Saturday, December 30, 2006

Don't fake it this year...


Words adapated from a traditional song
by Rabbie Burns (1759-96)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne


auld lang syne - times gone by
be - pay for
braes - hills
braid - broad
burn - stream
dine - dinner time
fiere - friend
fit - foot
gowans - daisies
guid-willie waught - goodwill drink
monie - many
morning sun - noon
paidl't - paddled
pint-stowp - pint tankard
pou'd - pulled
twa - two

Happy 2007, everyone!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Had myself a merry little Christmas...

Of course one of the best parts of Christmas is the wonderment visible on children's faces. My 14-month-old niece, Carlee, obviously was awed by the snow and grand tree behind her.

Though we actually didn't have a white Christmas, Darren, Nik and Izabella used the snowy backdrop to their advantage as a festive Kodak moment.

Not the greatest quality photo, this sets the scene for the billowing bounty of blessings we Risley's did enjoy. (Why are kids always more enthralled with the packaging than with its contents??)

And what picturesque Christmas is complete without gawking at elaborately lit trees? We caravaned and took the whole family 45 minutes to Chickasha, Oklahoma to see the popular "Festival of Lights" on display there. Over 2 million lights transform this park into a majestically Christmas wonderland.

Now that all the hussle and bustle is over, the presents are all unwrapped, food mostly eaten and families back in their respective homes, we now prepare to transition out of this familiar 2006 and into the unknown of 2007. Whether you make resolutions or not, let me encourage you to take some time to reflect back upon the gifts you received this past year. Use the knowledge, talents, friendships and memories you gained in 2006 to illuminate the paths of 2007; make this the most joyous and fulfilling year of your life. May you plan to also, in turn, enrich someone else's life because of all you've been blessed with. And, may you also finally learn the words to "Auld Lang Syne" before midnight on the 31st so you can confidently sing along instead of lip-syncing this year!

Good tidings and all the best for you in 2007!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

O, Tannenbaum

I've been taking a journey down memory lane today and came across this photo from last Christmas in England. It was my first real Christmas tree experience and I purchased it for 10 pounds from the tree lot at home store B&Q. My friend Carla-Marie came with me and we ended up taking it home that her tiny car! Later she helped me trim the tree and I'm not ashamed to say that it stayed up in my home until nearly February! The conversation piece of my home that season, my wonderful friends cut a piece of its branch and made it into a tree ornament for me to have. In putting up my fake and inferior tree this December, I placed the tree branch ornament in the very front, which reminds me of the splendid holidays I spent in Loughborough with genuinely splendid friends. -- " lovely are your branches!"
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 18, 2006

Milestones = Piles of Fun

My youngest Noonie, Drake MacArthur, celebrated his first birthday with a family party last Saturday. Complete with balloons, an awesome collection of birthday presents (including a revamped hand-me-down teddy bear from his Daddy), and, of course, his own cake, Drake had a swell time.

They sure grow up fast, don't they?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Frozen raindrops on roses...

and snow play with Claire Bear... these are a few of my favorite things. Oh, what fun it is to be walking in a winter wonderland with a niece! During "The Big Chill" (as Oklahoma City tv stations were calling it) last week, Claire and I got to help my brother Dustin put up garland and lights around the outside of the house, a perfect introductory time to the season that's come upon us...upon a midnight clear.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Making a list...and checking it thrice

This past weekend as I communed with other Risley brethren for the Thanksgiving holiday, we started making our Christmas wish lists. Like usual, Dad didn't know what he wanted or needed. If you're like me, you don't like just passing out impersonal gift cards or cheap fishing lures that he probably won't use anyway. Instead, I like to search out great gifts for everyone because I'm convinced that even if they don't know what they want, there's something for everyone and that I should be able to find something worth writing home about.

A big part of this process, I think, is really paying attention to those you're shopping for. Think about their hobbies: is there something related to their hobby they could use that they maybe wouldn't buy themselves? Are they taking a family vacation next summer to somewhere they've never been? Why not let them get started on planning by giving them
a great guide book or handy carry-on? For the sports fan, look online early to find your loved one some tickets to see an upcoming game, or if you know they have tickets, try to see if you can upgrade them. Concert tickets are a hit for that friend of yours who's been dying to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or why not offer to take your mom on a shopping trip for a weekend?

Still, even with my stellar ideas, you're bound to run into the inevitable of "but what do I get for ______?" Faced with my own dilemmas, I've found some fun websites willing to assist me in my giving woes. If you can't find anything on Google, eBay or Amazon, try out a couple more sites that encourage creativity. My favorites this year are Spilsbury, Gifts and Gadgets. I've found some semi-random things on here that are fun and sure to be one-of-a-kind gifts for some of my pals.

And, if all else fails, perhaps you'd be interested in buying a polar bear (at the discounted 20% off rate!) at Last Minute.

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rolling Stones - Angie

Here's the actual YouTube video, which I had to include. I think the hat and eyeliner really add a little something...

Rolling my Stones...

I can't explain it, but there's just something about the way Mick Jagger sings (and whispers) my name...
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good pie!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Epiphany vs. "I'm a phony"

I've got it.

I know why I was struggling in my decision to go to either Japan or Portland: I'm not meant for either one. Well, at least for right now.

When I was 7-years-old, I saw some documentary on New York City and decided then that I wanted to live there. That decision later escalated to me wanting to travel everywhere (yes, everywhere) and to see and do and learn and experience all I could during my life. Once I learned what humanitarianism was, my next decision revolved around me wanting to do all the good I could during all the marvelous travels I'd planned. In college I majored in Journalism; all good journalists write about what they know and their own experiences. I planned on having plenty of them, so what better way to take advantage of my obsession with writing?

Now, three years past college, I've been trying to make decisions that would be leading me down different paths. Sure, teaching English to Japanese children or starting a good career in Journalism are great options for me, but I'm missing the crux of the matter: helping people. For the past four months I've been so keenly interested in helping Angie Risley that I've forgotten that I want to help those I can. Instead of looking to my own desires, why haven't I realized that I want to aid with something greater than myself? If I go through my whole life without doing that, what have I gained? What have I bettered? There's no use in me becoming a famous author or proficient linguist if I lose the essence of Christianity along the way.

Therefore, I've decided that neither Japan nor Portland will be in my immediate future. (I'd still love to do both opportunities, but I feel the need to make a bigger difference in the meantime.) Instead, I'm contemplating doing some work with under-privileged children, perhaps in Ghana, Africa. There is such a need there in orphanages and schools, and I am all too aware of how important it is that each child have a chance...or second chance, as it may be. Shouldn't I be using my experiences to lighten the loads of others? (An emphatic "Yes" is the answer.)

I'm excited. For the first time in months, I see a need for hope (coincidentally in a village called Hope) and I feel absolutely stricken with a desire to meet some needs. Shame on me for my blogging procrastination lately, but it's been a long road and I finally feel like I'm making some correct turns. Join me on my journey, won't you? I always need someone to man the radio.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Alone with my thoughts...

I agree that it's dangerous for me to have so much time to myself since it inevitably gets me thinking about odd, sentimental and superfluous tangents. I just can't help myself.

A brief disclaimer first: This post will be partially about England. My apologies if you're sick of hearing about it. If you are, get your blinders and 'muffs on now. It's my blog and I can rant if I want to.


I'm tired.

I'm tired of not knowing what I'm meant to be doing with my life. It seems that everywhere I look, there are successful people my age (and younger) who've figured out their life's purpose and are quite happily taking steps in their respective directions. Friends and cousins my age are buying houses, starting families and reaping the benefits of work-sponsored health insurance. People I used to laugh with in the dorms have traded in their carefree two-door vehicles for SUVs and are now toting diaper bags and strollers instead of laptop bags and backpacks. My biggest concern about what to carry during the days rests on which bag is most practical. Oh, and my trusty Ozarka bottle.

For two years, I was "someone" in England. I was the girl with the American accent. I was the mission worker who was known by many people in the small community where I was living. For 24 months, I organized activities with young adults, volunteered with community programs, and spent numerous hours working for a church who wanted my help. I had specific tasks, loyal friends and, perhaps most obviously, an esteemed status. I was valued, I was unique and I was noticed.

I woke up the other morning and actually cried a bit because I couldn't believe my England life was finished. (I'm not saying this to gain sympathy; trust me, I can throw my own pity party beautifully myself.) But it's amazing to me how one 8-hour flight from Birmingham, UK to Detroit turned things around so quickly. When I arrived back in the States, the sound of American accents had me overjoyed. I was thrilled to be back home amongst the family and friends I had missed so terribly. Being welcomed back at the airport by loved ones made the homecoming even sweeter, and my friends even went to the trouble of bringing me some of my favorite American treats to make sure I knew how much I was loved and missed.

So why on EARTH am I not overflowing with gratitude? Why can I not just accept that my time in England is done and that my life in America must now recommence? Why can't I just be happy with a church family who is doing their best to support me during this time? How long will I feel out of place and what can I do to change that? WHEN WILL I BE NEEDED AGAIN?

It's funny the random things you remember. At a birthday party for a friend of mine in elementary school, I remember asking my friend's mom if I could help do something. She told me that if she needed my help, she would ask. It struck me as odd even at the time that she would be so short with me, but I never forgot her mannerisms and sometimes I get that feeling all over again. "Does anyone want me to help them?" "Is there a place for me anywhere?" "Have I nothing special or unique to offer to anyone??" --- Feeling unnecessary or easily replaced is like getting a Charlie Horse in the middle of the night: it's painful, obvious and uncomfortable, but it eventually goes away. Or does it? I've been home for 14 weeks now, but I still feel like I'm sitting awkwardly on someone else's couch.

I'm tired emotionally and spiritually.

When I tell people that I've been doing mission work for two years, I get a lot of raised eyebrows, "Wow!"'s and "Well, that's great"'s. I immediately feel like a disappointment because the level of my faith right now wouldn't be able to tell anyone I'd been immersed in church work if words weren't available. It's hard to describe, and I can barely understand it myself, but it's so difficult to keep an even balance between "church" and "work" when church IS your work. In Loughborough, I was spending several hours a day and nearly everyday at the actual building working on different things. When you see the inside of a building that often, it's hard to switch on the "worship" button when you enter on Sunday mornings, nights, Monday nights and Wednesday nights. It all started to feel the same and spiritual complacency dampened the passion I had in the beginning.

I'll be honest: I'm searching. I'm looking all over for my faith again because I know it can't be far. Since I've returned, I've spent time at different congregations desperately seeking the "Everglow" (thanks, Perrey's) I once had. My Thomas heart wants to believe I'll get back to "normal" but the Purgatory in the meantime is killing me.

At 26, I'm trying to make healthy decisions that will lead me down paths of service, humanitarianism, aid, betterment, Journalism, happiness and contentment. I know I'm capable of achieving greatness, but I'm not patient enough to wait around for it. I'd start yesterday if I knew which direction to go. Due east to volunteer relief? Or should I take a right and author my first novel? I want to be someone others look to for guidance; I'm not good at being in the passenger's seat.

I'm ready to be "someone" again. Perhaps God only made me that "someone" for a season? Who knows? I miss England -- and the people there -- every day and I know I always will. But for now, I really want to concentrate on who I aspire to be while still remembering the people and experiences who have made me into me. I know I'll go back to Britain again so now I should be looking ahead with anticipation for the unknown that lies before me. I've decided to follow Paul's example to be "content in all circumstances". The future looks bright and I know I am "someone" to God, so what else matters? I've got a new place to live, great family and friends, my '96 Corsica and a heart to perservere. Oh yeah, and that trusty bottle of Ozarka water.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The "Others"...

"They're ba-ack."

Ladies and gentlemen, it's October 4th.

My anticipation for this grand reunion with my favorite victims of an ill-fated Oceanic flight has me giddy, shaky, nervous and a bit nauseous -- much like a first date. How glorious!

Click here to read the LOST blogs.

The season 3 premiere airs at 8 p.m. CST.

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 02, 2006

Foggy London Town

I miss England.
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Old McGateway

Okay, so I know I said I was done with my England posts, but I also said I'd display more of them as I saw fit, so....I see fit. If you refer back to old posts you'll remember me talking about the Gateway Club I was a volunteer with in Loughborough. Two weeks before I left the British Isles we took the Gateway members to our annual trip to Farmer John's place. You can see two of our members in the background as Joanne, Matt and I take our turn on Farmer John's super cool tractor. We got to pet the goats, feed the pigs, swing on his rope swing inside the hay barn, go on a hayrack ride and even enjoy a lovely baked potato meal in his cafe.

Then I absolutely proceeded to teach them the Kansas state song, "Home on the Range." It was a hit. Obviously.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cover Girl

World, I'd like you to meet my gorgeous 2-year-old niece, Claire Olivia.

Claire, meet the world.

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Love is blind

Admittedly, I've scored a pretty swank job: babysitting two nieces and a nephew. While goofing around with the camera one day, I asked Claire to give Baby Drake a kiss. Boy, did she. I know they can't stay this age forever so I plan on taking plenty more photos of my babies. It just doesn't get any better than this...

Greet someone with a holy kiss today.
 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Sittin' in a park in Paris, France..."

As stated in my previous blog, I've considered myself very blessed to have done the amount of traveling that I've done. Ever since I was age 7 and saw a show about New York City on television, I knew I'd travel to that place and others. That's when the travel bug bit me. We took family vacations when we were growing up and those were always good, so I'd have to admit that my parents are partially to blame for me wanting to always GO and SEE and DO.

Some of the places I've been:


* Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Chicago, Memphis, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, San Diego, Detroit, name a few.

International beauties:

1. Aquilles and La Pesca, Mexico - many times on Spring Break and summer planning trips.
2. Vitoria, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - summer campaign
3. Dublin, Ireland (with Roni! - so fun!); Inverness and Edinburgh, Scotland (with my parents, Roy and Sharon -- equally fun!); Wales; London, Cambridge, Worthing, Dover, Leicester, Nottingham (and countless others), England - Um, I lived in the UK for two years
4. Chemnitz, Vielau, Oelsnitz, Frankfurt, Munich and Dresden, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Prague, Czech Republic - Germany campaign
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands; Paris, France; Rome and Venice, Italy - free travel with friends
6. Barcelona, Spain - to visit my friend Trey and his mother Peggy
7. Regina, Canada - Spring break mission trip

This post is dedicated to my parents as a testament to their support, energy and commitment to my life. Surely there's no way I could have done any of this without them. I hope to be able to add to this list in the near future, perhaps Japan or Portland, Oregon?! Mom has already said she'd come visit me in Asia, so that could be fun...

Mom, Dad - thanks for everything...and for loving this vagabond daughter of yours!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

To infinity and beyond...

I really don't think I can properly express how much my body is craving a good dose of traveling right now. Realizing I've just returned from two years of living in England, I assume this previous statement potentially sounds greedy. I don't care. I need a fix and I'm willing to do most anything to solve this. Immediate gratification? Absolutely. Passports and plane tickets are my drugs of choice and my last dealer and I finished our contract together. I need another "friend" who gets me things.

Realistically speaking, there probably won't be any good travels in store for me in the near future. Trying to save money to buy a car (even the cheapest I can find), move into an apartment and pay school loans doesn't leave much room for extravagant explorations. However, I've always been dreamer. In honor of my aspirations, I thought I'd take the time to list a few of the places I'm yearning for. In no particular order, I give you:

"Twenty-Six Terrific Travel Temptations"
1. Montreal, Canada
2. Norwegian Fjords
3. Iceland
4. Empangini, South Africa
5. Cambodia
6. Santiago, Chile
7. Lisbon, Portugal
8. India (Taj Mahal)
9. Moscow, Russia
10. Dubai
11. Cinque Terra, Italy
12. Thailand
13. Greek Isles
14. Japan/China
15. Ecuador
16. Afghanistan
17. Lucern, Switzerland
18. Serbia/Montenegro
19. Antarctica
20. Tijiuana, Mexico
21. Isle of Man, United Kingdom
22. Jerusalem
23. Lithuania
24. Malaysia
25. Gratz, Austria
26. Vietnam
I just started salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs. Yum.
I've been lucky enough to see a lot of great places, which might be the topic for tomorrow's entry. Which travel destination(s) would be your drug(s) of choice?

Monday, September 04, 2006


Whilst checking my e-mail just now --- please don't ask me while I'm still awake at this hour --- I just saw on Yahoo! news that our beloved "Crocodile Hunter", Aussie Steve Irwin, has been killed by a stringray injury to the chest. I'm incredibly sad right now and I'm forced to remember my sophomore Spring Sing show when we were crocodiles. My favorite line: "Steve Irwin please could you help us now? Can you flight from Australia to OC tonight. You always have us on your TV show and you know we love you 'cause you're not a real crocodile hunter....Crocodile Hunter!" (to the theme of the Beatles' "Paperback Writer").

Read more about the world's tragic loss here.

From your beloved fans Evan, Whitney, Jon, Kali and Angie...

God speed, Mr. Irwin. And, G'day, mate.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

March's clouds bring April's showers

Whilst perusing the bulletins on myspace, I came across a post from an old friend of mine. It listed all 12 months and gave a description of the supposed personalities born during that month. For fun I had to see how accurate my own March Pisces sign meshed with how I really turned out:

Suave and compromising. Funny and humorous.
Stubborn. Very talkative. Calm and cool. Kind and
sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal. Does
work well with others. Very confident. Sensitive.
Positive Attitude. Thinking generous. Good
memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look
for information. Able to cheer everyone up and/or
make them laugh. Able to motivate oneself and
others. Understanding. Fun to be around.
Outgoing. Hyper. Bubbly personality. Secretive.
Boy/girl crazy. Loves sports, music, leisure and
travelling. Systematic. Hot but has brains.

Well, what do you think??

Monday, August 28, 2006

Preach it, Brother Wiley

This is why I am the way I am. At a random fountain in Bath, England, my Dad had me take of pic of him 'preaching' (posed with his super cool striped umbrella and Bass Pro hat). I dedicate this post for those who wonder how I became the way I did.

My Dad's awesome.
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday... my 6-year-old niece, Izabella! To celebrate, we had a pool party for her, her friends, and family. Complete with a 'Hello Kitty' pink cake and party favors, she loved the day -- and of course, her massive pile of presents!

I just adore all my little kiddos. Can you tell?
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 21, 2006

The England Excerpts: Season Finale

It's been fun giving you a glimpse into My So-Called British Life, and I hope you've enjoyed it. While this is the last official "taste of Britain" post I'll have, I will, from time to time, display other photos from the United Kingdom as I see fit.

On Christmas Day, my dear friend Andrinette and her mother Lynette, invited me over to their house for a wonderful meal and, of course, presents! You can see their tree behind us, as well as some unwrapped gifts on the tables. Andy, as most call her, is such a beautiful example of passion and friendship. Originally from Empangini, South Africa, her family moved to England 3 years ago and I'm so happy they did. I miss her, and our many hours together, tremendously.
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 18, 2006

The England Excerpts: Third Dose

It's no secret that Bonnie Mayes, my fellow English HIM worker, and I are fab friends. One of my favorite photos of the two of us, this was taken in Nottingham while we were shopping during Christmas time. You can't tell by the thin layer of GAP jean jacket covering me, but it was actually ridiculously cold. It wasn't bitter when I left Loughborough that morning, but as soon as I stepped off the train I knew I'd suffer for my denim decision the whole day. And I did. Some of my best memories are with her, H&M, Lush, Accessorize, Starbucks, our beloved weak arrow, the theatre and, of course, Wagamama! I miss you loads, Bonn!

And on a completely different tangent, for those of you who are equally obsessed with LOST as I am, I invite -- nay, urge -- you to check out the latest news that my brother found. It's not much, but I imagine it will adequately whet your appetite for the hatch-esque goodness that is about to commence. Dinner is served.
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The England Excerpts: Part Deux

Part of my work in England was as a volunteer every other Friday night for the Gateway Club in Loughborough. Gateway is a club for mentally and physically handicapped adults in the area and they usually play games, do crafts, have a bit of a snack and then end the night with some fantastic karaoke disco music!

One of my favorite club members is Vicky. In the two years I assisted at the club, she always met me with that beautiful grin, warm hug and "Hello, duck. You alright?" Her sweet spirit is showcased here at our Christmas party last year. She was thrilled to receive her gift (every member gets a present) and couldn't wait for Christmas morning, as she didn't want to ruin the surprise that night! I dearly miss these nights with them, as well as the other volunteers and coordinators.

"I am a member so just you remember that Gateway belongs to me..."

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The England Excerpts: Part 1

I have decided to dedicate the next few days to some of my favorite English memories and friends. The group above is the Young Adults that became my family. As a class, we met every Thursday night for devos, visitations or just some good old fellowship. The folks you see are among the most sincere, encouraging and beautiful people that you'll probably never know. How tragic for you.

I miss you all so much that it hurts. "Highways, byways..."

*Also, Happy 6th Birthday to my niece, Izabella! We're totally having a swimming party for her! Life is good...
Posted by Picasa

All you need is love...?

This is such a classic picture of my parents. I took this when they were in London visiting me a month before I left England and it was freezing. I'm not sure if it's the public display of affection or my Dad's awesome Members Only jacket that's embarrassing Mom.

However, I gladly would have worn that silky wonder last night. Oklahoma City had the makings of a pretty decent thunderstorm with that great lightening/thunder combo I missed so much in Britain. No one does thunderstorms like Oklahoma.
 Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 14, 2006

Point of Impact

While I've never considered myself to be a connoisseur of video games (aside from those glorious Mario Brothers, PacMan and Tetris days), yesterday has me reconsidering.

My 7-year-old nephew, Nik, was playing the new game my brother bought for him yesterday afternoon when I went to visit them. Harmlessly, I watched him for awhile, never suspecting that I could be exposing myself to something greater than my willpower. Thirty minutes after he began I asked if I could play along. Five and a half hours later, and still in the same position, I reluctantly put down the controls. The drug? XBox game: Burnout 2: Point of Impact.

All about wrecking cars and wreaking havoc, this game can be used as a brilliant learning tool for our little ones. For instance, we can teach them that by driving on the wrong side of the road they can build up their booster, which will help them go faster and cause mass carnage later on. Or, if you crash into the first car in on-coming traffic, it will launch you into the path of the numerous semis and busses that are coming, AND, if you tip a bus or semi, you'll rack up some serious points! My personal best: $70,000,000 worth of damage in one accident. I dare you to beat me...or die trying.

I, for one, have never been so automatically addicted to something (well, besides the obvious: LOST). May I encourage you to play a crucial role in the development of tomorrow's generation; after all, the more points you get, the more zones you can unlock!

You're welcome.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Foreign Diplomacy

How kind to be welcomed to the Sagrada Familia in such a beautiful way. Barcelona is so polite. Posted by Picasa

Out with the Xanga... with the times. Per the advice of my techno-savvy brother, I've decided to quit Xanga and Yahoo cold turkey to venture into the great lands of Gmail and Blogger. The past two days for me have been filled with sending out those annoying "Change my e-mail address in your book!" e-mails, downloading photos, uploading images, copying, pasting, renaming, simplifying, ammending, creating, designing and experimenting. Whew, it's a good thing I'm a typing whiz.

I've also recently joined the communities of and, which greatly surprises (and annoys) those who have been trying desperately to hear what I've been up to in these weeks post-England. "Someone as big on networking surely must already be proficient in these areas," people smirk. Yeah, least that's what they wrote on my Facebook wall.

What a silly, computerized generation we've become. Don't get me wrong, I love it all. Obviously. Dipping my ink in numerous Internet capabilities proves I'm pro-Bill Gates thinking. I've reconnected with friends from way back because of this web-amarole and it's all very exciting.

I would be remiss, however, if I did not mention how sad it is that people don't write letters with actual pen and fancy stationary anymore. And what about typewriters? Those things are classic. I remember during my summer vacations in high school when I would pull out my mom's typewriter and work that machine until the ink began to fade. Anything and everything would spill onto the paper in magical rhythmic time and it seemed to validate my thoughts the way tangible things tend to do. It was wonderful.

I want a typewriter of my own.

I could also use a car, apartment, career and cell phone, but I digress...

All of these meandering thoughts are summed up in this way:

It's so much fun living in this e-era. I'm having a grand time!

I welcome you to accompany me on my journey through the .com phase. Hopefully my blog and e-mail will begin to now look like I'm an adult who is Internet literate instead of a 26-year-old Info Super Highway virgin.