Archive for May, 2008

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my one true loves

May 21, 2008

Those of you who hang out with me in real life may have heard me refer to my one true loves, yes you heard that right I have more than one. Most likely you have also heard this term in the context of watching a movie/tv show or listening to music, because as a rule none of my true loves are attainable/close to my age/or realistic in anyway. With that said, here are my top five:

5. Dimitri (from Anastasia) – Okay I know this one really knocks me into deep left field nerdom, but seriously this has to be the most charming cartoon man ever. Also the voice was provided by John Cussack who is almost deserving of his own spot on this list. Plus Dimitri even has the witty banter thing down pat, sigh gotta love the romantic tension filled repartee.

Dimitri

4. Gilbert Blythe – I think Gilbert gets on this list for two reasons, first his long held and deeply romantic love for Anne (of Green Gables). I mean come on he keeps loving her after repeated rejections, determined to eventually win the love of the girl with the grey eyes. And second, boy howdy that man knows how to wear a vest. As I have confessed to my roommates I am pretty sure any future husband of mine would be well advised to consider finding a few of these instant hotness factor fitted vests.

Gilbert Blythe

3. Eddie Izzard – Let me tell you folks, while I had been fascinated by this incredibly funny, deeply intelligent and completely wacky guy by watching his videos, seeing him live was a whole new experience. He is one deeply charming and attractive man, but oddly enough I don’t think this has much to do with what he actually looks like. In fact he really isn’t that attractive at all, but boy howdy seeing him perform live stand-up comedy is just a whole different ball game. The man oozes enough charisma to charm the pants off a newt and yes you can get a glimpse of it by watching his videos, but seeing him take the energy from the audience and just direct it in anyway he wants to is rather incredible.

Eddie Izzard

2. Josh from West Wing (aka Bradley Whitford) – I am currently in the middle of watching the final season of West Wing and Josh is definitely a big part of why I love that show. Yes he is obnoxious, egotistical, loud, rude and seemingly completely oblivious to the wonderful Donna, but he also is disgustingly brilliant, extremely committed, loyal, boyish and totally adorable in a suit.

again with the not actually incredibly handsome thing

1. Captain Mal from Firefly (aka Nathan Fillon) – Okay this one does actually have a lot to do with how attractive this man is, but trust me it still has a lot to do with the wit, the loyalty, the gruff outer shell and the warm gooey insides (which I have to say would probably not actually be something I would want in a real life man, seeing as I would actually like to be able to communicate with someone I was spending the rest of my life with).

be still my beating heart

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creaks in my back

May 19, 2008

Wisely – Last night I took a shower before bed because I knew that waking up before 7am this morning would be near impossible.

Unwisely – In a half hearted attempt to get the back of my hair to look less like straight clumps of blondish brown in the morning I braided the back section before going to sleep.

Result – I woke up at 7am only to realize that the back of my hair was still damp and decidedly not curly/wavy and my neck ached from sleeping in the slightly odd position.

Tangential Reminder – Note to self, four mornings of waking up late should really clue you in on the fact that your alarm clock really is truly broken.

The Silver Lining – The lack of buzzers has allowed me to remember blurred bits of my dreams, causing me to ponder the consequences of marrying Eddie Izzard and the long term results of continual chocolate pudding consumption.

Bad News from the Seed front – Only three out of the six plants remain of the brave morning glories and sweat peas that attempted to decorate our back porch, also defeated include the miserable parsley seeds which failed to produce any germination and the sad mint of which only one small small seed managed to make its way out of the soil.

Good News – Apparently dill can recover from a weekend without water, all they need is, guess this! more water, crazy eh?

Question for the Audience – How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Do you know the hymn The Day You Gave Us (number 652 in the blue hymnal), if so do you like it?

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news from China

May 14, 2008

By now I assume most of you have heard about the devastating earthquake that struck Sichuan Province, China on Monday. And probably most of you know that I spent 3 months in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan and around 60 miles away from the epicenter of the quake. So it seems obvious that I would be following/interested in this event, but at the same time I really don’t have anything to add to the chorus of much more informed people and eyewitness accounts. In fact I don’t really know what to say in the face of rather mind-numbing statistics like 15,000 dead (almost half the population of my college town). I mean I could try to put together some links or write about how odd/sad it is to hear place names that I have connections too in the news, but instead I am just going to give you one link. NPR had a small news team already in Chengdu before the earthquake doing a special on the city and surrounding region, so obviously they were there witnessing it all when the earthquake started. And in typical NPR fashion they are providing pictures/posts and articles that cut through the incomprehensible numbers and statistics to tell stories that truly capture this kind of tragedy. This story from their blog tells of parents searching for their son in the town of Dujiangyan, a town I visited almost 3 years ago. Go read it now.

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one for your brain, one for your ears, one for your eyes

May 13, 2008

The Good Master by Kate Seredy
I first read this book in junior high and it fit right into my obsession with stories from “the simpler times”. Along with Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Eight Cousins, and All of a Kind Family, this book tells a simple story of a young boy growing up on in the last days of the large farming pre-industrial Hungarian plains. Jancsi and his city-girl cousin Kate experience the joys and difficulties of a year on the farm, interspersed with tales of gypsies and Hungarian folk tales. Set in the early 20th century, the story carries a bittersweet tone due to the knowledge that in only a few years World War I would sweep over this area of the world (the Singing Tree actually tells the story of the first world war as experienced by Jancsi, Kate and their family).
So in continuing my current re-reading books from my youth kick (Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Eight Cousins, Etc), I recently bought The Good Master and The Singing Tree. And I found myself just as enthralled with them this time around as when I first read them. Also it should be noted that Kate Seredy also provides the illustrations for both of the books, which are so beautiful and add great mental images to go along with life on the Hungarian plains.

Antarctica by The Weepies
I first discovered the Weepies when they showed up on my Paste Sampler CD and I was quickly hooked. Luckily enough for me they ended up appearing in two issues back to back, which was easily enough to win me over. Consisting of the husband/wife duo of Deb Talen and Steve Tannen, they produce lovely melodies that just worm their way into one’s brain. In fact I am pretty sure I was singing along to the chorus of Antarctica the very first time I listened to it. On top of their simple melodies and harmonies they add in lyrics that both fit the songs and show depth, for example (from the song Hideaway):

I see the bare moon
Raise it’s big bald head
I see my friends play the fool
I’ll make my own way
In the wide world
Just know I don’t want to wander too far

Even the stars
Sometimes fade to gray
Even the stars
Hideaway

Composites, my new favorite photo thing
Camp Lake pier early morning
I first noticed composites when I noticed one in Heather’s photostream on flickr. Put together in photoshop, composites combine lots of different photos taken from one perspective to make a panoramic layered photo. I was on retreat this weekend (my first of back to back weekend retreats) up in Wisconsin and Saturday morning I walked down to the pier and sat on the dock. In order to get the raw photos I needed I basically took around 30 pictures just pointing and shooting at various angles, although I stayed at the same zoom level for all of them. After arriving home on Sunday night I was so eager to put the composite together that I stayed up an extra hour (I think that sentence adds nicely to the huge dorkiness of this website) just to finish it. The process reminds me a lot of scrap booking and carries much of the same addictiveness. I definitely think I will be making more of these in the future.

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a poem for your monday

May 12, 2008

As I have said before, I get daily installments of the Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor. Recently I haven’t been keeping up with them and their is a backlog of almost 60 unread ones in my inbox. However this morning I decided to read todays and what a lovely one it was. I really don’t know what the exact copyright issues are, but here is the first few lines of Mother Night by Jim Harrison from Saving Daylight:

When you wake at three AM you don’t think
of your age or sex and rarely your name
or the plot of your life which has never
broken itself down into logical pieces.
At three AM you have the gift of incomprehension
wherein the galaxies make more sense
than your job or the government.

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why I like my shoes today

May 8, 2008

Today I am wearing my newly rediscovered favorite pair of sandals.  I bought them back in my junior year of high school to go with the dress that my Mother helped me sew.  It was cotton red dress with a black ivy pattern, empire waist with narrow straps and it came the whole way down to the floor.  I thought it was beautiful (and I still do today) and to go with it I found these cheap flat sandals.  However these sandals were not your ordinary big box store cheapos, the straps were made of leather and consisted of one long strap that adjusted to your feet.  So I wore these to the dance banquet, to which an actual boy asked me and I danced my first slow dance (much more of the highly awkward variety than the movie montage romance kind).

Then back into my closet went the sandals, until freshman year of college when I need to find footwear to go with my elven princess costume, yes you heard me right, I dressed up like an elven princess.  The best part is, this wasn’t for Halloween, no siriebob, this was for the midnight premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.  So out I went in my modified princess dress, green cloak, glitter make-up and necklace draped forehead along with 3 other lovely crazy women who I persuaded into attending.  Oddly enough we ended up at the theatre where people weren’t nerdy enough to dress up, so when a newspaper reporter turned up to photograph the nerds, we were the chosen target.  I think I still have that newspaper clipping somewhere.

That night was also rather rainy, so I once again retired the shoes imagining them to ruined by the rain to be wearable, but low and behold after moving them up to Chicago with me (I might have a little bit of a pack-rat problem) I pulled them out of the shoe box and found them to be still in good shape.  So that is why today I am wearing my $20 bucks, 7 year old sandals and loving it.

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what up, GC!

May 6, 2008

So I have to say it is kinda of exciting to open up your big city newspaper in the morning and turn to the Tempo page and find your good ole’ alma mater staring you in the face. Yeah, I had heard about the whole GC on CNN thing and the huge attention being paid to the Indiana primary, but it feels like another level to have Mennonites and GC being the big news in Chicago. Crazy, eh?

It is such a Mennonite thing to be like, “oh I know them, I went to school with so and so, their older sibling.” And it is pretty cool to be able to show your collegues the big picture of a student in her dorm room and be like, “oh yeah I lived in a room like that.” (Um, okay so maybe that last bit is more of a dorky thing and less of the cool, but it still kinda makes my day).

In other news, spring is really finally here and making it pretty hard to be inside working at a computer for most of the day. However I really can’t complain because I work in a room that is 1/4 windows, so I do get a nice view of the sun and sky. But still at the end of the day when I walk out of the building into the sun, I always end up blinking like some blinded woodland animal in headlights. Also Becca and I did our first replanting of seedlings on Sunday. We only lost one little morning glory sprout in the move and both the sweatpeas and the remaining morning glory seem to be adjusting to their new home pretty well. I also started some more basil, rosemary, mint, chives and marjoram seeds because one can never have enough pesto, salad dressing, mint tea, omelets or stuff you put marjoram on.

I am officially in countdown mode at the job now, which in case you are wondering is 6 weeks. One of those weeks will be a 4 day week thanks to Memorial day and another week will be a 3 day week thanks to Steph’s wedding. So really summer is pretty much here and I am so excited about that. As most of you know last summer, I went off on a crazy continent spanning trip and was pretty much gone for the whole summer. Which was great and all, but I must say I have never been so excited about NOT having travel plans. Granted I do already have plans to spend a week on the beach in South (or North, I forget) Carolina with the Rini at the end of June and heading out to the West Coast for a while to visit with the Meryl and the Katie and the David (although he might not actually be there when I am), but other than that I plan on enjoying all the delights of summer in the city. Here is what I am excited about:

movies in grant park
sleeping in
helping out with various Reba projects
wearing skirts more
using the fresh herbs out of our porch garden
walking to the lake
checking more books of my reading list
making plans with fun people
sleeping with the window open
carillion (basically a bunch of bells) concerts at the Garden
riding my bike (and maybe getting buffer)
working in the community garden
(for another good example of summer lists, check out Elizabeth’s blog)