Friday, September 28, 2007

carrot cake

anyone here like carrot cake? i do and i don't. it's one of those things that i have to eat without scallops or hot dogs. i have to disengage my brain from my taste buds, because it tastes good (well, scallops taste good) but you really can't dwell on what you're eating because you might not like it. so for some reason that no one will ever know, carrot cake is pretty good, at least in my opinion. i really have no idea why anyone would have ever made it in the first place. because why, WHY, of all the things you can put in cake, would you grind up some carrots and throw those in there? (zucchini bread also falls into this same category, but i don't like zucchini bread.)

i think the main attraction for me is the frosting. not the store kind, but the kind i think is made of cream cheese, and is off-white and really thick and creamy. i think the frosting is actually the main course and the cake is there to balance flavors and lessen the intensity. so often the cake-to-frosting ratio is severely unbalanced in the direction of the cake.

i remember my first piece of carrot cake. i was too young to know what it was but i liked that it had a frosting carrot on top. i ended up eating the fake carrot and leaving the rest. i remember feeling a little insulted that no one told me what was in it really.

any thoughts about carrot cake or other weird foods that end up being good? anything you have to eat without your brain?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

notre dame, my house, displacement theory

well, faithful readers, it's been an incredibly long two weeks and i feel that i have much to share, even though i don't do much of the what's-happening-in-my-life stuff. i guess the main thing is that i moved into my parents' home. i'd lived in that lovely duplex for almost exactly a year, and to save money i decided to move back* into my parents' home which, as felicity would have it, is three blocks away. that actually doesn't have anything do to with actual felicity but i wanted to use that word. so you probably thought you learned a new word just now but i used it wrong. ha.

*i didn't actually ever live in this house because they moved into it after i had already moved into my duplex. so i can't really move "back" into it, at all.

actually i wanted to share some observations about my new abode compared to my other one. (while writing this i typed out "adobe" instead of "abode" like three times.) for anyone who doesn't know, my new home is filled to the brim with seven people not including me. two of those people are completely displaced because the basement, including their bedroom-in-the-making, isn't yet finished. so that displacement results in them and their stuff spilling over, into the rest of the house. most of the spillage is contained in the basement, but jim's clothes are in johanna's closet, there are a few ill-placed bookshelves and endtables and lamps here and there, and there are several bins of what appears to be laundry (actually, joshua's clothes) scattered in odd places. i guess now he has a good excuse for wearing what he does: he honestly couldn't find anything else.

one good thing is: the colors i picked out for painting my room turned out really well. especially now that most of my furniture is moved in, it's looking really really good. (pictures will appear when all is arranged and decorated.) one wall is a kind of grayish teal -- "Beguile" -- and the other walls are a grey-beige color -- "Notre Dame." now according to more versed connoisseurs of college football, i should NOT support any connections or relations to the team called Notre Dame. at first i thought it was because they are catholic, but it turns out there is somthing worse than being catholic: being a good football team. instead of irking those connoisseurs (i've always said it's never good to irk a connoisseur) i decided that the color shall be pronounced "noch-ra dohm" instead of "note-er dayme." this satisfies the many potential problems associated with having three walls dedicated to a football team that no one likes.

there are some things i'll have to get used to, being back under a roof with seven other people. these things include being spied upon by my youngest sister, being barged in on in the bathroom (i lock doors now), having windows, a pink Rubber Ducky in the shower, five other individual menus of shampoos and soaps in the same shower, the ever-present sounds of Murder, She Wrote and Perfect Dark (and Slappers Only) reverberating through the house, and the not-unrelated need to sleep with earplugs and an eye mask. oh yeah...and to be fair, it won't take long to get used to a cup of coffee and a fresh breakfast quiche eagerly offered me in the morning before work, the feeling of being much closer to my family, and, oh yeah...let's not forget the utter lack of rent/utility/food bills each month.

in the last couple of weeks i've also bought a new camera which, if you spend any time at all near me, you probably already know because i have been carrying it around like a needy infant. i have been extremely tired because i've had a million little things to do, and i get distracted easily. also the park, and nature in general, beckon more loudly now that i am able to capture their beauty more accurately with my new camera. so that makes it much easier, and much more enjoyable, to not get things done.

i'm also trying to sell some things on eBay. mostly some used CDs and books. you should all buy them.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

to know God

a little story was related to me at a recent gathering. some friends of mine were recently in Kenya doing "medical missions" or sharing God with people even as they treated their physical illnesses. while they gave shots or performed exams, they'd ask "do you know God?" answering this question, an old grizzled african man said with a smile on his face "yes, I know God...and I know him well." this made my heart churn in a new way. could i say that i really know God? do i know him well?

someone might ask me "do you know this person?" and i could say something like "i know them" but i am quick to add a disclaimer, "well, i know who they are, but i don't really know them." obviously, we can know who a lot of people are...i have quite a few "friends" on facebook, all of whom i know to one degree or another. but very few of them are confidants, very few of us are mutually involved in most areas of each others' lives and know what each others' desires, motives, passions and struggles truly are. if i had to pare down my facebook friend collection to the ones who met those criteria, the list would probably contain fewer than 10.

i think i have ceased to think of God as a person. not a person like us; i'm not about to be saying God is equal to his creation. but i think of him a big sky-being who, being perfect and incomprehensible, also has no personality. when i think of him this way, i am not making him more, but less.

my point is that we have degrees of "knowing" our friends, based on how well we know their personality and character. the old saying is that you can't really know someone if you only know about them. the same is with God, and we have all heard this before. many of us would say that we know God, or the safer phrase, "i am a christian." to actually KNOW God requires us getting to know him. this means reading his letters to us, talking with him, and above all, listening. "becoming a christian" takes a moment. but to know God? accepting Christ is only the first baby step. forgive me if i am overstepping my bounds, but...there is so much more to life than "being a Christian"! yes, it's enough to get you into heaven, but is it enough to fulfil your purpose in life?

if "knowing God" means knowing a list of his characteristics, or a one-time acceptance of his gift of saving grace, then maybe we really do know God. yes, Christ is the bridge between God and man. but we can't end there! if our chief end in life is to be a christian and accept Jesus, then we know God as we know an acquaintance on Facebook. we've been granted access to read about their favorite music, their interests and friends and hobbies, yet we've never taken advantage of that connection, and really talked with them about personal things. God is not a person like us, but he is an individual. i think when i only focus on how large and supreme and omniscient and perfect and all-powerful he is, i remove all the nuances of personality and character from him. in my mind, i often picture God as a large bright spot in the sky, with not so much as a distinct color to the brightness, let alone a personality. he has no face, no eyes, no smile or laugh. this is a stunted view, to say the least; and it is probably more of a dangerous view. the minute we start seeing God as so "otherly" that he has no personality, that's when we become bored and "used to" our "christian walk with God." i'd get bored quick if a friend had no personality and was in such a different social sphere that we had nothing in common; why do i think i am above that in relation to my creator?

maybe the reasons we don't like to ascribe "human" traits to God is because we can only see the earthly, corrupted versions of those traits. love is twisted and wrung dry, until it means little but sex and passive leniency and a warm, vague feeling of happiness. justice is warped until it excuses the violence of war-crazy politicians and hate-filled fundamentalists. mercy is either seen as spinelessly weak, or preeminent at the expense of justice. our preverted sense of humor can turn the most despicable and heartbreaking things into laughing matters. but don't forget the one who first thought up the (uncorrupted) characteristics is the one who appreciates them the most.

how many of us would say we know God? how many would say we know him well? to know him, we must treat him much the same way as we treat our close friends: ask questions, study what he creates and writes and says, ask others about their experiences with him, listen to his voice. if we are created to know and love God, then even if we are already christians, we might be falling vastly short of our greatest purpose, both for in this life and the next.

page hit counter