thursday 13

This week: In honor of summer and 90 degree weather being right around the corner, 13 things you do to stay cool.

  1. I don’t wear jeans after the first 85 degree day. Denim is hot as heck.
  2. Libraries are especially air-conditioned because books (and computers) hate heat and humidity, so I think I chose wisely as far as professions go, as far as keeping cool is concerned.
  3. Lots of dresses. And when I can’t do a dress, chinos. (Chinos are lighter weight fabric than jeans, so I don’t feel as sweaty in them.)
  4. Sweet tea, lemonade, iced coffee, water.
  5. Despite the superstitions of my homeland, I sleep with the ceiling fan turned on blast.
  6. The occasional gin and tonic outside on my porch. (And also maybe white wine.)
  7. POPSICLES (I bought a popsicle mold last year and never used it; time to fix that this year.)
  8. Beach.
  9. Air conditioning in the car on the highest setting.
  10. Movies at the movie theater.
  11. Rinsing off with cold water at the end of showers. (This is apparently supposed to be good for one’s hair, too.)
  12. You know those little paper folding fans? I kind of want to get a whole bunch and just carry them around in my purse.
  13. Sometimes, though, you have to just give up and embrace the heat, which ends up happening anytime I’m outside for more than ten minutes.

sermon sonnet #1: 1 Corinthians 3:5-26.

(Sermon from last Sunday here.)

There are no famous farmers, or not many.
Most plow and plant their fields quietly.
They wait for rain, they wait for growth, with plenty
Of work that mostly goes by silently.
And harvests come and go–some bad, some good,
Some profitable, full of healthy fruit;
Some others, despite all your sweat and blood,
Are thin and dry, the crops all turned to loot
For drought and ravens. All the same,
The farmers get no glory for their toil.
They plant the seeds, and wages are their gain,
But much depends on time and sun and soil.
So let them pray, and let them watch and trust,
Despite abundance, plenty, famine, dust.


So what is it all for
if you say all the correct things
like a contestant
on the universe’s biggest quiz show
teeth white and blank
clothes neat but not freakishly so

is all this an attempt
to distract us from the cracks
in your surface
one more layer of paint
because it doesn’t matter
when the light shines on it
we can see all your broken places

if God picked you up
only to drop you
would you shatter like
a porcelain doll
so we could all see how
hollow you are inside

but sure
keep pushing your own button
and repeat the same phrases
with your tin-can computer chip voice
over and over again
don’t think we don’t notice

thursday 13.

this week: things that you’re working on right now (if you can come up with that many).

  1. trying to eat better. i’ve thought about my diet for the past few days and it’s been…not good. more veggies, fewer fried things out of a vending machine.
  2. i signed up to do the asian pacific heritage month display at work, so i’m printing photos and putting books on hold for that.
  3. also work-related: we’re doing a mini comic-con next month and we’re all running around like headless chickens trying to get that done.
  4. and the summer reading program draws nigh, so i am trying to get a couple of things together for that. (i proposed a pub trivia night and a spelling bee.)
  5. related to the comic-con, i’m knitting a slytherin hat as a possible giveaway. i’m planning on making hats for the other three houses, but i need to get going on that.
  6. trying to make my way through the marvel cinematic universe in preparation for infinity war, which comes out at the end of the month.
  7. also reading four books at the moment; i am nothing if not ambitious with my reading.
  8. ^ two of those are being read in efforts to complete some reading goals: read more asian authors, read all the books from this year’s tournament of books, and finish all the series i’m in the middle of.
  9. started (for the umpteenth time) couch-to-5k.
  10. my apartment is a mess, as usual, so i need to spend some time cleaning tonight.
  11. my church is going through the book of 1 corinthians, and my small group is thinking about meeting to discuss a study guide together, so trying to figure that out
  12. looking into going to new york or california in the fall…
  13. i have the beginnings of a writing project in the back of my head; i just need to sit down and do it.

thursday 13.

this week: 13 seasonal/situational musical preferences. you’ll see what i mean in a second.

1. early spring (especially during Lent): Sufjan Stevens, the Noah and the Whale album The First Days of Spring, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, Nickel Creek
2. later spring: Punch Brothers (“Julep” is especially nice), Jon Foreman’s Spring and Summer EPs, the Frames, late Decemberists
3. summer (which in Houston lasts until mid-October): ’60s rock and pop and r&b, ’90s Christian ska, hip-hop and rap, salsa, early Decemberists, gospel (throwbacks to mission trips in high school), Switchfoot
4. later summer: all of the above, plus jazz and indie rock
5. mid-October until Thanksgiving: Andrew Peterson, Caedmon’s Call, Damien Rice, The Oh Hellos, early Coldplay, Ben Folds Five
6. Thanksgiving until Christmas: George Winston, The Oh Hellos’ Christmas EP, Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God on repeat
7. post-Christmas: Lots of classical choral music (I don’t know why, but midwinter seems appropriate for it)
8. Sunday mornings: All Sons & Daughters, Sojourn Music, John Coltrane, Sandra McCracken, my church’s Spotify playlist of all the songs we’re rotating through
9. cleaning: Broadway cast recordings make everything better
10. presidential election season: Over the Rhine’s “If a Song Could Be President” ad infinitum
11. road trips: U2’s Joshua Tree, Paul Simon’s Graceland, Wilco, Nina Simone, Dave Brubeck, old mix CDs from college
12. in the morning: not music, but NPR’s Up First podcast, always
13. in the afternoon, while trying to get over the 3:00 slump: any and all music from the ’90s

right now (march 2018)

Making: Craftwise, nothing right now. But I’m still in the process of setting up my new apartment, so there’s that. Making a home, I guess.

Cooking: This week so far I have made spaghetti (HEB has really good Italian sausage) and a lot of frozen sweet potato fries.

Drinking: I’ve started a ritual, sort of, of having a cider on Sunday nights while I’m getting ready for the work week. I’m not a huge drinker, so this is usually the only booze I have any given week. Anyway, my cider of choice at the moment is Bishop Cider Co.’s Crack Berry (cranberry-blackberry, but clever). It’s really nice, kind of like a dry red wine, but fizzy.

Reading: Still working through Awaiting the King, The Crucifixion, and One By One. Also just added a memoir called My Soul Looks Back and recent National Book Award finalist Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Wanting: These hives to go away–I’m having some sort of crazy allergic reaction and I’ve been covered in hives all week. 😦

Looking: For a desk, and also some storage for my stationery and stuff.

Playing: My guitar a lot, which I hadn’t really done for a while, and it feels good. Also playing a lot of Arcade Fire.

Deciding: Whether or not I’m gonna keep watching this Final Four game…

Wishing: That my lighting were better in my living room.

Enjoying: The early spring weather–highs in the 80s, cool evenings. Trying to drink it in before the apocalypse that is Houstonian summer.

Waiting: For Easter (tomorrow morning, as of this writing).

Liking: This video of Hugh Jackman and a bunch of other theater people in a workshop for The Greatest Showman, which I still haven’t seen, but am nonetheless enjoying the music to.

Wondering: What I can do to get rid of these hives…Benadryl’s not really working, and neither is staying away from my known allergens.

Loving: This 2013 essay by NPR’s Linda Holmes about creativity and making stuff.

Pondering: Someone told me a while ago that Holy Saturday = “And on the seventh day God rested from all His work.” And today I can’t stop thinking about it.

Considering: Buying the new Andrew Peterson album.

Buying: Got a new dress for Easter, but don’t know if I’m going to wear it tomorrow (I have an unfortunate tendency to itch too much and now I have scabs where a lot of my hives once were).

Watching: Ugly Delicious on Netflix (it is really great, albeit hunger-inducing). Also recently watched the movie Calvary, which blew me away. And I discovered the YouTube channel Binging With Babish, which is entertaining (and also hunger-inducing).

Hoping: The weather stays like this for a while.

Marveling: At the sheer absurdity of this idea and the complete earnestness that birthed it.

Needing: To get up from my couch and go fold and hang my laundry.

Questioning: My own inability to adult properly (but that’s everyone, right?)

Smelling: My failure to wear deodorant today (oops).

Wearing: This shirt + jeans. Switching over to chinos soon, though; jeans are too hot for me once it gets above 85 degrees outside.

Admiring: The cloud produced by dropping an anvil on about 15 cans of spray paint. (Where does one even get an anvil, anyway?) (It will probably also come as no surprise to many of you that those three gentlemen are youth workers at their churches.)

Giggling: At this fantastic review of Pacific Rim Uprising.

Snacking: Still on my weird barbecue potato chip jag.

Hearing: The trains that pass through my neighborhood at 2 in the morning.

holy saturday: psalms 130-131.

a child’s first sound is a cry for help
the world is bright and cold and disorienting

and we don’t stop crying the further on we go
the sound just stays inside of us

but comes out through all the ways
we keep trying to fill the depths

like the father said
you have made us for yourself

and our hearts stay restless
until we finally come and trust you

and curl up in your strong arms