Tag Archives: Books

sun. afternoon thoughts

today i skipped church and went to starbucks instead. bad me. i still love Jesus. i just get sick of pretending everything’s hunky dory in my life with other people who are also pretending. it’s so shallow. i need raw, honest community where people aren’t afraid to show their true selves- the good, bad, and the ugly. i’ve tried to find this kind of community, but i’ve failed, and it’s pretty discouraging. i wish there was a church more like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting (i’ve never actually been to one, but I’ve seen enough movies and television to guess…)

 

i found the coziest brown pull-over sweater at Target this afternoon. it is soft and a looser style- like something an old man would wear. it makes me think of Fall hikes, cozy evenings with coffee and a good book, and campfires. exciting day for me! (pathetic that a sweater makes me this ecstatic)

 

speaking of good books- i am LOVING my latest read: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. it is very interesting- written through the perspective of a dog. i can’t put it down for long. and that reminds me. i want a dog in the worst way. i am partial to boxer mixes and labs, but when the time comes i will probably go to the humane society and fall in love with the first dog i see. but for now i am waiting for a more ideal living situation for a dog (small apartments and big dogs do not work together). and until then i live vicariously through all my friends with dogs. (in fact i dog-sit a lot, if people want to pay me money to play with their dogs, i’m not going to complain).

 

i caved and purchased a pair of Merrell hiking shoes today. i probably shouldn’t have, but i have been itching to get out for a hike/trail run and my old sneaks just weren’t cutting it. my new ones are lightweight, waterproof, Gore-Tex lined, and have excellent traction for those slick rocks on the trail. (not to mention they happen to be super cute, too. score!)

 

 

 

well…hunger draws nigh. so good day.

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friday miscellaneous

the weather has turned sharply autumnal today and i’m feeling rather introspective, in a good way. the air is cool, the sky gray with only hints of blue, and leaves are skittering across the pavement outside. i have some nice melancholy music playing: Rosanne Cash, Over the Rhine, and George Winston. and i’ve got my coffee. it’s a good thing (sorry, i couldn’t help the Martha Stewart reference there).

 

i saw a hippie today. he was riding his bike, his frizzy, long hair blowing behind him, save for the part that was held down by the string tied around the circumference of his head. he wore a flannel shirt with a tan suede vest. and a backpack. he was pedaling fast, probably trying to get from the 60’s to the 70’s. i’m not writing about him to mock him. actually i respect him. i wish,  for one, that i had a bike, and two, that i would be brave enough to ride it on major highways. seriously, life would be much simpler if everyone rode bikes, instead of driving cars. granted, it would take longer to get places and we would have to be creative come grocery shopping time. but think about it: less to go wrong with your vehicle. no pollution from cars, no obesity. aahhh. i can dream.

 

 tonight i plan to make a big batch of pasta e fagioli (it tastes just like the Olive Garden version!). it’s such a healthy meal- lots of vegetables (i omit the meat), plus i use whole wheat pasta. and the soup freezes well. i can’t wait. it will go great with this lovely fall weather. now all i need is rain to make my night complete. i simply adore rain. (seriously, i would love to live in the Pacific Northwest).

 

 

 

 

i picked up the first season of Dexter from the library after a friend highly recommended it. i’m excited about it, though i’ve heard it is rather bloody.

 

 

 

 

so here’s my latest reading queue. some good stuff. any other recommendations?

  • Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
  • Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

 

i recently discovered that vinegar is one of the best things for your hair. it is pretty amazing. after shampooing, i poured a vinegar-water solution on my hair. it made it smooth, strong, shiny. plus i have noticed that my scalp is neither itchy nor oily- even after day three.  i will never buy conditioner again.

 

i’m almost finished with Heroes season one. Hiro Nakamura is by far my favorite of the heroes. not only is he just as cute as a button, but he makes a truly noble hero. (actually, pretty much all of them are noble, but he is the best, in my opinion). if you haven’t watched Heroes, you definitely need to. today.

 

well. i better get started on my Friday evening. i’m looking forward to just hanging at home tonight.

 

have a happy weekend!

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wednesday night stream-of-consciousness

hello, dear friends.

 

another wednesday night is staring me down, or i am staring it down. either way i’m bored and i find myself wanting to type. so type, type, type. seriously, nothing really interesting to say, so just sit here and enjoy my babbling stream of consciousness.

 

 i’ve been having a lot of weird dreams lately (cue song “Dreams” by The Cranberries)…one in which my teeth had fallen out. i think this was one brought on by the fact that i haven’t been to a dentist in over four years (thanks, crap insurance). there has been a sensitive-ish spot in one of my back teeth for quite awhile now, and so i just learned to chew on the other side of my mouth, but now there is a sore tooth there, too. so, yeah, no wonder i had that dream. other weird dreams, too, though: i could fly (probably from watching Heroes), i was cross country skiing, i was eviscerated by a serial killer (not a good dream). ok, new topic. i’m shuddering at the memory of that last dream.

 

i love trees: oak trees in the Fall, pinetrees in winter, redbuds in spring, maple trees in the summer. trees tell the story of Jesus, and of our life with him. in the fall, the leaves turn blood red and die; in winter, new life stirs beneath the icy bark, but the outside appears hopeless; in spring life shoots out. screaming “I’m alive!”; in summer, the leaves are at their full glorious potential of life. in order for life to begin again, there must be death. no matter what season, though, the branches are raised, their fingery twigs pointing to their Creator, except, of course, for willows. ok. that kind of ruins my illustration. so never mind. i guess that’s what i get for trying to spiritualize trees.

 

time for a rant: there are roughly two kind of people that i abhor (at least for this story, anyway): people who mark in books they do not own; and holier-than-thous who cross out cuss words in said books. i’ve been reading an Anne Lamott book that i got from the library. if you’ve ever read any of Anne’s stuff, well, let’s just say she’s very candid. so a previous reader happened to cross out the word “shitty” in ink and then write above it the word “awful”, which is just not a good substitute for shitty. i mean, does a pile of steaming, rancid excrement come to your mind immediately when you hear the word awful? it just bothered me. come on person, get off your moral clydesdale, and look around you. sometimes shitty is the only appropriate word, and life is full of it. that brings me to another thought: who decided that “bad” words are bad? i think a non-bad word used negatively against another being is worse than a bad word used in a non-human-bashing context. any thoughts?

 

 

 

i ordered this book today. have you read it? i’m pretty excited about it- in fact, i’ve been wanting to read it for a long time now, but my library doesn’t have it. so i caved and amazoned it.

 

 

 

 

 

the 5th season of The Office begins tomorrow! i hope it doesn’t disappoint.

 

well…i got the blog-craving out of my system for the night, so i think i’m going to tuck this little keyboard into bed, and then head there myself…eventually.

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Serve God, Save the Planet

i picked up this book back in the spring, after hearing good reviews from friends and family, but with all my other reading, i haven’t had a chance to read it yet. i wanted to give all you eco-christians a heads up about it…it’s ok to be an environmentalist- and still serve God! so check this one out: Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth.

it should be a good read…i’ll let you know what i think when i actually get around to reading it…

 have you already read it? tell me what you think!

 also, do share your own tips/stories on being an eco-christian!

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my (satur)day…in pictures

this one’s for all you visual learners like me…because pictures say it better.

 

i give you…my saturday:

 

 

 

this is roughly the time i rolled out of bed…i actually woke up around 6:00, but i relished the warm sheets and cool morning for an hour or so.

 

 

nothing like Bright Eyes in the morning. i listened to this while i piddled around, ate breakfast, and got ready for the day.

 

 

 

my beloved ipod- the answer to a car with no CD player. i hooked this up to my trusty FM transmitter tuner cord, and listened to some favorites: Flogging Molly, The Killers, Jeff Buckley, Bright Eyes, and Eddie Vedder as i set out from home.

 

 

 

my day just wouldn’t be complete without it. good thing there’s a starbucks on the way to the recycling center.

 

 

 

this is almost what i felt like as i headed to the recycling center this morning, my car laden with over a month’s worth of recyclables. yikes! i now feel purged. (and my kitchen looks huge now!)

 

 

 

from the recycling center i went to trader joe’s, my own personal Mecca. i happen to have a bag just like this one that i take on my monthly trader joe’s binge. today was no exception. this bag, plus another, got loaded up with staples: Fig cereal bars, Chocolate/Vanilla Bean Cream Joe Joe’s (the healthier and more delicious nemeses of Oreos), vanilla soymilk, avocados, Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Chip Rounds, frozen mangos, Preserve toothbrushes, Stash Lemon Ginger tea, and Sparkling French Berry Lemonade, to name a few. sadly, they were out of another staple: Whole Grain Flaxseed Tortillas. good thing i have a couple packs in the freezer.

 

 

i called my mom! i consider her one of my best friends…is that weird?

 

 

 

i read one of my latest reads. it is hilarious. period.

 

 

 

i snacked on these- my current favorite snacky food. an all natural, heart healthy, fiber-full (3 grams!), and more delicious alternative to Doritos. unfortunately, they are rather expensive, and only come in a small bag. (and it is very easy to eat an entire bag in one sitting!)

 

 

 

i watched some episodes of this-my latest addiction. i’ve been getting the discs from the library. what a great show!

 

 

i listened to my local classical radio station while i did a crossword puzzle from the weekly local arts/entertainment paper. pure bliss.

 

 

i made a batch of quesadillas- with roasted corn, black beans, garlic, onions, bell peppers, serrano peppers, mexican blend cheese, cumin, oregano, and whole grain flaxseed tortillas. delicious!

 

 

 

Warm Apple Crisp is the perfect scent for a cool Fall evening!

 

 

 

i had a cup of organic green tea.

 

 

 

watched this

 

 

and then…..

 

i went to sleep. (i wish it was in this bed!)

 

 

so that was my day in pictures. it was a good day.

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finding me[mo]

sorry for the crappy posts lately. my writing has suffered dearly during my starbucks hiatus. but tonight, with my trusty starbucks cup by my side, here i am. grab some coffee yourself, this one’s going to be a doozie…

during the past few years i have undergone personal growth in a myriad of ways, some miniscule, some grand, but all wonderful. i have always gone through life at my own pace. i’m not saying i’m slow, it’s just that i have a totally different way of looking at things. maybe this is good in some ways, but in other ways, with regard to knowing myself, it can be scary. like julia robert’s character in Runaway Bride who didn’t know how she liked her eggs fixed so she adopted the favorites of her boy friend du jour, for most of my life i have tried to be someone i’m not, to be what other people wanted me to be. but in the past few years- and especially the past year and a half- i have slowly began getting to know who i am- who God made me to be- and celebrating that fact. so without further ado, here’s what i’ve been up to and what i have learned:

i learned that i love the outdoors! i always have actually…but it was after i drove through the Colorado Rockies, hiked Arches National Park in Utah, and heard elk herds calling to each other at Mt. St. Helens that i realized that it’s in the great outdoors where my heart sees and hears God the most.

after pouring cup after useless cup of misc. coffee beverages (caribou=crap) down my gullet, i finally found my true coffee identity: a starbucks grande hot soy caramel macchiato (faithfully with me tonight). i don’t even remember how i discovered it, but let me tell you, i drink it for me and not for anyone else.

i started recycling and lessening my ecological footprint. how can i contribute to the demise of the nature with which God speaks to me so clearly?

i discovered Indie music. enough said, really. here are a few of my favorite Indie artists: Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, The Killers, The Decemberists, and Band of Horses. while i truly love stuff from just about every music genre, Indie Rock is my musical soul mate.

i am reading again! as a child/teenager i read all the time. something happened though in college. i guess i just got burned out from all the textbook assignments. nonetheless, since the past year, i have averaged about 3 books a month..i plan to up this, though. i have even read some books that i tried to start in high school but never finished- Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. and i love them. i am trying to branch out, too, and read books that i never would have read in the past. i went to the library yesterday and i picked up “Into Thin Air”, Jon Krakauer’s personal account of the Mt. Everest disaster.

i haven’t graduated from college yet. and i should have 3 years ago. you see, i spent most of my college years on a course that my then-boyfriend said i should be on. and well, when that relationship ended (by my own hands) i was left in a major that was not me. and well, i couldn’t decide what major fit me, so i thought there was no use spending money to stay on a path to nowhere, so i stopped taking classes. at first this was a constant burden on me- especially because i heard it from my parents. i felt like i was letting them down. but i finally realized for myself that life is not about what degree you have, what career you pick, how much money you make. i didn’t want an accomplishment just for accomplishment’s sake. i don’t need a P.HD to tell me i’m valuable (yeah, i hear all you Dr.s saying, “Well that’s because you don’t have a P.HD.”) or to make me smart or happy. i’ve accepted me. and i do want to finish college someday- with an art degree, because that’s what i love, what i’ve always loved deep down.

i’m forming my own beliefs and political opinions, and i am listening to the other sides of the story that i never heard while growing up. since “Bowling for Columbine” came out, i have heard christian after christian bashing on it. well, i decided to see what the fuss was about, so i picked it up from the library and i watched it last night. i sobbed. and i have to say that i don’t think the people ragging on it have actually watched it. they say immediately, “Oooh Michael Moore. What a liberal.” well you know what? the more i have been thinking about it, Jesus was a liberal. that’s not to say i am adopting Michael Moore’s entire belief system, i’m just asking Jesus to help me keep an open mind and look at issues from an objective position- from his eyes.

i have stopped turning on the 6:00 news. i don’t need the media telling me what to be afraid of or commercials telling me what to buy. that said, i am still keeping up with current affairs -national and international- online. www.cnn.com has become a daily ritual for me.

i rediscovered writing. i was in Power of the Pen in middle school and on the journalism team in high school. i have won writing competitions and my college english professor even told me i should make writing my career. you’re probably thinking, “What’s all the fuss about? This girl writes a load of crap.” well, that may be true, but the thing is, i’m writing for me, not for you, and i am loving it.

i have become a healthy eater. you won’t find refined white flour and white sugar at my house. i buy only products made with 100% whole wheat and raw cane sugar/evaporated cane juice- that means no high fructose corn syrup-if i want soda i drink naturally made stuff like Hansen’s or sparkling juice like Izze. and partially hydrogenated oils? they are the food of satan.

the apartment has undergone major organization at my merciless hands. everything now has a place- and i make sure that everything is put back into its place.

i have found my own sense of style in home decor. it’s a mix of the classic and contemporary- i call it Vintage Modern. i finally realized that i don’t have to have a perfect HGTV house. if you walked into my apartment you would find a mix of the past and the present, and a bit of humor. i love to find stuff at garage sales and in the attics, basements, garages, and barns of my family and friends. everything must have a story to be in my home. with my vintage tabletop fan collection, the pair of old windows from my grandparents’ house that now hang on my wall, the 1940’s Singer dressmaker form that is now wrapped in twinkle lights, and a porcelain-enameled gasoline sign, you will also find furniture with clean lines and contemporary art- even some of my own paintings. and of course, there are precious photographs of my family and friends.

i “just said no” to makeup and hair color-treatments. i still have issues with my looks, but i am trying to embrace them. i decided that if people can’t get past my looks, than they don’t deserve to know me. so i’m going to put the real me up front and center.

i played a video game-and i liked it-thanks to Nintendo Wii! i have never been a gaming person- when given the choice of a nintendo and a mountain bike after winning an essay contest, i chose the bike. i never regretted it, either. but after playing the fishing game on Wii Play, well, i’m hooked (sorry for the corny pun). i will never be the kind of person that spends my days in a darkened room playing halo with potato chip crumbs scattered across my chest, but i will not scorn all video games like i used to. i’m a new mii.

action movies rock! i used to be a strictly romantic comedies girl, but bruce willis (a.k.a john mcclane in die hard) changed everything. in fact, nowadays i actually have trouble sitting through an entire romantic comedy. give me a good action flick and i’m set.

i like beer! but i’m very picky- it has to be a nice stout or ale. give me Guinness or give me death. (Bud Light is urine water) i also have a soft spot for a bottle of Honey Brown (especially with some Honey BBQ wings from BW3’s). who knew that little me would be kicking back with a cold one?

 

and here is the best thing of all that has happened to me: i fell in love with Jesus, and i fell hard. not for the sunday school conservative republican “Jesus” that i grew up with, but the real one- the one who is radical, full of love, grace, and forgiveness, is concerned for the poor, loves prostitutes and drunkards, the one who went “all in” in the game of love for me. and now i’m going all in for him. he is my soul mate, the missing piece that is now there. i’m not preaching- in fact- i don’t trust preachers. but Jesus, let me tell you, he is one cool dude. (and most preachers just don’t get that fact right)

 

so there’s the story of me…thus far. i’m not finished yet and i can’t wait to discover more.

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