picture 16 – malaise

It’s 12:30, and I can’t get to bed.  I think I’ve got 30 things running through my head right now, and I find it hard to settle myself sometimes.  In not too long I’ll be headed to Staff Seminar and that’ll be nice, but I feel like it’s time being taken away from everything else I have to get done.  I guess if I had to sum up how I feel, I’ll give you all this picture.  I took it two weekends ago when I was with Erika in Cleveland last.  It was gorgeous on Saturday, so we decided to head to the Lagoon and relax there.  As we sat on the bench together, this guy jumped out at me.  I liked placing the tree in the foreground in focus, as it draws your eye, but you can’t help but make out the guy in the background.  This might be perfect for me.  A beautiful day with life and joy and hope and God’s goodness, and for some reason I feel fuzzed out, hands underneath my chin, looking despondent at the water.

In case you wondered, soon after I took the photo, the man got up, looked a little happier, and walked on.  I can’t help but think it’s the same with me.



picture 15 – mmmmm… marriage-y

Here are the fine groomsmen I was with for my buddy Adam Benjamin’s wedding. It was a great time – very well might be the most enjoyable wedding I’ve been to. This could be a result of actually being in the wedding in full and seeing what it’s ultimately all about.

Highly recommended, by the way. Being a groomsman, that is. You get all the perks with no committment.

Well, except maybe the getting laid afterwards but not feeling guilty when you wake up in the morning. I didn’t try to test the theory out.

Today was a good day. Just wanted everyone to know. That is all.

And that’s a lie… there’s more.  Here’s something funny. I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday reading The Fountainhead, and I heard this woman talking extrodinarily too loud, so I thought I may as well eavesdrop because she was clearly violating my soundspace. Anyway, some of the memorable quotes were:
“Oh yeah, guys in minivans turn me on! There he is, with his three kids… and probably his girlfriend in the passenger seat…”

“You know, you should totally use MySpace and bitch her out. Tell her how great life is for you… that things couldn’t be any better”

“Oh, but you know, I’m a bitch. Well, she’s a bitch, and I’m a slut”

[Talking to who I first mistook as her husband, but apparently just a friend] “Oh, you know I could take you on. I know how to deal with guys. All you have to do is rub a certain area for long enough.”

…That’s about when I left. She wasn’t my type.


picture 12 – support staff

This is a fine picture of the nst06 support staff.  We’re the folks who are living with the new staff, doing the whole community thing and providing as much wisdom and information as possible.  If this were facebook, here’s how the boxes would go from left to right:

Mike Mattes (AD of Central and Southern Ohio)
Katie Tarara (AD of WV and SWPA)
Beth Herman (Pitt law, medical, dental)
Lindsey Smyth (Wayne Presbyterian and a bunch ‘o schools)
Austina McFarland (Ohio Dominican)
Kelly Crowell (GCC)
Adam Anderson (Gannon)
Random girl who wanted to be photo’d

We’re at the original New Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe.  Crazy delicious.

That’s it for now.  Except to say that I now have highlighted hair, and I’ve come to find that this has been a summer of serendiptious style changes.  Thank you Roaming Shores lake and KTT deciding to get highlights.  The end.

picture 10 – nostalgia

    I realized I hadn't put a picture up in a long time, so I added one and was going to put it up, but then I realized I wanted to show another one.  This is a picture of Groundhog's Day 2005.  I went with my buddies from Grove City, and we whirlwinded there.  Here's my story I wrote when I did it (sans the pictures):

So we leave [Grove City] at 12:30. Head to Punxy (which they use up there, and is real effective when you can't spell it). We arrive at around 2:15…  Suffice to say these folks are obsessed with this rodent. So we unpack my little grill and start to get it kicking. The following conversation ensued not less that 30 seconds after we arrive:

"hey, are you some sort of nerd or something?" The voice was behind me.
"No, sir."
"What are you, some sort of jerk?"
"No, sir. Not at all"
"What are you cooking there? What are you, some sort of jerk?"
"I'm cooking brats, sir."
"Where are you from – Michigan?"
"No, sir. I'm from Pennsylvania (as a sidenote, I wasn't about to say Ohio… they hate us enough over here as it is)"

He then offered to help me light my grill with a "super lighter", but he couldn't find it.

Anyway, as if that weren't enough, there was another drunken conversation that I take from Eric's journal:

"…One tall man was holding a Miller Lite in each hand and talking jibberish. He was complaining because Anderson would not let this man's girlfriend squat and pee on the side of the van. Apparently the lines were too long in County Market (not true). This man kept calling Jeremy "long-hair". Needless to say, this guy was wasted…"

We also indulged ourselves in souviniers…

Then began the mile and and a half trek up to Gobbler's Knob. In the cold. Up a steep hill. In single digit temperatures. On a hilly field. Then we got there…

For the next 3 hours we listened to drunk karaoke (if there were such think as second-hand drinking, I would have alcohol poisoning), had an MC that really had no clue what he was doing, and viewed the people. I got a picture with these fine ladies – the spring and winter faries…

Then at 6:30 we had fireworks which were awesome. The sky was beginning to lighten up as well, so that made it that much more exciting. Then at 7:31, the man who were were looking for, SEER OF SEERS, PROGNOSTICATOR OF PROGNOSTICATORS, ALL WHO WERE DISCIPLES… PHIL CAME OUT!!!!

He predicted 6 more weeks of winter as he saw his shadow, but I saw no stinkin' shadow. I didn't even see my own shadow.

Then we left and ate a little at Eat'n'Park in Clarion. It was good food, and woke me up.

    The picture you see is my picture with the Spring and Winter faries.  I remember the MC basically dance raping the Spring fairy, which, although sounds horrible in text, was funny on stage.  And I think she consented, anyway.  I didn't go this year, and when February 2nd passed by, I couldn't help but think about being there.  It was a spur of the moment thing, and was worth the almost falling asleep at the wheel.

    By the way, Dan Adams, if you ever read this, I WANT MY TAPE BACK, WITH GROUNDHOG'S DAY ON IT! 

picture 9 – inspiration

This is the picture of my front door. It has thank you notes, my rosary, pictures of fun things that have happened over the last year (thanks mostly to Bridget Eshe), and people that are really important to me.

Today a Robert Frost poem came into my mind, and I leave you with it.


Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

picture 8 – the benefits of a lake

This is a picture of the cookout I hosted yesterday for my apartment building and some other folks intersted in coming. We spent three hours up on the beach and played football and cooked hot dogs and all sorts of just spending time together. I found that last night was one of the best reminders of why I love what I do (and that includes why I love each student I've met this year – yes, that includes you, reader of my blog). In each of these people here – all of them I know – I see potential. I see gifts. I see awesome people who are going to change the world. I see God in them. And each time I get to just relax and hang out, I feel God's presence there. It's how I can spend week after week cranking this out and that out. It's how I can deal with beaurocracy. It's how I know that while I'm exhausted now, in a couple months I'm going to be wishing them back to Gannon. It's why I'm motivitated to stay in the CCO: tranforming college students to transform the world is about the best thing I could imagine doing right now.

Good night all.