Monday, October 24, 2005

Trash Day

So our church had a community trash pick up day on Saturday and I had some time in the morning, so I went on over to lend a hand. Our neighborhood has no shortage of trash to be picked up, so I figured whatever help I could give would be well received. I wish I spent more time just wandering through the neighborhood, because it's an adventure every time.

I started out with a group of four and we made our way through the streets picking up everything from beer bottles to Wendy's fries and a few losing lotto tickets. The strangest item I found was a tiny booklet about the size of a wallet photo that was entitled "How To Use a Condom." Unfortunately, a few feet from the booklet, I found that it was quite an informative little document and someone had made good use of its contents.

Another interesting thing I saw that morning were a couple of my fellow neighbors. One was a guy in his early thirties who was heading home from a late night out (heading home at 10:00 in the morning) and noticed me with a trash bag. "Doing some community service?" he asked. "Yeah," I answered, because it was a service and this was my community. "What they catch you with this time?" was his response. It's unfortunate that he could only imagine someone doing that kind of work as a punishment for some crime. So I told him I got caught building a meth lab and the two of us went inside and finished off the beer and grass he had from the night before.

The other encounter I had with a true West Indy resident was an older lady who had stepped outside for a morning smoke. This really was amazing. I can't remember what the conversation was, because I quickly became mezmerized by the cigarette she had hanging out of her mouth. I swear it was just an extension of her lip. She was somehow able to talk, laugh, smile and smoke without ever taking the thing out of her mouth. It bobbed up and down with her speech, always on the verge of popping out, but miraculously never left her lips. I swear it really was amazing. The very tip was all that she had hold of, but that thing wasn't going anywhere. You'd have to see it to truly admire what I'm trying to describe. Hopefully you witness it somewhere, because it's a rare treat to see.

Those were the highlights of my community service work, along with a stray dog that I fed dried lunchmeat and chicken broth, and a couple of kids running around barefoot amidst a huge pile of broken boards, glass, TVs, couches and an old dog house. It was a morning that once again made me question what the heck I'm doing here and at the same time made me wish I had the strength and courage to make a difference while I am here. Good ol' West Indianapolis.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Well, I get married in like 3 months. That's pretty crazy. But even crazier is that I leave for my brother's wedding this coming Wednesday. I mean, it still doesn't feel like it's really happening. I'm so excited for the trip and the event, even more so than my own. I get to head out west to sunny CA, my fiance gets to meet all the family out there (which is going to be interesting), and I get to watch my only brother get married. Crazy.

I'll tell you what though, planning for a wedding is a freaking joke. I can't believe all the stuff that has to be done. I'm glad wives are involved, because I would be clueless. I've met with two photographers (along with the bride and mom-in-law), and confirmed that I know nothing about what makes a good/creative picture/album/package. The whole time all of the women were looking at stuff, saying how nice this is and how cute that is, and I swear everything looked the same. Afterwards, I was pretty sure we had found what we wanted (based on how positive everyone seemed during the meeting), only to find that this person was uncreative and apparently I could do the same by going to Sam's Club to develop my pictures. It goes to show that even when women are being nice and polite, that doesn't mean they like you. It also goes to show that if I planned a wedding, I'd have the ushers double as photographers and get the film developed at Sam's Club. Needless to say, I'm not meeting with any more photographers.

And when did people start having to buy a ridiculously enormous cake for everyone? I'm lost on that one too. It makes more sense to have a bunch of little desserts and such. Nobody really likes the cake anyways, it's more of a decoration than a food. And I wish I didn't have to spend so much time dancing with people. I'm gonna be dang tired. At least there's the dollar dance, which is always pretty awkward. And why do we have to have a "wedding song" that we dance to together in front of everyone? I don't like dancing much in the first place, let alone trying to fabricate a romantic moment in front of a bunch of people who are pretty bored and half drunk by this point anyways. Then everyone gets on the dance floor and half of the guys head toward the keg. Fun times.

In all seriousness though, I couldn't be happier for my brother or myself. I'd say we both got pretty lucky and hopefully we will both raise happy, loving, Godly families. I just wish I could move my friends, family and fiance out to Santa Barbara.

I really am excited and I'll be glad when the whole show is over. Right now I'm just looking forward to seeing how my brother handles it. Should be a lot of fun.