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Archive for July, 2006

Corona on the Farm

Could it be possible that imports are making inroads because consumers are finally realizing that mass-market American beer is terrible? 

I’m not sure.  The Salon.com article is worth reading though, as it is decently informative and also worth a smile.  The article made me think about the most recent clashes I’ve had with domestic beers and my efforts to promote their imported counterparts…

I spent Monday evening enjoying a great meal and conversation with my pseudo family. (my fast friend Sarah’s parents).  The live on a farm four miles or so out of a small German Catholic town in NW Iowa.  Over the last decade, I’ve been absorbed into their family all but to the point of being blood kin.  I love them and always feel completely free and me whenever I’m hanging out in their kitchen.  We always do a lot of b.s.ing, but we also have a lot gut level talks about life and loss and pursuing our dreams.  Anyway, whatever we happen to be talking about it always happens over a beer.  Well, the Mom usually drinks wine and me and the dad will sip a cold Bud Light. 

I’d always had a fondness for foreign beers, but once I lived in Bosnia, my taste buds developed a most fierce aversion to American beer.  So I knew going over to the farm on Monday that I was going to have to buck up and drink a Bud Light.  Or maybe even worse….a Miller Light.  AHHHH.

But surprise, surprise, I opened the fridge to find a whole shelf filled with Corona.  I squealed with glee.  They even had limes.  They laughed so hard to see me so excited.  I tried to explain and it just didn’t quite register. 

On a somewhat related note, my dad knows I don’t like American beer, so when he was buying the beer for my sister’s graduation party, he also brought home a case of some pretty good microbrew.  Of course, I got made fun of for drinking it.  I was making people taste it to prove that it was good, and none of those scoundrels admitted to liking it (I’m sure they went out the next weekend and bought some).  In my last vain attempt of getting someone on my side, I gave some to my grandma.  She said, “Oh that’s nasty.  The only thing worse is cough syrup. Whadya do with my Miller Light?”

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  • He always takes individual human beings as seriously as their shredded dignity demands, and he has the resources to carry through with his high estimate of them.
                  ~ Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

  • Let the fragments of love be reassembled in you.  Only then will you have true courage. 
                                   ~Hayden Carruth, Sitting In

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More often than not, I’d choose NPR over K-LOVE, but every once in a while I do come across a great song on Christian radio. Natalie Grant’s Held is by far the best song playing on contemporary Christian radio today. Can’t say that I’d recommend the rest of the CD, as it is a little too positive, encouraging and all things K-LOVE for my taste.

Anyway…so many things as of late have been speaking the same message to me about what it means to acknowledge pain and disappointment while at the same time acknowledging (and responding to) God’s dependable faithfulness. Last weekend’s sermon was one of those things; this song is another.

Natalie Grant - Awaken

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
Were asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it’s unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

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In addition to meeting two hilariously cute boys at church on Sunday, I got to listen to a great sermon.  Anytime I abandon my little country church to attend another local gathering, I always feel a bit guilty, but the sermon I heard on Sunday wiped away any guilt I’d been feeling at all. 

The church I chose to attend has decided to take three years to work through the entire Bible.  Cool idea, glad I wasn’t there on Leviticus day.  At any rate, this past Sunday the pastor preached from Ruth

His key point was that life is filled with Ruth 1 moments, but they will always lead to Ruth 4 legacies. 

(more…)

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I play in a co-ed slow-pitch softball league once a week.  Jokingly, we dubbed ourselves The No Goods when the season began.  Unfortunately the name has held true, and we enter last night’s game with a 2-6 record.  We’ve had so many near-wins that it’s disgusting.  Last week, we were up 7-2 going into the fifth and ended up losing 15-8.  Sadness all around.

Anyway, at one point in last night’s game, there was a runner on 2nd.  A fly got hit to short left and our third baseman and shortstop both ran to the grass line to go for it.  Well, the yahoo on 2nd takes off for third.  But instead of running straight to third, he follows our shortstop and third baseman to the grass and barks at them.  Yeah – barks.  Like woof woof.  They are distracted and the ball drops.  I was hot under the collar.

I tried to complain to the ump and he told me the guy could run where ever he wanted to.  And all I could say was, “Yeah but is he allowed to bark?”

In the end it worked out okay. We won (like 15-3 or something).  And I even had a few decent hits. 

But seriously, who barks?

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Other People’s Kids

Can I just say I LOVE other people’s kids??!!!??  Maybe I have issues, but I just get the biggest kick out of harrassing them, egging them on and feeding them major lines of bull.  Ten minutes of that kind of interaction with someone else’s kid can absolutely make my week. 

Just for the heck of it yesterday, I decided to go to a different church than I normally do.  It was one of those cool churches with chairs and powerpoint.  The service was wonderful, including some top notch preaching.  The church also had a potluck afterwards that everyone was invited to stay for…everyone that knows me knows that I pretty much live for potlucks. 

But the potluck wasn’t the best part.  Tyler and Billy were the best part.  I couldn’t find anywhere to sit, so I plopped down in an empty chair between two cute little boys.  Tyler was more or less done with his dinner, and was wriggling in his chair, dissecting oreos.  This kid had the ability to peel the white filling off the cookie. 

Billy, on the other hand, was still painstakingly trying to clean his plate.  He’d eat all his salads and just had to deal with the main course.  There was goulash, chicken, lasagna, taverns and meatballs.  Billy here decided he just wanted a bun.  No tavern meat.  Just a bun.  But then the way he ate it was hillarious.  Opening the bun, he carefully inspected the insides.  Then he put the top and bottom back together and proceeded to eat it just like a sandwhich.  I asked him what the heck he was eating, and he replied, “A sandwich.”  I said, “What is it, an air sandwich?”  He looked at me like I was a total fool and said, “Umm, no.  It’s a crumb sandwich.  See – a bun.  And crumbs in the middle.  It’s not air.”  Silly me.

Once we were finished eating our crumb sandwiches and oreo filling, we were able to sit and chat for a bit.  We talked about the usual stuff.  Where ya from?  Do you go to school?  Can you read?  Are you taking swimming lessons?  Are you old enough to drive?

Billy’s 6.  He used to live in Hawaii, but he doesn’t know why.  His dad probably wanted to live there or something.  He’s pretty old and so when you’re a dad like that you can just live anywhere.  According to Billy’s rough estimation, his dad is probably 15.  He thinks his mom is 18, but he’s not sure.  Besides, he lives in Hull, Iowa, now and that’s way better.  As far as reading goes, he only knows the little words, but that’s okay because his mom still reads to him because his little brother Cohen doesn’t know how to read either. Billy’s last week of swimming lessons are this week.  He might jump off the board, but that’s kind of deep. 

Tyler emphatically told me he is 4 1/2.  Then he told me he goes to preschool.  Do they color stuff there?  NO.  Do they have snacks?  NO  Do they have to take a nap?  NO  Billy chimed in to say Tyler doesn’t go to preschool.  Tyler’s cousin chips in that Tyler doesn’t go to preschool, but he goes to daycare sometimes.  Maybe Tyler though daycare was preschool.  Tyler didn’t really care about swimming lessions because he has a sprinkler to run through.

And the best part about that was…

He said if I put my swim trunks on first, I can come over and run through it with him on Tuesday.   

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Yesterday I brought you the first installment of Song of the Week.  Today I plan to add another weekly post focused on quotes.  I’ve collected inspirational quotes for as long as I can remember.  In junior high and high school I was notorious for pinning, posting and taping quotes to anything that would hold them.  I was all about PMA and the power of inspiration.

Over the past eight years or so though, I’ve had to face the reality that a positive mental attitude doesn’t usually make up for a lack of talent.  It doesn’t matter how inspired I am, my psuedo-sister Sarah’s always going to beat me (and pretty much everyone she ever runs against). 

Additionally, I learned that a positive mental attitude doesn’t change your circumstances.  Positive mental attitude cannot prevent someone’s world from crumbling.  Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, loss of a job or loss of face, it’s going to happen whether you’re inspired or not.  PMA might help you later on once it all sinks in, but upon the initial impact of shit hitting the fan, nothing is going to help.  It’s going to hurt, leave you scared, leave you scarred. 

At any rate, I slowly stopped collecting quotes over the past couple years, because deep down I was starting to believe it was all a crock.  And then Winter 2006 happened and I knew for sure it was all a crock.  So many things and people had failed me in life and now words had fully and completely failed me too.  It was at that point that the transition was complete.  I gave up on being inspired.  Instead, I spent my emotional energy on preparing for the other shoe to fall.  PMA stopped standing for positive mental attitude.  Pessimistic mental attitude was more like it.

But with that attitude prevailing in my head, I found myself living in a state of dread and fear.  And that’s just wrong.  I was not meant to live in constant anticipation of dissapointment. 

So it’s time to get inspired again.  I’m back on the prowl for words that encourage me to strive and affirm my reality.  I hope to share one or two quotes on the blog each week.  I’d also love to have you share any cool quotes you come upon as well, so share away!

 Here are this week’s quotes:

  • We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.  C.S. Lewis
  • May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.  Edward Abbey

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