Monday, March 29, 2010

My important books

Sadly most are cookbooks

1. Curries without worries- For my faves of chicken curry, lamb curries, califlower & pea curry, and other good curries. The book needs to be copied for preservation.

2. How to Cook Everything- M. Bittman. For when I need a general idea of how to cook it.

3. Bistro Cooking. I had this book in grad school (History- UMASS). Never used it. After grad school (Library Science- UMCP) I discovered the lamb & garlic. Love the lamb & garlic.

4. Invention of Tradition. Eric Hobsbaum? As much as I love tradition.....

5. Bible- Please note this list is not in order of importance. No one version.

6. Book of Common Prayer.

7. Four Loves. CS Lewis. I like to review how I'm loving people (or not). I actually like reading this book, and refer back to it often.

8. Old House Journal (the book not the mag)- Renovation book, I got an old house. You figure.

9. Modern Archives Reader. Just for one article/chapter about not grandfathering in old records b/c the damned things managed to sit on the shelf untouched before you got there. Curses be to the earlier staff who took in all sorts of crap just to fill up their shelves. Now we have no space.

10. Frugual Gourmet Cooks with Wine- From here comes the chicken marsala and my standby pasta salad. This book s literally falling apart. I need to find another copy.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I'm posting this a reminder. I am hoping to one day see this indie film again but I can't find any hide nor hair of this 1995 mockumentary that I saw once with my ex-bf Jochen at a DC Indie Film Fest. Everyso often I look for this film but forget the name. Dadetown, dadetown, Dadetown! Takes place in upstate New York, about a dying factory town and the new yuppie business that relocates there.

Oppressed Methodists

Who knew.
Well I guess studying early modern British history I was supposed to know, but didn't care. I'm listening to an audiobook that I have the darnest trouble wrestling my mind away from, which I need to do when work or home requires all my mental skills and I have to get off auto-pilot. This audiobook is of Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas. Apparently Wilberforce's parents were very fearful of Methodist, which seems to have been too enthusiastic zeal for Jesus Christ and an annoying tendency to bring him into the world (seriously I have no idea what Methodists are about), tendencies. Through the biography of Wilberforce Methodism and Methodist tendencies tend to be this boogeyman that others worried about. It seems Methodists weren't too keen on theater.
The author seems to pit milquetoast Anglicanism against enthused Methodism, which this is my first of hearing of this. Now I know of limp Anglicanism, gad nothing new there and I am vaguely aware of Methodists in history. I have heard of the Wesley brothers, and I did take Religion in America in my undergrad days. However, I just figured them to be like any other Protestant group like Quakers or Baptists to have had the initial hardships then blended into the Christian landscape. Well maybe, depending on one's social class and ambitions. If you really wanted to get anywhere you must be CofE Anglican. And as far as I can tell and I am almost done with the book, Wilberforce, that servant of G-d, never left the Church of England, he just was a really enthusiastic happy moral faithful evangelistic Anglican.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lord Revive Us

I'm pretty down for reasons I don't like revealing. Since lunch I've had one song on continuous replay from 'In Sweetest Union Join', "Return Again," a scared harp/ shape note song.
The recording has these few lines:
Savior! visit thy plantation;
Grant us, Lord, a gracious rain!
All will come to desolation,
Unless thou return again:

Lord, revive us, Lord, revive us:
All our help must come from thee!

Keep no longer at a distance,
Shine upon us from on high!
Lest, for want of thine assistance,
Ev’ry plant should droop and die:

The rest, not included goes:
Surely once thy garden flourished:

Ev’ry part looked gay and green;
Then thy word our spirit nourished,
Happy seasons we have seen:

Lord, revive us, etc.

But a drought has since succeeded,
And a sad decline we see;
Lord, thy help is greatly needed,
Help can only come from thee:

Lord, revive us, etc.

Where are those we counted leaders,
Filled with zeal, and love, and truth?
Old professors, tall as cedars,
Bright examples of our youth!

Lord, revive us, etc.

Some in whom we once delighted,
We shall meet no more below:
Some, alas! we fear are blighted,
Scarce a single leaf they show:

Lord, revive us, etc.

Younger plants, the sight how pleasant!
Covered thick with blossoms stood;
But they cause us grief at present,
Frost has nipped them in the bud:

Lord, revive us, etc.

Dearest Savior, hasten hither,
Thou cans’t make them bloom again;
O, permit them not to wither,
Let not all our hopes be vain:

Lord, revive us, etc.

Let our mutual love be fervent,
Make us prevalent in prayer;
Let each one, esteemed thy servant,
Shun the world’s bewitching snares:

Lord, revive us, etc.

Break the tempter’s fatal pwoer,
Turn the stony heart to flesh;
And begin from this good hour
To revive thy work afresh:

Lord, revive us, Lord, revive us;
All our help must come from thee.

-John Newton

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Entrepreneurial Fantasy

I want to open up a small cafe called "The Reading Room" where people eat quietly. Where single diners can come and be okay. I will serve good hot breads and soups and salads. There will be tea and simple coffees (black, cafe au lait, esspresso). The walls would be lined with reference books (language dictionaries, writing manuals, classic works of literature and non-fiction that getquoted often), and there will be several wi-fi signals so people can eat & quitely surf. Once a week or month there would be a speaker invited to come and talk about some issue on the upper floor.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Another thing- race

Okay I made fun of the Help for clapping like a white guy, and I guess that's the one racial thing mentioned in the last post. But there was another observation about the Grace PCA church I want to mention, it was comfortably diverse.
Though the church was predominately white (and under drinking age) it was not all white. I've been in all white churches or mostly white churches where I am the only visible minority or I can count people of color on one hand. Grace was roughly 10% non-white, with a fair number of interracial couples. Two of the children who were baptized that night were bi-racial, half Asian and half white.
Wallace (the Help's church) is fairly racially diverse too... and age diverse. A bit more so, with blacks, South Asians, East Asians, and Latinos dotting the chairs throughout the sanctuary. Racially, I'm at ease there. Liturgically, not so much.
Speaking of, I guess I can now say that I find Presbyterian sermons too damned long. About 2/3rd of the way through I'm thinking, 'wrap it up.' I appreciate the tradition in Anglican, Lutheran, and Catholic churches to keep the homily under 20 minutes.

I feel so OLD

Yesterday the Help and I went to check out a PCA church closer to the house Grace Church over in Chinatown. Now Grace doesn't have it's own building and thus is housed in the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church and has services at 5pm.

We arrived about 15-10 minutes before service to do that very American thing of "getting a good seat." I was venturing towards the left side when the Help suggested the balcony. So we went up and I noticed it was an old building with old building/ little money for 'historic maintenance problems. As the church was filling up we noticed something. The kids filling the pews looked about college aged. It was like we were attending some college lecture. I swear the average age of the congregation was about 25, only because there were a handful of senior citizens. If the old people stayed home, I'd say the average age was about 22. As part of that evening's service there was a baptism of one of the elder's kids. The elder couldn't be more than 35. The pastor was 45. At least there was someone older than us who wasn't retired.
Besides feeling like the cougar and the old guy in the club the church was quite nice.

Oh there was one odd thing. The greeting, or in some traditions, the peace. Now I'm accustomed to the shaking of hands and saying , "G-d's peace," and moving on to the next person. For about 2-3 minutes this church turns into a college meet and greet. I had shaken hands and turned to the people on the other side of me, when I noticed they were quite involved in introducing themselves and giving the "who am I " spiel. So I turned back to the set of people I had introduced myself to and they were carrying on a conversation about who they were and what brought them to DC, blah, blah, blah. I turned to the Help and remarked that, "this is different."

The music was good. Jazzy. There were a few traditional hymns and a few 20th/21st Century ones, with one "Jesus is my girlfriend" P&W song. The closing hymn "I'll fly away" was great and we clapped. It has been so long since I've clapped along in church, it was great. However, the Help started clapping. Unfortunately the Help claps like a white guy. I had to grab his hands and stop him. Later he confessed that he clasps like a white guy because he is a white guy. He also confessed that he wanted the balcony seat to see any balding heads.