In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Spiegel

Well, well, what a lovely discovery. Spiegel. It doesn't look as though they cater specifically to the modest crowd, but they have some seriously wonderful long skirts. I've been looking everywhere for good long business skirts for interviews and I may have finally found one. =)

Only problem is they're rather pricey, but they're having a sale right now, so snag something while you can!

"Up" the movie

Just finished watching "Up". What a good movie on so many levels. Highly recommended for any age level - grown ups may like it better than their kids. =)

Friday, June 26, 2009

*ahem*

Sorry to be flooding the blogosphere with unhappiness. Hopefully I won't bombard you with any more sob stories.

Job Update

Because I'm not willing to lie about my social autism on applications, they automatically reject me. Why does it matter if I hate mingling with people I don't know at parties (why are they assuming I go to parties anyway???). If I have a job requiring me to approach people I don't know, I'll do it. What I do naturally at parties does not matter. Does no one care that I worked as a financial counselor for a hospital taking hostile people's money, faced down screaming giants and drug dealers? I may not have liked it, but I did it. So freaking what if I don't "approach people at parties"?!??!?

Basically, if you don't register as a peppy, outgoing cheerleader with a smile permanently pasted across your face on those online applications, they don't want you because they think you'll do a terrible job. Awesome.

I love how the four years and $100,000 spent at college is helping me out so greatly here. Seriously, don't send your kids to college unless they're really going to learn something that will help them out in the real world.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrity Deaths

With the deaths of three incredibly famous celebrities in the past three days: Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and now Michael Jackson (yes, and you thought he couldn't die), this video seems apt. No, it's not a judgment on the spiritual state of any of these individuals, but they can help remind the rest of us that life doesn't last forever and the best time to start working out your salvation with fear and trembling is now.



(With thanks to Father Stephen)

Two Things

w00t! EJ forced me to go running yesterday and I'm so glad that he did! It was pretty much hell, but I never though I'd be able to run for 20 minutes straight. I whined, complained, argued, and wanted to give up, but EJ took it all like a trooper and kept on pushing me. I feel like I actually started working towards a goal rather than just thinking about it. We've now made a regular schedule of running every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.

Also, big announcement: My little brother is joining the Marines! He still has to complete his senior year of high school, but he's already signed the preliminary papers for the DEP program. I'm praying for him: that he manages to graduate, that the Marine's don't corrupt him too badly, that the military bureacracy doesn't drive him insane, and that he matures and grows as a person through the whole process. =)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Job Apps

Well, I went and failed again. I drove to the mall today expecting to pick up five or so job applications to different stores, but, once I got there, all of my old fears and insecurities kicked into high gear and I ended up walking out with only two. And then came home and cried - I'm still wiping the tears off my cheeks.

When I got to the mall, I was actually so nervous about going into certain clothing stores that I've avoided like the plague for my entire life that I sat in a bathroom stall and prayed and felt like throwing up for a few minutes (this is what modern advertising does to some people). Once I was finally able to will myself out of the toilets, I found that, just like old times, I was physically unable to walk into most of them. I wandered around and around that mall, trying to drum up the courage to face my fears and get it over with, but, no, it wasn't going to happen. The only two stores I felt even close to comfortable in were Victoria's Secret (oddly enough) and Hallmark - VS because there were only women working there, and Hallmark because it isn't a clothing store at all. But Hallmark had just filled the last position for the summer and I'm sure the mini-app I filled out ((i.e. the stray piece of paper on which I put my name, phone number, and "no retail experience") went straight into the circular file.

Aeropostle, American Eagle, etc. are stores that I've always hated going into because I felt so dowdy and fat and unattractive compared to the people who shopped - and worked - there. I was always the outcast at school; the preps avoided and made fun of me. Why would they stop now just because I'm an adult? And why would I think I could simply say a few words of encouragement to myself and forget my entire life?

Oh, the other application I got was for Rue21. The only reason I was able to get one from there was because I didn't see any guys working behind the counter. I think that's my biggest hangup of all - dealing with the guys (is that really a bad thing, though?).

*sigh* To date, I've applied to the Gap, Barnes & Noble (really, really crossing my fingers for that one), Ulta, Victoria's Secret, and Rue21. The way it's looking, I'm going to end up working for evil Wal-Mart after all. =(

EDIT: I don't agree with the philosophies behind most of these stores, but, if I were able to get over my issues, I think it would be a fun challenge to try to come up with modest outfits using only their clothing items.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Scare of my Life

I just received the scare of my life when I found this in my inbox:
Hello,
Just an update regarding the status of your Hillsdale degree:
Right now, you need to complete three more hours of elective History credit to complete your requirements for graduation.
If I can help in any way, please let me know. I hope all is well with you.
Best
Um, my advisor told me that I had completed all of my requirements. I myself looked through the requirements and thought I had completed them all. What the heck is going on? I spent 4 years at that place, miserable, unhappy, wanting to get out, but I never left, I never gave up. I want my degree!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kiwi-Pops

We'll see if my own Kiwi-Pops turn out alright (I made them using the honey option instead of sugar). I didn't have a mold or anything, so I just used shot glasses, and I don't have any sticks, so I made them small enough to be able to pop them in your mouth one by one. =P

Ah, improvisation.

Monastery Blend Coffee

Oooh, I know where I'm getting my coffee from now on.

Monastery Blend Coffee is grown at the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery in Washington as a way to provide income for the monks. It seems they were embroiled in a legal battle with Starbucks a few years ago because Starbucks had apparently trademarked the words "Christmas Blend", which the monastery had also been using. The monastery won the case and it probably helped quite a bit in getting the word out about their coffee!

I love the names of some of their blends: Abbot's Choice, The Promised Blend, and Deacon's Decaf. They also have an Organic Shade-Grown French Roast, a "Byzantium" blend, and, of course, the Christmas blend. They have package deals from 4 bags on down to 1 sampler bag, along with a "two mugs, two bags" package and so on. You pay the same per package, regardless of which blends you choose.

Good stuff!

(Thanks to Adventures of an Orthodox Mom)

Okay, maybe getting a little carried away here...

Commissary, oh commissary,
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
I love thee to almost the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when you are within sight
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most urgent need, by stove and oven's light
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right
I love thee purely, with undying praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
By my culinary griefs and child-like faith
I love thee with a love I shall never lose
While ingredients stand ready -- with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if I could choose,
I would love thee even after death

*Based on the poem by Elizabeth Barret Browning

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reunion in France

Just finished watching "Reunion in France", starring Joan Crawford, John Wayne, and Philip Dorn. I thought it was a great movie, though it received only mixed reviews on IMDB. Joan Crawford was haughty and perfect, John Wayne was ... John Wayne =P, and Philip Dorn as the supposed "Nazi lover" was despicable right until the end.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

The big 6-0!

I love you you irritating, prickly old bulldog.

Potatoes

For anyone still learning, here's a great, easy-to-read tutorial on how to bake a potato. =)

EDIT: Wow, coming back to this post after how many months only to realize I never actually posted a link?? Embarrassing...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I just realized that I never posted a congratulations to my two friends on the birth of their baby boy, Ian! It's been two weeks, but I got to see him for the first time today and he is ADORABLE. He fell asleep on his momma's chest sucking her finger. So cute! (^_^) I want one!

Why are young people leaving the church?

Why are young people leaving the church?
Ken Ham, known for his Answers in Genesis creation-science ministry, says a major study he commissioned by a respected researcher unveils for the first time in a scientific fashion the startling reasons behind statistics that show two-thirds of young people in evangelical churches will leave when they move into their 20s.

The study, highlighted in Ham's new book with researcher Britt Beemer ... finds church youth already are "lost" in their hearts and minds in elementary, middle and high school - not in college as many assume.

...

The survey found, much to [Ken] Ham's surprise, a "Sunday School syndrome," indicating children who faithfully attend Bible classes in their church over the years actually are more likely to question the authority of Scriptures.
"This is a brutal wake-up call for the church, showing how our programs and our approaches to Christian education are failing dismally," Ham writes in the book.

Among the survey findings, regular participants in Sunday School are more likely to:
  • Leave the church
  • Believe that the Bible is less true
  • Defend the legality of abortion and same-sex marriage
  • Defend premarital sex
...
The article goes on to say that not teaching children about Biblical Creationism is what started this downward spiral and, while I don't necessarily agree with that specific interpretation, I do agree with the author that compromise is what has completely ruined the church. Not just evangelicals, but Catholics and Orthodox, too.

I myself was very heavily involved in the Sunday School/Youth Group programs at my old church. I went on mission trips, participated in the 30-Hour famine, etc. and, when I was finally booted out for being a passive-aggressive little devil, I found myself lost, adrift, and completely out of my element. Nothing about Sunday School had prepared me for life after it, while, at the same time, all it was was an outreach program. We never went deeper than "Jesus died on the cross to save our sins", "keep yourselves pure", and "find your 'spiritual gift' and use it." Seriously, for about 4 years, that's all I ever heard. That's one of the reasons I became rather rebellious - I was sick of hearing the same thing, I wanted something more (but for all the wrong reasons).

This generation has its strengths and its weaknesses. If you look back in history, we are really no different than any other nation in decline - decadent, slothful, and irreverent towards what our ancestors held dear. God will judge the 21st century just as he will judge the 5th and 15th. There's always hope.

Brita Water Filter Help

I was rinsing out the Brita pitcher today (because of the teeny charcoal pieces that I periodically find floating in my water) and some of the drips coming straight from the filter fell on the white counter top. To my disgust, I realized that the water had a grayish tint and that there was much more charcoal leaking from the filter than I'd realized. I wasn't due for a filter change until mid-July, but I changed it immediately anyway. Will that help at all? Is this normal? In a trade-off between chlorine and charcoal, which would you take?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hammertime

Yes.

Yes Yes Yes!



(thanks to Vox Popoli. Read at your own risk.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Homesick

Wow, it just hit me this very instant - I'm homesick for Michigan and my family. Very homesick. Quite homesick. I want to run back north and hide under my parents' bed so no one can find me and drag me back down here.

I miss my dog. I know he's dead, but being away from the house makes it harder to accept this, since he's living in my memories and I can think of him as still being there all I want without having to confront reality.

UPDATE: As always God is good and merciful. No sooner had I pressed the submit button than my phone rang and it was EJ on the line.
Him: Guess what, hon. I'm coming home for lunch today! [This never happens]
Me (blubbering): I'm ... so ... homesick! *cries more*
Him: Well, do you want to laugh?
Me: *sniffles* Y-yeah.
And he proceeded to regale me with anecdotes from that morning. I feel much better now that hubby's on his way home. =)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Judy Garland for the Win!

I'm rewatching "The Harvey Girls" with Judy Garland, John Hodiak, and Angela Landsbury. This movie has to be one of my all-time favorites, even though I've only seen it twice now. I simply love the costumes. Having worked in a costume shop all four years of college, I notice them more than the lighting and background - though those are great in this movie as well. =)

Enjoy the trailor!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

At the risk of being inflammatory, this article makes me hopping mad.

Don't like the results of a survey? Why, we'll just change the way the survey is conducted until the desired results are achieved. Yes, that sounds exactly like what the PC police would approve of.

=(

Monday, June 8, 2009

*blegh* Job Hunting. (>.<)

I have to admit, I'm sort of dragging my feet. Tomorrow, however, I hope to have my resume fully updated so I can send it off with some applications.

I'm just hoping I don't get offered a managerial position. I can't handle that kind of responsibility - or people yelling at me - right now. Maybe when I'm 50 and have some more experience dealing with people I'll be able to, but not right now.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

If you want to know more about the Orthodox Church, I suggest this online catechism, which I have also put in my sidebar.

Praise God, now that I'm settled, I can begin taking my catechumency seriously. The deacon of the church I've begun attending (who, by the way, chants the litany with a voice like Elvis - it's amazing) lives, literally, only a few blocks away from our apartment complex. So, though the church is an hour away, with the priest's blessings, the deacon can oversee my catechism much more conveniently.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here's Hoping

I put my heavily tarnished silver tea set to soak in this homemade solution. I'll update you if it works!

UPDATE: Well, it kind of worked. I now have a spotted silver tea set. I left it in for the full 5 minutes, but the tarnish definitely didn't disappear right before my eyes, as the recipe claimed it would. Rather, some came off while I was buffing it and more just ... didn't. Oh well. C'est la vie (is that spelled correctly?) Perhaps next time I'll try this similar-but-different recipe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pygmy Jerboa

At first glance this looks like something I would swat with a rolled up newspaper after a loud screech, but, upon second glance all defenses melt, I become incoherent, and ... and ... teh cutenessss!!! I CAN'T TAKE IT KILL ME NOW ...!!!1!ONE !! (props to CuteOverload.com)

Crop Circle Artists are Amazing

600ft Jellyfish Crop Circle Found in Oxfordshire Field

Monday, June 1, 2009

With GM officially declaring bankruptcy as of 10:00 a.m. this morning, this article by Theodore Beale (a.k.a. Vox Day - don't you love how everyone needs an "a.k.a." after their name on the internet? =P) is all the more appropriate, especially with the U.S. government taking a 60% share in GM (Canada's getting 12%), giving us our first officially nationalized auto company (East German Trabant, anyone? 10 year waiting list to get a crappy little car).

Out of Ammo
Last week, Barack Obama declared that the U.S. was out of money. Today, General Motors is expected to file for bankruptcy [the article was published at 1:00a.m.], which is an ominous sign in a land where the financial health of the automotive giant has long been considered a proxy for the financial health of the nation. And California looks increasingly likely to go bankrupt in the near future. And yet, in a nation without money, Bloomberg has reported that the Federal Reserve has loaned out 7.8 trillion dollars without telling anyone where it has gone.