Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I want to write my words on the face of today.

Thank you to all of you who responded to my last post. I appreciate your understanding and sharing while I work through this spiritual stumbling block.

I messed up my first graduate school assignment.

Yup. It's true.

I misunderstood what the professor requested of me, and after sending the assignment to him in an email, I received a response from him about 20 minutes before I left for class informing me of my mistake.

At that moment time froze for me and the words of a very wise young man echoed in my head-

I can't control this situation. The only thing I can control is my reaction to it.

I took a deep breath.
No need to get upset, it was too late to fix it and this wasn't going to cause me to fail the class or anything.
I smiled, fired off a response telling Prof. to go ahead and make an example out of me (I'll take one for the team!) and popped in my headphones as I strolled out the door. It felt so good to have actually handled what could have been an anxiety-inducing situation well. I sang on the way to class I felt so relieved. I'm sure the people on 15th street thought I was crazy. ;-)

Sometimes all we need is a deep breath.

On different note- my graduate classes are amazing!
Religion in Modern Japan is currently blowing my mind. Shinto and all it's various kami and Japanese Buddhist practices like Sudden Death temples are just so...foreign!
Expect a post later once I process all this new information...
I love this stuff!

My new favorite thing about KU: The soap dispensers. The ones in the Union are automatic and have shiny silver soap. It's the little things that bring me joy!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Peace of My Heart

I have this bad habit that I'm desperately trying to un-learn.

Sometimes I feel like I'm an interruption, an inconvenience, in the lives of others.

I know exactly where this feeling comes from- damage done years ago, perpetuated by myself in the current situation.

But here's the real stumbling block for me- (and I'm confessing this in such a public forum as a way of forcing myself to deal with it)

I feel like if I forgive those in my past who (un?)intentionally caused these wounds, I'm condoning their actions.

If I forgive them, let go of these feelings of inadequacy, they get off scot-free. Like any good American I want "justice" (read: retribution). And for some reason me holding a grudge for years and years is going to achieve that?

Honestly, who am I really hurting by holding onto the hurt?
Oh yeah, me.

The feelings of inconvenience and inadequacy aren't the root of the problem, they're simply a symptom.
This is going to take some deep-seeing and understanding on my part. Patience. That's all I'm asking for.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Take these broken voices and learn to sing...

Soooo.....TheMindtaker and I did it again. That's right faithful readers, prepare your ears for the glory that is...

Well, whatever.


Yellow Submarine

I'm sorry. We had to. :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Growing up means...

Growing up means you have to pack your own dinner to take to class with you, and it also means that you'll look like a bit of an alcoholic when the only brown paper bags you had once had bottles of Riesling in them. ;-)

Today my other two classes met for the first time. Let me just say, Wednesdays are going to be mentally exhausting. I have class from 2:30-8:30, so if you try to talk to me after, please don't expect too much out of me. ;-)

My first class of the day is "Approaches to the Study of Religion"- aka "The Required Course That Will Quickly Become the Bane of Your Existence After You Are Hopelessly Buried Under the 200 Pages of Reading You Have Every Week". Yay.

My other class is a seminar on Religion on Modern Japan...which is going to be awesome. Well, minus the fact that we're reading a text book pretty much every week. Hey...welcome to grad school.

Ugh my brain is dead. Sorry. Wine and strawberry bundt cake it is!
I'll try to be more interesting next time...

So I realized that I've been posting cute pictures of myself in the entries so far, but I'm a little afraid that this might be false advertising. Ladies and gentlemen, here's the honest truth- This is what I usually look like when I'm blogging. Lovely.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

JoJo was a man who thought he was a woman...wait...

Let me preface this by saying I have been watching entirely too much television lately .

I'm hooked on two shows in particular- Big Love and The Singing Bee. Seeing as my chances of actually getting a part on Big Love are slim to none, I've decided to put in my application to be on the Singing Bee. Seriously, I'm sitting here and I've got all these contestants beat. Oldies, name it, I can sing it. I'll be emailing it in tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted. :-)

(This was the last time I sang in front of a large group of people, though most of the time I was lip syncing...shh ;-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


"Men look at themselves in mirrors. Women look for themselves."- Elissa Melamed

So a conversation about feminism with Mark the other night got me thinking...reflecting if you will. We were talking about the choices women make- for example, if a woman chooses to stay at home and raise the kids, is this a "wrong" decision? Etc....

Well, our conversation has been rolling around in my head now for a few days and I want to share some of my thoughts and ask for yours as well...

My issue is not with the choices we as women make, but WHY we make them. If a woman wants to stay at home and raise her children, for me the issue is why does she want to do that? When the answer isn't "for her own self-fulfillment", then we have a problem.

So many of our actions and decisions are unfortunately governed by society- like thong underwear (I'll spare you that rant). Not all of these decisions are in our best interest, in fact some of them are down right harmful. The media fuels these ideas; magazines scream about the latest trends- Cosmo constantly offering us ways to please our man and lose 20 pounds at the same time!

Why? WHY? Why are we buying this crap ladies? Because it's what we think is expected of us? Because it's how we fit in?

Feminism encourages wait, I encourage you to examine your decisions. Really think about why you do the things you do, buy the products you buy, wear the things you wear. (Guys, this goes for you too...)
I'm right there with you, re-evaluating the decisions in my life.

When we look a little deeper we may start to realize the unintentional harm we do to ourselves and others simply to "fit in". We must be more mindful of our decisions.

This is the way to change the system- to be intentional and deliberate in our consumption and actions.


PS- Check out my double-jointed elbow. Ew.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Day In the Life

My first day of graduate first day at the University of Kansas.

At 8:45 this morning I locked the door to my apartment and turned on my iPod. The Beatles' "new" Love album was my soundtrack of choice. To the tune of "Get Back" I embarked on my journey.

At 9:00 this morning I was cursing the sun with every sweaty bone in my body. My water bottle was half gone and I was only half way to class. Sunburn was imminent.

At 9:20 I arrived at Smith Hall, my home for the next 2 years, drenched in sweat and excited to start my Religious Perspectives on War and Peace class.

At 10:30 my professor had already dropped the "n" word, I'd met 20 great students who I look forward discussing the course matter with, and my four hours of sleep was catching up with me.

At 10:50 I strolled out the door of the beautiful icebox that is Smith and met Gabriel and we proceeded to walk back towards my apartment as I stripped down to my tank-top on the way. It was too damn hot.

At 8:45 this evening, 12 hours later, with a successful Pier 1 shift almost behind me I sat in an "Easy Rattan Chair" facing the window watching a gorgeous storm roll in to Lawrence as the rain poured down. Life is beautiful.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who Has to Know?

Our scene: The crowded, bustling bookstore at the Kansas University Student Union.

Enter: Our heroine, Lindsey, dressed in her khakis, "Life is Buddhaful" tank top, underwear inside out (unintentionally of course) and aviator shades perched on her head.

She takes a deep breath as she steps into the chaos...

I'll be the first to admit it, I'm not used to a school as large as KU; William Woods and Drury both had less than 5000 students. So to be surrounded by something like 28,000 students is a little bit mind-blowing.

But as I sit here now reflecting back on the bookstore situation (carton of Orange and Vanilla Swirl Rice Dream in hand) I can't help but wonder if I'll actually enjoy the anonymity. I mean sure I'll get to know the students in the Religious Studies program and I'll find my academic community there, but maybe it will be nice to zone out as I enjoy my 30 minute walk to class and not have to worry about who I'm going to see or how I look (which will be sweaty because it's still abhorrently hot here) because chances are I will never get to know these people. I get to sink into the comfort of being unknown.

Who am I kidding? I can't do that.
I long for a way to be connected to those around me. I love the interconnectedness I feel in large groups of people. I'm just like my brother, it's in my nature to become overly-involved and to make people know who I am and to love every minute of it.

I will find a way to enjoy being a medium fish in a large pond. No...wrong metaphor. Ew.
I will find a way to connect.
Watch out KU. ;-)

And on a completely different note- I miss real ice cream.

Monday, August 13, 2007

110 Degrees in the Shade

It is too damn hot.
Silly mid-west humidity.
It's lay under the ceiling fan in your underwear drinking iced tea hot.

But with classes starting on Thursday, I had to put clothes on and venture over the the KU Student Union. Needless to was a little crazy. I bravely strolled through the crowds, got my ID card and with a little help from TheMindtaker, found my books at the bookstore.

I'm very excited for my schedule-
Approaches to Study of Religion
Religious Perspectives On War & Peace
Religion & Society in Asia: Modern Japan

It's going to be a great semester and you can look forward to plenty of blog entries about these subjects and more. :-)

See? It's official.
(Yes I wore purple and white to get my photo taken. I'm still a Wildcat at heart!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

On a Hill Far Away...

The day I never expected has finally arrived.

After months of walking past the Buddhas at Pier 1, fondly patting their cranial protuberances and musing over an Asian holy man becoming a decorative statement, I saw it.

That's right ladies and gentlemen- Jesus has become a photo holder. Well, not Jesus exactly, more like that torture instrument he was killed upon- a cross.

I can't seem to grab a picture of it to put up here, but trust me on the fact that Pier 1 now sells a cross which you can proudly display your family photos on. Ugh.

I will never understand why it is Christians choose to wear cross jewelry, to display it in their homes. To quote on of my favorite books about the Bible "The Pocket Guide to the Bible" by Jason Boyett "50 Cent's diamond-encrusted platinum cross necklace, while undoubtedly blingy, is about as classy as a rhinestone-studded electric chair swinging from a gold chain.

While I recognize the sacrifice of a death on the cross, I don't think it should be turned into a fashion statement. Ah but these are just some frustrating thoughts I can't flesh out quite yet.

Instead, I turn my attention back to my glass of wine and some oreo pudding. Life is good.

Monday, August 6, 2007

When it's late, and it's hot
And an hour in the shower is the best that you've got...

It's no secret that I have some strange fears. I'm afraid of closed shower curtains and finding homeless people in dumpsters. Probably the strangest fear, the one which makes everyone say "Whaa? Ha ha ha"- is fish. This was me before going to the Oklahoma Aquarium on Friday-Mark, on the other hand, apparently likes fish. As you can see, he's obviously rather excited to be hanging out with some huge scary looking alligator gar-

I've slowly been trying to conquer this fear. It's not so much of a phobia that it destroys my life, but it would be so much easier to go to the seafood section of a grocery store or to go to a pet store. I spent my time at the aquarium breathing deeply and taking the occasional fish break by heading over to the sting-ray tank to look at creatures that don't create a panicked feeling within my chest. Well, until one of the sting-rays tried to jump out of the tank. I might have screamed...just a little.

Perhaps more important than conquering this fear, to me, is understanding it. So here's my attempt-

First of all, fish in the supermarket scare me because they are a dead thing in their whole form, yet they don't look dead. Ew. That would give anyone the heebie-jeebies I think. I mean come on, they have creepy eyes!

Secondly, and probably what scares me more is fish out of water. The idea that this creepy looking thing is going to die flopping and gasping and I don't know what to do and I won't want to pick it up and I won't be able to because it's flopping and....uggggghhhhhhhhhh.....

My fear is amplified by the idea that a living being will be suffering and I will be unable to help it because I am afraid.

So I breathe and remember that things will happen that are beyond my control. Creatures will live and die and the cycle of life will continue and fish aren't going to jump out of aquariums to attack me. (Homeless people are another story! ;-) Kidding...kidding).

I even found a fish I liked at the aquarium and Mark and I sat down for awhile to watch him and a whole bunch of other fish in the ocean reef tank. As silly as it was, I was pretty proud of myself. Here he is-

I picked him because he looked rather like a pillow I have on my futon...scary mouth and all.
Baby steps.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain..

So Lindsey in Lawrence becomes Lindsey in Tulsa for a few days as I drag Marko Polo home with me for the weekend to face my fear of fish at the Oklahoma Aquarium. Ugh.

In the meantime, faithful readers, here's a little treat-

TheMindTaker recently taught me how to use Garage Band on my Mac and we recorded a few things. It's Gabriel on guitar and myself on flute. We are by no means professional musicians or singers but hey, it's good for a laugh! We're working on expanding our Beatles repertoire in order to play on Mass Street and earn money for day-old Jimmy John's.

Can't Buy Me Love

Across the Universe

Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend!