Friday, June 29, 2007

Quote of the Day

"I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
-C.S. Lewis

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ode to My Boss: Part II

I came into work this morning to find an envelope on my desk. Inside the envelope was a check for $250 and a note from my boss which read "Have a great time in California!"

I don't think anything more needs to be said.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Couple of Great Gifts

Not that birthdays are all about people giving you stuff or anything, but I did get a couple of really great gifts this year.

Julie did a portrait of me and her from a picture taken two or three Christmases (sp?) ago. It is beautiful. And if you knew all our family history over the last two or three years, you would have an idea of how extra special this gift was. I cried. Not just a slightly misty-eyed, one tear trickles down. Oh no, like sobs burst out uncontrollably.

My good friend Alice also gave me a more comical, but also awesome birthday present. She made me a t-shirt. This is a t-shirt that I once mentioned to her I would love to have made. When she gave it to me I jumped up and down and screamed (in a good way). I'm not going to tell you what it says, but many of you will have to opportunity to see it. I plan on wearing it almost everywhere I go, except work and probably not to church either (some people just wouldn't appreciate my sense of humor).

Also, thank you to the friends who went out of their way to wish me a happy birthday. Thank you for all the goofy voicemails, blog comments, and emails. I really was bumming with the whole "another year gone by and what have you accomplished?" feeling. And that feeling is still there a little bit, but just being around people that were happy and happy to see me did lift me out of my brooding, self-pity mode for the most part. So thanks a million.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Cry For Help

Tomorrow I turn 27, and I do not feel good about it at all.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Weekend

House sitting was great. Dogs were great. House to myself was great.

On Saturday I helped a friend move. We started at about 9:30/10:00 am and worked till about 3:30/3:45pm. By the end of it all I found myself in a semi-manic state where I had to be moving, doing, accomplishing. So I mowed the lawn. Then I took a much needed shower. Then I got online and applied for jobs and sent out resumes. Then I took a 15 minute nap. Then I went to a BBQ at Dianna's house. Then I went back to my weekend home and watched deleted scenes for the second season of The Office. Then I fell asleep. It was a good day.

Today. Church of course. I did some walking. I took a nap with my nephew. Then Mary, James, and I all went swimming. James has a new word. . . "kini," which means bikini. Good luck Julie and Jim.

I had a job offer this weekend. Office manager at a law office. The girl that currently has the job makes $30,000/year. Too bad it was for a law office in Augusta, not Chapel Hill. Sigh. Something is going to come up. So in the spirit of getting a job offer in Chapel Hill, I am going to stop blogging now and start applying/sending out resumes. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 22, 2007

House Sitters 'R Us

I'm house sitting for a couple from church this weekend. It's nice to have a house to myself. Well, almost to myself, there are four dogs here too. But dogs are great. You can sit there and talk to them about all your worries and cares and concerns. They listen ever so patiently and look at you with those wonderfully understanding eyes and they cuddle with you and they don't try and tell you what to do and they never blab how horrible you are to other people.

Anyhow, my boss asked me to house sit for him in July. I felt pretty much great about that. That means that he thinks I am trustworthy enough to take care of his very old dog and his house. Yay! That makes me happy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Travel Books

I go to Borders quite a bit these days. Sometimes I meet up with friends there. Sometimes I go for some semi-alone time and some people watching (and a little eavesdropping too). But typically, I sit in the cafe and read travel books. I read about places I only dream about going to (South Africa mostly). I read about places I am planning on going to (California!). I read about places I have already been to (Egypt and Ireland mostly). I read funny short travel stories. I found a little snip it that made me laugh because it was so true.
"It is important to understand that in the 3rd world most driving is done with the horn, or 'Egyptian brake pedal,' as it is known. There is a precise and complicated etiquette of horn use. Honk your horn only under the following circumstances:
1. When anything blocks the road.
2. When anything doesn't.
3. When anything might.
4. At red lights.
5. At green lights.
6. At all other times."
-P.J. O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We all deal with our own internal struggles from time to time. One of mine is (believe it or not) being overly determined.

It is fairly rare for me to be determined about anything. I think I'm pretty much laid back about nearly everything. I'm generally fine with whatever happens or doesn't happen. I'm typically happy to find out what my family, friends, and co-workers want/need/envision and try to help them make it happen, knowing that whatever the outcome, whatever the circumstances I will be happiest seeing them happy.

I also generally operate under the motto that there isn't much in life that is actually worth getting stressed out over. This philosophy is a blessing and a curse to me, but that's for another blog entirely.

The issue I'm talking about today is what arises when I do get determined about anything.

Issue #1: What I get determined about.
Not always, but often, I get determined about the wrong things. Examples: the major I picked in college, winning at a certain auction (I did win, but it is possibly one of my most shameful moments in my life's history), and various other ideas that I let fester in my head for literally years before I either get what I am after or just give up and move on.

Then again, sometimes I do get determined about things that work out and when they work out it is possibly the number one best feeling of all times. Examples: finishing college, saving up enough money to do any and all of the roadtrips and planetrips I have taken, learning guitar, learning how to scuba dive, and there are probably many more examples.

Issue #2: Knowing when to keep going and when to quit.
Song lyrics run through my head as I mull over this one. . . "Darlin' you've got to let me know, should I stay or should I go". . . "You've gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. . ."

If left to my own devices, I will quite literally hang on to an idea for years and years. Sometimes, this is quite admirable. You know, the stuff heros are made of and whatnot. Other times, it is just pathetic and unhealthy at best.

There is something to be said for "never give up" and perservering through all odds. There is a certain amount of respect that must be held for determination that keeps on even when it seems the whole world is mocking you, when circumstances and even logic seem to say "it's never gonna happen".

Then again, alot can be said for knowing when to gracefully accept defeat and move on to more productive, attainable, worthwhile causes.

I guess my deal is that I am afraid to let go of things sometimes. I'm afraid to let go because what if I had just held on a little longer? Would it have all fallen into place if I just held out one more day, one more week, one more month, etc.? I'm afraid of looking back on my life and saying "what could have happened if hadn't let my fears stop me or if I hadn't listened to that doubting voice in my head?" But it's a bit of a paradox, because it seems that fear is partially what prevents me from pursuing things and makes me let go of things and keeps me from letting go of things. Fear of failure. Fear that I am wasting valueable time. Fear of the what-ifs. Fear that something better isn't going to come along. Fear of missing out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Bill Collectors

The bill collectors have super powers too. They can sense when I just got paid and actually start thinking "Hey Dottie, you actually have a decent amount of money in your account! Maybe with you next paycheck you could start putting some in savings!" That's when it happens. All the bills come that very same day, just to tell me "no, no, you are not that good and you will never be able to save one red cent!"


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Trip to the ATL

The Awesomeness:
The very best part: seeing Esther.

The very second best part: the guy at IHOP wearing the shirt which read "I'm not a gynecologist, but I'll take a look."

The third best part: Esther being hit on by the Ethiopian gas station cashier.

The fourth best part: discussing with Esther who we would make wear the aforementioned t-shirt if we had the power. (It was hands down decided that Esther's brother Edward would be our top pick.)

The fifth best part: just being in the airport and getting some good people watching in.

The sixth best part: strawberry cheesecake icecream at Brewsters.

The seventh best part: my car didn't fall apart on me.

The Unawesomeness:
The first worst part: writing letters to friends in Cairo for Esther to pass along, then wishing that I was going to see them and not just writing them a letter. Then thinking about Egypt and my friends there so much that I felt as if I was leaving Cairo all over again. I felt my heart break like when I left Egypt, and I teared up in the airport Atlanta Bread Company.

The second worst part: saying bye to Esther (although this isn't too bad because she will be in D.C. come fall and I will be in Chapel Hill, so it will be like 4 or 5 hours between us. . . this is totally a travelable distance).

The third worst part: wanting with all my heart to jump on a plane and have an adventure in a new place, but instead I had to get in my car and drive back to Augusta.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Lazy Saturday Morning

This Saturday is the first Saturday in awhile that has been just. . . lazy. Saturdays in my recent past have been filled with helping friends move, babysitting, music practices, day trips to vist extended family, etc. But today is different and different is good, very good.

Today I woke up about 6:45 am (as I always do). But instead of getting out of bed immediately, showering and taking on the day, I laid in bed for a solid hour. I thought and prayed and thought some more. I needed that. Truth be told, it wouldn't do me any harm to go back and lie in my bed for another hour or two just thinking and praying.

Lately life has been feeling a little out of sync for me. It's that whole transitional thing. I'm about to move, but I haven't moved yet. My friendships have been borderline strained, as people deal with freinds moving away in very different ways. Some get mad at you for dumb stuff so that it won't be so hard to say good-bye. Some just stop calling you altogether. Although, there are some friends who realized that North Carolina is not the ends of the earth and that this move does not mean a death sentence for our friendship. For those friends, I am very grateful.

Aside from relationships here, the transition phase of this move is starting to get a little. . . what's a good word for it. . . unnerving? Still no job in North Carolina. Still no place to live in North Carolina. And it's not just me either. Rodger and Angela and the Lindseys too. Not a one of us has got these major pieces of the puzzle sorted out. And it's looking like the move may be pushed a little further back, yet again. It's looking like it might be August before we get up there, which is fine. I do have a good job here. I can continue to save money. I worry more for Rodger and Angela than anyone else, as they have already sold their house and given up their teaching positions here in Augusta. Something needs to come through for them over the next month or so.

Anyhow, these were the issues weighing on my mind this morning as I laid lazily in my bed.
Getting back to my lazy Saturday. . . I leisurely got out of bed and threw on a random-ass outfit (I have to say that I am looking down at myself and thinking "what are you wearing?"). Then I grabbed my mom's laptop and headed over to R. Gabriel's to enjoy a cup of joe, a cinnamon scone (mmmmmm), and free wireless connection. And here I have been for about two hours. I have blogged (twice!). I have responded to emails that I have meant to respond to for over a month now. And I am starting to feel more on top of things.

Next on the agenda. . . laundry.

A little later this evening. . . drive to the ATL and stay in a ghetto motel with Esther!

The Anti-Midas Touch

Super Powers. . . I personally believe we all have some sort of super power.

I have at least two.

1. The ability to make people want to give me free stuff without asking for it.

2. The Anti-Midas Touch.

What is the anti-Midas touch you ask? Everything I touch turns to crap.

I inherited this power from my father (possibly the only trait I inherited from my dad).

Do you want proof of my powers? Let's just take a look at my car. I got this car by means of my first super power. Unaware of the force they were up against, Alice and Bee Jay relinquished their old vehicle to me. And when I say this vehicle is old, I mean it is a '92 with 351,000+ miles on it. Despite it's age and the miles it has driven, when they gave me the car everything was working perfectly, aside from an occasional problem getting it started. I have had this car for less than two weeks. In that time I have broken the battery cables, the radio/tape deck, the air conditioning, and dealt with the "occasional" starting problem on three different occasions. I am waiting for the windows and sunroof to be the next things to go. Then the car will be completely undriveable in the Georgia heat.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Church Plant Team Pictures

Angela, Rodger, Dianna, Mike and Me

Molly, Me, and Emma playing in the Riverwalk fountain!

Molly, soaking wet and cute as a button

For more pictures go here.

Not Much Internet Time

This last week or so has been a little busy and I haven't had my usual internet time. I'm missing it a little, but it might be another week or so before I can post a real blog. I am house sitting this week and I will go out of town this weekend. Esther will be in Atlanta this weekend!! So I will leave Saturday and come back on Sunday.
Speaking of the Kauffman girls, they are both to be congratulated! Esther leaves Atlanta this Sunday to head back over to Cairo, where she will be doing a summer internship at Maadi Community Church. In the fall, Esther will be in D.C. starting grad school!
Sara recently found her next step in life! She will begin law school at Georgia State in Atlanta this fall!!! I know this is such a great thing for her, as she has been school hunting and job hunting for over a year now.
I feel like a proud parent, although I can take no credit for how Esther and Sara have turned out. I still take great pleasure in bragging about them whenever I get the chance!
Well, I'm off to work. But the next blog should include. . .
1. Snipits from my Atlanta trip this weekend.
2. The joys and sorrows of my not-so-new car.
3. Highlights from Rodger and Angela's ordination service.
4. Pics of the church planting team.
5. And anything else I can drum up.