in memoriam.

My grandfather–
My mom’s dad,
Hearty German stock,
Youngest of ten–
Served on a Marine ship
On a Pacific tour
During World War II.

And when I say “served”,
I mean that he
Served potatoes and hash,
Biscuits and gravy,
Beans and cornbread,
To all our boys
We’d sent to fight
The Japanese,
In need of a good meal
And a reminder of home.

My grandfather was a Marine cook,
And then came home after V-Day
To marry his sweetheart,
Raise their two children,
Work construction.
He did not die in action,
But he gave his life for
The stars and stripes
Every day of his seventy-three
Years. He served his country,
And he has been rewarded
By the One who sees what
Is done in secret.


Ever since I took that oral history class last semester, I’ve been thinking of projects I’d like to do. The only thing is, I need funding and participants, so just in case someone finds this in the future, or if any of y’all would like to participate, here’s my list:

*I actually want to do a history of all my living family members, mostly because I think there’s a lot of backstory I don’t know, so any family reading this, I’m just going to warn you now that I might be coming after you with an audio recorder. 😉

*Pastors of churches that are less than ten years old, and their wives.

*Female academics, especially minorities and women at private institutions.

*People whose families have been affected by cancer.

*People whose families have been affected by mental disorders or mental illness.

*Veterans of the Iraq War.

my my my, how the days go by…

I took this survey seven years ago, in the early days of my blog, so just to give you an idea of how much things have changed, here’s the original post.

15 years ago I:
1. was nine years old.
2. went to public school.
3. had a week (I think this was when I was nine…) where I missed school because I think I was having a severe depressive episode. Very strange.
4. had a love-hate relationship with this kid named Andrew.
5. …can’t remember anything else, except I think this was during my Harry Potter glasses stage.

10 years ago, I:
1. was 14 and about to start high school (holy crap, that was ten years ago).
2. sang Luisa’s part in “So Long, Farewell” during my school’s musical revue. I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly, indeed.
3. was starting friendships with some people I’m still friends with to this day.
4. was still a pretty new Christian.
5. had Mrs. Gertson for Bible class. Why I remember this, I’m not sure.

5 years ago, I:
1. finished my freshman year of college.
2. had just become convinced of paedobaptism, I think.
3. decided to be Kacy’s roommate the next year.
4. had just met a bunch of people from CGR.
5. smoked my first cigarettes and completely freaked out my parents (and I think rightfully so).

2 years ago, I:
1. graduated college (whoa) with a 3.67 GPA and a BA in English.
2. at this point, I think I was looking for a job.
3. had to come to grips with a certain crush I had.
4. was getting some good counseling from our RUF intern.
5. had to move all my crap out of our apartment (haha).

1 year ago, I:
1. worked for Target…
2. had just gotten rejected by UNC.
3. had just gotten accepted by UT.
4. went to New York City with Steph.
5. pretty much still had the same crush as previously mentioned.

Yesterday, I:
1. started my new job at Stitt Library (woot).
2. came home and took a nap.
3. allowed my roommate to use my cell to vote for Kris Allen eight thousand times.
4. journaled for the first time in a while.
5. drank a smoothie for lunch.

Today, I:
1. got out of bed at noon.
2. did some laundry…
3. went to work.
4. walked to Texpresso and got an iced coffee.
5. played music on my computer for my roommate.

Tomorrow, I:
1. have a dentist appointment (my first in five years…I figured I was about due).
2. need to swing by work and fill out some paperwork.
3. might get an Austin Public Library card. We’ll see.
4. will probably go to Barnes and Noble and work on some stuff.
5. might call some people. Stay tuned.

Five snacks i enjoy
1. baby carrots and hummus
2. iced coffee
3. peaches
4. Greek yogurt and honey
5. bananas and peanut butter

Five songs I know all the words to, even without the music
1. “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse
2. “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens
3. “August In Bethany” by The Juliana Theory
4. “Up to the Mountain” by Patty Griffin
5. “Magnificent” by U2

Five books I like:
1. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
2. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
3. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
4. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
5. Planet Narnia by Michael Ward

Five things i would buy with $1000:
1. A dress for Sam and Ashley’s wedding next month
2. A bass
3. A couple of books for some friends
4. Dinner and drinks for my roommate and me
5. A car wash

Top five musicians lately (not in any particular order)
1. U2
2. The Frames
3. Patty Griffin
4. Radiohead
5. Wilco

Five bad habits I have
1. procrastinating
2. forgetting to pray
3. popping my zits
4. eating in my car
5. leaving my junk everywhere

five things I would never wear
1. miniskirts
2. the color yellow (it makes me look hungover, it’s pretty bad)
3. this (the comments there are hilariously awesome, though, and thanks to Jonathan Hays for that)
4. Ugg boots (I’m sorry, but NO)
5. anything with the Texas A&M logo (just on principle–sic ’em, Bears/hook ’em, Horns)

Five tv shows i like
1. Lost
2. Ace of Cakes
3. Mythbusters
4. Firefly
5. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

five places i’ve lived
1. Seoul
2. St. Louis
3. Houston
4. Waco
5. Austin

my top five biggest worries at the moment
1. my mom’s health
2. whether or not I’m going to move in the fall
3. trying to lose weight
4. finances
5. getting some stuff done that I want to get done

my top five biggest joys at the moment
1. summer
2. working
3. my church
4. music
5. friends & family

five things that make you laugh
1. Eddie Izzard
2. my roommate’s general insanity
3. people at school
4. people at work

five things you love
1. the church
2. music
3. making stuff
4. rhythm sections of bands
5. the city of Austin

Five things on your desk
1. cup full of pencils
2. pencil sharpener
3. papers
4. a letter from my Compassion child
5. not my computer, oddly enough (I’m in the dining room)

Five facts about you
1. Good bass lines make me really happy.
2. I have really dry skin.
3. My hands used to shake whenever I read poetry in front of other people.
4. I used to want to be a professor, and then realized I’m not wired to be an academic because I really hate doing research. Thus, I became a librarian, so I get to help people do research.
5. One of my favorite things about Austin is the number of places there are where you can just hang out.

five things you can do
1. memorize large chunks of text
2. make pretty decent mix CDs
3. make a good latte
4. eat more food than some guys I know, which is either impressive or frightening
5. write sestinas

five things you can’t do
1. math or science
2. formulate a linear argument (hence why I’m bad at math and science)
3. speak Korean, which feels ironic
4. drink hard cider (had a bad, though not life-threatening, allergic reaction to it)
5. listen to “Konstantine” without thinking of high school

five things you say the most
1. crap!
2. I know, right? (and this annoys me…I need to quit saying this)
3. you know (as a verbal tic…also annoying)
4. uh-huh
5. crazy

lemon, see-through in the sunlight…

1. Yes, I’m listening to Zooropa. Which is fantastic. Even though “Lemon” freaks me out because it gives me scary visions of Bono in eyeliner (if you haven’t seen the video for it, go watch it on YouTube and then you’ll know what I mean).

2. So, I’m thinking about trying out for American Idol this summer to see if I can get in and break the machine from the inside out…considering either “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” or “Folsom Prison Blues” for my audition song. Why the latter song? To freak them out–because it’s one thing if Johnny Cash shoots a man in Reno just to watch him die, and something else entirely if *I* do. I know, I’m a weirdo.

3. It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been out of class, and have I done anything particularly productive? Of course not. *shakes head at self* Oh well. I am making things, though, and trying to do a major purge of my stuff, which is all kinds of fun, for real (I like organizing things–I picked a good profession).

4. I recently discovered that the three days before Ascension Day are called “rogation days”, and they’re meant to be days of prayer for the harvest and for laborers. This is why I like the Book of Common Prayer; it makes me pray for things I would never think to pray for otherwise. I mean, really? Pray for a good harvest? And yet, that’s important, because a good or bad harvest affects me here in the city as well as the people growing it. And even if it didn’t, it’s still good for me to pray for people I’ll never meet, people working hard to earn their living. Praying for rain and a good crop this year.

5. A few questions for y’all, just because:
a) So, what are you reading these days?
b) What was the last movie you saw in theaters? (I just saw Star Trek on Friday, and it was AWESOME.)
c) How can I be praying for you and yours?
d) Do you have any big plans for the summer?
e) What should next week’s Mix Tape Monday theme be?

the return of mix tape monday!

This week’s theme: Animals.

1. U2, “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” (Achtung Baby)
2. Furthermore, “Are You the Walrus” (Fluorescent Jellyfish)
3. Bono and Secret Machines, “I Am the Walrus” (Across the Universe)
4. Johnny Cash, “Dirty Old Egg-Suckin’ Dog” (At Folsom Prison)
5. Sufjan Stevens, “The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!” (Illinois)
6. John Mayer, “Vultures” (Continuum)
7. The Decemberists, “The Crane Wife 3” (The Crane Wife)
8. Andrew Osenga, “Four Horses” (Letters to the Editor, Vol. 2)
9. Original Broadway Cast, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (The Lion King)
10. Zwan, “Ride a Black Swan” (Mary Star of the Sea)
11. Over the Rhine, “Firefly” (Drunkard’s Prayer)
12. Derek Webb, “Mockingbird” (Mockingbird)
13. Nickel Creek, “The Fox” (Nickel Creek)
14. Five Iron Frenzy, “Kitty Doggy” (Our Newest Album Ever!)
15. Petur Ben, “White Tiger” (Paste Sampler #33)
16. Robyn, “Cobrastyle” (Robyn)
17. Iron & Wine, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” (The Shepherd’s Dog)
18. Paul Westerburg, “Mister Rabbit” (Stereo)
19. Lucerin Blue, “Chorus of the Birds” (Tales of the Knife)
20. Stories From the Frontier, “Travis Fights the Bear” (Waco Co-op Sampler, Vol. 1)

here’s to my mom.

Here’s to my mom–snickerdoodle baker, doll clothing seamstress, fixer of hair. Involved with all my childhood (…and adult) obsessions. Listened to all my issues. Knew all my teachers. Knew all my friends. Threw a great birthday party. Came to all my concerts, cheered us on when we went to competitions.

She was married to my dad at seventeen. She’d grown up a good Southern Baptist, and remains so to this day. Her own mom had a whole lot of health problems, some of which my mom’s inherited, unfortunately. My brother and I weren’t grown in her body, but in her heart, as she would say. Other women gave us to her, so we are gifts. And so is she, really.

We haven’t always gotten along–I mean, what mom and daughter does?–but she’s my mom, and she’s the best a girl could ask for. So I raise my glass (full of something non-alcoholic, for the sake of her peace of mind) to her. Cheers, Mom, and thanks for everything.

definitely beautiful.

A brief update, for anyone who’s still reading:

1. Last day of classes was today (and all the people rejoiced). I still have a meeting with a professor on Tuesday to turn in a bunch of material and give her feedback on the class before she moves to Tennessee, and I need to finish up a project this weekend, but that’s all easy stuff. I got a second job for the summer working at Austin Presbyterian Seminary‘s library doing circulation (they’re PCUSA, but I’ll take what I can get, haha). Still going to rock the Target/Starbucks, too, for the sake of work hours and keeping my health insurance. Also, me plus lots of free time usually leads to trouble; I would end up in another state or something ridiculous like that.

2. Currently cranking through The Best American Nonrequired Reading for 2008–it’s a collection of short stories and short nonfiction pieces, curated* by Dave Eggers and the good people at McSweeney’s. Lots of fun.

2a. *I find that since being in my program, I catch myself using terms like “curation” and “metadata”. Freaks me out a little bit.

3. I’ve had an idea stewing that I’ve discussed with some of you–I want to see a national conference happen on women, theology, and the mission of God. I know this happens on a church/regional basis, but I would really love to see something like this nationwide. I think it’s a real need in the church for us ladies to get equipped with that kind of resource, so I’m thinking about putting together a proposal or something to send to some folks and sitting down with my pastors and elders about it, maybe. Anyone else interested in this?

4. Also have a couple of things stewing that I think I’m going to use the summer to hash out and plan, but that’ll show up here at a later date, probably. I’m actually working on things for all you guys that signed up for me to make something for you a few posts back, so be on the lookout for those.

5. Okay, that’s all I’ve got. Cheers, guys.