Minnie Pearl and Marg: A mishap

Let me first say that we are both okay, but sadly Minnie Pearl and I were in a minor accident about a week ago.  I was riding back from an awesome afternoon at a fun new cafe with housemates Sylvia and Becca and before I knew it both Becca and I were down!  We were biking on H Street where they’re installing a trolley.  We both within seconds of each other had gotten off balance riding over the tracks.  Thank goodness for helmets.  The only part of the fall that I actually remember is hitting my head on the cement.

As scary as the whole bike accident was I did get back on my bike the next Tuesday.  I biked twelve miles roundtrip for a “field trip” to Rock Creek Park for my Journaling in Nature class.  It was exhausting, but it was also pretty fun.  All my housemates now say that I’m ready to bike to school and back.  While I’m still a little terrified of that I do think its probably time to try.  Although with the approaching cold weather the thought of biking is a little less appealing… by the way have you heard that it actually snowed in DC today?

Stay tuned for a photo post in the next week of our 2nd Annual Halloween Party.  Lots of fun photos in from of the guillotine. [smile]

-m

A list for Day 1 of Age 28

I initially thought I would title this post “A list for Day 1 of Year 28”, but then remembered that’s not quite right.  This is actually “Year 29″… but I want to savor the whole 28th Birthday a bit longer and leave year 29 for next year.  No sense rushing a good thing.  [smile]

I guess there are quite a few ways I could mark my birthday here, but I thought it might be nice to share with you some of the memories I’ll cherish from the 28 years I’ve been on this earth.  These are in a totally random order… chronologically and in regard to importance too.  I tried to include something from most of the places I’ve lived, especially as an adult, and tried to remember all the special people who have touched my life.  On that note a quick shout out to my readers:  If you’re a part of my family or a friend circle know that I am thankful for the relationship we have.  Your love has made the last 28 years great and make my future so bright!  Also if you think of some memory I’ve missed here, please feel free to add it in the comments.

Without further ado my list:
1. Meeting my sisters for the first time and my sets of twin dolls from each of my grandparents.
2. Dublin High School Graduation. Even with all the tears during the middle of my valedictorian speech that was a very special day.
3.  Nudge- our incredibly sweet first family dog.  I especially remember the night she laid on a blanket with the five of us in our back yard while we watched a meteor shower.
4.  Going to the Admissions office with Jane-Marie to ask to be roommates during LaGrange College Scholarship Weekend and our super spacious room in Hawkes Hall.  (Really we had the biggest room in the entire building… which was probably best because neither of us had ever shared a room with anyone before.)
5.  Climbing up my preschool playground equipment that was shaped like a spaceship and thinking it was so high.
6.  My 27th Birthday Party with MVS Community.  Picking out a pumpkin on a farm, learning that little baby Henry would be born in the spring, yummy food, Georgetown cupcakes, and then game night!
7.  Bible studies on Monday nights in Hawkes Hall Lounge.
8.  Being in Laura’s wedding.
9.  Visiting Taize.
10. Porch sitting and naps at my Grammy and Grandaddy’s house in Broxton.
11. The crazy “fort” the Bagwell/Martin cousins imagined existed in the small wooded area behind Mom and Pop’s house in Macon.
12. Calling my Grammy, the cake expert, while trying to make the icing for my first caramel cake.
13. Exploring England by train with Emily and Janell.
14. Each of “The Nine” Christmases in Meg’s Little Red Cottage and then in Katie and Noelle’s houses.  This year at Blair’s!
15. Sitting on the steps of the museum in Trafalger Square with my Mama and Daddy.
16.  Pumpkin Carving with my international housemates at MIH.
17. The great and the not-so-great first dates over the years.
18. Picking out a Christmas tree with my sisters and parents.
19. Chatting with my mom while we get a pedicure.
20. Beating my dad at backgammon.
21. LaGrange College Graduation- more tears, but still great memories.
22. Learning how to crack open crawfish at the community crawfish boil with my Sager Brown family in the Gym.
23. My college trip to Greece… standing where Paul might have stood in Corinth, visiting the acropolis in Athens, and the perfect pizza in that little Greek taverna somewhere in the Peloponnese.
24. Inspecting homes in Baldwin and Franklin, LA and supervising repairs, specifically the day a woman called me her angel.
25. Calls from my Grammy in which she only asks “Have you looked at the moon tonight?’
26. Being commissioned as a US-2 in NYC.
27. Friday Night MVS community dinners.
28. Pub nights after a full day of digging on the Salisbury Plain.

There are so many more memories that have come flooding into my mind while I’ve written this.  I have been blessed to have such a wonderful life.  I can only hope that the next 28 years will be just as amazing.

-m

A star is born

I know all of you out there were waiting with baited breath for the premier of my episode of The Seminary.  I’m happy to say that the wait is finally over.  [smile]

Hope you laugh as much as we did while we were making it.  Also stay tuned for the continuing story… due to be posted on Friday.

Puzzeling out a proposal

My MTS Thesis paper proposal is due tomorrow… err today… and I have the worst case of writer’s block.  I’ve got my preliminary bibliography and I have a handle on the significance and methodology (aka structure) I want to use, but the actual thesis or research question is just not revealing itself.  Not to mention that the title is quite awful.

“Cultivating a Broader “Us”:  Visioning a local ministry for persons whose lives are affected by mental illness in the United Methodist Church.”

What am I thinking? It sounds so boring. [smile] And I really have now idea what the cultivating a broader us is supposed to mean… except to indicate inclusiveness within the faith community.

I’m trusting that a night of rest will bring clarity in the morning.  Maybe I’ll dream the perfect thesis and title.  One can always hope.

Graduation petition

Can it be that the time is already here?

I just received an email from the school asking me to fill out an application to graduate in the Spring.  AHHHHH! I went ahead and filled it out, but that now means my list of things to do gets 10 times longer.

  • Start MTS Paper… and then finish it.  [smile]
  • Revise my CV and cover letter.
  • Decide what jobs I’m applying for… or should I say decide what I’m not applying for.  That’s probably the shorter list.  [smile]
  • This should probably come before the last one:  Decide where to apply for jobs.  DC… NYC… LA… ATL… Nashville…. or maybe New Zealand?  I hear they have a great visa application process! [smile]
  • Perhaps I should add: pass my classes.

And that doesn’t even include figuring out whether I’ll even walk for graduation.  I’d love too.  Wesley’s graduation ceremonies take place in the National Cathedral.  BUT… the little sisters, Saysa and Rachie, are potentially graduating from undergrad around the same time.

Fiddly-dee… I think I’ll put the decisions off for later.  Tomorrow is another day!

The Laundry Room Commandments

I’ve spent a lot of time in the laundry room today. Two reasons: 1. Its my laundry day and 2. Its the warmest room in our house and our AC system has yet to catch up with the changing weather. The heating and cooling system in this apartment is the bane of our existence. So frustrating. We have very little control over the temperature and have no real options when it comes to saving energy. The AC is always cycling on and off.  I long for the day when I will live in a house with windows that open and an AC that turns off.

Anyway… while I was spending all this time in our laundry room I had this revelation about seminary students.  We’re capable of making anything that is remotely sacred into a joke and worse I’m pretty sure we are only funny to other seminary students.  Take for instance a couple of our community’s “Laundry Room Commandments.”  “Honor the bucket and keep it empty.”  Our dryers are weird and somehow extract the water from the clothes… so we have to periodically empty this random bucket of “dryer water” and of course this is on par with the command to keep the Sabbath. [smile] “The Box of those items ‘Left Behind.'”  The “left behind” are just clothes that are forgotten in the laundry room after your laundry day. No worries though.  They are not without the possibility of post-rapture redemption.  [wink]

We jest and laugh, but its just our way of breaking the seriousness of the theological questions we confront everyday.  Maybe they should include an improv class in the curriculum.  Could make Sunday mornings a bit more interesting for the parishioners.

Practical diplomacy

Recap of my morning:
7AM: Wake and head to the kitchen.  First pot of coffee started.
7:30AM:  Carrots, potatoes, and onions peeled and chopped.  Top round #1 browning on the stove.
8:15AM: 2 Pot Roasts in the oven.  Apples for apple pie being peeled.  Crust for pie rolled out.
9:30AM: Pot Roasts still in the oven.  Apple pie baking.  Green Bean casserole started.
10:30AM: Chopping strawberries and onions for salad.
11:15AM: Rice started on the stove.
11:45AM:  LoMein from Full Kee- check.

This morning I got to play “Susie Homemaker” and hostess to a group of Chinese visitors to DC, including the President of the Chinese Christian Church.  The menu was classic American with a splash of Chinese on the side.  Pot roast, apple pie, green bean casserole, and salad.  So excited to share that the apple pie was an amazing improvement over the pies earlier in the week… and a perfectly collaborative effort with my suite mates:  Nix on crust, Sylvie on filling, and me on the crumble topping.  [smile]

Our visitors are accompanying a history/art exhibit on the Bible in China.  Wesley Theological Seminary is one of the events sponsors and the exhibit is actually a couple of floors below my house in another part of the MVS UMC church building.  I’m sure they arranged this all for my personal convenience. [smile]

It was incredibly exciting and such an honor to have such important people as our guest.  Plus the resulting dinner conversation was really cool.  We talked about the uniqueness of the Christian experience in China and the US; Christian art and song; and compared our seminaries a bit.  They were particularly interested in our emerging ministry program and all chuckled about what it might look like to open the sermon up for conversation in one of their congregations.

One cultural similarity seems to be the pressure to pair young, single Christians up.  I can’t be sure because of the language barrier, but I think several of the older leaders were suggesting to one of the young men who joined us that he should make a move on Nix, Sylvie, or me.  [giggle]  It was actually quite hilarious.  At one point they said something about him being young, strong, and attractive.  [smile]

All and all the morning went great.  The dinner was ready in time and tasted great.  The guests felt welcome and conversation didn’t lag.  Rest assured that Chinese-American relations at least within our walls is secure.

Debut

I’ve got a call back for a minor role on The Seminary!  Not sure you caught that show on the network’s fall lineup… well its not really that kind of show. The Seminary is a mockumentary style sketch comedy put on by some of my fellow seminarians. They’ve put out several episodes on YouTube.  Its quite funny… particularly because I sit in class with most of the “actors.”

Anyway the episode I’m in has me playing a seminarian searching to tack on an MRS to her MDiv degree.  Silly topic, but one of those jokes with a seed of reality mixed in.  I feel like I’ve heard about more marriages between classmates here than even at the small liberal arts college I attended for undergrad.  Oddly enough number of marriages that form doesn’t actually mean there’s a lot of dating happening.  Maybe the people who come to seminary have an acute sense of what they are looking for in a partner already or maybe its just that most people are at that stage where they’re ready to stop looking.  Whatever it is, the trend is for people to pair up and then well dum da da dum… you get my drift. [smile]

Back to The Seminary, I have to admit that while I’m quite excited to get a role I’m also a little nervous. Acting’s not really my forte and I’m not sure that I’m going to be very great at this at all.  I am okay with laughing at myself which I’m sure will mean that I’ll do fine.  Cheers to the theater! [smile]

Gonna make a pie… not!

I like to bake and usually I’m not bad at it, but somethings happened to my kitchen mojo. First the cupcakes turned into con-cakes and now my apple pie crust is a disaster!

It wouldn’t roll out and kept sticking to everything.  I added flour.  No change.  I added ice water. No change.  I finally gave up and pressed it into the pan. We haven’t eaten the pie yet, but I just know its going to be awful.  It may taste okay, but there is really no way the crust is going to hold up.  The worst part is I was baking the pie for people I love and I ended up getting really frustrated with them in the process.

I totally sound like Debbie Downer. [wonk, wonk]

Time for an attitude adjustment.  I will not let this pie defeat me.  This is just the beginning of fall and I will conquer the apple pie by the end of the season!  When I do I’m going to sing while I bake it like Keri Russel in that sweet indie flix Waitress.  Its going to be so awesome.  Better go check on the pies in the oven. Burning them could totally ruin this optimism I’ve got going.