Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

An update:

I haven't posted on this blog in over a year! WHOA! And so much has changed in that time. For one, I have a wonderful, beautiful, exciting girlfriend! YAY! It is so fun to be in love (and so frustrating when you have convictions). And it is so hard to rarely see the person you love (I'm going to school and working 90 miles from her home). Anyway, that is a long story and even though I'm usually long-winded on this blog, I will save it for now so as to not cause anyone reading it to vomit or otherwise regret following my ramblings.

Other happenings: SCHOOL. Need I say any more? I can't wait to be done with it! There are only two more weeks to this semester and then only one more semester ever! YAY!!! Really though, I just want to stop working on homework (one of the reasons for this post is that it is a diversion from "term paper reality") and attending classes. But I won't because I'm terribly driven to get A's and that would not be possible if I didn't finish my work.

Also, starting in January of this year, I began an internship at Cook & Haugeberg LLC, a local accounting firm. I have learned quite a bit and daily learn that there is so much more to know! This has been a great experience and will continue to be. I can't believe that it is actually happening... I'm actually on track towards getting my certification.

Well, I really do have so much more I could ramble about, but I really must go call my girlfriend and, time permitting, work on my term paper. It is so wonderful that spring has finally arrived here in Alaska. Maybe it will help me survive the end of semester craze! Till next time...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Back in School

Well, this will be brief because I don't really feel like it and I'm in class so I only have half an hour. Let's see, a lot has happened in the last month. I had a nice break from school. I did a lot of work for Whitestone Furs and for the community association. I was pleased with what I got done but, as usual, there is always more to do. So, I have plenty to work on during weekends!
School is started again and I can hardly believe that we had a whole month off! I have seven classes this semester, so I'll be a little busier. The bummer is that on Monday and Wednesday I have very long days. I have a class from 10:30 am to 11:30 am then I have one from 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm and then I have one from 5:20 pm to 6:50 pm and from 7 pm to 10 pm. Those late nights are killer! I was falling asleep so bad on Wednesday night! I had to go get a triple shot latte before the second class! Anyway, I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, but so far, its rough!
Convention is this weekend... a dinner tonight. So, that won't be a very restful weekend, but who cares. I hope that I get something from it!
I moved to the Post House with Nyron and Pauline Wheeler. Anthony moved with me but has, as of this week, finally decided that he wants to move on and is back in Wasilla. I hope he has a good transition down there and that he comes up with a plan for his future. Diego is coming back on Feb. 3rd and I guess he will be my new roommate. Poor guy, I'm up in Fairbanks all week and not usually home much on the weekends. I hope he gets along alright by himself. Setting up this new room has proved expensive. I'm not really an interior decorator, but I hate living in a pig sty, so I have been trying to coordinate colors and plan the space. I like doing this, but because the carpet in this room is a cranberry red, I have had to get a new comforter and some new decorations. This is taxing me financially, but hopefully eBay will help me recover the losses! (Shameless plug: Go to eBay and search for seller: josiah_keller, bid on my things and pay me lots of money! There, I said it! :) )
Well, that is about it for now. Abbie and Peter's wedding is coming right up and I'm trying to finish a gift for them and get the hardware together to help take photos at their wedding. I'll be real busy, I think, so I hope I can post some but don't expect much. :) All for now. Tootles.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

When it rains, it pours!

Well, it has been a while since my last post and a lot has happened! I feel a bit like the leaves must feel in autumn when the wind whirls them around in circles. Fortunately the circle are about to end for a spell, which is very exciting to me! Let's see, I wrote last just before Thanksgiving holiday. That went off splendidly and I was immediately swept up by the rushing torrent of finishing the semester in almost all my classes. Homework has been extreme and the one final that I took so far was also quite intense. I would have attempted to write more as it was all transpiring, but so much of my homework required writing that it lost its glamor. I'm over that a bit now and not so burned out on the typing.

This week has followed the maxim: "when it rains, it pours." I can't see that phrase without thinking of Diana Harper's father. He was an advertising genius and part owner a worldwide advertising firm. He introduced the Morton Salt logo utilizing that phrase to emphasize that Morton's salt would not clump in humid weather. The simple picture and phrase are still on all of Morton's salt products to this day (some 40 years later).
Anyway, the phrase does have a meaning before the advert and that is more what my week has been like. I had homework due Monday, so I was busy most of Sunday. Then I attended my last classes for this semester on Monday. I had little to do during them (they were needless reviews) and little to do in between them and after. I had Tuesday and Wednesday to study for my two finals today... that was sort of a waste because I didn't really need the time, so I did a lot of errands and tried to rap up a bunch of pending things and get the enrolling process started for the next semester. Apart from that, I had little important to do. This does not mean I did nothing, it just means that none of what I did was pressing. :) Okay, you get the picture.
Anyway, it has been a pretty low-key week until this morning when everything seems to be happening at once. Well, at least I have time to reflect on it and write about it here, but it has been a full day already and its only lunch time. Milla is in labor today and getting ready to have her baby. And at the same time, Mary Ellis died this morning after a valiant and very long battle against advanced bone and liver cancer. (These major things land on top of my exam day of course.) Oh, and someone stole a fur coat from our shop at Shopper's Forum Mall last night so I have been trying to help track down which one. Anyway, so many things at once it is a lot to reflect on!
Even with all those thoughts, Mary Ellis' passing away has remained at the forefront of my thoughts for a while now. I had a lot more contact with her while she was dying than I have ever had with a dying person before. I am thankful for it and at the same time I was unsure why God made it drag on this long. About two and half months ago, Mary and Eric Ellis came up here to Fairbanks for a checkup on her bone cancer. They got a report that the cancer had spread to her liver and that she had only a few days to live, at most. That sort of diagnosis is dreadful and heavy to bear! But both Mary and Eric maintained a good confession. Thinking the end would be any minute, they decided to stay at the Fairbanks house so they could be close to the Hospital for pain medication, etc. They were here in town just over a week. That week was both heavy and encouraging, both great and terrible and I would never trade it for anything else! Each evening we gathered for prayer and sometimes worship. Emotions were charged, but there was also a great peace and it was obvious that God was in control and that both Mary and Eric had surrendered even her life to His will. Mary was in a great deal of pain and living on morphine. She kept losing weight and was often unable to keep any food down. The end of her life seemed imminent even then. I would never have guessed that she would live another two and a half months. But God has a purpose. Still it was hard to see her suffer so much and see her literally shrivel in front of our eyes. After it became clear that she could get the same medical help in Delta, they moved back to the Upriver House to wait until the Lord moved.
All during this time, fall remained and winter lingered in coming. Transportation across the river got more and more difficult even as the days got shorter and shorter in favor of more darkness. About a month after Mary's prognosis, I had to write a haiku for my art class. I was unsure what to write about. However, as I was contemplating all that was happening both in the natural world and with Mary, I began to write. This is what came out:
The driest brown leaves
Refuse to fall from snowy
Trees – autumn lingers.
Of course, I've always known that I'm not much of a writer, but my teacher liked it and could sympathize with where I was coming from (I had to also write an explanation/interpretation).
Since then, autumn fled before the bitter cold and dark of Alaska's winter. We had weeks of -20 to -40 degree weather. Snow came and we finally got a winter road across the river. But Mary continued to linger. Her health got worse and worse and her body smaller and smaller. I visited her about two weeks ago with all the members of my household. We had a prayer and praise session during which most of us cried. She looked so frail and seemed already dead but her confession remained to glorify the Lord for his goodness and she wanted to reach out and touch all those around her. Always a servant, even until her death, connecting with other people was what brought her the greatest joy. At the close of this meeting, Emerson W. E. thought we should sing "Will You Dance" since Mary has always loved to dance and in remembrance of an opening she brought years ago about dancing before the Lord. We sang this song and the presence of the Lord was strong around us. Mary's countenance was bright as she imagined being able to dance again! Although her response was inspiring and impressive, the battle continue to drag on. Finally, more than two months after the doctors gave her a few days to live, Mary Ellis has passed on. It's odd, I have never heard of the death of a loved one without feeling grief and sorrow until today. When I got the news that she had finally moved on to be with the Lord, I was flooded with relief and almost rejoicing. The end had been in sight for so long and it seemed that its delay was causing more grief and pain than it could. I feel that this is the mercy of the Lord. Dance Mary, dance now that your eyes can see!
Well, I guess Milla just had her baby, a girl. How exciting! I can't wait to go see her but I have one more exam to take and only an hour to finish cram-studying for it. So, I guess Diana's dad was right, when it rains, it pours! Although death came today, it has no more sting and we can rejoice for the life that was lived and the life that is beginning. Before our eyes can see, we dance on this side of the sea.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Like the good old days

Well, the Baileys came over for dinner tonight and we had turkey, ham, corn pudding, bean casserole, ciabatta, salad, gravy and apple, raspberry and macadamia tart. It was very good. But I was in the kitchen all afternoon. It was very reminiscent of the last two years of my life. Very unsuspected, and a month early, the Baileys handed out gifts to everyone tonight. Like a goodbye present. I thought that it was very sweet and kinda felt badly that something of that nature had never crossed my mind. I wish that I was a bit less self-centered!
Anyway, wow, it is late and I really don't have much to write because my brain has gone blank. I did have a nice evening, however, and I thought I should write that while it was on my mind.
Oh, yeah, also reminiscent of yesteryear, Jessica and Hannah are at the table doing homework very loudly and obnoxiously. They both have headphones on, listening to different music (very loudly) and shouting to hear each other. It is really special! Oh, how I miss those louder days! :)
This is turning out to be a random post - how fun!
Oh, yeah, Bill told me at breakfast that he wanted to talk with Joy and I after church. Thankfully he forgot. I don't know what he wanted to say, but let me just say that he hasn't had much pleasant to say to either of us recently, so I wasn't sad to miss that meeting.
Courtney and her boyfriend, Andrew, were here this week (they just left today). It was great to see them and nice to meet Andrew finally. He's great and they seem really happy. I'm happy for them. I secretly (oops, not a secret anymore) wish they would come up here. But, oh well.
You know, I've had three days off now and I haven't done any school work yet and its not looking good for tomorrow either. Too bad. the next couple weeks are gonna be major! But then I get a real break between semesters, so I'm happy. Bring it on!
Well, nothing terribly interesting tonight, but it is a good random news bit. Must go to bed, so goodnight.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's Almost Turkey Day... A Break!

I've been trying to put up a pic that sorta goes with the text, but today I couldn't think of anything that would go with what I've been thinking about so I just put a pic of me. Enjoy... at least don't puke (if you can help it)... :)

Well, it's the day before Thanksgiving and I've been mulling over what it is that I'm particularly thankful for. There are a number of things but probably the most recurring one is that I get to go home for a few extra days! This school thing is taking a lot longer to get comfortable with than I expected. I mean, school is fine (although I'm ready to be done with homework) but the days are long and boring due to a lack of friends. I'm not good at making friends. One reason is that I'm terribly afraid of attempting to be friends with the wrong people because I know how easily I'm swayed by the opinions of others when I care about what they think. Another is that part of being friends is having common ground and I haven't found anyone that I feel I have much common ground with. I dress different, I don't live on the campus, I don't do any extra-curricular activities at the school and I don't eat at the cafeteria. I end up feeling very separate and alone. There are plenty of people with which I can share mutual recognition and meaningless pleasantries, but I can't call any of them friends. Anyway, all that amounts to me very much looking forward to going home for a four day weekend! For which I am infinitely thankful.
On a slightly different note, I've been slightly irritated because my least favorite class has been discussing something all week that I really need help with. Anthropology (the study of humanity) is usually a frivolous and secularized pile of crap. This week, however, we have been discussing the social constructs of race and class. Like most of the topics that this book covers, it assumes that there is little we can do about the problem and simply approaches the subject by stating that there is a problem and documenting its specifics. (I think this is mainly why I have hated the class). Anyway, we have been discussing how ingrained race and class segmentation is in our culture. And I like to think of myself as free of prejudices in this area. However, the discussion has been showing me just how bound by prejudice I am. Prejudice is a weird thing, it is usually based on observable facts, which are true but are caused by avoidable circumstances. Hence when I hold a view or expectation about a particular race or class, it is likely based on true observations. However, the problem with it is that it ignores the causes of the behavior. Anyway, at the same time that we have been learning these things in Anthropology, I have heard two openings on humility to love everyone as yourself as Jesus did. I felt so convicted. Because I realize that I may not be violent toward certain groups I definitely feel that I am better than them (and conversely, that there are groups that are better than me). I think the reason that Jesus was able to love everyone (and always knew just how to express that love) was because he could look past the history and circumstances and see the causes and uncontrollable factors that lead up to them. Anyway, I am hoping that I can get better at doing this in the future.
I guess that sort of ties together (I didn't even plan that). But today's ramblings: no friends and don't hold prejudices probably could work together to cancel each other out. I guess the one aspect that I don't know how to weigh in to the equation yet is the part about being in the world but not of it. As usual, this aspect seems contradictory with not having any prejudices.
Well, I'm ready for a break and when we get back from Turkey Day, it will be a fast-paced last hurrah for the semester. So, till later. Enjoy turkey and be thankful, but also consider your actions and opinions toward others. Hmmm... sounds like I'm preaching... I guess I'm the minister and the congregation. Whatever, this was a good way to organize my thoughts. Bye for now.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wacky Science... at work or play?

The guys from EepyBird are back, with 251 bottles of Diet Coke and over 1,500 Mentos mints. In Experiment #137, they did a mint-powered version of the Bellagio fountains. This time, it's one giant Coke & Mentos chain reaction that has to be seen to be believed.

Amazing! These guys have WAY too much time on their hands... or is their "play" also their "work?" That distinction is only confused when one can enjoy their job. I have a number of jobs (the primary one, of course, being school) at this point in my life and none of them are quite so entertaining although they can be equally as sticky and are all at least as time consuming.

Well, really just thought this was an interesting vid and that I would join the masses (something I'm doing more of now a days) and post it on my blog. Another thing that I joined the masses in today was voting. This was my first time doing my civic duty. I was all gung-ho to vote the moment I turned 18 (there were elections the next fall) but didn't realize in time that I had to register to do so. I have since taken care of this formality and was able to cast a ballot in favor of... oh, never mind its not that interesting. I actually felt a little weird voting because, while there are people that I think would do better than others, who is really going to be able to fix all the trouble that humans have gotten themselves into and do we really want people to try? Also, they all want to win so badly that it is said to know that, no matter what you do, you're going to make some people depressed. The usual campaign mudslinging has been interesting and childish and frankly I guess that all any of us can hope for is that the raping of our environment and the ever expanding thoughtlessness for our neighbors won't make the whole of this planet give up on supporting life while we are still trying to live it. I guess it is a bit said that it seems impossible for humans to live anywhere without totally messing it up and taking as much as they can for themselves regardless of how in need others are and yet I, too, enjoy the pleasure of modern existence that is the result of this lifestyle. Anyway, it seems more and more obvious to me that the current human tendencies and foibles won't be able to continue indefinitely and that there is little we can do to mitigate the calamity that we are setting ourselves up for, so I just hope it doesn't come too soon... whatever that means.

Wow... sorry to get sooooo depressing..... just what happens to me when I think about the bogus prattling of politicians about what good they can do... and all we see is bad... oh well.

On the whole I actually had a fine day. I haven't gotten much of my homework done yet and I had to pay about 12 times more than it was worth for a piece of computer hardware this morning... but otherwise life is still good. The vid at the top did cheer me a bit... what a sticky mess! Anyway, must go get some work done... but as Christopher Durang most aptly pointed out, the key to life is to: "always breathe" (of course that assumes that there is still air that won't kill you to breathe but it is a pretty basic key to life). Wow, I can't manage to stay positive at all today... I guess it's time to apply the old adage: "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all" and just stop trying. Goodnight (is it a "good" night?) Whoops, sorry... bye.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Scream from a passing whirlwind

Hi again, although by now I'm sure I have lost any regular readers I had accumulated and if you are new here... probably its a waste of your time.

As always, I find my life to be like a whirlwind... at least right now I once again feel like I'm in the center of it and not flinging helplessly about the edges. I'm back in school. This time at UAF in Fairbanks. It is hard to be away from home all the time and kind of fun to go back and be treated like a celebrity by the simple nature that so many people miss you and want to talk. Of course, I do end up feeling like I'm repeating myself over and over and not saying much that's important or even very informative. One thing that blogging helps me with is formulating my thoughts. I don't do that unless I have to and usually I'm too busy to make it a priority.
Well, let's see... too much happened to write about any of it. But what is happening now is a lot of tedious homework intermingled with some very boring classes and a few that have potential to be interesting if I pay attention. I have some acquaintances at school, but so far have not really met anyone that I have really "clicked" with and so no friends. Otherwise school is fine but not excellent.

Oh, one piece of my recent history that I really should report on... in the eon's (sp?) since my last post, I purchased a new computer (which I am writing to you on now). It is a 15" MacBook Pro. I'm definitely lovin' it! I do need to get it more RAM and a bigger hard drive... but I just finished paying it off and I need to recover from spending so much on it. It was worth it. Originally I had wanted the iMac but with going to school and travelling between Fairbanks and Delta every week, etc, I'm very glad I got a notebook. I take it everywhere and do all sorts of things with it. My favorite, of course, chatting with people during class (sorry to confess, but it does ease the boredom)...

Well, speaking of the whirlwind... another gust is picking up... I think I'm gonna have to go because I have more homework to do (always) and I need to go shopping too. So, I will try to write a bit more consistently, but no promises. Good luck to you all (whoever you are), may the wind be always at your back.