Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Beautiful Bri Child

     I have a younger brother. His name is Brian, and he's the best kid in the world. He's 18, a senior in high school, and currently works in Walgreens. Brian has autism spectrum disorder, which basically means that he doesn't learn or function as quickly as everyone else. There are social delays, as well as struggles with dysgraphia and math skills. Despite these obstacles, he's really grown a lot these past few years, in all areas of his life. He's thriving in school and at his job (stocking shelves), is now able to talk to people/make eye contact, and is confident and happy with life. God has really blessed us with him; to see this huge growth in him is so wonderful and awe-inspiring!
     Beyond his accomplishments, he simply adores me (for reasons unbeknownst to mankind haha). As kids, I was really mean to him, and even resented him. He still loved me and toddled after me, looking up to me both literally and figuratively, at that point. Years past, he grew taller, I grew tolerant. We began seeing eye-to-eye, both literally and figuratively. I began to understand that he was different, and cut him some slack. Things between us were less volatile. He still adored me, I just sort of put up with him. He grew taller yet, now a few inches taller than I. At this point in our lives, I became his protector. Something happened in my heart, and I "took him under my wing", if you will. I saw him in a new light; not someone that annoyed me, but someone that needed me. More years pass, he's now 6'+, almost an entire foot taller than I. He still looks up to me, but now, I look up to him in every way. I love this child more than anyone on the planet. He's now my protector, although heaven knows I'd raise Cain if anything/anyone messed with him. If he finds out that someone or something bothered me/hurt me, he gets very upset, and tries to comfort me, then explains how he's gonna go out there and "beat them down" hahaha. (He's the most docile kid ever, so the thought of him beating anyone down is quite amusing.) Just today, I had a bad experience with a professor. He overheard my mom talking about it, and got very upset. Later today, we were at burger king, and i ordered a small drink, and he ordered a large drink. The lady handed us the cups, and he looked at the two, and said "Oh! it's backwards. You should have the bigger cup because you were sad today." Now, understand that soda is this boy's favourite thing in the world haha. Him offering me the big drink speaks volumes about his feelings regarding the situation. 
    He always proudly announces me to his friends and coworkers, pointing to me and saying "this is my sister", like I'm the Pope or something. He sure knows how to make me feel appreciated. The other day, mom was rummaging in his backpack to look for a paper, and she found a card. She mistakenly gave it to me, so I opened it. It was a Christmas card, to me, with drawings inside and the words "Merry Christmas, best gas station friend!" (i take him to the gas station to get sodas sometimes, which he apparently greatly appreciates.) I quietly slid the card back into its envelope, and put the card back in the backpack. It turns out he was going to mail it to our house, so I could have a card to open. (I've been asking if there's anything in the mail for me lately; he must have picked up on that and wanted to send me something so i could have something to open.) It's just the little things he does like that for me that endear me to him. My most cherished times are when I take him to get a drink, and go for a drive around the chatsworth reservoir, when he talks to me about what's on his mind, tells me little jokes he comes up with during the day, and reveals his secrets that he tells nobody else. The Lord has blessed me by putting him into my life, giving him to me as a brother. He is my special and beloved child, and I only hope I can live up to his ridiculously high expectations of me. He thinks the world of me, but what he'll never know is that I think even more highly of him. He is the sweetest, most loving and giving child ever. If I can be even a fraction of his wonderfulness, if I can bless someone even half as much as he has blessed me, I will be blessed.

He's my brother, my best friend, and he's my Bri Child.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December the Third

On this day, some years ago, Dixie Joann Mulligan was born to parents Leslie and Gloris Mulligan. On that day of her birth, no one could have predicted what sort of an impact Dixie would have on people, and how she would touch the lives of everyone around her. Dixie Thompson is one of the most caring people to walk the planet. Anyone is privileged to call her "friend". She will go out of her way to make people feel loved and comfortable. A stay-at-home mom, (a job that is seriously underestimated and not given enough credit these days) she spends her time running the household, cooking marvelous dinners, packing school and work lunches, vacuuming (her favorite hahaha) and cleaning the house, and most importantly incessantly caring for and loving her family. The only job she does better than taking care of the house is the job of Mom. There have been days when I've come home from school, dragged my sorry carcass to my "room" (if it can be called that; it sort of resembles the garbage disposal scene from Star Wars most of the time), fully expecting it to be in the disastrous state that I left it in, and, lo and behold, the room is cleaned spic and span, the bed made, and sometimes a favorite candy bar on the bed. It's those days that I realize just how much I should appreciate her. Not because of what she does for me, but because of the beautiful heart the Lord has given her. I don't express nearly enough to her the depth of my love and gratitude for her and everything she does, and that's quite regrettable. The truth of the matter is, not a day goes by that I don't thank God for placing me in her care. Even though I don't say it enough, I love her to the moon and back, and appreciate everything she does. Having her for a mother is one of the greatest blessings in my life. Beyond being my mother, she's my Mom, my best friend, and Mai Dixee. She's always there for me when I need to talk, always willing to sacrifice time to be with me and go to coffee or taco-bell (haha :P) and always ready to pray for me. I can't even fathom having any other mother; I have it so good, why should I even try? The best and happiest times are when I'm with her and my brother Brian, just joking around, being the ridiculous people we are. Making her laugh is so rewarding, she has the best smile and laugh! There aren't too many people that I love as much as I love my mom Dixie. She is kind, loving, funny, quirky, adorable, wonderful, faithful, lovely, and beautiful. But best of all, she's my Mom.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Welcome December

Today it is the first of December. December is a month that usually brings about thoughts of Christmas, cold weather, snow, etc. Well, today is the first of December, and I spent it at the beach. Today was my free day from school, and, it was quite sunny and nice here. I needed to get out, have some time to think to myself, collect my thoughts and the like. So I started out, got in the car, went to the petrol station. Not for gasoline, of course, but for the usual Dr. Pepper the size of my head and a candy bar. (this was to be my picnic meal at the beach.) After I accomplished this, I got back into the car and set out towards the 101N. I turned up the music real loud. You know, that weird music that I listen to. I arrived at Point Dume (it's quite different than Mount Doom, let me make note of that here.) Gorgeous day, blue skies, warm air with slight breezes, and the water wasn't that cold. Best of all, there was nobody on the beach most the time. I was even able to get free parking. (no other cars were even there). I set up camp on a small dune; laid out a towel hardly big enough even for me, put my drink in the sand, and set about enjoying the view and eating my candy feast. It was quite lovely, really. The warm sun shone down upon my ultra-white skin, inducing much needed melatonin production. The soft breeze tousled my unruly hair, blinding me to the view. My ears were assaulted by the sound of the waves, ever crashing against the sands. Advancing, receding. Advancing, receding. After i had taken all this in for a while, and finished off the candy bar, I set about doing what I had originally intended to do; a time of prayer and meditation was much needed and long overdue. So I took it all in, I got my thoughts together, i talked with God. It was a really blessed time. After a while, the singsong lullaby of the gulls got the better of me, and I drifted off to sleep. I awoke some time later, I sensed a presence approaching. I saw, off in the distance, a figure approaching. It appeared to be a man in a wetsuit and fishing hat. I figured him to have been fishing in the surf, and searching a new location. I laid my head back down and paid no mind to it. Minutes later, I decide to take another surveillance of my surroundings. The hatted man had drawn nearer, but what caught my attention now was a little wiry haired dog racing towards me. Seconds later the dog was upon me. I welcomed it with a smile and open arms; the dog licked my face joyfully and soon settled down, cuddling in my lap. It seemed to fall asleep, or else go into an almost trance-like state. I pet its wiry reddish fur, and enjoyed its company for a while. Its master soon came near, and called to the little dog. No response from little dog. The master continued walking, even though the little dog remained in my lap. I became concerned, and attempted to rouse the little dog from its slumber. No such luck. I then picked it up, stood up and put it on the ground, but even then it wouldn't return to its master. Finally, the hatted man came back for the little dog. He scolded the dog, and apologized to me, saying that the dog has an affinity for beautiful women. I told the man that it was quite alright, and bid him have a nice day. I also said goodbye to the little dog. After this, I looked to the water again. I saw fins in the water; hundreds of fins. A pod of dolphins was just offshore, not 30ft from the surfline. I observed them for as long as they stayed; they were feeding on the surf perch being tossed about in the waves. Soon enough the pod moved on, and I was once again alone with my thoughts. I was struck with the beauty of the day; the perfect weather, the lovely landscape, my interaction with the stranger and his little dog, the dolphins, the singing of the gulls. I became overwhelmed with gratefulness, and gave thanks to the Lord for His abundant blessings. One being the fact that it's possible to go to the beach in December and have an enjoyable time in southern california.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Squirrel Chronicles

I feel like i should probably document some of the interactions I have with Cal State Northridge's native rodents, the CSUN squirrels. So that's what I'll attempt to do here. I've had numerous encounters with these amusing creatures, some humorous, some terrifying. In this first chronicle, if you will, I'll recount an episode I had last semester on the way to Linguistics 301. Allow me to set the scene...

It was a hot day in early summer. I was walking in from the eastern parking lots, observing the usual garbage and whatnot littering the sidewalks and gutters next to the B3 parking structure, when, all of a sudden, I notice a furry lump sort of to the side of the walkway. I walk up to it, thinking it may have been another part to a coonskin cap that I had discovered there earlier that week. No, what I find it to be is an apparently dead squirrel. My morbid curiosity got the better of me (as usual), and i sort of nudged the thing a bit with my boot. Nothing much having happened, I became a bit more aggressive in my endeavors, and gave it a slight kick. It was at this point that the thing sprang to life, and, to my horror, leaped onto my leg and proceeded to cling on for dear life. I'm sure you can imagine my shock and dismay, having the previously thought-to-be-dead squirrel now very much alive and digging its little claws into my leg. I commence trying everything in my power to remove the thing, partaking in all manner of kicking and jumping and other such nonsense that someone of my age does not usually be seen doing in public. At long last, after seemingly hours of this carrying-on, the stupid thing jumped off, and proceeded to run a few feet away from me. I stare at it in disbelief; it simply stares at me with those huge, horridly adoring eyes. It's at this point that I notice two guys on the sidewalk across the street, apparently having just witnessed this madness. I feel my cheeks turning red, I turn to them and stupidly ask, "what, this never happens to you?" They have no reply, they shoot me somewhat baffled expressions, and they continue on their way. As I resume the journey to class, I look back over my shoulder, and the squirrel has resumed its original position, lying in a disheveled heap on the edge of the walk, apparently waiting for its next victim. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Accidental Occupation of Northridge

So it was a pretty standard day. Halloween day. I was at school, a few people were dressed up, nothing weird. So I get out of class, and I'm walking to my car, when all of a sudden this guy comes around the corner. He has no shirt on, a red scarf, brown fur pants, and he's carrying a red umbrella. After a few moments of thinking, I deduced that he must be Mr. Tumnus, the faun from the Chronicles of Narnia. I thought to myself "oh, cool! That's unique." I continue on towards the parking lot (on the opposite side of campus), and Mr. Tumnus seems to be going the same way. I end up "following" him for a ways, when suddenly this group of people, what I believe at first to be a costume parade of sorts, begins marching around the corner. Mr. Tumnus and myself get swept into the "parade", and we continue on our way. (They were, at the time, proceeding in the same direction as I was, so I went with them.) A few minutes into our procession, the "parade" people hold up cardboard signs, and start up a chant. I look around, trying to see what the signs say. One said "Banks got bailed out. Students got sold out." among a few others with similar sentiments. The chant rose up, and I quickly realized I was accidentally involved in an "Occupy Northridge" march. I thought it would be in my best interest to get out of it as quickly as possible, but the group was going in the same direction I was, and they were headed straight to the parking lot where my car was. For 15 minutes I was stuck in this protest. At last, I reached my car, and the protesters proceeded to the bank across the street. It was at this point that the cops showed up. I got in my car and quickly left, right as the cops started to intervene. And that is the last time I will ever follow Mr. Tumnus anywhere.