Thursday, June 24, 2004

Journal of a Janitor 4

Bethia's prodigal voice has returned and now, once again, the urinals resound with our singing.

She is thinking of dying her hair red! You know what that means!; double trouble. We will be the 2 singing, laughing, red headed janitors called the 'Red Team.' Perhaps we should start up a fan club and charge people admission into the bathrooms as we work. We already get a few people sneaking in past our sign. With our henry's we will be 4 red heads. I can see the poster now; a snap shot of Bethia and I walking down the hallway pulling our henrys behind us.

Potty humour;
We battled the dormant volcano again today. I went into the stall aghast, but still quite bravely, as Bethia edged in behind me. We stood before the wretched pool and pulled out our spray guns... er, spray bottles. What a mess!! That was NOT RIGHTEOUS!! Bethia said something in another language. Shocked, I asked if she was swearing in Swahili; She said "No! I'm praying in tongues!"
Bethia screwed the lid off her bottle and poured the 'warrior' in. Soon the air was filled with fume, depleting 50% of the oxygen in the stall. Gasping for air, Bethia shined that bowl up so sparkly and nice. Good as new! ;) Bethia's final words were "And there was peace in the Middle East"...

So, I'm intrigued by the lingo around here. The other day we piled a bunch of blonds into the physics lab. They are usually the ones with the mass wads of gum. Where are the brunettes?
Warrior is one of the cleaners we use, supposedly it out-did Mr.Clean at Coliseum way back in B.C. Mr. Clean only became popular again in the 1980s because he wore an earring, had a shiney bald head and looked like a white-rapper, just a craze! Go figure!
Also some miscommunication with Dominic about the difference between gowns and skirts! OY!!
You know when they clean the hallways, they call it 'cleaning the street'... Perhaps we should put racing stripes on the Henrys.

Bethia and I have noticed that Henry is creeping near the edge far too often when we vacuum the stairs. We are afraid that he may propel himself down the stairs towards us one of these days. Thus, it is part of our righteous mission to try and sober up these red faced drunkards and try and keep them from their suicide attempts. If one of the Henrys made such a wreckless dive, it would be one of the other Henrys having to clean it up... another one bites the dust...

They look like giant legos on wheels with elephant-hose-noses... Don't tell them I said that...

Cleaning professor's offices is a pleasure. It is nice to get to see a bit of each professor's space with pictures of family, and various decorations that appeal to their personality and comfort. I especially like the Religion and English prof offices; we seem to have things in common. It is interesting to see the kinds of books the prof's have in their offices, often there are walls and walls of them. I especially like Goheen's office, it is like a little monastic library, a quiet little cocoon one could sit,read, meditate and study in (and perhaps paint illuminations...) all day pleasantly :)
Our professors at Redeemer really are great! It is so wonderful to be at a place where I can grow and learn from the knowledge of those who are such scholars. They definitely deserve our honour, prayers and respect as fellow Christians. I am proud to serve them in the little way that I can, to clean their offices with singing and smiles, in return for the services of teaching and guidance which with they have blessed us with here at Redeemer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Journal of a Janitor 3

The statue in the upstairs hallway that usually is found looking at the artwork on the wall has been moving… this morning at 6:30am it was found in the elevator…

Bethia and I have decided to lace all the men’s toilet seats with Spring Fresh as it may further our righteous cause of maintaining Redeemer’s fresh and clean atmosphere. What does Spring Fresh smell like? That has been the question this week… we still aren’t sure; it is a very artificial smell yet, surprisingly resembling its name.

Contemplating the different toilet seat styles (yes, there are different styles!! The things we take for granted! Some designer designed that seat just for your tush!!) I stumbled across an idea that may make me millions of dollars and I have decided it is safe to share it with you on the www. Here goes; designer toilet seats!!! You could match it to your wallpaper!! Just think; flower print for the ladies, plaid for the gents. I think I would want racer stripes… haha, crome!! That would be racey! Everyone will be talking about and envying you for your designer toilet seat!!!
The things you think of while cleaning… contemplating deep philosophies and psychologies, mourning over memories and getting depressed, or thinking the most inane imaginative things that you burst out laughing… almost sounds crazy…

Poor Bethia has lost her voice because she is sick. I miss her singing and I hope that she gets better soon! I have been a bad workmate and keep teasing her while she is down; the other day she mentioned that we were making too much noise cleaning that we were pushing people out of the room, I told her, “Ya, that was all you Bethia.” Then today I accidentally passed a couple bathrooms I was supposed to clean and she was down the other end of the hall gesturing that I had missed them… When I clued in I laughed and said “You know, it was just like we were in an old Mickey Mouse cartoon just then with our white gloves on and you gesturing with no voice… except that we are in colour.” Haha! Ya, she’s gonna get me if I ever get sick!! She gets the day off work tomorrow… I will miss her, not just because I enjoy teasing her and she laughs at my jokes! I hope she relaxes and gets better!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Journal of a Janitor 2- Quelle Sera Sera

The bathrooms have been atrocious this week, i'm sure everybody is having intestinal problems. (How's that for the first line of a blog).

Bethia gave me a scare today. I was walking to the men's washroom that she had started to clean when she comes stumbling over the broom she was carrying to get out of it. For a moment i wasn't sure if she was crying or laughing! I asked if she was ok, she replied "Don't go in there!!" and was so serious I started laughing my head off. Some guy walked by and noticed this and asked what was wrong. Bethia was like "The toilet exploded!! I didn't think someone could have missed that bad it was just all over!! So,I just flushed it and the thing exploded!!"
It was horrible!! When i opened the door the whole stall was flooded like a swamp and there was a horrible stench! As we pondered and hesitated at parting this sea we worked at starting up our own 'Church in the John'. Bethia started with "I hoped Jesus would come down right then!" and then we prayed over and over like a Pentacostal praise service. We poured half the bottle of Spring fresh in that bowl and locked the door. Hallelujah, we were out of there!! Bethia was so happy she kept saying 'It is finished!', oh Bethia and her blasphemes!! Then we thought of signs to put on the door; "Warning, Biohazard" "Caution, use at own risk" "Potential douche" "Dormant volcano" "This bowl has a mind of it's own."
After that we started carrying our spray bottles off our belts as if we were ready to shoot any germ in our path. We are proud to serve our Redeemer campus, making it a sparkly clean, friendly and fresh smelling atmosphere :)

Then, we went to the next men's washroom and one of the professors said to us; "Can't get any peace and quiet anywhere" as he came out of the washroom carrying his reading material. That cracked us up and we started wondering if we should post reading hours on that washroom door.
I think he had something about those chemicals he mentioned last time we bumped into him; I swear the windex cleaner is worse for my lungs than the occassional Captain Black!

Bethia and i were talking about how we hope we don't get nightmares from this job like dreaming that we are cleaning one bathroom after another and it never ending!!!

Yesterday we were moving tables in the caf and started cracking up over trying to sing like this one male singer who sings that song that goes like; "I don't know much, but i know i love you"!! You should try it sometime, it is funny!!

On a sweeter note, the other day I was dry mopping the floors and a fellow came down the hall and asked if i had swept anyone off their feet yet. I kind of laughed and said 'no'. He replied 'Don't worry, it will come soon.'

I should say that Redeemer is an exceptional place to work because the people are so friggin nice. They compliment me on the pride i take in washing the windows and always tell me i'm doing a good job, most of them smile and say 'hi' back to me. If I was working in a public place, I'm sure I would getting hit on or ignored or talked rude to instead. YAY for Redeemer.

Every seems to know who we are now because of our trademarks, the rags we wear out of our back pockets, even as we come in late and sit in the very front row in chapel, and the gospel singing and the inane laughing coming from the men's washrooms...

Henry has been seriously drunk on the job! Falling over and making a rucous! He is a hard worker though and such a good little sidekick at victoriously fighting the dirt at Redeemer University alongside us wonderwomen. I love henry! I feel like a big kid pulling her toy down the hallway! HAHA! He picks up EVERYTHING from leaves, frenchfries, hair pins and gum!! Now I sound like a vacuum salesperson... But, Henry's mine!

For all those who were in Tughan's art class this year and put together the 'Grace' art show; I washed the black finger prints off the walls! But, if they want to find the culprite of the huge nail holes, the fingerprints didn't completely wash off... and we all know it was Jeremy, 'cause I had absolutely nothing to do with it!
(By the way to those who don't know, the 'Grace' art show is moving to another school! Cool huh? Except, we are having some technical difficulties in that we are not sure how to hang some of the art, we don't think the school will take so kindly at us nailing each peice by it's four corners with giant nails as we did with at least 14 peices at Redeemer... ops, crazy, rebellious art students!!)

I got to drive the go-cart today!! They didn't know what they were getting into letting me drive that thing; I told them i had driven one before, but not that i crashed it... I freaked myself (and those around me) out trying to put it in reverse, and i tend to have a bit of a lead foot... but i was helped and than i drove smashingly like i was born to drive! ;)

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I guess I should stop trying to make heaven on earth; Harmony and unity, joy and love and peace. I guess I should stop expecting people to act like they’re in heaven, or strive towards it anyways. I guess I should stop expecting to act like I’m in heaven, like I can deal with people loving me conditionally, like I can deal with people not caring about me even though I care about them.

I guess I shouldn’t let this world get to me, shouldn’t let it get to me that people get so caught up in the world and yet think that they are nearer to heaven, act like they are nearer to heaven, when they are really too proud to see or hear what we are trying to tell them, too proud to let me love them, to let me care, to share with me. Unrequited love, this is how Jesus lived… how did he live like that? What did He have here on earth? Nothing! He had nothing! His people, whom He loved, turned away from Him. No wonder He clung so tightly to His Father! The only one who cared, who was always there, who loved Him unconditionally, who gave Him purpose. Why can’t we see that love is something more than this world has made it out to be!?

We keep seeing love as romantic love, infatuation, why can’t we just be friends; brothers and sisters? We are told about the family of Christ all the time as Christians! So why can’t we try to act like one? Honouring each other, seeing the other for who they are and loving them despite, and even for, their faults!! Why can’t we see that some people actually try to love as a sister and don’t seek shallow romantic love? Why can’t men strive to see women as their sisters more? Love them and care for them as respected human beings, beautiful and unique? Share with them, talk with them about all sorts of things and not let shallow worldly perspectives carry them off into immature, dishonoring behaviours and perspectives?
I can understand why someone who lived in the world, and did not know Christ would… but I see my brothers every day, mistaking love to be what it is not. It is insulting, it is hurtful, and it is sad. It is degrading not only to the people they view wrongly, but to the Kingdom of God. Half the time they don’t realize they are doing it! They make excuses, they have become too accustomed, too comfortable.

Why can’t we attempt to love with God’s love? Why? When we are reminded/ once had conviction for/ are always wondering why we can’t anymore… try to live for God and like God and with God every day…!! We cannot see love!! No love, except for what we claim for ourselves… How can we enter the Kingdom of God if our love is not God’s love? If we are not vessels for His love to flow? How can we enter the Kingdom of God if we hog all the love for ourselves and not share it except with only people we want to share it with? How is that God’s love? Why do we seem to think that is ok? I see people, who are so blind, who live for themselves, and yet they are strong and good Christians. How can they be told to love? How can they be changed? When they only listen to what they enjoy hearing about God, and not also what is hard to take about God and His love and what it means for us?

I am sick of seeing people go to church on Sundays and have no joy! I’m sick of seeing those who know Christ, who sat and watched The Passion of Christ and afterwards felt too embarrassed to show their joy, to show that they were moved by that film, instead had to walk out uncomfortably quiet as if they were being pious. I’m sick of seeing people too exhausted to care, too proud to jump and shout and get excited about their God, to raise their hands, to fall to their knees, to lend an ear, to open their heart and arms. Where is the body of Christ? How is it moving? What is it doing? Where is the joy?

Jesus didn’t come to earth to bring peace, He came to earth to set the world on fire! On fire for God, for His glory, for His Kingdom to move and dance and flicker and shine! Well, I feel the urge to put a burning ember at the seats of my Christian family… but, how?
Journal of a Janitor

It’s interesting and pleasant to find that the only kinds of inscriptions on bathroom walls at Redeemer is simply things like; “Mickey” and “Humber Soccer Rules”… and these are few and far between. I remember being a teeny bopper at my high school in London, where there was no Christian affiliation and the population was almost 3x the size of Redeemer. One got into a habit of reading the increasingly growing conversations written and scratched into the bathroom walls, all containing various slang, swear words and “I (heart) Jim Bob Joe forever + ever + ever + ever.” It was almost like those walls were the school newspapers giving everyone the inside on relationships and weekend bush parties for the month only to be repainted and republished the following month. Nice to see that we are witnessing even through the cleanliness of our bathroom walls at Redeemer.

Also reminiscent of high school was sticking bubble gum under your desk. The other day I had to scrape a bunch of bubble gum off the bottom of desks and wondered if this was some kind of strange payback for all the times I stuck my gum under my desk in high school (which I’m sure was only once or twice...) I thought it was kind of funny!

So, I was cleaning the women’s change room as we do almost every day, and a lady came in; past the sign that said to stay out, past the cleaning supplies that sit outside the door and indicate that someone would be cleaning and says “It’s not a very good time to clean right now.” I held my tongue at the time, but what a dumb thing to say! When is a good time to clean than? When you don’t want to use the change room? I am just doing my job lady, besides, isn’t it nice to know that we clean this place regularly for you and by the way, how much do you pay to use these facilities as opposed to a club in town?


Ok, Bethia made me laugh so hard today. We were cleaning the men’s shower and the hose slipped while she was cleaning, the water pressure was so high that the hose was bouncing around spraying water EVERYWHERE!!! LOL! I laughed so hard the men outside waiting to use the room must have thought we were just fooling off and not working.

Yay to Brittany Goheen for making Bethia swear she will try out for choir next year!! I have been tormenting her that I will sick Dr. T on her! LOL! She has a wonderful singing voice and she is awesome! :)

Felt a bit odd the other day when I happened to find myself in a conversation with a male professor in the men’s washroom… Bethia was outside and heard us talking and was wondering what was going on, LOL. I had just started cleaning and Haas wanted to rinse out his cup, so he did, and he mentioned that he was concerned for us because we used so many chemicals to clean the bathroom. We then got into a discussion on organic chemicals, how they are not harmful to your health or the environment and perhaps Redeemer should look into using those instead…

Did not recognize Prof. Norman today!! He had no glasses on, but he also had no hair!! Well, he had hair, but his long hair is cut short and he had no beard/mustache! I felt so bad! But, he has the same smiley eyes and friendly smile.
I keep going past the Psy dep. and it makes me miss my Psy classes… perhaps I will read some psychology this summer. It is nice to see the professors in the hallways. As long as they get good vacations, I would think that would be an excellent profession…

Wondering why my monitor has lost its red pigment… I just bought this thing last summer!! Why so blue?

Oh my!

Massages are wonderful!!! I thank Cheryl for encouraging me to go get a full body massage with her!! It was a beautiful day for a Spa day, driving around in the country and tanning after being oiled. All we were missing was the chocolate! And, perhaps a few more coolers… er…. LOL, perhaps not…
No worries ;)

Last night Winger, Bon and I decided to drive to Burlington to see a movie. We ended up seeing “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” An interesting and artistic film with good actors and an intriguing plot. A bit odd and risqué, but worth a see if you are into artsy fartsy thinking movies.

Mature subject matter…. What is considered ‘mature’ subject matter? ‘cause I’ve seen a lot of movies that have a lot of immature subject matter that isn’t appropriate for a younger audience and some people seem to think it is hilarious… when it’s really just a load of rude and/or potty humour or a massive amount of illegal and violent activity, both of which are not considered very mature behaviors or things mature people would really get much entertainment out of watching. This is mostly in reference to teenage comedies and under acted, overly done fantasy action flicks. There is too much of this garbage out there these days. I am an avid movie lover and watcher and find these films to make a bad name for the film industry. Thank goodness we don’t have a Canadian Pie!

Monday, June 07, 2004

Which Legendary Actress are you?

HAHA!! I took it again and got;

Which Legendary Actress are you?

Oh my!!! Not sure I like that... thought I do feel sorry for that woman... I wish I got Grace Kelly instead!! LOL
Hey have you seen 'Some like it Hot?'
Good movie! Pretty funny!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Do you ever feel the need to just go walk into a church, no matter what time it is? I kind of feel sad that you can’t just go up to a church door and find it to be open, or at least have a bell for a chance to be opened. Didn’t they used to have that churches were open almost all day every day? Do they do that in Europe still? In North America these days there is all this expensive equipment churches use, stuffing it with some financial value that needs to be protected. These things are not bad to have and we know we do not have to physically go to a church to feel closer to God necessarily, but I think there is more significant value and something to be said for a simple, yet beautiful church, with open doors.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Biking in the rain :)
The sun is shining in my room now, but on my way home from work, there were precarious clouds looming about, lightening and bits of blue sky teasing about.
It was pleasently refreshing after a 9 1/2 hr work day of cleaning. My bike's gears are acting up, but with the rain, it was gliding at a nice speed for most of the ride home, and you HAVE TO KNOW HOW GREAT IT IS TO JUST GET WET AND SPLASH THROUGH PUDDLES and get a little dirty, lol.

Anyway, i was contemplating if i would get hit by lightening on my bike... i suppose the chances are slim for getting hit by lightening but, there's always heard of a couple incidents where a friend of a friend got hit by lightening and died and you just don't want to be one of those stories starting today... So, i automatically asked for God's protection, that i wouldn't get hit by lightening... and than realized that if God wanted to take my life that way today, why would i be against that. I can't tell God what to do and besides, I've given my life to Him, He can do with it as He would. Sure, i love life and want to do much with it and still want to experience and know much more. But, I am frankly not much afraid of death, perhaps discomforted by the idea of physical pain... And, uniting with my heavenly Father in heaven is something to look forward to, not something to run away from. But, anyhoo...

So, by the time i got home the hail started falling, (It sounded like golfballs were pelting against the side of my place!) I was drenched and I felt like a kid coming home from playing keep away with the guys at recess and having slid into a mud puddle AGAIN, just like the day before and the day before that! LOL Brought me back.... And I had to pull off my wet socks and roll up my pants so as not to get the place wet and dirty.
Aw, somebody loves me, even though I am drenched and dirty.The sun is shining on me, and I am Son-kissed :D
Anyhoo, God bless you all.
I'm going to curl up warm with a cup of coffee :)

So, some of you know that I am working at Redeemer in Janitorial. Well, it is a good hard working and humble job and I am actually glad to be doing some bum work. It feels good to do some calorie-burning, grunge work for the good of everyone, coming home and showering after a good days work. I bike to work and back everyday and that is a nice workout as well :) That mist yesterday was awesome for running in too! I am glad for the sunshine today though, it is great to see Hamilton in the summer, to go driving, to go grab ice cream and french fries and walk along the harbour and watch movies and do summer things in this great weather. I can't wait to hit some bike trails around here :D

I work with some lovely women, one of whom likes to sing while she works and it is wonderful. I told her she should come out for choir next year. We've start singing quietly a bit in the bathrooms as we clean; soon we may just start belting gospel music, and getting our freak on up in there. **FREAK ON IN THE JOHN -Disco in the men's washroom, bring your own air freshener...** Oh my, we turned the music up in the caf today, Ralph Hart comes in and says "Is this Redeemer University or a bar?" leading to interesting conversation as to wether we should play some of the music that is played in the caf at Redeemer, like Bryan Adams and some of his risque lyrics, and if and when dancing is appropriate. Made me think 'cause I have been getting back into gospel music which makes me want to get up and sing and shout and dance. I hope to visit a gospel church soon where I can do that in service on a Sunday morning :D

Saw Dr.Teewsen today, I wondered if he had heard us singing in the bathrooms at all as he asked me if i was returning to Redeemer next year.'Yes,' I said with a smile "And perhaps with a bit of a new perspective of the place." Hehe