Saturday, January 21, 2006

is it buck naked, or butt naked?

This is my first guest blog/interview. Welcome Erin.

-Hi Shalinn, how's it hangin'?

Don't ask me that. I'm not a dude. So, well, um, I hear that you've had quite the rounds in the boxing ring that is your dating life. Care to share a few of the punches with my reading audience?

-Sure. Damn it's good to be here. Wow, thanks no, stop clapping everyone. So you might say that I have a few dating troubles. Trouble is I meet the cream of the comb-over crop, who take the suggestion of using accurate words a little to far. Here is a list of the Mike Tyson's I've dated, all in code names to protect their anonymity, but just check out for the full list of names, addresses, and some really funny jokes.

-Round 1: Aorta boy.
This date didn't start going bad until I opened the door. I didn't realize I had taken a time machine in the hair department back to 1985. His first question to me, "Do you like Flock of Seagulls?" and I said, "No, but I can see that you do." It was a sweeping long bang thing starting from the crown of his head coming forward almost over his eyes, and in the back a long greasy stick-to-the nape of the neck mullet. As Tiffany said, "It was the freakin' weirdest thing I've seen." So his hair was weird, forgivable, but them came the talking. And then in a moment where awkward silences can get the best of us, He pulls out a little something he learned that week in medical school. Yeah I thought it would be cool to date someone that was going to be a doctor, NOPE. He started thumping on his chest with his palm over his heart, his eyes far off thinking. I kind of just stared, wondering what the hell he could possibly be thinking about. How much he loves me already? Is he about to read poetry in a breathy whisper? How am I going to tell pelican man I don't want his love poetry or whispers? Well I didn't have to worry about that, turns out he was searching for some Aorta phenomena. Deal closed. Take me home and leave me there.

Shock me doctor, I think my heart's stopped. Any other medical mysteries at the big show?

-Round 2: contender: obgyNO
Another doctor in training. This one was in his third year, meaning doing his rotations and therefore more familiar with anatomical parts. Clearly the desensitation rituals of med school had not only worked but exceeded anyone's expectations. He was doing his Gyno rounds and didn't hesitate to fill me in on the gory details. It wasn't....pleasant. I think the dealbreaker was the moment he used the phrase "separate the labia". I crossed my legs.
I stupidly gave him a second date. One chance to redeem his verbal offenses. It was at the end of the date, when the argument occurred. That right there, (a fight on the second date) probably an indicator that this one wouldn't go the distance. The following exchange took place:
me: "I like salsa dancing"
him: " God sends dancers straight to hell and makes them whip baby seals with electrical cords."
Okay he didn't say that, but he definitely made it clear that dancing was a SIN!!!
me: "But dancing is so fun!"
him: "Sex is fun."
him:"Okay I'll call ya..."
Never got that phone call.

Did you really want a phone call from him? I wouldn't want a man that functions similarly to a leather bustiere - you know, it lifts and separates. Any more doozies?

-Round 3: Contendor: Mister I have less personality than a bar of soap
Not much to report. Unless you want to hear about no conversation. Date etiquette typically indicates a man should escort his date to her car if he did not drive her. Let's just say he walked to a car, just not mine, and not with me.

-Round 4: Contendor: He's no Maverick
Attraction: yes. Reciprocal: yes. Good conversation: YES. Bastard: Without a damn doubt.
The only thing notable. I got hit in the face with a frisbee about 3 hours before the date causing me to appear as if I had a run in with a syringe of won. Melanie Griffith watch out.

Seems like if these guys were into reality t.v., they'd be on "The Biggest Loser." Where's Courtney to sing the fake-karaoke Cher themesong when you need her? Anyway, I'd like to thank you Erin for being on my blog, and I'd like to give a shout out to tonight's sponsor: Tiffany Matalone. Big surprise there, eh? Ginn, out.

Friday, January 06, 2006


"i gotta use it real bad!"

"my grandpa was driving real fast. we listened to music. like kanye west. i ain't sayin' she a gold digger."

"i feel like i keep hitting only red lights. the red lights of my life."

"no! tell me before the fire alarm goes off so i can cover my ears. (covers ears) is it going off yet?"

"i didn't get to eat breakfast this morning. can i have some candy?"

"that your sister? UH! she fine...."

"why you got a cd on the wall? (points to my dry erase board)"

"how do you make my watch spin around faster?"

"i wouldn't need a tutu - i'd need a four-four."

"on friday the 13th, me and jane ann would like for you to come with us after school......oh, and we're going to the 75th street brewery."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jesus - is that you?!

So I was laying in bed the other night thinking about the last year and what was or was not accomplished. I also got to thinking about my life and how my thoughts on Christ and who He is has changed in 2005. I realized among other things, that a big desire for my life was to become more like Christ each year that I live, and I have to admit that I question how I've become more like Him this last year. I've learned so much this year about myself and how I see Christ and God, but can I say that I've become more like Him?

So, I guess mostly for my own benefit, I'm going to "journal" about three lessons I've learned, and see if I've let those lessons change me more into Christ-likeness.

Lesson #1: If you believe satan's lies long enough, you'll start thinking of them as truth from God.

One year ago, coming off of the toughest time in my life in graduate school, I was at my life's lowest, thanks mostly to the fact that I thought that my failures and struggles with schoolwork and the intense fear that I lived in was God's will. In turn, I believed that I was a failure for Christ because my struggles and lack of success were not going to to be a beacon of light to anyone, and were not going to allow other people to see Christ in me. What I learned was that the guilt and shame that I felt as a result of my failures were not what God wanted to show me, and that being open and honest about my struggles could have the potential to show God even more to people than my successes.

Lesson #2: I've got to ask for help when I need it, and sometimes even when I don't.

Asking for help includes asking God, asking authority figures, asking peers, and asking those that are younger than me. I've been fighting with my independence my whole life, and still struggle greatly with it to this day. I want to be self-sufficient and figure things out on my own to such a great degree that I don't always utilize my resources of God and others. I fear that asking for help will make me look lazy, incompetent, not confident in my abilities, etc. and because I at least want to appear to be "good" at what I do, I don't ask for the support that I often need. I've at least started to learn to pray for even little things, and to not be afraid to ask for prayer when I need it because it can not only benefit me, but also allow God to be used through the body of believers which is of benefit to His kingdom and those who graciously choose to bear my burdens. Asking people for their help is an area that's even harder than me asking God, but I'm slowly learning that asking instead of assuming or doing things myself often saves time and can better insure the quality of whatever it is that I'm doing. Authority figures are in (or at least should be in) authority because they have a greater knowledge than I do, and they're there so that I can learn from their knowledge. If they get annoyed from me asking them questions, that's more often their problem and not mine. Even when things are going well, it doesn't hurt to check in every now and again, and ask for assistance when it's not necessarily needed - I've learned that you can learn things better when you have to teach them, and letting people be the gift of a teacher, no matter their age or status can be very impowering to that person teaching.

Lesson #3: God is good, and so are His gifts.

This seems like a given, but being a person that tends to see their own short-comings to a far greater degree than the goodness of God, it's profound to me. Because of my personal world and self-views, I like to think that what I do and don't do has an affect on how God views me and how He loves me, but that really isn't true. I kept trying so hard to better myself and linked my acceptance in God's eyes with my abilities and successes so closely that I ended up having a warped view of how God sees me. I learned a great deal about grace and God's love for me, and though I realize that God's grace does not mean that He's not going to care if I sin, He is going to love me regardless. I hold onto sins for a much longer period of time than God does, and realizing this has freed me in so many ways. I'm still learning that God wants good things for me, and that He wants to give me those good gifts. It's a positive exercise for me to think about the good gifts He's given me, and so here's some highlights of that goodness this year: coming out of depressioin, finishing graduate school, getting a job that pays the bills, getting a new, running car that's far nicer than any i've ever had before, moving to KC, Christ Church and the opportunity to be a part of a small group/part of the worship team/Alpha, my roommates, snow days, the Walnut Valley Festival and friends to share it with, oh, and seeing that guy standing in a towel in his living room (as I was driving by a random house - it was pretty funny - not gonna lie).......

The "Christ-like" factor/what these lessons have shown me: I guess I've for the first time in my life started to really appreciate the human side of Christ and not just his diety. I have a greater heart to know the struggles of others, I recognize that everyone has struggles and lies they believe, and I've experienced the grace of God to such a great degree that I really feel like in many ways, I've learned it for the first time. I want non-Christians and Christians alike to see and receive this truly free gift that will change the way that they view themselves, others, and God. If I let these things help me to love others more, and reach out to those that are hurting (which let's just be honest, is everyone), then maybe I can take what I learned in '05 and let it mold me more into an apprentice of Christ in '06. I don't know how much I let that happen in the last year, but I hope that I will be able to see progress in the future. I still have a ton of issues to work out, but I have to try and let myself be changed more into His image, and realize that He loves me and loves the fact that I'm trying, even if my efforts aren't up to His or my standards.

Peace and grace to all my readers......and a life-giving new year! Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.