Wednesday, June 30, 2004

72 minutes on the treadmill. It's amazing how time flies when you've got a TV in front of you. At first I didn't think things were going to go so well because one of the girls occupying the other treadmill had Sex In the City blasting on a TV and it was more than I could bear. I mean, it was Okay, okay, so the show should be about sex because it's in the name, but c'mon! This show was a big hit?? It must've been a big hit among the women who find romance novels entertaining--as he slowly walked across the room, she could see his deep, piercing green eyes evading hers. It was as if in a dream, yet she knew in her heart he felt the same way--c'mon!!! Anyone can write that junk! I just can't believe some people find substance in that show...meanwhile I was blasting my No Doubt's hits album on my CD player--yes, we Christians listen to secular music from time to time.
Anyway, so I met my goal tonight and I'm feeling pretty dang good...pretty dang tired, but pretty good.
So on to things of more substance...
Since I have no accountability partner, I'm going to journal things to myself knowing others are reading this so in essence, I have not only an accountability partner, I have an accountability club. Would you agree?
I've been trying to read my Bible more, pray and get a little more centered and balanced like the "old Jen" used to be. It's not that I've changed drastically, but it's amazing how your routine is thrown off in a matter of months and this is all about priorities. Being in a relationship is truly a great blessing from God and to find the person you're going to spend the rest of your life with, well, all I can say is that I couldn't be happier if I tried. However, just like anything else, it's all about balance and moderation and I know I haven't done a good job of that and God has really been speaking into my heart about it. And man, when it rains, it pours! God's also been speaking to me about temptations (in my Purpose Driven Life book), money (Acts)and faith (Acts). I want so badly to be what God wants me to be, to make the right choices every time, but man, I suck at being a Christian sometimes, you know?
I was listening to an Christian AM station this morning here in Tucson and Tony Evans was speaking at a Promise Keepers convention in 1995 in LA. He was so passionate about motivating the men to live for God, use what they're doing--their jobs--and look at it as being a messenger and be bold, not a closet-Christian or a "secret agent Christian." Later, James Dobson was saying that the one complaint he always heard from the women he spoke with was that they wished their husbands would be the spiritual leaders of the household that they were meant to be. How beautiful it is to see a family that is in balance with what God wants for them to do! I can't tell you how many families in my church just make me want to cry with joy to see how they love and support one another, and how the husband and wife function as the spiritual role models and really support one another in that way with the kids and their relationships.
I think it's so easy in this stage that I'm in, to just be so wrapped up in my "new" love that I forget about my forever true love, Jesus Christ. I mean, if something were to happen, Christ would always be there. So anyway, I've been convicted about my dependency on God and my faithfulness to God in this stage and even after in my marriage.

Let me drink your water of Life,
Let me sit near your throne in awe,
Let me pour out my tears on your feet,
And wipe them dry with my hair.
Let me give all that I have to you in my life,
And serve you with all that I have.

Let me fall in love with my Creator again,
Let your mercies cascade over me.
Let me come into your presence,
arms open wide
As you embrace me and hold me,
to your side.

I know I have deliberately disobeyed You
I know that I've spat in your face
I know that I've ignored your Words
When you spoke them deep into my heart.
I know you've had a great plan for me
You've whispered it into my life
And the times that I've turned and run from you
I only needed one step back to see

You're the one who I fell in love with years ago
And you're the one who's always been there
And whenever I turn and run from you
All that it takes is my prayer.

I've cried at your altar,
I've cried in the dark
I've cried for no reason
But for the burden on my heart.
I give you this pain,
This uneasiness, this worry
I give you this helplessness
This hunger, this yearning.
You've known it since the day that it became
And you'll know it on the day that it was.

Some people are driven to drink. I'm driven to chocolate.
I've been trying to be good in my eating and exercising regiment--very limited sweets, if any, more veggies, etc and I've been doing really really well. But then the topic of the number of guests that can be at the wedding reception comes into play, and the limited amount of money, and all the things I need to check on by a deadline that has been set for me--July-something; and I head for the vending machines.
Interesting that a small bag of Hershey's milk chocolate kisses can calm my didn't hurt that my pay check also came in and I was able to get up and talk with a few coworkers. But gosh, thank goodness God gave me an afinity for chocolate instead of alcohol or man would I be in trouble!!!
Tonight it will be an hour on the treadmill...

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

This article worries me a bit.
As a journalist I worry about free speech. Obviously we want it greatly so we can tell the truth to people and what's out there. But I also wonder if our Supreme Court takes it too far. I mean, people peddling pornography to children can be protected by their right to free speech? It's heartbreaking. They're poisoning children and are going to be protected? That's not fair!
As a woman, I am completely and utterly offended by pornography and the fact that our Christian (and non) men are exposed to the temptation everyday. The images of half-naked women are continuing to be plastered across magazines, walls in shopping centers, across the TV and even on the little girls shopping at Abercrombie. WHY????? I'm jealous. I don't want my guy or anyone else's guy looking at other women and I can't believe that we would not ban this from the sight of our next generation. The younger they're exposed to this sexual immorality, the more it is going to cling to them in their futures. Who can even get on the Internet anymore without seeing popups advertising these sorts of things. I am sick to my stomach by this issue of pornography. It grieves me and I hate it. Why would you look at someone else? Why? And start kids out at a young age? What about my future daughter? Will I have to worry about her boyfriend looking at pornography, even if he's a good little Christian boy? It's not fair. Our eyes take in so much these days and everyone knows how lust can capture someone's attention; especially guys, not to say girls can't have a problem with it. If we don't do something about this now, what about our future generations?
I think what it comes down to is this: the Supreme Court seems to take an edge to being politically correct nowadays and the fact that every person determines what is right or true for them (which may not be the same as someone else) contributes to that. Our standards in this country have changed because of so many contributing factors and it's just so..heartbreaking, there's no other word for it, that we can't stand up and say unanimously "that is wrong." I wonder if we were to poll a majority in America if we would get a response from people that that is wrong and should be banned--pornography from the eyes of our children. But if we're not allowing their eyes to see it, why should we let adults? How does it benefit anyone? But when will their opinions change about kids not seeing pornography? When the generations do. And what are we teaching our future generations? Political correctness, relative morality, tolerance(not bad all the time).
What would the Court do if much of society said pornography was wrong? Would they still turn to the Constitution and say that that is the ultimate determinant of what goes in our country? For the people, by the people--but which people?
The more we take God out of our schools, our conduct and our country, the more these types of things are going to happen. It just saddens me because I look at the state of the country now, even with a Christian President at the helm, who speaks of God openly like Reagan did, but now 20 years later, there's an uproar about it. I was watching a memorial segment with Tom Brokaw shortly after finding out Reagan had died and he asked Reagan's historian this question: Former President Reagan always spoke of God, whether it was "God bless America" at the end of a speech or even quoting scripture and he didn't seem to get the same backlash as the current president,is that true?" Reagan's historian replied that it was true, Reagan didn't get the same response.
Now, I know I was only a baby when Reagan was President, however, if that is true (and I have since heard some of Reagan's speeches and the religious overtones he used throughout them), then this society has grown even more intolerant to God and religion--in only 20 years! What's going to happen when my future children are teenagers 20 years from now???
I can only pray that my generation, the so-called "Joshua generation" can rise up against this trend. But then again, how many of my neighbors will be living the "alternative lifestyle" raising children right next door to me? Will I need to worry about my daughter or son walking home from school and worry he/she may be nabbed by another child predator? Can I even safely send my children to school without the fear of a deranged teenager pulling a gun out and repeating Columbine? Will I need to worry about getting on a plane or walking into a large building or opening my mail or traveling overseas? Or spreading the good news?
The future will only continue on in the way we allow it, therefore it is up to us to determine what we want it to consist of.
Tolerance? Freedom to express inappropriate lusts through images of children and women or men? Very sobering to think of...

Monday, June 28, 2004

Again, the Internet has been down for the last few days. Que terrible! Very frustrating. When my connection with the outside world is lost, man is it not fun. Anyway, just got off of work a bit ago. It was a very nice day because I just had a short brief to work on and tied up a few loose ends with another story. I also played around on-line in the down time looking at wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses and the sort. It's hard to pick the right colors!!! I don't know what I'm going to do. Let me know if you have any color combination suggestions. Although Obadiah might be opposed, I love pink and champagne--so a main color that would be springy and match would be good. Brain storm for me people...
What else? Well, after reading several bridal magazines, I realize that I need to really whip myself into shape. I mean, I'm not in terrible shape, but dangit, I wanna look good on our wedding day! :) So fun times for me--I'll be staying away from the sweets as much as possible, though I've already failed today (I ate a chocolate chip cookie, nevermind the size of it--but I ate a salad to counterbalance it!). Food. Food sux. I wish we didn't have to eat--it seems like such a waste of time and money--then we'd also never have to worry about being gluttonous, you know? Well, at least I wouldn't--I just like food way too much. The more I like it, the more I have to run, which I've been doing by the way...
So that's my ongoing saga with what is commonly referred to as "the battle" (I'd say "bulge," but the task of losing a little bit of extra body fat doesn't seem so "bulgy" to me...).
Happy day, it rained yesterday and the clouds are building in a grey sky to the east. Yesterday was crazy. Lightning and thunder and tons of wind--oh it was so nice! I absolutely loved it! Rain is great. Especially in the desert. There's nothing like the smell of rain in the desert--that musty, dusty, I-can't-put-my-finger-on-that-smell smell. You know what I mean if you live here. If not, you should move here because Arizona's great.
Anyway, what else? Hmm...I had something else. Oh! The 4th of July weekend. Well, my friend Chelsea needs a place to stay Friday night, so I'm going to stick around here for that, then Obadiah's probably going to come visit me on Saturday and spend the day with me, and my friend the intern, Lynn, is working Saturday day. I think what we've planned now is Lynn is going to come up to Phoenix with me, stay with me and we'll go to a BBQ and fireworks with my parents and maybe ditch out to hang out with some of the college people. WHO'S HAVING A SCHINDIG? I know there'll be a youth group party, but aside from that? We'll have to figure it out. Let me know if anyone will be up for a late night hang out on Sunday night since most people dont' have to go to work the next day--well, most people except us INTERNS! Yes, I have to work Monday afternoon/night. From 2pm until 11pm I'll be working the cops shift. Pray that people are just hung over and staying home for the evening, PLEASE! No homocides or people falling down elevator shafts and getting crushed by the ensuing cart--this really happened today. I guess a guy fell down the shaft, elevator hit him, he was swung up onto the top of the cart and then the people inside saw blood dripping from the ceiling. Crazy huh? Pretty bad and unbelievable that something like that happened. Anyway, Jen wants none of that on her shift...
Well, I think I've babbled for long enough. I'm getting into my Bible more (finally!) and have once again picked up my Left Behind book and the Purpose Driven Life book so hopefully those will be finished this summer and I'll have some spiritual growth to show from it. (not that growth comes directly from a book mind you)
Toodles from Tucson!
P.S. Worship leader on Sunday had us sing "Praise Him" by the David Crowder Band. What an awesome worship song it is! Ohhhohhh Praaaiissee Hiimmm... 0:)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Internet is back up again and it's 11 o'clock at night. I just got home from the "cop shop," which is basically a newspaper/media office located in the downtown police station. That's where the reporters camp out at computers and next to phones getting info from various sources. Anyhoo, it was my first night shift training session and it was boring at first, but then it picked up for the last few hours. Picture this...
At 8:30 we get a call about an officer-involved shooting. We get the address and I follow the other reporter in my car. It's raining. The air has that musty smell, but it's the unique smell of the desert during a rainstorm..can't really explain it, but you know what I'm talking about. The PIO gave us the wrong address, so we spend 10 minutes circling the block to no avail. Raining more.
We finally get the right address, get to the scene, only to find out that we won't hear anything for a while. I check my trunk and for the first time in I don't know how long, I hear myself blurt out "Thank God!" at the sight of my bright red umbrella. Was that a praise or was that in vain? I don't know, maybe a mixture of both...
We go back to the station, all the while Eric is calling a highway patrol person getting info on a serious rollover accident on the West Side. Man was apparently drunk, ejected from his vehicle which subsequently rolled over him. He has massive head injuries, and from what we can tell, he's not expected to recover.
Is it wrong to get a thrill out of the news? My heart just aches like no other when I hear these things, yet the journalist inside of me is jumping out of my skin from the adrenaline rush. I'm still nervous, very nervous in fact, to cover a shift by myself. I found out today that my first one will be this Friday from 9am to 2 pm. Alone. What are they thinking???
Anyway, go figure, I write all day long and then I come home and I sit and write some more. I suppose that just shows my love for communicating.
Aside from that, I've been working on an article for the last week and finally sat down and spent a good 5 hours writing it yesterday. My editor loves the lede, which is definitely the most important thing to me. There's nothing more frustrating than having to change your lede because it feels like you're having to do plastic surgery on your baby. Well, maybe not, but it's not fun. So I'm happy she liked it. The rest of the story just needs some more organizational tweaking here and there and it'll be good to go. Meanwhile I have another story in the works that I'm not thrilled with, only because it's outdated news that my editors are just scrapping together at the last moment to fill space. Who do they get to write it? The intern. But I'm not complaining, really. I'd rather have SOMETHING to do rather than NOTHING.
Okay, so I should probably stop blabbing on and on, but I'll leave you with my poem I wanted to post last night before I discovered that my Internet was down.

Always There 6/22/04

You ask me to follow you,
Yet I pick my own path,
You ask me to listen,
And I shrug off your wrath.
Daughter of a king,
Blessed with it all,
I often times take it for granted,
So often betray you in ways so small.
But no matter how I dismiss it,
No matter how I try,
I always end up at your feet,
Groveling and apologizing as I cry.
Red-rimmed eyes, shining with tears,
You cup my face in your hands, scars in all,
And tell me no sin is ever small.
It's so easy to categorize,
To compare my deeds to my brother,
Deemphasize what I've done and instead focus on him,
Take the focus away from me and put it on another.

But you see me,
You see into my heart,
You know the deeds I've done,
You've been there from the start.
You knit me in my mother's womb,
You lovingly placed me in their arms,
You taught me how to love,
And how to watch for the world's charms.
You've always been my daddy,
My Creator and my friend,
Though I've not always been faithful,
You're faithful to the end.

I promise that come high waters or storms,
You will always be the one to whom I cling,
Help me now to learn how to serve you,
To invest time into our relationship rather than just a meaningless fling.
You're in it for the long haul,
Forever traveling with me,
No matter where I go,
It's me you'll always see.
I can try to hide in the garden,
I can try to escape by ship,
But you'll always know,
Every time that I slip.
And every time that I do,
You'll be right there,
Helping me off of my knees,
While I'm shaking, raw and bare.

Toodles from Tucson!

Sorry it's taking me a while to write--Internet's down at the apartment complex. I'll write a nice long one and update you on what's been going on as soon as it's back up and running. Work's a little too busy at the moment to be blogging. Gtg!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Wow...I guess I've been a little busy lately. Well, I'm still waiting on something to do today. Things are really slow and I'm not sure if it's because my editor just doesn't have anything for me to do or what, but oh well. Four more hours of work. I think that probably bothers me the most--I'm getting paid for doing nothing. I mean, you would think that would be good, but I think if you're going to pay me for doing nothing, let me go do something I want to do--like go shopping. Even if I can't really buy anything right now, still, at least I'd be doing something and not just sitting here staring at a computer screen all day long, trying to find something to do.
I have two stories in the works right now, but I'm waiting on contact with a few people. That's definitely what stinks about newspaper reporting, you're just waiting on people to call you back a good portion of the time...
Well, the wedding preparation pinch is just beginning for us. This weekend was a weekend of talking about caterers, decorations, dresses, times, dates, blah blah blah. We did a catering tasting on Friday and that went well. We're just waiting on the "numbers" now. I think the hardest thing about this whole wedding thing is that we are so limited on how many people can spend time with us at the reception after the wedding. It really stinks. I guess I just don't want my wedding to end up being this "party" where all of the people attending are relatives. I want my friends there, but then you have to decide which friends to invite over which friends, if we can even invite kids to the reception (of course you don't want kids running amuk in the reception hall or even getting loose outside and getting into the lagoon or the pool or something) and that brings in the whole issue of parents we want to invite. I know that parents won't have as good of a time if they have to watch their kids...I don't know...then you've got the dynamic of me wanting to invite the two boys (almost 12 and 10) I've watched for forever and the flower girl and then not inviting other kids and having other parents who are invited to the reception getting mad because they couldn't bring their kids....:sigh: It's just so freakin' complicated in that we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but we know it's going to happen...Eloping is seriously looking more appealing, however, the biggest, most important thing about getting married (aside from marrying my best friend, of course) is having those I love there to celebrate the day. I want my grandparents from Maine there. I want my closest friends there. I want close family friends there. Anyway, I'm sure this won't be the last you here from me and my griping about the wedding invitation list...
What else? Well, I'm looking forward to wedding dress hunting one of these days, although my mom's already gone without me. Quite interesting if you ask me, but whatever, parents are just inherently "different," right? Someday I'll be "different" too...oh goody.
:Sigh: I'm so bored. What else can I do here, I have no idea.
Went to college group Friday and I'm so incredibly happy I was able to go. It was nice to see a good portion of the group and then hang out later. I loved being home, although living out of a suitcase is getting a little old. However, that won't be happening again any time soon. I probably won't be going back to Phoenix again during this internship, but I guess we'll see what happens with everything. From what I gather, they'll really be using us in the month of July. It's good to be the intern.
I'll call it quits for now...later!
Toodles from Tucson!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Hey kids!
Sorry it's been a little while since I've blogged. It's been pretty busy since I got back from my weekend jaunt to Phoenix, which was much needed, by the way. There's something about being able to get back home--even just driving into Mesa I was feeling relieved. However, I have to say that I am getting very used to this place in terms of knowing where things are located.
Today I worked on a kids group visiting a local fire station. Not exactly hard-hitting news, but I'll take it. It did make me miss working with the kids though and just hearing all of the cute things they were saying was precious. The kids were trying on the firefighter's uniforms. I'm sure you can picture it, but these little boys were putting on the fireman pants with the suspenders, the butt of the pants was down at their knees, the extra pooled around their little feet. Then one of them put on the fireman's hat--backwards! It was too adorable! It was fun just interacting with them and asking them questions about what they learned while they were there. Cutie pies.
So yes, I miss my summer job with the boys. :) Hi guys if you read this...
In other news, just keeping busy with many stories and, I will be back up this weekend! Yippee! We've got a catering tasting tomorrow evening before college group, then we have college group and then I think we're playing volleyball at our house--well, it's Obadiah's now at least, but it's kinda mine too...
I'm looking forward to being with my dad on Father's Day, but it's sort of bittersweet because while I'm celebrating, my best friend will be grieving. Her dad just died right before I came down here so it'll be the first one without him. I can't even imagine. Father's Day has taken on a different meaning to me since my dad's heart attack back when I was 18. He was once Superman, but that day he turned human. So take advantage of every day with your dad because you honestly never know...
See you tomorrow kids!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

It's Saturday and I'll soon (relatively speaking) be home! Two stories to cover...
Today's article made it into the "A" section right next to a bunch of top stories, so I'm really excited about that. Here's the link...

Hope everyone's doing well!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Good morning all!
Well, my story was going to run today, but they decided to leave it for tomorrow, however, it is making it into section A--I guess anything on Reagan right now makes it there--whoohoo for me! It's actually a pretty good story though, if I do say so myself. So watch for posts tomorrow...
Today I'll be reporting on a new class being offered at UA, which I actually enterprised and pitched. My editor loved the idea, so I'm getting out there today. Fortunately summer school is going on, so I'll be able to ask students on campus if they would consider taking the class in the fall. Kind of fun. So that will probably run tomorrow also.
What else? Well, tonight we'll go see the Sidewinders. I'm not much for baseball games, however, it's something to do.
I'm proud to report that I followed through with what I thought I might do yesterday evening. After dinner, I went running again, same exact distance, which I think is 4 miles round trip. Basically I ran for an hour yesterday for however long the distance was. Then I went to the workout room to lift weights and stretch and ran into a girl there that I'd seen running on the treadmill the other night. Normally I wouldn't just ask any girl running on a treadmill if she'd like to go running sometime, but she looked like she had been running on the treadmill at a decent pace for quite a while so I figured it might work. So we're going to go running next Friday morning. I'm not sure what pace she runs at, but she says it's around 10 minute miles. So we'll see how that goes. Better to have a partner than no one right? Although I have to say I've been having a pretty good time running by myself just because the surroundings are new and different. Just gotta crank my CD player, which also has a radio, and just go. So yesterday was a very good work out day.
This Wednesday I think I'm going to do an activity with my editor. I found out the other day that she used to do cross country, covered it a lot a few years ago and still runs pretty frequently. She also ran the Boston Marathon a little while back. Pretty cool...anyway, so we may go running together sometime and she also has dogs, so we may take them running. Wednesday there's this thing that goes on called an Aquathon where you swim a 1/2 mile and then run 3 miles. I guess she says about 60 people usually do it, so it would add some variety to my work out routine. I won't be able to do it very often because it costs $5 a pop, but we'll see.
So that's about it for me today. Hope everyone's doing well and maybe I'll see some of you this weekend.
Toodles from Tucson!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hello everyone...
Well, it looks like it's going to be a busy next couple of days for me. I'm going to work on a story tomorrow (hopefully the people will call me back), then I'll have TWO stories to report on Saturday. Fortunately, only one of the stories is due that night and will run on Monday. The other one will run on Thursday. I also have 2 other stories in the works now, and I reported and wrote a story today. PHEW...I really enjoy doing this though. The busier, the better for me. It keeps me from having too much time to dwell on feelings of homesickness.
Speaking of home, I'll be back Sunday for a bridal show, then Monday I have an eye appointment, lunch with Obadiah, hopefully some time with my sister, dinner with my dad and hopefully more time with Obadiah. Tuesday I don't have to be back in town until around one because I'm doing the "cop shop" shift from 2-11pm. I'm a little nervous only because I haven't had to cover a cop story by myself yet. I'm so worried that I'll end up driving to the wrong place and totally missing something! Oh well, I guess we'll see. They say Mondays are pretty slow for crime...probably because criminals are too tired from the weekend, or so I speculate. It would make the most sense to me at least...
This morning's run was just great. The weather was in the 60s and the high today was like 92. It was a beautiful day. So beautiful in fact, I may go running again after my food settles a bit.
Tomorrow night the other intern, Lynn, and I may go to a Sidewinders game. It should be interesting because it's "Military night" and since there's a base really close by, I wouldn't be surprised to see a bunch of guys there tomorrow. I've also found out that Shaun Groves (one of my favorite Christian artists) is coming to Tucson on July 10th. Might be cool to see him play if I don't have to work. The only bummer is that it's $15 general admission. Can you believe that? That's a lot of money--seems like more than usual for a Christian concert. I don't know, maybe the venue is small. The other thing, really funny, if you do the "gold circle" for an extra $5, you get dessert and coffee--ooo la la!
Hmm...what else? Well, my bout with shopping is increasingly better. I haven't been shopping for things that aren't necessary all week long. I went to the grocery store yesterday and could've bought a magazine, but instead I only bought 2 gallons of water and some low fat ice cream sandwiches...which are really yogurt sandwiches, but for some reason that just doesn't seem as appealing. Anyway, those are my slightly sinful treat, though at 130 cal and 5 grams of fat, how much harm can they really do? Especially if you only eat 1. I have to say, eating 2 is quite tempting, but then I think of the treadmill (which I despise by the way, but put up with if I can't go out running by myself at night), and how much time it takes to burn off that amount of calories. I've decided what I need to do is start putting stickies on all my food so it says, instead of calories, how long I'd need to run on the treadmill to burn it off. That might stave off my cravings for a bit...or get me running more, whichever comes first!
Well, I think I've tired of all of my cleverness for the day. Off to find something productive to do without my roommate (her boyfriend's back in town now).
Toodles from Tucson!

Here's the latest article link:

If you have time, check out some of the other articles on was a really good news day yesterday. Yesterday proved to me that even in a "small town" like Tucson (even though it's not a town...), "big city" news does happen.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

My bubble has officially been popped. I have to work on Saturday. But, my editor says I have Monday off, oh goodie, while everyone else is at work. This sucks. I'm so upset right now. I was so looking forward to seeing everyone on Friday and Saturday. Obadiah, can you ask for Monday off??? :( This sucks.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Hellooooo! BIG news! I'm coming home this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoohoooo! I'm so happy! Obadiah and I are probably going to head out to college group Friday and then spend all day and night (well, most of the night, not all of the night) together, go see my dad sometime this weekend and see my sister somewhere in that equation as well, but that all depends on both of their schedules. Sunday I'm going to a bridal expo in Phx with my future mother-in-law who is fabulous I have to tell you. I'm glad I'm not ending up with the stereotypical mother-in-law. But then again, what are stereotypes anyway?
So I'm really excited about that. I'll have a homicide update story coming out tomorrow in the paper, and then on Thursday I have another story coming out on some kids who did volunteer work and won an award from Kohl's. Pretty simple stuff.
Tonight I got my butt out of the apartment and worked out in the work out room here. It's nice, but it doesn't have free weights which I really like more than anything. You get a better tone from free weights, if you ask me. Someday I hope I can get a nice set of free weights--forget the big weight machine. I just need 5, 8, 10, 15 and 20 pound weight sets and I'll be good to go. Someday :sigh: but I've been looking at my up and coming bills versus what I'll be making and kids, it ain't pretty. Man it's expensive to be here, even if I'm living here "cheaply." When you're making about $1475 a month and have bills that total $965, but want to save $1,000 this summer...there's practically no wiggle room there. Yikes. So I guess we'll see how everything works out, but so far I have determined that bill suck. They eat up all of your money! When do you get to have fun shopping? NEVER!!! Unless you enjoy grocery shopping, but all I can think of when I'm grocery shopping is "what's going to be good for me and where's the generic brand so it's not so blasted expensive?" That's not very much fun. Plus, what you spent your money on goes away very quickly. Maybe I should just start eating less...beneficial in so many ways, no? :) Yah right, I like food way too much...
I can't wait until Friday!!! Whoohoo! The weekend is going to fly by, but I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone it just doesn't matter. I seriously contemplated driving up on Saturday just to spend a few hours with anyone, but then I figured I'd be coming home soon, so I should just wait it out. It's a good thing: between the extra expense and my lack of money.....yah, just a smart idea.
I'm so awake now. Maybe working out wasn't a smart idea. But I'm sure that after I jump into the shower I'll wind down. Guess I should go do that now. Only 3 more days of work left--tomorrow's in the "cop shop" again and then who knows!
Toodles from Tucson!

I'm sooooo frustrated! My article came out in this morning's paper and my editor or a copy editor changed a few things in it so it made some of my statements inaccurate and made the Indian Center seem like it's an Indian Clinic and those two things were talked about separately. I'm sooooooooooooo frustrated! It makes me look like an idiot, especially to the people I interviewed. Even if a correction is run, people who read this today will have a completely different understanding of the Indian Center and most probably don't even look at the corrections section. Grrrrr....
So here's the link anyway, though I'd rather not post it because I'm frustrated that two facts were changed in the very top grafs...

Monday, June 07, 2004

Today has been crazy. I'm not quite off of work yet, but I'm pretty close. I finished up my story today so that will run tomorrow. I also started another one today which I'm going to continue to work on and finish by Wednesday so it can run on Thursday. Tomorrow I'm training to understand how to do the cops, so I'll be downtown all day long. I'll probably be doing that for most of the week, so we'll see how that goes.
Right now I'm just exhausted. Chelsea and I talked for forever last night so I'm totally dragging today. Oh well, what can you do?
So that's my life for today..
Toodles from Tucson!

Finally, my mammogram story made it in the paper after about a week. Here's the website...

...who knows what's on tap today...

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Last night I went looking for churches on-line and found one that wasn't far from the apartment and looked pretty cool. I knew it was going to be okay just by the fact that the worship leader said that U2 was the greatest band on the planet and that Bono had a strong impact on the world or something like that. It reminded me of home and our pastor Ben.
I went this morning and it started like any normal church service; with worship time. We sang two songs that I didn't know, but also "God of Wonders" and "Dwell." When we sang those two, it felt a little more like home and very comforting to me. The pastor got up to speak and the message was on lying and how it can turn a strong relationship to basically nothing. He started with a clip from "Liar Liar" where Jim Carrey takes his son out onto the playground at recess and tries to get him to "unwish" the wish he made that his father couldn't lie for a whole day. It was pretty cool. The pastor also works at Raytheon (?) which my dad has mentioned is big down here though I don't understand what that is aside from being engineer-oriented. He told a little anecdote about having to go through a lie detector test once at work, which was standard and the procedure for conducting the test. He was talking about how he had to face a wall when they asked him the questions and the last one was one that hadn't been on the paper he had filled out and the questioner asked him "Did you like meeting me today?" and the pastor blurted out "NO." He said after that it was sort of awkward, but the questioner said everyone said that so it was okay. But I think about that and think about God and how he always knows when we're not being truthful, when we're just hiding in the garden like Adam while God asks us "Where are you?"
Where are you. Where am I?
Sometimes it seems so easy to hide away from everything, to hide away inside of yourself, but God is always there and always knows the answers to each of your questions, even the ones you're not prepared to answer. He knows our thoughts, knows our intentions, knows our heart. And to think that inspite of all of those things, all of the negative thoughts that constantly pulse through my brain about myself, situation or others, inspite of my deliberate disobedience at times and inspite of my tendency to do what I want rather than what God wants, He still wants me because He knows where I am, even if I don't.

On my own,
Lying stark on the ground
Born for the world to see
Barely making a sound
Forehead to the floor
Face down
You see me in my weakness
You see me with my frown.
The hostility and emptiness
Is more than I can bear,
Listlessly waiting
For someone to care.
For the hand that moves me
For the comforting one
For someone to free me
For the settling peace...

...I also watched a movie today. It's a foreign flick with subtitles actually. It was the first movie out of Afghanistan since the Taliban regime collapsed. It chronicles the journey of one small family of a grandmother, mother and daughter who can't work because of the fact that they're female. But because there are no men in the home, they can't put bread on the table. So the grandmother gets this idea to disguise the little girl who's about 12 years old, as a boy so she can make money to be able to buy them food. The girl works for a while, but then is taken by the Taliban during a round-up of all of the little boys in the town. The boys have to attend a school where they're trained up to become Taliban members someday.
I won't tell you then end, however this movie was incredibly moving to me. It's called Osama (the name the girl takes as a boy) and it's just so horrible to see what these women had to endure in their lives with the Taliban running around. In one scene, a wedding party is being thrown and it's all women. They're singing and dancing and enjoying one another until someone says the Taliban is coming. They all throw on their required "garb" (looks like a ghost costume from Halloween. No skin shows, it's just a giant drape over you with very miniscule mesh breathing holes near the face area. You can't even tell who is under the garb) and the women instead kneel in a room and pretend to morn and wail as if a relative has died. Can you imagine? One minute you're celebrating and another you're mourning all because you can only be viewed in one way; lesser of the sexes.
So that's been my day. Chelsea will be coming over later...
Toodles from Tucson!

It's midnight and I just returned from hanging out with the other intern who is from Iowa. She's really cool and fortunately for me, has the same value system as me. It definitely makes things a lot easier in terms of going out. She wanted to check out a band her roommate had told her about, but when we got to the bar they were playing at, they weren't there. Guess they had the night off. Anyway, we got strawberry daiquiris anyway and sat and listened for a bit, but we felt a little out of place. We were probably the youngest in the bar by about 10 years at the very least. So then we got out of there and decided to go explore the town a bit.
We went to the "Mill Avenue" of Tucson (what a joke!) and walked around for like 10 minutes. It has a ways to go if it wants to compete with Tempe. Then we cruised a little more and I showed her where a few shopping spots were around where I lived. It was good to get out of the house because it kept my mind of the homesickness I've been dealing with in a major way. With any luck I'll be able to come up next weekend, but I still have to check on it. I'll for sure be able to come up on Father's Day weekend which I'm extremely happy about!
Tomorrow I'm going to try out a church and I have no idea if it's going to be good or not. It's your standard non-denomination, so we'll see. Hopefully it's not stuffy. Then Chelsea should be coming over sometime tomorrow though I don't know if it's afternoon or evening. But that'll be good to be with her even though she's going to be going through a tough time.
I'm off to bed--very very sleepy.
Toodles from Tucson!

Friday, June 04, 2004

I just got back from the college and career group for Calvary Chapel Tucson and I'm sadly disappointed. I mean, I don't think I put unreasonable expectations on the group or anything, but it just wasn't home. The worship music felt dead, it felt like my old church where you just prayed the next song would end faster than the one before it. I was still able to get something out of it, but it just seemed to lack the passion. The college group Bible study felt sort of the same. I really want to be challenged into digging deeper, that there will be others there who are spiritually more astute than I at looking into the Word. Sure, there were a few, but it just wasn't the same. And I know that it won't and I was trying my hardest to get past the differences, I mean, I still related to them as my brothers and sisters in Christ, but something just felt like it was missing and I don't think it was just my wonderful church family. I can't really pinpoint it. Anyway, I left there a little bummed out and I still am, but more so because I saw everyone in the group and some of them sort of reminded me of some of our group members, which made me more homesick. I wish I could've been home for Bible study. I was so excited about the group starting again and got so much out of it.
I don't have to work this weekend and I guess my friend Chelsea's going to be down Sunday so tomorrow's pretty much wide open for me. It'll be good though. I'm sort of looking forward to it, yet dreading it at the same time. My first weekend without anyone.
This reminds me of all the times I reassured myself that I could handle being away from everything. The times I wished I could just escape from everything altogether and just be with me and God. My wish has been granted, for the most part and I'm realizing how much dependency was actually there that I hadn't realized. It may seem naive or whatever, but I really didn't think I'd be missing everything as much as I am now. Then again, how do you ever really know until you're put in the situation?
All I can write for my "clincher" is this: pray for me. Pray for my ultimate and complete dependence on God in this time for my source of comfort. Pray for me and my use of the time God has given me and pray that I'll be constructive with it for my own spiritual growth. Please continue to also pray for Obadiah and I as our wedding day approaches. Though it seems far away now, I know that this time is vital for us individually and together to grow so we can be the husband and wife team that God wants us to be for his kingdom. Thank you so much for your prayers. You're in mine as well.
Toodles from Tucson.

In a world of mass confusion
Things could be different
For victory over defeat
Wisdom will overcome temptation
I will pray.
Will you save?
Please answer my cries.

It's 11 o'clock in the morning on a Friday and my schedule is unknown. Fridays are usually joyous occasions where you look forward to Saturday because you don't have to work, but I still have no idea what my schedule is like so I don't even know if I'm working tomorrow or not. Interesting huh? Also, my next story to report doesn't even begin until about 3:30 and goes until 4:30, then I have to get back to the newsroom and write my story and get it in by about 6 p.m. So basically I have nothing to do until 3:30. I could've slept in and worked out and read and THEN come into work. Instead I am sitting here at a desk doing nothing. Oh well, no biggie...
I've been reading our paper and it's amazing the kinds of stories that we circulate. Two days ago a truck full of illegal immigrants veered of the I-10 and crashed off the side. Eight illegals were in the cab while 12 more were in the bed, covered by a tarp. 6 were returned to Mexico, 3 were killed and the others were injured and taken to the hospital. Illegal immigration is such a complicated issue for me. On the one hand I see these people who desperately want to be able to take better care of their families who live in a 3rd world country right next door to the most prosperous nation in the world. I see their honest desire to help their families. On the other hand, you also read stories of illegal immigrants smuggling pot over the border, stealing trucks from Scottsdale and increasing gang activity in the city. The issue is so complex and you know there are two sides to it; the people who come here with good intentions, but still end up costing the American public and the others who just want to make money at whatever cost. Either way, we're doing something wrong here whether it's legislation or otherwise. Then again, I just read in the paper today that a bunch of Jamaican nationals were caught with a ton of pot in a rented house and $700,000 in cash. What about them? From everthing I can tell, our borders are not as secure as they should be. Whether or not people come here with good or mal intentions, I do believe they should go about it the legal way, but clearly, that isn't working for us.
Anyway, those are my thoughts at the moment. I have to say it has been really cool to know a good amount of Spanish down here and listen to the radio stations. I actually found a Spanish Christian station yesterday and have been listening to it. Right now they're having their K-Love-esque pledge-of-support time. It's just so awesome to me to hear another culture preaching the love of Christ. The station broadcasts into Mexico and many of the callers were calling from Mexico; Cuernevaca, Monterrey, etc. That was really encouraging to me.
Well, keep me in your prayers, keep my best friend in your prayers, keep my roommate in your prayers and keep me posted on anything going on in Phx.
Toodles from Tucson!

My article came out in today's paper in the Tucson/Regional Section which can be found on-line at Here's the link:

Thursday, June 03, 2004

It's 11 o'clock at night and I'm tired, but tonight was good. Earlier this evening, Sarah (my roommate) came home and we talked a bit. Her boyfriend went back to Illinois for a little while, so she was just going to go over to the mall to look at something. I offered to go with and so we did. We had a great time shopping together (yes I bought one thing, a $13 shirt) and then we came back to the apartment and started chatting. We talked about a lot of things we both struggle with and it was nice to talk to someone I could relate so well to. I think it's possible, if I see her more often, that we could try keeping each other accountable with the Bible. She's not sure where hers is at the moment, but she said she definitely needed to get back into it. She had a great head on her shoulders and appearances certainly aren't as they seem in that situation. I understand where she's coming from on many accounts...The other interesting thing I found out is that she loves Sleeping Beauty. Crazy because that is my all-time favorite character...she's even collected some of the dolls, just like me! So the parallels are endless and we're getting along great. I think if I saw her more often we could become really great friends.
That was fun tonight, although I had to call Obadiah back after all of that was over and by that time he was already foggy from being asleep for a little while. So he basically dozed off on me for a few seconds until I asked if he was still there about 5 times :) I felt bad about waking him up, but I just feel better hearing the sound of his voice. It just feels like it's one of those really busy weeks during school where I have a ton of commitments and he has a ton of commitments and we just don't have the time to spend together. The difference there is that I know it will be at least 2 more weeks until I see him if I'm extremely lucky.
Today was good at work. I covered a story about a house that had been historically preserved in the presidio downtown area. I interviewed the main archaeologist who dug up everything from Hohokam pottery and human remains to a love letter from the 60s. That part was definitely interesting. It was also interesting to see how they restored many of the existing walls that are made of a very delicate adobe material. The walls were basically crumbling at the seems. OH, before i forget, it will be on starnet tomorrow and in the paper tomorrow! Whoohoo! My mammopad article will be out on Saturday instead.
Tomorrow's article will be on the Tucson Indian Center moving to the downtown area. We'll see what that's all about. I love being able to be snoopy for a living! It's so much fun. You pretty much have every right to ask whatever question you want to know and I think that's great!
Well I better get to bed. It's getting more difficult to type now.
Toodles from Tucson!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Okay, so I had to write another entry because I just saw the comments my boys and Cela left me this afternoon. I hadn't really gotten sad in the last few days, but oh how that touched my heart. I miss being around the boys so much; playing 100 games of a row! Building forts, teasing each other with water balloons, even playing fetch or going on walks with Rebel, their dog. I definitely miss interaction here. You can't imagine what it's like to go from living with your sister and seeing her every now and again and spending time talking to her, and then rooming with someone whom you rarely ever see and when you do, there's very little interaction. I got so excited when I was driving in from the grocery store this evening and thought I recognized my roommates red Jeep Liberty. She pulled into her usual spot and I pulled into mine. I even got out and waved at her...then I noticed that it wasn't her car..and it wasn't her! Slightly embarrassing, but more so was the realization that I missed someone I hardly even know. Being on my own here has its advantages. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, but what's the point when you haven't anyone to share it with? Phone calls and e-mails are mediocre methods of communication, but I'll take what I can get.
Anyway, I miss my boys and I miss Cela and I miss my friends and family and I just wish that I could have what I wanted and have the best of both worlds. So what do you say, everyone? Want to come and move down to Tucson for the summer with me?

The day only got better from 10:30 on, no kidding. I actually got my first assignment! How cool is that? Tucson Breast Center had the first MammoPad available. It's supposed to reduce the discomfort associated with mammograms. The story was going to run tomorrow, but now it's scheduled for Friday. I also started working on another story which I'll cover tomorrow morning at 9:30. Fun huh? I worked from 10:30 all the way to 6:00 p.m., no lunch break, just grabbing my half sandwich here and there and a bite of apple here and there. It was so great! I left work practically skipping! Seriously, I know it'll get harder, but I really enjoyed doing the work. It's amazing that I'm getting paid for something I enjoy doing AND something I paid for and spent so much time doing two semesters ago (JMC 301 Reporting). So I'll get my first official by-line Friday morning on the front section (I believe)of the features "Accents" page. It'll also be up on azstarnet. Whoohoo!!!!!
On a different note, I drove over to the Tucson mall, less than a mile away from my apartment, to pay my Express bill (the card is going in the trash as soon as I can get it there). Anyway, wouldn't you know it, I had to pass through Dillard's first and boy was it depressing! I walked out of the mall in a near panic because I just couldn't be around the clothes and shoes and cute stuff anymore. I can't buy anything right now. I need to be good with my money and shopping is seriously like a drug to me, I'm realizing. No, I haven't wasted my life away on spending sprees, I've actually never really gone overboard, but it seems like I've reached this realization that I seem to get the same feelings an alcoholic would or a drug user would. I like to go shopping when I'm especially happy or sad; it makes me feel better. I don't need people there with me, it makes me feel relaxed and happy. I don't suffer from "buyer's remorse" ever. And if Obadiah were to tell me tomorrow that he'd buy me the most expensive necklace in the world, I'd insist that he instead take me to the mall on a shopping spree. Anyway, I truly in my heart of hearts believe there is a slight addiction there, but then again, I do have a very addictive personality, as my father would say I inherited from his side of the family. That's why we have to be careful about everything in moderation. Unfortunately it means I tend to function in extremes if my willpower just isn't good enough in the middle. Excess. I need to just be satisfied with what I have and not desire. But back to the shopping, I saw some of the cutest clothes in the store today and it took so much to pry myself away. Granted, my wardrobe does need to be updated (when overalls and capris are a staple in a 21-year-old's closet, particularly a 21-year-old who needs to dress professionally most of the time) there's something wrong. Anyway, please pray for me and my slight addiction. Some people fast from candy, TV or whatever. I'm going to fast from clothes and "fun stuff" shopping. Only the necessities for me for a while... :( I hate having to be responsible...
So those are my "epiphanies" for the day. It was affirmed once again that I am in love with journalism and it was affirmed once again that I have a problem with my attitudes toward shopping.
Hope everyone is doing fine and dandy
Toodles from Tucson!

Today, so far (as of 9:30 a.m.) is better than yesterday. It's been interesting talking with my coworkers about the dynamics of the paper. Housed in the same building as us is the Tucson Citizen newspaper, which is an afternoon/evening paper owned by Gannett and the AZ Daily Star is owned by Pulitzer. Apparently they used to be the cream of the crop paper, but have since lost in circulation as the AZ Daily Star is the morning paper. Because of contract agreements, they basically can't change to a morning paper. Anyway, the interesting part of all of this is that because their deadlines come near the end of the day, any stories we're reporting on have to be massively secretive or we'll get "scooped" by the Citizen. This means that the crime stories I'll be covering will have to be pretty hush-hush when around the police station or else the Citizen could get wind. We're not allowed to even discuss our stories in the cafeteria because we share it with the Citizen. It's really pretty exciting because you won't get this sort of thing in Phoenix because we only have two morning papers as opposed to morning and afternoon. It makes me feel like not all competition in newspapers has been lost and that's part of the intrigue of working as a journalist. You're doing the news and trying to beat people to the finish line.
Anyway, that's my exciting note for the morning. We'll see how the rest of the day goes...

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Exciting part of my day: Seeing two really fat quail in my complex (thinking Obadiah, Paul and David would have been running for their guns!) and a bunny rabbit (again..running for their guns)
Boring part of my day: Sitting through computer orientation and spending 6 hours of my day at work learning the ropes (ho-hum, but a necessary evil)
Happy part of my day: Entering my apartment and not having to fight with the stupid lock (it tends to hold on to my key even when I try to get it out of the lock)
Sad part of my day: Realizing I may not be able to come up on the weekends whenever I want because of work (they may schedule me for some weekends)
Surprising part of my day: Finding an excel spreadsheet full of wedding breakdowns like budget, guest list, bridal shower guest list, miscellaneous things, and websites in an e-mail from my mom (What can I tell you? The lady is excited, motivated and works fast)
Not-so-surprising part of my day: My roommate is not here when I am (out with the bf as usual)

So now that you're up to date on all of that, what else is there left to say except that I miss everyone terribly, especially when I get home and just want to talk or spend time with someone and I can't! I want to vent about my not-so-fun day and no one is here to listen to me...except my computer, which is not technically mine anyway.
My co-workers seem cool. I found out some interesting things already. The other summer intern is positively sweet as can be and I really like her already. We're the same age and so far, we get along famously (this said after a few conversations between droning lectures about computer applications and Safari internet applications..) I also found out the man who hired me who is the Metro editor has "a partner." Interesting. Nice guy though, but definitely a journalist. You can't really peg the mood he's in. Anyway, we had one lady we were working with who is really nice also and more than willing to help us out with whatever we need, so that's cool.
I had to take a photo right off the bat this morning for security purposes. Apparently the office stepped up security ever since 9/11 and the anthrax scares. I have to admit, it's probably the best ID picture I've ever taken. If it wasn't so large I'd try to tape it over my driver's license picture which is sorely outdated (think 15 years old, elated to get driver's permit).
What else....oh, I got a mailbox today, so if anyone wants to send me anything, talk to Obadiah and he'll give it to you. (Who knows what kind of riff-raff read my blog everyday...) :) Just kidding...
I hope everyone's doing well and that youth group and daily lives are going well. I'm finally getting back into a really good routine, which I'm very pleased about. I'm getting to bed by 10:30, waking up by 6 a.m., running and reading my Bible. Maybe some good will come out of this seclusion from the world I call "home."
Anyhoo, drop me a comment if you feel like it. Take care and God bless!
Toodles from Tucson!