Friday, May 30, 2008

Principal for the Day

Today, I am filling in for the principal at the CMLC. It was supposed to be Field Day but as it poured all night and threatening to hail today; and field day is a 1/2 mile walk away- we are doing other things.

I have always believed that working at schools was a difficult thing - but even today I am struck by all the last minute changes and work to keep things educating around here. Cheers to all the many teachers who read this blog.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

overheard on the way to Jubliee Juice

listening to an NPR story on polygamy, listening to wives talk about sharing husbands being a joy

Krista: What? I just don't get it, I know that I would have no interest in sharing you.

Jim: Why would a guy want that either? I mean, you are a handful, I couldn't deal with two of you...

Krista: after realizing he was serious, laughing my head off

Jim: Am I wrong?

Krista: Nope, I am a handful.

Obama and the constitution

Interesting article on some of the things Obama will be doing if/when he becomes president.


I was a fan of Ron Paul so hearing that Obama will be checking the constitutionality of the laws passed during the Bush administration is interesting to me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

AVE Q Chicago

A dear friend of mine who shall remain nameless for this entry was not allowed to watch Sesame Street as a child because her father was worried about the influence of Gordon, who is black. My friend’s father would be even less trusting of Ave Q. Robert Lopez, a former writer on Sesame Street, took the concept of Sesame Street, helping kids learn social interaction, letters, words, and numbers and applied it to 20 and 30 somethings – what would Sesame Street look like if written for this time of life.

Jim and I finally got to see our beloved musical. And while I take credit for introducing the soundtrack to my then friend, he may love it more than I do now. Ave Q could be considered an R rated version of Sesame Street, but a lot of what folks deal with in this age range is R rated in some way. Songs about sex, puppets that are called the bad decision bears, and racism exist in ways to work through the issues- and yes it is funny.

Knowing a soundtrack like the back of my hand helps my experience of a show – but I also loved getting the story behind the songs. I also really liked how the 3 humans talked to the puppet characters instead of their puppetiers – so Sesame Street and another hark back to the show is those non-puppeted segments on Sesame Street that help spell or count – two large flat screens occasionally would be lowered and a fun animation would further the theme of the show. SO Sesame street. And while on the back of the program there was a disclamer that nothing is related to Sesame Street INC – I sometimes wish I could tune into a show each day to learn a grown up lesson like I did when I was watching Sesame Street.

I don’t think I have a favorite song or a favorite part of last night – I was pretty much smiles the whole night. I found myself thinking of my friend who enjoys Weird Al concerts and wondered if this is what she felt like during those concerts.
I can’t recommend Ave Q for everyone – especially those people in front of my friends M, C and J who most likely have season tickets to Broadway in Chicago and never knew that they were walking into a pretty crude look at life of a 20 or 30 something. But if you are in that age category and you don’t mind R rated humor – go for it if it comes near you.

Musings on the weird life of Krista (and Jim too)

I generally, by some standards, have a wacky life. This week seems a bit more wacky than most. With our trip to see AVE Q (which received its own post) to the release of Wii Fit and the start of the busy DOOR summer I have some thoughts.

First, I should say Wii Fit rocks. Wii came out with “game” that is actually a personal trainer – with yoga, pilate like exercises, aerobics, and balance. It weighs you tells you how much you should weigh, tells you lots of good stuff and it is hard yet fun. I have been a Wii fan; but now I may be a fanatic – much to the delight of my geek husband – he was all smiles for several days because I wanted a video game more than he did. To his own admission, he thinks it is fun – but it also used some muscles of his that he hadn’t used in a while. This week some friends and I have started exercising together; so I hurt too. Between Curves most mornings, exercising around 3 and playing Wii Fit to often – I am stretched out this week!

Today, I took my beloved age group to a service site, junior highers. Wow again I realize how fun they are – could they just pop out that old – I might want several of those!

The crazy summer season at DOOR started in Chicago this week, sort of without me. Being the National Program Director allows me to step out of the day-to-day stuff and I expected this to be a harder transition – but it hasn’t been so far. I still get to do the take-all-the-seats-out-of-the-van grocery trip tomorrow; and host a BBQ for the staff tomorrow night – and cook for the groups for a couple weeks – but really that is nothing stressful compared to past summers. So pray for Brian as he is dealing with that stress now here – and the other 5 directors dealing with it elsewhere in the DOOR network. Tonight, I am baking in preparation for the BBQ – so I am excited!

Friday, May 16, 2008


I've always used Wikipedia but never actually contributed and today something inspired me. Google recently added wiki and images to locations around the world and I noticed that the Garfield Park Conservatory was not included in the wiki locations. So I boldly looked up how I would add it and because of me there is a geolocation of it and in the next few months it will be added in google maps. I think I will look for more to do ;)

family theology

I have often thought about if I write a book of theology it would be in the category of family theology, not feminist or womanist or even Mennonite/Brethren/Pacifist. I first thought of this during an internship in seminary in Englewood.

I can't write that book yet because it is just a fuzzy thought process for me that I can't articulate in written form (and yet I am writing a blog entry about it) - and maybe it is only me that regards all the following theological. The way I see it is that God created a big family of people. The idea becomes that if we treated each person as the belong to this family, as God's child, and as our sister/brother/child/parent then we would indeed be working to follow the reign of God.

I realize this doesn't work for everybody - as many people have been abused or hurt in other ways by their family members - but if I think about my biological families, my intentional community family from several years ago, my family gang - this works for me.

I have been thinking about the importance of this lately because of my mother-in-law's illness and the playfulness of my favorite 3 year old and the importance of a play last night. So some family things that have happened lately that have made me think about the theological implications of the family motif.

*Jim's mom is finding out how to deal with some serious illnesses currently. Trying to be a helpful healing part of that has me thinking about the importance of family in new ways.

*My sister is getting married; and two of my family gang and I headed down to David's Bridal to work on the bridesmaid dresses - which we picked and then dealt with family stuff - checking in with each other, and being with each other. Celebrating this amazing wedding ritual with some good old family time.

*Joslyn and I spent most of Tuesday together. I enjoy spending time with her - from her making me slow down my normally rushed days to when I wasn't quite walking fast enough to the playground and she asked if I needed her hand so I could walk faster.
She makes me realize that I it is important to hang out with folks that I might not on a normal basis. Joslyn is just the start of embracing all the family of God.

*Last night, the family gang went to see Ariel school's production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Boy was it good - and we were there to support our gang member Eric who was the director. I think this support aspect of families is one of the best way's to share in the patient love of God. Sometimes all we need to do is show up in each other lives....

All these are real live stuff, not the stuff for theological handbooks, and yet that is where my theological thought always leads me - where does it matter? in the real stuff!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Luxury Tax

found on the streets of chicago


Monday, May 12, 2008

waiting for plane thoughts

I wrote this while my plane was delayed on Saturday....

When I was here in Seattle while in seminary, we went to Pikes Place Market – a very famous (at least on PBS food shows) fresh fruit and fish market. (I also got to spend the night in the airport in the exact gate I now am sitting.) It has gained more fame in recent years for being the home of the first Starbucks. I went there the other day again – it did not disappoint. I kept thinking - If I could shop there for real – I bought several things but you know not the pasta that I wanted or the oils or the list could go on… But while I enjoyed it and would like to think I would go back every week; the reality is that is it downtown and out of the way for the average person in Seattle – and it sort of a tourist thing. I do go to farmer’s market in Chicago – but I know that if the big farmer’s market was at Navy Pier – I wouldn’t go.
However, that being said – I went to a bookstore and found a magazine I have been looking for years; ever since I left Colorado – the whole magazine is cartoons about current news items and social issues. I bought whipped garlic, which I tried in the market and fell in love with. I bought a variety of dried fruits, which have all been eaten in a couple of days – the great thing was it was only fruit – not all the stuff that most places add so it would have gone stale if I brought it home anyway.
As I write this, I am in the airport, with no cell phone charge, and writing. It is always a good reminder that I love to travel but I starting to love the expectation of coming home; and that love is waiting for me there.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Bucket List

Several years ago, I read an article about a man who had a shocking cross cultural experience and had processed it and thought he had handled it in healthy ways until he got on the plane and watched Finding Nemo and bawled the whole way through. He realized that the fake emotion on the screen helped him just let loose on his emotions.

I thought of this article on the plane when I bawled through The Bucket List on the plane to seattle. I thought of it even more when my co-worker Heidi told a story that she had started crying during it and she wasn't even really paying attention to it.

Maybe this is one of the reasons that movies, books, and other sources of entertainment the best help some of us to relax and help us free up thoughts and emotions to come out.

What do you use for our emotional outlet? I think I do use movies for that; and also some reading, and this blog.

Check Please Effect

Last Friday, five friends and I headed over to Kedzie Street, on Chicago’s North Side, looking for Middle Eastern food. The area is the center of the city’s Middle Eastern scene, so there were plenty of options. But when we reached the strip’s first restaurant, Noon O Kabab, we just kept walking—we could see from the outside that it was packed. Same deal at the next place, Semiramis, but we put our name on the list anyway. In the meantime, I decided to venture down the street to Al Khayameih.

It was practically empty.

Why? It’s called the Check Please Effect.

This was an article requested to be posted by Krista...check out the rest of the article here

Thursday, May 8, 2008

new laptop

Been meaning to blog this but I recently purchased a Asus Eee PC. It's a laptop weighing at about 2 lbs with linux and it's so tiny that I can do more work more often on the go, at my office they block my personal email so now I can check it during lunch time(which I am doing right now at Corner Bakery.) It's only $300 and can either come in Windows XP or Linux flavors, and also a larger screen sized version is coming soon.


In the introduction, get to know you section of my meetings in Seattle - I found myself saying this.

Hi, I am Krista and I am from Chicago. My husband and I have 4 computers who sometimes we treat as preciously as if they were children.

Pretty clever for me!

Big week

A big week to think about –
Last Friday, I went South Bend for a meeting with a co-worker and friend. We had a productive meeting; but what I enjoyed most about the day was the train ride to and from South Bend. Now, I used to take this route a lot when I was a student in Elkhart and dying to live in Chicago. The price has gone up; but so has the ridership which is probably partly to do with gas prices right now. I read a complete book, 2 magazines and enjoyed the scenery for the whole time. I even met a student who was studying Greek on the train!
Once I got home, I packed up for my next trip – which was Bluffton University. (Bluffton College when I was there.) It was graduation weekend and I was invited to an event to honor my favorite professor, J. Denny Weaver who retired several years ago. A Festschrift was written for him. That is a fancy word for a book that includes articles about his work, argues with his work, and commends him for that work. I spoke in Denny’s classes a couple years ago answering the question, “Where will I use theology in the real world.” Now, I don’t really live in the real world when it comes to theology – as I breathe it in deep and eat and drink it – but that is Denny’s fault mostly. He made me think, liked the fact that I loved to argue with him before I usually, but not always, conceded with him, and really cared about students, like me. His passion to follow Jesus, which was often missed by my peers, was evident to me. In his challenge to the norm was out of love and desire to follow Jesus, not to get everyone’s panties in a bunch. Saturday provided a beautiful tribute – and having this festschrift was a perfect gift to him. He said it was better than being named a saint; as saints have to be dead and he can enjoy this book. With that Denny smirk – that is all too etched into my brain, and the drawing of the shift – that is another post.
I went to Bluffton with my good friends Melissa and Nadia, who are also graduates of the college. I enjoyed their company; appreciate their friendship and discovered that I really like shopping with them. The last time I went clothing shopping with them was for my wedding dress – something I hope not to repeat – so I don’t realize how much I like doing stuff like shopping. I must explain. I love shopping at thrift stores and often do so alone or with Jim. However, M and N and I went to the Croc’s Outlet store on Sunday. (We went to other places and we all found what we were looking for which is always good, but I digress.) The Croc’s Store – while I shouldn’t even write about it in the same post with Denny Weaver – it was amazing!!!!! I walked in the store and got overwhelmed – I blurted out – this is the best store ever – but it was one of those moments that I really didn’t think I said it outloud until those around me commented about the outburst. In the end, I got two pairs of new crocs, two T shirts (one for me and one for Jim), and the little designs to put in the shoes (several for Jim, one for me) all for under $80!!!

Monday night, Jim and I attended a fundraiser which was a Progressive Dinner at 13 restaurants in the West Lawn neighborhood. We ended up going to 8 or 9 – we were stuffed as they all fed us a mini meal. Some of my favorite places we went (aka places we will go back to) are:
Cafezazzo , S and M Grill, Paco’s Tacos, Dempsey’s. If you would like more information, let us know. It was a great way to see a new neighborhood of Chicago.
We were asked if we would like to have company in our car – and we said sure. That is how I met an assistant producer to my favorite show – Check Please. Jim kept telling her that she didn’t know how happy I was becoming just because of that fact. She entertained my questions and seemed pretty impressed that I was so impressed. She also worked on the Foods of Chicago program on PBS that I love; and just released a pilot that is a SNL and Daily Show hybrid about Chicago – I was way excited about it. The other thing was that she saw us on the CTA Tattler – the one that posted about our ride on the CTA on our wedding. It was funny being recognized for that!

As of yesterday, I have a new job. I am staying with DOOR and in Chicago; just starting to have some national responsibilities so I get to put official time into the stuff that I love doing and have been doing as well as pastorally caring for the staff. I start June 1st splitting my time between Chicago based programs and national programs. I even get a new title – I have no idea what that is, but I do get a new title.

I am Seattle for work the rest of the week. I am staying in an old convent that is on the Pudget Sound. Rough Life I lead!!! I do realize how much I ask Jim to do in my absence; I make it hard for him, and stare at the ocean while my meetings are going on!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Secret of Marriage...

Be annoying... so says this article

Stamford Advocate

Now that my wife and I have been married for 30 years, family and friends have suggested that, for putting up with me for so long, Sue deserves to be the first living person canonized by the Catholic Church. I, they add, deserve to be shot from a cannon.

What is the secret of our long and happy marriage? The answer, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, is that we get on each other's nerves.

In a recent study, the researchers found that, as a couple ages, a lifetime of closeness rubs up a rash of irritations. Participants in the study, which was presented at the Gerontological Society of America, were asked who in their lives – spouse, children or friends – "gets on my nerves" or "makes too many demands on me." The older the couple, the more likely the answer was "spouse."

Strangely enough, rubbing each other the wrong way might be the right way to conduct a marriage. One of the reasons couples quarrel is that they are closer and more comfortable with each other. As we age, the researchers concluded, "It could be that we're more able to express ourselves to each other."

Read the rest