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I love Alias. I do. I just bought Season One this weekend—I got it previously viewed from Blockbuster so it was only $25!!! I love bargains!—and I finally watched the first three episodes last night. I really love it. And I think I’ve finally figured out why.

There are many reasons to like Alias. There is Sydney Bristow (played brilliantly by Jennifer Garner) for starters; I’m hard-pressed to think of any guys who don’t like her. Or girls, for that matter, though not quite in the same way—they save that for Michael Vaughn. There’s the action: Sydney is just awesome at kicking butt and not taking crap from anyone. I mean, talk about girl power. There are the very, very cool gadgets, usually provided by the very nerdy but nonetheless adorable and funny Marshall.

There is the music, from J.J. Abram’s opening theme, to the song selections for each episode, to the scoring by the brilliant Michael Giaccino (who also does the fantastic music for LOST). There are the plot lines: not too hard to follow if you keep up, and with enough twists and turn to leave you surprised. Often VERY surprised (Season Four finale, anyone?).

Then there are the characters. They are very complex and fascinating; real, three-dimensional, believable, and sometimes unpredictable. They are strong, smart, funny, snarky, ruthless; you either love or hate them—sometimes both in the same moment—but very rarely do you just not care about a character. They are human; they mess up, make mistakes, fight, and do their best to do what they think is right.

But I think the real reason I love it—along with thousands of other viewers—lies elsewhere. I think it has more to do with…escapism. Or just fantasy-ism in general. I’m talking about a preoccupation with spies that goes back almost to childhood for me. It started with mysteries and sleuths in grade school, like
Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden and their ability to sneak around and dig up clues and pay attention to small details. It progressed to shows in my pre and early teen years like Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and my favorites Mission: Impossible and MacGyver (*sigh* who deserves his own blog of tribute). Really, with a background like that, it was only a matter of time before I fell for Alias

It’s perfect, really. For one whole hour every week, I get to be a spy. I get to vicariously live out my secret espionage desires. I get to see the world, kick butt, save lives, and the best part is, I come home without a scratch. Or any bruises. Or the fear of retaliation. Living out as Sydney, I get to imagine what it’s like to be an important part of a critical and covert organization.

I get to pretend for a little while that I have a vital role to play, a job that no one else can do as well as me, a role that no one else can fill, a job that could very well save the world. I get to go behind enemy lines, sneak into their base camp, and steal back valuable items and information, even rescue people.

John Eldredge would probably say that the reason I like Alias so much is that it is a picture of me and my role in the Larger Story—the Story we all are living out every day. He doesn’t normally write about spy stuff—he’s more into epics, fairytales, and war-ridden dramas—so I’m just speculating here. But all that stuff about being behind enemy lines, and going undercover, having a critical role to play—that stuff is so Eldredge.

In his book “Waking the Dead” (in my favorites list, I recommend it to everyone) he outlines three Eternal Truths that we find in stories we love.

  1. Things are not what they seem.
  2. This is a world at war.
  3. You have a crucial role to play.

I can see all of these applying to Alias. Things are not what they seem. No one is what he or she seems. Sydney is not just another pretty face. Her father is not just an aloof airplane parts salesman. Even Vaughn, we learn, is not really Michael Vaughn. (Whatever that means, J.J.!!) SD-6 is not part of the CIA. As far as being at war goes, there are always bad guys to fight, some more prevalent than others. And Sydney, as well as the other main characters like Jack, Vaughn and Marshall all absolutely have a crucial role to play.

And so it relates to us; this is why we love it. Because we know that in our world, also, nothing is ever quite what it seems at first glance. There is conflict going on everyday with everyone. And whether we feel it or not, we each do have an important role to play, something designed just for us in all our uniqueness. Maybe it’s not as dramatic or dangerous as what Sydney does, but…since nothing is what it seems…then again, maybe it is.


Grey Day

Today started off kinda crappy—y’know, the usual: I overslept and had to hustle to work, skipping breakfast in the process. But this was extra bad because I was late for my first day of training at the coffee shop. AND on the way there my CD player started freaking out (it’s still not working) which was a major bummer. Part of what makes driving bearable for me is the opportunity to play my favorite music as loud a I want and sing at the top of my lungs just because I can.

And it’s raining here, and starting to get a little chilly. I actually like when it turns to fall, but the greyness I could do without. Still, it’s been a nice summer so I can’t complain too much. About that.

On the way home I turned the wrong way (yes, I am unbelievably bad with directions and every time I think I’m getting better I go and do something stupid like that) and wasted a good ten minutes at least before I realized it. I got home hungry and tired and slightly cranky still about my CD player. The coffee shop was fine. I didn’t make too many mistakes on the register (I don’t think) but I still have to tackle learning all the different drinks. Coffee people have their own lingo. I feel like I’m learning a new language: mocha, cappuccino, latte, espresso…wait, am I learning Italian?

But when I got home, there were two snuggly kittens waiting for me. I had some lunch, watched some TV (TLC and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) and took a nap with a grey ball of purring fluff also napping in my lap. It was just what I needed. I also logged on to the ‘net (obviously) and was notified that there is a brief clip from the season premier of season 2 of LOST. I saw it and OMG. I screamed. (I have a tendency to overreact when it comes to LOST. I am just a trifle obsessed.) Then I worried that I may have alarmed our new neighbors (we're in a townhouse) and they would think I was being murdered or something. But since no policemen came, I guess I'm in the clear. If you want to alarm your own friends, family and neighbors, it’s at the http://www.oceanicflight815.com site, under the explore section, after you click on a bunch of little dots to explore the “hatch” area. If you’re interested. And if you’re not, you should be. Shame on you.

So my day may be grey, but at least it’s ending well. Maybe I’ve got to just stop being such a drama queen and realize that those moments happen. Although, I must admit, being dramatic certainly has its advantages. At the very least it makes life more interesting.



This morning I went to church with my parents. Usually I go on Saturday nights, to Community Worship at Memorial Park. But my dad recently got a job at North park Church, and they wanted to introduce him to the congregation. And he wanted the family to be there. No problem. My brother Kyle and I showed up (thankfully) right on time and took a seat. I was looking kinda cute—at least, I was wearing a blouse, skirt and heels, which is a bit of a stretch for a jeans-and-tee girl like me.

So they go through the announcements and a testimony and a couple of songs and finally ask my parents to go to the front. My dad says he was nervous, but it didn’t show. He was cracking jokes and keeping everyone’s attention. And then he decided to introduce us, his “adult children.” Kyle and I politely stood to say hi to everyone. And then he said it: “And they’re both single.” I sat down immediately. The congregation erupted into laughter.

It’s not that I minded or that I was even mad; it’s more of the label that bothers me. “Single.” Alone. Unpaired. Yeah, okay, so I’m single. Really single.

And if you know me, or if you have read my profile, you know that I’m twenty-six. Twenty-six and single. Is that as depressing as it sounds? I have other friends from college in the same boat. Even a couple that are still living at home, like me. (If you read my earlier posts about jobs it should be abundantly clear that I do not make enough to afford rent and other utilities.)

Most of the time I don’t mind being single. I’ve lived with it for a long time. I like my independence. But I happen to be an incurable romantic. If you look at my favorite movies list, you’ll see a few chick flicks in there. I have more. I am a SAP. When I watch movie and TV shows, I hope that the main characters fall in love and find happiness by then end. I’m a “shipper:” I root for certain couples to get and/or stay together. (Sidebar: some of my favorites include: Sydney and Vaughn from Alias; Bright and Hannah from Everwood; Sun and Jin from Lost; Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter; and Han and Leia from Star Wars.)

The Point: My Independence and my Hopeless Romantic-ness are quite often at odd with each other. Yes, I’d like to find someone and settle down. Yes, I’d like to get married and have a few kids someday. But I’m afraid I have too many unrealistic expectations planted in my head by my favorite sappy movies. I’m also afraid that some of the standards and things I’m looking for in a guy just aren’t ever going to come together. Deep down I think I do believe that there is a guy out there suited for me just as I am for him, whether or not he happens to be a Scottish, guitar-playing, intellectual, funny, adventurous Christian man. But some days it just seems like I’ll be stuck being labeled “single” forever. It wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to me, but it’s not what I’m hoping for.

But don’t you dare recommend E-harmony to me. 



What is it about jobs that are so stressful? Seriously. Even the people I know who actually somewhat enjoy their jobs still come home at the end of the day exhausted and glad to be away from work. There are all kind of theories out there about this.

My dad describes it as the traffic light principle, and I don’t know who he got that from. You know, some jobs have a lot of red lights, things you just hate to do and aren’t that good at, some have a lot of yellows, things you can do but don’t enjoy, and a few greens, which are things you love to do and are good at.

The Christian theory is usually that because we are living in the world after the Fall, we all share in the curse that was given to Adam: that his work would be full of labor and futility. But not all Christians agree on what our “job” or our “purpose” here on earth really is. I’m reading a book right now called “Heaven is Not My Home” by Paul Marshall. The jury’s out, but it is an interesting look at the idea that our job is the same as it was in genesis, to rule and take care of the earth.

My current job is nowhere near that fulfilling. It’s what my dad would call a “red-light” job, full of things I don’t really enjoy. It’s not that they’re hard; it’s just boring. I’ve literally been falling asleep at my desk. And if my boss happens to read this while he’s in recovery from surgery, well, I’m sorry. But you know, Doc, you can’t really blame me since neither you nor the Mrs. exactly enjoy your jobs, either.

I’ve actually noticed that environment makes a huge difference to me in whether or not I enjoy my job. If I get along with my boss and co-workers and/or customers, I can handle a lot of tasks I wouldn’t normally care to try. (Also, I’ll do just about any chore if I can have my music playing.) But if I feel dumped on or boxed in it really stresses me out. I took one of those IFES type tests and the work situation it described as being not a good fit for me was basically my first job out of college.

My résumé reads like a hall of shame; part-time jobs I had for a little while until I couldn’t take it anymore or I was lucky enough to be moving on. I worked in the Cafeteria in college, and the dish room at six am was pretty torturous. When I took a year off between high school and college, I actually worked in a factory. It was horrible. I’ve never felt so much like a robot. The summer after college I worked at a theme park—which sounds fun in theory. But I worked the concessions stands. Outside. I had to wear the long-sleeved dresses, bloomers, and stockings of the 1800’s settlers in the highly humid Missouri summer. All day I got asked, “Aren’t you hot?” by people walking around in bathing suits, tank tops, and shorts. After college I worked at a couple preschools—the Montessori kind. I worked with some great kids and some neat ladies, but I just couldn’t handle all the structure they imposed on the kids. Plus, my job was usually more about keeping the room clean rather than interacting with and teaching the kids. Even now, my job is mostly about cleaning. I don’t have anything against cleanliness; it’s just not what I want to do for a living.

So far in my short life I have only had one job I truly loved, and that was in College. I worked in the Community Service department for three out of four years. It was great. I went into elementary schools, latchkey programs, boys and girls clubs, nursing homes, and a food pantry. I’m not sure if I loved it because it was highly relational, because I had a good balance of routine and variety, because I felt like I was doing something worthwhile, or a combination of all three.

I just applied for a job in a coffee shop this week. I’ve been looking around for another job for month, in part because my boss keeps talking about retiring. Just because he can’t make up his mind doesn’t mean I should be left without a job. I’ve applied at a library, a bookstore, and with a couple of ministries. Nothing happened. I keep asking God what it is he intends to do with me and the gifts he’s given me. Now I’m going to be going in for training at the coffee shop, Café Latte, next week. Did I mention I don’t even drink coffee? I guess that’s not a big deal. I’m not thrilled about the prospects of early mornings and impatient consumers, but it might not be so bad. (I always think that at the beginning of a job. Always.)

What I really want to be when I grow up is a writer. There are a lot of other things I’d like to do: teach, play in a band, record a song, study in another country, make a movie….but I really love to write. I’ve written two books so far. I hope to eventually get a website up about them, but I still might blog about them sometime. I’m also hoping to self-publish one of them in the near future.

I just wish that my sense of self and feelings of accomplishment weren’t so wrapped up in what I’m doing for a living. I mean, I have to pay the bills; that’s a given. But I can have dreams, can’t I? We all graduate from college bright eyed and hoping to land our dream job right away—or at least a job in our field. Some of us do. But I have very few friends who are really fulfilled in their jobs. I’m not just writing this to say work sucks or complain about the economy. I’m just wondering, like I’m sure others are, what went wrong? Is this as good as it gets?

I know deep down it’s not, and I’m grateful that I decided to reread John Eldredge’s “The Journey of Desire.” I love his books so much I will save it for a separate blog. He writes of how we were meant for so much more…but that it’s just possible we won’t get to fulfill it in this life. I’ve heard the saying “Life is not a Dress Rehearsal,” but Eldredge says it actually is. When Heaven and Earth are renewed and we are restored, maybe we will get to do all the things we always wanted to and were meant to—but without the frustration a failure. If you’ve ever been uninspired by the idea of what awaits us in heaven, go read the book right now. Literally. Stop reading this and go find a copy.

What I really want to do is write like that: to capture people’s hearts and minds; to show the truth through a story; to awaken people to the longing inside them; to pull back the curtain on the cosmic drama we are all meant to be a part of. Is it a core part of my being? Is it what I am meant to do? Is it my job? I guess we’ll see.


Post the First

Welcome to my first ever blog! I was having a conversation with one of my best friends last night (LATE last night) and she suggested I start a blog. And though I have to wonder who really has time to read all the blogs out there, let alone write them, I decided to try it anyway.

The title of my blog is taken from L.M. Montomery's writings. She created the original Drama Queen, Anne of Green Gables. Anne loved to daydream and was always talking about places that had scope for the imagination. I also love to daydream. Especially when I'm at work and I imagine that I'm the kind of person who says exactly what I'm thinking. I don't. I hardly say anything. But that's because I need to keep my job a little longer.

So there you go. I would just like to add that part of the reason this isn't a more riveting post is because I am distracted. Our computer is in the living room, where the TV is also located. And at the moment, my dad and brother are enraptured by an anime movie. A rather loud anime movie. And my cat, Phoebe, keeps meowing plaintivley for attention. So I'll end this for now. But don't worry. I'll have more riveting posts later. Stay tuned...