18 July 2010

Bumper Beauties

Art comes in many different forms, and I enjoy many of them, one of the better forms being classic cars. The size of the engine is irrelevant, it is the swoop of the bumper, the gleam of the chrome, detailed door handles - that is what I enjoy. This weekend was the Concours d'Elegance in Forest Grove, the better classic car show in Oregon. It had been a few years since the last time, so today Dad and I went again. I still had the borrowed Lensbaby and the cars would be a great source for testing it out. It was a challenge to get the focal sweet spot just right. The field of view is quite narrow so to get a whole tire within the frame I had to be relatively far back, which was hard to do considering the number of people milling about. My favorite continues to be the early 1950's Corvette. The BMW Isetta was beyond cute. A beautiful Cobra could be felt in your chest as it rumbled by up to the stage. An intriguing find was a Tatra, a sports car made in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War era. How did it makes it's way from Communist Czech to Milwaukie, Oregon? One beautiful 1948 Ford was being shown by the original owner. Dad and I couldn't decide which should be classified as the antique - the car or the owner. So many beautiful cars, I think I was born in the wrong era. (more pictures here)

16 July 2010

Friday Funnies

It has been awhile since I've posted any of my office interactions with Jon. Since he made me laugh to the point of nearly squirting tea out my nose I thought I'd share.

I was half listening to Jon as he talked about this website he had found last night of pictures of an exotic gun collection of a busted drug dealer. Or at least that is what I thought I heard, I wasn't really paying attention. He mentioned something about the odd pets these type of people have, but couldn't think of one. I offered the suggestion of "komodo dragon." "Yeah, like that! Weird animals." To which I off-handedly said, "Did I tell you that I almost ran over a peacock the other day?"
Stunned silence. I took a slurp of my ice tea.
Slowly, an awe filled response, "That may be the most awesome sentence I've ever heard." It was at this point that my mouthful of tea almost came out my nose.
Somehow I managed to swallow it down and answer the ensuing questions, it was a couple weeks ago, on a side street in Lake Oswego, yes - I stopped and stared it down until it moved to see if it was real, and no - I didn't question if I was crazy and seeing things, didn't occur to me. Oh, it was too funny.

A little later we were walking to Starbucks and a tabby cat went shooting across the street with amazing speed. Jon exclaimed, "Geez! It's like wild animal kingdom out here!"

As I walked back to my seat at Starbucks with drink in hand I noticed Jon was staring at my right forearm. "What did you do this time?" he asked. "You're just now noticing it? I've had this bruise all week." With an exasperated sigh, "You know how unobservant I am." Of course I told him a prolonged detailed story of how the vacuum cleaner attacked me. To which he just shook his head.

Missy, Jon's wife, cut his hair the other day and he has been fussing over it constantly ever since. "As soon as I cut my hair, I wish it were long." She did a really great job, but he can't figure out what to do with his bangs. We both have that issue. I offered him one of my little clips that I keep in my desk. "While I do wear barrettes and make it look good, I'm not going to do that here."

As we were waiting for the elevator to head out for the day, "You know how bad my memory is and how unobservant I am; each day for me is brand new. I get to do goal structures today? What's that? Sounds like fun!" Ha! Ha! Yeah, you keep thinking that, Jon.

Bonus funny story from Thursday:
I walked back into our office with my lunch that I had just heated up. Jon asked, "Why do you always do that?" "Do what?" "You always heat up your lunch right before a meeting." "But I'm hungry." "But we have a meeting in 15 minutes." "What? I thought we had more time." "I always feel bad for you. You heat up your lunch and eat two bites before you run off to a meeting and it just sits here getting cold. I wonder if I should cover it... but I don't. You need someone to take care of you." "I know, I do." Jon was a little surprised at how quickly I acquiesced. "Isn't that in your job description? I think that is the whole reason you are here, (in a silly voice) 'Take care of scatterbrained Jenn.' "

10 July 2010

Garage Sale for God's Glory

Two years have passed since the last garage sale endeavor of my mother's and I. Not quite enough time to forget the pain, annoyance, and work involved in having a sale but the stuffeth over floweth, so a sale will be had. My brother moved to New York City last week and left everything he didn't want or need (e.g., dishes, pans, etc.) with my parents to deal with, including a vehicle and a townhouse - anyone need a 4Runner and a garage in Beaverton to park it in? I keep a container in the garage that is my designated donation box. The past year I've been saving it up for a garage sale. When Janelle was up visiting over Memorial Day, she helped me purge the stuff in my garage. The box is now heaped and other boxes have been pressed into service. Unfortunately I am on my own to purge the rest of the house. It won't be very thorough, it's not as if I am moving to NYC into a teeny shared apartment, so why bother? Why, indeed. Because of God's glory.

Having a garage sale for God's glory may seem rather strange. If our purpose as Christians is to bring God glory, it requires us to be refined and purified from those things that detract us from this goal. We need to remove whatever idols and little gods we have in our lives which dilute our passion and effectiveness. Like a professional athlete who trains with diligence, perseverance and determination to receive glory in their sport; likewise, Christians should be training too for God's glory. We are in a battle, we need to be fit warriors.

Still wondering how a garage sale fits into the picture? I live in America, a culture known for it's consumerism. We are consumed with having stuff. This does not bring God glory and traps our heart. Stuff in itself is not bad. A couch is a comfortable spot to sit and write my random thoughts on this blog. Some stuff is necessary, even nomadic tribes and ascetic monks have some stuff. But what happens when a single person has too much stuff? They get comfortable, sated, complacent, immovable. Being comfortable and content isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when that is valued more or keeps a person from following God's leading it isn't a healthy place to be. I recognize that I am getting closer to that line than I would like; my comfortableness is making me uncomfortable.

As I talked with a friend last night, sharing a budding idea about moving, she asked in dismay, "You have such a great home. You would give up all of this?" I realize it is a very un-American attitude to think of selling my home, most of my possessions, pick up roots. Yet I don't want to be so comfortable that when God says, "Go!" that I stammer with excuses of being comfortable, settled, and unable to obey. My answer to the question from my friend, "You would giver up all of this?" was - "Absolutely." A conviction doesn't mean it will be done easily. I have many fine things that I inherited from my paternal grandmother, items I have never once used - they don't fit my lifestyle, but they are my connection to grandparents I hardly knew, a substitute for the relationship that wasn't there. I also have items from my maternal grandmother, not quite as fine but greater treasures because of the dear relationship with my grandparents. Passing these things along will not be easy, heart-wrenching actually as I have made them a substitute for the person they represent. Since I am not moving imminently, those items will be held on to for a little longer. I want to use the gold filigree Wedgewood demitasse cups at least once before I sell them.

Many other things have no connection to relatives that are just taking up space and weighing me down. Taking inspiration and a cue from my brother, I'm starting a purging process. Making room for something new in my life. Ironically, my new House Beautiful magazine arrived this weekend and the theme is 'small living' and each article talks about paring down to the essentials, small spaces needing to be uncluttered. How nice of God to send me another source of inspiration and instructions. I better wrap this up, I've got work to do!