Friday, February 29, 2008

The Advantage of Closing Doors

Boredom and Adolescence, or, trying to figure out adulthood - part 1


As I am going through my Human Development class on Adolescence, I am constantly reminded of how much it seems like I am still an adolescent. Here are some characteristics of adolescence:
- Identity vs. role confusion
- emotional highs and lows
- imaginary audience (feeling on stage, like everyone is looking at you)
- personal fable (sense of uniqueness)
- beginning use of hypothetical, abstract thinking

I am also (thanks to Mary McCampbell for reminding me that Henri Nouwen books rock) reading Intimacy by Henri Nouwen, because, well, 'tis the season for figuring it out. According to Erikson's stages of psychosocial development (here) I am in Young Adulthood (19-34) where I am dealing with Intimacy vs. Isolation.

(Small detour before I get to my point) In the first section of Nouwen's book, he has stages as well, by which he tracks human progress from "magic to faith" in relation to God. In the beginning we look at God as magic, as adults we have faith.

In Nouwen's 'Young Adult' stage, he talks about college and developing the ability to question.

"Only he who feels safe in this world can take risks, only he who has a basic trust in the value of life is free to ask many questions without feeling threatened. Trust creates the possibility of a religion of search, which makes a commitment possible without certainty. By the basic trust in the meaning of life we are able to live with a hypothesis, without the need of absolute certainty...In college we can often discover, with pain and frustration that a mature religious man is very close to the agnostic."

If I took anything from my semester at L'Abri, it was something like that. The idea that I owe it to myself as a human being to be a 'searching believer,' as Nouwen puts it. I need to be searching for the truth, and be able to let go of ideas that are proven wrong.

(back to the main point, now) Boredom. In the 'Young Adult' stage, Nouwen talks about choice and questioning, but in 'The adult man' stage he primarily talks about boredom. What? Is boredom really the characterizing quality of adult life? Nouwen's answer to this boredom is transcendence through a "mature, religious sentiment [that] fulfills a creative function. Because it has a unifying power, it brings together the many isolated realities of life and casts them into one meaningful whole." Aha.

Now I can't remember why I was comparing adolescence and boredom, maybe I'll come back later and remember and revise this thing. In the mean time, I think they're pretty interesting ideas to think about.

Great Quote by S/FJ


"Yet what reads as musical innovation in 2008 is blue-ribbon revivalism, a high-production-value version of the songbook logic driving current Broadway musicals. The sounds of yesteryear! Sung by today’s young people! (Who, in this case, enjoy ketamine and margaritas.) Winehouse’s music is reassuring to those old enough to remember the original and novel to those too young to know. And her music refers to rappers while simultaneously avoiding actual rapping and sounding just like the music that rappers first sampled decades ago. So many demographics united through the magic of consumption!"
Sasha Frere-Jones
(New Yorker Article)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Sometimes I can't put into words how much I deeply enjoy Veritas, and more specifically, Ryan Wampler. Today we had our 'Coffee and Theology' meeting, which was on the division between the Catholic and Protestant churches. A lady from the Newman Center (our on-campus Catholic student ministry) was there, which was very very helpful and wonderful.

The discussion was short and informational and good. But something struck me during the discussion. I think the Catholic church is the least postmodern organization in existence today. It's big, it's universal, it's authoritarian, it doesn't really support questioning authority, it's hierarchical, it supports homogeneity in doctrine, the list goes on and on.

They support the group over the individual, even when the group is wrong. They trust that the organization will eventually correct itself over time, but fidelity is more important. This is radical in our age.

Perhaps their complete un-postmodernness is what makes them attractive. And perhaps it

LOL Bible!!1 OMG

So you know,, and the other versions of LOL catz? well, they translated the Bible. Find it here.

Here's John 3:16:
So liek teh Ceiling Cat lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u me only kitteh and ifs u beleevs in him u wont evr diez no moar, k?'

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Hey kids. This is Julie.

So Dubai. [Bear with me here...] A few months ago I had a nightmare that my mom was driving a flying conversion van through the crazy-tall buildings of Dubai and we almost died a bunch of times and it was really scary. We were driving up through the floors of this one spiral-y hotel (yes, you could drive up it, and yes, sometimes the van could fly, and sometimes it could only drive) and the building was so tall it started to sway really bad. But what was scarier was that the Dubai military was after us because apparently they don't allow Americans to fly their vans in Dubai. Our van then started to fall through the floors of the hotel down to the bottom floor, which was submerged (aka the foundation was built under water because Dubai sucks like that in my dream). Luckily though, the flying van somehow allowed us to escape, and as we flew away over the burning city (it was all being destroyed by something), I vowed I would NEVER GO BACK TO THAT WRETCHED PLACE.

Then a couple days ago, Marta sent me this link:

At first glance, you think THIS IS GOING TO BE THE GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH. But let's remember my dream people! Dubai is obviously trying to champion nature and/or God, because who else would try to build the biggest and best of everything in the whole world that seems to defy the laws of physics? Crazy people, that's who. People who think they are invincible and have trillions of dollars to spare. Mark my words, as soon as all that crap is built, there is going to be a giant tsunami or something else horrendous that destroys all of this. And millions of people are gonna die. NOT GOOD.

Also, as you marvel at these feats of engineering, remember that these buildings are being constructed by slaves. Read the statistic at the end. Dubai pays its migrant workers disgustingly low wages and then charges them more than they make for rent, food, etc, so they will forever be indebted and won't be able to leave. Look it up... try searching "Dubai" on

Sorry this turned into a lecture. Basically, don't go to Dubai! Tsunami! Slavery!

"Beauty Issue," part 1 of 1 million

Flipping through my roommate's Vogue from September 2007, I was wondering if the point of Vogue was for designers to simply put their best looks in advertisement form for 95% of the magazine and for Vogue to insert 10 articles or so and call it a wrap. And then I found an article.

And it reminded me that I have a document (which is how I keep diaries on certain issues) on my laptop called "Beauty Issue." In it, I keep various thoughts and quotes about beauty. Beauty confuses the crap out of me. It kind always has since puberty. That is why this post is part 1 of 1 million, because I doubt I will ever figure it out. But I wanted to post the article from Vogue anyway, because I think it has something to say about my generation of ladies and our struggle with beauty. Sorry for the typos, I had to type the thing out because I guess copyright people don't like for their articles to be posted on the internet for free. Well, this is just an excerpt:

Vogue Sept. 2007 “The Sloppy Syndrome: Is it a form of self-expression or an issue of self-esteem” by Jean Hanff Korelitz

I decided to ask Julia Temple, a psychiatrist in Princeton, New Jersey, why so many reasonable women balk at the prospect of looking as if they’ve made some effort to look like grown-ups. ‘I see women who may not even realize they’re avoiding looking their best,’ she told me. ‘They feel they don’t deserve to look very good. Women who have been abused in childhood can be self-neglected in adulthood.’ When I explained that I had something less defensible in mind, she was familiar with that, too. ‘Avoiding the risk of getting hurt is very common. They look good enough, but if they stretch themselves it might not come off right.’

Sandra Cohen, a Manhattan therapist, stressed that the casual-style trend of our culture at large is as much the culprit as our wounded psyches. ‘Twenty years ago, you couldn’t just turn up in anything at an event. You never saw jeans at the Metropolitan Opera, and now you do.’ Then again, she argues, dressing down can have a converse socioeconomic message. Even if people from disadvantaged backgrounds can afford only one good outfit, they never hesitate to put it on when the occasion calls for it. Wealthy women, on the other hand, can afford – financially and psychologically – to dress as if spending money on clothes were simply a matter of preference. ‘You have to be secure to wear torn jeans on Fifth Avenue,’ says Cohen. ‘Someone who worries that people might wonder if she has money is not going to dress that way.’

…equates looking too ‘done’ with ‘looking like Nancy Reagan.’ But Staple insists on seeing the bright side of falling short. She may ask friends to cut her hair so it won’t constitute a legitimate coif, but it’s actually part of a covert self-empowerment scheme. ‘Looking a little “off”,’ she discloses, ‘makes me feel bratty and in charge.’

Here’s my version of an explanation (and an extension of Temple’s risk-avoidance take). Remember that scene in A Beautiful Mind when John Nash has his aha moment in a bar and the seeds of game theory are sown? The scenario he uses to illustrate his idea involves a gorgeous blonde and her less lovely friends who enter a room full of attentive men. The men approach the friends but not the blonde, leaving her miffed as they swing their new dates onto the dance floor. Why haven’t they tried for the ultimate prize? Because they fear they’ll fail. If they aim lower, on the other hand, not only will success be easier to come by but no one will ever know that they’ve settled.

Those flip-flops, in other words, may mean: Do I look like I care that much? But the truth is, I do care."

Ok - one thing about the A Beautiful Mind story - I think it's fascinating and true. And this phenomenon of 'shooting low' is a very postmodern one, I think. One thing that struck me at the L'Abri conference was when Hans Bayer was giving his talk about the spiritual needs of contemporary culture, he said that the current generation has nothing that they would die for. And why should they? You can excuse everything away today, literally. Everything is kind of relative and extremism is looked down upon. To say it in a different way, I think someone of my generation would look at the story in A Beautiful Mind and say 'what? what's wrong with going for the friends? are you saying that beauty is only on the outside? maybe in their culture they like girls who are a little more mousey, who are you to judge that?' But that's not the point of the story, the guys went for second best, because they all knew what was best and didn't go for it.

I have to think a lot more about all of this.

OH! One more thing: maybe this really does all relate to postmodernism! In postmodern architecture, instead of really striving for 'beauty' in the classical sense, postmodern architects try to bring out the playfulness of their art, by mixing different elements and eras - pastiche. While the result isn't exactly beautiful, it is charming and approachable. Which would you prefer? Beauty or open-mindedness?

Yeah Nader

Although I will probably not vote for the guy, you gotta respect him for all that he has done and for sticking it to the man this long. Way to go, Nader. And he's running for the Green party again. There a good NPR article on Nader's campaign for president in 2008 and how it wasn't his fault that Bush won in 2004.

Wikipedia article on Ralph Nader (here).

True/False is here!

(stolen from

This is the first year I am able to attend (some of) the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, and I'm really really excited. Columbia explodes with movie-goers, and it's a total cultural community event. And the Rag Tag is getting a new building! (Vox article) Along with the new Rag Tag there are 10 other venues that will be showing True/False films (list here). Very very exciting. For your viewing (and deciding - for you Columbians) pleasure, here are links to all of the films being shown this leap year weekend (list online here):

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oscars: Animated Shorts

Watching the Oscars Sunday night was one of the most pleasurable experiences I can remember of watching the Oscars. Maybe because John Stewart was hosting (and I have a total brain-crush on him) and maybe because I tried to watch most of the movies nominated for Best Picture this year (definitely made it more interesting). Regardless, there are always a lot of categories I don't care about or have never heard of any of the films nominated. One of them is Animated Shorts. I will probably never see these things in their entirety, but here are some really great-looking trailers for two of the nominees. These are really cool:

'I Met the Walrus'

'Even Pigeons Go to Heaven'

(Buzz Sugar Article about the 2008 Oscar Nominees for Best Animated Short)

Department of Good Ideas

What a great idea! 'Said the Gramophone,' a mp3 blog, started a contest for people to make videos for their favorite songs. It's great because (a) music videos usually suck and are usually of the artist themselves and (b) it's great for the artist to get a response from the fan, it makes it more of a relationship that way. From my limited knowledge of cool music, I only recognized Devendra Banhart's song from the finalists (here). But it's really beautiful and incredibly short and lovely (50 sec.) Here it is:

Devendra Banhart - Fireflys from ericp on Vimeo.



So Phyllis from 'the Office' is from St. Louis and St. Louis Magazine had her do a playlist (here). It's really cute. Here is is:

Here I Go Again, White Snake Phyllis Lapin Vance's top 5 picks
Home, Michael Ball
It's Raining Men, The Weather Girls
Sex Bomb, Tom Jones
I've Got You Under My Skin
Kiss, Tom Jones Phyllis Smith's top 5 picks
Anything Goes, Cole Porter
Love Me Like You Dance, Creed Bratton
Shine, COV - Church With a Vision CD
Someone To Watch Over Me, Michael Ball


Vogue, October 1, 1968

All when I was growing up my Mom would tell me that she used to live with a Vogue cover model and that her name was Windsor Elliot. I've never been able to find the cover until last night. However, one day at the house, they got mail for Virginia McDonald and found out that that was her real name. Later on she married Os Guinness and became Ginny Guinness, and I think they lived at Swiss L'Abri for a little while. Pretty cool.

Monday, February 25, 2008

For anyone who's ever had a crush...

The lyrics to this song are hilarious and wonderful. This is also my first guest post.

LA Dance for american apparel


I had heard that had a feature where you could type in all ingredients you have in your house and it would run a search pulling up all the recipes you could make. I have yet to find it on the site, but wonderful St. Louis Magazine's blog had a link to SuperCook, which does the same thing - except searches multiple recipe sites. Awesome.

And in other food news, check out TasteSpotting - completely beautiful food photos.

Post Comment

Discussion/History of communication, all the way up to Facebook wall posts.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Why on earth was Paris Hilton partying in St. Louis? (perez hilton)

completely unrelated: the other day I was wondering and asked myself whether i would trade the internet for my relationship with God and it took me a second to decide. scary.

related to 'would you rathers': would you rather take a bite out of a homeless man or go without sex or marriage for your whole life?

Friday, February 22, 2008

More L'Abri:

continuing on with David Richter's talk on music sharing/piracy:
- Wilco made a movie: 'I am Trying to Break Your Heart' - I want to see it.
- (my point) that we should "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" when it comes to the music industry.
- But things are changing. The current file copyright laws are doomed to fail.
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's story: NPR Music article

Dick Keyes: "The Breadth of God's Lordship"
- Paul (or someone) uses the same word for us being compelled to have sex with our spouses as we are compelled to pay taxes.
- Martin Luther said this about his son: "...running about befouling the corners of the room, but I would not trade him for all the kingdoms of Europe" (I couldn't find the quote online - but it's wonderful anyways)
- ingredients for a worldview: what exists, what is wrong, what is the solution

Denis Haack: "Humor (or something)"
very cool poster from Charlie Chaplin's movie 'City Lights'

- I want to see this: 'Being There', about a guy who just watches TV all of his life and then goes into the world and says pithy things he's heard on TV and everyone hails him as a wise leader. Peter Sellers!

Travis Scott: "Tattoos"
- tattoos can be Ebenezers of Ink, a reminder of the Lord's provision during different times of our lives.
- "your body is a temple - decorate!"
- Sociologist Michael O'Hanlan about the Wahgi: the decorated appearance is to reveal rather than conceal (more on this later)

Rudolfo Souza: "Brazillian Culture"
- this guy is trying to start a L'Abri in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I want to go.
- the Assemblies of God church has been extremely successful in Brazil, and the reason is seen to be that the theology of the charismatic church is very similar to the existing Brazilian culture. The Assemblies of God church puts a lot of emphasis on Christ's return. Brazilian culture is quite passive and a lot of hope is put into revolutions and leaders to come in and change everything. Fascinating.
- this very cool picture:

Andrew Fellows: "Living in God's Gift Economy"
- The Choral Anthems by Stanford, Andrew was given this and it rocks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

L'Abri wrap up:

Instead of giving an outline for each talk I went to (10 total), I'm going to do it "what I'm learning in class" style and give the bullet points for the stuff that I thought was mind-blowing, confusing, or had to look up later. Oh, and most of these points are what I got from the talks, not necessarily what they were trying to put across (I had to put in the postmodern subjective justification on this, sorry)

Jerram Barrs: "Common Grace: the general kindness of God"
- Gerard Manley Hopkins: "God's Grandeur"
- common grace makes people even more inexcusable in their suppression of the truth about God. (whoa.)
- human failure speaks to God's glory by contrast (interesting)

Richard Winter: "Sex: Agony and Ecstasy"
- sex in the beginning is like learning to dance, you step all over each others toes at first
- men and women: Vive la Différence!
- Lisa McMinn: "Sexuality and Holy Longing: embracing intimacy in a broken world"
- Proverbs 6:26 -
"for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life." - we can treat each other like objects when having sex.

Hans Bayer: "Spirituality in Contemporary Culture"
- definition of culture: what men and women value and deem 'good.' (fascinating)
- I would like to do a study on the 'solutions' in movies, because I think this speaks to the culture at that time, what is accepted as a resolution to a problem?
- the contemporary man has no cause to sacrifice his life for.
- postmodern community is built around actions, not talk. talk leads to division, while action leads to a utopian society of progress and diversity.
- there is transcendence through self-exposure in Facebook. Once it's all out there I will be able to figure it out. It's also navel-gazing (I love that term).

David Richter: "Modern Piracy: the ethics of file sharing"
- there is a whole anti-DRM (digital rights management) movement out there (Defective by Design site)
- the government and record companies are trying to get colleges to police file sharing: CNET news "Colleges must police copyright, or else" - which is extremely expensive and just not their job.
- Spiral Frog - a new type of music website that requires a monthly renewal fee? and covers some of the cost for the music by ads and customer surveys.
- THEY'RE THINKING ABOUT BUILDING A NEW INTERNET??? I'm still trying to figure this one out, but the NSF (national science foundation) - who invented the original internet (yeah, yours) for scientists to share info - are thinking about building a new internet with more safety regulations. Is it 1984 already? some articles: (BBC "Internet's future in 2020 debated", Wired "Old Hands Give Internet2 a Helping Hand", NSF - GENI, more to come...) It's pathetic that I haven't heard about this - all the articles I'm finding are from like 2005.
- Wired and Jeff Tweedy from the talk "Music is not a loaf of bread"

...more to come, must head off to Chipotle.

Okie Noodling


Okie Noodling: you put your hand down for a 50 lb. + catfish to chomp down on and hope that you can lift the thing back up into a boat. God bless America.

Wikipedia: Noodling

Documentary: 'Okie Noodling'

Thanks to David Morris, my future boss, for this.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ode to Rochester, MN:

A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

James Wright

Trailers Galore

I love love love movie trailers. They're so perfect and compact. Here's a wonderful page on Apple's trailer site giving all of the trailers for the Academy Awards this weekend:

Apple - Movie Trailers - 80th Academy Awards

Senior Year Tour:

Places I need to go/things I need to do before I graduate:

1. CJ's Hot Wings on Broadway (the dang place opens at 4pm - inconvenient)
2. G&D Pizza (apparently quite cheap and amazing)
3. Generic Nightclub (very very shady - must check it out)
4. Tonic (see Generic)
5. The Wardrobe (thrift store)
6. Universal Thrifts on Old 63
7. TP someone on East Campus be continued.

*the pic is from when we froze Ben Schirmer's underoos and hung them on a line in his front yard my sophomore year.

'No Country for Old Men'

(link) - the creeper himself

Coming back from the L'Abri conference, we ran into a blizzard going through Iowa and had to stay the night in Mason City, Iowa. For about two months I considered going to Iowa State University to get a masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. If this weekend did anything for me, it convinced me that I made the right decision. Iowa is like a lame version of Minnesota (with its northern beauty and 10,000 lakes) and Missouri (honestly, the roads and scenery drastically improved once we crossed the state line). It's a barren wasteland (thanks to Patrick for the literary reference mid-car ride) and the state patrolmen are jerks.

In the Best Western in Mason City, the two cars from Veritas who were stranded there rented a $10 pay-per-view movie and we voted for 'No Country for Old Men.' It was awesome. And, because we were all feeling intellectual and analytical from L'Abri, we had a terrific discussion afterwards. Sorry for y'all who haven't seen it, but I will discuss the plot line.

We decided that Anton (the villain killer creepy dude) personified evil, Tommy Lee Jones's character (the sheriff) was 'good', and Josh Brolin (who is actually Barbara Streisand's STEP SON, not natural son - "Bad uterus, bad!"), who played Llewellyn, was the everyman- somewhere in the middle. There were some really good points made, and the discussion made the movie a lot richer for me.

However, I think's commentary on the movie and soundtrack (here) sheds some helpful light:

"No Country is a different matter. Tommy Lee Jones' Sheriff Tom Bell starts off declaring, "The crime you see now, it's hard to take its measure." By the end of the story he's given up trying to measure evil because he's been defeated by it, professionally and spiritually. Bell is a new kind of character for the Coens, a once-strong man whose pain we understand and care about. We feel for him—even though nearly everything in the movie, including the soundtrack, is radically underplayed. (This being a Coen movie, the violence is not underplayed.)"

I forgot that the Coen bros. directed 'Fargo' - I think the movies look very similar.

I need to rent Magnolia.

More from the article on 'No Country for Old Men':
"The last thing we hear before the credits is the wind and the ticking of a clock. It's not just about death. It's the desert that is eternal and doesn't care about all the human messes played out on its surface, and the wind that will outlast us all."..."The Coens, in their often quirky and passionless way, still have always seemed to be searching for something eternal, and surely in No Country for Old Men they get closer to eternity, in both its human and inhuman dimensions, than ever."

whoa. I am so glad there are people out there who know more about this stuff than I do.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cool chairs at UT-Austin:

* I apologize to the people in this picture - I don't know you. I got this pic from my friend Julie, and it's simply meant to show how cool the chairs are.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

There Will Be Blood

I saw 'There Will Be Blood' with Awesome last week, and it was the first movie in a long time that, when I walked out, I had no idea what I just saw. It was gorgeous and difficult, but I had no idea what it said. This, from David Denby in the New Yorker (article), is really helpful:

"Anderson [the diretor] has set up a kind of allegory of American development in which two overwhelming forces—entrepreneurial capitalism [Daniel Day Lewis' character] and evangelism [the kid from 'Little Miss Sunshine's character] —both operate on the border of fraudulence; together, they will build Southern California, though the two men representing them are so belligerent that they fall into combat."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I'm glad Jamie Bell is all grown up now so I can stop feeling creepy about thinking the kid from Billy Elliot was really cute.

#9: Draw a constellation from someone's freckles

(Brittany Shoot)

To Do: Learning to Love You More

A wonderful book/website/project/to do list by the indie queen Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher.

Learning to Love You More

Here are some examples:

10. Make a flier of your day.

9. Draw a constellation from someone's freckles.

8. Curate an artist's retrospective in a public place.

7. Recreate 3 minutes of a Fresh Air interview.

6. Make a poster of shadows.

5. Recreate an object from someone's past.

4. Start a lecture series.

3. Make a documentary video about a small child.

2. Make a neighborhood field recording.

1. Make a child's outfit in an adult size.

...and all on the website, people send in their projects in response to the lists. It's the most wonderful thing I've seen in months.

Place to go when I move back to St. Louis: Treasure Aisles

Treasure Aisles Antique Mall is in Maplewood (like 15-20 min. away from me) and is the place to shop, apparently. Here's an article ("Hunting Treasure") from my beloved St. Louis Magazine about a now-painter who paid his Wash U. tuition by finding "undervalued" goods there.

"So what do the locals love? “What’s called in the trade ‘brown furniture’—1920s reproduction, pseudo-Sheraton or Hepplewhite or Georgian, nice wood but factory-made, the proportions a little off,” he says promptly. Shame curls my entrails. I love brown furniture.

“That and crazy folk-art stuff,” he adds."


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A massive amount of people from my college youth group - Veritas - are going to the L'Abri Conference in Rochester, Minnesota (my mom's home town!) this weekend. We're packing my tiny Volvo S40 up with two large men and three normal-sized girls. It'll be a tight fit. Here are the lectures I'm excited about going to (full list):

"How John Cusack Ruined My Life: How Movies Shape Our Expected Relationships" by David Richter

"Grace at the Table: Lessons from Little Miss Sunshine and Other Unlikely Characters" by Margie Haack

"Between the Bible and Brain Scans: Understanding Depression" by Richard Winter

"Men and Women: Can We Be Friends?" by Sue Morrell

"Modern Day Piracy and the Ethics of File Sharing" by David Richter

"Flowers, Beauty and Truth" by Jane Winter (I love her, she's the kind of woman I want to be)

"Hospitality: A Renewwed Vision for Counter-cultural Christianity in our Times" by Andrew Fellows (He is a worker at English L'Abri and a great speaker)

"The Shapes of our cities and how we live in them" by Alen Jensen

"Sex: Agony and Ecstasy" by Richard Winter

"Alienation, Utopias and the Cry for the Whole Gospel in the Brazilian Culture" by Rodolfo Souza (this would be awesome - I'm very excited about the L'Abri in Brazil. In my Global Perspectives and Realities class, we each have to pick a sojourn country to study and to make a travel proposal for and mine is Brazil).

This'll be my third year at the conference, and I'm pretty stoked. The hotel that the conference is at - the Kahler Grand - has a shady pool at the top of the building that no one ever goes in except me and Allie and a bunch of 11 year old boys there for a basketball tournament. Whatever.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pink Hair

Ever since my brothers and Kara took me to see Romeo & Juliet in the theater when I was 11, I have wanted to have a boyfriend that would dye his hair pink. Jamie Kennedy (yeah, the comedian) plays one of the Montague boys, Sampson. It looks so cool. This is the only picture I could find online, sorry it's tiny.

Sometimes it's just the right time to watch Romeo & Juliet.

The Man's tryin to shut me down

Apparently Hasbro and Mattel, the creators of Scrabble, are angry at the Facebook application, Scrabulous, saying that it's infringing on their intellectual property. Which it is. But, come on. Hasbro, please just cut a deal with the two Indian guys from Calcutta who created the app and keep Scrabulous up. Honestly, it probably accounts for 50% of the times I log onto Facebook.

Here's an article on about it: "Hasbro, Mattel fight Facebook scrabbler Scrabulous"

Speaking of fbook, I received a friend request from the assistant pastor of my church in St. Louis, Chesterfield Pres. He led a sunday School class on it yesterday. I like my church.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Evolutionary Culture + Creationism

The definition of culture from my Biological Anthropology (human evolution) class: Behavioral aspects of human adaptation, including technology, traditions, language, religion, marriage patterns, and social roles. Culture is a set of learned behaviors transmitted from one generation to the next by nonbiological (i.e., nongenetic) means.

Ew, how unromantic.

"Proponents of creation science are called 'creationists' because they explain the existence of the universe as the result of a sudden creation event, directed by an omnipotent, supernatural being, occurring over the source of six 24-hour days as described in the book of Genesis. The premise of creation science is that the biblical account of the earth's origins and the Noah flood can be supported by scientific evidence.
Creationists have insisted that what they used to call 'creation science' and now call 'intelligent design' (ID) is as much a scientific endeavor as is evolution, and that there's scientific evidence to support creationist views. They've argued that in the interest of fairness, a balanced view should be offered: If evolution is taught as science., then creationism should also be taught as science. Sounds fair, doesn't it? But 'creation science' or ID isn't science at all, for the simple reason that creationists insist that their view is absolute and infallible. Therefore, creationism isn't a hypothesis that can be tested, nor is it amenable to falsification. And, because hypothesis testing is the basis of all science, creationism, by its very nature, cannot be considered science." Introduction to Physical Anthropology

In my Biology class at my Christian high school, I had learned that Evolution was theory and not science for the same reason - it could not be tested because evolution and transmutation (the change of one species to another) happened over such long periods of time. It seems kind of silly to dismiss either point of view on such simple grounds.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


An ode to my sociology class last semester, where this dish was brought (is that correct grammar?) up at least once a class: (drumroll) The Turducken! It's a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. And here's how you make it: "a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, with oyster dressing inside the chicken, andouille dressing between the chicken and the duck, and cornbread dressing between the duck and the turkey. Wow."

Recipe (here)

Things I've Learned in Class

From my Adolescent development class: The latin root word for 'puberty' is 'pubescere' which means 'to grow hairy'...hahaha. I have a hard time not giggling in that class. Which is why I work with high schoolers.

From my Environmental Biology class, I learned that the Columbia power plant is using the methane from human waste to give us power. Awesome. Here's the article.

From the same class, a quote from Aldo Leopold "One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise."

- That quote could have easily been by C.S. Lewis about Christianity. It is so interesting that human beings react the same way to knowledge - be it environmental or theological. Do you act on what you know? Do you confront others about it?

more to come...

total humility and absolute arrogance

This is a quote that I've been thinking about lately, on and off. It comes from a article about the crazy Tom Cruise videos online (links here).

"The main thrill here is voyeuristic, but I'm trying to dignify the viewing experience by imagining that it offers are a few small lessons of social science, clues to the combination of total humility and absolute arrogance that can characterize all types of true believers."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Do the Right Thing

Mizzou shows free movies in auditoriums sometimes. Tonight was 'Do the Right Thing' by Spike Lee. There were 6 people there, including Julie, Awesome, and I. Man, that was a good film. I felt like the whole movie was filled with dichotomies. There is violence and non-violence. There is Black and everyone else. There is love and hate. And you have to do the right thing. One scene in particular struck me. Here ya go:

Recent (semi-accidental) purchase:

Yes, they are, in fact, leather chaps.
They were semi-accidentally bought because I hardly ever win auctions on eBay. I bought two (2) pairs of normal (?) black leather pants with a similar mindset this past week. Well, I will be well-equipped for something.

Redeeming my time in Memorial Union

The inscription around the Memorial Union clock reads 'In sapientia ambulate tempus redimentes' ('Walk in the ways of wisdom, redeeming the time')

St. Louis Magazine article "Original Gangster" about St. Louis hairstylist Donnal Chung:

"What he doesn’t say is that if you don’t trust him or respect his artistry, he’ll either announce that the karma’s not right and refuse to cut your hair or forge ahead, testing you. He’s not afraid of what you’ll think—and if he senses that your fear is going to get in the way of what he thinks best, watch out. ...

"Men in this society, Donnal continues, “take medicine, spray, anything to hold onto their hair as long as they can. So my job sometimes is charge them $100 for haircut and buy them razor and tell the wife to help them shave their head. It’s not about $100, it’s about who has guts to tell you to shave your head.”...

“I realize I don’t have to be in New York to be a great artist. St. Louis people just don’t know the art. So I have a heavy-duty job here. I won’t say Midwesterners are stupid, but they are used to letting somebody decide for them—and then telling that person what to do! It’s not the people’s fault. Artists try to earn the money easy to please the people. The designer gets paid to do the job but doesn’t do it; the client pays the designer to do the job but doesn’t let him do it. And if I address this problem, I am the number-one Hair Nazi!...

“Midwest women have a tremendous problem: They love to copy people,” he adds. “Very dangerous. Because that is the first failure for the confidence. St. Louis people do not like to taste differences, they do not like challenges a lot, because they are very comfortable. The reality, the environment, doesn’t pressure them. It’s very family-oriented—so very easy to lose who they are.

“I have a very hard time to make people trust me here,” he adds. The old craze for highlights, for example: “A highlight is all bleach. Bleach is not a color. A lot of white-skinned clients have a different tone of white skin. But Midwesterners don’t accept any kind of tone because their eyes only understand one color: bleach!”

“My job,” he says abruptly, “is very mean. First time people walk in the door, I’m watching. Personality, background, job, earrings, watch, material of the hair, height, body shape, the way they talk, the attitude—if the nails perfect, the shoes shining, they sit very straight, you know who they are. They cannot lie to you, because if they didn’t like something they would not wear it. So I hate myself sometimes, because I have to have very strong judgment. But the judgment comes from who they are.”

And who is he? “I love that I have a very confident attitude all the time,” he confides. “I was born in a country where no matter how intelligent you are, you are just a little piece of grass in the yard.” And his greatest weakness? “I would love to find out my greatest weakness,” he says—sincerely. He’s silent for a moment. “I never ever in my life have been loved,” he says. “Only my grandma. If I can live all over again, I’d rather have love than anything.”

"Original Gangster" - St. Louis Magazine By Jeannette Cooperman

Comfort Food, STL style

Gosh, I love St. Louis magazine. If any of you St. Louisans are wondering what you're getting for Christmas, that's it.

Here's their great Nigella Lawson-esque review of comfort food restaurants in the St. Louis area. Wonderful.

As soon as Claire gets back from Tanzania (July4!) I'm taking her to all of the ones listed for Mac'n'Cheese.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chia report #2

The cilantro is beating out the parsley, chives, and basil by a landslide. They're fast little suckers, too. My roomie Rachel commented on how strange it is that they are growing down.

What I'm Cooking, pt. 7: Potato and Leek Soup

Stage 1

Stage 2

Ever since I took typing in 8th grade I have wanted to make something with a leek. In typing class we practiced typing the word 'leek' for a couple days. I think the exercise was to get our fingers off of the main row and experiment with reaching up to the top row on the keyboard.

All that to say, I have been dreaming of this day for 8 and 1/2 years. Whoa. Anyways, I got Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child for Christmas. I first got interested in the book after flipping through Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen in the bookstore one day. The book was actually adapted from a blog by Julie Powell (here).

I could say a lot about what is driving me towards the culinary arts, but I haven't got it all quite figured out yet, so stay tuned. But I have found Mastering the Art to be utterly delightful. Julia and her two girlfriends are wonderful and very funny. They love food dearly and think that everyone should be making and eating things that taste good. So, naturally, they made a book that made French cooking accessible.

The potato and leek soup recipe is one of the first real recipes in Mastering the Art and is described as follows: "Leek and potato soup smells good, tastes good, and is simplicity itself to make." Done and done. Sign me up. The recipe is to literally put chopped up leeks and potatoes into some water with some salt. Simmer for awhile. Add cream before eating. Eat.

And it tastes like a dream within a dream. Absolutely perfect for the crappy weather yesterday. Thank you, St. Julia.

Here's Julie Powell of Julie and Julie blog fame making the same dish: (here)

Soren Bach on Cool Hunter

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fbook SIP

Ellie, a friend of mine who is in highschool, is doing her capstone (Senior Integration Project) on Facebook ethics. So interesting. We talked about it tonight and I got a little over-excited talking about Michael Bugeja's Interpersonal Divide, the Veritas talk on it, and Amusing Ourselves to Death. If she had email/facebook (haha) I would send her this postsecret:

In general, I have mixed feelings about Postsecret. I feel like most of the things people say on their postcards aren't that genuinely revealing. I mean, I don't really learn more about the human race by reading them. I mostly get depressed and grossed out. They're a lot of flame, but no heat.

Billary* at Mizzou

With little less than 36 hours notice, Bill Clinton came rolling into Columbia to campaign for his lady. He oddly came to our (fantastic) rec center instead of a more reasonable place like the Mizzou Arena, or even the Hearnes Center. Whatev. I mostly went because, well, it's Bill Clinton. I've always heard of his magnetism and phenomenal public speaking. Also, he was President, and that should count for something.

And he was good. He spoke for a whopping 40 minutes. He started out talking about the Mizzou basketball season, made a comment about Mizzou beating Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, and kept on using "country" cliches like "three bricks shy of a full load" and referred to our state as"Missourah," which, my friend Jenna pointed out, only politicians and 80-year-old men from Mexico, MO, say.

Another funny line came from the dude standing behind us. When Clinton was talking about the economy and Bush's proposed plan for economic stimulus, he was explaining how most of the money went to the top 10%. The guy behind us said " you."

He talked about the environment, jobs, health care, the mortgage crisis, automated medical records, preventative care, Iraq, foreign policy, and increasing college scholarships. He made jokes about being politically correct, about being president, and I left liking him.

Later that night I was at a going-away party for my friend John, who is being deployed to Iraq. John's one of the most knowledge-hungry guys my age I know. He's absolutely fabulous. He told me that he's been hearing that Bill campaigning for Hillary has actually been hurting her more than helping (Truthdig article). In the middle of Bill Clinton's speech, a phone rang behind me. The guy picked it up and said, "We're at the Bill Clinton rally..."

*thanks to Ailsa for that.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sondre Lerche in real life

I don't know too much about this Sondre Lerche character, but the 'Dan in Real Life' soundtrack is almost exclusively him, and it's amazing. Hooray for $1 movies at Mizzou!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tax Help

As this is my first year filing taxes, I'm trying to figure out the system. Here are two good informational sites:

Mahalo - How to do your taxes

MSN - How to organize your receipts

What vegetables are in season?

What’s In Season? Winter

December, January, February

Belgian Endive
Bok Choy
Brussels Sprouts
Red Currents
Sweet Potatoes
Winter Squash

courtesy Fruits and Veggies More Matters