Category Archives: Fastah. Strongah. Smahta.

An aging hipster.

 

A week or two ago, I was sitting in my idling car while my GPS was loading. I had driven into Takoma Park to ship something at the post office and was now attempting to go somewhere else, hoping there was a shortcut I didn’t know about. As the “Garmin” screen lingered on my device, I noticed a harmless looking man, mid- to late-thirties, walk up the sidewalk behind me, go out of his way to look at something on the back of the car behind me, and then sit down for a moment on a bench. He sat there for a couple of minutes, while I was still trying to get my GPS to load so I could get those directions. After several minutes, he got up to continue walking on the sidewalk that I was parked next to, only he stopped at my car and tapped on the window. The guy was wearing jeans and a hipster t-shirt with fake aviators, so while I most definitely was NOT about to roll down the window, I also wasn’t throwing my car into gear and speeding off.

Him: “You know your car is idling?”

Me: “Uh, yea, I’m in it.”

Him: “You should turn it off while you’re texting.”

Me: “Um, this is a GPS device and I’m about to leave. Thanks, though.”

Him: “You should turn the car off. You’re polluting! Just turn the car off. It’s illegal to idle in DC anyway because of the pollution.”

Me: “Okay, wow. I’m sure DC would rather me idle than ‘text’ and drive. But guess what? This isn’t DC, you’re not the cops, and I’M ABOUT TO DRIVE AWAY. Thanks, though.”

Him: “Just turn your car OFF. You’re polluting!”

Me: (exasperated) “Great! Thanks, buh-bye.”

 

So this guy basically harasses me with his concern for the Earth that he clearly values more than human relationships. He never once smiled, used tact, or tried to connect with me in a way that would endear me to him and his cause. (PETA- take note.) Instead of turning my car off, I did the mature thing and revved the engine as he walked away.

As I was reviewing the scene in my head and relating it to Dane, it dawned on me just how similar this situation and the entire Christian movement is. Instead of relating to people and connecting with individuals, Christians notoriously brow-beat people about doing this or not doing that, but they don’t take the time to get to know someone and establish a relationship before they start asking for something in return. The whole point of Christianity is for Jesus to change people for the better, not so that His “followers” can make others feel less than worthy because of their actions. Church and Christ are for the broken, not for those who think they’ve got it all figured out.

Fortunately, there are those Christians who don’t treat people this way. There are those who follow Christ’s example of acceptance and are simply vehicles for His love, so that Jesus is the only one making any judgements (ultimately, anyway). Wouldn’t it be amazing if Christians became known for being loving instead of being known for their hate?

 

*****

 

I’m currently reading “Love Wins” by Rob Bell, which has its fair share of criticism. I figure if something gets as criticized as this book has been, Rob is either doing something very wrong, or he’s doing something so right it makes the self-righteous uncomfortable. So far, it seems to be the latter. (Thanks to college, it takes me a while to get through books I read for fun due to the books I read for the BETTER life I BETTER get for that piece of paper at the end of all this.) (So basically it may take me a while to report on “Love Wins”.)

 

Much LOVE,

Lo

 


Unrequited love.

 

When I was attending community college, I needed to take a foreign language. I was fortunate to be able to have options other than Spanish, especially in the budget-depleted North Carolina. (Because there’s minimal funding, most schools cut out all but Spanish because it’s the only one that’s “necessary”. Pssh.) (Dream big, people.) My only other option was French, which suited me just fine. I, like many non-Europeans, find France and the culture fantastical and a wee bit mysterious. The language can bring a girl to her knees, the aloof, free-spirited French girl can bring a man to his, and the landscapes and coast works for just about anybody.

I took to the language fairly easily for a country bumpkin, especially since I’d taken Spanish in high school and was familiar with the fundamental structure of Romance languages. I had a fantastic teacher who was young, modern, and made French relevant to our lives. She was passionate about keeping more than just Spanish in the school system, and not just for the job security; she passionately believed in culture and the understanding that while we need to embrace what made us who we are, we could be better world citizens with the knowledge of others’ cultures and what made them who they are.

It was during her class that I fell in love with France. Seeing her pictures of the country, the coast, and Paris helped me push through the difficult technical aspects of the language and want to continue learning about the Francophone world. (And people, THE FOOD. A country that embraces coffee, chocolate, butter, and simple country cookin’ is right up my alley.) While I’m not able to speak conversational French, I can get the gist of what I’m reading (or hearing, if they go really slow). I had intended to minor in French when I came to WAU, mostly because Adventist universities require that upper division language learning be done in a country with that language as its primary tongue. A year in France? Yes, please. But due to changes in my plans for college, I decided not to go. Yet.

I still want to learn the language fluently, and I will, so I think I’ll invest in Rosetta Stone. While I have the book and other materials I initially learned with, it’s very technical and doesn’t help with normal conversations (I can only how much the pain costs so many times). Unfortunately, Rosetta Stone isn’t cheap, so I’ll be saving monies for the software. Possibly forever.

I’ve also found groups that meet to hone their French skills through www.MeetUp.com. I think I’ve found a good one in Silver Spring that I can attend that doesn’t mind uber-beginners with incredibly rusty skills. (I’ll be sure to read over some of my textbook before I go…) Attending these Meet Ups will get me off of campus, allow me to meet new people, and work on speaking French with folks who can correct and guide me as I go. They usually meet in a coffee shop, so I can feel as French as DC will allow.

 

In the meantime, I’m watching Eddie Izzard clips of his stand-up in French. So, uh, go me.

Très beau, non?

 

If you need me, I'll be here, in Nice. Probably for forever.

 

If you find yourself with a French craving, here’s a few links to some great française-themed websites:

Tartelette

The Paris Blog

La Tartine Gourmande

Francofile

 

*****

 

Au revoir, mes amis!

Lo

 

As usual, the photos are courtesy of the website Google Images found them on.


Can’t wait for Sunday!

 

In T-minus 5 days and counting, the Green Bay Packers (okay, fine. And the Pittsburgh Steelers too.) will be headed to Super Bowl 45. Which means this girl needs to find a Super Bowl party and fast. This is pretty much a national holiday for me, and if wasn’t going home the following weekend, I’d drive home just for the game. I love the tension, the drama, the yelling, and of course, the food.

 

Typically I bring a 7-layer Mexican dip when I go to such parties, and while said dip is AWESOME, I was looking for another option to liven things up. As usual, I hit up AllRecipes.com to look for some inspiration (there’s that word again…). This little gem is what I found.

 

Avocado Feta Salsa

 

Ingredients

  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado – peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. In a bowl, gently stir together tomatoes, avocados, onion, and garlic. Mix in parsley and oregano. Gently stir in olive oil and vinegar. Then stir in feta. Cover, and chill for 2 to 6 hours.

 

Doesn’t that sound great? I mean, if you don’t like avocados or feta, then maybe not. But whatever. I’m not sure that I will use oregano, since I associate that herb with Italian food. One reviewer said on the site that they used cilantro, and that sounds pretty good! If you make it, please let me know how it turns out!

 

I hope your Monday wasn’t too horrible. 🙂

 

Much love,

Lo

 

P.S.- What do you take to parties?