Why God Created Mouthwash

Jan 28, 2006

Onion bagel with garlic cream cheese.


Harry Potter

Jan 26, 2006

I recently read all six of the Harry Potter books. And I loved them!

This news surprised my sister, but after a little explanation, she understood where I was coming from. So, please allow me to share.

These books are the story of a boy no one loved, who was lonely and seemingly forgotten. Then, one day, he learns he's special, and that his life was spared by sacrificial love. Over the years, he faces obstacles, both mundane and extraordinary. He is pursued by an evil being who wants to destroy him. And the only thing that separates him from this evil person is the sacrificial love that has marked his life, figuratively and literally.

Throughout the novels, my mind kept wandering to Ephesians 6:12.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

And that is just what Harry Potter does, and encourages us to do. I can hardly wait for Book 7, so I can see how the story ends.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Jan 25, 2006

So, a few posts ago, I mentioned a review of this novel, which intrigued me. I promptly put it on my reading list and finally picked it up this weekend.

45 pages into it, and I've decided to close the book. I'm going to skip this one. Why, you ask?

Because it's tedious and dull. It moves slowly - and not in a good way. This novel has bored me, and in doing so, it doesn't catch my imagination or inspire interesting contemplation. I like books that make me think, that interrupt my dreams. This one does neither.

The review was better written.

I Got Tagged!

Jan 24, 2006

Lucy tagged me today, and I'm as giddy as a school girl. Because you know what this means? It means someone reads me! Yippee!

So here goes:

Four Jobs I've Had
1) Account Executive - technology sales to education customers. I love this job and the company I work for.
2) Business Development Manger - more sales. Loved the job but learned to hate the company.
3) Mathematics Tutor - for three years during college. Had too much fun doing this. And now you know what a nerd I really am.
4) Walmart Cashier - not much fun. But I met my mother-in-law here. It was an arranged marriage. That's another story for another day. snicker

Four Movies I Watch Over and Over
1) Pride & Prejudice (the A&E mini-series) - not strictly a movie, but I'm counting it.
2) Pirates of the Caribbean - the year it came out on DVD, we gave it to half a dozen people for Christmas. Love it.
3) The Princess Bride - almost as quotable as Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
4) My Fair Lady - this movie inspired me in high school. I watch it whenever I need a pick-me-up and whenever it's on TV.

Four Three Places I've Lived
1) Austin, TX - moved here with Handsome after college.
2) Brownwood, TX - college living. Don't care to ever go back.
3) Conroe, TX - lived in the same house until I left for college, across the street from my grandparents, at the end of a dirt road.

Four TV Shows I Watch
1) Friends - I got stuck on this one in college. My girlfriends are bad influences.
2) Seinfeld - I was able to get Handsome addicted to this one. I am a bad influence. hehehe
3) Star Trek reruns - I like TNG & Voyager best, but I'll watch any of them. Again with the nerdy behavior.
4) Millennium (on DVD) - this show only lasted three seasons, but it haunts me. Handsome is a bad influence!

Four Books I Read
1) Pride & Prejudice - see also Movies I Watch Over and Over
2) Lord of the Rings - more evidence that I am a nerd.
3) Harry Potter - this is a new addiction, but these are such engrossing, entertaining stories. Can't wait for #7.
4) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - all of them. Crazy and funny.

Four Places I've Been on Vacation
1) Paris, France (twice) - I want to go back!
2) South Padre Island, Texas (many times) - Handsome introduced me to this beautiful Texas beach, and we try to get back every year.
3) San Francisco, California - We have family here, and Handsome has taken me here every year for my birthday.
4) Grand Cayman Island - I could swim in those waters forever.

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1) Still Alive Momma - go sis!
2) Testosterhome
3) Lucy's Island
4) K's Cafe

Four Favorite Foods
1) Chocolate anything
2) Pan-seared sea scallops in white wine butter sauce
3) Homemade salsa with Tia Rosa extra thin corn chips
4) French fries

Four Places I'd Like To Be Right Now
1) With Handsome (I'm on a business trip)
2) With Handsome at the beach
3) With Handsome in Paris
4) With Handsome on a cruise

Four Boggers I'm Tagging
I can't complete this one, because all my favorites already got tagged. Again with the nerdiness!

Not Funny

Jan 17, 2006

There hasn't been much laughter in my life the past few weeks, and I realize that this dearth of humor is coloring the way I look at the world. It's like gray-colored glasses, making the world lifeless and dull to my eyes.

But last night at the grocery store, I was in line behind a family with four boys - all under age 5 or 6. And they were acting like boys, much to their mother's chagrine. So I made faces at them. And I laughed.

Here's what's really sad. A few minutes worth of comedy wasn't enough to lift the fog. And that's not funny.

It Was Only a Matter of Time

Jan 11, 2006

iPod-compatible Levis

My Mind Wanders

Jan 9, 2006

It's not that it wanders really. It's more like chasing thoughts...down a rat hole.

For example, today, I was reading a review of Marilynne Robinson's novel, Gilead. One review says, "Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life." Did you get that?

The often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life. Consider that for a moment. Most of us live ordinary lives, all-the-while craving the extraordinary lives of saints and celebrities. But what of that unbearable beauty? Those moments that transcend time and seem to last an eternity.

In college, a friend expressed it well. "I'm having wonderful memories of this moment already." And we were just sitting on a rock looking at a lake with stars above it. It was ordinary. And unbearably beautiful.

I must confess that I want to live an extraordinary life - to be accomplished, and perhaps renown, to leave a mark on this world, to be someone important, to have prestige, stature, and reputation. I have always been driven, and I learned recently not to apologize for that aspect of my personality. I'm not the only person who has this temperament - perhaps you feel it too.

And it feels cliche to say I want to avoid being driven by that which is merely temporal, and instead drive toward the eternal. It's not just cliche - it's the right thing to say, as a Christian. It feels artificial to say such a thing. (I appreciate Paul's take on this topic.) My mind is at war with my soul. Still, I want to dwell on the unbearable beauty of ordinary life.

Like sunrise at the beach. My husband's breathing as he sleeps. Sunlight streaming through freshly cleaned windows. The cat sleeping in that sun. Toothpaste just before it hits your teeth in the morning. The sound and scent of brewing coffee. Leaves blowing in spring winds. Washing dishes after a feast. My hand in his as he prays.

Memoirs of a Geisha

Jan 7, 2006

I saw the movie tonight. My advice to you is: skip the movie; read the book.

It wasn't bad really. It was better than mediocre, but it wasn't truly great. The scenery was beautiful, as were the actors. And in truth, I did enjoy it - for the most part. But, they naturally had to make some changes to shorten the story.

It was those changes that distracted me the most. At one point, I actually said, "well that never happened," louder than I expected. The nice ladies sitting next to me agreed; some things simply were not consistent with the novel. There was no fire in the okiya, Sayuri never seduced an American, and the ending wasn't nearly so bittersweet.

This serves as a reminder that movies "based upon the book" never live up to one's imagination.

Rhetoric & Composition

Jan 6, 2006

In high school, I had the same English teacher, Mrs. Bernstein, for three years. Only it wasn't listed as an English class; it was "Rhetoric & Composition." A three-year college prep course that taught me more about writing and critical thinking than anything in my university education.

In Mrs. Bernstein's class, I read more and wrote more than at any other time in my life. I still use the tools she taught when I read and especially when I write. I think she was even a little disappointed that I studied mathematics in college instead of literature or journalism.

Well, I've never gotten over what she taught me. So much so, that I recently had a dream that I can directly attribute to what I learned from her.

You want to know the dream? Sure you do. I've recently read Pride & Prejudice, Ahab's Wife, and Memoirs of a Geisha. In my dream, I was doing a critical analysis, comparing and contrasting the themes of these three novels - focusing on the main characters' tragic flaws, their pursuit of the romantic ideal, and how they overcame the obstacles to their happiness.

It was all very logical and compelling. I woke up this morning with a new understanding of what attracted me to these three works.

Thank you, Mrs. Sandy Bernstein!

Grilling for the Heart

Jan 2, 2006

Tonight we're grilling chicken. Last night we grilled steak - and it was good. I have a secret marinade. It's really not so special and could easily be repeated, but I like to call it my secret recipe. That way, people complement me and ask for the recipe. I like complements. So, I keep holding out.

I'm going to keep holding out, so don't go getting your hopes up.

Anyway, in addition to grilling chicken, I've got gizzards on the grill. Yes, gizzards. Don't worry, they're not for me - I wouldn't eat them if you payed me. Well, maybe if the price was right.

The first time I met my father-in-law, we were visiting San Francisco - me, for the first time. Lots of firsts on that trip. Handsome, Dad, and I took a road trip down to Monterey, and as we started the trip south, we popped into a Safeway (might have been a Kroger, but I'm pretty sure it was Safeway.) I picked up a bag of M&M's and they guys bought a pound of fried gizzards. Yuck is right!

Being the gentlemen that they are, they offered me a bite. Being polite (and trying to make a good impression), I tried one. And I hated it. Really hated it. So, why am I grilling gizzards, you ask? Because, on that trip Handsome and Dad ate every last one - even the half that I rejected. And I learned that day, food is the key to the man's heart.

Happy New Year, Ya'll!

Jan 1, 2006

Welcome to 2006. May you and yours have the best year ever.