tell me what you thought about when you were gone

So, wow.

I haven't written anything in a long while. Too long of a while.

I guess I haven't had the motivation or the inspiration.

There really hasn't been much to write about.

I could write about my busy life, but honestly, I'm sure we're all too busy to read about that.

I could write about my Bahamas trip, but it'd be easier to just send you to the pictures.

I could write about my best friend, Tori, but that would take way too long.

I could write about the newly Significant Other in my life, but I'd prefer just talking to you about it [him] rather than attempting to make sense of it in words.

I could write about how much I loathe summer reading, but somehow I think I'd simply be repeating what all of us have already said to each other.

Basically, there is too much to write about to write at all. If that even makes sense.

Hope you are all enjoying your last moments of summer. Feel free to call me and catch up if we haven't done so in a while; I haven't forgotten you, just been focused on other things.

God bless,


when you love someone but it goes to waste

Selections from The Last Boleyn by Karen Harper, specifically for Elyssa. Because I love her, obviously.

Also, in the very near future, I will be posting in entry in which I compare and contrast The Last Boleyn to The Other Boleyn Girl. I was doing it in the shower, in my head, this morning. I’m very excited, so you should be too. Wee.


The summer weeks flitted by on butterfly wings for Mary Carey at King Henry’s busy court—and in his massive bed. Will Carey’s honeymoon with her had lasted but a week; this one, with the loud and laughing king, went on and on. They hunted, they rode bedecked barges up and down the Thames, they laughed and danced and sported and held hands. For Mary, it was truly the first courtship she had ever had, and she was wholly in love with being loved, if not with the effusive lover himself.


He turned to her and pulled her gently away from the willow tree. ‘But the difference, my Mary, is that I love you, and I believe you truly love me. Do you deny it?’

‘No,’ she drawled slowly as memories mingled with the griefs she had felt without him at Plashy and the joys she had felt so often with him. ‘I think I do love you, Staff, but you see…well, my life has been so confused, and I have been so unhappy with Will and His Grace and so, maybe I…’

He gave her a rough shake and she stopped speaking. ‘I asked you once if you loved Will and you said ‘I think I do.’ I told you then that if you think you do, you do not. Do you remember? I do not want you to ‘think’ you love me. I will have you and your love, lass, and you will know it is love or I might just as well marry at the king’s whim or bed some court lady who catches my moment’s fancy.’

Tears came to her eyes, and the tiny hurt grew that always came when he spoke of bedding others. The grip of his hard hands hurt her arms. She smothered the desire to tell him how much she loved him.


His arms went strong and sure around her. ‘I love you, my golden Mary. I have always loved you.’ His voice faltered. ‘Yet I am not certain saying ‘love’ is strong enough to tell it all—all of how deeply I have felt for you over the years…’


Well, that’s it for now. I did actually enjoy the book, however much it reminded me of Philippa. I can’t wait to show you all the differences between the two author’s portrayals of the same amazing, invisible historical figure.

God bless,


time of death = 12:28 pm

AP Exams are over.

That’s all I have to say.

(Sorry for those of you who still have AP Chem, AP Psych, or whatever else is next week. Good luck with that.)

God bless,


advanced placement ocd

In lieu of the AP exams, I thought I’d post the “My Personal Food Handler’s Licensing” Exam (perhaps better known as the OCD Exam) found at the end of Devil in the Details.

Multiple Choice

1) Food should be stored:
  1. Below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. In alphabetical order from left to right.

2) If you find an insect in the produce, you should:

  1. Throw it away.

  2. Rinse produce thoroughly and cut away affected part, then serve.

  3. Rinse produce thoroughly and cut away affected part. Decide produce still carries the taint of death and throw it away, but not in the kitchen garbage can. Use the garbage in the garage instead. Wash your hands well, tap the counter three times to ward off death, then say your afternoon prayers.

3) Serving utensils should be:
  1. Stored in ice water.

  2. Flash-sterilized in the dishwasher.

  3. Anointed in the Jacuzzi.

4) An acceptable salad dressed is:
  1. Oil and vinegar.

  2. Herbed aioli.

  3. Tap water.

5) The black specks in the vegetable soup are probably:
  1. Pepper.

  2. Poppy seeds.

  3. Dead insects. They are totally, totally dead insects. Go wash the bowl until your hands bleed.

6) If food is dropped on the floor, you must:

  1. Wash it before serving.

  2. Throw it away.

  3. That depends. Where did you drop it, exactly? On the carpet? If it was on the carpet you should throw it away and go wash your hands. But if it was on the linoleum, where you saw beacon grease drip that one time, you’re going to have to throw it away, wash your hands, then wash everything you’re wearing. Shower and change into a non-contaminated outfit. This outfit will instantly become contaminated because it takes more than one shower to remove the taint of bacon. Shower again. Change into another non-contaminated outfit, and avoid the kitchen for the rest of the week.
Free response questions

Expound on the following statements:

  1. Toothpaste has calories.
  2. Air can be un-kosher.
  3. Salmonella can flourish in the balmy climes of hell.

From Jennifer Traig’s Devil in the Details “Reading Group Guide”

God bless,


and on a more positive note

Why is news like this not shared more often?

I found this news so sweet and optimistic, and thought it was a current event actually worth sharing.

Afghanistan's cardiac kids

The Times-Union

University of Florida heart specialists will help provide free cardiac care -- valued at more than $80,000 combined -- for two Afghan children with severe heart defects who were brought to a National Guard camp.

The boys, age 2 and 7, have a history of congenital heart defects. The surgeries are scheduled to be performed at Wolfson Children's Hospital next month to improve the boys' blood oxygen levels for a better quality of life and longer life expectancies. The younger child, Azad Kofi, has a single functioning ventricle with pulmonary stenosis, which has led to severely impaired oxygen levels. The older child, Tamim Sarwari, suffers from tetralogy of Fallot, which causes chronic lack of circulation, creating clubbing of his fingers and swelling of his digits. His fingers and lips are blue.

Both children get exhausted easily and are "not as active as we would expect other children of their ages to be," said Ronald Renuart, a colonel with the Florida Army National Guard. He first saw the boys while stationed as a doctor at Camp Phoenix on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Azad was brought to the front gate of Camp Phoenix by his father, Renuart recalled. The child was blue around his lips and fingers and didn't cry a lot.

"He was breathing fast and his heart rate was rapid," said Renuart, who also is a former chief of staff at Baptist Medical Center Beaches.

There was nothing Renuart could do at the camp.

"It was a surgical problem," he said.

Expenses for the medical mission will be covered by Patrons of the Hearts, an endowment which brings children from foreign countries to Jacksonville for cardiac care. The endowment is a partnership between Wolfson, the University of Florida and Fogle Fine Art & Accessories.

Medical and surgical services for the two boys are being donated by Wolfson, while the heart specialists will donate their time and expertise.

Wolfson provides free medical care to about 10 to 12 needy children from foreign countries annually at a total cost of at least $500,000, hospital spokeswoman Vikki Mioduszewski said. Wolfson spends about $10 million annually in providing charity and uncompensated care.

God bless,


selections from my current reading selection

Because, if you know me, you know that when I read a book, I want everyone else to read it, because I’m a giving person like that. So, here it is, random parts of the book I’m currently reading, Devil in the Details. It’s a hilarious little memoir that Tori picked up while we were in Barnes and Noble the other day with the comment, “This reminds me of you.” The cover is candy-coated chocolates lined up by color in freakishly perfect lines.

And the book.

Well, the book is about an obsessive compulsive (really truly) religious fanatic. Her religious preference happens to be Jewish, which I didn’t know until I had read the first few pages of the book. I don’t know what it is with me and Jewish memoirs (or, really, half-Jewish memoirs. The authors of Girl Meets God and Devil in the Details were both results of Christian mothers and Jewish fathers, making them, technically, not Jewish. Both, however, underwent official conversion, details of which can be found below). Elyssa likes to think that I am “seekritly” Jewish. So, there’s one theory. I just like to think that I am keenly interested in the Jewish faith, and that maybe, God has a plan for me involving Judaism. Not necessarily me becoming Jewish, since that’s, well, impossible, but perhaps learning a lot more about it, and somehow using it in my career (as an English teacher?). Okay, really, I have no idea, but Jews are amazing, and some of the wittiest people I know. So, here you are, your very own selection of witty Jewishness, from Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood.


…THE next step in the conversion was the most unsettling. I would have to go to the mikvah, the ritual bath. I was not looking forward to it. Despite my washing compulsions, I didn’t particularly enjoy bathing, and I certainly didn’t relish the thought of doing it in front of an audience. A witness would have to be present to verify that I did it properly.

The awkwardness of the situation, I hoped, would be mitigated by the luxury of it. The nearest mikvah was in San Francisco, a big city, and this conjured images of glamour for me. I figured the mikvah would be like a spa treatment, only slightly more spiritual. I would have a wrap and a massage, and then, when the spirit moved me, I’d take a dip in my gold Gottex one-piece

In reality it went more like this: there was a vigorous pre-immersion hosing-down followed by a naked inspection from the mikvah attendant that was so thorough it resembled a girl-on-girl reenactment of Midnight Express. Then, still naked, I flopped around in a lukewarm Jacuzzi in front of people politely averting their eyes.

It was a very complicated process. Nothing can come between the body and the mikvah water—not nail polish, lint, dirt, stray hairs, or dental plaque—and the mikvah attendant was there to ensure I was perfectly clean and bare. This was my own personal nightmare. The last thing a thirteen-year-old girl wants is to have her naked body examined by a matter-of-fact Russian babushka. It’s just such an awkward time. I was so modest that I couldn’t even try on belts in the Loehmann’s shared dressing room. An inch-by-inch going-over was torture. It seemed to last forever. She investigated between my toes and under my nails, under my arms and in my navel. I had to lift up my hair and present my neck. I had to open my mouth and stick out my tongue. I was just about to bend over for the cavity search I figured was next when she pronounced me clean enough and pointed me toward the water.

Now all I had to do was immerse myself three times while a witness ensured that I did it properly. This was handled with as much discretion and sensitivity as possible, but still, no amount of discretion can undo the fact that you’re being evaluated while bobbing around naked, like a clumsy Olympic synchronized swimmier who’s lost both her suit and the rest of her team. I wanted to die.

Well, at least I wasn’t a boy. The conversion for boys requires a scalpel. Even if you’re already circumcised, you still have to whip it out in front of the rabbi for a ritual bloodletting. And you have to go through the mikvah deal, too.

So I got off relatively easy. And now it was almost done. I was almost Jewish. All that was left were a few formalities, like choosing a Jewish name. Though I’d spent the last year obsession over the minute details, I gave almost no thought to this one, opting for the name I’d randomly been assigned in Hebrew class six years earlier: Zeva. I liked it because it sounded exotic and chic and reminded me of Zena jeans, which were popular at the time. I later learned it was an unfortunate choice, the Israeli equivalent of Gertrude. It’s also an exact homonym of the Hebrew term for genital discharge. An unfortunate choice.


IN December of 1974, the local newspaper ran a picture of my family trying to stuff a Christmas tree into our Volkswagen Beetle. There’s my father, a Norman Rockwell with figure with furrowed brow, pipe, and Coke-bottle glasses, struggling mightily with the tree while my mother and my sister and I, little Chers in ponchos and pigtails, look on with mild alarm. It was intended as a cute lifestyle photo, but as far as our family was concerned it was hard news. It was the first and last time we actually paid for a tree.

We weren’t cheap so much as lazy. When you wait until December 24, no one’s going to charge you for the crisp, teetering remains. Sometimes the lot let us have the tree for free. Other times we were given one by a school or a business already closed for the holiday. Usually we pulled a prematurely discarded tree off a neighbor’s trash pile. One year we struck out entirely and had to decorate a houseplant instead, its tiny pathetic branches bending with the weight of a few tin ornaments. “A Christmas fern.” My mother sighed. “It’s the saddest, silliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s a Christmas twee.”

I’m not sure why we bothered with a tree at all. Decorating the tree was always an exercise in dysfunction, the occasion of our biggest annual family fight. My mother got annoyed because no one was doing enough to help; my sister and I sulked because my mother was yelling at us; and my father tried to look busy with some ancillary activity, mixing eggnog or adjusting the hi-fi to maximize the sound quality of the holiday sound track. We plowed through the job sullen and mute, shooting one another hostile looks as we piled on crocheted snowflakes, glitter-encrusted sugarplums, garish blinking lights, and a flurry of tinsel icicles. Being a family that refuses to throw anything away, we had hundreds of ornaments, half of them bent or broken but all of them still in play. We kept on decking until the tree was tarted up like a North Florida stripper. At that point we crowned the sagging mass with a fraying straw star: ta da, it was done. My mother stepped back to admire our work, swirling a glass of eggnog nearly brown with bourbon. “Well, that looks craptacular,” she announced. “Happy Birthday, J.C.”

It was always a disaster, a fire hazard, an eyesore. Even the family pets were moved to register on their displeasure. The dog peed on it; the cat ate the needles. A tree doesn’t belong in a house. More specifically, it didn’t belong in our house. It was a violation of the promise the rabbi had extracted from my parents when he married them. Ours was to be a Jewish home, with Jewish kids: no crucifixes, no crèches, a mezuzah on every doorpost, giant Stars of David clanging around all our necks. We would fly an Israeli flag from the front porch and on Sunday mornings we would gather, strong and tan from planting trees with our Zionist youth group, to toast our heritage as herring juice ran down our chins.

It was my father who broke the bargain and brought home the first tree when my sister and I were still babies. My mother was spending Christmas three thousand miles away from the rest of her family, with a husband who had work Christmas Day and two children who were, likely as not, condemned to hell because she hadn’t been permitted to baptize us. A tree was the least he could do. From there it all followed: the manger scene, the Advent calendar, the stuffed Santa, the silver angels, the red and green wooden block letters my sister always rearranged to spell S-A-T-A-N. A dinky menorah languished off to the side.

“The best of both worlds,” family friends told us, clucking approvingly. “What lucky girls you are.” But what did they know? Their families’ biggest holiday dilemma was whipped or mashed; ours was only begotten son or false messiah. December is the hardest time of the year for an interfaith family. Oh sure, it sounds great: Maccabees and magi! Candles and carols! Festive meals and, best of all, the presents, double presents, eight days of Hanukkah plus Christmas, making nine glorious days of greed. But my friends’ good-natured jealousy was sadly misplaced. The extra presents always turned out to be crap excavated from the bottom of my mother’s purse, Kleenex packets and breath mints and ballpoint pens bearing Realtors’ names. It’s hard to sustain the holiday spirit of magic and miracles when you’re staring down a stocking stuffed with disposable razors and key chains. The interfaith feast that followed didn’t make things any better. Latkes with ranch dressing and spiral-cut ham may be someone’s idea of a dream dinner, but it sure wasn’t mine.


MY  friends were confused by the whole High Holiday production, but they understood one thing: I got to stay home from school, and this was to be envied. Every fall my classmates pelted me with questions about conversion. “What if you’ve already been circumcised?” they asked. “Are you good to go?”

I answered their questions politely, but inside I scoffed at their ignorance. They had no idea. My days off were hard-won in annual pitched battles with my parents. The outcome was always the same: I was permitted Yom Kippur and one day of Rosh Hashana, but I was nuts if I thought I was getting off for Sukkot. “Suck what?” my family asked. “You made that one up.”



God bless,


truth, beauty, freedom and ... ?

So, that’s it?

It reminded me of my trip to Paris. Disappointing, anti-climactic, overrated. Paris was supposed to be this romantic city of love and promise, of beauty and splendor, of excitement and dreams. But what I found there was a crude smell that I can still sense today inside my Paris memories, people so rude they could not even afford to smile at someone they knew—much less an American stranger, and a public transportation system so complex that I found myself constantly fearful of getting lost inside or, worse, being underground with a bomb. The romanticism was certainly present in the Louvre, the restaurant owners were generally friendly and understanding, and Mom and I eventually figured out the Metro System on our way back through Paris; but the heart of the city was not love. It was something of selfish motivation, or an overly zealous (so much so it was uncouth) determination.

Not that I was looking for love last night. But I was looking for excitement, to see what all the hype was about, to discover something new about myself and my peers, and maybe, to actually enjoy myself.

I didn’t actually have such high expectations. But, my expectations were not as low, perhaps, as they should have been.

I wasn’t excited—not even for a moment. I was apathetic pre, current, and post, and somehow, apathy translated to misery.

I still don’t know what all the hype is about, and I don’t think I ever will.

The only thing new I discovered about myself is that I should stay away from things like this; and the only thing new I discovered about my peers is that they know how to do a lot more than just booty dance.

Enjoying myself was pretty much a lost cause even before it all started. There are just certain people in this world who will keep you from enjoying yourself, no matter how much you don’t want it to get to you. It always does. It always wins.

So, I guess that’s it.

God bless,


queen amadala exposed

SNL was so amazing last night. I couldn't stop laughing, and they produced another brilliant new "digital short" that I feel compelled to share with everyone. Just be sure to read the previous post after you watch this--just to cleanse yourself, you know.

God bless,


what it means to be a jewish christian

I'm reading Girl Meets GOD for the second time, although the first time I didn't read it in its entirety. I was reading it while traveling through Europe and my mom snagged it and started reading it, and I never got around to finishing it. I felt the need to do so in the past few weeks, so I've started it again and am already finding it incredibly informative, rewarding, and close to my heart. Thus, I want to share some of my favorite passages with you.

First of all, Girl Meets GOD is a memoir about "the child of a Jewish father and a lapsed Southern Baptist mother [who] chose to become an Orthodox Jew. But even as she was observing Sabbath rituals and studying Jewish law, Lauren [F. Winner] was increasingly drawn to Christianity. Courageously leaving what she loved, she eventually converted. In Girl Meets GOD, this appealing woman takes us through a yea rin her Christian lief as she attempts to reconcile both sides of her religious identity"--according to the back of the book. Now, on to her story.

"I gave away all my Jewish books and let go of all my Jewish ways, but I realized, as I spent time with other Christians, that Judaism shaped how I saw Christianity. It shaped the way I read the Bible, the way I thought about Jesus, the way I understood what He meant when he talked about the yoke of the law. I found my heart sometimes singing Jewish songs. I thought I had given away all my Jewish things, but I found that I hadn't. I'd just given away some books and mezuzot and candlesticks. I hadn't given up the shape in which I saw the world, or the words I knew for God, and those shapes and words were mostly Jewish."

"No one in my family--not my Reform Jewish father, nor my lapsed Southern Baptist mother, nor my older sister Leanne--talked about God. Leanne and I knew we were Jewish; that was part of the bargain my parents struck as the first intermarraige in either of their families, that the kids would be Jewish. No one noticed that according to Jewish law, according to Orthodox or Conservative Jews, Leanne and I were as Jewish as Betsy Ross, Judaism being passed to children by their mother. But still, Leanne and I would have checked off Jewish on a list: Southern, Jewish, Tar Heels, Democrats. That checklist translated into a menorah next to our Christmas tree, and we got to skip school on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We went to Sunday school at the temple in Asheville. We had a Passover seder every year."
In addition to the Passover seder and the Christmas tree, I had my own religious rituals. I made up a prayer, and said it every night in bed, after the lights were out, never deviating from the text I'd set: first one section of 'thank yous,' and then a section of 'what I'm going to try to do better,' followed by a list of things I wanted. And no matter how much I wished to skip ahead to section three, I always forced myself to get through the gratitudes and the repentances first."

(This part is especially for Elyssa. Hehe.)

"I spent the summers away from Charlottesville. One summer, I attented an academic camp on a college campus in Pennsylvannia where I took a creative writing course. There I met a boy, Bejamin, who was Orthodox; he and I were two of the maybe half-dozen kids who turned up for the Friday night Jewish service (another six or so trundled off to church Sunday morning while th eother campers played volleyball and tie-dyed t-shirts). After the service, Bejamin walked me back to my dorm, and I left the books I had been carrying--Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan and Kaplan's translation of the Torah--in his backpack. 'Don't you want your books back?' he asked."
'Oh, no,' I told him coquettishly, 'I'm leaving them with you on purpose. So you'll have to find me in the morning and return them.'"
He did that, found me after breakfast and gave me my books, and we spent Shabbat morning sitting on a bench talking about the novels we loved and what we thought about God. The next day he found me again, and wooed me with his guitar playing, and we got into a fierce argument about what had caused the Civil War, and we spent the rest of the summer in each other's company, taking long walks and sometimes just sitting next to each other reading."
Bejamin was from Washington, D.C., not too far from Charlottesville, and after campe was over and we were back into the rhythms of our school years, I began spending occassional weekends and holidays with his family. When I think back to those visits, what impresses me is his mother. I think I wrote her off ten as a parochial, dull secretary, with a Brooklyn accent as think as her waistline. Now I realize that she was generous and kind, or maybe a little foolish, or maybe just a hip hands-off parent. What must she have thought about this young, unfamiliar girl coming from Virginia to visit her eldest son? Most mothers in her position would have been made nervous by our friendship, by the hundreds of letters we wrote and the phone bills we ran up all through high school. And maybe she was nervous, I don't know. But maybe she also saw that I was stumbling my way toward God."
When I visited his family, Benjamin bunked down in a younger brother's bedroom, and I slept in his room. He always snuck in late at night and we would lie in bed kissing. Maybe kissing him, in that Washington town house with brothers and parents sleeping down the hall should have felt thrilling, or dangerous. I suppose his parents could have walked in on us at any moment, and freaked out, ordered Bejamin back to his brother's room and me back to Charlottesville. But it didn't feel thrilling or illicit or rebellious; it felt domestic. I had kissed boys before, kisses grabbed in Charlottesville bedrooms when someone's parents were out for the evening, but no one other than my mother ever saw me in a Lanz flannel nightgown."
My generation didn't have my parents' language. We didn't go steady or get pinned, but even if we had known those words, I don't think Bejamin and I would have used them. We had high-pitched conversations about the state of things often enough, but we never would have said we were dating. He never would have called me his girlfriend. Still, we both imagined getting married. My own daydreams were part The Chosen and part Anne of Green Gables. We would be like Gilbert and Annie, only we would be religious Jews. In one of the daydreams, Bejamin and I grew up to be teachers, teaching at some Jewish high school in New York or D.C., he would teach history and I would teach Bible and sometimes we would send love notes back and forth between our classrooms, carried by a teacher's pet who could be trusted not to read them, or, at least, not to tell."

"Rabbi M. was a baal teshuva, a "master of repentance," someone who had not been raised as an observant Jew but had become Orthodox. He was smart, and a little awkward, and he loved high school and college students, and he had a charming French wife and a beautiful daughter, then about seven, named Rayzl. He loved Rayzl above all else. He doted on her. He was one of those dads who even tried to learn to fix his daughter's hair. (He was hopeless. Rayzl always had bumps when Rabbi M. fixed her hair.)"
And he loved me. He loved me and he understood me. He could often anticipate what I was going to say before I said it. Over the years that I knew Rabbi M., I came to see that we were a lot alike, that we had the same strengths and weaknesses, that he saw in me something of himself. That sort of self-seeing almost makes for intensity. I see it now in the history department at Columbia. The teachers here are kind, and magnanimous, and devoted to their students, but sometimes you see a special kind of devotion, a sort of selecting out, and you know that what the professor sees in that student is something of himself. He sees himself again, anew, at some younger, fresher age. I see it myself, in the students who are assigned to my discussion sections. I have liked most all my students--but sometimes there's a special student who loves history and finds subtle questions fascinating, a student who doesn't know the first thing about antebellum Southern planters and then reads Roll, Jordan, Roll or Within the Plantation Household and finds himself obsessed with cotton and overseers and hoopskirts and slavery; those students remind me of how I was just a few years ago, and I love them for it."

"I was impressed in a literary way with this idea of Incarnation. But I wasn't persuaded by it. The rabbis had very clear expectations of what the Messiah would do. He would bring world peace, and he would rebuild the Temple, and he would gather the Jews back into Israel, and he would do it all at once, none of this not completing his assigned tasks and having to come back to earth a second time. Jesus hadn't done those things; ergo, he wasn't the Messiah. It was a good story, this story the Christians had dreamed up, but I was sure that it wasn't, finally, true. It was good story the way The Great Gatsby is a good story. Beautifully written, clever, insightful, but not something to shape your life around. Not something to pray to."

Just a few of the words that I could relate to, or found beautifully profound. Hope you all enjoyed them as well.

God (and Jesus) bless,


chalkboards are for chumps

Today, I found this whilst searching for blogger's Microsoft Word feature, and felt obligated to share it with all of you. Everyone who reads my blog should laugh because of this post, and, frankly, you should all laugh even harder because you've actually read the book. Yes? If you haven't, you're totally missing out.

When I'm an English teacher, it will be my text book. Ahem.

Oh, school. I greatly look forward to the day when I'm the one controlling what the students do instead of the reverse. What a brilliant paradigm shift that will be.

List time. Just because.

Creative ways to do your homework (and actually get it done):

  1. While taking a bath. This works best when you have a headache, because then you actually have an excuse to take a bath instead of a shower. But, make sure the water is really hot when you first start so that it doesn't get cold too fast. You need to be able to sit for at least half an hour. Make sure you have everything you need before getting in: text book, writing utsensil, calculater (chemistry, come on), and music.
  2. While watching television [commercials]. Don't freak out; you can still watch your show. Just mute the tv during the commercials and set a goal for yourself (e.g. to get 3 problems done) every commercial break. This does require self-control, because sometimes commercials are just more interesting than your graphing calculator. I do not recommend this to guys, as they pretty much suck at multi-tasking (and I doubt they could handle to take their eyes off of the tv during commercials).
  3. While listening to a new CD. I've found this is the perfect way to break in your new music that you aren't quite familiar with yet. If you listen to a CD you have memorized while doing your homework, you'll only want to sing along (at least, that's how it is with me). So, put on music you know you'll like, but won't sing along with (because you don't know it yet). This is also convenient, because then you have an excuse to give your parents when you tell them once a week that you need a new CD -- "because it's helping with my homework!"
  4. Outside. Provides for a little change of scenery, eliminates a lot of distractions (i.e. little brothers playing the trumpet), and makes you feel less claustrophobic (after being in a classroom all day). I recommend sitting on the porch or getting a lawn chair and...yeah...sitting on the lawn.

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll have more by the end of this week.

God bless,


after Your heart

You said come, so I ran like a child running to meet his daddy who’d been away at war.
You said imagine, so I dreamed of a fantastical adventure that blew Cinderella away.
You said think, so I pondered more than the greatest philosophers and Einstein combined.
You said speak, so I shouted as though I only had one more chance to say something important.

Then you said surrender,

So I took a few steps back and secured myself in my control.
But You said no, so as to mean that my control was not secure; it was fallible and incomplete.

You said surrender again, so I gave You my weapon.
But I kept myself.
And You said that wasn’t enough, so I took it all back.

I was weary, and I thought I was weary of You.
But You said no, that it was my faulty control I was weary of.

Then You said abandon, so I gave up myself like David when he danced before You.
I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.


elyssa = God = leslie = Jesus

Note: equal sign means believes in, not literally equals.

Therefore, by the transitive property, if I pray to Jesus to help Elyssa with her problems, then He will help her. Hehe.

(He would help her anyway without stupid math theorems, but I was just trying to explain it to the Jewish genius. She's amazing. And I love her.)

God bless,