Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've been contemplating a lot the divorce that so often occurs in our culture between the heart and the head. So many times we use our logic to unravel complexities of faith, life, theology. It is so easy in our culture to comfortably analyze and blog and spit out information and Scripture and arguments that don't necessarily transform our lives, relationships or attitudes on any deep or meaningful level. I'm learning more and more (and over and over) that knowledge is not just an intellectual assent to an idea, but a deeply-rooted way of living that proceeds from our inner life. It translates into outward behavior and choices.

Proverbs 2 says:
"My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,

3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.

6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."

I got in a minor car accident last week. I hit my head so I wanted to make sure I didn't have a concussion so I checked myself into the ER. While I was sitting there on the hospital bed, my mind began to wander and I wrote this.


hush, now.

we creep along in the dead of night
the moon scowling at our mischief
or perhaps we only imagine
its suspicious disdain

stealthily, secretly
we grasp and pull
your broken body from the tree
carry you deftly
and importantly
away, away
from familiar claws

that we might perform
your autopsy.

she reasons and interprets
with methodical glee
at the moment of your expiration
when you breathed your last
that the confusion and the loss
bellowed deeply from the bowels of hell
as a cry for the scarred and the lost
and the abused
and a rousing wail
against the plastic
and the whitewashed
and the unchanged

i think she's right.

but upon her life
you leave no so much mark
only a philosopher's kiss
hollow and rational
and reasonable
which stales the air
and dwindles passion

silently divorcing
her heart from her head

i watch her
hearken in her own illusion
of you but in part
and never in whole

i see your image
torn asunder
a mass of throbbing, pulsing
flesh and veins and bones
in cold calculation

and i find
as i diagnose
her pitiable, blinded state
and mine

that we have quite dissected
the wrong Being.


The best game of Scattergories. Ever.

I love my friends.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Application Approved!

Queensland Tourism approved my application for the Best Job in the World! Yippeeeee!:)

Jeanne and I are coming in a little bit later in the game, but if you want to help either of us win the Island Caretaker job (ooh sounds like we're applying to be Jacob or Pretty Eye Guy of LOST), please click here and watch the video and rate us. The more viewings and higher ratings, the more we're likely to attract attention and votes.

Thanks for taking the time to rate us!:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jeanne and Mel's Island Reef Job application

My dear friend Jeanne and I are applying for The Best Job in the World, hosted by Queensland Tourism in Australia. We are joining 30,000+ people from all over the world who are also applying for this job.

The job? To live in a 3 bedroom house on an island in the Great Barrier Reef. Explore the island, snorkel, swim, hang out on the beach, go hiking. And write and video blog about it.

Oh, and a nice pay check of $100,000.

I know.

This is a long shot, I know since the chances of us beating out other 30,000 people are slim, but seriously, Jeanne and I are already traveling to Australia, leaving in March 2009. The job is slated to last from July-December 2009, about the time we were thinking of moving to Byron Bay or Gold Coast or some other lovely coastal city and finding jobs waiting tables, bartending, or fruit picking with migrant workers. Or sheepherding.

No, really.

This Island Reef job is really a public relations tool to help boost the tourist industry in Australia, which, like the rest of us living in this poor world, is caught up in worldwide recession.

Jeanne and I have been planning this 3-6 month (possibly up to a year!) trip to Australia since August, so we are basically the poster child for Australian tourism. Currently, we are planning to start off in Sydney next month, head to Darwin and Ayers' Rock, then fly back to the southern coast (dip down to Tasmania for a bit) and work our way up the eastern coast, with Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef as our final destinations.

I remember telling Jeanne back when we first heard about this job that when we applied with the video, that all we had to do was just be ourselves. And treat the Australian Tourism Industry like it was some cute guy that we are trying to pick up. Haha;)

There are lots of marine biologists, Xtreme sports people, dolphin trainers, tour guides, etc. applying for this job who probably have a lot more experience than we do. But, I really hope that the fact that we are traveling there anyway to just soak up life and enjoy the beauty and culture of Australia (and actually quit our 9-5 jobs in order to do so!) will speak volumes to them.

Even if we don't get this job, we will be video blogging and writing about our adventures the whole way.

And we will also be looking for our personal "Drovah":

(see: Hugh Jackman in Baz Luhrmann's film "Australia" for further reference).

Anyway, so here is the video. Hope you enjoy. And I will post the link to the website as soon as I receive approval so you guys can start voting for/rating our video!



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Things I've Lost

Inspired by Jeanne's recent post.

-a $1,250 savings bond which I received as prize for winning an essay contest in 9th grade. I don't remember what the essay was about but I should have put that puppy in a safety deposit box. I don't know where it is now and it would sure come in handy for my upcoming Oz trip...
-too many goldfish. I lost my first two pets (Bubbles and Blackie) to disease and grief. Blackie died because he was sick and Bubbles died of a lonely heart, I'm pretty convinced. They were soulmates. I think.
-Two grandparents that I never really knew. My mom's mother died when I was 6, and I only have two distinct memories of her. One of them involves her making me a peanut butter/honey sandwich. I wonder if that's why I like them so much now. I never met my grandfather and I wish I had, but he died in the Philippines before I could meet him. My mom tells me that my personality is a lot like his so that intrigues me even more. I know you should feel like you had something to begin with in order to lost it, but I feel the loss nonetheless.
-My favorite silver butterfly necklace somewhere in Tucson, Arizona. I think this happened around 9th or 10th grade. We were staying at a resort in Tucson and that was the last time I ever saw that necklace. Gosh, I loved that thing.
-I think i've also lost self-consciousness or at least a significant part of it. I used to care in the extreme about what people thought about me and was bothered by this, probably more than a normal person. I still get offended every now and then if I think someone's perception is out of whack, but generally I really don't think twice about it. I am who I am and I'm pretty comfortable with that.
-my favorite treehouse. (my only treehouse). my dad helped me build this in the central maple tree in our backyard in New Jersey. I also had a rope swing. Many, many hours spent dreaming up in a canopy of trees.
-Innocence, yes. I have cynical bouts still. A constant battle. But I feel like I've rebounded from a 2-3 lapse into extreme cynicism and now I strive to move forward in hope. This battle is dynamic, and always changing on me. But it keeps me on my toes and for that I am grateful.
-many good memories of college. I blame this on the fact that I didn't have a digital camera until my last year in college, and even then I only used it sporadically. Sometimes I look back at college and only see a blur of classes, activities, practicing piano and some routine or schedule that I think I had. I feel like so many amazing, fun, random wonderful things happened with many amazing, fun, random wonderful people, but I don't remember half of it. Mostly because I don't see many of these people anymore and there's no chance for reminiscing...
-my ability to remember things without writing them down/recording them somehow--I think this is why I recently I've taken to taking photographs, writing journal entries, recording video blogs, making quote lists. I used to have a superb memory, but I think it's deteriorated into nothingness.
-my ability to sit still in solitude and enjoy life without needing to check email or facebook or my phone for texts or update my twitter to let the whole flippin' world know what I'm doing. I'm looking forward to Australia to be a break from all the constant communication and just BE.
-a deep friendship that was super important to me. People fade in and our of your lives for reasons and in seasons and that's to be expected, but this particular friendship should not have dwindled to its current form. Lately I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I doubt you'll read this but if you do... We've both changed exponentially and I am still holding out hope that we can find each other again in our new selves.
-my friend Chris to a deadly car accident my sophomore year of college. We were great friends freshman year, and he was a constant companion. He faded out of my life sophomore year and I wish he hadn't and I wish I had been a better friend to him that second year. Rest in Peace, Smalls. You are still missed and loved.
-several bets to Jeanne, where I end up owing her dinner or money in some form. However Walter and Carolina have inspired me to be a bit more creative in coming up with stakes for our bet-making. So I'm working on that;)
-the 8th grade spelling bee at Rock Lake Middle School. I came in stinkin' first runner up. Because I couldn't spell diphthong. Still don't even know if I spelled that right just now.
-my ability to be sensitive and emotional to most people: translated into wanting to cater to people. I used to be a super oversensitive person and used to overcompensate for that. I still think I'm fairly empathetic, but generally I've swung the opposite way and become a bit more logical in the way I approach emotions and people.

What have you lost?