Thursday, November 04, 2010

Airplanes

Some men (and women) secretly sneak peaks at porn. Additcted or not, they might try to hide it--scoping out time in their day when they know no one is around and no one can see what they're looking at.

My husband does not do this...at least not with naked people. He looks at pictures of airplanes. We affectionatly call it pilot porn. Sometimes, he'll be at his computer and I'll walk by and notice that he's rapidly closed a window.

"What are you looking at?" I'll ask, already knowing the answer.

"Nothing!" as if it's a secret.

I think pilots are born, not made. You either love planes or know little about them. You can learn the aerodynamics or the mechanics but pilots are born with an innate awe and wonder about planes. Nick's dad is a pilot too. His mom once told me that she knew exactly how she was going to die. She'd be riding in the car with his dad who would hear a plane overhead. He'd be craning his neck to watch it when suddenly... well, you get the idea. I'm pretty sure that's how I'll go too.

It's not uncommon for Nick to spot planes that are invisible to the untrained eye. He even used to take me on dates to the airport to watch planes land. (Um, how romantic.) We've been chasing his dream for years (all the way to Korea!).

Lately, I've noticed somethig disturbing. Iris seems to have this uncanny ability and affection for planes too. She shouts in her almost two voice "eh pane!" and points up to the sky. I follow her finger and see nothing but sky and then, I hear it, but can't see it. She continues to shout until I acknowledge the plane's presence. Yes--airplane. Then, all is right with the world, until another one flies overhead and we start over.

I'm not sure yet if I'm worried about this. She hasn't yet become the traveler that Ivy was at her age and until we're once again employed by an airline, I don't see that happening. But the early warning signs are there...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

They're just shoes

So, I like shoes. They're the one article of clothing that seem to fit no matter how much I weigh and I don't mind going up a size. I've been buying a lot more shoes lately since I discovered platforms. I bought a cute pair of purple strappy shoes for Easter and just fell in love with Baker's Shoes. Since April, I've bought three pairs of shoes from them and then I discovered Steve Madden. Love Steve Madden. In a meeting at work, I was introduced to Shop it to Me (yes, it really was in a business meeting. We were talking about dress code. Anyway...) So, now I get an email a few times a week with things the website thinks I'll like. One day I was scrolling through it and found a really cute pair of over the knee boots. When I clicked on it and went to the Steve Madden website, they had the same pair of boots in purple! I had to get them. They're fabulous.

Now, all of these shoes are perfectly acceptable to wear to work, which I do often. I get several remarks of "cute shoes" from the ladies and "how do you walk in those" from the gents. People that know me are not alarmed.

It's those who don't know me that I'm writing about today...

As a woman, I often find that men in particular talk to my chest. I don't think they intend to...well, some of them do. I find my self stooping down on occasion to get them to look me in the eye. Hello? Eyes up here! I can't help the size of my chest. It's not small (not HUGE, but not small). It is what it is and I can't do anything about it. I don't flaunt my chest or wear revealing clothing to accentuate them or draw attention to them.

Now, however, it seems that I get more stares at my feet. I was walking into Costco last week wearing a modest pair of to the knee shorts, a v-nect top with a camisol underneath and the most adorable strappy brown platform sandals with buckles and a zipper up the back. I got more stares and doubletakes than I'd care to count! What's the deal people? They're just shoes! More of my foot is covered than were I wearing a flip flop (which I only wear when I'm out for a pedicure). You'd think I had breasts on my feet or something!

Still, I'd rather people stared at my feet than my chest.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On the other hand...

I read a lot of books on writing, hoping it will help me not only to be a better writer, but to convince myself that I'm not doing it wrong. We writers all have our reasons for not writing, whether they're valid or not is up to each of us to decide. The book I fished today (and by finished, I don't mean I read the whole thing--I'm just DONE with it) is called Write: 10 Days to End Writer's Block or something like that.

I remember buying it thinking "wow--10 days and I'll have something worth writing". Well, I've learned a lesson all right. Nothing happened after 10 days and nothing will. The whole premise of this book was that in order to free yourself and get over the blank page--for whatever reason--was to...get ready. This is gonna be good.

Write with your other hand.

WHAT?

Yep--put the pen in my LEFT hand and give it a try! Um, that's stupid.

It was full of these questions, written exactly the same way twice, where you answer it once with your dominant hand and once with your non dominant hand. To say I was skeptical was an understatement, but I figured, what the heck, and gave it a try.

Dominant Hand: What's your biggest reason for not writing right now? I have two small children who demand most of my attention.

Non dominant Hand: What's your biggest reason for not writing right now? I have two small children who demand most of my attention.

Uh, yeah--that's the same exact answer no matter what hand I used. Of course, the author got different reasons using different hands. I'm sorry, that's crap. About halfway through the book I realized I wasn't getting anywhere with this and decided that the best use for this book was to fill my recycle bin. So, that's where it is. I even threw it in twice--once with each hand. It landed in there both times.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Miracles

I've been reading a lot of Bible study type books--it's like hearing a Sunday sermon except longer. And when it gets boring I can skip ahead. Today, I was reading When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado. He was talking about Moses being called out by God after he'd killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave and ran off to the dessert, and how Jesus was sort of an ordinary guy when he performed miracles. Those two things don't seem to go together much when I put it like that...except for one thing.

It got me thinking about miracles.

Max was talking about how any one of us could have been written about in the Bible. Some of the stuff people said about Jesus could have just as easily been said about us. Some of the stuff Jesus did (going to a wedding, working as a handyman) could be replaced easily by the things we do. Sure. I get it. But those miracles were stop you in your tracks miracles. People knew they were witnessing something of God. I don't think I can say that of the miracles in my life.

Sure, we all have them--the birth of children, amazing sunsets, miracle healings. But those miracles aren't very...miraculous. They sort of happen every day. The sun floods my car and blinds me on my way to work EVERY DAY. Sure, it's pretty amazing how one minute, a baby is inside of a pregnant woman and then, pop! It's out and she's a mother. Wow! But ask my sister-in-law, the midwife how many babies she delivers in a day? I'll bet it's more than one.

Wouldn't you love to see a miracle? A sight that makes you get down on your knees because you KNOW you're face to face with God? I sure would. Not that sunsets and babies aren't great--they are. I love my girls. And without the miracle in a sunset, I woudn't have my husband. But I want to see the bush on fire! I want God to split the ocean down the middle, take me by the hand and say "let's go for a stroll"! Turn my morning coffee into wine (OK, leave my coffee--maybe my Diet Coke). Fill my bread box with just two pieces and feed me for months on food that falls from the sky! Wow! Now, those were miracles!

The every day miracles are amazing when you think about what's behind them. But I want to see something that will dare me NOT to believe it. I want God to show me what He can do.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Korean Bathroom

There wasn't much I hated about Korea (no Venti Starbucks was high on the list) but one thing I did was the bathroom. Part of it was that I just didn't understand. But the larger part was that it was just...annoying.

First, imagine your shower. It might have a curtain or a door, but it's enclosed in some way. Now, add your toilet, sink, towell rack--everything else in the bahroom. That's right, put it IN the shower. Now, take away that enclosure. Poof! You have a Korean bathroom. Why? Why not close it in? Why not give it it's own floor so that you're not walking around in the bathroom in the evening when everything is still wet from your morning shower.

Like any other Asian country that I know of, shoes aren't worn indoors. There's always a ledge or something to keep your shoes on when you walk inside (even in resturants!). In the bathroom, however, you're expected to wear shoes. Why? Because the floor is wet! You bring your flip flops or use those provided by the hotel--whichever you prefer.

There are no floor mats--why have those? They'd just get wet. We had to hang our towells outside of the bathroom, thus leaving the nice, warm, steamy bathroom to get dry. Logic seems to have escaped this culture when it comes to the design of bathrooms. For whatever reason, they see no problem with this. We were told that when Koreans visit the U.S., they don't even think to close the shower curtain, not giving it much thought. Of course, the entire hotel bathroom gets soaked. I wonder what hotel cleaning staff think when they enter a room and see the entire bathroom soaked.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Latest Adventure

I never in my life thought I'd travel to Korea. Yet here I am in the VERY small town of Uljin (Ool chin). It is perhaps one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I'm here with Nick--it's his new home. I know--crazy. But as anyone who's following knows, we never stay anywhere for long. This is our latest adventure. We've been in Arizona for three years--that's longer than anywhere else except for the places we were born. Time to move forward.

I have experienced more in these last three days than perhaps the last year. I've tried new foods, stayed in weird hotels, met amazing people and seen a place that I hadn't known existed. I've felt the stares of the locals and heard their whispering as I walk by. I've never really felt like a minority before, but here, I most certainly am.

Everyone knows we're not from around here. They can tell by looking at us. And they try to help. We were nearly stranded in a subway station without our luggage. We were immediately helped. We almost got on the wrong bus--twice. We were kindly redirected by the driver who spoke no English at all.

I'm amazed by the people here. They do not understand us, but they still seem to be glad that we are here. I don't know why. They know nothing about us and we know even less about them. As I struggle to learn the language and look forward to the day when I'm living here too and can do so comfortably, I press on, one day at t time.

Monday, August 09, 2010

I Can’t Sing

Sure, I can carry a tune—if you hand it to me in a bucket, but really, I shouldn't. Not unless there's a crowd also singing that can drown me out. I don't really like to sing. In my car maybe, but that's it. It's the one part of church I really don't like—well, that and the part where I have to shake hands with people I don't know.

It's supposed to be a time of worship. I get that. Singing to God… Rapture practice, one of my pastors used to call it. 'Cause that's what we're going to spend eternity doing, right?' Praise and worship. But does it have to be singing? I really hope not.

I don't feel particularly close to God when I'm singing. Sometimes, maybe, but it isn't the song. It's Him. Something He's telling me or something we're doing together and there just happens to be music playing. Don't get me wrong—I LOVE music. I mean, I really love it. It gets into my soul and I can listen to the same song over and over and over and drown in it. But I'd rather leave the making of it to those who do it best. The Stephen Curtis Chapman's, the Bruce Hornsby's and the Usher's of the world. They can sing—let's let them do it.

I'm pretty sure God knows how I feel about singing. He knows it's not something I enjoy and he knows what's going on with me when I'm in church and the music isn't moving me. Someone else picked those songs and decided that everyone would sing them. It's hard to worship—really worship—on command.

Maybe singing really does move most people and they really do feel like they're worshiping when they sing. I don't. I feel like I'm being forced to do something I'd really rather not do. Like when you're just going about your business and some random stranger says "smile—it's not that bad." Really? Do you KNOW how bad it is? Do you KNOW why I've chosen at this moment NOT to smile? No—you don't. So mind your own business—I'm smile when I'm happy. I'll sing when I'm feeling musical.

Worship is personal, though not necessarily private. To worship is to express love and adoration to God. It has nothing to do with singing. It's not about talent or showing off—it's doing whatever it is I do to tell God what song lyrics never seem to get right for me. When I can't focus on anything but Him, He looks into my heart and knows what no words can say. When I can look to Him and we connect and He knows what I can't express in words. When I can be in a room with Him and nothing else matters. When I can feel what I feel and know that He understands. That's worship. That's more than I love you. That's more than you mean everything to me and I can't live—and don't want to try to live—without Him. That's how I feel about God. That's how Jesus and I get to know each other. That's how the Holy Spirit dwells within me. I can be in a crowded room, I can be lying in bed, I can be doing the laundry or any number of mundane or profound things. I can be singing! Or not…

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Appointments

I don't understand why I need to make appointments to see a doctor. They certainly don't seem to honor them.

I went to see a new doctor on Monday. I called several weeks in advance to make my 3pm appointment. I even supplied my insurance information prior so that I wouldn't have to do that in the office.

I arrived about ten minutes early. Walking into the office, I saw four employees standing around behind the counter. One was on the phone. There were no other people in the waiting room.

"I have an appointment," I said. to the three people who didn't seem to be doing anything.

One of them motioned to the person on the phone. "She'll get you checked in."

Because you're so busy. I sat down and waited. Finally the person on the phone hung up and gave me the paperwork I had to sign. I was told I'd be called in a few minutes. I waited.

Waiting...

At 3:20 I was finally called. I walked past several empty rooms wondering why we were going all the way to the back of the office and why one of these rooms wasn't perfectly suitable and why it had been so long.

In the room, the nurse took about five minutes to ask me general questions--this was my first appointment with this doctor and they needed my history. Several extreamly personal questions later, I was told to undress and assured that the doctor would be there soon.

I waited.

And waited...

and waited...

and waited!

At 3:45, I was still waiting. What was going on? What was taking so long? I thought about opening up the door and asking, but I was in a gown. Is that the plan? Do they keep you naked and trapped for some dark purpose?

Just as I was formulating rude comments to accompany my rant out of the office, the doctor finally came in. No appology for the wait, just getting down to business. Five minutes later, I was getting dressed.

I waited 45 mintes for 5 minutes of time. WHY? Why is it that doctors can never seem to keep appointments? If the office had been busy, I could at least understand but there was NO ONE ELSE THERE! Why is my time so much less important and worse yet, why does every doctor seem to do this? Why do we as patients put up with it?

Because we're stuck. We have no other option and none of us are bold enough to make those rude statemtns we're all thinking about. Next time, I'm going to call and rather than make an appointment, I'm going to ask when I'll actually be seen--that's what I'll show up for.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Visa

A big adventure is on the horizon! Nick is moving to South Korea...next week! While it's all very exciting, the entire process has been frustrating. A lot of "hurry up and wait". The biggest hurdle (so far) has been in obtaining a work visa. You can visit South Korea without a visa for up to 90 days, but they kind of expect you to have a return ticket. We've been unsure of a lot of things from the start, but when things got moving, they moved fast. In a matter of days, we've received a start date, itinerary and airline ticket from Los Angeles to Seoul. Ready to go, right? Not so much...

We live in Phoenix, not Los Angeles. And still no work visa.

More waiting...

Less than one week before his expected start date, we're told that we should have a visa number by the end of the week. Then, we need to visit the Korean Consulate...in Los Angeles. We have to convert the visa number to a real visa (whatever that means). At this point, we're contemplating our options. Do we drive to Los Angeles, spend a few days, drop Nick off at the airport and the girls and I drive back (six hours in the car with two little girls...not my idea of a good time); Have Nick fly there and back in a day (on Friday) and fly out again on Sunday to catch his flight to Seoul; or chuck the whole thing and go back to normal life (not really an option). But we can't really decide anything because we still don't have the visa number...and it's Thursday.

Finally, we have news: still no visa number. We should have it later today which means we can contact the consulate and ask if there's any way we can get the visa in one day (not likely). Or, we can delay the start date and change the flight to Korea (extremely expensive and, in the words of our contact "the most painful"). Finally, we can book a return trip with every intention of cancelling it so that he can go on a tourist visa and plan to visit the Korean Consulate in Japan or China.

What?

This is what confuses me most. He's not going to Japan or China. He's going to Korea. Why would we need to visit Japan or China to get a Korean visa? In any case, this is the option we're now pursuing. I have no idea what will happen next but it's sure to be exciting.

Anyo hashimnika! (Ok, so that's actually hello and not good bye or anything that might seem logical to end a post, but not much has been logical at this point and it's really all I know how to say...other than turtle, car and banana.)