Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The truth is more important than the facts.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

overheard at 949 W. 19th St.

"If you ever wonder if I am dating you because you do my dishes, you might be right" says Krista.

"If you ever wonder if I am dating you because you cook, you might be right" says Jim.

The scary thing is that we are probably only half joking.


Most of you know I have a strange obsession with holey shoes. For shopping at thrift stores for most of my clothes - I love this brand name of shoes. Mostly because of their comfort, they are the best shoes I know.

In late October , Crocs came out with a dress shoe. Check it the prima design at
I tried to order it then, went to several stores and they were all sold out. The website was to email me when they had them in stock again. I got that email over the weekend, and so I now am the owner of dressy Crocs! (I assume I will have them on in a week or so!)

Hip Hip Horray - for great shoes!

Monday, January 29, 2007

another quote

I read this last Tuesday....and because of my trip it hit me specially.

The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
- Frank Zappa

Interesting quote

The big question, however, is the validity of the protest as communication. Is the current protest making any real headway in re-educating us, in giving us a new attitude toward war? Or is it simply an outlet for the indignation, the frustration and the anxiety of those who see that the war is irrational, but fear they can do nothing to stop it?
- Thomas Merton

What a weekend!

I will be posting some pictures from my big 30th bash in the next couple days. But wow - the whole weekend was really great.
First, I made an amazing version of a smoothie for breakfast. Only I would add that to the really great weekend.
Second, Jim had said I could get whatever I wanted for my birthday and I wanted a rocking chair. So we had a great afternoon of going thrift store shopping - one of my favorite things!!!!
Third, The gang-Jim, Christina, Melissa, Casey, Nadia, Eric and Jim sans kids- took me to Pompeii for some great dinner before we headed to
Fourth, Red-I to go to a karaoke room to have a grand on time. We were joined by some other friends and lots of church family to have some major fun singing and laughing at Eric's antics.
Fifth, the gang and I headed to Too Much Light - one of my favorite things to do in Chicago - 30 plays in 60 minutes.

Then, on Sunday some of those folks followed me to church to hear about my trip as well as lots of church folks! Church was great too - I was happy to be back.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I am back in Chicago

I have arrived home. Yesterday, I started my 30th birthday in Jerusalem, then headed to Tel Aviv, then to Frankfort, Germany then to Chicago. So I ended my birthday at home with friends. Plus, thanks to timezones my birthday was at least 8 hours longer than the normal 24 hours.

I am still quite emotionally tired, but I slept well and am happy to be home.

Friday, January 19, 2007

What if

I know what to do if a friend calls and needs a listening ear.

I know what to do if I run out of cooked food with friends that still need to eat.

I know what to do if a fuse blows at work.

I know what to do if the fire alarm starts blaring at 4 am.

I know what to do if I get stopped by police.

I have no idea what to do when tear gas is let loose. Luckily, a new friend of mine does.

While with two full time CPTers, several members of the delegation were visiting the home of a family who had experienced soldiers breaking into their home on a weekly basis for a month. We were within a refugee camp filled with Palestinians who lost their homes when Israel was created in 1948. The whole family came to meet CPT and other international organizations to help come up with a better solution. We had tea while the family explained the details of being locked in one room of their house while the soldiers had free reign in the house for 13 hours each day. We were taking a tour of the house when tear gas was released in the camp by the soldiers to “calm down” the children.

Pretty quickly after my first whiff in my nose and the first burning sensation in my throat, one of the women in the house had sprayed perfume on my arm and said, “Smell this.”

I was more surprised at how quickly this woman responded to the tear gas than the actual tear gas. What must it be like to know on a constant basis that you might need perfume to help cope with tear gas? What if I had to know how to deal with soldiers everyday? What if I had to know how to deal with being labeled a terrorist just for being born in a certain part of the world? What if I had to know…..

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Funny stuff too

With all the stuff that I am experiencing and sharing, it seems pretty serious. So I thought I would share some funny stuff too.

First, I need to acknowledge the wonderful balance the full time CPTers have on laughing and crying. I have laughed more in the last days than I have in a long while - all while seeing this injustice in new ways enough to constantly be crying. They try to keep in good mental health by laughing a lot.

Second, I stayed in a local family's home last night -I colored with the little girl and played tic tac toe with one of the boys, and with the other I played a version of Jenga. Fun stuff - all while this family is living with home demolition orders.

Life goes on in the midst of peacemaking and midst of occuptation.

Now, something really funny. I am sorry if this offensive to anyone. I am having the experience of being scared shitless, literally. We mostly have needed to use squat toliets since our time in Hebron. I still haven't been able to use one - I get in position and then freeze, so nervous that I can't do what I need to do. So, I wait until we are out and find a "Christian" toliet. It has become a great joke - she isn't afraid to come to Hebron, just go to the bathroom.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

in dedication

I saw my dad at a checkpoint this morning.

I have heard about CPT’s school patrol for many years so I was looking forward to being a part. This morning I got my chance. We went out along the major routes to several schools to watch over the checkpoint while the children went through. It was our job to make sure they weren’t harassed as they went by. The red hat uniform of CPT allows us to show up as a respect member of the international community. I was glad to help – sorry for the kids having to go through this occupation and being asked if they have permission to attend school, have bags checked, just to walk on the road to school. These kids, even very small, go through somewhat dangerous situations to get to school.

Then John, a long term CPTer, that I was stationed with pointed out the teachers coming down the street all together like they do each morning. All men, I noticed, they seemed to in a collective good mood. They walked by the Israeli security station. The soldier pulled one of the teachers from the middle of the group to be questioned. John narrated the situation to me, pointing out the head teacher who had started to try to come to the aid of the teacher. After a bit the head teacher came over to John and asked for us to come over and be with the teacher while the rest headed to school.

As I walked closer I could see this man, the teacher, but as my father, the teacher. What if my father, the dedicated teacher he is had to travel through a security check and might be held every time he got a block from his school? What if my mother and sister, also teachers, were put through that same process? What if my all my family that are teachers had to go through that?

I have no idea what my peacemaking role in this place is but I can start by standing up for my family, my sister, my mom and dad.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Heavy Day

Today, was quite in the morning and then two speakers throughout the day.

I don't know how to articulate today....I haven't been able to journal about is too emotionally draining. And yet, I need to keep going for the sake of the injustice. We have heard so many people tell us...please tell everyone about what is happening here, only then will things change. I want to make a personal committment to telling all around me what this is doing to Palestine. So, I wanted to announce that my first presentation is on Jan 28 - at First Church at 9 (we will feed you). I want to make arrangements to go to Ohio and do a presentation for at least the people who are supporting me on this trip (mom and dad will feed you :) )

On a lighter note, I hear myself asking the same questions that so called bad sponsors ask me, I haven't been late, but lost my buddy once so I am not sure I would make a very good DOOR participant!

Friday, January 12, 2007


Hello! I am here in Jerusalem. I posted on the official site a little about what we have done. Please look at it for updates.

That being said, I have to say that this is quite similar to being at DOOR - I suspect. We had orientation, a guide who is so passionate about what he does that it just spills over, and meal teams, and we get to hear about all this neat stuff happening here - some of the negative stuff too. I am trying to be the best participant ever - just to prove to myself that I would be a good DOOR participant.

I am thankful that I have been here before; as I am more able to focus on the issues and the concerns - however, I must say that the PITA BREAD is still amazing and I get off track everytime we have it.

I am intentially trying to be the quiet one in the group to get a new perspective. For the most part it is working and the rest of the delegation probably has no idea how loud, how talkive, and how in charge I can be. My goal is to soak all of it in, so I will eventually need to verbally process it with some folks. But I am enjoying a change in my normal pace.

I will sign off as I listen to the 5 pm call to prayers in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Ready to Go

Well, I have an almost clean house ( a tradition in my family, clean before you go anywhere) and I have finished any work that I needed to get done. I need to start actual packing instead of just putting more stuff on the bed "to be packed". After enjoying a supper with friends tonight, I will be completely ready to go - hopefully.

I am excited, honored, and eager to be on this trip. I can only imagine what I am going to learn, and how I am going to grow. I need to get back to cleaning and packing....but I would ask for prayers for the entire group that is starting our journey tomorrow.

Monday, January 8, 2007

New link

I have added a link to my link category. However, I thought it needed special mention. I am way into anything that sells. I once compared it to my mom's favorite store. If you would like to get something that my mom will love, you can buy anything from Christopher and Banks. ( They sell clothing - ok, teacher clothes) This is my my Christopher and Banks. I am using both their wall calendar and the personal calendar this year.

And many, many of you have heard about the personal calendar - I am sort of addicted to telling people how great my calendar is. For those of you who knew me in college, it measures up to the blue pen love I had. I should look for those pens again....ah, my crazy love for office supplies..........

funny news

Just read this. Made me laugh....thought it might you too.

Saturday, January 6, 2007


I love sleep. Probably the best part of being sick is being able to sleep and not feel bad about it. Today has been a good day - sleeping on and off with cooking shows on PBS. A perfect relaxing day!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Hebron Trip

I am leaving for Hebron with CPT next week. We are keeping a blog as much as we can; the site is:

Food and Life

I love NPR....but specifically I really like their series "This I Believe" This is a great piece that relates food with people - just like I would.

I believe in pastrami -- well-marbled pastrami. Hot, thinly sliced, piled on fresh rye bread with dark mustard and a crisp dill pickle.

I believe that pastrami is a metaphor for a well-lived life, for a well-designed institution and even for healthy relationships. Pastrami is marbled rather than layered. Its parts, the lean and the fat, are mixed together rather than neatly separated. Too much of life is lived by adding layers that don't really connect with one another.

When I was about 12, my parents bought a small Jewish delicatessen on the northwest side of Chicago. And that's where I learned about pastrami. I worked at the counter and I learned the differences between well-marbled and merely layered meats. My Dad would explain to me that some customers wanted him to slice away all of the fat on a brisket and then they'd come back to complain that the meat wasn't juicy. He'd sigh and explain that without marbling, they'd never get what they wanted.

I've seen the wisdom of my Dad's insight over time. When I started teaching college, my mentors warned me against having any interest in my students' lives outside the classroom. In my first month on the job, I taught a 500-student class. One day a young woman came to my office to tell me she wouldn't be able to complete all the course requirements. It turned out her husband had been killed in a car accident the month before. She was a 19-year-old widow.

I then began to wonder about the other 499 students. Their stories may not have been as extreme, but I would have been a fool to think their lives wouldn't have an impact on the classroom. Learning and living were marbled in my students' lives, not layered. To teach, advise and mentor them, I needed to be sensitive and aware of their tragedies and celebrations, their ambitions and their anxieties.

Separate layers are much easier to trim from the brisket. Separate layers are much easier to build, to schedule and to design. But I believe that marbling demands that we work with the messy world of people, relationships and obligations in their full, rich complexity. The diet mavens inform us that marbling can be dangerous for our health, but as an educator I'm willing -- even obligated -- to take the risk. I want to marble habits of mind, habits of practice and habits of the heart with my students -- just like pastrami.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I hate being sick

Is there anything worse than a stuffy nose, sneezing, feverish?

I need to sleep for several days...probably won't...but need too.

Christmas finally over

That title sounds horrible! However, today was my last day to be on some sort of holiday. Today, the friend family got together and celebrated all day starting with brunch and ending around 1 am! We played board games and opened gifts and just were together.

Wonderfully, I got to celebrate Christmas with 5 major gatherings - some involving nothing more than Thai takeout and others having the whole fixings of food, and others no food at all - except the food that I made as a gift.

As most know that read this blog, I like I will be getting back to that real soon. I love holidays, but I need to have some routine before I leave on my next adventure.

Happy New Year

On Sunday, I was given an article about a new movement of Christian men out of the Chicago Tribune by my friend Grady. Thanks, Grady.

After being told by at least two people that I would be piping mad after reading it, I was surprised that I wasn't. Well, not really. One of the many points is that Christians have watered down Jesus to a non-rugged guy, one that is actually pretty feminine. OK, I think that feminine doesn't mean not strong and tough - however, I do think that we as a whole Church forget the powerful radical that Jesus was as a human. So, I can't get mad at anyone (men, women, or anyone else) trying to get back to that root.

Now, I think that this movement (Godmen) do take it to an extreme. For instance, the article quotes a list of real man's rules for his woman. WHAT? One of them is, "Number 1: Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down." You have got to be kidding?!? No man or woman should have rules for his or her spouse. Now, I am sure some of my married friends are going to tell me that this is my fantasy of marriage. I am also troubled by the "real man" or "real woman" imagery. This leads me to think about those folks who don't fit the stereotype or imagine are then "not real". No one is not real. NO ONE!

Plus, I just have to argue the whole toilet seat thing. As someone who has a guy hanging out in my apartment pretty often now, as long as it is my house and my house only - the seat should be in the position that I want it - and I want it down. So down it will be.