Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recent strangeness

In the lunchroom today I waited for my soup to warm up in the microwave. Facing the microwave, holding my spoon, thinking about mom always saying not to stand in front of the microwave and wondering what it was doing to me at that very second, I overheard a comment at the table behind me.

“I just wish the sun would come up once a month as a black light.”

Say what?

And then…
“Think of what that would do to your teeth.”

I decided I should maybe snag my soup sooner rather than later and leave. Maybe there’s something to those microwave warnings!

At JoAnn’s last Friday night (that’s how I spend my Friday nights), I waited in line to get my fabric cut. The woman next to me—in all seriousness—asked if she could ask me a question. Sure. “If you were poison ivy, which color would you be?” And she held up two glittery hues of green. I pointed to the dark one assuredly. She said, “yup, me too.”

And I wondered why I opted for the darker green? Why not the lighter one? I probably wouldn't have gone glittery either way. And more importantly, how the heck is she going to dress up like poison ivy for Halloween?

On that same trip to JoAnn’s, and in fact, at the same counter, the woman cutting my fabric was incredibly grandmotherly and friendly—exactly what you’d expect a woman cutting fabric at JoAnn’s in the Midwest to look and act like. She pushed her glasses a bit further up on her nose and suddenly exclaimed that there was a new movie out that day and she really wanted to see tomorrow. I asked which movie, thinking it was probably Nicholas Sparks’ latest tearjerker or perhaps a cartoon for her grandkids? Instead, she excitedly and proudly said “JackAss, you know, the 3D version!”

Yesterday on the way to work I saw a cop car and a regular car pulled over on the shoulder. One naturally thinks the cop pulled someone over and would be at the regular car’s driver-side front window taking information. Except this particular cop was sitting in his car, and regular guy in baseball cap and Vikings jacket/black jeans (what else would he be wearing, really?) is standing at his window, chatting him up.


I promise a more meaningful, thought-provoking post next time.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

What's the scuttle, butt?

A friend of mine is a teacher, and she recently used the word “scuttlebutt” in telling me a story about her kids.

I have to be honest. I got stuck (which I’m prone to doing) on that one word and didn’t go any further with my friend’s story…my mind wandered. Did she say shufflebutt? Is that the right word? How is it spelled? I suddenly thought of Ariel, from Little Mermaid using a dinglehopper (a fork as a comb). And then I recalled that it was her friend Scuttle who pointed out to her what a dinglehopper was. So, did my friend say scuttlebutt? But then my mind jumped back to shufflebutt, and I got an image of a bunch of highschoolers doing a dance down the hallway…you know, the shufflebutt. (People, this is how my brain works! Scary! Why can't I just follow my friend's story like a normal person?)

So, I had to look the word up. Shufflebut? Scuttelbutte? How is this thing spelled and how should it be used? Where did it come from?

Well, it is, in fact, scuttlebutt. Its initial definition was from the late 1700s and meant an open cask of drinking water that was used for sailors on a ship. Then with time, the word’s meaning transformed; it became “gossip” or “rumors,” because that’s what sailors shared around the cask of drinking water—the scuttlebutt.

Ok, friend. Sorry. I’m good now. Continue your story. What were your kids doing a few days ago?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Garments of love

For class I just read the book of Genesis in its entirety in one sitting. It took me more than three hours, and when I was done, I wanted to go for a run and cleanse my mind of the dirty soap opera! When you only read chapters or verses of Genesis at a time, you miss out on the oh-so-tangled web that the patriarchs of Genesis wove. Woah! Like one of my classmates said, “If we had to provide therapy to that family today?! That is one messed up family system.”

But reading the book in its entirety also made me see a reoccuring cycle: God promises and gives; His people doubt and reject; God loves and redeems (even though “love” is rarely associated with the God of the Old Testament).

One of the first times we see this is with Adam and Eve. So, God gives Adam and Eve a beautiful garden. They’re naked, and they don’t notice, let alone care. It doesn’t take them long, however, before they disobey God. Really disobey God! As soon as they do, their eyes are opened, and “they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” I’d kind of like to see these fig-leaf outfits, by the way. What did they sew them with? How did they stay on?

God, of course, finds out about their disobedience and scolds them (and us). The ground we walk on? Cursed. Child labor? Horrible. Work? Tough.

But after he scolds, we’re told in in Genesis 3:1 that the Lord “made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

Really? He made them garments? I mean, he could have easily let them continue traipsing around in their fig leaves. After all, they just terribly disobeyed him! He could have let them make their own garments out of skin. But he didn’t. He made them garments, and he clothed them. Don't get me wrong. God is not a softy. He banishes them from the garden, but he clothes them first in garments of skin.

Friday, October 01, 2010

This day

It’s an Alexi Murdoch kinda day here in the Twin Cities.

A cool, quiet, turning fall day. Burnt orange and yellow leaves slowly swirl and make their way to the ground, and you pull your sweater a little tighter around you. It’s a day for strolling through used book stores, drinking coffee, and wearing brown corduroys.

I post this song for the one I love who is so far away, and yet fills all my days.