Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I FINALLY understand God. I FINALLY understand Jesus. I FINALLY GET IT!

Now, I'm not saying that I completely comprehend God or Jesus or the Trinity in general, but I feel like I finally understand the basics. I finally have an image in my head, a description in my mouth, and a truth in my heart. It's the answer to a prayer that I've had for a long time and one that I've prayed a lot about recently.

Jacob, my youngest brother, is an incredible person. His relationship with God is something that any Christian would long for. There is total love and trust and guidance and service there. But he's still young. And sometimes its hard for him to really converse with people about Jesus without them ending up frustrated. I have had many conversation with him where I've ended up frustrated and teary-eyed. He just wasn't able to help me understand or develop a further understanding of the answers I seek.

Eric, my other younger brother, has a gift for story telling. He's always been able to explain things in perfect detail. Well, as I was driving him to Indianapolis for a conference after Christmas we started talking about God and Jesus and all sorts of things. I told him that I wasn't sure exactly how the whole Trinity thing worked out and that I felt caught up in the pronouns and language used in the Bible. With Jesus calling God "the Father" and the Bible saying that Jesus "sits at the right hand of the Father", that's what I pictured: two completely separate entities. Jesus appeared to be God's VP or something. So we talked about it and he explained to me how he saw it; how he understood the Trinity. And the Holy Spirit must have been speaking through him because it just clicked! I started crying because I have been praying and waiting to understand this mystery for sooo long. It's been the topic of some pretty intense and entirely frustrating conversations with numerous people, so to feel like I finally understand it is such a gift.

So this is how I understand the Trinity to be....

I picture this big ball of warm, glowing, dancing light that created the world we live in. When it got to the inevitable point where humanity needed someone to lead them back onto the right path, God (the big ball of light) decided to split into three smaller balls of glowing, dancing light. They all circle and dance around each other in perfect harmony because they ultimately are one entity. One could not exist without the other. Kind of like if my soul, my body and my voice were all separate from each other in a physical way (but could not function unless all three were together). So these three balls of light are the trinity: Jesus is the physical representation of God, the ultimate sacrifice, the gateway, the face. The Holy Spirit is the voice of God, the inspiration, the warmth, the guide. And the third ball of light (known as "God") is the parent, the provider, the creator, the protector, the soul. One cannot exist without the others. All three are God. They are inexplicably linked and connected and together they are GOD.

I just needed the picture to understand it. I never had the picture before. The only picture was of Jesus, the flame, and the heavens. It was too separated for me to ever link them together as ONE ENTITY. But I can see it now. I can feel it.

And I want to paint it. I want to write it. I want to sculpt it. I want to glass it. I want to explore every medium possible in order to more fully glorify it. I want to be surrounded by it!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holidays certainly are happy :)

I love my family. I love them so much. This holiday has been so wonderful. I've enjoyed every minute spent with them all. Christmas eve was so much fun! We opened gifts between each course of our dinner and all the gifts were so great and the abundancy was definitely unexpected. I got a blackberry! But my favorite gift is definitely the beautiful blanket that Monica crocheted for me. It's huge and has colors of brown, green and plum in it. I love it!!! I got some makeup, art for my apt, accessories for my phone, music, and whatnot. It's all so great :)

Christmas we just hung around and then went to the Dienger's for dinner. It was so much fun visiting with everyone. The food was yummy too! All sorts of casseroles and an awesome salad. I didn't eat any meat. That's becoming pretty popular amongst my cousins. The only meat they had was ham and I don't like ham.

Yesterday was Jake's birthday! We had some really good conversation while Monica and Eric were at work (although I did end up getting a little frustrated and cried a little bit). But it was all good. Sometimes its hard for two people to understand each other when their spiritualities are so radically different. Jake is a bible speaker. He knows his bible. I'm a heart feeler. I listen to my heart and trust it more than I trust the Bible. So sometimes we get a bit heated when talking about our views on Jesus.

We had a yummy dinner and dessert and watched Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers because that's what Jake wanted to watch. It was nice to watch it again. It's such a good trilogy.


There's just so much love and warmth at home. I wish I lived closer, but I love being in Champaign. I wish they would all just move to Champaign! I love hanging out with my mom and laughing with everyone. We watched like 3 hours of baby videos on Christmas eve. We just couldn't get enough! We were just such cute kids. So much personality. And its amazing how we still exhibit those same mannerisms and personalities just like we did when we were little.

I'm so lucky. I'm so blessed. I'm so grateful. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Unwilling to Give up for God?

I've spent so much time thinking about what I'm willing to give up for God, especially now since Jake has made his final decision concerning school. I know that I'm a lot more willing to give up a variety of things in my life that I wouldn't have before.... but what am I NOT willing to give up? What would I have a lot of trouble walking away from for God? I can think of so many different things that I consider to be important in my life - my family, my friends, my financial stability, my voice, my art, my sexuality - but could I give them up for God if She asked me to?

Honestly, I don't know. I think I would have a LOT of trouble giving them all up, though I could give up my financial stability if I knew I would have a place to go. But my family is incredibly important to me and so are my friends. I feel like I've given up so many friends throughout my life already, but I love the ones I have and the ones that I continue to grow closer to. I would have an incredibly hard time giving up my family and I don't see why God would ever ask me to give them up. Of course, who am I to think I could ever understand the greatness of God's plan?

I have fought so hard to accept and love and admire myself for who I am, including my sexuality, so I would have a hard time giving that up. I believe its a gift from God; I guess my fear has always been having to "renounce" my sexuality in order to fully be close to God. I feel deep down in my heart that it's not the case, so I'm not so worried about that. Would I have to give up sexuality all together? A very select few in this world have ever been able to successfully do that without hurting others in the process of trying. Would I have to give up my dreams of a family and a life partner? Those are such huge parts of what I want in my future. Those are big dreams to give up.

What about my art and my music? I've often wondered if I would go crazy or become severely depressed if I had to give up my voice, my harmony, my music. I don't even like thinking about the day when my voice will start to get weaker and it just won't be as beautiful anymore. It seems so tragic. And what if I was never able to create again? Never to take my ideas and passions and musings and turn them into beautiful paintings or sculptures or glass? I would indeed be sad. Art is my escape; it is my release, my healing. Would I give that up for God?

I hope that God wouldn't ask me to give up these things for some reason. I pray that I won't have to, but ultimately, I'm not the one in charge. I don't know that fighting against something like that would do me any good. In the bible, Job lost everything - his family, his friends, his home, his money. And he never cursed God. And because of his faith, God rewarded him ten fold. But I can't even imagine the pain he experienced while getting to that place.

If I was called to, would I be strong like Job? Would I be able to lose everything and still love God? Would I choose to give up everything for God? Would you?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Musing: Two Words

written around November of 2006

Shame on you, Mr. President,
For you know exactly what you do.

You lied your way through life,
Through Yale and Texas and the election.
You carefully snaked your icy fingers
Around the heart and soul of a once-great nation.

Shame on you, Mr. President,
For you know exactly what you do.

You disrespect the very creature that gave you life
With your repeal of the rights of women.
The very rights that women slaved for,
Cried for, marched for, and died for.

When, in your over-privileged, over-paid life,
Were you raped by a stranger in the dark?
When, in your educated, sheltered life,
Were you forced to stay silent
As your husband beat you for under-cooking the steak?

Again, I say shame on you, Mr. President,
For you know exactly what you do.

We struggle to exist in this painful,
Sexist, patriarchal world.
We struggle, we fight, and we ache for our voices to be heard;
For our basic human rights, and for our dignity.

I would say shame on you, Mr. President,
But this woman has had enough.
No more shaming or slaps on the wrist.
No. I say FUCK you, Mr. President.

This woman. One voice. One cry.
One hope. One dream.

... And two words. FUCK YOU.

Musing: On Glamour Magazines

written Apr. 28, 2008

Astonishment, surprise, nausea - all feelings appropriated from a casual flip-through of a few men's and women's magazines. The garbage that is continually pushed into our minds as members of this vindictive, blind society is shocking and outrageous. But who is really at fault here? Is it the media, Hollywood, that tells all men to be muscular, bronzed, unemotional and well-endowed? Is it the world of fashion and women's magazines that communicates to adolescent girls the reasons to be as thin as possible, as intellectual as farm animals and as available to men as they would like? Or is it society as a whole where we are all to blame?

We cannot blame a specific person or group for these crimes against human integrity. From the beginning of time until the present, there has always been an equality struggle between men and women. And sometimes it seems that all hope is lost; we should just throw our hands up in the air and admit defeat as we crawl back into our uncomfortably numb gender roles.

I, for one, am not ready or willing to do that. Every flip of every page of these magazines starts a fire in my heart, an ache in my belly, and a scream in my throat. I have to force myself to breathe in and out slowly, deeply, so that I do not hyperventilate from the mixture of tension and passion within.

So, what can I do? How do I release all that is within me without exploding? I take each day as it comes; I converse with those who have their own questions. I remind myself that every encounter with someone is a chance to make a difference; to offer a new perspective. I hold onto my dreams and try my best not to be discouraged by the seemingly harmless advice I'm fed; that which leaves me malnourished and starving for something tangible and true. One day at a time, one person at a time, I'll influence positive change, healthy transformation, until I am able to leave this world with the knowledge that my life was not wasted and the world is a better place because of me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I am in awe.  I never expected singing with Amasong to be so incredible.  I was just looking for some women to harmonize with; what I got is much more.  I got music, I got harmony, I got friendship, I got support, I got love, I got happiness.... I got family.  They are my family.  What an honor to be family with a group of such incredible women!  I have learned so much from them and as glad as I am to not have to sing 15 hours in one week for a while, I am going to miss seeing their beautiful faces for the next month!  

Our concert was outstanding.  We sounded sooooo good.  We have such spirit.  It reaches out and fills the entire church with warmth and tingling sensation.  We made people laugh, we made people cry, we made people reminisce, we made people tingly.  I got chills even as I sang and I had to choke back tears twice... and on songs I wasn't expecting!  We just plain rocked it out loud and proud!  Anyone who missed it missed something incredible.  

Come to the next one.  We'll blow you away.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Musing: Redefining Reverence

written March 13, 2008

Do not let my delicate petals deceive you; my strength is deeply rooted in mother earth. She nourishes me and teaches me how to stand firm against the elements that threaten my very existence.

Do not let my vibrant colors distract you; each one appears for a reason. Each hue tells a different story about who I am and where I come from and what I want from life.

Do not let my stature misguide you; I may be small, but my determination is infinite. I am not afraid to travel the highs and lows of the earth and sky to find the answers I need to survive.

Do not let my scent overwhelm you. It is the aroma of my soul; the very essence of life and love.

Do not uproot me to keep for your viewing pleasure; I will eventually wither and die from your selfish desire and suffocation.

Admire my strength and beauty. Respect my stature. Appreciate my flora. And recognize that equality is necessary for my survival and evolution.

Energy Cleansing

I'm getting a massage from my friend, Jan Kalmar, on Saturday and I'm super excited. I've been holding so much tension in my body lately and I just need a release. I need my chakras aligned and my energy cleansed. I need my spirit renewed.

This past month and a half has held so many changes, good and bad, and although all the elements are there for my full recovery and renewal, I need just a bit of help and tenderness from the right pair of hands. It's going to be a wonderful hour of relief and meditation and prayer and cleansing. And its at the perfect time because Amasong has our first concert that evening. I'll be all ready and renewed so that I can sing the best solo ever! Woot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Heart is Full.

Never in my life have I become choked up so many times in one day.  The outpouring of kindness and sincerity and love from so many people, including some that I haven't talked to in a LONG time, is entirely overwhelming.  You are all incredible gifts in my life and I am honored to have been a part of and/or made a difference in your lives in so many ways.  Thank you for taking the time to tell me that you care.  Thank you for reminding me of who I am all the way from the inside out and back again.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Now... you must all come visit.  Period.  End of story.  

Musing: Paradise will Break Free

written Jan. 19, 2007

She stands there, naked and brazen, daring each passerby to look her straight in the eye. Her body is immaculately toned; skin tanned golden brown from the rebel sun; legs cemented to the hot, sadistic gravel with muscles that refuse to go unnoticed. Her bold, ample hips declare strength unknown to generations of a patriarchal society. Deep breaths of humid air fill her lungs, thrusting her beautiful abdomen forward and back again; tiny beads of sweat form beneath the full of her perfectly rounded breasts which rise up and down with each swell of her abdomen. Her balled fists remain firm at either side, giving way to her sculpted arms and shoulders. Her long, graceful neck merges into her surprisingly hard jaw line; full, sensual lips part ever so slightly revealing stark white teeth. Her prominent nose and cheek bones glisten from the beating sun as the wind makes her wild, wavy hair dance in protest of the roots holding it hostage. Her presence overwhelms and mystifies the very creators of her image; of her manifestation.

But her eyes are empty of emotion, vacant of thought. She is dying on the inside as no one stops to look past her surface. No one dares to look her straight in the eye. Despite the heat of the raging sun, her soul is trapped inside her frozen body. She does not know true love, only lust. She cannot feel true beauty, only dimension. She has not experienced true kindness, only expectation. No one dares to look past the physical representation of societal perfection for fear that something independent, courageous and unrestrained will be looking back.

Slowly, precariously, the ice melts bit by bit as her soul waits patiently; ready to penetrate the minds of all those who dare to look her straight in the eye; who will accept and understand her strength. And all paradise will break free at last.

Three Things

In talking with my pastor the other night he decided that he needed to give me homework.

Although I know that I am a good person and that I have much worth, these recent events have definitely taken a toll on my sense of self. He told me to ask at least 6 people to give me a list of at least 3 attributes that they recognize and admire in me. I would truly appreciate it if any of you could do that for me. I've asked a few people already, but I figured I'd put it up here as well since it reaches more of my friends and family on an entirely bigger level.


(I also posted this in facebook, so a reply on either would be much appreciated!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Riding it out

Today hasn't been nearly as hard to handle as the past few days. I didn't get sick, I've only had a slight stomachache to deal with all day, I have only felt like crying once or twice, but I didn't actually have to let it out.

A lot of this calm stems from the awesome evening I had yesterday. I talked with Keith, my pastor, and it was a good talk. I always feel better after talking to him. The Holy Spirit works very well through him and I am constantly challenged to face my questions and issues in a much more open and insightful way than I can when talking to others. The Holy Spirit knows I need it short, sweet, and to the point and that's the way I get it! One of the really interesting topics we discussed was that I seem to have a lot more of an empathic ability than I wanted to realize. I've always known that I could read people really well, but in the past month especially, I could have written down what I truly thought CJ was going to do concerning our relationship and it would have all been correct. I had a feeling he would betray my heart. I had a suspicion it was with Arianna. I had a feeling that I was going to end up living with Laura the minute I met her. I had a feeling that although I kind of wanted the OJC job more, I was going to end up at Wolfram. As much as I've been a spiritual and intuitive person, I've also been very aware that I could be a very strong empath.... and that scares me. I told Keith last night that I'm afraid that letting myself fully realize this "gift" would open me up to a lot of not-so-good things. His exact words were these:

"Are any of those things bigger than God?"
"Well, no."
"Then why are you afraid?"

And I just stopped being afraid. That was all it took. Then I laughed out loud. It just seemed so simple. Why am I letting myself be blinded by fear? It's like I've been burying my head in the sand, but I'm still aware of the wind and sand hitting my body. I just refused to look because it felt like something bigger than I could handle. But God can handle it. And I'm ready to explore that gift. I'm ready to unbury my head and shake off the sand.

The last part of my evening was spent with Mags and Anne. We went to a Asian Star Buffet for dinner (yum) and then went back to their place where we watched AFV for 2 hours. WOW. I haven't laughed that hard in a REALLY long time. It was so wonderful. Anne's laugh made me and Mags laugh even harder. It was just what I needed. I was able to strengthen my stomach muscles and I think that's why I haven't gotten sick today! Laughter certainly IS food for the soul.

Riding this wave is getting easier. I'm actually starting to enjoy the ebb and flow.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trimming the Vine

I can't make myself stop thinking about this. I can't force my heart to heal any faster. I can't tell myself I'm not allowed to be upset. I can't make the stomachache go away. I just have to ride it out. I have to trust that God is here beside me at each moment trimming away the deceased leaves from my vine so that eventually I'll be able to produce more fruit than ever before. But the trimming is incredibly painful. Even though She is careful with each leaf and each trim it still hurts and I still have to pray for peace and forgiveness and the ability to "let go and let God" over and over with each wave of pain. I still cry out in agony and reach out my hands in hope that She'll reach back in comfort. And although I know She is busy trimming my vine, I can feel Her empathetic eyes on me sending me comfort and reminding me that it will all be over soon and I'll be able to flourish once again.

I will be able to flourish again, but this time I'll be more beautiful than ever before because I'm letting God do the trimming. It's just going to take longer than I anticipated.... And I'm okay with that. I can continue breathing deeply through the pain because I trust this gardener with my whole body, heart, mind and soul. I know that She handles me with the utmost care and compassion. She's wanted to for so long, but I let everyone else handle me instead of her because they were faster or more convincing with their promises. And I'm left with a very battered vine; healthy fruit shorn and rotting on the ground around me. But eventually it will fertilize me and help me to grow healthy and strong... as long as I continue to let God do the gardening.

*This whole metaphor of trimming the vine was inspired by A Gentle Thunder by Max Lucado.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Working through the Pain

The last 20 hours have been really hard. I can't stop thinking about this whole betrayal. It even made me physically sick this morning. I am trying so hard not to let it get me so upset; I'm praying for peace of mind and heart (which comes in waves) and then I start thinking about it again and I have to pray for peace again. It's like a never ending taunt.

I went to church this morning and I was definitely ready to immerse myself in the joy that I feel there. I was practicing with the choir when I saw Mags and Anne walk in; I almost burst into tears. It was just so good to see them there and know that I could go sit by them and not feel so alone for an hour. The service today was so wonderful! The little kids did a Christmas Pageant and the really little ones were dressed as sheep. They were so cute! It really made my heart smile. It was just what I needed. And the pain is really beginning to subside.

I'm going to take the rest of the day to work on some glass, go see Laura's (my roommate) performance with Kathy and Lynn (my Champaign mommies) and make some curry for dinner. It should be a good end to these last 24 hours.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just when things are starting to fall into place...

... you step into a pile of dog shit. And it's the nastiest shit you've ever seen and the stench stays with you for hours. Possibly even days.

The trouble with the Facebook is that when you and your ex have the same friends, you see the same pictures. And I saw a picture. I saw a picture of my ex and one of his colleagues (who I thought was my friend) and they were snuggling on the couch holding hands with their fingers intertwined. Surprise! dog shit.

Now, its not that I want to be with CJ anymore; I've realized just how much I was settling and, quite honestly, I don't want to be with the kind of person that he is right now. But I thought he would have had enough decency to wait a while before getting into another relationship, even if it was just to give himself time to sort out some of the baggage in his life. I thought wrong. And the stink of it all is giving me a headache.

I also thought that this particular friend was a straight woman. That's certainly what she said to me. A straight ally; great friend, great support, nothing to worry about. I just hope that she realizes that she can no longer call herself straight. You can't call yourself straight if you are dating a transgendered person. And you can't call yourself an HONEST person if you aren't honest with your friends. My eyes are starting to water from the stench of it all.

I had my suspicions, but I didn't think it would actually happen. Straight girls that are your friends aren't supposed to get with your transgendered ex less than a month after he kicks you to the curb. This is called dishonesty. This is called unkind. This is called betrayal. This is shit. And it hurts. It hurts really f*cking bad.

Thank GOD I made friends outside of the UIUC staff because I'd be shit outta luck. Since CJ's their colleague I get the short end of the stick no matter what. At least that's what I was told. I guess it doesn't matter that this whole thing wasn't my choice and that I didn't do anything wrong; the mere fact that he's their colleague and I was just the "partner" makes me not as important.

Thank you, Mags, for making sure I was okay when I stepped in this shit. You are the kleenex to my sole. Thank you, Chandra, for hanging out with me tonight. You are the febreeze to my shitty-shoe doormat.

Seemingly Impossible Evolution

Never in my life did I think I'd become a morning person, but lately I've been waking up before 10am.... even when I can sleep in. Today I woke up before 9. What the deuce!?! I had set my alarm because I was planning on going to a yoga class at 9am, but when the alarm went off I decided that it had been a long week and I would just go workout later. So I went back to bed. I just laid there. My eyes were tired, but my body was awake telling me, "Angela, you get up at 7 every day now, sometimes earlier, so get your butt out of bed."

I'm also surprising myself with what I do during all this newly acquired free time - straighten things up. WHAT THE DEUCE!?! Right now I'm still unpacking, so straightening things up is just something that needs to happen. But what else did I do besides unpack? I cleaned off the kitchen counter, I did some laundry, I put away clothes, picked things up off the floor and I made my bed. I never make my bed! And that was after I made myself a toasted bagel with cream cheese and homemade grape jelly (from Kathy and Lynn), baked some glass pieces that were painted and hung up a bunch of things on my walls.

Holy mother, I'm evolving.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Musing: Swollen Monotony

written December 20, 2006.

Take me away from here; this place of swollen monotony.  I will take only what I need; we can leave the rest behind.  I cannot bear to go through the motions of every day and every hour any longer.  My screams beckon to be heard; to be released from the depths of my belly, shaking the earth as they rise.  When you hear them - as they pierce your ears - you will know exactly what you need to do.

Together we will run far, far away.  To another world we will go.  We will find a place without watches or clocks or calendars on walls.  Time will be measured by the sun and the moon and the seasons, not by metal cuffs that tick and beep or halogen lights and numbered pieces of paper that show a different picture of cute little animals with each passing day.

We will wake up to the sun's warmth beckoning us to enjoy the new day.  We will rise to the sights, smells, and the sounds of God's country, not "man's" country.  Life will be about new experiences and new discoveries, not about meetings and deadlines.  Every day will be different; never the same.

Take me to Africa.  Take me to Asia.  Take me to the moon.  Just please, take me away from here.  I am standing in a crowded room screaming at the top of my lungs, but no one hears me.  No one acknowledges my cries.  No one stops what they are doing to stare at the disruption in the middle of their swollen monotony.  No one but you.  Let's go now before we're caught in the drone again.  Otherwise we are as good as dead.

Its hard not to get caught up in the monotony of our lives.  We forget the beauty around us because we're too busy getting from point A to point B.  I always get re-inspired to travel when I read this musing.  I hope you do too!

Musing: The Purpose of the Journey

written November 15, 2006

I have arrived at the beginning of a whole new philosophy. I am prepared; with my eyes wide shut and my intuition leading the way. No rocks or branches shall trip me, no mountain or raging river shall barricade my journey. I will not merely be walking, I will be traveling with knowledgeable guides; each one passing me off to another when the territory stretches beyond their realm of understanding. With each step, I will learn something new; feel a new sensation. The pebbles will teach me about how dangerous the tiny obstacles in our lives can be when we don't step carefully. The heat of the sun will teach me how important warmth of body and soul is to our survival. The wind will teach me to let my hair loose and to enjoy the feeling of a cool breeze against my sun-ripened skin.

And when the night falls, the stars will teach me that even the smallest light can lead me out of the darkness. The moon will teach me that everyone and everything has a secret. I'll listen for the bone-chilling cry of the wolf, commanding my follicles to stand up straight. I'll listen to the lamentations of all the creatures that live freely in the shadows. They beckon me to give in; to allow the lure of a secret, sorrowful freedom to envelope my soul. And I will. The cold chill will crawl up my limbs and put shivers in my muscles.... but only for a moment.

I realize that too much darkness, too much mystery, will make a person lose their self. Darkness leads to mystery, mystery leads to conspiracy, conspiracy leads to silence, and silence leads to pain. A pain much greater than pebbles beneath my feet. A pain that makes the whole body ache until our fragile hearts break into a million tiny pieces. Too much darkness is dangerous to the soul. But to not experience it is to do ourselves a great disservice.

How will we ever understand the importance of the sun's warmth if we have never experienced the chill of the moon? How will we measure the open and true freedom of a cool breeze against our skin if we have never even come close to traveling outside our temperature controlled boxes?

Well, I refuse to remain comfortably stagnant inside of a box. The philosophy of my journey will teach me more about myself than I can even comprehend. So, I have arrived at the edge; my eyes wide shut and my intuition leading the way. I know I'll return one day, though not before I've traveled as far as the world will guide me. I will not return unscathed, but I WILL return stronger than ever before.

Strange how it makes so much sense all over again; how it relates so much all over again. Its just another example of how each experience and each lesson all relates back to the interconnectivity of all humanity.

Introduction to Musings Past

When I was in Rensselaer I went through a phase where I was writing all the time.  Mostly it was poetry and prose and introspectives that I call "musings".  Writing was truly a release for me, especially since I was in a place where I was constantly under stress, pressure, unnecessary academic politics, and generally, I was always frustrated.  

Since starting up the new blog today I've let a lot of people know about it so they can follow my life a bit more.  I live at least a few hours away from the family and friends I grew up with and they only get to see parts of who I am and hear about a handful of details from my life.  I want to able to share more about who I am and what's going on in my life.  

So, I'm going to post some things on this blog that I've written in the past.  Most of it was written in Rensselaer, some was written before, some after, but it all plays a part in who I am and how I've arrived at this point in my life.  Please feel free to comment.  

Hoarking: Haikus with Anne

My friend Anne taught me a new word today: Hoark. Hoark is vomit. Thus, hoarking is vomiting. In an effort to inspire her to write, I told her to give me a topic. She gave me hoark. And now.... I give you

"Hoarking: Haikus with Anne"

Don't mix the liquor
And run around in circles
Hoarking is NOT fun.

Stay away from me
My belly does not want you
Hoarking will ensue!

Arby's ham and cheese
Peppermint ice cream dessert
Colorful hoarking.

Thank you to Anne for number three. You are so very talented.

Natural Gourmet is not natural.

My friend Chandra and I had lunch together at Natural Gourmet in Champaign. The food was quite tasty. The prices were not.

I got the "woon sen salad" to start. The price was $6.99, but it sounded tasty and I was in the mood for a salad. It was definitely tasty, but the portion size was little more than a side salad. It had a nice spicy, limey dressing, bits of chicken, bean thread noodles and some peanuts all on top of a small pile of lettuce. But I'd probably price it more around $4.99.

Chandra ordered the "rice soup" with chicken for $5.99 and the "mini vegetable egg rolls" for $3.49. The soup was good! The stock was delicious and the other ingredients were chicken, rice, cilantro, dried garlic slices, green onion, and a few other things. The portion was adequate and I think that the price was fine. The egg rolls were definitely mini and the dipping sauce that came with was quite nice, but I wouldn't have priced it above $2.50. I just can't see the sense in charging twice as much for mini egg rolls that, combined, wouldn't equal more than a regular egg roll. But then again, they DO call themselves "natural GOURMET".

Since my lunch wasn't adequate, I ordered a bowl of the "noodle soup" with chicken, which was the same thing as the rice soup... only with super thin noodles instead of rice. Although my budget didn't appreciate the extra soup, my stomach did. I must say, it was difficult and awkward to eat. But then again, when is a noodle soup NOT slightly difficult to eat?

I was thirsty, so I looked around the store to find something to drink (since the lady at the cafe wouldn't give Chandra a cup of water), but found myself drawn back to the "limeade" for $1.99 in the cafe area. I'm a big lime lover, and it was one of the less expensive drinks in the store, so limeade sounded like just the thing. I thought MAYBE it would be a decent portion because it's a drink, right? No, it came in a cup about 4.5 inches high that was half full of ice. I paced myself in order to make it last, but alas, I ended up disappointed more so in my hopeful optimism that the limeade gods were looking down upon me in pleasure when I should have known better.

We took our "ticket" (a white napkin with scribbled prices) up to the register and paid for our meals. My total price came to a bit more than $16 after tax and since there was no spot to write down a tip before totaling the bill, I felt no guilt in not including one. $16 bucks for soup and salad in a natural foods grocery store? Maybe in Chicago, but in Champaign it's just plain robbery.

I'll spend the next couple days recouping from my tragic loss of income, vowing never to return to (un)Natural Gourmet and hoping that the limeade gods look down on me in a more favorable way next time.

New Beginnings

This week has been one of new beginnings. My family helped me move into my new apartment on Saturday and on Monday I started my new job as Project Coordinator for the Web Research and Development Department of Wolfram Research, Inc.

I'm amazed that I'm even at this point in my life. I moved to Champaign at the end of June with the person that I thought I was going to be with forever. We combined all our stuff, graduated to calling each other "partners", opened joint accounts, became members of a church and even got a dog together. Four months later, he didn't love me any more. I know its not my fault. I tried to make it work. I promised I wouldn't run away when things got tough and I kept my promise. But three months of an unsuccessful job search and one month of an expensive attempt at selling insurance put us in a rough spot financially. He said he grew to resent me and didn't even want to try to make it work.


And since I had established myself in Champaign and made friends and joined a church, I didn't want to leave. So I reached out for help within my McKinley and Amasong communities.... and they reached back.

So here I am, three weeks later, at the end of my first week at Wolfram, in the most incredible apartment in Champaign with a fantastic roommate, and most importantly, with a renewed faith in God and humanity. I stopped freaking out about the lack of control I had during this whole break-up and decided to trust God completely. I've always told people "Let go and let God." Hell, I even have it tattooed on my arm! But this whole experience was the first time I saw such incredible, tangible truth in those words. I unsuccessfully job searched for four months without God and within two weeks of job and apartment searching WITH God, my search was 150% successful.

Now, I don't claim to be a God-fanatic or super-Christian, and I certainly have my own stigmas and judgements pertaining to evangelical Christians, but I am undoubtedly, whole-heartedly a believer in God. And I feel a longing to be closer to Her and to live my life as a testament to Her now more than ever. Amongst all these other new beginnings, I am also beginning a journey towards becoming a spiritual progressive radical believer and lover of God.... and I couldn't be more ready.