I was telling this guy about when we meet for prayer. I was so stunned, I just kept talking & pretended that everything was fine until he walked away. Luckily, we carry some cute little button pins (pictured right) in our tabling box, and my friend was able to fix my shirt, but it was one of the more awkward campus experiences (and I've had a few!)

I have to admit, I am living in fear that more great things will happen on campus (lots of great things have already been happening-- and no, my shirt breaking was not one of them, whatever thug-guy might tell you!), because I won't be able to handle the work it will create!

I am definitely looking forward to the weekend (although not with quite as much desperation as I was last week), and taking lots of deep centering breaths. But as I go to sleep tonight, I feel much more at peace than I did earlier. I think I'm going to make it...

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Street Car Named Desire

Yesterday, I [innocently] spent the afternoon shopping near Union Square, and [innocently] took the street car back (and No, I don't mean the cable car-- no one in SF actually rides those!).

I say "innocently" because I ended up in a situation that I definitely wasn't expecting: It just so happens that yesterday was the Folsom Street Fair-- and If you think that a Gay Pride Parade is over the top, you should never, never venture out of doors during the Folsom Street Fair.

Since I am afraid to actually look at the website, I will explain, from my observation what the Folsom Street Fair is: It is every gay man in San Francisco dressing in bondage (or less) and having a huge, umm, "party" out on Folsom. What I didn't know was that it also involves riding the F-Line Street Car home at approximately 6pm on Sunday afternoon. That's where I come in...

I was trapped in the very, very back of the street car when it suddenly filled up with men coming from the Folsom Street Fair. There literally was not an inch to spare in the car, and everywhere I looked, there were shirtless men in leather pants and various arm cuffs & bands & straps being very, ummm, affectionate with each other. Yikes! What's a girl to do but casually look out the window & pretend that nothing is out of place. That is, until my stop came, and I had to push my way through the crowd of sweaty leather-clad men with my giant Banana Republic bag. Excuse me. Sorry. Excuse me. Sorry. Hehe, sorry. This is my stop. Sorry.

Wow. Welcome to San Francisco

The Key to a Perfect Saturday

Let it be said that Chris & I love sleeping in. Until recently, I firmly believed that a perfect Saturday morning was sleeping in as late as possible & eating breakfast at noon. But I've had a change of heart.

Last weekend was cold & rainy, which was fun in that it started to feel like autumn (yes, I already bought a pumpkin!), but not so fun because it's hard to find something to do that doesn't involve paying $20+ at the movie theater.

So Chris decided that we were going to explore a new part of the City and go out to breakfast. Yes, my friends, this is the key to a perfect Saturday morning: going out to breakfast. My new theory is that there is nothing more luxurious than eating breakfast out.

Last weekend we discovered a Panera Bread downtown near AT&T park (where the Giants play). We sat for hours in front of the ginormous windows watching the rain fall (you could almost see the raindrops leave the clouds and fall all the way to the ground), sipping tea, eating bagels and reading & journaling. We watched the preppy rich folk who live in the high-rise condos downtown walk their mini-dogs, and the smart kids from Stanford step off the train to spend a day in the City. We talked and we read, and we prayed, and just sat & watched. It was a perfect rainy Saturday.

This Saturday was sunny and beautiful, and we woke up early and rode our bikes over to Tartine. For those of you who don't live in SF, Tartine is a local bakery with no sign out front, but an endless line out the door. It is always on the list of the top ten best places to eat. However, in the 2+ years that we've lived here, we've never ventured to Tartine (I think it was the line-- intimidating).

We beat the rush and sat outside, enjoying the most amazing bread pudding I've ever had, a scone & a
Scharffenberger pan au chocolate. Yuuumm!! There are few things in the world that make me happier than really, really good food (especially when it looks pretty), and this made me really, really happy!

Eventually, we rode our bikes back home, and took a late-morning nap (best of both worlds!). I woke up and did Pilates/Yoga while Chris continued snoozing, then we went for a beautiful hike in Pacifica. It really was a perfect Saturday!