04.19.02 >1409

The Samoan dance Vic did earlier this afternoon was pretty kool to watch, but I was cracking up between snapping pictures because a funny thing happened.

First, an explanation. She was wearing a woven mat, basically, tawny gold, which covered her upper chest and hung all the way down to right above her knees, and it was decorated on the edges with red feathers. The belt that held the thing together also had large red feathers on it, and there were more feathers in her hair. She wore a beaded headdress that had three small circular mirrors on it, armbands, and a necklace of jagged, (fake) ivory teeth. Her shoulders, arms and the upper part of her back were covered with baby's oil.

Murm came too because she had a little part in this dance as well. She explained what the dance signified (it's basically a very traditional gesture to welcome guests, but it's also performed at special ceremonies) and who did it [the high chief's daughter, the taupou (TOW-poh - TOW in this case rhymes with NOW)]. The significance of the baby oil, Murm explained, was for guests to stick money on the taupou's body as she danced; at this the whole gymnasium erupted into noise.

"You can stick it on her back, shoulders and arms," Murm said then. "But you'd better not get any other ideas or I'll kick your butt!"

Surprisingly, once Vic started dancing, people did come down to put money on her. And I don't think she put on enough of the oil, though, because the money kept falling off!


Well, today should be fun! My little sister Victoria is performing three different ethnic dances during an assembly on multicultural diversity at her high school, and I get to play camerawoman. And tonight is the opening service at Judah 2002, Shiloh Christian Fellowship's annual youth conference, so we be goin' to that, as well. I'm excited already! Woooohoo!

04.18.02 >1902

I found these couple lines of lyric to be very deep. Sarah the Poet is very stunned and yet secretly delighted - and yes, even perturbed - by juicy tidbits of prose in whatever form they may appear. Oh, for goodness' sake, just read it.

"You could slit my throat and with my one last gasping breath
I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt."
That sounds like something I'd say - no, write - if I were back in high school.

from "You're So Last Summer,"
Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends
(courtesy of Rich - rock on!)


I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone (a far better model than my old one). On one hand, it's palm-sized and is small enough to stay out of the way when I want it to; on the other hand, it can be really irritating to tote around, and sometimes I depend on it a little too much. When I'm on the shuttle or the train, I start squirmin' when someone else's phone rings because suddenly everyone within a proximity of 10 - 15 feet can hear that person's conversation as if it were nobody's business. How annoying is that? The extreme of my hate for this little communications device would be to drop it out of the window of my apartment - which happens to be on the fifth floor. The extreme of my devotion to it would be to panic and hope I have it on me if I got stuck in an elevator. Ahhh, personal technology.

04.17.02 >2322

I guess caffeine doesn't rule me after all. That or it takes bigger doses to keep me up. Need more Coke ... where's my Coke?


One of my classmates in the writing workshop is an ordained minister. I've always wondered whether he was a pastor, and if so, what sort of church he pastored, etc. etc. Today I found out that he didn't belong to a particular church - he had a minister's license and the title "Reverend," but the license mainly gives him the power to officiate at weddings and funerals. I don't want to say anything further than that on the grounds that it will probably be judgmental, but now that brings up a whole lot more questions. And yes, I understand that practically anyone can hold the title "Reverend" now (I've heard of courses one can take just to get a license for the sort of thing the Rev. in my class does), but I find this to be very disturbing.

04.16.02 >2257

I get a kick out of how most people pronounce "Samoa." It's not Suh-MOH-uh, it's SAH-mo-uh. Another trivial bit of information churned out of a sleepy mind. Okay, time for bed.


The Dutch Government Falls Over Srebrenica Massacre: "Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok's government resigned on Tuesday to take responsibility for its shortcomings during a catastrophic peacekeeping mission that failed to prevent the worst massacre of the Bosnian war in 1995." The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation report that came out a few days ago blasted the politicians and military for sending Dutch peacekeepers on "a virtually impossible and ill-conceived mission."

04.15.02 >2213

The Bible calls it the refiner's fire. Until recently, I've never thought of it as anything else, but now I've got a new name for it: the Wringer. Gotta love it, but gotta hate it, too, because it hurts so much.

Sometimes learning a single lesson is easy; at other times, it's hard. When it's hard, I feel like I'm deliberately slipping on a trail of banana peels strewn all over a road. I feel pain with every fall, the pain recedes, I pick myself up and continue on, come to the next banana peel and repeat the process. It never ends. Sometimes, the lesson isn't learned at all.

The Wringer makes me feel more like I'm a cracked little pot that's constantly thrust into a kiln to burn away all the imperfections. The cracks are sealed. The blemishes fade. I don't mind. I asked him to change me. I wanted it. Sometimes though, the tears, the heat and the pruning can be pretty overwhelming.


A senior executive of Nokia (the cell phone maker) was fined $103,000 for speeding in Finland. The amount of the fine is "based not just on the severity of the offense, but on the offender's income."

The article makes no mention of whether the traffic violation would remain on the offender's driving records unless they chose to go through traffic school or something (do they even have traffic school over there?), or maybe they think the income-based fine is good enough for punishment. Still ... can you say ridiculous?


A kids' audio drama episode has made me want to read Job now. I've never really gotten into this book because I considered it to be very boring - and long. I used to read just the beginning and end, so on this run I'll do the same thing and I'll actually read the middle, too. Chapter 38 is awesome.

04.14.02 >2152

Some things I can express in poetry, other things I talk about in blog or journal entries. And then there are things that can never be spoken of at all.

- -

Today my pastor spoke on humility and being a spiritual parent - two areas I struggle with more often 'n I'm willing to admit. The former because sometimes I put myself down more than I should (which is false humility, in my opinion - there's a diff between being humble and having low self-esteem) or I have too much pride to admit that I'm wrong at something, the latter because I can't see myself discipling a new believer. I'm too busy, I've got too many problems to be considered a spiritual parent to someone else, there's no way you can ever find me taking on a responsibility like that. Etc. etc. The usual excuses to not get involved and stay a lone ranger where Kingdom business is concerned.

However, it's becoming painfully clear to me that I'm holding back when I shouldn't be when it comes to mentoring someone. I'm holding back because I think I'm too quiet and awkward to help someone else grow in their relationship with God. Because I fret that I'll come off as a know-it-all when the experiences I've had will really help me relate to a new believer who might be struggling in the same area I've had to tackle before. Because I have too much pride in who I am spiritually to make a difference in another believer's life.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I'm glad I wasn't born a perfectionist - I doubt I'd have any friends right now. This post might seem a bit self-effacing, but it's something I don't like talking about because then I'm not sure if I'm just trying trying to show how humble I am. Now doesn't sound that funny: being proud of how humble one can be. There've been times where I've been asked to give a "word of encouragement" in front of a group of people - and it turns into a "time-for-God-to-humble-Sarah" thing. So call this post another one of those rare occasions where the real Sarah is peeking a bit warily at her blog audience, wondering what the heck they'll think of this personal confession. I could've posted this in a more private journal, but sometimes CS can be more accessible than the journal thing. That and I needed somewhere to just ramble for a bit. Now here's hoping this lesson will stick, period - otherwise, it was just a little something that went in one ear and out the other. Yeah, I'm sure God would appreciate that a lot.

04.13.02 >2211

This is what I get for having too much stuff in my head - I start thinking randomly: Romania, apprentices, the Book of Job, worship, Shiloh, poetry, confusion and even despair. Help!

04.12.02 >2204

From Jason, a newfound friend and fellow blogger: the Human Clock. A pretty neat site, but c'mon, guys, stop bein' a purist about Time already. Time ain't got no friends 'cause he can't make up his freakin' mind about going fast or slow.

Oh, and watch out for TV Turnoff Week, April 22 - 28. As I've given up watching TV, I guess this wouldn't pertain to me. So maybe I shouldn't have blogged about it? Ach, what the heck - prepare to unglue your thumbs from those remote controls, you couch potatos!


How Two Lives Met in Death

I feel really sorry for Powell - the whole world's watching and waiting for Uncle Sam's man to pull off a miracle to stop the killings in Israel, but I don't think it can be done via treaties and shaking hands and political jargon. Granted, what occurs in the political realm of this conflict will steer things this way (an undeclared war on the wrong group of people - the civilians who keep getting caught between the hardliners and Israel's troops) or that (a cease-fire, at least). But do you think those Islamic fundamentalists give a flip about what Arafat says? For all they know, he's a sitting duck who's not doing a thing to stop the Israeli's tanks from rolling through their towns and killings kids just because it looks like one of 'em was about to throw a rock at a soldier.

On the other hand, I don't think the way of the suicide bomb will accomplish much, to tell you the truth. Israel's heavy-handed military retaliation is coming about because of the numerous suicide bombings, all of them nice little packages sent by Islamic hardliner groups. And it's rather hard to root these simple-minded people out when 80% percent of the Palestinian population supports such actions. As in the case of Ayat al-Akhras, I think it's chilling to think that just about any Palestinian can be approached by a group like the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade (the only fundamentalist group recruiting women as suicide bombers) to make their point. Dying that way will not bring results for either side.


I am having way too much fun with the blender. You try out this smoothie recipe and lemme know if it was a bad idea to start throwing fruit and ice around. If you don't have a blender, you really oughtta think about purchasing one. Just a suggestion, of course. *grin*

1 ripe banana, unpeeled and cut into thirds (at least)
1 orange, unpeeled and sliced
7 medium-sized strawberries, washed
2 cups V8 Splash (any flavor)
1/4 cup sugar
12 ice cubes
Put each of these ingredients in the blender and mix well. Serve immediately. Enjoy.


1. What is your favorite restaurant and why? Chevy's right now, probably, or Red Robin's - my youth group eats out a lot, so we hop around town trying to find another new joint to check out.

2. What fast food restaurant are you partial to? In N Out, McDonalds, Carl's Jr.

3. What are your standards and rules for tipping? $1.50 for every $10.00 we spend on the meal - sometimes $2. Usually I feel really sorry for our servers (for no explicable reason - maybe it's 'cause we're such a large group and they have to put up with us), so I don't mind leaving generous tips for them.

4. Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert? If I'm not too hungry, I'd order the appetizer as my meal. Usually no dessert, unless we're going to Baker's Square or somethin'.

5. What do you usually order to drink at a restaurant? Coke or lemonade - sometimes I'd just stick with water. Depends on my mood.