Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009


I am counting down the days until I get to experience this glory. (17 more) I realized today that this place has been a constant in my life, amidst all the moves and new cities and towns. Except for last summer, I have made it to this cabin in the woods every summer. I know it well - the smell of the couch, the cracks in the walls, the path to the river, the creeks in the floor. If I ever do marry (sorry, my roommate is in the final month of wedding planning, so it's on my mind), I'd like to be married here - a place I know and love.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Reading

I just finished reading "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver.  It's about the life of the Congo from pre-independence through independence and on through the corrupt government of Mobutu, as seen through the eyes of four daughters and wife of an American evangelical missionary.  I highly recommend it, not only for its plot, but it's intense recollection of history. Here are a few passages that really stood out to me:

"'Be kind to yourself,' he says softly in my ear, and I ask him, How is that possible?  I rock back and forth on my chair like a baby, craving so many impossible things: justice, forgiveness, redemption.  I crave to stop bearing all the wounds of this place on my own narrow body.  But I also want to be a person who stays, who goes on feeling anguish where anguish is due.  I want to belong somewhere, damn it.  To scrub the hundred years' war off this white skin till there's nothing left and I can walk out among my neighbors wearing raw sinew and bone, like they do."
--Leah, daughter

"I can think of no honorable answer.  Why must some of us deliberate between brands of toothpaste, while others deliberate between damp dirt and bone dust to quiet the fire of an empty stomach lining?  There is nothing about the United States I can really explain to this child of another world."
--Adah, daughter

"To live is to be marked.  To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.  In perfect stillness, frankly, I've only found sorrow."
--Orleanna, mother

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Everyone probably thinks their dad is the cutest dad in the world, but I am willing to put money on the fact that mine definitely is. 
He's got brains too. 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I got the job :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Today, as I was driving down Lee St., I saw a seemingly homeless man looking through a garbage bin. He took out a 40 oz beer bottle, which still had some beer in it. He unscrewed the cap and started to pour the remaining beer out in a little grassy area. So, I thought maybe he was collecting plastic and glass bottles to cash in for money. But I was wrong. He then placed the empty glass bottle (sans cap) in the recycling bin seated next to the garbage bin.

Very cool.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bangin Nachos: It's What's For Dinner

My sister gave me a cookbook for graduation entitled, "Help! My Apartment Has A Kitchen."  This is exactly how I feel about the entire subject, so it was perfect.  I've technically only made one thing from it, but I have eaten it multiple times and it never gets old, so I wanted to share.  If I can do it, you can too!

What you need:
18-20 tortilla chips
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 8-ounce can refried beans
scallion (also called a green onion)
1 small ripe avocado or 1/2 large ripe avocado (optional)
1-2 tablespoons sliced black olives (optional)
Sour cream

What you do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For easy clean-up cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place tortilla chips on baking sheet and cover them with spoonfuls of refried beans (you don't need to use the entire 8 oz can). 
Wash the scallion.  Cut off root tip and top 2 inches of green end and discard them.  Cut the remaining white and green parts into 1/4-inch pieces and scatter them onto the tortilla chips.
Peel and cut the avocado into 1/4-inch squares and sprinkle them onto the chips.
Sprinkle black olive slices onto chips.
Cover the entire concoction with cheese and bake for 5 minutes.
Don't forget to pile spoonfuls of salsa and sour cream on top before consuming/serving.

Seriously, do this. In fact I think I am going to right now! I also put some cooked chicken on there if I have any and substitute fresh tomatoes for the salsa.  I've gotten it down to an art in which I prepare the nachos while my oven is preheating - it's olympic.

Let me know if you all eat this, what your reactions are, and if you have any ideas for improvements!

Monday, June 8, 2009


It's 9.26pm by my watch and I have wasted yet another day filled with unproductivity and exercise.  To balance my couch-bound day (and to make myself look/feel a little less lazy) I did go for a run and participated in African dance at the Center-City Park.  It had live drums, which is always necessary for this type of dance because the drum beats are the conductor.  It was pretty great - but I'm sure I looked nuts.  I tried some of the moves in front of my mirror when I got home and, sure enough, I looked way out of my element.  It was fun nonetheless.  Next week is yoga - ya'll should come!

This concept of humanity has been on my mind since Friday night when I watched a film with my friend about the topic of human trafficking.  It was a theatrical film in that it consisted of scripts, actors, and sets, but the plot was realistic and harshly (yet perhaps accurately) depicted the stories of human traffickers and those who are trafficked.  One of the women in the film, who had been sold into a brothel by a man she was dating, said something that has stuck with me.  She talked about how her and the other girls had seen their humanity ripped away from them.  They had experienced pure humiliation, oppression, and suppression and had violent acts committed against them.  These things demoralized them and deteriorated their feeling of being human.  Without humanity, what were they? Just objects.

So often this is what happens in the midst of oppression.  The demoralizing manipulation of the powerful on those without control.  And it's just so disgusting that someone would take away the one thing that makes her human, the one quality which separates her from the rest of the world, just to make money, to have power, to feel in control.  The human trafficking industry is so big - it's very alarming.  There are so many people involved, transnationally, which make it continue day in and day out.  How do they not see their sisters, mothers, or daughters in the faces of those that they violate?  Because, after all, these women and girls are not machines, but are humans with the ability to hope, aspire, and dream.