Monday, September 29, 2008

"I'm glad you are in my life"

So today I learned via Facebook that a family that I babysat for the three years before I left for college got hit by a drunk driver. The mom and the kids were in the car. I found out not too long ago that they are okay, just a little shook up. At first it seemed so not real. I just saw these people at church on Sunday and now I hear completely out of the blue that they were at the hospital. And really I remember mostly just brushing her off at church. I was more interested in the high schoolers and my friends who were my age.

Everytime after I was done babysitting, she would walk me out to my car, talk with me a little bit, make me laugh and tell me to drive safely. Every time. But did I ever tell her that those talks meant something to me? I really don't think I did. I am just so thankful that she and the kids are alright.

These are the kids. Aren't they just so adorable? Except really, they are little terrors.

I know this sounds so cliche and trite that just because I could have potentially lost someone valuable to me, I'm going to start treating everybody like they really matter to me. And really I probably won't change much. I am curious as to how this will affect me though. Like all this time that I spend on Facebook or other internet sights, even this blog, why am I not writing letters or doing homework or reading books for pleasure or outside playing soccer or spending time with my community?

Because this is just easier. I really thought that I was changing. I am asking those questions that my friends can't just say "Fine" to. I want to know what is going on in their life. But maybe there is something that I am missing. I think I am going to try and find that. This is kind of ironic because I keep losing things. Like my school I.D. which I usually find in some bag or jeans pocket. Or my watch, which still hasn't shown up. And my mind, which hopefully will come back to me soon. I really need to start searching.

Being home means taking pictures

I love when there are clouds in the sky. This one is taken from the Grove Parking lot. I kind of got the camera out a little late but you kind of get the picture of how amazing this sunset was.

Two words. Palm Trees.
This one was taken thorugh the windshield. It really doesn't work when its dirty. Whoops. And then there is my dog Turbo who kept looking away when I tried to take his picture. And so then I got this one but he's still not looking at me. And then he just lays down. I love Riverside. I really do.

OG Girls

So as many of you know, I help out with the high school youth group. And now I am helping with Amanda Jenkins and her Overflow Group. I am so excited. Last night was the first time we met. They are all such amazing girls and I am excited to see them grow throughout these ten weeks. We are going through 10 of the Psalms. Last night we looked at Psalm 1. It was very encouraging to me. I think I'm going to enjoy these trips back to Riverside. These are the girls. Don't you just love timer shots?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just keep on keeping on

Tonight I made myself proud. At last count, I was at three and a quarter miles for the distance that I was running. And tonight, just because I wanted to see if I could do it, I ran four miles. I just kept running. This surprised me cause I kind of did not exercise Yesterday or the day before because my life has not slowed down yet. So I really did not think that I would last.

Want to know the main thing that I was thinking about when I was running? "I can't wait to put this for my status update on facebook." Yeah I know I am ridiculous. But I did it. And I was able to put that as my status. Who knew that a status update could become my inspiration and motivation?

I also realized how bad of count I keep. You see, I might actually have run only 15 laps but I also could have just run 17 laps. I kept losing track. I need to find a running partner who will keep track for me. After about 6 or 7 laps, I just stop remembering. I think I might need to find a route on surface streets around Azusa. But that would mean that the weather would have to cooperate with me and that I would have to not be busy when its still light out.

Anyway, I also realized that maybe this 10k isn't just some pipe dream of mine. I can actually do it. But as I am typing this with two bags of ice on my knee joints, I realize I better still train and get all of mybody in shape.

And did you know that running, and well probably any sporty activity, makes your toes nasty? My second toenail on my right foot is dead. I just really want it to fall off so that the new one will grow in. But it is not falling off. Right now its just a bunch of dead cells that kind of sticks up. If I was a bit demented I would take a picture and post it, but I really would rather not expose the nastiness that is my toes.

Well that is it for now. Until next time I leave you this thought from Ella Fitzgerald: "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." I think that it is very fitting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Little Family

These would be my roommates. We are ridiculous. Don't be jealous.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rachel Weinstein

So Rachel Weinstein is perhaps one of the coolest people I know. Today when I went back to R-side for youth group I went and visited her at CBU. And we hung out for a bit. We made cookies, talked about Louisiana, and ate at the caf. She recently cut her hair and she donated it to some organization. She looks pretty hot. This picture was taken in her bedroom.
Then we took a picture in front of her little cottage. The pumpkin on the table is really fitting. She is obsessed with anything pumpkin. She is so excited that Starbucks has the pumpking latte right now. I think she even has a pumpkin lip gloss thing.

Sometimes she complains but she complains in a way that doesn't bother me. And since that is one of my irritations it is quite exciting that I don't get annoyed.

We spent six weeks together in Louisiana and I feel like I know her really well. Sometimes we even took naps together. Something that I learned about her is that she knows a lot of random things. I thought I knew random things but she knows the more spasmodic tidbits that probably only 1% of the population knows.

Whenever we talk it feels like she really gets what I am trying to say. One of her strengths is empathy and this is very fitting of who she is.

That is my friend Rachel Weinstein and I am glad that she is my friend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Public Transportation

So for my Human Diversity class, one of the assignments was to go on a bus trip to Union Station in L.A. Transfer to two other buses and go to different cities in L.A. and then head home. I tried to accomplish this assignment this past weekend. The key word here is 'tried'.

Things I learned from this trip (the good and bad):

1. Don't go by yourself when people freak you out about how scary its going to be. Find someone to go with so that you can experience missing the stop together.

2. Don't space out when riding the silver streak. You need to pull the cord or they won't stop and you will therefore miss your stop.
3. Eavesdropping is not necessarily a bad thing. I heard the coolest thing: Two strangers were talking about how the woman's son was in the hospital and the guy asked if he could pray for him. It was so cool to hear this.

4. When its the end of the line, they want you to get off. Even if the same exact bus ends up being the one you get back on at the stop across the street fifteen minutes later.

5. Bus drivers have hearts. The guy recognized me and must have seen the utter mortification of realizing my whole trip that I had been planning with the greatest detail to visit two specific cities in L.A. was shot when I missed the stop and let me ride the eastbound for free. He probably thinks I am an idiot but better to be an idiot than, well, I actually don't think it is that great to be an idiot, but you know what I mean.
6. Foothill Transit 281 always runs late. Doesn't matter if its 7:20 in the morning or 11:06 in the afternoonish.

7. We all have somewhere to get to. We all have own agendas. But we are all the same when we are on the bus waiting to get to our stop.

8. That creepy guy who sings along to his walkman extremely loud and offkey just wants to talk to someone. He is actually not trying to make advances on you, no matter how fine you think you're looking. Passengers just want to make friends with other passengers.

9. Panera's Cinnamon Crunch bagel, toasted, served with cream cheese and bought with the money saved from not having to pay for the Eastbound trip is the perfect comfort food and really does make you forget how much of an idiot you are, even if its only for a second.

10. The look bus riders have when they look off into the expected direction the bus will come is one of extreme longing and hope, kind of like the longing and hope one feels for the perfect guy or the longing and hope one feels for the double layer chocolate cake to be done baking. Everyone who waits for the bus has this look. We just want the bus to be on time so that we can go home, crawl into bed, and go back to sleep, hoping to relive the day and maybe, just maybe, the second time around, we won't make a colossal mistake.

Anyway, that was basically my trip. It was seriously the coolest thing, like even though I messed it up I realized a lot of things about myself and about inner city and I am kind of glad that things happened the way they did. That said, I think that I have to redo it because I did not complete the assignment as it was said to be completed. I have till next Thursday to retry this thing. Anybody want to come with? I usually only make the same mistake once. Promise....

10K Training

So I have decided to run a 10k. That is 6 point something miles. The Mission Inn Run is eightish weeks away and I am officially in 'Novice training' (a regime I found through google search.)

I am excited yet at the same time nervous. The training doesn't have me running every night, sometimes I do strength training, other times I have rest days. And I have kind of come to the realization that my life is about to get super busy because athletic training is soon going to be taking over my life because of observation hours. I also realize that my Human Diversity class is going to be more work than I thought it would be which is a bummer because I thought it would be cool to just go to class and talk about race and class and culture and not really have to work or anything. But this is not the case. There is a lot of reading and writing involved. Anyway, the point of all this background on how I think my life is going to get kind of busy is that I'm not sure if I will stick to the training.

Eight weeks is a long commitment. But I really want this. So I hope that I can do this.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Tonight my run was very sluggish. Last night's run was very sluggish. I think I know why.

My roommate keeps making dinner.

Let me add a few adjectives and other words to explain why this makes my runs sluggish.

My fourth generation Japanese roommate keeps making delicious stir fry or curry with white rice for dinner and I keep going back for seconds.

Do you get why now?

This food stays in me and weighs me down. But its so good. She adds all these asian seasonings that just make me crave more.

I could blame myself for always going back for seconds or I could blame Kai for making such good food. I think I'll just blame Kai...I thought I would add a picture of a slug, a symbolic representation of how I feel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Library

I like coming to my school's library but sometimes it can be eerie. And sometimes it feels like you are making too much noise just because you keep typing and because of the acoustics it seems a hundred times amplified. That is where I am right now and really I should be studying or something but, alas, I am not. I am blogging because I really want to share this experience of feeling extremely awkward in the library with all of you.

There really aren't that many people here. But the two people who are working the front desk right keep talking. And they are so fun to eavesdrop on. Now usually I am against eavesdropping but when its the library and no one else is talking, its hard not to eavesdrop.

One is obviously a baseball player and as such he is probably the kind of guy who is a player. I'm not being stereotypical, from their conversation I can definitely pick up on that vibe that he gives off. The other is nice looking girl and she is probably one of those girls that probably likes to read and gets good grades. They are so obviously flirting its ridiculous. But its the kind of flirting that really is not genuine; they are doing it to just pass the time. And of course they are on Facebook and adding each other as friends. He's trying to be all gentlemen-like and offer to get her food but she is refusing because girls like to be coy.

I wonder what they are really thinking right now. Do they wish they could be somewhere else and talking to people who are not their co-workers? And now he is teasing her about saying "um" too much. Oh, flirting.

Anyway, what else is going in the library? Oh yes, there are only about four people on computers and it makes me wonder why they are here on the computer? Did they just need the quiet of the library to concentrate (too bad this isn't working because of the flirting co-workers) or do they not have a computer of their own(and really how is that an option in this day and age. everyone has a computer)? Or maybe they need to print stuff and even though it is the begining of the year, they do not have ink in their ink cartridge. (Yep, that would be why I am here).

So now that I am done printing and the guy and girl are kind of getting on my nerves I think I am going to take off now.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Crunchy Leaves

I love the fall.

It's not here yet. But I have already seen leaves on the ground and heard the crunch as I walked on them. And last night, as I was sitting outside, cooling down from running, I actually saw a leaf fall from a tree. And I thought to myself "That's why they call it 'fall.'" (I know, very deep.)

Pretty soon, that briskness of night will be here. And since its Southern California, it will not be that brisk. Just perfect.

Hot Cocoa.
Light Jackets.
Shorter days.
Sleeping under the blankets.
Wearing sandals still. (because, again, its California)

I love how we can always rely on the seasons changing.

If anything is consistent, it is that things are always changing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Running Goals

So I kind of met someone who is planning on starting an indoor soccer team but it won't be for a few weeks, about six to be more specific. When I say kind of, I mean that I started attending this one church on Sunday nights and a mutual friend introduced us and she said that she was starting a team, we exchanged numbers, but that was the first time we ever talked, so I am not 100% sure that this will pan out but I have hope.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I want to get back into shape. Maybe even better shape than I was in when I did actually play soccer. I have come to the realization that my knee is going to give out on me. If I wear a brace, if I don't wear a brace, it is just going to happen. But my thinking is that if I get back into shape and strengthen the muscle then when it goes out on me, it will not hurt as badly. It really does not hurt when I run, just at the beginning when I am loosening it up.

The girl that I met that wants to start the team (her name is Becca) said that the first round had already started and so that is why it will be about six weeks. My goal for that time is to be able to run for six miles, non stop.

One of the things that they say about goals is that they have to be realistic. Last year, about this time, I would definitely think that this goal was unrealistic. However, this year, I have better motivation and I would like to say that I just ran three miles. (Tomorrow we will see how my body feels.) The week before that I had been running two miles at night. So it wasn't just a random three miles.

I am super proud of myself for running those three miles, but the real challenge will be to see if I am able to run three miles tomorrow night.

And about running at night: I go at about 11:00 at night because it is the perfect draining activity that lets me just knock out for bed. You would think that the track would be empty at this time. But no, you would be wrong if you thought this. There were about 15 people that I saw during the time that I ran. That is a lot of people. I haven't decided if having people on the track while I run is helpful or detrimental to my pace. Sometimes I have the urge to show off and so I run faster but other times I am really annoyed with the people because they get in my way. You see, I am a creature of habit. (I think at one point or another, we can all attest to this statement.) One of my habits is that I run in the number four lane. I really don't know why. But oftentimes, people walk in this lane or jog slower than me in this lane and that means that I just have to run around them but I feel bad when I do this. Like I am showing off because I am running faster than them.

This is just further proof that I think too much.

Anyway, that is my goal, to run six miles. I think that if I am able to achieve this in six weeks, I am going to throw myself a party. You are all invited. And actually by writing this in a public place, I will be keeping myself accountable because I don't want to let you all down. So thank you for reading this and keeping me accountable.