30 November, 2006


I'm italicizing the things I have done.
What have you done?

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain volcano
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea-is it OK if I was in a plane?
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment-define "worst"
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can-I love screaming
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country-I wish!
44. Watched wild whales-humpback whales!
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach-some day
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football-I know, it's astonishing, isn't it?
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken-Jesus is amazing :-)
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice-at 90 euro? Of course not!
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music-But I think John deleted those tracks :-P
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date-ask me after my first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone-my brother's bedroom
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived-define "shouldn't." God is sovereign over my life.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication-does the Excelsior! count? :-)
106. Lost over 100 pounds-I hope I never do
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart-I hope not!
111. Helped an animal give birth-several, actually
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone-my toe!
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states-hmm, almost
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days-I wish!
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating-I helped butcher a deer, but didn't kill it
137. Skipped all your school reunions-er, family reunions?
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts-MAC baby
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you-Some day
145. Had a booth at a street fair-go Providence Church! And fencing...
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

29 November, 2006

Homeschool curriculum

Dude! For the sake of posterity, I'm linking to the site of MAKE magazine so I can remember where to find them when I have more time. They have sweet ideas for stuff you can build yourself, like an mp3 player. I'm planning on visiting their blog next time I get bored so I can get ideas of sweet stuff to build. A subscription to this thing could be a good complement to a homeschooler's curriculum! So many ideas...I want to learn how to solder stuff now...

23 November, 2006

post 170!

happy t day!!!!!!

16 November, 2006

Gone...You Pretend Like You're Immortal

Tomorrow I will be leaving for a good friend's college to participate in their annual hoedown. I am not sure why I am doing this, as it seems to be irresponsible or unwise when one considers the time I have available and the money I have budgeted for such a trip. In both cases, there simply isn't enough. And yet I go.

I go because I am escaping for a few days away from the stress. I'll be bringing schoolwork with me, but something strange has been going on. I'm stressed out, and it's not like finals week stress where I can see an end to it, and it's not just limited to one area of my life. I am sleeping less well than ever and when I do sleep, my dreams are full of bad situations and images that don't help me rest much.

I go to step away from the future in order to analyze it. I had finally decided that I was definitely going to try for art school, when my parents mentioned my goal of teaching in Namibia. They encouraged me to renew my efforts in that dream and this has changed my mindset completely. Art school is still tantalizing, but certainly no where near as tantalizing as spending time in Namibia working for the glory of God. So I hope to find direction as I stop thinking about it for a while.

I go to have fun! I am greatly anticipating the fellowship there, as every PHC'er I've met has been of like mind and temperament in so many ways to myself. I love dancing, and conversation with intellectual peers should prove to be stimulating.

12 November, 2006

Language and Music

My father told me about a show called Radio Lab, and specifically about an episode that explores perfect pitch in both language and music. It's really interesting. This seriously made me wonder...if I record myself reading my poetry and play it repeatedly, would I be able to find that elusive melody that almost always accompanies my writing? Hm...

This show is genius in itself. The audio landscape they create is amazing. But you will be humming "...sometimes behaves so strangely..." for a while if you listen!

In other news, Switchfoot's newest album "Oh! Gravity" is really sparse, musically. But if those guys ever wanted to, they could write a killer concerto. Maybe they should hook up with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

09 November, 2006

Daniel Bedingfield

I recently received my first CD from half.com. it's Daniel Bedingfield's CD Gotta Get Through This (his music is in the Pride & Prejudice movie below). His music is so interesting. It's pop, which is ranked right below pop country on my list of "music I'd rather not listen to," but the lyrics are killer. Most of the music has dance beats, though he does wander through a bit of rap, slow ballads, and a jazzy feel. However, he wrote and produced most of the lyrics and tracks in his bedroom studio, which I thought was sweet.

His lyrics mostly focus on love. He writes about very human emotions, but with such a purity of thought it's refreshing and exciting. Here are some of my favorite lines:

"So wrap your arms around me and
Kiss me 'til I'm dead"
(I don't find this morbid...it sounds like a long-term commitment to me!)

"He don't wanna have your children
He don't wanna build his life around you...
This place in your heart, that was made for me"
(Wow...more commitment in a love song!)

The whole song Honest Questions could be a quote in itself. It's just amazing.

The song Friday makes me laugh. Will anyone ever be that obsessed about me? I think it's sweet :-)

Gotta Get Thru This and If You're Not The One both seem to encapsulate the emotions I feel about this stage of waiting for a lover.

I wouldn't call his music cutting edge, but the lyrics drive the music. The music is appropriate, but not stunning. Still, he's got a couple of 5-star songs on my iTunes playlist!

08 November, 2006


*Don't think about poetry when you read this...think more about the flow of ideas and images that come to mind. It really should be performance poetry, but this is what I could do with words. Music would do wonders to facilitate the words.*

Do you realize
how lovely the stars are tonight
and your hand
so warm around mine
Is lovely too

Where is love
Where is joy
Where is peace

Where can't our relationship exist
I snuggle deeper
Beautiful words
You breathe on my face
Whispering to me

"I am love
I give joy
I bring peace"

When I can't see stars
Or think about tomorrow
For fear of pain
I know
Your words

Here is love
Here is joy
Here is peace

Sing softly, my King
I feel my heart falling
prey to your wooing
Astonished I let go
and surrender to your will

Sing of love
Sing of joy
Sing of peace

Now I laugh at tomorrow
Where are my worries
You have led me up
Into exhilaration
I sing

Full of love
Full of joy
Full of peace

No room
For anyone else

05 November, 2006

Weekend(s) II

I thought I had this published, but it seems I didn't...so, the week before last weekend (does this sound familiar?) was especially enjoyable. So this is from the last weekend in October.

On Friday I went to the zoo with Heather D., her children, and the children from another family in church. I touched a stingray! Several, actually! Their skin is remarkably soft. The lion roared for us, too :-D God's creation is so amazing. He is truly the Creator, the only one, and the epitome of creativeness. This struck me yet again at the zoo. Everything from cheetahs to glow-in-the-dark scorpions to giant octopi. What hasn't he created? And there are worlds out there full of his imagination that would terrify us! It makes me want to create by imitating him more than ever, though I know I can but cheaply imitate him.

Later, I went to the last boot camp of the preseason and studied all the kids that will make up the future of my team. I like it. I think it's a good mix, and I'm excited about next season (especially epee...I think I picked up a few converts :D )

After THAT I ran around like a madwoman to get ready for yet ANOTHER SYMPHONIC CONCERT! I wore my mother's school dance outfit of the 70's: black velvet vest, black velvet pencil skirt, a collared, button-down shirt that had renaissance sleeves, and my elvish necklace. Though it's hard to walk in, I love this outfit and rarely wear it. Dad looked at me and said, "The last time I saw that get-up your Mom was wearing it." Way cool! I also found out that my paternal grandfather always wanted to see me in black velvet. Interesting.

This time I went to go hear several choral pieces by Bach and Beethoven's 5th symphony with John and Katie (we switched brothers ;-)). There was one fly in the soup: The trolley was late so I barely got there in time for the start of the concert. But after that things went swimmingly. I've rarely enjoyed any concert as much as that one. Afterwards John showed us around the Chem-E computer lab in the basement of Benedum while we talked about school and futures and stuff like that. Then we went to Fuel and Fuddle for my first time. I got woodchuck draft cider and we all shared a really good pizza that had blue cheese on it.

On Sunday I mixed the sound for church service. I tried SO HARD to keep it under 90 dB, and suceeded most of the time. However, I didn't have to sacrifice anything to keep it so low! The guitars and piano really clicked, so I could push the electric guitar in a way I've never felt the freedom to do without expecting complaints. Normally it's just acoustic and piano...and though I "featured" certain instruments for certain songs, I never had to blank one or the other because they clashed. It was so fun. I kept chuckling during worship because it is so fun to just play with the instruments...something I've never done before to that extent.

There were many, many more events...but at this time, my memory fails me. I shall write more as it comes to mind!

02 November, 2006

Oh What A Night...

Well, actually, it was a day. The whole thing. Went absolutely crazy, and I'm not kidding.

Today I woke up early, and even though I wasted 20 minutes of my usually well-planned morning on Facebook, I ate a good breakfast and got to class on time. I stayed alert and participated in all of my classes. Though I forgot a minor assignment and had a pop quiz, I did well and felt pretty chipper. Sadly, I do not remember once attributing this peace to my Father in Heaven, though I certainly enjoyed it for all it was worth.

I got home around 6:30 and discovered Hezz was going to be here with some college friends! Yayy! Then I left for the first fencing practice of the season. Then things added up...I had to drive myself, half of the electronics in the car weren't working, I had to fill up on gas before getting to fencing, I had to pick up a movie I dropped off at Family Video instead of Blockbuster...nothing huge, but it was all irritating to the point that, at the gas station, I found that my debit card was not inside my wallet, nor was any amount of money. I called Mom (who was less than a mile away) to come rescue me, and promptly broke down in the car, crying like I never have before. The car eventually got gas, and I decided I was in no shape to coach. I barely made it home...you know, driving with tears in your eyes is really hard. Mostly because your mind's obsessed with why you're crying.

At 7:30 I was more or less recomposed. Thinking about that hour befuddles me. I am usually logical about how I handle emotion, and not much phases me, though I might do a double-take. I've been thoroughly trained about how to handle stress and problems that arise: Devise a logical solution and just work through the steps. If it gets hard just focus on finishing one simple step at a time. Tonight I knew none of my "problems" were insurmountable or unsolveable, yet I collapsed under routine stress. It was the first time I'd ever been totally up to the will of my emotions with absolutely no logic to balance them. I hated it, every minute of it, and that just made me cry harder. It was so frustrating, and though I grasped at Truth and tried to beat myself out of this emotional puddle, I simply could not do so with my own strength. But, who came and rescued me? Guess.

Around 7:45 Mom and I drove to the newlywed Hughes' house for games and leftover Halloween candy. I went, and seemed to function normally. I had a blast, and genuinely laughed quite often. Never have I played such a good game of "Catchphrase."

Thus goes Thursday, 2 November 2006. I wanted to document it for future reference, in case this becomes some sort of weird habit, and also to remind my future self of God's incredible sustaining grace. When despair cripples you, O Future Self, and logic cannot be found and reason escapes you, cling to the Truth. Reality may shift and the Truth be unrecognizable or seem unworthy, but BELIEVE and salvation will come. Oh how great is our God!

Much thanks to my mother for being a vessel of God's grace during this crazy evening.

01 November, 2006

Pray for Ian!

Today I went to the hospital again to visit an old friend, Ian. His story is long and complex, so I won't explain it all here, but please check out his site for a quick explanation.

His father and girlfriend were there when I visited, and I stayed for about an hour. It's amazing watching him react to their encouragement. "Ian, can you move your arm for me? Your left arm? Your dad's touching it," says Larissa in a sweet tone. "Ian, stick your tongue out." "Ian, wiggle your toe. Just your big toe." Following each command, he seems to think for a while, and muscles spasm. Usually he can complete the task, and when he does he's greeted with his father's "good job, Ian! Good job!" that I've heard so many times applied to other kids, especially at Youth Camp. They both take turns stroking his mohawk (medically mandated) and gazing into his half-opened eyes. He was quite active today, more so than usual. His dad was moving his arms around, trying to keep them limber, and Ian was squeezing his hand. When Mr. Murphy moved like they were caught in an arm wrestling match, Ian pulled his arm toward his body with surprising force, which was really encouraging. Later, Larissa had to pry her hand out of his strong grip. It seems he is trying so hard to "wake up" and talk. It seems frustrating to him, that his love is cooing and stroking his face, but he can't respond!

I was so nervous when I walked into that room. But I'm glad I went. It was so powerful to see the love displayed for Ian. I had been asking God to show me what true love looks like, that I can prepare myself for marriage. While I was there God said, "Shannon, look. This is love. No man has greater love than this: That someone lays down his life for a friend." I had to kneel and continue praying, thanking God for the people who sacrificed so much to care for Ian through this trial.

I left as Larissa sang to him. "I can't see me lovin' no body but you...for all my life!" Such wondrous grace!