Archive for October, 2007


on Strange Doings from Five+ Years Ago

This afternoon I was feeling lethargic and mildly grumpy, so I took the three-pronged attack of:

  1. listening to Verdi’s requiem,
  2. browsing old files on my computer for remnants of that period when I had time for doing really random weird stuff, and
  3. browsing the internet looking for cool things to do in the future.

Fortunately these seemed to work well to cheer me up. In addition, I discovered (in point #2 above) a list of anagrams for ‘Mennonite Church USA’ (the U.S. national Mennonite body) which I had generated some time ago, and now wish to share. Here are the ones I had selected as at least mildly interesting, amusing, or apt:

Mennonite Church USA:

Non-human ethics cure.
Uncertain hum chosen.
Churches meant union.
Concur, minus heathen.
Humans cheer unction.
Heathen unicorn scum.
Hectic non-human ruse.
Meanest church union.
One church unites man.
I’m a church not unseen.
A church unites no men.
I am one unsent church.
Hence much unison art.
Hence human ructions.
Ouch! An inherent scum.
Cue the harmonic nuns.
Church met sane union.
Shun humane concerti.
Some uncertain hunch.
Ouch! Recent human sin.
Ouch! Human sin center.
Nice humans, once hurt.
No mute, insane church.
Her nice humans count.
Church outs inane men.
Much runs in the ocean.
Nominee as nut church.
Hush! A minute concern.

And, my personal favorite:
Ruinous cat henchmen.



on Bad Puns

Don’t spend too much time around me unless you are prepared to listen to some pretty disgusting puns. I can’t really help it; I get it from both the Glicks and the Weavers.

From my comments on a friend’s blog post:

[Meryl tells us she just won 155 Bach CDs.]
“Wow, that???s enough to fill a whole Bachs.”
[Meryl expresses doubt over her desire for that many CDs from one composer.]
“I suppose if you don???t want them, you could always give them Bach.”
“You could put some of them in a time capsule. Then it would be Bach to the Future.”
[Abby accuses me of being our high school choir director, a serial punster*, posing as me]
“You can make accusations, Abby, but you???ll never get me to come out from Haydn.”

And from an IM chat this evening:

Me: What’s the midterm problem this year?
Naf: So there’s this spring and a mass and they go into this bar…
Naf: Sounds like a bad physics joke, doesn’t it.
(later)
Naf: Yeah, there’s the spring, a mass, and a driver.
Me: I guess that would be the designated driver…

You have been warned. And yes, I confess I spent 10 minutes this afternoon trying to come up with a pun on “Rachmaninoff.”

*awaiting further pun-ishment, no doubt



on My Sister vs. Recycling

Just before I left Goshen, I spent some time converting some old video from my childhood into digital form. I’ve been meaning to post a few clips since then, but due to technical difficulties and moving across the country I haven’t gotten to it until now.

So enjoy this clip of what happened when it was time to take paper off the cans for recycling.

As you can see, not even my sister’s embittered cries could stop me from be focused on recycling those cans. So much sibling love going on there. 🙂 Fortunately now we can watch this and share a good laugh.



on the End of an Era

My parents finally got around to selling our trusty, rusty old 1988 Honda Accord. It was time–the bumper has been tied on for a couple years, we haven’t dared take it out of the county since we got our new car in 2003, and with Beth and I out of the house there is little need for two vehicles. Still, I can’t help feeling wistful. We owned the car beginning in 1993, and it served us well on many a cross-country roadtrip in its day.

Ah well…I’m sure the hundred bucks will be useful as well. 🙂

honda.jpg



on Being a Mennonite

Today I traveled to eastern Washington for the Mennonite Country Auction and Relief Sale. For those of you who don’t know, a relief sale is a type of event held around the country to raise funds to support the relief and development work of Mennonite Central Committee around the world. Mennonites gather from all around to gorge themselves and spend lots of money on quilts and antiques, all in the name of giving in the name of Christ to those in need. (I’ve heard that part of being Mennonite is living simply and reducing consumption…except on relief sale day!) Definitely it is a must-see ritual of the Mennonite subculture, and perhaps the closest thing that there is to a real Mennonite sacrament.

a $625 loaf of bread The auction opened with a loaf of bread. (sold for $625)

happy consumers of kraut runzas, groundnut stew, and homemade pies

stirring apple butter making apple butter (for sale in freshly sealed jars, still warm)

If you have been a Mennonite for any length of time, you are familiar with the “Mennonite game.” This is the strange (and unfortunately sometimes exclusive) ritual by which Mennonites interrogate new acquaintances to discover how they fit into the Mennonite web and (more importantly, if she is cute) check to see whether the two of you are cousins.

Some of the coincidental connections I discovered today:

  • the fellow I talked to at the MCC booth is a third cousin of the parents of one of my MVS housemates (a fact ascertained because I noticed that he shares her last name and hometown, and inquired)
  • a couple of decades ago, my MVS host parents helped start a church in Texas with the parents of a college friend who I attended a church small group with in Goshen

No need to freak out, says the Mennonite. It’s a small (Mennonite) world, and this is actually totally normal. So if I meet you and start asking strangely personal questions, don’t be taken aback. I’m just used to finding connections when I meet someone, and am trying to find a point of commonality.

It’s fall!



on Starting My 23rd Year

Thanks to all of you, my dear friends and family, who sent me greetings on Sunday, my 22nd birthday. I am blessed with extraordinary people to share this life with.

I had a lovely weekend, the highlight of which must certainly be on Saturday when I made my way to the book sale put on by the Friends of the Seattle Public Library. This biannual event is truly a sight to behold: an entire exhibition hall filled with row upon row of tables laden with folios waiting to be examined. And PACKED with people! You would have been hard-pressed to find a few feet of table not occupied, and the line waiting to pay stretched along the long side of the hall.

I walked home with the following:

  • something on Antarctica from National Geographic press (already passed along to my fellow Antarctica conspirator)
  • The Bantam New College French-English Dictionary (just $0.75 and some time and a new language can be yours…what fun!)
  • Bored of the Rings by the Harvard Lampoon (featuring Frito Bugger and his efforts, with the assistance of Goodgulf, to destroy the Great Ring)
  • Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick (a favorite from my parents shelves)
  • Linux Device Drivers by Alessandro Rubini (just in case anyone tries to challenge my geekhood)
  • “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (better catch up on that classic literature now that I actually have time to read)

And all this for only $5.75!

My actual birthday on Sunday was also quite nice. Following the service at Seattle Mennonite Church which included a commissioning of us VSers, I took off with friend Katie to the final Mariners game of the season, where we ate very garlicky garlic fries, were amused by multitudes of mascots present for Kid’s Appreciation Day, and tried to stay warm; and where the team, happily, won. Then back to the VS house for a little celebration with cake and ice cream (thanks guys; you rock!) and an outing to St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral for the Compline service before bed.

And how do I feel about starting my 23rd year? My Grandpa Hank wrote and reminisced about the months following his 22nd birthday, in which he “graduated from college, began graduate school, met the girl of my dreams, found my own housing and in general enjoyed life” (!) I guess we shall see if I can live up to that excitement. One thing I have been realizing is that, having just made it out of the clutches of my parents ventured into a new part of the country and started VS, it is already time to start thinking of some new long-term goals, so that I have a place to direct my energy. If you happen to be in possession of supernatural guidance regarding my future well-being, do let me know. 🙂 In the meantime, however, with few exceptions, life is good.



on Riding the Bus

Since arriving in Seattle my main modes of transportation have been walking and riding the bus. The latter is a fairly impersonal experience, although I am starting to recognize a few regulars who share my routes of choice. And occasionally the driver will make his or her personality known. Such as the one today, who lazily announced–if I heard him correctly–“15th and John…Group Health…and a bunch of other stuff.”

This gave me the idea for an exciting new online service; namely, Google Indirection. Supplied with information about your starting point and intended destination, this innovative tool will display a detailed step-by-step route and then cheerfully proclaim, “Whatever you do, don’t go THAT way!”