Saturday, January 30, 2010

You tell me

you can look at this picture without smiling. I mean seriously, just try and tell me that. Isn't she too cute? Too sweet? Too silly? Flaco has taken to composing songs for Loli - such as, last night: Precious little Loli/ Playing in the river*/ Fyo is eating her puffs/ Precious little Fyo/ Is so naughty...
The puffs referred to in the song were a trail of treats that Flaco had set up for Loli (all on his own!) in an effort to get her to crawl. Which she did! She did! I mean, kind of. She can get on all fours, and lurch forward, and then fall on her face. But she eventually reaches what she wants and smiles that ridiculous, adorable, wrinkle-nosed smile. I cannot take this girl, I really cannot.
*Not to worry, she was not in a river.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is the face of surprise;

or rather, this is the delight the Flaco feels at a very small surprise like "I peeled you an orange!" So take that look and transfer it onto Matthew's face and onto my face and you are nowhere near picturing how surprised we are. Because we were surprised to the point of staring dumbfoundedly. Eyes wide open, staring up at the dark ceiling. Whispering. "For real? Are you really?" "Yeah, for real. Yes." "Uhh... Okay. Oh wow. Okay." "Yeah, okay, right? Okay!" And then all this slowly building, eyes shining in the dark like a pair of raccoons, hands held tightly. Breathing in the cold night air, letting it sink in. Aching to tell, aching to not. But we can refrain no longer; we're like Flaco and his orange. Excited and toothy kind of high-pitched. We're having a baby!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Oh ho ho. We threw quite a surprise party for Loli-cake. She turned six months old and did not see it coming. We made a feast fit for a princess and celebrated six months of Loli, which is six months of: fluff, ruffles, bows, lace, toulle, smiles that start with a crinkle in the nose, belly laughs (always when Flaco dances and always for the song Despeinada), eyes that seem to get bluer and bluer, a raspy voice, and cheeks that are formidable. For the record, Loli-cake, I love you. I love you like mad.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello.

So my best friend is moving to you know where to do you know what very soon. (Have I said too much?) And I will miss her. Very very much. So here we go, a list of fun moments we have had together in honor of my friend:
*Bandaging our eyes (with Kelly) in order to make my dad feel less weird about having a gauzed-over eye. Telling people we were injured in the riots.
*Hit-the-wall-overtired elf dances.
*Breadsticks and vats of sauce. Handfuls of mints. She always paid. (Let me modify that verb. She always pays. That kind of insinuates you should take me out one last time, no?)
*Family reunions. People quit asking who you were or why you came. :)
*Going to ska-ska-SKA shows together. (PICK IT UP, PICK IT UP!)
*Oh my. The highlighter-green pants.
*The time you took down a cage-fighter with a broom. Granted, he wasn't a cage-fighter yet, but still. It was wild.
*Hiding behind the dog-food in Walmart. In a shelf.
*Getting a really-excited calls from OshKosh: "I just wrote a paper!" (For the record, I particularly liked the Jonathan one and the Asherah pole one.)
*Telling you the story at least five times of how your car was stolen, and having you still not remember it.
*The time we make a cat-delivery. As in, drove to Arthur to give an unsuspecting person a cat.
*Spending years trying to convince someone your coat was my coat and vice versa, for really no reason. Realizing at some point there was no zinger moment. Continuing on anyway.
*You assembling my notebooks! We had to turn them in for a grade, and we would go page-by-page; you showing me what I should have, me digging through piles of napkins and torn pages and scribbled-on candy wrappers, stapling them together, turning it in as if it were regular.
*The tape-game. Ew, and ping-pong.
I think if I let myself, I would go on and on. So for some reason, "ew, and ping-pong" seems like as good a place to stop as any. So now it's your turn! Add to the lists! Go ahead, add!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Of Roosters and Hens

I think it's interesting to watch atheists try to explain things they can't explain, such as morals (such long Darwinian explanations that go on and on and in the end run out of steam far before they reach their destination) or miracles or even vegetarianism. But I'd never heard anyone comment on peoples' innate belief in God until recently. (Maybe that should be a lower-case g, I'm not even sure.) I presumed that the atheist stance was that religion is a crutch for the weak. But I read something recently where the author felt that it was more natural (albeit incorrect) than disbelief.
She used statistics and brain scans and analysis and reached the conclusion that people believe in the supernatural (despite logic) because our minds are trained to look for order in disorder. You look at Lucas to the left here: he doesn't see a haphazard splatter of orange juice, he sees a hen. (And look at how pleased it makes him!) The author said that similarly, we tend to notice patterns in events and in circumstance that leads us to see something where there is nothing but a spill. The author says that this tendency serves a purpose, and that's why it's survived all these millions (is it millions?) of years. So what is the purpose? We treat each other better* and we sleep more soundly at night. The author (who sounded more academic than condescending; impressive skill in writing!) encourages us to swallow down fortune-tellers and rabbits' feet and ghosts and the cross alike; if your mind leads you to see Kool-Aid, drink it.
But whereas the author is saying If you're wrong (which you are), what does it harm you?, Paul says If you're wrong (which you're not), " are to be pitied above all men." He's speaking specifically about Christ's resurrection and our hope to live after death, but what he's saying is that if we renounce earthly pleasures because of our religion-imposed morals -even beyond this, if we accept suffering in the name of Christ- and it turns out to be for nothing, we are wretched. It cannot be shrugged off. And I read this and I ached (again, again) to be counted worthy of suffering, to live life in a way that the author of a science column couldn't possibly write it off as good for me. I want this author to take the cross out of the line-up of encouraged superstitions; to see it as other, to see it as beyond neurological wiring. I want for people to stop patting Christians on the head with a simple "Believe whatever you want but keep it to yourself" and to understand, to see in a literal, physical sense, that something that's worth dying for is not just a choice of beliefs but a belief that is thick and heavy and based on a God who is real.
I met a man who was hung upside down by the ankles and had boiling oil poured on his body because of his faith in Jesus Christ. And I do not want this, because I am human and a coward. But if it would mean that a person would put weight to my words and that their eyes would be lifted to my God, I want that.
And the cock crows.

And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I die every day—I mean that, brothers—just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Well here it is, my friends. 2010. Matthew and I made all kinds of resolutions - we looked several years into the future and tried to plot out what our next maneuvers might be, how if we're just resolved enough we might end up with a nice clean checkmate. But life is fickle. You know? It's only January 3rd and already it's all been turned upside-down. I read an article where a diplomat said that making nuclear deals with Iran is like playing chess with a monkey: "You get them to checkmate and then they swallow the king." I was going to say that life keeps swallowing our king but I guess it's God. He swallows our pawns too. But do you know why he does? Do you? He does because life isn't a game of chess at all. It's a story, and he's the author. He has all these plot twists and character arcs, and almost every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger. It's like Gravity's Rainbow (which I've never read, but boy did I try to.) You lose your place, you can't tell who's coming or going; you don't even get the title. And then you eventually realize that you're not even the main character, it's him. And that your storyline is just a part of his; you're a part of this crazy, beautiful, glorious, unreasonable story of redemption with the best surprise ending written in history. And then what's left to do but let go? And what's left to say but take me and write me; write my story up or down or left or right but however you write it, be glorified.