Engagement announcement

For those of you who have somehow missed the news: I was engaged on Christmas Eve. The wedding will probably be in May or June of 2008. (We're hoping to set the date soon!)

I hope to send out an email with a picture or two to all my friends as soon as I have a chance. (I haven't really had enough time to do that yet!) If you want to receive the email and I don't have your email address, leave me a comment with your contact info.


Personality Tests!

It seems that several of my friends on Facebook (not to be confused with "Facebook friends") have been dabbling in personality tests recently. I always find personality profiles interesting, although I have tended to be a bit skeptical of them since one of my undergrad professors administered a "personality test" to our class: She had us choose which variety of Hershey's Miniature candy bar we preferred, and then described the personality supposedly corresponding to each candy bar; she had most of the class agreeing that the assessments were reasonably accurate before she told us that she had made up the entire thing.

I do recognize, though, that personality profiles can sometimes be helpful. When I worked at a camp during the summer of 2005, each staff member completed a personality profile at the beginning of the summer. Knowing people's personality types in advance was, at times, very helpful in understanding where they were coming from! (That personality profile had four types: Analytical, Driver, Expressive, and Amiable. I'm an Analytical.) Of course, personality profiles are limited by how well-worded the questions are and by how accurately an individual answers them; and, as I was warned at camp, personality types are not excuses for any particular behavior.

Anyway, I quickly completed a Jung Typology Test earlier today. Unfortunately, however, I failed to save my results, so I quickly repeated the test this evening. It seems as though I've had a slight personality change since this morning; originally, I was an INTJ. Now, however, I am an ISTJ (strength of preferences 89%, 1%, 100%, and 56%, respectively). The latter result puts me in company with such fictional characters as Eeyore and Puddleglum.

Which type am I really? I may take the test again and go with best two out of three... Really, parts of the description for each type describe me pretty accurately--those are probably the parts associated with I, T, and J, since I am neither strongly intuitive nor strongly sensing. (At least, I don't think I am. Let me know if your assessment of my personality is different.)


Free government service--entertainment!

I'm studying for my Accounting Information Systems exam, and I just ran across one of those great legislative acrostics, courtesy of our federal government: the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003--or, for short, the CAN-SPAM Act. Don't you wonder how long it took some poor soul (probably some underpaid, overworked intern) to come up with that gem?


Looks like I missed the excitement.

Here's the local newspaper article about WFU's winning the ACC championship football game. Be sure to check out the slide show!


How sad. (Sort of.)

Apparently my old work email account (from my undergrad campus job) has finally been disabled. I suppose it's about time it was, since I technically haven't worked at that job (other than filling in a bit the following semester) since May of 2005, and I haven't been in school there since December of 2005. Maybe they were holding out hope that I'd go back...?

Maybe now my friends who are still in school will stop accidentally sending emails to that account instead of to my current email address. I guess that's a good thing.


Pretty sure Grandma would shoot me.

Although I would love to try going home for Christmas with one of these.



I just discovered Google Scholar. And it looks like it might actually be helpful.

Compassionate conservatism

This is interesting.

(HT: SharperIron)


Countdown update!

40 days until Christmas!

I'm starting to celebrate early this year; usually, I wait until the day after Thanksgiving. But my roommate and I went to see The Santa Clause 3 last weekend, and since then I've started (occasionally) yielding to the temptation to pull out the Christmas CDs. The Christmas lights are still in a box, though--haven't had time to decorate!

Does this bother anyone else?

I haven't seen "Borat" and have no intention of doing so. However, I've seen several articles on various news sites about the movie. Does anyone else think that some of the tactics used during filming were a bit exploitative? (There are probably some people in the movie who deserved exactly what they got, but I feel particularly sorry for the poor Romanians who got paid $3-$4 for their part in the "documentary.")


My cell phone is alive!

This is a big answer to prayer: My cell phone works!

Here's the story, for those of you who care:

Short version: I "baptized" my phone on Sunday night. (By immersion. None of this sprinkling stuff!) The phone, miraculously, still works.

Long version: I answered my phone Sunday night while I was washing dishes. I foolishly decided to finish washing the dishes while I talked, and my phone fell into the dishwater. Thankfully, I was able to get the battery out before it short-circuited; I rinsed off the soap, took apart as much of the phone as I could, and let it dry for a couple of days. (I helped along the drying process by occasionally holding it in front of my hairdryer--on the cool setting!--and by setting it by the side of my computer that generates a warm breeze.) I put the phone back together last night, and, miraculously, it still works!

"Compartment Rich, Discernment Poor"

Holly Stratton has another great article on SharperIron.


South Carolina politics...

This certainly was convenient for Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. How many times does somebody have the courtesy to wreck his or her vehicle right in front of a campaigning politician, allowing him to come to the rescue?

This, on the other hand, had to have been embarrassing for Gov. Mark Sanford. (And the story was on CNN's homepage earlier today. I have so many reasons to be proud to be a South Carolinian.)

(Note: I don't actually dislike Gov. Sanford. This incident was just too funny to not remark upon.)


East Coast earthquakes! (Part II)

Apparently there was another earthquake here Friday morning--magnitude 2.4 this time.


Countdown update...

50 days until Christmas!


Better than soaping the fountains...?

To my friends who are still at my alma mater: I have a suggestion for campus decorations for next Halloween--er, uh, Reformation Day!

(In defense of my current educational institution, I believe there was some sort of Halloween event for children in the community in the area that I photographed.)


I have to wonder...

... what IRS agent(s) and/or lawmaker(s) thought that it would be a good idea to refer to substantially appreciated inventory, unrealized receivables, and depreciation recapture potential as "hot assets."

What's wrong with this picture?

I got some groceries at Wal-Mart this afternoon, but I didn't notice this until I was getting my hamburger ready to eat for supper.



I just got home from a party with my former coworkers. During the course of the evening, I somehow managed to bowl the best game of my entire life. My typical bowling score is somewhere in the vicinity of 70, and I've been known to score as low as 40, but tonight, my score was 119. Of course, nobody believed me when I told them that I can't bowl...


East Coast earthquakes!

Yes, I survived three earthquakes yesterday. (I actually felt only one of them, but the newspaper says that there were three; who am I to argue?) The story is here. According to the paper, the early-morning quake was magnitude 2.6; the quakes yesterday evening were magnitudes 1.5 and 2.4.

My favorite earthquake-related quote so far actually comes from a thread on Facebook: "WHERE IS FEMA?" (Along with, "I thought it was the end. But then I had to get up and go to class.")

It amuses me that, with all the time I've spent in California, I've felt only two earthquakes in my life--one in SC and one in NC.


Oh, wow...

Q: How do you kill a circus?
A: Go for the juggler.

Thanks, Rinkworks.



75 days until Christmas!


"What Is That to You? You Follow Me!"

Jesus will not judge me according to my superiority or inferiority over anybody. ... Jesus has a work for me to do (and a different one for you). It is not what he has given anyone else to do. There is a grace to do it. Will I trust him for that grace and do what he has given me to do?

--John Piper

Read the full article here.


Instant Eulogies???

InstantEulogies.com offers a package of "20 Pre-Written and Time-Tested Eulogy Speeches," as well as poems, quotations, tips on proper etiquette and on gaining the audience's respect--oh, yeah, and did we mention that it will save valuable time? After all, who really wants to spend time writing a eulogy for a recently departed loved one when they could be doing something else? The package includes eulogies for friends, siblings, parents, spouses, children, etc.

Yes sir, there's nothing like a generic, purchased eulogy to show just how much that loved one meant to you.

(Why did an ad for this site show up in my Gmail? I have no idea.)

The Amish (again)

Here's an interesting article about the Amish community's response to the school shooting.

According to the article, the Amish community has started a fund to help the families of the victims--and the family of the gunman. No wonder a person quoted in the article says thing like, "This is imitation of Christ at its most naked," and, "[T]he Amish walk the walk as much as they talk the talk."

(HT: SharperIron)

Imprecatory prayer...?

I can't say that I've ever really had a desire to engage in imprecatory prayer--until today, when I read that the anti-gay "church" in Kansas planned to picket the funerals of those little Amish girls who were shot in their one-room schoolhouse. (Fortunately, they have now cancelled those plans--in exchange for free media time.)

That "church" really ticks me off. They, although they claim to be Christian, apparently have no real understanding of the gospel. Only God knows their hearts, but this is what their actions demonstrate.

The Bible is clear that homosexual behavior is a sin, and that God judges sin, but it does not call us to hate homosexuals; in fact, since Jesus Christ loved those who practice homosexuality (as well as those who commit every other sin--which includes all of us) enough to die for us while we were still sinners, shouldn't we be willing to demonstrate His love to everyone around us--homosexual or not? In fact, I suppose we also should be trying to demonstrate His love to the members of Westboro Baptist Church, and praying that they would come to know Christ.

I find it interesting to compare the spiteful response of this "church" group to their alleged slander by the governor of Pennsylvania to the forgiving response of the Amish to this tragedy in their community.

Praise God for the response of the Amish, which seems to demonstrate a true understanding of the gospel. And praise God for His willingness and ability to forgive us of our sins against Him, if we will repent and turn to Him in faith.



All right. For those of you who have been waiting patiently for me to enter the current century: I finally joined Facebook. Now you can be my friends. =)


Good morning, everyone.

So, my first Corporate Tax exam is less than 12 hours away, and I'm less than halfway through the material that I need to study...


It's been one of those weeks...

... does anyone else ever wonder whether a career at Burger King would be such a bad thing?

OK, so I'm pretty sure that flipping burgers for my entire life would be worse than 18 months of grad school, but... sometimes I wonder.

Weeks like this are actually a good thing, though: They make me meditate a lot more on the fact that I have a God who is both sovereign and good. That's probably why weeks like this happen.


Is this really necessary?

Injured dolphin may get prosthetic tail

Not that I'm against being kind to animals, but how many humans are there with missing limbs that could be helped with that $100,000+ that is being spent on a prosthetic dolphin tail?


What I Found in the Dishwasher

I was emptying the dishwasher at my apartment the other day and noticed something stuck in the back corner at the bottom of the dishwasher...
I would like to point out that I do not own any dishes like this, and I'm pretty sure my roommate doesn't, either. Presumably, the dish belonged to the previous tenants (two male law students), who perhaps wondered why they ended up with a lid that had no corresponding dish. Or maybe they didn't.


Sandra Day O'Connor

I got to go to this yesterday.

It's interesting how the article (particularly the opening paragraphs) makes it sound as if affirmative action was main topic of the hour. It doesn't mention O'Connor's remarks on "activist" judges, "swing votes" on the Court, the independence of the judiciary, and the percentage of female Supreme Court law clerks.

The article does briefly mention O'Connor's stories of trying to get her first job in an era when few lawyers were women. After graduating from Stanford, she finally managed to get an interview at a law office in Los Angeles--only to be asked about her typing skills and told that she could possibly work as a secretary in the firm.

Ironically, O'Connor was later asked to speak at the firm's 100th anniversary celebration. And the U.S. Attorney General who called and asked if she would be willing to consider the nomination to the Supreme Court was a former partner in that firm.


The Wall Street Journal

I have to pay for The Wall Street Journal for school. I get access to the online edition, as well s the opportunity to pick up a print edition each day.

This is my stack of papers that I haven't yet read. At least I'm faithful in picking them up each day!



Tonight I discovered that blackjack is harder than roulette.

But don't worry--there was no actual money involved!

Next on the agenda is getting my little bro to teach me poker... ;-)


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!


... apparently September is monsoon season in certain locations in the southeastern U.S.


Brahms and The Three Little Pigs

When I was a little kid, my family (well, my brother and I, anyway) frequently watched a videotape of a Three Little Pigs cartoon. This particular version of the Three Little Pigs was set to several of Brahms' Hungarian Dances.

To this day, I cannot listen to any of the Hungarian Dances without thinking of the Three Little Pigs.


Christmas Countdown

100 days!

I plan to start working on my Christmas list soon, so let me know if you want a copy. And I always accept cash donations. ;-)


My social life as a grad student

My parents and grandparents visited me last weekend. My grandma seemed to think that I should be spending more time with my classmates (out of class, that is). A day or two later, I got a party invitation from some of my classmates. (No, I'm not going to the party.) I got a follow-up email today:

We have the keg now, and as a general policy, we don't not drink a keg when we have one. So, the sooner you come, the more beer you can drink. The more beer you drink, the less you'll realize you're at a party with all accounting students.

So, I'm pretty sure this is not what Grandma had in mind when she was asking about whether I do things with my classmates!


Monica reminds the general public that Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming up next week!


Perception is reality?

Bob Bixby has (as usual) some very interesting thoughts.


Textbook backorders and credit card activation

I finally managed to find a phone number for ecampus.com's customer service. (Couldn't find it on their website, so I had to Google it.) I asked about the book that I ordered August 21 that still hadn't arrived. I received email from ecampus.com August 31 (the last date by which the book was supposed to ship) telling me that the book had not arrived from their supplier yet, but I hadn't heard anything in the nearly two weeks since that email. The nice person on the phone found out that the book was on backorder and that they did not have an estimated arrival date. (Apparently they weren't planning on telling me this???) So, I cancelled my order and went and bought the book for about $50 more in the campus bookstore. (And, of course, I also spent over $6 on photocopies while I was waiting for the book to arrive.)

So, since I was going to have to buy a textbook, I decided to call to activate my new Visa so I could get points (woohoo!) when I bought the book. So I called Bank of America. Do you have any idea how many additional products they try to sell you when you call to activate your card? Sheesh!

Prerecorded female voice: If you would like information on how you can protect your account and give us more money by enrolling in a special program, press 1 now.

[long pause while I refrain from pressing 1]

Voice: We're sorry that you aren't interested in our offer to protect your account from blah blah blah by giving us more money. This is a very good idea, because people could steal your credit card and use it and ruin your credit rating and you'll never be able to buy anything again and your family will starve in the streets. We tell you this because we care about our customers. For more information, please press 1 now. Otherwise, press 2.

[I press 2]

Voice: We're sorry that you don't want to give us more money and we sincerely hope that nobody steals your credit card, but they probably will. We care about you. Please enter your 16-digit credit card number.

[I enter it]

Voice: Thank you. While we are processing this information, I will ramble on about a special service in which you give us more money and if you die we'll pay at least part of your credit card bill because we care about you so much.

Me: Cut the crap and activate my card already! I have class in 15 minutes!

Voice: If you would like more information, please press 1.

[I wait]

Voice: Are you sure, you idiot? With this service, you will give us money, and in the unlikely event that you are hospitalized or die or are dismembered in a tragic accident involving a farm implement,
we will pay up to $10,000 of the amount that you irresponsibly charged to your credit card, because obviously your family can't afford your entire credit card bill in addition to your funeral, and we'd rather you not rot in the street unless it's far away from our office, because we care about you so much. Blah blah blah blah give us money blah blah blah blah blah. Please press 1 now if you realize how important this is. If you care nothing about your family's future security in the unlikely event that something should happen to you--not that it would, but it isn't totally out of the realm of possibility--but if you have no sense of responsibility whatsoever and want your children to be sold to third-world countries to work as Dell customer service representatives to pay your credit card bill when you die, please press 2.

[I press 2]

Voice: Thank you. Your card has been activated. If you would ever like to give us more money to try to stave off your untimely death, please call.

Rainy days...

I'm glad I have a third-floor apartment. If I didn't, I wouldn't get to listen to the rain on the roof.



Where were you?

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since September 11, 2001.

So... where were you?

I was a college freshman. I had a horn lesson from 9-9:30 that morning, and instead of going to the Snack Shop during my free half hour (as I usually did), I went back to my dorm room to think about whether I should tell my ex-boyfriend happy birthday if I saw him that day. (Yes, that was my biggest worry that day--although I was probably also worried about how to keep my horn teacher from noticing that I hadn't practiced.) I went to my 10:00 class--Principles of Christian Growth--and a girl in the row in front of me came in and asked, "Did you see? They flew a plane into the World Trade Center!" I thought she was kidding, until the teacher got up and started talking about it. I think we stopped and prayed--I can't remember for sure, but it seems like we would.

It's funny how, after that, it didn't seem to matter so much whether I wished that guy a happy birthday, or whether I was prepared for my horn lesson.

I went home for dinner that night and watched the evening news--saw the towers collapsing, the Pentagon burning, the ground in Pennsylvania smoldering. It was scary. And it made me stop to think about the eternal destiny of the people who died, and about what I was doing with my life. If I had been on one of those planes, or in one of the buildings that was hit, would I have been ready to die? I mean, I know I would have been ready in the sense that I was trusting in Christ alone for salvation. But would I have been able to look back on my (short) life and see anything of real value accomplished?

What about you?

Good for Richard Daley!

Chicago mayor vetoes big-box wage increase

Glad to see a politician who, apparently, has at least thought about the possible repercussions of government interference in business. I'm sure his veto won't make him terribly popular (except with those big evil filthy-rich corporations), but he very definitely has a point.



"Does God Want You to Be Rich?"

I hardly think an explanation is necessary.

One thing, though: If you were planning an affordable-housing development, would you call it Corinthian Pointe? Tell me again what the church at Corinth was like? Sign me up to live there!


Something worse than cost accounting???

Yep, believe it or not. It's called Accounting Information Systems.

It's almost funny; this book (supposedly teaching us Great Plains) goes from the first chapter's "To close the window, click the 'x' in the upper right corner" to chapter four's "Prepare a pivot table. If you don't know how, see the reference book." Um, and they think people who don't know how to close windows are going to figure that one out?

Yes, I know how to close windows. I even figured out how to make a pivot table. Just don't know how to make a report out of that, and since the wretched book doesn't say how...

Personality profiles

Every personality profile that I've ever done has told me that I'm task-oriented rather than relationship-oriented. I used to think those results were a little off--that I was sort of balanced between the two extremes.

I'm not. I'm very definitely task-oriented. I guess I've finally admitted it to myself, or something. (I think I've noticed it more since I've moved away from home. I'm not good at staying in touch with people because I'm too busy doing homework and housework--that's right, tasks are coming before relationships.)

Anybody else have this problem? And how do you keep from becoming too task-oriented?


I've been tagged.

All right, Monica tagged me a few days ago, so here we go:

(Disclaimer: obviously, the Bible could be the answer for several of these questions. However, I'm going to list other books in most of those cases, so my readers can get a better feel for what other books I've read.)

1. One book that changed your life: The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
2. One book that you've read more than once: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: OK, have to put the Bible for this one. And also maybe an encyclopedia. (That counts as one book, right???)
4. One book that made you laugh: Almost anything by Dave Barry
5. One book that made you cry: Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (the part where Rilla--Gilbert and Anne's youngest child--gets a letter from her brother, Walter, that he wrote the night before he was killed in WWI.)
6. One book that you wish had been written: How to Get the Perfect Internship When You Don't Know Where You Want to Start Your Career
7. One book you wish had never been written: The Qur'an
8. One book you're currently reading: The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
9. One book you've been meaning to read: The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom
10. Now tag five people: Monica already tagged everybody! Well, almost... OK, I'll tag The GGG Man. And Bret.



I wanted to let the general public know that I just spent $6.40 on photocopies.

Why did I feel compelled to make such liberal use of the copier in the campus library, you ask? Well, it was because I am still waiting for the Business Law textbook that I ordered from www.ecampus.com (at 7:24:41 p.m. on August 21) to arrive, and I thought I should start catching up on reading while I'm only four chapters behind.

To be fair to them, they at least let me know (on the last possible day the book was supposed to ship) that they were still waiting for their supplier to get the book to their shipping facility. And I can't complain too much, because the book, assuming it actually shows up, is costing me around $50 less than it would if I bought it in the bookstore on campus. I just hope it shows up before I spend that $50 (along with quite a bit of time) on the copier!

Oh, I emailed the website about this order, and they actually sent me a response within two days. But I replied to that email with another question on September 3, and have yet to hear back. I know there was a long weekend there, so we'll see when they get back to me. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Updated, 9:12 PM: I just received notification from ecampus.com that the book I ordered after the Business Law book has not yet arrived at their shipping facility. That's actually good; that gives me a chance to email them a second time telling them to cancel the order. Hope they get the message this time!


"Grisley" murders?

FoxNews.com strikes again.

This time, it's "grisley" murders at a Maine bed and breakfast.

The misspelling is on the headline on Fox's main page, and I expect it will be corrected before too long.

Scratch that--it's already fixed. I'm impressed. (Although I'd be more impressed if Fox proofread their headlines before posting them to their site.) (I'd also be--well, not impressed, but less unimpressed at least--if Fox taught its staff how to spell "grisly.")


"Grizzly" discovery?

I'm glad FoxNews changed the headline for this article.

When I first saw it this morning, the headline on the FoxNews home page announced a "Grizzly discovery" in Iraq.



A couple weeks ago, I posted remarks on people who consistently drive in the left (i.e., passing) lane on highways.

Today, I began to suspect that those left-lane drivers are also Saturday-afternoon Wal-Mart shoppers.

You know the ones I mean--the shoppers who manage to, with a single cart, block three aisles simultaneously. And, like Visa, they're "everywhere you want to be."

I'm also convinced that I saw a left-lane-20-mph-under-the-speed-limit driver at Wal-Mart; she was the woman who was at the photo center, hogging the only scanner (and, incidentally, the only place to print photos from a USB drive) while she printed out a large stack of photos. Oh, and she was editing each individual photo, too--and taking her time about it. When I walked up, the other people waiting in line had just given up and were walking off. I waited about five minutes and left to do the rest of my shopping. I came back 25 minutes later, and the woman was still there.

I didn't print my pictures.

But I did buy ice cream.


"Many hedgehog lives will be saved"

McDonald's Succumbs to Hedgehogs' Needs

I'm all for being kind to animals, but does anyone else think people tend to go a little overboard here? I mean, they have a Hedgehog Preservation Society? Come on. I'm sure there are people starving somewhere in the world who need help more than the hedgehogs starving because their heads are stuck in McFlurry cups. And I suspect that there are some resources being used up on the hedgehogs that could be reallocated to help actual human beings.


If you live in Greenville--read this!

Interesting article by Joel Tetreau on NeoFundamentalist.

He brings up a fact that has always bothered me--that Greenville is full of people who have graduated from BJU and are just living there and warming a spot on a pew on Sundays and Wednesdays. (I do realize that not everyone in Greenville is like that, but I suspect there are quite a few who are!) Sure, living in Greenville (or somewhere not too far away) is comfortable, but have you ever thought that perhaps you could be more useful somewhere else?

By way of example, I once visited a church on the west coast that paid an unsaved teenage girl to come play the piano for their services because they had no one in the church who could do it. How many pianists are there in Greenville who never do anything with their talent?

Obviously, if you believe it's the Lord's will for you to stay in Greenville, stay there! But do more than just fill a spot on a pew.

Rainy days and Mondays...

It's raining today. And apparently there's a metal gutter or something outside the classroom that I'm in right now, because I can hear water dripping on it at the rate of approximately 2.5 drops per second.

Chinese water torture, anyone?


Frittering Away

Allow me to follow Becca's lead by directing your attention to Frittering Away. Now that school has begun again, things have really picked up over there. (Apparently, law and business school professors are very quotable people!) Joanna is contributing comments about her elementary students, and Monica is, well, I'm sure she's planning to post something there eventually. :)


118 days until Christmas!

(Just in case anyone was wondering.)


Was that a hint?

McCain: I'd Consider Bob Jones University Invitation

Inciting jealousy

I just thought that those of my friends still in "the bubble" would like to know that I'm sitting in the school library wearing shorts, a sleeveless shirt, and sandals.

And I had the blessing of a rather strong coffee aroma in my 10:00 class--much better than the typical "bubble" combination of musty building, aftershave, and body odor! ;-)



My statistics teacher thought I was brilliant. I tried to tell him that I never had a clue what was going on in his class, but he wouldn't believe me.

So, can anyone tell me what a "p-value" is? Or how about "R Square"?

And I thought all that stuff they made us take as undergrads was irrelevant to life. (Well, actually, I suspect that a lot of it was irrelevant to life. But some of it seems to be relevant to grad school.)

News Flash!

There was something interesting on C-SPAN today.


I just got a compliment that I'd never received before: "You're a cute weasel."


Public Service Announcement, 8/22/06

Seemingly leak-proof water bottles are no longer leak-proof if the bottle's lid opens while in one's book bag.


Public Service Announcement 2

After having driven more than 600 miles since last Friday, with most of those miles on interstate highways, I would like to remind the general public that the left lane is the passing lane. If you are driving in the left lane and notice traffic passing you on the right, perhaps you should stop and think about your position on the road, and then move over.

Is this just a southern thing, or are there idiots everywhere?

Public Service Announcement

Soy yogurt is gross.

Not that!!!

"Church Says Women Shouldn't Teach Sunday School Classes To Men, Cites Bible"

I'm back!

Well, sort of, anyway. I have a computer now, but it needs some more work done to it before it's really up and running.

In case anyone was concerned, if I purchased all my textbooks at the university's bookstore, the total would come to $755.75. (My roommate spent more than that, though, so I can't complain too much!) And my brother was complaining about spending $250... sheesh, those undergrads... ;-)

Well, back to online textbook shopping...


Moving day!

Lord willing, I'll be moving to my new apartment later today and starting classes next week. For any of you who already have my contact info, the phone number and email address are staying the same. Obviously, my address will be changing; for those of you who are just dying to know my new address, drop me a line.

Of course, you probably won't be hearing from me much on the blog for a while (I may be without regular internet access for a while), but I'm sure you'll all survive.

Now, back to packing...


If you don't hear from me for a while...

... it's because I'm moving in 12 days, Lord willing. I'm still trying to figure out health insurance, student loans, etc. And my parents seem to think that I ought to begin packing sometime soon. (For the record, I'm not packing up everything I own--just the stuff that I may actually need at school. And my mom and I have already taken two carloads of stuff to my new apartment.)

Since I'm not planning on having much time to post for a while (i.e., the next 18 to 24 months), I've added some links to the sidebar for your entertainment and/or your edification. Have fun, and maybe I'll communicate with you all again someday! =)


Big Oil is at it again!

Those nasty old oil companies are at it again--they're making money. How dare they? I mean, businesses are making money???

Here's a quote for you:

[The oil companies are] clearly getting rich at the expense of their customers.
--Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association.

Uh, yeah... that's typically what businesses do. Welcome to a somewhat free market!

You've got to love how the media plays with the statistics to make them sound as unreasonable as possible. I can hear the conversation in the newsroom: "Hey, why don't we take the total profits and divide up so we get the profits per day?" "No, wait, how about profits per minute? That'll get an even bigger reaction!" (I don't think I'm exaggerating too much. I've written newspaper articles before, and have learned that it's not really that hard to rephrase things in order to nudge your readers' thinking in a particular direction. I don't know that journalists do this intentionally, as my imaginary conversation suggests, but I'm convinced that it happens.)

Funny how that little profits-per-minute statistic is worth reporting, along with total profit, while the media somehow manages to ignore such obscure statistics as oil companies' profit margins--particularly in comparison with those of other industries!

Here's an interesting article on the topic. It's from last November, but it's still relevant.


Interesting--this article from CNN lists the "Five best internships for real work." Only one of the Big Four accounting firms--Deloitte--made the list. I suspect that CNN tried to put a variety of companies on the list; from what I've heard (from both interns and recruiters) having interns do "real" work is pretty standard, at least for accounting firms. So is hiring interns immediately after they graduate.


I'm losing my mind!

So, in only 26 days, Lord willing, I will be moving out on my own for the first time, and five days later will be starting grad school.


My mom and I are planning to make the three-hour trip to my new apartment tomorrow with a carload of stuff. Tuesday, we plan to drive to a larger city halfway between home and school where I have an informal office visit with one of the Big Four accounting firms. I'll work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then Friday evening, drive back to that larger city for a weekend recruiting event at another major firm. The next week, I drive back to school to get some stuff taken care of up there (and probably to take another carload of stuff to the apartment). A couple days after that, I'm scheduled to have lunch with some people from the tax department of a firm here at home.

Oh, and I bought a new car this past Thursday (which is another story entirely), and I still have to get my insurance set up for that, and finish up the final details of selling the old car. I'm also in the middle of changing health insurance, and Blue Cross is being quite slow in deciding whether to approve me. (Good thing I started the process a month and a half before my temporary insurance is scheduled to run out!)

Also, I can't find my "to-do list." I should have put the whole thing on my blog or emailed it to myself or something instead of writing it down!

Oh, well. God is still sovereign and good.


Why did the accountant cross the road?

Because he looked in the file, and that's what they did last year.

A quote

I post this not to draw more attention to the unfortunate situation at Maranatha, but because there are some really good thoughts here.
When one hears conflicting stories from conflicting parties, one must resist the compulsion to “pick a side.” When they are in Christ, there is only one side. All of the parties are on “our side,” friends, and the happy resolution of the conflict, the restitution of sinners, and the righting of wrongs is our prayer.
More on this topic from Pastor Bob Bixby at Pensees.


Annoying, repulsive, or just sad?

I watched network news last night. I've gotten into the habit of reading news online, so I can choose what to ignore; but last night, I wanted to find out what was going on with Israel, so I watched... let's see... I think it was NBC. I'm not really sure, though, and it probably doesn't make a difference.

So, what was on the news last night? Well, obviously, the violence in the Middle East. And the next big story? Oh, no--oil prices are up and the stock market is down! People on the other side of the world are sleeping in bomb shelters, and Americans are worried about their wallets.

I think there was another story, something about the fires in California--which, admittedly, are a legitimate cause for concern. Then, the next big story.... drumroll, please.... a horse might die! Alas!

I'm thankful to live in a country where I'm not facing the constant threat of being hit by a missile, and where we have the luxury of having such pathetically ridiculous worries such as whether a horse we've never seen might die, and I'm not saying that I'm happy about spending $40+ to fill up my car's gas tank. But I still can't decide whether to be annoyed, disgusted, or just sad about the apparently skewed priorities of many of my fellow Americans.

I'm still here!

You're probably wondering why I haven't posted in a while. (Well, assuming that anybody actually reads my blog. I know; I shouldn't assume.)

Anyway, here's what I've been up to... I'm still working two jobs (only around 44 hours/week total, so it's not as bad as it sounds); trying to switch from short-term health insurance to something a little better (and, naturally, a little more expensive); selling my laptop; thinking about selling my car; looking for a new car; setting up pre-interviews for an internship that's still six months away; fighting spam filters at companies where I might like to do an internship; setting up a time to visit campus (three hours away from home) to go over my resume and learn the software to sign up for interviews; starting to get stuff ready to move; purchasing a DustBuster, iron, and bathroom scale; meeting with my future roommate to figure out logistics and what we still need for our rental condo; and balanced my checkbook... I've also managed to spend a day at Six Flags with friends (where I was ridiculed for my habit of picking up every coin I passed on the sidewalk--although I pointed out that what I picked up off the sidewalk exceeded the quarterly interest on my brick-and-mortar bank savings account) (oh, and the Crocs were great), get the worst heartburn of my entire life, put in an appearance at my old office, and do a little "wardrobe supplementation" (i.e., shopping--some articles in my "professional" wardrobe are beginning to look a bit worn). I've also purchased a papasan chair frame, although I'm still looking for a nice, medium-darkish neutral colored (khaki would be good) cushion for a reasonable price.

The summer reading list? Don't ask. Please.

I'd also like to give you a gardening update: I have sunflowers! Well, they haven't completely bloomed yet (as far as I can tell--they're a foot or two taller than I now), but they're working on it! I've picked one cucumber, several tomatoes, and some peas and green beans. I'd love to post some pictures, but I haven't gotten around to locating the USB port on my temporary computer yet... When I do, I may also post evidence that I really do not "have it all together," just in case any of you were still under the impression that I did.


Happy 4th!

This is the day when Americans traditionally pause to reflect on and to celebrate the freedom that we enjoy as a nation.

But even more important than that freedom is the freedom that we can have through Christ:

Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man (Jesus Christ) forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

"'Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'"

Acts 13:38-41, ESV



I just bought a pair of these, even though I think they're hideous. I bought them only because they're the most practical type of shoes I can think of to wear to Six Flags on Saturday. I can wear them on water rides and not have to walk around in soggy footwear all day, I shouldn't have to worry about having them fall off on wild rides, and they're supposed to be a lot more comfortable (and better for your feet) than flip-flops. I gues I can deal with the ugliness.

Although I have to admit that their appearance is growing on me...

My Crocs are lime green. :)

Is it tacky to laugh at obituaries?

I generally try not to laugh at people's obituaries, but sometimes I can't help it. For example, look at this recent obituary.

The part that caught my attention (after the "Junebug" thing) was the opening sentence:

[The deceased] left this life of being bedridden for over six years to walking the streets of Heaven at Greenville Memorial Medical Center on Thursday.

Atrocious sentence structure aside, I'm glad to finally learn the exact location of heaven! Or, at least, of its streets.


Campaign Tactics and Poll Workers

Just a few tips if you're running for statewide office:
  1. Don't send voters spam emails. It's bad enough that you and other candidates are filling up their snail-mailboxes with unwanted ads.
  2. If you do send spam email, try to edit it for grammar. (Example of what NOT to do: "As I've said many time's over the last year and half")
  3. If you do the prerecorded spam phone call thing, try to sound like you're confident of your own name. (Example of what NOT to do: "Hi, this is, uhhh, ______.")
  4. Tell us more about what you'll do if elected and less about what your late father did as a statewide official.
And to the local friendly poll workers: I'm very sorry that you were bored out of your mind all day because nobody voted, but that does NOT mean that I have 15 minutes to stand and be lectured on why I should stay close to my parents and why you like your home to be bright--I especially don't have time for that when a large dark cloud is looming overhead, the air smells like rain, my umbrella is in the car, and my dinner is at home getting colder by the minute.


Flag burning amendment?

So, what does everyone think of amending the Constitution to allow Congress to prohibit physical desecration of the U.S. flag?

I'm inclined to be opposed to it, not because I'm in favor of desecrating the flag, but because I'm opposed to unnecessarily giving the government any more power than it already has.

Oddly enough, it seems that Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Robert Byrd, Barbara Boxer, and the ACLU agree with me. Finding myself in agreement with that group concerns me, so maybe I'm missing something in my thought process here...

So, I'm issuing a plea to all my logically-gifted friends and acquaintances to straighten out my thinking on this issue, if it needs to be straightened out. Thanks in advance!

Edit: My friend Andrew emailed me his comments, since he's unable to actually get to my blog. He's given me permission to post his thoughts on the issue. Here they are:
I'm torn between the two sides of the debate. On the one hand, I would love for it to be illegal to burn the flag (or desecrate it, or whatever). On the other hand, I tend to object to such a trivial regulation being slapped onto the Constitution. I don't buy that it's free speech, but neither am I convinced that it's worth an amendment. More than anything, the whole question points out the stupidity of certain courts. It was a District Court that declared flag-burning "free speech," even though it certainly isn't the reason behind the "free speech" clause. Now, because a court has called the legislation unconstitutional, we must resort to actually amending the Constitution. Why don't we make an amendment instead that says judges who make dumb decisions can be removed by a majority vote of the Senate?

It is disconcerting to feel like I might be in the same camp as the flamin' liberals in the Senate, but with the current government's track record of gathering powers to itself, I wonder if might vote with them and against bigger government.

That'll be $.02.


C.S. Lewis

Here's a great quotation from that pants--I mean, modesty--thread on SharperIron:

I am on neither side in the present controversy. But I think the abolitionists conduct their case very ill. They seem incapable of stating it without imputing vile motives to their opponents. If unbelievers often look at your correspondence column, I am afraid they may carry away a bad impression of our
logic, manners, and charity.
-C.S. Lewis, God In The Dock. p. 340 'A letter regarding the death penalty to Church Times', Dec. 1961. (Emphasis mine)


Graceful Modesty

Holly Stratton has an article here with some really good points about modesty, particularly as it relates to our own perceptions/ideas, our culture, and grace.

My favorite quote: "[My husband] went on to comment that his concerns centered on the “distractibility factor of high skin ratios.” After offering a slight eye roll over an accountant’s uncanny ability to turn every discussion into something boringly numerical, I thanked him for offering a palatable perspective." (Yeah, accountants!) =)

Unfortunately, those discussing the article in the forum don't talk much about the actual points Mrs. Stratton made; rather, the discussion quickly degenerates into a debate on the alleged evils of women's wearing pants. I wouldn't bother reading it, except maybe for this post. I think it covers enough to give you an idea of what the entire thread is like, and besides that, I'm pretty sure I agree with it. :)



"Nation's Grandmothers Swept Up In Textile-Messaging Craze"

(From The Onion. Read with discretion.)


Josh Chandler

I did a little blog-surfing the other night and ran across this site. I don't know Josh, but I'm pretty sure my brother does, and I know that he knows the guy posting the updates. (Brandon, I met you once, but you seemed a little preoccupied with the Duke basketball game that was on TV at the time, so I won't blame you if you don't remember me.) (As a side note: Go Wake Forest!) =)

Anyway, I thought I'd post a link to the Josh Chandler Update blog so a few more people can be praying for him and his family, and that God would receive the glory for whatever happens.

God provides again...

I came home after work last night and found a copy of The MacArthur LifeWorks Library CD-ROM lying on top of my computer. Someone gave it to my dad, and he thought I might enjoy using it.

It has a ton of stuff on it, including--the MacArthur Study Bible! Unfortunately, I don't think it's the NASB version, but I suppose I can live with that. =) I'd been thinking about buying either a MacArthur Study Bible or a Reformation Study Bible, but I keep feeling guilty when I spend money since I really ought to be saving every penny I can for school expenses... but the Lord provided me with a study Bible, for free! (And I hadn't even prayed about it...) :-/

Hopefully I'll find time (between filling out loan applications and figuring out all the various types of insurance I need, and working as much as I can) to try out the CD-ROM soon. (I took Step 1 tonight--extricating the CD from the box. I hope that actually using the CD-ROM will have a more positive impact on my sanctification than wrestling with its packaging did!)


Jason Janz makes some good points in his article "My Plea to Worship Leaders."

I'd offer some comments, but it's almost 12:30 a.m. and some of us have to be at work in less than 8 hours... (And if I were smart, I'd get up early enough to vote in the primary before work.)


Ministry of politics...?

It really bugs me when politicians show up at churches right before elections. I hate the feeling that a house of worship is being used to make candidates look good. ("I'm a Christian! Vote for me!")

Unfortunately, at least one member of my church is very active in politics, so we have political candidates show up on a fairly regular basis ("fairly regular basis" meaning "before each election").

Part of me, though, is excited to see politicians in church--I suspect that many, perhaps most, of the visiting politicians are unsaved. What an opportunity to present the Gospel to them--and they're basically just showing up and asking for it. (Of course, who knows whether any of them are actually listening? I pray that they are...)


My Best Friend's Wedding...

...was this afternoon. Everyone survived, as far as I know. =) If I can figure out a way (the groom's sister says she thinks it might be possible) to post pictures and have them password-protected, I'll put a few up here. I'm not too crazy about putting pics on the web for every creep out there to see, though, so you may have to do without seeing them. Sorry.

Has anyone out there ever signed up for eHarmony? I filled out the free personality profile the other day just to see what it was like. I was surprised when I checked my "junk email" account a few days later and found that five guys wanted to contact me! I went and deleted my account, because I'm not yet to the point where I'm willing to pay a person or organization to find me dates--I'd really just filled it out to see what it was like. =)

My brother survived his first week of being a summer camp counselor. I haven't heard too much about his week yet, other than that his campers threatened to shave his legs... (Hmm, I wonder if he'll kill me for posting that???)


Gardening Update

Surprisingly, my tomato plant is still surviving in its plastic pot on the back porch. It blew over in a thunderstorm a couple weeks ago and the main stalk broke a bit, but my mom put a stake in the pot and tied the plant to it. It's been really wilted since then, but it's still alive. Look--it even has tomatoes on it!

My sunflowers decided to get tall! They're all around a foot tall right now (yes, that's a ruler propped up next to one). I'm hoping that they'll shade my peas a bit, since the peas don't like hot weather. (I planted the peas too late, but so far they're doing all right.)

And finally, a shot of the entire garden. The sunflowers are the tall plants on the left. The peas are in the middle, and the 2 1/2 rows of green beans are on the right. Five of the approximately 50 cucumber seeds that I planted have sprouted now; they're in the back of the garden, near the one really bright spot in the photo.


Kraft food&family magazine

My friend Sarah told be about this free magazine. I received my second issue this past week. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to try any of the recipes in either the spring or the summer issue yet, but some of them look tasty. I'm hoping to try a few this summer in anticipation of cooking for myself starting in mid-August!


So I have a diploma now...

...but what do I do with it? It's not like I have an office wall on which to display it.

I temporarily hung my tassel from my disco ball (which in turn hangs from my ceiling fan), but it didn't really work. The "drab" color just doesn't work with my bedroom's decor. I'm not sure it would work on my car's mirror, either. For right now, it's dangling from the only trophy I've ever received in my entire life--it works better on the cheap plastic trophy than on the disco ball!



Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs. --Unknown


Answered prayer!

My scholarship grew! (By over $3000 per semester.)

Also, I have a roommate and a rental condo lined up.

I have to admit that I'm feeling ashamed for not praying like I should, and for worrying more than I should...


Illegals granted Social Security

I received this article in an email from one of my state's senators. (You'll probably be able to guess who that is, since I can't seem to get rid of the bold italics in one paragraph.)

I find it disturbing that so many elected officials don't seem to want to punish people who are breaking the law. (Of course, perhaps they have reasons for being able to sympathize with criminals? But I digress...) It seems like denying Social Security benefits that were earned through illegal employment would be an appropriate punishment for illegal immigrants while also helping to shore up the Social Security system a bit.

I will add, before anybody reading this figures out where I live, ;-) that I am in favor of immigration--as long as the immigrants are following our country's laws. (Perhaps the system needs to be reformed--I don't know enough about it to be able to comment intelligently on that topic--but regardless, if you want to be a citizen of our country, doesn't it make sense that you would obey its laws?)

Illegals granted Social Security
The Washington Times
By: Charles Hurt
May 19, 2006

The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment -- even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents.

“There was a felony they were committing, and now they can’t be prosecuted. That sounds like amnesty to me,” said Sen. John Ensign, the Nevada Republican who offered the amendment yesterday to strip out those provisions of the immigration reform bill. “It just boggles the mind how people could be against this amendment.”

The Ensign amendment was defeated on a 50-49 vote.

“We all know that millions of undocumented immigrants pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for years and sometimes decades while they work to contribute to our economy,” said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.

“The Ensign amendment would undermine the work of these people by preventing lawfully present immigrant workers from claiming Social Security benefits that they earned before they were authorized to work in our community,” he said. “If this amendment were enacted, the nest egg that these immigrants have worked hard for would be taken from them and their families.”

Mr. Ensign was among 44 Republicans and five Democrats who voted to block such payouts.

“It makes no sense to reward millions of illegal immigrants for criminal behavior while our Social Security system is already in crisis,” said Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican. “Why in the world would we endorse this criminal activity with federal benefits? The Senate missed a big opportunity to improve this bill, and I doubt American seniors will be pleased with the result.”

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said it would be unfair to deny illegals the benefits.

“We should not steal their funds or empty their Social Security accounts,” he said. “That is not fair. It does not reward their hard work or their financial contributions. It violates the trust that underlies the Social Security Trust Fund.”

Within hours, the vote had become an issue in this fall’s elections, raised by a Republican challenger to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat.

“Instead of protecting the retirement security of Americans who are earning an honest living and abiding by the laws of our country, Debbie Stabenow sided with people who are here illegally and abuse our Social Security system,” Oakland County, Mich., Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a press release. “Allowing illegal immigrants to use their illegal work history as credit towards receiving Social Security benefits shows that Debbie Stabenow has forgotten who she is supposed to be working for in the U.S. Senate.”

The Senate also yesterday approved an amendment to adopt English as the nation’s official language, while reversing course from the day before on protections for U.S. workers who will face new competition from unskilled immigrant labor under the Senate bill. In addition, senators voted last night to kill an amendment that would have specified that the guest-worker program will not provide visas that would provide a path to citizenship.

On Wednesday, senators narrowly approved an amendment to require a foreign worker to have a job lined up in the United States before applying for a green card. The purpose, supporters say, is to ensure that the job market isn’t flooded with foreign workers. Also, it prevents foreign workers from coming to the United States only to wind up unemployed and dependent on public assistance.

But yesterday, the Senate essentially gutted that amendment by allowing foreign workers to apply for permanent residency without having a job lined up.

“What that means is that up to 200,000 unskilled workers a year would become eligible for a green card, regardless of economic conditions, regardless of whether that worker has been actually employed for four years, and most importantly, regardless of whether there are unemployed U.S. workers available to fill those jobs,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican.


Summer reading list update

Books I've completed recently:
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I'm now in the middle of The Magician's Nephew by Lewis. Somehow, I'm finding the fiction on my list easier to get through than the nonfiction! (Although I have read two or three additional chapters of The Gospel According to Jesus since my original summer reading list post.)

Pet Peeve of the Day

In case you were wondering, this store is open "from 8 a.m. in the morning 'til 10 p.m. at night." (As opposed to "from 8 a.m. at night 'til 10 p.m. in the morning"?)

Yes, I heard that repeated probably 20 times during my visit to the local Kohl's store this evening. I'm surprised I stayed long enough to buy anything!


To Kill a Mockingbird

There was no doubt about it, I must soon enter this world, where on its surface fragrant ladies rocked slowly, fanned gently, and drank cool water.

But I was more at home in my father's world. People like Mr. Heck Tate did not trap you with innocent questions to make fun of you; even Jem was not highly critical unless you said something stupid. Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men, seemed unwilling to approve wholeheartedly of them. But I liked them. There was something about them, no matter how much they cussed and drank and gambled and chewed; no matter how undelectable they were, there was something about them that I instinctively liked . . . they weren't--

"Hypocrites, Mrs. Perkins, born hypocrites," Mrs. Merriweather was saying.

--from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Scout Finch has a point. Not that I think that all ladies are hypocrites, or catty, or conniving, or whatever, or that all men are the opposite. But, speaking as a woman, I'd have to admit that most of the time, large groups of women annoy me. (As a friend of mine once pointed out: when mixed groups of adults gather, the men congregate on one side of the room and "talk about cool stuff like politics and space exploration," while the women, on the other side of the room, "talk about candles and children.") My favorite female friends are the ones who act the least "girly." Not that I don't enjoy shopping or wearing make-up or getting my nails done, but typically, women are more emotional and more manipulative and sillier than men are, and those stereotypical women are super-annoying. I'm definitely thankful for my non-stereotypical-woman friends!

Well, enough about gender differences. (Monica, I hope you weren't too offended by anything I said about women.) =) I was really going to post and say that I've finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and that it's about to be added to my favorite books list. It manages to address a very serious topic while still keeping a good amount of humor. I have to admit that I love the way Scout Finch is perfectly willing to fight anybody who crosses her or who insults her father, the way she starts "cussin'" in an effort to avoid going to school, and the way she explains to her Uncle Jack just exactly what he doesn't understand about children. (Leading him to tell her father, "I shall never marry, Atticus." "Why?" "I might have children.")

It really ticked me off that the jury convicted Tom Robinson of rape when it seemed pretty clear that he hadn't done it. And of course they convicted him only because he was black and his accusor was white. It just amazes me that people would convict a man because of his skin color, but unfortunately, I'm sure it happened quite frequently. Maybe it still does--I don't know. I hope not.

To Kill a Mockingbird definitely opened my eyes to how horrible racism really is. Not that I didn't already think it was horrible, but it's harder to see as an abstract concept. The story made it more concrete; it made it easier to see the results of racism in the lives of individuals. Mockingbird would really be a miserable read if Harper Lee hadn't balanced out the awfulness of racism with touches of humor.


Summer Reading List

This is the stack of books that I've been working on during the past semester, and plan to continue working on through the summer and as time permits next semester. (A special thank you to my dad, for being a bit of a bookworm and for having boxes full of books in the attic to keep me busy!)

Books I've completed (not pictured):

  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  • The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader" by C.S. Lewis
  • The Cost of Choice: Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion ed. Erika Bachiochi

Books I'm currently reading:

  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom
  • The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
  • Revival Fire by Charles G. Finney

Books on my reading list:

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Counted Righteous in Christ by John Piper
  • Better Thinking and Reasoning by Ron Tagliapietra
  • The Seven Wonders of the World by Ron Tagliapietra
  • The Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850 by David O. Beale
  • God's Passion for His Glory by John Piper
  • Hard to Believe by John MacArthur
  • Truth Matters by John MacArthur
  • A Survey of Christian Hymnody by David W. Music and Milburn Price
  • The Murder of Jesus by John MacArthur
  • Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Lady Susan by Jane Austen
  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (not pictured)
  • The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (not pictured)
  • The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (not pictured)

Booklets on my reading list:

  • The World Council of Churches by Edward Panosian
  • The New Evangelicalism by Charles Woodbridge
  • Reformed Evangelism by Morton H. Smith
  • Neo-Orthodoxy by Charles Caldwell Ryrie


Is something wrong with this picture?

Apparently somebody's library is missing a dictionary.

Ironically, I saw this sign outside the Main Branch of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (NC).


Wedding day nightmare...?

I just attended a wedding in which several members of the wedding party (including the bride) were suffering from a stomach bug. I guess there are worse things that could happen to a person on his/her wedding day, but this ranks pretty high on the list.

I'd love to post more tonight, but I've got to get some sleep. I'm planning to go with a group of friends to see the Dead Sea Scrolls tomorrow morning, and I need to leave my house shortly after 6 a.m. (Why are we going so early? Well, when my friends called to purchase tickets, the only times left for the exhibit were 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. So naturally, my friends chose... 9 a.m. Woohoo.)

Quote of the Day (May 11)

"You cannot slander human nature; it is worse than words can paint it." -- C.H. Spurgeon

(HT: Google Quote of the Day)


"Children's" Literature

When I was a kid (probably 7 or 8 years old, but I really don't remember for sure), my dad used to read The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to me on Sunday afternoons. (He also made me iced tea and taught me to play chess; I don't remember anything about chess except the names of the pieces and which way the knights and the pawns are allowed to move, and I don't like tea.) Of course, at that age, I didn't really understand them. As I got older and occasionally tried to read The Chronicles myself, I didn't like them. I don't like the science fiction/fantasy genres, and the Chronicles scared me a bit.

I watched the Narnia movie a few weeks ago, however, and I was inspired to re-read the books. I'm just starting Book 4 (The Silver Chair), and I'm surprised at how much they've improved over the last decade.

It's always interesting to read "children's" books (at least, I've always considered the Chronicles to be children's literature, since I was first introduced to them when I was so young) as an adult, when you're able to see the author's worldview so clearly. For example, from The Silver Chair:

"I was wondering--I mean--could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb, you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to--to Somebody--it was a name I wouldn't know--and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did, and then we found the door open."

"You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion.


It's just too bad that C.S. Lewis had to end the Chronicles by letting a Tash worshipper into paradise...


I've been taking classes???

Last Friday, I decided to attend the Commencement Concert with my brother. He stopped in the post office to check his box before we went into the auditorium. I thought this would be a good opportunity to test my long-term memory, so I walked over to my old box and tried the combination. Surprisingly, I got it open on the first try (which is better than I did 80% of the time when I was still a student). Even more surprisingly, I had a piece of mail. Most surprising of all, however, was the fact that this piece of mail was a report card.

I was sort of wondering why I had received a report card when I hadn't taken any classes since first semester. Well, the report card informed me that I'd earned one credit for my music ensemble. (I guess that one semester of horn choir counted for something?)

How does your garden grow?

I've planted a little vegetable garden in the rocky soil of my backyard! I decided to try to grow some green beans to freeze and take to school with me. (I need some encouragement to eat my veggies sometimes; having some that I've grown and frozen myself might do the trick!)

I ended up planting green beans, peas, cucumbers, and sunflowers in the garden, and a tomato plant in a big pot on the back porch. I don't expect the peas to do well because I planted them too late (they don't like hot weather), and the sunflowers are an experiment--I tried them once
before, when I was a kid, and they never even sprouted. But my mom got a package of seeds for free as a gift with her purchase of two dresses at Dress Barn, so I figured, why not? They've already sprouted, as you can see in the first picture. Maybe I'll be able to add sunflower seeds to my diet in the fall!

This is my tomato plant. I'm surprised I haven't killed it yet by forgetting to water it. As you can see, it's already blossoming.

To the right is a picture of my little green bean plants. Aren't they cute? This picture was taken last Saturday; they're probably taller now. (I haven't gone to look at them since Saturday. I think there's something wrong with my nurturing instinct.)

I'm tentatively planning on chronicling my garden's life (however brief it may be!) on my blog. Stay tuned! (Yeah, I can tell all 2 of my faithful readers are about to burst with excitement. Try to contain yourselves.)