Saturday, December 30, 2006

Top 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1 Friends!

So tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and that means it's time for me to sit down and get my list together. I think I said in my earlier post that it's pretty easy to rate everyone, but I'm remembering now that this is not the case. What's tricky is, there are as many types of friendships as there are friends. Some are old friends, who I don't get to see or talk to as often as I used to. Some friendships are web-based; that is, we didn't meet on the web, but chat daily or nearly as often on AIM... or, at the least, we IM much more often than we see each other in person. And then there are the married couples. One couple I know (you know who you are!) actually compete over their rankings, and when one ranks higher than the other (get ready you two!) they laugh and point and say "HA!!!" in a very unsportsmanlike manner. What about the person who did one, reaaly reeeeealllyyy nice thing for me in a year's time? How does that effect their ranking? I want to recognise the gesture... but maybe a thank-you card is more in order. This year I feel pulled to put my work friends on the list, but it would be breaking my own "weekend friends" rule. Maybe I should do a seperate work list. THAT one would be easy...
Well anyway, my list is done for this year, printed up and ready to be read at midnight tomorrow at our friends' annual NYE fiesta. Pre-congratulations, friends!! And for those 11+es, there's always next year!

wrongful death?

When John Geoghan was killed in prison a few years ago (remember, he was the defrocked priest who abused so many young children over many years), I was having lunch with a good friend who isn't Catholic- she said she was glad it had happened to him. The murder of this man was brutal- a fellow inmate stomped him to death, while guards, for whatever reason, didn't intervene. I remember nodding along, saying "yeah, I know what you mean" but something didn't feel right.
Last night when I crawled into bed and turned on the tv, I was surprised to hear that Saddam Hussein had been hanged to death. I guess this is a good ethical question to chew over. Is it right to kill a person, because they've killed others?
After I gave my conversation about Geoghan some thought I realized that I don't know what's right, what's just, what's fair, but what I do know is this: I don't want to be a person who thinks murder is ever justified.
I'm sorry that Hussein ever came to power like he did, I'm horrified by the terrible things he did while in power, I hope and pray for the souls of those he killed, and I pray for his soul too. It's the only way I can feel right about situations like this.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

See? It CAN be about the toys! No, no no... we know that, as my favorite key chain says, "Jesus is the reason season!"

Merry Christmas to all 11 of my loyal readers. Many blessings!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Merry Christmas Eve-Eve! We're done with our shopping (except we haven't sent out our by-mail gifts... we're taking advantage of that whole "12 days" concept to allow us not to be late, but rather, Liturgically Correct.
Everything's wrapped, we dined on chinese food, my back is killing me... tomorrow it's last-minute laundry and grocery shopping, finding something to wear, and the craziness begins. My Mass is at 4, Scott's is at 6... then we rush back here, pack up, and head north to Maine: the Way Life Should Be.
I hope you're feeling peaceful and joyful and ready. Bless you and bless your Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Let's get started!

It's time to start Christmas Shopping. What's that you say? I'm supposed to be done now? Okay, here's the thing. Timing and rent and credit card bills have rendered us broke for a week or so now. Like, cash in your change broke. Cheez-its for lunch broke. Pray the checks will clear broke. Wait till payday to do Christmas shopping broke.
Now, I'm not complaining, because we get to spend our temporary broke-ness in a lovely warm apartment cooking up frozen meals and all sorts of good things. I have no basis for complaints.
I have tried to remember, during this broke-ness time, that there are so many people out there who REALLY are broke, and who are much more stressed about buying gifts than I am, because they are Santa for their kids. You know? Talk about pressure- hope and belief rests in them not only being able to buy gifts, but buy the exactly right gift. Now that's responsibility. That's stress!
So today's payday, and that means tomorrow we hit the stores. I'm hoping to keep a modicum of Christmas spirit through the day. Christmas shopping makes me so hateful. Oh, and it's time to pay the rent again...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hello McLean Virginia!

So, with the counter that I have installed on this page, I can see the locations of people who are reading my page. It's VERY cool! I get hits from local places (like Billerica, North Reading, Saco (hi Saco!) plus we have our usuals, like Wasilla Alaska (hey Sandi!) and Kansas City, Kansas (our ILFF friends!) and then there are some real stunners, like "Trk, Burdur" (Turkey!) and Taoyan, Taiwan, and once, one from Iraq! But I was stumped to see numerous hits from McLean, Virginia.
I mean, NUMEROUS. Every time I posted, there was a corresponding hit from McLean, Virginia.
Well it turns out I AM MCLEAN VIRGINIA. I don't know why my computer shows up that way, but there you go. Mystery solved, I AM my own biggest fan!

It's neglecting to look a lot like Christmas

Here we are, December 20, home-stretch, and it's weirdly warm here in the Northeast. My summer pansies are still in bloom!

Everyone around me at work is in high gear, juggling their own family Christmas preparations with as well as trying to get two weeks' worth of work done so they can relax next week. Then there's the myriad Masses! With the mini 4th "weeklet" of Advent, our poor parishes are doing their regular Sunday morning Masses, then doing a quick turnaround for Christmas Eve Masses the same day! For our megachurch, that means 4 morning Masses, plus 7 more packed-to-the-rafters Masses to follow. Yowza.
I for one have really kinda liked the mini-Advent. I know, all the stress, shopping, service, planning, etc. etc. has been crammed into one less week than usual, but for me, it has been the equivalent of ripping off a bandaid. Quick and dirty. Get your shopping done, sing your songs, and hang on! Christmas is right around the corner! Let's go!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

I get my ipod!

So, I got a free ipod nano back in the Summer with my laptop. In some kind of stockroom-clearing plan from apple, they were giving away the ipods, along with copier/printer/scanners for free when one bought a computer. I didn't necessarily want an ipod. I couldn't see myself sitting around with earphones in my ears, listening to music. And, I don't jog.
But I get it now!! I LOVE my ipod! I found PODCASTS....
Okay, I'm not completely oblivious, I knew about podcasts. But here's the thing: all my favorite NPR shows are available via podcast. That means I can download all the ones I don't get to listen to over the weekend (when all the good shows are) and listen to them Saturday, while I'm doing yardwork and/or laundry (I used to carry around a little transistor radio so I could hear my shows) and Sundays at work (I used to have to listen to New Hampshire Public Radio, including cartalk for the 4th time each weekend, and the Splendid Table)and my ipod sits in a very cool case with a carabeener that hooks it onto my beltloop.
Tonight I listened to Radiolab, a VERY fascinating show about the language of music. You can hear it too, at Very cool on an ipod.

hold on loosely

Last week I was driving to Maine up route 95 in a gusty wind storm. Generally I like to hold onto my steering wheel with one hand, usually just to the left or right of the bottom section of the wheel. Sometimes I hold on at the bottom but find there's not much control there. I noticed that when the wind began to gust and my car was being tossed a bit, I reflexively (is that a word?) moved my hands to good old 10:00 and 2:00. Driver's ed was not wasted on me! You really do get more control of the car with your hands there.
I noticed, too, that the car designers had made a move to encourage drivers to hold on to the wheel at those spots. On my steering wheel, those spots are thicker, with little contoured finger bumps that my hands fit into very comfortably. So, even though I grip the wheel in different spots, at different times, I do know that if I want to be doing it right, if I want to be in control, if I need to feel safer, I go back to the 10 and 2 grips.
It made me think about Church, and faith formation (natch). There is finally a lot of talk out there about the idea that Sacraments are not rewards to be earned but rather gifts, freely given. D Scott Miller, on his blog
( look for "a mandatory rant"),
mentions that there is a big pow-wow going on with Bishops about how to remove the idea of "mandatory" from the Confirmation process. D Scott himself says that "Relying on the power of 'mandatory' is lazy ministry and not within the style of the One who washed the feet of his disciples." Amen, brother!
It's taken American Churches a long time to realize this truth (and we're not even close to seeing it really embraced by parish RE programs), but it's SUCH good news to see it even mentioned and noticed by Bishops. Hurray!
Maybe we, as Church, can take a tip from those car designers- instead of shackling the hands of our drivers, why don't we show them the comfort and benefit of coming home to 10 and 2? Let's let them experience the joy of Church, and know that it can be good enough to make them stay... rather than lock-stepping them through hoops and having no trust that what we have to offer is GOOD?
Andrew Greeley's phrase, that every program we offer should be "optional and excellent" rings through my head every day at work. You can't JUST make it optional, without making it excellent.
Who's ready? Let's go for a drive!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

gather the elders

Last night was our first meeting for a brand new Youth Ministry committee. Our theme was from Numbers 11, or more specifically from The Godbearing Life, the BEST book about ministry ever... it's a story of Moses on the verge of burnout during his trek across the desert with his grumbling charges.
In the scripture, the Jews are complaining because the manna that is being dropped from heaven for them is not cutting it. They want MEAT and are whining about how much meat they used to have in Egypt, back in the good old days. Moses turns to God and complains,
"Why do you treat your servant so badly?" Moses asked the LORD. "Why are you so displeased with me that you burden me with all this people? Was it I who conceived all this people? or was it I who gave them birth, that you tell me to carry them at my bosom, like a foster father carrying an infant, to the land you have promised under oath to their fathers? Where can I get meat to give to all this people? For they are crying to me, 'Give us meat for our food.' I cannot carry all this people by myself, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face this distress."
(How many of us have reached this point in ministry? 'Send me help, or kill me now!')
Anyhoo, God answers him:
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Assemble for me seventy of the elders of Israel, men you know for true elders and authorities among the people, and bring them to the meeting tent. When they are in place beside you, I will come down and speak with you there. I will also take some of the spirit that is on you and will bestow it on them, that they may share the burden of the people with you. You will then not have to bear it by yourself.
He doesn't tell Moses to run out and find the first 50 or so people he can, whatever warm bodies show up, but rather to gather the elders- those respected in his community, the people others already turn to for wisdom, and God will spread the mantle of responsibility onto them, to share it with Moses. Good plan!
So, taking a cue from the Godbearing Life lesson, I started the first committee meeting with a meal under a tent.

My hostessing style: beg/borrow/steal/smoke/mirrors... razzle dazzle!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

by heart and by head

Last night we welcomed 25 or so new Peer Ministers, which was very exciting! One of the PM leaders asked everyone to tell their names, their favorite ice cream flavor, and why they want to join Peer Ministry. Over and over again, the newbies said "I loved the retreat, and I wanted to do what the peer ministers on my retreat got to do. I want to make the retreat great for the next class."
Many years ago, I was trying to figure out where we were going wrong in our catechetical efforts. I thought to myself "what works?" and the answer was, at least in part, retreats. So what was it about retreats that work, where catechetical programming doesn't (or didn't, for us)?
It's the Big Question for high school catechesis; Heart? or Head? Or... both? The NDC talks about learning by heart and by head, and recommends we aim for both. The Big Problem with catechetical curricula that you buy from publishers (textbook series) is that they can only do by-head learning, and you can't have one without the other, and think that you're preparing disciples for life in the Church. So where does the heart come from? The people. The catechists, the sponsors, the Youth Ministers, the mentors who lead them in service and justice activities.
Waaaaay back in the 70's our Bishops told us that catechesis is only one component of many needed to serve young people in the Church. It's a concept we're still struggling with. But 30-some-odd years later, it's no less true.

Monday, December 11, 2006

locked away

Yesterday on my way to work, I was listening to an author being interviewed on NPR. The interviewer asked her what book had been most significant in effecting her own writing, and her interest in literature. She said that as a child, her father had kept the book "Arabian Nights" under lock and key, and told her that it was too erotic for a child to read. Of course, she figured out how to unlock that cabinet and would read the book in a closet with a flashlight whenever her father was busy.
I thought to myself, "Brilliant!" If this is a good technique on how to interest kids in things, (a little reverse psychology, if you will), then how could we use it to help kids in their faith? Should we lock the Bible away (in plain sight)? Should we forbid them to go to Mass? It's an interesting thought.
I met with a group of parents the other night who expressed to me real worry and concern that their kids' faith is suffering- that they are feeling unable to communicate their own beliefs to their kids, and are worried that the kids feel some level of faith, in something, but not much connection to the church. It's everyone's fear right now, the questions "Will our children have faith? Will our faith have children?"
I'm thinking of offering a book club for parents, using a book my sister gave me about adolescent faith development called Lost and Found Faith. I want to reassure parents that what they are doing is not wasted time or effort. Knowing that "developmental faith stages" has really helped me relax about what degree of urgency there really is in adolescence, as far as teaching dogma, and I bet parents would be heartened to hear the bigger picture too.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I elfed myself!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

God Is

One thing I realized this weekend was how so many of my most intimate moments with God have happened in crowds. There is something about a crowd of people reciting the words of a prayer together, 2500+ people this weekend who not only knew the prayers by heart, but meant them by heart- that makes me just quiver. You know that anything in unison effects me somehow, that marching bands and people clapping make me cry. But singing with a crowd of people, songs that praise God and connect with Him, really sends me.
This weekend I went looking to reconnect with God, longing for that feeling of being loved and chosen and supported and known by God. Of all the private prayer that I have participated in, it was the music and being little me just one of a couple thousand people that helped me find that feeling. There is real comfort in being around "my people", knowing that we all get the same inside jokes and share the same frustrations and challenges, along with "getting" why we all do what we do, a common sharing of a vision. But somehow I can feel and know that through the songs, the speakers, the images, that God is speaking directly into my ear. I feel recognized by Him, sought out by Him, like He is shining a spotlight on me.

The song that has been God's telegram to me over the past several years has been Danielle Rose's "God Is". The lyrics are:

You want to know Me- You want to see My face-
I do not age with time; I do not fit into a space
I transcend the capacity of your eye, so who am I?
It is the question of the moment;
It is the question for all time
I am you, and you are mine

I am the beginning and the end
I am the faith in your believing
I am the color of truth
I am the dreamer of your dreams
I am the falling in your love
I am the words of a prayer
I am the silence in the music
I am the music in the silence

I am your father; I am your mother
I am the man who cannot cry
I am the story in your eyes
I am the orphan of war
I am the leper begging on the corner
I am the black slave in chains
I am the Muslim bride who cannot show her face
I'm the cross you carry again

I am the beginning and the end
I am the faith in your believing
I am the color of truth
I am the dreamer of your dreams
I am the falling in your love
I am the words of a prayer
I am the silence in the music
I am the music in the silence

I'm all you have forgotten
I am all that you have not been
I am in you - all of this in within you
Let the journey begin, Amen
I am in you, Amen

I am the beginning and the end
I am the faith in your believing
I am the color of truth
I am the dreamer of your dreams
I am the falling in your love
I am the words of a prayer
I am the silence in the music
I am the music in the silence

The song is beautiful, cut and paste this link into your browser to hear a sample of it:

The chorus is kind of a chant, and her voice is beautiful, and I hear God telling me "stop questioning me. I am in charge. I know what I am doing. I am everything you need."
It was with this song that God reached my little walnut heart 4 years ago at the Denver conference, and I almost gasped when I heard it again this year- ahhhhhhh right. That's right.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

jet lag and new beginnings

We landed exactly on time yesterday, at around 7:48 am. Traffic held up our ride just long enough so we could get a Starbucks and our bags, and then we hit the road homeward. The cats gave us a little stand-off routine at first, but then came out to greet us when we fell into bed, which was about 8 minutes after we walked in the door. We slept until 2, and then got up for bagels and then spent the evening in the living room catching up on all the tv shows we'd missed while we were gone. (Office- soooo funny).
I tried to stay awake as long as I could, and finally gave up the fight at around 11:00. I got 9 hours of sleep last night and expected to wake up refreshed and back in the swing of things, but I still feel sort of drunk and dumb, like I should not be operating heavy machinery. Yes, that's it! I feel like I've taken Benadryl.
But today is a new day, my first day back at work after the conference, and changes are in store. Today I go back on normal food, today I dig through all the stuff I bought and got and try to assemble a new game plan. Today my attitude at work changes from that of doom and frustration to hope and acceptance. Today I go back to focusing on the Caller, and that should help me deal with the Call.
I started by not turning on the tv this morning. Instead I listened to a podcast of today's readings and read a short sermon on them too. I read up on all my Catholic blogs, and let Ellen Degeneres take a back seat. I kept thinking of doing this all weekend, at the conference: giving my mornings to God. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it up but hey, one day! Go God!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Here’s the news...

Here’s the news from the Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), Bob McCarty, as delivered during the opening gathering of our conference this year. I’m rewriting it from Scott’s notes from that session, with my own comments.

He says that there have been three significant shifts in youth ministry in the 25 years that the Federation has been in existence.

1. The shift from “A Vision of Youth Ministry” to “Renewing The Vision”; these are the documents produced by the US Catholic Bishops in the late 70’s and then the 1990’s. The image that was central to the Vision document was Emmaus, Christ’s walk with his disciples, the presence of Christ in the body of a human who was a stranger to them. In Renewing, the central image was less of ministering to kids and more about leading them and preparing them to take on their own role of discipleship.
2. The shift in methodology from Youth Groups to many groupings of and for youth. It’s a change from one-size-fits-all ministry to comprehensive ministry for every young person in a parish community, even if they never darken the door of the Church. EVERY kid, even those who wouldn’t be caught dead at a youth group meeting.
3. The shift in emphasis. Central to youth ministry in the past was “creating a sense of community”- a process of bringing in. Today’s youth ministers know that only a small fraction of our ministry can happen in the church building, because only a fraction of a young person’s time is spent in church. Creating one more community in amongst kids lives, already full of temporary and permanent communities like teams, clubs, and organizations is not the goal anymore. Instead, our focus has shifted to that of evangelization and catechesis, and an emphasis on service and justice. Instead of bringing in, our goal is sending out.

He also reminded us of three challenges that currently face our ministries and professions:

1. We must shift our efforts from considering ourselves missionaries to youth, and instead realize the call to be advocates for youth in our parishes, church, and society.
2. The comprehensive approach to Youth Ministry is a model we have not quite figured out how to do yet- the challenge is still with us to “do church right for kids”. The focus we were charged with was to present a catechesis of head, hand, and heart, rooted and anchored in a spiritual home.
3. The renewal of parish life is a challenge in our ministries. No longer are we “youth ministers”, but we must consider ourselves pastoral ministers to all generations, because we know that adolescents do not thrive, nor live, in a generational vacuum. Parish life has taken a “hit” from the rocky path set before us at Vatican Two. Again, the vision for renewal at the parish level is on the horizon- we see how it might look, but it remains far off, and something to be worked toward.

There is good good news, and there are challenges and hard work to be done. The most encouraging news of all is this Youth Ministry community, over 2500 strong at this convention. Work and study and teaching are being done and they will change the future for our ministries, our parishes, and our Church. Youth Ministry is doing a lot of things well. The future is bright.


I've responded to some of the comments you've left me, in the comment boxes. Just a couple, but I'm just sayin'.

oooookayyyyy (off-topic)

So I figured out that I only get emails alerting me of comments IF the comments are from non-members. (Blogger members that is.) So that's why only anonymous comments show up in my inbox, and I have to go looking for the others. MAN oh man I am a slow learner! So I've just approved a slew of comments from October on. If you're at all interested in what anyone things about anything I've written, then just scroll through the past entries and click where you see comments present. Sorry readers/writers, and thanks for your comments!

Friday, December 01, 2006

what, no comment?

I am in my room, but briefly, for the first time today. I couldn't wait to get back and see all the great comments you readers had left me, raving abour my amazing writing skills and the frank sharing of my feelings, but there's nuthin'. Maybe you're all stunned. Let's go with that.
Anyhoo, we're done with business for the day, with two workshops and two keynotes under our belts. The first keynote was less than titillating, but the important takeaway was this: the Catholic Church is becoming Hispanic, and we'd better get on board with that.

Our "Best Practices" Adolescent Catechesis workshop was really not great. We were bummed out, because we were expecting something more advanced, and the first presenter used up his time reminding us of such creative gems as "you've got to love your kids".
The afternoon large group session was a reminder of how MAD I am that our youth-centered Bishop has been moved away from us. Again, I didn't so much learn anything new, but I loved his closing message, which he delivered in the last 12 seconds, practically as he was being led off-stage Academy-Awards style, which was this: the last scenes of Flashdance, when the welder-ballerina-wannabe's boyfriend says
something like "If you let your dream die, You die!!"
A great day-closing keynote reminded us of joy and urged us to remember that our calling is from GOD, not our church or our parish or our office or even our kids. God, see?

Tonight we're hitting PF Chang's at the Alladin and seeing some of the sights. Shower time and off we go again!

Three new posts

So, as I said, $10.00 for 24 hours of wifi. But for you, gentle readers, it's me from Vegas, and the NCCYM. (That's the National Catholic Conference for Catholic Youth Ministry)...
So far, so good... really good. I haven't seen or experienced much of the riches Vegas has to offer, but conferencing has begun. This is an amazing operation, with a huge stage, high tech stuff, amazing speakers, and of course you know great workshops ahead of us. Today was "pre-conference" stuff, and already it's a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for me. We had breakfast, visited the resources fair (an overwhelming amount of great things to buy and carry around and charge to the parish!) and Scott and I went to a workshop for married couples in ministry, and then to a great presentation by OCP musicians- and it was there that I started feeling God go to work on my heart.
I have been expecting this, of course, but it is a surprise to start feeling faith and goodness and excitement and God's love again, after having it all seem like a distant experience of my childhood. Long lost.
But I have been living and longing for this trip, to meet up with God and that feeling again, and here I am. I feel like a kid on the playground who has run off to find a place to hide and cry in peace. As much of a stranger-in-a-strange-land as I feel at work these days, I feel at home here. I am always encouraged and affirmed to hear again that I'm not just making all this up, it's really true, Youth Ministry can exist in the way I envision it, but then again, I'm disheartened to leave this happy place and go back to a world where I am constantly fighting for respect of my vision. When will I get to LIVE in happy land, rather than just visit it every two years?
Geesh, I'm not even sure I'm making sense here. Jetlag plus Jesus is wreaking havoc on my emotions. Anyway, now we're heading out to relax and grab a bite.
More tomorrow.

From the Plane!

(okay, not really- REALLY I'm posting this from the hotel room, which charges an outrageous $10.00 a day for wifi. Free the Internet!! But I did write this entry (except for this part, ya) on the plane.

Hello from mid-air! The little screen in the center seat shows our plane at over Wisconsin, at 444 miles per hour at an altitude of 31,311 feet. I am a HUGE JetBlue fan as of today (if I weren’t already since they hired my brother). They have been nothing but kind and helpful since we entered Logan Airport. Just now the nicest flight attendants I ever have encountered (Robin and Mark) chatted with us while we waited for the bathroom, and gave us free beers!! (This may be a big secret, I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell. Let’s just say we have been treated very well.) They were so funny, and friendly, and asked about my brother, and what kind of plane he flies… I know I am supposed to know that. I don’t, though. I told them to keep an eye out for him, and told them that he’s very nice and handsome, and they both seemed like they were looking forward to running into him. Also, the plane is completely bitchen, with those famous leather seats and little tv’s in the seatbacks! We just finished watching Little Miss Sunshine (you swipe your debit card in the seatback to watch!! Five bucks!) and now we’re watching tv (that’s free). Really, very cool.

There’s a bit of turbulence right now, but honestly I feel very safe. (what other choice do I have, right? But I do.) I just pick up my beer every time it gets bumpy until things calm down. Ooh! We’re crossing into Minnesota! The Weather Channel ((ch. 11 on the plane) says there’s a giant storm here! Maybe that explains the turbulence.

Airport Report

We are in the airport in Boston- got here almost 3 hours early… anxious to get going? YES! We heard from Jim and Paula today and they gave us some great travel tips which will get us to the Church on time, if you will, safe and sound. We just had a reasonably okay (but grossly overpriced!) burger at Johnny Rocket’s in the airport, and I splurged on a 5.00 beer! Now we’re in a row of seats a few gates down from ours- (there’s still an hour and a half to go) plugged in to the outlet and considering a Starbuck’s. Already I feel a little disconnected with the world-in airports I lose all sense of time- and I’m so anxious to get on the plan and settle in. We got seats at the desk, so no worries about getting on board, unless, as the gate person told us, three football teams suddenly come in to buy tickets for our flight.

Scott is watching Office space on his laptop and listening though earphones, and laughing out loud. Loud!

Okay, that’s it, I can wait no more- I’m off to starbuck’s. Hey, will you watch my bag? JUST KIDDING! Never leave your bag with a stranger!!