Archive for the 'books' Category


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 a Few of My Favorite Things

Today involved a three-hour stint at the massive Powell’s bookstore in Portland, and two (count them, two) Thai meals. Making it perhaps one of the higher points in my life. 🙂

I emerged from Powell’s with a three-volume compendium of classic physics articles, which I will need to figure out how to transport back to Indiana–but this result is better than what might have happened had I been backed by greater financial resources. (I have always, by the way, considered it one of life’s greater injustices that Goshen lacks a place like this where I can go to just sit and read. (What’s that? Okay fine, yes there is the library, but it’s just not the same. (Yeah nested parentheses! My trademark!))

Thai meal #1 was lunch at a little corner place a block or so from Powell’s. I joined a biggish group of GC men with a couple former GCers thrown in for good measure, and had a nice green curry. Meal #2 was, believe it or not, the supper provided for us by Portland Mennonite Church. Most churches do something quotidian like spaghetti but I admire both the effort put forth here as well as the sheer volume (when 52+ men have eaten and the tubs of food still look full, you know you have a lot of food…and perhaps a sign ? la loaves-and-fishes.)

Right now I am sitting in a several-thousand square foot house in Hubbard, Oregon watching my fellow hostlings play Halo on the giant projector screen. Very conscientious Mennonites, these hosts. 🙂 But gracious. Oh, there is an official GC Men’s Chorus West Coast Tour blog if you want to follow along.

This post is more diary and less musing than I have done so far. I’m not quite sure what I think about that, though I think I’m aiming for a mix of both. After all, there’s no reason the ways I spend my time shouldn’t be one of the “assorted subjects.” I still haven’t ventured much into the introspection realm, although I may try to mix in a bit of that as well.