Friday, January 15, 2010

Seattle: Day 4 & 5

I made it back from Seattle on Tuesday and have been running all over the place since getting ready for school to start back. Here are some memories from my last couple days in Seattle:

Sunday afternoon we had a bread making party at the house. The girl in the pink made french bread while Talia and I made wheat bread. After making bread, I met with my church north of Seattle. I really enjoyed being around them again and felt like I was home again in some way.

Monday night we went to Blue C Sushi at University Village. It's the only place that I've ever had sushi so I can't compare it to other restaurants, but I think the food is good.

One of my favorite items is the spicy tuna rolls.

After sushi, we went to Trophy Cupcake so I could get my red velvet cupcake fix for the trip. Also, on Monday night I went to see Avatar in 3D IMAX with part of the house's staff. The movie didn't start until 11pm so we got out at almost 2am on Tuesday. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that night since I had to leave for the airport at 4am.

I've been thinking about my week in Seattle for a couple of days. In a lot of ways, it felt very natural for me to be there. I told a couple of people that it felt like I had been on a very long vacation and that I finally made it back home. I actually slept better there than I do many nights in New Orleans even though I was on the only-slightly-comfortable pullout couch. I forgot how much I missed talking to students and hanging out on the university campus.
It leaves me wondering if New Orleans could ever become that sort of place for me. Will I ever look back fondly on my experiences here and wish that I was back again?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seattle: Day 2 & 3

My computer's wireless has been on the fritz for the last couple days, which is really frustrating in Seattle where everything relies on wireless connections. Other than that setback, Seattle has continued to be great.

On Friday, I thought I would go to REI since they are having their January clearance sale right now. Thinking that I remembered all my bus routes, I got on the 70. Once we turned onto Fairview instead of Eastlake, I realized that I had gotten on the wrong bus and I was really going downtown. So, instead of going shopping, I went to Pike Place Market.

I visited one of my favorite bookstores in Seattle, Left Bank Books. They have a very unique collection of new and used books including the only section I've seen devoted to books on anarchy. Usually, I find really good history books there.

After battling the cold and rain outside, I stayed in for a while and made cookies. Snickerdoodles are my specialty and were requested at the family meal the night before. I ended up making three batches (about 75 cookies). They lasted less than 24 hours.

On Saturday morning, I annoyed Talia out of bed so that we could go to the University Farmers Market. I used to buy milk there every week and even saw my old milkman there yesterday. Talia bought some cheese that was on sale because it was misshapen. It tasted good though.

A friend that lives a little further north drove down to Seattle before lunch so we could hang out. First, we took a walk around Greenlake. It's about a 2.5 mile walk. The sun and not-so-cold weather made the walk very enjoyable.

When we were almost done with the walk, we started looking for a restaurant to eat lunch at. We ended up at Greenlake Bar & Grill. I had sockeye salmon and a Caesar salad. It was really good.

After lunch, we went to the Seattle public library to explore a little bit. In the parking lot, we found what is probably the only McCain/Palin sticker in Seattle.

Last night, I met up with a good friend from my church in Seattle. We ate at Mongolian Grill and talked a lot. It was encouraging to catch up and bounce ideas off of her.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Seattle: Day 1

For those that don't know, I'm in Seattle for a week visiting friends and having a relaxing vacation before school starts again. I flew into Seattle Wednesday night. I was about 45 minutes late because Denver decided to have a snow storm when we landed for our layover. The good thing is I didn't have to change planes and Denver is pretty good about clearing runways. Also, the weather in Seattle is warmer than NOLA this week so I definitely hit the weather jackpot this time.

On Thursday, I got phad thai from Thai Tom's (the best Thai restaurant in Seattle as far as I'm concerned). It was my first Seattle meal because I crave this stuff when I'm not here. I discovered that one of my former students that still lives at the PD never had Thai Tom's before. Therefore, I had to document the experience.

Last night, before the PD family meal, a couple friends and I went to have bubble tea. The kind of bubble tea I buy is more like a fruit smoothie with bubbles inside. Bubble tea kind of freaks some people out because of the texture of the tapioca balls, but I think it's like sucking a gummy bear up through a straw. Fun and tasty.

This is what happens when you drink your bubble tea too fast. I think I had the longest brain freeze of my life last night.

Talia and Rachel decided to analyze the scarf that Rach made for me a couple years ago. I think they were trying to figure out how she made a certain line in the scarf. By the way, Rach, I get more compliments on that scarf than anything else I wear.

Thursday night at the PD is family meal/teach-in night. Since it's the first week of the quarter, the staff made pasta for everyone.

After the teach-in, which I'll probably write about later because it was so amazing, I got to hang out with the PD peeps. I definitely miss being able to be around these awesome college students all the time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

Preface: I started thinking about this after an Intro to Christian Missions class where we talked about the challenges of cross-cultural missions. Even though I have always lived in the United States, I have definitely lived a cross-cultural lifestyle. It has caused deep shifts in me that I am just now starting to fully understand and come to terms with. This is my attempt to explain this to others and try to comprehend it myself. The concept of "living green" is not my original creation, but it's a helpful tool at times.

I was born in the Land of Yellow. I grew up thinking yellow, talking yellow, and acting yellow. I filtered my life experiences from the perspective of yellow. Even my religious experiences fit into the mold of yellow. For the most part, I was really quite comfortable living in the Land of Yellow.

Then, one day, I moved to the Land of Blue. Because everyone else around me was blue, I learned to think blue, talk blue, and act blue. I got really good at living in the Land of Blue. In fact, it became comfortable to me and I actually kind of liked it. Besides having a yellow accent, I was accepted and thrived in the Land of Blue.

Then, I did something that people told me would be difficult, but I didn't really listen. I moved back to the Land of Yellow. I thought "I was born in the Land of Yellow, I'll be fine. Sure, it'll be weird at first, but then it will all be okay."

Upon returning, I began to notice that I wasn't yellow anymore, but I wasn't completely blue either. Instead, I am green. Now I think green, talk green, and act green. When I try to express myself to the yellow people around me, they don't seem to understand or they don't want my green opinion. Also, in the Land of Yellow, it's hard to find places where I can express the parts of my green-ness that are still closer to blue. This all adds up to me sitting frustrated on a log with Kermit the Frog saying "It's not easy being green."

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year! I brought in the new year with a couple of friends by the Riverfront in New Orleans. I hear rumor that they drop a baby (like what's inside a king cake) instead of a ball, but I didn't see that. We did see some pretty awesome fireworks shot from barges on the Mississippi River, though.

I'm not a believer in setting new year's resolutions. Really, who keeps them? I make monthly resolutions that are easier to obtain and let me out of something after a month if I don't like it. Still, it's good to have goals. Here are mine.

1. Bible intake. I realized recently that I read an alarmingly small amount of the Bible during the week and that I haven't consciously memorized a portion of it in quite a while. I'm not going to say that I'm going to read the Bible entirely through this year (because I say that every year and it never happens), but I want to read a good chunk of it.

2. Prayer. I'm a selfish pray-er. This year I want to concentrate more on genuinely praying for others.

3. Books. This one's simple. I want to read more of them. I started compiling a book list for 2010 a couple weeks ago. Right now there are about thirty books on the list. Most of the books are theological in nature with a couple of history books and a one or two novels.

4. Jogging. Seeing my sister get into jogging recently made me remember when I used to jog on occasion. I want to get back in the habit for both health and stress-relieving reasons. My sister suggested that I have a goal in mind when I start back so I looked up 5k races in New Orleans. Right now I have my sights set on the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company's "Run Forrest Run" in April. That will give me enough time to get back into shape and have some miles under my shoes.

5. Healthy eating. Since moving to New Orleans, I've gotten back into the "student diet" of whatever happens to be closest to my hand at the time I get hungry. This has got to stop! I want to concentrate on buying healthier food from more local places.

6. Ministry. One of my main frustrations since moving to the Big Easy has been my lack of intentional ministry. Between seminary (ironic) and work, it's been tough to find a place that I can commit myself for an extended amount of time. This isn't good for my soul. This year I will either join or start a ministry that puts me in contact with the people of New Orleans.

7. Pictures. It's been harder to take pictures in New Orleans. Partly, I think this is a psychological thing, but also my scope of options has been limited. Maybe in the pursuit of taking some quality pictures, I will get out more and do things I wouldn't otherwise do. I want my nieces and nephews (if my sister is reading this, notice that I speak in the plural) to see that their aunt lives a pretty amazing life, even if I don't always appreciate what God has put right in front of me.