Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Anyone up for an adventure next year? Especially Americans?

I'm trying to help out a friend who recently finished this Project SERVE program...they need people for this year, starting in a month. I think you might have to be an American citizen to get some of the benefits, but it's worth looking into!
Do you know (or are you) a recent college graduate that doesn't currently have plans and might be interested in volunteering for a year in Baltimore, the most under-rated city in America? I highly reccommend the program, and the basic components are this:

-an 11-month commitment to serving in a Catholic Charities organization in or near Baltimore City (placements available based on interest in working with children, the homeless - either in a shelter or soup kitchen, women, minorities, the elderly, etc.)
-living in community in a house with other volunteers
-in exchange for service you receive an Americorps education award of $4,750 after completion of service, a monthly stipend to cover food and transportation and other living expenses, free housing including utilities and health care coverage paid for by Catholic Charities

It's a sweet program, so if you know anyone interested, please do suggest it to them for me, or contact Abby Maloney mailto:amaloney@cc-md.orgdirectly!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

boy oh boy

since my return from four years of school in the USA, i sometimes i have these stark "crazy! this would never happen in the states!" moments.
today i had one while listening to cbc.

the ontario attorney general was being interviewed and he said that he is lobbying the federal government to institute a complete ban on handguns throughout canada. there were 4 deaths and 8 serious injuries due to handguns in a 24 hour period in toronto alone last weekend.

and i thought, "this would never be an issue up for discussion in the states! especially not when the nra makes sure that people can still own semi-automatics."

canada, how i love thee right now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Fuck off and Die"

(Did I really just make that my title?! Well, it got your attention, didn't it...)

Last weekend I took a break from my summer course and saw two Fringe theatre festival plays. One was called Maxim & Cosmo, and it was a 90-minute one man show about gender stereotypes and language. Absolutely excellent.

The second was called Fuck off and Die, and it was also really good. It was a one-woman show in which the actress read teen angst poetry she wrote between the ages of 12 and 16 (she's 27 now). Hilarious! If you wrote any poetry during that time of life, go back to it and read it now. I bet you'll both feel those same feelings AND laugh uproariously.

Inspired by the honest expressiveness of Fuck off and Die and the cultural analysis of Maxim & Cosmo, I composed this poem. It is dedicated to the two men standing in front of a bar whom I passed on my nightly walk tonight.
(Warning: I'm no Shakespeare. This was pretty stream-of-consciousness.)

Disturbing the Peace

I hate the way you look at me
As if I am a body passing by
Solely for your viewing pleasure.
I hate the way you look at me
With your squinting weaselly eyes
Making no attempt to hide
Your vertical appraisal.
I hate the way you look at me
And I desperately want a shower
To scrub off the slimy residue
Constant remnant of your projected thoughts.
I hate the way you look at me
And I am naked and vulnerable and

Sunday, July 22, 2007

so much beauty it makes you cry*

Tonight as I got ready to go for a walk/run I had an inexplicable urge to cry.
I didn't.

Yesterday night as I watched the movie The Notebook for the first time I had an uncontrollable urge to cry.
I did.**

For some reason my walk tonight made me think of Sunday nights in Covenant hall at Dordt. People were quietly milling about, watching tv (someone was even watching tv on their porch!), walking with friends, sitting in the dark on their porches with family, kids doing cartwheels in the middle of the road (at 10pm). It felt like everything a summer night should be. Relaxed. The faint smell of a bonfire. Old men watering their lawns. Lots of those solar powered little lamps lining sidewalks. A minivan coming home from a trip with two red canoes on its roof. Couples walking along quietly murmuring to each other. The cicadas buzzing away. Thankfully, none of those darned lady beetle bugs that infested Dordt in the summer and fall. The neighbourhood had the kind of good-natured neighbourliness that exists on a campground; everyone relaxed and helpful, chatty and content.

I've purchased two cds in the past week: Rufus Wainwright (Release the Stars) and Martyn Joseph (Deep Blue). Both are excellent. I enjoy them more each time I listen to them. To me that's a sign of a very good cd.

I'm done with my two week summer class. Except for the paper. In the next two weeks I have to finish that paper and a paper for a previous course. Ikes. I want to get them both done before leaving for the wedding tour. August 4: Grand Rapids. August 10: South Holland. August 18: Minneapolis. Sweet! (I decided to just keep going west--there's no point in coming home in between!)

To celebrate the completion of the class, I got two novels from the library to read FOR FUN. I've been trying to read more Canadian fiction lately, so I started with Who Has Seen the Wind by W. O Mitchell and Larry's Party by Carol Sheilds. I'm three-fourth the way through the first book, and it's remarkable. Anyone who wants a good look into the mind of a 4 to 11 year old, especially into the thoughts he has about God, or if you just want a good story about growing up on the prairies--this is a great read.

That's all for now.

*I do believe I have Amy Blok to credit for that title, which came to me while running tonight. I really hadn't understood what it meant until tonight.
**Warning: spoiler-I held out until the part when the old Noah arranges the candlelight dinner for Allie and then she remembers him and she's all there until all of a sudden she's screaming that she doesn't know him and he sinks into the bed with tears in his eyes. That's when I lost it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

market goodness

I love the market.

I love it.

I love meeting the people who are tending and harvesting the deliciousness that I purchase.

I love fresh blueberries, grown nearby.

I love getting cheese from the people who age it, and eggs from the chicken farmers.


I don't really have anything else to say, except to recommend that you all find a farmers' market in your area, if there is one, and check it out some weekend. I know the "eat local" thing is a bit of a fad right now (at least it is in Canada), but really, this is one fad worth following.

Speaking of fads, I have been urged repeatedly by almost everyone I know to join Facebook. Well, today as I was walking back from the market I was stuck behind three women, two daughters and a mother, and the daughters looked about in their early thirties. For the entire 10 minutes that I was walking behind them, the daughters were talking about Facebook. "Oh my gosh, I invited him to be my friend last week and he hasn't responded! Do you think he rejected me??" "Did you see those pictures of so and so with her?" "I set up dad's account for him, and he still can't figure out how to use it." And the mom just walked along, looking like she felt ignored and out of the loop.

This seemed to me like a good reason to continue to postpone joining. It seems to take over people's lives! Is it worth it?

I'm pretty sure I'll give in eventually.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Those church fathers are killing me.

On Monday I started a two week summer course. An intensive two week summer course. I don't think I knew what I was getting myself into.

History of Christian Political Thought.

Augustine, Isidore of Seville, Justinian, Aquinas, Dante, Luther, Calvin, Althusius, Locke...

These are the men (allllll men) who I am reading, constantly, in every spare moment, when I'm not actually IN class from 9am-1pm. The required readings are extensive--up to 100 pages a day, and we have class every day! I don't know how everyone else is doing it. I am behind already.

I will not have a life for the next two weeks.

Monday, July 02, 2007

from the other country's capital on my country's birthday

so that's not exactly accurate, since i am indeed both an american and canadian citizen.

however, i am in washington dc. for a week. yes, i am here over the independence day holiday. hooray.

it's been a great week so far--invigorating discussions about government and public policy and how we think about such things as Christians. and that's just in the fist 24 hours!

oh, and guess who i saw today? (warning: this won't mean anything to some of you.) dr. dave!! he is the director of the middle east studies program that i went on in cairo in fall 2004. he's here for the cccu directors program. what a wonderful surprise as i walked down the stairs to breakfast this morning!!

in more exciting news, i'm an aunt for the fifth time as of this morning!! my oldest sister rebecca had a baby girl, their third child, named Colette Aria. i think it's a beautiful name. but then, i'm probably slightly biased!! no pictures yet. but i'm sure she's adorable already! :)

has anyone ever read the book "searching for God knows what" by Donald Miller (the famed "blue like jazz" guy)? i just finished it and have lots of questions. it was excellently thought-provoking.

so the radio at the coffee shop where i'm accessing the internet just started playing celine dion's "my heart will go on". eee. maybe it's time to leave.