living. loving. laughing.

living.  loving.  laughing.

Monday, May 29, 2006

livin' la vida Raul

Raul's been quite the traveling Jetta lately! I've been gone the past 6 days, and am glad to announce that it's good to be back, soon sleeping in my own bed...ahhh. Good times, good times.

Wednesday-Friday morning I was at Anna's parents' beach house for a little R and R/work on my talks in preparation for this summer time. WOW!!! It was BEAUTIFUL being in Ocean Shores...relaxing...getting time with Jesus and direction on the month of July...watching movies, eating good food, sleeping in....walking on the beach...reading and FINALLY FINISHING Pride and Prejudice (and being quite amped for the 6-hour BBC set...finally!). All in all, it was amazing.

Then Friday afternoon I drove down to Portland to meet up with dear friend Mindy for a little Memorial Day kidnapping. I felt like a million bucks as she treated me to a weekend at the SASQUATCH FESTIVAL (alternative music, Indie scene, local bands...) at George at the Gorge!

Favorite bands we saw: Ben Harper, Beck, Sufjan Stephens, The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Yahoo.

Hours spent in the sittee chairs watching the bands: 18...

Minutes the golf-ball sized hailstorm kept on storming, killing the show and delaying everything for 2 hours on Saturday: 20.

Amount of sleep due the cattle-like camping spots with our 18-20 year old neighbors: hmmm, 3 last night, and probably about 5, 6 each night before.

Best cheekbones ever and best call for action: Mr. Ben Harper

Biggest potential druggie band and Best anti-conformist with the marionette puppets: Beck.

Best awkward stage presence: Sufjan

Favorite new band: The Decemberists from Portland, OR

Best made-you-feel-right-at-home (with 20,000 of your best friends) band: Death Cab

Best overall moment: Modest Yahoo.

So it was just crazy weather all weekend, and after surviving a hail storm that we thought might bring about a potential Woodstock revival, on Sunday there were off and on little bits of rain. After one such 5-minute storm when Modest Yahoo, the Hasidic Jew raggae artist was playing, a BEAUTIFUL rainbow appeared over the Columbia Gorge. Modest Yahoo stops the song he had just started performing, and begins to tell everyone the story of God's covenant with Noah, that resulted in the promise and blessing of the rainbow. I sat captivated by this man. Though I believe in the Jesus that he doesn't believe in, he was obviously passionate about his faith, and EVERY song had some message about Judaism and the God of the Old Testament. What an incredible platform, and what an incredible way to reach - literally- thousands of people. I doubt half the people knew what - or who - he was singing about, but it didn't matter. Wow.

So yes. It's 10:08 pm now, and I'm officially ready to hit the sack. Many blessings to you all. And look up all those cool new bands.

Monday, May 22, 2006

the wet rainbow club

All right, so a little bit of background, and then the present day: summer of 2001...I'm doing program with Mr. Kurt Kroon at Frontier Ranch. For those of you who know "Woofy," he really is one of my top five funniest people in America. The man is frickin' hilarious...and there were - count 'em - three incidents of the "wet rainbow club" that summer. Two partials and one full... Now what is the wet rainbow club, you might ask? Well, it's peeing your pants, because it produces this little "rainbow" over your seat. Indeed, I've never laughed so hard, and will FOREVER remember the three incidents that led to a dependance on Depends (or the washer...whichever came first).

Fast forward to Friday night. Again, junior highers were involved, although this time Kurt was NOT present...we decided to do a little camp fundraiser, and have kids eat goldfish for 50 bucks off camp. Now, I'm not an idiot when it comes to the parents of middle school kids, and seeing that it's my first year at the school as well, I'd like to try and keep the relationships as unsevered as possible.

Four goldfish sit in a bowl up front. I call up Christy, one of our stellar leaders, who with the help of a Capri Sun gulps down the little 13 cent bugger. Props to Christy, that's for sure. Kids are screaming at this point, wanting to come up and eat the remaining fish. So Mandy, Jessica and Jacob are called up to the front, and "in order to help speed the digestive track," I blindfold them. God bless the gullibility. (is that a word?).

The fish are left to the side, and a container of drippy orange insides sitting in water is instead pulled out. Dribbling the orange guts over the kids' faces, they're CONVULSING, gagging, and not knowing how to conquer this mental block of eating a "goldfish." Finally it gets to Jacob and this is where the wet rainbow club is resurrected: ample amounts of "goldfish" juice is dribbled on his face, and he starts gagging before the thing reaches his mouth. I drop it in, and he heaves to the left and to the right, forwards and backwards, gags again, and finally spits it back out into his hand, where I quickly remove it before he quickly removes his blindfold. He's screaming that it's the nastiest thing he's ever tasted, spitting to and fro towards the audience and all of us are just rolling.

And there, underneath the mumu I had donned for our SUMMER PARTY theme, the wet rainbow appeared, thankfully oblivious to the audience.

What we do so that kids might meet Christ.

A few minutes later, I told the miraculous story of how the goldfish reproduced into three more goldfish so now they got to take them home. More screams! More excitement!

The night was only topped by leader Nathan using Star Wars clips to talk about God, and then speaking "Yoda" as the voice of God. Try it sometime. It was incredible.

Friends, thank you for allowing this partial pee to happen. Amen.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

the catch-up on life...

Okay, so I used to be so good at this thing called blogger...and it's not that I've lost steam, but maybe it's just lost its newness. As well, life, as we know it, has been pretty busy as of late, so I'll try and give you a photo recap of the past couple of weeks:

1. So it's not a photo, but we decided to just say no to the promised half marathon this past Sunday. Sad! On Saturday I went to the doctor to try and get a little antibiotic boost, and instead ended up with a note good for no running for 10 days. It was great hanging out with Ranada for the 24 hours, though!

2. New roommate! This is Grace...she and I met a couple months ago, but her older sister Gaylynn and I were on work crew (with YL) 10 years ago, so she hooked us up.

3. Team Gleason got hitched! Indeed, dear friends both, Brian and Mary from Walnut Creek, CA., got married Saturday, May 6th. It was a relaxing weekend of friends and family, and I felt honored to wear the beet bridesmaid's dress. :)

It was fun making new buddies too: first, the bachelorette party in the city...check out the matching outfits. :) Then new buddy Corrie and I in our saucy dresses with little sweaters over the top.

4. Cirque de Soleil! One sentence: I HEART BENDY PEOPLE. (and Katie, I heart you!)

5. Reunited and it feels so good! Last night one of my favorite Young Life "kids," Jenn, age 23, came over for dinner...and good convo...and a Fred Meyer run to pick up a table...AND a putting-the-1000-piece-table-together night until 10! I was reminded that good friends just DO; for Jenn, it wasn't an option for her NOT to stay and help us out. So she, Gracie and I had a little table and bookshelf putting together party!

6. Tomorrow night is our SUMMER PARTY-themed last Wyldlife of the year. Might you want to donate $50 for a middle school friend to eat a goldfish and thus get money off of camp this summer? I'm telling you, it's a good deal. Let me know if you're interested.

Much love, friends!

Friday, May 12, 2006

the question is....

Do I attempt to run the half marathon on Sunday morning at 7:30....or NOT?!

Last weekend I was down in Walnut Creek, CA for Brian and Mary's wedding...what a blessing to be part of each other's LIVES. I loved our BEET bridesmaid dresses and catching up with students from last year's Mexico mission trip. I loved fun-with-MAC-eyeshadows and going into the city with our matching "Team Gleason" t-shirts for the bachelorette party. I loved the new friends, and I loved seeing the oldies who are dear to my heart: Jenn and Chris, Jamelyn and Aunt Kathy...

So with that, I rolled into Mill Pond Loop at 5:30 pm, and moved 1/2 an hour later. By the next morning I was feeling the ache. The sickness. The soar throat-runny you can rest medicine? So with a fog cloud quickly closing in on my head, after Danny helped me with the last of the big items, we both grabbed a couch and took naps...and I never got up. Two movies later (The Wedding Date and Mr. and Mrs. Smith), I officially had Kleenex stuffed up my nose and was resorting to text messaging on the Zach Morris since my voice didn't work.

I know I'm supposed to rest but sometimes life just takes you by the hold and won't let go.

And the moral of the story is that I haven't run in a week, and the race is less than 48 hours away. So. Do I run. To run or not to run...that is the question... Your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

shallow hal

All right, I will preface the next five minutes of typing with the following statement: I'm about to be shallow. Very, very shallow. Shallowed be my name. The one remaining remark before making this explanation is that I'm allowed to make such shallow remarks because I used to be an English teacher. That's the closest I'm going to come to an excuse of any kind.

Yes, truth be told, I notice grammar. I notice spelling and punctuation...I notice whether someone overuses "quotation marks" or doesn't capitalize even the most proper of proper nouns like the united states of america. (((Chris and Caleb: Ah ha! YOU are my true editors:))). I notice whether or not a sentence is connected with a comma and a conjunction. I see the beauty of verbs, and - glory, glory! - I so appreciate the use of a semi-colon in connecting two parts of a sentence.

With that said, today I got an email from a cute boy, but despite the content, this was all I saw: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! He was Mr. Exclamation Point himself. I'm sure the content of his email was great...but all I saw and all I remember is exclamation point overuse. Whatever happened to just a good old period? Might you connect a sentence with a thrilling semi-colon? Whatever happened to a dash in the middle of a sentence - just to spice things up a bit. But no. No! I mean yes! I mean, a boy wrote me an email! I should be excited! But all I can do is criticize his lack of punctuation creativity!

What is my problem? And could it be that he's just excited to write to me, and has no other outlet of expressing his heartfelt emotion?! (Oh the double "?!" - you know it's a strong thought then!).

I know...I've got issues...but I just had to get it out. I'll let ya'll know if Mr. Exclamation Point strikes again.

Monday, May 01, 2006

for the love of steve maddens.

On Wednesday I was excited to spend my hard-earned Easter money (thanks mom...) on a new pair of Steve must understand that when it comes to hot, when it comes to feet, when it comes to comfortable, when it comes to classy and cute and sassy and all of the above, one must go to Steve Madden himself. So in order to save money, I headed off to the land of Nordstrom Rack, and indeed, found a pair of GOLD METALLIC WEDGES. Oh friends. Hot is the key word.

Hot. Hot. Hot - in a very Paris Hilton like sort of way. For reals.

I get to the's exactly $52.02...I pull out of my wallet a the EXACT cash amount, minus the TWO CENTS that I did not have. Now here's the dilemma: it's two cents. Two cents. Not two quarters, not two dollars, but two PENNIES. I'm digging through my purse, looking for a couple of spare pennies, but I must be a really clean girl who's recently cleaned out her purse because there are no pennies to be found.

"Do you by any chance have two pennies lying around?" I SWEETLY ask the girl at the register.

"Oh no...definitely not." Short and to the point. Hmm.

"Well, could you by any chance spare two cents for me?"

"Um, no. Do you have two cents in your purse?" (Please refer to the "digging around in the purse" paragraph for that answer). "Do you just want to put the two cents on your card?" she then asks.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Now, mind you, I didn't say that outloud, but I definitely WANTED to. I'm getting a little irate, a little pissed - maybe? - at this point.

"Do you want me to walk out to my car and get two pennies from there?"

"Sure!" (She's still so damn chipper - I can't stand it!). So I head out to my car...furious by this point...irate that she doesn't understand the severity of the "putting the customer first" motto.

10 minutes later (5 there, 5 back...), I arrive back at destination cash register. Blame it on my red(dish) hair, blame it on my need to be right, WHATEVER IT IS, I throw the pennies on the counter.

Throw them. Yes.

I am so not Jesus to people over the age of 18 in Auburn, I've apparently realized.

I take my receipt and I storm out of there.


Madder than hell.


So: was I right, or was I wrong? It was TWO CENTS.

(And the aftermath to the story: I felt bad. I do want to be Jesus to people, but sometimes my hot Steve Maddens get in the way. The next day I went back...wrote her a note, said I was sorry and brought her a stack of pennies for the next customer who's two cents short...).

Oh Steve.

Oh short little Asian friend at the register.