gives me hope
Tonight I went to my second meeting of the Open Door Ministry at the Missouri United Methodist Church, on which I'm doing my Cross Cultural final project. This group of roughly 20 people makes me proud to be a Methodist and gives me reason to have faith that some day, the Christian community will be the champion of gay rights and acceptance. I have such great respect for the leaders and the members of this ministry. For an hour once a month, these adults, all older than 40, meet to discuss current events concerning homosexuality within the church and the country. Some are gay, some are lesbian, some are parents of a gay child and some just believe that it is time for the church to embrace this hot topic. Their faith, God's love and just basic logic provide the base for every statement they make and I wish that I could simply round up all the fundamentalist Christians I know and make them sit in on one of the meetings.

In so many ways, the issue of homosexuality has become the new race debate. Today there is not a single main-line church that would say that God's acceptance is limited base on race and it is my hope that in my lifetime, that churches across the country will acknowledge that God's grace and love is available to all people, no matter who they are attracted to. Homosexuality is not a sin because it is not a choice. I do not have the scientific studies to back up that statement. But I do have the testimonies of friends, acquaintances and my own gut feeling, as well as an interpretation of the Bible that acknowledges the fact that the writings were intended for specific audiences at specific moments in time by specific writers (who have their own faults and biases, not to mention political agendas).

My first interactions with people who were gay were mostly in religious settings. I grew up with a gay minister. I had a gay friend from youth group who was on church camp staff with me. Hell, our elected class speaker at our graduation in high school was gay and very active in one of the local fundamentalist churches.

With George Bush's war cry against gay unions, the Christian community has been stigmatized as homophobic. It's about time for a community that bases its teachings on Jesus to stand up for God's great love.

For the record, Jesus never once speaks out against homosexuality. If we are to strive to be like Jesus, then shouldn't we show the same love he showed people outside the general acceptance of society?
shoes off and grass stains
Lane and I joined the gaggle of kiddos that descended upon the Quad this afternoon, laughing as we rolled down the "hill" upon which the Columns stand. Thank God for a canceled class on a beautiful day.


It's a work in progress, guys, but I'd love your feedback for my online portfolio. Right now it just has my Vox stuff. Soon it will have my Tiger Tip-off pages and maybe some Missourian pages. Also, the "about" page will have an actual bio and my resume. What do you think?


cheers, mate!
Erin called! From Chicago. The rest of the London crew will be Stateside tomorrow.
for fiscus
During one of our Vietnam lectures in History of the Sixties, B0b C0llins revealed to us his experience protesting the war. In 1968, Collins was a student at Columbia Universirty, where some of the country's biggest campus demonstrations were held. Our professor, a working class Irish Catholic, was smitten with one Ona Stonkis, a sophisticated Jew from NYC. She had "sophistication beyond what I had ever seen." Here are Collins' own words:

I would sit near her table on campus. I'd spread The New York Times out in front of me and every once in a while exclaim vehemently, "Those bastards!" Part of my anti-war activity was just to get close to Ona. I went to a big protest in DC with a big group of students. We knew there was a good chance that they were going to tear gas the protesters and Ona had slathered her body with Vaseline to avoid the affects of the tear gas. It was before the protest and I was holding hands with her in a big circle; we were singing. Everyone started to move toward the protest and her hand just slipped away. She went off to riot and I went home to sleep. That was the last time I saw her.

you've gotta be kidding me
Three weeks until graduation. I've been pretty emotional lately, thinking about leaving this campus and all the people here. Just ask Kate who has seen me tear up just about every time we have a chat. I'd like to pack Columbia up in a bag and take it with me, available when I want a bit of college life but able to tuck away when it's time to move on. I'm ready for something new, but I want to experience that something new with the people who have become so important to me in the past four years. In some ways I feel like I have exhausted this town. And yet, it seems that there is still so much I have yet to do to make my college experience complete. I still have never been to the Diner. I haven't fulfilled my duty as a sorority girl to spend a sunny afternoon out at the winery. And what degree from Mizzou is complete without a make-out session on the Columns, right? And then there's everything I want to experience one more time before leaving: Brock's Green Pepper Rings from Murray's, a Ragtag film, a Shake(y)'s concrete... I'll have to come back in a few months, of course, for a burger and beer at the 'Berg.

So, graduation is coming. Don't be alarmed if you see tears in my eyes.


yup, it's that time of year
New news!* Minnow and Charlie are engaged!

*New only if you haven't read Meh-gen's blog yet.


Yesterday was the Student Society for News Design competition, which Mizzou hosts each year. MU had a very good showing:
Missourian: 14 awards
Vox: 9 awards
Maneater: 3 awards
And. AND. I took third place in the Designer of the Year - Daily category. Wow! Yay!

that itches...
During last night's thunderstorm, Kris opened our front door with Gus in her arms to show him that, no, he did not really want to go outside (he'd been meowing and pawing at the door for about 15 minutes straight) when a stray kitten raced inside. So, now we have two contraband cats. Abby named her Sophie, despite Kris' objections that we shouldn't get attached; then Kris went out and bought a new litter box, litter and set out fresh food. This new feline is making Abby's and my room her home for now until she and Gus are comfortable enough to not spit at one another, or until we find Sophie's owners. Until then, I hope that she doesn't have fleas.


In Memorial Union: an Owen Wilson look-alike with a nose piercing. I've never seen a guy with a pierced nose. hmmm.

to quell the rumor
No, I have not gotten my nose pierced. I have, however, seriously thought about it. Right now, I have no money to justify spending putting a hole in my body just for fun. Maybe after I buy the new tan dress shoes I need, then I might shell out the bucks to punch another hole in my face.


A spread of info graphics that I art directed won first place in the Michigan State Student Society of News Design contest. Congrats to Bob and Cara for their award!

Tomorrow is MU's SSND contest. I'll be there at 8 a.m. That's early. I usually wake up at 8:30.
why don't you learn to not be stupid?
Yesterday, I had over 200 hits on my blog. Woah! It turns out that someone was searching for the phrase: "Why can't the English learn to speak English," a song from My Fair Lady. (I used it in one of my London essays that I posted here last year.) They came across my blog nearly 200 times, using different quotation mark placement ("Why can't the English" "Learn to speak English"). I checked the searches. My blog was the only site that Google uncovered with that search - no matter where you place the quotes. Question: why click through 200 times to a site you know will not give you the information you need?

everso dramatic
Saturday night I hung out with Kate and what I think was the entire theater department on the deck at Flat Branch. Some great one-liners came from the night:

"I just signed J@mie Lynm@n's left breast."
"I'm gay, not stupid!"
"I'm thinking of using Zoolander's 'blue steel' look in all of my head shots."
"You know, I was just wondering, 'Where is Neil's left bicep?' and WOAH! There it is!"

Actually, that last line was from Mike, after Friday's Tap Day, but three funny lines weren't enough for a list, and Kate was present for that, too. So it counts. There were others, but they were lost with the night. Suffice it to say that the theatre crowd makes for great people-watching.

In case you were wondering, the Guster concert was amazing!!!! If you've been a regular on this site, you'll know that Guster has been my band of the semester, so this concert was simply perfect. My friend from high school summer camp, George, goes to Truman State and was able to snag Sarah and I student-price tickets, so it was only $5! We were only three-deep from the stage and hung around afterward to meet the band. (And ran into another friend from camp.) Check out the pictures on your right.
i almost ran over br@d smi+h today
That would have been bad.

most unique birthday present ever:
A bobble-head P@ G@rvin doll from Dan. Yeah, you read that right.


i'm 22 for a moment
Yesterday was great fun. We had a living room-ful of people over for pizza and margaritas to watch Friends and The Apprentice. I have great friends here and damn, I'll miss being around them after this year. But that sentimental crap is for another post. I'm out the door with Sarah for the Guster concert in Kirksville.

tap day
My last year at Mizzou and again, no tap. My dreams have been shattered.


it's april 15
Do you know where your tax forms are?

erica: 1, vox: 1?
I'm in the middle of losing a battle with a photo editor. We'll see come Monday.

campus update
For all yous peoples who left this here university:
+ M@ry K@y Bl@kley and Dr. Larry were awarded Kemper Fellowships of $10,000 this week.
+ Shhh...a possible reality show taped on campus next fall? Keep tuned for details.

in the spirit of the day...
My parents thought about naming me Iris 22 years ago.


Lunched with Scott! Dan was also present.

Elise, what happened to Tuesday?
postmarked 4/12
Just mailed my taxes.

cheep, cheep
I made hard-boiled eggs Saturday. When the water started heating up, I could have sworn I heard chirping noises coming from within the pan. I've eaten two of the eggs and so far I have not come across any hard-boiled chicks. I hope it stays that way.

go team
Barton, et al were named National Mascot of the Year.

important announcement
My mom left me a very excited voicemail message Friday night. Manhattan, Ks. will be introduced to frozen custard this summer when Shake(y)'s arrives. Now I'll have to think of a new excuse to entice her to visit me in Columbia. She'll be able to get her concrete without leaving the city limits. Oh wait. I won't be here. Woah. I keep forgetting that.


fire and brimstone
Speaker's Circle became Preacher's Circle again today and I was reminded of something I told Meh-gen one night at the Artisan: The more people I meet who have a black and white view of life and religion, the more convinced I am that there are shades of gray.

speaking of campus speakers
We watched a video of the UC Berkeley protests in my History of the Sixties class today. I told my mom she should come and give a guest lecture about what it was like growing up there. She told me some great stories from her experiences, including how she was stopped by the National Guard on her way to youth group because the church was a block away from Telegraph Avenue, where all the protesting was going on. The kicker, though, was finding out about how my grandfather,* then the executive manager of the California Alumni Association, would lob smoke bombs back at the people who tossed them through his office window. What a time. Mamu, do you have any other stories?

*He's not the one on the left.


maureen & i totally scored some free ice cream
Cold Stone Creamery is opening up in the new building that has gone up between Big 12 and Hitt Street garage and we (unknowingly) crashed an invite-only complimentary open house. Scott, you leave town and ice cream shops pop up everywhere!!! We'll have to check it out Monday.
i love this weather
I got sunburned Sunday. It sure was a day of sun. Ha. It's a good sunburn, though. I think I've just about smoothed out the tan lines I received a year ago when I fell asleep on the beach in Nice with my pants rolled half-way up my legs. This is my favorite time of year: pants, but no jacket weather. Ooh, and they're cutting the grass, which smells so good. In high school, I had perfume from the Gap called grass. Kinda, weird, I know, but it was one of those soul-soothing scents. I didn't wear it to pique the noses of boys (ha!), I wore it to put me in my happy place.

This has turned into a really odd post. Sorry.

Why is there a helicopter in front of the Lambda Chi house?

are you down with G-O-D?
Saved! has a plot line that could have come straight from one of Meh-gen and my conversations. The presence of Mandy Moore in the film has me worried (she's too teen-flick-esque) and what's this? Macaulay Culkin in a film again? But the plot looks hilarious: Christian high school student gets pregnant trying to save her boyfriend from becoming gay. Ha!


lacking my own material...
Appreciated this forward from a friend. Enjoy this for a day or so while I try to rustle up something of my own life worthy to post. Best if read with a nice cup of tea and a scone.

True Quotes From London Underground Drivers
London Underground driver's quotes (as overheard by tube passengers)...

Heard on the Piccadilly Line:
This is Knightsbridge Station... All change here for Mr Fayed's little corner shop.

On the Northern Line:
"Beggars are operating on this train, please do NOT encourage professional beggars, if you have any spare change, please give it to registered charity, failing that, give it to me."

On the Piccadilly Line:
"To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage, what part of 'stand clear of the doors' don't you understand?"

At Leyton station (where a train was stationary despite a green light):
"Sorry for the delay ladies and gentlemen but there is a queue of trains ahead of us so I have decided to wait here, because I'm sure you don't want to sit in a tunnel getting hot and sweaty"

On the Central line:
"Next time, you might find it easier to wait until the doors are open before trying to get on the train"

At King's Cross:
On the Victoria line:
"This is Brixton, ... err, no, it's Victoria!"

"This is like that TV advert, I hope the person next to you is wearing a good deodorant!"

"Have a very relaxing weekend. Hope to see you all again Monday morning!"

At Camden town station (on a crowded Saturday afternoon):
"Please let the passengers off the train first...Please let the passengers off the train first... Please let the passengers off the train first... Let the passengers off the train FIRST!... Oh go on pack yourselves in like sardines, see if I care, I'm going home."

"I apologise for the delay but the computer controlling the signalling at Aldgate and Whitechapel has the Monday Morning Blues"

At West Hampstead:
"We can't move off because some c*** has their f***ing hand stuck in the f***ing door.

At Mill Hill East:
"Hello this is xxx speaking, I am the captain of your train, and we will be departing shortly, we will be cruising at an altitude of approximately zero feet, and our scheduled arrival time in Morden is 3:15pm. The temperature in Morden is approximately 15 degrees celsius, and Morden is in the same time zone as Mill Hill east, so there's no need to adjust your watches."

On a delayed train at Epping (when the driver had a chat with a colleague):
"bollocks to the lot of them, I don't care if they don't make it to work."

on the District Line:
"I apologise for the delay leaving the station ladies and gentlemen, this is due to a passenger masturbating on the train at Edgware Road. Someone has activated the alarm and he is being removed from the train"

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologise for the delay. I know you're all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you'll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction".

'Please stand clear of the doors' and 'Please hold the doors open'. The two are distinct and separate instructions."

During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver announced in a West Indian drawl:
"step right this way for the sauna, ladies and gennelmun...unfortunately towels are not provided'.

On the District Line at Putney Bridge:
"May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint it is only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage".

On the Jubilee Line:
"Keep your appendages inside the doors, please I hope that if you're changing here to continue your journey on another line that your next journey is as nice as this one was. That's if this one was nice of course, which it probably was if you were standing alongside an attractive person".

On the District line:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay, but there is a security alert the train wont move in the foreseeable future, so let's take our minds off it and pass some time so let's take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now.... Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall...."


joyeaux poisson d'avril
I loved April Fool's Day (translated: Poisson d'Avril, literally: Fish of April) in high school because our French class treated it like a full-blown holiday.* We cooked crepes and croques messieurs while playing games like Mille Bornes and Scrabble in French. The best part, though, was cutting the paper fish and going around school all day taping fish to the backs of our unsuspecting peers. Oh those sillly Frenchies!

*April Fool's Day was begun in France centuries ago when the government changed the calendar so that the year started on January 1, instead of April 1. People in the countryside didn't hear the news for a few years and so they mistakenly celebrated the new year at the start of April. Thus, the French were the original April Fools. Now who says blogs are not educational?