Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back On Broadway

Tonight I watched my fourth, and perhaps final Broadway show of my 2 year stint in NYC.  My apartment guests Denise and her daughter Christina Perry treated me to Phantom of the Opera.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how the show ended. 

I thought of something creative (having nothing to do with the show), and spent the final few moments of the show trying to get my thoughts down on paper before they disappeared.  You have to do that when you're a writer.  Stephen King tells me there's this thing called a "muse" and you absolutely must go with it when it comes to you.  That's why I always carry my journal around with me - except last night.  When I ventured to Bryant Park to meet up with my friend Bethanie I failed to place my journal in my purse bag and had to scramble to find a receipt in my purse to take notes on instead.

Confession: the trouble with me and shows and movies or anything that requires sitting still for long periods of time is I often get lost in my own throughts.  Some people watch movies to relax, but for me it takes a great deal of mental energy and focus.  And not to be narcisitic, but more often than not I find my thoughts to be far more entertainting than the entertainment in front of me. 

I find I watch movies best when a guy (one I like, and preferbly one who likes me in return) is holding me in his arms.  It's amazing how still and quiet I can be throughout a movie when this type of activity is happening simultaneously while viewing the movie.  However, I suspect when I get married, home viewing of movies won't last more than the first 20 minutes of the film.  Who wants to just cuddle when there is so much more fun to be had?  Perhaps it might be best for him to watch the movie on his own while I'm out for a run.  Just an idea.  I know it's nonsensical to think through scenarios as such when you're as single as me, but I have futuristic and strategic as two of my top 5 strengths, so I can't help but to think in such a fashion.

But tonight I did pay attention enough to get one good quote out of the show. 

"Save me from my solitude."

That was the cry of the Phantom, and that is the cry of me.

OUT Takes:
It's a horrible ADD tendency of mine to not be able to sit through movis and shows, but I've accepted my weakness, and mentally prepare for the challenge now every time I go into the theater.

I talked to my CA roommate Sarah Bourns today.  It turns out she and her sister recently attended a conference in Santa Barbara where this single author spoke. She told me this guy seemed very Scriptural, and theologically sound.  She even told me he sounded "pastoral," which seemed odd to me, knowing he would never want to be a pastor.  Anyway, Sarah had only good stuff to say about the speaker and the conference.  I asked her if she got to talk with him at all and Sarah said yes.  She asked him, "Are you ever going to write a book about being single?"
He told her no, but he will.  I KNOW he will.  He just won't write it until after he's married.  And I'd like to predict when this might be, but I just ran out of Peanut M&Ms and have more important matters to attend to.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bryant Park

I very well may have found a New York bestie - finally.  It's yet to be determined if I'll return to the city in the fall, but if I do, I'm rather certain she and I will be friends.  How I know this friendship has potential is because someone dared her to get into the fountain at Bryant Park this evening, and we both accepted the challenge together.

After the photo shoot I shared with her how I had met up with a certain guy by the same fountain in March.  I told her how I really liked this guy, but haven't heard much from him the past couple of months, so I have to assume he's not interested. 

She suggested perhaps I haven't shown enough interest, and perhaps that's why he is keeping his distance.  She then insisted we send him the photo.  I was hesitant, but regardless she proceeded to compose him a message to accompany the pic.  She then requested his digits and I, being easily swayed, allowed her to send the message to him, with my name and personal cell phone number attached.

I doubt I'll hear from him, but I'd be thrilled if I do...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just One Call

Funny how one phone call can change everything.

One moment I'm thinking I'm heading back to Michigan to help lead a youth trip to Colorado, the next moment, I'm being told the trip is canceled due to the fires running rampant throughout the state.

And so I stay in the state of New York a wee bit longer.

I have my apartment until July 9th, but I may opt to return to Michigan in time for the 4th.  We shall see.

I'll admit, I'm secretly hoping there's a specific purpose for me being in the city a few more days - an encounter, a meeting, a guy, an adventure - basically, some sort of something.

Granted, there are something's happening around me all the time and honestly, I feel like half of life is simply about showing up.  It's choosing to be somewhere at a specific place and time.

I smiled when I saw the ducks in Central Park this evening.  I'm glad they showed up this evening, because it reminded me they return.  As Holden Caufield expresses wonderment in the Catcher and the Rye, the ducks may be seemingly gone for a season, but eventually they return.

Although I'll be gone for a season from New York, my hope is that eventually I'll return.  And when I do, I certainly hope for a round two at the Ginger Man's pub.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Someone Else's Dream

"It hit me, someone else's dreams are riding on my future and how my life plays out."

Denise Perry and her daughter Christina are staying with me this week, and even after I leave, in my midtown apartment.

Denise explained to me earlier this year that the only way her daughter could do this dance program she had been accepted into is if they stayed with me.  And I explained to Denise I was uncertain how much longer I'd have my apartment...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Last Royals

It's amazing how magical live music can be.  I'm back in Midtown after starting tomorrow, which is now today, listening to The Last Royals play a late night set at Rockwood Stage 2 in the LES (Lower East Side).

It's my second to last night in NYC.  I'm not ready to leave, but it's time.

Earlier today as I was packing I reflected back to beginning of this year - back to when I was crying out, "God, I don't want to be here any more."

The fact of the matter is, I didn't want to be anywhere, except maybe with family.  My health, my job, my church friendships, and even dating life had shifted from not so good to poor.  I told my parents over the phone, "I have nothing going for me here."

But here I am, 4 months later, crying out to God once more, except this time I'm telling him I'm not ready to leave this place.

But like I said, it's time.

And yes, I've told people I hope to return in September; however, I don't know how life is going to play out, and as I told my friend Travis last week, I'm going back to Michigan indefinitely.

Granted, I can't imagine I'd be there any longer than a few months.  But, I really don't know what God is up to.  And even if/when I leave Michigan, there are no guarantees that I'll return to New York City. Yes I'll be back to visit, but I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to claim New York as home once more.

But I hope so...  mainly because I need hope to keep moving forward.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why 7 Months?

I heard a bunch of relationship stories this past weekend.  I suppose it's inevitable for the topic to be discussed when you're hanging out with a bunch of 20/30 somethings who are mainly single hoping to find somebody some day.  (Don't get me wrong, we talked about other things too - like the health care system in America, the female genocide taking place in China, and man buns.)

One gal shared how she thought she had found someone.  They had been dating for two years and discussing marriage, but on the very day she thought he was going to propose, he dumped her instead.  He informed her ring shopping didn't go as planned.  It's not that he didn't find a ring he liked - he did.  He just realized he didn't like her enough to get her one.

Somebody else, a guy who tried to get me to drive him to the nearby casting  for The Bachelor instead of to the beach, shared a story of how this girl he had been dating ended up marrying her best guy friend instead.  He felt duped - by both her and her family.  She had always insisted it was only friendship, and perhaps it was, but the foundation was being laid for something more.

Then I heard the story of my friend Heidi.  She explained that she and this guy had some sort of instant connection the night they met.  Heidi was hopeful some sort of something might transpire shortly following the incredible evening they had together, but nope, the guy didn't take any action.  Instead, he keeps his distance, leaving Heidi no choice but to give up on the possibility and start dating other guys.  But then, one day, 7 months later, he shows back up in her life.  He made the decision he wants to pursue her, they date for less than a year, he proposes, and she says yes. Heidi explained to me, "It was so easy."

But I'm still wondering, why the 7 months lapse in time?  I had that happen to me once before - a summer romance came to an abrupt halt in August, but then a few days after Valentine's Day I get this apologetic e-mail, and this guy starts pursuing me once more.

Granted, I know there is a timing element involved in all relationships.  But I'm confused by the delay in game.  And delay in game stories are not helpful to hear when all the signs say, "He's just not that into you."  Because those stories give the female me population hope that maybe he is into me, but perhaps he just isn't quite yet ready for me.  But will he ever be?  It is foolish for any woman to place weight on the maybe, but confession, we do it anyway.  Not because we want to, but rather because we think the he is incredibly amazing compared to the rest.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Atlantic Surf

This past weekend my car (named Machi), my surfboard (no name) and I (Katrina Blank - and yes, Blank really is my last name) headed up to Connecticut and over to Rhode Island to catch some Atlantic surf.  Granted, the waves were itty bitty, but even still, it was fun to be back in the ocean with my board after a year-long hietus.

My friend Colin from LA had invited me and 30 of his closest East Coast friends up to his parents' Beach House for the weekend.  While I was there I learned a new game...

And I also heard a few fascinating stories...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What If... ???

What if... you read this e-mail?

Uganda - May 24, 2012

The day my students and I visited Restore Academy we sat in on a lesson on Character Development.  Like Math, English, History, or Science, the subject matter is an integral part of the school's curriculum.  It is taught every Thursday with the intent of raising up leaders in Uganda who are men and women of integrity.  In a country where corruption runs rapid, these students ARE the future hope of their nation.
Just before lunch time the teacher presented a 4 point lesson on Effective Decision Making and as he did I jotted down a few notes in my journal.

1. Critical Thinking
2. Creative Thinking
3. Problem Solving
4. Choices/Choose

At point number two, the teacher paused to have the students practice creative thinking.  He asked them to brainstorm new things they might want for their school.

And so they started dreaming big.

"How about a fire extinguisher?"  One student suggested.  

The teacher wrote fire extinguisher on the chalkboard.  "What else?"

Okay, so maybe they started dreaming small, but the students kept going, and the ideas got bigger and bigger until an entire list of possibilities filled the board.

Possibilities like a school nurse, a bus, a dining hall, a chapel, a basketball court, a library, a canteen, a rugby field, and even a swimming pool.

It's amazing to me what we can dream up when we're invited to do so.  Too often we mask our ideas and dreams for fear,  if spoken, they will be shot down.  

An acquaintance friend of mine named Don is always inspiring people to live out greater stories with their lives.  To prompt people in the creative thinking process, Don challenges them to ask "What if" questions.  This invitation to think outside the box helps people formulate direction and encourages the pursuit of dreams.

I recently learned that Don and his entourage are reworking his website.  (Okay, confession, I started blog stalking Don on a near weekly basis after he and I met up in New York City this past spring.)  His current blog claims his new blog will have a few additional contributors.  When I initially read the announcement, a few "What if" questions came to mind.

"What if" Don shared with me the vision for this new website, and "what if" I was able to write and submit a half dozen potential blog posts for Don's team to review, and "what if" they liked what I wrote and "what if" I was invited to contribute from time to time?

Granted this might be a swimming pool size dream, but for me, and for the students, there is no loss in the asking.

Cheers from 34th Street,
Katrina Marie

PS Hope you're doing well!  :) Tell Lucy I said hello. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Text

I have this rule about not texting or writing e-mails to guys after midnight.  I figure I'm not always in my best frame of mind after midnight, and I may text or write something I later come to regret.

Which has happened on more than one occasion.  Not that I write anything mean (I'm not a mean person) or anything scandalous (okay, so maybe a few times, but flirty fun - not skanky), but I admit, I break my rule more often than I ought.  And in most instances, it makes matters worse.

Which is why I'm blogging right now rather than texting - I'm avoiding making matters worse.  But sometimes, like right now, I try to justify sending a message, claiming it can't get any worse than it already is. When you're already in the deficit, what's a few more points in the negative.

I suppose that's why our national deficit is getting so big - important people in government sending text messages and e-mails after midnight when they should either be sleeping or having sex with their spouse - that is, if they have a spouse.  I don't have one, but would like one - a spouse that is, not a national debt.  My student loan debt from grad school is weighty enough; I'd rather not take on a national debt as well.  That would suck.

I had a conference call tonight with some very Republican friends.  They are fearful Obama is going to increase our debt even more AND make our nation into a socialist, communist empire.

I listened, and internally acknowledged, we are screwed.  But I don't think we're screwed because of Obama.  I think any of our top leaders would do a sh*tty job in redirecting our nation.  Perhaps because there's not much vision for our nation except for the vision of buying lots of cool stuff and going into debt.

Perhaps if I don't find a spouse in the next few years, I'll run for President instead.  I just need Michigan's football team to have a few good seasons running up to the election because I'll definitely need the Wolverine vote to win.

1:25 EST

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Blame It On Katrina

Disclaimer: Today's post pertains to me, not the hurricane that destroyed New Orleans several years ago.  Unlike hurricanes, I do my best to usher in life, not destruction.  Kind of like Jesus, I suppose, but at a dumbed down level, not because I'm dumb, but rather because Jesus is much more brilliant and life-giving than me.

Anyway... now that I am done disclaiming, today I got a mass text from a student who was on my East Africa team.

He wrote, "Hey Africa team, turns out my dad and i are skydiving for fathers day today.  I blame Katrina.  Miss you guys!"

I appreciated the shout out.  And pondered for a bit how many others in this world would blame "it" on me - whatever "it" my be.  This student's blame was in reference to my skydiving adventure I went on in April.

I just hope I'm inspiring students with more than the idea of jumping out of a plane.

In other news, this evening someone who I don't know all too well called me trustworthy.  I'm not sure how she determined I am trustworthy, but I'm pleased that she did.  Because I like to think I am someone people can trust.

But now I'm pondering, what makes someone trustworthy? How do most people define it? defines trustworthy as "deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable," and lists the following synonyms: true, accurate, honest, faithful.

It appears trustworthiness is something that is tested and proven or time unless you are a person of trustworthy association.  Then you only need the reference of a trustworthy friend and you're automatically in the "in" club.

But it's inevitable at some point in time we will be less than accurate or reliable, but even in those instances, if we admit our shortcomings and say we are sorry,  our trustworthiness increases - at least in most cases.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Blank Way

My brother is in town.

Tonight he told me he was recruited out of his living room in Detroit to be in a movie directed by Jim Jarmusch.

Jarmusch recently dropped my brother's home to consider using it as set, but rather than wanting to use the home, he liked my brother's "look" and decided to use him instead.  My brother agreed, and this past week someone dropped by to get my brother's measurements.

Funny thing is, my brother isn't even pursuing work in film, yet the opportunity came to him.  I told him, "That's the way to do it."  That's how I got my job in New York - the opportunity came to me while I was doing some reading by my pool in the backyard of my CA home.


My brother and I chatted politics for a bit in Bryant Park and then made our way back to my apartment, where he reminded me of what Romney believes - when it comes to religion.

Now, I've studied Mormonism a bit in grad school, talked to a Mormon in line for Space Mountain at Disneyland, and even visited Utah once, but the best explanation I've ever heard is brought to you by South Park.

My brother and I watched the episode together.  And I'm starting to think voting for Romney is a less than... well...  I'm still formulating my thoughts on the matter...

(BTW, my brother says, Not to watch anything until Season 6.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

7 Somethings...

And so in Michigan on Sunday, I listened to Dr. Lance Wallnau speak on the 7 Mountains of Influence - Business, Government, Arts & Entertainment, Media, Church, Family, Education.

And this evening, on 38th Street in New York City, I heard Gabe Lyons, founder of Q ideas, speak on, what he calls the 7 Channels of Influence.  He listed nearly the same 7, with the exception of family; that, he replaced with the Social Sector.

Although the material presented was similar, the method of delivery couldn't be more different.  The latter presentation resonated much more with my Spirit, while the first made me wonder why I didn't appreciate the style of delivery the way my parents did.

After the presentation this evening I spoke with Gabe, and inquired if he had bummed his material off of Lance.  I didn't phrase it as such, but that is/was what I wanted to know.  Did he or did he not steal Lance's material. 

He explained that he had never heard of Lance (but he was quickly impressed I knew Gordon - most people are, except Don Miller; he had never heard of Gordon, so I had to tell Don to google him.

And so we got chattin' for a bit, and Gabe explained his preference for the wording channel over mountain.  He shared with me that mountains make it sound like we are out to conquer each mountain one by one in some sort of attempt to take over the world while channels is more about faithful presence in each of the spheres.

It made sense to me what he was saying.  The nuances associated with the two positions us differently.  One is a presence of humility and a gentle strength, while the other is about standing at the top.

Much to think about...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Owosso Conference

Funny how nearly 80 people gathered today in Owosso, Michigan because I happen to reply to an e-mail back in April stating I would be back in the Midwest for a few days.

My e-mail turned into a 2 day mini-conference with nearly 100 participants over the course of 2 days, with speakers Gordon Pennington, Dr. Lance Wallnau, and Kelly Monroe Kullberg.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Win - Again!

Tonight my fate was decided by an 8 year old drawing from a fishbowl containing nearly 500 pieces of paper.  And as fate, or perhaps God, might have it, the kid drew the piece of paper containing my name on it.  And so I win - AGAIN.

Granted, it wasn't tickets to the Super Bowl (like I won two years ago), but a $50 gift card to Starbucks isn't too shabby of a prize.

This type of favor or "wining" seems to happen in my life more often than it ought.  In fact, going into the drawing, I told myself, tonight isn't your night to win anything.  You've already had too much working in your favor over the past several years.  Someone else ought to win the prize - someone who hasn't had as much "luck" in life.  After all, why should I get all the good stuff?  Why should I get all the extra favor - like winning tickets to the Super Bowl, living in a house with a pool, spa, and tennis courts, only to be recruited out of my backyard for a job in NYC that comes with free housing in midtown only to run into my crush in Central Park and end up at a Black Eyed Peas concerts with him, because he happens to have an extra ticket and... well, you get the point. 

It's true.  I've had a lot working in my favor in life.  But then again, I've also had a lot of crap, so perhaps God is helping to compensate; I'm not sure. 

I don't care to overspiritualize winning a gift card to Starbucks, but I will share, what I learned tonight, is that I should continue to be expectant of God's working and provision in my life.

I'm at a conference at Taylor University this week, and one of the speakers made the statement, "God will not under resource you for what he is calling you to do..."

And so as I enter a season of writing, and financial uncertainty, I trust that God will continue to pave the way.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Year Ago

As I was putting on eyeliner this evening I considered that it has been exactly a year since I last kissed a guy. As I headed out the door to join a few other for drinks in Soho, I recalled an additional kiss that took place in the fall in Soho.  I'm surprised my memory lapsed.  It's out of character for me to forget something as such...

But it was exactly a year ago I shared breakfast in the Empire State Building with my eternal crush, a picnic lunch in Central Park with my hottest crush, and then enjoyed a glass of wine in Soho at the residence of my Spring fling - all in the same day.  I would have been more than happy to marry any of the 3 guys - not all at once, of course.  I have no interest in practicing polygamy - that would be miserable.

I met a polygamist while I was in Africa and he explained that it is diffult to keep up with two sets of wives and children.   One marriage was arranged, the other, a romance.