Baby Bean is Growing

 BabyFruit Ticker

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

how's this for an opening paragraph?

They were still going, that much was certain; they had all put too much time, preparation and effort into it and used up too many pleading looks and desperate single tears between them to let a little inclement weather, a tag-along sibling, or a no-show ruin their plans. Michael was about to say as much when something strange caught his attention through the fog that lay like a damp grey sweater across the bay. There it was again: a green light, flickering dimly through the earthbound clouds. He watched it for a moment, and then it was gone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

So, a week or so ago, Allison challenged me to make a list of 101 things that make me happy. I accepted the challenge, thinking that 101 things is a heck of a lot of things, but I was wrong. I discovered that coming up with 101 things that make me happy was a relatively easy task, and I could have gone on for quite a while longer before being really stumpped for more things.

So, the next time you're feeling kinda crummy, I challenge you to make a list of 101 things that make you happy, and if you're not smiling at the end, you didn't do it right.


P.S. To read Allison's list, follow the link to her new blog in the menu on the left!

101 Things to be Happy About

1. Brandon
2. Cleo
3. Harry Potter
4. Getting a new review.
5. British slang
6. waffles
7. writing a new chapter
8. chocolate
9. kisses
10. hugs
11. smiles
12. holding hands
13. a clean kitchen stocked with good food
14. fresh herbs
15. calla lilies
16. a new book
17. an old favorite book
18. Blake's Seven
19. Mom's chili con queso with fritos
20. Santa Fe
21. farolitos in the snow
22. green chile
23. the barracks at CSF
24. instant messages
25. getting pictures back from the photo place
26. unexpectedly finding a good song on the radio
27. finding out that I've made someone happy with something I've written
28. my Dad's laugh
29. the thought of Brandon and Emily dancing to "Pretty fly for a White Guy" at our wedding
30. thinking about our wedding
31. my engagement ring
32. my Harry Potter coffee mug
33. buying new pens
34. a blank notebook
35. a new pack of crayons
36. singing
37. baking cookies
38. eating cookies
39. Allison
40. Anne
41. good memories of childhood
42. pickled okra
43. hot chocolate
44. root beer floats
45. chocolate malts
46. cherry limeade
47. using the word "loo" in a sentence
48. remembering the time sophomore year in college when I was walking across the quad and Aaron Andzik screamed "WHO LET THE BOGGS OUT!" and when he caught up to me I said, "You've been waiting to say that all summer, haven't you?" And he said, "Yeah!"
49. College graduation
50. cake
51. rolling down the all the windows in the car when a good song is on and unabashedly singing at the top of my lungs
52. having my passenger join in
53. a long chat with a friend about nothing
54. a call from Charlie
55. Friday nights with Anne in Santa Fe when we would cook food and watch movies and get tipsy together
56. Anne's frito pie
57. hearing Brandon bust out singing to a song on the radio
58. baths
59. Gilmore Girls -- especially Luke and Lorelei
60. the phrase "fro-yo"
61. farmers' markets
62. the smell of lavender
63. getting a letter in the mail
64. a horoscope that comes true
65. remembering weird dreams and writing them down
66. going to the bookstore with Brandon to look at magazines
67. weekends
68. my floppy straw beach hat
69. having a beach nearby on which I can wear my floppy straw beach hat
70. when Brandon wants to talk about what our first house will be like
71. when Brandon shops for leather couches to go in his study in the house we will eventually have
72. Crate and Barrel
73. listening to "the Fabulous Frankie at Five" on the indie rock station (they play a Frank Sinatra song every day at 5 pm)
74. learning a new word; today's word: erumpent -- Bursting through or as if through a surface or covering.
75. semi-colons and long dashes
76. getting praise for something I've written from another writer whom I admire
77. discovering a new series of books I can't wait to read
78. getting a call from my sister
79. listening to my dad and my sister crack each other up with the word "poo"
80. going on late night Frosty runs with my sister
81. going on late night Diet Coke runs with Allison
82. the AJ Big Show
83. cool fonts
84. daffodils
85. having my own cubicle at work
86. British slang
87. fan fiction jargon (w00t! Glomp! Schnoogle! Squicky!)
88. SS The Government Stole My Toad
89. bicycles with baskets on the front
90. lilacs
91. rain
92. Ikea
93. ice cream cones
94. the feeling you get right when you get off of an airplane and you know that somewhere nearby someone is waiting to see you
95. jackets, blazers, coats, and cardigans
96. learning to knit
97. any cool kind of yarn
98. the smell of a library or a bookstore
99. shooting stars and ho-hos
100. tea
101. waking up and feeling so comfortable and safe that you just lie still for a while and savor being alive

Friday, September 10, 2004

Last night at choir rehearsal we were going over the service music for the jazz mass we will be doing for our "homecoming Sunday," the first Sunday at which the choir sings after our summer hiatus. We were looking over the Lamb of God (or Agnus Dei for those of you familiar with a more traditional mass) and the conductor pointed out that in the traditional line "Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world," he wanted us to change "sins" to "sin."

He went on to explain that this was not because it is musically easier to sing an "n" sound than an "s" sound at the end of a word, although this is certainly a perk. His reasoning for making the word sin singular had a personal theological basis which he shared with us.

"Sin" he said, is that which separates us from the divine, in whatever form it may take. All too often when we talk about "sins" we are tempted to then begin to innumerate these sins and those sins and the other sins -- all of which they do, but which we of course, do not do. When talking about "sins" it becomes easier and easier to make those "sins" a list of things that we do not understand, that we do not ascribe to, or that we do not agree with. It becomes easier and easier to define cultural differences as "sins" as well.

Yet with a singular "sin" it becomes a personal message, a personal journey over the space which separates you from your personal experience of the divine. It no longer is viable to talk about my sin and your sin as being different from one another, because quintessentially, they are the same: that which removes us from our experience of the divine.

We continued to sing the piece which, although it is a rather non-traditional musical arrangement, is nevertheless a traditional rendering of the Agnus Dei:

Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world.
Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world.
Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world.
Grant us thy peace.

As we sang the last phrase, a contemplative look came over our director’s face. He paused as the last ringing tones echoed in the empty and darkened church.

"You know," he said to us, "I always thought of that last line as the last thing on a laundry list of things we are asking for; 'take away the sin of the world, oh and also, grant us thy peace.' But it's not, is it? Peace is that which happens when we remove the sin, when we take away the distance between ourselves and the power of the divine. Peace is the end result. Grant us thy peace."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

A latta pilates

Wow. So, more and more I'm starting to believe that the key to sucessful weight loss has less to do with diet and more -- a lot more -- to do with exercise. This is not a concept that has come easily to me because I loathe -- LOATHE -- exercise. It's a reaction that has been ingrained in me since childhood, when my elementary school PE teacher would make us run the mile, which I couldn't do, owing to my asthma, and then line up according to our times. I was always last. Six years of elementary school and I was ALWAYS last. To top that, I have all the "picked last for every team sport" stories too. The thing about me is, if I enjoy a thing, and I'm good at it, I will persue it to its very ends. If I am not good at something and don't enjoy it -- the two go hand in hand -- I will abhor it at all costs. Hence, my extreme distaste for exercise.

Well, my asthma has gotten much less severe since those days, and, with my weight loss journey well under way, I have frequently tried different exercises that might appeal to me. In Santa Fe when I lost the first 40 pounds, I swam at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center. Not very often, mind you, but I did swim, probably an average of once a week, for 30 minutes to an hour. That was a big step for me. I also walked a lot when I was in college; it's just the name of the game when your campus is as tiny as mine was.

Then, more recently, I have tried other things. Over the years I have bought several workout tapes of different styles, and I like all of them... once. OK, once a month is more fair. But I get increasingly bored of them and more and more likely to find excuses not to do them with every repetition. I also tried walking and yes, even jogging. I can tell you that I jogged an entire mile without stopping for the first time in my life this year. That was a HUGE accomplishment for me.

And yet, none of this motivates me to stick with it! Toe the line! Feel the burn! I feel the burn-out more often than not. And this, I have come to realize, is the real reason my weight loss efforts have somewhat stalled. I am 30 pounds lighter than my highest (known) weight, but I've kind of come to a standstill.

So today, I took yet another big step in my life. I went to a Pilates class on my lunch break. I have a Pilates DVD (see above) and so I kind of knew what it was about: it's a series of exercises meant to strengthen your entire body while focusing mainly on your abdomen. It's a little like yoga, but with more moving and less meditating, although breath control is highly stressed. Anyway, I got up the courage to just go today, and it was wonderful. But let me tell you, I am EXHAUSTED. The only reason I can type this is because it only requires the use of my fingers and my brain, neither of which were particularly worked out. If they had been, I would be a vegetable. I went to refill my water bottle at the water cooler just now, and I bent over and put most of my weight on one leg -- and I started shaking. Yeah, that's how exhausted my muscles are. But I don't hurt. Not anywhere. Yeah, parts of me hurt while I was doing it, but now, I feel fine. Just unable to get up out of my chair.

The way this place works is you can either pay by the class for $15 a session, or you can buy a number of classes in advance and then use them any time within 90 days for less. I bought ten classes. Hopefully, I can stick it out at least that long. =)

P.S. This is post number 101 on this blog! Hooray for milestones!! =)