today.

I have at least five draft posts right now, but I’m currently ignoring them all so I can put down some thoughts on today.

I’m a Christian. I believe in Jesus, the Trinity, and the Bible. I also believe in human rights.

Today, SCOTUS made a ruling on DOMA that “same-sex couples who marry in states where it’s legal for them to do so will be treated the same as heterosexual married couples by the federal government when it comes to things like retirement benefits and taxes” (CNN).

SCOTUS also ruled on California’s Prop 8, “The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, ruling Wednesday private parties do not have “standing” to defend California’s voter-approved ballot measure barring gay and lesbian couples from state-sanctioned wedlock” (CNN).

I’m working from home today, so have been able to watch some of the footage on TV. Hearing Edie Windsor and the couples who were plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case (especially this clip) talk about the cases and the real effects on their lives was incredible and inspiring. Honestly, I kept tearing up. Certainly there is still a long road ahead for same-sex marriage in America, but what a good day it is.

Trying to reconcile my belief in Christianity with a natural inclination to support gay marriage has been hard. Homosexuality and gay marriage is harped on too much in the Christian world, in my opinion. (Sidebar: I think my church does a pretty good job of talking about being gay and being a Christian. Maybe I’m biased, or maybe that’s part of why I go there.) I think that repeated preaching disrupts our ability to talk about it fairly and reasonably. If all we hear is BAD BAD BAD and WRONG WRONG WRONG, we forget both that there is a mystery surrounding the gospel story and our belief in God’s control.

I have friends who are gay and aren’t Christians. I have Christian friends who had same-sex attractions in the past and are now married in straight relationships. I took all of this into account as I’ve formed my opinion on same-sex marriage.

I stated some beliefs at the beginning of this post. I also believe in the separation of church and state. So in regard to gay marriage, I don’t believe the church (or other religious institutions) should have to marry gay couples. But, I do believe the state should, and that the federal government should acknowledge these marriages.

Letting people in love get married isn’t going to undo what Jesus has done.

oops.

Sorry blog, I’ve been neglecting you. In an unfocused list, these things have been taking up my time:

I got a cat. My friend Beth found a stray and I decided to keep him. His name is Boo Radley and he’s a terror. A cute terror though. He destroyed my roommate’s new iPhone cord and one of my socks. Recently, I’ve caught him drinking out of the toilet. He may think he’s a dog. And although he has a beard, he’s losing his manhood soon (don’t tell him).

I’m doing the social media/promo for the TV show my friends created, Terminal B. Check out the indiegogo site, Like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, etc. Casting starts in November! I think this can be really great.

I became an aunt! Meet Harper James. I love him and I haven’t even met him yet. He’s cuter than your nephew. And cooler.

I moved cubes! This is actually a major highlight. Previously, I was in a cube where I couldn’t even see the windows by standing up, I had to walk through the cube labyrinth to reach the row of windows. But no more! Now I have a lovely, distracting, sunshiny view of some trees, and mostly a parking lot.

I’m going to Utah for Thanksgiving. As stated in a previous post, we’re headed to Zion National Park. So, I’ve been looking at park blogs and seeking out the best hikes. Please share any suggestions.

I made Halloween costumes. And I am pretty proud of them. For the record, there was a stuffed kitten in my basket and a pair of scissors. At least one person asked to take our picture.

Feel free to compare us to the real deal:

Annnnd here are some distractions while you’re waiting out the storm:

The best cookies ever. (Why haven’t I been making EVERYTHING with brown butter??)

Cat bounce!

Life in Color from National Geographic.

Patagonia’s Instagram feed.

funny.

These funny things happened this morning:

I saw this man and his friend while I was on my way into work. Happy Halloween!

Also on my way into work, I felt something lumpy on the back of my leg, but inside my pants. I thought, maybe it’s a tissue, or something? So when I got to work, I went into the bathroom to remove the tissue. But it wasn’t a tissue. It was underwear. That I somehow left in my pants. How does that even happen?

Perhaps the best part of that situation was that later my friend said, “That happened to me once. In fourth grade.”

saturday adventures: ladies in lace

A couple Saturdays ago, my friend Rachel called me while I was out with some friends.

Rachel: What are you doing for the next few hours?

Me: Uh… taking a shower eventually?

Rachel: GREAT, want to come be in my photo shoot?

Me: Why not?

To which she responded with many thanks and a lot of I love yous. (Later she apologized for saying I love you every time she hung up the phone:)

Rachel is a photographer, among other things. Her card says “Community Architect” and it’s completely accurate. When my friends asked who was the girl on the phone, I said, “She’s basically the coolest person I know, but I can’t explain why, which makes her cooler.” Rachel had a vision to do a photo shoot featuring vintage dresses, braided hair, and muted colors.

I’ll be honest. Playing dress up is fun when you’re a little girl. It’s still fun when you’re a big girl.

Here are some of the photos…

Like [rachel joy photos] on facebook to see more of the photos! And check out the behind the scenes video.

PS: This is how spring sounds.

saturday adventures: the queen city and a su$hi party

Employment really cuts into my blog time. What it does not cut into is having money to spend.

A few Saturdays ago, I went on a day trip to the Queen City with my friends Sam and Olivia. They just moved into a new place, and wanted to make a trip to IKEA, while making some stops along the way. We somehow deluded ourselves into thinking we’d only be there a few hours, but it turned into more like twelve. After IKEA, multiple thrift stores, Jungle Jim’s, and an antique mall, here are the gems from the Queen City:

I’m pretty excited about this cream and sugar set. I’ve been looking for a set at normal stores, and was jazzed to find these at the antique mall. There are cowboys on the other side.


Also landed this Brownie and Instamatic at the antique mall. Excited about adding to my Pop’s Brownie collection.

This Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary, copyright 1925, is right up my alley.

And I just liked the old school travel iron.

Alright, now skip ahead a Saturday for the… (that says Su$hi Party)

After I got my job, I decided I’d have what I called a “First Paycheck Party.” I love sushi and I love throwing a good party, so here are some highlights in photo:

I provided the fish and asked my friends to bring the other fixins, and I’ve got to say, we made some damn good sushi.

I had to give a demo, of course.

I was pretty excited about my glittery nails. However, the bottle should come with a label that says WARNING: While glittery nails are as fun as having tiny disco balls on your fingers, you’re going to need paint thinner to get this stuff off.

I believe this roll was made by Mr. Martin, neighborhood sushi expert.

I highly recommend throwing yourself a First Paycheck Party when you start a new job.

2012: here’s hoping

I’m just gonna come out and say it. 2011 was the worst. I mean literally, the worst year of my life. But I won’t get into details here. In an effort to drop some of the cynicism and re-learn how to hope, here’s a list of things I’m looking forward to in 2012:

1. Starting my new job, which also includes doubling my previous salary (CHEDDAR YA’LL). Before you judge, it wasn’t hard to double. I can’t wait to actually put money in my savings account, eat delicious food, and buy my friends a drink for once.

2. In June I’m going to a conference in Orlando. While I think the conference will be great, I’m really hoping to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. That’s right, Harry Potter World. Don’t even try to tell me it’s not gonna be awesome.

3. The London Olympics. I LOVE THE OLYMPICS. I grew up in Atlanta and was able to attend quite a few events at the 96 Olympics. I might have to get DVR before the summer.

4. In August I’m going to be an aunt! My oldest sister and her husband are expecting their first child. I can’t wait to be an aunt, but I do wish they didn’t live 1,300 miles away.

5. Hopefully this fall my family will converge on Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. I gotta keep up the National Park streak.

6. Bond. James Bond. With Javier Bardem. I mean, do I need to say more?

7. Hopslam. It’s almost here. Please drink responsibly.

8. Hopefully going to Acadia National Park with my friend Faith, and doing things like this. Guess I should find out how much vacation time I have…

9. It’s a new year. New chances, new friends, new places to see.

60th birthdays are better with beer (and 18 pounds of beef).

This past weekend we celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday in Cleveland. (Are we done calling it Believeland since LeBron’s peaced? I like saying Believeland.) My parents moved to SLC, Utah this summer, so my dad decided to fly mom back to her hometown to celebrate the big 6-0. A major perk for those of us who have yet to relocate–my sister, aunt and uncle, and I drove up to join the party with the rest of the family. We know how to have a good time.

My mom is a beer connoisseur of sorts, and like many, she’s recently become interested in the microbreweries. I definitely got that gene. So, last week I sent an email recommending we go on a tour of Great Lakes Brewing Company in downtown Cleveland. I’d been to the brewpub before (great food), but wasn’t able to go on a tour. I figured this was my chance, and hoped mom would be interested. CHA-CHING. She was!

We had to rush through lunch in the brewpub in order to make our 1 o’clock tour, but it was worth it. Mom and I split a flight of the brewpub features. Aside from Christmas Ale, these are only available on-sight at the brewery:  The Wright Pils; The Stein Bock; Truth, Justice and the American Ale; Highlander Scottish Ale; and a Farmhouse Ale. Mom and Nicole favored The Wright Pils and the Farmhouse, which worked out perfectly as I fell in love with Truth, Justice and the American Ale. (No surprise there, seeing as I’m the girl who dreamt she had a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale tap in her house. GIVE ME HOPS!)

We finished our hurried lunch just in time, and hopped on the tour. Great Lakes is a very respectable company; they recycle whatever they can, even using vegetable oil to fuel their Fatty Wagon and one of their distribution trucks. This was my second microbrewery tour (the first being Bell’s Brewery). I didn’t notice too much variation in the general line-up of the tour:  check out some barley, smell some hops pellets, move into the really cold fermentation room (lagers take LONGER than ales), and then into packaging and distributing. The main difference for the GLBC tour was the tasting (yay!). The tasting featured their year-round beers, all of which I’d had before, but who can resist?

Naturally, we made our way back into the gift shop at the end of the tour. On the way in, mom asked me if I wanted some Christmas Ale for my birthday. I thought it was a rhetorical question, and left with two 6-packs AND a koozie. Who wants warm beer?

Now let’s get to that beef.

Mom ordered a prime rib roast from the deli she frequented before the move. My sister, Nicole, picked it up on her way to Believeland. Two humorous things happened at the deli. 1.) The owner, Greg, asked Nicole what we were celebrating. She told him it was mom’s 60th birthday, to which he replied, “She looks damn good for 60! She doesn’t look older than 40.” #momprops And 2.) Greg handed Nicole the bag with the beef. She lifted it by the handles, and as soon as she moved it off the counter, the handles ripped off the bag and we had 18 pounds of beef on the floor. Apparently the cows were big this year, because my mom asked for the smallest roast available to feed our party, and we had some extra:

Yes, that was the part we cut and put back in the freezer. Here’s the 10 pounds dad would cook for us:

Dammmmmmmmmmn that’s a lot of beef.

Nicole and I were commissioned to prepare the side dishes for this birthday feast. I was in charge of the potatoes, as usual. One year for Christmas, we made a new potato dish, and since that fateful holiday, my parents have referred to it as “Meg’s Potatoes.” Now, the problems is, my parents don’t seem to ever remember what’s actually in “Meg’s Potatoes,” and because I wasn’t part of the grocery run, I had to put a disclaimer out that these would not, in fact, be “Meg’s Potatoes.” (Truth be told, they’re actually Food & Wine’s Potatoes, but you should still make them. Now.) Here is the original recipe. I recommend using a shallot. Feel free to start with some garlic before sauteing the shallot. And it never takes as long as the recipe instructs. The point is, you should make these. Because if everything is better with bacon, it’s got to be better than better with fancy bacon.

As is customary with mom’s family, we rounded out the night with some (very) low-end gambling games. In my opinion, the highlight of the night came at this time, when mom declared that, “You lucky bitch!” would be her saying throughout the rest of the game-playing. Sorry mom, but I couldn’t resist sharing that bit!

All in all, a very successful weekend.