Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Laughing With God

I don't know how Regina Spektor intended this song to be taken, but from where I stand, this rings true to me.

It's so easy for me to make God a god of convenience contingent on my human circumstances so He can fit into my neat little god boxes when I need him to. He needs to be big and all encompassing when my loved one is sick, he needs to be small and invisible when it's inconvenient to do the right thing and I blew it. He needs to be quiet when I want something so badly I don't care if even He's against it, He needs to be loud and reassuring when I'm curled up and crying begging him to tell me it'll be okay.

God's love and presence is constant and it's almost too much to bear so it's easy for me to want to make Him seem absurd and irrelevant instead of indispensable and omnipotent. Does he actually go inside my "absurd box" or "irrelevant box" when I want Him to? Of course not. Does He jump up and give me exactly what I want when I ask for it? He's not Santa Claus or Jimminy Cricket.

I can laugh at God in my own way and pretend He isn't what He is, but His identity doesn't change because of it. He is still "I Am." Does He laugh at me for being weak and foolish? No. I imagine Him watching me strain in futility, fight with all my might, and still crumple in a heap after getting nowhere. But because He chooses to love me instead of chuck me and because I know how foolish I've been and how good He is, we laugh together. I'm laughing with God.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Monster size vinyl bladder. Fantastic.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Meg, Better, Best

(Serious, contemplative blog post ensues; will do something fun next week.)

Sometimes I feel like a superlative, much of the time I feel like just plain Meg. I'm built up and encouraged and told I'm amazing (thank you, by the way--I don't take your compliments lightly), but those people don't see my icky stuff. Living alone especially lends itself well to the icky stuff. Why, for example, is my bed unmade 300 days of the calendar year? Why do I sometimes knowingly go to bed without brushing my teeth (at least three times a month)? Why can't I finish my story, my piano piece, my workout goal, my bible readings, etc?

I've been told I'm too hard on myself. If that's true, why did I quit the gym? Why is my painting still unfinished? Why has the bread set out for three days instead of going back in the freezer where it will keep? Why are my letters to loved ones still unsent?

These are just the "gravy" bits too, the meat and potatoes of being an adult: bills, car stuff, work-related items, budgets, groceries, nobody tells you how much of your time that will take up. It's kind of fun...when you're caught up. The second you let one slip though, the whole kitten kaboodle goes out the window and you spend the next six months catching up.

So fix it. Seems simple, right?

I need a plan. Here goes:

1) Will go on a fast of only natural foods: primarily fruits and veggies, lean meat, limited bread, fiber-rich carbs, and some healthy recipes I can cook up and freeze over the weekend for weekday lunches.
2) Will find a minimum of two classes at the gym I'll attend regularly.
3) Will give my remote control to my friend, Blake. He'll get the biggest kick out of my insanity while keeping me accountable.
4) Read my one-year Bible daily again, catch up (I'm currently on the end of April...I've got some reading to do).
5) Sign up for a 5k and start training at Mission Bay.
6) Finish my acrylic painting: deadline is mid-July.
7) Learn and perfect only one new song on the piano.
8) Block out 20 minutes before bedtime every night to clean up my apartment, I won't have to go any longer than that, but I can't go any less.
9) Will work on my second job editing on certain nights of the week and for a set number of hours over the weekend in my home so I don't spend extra money on coffee shop nonsense costs.
10) Will get up 15 minutes earlier everyday to do morning bible reading AND take 15 minutes of my lunch breaks for reading it too (take second copy of one-year Bible to work).

Well, that should get me started. Sorry to any readers who are disappointed by my dull blog post this week; but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bookin' It

So I've kicked off summer reading with three girly period pieces, I might be ready for some more manly reads soon! However, I've one more girly period piece on my list before moving on, I'm reading Wives and Daughters with my beloved Aunt Sarah.
1) The Woman in White, it was one of the more verbose reads I've had in a long while, but it was actually really entertaining! It was written by Wilkie Collins and is considered one of the first sensationalist novels with it's melodramatic themes, characters, and circumstances. Very fun for an old read, I liked how all the characters ended up and the writing was gothic and yummy.

2) Just finished Rebecca, and was MOST disappointed. I had huge hopes for this book, it read well and had a nice writing style but nothing to write home about or anything. I've waited a long time to read this novel as I'd really been hoping to savor it; now I'm just glad it's behind me, thanks anyway Daphne Du Maurier!

3) Am wrapping up The Thirteenth Tale which is FABULOUS, it's such a fun read, beautifully spun yarn with all kinds of unpredictable twists and turns without causing the reader to get lost.

Purely for your enjoyment, this is what I get for trying to look cute during book photos:

1) Camera goes off the same moment I realize glasses are tangled terrifically in my hair.

2) ...nevermind, the rest are pretty self-explanatory.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Library Gnome

By the time he got to the second mauling of my name I was standing directly in front of the large desk separating the hobbit with the microphone and myself. He slowly switched off the mic, slid it to his left out of sight using two fingers, clasped his hands and looked up at me.
"Hi there," I intoned flatly.
"Hello, are you Meg Scootle?"
"No, I'm Meg Schudel," carefully enunciating the relatively simple sounds, shoe-dull. "Am I in trouble?"
"I'm not sure, are you aware that you put an empty CD case in the drop box?," he asked and opened the CD case for "Avenue Q" to prove that this was not an allegedly missing CD, this was true crime.
"Oh, whoops! Sorry about that, I actually know exactly..."
"If I had noticed this after your leaving, it would have been a twenty-minute procedure to renew the item, call you up, and process the empty CD case. I renewed the item for you but we will need it back sooner or later."
"Oh, well like I said, I'm sorry. Are the rest of them..."
"The rest are fine," he interrupted again. "Where's this particular, CD? If you don't know where it is or if it is lost, I need to know so I can..."
"It's in the car." It was my turn to interrupt him.
"Would it be too much to ask that you go get it?," he asked.
I pondered for a moment, where had I parked? Ah yes, hell and gone in the parking lot to allow the breeders and the aged to park closer. "No, I will not fetch the CD." I answered. I took the CD case out of his hands, careful not to snatch, but the loud snap as I closed it gave away my irritation.
I thanked him for renewing the item and returned to the DVD section. I had only just begun browsing them when the same man from the desk announced closing time. I decided that I'd been delinquent enough for one day and promptly queued up behind three moms with whiny kids. I didn't mind the kids at all. It was 5:30 and I wanted to whine too; I'm sure it was all our dinner times.
I bounced on my feet impatiently in line. The little man leaned to the left in his seat. I accidentally made eye contact with him and he waved without smiling. I waved back having no idea what was going on. He kept his hand up, turned it into a pointing hand and jabbed it toward the electronic book-checker-outer monstrosity librarians are always pushing on you.
I wasn't in the mood for this. There were two other patrons he could have instructed to use the book-scanning monsters, but he'd singled me out. I wasn't having it, so I decided to have a little fun with him. I raised my eyebrows pointed to the machine and looked back at him. He gave one curt nod. I nodded back enthusiastically without budging one inch out of line. He furrowed his eyebrows at me clearly thinking me barmy. He turned his attention back to patron number one, and handed her a receipt. Patron number two stepped up, the librarian leaned to the left again, scowling at me. I purposely made eye contact with him this time. He momentarily widened his eyes at me as if to say "yes, YOU," then jerked his head motioning to me to go to the machine while his hands busily scanned books. I looked at the machine then back at him and nodded vigorously again, smiling. He shook his head and finished with patron number two. By the time he got to me he was seething, the lights started to go out around the library, leaving a sort of weird spotlight on the front desk.
"Hi there!" crowed and beamed a smile at him.
"PLEASE do not speak in loud tones in this facility!" he hissed.
I slowly turned to see just exactly how many people I might be disturbing with my uncivilized volume only to be met with the darkened library. We were the only ones left in the building as far as I could tell. I slowly turned back to face him and returned the look he'd given me only a moment ago that clearly said, "I'm more than a little sure you're mentally unsound."
He scanned my items and informed me that I had late fees. I assured him he was wrong. I've not had a late item in the year and a half I'd been frequenting San Diego's libraries. He reiterated that yes, my DVDs were late. All five of them, $2 each. I told him they weren't, that I'd checked them out exactly one week ago from that day.
"One week and one hour ago, you mean. Technically, they're late." He said this as he held my new items captive.
I was aghast that this man's size was clearly a reflection of his character; small. I glared at him, extracted a $10 bill from my wallet and slid it across the marble counter to him. He relinquished my items and I snatched them from his hand, hugging them to my chest, still glaring.
"I hope my donation can do some good for the library," I said, rejecting the term "fees." To myself I muttered, "Perhaps it can go toward paying for the machines that were necessitated by the need to replace librarians like yourself."
Oh well, it was worth $10 just to antagonize the mean little gnome* that afternoon. I'm actually looking forward to visiting him this week; if he's going to charge me $10 for the pleasure of his company, I want my money's worth.

*Note, he was not a real little person or anything, I'm cranky but not a total jerk. He had a smallish build, a scrunched up face designed for getting his grump on, and a sparse little beard with bald patches in it; he reminded me of Rumpelstiltskin.