Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Writer's Almanac

Here's another thing I like about NPR.  Every morning, just about 9:00, Garrison Keiler reads a poem and tells me what happened today in the lives of writers current and past.  There's the link as well as today's poem.  I like it.


The Good Nights

by Joseph Mills

On the good nights
when the bottle's empty
we always want 
just a little more,
half a glass,
a few sips,
a taste.
We know 
this desire
can be dangerous 
to pursue, 
that it can make 
mornings difficult,
so usually we
brush our teeth
let the dog in,
lock the doors,
but sometimes,
even as we say
We really should 
get ready for bed,
instead of loading 
the dishwasher
we will search
for the corkscrew,
all the while
shaking our heads
in wonder 
at this willingness
to ignore the clocks
and the fact we have
to work tomorrow,
this irresponsibility,
this evidence 
even after all these years
of the unquenchable desire
for each other's company.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clearly Crystal

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="604" caption="Gina & Crystal"]Gina & Crystal[/caption]

I had a dicken's of a time getting a picture of Crystal for this post.  Don't google her, it's weird. 

Brief History:

I met Crystal just a few short years ago.  Maybe just 2.  She and I are both from Norfolk, though I had come to Lincoln already by the time she set foot on Nebraska soil.  We got to know each other through leading worship at Grace Chapel and through what is called "Bible Study", though I don't think it's an accurate name for our Wednesday night gatherings.

What I like about YOU!

Crystal is an amazingly talented worship leader, and what especially makes her so is that she can screw up in front of a crowd, acknowledge it, and win them over with her humanity.  There just isn't an ounce of visible arrogance in her.  She will talk to anybody and make them feel like there the only one around.

Crystal is full of pep and enthusiasm.  She makes you want to turn your frown upside down and giggle.  And she's witty!  Cracks me right up!  Very few people can bring out my playful side, but she is one of them.  It may be genetic.

My favorite side of Crystal is the thoughtful introspective side.  She makes me want to read the Bible, and frankly, that is not something I have done often lately.  I am attracted to her relationship with her Savior.  The waters run deep, and I admire her for persevering through the struggles and lonely places that have produced much fruit.  She is great at asking questions that help me to work out my faith, so that what I believe is reflected in what I do.

She is gracious and always believes the best about me.  I can't help but love her!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Brief History:

I met Gina at a Bible Study I was leading in the summer of 2005.  She and her husband Scott had just moved to Lincoln from Texas.  I felt like I connected with her like a bumble bee and and an open can of Coke.  We quickly found out we had quite a bit in common, and I desperately hoped she would like me as much as I liked her.  Gina is an amazing friend.

What I like about YOU!

Sometimes I think I get way more out of our friendship than Gina does.  She makes me feel like me.  What I mean by that, is that it is so okay to be myself around Gina, because I know she enjoys who I am.  I can talk dogs, kayaking, coffee, beer, spiritual failings/struggles, and she's right there with me.  She's safe.  She likes all the things I talk about too, and it makes me feel more at home in my own skin.

Gina has one of the best senses of humor I know.  She's the sort of friend that you want all of your friends to know because she is an absolute blast to hang out with.  She's one I want to be at every party I'm at.  If she wasn't married to such an amazing man, I'd want to have her as a roommate.

She is one whom I have entrusted the deep parts of my heart, where all the pain is.  And she can handle it.  She lets me be there.  She reciprocates as well, letting me in to her heart as well.  It just makes me like her all the more.  She's direct, and honest and makes me want to love God and people.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What I've seen in the last 17 hours

Joie and I made the road trip trek from Lincoln to Atlanta.  We left Wednesday around 2 p.m. and pulled into Shalimar Drive (my brother's street in Atlanta) around 7 a.m. Nebraska time.  On the way we saw: cars, Covenant Seminary, the Arch in St. Louis, Covenant College in Chattanooga, TN, Nashville, TN, McDonald's, KENTUCKY!!! (my first time).

We stared at my new TomTom GPS, which felt like a video game, for most of the trip.

Here's what we listened to.  Each time I road trip I like to make a special mix.  I really like Track 02:)  There is also a song on there (either track 10 or 12 I think) that starts with "You're pretty good-lookin' for a girl".  Love it!

Track 02
I'm Alright                       Jo Dee Messina                    Bye Bye
1234                               Feist                                    The Reminder
When the Saints             Sara Groves                          Tell Me What You Know
Falling Slowly                 Glen Hansard & Mark√©ta Irglov√° Once
Least Complicated          Indigo Girls                          1200 Curfews 
Don't Panic                     Coldplay                               Garden State
Track 10
Track 12
Track 01
Viva la Vida                   Coldplay                                Viva la Vida
Track 06
If I Had A Boat                Eddie From Ohio                  Portable EFO Show(Disc 2)
Sweet Lorraine               Patty Griffin                          Living With Ghosts
The Day                         Don & Lori Chaffer & Hey Ruth Old Stuff
High Noon                     Andrew Peterson                  Love & Thunder

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Joie, Jojo, Jojg

[caption id="attachment_128" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Joie & Foxy Lady"]Joie & Foxy Lady[/caption]



Brief History: I met Joie in 2003 upon returning from Zambia.  She was to be my roommate, and we would share a closet.  After out other two roommates married (not each other), we moved down the street into an apartment, in which we shared a room and a closet.  Eight months or so later, we moved again, this time into a house I bought.  We each had our own room and own closet.  As of June 1st of this year, Joie and I no longer are roommates, though after 5 years of sharing life and space, I still can't help but refer to her as my roommate.

What I like about YOU!

Joie is one of the most passionate people I know.  She is passionate in both the ups and downs of her life.  She is passionate about people, dance, church, reading, making a great meal, children (who are people too), traveling, art.  I don't think anything in the world is blah to her.  She sees the world, she experiences it.  I think it's what feeds her passion.  Joie is amazing at relationships with people, though she might tell you otherwise, let me inform you that she is gif-ted at getting people to open up their hearts so that you can really get a glimpse of them.  She's done it with me.  Jojg is one of the most compassionate and gracious people I know.  She rarely jumps to conclusions about someone's circumstances.  At the same time, she doesn't let you off of the hook when what you need is to be challenged about an attitude, action, excuse, hard-heartedness.  I like to be right, and I think I always am, but Joie points out the limited reach of my conclusions.  It humbles me in the exact way I need to be humbled.

Joie is generous.  She truly lays down her life for others.  I like to choose the path of comfort and laziness, but Joie will be there, go out of her way, lose sleep, whatever it takes for someone she cares about.

Joie is not afraid to be silly, just for the fun of it.  She sings, she dances, she would live a musical if she could.  She helps me to slow down and enjoy the moment, have fun, not worry so much about trying so hard.

Joie makes me feel really known and really loved.  She is an outstanding friend.

5:25 a.m. I stepped in dog poo

This morning, in the dark, on the front door rug, when I let Cash out to go pottie.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mrs. Pennock I presume?


Brief History:  We first met while I was home on a 3 week furlough from Zambia.  She came over when I cooked Zambian food.  Lou thought we'd really connect.  Upon returning home permanently from Zambia she became my roommate.  However, I didn't recall ever having met her before.  We were roommates for just shy of 2 years when she married her husband Andy and moved to North Carolina.

What I like about YOU!

Charity is the only person to whom I ever have given up the mother hen power.  What I mean by that is when I live with a group of gals, I am the mother hen.  I make sure that all of the household logistics are taken care of.  Cleaning, shopping, bills, etc.  Charity was the mother hen when we lived together.  It was so refreshing.  I trusted her completely, and became so reliant upon her, I rarely knew my own schedule.  I would ask her what I was doing next week.  She didn't know either, but because of her role in my life, I assumed she would and disregarded all time organizational skills that should have been mine.  It was lovely.

Charity is smart.  Really smart.  She makes you think about things you would never think about, or at least things I would never think about.  Such as intentionally living in a small space and optimizing it.  I think she even knows the escape and defense plan if Lincoln, NE is ever attacked by Zombies.  She really gets what's on the news too, she sees the bigger picture of the world and the people in it.  She just knows how to think.

One of my absolute favorite things about Charity is her ability to ask really great questions.  She asks great questions in such a way that you aren't hesitant to give an answer.  You know she really wants to know.  And her questions get was down into the core of your heart.  There are many memories around our kitchen table, hashing out life, and answering Charity's questions.  I value her take on my world, because she helps me understand it.  I often wish she were in Lincoln, because I don't always know the questions, and it always seemed to come so easily to her.

Charity introduced me to the pursuit of great wine.  That's all I'll say on that one.

I like that Charity can watch TV alone and laugh out loud just as loud as she would if there were someone else in the room.




Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We call her RT

RebeccaRebecca.  Her name starts with R, so I thought it would be appropriate for her to go next.

Brief History: I met Rebecca in 2003 after returning from Zambia.  She and her husband lived right next door to my roommates and I on 8th Street.  There was way more history there than I realized.  She quickly morphed from neighbor to friend.  For several years now she and her family have been apart of sharing dinner with me and some other folks once a week.  When I'm with her I can't help but be real.

What I like about YOU!

I like Rebecca's gitter-done mentality.  She seizes the opportunity to complete.  I have few friends who are like me in this way, so I feel a special connection or maybe I just feel more normal and that's relieving.

I love her hospitality.  When I go to her place to eat, she brings it all.  Homemade everything, uber yummy.  We also shares my love for hotdogs.

Rebecca understands what it means to lay down her life for others.  She chases after 4-year-old Livia every day, often to the point of exhaustion, but she keeps plugging on.  On top of that, she will always, always be there is you need her.  She'll be there for you even if it just makes things easier.

Speaking of her 4-year-old, I love her honesty about the challenges of parenting (and marriage).  I feel like I always get real life when I'm with Rebecca.  She doesn't downplay how stinkin' hard it is to be an extroverted stay-at-home-mom with a spirited child that is living out her sinful nature.  I love how she openly communicates what she needs.  Such as needing to go out with the girls, away from her child, and drink margaritas.

I mentioned that Rebecca is extroverted.  Well, let me tell you that her extroversion is delightful.  If she hears us chatting on the front porch she well pop her head around the screen door and either inform us that she's putting on her shoes and will be right over, or berates us about being out there and not calling her.  I love it.

Rebecca has the non-emergency police hotline memorized.  I think if they still existed, Rebecca's would be a McGruff House.