right now (february 2018)

Making: I stopped mid-way through a hat for a new baby; I should probably pick it back up again considering said baby is now ex utero, huh? Basic roll-brim baby hat, gray yarn.

Cooking: A lot of stuff in order to get rid of condiments so I don’t have to move them later–new lease starts in early March. Recently made some noodles with this sesame sauce and shredded chicken and green onions, and am planning on making some mujadara.

Drinking: Lots of coffee, as per usual. Trying to drink more water; right now I’m very into the grapefruit sparkling water from Target. (It comes in these cute slim cans and I think it’s actually better than the pamplemousse LaCroix.)

Reading: Working through Awaiting the King, The Crucifixion, and my internet friend Gina Dalfonzo’s book One By One.

Wanting: More mid-rise, boot-cut pants.

Looking: At getting tickets for the Banff Film Festival when it comes through town in March. (Anyone want to come with me?)

Playing: Just discovered Just Dance for the Nintendo Switch thanks to my new friend Randi. The J!6 game on the Jeopardy website. (By the way, the internet audition test happens next week, so go sign up if you’re interested.)

Deciding: On what I’m going to do with my falling-apart kitchen table and chairs…

Wishing: I had some ice cream in my fridge right now…

Enjoying: The musician birthday segment on The Show Formerly Known As Prairie Home Companion–everyone on that show is a consummate musician and they’re so good. (E.g., imagine Chris Thile shout-singing “Bombtrack” by Rage Against the Machine.)

Waiting: For…actually, nothing right now. Hm.

Liking: This top I have on–I got it on sale from Modcloth, and the colors are a little wacky but they somehow work together. (Light blue, with white, brown, yellow, orange, and forest green polka dots. Sounds like it should be terrible, but I like it.)

Wondering: If I order some pants from Old Navy, will I get them by early next week?

Loving: The old men who come to work out at the Y in polo shirts and khakis that are just a little too big for them. (Seriously, khakis. With a belt.)

Pondering: How I read and think a lot about habit formation as a means of spiritual formation, and yet I am really bad at forming habits.

Considering: The coconut.

Buying: Haven’t done it yet, but I need to get new strings for my guitar and possibly also a new tuning peg.

Watching: I saw Black Panther last Saturday and OMG y’all it’s so good.

Hoping: I can get my body to sleep in this weekend–I have been having a hard time not waking up randomly this week, so maybe I can make up for it on Saturday.

Marveling: See “Watching.” (Haha, see, it’s a Marvel movie, and it’s marvelous…)

Needing: To actually put my butt to bed at a decent hour.

Questioning: How to set aside time for some projects.

Smelling: There’s a lot of garlic in that sesame sauce I made, y’all.

Wearing: Right now? I have a blue and white button-down shirt and olive green slim-cut pants on.

Following: All these sexual harassment allegations. It’s surreal that people are finally facing consequences.

Thinking: I want to be on the team that helps choose Oprah’s Favorite Things every year. Maybe I’ll do some gift guides this year, they’re so fun to shop for.

Admiring: This interview with Rachel Denhollander in Christianity Today, on the cost of pursuing justice. Hard words about church being a not-great place for sexual abuse victims.

Sorting: All of my stuff, OMG. (See also: I’m moving soon.)

Getting: Hopefully more boxes…

Bookmarking: My friend Abby’s new column at Fathom.

Coveting: This dress.

Disliking: How people dismiss teenagers’ opinions and activism just because they’re young. I mean, agree or disagree with them, but they’re people and they deserve to be taken seriously.

Opening: This Diet Coke right now. *psshff*

Giggling: I just wrapped up a program at work in which the kids made these perplexing, slightly surrealist videos and they were hilarious.

Feeling: Slightly startled, as I always am this time of year, at the fact that March is almost upon us.

Snacking: I’ve had a thing lately for barbecue potato chips and I don’t really know why. And the pb&j bars from Trader Joe’s.

Hearing: I recently discovered a great podcast called No Such Thing As A Fish and I’ve been obsessively listening to the archives. It’s by the writers of a British comedy quiz show called QI and it’s both educational and hilarious.

a good old-fashioned blog post.

1. Haven’t done this in ages–just sat down and written a post that isn’t a Thursday 13 or a Saturday session. I’m trying to get my writing mojo back and…this feels right. I did submit an article a couple of weeks ago and am waiting to hear back about it, and I have project cooking about a Korean origin myth involving a bear, a tiger, and a god, so we’ll see how that goes. And I’m reading, like always.

2. I’m also trying to figure out Lenten discipline. I’ve already decided to read through Fleming Rutledge’s book The Crucifixion (650 pages of atonement theology; highly recommended by a lot of theologians and pastors), but I’m thinking that I’m probably going to turn off all of my social media on my phone. I was rereading Desiring the Kingdom a while back and he writes about doing a technology audit, considering how all the tech and media that you consume is shaping you and whether or not it’s for good ends or not. That feels like a good Lenten exercise, and also a generally good one for life as well. Facebook in particular feels like an especially insidious and unnecessary part of my life, save for one group I’m in, but on the other hand I use it at work for marketing purposes, so…*shrug*

3. What else? I’ve not been taking very good care of my body, and it’s been reflected in my mental health of late. I’m at a “I just want to stay in bed and watch YouTube videos” level of the mopes, so not as bad as it ever has been, but I definitely need to practice better self-care this week. (I started by making lunch for tomorrow so I don’t inevitably buy a bag of Chex Mix and a Diet Coke and call that lunch.)

4. Also, I’m moving in a few days, and the only things I’ve packed are the books off of one shelf. (Anyone got spare boxes?)

5. Love y’all. Take care.

on lament (a poem for lent)

sometimes it is not given to us
to know the reason for our shame
for our sorrow
for our suffering
or for our sin

sometimes it is not for us
to jump straight to the resolution
to shake off the burden
of the world’s brokenness

more often the gift is the
grace to grieve toward God
to find ourselves banging our
bloodied fists against His door

and then to hear Him come up behind us
to surprise us with His kind embrace

note to evergreen, part 2.

every so often i’ll go back
and read the words you wrote for me
back when we were both young and afraid
and thought we loved each other

you have found your one and only
and she does what i could not in my ignorance do
she loves you and not just the ghost of you
that i knew through letters and sound waves

she loves the man and not the god that i adored back then

in my more difficult days i wonder
if my solitude is punishment
for my previous idolatries
for my burning incense at aphrodite’s altar

but then i remember that
all is gift and all is grace
and that maybe it is not given to us
to understand our lives

but to instead lay them down

saturday session (2/10)

Hello. It’s been a heck of a week–I spent 40 hours either traveling or in California earlier this week, and then proceeded to come home and ugly-cry during the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. (As I’ve said on social media, national anthems + it being the national anthem of my native country + traditional instruments + KID CHOIR = absolutely lethal for my tear ducts.) Today I was #saturdaylibrarian, and tonight I’m going to settle in and watch some skiing and curling and stuff.

Next week is Lunar New Year–not just for the Chinese, but for Koreans and Vietnamese people, too–and I’m of a mind to make pajeon and watch the Olympics that day. (Yum.) And next week is also the beginning of Lent–Ash Wednesday is on the 14th (yes, on Valentine’s Day!), and I’m trying to figure out a good discipline for this year. Someone turned me on to The Common Rule and I’m thinking of going that direction.

The links!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

saturday session (2/3)

Hi, gang. I have a bit of a cold, and I’m sitting at my kitchen table pondering making a pot of tea and/or a hot toddy, so that’s how my weekend’s going. I’m going out of town next week and I’m hoping I kick this before that happens, so send up a prayer, if you pray. My brother and sister-in-law gave me an Amazon Dot for my birthday, so today’s been spent messing around with that. (So far I’m mostly using it as a Bluetooth speaker, but one that will also tell me what the weather is like, so I guess that’s cool. Apparently it can also play Jeopardy?)

Oh, and trying to do my taxes–I apparently owe the government money, so, uh, so much for my plans to buy a new kitchen table with the refund. I really don’t mind paying taxes; I mean, I’m a government employee, after all, and taxes are, among other things, for giving people like me jobs. (At some point last year I wrote a Book of Common Prayer-style collect for paying taxes; maybe I’ll dig that up at some point.) I mean, it’s not pleasant, but it’s also part of being a citizen of these United States.

Oh yeah, and there’s some sort of football game on tomorrow, right?

Anyway, on to the links!

  • Speaking of sports, I am extra stoked for the Winter Olympics.
  • You’ve probably heard about Rachael Denhollander’s testimony in the Larry Nassar case; she did a fantastic interview with Christianity Today about how in pursuing justice, she also lost her church and a lot of friends. Difficult read, but a good one.
  • A couple of years ago Vanity Fair did these fantastically British interviews (1, 2) with a bunch of actors and they are so good.
  • A South African boys’ choir simulates a thunderstorm.
  • The struggle is real.

That’s all I have! Have a good rest of your weekend!

thursday 13

This week: 13 places in your city that you’ve never been to but want to try out.

  1. the Beer Can House
  2. the Contemporary Arts Museum
  3. Rothko Chapel
  4. Alley Theatre (seriously! as much of a theater person as I am, I’ve never seen a show at the Alley)
  5. the Printing Museum
  6. Tejas Chocolate Craftory
  7. Wild West (still haven’t ever been)
  8. White Oak Music Hall (used to pass it all the time on the way to work)
  9. Not so much a place as an event, but A Fistful of Soul.
  10. I want to go to a service at Lakewood Church just to say that I’ve done it.
  11. I run a mystery book club and I’ve somehow never been to Murder By the Book…
  12. People keep telling me that Common Bond Bakery is good.
  13. I’ve also somehow never been to Agora for coffee…