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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

thank god

If it weren't for Joe Lieberman, I would give up all hope.
wingless was still breathing at 6:53 PM - 0 comments

intellectually honest demos please stand up

I've been watching all this back and forth between Republicans and Democrats over what to do in Iraq. Pullout? Stay the course? Blah, blah, blah. I'm getting so sick of it. I'm so sick of Democrats who refuse to acknowledge the progress that is so CLEARLY being made. On my trip back down from the Bay Area I got into rant-mode and started going off on how the problem I have with "the opposition" nowadays is the fact that they've become so intellectually dishonest.

To the point where they're willing to denigrate the hard work that has been going on Iraq. And you know who they really insult? Not just our troops, but the Iraqi people who are working and fighting so hard to put their mess of a country back together again.

I remember the feeling on the night of their first election. Seeing those purple fingers waving. Hearing about how people were lining up even where they had to step over the body parts of suicide attackers and their victims only hours earlier. Yesterday on Cavuto I heard that every time an Iraqi soldier dies there are 10 Iraqis signing up to take his place. How encouraging is that? How brave are they? Can you imagine if that was happening here in California? We've become so weak-willed and soft here that we'd probably roll over and surrender if put in the same situation.

I just want to talk to one level-headed liberal who's not going to be so freaking intellectually dishonest. Just one. I've lost faith in the other side and that is not good. I want to believe that both parties in America are working for the good of America but I feel like it's becoming more and more clear that the Democrats work purely for the good of, well, the Democrats. They claim to be the defenders of the little guy, but what about the little guys in Iraq that are putting on their mismatching helmets and standing up to fight for their country against the horrors the terrorists want to bring?

wingless was still breathing at 3:06 PM - 1 comments

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

honk honk

Well, I'm back in Los Angeles again. My trip home was great but a bit nippy for my taste. I have been completely and utterly spoiled by the weather in West Los Angeles. (It's gorgeous here, by the way, low-70's and sunny).

In the past two nights alone I have slept a total of 26 hours. I don't know what's going on but I'm hoping it's all these asian remedies my aunties supplied me with while I was up north. Maybe my body is sleeping more because it's healing itself? Well, I can hope right.

I have been watching/reading a lot of news and thus have a lot to say about a lot of different topics...but I don't feel like writing right now. I have to get one of those voice-typing things so I can just rant outloud whenever I need to.

wingless was still breathing at 3:49 PM - 0 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005

time to roll up your sleeves

John Hawkin's has the latest info on the supposed "torture" techniques being employed by the CIA.

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

I'm sorry, but, that? Does not constitute torture. I don't doubt that it's upsetting to the terrorists on which it's being employed, but I? Don't give a crap about how comfortable terrorists who want to blow up babies are in our prisons.

If I could say just one thing to John McCain, I would quote Jack Bauer (from 24): That's the problem with people like you. You want results but you don't want to get your hands dirty. Well, it's time to roll up your sleeves.

I'm itching to debate someone who would choose NOT to employ these techniques for fear of making a terrorist cry, even in light of the possibility of a major terrorist attack. Any volunteers?

wingless was still breathing at 11:20 AM - 0 comments

Sunday, November 20, 2005


My ninety-three year old grandmother, who has been a Buddhist since the day she was born, was baptized this morning. And I attended service at the church I grew up in for the first time in over five years.

I think my grandmother accepting Christ this morning is a testament to two things: God is good and my mom is a truly faithful servant. For years she has cared for my father's mother (recently this includes changing her diapers and wiping her butt after she takes a crap) and ministered to my grandmother, and today, twenty plus years of being an amazing daughter-in-law and faithfully praying and exposing my grandmother to church finally paid off. Praise God. And thank God for good people like my mom.

After the regular service there was a special time of open testimony in honor of Thanksgiving. Basically a time for anyone in the congregation to take the mic and express what they were thankful for this year. My mom encouraged me to share, since this has been quite a year for me, but somehow I just couldn't make myself raise my hand and then it was over and it was time for lunch.

I kind of regret it, because I have a lot to share and be thankful for and I really owe it to God and other people in my life to talk about what I've experienced in the last eleven or so months.

So I guess I will be doing it here. Forgive me if this becomes somewhat rambly and I go off on some tangents. There's a lot to cover. So here it is, my Thanksgiving testimony...

I started going to church when I was five years old. I am one of those kids who grew up in the church, I was a fixture on Sundays, all the adults knew me and watched me grow up, I was in the children's band, looked forward to the day I would be old enough to attend Youth Group on Friday nights, eventually I became a Sunday School teacher and babysat kids while their parents attended church meetings and fellowships, I faithfully participated in every church retreat...you get the picture.

But through all those years of being a good little church girl there was one thing that always bothered me. I KNEW God existed and I had even experienced Him in my life, but I was always just a little bit jealous when I heard the testimonies of people who had found God later on in life. They all had these amazing stories of how God transformed them, changed their lives completely around and I felt like because I had always known God I missed out on that incredible experience of being on fire for God for the first time in your life. Since I started going to church at five years old, I can't say I even remember a time when I didn't believe in God.

It sounds kind of stupid to me now as I read over what I've written, but that's how I felt.

Anyway, like a lot of kids who grow up in the church, I started to fall away the older I got. I guess it started during my senior year of high school, which was an unusually rough year for me. My parents almost split up, a friend passed away in a car wreck the day after Christmas and some crazy girls started sending my friends and me death threats, that eventually turned into a fiasco involving the police department and the school board. So maybe on some level I was angry at God, I don't know, but I started to really take Him for granted. I can't really blame it all on those events though, I think a lot of it had to do with the whole teenage-I-want-to-do-my-own-thing-and-have-fun attitude.

So I stopped going to church. I told myself it was okay as long as I knew I had a relationship with God. I was all, you don't have to go to church to be a good Christian, you can totally worship God in your own way. Which I guess is theoretically possible, but for me? Honestly? When I stopped going to church, I pretty much stopped thinking about God.

My four years at UCLA I probably went to church about, oh, three times total. I truly believed in my heart of hearts that I was still a Christian, still had a relationship with God, but who was I kidding? I didn't have a relationship with Him unless you count the times when I did something stupid and would then pray to God, promising never to do it again if only He would see me through this time. Of course, I always did it again (whatever it was). I certainly believed in God all those years but I didn't let Him be part of my life and I probably didn't want Him in my life either. What I wanted was to have fun. Figure things out MY way. Do what I wanted to do.

Then I graduated. And started working (ridiculous hours for ridiculously crappy pay). And I continued making excuses for why I didn't need to go to church. I just continued along on my merry way, doing what I wanted to do without a thought to what God wanted me to do. I did still feel God's presence in my life but I made a lot of bad decisions without His input until finally, at the beginning of this year, I was knocked flat on my back. I got sick. Really, really sick.

After learning a bit more about my condition I discovered that, in all likelihood, my suffering was caused by my desire to be part of THIS world. To follow the trends, to please my own vanity...and look where it got me.

The thing that amazes me now is that it was at this point, when I was so small and completely broken, that God reached out to me. No, I was not miraculously healed, but I was miraculously led to one of the top doctors in the field. I was lying in bed after having been awakened by some of the worst back/shoulder pain I had experienced to date and agreed with Paul that I definitely needed to take the day off and find myself a doctor. Fast.

So we went to the Blue Cross website and started going through lists of doctors, Paul pointed at one with a Beverly Hills address and I called him. His secretary said he was really busy but that she would give him the message and have him call me on his lunch hour. He did indeed call me back and was moved enough by my story to agree to see me. On that day. Which was a Friday. At 6:00pm. Which was after his office was closed. Six months later while I was sitting in his waiting room another patient asked me how it was I came to see this doctor and she was SHOCKED because she said normally it takes at LEAST four months to get a first appointment with him.

So you see, after I had rejected God and basically told Him, I know better and I don't need you, He still loved me enough not to want my kidneys to spend four months being ravaged by this disease that had been brought about, in part at least, by own pride and vanity. He led me to an incredible doctor that diagnosed my condition in two weeks as opposed to years, which is actually the more common story.

You would think that something like that would wake me up, but I can be surprisingly stubborn and when my parents came down for my hospital stay I still turned down the invitation to go to church with them. I don't know, maybe I was tired and weak or whatever, but I'm pretty sure I could have gone if I'd really wanted to. There was still something holding me back. Still something making excuses for why I could do things my own way and everything would be okay.

I'm sure my mother and sister and probably my cousins prayed all week, because that is just the kind of faithful people they are. And that is probably why when my mom came back to visit me the next weekend, I did agree to go with her.

I remember very clearly, one of the songs we sang during worship that day was "When The Tears Fall" and when we sang the line When pain surrounds, I'll call you Healer I started to cry. It struck a nerve in me. To this day that song makes me choke up. After the sermon, Pastor David had my family go into his office and he prayed for me and put oil on my forehead. I was changed by God that day.

And God so graciously gave me what I now realize I had been so foolish to want. I didn't get to have a "my first realization of God's presence" story, but I got my "idiot prodigal son welcomed back by an unimaginably loving Father" story. Don't get me wrong, I still struggle every day with the remnants of those five years of my life. Seriously, every day. There are some habits I still have yet to break, sadly. But I think I'm moving in the right direction and I really want to thank God for giving me such an awesome birth family, as well as my new church family. I've finally come to the realization, that at least for me, I can't be a good Christian without going to church. I'm too weak on my own and I need people around to give me a good slap once in awhile when I veer off course. Which, knowing me, happens quite often.

I don't know how to end this, so how about if I just finish off with the words to my favorite song.

I've had questions, without answers
I've known sorrow, I have known pain
But there's one thing, that I'll cling to
You are faithful, Jesus, You're true

When hope is lost, I'll call You Savior
When pain surrounds, I'll call You Healer
When silence falls, You'll be the song within my heart

In the lone hour, of my sorrow
Through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me, and sustain me
My defender, forevermore

And I will praise You, I will praise You
When the tears fall, still I will sing to You
And I will praise You, Jesus praise You
Through the suffering still I will sing

Oh yes, You've been good to me
You've always been good to me
So trustworthy

Like a well-watered garden
Who's springs never fail
You are faithful and true

wingless was still breathing at 10:57 PM - 1 comments

Friday, November 18, 2005

avenue q blues

So I've been trying to take a shower all morning but the water has been totally shut off in my building. A few minutes ago I tried the sinks again and the cold water is back on but the hot is still off. Which means I am no closer to a shower than I was two hours ago. If the HOT water doesn't come back on within the next twenty minutes, then sucks for my doctor who I have an appointment with at 1:15.

Due to the fact that I have largely neglected my GMAT studying this week, I am finally feeling pretty caught up with the political world. It's interesting to me that none of the liberal arguments have changed at all in the three or so odd months that I wasn't paying attention.

Bush is still a "liar" who "misled" and yet still none of them can explain to me why exactly it is that Bush LIED while Clinton (genius-benevolent-gracious-ruler-who-should-be-president-of-the-world) merely "made a mistake." This is the inherent flaw in their argument. It's all fine and dandy for them to claim that the Congress was misled by the President and that's why they voted for war and blah blah blah, but I notice they simply dismiss the point if you bring up Clinton making the exact same case for WMD long before Dubya was getting presidential intelligence briefings. I have NEVER seen a Democrat/Clinton-loving-anti-Iraq-war-liberal address this point. Is Bush so all-poweful that while he was the Governor of Texas he was somehow able to manipulate presidential intelligence briefings and thus mislead the brilliance that was the Clinton administration?

The sad thing is that it IS good for the country for dissenting opinions to exist. It means we have to think harder about why we stand where we stand. And sometimes we will be challenged into changing our opinions. In a free society dissenting opinions are valuable even if they are wrong if for no other reason than that they make us back up our opinions with facts and the truth. So it is pretty sad then, that today, the other side does little more than make baseless, tired old claims with either no evidence, or fabricated evidence (think Memogate amongst others). Oh and when you try to dispute their "arguments" with facts? Like the fact that Clinton made a case for WMD before Dubya set foot in office? Suddenly they have their fingers in their ears and they are singing "LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU."

wingless was still breathing at 12:05 PM - 0 comments

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

one of those weeks

The morning was painful to say the least. After rescuing my car from the impound lot last night I felt a sinus headache coming on but it was getting to be pretty late and because of my Sudafed experience from the night before I was hesitant to take it for fear of waking up at 1pm the next day or something.

Well I should have just done it. I woke up this morning with a pounding headache and feeling quite nauseous. Dragged myself out of bed and took some Sudafed daytime before retreating back into bed and praying to God for the pain to abate. I passed in and out of consciousness for awhile and just finally came to a few minutes ago with the realization that the sinus pain is gone. But I'm still a little queasy and spacey, probably from the Sudafed. I'm just glad I didn't throw up, which is what has happened the last few times I took a Sudafed in the morning on an empty stomach. But desperate times call for desperate measures man.

I'm also pretty sure I have some cavities that need to be taken care of.

But, I'm going to quit whining now and try to salvage the rest of my day since I'm no longer crippled by blinding pain in both eyes.

wingless was still breathing at 12:51 PM - 0 comments

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Last night I took one dose of Sudafed Nighttime around, oh, let's say 7pm (it may actually have been a little earlier than that). Around 10ish my body started getting that high-as-a-kite-floaty feeling and I ended up passing out around 11pm.

I woke up this morning at 11am. And I STILL have that odd-floaty-head-in-the-clouds sensation.

I took a shower. Did it help? Nope, still groggy. I need to hunt down some lunch and force myself to walk around outside (Los Angeles is fabulously sunny today). Hopefully I will wake up enough to take my first GMAT diagnostic, which I should have taken yesterday.

wingless was still breathing at 12:17 PM - 0 comments

Monday, November 14, 2005

maybe i'm getting sick

Today was my first truly unproductive day. It's only been two weeks >< Sigh. I will do better tomorrow, I promise.
wingless was still breathing at 6:36 PM - 0 comments

Friday, November 11, 2005

i can't hold it in anymore

So I've been reading a blog for about half a year or so, it's a blog of this infertile woman who is adopting from China. She's pretty entertaining and has a fun writing style but lately I just can't read what she actually writes anymore. I like her blogroll so I'll just hit up her blog and then check out all the links. I can't read it anymore because she has gotten waaay too bitter in the past few months.

Her most recent post is about the "expecting mother privileges" that she should get because she is technically an expectant mother too and one of these privileges she thinks she should get includes the "expecting mother" parking space. Later, in the comments, one of her supporters talks about how she gleefully parks in the expectant mother spots and loved it when she saw that she had pulled in ahead of an 8-month pregnant woman. Another reader then points out that it's fine to joke about it and whatever but to seriously get pleasure out of taking a good parking spot from a PREGNANT woman? That's a little wrong.

Then what happens? Everyone starts jumping on the lady that says, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't be so bitter that we blame all pregnant women for our infertility and steal their parking spaces." I have to say, people were claiming its acceptable for adopting women to take "expectant mother" parking spots because they are technically expecting mothers, but I think they're missing the point of why pregnant women are supposed to get those spots. It's not because they're *special* or society is *bowing at their feet for the great feat of being pregnant* but simply that we recognize pregnant women are big and their backs hurt and their feet are swollen and they are, for all intensive purposes, essentially handicapped peoples. This is why they get good parking spots, not because they're expecting mothers. I would think it's pretty wrong for a 3-month, low-risk, pregnant woman to take one of these spots as well.

Anyway, where was I going with that. Oh yes, I was just thinking it's too bad because this woman used to be entertaining but now it's just getting kind of sad. It's like people can't experience suffering without hating those who haven't suffered in the same way. I don't know if I'm fertile or infertile but I know that if I CAN get pregnant I WILL have a high-risk pregnancy simply because of the nature of my condition. And I've experienced my own share of physical disability. It seems like this woman has started to believe that every pregnant woman is out to get her and they are all out to throw their fertility in her face. When I was totally crippled by my arthritis pain I didn't feel offended by the sight of every healthy normal person. I did entreat them to appreciate and not take for granted their health, but I don't think I ever felt bitter at THEM for MY condition.

I don't know, I guess I can't say I know the pain of infertility, I guess I can see how it must be a very uniquely painful thing to deal with, but then a lot of things are uniquely painful. And it doesn't give us the right to become so bitter at people who've done nothing except NOT be afflicted with whatever is hurting us. So anyway, that's why I won't read her site anymore. But I WILL still use her blogroll, cause she's got plenty of non-bitter blogs on there.

wingless was still breathing at 11:43 PM - 0 comments

the altar of freedom

I caught the end of Saving Private Ryan tonight, just the end. The part where Tom Hanks is lying on the battlefield, dying, and he calls Matt Damon down to him and whispers in his ear, "Earn this, earn it."

And then it goes to voice over and there is a quote from Abraham Lincoln talking about how it must feel to lay down such a costly sacrifice at the "altar of freedom."

The altar of freedom.

That line really got me thinking about freedom and how it relates to our natural state. It's funny how we think of freedom as a given, something obvious and completely normal. But when you really sit down and think about it, freedom has not really been "the way of life" throughout most of the history of the world. The freedoms we have today in America exist because a LOT of young men were willing to go out and sacrifice their time, their blood and even their lives.

I think this is what people nowadays don't get. This is why they become so impatient with war. They think freedom is supposed to just happen. They don't realize that freedom requires sacrifice and as much as it saddens us lives are often lost in the quest for freedom.

I mean, pretty much all throughout the history of mankind people were ruled over. They were controlled and crushed by those considered their "betters." In fact, this is STILL how it is in a lot of the world (and oddly enough, in a lot of countries that liberals adore *cough*Cuba*cough*). People have ALWAYS had to fight to be free. Freedom has always been a struggle. But it's so worth it and it is so precious. And liberals, you can claim to love freedom all you want but clearly the Iraq War has shown that you people can't put your money where your mouth is. We ARE bringing freedom to a people who have been crushed and oppressed and persecuted by ONE crazy man. And yet, you "freedom loving" and "progressive" people, all you can talk about is how this is costing us too much blood and treasure. This is just a newsflash for you - freedom has always and will always cost us blood and treasure. BUT IT'S WORTH IT. How can you put a price on freedom? I thought you guys were the "let's all hold hands and save the world" party. Why can't you people be consistent?!

That is probably the single most infuriating thing about the other party. I can't figure out what the hell it is they stand for? Are they for helping people or against it? Or do they just stand for hating Bush and nothing beyond that?

wingless was still breathing at 11:20 PM - 0 comments

what happens if i study for more than 10 minutes

The cat doesn't like when something in the apartment gets more attention than she does. Her new nemesis? My GMAT prep book.

wingless was still breathing at 6:17 PM - 0 comments

random thought on veterans day

Farenheit 9-11 was on Showtime the other night and I watched the part where Michael Moore was trying to get some congressmen to enlist their children. You know how Democrats and liberals are always yapping about how if we support the war we should sign up our own children? Don't they realize that military people and their families ARE, in general, conservatives who consistently vote Republican?
wingless was still breathing at 11:01 AM - 0 comments

happy veterans day!

Just wanted to say thanks to all the veterans out there =)
wingless was still breathing at 10:20 AM - 0 comments

politics vs. life

My car is dead. Which is just FABULOUS considering I have no real source of income and can't afford to get it fixed or buy a new one. I'm praying that when the tow-truck guy comes it will just need a jump and I'll be on my way (even though Paul says he's pretty sure it's not the battery because it makes a bit of a straining sound when I turn the key...let's prove him wrong!).

Anyway, the point of this post is to talk a little bit about the disconnect between liberal politics and the way they actually live their life. The book, Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy, shows quite clearly the way prominent liberals say one thing and live something else, but I think we can all easily find evidence of liberal hypocrisy in the people we encounter every day.

Nowhere was this disconnect more clear to me than in my last job. As you may know, I live in Los Angeles. West Los Angeles. Land of Hollywood movie stars and yuppie Santa Monica liberals. I'm like a lone red dot in a sea of blue here.

My first job was essentially working for the Republican Party (national and state as well as local candidates) so obviously I was surrounded by the few other red dots that exist here in LA. Since it's California they were obviously relatively moderate for the most part and in general they preached what they lived. They were extremely giving, generous people who also enjoyed the benefits of capitalism (like shopping) and espoused capitalist and libertarian values for the most part.

At my second job we never really discussed politics and I got the feeling that most of the people there weren't too involved or even interested in politics. There was the John Kerry fundraiser guy, of course, but he was a REALLY nice guy, didn't come across as money hungry at all and was truly committed to the causes he espoused. By committed I mean, he did real tangible things such as...working for the Kerry campaign and consistently worked with his uncle to donate money to various causes.

Hm...now that I think about it there was that ONE guy that was all "Bush is a dumb monkey and Republicans are evil" but he came across as more of a "it's cool to bash Bush" liberal than a truly committed one.

Anyway, onto the last job I had. As I've mentioned before, I was recruiting for what is essentially a staffing company and although at first they try to sell you on being a "customer service" company, the truth is they are a sales organization. The salespeople are "selling" to companies and the recruiters are "selling" to the candidates. The reason we had to "sell" people jobs is because it felt like for the most part the companies that used us had not so great jobs that paid pretty poorly and were HARD to fill because who wants a job like that? So basically, what everyone did there was sell in one form or another.

I must say there was a decent mix of "conservatives" and "liberals" amongst my small group of coworkers there. But of course, this being LA, more people were liberal than not. It was just really interesting seeing these "committed" liberals talk about politics and policies and then see them turn around and live by a completely different set of values.

I don't think I'm explaining myself very well so far, kinda all over the place, but let me try to elucidate. The Democrats/liberals are generally seen as the "Mommy" party because they believe the best in people, they want to hug you and kiss your booboos when you fall down, or comfort you when you bomb a big test. Liberals are supposed to trust people and believe that people won't take advantage of social programs. Everyone is a victim. Corporations are the oppressors.

So it was really interesting for me to see these liberals I worked with talk about politics and then turn around and live something else out in their lives. I was once told by one liberal coworker "You need to build relationships in this job, but you can't let people use the relationship, you need to be the one using it for YOUR benefit." That's not even a conservative statement, that's something beyond, in my opinion. Or always hearing we weren't really there to help people but to make money. Isn't that what liberals are supposed to be against? What's going on here? It's like my "liberal" war-hating cousin who works for Northrop.

The funny thing is a lot of conservatives that I know actually live by pretty liberal values in their personal lives. But I think this is actually the best way to live. In your personal life you should be trusting and helpful and believe the best in people. However, on a governmental level we cannot afford to be so giving and generous. Why? Because people love to freeload, especially when they have no idea who they're actually hurting.

Okay, that was pretty convoluted and rambly but whatever. Just another day, just another case of verbal diarrhea.

wingless was still breathing at 9:22 AM - 0 comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

how i spent halloween (and the weekend preceeding it)

This was Eric and Mindy's group's booth. They were smart and did something that both looked spectacular and wasn't overly-complicated to make. They were one of the only groups that didn't have to scramble about on Sunday to finish up. And of course the kid's LOVED being "dragon slayers" hehehe.

This was the "Choose Your Own Adventure" booth where the kids got to pick a story and depending on which one they chose there was a different activity for them to complete in order to be the hero.

And of course, what medieval village would be complete without its shield shop? The "dragon" provided the fire for our little blacksmiths and even breathed smoke (dry ice) at some points in the night! I'm telling you, there is crazy talent at my church....

And now welcome to the land of Zelda! This was our booth of course...

Going a little out of order here now just so I can show you the group of us that constructed it. This was taken at the end of the night which is why we all look a little pooped. Whoo Tentmakers yeah! (Tentmakers is what we call those of us between college and family-life in our church). I'm on the far left in the green dress..my Princess Arwen costume and Paul is the knight directly behind me.

Here's how it looked on Saturday as we scrambled to make something from scraps of wood, cardboard and butcher paper.

Enter if you dare! Just kidding, it's not scary...seriously kids...it's not scary, come on in!

This was the first "challenge" in the maze. The kids had to take "bombs" (aka black spray painted nerfballs with a piece of waxy string taped on) at the Zelda monsters in order to open the trap door that would take them to the next part of the maze.

Once they made it past the monsters here they have the challenge of making it across the moat. It actually wasn't very hard because the plank was HUGE, but a lot of the kids were really cute and seemed to think they were actually in danger of falling into the (half-inch) water.

Once they successfully crossed the bridge they had to dig through these treasure boxes to find the key that opened the next door.

Here's Unyung (I'm spelling that how it sounds, sorry if I'm butchering it!) who made the treasure boxes, posing with his creations...He fastened each and every one of those gold brackets with love.

And once they find the key, the door opens into our little lava pit. A lot of the kids had a hard time figuring out that those red buckets are actually "safe spots" and not...lava.

The last "challenge" was to "defeat the knight" by throwing bombs at him. Paul was the knight for most of the evening and some of the kids who went through more than once started waiting for him to get really close before throwing the "bomb" with ALL their might. We had him falling over dead at first but then some of the kids started bawling so we refined our technique and just had the "defeated knight" hunch over in the corner once he had been hit.

Now let's move onto the prehistoric room (aka fellowship hall)...

Here is the college freshmans giving volcano on Saturday...

And here it is in all its glory on the night of the Festival! Keep in mind everything was hand-made/drawn by people at the church.

The dino-nest where kids hunted for "dino-eggs."

Above is pictured the famed "cave painting" cave. The kids crawled inside and drew on black butcher paper that they were allowed to rip off and take home with them. The cave was surprisingly big on the inside, it was actually possible for adults to stand up inside if they tilted their heads a bit.

I heard this was actually a pretty challenging game. The kids had to get aluminum foil rings around the "dino spikes."

This was a musical chairs type game except the kids just walked around the tree until the music stopped and whoever was standing under the candy got to pull it off the tree.

Now entering the WILD WILD WEST!

The Kingdom Builders (people with families) did the Wild West rooms, they had the advantage of children as cute props.

Rootbeer coin toss. This also looked quite difficult.

Here you see the general store where they could redeem their tickets for prizes like sherrif's badges and other wild west related toys.

The wild west just wouldn't be the wild west if you couldn't mine for gold! Or sift through rice for hidden coins =)

Lasso-ing horse heads is extremely difficult. None of us "adults" could do it but I bet the kids rocked those horses. Kids are definitely better at these things.

Here we are in Super Mario World! Whomp the goombas! (aka the high school kids with goomba hats on).

The highschoolers made a "bridge" out of chairs and some planks of plywood. The kids had to cross the rickety bridge and throw koosh balls at Bowser. Even though he was made out of wood I hear by the end of the night poor old Bowser wasn't faring too well.

The last of the themed areas was the Future/Star Wars rooms. Star Wars Skeeball anyone?

I came in here before they were done setting up, but this is where the Star Wars can toss was, complete with Star Wars playing on the big screen in the background.

Last but not least, glow in the dark DDR (dance dance revolution)!

There was a whole section outside that I did not take pictures of, because at some point I ran out of picture-taking time when the kids started streaming in. I feel like I was seriously blessed by being able to take part in this awesome event. We found out this Sunday that over 300 people from the community came out, which means...next year is probably going to have to be even crazier >< Should we start preparing now guys??

wingless was still breathing at 9:32 AM - 0 comments

Monday, November 07, 2005

adventures in unemployment

I was afraid, at first, that I might be bored out of my mind spending so many hours in the apartment after having worked regular (and often long) hours for a year and a half now. Turns out? There's quite a lot of stuff to do just in terms of keeping the place clean. And with the way I perform house-hold chores? Yeah, let's just say it takes awhile.

For example, this morning I vacuumed the whole apartment (yes, the whole studio apartment) and was so sweaty and exhausted after the ordeal (granted we do have one of those gigantic Dyson's) that I had to take a long shower. Then I did my QT and felt a bit more refreshed but still kinda tired and hungry from the vacuum "workout" so here I am two hours later eating a salami and provolone sandwich and blogging while I chat with people on AIM.

At some point I will probably take a nap and then finally feel refreshed enough to drag my butt out to drop off the dry cleaning and stop at a Starbucks or Coffee Bean to study until going to meet up with my friend Thelma in Pasadena for happy hour at The Yard House.

How long can this last? Not very, I'm guessing. Once I start to really get into my GMAT material and realize how I have no clue what I'm doing I probably won't even bother to vacuum until the weekends when Paul is around to do all the pushing while I scamper about moving the chairs around and picking up the cords off the ground.

wingless was still breathing at 10:42 AM - 0 comments

Friday, November 04, 2005

studying the hippy brain

People often describe me as "fiery" when I get into a political discussion. That is because a lot of liberals out there really piss me off. This whole hoopla over Iraq-pre-war intelligence? Is kind of stupid.

I have no problem with investigating how the pre-war statements matched up with the actual intelligence (statements from the Bush & Clinton administrations as well as other Republicans and Democrats). No, that is not what bothers me.

What bothers me is how the Democrats can be so intellectually dishonest as to insinuate that somehow President Bush knew the intelligence was wrong when EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD THOUGHT THE EXACT SAME THING. It's the same old "Let's call the President dumb as a monkey while simultaneously suggesting he is some sort of evil genius capable of orchestrating elaborate conspiracies and coverups" garbage they've been spewing since the day Bush first took office.

DON'T THEY EVER GET SICK OF IT? Because I'm seriously sick of hearing it. Why were our troops trudging about in chemical warfare gear? Why were their commanders so afraid of chemical weapon attacks? Because EVERYONE thought he had them. So can some liberal PLEASE just STRAIGHT UP IN PLAIN OLD ENGLISH tell me WHY is it Bush lied but everyone else just made a booboo? Because he's the President so therefore it's a lie when he's wrong? It's not just a mistake? When did President = omnipotent God-like figure? The President is a man and just like all men he IS capable of making mistakes. I'm not saying we shouldn't be upset at him for making this mistake but to suggest that it is anything other than a MISTAKE is wrong. And I'm pretty sure those of you spewing the nonsense even know on some level that you are the liars. Come on, if brilliant leaders like Clinton and Kerry were fooled by Saddam's purposeful attempts to appear as though he had WMD - then WHY is it so hard for you guys to believe that your beloved Chimpy-McBush could have been fooled by that very same intelligence?

I have never heard a liberal answer this question with a clear answer. It always devolves into some sort of diatribe about how Colin Powell was sent to persuade the UN with faulty evidence, or Bush had that line about Niger in the State of the Union or something else evil Bush has done but still does not explain...why did Bush LIE and Clinton/Kery "made a mistake?" I swear, getting a straight answer out of a liberal is like trying to pull a tooth from an angry alligator.

wingless was still breathing at 3:53 PM - 0 comments

happy happy joy joy

The end of my first week at home. So far, I think everyone is happier with this situation than with me working. Paul is happy because when he comes home he is no longer coming home to a barely inhabitable wasteland, covered by a thick layer of dust and grime. The cat is happy because she actually gets fresh water in her bowl on a daily basis now AND I even wipe out all the nasty crap that ends up collecting on the bottom of the water dish. I am happy because I finally have time to take care of all those pesky doc appointments I was putting off AND take naps in the afternoon =) Oh yeah and I suddenly have all this studying to do which I NEVER would have gotten done if I was still occupied with being at work 10 hours a day.

Even my little sister is happy with the arrangement because now I can go with her to Costco in the middle of a Friday to fulfill her meat needs (chicken and salmon).

The best part for me though, is the fact that I have no excuses for not doing QT's now. I have a feeling this may be why God allowed what transpired to occur...I was making all these excuses (tired, busy, etc.) for not studying His word and working on my relationship with Him and now I have nothing but time. I'm really enjoying doing my QT's in the morning when I first wake up, it really sets a great tone for the whole day and helps me to feel refreshed and energized...ready for whatever comes my way.

Anyway, more and more it looks like I will be going back to school in the fall. I have been in contact with a couple of the professors in the program I will be applying to and they are being absolutely incredible in terms of helping me figure out what courses I need to take and even offering to tutor me via email and phone! This is the first opportunity/idea I've presented to everyone (parents, friends, etc.) where everyone is like "GO FOR IT!" And it's weird but it feels like everything in this past year has been leading up to this for me. All these little things that worked out just right (like working for the shady property management company for four months is directly responsible for the size of the unemployment checks I will be getting...cause they paid me the most).

As for politics, I have no excuse for not writing because I watch Brit Hume EVERY DAY NOW! I promise to get back into the swing of things next week though. Promise!

wingless was still breathing at 9:03 AM - 1 comments

Thursday, November 03, 2005

left to my own devices

So far I have managed to be relatively productive despite having no set schedule. On my fourth official day of being unemployed I have successfully filed for unemployment benefits AND cleaned all of the cat hair and other nasty gunk out of my computer keyboard. I actually popped each and every key out and discovered a thick carpet of cat hair beneath the surface. It was quite disgusting. But it's gone now.

Isn't it amazing what you can do when you don't have a job taking up ten hours of your day, five days a week?

I also cleaned the bathroom sink area this morning and went to the doctor for my follow-up visit.

One of these days I'm going to need to hunker down and take care of the big mystery that is "Which bills has my health insurance paid and which ones is it still lagging on?" Remember that hateful collection agency woman that was totally mean and unhelpful and probably the most awful person I've ever had the misfortune to deal with (and keep in mind I've been a hostess, waitress and assistant property manager so I have dealt with some pretty NASTY folks before)? Well I ended up calling the original company and giving them my insurance information and just recently got an EOB (Explanation of Benefits for those of you who are not as health insurance savvy as me) saying my insurance paid all the necessary payments and I don't have to pay anything out of pocket! SO TAKE THAT ANN DANIELS YOU EVIL COLLECTOR LADY! I would say other things about her but it's not very Christian-like of me to even be thinking them so I'm just going to praise God for resolving this all without marring my credit!

I was planning to change gears and write about politics but Paul's home now so it'll have to wait!

wingless was still breathing at 3:33 PM - 0 comments

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

stupid things democrats say

Contrary to my "I will not sit in front of the boob tube and watch FoxNews all day" plan, I did put off studying to watch Special Report with Brit Hume just now (my favorite FoxNews show).

Democrats are pretty entertaining. Sometimes the things they do make me laugh out loud. For instance, the story about how Bush unveiled his plan to fight a pandemic of bird flu and the Democratic reaction to it being, "But we don't have enough vaccines for EVERYONE in the country RIGHT THIS MINUTE." I thought this story went along way to highlight Democratic silly-ness and short-sighted-ness.

For one, if I understand things correctly, the current strain of bird flu is unable to be transferred via human contact. Thus the vaccine for the bird flu in its present form would be useless against the form that could actually cause a pandemic - a mutated version that enabled the flu to be spread through human contact. Therefore the Democratic screeching for vacinne NOW NOW NOW doesn't make sense and would just be a huge waste of money. As the Secretary of Health (I thiknk?) said on Special Report, what we need to happen is to invest in increasing the manufacturing capacity in this country so that if and when a pandemic did break out we would have the ability to produce enough vaccines for the entire population within a relatively short window of time (he said the goal would be six months). This is what actually makes sense, but of course, the Democrats just want a "solution" right this minute. They are like bratty children who throw tantrums in grocery stores when they don't get what they want.

That leads nicely into the story about how the Democrats indeed threw a tantrum today and shut down the Senate. See Lorie Byrd over at Polipundit for more on this because I'm going to go wash some dishes!

wingless was still breathing at 4:03 PM - 3 comments

You give and take away

I've decided the only way to keep from going insane with boredom is to try to make lunch appointments that get me out of the apartment so I don't just sit here and watch FoxNews all day while slowly turning into a pile of rotting mush.

Today I had lunch on the Promenade with Henry at Barney's Beanery which has a ridiculous selection ranging from breakfast foods to burritos to burgers to stuffed mushrooms...well you get the point. Afterwards I went to Barnes to pick up a GMAT book because it looks like I may be applying for an MSBA - International Finance program =o I also made an appointment with a counselor at West LA Community College so that I can figure out which classes there would fulfill the prereqs I need. Probably going to have to drop by SMC tomorrow as well just in case WLAC isn't offering everything I need. I'm pretty excited but I'm also feeling just the slightest bit overwhelmed because I only took one economics class at UCLA and I'm going to have to take accounting and business finance classes and micro/macro economics all in the next 7 months or so.

Ah well, I think I can handle it...

In Harvest Festival news, the event was a spectacular success and my Arwen costume was very popular with the little girls, one little girl's mom told me she wanted to go through the maze again just to see me (yes, I totally melted). I have tons of pictures of all the booths and each and everyone looked incredible. It was pretty sad having to tear it all down at the end of the night but it's okay, praise God anyway! I really hope last night has a lasting impact on the community...not like I expect people to start coming to our church or anything but I hope that something in them was touched, a seed of love was planted...Seeing the smiles on all those little kids faces made all the hours of hard work and time so worth it. Some of the kids wanted to go through our maze so many times that we started encouraging them to try the other booths! Kids are so amazingly innocent and imaginative...I didn't expect them to want to go through more than once because I figured they'd be like "Eh, been there done that." But they even kept coming through after we ran out of candy.

Pictures to come shortly...

wingless was still breathing at 2:22 PM - 0 comments

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