thursday 13

I used to do this thing back in the day called Thursday 13 where I’d make a list of 13 things and then invite you, good readers, to leave your list of similar things in the comments. I figured I’d try to revive it and see what happens.

This week: Thirteen fictional places you wish were real (or: in which you discover how much fantasy fiction I read).

  1. The Burrow. (I really just want to be friends with the whole Weasley family, tbh)
  2. Not a place so much as a traveling entity, but the Dawn Treader.
  3. Same: The Cirque du Reves (if you haven’t read The Night Circus, I would commend it to you).
  4. The Shire.
  5. And Rivendell, for that matter.
  6. Malacandra.
  7. I can’t think of the name of the house off the top of my head, but the house where all the people of Logres hole up in That Hideous Strength.
  8. There is a place called Gilead, Iowa that actually exists, but I want the version from the Marilynne Robinson books to be real.
  9. Aerwiar, the kingdom from the Wingfeather Saga.
  10. The University near Imre, in the Kingkiller Chronicles.
  11. Needsville, TN. (There’s a series I stumbled upon called the Tufa novels that takes place in a fictional magical small town in Tennessee. It’s really great.)
  12. Three Pines, Quebec, Canada.
  13. The whole VR world from Ready Player One–not the circumstances under which it exists, I guess, but I think it’d be cool to mess around in.

saturday session (11/11)

Good morning. It’s a fine Saturday here in southeast Texas–cool outside, a little grey, but it’s not mindblowingly hot. I’m sitting here on my couch, still in my pajamas, with the Milk Street Radio podcast on; they’re talking about the science of bread, and it’s a nice respite from all the terrible news this week.

I wonder sometimes if we’re all suffering from collective trauma in this country. There seems to be something awful happening all the time now–a mass shooting, the revelation of multiple men abusing their power, and so on and so on and so on. Some of us who claim the title “evangelical” are watching as that title turns into something we would not ever claim, a voting bloc instead of the mark of a people that loves and declares the euangelion, the good news that Jesus is King. It sucks. And I wonder if it’s not going to get worse before it gets better.

But God is not silent, and He’s not sitting on His hands doing nothing. Look around for truth and beauty; look around for the ways He’s at work. The signs are always there.

Anyway. Here are the links:

Okay, y’all, that’s it for this week. Be kind to one another and be kind to yourselves. If you need to turn off the news cycle for a while, please do. Have a sit down with your beverage of choice and watch some Stranger Things or something.

Have a nice rest of your weekend.



on the problem of theodicy

I make no attempt to understand the
logic behind all the tragedies of the week–

a shooting in this city, a suicide bomber in the next,
dying children, young people with cancer,
the homeless woman on my street corner every morning,
the prisoner being tortured, the birth defect gone awry,

and a million other things I could list
like a liturgy and litany of all the ways
the world is failing us
and we are failing each other.

We all want to say that
if we were God, no one would suffer
and everything would be great.

But You do the surprising and–
dare I say it?–completely illogical thing
and come down to suffer and die
alongside us instead.

saturday session (11/4)

What a heck of a week, huh guys? I was listening to this week’s It’s Been A Minute and they mentioned the Mueller indictments and I was like, wait, that happened this week?

And then my hometown baseball team won the World Series and the whole city kind of collectively lost its mind. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep the first half of the week because I was staying up watching those games (and now have a low-key crush on Charlie Morton).

Anyway, as you read this I’ll be sitting in a membership class for a church I’m interested in, and then getting ready for my friend’s baby sprinkle tonight. (I love that term–this is her second baby, so it’s not as big as a shower, it’s just a little bit of a sprinkle, you see.)

On to the links!

That’s all I have. Have a good rest of your weekend, folks.


game 7

There are 25 guys in a dugout
In Los Angeles
Just trying to do their jobs

Without the weight of
Six million people
And thirty-three trillion gallons of water
Dragging them down

They’re watching all the signs
And trying to drown out the noise
Of a whole city that wants them to lose

And the silence of a city
Holding its breath
To see if its hope comes through

right now (october 2017)

Making: Still working on that infernal blanket. Hopefully I’m almost done, though, and just in time to give to its intended recipients for cold weather. Still working on the scarf, too.

Cooking: Right now I have this chicken marinating in the fridge to roast off in the morning with some broccoli for lunch and dinner tomorrow. I’ve been doing this thing lately where I’ll brown some ground turkey, add some tamari, sesame oil, and a shot of worcestershire sauce, then toss the whole deal with some spaghetti. The turkey juice plus the other stuff makes a really nice, umami-laden sauce for the noodles. If I were a smart person, I’d put some green onions in with that, but…*shrug*

Drinking: Lots of coffee and water and herbal tea lately. And I’m working my way through a bottle of white wine (hard to do when you’re single and a lightweight drinker).

Reading: I think the only thing I’m reading right now is The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers, which is very good and very Scottish.

Trawling: For a new winter coat. Well, “winter.” I had a cranberry red peacoat for the longest time–I bought it for $12.50 at a charity shop in Scotland my junior year of college, and it was a really good coat. But it’s time to move on. I do still love a peacoat, though. Never goes out of style and is just about the right warmth for when it does actually get cold around here.

Wanting: The new James K.A. Smith book, but I think I’m going to hold off on ordering it until I can reread its predecessors.

Looking: At all the stuff that’s coming out about Kevin Spacey–he’s such a good actor, but UGH. Also, at the sample ballots for my district–it looks like all we’re voting on around here is a new member of the Cy-Fair district school board, so I’ve gotta figure out who to pick.

Deciding: I’m one of those people who’s already trying to figure out what to get people for Christmas.

Listening: Lots of Prairie Home Companion (this season is so good!) and, for some reason, jazz. Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Gregory Porter, in particular.

Buying: Got Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the book, not the movie) for my friend Steph, whose birthday it is if you’re reading this on the day of its publication (happy birthday, Steph!).

Watching: The World Series is gonna kill me, you guys. Game 6 tomorrow!

Marveling: Look, this is only the second series the Astros have ever gotten to, and the last time they choked, so the fact that they’re 3-2 right now is amazing. I hope I don’t have to regret saying this after tomorrow.

Cringing: I mean, all the sexual assault accusations and the campaign managers getting indicted for treason is not a good look for America, but here we are.

Needing: I need to get my butt up and take the trash out, is what I need to do. I also need to get a haircut soonish (putting it here so I can embarrass myself into doing so, now that I’ve made it public).

Questioning: Where in the world I’m going to end up going to church.

Smelling: Nothing, really, but I’m going to get up and light a candle in a second–my friend gave me this gingerbread candle, what, almost two years ago, and it’s still going strong.

Wearing: Right now? Yoga pants and a baseball shirt. Not an Astros shirt, just one of those 3/4-sleeve deals.

Noticing: I had a cold all last week and it’s finally starting to clear up; I can tell, because it no longer feels like someone is squeezing my head at the sinuses. Hooray.

saturday session (10/28)

Hey, everyone. It’s a lovely Saturday here in southeast Texas–the temperatures today were cool enough for me to actually have to sit and warm my car up this morning. Astros are up 2-1 in the World Series, glory be, especially considering one of those games is the first World Series game they’ve won, like, ever. So that’s pretty exciting, and after the late summer/early fall that we had around here, we could use a little of the good kind of excitement. Game 4 tonight!

Anyway, here are the links:

Y’all have a good rest of your weekend. Much love to you.

saturday session (10/21)

Morning. It’s Saturday. This is my only Saturday I’m not spending at work this month. I’m taking full advantage of it and…going to get my oil changed. Yay, adulthood!

But no, I might also find somewhere to watch Game 7 (yay, baseball!), but I might also watch some Stranger Things to get ready for season two, coming out next week, or I might just go somewhere like the mall and not buy anything, just walk around. See, that’s the real appeal of adulthood: Having options.

Anyway, whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a nice Saturday (or Sunday, for my eastern hemisphere readers–hi, guys), and here are the links:

  • I stayed in my car in the parking lot of Jason’s Deli after lunch on Sunday because this performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band was so good I didn’t want to interrupt with anything silly like driving.
  • Things you don’t think about: Where do clergy get their clothes? (High-church clergy, obviously–the people who do robes and clerical collars and such. Low-church folks shop at Old Navy, I think.)
  • Props to this would-be adoptive mom for doing the right thing.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda interviews Stephen Sondheim. (That’s all you need to know, right? Right? Well, just in case: These two fellas are among the best lyricists and composers in musical theatre, and there’s nothing like game recognizing game.)
  • My friend Abby wrote a killer piece about Christian celebrity and falls from grace that hits a little close to home around these parts.

saturday session (10/14)

Good morning, folks. It’s a beautiful Saturday here in southeast Texas. My mom’s birthday is today, so this evening will be spent at the parental units’ residence. We’re supposed to get a bit of a cool front early next week, so I’m looking forward to that. I have a few baby showers on the docket, and I’m already gearing up for all the holiday whatnot in the next handful of months.

But otherwise, not a lot going on. I’m almost settled on a church, I think. Next step is to figure out where to move after my lease runs out early next year. But that’s another story for another time, I think.

Meanwhile, the world continues to be insane as usual. The writer Karen Swallow Prior said something pretty salient this week on Twitter (and by the way, she’s an excellent follow):

From flags to sex, to politics, to entertainment & power, America’s idols are being revealed–a moment of grace, if only we will receive it.

If only we will receive it. May it be.

Anyway, on with the show:

That’s all I have. Be well.


In the winter las monarcas
fly home to Mexico for their family reunion,
to stay warm in cold times,
to save up the mountain air and water
for when they go back to the States
where they live and work,

to see their thousands of cousins and catch up
on the news from Ontario or Boston or Buffalo–

how is the milkweed this year,
how many of their children have been scooped up
and imprisoned in glass for the education
of the humans’ little ones,
how proud they are that they
grew from green worm to wings of fire
and found their way down anyway.

And las mariposas set their
few square miles aflame until
back to the north they return.