Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Famous Encounters

Well, thanks to Orthodixie, the little brother and I are famous!

Check out our ghosts of Christmases past on his latest podcast. (We're right after the story about the boy his encounter with a doctor.)

We used to be so cute.

What happened?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Absent Encounters

Wow. It's been more than a month since I posted on here. Some sort of update is definitely in order, but how should I present this? Hmmmm.

Poem? Poems are great but that could take a while.
Narrative? Always dangerous with a logophile like me.
List? Lists are always good.

At the risk of sounding braggy, here's a list of things I acquired over the last month and a half:
1. A fake case of strep throat.
2. Mononucleosis. Doing "nothing" might sound fun, but when you are forced to do it for three weeks, it's not. Trust me.
3. A large knowledge base of other people's experiences with mono. TMI, people. TMI.
4. A fiance. He came with a diamond ring. Bonus.
5. A wedding date. (I'm not telling. So don't ask, creepy Asian hooker.)
6. A love/hatred for the TV series The Tudors. So fascinating, and so depressing.
7. A panicky feeling because my Christmas shopping wasn't done before Thanksgiving.
8. A date with my husband and my fiance at the same time. Yeah, try and figure that one out. (hint: Michael Buble may have been in town recently)
9. A thrice-daily phone call with my mother. She is determined to be the most hands-off, well organized, non-opinionated wedding planner ever. We'll see how that goes.
10. A realization that wearing flats on my wedding day would send said mother up the wall. Who knew?

I'm sure there are other things, but I think that covers the highlights. Plus ten seems like a good stopping point. If you go past ten, who knows how long the list could get.

So, consider yourselves updated.

Boom. Updated.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall Encounters

I feel like everyone has fall fever. I mean everybody. They are either literally at home in bed trying to sweat out an actual fever, or driving around looking more closely at the changing leaves than the road in front of them.

Don't get me wrong, I love the autumnal equinox. I suffer from fall fever with the best of 'em, but as with anything else in life, it has it's drawbacks. For your reading pleasure, I present my list of fall pros and cons:

- LEAF CRUNCHING. I don't live on campus anymore, so this pastime is unfortunately more of a rarity these days, BUT crunching leaves under my shoes is one of my favorite things ever. Especially if the leaves are all curled up (kind of like a folded potato chip with air trapped in the middle). It's the best.
- Jeans. I love wearing jeans. They are just so multi-functional. Fall means I won't sweat up a storm when sporting my favorite pairs that are frayed just a little at the bottom. Ah, comfort.
- Warm drinks. Again, cooler weather makes enjoying hot beverages much more enjoyable. Pumpkin this and Cinnamon that, I love it all. As long as it doesn't taste too much like actual coffee. That stuff is gross.
- Football. Enough said.
- Walks. I love strolling without sweating. It's blissful.
- Jackets. Jackets are awesome. They can totally change your outfit. You can wear the same thing you wore yesterday but with a different jacket and most people won't even notice. Plus they usually have pockets, and pockets are pretty amazing.
- Scarfs. (Or is it scarves?) They keep your neck toasty, and just like their jacket friends, can totally change a get-up. I heart them very much.
- Chili and other fall foods.
- Fall means you are getting closer to Christmas.

- Allergies. Until the first freeze, my nose and I are not friends. Also, the top of my mouth itches. No bueno.
- With the drop in temperature, the water in my house takes forever to heat up. It's not the newest place and the really hot water only lasts for a few minutes when it's cold outside. Not so fun.
- Bye bye flip flops. My feet are claustrophobic, and fall means they have to get tucked into all sorts of closed-toe shoes. While I love my cute assortment of closed-toe flats, my feet much prefer the freedom of flip flops and bejeweled sandals.
- People start freaking out about the holidays. I love the holiday season. It's really grand. But every year the Ebenezer Scrooges of the world try to squelch my jolly spirits. Once fall arrives, they start in with their whining and worrying. It's exhausting.
- The drastic temperature difference between day and night can be quite frustrating. I refuse to turn on my heater because in the day it can be in the 70's, but at night it gets really frigid. My frugality wins out over my frozen toes, but a smaller 24 hour temperature range would be so much easier.
- Scarecrows. Don't like 'em.
- 19-year-old Trick-or-Treaters. Give. Me. A. Break.

And because I am a good Kappa, and good Kappas always end on a positive:

Fall reminds me of Manhattan and all the people there. And THAT makes me smile.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Artsy Encounters

I like it when restaurants have paper on the tables and provide you with crayons for doodling.

It makes me happy.

Probably because I'm slightly fidgety and have to have something to play with: the hem of my dress, or my rings, or my watch or something of the like. But when there's paper and crayons on the table it's like "Here, Erin! You get to be fidgety and no one will even care. You could even slaughter your fellow diners in a game of tic-tac-toe!" It's great.

The only problem is this seems to be a dying trend. All my favorite doodle-table joints are closing. I mean, Macaroni Grill is still going strong, but it's not the same. Their waiters take up too much canvas, I mean table, showing off while they write their names upside down so you know what name to yell when you are out of water or your bread mysteriously disappears. It's so presumptuous. Braggarts.

Luckily, I'm a problem solver. No, really. Where there's a will there's a way, and boy do I usually have the will. So, even though most places don't offer me crisp white table paper with sharp crayons, I have found a way of my own to doodle onward.


Seriously. It's amazing. Every water glass has it. It gets all over the table and then you can use your finger and doodle like crazy. I mean, you have to be a little subtle. you don't want the whole table to be wet. You also don't want the waiter to think you're five. And you REALLY don't want my mom, I mean your mom, to glare at you with one of those looks thats says, "Grow up. People are staring."

AND if you mess up it's easy to start over. The drawings don't last long anyways so it makes things even more imaginative. It's crazy to watch them fade or shrink before your very eyes. It's almost enough to make you awestruck or down-right contemplative.

It's improvisation, people. It's fun. And in a weird way, it's like you get to stick it to the man and all the fun haters in the world. All while eating lunch. Or dinner.

It's a win win win.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lame-O Encounters

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like doing the opposite of what people expect?

Not like bad things. Just opposite things. Or maybe just different things.

For example, yesterday I was purchasing a sandwich for lunch and I paid with cash. The total was something like $4.94. I pulled out a five and four pennies, but I really wanted to pull out a five, a one, and three dimes just for fun. Or when I answer the phone, sometimes I'm tempted to say something other than "hello." *gasp* Something like "howdy," or "greetings," or "yo," or "Erin's Pool Hall. Who in the hall do you want?"

I think this sudden desire to change things up might mean I'm stuck in routine rut. It's not a bad rut. Just a predictable one. I have discovered that such ruts are a common occurrence in adult life, and this fact terrifies me.

I don't like routine ruts. They are boring. And really really lame. And they make me feel old and unexciting. Not that old = unexciting, I have a 84 year-old grandmother that proves that wrong, it's just.... blah. And I hate blah. Nothing blah is good.

Blah food = miserable.
Blah conversations = snore.
Blah relationships = lame.
Blah movies = painful.

Blah is the worst.

New life goal: avoid blah like the plague.

So, if you call me and I say something goofy, you know why. Consider yourself warned.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maddening Encounters

What does this mean?

I hate stuff like this.

There are at least three of these signs on about a ten minute stretch of highway and I have no idea what they mean. There's not even a way to find out either. No website to visit. No date to Google. What am I supposed to do? Google the letter M?

It's maddening.

On a brighter note, there's a 40% chance of rain this weekend.

If you don't think that's a bright note then you clearly don't live in a place where it's been 105 degrees for three weeks.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Creeper Encounters

If you are someone I know, or even a somewhat normal person that happened upon my blog and for some reason continue to read it, this post is not directed at you.


If you are an Asian hooker, I'm talking to you.


I don't speak your language and will not be giving you any business, so save us both some trouble and get lost.

This blog is NOT about THOSE kinds of encounters.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Simple Encounters

Lately I feel homesick.

Not for my hometown, my parent's house, my bed or even my parents - although, I do miss and love them loads and loads.

Instead I think I feel homesick for a time. A time when life felt a lot less rushed. A time when things just fell in place. Not that things are terribly difficult at the moment, it's just different.

Everything these days is either a really big deal, or nothing at all. When did life get so big? When did things become so heavy? It's just unnecessary if you ask me. Very few things actually qualify as "big deals." Why must we give the honor to undeserving candidates? It's exhausting. I'm starting to yawn just thinking about it. (either that or I'm boring myself with my own post, which would not bode well those of you suckers actually reading this...)

I feel too young to be this nostalgic for "simpler times," but I can't help it. I just want things to be simple when they can be. None of this blown out of proportion business anymore. Is that too much to ask?

Guess I'll have to employ the advice of the great Michael Scott via Dwight Schrute and remember to KISS. "Keep it Simple, Stupid."

Far be it for me to give lofty advice to others, but I strongly suggest you do the same.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Asthmatic Encounters

Kids do strange things at camp. They are out of their normal environment and routine, and it makes them.... Well, interesting. For example, a 12 year-old girl walked up to me at camp and started the following conversation:

Calm Kid: I'm having an asthma attack.
Me: Right now?
Calm Kid: Yes.
Me: Like, right this instant?
Calm Kid: (takes deep breath, waves at friend, nods) Yep. I'm having an asthma attack.
Me: Right now? At this very moment, you are having an asthma attack?
Calm Kid: (smiles, nods again) Uh huh. I'm having an asthma attack.
Me: Ok...

Now, unlike my boyfriend, I'm not an MD, so I might not be very well versed in asthma symptoms. BUT I checked WebMD (which is practically the same as being in medical school), and here's what they said:

An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms caused by the tightening of muscles of your airways (bronchospasm). During the attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed and more and thicker mucus than normal is produced. All of these factors -- bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production -- cause asthma attack symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty performing normal daily activities. Other symptoms of an asthma attack include:

  • Severe wheezing when breathing both in and out
  • Coughing that won't stop
  • Very rapid breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles, called retractions
  • Difficulty talking
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic
  • Pale, sweaty face
  • Blue lips or fingernails
  • Or worsening symptoms despite use of your medications.

If you have asthma, you may go for weeks to months without having any asthma attack symptoms. Then suddenly, when you least expect it, you might have asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.

Guess they forgot to mention those asthma attacks disguised as normal breathing patterns.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Crazy-Busy-My-Life-Is-Not-My-Own Encounters

When I was in high school, our theater department did a production of Annie - shocking, I know. Being the theater nerd that I was/am, I was heavily involved in the show. No, I did not play the title role, despite the red tint in my hair... instead, I was the stage manager. For the purpose of this post, all you need to know about stage managers is that they have to be at all the practices. As a result of my perfect practice attendance, I STILL no every line in that show. No joke. (I'll save my thoughts on how my memory is waisted on trivialities for another day.)

Anywho, there's this line that Miss Hannigan - played by one of my best friends to this day - says:

"It never rains, but it pours."

Those words are so true. Really REALLY true.

Lately I feel like I can't have just one thing going on in my world. It's either a million things, or nothing at all. What's with that? What happened to "everything in moderation"?

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be busy than bored, but I'd also rather have a butler than a vacuum cleaner. Most days, I'd love to have the butler, but every now and then you just need to vacuum yourself. Or at least have time to vacuum for yourself. (my brain is so fried, I'm not even sure that made sense... this is me not caring)

So, blogoshpere and my nine faithful followers, I apologize for my lengthy leave of absence. Following my upcoming two week adventure, I shall try my hardest not to neglect you again. I shall also try to return with more coherent thoughts and some lighthearted erindipitous encounters.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Prego Encounters

It seems like everyone is either engaged or pregnant. Don't drink the water, people! Clearly there's something pretty dangerous floating around in it.

I would normally ride out this epidemic with a quiet encouraging smile on my face, but the effects of this plethora of engagements and pregnancies have begun to take their toll on the youth of our church. I felt the wrath of the engagement plague within my first few months of working with kids (You can read about it here), but without a diamond on my left hand and a man on my right, I've managed to escape the pregnancy inquiries. That is until I saw Gloria last weekend.

Gloria is six. She's a spunky young thing with little control over her vocal volume.

As I was corralling children in the communion line before Sunday School, Gloria decided to try and cut in front of some of her classmates. Needless to say, that didn't go over well, so Gloria got to come stand by me. She stood quietly for a few seconds then looked up at me started the following very brief, not-so-quiet, and incredibly painful conversation:


Me: Shhhh! Um, no, I don't have a baby in my tummy.

Gloria: (louder) OH, IT CAME OUT ALREADY?

Me: SHHHHH! No, I don't have any babies. EVER. Cross your arms and stay quiet!

On one hand, the people in the pew behind us got a good laugh out of it, and the high school boys in my Sunday school class got to pester me with questions as to whether or not I had a "bun in the oven."

On the other, all high waisted dresses are officially stricken from my wardrobe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mower Encounters

I'm fully aware of how t.v. commercials are strategically placed to appeal to certain age groups. If you're ever home to watch daytime t.v., all you'll see are commercials for JG Wentworth, life insurance and denture cream. The commercials for prime-time target a much younger demographic and late, late night t.v. commercials are all about lonely singles. But I'm trying to figure out what the main demographic is for Sunday night television.

Last night, as I was watching Shrek 2 on TBS, I saw six lawn mower commercials. SIX. On a Sunday night. At 9:30. Is that the time of the day when married men ages 30 to 45 sit down and watch t.v.? If so, my dad has been an anomaly for my entire life. I think it would make sense if they were airing episodes of "Family Guy," but Shrek 2?

Oh well, at least I now know the different options available for my next riding mower purchase. And with 0% financing, there's no better time to buy.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Murderous Encounters

I must have Holy Week on the brain.

I was driving to work this morning behind a black car that had custom silver lettering on the back. (The letters were in the place that usually designates the model of the car).

Anyways, I could have sworn that the letters read, "BARABUS." And although that clearly would have meant someone forgot to use spell check when they picked out their letters, I spent a good 45 seconds wondering why in the world someone would plaster the name of Barabbas on the back of their car. Maybe he wanted to be constantly reminded that he is like the thief/murder who got a second chance at life while an innocent man was put to death. Maybe this "Barabus" thing would be the next trend in Christian wrist wear. Maybe it was his last name. Maybe it's his dog's name...

My ponderings came to a halt when I glanced again at those shiny letters. Turns out they actually said "BRABUS."

I don't even want to know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Close Encounters

Well, she's at it again.

My adorable adopted niece - previously featured here and here - has gotten more adorable. Much like the toddler who thought Fr. Jeremy was God, she too has her own perception of the Big Guy and His Only Son.

While listening to a children's song that talked about the Emperor Constantine, Ana's mom asked her if she knew anyone by that name - which was a total setup, considering our head priest is named Fr. Constantine. Ana replied with a confident nod, "Yes, I do." When her mother asked her who it was that she knew, she again nodded confidently and said, "GOD."

You see, Fr. Constantine is an older man, with grey/white hair and a white goatee. He works at the church and serves in the altar. Plus, he has sparkly robes and a sometimes booming voice. Makes perfect sense that she would think he's God.

But the kicker is what she thinks about Fr. Jeremy, our much younger assistant. One morning they ran into Fr. J. at Panera and on the way home had a conversation about Lent and the upcoming celebration of Christ's resurrection. Ana's mom asked where Jesus is. Olivia, Ana's older sister, answered by saying "He is in our hearts." Ana answered and said, "Nuh uh. We just left him at Panera!"

The older senior priest is God and the young tall one is Jesus.

I love three-year-old theology.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Merry Men Encounters

We got a new office copier a few weeks ago.

The fact that this was big and exciting news makes me feel so old and trapped in corporate America - even though I'm really not that old and I don't work anywhere near corporate America.

Anyways, we got the new copier and this copy-wizard man came to train us and show us how to use it. So, there I was, standing with our secretary, our accountant and our deacon, listening to this copy guy give us the low down on the new machine. Totally boring, except for one thing: the copy guy kept referring to our deacon and our two priests (who were not present) as "friars."

He would say things like, "So, if Friar Jeremy wants to print something, all he has to do is..."

Over and over, it was "Friar this," and, "Friar that." I don't know why I was insanely amused by this. Maybe I was desperate for entertainment. Or maybe I was just giggling because even though I know what "Friar Jeremey" really looks like, I kept picturing this guy:

"Ooo de lolly, ooo de lolly, golly what a day..."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rhythm Encounters

I have no rhythm.

Well, I have some, but it's not a very big portion. God gave most of my rhythm to someone else. (I feel like I've written that before....Ah, yes, here it is)

Despite my lack of innate rhythmic ability, I often find myself tapping my toes to the beat of whatever music I am listening to. I have even been known to do a little hand drumming on a desk or table from time to time. I once accidentally started tapping my foot to a song while I was driving my car, which proved to be very dangerous as I quickly discovered I am rhythmically right-footed as well as right-handed. I have found steering-wheel drumming is a much safer alternative when driving.

All that to say, I know what it's like when rhythm just kind of sneaks out of you. It needs an outlet. I'm even guilty of a little bit of quiet pew-drumming during church (where all the music is acapella). It just happens.

But I saw a boy the other day who opened the floodgates of his rhythm reservoir in his car. It was like watching a drumming maniac pilot the vehicle directly behind me on the highway.

He took rhythmic expression to a whole new level. We are talking a full steering-wheel drum set, complete with several imaginary symbols. Not to mention some intense headbanging.

With my recently confessed need for a rhythm release of my own, I must say I salute this young lad for keeping the beat.

BUT with my not so recent concern for personal safety and protection of my lovely car, I must say, "KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD, YOU DRUMMING LUNATIC."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Marital Encounters


Not really.

But everyone else I know is, and I thought the title of this post might confuse some people. So in typical Erin fashion, I would much rather perpetuate confusion than clear it up. My (not-so) sincere apologies.

Seriously though, I heard a story on the TODAY show yesterday (kinda fun to say, "Yesterday, on TODAY...") and it was about marriage. Exciting right? The thing about this story was that it was entitled, "Can Your Marriage Survive an Affair?"

Seriously. SERIOUSLY. What is the world coming to? Are we supposed to expect unfaithfulness in marriage now? This story didn't highlight ways to keep marriage healthy, or even how to prevent or discover cheating spouses, it was all about making sure your marriage could survive a cheating spouse. That's the goal, people. Your marriage is only healthy if it can survive an affair.

Color me old-fashioned, but I thought marriage was all about being with ONE person for the rest of your life. Maybe I'm living in a fairy tale, but when I hear the word marriage I think of things like commitment, faithfulness, promises, sacrifice...MONOGAMY.

Guess I should take my place in the knitting room with all the grannies and their rocking chairs, because this kid is officially disgusted by "where the world is heading."