Friday, July 28, 2006

Sermon Dilemma

So, what do you do when no ending is quite the right one? Toss a coin? Punt? Pray? Of course, by Sunday it's supposed to be 100 degrees, and all that will matter is that I keep it short.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Today I began reviewing my packs of vocabulary cards from last summer's intensive Greek course. I'd promised myself that I'd start at the same time that the course began last year. This is good preparation for my upcoming sermons, too.

But then...Plantman and I just decided to review Spanish together. I'm sure I'll experience some funny interference from both languages. Adding to this mix, Plantman is reviewing Hebrew. Maybe we should alternate weeks with the language study?

Hasta luego.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Singing the Passport Blues

Today I tried to apply for a passport, but my birth certificate doesn't bear a raised seal in the corner, so was invalid. My birth certificate was issued in Chicago a long time ago, has brown ink and a small brown seal. The clerk was on the phone trying to describe what mine looked like, and said, "No, this one is really OLD!"

Then, she looked at me, her eyes huge, and said, "Oh, I didn't mean it like that! Honest! Oh, I'm sorry! I apologize!" But I was laughing too hard to care. If you can't find humor wherever possible, you may as well hang it up.

Then I tried to order a new birth certificate online, answering pages of questions, till finally the order didn't seem to go through -- I simply was given what looked like an error screen with no further instructions.

It's a good thing we're not travelling anywhere soon. We only wanted to get our papers in order early, since Noah may be attending graduate school in Montreal, and travel to Canada will require a passport before long.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Sigh! We're missing a party for the new Zen rock garden that's been planted right outside our own living room windows! (Or is it too hot to party? Hot! Hot! here.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Book List

Since this is my first free summer since 1977 (just before I left for graduate school), I'm spending much of it exercising, sorting through possessions in preparation for not living in our house, watching Poirot mysteries, and reading -- just because I can. The book list (so far, heavy on fiction) includes:

Elizabeth Berg, We Are All Welcome Here
Anne Tyler, Digging to America
Franz Wright, Walking to Martha's Vineyard: Poems (Pulitzer prize winner, former college classmate)
Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less
Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures
Sam Portaro, Conflict and the Christian Life

I especially recommend the Berg novels. Anything else out there y'all are reading right now that I shouldn't miss?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yes, I Saw the Movie Today

Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?

I thought that some of the dialogue was hilarious, and wondered why others didn't laugh at Johnny Depp's line (after being hit with slime from Davey Jones): "I feel sullied...and unusual!" I also sat next to the one 4-year-old in the theatre who recognized organ music in the middle of the film. As the chords swelled, she said quite distinctly, "THAT's an organ!" Heh. Those pipes sure looked juicy.

Good film...but there were so many characters that by the end I no longer remembered who it is that appeared as the new Captain in the very last shot. Help?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italy Wins!

Now that we're back in Iowa, I'm working on broadening my cultural horizons. To that end, I spent the whole afternoon watching World Cup Soccer. I even could have a conversation about the nasty behavior on the part of one of the French players, getting him thrown out of the game.

But I still don't know anything about these pirate movies that everyone's talking about. Should I see them, I wonder? Will I be left in the dust if I don't?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Up On the Roof

For some, the title of this entry may bring back memories of a popular song from the early seventies. But I cannot remember the band's name for anything! Anyone?

Last night, we celebrated the end of our move to a new apartment by watching the Evanston fireworks from the rooftop of one of the Evanston Place apartment buildings on Chicago Avenue. Our dearest friends from Davenport are living there for six weeks this summer. Also this week, Noah has come to visit, as the annual American Guild of Organists meets in Chicago.

Many of the fireworks appeared in pairs. Curious! Never have I seen a fireworks display with so many airplanes flying nearby. I wondered what it's like for the pilots.

T'was an excellent night not to be driving a car in Evanston....eek, the traffic!