You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

…we got some freaking snow! Ah yes, the stars of precip and sub-32 temperatures have aligned at last to drop a slight but veritable wintry dusting on the DC area. We don’t get too much snow here, so when we do, it’s like Christmas all over again. I love it. Call me a freak, but I even like driving in the snow, testing my ability to maneuver the slick roads. There’s a certain thrill of knowing that I could effortlessly careen my car into a mailbox or telephone pole or human being or something. It’s a challenge!

I noticed today how funny it is to listen to the traffic reporters trying to be polite as they remind us of basic winter driving precautions. They’ll say things like, “Now folks, you want to remember to give the tractor trailers a little more room, especially in these icy conditions”, or “Now folks, be sure to take it slow on those turns.” Personally, I’d love to hear them add a dash of cutting sarcasm to these reminders. Maybe something like, “Folks, in case you haven’t noticed, that’s a sheet of freaking ice that you’re driving across. So maybe think twice before you take that turn at 75 mph. Good grief, you people are idiots. Your ineptitude is truly astounding. As if plain old common sense wasn’t enough, we take time to go over this crap every time it snows, and yet there’s always a few of you morons who manage to slide into parked cars as you pull out of your driveway.” I wonder if Lisa Baden ever wants to do this? Probably not…

In any case, the snow is fantastic. Ice/sleet/freezing rain are in the forecast tonight and tomorrow. I say bring it! I’m personally hoping for an epic fail from the snowplow crews. Let’s keep that Beltway a frozen mess, people. I’m not trying to come to work tomorrow.

So, we watched a few minutes of the American Idol season premier the other night. And I have to say, after a few years of not watching the show, I can see that the whole act hasn’t changed much: the ratings-garnering pseudo-rivalry between Simon and Ryan, Randy’s continued inability to use a word other than “dog” when conversing with contestants of either gender, and of course Paula’s loopy incoherence. (Kids, for real, say no to drugs.)

idol-judges

FAIL x 4

Except for the new face on the judges’ panel – what’s her name? – who seems more than happy to lend her loud, abrasive antics to the existing inanities.

But these lambastings are only a prelude to focal point of this post: What the heck is up with the background music selections? Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”? Don’t get me wrong – I love the song (and the album), but isn’t it a little anomolous to hear “One minute I held the key; next, the walls were closed on me” as a contestant bursts through the double doors screaming, “I’m going to Hollywood!”? Hmmm…

And MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine”? Epic song placement fail. I mean, it’s cool that a Christian band is getting some primetime exposure, but I’m pretty sure getting to meet Jesus is going to be a little bit better than Idol‘s holy grail of “getting through to the next round.”

Sorry folks. I don’t mean to deride what is clearly one of the finest institutions of American pop culture. But I have just a few words for Idol‘s producers:

Come on, people. You bammas are supposed to be at the top of your game. Such power you have! I mean, the clouds part for whichever contestant you deem worthy of the title “American Idol”, and even the runners-up. Kelly Clarkson! Rueben Studdard! That Daughtry guy! Carrie Underwood! Clay Aiken! (Eh, well…) All I’m saying is that you can do better. Pick some background songs whose lyrics have an iota of contextual relevance to the show. And for heaven’s sake, get Paula Abdul some professional help.

(Crossposted on The Obama Administration)

Drea and I recently had the opportunity to hang out with a friend who just returned from a missions trip to a Dalit colony in India. The Dalits, or “untouchables”, are the lowest-ranking group in India’s caste system and the recipients of brutal and long-standing injustice. Some actually say they are the most oppressed people in all humanity. Because of their status, Dalits are often consigned to live in such colonies where they present no threat of “contaminating” the upper castes. It’s hard to believe that in our modern world, such a backwards social system still exists, but it does. While social equality is officially mandated in the Indian Constitution, the systemic oppression of Dalits persists today, even 50 years after their political emancipation.

My eyes (and Drea’s) were first opened to Dalit oppression and the horrors of caste about four years ago through the amazing Caedmon’s Call album Share the Well. Since then, Drea and I have both developed a heart for India. (It’s actually part of why we started dating, but that’s another story.)

Anyhow, in learning about India’s struggle with oppression and slavery, I’m reminded of our own struggle here in America. While slavery and government-sanctioned oppression of blacks are thankfully off the books thanks to the work of Lincoln, King, and countless others, a stubborn remnant of injustice still plagues our country, just as it plagues India (albeit more subtly). In short, we can see clearly that criminalizing injustice doesn’t necessarily put an end to it.

But praise God for people like Joseph D’souza, the Indian Christian who founded the Dalit Freedom Network; for Bill Hybels, the pastor of a large, well-to-do suburban church whose eyes were opened to the economic and racial injustices in his own backyard, and responded accordingly; for Martin Luther King, Jr., who labored diligently “to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression”; for Derek Webb, whose honest music has educated me, challenged me, and helped me realize that Jesus came not just to die for my sins, but to make things right, including every injustice, both personal and systemic.

Today, we inaugurated our first African-American President, and arguably the first President to, through both racial identity and experience, have significant ties to the developing world. In his inaugural address, President Obama made a pledge:

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.”

I watched Obama’s speech live, and was impressed as usual with his humility and intelligence. But when he said this, I teared up a little. Not just because it’s a beautiful thought, but because of the opportunity being presented to our country right now. It’s not my intention at all to immortalize Obama (he’s only a man, and an imperfect one at that), but it’s obvious that he wields a degree of influence that few political leaders, if any, have had.

In an article published shortly after the election, Joseph D’souza remarked that “the world’s oppressed will follow the statements and actions of this president more than any other.” What an extraordinary challenge our new President has. I pray that Obama makes good on his promise, that he uses his influence to inaugurate peace and justice into the lives of those who have never experienced it. If he can do this, well, I think that will be pretty great.

Barack Obama accomplished something truly extraordinary today. I think that given my meager life experiences, I can hardly wrap my head around the significance this day must have not only for African-Americans, but for every person in the world who’s suffered injustice. As they look by the millions to Obama to champion their cause, I pray that he accepts the challenge as a vital objective of his administration, and more importantly, as his calling as a follower of Jesus.

My deepest, deepest congratulations to President and Mrs. Obama. Let’s do this thing!

If you get a chance, check out Andy Merrick’s blog. This guy just quit his computer programming job to pursue writing. (How cool is that?) I came across his blog a few weeks ago through another blog buddy of ours, and have since checked back regularly. The guy’s an honest-to-goodness fantastic writer – full of heart and wit and a love for Jesus.

Mad props to you, Andy. Here’s hoping you get at least a few hits from our rinky-dink blog here. God bless!

Fact: We drink juice straight out of the bottle, sometimes standing in front of the open refrigerator door.  

Chalk it up to a combination of laziness (we’re not the most driven people in the world), convenience (our whole living space is one room), and the fact that all of our kitchen stuff is still packed away (we don’t have our own kitchen yet).  Who needs a glass?  Plus, we don’t even drink the SAME juice.  I am an apple juice girl.  Drew sticks mainly with cranberry based juices.  

Dont hate.

Don't hate.

I guess since this is our blog, I don’t have to make a convincing argument why this isn’t gross.  So, go ahead, call it gross.  We just won’t share any juice with you.

“Commute Haiku”

DC is not bad
Free museums, things to do
Plenty of culture

Close to everything
Beaches, mountains, all within
Just a few hours drive

But driving can suck
Just as it did yesterday
Twenty miles, one hour

DC motorists
Swerve, weave, wildly wave their hands
To save five seconds

Aw, give me a break
Welcome to my lane, jack-___

Such nice thoughts I think

Brake lights, tedium
People here can’t drive in rain
Need new wiper blades

Why do I complain?
My life is pretty great
Food, home, wife, warmth, Christ

I still hate traffic.

After two great four-day weekends of staying up late, hanging out with friends, and generally goofing off, I’m going through holiday withdrawal this week. (What? A five-day work week? Are you freaking kidding me?) Ah, reality.

Our New Year’s weekend was basically off the hook from start to finish. Well, almost. Drea was in a car accident Wednesday afternoon with a guy in a pick-up truck who tailgated her for a mile or so before finally rear-ending her. But she’s fine and it looks like all our expenses, rental car included, will be covered through this guy’s insurance.

My work closed early on New Year’s Eve, which provided a little chill time before heading to the Janes home to celebrate (as was necessary as I’m becoming increasingly brain-dead after 10pm.) The festivities included homemade party hats, Renata’s homemade New Year’s version of Apples to Apples, and lots of Dance Dance Revolution, which I’m actually getting a little better at! (And “better” is a nice way of saying that, really, I just suck a little bit less at dancing.)

newyears

The gang at New Year's

The late nights didn’t end New Year’s Eve, as we spent Friday and Saturday nights hanging out with Tom and Renata and our life group, respectively. What began as a group bowling night turned into a game night at Mike’s house (bowling lanes were booked till late), playing Loaded Questions and Wii Bowling.

One New Year’s resolution of mine is to read more novels/fiction. I’ve realized recently that my reading diet is a little nonfiction-heavy. I’m about to start David Wroblewski’s novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which I’ve heard great things about. Anyone have other suggestions?

Some more of my hopes for 2009 are to be more obedient in day-to-day things: prayer, Scripture reading, intentional silence, maybe even some community service. Less thinking/talking and more doing. Our blog-friend Kate McDonald recently shared some great stuff about this on her blog.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a great new year so far. Here’s to 2009!

Today, at 6:00pm, I realized I had not had a single thing to drink all day. You read correctly. Not a single liquid has passed through my lips since crawling out of bed this morning. The saddest part? The only reason I stopped to recall if I had consumed any drinks today was because I was feeling extremely lightheaded and dizzy. I dehydrated myself for an entire day.

That does it. No kids for 10 years for fear of killing one. Crap.