Sunday, May 28, 2006


Not the most appropriate title, but it's stuck in my head at the moment.

Although there is mad drama going down, hence an update 30 minutes before I leave for Napa, by way of UCC. I called mi madre yesterday on the way home from the Sacramento Jazzfest (where we saw Emma and Sterling rock out at the free jazz venues) and she informed me that the unthinkable had finally occured: they kicked my brother out of the house.

This may require some backstory, probably more than I have time for at the moment, but, bottom line, Daniel has two rules to follow as long as he is living at home with my parents: #1 be home by 2am and #2 no drinking if you take the car, especially if you take Dad's car.

Needless to say, Daniel sucks at following rules. Let's not even get into the fact that he's only 19 and that he's essentially an alcoholic and that he has no respect for anyone in our house. He just can't seem to get home by 2am or resist drinking when he takes the car.

So after breaking the rules several nights in a row, my mom kicked him out. And took his house key.

Daniel, being the arrogrant kid that he is, didn't take any of his things with him, including his books for class. If he fails the classes he's taking at De Anza this quarter, my parents won't pay for him to go back to Chico. Daniel has no money. None of his friends want him to stay with them. His car is about 45 seconds away from breaking down for good. And he insists on calling my parents horrible names and saying that he doesn't need, or love, them anyway.

It hurts to love my brother, because he doesn't love back. He's never been nice to me, he's never respected me, and he's never made any effort to even try to know who I am. And now he's completely turned his back on his family and the only thing I can do is pray. Hard. Because that kid is running from something and none of us know what it is and we've just gotta hope that he finds something meaningful in the process.

Off to Napa. Pace sempre.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

and i move forward

What a weekend! The Famine was a great success - staff weren't too stressed, kids learned a lot, we all had a great time and shared some awesome discussions. We didn't sleep much, but I think I'm pretty much caught up by now. On Saturday evening, we went to the Hunt's for dinner. Mr. Hunt has been promising me paella for about a year and a half, and he was finally making good on his promise. Daniel and I arrived at the Hunt farm around 6:30, forgetting that the Hunt's don't eat like normal people. To make a long story short, we ended up sitting down for an authentic Spanish meal at around 9:30. In the meantime, we hung out with Lila and her family and some of Charlie's graduate students, jumped on the trampoline, petted the horses, played darts, and sampled some of the Hunt's home-grown and cured olives while they cooked paella over an open fire in the backyard. When the meal was finally ready, 15 of us crowded around a picnic table lit with candles and lanterns and after Charlie blessed the food, shared bread, cava, and an incredible seafood paella. It was so homey and comfortable and perfect and as I sat there wrapped in a blanket, getting drowsy as Carla talked about the first time she met her husband I realized how blessed I have been here in Davis to know families who love and care about me and have taken me in as one of their own. What more do I need?

Here are some pictures from the weekend (courtesy of Dave, more here):

Nikki and Lila

At work in the Tichota's backyard

Dave and the cat

Corey, Alex, and Alana back at UCC

Daniel shows off a bit


The finished product

Friday, May 19, 2006

world's on fire

The Famine is this weekend (it started, in fact, 4 hours ago) and I wish I could just relax and enjoy it. I am stressed out and I have hives and my eyes itch and I have a cold sore. I don't particularly want to sleep on the ground at the church tonight and I don't particularly want to play capture the flag, developing country-style. It's not that I don't like the Famine, it's just that I didn't like planning it.

It's kind of like being VP. Your whole job is to get people psyched on your event and then, by the time it rolls around, you are so sick of making phone calls and coordinating menus and acting like this is going to be the greatest event of all time that you can't even get excited about dressing up for it because, dear Lord, please let it be over soon.

But I have to discipline myself to remember what this is all about, especially since my girls are so excited about it and I am so proud of them for putting together Bible studies and coming up with activity ideas all on their own. Because after all of the planning and organizing and being frustrated with the lack of help and support I recieved from anyone on staff, this is about making a difference. It's about raising awareness and getting our kids to think about people who live somewhere that's not Mace Ranch. It's about realizing that 790 million people go to bed hungry every night and that most people live on less than $1 a day. My heart hurts, you guys, because I buy expensive moisturizer and have a car and own ski gear and don't know what it's like to be without. I'm so guilty of taking my blessings for granted and then I watch the videos that WorldVision sends me for Famine publicity and it just makes me ache. Why am I here when I should be there? Why do I have so much when so many have nothing? Why don't I make a habit of giving until it hurts?

Planning this has made me ache, but in the wrong way. Time for a reality check.

Monday, May 15, 2006

never ever ever

What I would really like to do as soon as I leave work in 30 minutes is crawl into bed and sleep for a couple of hours. What I'll probably do instead is go for a run, take a shower, study for Ed Psych, work on the novel, take some junior high girls out for dinner, and watch the 2 hour Grey's Anatomy finale.

Oh well.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

youth of a nation

I picked up the latest Newsweek today when, emblazoned on the cover, was a pregnant women dressed in red next to the title "AIDS at 25".

In 1981, a quarter century ago, five gay men in Los Angeles died from a rare form of pneumonia. Today, over 25 million people have died of AIDS, another 40 million are infected, and the epidemic is still spreading.

As many of you know, I could write a novel about AIDS, its effect on the world, and its effect on my family. Tonight, however, I just want to take a moment to think about the appropriate response to such distressing statistics.

My small group has been considering how God calls us to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4) and what that means for us. And while I encourage them to be nice to that kid that everyone picks on, to serve their parents and their friends selflessly, and to just be aware of their surroundings, I've personally been feeling a call to something much bigger than that.

In the parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25, the King tells the people that when he was sick, they looked after him. When they questioned him, saying that they never saw him sick, the King replies, "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me".

I have never felt called to oversees missions or street evangelism. What I have felt called to do is respond with compassion to a rising epidemic that threatens more and more lives everyday. Why aren't more people outraged? Why aren't more people fighting? I often get distressed when friends ask for my financial support for summer missions trips. I understand short-term missions, please don't misunderstand me. I realize that this world is thirsting for the Gospel. But people are dying. By the millions. And we aren't doing anything. We aren't even concerned enough to educate ourselves. Check this out:

Only 17% of Americans rank the AIDS epidemic as a top concern. Even more shocking? 37% of Americans think (wrongly) you can get the HIV virus from kissing and 16% believe it can be contracted from a toilet seat. There is something wrong with these numbers. There is something wrong with America when it refuses to listen to a generation of dying youth. There is something wrong with Christianity when it stops caring about the least of these.

Me? I'm hoping to do this when I finish my Masters. What are you doing?

Start by edcuating yourself.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

real to me

I have a new favorite artist.

Check him out.

And no, I can't bring myself to write about anything of much consequence. My apologies.

Monday, May 08, 2006

grace for a lifetime

"Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him." -Chambers

In other news, how much do I love madras??

Sunday, May 07, 2006

all the boys think shes a spy

Whoever hacked into my bank account (again) and started moving all of my money around from checking to savings and back again but didn't actually take anything?

Not cool.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

on an eighteen month delay

The other day in class, we were talking about minority achievement variability (don't be fooled, it's not as exciting as it sounds), and Professor Johnson summarized a point that the author had made by saying, "Lee argues that Ogbu's theory sees Asians as a monolithic group. Does everyone know what monolithic means?" And this girl raises her hand and says, "It's a belief system where you only believe in one God."

I nearly fell out of my chair. Completely forgetting that I was in class and that I don't know this girl and that maybe I should try to be sensitive to the fact that some people are morons, I say, rather audibly, "That's monotheism. And we aren't even talking about religion." And Professor Johnson laughs and looks at me and says, "Would you care to define monolithic for the class?" and I say, "Well, considering that we were just talking about, monolithic means a homogenous group in which variability is not accounted for."


I am so done with college.

In other news, my schedule is so jam-packed I'm having a hard time believing I'm only taking 10 units, and only 6 of them for a grade. Between papers and debates, planning the Famine, trying to move out, projects for work, family obligations, physical therapy, meeting with ADX girls, and general end-of-the-year stuff, I literally am never home. On top of that, I don't think I'm going to be in Davis a single weekend until the end of the quarter (aside from Famine weekend). Ryan and Megan's going away party, my mom's birthday, (Famine), Napa, Stephie's bridal shower, and then I'm done.

Not that I mind, really. I'm sort of over the whole "spending every free second of every day with people because before you know it this will all be over" thing. Maybe because I'm not leaving Davis yet. Maybe because a lot of people who are really important to me aren't leaving either (or are staying nearby in Natomas and Sac). Or maybe just because that's not my style. I don't feel a deep sense of regret and sadness that college is ending. It's been fun, but I know there is something bigger and more exciting on the horizon and I'm perfectly willing to wait that out without getting overly emotional about commencement.

Because that's what it is. Commencement. I'm finally getting to start doing what I really want to do. I get to work in a classroom and be an adult and not deal with all of the college "stuff" that gets in the way. Finally.

I trust that God has had the most extreme hand in these last four years. London, New York, ADX, and UCC especially. I know He has sent me places to train me and taught me things to prepare me, but I don't think He intends for me to hold onto those things and lament that they have passed. I think He intends for me learn from them and move on and use those experiences as a springboard for what is coming.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

close your eyes

I guess I could talk about my job a little bit.

As mentioned previously, my incredible boss Sarah was offered an incredible job with the state, so she resigned from Mondavi and I got moved from the cramped and crazy TB 206 to the spacious and snazzy Mondavi Center business offices. This would be no big deal except that no one really knew I was coming and no one was ready for me. I've put in over 10 hours this week doing nothing but sitting here at the receptionist's desk directing phone calls and getting annoyed because, dammit, this is not the job I worked so hard to get. I worked hard to get a job in Arts Education so I could write curriculum and work with people who believe in arts initiatives and coordinate professional development series for teachers. I did not work hard to date-stamp paychecks and sort mail.

Jennifer, the woman who interviewed and hired me, seemed to be sensing my frustration. She just called and asked if I would like to work in her office tomorrow so she can train me to do all the data-entry stuff and learn my way around the offices. Since there are lots of people who actually do need extra help (contrary to how it appears as I sit here with nothing to do for five hours), she is going to put together a work log for me so I can just move around the offices and help whoever needs help with whatever they need help with.

It's not Arts Ed, but it's better than being a receptionist. I am not cut out for a desk job.

bouncing back to you

A few pictures from Sunday:

The Drum Bridge

SF Botanical Garden

Monday, May 01, 2006

love is different

First post from the new office. Not so much an office at the moment. More the receptionist's desk at the Mondavi business offices. I'm covering for Denise while Debbie gets stuff together for me to do. So far, I am bored beyond belief, but am getting to practice my "phone voice" which, apparently, is very good. If it's anything like a "radio voice" my young aspirations of being a radio personality may one day be realized.

Or something.

My Sunday was glorious. Daniel and I left Davis on Saturday night and headed to his parents' house. It was awesome to get out of Davis after the emotional rollar coaster horror story that was Saturday and, all things considered, just spend some uninterrupted time with my boyfriend without all this newly inhereted awkwardness that snuck up on me out of nowhere. We went to the Japanese Tea Gardens, checked out the outdoor installation pieces at the DeYoung Museum, and then strolled through the Botanical Gardens before grabbing lunch and watching the most boring Giant's game of the season (but we had great seats!). Then we met up with his parents, did a little shopping, and grabbed dinner at CPK. We opted against driving home late because we were both exhausted, caught the new Grey's Anatomy, and then got back into Davis around 7:30 this morning, just in time for me to jump in the shower and race back onto campus to be at work at 8.

It's 11am and I'm exhausted.

Now I'm afraid love came right up
And it slapped me in the face
But i did not know