Archive | October, 2011

happy halloween!

31 Oct

On Saturday, a few of my roommates threw a Halloween party at our house. Halloween is far from my favorite holiday, but I always seem to decide to dress up at the last second. This year I decided the day before the party to dress up as (a brunette) Joan from Mad Men, as evidenced by the huge boobs (I threw that last shot in to properly give them justice) and the pen around my neck. In case you’re wondering, Melissa, Raquel, and Lydia were can-can dancers and Janet was a Dia de los Muertos cat (isn’t that one of the coolest costumes ever?). Janet and Raquel did an awesome job making the house look festive this month – all of the decorations were so cute. Although I’m betting our house will turn into some sort of Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Haunted Mansion type deal and we’ll just end up putting our Christmas decorations over the Halloween decorations because they won’t ever have been taken down. Oh well…

new florence!

31 Oct

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I continue to be blown away by Florence + The Machine. When I first saw this video of hers over the summer, I couldn’t stop watching it (par for the course with me and new music videos). Her new album, Ceremonials, comes out tomorrow – and I’m not going to say I’m listening to it right now, but it’s really really good. Can’t tell if I like it as much as Lungs, but sometimes a new album takes settling into. I’ll keep you posted.

christmas is coming!

30 Oct

When my mom told me that our church is going to be collecting shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child this year, I completely blew it off. I’ve heard the name Operation Christmas Child thrown around at Christmastime for my entire life, but the last time I packed a box was years and years ago. Frankly, I’m pretty sure my subconscious thoughts this year were that I am way too busy and wrapped up (no pun intended) with my own life and my own problems to pack a shoebox or volunteer to help process the boxes.

But this morning during our service, an Operation Christmas Child promo video was shown, and boy, did it change my tune fast. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been over a year since I’ve been to Ecuador, but I forgot about what it’s like to see a little kid wearing raggedy clothes light up with the hugest smile you’ve ever seen, over the simplest thing – something that probably wouldn’t even turn the head of a kid living in an upper-middle-class family in America, like most of the kids I encounter these days. I don’t want to say that all it takes is a promo video to instill me with empathy and compassion for others – but I will say that it can help remind you that there are needs out there bigger than you. That you are not the center of the universe. Something that I think I desperately needed to be reminded of.

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry engineered by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief and evangelism organization led by Franklin Graham – Billy Graham’s son. OCC’s mission is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world and to share the good news of Jesus Christ together with the local churches they encounter around the world. Every year, people from around the world pack shoeboxes full of small Christmas gifts, designate the appropriate age and gender of the child the gift is for, and bring it to a collection center, where it is then processed, shipped, and hand-delivered by OCC to a needy child. As you’ll see some of in the video, every box is given with a copy of The Greatest Journey, which is a 12-lesson Bible study the children have the option of completing.

This isn’t the video we watched in church, but it’s almost as good. It’s kind of long, and as someone who hates watching videos on the Internet that are over three minutes long, I dare you to start watching this video and not make it through the whole thing. I dare you to either not get choked up with the first 60 seconds, or find yourself halfway through wondering if there’s a limit on how many shoeboxes you can pack. When they count to three and then all the kids open their boxes at once? I almost lose it every time.

 

I still sometimes get upset when my Christmas doesn’t turn out exactly as expected. I love Christmas and I always want it to be the best day ever. I want to open a few presents that I asked for and none that I didn’t, I want enthusiastic reactions from those I bought gifts for, I want the right songs to come on at the right times. I want to do exactly what I want to do that day, and if you try to throw a wrench in my plans, if something I was looking forward to doesn’t happen, if you try to tell me that things are going to be different from how I was expecting the day to go – heaven help you. You don’t mess with my Christmas.

But seriously? Thousands and thousands, if not millions, of kids around the world either don’t have a Christmas or they have a pretty paltry one. And I don’t think this is a trivial thing, either. I’m not saying that getting toys and presents is the most important part of a child’s development, but I think the joy that simple gifts like this can bring is something that so many children around the world don’t have. Faced with hunger, poverty, disease, loss of family members, and sometimes even responsibilities far beyond what any child should have to shoulder, I think they need some of that joy, even if it just comes in the form of a box of crayons and a bubble gun. I’d rather be thinking of these things around Christmastime, of how I can give to a kid who may never have had any kind of Christmas, than of how I can get what I want out of the day. I had a childhood full of Christmases, and now that I’m an adult, I want to help give other kids their Christmases too.

If you’re interested in packing a box, grab a regular-sized empty shoebox or a small plastic box and head to the 99-cent store to fill it with toys, games and toiletries (read a list of accepted and unaccepted items, as well as other crucial steps for packing your box, here). OCC also asks that you donate $7 per box to help cover shipping costs – you can enclose a check in an envelope inside your box. Or, you can donate online – which is actually better, because then you can print out a special label and track your boxes to find out where in the world they end up!

Place a big rubber band around your box, and drop it off at a collection center during the week of November 14-21 – or join us at church at Tree of Life on Sunday, November 13 or Sunday, November 20 and leave your box with us! You can also volunteer at one of OCC’s processing centers to help get the boxes ready for shipping.

Happy packing!

because there’s so much to be thankful for.

28 Oct

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know I posted about this a couple of weeks ago, but both my old roommate Melissa and my boyfriend Kyle have started doing some of their own “What Makes Life Worth Living” lists, happy lists, Things I Love Thursday, whatever you want to call it – Melissa at I’m Graduated – Now What? and Kyle at The Nomadical. I’ve been reading lists like this on blogs for years now – and it makes me so happy to see two people who are obviously both very special to me for very different reasons write their own. Consider that my “what makes life worth living” for the day.

I wish…

27 Oct

I wish I didn’t have to go to school and work tomorrow.
I wish I didn’t also have to work Friday and Saturday morning.
I wish I had a dishwasher.
I wish this semester was over. (It stinks.)
I wish I didn’t have to reformat everything when I go back and edit a post so I could fix the typos in my last one.
I wish the Internet in our house worked better.
I wish I felt like the three jobs I have could pay for more than the bare minimum of my bills plus some food.
I wish I had remembered to do laundry in the last few days.
I wish I was better at writing in my journal.
I wish I connected with people better.
(Either that or I wish there were more people around that I could connect with. I still haven’t figured out whose fault it is.)
I wish I knew what I wanted. I wish I knew myself better. I wish I could be better at this whole life thing.
I wish life was easier.

Wah wah wah.

mid-week nine.

26 Oct

It’s going to be really strange when the rhythm of my life isn’t conducted by the unique dynamic of whatever semester I happen to be in. It’s really interesting to think about the way the last four and almost a half years of my life have been segregated into semesters – some wonderful and some not-so-wonderful. Between different semesters, I have different routines, am taking different classes, have different work schedules, wake up at different times, hang out with different people, and may even have lived in different places. Last semester, I worked Monday/Wednesday/Friday and went to school Tuesday/Thursday. Tuesdays were my favorite day of the week. I had class from 8 to 8 and then a cohort group meeting at 10. I was living in McComber and, to be honest, I don’t even remember what I usually did for fun. I had just started watching the babykids and didn’t know where I was going to be living in the fall.

This semester, every day is very different from all the other days, but every week is practically identical. Sundays I go to church. Mondays I have class and counseling at 7. Tuesdays to Thursdays I have class and then work. After work on Thursdays I drive down to Antonucci’s in south county and then spend the night at my parents’ house so I can wake up early for work at auction.com on Friday morning. Saturdays are my only days that really have any variable at all. This is probably a part of the reason that I’ve been feeling such malaise lately.

It helps to try to think of, laugh about, and celebrate the small ways that my weeks are different from each other. The last week and a half were pretty brutal, workload-wise. I had a 2100-word written midterm due last Saturday night for Race & Ethnicity in American Lit. The Sunday night after, I had a written midterm due for Acts. Wednesday to Friday, classes were dismissed for Torrey Conference, but as every Biola student knows, it’s the exact opposite of a break. I had 10 pages of fiction due for my novel class on Thursday that I ended up not finishing until Monday morning. Yesterday, I ditched Theology to work on the Church Fathers presentation I had to give in class at 1:30 that I hadn’t been able to work on that weekend because of my 10 pages that were like pulling teeth for three days straight. I had a four-page reflection assignment due in American Lit this morning (in addition to the weekly reading) that I stayed up till 1 am last night to write. And, after all this, sinking into my seat in American Lit 10 minutes late this morning with 13 freshly-printed pages in front of me, I thought, Okay, I can kind of relax now. I have a paper due for Acts on Monday, but this weekend is over, I finished everything, and it’s back to the daily grind. And then, all of a sudden, my professor looks at me and says, “Mallorey, you’re giving your presentation today right?” Cue deer caught in headlights. I didn’t even know what to say. I still have no idea how I missed that deadline, but to be honest, it’s kind of a blessing in disguise, because if I had had another presentation to work on over the last few days in addition to everything else, I think I’d be dead right now.

So even though I still have a lot of homework to catch up on, I’m giving myself a little break (okay…a big one) and trying to rest as much as possible this week while still being minimally as productive as life demands. I got eight hours of sleep last night and it felt glorious. This afternoon I made pasta and watched three episodes of Lost. I really do want to get caught up this week once and for all, but for now I’m keeping myself accountable to the promise I made to not just blog on Friday mornings, but instead to chronicle all the little details of my life all week long.

Some things that are happening so far this week:

I felt happy and pleasantly surprised when reading something well-written by one of my classmates, instead of jealous.
Does this mean I’m growing up or something?
I wish I lived somewhere with more cool little places to go right within my neighborhood.
Sometimes it’s annoying to have to drive at least fifteen minutes to go anywhere kind of interesting. (Someday soon…)
I’ve been trying to take more and more pictures. Just of the little things that happen every day. Like this:

You can’t really tell in this picture, but this morning I realized Lydia and I were both wearing plaid shirts. I thought it called for a picture.
(And yes, that is our disgustingly messy kitchen behind us.)
Then we went to chapel with Lauren and my brother.
We got donuts because we’re commuters and that’s awesome.
Sometimes I’m sitting on the couch doing homework and I look up and realize everyone else has left the house, one by one.
It’s a nice kind of quiet.
Chicken sandwiches and natural-cut sea salt from Wendy’s are delicious. And cheap. I’m thinking about more Wendy’s in my life.
I’m SHAMELESSLY obsessed with this video.

And I can’t stop listening to the song in it either. I want it to be the soundtrack to my whole life.
I bought a whole bag of fun-size candy bars from CVS on Friday…all for me! They’re gone now…
On Sunday Kyle and I read went to the park by my house and read Lolita.
My yellow blanket is apparently perfect for spreading on grass as well as keeping warm inside with. Except it’s kind of smelly now.
(That just reminded me that I desperately need to do laundry…um…)
I think Coldplay is really great.
I finally got a new little iPod player for my car, after the CD player breaking.
And the iPod player I borrowed from my dad not working. And having to listen to the radio for a month.
I’m a happy girl now.
I saw geese (I think? I’m no bird expert…) flying south on two separate occasions yesterday, for the first time.
When the October weather isn’t hot and weird, it’s beautiful and foggy. I love it.
There are so many funny little clever details in Monsters Inc. Those Pixar guys are geniuses, I tell you.
Also, this cat comes out from its hiding place to greet me almost every time I walk to school.


It’s really sweet and always rubs up against my legs. Today I was on my home and not running late,
so I stopped to pet it. And then…it followed me halfway home.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to coax it after me most of the way…

shop in fashion live with passion shop with passion live with fashion

25 Oct

My roommate Raquel is the worst (or the best?) at finding things on the Internet that are either wonderful/hilarious/stupid/horrifying and dragging us all down with her in being obsessed with them, at least for five seconds. (If you want another example of the kinds of things she shows me, google Cobra Taka Taka.) Little miss Cecilia Cassini is the newest installment in this series of trainwrecks. Scene: we’re all up late and sitting in the living room, alternating 5 minutes of homework with 20 minutes of procrastinating, when I hear the most AWFUL and grating voice emanating from Raquel’s laptop.

Me: What are you watching?
Raquel: Google Cecilia Cassini.

Famous last words. I followed her questionable advice and got sucked into the world of this 10-year-old monster for at least 10 or 15 minutes, wondering aloud why I couldn’t shop her merch online and listening to Lydia collapse in laughter over Cecilia’s gratuitous use of exclamation points on her blog (yes, her blog) and the fact that her newest line is called Boat. (Yes, Boat.) Janet was on the verge of a breakdown at the sound of her voice in the video above, but I couldn’t look away. It was like a car accident. The sad thing is that this little girl would be really cute and impressively talented if she wasn’t so horrible and spoiled.

And this is also for anyone who has ever said I have a really bad Valley Girl accent. Take it back.