Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Five: 3/27/09

1. Would you return to high school life for a week? Why or why not?

I'm going to answer this question first by not answering it. I have had several dreams in the past year or so that I'm back in high school. Only, unlike in high school, I have a car, I drive to school, and I've already finished high school. Usually I'm thinking, "Gee, this will be a breeze since I've done all this before!" But then I'm inexplicably late, I can't figure out/find my schedule, and then I realize this all stupid because high school is OVER. So I give/wake up.

I would return to high school life for a week because I like memories and it would be fun to temporarily transport myself to a different time of life.

2. Who were you in high school?

A younger, thinner, blonder, less mature version of me. Shy, kind of a loner.

3. What was your favorite high school hangout? What did you do there?

My friends and I went to the Barnes & Noble in downtown Naperville all the time. We would usually listen to music and find all kinds of stuff to look at.

4. What were your favorite three songs in high school?

My favorite Broadway shows to listen to were Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon, followed by Jekyll & Hyde in a close fourth. I was into shows and hadn't really realized that I wasn't defined by the music I listened to and therefore could casually listen to the radio.

5. What was the craziest thing you did in high school?

Probably silly downtown hijinks. I don't know--I wasn't very crazy by usual teen standards.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Moments in Spain: Saint Sebastian

I left for Spain almost a year ago! And I still have so many pictures and memories to share and archive.

The sunshine around Chicagoland lately has reminded me of our day in San Sebastiàn. You might remember the beach photos here and the seafood we ate here. We spent a lot of the day walking around and seeing the sights. For example, this is a typical street in San Sebastiàn:

We walked through such a street to find this church, which I believe is dedicated to Saint Sebastian:

Saint Sebastian was a third century martyr, usually depicted tied to a post and shot with arrows.

I took a picture of a very old-looking part of the facade when I saw a wedding party. So, Harriet the Spy-style, I whipped out my camera and took a picture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Moments in Spain: Bronze and Water

I wish I knew the significance of this statue, as I saw it in two different parks. Clearly, fishing has been important to the Basques in their long history. Some historians say the Basques were the first Europeans to settle in North America in their search for the all-important cod.

Frank Ghery, the architect of the Guggenheim Museum, was inspired by fish for his design. The overlapping and slightly bent titanium plates on the exterior resemble fish scales.

Understandably, then, seafood comprises a large portion of Basque cuisine. And, after thousands of years of living and working in the same region, they sure have honed their culinary expertise!

So, even though I don't know any specific story behind this statue, its significance is implicit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Moments in Spain: Unclimbing Begoña

Begoña is an area of Bilbao on a hill on the edge of the city. I think of it as the Montmartre of Bilbao. Featuring a grand Basilica, the neighborhood was a good destination for me on one of my sunny Bilbao days.

Soon after reaching the summit, I finally glimpsed the beautiful Basilica.

I couldn't go inside, but I took a walk around.

I loved drinking in the greenness, the sun, the flowers, and the views. But soon there was nothing much else to do, so I began the descent and documented it in photos.

The steps deposited me at the Basque Museum! I went there a different day and loved it, despite the lack of anything in English. They have lots of artifacts and models of Basques through their incredibly long history.

Wedding Memories: Church Arrival

It's really time to keep moving on this series before I forget every detail of that day almost 18 months ago. We left off with pictures in the garden in this post. Soon after that, we left for church.

When we arrived, the choir was warming up.

I couldn't pay attention long before feasting my eyes on floral wonderment. Our wonderful, fabulous florist absolutely came through. She took my ideas--fall theme, orange and green, bridesmaid dresses in "Vintage Pearl"--and came up with THIS:

Terra cotta roses. Mango calla lilies. Soft orange asiatic lilies. Buttery gerbera daisies. Hypericum berries and transparent oak leaves. I was there to marry Erich and all, but I kinda fell in love with my bouquet that day.

There were also transparent oak leaves in the pew ribbons.

That's Gina the florist in the back standing by my mom. She had set everything up and made sure it was just right. Before she left she visited me in my little waiting room, took my hands, and told me to enjoy the day and relax and everything will be great. She was the bomb. Meanwhile, my maids waited while I got a bunch of solo photos taken.

My extremely soon-to-be father-in-law, preparing for the service, stopped by to greet me:

Then I got some group photos with my maids. I look so much better with my jewelry on, and we all look better with flowers. I'm thinking these church shots put the garden photos to shame.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Moments in Spain: Persisting in Bravery

It's been raining around here lately, and something about the smell of the rain and the temperature yesterday transported me back to Spain, and I felt a strong sense of longing. Then I realized the great and wonderful thing about foreign travel: it's a good amnesiac. I know that a lot of the time I was in Spain I felt lonely, but now all I really remember is the wonderful experiences I had, seeing and getting to know a new city, absorbing Basque culture, and sampling some excellent cuisine.

Despite my loneliness, I did make it a point to leave the safety of the hotel room on my own every day, even if it was just to a grocery store. Toward the end of the week, we had a couple of nice warm sunny days, which was enough to entice me out to simply explore the city. One day, I found a city square that was fairly well-hidden. Erich had heard of it but never found it. It was around lunch time and there were bars lining the perimeter of the square.

I had packed some little granola bars in my bag so I wouldn't starve, but the casual lunch diners were taunting me: delicious authentic Spanish food everywhere, and I was not going to let my discomfort with the lunching process and the language stop me from getting a jamon sandwich! So for the next hour or so, I strolled around this little square, watching people sit down and get up. I learned that they could seat themselves. Then I had to pluck up the courage to pick one and go sit down. While that courage slowly unearthed itself, I frantically studied my Spanish phrase book for help in ordering food. FINALLY, I sat down here:

Soon enough, a delightful waitress came to take my order. I pointed to the sandwich I wanted, she wrote it down and then said something in extremely fast and unrecognizable Spanish. It must have been something along the lines of, "Will that be all?" because in response to my blank stare, she put her notebook under her arm, made a huge gesture with her hands, and said "Finish!!!"

"Si! Yes, that's all," I replied. We both had a good laugh. And I had a delicious ham sandwich and small beer, dearly bought but worth every minute of courage-summoning. And I got to enjoy a better view for the rest of my time in that plaza: the one from a table:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Future Stardom

Kent at speaks to my soul:

You’ve got a problem. You feel the Lord calling you to a career as a chart-topping, face-shredding rock star, but you feel guilty about the sex, drugs, and sex that inevitably accompany super stardom.

Yes, I do!

Your solution? Become a worship leader! Get the groupies, the Facebook fanpages, and the all-you-can-drink booze buffets you’ve always wanted while keeping your conscience squeaky clean!


Now, before you run off to Colorado Springs and start a band, I should tell you, it takes more than non-threatening good looks and a severely inflated ego to become the mouthpiece of the church. You need a catchy ditty that people of all ages will relate to without fully understanding.

Oops, it's starting to sound like my background as an organist and handbell choir director won't really transfer.

The rest of this webinar is entirely too awesome to copy/paste, so please, go read and laugh.

HT: Mollie at Brothers of John the Steadfast