Wednesday, September 20, 2006

a life uncommon

On friday evening, I went to the home of gross material excess, greed and drunkenness that is Lo-Do in Denver. Normally I avoid lower downtown, because it is really for college students who come down from Boulder, tourists who want an "authentic" Denver experience and people who like to think of themselves as chic. I prefer the smaller neighborhood bars (Streets of London, the Atomic Cowboy, Wyman's and the Elm) to the high energy clubs and high priced drinks of downtown.
Nine of us spent friday evening and the wee hours of saturday morning at Sing Sing. This is a fabulous dueling piano bar, complete with a cover charge, expensive drinks and a dancing and singing wait staff. Don't get me wrong, I had an amazing time and we practically shut down the bar, but I was struck at just how different my life is than many other people. Most of my friends are USC alums or closely affiliated with USC alums. My other friends work at non-profits so they are already choosing to live their lives differently.
At Sing Sing, money can buy you just about anything you could desire. Any sort of alcoholic drink you can imagine, a song that you want the pianists to play, souvenirs and even a chance to get up on the stage and dance and sing all you want. I watched one man fork over $50 to get the piano players to stop playing "American Pie". Just to watch someone else top him with even more money to have the song continue.
I wonder if I will ever again be so easy going with my money. I used to buy clothes, food, soda and overall, junk, without a second thought. Now I think about where every dollar is going and what it could better be used for.
$17 can help someone obtain their birth certificate
$20 buys a full bag of groceries
$10 pays for a TB test (necessary to stay in a homeless shelter)
$3 provides round trip bus fare
$52 provides an unlimited bus pass for one month
$30 provides one month of birth control pills
However, as evident on friday evening, it is not common for people to think about how their money is being spent and how they might be able to help their fellow human beings. While I do experience lots of guilt and plenty of remorse at my station in life, I can choose to live differently.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


This is Barb's (my volunteer program director) new puppy. Her name is Cara.
This is Stehekin, a tiny town on the northernmost point of Lake Chelan in Washington. It is only accessible by boat and I had a layover here on my way back to Wenatchee.
My good friend Heidi who is serving with Christian Peacemakers Teams in Palestine was on sabbatical at Holden while I was there. Heidi recruited me for the Urban Servant Corps.
The view of the mountains from Holden Village.
Me weaving at Holden.

New Job and New Life

Aug. 14th I started a new job in Lakewood, which is a western suburb of Denver. I am the development coordinator for a large non-profit, where I manage the donor database and coordinate special events.  Karla and I live in a small apartment in an older building that we love. We are trying to continue having intentional community, for example, two nights a week we eat together. We share food and just generally try to take care of each other. Also, one night a week we have a guest over for dinner. On friday we had about 30 of our closest friends over for a party!
I have been working on my grad school applications, hopefully to begin next fall. The job that I have right now is not something that I am planning to make a career of. It is good experience and pays me decently, but I am not truly happy without working directly with people in need. Several times a day I have to wander out of my office to reconnect with what I am actually raising money for.
Also, one of my good friends from the Ogden house last year, Sara, is living in the Philippines doing another lutheran volunteer program. I am hoping to visit her there this year.