Thursday, February 24, 2005

Getting to know folks

It's hard for me to believe I've been living here in Bellevue for almost a year and a half now. I've been separated from my ex for well over a year. And I've been attending my church for more than a year. One thing that has struck me recently is what a blessing it is that I'm not free to 'move on' with another woman right now. It's been really good and healthy for me as I get to know people in new social circles, specifically the single women, and not have that consideration hanging over my head constantly. That "What if?" question that clouds discernment and keeps me from acting naturally. Without that hanging over my head I've had a great time getting to know some of the girls in my church home group. I have had a chance to hang out with the church group more this week because my kids are out of town for mid-winter break. They are a fun group. Definitely different from the people I've known in the Assemblies of God. They are still very Christian conservative like I am, but have less of the little hang ups about things like drinking. In fact, tonight I'm going to a beer-and-Bible-study with some of the guys. (Too bad I hate beer.) In general they seem to be more engaged with the culture than other Christians I know. Which has its plusses and minuses. It excludes me a bit since I can't stand popular culture. But they are also very sincere about their faith. I've had a lot of great discussions with them, and am really starting to like this group of people. God has really blessed me by leading me to this church.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

My library of reference books

Here is where I work.

Miscellaneous stuff

I found a new 'worst part' of being a single parent this morning. I've been sick before, but not like this. Getting up at 6:45am after 4 or 5 hours of sweaty, feverish sleep, with a pounding headache, snot pouring out, cold shakes, and a throat so swollen and painful I can hardly breath is not the best state to be in when I have to get the kids up and dressed, make them breakfast and lunch, and take them to school. I can only thank God that my hair was not on fire. See? It can always be worse…

We had a close call a couple of weeks ago. I was up late sculpting. The kids had been asleep for a couple of hours. My oldest son stumbles out of his room and into the kitchen. He opens the fridge, slides open the crisper drawer, drops his p.j. bottoms and squats, ready to go. I grabbed him just in time to wake him up and put him on the toilet. *whew* Good thing I was up late. That would have been a really horrible surprise in the morning.

My littlest guy is becoming brand savvy. I was dressing him the other morning, and he complained that he didn't want to where the Tigger shirt anymore. Why? "None of the kids like Whinny the Pooh!" He is really honing in on his tastes lately. He is very specific about what accessories he wants on his toys. He was playing with a Gollum action figure, and told me he wants one for his birthday… But not with the fingers in that pose… And not with the loincloth… and not with the head bent down like that. He has made me file off the accessories of many a figure. He doesn't like big, bulky belts, backpacks, or other protuberances. He likes his figures sleek and simple. He is also fastidious about the little clay sculptures he makes. He doesn’t quite have the fine motor control necessary to bring about his vision for the details, so he has me do the eyes and mouths. He shows me just how he wants them by scrunching up his face and pointing. "I want the eyes to be like this." He says, and squints. "But not too big. And not too small." It takes several attempts before he is satisfied with my work.

That reminds me… he made me the cutest valentine ever. It's a heart shaped booklet with fill-in-the-blank lines. So it says, "Daddy, I love you as far as…" then they wrote Shane's answer and he draws a picture to go with it. So it reads, "I love you as far as the stars, as wide as a cloud, and as high as A GIANT SPIDER!" I love it!

I joined a dodge ball league. A bunch of guys in my church started a team. I didn't think I'd be able too, but the girls in my church home group said they would be there to keep an eye on the boys while I play. It's pretty fun, and so far, less damage prone than football was. But I can't believe how much you can hurt your shoulder just by throwing a ball as hard as you can.

I've been keeping a spiritual journal. As I read the Bible, and other related works, I'm writing down things that stand out to me. The proverbs are really speaking to me right now, as I'm trying to figure out the whole wisdom/understanding thing. I'm also reading a book on how to pray effectively for your children. (I got that as a gift from my church. We were chosen as one of the recipients of the "Angel Gifts" that they give out to those that seem to have a need.) Also, a book on boundaries and their biblical underpinnings, and the Purpose Driven Life. That's not to mention the 3 dozen other books I've started, and tapered off. Kind of like my art projects. I really have to do something about this tendency I have to not finish things. It really, really annoys me.

I'm thinking about getting a tattoo for my 30th birthday. I've wanted one since I was a teen, but had the good sense to put it off 'till I was mature enough to make a good choice about it. I knew that my tastes would change throughout life, and I didn't want to have some stupid design that I would regret later. As my aesthetic tastes have matured, I'm very glad that I put it off. I don't have any solid ideas about what it will be just yet. I only know it will be a strong symbol of my faith. Something about the 'living sacrifice' (Romans 12:1) that I want my body to be. A branding, a testament, a reminder of the calling that was so graciously given to me. I think ideally it will be an iconic representation of the spiritual milestone that I'm at during this point of my life. And it should be an element of a larger design to be added as I grow further. So I'm thinking about something on my back/shoulder area that could eventually be incorporated into a crucifix design that would eventually stretch from one shoulder to the other, and down my spine. Either that, or the Looney Toons Tasmanian Devil on my ankle. I can't decide.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Osculation Drama

Word had just come down from home office: Osculation would commence within the hour. Mecium got on the horn immediately. "Scramble the fighters!" he barked. He tried to hide the giddy feeling welling up inside. He had recently been promoted and chose to be transferred to the frontier. This was where the action was. This was where things got hot. Mecium liked it that way. "Sir!" Private Pep interrupted his thoughts. "Sir, home office says we gotta step down, sir! Sending endorphin diplomats! They're talking peace, sir!" Damn! Mecium's blood-lust was rising. "I will NOT settle for analgesic diplomacy this time. Those beta-bureaucrats have gone too far!" He grabbed the comm. "Get me the General." Within moments the sad news came through. "I'm sorry son, but ever since President Encephalin was elected, our policies on these matters are different. We have an open border. Our pseudopodia are tied."

"I'll be damned if foreign bodies will be allowed to roam our arteries with impunity!" Mecium grabbed his old helmet and descended to the hangar bay. "Sir! We're not authorized!" squealed Pep. Mecium pushed past him and ensconced himself in the nearest fighter, Immuno-HyHel-5. He prepped his lysis cannons, kick-started the flagellum, and burst out of the hangar. Within moments his craft was harried by a swarm of Lysozyme battle cruisers. "I knew it! That peacenik president of ours is walking into a trap!"

His first salvo caught a cruiser off guard. But there were too many. Far too many.
This could mean only one thing. The Osculation was happening ahead of schedule. And there were no defenses ready. There was no way he could defeat such an onslaught alone.

A sickening SPLAT, and Mecium knew it was over. A hull breach. His craft was hydrolyzing! "I'm going down!" A broken flagella and leaking hull made it difficult, but his seasoned skills and training proved true. He managed to coax enough power out of his craft to slide past the frontier boundary into enemy territory. He smiled grimly and flipped the switch that activated his Simplex bomb as he spun out of control. The impact of his ship detonated the explosive, and he left his spiteful mark on enemy soil.

The political fallout that occurred from this one brave act has gone down in history. The foreign president was dethroned after the frontier rebellion. No one wanted to work near ground zero, and food production diminished due to the Afferent community's ceaseless complaints. A new president, less bound by the Opiate Receptors lobby, was elected.

And peace ruled the land for generations.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A day in the life

Ok. I'm out of breath, but I've gotta do this. I am attempting to record what a typical day for me is. When trying to figure out how to work an exercise and weight lifting routine into my evening schedule I hit a wall. But I know I have a tendency to exaggerate things, and close my mind off before I've really assessed the situation fully. So I am going to chronicle the events of tonight and see if I'm not as overworked as I thought.

5:59-6:00pm I'm home! Shane answers the door. He's so cute!

6:00-6:05pm Talking to my nanny about the kids day. How much TV time they have used, the status of Justin's homework, etc. I have to talk over Shane whining about how I never let him watch TV.

6:05-6:10pm Get changed, move a giant pile of blankets that somehow accumulated on my bedroom floor. Notice that I still have a gigantic pile of laundry in the middle of the hallway. Better get to that. Oh yeah, the light is burnt out, I can't see. Oh yeah, I forgot to get lightbulbs. I look around for a lightbulb to steal from a less necessary lamp. I find one but it's on, so it's too hot to grab. I turn off the light.

6:10-6:15pm While waiting for the light to cool off I start dinner for the kids. Oh good! There are some leftover Spaghetti-O's. I accompany that fine dish with a garnish of cut-up hot dogs and green beans. Sometimes I can't believe what a great chef I am.

6:15-6:25pm Change the light in the hallway, sort some laundry, and start a load.

6:25-6:35pm Get the laptop out of my workbag and hook it up. Starting this log and getting to this point now. Shane comes in and gives me a big kiss. What a sweet heart! I love my boys.

6:35-6:47pm Folded and put away laundry from dryer. Note for the 30th time that Shane needs some pants without holes in them. Changed the sheets on my bed and dusted. My allergy test showed that I am allergic to animals, grass, trees, dust… oh, and also everything else that exists. And also, if something new were to come into existence, I'd be allergic to that too.

6:50-7:04pm More misc. cleaning. I'm talking to a sick friend on the phone while I clean with one hand. The kids are playing in the storage closet, drowning in a pile of clothes and costumes I once had organized. I pulled them out mere seconds before they died.

7:05-7:30pm Arrrgh! So much to clean!!! I make Justin clean his art supplies off the table while I zip from spot to spot trying to get as much crap off the floor and counters as possible. I look over his homework, then set him to his 15 min. of nightly reading he is supposed to do. He says he's done after 5 min. Making the kids do anything requires at least three requests, demands, or other sort of effort. I'm glad I was never like this as a kid! Aahh! The snake is escaping! He pushed the lid ajar and is climbing up the window frame. I catch him and put him back, clean out the remains of a mouse, and refill his water. Oh, and put more weight on the lid of his cage.

7:30-7:45pm Justin is done with his reading. I record it on his reading log. I just helped Shane make a bunch of tiny little sculptures out of Super Sculpy. He always wants me to make the eyes. Justin wants to make one now. I put them in the oven and get back to cleaning.

7:45-8:00pm I take the kids "babies" out of the oven. Shane has a name for all 10 of his little blobs with eyes. I just put a pair of pants in a dye bath because I don't have any red pants. And everyone needs red pants. More cleaning. I sprayed some release agent on a mold that I need to pour tonight. Oh, I just realized tomorrow is the first. I need to do some bills.

8:00-8:25pm I dropped off the rent check downstairs, came back up and did the night time routine. Each kid picks a book, I read them, then we read the Bible together and talk briefly about what we learned. Then I help them to pray. We brush our teeth, and I listen to the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth as they beg for snacks, toys, or anything else that will keep them from going to bed. I am a ruthless and cruel tyrant. I say after bedtime they don't get any of those things. This is the second worse time of every day. I heat up some left-over Chinese for dinner and sit down in our room. I have to be here to keep the peace or screaming fights will break out.

8:30-9:15pm I eat dinner and read some forums. I have to shush the kids about every 3 minutes.

9:15-9:36pm I pour some resin in a mold, during this 2 minute procedure, both kids pop out of bed and assault me with more begging. I tell them sternly to return to bed. Justin ignores me and quickly grabs the little sculpture we made earlier. I stop him and really sternly tell them to get back in bed. I floss, brush, and repeatedly tell them to stay still and quite. OK, now to get my extra work done!

9:39-10:02pm I finished up a little section of a level I needed to make beautiful. The kids keep bugging me. It looks like they aren't going to go to sleep until I lay down with them. So I'll try to do my Bible study and prayer in bed... Try... Here goes.

10:02-10:40pm The kids still aren't asleep. They were relatively quite while I studied and read the Bible though.

10:40-11:30pm They finally fall asleep and so do I.