Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blog Challenge Round II

So here's the next challenge: Write a character profile for yourself if you had lived in medieval times.

Hmm... sounds simple enough. I've read enough sci-fi/fantasy books set in medieval-type times.

Name: Amy Louise (Secret identity: Amarylis, medieval-type superhero, no lycra tights but definately a big sword plus swift and dashing steed)

Physical Characteristics: So Amy is an ordinary flower seller, with a little shop right in the heart of the citadel. She gets around in faded (yet still fashionable) gowns and sensible shoes. Amarylis (on the other hand) has a practical yet ever-so stylish get up, which includes a huge sword, bow and arrow, many dagger belts, and probably also a tiara. (Hey, this is my story!)

Likes: Amy is really into her shop, and her family. Probably pretty passionate about flowers and plants. There might also be a cute baker in a shop across the way who she's interested in!
Amarylis is passionate about righting wrongs, bringing justice to all, and giving bad guys a whopping big hiding with the flat of her sword. She does kill the occasional really bad guy, but only if she's definately sure that he's irredeemable.

Dislikes: Amy dislikes people who don't buy flowers, the florist suppliers who charge too much, and the shop owner next door because she sings really loudly and off-key all day long, and always hangs around that cute baker uneccessarily.
Amarylis dislikes finding somewhere private to do a quick change into the super hero costume, finding somewhere expedient to store the sword and shield, having to chase down smugglers and criminals when it's muddy, and when swordfights leave her with chipped nails.

Actually, that was tougher than I thought!
Check out Phoenix's profile or even Mr Torongo's saga. Any ideas for the next challenge?

I'm A Mormon?

I found this funny site during my travel on the web, and it has a 'Beliefomatic' quiz which has a whole heap of questions and says it will find the faith most suited to your answers. I know, it's silly, but I thought I'd give it a go just to see what it came up with. Check out the list and percentages below:

1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)
2. Jehovah's Witness (92%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian/Protestants (69%)
4. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (69%)
5. Bahá'í Faith (65%)
6. Orthodox Judaism (64%)
7. Sikhism (59%)
8. Orthodox Quaker (58%)
9. Islam (52%)
10. Liberal Quakers (51%)
11. Seventh Day Adventist (50%)
12. Reform Judaism (49%)
13. Eastern Orthodox (44%)
14. Roman Catholic (44%)
15. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (41%)
16. Unitarian Universalism (41%)
17. Jainism (38%)
18. Hinduism (36%)
19. Neo-Pagan (35%)
20. Mahayana Buddhism (30%)
21. Theravada Buddhism (29%)
22. New Age (27%)
23. Secular Humanism (27%)
24. New Thought (25%)
25. Taoism (21%)
26. Scientology (19%)
27. Nontheist (17%)

I'm glad it put Scientologists second last... those guys are nuts! (In my humble opinion, anyway) Not sure which one of these on the list that I would actually identify myself with anyway? How funny!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Girls Party!

I stayed at my mums place this weekend (yes, there is broadband here, which is why the blog has gotten so much love!) and on Saturday night mum made the most delightful dinner - roast pork with fresh apple sauce and roasted vegetables. My mum is the best cook ever!

She also got us all matching shirts to wear. This is an essential part of any girls wardrobe - shirts that match her good friends. So obviously being family, it was high time we had matching outfits! (Don't fault the logic, it's there if you if you look for it.)

The girls
Our best NKOTB/Spice Girls pose...

Then we somehow got into this bizaare competition about who could do the weirdest things with their body. Mum and I can wiggle our pinky toe (you try it!), I can raise one eyebrow at a time, Katy can't roll her tongue, and Jessie... well, Jessie has a funny trick she does with her lips which is quite her own little thing. She tried her hardest to teach Katy, Katy I wouldn't actually be that upset that you can't do it! Luckily, as usual, I was there with my digital camera to record the attempts... what would these girls do without me?

Those crazy sisters of mine!

Amylou joins the Cottage Crew (honestly!)

So I've moved in to the Cottage! (Did I officially say that before?) Even though the staff who work in the office of the church who own the cottage seem to be totally unequppied to understand my arrival, as my mail keeps getting 'Not At This Address' written on it in very flowery handwriting and being sent back.

Shelley and I moved in to the big room at the front of the house. It was a big move as we both have a lot of junka nd not enough storage space. We had mess EVERYWHERE. And so how did we spend our time? Well, it's a theory known as 'displacement cleaning' where you clean every single other space you can, and totally avoid the immediate mess you need to actually clean. Suffice it to say that we a) discovered the the front door step is real marble b) found that the fireplace is full of real coal and c) now have sparkling clean windows!

The Cottage Crew is cool, and growing cooler by the minute. Lovely Kiwi Lynne has now moved back to Kiwiland. We took her out for her birthday the week before she left. We went for Indian, which I don't usually like, but it was actually great. We had a great time!

Aimee, Lynne, Amylou, Shelley

Lynne, Aaron, Aimee, Shelley

Lynne made a (rather offhand) announcement that she was pregnant! How exciting! So we had a bit of a celebration!


Love, and other catastrophes'.

So when do you draw a line and when do you not? I'm having issues with a particular person, and they're old issues, but they're not going away, as much as I try to grow past it I just haven't so far. I know that being a Christian is about reflecting Gods love on the world. I've been given a big second chance, having my sins forgiven by God and starting again as a new creation. Not everyone has that chance (although it's there for anyone who wants it!) and not everyone makes the decision to remake themselves either.

So here's an interesting thing now - in church our big focus is on becoming bigger people. Sanding off your rough edges and becoming smoother. Being a better leader, serving your own leaders better, becoming easier to be around, becoming someone people want to be around, learning about how to focus on other people and not on yourself, learning about how much God loves us - and catching that love and loving other people so much too. But (and here's my point) people who aren't in church don't have this regular and continuedfocus on self-improvement. Sure there are self-help books you can read - but you don't have any purpose behind change other than wanting to. And the problem as I see it, is that a lot of times you don't actually know what it is about yourself that needs changing. Also you don't feel the need to change it, because it can easily be perceived as "Well, if people have a problem with me they can get over it!"

What I love about church, and my church in particular (I've never been to any other church, so maybe they are all like this, I don't know) is that there is a focus on commitment to growing each other and growing closer to God. Think about when you would usually change your behaviour - it's usually to please or impress a loved one. Well I love God, with all all all my heart, and I want to do whatever makes Him happy. And I have His word in the bible which shows behaviours that I can pattern, lessons I can follow, people I can learn from. I know the direction I need to take.

I posted once before about praying about my faults, and asking God to help me improve them. I still have that list and I still work on it. I'm lucky to have friends who call me out on my behaviour when it's getting bad, or weird. (You know who you are!) Friends who I respect and love, and whose opinion means a great deal to me. I also know that it's my responsibility to talk to them about things I'm having trouble dealing with, or behaviours of mine that I need accountability on, and get them to help me work through it.

So where is that accountability for non-Christians? Where is that drive to make themselves better people, and more accommodating to others? Don't get mad - I know that was a very generalised statement and I don't stand by it. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm having these same old issues with this person, and I've told them MANY times how they could perhaps, maybe, possibly try acting a little differently towards me, but they don't. And it's frustrating me! If you know that your behaviour is annoying someone, or hurting someone - don't you make an effort to change it? Why wouldn't you change your behaviour?

I can certainly trying to take a lesson away from this though. Am I being hypocritical? Do I change my behaviour when I see it hurting other people? Or do I think to myself "That's just something they need to get over!"? Yep, I'm guilty of that! And I also know that the point of loving someone isn't that they love you back - because love needs to be selfless and string-free. Love isn't a bargain, ie: you be nice to me and then I'll love you. Love is just total acceptance of a person , and saying "I'm going to love you no matter what."

(But if someone isn't being nice to you, you don't have to keep hanging around that person.) (In fact, maybe it's easier to love some people when you don't see them very often!)

Friday, February 10, 2006

A 'Boy Party'

Every Saturday night after church we have a 'Frontline' event. Frontline is the age group between 25 and 35, into which I fit quite neatly. It's all fun thngs - like fish and chips at Bondi, Luna Park, beach volleyball, moonlight cinema etc. Great times, great people - I really enjoy it!
Two weeks ago the event was houseparties. My connect group went to a prty at a guy called George's apartment - a beautiful, beautiful place. I don't remember the name of the suburb. It was a lovely apartment, there was a whole heap of great people there, nice space, nice food - I was having a really great time.
Most of the wonderful people from my connect group were there too, which was great. Someone pulled out a guitar and some people with the most brilliant brilliant voices started singing, and people were doing all 4-part harmonies and I just LOVED it! They were singing some church songs, and some daggy old 80's songs (one guy kept breaking out into "I will always love you" which was funny!

And then, all of a sudden, hilariously, it turned into a Boys Party. Don't think I'm being sexist, just listen to what happened and you judge for yourself. So the music suddenly was turned off, and two projectors were pulled out and aimed at the wall, 12 people were grabbed and sat down in the living room - and all of a sudden there is a 12-way game of Halo 2 (a violent shooting computer game) going on! This was George's idea of how girls and guys could mix - by all playing computer games together! It was hysterical!

I thought it was a bit strange to start with, but it ended up being a lot of fun. The bottom left screen is me. I didn't end up going very well - possibly because I was taking pictures at the same time as playing! It never would have occurred to me that that would be a fun thing to do at a party. Boys are funny people aren't they?

The Best Job Ever!

This it totally turning out to be my favourite job I've ever had! (Apart from working at the Olympics, which obviously won't ever be beaten!) On my first day they had a sign up saying 'Welcome' with my name on it! How great is that!

So my company is a medical supply company. Hospitals and sugeries send us orders by fax, phone and email, I enter them, and the boy sin the warehouse pick them, pack them, and send them out. There are a lot of different products, and my product training is taking a while longer than I thought it would have - which has been hard, but the things that I have learned about are fascinating!

Adapting back to full time work was difficult after so many weeks of long lazy sleep-in mornings. Most it has been two cups of tea to get me going in the morning!

One of our major products are catheters. Check out this hilarious Christmas decoration we had:

Yep, it's a cherub wearing a catheter and legbag... classy...

The office is great - we have a huge big cafeteria downstairs that we have parties in, birthday celebrations once a month etc.

Did I mention the pool outside? Sometimes when it's really hot I go and eat my lunch with my feet in the pool - oh you can't tell me you're not jealous of that! It's unbelievable!

It's been really, really, really busy lately, owing to one girl being on holidays and one girl quitting unexpectedly - which has been pretty tough. Luckily it looks like an end to the madness is in sight now, and things will get back to normal. As long as I can keep resisting all the FOOD that is constantly delivered to our doorstep! It's so nice to have a great job, great people, great money (woohoo!) and a pool, a POOL!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My sweetheart.

I know it's boring to look at pictures of someone elses holiday, or kids, or pets. In fact - I know that usually you find it boring just looking at any pictures of peope you don't know or that you aren't in! (Or am I showing my narcissistic side now?!) But every now and then you have to sit through looking at someone's pictures and pretend to be interested, and here's a great opportunity for you to do that now, because here are some pictures of my beloved cat Button!

Button was a revenge baby, in a way. I'd wanted a cute little kitten for ages, and kept asking mum and dad, who kept saying no. Then one day mum said yes! (she told me just recently she said yes to annoy my dad, who was away at the time, and came home to find a new addition to the family!) A friend at work had a pedigree long hair cat who'd just had kittens with a pedigree short hair cat. (What kind of cat? I don't remember!) He was giving away the kittens, and told me he had a cute little black and white one called Button that I could have.

She's the sweetest little thing. Her love language is definately 'touch' as she loves being cuddled and patted, which not all cats do. She also talks a lot, which I think is cute (unless it's early in the morning and she wants to be fed before I've gotten up - that's just rude). She loves sitting in boxes, and always wants to go underneath blankets or tables or into bags.

She also does this funny thing where if there's a big wide space (like a bed) with only one thing on it (like a plastic bag) - she'll go and sit on that one thing and sleep, or cuddle up to that one thing and sleep.

Yep - that's my baby! I missed her a lot when I was in London, and she actually sent me a few emails, which was pretty impressive! It's always nice to have someone around who thinks you're terrific and just wants to hug you.