Monday, November 28, 2005

Basketball Season is upon us....

I am happy...especially as an Illinois fan...that football season is fading into memory and basketball season is picking up.

People who have known me for a while know that I've not been a sports fan for much of my life. However, attending the U of I made up for that quite a bit. I have 4 years in the Basketball Band and my friend Melissa to thank for my basketball education. (A real friend never tells you how stupid you are - but simply answers your questions!) I'm still learning, but I know MUCH more than I used to.

I have SO many good memories in the Basketball Band and at Illinois games in general:
  • Getting to sit on the floor for all those games
  • Chanting to the refs: "Go back! Go back to Foot Locker! Go back! Go back to Foot Locker! Sell shoes! (sell shoes!)"
  • Holly feeling guilty about "heckling"
  • The Mizzou games at the Saavis Center in St. Louis - all of them.
  • The Indiana game when Bobby Knight was still the coach - the Orange Krush was BRUTAL.
  • The free soda (hey, I'm easy to please)
  • Going to games with my fellow UIUC alumni - and sitting back up in the nosebleeds
  • Getting to see a game with the whole fam one Christmas break
  • Watching the Illinois/Arizona Elite 8 game from last year's tournament after it had happened - but getting to be there with Chris, Melissa, and Josh when we made the Final Four (unbeLIEVEable!)

As for this season.I don't know that I'll make it over to Assembly Hall this year, which would be a first for about 7 seasons. As a fan, I try to never get too high expectations, but to just enjoy every game. I'd like to see nice leadership from the seniors - and growth from the younger ones.

Because I'm a visual/auditory person - this post MUST have pictures and music.

I stumbled upon this page today: - it has songs from a recording session back when I was in the band. Personal favorites are: "Carry On My Wayward Son," (HUH!) "Everybody's Everything," and "Jungle Boogie."

My all-time favorite Illini:

And one from last season (during the Wake Forest game):

Go Illini!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Environmental Pollution

I am realizing lately how much of my attitude is a product of the environment in which I am residing. Namely - how clean, organized, and "put-together" my personal environment is affects how I feel when I'm there.

I have known this - but realized it even more after this past weekend. My sister, home from college, helped me decorate my bedroom a bit more. I bought a picture for the wall that I LOVE (it's a simple print of a tree - but with some interesting texturing techniques). My bedroom colors are some of my favorites (Earthy, fall tones). I also cleaned up my desk to make it more usable (rather than storage). Consequently, I've enjoyed spending time there (in addition to sleeping).

Now my office - it has been declining in organization quite gradually. It is now at a point of ridiculous clutter. Not only do I dislike it - but I hate it when people immediately look at the piles when they enter my office. The same sister mentioned above entered my office WHILE I was writing this entry, and immediately started straightening things. However, that was a minor dent in the mess.

The answer to this is an obvious one (i.e. "Bethany, get off your butt and clean your office.").
And I think I will....tomorrow....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hour by hour, day by day

So for the last year I've been using The Divine Hours (compiled by Phyllis Tickle) devotionally. She uses Scriptures, hymn texts, and the Book of Common Prayer to create the offices - 4 prayer times throughout the day.

Growing up, the only formal prayer we used was the Lord's Prayer. Anything else "scripted" was avoided, in favor of more spontaneous prayers. So maybe it's bringing balance to my experience, but there is a richness in praying Scripture or prayers that are rich in language and theology - which have been prayed by believers over the centuries.

I'm looking forward to going through Advent this year (another word not used in my church!) using these prayers.

This week's prayer:
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant me so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that I may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Amen indeed.

Also, I have found a great security in praying the Gloria:
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

(You can see the current office's text at:

Monday, November 14, 2005

This is about as introspective as I can be

So I've been trying unsuccessfully to write a meaningful post over the past 3 days. So far all I've got it a few drafts about insecurity, community, and change. Hmm. So I did one of these blog-things. Here's what it said about me:
Your Power Color Is Red-Orange
At Your Highest:
You are warm, sensitive, and focused on your personal growth.
At Your Lowest:
You become defensive and critical if you feel attacked.
In Love:
You are loyal - but you demand the respect you deserve.
How You're Attractive:
You are very affectionate and inspire trust.
Your Eternal Question:
"Am I Respected?"

And I thought it was pretty accurate. (especially for a blogthing - my expectations weren't high)

"You become defensive and critical if you feel attacked." Guilty. This happens frequently in my closest relationships - I take everything personally. As an artist, it takes a severe effort by my logical side to counterbalance critique or even commentary about something I've been a part of. Now, *I* am allowed to critique it to DEATH - but someone else? Hah. And my version of defensive and critical is often more subtle than getting angry (for example, getting frustrated and shutting down). Fortunately, I have people in my life unafraid to call me out. It's just hard to get past that initial tendency.

"You are loyal." To a fault. I have always been the friend who tries a little bit longer than the other to stay in touch, hang out, etc. I am somewhat particular about who I get close to, but once I do... Also, crushes stick around for MUCH longer than my logic should allow. However, it has allowed for some friendships that were more real and lasting than I ever knew was possible.

So hopefully I'll get one of those other posts finished soon...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Birthday Weekend Highlights & Lowlights

I had an awesome time away - perfect really. Which makes the rest of this post just for the fun of it. Long story short, I have amazing friends and family - and I enjoyed myself quite a bit!

Highlight: Going to St. Louis w/ Melissa and seeing the cool historic hotel we were to stay in for the weekend downtown
Lowlight: Realizing that they wanted to have us pay $25 a day to park in their ramp

Highlight: Driving around the college town area on a perfect fall day with Stevie Wonder's greatest hits
Lowlight: That I don't live in a place like that (it's hard to come up with a lowlight for that!)

Highlight: Going to Pier 1 and spending a gift card I'd been carrying for 6 months
Lowlight: The interesting/awkward tourist recommendations from the Pier 1 cashier guy

Highlight: Nice dinner at P.F. Changs and an evening at Borders with no time limit
Lowlight: Melissa getting sick in the Borders bathroom after being chased by a drunk random guy in the parking lot

Highlight: Finding a place to park on the street overnight (to avoid the $25 parking garage)
Lowlight: Street people we encountered on the 6 block walk back to the hotel whose comments ranged from humorous to highly inappropriate

Highlight: Getting a phonecall from my sister at college wishing me a happy birthday
Lowlight: Hearing that said sister considers 25 to be young, but 26 to be old

Highlight: Lunch at St. Louis Bread Company (a.k.a. Panera) at the Loop
Lowlight: Skipping the nearby Coldstone Creamery

Highlight: Walking around the City Museum in downtown St. Louis - an amazing playground
Lowlight: Not acting like a kid at the museum - since there were actually kids there

Highlight: Shopping at the Galleria - $20 jeans from the Gap (quite needed!) were the only purchase
Lowlight: Too much to see in a short time

Highlight: Being surprised by a large group of friends who traveled 45min-1.5hours to spend my birthday evening in St. Louis (!)
Lowlight: The long wait at Cheesecake Factory

Highlight: Opening very thoughtful cards from friends
Lowlight: Receiving my first Bar Mitzvah card ("Today you are a man") - Hah!

Highlight: Hearing that Spear brought homemade banana pudding
Lowlight: Hearing that we didn't have anything to eat it with

Highlight: Going back to the City Museum with everyone - and actually running around like little kids like I wanted to earlier
Lowlight: Keeping my friends up waaaaaaay late

So, to review - my 25th birthday was pretty stinkin cool.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I gotta get outta here

Well, I finished my project - and with several sleeping hours to spare I might add. Go me. If you have any questions about the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), ask them quick - because I think all of that information will leave me shortly. Praise God, I picked up a form today to declaring intent to graduate in May 06!

Random moment of the day: As soon as I walk in my office at church this afternoon, my office phone rings - it's my mom. She tells me that a lady named Kathy just called her and said that she found a cell phone in the Qdoba parking lot - my cell phone. So my mom went and picked it up from her this afternoon and brought it to me. So - Kathy and my mom are seriously my favorite people of the day!
Kathy - She finds a random phone in a parking lot, and rather than just taking it to the lost and found of a restaurant uses my recent calls to find someone connected to me.
And my mom! - (She's so awesome anyways) Takes time on her day off to help her clutsy daughter - I have the best mom (for more reasons than just that)

I'm taking off for a few days this week w/ Melissa - to go to St. Louis. Should be good - relaxing and just...really good.

The time is right
I'm gonna pack my bags
And take that journey down the road
Cause over the mountain I see the bright sun shinning
And I want to live inside the glow

Yeah I wanna go to place where I am nothing and everything
That exists between here and nowhere
I wanna got to a place where time has no consequence oh yeah

The sky opens to my prayers

I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...
-India Arie, "Beautiful"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Procrastination Station

Must....not....avoid....seminary project!

Must.....get....sleep....this time around....


(I'm going to Starbucks soon - the land of un-free wireless - otherwise I'm WEAK!)