Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
All you out there reading this, I need help coming up with a name for a new pasta dish I invented.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I finally got to play Magic today!!!! (I know, I'm a geek) But, it is SERIOUSLY the best game EVER! It's been around for almost 15 years I think? Not really sure, but it was the first ever collectible trading card game. When you're playing, you basically take on the role of a wizard, and you're battling with another wizard and you're trying to kill each other. Sounds a little violent, but it's not, because this is all done with numbers and you're playing with cards like the one pictured here
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I went over to Marlene's today to teach her how to make pesto. We ended up having pesto on fettuccini with crimini mushroom and teeny tiny potatoes. The potatoes were so cute! I found them at Trader Joe's. They were about the size of olives, and they tasted like Yukon Golds, but I'm not really sure what variety they were. All I knew is that when I saw them, I HAD to buy them!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Fourth day of reading week, 2nd if you don't count the weekend. I actually did some studying and research today; you should all be proud of me. Read some of Shusaku Endo's Silence for Intro to Ministry. It's about these two Jesuit priests from Portugal who go to 16th century Japan to do missionary work during a time of heavy persecution against Christians in that country. Spent a brief period reviewing Hebrew and read a little bit of Serpent and the Rainbow for Sacred and the Substance; it's about zombies.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I visited Christ Lutheran Church today. The pastor there is actually the wife of one of my Intro to Ministry professors. I was having a weird deja vu moment when we pulled into the parking lot because the layout of the church is exactly the same layout that I remember from a Ventura County Chinese Club Halloween party from when I was a kid, but I know we did not drive all the way up here for it. I mean, I'm pretty sure we didn't because that would be crazy. I also remember winning my Halloween Snoopy mug that year, which I broke a few years later. I always end up breaking my favorite mugs. I guess it's inevitable when you use the same mug every day.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I'm really tired for some reason, so I'll probably just call it a night.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Today was a culinary first for me of sorts. I had "real" falafel for the first time. I'd had cold falafel from a deli case before, because I had just never had the opportunity to try fresh real falafel right out of the deep fat fryer. We went to Falafel Hut in San Rafael. The food was gooooooooooood, and the service was impeccable! I ordered the "deluxe" falafel pita with eggplant and potato. We SO need to go back to that place! I want to try everything on the menu; I love discovering exotic new places to eat! The funny thing is that the restaurant was so small that it couldn't accommodate our group of 11 people, so the owner sent us two doors down to the pizza place that he owns so that we could eat there. As far as I could tell, there weren't very many people eating the pizza, but we figured it was probably busier later at night. I'll certainly let you all know how the pizza is if I ever end up having it there.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
It's been a long time since I've had coffee, but I've had a lot of it this week. I figure I have to do what I can to get through this week, then I can quit cold-turkey and detox during reading week and come back to school clean and sober.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
San Anselmo at night is a creepy place. I've just gotten back from walking Terra home. It is now 11:45 pm, and after walking back to the student lounge by myself, I have to ask the question, "Why hasn't anyone used this place to film a horror movie yet?" This town is basically situated in a forest, and the school itself, which is a castle if anyone has forgotten, is on a wooded hill. CREEPY!!!!! There's these little winding barely lit paths going up and down the hill through the moss and lichen covered trees so people can go to and from their apartments, not to mention those strange sounds that are always there at night when you're walking through the woods by yourself...
It is nearing midnight now, and as I sit here alone (mostly alone anyway, there's a cricket in here somewhere adding to the ambiance) in this 100 year-old castle typing this in the student lounge where the TV likes to turn on by itself, I continue to remind myself that I should not be scared because I am at a seminary and I highly doubt that God would allow some malevolent spirit to take up residence here. But, if I am going to be honest, this place still gives me the creeps, and I still have to walk back to my apartment, by myself. I've actually done it quite a few times when it's been this late, but we have the lovely addition of cloud cover from the rain earlier today, so it is much darker and cooler than normal. A castle in the woods. Are there any filmmakers out there???? (Note: I am not authorized to offer the school as a location for a motion picture. Please contact the school business office with inquiries regarding use of the school grounds for filming purposes.)
On a lighter note, I broke the seal on ditching classes today. I'm not really a "class ditcher" so I hope this doesn't start some kind of trend for me. I set my alarm to wake up for church history, hit the snooze a couple times, then just decided I was too tired to go. We were just doing a review today for the mid-term on Thursday, and I figured I could better use the time to do homework or something. But instead, I just laid in bed until it was time to get up for chapel. Leslie extended a personal invitation for me to attend because she was going to deliver the sermon today, so I felt obligated to go. I thought her use of a hymn throughout her sermon was an interesting and unique approach.
If any of the faculty or administration are reading this, I do have a slight tickle in my throat which could have easily developed into something much worse if I did not take that hour and a half to rest. Everyone is always telling me how important "self-care" is, and I was just trying to follow their advice.
The only real schoolwork I got done today was studying for the Old Testament quiz tomorrow, but I guess that's better than nothing. This is procrastination at it's finest, folks! I still have homework for Drugs and Jesus tomorrow night, which I will have to get done some time tomorrow, as well as homework for Lectio Divina, which I will probably be doing tomorrow night after I get back from Drugs and Jesus. In case anyone has forgotten, Drugs and Jesus is in Berkley, so we should be getting back from that around 10:30 tomorrow night. I also had to sign up to be a driver because our regular driver is out of town, so that will add an interesting element to my day. Hopefully it won't rain tomorrow, and hopefully I won't get us lost. Please keep your fingers crossed for me everyone.
Last, but not least, is the Old Testament paper due on Friday that I have yet to start. When will I have time to do it, you ask? I'm thinking Wednesday and Thursday. Study for the Hebrew quiz will just have to wait until the hour before the class. XD
Sunday, October 18, 2009
This will be the last post about movies for a while; I promise! I don't know why I've been watching so many movies lately! These strange sloth-like feelings have taken hold of me since Wednesday, and I haven't been able to shake them off. I've even been napping! Anyone that knows me knows that isn't normal! And, before anyone gets all freaked out, i don't think I'm sick. At least, I don't feel sick anyway.
So, the two movies I watched today were Thank You For Smoking and Edward Scissorhands, neither of which I had seen before, and both of which I highly recommend! I know some of you are thinking, "He's never seen Edward Scissorhands before??!?!?!" But, you have to remember that I was born and raised in the Chinappines, so my cultural upbringing is lacking in some areas.
I did manage to write another paper today, this one for Lectio Divina, however that was pretty much the extent of my productivity. Unless you want to count me rearranging my bedroom. It was getting on my nerves.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The movie I'm watching is Were the World Mine. It's about a gay boy in an all-boy's school that gets the lead part in the school play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Since it's an all-boy's school, the female roles are also played by boys, which the drama teacher defends by reminding everyone that in Shakespeare's time, women were not allowed to act on stage. That's as far as I've gotten in the movie, but it looks good so far!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Trying to take it easy today. I know I got one word wrong on the Hebrew quiz, trying to not let it bother me, but it does for some reason. Watched Where the Wild Things Are with Amber, Ian and Nick. I was really excited to see one of my favorite books from my childhood brought to the big screen, but the pacing was kind of slow. It was basically what I expected; how do you really make a full length movie out of a picture book? The visuals were stunning, and it was very heartfelt, though. Overall, I think it was done very well; I just wish there was more plot line.
Amber and I baked some chocolate chip cookies when we got back, then watched Twighlight. Now watching The Wrestler.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Lord’s Prayer [Holier Than Thou Translation]
Our Father, who art in heaven,
On your puffy white cloud,
What the heck are you doing up there?
You made everything,
You see everything,
You control everything,
So don’t you think it’s time for you to get down here to start fixing some things!
Don’t you see the blasphemy that these people want to do in your church?
Aren’t you getting just a little bit upset at how wrong all these people are?
I demand justice!
I demand retribution!
Get these people out of here, so I can have my nice little church back,
And no one has to get hurt.
I mean, really?
Do we really need them?
How important are they anyway?
Does it really matter what we do to them?
Or what we say behind their backs?
Because what they don’t know doesn’t hurt them, right?
I am ready to receive your instructions,
I will follow your laws to the letter,
Except for the ones that don’t make any sense,
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.
We also had our second poetry night tonight. It was kind of late notice, so there was only four of us there, but it was pretty cool nonetheless. Laura ran it tonight, and she based it off of what her poetry group used to do, which is writing for 15 minutes on a prompt. My prompt was a picture of a sand dollar in the water. I haven't come up with a title for it yet, but this is the poem I came up with:
It was just beneath the water,
A tiny broken thing,
A sand dollar with a hole on top,
White against the sand,
Stripped of life,
Made clean, you could say.
Some people say life can be unclean,
You dirty yourself through the living,
Though life itself is supposed to be a gift.
Can it be true that the only way to protect the gift,
Is to take it away?
If you find a whole one,
And crack it open,
You can find tiny pieces of shell inside,
Shaped like little white doves,
But this one has been cracked by the waves,
Cracked by life,
And the doves,
The doves flew away.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I realize I've been writing a lot about chicken noodle soup recently, but it's just been a really important part of my life of late. The above picture is of my chicken noodle soup, that I made as a project for my Drugs and Jesus class. Each person at some point in the semester is supposed to bring substance use into the classroom, which usually involves a video clip, or a song. I decided that since I have been administering my magic chicken concoction to all of my sick friends, and since this happens all over the world all the time, chicken noodle soup, by definition, IS A DRUG. So, here is a copy of the chicken noodle soup drug fact sheet that I prepared for the class, in all of its pharmaceutical glory:
Chicken Noodle Soup**
Directions: Adults and children: Take two to three bowls daily with a glass of water at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms, preferably as a replacement for a meal.*
Active Ingredients: Chicken, water, salt, carrots, noodles, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, tomato, garlic, thyme, laurel, lemon & black pepper.
There is an as yet unidentified substance in chicken soup that acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils, immune system cells that participate in the body's inflammatory response. *
Chicken contains cysteine, which cleaves to the disulfide bonds found in mucoproteins and splits them, which reduces the viscosity of the mucus, clears nasal passages, deters the onset of the disease and shortens its duration.*
Chicken fat contains lipids that suppress viral reproduction. *
Hot liquid keeps nasal passages moist, thins the mucus, prevents dehydration, sooths sore throats and improves the function of cilia guarding the body from contagions. *
Steam speeds up movement of mucus through the nose, relieving congestion and limiting viral contact with the nasal lining. *
Salt sooths sore throats and helps to reduce inflammation by drawing moisture out of cells lining the esophagus. Traditional folk medicine regards salt as a purifying agent that can be used to drive away demons that cause disease. *
Onions contain sulphur compounds and quercetin, two antioxidants that aid in neutralizing free radicals present in the human body. Onions have antibacterial and antifungal properties and help to provide respite to patients with cold symptoms. Onions have been used as a charm against evil spirits. Halved or quartered onions placed in the home absorb negativity. *
Noodles and potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates that the body uses for energy. *
Carrots, celery, lemon and tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and provides relief from colds. *
Garlic thins mucus. A clove of garlic placed in each room can ward off disease. *
Thyme fights infections, dries mucous membranes and relaxes spasms of the bronchial passages. *
Black pepper thins mucus and helps to reduce fever. The magical properties of black pepper include protection and strength. *
Laurel contains parthenolides, which are useful for treating headaches, and also contains eugenol, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. *
Inactive Ingredients: None
Chicken soup produces a powerful placebo effect. The ritual involved in making and serving it, as well as the context in which it is used invariably ensures that a sick person taking it will begin to feel better almost immediately after the first dose. Chicken soup, regardless of cultural background, has become engrained into the human psyche as the classic cure-all. *
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
** This product contains animal protein and gluten and has been manufactured on equipment used to process eggs, soy, peanuts and tree nuts.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I've been visiting different churches every Sunday trying to find a new church home for my time here at seminary. Today, a group of us went to St. Gregory's of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. I've never been to any other Episcopal service before, but I'm pretty sure this was not typical of what one would "normally" look like. It had a lot of similarities actually to the Russian Orthodox service that I went to about a month ago with all of it's brightly colored icons, chanting and incense. The main room was extremely colorful with pictures of "saints" painted on the upper half of the walls. I'm not sure what the Episcopal definition of a saint is, or if St. Gregory's definition might be a little different from the rest of the denomination, but they included pictures of Anne Frank, Malcom X and Lady Godiva. Now, I don't have any problems with those people, but as far as I know, they aren't typically referred to as saints.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
We had a meeting tonight at Holy Grounds, the seminary's coffee house. Our Old Testament teacher put it together for anyone who was having issues with some of the ideas that have been presented in class. For a lot of people, their faith is connected to the historical truth claims of the Bible. Theologians, archeologists, historians and other scholars have discovered that some of the events in the Bible may not have happened in exactly the way that they are written. This can be a problem for people, like me, who have been taught that everything in the Bible happened exactly the way that it was written. For some people who's faith is so closely connected to the Bible stories being literally true, this can be scary.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Today was our weekly dinner/Hebrew study night. Tom made moussaka, which is a Greek dish made with eggplant and lamb. It was very good, and he put up a valiant effort to try to get this complicated dish done before it got too late.
Here's Marlene asking Ben and Mike a question about Hebrew. Learning another language, especially one not based on the Roman alphabet, is not easy. You have to make up all kinds of weird sentences to remember what things are like "Have a taco" (thank you Ryan) to remember when to use a specific form of the definite article, or "If Alex Taveck is in front of you, then you are in the midst of Jeopardy" (thank you Tom) to remember that taveck means midst. One of my contributions was "If you go to Hawaii, they make a lei for you" to remember that le means to or for. Some other ones are "There's ganja in the garden", "Sad, eh? Go to the country!", "My ears ahz na as big as people say they are" and "I bought that Prius because when I had a Kia it sucked." The Hebrew pronunciation is in bold, the meanings are in italics bold. The crazier and weirder they are, the easier they are to remember. We're obviously not going for pronunciation accuracy here, it's just a tool to help us remember the grammar and vocabulary. As difficult as it is, it's actually a lot of fun when we all get together and try to come up with these funky ways of remembering things. It's not too bad right now, but we have a Hebrew intensive in January, which is three straight weeks of Hebrew for 4 hours a day. Hopefully, we'll all survive.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
4 lbs chicken (bone-in dark meat is best)
1 tbsp each butter, coriander and salt
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp each cumin, pepper, cayenne, turmeric, cardamom, garlic and ginger
1 cup chicken stock or 1 cup of water & ¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
Slice the onions and combine them in a large sauté pan with all of the other ingredients, except for the chicken. Reduce the onion mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is gone, about 2 hours.
I prefer to bake this in a lidded clay pot or tagine, but you can simmer the chicken in a large heavy bottom pot for an hour.
If you are going to use a clay pot or tagine, follow the instructions for your particular piece of cookware. Many will require you to soak the lids in water. Mine has to be soaked for a half hour before use, so I do this while the onion mixture is cooking down.
Apply a thin layer of the onion mixture on the bottom of the pot and then put a single layer of chicken over it. Spread a thin layer of the onion mixture over the chicken and then put another layer of chicken over that. Spread the remaining onion mixture on top of the chicken. My clay pot can fit about 4 lbs of chicken. You may have to play with the recipe depending on the size of your pot. You can always make the full recipe for the sauce and use less when cooking the chicken. Any leftover sauce can be refrigerated for later use.
Bake the chicken at 450° for 2 hours.
Serve with couscous, rice or naan. Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
So, I've survived another week of seminary. Did really good on the Hebrew quiz today; might have gotten a point or two off for the translation portion, but if I do, it's totally the professor's fault cuz he never gave us any translation instruction. I don't understand why we would find the most wooden way to translate something anyway.