Sunday, February 27, 2011

100th Post!

I've reached 100 posts! To celebrate, I made a Wordle of all of the labels I've used.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cleaning up the tabs

"Funny the way it is, if you think about it
Somebody's going hungry and someone else is eating out
Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
Somebody's heart is broken and it becomes your favorite song

The way your mouth feels in your lovers kiss
Like a pretty bird on a breeze or water to a fish
A bomb blast brings a building crashing to the floor
You hear the laughter while the children play war"
- Dave Matthews Band, "Funny the Way it Is"
It is funny, actually. Or interesting. I began this post a week ago and I filled it with cute, funny, upbeat little remarks, but a few things have happened since then that give me pause. My heart isn't as light as it was last Friday. I've many things on my mind. In that light, I'll go ahead and post last week's lightness . . . and follow it with more serious matters.
I found this in my Facebook news feed last week and it just made me smile. I don't know what it is or from whom it came, but it makes my heart warm.
My drive to school is about 11 minutes long. I always listen to NPR. It's amazing what I've learned driving up the hill on just ONE morning:
- Scott Simon reported on the new men's must-have from Fashion Week: some sort of pashmina cashmere hood thing, retailing at $645. He chuckled. I chuckled.
- the economic crisis in Egypt resulting from protesters' not working
- the fact that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid comprise a whopping 40% of our national budget
- a dinosaur fossil was discovered in an empty Utah quarry last week; its hips were huge, leading scientists to reason that its quadriceps were much larger than most dinosaurs, so - naturally - it must have used those legs to kick its mating competition. (I'm not making this up.) The best part is that they gave it a Latin name that literally translates "Thunder Thighs."
AJS and DW and I were watching trash TV on Hulu last weekend (so I guess it's not TV anymore - ?), and this commercial popped up:

It's so funny, and then all of a sudden, BAM! Impact. That matters. I followed the link to another commercial from the same campaign:

And I went to and signed the petition, not because George Clooney asked me to but because I believe that budget cuts could cost ACTUAL HUMAN LIVES. The fact that people are doing something about it - making their voices heard, gathering together to change things - gives me just the tiniest shred of hope.
My beloved mountains claimed a good person this week. My friend AT's roommate was caught in a sidecountry avalanche and died. He perished on a slope I've skied many times.

Another friend, TB, a ski patroller in Snowmass, was gravely injured in an accident at work 12 days ago; he was airlifted to Denver and was in surgery to repair his spinal cord mere hours after his coworkers found him in a tree well. Although his condition has vastly improved in this teeny time frame, he has such a long road ahead of him, and my heart aches that he's trapped in a hospital bed when he should be working and playing and skiing.
It's such a scary thing - that mountain town I love so much is also so, so dangerous. Five people have died in-bounds this year. My boss' son was killed two years ago, and a first-year lifty died in an accident before the season even started this year. It's REAL. I think if I sat at home and prayed for the safety of the people I love in Aspen, it would be a full-time job.
Kelsey Grammer divorced his third wife two weeks ago and married his fourth tonight. I'm embarrassed to share a name with him. He doesn't deserve it. The worst part, I think, is that his behavior is totally legal, whereas it remains illegal for a committed gay couple to marry in the United States. This kind of bullshit just makes me want to put my head in my hands and cry.
One last plug for a fantastic humanitarian cause: DW and I signed up for the National Bone Marrow Donor Program a few months ago. You can find the link here. You should do it, too, but read about the program on the website before you decide. Informed consumers - even informed volunteers - will change this world for the better, and although I'm sure you already know this, you shouldn't do something just because I ask you to.
I guess if I had to come up with an Unexpected Spark this week, it would be this: I'm so incredibly grateful for the gamut of experiences this life serves up. We are so damn blessed.
One more thing. The title of this post comes from the fact that over the course of the week, when I find things that I want to blog about later, I leave the tabs up in my internet browser (Google Chrome, if you care about such things). By mid- to late-week, I have so many open tabs on the page that I can scarcely navigate between my email and Facebook. I hope it goes to show that I really care that you take the time to read this - I'm so flattered, watching my little page counter go up and up - and I hope that you like the things I choose to write about.
Okay, one more thing. I made this for my friend RE's birthday tomorrow. She reads my blog, so she may see it before she gets it. That's okay with me. I'm really glad she's my friend.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

...because it's true

Funny quote of the day:

"Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes." - Jim Carey

Funnier quote of the day:

"Behind every great man is a great woman putting up with his farts." - Jason Mraz

"What I should have said was nothing."

I love Twitter.
Never in my (wildly insufficient, cursory) knowledge of human history has there been a forum for someone to have a thought and then instantly share it with the whole world, and for someone like me - with no filter - Twitter can be a lot of fun. And it can be a lot of trouble.

"I think there is something wrong with my brain where I don't have an on-deck circle for ideas, you know, just 'Batter up!' A lot of the ideas are bad and are at the plate going, 'I don't know about this one, Mike.' I turn into a drunk Little League dad: 'You go take some cuts, Son.' That pretty much sums up my social inadequacies." - Mike Birbiglia

Generally I'm not too embarrassed by Tweets that escape my fingers before my brain has a chance to step in, but there are times when I'm glad I've stopped and thought. Take, for example, my genius disclosure at the grocery store yesterday. I (finally!) found some tea that I was convinced was no longer available, so my micro-update was going to be:

"Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all people! For unto you today is available regular-caffeinated Celestial Seasonings Chai tea - not that decaf crap! Hallelujah!"

Before I could send it, something made me think of my classmate TR. She must be one of the most pious people on the planet. I remember one chapel service when another classmate put her tea bag on the communion plate (this was AFTER the service was over when we were cleaning up the altar, so the plate was going to the kitchen anyhow) and TR almost had a stroke. She held so much reverence for the plate. In her eyes, if the body of Christ was on that plate - even for a second, and even if it were gone now - it was unfit to carry garbage.

Then I thought of my friend and classmate AN. She alone makes me so excited about the future of the ELCA because she's going to be a fantastic pastor. She's funny, smart, interesting and kind. She wouldn't Tweet something that used a verse in a cavalier way, and I ought not, either.

It's funny: I used to relish finding Biblical allusions in everyday life. I remember watching an episode of Dawson's Creek in junior high; Joey's older sister scolded her for betraying her, saying, "Your name isn't Josephine - it's JUDAS!" I wanted to jump up and down in front of my friends, like, I get the reference! I get the reference!

I think it's different now. I meant no malice in the Jesus' birth/finding my favorite tea remark, and in the same breath, I'm finding it important to treat all things religious with more reverence. I guess these little revelations are why we came to seminary.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Little things like this help restore my faith in Americans

This is a screen shot of the most-read articles on at 9am Pacific Time this morning. At the end of the day (or, more accurately, at the beginning), people care about what matters.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


"I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian." Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, February 5, 2011


More unexpected sparks for your reading pleasure!
Last night AJS brought home two pounds of Concord grapes - the same kind that Welch's uses for their juice. We threw them through the juicer and drank the most amazing, so-purple-it-was-almost-black grape juice, then puzzled over what to do with all the mashed-up grape pulp. Not wanting to toss it in the compost, DW suggested we make it into a coffee cake, which we baked this morning:
Ta-da! They tasted just like blueberries! We're on to something.
Our apartment building was constructed in 1913. Our walls are the funkiest drywall. They crumble like goat cheese whenever I hang stuff on them, which is annoying. DW pointed out today that we should be more careful about the things we have on the walls and our bookshelves because of the earthquake risk (something I had completely forgotten to consider), but also mentioned - aha! - that our apartment has been through TONS of earthquakes and is still in great shape, so we don't have to worry.
My creative Theological Teaching seminar has 24 students. Among them are citizens of Romania, Poland, Cuba, Cameroon, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and India.
Last night's First Friday event at school was card-game themed. I brought seven decks of cards (none of which I purchased - they found their way into my possession. How did I end up with so many decks?!) and taught six of my friends how to play Nertz. It was SO MUCH FUN! It reminded me of being a kid at my grandparents' house, when all of my relatives would play Nertz together on the dining room table. What a happy childhood I had.

Glenn Beck

Today's unexpected spark: I attend a graduate school wherein Glenn Beck is regarded as a total buffoon.
In my Christian Ethics class on Thursday, our professor used this quote in his PowerPoint:

"I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church web site. If you can find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!" - Glenn Beck

The entire class - EVERYONE, all 58 of us - erupted in laughter. Sorry, Glenn, but the only Beck I listen to has two turntables and a microphone.