Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I'm not gonna lie, I had forgotten what sub zero temperatures felt like. And I had forgotten what frozen nose hairs felt like. I am certainly not complaining though. Besides one particular moment of trying to repeatedly get my rear, driver side door to close (it sticks sometimes) in negative temps + wind/windchill, I have enjoyed every moment of the cold.
So far, I have played broomball and hockey in these sub zero temps and as the snow accumulates. It doesn't stop the fun - for me or any of my broomball/hockey loving friends - it just makes the games more interesting. Here are a few examples...
We'll start with hockey. I have played pond hockey 3 times now: once while it was snowing (the kind of snow where it's accumulating in inches) and then tonight, I played and the temperature was exactly zero (I think I have a mild case of frost bite, too, because my right, big toe feels like a rock. But like I told my mom, it's all good as long as it doesn't fall off...). The ice was really bad tonight because in between the snowy night and tonight, we had this random 38 degree day where the ice kind of melted a little bit and the sides of the rink had about 2 inches of water sitting on it. It re-froze, but it was soft in some spots and chiped easily in other areas so there were many moments of random falling on your face. Speaking of the warm hockey day though, there were a few times where we fell in the water so we were pretty wet, but pressed on.
Temperature is all relative, though. I mean, in California, 38 degrees in December is super cold and no one knows what to do. Everyone, if they dare to go outside their warm house, is in layers of clothes, wearing hats, mittens, boots, and carrying a cup of Starbucks to keep them warm. In Minnesota, however, 38 degrees in December is a warm day! No one has a hat or mittens on, you might have a sweatshirt on over your long-sleeved t-shirt, but it's really not necessary, and everyone is outside enjoying the day! Which is what we were doing on that warm, December day when the ice was melting. Wet shirts and pants and water in our skates, sloshing around (literally) was almost equivelent to wearing wet shorts after you've spent the day at the beach... no big deal.
Now for Broomball. Last night we had our second game... and we won... and I got two goals... It was about 3 degrees and it was snowing - but not the thick, heavy snow - it was light, fluffy and slippery. Even with the amazing Broomball shoes, it was still very hard to run on the ice so you relied on your passing game and taking a few dives every now and then to get to the ball before the opponent did! It's so much fun... I wish I was in a league for every night of the week! I suspect that tomorrow, I may end up with the Broomball cough (last time, I got it the 2nd day). We'll see though. Last time, I was in worse physical shape than I am in now - not that I am "in shape" - but I have been playing Broomball or hockey a few times a week so I can definitely handle physical activity a little better now!
I forgot my point - let me go read what my first paragraph said... Oh yeah, it's cold here... So anyway, while most of my fellow Minnesotans (if you didn't read that last phrase with the Minnesotan accent, you should go back and do that - It'll be fun)... anyway, while most of my fellow Minnesotans are not happy about the cold weather or the snow fall that is causing some of my coworkers 2.5 hour long commutes - one way (not exaggerating), I am loving every minute of it! But then again, I love winter sports and I have a 1 mile commute that takes about 3 minutes, IF I hit the stop light.
Check back in March to see if I'm still loving the cold and snow! But if broomball and/or hockey are still going, I suspect I will be just as content with the cold as I am now!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I ran across this video of Taylor from a few weeks ago:
And I found this picture of Hannah...
And my friend Rachel asked me to post a few pics of my new apartment. The only thing I have pictures of is my room - and I wish it was still this clean...
The view of the door from my bed
And the view down my hall to my bathroom (in my room)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Snowfall like this will make things a little busier at work though. We all forget how to drive in snow from one year to the next. We think we can push the limits further than we really can when it's snowing and then end up hitting someone or going into a ditch. I hope everyone exercises safety and good judgement while driving (not because I don't wantextra claims at work - there is always work to do with or without a snowstorm- but because accidents are just bad in general).
Tomorrow I am taking a test on property insurance. I have to get 70% to pass and I honestly don't think I will pass. I haven't studied like I should and it's not exactly the most exciting material. I am easily distracted (like I write pointless blogs about snow).
I guess that is it for now!
Another pointless blog...
Sunday, December 7, 2008
And a pic of my dad, the man who witnessed this phenomena in person:
Side note: Isn't it cool how we can send pictures to our friends and family anywhere in the world in just a moment's time!
Two posts in one day... keep reading... =)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I haven't ran around like that for a long time so it was a little tiring... ok, a LOT tiring! I hope I will build more endurance soon between broomball and pond hockey.
Today, I am pretty sore... I am sore in places I didn't even know I could be sore like the arches of my feet! What the heck?? And I have some stuff in my lungs from running around in the "cold" - although it wasn't really that cold out. It was probably around 32 degrees last night (couldn't have been much more than that because it snowed about 10 minutes after our game).
Oh, and we lost the game. By a lot! We had one goal and we stopped counting theirs after 8 goals. But I had so much fun I didn't really mind the loss.
Our next game isn't for a few weeks but I am already looking forward to it!
PS: Broomball shoes are amazing! You really don't slip on the ice at all! I am attaching a picture I have already posted once before so you can see the shoes again. The soles are soft and squishy and grip the ice!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Just a note, when I refer to "Christianity" I am referring to the Protestant Christian faith, not any other type of religion that is lumped into "Christianity".
Lately, I have been struggling with Christianity. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, rest assured that the TRUTH of Christianity is not what I am wrestling with. I absolutely believe that the God of the Christian faith is the True and Living God; I believe Jesus Christ is God's one and only Son, who provided the only way to the Father through death on the cross and taking upon himself the sin of the world; I believe the Bible is the Word of God and 100% inherent and I do not believe that any other book or "scripture" has been divinely added to it. Belief is not what I am struggling with.
What I am struggling with is finding the distinction between belief in the truth about God and the heart-changing faith in God. It's easy to believe in God. 98% of Americans believe in the Christian God, right? Even the DEMONS believe and shutter (in the book of James somewhere). But, I know there is a difference between belief in God and putting your faith in God (or being born-again, or trusting in God for salvation... there are many ways we can say that).
And of course, there are certain things Christians do to mark themselves as Christian: we pray, go to church, encourage one another, sing songs, have prayer meetings, tell each other that God has a plan, we try to not to ask questions when tragedy strikes because God is in control, we try to live moral lives, shop out of the Christian yellow pages, we go to Christian schools or home schools, we avoid having too close of "non-Christian" friends, we cringe when someone swears or tells a taste-less joke.... I have been doing all of this (or trying to) for 27 years and for the past few months, I have realized I am a total fake. I do this stuff because I feel like I should; it's the Christian thing to do. The Christian bubble is pretty cushy... we all hold hands and hug and sing and it's like we avoid the world, rather than living in it to make an impact. I mean, really living in it: hanging out with people who don't call themselves "Christian," reaching out to someone and being involved in their lives beyond the 2-hour coffee house discussion, meaning it when we say "how are you?" and educating ourselves on what's out there and realizing that people who have different perspectives are real people and just want to be loved.
By saying I am a fake, I am not saying I am not a Christian; the truth is, I don't know who I am or if I am (here is where most Christians would tell me "oh, I know you are saved" and then they'd provide some good evidence as if they knew my heart). But what I do know is this: I want to figure out who I am, I trust that God has not given up on me, and I am not going to pretend anymore. I am going to be real. And right now, that means that I am questioning everything I've ever known about what a Christian life should look like. It means that I am not going to do the "Christian thing" just because I feel like I have to. I want it to be genuine; I don't want to pretend like I don't have problems or struggles or that everything is "fine" simply because God is in control. This is too serious a matter to continue to take for granted. I need to either be a true Christian or stop trying to be something I'm not (no worries, I desire the former). Maybe I am wrong about all this, but I guess that is ok because my goal is to figure things out.
My goal in writing this was absolutely not to have anyone reassure me or call me or anything of the sort and I apologize for possibly sounding like a jerk; I am just really frustrated. I just think that maybe someone else out there is struggling with the same thing and I wanted to tell them that they are not alone. This is not an easy thing to admit and many people will think I am going through a phase and won't see the depth of this struggle and that is ok. But the truth is, I have denied this struggle of mine for most of my 27 years just hoping that one day it would somehow not be an issue. I've tried to pretend along the way and I think I've done an alright job, but now, I must face reality now because frankly, I don't want to run out of time.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My mom, dad and brother John are coming down Saturday to help me move and I am counting down the hours! I've been trying to pack and my roommate and I started to bring boxes over but apparently Tuesday through Friday the elevators are out and since we are on the 3rd floor, we decided to just wait till Saturday to move the rest of our stuff. Carrying boxes up 3 flights of stairs is not too fun. =)
And I keep bringing this up, but I am SO excited for the lakes and ponds to freeze. I haven't played hockey for way too long and I can't wait until I can play. At work, my Claim Rep who I am partnered with lives on a pond with his family and he has people out to play hockey all winter! And I also have the broomball team so I am set for winter sports! I can't wait for big, fluffy snow to fall, but I want it to wait until after we get a good layer of ice so the ice is perfect!
I can't believe I have been living in MN for over 5 months now! A year ago, I would have laughed if someone told me I'd be living here again. Not because I didn't want to, but because I just didn't think it would have happend so quickly. But I can say with 100% certainty, I am SO glad that I moved here. I love being closer to family. I really love my job... more than any other job I've had. I feel like I am making very good friends and meeting lots of neat people. And lets face it, the accent here is pretty much amazing! hehe - 5 months ago, I would not have said I loved living here again, even 2 months ago... but now, I am home. Home sweet home. (I say that now, I suppose we should revisit that love for MN a few months into winter... haha)
I guess that's it for now. I wrote a whole lot for sitting down to write a blog without knowing what I was going to write about, but not being able to write about what I really think (I think that is for my private journal, which I don't have, so I should start one!) hehe
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
NOTE: There are two, really short videos within the pics.
And the gang at the top of the building....
Ok, the elevator going up and down was trippy. The ceiling was glass and there were blue lights all the way up. I didn't really like the fact that the elevator shaft was 67 stories high, but as many people told me, if it were only 5 stories high, I'd still be a gonner if it crashed to the earth.
And here is the "Top of the Rock" building from earth.
We also went ice skating at Rockefeller Center. This is something I have always wanted to do and the only thing that would have made it better would have been if the Christmas Tree had been up already but that doesn't go up until the first week of December. Oh well, it was still rad!
Ok, so as we were walking along later that night towards Penn Station, we saw this garbage fire on the sidewalk in Times Sqauare. No police or firemen were around and just a few tourists were standing around wonder what was going on. I thought it would be fun to take a picture next to it, so I did. (More to the story is that a friend from work told me that if Obama gets elected - which obviously he did - and we all end up poor and homeless, I can come to her garbage fire. And since I saw a garbage fire, I had to take a pic with it)
I have to admit that I was more amused than embarassed.
I just saw this and though it was cool =)
And this is a Charmin Toilet Paper ad!
Our group at Times Square
Tuesday we went and saw Ground Zero. They have done lots of construction, but I have no idea what they are building since I haven't heard of any WTC 9/11 memorials that are going up.
Alicia eating a piece of pizza from, in my opinion, the best pizza place we ate at!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This is just a goofy picture on a set of red stairs in Times Square
Cruising down 5th Ave, we saw this statue so we did one of those things where it
Across the street from the statue thing was this awesome church building.
Ok, if anyone can tell me how one of these things work....