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Showing posts from February, 2012

Life on my own #23: Changes

There’s a song about changes, I know. I just can’t pull the lyrics out of my muddled subconscious. Or maybe it’s just one of those things that there should be an ultimate song about, but I haven’t heard exactly what I’m looking for yet.Change is a little scary. It’s like every kid knows—you undergo some change, it’s like starting all over from square one. Or falling down the chute in Chutes and Ladders and landing behind all your game opponents. I didn’t play that game much, but I wrote a scholarly essay related to it for a lit class one time. It’s much easier to do the same old thing you’ve been doing for weeks or months or years than to change it.Take jobs, for instance. It’s scary now to think of switching jobs, especially when the one you’ve got is pretty decent and not particularly unstable (at least not in the immediate future). So when is it worth it?Apparently, it’s worth it when I get to move from one Midwest town to another that’s nearer my cousins, possessed of a daily news…

Compendium of Links #25

I’ve been in the middle of some exciting developments about which I’ll write a blog post… tomorrow. Hopefully. But in the meantime, here are a few of the links I found interesting this week:Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker, or why certain songs invariably make people tear up. A Wall Street Journal article that Challies put me on to.You think you have a budget problem? You’re one of few people, maybe the only one, that’s having to make the money choices. Imagine having thousands of lobbyists bugging you about your budget. And having to deal with a penny that’s technically worth more than twice what it trades for. Via Challies. (Actually I think I got most of the links this week from Challies… must remedy that next time!)Now from Challies himself: A podcast on introversion, with transcript. Being my visual self, I haven’t listened to the podcast, preferring instead to read his thoughts.In the end I see introversion as simply a descriptor, something that states the reality that at heart, in my n…

Life on my own #22: Road tripping

Two weekends ago I experienced a strange, almost extraterrestrial circumstance. A hundred bright red eyes kept blinking at me, in unison, as I took a highway off-ramp.Blink. Blink. Blink. At exact intervals, for equal amounts of time, the sky lit up with the gaze of a hundred stationary Cyclops.I mean, windmills. Or whatever they call those monuments to Energy 2.0.The highway off-ramp was a byproduct of an impromptu visit I made to my cousins in Indiana. These are the same cousins to whom I’ve only grown closer as we’ve matured into adulthood, and some of the few people on earth I’m completely comfortable around. So even though they live almost four hours away (by car), it’s worth the eight-hour round trip to see them more than the minimum four times a year. And now that most of us are of driving age, we can exercise our free will to make that happen. Three cheers for Wesleyan Arminianism!Partly because the visit was relatively unpremeditated, I could not take either of my siblings, o…

When you don’t feel love toward God

There’s no way I could say this better myself, so for this blog post, I present you with a lengthy quote from one of my favorite devotional writers, A. W. Tozer:“One of the puzzling questions likely to turn up sooner or later to vex the seeking Christian is how he can fulfill the scriptural command to love God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself.The earnest Christian, as he meditates on his sacred obligation to love God and mankind, may experience a sense of frustration gendered by the knowledge that he just cannot seem to work up any emotional thrill over his Lord or his brothers. He wants to, but he cannot. The delightful wells of feeling simply will not flow.Many honest persons have become discouraged by the absence of religious emotion and concluded that they are not really Christian after all.… They do believe in God; they do indeed trust Christ as their Savior, but the love they hoped to feel consistently eludes them. What is the trouble?The problem is not a light one…

Life on my own #21: Cleaning

Cleaning is fun, if you don’t have to do it.That’s my theory for why little girls actually enjoy playing with plastic vacuum cleaners. They go “vroooooooom,” imitating their big brothers, only they’re using a pretend suction cleaning tool, not a Tonka truck. And they do so while wearing some cute little apron their grandmother gave them. If only their zeal for cleaning were paired with capability.About once every other week, I decide there’s too much hair hanging around my bathroom sink and it’s time to clean. (The peanut butter smudges on the kitchen counter can also trigger a cleaning spree.) I even have an apron if I decide I don’t want to change clothes beforehand. It has brightly-colored cartoon flowers on it. Yes, it’s cute as far as aprons go, but no, my grandmother did not give it to me.So I pull out various all-purpose cleaners and attack what grime and dirt I can find. Of course, most of the all-purpose cleaners contain some bleach in them… so I have to open a window about a…

Life on my own #20: Patterns

Patterns are worse to fold back up than maps are. “Don’t fold the maps. Roll the maps,” I hear one of the sidekicks in the movie Twister sighing. And I picture him standing with a thin pattern-paper hanging from his upraised hand, a puzzled look on his face. I’d like to see him try to roll up a pattern.Mind you, these aren’t tool and die patterns I’m talking about here. I don’t even know what those look like, or if they are flexible. For all I know they’re half-inch-thick steel or something. Anyway, the kind I’m talking about is the so-thin-you-can-almost-see-through-it kind that tells you where to put the seams and the darts. They have numbers, too, and a lot of other information printed on them that I may or may not pay attention to.Last weekend, I decided on a whim to sew one of the patterns I recently bought. Sewing is one of the few entertainment options open to this small-town girl—right up there along with reading, watching a movie, and taking a hike at the nature preserve. All…

Life on my own #19: Pets

I got a pet back in November. It was very small. Actually, it adopted me. And it wasn’t a cat.Let me start over. I don’t have a cat because I’m not allowed to, in this little apartment that I rent. Poor me—my family has had pet cats ever since I was, like, six, and we had dogs before then. I thought about getting a small dog instead, to keep me company—somehow dogs do not present the same problem to the landlords that cats do. But I couldn’t in good conscience get a dog because I’m not around nearly enough to cuddle with such a people-loving animal. A cat wouldn’t care.My dilemma was solved one November night as I sat typing away at my novel-in-a-month. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap, I heard… and it wasn’t me! For once I hadn’t started clicking my toes against the floor or snapping my pen onto whatever noisy surface was at hand. The tapping came from the ceiling.It sounded too close to be the tenant upstairs, so I glanced up, and seeing nothing I returned to my work.At first I figured the t…