Because He lives, I can face yesterday.
~ Jared C. Wilson

April 20, 2012

Windshield Wiper Tones

      Windshield wipers can make music. What an unusual statement, you say. How can anything as prosaic and ordinary as windshield wipers make something as beautiful and inexpressible as music, you question. Using the mighty power of my pen and my thesaurus, I will show you. Close your eyes and listen. Actually, don't do that, since you have to read this.
     Ahem. Everyone knows that windshield wipers have different speeds. One end of the dial gives you a slow swish, and the other end throws out a whirling madness.
     The slow setting is useful for light sprinkles, or short spits. The moisture does not build up quickly enough to obscure the driver's view before the wipers swipe. One drives leisurely down the road, enjoying a gentle rhythm sounding from the swoop of the windshield wipers. Swish, swoosh. Swish, swoosh. Quite soothing, actually.
    With precipitation of more substance, the wipers are turned up a few notches to a regular clack clack or tick tock. The rain pats the windshield, and the wipers brush it to the side. Our gentle rhythm turns into a light chamber piece--sparkling and pretty, but slightly dull. 
     As the rain spills down more heavily, our wipers start to pick up the pace. We hear a joyous romp, as rain splats onto the glass and the wipers hurry to flick it off into the air. 
     When we get into stronger weather, the romp moves into a faster tempo. The wipers are really booking it now, running back from one side of the windshield to the other like percussionists in the middle of Beethoven. A symphony is sounding in our ears, the glorious sound of rain and wipers in harmonized motion. 
     Severe rain sends the wipers into panic mode; indeed, they hardly seem in control of themselves any more. Water pours down in a deluge, drenching the glass by bucketfuls. We hear the complicated discord of modern music--and are tempted to cover our ears at the sensation of such unfamiliar sounds. It is a frantic battle between rain and wipers. Where do the wipers stop and the rain begins? Where does the rain stop and the wipers begin? Where is the road, for pete's sake?
     At this point it is most likely best that you should seek shelter. Go find some Bach.

April 13, 2012

Scholarships are Melting my Brain

     I can pick up almost any college magazine and see an inspirational story about how Mr. or Miss Dental-Ad-Smile was able to pay for college using only scholarships. About how they were actually paid to go to college because of all the scholarship money they won, and they had a fabulous time not having to eat Ramen noodles or buy cheap shampoo that makes your hair smell weird. According to Mr. or Miss Dental-Ad-Smile, scholarships are waiting outside your door for you to fall into them. They are waiting on your money tree ripe for the picking, and all you have to do is Google the word "scholarships". Well, I'm here to bust that myth.
     The real truth about scholarships is that, yes, there are hundreds of thousands of them out there. But what Mr. or Miss Dental-Ad-Smile fail to mention is that there are hundreds of millions of students that are angling for those same scholarships. Every time you click on a scholarship title there are at least 67324.39 people that click on it too. And about 82% of those people are in a time zone that is 12 hours ahead of you, so they have 12 hours start in writing that fabulous essay that meets the prompt exactly.
     Speaking of essay prompts, there are two questions that make up the bulk of what you are expected to form a coherent page about. The first one usually asks your opinion about something. Which is fine, considering that most people have opinions. However it is not fine that the question asks your opinion about something that you most likely have never heard of. How do I know what my opinion is on the lifespan of a box turtle? I've never thought about it before. And I don't know that I necessarily have an opinion, either. The second question that is most often asked is about something the company does. The I. M. Poor Foundation wishes you to read the 960-page book on Keynesian economics; then choose one principle to analyze and to discuss how you would apply it today. And the award for the I. M. Poor Foundation comes to a total of $500. It is not renewable.  Not to mention that it takes time to write the perfect essay, and most people are still trying to struggle through the perils of trig, and the subjunctive tense in French.
     Another factor in the scholarship search is that most scholarships are hosted by companies who are looking for a person of Czechoslovakian descent who graduated from a high school in Epsom County of South Dakota, who is pursuing a career in neuroscience and speaks Swahili. Quite.
     So, if you're trying to go to a college that costs $35,000 a year, and they only give you $11,000 a year in aid plus merit scholarships, it looks like you're out of luck. Unless you are able to lock yourself up in a room for the entire summer and come up with 67.2 essays. Or a long-lost uncle who lives in Africa dies of a mysterious illness and leaves you a million dollars he didn't know he had. And then there's always the option of selling one or more of your siblings, which has proven surprisingly lucrative in a number of areas.
Who's ready for bone-crushing debt?

December 7, 2011

Christmas Carol


My favorite Christmas carol ever...


 O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!


December 6, 2011

Auditions: The Inside Scoop

     An audition day is a great and terrible thing. All of the practicing you have done is about to come to a head. Everything you have worked for comes down to ten minutes in front of five people. It is the best day and the worst day of your life.
     You wake up groggily, having often spent a sleepless night tossing and turning in your hard bed. A great deal of pillow-punching often occurs, as do wild thoughts of hopping a train to Alberquerque.
     Breakfast awaits in the form of soggy cereal and curdled milk. After ironing your wrinkled dress shirt, and wrestling on your pantyhose (a bout that ends in a knockout after three minutes), you open up your instrument case. Just as you are about to play the first note, your parent bellows up the stairs, "Time to gooooo!!" You carefully pack up your instrument, then start downstairs only to trip over your high heels and end up with a run in your stocking.
     In the car, your parent misreads the directions and turns left when he/she should have turned right. You arrive at the audition exactly four minutes before your warm-up time, and throw yourself out of the car before it has stopped. Your hair elastic breaks.
     Squinting at the directional signs (which all appear to be written in some combination of Swahili and pig-latin), you locate the registration room, feverishly sign your name and then look about for a ladies room. The only one in the building turns out to be three flights of stairs up, so you gather up your things and slog up the stairs. Apparently fifty other girls have had the same idea, and there is a traffic jam in the bathroom. After a good deal of pinching and scratching, you fight your way to a mirror and quickly repair the damage. It is all broken again on the way out of the door, but at this point you have about eight minutes left of your warm-up time.
     The practice rooms send out a din to equal three herds of cattle stampeding, but you find the one room that is empty. It is located between a screeching soprano and a groaning clarinet. You quickly unpack, and run through the most difficult spots in your piece. There is an air-conditioning vent blowing ice-cold air (in December?!?), so you have to keep re-tuning.
     Two minutes before your audition time arrives, you pack up and head out the door. The building is a labrynth, and your walk turns into a trot and then a full-speed-ahead gallop as you race to the audition room. You arrive panting, hair streaming and skirt flapping, only to find that three people are standing outside the door as calm and collected as caterpillars. They eye you coldly. You ask if the judges are running late, and three heads condescend to nod to you. Subdued, you find the nearest available corner and stand in it, running through your piece in your head.
      An unidentified person leaves the audition room, and Caterpillar A goes in. Strains of an impossibly difficult concerto come through the door. Caterpillar A comes out, smiling smugly. Your heart sinks. Caterpillar B disappears through the door. One of the most complex pieces known to man is heard through the door. You swallow convulsively. Positive thoughts, you tell yourself. Caterpillar B smiles smugly as he exits. Caterpillar C is lost from sight, and shortly you hear an impossibly difficult concerto and one of the most complex pieces known to man. You stagger and reel. Caterpillar C has left, and it is now your turn.
     The door creaks as you enter. The room is small, filled with many august personages who sit staring at you through pince-nez. They inquire your name. You reply, and announce your piece. They nod graciously, and you wipe your sweaty palms on your skirt. You take a deep breath, and begin. Your sound is thin and wavering, you screech appallingly on the high notes and miss most of the difficult parts. The piece seems to drag and rush by turns. Finally you are finished. The August Personages nod again, and you leave the room.
     Greatly in need of comfort and refreshment, you head toward the spot where you last saw your parent. You find instead a being with clenched jaws and bloodshot eyes. It greets you with sighs of relief, and immediately pounces with a million questions of "How did it go? Did the part in measure so-and-so go right? Did you remember blah-de-blah in measure thingummy? Who was before you? What did they play? I've been sweating it out here waiting for you, I'll tell you that much!" Somehow you survive the grilling.
     You head home, and collapse on the bed falling into an exhausted sleep. And you know what? The worst part is yet to come. Waiting and waiting and waiting.

To be truthful I must confess that what I have written above is not at all accurate. Mostly. Everyone at the auditions was so helpful and friendly--it was way less scary than I was expecting. And I know that the Lord will have me wherever He wants me and wherever I will give glory to Him. And that's all I need. :)

December 4, 2011

He is enough

He is enough. Jesus is enough. No matter how this whole thing comes out, whether I go to college or not, He is in control. The Lord has a plan, and all I am here for is to glorify Him. He is enough.

November 27, 2011


Okay, so I finally watched Phineas and Ferb: The Movie yesterday, and let me just say that it. was. awesome. Usually I find that when people (they in the "they" building) try to take an amazing television series and turn it into a movie, the product that they come up with is completely and utterly stupid. Either they mess up the characters, or they can't come up with a plot so you're sitting there watching the clock tick by on an hour and a half. But not so with P&F. It had all the elemental quirks that makes Phineas and Ferb amazing, but without seeming trite or overdone. It strongly kept my interest through all 78 minutes, and I actually had to relocate to the basement to watch it 'cause I was keeping the sibs up with my giggles. So yeah, it was pretty cool. :)

One of the really cool characterizations in P&F was the Candace from the 2nd dimension. She was a cool karate-master/spy/tough-as-nails-resistance-leader/way-awesome big sis. In fact her characterization was so well done (and also because Candace is my alter-ego) that I was inspired to create my own Candace costume. I did make some modifications so I wasn't showing quite as much skin as dear Candace, and unfortunately I could not find a cool belt with gadgets on it. But my little bro was kind enough to lend me his airgun for a cool prop so that became my weapon of choice. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, presenting Betsey-Candace!!

Fact: Candace and I are both the oldest in our respective families.
Fact: We both have a serious bossy complex.
Fact: Our siblings drive us nuts.

Fact: We both experience frustration at the bust-proof-ness of our siblings. 
(And yes, I did just make that word up.)
Fact: We both love Ducky Mo Mo.

When I showed these to the sibs, Suzy remarked that I look a lot like Vanessa. Okay....

I guess she could be right. I must admit that I would not mind being saved from imminent danger by Ferb, either. :)
*sigh* Oh Ferb, I'm waiting for you!! :)

November 26, 2011

Funny Commercial

One of the funniest commercials ever. Enjoy!

November 25, 2011

A Guide to Christmas Decorating Safety

Statistics show that over 83% of household accidents happen in the bathroom. The other 17% occur during Christmas decorating.* Over 25% of emergency room visits during the period of Nov. 12th through Jan. 7th are because of an accident when decorating for Christmas.* 
 Decorating for Christmas is a wonderful pastime, but it is important to have a thorough knowledge of the perils that lurk in order to have a safe decorating experience. The Commission of Christmas Decorating Safety (CCDS) has compiled this manual of rules and regulations to help the ordinary consumer follow safe Christmas decorating procedures.

Section A: Stockings

1. Stockings are not allowed to be hung from a mantel, radiator, bedpost or bookshelf. They must not weigh over 2 pounds 2.5 ounces when filled. The Department will ration exactly 2.5 lumps of coal to each household for each bread-winner to dispose of as they see fit. Each lump of coal weighs exactly 7 ounces.
2. Stockings must not be made from socks, shoes, nightcaps, long johns or any article of clothing that consumers habitually wear. It is dangerous to the public health.
3. There must be a regulation pamphlet by the milk and cookies that will direct Santa Claus to the stockings. He often forgets about them, and the Department will not be held responsible for any more lawsuits regarding this matter.

Section B: Presents

1. The Department has allotted 3 presents per person. Those who have more presents than the allotted amount must donate them to the Persons that Spread the Wealth Association (PSWA), where they will be distributed to those that are less fortunate. 
2. Presents may not be wrapped using tape, ribbon, or scissors. These are serious safety hazards to the white panda bear, and anyone found using them will be prosecuted.
3. No wrapping paper may be used that is colored with snowmen, gingerbread men, reindeer or Santa Claus as these shapes are discriminatory against those racial groups. 

Section C: The Tree

1. All Christmas trees must be over the height of 1.3 feet and under the height of 5.7 feet. This enables the maximum amount of people to help decorate the tree. Any tree smaller than 1.3 feet is a shrub. There is a considerable risk of injury/contagious disease/death from overbalancing when decorating any tree taller than 5.7 feet. Any trees that do not meet the height requirements will be towed away at owner's expense.
2. All ornaments must be made of artificial plastic. Wood, paper, fabrics, glass and metal are not allowed. There are to be no sparkles, glue or artificial substances of any kind attached to them. Such substances can be easily swallowed by small goldfish and are extremely dangerous to their health. Ornaments may not be hung on the top branches or the middle branches. If they are hung in the restricted areas they are an extreme risk for falling on small children's heads. No ornaments are to manufactured in the shapes of snowmen, gingerbread men, reindeer, or Santa Claus, as these shapes are discriminatory against those racial groups.
3. Christmas trees may not have lights. They could be mistaken for alien signals and the Department has issued strict orders against any communication with the outer worlds.
4. Absolutely NO tinsel may be used for decoration on the tree as it is very sharp. One gentlemen was taken to the emergency room last year because a piece had severed his foot. Blood poisoning spread and his entire leg had to be amputated. NO TINSEL!

This manual will be updated every 6 hours to comply with proper regulations.

 *Statistics are fake. Please do not pay any attention to them as they are used merely for promotional purposes. Thank you!

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!



I am thankful for...

  • Parents who love me and help guide me through a tangled life
  • Siblings who drive me batty 
  • Dr. Pepper
  • A wonderful church family who helps me grow in the Lord
  • Five wonderful cousins who live 30 minutes away
  • The gift to play the violin
  • Oreos
  • Fairy tales
  • God giving us His word so we know how to glorify Him
  • A little brother who is already showing signs of being a wonderful man of God--love you, buddy!
There are so many many things that I have been blessed with beyond measure. I thank the Lord for giving me each day another day to glorify Him and to walk in His word. I thank Him for saving me from a horrible fate, for rescuing me from my own sin and clothing me with His righteousness.

I am also thankful for turkey.