Monday, March 31, 2008

Adventure through the streets

Boy, do I have a doozy for you today. (And, I looked up the word "doozy"...that's how you spell it)

So, I have this whole week off, becaue I'm a senior, and we don't have to do standardized testing like everybody else. I decided to use this day to try to finish all of my homework so that it's not hanging over my head. In order to finish my homework, I had to go to the big library downtown to get a whole bunch of books. My parents thought it would be too hard to find parking, so my dad dropped me off and I planned to take the CTA home.

I had never actually used the Harold Washington library. I found the call numbers for all my books and began to ascend the circling rounds of escalators. I went up and up, I realized that I didn't know how to figure out where my books were. Sure, I have call numbers for them, but, in the middle of millions of books, what good are they supposed to be? I mean, come on.

I took a guess at the Social Sciences floor and it worked out. I had to ask the librarian for help finding one book, though. My huge stack that I was carrying around got a little tiring, I have to admit.

I had fun having one of those "Wow. libraries are quite something" moments as I gazed up the tall bookcases. I felt so privileged to live in a place where not only am I surrounded by as many thousands of books I might need, but where the city checks all the escalators to make sure I'm absolutely as safe as I can be. Thanks, America.

Anyways, I finished up finding all my books, getting the ones off of hold, and asking the librarian which of the five exit doors I should use to get to the brown line. Out to Van Buren I went, mounted the stairs to the train. Then, I asked the lady at the window how much I should put on the fare card to take one train then one bus. Thinking back, today must have been the day for asking questions. It's a good thing I'm a girl and don't mind asking questions on my way...

So, I made it onto the train. We rode and rode and right before my stop I realized that my stop...wouldn't be a stop. I had been trying to figure out, "hmm....once I get off at Irving, how will I know which way to take the bus?" I tried to envision the stop in my brain, and I figured that it was the one where you take the stairs down and come out under the underpass. In that case, I would be able to tell visually. Well, that didn't happen. My stop was closed. Then, my brain started up...well, I would just get off at Montrose. Now, let's see, Montrose is north of Irving. If I live west of the train (and I'm just guessing that I do), I will need to go to the left of the direction that the train is heading...hmmm....

I got off at Montrose, but once I got down to the street, it took me a second to figure out which way I had been going. I decided that the Montrose bus seemed a little iffy to me, so I would just walk up to Irving and take that one, which I knew would take me right to my street. As I walked away from the train, I looked back and figured, that direction is I'm walking I'm gonna take a right and turn south and walk right on to Irving.

Um...I walked and walked and ran into Lawrence.

I don't think Lawrence is between Montrose and Irving.

At Lawrence I stopped and decided that I should just ask someone for directions. I wasn't sure what direction I was headed anymore, and that isn't a very good spot to be in. Across the street was a crossing guard...I decided to ask the nice helper in the orange coat. Trouble, trouble, I waited to cross the street, the crossing guard put away his coat and got ready to leave. So, I opted to go into the Chase bank instead.

In I went, and tried to decide on a friendly face to ask. I felt so pitiful, like a runaway or something, going into a bank for refuge. I approached one of the bankers who has a desk and asked him where Irving was. I pointed forward and said, "this is South?" "This is north." "Oho..." He asked if he would like him to print out a map for me...then he asked if I banked with Chase... haha

I went back out and began re-tracing my steps, thinking of how this would be such a good blog and how funny I thought it was that my dad had no idea his daughter was wandering down Wolcott trying to find the Irving bus to get home...

A light rain had started, so I was getting wet listening to Misty Edwards sing about the Days of Noah...I clutched that map and watched it get wetter and wetter.

Well, finally I found my bus, and when the vehicle actually pulled up it said that it was going towards Harlem...I figured that sounded good, so I went. Once on the bus, I switched my iPod to a Beethoven symphony to calm down a bit and settle in. During the [long] ride, I finished a whole piece of homework!

I'm home. I'm safe. And I officially endorse Chase bank and all of its map-printing banking guys who don't have branches in Hawaii. Or else, I might just have opened an account there. Oh well.

But, I did finish my homework!! =)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm found!

Today I randomly found myself on youtube. I was looking for my music school's channel, and all of a sudden I see a movie where the description is: Laura and Anna play together at Merit School of Music performathon. I saw it and I was like, "Hey, some random Laura and Anna are playing the piano"...then I looked again, and sure enough, there's that bright red glow in one corner of the video. So, I have now officially stumbled across myself accidentally on youtube. I feel special.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Polite Society

Today, on my walk, a gentleman tipped his cap at me! It was so nice...we passed each other on the sidewalk, and he greeted me and put his fingers up to the rim of his baseball cap, and it made my day! He was about sixty or sixty-five, which is probably why he still remembers how to do such things.

Whatever happened to the good ol' days when gentlemen would never neglect to open the door for a lady or tip their hat or stand up when they walked into the room? I wish that those were still normal these days. It's hard to describe the feeling when someone treats you like a lady. When they open the door or let you go first or walk on the edge of the sidewalk closest to the cars. It's like being told that you are worth being valued; they don't know you, you haven't earned their affection, but just because of who you are, you are worthy of respect and value.

My dad has told the story about a little town in the Old West where a bunch of outlaw gangs used to go and hide out. About a dozen families lived in the area, but there was one lady who lived right in the middle of this hiding out, yet she never felt afraid. Nothing ever happened to her, even though she was surrounded by outlaws and thiefs. Not even a guy who would kill a man in a fight would dishonor a lady.

Not that I want to be surrounded by outlaws, but you know what? I miss those days. Maybe I never actually had first-hand experience with them, but I miss the idea of it. Litle moments like these where a nice old man tips his hat to me just because...they make me think...


This Friday, I do have a chance to test my polite society skills; there's a quincinera to go to, and I got a new dress! It was on clearance; new dresses are always so excited. So, I will model it for you. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Let's Hope

me: "Dad, I'm gonna ask you a serious question, and it's gonna sound like a joke, but it's actually serious...can I take a week off school and go to Tacoma during Chloe's spring break?"
He said he'd think about it.

Let's I saw a really really dumb movie for $6...but I did get free popcorn. In fact, I hardly saw the was so boring that me and my friends left, and when we ended up going back, we talked most of the rest of the time.

Have you ever put one of those marshmallow Peeps in a microwave and watched it explode like there's no tomorrow? I haven't...I've only heard about it.

Some radio shows have "Open Fridays" or whatever where people can call and say anything they want about any subject they want? I should do that on the blog. It would be like limiting myself to saying only three very dull things...I could only pull the random card once a week.

me: "how's your fish?"
Mr. Pan: "I think it changed colors."
That's a knee-slapper.
I think if you mix lime juice and a monkey, the lime juice might get the monkey acting pretty weird. Just a thought.

If I ever take a nasty fall while rock climbing or decide to bang my head on a really really hard shovel, let's go for some recordings of family and friends and my pastor instead of Johnny Depp, shall we?
In other news (for real, it's in the news), this happened. I should do a whole post on all the strange wedding set-ups I've seen. White Castle, a swimming pool....what's next?

back to the fish: "and I don't know how big it's eyes were to start off..."

Monday, March 24, 2008


I'm loving the part of spring break where you are doing something a little random but kinda fun and then that pang of guilt hits: "I should be doing something more productive." And then your little spring break mindset gets to chime in (and rightfully so!): "Nope! You can do that! You're on spring break!"

That happened when I was looking up a song that my brother sings at Christmastime about the soldiers on a battlefield during World War II singing Silent Night. I found it eventually (it's called Belleau Wood), but I still prefer my brother's version to any of these that I can hear online. =)

Yay for spring break. Movie with friends tomorrow, party on Wednesday. This is a good week.

Take a gander

Today's workout didn't feel quite so wonderful...I know people always say that you feel terrible when you run but then awesome afterwards. Well, strangely, for me it hasn't really been that way. I have felt fine when I'm running, totally able to keep going, and I feel great afterwards. Today, wasn't as great during the workout, but now I do feel awesome.


Yesterday, I held a week old baby. It is always so amazing to hold a baby...

Let's see, this is not very exciting...hmmm I could try posting pictures from yesterday! we were foiled in our attempt to visit Water Tower
but we went to the Hershey store...

You know, I found that I liked the coloring of pictures that I took on the "P" setting on my camrea, but when I did that, they were all bad. I have been taking them on "Auto" again, just with the flash turned off, and it is SO MUCH better. I am beginning to think I have a worthwhile camera again!! =)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Makes My Heart Smile

This has been so fun! They have made/remade most of the Jane Austen stories and put them on PBS. My favorite one that I've seen so far is Mansfield Park. Oh, Edmund is a nice character. Sense & Sensibility is next week, and it looks very promising. :) I'm sorry, but these stories are just so sweet. These men that come and rescue somebody somehow.

Every time I've seen this promo video, the background song has struck me, so I wanted to remember it to look it up, but I never could. Finally, tonight I was thinking about it, and wondering what the title could be. The other day at Amy's house, we were listening to a bunch of music online, and I remember a song called "Fix You" by Coldplay. I think this might be that one! Random exciting news.

But I have more momentous things to say. Jinny came and spent the night at my house last night! I haven't seen her in so long, and it made my heart smile over and over again just to be around her again!

Today we went downtown to try to hang out with people...well, that didn't quite work out, but we did hang out downtown! All the stores at Water Tower were closed, but we went where we could. *If my internet was being good, I could upload pictures, but, alas* It took about half an hour to find parking, and it was my first real time driving downtown. I have to say, it is a little crazy. It's like there's no rules but at the same time I feel like I'm constantly breaking every rule in the non-book.

So, I am on spring break! I feel as if I need some more concrete exciting things to do. So far, though, I have a birthday party on Wednesday; beyond that, there is an idea of a movie on Tuesday with people from school and a baking party sometime in the week. Oh, and, we could never forget that all-exciting research for the term paper! Oh wow.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


On Wednesday, in honor of Good Friday, we watched The Passion of the Christ for chapel. It struck me quite deeply, actually, as exactly what I brought refreshment and reconnection and all sorts of joy. Now, that was a few days ago, but I wanted to post about it; so, I will take from my journal entry about it:

"I remember my previous reactions to the movie. At a Good Friday service two years ago, they showed a clip...I looked away for a lot of it, but I remember that I thought, "You shouldn't have done that, Jesus, not for me."

Then, when we watched it at HoneyRock last year, I was left with a strange joy..He loved me that much and I am forgiven.

Today, the biggest thing that struck me was His heart. Yes, I teared up when He was beaten, and I cried at His interactions with His mom. But I cried as I watched Him interact with His disciples and teach about loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you; and what I thought was, "I don't have Your heart. How could I ever have Your heart?" I love this Man. I am stunned by His gentleness, His closeness takes my breath away. His tenderness towards me, such a sinner, is unfathomable. He has the most beautiful heart imaginable, and it's hard to imagine...hope...believe that mine could look like it.

Isn't that what happens, though? "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." He is just so wonderful, more beautiful than your wildest dreams and higher than the highest heavens...and I am so inferior. It's like His love soars up and around...and around and around and around, and soon I am encapsulated by becomes what defines me. How the Lord could take this marred, broken vessel and turn it into the Anna He created her to be is miraculous. But I have to have wild faith that it will happen."

After watching the movie, it felt like I had encountered His heart all over again; and it was exactly what I needed. It was like I knew Him again, was again nestled safely into everything that He is. He is still the same. No matter what waves rage around us in our lives, He is always there, and He is always the same.

I was listening to a Misty Edwards song that has a small chorus in it that has always struck me as super powerful:

"Oh angels, oh angels! Look and see! Through that dark night of faith, she is gazing at Me!"
I want that to be me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Today in the News

The news, the news. Sometimes it's fascinating, sometimes it's disturbing, and sometimes it's really really funny. Like, there was this guy who put a $12,000 ring in a balloon so that his girlfriend could literally "pop" the balloon that had the question. Anyways, the balloon floated away. Funny news.

But my news is:

1!! I have a license! Watch out, Chicago, I'm zooming everywhere, making crazy turns, and stopping at most yellow lights all at the same time.
2!! I got a hair cut!

My hair had totally gotten to the long and boring stage, and it needed to be bouncy and fun again! Rachel cut it, and she is so amazingly talented, I don't even know what to do with it. I had kinda told her what I wanted...half way into the cut, Bethany pipes up from behind me: "Anna, you do know that you're losing hair by the fistfuls??" Maybe I got a little nervous, but Rachel's trusted hands were in charge, and I love it!

3!!! I'm on Spring Break! I have no Merit tomorrow, and I want to take full advantage of my free day. I might hang out with friends downtown; maybe visit the huge pillow fight or something.

So, those three are the most bouncy, randomly fun items. Here are a couple more that may or may not make you decide that you would like and/or are a banana:

4. Our Pakistani doctors left us. They got residency programs, and aren't our teachers anymore. We had a going away party for them...

5. Who knows if this is actually a piece of news, but we had the international dinner last Friday... Fun pictures are always exciting

6. I starred in a talk show! Well, okay, it was a fake talk show. But I was a Harvard professor all the same!

Well, I was a professor until I turned Mexican with "Felipe"'s sombero.

7. I have red hair, in case you didn't notice. And, another more serious and thoughtful post may or may not be able to take place soon subsequent (haha! I don't know if that is correct grammar, but it sure is fun to think about saying: "soon subsequent") to this one.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oh, How He LOVES us

I've just been listening to this over and over again.

You know those times when you feel like you haven't felt Jesus really close in a long while? Sometimes, I think it feels like it's been years when it's only been days, because He's just so addicting and vital. =) Anyways, I can honestly say that I'm in one of those times, and I feel quite convinced that it's my own fault. Oh dear.

Today, I opened my Bible just to get a verse to write in a card, and it felt like at the sight of it, my heart reached out and cried for it. I think I've left myself thirsty, and if I had stayed focused on Jesus and had times in His word to be refreshed and be reminded that it is all about Him, I wouldn't be in some of the places I am now.

Who knows why I'm writing this on my blog... but I need rescuing. Again. Is that okay?

It's Over

Target's dressing rooms are not my friend. I've had that lump in my stomach sick feeling coming out of them before, but I went in again today to try on a $4 shirt I found (which didn't work out) and I am determined almost to boycott them. First, you're totally set up by all the advertisements of their clothes on the racks...all those skinny-minis looks like they're about to fall apart, yet they always have "life couldn't be better" smile on as the invisible wind blows their hair around.
Then, the lighting in the rooms is just so terrible! You can have lights that make you look green, and lights that make you look too pale, and you can probably have lights that make you look like you don't even exist or something, but I'm telling you...there's something about these Target dressing rooms. The first thing I think when I walk in is, "I need to put make-up on or something! I look terrible!" When I look at the mirror in the car three minutes later, I don't feel like this. At home, I don't feel like this. Those Target lights. My eyes looked bloodshot and I had the massivest circles under them. Seriously, in Target mirrors, I look like I'm about to keel over and die.
Goodbye, Target mirrors. I'm scarred.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Well, let's see. I am only 10 minutes away from having my fifty hours. Ah, the license is close. Very close.

Did you know that the speed limit in Indiana is 70? Haha...I do. Ummm....

I'm sorry! I totally don't know what to write. I'm tired.

Oh wait. I got it.

So, I have been going on runs and excercising a whole bunch. Today I hit an hour. I ran for like 40 minutes then came home and sprinted and did stairs in the yard and then did other random muscle building things. Anyways. I couldn't do it without my iPod.

Today was the first time that my muscles actually burned once I stopped running. Hmmm...but, I kept going with all my other random stuff. Well, perhap this isn't that exciting for you.

Ummmm....I wish I could do more Irish dancing. I remember some of the basic jig, but beyond that, it's not there anymore. When I did do it, though, it was a great workout. How fun would it be to dance in the St. Patrick's Day parade. I have a friend who has done Irish dancing for a really long time; sadly, she just sprained her ankle! Hopefully it will be better in time for the parade.

I wanted to make cookies today, but I didn't.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So soon

I'm just aobut 3 hours away from being ready to get my license. Yay for that.

In other slightly related news (because I drove 2.5 hours today) I am in Ohio meeting cousins that I didn't know existed. Fun times.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Let me submit myself to you as living proof that the movies are not reality

Today, we had a little situation at school which, as I thought on it later, I realized was almost a total movie setup. And ended differently.

So, there's this third grader who likes to play basketball and be around us after school. Today, Amy, me and our friend were setting up for chapel. We finished and were saying goodbye when this little third grader...well, let me first say that she has probably seen WAY too many lovey-dovey movies - most of them probably including a young girl who was instrumental in bringing together the main characters...this girl began physically pushing (or trying to) me and this boy towards each other around the hallway prodding (over and over): "Kiss her! Come on!! Kiss him! Come on!!" Oh my goodness. Total awkward turtle.

Now, I am basically twice her size. I promised her, "No matter how much you push me, I'm gonna keep standing right here." So, what did she do? Went around and tried to push him. And he said, "If you can't push her what makes you think you can push me?"

Amy helpfully tried to ask her where she was supposed to be...but that didn't work. It kept on going. When I wouldn't budge, she decided to try to push Amy towards it. That didn't work either.

I protested: "Why would I kiss..." And of course (for once, romantic movies are my enemies) her reply was "You're in love." Oh wow. She claimed to know more than we did...I guess she meant about us or about how to tell if someone is in love. Apparently, I can't decide for myself how I feel, because, well, she knew better, and, well, it was OBVIOUS that I should kiss him.

So, anyways. Hours later, I thought about how that was like a movie setup. And, you know what, finally I have some proof that movies don't reflect reality. Because, well, we obviously didn't kiss. And, you know what, movies are really good at skewing people's perspectives. Mine included. Hmmm...and yet I am addicted to Pride and Prejudice.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Where's the Fire?

At this moment, I find my heart longing and crying out for fire that I don't see in my day to day life right now. I listen to a message from New Song, and I feel all of a sudden like I'm saying to myself : "WHAT am I doing??!!?" The fire that I know God gives His people to live in and that He has given me hasn't been front and center in my days and in my mind. That fire doesn't feel like its blazing its way through every thought I ponder and every word I speak. That longing is so intense. I feel like I have been focusing on the most trivial things, like a boy or what teachers I have instead of being so focused on Jesus. I need, as in my heart NEEDS to be in this state to be satisfied (yet unsatisfied at the same time), to burn.

When I look at this, I often think of circumstances being a crucial part in when I have felt this fire burn in my life. I know this sounds wrong, and it isn't a criteria for this fire to come -- the fire comes from Jesus. But I have felt that clear, strong burning so much stronger when I am in Tacoma in the summer, surrounded by people who want to be single-minded and give EVERYTHING to obey Jesus...constantly being accountable to others and always stomping on passivity that lets me sit complacently without joy or without that burning fire. Community affects me so strongly; I can't wait to spend some months in Kansas City next year; I pray that the Lord will really help me to not be passive so that I spend time in the prayer room.

Jesus, bring the fire. I don't know where I let it go or where I let it fizzle, but I need Jesus. I need to live the Jesus of the gospels. I need to hate the pattern of religion and passivity that leaves me motionless. I need constant interaction with the heart of Christ; I need the voice of the Holy Spirit constantly in my ear. I need a willing heart. God, soften my heart.