June 29, 2009

do you collect butterflys?

I was out for my friend's birthday the other night and saw some old friends, met some new ones. I kept wanting to ask them what they did, where they worked, how they knew my friend. In a sense, I wanted to figure out who they were by what they did.

This isn't just me and by no means uncommon. It happens all the time. At YDS, you meet someone and go through all the details that supposedly define you - degree program, denomination, ordination track, where you're from, etc.

This is a culture that defines people by what they do first, and then who they are second. We put people in boxes by the hard facts and then move from there. At YDS, once we learn the various degree details about someone, we know how to interact with them. Ah, a Lutheran M.Div. A Ethics MAR. Ordination track. Non-ordination track. While these details are helpful, it's not the end-all-be-all.

It reminds me of this quote from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
“Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?". They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him.”
I've been feeling a bit like a ship without its bearings, wandering lost at sea, no port to aim towards. I'm guessing it comes from this period of transition and having less of these "hard" facts about myself. It's a little unnerving, but somewhat freeing at the same time. I don't think I could sustain this freewheeling for a long period of time though. Hopefully I won't have to.

June 27, 2009

i lack a fresh breeze

I am, at heart, an entertainer. Not in the top hat and cane sense, but in that I like organizing events and seeing people have a good time. I loved doing it for YDS, even on my most frustrating days.

I'm guessing that's why not having a backyard or porch is killing me. Or a big dinner table. As much as going out for dinner is fun, I like the idea of cooking for friends much better. I wish I had time, ingredients, the imagination and skills do amazing things with food. And the space to accommodate that magic.

Yesterday, I headed to St. Paul for an old friend's birthday, and marveled at her awesome porch. Made me miss the CHouse porch.

This is the view from my back steps right now:

Not quite the same. Next place I live is going to have some mad backyard awesomeness. Here are some more apartment pictures, since I realized I never posted them:

Also threw my bike in there for good measure. I love it. It takes me places. It also has a "I <3 unicorns" sticker on it. I'm thinking it'll take me to Pride this afternoon, while it's not too ridiculously hot out.

June 23, 2009

embrace change

Everytime I start missing New Haven, YDS, and Marquand, I have to remind myself of the fortune cookie I received my first week back in Minneapolis:

Embrace change; don't battle it.

There's something about embracing change that honors what once was while still anticipating what will be.

A few days later, I got this one:

Is this where you saw yourself five years ago?

Honestly, I didn't see myself anywhere five years ago. I was too busy thinking about the present to think about the future. I still have to remind myself to imagine five years from now. That'll be easier once I have some sort of permanent work, but the options are wide open now while I'm still looking.

Anyway. Time to battle the heat, test my repaired tire and try for a bike ride.

June 20, 2009

music and work and hopeful work

Big decisions today, people. I've got an important date with Jake and I want to look as much like a pretty, pretty princess as possible.

But seriously, we're going to Rock the Garden today and I'm trying to figure out what to wear that will be 1: cool looking, 2: cool feeling, 3: let me get tan without a sunburn, 4: has the ability to cover myself if I do get sunburn without being stifling. I kind of want to wear a dress, but that'd eventually get sweaty and sticky. Maybe a skirt with leggings, but that might be hot too. My life is soooo hard.

Good progress on the job front. I am a badass canvasser, apparently. I've done two days of collecting signatures asking one of the local US Reps to vote for the American Clean Energy and Security Act and have passed my quota every day. At first I thought it was a fluke because I found a famer's market and cleaned up there, but then I did really well again yesterday in front of a library. I finished early yesterday and went to where a fellow canvasser was, and realized why he hadn't made his quota and I had. I'd ask pretty much everyone that came across the library threshold, made clear up front what I was asking for, the level of time/commitment of signing the petition, and was generally friendly. The other canvasser, on the other hand, sat in front of the building and didn't approach everyone, opened with asking about the representative we're petitioning as opposed to the issue, and often had snide comments for people who gave weak excuses for not signing. It was the difference between approaching people and walking with them or sitting there as they walked by. I joined the campaign after it had began so I don't know how much training people had, but even just a bit would have made a big impact for this guy. And I'm not saying I've had tons of experience (because I haven't), but I know the difference between active work and passive work. Plus he thought that a good place to ask would be in front of a golf course. Yeah, right.

Besides that, I have two job interviews in the near future. One with a church looking for part time program coordinating, and another for an Americorps position with a school looking for someone to coordinate volunteers and programs/events for students (mostly immigrants or children of immigrants) 15-20 who are behind at least a year in school. I'm really excited about this last one because it touches on a lot of major interests of mine - education advancement, volunteer coordination, event planning - and because it seems like the program has had a lot of success and does good work for that community.

We'll see how it goes. First, what to wear.

June 17, 2009

"everything's ok. everything's like usual."

It's been a good couple of days. Flowers blooming, none of the forecast rain, two requests for interviews, I'm DJing Dance Party tomorrow and I found some work hopefully through the end of June.

I found this online, which makes me happy:
The Poetry of Journalism

Last week, Israel’s oldest newspaper, Haaretz, took a one-off chance, temporarily replacing its workaday reporters with 31 of the country’s leading poets and authors. The writers, as writers do, ran amok. They filed epic front-page news reports on daily life in the first person; ruminated about childhood in an interview with the country’s defense minister; and delivered the weather report as a sonnet. The market report, written by a celebrated children’s book author, read like a fairy tale: “Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place … Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points, Nasdaq added 0.9 percent to a level of 1,860 points …”
The world only spins forward.

June 14, 2009

puking in public

This was the basics of a conversation on the bus by two old Catholic ladies behind me:

-the only good charity to donate to is the Knights of Columbus
-all tv is junk, it's just immoral movies where women show their "bags" all over
-the digital converter box is a tool from the government to control us
-Obama is also ultimately responsible for the digital converter box which controls us
-the digital converter box is also a tool that the Antichrist is going to use to in world domination
-therefore, Obama is probably the Antichrist
-they didn't vote for him, but one of the ladies did like Sarah Palin. They thought she was smart and moral
-she's going to plan a big role in the next election, we just weren't ready for her now
-Walter Mondale is awful.

The End.

This weekend was the Bellin Run. I had planned on running as much as I could (about 4 miles, I thought), walking a bit, and then running the rest. Well, when I got to the 4 mile marker, I was feeling awesome so I just kept running. There was a little bit midway during an uphill incline through mile 5 when things felt rough, but I made it though. Things went great all the way up through the end. I think the last water stop did me in, because just as I rounded the corner of the last block to the finish line, my stomach staged a protest. I ended up yaking twice before the finish line and then once after. But what could I do? I was on the last block after running further than I had before in my life. I wasn't going to stop and walk through the finish line... I'll take the puke and call it a win. I'd do it exactly the same if I had to do it all over (minus the suspected foul water stop). Everyone else did really well too. Anne, Sarah and I all expect to walk part and we all ended up running the whole thing; Mom had a personal record; Pete and Ethan (via stroller) started out running, but got stuck behind stroller people so they walked most of it.

Also, Pete and Carla and the kids stuck around through Saturday so I got to play with Ethan, Grace and Ali lots. They're cute as hell, I swear. I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb here, but I'm definitely their favorite. Except for Grace, because her favorite is Katie. Doesn't even try to hide it.

Kari's gone to Bolivia now and man, do I love sleeping in her bed. It is way more comfortable than mine. Also, wearing her clothes is pretty awesome too. I have also subsisted solely on her tapioca pudding. Delicious.

June 11, 2009

adventures in cooking: curried couscous chicken salad

Since I've got nothing else to talk about (except how many jobs I've applied for), let's talk about food.

Kari and I made some delicious curried couscous with chicken salad the other night. A mix of lemon juice, apples, chickpeas, chicken and couscous made with curry atop spinach. It's a repeat recipe for sure.

I felt classy cooking for two, and then Kari left and I had frozen pizza. Oh, how quickly I declined in my culinary endeavors. On the upside, Amy taught me about the deliciousness of Frank's RedHot sauce on pizza, which I've now taken to eating on everything. It's cayenne sauce/buffalo sauce, but I love it. Mmm.

Today for lunch I went all fancy again. Quesadilla with chili powder, peppers, chicken, and garlic. I heated it on the stove as opposed to in the microwave, which was a little tricky because the tortilla was as big as the pan. I had to flip it onto a plate, then move it from the plate back into the pan. It was a lot more crispy than when it's cooked in the microwave, but a little burnt. I think in the future, I'll have to get smaller tortillas (since it was my biggest pan).

Kari's gone in Bolivia for two months so I need someone every day to make sure I haven't died. It's kind of a giant weird switch going from living with 7 other people to living by myself. A lot more quiet and a lot less fun. But Jake's at Olaf already and stopped by when he flew back last week, so we're going to hang out a lot. He's my extension of New Haven, right here in MPLS. Plus I see Drew and Amy a lot, so they're going to keep me sane.

Dance Party tonight! Woot. It's no lie... once you go your first time, you'll be constructing the perfect dance mix ever since. Love.

June 4, 2009


So here's the thing that recent graduates (especially from institutions as prestigious as the ones in my background) aren't supposed to say:

I have no idea what I want (to do).

Day-to-day, short term, long term, as a career, as a vocation, in my interactions with people, for lunch, etc.

I add the parentheses because honestly, I don't know what I want, either. I suppose once I figure out what I want, then I'll have some idea of what to do.

I have ideas of what I want to do. I want to work in a church, but I don't want to get bogged down in notions of religiosity and church politics. I want to work in a non-profit, but one that really accomplishes something. I want to work in a coffee shop and actually do something that makes a person's day better. I want to write, but don't know if I have enough "life experience" to be good. I don't want to work, but instead find a vocation. Now it's just taking these wants and making them into something good.

One thing that's different about this move from all of the others I've done (GB>MPLS, MPLS>NH, and now NH>MPLS) is that I've lost the ability to reinvent myself. Not to suggest that I've altered my personality in relation to the places I've lived, but I have a history here. I've been someone. I have friends who remember me as a gawky 18 year old, not the supposedly hip 24 year old I am now. Good at times, bad at at times.

The ability to change is harder when you're in a familiar place with familiar people. They've invested in the old you, not the altered/ing you. Not that people don't accept changes (since we all do it), but transformation is easier in places with little memory. There's less molding to break. Again, both good and bad.

So while it's been nice to come back and see favorite faces and places, we all look at each other and see the past. As much as old friends look at me and see the old me, I look back at them and see old versions of new lives. This allowing for room to change applies to me, as well.

I'm in no hurry for any answers, but I will be when it comes time to pay the rent again.

things you think to yourself after immersion in div school

The following thoughts occurred to me in situations completely unrelated to religion, Christianity, YDS or my life in Connecticut:

  • Upon hearing that a friend's eyes were hurting, I thought, "Ah, let's get some spit, some mud and we'll fix you up in no time."
  • I have a Chia person that recently started growing hair, but only around the outside rim of her head. My reaction? "It's a crown... a crown of thorny grass!"
More to follow.