A Happy Ending...

I know how the book ends. Trust me. So turn back to that page where your bookmark sits, waiting for you to live the way you were meant to live, savoring every moment.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A day in thigh-highs and a Comedy of Errors

I don't have anything insightful to share with you today, but my day is a story in and of itself today, so I shall share it with you. Nothing has gone as planned today...nothing.

First of all, you must know that I lost my debit card just before our trip to Nashville, and because I bank at a small credit union, I have still not received my replacement card. This has really been a pain in the backside.

I realize on my drive to work this morning that I had left my make-up bag at my desk last night, so I arrived at work this morning sans make-up. Of course, someone had to offer the obligatory, "oh no, you don't look like you feel well." No jerk! This is the way I look. I just usually do you the service of putting on some make-up. Anyway, I took care of that promptly upon arrival at my desk.

I'm taking vacation the next two days and had planned on surprising my fiance with a quick visit tonight, returning tomorrow, then leaving for Austin to visit Lauren tomorrow evening. Of course, I left for work this morning and failed to grab the overnight bag that I had packed. Kind of a pain, but I decided that over lunch I'd make the trek home to get it. It's a 30 min. commute one-way with NO traffic, so I had just enough time.

I had made it back, gotten the bag, and was on my way back when my gas light came on and I knew I couldn't make it back to the office without getting gas. So I stopped, reached for my wallet, and realized it was not in my purse. That initial panic came over me and then I convinced myself that I had simply left it at the office, as I had been paying bills this morning. Calm down, Trish. But wait, I had no money, no credit card, no way to buy gas.

Ok, so I had my checkbook, so I decided I'd write a check over somewhere and get some cash. I went to Walmart, walked in and grabbed the first thing I saw...CANDYCANES of course...and walked up to the register with my $0.97 item, wishing to write a check for $15.00 and get some cash. But wait, I didn't have my wallet, so that meant I didn't have my driver's license. So I begged...and begged...and begged. And finally they took pity on me, and allowed the transaction without my DL. Cash in hand, I raced out to my car, putting a hole in my panty-hose...

Now, I wear panty-hose all of 1, maybe 2 days out of the year. But today, I'm wearing a cute winter skirt and it's cold outside so I put on a pair because it just seemed fitting. So anyway, I've got cash for gas, but my panty-hose have a run in them that is spreading down my leg.

Gas. Gas takes priority. I race to the nearest gas station, give them some money, set some aside to buy new panty-hose, find out I'm at the only pump that doesn't work, move my car, get gas, get back on the road and on my way to the office. My mind is racing at this point. Where's my wallet? What about this run going down my leg? Is my boss going to notice that I've been gone for an hour and a half? For you men readers, a woman's mind is ALWAYS racing, and when she has things to actually make it race, it's torture! A 30 min. commute and a racing mind are not a good combination.

Ok, so I get back to town and I run in CVS to buy some panty-hose. But of course, just my luck, they don't have jet black panty-hose. They have gray. Who the heck wears gray panty-hose? I find some jet black thigh highs and decide those will have to do. I buy them, feeling like quite the skank but also enjoying it in a way, and race to work. I put them on and walk back to my desk, not sure how to feel at that moment.

I realize that I have not eaten anything and I'm quite hungry so I look in my desk and find some oatmeal. That's my only option for lunch, so I go into the kitchen to heat it up. I keep oatmeal in my desk and I make it frequently, but today, it decides to overflow in the microwave. Not a little bit....EVERYWHERE!! So I have to scrub the microwave and I lost half of my lunch, but no matter, I'm hungry and cranky and well, pissed off at my day! I set the bowl on a napkin while I clean, then take it to my desk. I eat quickly, because by this time, my lunch hour is going on two, and I know I'm really pushing it. Then I realize that the oatmeal has formed a glue which has caused the napkin to be totally stuck to the bowl. So I take it to the kitchen and I have to scrub napkin off the bowl before putting it into the dishwasher.

I return to my desk and realize I need to finish the cycle of prayer postcards since I won't be here the next two days. So I finish those and take them to the respective person so sign, who brings it to my attention that Canon, as in The Rev. Canon, is spelled with one "n" and not 2. I've been an Episcopalian all my life and I know this, but on this unfortunate day, my fingers typed 2 on every last one of them. So I had to redo those.

Now I'm back at my desk, with a bowl of candycanes in front of me and people keep walking by and taking them and saying "oh how nice...candycanes" and all I can think is "if you only knew!!!"

Mayor, if this is not a damn thing, it is certainly a damn pain in the backside, so I ask the entire community of Swankytown to please vote my day a damn thing so that some good can come of this madness...

Anyway, I'm off to see my sweetie tonight and he better REALLY appreciate the surprise because it's been crazy trying to pull it off. I can't wait to get there, prop my feet up, put on my PJs, and have a glass of wine. Until then, I'm stuck in thigh-highs wondering what else I, the scatterbrain, can manage to screw up between here and there.

In the words of Frank W. Griswold, Jr. "Hallelujah. Holy Sh#t. Where's the Tylenol?"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

All Things Come of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine Own Have we Given Thee

I am back from Nashville and had a wonderful time. I will let my friend Becky offer a photojournalistic post about our time there, as she was the tourist with the camera.

A few thoughts on Thanksgiving before I check out for the day...

1. I am thankful for so many things and I am thankful to have a day to remind me how thankful I am. I often get caught up on all the things I don't have and want - the makings of a perfect life that are beyond my reach. But I have so much and I'm a fool if I don't remember that. I have a wonderful family. I don't just say that in the cliche way - I really do have an incredible family. I actually enjoy spending time with them. My sisters are my best friends in the whole world. My parents are so much fun to be around. My nephews are absolutely my joy. I am thankful for my fiance. Here I go getting mushy. But seriously folks, he's a wonderful man who healed so much of my brokeness. I love him more and more and more and delight in the time we have together. I am thankful for my health. At the present time, my ears are infected, but overall, I'm healthy. I am thankful for my education and my 4 years in college. They gave me an education for life and some wonderful friends. I am thankful for my jobs. Do I want to do what I am doing forever? Probably not. But I can honestly say that I really love what I am doing right now. It challenges me, allows me to be creative, and gives me the opportunity to learn much from some very fine people. I am thankful for my lil apartment. It's a humble abode, but it is mine. It's my first place that is all mine and it truly feels like home. I am thankful for my friends. I sometimes wish I was the kind of person who was surrounded by friends all the time. Geography doesn't allow that. But when I see them or talk to them, I am reminded of sacred friendships we share and I realize how blessed I am. Finally, my friends, I am thankful for the love and grace and mercy of my Lord. He has truly brought me out of the wilderness into a place where I have just enough and I am truly happy. Can I get an amen?

2. A tale from a Thanksgivings past:

One year, we had some friends over for Turkey Day. Being the smart ass teenager that I was, I made one of the most inappropriate remarks ever, and it has gone down in the family hall of fame. My dad was one of 9 children. He grew up on a farm in Texas. He was somewhere in the middle and that particular Thanksgiving, was recalling his own Thanksgivings past when his older siblings would come home with their boyfriends/girlfriends. Dad has one sister who entered the convent at a young age, left the convent, married, had twins, then years later announced she was a lesbian, left her husband, and has been with another woman ever since. (Small town Texas at its finest, folks.) So as Dad is recounting his tales, I say, "what about when your sister brough her girlfriend home?" Silence filled the dining room followed by roaring laughter followed by a look from my Dad that was priceless. It was kind of that "how could be so crude" but really, I'm proud of how damn funny you are kind of look.

3. Our Thanksgiving traditions...you must know that my family is all about tradition.

We wake up in the morning and make Bloody Mary's first thing. Very strong and very, very hot (I've got some cajun in me - the hotter the better) with the celery stalk and we nurse those through the day. We watch the parade and usually "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." My sisters and I set the table while Mom cooks and Dad does the turkey. We eat hors devours until the turkey is done and then we all make frequent trips to the kitchen to pick at the turkey with our fingers. Then when everything is ready, my brother goes upstairs and turns on Handel's Messiah. We have listened to that during our meal every Thanksgiving of my life. Now, you can dress us up, but you can't take us anywhere. We fill our china plates with tons of food, fill our crystal goblets with wine, eat with our silver, and begin pleasant conversation which inevitably turns to lewd jokes, conversations on sex, and everything else that would be classified as innapropriate dinner conversation. We have talked about it all, my friends, and even when there are guests from outside the family, the conversations go on. We even got onto the topic of blind people and masturbation once, which believe me, was as uncomfortable as it sounds, but funny just the same. We stuff ourselves, then linger at the table in good conversation for hours. Then we retire upstairs and pop in "Christmas Vacation." It's the movie of choice each year and we watch that and laugh until our tummies hurt and we feel that Thanksgiving might be on it's way back up. Then we eat pie and sometimes watch it again. And that my friends, is Thanksgiving at my house.

4. I leave you with these words of Thanksgiving in hopes that tomorrow, you will remember the giver of all good things and offer it all back to Him. Life is rich, my friends, and we have so much to be thankful for. The joy we know on Earth does not even compare to the joy that is to come, and for that, my friends, I am thankful...

All Things Come of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine Own Have we Given Thee

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm a good aunt!

This was the magnum opus of my weekend. I spent 6 hours making this choo-choo train birthday cake for my nephew's 2nd birthday. I did that in addition to taking my engagement picture with my honey, attending the birthday party, then later that evening, attending my brother-in-law's suprise 30th birthday party. I've got stories to tell, but haven't had a chance to tell them. And I've been exhausted. And my evaluation finally happened today at work (it went well, friends and readers, so that nervous feeling can go away!!)

Anyway, I've become the resident cake baker and cookie decorator in my family and I think I might have gotten myself some business. I'd really like to take a class and learn how to do this for real with the right equipment. For now, I'm just someone who loves her nephews to pieces and loves to see their little faces light up!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

This isn't Part II

I'm lagging behind in posting. I'm not sure what my deal is. I totally had a part II in my mind but the weekend happened and then work happened and my thoughts are just not collected enough to write it. Alas, another day...

I want to share with you today a problem that I swear is affecting the entire universe. (Ok, not really - I'm not that shallow.) My morning radio show was replaced about a month ago. The Roula and Ryan show was the only thing that made my hour-long morning commute tolerable, even enjoyable at times. I really hate getting up in the morning, but once I was up and ready, I'd leave my apartment and think, oooo I wonder what's on the R&R show this morning. My steps became lighter as I walked to my car. I would laugh hysterically at something most days. Then at work, the other lackeys in the cubicles next to me would recount the show and share in our own laughs and "he did not just say that's." A hot shower, a cup of coffee, and the Roula and Ryan show, and I was good to go for the 8 hours at work that lie ahead each day.

But it all came to an end one fateful day a month ago. They brought this bigshot over from the other popular radio station and R&R the boot. I can't say this guy is crap, but I can say the new show is crap. He brought this traffic girl turned radio host with him who is painful to listen to. She's got this mousey voice, never knows what to say, and more quirks than I can count on all my apendages combined. There is awkward silence every morning because these two obviously have no chemistry. She pretty much just repeats what he says, copies his humor, and then laughs and laughs to fill up air time. Seriously folks, hand over the mic. I could do a better job than this chick.

I must say, this has totally thrown me off. Yes I realize, this would top the list of the 10 most unimportant things in life, but it has thrown me off just the same. I find myself floundering between stations throughout the commute and I generally settle on either silence, one of the CDs I can get my hands on or this AM news radio station. Don't get me wrong, I love music and you'd think a CD would be the perfect solution, but I just love a good talk show in the morning. I need that to get me going. But I've tried them all and found nothing to fill that void. This new guy left his cohost at his old station and she has brought on this guy named Adam, only it's "Atom." Atom Smasher...that's his radio name. I know I live in the city of NASA and went to school with the nerdiest of the nerds, but seriously....Atom? Needless to say, they stink.

I have heard that R&R had to sign a non-compete for some designated amount of time and I feel fairly certain that another station has already picked them up but can't make it public yet. At least I hope. But until then, my mornings will be all off. Flipping station to station, never really feeling the morning groove, arriving at work grumpy with little to say to the chicks next door. My friends, it is a sad, sad day in Houston.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Good News Club and Other Haunts

Tag team, I'm it. I now reference my friend Mo's latest entry as a jumping off point for my own. I offer this to you in two parts.

Part I:
I can remember when it all started. One week each summer, two of my friends' moms would have this thing called "Good News Club." We'd meet at a house, swim until we were shriveled up, stuff ourselves with pizza, wrap up in our towels and head into the house to shiver under the fan and listen to the Bible story for the day. The good news, if you will. Now, I grew up in the church - went every Sunday of my life, come hell or high water. I said my "Now I lay me down to sleep" every night and my little gold cross around my neck. And I feel like, even as a child, I knew God. I knew there was someone up there listening to me when I would spout off the details of my day every night in bed.

But there I sat at Good News Club every summer, listening to the stories, taking it all in. And then the two moms would offer to us the opportunity to ask Jesus into our hearts. All we had to do was follow them to the dining room and they would teach us the prayer that would accomplish that magnificent task. And there I would sit in my bathing suit, freezing cold, debating whether they were speaking to me or not. Had I already asked Jesus into my heart in some manner? If I hadn't, did I need to officially. And if I hadn't, did that make all my childhood prayers null and void?

I usually just sat there, frozen, and watched the brave souls that made their way to the dining room. One summer, I got the courage to be one of those souls. I learned the prayer, I said it repeatedly because I was not quite sure if it was a one time deal or more of an ongoing thing, and that was that. All the while, I couldn't shake the feeling that I truly believed that Jesus was in my heart even before I said the special prayer. Not because I went to church, not because I had been baptized at infancy, but because I believed He was there.

Do you know, that memory still haunts me a bit. It haunts me just the way my experiences as a teenager do. I was like Mo - I didn't have some testimony of repentance and change, of deliverance from myself, no lightening bolts - I didn't even have much of a story. I simply went to church every Sunday of my life, I talked to God in my childish way, and I believed that Jesus was my Savior. Period. End of Story. Nothing life-shaking had ever really happened to me. I found myself gathered with other believers, trying to think up a testimony, be it mine or some product of my imagination, to share so that I would have a "story." I was told I needed a testimony when all had was a quiet faith and I was haunted by the thought that it was in some way, lacking.

Oddly enough, that quiet faith led me to pursue a Theology degree in college and to become a youth minister. The word minister in my title felt odd in itself. I loved my kiddos. I loved them dearly - it was all I knew how to do. I knew my Bible enough to get by, I taught the lessons, played the games, shared in the fellowship and formed some very deep relationships. Still I went to work everyday feeling that I was not the one for the job because I had nothing striking to share with them. My haunts got the better of me most of the time and quieted what few words I wanted to share with them. What could I have to say that they possibly needed to hear? I felt sure that loving them was not enough, sharing the Gospel with them was not enough, being a friend to them was not enough, listening to them was not enough - I surely was doing it all wrong.

Needless to say, I left that job. I left it for numerous reasons which I will not expound on at this time, but I admit that one of them was this nagging feeling that I just wasn't good enough, my faith wasn't big enough, my story wasn't telling enough.

I offer this first part to you, my new friends, to tell you that you are not alone in feeling like you are doing it all wrong. I have more to say, as my life has changed considerably and I have experienced something that has given me a story (maybe not the story, but a story just the same), still my faith moves in an eb and flow just the same as it always did. But chew on this for now and I will come back with more tomorrow.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I Sing a Song of the Saints of God

I'm headed into a meeting, but I wanted to offer this story I heard yesterday. One of the wonderful things about my job is that on Wednesdays, we have a staff Eucharist (that would be a service with Holy Communion for the non-anglicans). The Bishop presided over the service yesterday in celebration of All Saints' Day. (Tuesday was All Saints' Day, in case you didn't know that.) I would like to share a story with you that he shared with us.

In the 16th chapter of Romans, Paul lists the faithful departed of his life. These men and women were saints in his eyes and he lists them by name and tells us who they were. Years ago, a sermon was offered by a Methodist minister, in which he urged his congregation to keep there own list, much like Paul. He urged them to write down on a piece of paper the names of each person who had done something noteworthy in their life, influenced their faith, caused them to grow. He said that when that day comes, they should take it with them to Heaven. At the gate, St. Peter would question them about this small piece of paper. He would tell them that they were not permitted to bring anything from their life on earth with them into the Kingdom of Heaven. And they would cling to that piece of paper and assure St. Peter that is really was not a big deal and that the paper would mean nothing to any one else. Then St. Peter would ask to see the paper and he would begin to read the names, one by one, and he would say, "Wait a minute. I know these people. As I was walking to the gate this morning, I passed by them. They were standing together, holding a sign with your name on it that read 'Welcome Home'."

I was moved by this story to make my own list, only mentally at this point, but certainly to be written in ink when time allows me. I invite you, no matter your faith or creed, to make your own list of those people who have played an especially important part in your life.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Master of None

I must get a post in today before I fail to do so for the 5th day in a row. Just when I thought I had settled in to a season of slacking here at the old office, work has picked up considerably. I feel out of the loop in my blog circle. I shall have to try harder to stay abreast of the goings on of all of you.

So, I enjoyed reading more about what all of you are doing with your lives right now and what you want to do. I asked the question because I really don't know the answer myself. I'm very content with what I am doing now, but I know it's not a job I'll keep forever. Actually, I'll only keep it until we get married. I'll be moving to wherever my S.O. goes to seminary next year. And while he is in school, I'll probably have a job similar to this for a few years. But then what?

You are asked all of your life to decide what you want to be when you grow up. When you are 3, you have plenty of time to decide. My nephew, who is 3 (pictured at left) wants to be an Astronaut. When you are 8, you have plenty of time. When you are 15, you have plenty of time. When you graduate from high school, you have plenty of time. When you're picking a major in college, you have plenty of time, assuming you are happy to be categorized as undecided for a time. I suppose, at 24, I still have plenty of time. I hear you have 3 or 4 careers in your life and it's usually the last one that suits you best. Well, I've had two already. (3 if you count the time I spent working in the art gallery while I was looking for a real job...I don't count it...the art was ugly.) But I'm 24, and I'm not any closer to answering that question as I was when I was 3 or 8 or 15. At least I don't think I am.

This may sound weird, but I know that I am good at a lot of things. My family and friends have always commented on my ability to do just about anything. The problem is, I'm not great at anything. Jack of all trades, master of none - I believe that's what they call it. I piddle around at this and that and my work tends to be pretty good, but no one thing seems to stick out as the One Thing I should be doing with my life. I feel like I suffer from ADD as far as my interests are concerned. I suppose it is great to be versatile, but that doesn't stop that nagging feeling that I need to find that perfect career that I am passionate about and good at. I've always been so jealous of those people who have the answer to the question at 3 or 8 or whatever and when they are 40, it's still the same answer and they've taken the steps and done the work to get there. Why can't I be one of those people?