Sunday, December 30, 2007

Race to the dryer

Jim and I usually go to the laundrymat on a weeknight. We have decided that is a good idea.

Today, around 4 pm, we traveled to our favorite place to do laundry - Bubbleland. We like it because you put cash on a debit card then to use in the machines - this means no carrying $25 dollars in change - a big plus in my non-pocketed pants world. We usually bring a couple books and the gameboy to pass the time, none of this was needed today.

It started off by pulling into the parking lot and only one space was available. We got a laundry cart from someone who was leaving. We put our 4 laundry bags (we haven't done laundry in about 3 weeks and we were doing our rugs and comforters as well) in it. We have to do a balancing act to even get in, but then we look for empty washers and they don't seem to exist. Lots of clothes that seem to be washed but no empty washers. We then go on a hunt; one of us finds one, and waves the other to bring one bag over. I ended up loading one of the 8 load washers with two bags worth of clothes! Then I notice that Jim has found several unused washers in another isle. They are much smaller, he has had to spread 1 bag amoung three washers. Then while he is finishing up that find - I hunt for others - which I found another isle down. We still had two comforters to find washers for when I realized that the 8 load washer had only 5 minutes to go; so I assumed I could just put the comforters in there. At about 4 minutes to go, I noticed a crowd forming at our big washer - others had also noticed that it was about to end - it looked like a fight might ensue - so I went over to stand guard, around this same time Jim noticed this to and noticed that was there, and he was thankful. In the remaining, three minutes we got ourselves situated so we could dump our clean clothes into the basket and place our comforters into the washer. Now, the issue was getting to a dryer...I mean, lots of people were vying for washers when we got there, so it was going to be a race for dryers too at this point.

We worked as a team unloading the big washer of all those clothes and like a relay team member, Jim passed me the cart as if it was the baton and said, GO! I raced over to the huge dryers which I had been watching to see if maybe I wouldn't have to split this load between many regular dryers. Sure enough, they were empty - until I got there. Some woman "saved" the dryers by putting one piece of laundry in each of the 50 lb dryers. Several men came over to me and said I should pull them out and put my batch in; I was mad but I couldn't do that - so I was stuck putting my huge load into several dryers. The rest of the laundry was much easier- but I still never had one chance to open my book or the gameboy.

Adventures in not having a washer and dryer at home.....see what most of you are missing!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Five

Every Friday, a blog I read (REVGALBLOGPALS) asks people the Friday five... and I am excited to start this tradition on my blog.

Share five memorable moments of 2007

1. Deciding I wanted to marry Jim - while our wedding day was obviously memorable, I think making the decision that I wanted to marry him which happened in January was more life changing.

2. Going to Palestine with Christian Peacemaker Teams in January was an experience that helped launch my 30th year in the way of justice and peace.

3. Enjoying accompanying one of my students to the hospital, helped me understand my pastoral presence in October.

4. Hiring an assistant director in June - and allowing myself to have supper at home more often.

5. Whenever I make Jim laugh, he makes me laugh all the time - sort of his mission in life (he can give more info if he wants) but when I make him laugh - it makes my day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NPR & Megabus

Krista wants everyone to check out this Megabus story on NPR

She loves Megabus & NPR....

Click Here

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Joslyn Jiggle

My first post on Youtube that I filmed on my new Kodak digital camera

Photo Time!

Originally uploaded by zeroclash
Krista and Me at my parents house

Merry Christmas

Go ahead and click on that "zeroclash" link there to see more christmas images

Christmas letter

FAQs of Jim and Krista
Christmas 2007

Who are you? Jim is still a computer geek, and Krista is still seeking world peace including an end to classism and racism.

What is different about you this year than any other year? Oh, let us count the ways…
We now file taxes together – we got hitched, married, tied the knot in April. Krista is still amazed about how wonderful being in love is – you know her always analyzing why that might be. Jim enjoys the comfort of being in love and taking care of still fiercely independent Krista.
Jim started working for Chase Bank’s computer technology customer service through a long term temporary work agency (oxymoron, we realize) in May, he is still there and it looks like Chase likes his work enough to hire him full time in January. If not, he will be placed in another computer customer service job then.
After Jim moved into Krista’s apartment, we moved together to a new apartment in October. We now live seriously 30 seconds from Krista’s office and our church in East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. We both like being more involved in the neighborhood and knowing more of our neighbors. Even if some the neighbors never stop saying to Jim – “Oh, you must be Krista’s husband”.

Go anywhere interesting this year? We spent a several day honeymoon in Krista’s favorite city, Chicago. We went on several weekend trips to Michigan, Ohio and around Illinois. Krista did a lot of traveling for work: Denver, Atlanta, Indiana, Louisville, St. Louis, and probably places she has forgotten. Krista also traveled with Christian Peacemaker Teams to Palestine in January.

So other than work, what do you all do? Krista’s gut response to the question – there is life outside of work? She just likes to do her work, but she is happily allowing Jim to show her ways of relaxation.
We both like to watch movies of all different types from The Simpson’s Movie to What Would Jesus Buy?.
Jim has taken on the task to host movie night at our church, Krista continues to serve on the board and occasionally preaches and generally does stuff around church.
Krista continues to love to bake bread and invent soups; Jim continues to like to eat what Krista invents.
Krista and Jim enjoy “renting a kid” aka babysitting or hanging out with Joslyn and Gabriel – two 2 year olds that we love watching grow even if they tell us “no” when we ask them questions like “Would you like me to help you?” or throw themselves down in Ikea and scream.

May this Christmas bring you the chaos, excitement, and wonder of the first – may the next year be a seeking of what God puts in front of you and us.

Seeking peace and love,
Krista and Jim

Monday, December 24, 2007

Baking and tradition

I just read a friend's post about what she is baking today and I thought I would add to the list of what is being invented at our house today.

Yesterday, I did 4 hours of cookie baking. Unlike many homes, Christmas cookies were never apart of my family memories of Christmas. I was telling this to Jim yesterday and he was a bit surprised because my family bakes a lot. My aunt and uncle do a lot of holiday baking, and maybe that's why it isn't a huge part of my immediate family's Christmas tradition. And yet, talking to my sister the other day, baking calms both of us and we really enjoy it.

So yesterday, I made chocolate muffins, chocolate mint fudge, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (thanks Betsy for introducing me to the notion), peanut butter chocolate bars, and oatmeal craisin cookies. The best part is that I only had 1 cookie the whole day! I made these because Jim gets cookies every place we go, and I realized that could be making better cookies at home - and I would enjoy doing it. Plus, we are having a huge get together this evening.

This morning, I baked apple spice beer bread and my made up garlic, herb and cheese bread. I have unleavened bread in the fridge, which I will bake later. I made bread for the gathering tonight and I have chicken noodle soup in the crockpot, tomato and bean ready to go, and pureed split pea with ham in the fridge.

It is no secret that my favorite meal is bread and soup. So, before and after the Christmas Eve service we are hosting a soup and bread supper. We are expecting probably 20 people - and I am looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, I just have to bring meat for a family brunch, and like my friend we are having lasagna for supper at Jim's parents house.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I love Advent, and I have been reading and thinking about it - but unlike other years I haven't made a lot of that public per se. I usually send Advent emails and cards and such things. For some reason, I haven't done that this year. Partially, I think because I was on vacation last week - and I am not doing a huge family thing this Christmas - it feels different, defining Advent over again for myself. We are hugely behind on our advent calendar - maybe because I don't like the chocolate it has in it.

I think it is a personal quest this year, I am reading four advent devotional online each day - ones that make me think and question and don't give pat answers - I am enjoying it and being challenged by it. I read a piece today that sounds like something I would write - so I thought I would share it here. It comes from Theoblog

Holy mothers of God

By Kristin M. Swenson

Quick, what do these women have in common: hooker for a day, prostitute, foreigner, adulteress, unwed mother? Hint: They appear in the Bible together, and without them, we'd have no Christmas. If you guessed that they are the only women named in a list of Jesus' predecessors, kudos to you.

Genealogies in the Bible seldom make for good reading. Many's the pious person who, determined to read the Bible from start to finish, sails through stories of creation, disobedience and fratricide only to founder on the shoals of "begats." But those lists of names—Mehujael, Methushael, Lamech, Jabal—so odd to our ears, serve a purpose.

The Gospel of Matthew begins in good Jewish tradition with a genealogy. It is Jesus' family line from Abraham to Jesus' father, or, er, his adopted father Joseph, "the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born." Of the 40 generations listed, almost all are the names of men. This is a patriarchal culture, after all. But five women also appear, although (because?) each is of questionable repute.

The first, Tamar, is the daughter-in-law of Judah… twice over. Genesis tells us that the first two of Judah's sons that Tamar married were killed by God. Judah must have thought that there was something fatal about Tamar, so he withheld his third son from marrying her. This put her in a terrible predicament, since a woman in that ancient patriarchal world had no clout (or anything, for that matter) without connection to a man. So Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute, Judah slept with her and she got pregnant. Judah was angry (how dare his daughter-in-law sleep around), and then she revealed that he was the father. Judah repented and called her "more righteous than I" and Tamar had twins.

Matthew also mentions Rahab, a prostitute who hid Israelite spies, effectively protecting them from certain death. She declared their God to be the true God and kept her promise to keep them secret. When Jericho was destroyed, Joshua and company kept their promise to Rahab, sparing her and her family who "lived in Israel ever since." Matthew describes her as the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, the third woman that Matthew includes.

Ruth hailed from an enemy people, the Moabites. Nevertheless, her story is one of tenderness and loyalty. After her first husband died, Ruth determined to stay with her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi. It is Ruth who made the famous declaration reiterated at countless weddings: "Where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my people, and your God my God." But she said it to another woman, Naomi.

Their children have children, begetting and begatting until we get to the great king David. The Achilles’ heel of David's monarchy was his adulterous union with Bathsheba, the fourth woman that Matthew mentions, calling her "the wife of Uriah" to emphasize the adultery. Bathsheba advocated successfully for her son, Solomon, to succeed David as king; Solomon became the great temple builder.

Four women, all with complicated, questionable sexual pasts who do heroic things. The fifth? The pregnant virgin Mary, of course, who stands in a long tradition of eye-brow-raising, wink-wink women without whose intelligence, independence and integrity there would be no God-graced baby, no savior of the world. Or so the Bible says.

Kristin Swenson teaches Hebrew Bible at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I've been googling myself for a few years now every once in a while but I never found myself anywhere, the problem being is my name is really common. Today that has changed I did a full name search for myself and Krista and me are the first link. Check it out below:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Post 251

Some ponderings:

1. Yesterday, my friends and I gathered for our annual spice making. We make cookies and make spice mixes and have a good time instead of shopping in a mall, which the traffic around the strip malls gave me a headache on Saturday!

2. Today, I decided I didn't want to drive to the pool. So I packed up my stuff and waked (1 mile round trip) - it cracked me up because I got wet up to the knees just walking there thanks to the snow - so I am walking to get wet, but already wet. Quite funny to someone weird like me.

3.Also today, as predicted the lost camera was found. We recieved our new camera in the mail on Thursday - after deciding that we needed to get a new one to replace the lost one.

4. Tonight, I really hope I like The Clash of the Choirs - I have been looking forward to it.

If you get a chance go see Juno - its an independent film that is getting some widespread attention - it is great! Laughing out loud in the theatre - always a good sign.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I don't think I need to type much for this cool picture

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

another one

If you say "Woo Woo Woo....Tommy" that means you want to dance like a maniac to Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer....if Jim could only translate for me that way!

Lessons from Gabriel

This week I am spending four days with my good friends Christina and Jim and their son Gabriel - I am learning a lot.

1. Advent is something to look forward to all day, something to smile and jump about! Gabriel asks all day long for candles? candles? As he points to the advent wreath. As soon as the candles are lit, he says book, as he gets excited about reading the Advent book as a family, then he and his tall daddy reach up to get his advent pocket (most likely a small sucker inside) and then he dances with abandon to a Christmas song, which usually about half way through he says "low" which means blow, as in blow out the candles - which he does with some help of one of his parents. Can we all dance with abandon over Advent?

2. Sesame Street is really what it is all about. Gabriel is allowed to watch one program on TV a day - and that is Sesame Street. I haven't watched it in years - but wow I learned about letters yesterday from Law and Order: Special Letters Unit complete with the Bong Bong noise and learned about how a door works with Grover on Amazing Makeovers: Home Edition today. Can we all find learning this fun?

3. Grilled Cheese is made enjoyment. Gabriel is a picky eater, and doesn't like to eat in general - except for maybe the healthier version of goldfish crackers. But hey, grilled cheese is good for us. How can we not like comfort food?

4. Clean Up is better if you sing. Whenever Gabriel wants to play a new game or a new toy (which is about every 5 minutes, he is 2 what can you expect)he starts singing his clean up song (Clean Up, clap clap, Clean Up...) and puts stuff away! If only I could take his advice! How can I not?

5. Friends make everything better. Every Wednesday morning, several kids and moms come over to Gabriel's house to have music and dance time. After several hard days, Gabriel smiled when his friend Ben came. Again, can we dance with abandon with friends?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Another soup

This is a funny soup that I just had to try yesterday - I made another soup today....but that one isn't funny.

2 bunches of watercress
2 cans of potatoes (never used canned potatoes before)
4 cans of chicken broth

Puree and cook.

I never follow recipes totally, but I did this one because it was so nuts. It was remotely good. Actually, it shocked me. Even Jim didn't think it was too bad.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another soup recipe

I made this last night - for those of you who eat meat it is amazing, but unlike another barley soup that I made - it would be hard for me to take the meat away....

* 4 cups of beef broth, and I keep adding water throughout the process

* 1 huge sweet potato, chopped

* 1 medium onion, cubed

* 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

* handful dried garlic powder

* 1 pound boneless beef cut into cubes

* 1 cup quick cooking barley

* cracked pepper to taste


1. In large pot add water and all the ingredients except the barley. Cook approximately 35 minutes at a minimum heat, or until meat is fully cooked and potatoes are soft.

2. Add the quick cooking barley and cook another 15 minutes. Serve hot. Add salt to taste.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Chicago Hotdog

Krista and me had a debate as to whether it was ok to put a cucumber on a Chicago style hotdog and here's the proof:

nyah nyah nyah

Monday, December 3, 2007

What would Jesus Buy ?

Jim and I went to a documentary called What would Jesus Buy? yesterday. It was interesting. It follows Rev Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir. I agree completely with the message - that we don't need more stuff. However, he puts on a show similar to a TV evagelist that turns me off. I do want the lyrics to the choir songs though.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gotta love PBS

Last night, after it was on our calendar, I watched the first showing of a documentary about Chicago called THE FOODS OF CHICAGO. It rocked. I gave money to PBS within the first 20 minutes so I could get the DVD. The guy who did it has several actually 10 documentaries about Chicago and we own 1 about the CTA. So if you happen to catch it on the PBS-it is well worth it.

We also realized that we have assigned seats on the sofa. I always sit on the one side even when that means Jim has to step over me to get to his spot. So we switched it up and I sat in his spot and it felt weird!!! I thought assigned seats where only for church :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cross Cultural experience in Ohio and other stuff

A couple notes about the last week or so:

1. Route 30 has become 4 lanes from Upper Sandusky to Fort Wayne - this is so cool!!! Even my dad thought this was a boring 2 lane road, I was excited about this on our way back to Chicago on Saturday.

2. There is a really cool A and W in Delphos, Ohio. They have a salad bar and pie along with the menu that A and W requires. A local take back - I like stuff like that, does that make me old?

3. Another thing in Delphos - a store that you drive through - the first one that Jim has ever seen. I love doing new stuff with Jim, even if it is a drive through store.

4. Jim kept mentioning the sunset of the drive Saturday night. He will mention some "country" thing that I just accept and I see it in a new light.

A Poor Rich Man

this guy lives on nothing but lives a good life plus he has given 5mil in to charity since 1999,0,2692797.story

it's an interesting article

Monday, November 19, 2007

Added something new...

I added a slideshow of our wedding photos on my sidebar... So what do yall think of it?

Wedding Dance

Funny reception dance:

from the geek to the sour patch girl

Ok, Jim told me he has told me this before but I didn't think it was that neat - but when he showed it to me again - I think it is way cool!

It is a great place to read stuff - let me I like to read a dozen or so blogs - but just like ours they aren't updated everyday - so this reader on google "reads" the blogs for me and when there are new entries or news stories from news sites it tells me! So I can go to my reader and read all the stuff off all my favorite blogs and news sites without sorting through the stuff I have read.

I love having my geek around to find this cool stuff!

Good Monday morning/Sunday night

Hi - I am a little too chipper this morning because I didn't go to bed last night.

You might be thinking - wow, what project did she have due? None. Then, maybe wow - what crisis at work did you have? None. Wow, what was on your mind? Nothing.

I am just old. I have been battling a recurring migrane for several days and forgetting that the meds that work to get them to leave have caffeine in them I took several at oh, 10 last night. I used to never have a problem - but now, I was up all night. But I wanted to let you know what I learned while up last night.

Sudoku - oh my....Jim, Nadia and lots of others have talked about it but last night until about 4 I was playing off and on. I had never played before last night and it might be a one night wonder - but wow is it cool.

Then, around 5 I realized that I was still wired and got out my work and laptop and started working. I figure with the work I am getting done - my usual midday swim at 1 will be the end of the day for me today!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fun Kid Photos

Nice staged photo's of kids in dreamlike worlds. I really dig these so check them out below:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Whole Foods and the Dentist

Monday night, I went to a Whole Foods class - it was so fun!!!!! I highly recommend them!

Tuesday, I got my last cavity filled at the old time dentist that Jim and I go to.

I have no idea why these are in the same post!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Church Sign Theology

Another post from Meg on her blog: Bridget Jones goes to seminary

Church Sign Theology
I recently drove by a local church with one of those cutesy church signs out front, this one proclaiming:

Christians Aren't Perfect, Just Forgiven.

Well, first off, I suppose I should affirm what is true about this statement. Christians aren't perfect. I would assess that the lingering nature of depravity is a correct doctrine of humanity. And Christians are forgiven. That is the grace of the Gospel message, the forefront concern of Christ's incarnation and the peace/shalom we are enabled to bring to the world. So, yes, forgiveness. Good. Very well done on the soteriology.

Having said all that, church signs are for the benefit of those outside the church (seems obvious given their location.) Those outside the church are unsually not INSIDE the church for a reason. And, if you ask your run-of-the-mill 10am Sunday gardener/runner/New York Times reader why they aren't in church, I'm guessing you'll hear something about the hypocrisy and irrelevance of organized religion. So,

In a world where Christians scream hate at scared, pregnant 16-year-old girls who don't know where else to turn
And priests molest little children
And pastors carry placards proclaiming, "God hates fags"
And the affluence of most churches is chilling in the face of worldwide AIDS, violence and war
And church elders tell women with black eyes to go back home and submit
And deacons turn away people who can't turn on their heat

If you were a non-church person, how would you hear the quip,

Christians Aren't Perfect, Just Forgiven?

Because, in the context of very real and lamentable failures on the part of church folk, this piece of church sign theology sounds, to me, like a giant "Screw you!" You (people outside the church) can't hold anything against us.
Jesus doesn't care anymore that the Christian kids in your 3rd grade class mocked you senseless because your mom was an atheist. They're forgiven.
Jesus doesn't care anymore that your Christian neighbor was way too cheery in her assessment of your father's front-row seat to inferno post-mortem. She's forgiven.
Jesus doesn't care anymore that your former preist or pastor told you that people with your kind of problem aren't welcome anymore. He's forgiven.

Nanny-nanny-boo-boo, WE'RE forgiven. Now, wouldn't you like to join us this Sunday? We have lovely programming for you children.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Local Anti-War Protesting

I graduated from this school and I'm damn proud that some of this protesting is going on locally. I hope the kids don't get expelled for their efforts. I like the corrolation between the school receiving money from Army recruiters and the school trying to stop the protesting.

Read the full article from out local paper here:,0,6565432.story?coll=chi_tab01_layout

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cool Book

I love this book that I just finished yesterday. It is a sociological study on the change that happens/is happening in 4 neighborhoods in Chicago - but they changed in the neighborhood names and I can only figure out 3 of them - it is driving me nuts.

Pete's Market

So I love grocery shopping, but especially at Pete's here in Chicago - it is a great place for all produce that you could even imagine. And I wanted to brag that for the last several weeks I have bought red bell peppers not because I needed to but because they have been 98 cents per lb - can you believe it?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Unforgettable Wedding photos

Some crazy and weird wedding photos can be found here:

Overheard at a Circuit City

I was wandering around looking for new computer headphones when I passed by the new DVD section and I overheard a man who was carrying an infant as this to his wife as he picked up the Saw "Trilogy" DVD:

"Does this contain all three movies"

I muttered something akin to:

"That trilogy part doesn't give that away"

It amazes me the weird/dumb things people say in public....

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On the bus writing

I have been stressed a lot lately; to the point of shutting down. Its that time in the DOOR year that I need a vacation but can’t take one for another couple weeks. However, while on the megabus to St. Louis - I am thinking of how good my life is.

No matter how stressed I am about it; I am honored to be in the line of work I am. I appreciate the people I work with and for – and when I get stressed about it, it is only because the passion I feel for my work is the tiring and yet energizing.

I get to meet new people all the time – whether they are doing great work in the city or coming to work alongside those in the city or even considering urban ministry as an option. I am able to be apart of the journey, and that is exciting.

I have good people, you know, good people. The folks who are there for me; and notice when I am not all there – that there good people. Especially in the last week I have noticed this while stressed – a sister to vent to, other sisters to hug me and make me feel loved, parents who aren’t on speeddial but should really be, and my niece who loves me so much that when I got up to sing with the choir in church she shouts in her best 2 year old scream – Krista, Krista, that’s Krista. (Thanks Joslyn, you made me feel like a million bucks!) A husband who loves me through my stress – and often picks up on it before I do.

I am so blessed to be where I am. God is so good. God is so good.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Krista and me realize we haven't been posting, she's been busy traveling for work and I was sick all of last huh?

Turns out in a recent debate both Obama and Edwards decided to bash Clinton quite a bit and she stumbled. I'm glad to see Obama attacking instead of being attacked, click on the link below for more information on this

Monday, October 29, 2007

for Chicago readers

The Chicago Transit Authority plans to eliminate 43 more bus routes and hike fares to as high as $3.25 per ride in January under the 2008 "doomsday" budget announced today.

And the reason behind CTA's funding crunch, a lack of state help, is taking its toll on Metra, too. Officials for the commuter rail line made their own announcement today that riders could face a 20 percent fare hike -- double what had been previously predicted – as well as service reductions on some lines in February.

On the CTA, regular cash fares would increase from the current $2 rate to $2.50 on Nov. 4. As of Jan. 6, that would go up again to $2.75. The cash fare would top out at $3.25 on trains during peak travel periods.

Users of electronic Chicago Cards would also pay more. The current $1.75 fare would go up to $2 in November -- then jump again to $2.25 for bus riders and $2.50 for peak-period train riders on Jan. 6.

Riders who use the regular transit cards would see fares jump to $2 for bus service and $2.50 for rail in November, then $2.25 for bus and $2.75 for rail in January. In November, the peak rail fare would increase to $3, then to $3.25 in January.

Thirty-day passes, now $75, would increase to $84 in November, then $94 in January.

Senior citizens and students would not face any fare increases.

The January round of proposed cuts, combined with those already announced for next month, would also mean the elimination of more than half the CTA's bus routes.

If that happened, the agency expects that its daily ridership would drop by about 250,000, to about 1.35 million.

The elimination of 43 bus routes in January—announced today by CTA President Ron Huberman—would come on top of the 39 bus routes to be cut effective Nov. 4.

If both those rounds of cuts took place, that would leave the CTA with only 72 bus routes. It currently has 154 bus routes.

During a news conference at CTA headquarters, Huberman said the beleaguered agency did not plan to reduce rail service for January beyond the possible suspension of Purple Line/Evanston Express trains in November.

In addition, Huberman said the CTA would lay off nearly 1,800 employees in January. That would be in addition to the approximately 620 CTA employees already notified of layoffs effective in November.

Those combined layoffs represent about 22 percent of the CTA work force of about 11,000.

The likelihood of the CTA contingency plan actually having to being implemented has increased because of a lingering stalemate in the Illinois legislature over how to fund Chicago-area mass transit as well as road and bridge repairs statewide.

Metra Executive Director Phil Pagano said today that without additional funding from Springfield, the commuter rail line will be forced to adopt a 2008 budget next month with increased fares as well as other actions.

There is "no doubt" there will be fare increases of 10 to 20 percent, Pagano said. He had previously warned of fare hikes of about only 10 percent.

Metra's board of directors will consider a menu of options at a special meeting Oct. 24.

Its last fare increase was 5 percent in February 2006.

Metra riders might also see weekend service cut back, or reductions on low-ridership lines or on ones where passengers have the best option to take a different line, officials said.

Friday's warnings are the most specific ones yet coming from Metra as a result of budget deficits facing the region's three transit agencies.

Metra has gotten by so far by diverting its capital funds into operating needs, a total of $60 million in 2007.

The CTA, Metra and Pace had been counting on the General Assembly to fill a $226 million shortfall in their 2007 budgets. Legislation that would increase the sales tax imposed by the Regional Transportation Authority in the six-county region failed to pass in a House vote this summer.

But the Senate has not voted on the sales tax proposal. Instead, its leadership has focused on reaching a compromise on a capital bill for highways, mass transit, school construction and other infrastructure. Under the plan, mass transit funding would be considered later.

But the deadline clock is ticking, with CTA and Pace customers facing uncertainties about their travel options starting in about three weeks -- if lawmakers fail to make progress on funding.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My world, in some ways, has gotten a lot smaller in the last several weeks. In the last several days - I have only left the neighborhood once. I go to work, the coffeeshop, my new pool, and go home all within minutes of each other. I love it....

Today, I need to venture out so I can get my meds, get Jim a new CTA pass, but am going to the local library branch to return some books.

Back to my new pool - it is way cool, and people are so friendly. Unlike most other pools that I have worked into my schedule, this pool is social and friendly - the swimmers not just the guards. I was really impressed by this attitude - and feeling like I would enjoy this. I like talking, to no surprise to most that read this blog - so sure new friends - that would be great!

Well, after my hard weekend, Monday I wanted to swim and be in my head. The woman in the next lane was wanting to socialize and I tried to ignore her at first - I came to swim and be with me. In the next laps, I was thinking that I have been trying to foster community with my students in the last two months. I have been trying to show that community living isn't aways fun or in the time that you want it to be. I have been touting relationships as huge and important.

Then I started to think about the importance of me time. Yes, I need to make sure I give myself care - one of the reasons I swim. I need alone time and I need to care for me so I can give to others.

In the end, I stopped swimming long enough to talk and swap stories and then we were back to our swimming. I think relationships are important enough to stop...but I need to remind myself about that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lots of stuff

In the last couple days I have been experiencing and learning lot of stuff:

1. The gift that I have (because of how I grew up) in not being scared of doctors, hospitals, blood, etc. I spent 24 hours in the hospital with one of my students and I am able to watch the blood stuff and still be okay. I think I really want to do Clinical Pastoral Education at sometime out of this.

2. In understanding how much I need free time with and without Jim. I got frustrated this weekend due to the lack of time to free time.

3. We had our credit card stolen over the weekend - it bothers me that it happened - but it is just a scary thing.

4. We finally got to see "Why I got Married?" last night. It made me think - I am so glad that I got married to Jim. Something that came across this weekend is that I want to do it on my own because it seems that I am strong if I do, and yet if I can let Jim support me then I can actually be a stronger person.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ann Coulter

I love her and hate her at the same time. I love her simply because it completely blows away any conservative opinions that anyone has and shows us she and her opinions are completely insane. I hate her simply because if anyone else outside this country listens to what she says they probably believe we all think like her. I reference all of this because of her latest statements.

Coulter on the Jews

Anti-Gay Coulter

Don't get me started on her book either

I think a simple "Yikes" should suffice.

Cool Quote

There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in-between.

- Pat Riley, basketball coach

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why Geeks Make Good Fathers

Fun reading

Check it out

Cat story

We had a cat jump through the window the other night into our apartment and then couldn't get out and started crying, until Jim woke up to the crying cat. Then he woke up and declared..."We have a cat in our house!" I only remember opening my eyes to Jim holding the cat above my head (as the window was directly above my head) the cat not wanting to be held before Jim could get him out the window. What a night!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Another recipe

2 Tbsp Ginger chopped
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 Leeks, chopped (white and light green only)
4 Sweet Potatoes, Peel and Dice
Pinch Salt and Pepper
6 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin

Saute leeks, potatoes and ginger in hot oil for a couple minutes.
Add Spices, stir well.
Add stock, bring to the boil and simmer till cooked (35 minutes).
Puree about 3 cups - leave the rest chunky...

its amazing! Enjoy!

Jim has decided he really likes leeks - I mean he would really like me to make something with them every week - he can taste them even if he doesn't know they are in the dish. I love him; and I love the fact that he has discerning taste buds.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I need to swim!

I am in Louisville at meetings - the kind that go morning to night without much break - and so I miss having any space which has become my exercise time at home.

So, hopefully - I can swim tomorrow when I get home!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Kayne and Louisville

This afternoon, about an hour ago, I started singing to myself Kayne West’s newest single. Something may have triggered it, but I have yet to figure what that might have been.

This would not have been a bit strange if I was home. However, for the past two days I have been in Louisville, KY at a Presbyterian Mission Conference. This is mostly for international mission, which all of us urban workers in the US, are getting a bit bitter about (as if we aren’t doing mission/justice work just because we aren’t overseas). The main point is that this event is about 99% white and about 80% over the age of 55.

I was with Heidi, the DOOR Miami City Director (aka Miami version of me) yesterday as she lead a workshop and she mentioned that some research of cross cultural work a person becomes a 150% person, 75% of the cultural one was born into and 75% of the cultural one encounters. At events like this one, my 75%s are at war with one another.

I would hardly say that Kayne West is only an inner city thing – by far not. However, by standards of most people here – to start humming his music is as far away as South Africa. I can talk churchy language and I love to think theologically – but I would rather do that in the context of the city. This isn’t something that I can leave – instead it is in me to the core. I don’t like being with a 700 person crowd of white people anymore. I want the variety of God’s rainbow of colors present at an event such as this.

Whenever I am sent to these conferences, I think of these things. I have been changed by living and working where I do. I want to live where I live; I want to work where I work; I want to be a faithful disciple of Christ and I believe that I need to continue to work on that as well as understanding my 150%ness.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

If Jim and Krista had a kid....

this might be likely to happen (from the RED EYE CTA BLOG SITE)

True story, and while it was annoying at the time, it's really funny.

My wife and I were on the Brown Line the other morning on the way to Lakeview when a woman and her son -- probably 5 or 6 years old -- get on at like Randolph and Wabash.

This kid is hysterical. Screaming. And at first it was hard to make out what the problem was, but then as the cries filled the car and it became impossible to concentrate on anything else, it became clear.

"I wanted Greeeeeen. Waaaaaaaaah. Green, mom!"

Yes, readers, this young man was having a temper tantrum over his mom's choice to ride the Brown instead of the Green.

I was surprised. Personally, I think Brown blows Green out of the water, with the exception of the cool tunnel near IIT.

Eventually, his mom redirected his attention to the book he was carrying. And he became one with Brown, although he cried sporadically as we approached Sedgwick and Armitage.

Hopefully, he gets his wish and gets to go Green someday. But kid, let me give you a little piece of advice. Orange. That's where the excitement is at.

Ne w Blog that I found

Here is a foodie blog I found out about today:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Computer and Peace Geek Collided

for those who don't get it, when programming a website in order to stop for example bolding a part of text the character / is used. I dunno maybe someone out there wouldn't get it right away....

Oprah entry

So - in regards to the movie that is previewed in a post last week - Oprah is asking viewers to answer the question - Why did I get married? I decided to take a stab at it in 2000 characters or less (that is Oprah's terms) This is obviously not all the reasons I got married - but I think more and more the more I fall in love it has to do with this deep real friendship that only Jim and I understand and love in each other.

I got married because I found a best friend that I didn’t want to go home, ever.

I admit, I am a newlywed – so my opinion may be less valid than my parent’s who have been married forever and a day in today’s standards. My husband will tell you that he worked hard for me to date him, really hard. It is so true. So, when I went on a study trip for three weeks – I came home thinking – crap he is going to break up with me because he won’t care after this time, and he was thinking – crap she is going to break up with me because she will be so passionate about the trip that just happened. I knew that I never wanted to have that feeling again. I wanted to know that my best friend, my now husband, was going to be there with me no matter where I traveled to without him. Marriage was my way of saying – I love you and I want you in my life – something I haven’t ever been willing or wanting to say before.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fun list

Found this on the blog entitled: "Bridget Jones Goes to Seminary"

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

10. A man's place is in the army.

9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.

8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.

7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.

5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.

4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.

1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

Moral of the story: pretty much anyone can use Scripture/common sense to come to pretty much any conclusion that they pretty much want to. (I like #2 the best)

Tyler Perry rush

Nadia told me on Wednesday night that she saw an ad for it, I just saw a TV ad for it - yippee - Tyler Perry's new film based on his play entitled "Why Did I Get Married?" I knew about it, but I am excited to remember that Jill Scott (one of the most listened to artists on my iPod) and Tyler Perry are in this. It comes out October 12.

Thanks Jim for dealing wonderfully with my passion for Tyler - the cutest guy in the world.

Jim and theology: Krista's two great loves

This week I became a translator of all things church. One thing I love about Jim is that he brings such a different perspective than I do on church because he isn’t as ingrained as I am in church politics and traditions of the church. While I get paid especially with these semester long students to talk theology, I read theology and think in those terms most of the time – Jim spends most of his time not thinking about theology.

Last weekend, we went to our friend’s ordination which I immediately became the translator in explaining what was going on. Then I have had several really deep conversations, finished an amazing book, and Jim and I have really delved into theology this week.

Jim is so open to see what actually is happening within the church body – not the tradition, not what the church says should happen, not whatever – but what it actually is doing – he sometimes is more hopeful that I and always points me to a better perspective.

Marriage has changed my view on faith, given me a new perspective into love, and given me a new understanding of community. I am still working on the explanation of that – if there is one.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

interesting reading

I am reading a book called Take this bread by Sara Miles:

This quote stuck out to me:

What happened once I started distributing communion was the truly disturbing, dreadful realization about Christianity: You can't be a Christian by yourself.

She quotes Isaac of Nineveh a 7th century mystic saying: Did not Our Lord share his table with tax collectors and harlots? So do not distinguish between worthy and unworthy. All must be equal for you to love and serve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Is the world flat?

On the view...

After declaring she didn't "believe in evolution, period," new "View" co-host Sherri Shepherd was asked if she thought the world was flat.

Click here for article and video

...I thoroughly enjoy asking people peculiar questions and watching them squirm that's why I enjoy this so much.

Friday, September 14, 2007

speedos and goggles

So after two swim suit tramas in two days, yesterday I went swimsuit shopping...never good...I ended up buying an actual speedo. I also bought some new goggles of which I have gone without since oh I don't know...4th grade.

This morning armed in my new suit and my new goggles I couldn't wait to swim today! Seriously, I couldn't get my head out of water - goggles make everything underwater so clear. I am such a big kid!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I made my first batch of muffins in probably 3rd grade. I remember on cooking day with my 4-H group at my aunt's house overmixing muffins on purpose to see what would happen. I don't think I have ever done it other than that, until yesterday.

I was thinking of that lesson, like I do every time I make muffins, and yet I must have liked mixing too much yesterday. I can't believe I did this. However, they were still good and didn't have the peaking that can happen - so they look normal until the inside.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup non-fat milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
raisins or nuts (optional)

Soak the oats in milk for about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and egg whites, and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Add nuts or raisins if desired.
Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough. Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar and top each muffin with some of the mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.
Remove from pan, cool and enjoy.
These can be frozen and reheated in the microwave for a quick breakfast.

Number of Servings: 12

New favorite comic

I found a new comic that looks amazing and has some deep philosophical ideas

The site is:

My favorite comic so far is this one:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

So today, along with my students, I attended a Myers Briggs workshop. I love MBTI! My type is ENTJ. I however am slowing becoming a P - maybe. I don't want to admit that, really. In ten years, maybe I will be a P. Not as much as my friend Jackie and probably not as much as Jim - but a slight P.

Jim took an online version and came out as I thought he would - INFP. I think that is what Dad is, or something quite close that. Jackie is a ENFP.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Comfort Food

It is no secret that my Dad is a great cook. He has great skills in prepping really hard and laborous foods; and yet one of his favorite dishes is gravy over white bread. Easy and real comfort food - real cheap too.

I was reminded of this in the last two meals I made.

Last night - I made the following lentil barley soup from Healthy Online Recipes.

3/4 cup dry pearl barley
4 cups hot water
6 cups Veal Stock or Beef Stock
1/2 cup dry lentil beans
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 ripe tomato, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound extra-lean ground round or ground veal, browned and drained


Soak barley in 4 cups hot water for 1 hour. Ina stock pot, heat stock just to boiling (do not boil), reduce heat to simmer. Add barley with soaking liquid to stock. Add lentils, onion and celery, simmer 2 - 2.5 hours, or until barley is tender and lentils are cooked. Stir in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt, pepper and ground round or veal, simmer 10-15 minutes.

It rocked. Jim noticed it, he liked the smell. We both thought it was good etc.
But tonight, I didn't get home in time to make the meal I had planned so I just made tuna salad melt for Jim and oven fries and I had just a tuna sandwich and oven fries. Jim loved the tuna salad - I used olives instead of relish - because we were out of relish. Easy to please he is.

New Recipe for Tuna Salad:

1 can of tuna, drained
mayo until I feel like stopping squeezing (Jim likes squeeze mayo)
the rest of the chopped olives from the jar
about 1 tbsp diced celery

Using Pam like substance, spray oil on wheat bread (and place in hot skillet), place cheese slice (Jim likes Kraft singles) and then place half of the tuna salad on top of cheese. Then place the other piece of bread on top then spray the top of the bread with Pam. Flip when needed and enjoy!


I went to the CMLC auction, had a great time. I bought a comforter that even Jim agreed matches our curtains. I was bidding on some stuff that got pretty close, probably too close. But it was way fun!

Yesterday, was declared packing day! We packed a lot of stuff! Our home is looking more and more like an apartment.

Friday, September 7, 2007

overheard at 949 W. 19th St.

Krista: "So I am thinking about bidding on a couple things at the CMLC auction...what do you think?"

Jim: "You are the one that takes care of the money, do we have it to spend?"

Krista: "I think, and it is for a good cause"

Jim: "Babe, with you it is always a good cause"

Krista breaks out laughing because it is so true. At least I have a problem giving to charity as opposed to giving to a slot machine!


I keep forgetting to post that we are moving. We have a great, great deal. Cheaper rent and right next door to work - literally, next door to Krista's work!! Ease of access to CTA for Jim to get downtown - more regular than what he was now. We are moving September 29!

CTA story

I was on a bus today headed to check in on an agency:

It was sprinking and the bus stopped for an elderly woman who had two shopping carts. The woman got on and pointed at me and said, "Come, help me!" I got up and went to the door. The bus driver said to the woman (and to me) that she would put the ramp down to ease the process. So I got off the bus to pull the shopping cart out of the ramp's way. The woman wasn't convinced I was doing it right. Saw me trying to move the cart and looked at the bus driver and said, "She is stealing my cart! Bus driver, she is stealing the cart!" The bus driver tried to explain what I was doing. But in the end, I just lifted both of the carts up and then am trying to live with the idea that an elderly woman thought I was stealing her groceries.


So, the other day I assigned the RAD participants to journal. So at least for the next couple months - I need to be a good example and journal with them. I am going to do that here most of the time.

In the last couple days, we have done a lot of work - Wednesday alone we ripped up flooring in a Catholic parish house and then in the afternoon sorted 2000 lbs of bread. I learned several things - I have to be in the right mindset to do that kind of work and it is hard. A lot of my job is relationship, for this I am grateful. However, it was WAY cool to work hard and see something get done.

Yesterday, after reflecting in 4 different city locations on Psalm 30 (a journaling exercise), we went and stood on the sidewalk and even in the street and asked for money for a local non-profit. I have never thought I would do that. I even called Jim and had him come by to drop his change in our boots (our buckets) because I was worried I couldn't get anyone else to give money. All together we collected 505 in bills, and 181 in change!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ways to be a kid

Have you ever watched a child completely engrossed in a project? They have the unusual ability to be serious about what they’re doing without taking it too seriously. You can do the same with your life. You can live every day with more focus, and every week with more motivation.
Here’s what every child knows that you may have forgotten.

See if you can apply some of these lessons to your adult life....

Click here to read the rest

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teaching computers

Funny thing - my lovely husband is the computer guy even does teaching over the phone about computers, and yet I am the one that is in a computer lab at the Y teaching my RAD students how to make a blog - nothing like a humbling experience to have 8 computers shining your homepage in a room.

Friday, August 24, 2007


It turns out I'm a pretty decent web designer... In less than a month while working another full time job I will be finished with DOOR's new website. I got some hair-pulling moments but each time I fix a problem I learn more. I will link to DOOR's new website soon for now you can look at the old one here:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mennonites in Mexico

Check this article out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

good luck teachers

I wrote this for the opening worship for the teachers at Chicago Mennonite Learning Center:

Psalm 46
Slightly adapted by Krista Dutt

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble – like when the aide and my co-teacher is out sick and the kid I hate to admit that I don’t like every much is working my last, my last nerve. Even then, God is my refuge and provides me another nerve of strength.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth or the schedule should change, though the mountains shake or I want to shake someone at the book club company for not sending one of the books that my 5th grader wanted so badly. Though its waters roar and foam or my co-worker looks like she is going to roar and foam, though the mountains tremble forget butterflies, those are mountains that are in my stomach when that one, you know the one, parent comes in to “talk”.
I know You can calm my fear.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. That is totally better than the river of rainwater in the parking lot which is causing a week worth of inside recess. You reside in those extra moments with the kids, help me see that.

God is in the midst of this city and this school; it shall not be moved or swayed from its mission; God will help it when the morning dawns which is when the teachers arrive to the time the last 2nd grader is picked up.
Come, behold the works of the Lord through your hands and through the children’s minds and eyes; see what God has done through your dedication each day.
God makes wars cease to the end of the earth; so God can handle the 7th grader who is too smart for her own good. God breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. So God can take the homesick kindergartener and comfort him, help the 8th grader figure out her next steps, or help you explain the conflict resolution process to the 3rd graders.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations and CMLC, I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us as we start this new year; the God of Jacob is our refuge.


While I was swimming today, the ring I designed for my licensing disappeared. I haven't worn it in weeks - and I put it on this morning, but I took it off (but not my wedding ring) to swim....

What is funny, is that while I am disappointed I am not crushed. In some ways, I have seen my licensing ring as important as my wedding band - a public sign of a commitment I made to the church - and yet since I am not pastoring currently I don't feel as connected to it. That might be good as I probably won't ever see it again.

The great thing is that my committment to the church doesn't go away just because my ring is off my finger or non-existant. And now, if I ever get ordained - I can get another ring!


Monday, August 20, 2007

New Blog of interest

Hi! A guy from the University of Illinois at Chicago (locally known as UIC)Agape House who I was introduced to a while ago by my co-worker in Miami (small world I live in) has started a blog that reminds me a lot of mine when I started so it is now in my links.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend group

Brian, my assistant, gave me a huge gift this past weekend. He let me help lead a weekend group. Now, for those of you who haven't heard I have been doing less of the work with the groups and more planning stuff lately. That is great work - but I did miss doing the actual people work - so I got to take groups, talk about the city, and have a lot of fun. The other thing I realized is that I am out of practice and that it shows that I am I also having a good time doing what I am doing!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Whole Foods Visit Number 4

Yes, in less than a week I have been to the new whole foods 4 times. And this time was while my husband seems to have posted the wonderful news of the horrific merger proposal. However, I have several things to say about my visit.

1. I am in love with the carrot ginger soup but right now I am really keeping track of portions and calories. So, on my previous visits I have looked for that information around the store with no luck, went home and looked on the website, and so yesterday I finally asked at customer service. The woman did seem to understand why I expected Whole Foods to have that information, but her supervisor referred her to the website - where there is a carrot soup with ginger and spearmint - but it isn't the same ingredients (I knew that already). So, I think I need to go and write down all the ingredients and try to make it so I know what is in it. So, luckily Jim loves carrots - because it may take awhile to get it right.

2. I finally broke down and bought the keg of root beer that Jim has been eyeing. It was buy one get one free - and it was a good deal - but we are going to be drinking root beer until Christmas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Whole Foods Fiasco

I like Whole Foods maybe not as much as Krista does but it's neat to find such a wide variety. Saying this I just found this article about what Whole Foods is doing to Wild Oats.

Click here

Seems someone slipped and let known that WF is closing a large percentage of WO stores once they would acquire them...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Jim is not missing

I just realized that I posted as Jim just a minute ago which made me realize that he hasn't posted in a bit. That is mainly because he is keeping himself busy as the DOOR webmaster who is redesigning the site right now.

For anyone who is in love with their work as well as a significant other, I have found this is a perfect way to combine the two. Get the SO to be hired with the agency - then nights can be filled with - both SOs being hooked in to a laptop working on the same thing as happened to us the other night.


whole foods - part two

So, after my bitter post on Wednesday...I went to Whole Foods for lunch and I snapped out of my ethical problem (maybe not a good thing) fast. It is way cool set up - and actually used more space for their prepared food than the two or so rows of not prepared food. I had the carrot ginger soup with a salad on Wednesday and I just arrived back from going today for lunch - and had tomato basil soup with a salad. Plus, I found out they had free Wi-Fi. Lord, thank you that you put us in the budgeting class starting last night so that I don't blow our small savings on Whole Foods at lunch time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Oh, being ethical

So, I was planning to post about something big in my life today--something that has been on my calendar for big that my husband as made a verb out of my excitement. Example: You know, that person ______ ______ed it. (Meaning of great excitement)

A Whole Foods Market has opened within a short hike distance from our apartment. So in prep for this blog post I went to their website to get a link to the new store and instead found lots of disheartening news about several misdeeds of the CEO, John Mackey. So now, I am not sure my mind can go pick up my husband and have lunch there this opening day.

You see, beyond being a foodie or as my husband has said a kitchen geek (I finally used my new pastry cutter the other day, but that is another post)I try to pay attention to economic justice. Whole Foods has paid a living wage - which is my main bench mark for a good business and their CEO has a limit of 7 x the lowest wage earner of what he can make. Yes, this makes costs go up, and yes this means I can't buy everything there to fit my budget - but at one time I was pretty close at doing all my shopping there.

Apparently, I need to work on keeping up with these matters and with Whole Foods and Wild Oats joining and becoming a bigger force in the market I fear their committment to the things I like them for while go by the wayside.

I am still going today - but without the joy that I felt only an hour ago.

Monday, August 6, 2007

new food

I tried the plumcot for lunch today after seeing it in the store last night while grocery shopping.

The Plumcot is a hybrid between an apricot and a plum. The fruit has the smell of an apricot and the flavour of a plum. The plumcot has a very smooth green outside and a bright red inside. The fruit can be eaten fresh or used in to make jam. The plumcot was created by Luther Burbank by crossing an apricot and a plum. Similar hybrid fruit are marketed today under the name pluot. (wikipedia)

I wasn't that impressed - actually. I like plum and I love apricots and it didn't taste anything like an apricot at all. Oh, well they were on sale....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

libraries rock

A friend was telling me (Nadia or Melissa) that you can download audiobooks to your computer/ipod on the Chicago public Library website but I completely forgot until I was there today. What a great idea!!!

Go to to do this. Directions are on the home page; but only if you have a chicago public library card. But hey, check it out at your own library!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Leaving Church by B.B. Taylor

The other night, while riding out a caffeine buzz, I finished Leaving Church. Wow! What a great book. The author has been named one of the top ten preachers in the United States. It is her story of finding herself and leaving her love and her profession, being an pastor. While I can identify with the point of her devotion to working for the church, I think the book is one that others who are find themselves defined by their work in anyway.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I have a photo site down where my links are. They have various digital photos I've made since I got my first digital camera. The big part of those photos are our wedding photos. So check them out on the right side.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


We recently defected to Netflix as blockbuster decided to cut down on the amount of in-store rentals you could do. We also like the streaming video option more than the in-store rental exchange thing.

As we probably have a few friends who have Netflix please become a friend with the link below.

Become a Netflix friend!

Friday, July 27, 2007

swimming part 2

I am reading a book called Leaving Church - where the author says:

As hard as I have tried to remember the exact moment when I fell in love with God. I cannot do it. The Divine Presence was strongest outdoors...(God feels like) my father holds me up in the swimming pool teaching me to float. As frightened as I am of getting water up my nose. I gradually relax into his open arms, trusting him to bear me up. ONe day he will let me go, but so far he hasn't. Until he does, there is no better feeling in the world than resting on his open arms with my body half in and half out of the pool, the sun in my face, and enough water in my ears so that I can really hear is my heart. Barbara Brown Taylor

A theological reason to like swimming....yippee!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I love swimming always have. I have gone the last three days straight to the local pool to swim and I went several times last week as well with plans to go tonight.

That's all....I love it, enough said.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

fun with leftovers

So, I must admit I am indeed having fun with leftovers...I love figuring out ways to use up stuff...and the last two days have been good days for that. Yesterday, I chopped an onion, threw it in some broth (leftover) to brown, threw some broccoli (meaning to use for awhile, frozen), and then added rice and for the liquid a mixture of milk and broth. After that was all done, I cut up the leftovers veggie burgers and regular burger and mixed it in. Jim loved it - and I was impressed with the difference in taste with the creamness that the milk in the rice made (fat free milk, even).

Today, I was flipping through a magazine before I threw it out and saw a recipe that I thought I might like to try sometime - the more I thought about it the more I realized I could make it tonight with a few changes. So, here is the recipe I made.


About a cup of diced cukes, a handful of diced onion, 1 diced jarred bell peppers, about 1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes, and one diced avocado and a bit of salt.

Hot Dish:

With a bit of wine act as oil - I added about 1/2 lb green beans (frozen, Trader Joe's) and about 3/4 lb of shrimp to a hot pan. Once cooking was on the way I threw in some garlic, some beef seasoning, and some ginger. Once all warm and wonderful smelling -

I took a scoop of the salad and a scoop of the hot stuff and served over baked tortilla chips. (The orginal recipe was to be served as tacos - but we still had the chips from the birthday party.) Wow was it good!

Highly recommend the whole thing but the salad was awesome.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter

Sorry...Jim usually keeps this blog updated, and he is investing his time in his Homer Puzzle and his Harry Potter book.

The Homer puzzle is cool; and I like the fact that my husband reads so that is fine by me!

Monday, July 23, 2007


We had a crazy weekend including Jim's 27th birthday party where he got Omni Mash Prime and got to open his Homer Simpson puzzle - that is way cool, even for me.

When I asked Jim what he wanted at the party he said burgers - so I decided that I would make several kinds
A. Chicken burgers with thyme, oregano, rosemary, vinegar, garlic and a bit of olive oil
B. Regular burgers
C. Heart Attack Burgers - hot sauce, worchester, diced cheese hot dogs and bacon and cheese on top.
D. Chicago Diner Burger- mushrooms, oatmeal, soy sauce, garlic, onion, flour - these are really good for my first try at home made veggie burgers.

We also had watermelon, grilled veggies, chips, and ice cream and cake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Redeye Chicago...

We've been posted in the local free Chicago magazine called "The Redeye." Krista responded with this after an article about a company advertising to pay for the engagement ring if someone proposed on the blue line.

Here's the quote:

CTA wedding day

My husband and I did not get engaged on the CTA, but I love it, so when he read your article ("Nothing says 'I love you' like the Blue Line," July 10 column by Kyra Kyles) he said to me: "I wish I had thought of that."

However, we did take the CTA from the church to our wedding dinner, along with about half of our wedding guests--15 or so--and our photographer. The best pictures from our wedding are actually [on] the CTA.

Krista Dutt, 30, Pilsen

Heres the link to redeye's website with our quote


I joined this website that helps track fitness and nutrition goals - I like it and it is helping me so far.

My friend, Chris, recommended it to me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


This was a fun read and makes me want to watch the movie again.

The secrets of life can be found in Ferris Bueller's Day Off


Monday, July 16, 2007

White House Chef

Some of you know that my goal used to be that I wanted to be the White House Chef - this was before I realized that until the current head chef you had to be a man - not that I would have let that get in the way. HOwever, I heard Chef Cris in an interview today - I still want her job!

I love cooking, and maybe it wouldn't be as fun if I had to do it. But, it seems like the dream job for me - and it will mostly stay in the dream category.

Tonight, I am making a green bean salad and chicken bbq burgers. I am excited!

Wait Wait...Live!

July 19, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

Free Show - Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! Live!

No tickets are available or necessary - bring a blanket and enjoy the show!
Join host Peter Sagal and scorekeeper Carl Kasell and a rotating roster of cultural pundits at they try their hand at the week's top headlines.

Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph StreetChicago, IL 60605
Any of our local friends join us thursday night!

Friday, July 13, 2007

B-day fun

Yesterday was my birthday. We had fun going minigolfing and I got to see the Kwik-E-Mart version of 7-11 here in Chicago it was an awesome thing to see. Had fun and I've had someone make such a big deal out of my birthday as much as Krista did which is nice.

At 7-11 I didn't get to take pictures as my camera was dead but I am a long time reader of a geek/80's website called X-Entertainment and he has an article with pictures on it. I had a lot of fun checking out the Simpson themed store and just had to buy a Squishee and a pink donut.

We went to a mini-golf/arcade place called Haunted Trails. We played a round of mini-golf. I lost by 1 point to my friend Sam.

Most of my birthday's with my parents were just me sitting around the house with a few friends while my father grilled and we usually went swimming...

Oh yah btw the Amazon link will be put up until my birthday party happens on the 21st.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The other day I said the word "ginormous." Krista giggled and pointed out that there's no such word. I replied that there should be....

Lo and behold it's now in the dictionary

This conversation just happened something like a week ago....

Monday, July 9, 2007


I love toys...just ask Krista. She's the first to point out to me the existence of

Optimash Prime!

On more kidlike toys I have been collecting Mr. Potato Head themed geekness. I currently have Spider-Spud and Darth Tater. I am looking forward getting, Spud Trooper, and Artoo-Potatoo.

Yes I know I'm a kid...

article of interest

So - I am glad this was not offered at my seminary!

Click Here

Bye to Bandit and Socks

After awhile of trying to live with two cats, Jim and I decided to say good-bye to our cats. While I got choked up giving Socks away, I know that a better home exists for her. One that will give her all the attention she needs as well as the independence she needs. Bandit is back with Jim's parents and seems happy adjusting back to life with a dog and another cat other than Socks.

Brian, my assistant got a cat this weekend and so I am not catless - but just at home, I am.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bono and Africa

My dear husband does know me well and usually can speak on my behalf - not this time.

I think Bono does do a lot of great things - as a urban educator, I respect his ways of raising the awareness of wealthy Americans (and other upper class around the world) that there is huge debt in the world - and most of it is owed to the United States. The One campaign has seen great success due to U2's pitching it at concerts and events. The One campaign is basically the idea the if the US would forgive 1 percent of what it is owed - many 2/3 thirds countries would be out of debt and then could thrive with out the UN helping them.

HOWEVER, this is where my husband didn't get my view right - I don't believe that a wealthy band or any group should tell a people what they need. If Bono hasn't spent enough time talking to the tribes mentioned in the article to listen to what has been spelled out as a need or a want instead of what Bono wants to give - then Bono and then U2 needs to leave. I deal with this at work all the time. People from the suburbs or from out in the middle of nowhere want to tell the folks in the inner city how things should work - without listening to what is working here in the inner city.

I have read many times that the RED campaign was a flop because of all the money it wasted. While I understand the problem of spending all that money that could have been given to AIDS research, I also understand that education is sometimes immeasurable. So what about the people who saw Bono and Oprah parading down Michigan Ave in Chicago and got tested for AIDS. I am not saying that the RED campaign was all good - in fact it was probably a mistake. BUT I AM A BELIEVER IN AWARENESS - its my passion to make people aware of issues in the city - and therefore I feel like the campaign did have some good - and hopefully can learn from its mistakes and try again.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

More Marriage News

7 secrets to a long and happy marriage

Check it out

We currently do a lot of these things so we are on the right track...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bono and Africa

Krista and me have this small debate on Bono and U2 on occasion. I don't care much for Bono it always seems to me like he's just doing all these charitable things for attention. U2's music is just passable as "lite" or "elevator" music. She likes the music and as she is a non-profit director loves almost anything that has to do with charity.

My side:

Bono's red iPod failed so much that they spent more on advertising than actually making money. They spent $100 million on product and advertising and ended up only raising $18 million. They could have easily just have handed over $100 million to Africe for aid....

Now this article comes out saying that there are certain tribes that do not want Bono's help. The article states that the "saving" of Africa won't come from aid but from the "ingenuity of it's people."


Now I'm sure he's done lots of good things for Africa and charity but me being a technology geek I see these bunglings more often than most stories...

Nun In The Bathroom

thanks to shellybelly of t-six for this one.

Nun In The Bathroom

A nun, badly needing to use to the restroom, walked into a local Hooters.
The place was hopping withmusic and loud conversation and every once in awhile the lights would turn off. Each time the lights would go out, the place would erupt into cheers.

However, when the revelers saw the nun, the room went dead silent. She walked up to the bartender, and asked, "May I please use the restroom?The bartender replied, "OK, but I should warn you that there is a statue of a naked man in there wearing only a fig leaf." Well, in that case I'll just look the other way," said the nun.

So, the bartender showed the nun to the back of the restaurant. After a few minutes, she came back out, and thewhole place stopped just long enough to give the nun a loud round of applause. She went to the bartender and said, "Sir, I don' t understand. Why did they applaud for me just because I went to the restroom?" "Well, now they know you're one of us," said the bartender, "Would you like a drink?"

But, I still don't understand," said the puzzled nun."You see," laughed the bartender, "every time someone lifts the fig leaf on that statue, the lights go out. Now, how about that drink?"

Birthday's coming up

On July 12th I'll be ripe old age...of 27. Yeah yeah I know it's not that old but tell that to my knees.

Anyone wanna get me something check out my Amazon wishlist

My Wish List

Monday, July 2, 2007

videogames & violence

Slightly heated debates happen between Krista and me about this topic and this comic sums up my opinion a little...

from a favorite comic/blog Extralife

We went away this weekend

Hi - I know I haven't posted for awhile, and I am sorry. This time each year I am not sure who I am any more - but this week Brian is taking more and more of the week long program from my hands. Marriage is helping me give it up actually - there is a reason to go home for supper instead of stay here. I am actually cooking supper for Jim for the first time in a month tonight and I am excited!

This past weekend - we went away, not far, just to the suburbs and stayed in a hotel and did stuff that we wouldn't do if we just drove up there for the day - went to a water park, went to a mall that is like the Worthington Mall for those of you in Ohio, and for the rest of you that means we would have both needed to start new jobs to afford anything. We also went to see the new Pixar film but I will let Jim review that for you.

The thing I like about this stage of marriage is that I seriously don't get tired of spending time with Jim. Maybe that is because I have crazy hours - but really there is no place I would rather be than spending time with him in some way (which is big for the girl who loves her job that she might have married it if she hadn't married Jim). We are both quality time folks on the 5 love languages which is helpful - lots of times women are this but guys aren't. So we both see it as equally important to spend time together.

I know that JIm and I are still in the honeymoon phase and there most likely will be a time when I say - I have had a enough of you, I need a break - but I am enjoying this phase right now.

hey all Simpsons fans

So...I heard this morning that some 7/11 stores are turning into Abu's Quiky Mart from the Simpson in time for the movie. The one in Chicago is going to be on 63rd street near Midway. I even want to go there.

This would be the time to mention something about marriage. In the beginning of creating a blog together - I mentioned that it would be easy to tell Krista posts from Jim posts. However, I am posting about a very Jim topic and he often posts about Krista topics.

Marriage is turning out that way. I notice what he likes to notice and he notices Krista things (he is actually better at this than I am). I guess friendships are a little like that too - I will always notice frogs thanks to Chris' obsession with them. However, this noticing goes a little further - I mean, I want to take Jim to the 7/11 and buy him all the stuff they have changed specifically for the movie.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Unsolved Mysteries

Returning to television one of my favorite shows growing up brought to you by HBO. They will be selling it to cable broadcasters thankfully.

News link


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

bean bag chair

I found this on the web thought it was pretty cool for a lazy chair....


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wedding Dresses

Krista wanted me to post this segment of 'Talk of the Nation' on NPR

It's about the reusing of wedding dresses. I think you need to hit the "listen now" button to hear the whole story.

Whoops forgot to provide a link


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Camp Casey, Cindy, and what it might mean

When I heard Cindy Sheehan had resigned from the peace movement - I was mad. How can you resign from something you believe in - take a break, rest, yes. Resign? No. Her letter was saddening and her work seems to be in vain.

However, I just read the following from the retired director of CPT. It is his response to Cindy. I think I am just not wise enough to understand what she is going through, and he does.

who the heck is Brian?

No, we aren't adding yet another person to the blog...we are done with that. Instead, Jim is referring to the assistant director at DOOR Chicago - Brian Sales. A geek like Jim, a Chicago lover like Krista and he loves Batman - like I love Sour Patch Kids!


how can this be possible to fit three peoples identities into one 3 panel comic....

1. the comic is pure geekness -Jim

2. the first panel is religious -Krista

3. third panel is batman -Brian


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

a little unknown...

Something most people(I think) don't know about Krista is she cannot lie. This is quite an entertaining thing to watch when it comes to small things around our life. I found this quote while watching a Chris Titus stand up routine which fit my wife quite nice.

as devious as Don Knotts on sodium pentathol

Gotta love it... I'll be here all week try the veal

sarcasm time...

mmmm anti-creationism at it's finest

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sox game

Going to see the White Sox play Houston tonight...

It's been a while since I was at a baseball game. I hate watching it on tv it's like watching paint dry or like one of my previous jobs watching glue dry(don't ask). I think it's about the environment, the people, the food, and the smells of said food that make baseball games fun.


Overheard at my work...

Right church, wrong pew

A customer said this today after realizing she was in the wrong application for what she wanted to do. I got a good chuckle out of it.

after the phone call I googled the phrase and found an interesting article

(I realize this is more of a krista subject)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Racist Quiz

Find out how racist you are


Evan Almighty tidbit

I found this on gave me a chuckle

Evan's Hummer has the license plate GEN 614, citing Genesis 6:14, which reads "Make thee an ark of timber planks: thou shalt make little rooms in the ark, and thou shalt pitch it within and without."


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

barack bet

On cue from my wife on her last post I will tell the story of our bet on our honeymoon.

We were laying around in bed on our second night when Obama came on TV.

I said "did you know his middle name is Hussein?"

"No it isn't" she replied.

"OK wanna bet?" I said.


"I bet a quarter." I was being nice as I knew she would so lose

"Let's make it interesting, if I win you get to take me out at Jubilee Juice and if you win you get...ummm a Wii point card worth 10$."


I walked downstairs and wikipedia'd Barack Obama and printed out the first page of his information. At the top of the page it said "Barack Hussein Obama" ZING!

And that's how I won our first bet on our second day of marriage. Let's hope I keep winning them hehehe ;)

Seeing the mayor

So this morning, I was walking back to an agency and I saw a press conference being set up. Cameras and reporters from all three main news stations in Chicago were there - I assumed they would be in place for the 11 am news - I was right. Around 11:05 the mayor pulls up and takes the stage they had set up and announces that he is now an affordable housing advocate.

I listened and didn't believe very much of what he said - but I was impressed that I was 100 feet from him. Daley is huge (Chicago politics are huge), Daley is way too powerful in the city and probably the country. I was wondering to myself if I would feel that impressed near other political figures that I don't think too highly about....I am certain I would want to throw rotten tomatoes on certain ones, and I didn't have the urge today.

Others, like my senator Barack Obama, I would want to be a groupie! Ask Jim if he wants to share the wedding bet we had about Barack!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

marriage news


If you're depressed, here's some advice: Instead of getting yourself on some antidepressant that's going to turn you into an unstable, emotionless zombie. . . work on getting yourself some DATES.

According to a study at Ohio State University in Columbus, one of the best ways to beat depression is to find yourself a HUSBAND or WIFE.Sociologists at OSU found that, after five years of marriage, depressed people's scores on a depression assessment test dropped by around 10%. . . which is considered a VERY significant drop. And it didn't even matter if the marriage was GOOD. . . even depressed people who said their marriages were "so-so" had the same average increases in their happiness.

There's more good news: If a depressed person marries a happy person. . . they don't drag that person down with them.But. . . happy people get a much smaller increase in their happiness when they get married. After five years, their scores on the depression assessment test only dropped by 2%. (LiveScience)

Yesterday, I went to student led rally. A teenager had a great shirt on. The snappy slogan was “Where I Come From” and the picture was a family picture. It was awesome! I was thinking of how I would describe where I come from.

Of course, my family would be on there – Mom, Dad, Betsy and the rest of the Dutt/Beam clan.

Maybe a picture of a Christmas Tree farm, a two stoplight town, and maybe the church on Christmas Eve with all the candles

Maybe my most improved writing award in 3rd grade, and maybe my “My Sister” book I wrote in 1st grade.

Then maybe a picture of college, seminary would be less buildings and more about the people I met.

My family of friends, my new family in Jim, and a picture of my staffers as they become my kids for the summers and on.

However, how do I describe this split personality of being a girl in the ‘hood and my obvious not belonging – that may be the most hard to describe or even understand.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Knocked Up review

Knocked Up review

Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann.
Rating: 10/10

Synopsis: Unemployed pothead hooks up with a hottie and a club for one night of passion and ends up a father.


We walked up to our favorite theatre...the one with the cheapest parking in the city. It really didn't seem all that busy and we were about 15 minutes early for the show and well the theater was actually quite packed. Filled with the obvious date couples as most rom-coms gather in masses.
40 year old virgin meets a funnier Nine Months meets Grandma's Boy. I enjoyed these movies although Nine Months wasn't the greatest but it had it's moments. So we have the humor and quality of 40 year old virgin, the reference material and pregnant humor of Nine Months and for the guys the pothead/loser funny stuff. What more could you want? Knocked Up has plenty for the guys and the girls. Relatively equal Family/Pregnant humor and for the guys the Pothead/Jackass humor.

I loved every moment of this film from the shoe bomber jokes to the baby shopping. I didn't expect Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen's chemistry to work all that well but I was pleasantly suprised. Paul Rudd's character suprised me as I thought he would reprise his type of character from 40 year old virgin. I love it when a movie blows my expectations a way. Favorite jokes were: the running gag of shoe bomber and shrooms and Cirque De Soleil.

Go see this movie how much more praise can I give it!

I've seen shrek 3, spider-man 3, Pirates 3, this summer/spring and no movie I walked out of had a line going all the way to the entrance to wait to go see a movie except for this one. I think the general public has been waiting for a non-sequel movie to come out this summer...


Chicago at night.... pretty cools

Friday, June 1, 2007

Joke time...

A lady walks into a high class jewellery shop.

She browses around, spots a beautiful diamond bracelet and walks over to inspect it.

As she bends over to look more closely she inadvertently breaks wind.Very embarrassed, she looks around nervously to see if anyone has noticed her little accident and prays that a sales person doesn't pop up right now.

As she turns around, her worst nightmare materialises in the form of a salesman standing right behind her.

Cool as a cucumber and displaying complete professionalism, the salesman greets the lady with, "Good day, Madam. How may we help you today?"

Very uncomfortably, but hoping that the salesman may just not have been there at the time of her little 'accident', she asks, "Sir, what is the price of this lovely bracelet?"

He answers, "Madam, if you farted just looking at it, you're going to crap yourself when I tell you the price"