Monday, April 5, 2010

"I know Chuck Liddell" and other fun times on public transit

I will send a special treat to whoever comes up with a creative label name for my bus stories. I ride the COTA almost daily and have some lovely conversations - some might say more than average. I've decided that rather than make off-handed comments, I'm just going to share my stories with you here. Welcome to a bus ride in the life of Julie. (I'll have a few stories here, and add more as they come up.) I resolve to not exaggerate - know that I rarely start conversations, although I do the smile/ head nod hello when I get on the bus. And BusGuy will be my generic name. Not the same guy.

Story one: My most disconcerting story that I can remember as of now.
Julie: gets on the bus. Hair is down (first mistake.) Sits in one of the only empty seats.
BusGuy: Was sitting in the front, stands up, and walks to the seat across from me. Asks the guy in the seat if he can sit there - guy looks at him strangely but stands up in the aisle. BusGuy sits, leans around the aisle-stander, and says, "Hi."
Julie: Hi...
Conversation ensures. BusGuy has a dalmatian named Clinton that he's going to Krogers to buy a dog biscuit for. Used to have a dog named Hilary too, but she died. BusGuy finds out that my name is Julie, that I grew up in Westerville, that I graduated in 2003 (at this point, I turn into Kristi so that he can't find me if he looked me up later.)
Julie: gets off at her stop (before the Krogers.)
BusGuy: Well, if I see you again then I'll tell you my last name!
Julie: practices her sprinting...

Story two (today's story): I have just finished a 9 mile run, and stopped at the library to pick up the book It's So Amazing: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families (from the author of It's Perfectly Normal). So I look for a place to sit where no one will be downwind or within reading distance of this lovely book where the chapter on birth is called "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"
BusGuy: (stands up from a few rows behind.) Mind if I sit here?
Julie: Go ahead. (Do I smell that bad that within an instant he needs to move so he's not behind me???)
BusGuy: mumblemumble.
Julie: What?
BusGuy: I know Chuck Liddell.
Julie: Oh.
BusGuy: He's an ultimate fighter.
Julie: ... Cool... (He's still looking at me) ... Have you ever tried to fight him?
BusGuy: Nope.
Julie: Oh. (Hides book. Is he going to see the parrot asking if the baby is pooped out? Is he going to smell me?)
Eventually, after I'm also not terribly impressed that BusGuy has recently quit smoking, he moves up a seat. Must've started breathing through his nose.

Labels for the blog, anyone?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

(New recipes) by (activities) and (thoughts) over (rusted pipes)

Supposedly, I just shared my spring break photo album on blogger. We'll see if that actually happens after I type this post. I led a group of 6 undergrads around Columbus and we served with different organizations every day, tried new desserts, and I learned that cows can have runny noses.

I tried a new recipe called baked oatmeal - you bake it in a pan and it has an "oat-cake" consistency but it can be eaten like pancakes, with fruit, syrup, etc. Loved it! I also made tasty sour cream pound cakes but without pictures, I feel like I have no proof! Maybe I'll make them in my mini bundt cake pans...

Summing up school (in this case, just teaching Child Development): Can I say (and will anyone be surprised?) I forgot how much I enjoy sitting in front of a group of people who have to listen to me. It's like I'm sitting in front of 120 people who not only have to listen, but can't really respond. (Obviously, that's a bit of an exaggeration and I hope it's more active than that, but they still get to hear all my stories.) I found out I'll be presenting a paper at the Society for Prevention Research in Denver this June - once I know something about what I'm presenting and how the politics will all play out, I'll let you all in on the delectable piece of knowledge.

New activities! Remember my New Year's resolution to learn something new? How about soccer? Rock climbing (not really new, but a re-start.)? Catching a Frisbee under my leg? That was my previous week. I scored a goal - when the goalie was actually guarding, no less - and I enjoyed it, "retro" shoes and all. I rock-climbed a 2+ without failing, except for the safety portion... Minor setback. Catching the Frisbee under my leg was not my greatest success story, as my strategy was to just pick up a leg (any leg) and simply try to catch the frisbee, whether my hand was behind my leg, on the other side of my body, or waving above my head. One piece at a time.

Let me sum up power steering for you: You. Want. It.
Let me sum up repair on the power-steering-fluid-pipe-thing: You don't want to have to repair it.

Lastly, I want to sum up a little about my thoughts on Easter this year. Last year, I was not a happy camper at Easter - and I remember pitiful-ole-Julie whining to God, "Why meeee?? What a hoooorrible weekend!" (In the same tone that a little towhead once whined about not getting chocolate for Easter.)
Then, realizing that as glorious as Easter is, the first Easter was a much more horrible weekend. Why?
Because the people that were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah had just watched Him die. They completely lost their hope. You know the namesake demotivator? It's a picture of a sunset with the phrase, "It's always darkest just before it's pitch black." That's what the disciples were going through. On Thursday, they watched Jesus get arrested. Pretty bleak. But maybe,  if He's really God - they'd say - he'll save himself! On Friday, they see Him die and get taken down to a tomb. Er - more black. Could this get any worse?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: YEEEESSSS.
Saturday was the Sabbath day for the Jews - which meant they weren't permitted to work or distract themselves with any activity, including cooking. They went to the temple and would have had to worship their God, knowing that the man they thought was their Savior had died. And from sunup to sundown, they would have been able to do virtually nothing but think. Now that's black. And Sunday morning rolls around, even blacker. The beliefs were that the spirit left a dead body after three days. Sunday was the third day - there was absolutely no hope left. No god could do anything now - Jesus was really dead. What a suck-y weekend.

What a great God, who, as we know by now, did rise on the third day.

What a way to make someone feel bad for whining.

With such a great few previous weeks, I found myself wishing that I were in want and could understand more about the significance of Easter weekend and the spirit of waiting and leaning on God.

In summary - "He is not here, for He has risen!" - Matthew 28:6a