Simple as it should be

22 was a good year. I'm thinking 23 will be better. Hope is a great thing.

Thanks, mom, for going on bed rest for two weeks (or something like that) so I could get born.* Thanks, dad, for being the first person to say my name.

Thanks, friends and family, for getting me to 2010 relatively unscathed. Here's to another few decades of life and love.


My relationship with coffee- Part III

As you may recall, I have a deep, abiding love of coffee. I've written about it here. Twice. A brief recap: I love hot caffeine. The taste of black coffee has always repulsed me, but I can't go without that energy boost at the beginning of the day. Or the middle, or even near the end.

During the latter half of December and for most of January, I drank Starbucks like it was my job. I got a Starbucks gift card for Christmas, and after registering it on the starbucks.com, I found that every time I use that card, I get a star, and the more stars you get, the more rewards you get! Win win. So I started stopping at Starbucks at every chance, accumulating a couple of stars per week. Then I realized that lattes are expensive and use up my card faster, so I started going with flavored coffee. Toffee nut is my favorite, but there's also sugar-free caramel and hazelnut, which, when combined with coffee, fat free milk and a packet of Splenda equal a low-calorie, delicious coffee experience! Plus, now that I'm at the Green Level, I get free flavors in my coffee. Score.

Anyway, since coming back to school, I've been drinking the coffee brewed here instead of making it at home. I do have a coffee maker, but I've always just used these Folgers coffeebags (think teabags, but with coffee grounds). Well, this morning, I made coffee out of said bag, with the appropriate amount of creamer and sweetener (by the way, I've been using WAY less of these items...my coffee is more the shade of tree bark now, which may not sound appetizing, but it looks pretty)...and I almost spit it out. It was so watery, I literally chugged it just so I wouldn't waste it, but so that it would be gone.

This has me thinking...maybe I like the flavor of coffee now. Maybe all of that strong Starbucks has conditioned me to be a real live coffee lover. Now what to do with all of those coffeebags...


An Ode to Being Single on Valentine's Day

So, today is Valentine's Day. Or, as Liz Lemon would say, "a sham created by card companies to reinforce and exploit gender stereotypes." Oh Liz, you're speaking my soul.

Okay, but in all seriousness, I've chosen to not be bitter this year. Yes, I am plagued by chronic singleness. In fact, I'm really surprised this hasn't come up in my blog more often. There's no reference to the frequency with which I wallow in singlehood in my blogger tags, which is reassuring. It was hard enough in college, with acquaintance after acquaintance getting engaged (somehow, most of my close friends evaded the Ring By Spring tradition) and the ratio of single men to single women decreasing by the semester. But now, in seminary, it's even worse. Everyone. is. married. Seriously. Okay, well that's only a little bit of an exaggeration. But in reality, in my whole incoming class, there is one single, heterosexual male under the age of 30. The prospects are not promising for the few of us girls who are still unattached.

But back to today...whether it's a conspiracy started by Hallmark or a twisted holiday celebrating persecution and martyrdom or a day to really celebrate unadulterated romantic love, it can make single people feel pretty under-appreciated. Fortunately, there's also been a resurgence of viewing the holiday as an opportunity to tell everyone in your life how much you love them. This can seem like a futile attempt at glossing over the lovey-dovey nature of the holiday, but hey, since when was it a bad thing to tell people that you care about them?

If I become bitter and cynical about love, that won't help me find it. In fact, it will probably hinder the process. So I'm choosing to love love. This Valentine's Day, I do want to tell all of the people in my life that I love them and care about them (I love you and care about you). But I also want to tell all of my friends and family members who have found that very special person that I'm happy for them. Very happy, in fact. I hope you've all had an extra-special day with your sweetie, even though I know you tell each other often how much you love one another. Don't let the haters get you down (I can't believe I just wrote that), because you deserve to be happy and in love and in a beautiful, healthy relationship. I pray for your continued love and happiness, and that those of us who remain unattached can find love like you have found.

My challenge to the rest of my single ladies (and gentlemen...I hope you're all putting your hands up): embrace love, even if the romantic sort hasn't found its way to you yet. At the very least, it'll remove the black cloud that tends to loom over the day for us, right? ;]


Olympic Fail

Okay, I love the Olympics with every fiber of my being. I thrive on competition, and that's really the basis for the entire celebration. But I also adore the opening ceremonies, for their excitement and national pride and identity and AWESOMENESS in general.

So the Olympics are in Canada this year. If you know me well, you know that one of my favorite things in the whole world comes from Canada:


I love Celine. I've loved her since I was in the fourth grade. I know almost all of her songs (some of the new ones haven't made it onto my iTunes yet), including two entire French albums. And I don't speak French. I used to be able to name all of her thirteen brothers and sisters in order, oldest to youngest. I did a project about her in fifth grade that was a timeline of her life, with each event on a music note, on a staff, that actually "spelled out" the first few bars of My Heart Will Go On. It was incredible.

So when I heard that the Olympics would be in Canada, I figured that the top selling female artist of all time, who hails from Canada, would be included in the opening ceremonies. In fact, I even Googled, and there was an article that stated she would be performing. So throughout the entire four and a half hours of the opening ceremonies, I waited with anticipation. Sarah McLaughlin sang, which was great. k.d. Lang sang, and even though I would have preferred Rufus Wainwright crooning Hallelujah, I was satisfied. I figured she would be the final performance, closing the show with a bang.

But I was wrong. There was no sight of Celine anywhere. I'm incredibly disappointed. I wanted her to come out and belt out a tear-jerker of a ballad, pounding her chest and bringing the audience to its feet. But I was denied. Of course, Celine may have had a prior engagement, or maybe she just wasn't feeling the Olympics this year. But I have a hard time believing that Celine would turn down performing at the Olympics. So that makes me wonder...is Canada shunning their sweetheart? What is going on here, Neighbor to the North? I want some answers.

[EDIT] According to various sources, Celine is in New York for IVF treatment (yay more babies!), and she will perform at the closing ceremonies. All is right with the world!



I'm not going to try and describe how much snow we've had over the past few days. Most of you are familiar, and you probably don't want to think about it. I've developed cabin fever, even though I have plenty of on-campus friends and Skype at my disposal. All I want is for the snow and wind to stop so I can dig out my poor, poor Lola Bug from her place in the parking lot. I yearn to get off campus, even though I just spent four days in North Carolina. This is bad.

When I have to fill out call papers [which really won't matter so much because I have to find my own job], when it asks for regional restrictions, I am just going to write "ANYTHING BUT REGION 3." Region 3 is the mecca of the ELCA, even though we're headquartered in Chicago. Looking at a map of all the regions, 3 is on the smaller side. But that is because it is the most dense.

This is because it includes Minnesota and the Dakotas. After all of this snow? NO THANK YOU.

That's all for now. I may be back later with pictures, or tales from being cooped up. But for now, I'm going to listen to the wind howl while I work on a quiz due tomorrow, when we will have class online in lieu of braving the snow. I guess the silver lining of this blizzard is that I can sit on my bed and "go to class" in my pajamas. While watching Dr. Oz and all of that other delightful morning television I always have to miss. With a mug of hot chocolate and a warm bagel.

This blizzard is sounding better and better by the minute.


A Lent Without Spending?!

This morning, as I was clicking through my Google Reader, I noticed that Ex-Hot Girl had done a links post. She linked to a blog called Fat Bridesmaid, and it sounded interesting, so obviously, I clicked and started to read. This girl is giving up spending for Lent. She has some rules, but it's pretty strict. I'm considering this. I'm constantly broke, but I keep spending a little at a time, forgetting that it all adds up. There are a few things I would have to fudge...like, I'm going to a conference at the end of the month, so I'll have to eat out, and let's not lie, I'll probably buy some books. But seriously? To stop spending for 46 days? This could be interesting. I'll give it some thought today while I'm in class.

On second thought, maybe I should give up thinking about other things while I'm in class...