Today is a day of rememberance in Latvia. On this day 15 years ago all of Riga was a battle zone- people were defending the goverment buildings from the advance of Russian tanks. It was the struggle for re-independence. For 50 years, Latvia had been occupied by Russia - and 15 ago was the year we finally kicked off the yoke.
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But the only reason im writing about this - is because a film right now is been shown on TV about that day. The whole day for me was just trying to fend off the miserable cold.
I went to a job interview today - some marketing position that requires excellent knowledge of english - sounds like the job for me:)
Well the guy seemed interested -so im gonna think about it, and maybe accept:)
We saw a movie in Korinta today- 'Anger Management'
For some reason this movie seemed funny to me - when i first saw it in movie theaters in calif it didnt really appeal to me:)
Other that that the day was pretty uneventfull. I chilled with Linda and Ruuta at church - Ruuta's cell phone has a recored clip of me singing Ave maria like some opera dude - we had a nice laugh about that.
brrrrr....brrrr. you californians just dont know the true meaning of COLD. dammit it was like minus 20 C today. hehe the streets of Riga looked sickly whitish-gray, and im not talkin about snow here. Must be some kinda frost. I ran to the sea today..I know, that was stupid of me. Hehe, I barely made it back. Now the sea looked like it was murdered. In one day..it had stopped moving, and now started cracking into ice - kinda like a salt sea in the mojave desert -except the water is reflective of course. The snow and ice starts to pile up into miny mountain formations right at the edge of the beach, making for interesting rock climbing;).
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Anyways, today i had another exam - this whole month has been finals time..and Im about ready to puke. Well hopepfully after this next one which is tommroow by the way...or today, since its past midnight. - ill be able to dig into that semester research paper ive been longing to work on:)
God is Good!!
jealousy is like a knife that cuts your heart out- rips it out, its agonizing.
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drives you crazy- i dont know what to do about it- how to deal with it. seems very unchristian....God ive prayed so much about this- its so hard to let go...but you have to otherwise it will kill you.
well..this is certainly the first time ive been online while at an airport. so far so good:). actually i havent written in a really long time so i think im gonna try to write a lot over this short break of mine. or is it really a break? well if i dont find a job then i guess i will have a whole lot of time for writing:). just so you know im in prague - on route to newyork and after that LA. it has been almost a year since i have been in the states- writing that makes it sound scary! its not that bad actually; you get used to life over here. i had to get up really early today - like 4:00 am. not surprisingly the day is already bright. the nights are really short here. the day of leaving came up so suddenly it really was almost a surprise - thats good - i havent been too homesick. i think its not good to live like you are waiting for somthing the whole time.
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I took a look in littlegreenfootbals (a fairly conservative blog). there was this article on gitmo. really eye-opening. the care those thugs receive there is really amazing. i had no idea- but these guys supposedly take any oportunity they can to get back at the american guards. they kick scream, throw their food at them, embarass them, they dont hid their hate of america, the say when they get free they will go back to terrorism, its just amazing. there is somthing to this american exceptionalism - no country has people who so loathe their own homeland. it says somthing about america- perhaps not vindicating its actions -bet at least you can tell that there is somting different about america, i.e. american exceptionalism.
eggiļ, minā broutšīz Rīgo; se kū um minnon eksāmenod. min ežmi eksāmen voļ vaggi jovā - sai 9 fonētiks! Minā lūotob ku munt min eksāmenod lībod nei jovād :). Dimma, lūotob ku minā voib jemīņ kērato līvo kīels ;)
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congrats to the greatest little guy hockey team in history - it was a great championship, we did great. next year RIIIIGAAA 2006!!!
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yeah, bush arrived in riga today. on fridays we have this friends'night thing, so we were preparing for it, when i went up to the conf. offices and saw arnis and his buddies dressed up to protest bush. yeah they assumed i was against bush too. funny how everyone does that. yeah i was down after that. i mean what exactly has he done to you? did he hurt you somehow? do you even have a clue to what he is doing? dammit that stupid media. really low intelligence too.
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after that we went for a walk in the old town. its a ghost town now, barriers everywhere, just a couple of tourists and cops walking around. was pretty cold too. man it looked pretty at night.
i woke up as i have for the past week - coughing up a storm. With almost two weeks of 'the sickness'im about ready to get well, right?~! Actually i almost put off the whole celebration thing i had been planning up until now. I took a quickie phone call back to the states, checked on my parents. Then i was gonna call up my invitees and call of the whole thing. Hehe, i just realized that i couldn't do that, was too crazy. Besides, the cough wasnt that bad. I took the 9:53 train to Riga. On the way, I had a look at the materials i had just received for my new tutor job. Four books four units each. Beginner level. Had to decide which one to start with, which isn't easy when they all seem a bit too hard for someone just starting out in english. Well i got bored with that and before long i was in Riga. I got to the church and checked my email, but not before getting into a little, shall we say, 'picky'discussion with the, the, dammit i dont know the word in english -(dezuurante). anyways the lady on duty. Shes this pigmy sized grouch. this time she was rambling on about somthing how we youth were messing up the church with trash and stuff ( i think she was refering to the friday youth nights we have). It was pretty funny arguing with her actually. But i got tired of it and headed up to check my email. I got the materials for my seminar (30 dainas), and did some news-checking. Well it was about time to head to the opera box office. I got some cough tablets at saules aptieka (pharmacy) and headed to the box office. We were gonna see a ballet (Romeo and Juliet). Pretty soon the people started filing in and giving me hugs and presents. Fun stuff :). I got some pretty neat presents, like a little holder thingy for my cell phone that hangs on my neck. Its actually a miny army t-shirt. I got a mug, some aftershave, gell, and some other stuff. We bought our tickets (cheap: lvl 1:50) and raced to our seats, well they are actually standing seats. This was my first ballet, so i didnt know what to expect. it was good and bad. interesting and boring. its hard to put it straight. It was long, thats for sure. very stylish. And amazingly the cough tablets did work, i only coughed a little bit. Later we went over to the stockman complex (finnish mall) and went to the chili pizza restaurant, which is supposed to be a lithuanian joint. had some good chats and had to wait really long for the pizza, but it finnaly came. After that some people had to leave, but the rest of us went for the bus to mangalsala (the point where the daugava flows into the bay of riga). up at mangalsala we had been planning to walk all the way up to vecaaki, but it was really dark and super windy, so we jsut had a little walk by the mools (lighthouse?) back on the bus and here i am at church, and im gonna spend the night at church - its late. aint i a church mouse?
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heheh i am updating my journal. just a quickie newsflash -
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-ive been sick for practically the last two weeks
-went to lithuania for a church planting conference last week (i was in the praise band)
-sunday ill be chillin with pals celebrating my b-day
-the pope just died
-and oh yes...we have snow again
well it looks like this is the end of winter - Right now its around 0 degrees already. In a way im ready for spring, the cold weather CAN get annoying. On the other hand, i have to admit that i've come to love winter as a season if its own. Theres somthing really neat about experiencing the changes in seasons.
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Yesterday i saw the Passion of the Christ again (on TV surprisingly), and I persuaded linda to see it. I kinda regret that. I think this movie isn't for everyone, because everyone reacts differently to it. It may just be too much. We went to bed immediatly after that, and I woke up extra early today so that I could accompany Linda to Riga.
I went into an internet cafe in Riga since i had some time. listened to some music.
later i went to the library - have a lot to read, mostly literary, folklore related stuff. oh well not exactly my cup of tea. I started with haralds biezais 'the ancient pantheon of latvian gods'and worked my way up to swedish ethnonyms in dainas (sort of latvian haiku).
I had this idea of running early today - so i set my alarm for 6:00 am; but as expected, i hit the snooze and slept on. I might try that tommorow, who knows - I may actually acomplish it.
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Wow this week has been cold - and they say it will be cold all the way through till saturday. nights are around -20 C. days hover around -12 C. I figure winter is all nice and dandy when you aren't cold at the moment, but wait till you start shivering, and you will wish you back on terra southern califoria :). and whether you happen to be cold or hot is also a very subjective thing, not always dependent on how many layers of clothes you have. Its like one day i step outside and im cold numb; and the next day i feel like there aint nothing that cold can do to me because im shielded.
At LU I asked a little more bout this competition Aija had asked me to take part in - turns out its a real song contest; you have to present one song (can be solo or group). Sounded real exciting hehe but we dont have that much time so we better get songwriting.
OOOh they finally brought back the piano at the church all tuned up. Sounds very clear and sharp (not sharp as in pitch). in fact it may be a little to clear and spiky. anyways, i did some tinkering and playing - im trying to experiment after all.
Well i listened to some prager today. He was talking about how 'war is not the answer' is in his opinion the most morally confused statement of our time. he got into this discussion with a caller about whether the slogan means all the time or just in reference to the iraq war. hehe prager made an interesting comparison - does someone who says aspirin is not the answer mean that aspirin is NEVER the answer, or only SOMETIMES the answer? the way he puts it makes sense, even if we have this slogan in the context of the iraq war.
I also read his column. Continuing his series on Judeo-Christian values, he was writing on evil. - Most memorable line was from the psalms - somthing like 'those who love the Lord, hate evil'. So true
I dont know why but Linda seemed kinda down today. she didnt say much, just went down to the kitchen to do some stuff with the pathfinder leaders. WEll im sure ill figure out the mystery soon
so LTV (Latvia's national TV) decided to broadcast our service today.
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i woke up early today cuz i had to be early at church for a quicky choir practice. (we wanted to be presentable to the country :) - since we were gonna be shown on national tv for crying out loud)
Wow it feels so good to be back singing in Cantamus; i was about to get real sick of choir singing after havin to sit through 2 hours each day in sokolovskas choir.
yeah the crew were already there before us - up and ready with all their equipment. Man those spotlights are powerful, they turned that sanctuary into a blaze!
Dagnija had bought some snacks for the choir so the men went down to the kitchen and promptly dove in - while the women dressed hehe :). eventually everyone was munching down on really nice latvian pastries and tea. We sang pretty good (to my ears). The sermon was short and to the point. It was over with pretty fast.
We all decided to go for a walk after - by the beach near zvejniekciems. linda B, ruuta, ieva, aliina, and me all went for this long 'hike' through the really interesting ice formations at the beach. The ice 'walls' were beginning to break off into the sea - so this made for interesting climbing. Lots of snowball fights and racing :)
I have no idea why sabbaths always make me homesick!! hehe, it was funny. i was sitting in church and dreaming about vallejo. oh well....dreaming is good
While waiting for the train in the wee hours of the day yesterday, the coming train light that shone over people's breath made it look like i was at auschwitz - no idea why i had this strange thought, it just looked so schindler's list. Its always so hard to get up that early....especially when you've been updating your journal the previous night :)))).
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Well yesterday's phonetics lecture was starting to look interesting. We discussed the most phamous phoneticians oph Latphia. (really phun). I think (im realizing) phonetics is one of my favOUrite fields of linguistics - especially historical phonetics, i.e. ancient dialects. Its about as close as you can get to the idea of the 'hard sciences' in linguistics - althogh chomsky's stuff is held by some to be really 'scientifiky'. I don't know, haven't made up my mind on him yet. If his science is anything like his politics - then count me out. That guy is a loonie.
Next came baltic linguistics - and for the upteenth time i watched amused as some student forgot to switch off their cell phone and see the teacher explode in a rage - actually it wasnt very physically apparent, but you could tell that she was holding it inside. Both parties made a mistake. Its fun to watch though. Then I decided to ask her a question about centum/satem reflexes since we were talking about prussian and how it opposite of lithuanian had changed palatal velars /k'/,/g'/ into /s/,/z/. In fact i just realized that lithuanian is the only satem language i can think of that has /sh/, /zh/ - even indo-iranian has /s/,/z/, and i believe albanian as well. Can it be that lithuanian alone has preserved an older state in the progression from velars to sibilants? Well, im pretty sure there's a good explanation because this is a fact that is pretty much accepted in the linguistics world. And thats why i proceded to ask her. Well, its too bad -because somehow in Latvia you don't get the feeling that there is an encouragement to debate in class. She just sort of brushed over the whole thing saying that its an accepted fact and we should just trust the 'scientists'.
Well, yesterday involved a lot of waiting as well -cuz i had to make up a seminary that i had missed. was a little shakey - remember im no expert on early latvian literature....but i did fine!
We had our regular youth bible study at 19:00 -i always enjoy it. yesterdays was especially fun. We had a huge attendance figure; but somehow inguna and atis just lead the group perfectly.
I really broke into a sweat today trying desperatly to react to the swift shots of maartins (ping pong) whoever says ping pong is not a real sport is a LIAR. Thankfully my super super strong hair gel held out against the sweat forming on my forehead. i need practice - seems like he's getting better and i just cant seem to catch up. but its always good to play against someone who is vastly superior to you.
I rode home real real early today - 4 oclock, which was weird. i always go home so late. then hehe, really embarasing but, i left my glasses on the train, then by the time i had reached home - i REMEMBERED, and rushed back to the station to wait for it to come back from skulte. i got on, hoping praying it would be still there. well i found them - and then got out at the next stop running home to Zvejniekciems! hehe i will always remember this.
OK - whirlwind tour of sundaymondaytuesday.....
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sunday i stayed home - did some studying, etc. theological discussions with Grandmaa - running/jogging to the sea - interesting ice formations
monday - most memorable thing?.....sitting on the train home and having a couple plop down across from me and start to smootch and slobber over each other; i was ready to kill myself by the time i got off the train
today - i finnallyyyy beat MARTINS at ping pong, my first time sinking this master of a player =). I did a lot of playing today actually, very relaxing after a long class. i had a ton of time anyways cuz i had to wait in the afternoon for this prof. to make up a missed seminar, - which i was a little nervous about, but it ended up turning out great. I also got a haircut :)
ok this is a summary of friday and saturday:
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friday we threw a big birthday party for this girl named sintija. she had a terrible accident about a year ago and really messed up her spinal cord, but amazingly, the doctors think she will walk. the whole church was praying for her the entire time, and it seems to have paid off. anyways i got to church from school, and we all started decorating up the rooms with crepe paper, ballons, tons of candles, and plenty of food. the theme was your childhood - so we had to dress up like kids. it was pretty neat, brought memories of GAA and free dress days. Then when everyone arrived we had a blast playing all these weird games that really broke the ice (some people were new). So it was 'with a heavy heart' that i had to leave to catch the last train home. I was half hoping i would miss it hehe. Yeah, and on the way home all that fun dissapeared as i started to realize that i would have to lead sabbath school tommorow. I guess i dwelled on it too long and it started to bother me. I'm no expert on theology, and I usually only am comfortable talking about subjects i know a whole lot aboout - but having a convo with God, I realized that trusting him is part of the equation: like we sometimes pray for somthing,but we only half heartedly believe he will give us what we want. I decided that i would have to just trust that everything would turn out fine :). then comes the funny part. I dont know what i was thinking, but somehow when i got up to exit the train, i stood at the wrong side, and, expecting the doors to open (when they didnt)- ended up staying on the train as it left the stop! well, since the next stop is the last one - and since the train i took was the last train of the day, i couldnt buy a ticket back because the train would just go back without stopping to Riga. I ended up having to walk back a station:). Well trudging through the snow, i had a lot of time to think; plus it gave me a chance to loosen up and get more positive about leading on sabbath.
Saturday; yeah, i was surprised - it wasnt that bad. I did fine, (in my view). I had previously asked my friends to promise me to talk a lot and answer my questions so that i wouldnt have to do all the talking =). so it went pretty smoothly, and then after that, as usual, i went to the kitchen room to play some guitar. The next room over was being used for the youth service - so i amused my self by half silently playing along their singing with my guitar.
Later we decided to go to a movie ( yeah the sun sets early around here). Linda B, Ieva, and I saw Shrek 2; and despite all the negative feedback i had gotten from all the people back in the states - i really enjoyed this one, and I think it is really up there with the original shrek.
After that we get this crazy idea to go to the beach, but only Ieva and I end up going; we took the bus to Vecmiilgraavis, and from there walked the distance to the beach at Vecaaki. Its always so fun to go to beaches when they are all snowed up - ESPECIALLY at night! I ask Ieva to dare me for 2 lats (4$) to wade knee deep in the water (im still wearing my church clothes!). anyways, that wasnt for real, but we joke around kinda like that for a while - then decide to go to the train station. Since we had some time, I decided to walk her to the bus stop, which was some 3 km, cuz she needed to be back in Riiga. I convince her to walk through the snow along the train tracks instead of on the road (!) Anyways that was fun, just got a little wet from the snow, because it was deep there. Then we hang around for a while until my train came(which was near the bus stop).
yeah today i missed the train - got grandmaa all nervous that its the end of the world. this is the first class this semester i have missed up untill now. i was hoping to go on a record, but hehe, thats unrealistic, and besides - everyone needs a bit of downtime :b
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school was pretty much standard fare - phonetics was pretty interesting; we were discussing the classification of vowels - stable/unstable, tense/lax, positional/non positional, labial, etc.
got to the church and started preparing for the sabbath school lesson im gonna have to lead. i have no idea how this will turn out. The topic isnt too hard- Christ's suffering on the cross. i mean its easy to get into discussions about these kind of topics. i read Psalms 22 - and the paralells between Golgotha and it ar striking. (although the verb in psalms isnt sabachthani - 'my God my God why have you forsaken me'; thats probably due to the fact that sabachthani is an aramaic word)
man i love ping pong - (and getting better every day). previously i had been losing miserably to maartins, but, now i feel im finally getting the edge! it feels so good to slam that ball on the other side in your oponents face :). im getting better at serving - although it really demands my concentration and i make a ton of stupid mistakes. hey who knows, i may end up being another forrest gump (!) ok so im not that good yet. i havent even beaten maartins once - but im telling you - i feel it coming. my career as a ping pongist is just around the corner ;)
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oh yes, and i finally got my guitar fixed - one of the keys was broken, so i bought a brand new set; unscrewed the old ones, took off the strings, drilled some holes, screwed on the new keys, tightened the strings, etc.
took a long time, but the sound is excelent now - and boy does it feel good to be holding that thing again. (in fact im holding it right now).
after that went to a bit of the bible study with Atis. We started james today - intro is good, the theologically hard parts will come later on :)
yes, this will take time getting used to. hope it takes off (up until now, i have failed at all attempts to keep a diary :)
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but i need to develop myself in all areas as gross would say;).
ok well, woke up 7:00 am - amazingly i didnt have to rush through my food and getting my backpack ready today - i must not been so sleepy. hehe although i still ran through the snow to the train station - i guess i just like running. yeah this time i had plenty of books and coldplay to keep me busy on the way to Riiga. Yeah this time it was 'an idiom book of new testament greek' fascinating. seems like im impatient with the amound of progress im having in greek - just wanting to speed the whole process up. anyways, i get to school and figure out, yes, i have missed some homework - funny how i always know i miss somthing but im not sure exactly what it is. NO prob, i just go to the little mini library we have and fix up some notes for my seminar on lexicography. yeah and it was kinda boring today - the teacher fairly droned on about semantics, and semas, etc. i got out and found my ping pong buddies -we played a few games. im getting better :). well i went back to the library figuring id have to do a little catch up work for the next seminar. its on early latvian literature. the subject matter wasnt so interesting, but the archaic language kept my interest.
anyways was glad to get out - took the long walk to baz 12a and set to work on my greek and hebrew. yeah my guitars a bit busted so i couldnt do anything on that. i did practice some praise songs on the piano though - i love the 'wow book'. later did some surfing on the net, and that ate up A LOT of time. dagnija wasnt in riga today so i just took the train home early. hehe and the conductor forgot to stamp my ticket - so im sitting there a little bit bewildered - and later sure enough they check tickets again - and i have to explain why there is no stamp on my ticket- well we clear it up and i explain everything, but it was a bit weird. on the way home i trip over the bridge cuz there was way too much snow hehe. bit i brush myself off and im fine =)
Dima ni voimo rokaando mad sallizos kiiels!!!!!MUHAHAHHA