Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vacation is nigh! Huzzah! It has been such a long week at work, primarily due to tight staffing, that I cannot wait until the end of the day on Friday.

Tonight is our last day to run silly errands -- we're looking for new backpacks at Eddie Bauer which was having a sale last Friday. I hope it's still going on -- $20 off each backpack is pretty good! I don't really need anything else, and I am hoping to do some shopping with Mom and Jenny while in Wisconsin.

It seems like such a long time since we were last on vacation, although it was just in July that we went camping. I guess since this will be an extended vacation -- 12 days -- it feels extra special. And I'll get to go the fair, a Brewer's game, Door County, and Chicago. We've got a pretty packed schedule planned for Chicago -- seeing the Art Institute and the Field Museum, going to Fronterra Grill for a fancy dinner, eating deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, riding the ferris wheel at Navy Pier, and seeing "No Country for Old Men" at The Second City. Should be awesome and jam-packed!

Jenny will also be in Wisconsin for the first few days of our vacation. Initially she wasn't sure if she would be able to stay in Plymouth that long after getting back from Ireland, but I guess it will work out. So the whole Immich family and us Sullivans will hang out and do something next Monday. I assume it will also include a birthday celebration for Jenny -- her birthday is August 28.

Can't wait! I hope to also have some fun pics to share, either here or on Facebook.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Friday off, what a good feeling! Well, of course tomorrow I won't be super stoked to work Saturday, but that's another thing. I've got all kinds of interesting plans for today -- maybe making some jam (lemon-blueberry or peach), vacuuming, grocery shopping, and stopping at the mall to look for a new purse. Trip and I are going to Chicago in less than two weeks (!) and I want to have a nice bag that isn't too big but can sling across my chest rather than just stay on my shoulder. I just have issues with weight on my shoulder. I think it's an inherited thing from my Mom.

We're going to Bengies tonight with the Young Adult's group from church. It should be a fun night with a couple good movies. I am probably the last person in America who hasn't seen The Dark Knight, but that will be rectified tonight. Plus there is Henry Poole is Here, which sounds interesting. Maybe not as good as Wall-E (which I'd love to see again), but still interesting. And I like Owen Wilson. This time I am planning to purchase the "outside food pass" for our car -- for only $7 I can then eat good popcorn, candy, and whatever beverage I want to bring. I was super surprised, but the popcorn at Bengies is not so good -- kind of salty and dry. And they also use the gross buttery stuff that ends up being too gloppy.

Most of all I am looking forward to vacation that is coming up in just eight days! Sure, we've been able to take a few long weekends here and there, but this will be twelve days off in a row! Yay!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I have found a new Baltimore delicacy that is so delicious I must share my love of it. Marshmallow donuts. Yes, donuts stuffed with a delicious marshmallow creme that isn't too marshmallow-y or too sweet and then covered with powdered sugar or chocolate icing. I had heard about them at a local bakery that recently closed, but I found them last weekend at the Mars grocery store that is very close to our apartment. They taste like heaven, but only sweeter and with more marshmallow goodness.

I finally saw Iron Man at the budget theater. I couldn't believe that a matinee only cost $3 there! I couldn't even see a single movie at a regular movie theater for what it cost both of us to go this afternoon. Madness!

I liked the movie. It was really quite good, primarily because of Robert Downey Jr. Did anyone else find that Gwyneth Paltrow reminded them of Kirsten Dunst? I think it might've been the red hair, but seriously, it was weird!

I also ended up going off on a rant about comic book movies and how Hollywood is so obsessed with getting teenage boys into see movies that we end up with four semi-good comic book movies this summer. I've only seen two so far -- Iron Man and The Hulk. But the thing that steams me up is that the female characters are practically useless -- this is true of Spiderman, Hulk, Batman (I can't speak for the new one yet), Iron Man, etc. They exist in the movies to either help out their superhero or serve as the girlfriend/damsel in distress. Why can't the women be the ones who save the day? It's ridiculous.

I am also stunned by how Hollywood and/or "the media" is stunned by how well some "women's movies" such as Sex and the City can also make a load of cash. Hello, it was based on a amazingly popular TV show that just about everyone and their mother has seen. Of course they are going to go see the (silly) movie version! Can't it just be seen as an indication that women would like to see movies with characters like themselves and perhaps not just superhero sidekicks/girlfriends?

Well, enough media critique. It's getting too intellectual in here for me.

I finished reading a fantastic young adult book today -- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I guess that's where part of my feminist rant is coming from -- it's about a girl at a very exclusive boarding school and how she infiltrates the all-boy's secret society and ends up making them do pranks. They don't realize that they are taking direction from a girl though -- and it ends up being a pretty commentary on power and women. And the author (E. Lockhart, who has written some pretty fantastic YA fiction) has a great bibliography of sources I want to check out. Best of all, she credits Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of Prison! (Side note: I had a literary criticism prof in college who loved Foucault. To be honest, I never really got him, but recognize his name as a serious lit crit guy and am impressed when people mention him.) She does say that it is very, very loosely based on interpretation of Foucault's work, but still, to throw him into the mix of a YA book is pretty awesome in my book.

Anyway, I am also taking a very quick break from working on my resume. There's a position that has opened up at the library which I am kind of interested in possibly doing. It'd be a lateral move, but I figured it might be worthwhile to apply and try something I'd like better. Plus Trip and my Mom both told me I had to apply. Yay, job apps.

Discernment is still continuing, despite possible job moves. I am leaning closer to at least going part-time next fall, but I need to sit down and do some serious thinking and also set up meetings with people who do what I think I might want to do. I am hoping that I can visit a few of the seminaries this fall -- definitely Philadelphia and Gettysburg, but hopefully Luther (St. Paul!) too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm still working on my discernment process. It's hard -- with the summer and everything going on, I'm finding it hard to take time out to work on actively discerning. There has been some progress...I am feeling like I am more called towards diaconal ministry, which is the intersection of the church and the world.

What exactly does that mean? Well, I would go to school for 2 1/2 years full-time or a maximum of 5 years part-time. I have some more freedom and creativity in where and what I do (compared to a pastor, at least at first!), but I have to work at getting the jobs more than a pastor would. Pastors go through a call process, which basically means that the ELCA will help them find a job. Diaconal ministers don't have an equivalent process -- while we are called to a position, it is more up to me as an individual to find or create the position. So I'd end up with another master's degree, probably an MAR (Masters of Arts in Religion). So we'll see! I really need to set up some meetings with people who are already serving and studying to become diaconal ministers. I am pretty interested in three areas: hospital chaplaincy, youth and family ministry, and college ministry. So we'll see what happens, but at this very moment, I am thinking that I might be able to start part-time Fall 2009! Where it will be, I don't know.

Trip and I have some fun plans for this weekend. We're going to a friend's wedding on Saturday night followed by a brunch on Sunday morning. It's the first of five this summer/fall and the only local wedding we will be attending.

Then we're heading to the Delaware beach for three days and two nights of camping! I'm really really excited to try out our tent for the first time. I've got all these giant lists of things to pack and food we're going to eat. And now we've got a new air mattress to make sleeping in the tent extra comfy! I've never gone camping near the beach before, so this will definitely be a first for me. It'll also be nice to just take some time out from life and work and be disconnected -- no computers or Internet! I'm also hoping to work on my tan a little bit.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sorry about the radio silence on this end. It's been a busy June/early July. I've been discerning, y'know.

The Fourth of July was yesterday! I went to D.C. with Trip to stay with his friend Adam. We walked and walked and walked. And ate Bhutanese food (tasty dumplings!) and Texas ribs. The Texas coleslaw and beans were probably the highlight of the food for me. So yummy. But the Texas entree came with a piece of white extra-thick bread. It would've been super tasty as a piece of Texas toast, but I guess it's too difficult to make toast for a giant crowd of people.

I saw the fireworks behind the Washington monument -- a pretty cool experience. We didn't see any of the concerts on the Mall -- no Huey Lewis or Jerry Lee Lewis for me. (Apparently it was a Lewis-apooza!) The rain kept the crowds fairly small, so it was a great experience. We bought ponchos at K Mart before heading to D.C. -- patriotic ones in navy blue and red!

So it was a good Fourth of July. But now I am at work, attempting to do stuff and not doing so well. It's hard to come back after a two-day weekend for one day...and Saturdays are never fun at work any way! I just hope that it will be a quiet day that passes by quickly.

As for things on the discernment front...not so sure about what I'll be doing. I am trying to talk to a variety of people to hear how they discerned their call. I am beginning to think that perhaps I should become a diaconal minister rather than a seems like less of my call to be a parish pastor and perhaps more of a person who works at the intersection of the world and the church. Sounds more fun too! Ha.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I had a great weekend in Gettysburg. It both felt like a really long weekend and a super short weekend. When I got back, I felt like I must have taken a day of vacation or something. I definitely had not -- the really short part of the weekend was due to the fact that I was away from home from 8 am on Friday morning until 6:30 pm on Sunday night!

So what was I doing this past weekend? Discerning! A big fancy word, but I am trying to figure out where God is calling me. I have over the past ten years felt like I should consider...public ministry. Yes, it's scary and overwhelming and totally not the right time to be considering another four years of school*. I just got married and am doing well at my job. There really isn't a local seminary (Gettysburg!), so we would more than likely have to move for me to do this. Regardless, I do feel like there must be something there.

So my big plan is to discern for the summer and then figure out what to do. I learned some suggested techniques for discerning a call and the process of what to do after a call has been discerned. The process is pretty daunting -- candidacy and applying to seminary. So we'll see where it goes. I'm actually pretty excited about the process (not to mention the possibility of getting another master's degree, woot!), and I want to come to the right conclusion and not just rush into planning it out as I often tend to do. It's both overwhelming and awesome to consider this as something that I could maybe be called to do. I know it will all work out for the best in the end!

*Technically it is just three years of school and a year of internship, but still! Four years of stuff!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I think I'm coming down with a summer cold. Trip was feeling kind of yucky last week and we blamed it on allergies. But since I am now tired and sniffly, it probably isn't the pollen count. Boo.

Anyway! I can't be sick. Must be at work and a retreat this weekend! No rest for the wicked.

It's been a busy couple of weeks with the family reunion over Memorial Day and last weekend having fun with the ladies. I saw a couple of movies last weekend too -- Indiana Jones and Sex and the City. Both were fun and enjoyable, but not the best movies ever. I'm hoping to see a few more movies this summer -- maybe Iron Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the new Batman, and maybe Get Smart. Trip and I are planning to go to the drive-in movie sometime this summer. If you can make it through nine hours of being in the car, you can watch three feature films on Friday or Saturday night. A pretty good time too, for only $9!

I've got lots of pictures of the vacation in Minnesota that I should put up, but it will have to wait until later...

But the big news is that I'm all signed up for the Baltimore Women's Classic 5K on June 22. Yup, I'm back to training despite spraining my ankle a few weeks ago. I think I can do the 3.1 miles in a decent time, although to break the 10 minute mile mark I will have to train harder (and perhaps run a 5K in early fall!). So we'll see how it goes!