03.31.02 >2038

Some tips the next time you want to go to Fisherman's Wharf during the evening:

1. It doesn't matter how warm it was earlier in the day - bring somethin' warm to wear!

2. Do not buy the $20.00 jacket that's on sale - you'll get a better bargain if you visit one of the little shops further down the Embarcadero.

3. The Wax Museum is so fake. (Even though seeing the guy get electrocuted was rather kool, in a very morbid way.)

4. So is Ripley's Believe It or Not.

5. BART and Muni are the best ways to get around town - it beats coughing up $20.00 to pay for three hours' parking.
And an aside to you HP fans: when is Number Five coming out? And is someone gonna kick Malfoy's butt soon or do I hafta go to Hogwarts and do the job myself? (No, knocking him out wasn't good enough fer me. I swear, he's the first fictional bully I've ever met that I've wanted to turn into a flying ferret permanently. He certainly looks the part.) So many questions, not too many answers. Argh.


Happy Easter to everyone, and an early April Fool's Day to the panic-stricken student who heads back to State tomorrow morning thinking s/he has class. You don't. (Haha - as if any S.F. State people actually read this page. So I s'pose the joke would be on me if I forgot my own warning and tried to rush to the BART station tomorrow morning.)

03.28.02 >2247

I wrote this exactly a year ago from this past Tuesday, and as it seems like an ongoing conversation I'm having online with a friend of mine concerns this stuff, I thought I'd re-post it here.

I had a disturbing dream on Saturday night, and it seemed to, well, become real in front o' me. Call it a warning sign or a wake-up call of sorts.

Now before ya read any further, know that I'm a struggling born again Christian. So far I've written nothing about my faith, and I'm not sure if I will here. I know lots of folks get turned off if you start getting too preachy, and thank you, but being a preacher just ain't my calling. 'Sides, lots of Christians do live in real-time and go through the same things like everyone else. Bet we fooled ya real good though, huh?

Anyway, my dream:

My aunt (I'll call her Sele) and I were on our way to church in her family van. Our church sits close to one corner of the block, and there's a bakery on the other corner. My brother Larry and younger cousin Aaron stood on the sidewalk close to this bakery . . . and with them were two guys I didn't know. A closer look made me realize that they weren't actually human - they were demons.

Both Sele and me saw 'em, but Larry and Aaron didn't. I got out of the van and joined this lil group on the sidewalk, and Sele, much to my surprise (I'd thought she would just be dropping me off), did the same. She seemed to immediately ferget about these demons, but I sure as heck didn't, and they were all too aware of me.

And then they started to smirk. Smirks quickly changed to snickers, snickers to outright laughter. They were laughing at me.

I told ye before that I'm a struggling Christian, and that truth was maximized at that moment because I knew just why they were laughing at me. I've done some spiritual housecleaning before, and lemme tell ya, despite the power that Jesus gave us to cast out demons, tangling with 'em is not a fun experience!

It will always remain a mystery to me why God gave us this authority over demons and other beings like 'em. The Bible tells us that we should not even be afraid of them, because God did not give us a spirit of fear . . . and yet many Christians avoid spiritual warfare as if it were a plague. In so many words, we're told that we have authority to put them under our feet.

Now don't think that just because you are not a Christian does not mean you can actually try this and get away with it. An account's given in the Bible of seven young "non-believers" who tried to cast a demon out of a possessed man and ended up getting their butts kicked. So don't try it at home unless you know that God's given you this authority! This is not a game.

Anyway . . . I kind of woke up after that part of the dream came to an end. I wouldn't call it a nightmare, but I was never more aware of how much I'd "fallen from grace," as it was, until that moment. I couldn't rebuke 'em, 'couldn't tell 'em to go away, and they knew it and were taking full advantage of it.

So right at that moment, I started praying some (I was only half-awake, but I was alert enough to know what was actually happening right then). Prayer's a pretty effective weapon in spiritual warfare; so is praise and worship. I also did some major repenting during the next few minutes, too. And then I took a deep breath and told these two little imps to leave. And that wiped the smirks off their faces right away.

Jesus warned his disciples not to rejoice that they had this kind of power . . . he told them instead to be glad that their names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life. And I can see why . . . a person can get proud, knowing that they're able to kick demons' butts with no problem at all. And "pride goeth before a fall" . . .

So there ya have it. First tangle I've had with demons in, ohhh, two years. They really are a sorry bunch . . .

But they're real.

I am always reminded of the seven sons of Sceva whenever I recall this incident. I'm not too fond of it, of course (who in their right mind would be?), but I haven't seen that demon's face in my head since that night. When I do think about what happened that night, though, I shiver. Thankfully, what could have been is in the past - and what could happen isn't of much concern to me right now. Put it this way: those li'l buggers can't touch dis. (Think MC Hammer and Ghostbusters.)

03.27.02 >2201

It's never a good idea to walk into a church when you're in a bad mood. It's not nice, or fun, or even logical when you suddenly see every little comment or tease as some sort of personal insult.

That's pretty much what happened to me tonight; I think the only thing that calmed me some was the worship part of the service, and my foul mood dissipated further after hearing the message. And then I walked back into the house and my hackles immediately went up when I saw my dad scowling at me.

Grr. Stressed out parents are up there on the list of people who probably bring out the worst in me.

03.26.02 >2228

Okay, so now it's time to tackle the subject it seems like I've been putting off around here, and yet it's been lingering in my mind since this week started : the Sunday School lesson.

Complacency in any form can render a person defenseless before he even knows it's happening to him. It is, in my opinion, one of man's greatest foes beyond ignorance, hate, and pride. Spiritually speaking, these are all strongholds that can hurt a believer in ways he can't imagine until he actually realizes they're hindering him - complacency, however, is probably one of our enemy's best weapons.

That was the Sunday School lesson, basically - a warning against complacency. It's very easy to get too entrenched in your comfort zone and think that sheltering yourself from the rest of the world is the best way to go. It ain't. I'm very blessed with the friends I have and the environment God's placed me in. I was born into a middle-class American family; I could just as well have been a daughter to a tin peddler in the slums of Kabul.

I think this lesson hit the nail on the head for every person who was in the room at the time. I can certainly say that it struck a nerve for me. It seems like my walk with God has been all about that: trying to dislodge me from every comfort and every familiar thing I've known and thrusting me into a place where all I can do is depend on him to get me through a circumstance in one piece. It helps to know that my feet aren't mired in quicksand, but it's disconcerting to not be the one who has complete control.

(PostScript: It always astounds me whom - or what - God will use to bring these sorts of lessons home. In my case, this came from a "little college freshman" who goes to Azusa Pacific University in Pasadena. Little in stature, perhaps, but definitely not in heart.)


I'm drownin' in books. Next time someone knock me over the head when I want to go to the library. I've already got too many books on my "To Read" List!


I think one thing that irks me is the way people look at God in radically different ways: he is either an angry God who pours his judgment upon the world, or the loving Father who cuddles you in his lap and will give you anything you want, or he is a distant figure who only watches what's going on down here on earth and won't lift a finger to help you in dire circumstances. All very broadly-defined generalizations of his character, I know; what irks me about them is that people tend to keep each of these different aspects of him separated. He is a wrathful God, but not a loving Father. Or, he's a distant God who doesn't care, but he's not the God who judges man.

He is both the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. He is the loving Father, but as such, he also corrects his children because he loves us and wants only the best for us (Prov. 3:12). And he is definitely not an uncaring deity who just watches his creations kill each other off. His hand is still moving across the face of the earth - in his own mysterious way, he's steering us towards himself or he lets us face our own destruction. That might sound a bit too harsh, but it's the truth as I see it.



Hannah and I talked for a bit last night about several things, one being denominational differences, another being the differences between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It hadn't occurred to me 'til then that some believers felt closer to One than the other, but I guess it depends on how you look at it. More soon, when I actually feel awake. (Yeah, I got up this early just to write this ramble. I have wonderful priorities, don't I?)

03.25.02 >2045

From Urquhart's journal: Hooah. You learn something new every, er, weekend. I think my favorite definitions were

"5. that is enough of your drivel--sit down."
"6. stop sniveling."
"12. I don't know what that means, but am too embarrassed to ask for clarification."
"14. amen."
Amen? Imagine that! "Dear God, bless this food and the hands that made it. Be with us the rest of the day. In Jesus' Name, Hooah." No, I don't think I can do that just yet. Or maybe just "Hooah to that, brother!" would be a better use for it. *ahem* Carry on.


A Balkan spy scandal : an old report but nevertheless important. General Momcilo Perisic was accused of feeding information to the U.S. to use as evidence at the war crimes tribunal at the Hague, in exchange for "at least $115 million in economic aid." The EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, who originally forged a deal with the two remaining republics in Yugoslavia in order to keep Montenegro slave-circuited to the federation, "vowed that the whole western world would lean on Montenegro to shelve its dreams of independence (supported by about half the small republic’s electorate) as long as Serbia handed over some more suspected war criminals for trial." One country's independence sure doesn't seem like a big deal to the great powers who wanna nail Milosevic and his cronies. I guess that's the price you pay when yer the underdog in world politics.

In Seminaries, New Ways for a New Generation : "'I think we're going to see a whole different priesthood in this next generation,' said Deacon Burke Masters, 35, the former baseball player, who will be ordained in June in the Diocese of Joliet. 'The guys here are solid, we're talking openly about these issues, and we've been prepared well.'" (note: free registration is required to read this article)

Poland says "ease up" : "Poland's president urged Europe to mute its criticism of Washington's war on terror, telling a summit of prospective NATO members Monday that American lives were the first ones lost in the fight against 'the evil' threatening the world." I'm not sure yet why I find this amusing, but it is - perhaps it's because I've been doing so much research on them lately : of the ten NATO candidates who attended this summit, seven of them are Balkan states.

It's "Spring Clean the Internet Week" - clean out all dem outdated files on yer server!

It's a lose-lose situation either way, people - or so the author of this article says about whether or not the HP-Compaq merger goes through: "... it is easy to see who will ultimately lose: the thousands of workers who'll be downsized after a) the merger is defeated, causing the two companies to retrench and cut short-term costs, or b) Fiorina wins and the 'synergies' created by combining two companies that make essentially the same products render many jobs 'redundant' -- corporate for layoffs."

03.24.02 >2207

How the heck do you get it through to yer thick-headed brother that going 95 mph down the freeway ain't a safe thing? Apparently, the speeding ticket didn't do much except make him wary of seeing any cops around before he plays "lead foot." Argh.

- -

Several of the College & Career folks (including myself) are back in town for Spring Break. One of 'em spoke this morning in Sunday School, and oy, her message packed a punch. More as I get my thoughts sorted out - I seem to be running on fumes tonight where thought processes are concerned.


*LOL* This definitely puts a new spin on the Friday Five!

03.23.02 >1221

Weekend boredom. Or not.

(That's s'posed to be me, without the glasses.)

(link via Purgatory)

03.22.02 >1838

Did I ever mention how fun it is to tease younger sibs?

(Vic is doing a little jig in her chair to some hiphop tune, but she calms down a bit when Murm and I shoot her funny looks)

Vic (defensively): What? I'm just a ... wiggly person!

Murm: I guess that's how you knocked yer brain loose, right?
I know, we're mean. ;-) But at least we didn't say it in Dad's hearing range.


Why do some people make such a big fuss about Krispy Kremes? Sure, they beat yer average Donut Wheel sweet by several miles, and it's fun to watch the whole "this is how we make our famous doughnuts" process while you're standing in the line that's probably longer than the Bay to Breakers race—mild exaggeration here, y'all—but really ... it ain't that big of a deal.

And I think I want a Krispy Kreme doughnut now. (And guess what? Some just got delivered to our door.)

- -

1. What is your favorite time of year? The end of the year. There's just something about it that gets to me. I think it's partly relief that a new beginning is around the corner, partly excitement, partly curiousity.

2. What is it about your favorite season that, well, makes it your favorite season? I love winter most - the thought of snow is probably why I favor this season above all. And I'm a Californian girl who's usually stuck with fog, rain, wind and sun for most of the year, so that's probably why. Winter, if anything, is just the koolest.

3. What is your least favorite time of year? Why? I think this month - March - is my personal doldrum hell. There's not much to look forward to (beside Spring Break, which is next week), it doesn't feel like I'll be going anywhere anytime soon, and Time just seems to get real sluggish.

4. Do you do anything to celebrate or recognize the changing of seasons? Not really, besides noting the ending of one season and the beginning of another on my personal calendar.

5. What's your favorite thing to do outside? I'm really not an outdoorsy person, but when I get into an adventurous mood, I'd love to go camping with my family and/or friends. Even a hike up the nearest mount would be kool.

03.21.02 >2355

YAY!! I found the lyrics for "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," the song by The Animals that'd been ringing facelessly in the furthest recesses of my mind since yesterday. Aight, y'all, back ta work already! Or do I hafta crack m' whip to make ye git?

Kidding, as it's nearly midnight and I still haven't recovered from last night's insomnia sting. Or so I keep telling myself— "I'm just a soul who's intentions are good / Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood ..."

Something from a convo I had tonight with Lee seems to continue reverberating in my head, like the bouncing Ping Pong ball that can't be stopped. Know what? I think I'm going to read this book anyway, despite the gravity of the senseless slaughter that occurs between the later pages. I really need to knock myself out of this comfort zone of mine - journalists do not have comfort zones. Journalists must become experts on unknown subjects within a matter of hours or a couple days just to get the know-how on paper and out to the masses, who (I hope) will find value in this information.

Journalists make the unapproachable approachable, the unfamiliar familiar.

My lesson for the day, I guess. Or one of 'em. Sleep well, dream pleasantly (if you aren't already).


Yes, I'm still up. Did I mention that I really hate insomnia? That or my night owl wings are bein' restored to me once again. Not sure if this is an occasion to feel a burst of joy of sorts, but ... whatever. (And I have to get up early tomorrow, too. Eek.)

- -

Lyrics, lyrics, lyrics. If you haven't noticed already, there's a lyrics page attached the foremost column on the right. I'll begin posting song lyrics regularly - once I figure out what the heck I mean by "regularly."

ARGH. There's a particular song by The Animals that I'm looking for, 'cept I can't remember even the dang title. I've asked one of you about it before - know which song I'm talking about? That or I'll just check my old AS IM logs and see if the title's somewhere in there. For some reason, this song is stuck in my head, but I can't find the ole scrap of paper that has all the words on it.

And speakin' of lyrics, what is the most interesting line you've ever heard from a song? If this is too broad a question, narrow it down to music you're currently listening to. More on lyrics when I feel like I can type and understand what I'm typing at the same time. (Ha, Insomnia! Look who's kickin' butt now, huh? *promptly falls out of her chair on her way to bed*)