Saturday, March 10, 2007

Day 10

Surprise! It's warm, and it's raining outside! Or, at least, it was this morning, like real rain, not snow, not icky sleet; rain! Bring on Spring, I'm ready!

If I thought yesterday might have been lacking in its quantity of surprises, today swung the pendulum in the complete other direction. And by that I mean it was just a really good day. I think I've been really blessed, or just lucky, in that God hasn't thrown many nasty surprises my way–they've all been of the uplifting, joyful variety.

I had lunch today with one of my computer science friends; she's not a CS major, but we lab TAed together last year and became good friends from that. I discovered that humor is a funny thing (punny, I know): some days I can't make a decently amusing joke for the life of me, they all just completely fall short of generating laughter, and garner unpleasant awkward stares instead. I've sort of gotten used to that. But other days, like today, circumstances can be just right such that my mind can process quickly enough, and effectively enough, to keep the funnies flowing. Honestly, I like to think of myself as a funny person–er, funny in what I say, intentionally, as opposed to funny looking or anything–it just can't happen everyday, I suppose. Anyway, today was one of those good joking days: everything just seemed to work. Wish I could pull that off all the time.

When I came back to my room I took my chance to practice guitar for another hour before my roommates came back from class (I'd practiced a little before lunch, too). Surprise! I'm actually getting decent! Apparently repetitive practice does actually help with muscle memory. Now I can sort-of, almost, somewhat play things that resemble real songs!

There were a couple non productive hours spent in the middle of the day trying to catch up on "surprise" journaling amidst the allure of watching the Guitar Hero animations on the TV while my roommate played. Focus: it's a rare commodity. On the other hand, God snuck in another little surprise in this time: I have a widget that tracks stocks, and when I happened to glance at the numbers for one of the stocks I own, well, I was surprised, because it's doing surprisingly well. This makes me happy.

Tonight was the first of hopefully many cooking lessons, offered free (only cost is for the ingredients) by a student in one of the on-campus honor houses. Tonight's menu: hardy lentil soup, bread, and apple pie. The email said we should bring a couple apples, so I went into town to find some.

First, though, my car was almost out of gas, and that situation needed to be remedied. Surprise! No longer is gas cheaply under $2.00 per gallon; no, now they've decided to hike the price back to $2.49! Ahh! Goodbye money, I'll miss you.

My idea of grocery shopping involves Sam's Club and a giant cart filled with frozen, microwaveable meals in bulk packaging. I'm not sure I've gone shopping for apples in a "real" grocery store in some number of years, so today was an experience all in itself. I found the apples section, but then there were so many colors and choices. Okay, the email said "Granny Smith", I can do that. Found them. Now, how many go into a pie? Oh, and I'm supposed to bring some for Ashley, too (we're both in tonight's class!). Well, um, they're mighty large, maybe, 6 of them will be good? And they're only $1.99 a pound, so that won't be too bad. Wait, 6 of them weigh almost 5 pounds!?

Cooking class itself turned out to be not nearly as nerve-wracking as I'd thought it might be. You must keep in mind that I'm the one who, on the sign up sheet under "experience" circled "Me? In a kitchen?". But recipes are very step by step, and the more experienced people were certainly very friendly and held the novice hands all the way through the process. The end result was amazingly tasty, and not just because it was far past my normal dinner-eating time. The bread in particular was gloriously delicious. I only wish I had more time to learn this art of food-making.

Eating came later than anticipated. Actually, I think we started eating at about the time we originally thought we'd be completely done and leaving, which sadly meant I missed the beginning of the 48-hours-of-prayer in Mellby chapel this weekend (the idea is that people take one hour shifts, not that everyone is there all the time). Alas, thus is life, but I feel I "made up" for it after spending some several hours there later in the evening/night.

I need to interject a short funny story here: walking up from parking my car in Skoglund after cooking class, there was a hidden puddle near Rand that jumped out and surprised me, attacking my right shoe.

Back to Mellby: what does one do in the chapel for any length of time? Well, it's been rearranged from the creepy, spooky room it normally is into an inviting little living room, decorated with papers all over the walls to write on, a few hymnals and Bibles, a rosary or two, and a bean bag chair, in addition to the normal benches. In my time there I was only alone for maybe 50 minutes, during which I prayed, read the rest of John that I still hadn't read for class (but it's still Bible reading, so I think it's okay), and quietly sang a couple hymns. Then Nick came in and I was going to leave, but we ended up talking for over an hour, and then Sarah joined us, and we all talked some more. So, 48 hours of prayer (or 47, as the case is because of Daylights Savings Time), perhaps not so much intended to be solid prayer, but rather 48 hours of focusing on God.

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