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Archive for January, 2010

The snow

The snow has kept us inside for most of the last two days. I’ve been trying to write a paper about Martin Luther, but to no avail it seems. Instead, I’ve been distracting myself by reading a lot of poetry and drinking many hot beverages. My favorite part of all this is how the earth seems to simply fall asleep–although some creatures seem to be determined to awake the snoozing ground.

A Poem:

Winter Garden by Zbigniew Herbert

Eyelids fell like leaves the tenderness of glances crumbled
the stifled throats of springs still trembled under the earth
finally the bird’s voice fell silent the last crevice in a rock
and down amid the lowest plants unrest froze like a lizard

plumb lines of trees on the horizon’s scales
a slanting ray fell on an earth come to a halt
The window is shut The winter garden froze
Eyes are teary little clouds form at the mouth

–what shepherd led the trees off Who played
to reconcile everything hand branch and skies
a phorminx sure as a dead woman’s shoulders
carried by a northern Orpheus

a patter of angelic feet over our heads
snow falls like wings shedding scales
quietness is a perfect line which brings
earth level with the constellation Libra

buds of glances for winter orchards–may love not wound us
a clutch of hair for cruel destiny–may it burn in the pure air

Awake!

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Lots of things

Lots of things have taken place since I last posted. Dave had a birthday, we had a mouse infestation, our heating went out for two days,we took a trip to Boston, I finally got a new rug for the living room, my Dad came for a quick visit, and we had/are having a snow storm. Enjoy these pics from (some of) the aforementioned events.

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“I am interested in exploring theology’s role in confronting the strangeness of the everyday. Such an approach attends as much to the silence that defines us, to our discursive gaps, as to our explicit words and reasoned justifications. The Christian is one whose ear has been trained to hear the strained inflections of the the so-called minority voice. She is one who has learned to become attentive to the little lies we tell ourselves every day, our subtle strategies of self-legitimation. And so she is skilled at identifying the many ways in which our key theological claims work against themselves. At one time, before Christians became uncomfortable with the idea of sin, before being Christian became confused with being happy, this sort of task was understood to be included as part of Christian grammar of sin. But such grammar has become as strange and foreign as the figure of the theologian itself, not least in those places in which the theologian is said to be at home” -Chris Huebner, from A Precarious Peace: Yoderian Explorations on Theology, Knowledge, and Identity

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A good sign.

We had a wonderful time over the Christmas break with friends and family in Texas. We spent about two and a half weeks there relaxing with family, catching up with friends, and doing some of the Austin-y things that we miss. This included an unsuccessful Christmas Eve trip to Chuy’s who in true Christmas benevolence had allowed all of their employees to go home early and spend time with their families. It was a true Scrooge moment as, simultaneously, I read that note on their door and my dreams of Creamy Jalapeño dip were shattered. It was only 3pm for goodness sake, people don’t need THAT much family time.

The evening before we got up to leave Durham on our 6am flight we were blessed with a large (by our account) blanket of snow on the ground. It was all fun and games until we needed to drive somewhere to run an errand for a friend and ended up slipping and sliding all over the road. We gave up our quest at the bottom of our street and turned around. Milton, however, had the time of his life. He’d never seen snow before and I was curious to see how he would react. I took him outside in the backyard and he spent about a minute sniffing at the mysterious white powder and then took off on a sprint. He spent the next 15 minutes running full length laps up and down the yard.

Our second encounter with frozen weather during this Christmas season was not so pleasant. It caused us to spend a good sixteen hours traveling on our way home to North Carolina. For some ungodly reason we were already due to fly from Austin to Detroit, where we would begrudgingly spend five hours of our lives before getting on another plane back to Durham. After that, we boarded the plane and waited to take off. Then we waited some more. And a little bit more. Then the pilot came over the speaker informing us that they needed to defrost the plane so that it wouldn’t split in half in mid air. Undoubtedly that had us feeling optimistic and ready to go. However, after another 15 minutes we still hadn’t even moved. When we finally did move from the gate to the runway we stopped again. This time, as we were informed on the speaker, the entire airport had shut down due to freezing rain on the runways…. right. WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN FOR THOSE OF US SITTING ON THE RUNWAY? I kept my question to myself and awaited further information from the oh so helpful crew. After an hour and a half of sitting on the runway we were finally told that we had the green light to take off. However, the plane would have to be defrosted once again as it had frozen in the time we had been waiting to take off. I could have killed someone at that point. Instead, I stuck my nose in my vampire novel and tried to escape into Bella’s world of vampires and werewolves.

Needless to say it was a long day, and we were dog-tired by the time we got home. But it was home. Our house, our dog, our bed. That was the original purpose of this post, to share with you that I was so glad that it felt like home coming back here. I didn’t know how it would be after only one semester, but I must say that we were both ready to return. We had a wonderful time in Austin and Houston, but at the end of it we were excited to come back here and see our friends, and our dog, and to get back into the swing of our daily lives. That was a very good sign to me.

Speaking of our daily lives… I have been very much enjoying my new nanny gig. I look after two little boys named Ethan (3 years) and Luke (9 months). They are such good kids and make me laugh every day. I’ve also been enjoying the tutoring I’ve been doing in Chapel Hill with elementary kids. It turns out 10 year-olds are very different to toddlers, who knew?

This week we are very excited about our upcoming trip to Boston. Stay tuned!

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24.

No, not the show. I celebrated my 24th birthday yesterday and had a lovely time doing so. The festivities officially began the night before when at one minute past midnight Dave surprised me with the camera I’ve been lusting after for a long while – the Canon Rebel Xsi. It’s amazingly wonderful and so is he. I pretty much jumped up and down like a child. After that I had no choice but to stay up for a while taking photos! So it was quite a late night. I spent the next morning reading the entire manual and taking more photos! I’m 85 percent sure I’m damaging Milton’s eyesight with the flash, but he’s just such a good model. Much to Dave’s dismay I made him French toast for when he got up. Apparently I’m not supposed to do that on MY birthday. But what’s a girl to do when she’s got 5 eggs to use up? ; )

We had a quiet morning , ate lunch together, and then ventured out in the cold weather to the mall to get Dave a new cell phone (after Milton chewed up his old one the night before). This is somewhat of a milestone as Dave has had said cell phone pretty much since he was 7. He dropped me off at Urban Outfitters (whereupon I spent a leftover gift card from Christmas) and headed to the Sprint store. When he picked me up he informed me that he now had a cell phone made of corn; Sprints ‘green’ model. It is both ‘green’ and literally green. And corn? Who knew?

We then went for a coffee at my favorite coffee shop in town; Franchesca’s. I love it, but I must say that every time I go in there I am now reminded of the weeks I spent tirelessly studying for the GRE (which I did surprisingly well on!) After that we went home and got ready for our dinner reservation at Magnolia. I had flounder and Dave had bass and it was delicious! So delicious in fact that when the waitress came to get our plates she took one look at mine and said “I guess the flounder was a good choice! I’ll have to show your plate to the chef – he loves to see a plate like this!” At first I felt like a pig. And then I remembered that I’m British, and British folk are born and bred to clean the pattern off of their plates, especially after a meal as good as that.

We then came home and watched the last episode on our disk of Madmen. We just started this AMC show last week and we love it. Such an interesting commentary on the advertising world of the sixties. All in all it was a very enjoyable birthday thanks to Dave (for making it such a special day) and all of my wonderful family and friends for calling and emailing me. Being 24 hasn’t really changed anything, other than the fact that my license has expired. And I’m one year closer to being able to rent a car. That’s about it. Wahoo.

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