and then rides all around it on her bike.

Friday, August 24, 2007

What you are looking at, folks, is a picture of

the most victorious man who ever lived


the most victorious woman

who ever lived.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I cannot even tell you what it's like to have waited every second of every day for a year and a half for something to happen, and then it happens...

I cannot even tell you.

He is doing really well. Really really well. Everything is going as smoothly as can be expected. It's so incredible. I cannot even tell you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why I Didn't Go To Work Today:

This morning we all took our “First Day of Work” picture.
Here it is:

You might notice (though probably actually you won’t) that I’m not exactly wearing a “first day of work” outfit. You might also notice (much more likely) that there’s an extra person in this picture than the earlier picture I posted of the five people living in my house. In this picture, there’s a nice tall red headed Minnesotan. If you’re extra-super observant, you might notice that the extra person is in fact Martha, my favorite person in the world, whom we met a few posts back.

After we took our picture this morning, Carl took off for work and shortly thereafter so did Jill. David and Luke, I’m guessing, showered and followed suit.

Martha and I caught a cab and went to the airport.

I didn’t go to work today because I’m going home
my dad’s getting his transplant

Got the call at 5:44am
Was showered and packed by 6:00am
Reserved a flight at 8:30am
Left home at 8:31am
Plane left DC at 11:00am

and now I'm at the hospital.
Dad's in surgery.

Every Heller and most of the Newlins in the country are flocking to Froedtert Memorial Hospital.
... to wait.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And now, for his next trick...

So we're among the more fortunate of the LVC houses to have a TV in our living room. Granted, we only get three channels and the picture is fuzzy, but it makes us feel special anyway. Every now and then we'll turn it on and stare at it for a couple minutes before we realize that we don't really like TV, and then we turn it off.

But tonight we discovered something incredibly spiffy about our TV that inspired us to watch the whole opening sequence of "America's Got Talent".

Here it is.
Are you ready?

David can make the black and white picture go color by raising his arms up in the air. Up... color! Down... black/white. Up! Color! Down! Black/white! Up! Down! Color! Black/White! Color! WOW!!!

I tried it for a little while and couldn't get it to work. :-\

Then we sat around and played cards for a few hours, like a bunch of old ladies. Tomorrow is our first day of work. Let's see if I sleep tonight.

Monday, August 20, 2007

So oriented.

This last week was orientation week.


Another way of putting it is that this last week was meet-your-roommates-move-into-your-house-learn-a-million-things-about-how-you-might-think-about-living-your-life-next-year-during-long-sessions-all-the-live-long-day week.

Really, it was not so bad. Actually, it was pretty good. Definitely it was very intense, which is why I have been so bad about posting.

But ok, moving abruptly on to what you really want to hear about.

The house:

It's awesome.
High ceilings, huge windows, comfy couches, and a funky glass deco thing in the dining room.
One off-the-kitchen back deck, one third story balcony overlooking Vermont Ave.
Four bedrooms for five people. The shared bedroom has the balcony. I'm in the shared bedroom.

Lutheran Volunteer Corps
has placements in ten cities around the country, but orientation happens in DC, so everyone from every city had to come here. All last week we were hosting, in our new house with our new roomies, another houseful of people who are going to be in Baltimore next year. It was fun and nice to get to know them, all very nice girls, etc., but we were really looking forward to them leaving and us being able to start getting settled, which finally happened yesterday.

Then last night we had a massive thunderstorm. I watched the sky turn yellow and closed the door to our balcony when the wind started driving rain across it into our room. When you're up on the third floor, you can really feel the thunder shaking the house.

It was kind of a fun way to inaugurate our new house.

Ok, and now, the roommates:
(Also awesome.)

David, Luke, Carl and Jill are the people I'll be living with for the next year.

Yeah, we're that good-looking. Say hello to the Christmas card, marketing photo, inspirational image, etc. etc. We're going to charge LVC for the use of this image in recruiting, etc. It'll definitely be a worthwhile investment for them, yep, definitely.

This is what makes our house special and unique in LVC (and in the world) (aside from how good looking we all are):
We have more guys than girls - we are the only LVC house, out of like 19 or so total, to have more guys than girls. In fact, several houses have zero guys at all! Yikes!
We are one of the only, if not the only, house with more people who graduated college a year or more ago than people who graduated in May.
We have more Mac users than PC users... or at least more people with a solid Mac background.

And here's the best part: I'm the oldest in the house.

How's that for wild?

I told my roomies that if they have any questions about life, etc., that they could just come to me.

... because I would totally have the answer.

So. I'm oriented, I'm settling, and I'm really liking my housemates. I'm also well-fed, well-rested, and totally excited to start my job. Wednesday, that'll be Wednesday. Let's go.

Oh, also, one night we went out for drinks at the Hotel Washington, which has a restaurant up on the roof and happens to be right next door to the White House, and this was the view. Not bad, hey? I think I saw Georgie putting his jammies on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Here I am!

Just a quicky to let you know I've got pictures of my action-packed train ride to DC posted online in my photo album.

And now I'm here, in my new city, just kind of hanging out.

When I signed up for Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) way back when, there were nine possible cities I could've been placed in. I actually was shooting for a placement in the Midwest, but I've never done a very good job of staying close to home, so of course it didn't quite work out that way. I fell in love with this placement here in DC and I guess they liked me too, because they hired me and here I am...

All that to say, the coolest part about ending up in this particular city out of the potential nine, aside from all the cool free stuff to do and see and all the very important things that happen here, and the fact that the LVC offices are located here and LVC started here, is that one of my very favorite people in the whole wide world already lives here: Martha.

That's a picture of a picture of us from freshman year of college. She was my roomie.

Ah yes, I remember it well: move-in day, just about almost six years ago. I walked in the door at Lank 226, our room, and there she sat, a red-headed Minnesotan, on the floor, and she looked up at me, held out the pan of bars she was holding, and said, "Hi, I'm Martha. Want a Special K bar?" And it knew it would be a good year. And it was.

Anyway, so she picked me up at the train station yesterday - we hadn't seen each other in two years! - and now I'm sitting in her house on Capitol Hill. Yeah, she's actually kind of a grown up. But not really.

Ok, so go look at my pictures if you want. The train ride wasn't really action-packed, it was actually quite nice and peaceful and fun, if you like trains, which I do. You go do that, and I am going to go continue hanging out with Martha in her lovely grown-up house in my new city, Washington DC.

Friday, August 10, 2007

(who signed me up for this?)

All this week, as I've been very calmly and collectedly getting ready to go, packing up my things, deciding what comes and what stays, saying my goodbyes to family and friends, doing all the fun things "one last time," etc., I've been thinking to myself, gee, I've had a lot of "last week at home before I move far away"s in my life, and this one just feels weird. But I couldn't put my finger on why...

Until I woke up this morning, this morning, the morning of the day I'm leaving, and thought to myself, oh my lord, what the hell am I doing!

That's when it finally started to feel normal.

The train leaves in five hours!
And yes, I am all packed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Here we go! ... sort of

Today is Tuesday. I leave on Friday at 3pm, Central Standard Time, from my lovely and comfortable (parent’s) home in Brookfield, complete with a pool and a very cute dog,

to a new adventure, new job, new house, new roomies, new everything
in our nation's capitol,
Washington, DC.

(cue the stately music)

Three days.

And I haven’t started packing, not even a little bit.
If you know me at all at all, this is not surprising.

What is perhaps surprising is that I have started making lists of things I need to do before Friday, things like “call Amtrak” (yep, I'm taking the train), and “hang out with Cathy” and “buy more toothpaste.” I made the list about two days ago, and I was pretty proud of myself for it. Unfortunately, thus far, the only things I’ve crossed off are “rent funny movie from blockbuster” and “return movie to blockbuster.” Neither one of those things was particularly essential to my packing process, but at least I got to cross things off the list.

(Though to be fair, my sister Caitie actually returned the movie for me...)

“Start a new blog” is somewhere on the list as well – less important than “open a new checking account at a bank with national locations,” but definitely way more fun, so that’s what I’m getting to first.

Some of you may fondly remember the long-but-rewarding (right?) accounts of my adventures in Hong Kong from the appropriately titled blog, “Shana’s Adventures in Hong Kong.” Of course, when I moved back to the States, this blog ceased to be necessary. Others of you may recall the fun times we had and laughs we shared with the dear departed blog, “Shana Goes to Seminary.” Sadly, when I subsequently quit seminary and went to work at a convent in rural southwestern Wisconsin, that blog did not last either.

For the record, I did very much
enjoy the convent,
even if I didn’t get
around to blogging about it.

(me and a nun)

And now I’m starting something new (again) and totally different (again), which means I’ll be meeting (more, new) crazy people, and I’ll be taking (more, new) awesome pictures, and I’ll be full of (more, new) stories about it all.

So if you’d like to hear/see/read about any of that, then welcome to my new blog:

Or if not, you could just not check this page again
and I wouldn’t really know
so I won’t really be insulted.
It’s that simple.
Aren’t blogs great?

It all begins Friday at 3. And today is Tuesday. And I haven’t started packing…