the living room recommends

(I haven’t done one of these since June of last year. Figured we’re about due.)

The Time Traveler’s Wife
The book, not the movie, which is apparently terrible, which didn’t surprise me while I was reading the novel, because it is basically unfilmable without some serious alterations–which would kill it. The book is lovely, though, a long meditation on the nature of relationships and, perhaps, terminal illness (at least that’s what I thought, anyway). A caveat: Lots of sex (much of it unnecessary), lots of strong language. So proceed with caution.

All these really great sermons at
I know, I know, we Reformed folk are in danger of making Tim Keller our Presbyterian pope, but that’s hardly any fault of his (and I think making an idol of him is terribly ironic, considering the topic of his latest book). Anyway, for Redeemer’s 20th anniversary, they’ve put up 150 of their recorded sermons and forums and such, and there’s a wealth of material there. I’m a rather big fan of the ones on singleness, myself.

HEB brand Oreos sandwich cookies
They make some that are chocolate with peanut butter cream (creme?) inside. They’re as excellent (and unfortunately addictive) as they sound.

College football
I’ve recently discovered the joys of this. I went to a high school with a not-so-great football team (let’s face it, we were a basketball school), I went to a college with a not-so-great football team (again, basketball school)–and now I find myself in the position of going to a university with an undefeated team, at least this season. It’s a lot more fun when your team at least has a shot at winning in division games. Or I may just be a fair-weather fan, I don’t know.

John Adams
The miniseries by HBO, that is. I’m about halfway through it, and I find it to be excellently acted and directed and researched. Very real, very unsentimental about the time period. Again, a caveat: Seeing as it was on HBO, it can get pretty gritty (e.g., the scene of the guy getting his leg amputated during battle), and there’s a scene when John and Abigail, um, express their marital rights (no nudity or anything, but it is there).

The Texas weather of late
Seriously, y’all, it’s kind of amazing.

The Avett Brothers
If you haven’t heard them yet, shame on you. I recommend their EP The Second Gleam.

hoo boy.

The hours since Friday at about 5:30 have been pretty epic, I have to say. Since then I:

*hung out with my old roommate and a bunch of her friends (who are becoming my friends, too) for her birthday party–we went out for a bit and had some eats and some wine and some good conversation. While I don’t entirely agree with them sometimes, they’re all very interesting interlocutors and fun brains to pick.

*had aforementioned roommate over to my place for brunch on Saturday. We found this ridiculous pancake mix–it came with chocolate chips that had bacon in them. Yes. Surprisingly tasty. We also went to drop off her U2 ticket (she couldn’t go, alas) with a very cordial guy who bought it off of her on Craigslist.

*made soup! (Chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, spinach, brown rice, corn, black beans, chickpeas, and a bunch of Italian seasoning. Yum.)

*drove to Arlington, and got stuck on some back roads on the way there (I have never been more grateful for my GPS)

*hung out with Teacher Dave for a bit before the rest of the crew came up from Houston. (Today’s Dave’s birthday, by the way. Go say hi.)

*missed a connection with Jonathan/eustacepedler, sometime commenter on this blog (sorry again about that, man).

*went to go see U2 and Muse. HOLY CRAP, PEOPLE. Amazing. We were down on the floor (which, if you think about it, is kind of amazing in and of itself, considering professional football games are played down there). There were points when we were literally about 70-80 feet from the band. I am now kicking myself for not bringing a camera. 🙂 The only thing is, everyone was so packed in that in the back of my mind I was sort of freaking out (I’m a little bit claustrophobic), and there were these two girls there that were sort of drunk and completely not mindful of other people (they almost smacked Steph in the face a few times; I very nearly told them off). However, there were moments of utter, utter beauty and transcendence, such as, for instance, this:

The nice thing, too, is that I got to hang out with some excellent people from Houston that I’d met but didn’t really know very well, and it was lovely. Much sarcasm and ribbing and show analysis (and lots and lots of walking) and such tends to help people bond. (Also, we kept losing Dave, to the point where we wondered if he had been raptured.)

*drove home to Austin on four hours of sleep in torrential rain, which was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done (but oh well).

*called Steph when I got home, only to find out her car had hydroplaned and crashed–everyone’s okay, but she’s now without a car for a while, and that crew all had to shove into one vehicle for the duration of the trip back, which I imagine was less than fun…

*went to go hear one of my old professors talk about, of all things, U2 and faith, at a local bookstore. (He wrote a book about it.)

But today, it’s back to the grind. And that’s okay.

deadly, or: what will eventually kill me

if I were penniless
and you owned the whole world
I would not beg you
but would spit in your face instead

I can only mourn for
what I will never have
and will only be comforted
on the day you lose instead of me

it takes too much work
to inherit the earth
when the man comes around to collect the meek
I might sleep through the trumpet sound

hungry, I try to absorb everything
thirsty, I drink down the spirit of the age
and like alice’s tiger I get caught by
desire again and again and again

I would rather be shown justice
as long as I get to enact my own
vengeance is mine and I will repay
even if i burn along with my enemies

if this be blindness, I don’t want to see
let me keep my eyes and gaze
on the prey I will always be trying to
catch and show off with the rest of my trophies

trying to satisfy the god that growls at me
every time it demands sacrifice
i have no peace to offer you
just my own restless need to be full

a kingdom, comfort, the whole earth,
satisfaction, mercy, a vision, a family:
these you would offer me, if only I would come and die–
but i would build my own puny empire instead.