Friday, December 14, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
This year, I intended to get back into it. I had plans to go to Homecoming, but it turned out to be the only weekend in a 6 or 8 week time span that I could spend at home, and I really needed to not go anywhere, so I didn't. Now, I'm wishing I had.
The UMHB football team made it to the playoffs again. And we've been doing GREAT!! The quarterfinals were today, and we won! This means that there's only one more game before the Stagg Bowl. We've made it to the Stagg Bowl once before (and lost). I think it's safe to go ahead and start planning a super Stagg Bowl party for the 15th.
I really love for UMHB to win games, but honestly, 85% of wanting them to make it to the bowl game is just so that we can have a party. :)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I just heard "Where Are You Christmas?" Ugh. It's like the Christmas equivalent to "Where Is Love" from Oliver. It grates on my nerves and then gets stuck in my head. Songs like this should be banned.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It was Rodgers' first major holiday to spend with my family - a very momentous occasion. He and Dad made the green bean casserole together. (I made truffles. They're delicious.)
Yesterday, we had fajitas with all the Atkinsons. The crazy ones did the Black Friday shopping, but those of us who are a little more sensible stayed home. We did, however, check out a new chocolate shop in Bastrop, which has truffles and bonbons made of Belgian chocolate. The strangest sounding one is the Lime Tequila Jalepeno truffle - surprisingly good. But my favorites were the Kahlua and the Espresso Rum.
We were too distracted by turkey to do nice group pictures Thursday, but here's some from yesterday:
me and Mom sitting on Claire's lap
all the cousins: Matt, DJ, Denis, Reagan, me, Claire, and Ashleigh
me, Matt, and Claire
This morning, Dad came in the living room, carrying our old Creepy Crawlers box, as if it was the Holy Grail. It still works, but the goopy stuff you use to make the bugs with was mostly dried out. So, he took us to Toys R Us this afternoon! Then, we had barbecue, and went to my favorite resale shop, Savers. I've been looking for boots for a long time. But I have no calves, so boots don't fit my legs right. I had finally decided to just get ankle boots. Then today at Savers, there was a pair of mules that kind of have a western design on them. Didn't look that great, but I tried them on, thinking that they would at least give the same look as boots if I wore them with jeans. They looked AWESOME!! Only problem is they were too small, and, being a resale shop, there was only one pair in the store. So my new mission is to find a pair of affordable western inspired mules in a 7 1/2.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
There are two main clusters of historic sites in Independence. The first cluster we toured is centered around Baylor Female College on Academy Hill. There stands the ruins of the kitchen/dining hall of Baylor Female College and 4 columns and an archway which were the entrance to the main building. There are also some "early Texas homes" which are log cabin type houses. Sam Houston's birthplace is there, along with the site of his old house (of which only the spring house is standing).
We got into the car to go to the second cluster, and it felt like there was something in the seat, so I got up and looked, but nothing was actually there. So I figured I either had something in my back pocket or I was going crazy. I thought nothing of it.
The second cluster includes Independence Baptist Church, Texas Baptist History Museum (or something like that, we didn't go into it, I don't know if it was open), Mrs. Sam Houston's house, old town square, more historic homes, and Baylor College on Windmill Hill, where the boys went to school. There is a nice park on Windmill Hill. A walking path, picnic tables, historic things, Judge Baylor's original grave site (as we know, his remains are now on the UMHB campus), crabapples, a write up of the history of Baylor University (pro-Ecclesia, pro-Texana).
As we were getting into the car to return to Brenham, I felt the same thing as before, but 5 times more strongly. I reached back to feel under me, and put my hand into a 6 inch gaping hole in the butt of my jeans. I guess it had ripped a little the first time and ripped completely then. I was wearing a poncho which covers my butt a little, so it wouldn't have been noticeable. But with a 6 inch gash, my whole butt was showing. Rodgers said I'd be ok because a girl in one of his classes always wears jeans that are ripped at the butt. I don't really think that's my style, though.
Friday, October 19, 2007
What's up with flowed, showed, glowed... It sounds weird to me. Alternatively, it could be flew, shew, and glew. But that really wouldn't work. Flew is the past tense of fly; shoe is what you wear on your feet; and glue is what you make out of old horses.
I start work on Monday. Then I won't have so much time to think about words. But, I also won't be writing in my blog much.
I just thought "Hypothetically I won't be writing in my blog much anymore." Because I might write sometime. I can no longer think of the word "hypothetical" without thinking of the "hypothetical dog." I know at least one of you should remember that...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I came across a list yesterday of the clichés that I hate the most. It includes things like:
- Breakfast of champions
- Houston, we have a problem
- We've got company (in the sense that the bad guys have shown up, not the sense that you're having friends over for dinner)
- What can I do you for? (it may have seemed original when everyone was saying "what can I do for you?" and someone switched it around in a surprising way, but not anymore)
Anyway, that's not really the point of what I'm writing about today.
There is one cliché which wasn't on the list, though it annoys me, but I have found that it has some redeeming value. That is "the early bird gets the worm." I have said many times before how much I dislike mornings. Some days it is outright hatred of mornings, but most of the time, just moderate dislike. People who do like mornings will pull this one on me, trying to prove their point that, whether or not I like the morning, I should go ahead and make the most of it. But, when people tell me that now, I have taken to asking them "But what if you're the worm?" Now, I realize I'm not the first person to say this, and actually it could be considered a cliché, too. But, the response from people who've never heard that before makes it all worthwhile. The response ranges from the slight chuckle and "oh, clever" to [my personal favorite] the confused look of horror when someone realizes that he's thought of himself as the "early bird" all his life only to discover now that he might actually be the worm. Something about giving people that sense of doom makes me feel...empowered. I understand now why evil geniuses do what they do.
Monday, October 1, 2007
The first class I came up with was fake words. There are certain words that don't sound like they should actually be real words. They are in common usage and in the dictionary. I know they are words, but they sound like they shouldn't be. So I call them fake words. Examples of fake words: platoon, doily, dandruff. The more you say them, the more fake they sound.
There are also words which I just don't like the sound of. These are words that are real enough, but the sound of them makes me cringe. I erase them from memory because to remember these words would empower them. But, for the sake of example, a certain friend of mine can't stand the sound of the word refurbish.
A few weeks ago, I established a new class. I haven't come up with a good description of these words. And actually, at the moment there is only one word in this class. I was listening to Christian radio - Adventures in Odyssey. This guy was talking about how God "guided" him. "Guided" sounds wrong to me. Guide rhymes with slide. The past tense of slide isn't "slided." It's "slid." So, I believe that in a perfect world the past tense of guide would be "guid."
Thursday, September 27, 2007
As I was experimenting more with this site, I found a skin tone that is much closer to mine. And some hair that I like better. :)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Right now, I'm watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The Nautilus, from 20,000 Leagues, plays a big role in The League. The Nautilus is freaking awesome! As soon as I saw it on the screen, I thought, that is the name of my truck. Now, my truck isn't as awesome as The Nautilus, but she believes in her heart that she can be as awesome as The Nautilus.
In petitioning for names for the truck, the best suggestion I got was "Nancy". I'm reluctant to name my truck after the name we generally reserve for girly boys. However, I'm a big fan of alliteration. Is is an accident that Nancy and Nautilus both begin with N? I think not.
So my truck will henceforth be known as Nancy the Nautilus, or simply The Nautilus.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So, not doing anything out of the ordinary, I suddenly had this weird feeling. It felt like my bed was rocking back and forth. And I thought, 'Ah, it must be windy today.'
That might not sound logical to you. But, when I was living on a ship, if it was windy outside, it would rock the ship a bit, and my bed would move. So it was a logical deduction.
The weird thing is - why was my bed rocking? I'm in an apartment now, not a ship. I'm even on the first floor. My bed sits on a concrete foundation. Wind and waves should not affect me anymore.
Maybe I don't actually have my land legs - or whatever would apply to feeling like a bed is rocking when you're sitting on it - back yet.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
check me out. I'm playing it cool. I'm like, yeah, I'm at a baseball game, so what?
What do you mean "so what?!" Baseball's awesome! So many things make baseball games wonderful. I mean, there's the hot dogs and Dr. Pepper, the national anthem (after which everyone screams "PLAY BALL!!!"), movie/song clips played at various times, and drunk people.
Plus, there's other great stuff to eat. mmmmmm...funnel cake...
Hey, look - Matt got nachos...
deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious! Mom's trying to eat my hair I think.
And of course, singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during 7th inning stretch. Our team was winning by so much at that point, we decided to just call it a night. It had been as long as 9 innings...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
But then, I found out about some people who were going to spend this year in China and had a vehicle that they wanted to come back to. They wouldn't be driving it for a year. I needed something to drive for a year. A match made in Heaven!
It's a Toyota Tacoma. I never drove a pick up before. Of course, after I bought Penny (my old Saturn sedan), they had to do some work on her at the dealership, and let me drive a Trailblazer for 2 weeks. I'd never driven one of them before either. I nearly cried when I traded the Trailblazer back for Penny. I didn't have a name for the Trailblazer. I thought it would be Studmagnet, but even with that the boys still didn't come-a-runnin. I think I probably look pretty hot in the Tacoma though. Eventually, I'll get someone to take a picture of me in it.
I found a picture of one online that is pretty close to the one I'm driving. (I feel weird calling it "mine" because I don't own it.) So, here it is: the silver Toyota Tacoma, single cab. I'm sure the one I have isn't exactly like this one. Without having it in front of me to look at, I can't really tell what the differences are though. Besides the fact that the one in the picture doesn't have a bed cover and mine does. And my apartment (which I can call mine since I am paying for it) isn't pink, yellow, and blue, and doesn't have palm trees. My apartment is earth colors. The bottom part of the walls are rock. It's called The Canyons, so they make the building look not really like canyons but they would match or at least coordinate with the way a canyon would look.
I need a name for this truck. Not this one in the picture. This one that's sitting out in the parking lot by my building. Any suggestions?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Before we could clean it out, we had to catch all the fish. It took all three of us (Mom, Dad, and I) to catch the fish and put them in a smaller pool so we could empty the pond and clean it. I got to touch almost all of the fish. I like touching fish. They feel cool.
The part I'm trying to forget about is the slime. First, we would be trying to scoop out fish and scoop out slime instead. Sometimes we would actually scoop the fish up, but we couldn't tell at first because there was so much slime in the net. Then we started cleaning the slime out of the pond - Dad would suck it into the shop vac or shovel it into a bucket and Mom and I would haul it to dump it in different corners of the yard, of course getting plenty of slime on ourselves. We weren't as bad as Dad, though, he was actually standing in it.
I couldn't wait to take a shower. Now, I feel good. I feel great. I feel clean and slime-free!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
It's not all mine. I share the apartment with 2 other girls and one puppy! Yea!! I love puppies! So, here's some pictures:
my bedroom, with a great closet
the kitchen, where I can cook stuff
and the puppy!! ooh, theres' my leg, too
So lately I've been trying to get my old domestic skills back. I've cooked some meals, run the dishwasher, and did laundry. All I haven't done yet is grocery shopping. I didn't like that before I left the real world, now...it's scary.
Also, there was a wedding a week ago. Here's a few pictures from that:
Claire, Matt, and the attendants
me and my bouquet of bluebonnets :D
at the rehearsal - my happiest moment... (yeah, I'm wearing a kimono - that's a Japanese dress/robe, not a sword.)
Friday, August 10, 2007
I am FINALLY home!! I loooved my adventure and sailing the seas and all that, but it is sooooo gooooood to be home. Ah...
So many great things about being home. Food I was missing, dairy products, good water to wash my hair in (my hair was so icky on the ship it was like millions of tiny daggers, now it's soft, bouncy, shiny), my hair straightener, good sleep at night, and of course seeing all those people I love. That's not to say that I didn't love people on the ship. There are sooo many people from Doulos that I miss A LOT. A lot of them I'll probably never see again. It's very sad. Buuuut...not so sad that I regret coming home. I'm so glad to be home. Have I said that yet?
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I am in South Korea for now. Have been here for some number of week. I don't really remember. They all blur together. Not that Korea is boring. It's just hard to have a sense of the passage of time on the ship. I'm sure you've all experienced something similar.
I have a story to tell, but those involved in this event were quite embarrassed, so I will change their names...
One good friend of mine is from South Korea. I met him when we were both working at Camp Tejas, the summer of 2004. We'll call him Uykni. Since I am now in South Korea, I emailed him so that we could meet up one day and see each other again. Last Tuesday was a national holiday, so he came to the city the ship is now in, bringing with him his two friends, Nosaj (man) and H.Y. (lady).
They took me to all kinds of famous places in this city. They had never been to most of these places themselves, but found them on the internet. The most remarkable part of the day was lunch, which Nosaj insisted that I forget about, but which I intend to remember for the rest of my life. It wasn't what they were expecting, and they were embarrassed to have taken me to this place. That's mostly why I find it so amusing...
There is a very famous fish market in Busan. We walked through it and saw all kinds of sea food, most of which was alive. H.Y. often would ask me what the English name for different things were, but usually it was things I'd never seen before. Different ladies kept trying to get us to go into their shops for lunch. It was all in Korean, so I'm not really sure why, but we refused to go into several of the shops. But finally, one was deemed good enough.
Nosaj negotiated for our lunch, so we could have a better price. He also ordered. Once the waitress was gone, he told me that we were having eel. It was fine with me.
It took a long time to bring the eel out, though, which was odd. They bring it out and put it on a burner on the table, so it cooks in front of you. It shouldn't take very long to bring it out if they don't cook it first. Once she brought it, we realized what had taken so long.
She put the burner down and turned it on. Then she put the pan of eel on it. There were onions, some kind of bean, and pieces of eel, which were twitching. She had just killed, skinned, and chopped up the eel. She served us everything but the head.
It took forever for it to stop moving. H.Y. didn't think she'd be able to eat it. Nosaj begged me not to look at it. Uykni kept stirring it up, which agitated the already twitching eel pieces. I laughed, which may have made it even more embarrassing for them, but I couldn't help it. I told them it was my adventure.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Andy, Cat, Daniel, and I were hanging out last night. Andy had brought some cake along with him. It was yummy chocolately goodness. In an effort to retain our vocabularies (something that's close to impossible on board, thus the need for practice), we were describing the way Andy was eating his piece of cake. Cat said that he was eating it "fluidly" or "with fluidity" or something like that. Daniel pointed out that the cake is actually a solid, not a liquid, and therefore fluidly is an inappropriate description for it. So she defended herself by saying that, as Andy was chewing, the cake was mixing with his saliva and becoming liquid. Andy was thoroughly disgusted by this, and said "Ugh! I'm eating my own saliva!" After the first round of laughter, Cat said that he was practically kissing himself (when she drinks after someone, she always says, "We're practically kissing!"). Andy was even more repulsed by himself then, saying, "That's even worse!"
Now every time we eat or drink, we face the fear of swallowing our own saliva. But it's a risk we are willing to take.
We are pretty sure that Andy himself didn't understand why we thought it was funny that he was disgusted with the fact that he was eating his own saliva. And that makes it even more enjoyable. :D
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This is the central sculpture of the Peace Park. He’s 10 meters high, which I think is like 33 feet. Everything about him is symbolic, and I have a picture of the sign describing all the symbolism, but I don’t feel like typing it all out right now or finding that picture to put on here. You can google it.
This is me and my beautiful roomie by the peace fountain. The water shoots out in the shape of a dove, but you have to be above it to tell.
You’ve probably heard of origami, and probably made something in origami at some time or another. The most classic, traditional origami figure in Japan is the crane. All the colorful streamers in this picture are made from stringing together hundreds of origami cranes. They are a symbol for peace. There are many symbols for peace in Japan.
Most parts of the A-bomb Museum, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but there was a row of paintings in the hallway that we were allowed to take pictures of. Here is one. I wanted to buy some postcards of the museum. I thought I could get a multipack that had pictures of the museum itself, some different exhibits, maybe one of the mushroom cloud. But the postcards were all very gruesome. I’m pretty sure one of them was of this painting. In the end, I just didn’t think I’d want to send people postcards with pictures of people burning alive and things like that, so I didn’t get any. (Just in case it isn’t clear, the white part in the mushroom cloud is just the camera flash, not part of the painting.)
At the martyr shrine, Kris, Cat, and I were so proud to be the first of our group to see the chapel. Most people didn’t even realize it was part of the shrine till they saw us standing where we are in this picture. They all called up to us asking how to get up there. We told them it was a secret and magic. Eventually some of them made it up there, though.
A beautiful rose ice cream cone. It only costs 100 yen, that’s like 80 cents! Totally worth it. Delicious, cheap, and beautiful, what more could you ask for?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The day started early-meeting on the quayside to load buses at 6:45 am. Nagasaki's only around 60 miles away, or something like that, but it took more than 2 hours to get there. Seems like we stopped every 20 minutes.
First, we went to the Peace Park. It is built on the ruins of a prison, the closest public building to the hypocenter of the bomb. All that remains from the prison are the bottom few inches of the walls. There is one main statue symbolizing the threat of nuclear weapons and the need and efforts for world peace. Many countries have donated statues and sculptures for the park. There is one from St. Paul, MN, a sister city to Nagasaki.
Then we went to the main attraction, the A-bomb Museum. There was a lot about the effects of the bomb-physically what would happen to people. They described effects of the heat, effects of radiation. They had some rubble recovered from the city after the bomb: glass bottles melted together, coins melted together, metal stairways twisted up, clothes stained by blood. The initial flash of the bomb bleached things, and left images where other objects blocked the light. There was one picture of a wall with the shadow of a person and a ladder burned into it by the flash. There was one melted glass bottle that had a human hand bone fused into it. The museum focused a lot on the children (both the survivors and those killed by the bomb). There were pictures of small charred corpses. There was also one part that focused on steps taken worldwide to prevent nuclear warfare in the future. Nowhere in the entire museum did they mention any reason for the bombing. It was just "this is what happened." There was no why. It could give someone the impression that the maniacal Americans just dropped the bomb to kill children (and monks, I remember something about monks). One wall had a timeline of events leading up to the bombing. They mention dates that it was decided to develop it and the allies deciding to use it. But even there it doesn't mention that anything was done by Japan to provoke this. It also doesn't say, "We didn't do anything that would make them want to bomb us." But that's to be expected. I expected it at least. They can't get away with saying that it was done for no reason, but they prefer to forget the bad guys of that period in their past. We learned that a lot of countries don't require grade school kids to study history. I tend to not retain most things I've learned in history class, but even I know something about what happened back then and why, and many people of other nationalities that went with us to the museum yesterday don't.
After that, we went to a shrine built in memory of 26 Christians who were martyred at some point in time. Cat, Kris, and I spent most of the time in the chapel at the shrine. It was so peaceful. 6 of them were European missionaries and 20 were Japanese Christians. They were crucified in 1597. There is a museum there, but we didn't go into it because we spent all our time in the chapel.
We also went to a church-the oldest in Japan. But you have to pay to get in and we didn't want to, so we shopped for souvenirs, all of which were too expensive to buy, and went into another church with beautiful stained glass (which was free since it was actually a church and not a tourist attraction). A couple from Georgetown, TX, had signed the guest book! It was exciting for me. I got to say, "Hey! I used to live there!"
After that we drove up a mountain to a park overlooking the city and then went back to the ship.
I'm very glad to have gone and to have seen the A-bomb Museum and the Peace Park. That was the best. Also, outside the museum was an ice cream vendor. She put the ice cream in the cones using a type of spatula. She added small layers of ice cream at a time, creating a rose out of the ice cream. It was more icy than creamy, a lot like home-made ice cream, but more beautiful.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
My dad taught me that, when hiking in the mountains, the biggest rule of survival is "Nobody falls-nobody dies." I didn't fall. Other people weren't so careful...
The next part of the adventure wasn't so exciting. (We really couldn't take much more excitement after the Great Wall, but we wanted it anyway.) We roamed the nearest town, looking for some kind of excitement. We didn't find any, though, just a 7-11, and it was probably better that way.
I learned, though, that you really don't have to go very far to find adventure or excitement. It can be found even in my own cabin. Here I am, sitting in my bunk, minding my own business, and I come this close to being skewered by wooden chopsticks.
Emma learned that the adventure involved in crossing bridges is not in the fact that you could fall off of them, but the fact that trolls tend to live under them. You can see, she's very frightened, but aren't those the cutest trolls you've ever seen?
The good news is, after all these adventures, all the excitement, all the life threatening experiences we have, we can always come together for a nice cup of tea. mmmm, boy. What a way to end the day!
Another great thing about adventures in Taiwan is the signage. Check it out:
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Monday, April 2, 2007
I think I haven't written the whole time I've been in Taiwan. I don't have internet access, so I can never actually look at my blog. I just email in my posts.
About being in Taiwan:
I'm becoming an expert at using chopsticks, and I'm trying to learn to speak Chinese. I had this theory that if I stare at Chinese words long enough the language will eventually become clear to me. There will be a sudden moment of breakthrough. I will go from looking at symbols that mean nothing to me, to reading and speaking Chinese fluently. So far, it's not working out for me. I've been at it almost a month. So far all I can say is what people have taught me: hello, how are you, thank you, my name is Rachel, Doulos (it's something different in Chinese).
Next week I'm going to see Taiwan's Great Wall. I've never seen the Great Wall of China, so I can't compare the two. As far as size goes, Taiwan's wall is probably less great. But, as far as "wow, this is great!" goes, it could be more great. But, being that I will have only seen Taiwan's, I may never know...
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007
First of all, Christmas came! Finally! I got three packages on the same day. One was a birthday party in a box, complete with party horns, plates, activity book, paints, and a movie to watch (all built around the theme Disney's Little Mermaid). Of course there were presents also. The other two were Christmas presents. Here I am with one such present. I love Texas! Look at my goofy, crooked, happy grin!
My alterego-Speckles the Clown-was born in the Philippines. I don't think there's any explanation for this picture besides that...
I went to one of the malls claiming the title "Biggest Mall in Asia." I'd believe it with this one, it was ginormous. It has this giant globe in front of it, too, which is what I'm holding in this picture. All the continents and islands are grey, except for the Philippines, which are black.
Ferdinand Magellan is creditted with bringing Christianity to the Philippines. What you see behind me in this picture is a cross encasing what is known as Magellan's Cross, which he set up in this exact location. It's the oldest historical thing in Cebu, maybe in the Philippines, can't remember...