Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Right Back Where I Started From

-Being back in California has proven to be interesting. It is interesting to be in such a familiar place, yet it is no longer home to me. It has proven to be a time of relaxation, as well as a time that proves again that we are still adjusting to this big change.

-Watching the World Cup, I am torn between watching a game that is dramatic and a game that seems to affected more than any other by the officiating. I am inclined not to watch because of spectacular unfairness of it. In baseball, you see frustrating calls and egos, in this game you see officials who actually hand games to teams-something with which I am not familiar.

-Low and behold, I am in LA and the Dodgers are playing the Twins in the Metrodome. The Twins have turned it on of late, and are playing some exciting baseball.

-Steph and I saw A Prairie Home Companion last night and liked it very much. This movie captures something unique on film-it's fair to say that I have never seen anything quite like it. Steph and I hope to sneak out at some point and see Superman this week.

-I am soon off to a birthday dinner for me at one of my favorite SoCal haunts, and I will love seeing Jeremy (my cousin and best man-ever :) ) and his family tonight. These are the things that make the trip back here fun. It is nice to see family, old sights, and visit TJ's as a customer and old friend rather than an employee.

-Steph and I had a great date last night. As we saw a film at a sight of one of our early dates, I am now reminded of the ghosts in that unimpressive suburban movie house. But even such unimaginative pieces of architecture can serve to create memories.

-Last but not least, my little Jack turned one on Sunday. Fun party, bad market cake, and homemade chocolate cake. We had fun, and Jack keeps growing. It was fun. I will never quite understand the utter fascination with feeding a one year old an entire cake. I am a pilgrim in a foreign land, but I seem to feel that way much of the time anyway.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


One boy...one girl

I never know if their differences are because they are merely different people, or how much of it is determined by gender. Suffice to say, the boy is not even one year, and he has already greeted certain noises of the body with a belly laugh. My daughter did not do that. My daughter was always more verbal. She has always made things more complicated, and now she has taken to explaining herself a lot. The boy sits with a grin on his face, delighted merely by our presence. He's also a snuggler. Corrie was too busy looking at the world at his age to be snuggling. Jack just loves resting his head on us, and being held. Difference do to gender? Who knows? Either way, they are both a kick.

Steph and I are 2/3 of the way through the new King Kong film. While it is good so far, I am slightly at a loss as to why it garnered the very high praise that it did. The look of the film is outstanding, and I look forward to seeing KK invade Manhattan. But so far, it seems overblown and too long. More on that later.

We leave for LA on Saturday, and are looking forward to seeing our families. We hope to have an exciting trip, as well as some moments to relax!

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Father's Day

This is the image I love when it comes to Father's Day. My little girl, having just given me a card, greets me with a hug. It is moments such as these that bring one to the heights of great joy. It is moments very much like this that teach you about the glory to be attained only through the adventure of parenthood. Only in these moments of great subliminity can we even begin to appreciate what life has to offer. Suddenly, the clouds part, and everything that is confusing about life begins to make sense. One has now realized the true glory that only comes with being human....until...

The other source of this great joy begins grunting in the corner. The diaper begins to sag. The air is filled with that unmistakable scent. It's that time of day. Jackie, as you can see, waits for a special visit from daddy. As this is happening, I realize it is the perfect candidate for a blog topic. The ends of the spectrum which make up being a dad. Everything from the hug to the dispensing of the child's waste. It's all part of the same deal.

As I celebrate my 4th Father's day, I'm glad God gives me both the task of sharing the gospel with these little ones and the task of cleaning up their waste. It provides a perfect way of understanding what my parents experienced, as well as how God must feel.

Still...with that sublime thought, it will be nice when Jack can use this thing instead:

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Scattered thoughts

-Tomorrow is Father's Day, and I realize that though this day is set aside for me, I would not be the father I am without Steph.

-We continue to rake it in at the store-they like us here.

-I want Phil Mickelson to win the US Open-if he does it, I think he will be only the third golfer ever to win three straight majors.

-I just saw an ESPN Classic rebroadcast of the famous Ali-Foreman fight from Zaire. Thanks to Ali's rope-a-dope, most of it is terribly boring. I wish I had seen the climax.

-The Breakfast Club is a great movie.

-My daughter is supposed to be sleeping-instead she and my son are laughing at each other. Sweet to hear, but I wonder how sweet things will be in the morning.

-My daughter can now say "yah" and "you betcha" with a Minnesota accent.

-One more week until a vacation.

-I'm hungry-it's time for a snack.

Monday, June 12, 2006



My blog of late has had little to do with food or art, a lot to do with faith, but even more about real estate. True, the purchasing of our house has dominated our mindset. I have been continually monitoring my dear friend Darren Prince's blog as he and his wife travel to Africa, and that continues to serve as a reminder that there is much more to the world than any piece of real estate. Life is like that-a continual reminder of the need for balance between extremes. It is no good to dwell solely on the grave, such as the desperate need that calls out on the continent of Africa. But to ignore it is tantamount to endorsement, as Bob Dylan notes only too well in his simple ballad, Blowin' in the Wind. It has been made an anthem, but Dylan's original version is a stark, simplistic reminder of our responsibilities.

On the other side, is the not too grave. Before the inspection of our home today (which went very well I might add), we stopped for the first time at the Nokomis Beach Coffee House. I have pleaded to the heavens to find an independent coffee house where I can endorse a small business rather than pay my monetary homage continually to the green monster starbucks (lack of capitalization intentional). I may have found it. This is, I imagine, only the first of possibly hundreds of visits to this dive. Here I discovered a drink called a Noko, an espresso with white cocoa. It tasted better than any coffee drink I have had in some time, and I sipped it as I met the inspector at our new house. Couple that with my raspberry white chocolate scone, and I can only hope that two headed monsters caribou and starbucks never do in this place. caribou is a local chain, for those who don't know, and I vastly prefer it to starbucks, but it is still a chain :). My wife laughs at my fear of these two chains....but back to the Nokomis Beach Coffee House. It offers what so many of us want-a place with local character and a great product. The only thing that would have made it complete is a walk, coffee in hand, on the shore of Lake Nokomis. That will come I'm sure. As I close, this blog entry can also be called a coupon for all my readers. It is good for one trip, on me, to the Nokomis Beach Coffee house. The offer begins August 1st, and never expires, so long as my residence in Nokomis continues. Jack and I are sitting in the living room waiting!

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Minneapolis, Minnesota 55417

This always meant a lot to me. What my zip code will be means something to me. A zip code is nothing more than a number, so I would think. But in the life that my wife and I share together, it has become more than that. It has begun to symbolize the kind of life we want for our children. True, it is not the ideal for me. I would like to raise my kids in a more truly urban enviornment. But the neighborhood which we have chosen will suit us well. It is the type of urban space one could only find in Minneapolis. Half a mile from a lake, half a mile from a creek, half a mile from Minnehaha falls, less than a mile to a light rail, and half a mile to a library, Italian cafe, post office and a business district. Is my dream of subsistence without automobiles a reality? Sadly, no it is not. This neighborhood is not everything of which I dream.

But it is so quintessentially Minneapolitan. When we were looking for a home, the only clear input I gave Steph was that I wanted to live in Minneapolis or St. Paul. Not Edina, Eden Prairie, or any other suburb. I want to try something new. Minneapolis will never be Chicago, but thank God it will never be New York. As we hope to settle next month into a place that will be our home for some time, the possibilities before us seem infinite. I am so glad that I will live in a city that is at once metropolitan and unassuming. Provincial and consumed with itself yet so open to outsiders.

As I drove around Lake Nokomis with my wife and kids yesterday, it seems unlikely that these blocks which are so unfamiliar now will one day be like Chestnut St, Brink Ave, or Prairie in Evanston. But the familiarity with a true city will probably never fail to excite me, as I call Minneapolis my home.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Be it ever so expensive

Well, we have a house. We are the proud owners of a three bedroom house in the south part of Minneapolis. I am not excited about the expense. Come to think of it, there is little that excites me about this process. Nor does it scare me, or depress me. It is what it is. A roof will be over our heads at an affordable (I think) price, and that's really all that matters.

But, I am happy for my wife. I think this has always been a dream for her, and it is fun to think about how we will set up the house.

In the end, this day is momentous, but not really. It is an important start for us, but I hope that it ends up being as mundane as it now feels, as this place becomes as familiar as anything. As familiar as 531 Chestnut or 14432 Brink. What I truly want is to be away from the excitement and "thrill" of the home buying experience (oh...such a thrill), and to simply stop looking for a place to live.

I think we have that now, and it will be a nice change. But I think we will need all the change I can get. :)

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