I’LL HAVE A BLOODY MARY, A STEAK SANDWICH AAAND A STEAK SANDWICH

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HEMPZ, THE DEPRESSION & THE AROMA OF JESUS

ok, so, follow me on this one…this post has several seperate thoughts that will converge (I hope). 

FIRST THOUGHT
I am really really sensitve to perfumes and colognes (I wish that most people would not wear them).  Truly.  You know, the guy’s cologne that after one quick hug, it’s on you for the rest of the day.  Bleh.  Or, how about the woman at church that has used such a strong brand that you can barely breath?  Yeah, all of it is not my favorite.  Due to my sensitivity, IF I wear a fragrance (which I use the term loosely), I only wear HEMPZ Pure herbal extract moisterizer: I love the smell and I love the way it feels.  The problem with this particular brand/fragrance is that it costs $22.50 for 18oz.  I don’t use lotion alot.  ANYway, I was pondering this ‘state’ in my life (the state of wishing that people wouldn’t wear perfume/cologne) and I started taking an inventory of the worship team (a group that I meet with at least 2x a week).  To my delight and gratitude, I realized how fortunate I am (and have been for almost a decade) that no one on our team really wears ANY fragrances.  So, every Sunday at 7am and every Tuesday at 7pm, we find other things to notice and laugh about about each other.  🙂

SECOND THOUGHT
You know how we label people? 
Well, how about the label that we give frugal people…if you use a rubber spatula to get the very last wipe out of the mayonnaise jar then you ‘must have lived through the depression’?  You know, stuff like that.  
I was pondering this today, as I have been nursing the last of my $22.50 bottle of moisturizer (that I’ve had for 7+ months), making sure to get every last drop in the bottle before I open the new replacement bottle.  I was thinking about how my patterns have changed over the years: some good, some bad.  One good one is that I really do use most things until they’re GONE (with the exception of food…soemtimes, you just need to throw it away).  When did this start? I’m not sure, but i do remember one of my college jobs was working for a millionare woman who had no concept of money management (nor did she teach any to her spoiled kids) and the amount of true waste and surplus that I witnessed (as i was barely getting myself through college) was profound to me.  Fast forward to today, I think through the increase in my involvement with justice based work, I have had the opportunity to be exposed to true destitution.  As a result, ‘wasting’ is hard for me to do with a clear conscience (I need only to picture a 6 yr old sex slave who is starved almost to death or the 9 year old Ugandan boy who was forced, by the LRA,  to kill his own brother, escaped and now tries to make it on his own in a war-torn country…and the list goes on).  I guess using moisterizer is a luxury that millions of people can’t afford…so, I scrape every last tiny dallop out of the bottle..not just for my wallet, but as a reminder of all those who have need. 

THIRD THOUGHT
My pastor knocked it out of the park yesterday.  He said a lot, I appreciated a lot, but one main thing sticks out to me…how do i represent Christ to unbelievers in my daily encounters?…he used the illustration of 2 Cor 2:14

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”  

After people have been with me, are they left with a
1) pleasing fragrance (like my Hempz lotion)?  or
2) a faint foul odor? (like when you walk into a house that cooked fish the night before) or
3) a raging, gagging stench (insert the worst stench you’ve experienced…my EMT fire fighting friends say that anything GI related is horrendous)? 

CONVERGING THOUGHT?
the way I love the smell of my Hempz lotion (and nurse it and won’t waste it)…is that the same way that people respond to me because they perceive Christ in me because of my actions/words/tone/vibe/love/compassion/etc? (I doubt it)  OR, do I leave the smell like all the colognes and perfumes that gag me and that i can’t stand?  (probably)

I’m leaving out lots of sermon points, but 2 application points that he made that were SO convicting were (remember, this is about fragrance of Christ to unbelievers)
1) “How ya smelling these days?”
2) “Love them till they ask you ‘why?’ “ 

(dagger in my heart).

TOPICS I’D LIKE TO COVER

I have a list of blog topics tumbling around…here are a few of the current topics on which I’d like to do posts…

1. The winners of Christmas cards from LAST year (?)  (sorry sorry sorry, for the delay 🙂 )
Here’s the ORIGNAL POST that started all the fervor.
2.  An endorsement of a reliable IT guy (that’s not Adam Powell…he’s slammed these days: school, church, fiance :), upcoming wedding). 
3.  My recent trip to Beaumont for a 3 day get-away to Gramma & Papa Harvey’s house
4.  An encouragement to everyone to hurry and vote for the Pumpkin Carving Title over on The Flower Blog …some of them are FANTASTIC! and the polls close on Sunday 11/2.
5.  U.S. Presidential+ voting and our responsibility to vote whilst living in a country that allows us a voice
6.  Recent thoughts on abortion; words of wisdom from my mom; a video of a testimony from saline solution abortion survivor…
7. Almost ready to give a book review
8. Other stuff…

399…SINCE ’06

My wordpress acct. just told me that the administrator of Musings (me) has created 399 posts on Musings, as of this moment. 
Huh.
That sounds like too much to me. 
But, then I reflect on how I only post about 1/1,000,000,000 of what I actually think about.
It blows my mind that so many thoughts, wonders, ponderings, etc. can go through the human mind….and the kicker….?  Our minds are wee and pea sized in strength and understanding as they bow in contrast to the mind of God. 
Whoa.

Who can know the mind of the LORD or offer Him any counsel?  Who has given to God that He should repay?

(IRONIC SIDENOTE, considering my post on Klondike Bars and societies bombardment of crap values… though I’ve created 399 posts, the spam blocker count is at 8,839… the world will devour us if we let it.)

OH RICKY, YOU’RE SO FINE, YOU’RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY MIND, HEY RICKY

As some of you know, I care for Ricky Gervais and his comedy (most of it) a great deal.  So do Rob & Sarah.  Ricky had only 2 tour locations: LA & NY.  Rob’s keen eye allowed us to book tickets last March, when we began planning our ‘Ricky Gervais’ day.   It was well executed yesterday.  Highlights

LEADING UP TO
-arrived at Ikegami’s (in Hollywood) approx 11:30am; hung out; ate from a delicious spread prepared by Sarah (thanx); rec’d my first Dive Review Book (thanx again Sarah), ‘Divers Speak Out’; prepared ourselves for the second season EXTRAS marathon
-Took a marathon break and went for a free slurpee run at 7/11 (since it was 7/11).  Came back and  finished the last few episodes of EXTRAS..we laughed alot…RIcky, Steve Merchant, ‘Maggie’, guest stars…ALL genuis!
-ran into AJ Tigner & his wife as we were walking to dinner (and then to the Kodak theatre).  I hadn’t seen them in 6 (?) years
-Chinese food for dinner…tried cream cheese wontons…whoa…who thought of that?
-2nd Mezzanine seating for the show (not bad)
-opening act so-so
-Ricky….

RICKY

-His entrance (WWF style), complete with cape, crown, HUGE lit letters saying ‘RICKY’, was hilarious! and very ‘Spinal Tap’ style…like an omage to the stonehenge bit (?)
-60% of his comedy was pure genuis and totally repeatable.  The other 40% left me cringing inside…and pondering a 1,000 ‘by product’ thoughts.  The hilarious themes: his charity work, autisism, obescity is not a disease, morals of children’s stories (humpty Dumpty, the industrious mouse and the lazy mouse, etc), the history channel/the discovery channel, sharks and Nazi’s, animals…
-His subtle hand motions, eye movements, tone of voice…SO much genuis. 
-His ‘dialogue’ with other characters …hilarious (ex. Niche & Hitler!)

POST SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
-As we were hanging out in the lobby we noticed the stairs down to the first floor was roped off.  As we looked down at what appeared to be a crowd chatting and mingling outside a VIP room, Rob began recognizing the people.  It was like watching animals at the zoo:  matthew perry, jason bateman (!), Harry shearer (!), Brett & Jermaine from flight of the conchords, Kathy Griffin… weird and cool.  No cameras, no crowds, just them off in the distance laughing, talking, pushing each other into the bushes. 

As we debriefed the night on our walk home and back at the Ikegami’s place, we noted the good and the bad.  It was a GREAT day…it’s cool when a plan comes together!

If you don’t know who Ricky Gervai is…shame on you. 
He’s the creator of the British show called ‘the Office’, after which the U.S. version was fashioned.  He went on to create another series called EXTRAS.  Reserved only for true comedy afficianados.  🙂

LIKE YOU’RE ON VACATION…SUMMIT HOME TOUR… $575,000

For all the pics and tours… CLICK HERE …
I’ve had a couple comments of feedback, but would love more.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in purchasing this home…call or write!

35 + 31= RUTH’S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE

OK, so, as many of your know, as you get older, birthdays get less and less eventful. 
In fact, this year we decided to combine my birthday (35) and Eric’s b-day (31-which was today!) and go somewhere that we’ve been joking about going to for years now….Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Pasadena.   It was eventful! 

If you’ve never been there, you should…whoa… 
Turns out that Jennene and Eric and I had all been to RCSH before, but it’s such GREAT food, that we were gleefully prepared to throw down the usual $100/plate again.  As Providence would have it, they were running a rare special of 2-three course meals for only $89!!!!  So, we took advantage of 2 of these specials and shared the following feast, served by our animated server, Stanley…
-Salads: 2 ceasar salads, house salad, gumbo (with shrimp/crab)*
-Appetizers: creamed spinach, potatoes au gratin, fresh broccoli, julienne potatoes
-Entrees: filet, stuffed chicken, 2 3-item entrees (crab cakes*, beef, stuffed chicken)
-Dessert: cheese cake, duo chocolate, creme bruele 
(I tried all the seafood dishes too!)

For 2 hours, we paused, groaned, laughed, commented like we were judges on Top Chef…the food was mouthwatering and never ending.  We had all worked out hard in the morning and eaten very little all day so that we could enjoy the feast to the fullest.  I even had 3 fillings done at the dentist…nothing could prevent us from enjoying such great food.  Thanks, God.  Thanks for making some food taste really really really good. 

The conversation was fun, the atmosphere was nice, the food was …well, you know, and the price was great for all that we got.  After we sat back and marveled at the 2 hours, we made our way over to a theatre and saw a really complex and interesting film called In Bruge (disclaimer: there is a lot of swearing and blood).  There were some really good themes going on: redemption, sin, guilt, judgement, etc. 
It’s probably not for everyone, but certainly it was for us (most of it).

All in all, the celebration of God giving Eric & I a combined 66 years of life on this planet, was an honor to spend with cherished friends (J, E, Ruth and Chris)! 

DENTAL LOVE

2 topics:
1) My dentist and why EVERYONE should love him. 
2) My new toothbrush and why i love it.

Ok, so how can I simplify this? 
A few weeks ago, I went to a new swanky dentist in Valencia (my former dentist, whom i LOVED, had left his office and I didn’t know where he’d relocated to, hence the new dentist).  The new guy was GREAT, spent 2 hours with me, state of the art equipment, amenities like paraffin wax whilst getting your teeth worked on….blah blah blah.  After the 2 hour consult he gave me a few recommendations: get my teeth cleaned, consider using a new toothbrush that they sell in their office and a mouthwash that they also sell.  Oh, AND, get $2,100 of dental work done on my top fillings…get them all replaced.  Huh.   

Last week, I went back for a cleaning and the hygenist used to work for my former beloved dentist.  We spoke of him with the highest regard and I learned where his new office is.  After my cleaning (she was FANTASTIC, by the way), I drove over to my former dentist’s new office.  He made time for me and said that he’d give me a 2nd opinion (free of charge).  Today was that appt…and now I am COMPLETELY reminded why I LOVE him.  He checked all my teeth and gave me his opinion: I only need 3 fillings done (1 new, 2 replaced fillings) instead of the SEVEN that the swanky dentist recommended.  The total cost will be $321.  🙂  Tran offered to write down the teeth numbers so that the other dentist can do just those.  No way!  I am a Tran Fan till the end!!!!  Tran is trustworthy and kind and a GREAT dentist!  I get my new fillings on Tuesday. 
God answered my prayers…my prayers of ‘How will I pay for $2k of dental work?’.  He answered my prayers with my beloved dentist from the past, Dr. Andrew Tran….if you need a dentist (for any reason), PLEASE do yourself a HUGE favor and book an appt with Tran!
Dr Tran!


NEXT..my new toothbrush…

So, the swanky dentist recommended that I start using a particular toothbrush.  I’d wanted an electric one for over 5 years, but have always held off…seemed frivolous.  After his pitch and the disclaimer that they can only be purchased at a licensed dentist’s office, I went home and researched it.  WHoa!  Did NOT know that this is THE toothbrush that dentist’s everywhere recommend.  Soooo, I beseeched my trusty friend Ebay and found myself a brand new Rota-Dent for half the price.  I use it 2 times a day (sometimes 3) and really do LOVE the way it feels/works, but I did not know just how effective it is until this happened….though disgusting, it was a great example that allowed me to really appreciate it… 
On Monday, I forgot to brush my teeth before I left the house (mostly because I used to brush them in my morning shower and so the new routine/electric toothbrush system does not happen in the shower and I seemed to be thrown off).  ANYway, it was around 9am (1st period  at La Mesa) when i realized I hadn’t brushed my teeth.  Other than my breath (which was remedied with a stick of gum), my teeth still felt like I had JUST brushed them (from the night before)…and that’s how they feel ALL the time.  It’s pretty incredible!  Soooo, though my time with the swanky dentist has come to an end, I am FOREVER grateful for his toothbrush guidance!

 

Rota Dent