Monday, July 31, 2006

It's official!

Okay, as promised, today I have something blogworthy to post!

I have FINALLY been officially offered the job at Urban Promise (the one that deals with youth and leadership/life skills development) and I have offically accepted! I start August 28. Only one more month at Ye Corporate Coffee Shoppe!

*dance a little jig*

This is also the job where I'll have to raise extra support because I am working in Missions and there apparently isn't a lot of money lying around. So, if you know anyone who wishes to donate either a teensy or a gigantic amount of money to help this work with urban "at risk" youth, just give me a shout. Tax receipts for all!

Also, for those of you who are the praying sort, I would appreciate the support of your prayer for me in a new and challenging position (thank goodness I have a challenging position!), and also for the many children and youth that I'll be working with, that they will learn and grow and maybe even get to know God a little better. (Urban Promise doesn't focus primarily on evangelism, but still hopes that kids become more aware of who Jesus is through their programs and relationships with the staff.)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

dead or not dead?

I'm not dead. I just have nothing blogworthy to say. Maybe tomorrow?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

a million ways to be cool

Here is absolute, irrefutable proof that I have the coolest little brother in the world.

Karl and his friends have entered a contest for the best fan recreation of the music video for OK GO's "Million ways to be cruel." The prize is a paid trip to one of the band's concerts where you will dance onstage with them. Here is the band's website with the original dance video, so you can compare and appreciate the awesomeness.

Anyway, posting lots of really good comments on the website (the one with Karl's video) helps them win, so take five minutes for my baby bro, will ya?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Thank goodness for fathers-in-law with ladders.

Okay, today let's play a game. It's called "See if you can write my blog entry." So, in the comments, you can write a mini-blog entry for me that falls under the title of "Thank goodness for fathers-in-law with ladders."

Once you've all guessed a bit, I will write my own comment/blog entry with the story of what actually happened that required a father-in-law with a ladder.

yay beach

Yesterday we went for a walk on the beach. It's funny, I was sitting at home and pining for the beach, and then once we got there, there was nothing to do except stand and walk. It was already 8:30 in the evening, so the wind was getting rather chilly as well.

We saw some street, I mean, beach performers. They were really funny, one was a "mad scientist" and one was a robot. They did things like throw those juggling bowling pins at each other as if they were fighting, but really they were juggling. And the robot guy could do all kinds of neat balancing things like climb up a ladder that wasn't leaning against anything.

The best part was the children who were laughing at these clowns (for that is what they were, even if they didn't have any face paint). They laughed really loud and genuinely as only children can do, in a way that leaves them breathless. I laughed too, and I clapped lots. Aaron, of course, thought that I was cute. (Awww.)

I had an Oreo ice cream sandwich and Aaron had a Turtles ice cream on a stick, and later we got a strawberry lemonade. And we got sand in our sandals.

I like summer.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Punted! (and not even dignified with a whack of the Word)

Okay, obviously y'all didn't wish me enough luck, because I've already been punted from the fundamentalist discussion forum! I had wondered if this might happen eventually (like in a month or two), or if maybe I would just end up excusing myself for the sake of keeping the peace.

I'm rather disappointed. I was really going to try to be a part of their community. I wanted to put myself outside my comfort zone and allow myself to be challenged by their different views. I figured it would help me to get to know the Bible on a "quote-it-off-the-top-of-my-head" basis, which is an area in which I find myself lacking. They didn't even send me a goodbye e-mail or anything, they just disabled my login or link or whatever without any explanation. What kind of community is that? I wanted to learn from them, but instead of responding to my posts, they just slammed the door in my face. I am severely disappointed.

Here is my list of possible reasons I got punted:
1. The introduce-yourself thread asked for your favourite quote, and I quoted Orson Scott Card.
2. I pointed out that all the fundamentalist statements of faith I had read put scriptural authority as really really really important, but that the Apostle's Creed doesn't even mention scripture at all. I was curious what they thought of this. (Maybe they misunderstood the line about the "holy catholic church"?)
3. Someone had linked an article about what a horrible Christian Rick Warren (the Purpose-Driven Life guy) is. I was shocked and appalled by how utterly vicious the article was, so I said as much.
4. Maybe they found my blog.
5. I said I liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Personally, I think #3 or #4 might be the kickers. Perhaps my tone in the post mentioned in #3 was too strong, but my stomach was seriously churning in disgust at how rude the article's author was! I actually agreed with about 90% of the content of it, it was just so un-Christian in tone.

Perhaps I assumed too much in bringing up a point of controversy. I have always enjoyed debates when they are edifying and challenging. Perhaps the forum people are not used to that kind of conversation and thought I was attacking them, although I very deliberately tried to formulate my words in a manner that did not cross any lines.

Ultimately, I am saddened. This experience was supposed to help me get to know some fundamentalist Christians and to understand them better. Instead, I find my negative stereotypes of fundamentalists to be strengthened.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

wish me luck

Well, I've embarked on a new adventure. After reading Elliot's post about Christian death metal, I started lazily following links here and there until I found myself presented with the opportunity to become part of a fundamentalist Christian discussion forum and online community. So I applied, and although the moderator may have had her doubts about me (remember when fundamentalism was dead last on my "What kind of Christian are you" quiz?), she let me in. My goal is not to slam my brothers and sisters in Christ over in the fundamentalist wing of God's house, but rather to learn from them. I pray that I can remain humble and open to learning, and yet not hide who I am or what I believe in order to not be kicked from the forum.

My first few days as part of the forum have been interesting. I have read much that either makes my stomach churn or that I just plain don't give a rat's ass about. (Who gives a crap whether or not they find archaeolocial evidence that Noah's ark existed?) I have also taken the interesting step of linking my profile over there to this blog over here. Maybe they'll find out that I swear, or that I have difficulty figuring out what God's will is when it comes to homosexuality. (*Gasp* and now I've put that in my topmost post so that the fundamentalists can find my deviance even sooner!) Anyway, I guess I'm curious to see if they'll just punt me out of the forum with a good whack of the Word, or if they'll actually stop and listen to what I have to say. I'm trying to stop and listen to what they have to say, otherwise I wouldn't spend a millisecond of my time on that forum.

I'm not going to start censoring myself here, so if the discussion board members pop by, maybe they can see a little bit more of who I am. I most certainly do censor myself on that forum because I don't want to be any more controversial than I already am. They're trying to build an online Christian community, for Pete's sake, and that's a good thing that I don't want to wreck for the sake of a deliciously heated debate.

Anyway, if you're curious, the host website/blog is here, but the actual forum itself is only viewable by discussion board members.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

inside jokes

I have recently realised that I have my own inside jokes. Sometimes I think I'm just plain hilarious, and nobody else seems to get it. But that's okay, I enjoy laughing, even when nobody else is. I also realised that this trait reminds me of my friend Charles Koop. He can laugh himself into tears when everyone else is just deadpan.

My favourite posts ever are musical brilliance, well I'll be damned, Balaam is my friend. They make me laugh.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

musical brilliance

Thank God there is an abundance of musical brilliance in this world! I take it as proof that God exists. Here is a list of some of the musical brilliance I have enjoyed in the past 7 hours of scanning:

Cake - Witty (with a capital W), clever, and content that feels real ("No Phone" is a particular favourite)

Bjork - totally inspires me. so many brand-new ideas.

Frou Frou - "Let Go" strikes a good philosophical chord in my heart

Moist/David Usher - sexy voice. mmmen.

Bush - Gavin Rossdale also has the voice of a mmman. hot accent too.

Johnny Cash - "Man in Black" makes me think he should have been Roman Catholic. The Suffering Christ can be a very powerful comfort and inspiration.

U2 - self-explanatory if you know anything.

Maroon 5 - really sexy and not shallow. they talk about stuff. like relationships. but for real.

Hawksley Workman - really really really sexy, period. and way to not be afraid of bizarre metaphors! go get 'em, boy.

Smashing Pumpkins - when Billy stops screaming, they have some fantastic stuff. Screaming Billy does not always equal. But then again, Screaming Billy is sometimes the most brilliant thing the Pumpkins have. I suspect I am making no sense here, so let's move on...

Foo Fighters - fantastic energy

Propellerheads - sweet groove of the gods

Yes. As you may be able to tell, 7 hours of scanning has fried my brains to little bacon bits. I'm going to go listen to more music. And eat blueberries. Namaste.


Join me for "An Afternoon in the Life of Diedre." I am currently sitting in my father-in-law's home office, scanning a bazillion pages out of business textbooks as part of some contract work for a professor. I am listening to Beck on my iPod. I am bored. The sad thing is that I'm being paid about $4 more per hour than I am at my coffee shop job. I work so much harder there...they really don't pay me enough. Hence my jobhunt.

Oh, an update on that: my second interview for the youth work job is next week. I'm thinking it will go well. That job will be exciting because it will make use of all my abilities and then some. That job will not be exciting because the salary is confusing. They will provide a salary of $21,000, and I am supposed to fundraise the rest of my salary to a maximum total of $35,000. This is all fine and well if you come from a church culture where missionaries are funded entirely by private donors. This is the kind of community the organisation comes from. They think they're being pretty avant-garde by ensuring a minimum salary. However, I do not come from this kind of "missionaries find their own funding" kind of church culture. Where am I supposed to find the extra money? I don't want to ask family, because that's just awkward. (Hey Uncle Bob...want to pay my salary while I work for people you've never heard of?) I don't want to ask my church back in Toronto, because they already helped me plenty with my two undergrad degrees. (Thanks for paying my university that I've finally graduated, want to pay my salary too?) I don't want to ask my new church here in Vancouver either, because I'm just too new to be asking them for money. Besides, one person from this church already works for the same people, and apparently it's been awkward when she asks them for money, and she's even a longtime upstanding member. Can anyone offer any suggestions? I'm kind of stumped.

So, I'm still scanning. Now the Foo Fighters are in my ears. I'm chewing on an orange Starburst. These pages are literally torn out of books! I actually have to pull each page apart from the glue binding that holds it to the others. This is difficult for me; I have a certain respect for books, no matter how boring their content may be. Although, I suppose I could happily destroy books that were idiotic, poorly written, ugly, and utterly useless.

Here's an awful book-abuse story: At one of the church youth events this year, we had an obstacle course relay. The kids had to pick up a hymnal, put it on top of their heads, and walk a certain distance. Even this proposal made me queasy...what if the hymnals fell and got their pages bent? Well, they did. And also, as the whole relay was degenerating into chaos, one of the youth actually threw a hymnal at a chair! You can ask Aaron, I almost keeled over and died. I did in fact scream in agony. Perhaps this is all due to my TUMC upbringing (my home church has an uncalled-for number of professional classical musicians in attendance, and the hymnal is an object of reverence), but people here just don't seem to take the hymnal as seriously as I'm accustomed to.

Jars of Clay. Strawberry Starburst. Johnny Cash. Cherry Starburst. Peter Gabriel. Strawberry Starburst.

The whole raise-your-own-salary thing has got me back looking for admin-ass jobs just in case a perfect one shows up. There is undoubtedly more money to be had in admin assistance than in ministry. However, I want to start my career already! I've already had a just-a-job job for a year. As Lolo has pointed out, you need experience in a field to get hired in that field. I gotta start now! So I guess I still want the piddly $21,00 salary because I'll be putting my noggin to use.

Bjork. NO MORE STARBURSTS. Radiohead. (This is a very Diedre playlist...)

I suppose I should stop pestering all you blog-readers before I lose you all. Well, have a good afternoon. Hopefully you all make lots of money in your fulfilling careers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Last night my Ultimate frisbee team FINALLY won a game! It's been kind of frustrating to keep losing games because we know we can beat most of the teams we've been playing, we just get lazy or unlucky or something. But we won last night! And with a price: my right leg hurts in 4 different places, most notably my bothersome hip and my knee. Owie.

Yesterday I went clothes shopping and spent my entire income tax return. (It wasn't really that much in the first place.) I got capris, a neat zip-up sweatshirt, two tank tops and two dresscode work shirts. All for cheap! The capris are lululemon-esque but only cost me $35, and the sweatshirt was on sale for $36. The sweatshirt is really hot, it's black and long, almost like a trench coat or something.

The most beautiful thing about today was either the sunrise or the flower petals the wind was stirring up outside the florist shop next to where I work. They looked like the wrapping paper I put Annemarie and Sam's wedding gift in. Or perhaps the most beautiful thing about today is yet to come...

Friday, July 07, 2006

bid for the papacy

In a short 15 minutes I discovered my dream job and then promptly had all my hopes dashed. I want to be the pope. I am perfect pope material! I love fiddling in church administration and committees and keeping the unity of the communion and such, and I have a pastoral streak, and I've got a good start on my education with a Bachelor of Theology. And by the time I'm 70 and ready to be the pope, they could be ready to elect a woman to the papacy. It was all perfect in my mind...I don't even have that huge a beef with infant baptism and the Virgin Mary...and then Aaron reminded me that I'm not celibate. DAMN! There's really no way to get out of it either...divorce and murder are sure ways not to be the pope. So, we've agreed that if Aaron dies a natural death in the next 10-20 years, I'll convert and start logging Roman Catholicism hours in order to be pope. Seriously, being the pope would be wicked awesome! I'd get to live in the Vatican with secret passageways and priceless art and a really nifty library!

Besides aspiring to be the pope, I also spent several hours cleaning our apartment today. It feels really good to have it so clean! To celebrate, we're going to have people over on Sunday so we can show off how clean and organised our home is. If you're reading this, you're invited. See you there!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

training woes

Well, it's been a week since I last posted, and it's been a rather dreary week. Not so much in terms of weather--that has been gloriously hot and sunny! I've been working and training (for my shift supervisor promotion) for 7 out of the past 8 "long weekend" consisted of Sunday only. This week I'm working three opening shifts, so I have to be at work for 5:30 am, which is a vile and disgusting time to be working. I could understand if someone voluntarily woke up at that time and puttered around in their garden or took their dog for a walk, but being at work at that time is just depressing. I'm a terrible morning person, and messing with my sleep schedule like that just makes me weary and emotionally volatile, and just plain crabby.

The other thing that makes training difficult is that I'm often shadowing this other shift supervisor whose work style drives me up the wall. She's basically a slightly paranoid, uptight micro-manager. She's the kind of person who tells you to do something half a second before you were going to do it anyway. I've worked with her before, and usually I just do things my way whether it drives her nuts or not. But now I'm learning how to do her job, so she's actually supposed to be telling me how to do things all the time, and boy is she good at it! Arrrgh! The only thing that makes our working together even possible in the slightest is that we're both generally nice people and can be mature about our differences. I understand that she's trying to be helpful, and I think she understands that I'm more independant than a simple yes-woman. If either of us had the slightest inclination to be bitchy, things would have exploded long ago.

I did however see a fuzzy man on Saturday. He was short and dark (not sure if he was tanned or from India) and bald and had fuzzy white hair sticking out around his head, and his beard was long and wispy and tapered into a point. He looked like a retired south Asian leprechaun. The fuzzy man made my day.

Yesterday I re-discovered that I have made some friends in Vancouver since moving here in September. I ran into a friend from work (who no longer works with me) in the mall and had a friendly chat. Also, two of my Ultimate Frisbee teammates were very friendly and we had some good laughs.

But it's still hard to be my usual chipper self when I know I have to wake up at 4:20 tomorrow morning.