Thursday, December 24, 2015

Three Things: Christmas Things

Happy Christmas Eve Friends, 
I am sitting in the living room of my dear friends Jonny and Lisa. A few moments ago we were happily chatting and sipping Bailey's when catastrophe struck. A cry was heard from the bedroom. Jonny went to investigate. Baby Nora (age 2) had vomited. Everywhere. It is actually hard to believe that such a small human could contain that much substance. Well, let's move on from this topic. I am sure that Jonny and Lisa would be glad for me not to go too much into the details of their middle child's gastronomical misadventures. Let's talk about Christmas, shall we? I would like to talk about things I love about Christmas. To be specific: I would like to talk about Three Things I Love About Christmas.


Thing Number One - My Family is Together: As you know I live in America while my parents and two of my brothers live in Europe. My oldest brother and I get to fly out to Europe once a year to be all together. It is a very special time. There is no group of people on Earth who have so much in common. The other day my dad was talking about how for me and my brothers there is a very unique relationship. When we are with English speakers we express the English speaking side of our personalities. When we are with Czech speakers we express our Czech sides. But there are very few people on the planet who understand both languages well enough to understand both sides of our personalities. That means that when I am with my brothers I am with people who can appreciate me from several angles. I sometimes lament the fact that key people in my life know me either as only one or the other. Christmastime means that for a couple weeks I will be understood. 

Thing Number Two - Christmas Dinner: We are not a family of cooks. Sheldon's family is. But the Tills cook to survive, it is not an art form that comes to us naturally. So on Christmas day we have a tradition. We choose the food that we all like the most and that requires the least amount of preparation. For instance we used to order Chinese food. Once we went to the only restaurant in the area that served buffalo chicken wings and brought home a huge Tupperware of them three days before Christmas. Lately our favourite option is Indian food from boxes. We hoard boxes of Indian food that we bring from the States and foreign food stores, make a huge pot of rice and have a meal that no one stressed about preparing and everyone enjoys. I like the way this tradition effectively kills anxiety over food on Christmas day, minimises stress and appeals to all parties while still being a treat. 

Thing Number Three - Nighttime: Since I was about thirteen years old Christmas stopped being as thrilling as it was when I was a child. I just lost the magic feeling of presents, expectancy and the other things that make Christmas thrilling and lovely for a lot of people. I don't think I am cynical. I just find it hard to be excited. I always feel that loss when Christmas comes. I am sad that I can't feel magic during the time of year that Christ's birth is celebrated. But there are a few moments during the season that manage to bring back a spark of that feeling They are like pinpoints of light that pierce through my Grinch-like exterior. One of them happened this evening as my family and I walked home from the Christmas Eve service on the town square. The night was absolutely clear and deep blue with a full moon. For a few seconds my heart filled with joy and anticipation. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Home for the Holidays

My younger brother Paul Hugh always wants me to get out of the house when I come home. He seems to be worried that I have become a hermit. "You should go do something", is what he normally says. He is afraid that I will offend people who would enjoy hanging out with me. But the truth is that when I get home over Christmas or Summer vacations I am usually a) super tired after the end of the semester and b) I genuinely enjoy being alone or just with my family. Being at home is exciting to me. I love walking around our small town and looking at colours and shapes. I can linger in the grocery store for way longer than PH, because I have become fascinated by things that I used to find boring. 

Since I have been back in Czech one of my main activities have been getting caught up with Mad Men with my mother. This is a show which only she and I out of our family watch. I waited to finish the show until I got home so that we could watch together. It has been very satisfactory to have a Mad Men buddy. We have been geeking out over it. Both of us consider it the pinnacle of television writing intelligence as well as an exquisite specimen of period drama. 

The other thing I have been doing is eating at random times of day due to jet-lag. My food of choice are sugar waffles with cookie paste and microwave poached eggs. What is cookie paste? It is caramel cookies which have been blended to form a substance of a peanut butter consistency. Does anything sound better? And what are microwave poached eggs? They are exactly what they sound like. How do you make them? I will give you a recipe. I have never written a recipe for my blog. This seems like a good time to do so. Such fun. 

I eat all the time at school, because eggs are one of the only things that I buy for my dorm. So when I am hungry between meals they are often the only food I have. I realise that this makes me sound kind of sad. Don't feel bad for me. If I needed food I would buy it. I purposefully try not to buy food at school so that I make the most of the meal plan that my parents buy for me. 

Well, this has been rather random. I hope you have enjoyed this episode of Lucy Rose Types Somewhat Random Things Onto Her Blog for the Entire Universe to Read. Hooray for the Interwebs! 

I am having technical difficulties involving my scanner and the internet. I will add the drawings for this post tomorrow!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Coming Home from College

Dear Friends,
I am sitting at the dining room table at my house in the Czech Republic. My parents are going to bed. My mother is fixing a snack of microwaved prunes to eat in bed. No comment. Actually...there is no way to not comment on this. Mom, that sounds disgusting. Your husband must love you a whole lot to fall asleep next to a woman chewing stewed prunes. 

My littlest brother is sleeping and my other little brother is at an all-night Star Wars marathon. I am severely jet-lagged. That is why I suddenly got hungry at 9 PM and am eating a small meal consisting of jelly beans, half a Belgian sugar waffle and half a wrinkly apple (Apples are best when wrinkly and brown, in my opinion. That is not a joke. I actually think that.) 

I got here on Saturday. It took the usual 24 hours of travel. Three flights and two hour long car trips. I left the day after finals. Speaking of which, if you have been wondering where I went the answer is that I disappeared to The Land of Finals From Which Few Return Alive. I wanted to stay on track with blogging, but I just couldn't do both finals and my blog justice at the same time. I needed to choose to focus on finals, rather than attempt to do a shoddy job on both. But, don't worry. I am here now and my hope is to continue my commitment to blog every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday without any more interruptions. 

Now we are back to our regularly scheduled program the question is: What should I talk about today?  How about I get you a little caught up on things that happened during finals. 

The first big piece of news is that I quite Improv. I have been a part of my college Improv troupe for a year and a half. I auditioned at the end of my Freshman year, without any prior experience. I was thrilled to get in. Although it took me a long time to feel comfortable with the other members of my team, al of whom were complete strangers at first, I gradually began to really care for them. We have become a better and better group of players the longer that we are together. We named ourselves The Secret Menu. I have loved the way the doing Improv gives me a burst of energy. It allows me to exercise my brain, my interpersonal communication skills and my performing skills. (Also my computer hacking skills.)

So why did I quit? Well, there are a number of reasons:

1) This blog. I really want to give time and energy into making my blog worthwhile.

2) My job at the school paper. I also want to give my skills to making my job at the paper brilliant, without feeling like I am too stretched.

3) My schoolwork. Because of my blog, The Record and Improv, schoolwork always falls to the bottom of the stack. That is not good.

4) Joy. Improv has recently been more of a burden than a joy, because of the reasons I just said. Also, it takes a lot of energy out of me, while it doesn't always give me back as much.

5) My wedding. I know that planning our wedding is going to be hard and take up a lot of time. I want to feel like I can put some time into that without feeling like butter scraped over too much bread.

As a goodbye to my fellow team members I made a small book for each person. the book were cartoons of each one of us as we are in normal life and as we are when we are playing our most common character. For instance I drew a cartoon of my alter ego, whom my teammates call The Duchess. This is an elderly woman with a snooty British accent.

The next bit of news is that Sheldon and I will be apart for Christmas. Now this isn't huge news: we have never been together for Christmas. But this is our first Christmas as engaged people Hopefully it is the only Christmas we will spend as engaged people. This makes it somehow different--more sad to be apart. We were talking about it over Skype yesterday and decided that every other time we have been apart for a long itme like when Sheldon went to Italy for five months or when I was in England and Czech for 16 weeks, we have felt that the separation was good. Us being apart meant that we could focus on things that were, for the time, more important than us being together.

But this time it feels weird to be away. I wish I was with him. He is staying in Wheaton so that he can be available in case of a snowstorm on Christmas day. Although he might get to go home to Kansas City after all, now that it appears there will be no snow. But we decided that it is better if we try to treat our time apart as something valuable and good rather than something that we just have to put up with. We shall see how we do in that regard.

Well, that concludes my news for today. I will be back with you tomorrow and perhaps tell you a bit about my time at home. Have a lovely night.

Lucy Rose

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Three Things - Roommate Things

I was not looking forward to my return to college after Thanksgiving at Sheldon's house. It felt hard to come down off the high of getting engaged and visiting Sheldon's family. But when I walked through the door all three of my roommates greeted me. Seeing them was a complete joy. It was like coming home to a group of sisters. Sara had brought back several make-up items from a Black Frida sale. So we clustered on the floor of our living room and tried on make-up products for an hour. There was lots of remarks like: "That colour looks stunning on you", "Sara is the only one of us who can pull off the copper tone" and "Wow. That brings out your blue eyes in a subtle, beautiful way." It felt like a scene from the novel I am reading called The Red Tent. It is historical fiction about the lives of the Old Testament patriarch Jacob's four wives. The wives form a fierce sisterhood and often spend time lovingly grooming one another in the "red tent", which is the place to which they retreat when their periods come. Today I will share with you three of the activities we do together in our apartment. 

1. Eating Fresh Banana Bread In Towels. Leya makes delicious banana bread out of all of the browning bananas we bring back from our dining hall. One night we started eating it and Hannah was still in her bath towel toga and towel turban. Someone suggested that we all wear togas and turbans while eating our bread. So we did. We sat in a row on the coach in our towels eating heavily buttered banana bread. 

2. Exercising...While Challenging Gender Norms. For some reason all of us like to work out at the gym at around the same time of the night. Usually we all wind up in the gym at 10 PM. When we go together we like to walk over to the side of the weight room usually inhabited by guys lifting barbells. We like to put our coats and keys in the cubbies on that side of the room in order to challenge the percieved gender divide within the weight room--men on the left with the free weights and barbells, women on the right with the stair-masters and bicycle machines. In fact, we even like to lift weights together.

3. Adoring Sheldon. This could sound odd. I realise that. What I mean is that I may be engaged to Sheldon, but all four of us are in love with him. Don't worry we are not trying to reenact the polygamy in the novel I mentioned above. What I am TRYING to say is that all of us enjoy having Sheldon visit our apartment, because of his peaceful and kind demeanour. He usually does some dishes when he comes. Often he comes to make dinner and offer some to anyone else who happens to be around. He is sweet and pleasant. This evening, for instance, my roommates found out that he was coming later in the evening and there was great rejoicing. "When will he get here?! We haven't seen him for two days!" 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Engagement Story - Part II

It was done. We were finally engaged! We had been talking about it for so long and now it was official. Sheldon put the his ring on my finger. The appearance of the ring was the only part of the engagement that was a major surprise. It is yellow gold with an oval ruby in the centre. The ruby is clasped by tiny gold claws which resemble minuscule golden beads from above. The ruby is surrounded by fourteen miniature diamonds. on either side of this whole oval deal are two slightly larger diamonds. The gems are about half a centimetre at the widest point. I love it. 

My ruby ring is perfect for me for several reasons:

1. I prefer yellow gold over white or rose gold. It feels more old fashioned to me and I am always interested in appearing vintage.

2. The central stone is a ruby rather than a diamond. I love rubies because they are red and I love red. Wow. So deep. But I also love them because my great-grandmother's name was Ruby. Ruby Lee Foster to be exact. Sheldon didn't know this, but I feel strongly about symbols which gradually acquire significance even if the original intention wasn't there initially. I also prefer gemstones because Sheldon and I are invested in conspiracy theories surrounding the diamond industry which would suggest that diamonds aren't all the media had cracked them up to be.

3. I like that they include diamonds. I know I just finished telling you about my distrust of the diamond industry, but that aside, I love sparkle. Most people don't know this about me, because my style is pretty understated and I wear a lot of grey and blue. But I have always been a racoon (maybe a magpie?)--basically attracted to shiny things. Sheldon knows this about me, which is why he included a few small diamonds, so I could have something sparkly to wear every day.

Back to the story. After The Question had been posed and answered we slowly made our way toward the car. Now the pressure was off and I felt my appetite return, my stomach settle and I could enjoy the walk. Sheldon told me his plan for the rest of the evening. We would go get Mexican food and then drive back to my apartment where my roommates had planned a surprise party. I think that Sheldon blew the surprise by telling me this, but remember, Sheldon is not the greatest at surprises.

We were both giddy. We got into Sheldon's car and drove the long way to dinner on purpose so that we could look at a cool factory I wanted to see. We had dinner together at one of our favourite Mexican restaurants in West Chicago and then drove back to Wheaton. We received a text from my roommates asking us to dawdle a little that gave us a chance to stop at Walgreens (favourite store EVER) and buy a newspaper from the day of our engagement that we will keep it forever.

We finally made it back to my apartment where a group of close college friends was gathered. There were only about ten of us total, including Sheldon's younger brother who is a Freshman and my three roommates. They had turned our little apartment into a lovely place of twinkly lights. In one corner were some plastic champagne glasses and cupcakes. Tinsel and sequins hung from the wall as well as assorted baby photos of both of us. Our party consisted of telling the story of how Sheldon asked me to marry him, chatting animatedly and playing a How Well Do You Know Your New FiancĂ© Game designed by Leya. I was deeply impressed.

My favourite part happened half way through. We were standing around eating cupcakes and I turned to Leya and muttered, "This is everything I could have dreamed of. I feel so loved. My only regret is that my family and Jo (my best friend) are not here with me." Leya put a hand on my shoulder and said, "Come here. I need to show you something." She led me into our bedroom. On her empty desk were laid out several sheets of paper. One of them was an email from Jo telling me how much she wished she could be here for this. The others were notes from each of my parents.

At no point in the evening had I felt tears come to my eyes, but when I saw these notes they came. All of a sudden I felt so deeply loved by so many people: Sheldon (duh:), my roommates for anticipating my homesickness, my parents and Jo...

Sheldon and I spent the rest of the evening after the party going through our lists of family members and calling them to tell them the news. It felt so odd to wake up the next morning and look at my ring. I thought, "How can I just go to class like nothing has happened? I became a fairytale princess over the weekend, but the only way anyone would know is if they looked at my ring finger."

As I write this I have now been officially engaged to Sheldon for a week and two days. The magic has still hasn't disappeared yet.

Thanks for sharing this story with me. I want to tell you guys more about our story over the months leading up to our wedding. My plan is to make Saturday my Love Story Day. I will write about how we met, what we are like as a couple and all sorts of sappy things like that every Saturday. Keep an eye out!

Lucy Rose

I haven't signed off like this for a while. I sometimes miss it, because it feels like I am writing you all a letter. I think I might pick it up again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

My Engagement Story - Part I

This weekend, Sheldon asked me to marry him. I cannot say this was a major surprise. In fact, because Sheldon and I have been talking about marriage for a long time, this was not a surprise at all. In fact, because of the kind of person Sheldon is--a skilled planner and terrible secret keeper, I had a pretty good idea of when Sheldon would propose. I could have predicted the moment down to the exact hour. Some people have asked, "Didn't it bother you that you weren't surprised?" To be honest, no. I know that the reason Sheldon is incapable of keeping a secret is because he is so transparent. The Sheldon you meet on the public street is the real Sheldon. In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Miss Maudie Atkinson tells Scout that her father Atticus, "Is the same in his house as he is on the public streets." I have always thought that this quality of consistency and transparency is incredibly attractive. Sheldon has that. Deception of any sort is so against his nature. My FIANCE (So exciting to use that word!) carefully planned the entire day and made it very special. I will describe it to you here. I hope you enjoy. 

After church on Sunday Sheldon picked me up at my apartment to "go on a walk". I put that in quotation marks because both Sheldon and I knew that this walk would contain Sheldon's proposal. Sheldon knew that I knew, but both of us were committed to pretending that the other person didn't. I think we thought we would break some solemn custom of secrecy surrounding the ritual of proposal, if I spoke aloud the words, "Sheldon, I know that you want to take me on a romantic walk in order to propose to me."

We drove to Geneva, Illinois in Sheldon's new truck. First we stopped at an unnamed coffee establishment (unnamed because I do not want to support them by giving them free advertising). Ordinarily this would have been a great treat and I would have gladly ordered coffee, but because of my nerves about being proposed to, I had had a weak stomach all day and could handle the acidic coffee. Instead I went to the bathroom for the twentieth time that day (also a result of nerves) and Sheldon bought tea.

We took our cup of tea to the final destination: The Fabyan Villa designed by modern architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the early part of the 20th century. The villa has extensive grounds and overlooks the Fox River. The first snow had fallen the day before so it was covered in a layer of fresh snow. We walked together through the snow to the outdoor bathroom so I could pee again and then traipsed toward the villa to "check out the architecture". Now, ordinarily I love some cool buildings, but on this occasion it was pretty hard to care about the harmonious simplicity of one of America's finest structures. I was more like, "Alright Sheldon, we all know why we're here. So when are you going to do it?!" Eventually we wended our way down toward the river. By this time I was getting supremely cold. But I knew I had to hold out until we got to Sheldon's ideal spot.

At one point I asked, "Hey Sheldon, can we turn around here? The wind is really blowing in my face." This was downright cruel, because I perfectly well knew what Sheldon was about to do and that he had a specific spot in mind. I guess I wanted to see what he would say. He was like, "Um actually, I had a specific spot in mind and so let's keep going." At this point both of us started giggling uncontrollably. It was as if our charade had reached the height of ridiculous and both of us couldn't hold it together for much longer. It ended up not being necessary to either stand in the cold or maintain our strange facade, because we reached our destination.

We had walked out onto a sort of peninsula on the river. On one side was the grey river and on the other was an frozen inlet of grey water. We stood on a snowy finger of land in between. Sheldon later remarked upon the significance of having four forms of water present at our engagement: water, snow, ice and the vapour from our mouths. Somehow we both think this is significant. We haven't figured out why. You guys will have to tell me if you have any ideas.

Back to the story. Sheldon gently unhooked my hand from his so that he could reach into his pocket. "I need to get something out of my pocket." He pulled out a piece of paper which he had folded into a special pouch. He got down on his knees and asked me to marry him. I said, "Sheldon, I would love to marry you."

Stay tuned, Part II comes tomorrow!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Three Things: Thanksgiving Edition

It is Thanksgiving Day. I am sitting in Sheldon's family's living room in Missouri. I love being here, even though I sometimes feel homesick for my own family. I feel that way because Sheldon's family reminds me a lot of my own family and makes me miss them even more. I want to devote today's Three Things to Things I Am Thankful For About Sheldon. That is a very long and unwieldy title. Oh well. My plan today is to look around the house for clues into Sheldon's personality and find three things that make me glad to be his girlfriend. I to devote some small part of Thanksgiving to some sort of reflection and since I am in Sheldon's home it seems appropriate to assess some things I am thankful for regarding it. 

1. Sheldon's family has tons of books. There are two bookshelves in the living room and several in each bedroom. Why am I thankful for this? Well, my family has always had tons of books too. As a young girl I determined that I would only feel happy marrying a man who valued books and reading as much as I do. Now, the books at Sheldon's house are not all his. Most of them are his father's collection. But it still tells me a lot about the type of culture Sheldon was raised in. Even the fact that my family has many of the same books. This morning I was going through the children's books and found one I have never seen before called Miss Rumphius. I pulled the book off the shelf and instantly recognised the illustration style as that of one of my favourite illustrators Barbara Cooney. I grew up in love with her books, especially one called Hattie and the Wild Waves which is about a young girl who grows up wanting to be an artist. Anyway, finding this book felt significant to me because it means that Sheldon grew up in a house where this author was read and beloved. 

2. Sheldon's family is lovely. Sheldon is the fifth of seven kids. He has two older brothers, two older sisters and two younger brothers. As of this Thanksgiving break I have met all of them. They are so fun to be with. Even though we grew up in totally different places (them in Missouri me in Illinois and Czech Republic) we still somehow share a wealth of common cultural references. That means that a lot of the jokes and throwbacks are sourced form things I am also familiar with. For instance in today alone I picked up on references to The Princess Bride, Flight of the Concords and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Click on each one to be directed to my favourite clip from each. Watch out. at least one has the "A" word in it and one has copious amounts of fake blood. The Flight of the Concords also has at least one "F" word).

All of these are things that I love. Similarly to the books Thing above, it seems that sharing a love of the same films or comedy troupes feels so good. It feels like being at home when you find the people who like the same things you do. It also feels good to be with his family, because of how they love one another. They show their love through lots of gentle teasing, warm hugs given by the grown grandchildren to their grandma and acts of service such as dishes being done without grumbling. It thrills me to be on the brink of becoming a part of such a family. 

3. Sheldon's creations are everywhere. Sheldon spent his entire childhood in this house. Their family bought it when he was born. So being here feels like being in The Time Machine of Sheldon's Life. Or maybe The Time Capsule of Sheldon's Life. This is because there are photos of him as a child on the stairs and chairs their family has had forever in the living room. In the closet are toys that he played with and some clothes he used to wear. But best of all there are a few Sheldon art works on display. Almost all of Sheldon's siblings make cool art things. He has a sister and a brother that are photographers. Another brother is an animator. Etc.

So there is a lot of high-caliber kid art around here. When I came for the first time last Thanksgiving I revelled in wandering around the house discovering which ones were made by Sheldon. The answer is that the extremely precise stipple drawing of nine bugs on the mantle is Sheldon's. So is the Fimo fairy on the bookshelf. In the bedroom the hollowed our gourds painted to look like Sumo wrestles were also made by Sheldon. This makes me so glad. Even before I met him he seems to have been the kind of person who says to himself, "I have an idea of how I could make this cool thing. I think I will." I love how this shows that Sheldon has always been someone who makes cool stuff. The randomness of the things that Sheldon made as a young person suggests that he both had a lot of free time as a kid, but also that he was always interested in creating something fun and unexpected.

PR Announcement 
(I realise that PR is probably not the exact terminology I am looking for, but...whatevs.)

I will be using stock photos today, this is because I need to got to bed soon and also if I used my own illustrations I would have to scan them. In order to scan the images I would have to climb over Sheldon's oldest sister Holly's head because she is sleeping on the floor of the room with the scanner. If she were my sister I would be like, "Hey Sis. I have to climb on top of you head now to scan some stuff. Deal with it." But given that I am not yet an actual family member I feel that I must still treat my relationships with Sheldon's family member with more delicacy. As a political gesture it would not be the greatest. The next morning Holly could wake up and announce, "Sheldon's girlfriend stepped on me in the middle of the night and didn't even apologise."

PR Announcement About the Above PR Announcement

Anyone who is reading this right now, has realised that the above announcement no longer applies. Sorry that you had to waste your time reading the lengthy announcement above. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Three Things: My New Job

I have a new job. I have not told you about it because it only became official last week. Are you ready to hear my new job? Yes? Are you sure you want to know? Ok...Here it is:
I am the new Graphic Illustrator for my college's newspaper The Wheaton Record
I know. "How perfect for Lucy Rose?!" Yeah. I am stoked. Wanna hear how this all came about? I will devote my Three Things piece for this week to telling you in three parts. My images for this week are three graphic pieces that I have created for the paper over the past few weeks. 

1. Part One: The Job Offer
So about six weeks ago I had some cool ideas for newspaper articles. I did some sketches of my ideas and eventually ran into the editor, Kirk*. I asked him to sit down and talk with me about my ideas. He  flipped through my sketches and seemed really interested. Finally he said, "Lucy Rose, the artwork you are making is really good. Would you like to be our Graphic Illustrator? We have never had one before but I would like to create a position at The Record specifically for you." I was so excited. I almost said yes on the spot, because it seemed like a job so specific to my talents. It combined illustration and innovation and it would look great on a resume. But I had to say no. 

2. Part Two: The Complications
"I am so sorry, Kirk. I cannot accept this offer, because I already have a five-days-a-week babysitting position. That would stop me from being able to come to the mandatory weekly meetings." Remember how I had that babysitting job, Readers? I wrote a lot about it over the past few weeks here, here, here and here. Kirk was like, "We could try to make it work some other way." We agreed to keep the dialogue open, but also pretty much agreed that it would be impossible. 

3. Part Three: The Acceptance
As soon as my babysitting was over I picked up my phone and called Kirk. I said, "Hey Kirk, guess what! My job situation has changed and I would love to work with you at The Record." So I accepted the job. I have been working with The Record for the past week. I am in love with my new job. I get to draw pictures to accompany articles and are then published in a campus wide paper. I love the process of brainstorming at our weekly meetings. I also love that the skills I developed in art school are becoming useful. I spent hours learning to use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and I finally see those gifts being useful and appreciated. I am actually one of the people on staff who knows the most about those programs. I have been helping teach other people how to do some things. As you know if you read this post I LOVE being an "expert". Honestly, though, who doesn't?

In conclusion: My losing my old job and gaining this new one speaks to me of God's provision. He allowed me to lose my job, but provided a new opportunity in the very same week. I would never have quit my old job, which means I never would have been able to accept a job at the paper. By getting fired it made room for me to be able to do something which a) plays to my artistic and creative strengths and b) will look great on a resume. 

Thanks for reading and celebrating this new chapter with me. Thanks also for being patient with my not posting for an entire week. I hate doing that, but things have been crazy with trying to figure out the balance of my new job. 

*Kirk is the son of my mother's college friend Elise. So I met Kirk Freshman year and my mom later told me who he was. His mom was actually in the Christian A Capella group my parents were apart of in college. So we have a strangely close connection. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Three Things: Moments of Rest in a Hard Patch

Photo Credit: Christopher Campbell

Dear Friends,
I have been an emotional mess today. It actually feels like I have been riding this roller coaster for the past four weeks. It started with my job loss, but it has also been a time of deepening my relationship with Sheldon. That has involved a series of difficult conversations late into the night. We don't get to see each other often, but it feels like when we do, one of us is in the middle of a some crisis, be it work drama, roommate stuff, school angst or spiritual confusion, or we have to wrestle through some kinks in our relationship together. We have been weary of spirit for a long time. Today I felt particularly easy to bruise. Do you know that feeling? Little critical comments from your friends, which on a normal day would have rolled right off your back, somehow stick into you like little darts. It is as though the thick, protective coat you usually put on when you leave the house was replaced by one of those disposable ponchos you buy when it rains at a sporting event--not very helpful and easy to puncture. That was my day today: full of darts. But I also feel like there were some patches within my day in which I got rest from the darts. The Lord provided moments in which He covered me with a force field and I was able to rest for a while. My Three Things Series for today will be a brief description of some of those force field moments. 

Photo Credit: Jens Lelie

1. The first one was in my Shakespeare class. We watched a film of the David Tennant Hamlet for the whole two hours. The reason that my professor gave us this break from our usual schedule of discussion and analysis was because he has recently lost a dear friend. The loss of his friend, who was also a fellow professor, means that not only he, but also many at our school are in profound mourning and find it difficult to carry on as usual. So he played a film. All seven of us in the Shakespeare seminar sat together and immersed ourselves in the fantastic production. We laughed at Polonius, played by Oliver Ford Davies and felt deep, confusing feelings with Hamlet. It was somehow the perfect thing to do on this blustering, wretched day: sit in a dark room and watch this cathartic, dark play. It was lovely.

Photo credit: Lechon Kirb

2. The second moment of respite was dinner. I met Sheldon's younger brother, who also goes to Wheaton,  and chatted with him for a few minutes. Talking with Dylan always feels like talking to one of my brothers. His sense of humour and his wacky ideas remind me of the kinds of conversations I have with my own brothers. This evening Dylan told me of his idea for a restaurant in space which could have seating on multiple different gravitational fields. You could have seating on the ceiling, floor and walls but each person would feel like his ground was the real ground. Anyway, do you see why I feel at home talking with Dylan? He is an odd duck and I love it.

Photo Credit: Fred Viljoen

3. The third one was going to Target with my roommate, Sara. We needed eggs and milk, but you know how it is to enter Target: you can never come out without many, many things. In fact another way that Dylan impresses me is that one time he said, "Can we stop at Target so I can buy a notebook?" I purposefully left my wallet in the car so I wouldn't be tempted to purchase anything. But Dylan, who had his wallet with him, walked into Target and only bought one thing. I repeat: Dylan walked into a Target for the goal of buying one thing and he only walked out with one thing. Wow. Wow. Is that crazy to anyone else besides me? Anyway, back to my story...Sara and I helped each other pick out lipstick colours, choose a brand of sugar that we both like (that is me being a little sarcastic, because there were only two brands and we chose the cheapest) and helped each other lift the huge package of toilet paper we have urgently needed to buy since we have been using Kleenexes to wipe for a whole week.

Lucy Rose: Is that TMI?
Lucy Rose's Blog Readers: Um. Yes. Quit it.
LR: Sorry, Guys. Apparently my filtering system is a little out of wack tonight.
LRBR: That's OK. Just go to bed.
LR: Ok. As soon as I finish this post...

In conclusion, each of these events helped to sooth my harrowed bosom whether by letting me emerge myself in a fabulous piece of drama, enjoy a conversation with someone who feels like family or wandering through Target buying "necessities" with a close friend.

PS: You will notice that I have used stock images for this post, rather than my own drawings or photos. The reason is because although I usually love to produce my own work, I need to lean on other people tonight, for time's sake. I just need to go to bed. So I chose images that I felt expressed my mood this week. Thanks for understanding, Lucy Rose's Blog Readers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Get Unplugged

Last week in my Media Studies class my professor showed us a video by Essena O'NeillThe video is of her sitting on a sofa speaking into the camera and telling the viewer about how she decided to disconnect from social media. She used to get paid to wear a dress from a fashion company, take gorgeous photos of herself wearing the dress and then post it on Instagram. Social media was her life.  She said that she measured her value in the number of likes each post received. Then she had a breakthrough. She realised that her whole life was fake. Her "candid" photos were not candid at all, but carefully calculated and manipulated until she achieved the perfect pout. She felt as though she were living a fake life so she disconnected her YouTube channel and her Instagram account. "I am free," she said in the video. That is amazing, but is "unplugging" really that liberating?

She wants to get away from social media, yet the format which she uses to talk about all of this is a video which she posts online. My class discussed this irony at great length. We sat through the entire twelve minute video, because our professor thought it was hugely significant. Essena is telling us how she wants to disconnect from these all-consuming media outlets via a online video! She wants to break free, yet she still gets super excited when Elle Magazine emails her and when thousands of people responded to her confessional video. Our question is, "Has she truly disconnected even though she is just as big as she was when she was a model?"

Some people were on her side: "She is using the tools that she knows how to use, namely video-making, to tell a broader audience about her breakthrough. She is contradicting herself, because she knows that this is the only way people will listen."

Other people were a little more skeptical: "She tells us that she is not wearing make-up and that this video is totally candid, yet she is falling out of her sexy top and the background is pristine. What about this  is supposed to make us believe that she really has no interest in being fake?"These people were annoyed that Essena didn't go far enough with her plan. They wanted her to drop off the face of the internet entirely. "If she were really serious about this scheme of unplugging she would just drop off the face of the internet entirely."

My thoughts about Essena? I think she is sincere. She is a beautiful girl who would look stunning no matter what she did or didn't do with her body. By switching over to a website instead of social networking she will have more control over her content and be able to share her profound thoughts. I visited her site and thought it was full of interesting content. But my dream would be for her to get off the internet entirely for a year and write a book about it. It would be an awesome book, because she is a young lady who is already capable of speaking into the lives of many people. She already has a captive audience.

So what about us? Should we unplug? I thought about that while sitting in class watching Essena's video. Should I delete my Instagram and Facebook? Should I throw my smartphone onto the train tracks behind my apartment? Do I define my worth through a number of "likes" as opposed to my actual values like my mind, my kindness or my status as a human created by God?

I fall into doing that, yes. I confess that I am addicted to checking the stats right here on my blog. I check them all the time to see how many readers I have. If I don't get a certain number then I feel my heart drop a little. Even though I have good intentions of growing this blog into something of worth that many people read, I am too focused on numbers rather than just making good posts. My focus should be on doing my best rather than becoming "successful" in a numerical sense.

In order to help me do this I started fasting from checking my stats every Sunday. From 3 AM to 3 AM on Sunday I do not let myself look at them. It helps me to have greater peace during the day. I would recommend incorporating something like this into your week. Create space in which you do not have to check a device every ten minutes. Do it for and hour or a day. Read. Walk. Sit. Think. Unplug.