Thursday, January 31, 2008

Things That You Think Are Bad When You Live In A Basement Apartment...

...but turns out be much worse when you live on the 7th floor - forgetting something in the car.

Basement Apt:
Oh man! I left something out in the car, now I will have to scale those 12 stairs, or 4 stairs a landing and then 6 more stairs, to get outside and walk allllllll the way along the house to the driveway or parking spot beside the driveway to get the forgotten item.

7th Floor:
Realization of forgotten item - assessment of worth - is it worth getting the keys, exiting the apartment, locking the apartment, waiting for the elevator (say anything about the stairs and I'll hunt you down - and besides, the stairs would not fit well into the worth to effort ratio), riding the elevator down, walking down the hall, going out two sets of doors and walking across the parking lot, and then reversing the process to get back up - usually not worth it, but sometimes you really need those pants.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Something You Really Needed To Know

Calvin Seerveld can use solfege like its nobody's business.

Combining Both

A combination of the previous two posts happened to me today - a food related milestone - I shared in my first Cinnabon today. Chelsea exposed/treated.

There was bewilderment as to how I could have existed so long without having one - but my explanation was simple - the notorious B.E.V. Who needs mall pastry growing up when you have Bev at home?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Salad Bars, My Second Love (Jesus Being My First)

Once upon a time I went to the OMSC January Student Seminars in New Haven CT. They are hosted annually at the Mercy Center. Now I don't know what they do the rest of the year, but when the worldly missional students are there, there is a fan-freaking-tastic salad bar. This salad bar had multiple kinds of lettuce, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, hot peppers, olives, cherry tomatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds, croƻtons, raisins, craisons, chow mein noodles, bacon bits, and possibly more. To dress your salad there were homemade oil based dressings, the standard dressings and do it yourself oil and vinegar. I had the salad bar with every meal I could. And when I left I had withdrawal symptoms.

This weekend while I was back at Calvin for the Worship Symposium we had cafeteria style meals for two lunches and supper. This involved, you guessed it, a salad bar. The salad bar at Calvin didn't have quite as many veggies as the Mercy Center or the anything that was fresh and oil based, but mmm, it was still so good. And it really made me realize how much I love fresh(ish) veggies and so much fantastic saladness.

This also lead me think that the salad bar and the DSB need to be linked. So, secret, shy, waiting for the right time to create and opportunity man, you can research a great salad bar place to go to and I'll be happy and then full of veggies.


I have had a couple of milestones over the past few days. One is that today I had my grad photos taken. Yup, further steps to indicate that I will actually graduate from university. The other is that I had my first dutch cheese cutter injury on Friday morning. I sliced a way a bit of my thumb. I feel like my integration into Dutch culture is that much more complete.

If you don't what I'm talking about - I cut myself with one of these:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Vell, I and 14 other worship leadery type students are trickling down to GR for the Calvin Worship Symposium. I'm driving a van full of students leaving tomorrow afternoon. Now I have heard some people not be too excited about this event, because they say that after you go to it for a few years there is nothing new for you to learn, etc, etc. These people are all musicians, and maybe its true if you only go to sessions on how to make your praise band better and how to write praise music. But I am SO diggity dang excited to be going. This is my second time going and seriously I feel like each time is a weekend of professional development for me.

Since I'm sure my parents are curious, I thought I'd copy in the descriptions of all the sessions I'm registered for -

Worship Through Visual and Interactive Arts: How to Develop, How to Begin—Steven Caton
Most, if not all, eagerly support the idea of worship through art and the senses. But it still seems to be an elusive worship component in many churches. How is art created for worship? How do you generate ideas for art? How do you get people involved? How do you ensure art supports the greater scope of the sermon or ministry? How do you plan for such items? How do you end up not doing it all yourself and burning out?! Our congregational team has been on a long journey of finding answers to these questions; getting worshipers involved through participation and the senses. Come hear the philosophy behind such a ministry and get some practical ideas and resources for follow-through back home.

Redeeming Ritual: Lessons from Iona—Doug Gay
Doug Gay, an Associate Member of the Iona Community, will reflect on the ambivalence towards ritual in Reformed/low church traditions and how we might move beyond this. He takes two key rituals from the weekly worship cycle of Iona Abbey in Scotland: the Act of Healing and the Act of Commitment, reflecting on how they work and arguing that many churches—traditional and emerging—could benefit from incorporating them as regular elements in their worshiping life.

Lament in the Context of Corporate Worship—Michael Card and Calvin Seerveld
In this session, you will have an opportunity to witness the remarkable relationship between Michael Card and Calvin Seerveld as together they provide some concrete and creative examples—spoken and musical—of incorporating lament into worship.

An Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Liturgical Dance—Shelley Marinus
In this session, we will learn the purpose of liturgical dance and some basic elements of choreography for worship. We will also be exploring the Psalms through movement.

The Holy Spirit and Worship—Mariano Avila
We will explore the biblical teaching on the central role that the Holy Spirit plays in worship. Dependence and freedom, order and spontaneity, reverent silence and joyful noise will be some of the paradoxes we will explore in the framework of Scripture. Our purpose is to inform some of our present-day worship practices and enrich, challenge, and transform them for the glory of the Lord we worship.

Panel Discussion on Church Galleries, moderated by Betsy Steele Halstead with Makoto Fujimura, Bern Lewis, Kelly Sisson, Vange Van Huesen, and Michael Winters
There continues to be a growing interest in church visual art galleries, exhibitions, and educational opportunities related to art within our churches. In this session we will be joined by church leaders who have well-established programs and those who have just begun organizing a visual arts ministry. Hear how these ministries have come to be a catalyst for outreach, a way of enriching the congregation’s preparation for worship, a building block of their educational ministries, and a unique way of encouraging intergenerational fellowship.

Highly Favored: The Virgin Mary in Visual Art—Bert Polman
This session will focus on the depiction of Mary, the mother of Christ, in historical and contemporary works of art. It will be held in conjunction with the Calvin College art gallery exhibit “Highly Favored: Contemporary Images of the Virgin Mary,” which is a CIVA-produced show of recent Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic Marian art.

Offering Our Neighbors’ Pain to Jesus Who Wept—Calvin Seerveld
Why did Jesus weep in John 11? Is it possible for us to sing comfort to those in pain, or not? We will examine a range of attempts from Psalms, Gregorian chant, Genevan tunes, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, African-American Blues, to current pop song.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

He's Right You Know

"Art is not a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; art is a great matter.
Art is an organ of human life, transmitting man's
reasonable perception into feeling."
Leo Tolstoy

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Forgot To Tell You I'm Famous

Exhibit A - I wrote an article in The Crown

Exhibit B - a photo my boss took in the summer, and has now used on her website - scroll down to see my delicate hands - look for the tell tale ring

Oh yeah, and I also had a poem published in the Fall semester's volume of The Minstrel (RUC's poetry and short story publication)

I'll be signing autographs after the show.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In Response To Soup

Today I realized that I'm thankful for my taste buds and other slimy grey stuff that is on the top of my tongue. I'm thankful that they are there to act as a buffer between my actual tongue and liquids that are too hot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Dear Secret Boyfriend,

Its no secret that I have long believed that any lover of mine will have to have a diverse group of interests just like me. The standard has been that you must like (or at least tolerate warmly) both opera and football. I like both.

In that vein, I'd like to inform you that Monster Jam is at the Roger's Centre this weekend, weekend, weekend and I'd like to go. I've wanted to go to something like this for quite some time. So if you were looking for something to take me too that is pretty casual, but where we can have a lot of fun, then this might be a good idea. You won't have to make too much conversation, even for the drive there and back. Why? Because my line of conversation on the way there will be, "Truckasaurus is going to be there right? I read that online. I'm excited to see Truckasaurus. I saw him tv. How long till we get there and I get to see Truckasaurus?" And then on the way home it will be, "wasn't Truckasauras great? He's much larger in life than on tv. My there were a lot of mullets!" See, its like the total date package right there.

So you can think about that and get back to me.

Hope to hear from you soon,


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


So last night I had a rather frustrating meeting. It left me, well, frustrated, kind of riled and in need of some processing time. I went for a walk around a friend's neighbourhood for about an hour, and then talked to said friend for a bit about the some of the results of the walk.

When I was done I was tired, hungry, still somewhat frustrated and seeking comfort food. I decided to hit McDonalds on the way back to my apartment. One of the few things better than a dirty breakfast is a dirty nightcap.

Anyway... so I have my mouth and the rest of myself all set for a Big Mac, no onion, extra pickles. If you have known me for any length of time, you will know that I always take my Macs like that. I've been doing it since I was 16 - its a reflex now. So I order, I get my order and I drive away. I eat the fries on the way home and save the Mac for in my apartment. I bite into the Mac.... was that the filthy tang of an onion i just found? No, it couldn't be. Take another bite - um, I think it was - open up the Mac. Dag. They made me a no pickle, extra onion Big Mac. That is the antithesis of goodness to me! But since I was all the way back home there was nothing I could do about it. So disappointing, and I'd used most of a gift card up on that too!

Oh Meadowlands McDonalds at night, why do you have to be such a crap shoot (ha!)? One time I asked for a six piece meal with bbq sauce and they gave me a number 6 meal (a Mac, with onions) instead. Why MM@N, why can't you have the consistency of MM during the day? Le sigh.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Oscar Peterson Tribute Concert

CBC Radio celebrates the life of Oscar Peterson with special tribute concert titled Simply the Best which will be broadcast live by CBC Radio. Multi-Grammy Award winner and consummate song stylist Nancy Wilson will perform at Oscar Peterson – Simply the Best, a memorial concert tribute to the great musician Saturday, January 12 at 4:00pm at Roy Thomson Hall.

Quincy Jones and Phil Nimmons will share their memories of Mr. Peterson as will Celine Peterson, Oscar’s 16 year-old daughter. Mr. Jones is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist (76 nominations, 26 awards) Emmy Award recipient, and seven-time Oscar nominee. Phil Nimmons won the inaugural Juno Award for best jazz album (The Atlantic Suite,1977), received the inaugural Toronto Arts Award in the music category (1986). He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1993 and National Jazz Awards in the clarinettist of the year category in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Mr. Nimmons was Oscar’s friend and collaborator for over 50 years.

The 90-minute celebration of Mr. Peterson’s life is free to the public and is NOT a ticketed event. The doors of Roy Thomson Hall will open at 3:00pm and the audience will be seated on a first come-first serve basis. The line-up will be directed along King Street West. As there is limited parking, it is advisable to use the TTC.

Previously announced speakers are Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaƫlle Jean, Governor General of Canada and avid pianist Bob Rae.

Oscar Peterson - Simply the Best will be broadcast live at 4:05pm – 6:00pm by CBC Radio One and Sirius 137 at 4:05pm ET - 6:00pm. The broadcast will be repeated at 8:05pm – 10:00pm by CBC Radio Two and by SRC Espace Musique 8:05pm - 10:00pm

Quebec pianist/singer/composer/conductor/radio host Gregory Charles, whose one man show Noir et Blanc has delighted audiences in Canada, the United States and Europe, has joined the list of outstanding performers for Oscar Peterson – Simply the Best.

Magnificent soprano Measha Brueggergosman will join the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the University of Toronto Gospel Choir and the Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale, under the musical direction of multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, director, composer and broadcaster of Andrew Craig, to perform one of Mr. Peterson’s best- loved compositions Hymn to Freedom.

The band for the afternoon is composed of musicians who, for decades, were colleagues and friends of Mr. Peterson: Jeff Hamilton on drums; Dave Young on bass; guitarist Ulf Wakenius and Monty Alexander on piano.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blood, Its Been In Me To Give

I have been trying pretty regularly, and generally wanting, to give blood since I was 17. The following are some of the reasons why this goal was not achieved:
  • 7 piercings
  • 1 tattoo
  • one trip to Africa
  • the vaccinations for that trip
  • one trip to Indian
  • the vaccinations for that trip
  • 2 periods of anti depressants
  • a bunch of periods on migraine maintenance drugs
  • low iron
  • and a host of random illnesses
That spells almost 9 years of non-blood giving. Every time I see those commercials/billboards/, etc "Blood its in you to give", I shout back, "yeah, well, then freaking take my blood!" And then I shake various body parts.

I got a notice in my mailbox at school saying the blood clinic was coming. And I thought, this time, this time I will not be defeated. I evaluated things from a female cyclical iron point of view, looked at my schedule and decided to make an appointment. I upped my water intake, started taking my vitamins again, ate meat, ate all my meals, etc - all in preparation. Essentially its like I studied for the iron test. And I passed. What what!

I also got through the screening, I wasn't on any random drugs, or had had dental work, or played with monkeys. So I made it to the bed. This was the farthest I had ever been. But there was still drama - there were no veins in my left arm (that could be used). I was seriously going to call my Mother and curse her genetics if I couldn't give because I had inherited her tiny collapsing veins. But, Dad's genes pulled through and the nurse found a nice juicy one in righty. We went for it.

Seriously I was so excited. Nine years of waiting to do this simple act - like I have felt guilt for getting a piercing because I knew it would put me out of potential for 6 months. But I was a little worried too - I've passed out for random reasons before, I'm generally shaky and light headed - I didn't want to be a blood donating passer outer. Things weren't helped by watching a young woman who in the words of another student waiting to donate, looked "like a corpse" - so much wrapping her in cool cloths and getting her feet up. I didn't want to do that.

On the good side I also heard a good conversation about how much of the tension and fear about donating or while donating is mental. Mental - I do mental well - so I began to psych myself up - I've had enough IVs in my life, and lots and lots and lots of blood taken for tests, 2 needles weekly for over a year for allergy shots, acupuncture, and pain, well heck, most of the time I'm simply in pain, I can handle "a little discomfort" from giving some blood and I can distract myself by singing German love waltzes in my head.

It took 7 minutes for me to fill the bag, which apparently is pretty good for a first time giver. And I didn't feel terrible or anything. I still feel good, I have to admit that I did not follow very many of the nurse's instructions for post donation (you can talk to Mrs. Laarman or Mrs. Smith about that).

I called my Mom just to tell her and my Dad that I finally go to donate. Mom said that nobody has every been as excited as I am about having given blood. But seriously, I'm excited to get my donor card in the mail and to set things up so that I can give again. I will travel, and I will get another tattoo (sorry Ma), and I will be on various drugs again, so I will take these times when I can get them.

Blood, its in me, I gave.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Irwin And The Return Of The DSB

Once upon a time I moved into an apartment building and acquire a balcony. I also acquired a pigeon who spent a lot of time on that balcony. Since I half lived on the balcony, this pigeon and I spent a lot of time together. We got kind of close, I named him Irwin and we started dating. Then he got facebook and everything became official.

Things were good for a few months - I would wake up to the sounds of him singing, we'd watch the sun go down. He was a great listener, and I thought things would be good. Winter started to come and he was out flying a lot more. I saw him less and less. Then when the snow started to fly I began to see him cozying up with another pigeon - on the ledge above my balcony door no less.

I confronted him about this repeated cheating and well, after some deliberating realized I needed to be in a relationship where I was being respected and honoured. So Irwin and I broke it off last night.

I'm pretty sure that while I was dating Irwin there were few to no Dear Secret Boyfriend (DSB) posts. Rest assured these will resume now that I'm single again and all you men with your mad crushes and shy selves, well, you will once again be flooded with suggestions on how you can break the ice with me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

American Gladiators

American Gladiators is back on tv. And I'm not talking about the old school episodes - though i have been hoping for years that i would see them somewhere, some American network, dvd, but alas, nothing.

I will post more on what the show looks like, how i'm reacting too it, etc. But for right now, before i sleep, i will post a couple thoughts one what i think my name would be if i were a gladiator...

Cougar - because if i stay around 18 year olds any longer i might become one, because they can pounce, and eat, and they are pretty

Steel - my steely blue/grey eyes, that i can be tough as steel, but still shiny

Acre - i may take one up, but i can be lightening fast like quick sand

Fine (Fee-nay) - if you meet me, you've met your end

Burn - i will create a burning sensation if you try to tangle with me, don't get incinerated

Klumpenia - don't think wood is tough? when's the last time you took one to the head from a baseball bat?

What would your name be?

(oh and we saw a bit of Militia's bum tonight)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Not A Bodily Function

So I spent new year's eve with a fantastic group of friends that I often ring in the new year with. And we always have a good time. This year our good time was enhanced by a game that Lorraine got for Christmas.

This is quite possibly the more random game I have EVER played, and I have completed a Theatre Arts major. For real, this is a cracked out board game. Its like Cranium meets heroin, has a kid and that kid eats nothing but lead paint and magic mushrooms. Yeah.

Essentially you have to move your game piece around and be the first one to finish. The board itself just looks like a psychedelic yellow brick road. The game pieces are little cardboard characters, like The Dude, Mrs Picklefeather, Super Ninja Monkey... yeah. And every spot you land on is a colour and the colour matches up with a card. The cards make you do stuff - answer a question, brainstorm things within a certain category, write a roses are red poem about the player to your left, write a 5 line poem about your pet tuba named larry, you know pretty usual stuff. But some cards are a little crazy - like some of the personal rules (roolz) cards - Christine had to make a snorkel out of household materials and then wear it for the rest of the game, Justin had to wrap aluminum foil around one of his hands and leave it there. Or there was a rule for all of us - we had to imagine that there was a genie named Ned living on one of the cards and before we could start any turn we had to sing a song to him that said his name three times and included a wish. Um, ok.

One of the best quirky quirks to the game are the classified cards. These are supremely cracked out cards from many of the categories that no other player can read. Justin had to get someone to say farm equipment. I got a couple of these cards - the first one told me to get up, put the timer on and then pretend that i was trapped in a tree and being attacked by 5 lobsters and an angry dwarf. No one had to guess what I was doing, or anything like that, I just had to act that out for 30 seconds and then sit down and the game would continue. The other classified card I had asked me to ask myself if I would like a mint, slap myself across the face and reply that I would love one, then turn to the player on my left, ask them if they would care for a game of hopscotch, then giggle like a school girl, then pet my pet walrus who is on my lap, then tilt my head to the sky, smile and say something like "Chuckles always enjoys a good scratch behind the ear. I farm because I love it." There is a trick to these cards though - with such cracked out activities being asked of you and no one to check up on you, you could be cheating. So if someone decides they want to check your card they can, but there are penalties - sometimes they have to move back spaces, but sometimes, just sometimes its a positive penalty and they would advance.

I wouldn't play this game with Oma.