Sunday, October 23, 2011

Patchin' it up.

Today was PUMPKIN PATCH day, except there wasn't really a patch, just a lot of pumpkins, and giraffe-feeding, a pumpkin-eating dinosaur, corn maze, petting zoo, camel rides, roasted corn, kettle corn (lots of corn), and pig races (so many piggy puns - I wish I could remember all of them). And 50/50. If you want, you should see it. And lately, just a few thoughts over the last few hours.

Country music and pumpkins.
Why are fall colors so comforting? Because they're warm. And good country music, too. It's got the warmth of the color, but the sting of the cold, if you know what I mean. Depth. I'm talking about the good 'ol stuff: Johnny Cash, early Garth Brooks, mmhm, Zac Brown Band. The good stuff I can listen to with my brothers.

Friendship is heavy. a really good way, because you volunteer to help carry someone else's burden. Taking three hours of precious sleep time to listen to a friends expression and/or woe - and you meet on the same road, find the right exit together, make it home.

Actors and dogs.
Have you ever thought about how acting in a movie or play with a dog is even more revealing of the actor - the person - than the character? Also, has anyone else noticed that Joseph Gordon Levitt has done a number of movies with numbers in them: 10 Things I Hate About You, (500) Days of Summer, 50/50. Interesting.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks (sorry, I know you're probably getting sick of the updates if you don't know and love them as much as I do) lost tonight. But, that doesn't stop their big hearts. I like growing up with them right now. Check it!

And...Coldplay's new album comes out in less than 24 hours.

For greater things have yet to come
and greater things are still to be done in this city.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A little enthusiasm.

While the autumn air is starting to sweep through Chicago and the smell of cold fills my nose and open pockets of my early fall jacket, I'm beginning to warm up to the details of the city. The train stop is dirty but so familiar and endearing now. The construction down the road makes me curse every early morning it jolts me awake (I am not a morning person), but I've been here long enough to see new things take shape, new ads traipse downtown, new venues open up, new exhibitions and events happen. You don't get that stuff when you're a tourist (don't get me started with them), but when you're an amateur Chicagoan, oh, the possibilities! Even the bustling downtown is invigorating and energetic. Walking on Michigan Avenue at 4 p.m. is the best and worst thing at the same time. The anonymity is comforting most days. New friends are even more comforting.

I've come to enjoy the echo of Pink Floyd and (pre-Battle Studies) John Mayer in our shoebox apartment. The hall light on the third floor is out, but there is a skylight. Even if I can't ever find the right key after dark, I like that the coral-colored street lights get to peek through.

Show me a picture of every red line El train stop from here to downtown, and I can tell you exactly which one it is. I guess that doesn't sound so neat, but I like to think outside the box of monotony. The 30-minute ride to school every day has the potential to make me a grump because of its claustrophobia, loud and obnoxious teenagers on their cell phones, and consistently funky smells.

I still miss wide open space, harvest time in Nebraska, taking meals to the fields, Blue Hill high school football games, joking with my grandparents over a steak dinner, beating up on my little brother (who am I kidding? He'll never be little anymore)...singing everyday, getting drunk with good friends, and Pabst Blue Ribbon not being such a hipster beer. I don't think I'll ever stop missing these things.

Nonetheless, I knew that comfort would come and that my young and naive (with some additional urban maturity and navigation skills) country girl spirit of awe and wonder would come back to me, a better outlook on the challenges of the future.

The Blackhawks have been winning, and now, out of decency and respect for the sport, I know what I'm talking about when it comes to hockey. Yes, I did some research instead of doing homework. Sue me for being a Blackhawks fan and posting related videos more often than probably need be. Come on, it's hockey season!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

And then we're gonna go go go go go go.

Thank God for athletics, for the gifts of men and women from Him, the power to bring people together for a passionate gratefulness of these things we call sports. I've sometimes doubted the hearts of athletes and the compassion of "fans." But, today, being one of them, and knowing that I'm watching fellow people do what they love, what they're bodies and minds are built and skilled to do, I won't doubt the nature of these wonders: football and hockey, among others. And, no, I haven't only thought this after big wins...losses, too. How can we not be grateful for the ability to motivate and compete? It's never perfect, but surely a better way to spend our time together.

I will forever bleed Husker red. I was born here. You know what they say, right? You can take the girl out of Nebraska, but you can't take Nebraska out of the girl.

ONE GOAL. Okay, they may look like celebrities, but more than being faces of the NHL (and so incredibly good-looking in both suits and hockey gear), the Blackhawks are known for relationship: a fan/player support system. It often brings a city together. I've seen it. You can tell me I'm being dreamy again. I'm okay with that.


Let us also take a moment to be thankful for one of the greatest movies of all time.
"We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. We're gonna get 'em on the run boys and once we get 'em on the run we're gonna keep 'em on the run. And then we're gonna go go go go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline. This is a team they say is... is good, well I think we're better than them. They can't lick us, so what do you say men?"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

so. much. gray. area

You shouldn't have to feel bad about being wishy-washy or indecisive about life. American culture may teach us to decide between black and white types of ideas, which is okay to present to young minds - but don't tell an adolescent there isn't any gray area in their lives.

And I'm not just saying this because I've come across more artists channeling creativity from an astounding amount of gray area.

Though simplicity is nice to look at, it's not a realistic idea, since so many things make up the complexity of simplicity.

And I think decision-making and conviction is entirely relevant and important to growth. Of course. But, someone can't just jump to convicting someone for their views or inability to make a snap-3-second-decision. That can be a gift. So can perspective. So can empathy.

If you're not with me, I won't jump to assuming you're against me. There's much more to it than that...acknowledging the complex humanity of the enemy. And of the sinner.

Faith is complex. We'll never understand the immensity of God's love.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky about or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38-39