01.31.02 >2143

Eating ice cream in fifty degree weather, listening to her sing in the car, talking over hamburgers at McDonald's, bantering back and forth with just the right amount of sarcasm - moments like those are wonderful.

I would never tell my sister (Miriam) this, but I'm glad she keeps me in line. I may be eleven months older, but I am not at all headstrong or stubborn as she is, and those are good qualities sometimes. It's when I start to stray off the beaten path that she reminds me of who I am striving for most in this life. Loved ones who speak the truth so bluntly (and powerfully) in one's life like that are worth their weight in gold.


Bloggers have to be the craziest and koo-elest people around (well, okay - they're second to whacky and/or serious writers). I say that because some of dem blogheads come up with the best titles for a site that I've ever come across. Such as : apropos of nothing, Slapdash Confabulation, The Perils of Leisure, acts of volition - this list could go on and on and on! (And most likely I'll be namin' some more in the near future.)

~ * ~

1. Have you ever had braces? Any other teeth trauma? Braces, yes, but got 'em off when I was a high school sophomore. 'Course, now my wisdom teeth are giving me probs ...

2. Ever broken any bones? Nope, thank God ...

3. Ever had stitches? Yeap - right knee, '89. Of all the luck, I had to get 'em while we were on vacation! Don't ever run down a steep hill when it's raining, 'kay? It just plain sucks to not be able to flounder around on the beach when you can't get your cast wet!

4. What are the stories behind some of your [physical] scars? There's a faint white line on my left ring finger after it got caught between the rail and wall in our high school library. The scars on my knees after skinning them so much when I was a kid, and on Tuesday I scratched my left hand pretty bad while trying to lift my computer off my desk. Not a pretty sight, to say the least.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? Trying to get my comp to cooperate, LOTS of reading to do for homework, maybe a bit of writing, and church. I plan to relax and just read my little heart out.

01.30.02 >1904

A really quick analysis of my classes : Contemporary Magazines is kool. My instructor is awesome, having run sixteen magazines himself during the past couple of decades, so combine his knowledge of the magazine industry with a great sense of humor and easygoing personality, and you've got Don Menn. The first half of the semester will be lectures and discussions, mostly, but after Spring Break the class is going to divide into groups and each will come up with a start-up plan for a magazine.

Magazine Editing is different because we focus on the editorial content that goes into maintaining a mag so that it stays afloat in this crazy economy. Ad content vs. Editorial content in a single periodical is somethin' of a twisted issue, but important nonetheless : ever noticed that there seems to be more ads than actual articles in yer favorite publication? We talk about something like this in ME.

Short Story Writing One is actually a Creative Writing workshop, and I'm kinda thrilled about it because I'll be able to get some actual feedback on some of my stuff. Woohoo! I volunteered to be one of the first to have my short stories "workshopped" two weeks from today, so this should be fun, if not enlightening.

Geography of Ethnic Communities is the only class I have Tuesday, and it's the kind of class where you examine your roots. I was kind of iffy about this 'un because it's rather strange the relationship between the words "ethnicity" and "race." The latter seems to make everyone uptight because so many controversial issues/events/problems are connected to it; "ethnicity" doesn't really do that - I tend to think of it more as a cultural heritage kind of thing, based on the country my family comes from and what sort of native trends from that country still exist in my family's traditions (in my case, there're a lot of 'em!). But when you mention a phrase like "ethnic cleansing," suddenly this word doesn't seem so innocent anymore. Well, it ain't. Race in general is something a lot of people don't like to talk about.

And finally, Economic and Foreign Policies in Post-Communist Countries! This class focuses mainly on the Balkan Region and examines the strife emanating all over the place from places like Bosnia, Serbia, etc., the results of the strife, the effects Communism left on these countries and any other relevant things that have to do with Eastern Europe.

I suppose that it'd seem kind of strange that I'm basically blabbing my schedule to people I don't know (and who, to a degree, probly don't care too much about what classes I'm taking), but school has suddenly become my life. Wanting to get out of school kind of has to do with it (in a very ambiguous way), but my classes this semester seem really interesting. I don't care so much about the dreaded thought of taking exams or writing term papers - I'm just interested in learning something new.

01.28.02 >1843

Economic and Foreign Policies in Post-Communist Countries: Eastern Europe (yes, that's the actual title of the class), Contemporary Magazines and Magazine Editing today. All very fun! Looks like my Mondays and Wednesdays will be pretty spiffy this semester. I guess Tuesdays will be, too, 'cause I only have one class tomorrow! Woohoo!

01.27.02 >2253

(Okay, the previous post sounds really sappy!)

- -

Rhe usually didn't bother to take notes during the Sunday morning sermons, but she did today. Used more than a page, matter of fact.

Boy, You are way too good at knowing when to say the right thing, aren't You?

Well, DUH, Rhe - He's God ...

Her head had nearly snapped up when the pastor had said the title of the sermon : "Picking the People You Hang Around With." Not in a judgmental or snotty kind of way, he meant - just relationships that would be encouraging to the believer. Relationships that would not disrespect the boundaries a believer set that would help him/her stay true to God. He covered everything from being married to an unbelieving spouse to platonic relationships.

Rhe pursed her lips as the pastor pointed out Proverbs 7:7-23. Switch the genders and I would've known what you were talking about last year, she thought.

"There are two ways that God looks at those times when someone walks into your life," Pastor Derek told his attentive congregation. "One, they are divine appointments; two, they impact you so negatively and have so much influence on you, that you begin to lose sense of who you are in Christ."

She sighed inwardly and stared up at the stage, but beyond the familiar figure that paced across the platform. Then she quickly blinked and turned her attention to the next Scripture passage. All across the sanctuary, the collective rustle of vellum pages turning caught her ear, but that was all. The ache in her heart pulsed loudly and occupied every corner of her attention, slowly creeping across her mind to take her fully into a past that she did not want to acknowledge - mainly to herself.

What's it going to take for me to figure out that only forgiving myself is going to break this dispirited restlessness, God? How long does it take for wounds like these to heal?


Stitch the heart back together, make a smile. With every stitch a little bit of warmth returns. With every stitch strength is renewed. With every stitch hope pushes a little more until my heart has healed and leaves nothing but a reminding scar.

01.26.02 >2158

Saw this at the library Wednesday and couldn't resist the urge to borrow it. Pick it up yourself if you get the chance!

Q (after haranguing Spock for an autograph) : Now if you don't mind, I'll hang around, just so - Well, I mean, you know, just go ahead. Why don't you just give your speech? Act like I'm not here.

Spock : That would be impossible.

Q (protesting indignantly) : I'll be quiet! I'll be good, mum's the word. All quiet on the western front, take a key and lock it up, zip the lip ...

Spock (sounding completely deadpan in usual Vulcan fashion) : In a popular phrase of the era, "Yadda, yadda, yadda."
I've always thought Q was an annoying bugger in The Next Generation series, but I s'pose that obnoxious trait of his makes his character all the more fascinating. And I know Spock's sense of humor comes out in unusual ways, but he surprised me with all the names he was calling the self-proclaimed "Grade-A superbeing." 'Course, with Q around, ya never know what's bound to happen!


Ugh. Tripod's been driving me nuts since yesterday morning!

Tina Brown is pretty and doesn't look like the Demonness of Editing, as some folks claim. From what I've read, however, she's pretty mean in the newsroom ...

01.24.02 >2116

1. What cologne or perfume do you wear? None. Body mist is better - isn't so smelly.

2. What cologne or perfume do you like best on the opposite sex? Anything that doesn't smell spicy-like.

3. What one smell can you not stomach? The one that emanates from a skunk or the sewage facilities as we drive past. ICK!

4. What smell do you like that others might consider weird? Pine-Sol or gasoline. Not that I take deep whiffs of either on purpose or anything ...

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? Grandmother's birthday dinner Saturday, moving my stuff back to my apartment, church. I guess tomorrow's my last free day to do whatever I want before school starts up again Monday.


Been having too much fun writing these past few weeks, and while I'm sorry that all good things must come to an end now that school's starting next week, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to my classes.

I know I haven't been posting much here, but I don't have too much to share right now. Most likely that'll change when school starts - fer now, though, I'm just happily dreamin'.

01.23.02 >1736

Scribbling frantically on a piece of paper in a box as the walls begin to close in on you. That's what it feels like when you write but don't want to. (Not that I don't feel like writing right now - guess that was an allegory in my head that I wanted to express. Carry on.)

01.22.02 >1912

Now here's a great example of a serious breach in professional journalism ethics: "The prime-time smearing of Sami Al-Arian."

Adnan was covering this at the end of last September and gives some pretty good commentary on the incident.