Pages To Turn


May Our Friendship Last Forever

May our friendship last forever;
May I sail upon your sea.
May we go through life together;
May there always be a "we." 
May I be your endless sky;
May you breathe my gentle air.
May you never wonder why
Each time you look for me, I'm there. 

May we be for each a smile
Like the warm, life-giving sun;
Yet when we're in pain awhile,
May our suffering be one. 

May we share our special days,
The happiness of one for two;
And if we must go separate ways,
Let my love remain with you.

~ Nicholas Gordon


But For The Truth

"Wisdom wears an indigo jacket. She takes long walks in the purple hills at twilight, pausing to meditate at an old temple near the crossroads. She was sick as a young child so she learned to be alone with herself at a young age.
Wisdom has a quiet mind. She likes to think about the edges where things spill into each other and become their opposites. She knows how to look at things inside and out. Sometimes her eyes go out to the things she is looking at, and sometimes the thing she is looking at enters through her eyes. Questions of time, depth, and balance interest her.
She is not looking for answers."

~From "The Book Of Qualities", by J. Ruth Gendler



Whenever I read the word "intriguing", I read it out loud in my head as in-true-jing, as if the two middle vowels were switched. I even catch myself using it in conversation this way occasionally. Oops.

College is sapping all my excess energy (as if I ever had any excess to begin with), and I haven't wanted to write. I"m at that point when everything loses a little of its zest because I'm simply too tired to fully appreciate it.

To sum up the past week or so:

I got the third female part in Drama 112's casting of The Miser (17th century French satire). The character is quite different than anything I"ve ever played before, so I'm looking forward to the challenge. The leading lady is rather fond of cussing a blue streak, so rehearsals are... interesting. >.<

French class is immersion. Immersion is hard. Immersion beats the dickens out of my brain cells.

My supervisor at work nicnamed me "Miss Thang". This is the most creative nicname yet, unfortunately. Previous models were things like "knifey girl" (supposedly not because of my affinity for weapons, but rather my sharp intellect and cutting wit. Right. ::roll::). I think I prefer Miss Thang.

It's late. I want to go to sleep.

Goodnight, dearies.


What She Does

She takes the weight off
his mind as
bare trees take January
light, as
mind remembers the
secret consonants of
French words, as the
student comes to the
hard place in Virgil
with an intake of
breathe, as the sleeper
breaks up in the
dream descending the
stair, as gravity,
appetite, rain draw us
down, homemade,
ad lib, as the
willow takes the
wind, leaves flashing
silver as it turns

~Michael O'Brien



Weelllll I’m totally failing at participating in French class. =P I can understand what he says to other people. I can even tell what their response should be. But if he calls on me, I’m sunk. Everything except the blank stare protocol is vaccuumed out of my head. It’s lame.

I’m sitting on the bridge that’s between the SMT and TI  buildings. It’s rather nice, with the sun on my neck, my laptop in my lap (sans internet, because I’m dumb and keep forgetting my SID), a Dr. Pepper by my side and no one bugging me. 

Something I’ve noticed about this bridge is that younger people don’t use it. Seriously, I’ve seen about 20 adults go across it, and zero teenagers and zero twenties. I”ve seen plenty make their way AROUND the bridge, but none cross it. 

Of course, as I was typing that, a gang of three teenagers walked in front of me. Dangit. They’ve ruined my scientific experiment. I was hoping to keep sitting here every day and count people, guess ages, and look inconspicuous with my eyes supposedly glued to my laptop. Grr. Real people ruin all my fun.
Ah well. At least I still have lemon bread.

So as I said, I don’t have my wi-fi set up on my computer because I constantly forget that ID is necessary in the big world. I would be able to retrieve it if I had my WA state ID card on me, but of course I don’t, because it’s in the wallet that disappeared over a month ago. Bah. So I wait until tomorrow for blessed internet, of course. >.<

If I forget my SID card tommorrow, I want someone to shoot me.

Wellll auditions are going on at drama today. I still don’t know which part I’m going for. =P Starting to think Elise, though, because I’ve not had experience playing wholesome, protagonist parts. And she’s got this awesome scene at the beginning with her love interest in which they both talk with really long paragraphs and flowery language and basically tell each other that they love each other but don’t believe the other loves them back for realz. I’m pretty sure I could do Elise or Frosine equally well, but I’m thinking I might want a change. Sadly, the Elise audition isn’t the greatest piece of stuff.

Some asian dude is loitering on the bridge and casting sideways glances at me. ::Sigh:: Oh, he’s leaving. I think I scared him off with my accidental glare of steel. Seriously, I don’t know that I’m doing it. I just do it. My normal face is hostile! What can I say?

Well, I’ll write more later. Right now I’m going to look over the Elise audition and figure out how to make it somehow amusing. 



I felt sick as I walked into French 112. Actually, I felt sick all the drive TO French 133. And I imagine I”ll be getting sick on the way to Drama 111, when the time comes to hike over to the theatre. Right now I’m sitting in the computer lab, at a table with no other people, next to the long rows of computers and more experienced college students. They all seem to know what they’re doing… while I have no idea. What I really want to do is get my wi-fi set up, but unfortunately, the computer lab is having technical difficulties with the new students. >.< So I’m typing this on Microsoft Word, to be published later with a forged time stamp.
I have this idea I was supposed to have my student ID number today. Whoops. Didn’t even think of it. >.< It’s probably in my mom’s purse, all nice and unhelpfully. So even if there weren’t technical difficulties, I would be out of luck.

French 112 was alright, there were lots of other timid people., so I didn’t feel out of place. The teacher practiced some phrases on us, such as “what is your name”, “where are you from”, etc. He asked me “what is your favorite kind of book to read?” and “what is your favorite author?” I did not really feel like sharing with the class what my taste was. It didn’t seem like their business, and I don’t really intend to get close with them, so I said that I like psychological thrillers and my favorite author was Carl Jung. Heeeeheehe. This has probably insured me against any and all friendly attacks from my fellow students.

Though, despite my constant disdain for fellow teenagers, I… actually feel a little lonely. All the people walking by with friends, talking, laughing, etc. All I need is one person. I have this secret hope that one of the people in my French class will be in Drama, and I”ll get a friend by default. =P Usually I’m really careful about who I pick for friends (this leads many people to think that I am actually friendless. This is not the case. I am just picky), but this time, I’d just like someone to smile back at me.

Even so, confusing and scaring people is fun too. It helps you retain a sense of… mystery. Also, “untouchability”, which I enjoy quite a bit.

There was some big crisis in the computer lab today, so I still don’t have wi-fi. Though could have found my student ID if the computers had been working, but no. >.<

Soooo, having no internet to entertain me until drama, I am wandering around aimlessly instead. I think I now know the location of every single restroom and soda machine, information that will no doubt assist me in my long year here at GRCC. Also, I was already hit on by some guy whose trousers barely covered his boxer shorts. I think I found this a little too amusing for his taste, as my smirking caused him to flee. I am a scaaaary little girl.
So I just have half an hour left to bide my time. Actually, 36 minutes. ::sigh:: BORING. Bathrooms are not nearly interesting enough to keep me entertained for two hours. People might be, but it is raining outside, and there is nowhere to sit because of that. Otherwise I would tap around on my laptop while actually spying on the people going by.

Oh, I HAVE seen lots of people I know. Saw Jeremy Sigrist and Austen Gatz on my way out of French, and I saw Caleb Philips, someone who looked like David Babb but might not have been, and Troy Myren. I know of other people who are going to GRCC, but no sightings so far.

Anyway, this is a lot less hard than I was preparing myself for. There are people dorkier than me and people way cooler than me. I haven’t seen many people who look like my kind of people…. But it’s possible I won’t actually find anyone here to connect with. I don’t mind, really. I’m here for education, not socialization. No one I know is in my classes, so I don’t have a built-in friend system… and I’m pretty sure I’m okay with that. It’s nice not to be constantly talked to. It’s alone time in the middle of a crowd. How introvert-typical.


I start at Green River CC on the 20th.

It's going to be tough. Not just because I will be getting no rest, either. Because I'm going to be with real-world people now. Not my carefully selected People. Not even the normal lazy-Christian crowd I'd find at church or most homeschool events. 
These are real people. They don't think like me, they don't dress like me, and they don't talk like me. They don't believe what I believe. They probably don't listen to George Gershwin and Wynton Marsalis in their rooms when they study. They don’t use large words (or medium-sized words, generally speaking).
The girls dress with a purpose in mind that is directly opposite my own purpose. They flirt and touch and laugh too loud and sometimes curse.

I’m not writing about this to point out the sins of the world. It’s more to point out my own sin.
And that is that I very, very easily bend to peer pressure when there isn’t any close friend nearby to keep me grounded. I seem like an odd one, I know. I look a lot like someone who doesn’t care what they think of me. But none of you who know me have seen me when there’s no anchor around.
I’m an actress. I have power to… convince. I can study habit and pattern, learn to imitate it. I can talk like them, learn their language. I can research. If it feels like a survival technique, I will exhert tremendous effort in hopes of being accepted.
I become not myself.

My priorities skew. I can be a glutton for attention, and I will work toward making people give it to me. I can capture male attention if I really try. And that seems to be what I gravitate towards when there’s no one of Importance around to latch onto. I veer away from female friendships because to me, they’re poison. And normal guys are much, much different than the young men I’m real friends with. They think on a rather different plain. I’m sure it’s possible to become “just friends” with a “normal” teenage guy… but they still flirt. And I am far too good at flirting back. Let us not go into details, here…. Suffice it to say I have not always stood as morally firm as I do now. I stay away from that old part of my being like it’s radioactive most of the time, because I understand its danger. I understand how much it can ruin. But under pressure, out in the real world, it’s so very hard not to do what I know will make then accept me. It doesn’t even have to be drastic or terribly noticeable – it’s the little things that seed all sorts of relapses in the rest of my life.

I know I can slip into that again just as easily as I can chop my hair short (like I did the other day. >.< I almost regret it…)

So I need two things from you guys.

One – prayer, and LOTS of it.  I am far weaker than you think me. But prayer has changed my life so much in the past year… I need it to keep coming and blessing me, because without it and without Him I am completely defenseless.

Two – Major accountability. Watch me, listen to me, make sure I’m staying Brenna. The Brenna who’s been around lately, the one who has her priorities mostly in line with God’s priorities (or at least tries). The Brenna who tries to respect the minds and hearts of the guys around her. The Brenna who believes that “it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good rather than doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:17)

I love you all.
Here’s to the survival of Truth.



Daddy's Girl

I am one. Always have been. 

Now presenting... A History of Daddy.

Grade school.

Catchin' snakes. Uncle Steve on the right, Dad on the left.

Dad in France, at age 19.

Dad took mom out hiking on the day he proposed. After she said "yes", he set a timer on the camera... and took this picture.

And then he married her.

Hawaii Honeymoon...

And soon enough, along came little terrors.
First. it was just me (the little troll up there), and I was a happy only child.

...then Micah came along....

At the field with one of his gliders this spring.

Happy Father's Day, everyone!



While my title may be slightly misleading, it got your attention. Mwahaha.

Okay, I need to decide on my new Work Knife. There are currently 4 knives in the running, one of which is my favorite but I'm not reminding you which that is. I have a few elements that are necessary in this knife:

1) Bigness. Bigness means over 3 inches, which isn't really "big" by most standards, but it's fuzzing the legal concealed-carry limit. However, since I'm only having it at work and other select places, I don't care what the legal limit is. My own supervisor carries an technically illegal conealed folder, so I am... justified, or something like that.
2) Serration. A few of the choices I have lined up do not have serration. That is because it's not a necessity (as I unfortunately stated above), but rather a preference. I don't technically like serration, but it would make a few things quite a bit easier, so I have given in.
3) Grip. I suppose most knives have some sort of grip, but I need one that has some UMPH behind it, because it makes me feel secure. I don't like any sort of plastic.
4) It can't look like I'm going to go bear-slaughtering with it. In other words - not excessively manly looking. =P

These are the choices that Jester and I have found so far. If anyone has more suggestions, feel free to comment. If you don't have any more suggestions, you are free to cast a vote for your favorite in the comments section. =)

Choice One: 
Folding BuckLite MAX
Stats: 3 5/8" blade, 5" closed, 3.1 oz, black glass reinforced nylon handle
Note: This is my least favorite out of the choices. The only thing it's got going for it is blade length. I'm not even sure why I'm putting it up here, actually. 

Choice Two: Gerber Paraframe I, Serrated/Black
Stats: 3" blade, 4.12" closed, stainless steel handle. 
Note: Yay serration, and also the open-frame handle. 
I don't have much experience with Gerber, but I know
a few people who have them and are pretty happy 
with them. 

Choice Three: 
Smith And Wesson 
"Homeland Security" ComboEdge
Stats: 4" blade, 4.13"closed, black Zytel handle.
Note: I like the beefy handle. I do not particularly like 
the fact that's it's a slow flipper. ::cough:: 
I'm rather spoiled with my Kershaw and its lightning-action. 
Plus... the name? Yes. 

Fourth Choice: 
CRKT "Premonition"

Stats: 3.25" blade, 4.12" closed, 2.0 oz, 
Note: This is one of the fastest flippers I've looked at. 
And it makes serration look kinda pretty. Plus, it was 
designed by one of the youngest quality knife designers 
out there (Gerry McGinnis, 20)  
This is also another instance where the name of the knife
makes me love it. Shallow, perhaps, but effective. 



A History - Part One

::blows dust off of post::

I started this archiving adventure quite a long time ago, in a sudden burst of desire to set the quiz record painfully and firmly in stone. More than anything, I wanted to catalog exactly what actually happened all those years... and the year to come. Not what I felt. Not what I saw at the time. What happened. Who I really was. Not a frightening, angered "expose", like the one I wrote in my Sophomore year, full of tears and frustration, verbally ripping my teammates to shreds. That will never see the light of day.
This is something else. This is a History. As unbiased as I can manage.

Part One
Introduction, and Early Days Up Until Locals 2008

I've Bible Quizzed for 3 years now. 
My love-hate relationship with it was apparent from the very beginning, though unrecognized by myself and everyone who looked on. 

[In the following story, names are changed to protect... well, mostly myself.]

In 2008, I was a Freshman who didn't know who she was, what she was, or why she was. I wasn't a Christian yet, not really. I was struggling in the friendship arena, due to my inability to balance my reserved, introverted nature with my misconception that "you have to be loud and assertive to have friends," and dabbling with a lot of new things, trying to figure out who I was. Different sub-cultures, internet haunts, newer "friends", new hobbies. In a wild, spur-of-the-moment attempt to shove myself out into the world, I tried out for an MCT production of Cinderella - much to my surprise, I was cast as the First Lady of the Ball. Granted, that meant I only had two lines and one dance, but it was my first audition. Little did I know, Cinderella would spur a whole herd of Theatre experiences into my life - but that's another story.

Later in the year, the annual Awana Conference rolled around. I'd never been before, so running around the large church with no real friends required a lot of my faux bravado to be pulled out. As I made my way up a flight of wide stairs, being jostled on each side by passing people, I saw a familiar silhouette. I ran up the stairs a little faster, trying to remember this girl's name, and where I knew her from. They both came to me when it was nearly too late - she was turning into a classroom - but as soon as they did, I ran forward and touched her on the shoulder, calling out "Bee!" She looked around, surprised and a little confused. "Yes?"
"Um. Hi, weren't you in Cinderella a few months ago?" 
She looked a little closer at my face, a glimmer of recognition finally dancing across her own. "Oh! Yeah, I was. You were the First Lady?"
There was a bit of an awkward pause, until I blurted out, "Do you have someone to have lunch with?"
Beey looked at me oddly for a second, then slowly shook her head, "No... but now I do! Come on," and led me in the direction of the food. 
Over lunch, which was awkwardly quiet at first, she asked me point-blank, "Do you like to Bible Quiz?"
Now, I'd only Quizzed twice in my 15 years of existence. And when I had quizzed, I was no good at it. The year before, in 8th grade, I had been Captain of my team, and knew the most of my team... "the most" being "very little" as opposed to my teammates, who knew exactly "nothing".
But something urged me to answer, "Yes! I love Bible Quizzing!" I didn't think the question actually had a purpose, and went back to my ham-and-cheese sandwich, trying to come up with a conversation starter in preparation for the next awkward pause. 
I needn't have. Bee's eyes lit up at my answer. "Really?" she asked, putting down her bag of Doritos. 
"Um. Yeah, yeah. Sure. Of course!" 
"Cool, wow... hey, how would you like to be on a team with me?"
I stared, dumbfounded, at this girl I'd only "known" for 15 minutes. 

Now, Awana Quiz teams are normally organized by church. If you go to, say, Trinity Baptist, you quiz with other clubbers from Trinity Baptist. You don't go off, find someone from Christ Church, another from Boulevard Park, another from Olympic Bible Fellowship, and call it a team. Most people look on this as cheating - like you're taking the "best" quizzers from each church and making the Ultimate Team. It's frowned upon by the people who don't understand it, and even some of the people who do understand it get a little antsy because they know the people who don't are frowning upon them. 

So this proposal of Bee's was not only straight out of Left Field, it was scandalous. I was attending Trinity Baptist - I didn't know if they were going to quiz, but I had an inkling they might not completely approve of my up and joining a rival church's team.
"Um, well... don't you have your own church team?" I asked hesitantly. 
"Not really. But see, my big sister, Morwen went to Nationals last year and her team WON and I really want to go to Nationals too because I think we can win -"
Bee went on to explain all the reasons she wanted to have "her own" quiz team, and how "we" (whoever "we" were) would obviously be a good team too. By the time she ran out of words, my head was spinning and my heart was beating irregularly. 
I had a big chance laid out in front of me. A chance to try to do something. A chance to belong somewhere. I'd never belonged anywhere. I'd never been on a team. The first organized "event" I'd ever participated in was Cinderella a few months ago, and that was only a week-long production. 
So what did I say?
I said, "Yes!"
As if shot from a cannon, Bee bounced to her feet, grabbing me by the shoulder and hauling me up with her. "Come on! Let's go find my mom!"

This statement reminded me of another little part of the works - my own mother. Hmm. Would she approve? I shoved the question aside, figuring that I could always back out of the quickly developing "deal" if my parents disapproved. 

When we finally found Bee's mom (we'll call her Mrs. Y), I was a little out of breath. Bee was a tightly wound, high-strung bundle of energy who flew around corners like a NASCAR driver, making me feel like a Coke can tied with twine to an exhaust pipe. 
Mrs. Y looked me over critically, from the ever-expanding lion's-mane of curly hair flying about my face, to the ripped jeans, all the way down to my black-and-neon, star-studded Vans. I didn't look like the mature, put-together person I wasn't. I looked like the Wild Child I truthfully was. 
While Bee motor-mouthed her way through an introduction and explanation, I tried my best to look like a respectful, quiet member of society who never made trouble or talked back to her elders and betters. I'm sure I wasn't successful, but in the end, Mrs. Y permitted Bee and I to exchange emails and phone numbers. 

I don't remember how the planning went after that - but I do know that about 3 weeks after meeting Bee, I was sitting at her kitchen table, looking awkwardly around at my three new teammates. Across from me was a boy I've dubbed Pup (hard to explain). He had red hair and complicated eyes, his actions shy and hesitant, his words nonexistent. To my left was a very short girl with brown hair and green statement glasses, wearing one of those strange knitted hats that have brims. I don't have a nic for her... so I'll just call her Tee, in honor of her name's Initial and in keeping with the Bee tradition. On my right was Bee, energetic as ever, and breathing rather heavily with excitement. Mrs. Y hovered between Bee and Pup, trying to introduce us all to each other and organize some sort of practice-start. 

Our first month of study was stunted by our weak grasp of how to quiz. Pup was our only "natural", and he was often too quiet or too polite to answer all the questions he knew the answers to. Bee could learn long chunks of text or scripture rapidly, but the longer she knew it, the more her performance broke down. Tee was simply "too busy" to know anything but the Definitions, and even those she needed prompting on. I was a strange mix of all these things - I knew just about all the Definitions, one verse, and a few random bits of text, but I was horrible at remembering anything on the spot. 
We were really a sad excuse for a quiz team. Mrs. Y wasn't completely sure how to coach us, and energy was starting to get buried under fear of defeat. 

But a month and a half into our team's life, along came Morwen. 
When she first showed up, I didn't like her. She was bossy. I didn't like the way she dressed. She used too many big words. I thought she had a superiority complex. But over the first few weeks of her presence, I couldn't help but grudgingly admit that she knew what she was doing. Our team grew in leaps and bounds - not yet superb, but undeniably above average. 
Pup was deemed Captain. When Morwen arrived on the scene, marshaling us into a cooperating, functioning team, his skills kicked into gear in very real way. He possessed a killer trigger hand and excellent knowledge of the book. 

Together, we learned to confer and dance the complex steps of the Huddle Polka. We were clumsy, but by February we were no longer stepping on each other's feet at every transition. 
I had a half-friendship forged with Tee. We would play around, giggle a lot, and steal each others' socks. I hoped that it would keep on going even after we quizzed... but, as was usual with my plans, this was not to be. 
Locals rolled around, and we were feeling confident. Pup constantly reminded us not to get cocky - but things were feeling good, and the future was bright. 

I should mention here that joining this team was a very, very bad moral call. I left my own church's team. It was one of the worst decisions I have made in my life. It didn't damage me in too many ways, but it robbed one of my old friends of a chance to quiz, and it destroyed my reputation amongst the Leaders. I made myself a traitor. I should have stuck with Trinity for Locals and rejoined the Taylor Creek Team afterward, for the higher competitions. It's taken me two years to drop my pride and admit that. I was very, very wrong. 

Locals 2008 is still very vivid in my mind. I remember exactly all the steps I took to get ready for the competition. I remember how I did my hair, what shoes I wore, what necklace I chose... I remember how, after I'd gotten all ready, I had to go down to the basement and mop up a lake of water that had leaked from a pipe in the ceiling. 
I remember getting to Boulevard Park Presbyterian Church, going up all those steps and standing in the back just watching people, waiting for my team to show up. I remember spotting one of the boys who was on the National Champion team of 2007, and being slightly starstruck. I remember laughing at someone wearing all black as he made faces at a little girl across the room. 

When Pup, Bee, Tee, and Morwen finally showed up, I was a little bit green at the gills. Nerves were making me weak at the knees. Bee had me wrapped in a half-bear-hug (half because, as I was in heels, she was about half as tall as me), which she seemed to think would somehow banish all butterflies. She barely untangled herself in time for us to march up onto the stage when Taylor Creek Church of Maple Valley was called for. We were team number one, and there were only two opposing teams. One was Christ Church, comprised of two Junior guys and a Senior girl, and the other Boulevard Park Presbyterian, comprised of two boys in black shoes, pants, shirts, and ties... be continued...

Comments appreciated.