Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
- Loaf pan
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 flattened bottle of beer
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 stick butter
Mix the sugar, flour, salt, and beer in a bowl. If, for some reason, it is soupy rather than doughy, keep adding flour until it is doughy. Bake at 375 degrees for forty minutes. Take it out, cut it into slices, and let the butter melt over the top. You may want to cut some smaller hunks off of the butter and put them in between the slices. This bread is really just a vehicle for the butter. Trust me: Yea, butter.
Best eaten hot, but keeps well for a day or so. I don't know about beyond then because it never lasts that long in my apartment.
Monday, April 23, 2007
" I am so sorry about the problems that you are having with your neighbor.
I will do what I can, I will send him a letter and see if that will
help but you continue to do what you have been doing. Calling the
police. I would not wait long to do so though if it was me. Shortly
after 10 pm everyone needs to be winding down. Especially this time of
the year. Let me know how this progresses. Thanks for your letter."
Sunday, April 22, 2007
It's not because you're black; its because your stinkin' loud.
You know what did happen because you're black? I put off calling the police until you truly pissed me off, because I figured they may not be as nice to you because you are black and football players, and I felt worse calling the police on a bunch of black men to bust up a party than I would have felt about white guys. If you had been white, I would have called years ago.
That's it; you got me--I made a judgment in your favor based on race.
Guess you taught me something, huh?
Now that I have some peace and quiet (for now, at least), it's off to bed I go.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Can I get one of these signs for my door? Like, my apartment door?
I've lived in this apartment since May 2005, and I have had the same upstairs neighbor the entire time. He happens to be a football player at the University and is in a fraternity (albeit, I think, not an IFC organization). I have worked very hard since moving here to maintain civil relations with him.
Every time the guys come over at night to practice their step show above my head (I'm not making that up), I don't do anything about it unless I'm in finals, and even then I just go up and ask them to be quiet by eleven or midnight.
When the child was living with him last summer and dropping trash onto my bushes, front porch, and car I didn't turn him in to management but just gritted it out until the child had to go back to wherever he came from. That was especially difficult when the child had to sit out on Neighbor's front porch while he had relations with his girlfriend.
When the girlfriend was living up there and parking her big-ass Land Rover in front of my apartment, I patiently parked elsewhere and, again, didn't discuss the extra body/bodies with management.
When Neighbor flooded my apartment by breaking the floater off of his overflowing toilet thus destroying books and papers in my apartment and traumatizing the stupid cat for a week, I didn't present him with a bill for replacement of books or for drycleaning of some of my favorite non-machine washable garments (which I found in my bathtub trying to dry out). I didn't take him to small claims court either.
So last night's events might have come as something of a surprise to him.
Last night, I was studying general partnerships for an exam on Monday morning. I had to put the book down and go to bed at about eleven due to a piercing headache behind my right eye which was accompanied by dizzyness, so I'm just going to go ahead and call it a migraine. As I was lying in bed trying to meditate my headache away (because the Excedrin was just not working), a touch football game starts in the grass next to my apartment about, oh, say, midnight. Now, I'm willing to let them have an indoor party at midnight on a Friday night, but really. Add to that the fact that I woke up early that morning to the same sound, and I decided that my headache and I were going outside for a chat. One of the guys recognized me from the Study Hall and came by and asked if they were being too loud. I put in my request for quieter please, and in about fifteen minutes things had been taken care of.
Or so I thought.
Somewhere around two I was finally able to drift off (after taking something much stronger). Imagine my surprise to be waking up at four to the sounds of full blown party (as opposed to winding down party) with girls, music, drinks, and everything. Four. In the morning. Even on Fridays, four in the morning is just plain out of bounds. And the party is not just inside his apartment but out on his balconey and in the parking lot too. Hooray.
The Campus Police were only too pleased to oblige me.
I hope he's moving in May, because I think I've finally decided that Campus Police are going to become a prominant part of our neighborship.
Friday, April 20, 2007
This guy. This is the guy, right here. If you haven't heard the message he left on his eleven year-old daughter's voicemail, you're better off. It's pretty terrible, so I'm not going to link to the file. I figure you can find it on your own if you really want to. The message by itself is bad enough, but what really got me was his "apology." You know, I think that apologies have been getting worse across the board lately, but this one was really bad. Instead of apologizing only for what he had said, and that abjectly, he seemed to focus more on how sorry he was that it got out, saying:
"Although I have been told by numerous people not to worry too much, as all parents lose their patience with their kids, I am most saddened that this was released to the media because of what it does to a child," he wrote. "I'm sorry, as everyone who knows me is aware, for losing my temper with my child. I have been driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years now. You have to go through this to understand. (Although I hope you never do.) I am sorry for what happened. But I am equally sorry that a court order was violated, which had deliberately been put under seal in this case.... In such public cases, your opponents attempt to take a picture of you on your worst day and insist that this is who you are as a person.... Outside the doors of divorce court, I have friends, I have respect from people I work with and I have a normal relationship with my daughter. All of that is threatened whenever one enters a court room."
I have a hard time believing that this sort of behavior is a one time deal. One of my closest friends, M, has been receiving voicemails, phone calls, and letters similar to this one intermittantly over the years from her father, and most people don't say things that are this ugly and hurtful just once.
Here's hoping that they get all this untangled. Therapy, which I would always suggest as a good idea for anyone, might be a particularly good idea in this case.
Ursa came over last night, and we decided that we needed cupcakes. So we made them. Our cupcakes weren't pretty like these though. In fact, ours were kind of ugly, but they were AMAZING. In the spirit of finals, let me share:
First, we mixed up some strawberry cake mix. Then, we dumped 3/4 of a bottle of sprinkles in the mix to make our own funfetti. After you pour the mix into the pan, but before you put it in the oven, put a jumbo marshmellow in the middle of each cupcake. Bake them. When they come out, pull each marshmellow up a little bit and squeeze some strawberry syrup in the hole beneath it. Finally, ice the top with buttercream.
Like I said, they were ugly. Ugly, but GOOOOOOD.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
As G and I walked out to the parking lot afterwards, we found ourselves walking behind Prof. PCI. G commented that she felt very bad for our classmate, and I remarked, "Yeah, I just want to give him a hug, but he's so tall and angry," at which point Prof. PCI (who is rather tall in his own right) turned around and gave us a questioning look, forcing me to clarify, "Oh, no, no. Not you, sir," to which he responded, "Oh, okay, good. I was wondering."
I really wish I could control my volume more effectively, but at least now Prof. PCI doesn't have to wonder whether (a) I think he is tall and angry or (b) I want to hug him.
Monday, April 16, 2007
$40 later, Fiance figured out that maybe he shouldn't take me there.
It was only later that he discovered that he shouldn't come with me to the yarn store either.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I'm also sorry for the length and meandering nature of the post, but after seeing the picture of the Garden Tomb, it would out, and I've a peace about just having it down in print, so I think I can sleep now.
It would be too much indeed to tell you about the whole trip, but you should go if you ever get the chance, whether you feel it is safe or not (though for Americans, it usually is). It’s that good. However, seeing the picture of the Garden Tomb on Craig’s post reminded me of two of the most definitive experiences in the formation of both my faith and of my general outlook on the world.
On any tour of religious sites in Israel, one hears quite a lot at any given place about how likely it is that an event actually happened on that spot or close to it. Most of the places one encounters base their authenticity on the research of Helena who was Emperor Constantine I’s mother and who went on a mission to find and preserve the holy sites of Christianity. Although separated in time, she was much closer to the events than we are, and often the scholars agree with her conclusions. For example, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is generally regarded to be on the authentic site of the birth of Christ—at least as well as can be determined. There is some debate over other sites, but alternative sites are not generally a part of the tour. However, most tours will include both the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden Tomb as possible sites of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, and ours did too. They are dramatically different places, and they provided me with dramatically different experiences.
The first of the two stops was at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (hereinafter referred to as the Church). The Church was one of the sites preserved as a result of Helena’s search, and is an impressive building. It was actually originally three connected churches built over three different sites (in addition to claiming to house the tomb and Golgotha, the church also claims to house the place where Christ’s body was prepared for burial). When one enters the building, one may crowd around a large marble slab said to commemorate the place of the preparation of His body, shuffle into the tiny cave where His body was said to have been buried after waiting in a line to rival any at Disney World (and after staring down a cranky looking cleric), and one may duck down below an alter and thrust one’s hand down a hole that rises to your elbow to touch a rock said to be Golgotha. The entire experience lends itself to being rushed and stale, and I felt more like a voyeuse and a tourist than a pilgrim.
However, the division is not confined to the buildings, and the discomfort goes deeper than the creak in one’s knees or the pull in a craning neck.
You see, different Christian sects have been fussing, fighting, and feuding over who gets what part of the building since 1555. Currently, the building houses an uneasy peace between the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic, Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches. The times and places of worship for each community are strictly regulated in common areas. In fact, the Ethiopian newcomers don’t even have space inside of the building. They were forced to make their space on the roof. Lest you think this separation is a mere practicality, let me acquaint you with the violent history associated with the division of the Church. In fact, the key to the sole entrance to the Church is held by the Muslim Nuseibeh family who were entrusted with its guardianship by Saladin in 1192 to keep the peace between the warring fractions. Later, the Joudeh family was appointed to assist them. To this day, these two families are still entrusted with the key and have to unlock the door on a daily basis. A Coptic monk stands stationed on the roof to express his church’s claims to the Ethiopian territory there. In 2002, the monk on duty moved his chair from its proper spot and into the shade. The Ethiopians interpreted this as an act of hostility and eleven people were hospitalized as a result, and in 2004 a fistfight broke out because the Franciscan chapel door was left open after Orthodox celebrations and this was taken as a sign of disrespect.
As a visitor, it was clear to me that these were not willing neighbors, and an air of tension prevailed. I could not help but remember Christ’s admonition that loving one’s neighbor as oneself was second only to loving the Lord God with all your being. It seemed a simple thing to share a blessed space in love, but they simply refuse to this day. That day formed in me a strong distaste for divisiveness among the body of believers—like the metallic taste chemo patients report during their treatment.
Which brings me to the British.
The second spot offered forth as a site for Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection was the Garden Tomb. This spot is owned and administered by The Garden Tomb Association, a Charitable Trust based in the United Kingdom. From the moment you walk in, you are inside of a lush and beautiful garden that has been reserved for quiet reflection and worship. There are no restraints keeping you from touching the stones except inside the tomb itself (to protect from those who would break off pieces).
You can walk into the tomb and see that a chunk was carved into it to accommodate a taller person than originally planned. It is quiet inside and you can pray there in peace. This isn’t a great picture since my own are with my parents at home, but the one on the right is the one that is cut to be longer.
Furthermore, what is hard to see here is the crack that runs across the face of the tomb (on the top there and on the lower right) from what seems to have been an earthquake
There is also a proposed spot for the crucifixion there called Gordon’s Calvary (so called because it is not the mainstream site put forward as being Calvary and was found by a man named Gordon. Ta-dah). How did this Gordon fellow decide it was Golgotha? Well, look at it. Golgotha meant “the place of the skull,” and although this shot doesn’t show the skull at its best advantage, you can see the eye sockets and the place where a nose would be
Nearby there is also an olive press which is also a mark of authenticity with what is described in the New Testament.
Now, all this is kind of cool in and of itself because even if it isn’t the authentic site, it looks a far sight more authentic than anything in the Church. However, that is not the important part. The important part is that it is a peaceful garden full of love and quiet respect and awe for the holiness of what the pilgrim remembers when he visits. THAT is what we are to exude to those around us. This place has such a powerful presence because of this atmosphere combined with its look that I cannot describe it. It overwhelmed me to the point of tears, and I was not the only one. Everyone was deeply touched that day, and many in different ways. If it is not the authentic site of the great events surrounding Easter, the Garden, at least, best honors the spirit behind them.
This is the difference I see between the behavior of mere Christians and that of Christ Himself (and I include myself in that statement). We are always so ready to be right and to adorn a simple Truth with our trappings of solemnity. We are ready to take offense, whether in our Master’s Name or our own. However, Christ stands before us all simple and unadorned as all the lilies of the field, saying only, “Come.”
The best thing that we can do is to put down our braziers of dissent and pomp and come kneel down in His simple tomb and be quiet and listen—to open ourselves up to the love he bears us and all living things.
[Note] I do not own any of these images (my own photos are not digital). To view them in their original contexts you can click on them and follow them to their homes or you can run a Google image search on "garden tomb." I also conducted some internet research for some of the facts about scuffles and the Muslim family in charge of the key, and you can find their original sources by performing a similar search on the infamous wikipedia. Don't worry, I doublechecked it all.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The post you are reading right now really doesn't serve much of a purpose for you the reader, I suppose. It's mostly just to commit me to remembering to write the post since it is something I consider important. :)
I forget stuff. A lot. Ergo, notes to self like this one.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
If you don't believe me, click here.
[FN2] Also, apparently "Icy Eight" is slang for crack coccaine, and "Special K" is slang for ketamine.
This over-organization has led to some rather interesting anomalies in the realm of wedding registries for us.
First, my future mother-in-law has been whisking us around their hometown periodically since not last February but the February before that, showing us pretty things that we should want. This last weekend, that led to visiting several stores that I hadn't visited before. I saw pretty things.
At The Menagerie, we oo-ed and ah-ed at all the pretty china and crystal. Future MIL has paraded us through this particular store several times already, so I was ready not to get terribly excited until I found the prettiest crystal ever.
Crystal at The Menagerie, however, was to pale in comparison with the most wonderful discovery ever at Sur La Table:
PINK GLITTER SILICONE SPATULAS.
Good grief, I miss working full-time. So broke.
The other thing about over-organized wedding preparation, is that I have found myself making a pre-registry document for Fiance's use (read, "guidance.") We have deeply divergent taste in color schemes, so rather than having those "discussions" in the stores with the goods, I have pre-shopped everything online and compiled it into one document for his use. He has two or three options on most things. I did about 85% of it back in October at M's apartment during my quarter off, and the other 15% this weekend after the whisking trips. Therefore, I think Fiance was a little concerned about receiving said document which I think he envisioned would be full of pink and red lace and glittered textiles (he's more of a beige and burnt orange kind of guy.) I sent it off to him yesterday, having done all but the cookware and bakeware end of things and was pleased when I walked into his apartment last night and heard him announce, "You sent me pretty things!"
So where I am at the end of the day is in a sparkly pink place of validation for my organizational disorder.
I know I have no business watching The Hills after how I panned The Bachelor, but it connects with me on some cosmic level.
Anyway, I found a quote today that pleased me greatly:
"... Spencer of The Hills, who may be the most loathsome person in the 310 area code, a feat which takes some doing. I can't get into his crimes against humanity right now, because rage is bad for the complexion, but suffice it to say, if he were to wake up under the wheels of a speeding MTA bus, everyone who's ever watched The Hills would put down their Lean Pockets and applaud). This kind of behavior, parenthetically, is not doing mankind any favors, and by "mankind" I don't mean "humanity," I mean "dudes." Because watching Spencer's manipulative shenanigans (like, say, having two cells phones, only one of which his girlfriend is aware of) is not making America's young women sit up and say, "I have GOT to get me one of them," it is making them say, "Hmm. I don't know if I want to date anyone right now. " Ergo, I am pretty sure that when society eventually dies out and the human race is extinct, we would be able to trace its destruction back to Spencer except for how, unfortunately, we'll all be dead."
Monday, April 09, 2007
Sorry I'm so behind. Lots has been going on on school, job, and family fronts, most of it not good, even if not bad. Very exhausting. Anyway! I've been asked by Ann for my thoughts on The Bachelor. The best way I can sum it up is that I'm watching. I feel dirty for watching because I feel it has no redeeming value, but, darnit, I'm watching.
- It's one more way to procrastinate.
- She's being classy on national television.
- Maybe it will turn out to be very good for her in one way or another, although I can't help but feel this will not lead to lifelong true love because, let's face it, the odds don't favor it.
- Like I said. No redeeming value.
- She's so pretty. I like looking at her.
- I don't feel it will end well.
- Tequila cake.
- Most of these girls terrify me, and I don't want to think of Alexis as being in any way associated with them.
- She isn't getting much air-time, although this is largely due to the fact that she's not making a fool of herself.
- That girl is brilliant, hard working, gorgeous, etc.
- Why hasn't someone snapped her up?
- Shame on all the men she's met in regular life.
- Shame on her for settling on this method of finding someone.
- Her degree is already worth so much more than mine. Please do something with it. Something more directly related to it.