April 28, 2006
C is for Cookie
I haven't seen V is for Vendetta yet (waiting for DVD release) but I could hardly escape seeing the trailer and that's all you really need to "get" this joke: C For Cookie. Hilarious.
Posted a handful of pictures mom took at the tulip farm in Woodburn. Mom, Dad and Bob and Gail Bredemeier spent last Sunday afternoon there. Apparently Bob was overwhelmed with wonder at the fully functional steam-powered tractor, enough to cause him to be quite content to let the wives puruse thousands of tulips and shop contentedly for bulbs all afternoon.
April 25, 2006
Out of the mouths of babes
During yesterday morning's break from Massage I, I noticed a voicemail/missed call from my brother Seth. I checked the voicemail and all that Verizon wireless' crack network would allow was, "Hi, it's your brother. Adalie wants..." So I called him back to see what exactly Adalie wanted. When I got him on the phone he said, "Adalie just memorized her memory verse for this week and she said, 'I want to say it to my people.' " To which Seth replied with a chuckle, "And who are 'your people?' " She replied, "Auntie, Grandma, Grandpa..." (I laughed. I'll die if she ever comes out with, "I wanna 'cite my verse to my peeps, yo.") So she got on the phone and recited her Bible verse. Priceless.
So then Kylia, in all her 21-month-old-ness, indicated that she too wanted to converse with Auntie. She gets on the phone with a big gushy "Hiiiiiiiiii!" and in response to all my questions replies, "Uh-huh" with the cutest raise in tone ever on the "huh" syllable. I remember when Adalie was Kylia's age and wanted to talk on the phone. But she would only nod her head or smile, so it was kind of hard to tell if she was there or not. ;-)
And if two cute nieces weren't enough, number three is on her way the first week of June! It's a good time to be an auntie.
April 24, 2006
Awake's Feed Updated
Just had a little "oh maaaaannnn" moment. Shawn pointed out over the weekend that my feed wasn't up to date and so I took a look at it and sure enough, Sarari had my last post dated as January something-or-another. "Wha-?" I thought to myself. So I added an atom.xml index template to my MT templates and that seemed to fix the Safari issue. But this morning I checked my Feedburner feed and still it was showing January. Again with the "Huh?" Well I figured my RSS feed templates were not rebuilding properly and sure enough I had (in January) un-checked the "Rebuild this template with indexes" and ever since then, they haven't updated.
And now we pause for the obligatory "Doh!" moment.
[Un-pause]. So, for the interested, here's my really-truly-up-to-date feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Awake. If you're on a Mac running Safari (the blue compass thingy program), just click the blue RSS button on the right-hand of the web address entry box, then bookmark it. In the future, when you click on Safari's bookmarks menu, there will be a number of new in parenthesees next to the bookmark's name. Fancy, huh?
Article on the benefits of massage
Just a quick post - an article from the Mayo Clinic on the benefits of massage, what to expect from a massage and the risks. A quick read.
April 21, 2006
Today is Friday
1. I'm glad it is Friday but I wish that Friday was yesterday because that would mean that right now I'd be getting a Swedish massage instead of writing a blog post wishing that I was getting a massage.
2. I'm glad it is sunny, but I wish I was in the sun instead of looking at it from behind a window and desk.
3. I'm glad I have my office to myself today because I have been able to work without distraction, but I wish that I had more visitors because I'm so tired I'm afraid I'll fall asleep!
Anyone remember Animaniacs and "Good Idea, Bad Idea"? So today is kind of a "Good Day, Bad Day." (And this analogy is kind of a "Good Analogy, Bad Analogy.")
I need sleep.
April 19, 2006
New Arrivals and Washable Markers
This week Leah and her family arrived in Portland! As much as I love emailing with my friend, I'm looking forward to visiting face-to-face, giving lots of hugs, and seeing how much the kids have grown!
Washable markers are the item of the week. As much as I would have loved to attend Good Friday service, I was instead in my kinesiology class learning about rotator cuff muscles. Where do the markers come in? Well in my class we are now learning how to draw the muscles on our classmates. So at the end of the night I had all the muscles around my shoulder blade outlined in brilliant Crayola bold markers.
This morning in Massage I, we finally got some "table time" after our first quiz. What a way to start the morning, let me tell you. I could barely move after my massage, but giving one was great too--it's so nice having a task that doesn't require me to be leashed to a keyboard. Love it. Last night's Kines class humorously spilled over into this morning's massage as there was some residual markings of the origin and insertions of Latissimus dorsi on my back! I don't know if knowing the location of the 12th thoracic vertebrae really helped my classmate give me a better massage, but for her, seeing all the markings was definitely good for laughs. (Apparently her Kines instructor didn't utilize markers the way mine does. Who knew?)
Anyway. Good times.
April 17, 2006
Getting files to the web on a Mac
April 13, 2006
You know you've picked the right vocation when...
- Class begins with "a little massage."
- Teachers actually want you to pass your tests and expect 100% of students to be successful doing so. (No bell curves here!)
- You have to learn a lot of tedious difficult concepts but everyoneincluding the instructorsis clear about the ultimate vocational goal.
April 12, 2006
Day 2: Kinesiology
Brain is muuuuuuuussssshhhhhhhhyyyyyy.
Lessons learned so far:
Use time wisely
Listen, clarify, summarize.
Be present where ever I am.
April 10, 2006
Massage School: Day One
Had my first class today, Massage I, at East West College. Getting there by 8 was no problem until I boarded the train at 7:13 am at the Sunset Transit Center and we proceeded nowhere for five whole minutes due to a "medical emergency" at Washington Park. "Five minutes" doesn't mean a lot at work, but it means a great deal for class since we are credited by "clock hours" and lateness and absence records are a big deal. So I panicked, bailed on the Max, walked back home and drove to class. I should have stayed on the Max. As soon as I reached the freeway, speeding along at 10 miles per hour, the trains started going again. Arg! (It's never enough, I tell you. Never.) I made it to class on time, but I've learned my lesson. I'm transforming myself into a morning person and will leave my house by 6:30 am and will be not frazzled by the periodic dissolution of punctuality which comes from unforseen circumstances and is, fair to say, inevitable in the realm of public transportation. By leaving a half-hour early, I'll have time for breakfast and a little reading beforehand. Preparation: good. Punctuality: good. Panicking: no good. So hopefully my new plan will fall into place spectacularly tomorrow morning.
Oh yes, and the class was great. I'm really looking forward to this term. Massage I is Monday and Wednesday mornings and Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings are devoted to Kinesiology.
April 06, 2006
The Intersection of Healing and Reconciliation is Touch
As my choices have directed me to walk the seemingly parallel paths of mediation and massage, I am beginning to discover why I have chosen these two vocations and how they apparently relate to one another.
A helpful piece of this puzzle was placed the other day when I received my weekly installment of PeaceMeal: Food for thought on Biblical Peacemaking — a ministry based on Ken Sande's book The Peacemaker.
In it, the newsletter author chooses as a central to this week's newsletter, Genesis 33:4: "But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept."
Each issue begins with a quote from The Peacemaker and this week, part of this quote is that "God does not intend for people to relate to one another at a distance or through other people. Genuine relationship involves personal communication." Sande also refers to Exodus 33:11, "The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. (see also 2 John 12)."
In mediation, when I contact a party, my first goal is to encourage or coach the person to talk to the other party in the dispute face to face. In fact, we learn in training that a good indicator for mediation is when face-to-face communication has failed — spectacularly. At that point, if both parties agree, a neutral 3rd party mediator can actually render a good service by "merely" facilitating a face-to-face conversation between two or more disputing parties.
But further into this issue of PeaceMeal, the author asks the question "Do you relate more face-to-face or screen-to-screen?" The author continues by noting the abudance of "connectedness" in this day in age but challenges the nature of this connectedness (especially technology) that connects us at a distance—and keep us there. The author does not blame the tools, but keeps the blame appropriately with us and our preference of "distance to closeness, and darkness over the light" — and of course our love to be "in style". ;-) Through and because of our gadgets and access to technology we actually believe that we are connected to one another. But what Sande warns is that the ideal relationship is face to face and this connection at a distance is far from fufilling. As a matter of fact, connection primarily via technology catalyzes quite an ironic effect: I, and perhaps "we", feel lonelier than ever. Noting Luke 15:17, the question is posed that perhaps we need to come back to our senses like the prodigal son, as he returned to his father and actually felt his embrace.
It was this emphasis on touch that made me realize that the intersection of healing and reconciliation is touch. These paths I have chosen in mediation and massage are not parallel, they intersect, weaving in and out of each other's paths because of how they espouse and nurture healing, peace, restoration, however differently from one another—one in body, the other in relationship—but both dealing essentially with the soul. Both addressing the problem of disconnectedness, of brokenness, of pain. Both trying to rectify these problems with peacemaking and healing. (Whether through lavender or laughter, the goal is the same: peace and healing.)
So what does "face to face" have to do with touch? Because only by being face to face does the opportunity for healing touch exist. No amount of typing colon, hypen, and right-paren combinations :-) can replace the sensation of healing touch.
If you "continue reading" I've included the whole of the newsletter and you can read it for yourself. I encourage you to subscribe to the newsletter as well. I've been a subscriber for a couple of months now and they have been consistently good and definitely, as advertised, "food for thought."
(The following is taken from the e-newsletter PeaceMeal.)
Senses and Sensibility
"But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept."
God does not intend for people to relate to one another at a distance or though other people. Genuine relationship involves personal communication. As Exodus 33:11 says, "The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend" (see also 2 John 12). If this is the idea for a true friendship, it is also the ideal for a relationship that has been broken by conflict and needs to be restored. Although other people can sometimes help get the restoration process started, its ultimate goal should usually be a personal, face-to-face meeting between those who have been estranged, so they can express and confirm repentance, confession, and forgiveness and experience together the grace and reconciliation of God.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 148.
Food for Thought
Do you relate more face-to-face or screen-to-screen? Why?
We live in a time of connectedness. We are connected via e-mail, the Internet, our cell phones, Blackberries, and iPods. And those are just the avenues that readily come to mind. Being connected now ranks among the necessities of life, alongside food and shelter. But for all the beneficial ways (and there are many) that these technologies connect us, they connect us at a distance. And we find ourselves in a far country.
As Ken reminds us, the ideal for a friendship or relationship of any kind, is speaking face to face; God does not intend for people to relate primarily by way of distance. Notice the physical beauty inherent in Genesis 33.4. Jacob receives an embrace; have you ever felt the warmth of a hug from your iPod? Esau throws his arms around Jacob's neck; it's a little hard to feel the rough, hairy arms of your brother by way of a cell phone. Esau kisses Jacob; ask anyone in love if they would rather have the tactile sensations of a kiss or an e-mail full of emoticons. And then the two brothers weep; the Internet can raise the level of information in our heads, but can it cause our defenses to fall, so that tears spill from our hearts?
It's easy to blame these tools, as if they are the problem. No, the problem is where it has always been--with us. We prefer distance to closeness, and darkness over the light. These tools just help us do it in style. We stride through life, gadgets in our pockets, patting ourselves on the backs, believing we're really connected. But a close look at the eyes reveals our souls; we're lonely and wonder why. Maybe we all need one of those prodigal moments--"when he came to his senses" (Luke 15.17). True sense, as God intended, will return to us via our senses. It means being hungry enough to feel the pains in your stomach, or maybe your heart. It means feeling the burn in your legs as you run toward home or maybe the hurt from that broken relationship. It means feeling the embrace of the one you've been estranged from; an embrace that just might squeeze the tears out of you. That kind of closeness brings life out of death; it allows you to be found instead of lost. And that story always ends with fattened calves, rings on fingers, and parties hosted by the Father; none of which can be enjoyed from a distance.
PeaceMeal is a publication of Peacemaker® Ministries. Copyright 2006. Reprinted with permission. To sign up for this free weekly email publication, go to the Peacemaker Ministries website at www.Peacemaker.net.
April 05, 2006
Mysteries in Mystery
Just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, my favorite of the series. And oh the sweet sadness! The last few pages explain many mysteries of the Harry Potter myth and create even more. Here are a couple of passages that have lingered in my mind even since the last time I read this book (Over a year ago, I think, maybe two.)
From Chapter Thirty-Seven: The Lost Prophecy, page 835-856, hardcover edition:
[Headmaster Albus Dumbledore speaking to Harry] "But I knew too where Voldemort was weak. And so I made my decision. You would be protected by an ancient magic of which he knows, which he despises, and which he has always, therefore, underestimated — to his cost. I am speaking, of course, of the fact that your mother died to save you. She gave you a lingering protection he never expected, a protection that flows in your veins to this day. I put my trust, therefore, in your mother's blood. I delivered you to her sister, her only remaining relative."
...and... (later in the chapter, on pages 843-844, Dubledore continues...)
"There is a room in the Department of Mysteries," interupted Dumbledore, "that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects of study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you."
I really do enjoy these books—for the characters mostly—but I do find these themes of sacrificial love as death-defying protection and queries into the powerful content and nature of the heart resonate with me in my own journey of faith. These mythical stories help me (my mind, my heart, my soul) explore the mysteries of the Gospel. The mystery of Christ dying on the cross, a willing sacrifice, and in the small but eternally significant matter of an uttered confession and decision of the heart...this sacrifice somehow applies an eternal protection over our soul enabling fellowship with God regardless of bodily life or death, new Earth or old Earth, Kingdom Now or Kingdom to Come—there's a lot of mystery there! I like to read fiction and fantasy because somehow I think it trains my imagination and I strongly suspect that the strength and character of my imagination has everything to do with how I process the mysteries of faith and come to believe in them wholeheartedly. So while some sharing my same faith confession might choose to burn and scorn Harry Potter books, I will continue to borrow them from my Grandpa and read them, alongside Tolkien and Lewis, and L'Engle, and oh yes, David, Paul, Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Peter, and John and I will continue to look for revelation in the most unsuspecting of places.
So thank you for writing these stories, Ms. Rowling. My sincerest thanks, indeed.
April 04, 2006
An opportunity to contribute
Some of you have courteously asked what you owe for hosting your website/blog/domain and I have been reluctant to tell you in so many terms, mostly due to my lack of organization, no doubt. Well now school is upon me and my budget needs tightening and thus I have decided to offer you an opportunity to give a little back. I've set this "campaign" up through DropCash which allows me to set a cash goal. This goal reflects my approximate annual cost, which I pay each month to my esteemed host, Pair Networks. If I can raise the annual fee through this campaign (that is, if this works), I am planning on switching back over to annual billing, which is much more economical. Further details below:
Friends and Family Web and Domain Hosting
Those of you with web sites and/or domain names hosted with me, feel free to pay your share by dropping a little cash in the bin. Domains cost me $1/month, web hosting costs me $27.95 per month. My goal for this campaign factors in PayPal transaction fees and "support requests." ;-) Thank you very much.
Payments are made via DropCash which deposits funds into my PayPal account. Feedback welcome on the ease/unease of use (via private e-mail or comments).