Twitter & iPhones

I hated every second of Twitter before I was on it. I judged those who had it and thought that if I hated Facebook statuses, why would I like this new thing? Sooo I signed up so that I could check it out (you can’t really preview it without having an account) and now I’m addicted. What I like about it is not the constant connection, but how connected it makes you feel. I’ll explain: I follow Shaq and other celebrities as well as many friends from ACU. When Shaq says “I just saw the new Budweiser commercial and thought it was funny” it makes me feel like we are buddies that watch the same shows and commercials and then talk about them. Obviously that isn’t the case but it makes you feel cool anyway. Because of Twitter today, Taylor, Luke and I ate at Little Italy with our new boss man. I tweeted “hey going to church – anyone up for lunch after?” and much to my surprise he responded and ended up eating with us. Crazy. Gives me a lot of respect for him though, when he wants to eat lunch with me, my husband, and random.

At Southern Hills last week, they took about 15 minutes to say bye to their music ministry intern. At the end of this big ordeal of calling his family forward, giving him a blessing, etc. they said “But the good news is, he isn’s leaving! He’ll be here another 2 years!” Oh, excuse me, why did we just have that little fake reception? I have no idea. That was free.

Today though at SH, Phil told us that we could access the scriptures used today from our phones by going to the SH website. It struck me how many people pulled out their phones, but it also made me wonder why every church isn’t keeping up to date with technology. We have these awesome tools we can use by putting our Bibles on our phones, texting our friends to invite them to church during the service, etc, and in some parts of the U.S. churches are still arguing about whether or not they will go to hell for using powerpoint. Unreal. If we have any hope of reaching my generation and beyond, technology has to play an active role…and it can be such an incredible experience with it. Let’s get with it, tweeple.

I’m also currently trying to convince Taylor that I need an iPhone. I just feel that it will really enhance my current state of being. That, and I’d be able to check Twitter constantly. Yesssss.

P-90x, Tours, & Bona Fide

I think I might hate this man:

This, ladies and gents, is the man that will ruin your life. P90x has to be the hardest workout ever. I think I’d rather be fat. Seriously, we did not even half of the Ab Ripper X today and I could barely lift my legs to get into the shower afterwards. It’s ridiculous. No human should voluntarily put their body through his entire workout.

How do you go from absolutely nothing to do to running around like a chicken with your head cut off? No idea, but it happened today. We had 6 or 7 families total today, but Laura was sick and so it was just me and Houston who is still training. 2 campus tours and 3 residence hall tours later…. that’s a way to get burned out quickly. We had some cool visitors today though. I wanted a few of them to come to ACU so badly. I also talked a boy out of visiting Hardin-Simmons in the afternoon…he came back and met with business instead. Maybe I should go into sales…

So I’m wondering when Taylor and I will be a bona-fide married couple. We’re in this awkward stage of “too young to hang out with the real married people yet too far removed from good friends that are just dating seriously”. It’s just frustrating sometimes. We really need to get plugged in to a mentoring group or something because we are the role models for all of our aged friends yet we have no one older to bounce things off of. Getting married when we did was perfect for us but its causing some kinks getting involved. We graduated but are still working the same student-worker jobs so its just kind of an awkward time. It’s kind of like the prophet-in-his-own-hometown kind of a thing. I think we’re ready to move on.

On a side note, I followed C.J. Wilson from the Rangers on Twitter and I want him to reply to me. He is my favorite player because he’s super weird and wears Vans and is kind of a freak. Exactly why I like him. I’ll keep you posted on if it works for me or not.

I told this lady today that most people’s brains are like sponges but I thought mine was more like swiss cheese. She then followed it up with “Mine is more like a strainer – catching the big things only.” I agreed with her and decided hers was a much better analogy, but the point still remains that I can be so retarded because I don’t think before I speak. I lost my phone this afternoon and could not for the life of me find it. I was at work and kept calling it from the work phone, used Houston’s phone to call it, asked everyone if they’d seen it, called Taylor and had him check his truck twice, etc. Finally when it was time to leave I just kept saying, “I can’t leave until I find it…I just can’t find it.” It was in my purse… my very large, very absorbing purse. Wow.

Luke is staying the weekend with us. I dare you to come over for hamburgers and hotdogs tomorrow night.

Soldiers & Work

I bought a book last night that I finished when I got home from work today. It’s “A Long Way Gone” and it is delightful. Just kidding…not delightful, but really good. It was very eye-opening to read firsthand accounts of a little boy who fought against the rebels. I can’t even imagine what life like that is like. I felt like I had a better visual image of the dirt roads and forests having been to Africa, but I can’t even begin to visualize a war as gruesome and unpredictable as the ones going on across the world. After reading about the people that took Ishmael in and allowed him to heal a painful and slow healing, it made me want to be there at those homes. It was incredible how those boys would beat up anyone who tried to help them and yet the staff came back with smiles every day despite how badly they were treated. I hope I can love like that one day.

Today was my first day of work during the summer. I work from 8-5 every day of every week of every month of this summer. At about 8:14 I realized I had made a terrible mistake. There was already nothing to do and I sat around just waiting until our tour at 9:30. The whole day was like that – very slow and very, very boring. I wish I had found an internship or talked to other people to get a change of pace. I’m stuck in this rut of being the “student worker” even though I graduated. It’s also frustrating to have ideas or plans fall by the wayside because I am not qualified or something…I don’t know.

All that whining to say that as I sat at the desk feeling sorry for myself for continuing to work there this summer instead of doing something different, I thought about the book I was reading and what a terrible life Ishmael lived and how that is still going on right this second. As I sat in my air-conditioned office with nothing to do but surf the internet and googlechat, I thought about the girls in India being sold as sex slaves or about children soldiers shooting their peers… I think I’ll make it.

In the event that I don’t though, does anyone have good ideas for how to pass the time in an office? Get back to me.

Shopping & Graduation

I just went around Abilene looking for summer-esque clothes. I absolutely abhor shopping here. Two observations though: Boom and Fashions by JJ are the two funniest stores in the whole mall. There’s about 3 shirts, 2 pants and 80 necklaces. They also choose to advertise using metallic mannequins. There’s also a thriving retail outlet that is called “Corn Dog”. I saw a shirt in Monk’s yesterday with my mom that said “Only Abilene – what happens here, leaves here.” That’s very fitting for this silly little metropolis. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without at Boom.

I graduated on Saturday. From college. With a bachelor’s degree. Now…what in the world am I going to do with my life? And who in the world decided that long black and white robes complete with ridiculous hats would be the most appropriate attire for such a big day? How has someone not come up with a better idea 500 years later? And Rick Lytle or Royce Money? That outfit is just absurd.

This weekend with my family was really fun. It’s really tiring though trying to organize two different sides of the family for a whole weekend. They need to invent a physical version of the Urban Spoon application that I can use – without an iPhone. Half the time when people come to visit, everyone just stands around debating about where to eat. Americans spend about 77% of their time eating, talking about eating, working out to get rid of the fat from what they ate, or thinking about where to eat next. It can be quite exhausting.

The moral of the story is that I am still in Abilene. Come hang out with us.

Stares & Haircut

If there is one thing in life that makes my blood boil, it’s people staring. Now, if you know me, you know that I am a chronic starer. Not to justify my disease, but we’ve all been there and we all know how to stare properly. The rule is: if you get caught, abort. Duh. If the staree sees you staring, look away and pretend like you weren’t looking at them. Sooo elementary. This leads into my story…

I got my haircut today in Abilene for the first time. I didn’t know where to go so I polled some of my friends to get a good idea of salons. I ended up at one on S. 27th with a random stylist. While I was waiting to be called back, I overheard this woman next to me telling her 12-ish little girl whose legs (of the girl’s friends) were skinny and whose were not. No lie. She then proceeded to say, “Your legs aren’t skinny, honey” and proceeded to have the girl stand up to see if her thighs touched in the middle (you know this drill – fat girls thighs rub, skinny girl’s don’t…or so you think). I finally get called back for my haircut and I see my new hairdresser for the first time. The stylist had impeccably shaped eyebrows, killer make-up, and long fake nails. His name was Airick.

I’m trying to grasp the fact that a grown man went to a nail salon and puts make-up on better than most people I know. I make small talk and joke around, mainly to ease my own discomfort. After the shampoo, I sit back in the chair and see Mom-of-the-year waiting in a chair close to me while her daughter gets her hair cut. I’m making small-talk with Airick but every time I look over in this lady’s direction, she is straight up staring. Even when I make eye contact with her, she does not abort but in fact keeps staring. I’m getting agitated at this point because I can see her in my peripheral just eyeballing the crap out of me. After an eternity, her daughter is done so she gets up and leaves.

I turn to Airick after that and say, “That lady would NOT stop staring at me. Seriously…I almost just got in a fight right here in your salon.” He laughed for a minute and then said, “yea, well imagine being me. People stare all the time and it gets really old.” My first instinct was to say, “Maybe because you have tips” but instead I said, “They’re probably just jealous that you have better nails than them.” We laughed about that, he finished my haircut, and I left.

It made me sad later though. I got to thinking about how my stylist ended up being a really nice guy. Weird, absolutely. But nice. I wonder how many people I stare at or avoid talking to because they look weird.. How many people miss out on an opportunity to befriend Airick because he wears make up and gets his nails done, and how many people do I miss being friends with because I pass judgment? Our generation is going to come in contact with more and more “interesting” people. I think I learned a lesson today in how to reach them. Wanna learn? Treat them normal. God loves french manicured Airick just as much as he loves me on my high horse.

Singing & Homework

We went to Southern Hills instead of Highland yesterday for church. I just liked it so much better. We stayed at Highland to hear Mike, but now he’s not there. I always feel more at home at SH, even if no one talks to us. There is a spirit of community there that you can feel whether you are a part of it or not. The next step is to actually get involved this summer…

Meanwhile, back at the farm, Taylor and I have an uncanny knack to sit directly in front of the loudest person at church. You know these people. They sing SO LOUD that you literally have no chance to sing yourself because you can’t even hear if notes are coming out or not. I think God conveniently places us in these situations to teach us patience. When you can’t even hear yourself think, let alone try to sing..whew. It gets me. I’m serious, too. It doesn’t matter where we are or whether we sit down first or loudy sits down first. Our eardrums somehow always end up inches away. I understand that these people are enjoying worship and love to sing, but sometimes it is excessive. Because we think that way, though, I guess God situates us there for a reason. It doesn’t help that we get really giggly when something funny happens, either. It’s just not a good equation all the way around and my ears can’t hear by the time we leave.

This person is almost as bad as the “sniffler” or even worse, the “throat-clearer”. (I actually just cleared my throat after I wrote that. Oops.) But this is the person who sits next to you in class and sniffs or clears their throat the entire length of the period. Chronic sniffers should only be allowed to take online courses.

So I was working on my homework the other day and I got up to do something. This is what happened next…
Mack decided to finish my paper for me! What a dear heart.

So I’m working on this project for Cisco, TX. They are a thriving metropolis with a whopping 3,679 people. They are wanting to build an outlet mall to attract commuters driving along I-20 between Abilene and DFW, as well as retain their college population from leaving on the weekends. Basically our job is to tell them nicely, “That will never happen.” I found this interesting…Grand Prairie is building a new outlet mall and the target market 10 miles around this new mall has an average household income of $77,689. Cisco’s median HH income? $28,005. Yikes. Poor Cisco. They have a beautiful lake….maybe they should promote that instead of build a multi-million dollar outlet mall. Or maybe just build a Dollar General. Doesn’t every good small town have one?

Nazis, News, & Tragedies

We watched Boy in the Striped Pajamas a few nights ago. Are you kidding me? That is one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. Seriously. It is really good but really terribly sad. Taylor fell asleep like 30 minutes before it ended and I woke him up so that I could tell him what happened. I won’t ruin it, but

I either read or heard about an article a few years ago about how our generation has witnessed the most tragedies in the U.S. during our lifetime. I don’t necessarily know if that’s true, but the article talked about how we’ve grown up with media and news constantly broadcasting things going on around us and we are growing numb to the tragedies. Some of the major historic things it mentioned were the Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine and other school shootings, 9/11, etc. We grew up hearing about these different events so now we somewhat expect something bad to happen. Especially with how plugged in our generation is to the internet, we hardly ever watch the news or know about what’s going on. That’s the price you pay when you are constantly bombarded with information…that same information starts to become irrelevant and ignored. That’s the problem marketers are facing, but now it’s our generation and the news we read or hear. The messages aren’t going through, or at least not to the extent that older generations are receiving messages. Interesting, huh?

Speaking of, a tragedy hit close to home yesterday. A girl in Memphis was murdered by her husband on Thursday night. I only met her and her husband on a college retreat Mari-Kate and I went on so I didn’t know her barely at all. MK’s sister and brother-in-law knew them well though and it was such a shock that this would happen to their friends from the college group at church. It’s unbelievably sad for Micah and her family. It reminds me how blessed I am to have the God, the husband, and the family I do. I don’t know how I could do life without them. On the other hand, it makes me sympathetic for people who have it rough. If the closest I get to tragedy like this is a girl I met one time on a retreatbeing murdered, my life is good. I am not at all saying I want my life to be bad or worse or that I want things like this to happen…but I am saying that our world is broken and people face murders, addictions, and abuse every day. This is second nature to them. Take Memphis for example – it currently is the second most violent city behind Detroit (and Memphis only lost by 2 violent crimes per 100,000 people a year). A friend of mine who worked in the ER in Memphis talked about how there were so many stabbings and violent crimes a day in that only a small fraction were reported. What a terrible life many people live. As I sit at my computer and think that Micah’s story was “close to home”, it makes me realize how un-close it really is. It puts life into perspective for me and gives me a sadness and a pain for those hurting right now whose life is like this every day. I pray that I will always hurt for the broken.

School, Siggies, & Shoes

I’m sitting in my accounting class right now. My very last accounting class. Ever. Suuuuuch a relief. I love my professor …. and by that I mean that I think he’s a nice man. I superly hate his class though. He’s one of those that gets a hold of a joke and just holds on for dear life. When we start packing up before class is actually over (he’s also one of those that keeps you right up until the EXACT moment class is supposed to be over) he’ll say “Ok church, don’t get your songbooks out, I’m still preaching” or something like that. Maybe funny the first time but definitely not the next 25 times. He’s also one of those that gets to telling a story that may have one tiny aspect relative to our class so he spends about 20 minutes telling an analogy but by the end you have no idea what that has to do with accounting. Oh well…this is my very last class and my second to last day of undergraduate classes EVER.

Last night we had our senior thing. I thought I might maybe cry but I sure did just bawl when we started singing our “secret song”. (this song is so secret that while pledging our VP said “THIS IS A SECRET – NEVER TELL ANYONE” as her man-friend sat in the room listening with us) The seniors on the first 3 rows were sniffling substantially until our sponsor came by as if she were putting on a persformance and grabbed all of our pinkies. She walked the outside of the aisles and grabbed all Siggies pinkies really dramatically – a silent way to say “with Siggie love”. It was hilarious and not remotely special. Either way, I can’t wait to come back for Bid Night, Homecoming, and Sing Song. I’m already planning a road trip. It’s exciting to move on and leave club to these girls but I’m also excited to be “that Siggie” that comes back for events.

I have a beef with the kid that sat in front of me in Crisp’s class and with this kid that sits near me now. Every single day in my class last semester, this boy would turn around in his seat (pretending to stretch) and would stare at my shoes and then work his way up to making eye contact and then would turn around really quickly. He did that every @#$# day in class and it made me want to punch him because a) I don’t like feet so quit looking at mine and b) why do you insist on looking at my shoes every day. Creeper. This kid today has done it three times already….does someone have something to tell me about my feet and/or my shoe choices? Weird.

Tonight is the Christmas party at the McCaleb’s (we missed it a while back…so now it’s Christmas in April). Wish me luck. I’m so close to being done…..

Air Conditioners, Planes, & Signage

Taylor has been suffering in his truck for a while now. The AC went out and he didn’t want to get it fixed because it would cost too much money. He has been sweating profusely every day for the past several weeks (maybe even months) because he wouldn’t get it fixed. We still drive his truck just as much though, so today I got in with my Ferrero Rocher in hand on our way to eat. I dropped the stupid ball of chocolate so we had to pull over and dig around in the floorboard so the chocolate wouldn’t met. While we were digging around he found some wires hanging down from below the dash. You probably see where this is going. Long story short, he plugged this thing in and his AC is working like a charm. That’s embarrassing. We would have taken it to someone who would have charged $300 to “fix” what really just needed to be plugged back in.

So about 2 years ago on a flight back from Ghana I met a man named Rob. He was a nice, young guy that struck up a conversation about where I was headed, etc. I told him I was coming back from Africa and that I was going to be a junior at ACU. He thought it was really cool that I had been there all summer so I showed him my pictures and talked about the experience. He asked what I wanted to do and I told him “Ohhh I don’t know. Maybe work for someone like World Vision or somebody that deals with Africa but is based in the states.” He then spouts out “Well my wife works for them so let me give you her contact information.” Fast forward 2 years, I’m graduating in 10 days, am unemployed with no real prospects, and am definitely moving to Fort Worth. So this lady comes to talk to our Marketing classes and introduces us to this dumbwad “LinkedIn” thing. She says its like Facebook for businesses so I get an account. I hate every second of it, but I somehow come across a guy named Rob that lives in Fort Worth and works for a consulting firm. I dig through my old stuff and find the contact information he gave me. I match his name and decide what-the-heck I’ll send him an e-mail. I tell him we met, I never contacted his wife, I’m moving to FW, blah blah blah. He sends me an e-mail back today saying that he would forward on my message to his wife (who is still with World Vision) and she will contact me. WAHOO! I don’t even know if anything will happen but the chain of events that led to today’s e-mail was incredible to me. Even if nothing happens, I was smiling all morning thinking to myself, “Eat that suckers!” (literally I was thinking that) because of all the people who have discouraged me from waiting for a time when I felt at peace. I promise you…my method is proven. So back off, ACU surveys. Even though I don’t have a job and I’m graduating in a week and a half, I’m going to be ok.

We were driving back from Abuelo’s and saw a sign that said “Far wood fer sale”. Awesome, Abilene. We saw another that gave the location for a certain business on “Industrail Blvd”. I guess they meant Industrial. Oops. I could make a killing off being a spellchecker for local businesses. (and most Chinese restaurants)

I’m speaking a small bit at club tonight in the senior farewell thing. I don’t know what to say. I would like to think that our senior class has made an impact, which they have, but in reality….club will go on. Surprise! ACU will go on too without us. I think most people assume we’re leaving school and club in a huge mess because we’re all graduating. News flash: life moves on without us. It’s going to be so great to say goodbye but I’m excited for the underclassmen to have a time to shine and to lead like we did. It’s time to move on…

Wildcat Preview Days & Faith

Today was my last…very last Wildcat Preview Day. It would have been kind of sad had I not been exhausted from staying up late last night to finish a take-home test. Either way, it was a good day and I met some cool kids. I just want to shake sense into everyone and say “Come to ACU, stupid!!!” And by stupid I mean bright young adults that will surely excel here. I hate leaving work feeling like I haven’t given it everything though, and that’s how I left today. I had about 110% fake energy which bothered me, but what can you do. I also get tired of making suggestions or offering advice that falls on deaf ears. We can’t see our office improve if we aren’t willing to address problems as they arise. Making generic comments in meetings or sending out vague e-mails doesn’t necessarily fix personal problems. I don’t think I always have the answer by any means, I just wish I could be content with how things are. I guess that’s how God made me different but still…mediocrity makes me cringe.

I talked to George Pendergrass today for a little while and he asked what I was doing after college. I told him I didn’t know and I described a little about what I would like to do. I told him – yet another adult – that the money didn’t matter as much as my passion for what I was doing. He understood maybe a little more than others did but it wasn’t until my conversation with him that it dawned on me why I seem so different in that regard than all my peers. The answer: my parents. I think today I fully realized what an incredible gift I was given with my parents. I knew all along that they were way better than most parents and that I could tell them most anything (by the way I’m on drugs, Mom) but today I realized one incredible lesson I learned and that is Faith. Sunday school teachers talk about it, entire volumes are devoted to the subject but no one can really explain it. It’s just something you have to witness for yourself. My parents were the kind of people that would take jobs without knowing the salary but rather by listening to God and His plan. Talk about faith…phew. Now I know why I sound like an idiot when I tell people the same thing. I learned it from my faith-walking parents and now I’m walking the same way. Even when I wait on decision and don’t feel at “peace”…whether I acknowledge it or not I am walking by faith. Man, what a gift. Thanks Sparks family. I guarantee I’m in the minority of children who learned such a valuable lesson by witnessing it first hand.

Enough sappies for the day. Taylor and I almost died on a run tonight (not really but I think my body would rather be chunky than forced into exercising) and we took Mack with us. We stopped to talk to Lindsay and Kat and Mack figured out that he could back up far enough to wear his fatso neck skin would slide out of his collar. We looked like idiots chasing our dog but luckily (thanks to Papa) we taught him to come back. We got his collar and leash back on and Taylor just kept saying “BAD DOG BAD DOG” over and over again. Finally I was like, Taylor…you gotta hand it to him – that was smart. He’s quite the sneaky catdog.

In case anyone is wondering…I’m graduating from a university in 12 days. I just hope I make it through this week.