Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bananana Pancakes on the Balcony

“I feel stupid when I write the word banana. Its like, how many na’s are on this thing? ‘Cause I’m like ‘Bana … keep going. Bananana … damn.’ -Dimitri Martin

So I'm currently sitting outside on our balcony in a comfortable chair with a stomach full of Banana pancakes. It's 73 degrees and sunny, the kind of day that makes you realize why even liberals move the south.

L' Shana Tova to all of my Jewish blog readers. Since my church draws from all religious sources we have services for both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I put together the music for Rosh Hashana and will be dong the same for Yom Kippur this Wednesday. It was nice to participate in these services. My time at Temple Israel meant a lot to me and I like keeping these traditions and quite specifically the Jewish music in my life.

Kristen and I are pretty election crazy right now. We've been watching the news and debates and reading everything we can about this major happening in our country. Sarah Palin has become a big focus as we can't understand how someone so blatantly under-qualified to lead the country can be actually helping the conservative cause. I think what Joe Biden said about this being the most important election we'll ever vote in rings true in a lot of ways. Both candidates are very strong and it upsets me that McCain keeps doing things that make me respect him less and less because a few months ago I really liked him as a moderate conservative. I realize both candidates do have to hold to their parties ideals but McCain has just taken the low road over and over (even Karl Rove said he went to far!).

Anyway, I'm going to enjoy a lazy Saturday of Michigan Football, reading books and watching movies.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bad at updating Blog

So it turns out that I'm not very good at updating my blog. I'm going to go with Mark's suggestion: "Just treat your blog like you treat my voicemail." And by that he meant nonsensical ramblings.

Since we last left our adventurers they have been working a lot. Kristen is enjoying her job at the Pre-School (her kids are adorable) and I'm getting a lot done at work and really enjoying it. It's strange to spend 30 hours a week behind a desk but I know that I'm doing good things so it's worth it.

Today Kristen and I went to the museum and got a membership so we can go back whenever we want to. There was a truly incredible exhibit of civil rights photography. It was easily the most engaging and moving photography exhibit I've ever seen. We actually went to see a Louvre exhibit but it turns out that they are between groups of Louvre art and we'll have to go back (which is fine because we got a membership). The museum was pretty great and while the in house art isn't as good as the art at the DIA, there is always at least one special exhibit there and if they're anything like the one we saw today than we are really in for a treat.

A week or so ago my good friend and incredible composer Josh Bornfield sent me a few of his compositions from this summer. The pieces were spectacular (one in particular) and it made me crave really difficult music in my life. I think I should start playing weird music on the piano to get my fix until I can start up a Lux Atlanta.

Things are good! Life is good! I hope you all are ALSO GOOD!
More random posts without a lot of substance to come :-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Some Southern Cookin'

So one thing that comes along with living in the south is, of course, the Southern Cuisine. Stuff like Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes, Corn Bread, Biscuits, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Pecan Pie, Cobbler, Bread Pudding, Craw fish and even Chicken Livers... And that's all in one meal! Let me elaborate. Since moving down here Kristen and I have become very good friends with the accompanist at my church, Travis. Travis is one of the kindest, most genuine most giving souls I've ever met. We've been hanging out with him a couple times a week and we just have a ball every time we do. Travis has really incredible taste in food and has introduced us to a few of his favorite restaurants.

Our last adventure brought us to a place called South City Kitchen, an upscale southern restaurant. We new we were in for a treat right when we walked in, it smelled amazing. As he does at all of the restaurants we go to, Travis gave us a run down of the menu as he's had just about everything at these restaurants. He then ordered the appetizers and he got ceative: Fried Green Tomatoes with goat cheese (<-------), chicken livers, and scallops. They were all fantastic. I ordered a craw fish penne for dinner(below) , Kristen had buttermilk fried chicken (above left) and Travis ordered shrimp and scallops served over grits (above right). We were all enthralled with the food and the desserts were just as amazing. So as soon as "y'all" want to come down here we can take you out for some incredible southern cookin'. :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Standing on the side of love

Something happened in the UU world three weeks ago that I need to write about. On Sunday July 27th a man walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church with a shotgun and just started firing. He walked in during a children’s play and just fired at random. Two people, Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger, were killed and six others were seriously injured. There is a deep wound in my community that is healing slowly but it is healing.

I want to write about anger. Anger because someone committed a hate crime against people in my religious community. Anger because this story was pushed aside by many news networks or, in the case of Fox News, ardently defended as not being a hate crime because he was just shooting at liberals. UU churches welcome everybody regardless or race, creed or sexual orientation. To think that someone would want to kill people for being too loving boggles my mind. This man targeted a UU church because or our beliefs, that is in every way a hate crime; a senseless evil act.

Now I want to write about pride and love. I feel great pride for the people of the Tennessee Valley UUC, who decided not to close their doors or let their anger beget more negativity. Pride in the support given to TVUUC from UUs and people of every creed. Pride in the choice to stand on the side of love, not anger or despair.

The Unitarian Universalist Association bought a full page in the New York Times on week after these shootings. On this page Rev. William Sinkford, President of UUA, wrote:

“We will not give in to fear. We will meet hatred with love. We will continue to work for justice. Our hearts and the doors of more that 1,000 Unitarian Universalist congregations nationwide remain open. Unitarians Universalists stand on the side of love. We invite you to stand with us.”

I didn’t write this to bring anyone down and I didn’t really write this because I’m sad. I wrote this because of the love and the pride that I felt for this religion I’ve become a part of. I wrote this because I hope all groups of people can learn to respond to senseless violence with love. I wrote this because it’s difficult when something stirs up your world yet doesn’t affect the people around you. Thank you for reading this and sharing it with me.

standing on the side of love,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beantown and Back

So after being in Atlanta for one week, moving things into my office, and starting my job, I took my first business trip: a six day conference in Boston. I agreed to attend this conference before Kristen decided to move here with me and I felt pretty bad leaving her all by herself for a week but she survived, despite some occasional boredom.

The most exciting part of the conference was that it was held mainly at Mark's church (Arlington Street Church) so I got to spend most of my first week at work with Mark. As some of you may know, Mark and I are VERY GOOD FRIENDS and we like to sing songs and dance about whether we're in public or not so it makes for a good time. I got to stay at Mark's great apartment in Jamaica Plain and one night as Mark and I performed a clapping phase by Steve Reich, our friend Jeff Krause heard us from a street over and came to hang out with us.

The conference was exhausting but really great. I learned a lot of great music and met some great people. It was also very spiritually satisfying. I sang a gospel solo at the big service on Sunday which was really fun. Also, Mark and I got to sing one of our favorite covers (Friendship by Tenacious D) in front of a pretty large crowd, many of whom were in their 80's. But the best part of this talent show in which we sang was being totally shown up but an 81 year old woman who played the piano and sang a raunchy song in her old lady voice; it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life.

Now I'm back in town having board meetings and planning sessions. This job is going to be so very much work but it's going to be great. We're already talking about ways to change the services and the ministers are very excited about and supportive of my ideas.

Kristen and I have been enjoying some good restaurants and have gone out twice with the former music director at my church (still the accompanist). He's a really fun guy and has taken us to two fabulous restaurants. Tomorrow the adult choir is throwing a party for Kristen and Me which will be a lot of fun and a great chance to meet the members.

Well, I'm going to go back to watching the Olympics. Michael Phelps is the man (GO BLUE!!) and as Kristen says, "Watching the Olympics is like crack."

Sending lots of love to my friends and family.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hey everybody! We just got internet in our apartment so I thought I would share some great photos from our trip.
We packed every square inch of the 16 foot truck. It was like we invented Tetris.

This is how I feel about Ohio

But even the evils of the Buckeye state couldn't assuage Baxter's Smile

We could tell we were on our way down south

We still traveled with a jolly dispositionWe loved the landscape of Tennessee

Baxter especiallyBeautiful Tennessee sunset

We're in Georgia
Atlanta Bound

The entryway to our building
First time opening the door

Plenty of floorspace for Baxter to do somersaults
Tall ceilings and a delightfully short girl :-)

The mover asked, "Where should I put the Bibles?"

Answer: In the Liquor cabinet

We put strange descriptions on most of our boxes, many of them contained at least one Weevil.

It only took us one day to get peaches (48cents a pound)

That old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Peach Pie and Mint Juleps

We’re here!! The trip was long and the truck was huge but we made it. On Friday we picked up a 16 foot Penske truck and a car carrier to bring down to Georgia. All together it was about 26 feet of vehicle but we had surprisingly few problems driving it. We picked stuff up from my parent’s house, Kristen’s house and my Grandma’s house which took a few hours but then we hit the road to Ypsi to pick up all of my stuff.

It was tough saying goodbye to our families. We’re so lucky to be so close to our parents and it’s hard to say goodbye, even if it’s only for a few months. But only a few tears were shed before we got on the road. It was great to get to see a bunch of friends in the two days before we left (Emily, Sarah, Laura, Benri, Kelly, Johnny, Laura W., Nate, Aubrey and Joe).

It took us quite a while to finish things up at my apartment but we were on the road by 10am on Sunday morning just Kristen, Baxter and me in the cab of the truck (and we got McDonald’s breakfast). As you all know, Ohio is by far the ugliest state in the union and driving through it is like washing your face with brillo pads but don’t worry, we made it. After we hit Kentucky the rest of the drive was really beautiful.

We drove over 500 miles on the first day and stopped at a hotel in southern Tennessee. We were totally beat and decided to order pizza and watch the food network instead of venturing out into Sweet Water TN. The next morning we dined on a continental breakfast that was fine enough to satiate even the pickiest homeless person and then made our way to our new place.

We arrived around one and did all the paper work and then we got to see our new place. Our apartment is BEAUTIFUL! The community is lovely, the apartment is huge and really well arranged, we are in a great neighborhood with tons of restaurants and we’re only four tenths of a mile from my church. There was a slight fiasco with moving the piano but other than that it was great having other people unload our stuff. We went out to dinner and had Indian food (which was amazing) and Mint Juleps (which were awful).

We’ve been slowly unpacking and settling in the last couple of days. We’ve been buying things for the apartment and making it feel homey. I went to a meeting at work and got to see my new office and spend some time with the Senior Staff at my church. Everything has gone so smoothly and Kristen and I are very happy. We’re eating peaches and peach pie and peach bread and peach sausages and peach omelets and peach soap and actually only the first two.

We won’t have internet for another few days so I won’t be able to post very often or respond to e-mails but please send us some love as I send a lot of love out to you.

A lot of photos to come, just not today.