1. Phonophobia is the fear of sounds. Kinda strange aye? How does someone with such a fear deal with it? Sound is hard to get away from. Sometimes I think people make up these "phobias" regardless of whether it's an actual, recorded, true fear that a real person is facing. Anyhow, my title has nothing to do with the fear of sounds. What is does have to do with is kinda complicated as I don't fully understand it myself.

Hello, my name is Beni and I have a problem. I have an irrational aversion to making phone calls. For the life of me, I cannot bring myself to casually pick up the phone and call people. Not family. Not friends. Not even close friends. I go through this entire process of reasoning whether the call really needs to be made. Do I have a reason to call or anything substantial to discuss with the person. And if and when I do make the call, what am I suppose to say when the art of casual conversation is not exactly one of my strong points? Yeah I know, I'm crazy... I'll stop now.

2. Christmas is coming but I wasn't really that excited about it cuz it's gonna be really different not being in Vancouver. But the other day I heard that my cousins from Chicago are probably spending Christmas with us. I can't say I'm on cloud nine cuz Vancouver is still thousands of miles away but at least I have something to look forward to.

3. Towards the end of December we're heading down to Orlando, Florida for a wedding there. Our family from Chicago will probably drive down with us too.

4. Then, towards the end of January, we're heading up to Maryland and Washington D.C. for a reception. And that I'm really looking forward to it cuz a whole bunch of family will also be there. From discussions today, seems all of us from Atlanta are gonna book our flights together. Pretty crazy aye? I've only seen that on Home Alone.

5. But more than Christmas, and Florida, and Maryland... I'm so looking forward to Generation Unleashed next year. My ticket to Maryland is going to be a one way. After the reception, I'm going to be flying out to Portland, Oregon to attend the conference and my crazy awesome friends from PMC are going to be coming too! Traditions to keep:

- go to a random gas station and buy as many little tins of Altoids in as many flavours as possible

- carry out a second "bonding session" while sitting in the van with the heat on high and seats reclined

- take crazy useless but always the most fun pictures with Sim

- take useful pictures with everyone else

- laugh like lunatics until our gut hurts

- praise and worship God with complete abandon with thousands of other young people and lose our voices and get a workout in the process

- relive "lightbulb!"

- allow God to speak to us, change us, mold us, shape us

- cram as many people as possible (minimum 11) into a minivan and make a late night run to Fred Meyer's

- take 15 or so people to Red Robin's and then honestly forget to tip the waitress (okay, maybe we won't do that)

6. And that's where the 'for-sure-will-happen' list ends... after that, I might hitch a ride back up to Vancouver with the PMC crew. I might stay there a week. And then I might *drumroll please* finally leave to India early February and spend four months there. I'll have to come back in late May or early June for PCNAK.

7. If leaving for India in February doesn't work, I'll be leaving for sure in July cuz the whole family is going to India for Bobby's wedding. And I'll go with them for sure then and might spend the rest of 2008 over there.

8. Honestly, I feel so much better because I actually have something of a plan, something to look forward to and work towards... If God closes the door for leaving in February, I'm not gonna fight it. I know this is going to sound like complete stupidity to most people, but if there's one thing I've learned in my life, it is to not have too many "plans" because chances are things won't work out the way I imagine they will. But they always work out according to God's master plan. And I'm okay with that.

9. We sing louder than everybody else. We laugh like lunatics. We bring out the best in each other. We get in way too much trouble. We vent. I get a speeding ticket and she cries. We make fun of each other to break the ice or lighten a situation. We make fun of each other for the heck of it. We are an embarrassment to ourselves and to all things sane and beautiful. And my relationship with her is the closest I've come to understanding the friendship that David and Jonathan shared. She's my laughable acquaintance and even though it's been three months, I still miss that crazy kid and can't wait to see her again even if it's just for a few days.

10. Whenever God opens the door, it'll be Al and Ben on the road again. And O what a beautiful day that will be!

One Desi