Monthly Archives: March 2008

Livin’ the LA Life

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me-and-rach.jpgSo, really, I have not taken full advantage of living in this extremely diverse city that I live in.  It is full of festivities, concerts, exhibits, beaches, and all-around fun of many kinds that I have not divulged in.  Enter today.

It started out a typical Saturday morning-picked up some students to go cheer on Gompers Middle School’s basketball teams.  Now, while this isn’t typically what I do Saturday, it definitely wasn’t noteworthy or anything completely out of the ordinary.  I work with some pretty cool kids that are great to spend time with.  So, we ran around for a few hours cheering teams on, eating some wings (I momentarily forgot about the fact I haven’t eaten meat in two weeks…oops!  Regular vegetarian/pescatarian influence will begin again tomorrow!), and having fun.

I dropped them off and headed to Amber’s to begin the search for clothing to meet this new “style” I have in mind.  Went to the Vintage Thrift shop to search around, to no avail…but still had a good time doin’ our thang!  Ran back home to eat quick snack and change.  Five of us stuffed into Reg (he’s not quite as roomy as the Envoy…but he gets the job done.  And done well!  Albeit quaintly) and headed to Shay’s photography exhibit in Venice.  It was a cute little studio right by the beach with several artists struttin’ their stuff!  It really was quite elegant.  Complete with wine, conversation, and hors d’oerves (I try to spell this unsuccessfully everytime…but I know you know what I mean).  Throwing my plate full of crumbs onto an older gentleman was highly embarrassing, but he was very understanding for the most part.  I mean, really….who does that?  Dang wind! 

Upon leaving the exhibit, we all decided it would be wonderful if everyone lived in a musical.  Where people sang and danced and busted into choreographed moves randomly on the streets.  You better believe this led to much fun on the walk back to the car.  I’m serious when I say my voice is a little bit scratchy from all the singing.  You really should try this.  Incorporate dance moves and drama when appropriate.  I noticed strangers were not as enthusiastic about this musical approach, as they seemed to believe we were mocking them rather than trying to invite them into this musical world of ours. 

We all skidaddled (once again, not claiming to be a spelling bee winner here) over to Temple Bar to watch Fosforo perform.  Hopefully that link works.  It literally took four attempts to add it in here, and I must admit I am a little bit impressed with myself.   It was really awesome.  In case the link doesn’t work, which is a highly likely assumption, I will just let you know they are a little reggae/punk/electronica/mix/goodness all in one.  If I had posted about Spring Break yet, you would have known about my newfound love of reggae.   Which I also do not know if I am spelling correctly.  Whatever!  Anyways, the evening ended with a fabulous conversation with a musician named Alex.  Not quite famous yet…but a musician nonetheless.

Sorry, Raleigh, I didn’t have the chance to catch up with Jennifer today.  She was busy and had to reschedule.

In light of my last post and the fact I’m feeling a little more uplifted, I’ll go ahead and entertain a 5 + 2:

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

  • That Reg defrosts rapidly and remarkably.  It really was breathtaking.
  • Great friends who like to do cool things and allow me to tag along
  • My students who keep me laughing, motivated, and encouraged
  • Living with my sister: watching Food Network, playing Dr. Mario, plotting against birds, etc.
  • A low-key day tomorrow!

2 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

  • Fun weekend activities over the next two months! (bachelorette party, retreat, Arizona, mom’s wedding, Santa Barbara, Lindsay’s wedding, Grandma’s 90th birthday, Monica’s wedding, etc.)  WHEW!!
  • CST Testing being over and done with so I can relax a little more!
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We are called to Love…

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heart.gifSo a lot has been on my heart today about the fragility and brevity of life here on earth.   I was made aware today of a dear student of mine who has been going through some frustrations at home and at school and has had a difficult time learning how to cope with it all in a healthy manner.  After many tears and difficult conversations, we are all working together to ensure she gets the help that she needs to overcome what’s going on.  But, that really hit me hard.  I am grateful she felt comfortable confiding in me, but I am pained by what she is going through.  I am crying as I write this just feeling at such a loss as to what to do to help.  I really do not feel I know what to say or what to do, nor do I feel prepared for all the situations I am confronted with in the lives of those around me.  I was affirmed tonight by a friend who said, obviously you do or God would not have you there….and another who reminded me of the importance of continually allowing God to speak through me.

When caught up in all the emotions, frustration, and sadness, this becomes a difficult thing to remember to do.  I become selfish wondering why this is happening to people around me and why I feel the hurt the way that I do.  Really, though, it has not happened to me.  It has happened to the people around me that I love so deeply and dearly.  Which ultimately leads to feeling pain when they feel pain.  In thinking back on my life, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for how “easy” things have been for me.  Even though I have struggled with some things, the events that have impacted me most deeply really have not concerned me at all: my parent’s divorce, my sister’s hurts, Kisha’s death, my student’s disappointments.  But, because I love these people, I feel some of the pain.

It is coming up on four years since my best friend, Kisha Gentry, passed away.  In some ways, it seems like days and in some ways it seems like an eternity.  I can still hear her laugh and often find myself thinking about what she would have said in response to different stories or situations.  But, I sometimes wonder how our friendship would have developed.  Many of my friendships have changed throughout my many moves across the states and through my constant changing, growing, and learning and I wonder where she would have been in the picture. 

I just finished watching a Dateline which spoke about two students from Taylor University who were a case of ‘mistaken identity’.  There was a terrible accident and five people were killed….five weeks later, it was discovered that the one girl in Intensive Care was actually one of the five whose funeral had been held, memorial service had been attended, and whose body had been buried.  Can you imagine the twist of events for both of these families?  What a bittersweet time.  But, how interesting that the girl who has since fully recovered has been able to watch her funeral on video tape and see the site where her family chose to bury her.  What a surreal feeling.  Morbid, really.  But what an interesting experience to have the opportunity to live the rest of your life with a different perspective.  What would be said at my funeral?  Am I living in a way that glorifies God?  What else can I do today to ensure I have no regrets?  Will I one day here the words I yearn to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

I finished reading a book entitled, In Light of Eternity which was a very eye-opening look at Heaven and what we have to expect (and all that is beyond what we could even imagine) when that day comes.  I took a few students out tonight and it was neat getting to have a conversation about heaven and each of our thoughts about it.  I really am more scared of getting hurt than dying.  But, this fear definitely holds me back from doing many things I really would like to do.

Through all of this going on in my heart, I pray God continues to use this to have me draw closer to Him.  When confronted with situations so much bigger than me, I hope that I am constantly reminded of His sovereignty.  With all the reminders of death around us, I am confident that the Lord will use them as reminders to make the most of each day….for Him.  After all, we are called to Love.  And let’s do so with reckless abandon.  Even if it hurts.

 Sorry if this was little “Debbie-downer”!  More uplifting posts to follow I’m sure!

Introducing….RegEnDev!

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ion1.jpgenvoy.jpgYep, you got it ladies and gentlemen, dear readers of mine….I have bought a new (used) car!  I had been burdened a few weeks ago and realized that my car was really stressin’ me out.  Between the gas, the insurance, and the payment, the trusty GMC Envoy was running me almost $700 a month!!  NOT okay while trying to get myself out of this credit card debt crisis I have gotten myself into (64.7% paid off since last July!…looking like I’ll be debt-free in August 2008).

So, I almost got one a few weeks ago…but that was really a rash decision.  I went to CarMax, tried to get approved for a loan the next day via a credit union and was disappointed with their APR that they offered.  Plus, I was leaving for Spring Break the following day so it was just too much.

So, there I was last night.  Really trying to procrastinate putting away the mound of eight loads of laundry I have yet to put away, writing IEPs that I need to do, and finding anything to keep me from doing the eleven things on my list of things to do for the evening.  And a commercial came on.  Good job, marketing.  I searched on the Saturn website and found the car I wanted offered for $3,000 under the KBB price with full warranty and as a certified used vehicle.  I called at 8pm to make sure they were still open and showed up at 8:17, test drove it, and was out of the door and said adios to the Envoy at 10:47.  Actually, I don’t even know if I said bye.  Poor guy. 

Anyways, in contemplating a new name/persona for this car I really wanted to make sure it was something that stuck.  I noticed on the way home the alignment seems to be pulling a little to the right (gonna go back to check that out tonight)…but then I was like, well that’s kinda cool he’s always bringing me in the right direction.  So I thought, “Righty” but that just isn’t catchy.  So I came up with Reggie…which sounds similar?  Or at least how it might sound when trying to say Righty with a mouth full of grapes or marshmallows….which ultimately led to Reg.  And my car feels like a ‘Reg’.  Then, this morning as I was driving to school I was listening to the Fish and they were talking about endeavors.  I thought how this car is bringing me on new endeavors in this life of mine: the endeavor of being debt free, living more economically aware,  in this new singleness of mine, trying to decide where God wants me next year, etc.  All-around new endeavors surrounding me right now.  So I thought, “Dev.”  Hence, RegDev.  But, just now as I was typing it….I thought RegEnDev flows a little smoother and really, we can just call him ‘Reg’ for short.   Or just acknowledge him as a 2006 Black Saturn Ion (4 door), which is what he is.  And he will be tinted shortly.  Photos to follow soon.  Generic ones posted now.

I ❤ Reg.

In the Heavenlies

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heaven2.jpgheaven-1.jpgMaybe it’s a little naive or me to still envision heaven as a place filled of endless fluffy (are the cumulus?) clouds and crystal blue skies–but I do think at least part of heaven will have thie somewhere.  I mean, this picture and idea must have started somewhere, right? (Okay, I know there’s no scripture backing me up here persay-but none directly rules it out-or so it seems from my limited understanding).

Regardless, I woke up from my plane ride nap today (now yesterday) and looked out the window and it took my breath away as I envisioned heaven–or maybe just a park or something in heaven–looking like this. (Sidenote: I am currently writing from the friendly skies for a post-which puts a little pressure on me as I’ve never “premeditated a post” before-yeah, that’s right-all posts are posted due to rash decision making on my part.  I should probably keep all of this out of the post as well so there isn’t an elevated hope of the outcome of this particular post).  I was inclined to wake up the woman next to me* and share in this breath-taking beauty.  I mean, I’ve inadvertantly awoken somebody by my massive twitching-before-I-fall-asleep on a plane–wouldn’t this be a little more well-received?  I finally decided it’d be better not to-but I’m carefully keeping my eye on her (not in a creepy way, well…I don’t think-her husband’s next to her and might be concerned if that were the case) for an opportune time to share this with her*.

Okay, I’ve received confirmation.  Lady next to me* concurs in my understanding of how beautiful this is and she added to it that it must be part of what heaven will look like.  Oh, sweet sigh of relief.

Speaking of crazy things, I feel I have an online confession to make.  I have stalker tendencies, but in the nicest, non-creepy way possible–particularly when it comes to google and blogs.  I’ve found blogs through friends of friends of friends’ sites and gotten really invested in their lives (yes, and even posted anonymous comments) and find myself curious as to what is going on and what God is doing through them now (kinda reminds me of when my dad confided in me he stopped watching soap operas-All My Children actually, since it was my mom’s favorite-when he found himself concerned at work about the characters in the show.  He couldn’t believe it was actually entering his mind outside of watching it.  So he stopped.  Cold turkey.)  Well, that happens to me quite a bit (the part where it occupies my thoughts during work)–luckily JP’s information about the website “Bloglines” (if you don’t know what it is, go check it out.   Now.  You can link all your blogs there to know when a new one’s been posted rather than searching each site to be undoubtedly disappointed when someone hasn’t posted) has drastically cut down on this tendency-although I do have a few blogs on there of people who don’t know me but I appreciate reading their blogs.  Strange?  Maybe.  Reality?  Yes.

It’s crazy when we think of all the information at our fingertips–I’ve definited “found” (stalked?) old boyfriends when trying to contact them out of curiousity–or seeking forgiveness.  I’ve discovered long-lost friends via the world wide web (some searching even require more persistancy-such as calling the workplace they were linked to, etc.)  And, actually, a good friend, as prompted by a classic “Sex in the City” episode, discovered the “secret life” of her current boyfriend/dating interest  and ended the relationship based on the findings of a quality “gooogle search”.

Really, I’m just nosey.  It used to be a problem on my college basketball team, but even Roz came to appreciate it (okay, maybe “accept” would be a better word) as she realized my intentions were not ill (is that a good incorporation, Raleigh?)-I really just want to know to learn.  I am drawn to people-and I’ve been told the reverse is true of me-that people are drawn to me.  I pray it’s the Jesus in me that they see and are drawn to.  But, really, maybe it’s just my height and dimples.  Whatever it is, I am grateful for the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things because everyone has a story to tell.  Anyways, the original intention of this blog was to share two things:

  • My growing questions, thoughts, and feelings on this Christian walk of mine I am so enjoying
  • The details of two great trips I’ve just returned from

But, now that I’m well over a reasonable word limit and will be lucky to have any readers-those snipets will just have to wait.  So, for you fellow stalker-er, nosey-uh, overly-interested people out there: this should be a week chalk-full of high interest (or no-interest, it really depends on what you’re interested in) blogging from Kar’s Korner.  Keep your eyes peeled (I’ve ended with two phrases I don’t even entirely understand–maybe you can enlighten me “chalk-full” and “keep your eyes peeled”-were they even used appropriately?)

*So, after further conversation with the lady next to me and her husband…they are actually from Scottsdale, follow baseball, their son played with my first friend in AZ’s (the sister of Brandon Wood) now-husband and now their grandkids and my friend and her husband’s nephews (follow that?) play little league together.  SMALL WORLD!  And, really, how do you find those connections out?

Transition into “Hippy-hood”

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Lately I have been feeling a lot of prompting to become more eco-friendly.  I’m sure this is from a variety of mediums; namely society, living in LA, the influence of some friends, and a lot of marketing of some sort or another (whether consciously aware or not).  I tend to be late to follow trends in many aspects of my life.  I tend to wait until the excitement has kind of died out and then hold on strong past when it’s “cool” (I’m thinking of capris here…which I am still an avid wearer of and I really don’t see this dying out anytime soon in my life.  They really are such an answer to prayers of a 6’3” woman….and would have saved a lot of torment in childhood had they been ‘in’ then.).Anyways, I have made some steps in my life as of late into this “hippy-hood” I look forward to fully incorporating in my life by August 2008.  (You all are well-aware I’m all about lists and timelines!)  A few things I have done: requested  a lunch bag for my birthday so as to stop bringing plastic bags for lunch (thanks, sister!), invested in tupperware to carry my fruit/veggies and sandwiches in rather than plastic bags, and I have frequented Farmer’s Markets (okay, twice) to purchase some local produce and other goodies.  And, today I made my first big step, if you will.  I walked to my local grocery store with my canvas tote bag to go grocery shopping.  I found this to have many benefits other than just the obvious eco-friendly ones: a lot of talk time on the cell phone (looking forward to more talk time, Jenn!), a little exercise, and saving money on gas.  I found myself conflicted on the way home though when I came across approximately 20 plastic bags from the 99 cent store.  I walked past them at first, but returned to pick them up and bring them home with me in order to recycle them at Trader Joe’s.  I also noticed myself feeling a twinge of guilt at any scrap of garbage I would see and this resulted in picking up several pieces of trash along the way (something my dad would be proud of, as he’s often done this while growing up much to our embarrassment…he claimed it paying off his debt to society after smoking for so many years and polluting with the cigarette butts).  I need to find a balance, though, or these walking trips might be quite taxing on me.  But, really, why is it so difficult for people to just throw things away?There are several things I would like to incorporate into my life over the next five months though…and naturally, this sets myself up beautifully for a list:

  • Cut out meat.  I’m going to begin with just being a “pescatarian” and still eat fish; I don’t know if I could do completely without some good salmon or tuna.
  • Get my nose pierced again.  I just really like the way this looks on me.  And, at this point, I have no basketball to get in the way of keeping it in and having it heal.
  • Sell my car and buy a more gas-friendly car that is affordable (I’m thinking a used Honda here)
  • Invest in some more comfortable clothing from select thrift stores (and also some nice accessories.  I really enjoy some good accessories).
  • Read more and write more.  Spend more time at cute little restaurants and coffee shops.
  • Cook dinner more often
  • Cut my hair and donate to Locks of Love again.
  • Continue to walk to grocery stores, visit Farmers’ Markets, and eat healthier.

I would also like to invest in a bicycle depending upon where I end up next year.  Really, these are all many things that I’ve tried at one point or another to do over the last 8-10 years of my life.  But, I figure, I might as well incorporate them now wholeheartedly while I have no other commitments that might distract from this decision.  Because, ultimately, we all benefit.  Right?  Is this weird to anyone I felt the urge to actually blog about this?  I feel it might help hold me accountable though.  I get distracted easily enough as it is.  Thanks.

Glorious Gompers

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z_06_watts.jpgSome random quotes compiled in my Quote Journal/Laugh Journal (some are really not too funny) that students try to get into:

  • “Stop calling me from jail, you loser.  Get a life.” A cousin of a student as she hangs up her cell phone.  Uhhh….
  • “I want to be a paralegal.  Everyone I know goes to jail: boyfriends, friends, family…I just want to help them out”.  You guessed it, same cousin.
  • “I got saved last weekend”  Sixth grade student, during the summer
  • “Where’d you get that from?  I know you didn’t steal that from the liquor store.”  in reference to the bell on my desk
  • “I hope he grows some fish in his head….for all ‘dem waves!” In reference to Patrick’s hair
  • “Where do you keep learning all these cool things you’re teaching me?”  in reference to reading strategies taught to Ladejeisha
  • “Why are you so thinkative?” a student inquiring about me being deep in thought
  • Student enters with BLARING head phones.  I instruct him to Dance.  His response, “I can’t.  My head hurts….this CD player’s too loud”. 
  • “Have you ever thought about studying abroad?” a question asked to my students to which I hear, “Heck, yeah, I’ll study some broads!”
  • “You actually are funny.  When you pay attention, you are hilarious…but you have to really pay attention”  my class clown talking about me.
  • “It’s all about obeying the laws of physics”  a student with autism as he balanced on a railing.  Not safe. 
  • “I was fresh out of the pen today–then they wanna lock me up again” in reference to a student going back to detention.

They’ll keep you on your toes!  Gotta love it!

26 and counting!

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Well, it’s official.  I’ve now been wandering this earth for over a quarter of a century.  And what a journey it’s been! I realized today on the beach that I am fortunate in the way I almost have three “new year’s” throughout the course of my year.  Of course, I have the standard New Year’s.  Then there’s my birthday which also calls for some more introspection and improvement.  Finally, I have the beginning of a school year which gets underway in August.  Not so shabby to readdress all the resolutions that might not have taken place at the previous milestone.  I’m still favoring JP’s New Month’s Resolutions idea.  Although, I have come up short on my “do not eat chocolate” resolution of this month.  Only twice though.  But, I have a few new ones that seem successful in my mind for full implementation in April. 

So, this week has been full of birthday festivities.  So much so that my friend who came in town for my birthday forgot today was actually my birthday because I’ve “been milking it all weekend”  😉  So, let’s do a quick recap for those of you in dire need to hear about all of my whereabouts!

  • Thursday:  Jen Cheaney drove in town from Santa Cruz and got in about 1am
  • Friday: Went to work, got Pinkberry’s, went to Amber’s for her birthday dinner party celebration til midnight
  • Saturday: I had a HerShe meeting, went grocery and Target shopping, arrived at beach for the bonfire after some rocky beginnings!  Afterwards, proceeded to Acosta’s to play Rock Band until 11pm
  • Sunday: Up at 7 to go to my mom and Jim’s for breakfast, Disneyland with Jen and Acosta, had my sister surprised me with Red Velvet Birthday Cupcakes with candles and all, and then to Cheesecake Factory with about 15 friends and fam (thanks again, Jim)!  CRASHED at 8pm.  Snoring, twitching, and all while watching the Food Network
  • Monday: took the day off, went to breakfast with Jen, walked to the beach, hung out with the Sister, got a massage, tutored.  Currently awaiting Patrick to grab some dinner.  And then crash.

WHEW!  Seriously, even for me, this was a jam-packed weekend.  But, despite some rough patches and hard lessons learned and painful experiences, my 25th year has really taken the cake as far as all my years here are concerned.  I have laughed more, loved more, learned more, etc!  And, I look forward continuing on this up and up!  I am so encouraged by the friendships that I have with both friends and family.  I am grateful for all the love I am shown not only on my birthday but day in and day out.  And I am overwhelmed by the amount of people I have in my life that care about me.  So, this is to all of you: thanks for making my 25 years so enjoyable!  And here’s to another 25 times 3 (or more!)  🙂