Thursday, July 29, 2004

Sensei desu!

 Time for a Japanese lesson from your favorite sensei.  I'm not trying to brag, but although my knowledge of Japanese may not be as large as I'd like, I do know quite a variety of words.  So for your benefit and information, here is the majority of the Japanese that I know.
  • Watashi wa _____ des.  This means "I am ____."  Such as, watashi wa Ann des.  I am Ann!  I will show you another way to use this phrase later.
  • Umaletah.  This is the verb for "to give birth."  I learned this thanks to my dear ex-roommate whose sister was pregnant in Japan.  This was the key word her family would use if she had her baby and Tomoko was not at home.  I used to think it meant baby-- but not so!
  • Hen.  This means "weird".  (It also means "behold" in Hebrew!  Ben and I would say, "behold the weird hen" to help us remember!)  So now you can say, "I am weird" in Japanese.  Watashi wa hen des.
  • Ringo.  This means "apple."  But "r"s are pronounced kind of like "l"s, so it almost sounds like lingo.
  • Shiro.  This means white, which is a very important word for me.  So my name is kind of "Shiro Ann", which happens to be the same name as a popular food dish in Japan, so I'm told.  That should entertain the Japanese for about 2 minutes.
  • Atama.  This is head.  It's the first word in my little hiragana teaching book, so I've read it about a million times. 
  • In case this extensive list of useful vocabulary fails you when you're in Japan, you can always use the handy, wakarimasen.  This means, "I don't understand." 

There you go.  Sensei Ann-san has done her best to teach you all she knows. 

If anyone else out there knows any more useful vocab they'd like to share, please post a comment! 

PS-  I'd like to thank Tomoko, Ben, and Jimi's Book of Japanese for teaching me the words I've mentioned here. 
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Singing Night

Tonight was singing night at church.  I will admit that I was not enthused when I first heard this, because oftentimes singing night entails people fighting tooth and nail to get their very favorite song in the whole wide world sung.  People wave their hands inthe air frantically and numbers are shout out from every corner of the auditorium.  Requested song singing nights bring out the worst in a lot of folks!  And I don't think it's just like that here-- I've seen it at many places and in different countries-- so this is definitely not a localized occurance.
But instead, tonight different men just got up and led their favorite songs.  I think it's telling to hear people request a song, because it usually means that it has some kind of special meaning or signifigance to them.  One song that has special meaning to me is "I Am A Sheep" by
Dennis Jernigan.  The 23rd Psalm has a special place in my heart; I love the message of God as our shepherd watching over us, guiding us, protecting us, and providing for us.  

What songs have special meanings to you guys?
I am a sheep and the Lord is my Shepherd watching over my soul
My soul to keep guarding over me ever, watching wherever I go
And when the winds blow He is my shelter
When I'm lost and alone He rescues me
When the lion comes He is my victory
Constantly watching over me

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

One more thing!

How could I forget my baby? Of course I'm going to miss my truck while I'm in Japan!!! Posted by Hello

Mental Preparation

Some of the things I'll miss in Japan: 
  1. My family and friends
  2. KLOVE on the radio
  3. The Amazing Race
  4. Duncan Hines chocolate chip cookie mix
  5. English
  6. Beef
  7. The Simpsons
  8. Central heat and air
  9. Biosilk hair products (the silk therapy leave on conditioner is to die for)
  10. JC Penney sales and the associate discount

Monday, July 26, 2004

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Today was a good day. My dad and I went to Kirby, Arkansas to visit my grandparents and other extended family all day, which resulted in many good visits and much good food. Then tonight was my dad's grand finale as a church league softball coach. Let me tell ya-- church league softball ain't for the faint of heart. :) I would love to play on a team one day, but that would require me to stay in the country long enough to commit to a full season, and it doesn't look like that'll happen anytime soon!  What a nice summer day.  Posted by Hello

"What Christian Theologian Are You?"

"We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day."
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don't care much for other people's opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their way, even when you have things figured out better than them.

Okay, now everyone has to take this quiz and post which theologian they are! 

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Amen, Brother!

Ah, Sunday.  Such an interesting day of the week-- especially here in T-town.  The church here began a new college class today.  It was interesting, and I'm sure it will prove to be an educational experience for all involved.  That's a diplomatic and optimistic way of putting things, I think. :)  Let's just say that I had to go quoting some sermon on the mount.  One of my friends once inspired me to try and memorize the entire sermon on the mount, just in case one day I'm ever thrown into a Chinese prison and not allowed to have a Bible. ;) 
But what really touched me today was a prayer that one of the newer members led.  His family placed membership while I was in another country, I believe, so I haven't really gotten the chance to know him.  As he began, one of the first things he prayed for was protection for our troops overseas.  I'm all for praying for the troops, but it makes me sad when people stop there.  I think it is very important to pray for the innocent victims of war, as well.  So I anxiously waited to see if anything would follow this brother's comment on the troops, and I was pleasantly surprised!  He added, "And Lord, you teach us to pray for our enemies, so I want to pray that those people who want to do us harm.  Maybe this fighting will end and we can all get along."  That did my heart a lot of good.  I very much needed to hear that at that point this morning. 
Sometimes I think Christians don't take Jesus seriously enough.  One of the major points mentioned in Mere Discipleship is that Christians today oftentimes don't think Jesus really means what He says-- that His ways are not applicable to reality.  That is tragic and all too typical.  But I am encouraged to know and see that there are some who keep the ideal in mind and aren't satisfied with settling for less. 

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Father-Daughter Bonding

Tonight began an event that will probably change my family forever: we began watching Shogun. Ever since I began having anything to do with Japan-- roommates or a future career or whatever-- my father has been pressing me to see this movie. Well, I shouldn't call it a movie. It is a 10 hour epic event. For those of you born before this was made, this is a mini-series staring Richard Chamberlain which was made in 1980. My dad even went so far as to buy the entire 5 DVD set so that I could be sure to have this experience before I went to Japan. So far, so good. I think this will really help my Japanese. Hey-- after a 10 hour movie I think I could have the langauge down pretty well! :) Anybody else out there seen it and would like to comment on it? Posted by Hello

Friday, July 23, 2004

Summer Reading

Uncommited, over-ambitious, and unfocused aren’t words I’d usually allow anyone to use in description of me-- except when it comes to my reading habits. As mentioned in my 100 things list, I have a very bad habit of reading more than one book at a time. This has reached a head this summer, when I realized that I am in the midst of reading 9 books! It was 10, but I actually just finished one two days ago.

1.  The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand– started about 4 years ago because I intended on entering an essay contest about the book. I go through long spans of not reading this book, because I’m not really into the whole Objectivism thing. I just wonder what happens to the people.
2.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley– I began this last summer I think. The main reason I haven’t finished it is because school began and I got too busy. I am really enjoying it so far, though.
3.  Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien– I began this last Christmas and am over halfway through with The Two Towers. I absolutely love these books, but other books just seem to crowd it out. I am also not watching the movies until I read the book– for example, I have only seen "The Fellowship of the Ring" movie because that is the only book I have finished.
4.  The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams– I began this right after graduation and am really enjoying this book so far, but I definitely have to be in a certain mood while reading to really appreciate the humor.
5.  The Life of Pi by Yann Martel– I began reading this in Brazil when I wasn’t in my funny Hitchhiker’s Guide mood. I really need to focus more time on this book.
6.  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury– I began this after returning from Brazil because I wanted to see why Michael Moore took a spinoff of the title for his movie. Also good, but a little dark.
7.  The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks– I began this a week or so ago after going to see The Notebook with a friend, who then insisted that I must read this (the sequel). It was pure fluff, mushy gushy reading, but sometimes that’s what you’re looking for. :) I finished it two days ago.
8.  Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard– I started this after returning from Honduras. I am enjoying it, but it is really dense reading and very philosophical, so it is hard for me to read a lot in a big stretch.
9.  Myths America Lives By by Richard Hughes– I just got this one in OKC. My interest in this began after reading a review of it by one of my old professors in the Christian Chronicle. So far, I think I’m really going to like it. It is also very intellectual and dense so far.
10.  Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp– I also got this one in OKC after having it come highly recommended from a friend of mine.

So there’s my summer reading list. I think the only books I have read and finished this summer are The Wedding and Blue Like Jazz (which I will probably re-read).  Feel free to make any suggestions as to which ones I should prioritize!

I've Been Everywhere, Man

Well, I haven't been everywhere, but it is sure starting to feel like it. I look forward to a couple of weeks of not living out of a suitcase. Being in OKC was wonderful. It was a whirlwind of visiting people I love dearly. One of my friends put it best when they said that I will probably always remember these four days, and now when I get lonely in Japan I'll be able to look back on them with fondness. So many thanks to everyone who hosted me or took me out or just took the time to talk with me. It was such a blessing to get to see you all, and I look forward to the time that we will meet again!
They say home is where the heart is, and I realized recently that although I will always be a Texan, I have many places in my heart now. Home is with those you love, I think. Wherever that may be.
 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

For the Sake of the Call

I know I haven't blogged in a while, so I thought I ought to say something.  I'm in OKC right now and will probably write about that after I get home, but just now as I was driving down Memorial Road a song came on KLOVE that always touches and chokes me up.  It's called "For the Sake of the Call" by Steven Curtis Chapman, who is a fabulous singer/song-writer.  Here are the lyrics: 
Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure
Was Jesus had called to them
He said "come follow Me" and they came
With reckless abandon, they came
Empty nets lying there at the water's edge
Told a story that few could believe
And none could explain
How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus lead
With no thought to what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name
And they answered...
We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call
Drawn like the rivers are drawn to the sea
There's no turning back, for the water cannot help but flow
Once we hear the Savior's call, we'll follow wherever He leads
Because of the love He has shown
And because He has called us to go
We will answer...
We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who called
And if we believe we'll obey
We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die for the sake of the call
We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all
We will abandon it all
It touches me because that's the kind of "reckless abandon" I want to have in my life. It reminds me of my friends who have given up family, home, prominence, importances, and power to follow the call of God in their lives.  I get chill bumps even now as I think about it.  It's never to late to feel the hand of God leading you where He wants you to be, and I pray that all you out there will have the courage to follow.  I might elaborate on this post later when I have more time, because I feel a sermon coming on. :) 

Friday, July 16, 2004

Honduras Pictures Online!

Pictures from the Honduras trip are now online at under "Honduran Adventure." The epic email is coming-- just give me some time to write! :)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Story of the Day

Man Exposes Self During Airport Screening

Wed Jul 14, 9:07 AM ET
By The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Daryl Miller didn't make it through airport security because he couldn't keep his pants on.

Airport police said a security screener was waving a metal-detecting wand over Miller's pants area on Friday when Miller pulled his shorts down to his ankles. He wasn't wearing any underwear.

Miller then said, "There, how do you like your job," thus ending the screening, according to the police report. He was charged with indecent exposure and released on $300 bail.

"We've never had anybody do that before," said airport police Lt. Matt Christenson. "But it's not abnormal for people to become frustrated with the screening process."

Miller also became belligerent during the screening, Transportation Security Administration officers told police. One TSA employee also told police that Miller had a note inside a magazine in his bag with an expletive, and told a TSA employee "Oh yeah, it's for you" when asked who the note was directed at.

"This person exposed themself in a public area, a clear violation of the law, and we needed to take some action on that, otherwise everybody would be dropping their pants," Christenson said.

Ann's Note: This story is in honor of the fact that I was specially selected with all of the suspicious looking foreigners to be extensively super-searched at the Miami International Airport on the way to Honduras. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Blog Recommendation

I made it back from Honduras, and am in the process of chronicling it. I will post that as soon as I'm through with it. In the meantime, I want you to check out one of the best blogs you're not reading (probably). There are only 3 blogs I read regularly, and this is one of them. It is called Praying Mantis. I stumbled on it quite accidentally, but loved it and have been checking it ever since. Instead of trying to tell you all about this guy (I don't know anything about him, really), I'll just let you check it out. He posts a lot of spiritual poetry, and here is one of my recent faves:

This is me,

full of faults,
cracking the confidence
of who he is making me to be,
even though I am so far away
and so in debt to him.

on her love,
their friendship,
His life,
communion and liberty.

because I've paused
from breathing life,
and forgot the source,
of my breath and life.

in my loyalty
to His cause,
even if I am
along the way.

of all that I can't leave behind
of all I've never seen,
for all that I still haven't found,
of a love like no other.

in need of straightening...
laid flat,
in need of the bell to sound...
in need of his filling...
in love,
with all that they are.

I am the body of Christ,
I am the saint and the sinner,
I am the servant of the King,
I am the postman with the message,
the preacher with the balm of Gilead,
the watchman,
the town crier,
the joker,
and the fool,
the singer in the court,
the prisoner who was pardoned,
the lost put in the place of honor.

I am the undeserving,
the hopeless wanderer,
and the son of
the right hand of God.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Ann in Honduras!

Yay for blogging from Central America! I am having a blast and a half in Honduras, and will write the mother of all hilarious backpacking stories (from my life at least) as soon as I get back. Wild times here in Honduras. :) Hasta la vista, babies!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Off I go!

Well folks, I leave for Honduras in about 4 hours. I'll be back in about a week. See ya later! :)

Friday, July 02, 2004

Happy Independence Day for Ann!

Hello friends! Guess what today is... it's Ann's Independence Day! Yes, one year ago today, on July 2, 2003, I was released from the hospital after a 33 day stay. Granted, it was not the best day. But I do remember how I thought everything on "the outside" was so green! And hot! Boy was it hot.
It's nice to see how far I've come since that time. Kind of an Ebenezer of sorts.