don't forget to fly

(no subject)

A friend of mine tweeted a few days ago that it was her summer goal to read all the unread books on her bookshelf. I thought this was a noble sentiment, so I've been daydreaming ever since about the day, not too far off, when my academic obligations will come to a halt and I will be free to lose myself in fantasy worlds and murder mysteries and the like. So today, in my daily efforts of procrastination--because apparently somewhere deep within me, I don't actually WANT to get to that point--I decided to make a list of the books on my bookshelves that I have not read. I realized about halfway through that there is no way I am going to be able to get through them all in a summer. Not if I plan to do anything else, that is.

Here's the list of just adult novels that I own and have not read. Bear in mind that I have not included any of the Young Adult novels or non-fiction books that would fall into this category. Bolded titles indicate books that will be my priority this summer. The others I will get to as I will.

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Now granted, many of these books I was given as gifts or general bequeathments after the original owner was done reading them. Either they enjoyed it or thought I would, which explains the odd range I have on my shelves. Some of these I would never pick out for myself, but I have never been one to snub my nose at any book--I at least read the Twilight series in its entirety before I started groaning about it. So in the spirit that some people have been keeping track of the movies they watch, I am going to keep this list on here to track my progress. I may or may not write reviews of these books as I finish them, it'll depend on my mood. But I can tell you all right here and now: go read Paulo Coelho's work. I read The Alchemist on a plane ride over Christmas break, and I have not been able to get it out of my head since. If his other novels are half as good, and the reviews suggest they are, he might be my new favorite author.
aurora borealis

(no subject)

Sarah Palin, on President Obama's nuclear disarmament plans:

"You know, that's kinda like getting out there on the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight and one of the kids saying, 'Go ahead, punch me in the face but I'm not gonna retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me.'"

Matthew 5:38-39, words attributed to Jesus of Nazareth (also known as Jesus Christ):

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

Just saying.

(no subject)

The week before Christmas, one of the two pastors at the faith community Whitney and I are a part of passed away completely unexpectedly in a horrible accident at his gym. I was not especially close to him--I have a closer relationship with our other pastor and his family--but still, David always made me feel loved and valued. He always had a smile and a hug when he saw me, always asked how things were going, and always made me feel like he would have been there if I needed to talk to him. I don't think I have ever met a man who was as full of love for other people as David was. And he did not discriminate--it didn't matter who you were, why you needed it, or what it was, he was there to help you and to remind you that you were an important person with something to contribute.

I saw him the day it happened. I was there for a meeting, a planning session for a women-led worship series that's going to be in the spring. He was doing something else, but when I walked by his office, he gave me one of those signature smiles that lit up his whole face, said hi and asked how I was. If I would have known that was the last time I would ever see him, I probably would have said something other than "I'm great, thanks David." But that was it. His accident happened that night, when he was alone at his gym.

I could never capture into words how grateful I am even that I was able to observe David in action. He lived life unassumingly but more fully than I think I've ever seen, making sure to love every person he came into contact with. He had a knack for seeing someone's gifts, even through what other people might see as their faults or annoying quirks.

His memorial service was this afternoon in Austin, held at a baseball field. A celebration of his life, including his favorite foods and music, is currently going on at the Warehouse where we hold services, where I last saw David Gentiles, and where I happened to be when I heard that he was gone. Sometimes it sucks to have lives in two places and to only be able to be in one. At least I was able to read the text of one of the eulogies that was

(no subject)

Dear God,

I would like to enjoy reading once again, please. I would like to be able to take my time with a book and really digest it and think and be able to pick up something that interests me without feeling pressured all of the time to get it done, get it done, you have so much else to do!

I would like to be able to experience my life instead of always having to live one step above it. I would like to not have to worry about not having an intelligent comment or appearing stupid in front of my classmates and professors.

...I am afraid I might be done, truly done with graduate school.

Isn't the work supposed to feel worth it?