Saturday, March 26, 2005

Lose the hate part of love/hate relationships.

Last night I spent the night in the hospital with my brother, Ben. There is something wrong with him and they can't figure out what it is, but it causes absolutely horrible pain in his body constantly. This is the third time he's been admitted with this same pain - the first time they removed his appendix and the second time they removed his gall bladder. They have run out of extraneous parts to take out and are actually going to have to figure out what is really wrong this time. But all of this is not what I am writing about today. This is just spurring on my thoughts about my relationship with my brother.

Any of you who really know me know that Ben and I have had a pretty rocky past. We are best friends when we are in different cities two hours away, but put us in the same house for more than one week and we want to kill each other. But last night as I watched him lay in pain, his face turning red as he tried to control it, I realized how much time we have wasted hating each other. There have been moments in my life where we have really connected and been sad about times that we have been unnecessarily mean to each other, but none will ever come close to the connection we made last night. In just a matter of 12 short (or in his mind - very, very, long) hours, he had to put his trust wholly in me and I had to honestly assure him I would do everything I could to take away his pain. This is because I was in charge of a button that could be pushed every 15-30 minutes to release some morphine into his blood stream. All I wanted was for him to sleep so he wouldn't feel pain. As I stayed up doing this, I couldn't imagine what it would be like under different circumstances.

I am only his sister. I am not his mother. But when he would cry out in the darkness to me in a voice barely above a whisper because it was all he could get out, "Emily...please...please make it stop..." and grab my hand and look at me with eyes filled with pain, it was all I could do to keep myself together. Just thinking about it again I am crying. I felt so useless because I wanted to take this from him; I would have done ANYTHING to make the pain go away, but I couldn't. Tonight my mom is staying the night, Thursday night was my dad. Ben is their son. I can't even imagine how excruciating it must be for them to watch him like this.

I know this is the stereotypical direction to go at this point, but I can't help it because it is so true. As much pain as Ben is in right now, it is nothing compared to the pain that Jesus went through. And it makes me feel horrible for all of the times that I have failed and will continue to fail in the future. In the same way that Ben looked at me with that pain in his eyes last night, Jesus looks at me when I screw up, and I don't want to see that pain when I get to Heaven.

Finally, my last rambling thought of this whole ordeal is that I want to encourage anyone reading this to think about the people in your life who you have struggles with and try with all your might to get past your problems. I know there are times in my life that I have wished pain on Ben, and as difficult as it is to even think these words, much less type them, I know that at least at one point many years ago, I thought my life would actually be easier if he just weren't around at all. I can't even bring myself to write the real word to end that sentence. But I can guarantee you I will never have these feelings again. Sure, I will be mad at him again and we will argue again, but if I never have to see him feeling like this again, I will be happy. And last night proved to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that I do want him around and in my life. I don't know what I would do without him. So although you may not believe me, if there is someone in your life who you have a love/hate relationship with, lose the hate, because you will only hate yourself when you have to spend a night with them like I did last night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The best cookies ever...only not at all

Have you ever had those really soft thick sugar cookies with the thick icing on top from the grocery store? Because if you haven't you probably don't live in the United States or are diabetic. I hate those cookies. Everyone else in the world thinks they are the greatest things ever and go nuts every time they are around - usually in Youth Group functions. I think they have absolutely no taste and the icing makes me sick. I thought I was the only one in the world who didn't like them until last week when I found out that Lindsey doesn't like them either! It made my day to learn that someone else doesn't like them either.

The reaction I get when I tell people that I don't like them is usually pretty horrific. Have you ever told someone that you don't like something they love? Here is how the conversation usually goes: Me - "I don't like those cookies with the thick icing on top" Other person "WHAT??? YOU DON'T LIKE THE COOKIES WITH THE THICK ICING ON TOP??? WHO ARE YOU???" I mean seriously, you'd think I insulted their mother or something! Why is it that it is awful to admit that you don't like something? The same things happens with movies, when you don't like a movie that everyone else loved (for me, its The Village. Great movie until the creatures were fake. The only good twist was Joachin Phoenix getting stabbed) or a speaker/preacher/teacher that you don't think is great (for me, its Stephen Moore at ACU. I think he is the most overrated teacher/chapel songleader ever). I am hoping that someday, society will accept me for who I am - someone who dislikes thick icing cookies.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pet Peeves

Everyone has a list of pet peeves. Here is mine so stop doing them if you think they apply to you! :)
  1. Animals dressed as humans. Oh wait...that's Monica Gellar's pet peeve....
  2. People at ACU who think that if you don't go to EVERY church-related function that is available (and there is at least one for every night of the week) then you are not a Christian.
  3. People filing their fingernails around me. It sends chills up my spine and drives me NUTS! (Nichole, my roommate of 4 years, just caught on to this one last year!)
  4. When people sing songs they don't know the words to and just mumble through the parts they don't know. On the opposite end...I love it when people don't know the words to a song but sing totally different words loud and proud. That takes guts!
  5. Reduced fat anything.
  6. When someone cleans the living room when I'm not home and puts everything that was mine in the living room on my bed. Just put it in a stack on the table and let me put it up on my own when I get home! Don't add to the mess that is my room! (Nichole just picked up on this one last week!)
  7. Stealing one from Katie McBroom - when people are telling me a story involving their parents and they say "Mom" or "Dad" instead of "my Mom" or "my Dad." When you simply say "Mom" it means MY mom, not yours!
  8. When people get their feelings hurt and visibly pout, making everything awkward and weird for everyone else around. Either get over it or tell people what you're mad about so it can get fixed!
  9. When people read my blog and don't comment.... (haha! Just kidding!)

I think thats it for today. I invite you to comment with your biggest pet peeve...I feel like there's one I'm forgetting. Have a nice day!

Monday, March 21, 2005

My name is Emily, and I'm an email-aholic

I am not expecting any important emails - no job offers, letters from long lost friends, or anything more important than my 10% off Barnes and coupon that I get about once a week. But yet, I checked my email about 15 times today while I was at work. Last night, my Internet Explorer wasn't working and I nearly had an anxiety attack at the thought of the unread emails just sitting in my inbox because I hadn't checked my email in the 2 1/2 hours it took me to drive from Fort Worth to Abilene. Right now, my internet explorer is working, but my.acu's email system isn't and I have tried it about 10 more times in the one hour I've been home since I left work and checked my email at 5:30. I can't even describe the amount of will power it took me to stay away from an internet cafe while I was in Austria for a full week! I have decided that I have developed a new breed of addiction - email withdrawl.

It is the same feeling that I get when I leave my cell phone at home - feeling of utter disconnection with the outside world. The feeling that someone, somewhere is just dying to get ahold of me and invite me to do something really fun or offer me an amazing opportunity, but I just missed it because I was away from my computer or apart from my cell phone for 10 minutes. Like if it was really important they wouldn't try again or something.

In extreme cases, this addiction translates over into AOL Instant Messager. My friend, Melissa Dean has an away message she puts up every now and then that cracks me up...mainly because I know if I am reading it, the message applies to me. It says: "Today I salute you Mr. Compulsive Away Message Checker. While most people are out actually having a fun college life, you are at home reading about it on your computer screen. Right mouse click, Get Buddy Info, or the little Info box at the bottom of the Buddy List [whichever is faster]. You have people on that list you haven't talked to in years, but you still loyally read their away messages everyday to see what they are up to [borderline stalking]. So, crack open an ice cold Coca Cola, Marauder of the Mousepad and don't wander too far from your computer because you never know when someone's away message may change." No matter how hard you try, if you are sitting at your computer when someone puts up an away message, it is human nature to read it. Whats even funnier is when people tell you that your away messages are too boring and that you need to get some new ones. And it is AIM sacrilege to EVER use the "I am away from my computer" standard message. I just don't understand how I can complain that I don't have enough time to do homework, but I apparently have enough time to memorize that Brandon's messages usually say "Classes, yo" or that Ashley always puts quotes from Elf. I really have a disease.

And I know I'm not alone!! Sure, there are people like my friend, Jen Walsh that don't even HAVE internet at their house and only check their emails once a day at school, but I also know that there are more people like me who feel the constant need to keep in touch with the world, even if the world only consists of Pottery Barn online catalogs at the moment. Because the second an important offer comes in that MUST be responded to in the next 5 minutes, I will be there - way ahead of those who choose to live normal, productive lives.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Oh What a Beautiful Morning....

Texas weather is ridiculous. I mean day it is freezing with a chance of snow and the next it feels good enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. I hate to keep pulling the A-card, but in Austria, although it was cold, at least you KNEW it was going to be cold. There was never any guesswork. It was going to snow whether you liked it or not.

But in Texas, no such luxury. When I got into the airport on Saturday, it was 80 degrees. By Monday I was wearing sweaters and wishing all of my cold weather clothes weren't at the dry cleaners. Bonnie, Jen, and I were SO mad! We spent all week talking about how warm it was at home and as soon as we get in, it is winter here again. The only good thing about the cold is that yesterday I got to wear the new jacket I bought in Vienna! I'm just hoping that Mother Nature has made up her mind and the weather will stay warm, at least for a little while.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Happy Alias Day!

In tonight's episode of Alias, the first mission was run in Salzburg, Austria! It was totally weird hearing them talk about it. They mentioned a lot of the things that I noticed when I was there - right down to the smoking!

I adore Alias. Patty and Wade used to talk about it all the time and how it was a great show, but I never watched it until this year. My roommate decided to rent Season 1 and we watched it from the first episode until the last episode of Season 3 through Netflix. After that we were all hooked and counting down the days until Season 4 re-watching Seasons 1-3 over and over again. Then we started telling our friends and family and making them watch it. All four of the roommates made it priority one to create "Alias Converts" as we dubbed them. Lindsay got all of her family one weekend by bringing home Season 2 which is by far the best season (we owned them all by this point) and then started on the Theatre department. She is winning the contest with 5 converts. I am in second with both of my parents (true, they are only casual watchers, but I'm padding the numbers) and Taylor Stewart. Deborah is in third with Kelley and Ryan Wendt, and Nichole is bringing up the rear with Jason Kennedy.

Now it is Season 4 and we are HUGE nerds because we record it every week and don't record over the week before. So we have the season-to-date chronicled. This came in handy when Taylor finished the first three seasons and the fourth season had 4 episodes already run and needed to watch it. It also scored major points for Lindsay when the dean of the Theatre department missed an episode and couldn't find anyone else that had recorded it. Alias helps us in ways we had never imagined!

Truly, we are obsessed. One of our favorite quotes in our apartment is "Happy Alias Day!" Every Wednesday at Midnight, one of us yells that out and then all day Wednesday, we greet each other with "Happy Alias Day!" We make special dinners and desserts and it is truly a celebration. We have a pin-up of Michael Vartan as Agent Vaughn hanging above our television from Alias Magazine (yes, we also own a copy of Alias Magazine!) All of our computer wallpapers are pictures of Michael Vartan because he is so pretty! So in honor of the sacred holiday that is Alias Day, I would like to pose a few questions and/or comments about Alias.
  • Is Sloane good or bad? We will never know. But if he is bad and takes Jack with him, I will be SOOOOOOO mad!
  • Will Sydney and Vaughn EVER say "I Love You"? Because we know they do! Every time they say something cute or give a cute look to each other or wish each other luck on missions, we like to add in our apartment, "That means I love you."
  • Is anyone more awesome than Jack Frikkin Bristow? (okay, Vaughn is #1 on my list, but Jack is definitely cooler)
  • Is Sark going to come back for good? He is definitely my favorite villain.
  • Does anyone ACTUALLY die in Alias-land? No matter who it is, whether you've met them or not, whether you saw them killed on screen or not, whether they've been dead for 30 minutes or 30 years, there is always the possibility that a dead character can actually be alive. First Irina Derevko, then Allison Doren, then Emily Sloane, now Vaughn's dad... this gives me hope that Irina is not really dead again and that the producers will be able to talk Lena Olin into coming back on the show. She was one of my favorites!

Well, if you've gotten to this point, you either love Alias as much as I do, in which case, we need to talk more, or you are bored to tears. So, I'll end this random conversation and sign off until tomorrow when I discuss how annoyed I am that Survivor was on Wednesday this week and I just realized I forgot to watch it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

God Bless the USA

So, Lindsey Holder informed me today that she has linked my blog on hers, so I guess this means I actually have to start writing stuff.

I have spent the last week in Vienna, Austria. I went with two other girls to try and set up a new study abroad site for ACU. We got to work with the International University there, and went to Salzburg on Friday for a fun day. I'll probably post pictures of my trip eventually, if I can EVER figure out how to (Get ready Lindsey...I need help!), but for now I'll just throw out a few observations about Austria.

1. The public transportation system is AMAZING! If we had a system like they do, I would never buy a car again. The U-Bahn (subway) is super easy to find your way around and then there are streetcar/trolley things that reach every point in the city. And I never felt unsafe once.

2. People smoke everywhere. It is horrible. There is no sacred place in the city, except maybe the huge old cathedrals. There is even a room in the basement of the school that students can go smoke in! But the warnings on cigarettes are funny. They are really blunt. One actually said, "Warning: people who smoke die earlier." None of this "May cause health problems" stuff that America puts on cigarettes.

3. Dogs can go everywhere. They were on the U-Bahn, in restaurants, in clothing stores. You had better not be allergic if you go there.

4. Food is bad. Everything is really heavy and tore our stomachs up. We ended up eating pizza for almost every meal after we tried some Austrian food.

5. Old buildings are beautiful. It was really weird going into buildings and thinking "this building is older than my country!"

6. You have to bring your own bags to the grocery store or buy them there. That is just weird!

7. They are WAAAAY to proud of Mozart. He was a genius and all, but I couldn't even buy any good souveniers for my family and friends because they were all just Mozart and Sound of Music t-shirts, mugs, etc. Nothing generic Austria

8. I love America. Austria was great and beautiful and I had so much fun there, but I was offered the opportunity to come back and live there for about a year and a half and teach at the University, but I would miss the comforts of America way too much. The only thing I would bring back from Austria to America is public transportation. Everything else is much more difficult there and I love my country. We don't appreciate all of the things we have here until we leave.

I guess thats all for today. Maybe if your lucky you'll get a post two days in a row!