Saturday, May 31, 2008

The long-awaited update

Two weeks without an update? For shame!

With almost two weeks of my summer job at The Hawk Eye behind me, I'd say it's gone pretty well thus far. It didn't take me long to get back in the game, and I'm feeling much more comfortable there now than I did about halfway through my internship last summer.

I've written probably a dozen or so stories since I got back, and in this morning's paper is one that I'm pretty pleased with. Three guys from California Baptist University are kayaking down the Mississippi this summer and yesterday they stopped in Burlington for a break. They're raising awareness and money for the International Justice Mission, an organization that rescues victims of human sex trafficking. They want to raise at least $20,000 by the time they reach New Orleans in July, and so far they've already raised about $12,000. Check out their blog, it's pretty sweet.

On a sad note, last weekend I said goodbye to a very dear friend. My cat P.J. was almost 15 years old and very sick. It was with a heavy heart that I watched "Princess Jasmine" close her wide green eyes for the last time as our vet put her to sleep last Sunday. I stood as close by as I possibly could and kept my eyes on hers. I wanted to be the last person she saw before she left. More than once last weekend, I cried harder than I had cried in a long time. But after P.J. had passed, I cried mostly because I was so relieved that she was no longer in any pain. It hurts sometimes to go to sleep without her curled up beside me, purring loudly and rubbing her head against my hand...but I know I did what was best for her.



Monday, May 19, 2008

Workin' it

Somewhere close overhead, Daddy is walking around on the roof of our house with a leaf blower, blasting "whirlygigs" (maple tree seeds) from the gutters. We got a double whammy of whirlygigs this spring because the maple trees didn't produce them last year.

Well kids, these last couple of weeks spent loafing around the house have been fun, but now it's time for me to join the ranks of the gainfully employed. I'll be working at The Hawk Eye (the newspaper, not the restaurant!) in Burlington for the next eight weeks. Today's my first day back in the newsroom, so I'll be leaving for B-town in a couple of hours. I'm a bit nervous, but at least it's a familiar environment; I did my internship there last summer. The big difference this time is that I'll be on the payroll as a full-time employee--though I'll still hold the title of "news intern"--so more will be expected of me.

No pressure, right?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fungus, and other guilty pleasures

Pardon the lack of recent updates...I've had plenty of time to write but not much to write about during my first week of summer vacation.

My first full day back home, last Sunday, I went mushroom hunting with Daddy after church. As a first-time collector of this aromatic, rich, and delectable fungi, I'd say I did pretty well. Between the two of us, Daddy and I brought home about 60 mushrooms. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the strange traditions of us Midwesterners...these mushrooms are no joke. You can bake 'em, fry 'em, freeze 'em, or dry 'em. They are absolutely delicious but you need a lot of patience and several hours of free time to find a decent amount of them.

I've had plenty of time this week to read for enjoyment. I'm wrapping up the complete works of Jane Austen. I finally finished reading Emma, completed Northanger Abbey, and tonight I read the first two chapters of Persuasion. I've resolved to read everything on my bookshelf that I haven't yet finished before buying or checking out any more books. And if I can't willingly finish one, it's getting booted from the shelf.

I'm not an avid TV fan. It's not because I hate it, I'm just very picky about what I watch. The most recently-made sitcom I enjoy watching is Home Improvement, a show that ended its 8-season (or 9-season?) run nearly a decade ago. Call me out of the loop, but I don't like most of what the general public considers "funny" these days. I've only enjoyed a couple of shows that have been on the air in about the last 10 years, and both were cancelled after one or two seasons.

Fortunately, my mom has recently overcome her previous dislike for Home Improvement. Nick at Nite has been showing several episodes of it every night, so it's become part of our evening routine. I loved it as a kid until the storyline got a bit too heavy and dramatic. I appreciate the later seasons more now that I'm older, and I'm glad I don't have to watch it by myself anymore when Daddy's on the road.

In all honesty, my favorite episodes of Home Improvement will probably always be the ones featuring Jonathan Taylor Thomas. The last season was a bit empty without him. I guess it's true that you never forget your "first love."

And on that slightly self-deprecating note...I will now review this entry and wonder why I can't think of anything more deep and profound to write about. Perhaps later I'll embark on an Indiana Jones-style quest to recover my small but mighty collection of JTT posters.

I seem to be digging myself deeper. This is getting embarrassing.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Because of finals, packing, and the move back home, I haven't had much time for blogging in the past week. I got home on Saturday night and it has been wonderful thus far to be back.

Audrey tagged me quite some time ago and I've just now gotten around to posting my own response. Here it is:

I am: the apple of God's eye.
I think: a bit abstractly.
I know: this summer will be even more rewarding than the last.
I want: to be part of that mission trip to the Czech Republic in June. I look forward to the point in my career when I will earn vacation days from work.
I hate: mosquito bites on my ankles.
I miss: my friends from school.
I fear: for certain circumstances in my future. But I try not to, because I know God is taking care of those things.
I feel: thrilled to be home.
I hear: the ticking of the kitchen clock, the clicking of my dog's toenails as he paces around the house, the lawn mower in the front yard, and cars rumbling up and down the street.
I smell: nothing right now...the scent of last night's fried mushrooms has finally faded.
I crave: another hike in the woods like I had yesterday. It was glorious.
I search: in the wrong places sometimes for the things that are right under my nose.
I regret: a somewhat painful decision I had to make during the school year...even though it was for the best. Growing up really sucks sometimes.
I love: how God has been working lately.
I ache: sometimes when I think about Rachel and Gloria. But I know they aren't hurting...far from it...and all the pain will be forgotten when I see them again.
I care: so much that it hurts sometimes.
I always: find myself thinking way too much about things that are of little importance.
I am not: perfect.
I believe: that God has a sense of humor.
I sing: slightly off-key. I neglected that skill long ago.
I cry: less than I used to.
I fight: to be heard, a bit too much sometimes.
I write: constantly.
I win: Um, one...
I lose: perspective when I try to do everything my way
I never: thought I would grow to love country music, or the prospect of living in Iowa by choice.
I confuse: friendship with simply trying to "love as Jesus loves" at times.
I listen: better than I used to.
I can usually be found: somewhere on campus, or safely tucked away at home.
I am scared: that I will never have an answer to this one...?
I need: to finish unpacking.
I am happy about: life in general.
I hope: to have my own place within the next year or so.
I am tagging: Rachel W. and Rhema

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