I'm still alive!

Yes, I survived my weekend at camp. (That includes my brother's driving, the four two-year-olds and the one-year-old that I helped to supervise for three days, and my cabin-mates, who weren't really bad, for the most part.)

For those of you who are wondering, I wore only two of my four pairs of shoes--the flip-flops and the sneakers. (Incidentally, I wore the sneakers that I wore all summer at Ironwood; there is still sand working its way out of the shoes. But the Wilds has now been blessed because it has been sprinkled with authentic Ironwood sand. And I was quite glad to have worn the shoes that had been contaminated by potty water last summer, because I ended up cleaning probably a couple dozen toilets after the campers left on Sunday--I took over after the guy on our crew overflowed the first toilet he cleaned, and no, I don't know how he did it.)

Isn't it interesting how other people's immaturity brings out our own immaturity? Or maybe I'm the only one with that problem. One of the girls that I got to spend some time with over the weekend was a freshman, and, unfortunately, she acted like a freshman--or maybe like a junior higher. She seemed to enjoy "teasing," only her "teasing" was quite caustic at times, and she didn't always tease in a joking manner, if you know what I mean. I found myself responding in kind to her remarks, and I was surprised at how quickly my responses to her became very ungracious. I kept trying to remind myself that this was a great "ministry opportunity," but that didn't work for long. I think the whole experience was a good reminder to me of how sinful I am, and that I have to constantly depend on the Lord. (As a side note, I'm pretty sure I'd be a terrible camp counselor!)

Tonight was my last night for a while at my retail job, and it was quite a night. We had a customer acting rather strange; he came in and complained that mall security had thrown out his beverage--a Crown and Coke. He spent forever in the store, and he did buy quite a bit of stuff (and he didn't barf or pee in the fitting room, for which I was grateful), but he also made a rather inappropriate remark to the other girl who was working. And, unfortunately, he wasn't quite tipsy enough to buy everything I suggested to him! As I was ringing him up, he said, "You don't drink, do you?... Are you spiritual?" "I'm a Christian," I replied. He then asked if I was married, and told me about some family/marriage conference he went to that saved his marriage--he said that I should go to it before I get married, "If (I'm) as Christian as (I) say (I) am." He also told me that he had a 20-year-old son. (We were wondering whether the son knew that the father was wandering around the mall drunk, hitting on 20-year-old girls.) Finally, my manager called the store (from the checkout across the store) so I could answer the phone and get rid of the guy!

Yes, I'm going to be glad to spend my days making photocopies of IRS forms and typing numbers into spreadsheets...


I'm hopeless!

I'm leaving for camp Friday afternoon and returning sometime Sunday afternoon. I just crammed 3 pairs of shoes into my suitcase and (obviously) plan to wear a pair to camp as well. 4 pairs of shoes for approximately 48 hours. (To be fair, one of the pairs is a pair of flip-flops to wear in the shower.)

I hate packing for things when I'm not really sure what to expect. I feel like I have to pack enough stuff for anything that could conceivably happen. (E.g., "What if I spill something on my khaki skirt? Maybe I should take an extra skirt...") My little suitcase doesn't hold that much stuff!

Business and Law News

A few interesting items I've run across recently. (I couldn't fit these into my alliterated outline earlier.) ;-)

First, according to Yahoo!, H&R Block messed up its own taxes.
Talk about shooting yourself (or your business) in the foot!

Second, news I ran across on another blog (to which I will not link because I sort of wish to avoid having my blog listed on a site on which that particular blog is listed)... the RIAA claims copying CDs to iPods is unlawful. It's been a while since my Business Law days, and I'm a little fuzzy on the "fair use" concept. I don't seen any moral problem with buying your own copy of a CD and transferring the music to your iPod. But is it legal? (If I didn't need to go pack for camp, I'd try to research it a bit.)

Work, Weekend Plans, and Word Verification

As a proud graduate of a leading Fundamental institution of higher learning, I would like to point out that I have successfully developed an alliterated three-point outline for this blog post. However, I am not using eisegesis to support the points of my outline. I'll have to acquire the ability to do that before I'm ready for a pastoral ministry. (Just kidding!)

All right, moving on...


I'm still liking my new job. I messed up one thing yesterday because the person training me didn't tell me an important detail of a particular process. She's all right, I guess, but she's not my favorite person to work with. Just a few personality (and maturity, I think) issues. I really like the lady who's training me for the second part of my job, though. I'm pretty much convinced that she's a Christian. Pray for her family if you think about it--they're going through some rough times right now.

I've decided that working 10-hour days is a little rough. I've worked at both of my part-time jobs each of the last three days, and it's exhausting! It gives me even more respect for people who manage to work all day and still care for their families when they get home in the evenings.

Weekend Plans

I'm working at the Wilds this weekend, Lord willing! And, of all things, I'm going to be a children's worker. I don't know yet what age group I'll have, but I'm sure it'll be exciting. I'm planning to keep in mind a lesson I learned a couple summers ago while helping with the children's program of a family camp at a camp out west: schedule potty breaks for 4-year-olds--do not wait for them to tell you they have to go! (This is also known as the "That Puddle on the Floor Isn't Just Water" Lesson.)

Word Verification

I've decided to turn off the word verification feature for comments left on my blog. I moderate my comments anyway, so the word verification may be an unnecessary annoyance to those who wish to leave comments. (However, I will turn the word verification back on if excessive spam becomes an unnecessary annoyance to me.)


If I were really trying to be a preacher, I'd ramble on some more, repeating (and occasionally contradicting) the points I've already made until I'd completely lost the attention of my audience. I won't torment you all like that. =)

Disclaimer: I do not necessarily mean all of the seemingly critical comments directed toward Fundamentalism in this post.


Quote of the Day

"And around the demonstrators was a belt of Washington summertime tourists looking as only Washington summertime tourists can--mature adults visiting their nation's most solemn monuments and greatest institutions in cartoon-character T-shirts and candy-colored running shoes the size of teddy bears, with porky desk-job thighs sticking out of tiny iridescent gym shorts and wearing fanny packs like phylacteries for the worship of fat" (p. 76).

O'Rourke, P.J. (1991). Parliament of Whores. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

Newspaper Articles

I thought that publishing the Collegian on a weekly rather than a biweekly basis was a bad idea. There's just not enough good material to fill the paper every week. (For that matter, there wasn't really enough material to put out an interesting paper every other week.) They did all right for a while, but the recent series of articles on shoes as well as the recent front page consisting of extensive articles on gum, the Foundation Brass concert, and the Wind Band concert convey a sense of desperation for material. (Generally, concerts other than Artist Series are fortunate to get a mention in the inner pages of the paper.)

BJU recently decided to stop selling Starbucks coffee in the Snack Shop. The Greenville News has an article about the situation today. It doesn't include any information about the alleged poor customer service the University received from the Starbucks corporate office.


More job news!

My new job is going well so far. I'm definitely enjoying being in a nice, quiet office! (No inane rock songs to get lodged in my brain!)

Although getting this job was definitely an answer to prayer (as was the pay--exactly the hourly rate I'd prayed for!), I've still been praying for the Lord to provide the money I'll need for grad school. The new job is definitely helping, but I'm pretty sure it's still not going to be enough. I've been planning to continue working my other job part-time for the 2 1/2 months that the new job is only part-time.

Well, today I was asked if I would be willing to add part-time hours in another department to the hours I'm working in my current department for approximately 6 weeks. Of course, I'm definitely willing to do that! I was told that I may even be able to work some overtime.

One concern I had about the additional hours was regarding my weekend plans. Since I was supposed to be part-time for several weeks, I was hoping to go work a few weekends at the Wilds. I thought that working more hours might preclude that. I asked the lady in the second department in which I'll be working if I might be able to leave early on one or two Fridays in order to work at a camp. She said that would probably be fine. In fact, she actually knew about the Wilds already because of a BJU grad that worked in her department several years ago!

Isn't it amazing how the Lord works everything out the way He wants, even when we forget/neglect to pray about it? (And isn't it amazing how infrequently we realize that? And that we--or at least, I--usually realize it only when things work out how we want them to?)


Psalm 149:4

Psalm 149:4 (ESV)

For the LORD takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.

It amazes me that God would find any reason to take pleasure in a sinful human being. It further amazes me that He chooses to grant us salvation.

Logically, humility is a prerequisite for salvation. No, I'm not saying that works are necessary for salvation, but how can a person be saved without being humbled before God? A proud person will continue trying to earn merit with God on his own; a humble person will realize that he can do nothing to save himself and that he must place his faith and trust completely in Christ for salvation.

Psalm 149:1 (ESV)

Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!

Happy (Day After) Valentine's Day (Half-Price Candy Sale)!

This afternoon, I continued my tradition of shopping the collections of half-price seasonal candies at Target, CVS, Walgreen's, and Eckerd's.

The bad news is that I couldn't find any half-price cherry cordials (apparently they are not a seasonal item).

The good news is that my junk food supply is good to go for quite some time. I'm hoping to make it last until the day after Halloween, although I
probably will end up trying to find some half-price Cadbury's Creme-Filled Eggs the day after Easter.

Here is a picture of my purchases (minus the Russell Stover chocolate-covered Coconut Cream
Heart, which I ate in lieu of lunch):

My favorite purchase is a box of chocolate truffles from Target. I bought three brands of truffles, which is more than enough, but I really liked this packaging:


On lacking a forehead

A certain alma mater of mine requires, among other things, that guys' hair be cut so that it is at least two finger-widths above the eyebrows in the front. This poses a problem for young men who are, tragically, lacking a forehead.

A friend of mine in high school was caught in haircheck because his bangs were "too long." I remember hearing him tell the story during band rehearsal one morning, exclaiming, "I have no forehead!" He was right. Cutting his bangs to the stipulated length would have required his shaving a half-inch strip from one temple to the other on the hairline directly above his forehead.

Another acquaintance of mine was recently caught in haircheck by a particularly vigilant hall leader. (Or RA, or whatever they're calling them these days.) He has the same problem: no forehead.

I believe this particular standard discriminates against young men who are, through no fault of their own, lacking a forehead. Perhaps one of my law-nerd friends could tell me whether the ADA addresses this particular "disability." ;-)

And, in order to provide comfort to any who has been cruelly denied his right to wear bangs of a reasonable length due to his lack of forehead: Never fear; perhaps someday your hairline will recede, and you too will have a forehead.


Handkerchiefs and cloth diapers

There are some products that I don't understand. Handkerchiefs are one. Why would you want to save one of your bodily excretions in a flimsy scrap of cloth in your pocket--for further review? ("Hey, wanna see what came out my nose today?") (I am reminded of a Calvin and Hobbes comic I saw once; Calvin informs his mother that he is saving his snot for mucus transfusions. When she tells him that there is no such thing, he responds, "Oh. I have a jar for you to wash.")

I can think of a few possible arguments for using handkerchiefs rather than tissues. Handkerchiefs can be washed and reused, while tissues are (or should be!) disposed of after a single use. Does this save money? I'm guessing not much, but I really haven't compared the prices of handkerchiefs and tissues. I'm guessing that using handkerchiefs really doesn't save that many trees, either. Or much landfill space.

Similar arguments could be made for the use of cloth diapers, but with (in my opinion) better results. From what I've heard, disposable diapers can be quite expensive. I would also assume that they take up more landfill space and take longer to disintegrate than tissues do.

I don't think I'd be too excited about laundering either handkerchiefs or cloth diapers. Not that I'm expecting to have to do either anytime soon.

Why a post on this topic? Well, it was precipitated by my seeing some of my dad's handkerchiefs in the laundry and wondering why a person would want to use them. I'm not actually sure why I decided to share those thoughts with the world. Apparently I need a life. =)

Headline of the Day...

...from Foxnews.com.

On the main page, the headline reads: Sharon Loses Intestines
The headline of the actual article reads: Sharon Losses [sic] Large Intestines in 4-Hour Surgery

Sorry, but I sort of chuckled when I read the first headline (I realize it's not funny for him); then the lack of proofreading in the linked article's headline brought me further amusement.


Irritating songs!

Great news, everyone--I've found songs that are more irritating that "It's a Small World After All"!

You're probably asking, "What songs are those?" They're the songs that I've been listening to at work for 20 hours/week over the past five to six weeks. For those of you who don't routinely spend obscene amounts of time in the same retail store, allow me to enlighten you: The same songs play over and over and over and... well, you get the picture. Poor (and I do mean "poor") sales associates don't get a lot of variety.

After I have been subjected to the same songs countless times, they begin to stick in my head. And I actually start to learn (and think about) the words. (Side note: This sounds like a good reason to teach doctrinally sounds hymns to any kids I may have in the future. Eventually, they'll start to think about them.)

Anyway, tonight I decided to look up some lyrics from the most irritating songs and post parts of them so you all can share in the blessing. Here are a few...

Man you really freak me out
I'm so afraid of you

And when I lose my cool

I don't know what to do

I know you don't mean no harm

Your just doing your thing

But man you really freak me out

Take a message for my love, Take a message for my love Take a message

Take a message for my love, Take a message for my love Take a message

Take a message for my love, Take a message for my love Take a message

Take a message for my love, Take a message

One way or another, I'm gonna find ya'

I'm gonna get ya', get ya', get ya', get ya'
One way or another, I'm gonna win ya'
I'm gonna get ya', get ya' ,get ya', get ya'
One way or another, I'm gonna see ya'
I'm gonna meet ya', meet ya', meet ya', meet ya'
One day maybe next week, I'm gonna meet ya'
I'm gonna meet ya', I'll meet ya'
I will drive past your house and if the lights are all down
I'll see who's around

[more "getcha," "see ya," and "meet ya"]

And if the lights are all out I'll follow your bus downtown
See who's hangin' out
One way or another, I'm gonna lose ya'
I'm gonna give you the slip
A slip of the lip or another I'm gonna lose ya'
I'm gonna trick ya', I'll trick ya'
One way or another, I'm gonna lose ya'
I'm gonna trick ya', trick ya', trick ya', trick ya'

[More about stalking the person and then losing him]

Right now I'm listening to Mozart horn concerti in an attempt to remove the work-related "music" from my brain. I can't wait to start my new job!

How much did I really learn in college?

I've recently started doing a little bit of bookkeeping for a small business, by virtue of the fact that I'm related to the president of the corporation. Also, I took 27 hours (that's credit hours, not periods of 60 minutes) of accounting courses in college. So I should know what I'm doing, right?

Wrong. I'm feeling a little clueless right now. The first problem is that I'm attempting to teach myself Quickbooks, which was, apparently, designed for use by a non-accountant. I'm sure it would be great if I didn't have an accounting background. But since I do, Quickbooks is really irritating!

The other problem is that I seem to have forgotten quite a bit of what I learned in all those accounting classes I took. That sort of worries me; if I'm planning on a career as an accountant, shouldn't I remember some of this stuff? Well, I guess that's what the CPA exam is for--maybe I'll actually learn all that stuff after spending a couple hundred hours studying it! (In the meantime, though, I'm just hoping to survive two years of grad school without looking like a complete idiot and shaming my alma mater.)


'Curious George ' Collaborator Found Dead

Check out the article from Foxnews.com. (I can't help it--I have to say it--I'm really curious as to how he was killed!) (Sorry... lame humor is one of the hazards of early-morning, sleep-deprived, M&M-overdosed blogging...)

I saw a commercial for the Curious George movie earlier tonight. I always liked the Curious George books when I was a kid, so I was excited to find out that there's a movie coming out.

As a side note, my dad always says that his favorite Curious George book was Curious George and the Electric Fence.


It's that time again!

My favorite seasonal candy-like item is back!

Yes, it's Bittersweets -- "The Valentine's Candy For the Rest of Us." They come in six exciting flavors: Banana Chalk, Grape Dust, Nappy-Citric, You-Call-This Lime?, Pink Sand, and Fossilized Antacid.

Order yours today!


I'm employed!

I had an interview this morning. I didn't think it went terribly well--I actually came home and spent a little time online looking for temp jobs before heading out to my other (low-paying) job. But the HR person from that company called this afternoon and offered me a job!

I start Monday. I'll be filling in for a lady who's going on maternity leave in April, so I'll be working only part-time until then. But I'll still have my retail job to keep me busy until I go full-time. I'm supposed to work full-time for 12 weeks. I'll still have three or four weeks between the end of this job and the beginning of grad school, but I'll worry about that later. =)


First of all, congratulations to my friend Charis on buying a house and on her current romantic pursuits. And on posting three times in one day. =)

Now, down to business. You may have noticed that it's been a few days since I posted. That's because I've been busy figuring out my political views and deciding on what health insurance to get.

For those of you interested in the political views, I'm a social conservative and an economic libertarian. As for foreign policy, I'm still deciding between "ignorant" and "apathetic," and I suspect that it's a mixture of the two. (Perhaps correcting the ignorance would also correct the apathy.) On my Heritage Foundation application, however, I put "libertarian."

I finished answering essay questions and submitted my application shortly after 2:00 this morning. I wasn't happy with the quality of my answers, and I'm sure that my lack of
leadership positions and of political experience had already put me at a significant disadvantage, so I'm not optimistic about my chances of being accepted. But that's all right--maybe by summer I'll have a great job that I won't want to leave anyway!

As for the health insurance... I have another couple weeks during which I could elect COBRA coverage, which is quite pricey, so I spent some time with my "financial advisor" (my grandpa) last night going over a couple different plans. I decided on a plan with the South Carolina Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough. If I signed up today, my coverage wouldn't start until Feb. 15--which is a day or two too late. (With my luck, the one day between COBRA and my new coverage would be the day I got hit by a semi or needed an emergency appendectomy.) So it looks like I'll be getting a short-term plan through State Farm before switching to Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

My other excitement yesterday was sitting in Barnes & Noble for an hour, listening to clips of music. I was impressed with the little bit of Il Divo that I listened to; as soon as I can justify buying a new CD, I plan to get one of theirs. I listened to a little Michael Buble as well, but I think his stuff has the potential to get on my nerves in a hurry.

Well, I think I'm going to go find some warm-ups and a sweatshirt and hit the stationary bike. (I've eaten three Pop-Tarts today--that's approximately 600 calories--so I'm thinking that some exercise is in order.)