29 December 2011

Twitterpated Still!

Dec 29: If 2011 had a hashtag what would it be? Well, I've taken the 25 minutes to condense all of my hashtags from my currygirl twitter account in 2011 right here! My favorite is #twitterpatedstill


Short but sweet.

Dec 28: Who was important to you?

In no particular order:

28 December 2011

Whereas the author gives up TV

Dec 27: What did you give up?

TELEVISION. Yep. It's been 5-ish months and it's been pretty ok. I'll watch The Daily Show online here and there, and maybe an NFL game at a wing place if I'm really in a pinch. Overall, it's been pretty nice to have the tv out of the house. I've noticed how I get more done if the tv isn't an option.

Books I've read since:

The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
The Particular Sadness of Lemoncake
My Horizontal Life
Mystic River
The Art of Fielding
Unbearable Lightness
(Most of these are from Dana)

I've also started guitar lessons for the first time in my life. Having a tv would have delayed me practicing my scales and nerdy guitar theory stuff. Now I can read a book instead of practicing my scales! Yea!


Dec 26: Who surprised you?

Well, we did have that volunteer who strung us along and sent in his travel arrangements prior to orientation. We waited for him at the airport and his mother answered the phone and said, "Oh right, ____ isn't coming. Didn't he tell you?"

27 December 2011


Dec 24: What did you make?
Airport runs. Faith journeys. Campfires. Beans and eggs and tortillas in a big ole' cast iron skillet. Room for a new washer and dryer.

Dec 25: Where did you spend the most time?
Hmm. I feel like i answer these prompts with a hmmm. I spent a lot of time in Schaumburg, Elk Grove and New Windsor. This one was lame!

24 December 2011


Blogvomit: To hurriedly catch up on prompts at the end of the year!

Dec 19: What was the best decision you've made this year?
I finally gave up Charlela Lane (the worst street name in all of America that sounds just like an old French whore) and took up with John Smith Dr. From a French whore to a syphilitic guy who loved Pocahontas. Yep! 

Dec 20: Who came into your life in 2011?

Hmmm this one is a toughy. I don't like to make too many new friends because I'm weird like that. A whole bunch of new volunteers came into my life. And I'm guessing older volunteers who are done probably left my life too. You win some, you lose some.

Dec 21: What did you learn?

I learned a lot of geography. I can drive from home to New Windsor, MD without a map! I memorized all of the interstates and their corresponding names and numbers this year, finally. (The Eisenhower is known as the Ike and as I-290!)

Dec 22: What gifts did you give? What gifts did you receive?

Disney World! My folks took my brother and his family, plus me to Walt Disney World this week. It was my mom's dream for her grandkids to see Disney for the first time. Receiving the gift of family time was a nice way to end 2011!

I gave a few gifts this year, too! A tent light, fancy chocolates, and some other little items were my highlights this!

Dec 23: What sunrise or sunset was most vivid?
Driving home from Champaign-Urbana to Schaumburg at an early hour 2 weeks back. The sun was just coming up over the horizon and it stayed on my right shoulder the whole drive back.

During summer orientation, we did a footwashing on the back side of the property with the sun slowly sinking down. Feet, grass, basin, towel, sunset. Perfect.

18 December 2011


When were you the angriest?

Funniest you should ask this. I'm on the way to Disney today. How could I ever be angry knowing that Disney was waiting for me in late December? There's a little bit of Zwick anger in my mom and brother. How do I know?  A few dents in walls, a few storming off's after broken down lawn mowers in the yard. And for me, I did throw my shoes at the floor last month. One at a time. As hard as I could. One bounced back and hit me in the shin. The other sorta hit a sleeping dog. I'm better now, I promise. But really, have you seen the traffic on Gold Rd lately? Could people just make an attempt at using a turn signal? Ok I'm done.

17 December 2011

Working through their shit

When do I see God at work?

Wow! It seems weird to tell God when and where I saw him/it at work. Like, he's a construction worker and I saw him out on the tollway waving people through the zone safely. Mostly, I saw a lot of groups of people come together* and work through their shit** together for 3 week chunks of time. Giving each other EYES OF COMPASSION, washing feet, talking for hours into the night about the possibilities in life. That's the good stuff that happens regardless of what antics BVS staff has in store.

*together = sleeping, eating, praying, traveling, discussing, complaining, discerning, singing, weeping, complaining, wondering, dropoffdaying
**this may be the first time I've cussed in this blog

16 December 2011

Short & Sweet, with a wick

When was I spontaneous?

Ummm. Barreling down I-70 toward Ohio. Veering off to the Candle Outlet near Richmond. Crystal had a look of shock on her face that I actually stopped for something more than gas and a bathroom break. 

15 December 2011

If you say struggles enough times, it's a really weird word.

When did you struggle?

Hmmm. My, what a lovely, happy question! It seems like only yesterday I was writing about taking the easy way. And now I have to ponder the idea of struggle. I looked up the definition. I read the etymology. (I really like to know the stories behind the words.) I used it in a sentence. I repeated it back to myself. I was in my own spelling bee and I was winning! And in those 4 minutes of not writing about a struggle I faced, I've got nothing. I guess one of my struggles is not recognizing the past stuggles I've faced. Power struggles, traffic/commute struggles, work struggles, I've had them this year. And when I think of them, it just sounds complainy.

14 December 2011

El Tunco!

Where did you find the best cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice)?

El Tunco is a tiny little surfing on the Pacific coast of El Salvador. When we visited there in the spring, I had the best liquados! Of course the smoothies at the little place near Sarah's home and school ranked right up there as well! Mmmmmhmmmmm!

13 December 2011


What cracked you up?
I've never posted video to my blog so let's see if this works. Here's the funniest pitbull in my life, Eli. He can go from snoring and twitching in his sleep to running laps in the condo in about 10 seconds. Eli is about 6 years old but he still acts like a puppy.

12 December 2011

Camping Camping

When did you feel the most relaxed?

Ans. A photo essay for your pleasure.

11 December 2011

Grand Rapids

What rocked your world, changed your life, shifted the ground beneath your feet?

This event definitely left a mark on me. To think that a person like me was being followed, watched, and put in danger because of a biblical difference really made me quite nervous to be at Annual Conference. I found myself thinking a lot more about my safety, about who knows and who doesn't. I'm glad conference is behind me and that I came away from it all pretty wrecked, but loved by my close circle.

10 December 2011

Sunrise! Sunset!

When did I take the easy way?

Hmmmm. Another toughy. I don't get a lot of chances to take the easy way. The best time to take the easy way is during the last day of orientation. This year, I've got to fly home instead of driving 700 miles across the country. It's sort of a sweet delight to get to O'hare and be home and comfy before sunset. It probably won't happen too many times in 2012 (except for Summer! Yippy!), but I'll take that easy way every time.

09 December 2011

Can you reach earthly nirvana?

What was your favorite blog post that you read or wrote?

Recently, I've really loved web comics. I have a certain few that I check on a daily or monthly basis. But the most memorable one I've read lately is from Lucy Knisley. I do a lot of silent time in short bursts during orientation, and this one pretty much explains everyone in the room trying to quiet their mind.


08 December 2011

You can't always get what you want....

Where did you spend your money?

Interesting prompt for today. I've really tried to live way below my means and save a considerable amount of money from each paycheck. The website that's really peaked my interest in personal finance is www.getrichslowly.org. I've topped off my pension designations and also quit using a credit card. Living debt free isn't always 'roller-coaster thrilling,' but I've had a lot of fun doing the things that I plan for, instead of mindless shopping.

So, to better answer the question, I guess I'd rather share where I haven't spent my money.
--No more magazine subscriptions.
--Hardly any music bought on iTunes.
--No fancy car washes anymore.
--No clothes or shoe shopping without a plan and a fistful of coupons.
--No fancy grocery store shopping: No Dominicks, Safeway, or Whole Foods.

And where my money has gone this year:
Tithing. Camping trips. Overnights with the Mexis. Glasses & Contacts. Dentist!

07 December 2011

Chicken and Thunder

What astonished you?

I had to look up astonish this morning. I knew the word's meaning but I was curious about the root of the word.[To strike with lightning] And that got me thinking about camping. Crystal and I camped once a month from May to September this year. Our first camping experience in May was the coldest and rainiest we experienced. Since the word astonish has it's root in lightning, I'd have to say it was the quite astonishing to have a park ranger tell us to evacuate our tents and move to safer spots to ride out a massive storm picking up speed on Lake Michigan (we were about 200 feet from the shore). Alas, we arrived safely at a chicken joint in Wisconsin!

06 December 2011

I am, I said

When did you celebrate?
Back in the day I used to go to Murphy's with my 2 neighbors who lived in my building in Champaign. One was a grad student and one was a singer/actress. We'd go to Murph's for Leinie's and cheap burgers on weekends and throw some dice. Some of my favorite mugs in my place are from Murphy's. We'd also go there for the jukebox. I believe it was the only establishment that had Neil Diamond's hits readily available for play. The last time I was in Murphy's was in the fall of 2001. Fast forward to last night! My friend, the grad student, became my friend, Dr. Hughes! The celebrating that we did last night was a mini-reunion of sorts. We told all the old stories in the beginning that I remembered. Then we got into the minor ones that I sort of remember. Celebrating Dr. Hughes' success was a great reminder to me that friendships can start in all sorts of places, even dingy apartment complexes. Here's to you, Dr. & Mrs. Hughes.

And you ask, what Neil Diamond song did we play the most? This one!
I Am, I Said:

LA's fine, the sun shines most the time
The feeling is laid back
Palm trees grow and the rents are low
But you know I keep thinking about
Making my way back

Well, I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores
LA's fine, but it ain't home
New York's home but it ain't mine no more

I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king
And then became one
Well, except for the names and a few other changes
If you talk about me, the story's the same one

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I've tried but it won't let me go
And I'm not a man who likes to swear
But I've never cared for the sound of being alone

I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why

I am, I said
I am, I cried
I am...

05 December 2011

You're a freak.

Nothing really sticks out to me this year. Maybe it's because I've made a vapid, dance music station one of my presets in my car. I could sing you a lotta songs, but I haven't really bought any good music lately. With that being said, my favorite music leading into a podcast is from Freakonomics!

04 December 2011


What was the best book you read in 2011?

A math equation that explains my favorite book of the year.

    500 pages minimum
    Fictional Midwestern towns
    Historical facts of Herman Melville
    A counter cultural love-story
+ House rehabs

Ans. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

03 December 2011

All my bags are packed...

Where did you visit this year?

Somerville AL, Gotha FL, Newark IL, San Pedro Sula Honduras, Copan Ruinas Honduras, San Salvador, El Salvador, El Tunco El Salvador, New Windsor MD, Arlington VA, Grand Rapids MI, Saugatuck MI, Minneapolis MN, Eden Prairie MN. Kettle Moraine WI, New Windsor MD, Phoenixville PA, and Philadelphia PA!

02 December 2011

Black beans

What was the most delicious meal you ate?

I'd have to say it was while we all went camping! Fried eggs, a batch of garlicky mashed black beans, and tortillas. Coffee out of the french press helped!

01 December 2011


When was I most grateful?

Hmmmm. Hard one. Thanks, Dana. I'd say I was most grateful when I completed orientations. There's such a quiet thrill of being done, of packing up, of giving rushed hugs at the airport and knowing that I'm just coming home. That thrill of being done and sending off people and coming home happened in Florida and Maryland in 2011. I'm grateful for great volunteers (and crazy ones, too), great people at home (and dogs, too), and a quiet little life waiting for me when I come back.

Navel Gazing!

Hello friends! Let's do some mutual navel gazing! I look at yours, you look at mine! We'll take a new prompt each day in December. Here's a sneak peek at them!

  1. When were you most grateful?
  2. What was the most delicious meal you ate?
  3. Where did you visit this year?
  4. What was the best book you read?
  5. What were your favorite songs?
  6. When did you celebrate?
  7. What astonished you?
  8. Where did you spend your money?
  9. What was your favorite blog post...that you read or wrote?
  10. When did you take the easy way?
  11. What rocked your world, changed your life, shifted the ground beneath your feet?
  12. When did you feel the most relaxed?
  13. What cracked you up?
  14. Where'd you find the best cup of coffee (or tea, or wine, or beverage of your choice?)
  15. When did you struggle?
  16. What’s the most whimsical/spontaneous/ridiculous thing you did?
  17. When did you see God at work?
  18. When were you the angriest?
  19. What’s been the best decision you made this year?
  20. Who came into your life in 2011?
  21. What did you learn?
  22. What gifts did you give? What gifts did you receive?
  23. What sunrise/sunset was most vivid?
  24. What did you make?
  25. Where did you spend the most time?
  26. Who surprised you?
  27. What did you give up?
  28. Who was important to you?
  29. If the year 2011 had a hashtag, what would it be?
  30. What aspects of your life need attention in 2012?
  31. Where were you on January 1, 2011?