A little about a lot

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Red Couch

Three day weekends are so great.

With night meetings and early mornings it's been a long week already, so I'm excited for an extra day off.

But, to tell you the truth, my work load has increased since the middle of August and I'm LOVING IT. I love being exhausted by the end of the week - at least for now I do.

Lots is happening outside of work, too. My lease is up in two months and I'm a movin' out. I'm starting to research other apartment complexes right now - but I won't start really looking until mid-September. I think rent rates should drop quite a bit from now until then, and if I can hold off on signing a lease until after Oct. 1, I think I can get even lower rates.

Also, for my new apartment, I bought new furniture! YAY!

I bought a red couch and an off-white chaise lounge at Nebraska Furniture Mart last weekend. They were having a 30-month no interest deal, so I jumped at it. Actually, the couch and chair cost a lot less than I had expected, so it was a good shopping trip. In fact, I might have enough money left over to buy some lamps or some art, etc.

Nothing will be delievered until I move, so I'm trying to be patient.

Why the sudden shopping spree? It's finally sunk in that I'm not in college anymore. Anywhere I go, I'm going to need a couch and a chair and my OWN STUFF around me.

I'm never moving home again, so my apartment should feel like a home, not a dorm room.

Anyway, I'm excited to find a new place and decorate it, etc. Excited to take a baby step into adult hood.

Love,
eeds

Friday, August 26, 2005

pony tails

I love my short hair. LOVE IT. It's so easy to take care of. I do NOTHING to it and it looks decent. It doesn't get caught on stuff, it doesn't make my neck hot, it doesn't weigh down my head and give me headaches. It's never tangled. It takes no time to dry and it makes me seem like a totally post-college Eeds.

I'm growing it back out.

I miss having ponytail bands around my wrist.

THe crappy thing about growing out one's hair is that until it's the length I want it - mid back - it's not gonna look great. By the time it's down to my shoulders, I will at least be able to do something with it. Right now, it's in my eyes, and never looks good and is really awkward - but it will be worth it when it's long and beautiful again.

Of course, by that time, it will probably be up in a pony tail every day.

And that is one of the reasons girls make no sense. I'll give you that one.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Recovered

Finally, I'm recovered.

And, I've grown. I made it through my first full-blown stomach flu by myself. I did have help from Aunt Sheri. She did a great job of bringing me Sprite and calling and texting way too often to check on me.

Actually, once news spread, lots of people called or texted to check on me. Big brother even asked if I needed anything ... from Chicago. It's the thought that counts, and I didn't feel up to saying, "yes, could you come hold my hair while i throw up?"

Unconditional love sprouting from my cell phone.

Which reminds me, I should disinfect that sucker.

Today is Thursday and my first full day of work. Getting lots done and relishing in the fact that I feel well again. Wellness is something I take for granted.

My most exciting news is that I might go to Lithuania in the spring to see Anna. Shannon is planning a trip and has found some tickets I might be able to afford if I start saving now, get money for Christmas, etc. It would be so worth it.

I hope it works out. What a blast!

Love,
eeds

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Idiot Wednesday

It's idiot Wednesday.

Somehow, I missed the memo.

Had the memo made it to my desk, I would've known to avoid answering my phone today, lest I be bombarded with idiot people.

Idiocy has shown itself in many ways today. Self-important blow hards that make it impossible for anyone to believe they are much more than angry little boys throwing tantrums. Still ... it's a pain in my butt.

Also, it has come in the form of those people who really think we should write a story about their extraordinary accomplishment, but then, upon being interviewed, seem to forget that they have any intelligence or passion about anything.

Me: "So, tell me about why you got involved in (pick an activity)"
Idiot: "It was fun."
Me: "Really? That's cool. But you stuck with it for many years and devote several hours each day to this activity - so surely there's something else that drives you."
Idiot: "I just really like it."
Me: "That's great. What about it do you like? Does it relieve stress or do you enjoy the challenge it provides?"
Idiot: "yeah."
Me: "Yeah what?"
Idiot: "Umm.. what?"

And then, finally, the idiot who calls about a story I've written with a complaint that, try as I might, I can't address.

For example:
Old woman: "YOU wrote that seniors typically have a great deal of disposable income. Where did you get that?"
Me: "Actually, that was the feeling of several city officials, and I was reporting on what they said."
Old woman: (Still thinking it's all my fault) "Well, that's completely untrue and I don't know where you came up with that. Our taxes are so high that most elderly people my city are going to have to move out of the city."
Me: "Really? Do you mean because of property tax, because your city hasn't increased it's mill levy for 13 years."
Old woman: "Their taxes are so high that they're going to drive everyone out of the city and I don't know where you got that seniors have a great deal of disposable income."
Me: "But ma'am, they haven't raised their property tax level, although your home's assessed valuation has probably increased, but that would happen anywhere in the county. And, again, I was simply reporting that city officials believe seniors typically have more disposable income than others."
Old woman: "Well, I don't know why you think elderly people have a lot of money."
Me: "I understand your frustration. Thanks for calling."

Ahh crap. My phone is ringing again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Yessenia Magaly Martinez Escalante

I've been trying to remember what I was doing on my 15th birthday.
It would've been my freshman year of high school on a Tuesday.

I think we have photos of that day. I got sun glasses and a backpack purse thing. Mom and Dad and Steve gave me presents in the morning before school and I was wearing magenta sweats.

Anyway, I was trying to rememeber because that's the day Yessenia Magaly Martinez Escalante was born.

Yessenia is an 8-year-old girl in Hondurus.
She has asthma but still likes to sing and jump rope.
She has four siblings, no dad and a mom that works "sometimes."

And now she has me. Through Compassion International, a Christian organization (www.ci.org) I'm sponsoring Yessenia. I pay $32 each month and 80 percent of it goes to help her specifically. It will go to help pay for medicine or to give her food or buy her clothes.

I've heard a lot about Compassion International. Not from the television commercials of kids with flies on their faces - but on the radio station I listen to. I checked them out. I think they're good.

Anyhow, I watched a video last night that Compassion sent me and am getting ready to write Yessenia my first letter. I hope I can make a difference for her.

Today is going good. I was awakened this morning by a lawnmower outside my open window - that part wasn't good - but it's gotten better since then. I wrote a quick story and am going to work on stuff for Saturday's paper after lunch.
I hope this week goes fast. I'm leaving Friday morning EARLY to go to Chicago to see Steve, Stacy and Aaron. (he he) I can't wait.

My friend, Sarah, is supposed to come up, too, from Davenport. She just moved there this past weekend and this is her first week of work at her first REAL job. :) Pray for her to have a light heart and heavy sleep. :)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fame

Nora Jones makes me wish I were a. in a coffee shop on a rainy day having something warm to drink and talking with friends or b. in my car alone with the windows down on a sunny day.

I had a good weekend. Saturday I slept in and then had a nice workout and started running errands just as a four-hour rain started coming down.

In this case, it's good that my quirkiness makes me consider people who run away from rain as being the silly ones. I don't like umbrellas (they hurt my wrists) and I don't find it necessary to put anything over my head when I'm going from point A to point B in the middle of a rainstorm. I figure that either the rain is so light as that it doesn't warrant me covering my head or that it is so heavy that no amount of me trying to shield myself from it is going to do any good.

Plus, I like rain.

Anyhow, back to why it's a good thing that I didn't try to stay dry ...
It never would've worked. It seemed that just as I pulled up to the grocery store or target or whatever, God unleashed a wave of the fat, hard rain, then once I got inside, it let up - until I got ready to take my purchases back to the car.

He knows I like rain. :)

Anyhow, since I was wet anyway, I collected some scattered shopping carts from around my vehicle that the people had left, and didn't rush loading or unloading my packages, which almost always leads to even more frustration than if one just takes the time to do it correctly.

By the time I got home, I had been drenched several times. :)

I watched the third Lord of the Rings movie. Kinda sad that I had to watch it alone, but it was raining - which made it seem like the only real option. :)

Sunday I went to church - GREAT SERMON on what the purpose of the church is. (To make God famous, says Mr. Brian Wright.) Then I went to a BBQ with friends from work. LOADS of laughter. :)

I finished the tsunami story today. It turned out well. It's long, and I'm stressing about that, but I think it will be OK. I hope it reaches some people. I hope it does some good.

I hope it helps make God famous. :)
love,
eeds

Friday, August 12, 2005

Finding grace

I found my sentences again today.

After two days of putting aside this tsunami story because I didn't feel ready to write it, I finally found my way through it today.

It's not done, but it's close, and it's gonna be good.

It's going to touch some lives, I think, and I can say that because i know it wasn't me who wrote it. I have no reason to doubt that God wrote the Bible through others. I have no reason to doubt that He has that ability, because he's written some damn good stories through me.

Those are the stories that, upon finishing the last graph, I re-read and think, "Who the heck wrote this." Those are the stories that are amazing, but don't sound like me - that don't have "Eeds" written in between the lines.

This time, I knew it would happen. I prayed for guidance, put my earphones in and started writing. I'm not even sure what I wrote, at this point. That's how I know it wasn't me. When they're my stories, I can remember what I wrote and why I wrote it that way.

When it's God, it just flows out of my finger tips.

love,
eeds

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

7:47 p.m.

I should be writing.
It's this story about the new North principal. It will be easy to write...

I left at 3:30 p.m. today with a fuzzy brain. I couldn't even construct a sentence -verbally or otherwise - so I went home to vedge for an hour - or four.

Whoops.

Anyhow, I'm back here now. And I promise I'll get to work, soon.

Today I met three amazing men. Three amazing men on fire for God.

They just got back from a missions trip in Thailand. They went to help rebuild houses that were torn apart in the Tsunami. I could've sat and listened to their stories all day. They saw some amazing things - they did some amazing things.

I hope the story does them justice. It will if I ask for help and let Him guide me.

If I can sit STILL long enough to let Him guide me. Sheesh, what's with this restlessness?

Love,
eeds

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Guns and Camo

This morning, I watched SWAT team officers doing police training exercises. The scenario was a hostage situation in which the suspect has barricaded himself and the hostage in a home.

They were practicing on houses that have been marked for demolition to make way for a new $73.5 million mixed-use redevelopment that should be complete next fall. The houses on the block were boarded up and lawns were overgrown.

The police let me get pretty close. I think I could've even gotten inside the house where the "hostage" was if I had asked. They would've made me wear protective gear, but that might've been cool. I got what I needed from outside, though and didn't want to get in the way.

I was surprised at how intense it felt - even though it was fake. It was unnerving to walk down an abandoned street and see police with head gear and bullet proof vests hanging out of windows from nearby houses.

Anyhow, it was cool.

Today is going pretty good. I'm done with my copy for Wednesday's edition and have started work on stuff for Saturday. I'm tired, which sucks, but I'll make it.

I think an after-work nap will be in order, though, before I head to the gym.

Love,
eeds

Monday, August 08, 2005

Unworthy

I hate it when people hang up on me.
I imagine I must have this blank and confused look on my face, like I've just been bipped on the nose or something.

That being said ...

I had a great weekend. Lotsa family came home for Mom's and Par's birthdays, which were at the end of July. We ate, and laughed, and ate and told stories. It was great.

I love being at home, but it's always so hard on me to leave. Especially this time. It seems like I'm complete when I'm back in that area. It's not a house or a town that I miss, it's the land. It's the dirt under my feet and the way the sky looks and the way the fields look and knowing who the fields belong to. I miss it. I miss being whole.

I got to see Jackie, Shannon and Anna this weekend, too. It was AMAZING to see those girls ... women. I guess we're women now.

We met up around 1 p.m. and started chatting and did not stop talking until about 11:30 p.m. It was great. We talked about everything from our hopes and dreams to what it's like being married to Christmas carols.

Sometimes, when I'm in the company of people like Anna and Jackie and Shan who know my heart, I realize things about myself that aren't clear otherwise. I'm rebelling from a lot of things and I'm not sure why. Sometimes I can't shake the feeling that people - society - are trying to TAME me and it just infuriates me.

Anna is going to Lithuania for a year on Thursday. Pray for her safety and for her to be a light in that place for others and for her to learn more about what it means to be Anna Detrich. :)

Today has been a good day. I got up a little early to spend some time with God. Actually, what happened was that I woke up early to go to the rec, but, upon opening my eyes, guilt settled itself into my stomach. I've been rebelling from God the past few days, as well, and again, I don't know why.

I didn't want to do my readings, didn't want to pray, didn't want to acknowledge Him.

Anyhow, I came back this morning knowing that no matter how many times I walk away, He'll want me to come back and will take me back - not because of me, but because of Him. How unworthy I am.

I made it to work and then had an assignment about a 6-year-old boy who has a brain tumor. He's finishing up his radiation treatment, although that doesn't mean he's cured. He was an amazing person. Full of life and laughter. Amazing.

I can't even fathom what it's like for his family or for him.

The story turned out pretty good, I think.

Love,
eeds

Monday, August 01, 2005

Five months later ....

OK, OK, I know. I dropped the ball.

So much has happened in the last five months and I haven't written about any of it. I don't think anyone reads this anyhow, but it would be good for me to get back into journaling, even if it is online.

So, where am I now?
I'm still in the city - and wishing I could move home more than ever. Well, that's not true. In late February, early March, I wanted to move home more than ever. The weather has improved and with it, my attitude, but I still miss the dirt beneath my feet and being able to see for miles.

The job is going OK. I love journalism, and I'm learning a lot here, but things just move slower than I'd like most of the time. I'm finding ways to gather more story ideas, but even with that, I'm bored more often than I'm busy, which is never a happy place for Eeds to be...

But, I know I need to have patience. I know i'm here for a reason - probably for many reasons, and I think I know what one of those reasons might be ... my church.

I started going to my church at the end of January and have slowly, but surely become more involved. I like the church, I like the people, I like knowing I'm needed.

The church seems to be going through a change right now - a change that has been coming for probably about a year. Since I don't know the background, I really don't understand what's going on right now. I just pray that things will work out to glorify God. If we're doing that, we can't go wrong...

I was baptised a couple weeks ago - which was a totally amazing experience unlike anything I've ever known before. I can't explain it or how it's changed my life, even in the short time I've had to reflect on it. The baptism makes me feel even more enveloped in God's arms, but also brings me closer to my church. Those people saw a part of my life - a part of me - that is very very special. They might not know it, but that makes them very special to me, as well.

This past weekend I went canoeing with some people from church. We left early Saturday morning and drove down - about three hours- and then went canoeing down the Niangua river. It was an 8-mile route - took about 4 hours, I guess.

I had a ton of fun. The scenery was beautiful, not just on the river, but on the drive down there. I thought my shoulders would be sore from the canoeing, but they aren't, so that's good. My butt hurts from sitting on the hard metal seat for so long, and I have a huge bruise on my side from when two drunk boys crashed into the canoe I was in and capsized us, but other than that, feeling good.

We camped Saturday night and came back yesterday. I could definitely do the canoeing thing again. There were a lot lot LOT of people on the river Saturday, and some of them were very very annoying because they were very very drunk, but everyone was still nice.

The girl who I was canoeing with had never done it either, so it took us awhile to figure out steering and we ran into quite a few people, but no one cared, they all just smiled and helped us on our way.

My evenings this week are full, which hopefully will make the week cruise by. This weekend, Uncle Ted is coming home and Shannon, Jackie, Anna and I are gathering for some quality time before Anna goes to Lithuania! I can't wait to see those girls. They are good for my heart.

That's it for now. More to come. Much more.
love,
eeds