Flowers swaying in the breeze, sun shining down and warming up the fresh green grass, and me laying down, only to find myself next to a big pile of dog poop. Welcome to the Spring Special. Dog parks, one of life’s many mysteries. I guess the real mystery is why I even stepped foot into one.
Episode 1: The Big Sting
I’ve never been stung by a bee or any insect of its stinging kind before. Correction: Not until May 21st.
In my usual frazzled state, but twenty times worse because it was Team Prime Time’s Art Academy Exhibit, I was on the verge of explosion trying to manage setup and understanding why my media presentation was choosing not to work. It was an hour before the show.
As my supervisor and the many guests comprising of preteen students, families, donors, supporters and TPT employees mingled and consumed “refreshments” as if a buffet dinner, I was ready to clean up my desk and be unemployed if this video refused to play. And as I sat in front of Big Mac (my iMac computer, get it? props to Tammy for that one), I got up and looked into the eyes of my friends and felt a sense of hopelessness take over me. As they looked back at me with empathy and encouragement, my countenance changed to one of alarm–something was crawling inside my cardigan sweater. It made its way up my left arm under the sea of black cotton, and I took my left hand and pinched the hell out of that sucker. I soon regretted such a decision after piercing pain and slight numbness came into play. I gasped and quickly rolled up my sleeve and sure enough, a bee fell to the ground, with its stinger deep in my left arm, as if it had conquered it as its territory.
My friends looked at me in amazement for a moment, and that soon changed to laughter and that kind of “of course” shaking of the head response. Kokeb took the stinger out and I took no hesitation to stomp on the bee with vengeance and slight anger. That truly was the icing to my cake of disaster.
But of course, things always work out. And it did. The video played beautifully and showcased the work from a wonderful year of Media Arts at Team Prime Time taught by yours truly.
Episode 2: Pigeons, Seagulls, Crows…One Thing in Common. They Like to Poop On Me.
Birds are the only creatures on earth with the ability to fly and excrete at the same time. Therefore, they have the ability to crap on my head. Over and over again.
I’ve had plenty of bad experiences with birds, let alone their feces: the war zone of seagulls right after lunch at Quimby Oak Middle School, the army of pigeons at Washington Square in SF fiercely attacking us kind folks with bread, and the fleet of crows that bully us in the suburbs of San Jose. With them, they carry not only weapons of beaks that will pierce through flesh and take your eyes out, they carry with them bombs of white and brown poop ready to destroy both your body and reputation.
This episode was written as more of a reflection of the many encounters with such conniving avian animals. This reflection was spurred by, of course, one recent incident. At InterVarsity’s SoCal Regional Staff Conference at the beautiful Catalina Island, I was waiting in line for an amazing dinner of BBQ burgers, baked beans, coleslaw, the works. As I was conversing with fellow staff and friends I suddenly felt a cold, moist lump fall directly on top of my head. I discretely touched the top of my head praying to the Lord that it wasn’t another fecal attack. But looking at my fingers covered in digested goodies, I looked at my fingers and anger raged inside me. I had been hit.
Now it wasn’t obvious that I had been hit. But of all the places to poop and all the heads to land on, this damn bird chose mine. What precision it had to hit the center of my head–like an apple being shot with an arrow on top of someone’s head during a Penn and Teller show. I have experienced this eerie skill of the avian kind in other moments in time. For example, I was once on a 25 mile biking adventure with some of my family and as I was going literally about 35 miles an hour, a bird managed to drop a bomb on my left calf. The aim and timing of such a hit is truly almost a mystery. Moving targets won’t stop them. They WILL ATTACK.
And as an extrovert, I told others to process what had happened in line and I managed to laugh it off. I usually do.
Episode 3: Summer Conference: A Week of Surprises
At our annual Summer Conference for InterVarsity, God had done amazing things during the week. I led a diverse group of fifteen students in the inductive method through the first half of the book of Mark. I loved each and every person in my study and I was so grateful for the ways God was working deeply in faith lives of these students and myself. The week was at a Christian camp in Idyllwild, and it was fun to spend a week there with my InterVarsity family.
Now in the life of Amy Hu, a week doesn’t go by without some interesting things happening. And I had a few of those moments worth sharing.
Part I. Of all the rooms that we held studies in, my room was the only one with mice. The little furry things wreaked havoc on our room and scavenged for the snacks that sustained the energy of those in my study. A few times I managed to find myself standing on a chair and losing all authority and respect as a teacher. I tried so hard to suppress the stronghold that zoophobia had on me, but I exploded. Screaming the shrillest of shrills, I tried to gather myself. And even after they sort of disappeared and we were getting into a time of sharing vulnerably as a group, I was painfully distracted by the fear of them reappearing and coming for me. It was hard to hide and I wanted to shoot myself for looking like I wasn’t fully engaged while a student was opening up. Good thing it was only during the second to last night.
Part II. During our free time, I was sitting on an old bench with my roommate, Jess, and just catching up on the week of how our studies were going. While we were talking, I slid back a little and suddenly felt a sharp pain. Yup, I managed to get a splinter on my butt. I awkwardly walked to the bathroom, trying to make my shorts not rub against the piece of wood lodged in my ass. I was amazed how easily I managed to pluck the pesky thing out, as it was actually pretty big. Ouch indeed.
Part III. Shufflebutt: A group game where everyone is sitting in a circle with one open chair, and the person in the middle is trying to sit on it. Your goal is to continue to “shuffle your butt” around the circle of chairs and avoid being the one to let the “it” person take the seat you are attempting. Pretty simple. After a few rounds of fun play, the chairs started to spread out more and more each round due to people continuously jumping to the seat next to them. That meant that the gaps between the chairs got bigger and bigger inevitably. The seat next to me was particularly far from mine, and thinking I could make it, I hauled some ass to the seat to my right only to land on the edge of the chair, causing it to flip over and bringing myself along with it. I was sandwiched in between two chairs doing a headstand with my legs straight up in the air. It was certainly a sight to see. I was bruised like a summer peach.
Part IV. On the last day of our conference, many were gathered in the parking lot preparing for departure. We were saying our goodbyes to those we would see soon after summer and farewells to those who were transitioning out of our fellowship. Jerome, our fearless Co-Team Leader and my supervisor/mentor, was going to drive up a path to pack up some remaining things in his study room. I decided it would be fun to climb up and hang onto the back of his Toyota 4Runner, and hitch a breezy ride up the hill. Little did I know Jerome would gas it. And as many have told me, the look on my face was one filled with the most genuine terror they had seen in a while. “Did he know you were there?!” “Why did you think that was a good idea?!” “He could have killed you! You could have killed yourself!” The many responses of many witnesses to this ridiculous act of mine. Yes, he did know and told me that if I wanted to hang on, he was going to make sure he gave me the ride of my life. I think I saw Jesus calling out to me when he made a sharp turn at the top.
Roll credits. Thanks for reading the Spring Special.
Lastly, I am going to start a blogging about my cooking adventures and food. I will either integrate it with this current blog, create a separate page, or start an entirely new one. Fasten your seatbelts foodies!
This is Amy Hu signing off for July 22, 2010.
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