Monday, April 30, 2007

My favorite group is no longer together

Concert tickets: 40 dollars
Parking and gas: 25 dollars
Snacks and drinks inside: 10 dollars
T-shirt: 25 dollars
Seeing Nickelcreek in their "Farwell Tour"...priceless.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Update on our psycho neighbor

This was on our CBS station news. Dang. Here's the article online:

04/28/07 3:35 PDT

A man suspected of stabbing his brother at their home in on Thursday turned himself in to the County Sheriff's Office on Friday, police reported.

Police received a phone call from the two brothers' neighbor at about 12 a.m. on Thursday reporting that one of her neighbors was being stabbed with a knife, police reported.

Responding officers determined that 25-year-old Daniel Campbell allegedly stabbed his brother in the abdomen while the two brothers were in the backyard of their home.

After the stabbing, the neighbor took the victim to the hospital while Campbell reportedly fled the area on a bicycle.

Police issued a warrant for Campbell's arrest and sent out a press release warning people that he should be considered "armed and dangerous."

Campbell turned himself in to the County Sheriff's Office shortly after noon on Friday, police reported. He was transported to the County Jail and booked on suspicion of attempted murder.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sirens in the night

Wow. Who knew that my tiny little town could be a hotbed of criminal activity??

To begin this story, I better go back a bit. We have some interesting next door neighbors. And by "interesting", I mean "psycho". Well, one of them is anyway. They are two twin brothers - Jon and Dan. Both probably 25. They've lived in their house for 6 years. Their parents died and that is what was left for them. They've had roomates come and go and we talk with them whenever we see them and have had them over a few times.

But in the past year, things have gotten bad.

It all started when they decided to have a HUGE bonfire in their backyard. It was in the summer when everything was dead and dry and if a tree caught on fire, we'd all be toast. (We have a mini-forest in our backyard) So after asking them to tone down the fire and them drunkingly not repsonding, we called the fire department. After the fire dept. came and asked them to put it out, they came out to the street, flipped off the world, and screamed, "SCREW YOU, NEIGHBORS!" not knowing which neighbor made the call.

Then, came the night drag races. They love dirt biking. I usually don't mind it. Unless it is on a quiet Saturday or Sunday or in the middle of the night. Which has happened. They have made a mini-course in their backyard which came into our backyard which made our landlord pretty angry. Sometimes they'll just ride up and down our street and the noise is deafening. These things are not a big deal, we're all pretty nice and flexible with each other. But then things got worse.

About 8 months ago or so, we would wake up at 2 or 4 or any other ungodly hour of the morning to the sound of screaming. Terrifying, loud, piercing screaming. And then that was usually followed with swear words, threats, and more screaming. When you wake up in the dead of night to that, it is so scary! And there's the fact that our driveway echoes like crazy and it sounds like that is all happening right by our window. Ack!

Basically, one of our neighbors, Dan, has not been doing well. According to his brother Jon, he has scared away all of their roomates (they've probably had 5 roomates come and go in the last year). He gets drunk, violent, angry, you name it. He has punched people and ripped out the fence between their house and the other neighbor's house when they got in a fight. Anyway, it was happening a lot. We totally called the cops a couple times because all the screaming made us worried that someone was hurt. Even when we weren't calling the cops, cops just always seemed to be over there. Finally two weeks ago, we saw the house was up for sale. Whew. Enough of this drama. In talking to Jon two days ago, he said he and his brother were kind of going through a "divorce", it wasn't going well, and Dan needed help. Jon didn't know what to do.

That brings us to Wednesday night. I always get home late on Wednesdays because of college group. I was getting ready for bed around midnight and all of a sudden I heard the screaming again. "Not again," I thought. But then it got worse. I heard a guy yelling, "HELP ME! SOMEBODY HELP ME!" I freaked and ran to my window. Outside I saw a white truck take off down the street. Someone else got on a bike and took off. What the heck is going on?!?!

Then, I heard sirens in the night. At least 5 or 6 cop cars came to the house and there were officers everywhere. They came into our driveway and started searching around their house and in our backyards with flashlights. I realized they were probably looking for the brothers because something happened. So I decided to go out and tell them I saw them both leave. I threw on a sweatshirt and shoes and ran out the door, where I bumped into a roomie who was also going outside to see what was happening. I saw a policeman so I started to say, "Excuse me, sir..."


We fled. A couple other roomates were up now and we all were looking out the window. A couple minutes later an officer came up to our window and told us to stay in our house. Something had happened and they thought Dan was armed with a rifle. We of course got all scared. He really has gone psycho.

The 8 or 9 officers plus dogs surrounded the house and yelled for them to come out with their hands up or they were going to let the dog in, who would bite them if he found them, etc. I felt like I was watching an episode of Law & Order/CSI in my front yard. They searched the house and found no one. I did hear them say they found some marijuana growing. Lovely.

I stayed up till 2:30 am listening and watching, too scared to go to sleep. We were all so tired on Thursday. I called the police department after work to get an update. The guy I talked to gave me the scoop: Dan and Jon got in a fight, Dan STABBED his brother in the stomach (what the crap?! Who DOES that?!) and then took off. They had not found him yet. They were afraid he had taken his rifle with him. There was a warrant out for his arrest. And Jon was still in the hospital. If we were ever to see Dan sneaking back into his house, we were to immediately call 9-1-1.

The officers came back last night at midnight and did the whole house-search with the dogs and everything. Dan hasn't been back. This is probably the most action this city has seen in 5 years. And all of this happening right next door to us.

Needless to say, we lock our doors at night now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Not To Wear

My roomates have started something: What Not To Wear (Gordon House Edition!)

If any of you have watched the show on TLC, Clinton and Stacy go to hopeless fashion victims and pledge to educate them on "What Not To Wear". They go through the person's wardrobe and make snarky comments while the victim watches helplessly off to the side. For example: Clinton says, "Oh no you DI-DN'T buy this wrap! This looks like a picnic blanket!" He and Stacy will then pretend to sit on it and have a picnic. Quickly after, they'll stand up and toss it into the big garbage can while the woman tears up a little bit because her husband gave that to her on their 20th wedding anniversary or whatever. Pure drama.

Anyway, in the name of "spring cleaning" and "fun", my roomates started our own version of "What Not To Wear". One of us brings ALL our clothes into the living room. The rest who are the Stacys and Clintons get ready: pj's, food, drinks, exercise balls, magazines...whatever we're going to do between changes. And then it begins...

The other night it was roomate # 3's turn. During the night as she tried things on, here were some comments I made/heard (in between lots of laughter):

"It makes you look too box-y."
"You are only allowed 10 cotton T-shirts."
"That makes you look like 'Fonz' from Happy Days"
"What IS that?! Outdoorsy pants? Oh ok, you can keep that."
"I don't like the bottom. I like from the waist up, but not the bottom."
"Do you have any other colored shirts besides maroon, brown, or turquoise?"
"Yes, you can have two pairs of pj bottoms."
"You don't need more than 2 long sleeved white shirts."
"Next time you go shopping, buy tops with patterns on them."
"Oh, yeah. Those are definitely 'work' pants. Keep 'em."
"What?! Are you a lumberjack?! Toss it!"

I am looking back at these comments in wonder. Who ARE we?! Wow, we can be pretty harsh in the name of fashion. The 2 previous roomates who already had their turn seemed to be extra vocal with their comments...they already had to endure comments about their clothes and were ready to dish it out to others.

Ok, so here's my confession. I am scared for my turn. I really want to do it, because I need to clean out my closet and I am interested in what my roomates' opinions are on my clothes. But secretly I am terrified. Everyone has those articles of clothing that have sentimental value and we want to keep them forever even though they are completely ridiculous or out of style. I can just picture myself trying on a shirt and being like (whining voice) "Come on, guys! I know I never wear it! But what if one day I wake up and think, 'I really want to wear my Rainbow Brite shirt!' "

Yikes. I have a feeling I am going to be donating a lot of clothes to Goodwill. And my pitiful excuses will not hold up to the roomates' scrutiny. And I am also going to probably feel like a complete and total fashion victim. Maybe I should give Stacy and Clinton a call.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spiderman 4 without Kirsten??

I read something today that made me laugh. Since Spiderman 3 is coming out in a couple weeks, there is already speculation about whether this will be the last one or if there will be a Spiderman 4.

The director (Sam Raimi) might possibly be working on "The Hobbit" next. And recently, Kirsten Dunst said if Sam weren't going to direct the next Spidey...well she wasn't on board either. And I quote:

"Audiences aren't stupid. It'd be a big flop without me, Tobey, or Sam. That would really not be the smartest move. But they know that already. [Sony chief] Amy Pascal would never do that."

Here is my response:

Dear Kirsten,

Look. I'm sure you're a nice person and all. I'm a big fan of the cheerleading moves you and your team busted out in "Bring It On". But I'm sorry to have to say this - you're one of my least favorite actresses. I wouldn't be all that sad if they replaced ya in Spiderman 4 with another actress who

Kindest regards, Sarah

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What would you have said to him?

I had a conversation with a college student - I'll call him Kevin - the other night. He told me he grew up Catholic but fell away from "religion" in high school. He said he turned his back on God. He instead became fascinated with science. He could prove (or disprove) anything with science. That made him pumped to find Christians to argue with. He said he also got into history.

So while we're talking, he said, "Sarah...I only came to the college group because of Michelle. And during the whole time we were dating, she would tell me about the Bible and Jesus but I never really wanted to understand. Now that we're broken up...I still want to come to church. I want to learn more. This is really hard for me, though. I love science so much. I've always used it against Christianity. And now I'm looking into Christianity and it's weirding me out a little. And I also love history, and let's be honest: Christians don't have the greatest history. When I think of them forcing their religion on the Natives when they first got here and spreading their disease and death...and then when I think about the Crusades and other times in history like that...why would I WANT to be a part of that?"

And then Kevin paused.

"And even if I did...why the hell would God want me?"

Monday, April 16, 2007

not again

I remember where I was when the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit. I remember what I felt when I saw on the news the sadness of Columbine in 1999. I remember the shock that registered through me when a friend told me the horror in the morning of 9/11. I remember standing in the living room and watching the Indonesia tsunami in Dec. '04 and then Hurricane Katrina in Aug.'05. These country (and world) events stay with me. I remember them vividly.

And now, sadly, I have a new one.

I came home from Mexico last night and was so tired, I couldn't even put words together to form coherent sentenes for my roomates. I went to bed and didn't wake up till noon today. I was still so incredibly tired. "Gosh, what an amazing week," I was thinking. "These high school and college students built 5 houses. We all bonded as a family. There were no major illnesses, accidents, car problems. Such an awesome experience!"

Because I had planned to not leave my bed all day, I grabbed my laptop and went to check my email. As I got on yahoo, my heart stopped. WHAT?! A school shooting? Virginia Tech? 33 people dead and more than 15 injured? How could this happen???

It felt so surreal. Here I was, recovering from an incredible mission trip and feeling so tired and weary...and the first day back, I am reading about the worst shooting rampage in our nation's history.

I was watching the news and they showed about 20 seconds of someone's cell phone video capturing the sounds of the gunfire inside a school building. I seriously felt like I was going to throw up. And then a half hour later, they played it again. STOP! I felt like back at 9/11 when the news kept replaying the scenes of the planes hitting the towers over and over again. I wanted to look away or turn the TV off, but I couldn't. I felt so sick to my stomach.

I am so sad.

I don't get our world.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Make a run for the border

Hi everyone. Tomorrow morning I head out to Tijuana, Mexico with 100 other people (high school students, college students, adult leaders, parents, etc). We are going to build 5 homes! I am really looking forward to what God has in store for us. We'll be back April 15th. Please pray for us while we are gone. Hasta la vista, mis amigos.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007's Easter?!

Ever since I've been back from vacation, we have been working non-stop on Mexico. 100 high school and college students plus a ton of adult leaders are leaving this Sunday for a week to build houses in Tijuana. So all of us here in the Student Ministries office are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. A co-worker and I just mentioned how we don't think we've ever made so many phone calls in our lives. There's all these last minute details that need to get ironed out before we leave.

And then as I was at my computer sending out my millionth email...I had a revelation. Wait a sec! It is EASTER this Sunday. I have not thought about it at all. At all. I'm bummed. I've gotten so wrapped up in Florida and Mexico, I haven't stopped to think about what this week means. And it means a lot to me. So I am going to make sure I spend some good reflection time before we leave. That's all. Just felt like sharing.