Monday, 24 May 2010

Paris, je t'aime

So, roommate-Emily recommended this movie to me, and I finally had a chance to watch it the other night. Last time she recommended something to me, she recommended the book "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer. She said it was her favorite book of all time, and so I thought I would give it a shot. I wrote a review on it a while back. If you missed it, you can read it here.

It was a good experience for me to read that book because it is something totally outside my normal box of reading choices. It wasn't something I would have picked on my own to read, and while it was not my favorite book ever, it definitely has made me think a lot. And that's good, right?

Well, it was a similar situation with "Paris, je t'aime". I had actually never heard of the movie, but Emily said it was her all time favorite movie and I should watch it! It didn't take much convincing - I love Paris (haha, that's the movie title...)! I had the chance to go for a week 3 years ago and was an unforgettable experience. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. So last night, a freshly showered me sat in my bed with Caroline (my computer) for a movie night.

It took me about 5 minutes to figure out that I was going to need to turn on subtitles for the movie. I thought that if it was in French, it would automatically have subtitles, but it didn't. Usually I hate watching movies with subtitles because I am so ADD that I end up just reading everything and never watching what is going on on the screen. It's not as bad when you don't understand everything they are saying, though.

The movie was incredibly interesting. Something like 20 different directors were each given an arrondissement (essentially a neighborhood or region of Paris) and a time limit of 5-10ish minutes to film what their interpretation of love is. So there are 20 different and completely unrelated scenes and stories in the movie. It was not explained to me before I watched the movie that it was 20 different directors and that things would not tie together. So about 20 or 30 minutes into the movie, I realized that none of the stories would connect, and it was like watching a lot of really short films.

It was actually a lot like a collection of short stories in a book. They don't necessarily have anything to do with each other, but they are all in the same book and it is accepted as such. I guess, though, that all the short stories in the film did have 2 similarities - love and Paris.

Some of the stories were incredibly touching. (If you don't want to know specifics in the event that you want to watch it, skip the rest of this paragraph.) In one story that was especially touching, a man is about to leave his wife for a young mistress. He tells you of all the things that irk him about his wife. As they are sitting at the restaurant where he is planning to end things with her, she hands him a paper from the doctor that says she has terminal Leukemia and that she doesn't have much longer to live. Right then and there, he completely changed his mind, breaks it off with his mistress, and takes care of his wife like he never has before and rekindles that love he thought was long gone. The narrator described it as saying, "By acting like a man in love, he became a man in love again."

Some other scenes are totally weird. Like, really.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I would watch it again, although I would not say I loved it. I think it was really interesting, it made me think, and it was extremely creative. Kudos to whoever thought to do something like that! I think I would probably recommend the movie to others. The more I think about it and the more I process it, the more I like it.

And I'm not gonna lie, I really liked listening to all the Francois! It is such an interesting and beautiful language, and so different from English. And maybe deep down inside, it makes me feel cool.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Why I could never be a mermaid, and my re-entry into the swimming world

Today instead of doing Tae Bo or yoga like I normally do to work out, Anne, Stacie and I decided to swim laps! It has been a while since I have swam for exercise.

I swam on a swim team in middle school and my first year of high school, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a full body workout and super fun! I loved the sounds of the pool auditorium, and I loved the smells. I loved drinking my blue Powerade after an especially difficult set. And I was really good at swimming. I always did really well in practice and at meets - I had a lot of promise! My best stroke was butterfly.

Unfortunately, over time, my shoulders started to wear. This is not surprising since the most common swimming-related injuries are associated with shoulders. Anyhow, because I was a stubborn child (would you have ever guessed?) and proud (shocking, I know), I pushed through the pain thinking that I would be fine and I should just tough it out. No big deal! But one day we were doing dry-land training (you know - sprints, lunges, crunches, push ups...), and in a push up, my shoulder just quit. I couldn't really swim anymore...or really do anything with that shoulder for a while. So I ended up having to quit the team.

For a while I held on to all my swim gear - my pull buoy and kick board, goggles, my swim cap and several suits. Over time I ended up getting rid of the pull buoy and the kick board since I never used them, but I held on to the swim cap, the goggles, and 2 suits. I used them a little bit when doing lifeguard training in the summers at camp, but other than that, they just sat untouched forever.

Then last week came. And last week I manned the blob tower at the waterfront. And the cute little tankini that I have just doesn't seem like appropriate lifeguard attire. I mean, it's cute and all, but you just don't feel legit in a tankini when you lifeguard! You need a speedo! So last week, my old swim suits came out of retirement.

Who ever would have thought that my suits that I wore in middle school and my freshman year of high school would still fit me?! I mean, that means I am pretty much the same size I was when I was 13! I'm not too sure what to make of that...


Today we made our way to the river to swim laps. I really, really enjoyed it! I have missed swimming a lot. I just didn't really realize it until I dove into the river today. I was a little anxious about my re-entry into the swimming world. Would I be able to swim any distance at all before getting so tired and out of breath that I would be wishing for a life jacket? Would I be able to keep up with the other girls? Would I remember the technique at all? Thankfully, it was much easier than I anticipated and it all just came back naturally.

The only setback to swimming in a river is that...I am TERRIFIED of fish. Not like Nemo fish or cute little fishies you keep as pets. I mean gross ugly river fish. Or really any kind of fish that is bigger than my hand. If they are bigger than my forearm...oh dear. Well, there are plenty of large bass and catfish in the Nueces river, and I think it is an understatement that we are not friends.

As we swam, I kept pulling up short in my stroke and frantically searching for Anne or Stacie because I thought I saw a huge shadow coming at me, which of course means some sort of giant mutant sea monster fish has heard that I was in the river and is out to get me. (This is just further evidence that I can never be a mermaid like I dreamed of being when I was little)

Oh, and to make matters worse, at some point camp is supposed to be getting some crazy 4 foot long fish in our river because they like to eat the river weed, and we have too much. I don't know when this is going to happen, but someone had better give me a heads up when it does so I can avoid the river like the plague. I mean, I had a nightmare about it the other night!

ANYWAY. I like swimming. Hopefully I will continue to have a great variety in my workout schedule with great friends and lots of laughs. And hopefully I will make it down to the river a little more often than I have (and have no run-ins with giant fish of death).

Monday, 17 May 2010

Blogging....about blogging...kinda

I have been meaning to update this for like the past week, but time has just been something that I have not had much of! This month is non-summer's busiest month out here at camp - there are something like 1,500 people coming through here just this month! As a result, most of my work days range from 9-16 hours and I only get 5 days off for the whole month. We are halfway there and I am ready for the summer! It will be nice to stop and breathe. I imagine it could be compared to running a half marathon and collapsing at the end...??

Last Monday was Matt's birthday and I have wanted to post pictures, but haven't had the time to put them up on my computer! So maybe more on that later...???

The summer staff arrived yesterday, and that is just so weird to me! I feel like it was just yesterday that we said "OMG summer staff comes in 12 weeks!!!" But nope, they are here now! It is also weird to think that they will be here for the next 3 months - I am so used to people coming and leaving again in 3 DAYS.

Don't get me wrong - I am totally psyched that they are here! God has awesome things in store for this summer and has called each one of those precious college students out here for a purpose. And I am totally excited about that!

I hope to get to blog about a few things soon: Matt's birthday, results of a huge storm at camp, and a movie review (and with pictures!)!!

I promise I haven't disappeared completely, but until June rolls around, I don't stop running ;)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Why I Don't Read Anymore

Well, I bet this is a little confusing since I just posted about how much I love books and I love reading, and I even wrote my first book review on my blog!

Life has been so crazy lately and some things have been brought to my attention that really need some serious prayer. First of all, prayer is not my strong point. That's not really a good thing, but it's true. I get all ADD and in the middle of my prayer I find myself thinking about cheesecake. I don't even know! But I do know that in the recent past, I have not made much of an effort to improve.

I also realized that my quiet times each morning were just not enough. I was giving the Lord *maybe* 15-20 minutes of my time to work in my life. And that was just reading and saying a quick prayer. I wasn't digging and I wasn't really devoted. So I have been convicted about getting up earlier and spending more time in the Word and in prayer before I start my day. So far, it has been excellent!

So are you wondering what all this has to do with me not readying anymore, yet? I guess I can tell you now. I knew that I was being called to fast and pray over certain matters, but I wasn't sure what I was supposed to fast from. Sugar? No, I can't fast from sugar! I feel like I would have a total double-motive for doing that...I mean, I need to get away from that stuff anyway!

I was having a hard time thinking of something to fast from, and then it hit me! I am supposed to fast from reading books for enjoyment (this excludes the Bible and devotional books, etc.). That was hard for me. I don't want to not read books. I have always had a book to read ever since I was a kid. I don't like not reading! I am (was) in the middle of the Percy Jackson series - I was in the 3rd book (of 4) with less than 50 pages to go! Surely God doesn't want me to fast from reading until after I finish these books, right?? So wrong. I mean, what does that attitude say about what I think about the things I know I am called to fast and pray for?? So looking at it from that viewpoint, I have indefinitely stopped reading for pleasure.

I don't know when I will start reading again. I don't know if it will be before these things are resolved or not. I will have to keep praying about that, as well.

So for now, instead of reading, I pray. When I think about books or how much I want to read (WOW I sound like a nerd!), I remember why I am not reading. And then I pray for it more.

The reason I share is not so that I can boast about fasting (after all, it's not like it was my idea...totally can't take the credit for things God does), but so that you can pray for me. I need prayer. I'm sure you need prayer, too. So if you think of something you want me to pray for in this time of fasting and prayer, let me know and I will add it to the list! :)
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