The debate of the continuum

So, in college Barbara and I developed a continuum of people who look alike. It just sort of happened. And it turned out we'd been working on it separately before we even became friends. But then we started talking about it, and we put together a list. I think it started because of a picture of Phil Collins that our professor, Todd Pickett, had posted on his office door. The list has grown over the years, and I think at the most recent incarnation it went something like this: Phil Collins, Robin Williams, Todd Pickett, Tim Weed, Steve Zahn, Elijah Wood, Tobey Maguire, our friend Corey, Jake Gyllenhaal. In that order, more or less. Nathan and I have had this debate for some time. He says the continuum is nuts and that the people in it look nothing alike, except for Robin Williams and Phil Collins, and Tobey Maguire and our friend Corey. But I think these people all look alike somehow. I think it's the mouth. Here are some pictures so that you can weigh in. Sorry they're a little out of order, Steve Zahn should go between Elijah Wood and Tim Weed. And I couldn't find pics of Todd Pickett or Corey. Let me know what you think! And Barbara, let me know if I've left anyone out.


Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John meet Mother Goose

Nathan and I babysat two of our many nieces last night for a couple hours. While they were here we fed Judah dinner, which consists of a truly disgusting mixture of oatmeal and mashed up banana. Rachel and Naomi both asked to feed him, and I let them do a couple of bites each. Judah makes a mess when he eats, but it was nothing compared to the mess that ensued after I handed each of the girls the spoon. After Naomi handed the spoon back to me she stood there and watched Nathan and me finish the feeding, and we all had a deep theological conversation. It went something like this.

Naomi: Babies are messy.
Me: Yep. Were you messy when you were a baby?
Naomi: Uh-huh.
Nathan: What about Jesus? Was he messy when he was a baby?
Naomi: No.
Nathan: Why not?
Naomi: (with expressive hand gestures) Because he wasn't born!
Me: Who told you that?
Naomi: My mommy.
Nathan: I think you need to ask your mommy again.
Me: How come the Bible says Jesus was born?
Naomi: Because the Bible just says that to trick you.
Nathan and me: No Naomi, the Bible never tricks you.
Nathan: Did Jesus have a mommy?
Naomi: Yes.
Nathan: Who?
Naomi: Mary.
Me: How was Mary his mommy if he wasn't born?
Naomi: (looks at us like we're idiots) What I DO know is that Mary had a little lamb.
Nathan: (choking on laughter) I think that's a different Mary, Naomi.
Naomi: I KNOW that!


Sometimes Bono says it better than I can

by U2

Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don't make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn
Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this cityIf it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

Temporary pessimist

I've come to realize that everything in this world is determined to tear us apart, even (maybe especially) the things that look like they're trying to keep us together.


Fitting in many ways

Rain in Summertime
by the Alarm

Under the anvil of the sun
Sweat, like a train
I come, I come,
My body to dust
Scorched by the might of the sun
Burning light, burning white heat
Like wildfireI sweat a fever
My body screams
Disintegrates in the heat
Our love is the FAITH that keeps on burning

I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face

Burnt at the stake, on a bed of fire
My body rises
Taking me higher
My loves desire
Is pure ascension fire
And love is the FAITH that keeps on burning

I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face

And then I run 'til the breath tears my throat
'Til the pain hits my side
As if I run fast enough
I can leave all the pain and the sadness behind

I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
I love to feel the RAIN IN THE SUMMERTIME
I love to feel the rain on my face
(I love to feel the rain on my face)
(In the summertime)


Happy Birthday, Becky!

As you can tell, September is the month for birthdays in my family. Three in four days!

Becky was my first sister-in-law. Dave started bringing her around when I was fourteen, in my first year of highschool. So she's seen me go through A LOT, including the phase where I wore a lot of black and stayed in my room all the time and thought Robert Smith was the only person who knew how I felt. She saw me through several boyfriends and bad breakups and crazy friendships. And she's never judged me for any of it. I've never been afraid to reveal anything to Becky, never been afraid to tell her about my mistakes and bad decisions and insecurities. She has always been willing to listen to me and to tell me it's okay to feel whatever way I do. Also, she always helps me commandeer the olive bowl at family gatherings so that we can eat them all. :)

Beck - thanks for being such a good friend to me for so many years now. I love you, and hope that you're having the best birthday ever!


Happy Birthday, Ashlee!

Ashlee is my go-to person. When I need to know anything about anything I call Ashlee. She has taught me how to make a purse, a flourless chocolate cake, baked Alaska, and the perfect fondue. She can make a rabbit out of dough, perform alterations on bridesmaid dresses, and create fabulous diaper bags that look just like Petunia Pickle Bottom ones. She has been all over the world and was a wonderful ballerina, and I hear that she can replace the ignition on a 1954 Ford truck, though not without getting stuck under it. :) She's the person I called with all my insane, paranoid questions after Judah was born. She's like a really, really super nice version of Martha Stewart, except she's not a criminal. So far the only thing I've found that has stumped Ashlee is the tree skirt we tried to copy from a magazine last year, and given enough time, I'm sure she'd figure that out too.

Ashlee, I'm so very glad we're sisters (in-law). I couldn't have asked for better. I feel like we really are sisters, and it makes me smile every time Grandma and Naomi confuse one of us for the other. What a compliment to me! I love you, and hope you have a wonderful day and year.


Happy Birthday, Dad!

When I was little we had a darkroom at our house because my dad was the printer at his office. I used to love hanging out in the darkroom with him while he photographed layouts on the huge platform camera, then developed the negatives, sending them through the three different trays of chemicals. I've forgotten what the chemicals were, but when I was eight I could've told you everything about the process. My dad patiently explained every detail to me and showed me how it all worked. I was so interested in it all, but mostly I just liked hanging out with my dad and asking him questions.

To one of the kindest, most upstanding, patient, faithful, loving men I know, Happy Birthday. I love you.


Tidbits and a poem for fall

Currently listening to: The Cure's Wish album
Reminds me of: Among other things, singing "A Letter to Elise" at the top of my lungs with my friend Gina to our friend Elisa in high school.

Well, it's not officially fall yet, but for the past few days there's been a tiny hint of fall in the air around here. You'd have to be a native southern Californian to sense the subtle difference between summer and fall, but it really is there. I actually got to put on my toe socks the other night! We've begun to sleep under our comforter again instead of just the sheets, and there's a tiny hint of red in the leaves on the liquid amber trees. To celebrate, I made pumpkin bread the other night. Pretty soon it'll be time to break out the Cocteau Twins albums, which I can only listen to in the fall and winter. Weird, huh? I'd love to start playing my Siouxsie and the Banshees Superstition album as well (another fall album, especially the song "The Ghost in You"), but my current copy is wrecked. I think it's cursed or something. I've bought the album three times now, and every time I buy it it gets ruined somehow.

On Saturday night Dave, Becky, Steve, Arla, Zoe, Nathan, and I went to the Hollywood Bowl for the John Williams concert. The evening was almost a disaster, but it worked out. I was in charge of buying the tickets, but the guy at Tower where I bought them gave me tickets for the Friday show instead of Saturday. I didn't notice until the person who scanned our tickets pointed it out. I thought we would have to leave, but a very cool worker named Fernando talked to the ticket office and found us a bunch of seats together, then traded us tickets. So nice of him! The show was pretty good, but there was too much Star Wars music, as usual. Four songs! They did play Schindler's List, which was great, but most of the pieces were the same ones they do every year. I'd love to hear them do some different things, like the theme from Saving Private Ryan, or some things from Catch Me If You Can, some of the lesser known themes. But no matter what the program, Williams is always great, so we had a good time.

And now, a poem to celebrate this month. I wrote this ten years ago, and it's one of my only poems with a rhyme scheme. It's rough and pretty cliche, but I still kind of like it, even though it was about a sad event in my life.


The leaves are falling on summer
The world is shedding summer
There's nothing left of summer
But a discarded, tattered dream.

Yesterday the world was bright
With golden light of summer's glow,
Yesterday we played together
Loving each other in friendship strong.
Yesterday our hears were full
Of summer's soul and childhood's dream,
Yesterday the days were long
A carefree song was all we knew.

Today I walked an autumn world,
Late daylight swirled in fading haze.
Today the wind held a bitter note
As summer wrote its first farewell.
Today a coldness touched my face,
Began to erase the summer's warmth,
Today the first frost twisted my heart
And froze the part that once held you.

Summer is gone from my grieving eyes,
Our closeness dies with shortening days.
Your heart is now so far from mine,
Where once entwined there stands just one.
An emptiness comes to consume my life
With all its strife, and you're not there:
I need you now, but I'm all alone,
The bond we've known is far behind.

And now we've reached our summer's end,
The cold sets in and chills me through,
And so, my friend, when all is done,
Your heart is gone at twilight's close.
I watch in silence with slipping tears-
It's lonesome here at the summer's end-
As the brightness pales and darkness falls,
As memories call from the deepening dusk.

The leaves are falling on summer
The world is shedding summer
There's nothing left of summer
But a discarded, tattered dream.

13 September 1995

Still reading? I didn't realize how long it was. Like I said, pretty trite and immature (I have always hated the lines where I rhyme life with strife, how melodramatic!), but it still has a special place in my heart.



I hate people who think that they're independent thinkers and they're all analytical, but really they're just repeating what they've heard other people say, and they haven't even really thought about it themselves, so when you ask them to back up what they've said they can't do it at all. Stupid phonies.


The longest pregnancy in history

Is this the cutest baby in the world? Besides Judah, I mean. :) Her name is Wen Chun Zhan, and she's my new niece! Steve and Arla just got her picture today, which means they'll go to China to pick her up and complete the adoption papers in about 6 or 8 weeks. They've been in the process of adopting her for well over a year now. She was born last December 28th, which is Arla's birthday and just makes it that much more special. We've all been waiting for this day for so long! I talked to both Steve and Arla earlier today, and they were both so happy. I can't wait to meet her!