Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Five: Summer Reading

Woah, its been a while, huh? Well, here is a little Friday Five, brought to you by Songbird from the RevGalBlogPals:

Song Bird Writes:

Back in the day, before I went to seminary, I worked in the Children's Room at the Public Library, and every year we geared up for Summer Reading. Children would come in and record the books read over the summer, and the season included numerous special and celebratory events. As a lifelong book lover and enthusiastic summer reader, I find I still accumulate a pile of books for the summer.

This week, then, a Summer Reading Friday Five.

1) Do you think of summer as a particularly good season for reading? Why or why not?

Yes and no. As an older child (I couldn't really read on my own until 3rd grade) I loved to lay around with a book, fan positioned right in front of me, on a hot summer day. And leisurely trips to the air conditioned library were always welcome. Now, working two jobs and taking a summer class, I don't really find much time for it I'm afraid...or at least, no more time then I have the rest of the year!

2) Have you ever fallen asleep reading on the beach?

I can't say that I have. For one thing, I don't fall asleep that easily, especially not in public. Plus, if I am at the beach, I am either in the water or keeping an eye on children, as I am usually there in an official capacity as nanny or camp counselor. I did have a child fall asleep at the beach while I was reading to him though!

3) Can you recall a favorite childhood book read in the summertime?

I am one of those people who re-reads books on a regular basis, but some books are just better in one season or another. The book I re-read every summer or two is The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. This is the least favorite of the Narnia books of many I have spoken with, but I think somehow the characters resonate with me. They are all lost throughout most of the book, but in each other they find a piece of the home they have been looking for. It is good for summer because it begins in a hot country.

4) Do you have a favorite genre for light or relaxing reading?

If I need something to breeze through I like to either re-read a Tamora Pierce book (fantasy) or pick up a not too trashy romance novel, like the ones by Julie Kenner

5) What is the next book on your reading list?

Right now I am reading A Wrinkle in Time and so the next logical step would be A swiftly Tilting Planet, right? My mom kind of read these to me, but I think she must have tried it about a year to soon, because I remember it going straight over my head and not wanting to tell her I didn't get what was happening. As a more mature reader, I now see that you aren't always supposed to know what is happening, which I actually like.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I have mentioned before that I am taking a summer course for English 1110, which is College English 1. Because it is a summer course, and therefore only 8 weeks long vs. the usual 16, we have to fit a weeks worth of studying and coursework into each class. This "week" one of our assignments is to write about a time, recently, that we practiced Agape. The focus of the class is the Civil Rights Movement and we have begun reading essays written by King, Rustin and Baldwin as well as looking at quotes and background about Gandhi.

In his essay, Pilgrimage to Nonviolence, King rights that Agape is a Greek term for love. And this particular kind of love is the kind that God has for us and that we must strive to have for our "enemies." A love which is not romantic, but which takes another person's humanity into consideration. Agape is at the heart of nonviolent resistance because it is through Agape that we understand and are able to keep ourselves from violence.

So, how do I write about having agape when there is no one I can think of that I hate? Hate is a really strong word, one I try to stop myself from using. Words have to much strength to use them lightly- "starving", "lame", "retarded" - these are terms my peers use constantly, many not giving a second thought to their use of words that debilitate people's minds.

But I digress.

So, I don't feel like I have a really strong argument, but here is the story I plan to write about for my assignment:

I was going to ride the bus to school last Tuesday, and I ended up having to run for the bus, which was, surprisingly, more or less on time (very rare for that particular route). Anyway, I was paying in change, and as I began to put the money in the slot, the bus driver jerked out of his stopped position and began driving down University. Well, although I was holding on, it was unexpected and I ended up dropping a dime. The bus driver, in a rather snarky tone, said, "I guess that would have been easier of you had gotten it ready on the side walk, huh?", to which I replied (equally snarky, I must admit), "well, I would have if I had the time, but I just got there when you pulled up!"

So, I am slightly annoyed already. The bus is pretty full, as it always is, and I begin to move towards the back where there seems to be a disproportionate number of seats open. As I reach the rear side-facing seats the group sitting in back calls out to me to watch out, because someone has vomited on a seat. I move to sit in the last row of forward facing seats instead, and see that the vomit is running under the seats on the floor. But what can I do? Somebody will need to sit there so there will be enough room, and better it be me then someone who doesn't notice and gets it on their shoes. So I sit down and gingerly place my feet on either side of the vomit-stream. I can see it is already drying.

I watch as the bus pulls into the next stop where a young white woman and an elderly Muslim gentleman are waiting. As the bus stops they both gesture to one another to board first. As they stand in that awkward yet pleasant moment when these sorts of oddities of respect occur, the bus driver yells out to them, "well, one of you get on already!" in an exasperated tone. Exasperation after a second of waiting, really? I pay close attention to the interaction between the bus driver and these new riders, and observe what I expect to see from him, based on my limited observance of his personality. He does not tell them of the vomit in the back.

In fact, for the entire 20 min. ride, he does not tell a single person about it. The only thing that saves anyone from sitting in it are the people near by who let them know. This is a public health concern! a small child could easily sit there or put there hand in it, and we all know where a child's hand ends up eventually! This is why the driver is supposed to take care of this as soon as possible!

I think of calling and reporting him. It would not be hard - I have my cell phone out, I see that the bus number is 502 and I have metro transit on speed-dial, I could call and report him while I am riding! Oh the joys of modern convenience!

But wait, who is this man? Why is he so unkind, and why is he neglecting to do his job? Does he have a family? My first thought is for his hypothetical children who may not have enough to eat or be able to go to the doctor...but I know that is unlikely. Bus drivers make good wages here, especially veteran ones, which this man appears to be.

Still, it has made me think...what else could be going on in this man's life right now that he is so distracted that his sense of common decency has escaped him, as well as his understanding of his job? Maybe his mother just died or his wife left him. Maybe he really wants go to Pride, but can't find the courage to come out to his friends (just kidding!)

I don't know. All I know is that he was disrespectful to me and to the other riders on that bus. I had an opportunity to report it. He would have been reprimanded. If I had been upset enough, he would have been forced to call and apologize (yeah, that's right, I live in Minnesota).

I had no reason to like this man, and I don't.

But by putting my phone away, I practiced Agape, the act of loving someone who does not show you any love in return.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Here Comes Summer and a New Blog

It is hot and muggy today so my brother and I went to see Iron Man (more on this in a moment) thinking to perhaps escape the heat, as well as celebrate his birthday (Happy Birthday, Bro!) Well, one out of two ain't bad...the AC in the the theater was out! Oh well.

Now, on to the New Blog business. This summer I plan on watching a lot of movies and, to keep my skills up, I will be blogging about many of them on my new blog, FilmAching.

So head on over to read what the term FilmAching means as well as read a post about my thoughts on Iron Man.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Auntieknickers (henceforth known to my readers and I as Mommyknickers) has tagged me for a meme. Pretty exciting as this never happens to me!

Rules: The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions/statements about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago:
I had just finished 7th grade, my first year of Bel Canto Voices and was I believe begining rehersals for the children's chorus in Tosca with the MN Opera.

Five things on today's "to do" list:
finish watching my movies before 8pm
return said videos
go to work and finish the stuff I forgot to do yesterday (oops)
go to hang with Sonshinein and friends at the Bedlam

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire:
pay off my student loans as well as my parents, sister's and brother's
buy a house
buy a hybrid vehicle (or an electric one)
invest in films to make more money to make my own films

Three bad habits:
computer games
not doing my homework when I should
not putting away clean clothes right away

Five places I've lived:
Minneapolis - Soutwest
New York - Hayden Hall Hotel
New York - 63rd and West End Ave
Minneapolis - Powderhorn
Minneapolis - Steavens Square Park

Five jobs I've had:
singer for funerals
that's it!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

More Pictures From My Trip

Well, here's what you've all been waiting for: pictures of the trailer that Cordelia and Leslie (and Asha, Peanut and Deacon) are now residing in! (something tells me it is probably not this neat anymore, as moving day was yesterday!)

Here is an outside view. As you can see, there is a pop out extension which is where the spacious dinning room table is. In this picture is also a sneak peek at some of the potted garden that Leslie has planted around the lot (more on that to come)

Here is a shot of the happy couple on their sofa. As you can see it fits two "comfortably" (Cordelia is not a fan of the sofa which is a bit firm for her taste) To the right you can see a bit of the kitchen counter and to the left there is the dining space.

Here is the bedroom. The bed is a full size, though not quite as long as a regular full size. Above the bed is the wooden plaque Leslie had made at six flags. Now, I think the picture makes it look way tackier then it is. In person it is just the right amount of kitch+love!

And back to that garden...
Leslie found this abelskiver pan (before she met Cordelia) thinking it was for making cornbread muffins in! It was already in the shape you see here, and she has plans to use it as a planter for succulents. How cute!! And imagine Cordelia's surprise when she came to visit the trailer for the first time, stepped out of the car and saw an abelskiver pan on the ground! Can we say Kismet boys and girls?