under the weather

today's a sick day (meaning it will consist of me snuggled in my bed with tea, tissues, cough drops, cold meds and Hulu). Nearly everyone in my house has come down with something or another...I blame all the gray, wet icky-ness outside for everything.

I always feel kind of pathetic on sick-days though...let me paint you a picture: it is currently pre-7am and I am sitting in my darkened living room because I can't sleep due to my inability to breathe. The rain is pouring (seriously, I'm considering building an ark if this doesn't let up soon) and I'm making a list of really stupid things I don't need but really want as I come across them on the Internet (like this and this). I'm about to go wrap up in my snuggie (leopard print, naturally) and I'm wearing a men's plaid flannel shirt paired with flowery pajama bottoms. I probably won't put contacts in today and I'll maybe just live on peanut butter toast and leftover funfetti cake. Despite my copious amount of free time due to class-skipping, I'll probably spend it (very productively) watching youtube videos or surfing stumble-upon.

so yes, I'm a pitiful-looking specimen, but you know what I think? some days you are just allowed to be under the weather. I'll emerge into cheerfulness (along with matching clothes, although I can't guarantee anything) tomorrow :)

Why I don't have a password on my computer

Or rather, why I should:

1) People can get on the computer and look at my facebook.
2) People can get on the computer and look at my email.
3) People can impersonate me on gchat.
4) People can post on my blog.


- Emily Thompson's first guest blogger.

what the Tax Collector heard

from the sycamore I see the heads
of the slighted, sea-shifting crowns of hair,
each mumbling below me, waiting. from here
I survey the bruises from the crowd.
from here, I watch.

in the mixture of cascading voices
I listen for my own pulse.
the air carries down from the tree
the jingling of coins in my pockets -
a weighty noise, a brassy ring
when I shift upon the branches
and wait from here
and try being still.

Foolish, they'll think,
and he'll echo their curses.
it's suddenly that I envision
my worst fears arriving
with the sound of his voice,

a mighty hurricane
to shake the trunk,
to tumble me out of here.

suddenly, I look to see
I'm found by him.

and now I hear nothing at all
except my own name.
no silver dancing through the breeze or
babbling breath below when he calls me -
my own letters are the sound of blood rushing.
it's all I can do not to
cry like an infant tasting air
as though it were sugar
after inhaling for the first time.

from here, we leave.
he embraces me as we walk,
my shoulders lifting up
even against the weight of his arm,
and even my ears seem to soar,
muted from the cries

I imagine escaping behind.

even my past, which once sounded
like the clanging of drums,
even that and all things forward
now sound like all the trees of the field,
clapping their hands.

life is awkward

Little introvert-me does not enjoy speaking up in class. I'd rather sit and enjoy in silence. This has proven to be slightly problematic with my two workshop writing classes, both of which basically require talking all the time.

This morning, I had my poetry workshop. After not speaking all class, my teacher asked if I'd read another student's poem aloud. Second stanza in, I get to the word "nipped", and of course, being it that these sort of things happen to me frequently, I pronounced it "nippled".

"Nippled" does not exist in the dictionary....and also, it includes the word "nipple".

Needless to say, I remained mute for the remainder of class.

even on my crazy-town wednesday

I still found time to write about zombies. Gotta make room for the important things in life, you know?

(This was greatly influenced by Matthea Harvey's piece "The Straightforward Mermaid", which I read in the New Yorker a few days ago. Love the last line...click that link and check it out)

The Home-life of Zombies

The two zombies sit side-by-side in their musty oversized arm chairs during the late afternoons, and from there they watch the cat chase sunspots on the carpet. Ned, on the right, has dirt in the creases of his elbow and a rotting eye. Susan, to the left, wears a dress with moldy lace trim. “I’d rather learn the Argentinean Tango this afternoon, Ned,” she says, twirling from her chair, straw-like hair bouncing (almost with vitality) from her shoulders. Their gray hands clasp, dust flies from the bottom of their feet, the cat stares, entranced from his spot near the curtains. He watches their yellow-toenails jumping, the string from their deteriorating clothing looping through the air in play. “I should charge you for this,” Ned jokes and they sit back down, exhausted. Sometimes they just look at each other, that knowing glance after years together on earth and under, laughing. It’s still utterly hysterical to them that their favorite part of the house is the living room. As dusk falls, they collect themselves and make for the door, arms outstretched stiffly, practicing their open-mouthed stare in the mirror in the foyer. Ned lumbers toward Susan and asks if it was scary enough. Susan says he needs to practice his guttural growl if he wants to be truly terrifying. As they wander the city streets, Ned throws a wink at Susan. Zombies love that sort of private joke.

guitar practice

I've gotten a lot less self-conscious about my guitar playing ever since I made a video for my friend Gabe of me playing/singing a Spanish song (because I always told him I would play guitar for him when I was Nicaragua, but I never got around to it). Anyway, I sent Gabe this video after I got home and told him not to show it to a soul....come to find out, he showed it to pretty much every person on the planet. SO now that every single Nicaraguan has heard my horrible rendition of Fotografia by Nelly Furtado, I don't feel as nervous anymore. But it's still a learning experience.

Most of my guitar practices go like this: I start off really excited and on beat, and then end up forgetting the chords, or getting bored of the chords and start playing my own thing to a completely random beat. Or I forget the words and start making ridiculous things up or just singing "la la la", which is sometimes more fun than singing words. It's a rare day when I can play a song straight through without crazy amounts of mistakes or without giving up.

But here's what I love about learning guitar: It's about grace. Grace for myself when I mess up, grace to know that all good things come with patience and time, and grace to know that with practice, that stupid F chord will not always defeat me. Here's to hoping that one sweet day in the future, I'll be able to make it through a song without utterly deteriorating.

Below is a good example of loosing it at the end, and also an example of one of my favorite songs (It's called Green Eyes by Coldplay :) )

sand, sun & GUEST POSTS!

In exactly 20 days, I'll be kickin' back by the ocean and I am over-the-moon with excitment! I've been craving some sand and sun and waves in my life. Today, I thought I'd upload a guest post written by fellow beach-lover, housemate & friend, Kendall Hancock. Enjoy! :)

The ocean is powerful yet gentle at the same time. When the tide is high, I see it pounding against the sandy drop off, eating away one layer of sand at a time. The bubbly fingers extend and the grit is whisked away by yet another wash of salty water. A few stray shells tumble and turn with the sweep of the wave. Watching the little foamy front receding, the water looks calm and refreshing. The sun sparkles down on it, reflecting off the surface like glass in a mirror. Then I hear a deep crash and the roll of the waves. I can feel it in by chest the same way you can feel the beat of a drum. I lift my eyes from my feet where the waves tickle my toes out to the horizon and the deep sea. I squint out and wonder what it would feel like to be one of those waves on my journey to shore. I would rise up and down to the gentle beat of the ocean with not a care in the world but to be floating happily along. I would smile up at the pelicans as they skimmed by and enjoy the beauty of the sun’s rays shining down causing sparkles to dance around me. Then I would start to swell the closer I got to shore. I would continue to rise filling up with pressure from beneath me. I would reach up to the sky with the tip of my peak, and then suddenly I would start to topple over. Frothy foam would appear as began to spill and overflow. In a second I would come crashing down, beating against the water of the wave receding in front of me and swallowing it completely. Then my foamy fingers would extend to the sandy shore, rushing towards the dunes in one big swoosh. I would start to lose momentum and reach out with my last bit of strength to tear away at a layer of that sandy wall. The sand would crumble at my touch, making me feel powerful and important. Then I would slide away back toward the sea, bubbling and satisfied. Standing there, the warm sun beats down on my face, pulsing to the rhythm of the ocean tide. Then the something changes. The ocean’s pull is just a little different. Now the tide starts receding. The waves crash on the shore with seemingly the same force, but they don’t tear away at the sandy wall anymore. The foam reaches out just the same, but this time a shell escapes its grasp. As I lie in bed that night, I can hear the ocean waves in the distance, whispering me to sleep. It’s a sweet sound like the soft rustling of fall leaves. I imagine myself again out in that deep, blue water. The rise and fall rocks me to an even tempo. The salty mist tingles and cools my face and I allow that gentle, powerful ocean to drift me off into the night.


That little bug used to flip his eyelids inside-out, even though I thought it was gross. Actually, he flipped his eyelids inside-out because I thought it was gross, which was the desired reaction.

Standing in the entrance of his neighborhood off of the highway and seeing what kind of trouble my little insecto was up to became an almost daily event. Usually he was kicking around dirt between his house and Carmen's, soccer ball at his feet or mango in hand, his face splattered with yellow-stickiness, his fingers coated in dust and juice. "Marcos, ven aqui!" I'd call in, and then I'd hear him giggle and watch him quickly turn his back towards me. "MARCOOOOOOOS!" I'd call again, in a louder sing-song, and the giggle would greet my words like a magnet. He'd start to shuffle backwards to where I was standing, small shoulders shaking with laughter. As soon as Marcos got in front of me, he'd pause (for dramatic effect, naturally) and then jump, twirling in the air. When we were face to face, the pinks of his eyelids were revealed, and I'd squirm at the whites above his pupils. We'd chase each other until laughter got the best of us and he'd collapse into my arms and then we'd spin and spin and spin.

I've realized that I now associate rain with everything "Nicaragua": with the joyful release it brought us from days of heat, with the sound of it colliding against the windows of our van, with the awe of watching an entire dirt road disappear under the h
and of a flood-empowered river. Mostly, though, it makes me think of my last night with Marcos, when a storm took the power away and we sat on Carmen's patio with only the light from a birthday candle. It was all the kids in the neighborhood, all of them under there trying to escape the weather. We sat in a circle, a few of us gringos and the whole herd of Nica children. Someone started a round of Duck-Duck-Goose, which was mostly a frenzy of screaming and jumping up and down. After awhile, Marcos grew tired of the game and came to snuggle in my lap. I found it funny, that this little chico had become so precious to me so quickly.

This littl
e boy with the deepest dimples, the loudest scream you've ever heard, the biggest hugs and the most teeny tiny legs imaginable - he was the hardest goodbye. When we left, he shrieked "adios!" at the top of his lungs, not realizing then that we weren't coming back the next afternoon to take him to English class or to share an avocado. Marcos, his whole family, and every single one the neighbors stood there in the rain, waving.

Not too long ago, I saw a picture someone took of him with a new haircut. It made me sad to think of him growing up there, becoming a new person far away, already different. It doesn't seem fair, t
hat he got to witness (whether he knew it or not) me grow and change, how he was there each day as my transforming self stood at the entrance of his neighborhood hoping he could play. He saw me come and leave differently, and I'm too far away to watch as he does the same.

But really, when I think of this new hair-trimmed Marcos, I realize that the growing is sweet. It's the most precious type of excitement, imagining that little bug in years to come: becoming a man, changing the world.

photo cred on top photo to Joanna Lang, one of the most awesome chicas ever and a soon-to-be Manna PD! yippe! :)

an opinion from the seven-year-old little girl I babysit

"You know what word I can't stand to read? "Update", because then I see "date", and then I'm like EWWWWWWW, dating! Boys are SO DISGUSTING! Sometimes I hear people say that they want to date a boy, and then I'm like 'you are really weird! that's gross!' "

I've got this dude on repeat

if you're looking for some unique, new worship, check it:

if you want to read something pretty visually awesome:

O LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent

and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind

... May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works-

he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

(psalm 104.)

an Emily dictionary

sometimes I say weird things. But here's the fun part - we all do. I love little people-isms, you know? Like when you hear some exclamation and think, "oh, that's such a blank thing to say!" I love how everyone has their own expressions, and I love the way these sort of infiltrate our lives without our knowing it. There are certain things I always say that I've noticed my friends saying, and the other way around. Here are a few favorite strange words or expressions I find frequently escaping my lips:

Crazy-town: when something is absurd, or, well, crazy. Eric Cmar counted that I said this 7 times during lunch the other day, making me feel as though I should cut back.

Wowzers: again, an expression of disbelief, or just something I say instead of "cool".

Voms-ville or Barf City: When I think something is excessively disgusting. (I started using Barf City in high school and now all my friends from home use it)

That's WILD!: Not actually wild as in exotic or uncontrollable, but rather wild as in "that's crazy". This one isn't so weird, I just use it a lot.

Oh my stars!: a recent addition to my repertoire. I find it more amusing than "oh my gosh"

Bumskis: Not, as one might be led to believe, defective wCheck Spellinginter sporting equipment, but rather a phrase to indicate that something is a "bummer". (I think I potentially stole this from my teammate Carter, but I can't be certain)

Perfecto: because I like spanish and I like saying this better than saying "great!"

-zies: this is an ending I've recently come to adore, although it's probably annoying. Like when I see someone from far away and go "HIZIES!" or when I'm giving directions I might say "Go straightzies" (with inspiration from K-Doll & E-Boss)

[what funny words/phrases can you utilize today?]

Ode to a Solo Cup

Thou still, plastic symbol of college-life-
Thou bright embodiment of Waste and Excess
littering the yard. what canst thou express
more sweetly than a tale of post-midnight techno music:
What academic scholars by day, ravers by night

Clasp their fingers about thy shape,
In Frat houses or behind the sidewalks of my street?
What mixed drinks are these? What cheap beers fill?
What wild pursuits? What memories forgotten?
What Gaga song will they dance to next?

Heard rap mixes are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye blaring stereos, play on;
Not in the house next door, but, more distanced,
Like far down yonder street and away from mine window:
Fair youth, under strobe lights, thou canst not leave

Thy party, nor ever wear an outfit from last weekend;
Intoxicated Friend, never, never canst thou vomit
for you will be asked to leave; yet, do not grieve;
Fun times cannot fade, except for in the morn,
Hours your head will pound, resting
Solo cups still on the ground!

Ah, happy, happy trashcans! that cannot hold
Your rimmed-sides crushed, nor ever bid the evening adieu;
And, among happy bed-heads, nauseated,
For ever fated to decompose right there;
More happy trash! more happy, happy trash!
For ever your sight leaves one to be annoy'd,
For ever rotting, and for ever red;
All smelling of sour liquor,
That leaves a nose high-sorrowful,
A burning, and a keg still on the porch.

O Knowing Cup! O Strange Litter! with shots
From college parties over-flowing,
Thrown amongst forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent transporter! dost tease me with cynical thoughts
As doth other minor youthful annoyances: Drunken Stereotype!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, probably still in mine neighbor's yard
And we together, shall hear to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—now will you guys start using Dixie Cups
because I am done being associated with beer pong.'

(highly inspired by Ode on a Grecian Urn by Keats, and also by the abundance of red Solo cups scattering the yard next to ours)

today I am anti-artificial lighting

and all about the fantastic weather & these songs that make me want to doodle rainbows or have a picnic or skip to class or drive with all the windows down. enjoy :)

whatever he does prospers

There are moments when I want to drop out of school and go do something amazing with my life. There are moments when I want to travel the world recklessly, putting all my stake in the Lord. There are moments when I am bored, when I sit around getting heavy with pointless details of my day, when I long just to graduate and leave and start living. There are moments when I dream huge things for my future.

And in those moments, I give the Lord a lot of thoughts to rebuke.

Maybe one of the most tragic things about living is that we don't do it enough. Do you know what I mean? We wait for the next big thing, we waste our days, we get tired of our life because we imagine it as ordinary and we are not satisfied. I know you've felt that way because you are human, and it's what we do. We are impatient and we are blind.

In Psalm 1, it says that those who delight in the Lord are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit in each season (NLT). It says that our leaves will not wither, and in all we do, we will prosper (NIV). It says that we are always in blossom (the message). Always.

I write this as a confession and as a reminder. I forget it often, but these things I've learned to be truth: there is space for amazing things in my life now. I can put all my stake in the Lord right at this second. There are no excuses for boredom, there is every opportunity for God to be glorified in each detail, my world is moving and transforming as I type this. The Lord has big dreams for me today. There is nothing to wait for.

It is good to be excited for the future, but don't let it keep you from being excited for today. What I'm learning is that as I follow the Lord and go to places He calls me to be, there will always be a riverbank nearby. Even the "ordinary" locations, even two more years of being in college. My prayer is that in my impatience for real "life", I will discover that there is room for a miraculous time of living, where my every minute is a gorgeous thing, blooming.

weird questions I ask myself

What if everyone was bald? Would it be as awesome as I imagine (because I wouldn't have to deal with my sassy bangs or ever wash my hair again) or would it be lame (because I would miss that clean-hair-shampoo smell, which is fabulous)?

What if no one had noses, like it was just flat right there on your face? What if you started choking and had no nose to breathe through?

Why are boys so strange?

How sweet would it be if you could legitimately swim in a pool full of jell-o?

What if we still used the barter system to purchase all things? Do I have anything of value that other people would want? I would be like "hey, here is this collection of books from high school that I never threw away, including Return of the Native and Frankenstein. Please give me peanut butter."

What if meals of the day were reversed? like everyone ate mashed potatoes and gravy for breakfast and...oh wait, lunch would still be the same. but then it'd be breakfast for dinner ALL THE TIME. which would basically be heaven on earth.

No, seriously. Why are boys so strange?

How many people have died from accidents involving kitchen appliances?

What if everyone in our culture valued old age over youth?

Will overalls ever again be socially acceptable?

What if everyone in the world recognized (as I do) what a hilarious show Hannah Montana is?

Would I still be the same person if I'd never read Harry Potter? Or would I be significantly less awesome?

Who was the person who decided that pantyhose should exist? I mean really, people. They are FLESH colored. and they don't keep you warm. and they are itchy. and my mom makes me wear them.

What if the human body only needed two hours of sleep per night?

How many friends would I make if I rode a segway to all of my classes?

If I I had seen Taylor Swift in the hallway of my high school and she wasn't famous, would I have thought she was pretty?

How much would my Young Life kids hate me if I led songs via recorder?

What if those digital pets (like gigapets or something like that) were still really cool? Would everyone be skipping classes because they had to take care of them and clean up their digital poop?

What if donuts were good, healthy food options? Would that cause me to hate them?

What if no one could physically cry? How else would you release sad emotions, or react to pain, or to something really beautiful slash wonderful?

Why is playing Ultimate with squid 100x more amazing than with a Frisbee?

Why do I have to wear pants? (question asked by Kendall Hancock)