Monday, May 30, 2005

Sugar Daddy Markus

So where do I begin? I have this friend Markus who is a wonderful guy. He is one of my friends from church here and actually he's in my cell group too. A few weeks ago, he mentions to me that I really should do some recording, blah, blah, blah. And I'm just like yeah, I know, whatever. So this past weekend he tells me he has a friend recording in a studio and we can go with him and talk to the guy about doing some recording. So of course I'm more than happy to do that. I mean he said that it was supposed to be alot cheaper to record here than it is in the states and most everywhere else. I have to say I was a bit suprised that he followed up on this whole recording idea as much as he did. We hadn't really talked about it that much before, so I took it as just him wanting to encourage me in my talents/gifts/whatever. Anyhow, we are going to the studio and I'm excited. We get there, we are introduced, we listen to his friend do some recording, then I got to do some recording as well. That was a bit unexpected. I was just thinking that we would talk to the guy and get prices etc. But Markus was right on top of getting things done and by the end of the night I came home with a cd with a rough track of one of my songs on it.
On the way home, I am totally stoked. For me, I confess, there is a bit of a narcissistic rush from hearing my voice recorded. I feel kind of guilty about it, but it's there and I'm so critical of myself in most areas that I will allow myself to thoroughly revel in the fact that I love the voice God gave me. So anyhow, I'm excited and thinking "Ok, how am I gonna make this work?" The prices quoted were about half of what it would cost at the cheapest of studios in the states, but I am also making half the money that I would in the states. So the project is doable, but not without serious planning/sacrificing/a financial advisor. Trying to figure it all out, I think out loud to Markus on ways I can get it even cheaper. And he says that my ideas are good, but I don't have to worry about it. He's gonna pay for it.

So then I sit there dumbfounded for two minutes.
Then I ask him why. His response is "Because I'm a rich engineer and I have to spend my money on something." I didn't know what to say.
I'm a fairly nice person, but really.... I so don't deserve all this. How do I thank/repay such generosity?
So now, it's someone else's money being spent. This brings on a whole new set of worries though. It's someone else's money, that means I definitely have to do something with this. I can't just record a cd because it's fun and I like to hear myself. SO WHAT AM I GONNA DO? I have not a clue. I could go in different directions with it. The safest seems to be to do a christianish cd. I could sell the cd through my church, maybe put together a band from different musicians at church. We could perform there and maybe do some performing elsewhere through an endless supply of church connections. I'm not totally opposed to this idea. It does seem the most realistic for me. The main downside is song choice. I've written alot of really good non-christian related songs, but maybe I should just let them sit to the side for now.
Another option is do whatever songs I want and try to put a band together based on my stuff. Maybe, if I get the right people in there, somebody will have connections with where we can play/sell cds/ get radio time, etc. But there are too many maybe's in that equation for me to feel comfortable with it.
Trying to do this solo is not even an option anymore. I am sick to death of performing with only me. I must have other musicians. I have no desire to do it on my own.
Sigh. So much to think about. Wish me luck. I need to go to bed now I suppose.
(Alternate titles for this blog)
(1) The Award for Super-Dooper-Friend-of-the-Year goes to...
(2) Marry Me, Markus
(3) Why Couldn't God have Made Me Rich, Instead of so Damn Good-Looking
(4) Confessions of a Narcissist
(5) WOO HOO!

Saturday, May 28, 2005


I'm really starting to feel the homesick feeling. Not so much for America in general, but just for my family. It started when Sara and Esther left for Alexandria for a week and a half. They have been my fill in sisters here in Cairo. So without them I really started missing my real sisters and my brother. Well, Sara and Esther came back, but the homesick feeling has stayed. You know it's bad when you are at a gorgeous beach, swimming in crystal clear waters, but the only songs you can think to sing are "I'll be home for Christmas", "Somewhere Out There", and others of the like.
Well, Mary, if you are reading this blog. This morning I spent three hours (at least) building a replica of our future beach house. Wish you could have seen it. It was enormous and had a garage and a big porch balcony and a pool and a hot tub on the roof. We had a garden in the backyard. But unfortunately, the tide came in and washed all my hard work away. No matter, we'll build a real one someday. Even if we get married, we'll need a beach house so we can have a place to go when we need to get away from our husbands, right? And if they are on good behaviour, maybe we'll invite them to come sometimes too. I love you. I miss you.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Last night some friends came over and we watched Mary Poppins. How dorky is that? A bunch of 20 and 30 somethings watching Mary Poppins. And, oh yes, I was one of the super dorky ones who knew every word to every song. Watching that movie takes me back to my childhood. And I must confess that after watching that movie as a child, I secretly hoped that I would be a chimney sweep when I grew up.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

This is me! Posted by HelloI'm trying to figure out this whole putting pictures on my blog thing. I am a hopeless case when it comes to computers, so bare with me please.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I saw a friend at church today that I hadn't seen for a few weeks. I asked her how she had been and if everything was ok. Instead of giving me the old trite response of "Oh, I've been around. Staying busy, but everything's fine", she gave me a real answer. She said she just needed time alone and sometime to think about what she really wanted. She compared her situation to our ritual after church going out to lunch. We all get together and somebody picks a place. You don't actually want to eat at that place, but you don't know where you do want to eat. So you go along with everyone else. She said that's what she felt her whole life was like right now. So she's just trying to take some time to reconnect with herself and figure out what she does want. I applaud my friend for two reasons. (1) Having the sense to be aware of her disatisfaction and try to do something about it. (2) Having the guts to really give an honest answer to a question that is so easily not even thought twice about.
So this gets me thinking. Alot of us find ourselves in similar situations, where we are not content. But instead of taking the time to figure out what we do really want, we just try to conform to those around us. We try to want the same things that our friends want. Why do we do that? Is it a desire to feel connected to others in some way? Is it laziness, making us too sluggish to try figure out our own way of doing things? Is it fear of condemnation? Why? I also was inspried to search my own heart and see if I could find any areas of my life where I am just settling for the status quo. It's a good question for us all to ask ourselves.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Talent Show

Yesterday was our school's talent show. We set up chairs outside in the shade after school. Students, parents, and teachers all sat down and sweated as we watched children display many talents. There were skits, songs, poetry, and dancing. The kids were so cute. In all reality, the talent show seemed to me to be rather thrown together at the last minute in order for one of the classes to show what they had been doing (a dance class). But to the kids, this was such a big deal. Two little first graders wrote a song. After school they changed into their nice dresses as if this were a concert. And they were all nervous and what if I forget the words. Even the older kids were quite excited and nervous about their performances. But they all did spectacular jobs, especially the dance class. And it was very nice to see some of the kids, who you would never know would feel so at home on stage, just hamming it.
Well, I've got a lesson to get ready for. I'll write more later I guess.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Lonely, I'm Mr. Lonely

Well, my roommates are gone for a week and a half. Sara and Esther scored a trip to Alex for their work. So here I am in Cairo without the Kauffman girls. It will be good for me though. Maybe it will force me to get out of my shell more and hang out with some new people. Or maybe I'll just hang out more with myself. The latter is more likely I suppose. I have visions of my friend Craig singing that annoying song on the radio with the chipmunk voices sing "lonely, I'm Mr. Lonely, I have nobody...."
For all you zombie movie fans out there, I recommend Shaun of the Dead. It's a spoof of zombie movies and it is pretty funny. I enjoyed it in my own sort of way. I can't actually watch all the gore, it doesn't matter how unrealistic it is. I can't watch it. But I still appreciate the humor. So I spend half the movie looking out the window, looking at the ceiling, covering my eyes, or focusing on my can of Foster's. So anyhow, if you like zombie movies this one might be good for you.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

More Resolutions

I don't know what the sudden intrest in setting goals for myself is, but when you feel motivated to do something... go with it. Maybe others aren't quite so lazy as myself and set goals on a more regular basis. I, however, can often be quite content to sit around, play my guitar, sing, and daydream the day away. However, every so often I get this manic need to do things. It might be cleaning the house from top to bottom. It might be a strange urge to do lots of research on something that has always intrigued me, but I've never really bothered to look into before. It might be a new hobby. It might be an old hobby. It could be any number of things.
Recently, I find myself slipping into this manic mode again. I don't have a direct focus for it yet, but it could take a limitless possibility of directions. For example, my friend/roommate Esther recently showed me this little book she has been writing. It's kind of a journal of sorts where she is just writing down a huge list of things that make her happy. And I'm thinking what a great idea. If I started this and wrote down a few things that make me happy each day, chances are that by the next time I was feeling blue I could pull out this notebook and find something that would make me feel better. But then again, as long as there is chocolate around you don't have to think very hard about what might make you feel better. So this is one goal that I can reasonably keep.
Other, less reasonable, goals include things like traveling to Europe this summer, being an extra in a bollywood film, taking ballroom dance lessons, and setting up a budget for myself. Well really more than a budget. More like a financial plan for the next year or so of my life. Somehow, I'm thinking that the dance lessons and the trip to Europe would be in direct conflict with my financial plan, but one can dream. Hey, you never know, maybe I'll make loads of extra money for my role in the Bollywood film and affording the other two would be no problem.
Anyhow, on a totally unrelated note, my sister emailed me to say the she found out that she's having a boy. So by Thanksgiving I'll have both a nephew and a neice (my brother's wife is having a girl). So it'll be Emma Grace Lee and James Thomas Armstrong. I'm just thankful that it's my sister who is having the boy and not my brother. Tommy told me that if he had a boy he was going to name him Zerubabel... and he wasn't joking. Oh some things never change, and my brother is one of them. He will always be that go against the flow kind of guy who gets in trouble at school for wearing what they called a skirt but what he called a kilt. He will always be that crazy person who wears a piece of duct tape around his ankle for seven years. He'll always be the guy who isn't afraid to take risks in life, like jumping off the roof with an umbrella to see if he really could float safely to the ground. I miss my brother. I know that deep down he never will change, and that's as it should be.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mid-Year Resolution

A few weeks ago, my co-workers, their spouses, and I met up for a relaxed evening. We ate dinner and hung out and had a good time. I like my coworkers. I work in a small school and there are only 6 full-time teachers in the primary department. So we are all getting to know each other pretty well. So anyways, back to dinner and hanging out. So we meet up. Three of the six are married and three of us are single. Of the singles, I am the youngest. There is one who is about ten years older than me and one who is about twenty years older than me. I was struck that evening that my life is headed on a similar path as these women. I'm becoming a teacher like them and there is a good chance I might be either permenantly single or even just single for a good while longer. I'm fairly comfortable with this. Sure I have my uneasy moments where I'm not sure I can do this all alone for the rest of my life, but then I look at people who have miserable marriages and I am quickly reminded that I'd rather be single. Anyhow, I'm looking at these women and I almost freeze in terror. What if I do become just like them? What if I become one of those women who replace their family relationships with cats and dogs?!? What if I start talking about my pets as if they are my children? What if I start carrying around pictures of them in my wallet? NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
I won't do it. This is my mid-year resolution.

p.s. If you are someone who adores your animals so much that they feel like children to you, please don't take offense to my stupid blog. It's just me rambling and being goofy.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Here's the lyrics to a song I wrote, just looking for some feedback on it. You can't really without hearing the tune and everything, but if you like it or if you think it's gay, let me know. It's just supposed to be a sort of cutsy song, nothing really serious. Ok, without further ado, here it goes.

Prayers drift to thoughts
Thoughts fade into dreams
In my dreams there's you and me
Sailing out to sea

We forget about the world
And all our memories, we left them far behind
Just dreaming on our boat
Sailing out to sea

I'd live off cheese and crackers
I'd live out in the sun
If we could have our boat
Drifting out on our sea
I'd sing to you 3 times daily
We'd be like fish and chips
If we could have our boat, our sea
If I could have your love

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Egyptian Kareoke

In celebration of my friend's birthday, I did kareoke last night with a couple of friends. We went to this pub that was in the Marriott. Considering that it was a Friday night, the place was pretty empty. I find that kareoke night at any bar is usually quite predictable. There are certain characters that always seem to appear on stage. The guy who takes himself way to seriously, especially considering he's singing songs like "New York, New York" and/or "A Friend's a Friend Forever". There's the girl who does kareoke so much that the Kareoke DJ (or whatever he's called) knows her favorites so well that he can easily guess 75% of the songs she will pick out. But my personal favorite is the incredibly drunk man. This guy can't carry a tune in a bucket. But in his drunken state, one of three things goes on: (1) he is deeply moved in his heart to sing a song that can express the insert emotion here that he has been feeling, (2) he decides that he is actually a good singer and his freinds and family have been jealous of him all along so they told him he was no good to hold him back, or (3) he knows what kareoke is really about ... bad singing. This guy is my favorite because he gives everyone the courage to go up there and do it, because chances are you can't possibly sound any worse than him.
Anyhow, my freinds and I get there. We sit down and order our drinks and get a song list book. Both me and my freind Katie pick out our songs, but we don't have any slips of paper to write down our selections. So we go over to the booth. The music is quite loud and telling someone who doesn't speak english very well that you want to sing kareoke is not easy. So I go up first and say that I want to sing "you were meant for me" by Jewel. I get a blank stare. OK, so Katie asks to sing "I wanna dance with somebody" by Whitney Houston. The guy is completely baffled and gets the main kareoke guy to come and talk to us. So Katie repeats her request to this guy, who is pleasantly startled by her request and says "ok, what song do you want to dance to?" I thought I would die laughing. The poor guy. We couldn't stop laughing.
We had a great time. I wish I could write more, but I have to go now.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


I have this unexplainable need to blog. I'm excited about the new set up, and even though I am infact a moron when it comes to computers, I hope to be able to figure out how to play around with this site and make it more interesting than my last blog site.
Other than that, I just heard that there was another bombing in NYC today. Crazy. I don't know many details. I start to ask myself what the world is coming to. But then I think, hmmmm, no, century over century people haven't changed much. The places have changed, the tactics have changed, the weapons have changed, but men's hearts have not changed. Since the day Adam and Eve left the garden, there has always been hate, ignorance, misunderstanding, greed, and violence.
Enough seriousness for the time being, it's the weekend! I'm going to the orphanage tonight. Good grief I love those boys. They are the highlight of this week for me. Other than that, my plans for the weekend include church, a meeting, and lesson plans. Oh what a gripping life I do lead. Oh! I might do kareoke tonight! That will be fun. Anyhow, I promise I won't write again tonight. Three blogs in one day is more than sufficient I suppose.

On My Own

So now my blog is no longer attached to the church's website. So I am excited and nervous. Excited because I think that the only people who read my blog there were people who either went to the church or have lived with me in the past two years. So I think it's more likely for others to stumble across my blog at this location. I'm nervous because what if nobody reads it at all. But, that won't happen... right? I mean I am far to interesting to be abandoned just because I've moved and I'm not attached with to the downtown vineyard website.
Anyhow, I recently got a new teacher for my arabic lessons. She is so great. She kicks my butt four hours a week and I feel like my rate of learning has sped up by leaps and bounds. Which is really good because I don't know if I can afford it after June.
Now on to a totally unrelated subject. I have to share with you all what a heel I am. It was unintentional, but I feel like a jerk nonetheless. The scenario is this, a friend of mine from church rushed home to England a few weeks ago because his mother was sick. She has been sick with cancer for a while and the family has not been expecting her to last much longer. So he's in England and I haven't heard any news on him or his family. I send him an email asking how he and his family are and let him know that I have been praying for them and all that sort of thing. Well, he emails me back and says something to the tune of it's good to have all the family here, friends have been very supportive, and I'll be back a week from Sunday. So I think ok, there's no significant improvement, but no significant decline either. In an attempt to cheer him up a bit I sent him a Dilbert e-card that I thought was funny. Well, as it turns out his mom had passed away, but I just hadn't been told. Apparently he sent out a mass email, which I didn't get, letting everyone know that she had passed. So I found out too late, after the goofy e-card, what had happened. You never know, maybe he will enjoy the card, maybe it will be something that makes him laugh. Even if he thinks it's stupid and doesn't laugh at all, I hope he doesn't think I'm an insensitive jerk.

A New Start

It is high time I started a new blog. Will emailed me and said that my old blog got lost in the shuffle when the churches website got relocated. He graciously found a new place for my old blog, but I think I want to start a new one. I don't really have the time to write now, but it's comming soon!