hymnia: (Moon Mars fight)
As most of you know, last fall my sister-in-law was diagnosed with colon cancer (due to a genetic condition). I am happy to say that as of right now she has completed her treatment and is doing well. :)

This summer, my family and I are participating in a 5K to support the Colon Cancer Alliance. According to their website:

"The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is the oldest and largest national patient advocacy organization dedicated to ending the suffering caused by colorectal cancer. In order to increase rates of screening and survivorship, the CCA provides patient support, public education, supports research and conducts advocacy work across America.

As the Voice of Survivors, the CCA works as an advocate for colorectal cancer patients and their families. The CCA offers information and support from the first-hand experience of survivors and others whose lives have been touched by this disease."

Please consider joining me in support of this cause. Click here to donate!


Dress up!

Feb. 20th, 2012 07:10 pm
hymnia: (beautiful tohru)
My JET interview is Thursday, so my sister-in-law and I spent the day playing dress up to try and find a good outfit for me to wear. Please take a look at what we came up with and vote for your favorite, over on my WordPress blog. Thanks!


hymnia: (beautiful tohru)
My sister-in-law, who is going through chemotherapy right now and is also an accomplished cosplayer, made a really cute post about wearing wigs--complete with pics of her and her two-year-old daughter putting on a wig fashion show. It is so adorable, I just had to share it:


hymnia: (Flail)
So, I want to keep up with the writing 500+ words per day thing, but today has just defeated me. The Mad Science labs are fun, but they are REALLY exhausting. And then I get home and you know what? My Facebook feed is even more exhausting. I hate, hate, HATE the way it refreshes itself at the drop of a hat, and suddenly the posts are in a completely different order. I just can't keep up. And I have way too many groups and fan pages "Liked" and so my feed is already overwhelming to begin with. But darn it, I enjoy those pages and I don't want to un-like them. :/ I just wish my feed were stable like LiveJournal's, so I could get through it in more than one sitting--and without seeing duplications of the same post. Something has got to give here. I don't know if it's that I just need to give up Facebook cold turkey for a while, or if it's that I have to somehow FORCE myself to quit reading my feed after a reasonable amount of time (an hour, for example), even if I haven't read all the new posts, and just hope I don't miss anything important, or if I need to figure out some things to cut to clean up my feed. One way or another, I can't keep doing these marathon Facebook sessions. It's driving me nuts.

And I'm afraid that's all I have for today. I am just too tired to write more than that. I'll try to write extra tomorrow to make up for it. I have an easier schedule tomorrow--no Mad Science, just a couple of math tutoring clients.

hymnia: (Sleeping fairy)
I have one more post to make on media consumption for the time being. I've been listening to the Middle Earth saga on tape. (And yes, I'm literally listening to cassette tapes. They really are the best way to listen to audio books.) I finished The Hobbit a week or two ago. Serendipitously, Mark Oshiro (of Mark Reads and Mark Watches) started reading The Hobbit shortly after I finished, so I'm enjoying reading his posts with the story still very fresh in my mind. It really is a series of little adventures along the way of a long journey, and there were a lot of twists and turns in the plot that I'd forgotten about.

Now I'm on The Fellowship of the Ring, and I swear, I almost forgot how good this story is. I love, love, love the characters so much, especially Frodo, Sam, and Aragorn. I was (and am) a big fan of the films, and so the visual representations from the films—from the set designs to the actors—are firmly fixed in my mind, probably more so than for any other book-film combo I've enjoyed, even Harry Potter. It's too bad that the section with the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, and the Barrow Wights wouldn't fit in the film. I don't blame Peter Jackson in the least for cutting it, but it would really have been nice to have seen those things come to life on film as well, especially Tom and Goldberry.

To fill the gap, I've picked actors to represent the missing roles of Tom and Goldberry.

Cut for pictures )

Who would you cast to play Tom and Goldberry?

In other news, I went to church today at Bethany Community Church for the second time (the first was in October, before I got sick), and I think I'm going to stick with this church. The sermon was on the relationship between science and faith, and the way the pastor approached the topic made me feel I could be comfortable with this church. It was a good sign when he opened with this quote from St. Augustine:

If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? (Follow the link for the full quote.)

BCC has a Thursday night “Early Career” group that I'm going to try to go to this week. Here's hoping I can make some friends there!

hymnia: (Sleeping Fairy)
Thanks to all who responded to my entry last night, either here or on the Facebook link. Even though LJ has slowed down in recent years, it's nice to know that many of you are still reading. <3

I'm starting this entry rather late at night, and I don't feel I have as much of a theme to expound on as I did yesterday or the day before, so I'm going to indulge in the bullet point mode of updating.

  • My Mad Science class went well. The kids were enthusiastic and seemed to enjoy it. They got a little rowdy at times, but not to the point of being disruptive or anything. I decided on the name “Jingle Joie”, a slight modification of my friend [profile] springdove's suggestion. (Sound waves are science-y, after all.)

  • Mom is fine today. She has an appointment with a cardiologist in a couple of weeks, but right now we're all leaning toward thinking it was just stress (and possibly an oncoming cold).

  • Speaking of which, my poor Dad has definitely caught the cold. :( Poor guy was exhausted and coughing a fair bit tonight. I hope it doesn't last as long for him as it did for me.

  • Kaedmon is staying with us again tonight. I have to say I've really been enjoying spending time with him lately. He can be very strong-willed and difficult at times. We used to butt heads a lot and sometimes still do. But lately there are more moments when he is spontaneously sweet and affectionate. And there are some things that I used to get after him about that he is now being more cooperative on. He's also so creative and loves to talk to people about all the wonderful things in his little head. It's fun just to watch him play sometimes. His style of playing pretend with his toys reminds me a lot of the kid in the Toy Story movies. He really breathes life into those toys, you know? He's going to turn five in less than a month now.

  • I raved on my nephew, so I have to add that my niece Anya is adorable as well. Lately one of her favorite things to do is puzzles. Of course, I love puzzles, too, so we spend a lot of time building puzzles together when she is over here. At two and a half, she is just starting to get to a point where she can build puzzles that are challenging enough that I have to think about them a little bit, too—at least enough to enjoy building them with her. Last Thanksgiving when we were in Albuquerque with Kaedmon, Nana (my grandmother) bought him this book that contains several really gorgeous puzzles of animals from each of the different continents. Anyway, Kaedmon's interest in the book is only mild, but Anya loves the book, and I have to say, I love it, too. I really enjoy building and re-building these puzzles with her.

  • Right now I'm a bit perplexed that my browser has way too many tabs open. I usually keep my browser much “neater” than this, so it's bothering me. I also have a very messy desk. This is all the result, of course, of being too sick to do much of anything for a week and then suddenly having a very busy schedule right as I started to get my energy back. Tomorrow I have a little more free time in my schedule, so hopefully I can put a good dent in cleaning up both my browser and my desk, not to mention a few long-procrastinated chores.

I don't intend for all of my NaNoJouMo writing to be about “real life”, and I have other topics in mind, from fannish to political to religious to philosophical. But who knows which will spill out of my brain first?

hymnia: (Kushina)
I've been sick with a cold the last week or so, and it's turned into a persistent, hacking cough. I started to turn a corner yesterday, but the cough's still pretty bad. It's been keeping both me and my parents awake at night, so they, er, strongly encouraged me to see the doctor and now I'm on special cough syrup and an inhaler. I have to admit, the medicine(s) have helped immensely.

Anyway, because of the illness I've been staying in and resting much more than usual. (Even without a job, I usually find plenty of reasons to go out and about, but not so much this week.) But yesterday I was thinking it's time to get back to life, at least a little bit. Well, today life decided to get back to me.

First, I had the job interview for Mad Science, which is an organization that does science lessons/labs/demos for elementary school kids. They run a number of different programs in this vein, but the job I interviewed for was to go to local elementary schools to run after school programs in six-week courses. Anyway, I went in and talked to them a while and it sounded like a great program, and they seemed eager to hire me. As it turns out, they had more schools than usual sign up for their fall program, and they were understaffed. I had submitted my application a while back and they had kept it on file because they didn't need me at the time, but recognized that I had the right skills and experience for the job.

Then they emailed me last week because now they have an urgent need—so urgent, in fact, that they wanted me to start TOMORROW. 0_o I didn't really feel ready for that, because this cough is still hanging on and my vocal chords are not in the best shape to be orating science concepts to grade schoolers. But it's too good an opportunity to pass up, and they were very persuasive. So I agreed to do it on the spot, and they got me right in on training. I spent the day learning more about the program, and looking at some of the lab kits with one of the other teachers, and then I went with her to observe her doing a lesson—the same one I will teach tomorrow at another school.

All the Mad Scientists have a nickname, and so they told me to think of what I would like to be called. They are usually either rhyming or alliterative. And so, a poll:

[Poll #1792153]

It was a LONG day. The training itself wasn't too bad, but the fact that I locked my keys in my car (I swear I have NEVER done that before) meant I had to go a bit out of my way riding with the other teacher to the school. (In the meantime, my wonderful mother drove to the Mad Science office to rescue my keys from my car and leave them at the office for me to pick up when we got back.) Then I had to go straight to an appointment with one of my private tutoring clients, and she needed more help than usual with an especially difficult assignment, so I spent extra time with her. I got home at close to 7:00.

Then, when I got home, my mom casually mentioned that she was having some sort of chest pain this evening. I was like, “Mom, what are you thinking?!” I made her call the nurse hotline, and of course the nurse told her to call 911. So she and my Dad spent the rest of the evening in the ER. The EKG was normal, but they felt, all things considered, that she needed to see a cardiologist soon and make sure there were no issues. I doubt anything is seriously wrong, but due to family history and a number of other reasons, I think she definitely needs to get checked out.

While my parents were at the ER, I got to spend the evening with Kaedmon, who was over here to have a “pajama party” with us while his sister went on a “date” with her daddy and Vanessa got some quiet time to write and relax. I probably let him watch a little more TV than I really should have, but I needed to go over my lesson plans for tomorrow, so...it is what it is.

Anyway, it was an eventful, somewhat stressful day, but on the whole, I felt good about it. I certainly didn't feel “adrift” today, and I'm glad to have my connections to my family and to my new life in Seattle reinforced in a number of ways. Even the challenging moments had perks to them—like, for example, even though my mom had to get picked up by an ambulance, the ambulance came fully equipped with friendly and handsome firefighter/EMTs. My mom and I both enjoyed the view. XD (As did Kaedmon, who loved the big trucks with flashing lights.)

There were some lovely, peaceful moments, too, like when I was driving on the bridge over Lake Washington and enjoying the view of the bright autumn colors of the treeline against the blue water on one side and white sky on the other.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

~ e.e. cummings

I'm thankful.

hymnia: (Wings)
So it's November, and as most of you probably know, November is a month that many people on LJ, DW, etc. focus on WRITING. Now, I am not an aspiring novelist, so I've never been tempted to do NaNoWriMo, but I do consider myself a writer of sorts, and I enjoy writing, especially on the occasion that I manage to write something really good (which does happen from time to time, believe it or not). So when I heard that this month has also been dubbed by some (who knows who started it?) as NaNoJouMo, or National Non-Stop Journaling Month, I thought—why not give it a try?

So I'm setting myself a goal of writing at least 500 words per day this month. Most of the time, I will probably go ahead and post my writing here on my journal(s), but I reserve the right to keep some of it private, if I choose.

I suppose the easiest way to start is to give a “real life” update, which I haven't done in quite a while. And it's been a pretty momentous while. In August my parents and I moved all the way across the country from Florida to Washington (north Seattle area). I left behind a job that I was very fond of—but admittedly getting a bit burned out at (or at least, I'd been there six years and had a sense that it was time for a change of scene). I also left behind some very, VERY dear friends and I church I've attended and been deeply involved with for most of the last 18 years.

Obviously, I miss those things, but I felt like a change was needed in my life. When my parents decided to move, following my brother and his family (read: the grandkids), I had a choice between one big change or another. Either I could decide to separate from my family and live apart from them—whether alone or with roommates) and keep my job and my social life in Florida, or I could stay with my family and strike out in a new place and look for a new job, and maybe even a new career. Both choices had potential challenges, and either way could have offered new opportunities for success, failure, character-building, etc.

I wish I could say with confidence that I made the right choice, but the truth is, I'm not sure. Maybe I'm being self-conscious, but I suspect a lot of people would think that the right choice for a 30-something woman would be to let her family go their own way, and stick to the career and social life she has established. Instead, I chose to stay with my family—at least for now—and try to strike out in a new city, and establish new routines and friendships and sources of income. And as some of you may remember from a previous post, part of my plan was to study Japanese while I am here with the long-term goal of eventually going to Japan. I still have that in mind, but it's become clear to me that it's going to be harder than I anticipated, and it could be a few more years before it happens. And that was a big part of my justification for choosing the way I did. So now there's this little voice in the back of my head that says, “What the heck are you really doing here, Joie?” Especially whenever I have to borrow more money from my parents. :/

Speaking of which....yeah. I just had no idea, ya'll. Every other time in my life I've been out of work, I applied for maybe 5-10 jobs, got one interview, and was hired on the spot. I had NO IDEA that it would be this hard to get a job right now. I mean, I read the news, and I knew unemployment was high, but it's different when you're living it, you know? I have made some progress, though. I have a part-time tutoring job lined up that starts in January, and I've managed to line up a couple of individual tutoring clients. So I'm not completely without income. It doesn't cover the bills yet, but I'm hopeful that it will soon, if I can get a few more tutoring clients and maybe another part-time gig. (I'm interviewing for another one tomorrow, which could be REALLY COOL. I'll post more details if I get the job.) I've also gone through almost all of the hoops for starting an online teacher prep program so I can get certified to teach in public schools.

But in the meantime, my sense of purpose is a bit murky. I'm sure there are some benefits to going through a time like this, a time to re-examine priorities and such. But...right now, it's a little daunting.

I should add the news we learned a couple weeks ago that my sister-in-law has colon cancer and is going to need life-changing surgery to treat it. She has a strong family history for this type of cancer, and has known for years that she was likely to get it, so it's not a total shock. It's also likely (although we still don't know for sure) that they caught it in plenty of time for a good outlook. Still. She is 30 years old, she's going to need at least two major surgeries, and she (probably) will soon confirm that she has a genetic condition that has a fairly high chance of affecting her siblings and her children as well.

Many friends of our family have said that it seems providential that my parents ended up moving here, because it puts them in a position to help her out at a time when she really needs it. And I am thankful for that. But...I'm not sure what my role here is. I mean, I help out with the kids sometimes, I suppose. But I don't know that I'm really needed. That's probably a silly and childish response. I don't know. I try to imagine how I would feel about it if I were in Florida still. I guess I'd be frustrated that I couldn't do anything for her or Mark or the kids. But...I'd be satisfied knowing my parents were there and they didn't really lack help.

I suppose there are a lot of things acting together—lack of a consistent job/income, few local friends so far, the doubt surrounding my desire to go to Japan, my uncertainty about what role I can play in helping my family in a difficult time (especially when it seems like I tend to take more than I give), and my perpetual, often unspoken, sorrow that I am still single and childless myself—that all add up to a feeling of being aimless and adrift.

My inner optimist is telling me that a time like this can be a great opportunity, that sometimes you need this kind of thing to shake you up and make you walk a new and better path. I want to believe that. But my inner pragmatist wants to know: How do I do that?


Manually X-Posted to Livejournal and Facebook.

That Day

Sep. 11th, 2011 04:43 pm
hymnia: (Wings)
The following is adapted from a LiveJournal entry I made on September 11, 2006, the five-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks, with some additional thoughts added:

On September 11, 2001, I was a senior at Stetson University in DeLand, FL. I got up that morning, showered and dressed, and headed out the door of my little room on the second floor of the Wesley House shortly after 10:00 AM, late as usual for my work-study job tutoring at the music library. One of my housemates, Becky, was sitting on the couch in the upstairs living area, her face looking ashen and her eyes focused on the T.V. I started to rush past, because I was late, and of course it's rude to linger too long between a person and the T.V. screen they are watching, and she stopped me, saying, "Joie, you won't believe this. Two planes just crashed into the World Trade Center." She told me that one of the buildings had collapsed because of the damage. I admit at that time I had only a vague concept of what and where the “World Trade Center” was. I glanced at the TV, at the image of fire and smoke coming from the remaining skyscraper, and I said something like, "Oh that's awful," without really thinking much about it. I was late for work, after all.

But as I walked along Woodland Blvd toward the School of Music, I had time to ponder the news a little more carefully. I didn't get very many details from that conversation with Becky, and so I was thinking that the "two planes" were small planes that had, perhaps, experienced some sort of navigational error. But as I walked along it suddenly occurred to me that this made no sense at all. TWO planes crashed into TWO buildings?! That couldn't be an accident! I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, clutching my chest. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe the level of evil and despair that a person would have to have to do something like that--to deliberately take their own life and countless others in one blow. And worse still, it was not only one person who had done this--there were at least two planes, so there had to be at least two people, if not more. How could such a thing happen? Those were my thoughts as I made my way to work that morning, no longer caring at all that I was late.

The rest of my day was much the same as many of yours: checking news websites and finding them crashed due to ridiculous amounts of traffic; normal activities--in my case, classes--suspended due to the tragedy; people gluing themselves to the TV; etc. The footage was on almost constantly on the Wesley House downstairs TV. Since the house I lived in was a campus ministry, our downstairs living room (the residents had a private one upstairs, which was where I first heard the news from Becky that morning) became a place for people to gather, watch the footage, discuss, and commiserate. I would join them, watching the endless replay of those surreal images--the south tower being hit by the second plane, and each of the towers collapsing into dust and smoke; then, when it got to be too much, I would retreat upstairs for a while, only to be drawn back out again later. I couldn't handle the images; I couldn't resist them, either.

I recall there was a memorial service held in Stetson's beautiful Elizabeth Hall chapel, but I think it might have been the following day. We sang “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” As I was raised in a tradition that was pretty far removed from Luther, the hymn was unfamiliar to me prior to that.

Ten years is a long time to me—roughly one third of my life so far—and, unlike some of my friends who have commented on the anniversary today, I don't feel like “it could've been yesterday”. My life has been through too many changes since then. Our country has been through too many changes. Ten years later I browse through op-eds online, from sources as disparate as The Washington Post and Al-Jazeera. I skim the comments to such articles, which contain a wide range of responses: conspiracy theories offering the “truth” about what “really” happened; rants against Islam; rants against Zionism; rants against one political party, or the other, or both; cynical observations about the decline of US economic power; etc. I despair that there is no answer, no solution, to the problems of hatred, terror, and injustice. I worry that my country really is in decline. I still find hope in my faith, in the assurance that “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”--but faith can't erase the fact that there are still evil and suffering and moral dilemmas to face. That was something I knew “when I was one-and-twenty”—but only in a vague, intellectual way.

With time the details of that day have become fuzzy; the feelings it evoked, however, aren't as easily forgotten. That moment of realization under the shade of the trees outside Allen Hall, on my way to work that morning, still stands out in my mind. That was my moment of innocence lost.



Apr. 11th, 2011 09:34 pm
hymnia: (kyo tohru hope)
I want to go to Japan. I don't mean just to visit--I really want to live there. I've secretly been wanting this for years, but lately the longing has become worse. Ironically, the media horror stories just make me want to go there more. I'm not insensible to the danger, it's just that...I feel like my heart is there. It hurts. I want to be there.


(Manually X-posted from Facebook.)

Hair cut

Apr. 7th, 2011 11:01 pm
hymnia: (Default)
It's time to chop off my hair and give it to Locks of Love once again. But what to do with what's left?

Vote for the hairstyle I should wear next )

Thanks for your input!

hymnia: (Hotaru flies)
-Students are back to school tomorrow, so I've been preping all week and have been v. busy. Open House was Thursday and I got to meet pretty much all my new students and their families. They were all very nice and I'm now totally psyched about the new school year.

-Anime Festival Orlando was last weekend. I had a FANTASTIC time and let me tell you, I needed it so badly! Friday night was a talent competition called Orlandia's Got Talent and I actually won! It was such a rush and on top of that I got a cash award and a great photo book called Cosplay in America. Then, to continue the winning streak, I also won the door prize at a panel on learning Japanese. It was a book called Japanese the Manga Way, which I've had on my Amazon wishlist for ages--score!! Also, I helped out at two panels on Sunday--one was a parody of What Not to Wear that my friends and I put together, dressed as the Ouran High School Host Club and giving advice on cosplay. I dressed as Kyoya. The other was a Victorian/Steam Punk tea room that my friend [livejournal.com profile] heavenscribe put together and we helped her set up and entertain the guests a bit (most of us were still dressed as the Host Club.) Besides Kyoya, my other costumes were Hotaru from Gakuen Alice, and my still-incomplete Gina from Porco Rosso that I wore to the photo shoot in St. Augustine last month. Which I just realized I still haven't posted pics of here, although I've posted some on Facebook. I will try to post pics of both the photoshoot and the con, as well as video of the talent show some time soon.

-Preliminary tests show that dad's cancer does not seem to have spread. We are still waiting on an MRI to confirm that some "hot spots" on the bone scan are arthritis, but the doctor was almost certain they were. Now the main thing is dad has to decide what kind of treatment he's going to try.

-Tonight was my third attempt at making miso soup and this is the first time it actually tasted right, so I'm v. excited about that.

-I'm glad to be posting mostly good news today. I'm realizing more and more that nothing is certain in this life, so I'm trying to just take things one day at a time. "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself...".

'Kay. Going to go serve myself another helping of miso soup now...

hymnia: (Wings)
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

~ Colossians 4:6

Tonight, I am thinking of someone whose words were so often like this, well-seasoned and full of grace. A little over a year ago, she wrote this in her blog:

I am longing for Home. I know this is good because I was never meant to nestle in here. The verse that has haunted me often is when Jesus is talking and says that birds have nests, foxes have dens, but the Son of man has no place to lay his head...it sobers this world up a bit. It keeps me from being intoxicated by what it has to offer. There is a line in a Rich Mullins song that says, "Nobody tells you when you get born here, how much you'll come to love it and how you'll never belong here. So I'll call you my country, but I'll be longing for my home. I wish that I could take you there with me."

What I do long for on this side of heaven is deep, intertwining friendships that never question the realm of purity and never tap into self-protection. There is a loneliness that subsides only for a little while, usually with a hug or a warm smile. But usually...usually it haunts me because I know I have no place to lay my head and weep.

~ Kylee Boden, “Hungry for Home”

Last Wednesday the young woman who wrote these words left this world that was not her home. She left behind a husband, four children—including a newborn—and many friends and loved ones. Tonight I was blessed to join around 400 people in viewing her memorial service (which was in a city about 3 hours from where I live) via live webcast. Of course, many more also attended the service in person, to celebrate the life of this woman who touched so many.

It’s difficult for me to find the words I want to say. That’s why when I found out about it last Wednesday evening I just posted the poem “Brave for Life” and didn’t elaborate further. She wasn’t a close friend to me, but she was the sort of person that you could meet once and never forget—an outgoing person with contagious joy and unshakeable faith, who never seemed afraid to reach out to the people around her. She was someone I admired very much, especially since I am so chronically timid about reaching out to others.

The last few days my thoughts have returned again and again to my too-fragmented and too-few memories of her. We spent some time together on a road trip to Atlanta with several people from the young adults group at my church—that may have been the first time I met her and her husband, Matt. I’m not sure. It seemed like everywhere we went in the city, she was so quick to reach out to people, even total strangers. And she reached out to me, too. Back then I was a shy outsider who didn’t quite know how to connect with the rest of the group, despite having attended the church for many years. But Kylee, Matt, and a few others who were there refused to let me be an outsider on that trip.

Later, she became my co-worker, co-teaching in the middle school classroom at my school. I worked in high school, so we didn’t interact much directly, but whenever we did she was always warm and friendly. She was great with the students, too.

Several years have passed since she moved away and stopped being a regular part of my life. Since then, she has started a family and moved a couple of times. We didn’t really keep in touch. I’m not sure when the last time I spoke to her was. And now she is gone. But I believe in the Home that she hoped for, too. I know I will see her again.

“There is a loneliness that subsides only for a little while, usually with a hug or a warm smile.” I want to be someone who drives back loneliness with a hug or smile, even if only temporarily, the way Kylee did for so many. I want to be someone who lives with Home in her heart, and strives to show others the path that leads there, too.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

~ I Corinthians 13:13

hymnia: (Default)
So it's been one month to the day now since I became a vegetarian, and I have to say, it's going rather well. I'm pretty sure I can stick with it for the long haul. (I do miss fish, though...)

Trying to go vegan...not so much. I've managed to make it through a mostly-dairy-free month (no cheese, milk, milk-based yogurt, or frozen dairy deserts; I've fudged a bit on chocolate, cheese crackers, and "hidden dairy"). In the long run, I'm still planning to minimize use of animal products, but I'm not really committed enough ideologically to put in the work it requires to cut out all animal products. I plan to go back to eating cheese on a limited basis this Friday. (My school orders Domino's Pizza on Fridays. I'm planning to get one slice and bring a salad to go with it.)

hymnia: (Default)
This is something I've been thinking about for a while, but tonight, after reading this book, I've made up my mind, and I wanted to announce it to teh intarwebz as a form of accountability: I'm going vegetarian, and maybe vegan in the long run.

My main reasons for it are health and environmental concerns, but the animal cruelty involved in large-scale farming isn't cool either.

Any advice from vegetarians and vegans on my flist is TOTALLY WELCOME!

hymnia: (Default)
...that I have a newborn niece, as of about 5:00 AM this past Saturday. Sorry, it was kind of a strange weekend and I wasn't online much. Then the news broke on Facebook when my dad posted pics, and some of you got the news there. And in all that, I somehow forgot I still hadn't announced on LJ.

So yes, I'm an aunt for the second time, and now in addition to my nephew, there's also an adorable tiny lady that I can and will do my utmost to outfit with every cute purple thing I can find. :D

In other news, I saw Wolverine last Friday night. I thought the movie was good overall but was a bit disappointed in Gambit. The Gambit in my mind is more suave, more rugged, and a bit older* than Taylor Kitsch. Ah well.

*I know, my complaint that he's too young can be explained by the fact that it's a prequel. Also, Rogue is too young compared to the comics as well, so maybe if they pair them up in future movies WHICH THEY SHOULD, it would balance out better. So I'm more forgiving on that, BUT it does sort of add to the general impression that "that's not my Gambit".

hymnia: (Bright Eyes)
Yesterday I spent the day cleaning and reorganizing my possessions. And I'm talking Samurai Cleaning* here. This was serious business.**

I came across a scrapbook of mementos from my senior year in high school. It seemed like a good excuse for a time out from the task at hand, so I spent an hour paging through the ten-year-old playbills, letters, cards, and miscellaneous items--some with obscure significance known only to me, and a few with significance that even I can no longer recall.

It's a strange experience--not just to remember the past, but to experience the thoughts and feelings and impressions that 27-year-old Joie has of 17-year-old Joie. It makes me wonder what 37-year-old Joie will think of me.

I cried a few times while looking through that book. I miss my high school friends so, so much. I've lost track of every one of the ones who were dearest to me that year. Erika Jane Stanley, Ruth Hummel, Jeanette Soares, Casey Garner: if a frivolous google search of your name should ever lead you to this humble corner of Teh Intarwebz--please say hello and let me know where you are.


*Ten points to your house if you can identify the reference.

**Except that I didn't really use a katana.
hymnia: (Default)
THANK YOU so much for all the wonderful birthday wishes. I tell ya, you guys have become more and more creative over the years with those--sparkly graphics, AL WITH KITTEN!!!, extra humongous scrollies of DOOM. Heh. Anyway, whether they were simple or spiffy-fied, I appreciate all the birthday messages.

I had an excellent birthday. My family and several friends took a road trip down to south FL for the Hatsume Fair--a Japanese festival at the Morikami Museum. It was really, really fun. I will post more about it, with pictures, as well as pics from last weekend's convention (I went to MegaCon, a big fantasy/comics/anime con here in Orlando) as soon as I've recovered enough from two weekends of revelry in a row to do so. ;) I can't wait to get some good pics of MegaCon up. As those of you who read Vanessa's LJ or the Random Fandom boards already know, our group won the Best Group award at AnimeSushi's annual costume contest, so that was exciting, and I definitely want to show off pics of the costumes for you guys. Coming soon, I promise!

The only down side to going out and doing fun things is that you miss out on stuff in LJ land. My reading/commenting has been even scarcer than usual, so I'm sorry for that. If there's anything in particular you want to make sure I don't miss, please comment and let me know! *hugs flist*


P.S. My birthday presents included a Veinna Teng CD--Warm Strangers, her second of three--from Christie. I'm planning on getting the other two eventually. I'm so glad I discovered her music--and via fandom, too, which amuses me so much. Now she's my new favorite artist as of the past 6 months or so, and I think she's likely to hold my interest for a long time to come. Anyone out there who likes good female vocalists, prominent piano with lots of motion, and powerful, poetic lyrics should check her music out.
hymnia: (Default)
Why is it that of all the Furuba forums I normally visit, the only one that both A) has had much activity the last few days, and B) is currently working, is the one with all the whining Yuki/Tohru fangirls? WHY?!? And...why is RF.com not working *again*? :(

Ah well. I need to get some sleep, anyway. Work has been taking up so much of my time and energy lately. I'm tired of being at work until 6:00 and still not getting everything done. And yet...I had two different groups pray for me and my work stress this week (Messengers--aka the praise team at my chruch--and Mark and Vanessa's home Bible study group), and even though I was still crazy busy today--even more than usual, really--I still felt...calm. Peaceful. I didn't mind the fact that my work was piling up all day. I didn't angst about the minutes on the clock ticking on past 5:00. I even found the energy to go to kickboxing at the Y tonight. Really, it was a good day today. Thank you, Lord

*yawns* G'night.

hymnia: (Default)
First, here's the video of the fan film we entered in the AFOscars:

Second, I present various pics from the con:

AFO pics: Travis and Vic and cosplay galore )

Man, I need to go to bed. Why, why, WHY do picture posts always take so long?!



hymnia: (Default)

June 2013

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