Thursday, June 30, 2005

everything takes forever

okay, the kitchen is clear. other than odds and ends i'll move tomorrow after breakfast. that was hard! how did i get so much kitchen stuff??? they're moving the fridge while they do the work. it took me a surprising amount of time to get all the magnetic poetry off the fridge. (i'm anal, i'm afraid they'll lose a few words, so i stowed every word in my bedroom.) now i'm listening to his name is alive's "ft. lake" because i was reminded of track 2 ("everything takes forever") while stripping my fridge of words.

my personal prayers for the Messiah 2005 conference

so i've talked a bit about what i'm doing next week. now that i've gone over to the dark side and joined the actual planning committee for the YMJA (for one year only! really!), i've developed a list of requests for things for G-d to keep me honest on, and give me grace to do. here they are. if you'll be there, maybe you can help keep me honest too. 1. primarily seek G-d's face. hey, during a week of G-d stuff, i want Him. 2. enjoy myself. as i'm telling folks in the band i'm in, if we enjoy ourselves on stage, the audience will enjoy the set. so not only will i have a good time, but hopefully folks i'm "leading" will too. 3. not get so caught up in activities that i lose sight of the people. this is a big one. i'm involved in a lot of activities but i don't want an activity-driven conference. i want a G-d and people-driven conference. 4. have specific opportunities to minister to / with people. i'm praying that some really specific heart connections with people will arise. 5. actually have the discipline to have solid, regular quiet times each day. 6. again, with discipline: i would actually really like to blog my conference experience. i keep a faithful private journal every day of the year... except every year during this conference i fail miserably at journalling. often it's one of the most pivotal weeks of my year... and it goes unjournalled. but i'll have an internet connection (in my grandmother's basement; it's complicated) and i'm hoping i have the wherewithal to blog even just a few words each day. 7. stay healthy and refreshed, regardless of how much sleep i'm (not) getting. see you there, or online from there, or something.

kitchen

so tonight, in addition to the usual laundry-and-packing for this conference next week, i'll be organizing a bunch of matierals for the YMJA activities that i'm working on. that would be fun enough... but... i also need to move out of my kitchen because my landlord is going redoing it while i'm away! i'm very happy about the impending kitchen modifications. it's ugly now. but, oy, it's gonna be a long night! in order to make way for the various carts &c. that are in my kitchen now, i'm gonna have to reorg my livingroom a bit too. whee.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

kittenwar!

i just wasted some time on Kitten War! -- so much cute! the thing that really made me laugh until i cried, though, was clicking on "losingest kittens" on upper left. in other news, i have been preparing for the Messiah 2005 conference (leaving this Friday evening) and for a youth camp in Belarus at the end of July. for the latter, i'm helping several westerners spend a couple of weeks in the middle of nowhere in northern Belarus with a bunch of Belarusian teens. should be a blast. especially since it's in the forest, by a lake, with spa facilities available for $2.50 a day! now, this is belarus, so it won't be luxury by american standards, but i will definitely be taking advantage of the extra facilities. i need to brush up on my russian though. oy. for the former, i'm working with the Young Messianic Jewish Alliance's program for their section of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America's Messiah 2005 conference. basically i'm helping coordinate some activities for the college and post-college segment of that (50 people? not sure how many) and i'm praying for time to, y'know, actually talk with people instead of just running around like a chicken with my head cut off. the last few days i've been making posters for various conference activities [pulling back the curtain! YMJA members: yes, the committee actually makes the posters! with their hands! and i know where the trip is this year! but i'm not telling! because i forget, actually!] ahem so i was making posters and enjoying myself quite a bit, which i thought odd for someone with no visual-arts capacity whatsoever. drawing a straight line and cutting out a circle that's, well, circular, are major accomplishments for me. but now i suspect one of the reasons for my enjoyment at the task was the jumbo sharpie markers i was using... in my apartment... which was tightly closed up due to heat and humidity... ooh, but i am proud of a couple of the posters. and i'm excited for the conference. once you've resigned yourself to not getting sleep and interacting with people for a week solid, it's quite exciting. by the way, should i go to australia this winter for a friend's wedding? i was considering it a pipe dream but just spotted a very interesting deal with qantas... listening to life in a northern town by dream academy. ah, nostalgia...

Friday, June 24, 2005

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

regime change

just read How To Change Ugly Regimes by Fareed Zakaria. i wonder, too, about belarus... all this talk coming out of Condi Rice about how belarus should be next to fall, does that mean the USA is going to try to isolate belarus more? and the EU isolate them more too? seems to have been the trend there lately. but i like fareed's point (oh why do i love everything that this man says), that
To change a regime, short of waging war, you have to shift the balance of power between the state and society. Society needs to be empowered. It is civil society—private business, media, civic associations, nongovernmental organizations—that can create an atmosphere which forces change in a country.
it's my hope that the folks from here who are over there doing good things are strengthening civil society in their own small (or not so small) ways.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

firefly!

the sci-fi channel is picking up firefly! brilliant. so brilliant. i don't think i've seen the three eps that weren't originally shown on TV, so i will have to get them! soo happy! and september 30, serenity comes out... ooh i can't wait for that...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

in lieu of a real update...

okay, WHEREAS i know that you breathlessly come to keyblogger daily or check your atom feed every five minutes for updates from my brain, and WHEREAS i've been way too ridiculously busy to update in here with anything significant, RESOLVED, therefore, that i am going to have to provide you with some links to tide you over. here is a fun one. the site itself is a little too hip-looking for my taste, and the people's photos really make them look like not-real people, but i'll take them at their word and say that visitpa.com has enlisted a few ramblers to travel our dear commonwealth in various modes and blog about it. they are calling it roadtrippers. my plans for a bike tour of the state are still... er, plans. next, for my fellow nostalgic nerdy types, an online documentary from the canadian broadcasting corp about doctor who. today i am incessantly playing the album four calendar cafe by the cocteau twins. in spite of the heat i have decided that it's spring and "i am not the same i'm growing up again." are you the right man for me? are you safe, are you my friend? or are you toxic for me? will you mistreat me or betray all my confidence? this is a line from bluebeard, track #3. no, there is not a man i'm addressing this to. it's more to say that: sometimes uncertainty is the most intoxicating state.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

store wars

well this is just cute, mostly because of the names. Grocery Store Wars | Join the Organic Rebellion

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

the board and the wind and the water

this is in response to folks who heard my frustration in the last post; i didn't do a good enough job of communicating the fact that underneath it all, there is a peace. i'm a surfer riding a very big, strong wave, and i have no intention of trying to get away from the wave. i just want to see what strange things i can do with the board and the wind and the water while i'm riding. certain parts of my last post were somewhat tongue-in-cheek; i like considering extreme possibilities; it's a way for me to leave psychological room for G-d to do whatever He wants. this is not to say i made that blog post lightly; i didn't. i wouldn't make any decisions lightly either. one purpose of this blog is to make more of my walk with the L-rd transparent... when i'm mystified as well as when i'm certain. G-d made me someone who likes to explore new things. i have been exploring a handful of people in philly for a few years now and have learned so much from them. they are my brothers and sisters; if anyone tried to mess with them they would see how fiercely devoted i am to these brothers and sisters. there is no doubt in my mind that i must remain rooted and accountable at my congregation. there is no thought in my mind of leaving it. there is only an urge to explore more... and ultimately (as happened and still happens with minsk) everything that i explore comes back to this one goal: seeing revival grow in my own congregation and my own city of philly. that doesn't have to mean i leave philly for even a day. but i want more. so, i hope rather than seeking to run from anything, i am seeking to expand my horizons. settling for a normal complacent and materialistic american life is something folks in my various family lines are quite bad at, and i am no exception. maybe i am running from that, a little. i don't want to be in a job solely for money considerations, i don't want to be in some kind of holding pattern waiting to begin a family someday, i want to be serving the L-rd with my whole heart and mind and strength in whatever ways He guides me. of course that means being accountable to my leaders and having their counsel in my decisions. of course that doesn't mean i stop being tied to the group i'm tied to. it just means that i am not cut out for stasis. in my small experience, each time i have similarly desired more, G-d provides it, usually in a totally different way than how i expect or plan. i never have to knock myself out looking for it; every single big step i've taken in my life when pursuing G-d just sort of came up across my path and with resounding echoes in my heart i heard a Voice saying "this is the way; walk in it." in my last blogpost i reflected on how that happened with Belarus; today i've reflected on how that happened with Narberth. i have no doubt that He'll do that this time, too. and because of this i have a feeling i'll have more fun on my wave than murphy brown had on hers.