30 June 2008
27 June 2008
26 June 2008
24 June 2008
23 June 2008
21 June 2008
17 June 2008
14 June 2008
This morning I met some friends at 8:15 AM to ride over to Brooklyn and volunteer with the Hope for New York program. It is a organization that is widely supported and endorsed by Redeemer, and it is an outreach program to help the homeless, unloveable, unfortunate people in New York City. So, I went over to Brooklyn and helped serve food to the homeless and needy and other members of the church there, and then mingled with them and ate breakfast to try and get to know them a little better. Pastor Ron of Living Waters Fellowship (the church where this takes place) does all the cooking - eggs, sausage and pancakes - and his wife Anna and a few other ladies help out with the serving details. This is always such a good experience for me because it is so humbling. And it puts me WAY out of my comfort zone (and it's super early to be somewhere on a Saturday morning). However, every time I go, I get the most overwhelming joy from being there. It is such a fun and enriching thing to help people who really need it. And because I didn't grow up doing this sort of thing, it is always really difficult for me to jump right in and "mingle with the homeless people", but New York is bringing me out of my comfort zone in a lot more ways than one, and I couldn't be more thankful.
Then after our trip to Brooklyn, I came home and crashed for about 4 or 5 hours. It was rainy and stormy, and I had only slept 5 hours the night before, so I decided it was the perfect afternoon for a nap. Usually I hate taking naps because of the way I feel when I wake up, but this was just what the doctor ordered. I slept for about 3 hours until I was awakened by the loudest thunder I've ever heard. I don't know if it's that I'm on the 8th floor here and I'm closer to the clouds and thunder or what, but I have never in my whole life heard thunder so loud. So I continued to lay in bed for a while, and then after the weather calmed down a little bit decided I wanted to venture out for some dinner. I thought since the weather had been so intense, the city would be nice and calm...and maybe even deserted. I was way off - hence the title of this post. People running everywhere. Taxis honking. People yelling. It was just as hustle and bustle as ever. So I went down to Union Square and had dinner at my favorite deli - Toasties. I sat at a table in the back by myself (completely thrilled to be sitting in a restaurant eating by myself) and watched the news. It couldn't have been more enjoyable. Then I decided I would go to Barnes & Noble in Union Square and check out a few things, read a few books for a while. So I did this and while I was in B&N, another torrential downpour overtook the city. I waited around for a little while to see if it would pass, and then all of the sudden I had an overwhelming urge to be out in the rain. (If you know me, you know I hate to get dirty and wet and my absolute LEAST favorite thing about New York is walking anywhere when it's raining...) I'm not sure why this came about, but it just seemed very peaceful and calming, so I left the bookstore in one of the hardest rains I've been in in a while...and I intentionally walked through every single deep puddle I passed on the way home and was completely soaking wet when I finally made it to the Markle, and I loved it.
And, as I walked 5 blocks home, I finally found the calm of the storm in New York City. But as most things are here, it was a little different than normal - the calm came during the storm, not after.
11 June 2008
Me: Hello. Umm, I'll have fish and new potatoes..annnd, um, that's all.
Markle dining hall worker: That's all?
Me: Well, actually, I guess I'll have some broccoli.
Markle dining hall worker: Yes, you have to have your vegetables.
Me: You're right. At least that's what my mom always told me (smile)... thank you.
(About 2 minute pause of no talking.)
Markle dining hall worker: Where you from?
Me: I'm from Alabama.
Markle dining hall worker: Ohhhh, Ala-bomb-ah!
Me: Yeah! How could you tell I wasn't from around here?
Markle dining hall worker: I want to go to the Ala-bomb-ah some day! Anywhere that is South, I want to go! I hear the people are so nice there.
Me: Yeah, they are! You should definitely go visit.
Markle dining hall worker: I want to eat there. Some fried chicken. And mashed potatoes.
Me: Yeah, it's so good. If you go there, the food is really good...you're making me hungry for Southern food.
Markle dining hall worker: I not eat at any restaurants. I just go to someone's house and eat something they cook. I hear people just take you into their home and cook for you.
Me: Yeah, they will! People love doing that kind of thing in the South. And the food is so great.
Markle dining hall worker: Yes, I walk down the road and say 'I want to eat someone's food who will cook. Take me into your house and cook food for me.' (with a very big smile on his face)
Me: Oh yeah, people in the South are so nice. They would definitely love that!
Markle dining hall worker: Ok, have a good night. See you later.
Me: Ok, bye.
I always seem to have some interesting experiences when people find out I am from the South...
However, I stepped it up a notch this year. I wore my Big Bob Gibson's t-shirt that I've had since 8th grade to the Big Apple BBQ Block Party. If you know me very well at all, you know this is NOT like me to do something like this, but with much coercion and prodding, I did it. And boy, did I get special treatment this year! I just quietly noted to the lady who was serving the food that I was trying to help them advertise and pointed to my shirt - first, I got extra BBQ because of it (just what I need...) and then I got to have a photo shoot with the owner - not Big Bob, unfortunately, because he would about 115 now - but the current owner, the proverbial Big Bob. I got "special access" to go back to the smoker and get my picture taken in front of that. I got a picture with ole proverbial Big Bob himself. Pam and I got one together - all because I wore my shirt. 'Big Bob' even took some with his camera, so I asked him if they were gonna put them on the wall...we'll see. I have eyes who are gonna be on the lookout for me in case I never make it back to Decatur, Alabama.
And then, much to my surprise, I went back on Sunday and 'Big Bob' recognized me! Keep in mind, when I went on Saturday I had on a hat, a tshirt, no makeup...the look of a grungy, dirty college student (don't worry - a picture is coming - because I'm sure everyone can't wait to see the image I've just painted in your minds...) and then on Sunday I came straight from church - hair down, makeup on, a dress...and he recognized me and asked where my Big Bob Gibson's tshirt was :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchid#Uses - after some minor research, as I suspected, orchids aren't really primarily for eating.
This is Fernando Lopez, known to Perkins Eastman employees as the "Orchid Eater"
- courtesy of the Perkins Eastman seating chart office map (which I had to search long and hard for to find my little friend Fernando, since I didn't know his name until I found his pic)
10 June 2008
09 June 2008
08 June 2008
So I moved here on May 15 and today is June 8 and I am just now doing my first load of laundry TODAY. You can do the math on how long that's been...
Anyway, I knew Mom would be proud of me for a couple of different reasons :
1. First and foremost, I did not buy fabric softener to do my laundry for the entire three months this summer (in case you don't know the history behind this, yes, last summer I washed my clothes in fabric softener for the entire time that I was in New York and continued to be oblivous to this until someone so kindly pointed it out to me about a month after I returned to Auburn...)
2. As you can see, I was running low on clean underwear...so I had to re-wear a few times. Aren't you proud Mom? Isn't this what you always tried to teach me to do??
03 June 2008
It started with dessert after our fellowship group at Cafe Mozart.