Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bill Mallonee

Bill Mallonee is incredible. I went to his show here in Augusta tonight at the Blue Horse Music Hall. It made me be glad that I was right where I was tonight. No desire to be anywhere but where I was at that moment.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just so you know

I am playing in the Open Mic competition on Wednesday September 13th at the Blue Horse Music Hall and at R. Gabriel's on September 22 (I think it's a Friday) from 7-9pm. I'll probably remind you all again during the weeks of the performances. Hopefully it will go well. I am trying out some new songs. Wish me luck.

The Thing I Love About My Dad

He doesn't drink coffee, yet every morning he makes coffee for my mom and me before we even make it to the kitchen. :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Making Headway

In the start of this new chapter in my life, I have many decisions to make. Where to live, where to work, where to call my home church, who to live with, what to do with my non-working time, etc. It's all kind of overwhelming when you start to think about it all at one time. So I do what I can and pick the top two or three most pressing questions and try to get those figured out before I move on to the next. Some of you may have already known this and some may not have known, but I have been seriously considering going out to CA to live with the Kauffmans in Monterey. Sara and Rosemary are going to a church there that has no one to lead music/worship. So I would go out there with the intent of volunteering for this position and getting a job and paying on my student loans and possibly go back to school. All of this to say that I have made the decision to not do this. This past week some opportunities have come up for me to be involved here and I really feel confident that this is the way for me to go. Lots of reasons, but I won't get into it all. Let it suffice to say that I am happy to stay in Augusta for at least another year or two. So one question is finally answered. Where will I live? Augusta, GA. And, actually, one or two other questions have been answered as well. But I'll give you more on that later.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Do You Remember The Time When. . .

My day with my old college roommate was great. We caught up on all the latest, ate Mexican food, took a siesta, shopped and had dessert with two of her friends. And the whole day was filled with the game "Do You Remember the Time When". For example:
Do you remember the time when. . .
1. I mooned the security camera in front of our dorm.
2. we were at this restaurant and tried to get a guys attention and ended up looking like idiots becuase we accidentally threw a bracelet under the piano and four waiters had to come and move the piano just so we could retrieve the jewelry.
3. we took goofy pictures all over campus.
4. we painted the youth room for the church we worked at and the pastor hated it.
5. we drove 3 and a half hours to Augusta and another 3 and a half hours back all in one night just because I was really missing my friends there.
6. you got really mad at me because I blabbed my big mouth to some guy and told him that you used to like him (it wasn't that bad. . . afterall, he liked you too).
7. our choir director threw a shoe at Marvin.
8. that creepy guy pulled us over just to ask me to dance with him (weirdo!).
9. I almost exploded on the spot (and not in a good way) when the same creepy guy walked up and kissed me during our Baptist Student Union meeting.
10. we went trick-or-treating in Carrie's neighborhood. We were around 21/22 years old and it was my first time trick-or-treating ever.
and the list could go on and on and on. . .
I've missed you so much Jess! It was great to spend the day with you!!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Unexpected Road Trip

Yay! I'm going to see my college roommate today! I got an email from her this morning. I was so excited to hear from her. I called her and it turns out she is now working in Covington,GA. So now I am on my way there to spend the day with her. Yay!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Story I Wasn't Going to Share

I had a really embarassing moment the other day. I was in the middle of my interview and I farted. It was audible but not really, really loud and my interviewer was talking at the time, so I'm hoping that she just didn't hear. But whatever.
I wasn't gonna share that story, but I emailed a freind and told her about it and she asked why it wasn't on my blog and so I thought "ok I'll post it." We've all been there. Right? Or am I the only one that manages to fart out loud at embarassing times (while you're in the library or during a really quiet and intense part of the sermon your pastor is giving)?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Deja Vous and Spiritual Giftings

It turns out that the job I thought I had I actually don't know if I have it. No worries though. It will all work out. But I did go in for some basic testing and an interview for the job (all of which I think went well). I should know either way in two or three weeks. In the meantime I am still job hunting and trying to make myself useful here at my parent's house by cleaning, running errands, mowing the lawn and babysitting for my older sister.

Going back to the interview. . . I went to the office for Partnership in Achievement for my interview and testing. And lo and behold their office was in the same building as where I used to go see a shrink when I was a kid. It was weird. I walked in the office entry and suddenly I was eight years old again and waiting to go see my therapist. In fact the room where I did testing for the job was the same room that I used to meet with him in. Total deja vous (not sure if I spelled that right).

On a completely unrelated note, I did a test on spiritual giftings last night. I was a little suprised at the results. I expected leading worship to be my number one gift, but it was (according to this test) number two. What was number one, you ask? Celibacy. Well, I have to say that I didn't see that one coming. But after I thought about it and read the definition and all that. . . it started to make sense. It says, "the gift of celibacy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the body of Christ to remain single and enjoy it and not suffer undue sexual temptations." I guess I qualify for that. I guess I'm okay with that. But I'm not sure that really ministers to other people. I mean I guess it does indirectly, but generally I think it just means that I'm ok with my marital status or lack there of.

Anyhow, tied for number three were missionary, wisdom and service. Tied in fourth was pastor and hospitality. After that it got to the gifts that I was not really great in on down to the gifts that I have absolutely no gifting in. Let's put it this way, if you are looking for an apostle or someone to interpret tongues for you. . . I'm not your girl.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

The other night I was watching tv with some friends. It was a news program, but it was one of those news-with-a-comedic-spin shows. So they start talking about this new movie coming out "Snakes on a Plane" (yes, the trailors show that it will be as stupid as it sounds, see Pete's blog on it from July 5th for more). So anyways, it turns out that the phrase "snakes on a plane" is now a phrase we can use in everyday conversation. Apparently, "snakes on a plane" is another way of saying "that's life and it stinks, but what can ya do about it". They used an example on the news show.
person 1: How are things?
person 2: Well, I spent the night with a hooker and contracted an STD.
person 1: Dude, that's snakes on a plane.

So I vowed that I would start using this phrase in conversation. I succeeded!

Me: So Mary, how are ya?
My little sis: oh, I feel horrible. I've got cramps and I'm all bloated and my back hurts.
Me: Geez, that's snakes on a plane.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Korean Cowboy

Today I saw a full grown Korean man walk into a coffee shop dressed head to toe in cowboy gear. Cowboy hat, cowboy boots, tight jeans, snakeskin belt, belt buckle and clean, fitted white T-shirt. All he needed was chaps, boot spurs and a horse. I sat there in awe as he ordered his coffee and then left. I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or applaud the man for his bold fashion statement.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I got a part-time job tutoring kids. So that's something.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

blogger block

Been itching to post something for the last two days, but nothing in particular to say. I joined a gym. I shopped the clearance racks at Target and Kohl's. Filled in online applicaions. Faxed my resume out. Became a regular at Panera Bread. Talked to Sara today, which is always a highlight for me. Still trying to catch up with old friends. Still missing my friends in Egypt. Wondering what my next step should be. Sure there is stuff going on, but none of it seems to be really exciting at the moment.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Baby Dedication

This was my first Sunday back, so I got to see some of my good friends I had been dying to see. My nephew was dedicated at church this week. My brother, sister-in-law and niece came to Augusta to have breakfast and go to church with us. So it was ideal picture time, the whole family together and dressed fairly nice to boot. I'll post some pictures if they turn out nice.

Now I am off to Myrtle beach with my mom and little sis. Not sure about having internet access, so it might be Wednesday before you hear from me again. Have a good week!

A Little Slice of Heaven

Tonight I experienced a little bit of what heaven might be like. Me and my little sis sitting on the dock by the river, smoking cigars, drinking wine and talking. It was a really good talk too. We talked about life and our goals and the journeys we've been on over the last year and a half while we've been apart. She listened to me talk about Egypt and I listened to her talk about her struggles and victories over the last few months. I've always felt close with Mary, but I think this is the closest I've ever felt to her. She's grown up a lot. She's seeing things more clearly. Listening to her talk was actually really inspirational to me. She is such a gem.
Also, I got to see a few more old friends (Pam, Von, Tera, Adam, Erin, Jeremiah, Miles, Brandi and Jenn) briefly tonight and that was really nice. Old friends are great!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

When I'm feeling blue

All I have to do

Is take a look at you

Then I'm not so blue

Thursday, August 10, 2006

An unlikely pair

I went out to breakfast with my mom this morning. We looked like such an unlikely pair. I was in old, worn-out jeans, my black "ZAO" t-shirt, a black bandana and ratty flip-flops. She was dressed head to toe in pink. . . pink heels, a long pink flowery skirt, pink scarf tied around her waist and (the ultimate) a pink t-shirt that said "pink power".
Sometimes I wonder if I am really related to her, then I look in the mirror and realize I am her spitting image (almost) and I know it must be true. . . I really am her daughter.

A Quick Hello

I'm just writing a quick update on my whole moving-back-to-GA-and-moving-back-in-with-my-parents-experience.
It is really good to be back with my family. I've spent time with all of them except my brother-in-law and my brother and his family. I'll hopefully see my brother and family tomorrow, and Jim. . . maybe I'll cook dinner for him and Jules tonight. Anyhow, everything is going well with my family, which is actually truly suprising. Little sis has a decent job and doesn't seem depressed and isn't constantly surrounded by the most horrible "friends" imaginable and isn't in jail. . . what else could you ask for? Older sis is doing great with her baby and hubby. Mom and dad are on a crazy reprieve and haven't done anything completely outlandish yet. I came home and felt like I had stepped into the wrong household. I felt like my family is actually kind of getting normal and stable. It's just so wonderful and weird.

I've seen a few friends, but not too many. I figure I'll see alot of them at church this weekend. I've seen my buddy Angella and her mom. Angella is my oldest friend outside my family. We have been giggling and acting like idiots together since we were 11. Seeing her and talking to her is like a breath of fresh air. It was her birthday on the 7th, so we went out for dinner on the 8th.

I've spent some time with Lisa and her family. Lisa is one of my most supportive friends and a very old friend as well. She would do absolutely anything for me. She has been my crazy friends since I was 13 and she was 12. It was her birthday yesterday, so I spent the whole day with her and then went with her to her parents' place for dinner. Her dad is already trying to set me up with somebody. Good Lord help me.

I stopped by my old job and saw a few friends there as well. It's good to catch up with people.

Well, I think I'm gonna go be productive now and clean my parents' house and fun stuff like that.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


A big congrats to Emma and Wale on their recent engagement!!!!!

I Miss You Guys Already

Me, Esther and Revo

Me and Wale

Me and Travis (aka "so and so")

Matthew, me and Chelsie

Midnight Plane to Georgia

I am now back in Augusta. The flight was fine. Long, boring, exhausting but now it's over. I'm back with my family (except my brother). They are all getting along!! This is really nice.
My life feels like a blank page right now. I have no definite plans that go beyond the next two days. No job. No place that is really my own. But right now, I am content. Content with the feeling that things here will go well. All the puzzle pieces will come together. I miss Cairo and my family there, but I feel confidant that I will find my niche here soon and the U.S. will start feeling more like home and less like a foreign country to me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Gypsy and John Denver

Well, I'm off to the airport in about 6 hours. I've been packing and cleaning most of the day. I must say that I really do feel like a gypsy. I can fit all of my belongings in two suitcases (and these aren't even the really huge suitcases), one carry-on bag and a guitar case.

I tried to post some pictures from my party the other night, but this computer is slow, slow, slow. So pictures will have to wait until I am at a speedy computer.

For the last month this John Denver song has been playing through my mind. . .

My bags are packed I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye

The dawn has broke, it's early morn
The taxi's waitin', he's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you will wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go. . .

So long Cairo. I'm sure this is see you later and not goodbye. I'm just not sure how long the later will be.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Good Night

Tonight was my official going away party. I had such a wonderful time with my friends. A big thank you to Chelsie, Esther and Revo for pulling it all together (Chelsie, I am so sorry about that picture frame). A big hug to all of you who came.
The night was great. Lots of good people came. We danced to 80's music. We played pool. We smoked sheisha. We took lots of pictures. We talked. I got to talk to Sara on the phone. I played guitar. I cried when I had to say good bye to Emma. This was a really, really wonderful farewell for me.

Silver Lining?

This week, my pastor delivered a sermon entitled "It Will All Be Worth It". We are in the middle of a series of teachings out of the book of Romans. This particular message drew from Romans 8:18-30 and was basically about suffering, waiting, hoping and the good times. For someone who has gone to church nearly every Sunday morning and Wednesday night of her life, this message actually gave me no new information. Sure, I have heard it before. I memorized bits and pieces of Romans in my growing up years. Not to mention that everyone (Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Agnostic, Atheist, etc.) knows that life is not easy. We all experience suffering at one point or another. I think of this passage in Romans as being a guide to coping with the suffering.
Anyhow, yesterday, as I sat in my plastic chair under the tent I call "church", I listened nicely to the sermon, but did not expect to really "get anything out of it". Come on, let's face it, sometimes that's just the way it happens. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that it is the fault of a boring pastor. I am not saying that once you learn a scripture, memorize it and hear x amount of sermons on it, you can never learn anything else from it. I am saying that sometimes we go into church with earplugs in. We might be preoccupied with things going on at work, home or elsewhere in life. We might be avoiding the voice of God because of a guilty conscience. We might be tired. We might be sick. We might be experiencing any number of excuses we use to be lazy about our striving towards being Christ-like. I know. I know because I've been in church my whole life. I know because I've listened to upwards of 3500 sermons, sunday school lessons and bible studies (not to mention the reading done on my own). I know about the "earplugs" because I use them more frequently than I would like to admit. But I have the conviction that God has given us the Bible as possibly the strongest, most reliable way to hear from Him. I believe that everytime we open it's pages, everytime we hear the words from it spoken He is trying to speak to us. We just need to take the earplugs out.
So back to the sermon, towards the end of the message, my pastor added in a personal story (these always help me to relate the scriptures to "real" life). He refered to a difficult year in his family. I won't go into the details (it's not really the point anyway). But he asked his sister (who is still in the midst of very difficult circumstances), if she could redo the last year, would she change the events that took place. She said no. She would not change even the most difficult parts of it because of how close it brought her to God.
I might be reading into this woman's life too much, but she probably feels a sense of amazement that she has gone through these circumstances and come out stronger. She probably feels that she now has a story to tell people about how God really works in real people's lives (it's not just the stuff of story books and legends!). She probably has a sense of wonder about the last year. She might look back on it and think "how in the world did I survive this without losing my mind?"
Our own lives are this way from time to time. For me, my most recent period of "suffering" (I put suffering in quotes because my suffering can hardly be considered as such compared to so many others suffering) was after I graduated college. I finished my bachelors in music after five years of school. I did two years in my hometown University and then transfered to a private (a.k.a. very expensive) college for the last three years. I knew that going to this school would mean student loans, but I simply had to go through this very specific program that not many schools offered. Well, long story short, I came to the end of the program only to realize that not only would I hate doing the occupation I thought I would go into, but I would not do a very good job of it either. So I did like so many other music majors do. . . I moved back in with my parents and started working at a coffee shop. It was a year and a half of working at a coffee shop and then at a health food store. It was a year and a half of making little more than minimum wage alongside high school dropouts. It was a year and a half of moving to my parents' house to my sister's house to my church friends' house. It was a year and a half of wondering "what am I doing with my life, why did I even bother with school, did I make a huge mistake???" I worried over it, got frustrated over it, but eventually said to myself "I don't understand why these are my circumstances, but they are. All I can do is keep doing the best where I am at and trust God. Maybe someday I will understand all this, maybe I never will, but either way I believe that there is a reason for it."
So then my period of "suffering" ended abruptly when I came to Egypt. Suddenly, life was exciting. Suddenly life was a challenge. Suddenly, life had meaning and a distinct purpose. I still didn't understand why I had the last year and a half of feeling like crap, but it was over and done. But yesterday, in my plastic chair, I had a revelation. Maybe I had to experience the suffering in order to experience all the joy I've had in my time in Egypt. Think about it. If I hadn't been so miserable in GA, would I have made such a rash decision to move to Egypt? If I had a job I actually felt attached to in GA, would I have abandoned it in order to stay here? And even if I had still decided to come to Egypt, how could I have appreciated the sense of purpose in my work here if I had never known what it felt like to have absolutely no sense of purpose?
It's really nice when that light bulb comes on in your brain and suddenly things that have been puzzling you for, well, years become more clear and understandable.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Whilst reading the precuationary information for the drugs I'm taking, I discovered that one side effect from my nasal spray is anorexia. So just for a heads up, if you hear me incessantly talking about how fat I am or refusing to eat. . . it is time for a carefrontation. Pry the nasal spray from my bony fingers.

Misery Loves Company

I hope all of you are feeling better than me. I have a cold and it is pretty much miserable.
It started last Saturday. I had two days of feeling fine except that my voice was completely gone. Then it really kicked in. My voice got a little better, but I started to feel sick. You know, the achy, runny nose kind of sick. Then it got worse. The sweating non-stop, headachy, congested to the point of being unable to breathe kind of worse. Finally, I broke down last night and bought some drugs to ease my pain. They are working ok and I am starting to feel like a person again.

There are a couple of things about being sick that just baffle me. One is how you constantly feel dirty when you are sick. It doesn't matter if I just brushed my teeth five minutes ago. My mouth feels covered in grimy film stuff. It doesn't matter if I showered an hour earlier. I constantly feel greasy and sweaty and generally gross. Why is that?

The second thing that happens is that I go mental. I can't remember anything. In fact, I can't remember when I last showered or brushed my teeth. . . so that might have something to do with why I feel so nasty. Also, I am like manic-depressive. Yesterday, I sat over at Chelsie's house watching movies all day long. I was sitting there by myself either laughing hysterically at the movies or crying hysterically. Good thing I was by myself.

Alright, I'm outta here. I will go brush my teeth and shower now, while I still remember to do it. Remember that sick people love to have sympathy. If you get the time, send me an email or give me a call. I love you guys and gals.