Friday, December 31, 2010

Yep! A New Years Eve Post!

What a year, eh?  Round of applause for 2010, everybody!  Yeeeeaaah!

*cricket cricket*

Ok, so it was kinda hard.  I had a feeling this time last year that it would be--not really sure why.  I think God was preparing me.  School nearly killed me, but it was good.  Relationships were difficult, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.  I kinda felt like I plowed through the year, head down, working really stinkin' hard to power through it.  But ya know what, folks?  :)  We did it.  Here we are!  We made it through the end of the year!!!  Take off your coat and stay awhile!  (cue music)  We're gonna party like it's 1999! 

PS, I was 9 and a half in 1999.  If I partied like it was 1999, that party would be all kinds of awkward.

I didn't make a new years resolution for 2010, per say, but I did make a list of things I could accomplish (I did this to get me excited about the year--mildly successful!).  Considering how freaking ambitious that list was, I did pretty darn well!  We won't get into all of that, but it includes things like "learn a new knitting trick" and "fill at least half of my journal" (both of which I did!).

TCU is in the Rose Bowl tomorrow, and there's more purple flowing than I think is really possible.  So the new years shindig that I'm going to is Rose Bowl themed, and I'll be taking "badger-in-a-blanket"s.  Because pig-in-a-blanket's are classic football food, and because the Horned Frogs are going to eat the badgers (their mascot doesn't even get capitalization--ZING!).

Currently I'm listening to Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella from 1965 (um... the best version ever) and nursing what promises to be an awesome head cold.  I have a long list of to-do's (such as write graduation AND Christmas thank you notes), which, of course, I'm putting off until tomorrow.  And yet I'm overwhelmed with joy.  I am so flippin excited for 2011.  God has grown me and changed me so much during 2010 that I'm just plum giddy about what He has in store for me in the next year.  And I'm saying that knowing that after January 24th, I have no clue whatsoever what it's going to hold for me.  I just have a gut feeling that it's going to be really and truly fantastic. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

India update!

Everyone, funds are all in, passport and visa are ready, going to get shots and precautionary medication this week, and I'm getting my prayer on.

I'm India-bound on January 13th, and I'll be back on the 24th!  I'll hopefully be able to update while in India.  I can't tell you how overwhelmed I feel with all of the blessings that have poured in from all directions.  Family, friends, my church, acquaintances, and even a blessed "anonymous" donor--you've all come together in prayer to help me get to this point, and I cannot thank you enough.  I couldn't have done it without you.  The year and a half leading up to this trip has moved me and changed me in ways that I couldn't have foreseen--yes, the PREP work has been that influential!  Just imagine what the trip itself will be like!

For those concerned about my safety and wellness while in India, thank you.  Please pray about that!  I know that it is definitely something to be mindful of, and I've really appreciated the kind concern.  Know that I'm taking every precaution to make sure that we all have as safe a trip as possible.  Also, please be comforted by the fact that I'll be traveling with an experienced team of doctors--I know I am!!

Also, I've been asking for a lot of personal prayer requests throughout this process, so rather than asking you to pray even more for me, I ask that you pray for the team as a whole--that we would work efficiently and with a unified Christ-focused mind together through the rest of the preparations and through the trip itself!

I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!  We leave in just two weeks!!!  That's just now starting to sink in!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Crimuh-bush Eve and Love

My whole life, I've heard the Christmas tree be adoringly referred to as a "Crimuh bush" thanks, I'm sure, to my mom's hilarious gaggle of gal pals.  They have their own language.  I've been excited about becoming an adult ever since I was a little girl because these ladies look like they have SO MUCH FUN TOGETHER.  I love it.

But anywho.  Our Crimuh bush is up, the nativity scene is out, The Night Before Christmas is ready to be read, as always, and I'm still in my pjs at 3pm.  It is 100% Christmas Eve.

I've seen some of the funniest posts about Christmas on facebook this year.  A "Maury Christmas" picture saying, "Joseph... You are NOT the father."  A post from a new mom giving props to Mary for not only doing her labor and delivery thing in a barn, but also for riding a donkey for an extended period of time just prior to giving birth.  Super trooper.

Also, I know I'm growing up, because I saw THREE wedding albums pop up in my news feed, all of which used red and white as the general color pallet for their weddings (and all incredibly beautiful and tastefully done).

I've often wondered if I even have it in me to dislike weddings/love/romance.  If ever there was a time for me to be down on it, it's when I'm sitting at home in my pjs 3 days after a serious relationship ends while looking through distant friends' wedding albums on facebook.  And the answer is no--I do not have it in me to in any way resent weddings/love/romance etc.  If anything--and this sounds so strange and illogical--I'm more hopeful and optimistic about all those lovey-dovey things than I ever have been.  Don't get me wrong--I ain't on the lookout.  I'm really not thinking about me at all here.  I love seeing other people in love.  I love hearing love stories.  I love love!  And in all shapes and forms!  One of the most heart-warming moments I've experienced in a long time was seeing my cousin just look at his 18-month-old son.  I wish I could bottle that love and give it as a Christmas present.

Maybe it's the season, maybe it's a fantastic collection of all of the things mentioned above, but I am so thankful to be right where I am in life--surrounded by the undeniable presence of Jesus Christ, family, friends, Christmas cheer, a little hustle and bustle, and most of all: pure, ain't-no-jewelry-commercial, my-heart-to-yours LOVE.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Endings And Beginnings

I have graduated. The beginning of a new school-less era of my life. Exciting and terrifying.

NO--I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT'S NEXT.

Actually, even less so now.

Also, if God takes care of me through both huge and tiny dilemmas, I have no doubt that he can mend a heart. He has me moving forward on a path for Him. He's the driver and the navigator. I'm blessed to be along for the ride, even if I'm not sure a- where we are going (oh I thought we were exiting here...) b- why we are going the way that He is taking us (wouldn't it be better to... Nevermind) or c- what the plan will be when we get there (so what exactly do I need to bring with me...).

Basically, I'm kidnapped in the car with God, except I'm there voluntarily and I belong to Him in the first place. So its not kidnapping at all, really.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today was cool, I guess

I just graduated from college--that's all.

And I spent some fun time with some of my closest friends in Fort Worth, plus my family, but I mean, whatever.

Oh and I'm about to get 8 hours of sleep, no big deal.

Right?

Wrong. My mind is blown. Today was an incredible blessing that I could not have foreseen. Praise God, and epic thanks to him for giving me such huge gifts of love.

So now I'm no longer a student. I'm officially unemployed :D
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Monday, December 13, 2010

This is what paper writing looks like for an almost-graduate.

So, I told myself that I would finish the paper that's due tomorrow at noon BY today at 5pm.

Why the heck would you do that? - you may be asking.

Well, meany face, I'd like some sleep tonight since, oh, tomorrow at noon I'll be taking a different final exam.

And because the paper is also accompanied by a video editing project.

Why the heck haven't you finished it already? - you may be asking.

Well, meany face, I've had 4 other finals, I've moved, I'm graduating, I'm exhausted, and quite frankly, I've misplaced my work ethic.  It must still be packed away with everything else...

So here I am, at 5:24pm, staring at the killer outline of the paper that I will be writing until very late tonight.

And I'll be studying in a few hours for that big mean final.

And I'll be editing that video project very very late tonight.

But ya know what???

At 2 tomorrow, I'll be done with undergraduate college assignments.... foreeeeeeveeeeerrrrrr...

knock on wood.

Mkay but you need a dose of happy positive things in your life, not this whiney desperate crawl to the finish line kind of stuff.  So here's a list of lovely things in the world right now!!
  1. I got a new devotional in the mail today and I'm SUPER PUMPED ABOUT ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME! :D
  2. Christmas is, no joke, 11 days away.  Try not to wet your pants.  Or panic because you haven't even started gift shopping yet.
  3. Wednesday is nesting day, when I clean the house and build things and paint things and put things in drawers rather than liquor boxes.  It's also the day my friend Rachel and I are going to make Christmas cookies and watch White Christmas.  So this is going to be an especially awesome day for my roommates.
  4. I type faster writing blog posts than I do papers.  But this isn't really a lovely thing for me at the moment.  But it will be once I don't have papers to write.  PS, I'm totally procrastinating right now.  Remember how I told you I lost my work ethic?  This is proof.
  5. Aaaaaand I love you.  Love IS a lovely thing.  And you have some, wrapped up real pretty from me to you.  Let's call it an early Christmas present, yes?
God bless us, every one.

Cole

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Digital Religion 8-10 page paper

Mmmmmmok.

So.

About this paper.

It has to happen.  Like, in a pronto-kinda-fashion.

But my brain just DOES. NOT. WANT. TO. GO. THERE.

It's the last undergrad paper I ever have to write, and I seem to've hit the wall.

Good news - I have a basic idea of what it's going to be about.

Bad news - knowing that I have the basic structure has given me a false sense of accomplishment.

So...

I'm about thisclose to the PANIC! bit.

But not close enough to "begin working furiously fueled only by shame and fear."

And if getting 85% of the paper done is making an 85 on the paper, then that's PLENTY close enough, because I just have to make a 78 on the paper to snag me a good old fashioned, final-semester-of-college-style B in the class.

And when you take a class called "Digital Religion"--"B" stands for Beautiful.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Godsend

So, I have this dear, lovely, hilarious, wise coworker friend sister.  She rocks my socks off on a daily basis.

But yesterday, she overdid herself.

She got me a Christmas present.

"Ok..." you may be thinking, but nay.  Ya know how you think about getting someone a Christmas present, and you want it to be perfect--that thing that they want that's not too flashy, but maybe they are unable to get it on their own, but it'll be a true sign of your friendship that you remembered that they wanted it?

Mkay she got me THAT Christmas present.

She found THE tea that I've been longing for--for a year.  Haven't seen it or tasted its glory in a very long time, and SHE FOUND SIX BOXES OF IT!

I thought I was going to cry.

Or maybe that was the impending doom due to being unprepared for a final exam or 2...

Either way, I am incredibly happy right now, sitting at my computer, studying social theory... AND DRINKING HONEY VANILLA WHITE TEA CHAI.

Finals don't look nearly as scary with a cup of tea and a cat at hand.

6:30 am

I fell asleep while reading Durkheim theory excerpts. Contacts in, makeup on, clothes on, teeth needing some love... A candle was also burning. I quickly blew it out when I woke up, but gosh the house smells wonderful now...

This is a stream of consciousness post. Because that's what happens when Cole posts before 9am. Oh hello, cat in my lap. He lounges and purrs so loudly that his whole body vibrates. I have that annoying Train song stuck in my head, replaying the strange part about him wanting to kiss her on her left side brain. That gives me an uncomfortable mental image. And it just keep playing and playing. Just that part. Why do our brains do that? If I'm tired, songs get stuck in my head so much more easily. It's like having my mental tv stuck on the wedding channel--I can't escape it and often I don't like whatever it is that I am hearing.

I want to watch 500 Days of Summer again. I saw a preview for it and I'd forgotten how much I liked that movie. I have red fingernails, and I rarely paint my nails, so the bright color while I type this on my phone is kinda distracting. But it's my favorite color so it is a pleasant distraction. It's a deep, shining red that looks like it was the inspiration for candycane stripes. I can't wait to finish my finals so I can organize my room and think about Christmas! I'm definitely feeling the Christmas spirit this year.

I'm excited for 2011. More excited than I was for 2010. Not sure why. My journal entries about new years last year (this year?) were so draggy, like I could not for the life of me get excited about this year. It's like I knew ahead of time that it would be a rough year.

Ok, more Durkheimian study time. Exam tomorrow, exam Tuesday, 10 page research paper due Tuesday, video project due Tuesday. I can make it through Tuesday. I know I can.

Could you please pray for my mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being for the next week... Thank you :)
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Brain Has Cabin Fever

My brain isn't in school anymore. It's pondering bigger questions and wanting some healthy exercise really badly. Healthy exercise like discussion without a grade attached, where I don't have to take notes or figure out how to fit that into a 7 to 8 page paper. My brain wants to be flirted with a little! You know, fun, intriguing conversation... A stroll around the cerebral park. But for 6 more days, its tests and papers... Tests and papers... Cabin fever inside my own head.
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Traditional Finals Week Post

Well folks, it's that time of year again.

I'm already behind on my proposed "finals week work schedule."

I'm so optimistic and driven when I make those schedules.  Really I should have used that time to read/study/write my tush off.

But I made killer pancakes tonight with Preston and Chelsea, so that makes up for it, right?... I mean, productive is productive, right?...

Is making pancakes considered productive?

Well... So tomorrow I've got work , class, a dance performance final, and then HOURS AND HOURS of potential productive time.  Really, I have no excuses for not being productive tomorrow.  Everything is working in my favor.

Everything was working in my favor today as well, though... Eeee... Sometimes senioritis is bigger than we are prepared for it to be.  Especially during your last semester, turns out.  I'm just glad there are so few December grads because I would be feeding off of the graduation frenzy and then I'd be even LESS productive.

Did I mention that I have a 10 page research paper due in a week?  Plus 2 final exams between now and then?  None of which I've for reals started on?  Cool.  Just so, ya know, everybody's clear on that bit of info.

But on the bright side, this time next week I will be DONE-DUNDUN-DUN-DUN--DONE DONE!  And such lovely things are happening after that :) So 6 more days of this mess, and I'm there.  Doesn't sound so hard!

Right?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Alive and Kicking!

It's probably unkind to leave readers hanging after a post titled "boom." I'm alive and well. Eight days of finals, and then I'm done.

Finished.

Completed.

No more undergraduate college- EVER.

CRAZY.

It's so strange because this is the point I've been working toward for 21 years, and people say so flippantly, "oh yeah? What's next for you?" like this is something rather insignificant. I mean, yes, I have a full exciting life ahead of me, but do I have to have that planned out right now? Can I savor this moment for a little while?

What did YOU do right out of undergrad? Did you have a game plan? Better yet, how did God take that plan and make it His own?

Here's my challenge for myself and for you for the next 2 weeks, whether you're trudging through finals or not: every waking hour of the day, take note of a blessing- big or small. It sounds like a big assignment, but think about it. This hour, I'm blessed with a writing outlet from my warm bed on a Monday morning. Amen??

Write them all down if you can, and post one or two as your Facebook statuses or tweets every day. Spread your joy, thankfulness, and wide-eyed wonder with those you know and care about.

It's so much sweeter than sharing negativity and germs.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

BOOM!

That's what's going on inside me right now.

Remember how I moved about 3 months ago? Doing it again this week. Remember how I'm graduating in 3 weeks? Still happening, but I have a hard time imagining all these assignments getting done in time. I needed this break real bad--holy moly, it has been awesome seeing family--but now I have a lot to do and even less time to do it in.

And emotions (and all things that inspire them), you are gonna have to go away for 2.5 weeks. I just don't have time and energy for you right now. Too much going on outside for things on the inside to be all rattled around too.

And dear readers, any blog post that I write between now and December 14 is going to sound like this I imagine. I'm $900 away from being funded for the India trip, and any spiritual encouragement on that subject or any of the aforementioned subjects is not just appreciated, but 100% needed.

I love you. Lots.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear Anonymous, Thank you. Love, Cole

I just received an email saying this:

"You received an anonymous donation of $ 1,000.00 today for the mission trip."

O__o

Whoa.  I have a hard time taking that in.

BUT WHO IS THIS ANONYMOUS PERSON???  I have so much to tell him/her!  So here's my letter of lamentation and thanks for Mr/Mrs/Sir/Miss Anonymous.

Dear You,

Darn your anonymity!  I want to hug you and cry on your shoulder and thank you profusely!  I want to send you a gift from India!  I can't thank you enough for this.  You have blessed me in a profound way.  Because of your gift, I will be going to India in 2 months, without a doubt.  Yes.  That incredibly generous gift is making sure that I get there and back.  I'm so excited that you are going with me on this trip--whoever you are.  I'm praying for you, because even if I don't know who you are, God does.

Love,
Cole

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fight or Flight

So life comes with tough stuff.  It's in the manual.

You didn't read the manual?  Dude.  Come on.  Get your game face on and go read the manual.

When the poop nears the spinning blades of the fan, I employ one of two classic modes of survival that the manual suggests.  You're familiar with them, I assure you, even if you haven't read the manual.

I either put on my Rambo costume and prepare to 100% DESTROY that poop...


...or I run away screaming with flailing arms.
So this go-round of tough stuff, I'm employing a little of both.

Fighting and running.

Running and fighting.

And doing both to different things!  That overwhelming amount of school work?  Running.  Laundry?  Fighting.  But on some days, those are totally reversed.  Just depends.

Mama always said it's about picking your battles.  She read the manual.

Monday, November 8, 2010

On a facebook status

This post has the potential to be incredibly long, but I won't do that.  Not tonight.

I just posted an exceedingly optimistic and sunny facebook status.  That is, however, NOT the current status of Cole's existence.  It will be--don't worry.  The pessimistic, cloudy days always pass.  But when they're here, I have a choice: either I status-ize the ickiness, or I status-ize the delightfulness that is certainly on the horizon, but definitely not here yet.

Does the word "status-ize" make anyone else think of jazzercize?

Just checking.

So tonight I chose the Gone With the Wind style of optimism:  tomorrow is another day.

Not because that's how I feel, but because that's how I want to feel.

Not because I see tomorrow as sunny, but because I want it to be sunny.

Because sometimes I operate on sheer will power.  And I'm good with that.

Meanwhile, I feel like a complicated, crumpled, collapsed accordion, and I really need a moment to sit by a body of water to have some quiet time with God.  Not that that's the only place to have quiet time--that's just where we do our best talking.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An Appropriate Post #100: About India

Hello dear one,

When my church announced last summer that they were sending a team to India, I thought, "Certainly I'll pray for them, but I could never actually go to India.” Missionary work had always sounded like something other Christians did. But God started poking my heart. Over the next week or so, at least ten instances happened where my mind again was directed to that mission trip. Though I had never even considered missionary work before, I became overwhelmed with a desire to go share God's love with the lost.

Through prayer and discussion with several trusted Christian leaders, I followed the Holy Spirit's guidance. As I seriously began searching for a mission trip, I contacted a missions organization. Within a few days the framework of a trip began to take shape. It was to take place in India in January 2011, just a month after I graduate (what perfect timing!).  But then, months into planning, we hit a snag and it looked like it was all going to fall apart.  Even in that moment, God was teaching me.  Just a few days after the trip plans fell through, I was informed about a medical mission trip (dental and general health professionals are going to offer their expertise and their hearts for God) that my church is taking to Hyderabad, India—also in January 2011.  I joined the children's ministry team for that trip, and we are now preparing to go serve the Lord.

A small group from Christ Chapel Bible Church will be partnering with N.A.T.I.V.E Ministries to provide medical and dental care to some of the remote villages in India.  I will be working with the children's ministry team, singing and playing with the children.  It has been an amazing experience just to be able to stand in awe of God's handiwork.  Planning this trip has already been a life-sized illustration of Ephesians 4:6, that there is one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

What an incredible gift to be able to do this!   A gift from God, from my church, from the other missionaries I'll meet and work alongside, and from those who will support me through this.  I have no idea where God will lead me after this experience, whether toward extended mission work abroad or toward being a better steward of His gifts here in the US.  I know this gift will be instrumental in whatever comes next, and wherever He leads me will be to His glory, because you and I have been created for God's glory (Isaiah 43:7).

I am writing you with the hope that you will consider being involved in this trip with me by praying for me while on this journey, or by supporting me financially. Your prayers will be vital during my two weeks in India, but also in this preparation time. The cost of the trip will be about $2600, and at the writing of this letter I have raised half of that. I'm asking you to give, not just because I need support, but because God blesses those who join with Him in what He's doing (Matthew 5:1-11). This is a gift for me to discover, but I want you to experience that gift with me. Blessings will be poured out on villagers, doctors, me, and hopefully you as well.  What an incredible opportunity for us to do something beautiful together for the Kingdom!  If, after you've prayed about it, you feel called to financially help me share the love of God with children in India, please make your check payable to Christ Chapel Bible Church. In the memo line, please write: India Mission Trip: Cole Mortimer.  Also, please include a note designating the gift to my name. Checks should be mailed to our CCBC Missions Coordinator:

Danella Hitri
3740 Birchman Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76107

I firmly believe that God has called me to go to India to share the Good News of Christ's love.  I'm nervous about it (this is my first overseas mission trip), but I'm answering the call.   If have any questions/comments/concerns/suggestions, or if you'd like to receive updates from me about this journey (periodically until the trip, more when I'm there), please email me at colemortimer@gmail.com. Praise God for this marvelous opportunity!

In Christ,
Cole

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Counting down to...

23 days to Thanksgiving
46 days to graduation
53 days to Christmas
72 days to India mission trip
83 days to the date after which I have absolutely no plans (ridiculously scary and brilliantly exciting)

So, if you have any ideas that you'd like to pitch me for something wonderful to do with my life starting in 3 months, I'm all ears :)  Maybe that idea that you have is just what I need to hear!

Between now and then, I'll be taking tests, writing papers, reading articles and text books, doing daily devotions (from a devotional gifted to us India folks--so good), dressing actors backstage, planning a mission trip abroad, snuggling with Anton's kitteh, preparing to graduate (ducks in a row? check.), not stressing out (hah.), blogging a lot, working here and there, loving on my dear friends, family, and charming bf, collecting books to read....

...and watching Heroes.  Have I mentioned that new little addiction?  Season one, episode 15.  I'm a tad obsessed.  I've heard I need to fiercely avoid season 3.  And maybe 2 as well.  I've started to hate the credit music because every episode leaves me with SEVENTEEN CLIFFHANGERS.

Looking back at what I've just written, I'm absolutely overwhelmed by the blessings I've been given.  What an incredible time of life...  Praise God for these beautiful blessings!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Suited Up And Ready For Fun


This is my Halloween costume edition blog post. Get pumped. I was delighted to see the double rainbow guy decked out at my neighbor's party.


Great people emerge at theatre parties. Flo from the Progressive commercials, for example!


And the Old Spice guy! "look at your man, now back at me..."


My buddy Jeffrey was a flippin awesome Batman. Shoutout to my little sis who loves Batman.


A little shocking, but also awesome, theatre parties always see some drag. Yes, these are both men. I'm a little jealous.


There was a group of girls dressed as teen moms on the Maury Show. They were heavily in character all night. I loved it.


Me? I was a netflix envelope.


With WALL-E inside :D

I was pretty proud of that one. Possibly the best one yet.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Evening Haikus

Indian Spice tea
Add honey and almond milk
A cup of heaven

Productivity
A foreign concept to me
At least for school work

Damn, what a clean tub
See?  I can be productive.
What can I clean now?

Sleepy black kitty,
You are a cute lazy bum.
Let's snuggle later.

Oh no!  What is this?
I think it's senioritis.
Please, no more papers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amazed by stats--of the blogging sort. No math in this post.

I'd just like to say hi to my dedicated Slovenian reader, whoever you are.

And to my Russian reader, though it tells me the traffic source from whence you come is what appears to be an interior design site.  Not really sure about that one.

I mean, you American readers are pretty cool, too, I guess.

:)

I'm fascinated by the blogger stats.  I get super excited about charts and graphs *pushes glasses up nose* so seeing a graph of the number of times people choose to visit my blog ASTOUNDS me.  Like, how is it possible that in September I had 340 visits? 

It's not counting the times that I visit here myself, so you punks who were thinking that can stop it.

Meany faces.

I HAVE FRIENDS!

And a reader in Slovenia!  I may or may not have pulled out a map to see where Slovenia is, exactly.

And here's a bonus bit of info!  I love other people's blogs.  If you have a blog, be it ever so humble, I would love love love to know about it.  I'm a tad attached to my Google Reader, so I can keep up with all of my sites in one place.  It's wildly convenient.  But I visit the actual sites often to comment or just to bump up your page views when I dig a post.

Because now I understand that significance.  I want you to get excited about looking at your blogger stats too :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

That Terrifying Question...

We're coming up on 100 posts, folks.  Just a couple more posts and we've made it to some centenarian postage.  This party's just getting started.

Also, 52 days to graduation.

Can we just talk about how flippin exiting that is?

And flippin terrifying?

Ok let me ask you something--if it's rude/uncomfortable/socially inappropriate to ask how old someone is, whether a child was a "surprise" or not, whether someone is a Republican or a Democrat, etc...  Then how is it possible that the following question is considered totally normal:

"So what's next for you after graduation?"

What a mean question.  If I do know, do you really care?  What if it's really boring?  Or totally outside of your realm of thinking?  What if you disapprove?  Do you still want to know?

And if I DON'T know...  WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO??  FREAK ME OUT???

Good job.  It's working.

Because, no.  I don't have a post-graduation 5-year plan.  I barely have a PRE-graduation next-2-weeks plan.  Those of you who know me well know that this is kinda bizarre.  I like plans.  And structure.  And bulleted lists of things to do.  I like to have an idea of where I'm heading with a general timeline pointing to an ultimate goal.

And it is a GIANT challenge to not have that in my life right now.

God's pushing me to lean on Him--not on a plan that I make.  To trust that He's going to take care of me.  To trust that He has a plan and he's going to fill me in on it--in His sweet time.  To help me to see that my life is merely a vessel for His Glory--not a means for Cole's glory.

As uncomfortable as I am without my own plan, there is an INCREDIBLE amount of comfort in resting in the knowledge that God's plan trumps anything that I could make up on my own without His guidance.

For example - the ONLY plan that I have for post-graduation is to go to India on a short mission trip.  That's the only post-graduation plan that I have, and at the moment that is the most comforting, exciting, fulfilling plan I can imagine having.  Nothing else that I "test out" in my head (I do what could be called "statistical daydreaming") feels as right, urgent, and real as that mission trip.  I know without a doubt that I am meant to go on that trip.  Shoutout to old-school hymn - "Blessed Assurance."

Now.  The flip side.  I'm still praying that God shows me something else that feels as providential as that India trip feels to me now.  Something that has life-long implications.  I'm fully aware that the mission trip is 10 days long.  That's not very long.  Post-graduation plans usually involve something a little more long-term than just to the end of the next month.  I feel like God's going to use this trip somehow to show me something (oh hai, vagueness), but obviously I don't know what that is yet.

It's kinda a roundabout anxiety/comfort/excitement/anticipation/anxiety/comfort/ excitement cycle.

And how do you explain THAT to someone when they ask that terrifying question...

"So what's your plan for when you graduate?"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Exactly what I don't want to be doing right now:

Just barely got to sleep at 2:45 after an hour of trying. Rough evening. Got woken up at 3 by an intoxicated roommate looking for my keys. Which I'd left by the door. In case she needed to move my car. After I'd gone to sleep. Which I had. Now my intoxicated roommate and her two friend are sitting right outside my door, talking about throwup. The thing I like possibly least in the whole wide world. And the cat is meowing because they sound more fun, but if I let him out, I can't close the door because then he wouldn't have access to the litter box.

Did I mention that I have to be awake in 3.75 hours? To play with a hoard of small children? For 4 hours?

Yes. This was an entire blog post written at 3:15am to vent anger, frustration, and exhaustion.

Start today back at midnight and let's just redo the whole thing.
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Cole is feeling...

A leeee-ttle bit smooshed up and worthless.

Sometimes that happens.

It'll go away soon enough.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Late Saturday Lunch!

Hey folks!

I'm hungry.  I want pancakes.  But not just any pancakes.

I want THESE PANCAKES.  They're whole grain oatmeal pancakes.

Mhm--I see that drool seeping out of the corner of your mouth.

About to go to the store to get a few things.  Want to know how Cole grocery shops on a budget?  Read on...
  • milk - probably almond milk.  It lasts longer than regular milk, and it's better for you.  Get the vanilla flavor and thank me later.
  • nutmeg - for the pancakes, but super awesome to have on hand anyway.
  • fruit - 2 or three different kinds.  I like to get bananas, strawberries, and some other kind of seasonal fruit.  Bananas are cheap as anything, strawberries are often on a buy 1 get 1 sale, and maybe a plum, pear, or peach.  Grapes are also in season, but they don't go as well in fruit smoothies.
  • avocado - just one, and if it's more than $.60, you're overpaying. (Find a 3 for $1 sale)
  • veggies - a couple of cheap ones, like a broccoli head, mushrooms, and a bell pepper (I've got my eye on THIS RECIPE for this week.  It looks like it'll be super easy to take and reheat for lunches.  Yes, I think like that.  You should too. It makes your life significantly more college-affordable.)
  • lunch meat - because I wanted an omelet today and I couldn't have one because all I had was egg and cheese and that's not exciting enough for me.  Hi, I'm Cole, and I'm an omelet diva.
Love you :) off I go to the grocery store!

**************************

Just got back from the grocery a few minutes ago.  It was raining.  It was the least cute I've looked at the grocery, possibly ever.  I did some probability stats before leaving and found that the odds were very slim that I'd see anyone I knew because 1) it's raining 2) it's homecoming for TCU 3) it's Saturday afternoon.  And for once, stats didn't fail me!  There were LOTS of people there (probably some acting agents, future employers, and such) but no one that I recognized.

I got out of there having only spent $22.87.

I got all things mentioned above, plus 2 different kinds of pasta and a container of parmesan. 

Ima chalk that one up to an epic success.  Shoutout to my Kroger card.

Also, the pancakes are being cooked even as I type this.  I multitask like a fool.

They far exceeded my expectations, much thanks to this little addendum that I discovered:  one food guy's pancake breakthrough!  It is indeed a breakthrough.  If you separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, and THEN add the egg whites after you've added everything else, you are actually no longer making pancakes but little patties of heaven.

It's true.  I know because I've eaten two in the process of cooking them.  My taste buds do not lie.

I'm going to take some to the boyfriend as a peace offering for being late, but considering the fact that my peace offering is a warm, banana-filled, light and fluffy, stack of heaven patties, I think I'll be forgiven.

These are so good, they make the dripping sound of the leak in my ceiling sound like background music.  Now, THAT is a good pancake.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Post from earlier today:

Looked weird.

Paragraphs in the whole last section disappeared.  As did lots of capitalization.

Ugh.  That's what I get for blogging from my phone.

Just wanted to let you know that I fixed it so maybe I'll look less like a dummy now.

Have a beautiful Thursday tomorrow!

Today:

Let me tell you a little about my day.

1.  I've fallen in love with hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com.

You will too.  Just try it out.

2.  I'm stinky.  I need a shower.  I had dance class today, and it was rough and tumble.  My hips are going to feel that tomorrow.  Leg swings.  Rolling around on the floor.  WHEW.

3.  My tolerance is diminishing in a particular type of social situation.  I'm gearing up for a big explanitory blog post.  Keep your ears up.  Meanwhile, see number 1.

4.  I dislike it when my professors have such severe and obvious chips on their shoulders (when it's plural it sounds like there's a stack of pringles hanging out on somebody's shoulder) about Jesus Christ. I understand that not everybody is a believer--oh trust me, I understand--but when that same professor speaks respectfully of all other faiths under the sun, it tells me that s/he has a personal and almost child-like rebellion from Christ.

Do you believe in Santa Claus? (if so this doesn't apply to you)

If NOT, does hearing someone talk about believing in Santa make you angry? Are you so vehemently against the belief in Santa? No. That seems a ridiculous way to respond. It's just that the whole thing isn't something you believe in. You don't feel the need to slam little kids who believe in Santa. Being angrily opposed to Christianity makes me wonder if maybe you are actually angry with God. It's mighty hard to be angry at someone you really don't think exists... Follow my logic?

That doesn't apply to everyone who doesn't follow Christ. But it's pretty clear that that's what's going on with a couple of my profs.

5. I'm about to watch the The Wizard of Oz with my dear friend Meg. So happy about that. :D
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Please note that I had to edit out some weird formatting stuff from earlier.  Sorry about that.  Silly Blogger-droid.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Great Outdoors

When I was little, I would go outside and play really hard.  Then I'd come inside, sweaty and stinky, and my mom would hug me and squeal, "Oooo! Cole smells like the great outdoors!"  She said this with a big smile on her face, and I'd just had an awesome time outside, so I associated "smelling like the great outdoors" with an AWESOME thing.

My dad is a classic Mississippi man.  He hunts.  Almost every possible season.  I can remember throughout my life my daddy going with some man-buddies on several-days-long hunting trips.  He'd come back and I'd give him a big hug and squeal, "Oooo! Daddy smells like the great outdoors!"  He'd also have an uncharacteristically scruffy face.

So now I live in a city.  Concrete spaghetti highways and interstates are more commonly seen than a cluster of trees that wasn't deliberately planted in that spot.  I miss the Mississippi great outdoors.  I miss finding peace in the woods.  I miss being around unmanicured lakes.

This sounds BIZARRE to those who have known me my whole life.  "Cole.  When have you ever spent a significant amount of time in the woods."

Well, I worked at a summer camp, but aside from that, not super frequently.  But despite that, I've always had a deep appreciation for the romance of spending time in nature.  Especially in the fall.  With all these beautiful trees changing colors, there is no better place to spend autumn than Mississippi.

I just got back from Duck Camp with my dad and my sister.  Duck camp is a little game hunting lodge on a big plot of land right on the Big Black Swamp.  It's not real swampy at the moment due to the fact that there's been NO rain for months in this neck of the woods.  But it's still gorgeous.


See?  There's a little water in there.  Probably some snakes too.  Didn't see any of those (thank you, Lord).


You can see on the trees how high the water usually is.  That darker bit is usually submerged in water.  These trees are getting thirsty.  But they're still lovely.

Look at that lovely sunset...  It's so peaceful out there.  Except for the gruff rumble of the ranger riding through.

It was lots of fun to practice taking pictures with a snazzy camera out there.  And then I practiced my organization skills and sorted all of the 554 pictures on my mom's memory camera into appropriate folders--dated with short descriptions.

*pushes glasses up nose*

I like orderly things.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thoughts While Writing a Paper

Children's books prepare us for college.

The Little Engine That Could made it up the hill of exams and cruised with friends into the happy land of the weekend.

Frieda Fuzzypaws learned to eat her veggies so that her immune system could fight the fall funk that's attacking everyone's respiratory systems.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly taught us that sometimes gossip about other people's eating habits may include valuable life lessons.

Green Eggs and Ham taught us that sometimes it's ok for things that aren't supposed to be green to be green anyway.  Actually, no, that's kinda not ok.

All those Eric Carle books showed us that often, pictures matter more than words.  Find articles for your paper with lots of pictures in them and you'll be far more interested in your paper topic.

Goodnight Moon taught us to say goodnight to every website that we frequent before going to bed.

And yes.  I definitely did just write this rather than a paper.  I'll be getting back to work now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Day

You know what I'm talking about. It's The Day when the world seems like its conspiring against you. It's The Day when nobody's doing ya any favors. It's The Day when you feel hard as a rock, pushing through, cynical as all get-out.

Paper due tomorrow. Take-home exam due tomorrow. Neither completed (or close to it).

But I'm going to see family tomorrow :) That's a lovely light at the end of the tunnel.

I'll make it through these silly assignments. I'll grab some food and next thing I know it'll be finished. This time tomorrow, I'll be turning in that exam and peaceing out to go get a hug from my sister.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

India is ON!

I am overwhelmed by God.  Can't help but tell you all about it.

So, I've been planning a short term mission trip to India with Pioneers (awesome organization that mobilizes missionaries), and it looked like we'd been hit with a hiccup in the near-perfect mission trip plan. Well, I panicked and had a mini-meltdown.  I temporarily forgot that God is in charge.

Then OUT OF NOWHERE a facebook friend mentioned, "Oh, hey, yeah, mission trip to India? Cool, my friend's doing that in January too. Through your church.  Funny, huh?"

Ho'd on.  What? 

Why does this sound vaguely familiar?  I search back through my emails.  Oh!  It sounds familiar because I got an email about that church mission trip about a week after Pioneers had secured plans for my trip.  Since I already had a trip planned and it looked like it was smooth sailing, I ignored the email.

And ya know what, I was a little irritated that no one from the missions team at my church had mentioned it to me when I'd asked about a mission trip.  To India.  In January. 

But God had all of this under control (He's so stinkin GOOD at that!).  He knew that a hiccup would happen in the trip I'd been counting on, but I needed all of the prep for that trip to have my heart conditioned to embrace the church-organized trip!  Had I not learned and grown through the process of developing a trip with Pioneers, I might have taken the church trip without considering how incredibly providential that church trip really is!

God does things every now and again to remind me how much and how DESPERATELY I need Him.  And to remind me that He's better at planning than I am, even on my best days.

Oh and that church-organized India trip?  The cut-off day for registration is October 14th.  Yes, 4 days after that facebook reminder.  Found that out when I contacted the woman in charge to see if any spots were available.  And yes.  There was a spot left.  Oh hai, silver platter with God's plan for my life on top!

Oh and the cost for that church-organized India trip?  Same as (maybe even less than) the original trip I was planning.  Tax deductible donations?  Yessiree!

So, my dear dear readers--if you would like to be a part of sending me to India to care for children in the name of Jesus, I would love your prayers (first and foremost, pleasepleaseplease) and monetary donations are welcome, too.  Email me at colemortimer@gmail.com to get more info on how you can be praying for me and/or how to make a gift towards this trip tax deductible.

Take-away point from this post:  God is good, all the time.  All the time, God is good.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What is it about 5 hours of sleep...

... that makes me a little reluctant to do childcare?

Thank goodness it's all about Him and not about me.

Translation: I just reminded myself of the greater priorities.  Sleep not being above service for Jesus.

If you [meaning if you comprehend this sentence, consider it a direct address] are a believer and you [same very specific YOU] have a heart for missions, I may need you.  If doing mission work with children in India in January 2011 strikes a strange and beautiful chord in your heart, I need you to email me at colemortimer@gmail.com.  I beg of you not to hesitate.

It excites me that my new obstacle could be someone else's tug to missions.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

If you expect the unexpected...

I get so frustrated when I hear people talk about expectations like they are a terrible, destructive thing.

Our entire social existence is built upon expectations.

Granted, if someone has unreasonable expectations, there we have something to discuss, and there is a fine line there.  But all expectations simply cannot be bad.  That's ridiculous.  I expect my roommate to not eat all the food in my cabinet (and she doesn't because she's awesome and she knows that some of it has probably been in there since we've moved in, and only I really know the difference).  I do not have the unreasonable expectation that my roommate will give me a deep tissue massage every night.  It would be crazy of me to get angry for her not fulfilling that expectation.  It would not be that crazy if I got angry about opening my cabinet and not seeing any food (which reminds me that I really do need to go to the grocery).

Also, it frustrates me that we're supposed to be able to talk about our expectations, when the vast majority of our expectations are built in to such a degree that we don't realize that we have them or that maybe they're unreasonable by someone else's standards until those expectations are not carried out.  I expected my poor, unsuspecting boyfriend to know that adding music to my well-crafted iPod without my permission would be SO against the rules, but because I expected that, I couldn't warn him that I would be super unhappy if he did so.  I didn't realize that he was going to do something so intrusive, and he didn't realize that I'd consider something so harmless as intrusive.

How was I supposed to know to forewarn him of that expectation if I didn't realize that he didn't have the same expectation?

In case you're wondering, that example is from many many moons ago.  We've overcome that obstacle.  And now he's afraid to touch my iPod.

So if I envision something in my head, and have done so forever, not realizing that there could be other ways of envisioning that thing, I am going to have a really hard time preparing someone else for any differences that I don't know exist.  But if that person is involved in that thing that's being considered (let's say a romantic relationship or a business deal), it could take a very long time for all of those differences to get worked out.  Especially considering the fact that those expectations won't be discovered until they are opposed by the other person's expectations.

In essence, I'm saying we're all screwed.

Not really.  That's not what I'm saying.  I'm just kidding, don't panic.  We just have to do the really hard thing where we reconsider our own expectations and ask ourselves honestly if we'd be open to changing them to something else in order to match the other person involved. 

If not, that's constantly going to be a rough spot unless the other person wants to change their expectations, which you should never expect (too much of that word yet?). 

But if you are willing to change what you didn't originally know you expected, congratulations.  You've reached a maturation milestone that not many people get to.  And I hope more people like you exist in the world.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That time of the year...

...when I have to relearn how to breathe.

It's also that time of the year that it gets a little chilly, which makes my fingers a little thinner, which means my ring slides around my finger while I type.

It's annoying.

Ok.  That's all the study break I get.  Back to Comte and Spencer and Marx and some poor man with the name Feuerbach.

Breathe in.... Breathe out.... Breathe in.... Breathe out....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Delusions

How is it possible that I could be so incredibly off?  I must delude myself.  I tell myself everything's just peachy, and then I'm surprisingly not surprised when things start to fall to pieces.

Look at how great THIS is!  Wow--look at how great THAT is!!  Look at that cute little black thing in the sky!  How WONDERFUL!

Hm, that cute little black thing in the sky seems to be getting closer!

And then BOOOOM!!!  Turns out the cute little black thing in the sky was a bomb.  A Cole-seeking bomb.

What's even worse is when I actually figure out that a Cole-seeking bomb is coming, and yet the same scenario happens.

What's even WORSE is when I know that a Cole-seeking bomb is coming, and yet I let myself believe that it is a frisbee coming my way instead.

What's EVEN WORSE than THAT is when that same Cole-seeking bomb throws out a personal insult before exploding everywhere.

But ya know what the worst thing is?  When I ignorantly launched the bomb myself.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm alive!

I'm just consumed with things like problematic defiance, criminological verstehen, and Marxist principals of alienation.

It's paper and exam week.

Amazing how hard it is to be all into studying when a) the end is in sight and b) my classes are actually encouraging me to consider how pointless some of these assignments are. Cough cough my social theory class that teaches me things like labor for the sake of earning good grades does nothing to improve my quality life cough cough.

But being fully rested and spending QT with the bf makes me feel pretty good about life. So does playing with babies at church and riding my bike on days like today, only not up hills. So does the idea of pumpkin bread mix hanging out in my pantry, just waiting on me to join it with some water, oil, and eggs.

Oxford commas make me feel pretty good about life too.
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beach

This is crazy loverly out here. I'm so glad that the gentleman callers came with me to this beach wedding. It's quite romantic and stuff. And I got to arrange flowers which legitimately put me in my happy place.

Ya know how people are more attracted to different elements? mine is water. Without a doubt.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sigh... Touche, facebook.

So, one thing that I've reluctantly missed about facebook these past few days is that it offers is a mite of advertising for my blog.  Without facebook to give it some visibility, I'd still be on that lonely island which is no fun at all.  The blogger stats tell me that almost every viewer navigates to my page from facebook.  Knowing that, this blog feels more like an extension of my facebook page than an extension of me.

Eeee...

Please, dear reader, don't see it like that.  The two exist independently of one another.  One just helps to advertise for the other! :)

Also, the bride of the wedding I'll be enjoying this coming weekend is probably going to kill my professor for suggesting the "no facebook for 5 days" thing, since she's apparently been trying to contact me on there for about 4 days.  Ooop!  Shoulda called!

If ya liked it then ya shoulda put a ring on it!

It felt applicable.

I stepped in cat [you don't want to know] this morning.  Fun fact, it's the exact same color as my light brown shag carpet.  Thanks for that, @war% Realtors (protecting their identity).

That whole ordeal set my day off on the wrong foot.

Which I then had to scrub in the bathtub.

Monday, September 20, 2010

On my lunch break

Mumford and Sons is caressing my ears at the moment.  I could listen to them forever and ever.

I'm hoping to resolve my ipod issues this evening.  I've been doing some research on the technological process behind transferring music from ipod to computer.  I'll keep you posted...

3 exams and a paper coming up.

Oh and another wedding (but this one promises to be significantly more fun for me, which is totes what matters, right?).

After this coming weekend, I think I'll have had enough wedding hooplah to convince me to elope.  Nothing against joyful nuptials at all!  They're just a tad overwhelming.

Also, I think if everyone that I cared about had a blog, I'd never look at facebook ever again.  Unless I need to check up on a homeboy that one of my friends was considering dating.  That's when I'm glad I've got access to, oh, all their information and interests.  Might as well have submitted their resume with a formal request!

I'm a multifunctional nerd.

Little known fact:  I like doing math/working with numbers.

Now, do I make ridiculous mistakes while doing it?  Yes.  I'm a humanities and social sciences gal, not a math and hard sciences gal.  I'm just not wired to be good at that stuff.  Chemistry and physics?  Shoot me in the face.  Ethnography and theatre?  Loooove it.

But nonetheless, doing math puzzles is a stress reliever.  It's kinda weird.

Roomie just asked for my help figuring out a GPA conundrum.

Four scenarios:  What would GPA be if a) she made a B in this class, b) she made an A in this class, c) she made this a pass/no credit class, and d) she dropped this class and miraculously does better than she expects in this other class.

Did I make about 3 mistakes before arriving at the right answers?  Yes.  But did I get to the answers eventually? Yes. Did I love doing those kind of calculations?  OH yes.  I mean, these 4 answers were a couple of thousandths of points different from one another, but for nerdy folk like us, those minuscule points of points matter.

During finals weeks, I figure out the best and worst case scenarios, class grade- and then GPA- wise.  It's how I de-stress.  Is this normal?  Probably not.  This kind of de-stressing goes with people who are stressed out by zen gardens, love sudoku, and get really competitive when course signup day comes around (I'm cutthroat.  Outa my way).

[Just seeing this stresses me out.  Those lines are not straight!  IT IS DISPLEASING TO THE EYE!  WHERE IS THE ORDER AND STRUCTURE??  OH THE HUMANITY!]


Need a budget plan?  Come find me this time next week.  I'll be prepping for 3 tests and a paper, and I'll be desperate for something to arrange/organize/plan/calculate.

I wish studying and paper-writing were de-stressing for me.  They're quite the opposite, though.  They're distressing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh Lordy

Well, I'm experiencing a backstage look at a big luscious wedding. I've been here for 3.5 hours and it looks like I've got 9 more hours of wedding things before the day is done. My hair is filled to an unreasonable amount with bobbypins, and I'm wearing more makeup than I knew possible. This is not my world, and I consider myself a fairly girly girl. I was just plain and simple not prepared for a day full of these sorts of activities. This is one of those times when I'd really like access to Facebook. Escapist much? Without a doubt.

I'm typing this on my phone, in case there are some weird typos. That's my disclaimer. So tell me, what's the strangest wedding thing that you've ever lived through?
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Social Media Ban - Joyful!

This article about Harrisburg University inspired my digital religion professor to present such an opportunity to us in class.  Would we want to go without any digital social media for 5 days?  No facebook, twitter, myspace, instant messenger, etc...

The whole class responded with a resounding YES! LET'S DO IT!

Ok, maybe we weren't all THAT enthusiastic, but we did all say yes, we'd do it.  Voluntarily.

Which is why, until next Tuesday at 2:00pm, I am not logged in to facebook (pretty much the only social media site that I've ever been into).  This is actually a bigger challenge than it may seem.  Checking facebook has become my default.  I'm currently at work, and it feels weird to not have a facebook tab opened.

I love it.

See, there's not an official block on the sites like Harrisburg U has--I could just hop on facebook now if I wanted to, but that's the thing!  I don't want to!  I really enjoy being free from it!  It's kinda like having a boat-load of homework, but being at work, so you CAN'T do your school work.  It's just not time for that.  You've got other things to do.

(See?? Just now I was one click away from going to facebook.  Not because I want to or because I just oh so desperately desire to get on, but because it's a habit!  Rather than just close my email tab, I always navigate to facebook and then close the tab.  Why?? There's no sense in that. Ugh.)

I'm hoping that these 5 days will break me of those weird procrastination-aids.  I'm hoping I journal more, study better, and work on a dang paper that's due really soon, and maybe study for the 4 exams in my near future.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to Pandora.  Because my ipod is in ICU.  Gotta get it fixed/get a new one soon.  I'm going crazy without music.

Listening to:  Sufjan Stephens, Band of Horses, Iron and Wine, Indigo Girls, Angus and Julia Stone, etc.

Have a lovely weekend :)
ILY

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Criminology Catch-22


Crime on campus is going to happen. Some of it will be reported. If the college campus works diligently, as they are told to do, to report every single crime (as per the Clary Act, which you should wiki. Seriously), their crime numbers are quite high, but they're honest, and it speaks to the campus' awareness of crime (which often means they're taking action to improve safety) and the students' ease with reporting crime. If the college just copy/pastes the numbers that the police department says happened in the boundaries of the campus, they're missing so much information (especially if that college likes to "take care" of those problems themselves). And then there's 45% of campuses that report no crime at all (Utopia University?). What the hell does THAT mean? No crime reported? No crime at all?  Really?

My point is this—we look at statistics for crime on campus, and we have no clue what that really means. We see that University of California at Davis has 62 sexual assaults out of 30,000 people, and University of California at San Diego has 2 sexual assaults out of 27,000 people in the same year. Any parent (or student for that matter) would see those numbers and think, "Holy moly! Davis must be FREAKIN DANGEROUS! Um… I like not being sexually harassed, kthanks." But UC Davis has taken the Clary Act seriously and works diligently to try to account for every crime, to respond to it, and to work to help students know where to go to go/who to seek out when these crimes happen. Because of this, yes, their numbers are higher, but boy would I feel safer there (and I've been there—it really does kinda feel like Utopia University) than, say, at UC San Diego which is in a bigger city, and which said there was virtually no crime. They clearly underreported the sexual assault that (sadly) certainly happened.

On the other hand, high numbers could ALSO reflect a more dangerous campus. At least that's what we're trained to think. We're told to trust the statistics, to find comfort in knowing those numbers. Or to find discomfort in it. High sexual assault here, none over here—sounds like a person with half a peanut brain could figure that out. But what if the "none over here" campus is lying through their teeth because they don't want to hurt admission rates. We end up trusting in their made-up crap.
 
So what do we do? How do we tell, then? Guys, you're not going to like this—we can't fully know. There are too many nuances. We may never hear about the time that the quiet girl got harassed by that group of drunk guys. We may never know that 3 people reported the same crime because none of them knew that the others were reporting it. We may never know if that burglary was assault as well, but just reported as an assault or if it was both, and maybe a hate crime on top of it. Crime numbers are crap. They don't give us any real information, like they pretend to do. It's assumption (or a long-nosed lie) playing dress-up as cold, hard fact.

There may be typos.  I was typing this while listening/taking notes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Phone (kinda) and Realizations

Well, I gave in.  Despite the fact that my old brick of a phone was still working just fine after 3 years and no problems, I decided it was time to be able to check email on my phone.  And maybe facebook.  And maybe have Google Maps.  And a touchscreen.

It didn't take a full day for that brand new smartphone to stop working.

The touchscreen stopped responding to my touch (so many jokes available here, but this is a family-friendly blog).

So I'm using Old Faithful until I can make it in to the store to get yet another new phone.  If you need a new phone, I'm going to recommend this simple and functional Pantech phone with no Internet, no touchscreen, no bells or whistles.  It's just a phone. 

But ya know what?  It's a phone that works.

Other news of note-- over the past year, God has planted and grown in me a big heart for missions.  I'm planning on going on my first mission trip in January to India.  If you are interested in hearing about this story and/or offering much needed support, PLEASE email me at colemortimer@gmail.com.  I would love to share the process of this trip with you :)  It's truly been a miraculous journey.

Prior to last summer, I had never given the mission field more than a passing thought.  It was never something heavily on my heart.  I didn't know much about it, but I felt that it was something that only over-the-top enthusiastic Christians did.  As my relationship with Christ and my involvement in His community has grown, I've realized just how much I didn't know or understand about missions.

Well (this is the "new realizations" part), I just got back from my church's missions luncheon, where they tell about what's going on in the church, missions-wise (thank you, Captain Obvious).  I am blessed to be a member of a church who encourages and takes such things seriously, but I was discouraged by what looks like a lack of organization.  They seem so understaffed and (thus) overwhelmed by all the requests and lack of structure.  It looks like they're struggling to do their jobs properly because of it!

As I was leaving, I was struck with a thought--what if I am being called to be a missions organizer more than a missionary on the field.  It absolutely employs the ways in which I feel gifted!  My one hangup about organizing this upcoming trip to India has been the lack of help with planning from my church.  I've had visions of what these steps in the process should look like, from signing up to attend a missions meeting, to talking with my awesome connection at Pioneers, to looking up airfare to India, to trying for a year to get my church to get excited with me about this missions opportunity.  Maybe, by using these processes, God's tugging me toward administrative work in missions!

I'm not at all regretting or reconsidering my trip to India.  Quite the opposite!  I'm even MORE excited now that I have a seedling of an idea about what this experience could be fueling!  I think it's incredibly important for the person who's organizing mission trips to know what the missions look like in action. 

Also, please keep in mind that this is a baby seedling of an idea.  I get big ideas a lot, but I almost never share them immediately, because I fear that someone will hold me to it. Which may be the secret behind my superpower

But I think part of me wants somebody to hold me accountable to this little idea.  It feels very much like the little idea I had last summer that maybe I could go on a mission trip to India.  :)  I like those little ideas, God.  Point me where you need me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Music playlist

Music on the link below!

Music To My Ears

But how do I make that into a gadget on my blog??  I want to bless you with the sound of music!

:)

Lists for You


Hey folks :)
Recipes I'm thinking about:
  1. Pumpkin pie
  2. Grilled eggplant with crab meat and a creamy sauce (inspired by Louisiana Lagniappe in Alabama)
  3. Butternut squash spice cake
  4. Fall vegetable lasagna
  5. Some sort of a homemade soup
Movies that I'd like to see:
  1. Lovely, Still
  2. Bran Nue Dae (maybe)
  3. Jack Goes Boating
Things I'm reading [for school]:
  1. Jacques Ellul on the "Betrayal of Technology" (look it up on youtube if you want an exciting brain exercise. Don't worry—there are subtitles)
  2. Cultural Criminology: An Invitation AND Cultural Criminology: Unleashed (for those of you interested in questioning The Man and media's perpetuated assumptions about crime)
  3. Readings on the Social Animal (social psychology – flipping fascinating)
Things that are really embarrassing:
  1. Talking, rather awkwardly, with a classmate, and then ROYALLY inhaling a bucketful of water, thus coughing like mad and having to leave the room (it burns…)
  2. Missing an answer to an absurd degree, proving without a doubt that the reading was not read.
  3. Not knowing a) how many cylinders in my car b) for certain the year of my car ["I think it's an '04…] and c) how to explain what's wrong with my car any other way but through sound effects ["It's kinda like 'BDRUMBUMBUMBUM…bumbumbum…' Does that make sense?"]
Have a lovely day, you J

Thank you, Pioneer Woman

So after the mid-blog-life crisis the other day, I was so grateful to see this post from the dear Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  See below, and love her like I do.


1. Be yourself.
Write in your own voice.
Write as if you’re talking to your sister.
Unless you don’t get along with your sister.
Or don’t have a sister.
2. Blog often.
Whether you write a sixteen-paragraph essay about the cosmic implications of a free market system, a one-paragraph description of what happens to your soul when you walk into your godforsaken laundry room, or a simple photo and caption, consider your blog a precious bloom that requires daily nurturing.
And watering.
If you water a plant once every two weeks, it will shrivel.
Unless that plant is a cactus, and then it would thrive.
And to tell you the truth, I really can’t figure out how a cactus fits into this analogy, so forget I brought it up.

3. Be varied.
Change things up.
Offer a smorgasbord of content.
Unless you’re, say, a fashion blog.
And in that case, you should probably continue to blog about fashion.
But never blog about the same top twice!

4. Exercise more.
Blogging is an insidiously sedentary activity, and if you blog daily you should take steps to markedly increase your daily movement.
Unless that movement involves eating coffee ice cream.
In which case it would be better not to markedly increase your daily movement.

5. Allow your boundaries to set themselves naturally.
Don’t feel like you have to sit down and set rules about what you will and will not blog about from day one. Just blog, and see what feels comfortable for you.
I did that.
I’ve found, over time, that I tend to blog about the same things I’d talk to my sister about.
I’ve also found, over time, that I tend not to blog about things I wouldn’t talk to my sister about.
For example, I don’t blog about hanky panky.
I also don’t talk to my sister about hanky panky. If I did, she’d cover her ears and say, “Okay, gross.”
And you probably would, too.

6. Bring back retro phrases like “hanky panky.”
But only if it feels right to you.

7. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself.
On this website, over the course of the past five years, I have burped, performed Britney Spears songs in Ethel Merman’s voice, misspelled words, posted typos, and talked about ways I humiliated myself as both a youngster and an adult.
At times I’ve wondered if maybe the burps were too much.
But they’re a part of me.
At least they were…until they came out of my esophagus.
But you know what I mean.

8. Try your best to spell words correctly and use proper grammar.
You don’t necessarily have to wig out about it.
But do try.
It’s important.
And if one or two of your readers emails you alerting you to a typo, don’t be offended. Thank them profusely and sing praises for the day they were born.

9. If you have writer’s block, push through and blog anyway.
I posted the first chapter of Black Heels on a morning when I woke up with the most raging case of writer’s block, I couldn’t even type my name.
I was sure you’d hate it, but I posted it anyway.
I went on to write forty-plus more chapters.
What if I’d given in to my writer’s block and decided not to blog that day?
I would never have written my Green Acres-meets-War and Peace romance novel.
And my bottom would likely be a little less jiggly.
Please see #4 above.

10. Value every person who takes time out of their day to stop by your blog.
Tell ‘em you love ‘em. Regularly. 

******************************

Guess what :) I love you dearly, sweet reader.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wildly uncharacteristic of me

It needs to come out, and not via dumb facebook status (because I hate it when people do that).  So here.

If I could transform a cardigan into the person I want to be wearing it
If I could open up my heart and let it all come pouring out
If I could unclog the fear and pride and lay me selflessly bare at your feet
If I could see what you're saying like it was in technicolor rather than Morse code
If I could grow hope and optimism in sweet painted pots
If I could explain what hurts and why
If I could make it all happy
If I could feel less heavy
If I could fix it

I would.

Monday, September 6, 2010

See? It helps!

After blogging only just yesterday about my incredibly daunting list of things to do, I started on several things and knocked one item out altogether.

This is my proof that venting and minor meltdowns actually DO serve functional purposes.

Also, please note that in the event of a raging headache, dull heartache, and utter exhaustion, texting one of your best friends and being encouraged by her to find comfort in Christ is the greatest gift EVER.  It gave me the hope and warmth that I needed to finally rest peacefully.

Oh, and I stinkin love this kitteh.

(sorry for the poor picture quality. Cole needs a new phone. I'm working with this dude:

I know.  It's sad.  No, it doesn't do internet connection.  No, pictures DO NOT look like the one displayed. It was tiny, functional, and free.  When I got it freshman year.  Yes.  I'm a senior.  IT'S STILL TINY, FUNCTIONAL, AND FREE!)

I prefer an oxford comma to no oxford comma.

My "to do" list calls.  As does the grocery store.  Want to grab dinner?  :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Talk It Out

Ya know how sometimes you just need to exhale words in large quantities to make life feel a little bit less heavy?

That was your warning.

My things to do list is taking over. Big things to do.  Not just "vacuum your room, Cole" --though that is on the list-- but rather things like, "fill out 10 page Pioneers formal application," and, "construct a list of people to send a support letter to, so I can start raising funds for a trip to India that's possibly happening in, oh, 4 months."  Other thing on the list include:

-graduating from college, which means

-muscling through one last semester of papers and exams while retaining some ounce of sanity

-doing lay counseling at my church, which requires being prayerfully and mentally prepared for each session--no exceptions

-planning a mission trip to India so I can answer God's call

-praying feverishly for peace about whatever comes AFTER graduation (please don't ask.  I have no idea.  I'm leaving it in God's capable hands, and that's a trust that doesn't come naturally to me).

I'm one of those people that can get stuff done, but when there's a whole lot of big stuff that is hovering over me, I start to shut down.  I get overwhelmed by the seemingly insurmountable obstacles stopping me up and all I want to do is curl into the fetal position.

Fun fact--not much gets done when one is in the fetal position.

And I don't have to literally be in the fetal position to be doing some really impressive avoiding.  In fact, I can seem to be very high functioning, going through all the daily movements that are necessary.  But often I'm ignoring the bigger, more important things on that "to do" list.  Because thinking about it all feels like too much, and I can't imagine it all getting done with the right amount of attention and care given to each element as is due.

It's a pretty dumb cycle.  It only serves to make me even more behind or pressed for time on those really important things.

Even my writing gets cyclical.

Gets cyclical even my writing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On a related note...

This is you, folks!  I imagine the 2 from South Korea took a wrong turn, but hey!  They hung out with us long enough to be considered a visitor.

Cuz we're Mississippian (or Texan. Or Canadian) and that means we believe in hospitality.  So welcome, random Spaniard and fellow Danes!  I hope you can read English, because that's the only language we know here in America (save a few awesome individuals, not including my mono-lingual self).

Also, please note that Firefox and Windows are dominating.

Making pizza dough tonight, found on this fabulous site.  I believe I've blogged about such things before, but I didn't include the recipe link!  For shame.  I've remedied that now.  So go have a great evening :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

People Read This Thing??

It kinda blows my mind that people actually read my blog.

It makes me feel like I need to think about why I blog.  And who I blog to.  And what I should be blogging about.  And what my purpose is in life. 

Yall are gonna send me into an existential crisis.

But seriously.  What IS the purpose of this blog?  Originally it was a mix of curiosity, narcissism, procrastination, and a need for one more writing outlet (as though journaling, paper writing for school, and texting well-punctuated messages wasn't enough).  But now it's kinda morphed into something that needs a kind of goal.

Goals are weird.  We're the only things on the planet that have real long-term goals.  Panthers, piranhas, and porpoises don't have long-term goals.  They have short-term ones.  Food, shelter, rest.  Survival in general.  But just for today.  Turtles don't have to worry about the middle one.

Lucky jerks.  NO MONTHLY RENT BILL FOR THEM!  Nooooo....  Evolution built that one right on in for em.

Imagine if someday humans evolve so much that they mighty-morph with camper vans.

But I digress (see?  This is why we need goals).

The goal of this blog....

*fanfare.  trumpets.  tambourines.   flame throwers!! EPIC ANTICIPATION!!!*

...is not quite formed yet.  I know.  You just got real disappointed.  I bet you begrudgingly ripped off your party hat and threw it on the floor in a quiet rage.  No need to be so cruel to your party hat.  It never did anything to hurt you.  Unless the strap was too tight under your chin, which is always such a downer.


I'll keep you posted on the goal thing as it progresses.  Give me ideas!  Maybe I should have categories of posts!  I already have weird tags on my posts, like "classtime blogging" "post due to procrastination" and "poop".  Maybe those should be more coherent?  Maybe not.


Or maaaaaaaaybeee things are just fine the way they are and you're sitting there thinking, "Cole.  Mountain.  Molehill.  Fuhgedaboudit.  Go get fro-yo with your roommie."

And I'm just gonna take that advice and run with it.  Short-term goals like that are WHERE IT'S AT!