i win random today.

i won random yesterday.

i will always win random. and i would not have it any other way. i've lived and worked for the past 10 years or so in this ephemeral other/under/world where not such nice things happen to people. that means something. it means that your view on what is "serious" and what is "really not so serious at all" gets a little skewed. it changes where you sit in public places. it changes how you pay attention to your gut (thanks, gavin debecker).

but there's reward in that too. little gifts from the universe that remind you bad things don't happen to people all the time and what we do, as people? pretty humorous.

actually, we're pretty stinking hilarious.

my gift: i am often, most often, most often nearly day, rewarded with random.

and i would not have it any other way.

random 1:
walking to the library to begin my hours and hours of reading and studying, i hear the words and music to "sunshine on my shoulders." that is not the angry preacher. no, the sound is coming from a van that has been re-done to resemble a gorilla cage and has 4 enormous plastic gorillas perched on each corner. there is a loudspeaker. there is a sock puppet. the sock puppet is leaning its head out the window and lip syncing. a sock puppet.

random 2:
burritos, according to Shoes' 3 year old nephew, are far superior to sandwiches, but not cheeze its. additionally, the nephew can now potty and poop in the toilet.

random 3:
a man in the library toots continuously and loudly. (editor's note: in my real life, "toot" is not in my vocabulary. i use a different word. however, if i am going to include this on this blog, i realize that the story will probably offend some readers, hence the euphemism. in case you were wondering.) as i was saying, the tooting never stops. does he not hear it? will he also please stop asking me to borrow paper and pencils and then asking me out on dates?

random 4:
a car headed quickly the wrong way down a one way street. a man notices it and chases after it at full speed. i hope he has caught it by now. i hope his arms don't get tired, but the way he is waving them, i doubt it. also, i hope he does not get run over by any other cars.

Older, friendly, a little too drunk for 7:30 in the morning, yes that is a value statement, man on the way to the VA on the bus: Why so happy?

Me: (internal sigh, I am perpetually tired of this question) It's early. (Tired smile).

Him: You going to work or something?

Me: Right. I work part time in the Vice President of Research's office.

Him: I'm going to the VA. Got myself an appointment today. Gotta go to detox. Gotta go get sober. Or that's what they say - my case manager. Went and poured all my beer down the fridge, you believe that? Gonna go to inpatient today. They took all my credit cards away, you believe that? Pay my rent and give me $15 a week for allowance. You know what I do with that?

Me: What's that?

Him: Buy alcohol! (Slaps leg, guffaws - no kidding - guffaws). What you doing here?

Me: Going to work.

Him: You work full time?

Me: Part time. I'm in school.

Him: For what?

Me: Social Work.

Him: Oh, that? You the enemy! (laughs loudly and I cannot help it - I laugh too. I like this man.)

Me: The enemy? I want to see inpatient work for you!

Him: Oh, that? They gonna put me on Antabuse. You know what that is?

Me: *I* know what that is, but I'm wondering if YOU know what that is.

Him: I donno. Some medicine.

(God bless this man and the journey he's about to go through).

Him: I still gotta credit card to buy alcohol with. You wanna see it? Here, I'll show it to you!

(Sure enough).

Me: I think this might be your stop.

Him: You right, you right. You take care. Don't be the enemy, now.


I'm very popular on the bus up to the VA. Tell Shoes all the time about all my new boyfriends. Happens every week, friends. Every week. I attract randomness in the greatness of all things random. And Shoes now insists that we're going to ride the bus up on his next visit. I say no. I say, this randomness? It's all mine.

How else to get through statistics and macro theory?

{photo source}

Dear University Where I Am Obtaining A Graduate Education,


How's it going.

It's just me.

Just wanted to check in with you pretty quickly.

Things are going ok here. I like the campus. The new murals in the Graduate SSW are nice - thanks for hiring the students to do that. (Sorry about the student who complained about the tiny dam pictoral in one of the corners. She doesn't like them. You should try being in a small group with her.)

The 4.0 has been nice. Thanks for that. Losing the 100% by 1.5 points was a little hard to take, but it's ok. I understand. Profs are mostly helpful. Students are mostly shoeless. Work is mostly impossibly much, but nothing I didn't expect.

One small request.

I'm away from my home for 14 hours on Mondays and Tuesday and have taken to holing up on the 4th floor of the library. You know - the quiet floor? The one where you can't sneeze or type or rustle food wrappers without somebody getting upset? The one with the plethora of signs reminding us not to think outloud?

On that floor? The windows face the angry man who shouts about the fire and brimstone of God every day at 2:30.

I'm sure you know who I mean.

I love his right to exercise free speech, but why do you allow him to do that? Every day? And the man who counters him every other day with a bullhorn? And then the other OTHER guy who joins the first guy with an accordian?

An accordian. Come on, now. You and I both know how many pennies I'm paying you. Maybe a little silence on the silent 4th floor would be nice, is all I'm saying. One can barely concentrate on p values and keynesian economics with the terrors of Hell being extolled at record volume.

That's it. He's loud and it's annoying. I'll be here again in the fall and I look forward to not seeing him, please and thank you.

Have a great final 9 weeks. Some more As would be nice at that time, but we'll negotiate that out in the meantime.


we will start with this, because we'll end with this:

for the first year (ever) i observed Lent - a period of fasting and abstaining to focus on Jesus and what the sacrifice truly means.

that's the short version.

here's the truth: i've been putting off this posting because i don't want to write about it. and not in the, "it's soooo meaningful, i just don't have the words for it"way, but more in the, "i found what i needed to find, so it's ok" type of way.

here's my thing: my heart hurts for people. all people. people i love. people i have to work at loving. the homeless man who tells me to do something with myself at my bus stop because i have no cash to give him - i love him too. there's a sharp stabbing pain when i talk to the veterans on my bus on my way up to the hospital every morning. or the family i know that lost their house to forelosure because of unemployment and mounting medical bills? that one stabs at the left side of my heart and a little into my lungs.

i hope i'm not coming out of left field here, but i don't like power and wealth inequality. i'd like to see a society with a (much, much) more even distribution. i'd love to never, never, never hear ever, ever, ever again in my entire, whole life, "that's subsidized housing? wow. that's a little nice for hud housing, isn't it?"

i have a specific way i'd like to go about that. i think, genuinely, truly, honestly, that i was made that way.

here's my other thing: the people who don't believe in social inequality or who have an entirely different way of righting it? i love them. and i have new resolve, after this period of fasting and concentrating on God, to give away any negative words, thoughts or feelings that pop up. i choose to believe in faith that political differences do not mean - no, dear hearts, not at all - that either camp isn't loving people. we all have values. we have priorities. i have an opinion, sure, but i completely and totally respect the fact that other people will have opinions too. i will not call names. i will respect. i will work constructively. i will discuss. i will not preach. if i say something, i will weigh my words carefully and make sure they have grace. and meaning.

i will love.

and more than anything, i trust and will trust. i trust that things still rest in His hand. i trust He knows what He's doing.

and i will choose to use my Facebook time to love and have fun.

at the end of 40 days, i'm ashamed that i did feel like i knew better than others what our country needs politically. i'm ashamed that i reacted to negativity with negativity. justice? i'll still work towards it in the way i feel lead to.

but in no way - no way - do i believe that people who choose to go about it differently hear any less from God than i do or love any less. it's the place i have to be in if i want to keep close to the heart of God and value all human beings.

all the beings who are human - of which i am one. lovely, falliable, capable of great harm, but also capable of fantastic love.


now, let's talk about how heart crushingly cute, sweet and precious my Goddaughter is. in these pictures, she's flowering the cross, looking for eggs and being generally just darling. she has moved from saying, "what's thaaaaaaat?" to "Bekah ok?" and "hi Isa!" and "moo cows?".

this is also Easter. this is love. this is passion.

I said, "O, you know how it is, I'm just a dork."

Shoes said, "You can't say dork. You just dated yourself."

I said, "What am I supposed to say?"

Shoes said, "Not dork."

I said to the ladies in my office, "Can I not say dork anymore?"

They said, "Mmm. Not so much."

Rachel said, "That's for our generation."

I said, "I'm 31."

She said, "Right."

I said, "What am I supposed to say?"

Amber said, "(Edited)."

I said, "I can't say that. Can I just say 'nerd'?"

Amber said, "No."

I thought, 'So, on top of my graduate school courseload, soon have to find an apartment, my partner lives almost 5 hours away, my job is crazy, things I have to worry about, I now have to worry about my vernacular dating me?'

And if that lady at Safeway doesn't start carding me for my red wine, I am going to have one holy fit.

Which will really date me.
... there are a lot of signs like this:

this picture was taken by me, in a car, driving, following Shoes' U Haul truck and trailer. Mmm, please don't ask how. I'm pretty sure it was not safe.

I also snapped a picture of the NSA listening site, because, well, come on. It's right there in the middle of the desert for anybody to see. Shoes, however, said, "No." And he said, "Lisa. Really. You do not post pictures of the NSA listening site on your blog."

Well. Anybody can see it from the freeway, you know.

But the point of this posting is that Shoes is finally moved from the Vineyard town to Almost Canada. It took the better part of Spring Break, but he's in his fancy new condo, learning how to be a civil servant in a new county.

Er, I think we'll have to see how that goes. Shoes likes Eastern Washington, and he had good experiences with the Vineyard Town. Of course, the mess that I continually am, the Vineyard Town only represents crisis, trauma, and something to Get. Out. Of. Quick.

Never the less, some visual memories:

Wooderson is a GREAT traveling partner.

This is a slow process.

This is Canada.

This is Almost Canada.

This is me helping Shoes settle in.

I am so very helpful.

Now that I'm back in Portland, however, it's time to settle down and dig into the last term of the school year ~ a fabulous time filled with Data Analysis for Social Workers (:S), Macro Theory and Motivational Interviewing. Ten fun filled weeks until summer break ...