Friday, January 30, 2009

Scandinavian Night

A good Scandinavian Night includes

--A standard Northernlands chick flick in which the leads spout colorful speech including, "Oh, fer crying in the beer cheese soup!" and "oooh, holy balls!"

--A trip to the Ikea cafe (apparently the only Swedish food in ATL) where one can find lingonberry jam, prolific numbers of meatballs, and the absolute best deals on cheaply cute furniture in the country.

--A contest in which one friend attempts to use "You betcha" in conversation with a stranger more often than the other friend. (I kick "you betcha" fan-nay).

--A bright blue dress (dangit, winter! I had to forgo the dress).

--A trip to the gym chain sauna room and then a nature run through the frigid 40-degree tundra...errrr...parking lot. (saving this one for the n e x t Scandinavian Night).

Good times, good friends, ooooh, fer fun, ya know.

Ooofta. Cheese Curds. Tubed salmon spread.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Giant Golden Tamarind Incident

Saturday, we almost died.

I was part of a weekend production team. Our goal was to create a thought-provoking, visually stimulating one-minute advertisement (:op) to showcase our friend, TW, as the only truly qualified candidate for the job of Tropical-Island-Caretaker (She's applying for a job with the Queensland Board of Tourism).

Jules, the Executive Producer and Lead Cameraperson on the job, decided a shot of TW with the Atlanta skyline in the background would be just-the-thing. So, we hopped in a few cars and trekked to the 17th Street Bridge. We parked on a side street near a fancy Thai restaurant and walked four-deep across the wide sidewalk, pausing to peek in the restaurant windows.

As we approached the corner, Jules stopped to consider the Giant Golden Tamarind statue where the restaurant frontage met the sidewalk.

"What the heck is this?? It looks somewhat like a nature poo I took when we were camping last month", she said. "I didn't think anyone would use it as statue inspiration."

"It's a tropical fruit", I argued, "They use it in Mexican candy and Thai sauces and stuff. Why would they put poo in front of a restaurant?"

So, as we stood there arguing about the fruity/poo-like qualities of the Giant Golden Tamarind, there was a loud crash, a sound of peeling tires, and a white car jumped the curb and sped toward us on the sidewalk going about 30 mph.

Jules yelled, "RUN!" My life flashed before my eyes as I ran with my friends back toward the parking lot. It happened so fast. The next thing I was aware of was the smell of coolant as the white car crashed into the (apparently concrete) Giant Golden Tamarind Statue and stopped.

JF checked to see that everyone was ok, Jules called the police, Atlanta drivers honked because they couldn't get around the three cars involved, and I couldn't help but wonder...

What if we handn't stopped to check out that sculpture? We would've been right on the corner and probably would have been hit.

It was absolutely the grace of God that no one was hurt.

I can't believe the Lord used potty humor and a Giant Golden Tamarind to save our lives/keep us from injury.

That's hilarious to me.

Alive. Footage. Frontage.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Soup and the Red Tweed Couch

It's amazing how some people who waltz in and out of our lives contribute their own unique flavor to who we are. I wondered why a college buddy of mine took a day off work when George Harrison, the quiet Beatle, died of cancer in 2001. Weeks later, I started to notice a steadily focused, gentle creativity in my friend . . . the kind that probably kept George strumming and singing in the Background of one of the biggest spotlights music has seen. I wondered if my friend buried a little bit of himself when he mourned George that solemn-day-off.

When I returned from overseas in 2005, I was homeless--but absolutely determined to live in the small town where I went to college. A good friend offered her parent's spare room. So, with songs of extreme thankfulness, I moved in with Da and Dw. Over the months of our cohabitation, Dw taught me about cured meats, international music, and Jazz. Da taught me about good salads, clean counters, good deals, and fearless directness. Sometimes, when I have a cilantro'ed salad, memories of sitting at her counter are more solid to me than the bowl in front of my hungry face. There is a big left corner of me that belongs to these once-strangers who became my family.

There is a reason, I think, that laughter sounds so much like crying and tears mark both joy and tragedy. The Lord calls us to love even our enemies, but sometimes, He puts people in our lives who are so easy to love, they change us. It's as if they carve something lovely and permanent in our souls. So, mourning is a celebration. It's a celebration that an exchange of something real has taken place.

Redeemed Birthdays. Redemption Process. Loss and Never Lost.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Preselebrity Responsibility

This speech was lovely, direct, bold, and poetic. I was really surprised to hear the critics "poo poo" Obama's Inaugural immediately following the ceremony's live broadcast. Critics must get extra bonus points when their buttocks twitch and their eyebrows etch darkly downward.

However one's political inclination stands, what a landmark day it was! These are exponential times. :) Yikes. Woohoo!


(Here's one of my favorite parts-- Throw me a hammer, baby, let's hit it! Remaking America. Talk about inspired. Credit also to Jon Favreau and Obama's writing team.)

Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Single in the City this Saturday Night

I've reached an age where most of my friends are married (a few, twice).
I've reached an age where culture says I should be having "adult relationships."
I've reached an age where I know what I want and I'm not playing g-ames.

There is a critical difference between someone who is looking to fill an empty field in their homelife spreadsheet and a person who is interested in having Long-term Lifebuilding Fun with a specific other person.

Spreadsheet Style: Eager Spudnick Jehosophat Johnson invites Tina Twirler out for pasta and conversation about what he is looking for in a mate. Tina listens, wondering if this is her official eval. Tina thinks the pheremones are lethargic during the Italian meal, but wonders if they might be a little more active over an intense game of Tekken 2. So, she joins Spudnick the following week for some digital roundoffing and uppercutting courtesy Nintendo. Spudnick mentions how much he hopes his future wife will be willing to convert to Judaism. Tina wishes him luck with that, sees the pheremones fall from the sky as a mass, and looks around for her hat and gloves. Spudnick is a solid, friendly sort -- but he's looking for Spreadsheet Slot Girl, so he can't (and won't) be seeing Tina.

Long-term Lifebuilding Fun: Sheri's friend cons her into going to a club on a Navy base one Saturday night for dancing. John, who felt the uncommon urge to get out of the house that evening, is also at the club. After swaying with a few others, John asks Sheri to dance. Neither of them ever having danced before this night, it's an awkward ... yet oddly comfortable ... turn around the floor. John invites Sheri to hear some music. Sheri learns that John is not just another California boy. They're young and have no spreadsheets, but know that they really like spending time together. So, they do... and they have.

So, that's it. I'm not the spreadsheet slot kinda girl. I'm pretty happy doing my thing. I'll never wedge myself into some guy's empty field. That's all I'm saying.

Games Ova. B&N. No-bake Cookies (coconut, not peanut butter)


Monday, January 12, 2009

I'd have loved him, too-- part one

When I was a kid, I put together a few driveway theatre productions with the neighborhood kids, lemonade stands for Blue Angels pilots, and detailed plans to build bicycle carts that would function like simple cars. (hmmm...) When I wasn't working on my latest project, I would bike around the neighborhood and ponder three things (loopy kid):

Why does the pastor always say we should fear God?
Why did God give Solomon a special wish and wisdom?
Why did God love David so much?

I still think about these things in the moments (like these) when I should be asleep (mixed in, of course, with Laird Hamilton, chocolate cake, school plans, good music, and mild regrets).

From 1 Chronicles, 1 Samuel, and Andy's Morning Talk-- Liberties taken, thank you. :)

I'd Have Loved Him, Too

Jesse, the weathered, and Nitz, his lady
had David as a sunset baby
Youngest of his family's men
He cared for the flocks and ran Dad's errands.

The Lord trained David on the barren hills
To guide and protect his father's wealth
David killed bears and lions in honor
of the glory it would bring his father.

He held dumb sheep with an open hand
because they bore Jehovah's brand
What sense did it make to hoard from the Gifter,
Who planted the pearls and buried the silver?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

David Letterman

is lovable in his nightly white socks.

My favorites from a quickie Tivo evening:

"I'm nothing if not an alarmist and a ninny."
In conversation with John McCain

"It's sweet, and it's dear; and the whole family can go."
To Sandler, chatting about his movie--Bedtime Stories.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Buzzard, Bogie, Albatross, and Birdie

Today I went golfing for the first time and have come to the following conclusions:

1. Golfing is a sport of courtesy.
Fore! Waiting until a preceding group has cleared a hole, remaining silent during the swinging process, wearing tidy collars and creased trousers. Golf would be more likely to have secret handshakes than cheerleaders, I think. Champions of golf might be more fond of a congratulatory Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac than a back-slapping Beamish Irish Stout.

2. Golfing is very pretty.
Even ancient men look pretty (c'mon, not in a girly way!) swinging a club, connecting, and following through. It's so smooth. Then, sometimes... if the driver scrapes sand, sparks really do fly. Very cool. The courses themselves are also very manicured, rolling, and lovely (though a little squishy and dead in January). It's very peaceful and calming to go walking in well-treated (sans divets)grass.

3. Golfing is a sport of both precision and accuracy.
The golfer and the caddy consider so much before swinging. It is absolutely NOT a sport for the speedy. This I learned the hard way (Aubrey, slow down. Aubrey, slow down. Hey Aubs, keep your feet still. Aubs, you have dancing feet). Heh. Ok, after 8-hours, I think I can call myself a "beginner" rather than an "ignoramus". I'm not ready for plaid shorts, though. fo real.

Good, good times with good, good friends. What a cool way to spend a January Sunday. Maybe there will be others. :)

Stogee, Par, Titleist 3.


Thursday, January 1, 2009


A sacrifice of praise. Hmmm...

To ask if our praise is a sacrifice? What the LORD gave is a sacrifice. When we praise, we join in with those who have been praising Him since the dawn of creaton and we say, "Agreed".

The Lord has an exalted place. That's the way it is. He is praised. That's the way it is. Those in the outer courts are just waiting for the chance to join in. We have the chance n o w-- to join in the praising of the exalted God.


I hope this year will be a year of praise. This year, I will write real letters--address and mail them. I will hold tenaciously to joy, learn how to fight instead of flight, and remember lost loves (like READING non-work-related books). Ok...I'm also going to smoke a cigar (if I have to bite the end off with my teeth; no more missed opportunities!), go line-dancing, and explore some Springsteen. :o)

Woohoo. High School Reunion. 2009. Resolved.