Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I have been thinking a lot about neighborhoods lately. We had a prayer meeting in the neighborhood garden that is kept up my church on Friday. After the events that happened to Jim and I, I felt even more of a need to connect with my neighbors. One block west of us, where a lot of the church folks live – there have been several shootings in the last couple of weeks spurring one mom to put together this prayer meeting. I am grateful that she did. She helped me realize how much I appreciate this neighborhood, how we at least try to take care of each other, and how much we have been welcomed as neighbors. We aren’t going to solve any problems by praying in the garden on a Friday afternoon – but building relationships with our neighbors and trying to prevent problems may indeed start us on a better path.
All while that is going on, I found out today that Dominick’s, the major chain of grocery stores that had opened about 8 years ago about a mile from here, closed. In the same shopping center, a movie theatre closed last year around this time. In the parking lot of the shopping center is a Starbucks and that is closing in the cutbacks from that company. With gentrification a huge issue all around us – it seems that a movie theatre, a grocery store, and the hallmark of gentrification- Starbucks, could thrive. And yet, my neighborhood now has to travel more than 2 miles to the nearest full service grocery store. I sort of thought that piece (a grocery store) of gentrifying was a good thing.

Truly a Man of Destiny

This morning, I went to the funeral of Mike McCullum. Mike sang with the Men of Destiny who sing for many of the DOOR Chicago groups and sang at our night-before-the-wedding-party. I always appreciated Mike – his concern, his care, and his commitment to the group and to God. When meeting Jim for the first time, he told him, “You know I knew she was falling in love, and so you better take care of her.”
Today, as the Men of Destiny started singing “Mike’s song” – the one he always lead at concerts. I was at first shocked thinking: Don’t let someone else sing the song quite yet. Once I settled into the song, I realized the importance of singing that song – I’m tired, and my soul needs rest. One of the lines says – Son, come on in you ran a good race. Mike always changed the line to say his name – and the lead singer today changed in to Michael just like Mike did and it was just the song Men of Destiny needed to sing today.
Mike had a smile that outlasted his face and went deep into you. To be a part of his homegoing service was a blessing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympics and me

The other day I was watching water polo and was inspired to look up if the Park District offered a class - they did and the registration started this Saturday at 9 am. I was worried about not getting a slot - so I arrived just after 9 to register. Just after 10, I walked out with a slot in a water polo class/club. It doesn't start for over a month; but I am so excited. I wonder how many others signed up for a sport that they have seen in the Olympics!

I am watching swimming right now; and recently Dara Torres won silver to a Steffen gold (Germany). As they started the anthem, as the flag was raised, I hummed along. All because of the Summer Olympics Commodore 64 game we had when I was a kid - Betsy and I sometimes would just click on the flags to hear the song. The educational power of video games....


A quote from Jenell Paris on the Paris Project blog (maybe my favorite non-friend blog I read):

Respectful conversation doesn't barge, shout, demean, or self-promote; it just emerges.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I think I think about food and the impact of food too much. But this morning, I woke up thinking about my lunch yesterday. In a hugely romantic gesture (probably only to me), Jim made me the ultimate comfort food - grilled cheese and tomato soup. I really did feel better.

As many who read this blog already may know, someone came into our house on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and kissed my cheek - I woke up screamed and scared him (and Jim) to run out of the apartment and Jim to follow him. Nothing was stolen, nothing was harmed, just a little shaken well yesterday I was a bit more than shaken but I am feeling much better today.

Jim took the day off to be with me and to figure stuff out and I reduced my load for the day so we could reclaim our space as our own - with some grilled cheese, tomato soup, and lots of comfort from friends and family and love for each other.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pictures from a great weekend

The boardwalk, the whole crew, Krista being silly with food, and a picture out our patio of Jim and I

Cold Showers

I have only had one other summer in my life without AC. That summer I was working at Olive Branch Mission, living on the third floor, with no air. I remember seeing it as an adventure – I spent a lot of time on the air conditioned trains reading, or sitting in front of a fan watching TV. I managed to not have a lot of bad memories about that time, in fact I really had to think hard about what I did for the summer to get by.
This summer hasn’t been bad until last week. We again do not have AC, one of the things we gave up when we moved to our apartment in October. We have a total of 4 fans plus 2 fans that are installed. During the morning, our apartment is fine and even during the afternoon as long as you have at least one fan on you. However, if you attempt to move away from the fans – it is unbearable. Ok, not unbearable. I mean, I don’t live in Miami with no AC. I have places to go that are air conditioned, I could go sleep in my office – which is air conditioned. In fact, I have little to complain about – rather I now look forward to air conditioning. I knew that the hotel that we stayed in last week would be air conditioned and I looked forward to it all week – sleeping with covers, oh the simple pleasures.
Both Jim and I have started taking cold showers right before we go to bed. It really works as a cooling measure. However, last night it didn’t work for Jim because after his shower he got up and realized our kitchen was flooded and worked to get it unflooded, so he was sweaty and gross when he laid back down to go to bed.
That was the second time we had tried to dry our kitchen last night. We are getting pretty good at it actually. Jim even went outside a few weeks ago and dug a drainage hole so it wouldn’t do it – but with the flash flood rains last night – it wasn’t enough. Our land lady is sending someone today hopefully.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Krista's been posting a lot and I haven't. Just been busy trying to keep up with her.

Last night it stormed like crazy here and of course because of a few holes in the wrong places in our apartment it flooded....twice. When I saw flooded I don't mean items are floating around but an inch of water is not fun on the kitchen floor :(

Been playing the PC version of Bioshock, I highly recommend it I just didn't have the PC specs to play it until recently. The game freaks me out with it's ambient noise especially when I have the full audio experience at 5.1 surround sound.