Tag: Vegetarian

The greatest thing happened today

October 21st, 2007 — 4:04pm

The greatest thing happened today!

It comes after two of the most endearing and tearful weeks of my life and it takes a special resolve to keep my composure now. This past week might have been the most difficult of all. At times I would seem fine and at peace, but then something would happen to bring out the tears once more.

The funeral…The Homegoing was very nice. I nearly forgot. We don’t have funerals for saved people. We have Homegoings to send them on home to their Father. Her homegoing was just very, very nice.

I got there early to help my cousin set up her video and I was completely unnerved because when I first walked in the church, one of the other members looked at me and said I looked just like her as I walked through the door, and I took it as a complete compliment, but I was still rather unsettled at what the sight of me was doing to her. It was a compliment, however. To be compared with someone who was in tune with her Lord…always a compliment.

So, I’m helping my cousin and another member comes into the sanctuary and she pauses as she stares at me because I’m standing right next to the pulpit. At first, I thought she was going to say something because of what I was wearing (I hardly ever wear a skirt and I was wearing white because I kept telling myself that this wasn’t a funeral, so there was no need to wear black), but then she too told me that she thought I was Edrith standing there. She started crying as she sat down afterward and I had no idea what to do even as I kept rubbing her shoulders and telling her that we all knew where Edrith was. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…

At that point, the funeral home had not brought her there yet and my cousin and I kept trying to make the video work, but it simply would not function and as I’m handing her my cell phone so she can call my other cousin, her husband, for more direction, the church doors opened and then they came in with her. The casket was a shade darker than Tiffany Blue and I froze. I stood on the pulpit with my cousin who was working with the video equipment just behind it and I stared anywhere except at the casket. I simply was not ready. I had been trying all week long to get ready, but I simply wasn’t.

The Sunday directly after we had first received the news was the most tearful service I have ever experienced. Everyone was so affected and it really hit home when we didn’t see her there. I remember driving up to the stop sign just in front of the church, as it sits on the corner, and I just sat there in my car for a full minute just staring at the church. My hands were shaking and the tears were beginning to come again because I knew what was about to happen. I knew that I was going to walk through the church doors and instead of getting a quick hug from her and a little “happy dance” that I had made on time for Sunday School for the third third week in a row, she would not be there. I eventually gained my composure and got to the church, and you could just see it in everyone’s eyes.

I tried to keep my lesson light-hearted and my other students and I tried to laugh about how Esau must of have looked being covered in red hair and how simple he seemed to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup, but even toward the end of the lesson, I began to feel it again. When we concluded Sunday School, our secretary only had this year’s records because her mind was clearly elsewhere and the atmosphere was very subdued. It only occurred to me then, that our Sunday School director had forgotten to come around and even collect the offerings for my Young Adult class. I also hadn’t realized how much I’d taken for granted seeing her standing next to Deacon Jordan as they concluded. I nearly lost it at first when we consecrated before Sunday School and she was not the one to lead the prayer. I had grown so accustomed to how she would pray: “Oh Heavenly Father, we come to you…” She would continue to say it throughout her prayers: Oh Heavenly Father, this and Oh Heavenly Father that. It was so Edrith and her style of praying and I miss it dearly.

The devotional service was subdued as well. Normally, it is filled with upbeat songs to get everyone in the spirit, but the songs were slow and moving throughout the service. You could just see it on the face of everyone in the church. Hugs lasted longer as you could feel others shake as they tried to hold back tears and I had held it together until I saw our choir director, her best friend. She was surrounded by others who just kept telling her that we all knew where Edrith is, but the tears just kept coming and when I hugged her I broke down with her. I don’t normally cry in public if I can help it, but I broke down as we cried together for our lost sister.

The rest of the service went along, though also greatly subdued, and I kept trying to keep my eyes dry as I stood at the door and greeted people as an usher, but I kept running for the tissues and simply had to leave for the restroom at one point. I normally take a collection plate down the aisles during the missionary offering, but I could not and asked to just hold the door during the offering. I was not ready to see all the faces yet because I knew what was coming.

The announcements went as normal and I nearly lost it altogether when I followed along in our bulletin. A project she had been heading was still on schedule and her name was still there as someone to speak to about the project. Our announcer, also the same member who broke down after thinking I was Edrith standing at the pulpit, had paused as she read the reminder for the event and thankfully read the other name as the event leader, my cousin, but we all saw it and the other ushers came out with several news boxes of tissues.

Pastor said a lot about her and I was okay at first until he started to tear up at the pulpit. Dear Jesus…everyone was crying at that point. It was just so sad because we knew where she went, yet our hearts still wretched for her and still do. The youth was began singing and with each song, I grew more tearful even though I tried so desperately to keep my composure. One of our lead ushers kept asking me if I was okay and I kept saying yes, wanting to believe the words, but during altar call prayer, I held hands with him and another usher as one of the ministers lead the prayer and I started shaking violently because I was trying to hold it together, but the tears kept coming and eventually, he just pulled me into a hug and allowed me weep openly on his shoulder. By the time, the altar call prayer was over, I knew others were crying just as much and even harder than me, but the tears would not stop and I crossed the church to where my mother sat and just fell into her arms as I cried. She pulled me into the hall continually saying “I know baby. I know.” as I just wailed in the hallway. The hardest thing about it was that…as old as I am; I am 23 years old, I live on my own, I have a job, I go to school and I have my own insurance. I am, for all intents and purposes, an adult, but all my grown self wanted, no needed in that moment was my mother. As I crossed the church, I just kept saying to myself “I just want my mommy.” I had never experienced grief before and I’ve found that as grown as I pretend to be, at the end, I just needed my mother.

She eventually took my outside because a short while after we left the sanctuary, Edrith’s goddaughter, also the daughter of her best friend, was having a fit not unlike mine in the arms of her mother and it made me cry even harder. Outside, my mother just kept telling me that these should not be tears that I would never see Edrith again. She said, that we knew where she was and we know that she is praising Jesus right next to the father; she said to me the same thing I had been trying to tell others all morning, but I just needed to hear someone say the same to me as well. We were joined by other friends who had come to check in on me and my one friend began to cry slightly. She said, “I don’t remember who got on me most about coming to church and Sunday School. Edrith or Dorienne.” and it made me laugh because that was just the kind of person Edrith was.

After a while, I was okay and I haven’t had screaming tears like that since, though the silent ones have slipped every now and again and did so immensely at the Homegoing. Throughout the rest of the week, I was so unnerved by the fact that I could be shaken to my knees with grief and be brought to the point that I needed to just hug my mother and cry. I kept having to tell people what happened and write e-mails to my professors to explain what was going on in my life. I had to turn in a paper a week late because I had had every intention on beginning it Sunday night, but it did not cross my mind again until the class I was able to attend that week. Even now, I am still trying to play catch-up, but it is slowly coming along. My employer has been oddly understanding. I had a vacation day scheduled for last Wednesday, but was able to get it moved to last Monday so that I wouldn’t have to just call in “sick” to go to the Homegoing. They let me work “mail” a lot because somehow, listening to someone gripe about why they had to pay a $4.38 finance charge on their credit after I had just lost a dear friend was just bound to cause problems.

Previously, I had never been involved with the plans of a Homegoing. It never occurred to me that the programs that were passed out during the service had to made. Things had to be written for them, they had to be printed and put together. That first week was probably the most stressful week of my life. I offered help where I could and even then I still felt inadequate. That Saturday, nine days after it had happened, I had called our choir director, Edrith’s best friend, and the director of the choir in which Edrith sang, to see if we were going to have a practice/getting together in remembrance of her and she told me that we weren’t and that they were just looking at the site for her grave that day. I went to work that day able to keep it together unlike the previous week, where I was okay until someone asked me what was wrong, after seeing the look on my face and probably noting that I was still in glasses and had on no makeup. My friends from work tried their best to console me and I pulled it together quickly, but I was in no mood to deal with customers regardless.

Last Sunday was the first time we had to sing without her. It was…very difficult. At one point, right before we began another song, Caprica, our director, looked to Edrith’s seat in the choir stand and this look came over her face. She had to keep leaving the sanctuary after each song and I knew she left to weep away from the eyes of the rest of the congregation. We could just sense it as we sang up there. She was with us, but she wasn’t with us and that’s what made me cry hardest during altar call prayer. It was not as drastic as the previous week, but I still cried hard because I knew that at no point again in this life would I look two seats down to the soprano section and see her smiling face.

After service, we had to put the pieces for her programs together and we had this fun assembly line going as we kept the conversation light-hearted via my other cousin, who I had poked and prodded about the staples not being on the pre-made creases from the assembly line until she sat back and let me do it. It took close to three hours, but I stapled together all 200+ programs…directly on the crease. 🙂 We had pizza together before afternoon service, and we joked and laughed and just talked like women do when we get together and every once in a while we’d talk about how pretty her picture was on the programs and who was doing her hair and such. It was a very bonding moment for all of us and I got to show my sarcastic side more than I had previously.

All of this was going through my head when the men from the funeral home came in the sanctuary with the casket and when they had opened up the casket and I could just make out her hair between the top of the closed part and where I stood, I handed my phone to my cousin and I ran away into the side hall. I had tried to keep it together, but I really wasn’t ready. I came back quickly, though, to help her and when it looked like she got a good handle on making the video work again, I left again to sit just in the hall. I hugged those I knew who had come through the doors and at one point I stood just to the side of the casket’s opening and could see the white of the pillows around her face before I left again. My other cousin just kept repeating that we were not having a funeral. We were just sending her home.

With everything set up, we filed up to see her and I was holding the hands of two of my cousins as we walked toward the casket. I began to shake again as we approached and I thought I was going to lose it again and I felt my cousin squeeze my hand just as tightly as I squeezed hers as we finally got there.

Her hair done exactly like she always had it, even with the little flip across her forehead and as my other cousin said as we stared at her, she really looked at piece with all the white around her. My memory of what I saw is very blurry because the tears were coming down my face so readily that it blurred my vision, but that’s okay because that’s not how I plan on remembering her anyway. All of my memories of her are happy, not sad at all.

Our choir, with my two cousins included, took the choir stands, but as we sat waiting for the service to begin we noticed how full the sanctuary was and by the time service was about to begin, some of the actual church members were sitting in the choir stands with us to make room for all those who had come to pay their respects for her. It was just so full. The doors of the sanctuary remained open and they had set up more seats out in the hall to account for all the people. We actually ran out of programs and someone had to quickly run out and have some xeroxed to accommodate everyone who was there. What is amazing is that there were so many people and yet, lots of people had already left during the wake and even more had left because there just wasn’t anywhere else to sit. So loved…

I kept it together for the most part once we were in the choir stands and we sang twice before they showed her video. Tears were streaming down my face throughout most of it and I was trying so hard to pull things together because I knew what the last song we were going to sing was and it was always one of my absolute favorites.

As this was a Homegoing and not a funeral, the songs we sang were bright and uplifting and that is how we sing “Pass Me Not.” I think I’ll post of video of us singing it a couple months ago in this post…but my favorite part of “Pass Me Not” is when we break the harmony and the different parts sing alone. Edrith was a soprano and though she was not some Whitney Houston-type singer, she could carry the soprano part all by herself and even before October 5th, it was one of my favorite parts of the song; how Caprica would point to Edrith and the other sopranos and we would just continue with the song from that point. I knew the song was coming and I glanced at where she should have been sitting. We had lain this shimmering throw over one of the seats in the soprano section, right where she should have been, and tears fell down my face before we even started the song because I knew whose voice I would not be hearing as I tried to maintain my own alto part.

Right when we broke into the soprano, alto and tenor parts like normal, the tears began to flow even harder, but I sang Edrith home as loud as I could. Afterward the music was playing and Pastor was yelling about how great God is and how we’re just singing our sister on home and I had a little moment of my own. I’ve never been one to be so moved during service that I dance and so on, but I had this moment where I was sort of bouncing in my seat a bit as I cried tears of mixed joy and sorrow. Something like that for a person like me is akin to jumping up and screaming and taking laps around the sanctuary as I screamed “Jesus!” I really can’t explain that moment, but it brought me peace afterward and throughout the rest of the service.

I rode in the car with my cousins and some other friends to the grave sight and we had a nice talk on the way there. We sang along with some of gospel songs that had come on the radio and jokingly suggested what we wanted for our own Homegoings. No one really wants to think that kind of thing, but it’s good to get it out early on so that when tragedy strikes, everyone knows what you wanted. Caprica had said to us that Edrith hadn’t wanted a sad funeral. She wanted it to be joyous and she wanted everyone to be happy. That kind of conversation had probably taken place months or years earlier, but at least we knew what she wanted.

I should ask my cousin what the exact number of her marker is because with all the twists and turns we had done in the cemetery, I know I’ll never find it again on my own. She rests by several large trees and it is so peaceful out there…

We had dinner at the church afterward and I had to explain my choices for vegetarianism multiple times and endure several calls of “I’ve never heard of a black person who didn’t eat chicken.” before I was able to sit. I sat next across from friends and between Pastor and one of the ministers I just call “Paw-Paw” even though we’re not related. I laughed a lot when talk with Paw-Paw turned to me ever getting married, since Pastor had talked about how Edrith was not willing to settle for anyone, but waiting on a good man. I had never given it a lot of thought, but I really do want Paw-Paw to dance at my wedding someday, so I should probably get on with that, too.

This past week had gone by in interesting spurts where I was upbeat having sang her home to points when I wanted to watch one of our church DVDs, but knew I couldn’t because I knew most of the services I have are ones where our choir sang and I wasn’t ready to see her just yet and the thought of that kind of brought me down a bit. Most interesting is that I don’t see myself ever trying to sleep in on Saturdays anymore. I don’t know because I know getting up at eight on Saturdays when I don’t have to probably won’t keep anyone else from passing, but I still don’t see myself doing that anymore.

But…today, the greatest thing happened.

I had been so crazed this week trying to just push through things that I hadn’t got to the lesson until I was literally driving myself to the church. I won’t be allowing that to happen again because there’s just no excuse for it. I know I should be prepared to teach the adult class on any given week and it would have been due justice if Deacon Jordan had looked at me and asked and I would have had to tell him that I simply wasn’t ready, but we got through the lesson and had a rather fine discussion as a whole group as Sunday School concluded, though it was very small with the fewest people I’d seen there yet.

As I stood my post at the door later on, greeting people and handing out the bulletins, I saw her mother and hugged her as she came through the door, though I had never hugged her previously even though she was a church member. Some people I hug, some people I don’t because we just don’t know each other like that, but she I hugged and probably will continue to hug each Sunday. What was so great though, is that directly behind her was a face that had only become familiar to me last Monday. One of Edrith’s sisters had come to our church.

I remember Caprica telling us after it had happened that Edrith was the only one of siblings who was saved and seeing her sister this morning nearly brought tears to my eyes. Throughout the entire service I kept praying and praying that the Word would touch her and that she would see reason to join and “give her life to Christ” today and like always, my Lord Jesus answered my prayer when I prayed so earnestly. She probably had made up her mind to do it when she got up this morning, but I prayed for her anyway. I was so sad for her when I saw her at the Homegoing because I knew she wasn’t saved and that was probably the hardest thing to deal with, but there she was and when Pastor Emeritus opened the doors to the church this morning, she stepped out in the aisle and I nearly burst into tears.

She joined the church today. She’s older than Edrith was, but she’d never been baptized and I’m just so happy and I burst forth with happy tears. Anytime I see someone join the church, it is cause for me to smile, but she in particular was most moving.

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Favorite, Jesus, On Me


July 17th, 2007 — 4:01pm

I was actually in a happy mood until about three minutes ago, during which time I had to go through pages and pages of spam on my blog. What is it with spammers? What is to be gained by spamming people? The comments go unread and nothing is accomplished. At least with viruses there is the satisfaction that you ruined an unsuspecting person’s machine or with phish, where there is some monetary gain to be had. Spam is just mind-boggling for me…anyway.

My English class is going well, eerily well, it feels. I think I had just grown so accustomed to performing poorly in my classes that I don’t know to feel after coming from an exam with a positive feeling. I have found a new love…well, love is a bit much, but oh well…for Shakespeare. Othello has me frightfully intrigued in every way possible. I have not liked a work this much since reading Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Cafe for the first time, however, I feel a bit daunted over the aspect of having to go through some of his historical pieces. I see myself being extremely bored throughout, but I will try to approach the plays with an open mind. I mean, if he wrote them, there had to be some significant story to be told, so there is a possibility that I might just love them. Who knows?

There are so many things I want to do with this life and there simply does not seem to be enough time. I want to write, design websites for every show and book I’ve ever loved, play my sims, write and publish sims stories on my sites, learn to play piano, play the piano, plant trees, knit sweaters, play ddr, go running, write in my blog, implement flash on my church website, be at church, know the Bible, learn some aspects about the Torah, organize all my videos, rip all my shows and movies to my computer, make YouTube videos, watch videos, make up with old friends, contact even older ones, make new friends, be an inspiration to someone somewhere at sometime…

Sigh. There’s just so much to do and there’s no time to do it. That’s the depressing part.

Flight is officially a monster of a book. At 337 pages and more than 177K words, I am wondering just how big it will get. This “part” of the book is moving along in weird spurts of inspiration. I’ll be in the moment and write like crazy and then I get to a point where I just want to scrap the whole thing like I did today with a poem I was attempting to write. I was going on and on about being black instead of an African American and I, quite literally, dragged my pen across the paper and groaned about how ignorant I was sounding. I know what I want to say, and there are times when I think I can communicate those words best through, but I just can’t seem to cut it when it comes to poetry. It sometimes seems like the harder I try, the worst it all sounds. I can hear myself struggling as I re-read the crap…but the fanfic is going as well as it can.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #7
Five months into this, I am still going strong. There are days when it seems almost like second nature, as if I’ve always been living this way. Then, there are others, when all I want to do chow down on chili dogs or grinders, but those days are few and far between. The main thing, however, is that being a full-fledged vegetarian is accomplishing the goal I have set out to do. Slowly, but surely, I have managed to shed ten pounds. Not a huge improvement seeing as how I’ve got so far to go, but the fact is, the scale is going down instead of up for the first time since I was fifteen. I plan on taking my measurements again in another week to see if I’ve made any improvements, but I am astounded how I can eat what I want and just exclude meat, and still get the same results I want. Someone once told me that losing the meat caused the pounds to come off, but I did not believe it as they were wearing a PETA shirt at the time, but now, I do wonder.

What I like about being a vegetarian is the change in me. I feel better and people tell me I look better, too. All in all, I feel like a healthier person and my mother has now dropped meat from her diet. At this rate, PETA might stop eating meat altogether, however, nothing will make me give up cheese. I won’t eat the animal, but cheese, all kinds, is a special treat for me and nothing could make me drop. My body withstands it even through violent lactose intolerance, and yet I still keep going. Oh well. I suppose I should not say what I will and will not do because three years ago, I knew I would never be pro-life and I knew I would never understand why people gave ten percent of their livelihood to the church and so on. God only knows what I’ll know tomorrow.

And, speaking of my Almighty, a year after winning from the church, I finally got my piano. I am so excited by it, I could just scream. There are five broken keys, but I don’t play anywhere near well-enough for those to matter for a bit. I am just so excited to have one that’s all mine and I practice upon until the wee hours of the night. I just love the idea of either getting lessons for it or simply teaching myself how to play. I told my mother that this could be my birthday present because it is simply outstanding. I know I will have years of fun and (to be a bit melodramatic) peace with this instrument and it gets me excited again just thinking about the fact that it sits downstairs waiting for me.

Comments Off on Ugh…people | On Me, Vegetarian, Writing


May 13th, 2007 — 10:34pm

It’s my one-year anniversary of joining my church! I’m so glad I wrote about it here. I don’t think I’ve written it anywhere else, so it’s important to nail down the date because it gives me a point from which I can measure my walk. The exact date is May 14th, but I’m excited about it nonetheless. My mother marveled about it, saying that I had done more in our church during one year than others have done in entire lifetimes, which fascinates me. But, looking back over this past year, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.

Sunday School today was very interesting. It was just me and one student, but we had a very good conversation about the text and about religion altogether. At one point we started talking about gays, and I started to feel the strain of my “old self” and my “new self.” My old self thought of gays and thought, “Okay, to each his own.” however, my new self knows what it says in the Bible and knows what is believed whole-heartedly by all those around me, so the “To each his own” idea just no longer seems appropriate. But still…I’ve learned so much through Sunday School and by teaching and what I’ve learned most more than anything throughout all these texts is that as a Christian, I must love everyone, regardless of their sins because I too am just a big a sinner as the next person.

One of the most poignant things I’ve learned is that sin is sin in God’s eyes. The liar and the murderer have done equal sins; it’s just Man who has made these divisions within sin. Albeit, one could argue that a murder could have a far larger impact on the lives of those around the affected individuals than would a “little white lie,” but the fact remains that sin is sin. I’ve told lies in the past and I’ll undoubtedly tell more before my end. On the subject of gays, I think to myself, “How dare I pass judgment on them, when I’ve sinned too.” and then there’s the idea that even though I may not be able to change how they think, I still don’t have to agree with it. As a Christian, I can be civil with all people, because in God’s eyes, I am no different. My only hope is that with prayer, that they can have salvation and won’t have to suffer the white gates.

I’m not running around with the “I don’t care what you do” mentality any longer, but I’m still nowhere near actually looking down on someone or treating them relatively different because they believe something other than I would believe. As ludicrous as it sounds, I think the Libra in me finds it unfair that I would look down on gays because they don’t follow the Bible, but not look down upon Jews or Hindus or anyone else as well. I’m not willing to take the plunge, so it feels wrong to even take that first step.


On a less melodramatic note, Flight is coming along well. It’s about 80,000 words currently and I’m about in the middle of the first “part,” but I’ve hit a bit of stall. The storyline needs to be changed slightly and I know it will take some time for me to correct what needs to be changed. My hope is that this doesn’t derail me from writing because I’ve been going on at a pretty good clip for a while now, writing at every chance I get.

I’m practically counting down the days before they put up another roadblock for me in regards to writing at work. As long as I have the will, there will always be a way, but it’s that nerve-racking feeling wondering when they’ll pull in the ropes. I won’t be telling anyone, this time, how I’ve been updating my novel, as the last time I spoke up, my primary means of editing was shut down. Hopefully, that will buy me some time. It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong, but I know somehow, someway, it’ll seem “unproductive” or something when someone looks at my, for lack of a better word, talent, and feels somehow undercut.

It doesn’t matter though. If they cut me off electronically, they can’t prevent me from bringing pen and paper to work and writing the old fashion way. I’d to have to resort back to that since I’ve just now gotten over my lack electronic creativity phobia, but I’ll do what I have to do.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #6
On this 13th day of the month of May, I begin my 13th week of vegetarianism and things couldn’t be going better. Today, I went to dinner with my parents and I barely even considered looking at any dishes with meat. I’ve also decided that I’m not going to be eating fast food this month, which makes the veggie thing all the more easy. Not visiting Wendy’s for even french fries, allays the craving that comes after gazing at the #6 option while at the drive-thru. I’m finally looking at this as a normal part of my life, rather than something I’m just doing for the time being. I’ve even lost all cravings for chicken and I can’t even remember what red meat tastes like. It’s a very cool feeling.

Comments Off on Anniversary! | Deep Thought, Jesus, Vegetarian, Writing

In a good place

April 7th, 2007 — 6:52pm

Wow! For the first time in quite a while, I feel like I’m in a good place. Despite everything that’s gone on this week, from car breakdowns to spider issues to almost subjugating myself to less than Christian scruples, I feel like everything’s moving in a flow perfectly adjusted for me. I’m losing weight, getting my classwork done and writing more than and still have time to study the Word. Everything actually is fine…for once. I don’t even feel like complaining about all the things that had gone wrong in the past few weeks. I feel perfectly content to be perfectly content. What an odd feeling…

I’m reading 1984 right now, and I must say, it has me intrigued like few books do. There is a part of me that’s screaming, “Get on with the bloody story!” while there’s also another part of me that’s just enjoying every inch of the developing story. What has me most intrigued are all the things that may need to be changed in this upcoming book of mine. While not nearly comparable, Winston and Luka seem to ask the same questions toward the beginning, though Luka will be a good deal younger. The message in the book is completely different than what I’m going for in my own, so I’m also wondering if I can get away with slightly referencing 1984 since the rest of the story is so different. I guess it’ll be necessary to just finish the book first before wondering what I’ll be forced to change in a book I’ve not yet started writing.

Just thinking about writing in general, though, piques my interest further. I love to write. Whether it’s here, through my website or actual stories and poems. I love the written word. Over these past few weeks, I’ve come to love creating my lessons for Sunday School because I have to write out my lesson. I thought at first, I just enjoyed watching characters develop and the way either myself or other authors use dialog to further along a plot, but what I really love are the words themselves. The fact that I can read and comprehend and create with something so simple seems almost baffling when I consider it fully. Twenty-six characters can be shaped and molded into something that can have depth and take on a meaning of it’s own. Now, I’m simply rambling, but I felt it necessary to mention this, because I realized today that get so wrapped in the words that I sometimes forget it is pertinent to yield some attention to actual living people who may one day receive my words. There are many times, I’ve found, that I would much prefer the company of my own characters and inside a world of my own making rather than facing the miscreants that hold dominion over this literal one.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #5
As I approach the end of my seventh week as a vegetarian, I must note that the urges are returning. Some time on Tuesday, I nearly broke down and got a chicken basket at Dairy Queen. It was really close, too. What bothered me was that it seemed so easy to fall back on old habits. It seemed like the most natural thing to do: go to DQ get a Blizzard and a chicken basket and scarf down twice my alloted caloric intake in one sitting. But…I resisted and I feel better for it.

I’ve lost just five pounds in these weeks and I don’t feel any different, but I know there is a positive somewhere in this. The only thing I can really say to myself about this is that I didn’t put on all this weight in six weeks and it won’t come off in six weeks either.

Half of my problem is that I go through periods where I’m OCD over one food and then I tire myself out over it and I start to eat out again. It’s not as bad as my pre-veg days, but it still isn’t good. Pre-veg, if I hadn’t cooked anything for dinner, I would be at Skyline pretending that since I didn’t think of hot dogs as actual meat it was okay. At least now, I stay out of places such as that. I figured that I would have started feeling weak by now, but I still haven’t. I’m not sure why, but I suppose that means I’m getting enough protein elsewhere, I guess…more like suppose…

Comments Off on In a good place | On Me, Vegetarian, Writing

Thank God I tend to thank God

March 18th, 2007 — 3:16pm

So, today the majority of our church went as a group to Toledo. It was some church fellowship thing, that I probably could have gone to, but I’d decided I didn’t want to a while ago. So, last night, again, I had waited until the last second to do my lesson and I was half saying to myself, “well, maybe no one in my class will be there and I won’t have to teach.” because as much as I do enjoy teaching while I’m at church, I usually end up approaching the lesson with disdain, mostly because I’ve waited until the very last second to look at it. So, I took a nap last night until 2am and I’ve been up ever since. I finished the lesson and went to Sunday School still hoping that there’d be another teacher there and I wouldn’t have to teach. I think half of this feeling stems from the fact that there are days when I just really miss the “good ole days” when I could just go to church and then leave. I think it’s because I’ve been so very stressed out with school and work and everything for a while that even church is starting to wain on me.

Anyways, so I get to church and see all of these cars parked in the lot. It was just all the people who’d gone on the bus to go to Toledo. I was actually the only one there for Sunday School. I waited around a bit and eventually two other Sunday School regulars came and one of them had keys to the church. At first, it looked like we just weren’t going to have Sunday School and were going to wait until Pastor Emeritus came to deliver a sermon, but I spoke up and gave my lesson.

What’s interesting is that even though what I can probably attribute to stage fright, is somewhat overwhelming in the beginning because I think everyone’s looking at me and thinking, “this girl doesn’t have the slightest idea what she’s talking about” at some point in every lesson so far, I reach this sort of moment of clarity where I really feel like I’m doing some good and can really speak on the Word. This moment came today and while it faded just as quickly as it came, I did feel like I aided those who’d come to Sunday School this morning.

There’s a part of me that wondered whether or not my laziness was a part of the “plan” since no other teacher was available until a good ten minutes after I’d finished my lesson. Pastor Emeritus gave a good sermon too and I was…for lack of a better word, amused to listen to him sing the Lord’s praise without a care. Just to see someone who loves to praise the Lord no matter who’s watching or not watching or how few people sing along with him…it was just…very cool.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #4
Yesterday was my mother’s birthday, and I forgot to give her the card that I’d marched to other side of the bloody mall and back to get for her, and we went to Lindy’s so celebrate. Now, every time I’ve gone to Lindy’s I nearly always get the same things: the calamari appetizer, a cup of the lobster bisque and this lobster and shrimp pasta for a meal. Since becoming a vegetarian, I hadn’t had a real test of my strength…until last night.

I could literally taste all the wonderfulness that was that lobster bisque. How it was so warm and creamy, and just how tender the lobster was, and how it all felt as it touched my tongue and pallet and eventually slid down my throat. Hmmm…..Needless to say, I was going through a bit of a panic as I stared at the Lindy’s menu. For years, Lindy’s equaled lobster bisque to me and had no idea how to even begin looking for other appetizers and meals, but I trudged forward nonetheless. I contemplated the lobster bisque for ages before finally eyeing this flat bread thing with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. I ordered it and it was just like a margherita pizza! And I ended up ordering this meatless penne and tomatoes meal as my main dish. I was so proud of myself for not caving and my reward for not falling back into the bad habits was that I got to try something new and it was delicious. My next test will come when we go to McCormick and Schmick’s and I’ll be forced to break for the calamari. I just don’t think I’d have the strength to pass up calamari that’s so fresh and wonderful that it literally melts in your mouth.

On the way home from church, I faced yet another dilemma as I wanted so desperately to eat out, but there was nowhere to go; a consequence and yet desired result of becoming a vegetarian. I really, really wanted a chicken finger basket from Dairy Queen, but I opted for this mozzarella, tomato and spinach thing and a Greek salad from Cosi instead. It wasn’t the cabbage that I’d cooked for dinner night’s ago and really needed to finish even though it turned out badly because I was a bit salt stingy, but it wasn’t Skyline or that chicken basket. I mean the chicken basket, fries, Texas Toast and large strawberry Blizzard would have been disastrous calorie-wise and there would’ve been absolutely no nutritional value. The mozzarella, tomato, pesto thingy was disastrous too, but at least with tomatoes and spinach on it, I can pretend. Not to mention a salad is better than a basket of fries and ice cream anytime…unless it’s a taco salad. Then, there’d be no saving me.

Anyways, back to Jesus. I’m really glad that today turned out as well as it did. I’m also wicked glad that they hadn’t closed the church doors today. About thirty or so people ended up showing up and those thirty people would’ve all had to’ve found somewhere else to worship, most probably ending up going home. I know as I sat in my car waiting for someone to show up for Sunday School, I kept contemplating what I was going to do with my day if ten o’clock came and went and no one had come. That still small voice within kept saying to go home and get some sleep and I’d worry about church next week, but that lazy voice in my head that told me I didn’t feel like feeling bad all week that I’d missed church and made me stay. I had contemplated having to drive around for a bit in hopes of finding another service if no one showed up by 10:30. But, everything worked out for the best and I’m so glad it did. I feel happy today, and although it may just be the euphoria that comes with an extreme lack of sleep (I haven’t actually hit REM since Friday night), I’m happy that I had chance to actually get happy and go to church today.

Comments Off on Thank God I tend to thank God | Jesus, On Me, Vegetarian

My First Class

March 5th, 2007 — 12:10am

Today, I had my first Sunday School class. I was so excited and nervous and scared, but mostly excited. Last night, I had this terrible nightmare where everything that could go wrong had gone wrong. I’d forgotten my Bible and all my notes and the pastor didn’t like any of the things I had to say and a whole mess of other crap was going on that just didn’t make sense. But, thankfully, everything went fine. We started out with just two at first and then another two showed. Several others told me they’d be coming around next week. I really hope they do. It’s the Young Adult class and I think it’s completely necessary since there are a lot of us young adults in church and there was always that feeling that there was no place for us since we didn’t want to be with the “old” people in the main adult class, but we were all way too old to be in class with the twelve year olds. I’m so excited to be teaching it and this forces me study the word every week. It also keeps me accountable to my church and not just for me. People will be depending on me.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #3
As I delved into this third week of vegetarianism, I felt this urge and absolute weakness. This craving for meat seemed to overwhelm me and I nearly broke this afternoon. It’s getting close that crimson tide and the Skyline craving was quite strong. I drove past one as I went to my parent’s house and I almost veered off the road just to sink my teeth into a chili dog. Then up the street, there’s the gathering of a Panera, a Chipotle and, of course, a Wendy’s, all on the same block. It was close, very close, but I stood strong.

What I do find interesting is that I do feel a bit weak just like that girl in my class said I would. I’m beginning to feel like my body is missing something important and I’ll be looking into a multivitamin tomorrow. I’m not sure if the reason I ended up sleeping for five hours after church has anything to do with this weakening of my system or if it was just stress from everything. Speaking of stress my cousin slash niece slash second cousin-niece was baptized today and she passed out a bit later. I was very worried and was still worried even after her mother told me she was okay. Children collapsing is so unnerving.

I bought another hundred dollars worth of groceries again and I didn’t even buy anything worthwhile. I’ll cook tomorrow, probably cabbage and some wild rice, something is simple. I am very worried about this weakening of my system, though. It’s not like I’m hungry all the time or anything, but it’s just a bad feeling overall.

I haven’t made much progress on the SVU fic this week, which is unfortunate because I haven’t done anything else either. I feel like I’m coming to slow point; all the creative juices have stopped flowing. I know it’ll start again, but I can’t help being impatient. I want it all and I want it now.

Comments Off on My First Class | Jesus, On Me, Vegetarian, Writing

Back where I belong

February 27th, 2007 — 10:48pm

Finally! Back where I belong and everything’s falling into place. For the first time in months, my outlook does not look so bleak. I’m doing what I should be doing and at the end of this quarter, I’ll be taking a long-awaited and long-deserved break. Of course, I’ll still be working, but at least I won’t be working and in school at the same time for a week.

I feel like this over-bearing weight is every-so-lightly lifting off my shoulders day by day, and I really do think that everything will be all right. I attribute 90% of this to going to church this week and making it to Sunday School on time. Everyone was so surprised to see me there, not racing in just before consecration. I start teaching on my own this Sunday and I’m really excited about it. I hope it’s not boring for everybody. I suppose if it doesn’t work out, they’ll either move me somewhere else or fire me altogether, but I’m hoping I don’t let anyone down on this. There’s a Wednesday night service tomorrow and I really can’t wait. I’m half mad since I didn’t get to put my tithes in on Sunday because I completely forgot about it. Usually I just have Mother throw it in for me, but she was busy with her own things and wasn’t there. I’ll have to find someone I trust to put it in on days when she can’t be there.

The written word is in the air and it’s loving me! I’ve been writing everyday and I feel like the well of words just keeps flowing. I’ve never been this in tune with a piece before. I feel like since I’ve completely laid out the plot, writing the details is all the more exciting. I love looking back on my old work and see how I’ve progressed as a writer. I wish this book was 100% my original with all my own characters and such, but all I can keep saying to myself is that this is just my way of proving to myself that I can write; that I can create and stay on target. God Lord! The day I actually finish it, I’ll be singing from the rooftops. I sort of want to delve into some of my other works, but I know I mustn’t. I must stick to this and finish it out; must keep the ADHD at bay! It’s what always kills me in the end. I finally have an idea on what must be done with A Ten-Minute Speech and I’m so excited to start, really start, writing the Luka books, I could just burst into flame. It’s all I want to do and all I want to think about. Sometime last week I found myself daydreaming about my own characters. My characters! That never happens and I keep wondering what it really means. With this fanfic novel, I’ve finally conquered my PC-writing demons. For years, I haven’t been able to writing creatively on a computer, forcing me write everything longhand and spend the next year deciphering my longhand as I type the entire thing. It’s a good thing that I’ve learned this now, because I’ve realized I have the tendency to be quite verbose. I’ve only just finished the first chapter of Flight and the book’s 10,928 words and 20 M$ Word pages. I’m wondering just how long it’ll take me to break my goal of 100K. The first chapter’s just on one day and there’s nineteen days in the first part of the book. I doubt every day will be 11K long, but still…my writing just gets flowery and I while I try my hardest not to ramble, I can’t help but delve into the characters a bit more. I don’t want to just write an episode; I want to create something unique that reads like an actual book and could be taken seriously, were it not actually fanfiction.

So, Dreamgirls…Yay! Jennifer Hudson won her Oscar and I feel oddly proud of her. I guess I just love seeing black women win Oscars, but anyway I’m horribly addicted to the Dreamgirls’ soundtrack. Of course, I’m playing One Night Only to death, but honestly, it’s the reason I bought the darn CD and I’m going to play it until my iPod breaks. I’m also slowly beginning to fall for Beyonce’s Listen, which I really don’t think was worthy of the Oscar nod, but whatever. One Night Only (Hudson’s version, of course), was a far better song, but maybe that’s just me. I’m probably not the most objective person to consider the two songs since One Night Only is currently stuck in my head, but so on and so forth…Obsessions: just the writing and One Night Only. SVU’s even starting to subside, but I think it may have more to do with my not wanting to be unduly influenced by the show as I write. I still need like a crackhead, but I missed last week’s new episode and I haven’t had a break down…yet. Thank goodness for USA network. Keeping SVU fanatics in good health, around the globe.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #2
I’ve been a full-fledged vegetarian now for more than a week and the Wendy’s #6 Spicy Chicken cravings have subsided substantially. I spoke with another vegetarian in one of my classes and she told me I’d probably start feeling weak after a bit, but I’ll stick it out a bit longer before taking a multi-vitamin, especially after that nonsense on the BBC news about vitamins actually shaving off the years instead of adding to them. Oh well. I suppose we’ll all go when we do. But, I’m really enjoying this not-eating-meat thing. Tonight, I made a grilled cheese sandwich with olive oil instead of butter. I’m well on my way to becoming a vegan…except for the fact that I love cheese and yogurt and would sooner cut of my own foot and feed it to my enemies than give up cheese and yogurt. But, the point is, I’m not eating any meat. I wish I could say that I give a crap about cows and pigs and such, but I honestly can’t make myself really care about animals. I just don’t want to like the taste of them anymore and I want to just live healthier. I just can’t see any positives to eating meat, especially since I read something about average humans eating something like six times the amount of animal meat we need to survive. That just seems utterly crazy to me.
Anyway, I haven’t lost any weight to this vegetarian diet, but that’s probably due to the fact that I polished off this entire macaroni and cheese dish by myself as I practiced for the pot luck we’re having at work this Friday. It’ll be Dorienne’s time to shine! I also randomly made a bunch of cookies and frosted them myself. I don’t know where the crazy cravings come from, but they are bizarre. But, cheers to me for not even wanting to eat any meat! And a special cheers to me for at least trying to get back on eating like a normal person should…

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Favorite, Jesus, On Me, Vegetarian, Writing


February 20th, 2007 — 11:06pm

The past week has been more than stressful for me. I missed church yesterday. I hadn’t meant to, and I was actually dressed, with Bible in hand and was heading out the door when I had the infinite intelligence to check the mail prior to leaving. The letter came today and while everything is not definite, it doesn’t look good. I was just so depressed that I just leaned against the wall below the stairs and cried for a good ten minutes. It was so terrible and I was simply depressed, but instead of just lying in a ball and crying for the rest of the day, I went to work. I needed to do about a million things, but only accomplished less than half, but the important thing was that I reset a lot of my priorities. I just wish I had done so without having to miss church. I feel like the rest of my week is going to feel like this and I feel like I’ve let down everyone in my life by missing for one day.

My father came to town yesterday and we had a nice talk. It wasn’t as stressful as I thought it was going to be and we actually had a conversation like a father and daughter should. I finally feel like that relationship is what it ought to be.

Training is still going and going and going. If the situation all works out, I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I may have to go over the head of one of my professor’s….but honestly, it’s rather ridiculous to have just one section of a class that all majors would need. They could at least have the decency to hold the class at various times throughout the year. The school is supposed to be accommodating, but really it’s all crap.

I’m beginning Week Two of giving up TV.com forums in favor of more productive things. I also feel like this huge weight has been lifted off of me since now, I don’t feel like it’s imperative that watch House and SVU exactly when they come on so that I can comment on them later. I can now tape them and watch them at my leisure, like a normal human being.

Adventures in Vegetarianism #1
I have also decided that I am going to be a full-fledged vegetarian. I came to this idea this Saturday past and my last “meat” was a Wendy’s #6 Spicy Chicken sandwich, of which I have been having deep cravings ever since. It has been three days and I feel like I’m starting to crack, but I’m trying to remain diligent. The thing is, I’ve got to get this weight off of me. I can’t even say that it’s starting to get out of hand; it’s already out of hand, out of control, out of whatever. I normally try to cook and eat healthy, but eventually, I’ll get lazy and stop cooking and I end up hitting the vending machines at work or ordering 20-some wings from Donato’s or Wings Xtreme and devouring them all myself for dinner. But, what I have noticed is most of the things to which I turn when laziness begets poor eating habits are meats or foods with meat. Subs, wings, Skyline, Wendy’s #6…hmm, Wendy’s….they are all meat and I go to them time and time again. I figure if I just pull meat out of my diet altogether, I won’t even be able to go to those places. If I really face it, even though I hadn’t been eating red meat or pork for ages, I would always splurge when it came to subs and such. Even though I would adamantly say I refused to eat red meat, that buoyant voice always faded away as I sank my teeth in a Grinder. Taking all meat out of my diet means that if I slip and hit Skyline, it will have to be an active choice to eat meat, removing my ability to say, “well, this red meat’s okay, because I really can’t see it.” Either way, this is a big dietary change and although my mother reminded me that there are a lot of really fat vegetarians, I still think this has some potential.

Comments Off on SSttrreessssseedd | On Me, Vegetarian

Back to top