Let me continue to list exciting cultural adventures so that I can remind myself later that I haven't wasted furlough! Friday night was Art Night, and with Jen who visited from San Diego country, we descended upon the Pasadena Museum of History for some turn-of-the-century culture, then on to the Art Centre College of Design for some mind-blowing student projects. Too cool!
Saturday we conquered the public transportation system (eventually) and learned again, viscerally, the life lesson that There Is No Free Parking In Pasadena. At All. Ever. We browsed Santee Alley, cloth stores in the Fashion District, flower shops, had superb and dead cheap Mexican food for lunch on a street corner, dawdled through Chinatown and got tea and awesome snacks at Wing Hop Fung, some boba tea, and visited Little Tokyo before returning home tired but happy bearing my new "nerds need love too" t-shirt.
Sunday a surprising thing happened: I put the little Burbank church back on my list of places I might regularly attend because 1) There are old people, 2) There were only about 50 people and I could get to know them and I never feel comfortable in larger churches, and 3) Jon's rockin' sermon. Go Jon! Also, 4) I appreciated the musicians that were giving it a fair go. Hm! In other news, Porto's Bakery makes me glad to be alive because they serve good food and the teeming crowds surely know it. Ikea came through for me with curtains, so now a little bit more happiness is mine. Clearly the curtains were a symbol of some greater psychological struggle against the forces of chaos, because the quality of my life has changed verry little but my satisfaction has gone way up. Go figure.
Today, Wednesday, good things happened: my classmates liked my banana snacks and my tok pisin song, Dr. Lingenfelter agreed that the intercultural class is a review for me and why am I taking it, and I biked home with only stopping once to rest. Of such small things is happiness made, and, after all, Ecclesiastes reminds me to enjoy it while it lasts since life basically sucks. Thanks to Dr. Johnston for that insight (with which I completely agree). Speaking of Dr. Johnston, the film and theology class continues to be the most useful Ukarumpa-wise of my three classes this quarter, but Dr. Bolger's church vignettes are the most fascinating. I prepare to go be an Armenian Orthodox for a few Sundays now, and attend a synagogue in a fortnight too. See: I'm not wasting my education!
More art: Did I mention the Evening Under the Stars a fortnight ago (at which I made my entrance, embarrassingly, with a lightening bug butt since I forgot to turn off my bike light)? Lovely concert (thanks, Michael Wright for your CD) and drama! Also, two meetings of the Fuller Arts Collective, which promises to be an enlightening group of which to be a groupie, and two Fuller chapels with art in the form of speeches and music. And, I attended the opening of the Rouault exhibit in the library, which was fascinating, and a film prof from USC admired my outfit and we chatted about living in other countries. I was wearing my new Anthropologie shirt with flowers and unlikely ruffles with my hand-me-down Burberry felt kilt-thingy, leggings, scarves, sweaters with flowers embroidered on, and Chinese slippers, also with flowers embroidered on. I must have been feeling confident when I dressed!
Thoughts from class tonight (all about cross cultural values, etc.): I do a good job ministering to my darling MKs, but pretty much I'm a dud at connecting to Papua New Guineans. Is there a way to change? Is the inertia of the Ukarumpa Resort for Displaced Expatriates too great to shift? Am I too much of an introvert to make it happen? Should I move to a village??? Thoughts to go to sleep on.
In other news, I'm scheming to drop the intercultural class and take up the Power Encounter intensive that meets for two intense weeks in November. Please, God, pretty please?