Monday, November 20, 2006

Exhausted yet renewed

I just spent the weekend in Jacksonville Flordia at Exploration 2006. It's a conference put on by the GBHEM of the United Methodist Church for young people considering a call into ordained ministry. I had attended as a Junior in college back in 2002 and jumped at the opportunity to go and facilitate a small group as well as represent MTSO.
It was extremely exhausting seeing as when we left for the airport at 5am on Friday morning I had not been to bed yet. However, spending a weekend helping others recognize their call as well as contemplating my own, I felt refreshed when I returned home.
Some of the highlights were having an AMAZING small group, praying more than I have in a long time, seeing my cousin Jestie as well as my friends from the Wyoming conference, being approched to pray with a Buckeye fan after a Victory over Michigan, having a goregous view and a balcony, and renewing my hope for the future of the United Methodist Church.
Some of the downsides were not sleeping enough and having to listen and watch a praise band "perform" during worship.
It is now Thanksgiving break and we are heading home on Wednesday afternoon, might not post again until after that, but I promise something really great soon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

White Castle Crave Case

So here I am in my Introduction to Christian Ethics and if I'm lucky I've had 3 hours of sleep last evening. I didn't get to sleep till 5 the last few nights... mostly because my body is SCREWED UP!
Besides my paper that I wrote this week I had a pretty impressive Friday night and I promised my Friday night companions that I would blog about it. It's slightly late, but sit back and enjoy.

I anticipated Friday night all week. Steve (aka Dr. Cool) did not have to teach so Science Club was promised to be exciting. We arrived at 6:45 and consumed our first barley based beverage under the happy hour price(this story is not about how much alcohol was consumed, but the quality of fun that was had). Over the course of the next several hours approximately 16 people attended Science Club, ate, drank, passed gassed, and left.

Slightly before 10:30 we gathered our things (darts, children, coloring books) and headed off to play darts at Byrnes (sans children and coloring books). However when we arrived there was a fantastic, but in the way Irish band playing. Onlookers were watching from tables in front of the dart boards, which could have put a whole new spin on the game. Present was B-Ruce, Matt, Ryan, Steve and I. We (read Drunk Matt and Pete) decided that we would head to another establishment where there was promised dart boards and popcorn. Ryan, Bruce and I waited for Bobby (who had promised his attendance) to arrive. After a fair amount of time and Bobby not arriving we moved on with a few detours and what not.

At arriving at this new establishment the "Pointe Tavern" I immediately noticed the absense of popcorn (which is always my favorite part of Friday evening.) The next few hours contained much of the same Friday night activities, beer, darts, farting, swearing, and did I mention beer. Besides our posse there was one noticable "Loud Girl" in the crowd and regular bar goers. At sometime close to closing time I entered a bathroom stall to find 20 BUCKS lying on the floor! It was an amazing moment for me and I secretly hope (not so secretly when I said it out loud to Steve and Ryan upon returning) that it had belonged to "Loud Girl."

Sometime after 2am we were forced to "CHUG" in a very irritating fashion and vacate the premises. Having promised Steve and Matt that we would take them home after Pete punked out on us, we all piled into the tiny Sunfire. Ryan as the DD for the evening, so needless to say Matt, Steve, and I were not very functional and we are all STARVING.

Out here amoung our friends (the Maggots) there is a legend of White Castle, in which it's SO GOOD, but only if you are drunk. So we headed over to a White Castle drive thru on High Street to find the line unbelievably long. Matt took several trips to pee on things, we all changed our minds a hundred times on what we wanted to eat, when we just decided to purchase a Crave Case and a diet Coke. For those of you who are not familiar with White Castle a Crave Case is 30 (yes 30) slider sized burgers, in our case cheese burgers. After about 45 minutes of drive thru glory Matt was so excited to get his food he opened the box upside down. We proceeded to Steve's.

By this time I SERIOUSLY had to pee and I was laughing so hard that I could not get out of the back of the Sunfire. After many tries of standing and falling back into the car I finally emerged and raced into the house with Dr. Cool to pee. When I was finished I returned to the front porch and the the boys were having a White Castle picnic. Probably 1/3 of the box was gone by that time, so I sat and ate. A number of short minutes later the box was gone and it was soooooo good. To recap 4 people ate 30 burgers in probably a period of 10 minutes.

The weather was so nice and it was amazing to just sit and chill on a front porch, something I probably hadn't done since college. Steve said he was going to tell his students about our escapades and they would never believe him.

So perhaps this was a gotta be there to even understand it moment, but it as pretty amazing. I pretty much live for Friday night.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

For Your Enjoyment!

Talking Pennsylvanian ...
Once a Pennsylvanian, ALWAYS a Pennsylvanian!
About Pennsylvanians:

You've never referred to Philadelphia as anything
but "Philly" and New Jersey has always been " Jersey"
You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA" (pronounced
Pee-ay). How many other states do that?

"You guys" is a perfectly acceptable reference to
a group of men & women

You know how to respond to the question
"Djeetyet?" (Didyoueatyet?)

You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre ,
Schuylkill , the Pocono's, Tamaqua, Tunkannock, Bala
Cynwyd, Duquesne & Monongahela.

You know what a "Mummer" is, and are disappointed
if you can't catch at least highlights of the parade.

You know what " Punxsutawney Phil" is, and what it
means if he sees his shadow.

The first day of buck & the first day of doe season are school holidays.
You know how to get 'rid' of things and how to read up.

You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" & not even bat an eye.

You can't go to a wedding without hearing the
"Chicken Dance," at least one polka & either an
Italian song (sung in Italian,) or "Hava Nagila."

At least 5 people on your block have electric
"candles" in all or most their windows all year

You know what a "Hex sign" is.

You know what a "State Store" is, and your
out-of-state friends find it incredulous that you
can't purchase liquor at the mini-mart.

You own only 4 condiments: salt, pepper, mustard &

Words like "hoagie," "crick," "chipped ham,"
"sticky buns," "shoo-fly pie," "pierogies" &
"pocketbook" actually mean something to you. That's
PA slang for purse!

You can eat cold pizza (even for breakfast) and know others who do the same. (Those from NY find this "barbaric.")

You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you know it comes in several colors: Red, White, Brown, Gold.

You know several places to purchase or that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage and Hot Bacon Dressing

You can eat a cold soft pretzel from a street vendor without fear & enjoy it. It almost always
comes with mustard.

You know the difference between a cheese steak & a pizza steak sandwich, and know that you can't get a really good one outside PA. Except Atlantic City on the boardwalk.

You live for summer, when street & county fairs signal the beginning of funnel cake season.

Customers ask the waitress for "dippy eggs" for breakfast.

You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Paradise ,
Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville,
Mars, and Slippery Rock are PA towns. (and the first
3 were consecutive stops on the Reading RR)

You know what a township, borough, and commonwealth is.

You can identify drivers from New York , New
Jersey , or other neighboring states by their unique & irritating driving habits.

A traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a horse-drawn carriage on the highway in Lancaster County .

You know several people who have hit deer more than once.

You carry jumper cables in your car & your female passengers know how to use them.

You still keep kitty litter, starting fluid, de-icer, or a snowbrush in your trunk, even if you
now live in the south.

Driving is always better in winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

As a kid you built snow forts and leaf piles that were taller than you were.

Your graduating class consisted of mostly Polish, German, & Italian names.

You know beer doesn't grow in a garden but you know where to find a beer garden.

You also know someone who lives "down the lane"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote damn it!

Tomorrow is election day, please get out and have your voice count! While I do have my own opinions and ideals about what this country should be and who should be in office, that's not what this post is about. It is simply about being an American citizen and voting in this election.
Earlier this week someone told me that they don't vote in "little" elections, I almost punched her. Whether you live in Ohio or not, this election is not little, no election is little. Elections aren't just about who is going to be president, but about who is running your local government, who is representing you in the state house of representatives, and who is speaking for you in Washington... I don't see anything little about it.
So just do it...and make wise decisions. Don't vote for a candidate just because your spouse, your partner, you brother or your friend is voting for them, vote for a candidate because they are the candidate that you want to speak for you. There are many "hot button" issues out there like gay marriage and abortion, but their are so many other important things to consider like poverty (and don't forget the environment, that is important too)! Vote Damn it!

Here ends the rant.

Sacred Space of the Week

Several weeks ago I decided that I wanted to include a weekly feature that highlighted Sacred Spaces as I see them. I believe that a Sacred Space does not have to be a church or anything related to a particular denomination, nor does it have to be named a Sacred Space by another person. What is important is that to each individual it is a place where you feel closer to God, where a conversation between individual and God takes place and where one can listen to the calling of God.

The MTSO Outdoor Chapel This weeks Sacred Space of the week does happen to be a type of a chapel. Several times a year chapel services are held here by different studend organizations. I've had two opportunities to be involved with services here. One in the evening with the Young Adult Seminarian Network. It was dark and the setting included tiki torches, candles, grapes, cheese, and crackers. The chapel was built and dedicated to a former maintence director at the school and is a very important part of the campus here at MTSO.

Panera Bread Ministry

I have had the opportunity to participate in a really amazing minsitry here at MTSO. As a member of the Community Enrichment and Empowerment Network (CEEN) I am partly in charge of the Panera Bread Ministry. Every evening when at closing time Panera donates their left over bread for that day to a different charitable organization. On Sunday evenings the community of MTSO gets to benefit from this program. Last night I took our new trusty truck to pick up the bread. We waited and waited and it was taking way longer than normal to pack up all the bread. Finally the manager told us we could start loading up. When all was said and done, the entire bed of the truck was full of bread. FULL! How rediculous is that?!
Normally we have enough bread to fill about 5 plastic containers. We had twice that amount this week, it consumed the coffee shop! I took pictures but have not uploaded them yet. I will include them in a further post.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Big News

I've been a rather irresponsible Blogger recently, but alot has been going on here. Ryan got in a car accident back in July, it was the other guys fault and their insurance company totalled it out, sending Ryan a check. The guy told him he could still drive it however, so that's what he's been doing. On Tuesday morning the Saab did not start causing Ryan not to be able to get to OSU to teach his lab. Normally only having one car is fine, but on days like Tuesday when we both had places to be, it stressed me out a little. So last night we went car shopping.....